Domonic Brown Rumors
As ESPN.com's Buster Olney points out, the Giants would have to have a legitimate alternative in place before dumping Barry Zito and the $64.5MM remaining on his salary. If Jeff Suppan earns a rotation spot or someone else pitches unexpectedly well, the Giants could consider releasing Zito, but until then they can use the durable left-hander. Here's more on the Giants and other notes from Olney:
- Olney says now is the time for the Giants to dump Zito if they're ever going to do it. The Giants are coming off of a World Series title, so Olney argues that they're working from a position of credibility. They aren't likely to cut Zito, however.
- As Andrew Baggarly of the San Jose Mercury News writes, manager Bruce Bochy says Zito is the team's fourth starter and GM Brian Sabean says the team isn't frustrated with him.
- One talent evaluator says "the athleticism has been taken out" of Domonic Brown's swing.
- Derek Jeter's relationship with the Yankees will be defined by the team's perception of what's required to win, writes Olney. The team will likely be willing to put Jeter at the bottom of the order or switch him to another position if his performance declines.
- It's for that reason that Jose Reyes could become a solution for the Yankees when he hits free agency after the season.
On this day 20 years ago, the Atlanta Braves signed Falcons cornerback Deion Sanders as a free agent. Though he struggled in his first year as a Brave, 'Prime Time' was a key contributor for the National League champs in 1992; he hit .304/.346/.495 with 26 stolen bases in 325 regular season plate appearances and added eight hits and five steals in four World Series games. Sanders ended up leaving both Atlanta franchises in 1994, but not before he racked up 75 stolen bases and ten touchdowns for the Braves and Falcons respectively. Here are Sunday's links:
- The Brewers are comfortable with Rickie Weeks' deadline for an extension, writes Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel. He relays a quote from assistant GM Gord Ash praising Weeks for focusing on the right area once the season starts -- baseball.
- Steve Dilbeck of the Los Angeles Times looks at the possibility of Tony Gwynn Jr. hitting well enough to play every day and how that would impact the Dodgers' roster.
- Michael Cuddyer and agent Casey Close have yet to discuss a long-term extension with the Twins, writes MLB.com's Kelly Thesier. While Cuddyer is open to talking about a contract during Spring Training, he'd prefer to table the topic during the regular season.
- Martin Luther King III, son of the civil rights leader, is leading a group that's interested in buying at least 50% of the Mets, reports Kevin Kernan of the New York Post. The Wilpons were said to be willing to sell up to 25% of the team.
- Given the Mets' financial situation, some rival executives think Jose Reyes is likely to be moved before this year's trade deadline, according to ESPN.com's Buster Olney (Insider-only).
- In a tweet, Olney adds that, despite considering it, the Diamondbacks are "probably not" going to implement a humidor at Chase Field this year.
- Matt Gelb of the Philadelphia Inquirer wonders why expectations for Phillies' prospect Domonic Brown seem to have diminished since last summer.
- Within an Indians mailbag, Paul Hoynes of the Cleveland Plain Dealer says he can see the Tribe signing a couple more players before Spring Training, though the team would likely only do minor league deals.
On this date way back in 1976, the Mariners and Blue Jays each selected 30 players in the expansion draft. Seattle drafted outfielder Ruppert Jones from the Royals with the first pick, then Toronto grabbed the versatile Bob Bailor from the Orioles with the second pick. The full results of the expansion draft can be found here.
We had to do some expanding of our own this week - get ready for what I'm certain is the largest BBWI in MLBTR history...
- Baseball Time In Arlington thinks the Rangers need to wave goodbye to Vladimir Guerrero after declining his option.
- Royals Review asks what Kansas City should do, and will do with their arbitration eligible players.
- The Friarhood breaks down the trade market for Adrian Gonzalez.
- Pirates Propects examines what the impact would be if Andrew McCutchen qualified as a Super Two next year.
- Capitol Avenue Club looks at some options to address the Braves' need for a fourth outfielder.
- Amazin Avenue explains why they don't want the Mets to hire Wally Backman to serve as manager.
- Pittsburgh Lumber Co. wonders if the Pirates should start spending on free agents this winter.
- Meanwhile, Wahoo Blues believes the Indians are poised to make a free agent splash.
- Crashburn Alley says the Phillies need to give Domonic Brown 600 plate appearances in 2011.
- Disciples of Uecker explains why Justin James was an interesting waiver claim.
- Prospect Insider thinks that the Elias free agent ranking system needs to go.
- The Process Report tries to find a fit for Matt Garza with the Mets.
- Randall on Baseball reviews Jack Zduriencik's moves as the Mariners GM.
- SD Sports Net thinks the Padres should go out and acquire Dan Uggla.
- The Love Of The Game likes what the Yankees have in 2010 rookie Ivan Nova.
- Fan Speak tries to figure out what the Nationals should do with Josh Willingham (part one, part two).
- Cubs Billy Goat Blog (formerly Cubs Pack) asks what the Cubbies can learn from more successful teams.
- 1 Blue Jays Way re-lives Toronto's 2010 season, top ten style.
- River Ave. Blues comes up with a list of the players the Yankees shouldn't even think about acquiring this winter.
- MLB Depth Charts is putting together early looks at each team's 2011 roster.
- Baseball Prospectus' Analyze This reviews how the World Champion San Francisco Giants were built in a two part series (part one, part two). No subscription is required.
If you have a suggestion for this feature, Mike can be reached here.
Jayson Werth is days away from free agency, so if the Phillies intend to re-sign their right fielder, they'll have to bid directly against other interested teams. There's a real chance Werth signs elsewhere this winter, so the Phillies are thinking ahead. Manager Charlie Manuel has acknowledged that he may pair Domonic Brown up with a more experienced player who can handle southpaws and play right field.
Brown, just 23, had no trouble hitting minor league pitching this year (.327/.391/.589 line) but he bats from the left side and the Phillies could ease him into the big leagues by limiting his exposure to left-handed pitching. Here are eight outfielders the Phillies may consider as platoon partners for Brown:
- Jeff Francoeur, 26 years old, non-tender candidate - Frenchy has his faults, but the 26-year-old can handle lefties. He has a .299/.343/.481 line against them in his career.
- Matt Diaz, 32 years old, non-tender candidate - Diaz has a .335/.373/.533 line against lefties in his career.
- Juan Rivera, 32 years old, trade candidate - The Angels will have to part with an outfielder if they sign Werth or Carl Crawford. Rivera, who spent most of the 2010 season in left field, has a career .288/.333/.499 line against lefties.
- Jose Guillen, 34 years old, free agent - He struggled against lefties this year, but boasts a .270/.327/.460 line against them in his career.
- Xavier Nady, 31 years old, free agent - Nady, who struggled through the 2010 season as he recovered from Tommy John surgery, has a .297/.367/.451 line against lefties in his career.
- Andruw Jones, 33, free agent - Jones would likely be able to find more playing time elsewhere, so he's not a natural fit in Philly, but his career (.261/.361/.501) and 2010 (.256/.373/.558) numbers against left-handers must have the Phillies salivating.
- Milton Bradley, 32, trade candidate - Again, Bradley seems like an unlikely target for the Phillies, but he has a .300/.382/.488 line against left-handers in his career and could be available.
- Willie Bloomquist, 32, free agent - He has a .272/.334/.366 line against lefties in his career - not much pop, but he's far more versatile than the players above. Bloomquist played all three outfield positions and all four infield positions this year, so Manuel could use him elsewhere if Brown wins the job outright.
- Austin Kearns, 30, free agent - Kearns has a career .261/.383/.416 line against lefties and may have trouble finding an everyday job.
- Ben Francisco, 29, on the Phillies - Francisco has a .267/.347/.460 career line against left-handers.
Diaz and Francoeur handle lefties well and can play right field, so they would be good fits for the Phils if they are indeed non-tendered. Rivera, Nady, Bloomquist and Kearns would also be legitimate options and none of the players listed figure to cost more than a few million on a one-year deal, so the Phillies are well-positioned to recover if Werth leaves and they consider alternatives to Francisco. Their biggest challenge will be helping Brown improve upon the .210/.257/.355 line he posted in 70 plate appearances this summer.
Domonic Brown, one of the best prospects in the minors, was recalled today as Shane Victorino hit the disabled list, reports CSN Philly's Jim Salisbury. The 22-year-old outfielder raked at Double and Triple A this year.
Annoyed your favorite team didn't strike a deal with the Mariners for Cliff Lee? At least consider the details of Jack Zduriencik's high asking price, as reported by Joel Sherman of the New York Post.
According to Sherman, the Mariners general manager set out to acquire "an interested organization's best position prospect with less than one year of service." He was offered none better than the Rangers' Justin Smoak. The Yankees' Jesus Montero was apparently the next-best position prospect offered. Zduriencik also targeted players such as Ike Davis of the Mets, Desmond Jennings of the Rays, Domonic Brown of the Phillies, Gordon Beckham of the White Sox, and Brett Lawrie (who would've had to have come from the Brewers in a three-way deal). Sherman notes that the Mets never offered a player better than Fernando Martinez; Jenrry Mejia and Wilmer Flores "were never part of discussions."
Sherman also gets into the failed Yankees-Lee deal like only he can. He gathered that the Yankees and Mariners had a deal in principle, at which point teams expect you to stop talking to other clubs. Sherman expects the bad blood to linger, making the Yanks unwilling to deal with the Mariners in the future. The Yankees were also apparently "rankled" by Seattle's confusingly high asking price for Jarrod Washburn last summer. Another thought: an executive recently wondered aloud to me how Kevin Towers was involved in the Lee trade talks. Towers has a close relationship with both Brian Cashman and Zduriencik.
From the Rangers' point of view, GM Jon Daniels indicated today to The Ticket's Norm Hitzges that he continually had an open dialogue with the Mariners. Daniels felt that the Rangers were in second place Friday morning, until he adjusted his offer.
Links for Sunday, as the baseball world attempts to come to terms with Omar Infante's All-Star nod....
- Kyle Drabek, who was a part of the Roy Halladay deal, threw a no-hitter for the New Hampshire Fisher Cats. This was the first nine inning no-hitter in the history of Toronto's Double-A affiliate, writes Alex Raskin for MLB.com.
- Rob Neyer of ESPN (via Twitter) says that he's usually hyper-critical of the Royals organization, but applauds their pickup of Kanekoa Texeira. The Royals claimed the pitcher off of waivers from the M's early last month.
- Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports (via Twitter) suggests that Mike Lowell could be an option for the Phillies if he gets healthy. He points out that the Phils went hard after him last time he was a free agent.
- The Orioles have made 46 personnel moves since Opening Day, writes Peter Schmuck of The Baltimore Sun.
- The Marlins had interest in Dontrelle Willis before he was dealt to Arizona, tweets Joe Frisaro of MLB.com. Frisaro hears that the lefty will take his time before deciding his next move.
- Kyle Parker, the Rockies' first-round draft pick, visited Coors Field, according to MLB.com's Thomas Harding and Joey Nowak. Colorado hopes to sign the Clemson quarterback, who has three years of football eligibility remaining.
- SI.com's Jon Heyman tweets that the Astros have been telling teams they're willing to absorb some salary in a potential Roy Oswalt trade. We heard a couple weeks ago that Houston was entertaining this possibility if it meant landing better prospects.
- Heyman and ESPN.com's Buster Olney (both Twitter links) place their bets on the Orioles' managerial search.
- Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel says not to be surprised if the White Sox make a play for Prince Fielder.
- The Giants aren't expected to make a splash on the international free agent market, writes Andrew Baggarly of the San Jose Mercury News.
- Domonic Brown deserves to be labeled "untouchable" by the Phillies, according to this piece at Philly.com.
Unlike the Red Sox and Rockies, who may try to avoid making a trade to replace their injured infielders, the Phillies are "trying like hell" to find an infield bat, writes ESPN.com's Jayson Stark. Stark breaks down the Phillies' options and shares some Cliff Lee rumors in a new blog entry:
- Enough teams are interested in Ty Wigginton that the Orioles can be patient in their attempts to get maximum value for him. The Phillies, on the other hand, need an infielder now, so they'll either have to meet Baltimore's asking price or look elsewhere.
- A scout tells Stark that some people in the Phils' organization like Jose Lopez "a lot."
- The Phillies have never been overly interested in Garrett Atkins, and that hasn't changed now that he has become available.
- Kelly Johnson, Jhonny Peralta, Jose Bautista, and Miguel Tejada are also possibilities to varying degrees for Philadelphia.
- The Phils don't want to move Domonic Brown, Jarred Cosart, Anthony Gose, or Trevor May for an infielder, but would discuss anyone except Brown for a top starting pitcher.
- The Reds "are more interested than they're letting on" in Lee, while the Yankees also continue to monitor the Mariners' left-hander.
- The Rangers and Dodgers would love to acquire Lee, but would have to give up a slew of prospects to avoid taking on his salary.
- According to Stark, there have even been rumblings that the Rays could be a match for the M's ace if they were willing to move B.J. Upton.
Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reports that we can add the Phillies to the list of teams interested in trading for Cliff Lee. Only a few months after sending Lee to the Mariners, the Phillies would like to reacquire the left-hander, according to Rosenthal's sources.
A source tells Rosenthal that the Phillies consider themselves long-shots in the Lee sweepstakes, given what the M's will ask for in return. Philadelphia would likely have to part with Domonic Brown to reacquire Lee, something they'd be reluctant to do with Jayson Werth facing free agency and no other blue chip, major-league-ready prospects in their farm system. Nonetheless, the Phillies would like to upgrade their rotation, and are focusing on impact starters rather than back-of-the-rotation types.
In addition to having interest in Lee, the Phillies are also expected to "move quickly" to acquire infield help, according to Rosenthal, who says the team is targeting Miguel Tejada and Ty Wigginton. Rosenthal himself speculated yesterday that Tejada and Wigginton could be possibilities for the Phils, in the wake of injuries to Chase Utley and Placido Polanco, while MLBTR's Ben Nicholson-Smith also mentioned the pair of Orioles when he examined the Phillies' options.
The long-term effect of Ryan Howard's new contract extension on the Phillies has been breathlessly debated over the last two days, but Howard's deal also raises questions about Philadelphia's short-term future. Outfielder Jayson Werth is set to hit free agency following this season, and it's unclear if the Phillies will be able to afford him.
David Murphy of the Philadelphia Daily News points out that Howard's extension, which starts in 2012, doesn't affect the team's bottom line for next year, but it could impact the Phillies' ability to commit long-term to Werth. Assuming he enjoys a strong 2010 campaign, Werth may be in position to command a deal similar to the four-year, $66M contract Jason Bay signed with the Mets over the winter, which would put the Phillies on the hook beyond 2011.
According to MLB.com's Todd Zolecki, the Phillies' organization believes they'll be able to re-sign Werth, a stance reiterated when GM Ruben Amaro Jr. said Howard's contract wouldn't affect their chances of retaining the 30-year-old. Werth's agent, Jeff Borris, echoed Amaro's sentiment, though he added that it wouldn't be appropriate to say whether he was optimistic about a Werth extension.
The Phillies won't have a ton of money to work with next year if, as Murphy suggests, they hope to keep their payroll around $140MM. They already have about $130MM committed to returning players, and Joel Sherman of the New York Post says the club has misspent a lot of the money that could have gone to Werth. Bob Brookover of the Philadelphia Inquirer thinks that the Phils' best move would be to re-sign Werth and find a way to replace Raul Ibanez with prospect Domonic Brown. Considering Ibanez will be owed $11.5MM and will turn 39 next year, moving him may be easier said than done.
While the financial issues involved in re-signing Werth are challenging enough, the Phillies also have to consider the problems facing their offense if he walks. Replacing Werth with Brown would give the team yet another left-handed bat in a lineup that already includes Howard, Ibanez, and Chase Utley.
Zolecki writes that extension discussions with Werth seem to have been put on hold while the Phillies finalized the Howard deal. Now the team will have to hope that Howard's extension, which will likely hamper their negotiating flexibility with Werth, won't entirely kill their chances of retaining the star outfielder.