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A fresh batch of links as Saturday afternoon baseball gets underway…
- Phil Rogers of the Chicago Tribune believes Ryne Sandberg has "added to his managerial portfolio by guiding Double-A Tennessee into the Southern League playoffs." Could "Ryno" eventually replace Cubs skipper Lou Piniella?
- Mark Zuckerman of The Washington Times spoke Friday with Dmitri Young, who isn't sure if he's ready to retire. "Right now, I'm not even thinking about it," said the 35-year-old Young. "I'm just here right now just to heal up and clear my head on everything. And then [in the] offseason, we'll see."
- According to Andrew Simon of MLB.com, impending free agent Reed Johnson isn't likely to return this season due to lingering pain in his left foot. If he's unable to make it back, the outfielder will finish the 2009 season with a .252/.327/.395 batting line, four home runs and 20 RBI in 147 at-bats.
- As T.R. Sullivan of MLB.com notes, Rangers' owner Tom Hicks continues to downplay his club's financial troubles. "The Rangers," Hicks said Saturday, "will continue to operate under the normal course of business operations."
Come on, commenters. It's trade deadline week. There's no time for sleep. Some more links for your Sunday night enjoyment…
- Mark Zuckerman of The Washington Times reports Dmitri Young may soon call it quits. He tore his left quad during a rehab game with Double-A Harrisburg last week and recently sent this text message to the Times: "I'm upset because I was feeling great, and then pop. Wasn't the way I wanted to go out."
- Joe Frisaro of MLB.com writes that the Marlins are cautiously watching the trade market. "We've been looking; Larry Beinfest has been looking at moves for a month," Marlins president David Samson said. "It's a difficult scenario because we're not willing to trade our future, because we have such good position players coming up.
- According to the Wall Street Journal, a group of college professors have made a fascinating discovery: "Whether a player is elected to the Hall of Fame by veteran baseball writers is an entirely predictable outcome based on a few statistics." That quote sells the article short; it's an excellent read for baseball buffs.
- According to Baseball America's Ben Badler, the Mets have officially signed Venezuelan left-hander Juan Urbina.
- MLB.com's Jen Langosch reports the Tigers are scouting the Pirates, and vice versa. Detroit is looking for a middle infield bat and/or a starter. Pittsburgh just so happens to have a few perfect fits in Freddy Sanchez and Zach Duke.
- If you haven't already, join MLBTR on Twitter for even more updates and discussion.
Magglio Ordonez's 2010 vesting option has created a small stir in the last week or so, but there's a group of players with less-publicized vesting options. Here are updates on a few of them, and please add anyone I missed in the comments below:
- Freddy Sanchez will earn $8MM in 2010 if he makes 635 plate appearances this year. The option will also kicks in if he makes the All Star team and bats 600 times. With 290 plate appearance already, it looks like Sanchez will make $8MM next year.
- Kevin Millwood has a $12MM option that kicks in after 180 innings pitched. He hasn't pitched that much since 2006, but with a league-leading 106.2 innings logged already, Millwood will likely see his option vest.
- It's no surprise that we've heard little about Dmitri Young's $6MM option for next year. It only vests if he bats 500 times, but he hasn't hit yet in 2009. It's safe to say the Nats won't be stuck paying him that much next year.
- Josh Beckett's $12MM 2010 option will kick in if he starts 28 games this year. He's already at 14, so that number seems attainable.
- Milton Bradley's 2011 option will vest if he plays 75 games in 2009. In other words, Bradley will earn $12MM in 2011 if he plays 22 more games this year.
Your Saturday night links, with more to come…
- Alden Gonzalez of MLB.com takes a look at the Cardinals' third base race. Brian Barden appears doubtful to win the job, however temporary it may be, despite a .344 spring record.
- Yankees manager Joe Girardi could decide to start the season without a designated long reliever, according to Peter Abraham of The Journal News. Alfredo Aceves, Dan Giese and Brett Tomko would be the casualties of that decision.
- Dmitri Young told Chico Harlan of the Washington Post that he plans to be on the Nationals' 25-man roster when the team heads north.
- Josh Barfield has claimed the Indians' final roster spot. His versatility apparently won him the job.
- Can't get enough of MLBTR? Follow the action on Twitter. And if you're feeling really adventurous, why not add me, your good friend Drew Silva?
LInks for Thursday…
- Chico Harlan of the Washington Post says the Nationals will honor a handshake agreement Dmitri Young made with Jim Bowden, and put the first baseman back on the 40-man roster.
- Catcher Matt Wieters has been told by the Orioles that he'll be optioned to Triple A on Monday, according to Peter Schmuck of the Baltimore Sun. Will the Orioles wait until late May to try to avoid Super Two status?
- Reds assistant GM Bob Miller talked to fans in an MLB.com Q&A.
- Check out an entertaining chat transcript with Mike DiGiovanna of the L.A. Times over at Halos Heaven.
- Sam Mellinger of the Kansas City Star interviewed Zack Greinke.
- Rangers owner Tom Hicks told Richard Durrett of the Dallas Morning News that the team has not reduced its budget for 2010. The Rangers have yet to set next year's budget, but it's known that some big salaries will be coming off the books. Meanwhile, MLB.com's Barry Bloom notes that Hicks intends to sell a minority share of the team.
- Rays exec Andrew Friedman said the team's demotion of David Price was entirely for baseball reasons, talking to Marc Topkin of the St. Petersburg Times. R.J. Anderson of DRays Bay supports the decision. Bart Given agrees.
- Tom Haudricourt and Adam McCalvy write about Brewers GM Doug Melvin's irritation with the bogus Jake Peavy rumor.
- Purely speculative, but Mike Berardino of the South Florida Sun-Sentinel wonders if Dontrelle Willis could get his career back on track with the Marlins.
- Rockies infielder Jeff Baker, unaffected by the trade rumors, homered twice yesterday.
- John Moores says the Padres sale to Jeff Moorad is "awfully close," talking to MLB.com's Barry Bloom. As you know, Sandy Alderson will step down as CEO when the deal closes (possibly today).
- Padres pitcher Shawn Hill had offers from six teams, according to MLB.com's Corey Brock.
- The Red Sox signed reliever Rocky Cherry to a minor league deal.
- MLB.com's Alyson Footer says reliever Danny Graves asked for and received his release from the Astros.
Full Story | Comments | Categories: Baltimore Orioles | Boston Red Sox | Cincinnati Reds | Colorado Rockies | Danny Graves | David Price | Detroit Tigers | Dmitri Young | Dontrelle Willis | Houston Astros | Jake Peavy | Jeff Baker | Kansas City Royals | Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim | Matt Wieters | Miami Marlins | Milwaukee Brewers | Rocky Cherry | San Diego Padres | Shawn Hill | Tampa Bay Rays | Texas Rangers | Washington Nationals | Zack Greinke
A few links for Sunday afternoon…
- According to MLB.com’s Spencer Fordin the Orioles used "number crunching and statistical analysis" to compare Brian Roberts and Nick Markakis to similar past and present players before locking them up to deals worth $40MM and $66MM, respectively.
- Rob Bradford of WEEI.com reports that Joe Nathan‘s happy to see Jonathan Papelbon making lots of money this year ($6.25MM) because it’s good for closers in general.
- Jayson Stark of ESPN.com points out the absurdity of the Manny Ramirez negotiations and suggests the structure of a deal that could work for both sides. It’s been nearly four months since the Dodgers made their initial offer of two years and $45MM.
- Pete McElroy of MASN Sports reports that Dmitri Young‘s "shocked" to see Jim Bowden resign. Young, who first dealt with Bowden on the Reds, spoke glowingly of his former GM.
- According to MLB.com’s Jason Beck Jim Leyland confirmed that the Tigers had some offseason discussions about Juan Cruz.
- The draft’s still three months away, but Keith Law of ESPN.com is already putting together scouting reports about some top amateur players.
- MLB.com’s Lyle Spencer dreams up a deal that sends Adrian Gonzalez and Jake Peavy to the Angels for 10 players.
It’s Sunday, which means that John Perrotto has his Every Given Sunday column up over at Baseball Prospectus. Here’s the highlights…
- Royals GM Dayton Moore will likely make a big splash in the free agent market once again. Two years ago, he signed Gil Meche to a five-year, $55MM deal. Last year, he signed Jose Guillen to a three-year, $36MM contract. This year, his big target appears to be Rafael Furcal, which would allow the Royals to move Mike Aviles to second base. Moore is also believed to be willing to trade anyone on the team with the exceptions of Meche, Zack Greinke, and Joakim Soria.
- Raul Ibanez isn’t likely to be back with the Mariners as a free agent next season. Perrotto feels that Ibanez is a good bet to become the Rays’ designated hitter for 2009.
- The Diamondbacks originally wanted to use Jon Rauch as their closer for 2009 and let Brandon Lyon leave through free agency. Rauch’s recent string of rough outings has them reconsidering that train of thought.
- The Marlins will try to trade Kevin Gregg this offseason, and will likely non-tender him if they don’t find match.
- The Braves are looking to add two starters for the 2009 campaign. General manager Frank Wren has traveled overseas to scout Japanese pitchers Koji Uehara and Kenshin Kawakami already this year.
- The Nationals have a crowded situation at first base with both Nick Johnson and Dmitri Young under contract, but they’ll still be looking to improve at the position in the offseason.
Random links to start the morning…
- Ben Shpigel says Billy Wagner‘s $10.5MM for ’09 is not covered by insurance, making the Mets unlikely suitors for K-Rod (hat tip to MetsBlog).
- The Padres claimed knuckleballer Charlie Haeger. You have to like the move; he’s only 24.
- Ken Davidoff writes about Nationals pitcher Tim Redding, who dreams about returning to the Yankees one day.
- Davidoff also says that contrary to popular belief, C.C. Sabathia did not buy a home in Southern California.
- In another post, Davidoff lists the worst trades of ’08.
- Nats GM Jim Bowden will probably bring in a veteran first baseman next year due to health concerns with Nick Johnson and Dmitri Young.
- Not much cooking on the Pedro Alvarez front…Bud Selig testified yesterday, and the next part of the hearing isn’t until September 23rd.
- Andrew Baggarly explains Bengie Molina‘s contentious relationship with the Giants.
- From Saturday: Carl Pavano‘s side of the story. Can Pavano be a useful pitcher next year?
- Larry Borowsky would like to see the Cardinals enterain an extension for Todd Wellemeyer. He’s eligible for free agency after the ’09 season.
- Joel Sherman isn’t sure the Yankees will invite Andy Pettitte back next year.
- Brad Penny says he pitched through a shoulder injury because of uncertainty around his ’09 option.
- Interesting fact…A.J. Burnett is second in MLB with 3286 pitches thrown (Sabathia jumped into the lead last night). Many of the ’07 leaders in pitches thrown came down with injuries this year.
- Michael O’Keefe sits down with agent Scott Boras.
- ESPN’s Buster Olney notes that the Blue Jays will pursue a shortstop this winter.
- All you ever wanted to know about Dr. James Andrews.
- Jed Hoyer explains where Curt Schilling learned his negotiating tactics.
Full Story | Comments | Categories: A.J. Burnett | Andy Pettitte | Bengie Molina | Billy Wagner | Boston Red Sox | Brad Penny | C.C. Sabathia | Carl Pavano | Curt Schilling | Dmitri Young | Francisco Rodriguez | Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim | Los Angeles Dodgers | Milwaukee Brewers | New York Mets | New York Yankees | Nick Johnson | Pedro Alvarez | Pittsburgh Pirates | San Diego Padres | San Francisco Giants | Scott Boras | St. Louis Cardinals | Tim Redding | Todd Wellemeyer | Toronto Blue Jays | Washington Nationals
Henry Schulman at The San Francisco Chronicle reports that Giants GM Brian Sabean is seeking a left-handed hitting 1B to complement the aging Rich Aurilia, and lists Nick Johnson and the Braves’ Scott Thorman as points of interest.
Nick Johnson is off to a hot start hitting .368/.455/.688 in 19 ABs, and for this reason Schulman suggests he could be off the market; however, contrary to that rationale, the Nationals might want to take advantage of Johnson’s sudden upswing in value. They do have Dmitri Young sitting idly by. If the Giants want to spend $11MM over the next 2 years on Johnson, he would be a solid addition to a lackluster offense. Johnson would almost certainly make a bench player of Aurilia.
Scott Thorman, who the Braves have been shopping for over a month, is 26, and hit 11 homeruns in 268 ABs last season. With Mark Teixeira locked in at 1B this season, and plenty of guys who can be moved to 1B next year (Matt Diaz, Mark Kotsay, et al), Thorman no longer seems to be the heir apparent should Teixeira not re-sign.
While I’m always hesitant to suggest a team should deal with Billy Beane, Dan Johnson needs a new home. Sure his value has collapsed over the past couple seasons, but he hits lefty, could provide power, and is only 28. He’s on a one year contract for $410,000, so there’s not much risk, and Beane’s asking price can’t be high. If the Giants don’t want to commit $11MM to a player as they try to rebuild, DJ could be a good alternative.
Any other 1B options you think would be a good fit?
By Nat Boyle