Dustin Pedroia Rumors

Quick Hits: Pedroia, Rodney, Expos, Morneau

The Braves played their first ever game in Atlanta on this date in 1966. The contest featured two home runs from Joe Torre, but the Pirates won 3-2. Here are today's links…

  • Ian Kinsler recently signed an extension with the Rangers, even though he was already under team control through 2013. How about Dustin Pedroia, who’s under contract through 2014 with an $11MM club option for for 2015? Pedroia tells Rob Bradford of WEEI.com that he wants to stay in Boston and play for the Red Sox. His agent, Seth Levinson, says "Dustin's value far transcends his statistics."
  • Manager Jim Leyland said the Tigers were "quietly interested" in Fernando Rodney before he signed with the Rays, MLB.com's Jason Beck reports. The former Tigers reliever has yet to allow a baserunner in four outings with his new club.
  • Former Expos GM Omar Minaya explained to Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports that the deal that sent Brandon Phillips, Cliff Lee and Grady Sizemore to Cleveland occurred under highly unusual circumstances. “Long-term, we were going to be contracted,” he said. “And if you were going to be contracted, the No. 1 priority was to be as competitive as you can.” Minaya, now the Padres’ senior VP of baseball operations, and Mark Shapiro of the Indians completed the fateful Bartolo Colon trade ten years ago.
  • Jim Bowden of ESPN.com couldn’t find any GMs interested in trading for Justin Morneau. The Twins first baseman earns $14MM per season in 2012 and 2013, but Bowden wonders if the Rangers or Yankees could show interest later this summer.

Quick Hits: Marquis, Pedroia, Mariners

A few links of note for my fellow night owls …

  • Diamondbacks right-hander Jason Marquis may once again rekindle his interest in pitching for either his hometown Mets or Yankees this offseason when he enters free agency, writes Andy Martino of the New York Daily News. “I’m a New York guy, and I have always dreamed of playing for the Yankees or Mets, representing my hometown," said Marquis. The veteran was thought to have talked with the Mets prior to 2010 before signing with the Nationals, although those talks apparently never became serious.
  • Rob Bradford of WEEI.com looks at the uniquely structured contract of Red Sox second baseman Dustin Pedroia. There's a lot going on with this deal, but the takeaway is that there are escalators that can kick in depending upon where Pedroia finishes in MVP voting. Check it out here at Cot's Baseball Contracts.
  • The Mariners have signed fifth-round pick Tyler Marlette, a high school catcher out of Florida, for $650K, writes Jim Callis of Baseball America. MLB's slot recommendation for the 153rd overall pick is $165.6K, according to Callis. Marlette was ranked No. 72 overall in BA's pre-draft rankings.

Odds & Ends: Weeks, Cliff Lee, Cody Ross

Four years ago today, the Devil Rays traded Russell Branyan to the Padres for Evan Meek and a player to be named later (Dale Thayer).  Meek would be taken from the Rays by the Pirates in the '07 Rule 5 draft but was designated for assignment the following May.  Meek cleared waivers and the Rays rejected his return, taking cash considerations from the Bucs.  This year, Meek represented the Pirates at the All-Star game.  Today's links:

  • Rickie Weeks chose Greg Genske of Legacy Sports as his new agent after his previous representative, Lon Babby, became president of the Phoenix Suns, reports Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports.
  • A Mets official told ESPN's Adam Rubin the team won't be pursuing Cliff Lee in the offseason.
  • Giants assistant GM Bobby Evans confirmed to Henry Schulman of the San Francisco Chronicle that they claimed Cody Ross in part to block him from going to the Padres.
  • Kevin Youkilis and Dustin Pedroia talked to WEEI's Rob Bradford about why they signed long-term extensions.  Youkilis knows he could've made more as a free agent after this season, but he points out that he's making more money than he ever thought he would.  Youk believes players should go through arbitration at least once, as he did.  For more on players who would've been eligible for free agency after this season had they not signed extensions, check out our August 16th article.
  • Bradford's colleague Alex Speier looks at Boston's recent history of acquiring players despite being included in their no-trade clauses.
  • Joe Posnanski explains that pitchers with Hall of Fame stuff getting beaten by injuries is the rule, not the exception.

Odds & Ends: Griffey, Padres, Suzuki, Pedroia, Haren

Hard to believe that Ken Griffey Jr.'s retirement will only be the second biggest story of the day. Here are some more links to check out…

Odds & Ends: Pirates, Astros, Castro, Crawford

Let's start this Friday off with some links…

  • Jon Paul Morosi of FoxSports.com feels that Neal Huntington's rebuilding plan has yet to yield results. 
  • Olney tweets that rival executives feel that both Oswalt and Lance Berkman would have trade value, but only if Houston was willing to eat a lot of money and accept secondary prospects in return. Yesterday we learned that Berkman would be willing to waive his no-trade clause.
  • SI.com's Melissa Segura hears that MLB will announce a pilot program that will allow international amateurs to register before the July 2nd signing period begins, which should streamline age investigations and signings (link goes to Twitter).
  • Meanwhile, MLB.com's Jesse Sanchez chatted with MLB's Dominican office consultant Sandy Alderson about what he hopes to achieve regarding how he hopes to improve the international market.
  • ESPN's Enrique Rojas tweets that the Cubs have called up top shortstop prospect Starlin Castro. The 20-year-old was rated as the 16th best prospect in the game by Baseball America prior to the season, and was hitting .376/.421/.569 in 121 Double-A plate appearances. Chicago has already pushed his free agency back a year, but he can still qualify as a Super Two after 2012.
  • Richard Justice of The Houston Chronicle mentions that the Astros have only $44MM in salary commitments for next season, most of which is tied up in Roy Oswalt and Carlos Lee. I respectfully disagree that Oswalt's $16MM salary "can easily be traded." How many teams have that much room in their budget?
  • ESPN's Buster Olney tweets that Carl Crawford has put himself in a pretty good position going into free agency. The Rays' left fielder is hitting .343/.408/.571, but is only 7-for-11 in stolen base opportunities, and there's still 83% of the season left the play.
  • ESPN's Keith Law and Jason Churchill go back and redo the 2004 draft. Both see Justin Verlander and Dustin Pedroia going 1-2 in a redraft.

Odds & Ends: Franklin, Red Sox, Cardinals, Mauer

Some links for Sunday…

  • As A's were unable to land Adrian Beltre and Marco Scutaro this offseason, GM Billy Beane says that the club had to work harder than ever to fill their holes, writes MLB.com's Jane Lee
  • Cody Ross' arbitration hearing with the Marlins will take place tomorrow morning at 10:00, tweets Joe Frisaro of MLB.com.  Ross – who is one of seven remaining players who has an arbitration hearing scheduled – is seeking $4.45MM while the Marlins are countering with $4.2MM.
  • Maury Brown of Biz of Baseball brings us the record of each club in arbitration hearings since the process was first put into place in 1974.  In this span, the A's have had the most hearings with 35.
  • Brady Gardiner of Sirius XM Radio tweets that Ryan Franklin's agent said that in 2007, his client turned down a more lucrative offer from Toronto to sign with the Cardinals in order to play for Dave Duncan.  Franklin signed a one-year, $1MM deal with St. Louis in January of '07.
  • Dustin Pedroia takes exception to those who question Boston's offense in 2010, writes WEEI.com's Rob Bradford. Pedroia feels the Red Sox lineup can score more runs than the 2009 club. He also voices high praise for Josh Beckett and says he wants Beckett around "for a long time."
  • Joe Strauss of the St. Louis Dispatch answers 10 questions for Cardinals fans, and notes that Russ Springer would take a marked-down contract to return to St. Louis. St. Louis stands to enter camp with rougly a $92,625,000 payroll
  • Sid Hartman of The Minneapolis Star Tribune says that Twins' owner Jim Pohlad may have to change his policy of not deferring money if they want to re-sign Joe Mauer. Hartman says Mauer would save millions in income tax by deferring some payments until after he retires.
  • Joel Sherman of The New York Post names his winners and losers of the offseason. Roy Halladay and the Twins head the winners, while the Dodgers and Royals highlight the losers. 
  • Nick Cafardo of The Boston Globe runs down each team's offseason, and looks at what lies ahead for each during the 2010 season.

Odds & Ends: Standridge, Johnson, Davis, Crede

Links for Thursday…

  • Josh Johnson's agent Matt Sosnick is now "cautiously optimistic" about a potential long-term deal with the Marlins for his client, according to MLB.com's Alden Gonzalez. However, the two sides still have differing thoughts on the proper comparables to use for Johnson's 2010 salary.  I'd say Ben Sheets, Carlos Zambrano, and Zack Greinke might be used in that discussion, but given Johnson's $1.4MM salary in '09 he probably can't expect much more than $4.2MM. 
  • What do Tupac, Sandra Bullock, and MLBTR have in common?  They're all favorites of Red Sox second baseman Dustin Pedroia.
  • Scott Lauber of The News Journal tweets that the Phillies signed righty Jason Standridge to a minor league deal.  The former Rays first-rounder pitched only 12.6 innings for the Marlins' Triple A club this year. 
  • Ken Rosenthal and Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports wrote last night that the Twins, Brewers, Mets, and Nationals have interest in free agent lefty Doug Davis.  Davis suggested to MLB.com's Bill Ladson that the Nats are more focused on adding a second baseman.
  • Roch Kubatko of MASN says Joe Crede "appears to top" the Orioles' free agent list.
  • The Mets signed lefty Bobby Livingston to a minor league deal, tweets MLB.com's Mark Sheldon.  The 27-year-old southpaw logged 156 innings of 4.15 ball at various minor league stops in 2009.
  • Dave Cameron of FanGraphs says players of Adam LaRoche's caliber should take note of his new deal, because "the offers aren't going to get any better."
  • Troy E. Renck of the Denver Post runs through Yorvit Torrealba's suitors, while also noting that Miguel Olivo's $2.5MM option for 2011 can become a player option with 110 games in '10.
  • Catcher Mike Rabelo is a new name among the Tigers' 17 minor league deals announced today, writes MLB.com's Jason Beck.

Red Sox, Mets Discussed Castillo For Lowell

TUESDAY, 12:52pm: Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports finds Castillo "highly unlikely to be traded, for Lowell or anyone else."  Joel Sherman of the New York Post learned that the Mets and Red Sox have not discussed a Castillo-Lowell swap for weeks.

MONDAY, 9:52pm: WEEI.com's Rob Bradford writes that a Castillo-for-Lowell deal is "not close."  He feels that it's most likely Lowell will have to prove his health in Spring Training before a trade occurs.  Meanwhile, Yahoo's Tim Brown tweets that the Rangers "have not ruled out re-engaging on Lowell."

6:56pm: ESPN.com's Jerry Crasnick tweets, "I just heard that Red Sox have talked to the Mets about a Mike Lowell-for-Luis Castillo trade. Not sure how serious it is." He adds that Lowell is expendable with Adrian Beltre in the fold. Also, with Castillo gone, the Mets could go after Orlando Hudson.

The deal certainly clears an unwanted player for both teams. But while it is easy to see Lowell getting some at-bats for the Mets at first, and even spelling David Wright at third base, where Castillo fits in- given his poor defense at second base, and the existence of Dustin Pedroia- with Boston is harder to understand.

The money would be even in such a deal. Lowell is owed $12MM in 2010, while Castillo is owed $6MM in each of the next two years.

Phils Sign Polanco To Three-Year Deal

12:18pm: MLB.com's Todd Zolecki reports that the deal is official. 

11:44am: Stark reports that the deal will be complete once Polanco passes a physical.

9:35am: MLB.com's Todd Zolecki hears that the Phils are close to signing Polanco to a three-year deal worth $18MM. The contract, which is pending a physical, includes a mutual option for 2013. 

9:10am: Jon Heyman of SI.com reports that the Phils are "believed to be" closing in on a three-year deal worth $18MM with Polanco. The deal should be finalized today.

8:44am: Stark hears indications that the sides are discussing a three-year deal. 

THURSDAY, 8:23am: Rob Bradford of WEEI.com hears that Polanco is "close" to a deal with the Phillies. 

8:57pm: ESPN.com's Jayson Stark classifies Philadelphia's talks with Polanco as "very serious" and Ken Rosenthal and Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports concur. A source "with knowledge of the Phillies' intentions" tells the FOX duo that the NL champs could offer Polanco a two-year deal worth between $10MM and $12MM.

7:18pm: Now that signing Polanco won't mean parting with draft picks, one team after another is being linked to the infielder. Todd Zolecki of MLB.com reports that the Philadelphia Phillies are focusing on Polanco for their third base opening, as opposed to Adrian Beltre or Mark DeRosa. Zolecki acknowledges Houston's and Boston's interest, but writes that "it appears the Phillies are further down the line in their pursuit."

7:08pm: MLB.com's Brian McTaggart reports that Polanco has also "drawn serious interest" from the Houston Astros.

WEDNESDAY, 5:32pm: The Boston Red Sox have expressed interest in Placido Polanco, according to MLB.com's Ian Browne. A source tells Browne that the Tigers' decision not to offer Polanco arbitration yesterday landed the second baseman on Boston's radar.

Polanco doesn't seem like a fit for the Red Sox unless the team asks Dustin Pedroia about playing shortstop, as has been rumored. If Pedroia moved to short, the Sox could sign Polanco for second base without having to give up any draft picks, whereas signing a Type A shortstop like Marco Scutaro would cost the club their first-rounder. Browne notes that Pedroia has said he "would welcome" a move to the left side of the infield.

As Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe indicated earlier, and Tim reiterated today in our Red Sox offseason outlook, switching Pedroia's position is probably a last resort. It looks like the team is keeping all their options open though.

Red Sox Ask Pedroia About Playing Shortstop

3:09pm: Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe learned from a team exec that the Red Sox will exhaust their free agent and trade options before turning to Pedroia at shortstop.

10:13am: The Red Sox asked Dustin Pedroia if he'd be able to play shortstop, according to ESPN's Peter Gammons.  Pedroia's thoughts:

"They've put it out there and I've told them I'm all for it. I can do it. I can't wait for Tito [Terry Francona] to call me and ask, 'Can you do it?' I can do it. I really want to do it."

Right now it appears that the Red Sox are just considering the switch for Pedroia.  As Gammons notes, shifting Pedroia would create flexibility, allowing the Sox to pass on Marco Scutaro and pursue Orlando Hudson or even Brandon Phillips.

As you know, other offseason considerations for the Red Sox include trading Mike Lowell and acquiring a third baseman, signing Jason Bay or Matt Holliday, and a possible Roy Halladay trade.  Gammons downplays the idea of Boston acquiring Doc, saying the chances of them trading Clay Buchholz or Casey Kelly are minimal at best.