Denard Span Rumors

Olney On Span, Shields, Johnson, Padres

A player’s contract status can affect his trade value substantially this time of year, ESPN.com’s Buster Olney writes. Players under team-friendly contracts, like Denard Span, are much harder to acquire in trades. "It's really hard to place a value on a contract like that," one GM told Olney. Here are Olney’s latest notes from around MLB:

  • The Blue Jays say Yunel Escobar has been a good team guy for them, despite his reputation as a difficult player. Escobar is under contract for $5MM per season through 2013 and his contract includes two club options valued at $5MM each for 2014-15. That’s good value for a 29-year-old who handles an up-the-middle position and has a history of providing league-average offense, Olney writes.
  • There’s interest in James Shields, but the Rays could decide to hold their pitching staff together to make a run at the playoffs if Evan Longoria’s rehab assignment goes well. Some executives believe the Rays will trade Shields this month, according to Olney.
  • The Marlins aren’t especially motivated to trade Josh Johnson, Olney writes. They’re content to keep him if they don’t get the trade offers they’re looking for.
  • Anything the Indians do now will be done to help them win in 2013, not just in 2012.
  • The Padres aren’t far down the road in trade talks regarding Chase Headley, Olney tweets. San Diego might table trade talks until the winter, he suggests.

Reds Interested In Denard Span

The Reds have “kicked the tires” on Denard Span, but have yet to have substantial talks with the Twins, a source with knowledge of the team’s thinking told Ken Rosenthal of the FOX Sports.  Cincinnati had scouts with an eye on the outfielder for the Twins' series against the White Sox.

However, Rosenthal opines that potential free agents Shane Victorino and Juan Pierre are probably are more realistic targets for the Reds as they look for a leadoff hitter.  Meanwhile, Span's affordable contract could make his asking price higher than it would be for a rental.  The 28-year-old will make $3MM this season, $4.75MM in 2013, and $6.5MM in 2014, with a $9MM club option for ’15.

If the Reds do decide to make a run at Span, they could use left-hander Tony Cingrani to entice the Twins, who are in need of young pitching.


Stark On Marlins, Phillies, Dodgers, Garza, Twins

Here's the latest from ESPN's Jayson Stark

  • One official who spoke with the Marlins brass estimates that the odds Josh Johnson remains with Miami are "95 percent." The Red Sox, Angels, Rangers, White Sox, Blue Jays, and Royals have all checked in.
  • Carlos Lee, Ricky Nolasco, Heath Bell, and Gaby Sanchez are all very available. Other than Johnson, Giancarlo Stanton will be the toughest player to pry away from the Fish.
  • The Phillies have talked about trading Cliff Lee following the Cole Hamels extension and they haven't discouraged other teams from inquiring, but their game plan right now is to keep their trio of aces intact.
  • Shane Victorino and Joe Blanton are good bets to be dealt and the Phillies will listen on Hunter Pence. They want multiple young big leaguers to plug holes at third base, in the outfield, and in the bullpen in return.
  • The Dodgers are in on a number of starting pitchers, including Nolasco, Blanton, Kevin Millwood, and Jason Vargas in addition to Ryan Dempster and Matt Garza. They've also checked in on outfield and first base help, including Victorino and Justin Morneau.
  • Clubs have not been assured by the Cubs that Garza will make another start before the trade deadline due to his triceps issue. He's more likely to be dealt in the offseason.
  • In the wake of acquiring Wandy Rodriguez, the Pirates are sending signals that they could trade away a starter like Jeff Karstens or Kevin Correia.
  • The Twins' asking prices for Morneau ("pricey"), Denard Span ("more pricey"), and Josh Willingham ("it made me laugh") are high. Minnesota insists they will listen on anyone and Stark says Morneau is the bat they're most likely to move. Francisco Liriano is "nearly 100 percent" likely to be traded.
  • The Orioles continue to look for pitching, someone they consider a number three starter or better. Garza and Vargas have their eye but Dylan Bundy and Manny Machado are off the table. They've gotten hits on Jake Arrieta but won't move him unless they get a similar young arm with several years of team control remaining in return.
  • The Brewers will trade Randy Wolf "for nothing if you take the money," according to one official. 
  • The Rays have "got a big market" for Wade Davis


AL East Notes: Ichiro, Span, Hanley

After 11-plus seasons in Seattle, Ichiro Suzuki has been traded to the Yankees. The Mariners responded to Ichiro’s trade request last night, sending the outfielder to New York for right-handers D.J. Mitchell and Danny Farquhar. Here’s the latest from the AL East, starting with some reactions to the big trade…


Quick Hits: Yankees, Span, Giants, Cardinals, Mets

Some links from around the league as Saturday turns into Sunday…

  • With Brett Gardner out for the year, Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com says the Yankees have called the Phillies about Shane Victorino, the Diamondbacks about Justin Upton, and the Twins about Denard Span. "The Twins are asking for a ton (for Span)," he hears.
  • The Giants are in the market for bullpen help according to Danny Knobler of CBSSports.com (Twitter link). He says Jonathan Broxton of the Royals could be a possible fit.
  • Cardinals GM John Mozeliak said his team has both short and long-term payroll flexibility and will likely seek bullpen help at the deadline according to the AP (via ESPN). He indicated that he is open to trading within the division as long as a top prospect isn't involved.
  • Mets GM Sandy Alderson told reporters (including Conor Orr of The Star-Ledger) that the presumption is his team will be buyer before the deadline (Twitter link). The next 7-10 days will dictate their moves, however.

Twins Notes: Liriano, Sanchez, Span

The Twins have the worst record in the AL and lots of pieces to offer at the trade deadline. Here's the latest from Minnesota, courtesy of 1500ESPN.com's Phil Mackey

  • The Angels and Blue Jays are among the teams who have shown legitimate interest in Francisco Liriano. The Red Sox had internal discussions about the left-hander as far back as Spring Training, but their current level of interest is unknown.
  • The Twins have no interest in taking on Jonathan Sanchez and his pro-rated $5.6MM salary, but he is a "possibility" if he clears waivers and becomes a free agent. The Royals designated Sanchez for assignment yesterday.
  • The Reds have been looking for a leadoff man and have been scouting Denard Span.

Heyman On Blue Jays, Soriano, Rays, Span, Headley

The latest from Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com…

  • Several teams would target Edwin Encarnacion if the Blue Jays make him available in trades, Heyman writes. However, the Blue Jays’ main priority is putting together an effective and healthy rotation. 
  • Teams see Alfonso Soriano of the Cubs as a designated hitter, not an outfielder, Heyman writes. One general manager says the Cubs could trade Soriano if they absorb all but $2MM of his contract. The Cubs are indeed willing to pay a “very substantial portion” of the $45MM or so remaining on the contract, Heyman writes. One scout suggested the Rays could be a fit for Soriano, who seems willing to waive his no-trade clause to facilitate a deal to a contender.
  • The Twins are believed to be more willing to trade Denard Span than Josh Willingham, writes Heyman. They do not appear to be actively engaged in talks yet, but they would seek a young starting pitcher in return for Span.
  • The Dodgers are one of several teams inquiring about Chase Headley, writes Heyman. The Padres are willing to listen on their third baseman and Heyman says they will consider intra-division trades.

Twins Seek Pitching

The Twins are looking to add pitching depth to their organization, ESPN.com’s Buster Olney reports. General manager Terry Ryan said he’s not set on acquiring a certain type of pitcher — he’s just looking for outs.

"We don't have enough pitching," Ryan said. "We need pitching, and we need it bad."

The Twins are 29th in baseball with a 5.05 team ERA. Only two teams have obtained fewer innings from their starters and no team induces fewer strikeouts per nine innings (5.8 K/9).

The Twins selected pitchers with seven of their first nine selections in this year's draft and they’ve signed every one of those arms except J.T. Chargois and Luke Bard. Executives from other teams have wondered if the Twins would trade players such as Denard Span and Josh Willingham for young pitching, according to Olney.


Rosenthal On Dempster, O’s, Jays, Astros, Indians

Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports.com has the latest from the rumor mill in a pair of videos, the Rosenthal Report and Full Count. Here's what's going on …

  • The Cubs are shopping starter Ryan Dempster to multiple teams, including the Dodgers. Chicago is willing to include significant amounts of cash in any trade in hopes of landing better prospects. Dempster has 10-and-5 rights, however, and thus can veto any deal, although he's willing to move to a contender.
  • The Orioles are pursuing starting pitching and scouted both Dempster and Matt Garza this week, although the Diamondbacks' Joe Saunders may be a better trade fit for Baltimore.
  • The Blue Jays are asking around for pitching help, although they may end up sellers before the non-waiver trade deadline.
  • The Astros are willing to listen on "virtually all of their players." Younger players like Jed Lowrie and third baseman Chris Johnson are all in play, although it would take a huge offer to pry away second baseman Jose Altuve.
  • The Indians are unlikely to make a move for a DH type like Vladimir Guerrero or Manny Ramirez. Their bigger need is a player who can play left field — perhaps someone like Carlos Quentin — but they first need to figure out where they stand with Travis Hafner and Grady Sizemore, who are both injured.
  • The Marlins will have trouble bolstering their weak offense because of a depleted farm system. With Emilio Bonifacio injured, their most obvious need is center field. The Twins' Denard Span and perhaps the Phillies' Shane Victorino are potential targets.
  • The Angels no longer have room in the starting lineup for the injured Vernon Wells now that Mark Trumbo and Mike Trout have solidified the outfield, and one rival GM thinks Wells could be released when he's ready to return from the disabled list.

East Notes: Nationals, Youkilis, Podsednik, Red Sox

After 8,020 games, the Mets finally have their first no-hitter in franchise history thanks to Johan Santana's brilliant performance tonight against the Cardinals.  Santana's bid was saved in the seventh inning by Mike Baxter as he sacrificed his body to make an incredible catch against the leftfield wall.   The left-hander threw 134 pitches in total but said after the game that he had no intentions of coming out of the game early.  Here's more out of the Eastern divisions..

  • According to a baseball source, there is a feeling that Bryce Harper is not the long-term answer in center field for the Nationals and the club still has interest in Angels outfielder Peter Bourjos and Twins outfielder Denard Span, a source tells Bill Ladson of MLB.com.  However, the source said there haven't been any talks between the Nats and those clubs and wouldn't be the surprised if nothing happened until the offseason.
  • Red Sox third baseman Kevin Youkilis told Ian Browne of MLB.com that he's not fazed by the recent trade talk surrounding him.  Boston GM Ben Cherington denied a report saying that they are telling teams that the veteran is available but the White Sox and Rangers are among the clubs that have checked in on him.
  • The Red Sox could be forced to cut veteran outfielder Scott Podsednik once Darnell McDonald or Cody Ross return, writes Brian MacPherson of The Providence Journal.  For his part, the 36-year-old doesn't sound ready to hang 'em up just yet.  "Until I can't go out and steal a base, until I'm not running that well, I'd be doing myself an injustice by not trying to go out and play," Podsednik said.