David Eckstein Rumors
SI.com's Jon Heyman has a new column up...
- The Mets apparently had interest last winter in signing David Eckstein as a backup for $1-2MM, but he preferred to take $850K to start at second base for the Padres.
- Heyman looks at the Jake Peavy situation. He learned that new CEO Jeff Moorad "didn't believe the economic downturn and slumping late-winter market would inhibit suitors for Peavy, who has $63 million and four years left on his contract." That said, we know Moorad is willing to keep Peavy this year. And Peavy may be happiest in San Diego, according to Heyman.
- Pedro Martinez has fielded calls from several teams since the season began. Heyman speculates on the Dodgers, Indians, Phillies, Brewers, Pirates, D'Backs, and Mets as possibilities. And what about the Cardinals, who just lost Chris Carpenter for a while?
Ken Rosenthal suggested yesterday that the David Eckstein signing might mean the Padres will pass on Omar Vizquel. Jenny Cavnar of Channel 4 San Diego spoke to Padres GM Kevin Towers, who told her the Padres will go in-house at shortstop, probably with Luis Rodriguez or Chris Burke.
According to Tom Krasovic of the San Diego Union-Tribune, the Padres agreed to terms with David Eckstein on a one-year deal worth $850k. He'll play second base. Eckstein, 34 in a few days, hit .265/.343/.349 in 376 plate appearances for the Blue Jays and D'Backs in '08. He played an above-average second base in 197 innings there.
A Ken Rosenthal source suggests that the Padres might decide to pass on signing Omar Vizquel.
1:23pm: ESPN's Jerry Crasnick heard the Padres prefer David Eckstein over Vizquel. He suggests the Padres may not be able to offer a base salary much beyond $1MM. Meanwhile, Ken Rosenthal says the Padres are in serious discussions with Eckstein to play second base.
THURSDAY, 8:50am: MLB.com's Corey Brock confirmed that the Padres hope to sign a shortstop this week and Vizquel is on the radar. Vizquel admitted San Diego could be a great fit.
WEDNESDAY: According to Channel 4 San Diego anchor and Padres pre/post-game host John Weisbarth:
I'm hearing today that Omar Vizquel (owner of 11 gold-gloves) could be the Friars shortstop as soon as tomorrow.
Let's take a look at the latest from Ken Rosenthal.
- The Dodgers won't go after Adam Dunn until they exhaust their options with Manny Ramirez. Rosenthal likes the Dunn-L.A. match. Should Dunn opt for a one-year deal so he can try his hand at a weaker free agent market?
- Rosenthal wonders if Tony La Russa and/or Albert Pujols will depart if the Cardinals do not contend in coming seasons.
- The Angels are not in on any hitter currently, but could engage in trade talks this summer if necessary.
- Rosenthal drives home just how difficult it would be for the Mets to move Luis Castillo. He says the team wants to bring in a capable backup infielder such as Alex Cora, David Eckstein, or Craig Counsell.
- The D'Backs made offers for Jon Garland and Brad Penny, but Penny signed with Boston and they're out on Garland. Rosenthal says the D'Backs still aren't necessarily in the market for a starter.
- A Brian Roberts trade is said to be a "growing possibility."
Padres GM Kevin Towers in an interview today said he expects to sign a shortstop by next week, according to Corey Brook at MLB.com.
"Towers said he had interest in veterans David Eckstein and Omar Vizquel, in addition to a few names he didn't want to divulge. 'There are a couple of other guys, too,' Towers said. 'We've got three or four options.'"
ESPN's Jerry Crasnick has a bunch of new info.
- The Braves' interest in Bobby Abreu is described as "lukewarm at best." And he'd have to be a huge bargain for the Mets to get involved. Abreu's agent has his work cut out for him.
- Two middle infield possibilities for the Royals: David Eckstein and Willie Bloomquist. The Royals also considered Jerry Hairston Jr., but are concerned with his health record. Also, Dayton Moore continues to deal with payroll limitations.
- The Rangers are "keeping an eye on" Giants starters Noah Lowry and Jonathan Sanchez. Lowry had arthroscopic elbow surgery in September.
Tom Krasovic talked to Padres GM Kevin Towers, who is looking for help in the middle infield via the free agent market. Three players on the radar: Omar Vizquel, David Eckstein, and Mark Grudzielanek. Towers is looking for bargains. San Diego might be a tough sell for Grudzielanek, who left Kansas City to sign with a team with a better chance of reaching the World Series.
WEDNESDAY, 6:22pm: Kovacevic says Doumit's agent will meet with the Pirates later tonight to discuss their offer. Rob Biertempfel says the Pirates did make offers to all three and want to finalize deals within six to eight weeks.
TUESDAY, 11:28pm: Dejan Kovacevic of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette offers up the latest information on the Pirates.
- The Pirates have initiated extension talks with Nate McLouth, Ryan Doumit, and Paul Maholm. The Braves inquired on McLouth and Maholm, but the Pirates' demands were "way high" according to an Atlanta official. Kovacevic mentions Jordan Schafer as someone who could be offered.
- The Pirates had conversations with David Eckstein's agent, but not negotiations. The Bucs would probably have to trade a middle infielder for it to make sense. They never made a formal offer to Mark Loretta, who signed with the Dodgers today.
- The Jack Wilson market is tepid - the Twins have mild interest, the Dodgers have moved on to Rafael Furcal.
- While the Pirates have gotten inquiries on John Grabow, teams apparently want to look at free agent options first.
- John Perrotto says Jason Davis will refuse the Pirates' Triple A assignment and head to Japan.
5:29pm: A handful of teams have expressed interest in Doug Mientkiewicz, reports Jenifer Langosch. He expects to sign within a few weeks, and his agent will meet with the Pirates this week.
4:56pm: Kovacevic confirmed that the Pirates are in negotiations with Eckstein. The Orioles and Padres are also said to be in on him. As for Wilson: the Dodgers are said to be exasperated by the Pirates' asking price.
- Kovacevic on Jack Wilson: the Tigers are out, the Dodgers are quiet lately, and the Twins are in. Biertempfel says the Orioles continue to watch from afar. Wilson's contract is a sticking point for all suitors.
- Kovacevic believes the Pirates have at least not ruled out the idea of pursuing Pedro Martinez.
- Derrick Turnbow will throw for scouts in mid-January, so he probably won't sign until then. The Pirates and Giants are among eight teams that have expressed interest.
- The Pirates seem likely to make a Rule 5 pick this year.
- With Pirates target Mark Loretta signing with the Dodgers, Biertempfel wonders if the Bucs may pursue David Eckstein or Craig Counsell.