Giancarlo Stanton Rumors
6:52pm: The Braves and Mariners have inquired on Upton along with the Rangers, major league sources tell Ken Rosenthal and Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports. One source said that Atlanta “made strong overtures” for Upton earlier in the offseason but came away thinking that the Diamondbacks were not motivated to trade him.
The Mariners are particularly eager to add a hitter and some have gone so far as to say that they're desperate to do so. They have checked in on the Dodgers’ Andre Ethier and the Marlins’ Giancarlo Stanton, according to sources. Upton might be the Mariners' most realistic pursuit, according to one source with knowledge of the team’s thinking. The M's have had “on-and-off” discussions with Arizona throughout the offseason, but Upton is not inclined to remove them from his four-team no-trade list.
3:44pm: Facing a surplus of outfielders following their deal with Cody Ross, the Diamondbacks are once again “very much open” to talking about trading Justin Upton, ESPN.com’s Buster Olney reports (all Twitter links). Their specific demands have changed, Olney notes.
Diamondbacks executives have viewed the Mariners as a possible trade partner for Upton, according to Olney. However, the Mariners are on Upton’s no-trade list, Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com reported earlier in the offseason (Twitter link). The Blue Jays are also on the list, which is partially in place to provide Upton with leverage in talks.
Some officials are now convinced the Diamondbacks will trade Upton rather than Jason Kubel, Olney reports. MLBTR readers disagree. Approximately 34% of nearly 10,000 voters said today that they expect the Diamondbacks to address their outfield depth by trading Upton, but approximately 45% expect Kubel to be moved.
The Rangers, Diamondbacks, Rays and Indians discussed multi-team trade scenarios involving Upton at the 2012 Winter Meetings. Texas, Seattle and the Mets now seem like potential fits in my view.
Zach Links contributed to this post.
WEDNESDAY: Though there’s lots of interest in Stanton, Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports hears from sources who all but rule out a trade (Twitter link). One person told Rosenthal chances of a deal are “as close to zero as they can be.”
SUNDAY: In the wake of the Marlins' blockbuster deal with the Blue Jays, the Marlins publicly stated that they wouldn't trade Giancarlo Stanton. Assistant General Manager Dan Jennings says that the club isn't shopping the right fielder, but they will listen to all offers for him, according to Jim Bowden of SiriusXM (on Twitter).
Teams have been inquiring on Stanton ever since the Marlins shipped Jose Reyes, Mark Buehrle, and Josh Johnson to Toronto in November. Stanton was vocal about his displeasure with the Marlins' front office after the trade and agent Joel Wolfe declined comment earlier this month when asked if his client had requested a trade.
Jennings also told Bowden (Twitter link) that Miami isn't going to surprise anyone and pursue any of the top free agents left on the open market. As the MLBTR Transaction Tracker shows, the Marlins have only signed two free agents so far this winter: Placido Polanco and Juan Pierre.
Earlier tonight, the Royals announced the signing of Miguel Tejada to a minor league contract. Whether or not the deal includes an invitation to Spring Training will be announced at a later date, the Royals said in a release. Bob Dutton of the Kansas City Star tweeted the addition of Tejada could make Tony Abreu or Irving Falu expendable. Dutton added Falu has options remaining while Abreu doesn't (Twitter link). As the East Coast drops the ball on 2013, let's enjoy another round of MLB news and notes:
- Dutton projects the Royals' payroll to be in neighborhood of $83MM and it's hard for him to see it go much higher (via Twitter). The Royals could free up some salary by moving Luke Hochevar or Bruce Chen, but Dutton doesn't sense any urgency from the club to move either one. Another possibility, although less likely, is Chris Getz (Twitter links).
- The Mariners have contacted the Marlins about Giancarlo Stanton, tweets Jon Paul Morosi of FOXSports.com. However, one source Morosi spoke with doubts a trade will occur.
- Baseball America's Jim Callis has updated the 2013 amateur draft order. There are four potential compensation free agents remaining on the market (Michael Bourn, Adam LaRoche, Kyle Lohse, and Rafael Soriano). If they change addresses, their former club will get a pick at the end of the first round and their new team will forfeit their top choice (unless it's one of the top 10 overall).
- Within the same piece, Callis remains surprised the Mets were able to obtain Noah Syndergaard from the Blue Jays in the R.A. Dickey trade. By adding Travis d'Arnaud and Syndergaard, which Callis projects as the Mets' second and third best prospects, the club has boosted their farm system into the top 20.
- Adam Kilgore of the Washington Post listed the Nationals posting the best record in baseball as the club's top storyline in 2012.
The Phillies saw their streak of five consecutive NL East titles ended by the Nationals in 2012. But, Todd Zolecki of MLB.com writes there is optimism since the Phillies won 60% of their games after July 31 despite the health issues of Roy Halladay and Carlos Ruiz, trading away Shane Victorino and Hunter Pence, and not having a reliable setup man for Jonathan Papelbon. The Phillies, however, enter the new year with several question marks which Zolecki says centers around the health of Halladay and Chase Utley, the continued recovery of Ryan Howard, and how much offense new acquistions Michael Young and Ben Revere will contribute. For more news and notes on the Phillies, Zolecki opened his inbox:
- Zolecki, when asked about the health of Halladay, quoted GM Ruben Amaro Jr. who recently said, "He's going to start throwing off the mound here very shortly. I guess he's working down there with Kyle Kendrick pretty extensively. He's doing well, but we don't know what kind of Doc we're going to get until Doc's down firing in Spring Training."
- Speaking of Kendrick, Zolecki believes he's a lock for the starting rotation as long as he remains healthy.
- Scott Hairston would be the best fit to fill one of the corner outfield vacancies. Zolecki notes the Phillies have tried to acquire Hairston in the past. Zolecki also mentioned Alfonso Soriano, who he thinks would slot in nicely hitting behind Utley and Howard.
- If the Phillies acquire a right-handed outfield bat, look for Darin Ruf to open the season at Triple-A.
- The Phillies don't have have enough top-tier talent to tempt the Marlins into trading Giancarlo Stanton to the City of Brotherly Love.
In today's column, Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe looks at the best big league rosters as we head into 2013. The Nationals top the list as their addition of Denard Span in the leadoff spot made an already strong roster even more impressive. The Reds are second after adding Shin-Soo Choo to the fold. The Blue Jays are only in fifth after annexing a big chunk of the Marlins' roster and the Dodgers rank sixth despite having the highest payroll in baseball. Here's more from today's column..
- When asked if he thought there was any match on a Justin Upton deal with the Red Sox, Diamondbacks general manager Kevin Towers responded, “Probably not.” Upton would be a fit for the Red Sox, but it could mean giving up prospects such as Xander Bogaerts and Matt Barnes, as ESPN's Jim Bowden recently suggested. Upton is an underachieving player who has frustrated his bosses in Arizona and the Red Sox want something better for those prospects.
- The Marlins have put out word that Giancarlo Stanton is going nowhere, but that hasn’t stopped some teams from trying to put together a package to obtain him. A big league source says that's expected to continue. Teams have also called on righty Ricky Nolasco and the right package for him could net a team a decent starter.
- The Dodgers may jump in on Kyle Lohse, even with Chris Capuano and Aaron Harang slated for the back end of the rotation. The Tigers could also be a possibility as they listen on offers for Rick Porcello.
- People like Brett Myers and what he can bring either as a starter or reliever but he's still on the open market. “The feeling is he’s been asking for too much money,” said an NL GM. “I think teams are waiting for the price to come down. He can certainly help a team. I think a lot of teams have him on a wish list.”
- In his introductory presser, Cody Ross said that right field is his least favorite position. Cafardo theorizes that this could be the reason why the Red Sox wouldn't go beyond two years for him. Ross inked a three-year, $26MM contract with Arizona earlier this month.
- Daisuke Matsuzaka prefers to stay in the US, but Japan may not be out of the question, depending on what type of deal he gets. He likes the Padres, but so far there’s no indication that the feeling is mutual.
- Opinions are mixed on the potential of first baseman/outfielder Jerry Sands, who has been traded from the Dodgers to the Red Sox to the Pirates. “He’s one of those guys who could all of a sudden put up a big year if he gets the chance to play every day,” said one AL GM. “Don’t think he’ll be that effective off someone’s bench. He’s got to get into a rhythm at the plate and when he does, he can hit.”
- Hideki Matsui will likely manage the Yomiuri Giants someday, though for now it appears that he will live with his family in the US. The slugger announced his retirement in a press conference late last week.
Here's the latest on how Josh Hamilton's agreement with the Angels will affect several other players and teams all around the league, including how close some other teams came to signing the free agent slugger themselves...
- The Rangers have told Geovany Soto he'll be their everyday catcher in 2013, but ESPN's Buster Olney wonders if the Rangers could now pursue free agent backstop A.J. Pierzynski. Also from Olney, rival evaluators are speculating that the Rangers might now be the best fit for Nick Swisher (both links are to Olney's Twitter account).
- The Mariners "badly wanted" Hamilton, which means the Angels disappointed two of their AL West rivals today, Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com reports (on Twitter). MLB.com's Greg Johns hears that the M's were heavily courting Hamilton and "had strong hopes" he would sign with them.
- The Red Sox had interest in Hamilton but weren't willing to offer a contract longer than three years, reports WEEI.com's Rob Bradford.
- The Phillies were similarly not interested in Hamilton at such a high price, writes Matt Gelb of the Philadelphia Inquirer. Hamilton's signing could increase interest in other free agent outfielders like Swisher and Cody Ross, thus possibly pricing the Phillies out of the market and forcing them to turn their attention to acquiring pitching instead.
- The Marlins could reverse their stance on trading Giancarlo Stanton, opines MLB.com's Joe Frisaro, if the Rangers are desperate to add another big bat and were willing to offer Jurickson Profar or Mike Olt in a deal. Frisaro also thinks Miami could be a trade match with the Angels as Peter Bourjos "has been on the Marlins' radar for a while."
- Fangraphs' Dave Cameron breaks down the value of Mark Trumbo, Kendrys Morales and Bourjos both to the Angels and on the trade market.
- Bourjos, for his part, tells MLB.com's Alden Gonzalez that he wants to remain in Anaheim and enjoys being an Angel, though he also wants to be an everyday player.
- ESPN's Keith Law doesn't see Hamilton providing much value in the last two years of his contract, though his signing "makes more sense" if the Angels trade some roster depth to fill the holes in their rotation. Law also notes that Michael Bourn appears to be running out of suitors, and speculates that Bourn could look for a one-year deal now and then look for a big multiyear contract next winter.
- Early today, we looked at rumors concerning the possibility of the Angels and Mets working out a trade involving R.A. Dickey.
MLBTR's Ben Nicholson-Smith also contributed to this post
Between the Mets' R.A. Dickey trade talks and the Nationals' signing of Dan Haren, much of today's major news has come out of the National League. Here are a few more updates from across the Senior Circuit....
- Although the Marlins have no intention of trading Giancarlo Stanton, that certainly hasn't stopped teams from calling to ask about him, according to Danny Knobler of CBSSports.com. "It would be easier to list who hasn't called," a source close to the Marlins told Knobler.
- With Angel Pagan locked up, the Giants have turned their attention to corner outfielders, and have spoken to Nick Swisher's reps, says Ken Davidoff of the New York Post (on Twitter). However, the team will likely target a more affordable option -- perhaps Ryan Ludwick or Scott Hairston.
- The Mets, in their search for veteran left-handers for the bullpen, have inquired on Manny Parra, according to Joel Sherman of the New York Post (via Twitter).
- The Dodgers are shopping for a shortstop or third baseman to pair with Hanley Ramirez on the left side of the infield, tweets Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com, adding that the team's approach at this point appears to involve pursuing an All-Star at every position.
- In addition to a center fielder, the Phillies also need a right fielder and a third baseman, though they likely won't be able to afford both, GM Ruben Amaro Jr. tells Jayson Stark of ESPN.com (Twitter link).
- Yuniesky Betancourt is among the third base options being considered by the Cubs, writes Carrie Muskat at MLB.com.
Let's take a quick look around the league for a few of the morning's odds and ends out of Nashville....
- Giancarlo Stanton remains unhappy with the direction of the Marlins, agent Joel Wolfe tells Jon Heyman of CBS Sports (Twitter link). "It wasn't a reaction," Wolfe said, referring to Stanton's post-trade tweet last month. "It's a state of mind." Wolfe declined comment when asked if Stanton has requested a trade, according to Heyman (Twitter link).
- The Orioles may have some interest in Garrett Jones and could dangle pitching in trade talks with the Pirates, says Rob Biertempfel of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. Biertempfel adds within the same blog post that at least two American League teams weren't interested when the Pirates came to them to discuss Joel Hanrahan. According to Biertempfel, there are some concerns about Hanrahan's physical conditioning and his late-season performance in 2012.
- The Indians had been "seriously interested" in James Loney before he signed with the Rays, according to ESPN.com's Buster Olney (via Twitter).
- Fernando Rodney, who will be a free agent next winter, has switched agents, leaving ACES and hiring Dan Lozano, tweets ESPN.com's Jerry Crasnick.
- The Royals' interest in Brett Myers is at the "kicking the tires" stage, tweets Bob Dutton of the Kansas City Star.
- With a plethora of catchers in the mix, the Red Sox will field offers for Jarrod Saltalamacchia, tweets Jon Heyman.
The Marlins are not entertaining trade offers for Giancarlo Stanton, Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com reports. In fact, Marlins president of baseball operations Larry Beinfest told Heyman he’d love to find a powerful bat to pair with Stanton in Miami’s lineup.
"We want someone to hit behind him, someone to offer more power," Beinfest told Heyman. "Giancarlo represents the power on our team."
Adding a power hitter appears to be the Marlins’ top priority. Stanton, the 23-year-old slugger who has surpassed the 30-homer mark in both of the past two seasons, won’t be traded. People with Marlins connections and rival executives agree he’ll return to Miami in 2013. But aside from Stanton, who’s still pre-arbitration eligible, there are lots of areas of need for the Marlins.
"It's not going to be easy," Beinfest acknowledged. "We're not going to put any expectations on it ... the reality is, we haven't played good for a couple years."
I previewed Miami’s upcoming offseason last week.
In today's column, Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe opines that the Red Sox should go after a Josh Hamilton or Joe Mauer. Boston has made it clear that they are focused on being fiscally responsible and only targeting good value deals, but a strong bat would help elevate the club's lineup and energize the fan base. Here's more from today's column..
- The Phillies, Red Sox, Yankees, Orioles, Cubs, and many more are inquiring on rightfielder Giancarlo Stanton, a major league source tells Cafardo. However, commissioner Bud Selig is watching the situation closely after the club's colossal salary dump in the Blue Jays deal. He didn't move to block that trade, but he may not be fond of a deal for the Marlins’ biggest draw.
- The Red Sox have had ongoing negotiations with Nick Swisher and his agents. The outfielder, who has at least seven teams interested in him this winter, would serve as a more than adequate replacement for Cody Ross.
- Agent Joe Urbon tells Cafardo that all is quiet on Grady Sizemore. The 30-year-old has bad knees but there is hope that he can turn the corner. The agent says his client will play again, but it seems he would have to come in on a minor league/major league deal with incentives, similar to Jason Bay.
- Carlos Pena may have to accept being a platoon player for a team like the Red Sox after a weak offensive campaign. The Sox still haven't closed the door on fellow first baseman James Loney, who offers strong defense but lacks the big bat potential of a player like Pena.