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Dee Gordon Rumors
Marlins second baseman Dee Gordon is a better bet than projection systems indicate, Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports argues. Steamer and PECOTA foresee regression for Gordon next season, but Rosenthal points to examples of late-blooming speedy players like Michael Bourn, Shane Victorino and Tom Goodwin as evidence that Gordon (who didn’t start playing baseball until he was a junior in high school) ought to be able to retain some of the improvements he made in the first half of last season. Rosenthal also suggests being traded from Los Angeles to Miami might be good for Gordon, in that he’ll get to work with top infield instructor Perry Hill with the Marlins. Here are more notes from the National League.
- Diamondbacks prospect Enrique Burgos‘ current GM, Dave Stewart, was also his agent before the Dbacks hired him last September. Burgos credits Stewart for helping him improve last season, Nick Piecoro of the Arizona Republic writes. Burgos walked 50 batters in 46 1/3 innings with Class A South Bend in 2013, but he took a new attitude with him to Class A+ Visalia last year and halved his walk rate while posting 13.7 K/9 in 54 2/3 innings of relief. “Before, a lot of people would tell me that I looked so nice on the mound,” says Burgos. “But with the stuff that I have, I can’t be nice. That was one of the things [Stewart] told me. You have to think you’re the man up there, instead of being so nice.”
- Fellow GMs thought new Padres executive A.J. Preller would be aggressive, but his ultra-busy offseason took the rest of baseball by surprise, Jeff Sanders of the San Diego Union-Tribune writes. The fact that the Padres hired Preller in August gave him time to figure out how best to remake his team, his former boss and Rangers GM Jon Daniels says. “I think the fact that he got in early gave him the chance to truly evaluate what they had and make this decision that people didn’t anticipate,” says Daniels. “I think the assumption was they might trade some of their pitching and build the system, especially with his background in the amateur markets. That’s where I give him a lot of credit. He said, ‘No, we can win right now,’ and did it in a creative fashion.”
The Marlins and closer Steve Cishek have dodged arbitration by agreeing to a one-year, $6.65MM pact, tweets Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald. Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports adds that Dee Gordon has also agreed to terms on a $2.5MM deal for next season. MLBTR contributor Matt Swartz projected respective salaries of $6.9MM and $2.5MM for the pair.
The Dodgers and Marlins have announced a blockbuster deal that sends middle infielder Dee Gordon, veteran right-hander Dan Haren, infielder Miguel Rojas and a player to be named later or cash to Miami in exchange for left-hander Andrew Heaney, second baseman Enrique Hernandez, righty reliever Chris Hatcher and catching prospect Austin Barnes. (Heaney has since been traded to the Angels for Howie Kendrick.)
With the Dodgers reportedly open to dealing Gordon and the Marlins open to trading from their surplus of young arms, the two made sense as trade partners, especially with Miami rather thin in the middle infield. Gordon is an upgrade over the Marlins’ current second base options (Donovan Solano and Derek Dietrich), though Gordon could also return to his original shortstop position and supplant Adeiny Hechavarria, who has been a negative fWAR player over the last two seasons.
Gordon broke out with an All-Star campaign in 2014, hitting .289/.326/.378 over 650 plate appearances while leading the league in both steals (64) and triples (12). He is controlled through the 2018 season, though he’ll start getting expensive this winter as he is arbitration-eligible for the first of four times (as a Super Two player). MLBTR’s Matt Swartz projects Gordon to earn $2.5MM in 2015.
Haren said last month that he could retire if he was pitching anywhere other than with the Dodgers or Angels. The righty exercised his $10MM player option for the 2015 season, so now the question seems to be whether Haren will have a change of heart about playing outside of southern California, or if he’ll indeed hang up his glove and walk away from that $10MM. Haren posted a 4.02 ERA, 7.0 K/9 and a 4.03 K/BB rate over 186 innings last season, so he’d fit the Marlins’ desire for a veteran arm if he did continue to pitch. ESPN’s Buster Olney did hear that a third team could be involved in the trade talks, which could be a precursor to another Marlins trade that could send Haren to a more preferred destination. The Marlins’ Michael Hill says (via the Los Angeles Times’ Bill Shaikin on Twitter) that the Marlins will not receive additional compensation depending on what happens with Haren.
Whether or not Haren retires, the Dodgers will still send $10MM to Miami as part of the trade, Clark Spencer of the Miami Herald reports (Twitter links). L.A. will also cover the projected $2.5MM that Gordon will earn in arbitration. The Marlins plan to use the money from the Dodgers on a first baseman or a starting pitcher.
Rojas, 25, made his Major League debut in 2014, posting a .464 OPS over 162 PA and mostly playing shortstop. Rojas also received some significant playing time at second and third during his nine-year minor league career, which saw him post a .238/.305/.297 line over 2639 plate appearances in the Dodgers, Reds and Rays farm systems.
From the Dodgers’ perspective, they’ve overhauled their middle infield in a matter of hours between this deal, the Kendrick swap and the seemingly impending Jimmy Rollins trade. Heaney is already gone, but USA Bob Nightengale points out that L.A. could also use some of these youngsters as trade bait to acquire a top starter such as Cole Hamels. It’s also possible that some of these players could be going to the Phils to complete the Rollins deal, as per Matt Gelb of the Philadelphia Inquirer.
Heaney is the biggest name of the four, the ninth overall pick of the 2012 draft and tabbed as both the Marlins’ top prospect and the #30 prospect in the sport by Baseball America in their 2014 preseason rankings. Heaney has a 2.77 ERA, 9.1 K/9, and 3.85 K/BB rate over 259 2/3 minor league innings, and he threw 29 1/3 innings for Miami this season in his first taste of the bigs.
This is Hernandez’s second trade in less than five months, as he came to the Marlins from the Astros in July as part of the Jarred Cosart deal. Hernandez also made his MLB debut in 2014, posting a .248/.321/.421 slash line and a 110 wRC+ over 134 PA with Houston and Miami. He played mostly as a second baseman in the minors and will join Alex Guerrero, Darwin Barney and Justin Turner in battling for a backup role in Los Angeles. Hernandez also has experience at third, short and all three outfield positions, so he could be a valuable bench piece.
Hatcher enjoyed a breakout season in 2014, posting a 3.38 ERA, 9.6 K/9 and a 5:1 strikeout-to-walk rate over 56 innings last season. He’s a solid addition to a Dodgers bullpen that was looking to upgrade at a low cost, given the large salaries already committed to the likes of Brandon League, Brian Wilson and J.P. Howell, not to mention Kenley Jansen‘s projected $8.2MM arbitration salary.
Baseball America ranked Barnes as the Marlins’ 20th-best prospect prior to the season. The 24-year-old catcher has shown some impressive skill at the plate, with .298/.390/.431 slash line over 1855 minor league PA. Barnes posted a .913 OPS in 348 PA at the Double-A level last season.
Andy Martino of the New York Daily News reported the deal had been agreed upon, pending some paperwork. ESPN’s Buster Olney (Twitter links) was the first to report that the two sides were having “serious talks” about a Gordon/Heaney trade and Haren’s possible involvement, and Olney described the deal as being “close to done.” Clark Spencer of the Miami Herald (Twitter link) added that Hernandez, Barnes and Hatcher were included in the deal. MLB.com’s Joe Frisaro tweeted that Rojas was involved.
Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.
The Dodgers and Marlins are having serious talks about a trade involving Dee Gordon and Andrew Heaney, ESPN’s Buster Olney reports (Twitter links). Other teams could be involved in the deal and Dan Haren‘s name has been mentioned. Olney describes the trade as being “close to done” (Twitter link).
WEDNESDAY, 2:00pm: Gordon is indeed in play for the Dodgers, according to Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports (via Twitter). He adds that the Dodgers have their sights set on big targets. As an All-Star with four years of team control, teams value Gordon highly.
3:59am: Dodgers GM Farhan Zaidi denies that the team is interested in trading Gordon, MLB.com’s Ken Gurnick writes. “He’s a cost-controlled, All-Star second baseman that teams would have four more years of control, a tremendous player, and anybody like that, teams ask for,” says Zaidi. “We’re not dangling him. Like I said, he is our second baseman.”
TUESDAY: The Dodgers have let teams know that they’re open to trading Dee Gordon, Joel Sherman of the New York Post reports (Twitter link). Gordon played 144 games at second base last season but played almost exclusively at shortstop prior to 2014, so he could appeal to teams looking for help at either middle infield position.
Gordon is arbitration-eligible for the first time this winter and MLBTR’s Matt Swartz projects him to earn $2.5MM in 2015. As a Super Two player, Gordon has an extra year of arbitration eligibility and is team-controlled through the 2018 season.
Players who can get on base are a priority for the new Dodgers front office, Sherman notes, and Gordon has only a career .314 OBP. Still, Gordon certainly has some trade value following an All-Star season that saw him hit .289/.326/.378 over 650 plate appearances while leading the league in both steals (64) and triples (12). His production tailed off down the stretch, however, as Gordon posted just a .632 OPS over his last 68 games. If Gordon is dealt, Alex Guerrero, Justin Turner and Darwin Barney could all see time at 2B for Los Angeles, though some of those players could also address the club’s vacancy at shortstop in the wake of Hanley Ramirez‘s departure.
We’ve already published one set of NL East Notes today, but there’s no shortage of news coming out of the Winter Meetings. Here’s the latest from around the division…
- The Giants would only be interested in taking on Braves outfielder Justin Upton and his substantial salary if signing Jon Lester was no longer an option, John Shea of the San Francisco Chronicle tweets. Since the Giants have been told they’re out of the hunt for Lester, it’s fair to speculate that they could now turn their attention to Upton.
- A rumored trade that would’ve sent Upton and Chris Johnson from the Braves to the Giants is about a week old and “not happening,” a source tells CBS Sports’ Jon Heyman.
- Nationals GM Mike Rizzo spoke to reporters (including Dan Kolko of MASNsports.com) about a number of topics, such as how teams are showing increased interest in Washington’s relief corps over the last day. “When David Robertson signed, our relief pitchers came more into focus with other clubs,” Rizzo said. “We got a lot of traffic on those guys.” There has been a particularly large amount of interest in Tyler Clippard.
- Rizzo met with Ian Desmond‘s agents and expects to meet with Jordan Zimmermann‘s agents before the Winter Meetings are over. It was reported earlier this week that the Nats would explore an extension with Zimmermann, and Rizzo certainly expressed his eagerness to talk to the right-hander. “Zim’s part of the furniture here. He’s drafted, signed, developed and starred with the same organization. We feel he’s one of our own, and we’re certainly eager to discuss things with him,” Rizzo said. The GM isn’t sure, however, what Zimmermann’s asking price will be in this round of negotiations.
- The Marlins have interest in Dodgers second baseman Dee Gordon, MLB.com’s Joe Frisaro reports (Twitter link). It was reported earlier today that L.A. was open to offers for Gordon.
- The Mets aren’t close to dealing a starter, but if they do swing a trade, the Rangers and Royals are both “viable landing spots,” ESPN New York’s Adam Rubin tweets. Jon Niese would command a larger return than Dillon Gee, though Rubin says the Mets would prefer to trade Gee since they feel Niese has more upside and can better help the club contend in 2015. They would trade Niese for a good enough offer, however (Twitter links).
- The Rangers, Royals and Giants are Gee’s most serious suitors, the New York Post’s Joel Sherman writes (via Twitter).
- In regards to the Mets‘ shortstop search, MLB.com’s Anthony DiComo hears that the team is “far more” interested in Jed Lowrie or Stephen Drew than they are with Asdrubal Cabrera.
Full Story | Comments | Categories: Asdrubal Cabrera | Atlanta Braves | Chris Johnson | Dee Gordon | Dillon Gee | Ian Desmond | Jed Lowrie | Jon Niese | Jordan Zimmermann | Justin Upton | Kansas City Royals | Los Angeles Dodgers | Miami Marlins | New York Mets | San Francisco Giants | Stephen Drew | Texas Rangers | Tyler Clippard | Washington Nationals
With Nelson Cruz, Stephen Drew, Ubaldo Jimenez, Kendrys Morales and Ervin Santana all in seeming free agent limbo after rejecting qualifying offers, Yahoo Sports' Jeff Passan argues that the current free agent compensation system has proven to be too limiting. While teams will give up draft picks to sign bigger stars like Robinson Cano, the so-called second tier of free agents are finding it much harder to get work. "Last offseason, there were a number of guys affected in ways different than we expected compared to a freer market to pursue jobs. It appears that's happening again, " MLBPA executive director Tony Clark said. One club executive suggested to Passan that teams could make qualifying offers to more free agents next winter given the evidence about how it pushes prices down for some players.
Here's some more from around baseball…
- The Tigers have recently made several important moves in the post-Christmas offseason period, and 2014's big early-year move could be laying the groundwork for a Max Scherzer extension, MLB.com's Jason Beck opines. Beck thinks GM Dave Dombrowski will look to a one-year deal for 2014 to avoid going to arbitration with Scherzer, and those talks could lead to negotiations with agent Scott Boras over a longer-term extension.
- Also from Beck, he wonders if the Tigers could discuss a new contract with Miguel Cabrera (signed through 2015) or possibly add another reliever to the bullpen. Detroit has already addressed its main bullpen need by signing closer Joe Nathan, and also acquired Ian Krol and Joba Chamberlain for the relief corps.
- Jonathan Papelbon discussed his name surfacing in recent trade rumors, the differences between the Phillies' and Red Sox clubhouse atmospheres and his joy at seeing his ex-Boston teammates win the World Series last October in a frank radio interview with Rob Bradford and John McDonald on WEEI's Hot Stove Show. A partial transcript of the interview is available at WEEI.com.
- The Phillies were interested in Mark Mulder before the veteran signed with the Angels, FOX Sports' Ken Rosenthal reports (Twitter link).
- Forbes Magazine's Maury Brown discusses Major League Baseball's growing revenues and the effect on player salaries and acquisitions in a podcast with BostInno's Alex Reimer, who has a partial transcript of the interview here.
- MLB.com's Anthony DiComo covers a number of Mets-related topics as part of a reader mailbag, including how he doesn't see Dee Gordon or Didi Gregorius as logical trade targets for the team.
Matt Kemp and Brandon Phillips have been two of the offseason's biggest names rumored to be on the trade market, and there was a chance the two could've been dealt for each other in a blockbuster. The Dodgers and Reds "briefly spoke about" swapping the two All-Stars earlier this winter, according to Joel Sherman of the New York Post, but the Dodgers didn't have much interest. L.A. wasn't keen on adding an older player (Phillips is 32) who is owed $50MM through 2017, plus the Dodgers felt the deal wouldn't have been a fair swap if Kemp returned to full health.
Here are some more items from Chavez Ravine…
- There isn't any truth to rumors of a Dodgers/Royals trade that would sent Dee Gordon to Kansas City in exchange for Justin Maxwell, ESPN Los Angeles' Mark Saxon reports (via Twitter).
- The Dodgers fully intend to rebuild their minor league depth, team president Stan Kasten said tells Bill Shaikin of the Los Angeles Times, and while they've moved some minor leaguers in trades, Kasten is pleased that "we kept adding pieces while keeping the guys we valued the most." Speaking in general, Kasten said "what would have interested us — and might still — is to trade one of our veterans if we can get back young, controllable players and prospects." In addition, while Kasten says the Dodgers don't plan to trade any of their key youngsters, "there are deals on the table that include top prospects."
- The Dodgers could consider trading pitching prospects in order to obtain more position player prospects, Kasten said, as the club is lacking in youngsters who can play the field.
- Earlier today on MLBTR, the Dodgers acquired righty Seth Rosin from the Mets, and FOX Sports' Ken Rosenthal shared a few items about the Dodgers in his most recent column.
Dee Gordon is running out of both time and positions to play in his quest to prove that he belongs at the Major League level, writes Steve Dilbeck of the L.A. Times. The Dodgers moved Gordon from shortstop to second base this season, and while reviews said he wasn't as much of a liability at second base, they're now working him out in center field as well. The Dodgers aren't willing to give up on Gordon yet, says Dilbeck, but his best shot at sticking in L.A. looks to be in a utility capacity. Here's more from the NL West…
- In a separate piece, Dilbeck opines that the Dodgers need to have a contingency plan in place at second base, as it's too risky to assume that recently signed Cuban infielder Alexander Guerrero is ready to immediately dive into the Majors. He notes that Gordon could start there, but that plan would also have a great deal of uncertainty.
- Rockies senior vice president of Major League operations Bill Geivett made an appearance with Jim Bowden on MLB Network Radio this morning. Asked by Bowden how he would react if the Cardinals came knocking with an "overwhelming" offer for superstar shortstop Troy Tulowitzki, Geivett said he'd have to listen but added, "we're not doing anything with Tulo." Geivett went on to add that his top three priorities this offseason are starting pitching, a late-inning impact reliever and a corner bat (Twitter links).
- MLB.com's Chris Haft spoke with Ryan Vogelsong's agent, Dave Meier, who said that his client's preference is to remain with the Giants. According to Haft, the Giants will shop for a starting pitcher this offseason, but adding two starters will be difficult. The Giants have until tomorrow to decide whether or not to exercise a $6.5MM option on Vogelsong or pay him a $300K buyout.
Chipper Jones says he's not going to un-retire and return to MLB, Jayson Stark of ESPN.com reports. "I'm well-adjusted, and there's no going back," Jones said. The Braves will retire his number 10 this June and induct him into their team Hall of Fame. Here are some more links from around the National League…
- An MRI taken on Matt Garza revealed only a “mild strain,” Cubs GM Jed Hoyer said, according to ESPNChicago.com’s Jesse Rogers. Hoyer explained that Garza is expected to sit for a week or so and miss his first scheduled Spring Training start. The right-hander is on track to hit free agency following the 2013 season.
- The Dodgers are set to open the season with Hanley Ramirez at shortstop, so Dee Gordon “appears almost certain to start the season in Triple-A Albuquerque,” according to Dylan Hernandez of the Los Angeles Times. GM Ned Colletti acknowledged that the Dodgers placed Gordon “in a tough spot last year.” However, manager Don Mattingly described him as someone who “is dynamic and is going to be dynamic.”
- In an MLB.com video clip, Padres general manager Josh Byrnes discusses San Diego’s approach to long-term contracts, explaining that the risks can be difficult for small-market teams to accept.
- Byrnes also addressed the team’s payroll, stating that it had “already gone up” and would continue to do so. “Our ownership said, hey, if the right deal came up, whether it’s now or in-season, then bring it to us and [if it] makes short-term, long-term sense, we’ll do it.”
- MLBTR checked in on the NL Central and the NL West earlier today.
Jeff Todd contributed to this post.