Denard Span Rumors

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.


Rosenthal’s Latest: Morneau, Ruiz, Upton, Hamilton

Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports has a new Full Count video up, so let's recap…

  • Don't be surprised if the Twins consider trading Justin Morneau. The first baseman is owed $14MM both this season and next, and Minnesota likely needs the position for Joe Mauer long-term. Denard Span, Matt Capps, and Carl Pavano could also be on the block, but Morneau offers hard-to-find power. He has a no-trade clause but the extent is unknown.
  • The Phillies hold a $5MM option for 2013 on catcher Carlos Ruiz and an extension is warranted, but at 33 years old, Chooch is three years older than Yadier Molina and four years older than Miguel Montero. They aren't contract comparables.
  • This year's crop of free agent center fielders stand to benefit from Adam Jones' new six-year, $88.5MM extension, but age will again be a factor. B.J. Upton will be 28 next season and is two years younger than Michael Bourn and four years younger than Shane Victorino. All three will hit the open market after the season.
  • Josh Hamilton is unlikely to sign a contract extension with the Rangers, and the lack of comparable players (both on and off the field) make him even more likely to hit the open market. It's possible the only way to determine his actual value is to let other teams bid for his services as a free agent.

Stark On Chapman, Twins, Lind, Braves

Reds GM Walt Jocketty told ESPN.com’s Jayson Stark that he doesn’t mind the constant discussion surrounding Aroldis Chapman’s role. "I like it. It creates interest in our club, and that's all good,” Jocketty said. “Everybody has a theory on it.” The GM says Chapman would like to start, and that the left-hander will remain in the bullpen for the 2012 season. Here are the rest of Stark’s notes and rumors:

  • Twins people have told rival teams they aren’t likely to trade Justin Morneau this summer.
  • When teams have asked about Denard Span, the Twins have said they aren’t interested in making trades right now, Stark reports. However, there are indications the Twins will listen on Span if the offers are good enough.
  • Stark hears that the Nationals don’t consider Bryce Harper the answer in center field.
  • Scouts and executives from three teams say they don’t have interest in Adam Lind, who was recently optioned to Triple-A Las Vegas.
  • The Braves are more likely to pursue an impact starting pitcher than a hitter this summer, according to rival teams. GM Frank Wren maintains that Kris Medlen is “probably better than any arm who will be available.” Medlen could join the rotation midseason, according to Wren.
  • Rival teams say the Orioles would like to upgrade at first base and/or third base.
  • Stark hears that Angels manager Mike Scioscia doesn’t have to worry about his job security. The skipper is under contract through 2018.

Antony On Cuddyer, Kubel, Young, Nathan, Span

Twins assistant GM Rob Antony discussed the team's offseason moves, players who signed elsewhere over the winter, plans for 2012, and more in an interview with Jesse Lund of the Twinkie Town blog.  Here are some of the highlights…

  • Michael Cuddyer was the Twins' "number one priority all off-season" but moved on once it became clear that the team wouldn't be able to re-sign him.  Antony "always believed he wanted to be a Twin for his entire career" and thinks Cuddyer was "disappointed" to ultimately leave the team for Colorado.
  • Jason Kubel shared his concerns with Antony about how Target Field is a tough stadium for power hitters, and the assistant GM believes this was a factor in Kubel leaving the team.
  • The Twins dealt Delmon Young to the Tigers last season simply because the team put a priority on re-signing Cuddyer and Kubel, so they wanted to get some return for Young rather than possibly non-tender him after the season.
  • Joe Nathan didn't give the Twins a chance to match the $14.75MM contract he received from the Rangers.  Antony said there were no hard feelings about Nathan leaving, since the veteran closer was focused on playing for a contender.  We heard in November that Minnesota's best offer to Nathan was "a bit less" than Texas' offer.
  • The Nationals were "definitely interested" in Denard Span at the trade deadline last summer, but Antony doesn't "think we were ever close to doing anything."
  • Antony said that some internet rumors about players on the trade market often lead to exploratory conversations between GMs about said players.  "There are a lot of names that pop up where we do a lot of that same thing. 'Look, if you're looking to move this guy, he could be a fit over here. I don’t know what’s fact and what’s rumor, but if you are serious in trading a player we’d like to be kept in mind, we have some interest,' " Antony said.  He brought up this point in regards to a question about Martin Prado, which would seem to hint that the Twins and Braves perhaps had such a conversation about the utilityman.
  • Antony thinks Tsuyoshi Nishioka will give Alexi Casilla a strong battle for the starting second base job and that Nishioka "deserves a mulligan" for his tough 2011 season.  Nishioka suffered a broken leg in his first season in the Major Leagues.
  • "We have had more meetings with our training and medical staff this season than in the ten years prior to," Antony said in regards to how the Twins responded to last year's injury-riddled season.  Still, Antony doesn't lay blame on the training staff: "These are the guys who were in place the year before, and the year before, and the year before that, so it’s not like all of a sudden they don’t know how to do their job. And last year, it was a perfect storm of everything that could do wrong, did go wrong."

AL Central Links: Indians, Fielder, Span, Thome

Happy birthday to right-hander Gavin Floyd, who is 29 years old today.  With the number of Floyd trade rumors we've heard this winter, you wonder if this could be Floyd's last birthday as a member of the White Sox.  Here's the latest from the AL Central…

  • Indians manager Manny Acta told reporters at a Town Hall event today (including MLB.com's Jordan Bastian) that he wants the team to pick up another bat.  "I do hope that something happens," Acta said.  "Chris [Antonetti] has worked really hard…about trying to acquire a hitter or two. It's not a secret, we need some help offensively."  For his part, Antonetti said he was "hopeful that we'll be able to improve the team between now and the start of Spring Training," (all Twitter links).
  • The Tigers' nine-year, $214MM contract with Prince Fielder "was an ownership-driven, impulsive deal, which is why the Tigers will contend for a World Series and why the contract makes poor baseball sense," writes Sports Illustrated's Tom Verducci.
  • John Lowe of the Detroit Free Press recounts the history between Tigers owner Mike Illitch and agent Scott Boras.
  • The Tigers apparently have no plans to move Brandon Inge, reports MLB.com's Jason Beck.  The team sees Inge as a fallback option if Miguel Cabrera can't handle playing third base.
  • Denard Span told media (including MLB.com's Rhett Bollinger) he's feeling better after suffering a concussion last July and offered to play a different position if it helps the Twins.  Manager Ron Gardenhire, however, said he plans to use Span in his usual center field spot.
  • White Sox owner Jerry Reinsdorf tells Chuck Garfien of CSNChicago.com that he and Jim Thome have a handshake deal in place for Thome to work for the Sox in some capacity after he retires.
  • White Sox GM Kenny Williams said his club is "maxed out" of money for the Major League roster, reports Mark Gonzales of the Chicago Tribune (via Twitter).  Williams "played coy" when discussing Cuban free agents, however — the Sox are known to be one of Yoenis Cespedes' suitors.

Quick Hits: Mills, Madson, Twins, Danks, Prado

On a day when the Blue Jays adopted a familiar-looking "new" logo, here are some news items to carry us into the weekend….

  • If the Astros fire Brad Mills, Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports believes Mills could reunite with Terry Francona as the latter's bench coach for a future managing vacancy.  Morosi also lists Rangers executives A.J. Preller and Thad Levine and Rays executives Andrew Friedman and Gerry Hunsicker as wish list candidates for Jim Crane if he removes Ed Wade as Houston's general manager.  It would be the second stint as Astros' GM for Hunsicker, who ran the team from 1996-2004.
  • Ryan Madson could be one of several free agents to lose his Type A status under the rules of the new collective bargaining agreement, tweets Danny Knobler of CBSSports.com.  Such an adjustment would help Madson, as clubs with unprotected first-round draft picks currently have to give up that pick in order to sign the closer.
  • Twins GM Terry Ryan tells Adam Kilgore of the Washington Post that Denard Span and Ben Revere won't be traded this winter.  Minnesota could lose both Michael Cuddyer and Jason Kubel to free agency this offseason.
  • The White Sox didn't add Jordan Danks to their 40-man roster, and Jim Margalus of the South Side Sox speculates that this could be a hint that Chicago is preparing to part ways with John Danks.  The elder Danks brother has drawn strong interest on the trade market.
  • The Braves "seem to undervalue [Martin Prado's] skills," writes Fangraphs' Jason Roberts, who thinks Atlanta may not get proper market value in exchange for the utilityman in a deal. 
  • Right-hander Darrell Rasner has signed a new contract with the Rakuten Golden Eagles, reports NPB Tracker's Patrick Newman.  Matt Sosnick, Rasner's agent, tells Newman the contract is worth $1.5MM plus performance bonuses.  Rasner last appeared in the majors as a Yankee in 2008 and has pitched for Rakuten ever since.
  • The Blue Jays, Cardinals, Mariners, Red Sox and Twins are all listed as possible suitors for Kelly Shoppach by ESPN.com's Jerry Crasnick (Twitter link).

Rosenthal’s Full Count: Cubs, Zimmerman, Minor, Rox, Span

Ken Rosenthal has his weekly Full Count Video up over at FOXSports.com, so let's take a look:

  • All GMs — past, present, and prospective — would love a crack at the Cubs' recent opening, says Rosenthal. Some GMs who are in their last contractual year, like Brian Cashman of the Yankees, line up better than others. Rosenthal feels the Rays might let Chicago interview Andrew Friedman, but finds it highly unlikely that the Red Sox would allow the Cubs to interview Theo Epstein, who is under contract through 2012.
  • While the Nationals have spent almost $40MM on the Amateur Draft in the past three seasons, Rosenthal says they'd be wise to check in with their first draft pick ever: Ryan Zimmerman. Zimmerman is controlled through 2013, but Rosenthal likens him to another prominent young star, saying that Zimmerman is to the Nats what Troy Tulowitzki is to the Rockies. He feels the Nats should approach their cornerstone about a similar extension before he gets so close to free agency that he considers testing it.
  • The Mets were far from the only team interested in Mike Minor at the July 31st trade deadline. The Indians offered the Drew Pomeranz to the Braves in exchange for Minor, thinking that with Atlanta trying to acquire Hunter Pence at the time, the Astros may prefer Pomeranz to Minor. Cleveland would get a more Major League-ready arm in return, but the Braves had no intention of dealing Minor.
  • The Rockies will look to add a big bat this winter, preferably at third base or a corner outfield spot. If they can find a third baseman despite a weak market, they may be inclined to pursue a leadoff hitter like the Twins' Denard Span. Rosenthal says the Rox have long coveted Span, and almost drafted him in 2002, but instead took Jeff Francis due to concerns over Span's asking price. Minnesota grabbed Span 11 picks later at No. 20 overall, though they showed a willingness to move him at this year's deadline when negotiating with the Nats.

Stark On Twins, Kuroda, Phillies

The Twins were willing to listen to offers for Francisco Liriano leading up to the trade deadline, according to ESPN.com’s Jayson Stark. However, Minnesota wanted a massive prospect return for the left-hander and no club met their asking price. Here’s the latest on the Twins with more of Stark’s notes from around MLB…

  • The chances that the Nationals can restart talks with Minnesota about Denard Span over the winter are not good, Stark reports. Minnesota wanted Drew Storen for their bullpen in an attempt to win now, but the Twins’ sense of urgency figures to disappear this offseason.
  • Rival teams say the Tigers and Red Sox each believed they were closing in on a deal for Hiroki Kuroda before the right-hander decided not to waive his no-trade clause.
  • The Red Sox and Rockies discussed an expanded deal that would have sent Josh Reddick to Colorado and Seth Smith to Boston while considering possible moves involving Ubaldo Jimenez. Talks between the 2007 World Series foes had essentially stopped by Saturday, though.
  • Though GM Ruben Amaro Jr. has publicly said Domonic Brown was not available, Stark hears from three different teams that the Phillies were willing to move the young outfielder in the right deal.
  • Teams that have spoken with the Phillies don’t expect them to be active on the waiver wire this month, since they want to avoid paying MLB’s luxury tax.