Glen Perkins Rumors
Happy birthday to Hall-of-Famer Paul Molitor, who turns 57 years old today. Though Molitor only spent the final three of his 21 seasons with an AL Central team, the St. Paul native has been closely tied to the Twins franchise and currently serves as a special assistant within the organization. Here's the latest from around the division...
- The Twins don't have any trade talks percolating about Justin Morneau right now, Minnesota general manager Terry Ryan tells Sid Hartman of the Minneapolis Star Tribune. “I can put that out there,” Ryan said. “I don’t see [a trade], but there is always a possibility." Morneau has cleared waivers and has revived his trade value after hitting .303/.326/.618 in 92 PA in August. The former AL MVP has drawn varying levels of interest from the Yankees and Orioles in recent days.
- Ryan added that "I don’t think you have to worry about" Glen Perkins being traded. The closer drew attention before the July 31st deadline, but it's hard to see how Minnesota could get Perkins through waivers without another club blocking the move.
- The Twins GM also covers a number of topics with Hartman, including his own future with the team. Ryan said he's still enjoying all aspects of his job, except for the Twins' poor record on the field.
- Adam Dunn thinks there is "zero chance" his White Sox teammate Paul Konerko will retire after this season, Dunn tells Jim Bowden on MLB Network Radio on SiriusXM (Twitter link). Konerko has hinted at retirement throughout the season, as this is the last year of his White Sox contract and the veteran has struggled with injuries and a .662 OPS in 393 PA.
- The Indians recently gathered several front office members to discuss September promotions and any possible August trades, Paul Hoynes of the Cleveland Plain Dealer reports. "We're looking at opportunities to improve, internally, externally, whatever those might be," GM Chris Antonetti said. "I continue to like the group of guys we have, but if there is an opportunity to improve, we'll pursue it."
- The Twins are receiving lots of calls on Perkins but still telling teams they won't trade him, tweets Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe. The team is also receiving interest in Willingham, despite the fact that he's currently on the DL.
- Berardino writes that Willingham is drawing interest, and one rival talent evaluator told him he could see a scenario where Willingham is dealt. GM Terry Ryan spoke to the media about trade chips last night, adds Berardino. While he didn't mention Willingham's name, he referenced the recent trade of Jesse Crain and a previous trade the Twins had made with injured players: "We did that once with the Dodgers, way back in the day, so it can be done."
- An August trade of Morneau is a more likely outcome than a deadline deal, according to Mike Berardino of the St. Paul Pioneer Press. The Rangers are a long shot to make a run at Morneau, the Orioles have cooled on him and the Pirates have other targets atop their wish list at this time.
- The Pirates, Orioles and two unidentified teams make up the market for Morneau at this time, writes Jon Heyman of CBS Sports. The Rangers don't appear to be a fit, as they're seeking a right-handed bat, and the Yankees are content with Lyle Overbay as a lefty swinging option at first base.
- Darren Wolfson of 1500 ESPN tweets that the Twins are willing to eat some of the remaining $4.6MM on Morneau's contract if it means receiving a decent return.
- Reports from earlier today stated that Morneau wasn't a fit with the Orioles due to his contract and lack of production.
With just over a week to the trade deadline, there's still been only one significant move for a reliever -- Boston's acquisition of Matt Thornton. Plenty of teams are on the lookout for bullpen help, however, including the Tigers, Red Sox, Braves, Diamondbacks and more. With a potential Jason Grilli injury last night, more bullpen rumors could begin to circulate. Here are the latest relief rumblings from around the baseball world...
- The Red Sox, Dodgers and Tigers are all keeping close tabs on Francisco Rodriguez, according to ESPN's Jerry Crasnick. The Sox and Dodgers, in particular, were said by Crasnick to have scouts "all over" Rodriguez this week. Detroit, meanwhile, isn't as interested as it once was due to the strong recent performance of Joaquin Benoit and Drew Smyly (Twitter links).
- Former closer Brian Wilson threw for Giants pitching coach Dave Righetti and bullpen catcher Billy Hayes yesterday, according to Andrew Baggarly of CSNBayArea.com. The session was a personal favor to Wilson and not an indicator that a deal is coming, Baggarly writes. However, Wilson looked nearly Major League ready, and Baggarly feels that the willingness to afford Wilson this favor suggests that any ill will between the two sides following Wilson's offseason non-tender has subsided.
- The Braves continue to search for left-handed relief help, tweets Jim Bowden of ESPN and MLB Network Radio, who lists Oliver Perez, Mike Dunn, Glen Perkins, Scott Downs and James Russell as potential targets. Bowden notes that Perkins is unlikely, likely because of the numerous reports that the Twins won't move their closer.
- While the Twins aren't interested in moving Perkins, David O'Brien of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports that the Braves may have interest in another Minnesota lefty who may be available -- Brian Duensing (Twitter link). Duensing has two years of team control remaining and will be arbitration-eligible for the second time this offseason.
- One more note from Crasnick, who tweets that the Braves also checked in on Phil Coke in their quest for lefty relief help, but nothing came of the talks with the Tigers. Coke has had a brutal season because of overexposure against right-handed hitters, but he's held lefties to a .231/.271/.346 batting line.
- For more on the relief trade market, check out my examinations of the market for left-handed relievers and the market for right-handed relievers. Also, for all fantasy players out there, be sure to follow @closernews on Twitter to keep up to speed with closer injuries, performance, usage and more.
While earlier reports have said that the Twins are likely to trade longtime first baseman Justin Morneau, the 2006 AL MVP isn't drawing significant interest, according to Jon Heyman of CBS Sports. Multiple teams that make sense as landing spots are "cool to the idea" at this time, Heyman writes.
The Rangers and Yankees prefer to focus their efforts on acquiring right-handed bats. The Orioles could use an extra bat, but they don't want to pay the $6MM remaining on the final year of Morneau's six-year, $80MM contract. ESPN's Jim Bowden recently connected the Rays and Pirates to Morneau, but Heyman says the Pirates "aren't heavily involved yet," and the financial element is a deterrent to the Rays as well.
Twins-connected sources tell Heyman there's almost no chance that Josh Willingham will be dealt, and closer Glen Perkins is likely to stay as well. The southpaw told Heyman over the All-Star break: "I'd love to be part of the future. And from what I gather, [the Twins] feel the same." Even Kevin Correia, halfway through the first season of a two-year, $10MM deal, doesn't sound likely to be dealt at this time, according to Heyman's contacts.
The trade deadline is just two weeks away, and with the All-Star Game in the rear-view mirror, Jim Bowden of ESPN and MLB Network Radio writes that the market will pick up rapidly beginning Friday. Here are some highlights from the highly informative article penned by the former GM of the Reds, Expos and Nationals (ESPN Insider required and recommended)...
- Bowden hears there's an 80 percent chance that Matt Garza will be traded before his next scheduled start (Monday or Tuesday of next week). The Rangers, Red Sox and Diamondbacks are still involved, He describes the D-backs as "dark horses," adding that their odds in the Garza sweepstakes would increase if they were willing to part with left-hander David Holmberg.
- The Rockies could also be interested in Garza, but they're not clear-cut buyers right now, and the prospective cost is prohibitive to them. If they were to sell, Rafael Betancourt and Matt Belisle could be had. Michael Cuddyer could be moved, but only if Colorado is "blown away."
- The White Sox have been "extremely disappointed" with offers for Alex Rios thus far. Bowden feels that offers will improve as the deadline draws closer.
- The Justin Morneau era in Minnesota is coming to an end, and the Twins are prepared to trade the former MVP, according to Bowden. The Rays, Pirates and Yankees are said by Bowden to be possible destinations for Morneau.
- The Cardinals, Reds, Dodgers and Braves have all inquired on Twins closer Glen Perkins and been turned away. Those four teams are all monitoring the health of Jesse Crain as well.
- The Yankees are trying to use Phil Hughes, Joba Chamberlain and catching prospect J.R. Murphy to acquire a bat but have had no luck thus far. None of those players figure to interest the Twins in regards to Morneau, Bowden adds, given the impending free agency of Hughes and Chamberlain and the presence of Joe Mauer behind the plate for the Twins.
Here's a look at the latest out of the AL Central..
- Twins GM Terry Ryan says that he's willing to trade anybody, including coveted reliever Glen Perkins, writes Mike Beradino of the Pioneer Press. "If somebody overwhelms you with something, then you've got to listen," Ryan said. "There's no question. You just can't say, 'No.' It's not just Glen Perkins. It would be anybody in this situation. If somebody wants to talk about a guy, I'm all ears. Go ahead." Perkins is under contract for a combined $10.3MM through 2015 with a team option for 2016 at $4.5MM.
- In today's column, Buster Olney of ESPN.com (insider sub. req'd) writes that rival GM continue to believe that the Twins don't want to part with Perkins. However, the left-hander's value is at its zenith and he would bring in a nice haul for Minnesota.
- Jim Margalus of South Side Sox breaks down the newly-acquired Brandon Jacobs, who came to the White Sox in the Matt Thornton deal.
In a Twitter blitz this morning, ESPN.com's Buster Olney dropped several pieces of information about the developing non-waiver trade deadline market. (All Olney links via Twitter.)
- We learned on Thursday that the Diamondbacks are more interested in younger, high-upside, controlled starters like the Brewers' Yovani Gallardo and Cubs' Jeff Samardzija than short-term veteran rentals. Olney, who noted the Gallardo interest a week ago (on Insider), now adds that the Dbacks like the marketability of Gallardo's Mexican heritage.
- Olney also reports that Arizona had brief discussions with the Cubs regarding Samardzija. When the Cubs inquired into the availability of top Dbacks prospects Archie Bradley and Tyler Skaggs, however, the clubs ceased their talks. Nevertheless, Olney says that others in baseball do not believe that Skaggs is untouchable.
- Meanwhile, the trade value of Cubs starter Matt Garza is undeniably trending up as the pitcher demonstrates that he is healthy and capable. Olney says a Garza trade is "expected soon" and, according to MLB executives, will likely return "more than the value of a first-round draft pick" to Chicago.
- It is worth bearing in mind the Cubs' alternative strategic options. The team could decide to hold off on trading Garza, instead exploring a long-term extension with him. Should that not work out, Chicago could make him a qualifying offer. If he signed elsewhere in free agency, then, the Cubs would receive a compensatory first-round choice. Hence, the Cubs will likely be inclined to demand what they view as better value than such a pick in a mid-season trade.
- The Giants may be focused on adding a starter, but that is far from the team's only need. According to an Olney tweet, San Fran is surveying the league for a right-handed outfield bat.
- For the Rays, the club is still waiting and watching to decie on a trade deadline approach, says Olney. Sitting at seven games back in the competitive AL East, the team will wait to see how things play out when it returns David Price and Alex Cobb from the DL.
- Finally, Olney expands upon yesterday's notes on Twins closer Glen Perkins. He reports that teams that have inquired have been told that the club's premier reliever is not presently available. With Perkins signed to what Olney describes as an "incredible team-friendly contract," it will be interesting to see whether Minnesota is interested in trying to entice a contender to send a significant prospect haul to supplement its promising minor league system.
Let's have a look at the latest talk surrounding the approaching trade deadline season:
- Starting pitching is an active priority for the Orioles, writes Dan Connolly of the Baltimore Sun. Hurlers that the club is reportedly looking at include Ricky Nolasco (Marlins), Edinson Volquez and Andrew Cashner (Padres), Matt Garza and Scott Feldman (Cubs), Jake Peavy (White Sox), Bud Norris (Astros), and recent Oriole Joe Saunders (currently with the Mariners). The trouble for the O's, according to Connolly, will be coming up with enough prospects that the team can stomach dealing.
- The Giants are most interested in acquiring a starter that the team can control for more than this year, tweets FOX Sports' Jon Paul Morosi. In spite of that preference, Morosi says that San Francisco is interested in popular trade subject Matt Garza.
- The Cubs' Garza is generating a lot of attention given his evident availability and intriguing return from a long DL stint. Paul Swydan of Fangraphs wonders, however, whether the oft-injured Garza is really worth the hype. Swydan says that Garza's overall track record as a solid middle or back-of-the-rotation starter is what teams should expect to be buying, especially since his recent starts have come against some of baseball's weaker-hitting clubs.
- Trade talks are "ongoing" for two prominent members of the Astros, starter Bud Norris and closer Jose Veras, tweets Morosi. Both were recent subjects of MLBTR trade candidate analysis, as Mark Polishuk took a look at Norris and Steve Adams analyzed Veras.
- The most obvious trade in baseball, according to Fangraphs' Dave Cameron, is a deal sending Chase Utley from the Phillies to the Athletics. Cameron argues that Utley is still a highly productive second bagger, and would be a huge upgrade at the spot that the A's most need one.
- With the Braves losing key bench bat Ramiro Pena to season-ending shoulder surgery, MLB.com's Mark Bowman wonders whether the team will be more inclined to seek a third baseman before the trade deadline. While Chris Johnson has hit the ball fantastically, he has been a problem on the defensive side. Meanwhile, the team designated and then traded Johnson's early-season platoon partner, Juan Francisco, earlier in the year.
- The Twins face a difficult choice with 30-year-old closer Glen Perkins, writes ESPN's Buster Olney (on Insider). (Olney expanded upon his tweet yesterday addressing the Perkins situation.) With Perkins' value trending way up -- he sports a 2.12 ERA, has registered 12.4 K/9 against just 2.1 BB/9, and is inked to a very reasonable three-year deal (plus option) -- Minnesota could reap a major return.
We learned earlier today that the White Sox are reportedly "open for business" and willing to trade anyone besides Chris Sale and their long-time franchise cornerstone Paul Konerko. Here's more on the Sox as well as the rest of the American League Central...
- Jake Peavy knows that he could become a trade chip for the White Sox if he comes back healthy after the All-Star break, but he told Doug Padilla of ESPN Chicago that he hopes that doesn't happen. Peavy voiced a desire to remain in Chicago but noted that he and his teammates control their own fate. If the team doesn't put together a significant winning streak quickly, Peavy acknowledges that GM Rick Hahn could very well trade him.
- ESPN's Buster Olney tweets that if the Twins were to make closer Glen Perkins available this July, a major bidding war would break out. Olney told 1500 ESPN that he's spoken to several people who think Perkins would be the "No. 1 guy on the market" (Twitter link). Perkins is in the first year of a three-year, $10.3MM contract that contains a $4.5MM club option.
- Indians general manager Chris Antonetti spoke with Olney as a guest on today's Baseball Tonight Podcast (Antonetti joins around the 30-minute mark) and spoke at length about the trade deadline. Antonetti said he likes this time of year and considers it exciting, as it gives he and his fellow GMs a chance to shape their organizations. Antonetti side-stepped a question about what the Tribe would be looking for in July, saying their focus for the time being is getting healthy.
- Antonetti also discussed the difficult situation of designating John McDonald for assignment. He told Olney that the team was up front that a DFA was a very possible outcome when Asdrubal Cabrera returned from the DL, but it was still tough due to the great respect they have for McDonald.
- Antonetti added that relationships with other GMs are a huge factor in trade negotiations, and discussed how he stays connected with other general managers to maintain strong relationships. The entire interview gives a nice look into the mindset of a GM at this time of year and is worth listening to.
The Twins finished up the 2012 season with a 66-96 record -- good for last place in the AL Central. At four games under .500, the Twins are on pace for a much-improved 76-win season, but they're also just six games out of first in the AL Central. Here's more on the Twinkies...
- The Twins won't trade closer Glen Perkins without receiving a "big haul," a rival GM told Peter Gammons of the MLB Network. That same GM opined that the Twins are going to be good "quick" and called Byron Buxton the "best player in minor league ball." He also pointed out that top prospects Miguel Sano and Eddie Rosario, both of whom were recently promoted to Double-A, are on the fast track to the Majors. Gammons' unnamed GM said that Twins GM Terry Ryan "doesn't make mistakes" (Twitter links).
- Buxton is nearing a promotion himself, assistant GM Rob Antony told reporters, including Phil Miller of the Minneapolis Star Tribune (Twitter link). Buxton, who recently ranked as baseball's No. 2 overall prospect according to ESPN's Keith Law (ESPN Insider required), is hitting .344/.431/.561 for Class A Cedar Rapids and should move to Class A Advanced Fort Myers soon.
- Antony also told Miller that the Twins have begun to field trade calls, as teams determine who will be buyers and who will be sellers this summer. When asked which category the Twins fall into, Antony told Miller the team isn't sure yet (Twitter link).