Edwin Jackson Rumors
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.
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:
- 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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
Now that they have sent John Farrell to Boston, the Blue Jays are looking for a new manager. In an article at the Globe and Mail, Jeff Blair suggests this might be “the most important managerial hire in club history.” Blair argues that the Blue Jays should consider former catchers such as Sandy Alomar Jr. and Don Wakamatsu. Here are the latest Blue Jays-related links...
- The Blue Jays obtained permission from the Diamondbacks to speak to third base coach Matt Williams about their managerial opening, Jack Magruder of FOXSportsArizona.com reports (on Twitter). Williams has also drawn interest from the Rockies.
- Free agent starters Ryan Dempster and Edwin Jackson are targets for Toronto, Blair reports. Either right-hander would provide the Blue Jays with some certainty in the middle of a rotation that struggled mightily in 2012 due to injuries and poor performances. Free agents can only sign with their own teams until Saturday.
The Red Sox will interview Rick Peterson for their pitching coach job, reports Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe (via Twitter). The Orioles granted Boston permission to interview Peterson, who is currently Baltimore's director of pitching development and is a former pitching coach with the A's, Mets and Brewers.
Here's the latest from around the AL East...
- No teams have yet contacted the Yankees about a possible Alex Rodriguez trade, tweets Jon Heyman of CBS Sports.
- The Orioles have scouted Japanese right-hander Shohei Otani, reports Dan Connolly of the Baltimore Sun, confirming an earlier report from Gerry Fraley of the Dallas Morning News that the O's had interest in the 18-year-old prospect. Since Otani has already been drafted (though not signed) by the NPL's Nippon Ham Fighters, Connolly suspects the O's might not make any quick attempts to sign Otani given the Orioles' issues last season in trying to sign Korean southpaw Seong-Min Kim.
- Zack Greinke and Josh Hamilton are both too expensive for the Orioles' taste, writes MASNsports.com's Roch Kubatko in an analysis of free agents who won't be pursued by the O's this winter. The team doesn't have interest in free agent pitchers Derek Lowe, Jeremy Guthrie, Edwin Jackson or Erik Bedard, while Kevin Youkilis is a longshot based on Baltimore's concerns about his health.
- James Loney has a less than 50-50 chance of returning to the Red Sox, reports MLB.com's Evan Drellich, though the Sox see Loney as a "Plan B" if they're still looking for first base help later in the offseason.
- The Rays have been denied permission by St. Petersburg mayor Bill Foster to explore new stadium sites in nearby counties in Tampa Bay, reports Roger Mooney of the Tampa Tribune. The Rays' lease at Tropicana Field runs through the 2027 season.
- Mariano Rivera's retirement could help the Yankees avoid a tough decision with the closer's job, opines Wallace Matthews of ESPN New York. If Rivera retired, the Yankees could then pursue a new contract with Rafael Soriano without worrying about committing too much payroll space on closers.
- From earlier today, Joel Sherman of the New York Post had more items about the Yankees.
Some links from around the AL East for your Monday reading pleasure...
- David Ortiz is still looking for two years and $25-30MM, according to the Boston Herald's John Tomase. Ortiz told Tomase that he expects the Red Sox to reach out to his representatives at SFX next week.
- Rich Dubroff of CSNBaltimore.com cautions Orioles fans not to buy into any rumblings that Ortiz could end up in Baltimore if he doesn't re-sign with the Red Sox. Dubroff notes that manager Buck Showalter felt handicapped by Vladimir Guerrero's inability to play in the field the last time the team had a strict DH in 2011.
- In his latest mailbag, MLB.com's Bill Chastain tells one reader that Joel Peralta is so intent on returning to the Rays that he will likely deal with them exclusively before talking to other teams. Chastain does opine that a multi-year deal from an outside team could sway Peralta's thinking.
- Chastain also says he believes that the Rays will open the season with Ben Zobrist as the shortstop, as Hak-Ju Lee may not be ready from an offensive standpoint yet.
- Danny Knobler of CBS Sports tweets that the Blue Jays had nine different scouts in attendance for Edwin Jackson's final three regular season starts. Jackson will be a free agent this offseason, and while he'd like to return to the Nationals, he could end up elsewhere. The Jays are planning to shop aggressively this offseason.
The Milwaukee Brewers experienced a roller coaster season in 2012 marked by injuries, blown saves, and being 12 games under .500 on August 20 before embarking on a 24-6 run that boosted them back into the Wild Card race until being eliminated on the final weekend of the season. Club officials say everyone feels better about the state of the franchise heading into the offseason. But, how will that shape the winter for the Brewers? Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel discussed that topic and other issues in a recent online chat with fans. Here are the highlights:
- GM Doug Melvin will be looking to add a veteran to the starting rotation and Haudricourt named Ryan Dempster, Edwin Jackson, and Kyle Lohse as possibilities. A fan suggested Brandon McCarthy and Haudricourt acknowledged the Brewers will perform their due diligence, but any addition will only be made if the pitcher is affordable, the right fit, and wants to come to Milwaukee.
- Haudricourt anticipates the Brewers signing a free agent starting pitcher is a more likely scenario than trading for one because the club has some payroll flexibility and they've already traded away a lot of prospects for pitching in recent years.
- Don't look for the Brewers to deal Corey Hart or Rickie Weeks to create more payroll flexibility. Haudricourt would be surprised if Hart, entering the final year of his contract with a 2013 salary of $10 MM, is traded despite the presence of Southern League MVP Hunter Morris. Weeks, due a guaranteed $21MM over the next two seasons, should also be safe, Haudricourt theorized, because the Brewers have enough money coming off the books to not have to worry about his salary.
- Haudricourt expects the payroll be less in 2013 than the $100 million-plus of this year, a spending level that should put the franchise in the red for 2012.
- Expect Nyjer Morgan to be non-tendered. It was obvious, Haudricourt opined, that Morgan was being phased out and having made $2.3MM and eligible for arbitration again, he probably will be replaced by Logan Schafer, a less expensive option who is considered a better defender. Haudricourt did praise Morgan for conducting himself professionally and never popping off or openly complaining about his decrease in playing time.
- Haudricourt listed some minor league prospects who took a big step this year and that fans should keep an eye on next season, including the aforementioned Morris.