Eric Chavez Rumors
The Angels' $510K renewal of Mike Trout's contract for 2013 has made minor news this week. Now FOX Sports' Ken Rosenthal reports that Trout's agent, Craig Landis, has suggested his client wanted a $1M contract for 2013. Since Trout is a pre-arbitration eligible player and does not have a long-term deal, the Angels were not obligated to pay him any more than the league minimum salary of $490K, despite Trout's exceptional 2012 performance. One source tells Rosenthal the Angels did not negotiate the deal at all. Another tells him that the Angels initially offered Trout a contract of more than $510K, but Trout did not accept it, and the Angels gave him the $510K contract as punishment. In any case, as Rosenthal suggests, the mini-controversy over Trout's 2013 salary will quickly vanish into history if the two sides can agree on a long-term deal. And, of course, salaries near the league minimum are routine for pre-arbitration eligible players, even spectacular ones. Here are more notes from around the majors.
- The Blue Jays' offseason acquisitions of Josh Johnson, Mark Buehrle and R.A. Dickey have put the squeeze on several Jays pitchers, including J.A. Happ, who no longer has much of a shot at a rotation job. Nonetheless, Happ continues to prepare for the season as a starter, writes Gregor Chisholm of MLB.com. "Right now I'm focused on being a starter, building up and doing what I've done in the past," says Happ. Happ could win a job in the bullpen, or he could wind up in the rotation at Triple-A Buffalo, even though he will earn $3.7MM this year.
- Third baseman Eric Chavez, now with the Diamondbacks, says he needed to leave the Athletics organization behind after suffering numerous injuries in his last seasons there, Nick Piecoro of the Arizona Republic reports. Chavez left the A's after the 2010 season, and signing a minor-league deal with the Yankees gave him a chance to "restart everything" by escaping from expectations established early in his career in Oakland. Chavez hit .281/.348/.496 in a successful 2012 campaign in New York, leading to a one-year, $3MM major-league deal with Arizona for 2013.
- The Rays pursued right fielder Nate Schierholtz to the end and finished a close second, tweets ESPN's Jerry Crasnick. Schierholtz ultimately signed a one-year, $2.25MM deal with the Cubs.
- "There's a few potential outcomes that are really exciting to us and we're going to work toward trying to make them materialize," Rays executive vice president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman told Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times earlier today.
- The Yankees never made offers to Jeff Keppinger and Eric Chavez, tweets Jack Curry of YES Network.
- Scott Boras questioned the Yankees' choice to reduce payroll, according to Tyler Kepner of the New York Times. Responded president Randy Levine, "Scott’s a great agent, but he’s an agent. Last I looked, he had zero experience running a professional sports team. I think the Yankees have done pretty well following our own course. My advice to Scott is stick to your day job representing players."
A few of the latest updates from Nashville relating to National League clubs:
- The Padres figure to be seeking just one more starting pitcher, says MLB.com's Corey Brock (via Twitter).
- Although the Nationals' starting rotation is set, the team may still look to add pitching depth, writes Adam Kilgore of the Washington Post.
- Before Eric Chavez agreed to terms with the Diamondbacks, he had spoken to the White Sox, while Jeff Keppinger, who signed with the Sox, was coveted by the Marlins, says Danny Knobler of CBSSports.com (Twitter links).
- The signing of Chavez gives the D-Backs one too many infield bench options, and a team source says someone is likely to be traded, according to Nick Piecoro of the Arizona Republic (via Twitter). Piecoro names John McDonald as the possible odd man out.
- The Mets may leave Nashville having only finalized the David Wright extension, says Adam Rubin of ESPNNewYork.com. One Mets official tells Rubin that teams are asking for Zack Wheeler in virtually every trade proposal, even for platoon-type catchers, which isn't happening (Twitter links).
The Diamondbacks strengthened their corner infield positions today, adding Eric Chavez on a one-year, $3MM deal. He's represented by Lapa/Leventhal.
Chavez, ranked 49th on MLBTR's Top 50 Free Agents list, excelled in his bench role last season, spelling both Alex Rodriguez and Mark Teixeira while seeing some time as the Yankees' designated hitter. Chavez, who turns 35 this week, posted a slash line of .281/.348/.496 with 16 home runs in 313 plate appearances. He resides in Paradise Valley, Arizona, which was surely a factor in his decision.
Jon Heyman of CBS Sports broke the story, and Jack Magruder of FOXSportsArizona.com had the dollar amount. Photo courtesy of U.S. Presswire.
The Red Sox are interested in corner infielder Eric Chavez, reports WEEI's Alex Speier. Chavez could add balance to Boston's lineup and fit GM Ben Cherington's stated need: a versatile, left-handed hitting first baseman. But as Speier notes, Chavez could potentially find more playing time with the Yankees.
Elsewhere in the Red Sox rumor-verse, Peter Abraham of the Boston Globe says the team is open to the idea of trading Jacoby Ellsbury, playing the newly-signed Shane Victorino in center field, and signing Cody Ross or another right fielder. Rival executives believe the Red Sox are laying the groundwork for a trade of Ellsbury for pitching, tweets ESPN's Buster Olney.
The Yankees have been eerily quiet so far at the 2013 Winter Meetings. Still, here's the latest from GM Brian Cashman's media briefing.
- Cashman confirmed he's talked to the representatives for Kevin Youkilis, A.J. Pierzynski, Eric Chavez, Raul Ibanez, and Ichiro Suzuki (MLB.com's Bryan Hoch reporting).
- It's still probable that the Yankees' catcher is already on the roster, and the team is focused on a corner outfield replacement for Nick Swisher as well as left side infield depth (Joel Sherman of the New York Post reporting).
- Cashman described the third base market as "a very limited sandbox to play in."
We rounded up one set of free agent rumors earlier in the day, but as we approach late afternoon in Nashville, it's about time for a fresh batch....
- Recently non-tendered third baseman Jack Hannahan has a big league offer from an AL Central team, tweets Paul Hoynes of the Cleveland Plain Dealer. It could be the Twins, who met with his rep yesterday according to Phil Mackey of ESPN 1500.
- The Mariners contacted Raul Ibanez's agent, tweets Geoff Baker of the Seattle Times.
- Shortstop Hiroyuki Nakajima seeks a three-year deal, tweets Yahoo's Jeff Passan, but teams are hesitant.
- Takashi Saito, who turns 43 in February, would like to pitch another year in the U.S., tweets Yahoo's Tim Brown.
- The Mets have considered the idea of signing Mark Reynolds to play in the outfield, but his price tag may be too high for their liking, tweets Ken Davidoff of the New York Post.
- Davidoff also tweets that the Yankees have met with Eric Chavez's agent at the Winter Meetings and expressed an interest in bringing back Chavez.
- Brewers manager Ron Roenicke tells Jim Bowden on MLB Network Radio that the Brewers have "definite interest" in Jason Grilli, but only at a reasonable price (Twitter link). Milwaukee continues to seek both starters and relievers, but doesn't have the money to make a play for someone like Anibal Sanchez or Kyle Lohse, says Scott Miller of CBSSports.com (via Twitter).
- Jeremy Bonderman, who is attempting a comeback, could have a deal in place by the weekend, according to Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports (via Twitter).
Here are the latest news and notes from the NL and AL Central divisions:
- Sources tell FOXSports.com's Jon Paul Morosi and Ken Rosenthal the Reds like Dexter Fowler and the Rockies like Homer Bailey. Now the question is whether their mutual interest crystallizes into trade discussions during the Winter Meetings.
- The Brewers are prioritizing a left-handed reliever with the available free agent possibilities including Sean Burnett, Randy Choate, Mike Gonzalez, J.P. Howell, and Tom Gorzelanny, tweets Morosi.
- Cubs officials have yet to confirm or comment on reports of their signing of Japanese closer Kyuji Fujikawa, writes Carrie Muskat of MLB.com. The Cubs, however, are willing to talk about their need for a third baseman, an outfielder, and pitching depth. Muskat adds the Cubs could re-sign third baseman Ian Stewart after non-tendering him on Friday.
- The White Sox and Phillies are the two most aggressive teams in pursuit of a third baseman, a source tells Dan Hayes of CSNChicago.com. Kevin Youkilis is the object of both team's pursuit. Hayes writes the Sox may have to move another high salary in order to afford Youkilis and floats the names of Jeff Keppinger, Mark Reynolds, and Eric Chavez as alternatives.
- The Pirates feel they are better equipped to restock their bullpen, despite the free agency of Jason Grilli and the recent trade of Chris Resop, and may be interested in turning closer Joel Hanrahan into a much needed starting pitcher, according to MLB.com's Tom Singer.
- The Twins plan to focus more on free agents than trades during the Winter Meetings, tweets Phil Mackey of 1500ESPN.com. The Twins have already dealt their best trade chip in Denard Span and plan on keeping Josh Willingham, writes Mackey in a separate piece.
"Chavy has no intention of retiring,” Scott Leventhal said. “We have spoken to and met with multiple clubs regarding his future in baseball."
Leventhal, however, declined to comment about those conversations with the multiple clubs or about Chavez returning to the Yankees. Yankees GM Brian Cashman acknowledged Friday he will be seeking depth for the left side of the infield.
Chavez, ranked 49th on MLBTR's Top 50 Free Agents list, excelled in his bench role last season spelling both Alex Rodriguez and Mark Teixeira while seeing some time as the Yankees' designated hitter. Chavez, who turns 35 on Friday, posted a slash line of .281/.348/.496 with 16 home runs in 113 games.
Earlier today, Adam Kilgore of the Washington Post spoke with agent Scott Boras about his client Stephen Strasburg and the notion that he had a hand in imposing an innings limit on the hurler. Boras confirmed that he shared information with Nationals General Manager Mike Rizzo but insisted that ultimately, the decision was made by the organization. Boras said that his staff created a study on the durability of pitchers and shared the data with Rizzo, who Boras said had already completed a similar study. Here's more from around baseball..
- Rival executives say that a number of players have yet to pass through waivers, creating the possibility that the Giants could find a left fielder. However, the Diamondbacks and other clubs that trail the Giants in the standings will almost certainly look to block affordable options. Someone like Jeff Francoeur would be more realistic for Brian Sabean & Co., writes Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports.
- Yankees veteran Eric Chavez hopes to manage when his playing days are through, writes Daniel Barbarisi of the Wall Street Journal. The 34-year-old isn't sure what next year will hold for him, but he has considered retirement before each of the past two seasons.
- Indians GM Chris Antonetti won't tip his cap to whether the club will look to bring back Grady Sizemore next year, only saying that he will wait to get a better handle on his health, writes Paul Hoynes of The Plain Dealer. Earlier today, two scouts told Jayson Stark of ESPN.com that they'd recommend signing Sizemore if it doesn't require much guaranteed money.