Erik Bedard Rumors
Tuesday night updates out of the NL Central, as MLBTR's 24-hour coverage of the Winter Meetings continues....
- Rival executives view Rockies assistant GM Bill Geivett as the favorite for the Astros' GM job, tweets Danny Knobler of CBS Sports.
- Stephen Goff of the Houston Examiner hears (Twitter link) that the Astros may select a reliever with the first pick of Thursday's Rule 5 draft.
- Reds GM Walt Jocketty talked about the team's search for pitching, and MLB.com's Mark Sheldon has the quotes. Jocketty also said Edgar Renteria's reps had contacted him, but the Reds probably aren't interested in signing him.
- All signs are pointing to the Brewers bringing back Takashi Saito on a one-year deal, tweets Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.
- Erik Bedard is drawing interest from the Pirates, tweets Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe.
Here are some interesting tidbits courtesy of Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports.com:
- The Red Sox wanted to acquire then Mariners starter Erik Bedard so badly that they tried to trade for the lefty while he was still on the disabled list in July. Fortuitously, Bedard threw a simulated game at Fenway Park when the M's were in Boston on July 23, shortly before his return from the DL. So, the Red Sox had a good chance to scout him before making an offer to Seattle and consummating the eventual trade.
- Offseason negotiations between impending free agent David Ortiz and Boston "will not necessarily go smoothly," opines Rosenthal. The Red Sox will want to limit the years on a new deal for Papi, while the DH will seek a multiyear pact and a raise on his $12.5MM annaul salary.
- Rangers lefty Mike Gonzalez, acquired last week from the Orioles, could be a huge pickup for Texas, which lacks a lefty killer in its bullpen.
- Texas was serious about acquiring Lance Berkman from the Cardinals, but the Big Puma didn't want to be a rental player for the second consecutive year, according to Rosenthal, and St. Louis wanted to retain the veteran slugger in hopes of re-signing him this offseason.
A couple notes regarding the Red Sox and Indians, who both won on Saturday night (in Boston's case, twice) ...
- The Red Sox wanted to trade for both Erik Bedard and Rich Harden once their attempt to acquire Hiroki Kuroda from the Dodgers fell through, tweets Peter Gammons. Bedard, of course, ended up in Boston, while the acquisition of Harden was nixed by Red Sox medical staff.
- It's unclear whether the Indians were the team that placed a waiver claim on the Rays' B.J. Upton, writes Paul Hoynes of the Cleveland Plain-Dealer, but it'd make sense for the Tribe to do so. Outfielders Michael Brantley and Shin-Soo Choo are banged up, and the Indians were one of the teams interested in Upton prior to the non-waiver trade deadline, according to Hoynes.
- Lost in the shuffle of Jim Thome's first homer since rejoining the Indians was the Major League debut of reliever Nick Hagadone, writes Hoynes. Hagadone, a lefty, was acquired along with Justin Masterson in the deal that sent Victor Martinez to Boston in 2009. That doesn't look like such a bad swap in retrospect, especially if Hagadone turns out to be a solid member of the Tribe's bullpen.
Links for Thursday, before the Pirates try to reach the .500 mark and the Indians try to climb above it...
- One GM told Tim Kurkjian of ESPN The Magazine that the Indians gave up an awful lot to get Ubaldo Jimenez, "a guy you're just not sure about." However, reliever Frank Herrmann told Kurkjian that he believes in Cleveland's GM. "We're not going to meddle in the way the front office works," Hermann said. "I would be upset if Chris Antonetti came down to the clubhouse and told me how to hold my curveball."
- Rob Bradford of WEEI.com reports that the Red Sox never stopped pursuing Erik Bedard throughout their negotiations for Jimenez, Hiroki Kuroda and Rich Harden.
- Texas outfielder Josh Hamilton told Anthony Castrovince of MLB.com that the Rangers want to prove that last year's World Series run was just the beginning. "We want to show we belong there, that it wasn't a fluke," Hamilton said.
- Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports says the Padres should have traded Heath Bell by now or signed him to an extension. Their best remaining option is to trade him this August, even though they have significantly less leverage than they did a month ago, Rosenthal says.
- Richard Justice of the Houston Chronicle can envision the Astros winning as many as 90 games in 2013 - but he can also envision three consecutive 100-loss seasons.
- The Braves and Phillies will likely reinforce their bullpens internally, as Rosenthal explains. The Braves would like to add a right-hander and Peter Moylan, who is returning from back surgery, and minor leaguers Arodys Vizcaino and Julio Teheran are options. The Phillies, meanwhile, are looking forward to the return of Jose Contreras.
Jon Heyman of SI.com looks back at the Cubs' quiet weekend and reports that rival teams were surprised when the Cubs said they wouldn't move Carlos Pena, Marlon Byrd and Jeff Baker. Here are the rest of Heyman's notes from around MLB...
- GM Jim Hendry has a strong rapport with Cubs ownership, according to people connected to the Cubs.
- Yankees people don’t think Erik Bedard would last 20 minutes in New York. Red Sox GM Theo Epstein said Sunday that he’s happy to let Bedard’s arm respond to his critics.
- The Astros hired an independent scout to watch their minor league affiliates and the scout found fewer than five players who should play in the Major Leagues.
- MLB officials “seem determined” to convince the players’ association to agree to a slotting system for the amateur draft. The union doesn’t want capped bonuses, which would limit amateur players' earning power.
Thanks to our loyal readers, MLBTR generated 3.1 million pageviews over the weekend! We appreciate you making MLBTR a regular stop, and have a lot of cool things planned in the coming months. On to today's links...
- Mets GM Sandy Alderson told ESPN New York's Adam Rubin that he tried to acquire a reliever before the deadline, but to no avail (Twitter link). He would not rule out a trade before August 31st.
- The Red Sox will not have interest in Lyle Overbay, reports Nick Cafardo of The Boston Globe (on Twitter). The Pirates designated Overbay for assignment today, and as Cafardo notes, he has great numbers in Fenway Park: .323/.395/.500 in 177 plate appearances.
- Anthony DiComo of MLB.com (via Twitter) doesn't envision Jason Isringhausen re-signing with the Mets this offseason.
- The Astros are very confident that they'll sign first-round pick George Springer, but it may come down to the last week, tweets MLB.com's Alyson Footer. Last week we learned that Springer's father met with the independent league Long Island Ducks.
- ESPN's Jerry Crasnick names a bunch of waiver trade candidates in his latest article.
- The Twins wanted closer Drew Storen and minor league second baseman Stephen Lombardozzi for center fielder Denard Span, and the Nationals declined, according to MLB.com's Bill Ladson. I think that would have been a solid deal for Washington.
- The Indians announced they signed infielder Argenis Reyes to a minor league deal; he'd been playing independent ball. In slightly more important news, Ubaldo Jimenez will debut for the Tribe Friday in Texas.
- The extent of Boston's interest in Ubaldo? Scott Lauber of the Boston Herald says exec Allard Baird put in a call on Thursday and the Red Sox weren't in touch after that.
- Both sides have denounced the $30MM figure that was floated for Dylan Bundy, tweets MLB.com's Brittany Ghiroli. Talks are expected to start this week for the Orioles' fourth overall pick. Ghiroli has more on the topic here. Bundy is advised by Jay Franklin at BBI Sports Group; the company also employs his father.
- The Rockies were close to trading third baseman Ian Stewart to an undisclosed National League team yesterday, reports Troy E. Renck of the Denver Post, but the deal fell apart with a half hour to go.
- The Mariners and Red Sox are sharing the costs of Erik Bedard's incentives, reports Geoff Baker of the Seattle Times.
- Newly-acquired players Zack Wheeler and Jonathan Singelton head updated top ten prospects lists for the Mets and Astros, courtesy of Baseball America's Jim Callis.
The deadline has passed and the Yankees are the only team in the AL East that didn't make a deal. The Rays were pretty quiet, too, but there may have been a reason for that...
- Rays executive VP of baseball operations Andrew Friedman underwent an appendectomy last night, according to Marc Topkin of the St. Petersburg Times. However, that didn't stop Friedman from conducting business from his hospital room this afternoon.
- The Red Sox and Mariners will each cover some of the incentives on Erik Bedard's contract, GM Jack Zduriencik told Larry Stone of the Seattle Times (Twitter link).
- The Red Sox had interest in Scott Hairston, according to Joel Sherman of the New York Post (on Twitter). However, the Mets weren't interested in minor salary relief or a marginal prospect.
- Boston wasn’t the only interested team, by the way. The Braves talked to the Mets about acquiring Hairston as a bench bat, according to ESPN.com's Jerry Crasnick (on Twitter).
- Jack Curry of the YES Network hears that the Yankees wanted a shoulder MRI for Ubaldo Jimenez, but the Rockies declined (Twitter link).
We've seen dozens of deals completed this month. To help you make sense of it all, here are some reactions to the moves from around MLB...
- Yahoo's Jeff Passan breaks down the deadline for all 30 teams. The Astros might receive Passan's harshest criticism. Passan's response to this morning's Michael Bourn trade: "To send him to Atlanta without getting at least Mike Minor or Randall Delgado, let alone Julio Teheran or Arodys Vizcaino, shows a deep misunderstanding by GM Ed Wade of the proper way to rebuild." Ouch.
- The Rangers, Phillies, Braves, Giants and Mets are winners for ESPN.com's Jayson Stark. The Yankees, Angels, Reds and Cubs are losers, Stark writes. The Astros face harsh criticism once again: "They're basically starting to shape themselves for 2015," one NL executive told Stark. "It's almost like they're doing an expansion team."
- Brian Sabean (Giants), Jon Daniels (Rangers), Dan O'Dowd (Rockies) and Jed Hoyer (Padres) are among the general managers on Jim Bowden's list of top deadline deal-makers at ESPN.com.
- In a separate piece, Passan looks back at flameout rates for pitching prospects and concludes that the Indians made a great deal in acquiring Ubaldo Jimenez for a package of players including Drew Pomeranz and Alex White.
- One front office polled its members about winners and losers and the Rangers were the unanimous top choice, according to ESPN.com's Buster Olney (on Twitter).
- ESPN.com's Keith Law says Rafael Furcal is an upgrade for the Cardinals at short because St. Louis didn't have any legitimate alternatives. Furcal, Law writes, is an average defender with a plus arm.
- The Mariners did well to acquire Charlie Furbush, Francisco Martinez, Casper Wells and one of the Tigers' top three picks from the 2010 draft for David Pauley and Doug Fister, who benefit from spacious Safeco Field, Law writes.
- Law says the Mariners did well to obtain Trayvon Robinson for two months of Erik Bedard and Josh Fields ("a throw-in"), but he isn't sure what the Dodgers were doing in this deal.
- The Rangers' bullpen will be substantially better with Mike Adams and Koji Uehara, Law writes at ESPN.com. San Diego gets Robbie Erlin and Joe Wieland from the Rangers, two pitchers who "make up in probability for what they might lack in upside."
Red Sox GM Theo Epstein acquired Mike Aviles, Erik Bedard and Josh Fields in trades this weekend. He joined reporters on a conference call to discuss those moves and other issues pertaining to his first-place team this evening. Here are the details:
- The Red Sox like the way Bedard's stuff looks this year. He "really started to look like one of the best left-handers in the league again," Epstein said.
- Though Bedard was rusty in his lone start since returning from the disabled list, the Red Sox maintained interest in him since he seems healthy and has pitched in the AL East. Plus, he met Boston's biggest need - rotation help.
- The Bedard deal came together at the last minute, since the Red Sox had to acquire Trayvon Robinson from the Dodgers before completing the deal with the Mariners.
- As for the bullpen, Epstein says the Red Sox can get by without adding outside help. "We feel we have some depth, not only in the big leagues, but in Triple-A," he said.
- Epstein declined to speak about discussions for Rich Harden, but says he has no hard feelings. It appeared last night that Boston was going to acquire Harden.
- The Red Sox like Fields' "big arm" despite his command issues.
- Though Epstein didn't discuss Clay Buchholz's injury in detail, he acknowledged concern over the right-hander's health.
Southpaw Erik Bedard hasn't pitched into August since 2007, but the Red Sox are hoping he can bolster their rotation for the rest of the season. The Sox acquired Bedard from Seattle today in a complicated trade:
- Red Sox get: starter Erik Bedard, reliever Josh Fields (both from Mariners)
- Mariners get: outfielder Trayvon Robinson (from Dodgers), outfielder Chih-Hsien Chiang (from Red Sox)
- Dodgers get: catcher Tim Federowicz, reliever Juan Rodriguez, starter Stephen Fife (all from Red Sox)
Bedard, 32, has a 3.45 ERA, 8.6 K/9, 3.0 BB/9, 1.08 HR/9, and 41.7% groundball rate in 91 1/3 innings this year. That's his highest innings total since '07, as he endured multiple shoulder surgeries. With Daisuke Matsuzaka out for the season, Clay Buchholz battling back problems, and Jon Lester missing time this month with a strained shoulder muscle, the Sox will take whatever they can get from Bedard. Bedard recently returned from a month-long layoff due to a knee sprain. He's owed only $324K in additional base salary, but can make millions more in incentives.
In Robinson, the Mariners came away with the best prospect in the deal. The 23-year-old outfielder is hitting .293/.375/.563 at Triple-A. Baseball America ranked him tenth among Dodgers prospects heading into the season, saying he's "loaded with athleticism" and "could have four average or better tools." Chiang, signed by the Red Sox out of Taiwan in 2006, has a breakout .338/.399/.647 line at Double-A. The Mariners added two quality outfield prospects without giving up much.
The Ms did have to surrender Josh Fields, their first-round draft pick from 2008. The 25-year-old has experienced control problems in the high minors. Baseball America ranked him 24th among Mariners prospects prior to the season, writing, "he could be a useful middle reliever if he can tighten up his control."
Federowicz, a 23-year-old Double-A catcher, must have been the key to the deal for the Dodgers. He's a well-regarded defensive backstop, but has a .275/.337/.397 line at Double-A. Overall Dodgers' involvement is a bit of a head-scratcher, but we'll see if prospect experts agree.
Rodriguez, 22, has a 5.19 ERA with 13.4 K/9 and 4.9 BB/9 in 59 innings of relief at Class A this year. In parts of four professional seasons, he has a 3.31 ERA with 10.8 K/9 and 4.6 BB/9. Fife, 24, has spent the past two seasons in the rotation of Boston's Double-A affiliate at Portland. He has a 3.66 ERA with 6.1 K/9 and 3.2 BB/9 in 103 1/3 innings this year.