Dustin Pedroia Rumors

Quick Hits: O’Day, Pedroia, Royals, Upton

On this date seven years ago, the Angels signed an undrafted amateur free agent named Darren O'Day. Such transactions typically don't amount to much, but like his delivery, O'Day's story is anything but typical. He began his career as a 23-year-old at the Rookie-level Pioneer League but quickly ascended to Triple-A. By age 25, O'Day was in the Angels' bullpen but didn't replicate his minor league success. One Rule 5 selection and two waiver claims later, O'Day finds himself as a mainstay in the Orioles' bullpen. The 30-year-old signed a two-year, $5.8MM extension with a club option for 2015 in the offseason, which is probably exactly how he envisioned his life after he graduated from Florida with a degree in agricultural and life sciences and took the MCAT with hopes of becoming a plastic surgeon.

Here's more from around the league…

Red Sox Notes: Pedroia, Henry, Overbay

Red Sox principal owner John Henry spoke with the media yesterday, looking back at a disappointing 2012 season and forward to 2013. Here's more on Henry and the Red Sox as Spring Training continues in Fort Myers…

  • While Henry prefers to avoid unnecessarily long contracts, it’s possible Dustin Pedroia could be an exception, Rob Bradford of WEEI.com reports. Henry said Pedroia is “everything you want in a player,” but noted the sides haven’t started extension talks just yet. Pedroia prefers to focus on the present, telling Bradford the contract will take care of itself. “The Red Sox, they know how I feel about them, and I know how they feel about me,” he said. Pedroia's contract covers the 2013-14 seasons with a club option for 2015.
  • Before buying the Red Sox, Henry learned a lot about running a baseball team as a part-owner of the Yankees, Brian Costa of the Wall Street Journal reports. Henry even has the four World Series rings from his years with the Yankees.
  • Though Lyle Overbay had a minor league offer from the Brewers, he felt he would have been a “quick fix” in Milwaukee, Scott Lauber of the Boston Herald reports (on Twitter). The Red Sox have spoken with Overbay about the possibility of using him in the outfield, Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe reports (on Twitter).

AL East Notes: Pedroia, LaRoche, Smoak, Thome

In an appearance on WEEI radio's Red Sox Hot Stove show (partial transcript provided by WEEI.com's Alex Speier), Dustin Pedroia said he hadn't heard anything from his agents about any talks with the Red Sox about a possible contract extension.  It was reported in November that Boston was interested in extending its second baseman, and Pedroia is eager to pursue such negotiations should they arise. "Obviously, I want to be a Red Sox my whole career and play in that city, turn this whole thing around to get back to where we were my first couple years there," Pedroia said.

Here's the latest from the AL East…

  • The Red Sox are not only disinclined to give Adam LaRoche a three-year contract, but the club also doesn't want to surrender a draft pick to sign the free agent first baseman, tweets Peter Gammons.  Boston has interest in LaRoche as a backup option if Mike Napoli can't be signed, and signing LaRoche would cost the Sox their second-round draft pick since LaRoche turned down a qualifying offer from the Nationals. 
  • Speaking of that Red Sox draft pick, WEEI.com's Rob Bradford looks at why Boston is hesitant to give up that selection.
  • The Orioles "kicked the tires" on trading for Mariners first baseman Justin Smoak in each of the last two offseasons and also rated Smoak highly in his draft year, reports Dan Connolly of the Baltimore Sun.  Connolly sees Smoak as a good trade target for the O's and wonders if a Smoak-for-Brian Matusz deal would work for both teams.  We heard earlier this week that the Orioles continued to have interest in Smoak, who could be expendable now that Seattle has Kendrys Morales in the fold.
  • Jim Thome is "not an ideal fit" to return to the Orioles, writes MLB.com's Brittany Ghiroli, as manager Buck Showalter would prefer to rotate his regulars through the DH spot.  Earlier this month, Thome said he is open to returning in 2013 for his 23rd Major League season.
  • The Rays' strong recent track record of signing veteran bullpen arms augers well for the Roberto Hernandez signing, writes MLB.com's Bill Chastain.  Hernandez signed a one-year, $3.25MM deal with the Rays earlier this month.

Red Sox Plan Extension Talks With Dustin Pedroia

The Red Sox intend to discuss a long-term extension with second baseman Dustin Pedroia during the offseason, reports Joe McDonald of ESPN Boston.  A league source tells McDonald that a Pedroia extension isn't an immediate priority for the Sox but they'll look to open negotiations "at some point this offseason."

Pedroia still has two guaranteed years (worth $10MM each) remaining on the six-year, $40MM contract he signed with Boston in the wake of his MVP season in 2008, plus an $11MM club option for 2015.  Pedroia will turn 32 during the 2015 season but McDonald believes the Sox could be looking to extend Pedroia before Robinson Cano's next contract sets a new market for elite second basemen. 

Pedroia posted a .290/.347/.449 slash line in 2012, a solid performance that was still the lowest full-season OPS of his seven-year career.  A new multiyear deal for Pedroia would surely top the five-year, $75MM extension the Rangers gave to Ian Kinsler in April, thus giving Pedroia the largest contract ever given to a second baseman in terms of highest average annual value.  (Until Cano's new deal, at least.)

McDonald speculates that the Red Sox could also look to sign Will Middlebrooks and Jon Lester to extensions, though Lester would have to bounce back from his mediocre 2012 season first.  Lester's current contract is only guaranteed through 2013 with a $13MM team option for 2014.

East Links: Blue Jays, Jackson, Nationals, Pedroia

Here's the latest from baseball's two East divisions….

  • Blue Jays GM Alex Anthopoulos acknowledged to Shi Davidi of Sportsnet.ca that his priorities this winter are pitching, second base, and left field. "There’s no question the priority is definitely in the rotation, with the dollars we have available, we have to be creative," he said. "Our payroll is going to be up from what it was last year but it doesn’t mean it’s a bottomless pit, there is a limit and there is an area we can go to."
  • Ken Davidoff and George A. King III of The New York Post write that Yankees GM Brian Cashman is likely to meet with every agent who attends this week's GM Meetings, including Larry Reynolds. He represents both Torii Hunter and B.J. Upton.
  • Edwin Jackson hasn't ruled out returning to the Nationals next season, writes Dan Kolko of MASNSports.com. The right-hander did make it clear that he will listen to offers from any team, however.
  • During a recent radio appearance, Red Sox second baseman Dustin Pedroia said that he is not leaving the ACES agency according to WEEI.com's DJ Bean. ACES is currently being investigated by MLB for its role in Melky Cabrera's PED-related suspension.

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.