Curtis Granderson Rumors
Links out of the AL East..
- The Yankees are still listening to offers on Curtis Granderson, Phil Hughes, and Ivan Nova, according to Andrew Marchand of ESPNNewYork.com (via Twitter). Team executives have acknowledged that Granderson and Hughes have come up in trade talks but say that it would be tough to replace both in the short-term.
- Right-hander Claudio Vargas has agreed to a minor league deal with the Blue Jays, according to Metis Sports Management (via Twitter). Vargas retired in summer 2011 before inking a minor league deal with the Brewers this past spring.
- The Rays aren't going to be shaking things up right away but there could be some trades on the horizon, writes Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times. "At the very least we have more clarity. I wouldn't say anything is imminent. But we just have more clarity on how we might be able to complete this offseason looking out over the next six-to-eight weeks," said executive VP Andrew Friedman.
- It seems that almost everyone in Nashville this week was poised to spend big bucks except for the Yankees, writes Joel Sherman of the New York Post. Scott Boras and two other agents who have discussed clients with the Yankees in recent days said their perception was a clamp had been placed on spending with the team’s payroll already at $168MM for 2013. Meanwhile, the Yanks still have major needs in right field, the left side of the infield, and at catcher.
It's the middle of the night, but news rarely stops coming in over the course of baseball's Winter Meetings. Here are some links from around the baseball world for those who are still awake...
- One of the reasons that Sean Burnett's two-year, $8MM deal with the Angels was so affordable was because he had surgery to remove a bone spur this offseason, tweets Mike DiGiovanna of the L.A. Times. For comparison, Jeremy Affeldt signed for three years and $18MM.
- Danny Knobler of CBS Sports writes that the Phillies have a list of five center field targets that includes Michael Bourn, Josh Hamilton, Dexter Fowler, Curtis Granderson and Ben Revere. This is the first they've been linked to Revere, who Knobler says the Twins will move for young pitching despite already having traded Denard Span.
- Scott Boras told John Shea of the San Francisco Chronicle that he's spoken to Giants team president Larry Baer about established closers like Rafael Soriano and Jose Valverde (Twitter link). There doesn't seem to be a match there in my opinion, given Sergio Romo's excellence and reports that the Giants are at their payroll threshold.
- The Rays have hired former Astros scouting director Bobby Heck as as special assignment scout, tweets Brian McTaggart of MLB.com.
Jeff Keppinger, Eric Chavez, Jason Bay, Nate McLouth, and Wil Nieves have all reached contract agreements this afternon in Nashville. Which moves might be coming next? Let's round up a few of the latest rumors from the Winter Meetings....
- The Mets are reluctant to commit to a two-year deal for Scott Hairston, tweets Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports. Rosenthal adds that the Mets could net a catcher in a trade involving R.A. Dickey or other players. Given the context, I assume he means an outfielder, though the Mets are seeking a backstop as well.
- Like the Brewers, the Royals may not be able to afford an arm like Anibal Sanchez or Kyle Lohse unless the team clears some salary, tweets Danny Knobler of CBSSports.com. Kansas City has remained in touch with both pitchers though.
- The Yankees have been exchanging trade proposals with other teams for a variety of players, including Curtis Granderson, tweets ESPN.com's Buster Olney, who cautions that that's "standard procedure."
- Seattle's payroll is expected to rise above $90MM, so the Mariners could afford to add one big-money player, tweets Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com. Josh Hamilton would be a tight fit though, Heyman adds.
- Although the Angels are interested in Brandon McCarthy, they've yet to speak to his people in Nashville, says ESPN.com's Jerry Crasnick (via Twitter).
With Day Two of the Winter Meetings underway, let's round up a few notable links related to AL East clubs....
- As they continue to search for a big bat, one name on the Orioles' shopping list is Mike Morse, according to Jon Morosi of FOX Sports, who tweets that the O's have interest in the Nationals slugger. We heard yesterday that Baltimore's interest in Morse was "lukewarm" and that GM Mike Rizzo hadn't been in contact with the Orioles yet in Nashville, though that could change.
- Alex Speier of WEEI.com examines the possibility of the Red Sox trading a catcher in the wake of the Mike Napoli signing, noting that the Mariners, Mets, Yankees, White Sox, and Dodgers are among the teams looking to add a backstop.
- While Joel Sherman of the New York Post acknowledges that the Yankees would listen to offers on Curtis Granderson and Phil Hughes, he notes that team executives say the goal is still to win in 2013, and that replacing Granderson's and Hughes' production in the short-term would be tricky (Twitter links).
The Yankees are open to trade scenarios involving Curtis Granderson, according to ESPN's Buster Olney (Twitter link). Olney notes that moving Granderson's $15MM salary would give general manager Brian Cashman more flexibility this offseason.
Granderson will turn 32 next March and has seen his power numbers soar in the homer-friendly Yankee Stadium. Over the past two seasons he's batted .247/.342/.522 with a whopping 84 homers. Following a fourth-place finish in MVP voting in 2011 though, Granderson saw his walk rate decline and his strikeout rate rise substantially in 2012.
Several teams are looking for center field help, though the market has shrunk with the signings of B.J. Upton and Angel Pagan and the Nationals' acquisition of Denard Span. The Phillies and Mariners strike me as teams in need of outfield help that could take on Granderson's hefty salary, but that's just my speculation.
Cashman said in late October that he would keep an open mind in regards to trading Granderson, but stressed the difficulty of replacing a 40-homer bat in center field.
Cano, 30, will earn $15MM next season. He hit .313/.379/.550 with a career-high 33 homers this season, his third straight year of MVP-caliber performance. Cano is due to become a free agent after next season and we recently heard that agent Scott Boras is seeking a ten-year contract at "top-of-the-market dollars" for the second baseman.
Granderson, 31, will also earn $15MM next year after triggering escalator clauses in his contract with last season's fourth place finish in the MVP voting. He hit .232/.319/.492 with 43 homers in 2012, his second consecutive season with 40+ dingers. GM Brian Cashman recently said he won't trade the outfielder in a reactionary move following his poor postseason showing.
The Yankees signed Aardsma to a one-year contract last offseason with an eye on 2013 since the right-hander was coming off Tommy John surgery. The 30-year-old threw just one inning in September after spending the summer rehabbing. Aardsma will make just $500K next season, with more available in incentives.
The Yankees are averaging 96 regular season wins in their first five years under manager Joe Girardi. Here's the latest from the Bronx, via Joel Sherman of the New York Post...
- The Yankees would be far better off with Mariano Rivera, Andy Pettitte and Derek Jeter contributing in 2013, Sherman writes. Rivera appears to be undecided about whether to continue playing, Pettitte hasn't announced his plans for the '13 season and Jeter’s recovering from ankle surgery. Sherman hears from a friend of Rivera's who expects the closer to return.
- The Yankees realize Curtis Granderson adds value and will almost certainly avoid trading him in a reactionary move, Sherman writes. “I will listen on anybody, but you would be hard-pressed to get enough to trade a center fielder who is a perennial 40-homer-plus man,” GM Brian Cashman said of Granderson, whose 2013 option will be exercised in the coming weeks. Rival executives told Sherman that Granderson could draw trade interest from teams aiming to contend in 2013 if the Yankees made him available.
- Sherman also notes that Nick Swisher is almost certain to leave in free agent.
Earlier today we learned that the Yankees intend to exercise Curtis Granderson's $15MM club option for 2013, and Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com reports that the team is disinclined to explore a long-term extension for the slugger. Let's see what else is going on in the Big Apple...
- The Yankees are still planning on making a qualifying offer of about $13.5MM to free agent Nick Swisher, writes Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com. However, the club will only do so in order to receive draft pick compensation and have no expectations of Swisher accepting the deal.
- Yankees General Manager Brian Cashman told Heyman that he has no plans to shop Alex Rodriguez this winter. Furthermore, the GM doesn't seem to think that there's much of a market for the third baseman. "He's got a full no-trade, and his contract is what it is,'' Cashman said.
- Yankees president Randy Levine confirmed to Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com that both Cashman and manager Joe Girardi will return in 2013. Heyman adds (via Twitter) that the status of the team's coaches will be up to Cashman and Girardi. Cashman told Heyman that as far as he's concerned, all of the coaches are safe (Twitter link).
- Ken Davidoff of the New York Post believes that Rodriguez will return to the Yankees and refuse to waive his no-trade clause as he stated last night. The highly-paid third baseman has been linked to the Marlins in recent days following his disappointing performance in the playoffs.
Mike Axisa contributed to this post.
The Yankees intend to exercise Curtis Granderson's club option for 2013, reports Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com (on Twitter). The option was originally worth $13MM, but Granderson triggered an escalator clause with his fourth place finish in last season's MVP voting. The option is now worth $15MM.
Granderson, 31, hit .232/.319/.492 with 43 homers in his third season with the Yankees. He's the only player in baseball to hit at least 40 home runs in each of the last two seasons thanks in part to Jose Bautista's wrist injury. Granderson was in the final guaranteed year of the five-year, $30.25MM extension he signed with the Tigers prior to the 2008 season.
After 95 regular season wins and two postseason series, the Yankees' year has ended. The Tigers swept the ALCS in four games, which means it's now time for the Bronx Bombers to look ahead to the 2012-13 offseason. Here's the latest...
- Yankees management wants to step away from the disappointment of the 2012 ALCS before finalizing offseason plans, Joel Sherman of the New York Post reports. The Yankees will continue relying on power hitters, even after a team-wide slump against the Tigers. “I’m not going to turn myself into the Bronx Bunters because all of a sudden we didn’t hit for this week in October,” GM Brian Cashman said.
- Yankees left-hander Andy Pettitte hopes to decide within a few weeks whether he'll return for another season of baseball in 2013, Jeff Bradley and Andy McCullough of the Star-Ledger report. “I still have the desire to compete, but there are family things. I just have to try and figure that out,” Pettitte said.
- Nick Swisher would "absolutely" like to re-sign with the Yankees and described his tenure in New York as "awesome," Bradley and McCullough report.
- Ichiro Suzuki said he hopes to be needed and wanted but declined to get into specifics, Bradley and McCullough report.
- Bradley also outlines an offseason to-do list for the Yankees. The possibility of a trade sending Alex Rodriguez to Miami might be tempting for the New York front office.
- Curtis Granderson said he expects to return in 2013, Bryan Hoch of MLB.com reports. Unless the Yankees trade the center fielder he'll still be wearing pinstripes when the season opens.
- Cashman said he isn't worried about the age of his team, Hoch reports. "I don't care if it's old; I care if it's good," Cashman said.