Francisco Rodriguez Rumors
MLBPA executive director Michael Weiner told reporters yesterday that he wants to see the Mets follow through on their stated intention of spending more aggressively. "I think everybody would like to see the Mets as a competitive team, and it's going to require a higher payroll,” Weiner said. Here are more NL East-related notes...
- It doesn't appear likely that the Mets will consider Francisco Rodriguez, Adam Rubin of ESPNNewYork.com reports (on Twitter). They had some interest in a reunion with the free agent right-hander earlier in the winter.
- GM Mike Rizzo implied that right-hander Chris Young has an out-clause in his minor league deal with the Nationals, Adam Kilgore of the Washington Post reports (on Twitter). It appears that the Nationals need Young’s permission to assign him to Triple-A. Ross Ohlendorf doesn’t have an opt-out, Amanda Comak of the Washington Times reports (on Twitter).
- Marlins outfielder Giancarlo Stanton told Yahoo's Jeff Passan that he tries not to concern himself with his team's recent change in direction. "What are you gonna do?" Stanton said. "Honestly, what? There's nothing you can do. You express your feelings, and that's about it."
- Another Marlins outfielder, Juan Pierre, told MLBTR correspondent B.J. Rains that he’s pleased to be returning to the Marlins, even as fans express frustration over the team’s offseason moves.
The Mets' search for bullpen help has led them to some prominent free agent relievers. The Mets are pursuing Jose Valverde, and would even consider bringing Francisco Rodriguez back to New York, Adam Rubin of ESPNNewYork.com reports. However, a deal with Brian Wilson is now considered “very unlikely.”
The Mets are interested in signing Valverde, but only on their terms. Rubin suggests the Mets might be prepared to guarantee Valverde $4MM on a deal with significant incentives. Though the Mets have some interest in Rodriguez, he is believed to be seeking about $7MM, according to Rubin. Both free agent right-handers are clients of the Boras Corporation.
The Mets visited Roy Oswalt to convince him to join the team as its closer, Rubin reports. Oswalt is not interested in becoming a closer, so he’s no longer an option for GM Sandy Alderson. The Mets have one serious offer out to a late-inning reliever who’s not a closer, Rubin adds. The team expects to hear back from the player shortly.
For the first time since baseball expanded the playoff field to eight teams, all four divisional series have gone to a deciding fifth game. The Nationals and Orioles forced Game Fives that will take place tomorrow, so we've got one more wild day of first-round baseball in store before the LCS round. Here are some news items from around the league...
- How the Rangers decide to use Ian Kinsler next season will impact the rest of their offseason moves, writes Richard Durrett of ESPN Dallas. Durrett suggests that Kinsler should be dropped from the leadoff spot in the batting order and moved to the outfield to make room for Jurickson Profar at second base.
- Shaun Marcum doesn't expect to pitch for the Brewers next season, the pending free agent told Todd Rosiak and Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel last week. Marcum said the Brewers "haven't said anything" to him about a contract extension. "I think that ship sailed a long time ago," Marcum said. "It's just one of those things. It's baseball, it's a business and we all understand that. You play to get to free agency, so we'll see what happens."
- Also from Rosiak and Haudricourt, Francisco Rodriguez said he would "love to come back" to Milwaukee. Rodriguez surprisingly accepted arbitration from the Brewers last season, earning himself $8MM in 2012. The club obviously won't repeat the move again this year but Rodriguez could still return on a smaller deal if he can't find a closer's job elsewhere.
- The Rays have asked the city of St. Petersburg for permission to explore potential stadium sites outside of the St. Pete area, reports Stephen Nohlgren of the Tampa Bay Times. The Rays' lease at Tropicana Field runs through the 2027 season and St. Petersburg mayor Bill Foster "has been adamant" about keeping the team in his city for the duration of the lease, albeit possibly in a new ballpark.
There’s generally a fair amount of activity on August 31st, the last day for teams to trade for players who are eligible for postseason rosters. We’ll be sure to pass along news of any trades but in the meantime let’s check in on some players who aren’t getting dealt:
- There are no trades on the horizon for the Marlins, Clark Spencer of the Miami Herald reports (on Twitter).
- No deal involving Alfonso Soriano seems likely, Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com reports (on Twitter). The Cubs could wait until the winter to trade Soriano, who has cleared waivers.
- The Red Sox won’t trade Jacoby Ellsbury or Cody Ross today, Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports reports (on Twitter).
- Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel hears the Brewers aren't likely to trade Shaun Marcum or Francisco Rodriguez (Twitter link).
- The Cardinals don’t plan to pursue a shortstop from outside of the organization to replace Rafael Furcal, Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reports (on Twitter). Furcal is likely headed for the disabled list with an elbow injury, but St. Louis can rely on internal options such as Pete Kozma and Daniel Descalso.
- It looks as though it'll be a quiet day for the Rangers, MLB.com's T.R. Sullivan reports (on Twitter).
The latest minor moves...
- The Indians announced that they released right-hander Jason Knapp (Twitter link). Knapp was a key part of the 2009 trade that sent Cliff Lee to the Phillies, but injuries have sidelined him, and he hasn't pitched since 2010. The 21-year-old had a 3.63 ERA with 12.0 K/9 and 4.1 BB/9 in three professional seasons from 2008-10.
- The Angels released catcher Robinzon Diaz and right-hander Francisco Rodriguez from their Triple-A team, according to the Pacific Coast League. Diaz, who last appeared in the Major Leagues in 2009, has a 285/.309/.437 batting line in 166 plate appearances at Triple-A this year. Rodriguez accumulated more walks than strikeouts and posted a 6.35 ERA in 51 innings with the Salt Lake Bees. He appeared in ten games for last year's Angels team and posted a 4.37 ERA in 43 games for the 2010 team.
The Mets and Marlins discussed a change-of-scenery trade that would have sent Jason Bay to Miami for Heath Bell and John Buck, reports Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports. A deal was never close, though the contracts and the money matched up well. Bell is signed through 2014, Bay and Buck through 2013. Rosenthal notes that all three players are likely to clear waivers this month, so the two sides could revisit the deal. Here are the rest of his rumors...
- The Astros are paying virtually all of the $9MM left on Carlos Lee's contract, but one club that spoke to the Marlins said Miami wanted as much as $2.5MM in return for the slugger. Talks never progressed.
- The Orioles spoke to the Mariners about Kevin Millwood, but Seattle wanted a better return than what was offered given the right-hander's bargain $1MM salary.
- The Orioles also discussed a deal with the Royals that would have sent one of their young arms to Kansas City for Luke Hochevar and Jonathan Broxton. Rosenthal speculates that it may have been Jake Arrieta.
- The Brewers were close to trading Francisco Rodriguez to the Giants about a week before the deadline, but San Francisco backed off after the right-hander blew two saves and allowed six runs in Philadelphia last week.
- The Pirates have moved Kevin Correia to the bullpen to make room for Wandy Rodriguez in the rotation and Correia isn't thrilled about it, tweets Rob Biertempfel of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. The Angels could be interested in acquiring the California native, who says that he hopes to get back to being a starter.
- As it stands now, Greinke is scheduled to pitch against the Nationals on Sunday, but Nats skipper Davey Johnson doesn't expect to see the right-hander on the hill, writes Amanda Comak of the Washington Times. "I'd be real surprised," Johnson said. "I know in the past if a ballclub's intent on making a move, you're not going to pitch him two days before the deadline."
- Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com handicaps the most likely destinations for Greinke and the Rangers top the list with 9-5 odds. The Red Sox are categorized as a longshot with 100-1 odds.
- Jerry Crasnick of ESPN.com (via Twitter) believes that someone will bite on the Pirates' Kevin Correia as he is owed just $1MM for the rest of the year. The Bucs are reportedly sending signals that they could part with Correia after acquiring Wandy Rodriguez.
- Teams have expressed interest in Corey Hart and Aramis Ramirez, Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports. However, the Brewers would be have to be overwhelmed to trade either player.
- Brewers relievers Francisco Rodriguez, Jose Veras, Manny Parra and Kameron Loe had been drawing interest, but their value “tanked” following a poor showing in Philadelphia this week, Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reports (on Twitter).
- Astros GM Jeff Luhnow suggested to Rosenthal that absorbing salary can help Houston obtain better prospects in trades. “In this environment, you’re limited in how much money you can spend on the draft, how much you can spend internationally,” Luhnow said, referring to the rules regulating amateur spending in baseball’s new collective bargaining agreement.
- Pitching prospect Shelby Miller is available in trade talks, yet the Cardinals don't appear anxious to make an impact deal, Joe Strauss of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports (on Twitter).
Zach Links contributed to this post.
Prior to the Brewers' road trip last week, General Manager Doug Melvin told his staff, "If we lose five out of six, we're selling." Milwaukee has now dropped six-of-six after being swept by the Reds and Phillies, and sources have told Danny Knobler of CBSSports.com that they could start moving pieces as soon as today.
The Brewers are known to be talking to teams about Zack Greinke, but the first trade or trades will likely be less significant. Others who could draw interest include Aramis Ramirez, Corey Hart, and George Kottaras.
Melvin would also love to trade starter Randy Wolf and reliever Francisco Rodriguez, but neither has much value. The Giants had interest in K-Rod at one point but are no longer going to pursue him after two poor outings against the Phillies, sources told Knobler.
The latest trade rumors from around MLB...
- The Giants are still looking for bullpen help, Danny Knobler of CBSSports.com reports (on Twitter), They had some interest in Francisco Rodriguez until they saw him pitch recently and they don't view Jonathan Broxton as the solution, Knobler reports.
- GM Ned Colletti says the Dodgers are far from done, and will continue to look for a starter and a position player, Bob Nightengale of USA Today tweets.
- The Mets would listen to offers for Scott Hairston and Tim Byrdak, but only for pieces who could help them next year, Joel Sherman of the New York Post reports (on Twitter).
- The Red Sox would like to obtain a right-handed bat, Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe tweets. We covered more Red Sox rumors in a pair of AL East posts today.
The latest notes and rumors from Danny Knobler of CBSSports.com...
- The Brewers hoped to market Francisco Rodriguez to teams seeking bullpen help, but that may be difficult given the right-hander’s recent struggles and $8MM salary. "Good luck to them," one scout told Knobler.
- The Tigers view Anibal Sanchez as a true rental player, Knobler writes (all Twitter links). They see the right-hander as a middle-of-the-rotation starter, but felt they didn’t have a strong chance of acquiring a true top-of-the-rotation starter this summer. The Tigers proposed the trade for Sanchez and Omar Infante last week.
- It now appears likely that trade candidate Edinson Volquez will stay in San Diego, Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com reports. The Padres intend to keep Volquez, who drew trade interest this summer, according to Heyman.