Dave Ross Rumors
The Braves have denied that they are shopping backup catcher David Ross. Alden Gonzalez of MLB.com tweets that Bobby Cox says there's no way the Braves would be trying to trade Ross, and in a tweet from David O'Brien of the Atlanta Journal Constitution, GM Frank Wren concurs: "That [rumor] made no sense whatsoever."
We heard yesterday that the the Braves may be looking to swap Ross in a deal for "a younger backup-catcher type."
Wren says (O'Brien Twitter link) that the depth of the Braves' bench is an aspect of the team they like most. Trading Ross would compromise the quality of their bench. The 33-year-old hit .273/.380/.508 with seven homers in 151 plate appearances for Atlanta last year, serving as Brian McCann's backup.
ESPN's Jayson Stark has a new blog post up with some trade rumor nuggets for us. It's behind the Insider wall (if you don't have a subscription yet, what are you waiting for?), so I can't give away too much...
- Stark lists 16 players currently on the trade block. Among the names we haven't seen mentioned recently: Willie Harris, Andy Marte, Tim Stauffer, Omir Santos, and Brad Thomas.
- The Mets are looking to move one of their extra catchers, either Santos or Chris Coste, and are looking to add "major league-ready triple-A pitching depth." Aren't we all...
- The Phillies are looking to add all sorts of pitching depth, and have interest in the recently released Chad Gaudin.
- Scott Sizemore's rocky spring has the Tigers looking for a second base upgrade.
- Kansas City is shopping Brayan Pena in their perpetual search for starting pitching.
- The Braves have told other clubs that David Ross is available, "possibly in a catcher-for-catcher swap for a younger backup-catcher type."
FRIDAY: The two-year deal with Ross is official, and it's believed to be for $3MM.
WEDNESDAY, 8:00pm: MLB.com's Mark Bowman says Ross' two-year deal will be worth about $3.5MM. Ross says it could be finalized tomorrow.
5:01pm: According to Ken Rosenthal, the Braves are close to a two-year deal with free agent catcher Dave Ross. He'd serve as Brian McCann's backup. Ross, 32 in March, posted a strong .381 OBP with the Reds this year. The Astros were also known to be interested, but I imagine Ross jumped when the Braves offered two years.
According to Brian McTaggart of the Houston Chronicle, the Astros have spoken to the agents for free agent catchers Gregg Zaun and Dave Ross. Ross we knew about, but Zaun is a new name. The Tigers have been linked to Zaun as well. It's also known that Paul Bako would be interested in playing for Houston.
McTaggart also mentions in the article that pitcher Brandon Backe is a non-tender candidate (that deadline is December 12th; we'll see a many additional players enter the free agent pool).
John Perrotto of Baseball Prospectus has his Sunday article up. Let's go through it:
- The Angels may be willing to match the Yankees $140MM offer to CC Sabathia. They won't offer 10 years to Mark Teixeira. If they can't land Teixeira, they will consider Pat Burrell for first base.
- A.J. Burnett is looking at the Blue Jays, Red Sox, Yankees, Braves, Orioles, and Phillies.
- The Twins want a left-side infielder for Delmon Young, so they can open a spot for Denard Span in the starting lineup.
- The Tigers are pursuing Jack Wilson from the Pirates and Matt Treanor from the Marlins. They are also putting high priority on signing Joe Beimel who's getting interest from a number of teams.
- The Dodgers will not re-sign Rafael Furcal for health reasons so the Giants, Athletics, and Reds are his most likely destinations.
- The Cubs will need to offer more than Jason Marquis to the Royals for David DeJesus. If they can't get it done, they'd sign Raul Ibanez over Bobby Abreu.
- The Braves are interested in Javier Vazquez and Jermaine Dye...
- The Reds need to offer more than Homer Bailey to get Dye.
- The Mets are considering Jon Garland, Vazquez, Edwin Jackson, Andy Sonnanstine. The Rays want more than Aaron Heilman for either of their starters.
- The Mets could soon become suitors for Manny Ramirez.
- The Brewers could soon become suitors for Francisco Rodriguez.
- The Astros are targeting Paul Bako and David Ross as backup catchers.
- The Rockies are trying to find lefthanders, eyeing Alan Embree, Will Ohman, Brian Shouse, and Glendon Rusch.
MLB.com's Nick Zaccardi talked to Dave Ross' agent Ryan Gleichowski, who said the Astros are one of at least seven teams to express interest in his client. The interest is mutual. Ross, 32 in March, hit .225/.369/.352 in 182 plate appearances for the Reds and Red Sox. He showed big-time power in 2006, but not much since.
Zaccardi also talked to Barry Meister, who represents Paul Bako. The Louisiana native would be interested in playing for the Astros, but Meister wouldn't say whether the Astros have been in touch.
Links for Wednesday...
- The Brewers snagged infielder Casey McGehee off waivers from the Cubs. The Crew also designated Joe Dillon for assignment.
- The Reds signed 16 year-old lefty Ismael Guillon out of Venezuela.
- MLB.com's Marty Noble discusses the Mets and impending free agents Oliver Perez and Pedro Martinez. The Mets will entertain re-signing Perez at their price, but they'll let Pedro leave. Any guesses on where he pitches next year?
- Joe Pawlikowski at River Ave. Blues would like the Yankees to sign free agent outfielder Juan Rivera. Brian Cashman traded Rivera, Randy Choate, and Nick Johnson to the Expos for Javier Vazquez back in 2003.
- Brett Myers never wants to pitch in Boston again.
- Two more free agent bargains from Dave Cameron: Joe Crede and Dave Ross. Crede would be a solid one-year signing for the Dodgers or Twins.
- South Side Sox doesn't see the White Sox adding much else for second base. There goes my Ray Durham idea.
- El Lefty Malo examines the latest Giants rumors.
- J.C. Bradbury provides values for Vladimir Guerrero, John Lackey, and Garret Anderson.
Another week in the books, and we keep seeing big names moved after the July 31 non-waiver deadline. Let's look back on the past week:
- The Dodgers acquired Greg Maddux from the Padres for two minor league players to be named later. Nice acquisition to bolster their rotation, and does anyone want to place bets on how excited 20-year-old Clayton Kershaw is to get tips from Maddux every day for the rest of the season?
- The Pirates are exploring the idea of trading Jack Wilson this offseason more and more. Given the slim free agent market for shortstops, he would likely gather a lot of interest.
- Nate Robertson's struggles this season have lost him his spot in the rotation, but have they also lost him a spot with the Tigers after 2008?
- Orlando Hernandez needs surgery on his foot, and that could likely mean that El Duque's career would be over.
- Lots of speculation lately about where Ben Sheets is going to land after 2008. And while there's no way to tell right now, Roy Oswalt and Lance Berkman have stepped up and said they would like the Astros front office to go out and sign him in the offseason.
- A lot of minor-league deals signed this week: Kip Wells signed with Kansas City, the Mets added Al Reyes, the Astros signed Jose Castillo, the Red Sox signed Dave Ross, and the Braves took a flyer on Rodrigo Lopez following his Tommy John surgery last year. The Jays made a trade to acquire Jose Bautista for a PTBNL as well.
- The Rangers would like Milton Bradley back in 2009, and the feeling is mutual, though negotiations will wait until after the season. Similarly, Frank Thomas would prefer to stay with the A's in 2009.
- Eric Gagne, David Riske, and David Weathers all cleared waivers this week. The first two make sense to me, but given Weathers' success this year, his affordable contract for the rest of the season, and all of the teams desperately seeking bullpen help, it seems strange that no one would place a claim on him. Here's an updated list of all the players who have been confirmed to have cleared waivers this year.
THURSDAY: According to Ken Rosenthal, the Red Sox signed Ross to a minor league deal.
WEDNESDAY: Ross became a free agent today, and the Phillies made contact to express their interest.
MONDAY, 8:13pm: Rosenthal has added the Red Sox to the mix for Ross.
3:27pm: According to Ken Rosenthal, the Phillies are interested in recently-released catcher Dave Ross. Rosenthal says they could send him to the minors and bring him up when rosters expand. The Marlins seemingly chose Paul Lo Duca over Ross earlier this year.
The 31 year-old backstop hit .231/.381/.366 in 173 plate appearances this year. He flashed prodigious power in '06, but not much since then. Ross threw out 29% of attempted basestealers this year and 41% in '07.
I will make this post a permanent sidebar link. This is a running list of players who have cleared waivers, based on published reports. Once a player clears waivers, he can be traded to any team (barring a no-trade clause).
Updated 8-25-08 at 9:00am. Latest to clear in red.
- Paul Byrd - Byrd cleared waivers, but then was traded to the Red Sox. They were the only team willing to pay his remaining $2MM.
- Frank Catalanotto - Catalanotto, 34, is hitting .272/.337/.389 in 267 plate appearances. He's played first base and left field this year. He's not helpful against lefthanded pitching. His contract is a problem - $765K this year, $4MM in '09, and a $2MM buyout in '10.
- Eric Gagne - Gagne has been awful this year, as his walks and home runs skyrocketed and he dealt with rotator cuff tendinitis. Understandably, no one wanted to pay the $2.15MM remaining on his contract.
- Aubrey Huff - Huff's .909 OPS ranks 10th in the league, but surprisingly no team wanted to take on his $10.1MM commitment through '09.
- Mark Kotsay - Ken Rosenthal says he cleared and a number of teams are interested. Kotsay clearing is a bit of a surprise since the A's are paying most of his salary. Kotsay can block trades to eight teams. The center fielder is having a nice comeback season with a .782 OPS in 324 plate appearances.
- Greg Maddux - Maddux is earning $10MM this year and will only accept a trade to a West Coast team. The Dodgers wanted him but asked the Padres to pay more than 80% of his remaining salary according to Peter Gammons.
- Kevin Millar - Millar has been OK this year; he may reach 20 home runs. He is owed about $710K from here on out.
- Kevin Millwood - Millwood, 33, has a 5.24 ERA in 122 innings this year. He's dealt with a groin injury for much of the season, as well as a hamstring issue in spring. Millwood will earn another $1.6MM this year and $11MM in '09. His 2010 salary of $12MM becomes a club option unless he pitches 180 innings in '09.
- Melvin Mora - Mora has raised his numbers and stock significantly by hitting .378/.421/.652 since the beginning of July. He has a full no-trade clause and is owed $9MM next year and $1.79MM more this year.
- Vicente Padilla - Padilla, 31 in September, has a 4.98 ERA in 148.1 innings. Home runs have been his main problem. He spent time on the DL with a strained neck. He'll earn another $2.1MM this year and $12MM in '09. He has a $12MM club option for '10 with a $1.75MM buyout.
- Jay Payton - Payton is the O's regular center fielder with Adam Jones out for the season. He is owed $1.3MM for the rest of the season. He's been lousy offensively, though he can hit lefties and play all three outfield positions.
- David Riske - Riske is owed $860K more this year, $4.25MM in '09, and $4.5MM in '10 plus a $250K buyout for a total of almost $10MM. Walks have been a problem this year, as well as elbow pain.
- Dave Ross - Ross had cleared waivers prior to being designated for assignment. He is earning $2.525MM this year.
- Duaner Sanchez - His velocity is down 3.6 mph from '06. Sanchez is under team control through '09.
- Scott Schoeneweis - His strikeout rate is down, but so is his ERA. Apparently no team wanted to risk taking on his contract - $910K more this year, $3.6MM in '09.
- Gary Sheffield - No surprise here. Sheff is owed around $17.5 million between this year and next.
- Jamie Walker - The 37 year-old southpaw has a 5.00 ERA in 27 innings this year. As usual, home runs have been a problem. He spent time on the DL with elbow inflammation and is set to earn $4.5MM next year.
- David Weathers - Weathers is owed only $610K on the season, and he has a 2.52 ERA and 2.78 K/BB since the beginning of June. I am quite surprised he cleared waivers.