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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.
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.
Full Story | Comments | Categories: Adam LaRoche | Arizona Diamondbacks | Baltimore Orioles | Bobby Livingston | Boston Red Sox | Colorado Rockies | Detroit Tigers | Doug Davis | Dustin Pedroia | Joe Crede | Josh Johnson | Miami Marlins | Miguel Olivo | Mike Rabelo | Milwaukee Brewers | Minnesota Twins | New York Mets | Philadelphia Phillies | Transactions | Washington Nationals | Yorvit Torrealba
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.
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.
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.
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.
Links for Thursday…
- Check out this week’s minor league transactions. Some familiar names were signed.
- The Red Sox officially announced the signing of Junichi Tazawa.
- J.C. Bradbury likes the Dustin Pedroia contract.
- Sox Machine has parting words for Javier Vazquez, whose trade to the Braves was officially announced today. ESPN’s Keith Law tells you all you need to know about the players involved in the deal. Tyler Flowers is the key, Santos Rodriguez the wild card.
- The Rockies’ talks for lefty reliever Joe Beimel continue. In another article, Patrick Saunders looks at the team’s wish list.
- Rob Neyer believes teams are starting to figure out defensive evaluation, creating a weak market for lumbering LF/1B/DH types.
- Jesse Spector spoke to Tigers GM Dave Dombrowski.
- T.R. Sullivan says the Tigers’ talks for Rangers catcher Gerald Laird continue.
- Larry Dobrow offers suggestions to fix the Reds.
- Aaron Gleeman says the Twins have already missed several good opportunities to affordably improve their bullpen.
- Viva El Birdos explains why the Cardinals should’ve offered arbitration to Russ Springer and Braden Looper.
- Lee Jenkins provides insight into Mark Teixeira – the perfect baseball player and ideal Boras client.
- Roch Kubatko says Cesar Izturis remains a strong possibility for the Orioles.
- Fred Claire notes that Jack Zduriencik will always remember Russell Branyan as his first free agent signing. Geoff Baker examines the Branyan signing and the Ken Griffey Jr. idea.
- Paul Sullivan suggests Chad Gaudin is a non-tender candidate for the Cubs. He’s set to get an arbitration raise on this year’s $1.775MM salary.
Full Story | Comments | Categories: Atlanta Braves | Baltimore Orioles | Boston Red Sox | Braden Looper | Cesar Izturis | Chad Gaudin | Chicago Cubs | Chicago White Sox | Cincinnati Reds | Colorado Rockies | Dave Dombrowski | Detroit Tigers | Dustin Pedroia | Gerald Laird | Javier Vazquez | Joe Beimel | Junichi Tazawa | Ken Griffey Jr. | Mark Teixeira | Minnesota Twins | Russ Springer | Russell Branyan | Seattle Mariners | St. Louis Cardinals
5:57pm: MLB.com’s Ian Browne wonders if the Pedroia signing is the first of several. Will the Sox be able to hammer out extensions with Jon Lester, Kevin Youkilis, and Jonathan Papelbon this winter?
11:33am: Tony Massarotti has the contract breakdown.
11:18am: According to Ken Rosenthal, the Red Sox signed second baseman Dustin Pedroia to a six-year deal worth about $40.5MM. ESPN’s Peter Gammons was right on this scoop as well. The deal buys out two years of free agency and also has a club option for 2015.
Rosenthal cites the deals signed by Hanley Ramirez, David Wright, and Ryan Braun as comparables. Pedroia’s deal covers one pre-arbitration season, all three arb seasons, and two years of free agency. Ramirez received $54.4MM for the same slice of his career, Wright got $55MM, and Braun received $43.8MM. Also, Brian McCann gets $37.8MM, Grady Sizemore gets $30.95MM, Evan Longoria is at $31.95MM, Robinson Cano gets $42.49MM, and Chase Utley gets $55.5MM. That assumes options are exercised, where applicable.
Red Sox GM Theo Epstein spoke to the press yesterday, resulting in a slew of articles in the Boston papers.
Tony Massarotti of the Boston Globe runs through the team’s entire 25-man roster. Michael Silverman of the Boston Herald looks at Epstein’s to-do list, as does Joe McDonald of The Providence Journal. Paul Kenyon of the Journal looks at the team’s minor free agents. An overview of various common topics:
- Jason Varitek. Silverman sees an effort to re-sign him for one or two years, while McDonald thinks he will look for three or four. Massarotti thinks things could get nasty here, with Scott Boras in the middle. Sean McAdam of the Boston Herald has an article discussing the Varitek situation.
- Julio Lugo, Jed Lowrie, Jacoby Ellsbury, Coco Crisp. Four players for two starting spots. Epstein didn’t tip his hand as to whether he’ll move any of these players and diminish the depth.
- Kevin Youkilis, Dustin Pedroia, Jonathan Papelbon, Jason Bay. The Sox may explore long-term deals for each. There’s already been talks with Pedroia, though Massarotti thinks he might prefer to go year-to-year as Youkilis has. He suggests Papelbon wants a long-term deal but the Sox may choose to play it safe. McDonald and Massarotti feel the Sox will also explore an extension for Jason Bay.
- Sean Casey, Mike Timlin, Alex Cora, Mark Kotsay. Cora might go if Lugo stays. Timlin may retire. Massarotti does not think Casey will be re-signed, while McDonald doesn’t see Kotsay returning (he wants to start).
- Outside options: Epstein could make a big move, or do very little again. As I mentioned in the Offseason Outlook, C.C. Sabathia might be a better fit than Mark Teixeira.
Jayson Stark’s latest Rumblings and Grumblings column is chock full of information.
- Stark rattles off Dan Uggla, Ryan Howard, Cole Hamels, B.J. Upton, Justin Upton, Russell Martin, Zack Greinke, Prince Fielder, Felix Hernandez, Jeff Francoeur, Jonathan Papelbon, Kevin Youkilis, and Dustin Pedroia as youngsters who do not have long-term deals in the works. With Uggla and Greinke, the opposition seems more on the team’s side. With Hamels and Howard neither side wants a long-term deal. With the rest, the player is resisting.
- The Padres’ top trading chip is probably Brian Giles, though a deal would further deplete a weak offense.
- The A’s are willing to deal, with pitching considered the surplus. Billy Beane might be able to snag one good prospect for Rich Harden.
- There’s some doubt as to whether the Rockies will make Matt Holliday this year’s Mark Teixeira as we approach the deadline.
- Teams other than the Royals are speculating that center fielder David DeJesus might be available.
- The Marlins and Hanley Ramirez battled over a no-trade clause…and the Fish won. He has none.
Full Story | Comments | Categories: Arizona Diamondbacks | Atlanta Braves | B.J. Upton | Boston Red Sox | Brian Giles | Cole Hamels | Colorado Rockies | Dan Uggla | David DeJesus | Dustin Pedroia | Felix Hernandez | Hanley Ramirez | Jeff Francoeur | Jonathan Papelbon | Justin Upton | Kansas City Royals | Kevin Youkilis | Los Angeles Dodgers | Matt Holliday | Miami Marlins | Milwaukee Brewers | Oakland Athletics | Philadelphia Phillies | Prince Fielder | Rich Harden | Russell Martin | Ryan Howard | San Diego Padres | Seattle Mariners | Tampa Bay Rays | Zack Greinke
Not every good young player is salivating at the thought of inking a team-friendly multiyear contract. Prince Fielder, Russell Martin, and Casey Kotchman are three who seem fine going year-to-year and maximizing earnings. According to Rob Bradford of the Boston Herald, Dustin Pedroia and Jonathan Papelbon are two more players "intent on bucking what has become a disturbing trend."
It’s mainly the idea of tossing in multiple team options that bristles the players and their agents. Bradford reports that more experienced agents have voiced their concern about the trend to the Players Association.
Papelbon, for one, knows he’s an elite closer and is prepared to set the bar for stoppers with his service time. You may recall that the Red Sox gave him $775K this year to top Mariano Rivera‘s two-year closer service time record. Though they play different positions, Papelbon’s agent will probably at least reference Ryan Howard‘s landmark $10MM first-year arbitration reward when Papelbon’s time comes before the ’09 season.