Edwin Jackson Rumors

Melvin On Marcum, Dempster, Jackson

If Ryan Dempster signs with the Red Sox, the Brewers might not pursue other free agent starters, Milwaukee GM Doug Melvin told Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. Melvin indicated free agent starters have shown limited reciprocal interest, according to Haudricourt. "This may be one of those years when we don't do too much,” the GM said. “We're still looking at relievers but we might see if we get a surprise in Spring Training.” Here are the details on the team’s search for starting pitching…

  • Though Shaun Marcum recently indicated he’d consider returning to Milwaukee, Melvin said he hasn’t talked to the right-hander’s agent. Marcum hadn’t been on the Brewers’ radar, Haudricourt reports. “I always thought he'd engage in talks with a team and get something worked out, and he probably will," Melvin said.
  • Melvin confirmed that he offered Dempster a two-year contract and said he hasn’t heard back from the right-hander’s agent. "It doesn't appear that he'll be coming to Milwaukee," Melvin acknowledged.
  • There’s “some intrigue” with respect to right-hander Edwin Jackson. The Brewers spoke with Jackson’s agent, though it doesn’t sound as though talks developed from there.

NL West Notes: Greinke, Dodgers, Padres

The defending World Series champions play in the NL West, but the Giants are not the ones making the biggest headlines. Here’s the latest from the division, starting in Los Angeles…

  • Barring something unexpected, the Dodgers are finished in the starting pitching market according to Olney (on Twitter).
  • Zack Greinke signed for $147MM over six years, and he could earn even more money by opting out three seasons from now, as Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports explains. The Dodgers awarded Greinke the opt-out as a compromise, as the right-hander initially sought a seven-year deal with a no-trade clause, Rosenthal reports.
  • One evaluator told ESPN.com's Buster Olney that the Giants are still a better team than the Dodgers despite Los Angeles' aggressive spending. The Dodgers have questions on the left side of the infield and might be vulnerable against left-handed pitching, Olney writes.
  • The Dodgers have discussed Kevin Youkilis and Anibal Sanchez, Danny Knobler of CBSSports.com reports. Sanchez may be more of a longshot given the Dodgers' internal rotation options. The team appears to have interest in dealing Aaron Harang, but Chris Capuano has drawn more trade interest, Knobler reports.
  • The Dodgers have talked to the Pirates about Capuano, ESPN.com's Buster Olney reports (on Twitter).
  • Rosenthal wonders if the Padres could be a fit for Edwin Jackson, but concludes that San Diego probably won’t sign the free agent right-hander if he’s positioned to command a four or five-year deal (Twitter links). Padres executives Josh Byrnes and A.J. Hinch previously worked with Jackson in Arizona.

Free Agent Rumors: Dempster, Ichiro, Jackson, Tejada

Approximately half of the free agents on MLBTR’s top 50 list remain unsigned, which means there will be lots of action in the next few weeks. Here are the latest free agent updates from around MLB…

  • The Brewers, Red Sox and Royals are the "three main teams" looking at Ryan Dempster, reports Paul Sullivan of the Chicago Tribune (Twitter link).  This would seem to eliminate the Cubs, who we recently heard weren't negotiating with Dempster.
  • The Yankees are still talking to Ichiro Suzuki as they continue waiting to hear from Kevin Youkilis, Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com reports (on Twitter). Youkilis is weighing multiple offers and the Indians are also bidding for his services.
  • The Royals and other teams seem “very cool” to Edwin Jackson, Bob Dutton of the Kansas City Star reports (on Twitter). In other words they aren't overly eager to spend aggressively on him.
  • Braves GM Frank Wren said he has interest in certain outfielders as one-year stopgaps, ESPN.com’s Jerry Crasnick reports (on Twitter). The Braves need another outfielder, even after signing B.J. Upton.
  • The Diamondbacks are very interested in Miguel Tejada, Enrique Rojas of ESPNDeportes.com reports (on Twitter, in Spanish). The team offered Tejada a minor league deal, but he’d like a guaranteed contract.
  • The Marlins are only interested in Carl Pavano if he’ll accept a low base salary of $3MM or so plus incentives, Phil Mackey of ESPN 1500 reports (on Twitter). Pavano’s agent met with the Twins yesterday,  Mackey adds.


Twins Made Offers To Saunders, Liriano

10:42am: In addition to the pitchers listed below, Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com (Twitter link) identifies Edwin Jackson, Shaun Marcum, Brandon McCarthy, Jair Jurrjens, and Carl Pavano as potential targets for the Twins. Pavano is said to be drawing interest from five teams, including the Red Sox, tweets Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe.

9:52am: As they look to shore up their starting rotation, the Twins have offers out to Joe Saunders and Francisco Liriano, according to La Velle E. Neal III of the Minneapolis Star-Tribune. The Twins are waiting to hear back from the two left-handers and may have offers out to other pitchers, says Neal.

Joe Blanton, Kevin Correia, Brett Myers, Vicente Padilla, Mike Pelfrey, and John Lannan were said to be among the Twins' pitching targets earlier this week.

According to Neal, there are seven other teams that also have interest in Liriano.


Angels Rumors: Haren, Greinke, Pitching

4:45pm: The Angels' once-tepid interest in Brandon McCarthy has picked up in Nashville, tweets DiGiovanna.    

1:52pm: Dan Haren's agreement with the Nationals takes another starting pitching option off the board for the Angels, who made an effort to bring back the right-hander after not tendering him a qualifying offer. According to Mike DiGiovanna of the Los Angeles Times (via Twitter), the Angels made a one-year offer to Haren with a very achievable option year.

Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com tweets that there was at least one other team in on Haren at around $13MM, suggesting that the price tag for free agent starters will be high this offseason. That isn't great news for the Angels, since the team appears to have a finite amount of money to spend on pitching, according to DiGiovanna (Twitter link). If the Angels go big on a starter, they'll have to scrimp on relievers, and vice versa, says DiGiovanna.

Although the Angels have checked in on virtually every free agent starting pitcher, including Anibal Sanchez, Kyle Lohse, Edwin Jackson, Ryan Dempster, and Joe Saunders, Zack Greinke remains their first choice, tweets DiGiovanna.


Angels In On Edwin Jackson

Yesterday, we heard that the Angels weren't acting like they were confident about landing Zack Greinke, and that they were shifting their focus to the next tier of free agent pitchers. Here are a few more details on their search, along with some details on their hunt for bullpen arms:

Earlier updates:

  • Jon Heyman of CBS Sports (Twitter link) singles out Anibal Sanchez and Kyle Lohse as two pitchers the Angels are eyeing, with Greinke's asking price too high for their liking.
  • If the Angels don't have any success with outside free agents, the team could circle back to Dan Haren, according to Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports. The Angels have a history with Haren and have a more favorable view of his medical issues than other clubs (Twitter links).
  • As MLB.com's Alden Gonzalez reported earlier today, Sean Burnett and Mike Adams are among the relievers the Angels are targeting. The team also inquired on Joakim Soria, but there's likely not a fit there since Soria wants to close.

Poll: Next Top Ten Free Agent To Sign

So far this offseason, only one of Tim Dierkes’ Top Ten Free Agents has signed a new contract: Hiroki Kuroda (#9) re-upped with the Yankees. That’s not at all uncommon at this point of the winter, as most top free agents tend to wait until the Winter Meetings in early-December before deciding on their next baseball home.

The market for outfielders Josh Hamilton (#2), Michael Bourn (#3), B.J. Upton (#5), and Nick Swisher (#6) have been pretty robust so far, ditto Zack Greinke (#1). Anibal Sanchez (#4) has generated some buzz as well, but things have been slow for Edwin Jackson (#7), Dan Haren (#8), and Kyle Lohse (#10). That will change soon enough. One of these guys will soon follow in Kuroda’s footsteps and ink a new deal, but who will it be first?



Twins Continue To Pursue Free Agent Pitchers

The Twins have not yet made any moves this offseason, but John Shipley of The Pioneer Press says the team continues to monitor the free agent pitching market. GM Terry Ryan also acknowledged talking to the Marlins prior to their blockbuster with the Blue Jays.

"Anybody who is a starting pitcher that we've identified as having some ability, you can assume we've touched base with them," said Ryan, adding that they were "aware of (the Marlins) feelings" before the blockbuster.

Shipley said the team's list of pitching targets includes Zack Greinke, Anibal Sanchez, Edwin Jackson, Brandon McCarthy, and Joe Saunders, though some may be more realistic than others. The club has approximately $25MM to work with this winter assuming they'll maintain a similar payroll level next season, and outside of 26-year-old lefty Scott Diamond, no one from Minnesota's 2012 rotation is guaranteed a spot in 2012.


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.

Olney On Hunter, Pagan, Padres

MLB executives expressed surprise that Torii Hunter, Edwin Jackson, Angel Pagan and Mike Napoli didn’t get qualifying offers by Friday’s deadline, ESPN.com’s Buster Olney reports. Here are more notes and rumors from Olney…

  • One high-ranking executive suggested Hunter will get some two or three-year offers as a free agent. The outfielder ranked 20th on MLBTR's list of top 50 free agents.
  • Evaluators were puzzled by the Nationals’ decision not to make Jackson a qualifying offer. An offer would have set them up for draft pick compensation or another affordable one-year deal.
  • GMs and agents expect Pagan to get multiple offers for three years. A four or five-year deal doesn’t seem out of reach for the center fielder.
  • Some rival officials expected the Rangers to make Napoli a one-year qualifying offer and set themselves up for draft pick compensation.
  • Brad Ausmus, one of the top managerial prospects in MLB, told Olney that it’s important for managers to remember how difficult it is to play at the highest level. “The managers who understood the patience involved are the managers who have related to the players best on teams I have been a part of, and garnered their respect,” Ausmus said.
  • The Padres have had some extension talks with Chase Headley, Olney reports. While both sides are interested in a deal, it’s hard to value Headley following his impressive second half performance.
  • The Padres will focus on adding starting pitching this offseason, Olney reports. Rival executives like San Diego’s pitching depth, but GM Josh Byrnes will still pursue additions.