Fernando Tatis Rumors

Rosenthal On Bell, Tejada, Holliday, Ankiel

The latest from Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports

  • Three or four teams are interested in Padres closer Heath Bell, but the team isn't really looking to move him.  Rosenthal sees Bell getting just $3-4MM in his second arbitration year; that seems light to me.
  • Rosenthal reminds us that the Rockies are eyeing Robb Quinlan and Fernando Tatis as bench candidates.  He wonders, though, if the Rockies, Cardinals, A's, and Cubs could find starting infielders at bargain prices as the offseason wears on.  Rosenthal says Miguel Tejada is looking for two years and $16MM; I can't think of a team that would come close to that.
  • The Cardinals believed Scott Boras might've taken Matt Holliday elsewhere on a one-year deal, though a rival executive believes that was unlikely.
  • The Pirates' interest in Rick Ankiel is obvious – Frank Coonelly has said as much in multiple chats with fans.  A couple of Rosenthal sources were divided on the Bucs' chances of signing Ankiel, who would play right field for them.  The only other known suitor is the Royals.

Beane On Free Agents

MLB.com's Tom Singer tells us that Billy Beane will focus primarily on short-term free agents this offseason as the club's key minor league players continue to develop:

  • Beane states that while a young third baseman or shortstop would be their first choice to acquire, they can look to free agents to fill the holes. Singer mentions Juan Uribe, Jamey Carroll, Ramon Martinez, Troy Glaus, Mark Loretta, and Fernando Tatis. Ramon Martinez… really? Interesting to see Beane mention a young third baseman after landing Brett Wallace earlier this year.
  • Beane explicitly states that the A's do not plan to be aggressive on the trade market, citing a desire to keep their young players.
  • Beane doesn't plan on holding out to see if the free agent pool expands after the non-tender deadline: "It never turns into the market that we anticipate. People expect more than what is usually delivered in terms of available players." Singer speculates that this is partly posturing though, so as not to cause any other GMs to second-guess their decision to non-tender someone.

Rockies Make Multiyear Offers To Street, Barmes Iannetta

The Rockies have made multiyear offers to arbitration-eligible players Huston Street, Clint Barmes, and Chris Iannetta, according to Troy E. Renck of the Denver Post.  The details:

  • The Street negotiations are early, but the Rockies made a three-year offer.  That'd buy out one arbitration year and two free agent years.
  • Renck believes Barmes was offered "two years, with a club option for free agency."  That is, Barmes is already under team control for 2010 and 2011.
  • Iannetta's offer would "carry him to at least free agency."  Iannetta has three years of team control left.  That the Rockies are entertaining a multiyear deal is a vote of confidence despite their pursuit of various veteran free agent backstops.  The agents for Iannetta and Barmes have made counteroffers.
  • Renck says the Rockies will turn to LaTroy Hawkins (again) if Rafael Betancourt turns down their offer of arbitration tonight.  They're backing off on Justin Duchscherer.
  • Utility man targets include Fernando Tatis, Bobby Crosby, Jamey Carroll, and Nick Green.


Mets Do Not Offer Arb To Any Free Agents

Bart Hubbuch of the New York Post (via Twitter) reports that, as, expected, the Mets will not offer arbitration to any of their remaining free agents — Carlos DelgadoGary Sheffield, Fernando Tatis, or Elmer Dessens.  Delgado and Tatis are Type B free agents, while Sheffield and Dessens are unranked. 

Hubbuch also tweets that New York is interested in re-signing Delgado to a one-year deal to keep first base occupied while prospect Ike Davis continues to develop.


Discussion: Fernando Tatis

In 2008, after disappearing from the Major Leagues for some time, Fernando Tatis hooked on with the Mets.  Tatis was a pleasant surprise for the orange and blue, posting .297/.369/.484 in 92 games.  After the season, the Metropolitans rewarded Tatis with a one-year, $1.7MM deal

The Dominican utilityman did not perform at quite the same level in '09.  In 379 plate appearances, Tatis recorded a less impressive slash line of .282/.339/.438.  Defensively, he showed that he is still sharp – whether it be in left field, first base or third base.

Tatis, who turns 35 on New Year's Day, will most likely be taking a pay cut on his next deal.  Tatis could be a good fit for the Rangers, who are in need of a right-handed bat.  The Mets may also be interested in retaining him for the right price, as he looked strong down the final stretch of the season (.854 OPS in August-October).

How much would you pay for the versatile veteran?  Should the Mets make a push for him or look elsewhere?  Let's hear your thoughts in the comments section.


Rangers Mulling Third Base Acquisition

In the wake of Michael Young's hamstring injury, the Rangers are "considering trade options at third base" according to Evan Grant of D Magazine in a Wednesday article.  Young is aiming to return two weeks from now, so it'd be a short-term upgrade over the current Omar Vizquel/Esteban German combo.  And if the Rangers do overcome their 3.5 game defecit in the AL West, the September acquisition would not be playoff-eligible.

Grant speculates on three potential acquisitions: Garrett Atkins, Melvin Mora, and Fernando Tatis.  The problem is that the first two are being well-compensated for their lousy seasons, while Tatis hasn't played third base much in recent years.  ESPN's Buster Olney finds a deal unlikely, but feels that Jamey Carroll might be a nice fit.  One more idea: would a Troy Glaus trade be worth exploring?


Odds & Ends: Nady, Doumit, Boyer

Links for Tuesday…


Baseball Blogs Weigh In: Varitek, Burnett, Teixeira

Let’s take a look at what is being written around the Blogosphere…

  • River Ave. Blues debates Ben Sheets versus A.J. Burnett and wonders if Sheets will be the better bargain in the end.
  • Detroit Tiger Thoughts shows that Jason Varitek is not a good fit with the Tigers, even in a platoon situation.
  • Fire Brand of the American League lays down several reasons why the Red Sox should avoid signing Teixeira.
  • Where have you gone, Andy Van Slyke? sees no downside to the Pirates’ signing of Indian imports Dinesh Patel and Rinku Singh.
  • The ‘Burgh Blues feels Eric Hinske is an economical fit for the Bucs.
  • Amazin’ Avenue does not see Raul Ibanez as an upgrade for the Mets, suggesting he may not be any better than Fernando Tatis.
  • The Baseball Opinion breaks down what the acquisition of Tyler Lumsden means for the Royals and Astros.
  • Batter’s Box takes a look a recent J.P. Ricciardi quote and the current state of the economy and wonders if the Jays are going to reduce their payroll.
  • Royals Review lists the ten best free agent signings in Royals history, topped by David Cone. Amazingly, four of the signings occurred in the last five seasons.

Cork Gaines writes for RaysIndex.com. If you have a suggestion for this feature, Cork can be reached here.


Mets Sign Fernando Tatis

8:00pm: Tatis will earn $1.7MM, according to the AP.

6:54pm: According to a team press release, the Mets have signed outfielder Fernando Tatis to a one-year deal.  Tatis, 33, hit .297/.369/.484 in 306 plate appearances in his award-winning comeback season.


How To Fix The Mets

I will offer my own opinions on how to improve the Mets in the Offseason Outlook, due within a few weeks.  Many journalists have already weighed in – let’s take a look.

  • Newly added bullet: John Harper of the New York Daily News.  He advises the Mets to decline Delgado’s option while signing Orlando Hudson, Raul Ibanez, and Derek Lowe and trading for J.J. Putz.  Say goodbye to Castillo, Perez, and Martinez in this plan.
  • Ken Davidoff of Newsday: Sign free agents Francisco Rodriguez, Darren Oliver, Juan Rivera, Fernando Tatis, and Wes Helms.  Also sign one of Jon Garland, Derek Lowe, or Oliver Perez.  Exercise Carlos Delgado‘s $12MM option.  Trade/release Aaron Heilman, Duaner Sanchez, Scott Schoeneweis, and Luis Castillo.
  • Joel Sherman of the New York Post: Sign C.C. Sabathia, even if it takes $150MM over six years.  Sherman notes this would lessen the load on the bullpen (Sabathia averaged 7.23 innings per start in ’08).  I prefer this plan to spending $100MM on K-Rod and a mid-tier starter.
  • Matthew Cerrone of MetsBlog: Buy Delgado out for $4MM rather than exercise his $12MM option.  Interesting, unconventional thought by Cerrone.  Cerrone, like Davidoff, finds the idea of trading David Wright or Jose Reyes to be misguided.