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Curt Schilling Rumors
Angels GM Jerry Dipoto recently said that it's unlikely the club will work out an extension with Erick Aybar before Opening Day. However, Dipoto acknowledged that it's very much a possibility that the club will work out a new deal with the shortstop. Here's more on Aybar and other notes from around the baseball…
- Zack Greinke helped the Brewers evaluate pitchers prior to the draft according to MLB.com's Adam McCalvy, asking to see video of prospects before the team chose hurlers Taylor Jungmann and Jed Bradley in the first round. Tom Haudricourt of The Journal Sentinel says (on Twitter) that Greinke is at Arizona State scouting right-hander Brady Rodgers with Craig Counsell tonight.
- Within this article comparing the Phillies to the late-90s Indians, Sam Donnellon of The Philadelphia Daily News says the Tribe had a deal in place to acquire Curt Schilling in 2000. "I banged hard on that one," said then-Indians GM John Hart when asked how he felt after the deal fell through.
- Aybar told reporters that he hopes to remain with the Angels beyond this season, writes Alden Gonzalez of MLB.com. The 28-year-old declined to go into details about the kind of deal he’s looking for, but the Halos might not be willing to shell out major money for him with prospect Jean Segura in the fold.
- The Mets were the only club to watch Scott Kazmir throw yesterday and Sandy Alderson didn't exactly offer a ringing endorsement of the pitcher, tweets Anthony DiComo of MLB.com. A reunion between the club and left-hander is unlikely, according to Adam Rubin of ESPNNewYork.com (via Twitter).
- Mark Feinsand of the New York Daily News (via Twitter) spoke with someone that said Hideki Matsui isn't close to signing anywhere. The veteran will likely wait and see which teams have needs as spring training goes on.
A collection of Phillies links…
- An oblique strain will knock out Phillies starter Joe Blanton for three to six weeks, and Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports tweets that the Phils are now looking for pitching. However, Rosenthal's source says there's not much out there. For now, Kyle Kendrick will replace Blanton.
- GM Ruben Amaro Jr. told David Murphy of the Philadelphia Daily News that the Phillies have maintained contact with Pedro Martinez but have not talked to Scott Boras about Jarrod Washburn. He says the two free agents are not options as a response to the Blanton injury, though Murphy believes another injury to the staff might change things.
- Ashley Fox of the Philadelphia Inquirer talked to Curt Schilling, who says trading Cliff Lee was a "stupid, stupid move." I wasn't a fan either, but I don't agree with Schilling's implication that Amaro was concerned with the public perception of the team's minor league system. Amaro actually took the unpopular route in trading Lee.
- Patrick Newman of NPB Tracker passes along a Nikkan Sports report saying the Hanshin Tigers will acquire pitcher Jason Standridge. The Phillies had signed the former first-round pick to a minor league deal in January.
Another round of links…
- Backup catcher Mike Redmond wants to re-sign with the Twins this offseason, according to Sid Hartman of the Minneapolis Star-Tribune. Rookie Jose Morales has been backing Joe Mauer up lately, so the Twins have options behind the plate.
- Charley Walters of the Pioneer Press says the Twins "are expected" to try to sign Joe Mauer for about $120MM over seven years after this season. If Mauer hits free agency after next season, he'd probably see multiple offers worth more than $120MM.
- The Red Sox will have an opening in left field after the season and Curt Schilling knows how he'd attempt to fill it. He said on WEEI's The Dennis & Callahan Show that he'd rather re-sign Jason Bay than pursue Matt Holliday because Bay has proven he can play in Boston.
- ESPN.com's Keith Law reports that the D'Backs are about to sign their first European player. Andrea Pizziconi, a 17-year-old Italian, has a "promising" slider and may develop into a four-pitch pitcher.
Pitcher Curt Schilling announced his retirement today via a blog post at 38 Pitches. He finishes with a 3.46 ERA and 216 wins in 3,261 innings for the Orioles, Astros, Phillies, Diamondbacks, and Red Sox. He also won 11 postseason games with a 2.23 ERA in 133.3 innings.
Let’s talk about the Cubs’ connection to starters Curt Schilling and Jake Peavy.
- Schilling is undecided on pitching in 2009, but if he does he’d be interested in the Cubs and Rays, among other teams. As a reminder, here’s Schilling’s list of ten preferred teams from October of 2007. Gordon Wittenmyer of the Chicago Sun-Times finds it a "long shot" that the Cubs would pursue Schilling, while Paul Sullivan of the Chicago Tribune thinks the Cubs "probably would take a flier on him, at the right price."
- Wittenmyer and Sullivan have quotes from Peavy, who denied singing "Go Cubs Go" at a Vegas bar in December. Peavy had kind words for the Cubs, but the two teams are not talking trade currently.
- In a related story, Sullivan’s heard that Padres CEO Sandy Alderson could take a similar role with the Cubs once new owner Tom Ricketts takes over. Alderson declined comment.
SUNDAY, 2:05pm: Schilling clarifies his thoughts about the Cubs on his blog. He reminds us that he hasn’t decided whether to return, but if he does he says he’d consider pitching for the Cubs. Paul Sullivan of the Chicago Tribune heard from a Cubs official who wasn’t surprised to hear Schilling’s interested. Sullivan thinks the Cubs would take a flier on Schilling at the right price.
8:25pm: The St. Petersburg Times’ Joe Smith recalls Schilling’s comments about the Rays from 2007:
"It’s one of those situations you’d certainly have to look at," said the 42-year-old right-hander. "Knowing that I’m probably going to spend one more year playing, if circumstances happen and things happen and they made some moves that were positive, I’d love nothing more than to finish my career working on a pitching staff where I know that there are young guys that are going to be positively impacted by me being around (after) I was gone. I enjoy that. I love working and talking and being around young pitchers."
SATURDAY, 1:34pm: David Whitley of the Orlando Sentinel reports that Curt Schilling would be interested in coming back to baseball to pitch for either the Chicago Cubs or the Tampa Bay Rays. Writes Whitley:
Schilling, who has a career mark of 216-146, said money would not be a major issue. He’s looking for a team that has championship potential and has never won a title. "The challenge would be in a place like Tampa Bay or Chicago," he said.
Schilling is not aiming to be on an Opening Day roster, and furthermore has yet to decide whether to come back next season at all. "I’m hemming and hawing right now," Schilling said; "I’ll make a decision in the next couple of weeks."
According to Miles, Hendry "seems excited" about adding Koskie. The Cubs could use Koskie as a backup third baseman, Miles writes, despite Hendry’s assertion that the team is "very happy with [Mike] Fontenot and [Aaron] Miles and what they’re doing in getting looks at third base."
As for the Schilling rumor, Miles says the Cubs have not heard directly from the pitcher, but are open to the idea of potentially adding him. Says Miles’ source within the Cubs’ organization: "Why not?"
According to SI.com’s Jon Heyman, the Diamondbacks "seem to be focusing now on free agent hurler Jon Garland." Heyman says the D’Backs originally had their eye on Pedro Martinez and Curt Schilling, but now believe they might be able to afford a younger pitcher. The D’Backs struck out on Randy Johnson, Brad Penny, and Randy Wolf already.
Surprising to see no mention of Braden Looper, who was reportedly the next target.
Links for Thursday night…
- Curt Schilling thinks the Red Sox need Jason Varitek.
- Buster Olney writes that some executives think Type A free agents like Varitek, Orlando Cabrera and Juan Cruz should sign soon instead of waiting until the season starts.
- Ken Rosenthal proposes a ‘Juan Cruz rule’ so that players like Cruz aren’t the ones hurt by the compensation system.
- Andy MacPhail provides some of the reasons he wanted to lock up Nick Markakis. He has plenty of good ones to choose from.
- Chico Harlan of the Washington Post spoke with Nick Johnson, who "expressed no particular desire" to play in his home state of California.
- Kobe Bryant jokingly suggested that he could play left for the Dodgers instead of Manny Ramirez.