Edgardo Alfonzo Rumors
Ubaldo Jimenez dominates the Spanish-language press like he dominates NL hitters, but a few other stories have managed to make it to press. Links are in Spanish...
- Bobby Abreu held a conference call with Spanish-speaking reporters press earlier this week, and the focus quickly switched from his philosophy of hitting to the end of his career. Lider en Deportes' Cesar Augusto Marquez quotes Abreu as saying he'd like to play five more years in the majors in the hopes of attaining 3,000 hits. The 36-year-old Venezuelan admits, however, that his timeline might change if he comes to believe the round number is out of reach. Assuming Abreu produces between 160 and 180 hits this season, as he has for each of the last ten, five more in the same range should put him over the edge.
- The Pirates continued their recent surge of Latin American signings yesterday by adding righthanded Dominican pitcher Jonathan Herrand for $185K out of the Dominican league La Javilla. Jeffrey Nolasco at Hoy paints an impressive picture of Herrand as a potential power arm: 6'4", with a 95 mph fastball backed by two plus breaking pitches and a delivery that his Javilla coach compares to a young Pedro Martinez. Pedro plus five inches—not a bad place to start.
- Edgardo Alfonzo would like to return to the big leagues, and to the Mets in particular, the player tells the New York-based El Diario/La Prensa. Given that Alfonzo's two great seasons and one memorable postseason in Flushing are now a decade past, you'd be forgiven for mistaking him to be older than Abreu at 36. Alfonzo's last stint in the majors was in 2006 with the Blue Jays, and he's been playing consistently in Japan, Venezuela and for the independent Newark Bears since.
Some links to start off your weekend...
- Nick Cafardo of The Boston Globe says the Red Sox are just doing their due diligence by touching base with John Lackey's agent, reminding us that they also spoke to CC Sabathia's and A.J. Burnett's representatives last offseason.
- WEEI.com's Alex Speier breaks down Joe Urbon's pitch for his client, free agent outfielder Jason Bay.
- Hideki Matsui acknowledged that he'd be disappointed if he didn't return to the Yankees, according to Anthony McCarron of The NY Daily News. Godzilla says that his agent Arn Tellem is taking care of the situation, but he doesn't think the two sides have had any discussions yet.
- ESPN's Rob Neyer says that Jack Wilson's defense is definitely worth the $10MM the Mariners gave him yesterday.
- Steve Slowinski at DRays Bay goes back and evaluates the deal that brought Mitch Talbot and Ben Zobrist to Tampa in exchange for Aubrey Huff.
- Edgardo Alfonzo still thinks he could be valuable utility player and has two or three years of baseball left, according to The NY Post's Kevin Kernan. The 36-year-old hasn't played in the big leagues since 2006.
Patrick Newman of NPB Tracker passed along a Sponichi report yesterday: Edgardo Alfonzo will sign with the Yomiuri Giants. The AP says he'll earn $380K. Alfonzo, 35, played for independent league teams the last few years. He hit .280/.355/.379 in the Venezuelan Winter League recently, winning the league's Comeback Player Of The Year award.
Links for Wednesday...
- Cardinals GM John Mozeliak subjected himself to all kinds of questions from fans today in an online chat. It sounds like he might do a little spring tinkering.
- It seems that the Angels will go with internal options for the fifth starter job.
- The Rangers, Rays, and A's are atop Keith Law's farm system rankings, with the Tigers, Nationals, and Astros bringing up the rear.
- Orioles infielder Oscar Salazar is likely on the chopping block to make room for Gregg Zaun.
- Kyodo News reports that Edgardo Alfonzo will try out for the Yomiuri Giants.
- Dave Sheinin says Kevin Youkilis is a good comp for Ryan Zimmerman. The midpoint between Zimmerman's and the Nationals' arbitration submissions would be a $3.325MM.
- I sincerely appreciate all the submissions for the Saturday evening writer gig. I'm happy to welcome D.J. Blatter aboard as our newest blogger.
The latest from Ken Rosenthal...
- The Braves are pulling back for the moment in their search for an outfield bat. They'll hope for a free agent bargain or the right trade. Rosenthal says they're torn about Andruw Jones. The Braves seek a right-handed hitter but aren't dead set on it. They were unwilling to meet the Yankees' demands for Xavier Nady.
- Brandon Lyon's agent is telling teams he has a two-year, $9MM offer in hand (Kyle Farnsworth money). The Tigers or Twins are possibilities there, while the Cardinals may have offered one year. Jon Paul Morosi confirms Detroit's interest, but says they've yet to make an offer. Morosi believes the Tigers have about $5MM left in their budget.
- Ryan Madson turned down a three-year, $12MM extension from the Phillies. The Scott Boras client is eligible for free agency after the season.
- Execs have all kinds of concerns with Oliver Perez: his flyball tendencies, frequent walks, and inability to reach 200 innings.
- The Yankees have little interest in Ben Sheets and Freddy Garcia. The Rangers, Mets, and White Sox remain in the mix for Garcia.
- The Brewers and other teams are in on Braden Looper, while the Orioles and Dodgers have backed off.
- Edgardo Alfonzo is playing well in the Venezuelan Winter League and could make a comeback.
- J.J. Putz is out for at least a few weeks; the fantasy baseball world reacts.
- The Astros inked Tim Byrdak, selling him on an easy path to the big leagues. The 34 year-old southpaw had a 3.20 ERA last year, albeit with poor control.
- The Twins added former closer Danny Graves to their Triple A club. He's also 34. His peripherals weren't too impressive last year for the Long Island Ducks despite 33 saves.
- I did a Q&A with Dexter Sports.
- Unfortunately Corey Koskie doesn't seem anywhere close to coming back.
- Joe Sports Fan looks at baseball's "bespectacled heroes."
- Correcting an SI.com report from yesterday, MetsBlog says there's been no contact between the Mets and Edgardo Alfonzo.
Time for a link roundup.
- SI.com's Jon Heyman says the Mets have talked with Edgardo Alfonzo. Alfonzo, 34, came up a Met and snagged MVP votes in 2000 with a .967 OPS.
- Seems like Aaron Hill's contract extension may wait until after the season, when his offensive value is more clearly established.
- No interest in Steve Kline yet...teams will probably wait the Giants out so they don't have to pay his $1.75MM salary.
- If Chris Reitsma doesn't make a decision soon about heading to Triple A, the Ms could place him on the restricted list.
- Dejan Kovacevic hasn't heard anything about Adam LaRoche as a trade candidate, even though extension talks fizzled.
- Kevin Goldstein believes shortstop Tim Beckham is the "top talent in the draft."