Domonic Brown Rumors

NL East Notes: Wigginton, Brown, Oviedo, Fielder

Earlier today we heard that the Nationals are discussing a contract extension with Ryan Zimmerman and that the agent for Cole Hamels doesn't think Jered Weaver's five-year $85MM deal is that relevant for his client. Here are some more notes on the NL East, starting with Hamels’ teammates in Philadelphia…

  • GM Ruben Amaro Jr. said on MLB Network Radio that the Phillies are operating carefully because they’re up against the luxury tax, Jim Bowden tweets.
  • Amaro said Ty Wigginton will play first base regularly until Ryan Howard returns from the disabled list, Bowden tweets. Jim Thome will also get occasional starts at first.
  • Amaro said he expects to platoon John Mayberry Jr. and Laynce Nix in left field, Bowden tweets. Unless Domonic Brown wows his bosses in Spring Training, he’ll head to the Phillies' Triple-A club. 
  • There’s an expectation that the Marlins will try to trade Juan Carlos Oviedo, and the reliever told Juan C. Rodriguez of the South Florida Sun-Sentinel that he’s mentally prepared for a deal. “It's a business,” he said. “I'd like to stay in Miami, but those are things they decide.”
  • Many baseball people still view the Nationals as the favorite to sign Prince Fielder, Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports tweets.

A’s Unlikely To Trade Gio Gonzalez At Meetings

The latest on Athletics lefty Gio Gonzalez, a 26-year-old who is under team control through 2015…

Tim Dierkes and Luke Adams contributed to this post.


NL East Notes: Wilson, Brown, Mets, Hanley

Some news from the NL East…

  • "Folks seem to think the Nationals are going to make [a] big play for C.J. Wilson," tweets Jon Heyman from Sports Illustrated.  Heyman thinks the Nats will offer Wilson a contract worth around $75-80MM.  In August, MLBTR's Tim Dierkes thought Wilson could fetch a $100MM deal this winter given the lack of quality starters in the free agent market, but Wilson's postseason struggles will probably prevent him from that nine-figure contract.
  • Dealing Domonic Brown or keeping him in the minors in 2012 would be a short-sighted move for the Phillies, argues CSNPhilly.com's Casey Feeney.
  • "With supply seemingly exceeding demand" on the free agent closer market this winter, the Mets can look beyond the biggest names (Heath Bell, Francisco Rodriguez, Ryan Madson and Jonathan Papelbon) and still find a solid closer at a reasonable price, writes Adam Rubin of ESPN New York.  Rubin also says the Mets are looking for another left-handed reliever to pair with Tim Byrdak, as the club worries that Danny Herrera will become less effective as opponents become more familiar with him.
  • The Marlins haven't discussed moving Hanley Ramirez away from shortstop or asking Ramirez about a position change, club president David Samson tells MLB.com's Joe Frisaro.
  • From that same piece, Samson says the Marlins will be "very active" this winter with their expected rise in payroll.  "We're going to be very aggressive, but we're not going to be foolish," Samson said.  "That's the key. When you raise your payroll, you've got to do it smartly, because if you don't, you are losing 90 games at a higher payroll."
  • The Braves haven't yet decided if they will exercise Eric Hinske and Nate McLouth's 2012 options, reports David O'Brien of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.  McLouth's $10.65MM option will certainly be bought out for $1.25MM, that's a no-brainer.  As for Hinske, he's a useful reserve — he can play first base and both corner outfield spots, and he had a .754 OPS against right-handed pitching last season.  Hinske's option is worth just $1.5MM so my guess is Atlanta brings back the former AL Rookie of the Year.


Phillies Aim To Sign Free Agent Closer

Phillies GM Ruben Amaro Jr. talked to reporters today at Citizens Bank Park, and David Murphy of the Philadelphia Daily News has the transcript.  Highlights:

  • If the Phillies don't re-sign closer Ryan Madson, Amaro will go outside the organization for a replacement, he told reporters including MLB.com's Todd Zolecki today.  Madson, a Scott Boras client, could be a tough sign.  Amaro said he talked to Madson yesterday, and the righty is excited about free agency.  The Phillies can at least get a couple of draft picks as a consolation prize.  Heath BellJonathan PapelbonJonathan Broxton, Matt Capps, Francisco Cordero, Frank Francisco, Joe Nathan, and Francisco Rodriguez are also on the free agent market.
  • Amaro said he'd like Domonic Brown to spend another full season in Triple-A (Matt Gelb of the Philadelphia Inquirer with the tweet).  Brown, one of the game's top prospects prior to the season, hit .245/.333/.391 in 210 plate appearances in the Majors this year.  Most of Brown's starts came prior to the team's acquisition of Hunter Pence.  Amaro says Brown has some work to do in left field, a position that will be an "open competition" for the 2012 Phillies.
  • Amaro does not think Ryan Howard's torn Achilles tendon will impact the team's offseason moves.
  • Free agent signings are more likely than trades.
  • The Phillies are still discussing Roy Oswalt's $16MM option internally.  Amaro says that "might be a tough one."  The Phillies' front office has also internally discussed extending Cole Hamels.
  • The Phillies' payroll is expected to be similar to this year's.

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.

Quick Hits: Brown, Tigers, Bourn, Mets

Let's take a look at some items as we close in on the 3:00pm (CST) deadline..


Hunter Pence Very Likely To Be Traded?

We learned yesterday that the Astros are deep into trade talks for Hunter Pence and that a deal could be completed today. The Phillies, who appear to be willing to include Jarred Cosart, Jonathan Singleton and others in a deal, may have a Friday pre-deadline for reaching an agreement, so that the Astros have time to explore deals with other suitors, like the Braves, Reds and Red Sox. The Pirates, Rangers and Angels aren't seriously in the mix at this point. Here are today's rumors with the latest updates up top:

  • The Braves are looking to be creative and are still involved, tweets ESPN's Buster Olney.
  • Pence is very likely to be moved now, tweets SI's Jon Heyman.  He believes the Phillies are the favorite, with the Indians, Red Sox, and Reds also in.
  • A two-team swap remains the Astros' focus, reports MLB.com's Brian McTaggart.  Indeed, ESPN's Jayson Stark says there's no more talk of three-team deals.
  • The Braves have not considered Pence a priority, reports MLB.com's Mark Bowman.  However, Ken Rosenthal tweets that they seek an athletic corner bat who is controlled beyond this year, and Pence fits that description.  
  • The Phillies currently have no intention of putting Brown in a deal for Pence, tweets Buster Olney.
  • Jon Heyman of SI.com suggests the Phillies will continue negotiating with the Astros until Sunday if they need to, since Pence "is the guy" for them (Twitter link).
  • The Astros want pitching for Pence, according to Heyman (on Twitter).
  • The Phillies and Astros are exploring potential three-team deals involving Pence, according to ESPN.com’s Jayson Stark. Jon Heyman of SI.com and Joel Sherman of the New York Post agree (Twitter links). The Phillies may be willing to trade Brown to a third team to get the prospects the Astros want for Pence, Stark writes.
  • The Braves offered a package that included prospects they didn’t offer to the Mets for Carlos Beltran, but the Astros turned the offer down, according to Stark. The Braves may be moving on, which would leave the Phillies as Pence’s primary suitor.  The Red Sox, Reds, Pirates and Indians appear to have peeled off, according to Stark.
  • Jon Heyman of SI (via Twitter) hears that the Astros don't love the Phillies' prospects, and that may even include Domonic Brown.
  • Houston is still playing the Pence market and working to bring other teams into the mix besides the Phillies, tweets Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports.
  • The Astros would prefer to deal Pence to the Braves, but Atlanta continues to be very protective of their big-time pitching prospects, tweets Jon Heyman of SI.  The Phillies are still working to get something done.
  • Joel Sherman of the New York Post hears that the Astros prefer the Braves' prospects to the Phillies' prospects (Twitter link). Atlanta won't give up the "key guy," who is believed to be Mike Minor, Sherman writes.
  • ESPN.com's Buster Olney reports that the Braves, generally speaking, have zero enthusiasm about giving up Minor, Julio Teheran, Arodys Vizcaino or Randall Delgado (Twitter link).
  • Pence was told during last night's game that he was being pulled because of a trade, then wasn't pulled, according to Jon Heyman of SI.com (on Twitter).
  • The Reds are in on Pence, but he's the Phillies' to lose, according to Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports (on Twitter).
  • There's a sense that the Phillies might be able to obtain Pence by offering Domonic Brown instead of Singleton and including Cosart in the deal, according to Jon Heyman of SI.com (on Twitter).
  • The Astros still have an "unreasonable" asking price for Pence, according to Jon Heyman of SI.com (on Twitter).
  • There's a "huge bidding war" going on for Pence, according to ESPN.com's Buster Olney (on Twitter links). The Braves don't value on-base percentage as much as other teams, one NL official told Olney (Pence has a .354 OBP).

Hunter Pence Rumors: Wednesday

Hunter Pence has the ability to shake up the trade market for bats; here's the latest…

  • It appears more and more that Pence is staying put, according to Jon Heyman of SI.com (on Twitter).
  • The Phillies have been aggressive in pursuing Pence and there are indications that they would include Domonic Brown in a trade for him, according to Jim Salisburyof CSNPhilly.com. The Astros are looking for multiple top prospects for Pence, the Phillies' top target.
  • It appears that nothing will happen with Pence now and the Astros will look to trade him in the offseason instead, reports Danny Knobler of CBS Sports.  Knobler says the Phillies "almost certainly won't get Pence."  By the way, Pence's absence from the Astros' lineup tonight is not the sign of a trade but rather just a day off.
  • The Braves are turning their attention to Pence, tweets Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports.  Another target, Carlos Beltran, is believed to be going to the Giants.
  • Two front office men, neither from the Astros or Phillies, told ESPN's Jayson Stark they believed the Phillies had a deal for Pence in the last 24 hours only to have the Astros back off.  The Phillies offered Jarred Cosart, Jonathan Singelton, and a second-tier pitching prospect for Pence, believes Stark.  An Astros official told Stark they haven't said no to any specific proposal, however.
  • The Astros want a "very top pitching prospect" for Pence, tweets SI's Jon Heyman, and the Phillies are trying hard.  However, Heyman says most believe Pence will stay put.

Carlos Beltran Rumors: Saturday

Carlos Beltran went 1-for-4 with a walk and a strikeout in the Mets' win over the Marlins last night, and every game he plays could be his last with the team these days. Yesterday we learned that because of his no-trade clause, Beltran can not approve a trade until 24 hours after the deal. That means the deadline to move him is July 30th, not the 31st. The Mets have interest in top prospects, but Mike Minor (Braves), Domonic Brown (Phillies), Gary Brown, Zach Wheeler, and Brandon Belt (all Giants) appear to be long shots.

Let's keep track of all the day's Beltran rumors right here, with the latest up top…

  • There is "increasing chatter around [the] Mets" suggesting that Beltran will be dealt to the Giants, tweets Newsday's David Lennon.
  • Beltran's no-trade clause is considered to be a "ring choice," according to Peter Gammons, as in Beltran will only agree to go to a team that has a legitimate chance at the World Series.  Given Beltran's rumored preference to remain in the NL, Gammons feels this narrows the field down to the Phillies, Giants and Braves, with the Major League-leading Phillies perhaps Beltran's "preference."
  • Beltran is likely going to be the only Mets player moved before the deadline, tweets Andy Martino of the New York Daily News.  That said, Martino hears that at least one team has contacted the Mets about Angel Pagan.
  • Richard Durrett of ESPN Dallas looks at how Beltran would fit into the Rangers' lineup.
  • SI.com's Jon Heyman tweets that the Mets are still shooting for a home run with Beltran, targeting Domonic Brown, Wheeler, and Minor. He notes, however, that with an expiring contract and no possibility for the acquiring team to collect draft picks, the Mets may ultimately have to drop the price tag.
  • Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports said in today's pre-game show that the Braves won't part with a number of their top pitching prospects to acquire a rental like Beltran, especially since he can't be offered arbitration following the season.
  • Jon Heyman of SI tweets that all of the Mets' trade talk currently revolves around Beltran.  If they move anyone else, it'll be a late trade.
  • ESPN New York's Adam Rubin reports that the Rangers remain in play for Beltran. The Mets have increased their scouting of Texas' farm system, redirecting scouts as needed.
  • Rival executives tell ESPN's Buster Olney that Mets GM Sandy Alderson is not necessarily conceding eating most of Beltran's salary (Twitter links). It's all part of negotiations and there is some belief within the organization that they'll get some financial relief in a trade.
  • Andy Martino of The New York Daily News says the Mets hope to complete a Beltran trade before next weekend (Twitter links). They don't want there to be a frenzy right at the deadline.
  • The Reds "have nibbled" on Beltran according to ESPN's Jerry Crasnick (on Twitter), but they are hesitant to give up good prospects or take on so much money for a rental.

MLBTR's Mark Polishuk also contributed to this post


Carlos Beltran Rumors: Friday

The Carlos Beltran rumors kept streaming in yesterday. Here's a quick recap: the Giants are having some trouble matching up with the Mets; the Indians' interest is cooling; the Mets aren't worried about obtaining Beltran's permission for a deal; The Tigers are focused on pitching; the Rangers have some interest in Beltran; the Brewers would like to scrape together a package and it's too early to rule out the Phillies, Red Sox, Braves or Yankees. Here are today's rumors with the most recent updates up top: 

  • Brian Costa of the Wall Street Journal (via Twitter) notes that if the Mets deal Beltran, he cannot officially approve the trade until 24 hours later.  This means that the deadline to trade him is effectively 3:59pm EST Saturday.
  • It is highly doubtful that the Giants would part with Zack Wheeler or that the Phillies would move Domonic Brown in a deal for Beltran, tweets Buster Olney of ESPN.com.
  • The Mets contacted Scott Boras, Beltran's agent, if his client would be open to the idea of returning to the Mets in the offseason if traded, two sources tell David Waldstein of the New York Times.  They were informed that Beltran would consider the idea of re-signing with the Mets.
  • Jon Heyman of SI (via Twitter) thinks its highly doubtful that the Braves would part with Mike Minor in a deal for Beltran.
  • The Mets are interested in Zack Wheeler, Brandon Belt, and Gary Brown of the Giants and Domonic Brown of the Phillies, tweets Jon Heyman of Sports Illustrated.  The Braves, he adds, also have prospects of interest.
  • The Reds have discussed Beltran, according to John Fay on the Cincinnati Enquirer.
  • Some baseball people expect Beltran to use his no-trade clause to ensure that he remains in the National League, according to Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports.
  • Beltran's full no-trade clause will likely force the Mets to have a few deals lined up days prior to July 31 so that they can move on from one proposal to another should Beltran veto one, according to Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports.com.
  • The trade talks are down to five serious teams, according to ESPN.com's Buster Olney (Twitter links). The Red Sox, Giants, Phillies, Braves and Rangers are involved. The Pirates and Indians are basically out of the conversation, according to Olney. The Mets thought the Giants were the frontrunner two days ago, but other teams have since caught up.
  • The Giants, Phillies and Braves appear to be the leaders in the Beltran sweepstakes, according to Jon Heyman of SI.com. The Brewers are also a possibility.
  • Beltran told Newsday's David Lennon that he would prefer to stay in the National League. The outfielder prefers not to DH more than once per week and will consider a team's pitching staff before accepting a deal. 
  • A Mets official told Joel Sherman of the New York Post that there are six or seven active suitors for Beltran. The Mets were watching Braves Triple-A lefty Mike Minor closely yesterday, according to Sherman.