Dave Roberts Rumors
Here's today's gathering of links.
- John Shea examines the Giants' roster crunch, which would be greatly relieved by trading Dave Roberts and Steve Kline.
- Adam Rubin implies that the Angels want too much from the Mets for Juan Rivera - Jon Niese or Bobby Parnell. A deal seems unlikely.
- Cole Hamels, accused by a heckler of being a cross between Casey Fossum and Shawn Camp. BURNED!
- Buster Olney is hearing from other teams that the Orioles may shop 30 year-old newly anointed closer George Sherrill this summer.
- Joe Christensen believes that we'll learn about Joe Nathan's future with the Twins by week's end.
- Brock For Broglio posted an interesting interview with Voros McCracken. This quote from McCracken caught my eye: "One of the things that kind of bugged me with the Red Sox was a somewhat implied expectation that I’d come up with something like DIPS on a regular basis."
ESPN's Jayson Stark always cranks out a bunch of new rumors when he writes a column. This week is no exception.
- Jose Reyes: going nowhere.
- Probably since they hope to include him in a Johan Santana deal, the Red Sox won't trade Coco Crisp until that situation is resolved. The Rangers liked Crisp, but are considering interesting alternatives: Rocco Baldelli, Jim Edmonds, and Juan Pierre. If only Ned Colletti could get someone to take his Pierre contract. Then he could sign another one almost equally as bad. Then he could trade Aaron Rowand a year from now and repeat the process.
- The Braves also liked Crisp, so they'll move on for now. Stark speculates a stopgap like Dave Roberts could work.
- More speculation: Andruw Jones as a darkhorse signing for the Royals. I guess that would push David DeJesus out of center field.
- Is there an unmentioned Mystery Team in on Johan Santana? Stark's sources suggest the Mariners, but those guys must not read Jon Heyman's column. I'll go with the Reds as my guess on the Mystery Team, if there is one.
- Speaking of guesses, Stark surmises that the Padres and Mets could be interested in Jose Guillen, aside from the Royals.
- More rumblings that Vicente Padilla could be traded this winter. Funny quote about how Padilla doesn't have baggage - he has luggage. In fact his luggage cannot be carried, rather it requires a mid-sized cart.
It's official - the San Diego Union-Tribune is reporting that the Giants have signed outfielder Dave Roberts to a three-year, $18MM deal. The report says Roberts is expected to play center field for San Francisco, apparently pushing Randy Winn to left.
Roberts will turn 35 in May of next year, so he'll fit right in with the Giants. Roberts has been traded five times in his career, finally reaching free agency this winter. It will be tough to expect more than 130 games from him, especially if he plays a taxing position like center. Roberts posted a career high .360 OBP last year.
The market for center fielders is very thin at this point, consisting of Kenny Lofton and perhaps Julio Lugo. The Rockies, White Sox, Rangers, Brewers, and Cubs could be searching for a center fielder this winter.
It looks like Dave Roberts is going to be a Giant. This will save San Francisco fans from self-immolation over their front office's apparent inability to make stupid deals, and ensure that the Giants theme of "oldsters in the outfield" remains intact even with Steve Finley and possibly Barry Bonds on their way out.
In other news: Woody Williams got a two-year deal with the Astros for $12.5M. That seems remarkably sane, though I wouldn't plan on drafting Woody for your fantasy team. He had an okay year in Petco, but he's moving to one of the unfriendliest parks in baseball for pitching. If the short porch in left is going to do wonders for Carlos Lee, it's going to hurt Williams nearly as much.
Phil Rogers offers a plethora of random thoughts: the Cubs want to move Jacque Jones; Jones or Geoff Jenkins would be an improvement for the White Sox (so he says); and the Sox could send Scott Podsednik and Juan Uribe to San Fran for Omar Vizquel (much less likely after the Roberts signing, I'd imagine). Emphasis on "could": he's obviously just making stuff up.
Speaking of making stuff up: now that most of the center fielders out there have found homes, it's time for the second basemen to start falling into place. There's been more news lately of Adam Kennedy, who is likely to land in St. Louis, or possibly Toronto. The market for Kennedy, Ronnie Belliard, and others may depend on whether Julio Lugo and/or Ray Durham end up as outfielders, which would shrink the market for those teams who need second basemen.
By Jeff Sackmann
Could the hiring of Gerald Perry as hitting coach signal an era of change in Chicago? Thus far Jim Hendry has made a point of ignoring the free pass, but Perry is said to encourage a little patience. Of course, Oakland's walk mandate was organization-wide so we can't give Perry all the credit.
Anyway, Paul Sullivan of the Chicago Tribune has the word on the Cubs' latest hot stove dealings.
- Final offer for Aramis Ramirez will probably come in Saturday night.
- The Cubs wouldn't mind adding Dave Roberts as the new leadoff man. He walks at about 10% of the time, which is nice.
- They may also consider bringing Miguel Batista back to serve as the fifth starter. Batista was last seen in Chicago as a 26 year-old starter with control issues. The Cubs traded him in '97 for Henry Rodriguez. Now Batista is a 36 year-old starter with a tad better control. You could do worse for a #5; he keeps the ball on the ground.
- Sullivan's sources close to Carlos Lee say that the North Side is the slugger's preferred destination - not Houston. We had been hearing this talk in Chicago papers for a while but the Houston hype has drowned it out lately.
- The Cubs have interest in Jason Schmidt at four years or less. I would hope that'd be the breaking point - five years would be truly absurd.
The White Sox imported Scott Podsednik to fill the speedy leadoff hitter/left fielder role back in December of 2004. Pods did OK in 2005, even garnering some curious MVP votes. Last year, however, his OBP dropped all the way down to .330. The team seems ready to move on.
Dave Roberts's agent would like to kindly suggest his client to fill the role. He would be another former CF playing left, never a bad idea defensively. Roberts is also a bit more adept at getting on base than Podsednik and has a little more power. This is his first chance to explore free agency, and so far the White Sox and Giants appear to be desired destinations. He made $2.25MM in '06. He'll be 35 next year, and health may be an issue.
There's been some chatter about Dave Roberts lately - he'll be a coveted free agent this winter. Back in July, I discussed Roberts in my center fielder free agent market review:
"Roberts, 34, is best known for his stolen base in the 2004 ALCS. He's solidly above average at hitting but is ranked just 30th on defense. He's got a weak arm but was a solid defender prior to 2005. According to the Fielding Bible, Roberts still has his speed and range so he should bounce back defensively if healthy. He's been moved to left field to make an excellent pair with Mike Cameron. If someone can snag him for $3-4 mil and get him 500 ABs, he's a fine option. It's just that he has a lengthy injury history."
It just so happens that in his contract year, Roberts looks to set career highs in at-bats, batting average, and on-base percentage. The Padres have enjoyed his .382 OBP mark (18th in the league) at the top of their order. He's also stolen bases at better than a 90% clip. His $2.25MM salary is a bargain, and he'll have plenty of suitors.
Tom Krasovic of the San Diego Union-Tribune recently mentioned that the White Sox and Cardinals are already showing some interest. Rockies beat writer Troy E. Renck throws Colorado's hat into the ring.
A few other possibilities: the Blue Jays could go after Roberts if they decide to trade Vernon Wells. The Rangers could get involved if Gary Matthews Jr. departs. Ditto for the Cubs if they don't retain Juan Pierre.
I caught a well-respected source shortly before he left for the winter meetings in Dallas today.
He didn't have anything on which way Rafael Furcal is leaning, but he did confirm that the Cubs' offer of five years and about $50MM is on the table. This is nothing new, but now you have one more source authenticating the fact that the Cubs guaranteed the fifth year. Some sources have claimed that the Cubs came out of the gate with 5/50, but in reality their initial bid was four years and $38MM.
The Cubs are still in on Juan Pierre. You've surely heard mention of interest from the Yankees, White Sox, and Padres lately. Just a reminder that the Cubs do indeed have Pierre on their radar currently.
We've been talking about Milton Bradley for a week now, and talks are heating up with L.A. Another name the Cubs are seriously considering is Derek Lowe. Lowe had a resurgent year in Los Angeles, and Hendry would feel much safer being able to pencil in 32 starts from him for '06. You can never have too much pitching.
Here and there, you may have heard that Carlos Zambrano could be had in a trade. That's absurd, of course.
Will Carroll mentioned in his Mill today that the Braves will snag Julio Lugo if Furcal departs. It works the other way too - the Cubs will be hot on his trail if Furcal re-signs with Atlanta.
Finally, the Cubs are thinking about dealing for Dave Roberts to help out as a sort of utility outfielder. The Padres have little need for him at this point.