Damaso Marte Rumors
Dejan Kovacevic brings us the state of the Pirates in a nice piece in the Pittsburgh Post Gazette:
- As we know, the Pirates don't want to trade Jason Bay. Kovacevic writes, "'We'll need to be blown away," one team source said, referring to Bay." The Braves, Mets, Phillies, and A's are the latest to inquire.
- If the Pirates don't make any more deals, they will of course revisit the possibility in the offseason. Still, any of Bay, Jack Wilson, or John Grabow could remain long-term if the Pirates aren't offered enough any time between now and next season, or if the Pirates don't appear to be "legitimately competitive" in the first half next year.
- The Xavier Nady/Damaso Marte deal was initially reported to revolve around Phil Coke and George Kontos; however, one of those was diagnosed with a damaged labrum, seemingly Coke.
- Ross Ohlendorf is expected to join the Bucs rotation after three or four starts in Triple-A.
- A fun fact from Kovacevic: "If the Pirates could have traded Nady and Marte straight up for Jose Tabata last winter, Huntington said, 'We would have done it in a heartbeat.'"
Update 1:05 pm: Several sources are reporting that once Ohlendorf and Tabata cleared physicals, the Pirates had a list of players to choose from.
The LoHud Yankees Blog reports the Xavier Nady, Damaso Marte deal has been reconfigured:
The Yankees are sending RHP Dan McCutchen, RHP Jeff Karstens, OF Jose Tabata and RHP Ross Ohlendorf to Pittsburgh for Xavier Nady and Damaso Marte.
LHP Phil Coke and RHP George Kontos are not in the deal.
Alejandro A. Leal writes for UmpBump.com. Comments? Rumors? alexo05 [at] umpbump [daught] com.
7:25pm: Ken Rosenthal confirms it: minor leaguers Ohlendorf, Coke, Kontos, and Tabata. My impression at first glance: the return is not terribly impressive for Nady and Marte. I don't like the idea of the Bucs taking Tabata as the centerpiece - there is too much projection involved with him. If Ohlendorf and Ian Kennedy could've been had, I would've opted for that.
Rosenthal also says the Yankees' talks for Jarrod Washburn are still ongoing.
7:17pm: Baseball Digest Daily says the Pirates will receive Jose Tabata, Ross Ohlendorf, and two other minor leaguers (perhaps Phil Coke and George Kontos, based on rumors). SI.com's Jon Heyman is on board with that.
A separate Pirates rumor was squashed tonight - they are not close to trading Jason Bay to the Braves.
6:32pm: Xavier Nady was pulled from the Pirates' lineup tonight after one inning. No known injury.
Here's the latest from CBSSports.com's Danny Knobler.
- A rumor made the rounds that Pirates president Frank Coonelly and GM Neal Huntington were at odds over the team's strategy, with Coonelly pushing .500 as a goal. Huntington denied that, and has five coveted players to work with in the next week. Keep in mind that only Damaso Marte is a free agent after the season, so moves can be made in the offseason.
- Teams with available relievers believes the Brewers are still in the market, despite Doug Melvin's claims. Many teams are scouting the Brewers' Double A club.
- Adrian Beltre's contract wouldn't be a problem for the Twins, but the teams haven't found a match on players.
- Knobler heard that the Marlins might consider Baltimore catcher Ramon Hernandez.
- The rumor about Kevin Towers becoming a candidate for the Seattle GM vacancy won't die.
- Some folks expect the White Sox to move shortstop Orlando Cabrera before the deadline. They're still looking for pitching.
ESPN's Jayson Stark has a new Rumblings and Grumblings up. You may want to grab a glass of water or something, because this is a beast of a column.
- If the Braves have a bad weekend and decide to trade Mark Teixeira, a deal could come together quickly. Stark says the Braves have already touched base with the Rays, Red Sox, Dodgers, Angels and Yankees. Where Tex fits on the Rays, I'm not sure. Additionally, interest in Will Ohman is said to be "massive."
- A Jorge Posada move to first base could affect the Yankees' interest in Teixeira this winter.
- Though Brian Fuentes has many suitors, the Rockies have actually exchanged names with only the Marlins and Yankees. GM Dan O'Dowd has not dropped his price. By the way, Todd Helton's injury takes Garrett Atkins off the market. As for Matt Holliday, many execs believe the Rockies will never trade him.
- The Phillies are focused on a left-handed reliever, with Fuentes, Damaso Marte, George Sherrill, and Jack Taschner in the mix.
- The Phillies were scared off by the asking prices on Holliday and Xavier Nady, and never even made an offer. They still could acquire a lesser hitter.
- The Pirates are inspiring much grumbling with high asking prices for Jason Bay, Nady, Marte, John Grabow, and Jack Wilson.
- The Rangers are looking for young, controllable starting pitching. Vicente Padilla is available, with the Tigers and Yankees showing mild interest. Eddie Guardado and Jamey Wright are not available.
- In pursuing Jarrod Washburn, Bronson Arroyo, and Padilla, the Yankees are demonstrating their plan to reduce the prospect price for pitching by taking on a decent-sized contract.
- While A.J. Burnett is "eminently available," no trade talks are cooking. The Jays apparently won't deal him within the division. Other Jays veterans might be available, though Roy Halladay isn't among them.
- The Tigers are looking for pitching and a long-term shortstop. They'd be willing to move Gary Sheffield, though they'd have to eat salary.
- Top Rays prospects such as Wade Davis, David Price, and Jeremy Hellickson are off-limits. Rays Index recently ran through the more likely trade candidates.
- The Braves asked the Royals about Jose Guillen, but Dayton Moore is asking for a ton.
- Stark says the Twins' talks for Adrian Beltre are "far from dead." The Twins are zeroed in on a third base upgrade. Beltre, by the way, has the Dodgers on his no-trade list. Joe Christensen says the Twins have found the asking price prohibitive for various third basemen.
- The Rangers are looking for a young pitcher for Hank Blalock, who is drawing interest from the Twins, Giants, and Dodgers. The Dodgers also like Casey Blake, who is likely to be traded somewhere.
Time to round up today's links.
- Hank Steinbrenner admits Barry Bonds' name will be mentioned at today's meeting of Yankees execs.
- Mark Cuban is a finalist to buy the Cubs.
- Pirates president Frank Coonelly expressed frustration with the Pedro Alvarez negotiations, in the first public comments on those talks.
- Dejan Kovacevic's source says the Pirates aren't requiring two prospects for Xavier Nady or Damaso Marte. One elite prospect would work.
- Mark Kotsay wonders if he'll be traded this year. As with Mark Teixeira, it'll depend heavily on the next week.
- Richard Justice takes Drayton McLane to task.
- DRays Bay relays a Peter Gammons report that the A's are shopping Huston Street to the Red Sox, Rays, and White Sox.
- David Weathers doesn't remember which teams are on his limited no-trade clause.
- Tom Henke's Army is back, with reinforcements.
- Sam Mellinger thinks the Royals should sign Rafael Furcal this winter. I concur.
- Joe Posnanski believes that the Royals should try Tony Pena Jr. as a pticher, all kidding aside. He bemoans the lack of "outside the box" thinking in baseball.
Let's take a look at some of the left-handed relievers on the market.
George Sherrill, Orioles
- 31 years old, under team control through 2011.
- Known suitors: Cardinals, Brewers
- Asking price: two or three prospects, possibly a shortstop among them
Brian Fuentes, Rockies
- Almost 33 years old, free agent after season. Type A status likely.
- Known suitors: Marlins, Yankees, Mets, Red Sox, Phillies, Cubs, Cardinals, Rays, Angels, Brewers, Tigers
- Asking price: Apparently a young starting pitcher - Jon Niese, Ian Kennedy, and Clay Buchholz have been named
Damaso Marte, Pirates
- 33 years old, $6MM club option for '09 with a $250K buyout. Type A status likely.
- Known suitors: Red Sox, Tigers, Mets, Yankees, Phillies, Cardinals, Rays
- Asking price: Perhaps a package exceeding the value of two draft picks
Ron Mahay, Royals
- 37 years old, signed for '09 at $4MM.
- Known suitors: Cardinals, Yankees, Rays
- Asking price: Unknown, but Royals intend to keep him. Rany Jazayerli wonders if trading Mahay now would discourage future free agents from signing with KC.
John Grabow, Pirates
- 29 years old, under team control through '09. Elbow stiffness last year.
- Known suitors: Tigers, Phillies, Cardinals
- Asking price: Less than that of Marte
Eddie Guardado, Rangers
- 37 years old, free agent after season. Type B status possible.
- Known suitors: Cardinals
- Asking price: Perhaps a starting pitching prospect; Rangers are said to be interested in the Cardinals' Jess Todd
Alan Embree, Athletics
- 38 years old, $3MM club option for '09. Type A status possible, but may choose to accept offer of arbitration. Embree wouldn't be surprised if he was traded.
- Known suitors: None
- Asking price: Unknown
Jeremy Affeldt, Reds
- 29 years old, free agent after season. Type B status possible, could accept offer of arbitration.
- Known suitors: Yankees, Rays, Astros, Phillies last offseason
- Asking price: Unknown
A few notes from Dejan Kovacevic of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette this morning.
- The Pirates are still engaged in deep, tight-knit negotiations with first round pick Pedro Alvarez. No one's talking, but Kovacevic heard a rumor that the sides are $2MM apart. This might not be settled until the August 15th deadline.
- Kovacevic talked to a Pirates source who said Boston's interest in Damaso Marte has heightened. Many clubs are after Marte. The lefty has a $6MM club option for '09 with a $250K buyout. That actually might be worth considering. Marte seems likely to sneak into Type A free agent status - important stats like wins, saves, and innings are all up from last year.
Dejan Kovacevic of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette has the latest Pirates hot stove chatter.
- The Pirates are not opposed to creating a hole at shortstop for the rest of the year by trading Jack Wilson. They would just need the right return. Teams are still calling on Wilson, with the Dodgers confirmed and the Tigers possible.
- A Jason Bay deal seems less likely - the Pirates' price is high for their star.
- Xavier Nady and Damaso Marte continue to draw interest, with John Grabow in the mix as well. Nady or Marte would require two prospects each. Nady's suitors are the Rays, Mets, Yankees, and Braves. Marte has roughly a dozen suitors.
- Ed Price of the Newark Star-Ledger says the injury to Hideki Matsui led to heightened interest from the Yankees in Nady and Bay. They're also in on Marte and Grabow. The Bucs aren't interested in Melky Cabrera.
- Interesting stuff in this John Perrotto article found via DRays Bay. He names the Red Sox, Tigers, Mets, Yankees, Phillies, Cardinals, and Rays as teams interested in Marte. The Tigers, Phillies, and Cardinals also have an eye on Grabow.
- Perrotto runs through all kinds of names of interest to the Pirates: Anthony Reyes, Chris Duncan, Jeff Larish, Matt Joyce, Ross Ohlendorf, Brent Lillibridge, Brandon Jones, Jeff Niemann, Jon Niese, Eddie Kunz, and Bobby Parnell.
New blog to bookmark: PBC Blog. It comes from Pittsburgh Post-Gazette baseball writers Dejan Kovacevic and Paul Meyer, and already has plenty of good Pirates info up. On to the hot stove chatter:
- Kovacevic talked to a Pirates official who disputes the reports that the team's asking prices for Xavier Nady, Damaso Marte, and Jason Bay are exorbitant. Kovacevic notes that many of these reports come from New York, and in some cases they're created as tests for rookie GM Neal Huntington. Welcome to the club, Neal!
- Bay is unlikely to be traded, but Nady and Marte are available. Kovacevic says many teams are in on Nady, and the Braves and Mets even conducted recent conference calls with the Pirates about him. The Pirates are focused on receiving two quality players for Nady, with an emphasis on pitching. It's not a concern yet, but if the Rockies truly shop Matt Holliday it could upset the Nady market.
- Kovacevic speculates on what it might take for the Pirates to sign Bay to an extension beyond '09, which may well happen.