Dellin Betances Rumors
It sounds as though 2012 may be the final season of what will surely be a Hall of Fame career for Mariano Rivera. Here’s the latest on the Yankees and the back end of their bullpen as Spring Training 2012 gets underway...
- Joel Sherman of the New York Post doubts the Yankees will spend on the best free agent closer available, though it’s a strategy they might have chosen in the recent past. Brian Cashman believes it’s unwise to sign relievers other than Rivera to significant contracts, and the GM aims to keep payroll under $189MM by 2014.
- David Robertson and Rafael Soriano are internal candidates to close if Rivera retires, as Sherman points out. Many baseball people believe the Yankees should use prospect Dellin Betances out of the bullpen, but he has just two MLB games to his name at this point.
- The Yankees don’t expect Alex Rodriguez to be a vital part of their team four or five years from now, but there’s $143MM remaining on his contract, so the team needs to get as much value as possible from A-Rod.
- The Yankees will obtain another closer, but they won’t replace Rivera, Sherman writes.
- Robertson, Soriano and Joba Chamberlain told Marc Carig of the Star-Ledger that they aren't thinking about replacing Rivera just yet.
8:16pm: At the beginning of the offseason, the asking price for Jackson was in the Lackey/Burnett range ($82.5MM), tweets ESPN.com’s Buster Olney. The Yankees haven’t had talks with Boras about Jackson, tweets Jack Curry of the YES Network. No talks are expected unless his asking price drops.
TUESDAY, 2:53pm: Jackson seeks $15-17MM per year, writes Jon Heyman of CBS Sports. Boras' promotional book on Jackson compares him to C.J. Wilson, Mark Buehrle, John Lackey, A.J. Burnett, and Derek Lowe. All of those pitchers received at least $14.5MM per year, averaging $15.6MM. Of course, Wilson and Buehrle just signed and the other three contracts were regrettable. The Yankees will continue dialogue with Jackson, writes Heyman. The process is starting to remind Joe Pawlikowski of River Ave. Blues of the Yankees' signing of Rafael Soriano last year.
MONDAY, 11:21am: Edwin Jackson's asking price is approximately $60MM over five years, writes ESPNNewYork's Wallace Matthews. The Yankees like the free agent righty, "but not at that price," writes Matthews. Matthews' colleague Buster Olney tweeted the same, saying that unless the Yankees' budget grows, there's no room for Jackson.
Ultimately I expect Jackson to settle for something closer to four years and $44MM, which wouldn't be an awful price for a 28-year-old innings eater with a touch of upside.
Additionally, Matthews writes that the Cubs' asking price for Matt Garza is "out of the question" for the Yankees. He says the Cubs want at least two and possibly all three of Yankees top prospects Jesus Montero, Manny Banuelos, and Dellin Betances. The Red Sox, Blue Jays, Tigers, and Marlins have also been connected to Garza in recent days.
A week ago, Jon Heyman reported that the Yankees were unwilling to trade Manny Banuelos or Jesus Montero for White Sox lefty John Danks. The newly-minted CBS Sports scribe now tweets that the White Sox asked for two of Montero, Banuelos, or Dellin Betances, and the Yankees might give up one in a package.
It's easy to see why the Yankees have resisted so far, as Danks is only under team control for one year. He'll certainly be motivated with free agency on the horizon, and he would be just 27 years old on the open market. If Danks can put up 32 starts with a sub-4.00 ERA, as was his custom prior to 2011, I think he'll be able to top four years and $50MM. Edwin Jackson's upcoming contract may set the bar.
One executive told ESPN's Buster Olney during the Winter Meetings that the White Sox sought a "Ubaldo Jimenez" package for Danks, which would be hard to defend since Jimenez came with two-plus years of cost certainty. In addition to the Yankees, AL East rivals such as the Blue Jays and Red Sox appear to have checked in.
The Tigers contacted the Rockies about Ubaldo Jimenez yesterday and they're far from the only team in the mix. The Yankees, Red Sox, Reds and Indians are still involved and the Rockies are eyeing each team's top prospects in possible deals. Colorado's asking price hasn't dropped, so it will still take multiple top young players to pry the right-hander away. Here are the latest rumors, with the most recent updates up top:
- Danny Knobler tweets that the Tigers are out on Jimenez for now, and while the Indians have tried it looks like the Yankees or Red Sox if there's a trade at all. He says the door is slightly open for the Tigers to have another go at it, but that's not expected to happen.
- A Rockies source pegs the chances of a Pence deal at less than 50%, with the Yankees and Red Sox most likely, tweets Yahoo's Jeff Passan.
- The Tigers have strong interest and are willing to include top prospect Jacob Turner in a Jimenez deal, tweets Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports. Turner is ranked anywhere from #11 to #26 among all prospects by the gurus.
- The Yankees have made no calls to the Rockies thus far today, tweets Ken Rosenthal.
- Others believe the Indians are a big threat to acquire Jimenez, according to Jon Heyman of SI.com (on Twitter).
- The Yankees’ interest in Jimenez appears to be waning, according to ESPN.com’s Jayson Stark. However, the Indians are sending signals that their “untouchables” might be available in a deal for Jimenez, according to Stark.
- Joel Sherman of the New York Post says the Rockies are "mad" at Jimenez for for the way he has acted this year (Twitter link). However, Troy Renck of the Denver Post weighs in on Ubaldo the person: "There are no questions about his character," Renck tweets. "Zero."
- The Red Sox are aggressively pursuing Jimenez while the Indians, Reds, and Blue Jays are also interested, tweets Jon Heyman of SI. Meanwhile, Heyman says that the Yankees are "lurking".
- Joel Sherman of the New York Post says that the Yankees would only package Jesus Montero and Dellin Betances in the same deal in exchange for a sure thing, and they don't view Jimenez as a sure thing.
- Joel Sherman of the New York Post hears that talks between the Yankees and Rockies have not gone well (Twitter link).
- Any Jimenez deal with the Tigers would "almost certainly" include Jacob Turner and/or Rick Porcello, according to Danny Knobler of CBSSports.com (on Twitter).
- Rival teams expect to know the Rockies’ true intentions regarding Jimenez tomorrow, according to ESPN.com’s Buster Olney. If the sky-high asking price drops in the next day and a half, other teams will see the price reduction as a signal that Colorado intends to move Jimenez.
Yesterday's Ubaldo Jimenez info: about seven teams are in on him, but the Yankees and Reds are best-positioned to make a deal if the Rockies are as motivated as has been reported. So far, the Rockies' asking price of "three sure-thing young players, including one pitcher who goes into their rotation immediately" has not dropped. The latest:
- The Red Sox are still in on Jimenez, according to Gordon Edes of ESPNBoston.com (on Twitter).
- The Indians have asked about Jimenez, but are a "real longshot," according to Danny Knobler of CBSSports.com (on Twitter).
- The Indians are strongly in the mix for Jimenez, according to Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports. The Indians have been working aggressively to upgrade their offense and rotation, Rosenthal writes. They're "thinking big in multiple deals."
- Though the Yankees and Reds have been the most active suitors for Jimenez, they aren’t close to a deal, according to Troy Renck of the Denver Post. The Yankees aren’t close to matching Colorado’s asking price and it’s hard to imagine the Reds obtaining Jimenez without surrendering Mesoraco. The Tigers and Red Sox are ‘on the fringe’ of the trade talks and the Rangers are no longer considered a candidate to acquire the right-hander.
- The Yankees have the best chance of landing Jimenez, reports Danny Knobler of CBS Sports. The Rangers are all but out, while the Tigers and Blue Jays are remote.
- The Rockies do not require Reds untouchables Devin Mesoraco or Billy Hamilton in a deal with the Reds, tweets Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports.
- The Rockies are in active trade talks with six to eight teams, reports ESPN's Jayson Stark. A source tells Stark that two NL teams, yet to be identified, are in the mix, and the guess is that one of them is the Nationals.
- As of yesterday, the Reds were the most motivated Jimenez suitor and the Red Sox were more seriously inquiring than the Yankees, reports Joel Sherman of the New York Post. Still, the Rockies appear amenable to doing a Jimenez deal for three of these Yankee youngsters: Manny Banuelos, Dellin Betances, Jesus Montero, and Ivan Nova. The Yankees, however, are hesistant to even include two. Ownership is not pushing Yankees GM Brian Cashman to make a deadline splash, writes Sherman, and the front office is more focused on relievers.
The latest on the Yankees...
- Though the Yankees think Edwin Jackson is solid, they aren't pursuing him now, according to Jack Curry of the YES Network (on Twitter).
- A rival executive believes the Yankees will add a left-handed reliever via trade, tweets Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports. Left-handed relief is a weakness of this trade market, though perhaps the Yanks could take on a bad contract like that of Baltimore's Mike Gonzalez.
- Unless a no-doubt number one starter appears on the market, the Yankees have made it clear they won't move prospects Manny Banuelos, Dellin Betances, Jesus Montero, and Austin Romine, tweets Joel Sherman of the New York Post.
- The White Sox are spending a lot of time scouting the farm systems of the Yankees, Red Sox, and Phillies in case Kenny Williams and company decide to sell, tweets Sherman.
- The Yankees would pay big for A's lefty Gio Gonzalez, tweets Sherman, but Oakland still refuses to discuss the southpaw. The 25-year-old ranks eighth in the American League with 124 strikeouts and seventh with a 2.67 ERA, and is not arbitration-eligible until after this season.
Yankees GM Brian Cashman is monitoring the trade market, but prices are steep, so he won't necessarily make a move. Cashman told Jack Curry of the YES Network that he won't do anything "stupid," partly because it appears that the 55-37 Yankees are October-bound once again (all Twitter links).
"I think we definitely have enough to get in the playoffs," Cashman said.
Cashman mentioned Manny Banuelos, Dellin Betances, Austin Romine and Jesus Montero as prospects he has "no inclination to move," Curry reports. The Yankees have at least some interest in Ubaldo Jimenez of the Rockies, who would cost significant prospects.
Yankees starters rank 6th in the American League with a 3.67 ERA and 6.7 K/9, though they're ninth in the league with 3.0 BB/9. Bartolo Colon, who dazzled opponents early in the year, struggled in his last outing before the All-Star break and his first outing after the break.
With July 31st just two weeks away, Ubaldo Jimenez is one of the most surprising names being floated in trade rumors. Would the Rockies actually move Jimenez less than a year after he finished third in NL Cy Young voting? ESPN.com's Buster Olney (Insider link) talked to one talent evaluator who put the chances of a deal at one in four: "It has to be something that makes sense for the Rockies [right now]." Another evaluator thinks "it's more trolling than intent on moving" on Colorado's part (Twitter link). Here's a roundup of the rest of today's Jimenez-related notes....
- MLB.com's Peter Gammons says the Rockies think there's about a 10% chance Jimenez is traded this month. Colorado is looking for two prime prospects, along with one or two big-league ready players, including a starting pitcher.
- The Rockies and Yankees match up well, according to SI.com's Jon Heyman. Colorado likes Jesus Montero, but the Yanks are reluctant to include Manny Banuelos, Dellin Betances, or Ivan Nova along with Montero.
- Heyman says (via Twitter) that the Rockies have talked to the Yankees, and "probably" the Red Sox, Tigers, Reds, and others as well.
- Some teams interested in Jimenez believe that if the Rockies hang on to him now, he's a decent bet to be traded this winter, when available top pitching will again be scarce and more clubs could get involved, writes Olney.
- One more note from Olney's article: Given Jimenez's inexpensive price tag through 2013, there would be very little financial risk for any team acquiring the right-hander, which is one reason why the Rockies' asking price is so high.
- Speaking of that asking price, Rockies GM Dan O'Dowd tells Troy Renck of the Denver Post that the Rockies would have to be "absolutely overwhelmed" to move Jimenez. "It would have to be a Herschel Walkerdeal," O'Dowd added, referring to the 1989 NFL trade that earned the nickname "The Great Train Robbery."
- There seems to be a potentially game-changing pitcher connected in trade rumors to the Yankees every July, and this year it's Jimenez, writes Mike Lupica of the New York Daily News.
Here are a few items of note coming out of the Big Apple as the Mets face the Pirates in Pittsburgh:
- The Mets were just one game under .500 entering Saturday night's game, and the team has played surprisingly well with an unheralded cast largely assembled by former GM Omar Minaya, writes Andy Martino of the New York Daily News.
- Jesus Montero, the Yankees' touted catching prospect, was out of the lineup for Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre tonight but not because he was called up to the big leagues, according to Marc Carig of the Star-Ledger (Twitter links).
- In the wake of Phil Hughes' DL stint and Joba Chamberlain's season-ending injury, Bill Madden of the New York Daily News writes that the Yanks should handle top arms Manuel Banuelos and Dellin Betances differently.
- Within the same piece, Madden writes that the Mets appear to be taking a long-term approach to restocking the organization under new GM Sandy Alderson, as evidenced by their selection of prep outfielder Brandon Nimmo with the No. 13 pick in the Draft.
Though it may seem like the Yankees’ rotation is a strength, it has been solid rather than spectacular to this point in the season. The Yankees aren’t assuming Bartolo Colon and Freddy Garcia can continue pitching this well, so, according to Joel Sherman of the New York Post, they will be looking for ways to bolster their starting pitching depth this summer.
“Overall, the pitching is going to be the defining thing for us,” GM Brian Cashman told Sherman. “The pitching has excelled, but it is not wise or prudent to sit back and try not to reinforce and improve on it.”
The Yankees have not been in contact with left-hander Andy Pettitte, according to Sherman and Cashman says they aren’t discussing the possibility of calling up prospects Manny Banuelos or Dellin Betances. Cashman “badly wants” a left-handed reliever, since the Yankees don’t have left-handed depth in the minors and it could be a while before Pedro Feliciano and Damaso Marte return.
Don’t expect the Yankees to pursue a “significant” hitter, though. They lead the American League in runs scored and are content with every spot in the lineup except designated hitter. They don’t mind relying on internal options to fill the DH role, Sherman reports.