Eric Stults Rumors
WEDNESDAY, 10:01pm: MLB.com's Ken Gurnick reports that the Dodgers aren't trying to deal Hu, since they need him in case something happens to Rafael Furcal. Gurnick also notes that L.A. is shopping Jason Repko, who has nowhere to play in the crowded Dodger outfield.
Los Angeles may feel that Stults is now expendable as they have multiple candidates for the final spot in their rotation. Ed Price of AOL Fanhouse tweets that Ramon Ortiz is the top candidate, even though some within the organization feel that Josh Lindblom should be the fifth starter. Yesterday, Ken Gurnick of MLB.com wrote that the aforementioned Ramon Ortiz, Rule 5 selection Carlos Monasterios, Charlie Haeger, Russ Ortiz, and Josh Towers were all in the mix for the job. Mike Axisa recently summed up this proverbial game of musical chairs in one handy post.
Meanwhile, if the Dodgers are unable to find a taker in the majors for Stults, they could find a suitor overseas. The 30-year-old hurler has previously been linked to the Chiba Lotta Marines and earlier this week, he was named as a possible target of the Hanshin Tigers.
Hu, who recently turned 26, made a few appearances for Los Angeles in 2009 as a September call-up. For the team's Triple-A affiliate, he turned in .294/.332/.393 with 6 HRs in 544 plate appearances.
Sunday night linkage..
- Rookie left-hander and Rule 5 draftee Edgar Osuna has impressed in Kansas City and will likely stick with the club, writes Bob Dutton of the Kansas City Star.
- Joe Torre has suspended contract extension talks with the Dodgers to avoid becoming a distraction during the season, writes Ken Gurnick of MLB.com.
- Dave Cameron of U.S.S. Mariner (via Twitter) believes that the Twins are paying Joe Mauer what he's worth. Meanwhile, Bob Nightengale of USA Today tweets that Minnesota's payroll will likely top $100MM in 2011.
- Social media can be a real headache for GMs, writes Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports.
- The Hanshin Tigers are looking at three major league pitchers to bolster their rotation, according to a report from Sports Hochi passed along by Patrick Newman of NPB Tracker. The report lists Jo-Jo Reyes, Eric Stults, and Seth McClung as possibilities. You may recall that another Japanese club, the Chiba Lotte Marines, has previously shown interest in Stults.
- Bobby Jenks will be on a short leash this season, writes Barry Rozner of the Daily Herald. Jenks, who turned 29 on March 14th, is set to earn $7.5MM in 2010 after avoiding arbitration with the White Sox.
- The Padres' Adrian Gonzalez is ignoring all of the trade talk that surrounds him, writes Peter Gammons in a column for MLB.com.
The front of the Dodgers' rotation is pretty well set, with Clayton Kershaw, Chad Billingsley, Hiroki Kuroda, and Vicente Padilla set to occupy the first four spots. There's no shortage of candidates for that fifth spot, but as Steve Dilbeck of The Los Angeles Times notes, most of the contenders have unfavorable contract situations.
Eric Stults and Charlie Haeger are both out of options, Carlos Monasterios is a Rule 5 pick, and both Ramon and Russ Ortiz are believed to have out clauses in their contracts. The one rotation candidate that doesn't have any strings attached is James McDonald, but it doesn't help that he has a 20.25 ERA and a 3.56 WHIP in just over five innings this spring. Regardless of who LA picks for that last spot, there's a chance they'll lose some depth as the other guys succumb to roster limitations.
Let's open this one up for discussion. Who do you think the Dodgers should put in their last rotation spot, and what should they do with the other players? Essentially your choices are a) put them in the bullpen, or b) risk losing them to waivers/out clause/Rule 5 rules. Here are the Spring Training stats, not that they mean anything.
Merry Christmas everyone! It's time to see what news has been left for us under the tree. I hope there's a vortex football in there for me as well...
- Tracy Ringolsby of FOX Sports took a look at the offseason thus far in the National League. For his portion on the Cubs, Ringolsby writes that they got the better end of the Milton Bradley-for-Carlos Silva swap.
- Maury Brown of The Biz of Baseball counted up the money spent by every team in baseball from 1999-2009, using the end of year salary totals. Over this stretch, the Yankees have spent 44% more than the number two top spender, the Red Sox.
- Sam Borden of the LoHud Yankees Blog takes a look at the remaining free agents who could fill the Yankees' vacancy in left field. Three names that jump out to him: Jonny Gomes, Xavier Nady, and Reed Johnson. Although Gomes had a strong '09 offensively (.879 OPS), his career defensive metrics leave much to be desired. Nady, of course, is only an attractive option if healthy.
- The A's are talking with free agent Adrian Beltre, according to the headline of a post by Mychael Urban of Comcast SportsNet. We first heard that Oakland was interested a week ago, but "only in an Oakland economy size financial package." Urban's piece says that Beltre is reportedly seeking $10-15MM per season.
- Bill Shaikin of the Los Angeles Times writes that Jamey Carroll's contract with the Dodgers does not include the "Ramirez Provision", which is a clause that mandates a donation to the team's charity. While owner Frank McCourt said that the clause would be standard for all contracts after Manny Ramirez signed his new deal, a grievance filed by the player's union may have caused the Dodgers to ease up on the requirement.
- The Chiba Lotte Mariners will be sending a representative to California to negotiate with/for Dodgers pitcher Eric Stults, according to Patrick Newman of NPB Tracker who passes along the report from Spinochi. The Japanese club has been interested in Stults for a couple of months and have already been rebuffed by the Dodgers once already.