David Weathers Rumors

Hairston, Weathers To Test Market

MLB.com’s Mark Sheldon has the latest on free agents Jerry Hairston Jr. and David Weathers.

  • Hairston expressed gratitude toward the Reds for giving him a shot this year.  The Reds made progress with his agent on contract talks, but don’t expect an agreement with Hairston or any of their other free agents to be reached by Friday.  Based on his quotes, it sounds like Hairston will at least listen to offers from other teams.  He posted a career-best .326/.384/.487 line in 297 plate appearances this year.
  • Weathers says he’s "flipped the page" on the Reds.  Talks never became serious, and the Reds never made an offer.  He’s looking forward to testing the market, and doesn’t expect to return to Cincinnati.  Walt Jocketty says he still wants to talk.

Reds Rumors: Pitching, Greene, Hairston

Here’s the latest from John Fay of the Cincinnati Enquirer.

  • GM Walt Jocketty said he will not be trading young pitching for a quick fix.  Still, you have to think Homer Bailey is available in the right deal for another young player.
  • Despite an earlier report to the contrary, the Reds are not interested in San Diego shortstop Khalil Greene.  If Jocketty is to acquire a shortstop, it’ll be a pre-arbitration player.  The Reds are shaky at shortstop – Alex Gonzalez is penciled in for next year, but he missed all of ’08 with a compression fracture in his knee.
  • The Reds like young backstop Ryan Hanigan, but they are still in the market for catchers.  Fay says Jocketty chatted with the Rangers regarding their surplus, though a recent report didn’t have Cincinnati in the mix.  Joel Sherman seems to indicate the Reds have interest in the Mets’ Brian Schneider.
  • Jocketty made progress toward re-signing Jerry Hairston Jr. (also on Philly’s radar), and he plans to talk to the agents for David Weathers, Jeremy Affeldt, and Mike Lincoln this week.

Reds Will Consider Mulder

John Fay of the Cincinnati Enquirer spoke to Reds GM Walt Jocketty recently.  A few nuggets from the conversation:

  • The Reds will "at least explore" signing free agent lefty Mark Mulder.  Jocketty, of course, has a history with Mulder from the Cardinals.  Mulder recently told MLB.com’s Mychael Urban he won’t consider signing until he’s healthy and throwing well.
  • Jocketty has spoken to the agents for free agents David Weathers, Mike Lincoln, Jeremy Affeldt, Jerry Hairston Jr., and Javier ValentinWeathers doesn’t seem interested in taking a discount, while Valentin said last month he’d love to return.
  • The Reds aren’t interested in signing Ken Griffey Jr.  The White Sox are expected to pass as well, but Mark Gonzales believes he could be considered in a lesser role if healthy.  At any rate, the two teams will split Junior’s $4MM buyout.

Weathers Willing To Play Anywhere

John Fay of the Cincinnati Enquirer has the latest on Reds reliever David Weathers, who is eligible for free agency.  Weathers says he’s talked to the Reds about coming back, but hasn’t discussed dollars.  Weathers considered his two-year, $5MM deal to be below-market.  He wanted to stay in Cincinnati at that time (December of ’06), but now he’s open to any team.

Weathers, 39, posted solid ERAs in recent years despite shaky peripheral stats. It should be noted that he cleared waivers in August, implying the contenders looking for bullpen help didn’t think too highly of him.  He apparently rates as a Type B free agent, but it’s not known whether the Reds will offer him arbitration.

Reds Make Offers To Hairston, Weathers

5:00pm: Jocketty told MLB.com’s Mark Sheldon that he hasn’t heard back from Weathers’ or Hairston’s people in about a week since making the offers.

1:01pm: According to John Fay of the Cincinnati Enquirer, the Reds made contract offers to David Weathers and Jerry Hairston Jr.  Both are eligible for free agency. Weathers would probably serve as the seventh inning guy, while Hairston might handle center field duties.  Weathers seems to profile as a Type B free agent, while Hairston is neither A nor B.

Fay believes GM Walt Jocketty will also attempt to re-sign relievers Mike Lincoln and Jeremy Affeldt.  Affeldt had pretty big demands at the outset of the last offseason (four or five years), but ended up signing for one year.

Odds And Ends: Cardinals, Astros, K-Rod

Links for Saturday…

  • It doesn’t sound like Jon Daniels has autonomy in Texas.
  • Ian Hunter of Country 103.9 in Ontario recently talked to MLBTR about the Blue Jays. Click here to download the mp3.
  • Reds GM Walt Jocketty has talked to three or four of the Reds’ nine free agents.  John Fay speculates those players are David Weathers, Jerry Hairston Jr., Mike Lincoln, and Jeremy Affeldt.
  • The Padres’ grievance against shortstop Khalil Greene won’t be heard until spring.  The case of Doyle Alexander may be a precedent; the Yankees were not able to recover any money after Alexander broke a knuckle by attacking a dugout wall in ’82.
  • Matthew Leach of MLB.com takes a look at the Redbirds’ upcoming offseason.  Leach estimates that after all the contract and arbitration items are settled, the Cards will have around $25MM to look for a middle infielder, a middle reliever, and perhaps a new closer or #4 or #5 type slugger.
  • Likewise, earlier this week Astros MLB.com beat writer Alyson Footer reported on GM Ed Wade’s offseason plans. Wade is expected to make some tweaks to the roster, but it’s unlikely he’ll make any major moves. Footer suggests the Astros could look for a couple of rotation arms, and speculates on the possibility of signing Ben Sheets.
  • The O.C. Register’s Mark Whicker doesn’t see Francisco Rodriguez coming back to the Angels.

Alejandro A. Leal writes for UmpBump.com and can be reached here: alexo05 {at} umpbump {dot} com.  Tim Dierkes also contributed to this post.

Rosenthal’s Latest: Rangers, Yankees, Phillies

Let’s take a look at Ken Rosenthal’s most recent Full Count video.

  • Rangers president Nolan Ryan may be considering sweeping changes.  He might replace the team’s manager, GM, or both.  If he chooses to install his own people, Gerry Hunsicker and Tim Purpura would be the top GM candidates.
  • The Yankees are willing to trade off a few veteran impending free agents, but pretty much all of them have no-trade clauses.  Those are not always an obstacle though.  Danny Knobler recently heard the Yankees have yet to ask for waivers on their significant players.
  • The Phillies have been frustrated trying to add a bench bat.  A few who have cleared waivers: Frank Catalanotto, Kevin Millar, and Jay Payton.
  • Having picked up Luis Ayala and Al Reyes, the Mets are done adding relievers.  Though he surprisingly cleared waivers, David Weathers is not on the radar.

Week in Review: 8/17 – 8/23

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.

Gagne, Riske, Weathers Clear Waivers

According to Joel Sherman of the New York Post, Eric Gagne, David Riske, and David Weathers have cleared waivers.  Three more for the list.  Since they’ve cleared, these relievers can now be traded to any team.

Gagne is the least surprising; he’s been awful and is still owed more than $2MM.  Riske is owed almost $10MM more through 2010, so that’s understandable.  Weathers is a big surprise though – he’s owed only $610K and has a 2.52 ERA since the beginning of June.  All the contenders, including the Mets, Twins, Phillies, and Cardinals, decided not to make a claim on Weathers?  Can’t explain it.

Sherman brings up these names in the context of the Mets’ tattered bullpen.  He says the Mets are "claiming relievers like mad" but no one good is likely to fall to them. 

Players Who Cleared Waivers

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 GagneGagne 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 MadduxMaddux 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.