Esteban German Rumors

Esteban German Becomes A Free Agent

According to Bob Dutton of the Kansas City Star, infielder Esteban German cleared waivers and was then released by the Royals.  German is now a free agent.

German, 31, hit .245/.303/.338 in 242 plate appearances last year while playing in left field as well as all around the infield.  His best year was 2006, when he was valued at 1.8 wins.

Odds & Ends: Contraction, Pudge, German, Jays

Links for Monday…

Royals Rumors: German, Furcal, Farnsworth

Bob Dutton of the Kansas City Star has the latest on the Royals.

  • The Royals signed Esteban German to a one-year deal.
  • If they’re going to sign Rafael Furcal, club officials say they’d have to trade away Jose Guillen to free-up money, yet there was “scant interest” in Guillen at the Winter Meetings.
  • However, the Royals are willing to offer Furcal a four-year deal, something the Dodgers have been reluctant to do.
  • The Kyle Farnsworth deal includes a club option for 2011.
  • Royals GM Dayton Moore insists that Mark Teahen is staying put.
  • Their payroll is down to $70MM after non-tendering John Bale, Joey Gathright, Jason Smith and Jairo Cuevas.

Rosenthal’s Latest: DeWitt, Murton, Vargas, Hatteberg, Pena, Baek, Piazza

Ken Rosenthal has his latest column up at As usual he is not shy about stirring up rumors. Let’s take a look at what the rumor-guru has to say:

  • Rosenthal notes that the Dodgers will go with Blake DeWitt at third base who has never played a game above AA. This comes after the Dodgers failed to acquire either the Astros’ Mark Loretta, who was unavailable and the Royals’ Esteban German, who was too expensive. The Royals were asking for the Dodgers’ third best prospect, shortstop Chin-Lung Hu.
  • He indicates that the Padres and the Rays are pursuing Matt Murton but the Cubs are holding out for a top pitching prospect in return, knowing Murton will be a starter on another club. Rosenthal quotes one GM as saying that the price "is way too high as of now". As many as five teams have shown interest in Murton.
  • The Mets are among a dozen teams that have inquired about Brewers pitcher Claudio Vargas, who will not be in the rotation to begin the season. [Update: Sorry about this one. I had forgotten that the Brewers released Vargas earlier this week]
  • The Reds have put Ryan Freel on the market, but more teams appear to be interested in Scott Hatteberg. However, Rosenthal indicates that it is unlikely for the Red to trade Hatteberg even if Joey Votto is named the starter.
  • The Tigers, Reds and Orioles all tried to acquire backup catcher Brayan Pena from the Braves, but the Braves do not appear interested in letting him go
  • Rosenthal says that Pat Gillick’s history in Seattle may have played a part in the Phillies inability to land M’s reliever Cha Seung Baek, who is out of options but made the roster as a reliever.
  • Finally, Rosenthal notes that Mike Piazza is still working out with hopes of landing a gig at some point in ’08. Rosenthal thinks that Piazza may have to come to the realization soon that his career may be over.

Cork Gaines writes for Rays Index and can be reached here.

Dodgers Scrambling for Infield Help

With veteran infielders Nomar Garciaparra and Jeff Kent both likely to miss opening day, the Dodgers are scrambling to find themselves some backups. Ken Rosenthal says that since the Astros are unlikely to trade Mark Loretta while Kaz Matsui is out,  L.A. is considering Ron Belliard of the Nationals and Esteban German of the Royals. Another possibility, Morgan Ensberg, seems unlikely, as the Yankees added him to their 40-man roster yesterday. Joe Crede of the White Sox and Brandon Inge of the Tigers are both probably too expensive.

This could impact roster decisions Los Angeles will make on Monday, when they decide whether they can afford to carry twelve pitchers with so much uncertainty around their infield.

Ned Colletti, meanwhile, says he expects Monday to mark an uptick in trade chatter—but also that he’s content, for now, to fill his third base hole from within. It’s worth noting that  Ensberg’s spot on the opening day roster is still not guaranteed, and that Matsui is expected to return in two to three weeks, perhaps freeing up Loretta. 

Sarah Green writes for the Boston Metro and She can be reached here.

Dodgers Haven’t Discussed German With Royals

On Sunday evening, Ken Rosenthal wrote that Ron Belliard of the Nationals and Esteban German of the Royals were "attracting the Dodgers’ interest."

However, Bob Dutton of the Kansas City Star reports today that Royals’ GM Dayton Moore has not been informed of any interest in German by the Dodgers.  German is known for his .373 career OBP and his versatility, though Baseball Prospectus says he is "capable of playing second, third, and the outfield equally poorly."