Francisco Cordero Rumors
Some links as Monday turns into Tuesday...
- Joe Strauss of The St. Louis Post-Dispatch says (on Twitter) Tony La Russa is seriously weighing his career options and hopes to have an answer soon, perhaps before Spring Training. It's been speculated that La Russa could join a team in a front office role after retiring from managing.
- The Angels have talked to Francisco Cordero's representatives recently according to MLB.com's Alden Gonzalez. He says it's hard to gauge where the team is in the race for the right-hander given all the money they've already spent this offseason, among other things.
- The Yankees maintain interest in re-signing reliever Luis Ayala according to MLBTR's Ben Nicholson-Smith (on Twitter). Ayala posted a 2.09 ERA with a 50% ground ball rate in 56 IP for New York last season. Last month we learned that six teams were pursuing the righty.
- Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com reports (on Twitter) that the Rangers didn't offer Darren Oliver anything close to the $4.5MM he got from the Blue Jays. He says they remain in the market for left-handed bullpen help, and Mike Gonzalez still fits.
- Omar Vizquel hinted at retirement on his Twitter account today, saying "[if] there is no contract [offer] there will be no other option but to start a new career, [as a] coach," according to Enrique Rojas of ESPN Deportes (link in Spanish).
- Troy Renck of The Denver Post reports that Casey Blake will have to come to the plate 550 times this season to max out the $1MM in incentives in his contract with the Rockies. He'll earn the first $350K in bonuses at 350 plate appearances.
- Within the same piece, Renck says that Aaron Cook's minor league deal with the Red Sox will pay him $20K per month in the minors. He can make an additional $2MM by making 30 starts in the big leagues, and the escalators kick in at 15 starts. Cook can request his release if he's not on the 25-man roster on May 1st and again on June 1st.
Multiple teams remain interested in signing free agent closer Francisco Cordero and agent Bean Stringfellow is discussing multiyear deals at least one of them, Mark Sheldon of MLB.com reports. The Reds remain interested, but Cincinnati GM Walt Jocketty says he isn’t prepared to guarantee more than one year.
"We're looking at one year or one year with an option," Jocketty said. "That's all it could be, right now."
The Reds are in regular communication about Cordero and a couple of other teams are involved, Stringfellow said. The agent doesn’t expect Cordero to be a free agent for much longer and suggested a deal may occur within ten days.
The 36-year-old posted a 2.45 ERA with 5.4 K/9, 2.8 BB/9 and a 50% ground ball rate in 69 2/3 innings for the Reds this past season. Cordero reached the 30-save plateau for the fifth consecutive season, saving 37 games. However, his average fastball velocity dropped to 93 mph and peripheral stats such as xFIP (4.14) and SIERA (3.91) suggest his 2.45 ERA may be artificially low. The three-time All-Star has also been linked to the Rays, Red Sox and Angels this offseason.
The Reds acquired Sean Marshall from the Cubs one week ago, but it doesn't sound like there are any other moves coming in the immediate future. “I’ve spoken to some agents and some clubs,” said GM Walt Jocketty to John Fay of The Cincinnati Enquirer. “But everyone kind of shuts it down until after the first of the year.”
Here's the latest from Cincy, courtesy of Fay...
- “We’ve made an offer,” said Jocketty, referring to Francisco Cordero. “He’s deciding what to do. He’s got a couple of other offers.” Jocketty said it's a one-year offer, and Fay guesses it's for $7MM or less.
- The Reds have not talked to Ryan Madson's people, which would mean Scott Boras.
- “We decided to table it 'til January,” said Jocketty, referring to talks with Brandon Phillips about a contract extension. Earlier this month we heard the two sides had made some progress.
- The Reds have spoken to Ryan Theriot's representatives, but nothing is close. “We’re trying to get a hitter first,” Jocketty said, and that hitter would have to be an outfielder according to Fay.
Even on Christmas, Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe delivers his usual Sunday Baseball Notes column. This week, he runs down the best available players remaining on the free agent and trade markets at each position. Here are a few highlights from those lists and the rest of Cafardo's piece:
- The Red Sox and Angels are "keeping the dialogue open" with Ryan Madson.
- While many reports have indicated Hiroki Kuroda's willingness to play on the East Coast, the right-hander still has some desire to stay out west.
- The Marlins are being aggressive on Yoenis Cespedes, with the Nationals right behind them. Earlier this weekend, we heard there's some divide within the Marlins' front office on Cespedes.
- An AL GM on Joel Zumaya: "Our doctors don't think he would pass the physical based on what they see."
- The Rays are among the clubs that have talked to Francisco Cordero.
- Cafardo gets the feeling Matt Garza will be dealt, and warns not to rule out the Tigers.
The Reds acquired shutdown lefty Sean Marshall from the Cubs for three young players earlier today, and they also claimed righty Josh Judy off waivers. GM Walt Jocketty spoke to reporters about the moves and more this afternoon, so let's recap...
- The two sides first talked about a potential Marshall trade during the GM meetings in November, reports Bruce Miles of The Daily Herald (Twitter links). Jocketty joked that his team couldn't figure out how to hit Marshall, so they decided to trade for him.
- "No guarantees, but we're going to try to sign him," said Jocketty when asked about a long-term contract for Marshall according to John Fay of The Cincinnati Enquirer (on Twitter). The southpaw can become a free agent after the 2012 season.
- Jocketty said if they don't sign a closer, it's a "possibility" that they'll use Marshall in that role according to Fay (on Twitter). He acknowledged that they are still talking to Francisco Cordero about a possible return.
- “After the first of the year, we’ll take a look at some things," said Jockett to reporters (including MLB.com's Mark Sheldon). "We still want to address our bench, maybe left field and see what we can do.”
- Within Sheldon's piece, he also reports that the Andrew Brackman signing is not yet official, but it should be done any day now. "I’m not sure what’s holding it up to be honest," said the GM.
WEDNESDAY: The Red Sox are backing off since they aren't eager to commit to an aging reliever who will require a multiyear deal, according to John Tomase of the Boston Herald. The Red Sox would have offered more than one year at a certain price, but the sides couldn't come to an agreement.
TUESDAY, 7:47pm: Cordero prefers to return to the Reds, according to Jon Paul Morosi of FOXSports.com, who adds that the Rockies are not a suitor for the right-hander.
4:45pm: The Reds and Red Sox aren't the only clubs involved. The Angels and another team have been in dialogue with Cordero, according to Alex Speier of WEEI.com. "We’ve been exploring multiyear deals and we’re very confident that’s where we’re going to end up,” Stringfellow told Speier. “The teams that we’ve spoken to, none of them have balked at that of the four remaining clubs.” Cordero will only consider closing roles.
1:28pm: The Red Sox have had increased dialogue with Francisco Cordero this week, according to ESPN.com's Jerry Crasnick (on Twitter). The Reds have resumed talks with Cordero and remain interested in re-signing him.
The 36-year-old posted a 2.45 ERA with 5.4 K/9, 2.8 BB/9 and a 50% ground ball rate in 69 2/3 innings for the Reds this past season. Cordero reached the 30-save plateau for the fifth consecutive season, saving 37 games. However, his average fastball velocity dropped to 93 mph and peripheral stats such as xFIP (4.14) and SIERA (3.91) suggest his 2.45 ERA may be artificially low. Agent Bean Stringfellow represents the three-time All-Star.
The Reds acquired Mat Latos over the weekend, but they continue to search for a closer and a left fielder, Mark Sheldon of MLB.com reports. GM Walt Jocketty explained that he expects to add an arm before he adds a bat.
"First, we'll address the bullpen a little bit," he said. "Once I get pitching done and know what we have left to spend, we'll know more about left field."
The Reds have resumed talks with free agent closer Francisco Cordero, though Jocketty says nothing is close. Free agent outfielder Cody Ross is still "part of the mix" and the Reds were in touch with his agent last week. The Reds had some interest in Jason Kubel before he agreed to a two-year, $15MM deal with the Diamondbacks. "The level money-wise, we weren't going to get to that level," Jocketty said.
Some links as Tuesday turns into Wednesday...
- The Red Sox have not yet made catcher and captain Jason Varitek a contract offer, reports Rob Bradford of WEEI.com. Boston added Kelly Shoppach to Jarrod Saltalamacchia and Ryan Lavarnway on Tuesday, a move that likely spelled the end of Varitek's time with the Sox.
- There are clubs with interest in trading for both Gio Gonzalez and Andrew Bailey and others with interest in both Jair Jurrjens and Martin Prado, but Ken Rosenthal and Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports says the Athletics and Braves are likely to deal their players separately to maximize the return. Rosenthal and Morosi note that the Braves and Orioles have discussed a deal that included both Jurrjens and Prado.
- Interest in free agent closer Francisco Cordero has slowed down, reports Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports (on Twitter). His market could hinge on how clubs fill their other roster holes.
- The Pirates still have interest in first baseman Derrek Lee even after trading for Casey McGehee, reports CBSSports.com's Jon Heyman (on Twitter). Bringing Lee back at first base would allow them to use McGehee at the hot corner with Pedro Alvarez.
- Heyman hears that the Angels put a deadline on their ten-year, $254MM offer to Albert Pujols (Twitter link). The deal did seem to come together very quickly Wednesday night into Thursday morning last week.
- The Rockies do have some money to spend according to Heyman (on Twitter). In addition to Carlos Beltran and Michael Cuddyer, they also have interest in Hiroki Kuroda, Joe Saunders, and various trade targets.
- Morosi says (on Twitter) that Andruw Jones could also be an option for the Rockies if Beltran and Cuddyer sign elsewhere.
- The Cardinals' interest in pitching upgrades is "understated," reports Joe Strauss of The St. Louis Post-Dispatch (on Twitter). Both Kyle Lohse and Jake Westbrook remain on the trade block.
- The Yokohama Bay Stars have released right-hander Hiroki Sanada so that he may pursue a deal in MLB according to a report passed along by Patrick Newman of NPB Tracker. No teams bid on Sanada when he was posted last week.
- The Astros and Rays are possibilities for Ivan Rodriguez, according to Heyman (on Twitter). Though the Mets have discussed Rodriguez, they’re leaning toward relying on Mike Nickeas as their backup to starter Josh Thole.
- MLBPA executive director Michael Weiner says the Joint Drug Agreement should provide Ryan Braun with privacy and fair proceedings. “I urge all to reserve judgment on this matter until the JDA's process has played itself out," Weiner said in a statement.
Here's a look at some Reds news..
- The Reds have made an offer to Jim Riggleman to manage their Double-A affiliate in Pensacola and he's likely to accept, tweets SI.com's Jon Heyman.
- It sounds like the Brandon Phillips extension will get done, writes John Fay of the Cincinnati Enquirer. General Manager Walt Jocketty says that it’s a “complicated contract,” which will take time to be ironed out. That leads Fay to believe that the deal likely involves deferred money.
- More from Fay, as he has the impression that the Reds hold little hope of re-signing Francisco Cordero. Fay writes that the Reds might be able to get Cordero back at one-year deal in the $7MM range but would rather see the club turn to an in-house solution instead.
- Fay also writes that David Bell’s promotion to Triple-A manager could be a prelude of things to come. The former major league third baseman is probably the top candidate to replace Dusty Baker if the club decides to go in a different direction.
- Heyman (via Twitter) also hears that the Phillips extension talks are going well with the Reds, but doesn't know if the two sides are close to a deal. Phillips, who is set to make $12MM in 2012, tweeted on Tuesday that talks are moving in the right direction.
- The Reds have talked to Jim Riggleman about a possible job in their organization, Heyman tweets.
The Blue Jays are looking for a closer this offseason and Bob Elliott of the Toronto Sun says the team has checked in on free agents Francisco Cordero and Matt Capps. Heath Bell is another option for the Blue Jays, who had interest in Jonathan Papelbon before he signed with the Phillies. Here are more notes on the Blue Jays, who have yet to make a major move so far this offseason...
- The Blue Jays would listen to offers on 24-year-old first baseman David Cooper, according to Jon Heyman of SI.com. Cooper, the Blue Jays' first round draft pick in 2008, debuted with the team in 2011 and posted a .678 OPS in 81 plate appearances. He won the Pacific Coast League batting title with a .364/.439/.535 line this past season, adding nine home runs and 51 doubles.
- Blue Jays president Paul Beeston isn't a fan of the posting system and Elliott suggests Toronto's interest in Yu Darvish is "lukewarm."
- The Yankees are interested in Kyle Drabek, according to Elliott. Drabek started the season in the Blue Jays' rotation before being demoted to the minor leagues. He had a standout season in 2010, but struggled with command in the Majors (6.3 BB/9) and in the minors (4.9 BB/9) in 2011.
- The Royals have some interest in Colby Rasmus because of concerns that Lorenzo Cain may not be ready for an everyday role, Elliott reports.
- The Phillies have discussed ways of re-obtaining Travis d'Arnaud, the Double-A catcher who arrived with Drabek in the 2009 Roy Halladay trade. As Elliott points out, the Blue Jays would need a ton to part with this year's Eastern League MVP.