Dayton Moore Rumors
Here are a few notes from around the American League:
- The Royals are a legitimate threat to snag a wild card, says ESPN.com's Jim Bowden (Insider sub. req'd), because of the team's offseason focus on pitching. GM Dayton Moore had a seven-year plan to turn around the club through a gradual rebuilding process. While the club has developed what Bowden calls "World Series-winning position players at the major league level," however, the pitching never kept pace. Faced with a limited window to keep the young talent together, Bowden credits Moore for making bold moves to bring in Jeremy Guthrie, Ervin Santana, James Shields, and Wade Davis to bolster the pitching corps.
- The Orioles may be nearing a decision point on Freddy Garcia, as the veteran pitcher will be able to opt out of his contract after his next minor league start, notes MASNSports.com's Roch Kubatko. The 36-year-old has been solid thus far over four starts in Triple-A, where he sports a 2.81 ERA over 25 2/3 innings and has fanned sixteen against just two walks. Baltimore just sent down the struggling Jake Arrieta. His rotation spot went at least temporarily to Josh Stinson, who was bombed by the Blue Jays on Wednesday.
- The backup catching market could heat up as injuries mount. One day after the Yankees lost Francisco Cervelli for a significant period of time to a fractured hand, Orioles' backup Taylor Teagarden suffered a dislocated thumb. Both figure to be replaced with internal options for the immediate future. But their substitutes -- Austin Romine for New York and Luis Exposito for Baltimore -- have, respectively, just twenty and twenty-two largely unsuccessful major league plate appearances.
Anibal Sanchez recorded a club-record 17 strikeouts over eight shutout innings in the Tigers' 10-0 win over the Braves tonight, yet Sanchez might not have had the best pitching performance of the evening. That honor goes to Jordan Zimmermann, who held the Reds to just one hit in a complete game, 91-pitch shutout. It was the Nationals' second straight one-hitter against the Reds, who hadn't been held to one hit or less in consecutive games since the 1900 season.
Here's the latest from around baseball as we head into the weekend...
- The Yankees and Robinson Cano "would appear to very badly want to reach a deal," CBS Sports' Jon Heyman reports. Despite this mutual interest between the two sides, there is apparently a large gap in salary demands --- the Yankees were looking at David Wright's eight-year/$138MM extension with the Mets as a comparable while Heyman thinks Cano's agents at CAA may aim as high as Alex Rodriguez's 10-year/$275MM deal. There is no earthly way the Yankees would hand Cano (or probably anyone) another A-Rod contract but I agree with Heyman's citations of Joey Votto and Prince Fielder's recent contracts as good comparables for a Cano extension. $200MM is the bare minimum for Cano's next deal, whether it's with the Yankees or another team.
- The Phillies' attendance is down thus far in 2013, and less ticket revenue could mean less payroll space for the club this offseason, Matt Gelb of the Philadelphia Inquirer reports.
- The Royals' rotation problems had become too great to ignore last winter, thus prompting GM Dayton Moore to make significant moves that now have his team looking like early contenders, ESPN's Jim Bowden writes (Insider subscription required). "Moore’s original vision might have taken a little longer, but with starting pitching finally in hand, he also might have just bought himself a lot more time," Bowden said, noting that Moore's contract with the Royals is up after the 2014 season.
Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports hears that Royals GM Dayton Moore is "feeling the heat," in the sense that many want the team to use their prospect base to acquire veterans who can help them win now like the Blue Jays did with their recent blockbuster. Here's more from Rosenthal on Kansas City...
- Even after acquiring Ervin Santana, the Royals can still fit a free agent like Jeremy Guthrie into their payroll on a back-loaded, multiyear contract.
- The Mariners covet Billy Butler and would conceivably part with young, high-end pitching to acquire him. Butler is under contract through 2014 with a club option for 2015, though the Royals are unsure if they have enough offense to move him right now.
- The Rays like top prospect Wil Myers, though the Royals are conflicted about moving him even for a pitcher like Jeremy Hellickson or Matt Moore.
- The Astros could be another trade partner for Kansas City since the price to acquire Bud Norris or Lucas Harrell would be lower than it would be for Hellickson or Moore. The impact would be less too, however.
- Moore is under contract through 2014 and does not appear to be in danger of losing his job, says Rosenthal.
Roger Clemens made his return to the mound for the Sugar Land Skeeters last night with two Royals officials in attendance. Senior pitching advisor Bill Fischer and independent league scout Ron Toenjes were at the game, but Royals GM Dayton Moore quickly doused any speculation of interest, according to MLB.com's Dick Kaegel.
Moore said Fischer, a former pitching coach of Clemens in Boston, was invited to the game by the right-hander and that Toenjes "wasn't sent there to scout the game. He was sent there to be along with Fish, and that's all. We were not there scouting Roger Clemens."
With Fischer with him in the dugout, Clemens allowed only one hit, no walks, and struck out two during 3 1/3 innings, reports Alyson Footer of MLB.com. Clemens hit 88 mph with his fastball as 24 of his 37 pitches went for strikes.
"It was good." Clemens said of his outing. "Everyone says it's like riding a bike. I just wanted to make sure I got out of there uninjured but still make a good showing."
Will this showing lead to a possible return to the Major Leagues? "It's a great deal of work," Clemens said, "and I'm not thinking that at this point."
Memorial Day linkage, as Ubaldo Jimenez continues to amaze...
- T.J. Simers of the LA Times offers a profile of refreshingly down-to-earth Angels owner Arte Moreno.
- Mark Gonzales of the Chicago Tribune explains the dilemma the White Sox will face when they have the chance to select Ozney Guillen on draft day.
- Ryan Zimmerman would like to see the Nationals acquire Roy Oswalt, according to Adam Kilgore of the Washington Post (Twitter link).
- A scout told Jeff Zrebiec of the Baltimore Sun that he would be interested in Adam Jones if the Orioles considered trading him, despite the young outfielder's 2010 struggles.
- MLBTR is looking for an intern with strong Excel skills and a willingness to contribute for 30 minutes a day. If you are interested in this unpaid data entry position, send a short e-mail to email@example.com by the end of the day.
- We will be giving away a DVD of the movie Sugar to our 30,000th Twitter follower (currently 584 followers away). Sugar chronicles a Dominican pitcher trying to make it to the Majors.
- The Cubs announced the promotion of 2008 first-round pick Andrew Cashner. The big righty will work out of the bullpen. Richard Justice of the Houston Chronicle notes that several years ago, Cashner offered the Astros a hometown discount and they declined.
- The Pirates benched second baseman Akinori Iwamura in favor of Neil Walker, reports Dejan Kovacevic of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Iwamura, the team's highest-paid player, was an out-of-character acquisition for GM Neal Huntington. At the time of the trade there had been talk about an extension, but we have to assume that idea has been tabled.
- Dontrelle Willis' agent Matt Sosnick spoke to MLB.com's Jason Beck, saying his client could benefit from a fresh start despite a fair chance with the Tigers.
- Rany Jazayerli says Dayton Moore is not the worst GM in baseball, and it is too early to judge his organizational rebuilding effort.
- With one week left, AOL FanHouse's Frankie Piliere has his third first-round mock draft. ESPN's Keith Law also posted a mock draft, for those who have Insider.
- Heath Bell explained to Bill Center and Chris Jenkins of the San Diego Union-Tribune why he still has hostility toward the Mets.
Brendan Bianowicz has more GM Trade History series updates for us. Click below to download Excel spreadsheets with info on the AL Central GMs (trades, free agent signings, and top draft picks).
- Minnesota Twins - Bill Smith
- Chicago White Sox - Ken Williams
- Cleveland Indians - Mark Shapiro
- Detroit Tigers - Dave Dombrowski
- Kansas City Royals - Dayton Moore
A few notes from around the majors...
- Veteran Greg Norton tied a major league record in what may be his final season, says MLB.com's Mark Bowman
- In another blog entry, Bowman said that though Martin Prado spent some time in the outfield while playing in his native Venezuela, Prado is not a candidate for Atlanta's right field job.
- MASN's Steve Melewski reports that the Orioles have signed their first Guatemalan player, 17-year-old Manuel Hernandez
- In a chat on MLB.com, Pirates president Frank Coonelly said that Andy LaRoche was "open" to the possibility of playing second base next season given some of Pittsburgh's minor-league options at third base (including top prospect Pedro Alvarez).
- Dick Kaegel of MLB.com reports on two changes to Kansas City's coaching staff in 2010.
Royals GM Dayton Moore was not terribly revealing in his MLB.com chat with fans today, but let's take a look anyway. He deserves props for answering a few tough questions, though it would've been nice to have one about Alex Gordon's service time manipulation (Gordon and his agent didn't consider the demotion devious, though).
- There are "no immediate plans" to try Joakim Soria as a starter, though Moore did not dismiss the idea outright.
- Yuniesky Betancourt and Mike Aviles will compete for the shortstop job in 2010.
- Moore wouldn't reveal much regarding his team's catching situation, though he expressed a desire to improve blocking and receiving skills behind the plate.
- He was also vague about the idea of signing a power hitter in the offseason.
- Moore expects to sign Aaron Crow, but has nothing new to report.
- When Moore was asked, "Mr. Moore, why is this team so bad? Plz answer. Thx," he went with injuries as the explanation.
- Another funny exchange - Moore was asked why he gave up Dan Cortes for Betancourt, when Betancourt probably would've been designated for assignment. Moore believes it was "highly doubtful" the shortstop would've been DFA'd.
- Moore spoke in generalities when asked if he'd try to lock up Billy Butler.
- Moore says he's focused on pitching, speed, and defense, much like the Angels.
Links for Tuesday...
- Chat today, 2pm CST.
- The Rangers designated pitcher Thomas Diamond for assignment, according to MLB.com's T.R. Sullivan. Diamond was the 10th overall pick in the 2004 draft. He was considered the #52 prospect in the game by Baseball America in '05, but he had Tommy John surgery in '07 and dealt with shoulder soreness this year.
- ESPN's Buster Olney says the Angels were in on Brad Penny, with a bullpen role in mind.
- Stephen Strasburg has a few things to learn about dealing with media attention, says John Feinstein of the Washington Post.
- Mariners Associate GM Lee Pelekoudas has resigned to pursue other career opportunities, according to a team press release. Pelekoudas was the Ms' interim GM before Jack Zduriencik was hired. He spent 30 years in the organization.
- USA Today's Paul White writes about the stigma of a college degree for ballplayers.
- Sam Mellinger of the Kansas City Star suggests newly-extended GM Dayton Moore, and not the Glass family, is accountable for the Royals' future performance.
- Reliever Luis Ayala, recently designated for assignment by the Marlins after pitching badly, was upset by the team's "lack of respect" (Juan C. Rodriguez of the South Florida Sun-Sentinel reporting). Ayala earned $1.3MM for his 5.63 ERA this year in 40 innings.
On this date back in 2003, Johnny Damon hit a single, a double, and a triple in a 14-run first inning against the Marlins. The Red Sox set a league record by scoring ten runs before making an out.
On to the linkage...
- Matthew Pouliot of Circling The Bases says that Dayton Moore's moves over the last season and a half are enough to warrant his dismissal. He notes they have a more than qualified replacement already in-house in senior advisor Mike Arbuckle.
- Ben Bolch of The LA Times notes that Jason Schmidt threw 104 pitches over 7.2 shutout in a rehab start yesterday. We know the Dodgers are looking for pitching, but a healthy and reasonably effective Schmidt could lessen that urgency.
- Tracy Ringolsby writes that Garrett Atkins' recent hot streak creates "more of a possibility of another team having interest in acquiring him." Atkins is hitting .340-.415-.553 in June.
- The Rangers have been getting good production from unexpected sources like Jason Jennings, says Ken Sherrington of The Dallas Morning News.
- Rockies outfielder Carlos Gonzalez says he's happy to be in Colorado, according to Susan Slusser of The SF Chronicle.
- Joe Cowley tweets this Ozzie Guillen quote: "The people that run baseball teams now are soft." I wonder what Kenny Williams thinks about that.
- Marc Carig writes that the Rockies had begun combing through the Yankees' farm system in advance of a potential Huston Street trade back in May.