Curtis Granderson Rumors
The classic musical Damn Yankees opened on Broadway on this day in 1955. Such noted Broadway stars as Gwen Verdon, Ray Walston and Stephen Douglass formed the original cast, with Douglass in the lead role as fan-turned-Washington Senators slugger Joe Hardy.
Unfortunately for supporters of both Washington's current team and the "Senators" (now the Twins), there is no word of either team signing an out-of-nowhere star prospect from Hannibal, MO. There is, however, some news about that darn team from the Bronx.
- The Yankees explored trading Kevin Russo during Spring Training, reports Joel Sherman of the New York Post (Twitter link). Sherman notes that New York could take Russo off their 40-man roster to make room for Jorge Vazquez as a replacement for the injured Eric Chavez, though Chad Jennings of the LoHud Yankees blog believes Ramiro Pena will be called up instead.
- Slade Heathcott (29th overall) and J.R. Murphy (76th overall) were New York's top two picks in the 2009 amateur draft and are off to strong starts in low Class A ball, writes George King for Baseball America. Brian Cashman calls center fielder Heathcott "a five-tool guy," while Murphy "is going to hit for average with average power" while remaining at catcher.
- Curtis Granderson's early-season success and Austin Jackson's struggles have made the three-team deal involving the two center fielders look a lot better for the Yankees, writes Daniel Barbarisi of the Wall Street Journal. You still have to consider that deal an overall win for the Tigers -- Max Scherzer, Phil Coke and Daniel Schlereth have all contributed this season, and all three pitchers plus Jackson are under control for several more years.
Joel Sherman of the New York Post dishes out the latest Yankees buzz in a series of articles...
- Sherman notes that Diamondbacks GM Kevin Towers has knowledge of the Yankees farm system after working for the team last year, which makes a Justin Upton match intriguing. However, Sherman feels that the Yankees would get involved most likely if Cliff Lee signs elsewhere and they look to trade an outfielder for a starter. Teams have inquired on Nick Swisher, Curtis Granderson, and Brett Gardner, notes Sherman.
- Executives Sherman spoke to continue to express the opinion that the Yankees will land Lee.
- The Yanks are also working hard to find a setup man, calling on about a dozen free agents including Pedro Feliciano. They've checked in on Rafael Soriano "as a fallback position in the incredibly small likelihood that Mariano Rivera does not re-sign." Sherman says to forget the idea of Soriano signing as Rivera's setup man and closer-in-waiting. Neither side is interested in that scenario.
- Sherman analyzes the Derek Jeter situation, which he feels could become "one of the most interesting games of contract chicken in history." The main sticking point seems to be the number of years.
From the South Bay to the Valley, from the West Side to the East Side, everybody is very happy because Vin Scully will return in 2011. Let's check out some links from around the web..
- A member of the Mets watching Rod Barajas say goodbye to his teammates quipped "Can I go with him?", tweets Andy Martino of the New York Daily News.
- Ken Rosenthal pays tribute to Lou Piniella, and opines that Joe Girardi would be a perfect managerial replacement, though he has doubts that the Cubs could pry him away from New York.
- The Nationals have extended their affiliation with the Syracuse Chiefs for an additional two seasons, according to the team's official Twitter page.
- Josh Thole is excited about having the opportunity to start every day now that Rod Barajas has been claimed off waivers by the Dodgers, writes Adam Rubin of ESPNNewYork.com.
- The Rays might be willing to take a chance on Manny Ramirez, writes Marc Topkin of the St. Petersburg Times.
- With the way Austin Jackson is playing, it looks like the Tigers got the better end of the Curtis Granderson deal, writes Marc Carig of the Newark Star-Ledger.
- Pittsburgh's signing of Mexican hurler Luis Heredia was years in the making, writes Dejan Kovacevic of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.
- Paul Hoynes of the Plain Dealer writes that the Indians weren't afraid to spend on the draft this year. Cleveland's top ten picks all signed for more than their recommended slot.
- Jon Heyman of Sports Illustrated (via Twitter) jokes that Buck Showalter has done too well with the Orioles as the club might now lose out on the first overall pick in the draft. Baltimore is now 44-80 while the Pirates are 40-83.
Links for Monday, as Johnny Damon enjoys a little revenge against his former team...
- Mark Teixeira encouraged John Lackey to sign with the Yankees last winter, according to Scott Lauber of the Boston Herald.
- Marlins prospect Mike Stanton will likely remain in Double A until late May or early June, an MLB source tells MLB.com's Joe Frisaro. That will prevent the young power hitter from gaining Super Two status and an extra year of arbitration. The team would consider promoting Stanton to the majors from Double A at that point if he continues hitting well. Stanton has 15 homers already.
- The Brewers signed shortstop Justin Parker, according to MLB.com's Adam McCalvy (via Twitter). The 23-year-old has a .237/.334/.344 line in 584 plate appearances in the low minors of the D'Backs organization.
- In a recent radio hit with The Big Show, Peter Gammons noted that the Red Sox tried to acquire Javier Vazquez during the offseason. Talking to Yankees GM Brian Cashman, Murray Chass learned that the Sox also had interest in Curtis Granderson.
- Kevin Gregg told Dave van Dyck of the Chicago Tribune he was open for anything regarding a return to the Cubs, but they said no.
- Switching to the future tense, Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports names ten players who could hit the trading block - including Victor Martinez, Cliff Lee, Paul Konerko, and Ted Lilly.
- Baseball America's Jim Callis ranks all draft prospects from the last 20 years, based on how they were perceived before their drafts.
Sunday night linkage..
- Mike Axisa of River Ave. Blues (via Twitter) wonders if the recently released Eric Byrnes could be the Yankees' short-term replacement for the injured Curtis Granderson.
- Triple-A shortstop Chin-lung Hu may be promoted if Rafael Furcal lands on the DL, writes Evan Drellich of MLB.com. The Dodgers were reportedly shopping Hu in late March and one has to imagine that they're happy to still have him aboard.
- The Giants' patchwork job on offense may be enough for the club to make a serious run at the NL West title, says Tracy Ringolsby of FOX Sports.
- Two players in Boston's farm system who played together for quite a while will be reunited at the Triple-A level, writes Daniel Barbarisi of The Providence Journal.
Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe is now on Twitter, under the handle @nickcafardo, so be sure to follow him. In the meantime, Cafardo also has a new column up for the Globe, in which he addresses the possibility of an Adrian Gonzalez trade and touches on a few other hot stove topics. Let's check out the highlights....
- Cafardo isn't bullish on the Red Sox' chances of acquiring Gonzalez, noting that a trade would deplete Boston's farm system. Plus, they should face stiff competition from teams like the Mariners and Orioles.
- The consensus among a few baseball people who spoke to Cafardo is that Padres GM Jed Hoyer will field trade offers for Gonzalez but won't necessarily deal the slugger. The situation could be similar to the Jays shopping Roy Halladay at last year's deadline, when Toronto wasn't sufficiently blown away by any offer.
- The Padres are more likely to move Chris Young and Heath Bell.
- Assuming the Sox don't land Gonzalez, Cafardo wonders if Carlos Pena might be an offseason target for Theo Epstein.
- Roy Oswalt could be an attractive trade chip for the Astros, given the lack of top starting pitchers that will be available during the season. Cafardo thinks Houston will move their ace if they have to, adding that "it looks like they may have to."
- The Brewers' extension of Yovani Gallardo is a good sign that they'll be aggressive in attempting to lock up Prince Fielder, though it will likely take a Mark Teixeira-esque contract to get it done.
- Cafardo's "dark horse candidate" in this winter's Carl Crawford sweepstakes? The Angels.
- The Red Sox looked into acquiring Curtis Granderson to replace Jason Bay, but were outbid by the Yankees.
Some in the industry are already wondering if the Yankees could be in the market for outfield help soon, writes Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports.
Both Randy Winn and Marcus Thames have struggled this spring, though Thames officially made the club's Opening Day roster today. The club may find themselves uneasy with the two veterans as starting left fielder Brett Gardner is not yet an established major league hitter. They would be especially thin in the outfield if Curtis Granderson or Nick Swisher are bitten by the injury bug.
Rosenthal writes that the Yankees figure to be more patient with Winn as he is more than four years removed from playing in the AL.
The Yankees investment in Winn and Thames amounts to just $2MM combined. Rosenthal writes that if one or both struggle, and Gardner also stumbles out of the gate, then the team could be seeking an outfielder quickly.
Links for Saturday...
- David Ortiz said he isn't letting his contract situation get to him, writes ESPN Boston's Gordon Edes. Big Papi will earn $12.5MM this year, and the Red Sox hold an option at the same salary for 2011 with no buyout. Tough to see them picking that one up.
- An interesting point raised by MLB.com's Adam McCalvy: The Brewers essentially traded Hernan Iribarren to the Rangers for Joe Inglett. Milwaukee picked up Inglett in January after he was waived by Texas. Mat Gamel and Inglett are now in the mix for the Brewers' final bench spot.
- Edward Salcedo was officially introduced to Braves reporters this morning, writes Mark Bowman of MLB.com. The 18-year-old Dominican shortstop said that Atlanta was the only organization to show significant interest in him over the past two years.
- Jim Edmonds may be playing his way into a role with the Brewers, writes Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports.
- Both the Diamondbacks and Mariners had interest in Dana Eveland before he was acquired by the Blue Jays, tweets MLB.com's Alden Gonzalez.
- Jon Paul Morosi of FoxSports.com spoke to a scout who wouldn't be surprised if the Marlins traded lefty Andrew Miller (link goes to Twitter).
- David Murphy is just biding his time on Texas' bench, writes Anthony Andro of The Star-Telegram. Murphy is a .278/.336/.465 career hitter, but he might get too expensive for a bench job as he enters his first arbitration year after 2010.
- Ben Shpigel of The New York Times reports that Yankees' hitting coach Kevin Long was analyzing videotape of Curtis Granderson to help him improve against lefthanders way back in November, a month before the team traded for him.
Some links for Wednesday...
- Former big leaguer Tony Clark has been named the MLBPA's director of player relations, reports MLB.com's Bailey Stephens. Clark hasn't played since being released by the Diamondbacks last July, and his duties with the union are "expected to play a large part in future collective bargaining discussions."
- FoxSports.com's Ken Rosenthal says one of the Marlins' many non-roster relievers could become a low-priced option for the Twins if Joe Nathan ends up needing surgery. That group includes Jose Veras, Mike MacDougal, Derrick Turnbow, and Seth McClung.
- In an interview with John Lowe of The Detroit Free Press, Curtis Granderson said he never wondered why the Tigers traded him only to sign Johnny Damon less than three months later.
- Jon Paul Morosi of FoxSports.com writes that even though the Indians are in full rebuilding mode, the front office is adamant Grady Sizemore isn't going anywhere. Sizemore is under contract for the next two years, and Cleveland holds a $9MM option for 2012.
- Baseball America's Ben Badler goes back five years to look at how successful each team has been at developing players from outside the United States.
- In response to Milton Bradley's interview with ESPN's Colleen Dominguez about his time in Chicago, GM Jim Hendry and former teammates basically said that Bradley had to look in the mirror, according to The Chicago Tribune's Paul Sullivan and ESPN Chicago's Bruce Levine.
With Felipe Lopez finally catching on with the Cardinals, essentially every big name free agent is off the market (no disrespect to Jermaine Dye and Jarrod Washburn). That allows us to sit back and reflect on all of the offseason's moves, and try to figure out which one was the very best.
Here are some candidates...
- Mets sign Jason Bay to a four-year, $66MM contract.
- Yankees acquire Curtis Granderson for three prospects.
- Phillies acquire Roy Halladay for three prospects.
- Red Sox sign John Lackey to a five-year, $82.5MM contract.
- Mariners acquire Cliff Lee for three prospects.
- Rays acquire Rafael Soriano for Jesse Chavez.
There's certainly no shortage of candidates, but one has to be the best of the best, right? What do you think it is?