Domonic Brown Rumors
The Astros are asking for multiple impact players in any deal involving Hunter Pence, according to Jon Heyman, Jayson Stark and Buster Olney. Pence earns $6.9MM this year and is due for a raise this offseason, when he could see his salary jump to the $10MM range. He'll earn another raise for the 2013 campaign before hitting free agency that offseason. Here's the latest on Pence, who is one of few impact hitters available:
- The Phillies are targeting Pence, but the price for him is rather high, writes CSNPhilly.com's Jim Salisbury. Houston would probably want a package that begins with Domonic Brown. The Phillies might also have to include another top talent along with him.
- The Reds have discussed Pence, according to John Fay of the Cincinnati Enquirer.
Astros GM Ed Wade has been determining the market for his players, including Hunter Pence, ESPN.com’s Jayson Stark reports. Incoming owner Jim Crane urged Wade to do so in case appealing offers emerge. Here are the rest of Stark’s rumors:
- Given Wade’s uncertain future in Houston, at least one executive suggests the GM needs to make a "job-saving deal" if he trades Pence.
- The Rays are more likely to trade B.J. Upton than James Shields, though they realize Shields’ value has never been higher (the right-hander won't be going to the Bronx).
- The Phillies remain in contact with the Royals about Melky Cabrera, but the Royals have told teams they’re more likely to deal Jeff Francoeur. Kansas City is asking for a number three starter who’s nearly Major League ready in return for Cabrera.
- Clubs that have inquired on Vance Worley have heard that he’s off of the market.
- The Braves have shown some interest in Heath Bell, whose most aggressive suitors have been the Rangers, Cardinals, Phillies and Angels. The Padres are telling teams that they’ll need to “clearly surpass” the value of two compensatory draft picks in any deal for Bell, though they’re flexible in terms of the type of player they’d accept in return.
- The Padres continue to field calls on Mike Adams, who will be tougher to obtain than Bell.
- The Yankees, Phillies and Diamondbacks appear to have checked in on Joakim Soria.
- The Red Sox are looking at everything, but aren’t approaching the deadline with much urgency, one AL executive told Stark.
- Rival teams expect that the Dodgers will trade Jamey Carroll and there are indications that Rafael Furcal is drawing interest as well.
- The Marlins, who hope to build momentum before opening their new stadium in 2012, are in a “holding pattern,” Stark reports. They’ve shown interest in third basemen.
- Rival teams report that the Phillies say they won’t move Domonic Brown or top pitching prospect Jarred Cosart. Jonathan Singleton is available in the right deal, but the Phillies don’t expect to trade him for a rental player.
- Stark reminds us that commissioner Bud Selig ruled out contraction at the All-Star Game.
Though he's well-compensated and has full no-trade protection, Mets right fielder Carlos Beltran is the best available hitter. The latest:
- The Red Sox aren't willing to part with the prospects the Mets want, according to Gordon Edes of ESPNBoston.com. The Mets are interested in Josh Reddick, Ryan Kalish, Jose Iglesias, Anthony Ranaudo, Felix Doubront and Will Middlebrooks, according to Edes. Scott Lauber of the Boston Herald hears that the Red Sox are focusing on internal solutions, particularly Reddick.
- SI's Jon Heyman runs through ten Beltran suitors, naming the Phillies the "clear favorite." The Mets' first target would be Domonic Brown, a concession Matt Gelb can't see happening.
- Boston's talks with the Mets about Beltran have not advanced beyond preliminary discussions, reports WEEI's Alex Speier. Eight to ten teams are said to be in the mix, with the Red Sox among the top six.
- Some Mets officials feel a deal could get done well before the July 31st deadline, writes Joel Sherman of the New York Post. Sherman agrees with a previous Ken Rosenthal report that the Phillies and Red Sox are the most aggressive suitors. Sherman says they're followed by the Braves, Giants, Indians, and Pirates. He notes that the Mets "have been somewhat surprised by Detroit's disinterest."
- Yesterday the Mets provided Beltran with a short list of teams to consider, and the Phillies are believed to be on it, report Tim Brown and Jeff Passan of Yahoo. The writers add that the Mets have indicated a willingness to pay much or all of the $6MM owed to Beltran depending on the return. They list the Red Sox, Giants, and Yankees as other suitors, and wonder if the East Coast teams have an edge since Beltran lives in New York. Brown and Passan named the Brewers as a dark horse, but they don't have much in the way of top prospects.
On this date in 1919, Babe Ruth hit his first career grand slam to help the Red Sox beat the Browns. Oh yeah, and he pitched a complete game. Here’s the latest from around the league on the anniversary of the Babe’s big day...
- The Phillies placed Shane Victorino on the 15-day DL with a right hamstring strain and called up outfielder Domonic Brown from Triple-A, the team announced.
- By waiting a month, the Phillies could have ensured themselves that Brown would finish the 2011 season with less than a full year of service time, but their focus is clearly (and rightfully) on winning games now.
- The Padres are close to announcing a 20-year TV deal with Fox that will provide the team with $25-30MM per season, according to John Maffei of the North County Times.
- Teddy Cahill of Baseball America lists draft-eligible prospects with connections to current and former big leaguers and others around the game.
- Dan Johnson, who was designated for assignment earlier today, told Marc Topkin of the St. Petersburg Times that he's "kind of numb," but open to remaining in the organization if he clears waivers.
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.
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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.