Eric Young, Jr. Rumors
Earlier today, the Mets officially announced their two-year extension of manager Terry Collins' contract. Andy Martino of the New York Daily News reports that pitching coach Dan Warthen also received a two-year contract, making him the only coach on the Mets' staff to secure a multiyear guarantee. Here's more on the Amazins...
- The team will be open to trading Daniel Murphy this offseason, according to ESPNNewYork.com's Adam Rubin. He cautions that the Mets don't necessarily expect to trade Murphy, but adds that they'll be open to moving him if the trade fills a larger hole like shortstop or the outfield. New York would move Eric Young Jr. to second base in that scenario to keep his much-needed speed in the lineup. Rubin feels that Young, who swiped a league-leading 46 bases this season, will be a starter on next year's team in some capacity.
- Rubin also notes, once again, that Shin-Soo Choo is the only free agent the Mets would surrender a pick for (he would cost the Mets their second-rounder, as their first is protected). Choo will likely be too expensive for the Mets, however, especially in light of Hunter Pence's five-year, $90MM extension, so the Mets are likely to instead follow Boston's model from last offseason and sign multiple middle-tier free agents to shorter-term deals. Rubin points out that the Mets could make several external additions and still see a decrease in payroll due to the huge contracts they have coming off the books.
- The Mets have upped their international scouting efforts, which could be a sign that they'll be more active on the global market this winter, tweets Marc Carig of Newsday.
- Along those same lines, Joel Sherman of the New York Post tweets that the Mets have three scouts in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic to watch Jose Dariel Abreu. They also plan to do due diligence on Masahiro Tanaka, tweets Anthony DiComo of MLB.com. Sherman is careful to add that the Mets are still seen as a long-shot to land Abreu.
- After talking with a club official, Mike Puma of the New York Post (on Twitter) feels that the Mets will try to "get creative" in a trade for a big-ticket item before going the free agent route. Carig chimes in as well, adding that with so much money coming off the books, the Mets could take on a big contract should they go that route (Twitter link).
- GM Sandy Alderson told reporters, including DiComo, that he's hopeful the team will be able to make a splash in free agency this offseason (Twitter links).
The red-hot Dodgers suffered just their third loss of the second half last night and have expanded their lead on the NL West to five games over the second-place Diamondbacks. Here's the latest out of the division...
- It's easy to forget what a dreadful situation the Dodgers were in just two short months ago, but manager Don Mattingly offered a reminder when speaking to reporters, including Danny Knobler of CBS Sports. Mattingly said that team president Stan Kasten approached him and told him that they would have to let him go if things didn't turn around. There was plenty of speculation back in May regarding Mattingly's job security, but this is the first that either side has acknowledged how close he may have come to getting fired.
- Suspended Padres shortstop Everth Cabrera gave an emotional, bilingual speech to his teammates, apologizing to them behind closed doors prior to Monday's game, writes MLB.com's Jamal Collier. Collier adds that Cabrera took a banned substance in the spring of 2012 to help heal a shoulder injury at the advice of former ACES employee Juan Nunez -- the same employee who was reportedly behind Melky Cabrera's web site scandal.
- Patrick Saunders of the Denver Post writes that former Rockies outfielder Eric Young Jr. has no ill feelings towards Colorado after being traded to the Mets earlier this season. "I’m more appreciative they made the move they did, because I wouldn’t be in this situation if they didn’t," Young told reporters on Tuesday. Young has been outstanding with the Mets, hitting .270/.350/.362 with a home run (of the walk-off variety) and 15 steals in 19 attempts.
It's been 731 days since the Mets traded Carlos Beltran to the Giants in exchange for Zack Wheeler, and while that trade looks brilliant now, it also represents the last July trade that involved the Amazin's. Here's more on New York's National League club...
- Tim Byrdak's contract contains a clause that allows him to leave the Mets should another team offer him a Major League roster spot, MLBTR has learned. After being contacted by an interested team, the Mets would have 48 hours to add Byrdak to their own big league roster. If they chose not to do so, Byrdak would be free to join the new team, and the Mets would receive no compensation. The clause is similar to the one that allowed Jason Grilli to leave the Phillies and join the Pirates in 2011. Byrdak currently has a 2.45 ERA and 11-to-3 K/BB ratio in 11 innings at High-A St. Lucie as he works his way back from shoulder and knee surgeries in late 2012.
- A Mets executive told Mike Puma of the New York Post that he would be surprised if manager Terry Collins were replaced after the season. The Mets are happy with the job that Collins has done, and the executive says the team is doing a good job of "sprinting to the finish line" with Collins at the helm (Twitter links). Collins still only under contract through the 2013 season.
- Puma's colleague, Joel Sherman, tweets that left-handed relief is in such high demand, the Mets actually received calls checking in on how Byrdak and Pedro Feliciano were progressing in their rehab.
- Nothing has changed on the Marlon Byrd and Bobby Parnell front, according to Sherman (on Twitter). The Mets have received nibbles on both, but not nearly enough to make a deal likely.
- The Mets are seeking a "Wheeler type" top prospect in exchange for Parnell, according to Jon Heyman of CBS Sports (on Twitter). Given that exborbitant price tag, it's no surprise that interest hasn't picked up much.
- Sherman adds that the Mets had hoped to see interest in Daniel Murphy, John Buck and Eric Young Jr., but to this point they haven't received calls on that group. As such, they're likely to simply try to win as many games as they can with the current group in the season's second half.
Young Jr. was designated for assignment last week in order to make room for the activation of right-hander Chris Volstad. The outfielder posted a .316/.377/.448 slash line in 196 plate appearances last year but has hit just .242/.290/.352 with one homer in 180 PAs this year. The 28-year-old has experience at all three outfield positions as well as 49 games at second base.
McHugh has 11 big league games under his belt but has spent the 2013 season with the Mets' Triple-A affiliate. In nine starts for Las Vegas, McHugh has a 2.87 ERA with 6.9 K/9 and 2.2 BB/9. Despite his success there, he'll report to the Rockies' Double-A affiliate, according to Troy Renck of the Denver Post (on Twitter).
Cowgill, 27, has a .173/.189/.327 slash line in 53 plate appearances this year. In parts of three seasons at the Triple-A the outfielder has hit .307/.381/.476.
The outfielder posted a .316/.377/.448 slash line in 196 plate appearances last year but hasn't found the same success in 2013. In 180 PAs this year, the 28-year-old has hit .242/.290/.352 with one homer. Young has experience at all three outfield positions as well as 49 games at second base.
On a busy night in baseball, we've also seen some changes in representation. Of course, you can keep up on all agency news with MLBTR's Agency Database. Here's the latest..
- Marco Scutaro is now represented by agent Barry Praver, tweets Jerry Crasnick of ESPN.com. The Giants hope to re-sign the infielder this winter and by all accounts the interest appears to be mutual.
- Nationals left-hander Mike Gonzalez is now represented by Dan Lozano of MVP Sports Group, according to Tim Brown of Yahoo Sports (via Twitter). Gonzalez was a client of Scott Boras last season when he joined the club on a minor league deal. The Nats would like to re-tool their bullpen this winter but are said to have interest in retaining the 34-year-old.
- Rockies outfielder Eric Young Jr. has left CAA to hook on with Dan Lozano at MVP, according to Jerry Crasnick of ESPN.com (via Twitter). Young is not yet arbitration eligible and won't hit the open market until after the 2016 season.
The Orioles agreed to send Jeremy Guthrie to the Rockies for Jason Hammel and Matt Lindstrom in a deal that was announced earlier today. The trade provides the Rockies with an innings eater atop a rotation filled with uncertainty and gives the Orioles two players who are under team control through 2013. Here are some reactions to the deal:
- Guthrie wrote on Twitter that Nick Swisher's batting average is one of the 'losers' of the trade. Swisher has a .448 average in 29 career plate appearances against Guthrie.
- The Orioles should have traded Guthrie at or before last year's July 31st trade deadline, Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports writes. Rosenthal says Guthrie had more trade value when he was further away from free agency. The Tigers, Rangers and Cardinals had interest in Guthrie last summer, Rosenthal tweets.
- Guthrie told reporters, including Brittany Ghiroli of MLB.com and Dan Connolly of the Baltimore Sun, that he was surprised to be traded since he and the Orioles had been preparing for an arbitration hearing.
- ESPN.com's Buster Olney hears arbitration talks between Guthrie and the Orioles were contentious leading up to today's scheduled hearing (Twitter links). Olney hears the Orioles and Rockies started discussing Guthrie at last year's trade deadline and continued talks at the November GM Meetings.
- Rockies GM Dan O'Dowd joined Jim Duquette and Kevin Kennedy on MLB Network Radio and said the Rockies have admired Guthrie for a while. O'Dowd had discussed the right-hander with Andy MacPhail before the Orioles' recent regime change.
- Connolly hears that Eric Young Jr. came up in trade talks, before the Orioles decided he wasn't a fit. The infielder is out of options and the Orioles have a full 40-man roster.
- Danny Knobler of CBSSports.com explains that Guthrie could be better off in Denver, since NL West teams play in a number of big ballparks and Guthrie lives in Utah.
- The Rockies' offer was 'by far' the best one the Orioles received, Roch Kubatko of MASNsports.com tweets.
- Orioles executive VP of baseball operations Dan Duquette weighed in on the trade earlier today.
The Mets have expressed interest in Eric Young Jr. of the Rockies, according to Adam Rubin of ESPNNewYork.com. Rubin's source indicated that the Mets may be able to obtain Young by sending Justin Turner to Colorado and that the teams continue discussing Jon Niese. However, Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com tweets that Turner's name hasn't come up yet.
Young, 26, has a .246/.324/.295 line with 15 extra base hits in 479 career plate appearances in three stints at the Major League level as an outfielder and second baseman. The Rockies' plans at second remain unclear, but the outfield has become crowded with the recent additions of Tyler Colvin and Michael Cuddyer.
The Rockies nearly traded Young to the Mariners during the Winter Meetings, according to Troy Renck of the Denver Post (on Twitter). All signs point to a trade involving Young before Spring Training, Renck reports.
On this day in 2006, the Cubs signed Alfonso Soriano to an eight-year, $136MM deal. In five seasons with Chicago, Soriano has a slash line of .266/.320/.498 and has averaged 129 games per year. Here are some links for Sunday afternoon..
- Mark Townsend of Yahoo! Sports is surprised at what teams are paying for sure-handed middle infielders. Specifically, he says the Twins and Dodgers paid role players like final pieces to the puzzle and are counting on them for too much (referring to Jamey Carroll and Mark Ellis, respectively).
- Eric Young Jr. decided to play in Venezuela this offseason in order to gain more experience playing second base, writes Rafael Rojas Cremonesi for the Denver Post. Young played second base just seven times for the Rockies last season, and is 6-for-20 with three steals in his first six games.
- Luke Scott would be open to negotiating a new deal with the Orioles if he's non-tendered, writes Roch Kubatko of MASNsports.com. Scott is projected to earn $6MM in arbitration.
- Bobby Valentine expects to meet with Red Sox GM Ben Cherington on Monday and could emerge as the favorite for the job if his meeting goes well, a source tells Jeff Passan of Yahoo (via Twitter).
- Astros owner Jim Crane is prepared to make a swift decision on the futures of president Tal Smith and GM Ed Wade, writes Steve Campbell of the Houston Chronicle.
- There are team executives who are furious with aspects of the new labor agreement, writes ESPN.com's Buster Olney. Some believe that MLB's new draft structure hurts the league's small-market and mid-market clubs. One GM told Olney that the changes don't solve any problems and actually make some worse.
Troy Renck of the Denver Post took some time to answer questions from his followers on Twitter just now. Renck touches on a lot of offseason topics for the Rox, so let's take a look (all links to Renck's Twitter):
- If traded, Jason Giambi would prefer to go to the Phillies, but he isn't looking to get traded and would likely be claimed before Philadelphia got a chance at him. Giambi would like to return to the Rockies next season, and Renck sees it happening.
- It's been well-documented that the Rockies would like to add a bat at third base or in the outfield, and Renck says that Michael Cuddyer will be the team's top target in free agency.
- Eric Young Jr. has shown value, but doesn't fit the club unless he's playing second base, according to Renck. Young could be traded, while Ian Stewart will likely be non-tendered.
- Renck predicts that the Opening Day rotation will consist of Jhoulys Chacin, Alex White, Esmil Rogers, and two veterans. Jorge de la Rosa, Juan Nicasio and/or Drew Pomeranz could join the mix in May. Renck notes that De La Rosa is ahead of schedule in his rehab from Tommy John surgery.
- Kevin Millwood, who currently has a 4.26 ERA in four starts (25 1/3 innings) for the Rockies, could be one of those veterans, but on a minor league deal.