Devin Mesoraco Rumors

Ohio Notes: Jimenez, LaPorta, Masterson, Reds

Here's the latest baseball news from the Buckeye State's two teams…

  • "We talked about a lot of different ways to bring Ubaldo [Jimenez] back,” Indians GM Chris Antonetti told reporters (including Paul Hoynes of the Cleveland Plain Dealer).  Hoynes interprets this as meaning that the Tribe made Jimenez a multiyear offer in addition to the $14.1MM one-year qualifying offer, but Jimenez is very likely to sign elsewhere.
  • Once a top prospect and the key part of the Brewers' trade package to the Indians for C.C. Sabathia in 2008, Matt LaPorta is now a minor league free agent and may not return to the Tribe.  Paul Hoynes of the Cleveland Plain Dealer looks at LaPorta's career and talks to Indians director of player development Paul Atkins, who doesn't sound optimistic about LaPorta re-signing with the organization.
  • Also from that piece, Antonetti didn't comment on whether the team was looking to sign Justin Masterson to a multiyear extension.  “I will tell you how much we value Justin and what he’s brought to this team since we acquired him in 2009,” Antonetti said.  Masterson emerged as the Tribe's ace last season and is a free agent next winter.
  • The acquisition of Brayan Pena means that the Reds "are obviously up to something" in regards to a catcher trade, John Fay of the Cincinnati Enquirer writes.  The consensus has been that Ryan Hanigan will be dealt but Fay wonders if "a major trade" is in the works that would send Devin Mesoraco elsewhere.
  • Fay also notes that if the Reds trade Brandon Phillips, speedster Billy Hamilton could be a potential replacement at second base.  Hamilton was originally drafted as a shortstop but was seen by some in the Reds organization as a future second baseman.
  • The Reds will hire Jay Bell as their new bench coach, FOX Sports' Ken Rosenthal reports (via Twitter).  Bell was serving as the Pirates hitting coach and previously worked as the Diamondbacks' bench coach.  Bell and new Cincinnati manager Bryan Price both worked in Arizona's organization at the same time.

Ohio Notes: Hernandez, Bourn, Mesoraco, Hannahan

The Indians are still pursuing free agent Kevin Youkilis and still trying to work out a multi-team trade involving Asdrubal Cabrera and the Diamondbacks, reports FOX Sports' Ken Rosenthal (Twitter link).  The Tribe is also looking at alternative moves in case Youkilis signs elsewhere or the complicated trade fails to materialize.  We collected the latest items about the Tribe's pursuit of Youkilis and Nick Swisher earlier today on MLBTR and yesterday looked at the latest mountain of speculation surrounding this rumored multi-team deal that also reportedly involves the Rangers, Rays, Mariners, Justin Upton, Derek Holland and a number of young players.

The Reds have generated a lot of buzz this offseason as well, so let's check in on the latest from both of Ohio's clubs…


Rays Still Seek Catcher

The Rays continue “poking around” for a catcher, Danny Knobler of CBSSports.com reports (on Twitter). They asked at least one team about the possibility of working on a three-way trade that would send Devin Mesoraco from Cincinnati to Tampa Bay.

Mesoraco, 24, appeared in 54 games with the Reds this past season, posting a .212/.288/.352 batting line in 184 plate appearances. He entered the season as the 16th-best prospect in MLB, according to Baseball America. The Rays currently have Jose Molina, Jose Lobaton, Robinson Chirinos and Chris Gimenez as internal catching options.



NL Central Rumors: Lee, Soriano, Cardinals, Brewers

The latest on several NL Central teams…

  • The Reds are talking about a lot of trade possibilities and talking about a whole range of players, tweets ESPN's Buster Olney.  It is a possibility the Reds use Yonder Alonso as a trade piece to fix other needs, manager Dusty Baker told Jim Bowden on MLB Netowrk Radio.  Baker indicated the Reds will keep prospects Yasmani Grandal and Devin Mesoraco, as well as star first baseman Joey Votto.
  • The Reds outrighted lefty Jeremy Horst, dropping their 40-man roster count to 39, according toMLB.com's Mark Sheldon.
  • ESPN's Jayson Stark tweets that the Astros are letting teams know Carlos Lee is out there.  Lee, 35, is owed $18.5MM for 2012 and has ten-and-five rights.  A source close to the Astros' ownership tells Stark interim GM David Gottfried has autonomy to make trades this week.
  • Speaking of mistakes from the 2006-07 offseason, the Cubs are getting a bit of interest in left fielder Alfonso Soriano, tweets SI's Jon Heyman.  Soriano, 35, is owed $54MM through 2014 and has a full no-trade clause.  I think the Cubs would have to eat over $40MM to move Soriano.
  • World Series revenue is not a game-changer for the Cardinals, owner Bill DeWitt Jr. told Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, and the team's payroll is expected to remain around $110MM.  The Cardinals have about $80MM committed to eight players under contract for 2012.
  • The Brewers are in on everyone at several positions, including shortstop and third base, but are not down the road at all on any of them, tweets Danny Knobler of CBS Sports.  The Brewers are also known to be actively seeking relief help.

Central Notes: Fister, Pence, Cubs

A few items of note regarding teams from MLB's Central divisions, as the Cards fall behind the Phils in Game 1 of the NLDS.

  • The Tigers preferred Doug Fister to Ubaldo Jimenez when they were shopping for a pitcher before the trade deadline, according to Danny Knobler of CBSSports.com. Whether that's true, we'll probably never know, but Fister certainly pitched better for Detroit than Jimenez did for Cleveland after the deadline. The Mariners were originally hesitant to move Fister, according to Knobler, but Tigers GM Dave Dombrowski was persistent in pursuing the right-hander.
  • The Reds tried to acquire Hunter Pence from the Astros, according to Hal McCoy of the Dayton Daily News, and GM Walt Jocketty has said he thought he made a better offer to Houston than the one it eventually accepted from the Phillies. McCoy reports that the Astros wanted Devin Mesoraco and adds that lefty Aroldis Chapman was not available.
  • The Cubs remain in limbo while waiting to hire a new general manager, writes Paul Sullivan of the Chicago Tribune, who notes that the fates of manager Mike Quade, his coaches, and several players are up in the air until someone takes the helm. The Cubs are unlikely to spend lavishly this offseason, according to Sullivan.

Heyman On Rangers, Mesoraco, Marlins

Jon Heyman breaks down the likely playoff teams at SI.com, where he also passes along some notes and rumors. The latest:

  • The Rangers tried ‘extremely hard’ to obtain Carlos Beltran from the Mets before the Giants traded for him in July.
  • Devin Mesoraco may be more ‘universally beloved’ by scouts than any other September call-up.
  • Davey Johnson can manage the Nationals again in 2012 if he wants to, but Jack McKeon of the Marlins may not be so lucky.
  • Heyman hears that the Marlins and McKeon have decided someone else will manage in 2012, though McKeon can remain with the organization in some capacity forever (Twitter links). However, McKeon told Jim Bowden of MLB Network Radio that that's not the case (Twitter link).
  • White Sox chairman Jerry Reinsdorf wants to keep manager Ozzie Guillen and GM Kenny Williams together at this point.

Prospects Mesoraco, Hamilton Untouchable For Reds

Yesterday, Reds GM Walt Jocketty explained to John Fay of the Cincinnati Enquirer, "There are guys I will not trade.  I will not give you names. But they’re are certainly guys I will not trade."  Today Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports has two of those prospects' names: catcher Devin Mesoraco, and shortstop Billy Hamilton (Twitter link).

Fay is under the reasonable belief that Aroldis Chapman is also off-limits.  Would the Reds still have enough to pull off a deal for Ubaldo Jimenez?  They could assemble an offer around prospects Yonder Alonso and Yasmani Grandal, plus pitchers Homer Bailey and Travis Wood.


NL Central Rumors: Brewers, Hernandez, Cardinals

The latest buzz from the NL Central…

  • The Brewers have discussed Clint Barmes, Coco Crisp and Jerry Hairston Jr., according to Danny Knobler of CBSSports.com.
  • Ramon Hernandez of the Reds is "not on the block," according to Henry Schulman of the San Francisco Chronicle (on Twitter).
  • "We're still exploring both [starters and relievers]," said Cardinals GM John Mozeliak to MLB.com's Matthew Leach. "But when it comes down to it, I think the reliever market’s got more opportunities." Mozeliak also indicated that the team could conceivably add payroll both this year and next in a trade.
  • An AL executive told Joel Sherman of the New York Post that while the Astros asked for a big return for lefty Wandy Rodriguez a few weeks back, they now "will take little at deadline to get rid of most of his contract" (Twitter link).  Rodriguez has about $38MM left on his contract if he exercises his 2014 player option.  He's a bit overpaid, but presents a nice opportunity for a team to add a solid starter without giving up top prospects.
  • The Reds are not close on any deals, GM Walt Jocketty told John Fay of the Cincinnati Enquirer (Twitter link).  While Jocketty would not reveal his list of untouchable prospects, he laughed when Fay mentioned catcher Devin Mesoraco.  Earlier today we learned that the Rockies asked for Mesoraco and Aroldis Chapman in an Ubaldo Jimenez trade.  Jocketty seems disinclined to trade prospects for rentals.
  • Brewers GM Doug Melvin seeks a left-handed reliever, but told Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel that the market "isn't very strong."  It's a similar story with the Brewers' other main needs, shortstop and third base.

Ubaldo Jimenez Rumors: Tuesday

Yesterday, a Major League source close to the Ubaldo Jimenez trade talks told Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports that the chances of a deal are "around 50/50."  Here's the latest on the Rockies' ace, with the newest info up top…

  • The Yankees and Red Sox called the Rockies about Jimenez today, according to MLB.com’s Thomas Harding. Talks with the Reds appear to be further along, though the Rockies appear to be asking for Travis Wood, Bailey and either Chapman or Mesoraco. The Rockies won’t lower their asking price, Harding reports. The Reds haven't said no yet, according to Troy Renck of the Denver Post (on Twitter). Until they do, there's a slim chance a deal will occur.
  • Sources tell Dan Knobler of CBSSports.com that the team with the best chance to trade for Jimenez is the Yankees (Twitter link). The Blue Jays are considered a "real longshot at best."
  • About seven teams are interested in Jimenez, according to Jon Heyman of SI.com who names the Reds, Tigers, Yankees, Red Sox, Rangers, Indians and Blue Jays (on Twitter).
  • The Blue Jays "legitimately want" Jimenez, according an executive who spoke to ESPN.com's Jayson Stark (on Twitter).
  • The Rockies have asked the Reds about Homer Bailey, tweets Troy E. Renck of the Denver Post.  Earlier,  Renck wrote that "chances remain slim" of a Jimenez trade.  He said the Rockies "continue to listen and negotiate with multiple teams regarding Jimenez, with the Reds receiving the most attention," but in general Colorado's demands are so high that no team is expected to bite.  Renck said the Rockies have asked the Reds for Devin MesoracoAroldis Chapman, and Chris Heisey, among others.  In an email exchange with MLBTR, Renck clarified that the Rockies asked for Mesoraco and Chapman together while Heisey is simply another name that has come up in talks.  Both Mesoraco and Chapman appear to be untouchable.
  • The feeling from executives is that the Rockies want to find a trade for Jimenez, tweets Joel Sherman of the New York Post.  The Yankees, Red Sox, and Reds are calling, and the Blue Jays kicked the tires.
  • The price on Jimenez hasn't dropped at all, writes ESPN's Jayson Stark.  He says the Rockies require "three sure-thing young players, including one pitcher who goes into their rotation immediately."  One executive who spoke with the Rockies pegs the chances of a deal at no more than 25 percent.
  • The Rockies "recently held a two-hour internal conference call to go over the trade alternatives" for Jimenez, writes SI's Jon Heyman.

Ubaldo Jimenez Rumors: Monday

The chances of an Ubaldo Jimenez trade are around 50/50, one source close to the talks tells Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports.  To date, I don't think any reporter has ventured to go above 20%.  Here are the latest updates on the right-hander, with the most recent news up top:

  • The Reds remain very much involved in talks for Jimenez and the Tigers have him near the top of their list, according to Morosi.
  • The Rockies won't be able to get three or four of Boston's top prospects for Jimenez, according to Peter Gammons of MLB Network (Twitter link).  The Reds won't part with Devin Mesoraco, Billy Hamilton and two other prospects for Jimenez, Gammons notes.
  • The Rockies' asking price on Jimenez hasn't changed, according to Renck (on Twitter).
  • The Rockies "haven't pulled Jimenez off the showroom floor," wrote Troy E. Renck of the Denver Post yesterday.  The Reds, Yankees, Rangers, and Red Sox are suitors, though Renck says Rockies GM Dan O'Dowd has "talked up nearly everyone."  
  • Morosi notes that the Reds are still involved, but there might not be a favorite at this point.
  • For their part, the Yankees are worried "about Ubaldo's inconsistency, all-out delivery, and coming to AL East," tweets Joel Sherman of the New York Post.  The Yankees have the talent to pull off a deal, but it remains to be seen if the two teams can find common ground.