Esteban Loaiza Rumors

Odds & Ends: Mauer, Turnbow, Loaiza

Links for Monday…

  • Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports wonders if the convergence of Joe Mauer, Ron Shapiro, and Bill Smith in St. Paul Wednesday for a Rick Reilly program will accelerate extension talks.
  • The Rockies "remain firmly in the mix" for free agent reliever Derrick Turnbow, reports Troy E. Renck of the Denver Post.  Turnbow could make a choice by Wednesday.
  • In his latest MLB.com mailbag, Jordan Bastian notes that Blue Jays starter Dustin McGowan is out of options.
  • MLBTR's resident translator, Nick Collias, passes along this Esteban Loaiza interview with Hector Linares from the Mexican newspaper Excelsior.  Loaiza says he's doing everything possible to make it back to the big leagues, and has received a few calls from teams.  He last pitched for the White Sox in June of '08.
  • Bill Conlin of the Philadelphia Daily News explains why the Phillies' Cliff Lee trade was the right move.  He says fans don't understand, and the Phils needed the prospects. 
  • Aaron Gleeman wouldn't mind seeing Delmon Young benched and Jim Thome added by the Twins to platoon at DH.
  • RotoAuthority assesses David Wright's fantasy prospects for 2010.
  • Baseball America's Ben Badler says MLB voided the seven-figure contract Dominican third baseman Duanel Jones had with San Francisco.  ESPN's Jorge Arangure says (via Twitter) the move was prompted by Jones failing a drug test administered by the Giants.
  • Orioles starter Jeremy Guthrie told MASN's Steve Melewski that his $120K pay cut from 2008 to 2009 did not affect his '09 performance.

Odds and Ends: Happ, Igawa, Hawkins, Lowe

Rounding up rumors and links from the weekend…


Loaiza Not Released

5:09pm: Loaiza will remain with the Sox for now, but he’s headed to the DL.

8:45am: According to MLB.com’s Scott Merkin, the White Sox will release Esteban Loaiza prior to today’s game. 

It was a short-lived experiment; only three innings.  The Sun-Times may have the reasoning behind it in today’s article.  Joe Cowley says Loaiza hadn’t been working out or throwing before the Sox signed him, which may be one of the reasons he can barely crack 80 mph.



Rosenthal’s Latest: Kemp, Bradley, Fuentes, Street

New Rosenthal.  Seems like he just put a column out a few days ago.

  • Rosenthal believes the Dodgers would consider trading a young player (especially Matt Kemp) for a slugger.  He discusses what it would take to get Jason Bay, Magglio Ordonez, Adam Dunn, or Matt Holliday.  This all seems like a bad idea for the Dodgers.
  • There are certainly arguments for the Rangers to keep or even extend Milton Bradley.  But Rosenthal thinks he could net "multiple high-end prospects" if Jon Daniels goes the trade route.  He says the Rangers could shop some of their veterans while also trying to acquire a controllable reliever.
  • Rosenthal’s best guess is that the Pirates will trade Xavier Nady or Jason Bay but not both.  He says Neal Huntington is not under pressure to clear salary.
  • The Cubs are interested in Brian Fuentes, which is a new one.  Rosenthal adds that Jim Hendry plans to pursue the best available starter.
  • The Brewers have many quality minor league trade chips, and they may be looking for a starter.
  • Minimal trade interest in Huston Street, and the A’s have backed off the extension idea.
  • The Yankees are "aggressively" trying to move LaTroy Hawkins.
  • The Dodgers wanted to do an Esteban Loaiza-Juan Uribe swap, but the Sox just waited them out and signed Loaiza.
  • Rosenthal says the Phillies "lack the prospect inventory" to get an impact starting pitcher, which I don’t agree with.  He says they may look for another lefty reliever or bench bat.


Esteban Loaiza Signs With White Sox

Esteban Loaiza is back with the White Sox, this time as a reliever.  I believe ESPN 1000′s Bruce Levine had the scoop once again.

Loaiza, 36, pitched in seven games for the Dodgers this year before being designated for assignment to make room for Clayton Kershaw.  Loaiza is back under pitching coach Don Cooper, who helped him win 21 games in ’03.


Esteban Loaiza DFA’d – Kershaw Called Up

It’s a DFA kind of day, I suppose. To make room for the much-anticipated call-up of 20-year old lefty Clayton Kershaw, the Los Angeles Dodgers designated Esteban Loaiza for assignment today. The team now has ten days to either trade him or release him unless Loaiza accepts a demotion to AAA Las Vegas.

In his final year of a three-year deal worth over $21MM, Loaiza is guaranteed at least $7MM in 2008, plus has a $375K buyout on a 2009 option. Picked up by the Dodgers after he was waived by Oakland back in August, Loaiza’s struggles in the Bay Area followed him down to LA, where he compiled a 6.94 ERA in twelve appearances. The 36-year old righty has been on the DL since early May due to a shoulder problem.

Posted by Paul Moro


What’s In Store For Oakland?

Susan Slusser’s recent article for the San Francisco Chronicle had some interesting rumor tidbits.

  • The Dodgers see the Esteban Loaiza handover as something of a small gift from the A’s.  The team’s talked about sending someone to Oakland – Brett Tomko was mentioned – but ultimately Oakland moved Loaiza only for salary relief.  However, the goodwill between Ned Colletti and Billy Beane from the deal could result in positive offseason discussions about Joe Blanton.  The Dodgers could sweeten a Blanton package beyond what’s necessary, in rememberance of the Loaiza gift.
  • The Tigers haven’t asked about Mike Piazza, and the Twins had only mild interest back in July.  But that might be one last salary the A’s try to unload before tonight’s trade deadline.
  • Interesting thought from Buster Olney the other day – is it time to shop Eric Chavez?  His plus defense might play well in L.A., New York, or Boston.  Olney speculates that the A’s might ask the Dodgers for Clayton Kershaw…can’t see that one happening.  Chavvy makes $11MM in ’08, $11MM in ’09, $12MM in ’10, and a $3MM buyout in ’11.  His limited no-trade clause allows him to block trades to the Blue Jays, Nationals, Devil Rays, Mets, Twins, Brewers, Marlins, and Indians.
  • Slusser writes in another article that the A’s will slice their ’08 payroll by roughly $15MM.



Dodgers Receive Loaiza On Waiver Claim

Given the $8MM+ owed to 35 year-old starter Esteban Loaiza, Billy Beane chose to hand him over to the Dodgers solely for salary relief.  The Dodgers basically inherit Loaiza on a one-year, $7MM deal for 2008, which is less than he’d cost on the open market.  If healthy he’s a more than credible fourth starter.  He had great success for the Nationals in the NL back in ’05. 

Loaiza slots into the fourth slot for the rest of the season, behind Chad Billingsley but ahead of David Wells.  Ned Colletti did a fine job adding two respectable starters for nothing.  One consequence of the acquisition is that the Dodgers are likely to turn Randy Wolf loose rather than exercise his $9MM option, according to Ken Rosenthal. 

You can read a history of Loaiza’s ailments and misdeeds since the A’s signed him here.



Dodgers Interested In Loaiza

According to John Shea of the San Francisco Chronicle, the Dodgers have "genuine interest" in Oakland starter Esteban Loaiza.  The 35 year-old righty has been excellent in two starts against the Blue Jays since coming off the DL.

Loaiza was coming off a fine 34-start 2005 season for the Nationals when the A’s signed him to a three year, $21MM pact. I wasn’t high on the deal at the time, though it’s more palatable given some of the starting pitching deals that followed.

Loaiza pitched for Mexico in the WBC in March of ’06.  He reached April with a marked decline in velocity, and the A’s blamed his early struggles on the tournament.  Spasms in his non-throwing shoulder surfaced later that month.  On the first of May he hit the DL with a strained trapezius muscle.

He returned in June to mediocre results, but his velocity had returned.  He snagged a DUI later that month, driving 120 mph in his Ferrari while drunk.  The incident prompted the A’s to ban alcohol in both the home and visitor clubhouses.  Loaiza was healthy but awful in July of ’06.  In August he was surprisingly lights out in winning four starts with a 1.48 ERA.  Loaiza even touched 95 on the gun in a start that month.  He ended up making a couple of playoff starts – one decent, one lousy.

This spring, tightness in Loaiza’s pitching shoulder and a bulging disc in his neck surfaced.  His rehab was delayed due to a torn meniscus in his knee, which he had surgery for in June.  He finally returned this month, and is working in the 86-88 mph range.  With $8MM due next year, it’s possible Loaiza cleared waivers.  However, we only have speculation on that currently.  A switch back to the NL would not be a bad move at this stage in his career, and the Dodgers are still short on starting pitching even with David Wells in tow. 



Dan Johnson For Scott Proctor?

Rusty Simmons of the San Francisco Chronicle believes that yesterday’s Jason Kendall trade could be the first in a series of forward-looking moves for the A’s.  Billy Beane doesn’t say it outright, but he seems ready to play for next year.  Simmons says rumors have swirled around Dan Johnson, Esteban Loaiza, and Mike Piazza.

Johnson has been linked to the Twins (DH) and Yankees (1B) previously.  The idea is to clear some room at first base for top prospect Daric Barton.  As a cheap league average 1B, Johnson has decent value.  Simmons says a Johnson for Scott Proctor trade is "all the buzz."  However, the teams have not talked in over a week.  The 30 year-old Proctor has been worked pretty hard by Joe Torre, but has performed decently over the last two seasons.  For a while during the offseason, the Yankees considered using him as a starter.  The A’s could go through with that plan in ’08.

Piazza is said to be a candidate for the same teams as Johnson, plus maybe the Angels.  He’d due back in about a week from a strained shoulder.  He’ll only be able to DH.

Loaiza has yet to make his season debut due to neck, shoulder, and knee injuries.  He recently threw a bullpen session and felt good, but won’t be big league ready until August.  He’s owed $7MM in ’08; not sure if that salary would pass through waivers in August without a claim.