Dee Gordon Rumors
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.
FRIDAY: The Braves and Phillies also asked about Gordon, ESPN.com's Jayson Stark reports (Twitter links). It appears that every team except the Dodgers would try Gordon as an outfielder. However, the Dodgers told clubs that they aren't open to moving him now.
WEDNESDAY: The Indians are discussing Gordon with the Dodgers, tweets Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports, eyeing him as a potential replacement if they trade shortstop Asdrubal Cabrera.
TUESDAY: The Dodgers are fielding tons of inquiries on shortstop Dee Gordon, tweets Scott Miller of CBS Sports, though they're not looking to deal him. The Mariners are among the teams hitting the Dodgers hard on Gordon, tweets Miller.
Gordon, 25 in April, hit .228/.280/.281 in 330 plate appearances this year. He missed significant time due to thumb surgery. Prior to the 2011 season, Baseball America ranked Gordon the 26th best prospect in baseball, citing the potential for four plus tools.
4:30pm: The Dodgers will only trade Gordon for a significant return, tweets Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports.
6:55am: The Dodgers are shopping Dee Gordon in trades, according to Peter Gammons of the MLB Network. The 24-year-old Gordon figures to draw significant interest given the dearth of shortstops available via free agency.
Gordon hit just .228/.280/.281 last season, although he did manage to steal 32 bases in 42 attempts. Gordon missed most of the second half after undergoing surgery on an injured right thumb in 2012. He received a mere three plate appearances following July 4. Gordon opened the season as the Dodgers' starter at shortstop, but could be replaced by Hanley Ramirez, whom the Dodgers acquired from the Marlins at the trade deadline.
Gordon will turn 25 next April, but isn't far removed from ranking as the No. 26 prospect in the game according to Baseball America (pre-2011). Stephen Drew is the lone notable free agent on the shortstop market, while the trade market features names like Yunel Escobar, Asdrubal Cabrera, Jed Lowrie and Zack Cozart could come up in trade talks. The Diamondbacks, Athletics and Rays are among the teams that could use additional middle infield help.
Here's a look at some news out of the AL and NL West..
- The Dodgers are letting teams know that shortstop Dee Gordon is available, tweets Bob Nightengale of the USA Today. Gordon could represent a fallback option for teams who lose out on Stephen Drew. Earlier today, we learned five teams are in on Drew.
- The Giants are looking for a center fielder and are talking to Michael Bourn, Angel Pagan, and Shane Victorino, tweets CBSSports.com's Jon Heyman.
- The Angels are aren't acting like they're confident of landing Zack Greinke, writes Mike DiGiovanna of the Los Angeles Times. The Angels seem to be trolling for much cheaper starting pitching options like Ryan Dempster and Shaun Marcum, as opposed to Anibal Sanchez and Kyle Lohse.
- The Dodgers' shopping list includes Greinke, a fourth outfielder that can play center, and a backup corner infielder, according to MLB.com's Ken Gurnick. Gurnick also says negotiations continue with lefty reliever Randy Choate.
- Padres GM Josh Byrnes doesn't expect to be very busy during the Winter Meetings, reports Bill Center of the San Diego Union-Tribune. "I expect to do one thing, maybe two," said Byrnes. "I’m not expecting to do a lot. We’re filling the holes, not roster reshaping." The Padres are looking for starting pitching and have depth at the corner outfield slots, in the bullpen, and at middle infield. The names most often mentioned as possible trade chips, according to Center, are Luke Gregerson, Joe Thatcher, and Jesus Guzman.
- The Rangers are interested in talking with the Mets about R.A. Dickey at the Winter Meetings this week, a source tells T.R. Sullivan of MLB.com. The Rangers aren't alone in having interest in the knuckleballer as the Mets have taken calls from six or seven teams looking to swing a trade. The Mets are expected to look for outfield help and catching in a deal.
- The Rockies are considering a run at left-hander Daniel Schlereth as they look to improve their bullpen, according to Thomas Harding of MLB.com. The 26-year-old became a free agent this week when he was non-tendered by the Tigers.
- The Rockies are looking to restore their rotation, but not rebuild it entirely, writes Patrick Saunders of The Denver Post. The club will look to bolster their starting five with a veteran presence and they are known to have interest in free agent right-hander Kevin Correia.
Edward Creech contributed to this post.