Gerald Laird Rumors
SI.com's Jon Heyman has seven more players who avoided arbitration today: Jeremy Accardo ($900K), Heath Bell ($1.225MM), Ryan Church ($2.8MM), Gerald Laird ($2.8MM), Javier Lopez ($1.35MM), Bobby Seay ($1.3MM), and Joel Zumaya ($735K). I think next year we'll put all of these in one constantly-updated post.
ESPN's Jerry Crasnick says Angel Pagan signed for $575K.
Links for Tuesday...
- Michael Silverman of the Boston Herald describes a casino alert regarding potential inside information due to the Winter Meetings.
- ESPN's Keith Law isn't thrilled with the Tigers' acquisition of Gerald Laird.
- Michael S. Schmidt gives a peek at the Boras Book for Greg Maddux. One client for which exaggeration is unnecessary.
- Patrick Newman of NPB Tracker says the Seibu Lions will post 35 year-old lefty reliever Koji Mitsui. Another southpaw option to consider; he's not expected to cost much.
- Newman also says the Orioles may offer two-year, $10MM contracts to both Kenshin Kawakami and Koji Uehara.
- Nick Piecoro of the Arizona Republic says the D'Backs have had brief, preliminary talks on an extension for Chris Snyder and they'll resume soon.
Michael Silverman of the Boston Herald talked to Scott Boras, who said the Tigers' acquisition of Gerald Laird actually improves Jason Varitek's prospects. Perhaps Boras is implying that the Rangers are now less likely to deal an additional catcher. But it's still hard to figure out which team would be willing to give Varitek a decent-sized multiyear deal and surrender a draft pick.
Silverman runs through a slew of catchers the Red Sox like. Jack Magruder says they could be a serious player for Arizona's Miguel Montero.
Links for Monday - Winter Meetings, Day 1.
- Check out the minor league signings for the week at Baseball America. Hey, Jerome Williams to the A's! Also, Chris Shelton signed with the Mariners.
- Funny quote from Scott Boras: "There can be a lot of late-night meetings where you're in a room and people are falling asleep. And you'll have some late-night GMs who want you to drink. I'll allow them to do it, but I won't do it. I do have some interesting things written on napkins over the years."
- Dave Cameron likes the Tigers' acquisition of Gerald Laird.
- Buster Olney talked to some agents who believe "the stated concern about the economy is providing a nice cover for Major League Baseball to roll back salaries." Another note from Olney, he'd be "shocked" if Rocco Baldelli doesn't sign with Boston.
- Tony Massarotti makes five recommendations for the Red Sox.
- David Murphy asks ten questions about the Phillies.
1:21am: Morosi says the second pitching prospect is indeed Melo.
12:12am: Morosi says an agreement has been reached, and the second prospect is a pitcher. There's speculation that prospect could be Carlos Melo, as he fits Rosenthal's description.
11:27pm: Ken Rosenthal says the Tigers acquired Laird for Moscoso and a second prospect. The second prospect "is a 17-year-old who spent last season in the Dominican Summer League." Could it be shortstops Samuel Ortiz or Domingo Gonzales? Pitchers Rayni Guichardo or Carlos Melo? The deal will be announced Monday. Laird, a Scott Boras client, is under team control through 2010.
Rosenthal adds that the Tigers are considering Adam Everett and Nick Punto as shortstop options.
9:26pm: According to Jon Paul Morosi of the Detroit Free Press, "The Tigers and Texas Rangers have made significant progress toward a trade that would send catcher Gerald Laird to Detroit and pitching prospect Guillermo Moscoso to the Rangers." It's not known whether the Tigers would include anyone else.
Baseball America ranks Moscoso tenth among Tigers prospects, noting shoulder woes but suggesting a high ceiling. They say he could end up a #3 or #4 starter. He's drawn some comparisons to Jair Jurrjens.
We've added a few new Winter Meetings preview to the collection...
- Yahoo's Tim Brown runs through plans for all of the American and National League teams.
- Patrick Saunders of the Denver Post says the Rockies are all about left-handed relief help. They've got several trade chips to work with.
- Jim Salisbury of the Philadelphia Inquirer has the Phillies covered. You know the plan: starting pitcher, outfielder.
- Joe Strauss of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reminds us of the Cardinals' wish list: starter, closer, lefthanded reliever. Arthur Rhodes would fit, but he's leaning toward the Reds. Strauss wonders if John Mozeliak can match up with the Blue Jays to find relief help.
- The Twins still want to add a shortstop or third baseman according to La Velle E. Neal III of the Minneapolis Star Tribune, though several options have already been eliminated. Neal summarizes the players on the radar. The Twins are also looking for bullpen help.
- Tom Krasovic of the San Diego Union-Tribune discusses the Padres. Kevin Towers will keep the Jake Peavy talks going with the Cubs while also searching for a shortstop and veteran catcher.
- Paul Sullivan of the Chicago Tribune reminds us that Peavy and a left-handed hitting outfielder are on the Cubs' wish list. The bat comes first, says Gordon Wittenmyer of the Chicago Sun-Times.
- Bob Dutton of the Kansas City Star says Dayton Moore has already accomplished his main goals, and now looks to replenish his right-handed relief. The Royals would also like to add a proven middle infielder and seem to have a glut of corner/DH types.
- Nick Piecoro of the Arizona Republic and Jack Magruder of the East Valley Tribune analyze the Diamondbacks. Josh Byrnes seeks a second baseman, left-handed reliever, and pitching in general. Miguel Montero is the top trade chip. They have about $10MM to spend, less if Brandon Lyon accepts arbitration.
- Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News says the Rangers could trade Gerald Laird, Hank Blalock, Kevin Millwood, or Vicente Padilla.
- Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel talked to Doug Melvin about C.C. Sabathia, who still hasn't reacted to their offer. If Sabathia and Ben Sheets leave, Melvin could add two starters. Melvin also said it'd be too risky to trade J.J. Hardy and start Alcides Escobar at short. Rickie Weeks has drawn interest, but Melvin would require "a pretty good hitter" in return. Mike Cameron is a more likely trade chip. As for the team's closer search, Melvin doesn't expect to be in on the big names.
- Joe Capozzi of the Palm Beach Post says the Marlins probably won't steal headlines at these Winter Meetings as they did in '07. Still, Jorge Cantu, Matt Treanor, and Jeremy Hermida may be dealt. The Fish have been "actively shopping" Treanor and Hermida. The Marlins have mild interest in free agents Ivan Rodriguez and Carl Pavano.
- Mark Gonzales of the Chicago Tribune says Ken Williams has asked the Reds about Homer Bailey. Could the Reds match up for Jermaine Dye? The White Sox hope to add more MLB-ready starting pitching and maybe a backup catcher.
- The Orioles need starting pitching, with a slew of names under consideration according to Jeff Zrebiec of the Baltimore Sun: A.J. Burnett, Paul Byrd, Jon Garland, Mark Hendrickson, Braden Looper, Randy Wolf, Kenshin Kawakami, Koji Uehara, Bartolo Colon, and Matt Clement. The O's also hope to extend Brian Roberts, trade Ramon Hernandez, and find a shortstop. They have interest in Adam Everett.
- Roch Kubatko of MASN Online explains what it's like for a reporter at the Meetings.
While not making any drastic reductions, the Rangers may be shedding payroll says Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News. This could make available Gerald Laird, Hank Blalock, Kevin Millwood, and Vincente Padilla.
"'I wouldn't say we're in cost-cutting mode, but we're certainly conscious of all our expenditures,' [GM Jon] Daniels said. 'We're going to look at all the ways to improve our club. For the most part, we've been focused on trying to add players who fit with our long-term plan. Those are younger players.' ... With more than $51 million committed to seven players and the desire to keep payroll at about the same level as last year ($67 million), some trimming may be necessary."
Rangers GM Jon Daniels said its "reasonable" the Rangers would trade a catcher before Christmas, they have the depth to trade from the position and would prefer to hold onto their younger cheaper options of Jarrod Saltalamacchia and Taylor Teagarden. Says Grant of a possible Laird trade,
"If the Rangers are willing to accept a mid-level minor league pitching prospect, a deal could come together quickly."
Blalock's $6.2MM option was exercised for 2009 but he's in a logjam at first base with Chris Davis. His willingness to move back to third actually increases his appeal to other clubs not looking for a first base/designated hitter type.
Millwood and Padilla are due $11MM and $12MM respectively and are entering contract years.
5:31pm: The diagnosis for Garcia is just shoulder tightness. MLB.com's Jason Beck believes he may not sign until after Christmas, because he needs two weeks rest and then hopes to pitch winter ball in front of scouts.
12:32pm: The latest hot stove news involving the Tigers...
- MLB.com reports that the Tigers will meet with Adam Everett's agent at the Winter Meetings. The defensively-talented shortstop has other suitors as well.
- According to Jon Paul Morosi, the Tigers have become more aggressive in discussions for Rangers catcher Gerald Laird.
- Former Tiger Freddy Garcia's status remains in question as they wait upon his MRI results.
The Texas Rangers have excess catching, and the Tigers, Reds, and Red Sox are all looking to benefit from that surplus.
T.R. Sullivan of MLB.com has the Tigers and Reds at the top of the list of teams interested in the oldest of Texas' catchers, Gerald Laird. Laird is arbitration eligible, and therefore the most attractive option for a trade from the Rangers' perspective. Joshua Roenicke of the Reds and Zach Miner from the Tigers are mentioned as potential trade bait in exchange for Laird.
Sullivan says the Red Sox are more interested in one of Texas' younger catchers: either Jarrod Saltalamacchia, or Taylor Teagarden. Clay Buchholz would not be included in any deal, but Michael Bowden and Justin Masterson may be available.
In a separate article that followed from a conference call with Texas GM Jon Daniels, Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News points out that the Rangers are not in cost cutting mode. A Laird trade might give that appearance. Another note from Grant's article - the Rangers aren't in on Koji Uehara or Kenshin Kawakami.
Links for Thursday...
- Check out this week's minor league transactions. Some familiar names were signed.
- The Red Sox officially announced the signing of Junichi Tazawa.
- J.C. Bradbury likes the Dustin Pedroia contract.
- Sox Machine has parting words for Javier Vazquez, whose trade to the Braves was officially announced today. ESPN's Keith Law tells you all you need to know about the players involved in the deal. Tyler Flowers is the key, Santos Rodriguez the wild card.
- The Rockies' talks for lefty reliever Joe Beimel continue. In another article, Patrick Saunders looks at the team's wish list.
- Rob Neyer believes teams are starting to figure out defensive evaluation, creating a weak market for lumbering LF/1B/DH types.
- Jesse Spector spoke to Tigers GM Dave Dombrowski.
- T.R. Sullivan says the Tigers' talks for Rangers catcher Gerald Laird continue.
- Larry Dobrow offers suggestions to fix the Reds.
- Aaron Gleeman says the Twins have already missed several good opportunities to affordably improve their bullpen.
- Viva El Birdos explains why the Cardinals should've offered arbitration to Russ Springer and Braden Looper.
- Lee Jenkins provides insight into Mark Teixeira - the perfect baseball player and ideal Boras client.
- Roch Kubatko says Cesar Izturis remains a strong possibility for the Orioles.
- Fred Claire notes that Jack Zduriencik will always remember Russell Branyan as his first free agent signing. Geoff Baker examines the Branyan signing and the Ken Griffey Jr. idea.
- Paul Sullivan suggests Chad Gaudin is a non-tender candidate for the Cubs. He's set to get an arbitration raise on this year's $1.775MM salary.