Fernando Rodney Rumors

Cafardo On Gonzalez, Rodney, Valverde

In his latest column for the Boston Globe, Nick Cafardo applauds the Yankees' offseason moves so far, but writes that they still have some major decisions ahead of them. Here are some other highlights from Cafardo:

  • According to a source, talks between the Red Sox and Padres about Adrian Gonzalez aren't progressing. Padres GM Jed Hoyer is asking for at least Clay Buchholz and either Casey Kelly or Ryan Westmoreland, and the Sox would prefer not to give up that much.
  • Cafardo likes Mike Cameron, but not Milton Bradley, as a fit in Boston.
  • An NL scout views Boof Bonser as a reliever with closing potential, rather than as a starter.
  • Before signing Brandon Lyon, the Astros were talking to Fernando Rodney as well. Apparently his asking price was near $30MM over three years. If that's true, he'll probably end up disappointed this winter.
  • Jose Valverde may be "pricing himself out of the market" as well. Teams like the Tigers and Orioles seem unwilling to commit $10MM+ annually to Valverde in a long-term deal.

Overnight Links: Rodney, Lyon, Nationals, Weaver

The Hot Stove never sleeps…

  • With Brandon Lyon headed to Houston, Steve Kornacki of MLive.com expects the Tigers to intensify their efforts to re-sign Fernando Rodney.
  • Speaking of Lyon, Dave Cameron at FanGraphs calls his signing by the Astros "the latest act in a joke that’s gone on far too long." Ouch.
  • MLB.com's Bill Ladson says that the Nationals' agenda hasn't changed; they're looking for quality pitching and a backup infielder.
  • The Angels will be among the teams at Aroldis Chapman's workout next week, reports Mike DiGiovanna of The LA Times.
  • The Dodgers have interest in re-signing righty Jeff Weaver, according to MLB.com's Ken Gurnick. The 33-year-old Weaver had a 3.65 ERA in 79 innings for LA last season.
  • Danny Knobler of CBSSports.com notes that the Tigers have only $33MM committed to their 2011 payroll, and would have a big chunk of money to play around with next offseason even if they scale their payroll back a bit.
  • Bill Beane left the Winter Meetings late Wednesday afternoon according to MLB.com's Tom Singer, and is ready to get some serious work done. "You really do more productive work when you get back home, and can get on the phone away from the distractions," Beane said.
  • Phillies' GM Ruben Amaro acknowledged that it's possible the team may move past Chan Ho Park and Scott Eyre, says MLB.com's Todd Zolecki.
  • MLB.com's Chris Haft wonders if the Giants could benefit from the Yankees' glut of outfielders.

Twitter Rumors: Lyon, Holliday, Counsell

Looking for more rumblings and analysis? These tidbits are all 140 characters or less…

Tigers Expanding Search For Veteran Reliever

The Tigers' acquisition of young bullpen arms in Tuesday's blockbuster trade won't stop them from adding a veteran reliever, according to Jason Beck of MLB.com. Beck writes that the Tigers have expanded their search for a potential veteran closer after Fernando Rodney and Brandon Lyon declined arbitration.

The team added Daniel Schlereth and Phil Coke on Tuesday and is still open to bringing back either Lyon or Rodney. In the meantime, however, they're going to take their time looking at other options on the market.

"It doesn't have to be now," team president/general manager Dave Dombrowski said. "We didn't sign Brandon Lyon [last winter] until late January, but ideally we'd like to have somebody [experienced] out there, yes."

The Tigers will presumably be looking to add a right-handed arm since, as MLive.com's Steve Kornacki points out, they're facing a lefty overload in their bullpen. The club has been linked to J.J. Putz and to Kevin Gregg so far this week.

Lyon, Rodney Turn Down Arbitration

11:32pm: Lyon's agent tells Beck that his client could still work out a deal with the Tigers.

11:28pm: MLB.com's Jason Beck reports that Fernando Rodney also turned down arbitration. Like Lyon, he could bring the Tigers a supplemental rounder.

10:39pm: Brandon Lyon will turn down arbitration from the Tigers, according to Jon Heyman of SI.com. Lyon, a Type B free agent, will net the Tigers a supplemental round pick if he signs elsewhere.

The Phillies and Yankees are among the teams with interest in the 30-year-old.

Tigers Notes: Needs, Cabrera, Jackson, Granderson

Steve Kornacki takes a late-night look at what Tigers GM Dave Dombrowski needs heading into the Winter Meetings. Not surprisingly, help at the back of the bullpen, a spark plug at the top of the lineup, and a shortstop top Kornacki's list. Here's the highlights of the piece:

  • With Brandon Lyon and Fernando Rodney expected to receive multi-year offers, Detroit will need to address its bullpen. Kornacki doesn't like the Tigers chances to sign the two. Lyon's agent has "guaranteed" his client will receive multiple years.
  • The Tigers could re-sign glove man Adam Everett if a shortstop can't be had via trade. Everett had yet another strong season at shortstop, posting a 13.6 UZR/150. They've also been linked to Bobby Crosby, but I don't think any team would feel comfortable entering the season with Crosby as their primary shortstop option.
  • Kornacki would be surprised to see Miguel Cabrera dealt anywhere. "Nothing even remotely possible has been reported," writes Kornacki.
  • If Edwin Jackson or Curtis Granderson is dealt, it will be in to make the team better and not to slash payroll. With Seattle's recent agreement with Chone Figgins pending, if the Angels want to acquire Granderson to fill the leadoff spot, the price may have just gone up.
  • Kornacki says the biggest offensive need is a leadoff man, and suggests scenarios for both Juan Pierre and Carl Crawford.
  • Kornacki suggests packaging Jackson and Carlos Guillen to bring Pierre and George Sherrill to Detroit.
  • He suggests a one-for-one swap of Granderson for Crawford, provided Dombrowski can extend Crawford. The thinking there is that Granderson will be more affordable for the Rays down the line.

Kornacki finishes up by reminding how active Dombrowski was at last year's meetings. If you'll remember, he acquired Gerald Laird on day one, signed Adam Everett two days later, and on the final day sent Matt Joyce to Tampa Bay in exchange for Jackson. He also spent a great deal of time attempting to acquire J.J. Putz.

Kornacki opines that the biggest move will come somewhere we're not looking, which always makes for fun discussion. Any thoughts on what Dombrowski may have up his sleeve? If you're still up with me, let's hear it in the comments.

Odds & Ends: Hudson, Pujols, Gonzalez, D-Backs

Some Thursday night links…

  • Ken Rosenthal and Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports note that the Phillies had a creative idea for third base before signing Placido Polanco – they asked Orlando Hudson if he'd make the position change.  He passed.
  • Cardinals president Bill DeWitt III spoke openly about the club's limitations in retaining Albert Pujols beyond his current deal, writes Joe Strauss of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.  Signing Pujols and free agent Matt Holliday to new contracts would almost definitely mean committing upwards of 40% of the team's payroll to two players.
  • If the Tigers cannot re-sign free agent relievers Brandon Lyon or Fernando Rodney, they may have to look into a pair of Type A free agents, writes James Schmehl of MLive.com.  Atlanta's Mike Gonzalez or Rafael Soriano could appeal to Detroit, but they would require the forfeiture of a first-round pick.
  • Diamondbacks GM Josh Byrnes conducted a live chat today on MLB.com.  It sounds as though Byrnes would be content to more or less stand pat this offseason, telling one fan that most of the club's impact players evolve within their system rather than "arrive via offseason splash."  Don't expect Arizona to go after a second baseman this winter either as Byrnes says he looks forward to competition over the spot this season, featuring late-season acquisition Tony Abreu.
  • More from Arizona as the club outrighted a pair of prospects to their Triple-A affiliate – pitcher Kyler Newby and catcher Luke Carlin, according to MLB.com's Steve GilbertNick Piecoro of The Arizona Republic writes that the move was not made in anticipation of a free agent signing or trade.
  • Matt Stairs told Larry Mahoney of the Bangor Daily News that he would like to play next season.  Andy Martino of the Philadelphia Inquirer says not to expect Stairs back in Philadelphia next season, as Phils GM Ruben Amaro offered him the opportunity to audition for other teams at Spring Training.
  • Jacque Jones also wants back in baseball, according to MLB.com's Thomas Harding.  The 34-year-old last played in 2008, seeing time in 42 games in which he recorded an OPS of .446.  However, his agent insists that teams will be impressed with his physical conditioning and desire to continue his career.

Astros Rumors: Pitching Targets, Valverde, Tejada

Houston Astros Senior Director of Digital Media Alyson Footer invited her Twitter followers to participate in a Q&A with Astros GM Ed Wade. The exchange resulted in too many tweets to individually link them all, but check out her Twitter account for some quotes from the conversation. Here are a few points of interest:

  • If the team cannot retain Jose Valverde and/or LaTroy Hawkins, Wade notes that there are other back-of-the-bullpen options out there. He says the club would prefer to have Valverde return as their closer, but mentions Fernando Rodney, Kevin Gregg, Rafael Soriano, and Mike Gonzalez as potential alternatives.
  • The Astros will "proceed with caution" when it comes to pursuing pitchers like Ben Sheets, who have questionable injury histories. Wade pointed to Mike Hampton and Russ Ortiz as cautionary tales.
  • Wade doesn't expect to have a whole lot of money to commit to any starting pitching additions, given the other holes the team needs to fill.
  • The GM singles out Randy Wolf as one starter who is "probably not realistic" due to his expected price tag.
  • As much as the team would like to bring back Miguel Tejada, the market for the veteran will dictate whether they'll be able to afford it.
  • The team might acquire a stopgap behind the plate, but would prefer if one of their in-house options could step up and earn the starting job.

Odds & Ends: Hudson, Wolf, Betancourt, Braves

Links for Wednesday…

Braves Eyeing Setup Candidates

Now that the Braves officially have closer Billy Wagner in tow, they're considering some free agent candidates to fill the role of setup man.  Dave O'Brien of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution named Octavio Dotel and Fernando Rodney as candidates earlier today.  MLB.com's Mark Bowman went further, saying the Braves are pursuing Dotel, Rodney, and Takashi Saito.  While it seems unlikely, the Braves might want to make sure Rafael Soriano and/or Mike Gonzalez do not accept their arbitration offers before making offers to other free agents.

Bowman also notes that the Braves maintain interest in first baseman Adam LaRoche despite not offering arbitration to the Type B free agent.  The Braves appear unwilling to offer a multiyear deal.