Eduardo Rodriguez Rumors

Gammons’ Latest: Braves, Sandoval, Monfort, Tomas, Padres

Hall of Fame journalist and MLB Network contributor Peter Gammons appeared on MLBN’s High Heat yesterday (video link) and published a full notes column today, both of which have plenty of excellent information. Here are some highlights from Gammons’ latest work…

  • While Braves GM Frank Wren did well to patch their rotation with Ervin Santana and Aaron Harang this season, the team’s offense has been woeful, and Wren has the Dan Uggla and B.J. Upton contracts weighing on him. Former Indians GM John Hart, who was brought on as a senior advisor last offseason, could be moved into a more significant role, such as a president of baseball operations (like Theo Epstein in Chicago) or a chief baseball officer like Tony La Russa in Arizona. Hart served as an overseer to Jon Daniels in Texas, and the Braves do have a prime young GM candidate in the form of John Coppolella.
  • Gammons thinks that Pablo Sandoval‘s days as a member of the Giants are numbered. Sandoval will be one of baseball’s most sought-after free agents this offseason, and the Marlins and Red Sox are both “very interested,” according to Gammons. “The Giants, I don’t think have any chance of re-signing him,” he adds.
  • The Rockies had a July deal agreed to that would have sent Jorge De La Rosa to the Orioles in exchange for left-handed pitching prospect Eduardo Rodriguez, but Rockies owner Dick Monfort nixed the trade. De La Rosa was eventually extended on a two-year, $25MM deal, while Rodriguez was traded to the Red Sox in exchange for Andrew Miller. Gammons uses this story as a means of illustrating Monfort’s fierce loyalty — a trait that makes him an enigma even to the Rockies’ own employees. No one in Colorado is quite sure what Monfort will do this offseason, Gammons writes, though trying to pluck former Rockies assistant Thad Levine from the Rangers, where he is currently an assistant GM, is one scenario on which he speculates.
  • At least two dozen teams will be on hand to see Yasmani Tomas‘ showcase in the Dominican Repbulic this weekend, and Gammons hears that the early front-runners to sign him are the Giants, Phillies, Padres, Rangers and Tigers. All of that, of course, could change quickly following his showcase. The Padres might seem a curious fit there, given the team’s typically tight payroll, but I’d imagine that the international focus of new GM A.J. Preller might be a factor.
  • While the common belief is that Padres manager Bud Black is safe even with the GM change, one person who interviewed for the position told Gammons that he was asked by CEO Mike Dee how he felt about the possibility of Jason Varitek coming on board as the team’s new skipper. Dee, as Gammons notes, is quite familiar with Varitek and his leadership from their days together in Boston. This isn’t the first time that Varitek’s name was connected to the Padres.

Mets Still Talking Ike Davis With Brewers, O’s, Pirates

The Ike Davis rumor mill has calmed down as the holiday season has set in, but Mike Puma of the New York Post provides an update (Twitter link). The Mets remain in contact with the Brewers, Pirates and Orioles regarding Davis, but the team has been unsuccessful in its efforts to pry top pitching prospect Eduardo Rodriguez away from Baltimore.

That the Mets are interested in Rodriguez is no surprise, but neither is the fact that the Orioles won't deal him for Davis. Rodriguez, a 20-year-old left-hander, posted a combined 3.41 ERA with 7.8 K/9 and 3.0 BB/9 in 145 innings between Class-A Advanced and Double-A in 2013. His numbers took a hit upon reaching Double-A (4.22 ERA in 59 2/3 innings), but that isn't all that alarming when considering the fact that he was one of the youngest players in the league. The average age of pitchers in the Eastern League, for context, was 24.6. Hitters in the Eastern League had an average age of 24.4.

This isn't the first time Rodriguez's name has appeared on the rumor mill, as the Twins reportedly asked for the lefty in exchange for Josh Willingham when the Orioles claimed Willingham on waivers in August. MLB.com's Jonathan Mayo currently ranks Rodriguez as baseball's No. 85 prospect, and ESPN's Keith Law ranked him No. 44 in his midseason Top 50 prospect list in July (Insider required). Baseball America ranks him third among O's prospects — behind Dylan Bundy and Kevin Gausman — noting in their subscription-only scouting report that he has the ceiling of a No. 3 starter.

In short, Rodriguez is a lofty asking price for Mets GM Sandy Alderson when peddling Davis to other clubs — higher than his reported asking price of Tyler Thornburg from the Brewers. Davis is projected by MLBTR contributor Matt Swartz to earn $3.5MM in 2014 and can be controlled through the 2016 season.


O’s Working On Morse Trade; Unlikely To Land Willingham

12:15pm: The Twins asked the Orioles for multiple pitching prospects in exchange for Willingham, according to Kubatko. Prized lefty Eduardo Rodriguez was among Minnesota's targets. The 20-year-old Rodriguez ranks as the No. 86 prospect in baseball at this time, according to MLB.com's Jonathan Mayo.

9:42am: The Orioles have been highly active on the waiver market this week, claiming both Josh Willingham of the Twins and Mike Morse of the Mariners. Morse is far likelier to end up with Baltimore it seems, as Roch Kubatko of MASNsports.com tweets that a Willingham trade is "not happening at this point" because of the Twins' lofty asking price. Kubatko says the Orioles and Mariners are still actively trying to work out a deal for Morse, though.

Willingham is under contract for 2014 at just $7MM and belted 35 homers for the Twins last season, so it's not a surprise to see them asking a lot even in a down season for Willingham. Despite his low batting average, he's still posted strong OBP and ISO numbers. Morse is a free agent at season's end and owed just over $1.1MM for the remainder of the 2013 season. There have been reports indicating that he's likely to be moved, as he no longer has a place in the Mariners' organization. He hasn't played in either of the team's two games since being claimed by the Orioles.