Derek Holland Rumors

Rangers Notes: Byrd, Holland, Feliz

It's hard to gauge what the Texas Rangers will look to do this offseason.  There are reports that they are interested in acquiring outfielder Milton Bradley from the Cubs, who would likely eat a large chunk of the $21MM owed to him over the next two years of his contract.  At the same time, they may not have the cash necessary to retain Marlon Byrd, who has posted .283/.328/.483 with a career-high 20 HRs.  Buster Olney and the Baseball Prospectus staff break down the season that was for the Rangers and what they can expect going forward.  An ESPN Insider subscription is required to read the article, but here are the nuts and bolts of it:

  • Signing John Lackey, widely regarded as this offseason's top free agent starter, would certainly bolster their rotation.  However, Buster Olney says that GM Jon Daniels could be handcuffed financially by the impending change in ownership. 
  • Olney also theorizes that Daniels may not be able to roll the dice on the problematic Bradley, for fear of a public relations backlash under a new regime.
  • The ownership situation is murkier than most, as anywhere between four and six groups are in contention to purchase the club.  One group is led by team president Nolan Ryan, whose involvement is largely considered productive.
  • The aforementioned Byrd earned $3MM in 2009, the final year of his contract.  Re-signing him might require a two or three-year commitment at triple the price.
  • Christina Kahrl of Baseball Prospectus says that the Rangers have a good amount of pitching talent, but feels that they must live up to their potential.  Rookies Derek Holland (ERAs of 5.77 in August and 10.20 in September) and Neftali Feliz have run out of gas down the stretch, but have shown tons of upside.  If the Rangers feel confident in Matt Harrison and oft-injured Brandon McCarthy, they might not have to spend on a high-priced arm this winter to complement Kevin Millwood.

Rangers Notes: Byrd, Holland, Feliz

It's hard to gauge what the Texas Rangers will look to do this offseason.  There are reports that they are interested in acquiring outfielder Milton Bradley from the Cubs, who would likely eat a large chunk of the $21MM owed to him over the next two years of his contract.  At the same time, they may not have the cash necessary to retain Marlon Byrd, who has posted .283/.328/.483 with a career-high 20 HRs.  Buster Olney and the Baseball Prospectus staff break down the season that was for the Rangers and what they can expect going forward.  An ESPN Insider subscription is required to read the article, but here are the nuts and bolts of it:

  • Signing John Lackey, widely regarded as this offseason's top free agent starter, would certainly bolster their rotation.  However, Buster Olney says that GM Jon Daniels could be handcuffed financially by the impending change in ownership. 
  • Olney also theorizes that Daniels may not be able to roll the dice on the problematic Bradley, for fear of a public relations backlash under a new regime.
  • The ownership situation is murkier than most, as anywhere between four and six groups are in contention to purchase the club.  One group is led by team president Nolan Ryan, whose involvement is largely considered productive.
  • The aforementioned Byrd earned $3MM in 2009, the final year of his contract.  Re-signing him might require a two or three-year commitment at triple the price.
  • Christina Kahrl of Baseball Prospectus says that the Rangers have a good amount of pitching talent, but feels that they must live up to their potential.  Rookies Derek Holland (ERAs of 5.77 in August and 10.20 in September) and Neftali Feliz have run out of gas down the stretch, but have shown tons of upside.  If the Rangers feel confident in Matt Harrison and oft-injured Brandon McCarthy, they might not have to spend on a high-priced arm this winter to complement Kevin Millwood.

Odds And Ends: Halladay, O’Day, Scott, Giambi

Some links for the morning…

  • Be here at 2pm CST for this week's chat.
  • Jamey Newberg compares Roy Halladay and Derek Holland since July 31st and shows that the Rangers are looking good even though they didn't deal for Doc.
  • Joel Sherman of the New York Post says designating Darren O'Day for assignment was an "under-the-radar mistake" by the Mets.
  • MLB.com's Spencer Fordin says the Orioles are trying to evaluate Luke Scott at first base to see if he can play there long-term. No one's hitting him anything, so the O's are having trouble reading his ability.
  • Jason Giambi tells Troy Renck of the Denver Post that he has no problem playing in the minors or coming off the bench for the Rockies.
  • Curt Schilling said on WEEI in Boston that he's not surprised to hear Billy Wagner is passing up the chance to enter a playoff race.


Roy Halladay Not Traded

5:38pm: Tigers GM Dave Dombrowski says his team was not involved with Halladay, according to MLB.com's Jason Beck.

5:10pm: The Blue Jays and Rangers were talking last night when they found that Halladay wouldn't approve a deal to the Rangers, according to MLB.com's T.R. Sullivan. The sides weren't close to a deal when they found out.

The Jays, like other teams the Rangers spoke with, coveted Derek Holland, Neftali Feliz, Justin Smoak and Pedro Borbon. Holland's now in the majors and the other three rank on Jonathan Mayo's updated list of top prospects.

4:20pm: Jeff Blair of the Globe and Mail reports that Ricciardi was "never moved by a club" to trade Halladay, though two or three teams were serious about acquiring him and ten inquired. 

3:25pm: Halladay has not been traded, according to Sherman on Twitter.  So many wasted words.

10:12am: Joel Sherman of the New York Post has a slew of comments from Ricciardi about a Halladay trade today being highly unlikely.  Ricciardi admitted he'd listen again in the offseason, but says keeping Doc today signifies an attempt to contend in 2010.

Meanwhile, MLB.com's Jason Beck reports via Twitter that the Tigers never got to the point of exchanging names on Halladay.  Instead, they've reportedly acquired Jarrod Washburn.

10:01am: MLB.com's T.R. Sullivan says the Rangers' talks for Halladay "appear to have broken off" and are "somewhere between dead and on life-support."  Seems like the Rangers are unwilling to trade pitcher Derek Holland, especially after last night's gem.

9:53am: Yahoo's Tim Brown says the Red Sox will "engage Ricciardi early" today on Doc before going after Adrian Gonzalez or Victor Martinez.  However, when quizzed by Brown earlier this morning about the Halladay talks, Ricciardi replied, "Nothing going."

8:34am: One way or another, pitcher Roy Halladay can get some peace of mind about six hours from now when the trade deadline passes.  Until then, it's rumor-mania.  Yesterday night, things seemed to heat up with the Rangers, but Blue Jays GM J.P. Ricciardi labeled trade talks "dead" in a general sense.  Earlier in the day the Red Sox and Dodgers were considered the frontrunners.

This morning, SI's Jon Heyman tells us the Rangers "may have come the closest" to acquiring Halladay.  Even more so than the Phillies?  Heyman says the Rangers talks hit "a snag or two late Thursday," decreasing the chances for a trade.


Roy Halladay Rumors: Thursday Night

1:04pm: Rosenthal and Morosi report that the Blue Jays are asking for Holland, Justin Smoak and two other prospects.

11:47pm: Heyman reports that the Rangers had a "pretty decent chance" to acquire Halladay today. With just over 15 hours to go, the Rangers' chances appear to have decreased in recent hours, Heyman says.

10:52pm: Sources tell Grant that the Rangers have asked the Jays to pay a significant amount of Halladay's 2009 salary in a potential trade. Ryan confirmed that the team would need ownership approval to make a trade for Halladay.

9:59pm: Rangers president Nolan Ryan told Bob Nightengale of USA Today that the Rangers are pursuing Roy Halladay, but says it's premature to predict whether a deal will happen. 

Ryan confirmed to MLB.com's T.R. Sullivan that the Rangers have had discussions with the Jays "for awhile and there have been names talked about."

9:27pm: Ricciardi is "not saying definitively" that Halladay will remain a Blue Jay, according to ESPN.com's Jayson Stark. However, the GM says it's looking more and more like Halladay will stay put.

9:23pm: ESPN.com's Buster Olney reports that, as of an hour ago, the Jays had no active talks about Halladay. The Dodgers approached the Jays yesterday, but the two sides aren't in the process of exchanging names.

8:38pm: MLB.com's Jordan Bastian hears that there's "nothing to" the reports that the Rangers are going hard after Halladay.

8:30pm: Evan Grant of D Magazine hears that talks between the Blue Jays and Rangers remain "very serious."

8:17pm: SI.com's Jon Heyman says "nothing seems hot" on the Halladay front, even though many executives would be surprised if the Jays' ace isn't playing for a different team by the weekend.

8:11pm: Sullivan hears indications that the Rangers are willing to take on the rest of Halladay's contract if they can agree on which players to send the Blue Jays. Vicente Padilla, Marlon Byrd and Hank Blalock are free agents after the season, so the Rangers could create space for Halladay's $15.75MM salary by letting the trio of veterans walk after the season.

6:40pm: Ken Rosenthal and Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports hear from a major league source who says the LA Times report below is "not accurate." However, FOX Sports hears that the Rangers have a legitimate chance of trading for Halladay.

6:22pm: So just how much do the Blue Jays want for Halladay? Marlins president David Samson told 790 The Ticket that J.P. Ricciardi wants "two left legs, a right arm and a left cerebellum" for Doc, according to the Miami Herald.

6:06pm: MLB.com's T.R. Sullivan hears that the Rangers have "significant ongoing communications" with the Blue Jays. He also suggests that the Rangers won't let money prevent them from acquiring Halladay if they can do so for a reasonable price.

5:57pm: Bill Shaikin of the LA Times reports that the Dodgers and Blue Jays spent the afternoon "negotiating extensively" over Roy Halladay. Apparently talks aren't "dead" after all. The Dodgers would allow the Jays to get a "haul of prospects" but are trying to acquire Halladay without giving up Clayton Kershaw or Chad Billingsley.

5:38pm: Here are the latest highlights from the incessant stream of Roy Halladay rumors. The Jays aren't talking actively with anyone. Not the Red Sox, not the Yankees, not the Rangers. The Dodgers acquired George Sherrill for a pair of minor leaguers, but they still have enough pieces to tempt the Jays. Like the Angels, they're focused on relievers now. GM J.P. Ricciardi says he has "nothing going on," but won't rule out a trade until the deadline is upon us. On to tonight's rumors:

  • Ricciardi tells ESPN.com's Buster Olney what he told Jack Curry earlier today: talks are "dead," but the Jays would listen to offers for Doc. 

Heyman On Deadline Deals

Jon Heyman of SI.com believes Roy Halladay will be traded before the end of the month. Here are some teams that could pursue him:

  • The Phillies have the right combination of money, prospects and need to go after Doc.
  • The Rangers probably don't have the money to take on the $14.25MM Halladay makes this year.  
  • It's hard to see the White Sox obtaining Halladay without surrendering Gordon Beckham in the deal. 
  • Heyman considers Beckham as close to untouchable as it gets, along with Neftali Feliz, Derek Holland, Brett Wallace and others.

Heyman lists over 30 trade candidates; here are some highlights:

  • The A's may have to hold onto Matt Holliday and hope for a pair of high draft picks after the season, as Holliday's shown little power recently.
  • The D'Backs aren't impressed by what the Brewers are willing to give up for Doug Davis, so they may try to keep him in Arizona.
  • The offers for Chad Qualls may be too tempting for the D'Backs to ignore.  
  • "Teams will call" about Cliff Lee 
  • Jose Valverde would be a trade candidate but for one thing: "the 'Stros don't like to sell."

And finally, a note on Pedro Martinez: 

  • Pedro should decide on his future soon. The Phillies are the favorites, followed by the Rangers.  

Heyman’s Latest: Best & Worst Free Agent Signings

Sports Illustrated's Jon Heyman has compiled a list of the best and worst free agent signings. Here are the lists, in descending order:

The Best: Raul Ibanez, Trevor Hoffman, Francisco Rodriguez, Orlando Hudson, Mark Teixeira, Brad Penny, CC Sabathia, Ivan Rodriguez, Brian Fuentes, Randy Johnson, Adam Everett, Randy Wolf, David Eckstein, Adam Dunn, and Felipe Lopez.

The Worst: Milton Bradley, Oliver Perez, Pat Burrell, Manny Ramirez, Kerry Wood, Kyle Farnsworth, Orlando Cabrera, Jason Giambi, Ken Griffey Jr., and Edgar Renteria.

What do you think? Anyone missing from these lists? Any surprises?

Heyman has a few more bullet points:

  • With Matt Lindstrom and Kiko Calero on the DL, the Marlins inquired about Heath Bell and Joakim Soria. Of course, neither star closer is available according to Heyman.
  • Heyman likes the Mark DeRosa deal for both sides, and thinks the Cardinals did well to acquire a versatile player like DeRosa to solve their 3B issues.
  • The Indians are not anxious to trade Cliff Lee. He's making a $6MM in 2009 with a $9MM club option for 2010. The Dodgers, Mets, and Brewers have inquired. Heyman says the Rangers could get a deal for Lee done with Derek Holland or Neftali Feliz.
  • Bad news for Xavier Nady. Heyman quotes a source saying second Tommy John surgeries have "as low as 20 percent" chance of success.

Rosenthal On Edmonds, Cooper, Angels

The latest from Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports

  • Jim Edmonds still wants to play in 2009.  Rosenthal learned from his agent that the outfielder intensified his workouts recently.  It still may take him up to three weeks to be game-ready.
  • Rosenthal finds the Astros' decision to exercise Cecil Cooper's 2010 option questionable.  Rosenthal had wondered earlier in the week if Cooper might be the first manager fired.  While we're on the topic, Ron Washington's job in Texas does not seem to be in jeopardy according to MLB.com's T.R. Sullivan.
  • Rosenthal notes that calling up Derek Holland now instead of letting him break camp with the Rangers will delay his free agency by a year.  The Rangers were willing to make that sacrifice with Elvis Andrus (assuming he's not demoted in the future).
  • The Angels could consider several recently-designated pitchers: Steven Shell, Wil Ledezma, Darren O'Day, Nelson Figueroa, and Philip Humber.

Rangers DFA Rupe, Call Up Derek Holland

T.R. Sullivan of MLB.com reports that the Rangers have designated reliever Josh Rupe for assignment.  

Rupe had allowed 12 hits and eight earned runs during 4 2/3 innings of work.  He was replaced on the 25-man roster by Derek Holland, the club's 2008 Minor League Pitcher of the Year. Holland, 22, went 13-1 with a 2.27 ERA in 26 starts last season between Single-A and Double-A.  He'll work out of the bullpen initially.