Daisuke Matsuzaka Rumors
Red Sox ownership already spoke to the media this morning, so now let's check in the on the rest of the AL East...
- Orioles GM Dan Duquette wouldn't comment on the team's interest in Jorge Soler, telling Roch Kubatko of MASNSports.com that tipping his hand wouldn't benefit the team. The O's watched the 19-year-old outfielder work out earlier this month.
- The Orioles lead all clubs with ten out of options players, and manager Buck Showalter told MLB.com's Brittany Ghiroli that he estimates they'll have to make "2-4 moves" before the end of camp (Twitter link).
- Daisuke Matsuzaka told WEEI.com's Rob Bradford that he still wants to pitch until he's 40. The right-hander is in the final year of his contract with the Red Sox, and is expected back from Tommy John surgery at midseason.
- “If I didn’t think that I was capable of playing the game at a high level I would go home," said Yankees captain Derek Jeter to reporters yesterday, including George King of The New York Post. "If I wasn’t enjoying myself or enjoying the competition I would go home. Right now I am an enjoying myself. I can’t comment on what would force me to retire because I have a lot of confidence and if that starts to waver I would do it."
- Joel Sherman of The New York Post wrote about Alex Rodriguez, wondering what kind of contract the Yankees third baseman would have received had he been a free agent his offseason.
Agent Scott Boras held court in Dallas tonight, providing updates on his many free agent clients and entertaining reporters with quips along the way. Here are the details:
- Boras made it clear that Prince Fielder has drawn lots of interest this offseason. The agent explained that Fielder compares favorably to all-time greats such as Jimmie Foxx and suggested teams will look to lock Fielder up for as long as possible if they recognize his potential as someone who can produce at the plate for the better part of a decade while boosting TV ratings and attendance (Boras' arguments, not mine). He played down concerns about Fielder's body, suggested he's just entering his prime and argued that comparable free agent power hitters won't be available any time soon.
- Fielder doesn't have any geographical preference as to where he signs, tweets Richard Griffin of the Toronto Star. Boras quipped that the distance from home plate to the outfield fence is the only geography concerning Fielder. For more on Fielder, click here.
- Generally speaking, Boras explained that Seattle and Milwaukee are desirable places to play because they have the potential to draw substantial crowds. He also said "the city [of Los Angeles] is waiting for the return of the Dodgers" and praised the Dodgers as a storied franchise in American sports.
- Johnny Damon played "very well" in 2011, according to Boras. He joked that 38-year-old is in line for a five-year deal, though a one-year contract is probable in reality. Boras half-jokingly suggested the Rays "have lots of money" despite their perennially low payrolls.
- Carlos Pena will likely have multiyear offers, Boras said.
- Asked if Kyle Lohse could waive his no-trade clause, Boras replied that he thinks Lohse is happy in St. Louis, tweets B.J. Rains of Fox Sports Midwest.
- The market for Ivan Rodriguez is narrowing, tweets Amanda Comak of the Washington Times. The Nationals aren't in on Pudge, tweets Adam Kilgore of the Washington Post.
- The Nats have some interest in bringing back Rick Ankiel, tweets Comak.
- Boras expects Daisuke Matsuzaka to be healthy and return "sometime this summer," tweets Brian MacPherson of the Providence Journal.
- J.D. Drew is undecided on whether he'll play in 2012. It would have to be the right situation.
- Andruw Jones would've liked more playing time in 2011, but understands he won't be a full-time player, tweets MLB.com's Bryan Hoch. A deal with the Yankees is likely in the coming weeks, tweets Mark Feinsand of the New York Daily News.
- The Braves haven't progressed toward an extension for Michael Bourn, tweets Stephen Goff of Examiner.com.
MLBTR's Luke Adams co-wrote this post.
A few items of note for Sunday afternoon. On this day in 2008, the Tampa Bay Rays selected Tim Beckham with the No. 1 overall pick in the First-Year Player Draft.
- ESPN's Adam Rubin shares a video interview with Jose Reyes in which the Mets shortstop says he doesn't think about the constant trade rumors surrounding him because all he can control is his on-field performance.
- Mike Pelfrey told Mark Hale of the New York Post that it would be tough for him as an individual, tough for the team, and tough for the fans to lose Reyes, whom he deems irreplaceable.
- MLB.com's Jenifer Langosch covers the additional lefty relief options the Pirates have in Triple-A, and says that if a roster move needs to be made in order to appease manager Clint Hurdle's desire for another southpaw, Jose Ascanio is the most likely to be designated for assignment.
- A Dodgers sale is not yet imminent, but Orel Hershiser has joined Steve Garvey and others, forming the Garvey-Hershiser Group, in hopes of bidding on the team should it be put up for sale by MLB, writes Jeff Painter of the Los Angeles Daily News. The Dodgers could be made for sale if Frank McCourt can't make the next payroll payments, according to Painter. Reports of Garvey's interest in purchasing the Dodgers first surfaced when MLB seized control of the team in April.
- Red Sox right-hander Daisuke Matsuzaka, slated for Tommy John surgery this week, hopes to "come back to the game with the Red Sox uniform," writes Mike Petraglia of WEEI.com. Since it typically takes pitchers at least a calendar year to return from the surgery, Dice-K, whose six-year contract expires after 2012, may have played his last game for Boston and perhaps in MLB.
- The Phillies' debt situation is broken down by David Murphy of the Philadelphia Daily News in the wake of Friday's news that the Phils are one of nine teams in violation of MLB's debt service rules. The takeaway: The Phils are in relatively solid financial standing, as the franchise is paid off, with their current debt representing only a "momentary hiccup," writes Murphy.
It appears that the Diamondbacks will be among the most aggressive teams on the trade market this summer. ESPN.com’s Buster Olney has an update on another team preparing to make deals and other notes from around the league...
- The Marlins will also be among the most aggressive teams on the trade market, Olney reports. President of baseball operations Larry Beinfest said this week that he believes in his team’s prospects and doesn’t see glaring holes on the Marlins.
- Olney points out that talent evaluators love high schooler Dylan Bundy and suggests the right-hander will be selected early on in Monday’s draft.
- It’s a reasonable guess that Daisuke Matsuzaka’s Red Sox career is over, according to Olney. The Red Sox probably didn’t get their money’s worth on their $103MM investment, but it's not like Matsuzaka's career numbers are bad (4.25 ERA, 622 2/3 innings, 8.2 K/9, 4.4 BB/9, 10.4 WAR). The right-hander will undergo Tommy John surgery.
- As Olney pointed out yesterday, the Mariners will have to monitor Michael Pineda’s workload this summer. Mariners GM Jack Zduriencik says they’ll watch Pineda’s pitch count and innings count with a common-sense approach, rather than a “hard and fast rule.”
THURSDAY, 12:24pm: Matsuzaka will have the operation, according to Jon Heyman of SI.com (on Twitter). Dr. Yocum will operate, probably next week.
WEDNESDAY, 11:18pm: At this point, there is no final decision regarding treatment for Matsuzaka, who will meet with Red Sox officials tomorrow, according to Alex Speier of WEEI.com.
9:50pm: Daisuke Matsuzaka has elected to have Tommy John surgery and will likely inform the Red Sox of his decision Friday morning, according to Gordon Edes of ESPNBoston.com. Earlier tonight, Yahoo's Tim Brown reported that Dr. Lewis Yocum found a significant tear in the right-hander's elbow and that Matsuzaka was leaning toward ligament replacement surgery (Twitter link). Nikkan Sports first reported that Matsuzaka would undergo Tommy John surgery.
The 30-year-old struggled through eight appearances this year before going on the disabled list. He has a 5.30 ERA with 6.3 K/9 and 5.5 BB/9 through 37 1/3 innings in 2011. On May 18th, the Red Sox announced that Matsuzaka had experienced elbow tightness in his previous start and could have a sprained ulnar collateral ligament, and strain to his common flexor mass.
It cost the Red Sox $103MM to acquire Matsuzaka before the 2007 season. He's under contract for 2011 and 2012 and will earn a $10MM salary each year before hitting free agency. Recovery from Tommy John surgery typically takes a year or more, which could mean Matsuzaka returns with three or four months remaining on his original six-year contract.
On this date in 1975, Nolan Ryan won his 100th career game in style, pitching his fourth no-hitter and tying Sandy Koufax's record (a mark Ryan would later eclipse). Here are the latest links from around the Major Leagues...
- Daisuke Matsuzaka is leaning toward Tommy John surgery, according to Yahoo's Tim Brown (Twitter link). Dr. Lewis Yocum found a significant tear in Matsuzaka's elbow and the right-hander will now discuss his options with the Red Sox.
- In honor of the many intriguing draft-eligible college pitchers, Jerry Crasnick of ESPN.com reviews nine current MLB pitchers who didn't spend much time in the minor leagues.
- Marc Kroon, who was a candidate to make the Giants' Opening Day roster, has decided not to opt out of his Triple-A contract, according to Andrew Baggarly of the San Jose Mercury News. The 38-year-old has not appeared in the Majors since 2004, but he has a 3.10 ERA with 11.1 K/9 and 4.4 BB/9 in 20 1/3 innings at Triple-A this year. It would be great to see the 1991 second rounder get another chance in the big leagues.
- Similarly, John Maine is staying in Triple-A instead of exercising his opt-out with the Rockies, according to Troy Renck of the Denver Post (on Twitter).
- Geoff Baker of the Seattle Times says it's time for the Mariners to make a move and find some "players who can square up on a ball more than a couple of times per week."
Links for Tuesday night, as Tigers catcher Alex Avila enjoys his third career two-homer game...
- Orioles president of baseball operations Andy MacPhail told MLB.com’s Brittany Ghiroli that he will continue considering internal and external replacements for Brian Roberts, who won't return before the end of May (Twitter link).
- Jeff Gordon of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch explains that the Cardinals demoted Mitchell Boggs in spite of his strong 2011 numbers because they can stretch him out at Triple-A. The Cards could have near-term needs for starters or middle relievers.
- On a related note, GM John Mozeliak told Tom Krasovic of MLB.com that he may explore trades for relievers at the deadline. However, Mozeliak says it’s still too early to predict with certainty that the bullpen will be the Cardinals’ biggest need this summer.
- Rockies left-hander Jorge de la Rosa has a complete tear of the ulnar collateral ligament in his left elbow, the team announced (on Twitter). Tommy John surgery appears to be a likely option for de la Rosa.
- Troy Renck of the Denver Post suggests we should keep Kevin Slowey in mind as a possible target for the Rockies should they look outside of the organization for rotation depth (Twitter link).
- Yahoo's Jeff Passan calls Daisuke Matsuzaka a "$103MM migraine" and reports that the right-hander has ignored what the Red Sox have wanted him to do since signing with Boston. Matsuzaka, who has a sprained UCL, might never pitch for the Red Sox again if he needs Tommy John surgery, according to Passan.
- Jim Bowden of ESPN.com previews his top five potential sellers at this year's trade deadline: the Mets, Astros, Twins, Cubs and Padres.
On this date nine years ago, Red Sox ace Pedro Martinez disposed of the Mariners in the first inning by striking out the side on nine pitches. Today, the outlook isn't nearly as rosy for Boston, which is above .500 for the first time this year. Here's the latest:
- The Red Sox announced that Daisuke Matsuzaka experienced elbow tightness during his last start. An MRI confirmed that the right-hander appears to have a sprained ulnar collateral ligament and strain to his common flexor mass. The Red Sox will re-examine him in two weeks.
- Boston's other injured starter, John Lackey, received a cortisone shot in his right pitching elbow, according to Sean McAdam of CSNNE.com (on Twitter).
- Tonight, Victor Martinez returns to Fenway Park for the first time this season. Back in March, Alex Speier of WEEI.com explained that the Red Sox didn't offer V-Mart more than $42MM in guaranteed money, but believed he would have returned if they had matched the Tigers' $50MM offer.
- Peter Gammons weighed in on all things Red Sox earlier today.
Daisuke Matsuzaka had already strained the patience of Red Sox Nation before this Monday’s horrendous start. Boston may skip Matsuzaka’s next outing, but talk of trading or releasing the right-hander remains premature.
The Red Sox aren’t about to give up on Matsuzaka, though their patience for him is dwindling, according to ESPN.com’s Jayson Stark. Releasing Matsuzaka this year is not an option, according to Steve Buckley of the Boston Herald. The Red Sox still owe Matsuzaka $10MM this year and $10MM more in 2012 and they aren’t eager to eat that much money.
There’s a slim possibility the Red Sox will look into deals for Matsuzaka even though he has a no-trade clause. Peter Gammons said on WEEI's Mut & Merloni show that the Red Sox could consider trading him for another player with a bad contract.
Links for Tuesday, as the Rangers announce that Josh Hamilton will miss six to eight weeks with a non-displaced fracture of his right shoulder...
- The other MVP from last year, Joey Votto, continues to adjust and improve his game, as Dave Cameron points out at FanGraphs. Votto appears to be chasing fewer pitches outside of the strike zone.
- Trackman, a Danish technology company, is using 3D Doppler radar ball flight measurement to scout pitchers and pitches with hard data, as Tom Verducci reports at SI.com.
- Doug Davis can opt out of his minor league deal with the Cubs on May 30th, according to Jesse Sanchez of MLB.com (on Twitter).
- The Red Sox are, of course, unlikely to trade Daisuke Matsuzaka, despite his awful start yesterday. However, they are considering skipping his next start, according to the Boston Herald.
- Yahoo's Tim Brown examines the Indians' hot start and says it provides us with the "opportunity to discover what is right in an organization that has been forced into hard decisions" since they took a 3-1 lead over the Red Sox in the 2007 ALCS.