Gabe Kapler Rumors

Rangers Notes: Washington, Young, Manager, Tomas

Former Rangers manager Ron Washington stated in a live press conference that he had an extra-marital relationship, which was the basis for his decision to leave his post. He also said that he intends to return to the game at some point in the future, though no specific timeline was given.

Here’s more on the Rangers…

  • As Texas looks for its new skipper, Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reports that there’s some mutual interest between the team and former cornerstone Michael Young. Sources tell Rosenthal that any past issues between Young and general manager Jon Daniels have been settled. Young, of course, had a tumultuous end to his time with the Rangers and at one point requested a trade, going on the record stating that he had “been misled and manipulated” and was “sick of it.”
  • Daniels told reporters, including Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News, that he expects the managerial search to pick up steam the week after the regular season’s conclusion. The Texas GM said that he is considering a wide variety of candidates, including one “just off the field” candidate, which could of course be Young. However, Grant notes that Young may not be ready to jump back into the game. Young turned down multiple offers that would’ve paid him more than $4MM to play in 2014 to be close to his family, Grant writes. Grant also speculates that 39-year-old Gabe Kapler could surface as a candidate, though Kapler declined to comment when reached by Grant last week.
  • The Rangers will have scouts on hand to watch Cuban slugger Yasmani Tomas‘ showcase this Sunday in the Dominican Republic, reports Calvin Watkins of As he notes, the Rangers could be in need of a replacement for Alex Rios if his $13MM club option is not exercised. The Rangers do appear set with their other two outfield spots, however, with Leonys Martin under team control through 2018 and Shin-Soo Choo under contract through the 2020 season.

Dodgers Sign Marcus Thames

The Dodgers have officially signed outfielder Marcus Thames to a one-year contract. The deal includes a $1MM base salary and another $800K in incentives.

Thames, 33, would provide the Dodgers with right-handed power and could platoon with Jay Gibbons in left field.  Last season Thames hit .288/.350/.491 with 12 homers in 237 plate appearances for the Yankees.'s Ken Gurnick first reported that the two sides were on the verge of agreeing to a deal while Dylan Hernandez of the Los Angeles Times confirmed the agreement. Hernandez later added the financial terms (Twitter links).

Dodgers Sign Gabe Kapler

The Dodgers have officially signed Gabe Kapler to a minor league deal, according to Dylan Hernandez of the LA Times (on Twitter). The deal includes an invitation to big league Spring Training. The Dodgers were reportedly close to a deal with the TWC Sports client yesterday.

Kapler hit .210/.288/.290 in 140 plate appearances for the Rays last year. The 35-year-old has a .284/.343/.475 line against left-handers in his career, so he has a history of success against southpaws.

Dodgers Nearing Deal With Marcus Thames

The Dodgers are on the verge of signing free agent outfielder Marcus Thames, baseball sources tell's Ken Gurnick.  However, the club declined to confirm that a signing of the 33-year-old is close.  Thames would provide the Dodgers with right-handed power and could platoon with Jay Gibbons in left field.

Sources say that the Dodgers are also looking at veterans Eric Chavez and Gabe Kapler as they search for a power bat.  The front office also is thinking about moving Matt Kemp from center field to right, Andre Ethier right field to left, and Tony Gwynn starting in center field.  That alignment would help fortify the Dodgers' defense but Gwynn must perform well at the plate in Spring Training in order to make that a possibility.


Cafardo’s Latest: Papelbon, Beltre, Pavano, Kapler

After a morning of headlines involving Zack Greinke, let's not forget that there are still plenty of trade targets and free agents remaining on the market. Nick Cafardo has the latest updates on a few of them in his newest piece for the Boston Globe….

  • The Red Sox have been listening to offers for Jonathan Papelbon. When the team made a three-year, $51MM offer to Mariano Rivera, the assumption was that, on the off chance Rivera accepted, Papelbon wouldn't be back next season.
  • Even if Papelbon remains a Red Sox through 2011, there's an understanding that he'll explore the free agent market. Boston only expects to re-sign him if he agrees to a team-friendly deal like those signed by Dustin Pedroia, Kevin Youkilis, and Jon Lester.
  • The article names the Rangers and Angels as a couple teams who could have interest in trading for Papelbon, though it appears to be mostly speculation on Cafardo's part.
  • While the Rangers and Halos also appear to be the two leading suitors for Adrian Beltre, Cafardo wonders if a mystery team could be involved, given the silence surrounding the third baseman lately. As we learned during the Cliff Lee derby, you can never entirely rule out those ever-looming mystery teams.
  • Cafardo writes that Carl Pavano likely won't sign until at least later this week, unless a team ponies up and makes him an offer in the ballpark of $36MM over three years. Of course, at the time Cafardo's column was published, the Brewers' acquisition of Greinke wasn't confirmed. With Greinke off the table, teams who missed out on the Royals' ace may feel a greater sense of urgency to get something done with Pavano. Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports suggests that a reunion with the Twins appears likely for Pavano, following the Greinke trade.
  • The Red Sox have tried to re-acquire Justin Masterson from the Indians, but have been denied so far.
  • Gabe Kapler would like to keep playing, and is "waiting for the right situation."

Baseball Blogs Weigh In: Royals, Rays, Burrell

On this date 41 years ago, Major League owners unanimously elected Bowie Kuhn to a seven-year term as commissioner. It was under Kuhn that the reserve clause was eliminated, paving the way for free agency as we know it.

We've got a lot of links to get to, so let's dive right in…

If you have a suggestion for this feature, Mike can be reached here.

Rays Re-Sign Gabe Kapler

The Rays re-signed outfielder Gabe Kapler to a one-year, $1.05MM deal, according to Marc Topkin of the St. Petersburg Times.  Kapler, 34, hit .239/.329/.439 in 238 plate appearances while playing all three outfield positions (primarily right field). 

Kapler originally signed with the Rays for $1MM back in January.  The Rays seemingly got their money's worth, as Kapler's strong defense led FanGraphs to value him at $5.2MM this year.

Rays Rumors: Zobrist, Iwamura, Kapler's Alden Gonzalez provides the latest on a few Tampa Bay Rays:

  • If Ben Zobrist becomes the team's everyday second baseman, the club may decide to bring free agent-to-be Gabe Kapler back as a backup outfielder. Kapler made $1MM this year and hit .239/.329/.439 in 245 trips to the plate.
  • If the club keeps Zobrist at second, it appears highly unlikely that the Rays would pick up Akinori Iwamura's $4.25MM option.
  • Other club options to watch: Carl Crawford at $10MM, Gregg Zaun at $2MM and Brian Shouse at $1.9MM.
  • It's likely that the team will look for affordable late-inning relief help. 

Rays Sign Gabe Kapler

According to Marc Topkin of the St. Petersburg Times, the Rays signed outfielder Gabe Kapler to a one-year, $1MM deal.  An hour earlier, Tommy Rancel of DRays Bay wrote that the two sides could be close to a deal.

Hard not to like the signing.  Kapler, 33, hit .301/.340/.498 while playing all three outfield positions in his comeback season (he spent ’07 managing in the minors).  ESPN’s Keith Law suggested Kapler showed enough to merit an everyday job in center field.

Phillies Interested In Garciaparra

Ken Rosenthal and Jim Salisbury have both heard from major league sources that the Phillies are interested in Nomar Garciaparra as a bench player.

Salisbury writes that the Phillies haven’t yet made an offer, but could if Nomar seems interested.

Both Rosenthal and Salisbury hear that the Phillies have some interest in Gabe Kapler.