Elvis Andrus Rumors
- It will be an upset if the Rangers don't sign Hamilton or Greinke, writes Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports.
- Rangers GM Jon Daniels feels "very strong" that shortstop Elvis Andrus will be a Ranger in 2013, he told reporters including Richard Durrett of ESPNDallas.com.
- The Rangers finalized their two-year, $8MM deal with reliever Joakim Soria today. ESPN's Keith Law sees this as "a good deal for Texas that could turn out to be outstanding."
- The Rangers signed outfielder Chih-Hsien Chang to a minor league deal, tweets Anthony Andro of FOX Sports Southwest. Chang, 24, hit .249/.281/.363 in 479 plate appearances across the Mariners' Double and Triple-A affiliates, spending most of his time at the outfield corners.
We'll round up today's rumors on Justin Upton, one of the winter's most intriguing trade candidates, right here, with the latest updates added to the top of the page throughout the day...
- The Mariners and Diamondbacks met tonight, tweets Jon Heyman of CBS Sports.
- The Diamondbacks are said to be one of the most aggressive teams at the Winter Meetings so far, tweets ESPN.com's Buster Olney, who says rival teams believe Arizona will move Upton.
- The Rangers haven't given up on Upton, though the D-Backs continue to insist Elvis Andrus is included in any deal, says Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports. Texas would prefer to build a package around players like Mike Olt and/or Derek Holland rather than giving up Andrus or Jurickson Profar, according to Rosenthal.
- Jack Magruder of FOXSportsArizona.com tweets that the Rangers and D-Backs are still talking about Upton, but that there's "nothing there" at the moment.
Here are the latest hot stove items from FOX Sports' Ken Rosenthal....
- Teams in search of bullpen help have been looking at Royals right-handers Greg Holland and Aaron Crow, though Kansas City isn't likely to trade any of its Major League players unless they can move Jeff Francoeur.
- The Royals bolstered their pitching staff by re-signing Jeremy Guthrie and trading for Ervin Santana, but Rosenthal still feels the team needs a true ace.
- The Phillies are interested in free agent reliever Koji Uehara.
- The Diamondbacks could deal Jason Kubel instead of Justin Upton, which would be an easier move to make though Kubel would bring back a lesser return. A source tells Rosenthal that the Rangers are still interested in Upton but are waiting for the D'Backs to back down on their demands for Elvis Andrus or Jurickson Profar in return.
- Denard Span could be a good trade target for a club that doesn't want to pay for one of the expensive center fielders on the free market. With the Twins desperate for pitching, Rosenthal speculates that a team like the Braves (who need a center fielder and have pitching depth) could be a trade partner.
- The free agent catching market is stalled since the Red Sox and Blue Jays have catchers available for trade, plus the Yankees are waiting to address their pitching before making a decision on Russell Martin.
- Speaking of the Blue Jays' catching depth, Rosenthal thinks that Toronto is in no hurry to deal J.P. Arencibia, as a dependable catcher is needed if top prospect Travis D'Arnaud hasn't recovered from his season-ending knee injury.
- Reed Johnson is drawing interest from several teams, including the Braves, who acquired Johnson from the Cubs last July.
Here's the latest from Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports...
- The Rangers continue to insist that they will not trade either Elvis Andrus or Jurickson Profar for Justin Upton, which could allow the Rays to emerge as the front-runner. They could offer the Diamondbacks James Shields or Jeremy Hellickson in addition to shortstop prospect Hak-Ju Lee.
- The White Sox and Phillies are interested in Kevin Youkilis, and the Dodgers are considering him as well. Rosenthal says other clubs are concerned whenever Los Angeles is reportedly in on a player given their financial might.
- The Orioles and Nationals are still engaged in a dispute over money received from MASN -- both clubs own the network, but Baltimore's stake is nearly 90% -- though Nats GM Mike Rizzo said that will not limit the club's ability to spend.
- Angels GM Jerry Dipoto is not concerned about finding a pure closer. He intends to add the best bullpen arms he can and let things figure themselves out.
- A rival executive told Rosenthal that he expects Dan Haren to sign with the Padres. Haren is a West Coast guy and Padres GM Josh Byrnes originally acquired him from the Athletics while running the Diamondbacks a few years ago.
- “Like him. Don’t love him," said a Red Sox official when asked about Adam LaRoche. Boston is reportedly pursuing the first baseman.
- Joakim Soria and Ryan Madson will not be ready to pitch at the start of the season. Both right-handers are coming off Tommy John surgery.
Here's the latest from Bob Nightengale of USA Today...
- The Dodgers are "aggressively pursuing" Torii Hunter according to a team executive. GM Ned Colletti wouldn't confirm the team's interest, but he did say that he did not have any trade talks about Andre Ethier during the GM Meetings this week.
- The Dodgers will have meetings early next week to formulate a plan that involves signing Hunter and acquiring a frontline starter. They've already spoken to representatives for Zack Greinke and Anibal Sanchez, but are out on Ryan Dempster.
- The Rangers tried to acquire Andrelton Simmons from the Braves so they could flip him to the Diamondbacks in a deal for Justin Upton. Arizona wants a young shortstop, but Texas is loath to give up Elvis Andrus or Jurickson Profar. Atlanta wouldn't budge, however.
With the Diamondbacks in "active discussions" about Justin Upton, there has been no shortage of trade buzz about the former No. 1 overall draft pick. While the Braves and Yankees are reportedly not interested in Upton, teams as the Red Sox, Rangers and Rays are, though the Rays ironically can't make a serious push until Justin's brother B.J. rejects Tampa Bay's qualifying offer, though he is expected to do so by tomorrow.
Here's the latest about Upton from around the league, with the newest items at the top of the page...
- With input from rival executives, Nick Piecoro of the Arizona Republic lists the Rangers, Rays, Red Sox, Tigers and Braves as the top five possible suitors for Upton, with the Pirates and Royals as darkhorse candidates.
- D'Backs GM Kevin Towers told reporters (including Nick Piecoro) that despite some rumors to the contrary, he has had "zero issues" with Upton from a character standpoint. Towers is in "no rush" to make a deal for Upton and said that a potential trade won't prevent him from making other offseason moves. With starting pitching at such a premium in the game, Towers doubted the Snakes would be able to obtain a top pitcher "even in an Upton deal." (All links are to Piecoro's Twitter account.)
- The Rangers aren't willing to include either Elvis Andrus or Jurickson Profar in a deal for Upton, reports Jon Heyman of CBS Sports (Twitter link), which will likely end trade talks between Texas and Arizona.
- The Red Sox are currently on Upton's four-team no-trade list, though he is willing to waive that protection in Boston's case, reports Michael Silverman of the Boston Herald (Twitter links).
- The D'Backs would take a "good young starter" as the "centerpiece" of an Upton trade, tweets David O'Brien of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
- The Tigers are doing background work on Upton, tweets Nick Piecoro, though the Tigers may not have yet "talked specifics" with the D'Backs.
- "Don't expect" the Blue Jays to acquire Upton, tweets Bob Elliott of the Toronto Sun.
Here's the latest from Joel Sherman of The New York Post...
- The Mets are making progress, albeit slowly, in contract talks with David Wright and R.A. Dickey. The impression is that there is still a substantial gap in talks with Dickey, and they've been gauging his trade value during the GM Meetings. They are not doing the same with Wright, however.
- The Yankees would not do a two-year deal worth $20MM or so for Torii Hunter since they want to get under the luxury tax threshold next year. They are fixated on one-year contracts this offseason and could fill their right field hole with a low-cost platoon.
- "The Yankees are not on him," said a source about Justin Upton, in part because they're unsure if he's a good fit for New York (Twitter link). The Rangers and Rays are strongest early players for Upton, and Sherman gets the sense that the D'Backs want to act quickly (Twitter links).
- The Diamondbacks want high-end, MLB ready players in return for Upton and would love to get Jurickson Profar or (more likely) Elvis Andrus from the Rangers. They don't love Mike Olt, however (Twitter links). GM Kevin Towers likes Yankees prospect Mason Williams, but he is several years away from the show and unlikely to be enough to headline a trade package (all Twitter links).
- Next year's crop of free agent starting pitchers is weak, which could benefit Zack Greinke since teams won't be able to find a stopgap and reassess next year. Josh Johnson and Tim Lincecum highlight next winter's pitching crop, and both come with question marks.
- The Mariners, who have young pitching, are said to be talking to the Royals and Twins, who have young hitting. Seattle would love to pry Wil Myers, Aaron Hicks, and/or Ben Revere loose.
- Jason Bay didn't produce with the Mets, but he lived up to his billing as a hard worker and good teammate. Sherman expects the outfielder to take a low-salary, change of scenery deal (Twitter link).
- Mets officials think Scott Hairston will get a two-year deal worth between $8-10MM this winter.
Rangers General Manager Jon Daniels says that the door is open for reliever Mike Adams to return, but he doesn't sound terribly optimistic about it happening, writes Jeff Wilson of the Star-Telegram. "I think Mike's earned the right and put up performances indicative of a substantial contract," Daniels said. "Historically we haven't done those kinds of deals." More on the Rangers and other items out of the AL West..
- While some have speculated that the Red Sox and Rangers could partner up for a swap of Jacoby Ellsbury and Elvis Andrus, such a trade won't be happening, tweets Rob Bradford of WEEI.com.
- People familiar with the Mariners' thinking told Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com that the club could be a new entry into the Josh Hamilton sweepstakes. Earlier today, we learned that the Orioles will be targeting Hamilton this winter.
- Daniels also said that he wants to see Koji Uehara return in 2013, Wilson writes. With the likely departure of Adams and Alexi Ogando's move to the rotation, the Rangers have three vacancies to fill in the bullpen.
- The GM also confirmed that the club has discussed a minor league deal with right-hander Yoshinori Tateyama. The Rangers declined their $1.2MM option on Tateyama last week.
- Daniels believes that there is a perception that the Rangers do not want to retain Hamilton and said that it is inaccurate, Wilson writes. The Rangers have maintained contact with Hamilton's agent, Mike Moye, but contract terms have yet to be discussed.
- Earlier tonight, Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports reported that the Rangers are pursuing free agent first baseman Adam LaRoche.
Believe it or not, but the last place Red Sox may actually be in better position for future years than the AL East champion Yankees, argues Peter Abraham of the Boston Globe. The Yankees have tens of millions tied up in an aging and increasingly unproductive roster, while the Red Sox shed much of their major payroll commitments when they dealt Adrian Gonzalez, Josh Beckett and Carl Crawford to the Dodgers.
Here are some news and notes from around the baseball world...
- Elvis Andrus is a major trade chip for the Rangers if they choose to move him, notes Richard Durrett of ESPN Dallas, who outlines Andrus' trade value and circumstances behind a possible deal. Durrett also says Texas could instead try to trade an older, more expensive player like Nelson Cruz or Ian Kinsler.
- The Rangers have interest in B.J. Upton but they see him as a corner outfielder rather than in center, reports T.R. Sullivan of MLB.com as part of a fan mailbag.
- The longer Zack Greinke takes to pick his next team, the longer it will delay the rest of the Angels' offseason moves, reports Mike DiGiovanna of the Los Angeles Times. Greinke is the Angels' top target and his status with the team could determine what the Halos do with Dan Haren, Ervin Santana and Torii Hunter.
- The Rockies have Indians bench coach Sandy Alomar Jr. and A's third base coach Mike Gallego on their list of possible external candidates for manager, reports Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports (via Twitter).
- Mark Wiley is the favorite to become the Rockies' new director of pitching operations, reports Troy Renck of the Denver Post. Wiley, currently a Marlins scout, would oversee pitchers at all levels of the Colorado organization as the team tries to develop arms capable of performing at Coors Field.
- Andy Pettitte hopes to have a decision made about his playing future "in a month or so," reports ESPN New York's Andrew Marchand. The Yankees southpaw hinted last week that he was looking to return in 2013.
- The Yankees are in for a busy offseason though "by any objective measure, the Yankees aren't a team in need of a major overhaul," writes Brian Costa of the Wall Street Journal. Costa details the five most pressing questions facing the Bombers this winter.
- Wilson Betemit doesn't appear to have much of a role on next year's Orioles roster, writes CSNBaltimore.com's Rich Dubroff. Betemit is owed $1.75MM from the O's in 2013 and his $3.2MM option for 2014 will vest with 324 more plate appearances.
- The Twins have no plans to alter the dimensions at Target Field next season, team president Dave St. Peter said in an e-mail to reporters (including MLB.com's Rhett Bollinger).
Congratulations are in order for the Reds, who clinched their second NL Central title in the last three years with this afternoon's win over the Dodgers. Top offseason addition Mat Latos threw eight shutout innings in the win. Here's the latest from around the league as Saturday turns into Sunday...
- The Rangers will not trade Elvis Andrus this winter, reports Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com (on Twitter). They haven't had any talks about moving him and don't plan to.
- Blue Jays GM Alex Anthopoulos told MLB.com Gregor Chisholm that Ricky Romero and Brandon Morrow are the only starters guaranteed a rotation spot next year (Twitter link). Both pitchers are signed to guaranteed multiyear contract extensions.
- Astros GM Jeff Luhnow told Zachary Levine of The Houston Chronicle that he will meet with owner Jim Crane and other front office members on Monday to "gauge the pace" of their managerial search.
- Jeff Karstens has not started a game for the Pirates since August, and Rob Biertempfel of The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review says (on Sulia) that it could be because the front office wants to get a longer look at some other starters. Karstens will earn $3.1MM this year and is a non-tender candidate.
- Bill Shaikin of The Los Angeles Times looked back at all the prospects traded by Ned Colletti during his tenure as Dodgers GM. Only two -- Edwin Jackson and Steve Johnson -- are playing important roles for contenders this year.