Franklin Gutierrez Rumors
According to a report by The Sports Network on the Miami Herald's website the Mariners have agreed to terms with four pre-arbitration players, including Brandon Morrow. David Aardsma, Franklin Gutierrez and Cesar Jimenez are the three other players to agree to terms with the M's.
THURSDAY, 12:56am: Rosenthal raises the question of whether the Mets will exercise Putz's 2010 option for $9.1MM now that he's a setup man. I think if he's worth that amount pitching the ninth he's worth it pitching the eighth.
10:17pm: MLB.com's Jim Street confirmed the deal. The Mariners give up Putz, Green, and Reed and get Heilman, Chavez, Carp, and Gutierrez. The Indians give up Gutierrez and get Valbuena and Smith. The Mets give up Heilman, Chavez, Carp, and Smith to get Putz, Green, and Reed.
The Mets succeeded in overhauling their bullpen without giving up premium pieces. Assuming Putz and K-Rod are healthy, they'll be playing seven-inning games.
The Mariners can try Heilman the rotation, and add good outfield depth. I'm kind of lukewarm on the Indians' benefit.
10:02pm: Geoff Baker says a previous incarnation with the Rays instead of the Mets fell apart. In that deal, the Tigers would've included Jeff Larish.
9:27pm: Rosenthal has an update:
Under terms of the deal, the Mets would get Putz, outfielder Jeremy Reed and reliever Sean Green. The Mariners would receive reliever Aaron Heilman, outfielder Endy Chavez and first baseman Mike Carp from the Mets. They'd also get Franklin Gutierrez from the Indians and minor leaguers. The Indians would get reliever Joe Smith from the Mets and infielder Luis Valbuena from Seattle.
David Lennon seems to agree.
9:06pm: Jon Heyman says the Mets would surrender six players in this blockbuster.
8:40pm: MLB.com's Anthony Castrovince says the three teams "appear to be on the verge" of a deal. He says that if the deal goes through the Mariners would get Gutierrez and the Indians would get Joe Smith and Mariners prospect Luis Valbuena. Heilman and Jeremy Reed would also be involved in some capacity. Graziano suggests not all of the players in the trade have been decided upon. Mariners GM Jack Zduriencik admitted a proposal is on the table.
8:06pm: Rosenthal softened the language of his post - he now says the Mets are trying/working to acquire Putz rather than close to a deal. He also mentions that the deal would involve one or more prospects.
8:00pm: According to Ken Rosenthal, the Mets are close to acquiring Mariners reliever J.J. Putz in a three-team trade. Putz and K-Rod will be quite a late inning tandem. The Indians are also involved in the trade. Other players in the mix: Aaron Heilman, Endy Chavez, Mike Carp, and Franklin Gutierrez. Rosenthal is not sure yet who's heading where.
Dan Graziano has the story as well, but does not mention the Indians.
MONDAY: Royals GM Dayton Moore emphatically denied the rumor, calling it a "flat-out lie." OK then.
SUNDAY: Bob Dutton of the Kansas City Star writes some surprising news, as it seems the Indians and Royals are discussing a swap of Mark Teahen for an outfielder. It's not often you see two teams in the same division make a trade, but both sides seem to have interest.
Dutton lists the three potential targets as Franklin Gutierrez, Ben Francisco, and minor leaguer Trevor Crowe. All three are capable of playing center field, which would allow the Royals to move David DeJesus to left field on a full-time basis.
Teahen would likely return to his natural position, third base, after spending the past two seasons in the outfield where he has struggled offensively. Teahen's best season at the Major League level came as a third baseman in 2006, when he hit .290/.357/.517 in 439 plate appearances. The Indians are looking for a replacement at third base, with Andy Marte having failed to live up to expectations and Casey Blake's departure.
Crowe could potentially be the best fit. He's a swtich-hitter who posted a .381 OBP between Class-AA and Class-AAA this season, and will turn 24 in November. The Royals could certainly use a strong OBP player in their lineup. Teahen would be a very affordable solution for Cleveland, as he's arbitration-eligible this season but will likely be in the $3MM range for 2009.
It's Thursday, and that means it's time to dig in and feast on Jayson Stark's latest rumor-packed column.
- The Braves have shifted their focus from starting pitching to an impact bat in left field. Stark suggests Raul Ibanez, Jason Bay, and Xavier Nady would make sense. Matt Holliday would be too costly; Adam Dunn is not mentioned.
- We have seen the surprising rumor that the Angels could pursue C.C. Sabathia. However, Stark's sources are in agreement with Bill Plunkett - the Angels are likely to stand pat.
- Francisco Rodriguez wants four years and more than $60MM, a dangerous record-breaking commitment. The Halos aren't even sure if they'd do three years and a vesting option.
- There have been no recent extension talks between the Angels and Vladimir Guerrero, but his $15MM option for '09 is an easy call.
- As we've written before, A.J. Burnett is like a rental, but worse. He either pitches well and opts out or pitches poorly and you're stuck with him. Stark adds that despite Burnett's willingness to pitch for the Cubs, he's not on their list. The Cubs are still planning a run at Sabathia. The Brewers are also serious about the Cleveland ace.
- The Mets might shop Oliver Perez, but I'd be surprised if he draws much interest.
- The Blue Jays were already one of Adam Dunn's ten no-trade teams. His no-trade rights switched from full to ten teams on June 15th.
- Bill Bavasi talked to the Reds about bringing Ken Griffey Jr. back to Seattle, but Lee Pelekoudas isn't interested.
- Interesting Indians players who might be available: Rafael Betancourt, Rafael Perez, and Franklin Gutierrez.
- The Yankees aren't interested in Erik Bedard, but the Phillies are. The teams have differing opinions on whether Bedard's surly demeanor would present a problem.
Dejan Kovacevic of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette has some new information for us regarding an aborted Jason Bay deal. Kovacevic says the Bucs made a decision through the entire chain of command that Franklin Gutierrez, Kelly Shoppach, Cliff Lee, and a minor league pitcher wasn't enough for Bay and Ronny Paulino.
This situation has been confusing to follow from the start, with plenty of conflicting information floating about. For instance, the Cleveland Plain Dealer's Paul Hoynes said on Wednesday that Lee and Shoppach were never involved in these talks - the Bucs wanted three to five of the Indians' top prospects. Before that there was that whole business about whether talks had occurred at the Winter Meetings and been revived.
UPDATE, 12-5-07 at 2:24pm: The Indians and Pirates haven't even talked about Bay since the Meetings began.
UPDATE, 12-5-07 at 10:58am: Buster Olney says these talks are dead.
FROM 12-5-07 at 7:35am:
According to Dejan Kovacevic, the Indians felt pressured when they saw the division-rival Tigers trade for Miguel Cabrera. Their response was to restart their conversations with the Pirates for outfielder Jason Bay.
A five-player trade is being discussed, apparently expanding upon the rumor originally reported by ESPN's Steve Phillips. The Bucs would send Bay and catcher Ronny Paulino for Franklin Gutierrez, Kelly Shoppach, and Cliff Lee. Looks like the Pirates are seeking MLB-ready guys, though they wanted prospects from the Rangers yesterday. Late last night it was also said that the Padres had jumped into the fray for Bay.
It's decent value for Bay, who should really only be traded this winter if the Pirates feel his decline is for real. It's not surprising to see the Tribe in on Bay, since the Pirates' GM came from their organization.
UPDATE, 12-4-07 at 10:03am: Per Bob Elliott of the Toronto Sun: no match for the Indians and Jays on Rios. I knew Gutierrez/Lee didn't sound right.
FROM 12-4-07 at 9:46am:
Joel Sherman has a new column up with some fresh rumors.
- The Indians and Blue Jays are reportedly talking about a swap that would send Alex Rios to the Tribe for Franklin Gutierrez and Cliff Lee. Seriously? That seems like a lousy deal for the Jays. How long until a debunking on this one?
- The Jake Peavy signing is a cause for optimism as the Indians seek to re-sign C.C. Sabathia.
- As you know, the Cubs are all about getting a left-handed hitting right fielder, and Kosuke Fukudome is the best available. Adam Dunn was also on their radar (in right field??) but those talks died. Sherman says if the Cubs don't get Fukudome they could move on to Johnny Damon (in right field??).