Darin Erstad Rumors

Darin Erstad Is ‘Done’

There will be no more base hits or diving catches for Darin Erstad. After a 14-year MLB career that began soon after the Angels made him the first overall pick in the 1995 draft, Erstad says he's finished.

“I’m done,” he told Dave Selvig of the Jamestown Sun. “I had my time. I always said, ‘When I’m done, I’m done.’ I’m good.”

Erstad wanted to play this year and the Marlins were reportedly interested, but he didn't sign. That means the 36-year-old is spending more time than ever with his family. Assuming Erstad doesn't play again, his career earnings will fall just short of $50MM, according to Baseball-Reference.

Erstad won Gold Gloves in left field, center field and at first base and was named to two All-Star teams. He has a career .282/.336/.407 line with 179 steals and 124 homers. Erstad played for the Astros last year and the White Sox before that, but he's best-known for the decade-plus he spent in Anaheim.

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Marlins Rumors: Erstad, Delgado, Uggla

Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald breaks down the Marlins rotation after Josh Johnson and Ricky Nolasco before arriving at some rumors. Here they are:

  • The Marlins are considering Darin Erstad, who would like to play this year. The Marlins would use Erstad like they used Ross Gload – at first, in the outfield and as a pinch hitter.
  • They spoke with Carlos Delgado's agent since they have interest in the slugger as a backup first baseman and pinch hitter. The former Marlin wants extensive playing time and more money, however. 
  • Dan Uggla says he's "surprised but very pleased" that the Marlins didn't trade him this offseason. 

Odds & Ends: Hart, Dukes, Moreno, Farnsworth

Links for Thursday…

Odds & Ends: Mauer, Hairston, Buck, Benson

Links for Tuesday…

Astros Unlikely To Be Significant Players in Free Agency

Richard Justice of The Houston Chronicle writes that the Astros are "unlikely to be significant players in free agency this winter." The team is trying to lower payroll and get younger, something signing free agents generally won't accomplish. Justice does say that the club would like to retain relievers LaTroy Hawkins and Jose Valverde, both of whom will be free agents after this year.

Houston started the season with close to a $103MM payroll according to Cot's, but they could shed $17.75MM by letting Miguel Tejada, Mike Hampton, and Darin Erstad walk as free agents. However, a significant chunk of those savings will probably end up being redistributed to Wandy Rodriguez and Hunter Pence, both of whom should receive big raises in arbitration (Pence will likely qualify as a Super Two).

In their effort to incorporate more youth into their lineup, Justice says we could see third baseman Chris Johnson, shortstop Tommy Manzella, second baseman Edwin Maysonet, and catcher Jason Castro in the Opening Day lineup next year. The team will also probably ask reliever Wesley Wright to come to camp next year prepared to compete for a rotation spot.

Week In Review: 8/24 – 8/30

Sunday afternoon is here again… let’s have a look back at some of the moves and rumors since last time:

  • The injury-plagued Red Sox acquired Mark Kotsay to help compensate for their injuries. In exchange, the Braves received minor league outfielder Luis Sumoza. Nice acquisition by the Red Sox; Kotsay has been swinging a solid bat this season.
  • The Twins acquired Eddie Guardado from Texas in exchange for minor league pitcher Mark Hamburger. Guardado has spent the majority of his career with Minnesota and provides a solid arm to the bullpen. To make room for him, they DFA’d Mike Lamb. Nice move by the Twins, with the added benefit of being able to see "Rangers trade Guardado for Hamburger" in the news. Now that’s a headline!
  • The Phillies added a veteran player as well, when they acquired Matt Stairs from Toronto in exchange for minor league lefty Fabio Castro. Stairs should be a decent option off the bench, and he’s still perfectly capable of hitting the ball out of the park.
  • Scott Boras continues to find ways to create controversy. He’s now claiming that Pittsburgh’s top pick Pedro Alvarez verbally agreed to his $6MM signing bonus after the midnight deadline, and is trying to demand that the contract be renegotiated for a higher number. The Players Association has filed a grievance on his behalf. Alvarez could wind up back in the 2009 draft pool. Here’s a look at some baseball blogs’ opinions on the matter.
  • Minor moves: The Diamondbacks claimed Wil Ledezma off waivers from San Diego, the Braves signed Elmer Dessens to a minor-league contract, and the Astros gave one-year extensions to both Brian Moehler and Darin Erstad.

Astros Sign Erstad, Moehler To Extensions

Astros MLB.com beat writer Krysten Oliphant reports that the team has signed veteran outfielder Darin Erstad and right-handed pitcher Brian Moehler to one-year extensions.

Erstad gets a $1.75MM deal plus bonuses and Moehler nets a $2.3MM extension and bonuses; he has an option for 2010.  Erstad and Moehler have been a couple of bright spots among Ed Wade’s offseason acquisitions.

Molony’s Latest: Red Sox, Kelly Johnson

Here’s a look at the latest blog post from MLB.com’s Jim Molony.

  • Molony agrees with previous reports – the Red Sox are eyeing outfield help.  An inquiry on Darin Erstad fizzled, while Mark Kotsay remains on the radar.  Drew might be headed to the DL.
  • The Red Sox might also be eyeing another starter, given Josh Beckett‘s injury.  Molony speculates that Kevin Millwood or Vicente Padilla could make sense (both have cleared waivers).
  • Molony expects Braves second baseman Kelly Johnson to be traded this winter.  Johnson, 26, slipped to .264/.333/.405 in 482 plate appearances this year.  He’ll be arbitration-eligible for the first time.

Molony’s Latest: Mahay, Loretta, Erstad, Guzman

Let’s check in with MLB.com’s Jim Molony.

  • The Rays are scouting lefty relievers Brian Fuentes and Ron Mahay.  The issue?  The price for Fuentes seems exorbitant, and Mahay may not be available.  Troy E. Renck names the Yankees, Mets, Cardinals, and Marlins as the main suitors for Fuentes aside from the Rays.
  • A few contenders have inquired with the Astros as to the availability of Mark Loretta and Darin Erstad.
  • As you might imagine, the Rangers are open to trading Frank CatalanottoWe mentioned yesterday that his contract is a bit of a burden.
  • It seems that Jim Bowden is listening to offers for Cristian Guzman while also trying to sign him to an extension.  From Guzman’s point of view, it might make sense to enter a weak shortstop market this winter.
  • The Matt Capps injury apparently affects Damaso Marte‘s availability.
  • The Marlins may make Mark Hendrickson available.  The big lefty was replaced in the rotation by top prospect Chris Volstad.

Darin Erstad Signs With Astros

Minor signing tonight, as the Astros inked Darin Erstad to a one-year deal. It’s a one-year, $1MM deal plus incentives. 

Erstad has become a popular stathead target but as long as the Astros don’t give him hundreds of at-bats, does it really matter?