Fernando Tatis Rumors
No one should be surprised if the Yankees engage in a major spending spree during the 2014 offseason, writes Jim Bowden of ESPN.com (Insider sub. req'd). The Bombers held off on going after the big free agents this winter as they look to get under the $189MM figure next year for tax purposes, but they'll get a clean slate on their luxury tax history after that point. General Manager Brian Cashman could reload his rotation in 2014 with a free agent class including Justin Verlander, Clayton Kershaw, Felix Hernandez, and James Shields. If they want to take that route again the following year, the 2015 class offers David Price, Cliff Lee, Johnny Cueto, and Yovani Gallardo. Here's more from the AL East..
- The Orioles are not expected to sign Arthur Rhodes or Fernando Tatis to minor league deals, a pair of sources tell Roch Kubatko of MASNsports.com (on Twitter). Yesterday, it was reported that the O's recently worked out both veterans. Rhodes, 43, didn't pitch in 2012 but he's looking to return to baseball this season. Tatis, 38, hasn't played in the majors since 2010.
- Rays closer Fernando Rodney told MLB.com's Alden Gonzalez that a new deal with Tampa Bay is right around the corner. "It's in plans already," Rodney said in Spanish. "We've talked a few times, and I expect it to get finalized this month." Earlier today, agent Dan Lozano said that no talks have taken place on a new deal for Rodney but the closer says he's confident that an agreement will be reached.
- Red Sox manager John Farrell is still interviewing candidates for the bullpen coach vacancy and may have a decision early next week, tweets Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe.
It's hard to top January 31 when it comes to notable baseball birthdays. Three of the game's biggest legends were born on this day: Nolan Ryan (celebrating his 66th birthday), "Mr. Cub" Ernie Banks (his 82nd) and the late Jackie Robinson, who was born in 1919 in Cairo, Georgia. Here are some news items from around the majors as we head into February...
- The Tigers have "mild interest" in Cuban shortstop prospect Aledmys Diaz, George Sipple of the Detroit Free Press reports. At least ten teams (including the Cardinals, Twins and Athletics) are known to be interested in Diaz, though Major League Baseball is is investigating whether Diaz is younger than his alleged age of 23 years old.
- Also from Sipple, it seems as if the Tigers will keep Jhonny Peralta, despite some trade rumors surrounding the shortstop this winter.
- The Orioles watched left-hander Arthur Rhodes throw today at Camden Yards, Dan Connolly of the Baltimore Sun reports (Twitter link). The 43-year-old Rhodes didn't pitch in 2012 but is looking to continue his 20-year Major League career. Rhodes was drafted by the O's in 1988, played for the team from 1991-99 and currently lives in Baltimore.
- The Orioles also recently worked out utilityman Fernando Tatis, Connolly tweets. Tatis hasn't played in the majors since 2010 when he made 72 plate appearances for the Mets before undergoing season-ending shoulder surgery. Tatis, 38, played for the Orioles in 2006 and has also suited up for the Mets, Expos, Cardinals and Rangers during his 11-year career.
- The Dodgers could be looking to trade from its starting pitching depth, but Steve Dilbeck of the Los Angeles Times suggests the team should hang onto all eight starters given how many of them are battling injury problems.
- The Dodgers' free-spending ways could come back to haunt them later in the decade, ESPN's Dan Szymborski writes (Insider subscription required). It also puts pressure on the team to win sooner rather than later: "A disappointing year or two, and it wouldn't be shocking if the biggest member of the [ownership] consortium started to find the guaranteed cash from the TV contract a lot more appealing than playing high-stakes fantasy baseball."
- ESPN Chicago's Jon Greenberg talks to sabermetrician Tom Tango, who has worked as a consultant to several teams but is now working exclusively for the Cubs.
- MLBTR's Ben Nicholson-Smith and Jason Martinez of MLB Depth Charts discussed the Braves, the Rays, Shaun Marcum and Alex Rodriguez on the latest edition of the Rosters & Rumblings podcast.
Some notes from the Big Apple's NL representative...
- Buster Olney of ESPN.com tweets that Brett Myers is one of the pitchers that the Mets "are considering" in trade options. As MLBTR's Ben Nicholson-Smith noted in his look at the trade market for starters, Myers' solid numbers and reasonable contract will draw the eyes of several teams, but he must particularly intrigue New York due to his experience pitching in the NL East. Myers has an $8MM mutual option for next season that can be bought out for $2MM.
- Jason Bay talks about his underwhelming season with Steve Popper of The Bergen Record.
- Popper also tweeted that Fernando Tatis' shoulder surgery on Wednesday might hasten the end of Tatis' career. The veteran utilityman has a career .265/.344/.442 line and his versatility has helped the Mets given their multitude of injuries over the last few seasons.
- ESPN The Magazine's Matt Meyers thinks New York should give up on Jeff Francoeur.
On this date 11 years ago, Hideki Irabu of the Yankees and Mac Suzuki of the Mariners faced off in the first match up of Japanese starting pitchers in Major League history. Irabu allowed one run over seven innings as the Yanks defeated Seattle by the score of 10-1.
Here are some links from around the baseball blogosphere...
- Rays Index tries to figure out which starting pitcher Tampa Bay will trade after the season.
- At Home Plate thinks John Lackey was off-base with his recent comments about the Angels.
- The Friarhood wonders if the Padres can already be declared the winner of the Jake Peavy trade.
- Nick's Twins Blog says that trading Wilson Ramos is a no-brainer.
- More Hardball looks at some players who are performing well in the big leagues after signing minor league deals this offseason.
- Yankeeist revisits the old Robinson Cano for Matt Kemp trade rumor.
- Mets Paradise wonders how long Frank Catalanotto and Fernando Tatis will keep their jobs.
If you have a suggestion for this feature, Mike can be reached here.
The Rangers are looking to acquire a backup corner infielder before Opening Day, writes Jim Reeves of ESPN.com. Manager Ron Washington had hoped that one of the club's young players - such as Matt Brown or Max Ramirez - would step up to fill the role, but that has not happened.
One Rangers source said that the team keeps coming back to Boston's Mike Lowell. The same source indicated that Texas believes that they can basically get Lowell for the same player they agreed to deal over the winter, Max Ramirez.
Kevin Millar is also on the Rangers' watch list, though he may earn himself a bench spot with the Cubs. Wes Helms of the Marlins and Fernando Tatis of the Mets could also fit the bill as corner infielders off of the bench. Meanwhile, "super-utility" players like Houston's Geoff Blum and Kansas City's Willie Bloomquist are likely too rich for Texas' blood.
THURSDAY, 6:30pm: The Mets and Fernando Tatis have reached agreement on a one-year deal, according to Mike Puma of the New York Post.
Terms of the agreement are currently unknown, but Puma writes that the 35-year-old will earn less than the $1.7MM he made last season. However, a baseball source indicates that with incentives, Tatis could approach that figure.
3:00pm: Jon Heyman of SI.com says (via Twitter) that the Mets will sign Tatis. This means Carlos Delgado will have to look for a job elsewhere.
WEDNESDAY, 6:46pm: Adam Rubin of The New York Daily News says a deal should be wrapped up "shortly."
6:06pm: The Mets are deep into negotiations with Fernando Tatis, reports Mike Puma of The New York Post. A deal could be reached within a matter of days.
GM Omar Minaya contacted Tatis' agent today, and indicated that he wants an answer soon. Tatis earned $1.7MM in 2009, and Puma says he wants a comparable contract for 2010. A deal would seem to eliminate the possibility of a Carlos Delgado return. Puma mentions the Rockies and Mariners as other clubs that have expressed interest in the free agent.
The 35-year-old Tatis hit .282/.339/.438 with just eight homers in 379 plate appearances last year, though he did see time at six positions. He will be forever remembered as the first (and only) player in Major League history to hit two grand slams in one inning, off the same pitcher no less.
Adam Rubin of the New York Daily News has the latest on the Mets.
- The Mets are said to be 50-50 on whether to use internal catching options or sign Yorvit Torrealba or Rod Barajas. The current favorite to start is Omir Santos, projected to hit .247/.296/.359 by CHONE.
- The Mets are "very likely to add one more starting pitcher," writes Rubin. John Smoltz, Ben Sheets, and Jon Garland are the names under discussion. The Smoltz talks are described as "active dialogue." We learned earlier today that the A's appear to be a top competitor for Sheets, while SI's Jon Heyman believes the Rangers and Mariners are also in the mix. Heyman tweets that the Mets "don't appear to be the frontrunner for Sheets at the moment."
- Rubin considers a Carlos Delgado re-signing to be "not overly likely" due to concerns about Delgado playing first base. Instead, the Mets could bring Fernando Tatis back.
Some links to browse through on your Sunday afternoon...
- Besides sifting through the remaining free agents, the Yankees are exploring the trade market for left field, writes Frankie Piliere of Fanhouse (via Twitter). Piliere heard unconfirmed whispers that one of those inquiries was made on Nelson Cruz.
- Oregon State left-hander Josh Osich will miss the 2010 season due to Tommy John surgery, writes Jason Churchill. The 20-year-old southpaw had been described as a "lock for the mid- to late first round" by Keith Law.
- Steve Melewski takes a look at the arguments for and against Miguel Tejada's return to Baltimore, and also suggests slotting Miggy into the cleanup spot to start the season.
- White Sox VP Scott Reifert passes along a quote (via Twitter) from scouting director Doug Laumann, saying the south-siders will likely focus on pitching in the next draft.
- Rany Jazayerli has mixed feelings about the Royals' acquisition of Rick Ankiel, but says the outfielder is a better fit than Mike Jacobs was a year ago.
- Tigers GM Dave Dombrowski repeated that he's not going to sign a hitter who can't play the field, writes John Lowe of the Detroit Free Press.
- Tyler Kepner of the New York Times doesn't expect Johnny Damon to return to the Yankees in 2010.
- Fernando Tatis and Ryan Freel are options for the Rockies, according to Troy Renck of the Denver Post.
- Derrick Turnbow is still on the Rockies' radar, writes Renck.
- Tom Robson heads Bob Elliott's list of Canadians eligible for the 2010 draft at the Canadian Baseball Network.
Some links for Friday...
- Buster Olney of ESPN tweets that the Nationals have put Josh Willingham on the market once again. If they move the soon-to-be 31-year-old, it could clear the way for Adam Dunn to be moved to the outfield. Willingham recently avoided arbitration with the Nats, agreeing to a one-year, $4.6MM pact.
- Mike Puma of the New York Post hears that the Mets could bring Fernando Tatis back if they don't re-sign Carlos Delgado. However, the Mets have not contacted Tatis' agent.
- The Astros appear unwilling to talk multi-year deals with arbitration-eligible players Wandy Rodriguez, Hunter Pence and Tim Byrdak, according to Ed Price of AOL FanHouse (via Twitter).
- The Cards and Ryan Ludwick avoided arbitration and agreed on a one-year $5.45MM deal for 2010, according to Joe Strauss of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.
- A's prospect Grant Desme is retiring from baseball to "pursue the priesthood," according to Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports. Baseball America ranked Desme the club's eighth-best prospect this offseason.
- Craig Brown of Royals Authority doesn't see why the Royals signed Scott Podsednik if they were going to add Rick Ankiel, too.
- Tyler Hissey ranks the remaining free agents. Check out our comprehensive free agent list right here.
- ESPN.com's Buster Olney hears that the Mariners have been working on possible deals involving Jose Lopez.
- Olney says Jim Thome is talking with a few teams.
- Could the Brewers lock Prince Fielder up to a deal that keeps the first baseman in Milwaukee after the 2011 season? MLB.com's Adam McCalvy asked Brewers GM Doug Melvin if the club might extend Fielder soon and Melvin said: "I don't know the answer to that."
- Meanwhile, another big left-handed slugger is just looking for a job. Jim Thome remains available, but White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen tells MLB.com's Scott Merkin that he's happy to rotate players in and out of the DH spot this year.
- The Pirates, who are likely done making major moves this offseason, project to have an Opening Day payroll of $35.65MM, according to Dejan Kovacevic of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.
- Matt Cerrone of MetsBlog tweets that the Mets are close to making a deal.
- Mariners GM Jack Zduriencik says he's going to "tweak and add" before the season starts, according to Geoff Baker of the Seattle Times.
Some links on this Wednesday evening...
- Yorvit Torrealba could end up with the Giants, according to Chris Haft of MLB.com. However, Torrealba may prefer to wait until after the weekend to sign with any club as his Venezuelan Winter League team is still active in the postseason.
- Dylan Hernandez of the Los Angeles Times tweets that in addition to Matt Kemp, the Dodgers are talking about multiyear deals with Jonathan Broxton and Andre Ethier.
- Carlos Beltran will have to refrain from baseball activities for twelve weeks after having his knee scoped, according to a Mets press release passed along by MetsBlog. The story was first reported by the New York Post's Joel Sherman (via Twitter). If all goes well with his rehabilitation, the center fielder should only miss a small amount of games to start the year.
- Free agent lefty Doug Davis is attracting interest from four teams, according to Ken Rosenthal and Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports. The Twins, Brewers, Mets, and Nationals are all interested in the 34-year-old, who posted a 4.22 ERA with 6.7 K/9 over the last three years in Arizona.
- Fernando Tatis' agent told Thomas Harding of MLB.com that the Rockies had preliminary discussions with his client earlier this week. About a week ago, we heard that the Rockies were eyeing the 35-year-old for a bench role. Also, two major league sources tell Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports that the Mariners are interested as well.
- Former Brewers closer Derrick Turnbow will audition for at least 16 teams on Friday in Phoenix, according to a report from ESPN.com's Jerry Crasnick. The 31-year-old demanded his release from the Rangers back in May.
- If the Nats are able to sign Orlando Hudson or Adam Kennedy to play second base, Cristian Guzman and his $8MM salary are unlikely to be moved elsewhere, writes Bill Ladson of MLB.com. Guzman would remain at shortstop, where his agent insists that he is still valuable despite shoulder surgery.
- Pittsburgh's signing of Ryan Church could pay huge dividends for the club, says ESPN's Rob Neyer. If Church is healthy and generates interest from other clubs, the Pirates will be able to move him for a more valuable commodity.