Frank Thomas Rumors
The latest from Ken Rosenthal...
- Rosenthal suggests the Brewers trade Prince Fielder for "premium pitching" and then sign Adam Dunn to replace him. Which begs the question, why wouldn't the team giving up this premium pitching just sign Dunn instead?
- Despite signing John Smoltz, the Red Sox still are not willing to trade Clay Buchholz for Jarrod Saltalamacchia. The Sox may be willing to move Michael Bowden or especially Daniel Bard for Salty.
- The Yankees' interest in Mike Cameron "seems to be waning."
- Despite Jon Heyman's report, the Phillies, Angels, and Brewers deny interest in Derek Lowe. Rosenthal says the market for Oliver Perez is even worse.
- Rosenthal suggests veterans such as Nomar Garciaparra, Frank Thomas, and Jim Edmonds could go the Kenny Lofton route. Lofton, a capable player, sat out the 2008 season when his salary demands weren't met. As I mentioned yesterday, we'll soon see which former stars are willing to play for a pittance (if you consider more than $500K a pittance).
- The Orioles have Edmonds on the radar as a first base candidate.
- Suitors for lefty reliever Dennys Reyes: the A's, Mets, and Dodgers. The Tigers and Rangers are also known to be on the lookout for a southpaw in the pen.
According to MLB.com's Mychael Urban, the A's declined to offer arbitration to Type B free agents Alan Embree and Frank Thomas. Embree was an uncertainty, but the player said earlier today he didn't expect an offer. Ten teams have expressed interest in the lefty reliever. Among them: the Mariners and Rockies, reportedly.
Joe Stiglich of the Contra Costa Times has a few A's rumors:
- Stiglich spoke with Rafael Furcal's agent, Paul Kinzer, and heard that it will be the middle of next week at the earliest that Furcal decides where he'd like to sign. It no longer seems likely that Furcal will narrow his options down to two teams this weekend.
- In a poll earlier in the week, 32% of MLBTR readers said they expected Furcal to sign with the A's, who had the most votes of any team by far.
- The Rockies are interested in free agent reliever Alan Embree, but the A's are considering brining him back for another year.
- And the A's are deciding whether to offer arbitration to Embree and Frank Thomas.
ESPN's Jerry Crasnick looks at nine veteran players and estimates their chances of retiring. He assesses the situations of Jim Edmonds, Garret Anderson, Ken Griffey Jr., Cliff Floyd, Jeff Kent, Nomar Garciaparra, Luis Gonzalez, Frank Thomas, and Moises Alou.
Crasnick feels Edmonds, Anderson, Griffey, and Floyd are likely to play, while the rest are not. Of the long shots, Thomas seems most intent on playing in '09.
Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle has a slew of A's hot stove info for us today.
- Pending free agents include Mark Ellis, Frank Thomas, Emil Brown, and Keith Foulke. All except Ellis are certainly goners.
- Huston Street trade talks may resume with the team that claimed him in August. All we know is that it was a non-contender. Street is under team control through 2010, and could earn $5MM next year.
- The A's aren't planning to trade Justin Duchscherer, and are currently just hoping his hip will be OK for '09.
- Shortstop Bobby Crosby will earn $5.25MM next year. He racked up 605 plate appearances this year, the most since his rookie year. However, he didn't hit or play acceptable defense. Interest in him will not be high.
- Lefty reliever Alan Embree spoke of "positive dialogue" between him and Billy Beane regarding his next year. Embree posted a 4.96 ERA, so maybe the A's will decline his $3MM option and re-sign him for less.
- Kirk Saarloos is a non-tender candidate.
Some links to get the thread going. I'll add more if anything interesting hits the wires:
- Frank Thomas' quadriceps injury is not as severe as previously thought, and he plans to play in 2009. Thomas, 40, is tied with Willie McCovey and Ted Williams for 18th place in the all-time home run list, with 521.
- Rhett Bollinger of MLB.com takes a look back at the Jon Garland for Orlando Cabrera deal and concludes that, what seemed like an unnecessary move for the Halos then, looks more like a "stroke of genius by general manager Tony Reagins."
- Rays pitching phenom David Price will join the team's bullpen today.
Alejandro A. Leal writes for UmpBump.com. Comments? Rumors? Ideas? alexo05 (at) umpbump (dot) com.
John Perrotto at Baseball Prospectus has his Every Given Sunday column up. Here's the highlights from the Rumors and Rumblings section (with some added speculation here and there from yours truly):
- There's a growing rumor that Cardinals manager Tony La Russa could step down after this season and pursue a job as a general manager. We all know Seattle's looking...
- The Diamondbacks love Adam Dunn's production so much that they are considering re-signing him and possibly having him play first base. Dunn's racked up a .474 OBP since coming to Arizona... what's not to like about that?
- The Padres seem willing to move Kevin Kouzmanoff once again. Perrotto doesn't say, but it would make sense for young starting pitching to be the target for the Padres, and a move would allow Chase Headley to move back to his natural position, third base. The Giants are looking for help at third, but I doubt the Pads would trade him within the division. Minnesota, perhaps?
- The Marlins are considering playing Jorge Cantu at first next season, using Dallas McPherson at third, and trading Mike Jacobs in the offseason.
- The Royals will not re-sign Mark Grudzielanek this offseason, but will likely target both Rafael Furcal and Raul Ibanez. Given Mike Aviles' emergence at the plate, shifting him to second base and putting Furcal at shortstop would make for a very good middle of the infield in Kansas City. The Royals will also explore options for trading Jose Guillen. I personally didn't like the contract they gave him at the time, and I doubt many clubs like it now either. Moving him could be difficult.
- The Rangers will try to trade Gerald Laird for pitching, given their surplus at catcher. The Yankees could use some help behind the plate if Jorge Posada is unable to catch...
- Jeff Kent, Frank Thomas, and Kent Mercker are all mentioned as possibilites for retirement this offseason, with Jeff Kent being almost a certainty, regardless of how his knee reacts to surgery.
Another week in the books, and we keep seeing big names moved after the July 31 non-waiver deadline. Let's look back on the past week:
- The Dodgers acquired Greg Maddux from the Padres for two minor league players to be named later. Nice acquisition to bolster their rotation, and does anyone want to place bets on how excited 20-year-old Clayton Kershaw is to get tips from Maddux every day for the rest of the season?
- The Pirates are exploring the idea of trading Jack Wilson this offseason more and more. Given the slim free agent market for shortstops, he would likely gather a lot of interest.
- Nate Robertson's struggles this season have lost him his spot in the rotation, but have they also lost him a spot with the Tigers after 2008?
- Orlando Hernandez needs surgery on his foot, and that could likely mean that El Duque's career would be over.
- Lots of speculation lately about where Ben Sheets is going to land after 2008. And while there's no way to tell right now, Roy Oswalt and Lance Berkman have stepped up and said they would like the Astros front office to go out and sign him in the offseason.
- A lot of minor-league deals signed this week: Kip Wells signed with Kansas City, the Mets added Al Reyes, the Astros signed Jose Castillo, the Red Sox signed Dave Ross, and the Braves took a flyer on Rodrigo Lopez following his Tommy John surgery last year. The Jays made a trade to acquire Jose Bautista for a PTBNL as well.
- The Rangers would like Milton Bradley back in 2009, and the feeling is mutual, though negotiations will wait until after the season. Similarly, Frank Thomas would prefer to stay with the A's in 2009.
- Eric Gagne, David Riske, and David Weathers all cleared waivers this week. The first two make sense to me, but given Weathers' success this year, his affordable contract for the rest of the season, and all of the teams desperately seeking bullpen help, it seems strange that no one would place a claim on him. Here's an updated list of all the players who have been confirmed to have cleared waivers this year.
We'll kick it off with a few links today and add more bullets periodically.
- Cole Hamels feels that he handled his contract renewal last year immaturely.
- Over at The Hardball Times, Geoff Young looks at the best compensation picks of the 20th century.
- Geoff Blum's '09 option vests with one more plate appearance.
- Bronson Arroyo has a plan to make the Reds competitive.
- Matthew Cerrone explains Carlos Delgado's '09 option.
- Jeff Passan on the Cardinals' brilliant signing of Ryan Ludwick.
- Baseball Prospectus profiles #26-50 on their list of players to build a team around.
- Twins reliever Brian Bass accepted a Triple A assignment, so he won't become a free agent.
- MLB.com's Jonathan Mayo takes a preliminary look at the '09 draft order.
- Jamey Newberg wonders if the Rangers could pry Scott Kazmir loose this winter. It's hard to see the Rays trading him.
- Susan Slusser expects the A's to add an impact bat this winter, but free agent DHs Frank Thomas and Mike Sweeney will probably be let go. In a related note, ESPN's Buster Olney says the A's had a chance earlier this year to acquire Jason Bay for a package including pitching prospect Vin Mazzaro.
According to MLB.com's Mychael Urban, A's DH Frank Thomas would like to return to the team for the '09 season. Thomas likes the team's direction and wants to play until he's 41 or 42 (he's turned 40 in May). He won't be looking for big money. Thomas believes Mike Sweeney would also like to return in '09.
Thomas had a huge month of May after the Blue Jays let him go, but then missed all of June and July with a quad injury. He hasn't hit at all this month. I imagine the A's would be willing to bring him back for a million bucks or so.