Emilio Bonifacio Rumors
A look at Jon Heyman's new column at SI.com...
- Heyman writes in praise of the Marlins for acquiring Emilio Bonifacio as part of the Josh Willingham-Scott Olsen deal last November. Contrast that with Ken Rosenthal, who spoke to a scout a week ago who was not impressed with Bonifacio.
- Heyman hasn't found any evidence that the Giants are close to signing Tim Lincecum to an extension.
- Heyman says that Freddy Garcia's contract doesn't have an out clause, but "it's generally understood that if another big-league team is ready to give him a shot, the Mets would either try to find room for him or let him go." Garcia has apparently looked good in extended spring training.
It's official - the Marlins traded Scott Olsen and Josh Willingham to the Nationals for Emilio Bonifacio, Jake Smolinksi, and P.J. Dean. Let's round up commentary on the surprising deal.
- Jim Bowden says he acquired Willingham as an outfielder, not a first baseman.
- MLB.com's Joe Frisaro has Larry Beinfest saying the Marlins will move forward with both Jeremy Hermida and Dan Uggla.
- Mike Berardino and Juan C. Rodriguez also believe Uggla will stay put this winter.
- Olsen talked to Frisaro and the Palm Beach Post's Joe Capozzi about the trade. He's happy it's over, but doesn't sound bitter.
- Also at MLB.com, Jonathan Mayo evaluates the prospects the Marlins received.
- ESPN's Keith Law calls it an "easy win for Washington." He notes that Olsen's velocity rebounded in September.
- Joel Sherman of the New York Post reminds us that the Marlins excel at evaluating young talent. He says Nick Johnson, if healthy, figures to be trade bait now that the Nats have Willingham.
- Dave Cameron weighs in. He says the neither Olsen nor Willingham are as good as their reputations, but the Nats didn't give up much.
9:44pm: Juan C. Rodriguez of the South Florida Sun-Sentinel was assured this evening that Dan Uggla will not be traded this winter. Additonally, Mike Berardino says the Marlins won't be signing Ivan Rodriguez for a second stint.
6:34pm: According to ESPN's Peter Gammons, the Nationals acquired Scott Olsen and Josh Willingham from the Marlins for second baseman Emilio Bonifacio and two minor league players, pitcher P.J. Dean and shortstop Jake Smolinski.
Bonifacio was the prospect the Diamondbacks traded straight up for Jon Rauch. He fits into the "speed and defense" plan. Smolinski was ranked 11th among Nationals prospects heading into the season according to Baseball America. They consider him a polished hitter with gap power. Dean was ranked 30th, but he projects well and could become a mid-rotation starter according to BA.
I have to say, I thought the Marlins would get more for these two players. There's not really a sure thing in the bunch. Did Jim Bowden pull a heist, or was this the true market value of these two players? Olsen's peripheral stats weren't great this year, while Willingham has back problems.
Tim Dierkes also contributed to this post.
The Washington Post is reporting that the Nationals released both Paul Lo Duca and Felipe Lopez following tonight's game. The move was made to free-up space on the roster for Elijah Dukes and Emilio Bonifacio.
Lo Duca was hitting .230/.301/.281 in 139 at bats this season and made $5MM on a one-year deal. Lopez was hitting .231/.303/.309 in 324 at bats and was in his final arbitration-eligible season, making $4.9MM.
Nick Piecoro of the Arizona Republic has an article today about the implications of the Diamondbacks' acquisition of reliever Jon Rauch.
- The loss of second baseman Emilio Bonifacio doesn't exactly change the D'Back's plans, as they were skeptical on his ability to become a regular anyway. Still, people are asking whether they'll try to re-sign Orlando Hudson. Piecoro says Hudson is expected to test the free agent market, and doesn't seem likely to offer a discount. His salary should exceed $10MM.
- If Hudson leaves, the D'Backs could either look for a new second baseman or shift Mark Reynolds over there and consider a third baseman. Take a look at the free agent market - options are limited at both positions. Perhaps a trade could be explored.
- Closer Brandon Lyon is a free agent after the season as well, and seems likely to leave. The D'Backs have plenty of in-house replacement options, starting with Rauch. Lyon will join free agent closers such as Brian Fuentes, Trevor Hoffman, Francisco Rodriguez, and Kerry Wood. It's easy to see Hoffman and Wood staying put, leaving three solid options.
- Piecoro talked to team officials who downplayed the recent Mark Teixeira rumblings.
Today's link roundup...
- I was a guest on Get Sports Radio yesterday to talk about the Reds. Click here to download an mp3 of the show.
- NPB Tracker notes that 21 year-old phenom Yu Darvish threw 165 pitches last night.
- GM Dave Dombrowski says the Tigers are definitely not sellers. They're undecided on whether to buy or stick with internal options. The Tigers' approach to the relief market may hinge on Freddy Dolsi's fatigued shoulder.
- Buster Olney says the Mets and Padres have discussed right fielder Brian Giles. He'd earn $11MM in '09 if traded. However, Joel Sherman doesn't think Giles is on the Mets' radar.
- Learn about the PITCHf/x system in a Josh Kalk Q&A.
- D'Backs beat writer Nick Piecoro doesn't think there's much to the Mark Teixeira rumors.
- ESPN's Keith Law isn't impressed with Emilio Bonifacio. He's also not a fan of the Cristian Guzman extension.
- RotoAuthority finds a Tim Lincecum-Johnny Cueto parallel for fantasy baseball players to consider.
Here's the latest from Ken Rosenthal, who should probably take a vacation in August.
- The D'Backs inquired on Mark Teixeira, but a trade is unlikely. Tex might be the best available hitter, as Matt Holliday seems likely to stay put.
- The Rockies scouted Nick Adenhart's last start. The Angels have more interest in Brian Fuentes than Holliday.
- Tons of scouts converged on Camden Yards last night to watch A.J. Burnett and George Sherrill pitch (those hoping to see Sherrill were disappointed). The Cardinals, Phillies, Yankees, Brewers, Marlins, Dodgers, and Tigers all had scouts there to watch at least one of the pitchers.
- Rosenthal says trade interest in Burnett "remains minimal," as teams fear the pitcher's contract.
- The Orioles are taking a look at the Brewers' Triple A team, but it is believed that they are reluctant to part with more prospects.
- The A's chose first baseman Chris Carter over Emilio Bonifacio in the Dan Haren trade.
Ken Rosenthal has more new material. I've updated the post, as Rosenthal updated his.
- The Yankees are looking for catching - Rosenthal and Jon Heyman do not agree with Peter Abraham. Rosenthal says the Yanks have expressed interest in Gerald Laird and Miguel Olivo. The Rangers want young pitching for Laird, however.
- Jarrod Washburn's limited no-trade protection includes the Yankees. He might want compensation to waive that, putting him out of the Yanks' price range. Washburn, a Boras client, wouldn't mind pitching in New York though. The Mariners are looking for young pitching for him. It sounds like the Yankees aren't willing to eat the entire contract and send good prospects.
- The Yankees may explore other trades, and are said to have interest in A.J. Burnett and Bronson Arroyo.
- The Nationals were apparently locked in on a second baseman for Jon Rauch, perhaps explaining why they traded him for just Emilio Bonifacio. The jury is still out on the speedy young infielder.
- The White Sox explored a scenario where they would've acquired Brian Roberts from Baltimore, traded Orlando Cabrera to the Dodgers, and moved Alexei Ramirez to shortstop. That obviously didn't work out. The Sox may be currently trying to decide whether to part with third baseman Josh Fields, their best trade chip and third baseman of the future.
- Suitors for Xavier Nady, such as the Rays, Yankees, and Phillies, are balking at Pittsburgh's asking price. The Bucs continue to insist they're being reasonable.
- Interestingly, the A's are still talking to the Pirates about Jason Bay. Rosenthal says a trade seems unlikely.
- The Cardinals had scouts in Baltimore yesterday, and their interest in George Sherrill is well-known. But they might not match up with the Orioles' needs.
Let's dig through today's links.
- Cork Gaines takes a look at the Rays most likely to be traded.
- According to Ken Davidoff, the Rockies have been scouting Yankees pitching prospect Humberto Sanchez. He'd be a more reasonable return for Brian Fuentes.
- Erik Bedard's MRI came out clean, but it's still hard to see him in a big league game before August.
- Dan Haren used to follow every trade rumor on the Internet, but Justin Duchscherer doesn't monitor the hot stove buzz.
- Shane Victorino is aware of the rumors, but wants to stay in Philly.
- With Emilio Bonifacio gone, Scott Bordow thinks the D'Backs should try to sign Orlando Hudson. Bordow would only offer $8MM a year though.
- Paul Hoynes looks at the Indians' areas of need for the offseason.
- Peter Abraham doesn't expect the Yankees to pursue a catcher.
- Melissa Segura of SI.com writes about Michael Inoa's buscon.
- Patrick Newman profiles Kenshin Kawakami, who should be quite popular this winter.
- Buster Olney expects Jason Varitek to feel a ripple effect from Jorge Posada's injury. His sources expect the Red Sox to offer Varitek one or two years at $6-8MM per.
- MLB.com is looking for a fan to guest host their show The Dish.
Yahoo's Tim Brown posted a new column this evening.
- The Nationals got an OK return for Jon Rauch, acquiring second baseman Emilio Bonifacio. That could set the pace for reasonable reliever prices.
- The Indians are listening on Casey Blake, Paul Byrd, and Jamey Carroll, as you know. Jhonny Peralta isn't off-limits either.
- Here's a new name of interest for the Dodgers: Marlins minor league third baseman Dallas McPherson. He'll be 28 soon, and carries a .287/.400/.650 line with 32 home runs in 314 Triple A at-bats. This could be the second time McPherson blasts 40 home runs in a minor league season.
- The Red Sox inquired on J.J. Putz, but the Mariners say he's not available.