Gabe Gross Rumors

Odds & Ends: Mariners, Giants, Wakefield

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's Jim Street think an Erik Bedard return is likely. 
  • Chris Haft of 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's Art Martone that he intends "on being one of the five starters" in the Boston rotation next season.
  •'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's Ken Gurnick.
  •'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.

Non-Tendered Players

The deadline for teams to offer contract to their players with less than six years of service time is midnight ET tonight, so let's keep track off all the non-tenders here in one post. Make sure you check back in, we'll be updating this post throughout the day.

Rays Avoid Arb With Gabe Gross

According to Marc Topkin, the Rays avoided arbitration with outfielder Gabe Gross by signing him to a one-year deal worth $1.255MM.

Stark’s Non-Tender Candidates

With midnight on Friday being the deadline to tender a contract to an arbitration-eligible player, ESPN’s Jayson Stark has some predictions on who could be added to the free agent market…

Pitchers: Daniel Cabrera, Chad Gaudin, Jimmy Gobble, Brandon Backe, Takashi Saito, Tyler Yates, Wil Ledezma

Hitters: Marcus Thames, Gabe Gross, John Buck, Jose Bautista, Chris Burke, Willy Taveras, Jonny Gomes

What does everyone out there think? Any other non-tender possibilities?  MLBTR posted a speculative list a week ago.

Odds and Ends: Pokey, Lowe, Boss

Before you fire up the grill, check out these links.

Gabe Gross Traded To Tampa

In a quick, surprise move, the Brewers have traded outfielder Gabe Gross to the Rays for 23-year-old Class-A right hander Josh Butler. There is no word on Tampa Bay’s roster move to make room for Gross, who can play all three outfield positions. Presumably, it will be Justin Ruggiano, but I suppose it could be Nathan Haynes.

Gross has 48 plate appearances in the young season, but is hitting only .179/.303/.205. That’s just extra base hit, a double. He does have eight walks to seven strikeouts, which is a plus. But certainly not enough to keep him around once Mike Cameron returns from his suspension in a few days.

Butler has struggled in three starts in High-A ball this year, posting a 6.35 ERA. He was the 46th overall pick in the 2006 draft. The Baseball America handbook says he has a 92 to 95 mph fastball with outstanding movement, hard overhand curve, and a good change.

Posted by Joe Pawlikowski.

Rosenthal’s Latest: Gross, Rios, Perez

The tireless Ken Rosenthal has another column up today. Not a whole ton in the way of trade rumors, but let’s see what we can salvage from the article.

  • The A’s could be a team interested in trading for the Brewers’ Gabe Gross, who is the likely casualty once Mike Cameron returns from suspension. Gross can play all three outfield positions, and it’s not clear whether the A’s view him as a roving fourth outfielder, or a replacement for Emil Brown.
  • Rosenthal notes that the Blue Jays are following the lead of David Eckstein, hustling like crazy to first base. This, he notes, keeps fielders on their toes and makes them more apt to commit an error. The only one not buying in, apparently, is Alex Rios. How is this significant? Well, Rios just signed a six-year, $64MM contract before this season. Not exactly the impression you want to be making.
  • The Mets’ Oliver Perez one a solid year away from cashing in this winter. Young, hard-throwing lefties are always in demand. He’s on his way now, sporting a 2.49 ERA through four starts, striking out just a hair under a batter an inning. Now, if he can only find a pitching coach who can teach him to throw strikes — he has 12 walks in those innings, which is less than a 2:1 ratio.

Posted by Joe Pawlikowski, who writes for River Ave. Blues, a Yankees blog.

Rosenthal’s Latest: Roberts, Horacio, Willits

Rumor guru and baseball insider Ken Rosenthal has a new column at FOX Sports.  Let’s discuss.

  • Rosenthal does not see the Cubs taking on the salaries of both Brian Roberts and Coco Crisp, even if they shed their Jason Marquis commitment.  Roberts remains the focus.
  • Horacio Ramirez‘s agent says seven clubs have already expressed interest in his client.  Perhaps he meant to say 0.7.
  • Rosenthal runs through many Rocco Baldelli replacement options for the Rays: Reggie Willits, Kenny Lofton, Gabe Gross, and Reed Johnson.  Only Willits seems the perfect fit, and the Angels aren’t making him available. Willits and his .393 career OBP could be headed to Triple A.
  • The Phillies are looking for middle relief help; Rosenthal suggests a possible match with Arizona.  Or, how ’bout signing Bob Wickman?  Is he officially retired?

Hairston Key To Pads’ OF Dealings

The Padres still may need more outfield help. Centerfielder Jim Edmonds and rightfielder Brian Giles both are well into the brittle phases of their careers.

Sean Devaney of the Sporting News has Kevin Towers casting his left field lot with Scott Hairston – for the time being. Look for more chatter about Jason Bay, Matt Murton and any other available outfielder if Hairston fails to lock the job down within three weeks.  It’s unclear whether Gabe Gross (who is out of options) is currently of interest.  Kenny Lofton could be a free agent possibility.

Would Towers be willing to part with relievers Wilfredo Ledezma (LH) or Clay Hensley (RH) alone or part of a package to fill an outfield hole?

Hairston put in a nice month’s-worth of games with the Pads last year, slugging .644. That spurt was uncharacteristic of the 27-year-old’s major league career, though.

By Big Mike Glab

Rosenthal’s Latest: Lohse, Furcal, Lofton

FOX’s Ken Rosenthal checks in with the latest buzz from Spring Training.

  • The Mets, Cardinals, and Orioles are listed as possibilities for Kyle Lohse.  However, the Mets may deem him unnecessary, reports are conflicting on the Cards’ interest, and the Orioles are wary of the price.
  • Rosenthal says Rafael Furcal‘s agent met with Ned Colletti a few days ago, but the Dodgers would likely want to see Furcal return to form before entertaining an extension.  Click here to see the other shortstops eligible for free agency after the ’08 season.  The Dodgers may have a viable replacement for Furcal in defensive whiz Chin-Lung Hu.
  • Rosenthal notes that the Yankees, in search of a right-handed outfielder, considered Shannon Stewart and Mike Cameron this winter.
  • Kenny Lofton‘s chances of a getting the big league deal he wants with the Reds or Twins look slim. 
  • The rumor going around for Corey Patterson is the Marlins, if the price is right.
  • Rosenthal confirms two additions for our 2008 Out Of Options list Gabe Gross and Clint Barmes.
  • Rosenthal says the Mets need a right-handed hitter who can play left field and first base.  Here are some names I came up with: Ryan Ludwick, Xavier Nady, Matt Murton, Franklin Gutierrez, and Kevin Millar.  Granted, not all those guys know their way around first base.