Eric Chavez Rumors
Let's round up the latest rumors on a few members of this winter's free agent class:
- Agent Paul Kinzer told Jim Bowden on MLB Network Radio on SiriusXM (Twitter link) that, while Aramis Ramirez has a limited market, there are at least two teams very interested in the third baseman.
- Mark Feinsand of the New York Daily News reports (via Twitter) that Eric Chavez's agent told Yankees GM Brian Cashman his client wants to play in 2012. Presumably, since the call went to Cashman, Chavez has some interest in rejoining the Yanks.
- Plenty of teams are interested in Craig Counsell for a coaching or front office position, but Counsell hopes to play one more year, tweets ESPN.com's Jerry Crasnick. We heard yesterday that Counsell was listening to both playing and "non-playing" offers.
- Barry Meister, Tim Wakefield's agent, told reporters today that he and Wakefield have talked about the possibility of the knuckleballer signing with a National League team. Meister added that a lot of clubs have called, but he thinks "it would be a shame" if Wakefield didn't pitch for the Red Sox. Rob Bradford of WEEI.com has a transcript of the conversation.
- Cuban defector Yoenis Cespedes isn't officially a free agent yet, but that didn't stop agent Adam Katz from talking to reporters, including Scott Lauber of the Boston Herald, about his client. While there have been some questions about whether Cespedes would need to spend time in the minors, Katz said he believes the 26-year-old is ready for the bigs.
Yankees GM Brian Cashman spoke to reporters while at a charity function earlier today, and Marc Carig of The Star Ledger provided a recap. Here are the highlights...
- The Yankees were aware that Jonathan Sanchez was on the trade block, but Cashman said the team did not have discussions about acquiring him. The Giants traded Sanchez to the Royals for former Yankee Melky Cabrera earlier this week.
- Clubs have already inquired about the Yankees' young catchers, such as Jesus Montero, Austin Romine, and Francisco Cervelli. "I've had a lot of teams express 'Hey, if you're ever going to do something there, mark us down,' that type of things," said Cashman.
- Cashman said it's too early to know if the best pitching options are available via trade or free agency. "I haven't talked to every team and I haven't talked to every agent yet," said the GM. "And I certainly haven't had any agent tell me what they want financially. So, no one's made any demands to me, no one's made me an offer, so I don't know what these current free agents are looking for yet in terms of years and dollars."
- The Yankees have requested the medical information for some players, which Cashman said is standard procedure.
- Cashman has not had any talks with Jorge Posada or Eric Chavez yet, and he doesn't know if either will continue playing or retire. Posada told Carig that he's undecided about playing in 2012, but he's resigned to the fact that it would not be with the Yankees. He believes he can still serve as a backup catcher and DH, and he told Newsday's Erik Boland that he's been contacted by five or six teams (all Twitter links).
- Posada's wife hinted that the Marlins could be a fit, according to Mark Feinsand of the New York Daily News (on Twitter). "We live in Miami, so… We love Miami. Nice transition," she said.
- The Yankees have the flexibility to stretch the budget, if needed. "There's no set number where you can't exceed it that obviously exists in other environments," said Cashman.
- The team has a ton of scouts in the Dominican Republic this week, and they are there to see more players than just Yoenis Cespedes.
A few items of note from around the Northeast Corridor ...
- The Yankees have contacted the agent for free agent starters Roy Oswalt and C.J. Wilson, according to Marc Carig of the Star-Ledger. Bombers GM Brian Cashman, however, cautioned that he's "in the process of talking to everybody." Oswalt and Wilson are both represented by Bob Garber of Select Sports Group, as our Agency Database shows.
- As well, Cashman has already communicated with free agent starter Freddy Garcia's representatives, according to Carig, and the parties are mutually interested in seeing the veteran right-hander in the Bronx again in 2012. Cashman also expressed interest in bringing back reserve infield Eric Chavez, backup outfielder Andruw Jones and right-hander Bartolo Colon.
- The Phillies have had discussions with free agent closer Ryan Madson, Madson's agent Scott Boras tells Jim Salisbury of CSNPhilly.com. Boras termed the talks with the Phillies as "good dialogue" and said Madson is receiving a lot of interest - even from clubs that weren't thought to be in need of a closer.
- Newest Phillie Jim Thome is good friends with former Twins teammate Michael Cuddyer, whom the Phillies are seriously pursuing, so Thome could help recruit Cuddyer to Philly, according to Todd Zolecki of MLB.com. "We've texted a little bit," Thome said. "We've talked." ... "I'm sure we will talk going forward."
- The Mets will refrain from doling out potentially crippling contracts under GM Sandy Alderson, but they shouldn't draw that line in dealing with their homegrown star Jose Reyes, opines Adam Rubin of ESPNNewYork.com. Writes Rubin: "If the ultimate verdict with Reyes is a calculated baseball decision, so be it. But shame on the Mets if he departs and it is primarily payroll-constraint induced."
The Orioles are searching for a new GM and the four other AL East teams have begun preparations for the coming offseason. The latest links from the division:
- The Blue Jays won't rule out a run at David Ortiz, according to Scott Lauber of the Boston Herald. Ortiz told Joe McDonald of ESPNBoston.com that the Red Sox won't regret it if they sign him.
- Peter Abraham of the Boston Globe wonders if the Red Sox would offer some combination of Kevin Youkilis, Josh Reddick, Lars Anderson and Jed Lowrie in a trade for starting pitching.
- Alex Speier of WEEI.com explains why the Red Sox are likely to exercise their $6MM option for Marco Scutaro.
- Scott Leventhal, the agent for Eric Chavez, told ESPN.com's Jerry Crasnick that the third baseman hasn't decided whether to play in 2012 (all Twitter links). Leventhal says Chavez "truly enjoyed" playing for the Yankees and would consider returning to New York. He'd likely be a fit for the Bronx Bombers again.
- Bill Chastain of MLB.com suggests the Rays would like Kelly Shoppach to return in 2012. However, his $3.2MM option ($300K buyout) may seem expensive for a club that operates with limited resources and has cheaper internal options available.
Veteran third baseman Eric Chavez is considering retirement, according to Joel Sherman of the New York Post (Twitter link). Chavez, 33, is "leaning heavily towards" hanging up his cleats after 14 Major League seasons.
Chavez considered retirement in 2010 following three injury-plagued years and multiple surgeries on his back and shoulder, but signed a minor league deal with the Yankees in the offseason and ended up as a valuable bench piece for the AL East champions. Chavez hit .263/.320/.356 in 175 plate appearances, all but 23 of which were against right-handed pitching. He also made 33 starts at third base filling in for the injured Alex Rodriguez and showed some of the form (a +9.5 UZR/150) that earned him six straight Gold Gloves for the A's between 2001-06.
Should this be the end for Chavez, he will retire with a career line of .267/.342/.474, 232 home runs and career earnings of approximately $75.63MM.
Hurricane Irene washed out Saturday's contests for both New York clubs, and today's Braves/Mets game has been postponed as well. Weather permitting though, the Yankees and Orioles will play two, with Bartolo Colon and Ivan Nova looking to help the Yanks make up ground on the Red Sox in the AL East. Before they get underway, let's check out the latest from Queens and the Bronx....
- Eric Chavez explains to the Star-Ledger's Jeff Bradley why coming to New York actually helped relieve the pressure he'd felt in Oakland.
- When the Mets negotiate with Jose Reyes this offseason, part of the conversation will revolve around playing time, days off, and medical history, writes Dan Martin of the New York Post.
- Mike Lupica of the New York Daily News discusses Brian Cashman's starting rotation hits and misses over the years, while Mark Feinsand of the Daily News notes that the Yankees GM didn't exactly rush to A.J. Burnett's defense this weekend.
The Mets have placed Jose Reyes on the disabled list with a left hamstring strain after examining the results of an MRI, the team announced. This break in Reyes' season won't be filled by contract talks, however, as Newsday's David Lennon tweets that Reyes and his agents still plan to wait until after the season to begin negotiations. Reyes' latest health issue isn't helping his reputation as an injury-prone player; as one unnamed Mets player tells Lennon (Twitter link), Reyes "is probably losing $100K a day on the DL," in regards to his next contract.
Here's the latest on the Mets and Yankees...
- Right-hander Cory Wade has been the Yankees' "secret weapon" since joining the club on a minor league deal in June, writes Mike Axisa of the River Ave Blues blog.
- Another low-profile Yankee acquisition, Eric Chavez, has also paid off for the Bombers, writes MLB.com's Bryan Hoch.
- Rival executives say the Yankees lead the league in waiver claims, according to Jon Heyman of SI.com (on Twitter).
- As ESPN.com’s Buster Olney points out (on Twitter), the Yankees could use a second left-hander out of the bullpen in October. It won’t be surprising if they consider Arthur Rhodes, who will officially hit free agency later this week.
- Jorge Posada will have to choose between a bench role and asking for his release, according to Olney, who says the Yankees won’t cut him (Twitter link).
- The Mets intend to tender Mike Pelfrey a contract this winter, according to Newsday’s David Lennon. The right-hander earns $3.925MM now and could earn over $6MM in 2012.
MLBTR's Mark Polishuk also contributed to this post
A few notes on veterans with opt-out clauses from around the league...
- Non-roster invitee Miguel Batista has earned a spot on the Cardinals roster, writes B.J. Rains of FOXSportsMidwest.com. The 40-year-old Batista could have opted out of his contract on Monday had the Cards not informed him that he would make the club.
- The Mets have not asked Jason Isringhausen if he would accept a minor league assignment, because he has already said in the past that he won't, tweets Anthony DiComo of MLB.com.
- Dave Bush will use his opt-out tomorrow if he doesn't make the Rangers, writes Richard Durrett of ESPN.com. Bush says that he's not sure which way the club is leaning but wants to stay in Texas.
- Russell Branyan could have opted out of his contract with the Diamondbacks yesterday, but he was instead informed that he has made the club according to Nick Piecoro of The Arizona Republic. Brandon Allen is likely to go to Triple-A while the out-of-options Juan Miranda stays with the team.
- George A. King III of The New York Post reports that Eric Chavez can ask the Yankees for his release today if he doesn't make the team. "They haven't let me know anything," said Chavez, but his strong showing in camp (.421/.450/.605 in 40 PA) likely won him a bench job.
- Isringhausen told Mike Puma of The New York Post that he will not accept a minor league assignment if he does not make the Mets out of Spring Training. There's a possibility Izzy would go to Extended Spring Training if his swollen elbow isn't fully healed though.
As we cruise through Spring Training and gear up for Opening Day, let's take a look at some news on some notable non-roster invitees around the league...
- Whether or not Yankees manager Joe Girardi wants to acknowledge it, there's "no way" Eric Chavez doesn't make the team out of camp, tweets ESPN's Wallace Matthews.
- Nationals manager Jim Riggleman told MLB.com's Bill Ladson there's a "good chance" that Matt Stairs breaks camp with the team.
- MLB.com's Jennifer Langosch writes that Garrett Atkins is hoping to re-kindle his career with the Pirates, but to this point has done nothing to distinguish himself from his competition (Steve Pearce, Andy Marte, and Josh Fields). Atkins was just 4-30 this spring entering play today.
Links for Saturday..
- Peter Schmuck of The Baltimore Sun called the Orioles' signing of pitcher Justin Duchscherer the latest "late-winter Hail Mary" by GM Andy MacPhail.
- C.C. Sabathia told Mark Hale of the New York Post that he isn't concerned about the Yankees' rotation.
- Carlos Marmol took his physical in Mesa, Arizona today, tweets Carrie Muskat of MLB.com. Marmol and the Cubs should finalize a long-term deal this week.
- The Nationals still have loose ends to tie up from the Esmailyn Gonzalez scandal, writes Adam Kilgore of the Washington Post.
- Tom Singer of MLB.com will be keeping a close eye on Jonathan Broxton of the Dodgers as he looks to get his career back on track this season. Recently our own Mike Axisa characterized 2011 as a make or break year for the closer as he approaches free agency.
- Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch writes that the Cardinals and outfielder Jim Edmonds have not yet scheduled the physical that he needs to pass in order to finalize his minor league deal with the club. GM John Mozeliak confirmed that the agreement is open-ended in order to allow Edmonds time to recover from foot surgery before taking the physical.
- After signing a one-year, $4MM this winter, Aaron Harang is looking to return to old form with the Padres, writes Don Norcross of the San Diego Union-Tribune.
- Meanwhile, Eric Chavez is looking for a fresh start with the Yankees, writes Anthony McCarron of the New York Daily News.