Frank Catalanotto Rumors
4:15pm: MLB.com's Mark Sheldon says Gomes accepted the minor league assignment. Meanwhile, Jacque Jones was released.
8:31am: John Fay of the Cincinnati Enquirer has a few Reds notes.
- Jonny Gomes still hasn't decided whether to accept his Triple A demotion or become a free agent. Walt Jocketty will call Gomes' agent today.
- The Reds are not currently in on Geoff Jenkins or Frank Catalanotto. They prefer to add a righthanded bench bat, plus Jocketty said Catalanotto doesn't have a position.
Links for Friday...
- Troy E. Renck of the Denver Post says the Orioles have "mild interest" in Josh Fogg. If Fogg can't find an appealing job elsewhere he'll report to Triple A Colorado Springs for the Rockies.
- Via the Twitter feed of John Fay of the Cincinnati Enquirer...the Reds have talked about Geoff Jenkins and Frank Catalanotto but nothing is close.
- Patrick Newman of NPB Tracker has a Sports Hochi report saying recently released pitcher Ken Kadokura is reaching out to the Cardinals and Orioles.
- Ryan Shealy cleared waivers and was sent to Triple A, clearing up the Royals' first base/DH logjam.
- The website FINalternatives.com says Rangers owner Tom Hicks defaulted on more than $500MM in loans.
- Joel Sherman of the New York Post looks at the payrolls for the Mets and Yankees.
- Paul Sullivan of the Chicago Tribune says Hal Steinbrenner "told close friends he plans on hiring Lou Piniella as a consultant when his managerial contract with the Cubs runs out after the 2010 season."
- According to Tom Krasovic of the San Diego Union-Tribune, Padres GM Kevin Towers said he still might add another starting pitcher.
- Albert Chen of Sports Illustrated writes about the advanced defensive metrics that are becoming prevalent in the game.
- Dave Cameron of FanGraphs writes about the ethics of service time manipulation.
- SI.com's Jon Heyman noted yesterday that "The Giants like Xavier Nady and wouldn't mind bringing the University of California product home at some point."
It seems that the Mets may join the Phillies and Reds in the Gary Sheffield sweepstakes. According to Adam Rubin of the New York Daily News, "Sheffield's availability intrigues team officials." Rubin cautions that an internal meeting about the subject has yet to take place. Rubin believes Sheffield would have to start with a bench role, and the Mets might have to release Marlon Anderson to clear that spot. MetsBlog's Matthew Cerrone would like Anderson to be replaced with Frank Catalanotto instead.
Joel Sherman of the New York Post also thinks Sheffield is on the Mets' radar, and does believe they "have held some in-depth discussions on if they should sign the guy."
How about the Dodgers? Ramona Shelburne of the L.A. Daily News talked to Joe Torre, who said it wouldn't make sense.
Click here to catch up on yesterday's Sheffield happenings.
A look at Ken Rosenthal's column from yesterday afternoon...
- The Marlins chose Ross Gload over Frank Catalanotto, but are still considering signing Cat for the minimum now that he's been released.
- The Braves are not interested in bringing back Gary Sheffield. Meanwhile, Joel Sherman of the New York Post believes the Mets (as well as the Phillies and Reds) have an eye on Sheffield.
- Sheffield is apparently the only right-handed hitter on the Phillies' radar. Rosenthal learned that the Rockies' asking price for Jeff Baker is high.
- The Braves almost made a deal for Dodgers outfielder Jason Repko, but backed off recently.
- The Yankees will pass on Dallas McPherson, but the Giants may consider him.
- The Yanks don't seem desperate to move Melky Cabrera. They've received multiple calls on him but Rosenthal says "the team will only move him for the right price."
Your Thursday links, with more to come...
- Andy Martino of the Philadelphia Inquirer reports that the Phillies have acquired RHP Manny Ayala from the San Diego Padres for a player to be named later. Ayala will probably spend the entire '09 season in the minors.
- According to Steve Holley of Scout.com, the A's have plucked right-hander Rocky Roquet from the Cubs for a player to be named later. He's another minor league guy.
- The Boston Globe's Tony Massarotti would like the Red Sox to pursure Frank Catalanotto, but writes that there's "no indication that they plan to do so."
- Marc Hulet over at BaseballAnalysts.com reviews the production of the 2008 Rule 5 Draft class. It's not a very impressive group.
- SI.com's Jon Heyman explores the Rays' and Phillies' offseasons.
- Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel wonders if Tony Gwynn Jr. could be on the way out.
- Even with the loss of Matt Holliday and Brian Fuentes, the Rockies will come close to setting a franchise payroll record this season.
According to MLB.com's T.R. Sullivan, the Rangers have released outfielder Frank Catalanotto.
The club attempted to trade him, but never received a serious offer. Catalanotto, 34, hit .317/.349/.439 with one home run and six RBI in 41 at-bats this spring. He was dropped, essentially, to make room for Andruw Jones.
Jim Reeves of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram reported this morning that the Reds have been eyeing Andruw Jones, and the Phillies were also showing signs of interest. Those teams were probably banking on him being released or demoted to Triple-A, and sliding in with an offer of major league at-bats. Well, so much for that. As MLB.com's T.R. Sullivan reported this evening, Jones is likely to make the Rangers' final roster.
Andruw appears to have found a home in Texas. "I feel good," he said Wednesday. "I think in this situation it will be spread out how everybody gets in the game. But the best thing is having [hitting coach] Rudy [Jamarillo] there. He's going to keep you focused. You just do all your work and when you get an opportunity to play, you let it happen."
The Rangers will now focus their attention on trying to move Frank Catalanotto. He'd be a nice fit on a National League team.
The Marlins acquired Hayden Penn and Ross Gload today, but MLB.com's Joe Frisaro says they might not be done. Frisaro says the Fish also showed interest in Rangers' utility guy Frank Catalanotto.
I imagine the Marlins are probably not willing to assume much of the $6MM owed to Catalanotto. In the case of Gload, the Royals are believed to be paying $1.5MM of the $1.9MM according to Bob Dutton of the Kansas City Star.
Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports has a new column up with plenty of rumors:
- The Rangers think they can trade Frank Catalanotto if they pick up a considerable portion of the $6MM he's owed or if they accept a similar sized contract in return. They just aren't sure it's worth making room for Andruw Jones, who's making progress with his swing.
- Ian Stewart's emergence means Jeff Baker's become expendable for the Rockies.
- Rosenthal doesn't expect the A's to sign a free agent starter even though Justin Duchscherer needs surgery and will likely miss six weeks. Instead Rosenthal suggests the A's could trade for Jason Hammel or Jeff Niemann, both of whom are out of options.
- The A's can't afford Mark Mulder.
- Kris Benson could claim a spot in the Texas rotation and Rosenthal wouldn't be surprised to see Neftali Feliz or Derek Holland there before the All-Star break.
- They signed Cesar Izturis for now, but the Orioles hope to find a long-term solution at short.
According to Jim Reeves of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, Rangers owner Tom Hicks would like to subtract $20MM from the payroll for 2010. That'd presumably put the Rangers in the $50MM range.
Reeves' column has a negative tone to it, but why wouldn't the Rangers want to replace Hank Blalock, Frank Catalanotto, and Vicente Padilla with Max Ramirez, Brandon Boggs, and Derek Holland? When you have the best farm system in baseball it's not hard to trim payroll. Hicks even mentioned he'd still be interested in making a Ben Sheets type addition via the free agent market.
Reeves also touches on Kevin Millwood. Hicks claims he wants Millwood to reach 180 innings this year, causing the pitcher's $12MM 2010 option to vest. As for Catalanotto, Reeves takes Hicks' financial caution as a sign the team will not be cutting him and eating his $6MM.