Fred Lewis Rumors
Links for Saturday..
- R.J. Anderson at FanGraphs isn't quite sure why Brett Anderson (and his agent) would agree to the four year extension he signed, but he also notes that Oakland's side of the deal isn't exactly risk-free.
- Baseball color analyst John Smoltz won't completely rule out a return to baseball, writes Chad Finn of the Boston Globe. In March, Ken Rosenthal noted that the Phillies have shown strong interest in the soon-to-be 43-year-old as a possible mid-season addition.
- Ozzie Guillen stood up for White Sox hitting coach Greg Walker, writes Joe Cowley of the Chicago Sun-Times.
- Orioles owner Peter Angelos said that he would be happy to sit down and talk with Cal Ripken Jr. if he is interested in a position with the club, writes Buster Olney of ESPN.
- Mets manager Jerry Manuel shot down rumors of a clubhouse rift, tweets David Lennon of Newsday.
- Outfielder Fred Lewis is happy to be a member of the Blue Jays, according to Larry Millson and James Hall of MLB.com. The Giants shipped the 29-year-old to Toronto earlier this week and will receive either cash or a player to be named later in return.
Rounding up some Friday night links....
- The Braves released minor league right-hander Deunte Heath, writes Carroll Rogers of the Atlanta Journal Constitution.
- FOX Sports' Ken Rosenthal reports that Orioles owner Peter Angelos nixed the idea of Cal Ripken Jr. joining the organization in a baseball capacity.
- The Angels aren't actively shopping anyone, but they're receptive to the idea of trading a catcher, according to Mark Saxon of ESPNLosAngeles. We looked at the club's catching logjam and Mike Napoli's potential availability earlier in the evening.
- Joe Stiglich of the Bay Area News Group tweets that, following Brett Anderson's extension, Billy Beane will consider locking up other young Athletics to long-term deals. Stiglich says Kurt Suzuki probably tops that list, and, in a piece for CSNBayArea.com, Mychael Urban suggests Andrew Bailey is another possibility.
- According to John Shea of the San Francisco Chronicle (Twitter link), Suzuki and his agent haven't heard from the A's regarding an extension yet, but they're open to the idea. Recently, MLBTR looked at comparables for a Suzuki extension.
- MLB.com's Bill Ladson tweets that the Nationals had no interest in acquiring Fred Lewis, since they consider Justin Maxwell to be their "own Fred Lewis."
- Bobby Valentine said on Sirius XM Radio that coaching the Mets isn't something he's considering, according to the New York Post's Dan Martin.
Links for Friday...
- Hayden Penn cleared waivers and now has until Monday to decide whether to report to Triple A or become a free agent, according to MLB.com's Jenifer Langosch (via Twitter). The Pirates designated Penn for assignment Monday.
- Jose Veras, who was designated for assignment Wednesday, has been outrighted to Triple A by the Marlins, according to Joe Capozzi of the Palm Beach Post (Twitter link). This presumably means Veras cleared waivers.
- The Rockies called up Joe Beimel, according to the team. Beimel's deal pays him $850K in the major leagues.
- ESPN.com's Jerry Crasnick heard that Bret Boone is trying to recruit Doug Mientkiewicz and Bobby Kielty for his Golden League team (Twitter link).
- ESPN.com's Keith Law offers updates on some of the top prospects eligible for this June's draft, including Bryce Brentz, an outfielder who Law considers "one of the top college bats in this draft."
- Fred Lewis and his representatives had been asking the Giants for a trade for nearly a year, according to Henry Schulman of the San Francisco Chronicle.
- FanGraphs' Jack Moore calls the Lewis deal a no-brainer for the Blue Jays and a head-scratcher for the Giants.
- Bob Elliott of the Toronto Sun takes us on a must-read behind the scenes look at the Adeiny Hechavarria signing.
- Recent injuries to Jacoby Ellsbury and Mike Cameron will test Boston's depth, says WEEI.com's Alex Speier.
- Matt Eddy of Baseball America brings us up to date on the latest round of minor league transactions. Among the notable players released: Brady Clark and Curtis Thigpen.
9:10pm: The trade is official, as per a Blue Jays media release.
8:43pm: Schulman tweets that an official announcement is coming soon. He notes that Lewis has updated his Facebook page to say that he's going to the Jays.
7:49pm: According to Henry Schulman of the San Francisco Chronicle, he is hearing "strong indications from multiple sources" that the Giants are trying to finalize a trade that would send outfielder Fred Lewis to Toronto. Schulman doesn't know as of yet what San Francisco will get in return.
Andrew Baggarly of The San Jose Mercury News reported on Tuesday that Toronto was "the most likely destination" for Lewis, who had become expendable in San Fran given their glut of outfielders. Lewis is out of options, and since his minor league rehab stint was up today, the Giants had to either expose him to waivers or work out a trade. Earlier tonight, Schulman passed on a report from Fresno Grizzlies radio broadcaster Doug Greenwald (via Twitter) that Lewis wasn't in the lineup for the Giants' Triple-A affiliate, leading to speculation that a deal could be forthcoming.
Lewis has a career 4.8 UZR/150 as an outfielder, and that rating jumps to 10.2 as a left fielder (though it plummets well below average in CF and RF, albeit in a much smaller sample size). Toronto would likely use him primarily as a late-inning defensive replacement in the outfield and a pinch-runner. Given Lewis' .805 OPS in 838 career plate appearances against right-handed pitching, though, Lewis could also take some playing time away from starting right fielder Jose Bautista, who has just a .225/.316/.364 career line against righties.
8:16pm: Henry Schulman of the San Francisco Chronicle (via Twitter) predicts that Lewis will still be with the Giants this weekend. Schulman is hearing that there is little or no trade interest in the market for the outfielder.
8:24am: Giants outfielder Fred Lewis will be activated or traded by the weekend, reports Andrew Baggarly of the San Jose Mercury News. Lewis is in Triple A rehabbing a sore rib cage, but his assignment won't last past Thursday. Lewis is out of options, so the Giants can't keep him in the minors.
Baggarly notes that the Giants' roster is stocked with six outfielders, implying that a trade is more likely than a call-up. He says that while the Padres and Athletics have expressed past interest in Lewis, the Blue Jays may be "the most likely destination." New GM Alex Anthopoulos is familiar with the Giants, already having claimed Brian Bocock and traded for Merkin Valdez in his six months on the job. Bocock was claimed again by the Phillies.
Lewis, 29, has a .277/.355/.420 career line, with a walk rate over 10%. He's played all three outfield positions in the Majors, but mostly left field. Three years ago Baseball America called him "the best all-around athlete in the system," a player with star-level raw skills. BA questioned his outfield routes, though Lewis' left field defense comes out strong in terms of UZR/150. Baggarly noted that Lewis has been getting some recent starts in center, so perhaps that's not a lost cause. Obviously Lewis' bat plays better there if he can hold his own defensively.
WEDNESDAY, 3:09pm: Schulman tweets that the Giants are "not trying to dump Lewis, but hope to deal him for an experienced backup middle infielder who can play shortstop and second base." The D'Backs have one such available player in Augie Ojeda, but there's no indication they're looking to add an outfielder.
TUESDAY, 3:22pm: The Giants are shopping infielder Kevin Frandsen, reports Henry Schulman of the San Francisco Chronicle. Frandsen has a minor league option remaining, but he's slipped on the Giants' depth chart.
Frandsen, 28 in May, hit .295/.352/.438 at Triple A last year while playing all four infield positions. Three years ago, Baseball America viewed Frandsen as a "solid No. 2 hitter" and potential starting second baseman. However, he was derailed by a ruptured Achilles tendon in March of '08. Earlier this month, Schulman wrote about Frandsen's frustrations and his new attitude adopted while playing winter ball.
San Francisco has been unable to drum up interest in Frandsen as well as outfielder Fred Lewis, tweets Schulman. The 29-year-old Lewis hit .258/.348/.390 with 4 HRs in 336 plate appearances last season. Recently CSNBayArea.com's Mychael Urban speculated that Lewis was likely to be released towards the end of camp as he is out of options.
CSNBayArea.com's Mychael Urban had his weekly A's and Giants-centric chat with fans on Tuesday, and here are the hot stove highlights...
- Urban thinks Giants outfielder Fred Lewis will be "cut loose near the end of camp." Lewis is one of several players who are out of options for 2010.
- Jermaine Dye isn't an option for the Giants. Urban says the veteran slugger turned down an offer of $2MM from an unnamed team, and San Francisco wouldn't offer Dye anything more than that. We already heard that Dye turned down a $3MM offer from the Cubs earlier this winter, so you have to wonder what kind of deal Dye thinks is still out there for him.
- Urban predicts the Giants and Athletics will eventually settle their territorial rights dispute over San Jose and "the San Jose A's will exist within the next 5-10 years." He also wonders why Sacramento has never been seriously considered as a possible new home for the A's.
- The Giants made an offer to Kiko Calero over the winter but Calero signed with the Mets last week. Urban agrees with a commenter that "the Giants did miss the boat" on not locking up the veteran reliever who posted a 1.95 ERA in 2009.
A wrap-up of some items on this busy Tuesday evening...
- Larry Stone of the Seattle Times looks at some of the free agents left on the market and wonders if the Mariners will be enticed to make one more move this winter. Neither Stone nor MLB.com's Jim Street think an Erik Bedard return is likely.
- Chris Haft of MLB.com covers a number of Giants-related topics in a mailbag, including how outfielder Fred Lewis "appears to have fallen out of favor with the organization" and "probably needs a change of scenery."
- Tim Wakefield tells CSNNE.com's Art Martone that he intends "on being one of the five starters" in the Boston rotation next season.
- SI.com's Jon Heyman reports that the Chuck Greenberg/Nolan Ryan-led ownership group paid a cool $570MM for the Rangers.
- Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel was told by Brewers GM Doug Melvin that he is "working on one other thing....It would be a minor-league deal." Haudricourt speculates that Milwaukee is looking for a left-handed reserve outfielder and former Brewer Gabe Gross could be an option.
- The Dodgers are another team looking for a lefty backup outfielder, tweets MLB.com's Ken Gurnick.
- MLB.com's Mark Bowman says that a recent Chipper Jones comment about Atlanta possibly bringing back Javier Vazquez after 2010 is "wishful thinking" on the part of the Braves superstar. Bowman discusses a few other topics in the mailbag piece, including the wisdom of the Braves buying out the arbitration years of Jair Jurrjens and/or Tommy Hanson.
- Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports (via Twitter) says that Robb Quinlan was a reserve option for the Twins if they hadn't signed Jim Thome. The right-handed Quinlan might have fit into the Minnesota bench a bit better than Thome, but if you had to pick between the two, I think most people would give Thome the nod.
- It appears that the Yankees added pitcher Zack Segovia on a minor league deal, writes Chad Jennings of The Journal News.
- Reed Johnson is still in the mix for the Cubs' fourth outfielder job, assistant GM Randy Bush told Paul Sullivan of the Chicago Tribune.
- Andrew Baggarly of the San Jose Mercury News passes along a comment from Giants GM Brian Sabean: someone will be designated for assignment to make room for Aubrey Huff. CSNBayArea.com's Mychael Urban says it won't be Fred Lewis, but Lewis is probably done with the Giants anyway.
- The Royals named former Brewers manager Ned Yost special advisor to baseball operations, according to a team press release.
- John Dewan of Baseball Info Solutions suggests the Red Sox could add eight or nine wins via their defensive improvements (hat tip to Alex Speier of WEEI). In an article for ESPN, Dave Cameron says the Red Sox "have traded on-base percentage for ultimate zone ratings."
- Rany Jazayerli says the Royals' move for Scott Podsednik "wasn't a good signing, but it's not worth getting worked up over either."
- Bernardo Fallas of the Houston Chronicle suggests Drayton McLane's $650MM asking price for the Astros "might make it difficult for him to find a buyer."
- Joe Pawlikowski of River Ave. Blues assesses possible Yankees target Xavier Nady.
- Jack Moore of FanGraphs likes the Ryan Church signing for the Pirates.
- MLB.com's Jordan Bastian writes that the Blue Jays signed pitcher Willie Collazo, infielder Jesus Merchan, and outfielder Jorge Padilla to minor league deals.
- Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports reiterates the Cubs' interest in Kiko Calero, but guesses the team's interest "is probably contingent" on the health of the reliever's shoulder.
- Brett Myers intends to "stick it" to the Phillies, according to the AP. How dare they pay him over $30MM and stick by him through domestic abuse charges.
618pm: Stark hears that the Padres offered Kouzmanoff up for Lewis and Frandsen. That doesn't match with the reports below, which suggest the Padres wanted more. Stark agrees with Nightengale that the Padres wanted more than Glen Perkins in return from the Twins.
WEDNESDAY, 5:21pm: Jayson Stark of ESPN.com hears that the Padres are aggressively trying to move Kouzmanoff. The Twins and Giants are interested.
TUESDAY, 5:39pm: The Twins offered Perkins for Kouzmanoff, but the Padres want more, according to Bob Nightengale of USA Today.
1:47pm: USA Today's Bob Nightengale tweets about an NL West trade discussion: the Giants are talking to the Padres about third baseman Kevin Kouzmanoff, but the Padres want more than Fred Lewis and Kevin Frandsen. I'm guessing the Padres would prefer not to pay Kouzmanoff the $3-5MM he'll get through arbitration.
Meanwhile La Velle E. Neal III of the Minneapolis Star-Tribune says the Padres would like to discuss Kouzmanoff with the Twins. He wonders if they'd be interested in Glen Perkins, who is available. Neal notes that Pedro Feliz's agents would like to talk to the Twins as well.