Garret Anderson Rumors
The Dodgers have agreed to terms with Garret Anderson on a minor-league deal that will be worth $550K if he makes the team. The 37-year-old can opt out of his contract if he doesn't find himself on the Dodgers' major league roster by a certain date.
Anderson, 37, hit .268/.303/.401 in 534 plate appearances with the Braves last season. UZR/150 had him at 16.5 runs below average in left field in 2009 - strictly backup material at this point in his career. The Dodgers signed five other outfielders to minor league deals this winter: Alfredo Amezaga, Brian Barton, Brian Giles, Prentice Redman, and Michael Restovich.
The latest from SI's Jon Heyman...
- Heyman writes that the Rays and Marlins are thought to have interest in Hank Blalock. We discussed Blalock here; his prospects are dim now that the Indians, Orioles, Braves, and Pirates have gone in different directions.
- Heyman notes that the Yankees love Carl Crawford and that could be one reason they were reluctant to give Johnny Damon a two-year deal. We discussed Crawford's situation earlier today.
- The Diamondbacks offered Mark Reynolds an extension to cover his first three arbitration years, in the $11MM range. That'd be quite a concession, since he should easily top $5MM in his first arbitration year.
- Heyman tweets that the Braves and Reds "could be in the mix" for outfielder Garret Anderson. Presumably, Anderson is in line for a minor league deal. He was linked to the Dodgers before they signed Reed Johnson.
Some links for your Sunday...
- Bryce Harper is not among the top ten on the Pirates' draft rankings currently, reports Dejan Kovacevic of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.
Jason Marquis, Ryan Zimmerman, Nyjer Morgan, and Ivan Rodriguez have all voiced their desire for the Nats to sign Orlando Hudson, tweets MLB.com's Bill Ladson.
- The Phillies have talked about Chien-Ming Wang, but don't believe he's a fit, according to Scott Lauber of the News Journal.
- Brewers pitching coach Rick Peterson says it's up to Mark Mulder to decide if he wants to pitch for the Brewers, according to this tweet from Haudricourt.
- The Brewers have pulled their latest offer to Corey Hart and are preparing for an arbitration hearing with him, writes Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.
- Orlando Cabrera wasn't willing to move from shortstop, so he picked the Reds over the Rockies, tweets Yahoo's Tim Brown.
- Chien-Ming Wang will end up on one of the coasts, according to this tweet from Jon Heyman of SI.com.
- Melvin Mora is talking extensively with the Rockies and another club, writes Troy Renck of the Denver Post.
- The Dodgers are in the midst of talks with Garret Anderson, writes Dylan Hernandez of the LA Times.
- Tony Jackson of ESPN.com adds Reed Johnson, Gabe Gross and Brian Giles to the list of backup outfielders the team is considering.
- The Indians are talking about bringing Russell Branyan back, according to Terry Pluto of the Cleveland Plain Dealer. A reunion seems unlikely unless Branyan doesn't see appealing offers elsewhere.
- The Brewers engaged Jason Marquis but backed off since they were convinced he would sign with the Mets, writes Ken Davidoff of Newsday.
Links for Friday...
- Heyman tweets that the Angels and Dodgers could pursue Garret Anderson.
- Jon Heyman of SI.com tweets that the Mets are falling behind in their attempts to sign John Smoltz.
- As Rob Bradford of WEEI.com notes, Theo Epstein says the Red Sox do not have a policy against negotiating extensions during the season.
- The Red Sox, Phillies, Diamondbacks and Rockies watched Oscar Villarreal throw today, tweets Ed Price of AOL Fanhouse.
- An MLB executive tells ESPN.com's Jerry Crasnick that Jermaine Dye turned down $3.3MM from the Cubs before they signed Xavier Nady for the same price (Twitter link).
- MLB.com's Bill Ladson tweets that money may prevent the Nationals from signing Orlando Hudson. Adam Dunn believes Washington is Hudson's first choice.
- The club could go after Adam Kennedy if Hudson signs elsewhere, tweets Ladson.
- The Blue Jays have money, but aren't going to spend for the sake of spending, according to MLB.com's Jordan Bastian.
- In case you'd like more on the Johnny Damon-Yankees drama, SI's Jon Heyman talked to the player and GM.
- Alex Rodriguez was "staring at retirement right in the face" last March when diagnosed with a torn labrum in his hip, he told Kim Jones of the YES Network Wednesday night.
- Dave Cameron of FanGraphs wonders if aging players are the new market inefficiency.
- Cameron compares Jason Bay to Josh Willingham and concludes that the two outfielders are pretty similar.
- In an interview with SNY's Kevin Burkhardt last night, Mets GM Omar Minaya insisted he has full autonomy. Joel Sherman of the New York Post doesn't buy it.
- U.S.S. Mariner's Dave Cameron tweets of rumblings that the Royals and Mariners have discussed Alberto Callaspo.
- The Red Sox signed catcher Gustavo Molina to a minor league deal, reports WEEI's Rob Bradford. Molina, 28 in February, hit .209/.233/.308 for the Nationals' Triple A club last year.
- Larry Granillo of Wezen-Ball digs up the true story behind Andre Dawson, the Cubs, and the blank check in '87.
- Twins lefty Glen Perkins explained his grievance to Joe Christensen of the Minneapolis Star-Tribune.
Links for Thursday...
- The Marlins aren't that confident in Kiko Calero's ability to hold up as well as he did last year, tweets MLB.com's Joe Frisaro.
- The Nationals designated right-hander Marco Estrada for assignment to make room for Tyler Walker according to MLB.com's Bill Ladson, via Twitter.
- The A's have no interest in Eric Byrnes, tweets Mychael Urban of CSNBayArea.com.
- The Dodgers are a finalist for Derrick Turnbow, tweets MLB.com's Ken Gurnick.
- The Mets are interested in Josh Fogg, according to Matt Cerrone of MetsBlog.
- Mike Timlin said on WEEI.com that he will stay in retirement this year. Last year, Timlin pitched in the Rockies' minor league system.
- Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports notes that Jays GM Alex Anthopoulos is "open to anything." The Jays could stand to add a corner outfielder and there are a number of options available should the Jays decide to pursue them.
- I wrote an article for my fantasy website, RotoAuthority.com, suggesting that overhyped "sleepers" can still provide a profit.
- USA Today's Bob Nightengale tweets that Gary Sheffield might be a good fit for the Reds, and that Sheff was "on his way" to the Diamondbacks before they signed Adam LaRoche.
- Brandon Webb still contends that re-signing with the D'Backs is his first choice, in an article written by MLB.com's Steve Gilbert.
- Joel Sherman of the New York Post says the Reds, Padres, White Sox, and Royals inquired on the Yankees' Brett Gardner this winter, with hopes of using him as a starting center fielder.
- Bill Shanks of Scout.com makes a case for the Braves to sign Johnny Damon.
- Yahoo's Tim Brown tweets that the Dodgers are one club eyeing Garret Anderson for a fourth outfielder role.
The Braves' arbitration decisions are in, thanks to a tweet from David O'Brien of the Atlanta Journal-Constituation. They've offered arbitration to Type A relievers Rafael Soriano and Mike Gonzalez, but not to Type B first baseman Adam LaRoche or Type B outfielder Garret Anderson.
We predicted these correctly, but the LaRoche decision still gives pause. He hit a solid .278/.357/.487 on the season, but the Braves apparently did not want to be locked into a salary north of $7MM for 2010.
The price of Soriano and Gonzalez goes up for other teams; each will now cost a draft pick to sign.
In his blog over at MLB.com, Mark Bowman lays out the offensive woes of the Atlanta outfield, and in the comments section, Bowman even ponders the potential release of Jeff Francoeur:
Here's some of the unfortunate "highlights" of the Braves' struggles, if you can call them that:
- In 12 games since being activated from the DL, Garret Anderson is hitting .283/.321/.326 with just one extra base hit - a double. All this comes along with limited range in the outfield.
- In 66 May at-bats, Francoeur is hitting .197/.214/.273.
- For his career, Francoeur has averaged 630 ABs per season. Over his last 631 ABs, dating back to May 6, 2009, Francoeur is hitting .235/.287/.341 with 11 HR. Over that time, among players with 500 ABs, only Michael Bourn, Chone Figgins, Bobby Crosby, Willy Taveras, and Jason Kendall have lower slugging percentages, and only Chris Young of Arizona has a lower OBP. Ouch.
- Rookie Jordan Schafer's .660 OPS is the highest of any of the three Braves outfielders mentioned thus far.
So what's Frank Wren to do? He's clearly in need of immediate upgrades in the outfield, and Atlanta would seem to have the pitching to spare. Let's hear some suggestions from the MLBTR world: How can Wren save this situation?
Links for Saturday...
- Baseball America's John Manuel reports that 22-year-old Twins first base prospect Henry Sanchez has been suspended 50 games for violating minor league baseball's drug policy. Sanchez was the 39th overall pick in the 2005 draft.
- John Maffei of the North County Times reports on Stephen Strasburg's latest start, one in which the top prospect struck out 14, though he did allow a home run (hat tip to Buster Olney). His strikeout to walk ratio now exceeds 10-1.
- Ever wonder how much Japanese teams spend on their players? Ryo Shinkawa of NPB Tracker has the figures and their payrolls range from $18-45MM this year.
- ESPN.com's Gene Wojciechowski reviewed some old scouting reports on Randy Johnson with the Big Unit himself.
- And there are more injuries piling up: Chien-Ming Wang and Cody Ransom for the Yankees and Brian McCann and Garret Anderson for the Braves.
The latest from Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports...
- Rosenthal wonders if Manny Ramirez could get a multiyear deal following a big/well-behaved '09, in the vein of other Boras clients such as Kevin Millwood and Kyle Lohse (Ivan Rodriguez, too). Of course, Manny is a lot older than those guys were.
- Rather than money, Garret Anderson wants the 632 hits he needs to reach 3,000. If he gets there, he'll make for some interesting Hall of Fame debates.
- Rosenthal spoke to an executive who knows Stan Kasten. This exec expects Kasten to surprise with his GM choice, and doesn't see him hiring a "young up-and-comer" or Chuck LaMar.
- The Cubs are said to be "content with their bench players." Cubs manager Lou Piniella has talked a bit about wanting an "extra infielder who can play first and third." Rosenthal adds that the team's new ownership "might not be willing to assume the remaining $63 million on Jake Peavy's contract in a reeling economy."
Garret Anderson passed his physical; he's a Brave on a $2.5MM deal. Do you like the move? Will he be better than Ken Griffey Jr. this year?