Gordon Beckham Rumors
Things were finally looking up for the White Sox after a terrible start to 2010. Since June 9, the club is an astonishing 24-5, and their ace, Jake Peavy, seemed to have rebounded to his usual Cy Young caliber form. He'd allowed just seven runs over his last 36 innings of work (1.75 ERA) while striking out 29 prior to a start last week that ended his season with a detached latissimus dorsi muscle.
According to this tweet from SI.com's Jon Heyman, the White Sox made a big play to replace their injured ace last week, when Sox GM Kenny Williams tried to swing a deal for Cliff Lee before his trade to Texas. The White Sox, however, were unwilling to part with Gordon Beckham, in spite of his terrible sophomore slump (.564 OPS). Now, Heyman says, the White Sox continue to look around.
Williams is typically one of the more active, aggressive general managers in baseball, so it's unlikely that missing out on Lee will spell the end of his trade thoughts. It's been known for months that Roy Oswalt will accept a trade, though there have been reports that the Houston ace would veto a deal sending him to Chicago. Keep in mind that these things can change, though. Peavy himself vetoed a deal to the White Sox last year before eventually accepting a trade in July. We've heard about Dan Haren's availability as well, though Arizona would need to be "blown away" to trade him.
There's plenty of other non-ace starters who could also be moved. Bronson Arroyo has pitched well lately and the Reds have a great deal of pitching depth, while names like Jeremy Guthrie and Ben Sheets figure to be available as well.
The White Sox do have some help available in Daniel Hudson, who was recently recalled from the minors and is starting today. Hudson was ranked by Baseball America as the game's 66th best prospect, and third-best in the White Sox system. The 2008 fifth-rounder appeared in six games for the Sox last year, totaling 18.2 innings and a 3.38 ERA, though he struggled with his control at the big league level. In 2010, Hudson owns a 3.47 ERA through 17 minor league starts, with a strong 10.4 K/9 to just 3.0 BB/9.
It's a known fact that the White Sox are very interested in Adam Dunn's big bat as well, so Williams may focus his energy on that department. One thing remains certain -- with the White Sox surging to just a half-game out of first in the AL Central, Williams will be on the phone and inquiring on just about everyone under the sun as the deadline nears.
Some links to read with Opening Day just a month away...
- MLB.com's Peter Gammons says one suggested way to improve competitive balance is by breaking up the Yankees and Red Sox. In the scenario he presents, the Yanks and Mets would be put in one division, the Sox and Rays in another.
- Tom Tango of ESPN's The Max Info blog built a 25-man roster out of players that signed just a one-year deals this offseason, and all for under $100MM (Insider req'd).
- Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports thinks that agent Ron Shapiro's extended stay in Twins camp means the club is making progress on extension talks with Joe Mauer.
- The D'Backs don't appear likely to pursue Braden Looper or Jarrod Washburn, even if Brandon Webb starts the season on the DL, according to Jerry Crasnick of ESPN.com (via Twitter).
- Ben Sheets told reporters there is "zero bad blood" between him and the Brewers, his former team, according to Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.
- Teams are still interested in Jarrod Washburn, though he's not close to a deal, according to Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports (via Twitter).
- Tracy Ringolsby of FOX Sports explains the story behind the reunion of A's GM Billy Beane and his adviser, Grady Fuson.
- The Red Sox obtained 15 of the 39 players on their 40-man roster through the draft, notes Maury Brown of the Biz of Baseball in this look at the Boston club.
- Prince Fielder tells ESPN.com's Jerry Crasnick that he isn't going to stress about his future, but he hopes to be part of the Brewers organization for 30 years.
- Meanwhile, Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports thinks the floor for a Fielder extension might be $95MM over five years.
- Former Met and Marlin Henry Owens is auditioning for the Mets, according to Matt Cerrone of MetsBlog.
- Top Marlins prospect and MLBTR reader Logan Morrison is on Twitter.
- Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports hears that the Reds are unlikely to make a trade unless one of their players gets hurt (Twitter link).
- Matt Youmans of the Las Vegas Review-Journal profiles Bryce Harper, the 17-year-old phenom who is expected to be a top pick in this year's draft.
- Fielder, also a Scott Boras client, could be up for an extension. ESPN.com's Buster Olney says many GMs emerge from initial contract negotiations with Boras thinking there's "no (expletive) way" they reach an agreement.
- Gordon Beckham tells MLB.com's Scott Merkin that he tries to ignore the trade rumors he appears in. The infielder says he wants to play for the White Sox for years.
- Bengie Molina tells Jesse Spector of the New York Daily News that he would have signed with the Mets if they had offered two years. Their one-year $5.5MM offer didn't sway him.
On this date 44-years ago, Marvin Miller was elected as the first full-time president of the Major League Baseball Players' Association by the player representatives. Miller, who was previously the assistant to the president of United Steelworkers, negotiated the first collective bargaining agreement with the owners in 1968. Within his first ten years on the job, Miller was able to get salary arbitration included in the CBA and helped eliminate the reserve clause, ushering in the age of free agency. He is the reason the MLBPA is as powerful as it is today, but Miller has yet to be enshrined in Cooperstown.
Here's a looking at what's being written around the web...
- Crashburn Alley looks at how much Chase Utley stands out from the pack of 2000 first round picks.
- The Ghost of Moonlight Graham says the Angels are playing with fire if they plan on letting Hideki Matsui see some action in the outfield.
- Bronx Bombers Beat wonders what the Yankees will do with their abundance of long relievers.
- Around The Majors hosted a roundtable discussion of this past offseason.
- The Friarhood says the Padres would be foolish not to trade Adrian Gonzalez to the White Sox if they offer Gordon Beckham.
- Jorge Says No! thinks the Cubs are smart to hold off contract negotiations with Derrek Lee.
- Viva El Birdos previews the 2010 draft.
If you have a suggestion for this feature, Mike can be reached here.
The White Sox plan on keeping Gordon Beckham around for a while, according to White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen. He told Mark Gonzales of the Chicago Tribune not to overreact when Beckham's name comes up in trade rumblings.
MONDAY, 6:08pm: Gonzalez said he is "flattered" by Peavy's campaigning on his behalf, reports Knobler. But Gonzalez unsurprisingly re-asserted his commitment to the Padres and said he hasn't made any trade demands himself: "I don't have any control about it. If [the Padres] trade me, they'll let me know after it happens. I don't even want to hear that they're talking about it."
SUNDAY, 5:58pm: GM Kenny Williams first spoke to Peavy about Gonzalez in January, writes Joe Cowley of the Chicago Sun-Times. Peavy gave his stamp of approval, but the "feeling around 35th and Shields" was that it would take a package including Gordon Beckham to land the first baseman, and the White Sox weren't willing to go there.
1:58pm: Mark Gonzales at Chicagobreakingsports.com spoke with Peavy about his campaigning for Gonzalez earlier today. Peavy confirmed that he's spoken with Williams about the big first baseman. "I went into recruiting mode," Peavy said.
Peavy speaks highly of Gonzalez as both a player and a person, and says that while Gonzalez loves San Diego, he wants to win and would go anywhere for a chance to do so.
SATURDAY: Jake Peavy has already spoken to White Sox GM Kenny Williams about the idea of acquiring Adrian Gonzalez, reports Danny Knobler of CBSSports.com. Williams didn't need to hear it from Peavy, because Knobler says he plans to be first in line whenever Gonzalez is made available."That's really what we need, a big left-handed hitter," one Sox person said. "They're saying Kenny would give anything to get him, maybe even [Gordon] Beckham."
Although Chicago's lineup already features the lefty bats of Juan Pierre, A.J. Pierzynski, and Mark Teahen, none of them really qualify as a power bat. Gonzalez would certain rectify that, and since incumbent first baseman Paul Konerko may not be back next season, there's a natural fit.
If the White Sox offer a package centered around Beckham, it's difficult to see any other team interested in the Padres' first baseman topping it.
White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen addressed some of the team's needs before heading off to Indianapolis, and MLB.com's Scott Merkin has the goods..
- Guillen would like to find an upgrade over Gordan Beckham in the leadoff spot. However, Guillen went out of his way to say that he is a "good RBI man" and added that he would like to move him down to sixth or seventh in the lineup.
- Andruw Jones could be an everyday outfielder for the ChiSox if (and, as Merkin notes, "that's a big if") he reports to Spring Training in shape.
- Guillen seems to like the flexibility that comes with not having a true designated hitter. The way he sees it, he can use Jones, Omar Vizquel, Mark Kotsay, Paul Konerko or Mark Teahen in the spot when neccessary, and shift them around as he sees fit.
- Freddy Garcia is working to get himself in position to be the club's fifth starter. The 33-year-old posted a 4.34 ERA in nine starts with the White Sox last season.
Mark Gonzales of the Chicago Tribune has a new mailbag up, in which he answers some questions about potential offseason moves for the White Sox. A few highlights....
- Gonzales expects the Sox to hang on to John Danks, whose quality innings still come at an affordable price. He can, however, envision them shopping closer Bobby Jenks, perhaps in search of a leadoff hitter.
- Given Scott Podsednik's consistent production this season and the struggling economy, Gonzales thinks there's at least a decent chance the 33-year-old outfielder will be back in Chicago in 2010.
- He sees the Sox keeping Gordon Beckham at third base, where they expect his power to eventually develop enough for a corner infielder.
- If the White Sox want to make a play for Bobby Abreu this offseason, they'll have to be willing to pay more than the $5MM he earned this year.
- Gonzales doesn't anticipate there being any market for Scott Linebrink, meaning the Sox will have to hold on to him and hope that he bounces back next spring.
12:30pm: Jerry Crasnick of ESPN.com hears from an AL executive who would be "very surprised" if White Sox GM Kenny Williams isn't pursuing Halladay.
The White Sox have seen attendance drop and Gordon Beckham appears to be untouchable. This means the White Sox could have trouble paying Halladay or enticing the Blue Jays with a package centered around Clayton Richard, Aaron Poreda, Dayan Viciedo and Tyler Flowers.
Tom Verducci of SI.com hears that Clayton Kershaw is off-limits, but the Dodgers want to make a run at Halladay with other prospects. The Jays like minor league third baseman Josh Bell.
10:10am: Here are the latest Roy Halladay rumors and a bit of trivia to explain why he's in such high demand: Halladay pitched less than seven innings for the first time this season on June 12th.
- Don't expect the Cardinals to trade Colby Rasmus for Halladay. GM John Mozeliak told Joe Strauss of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch that he won't move the young outfielder in a deal for a player the Cards only control for a year and a half.
- The Dodgers are looking for relievers now, but they'll try to acquire Halladay or Cliff Lee to improve their rotation, according to Jon Heyman of SI.com.
- Bill Conlin of the Philadelphia Daily News says Halladay's availability has created such a frenzy that people "who wouldn't know Michael Taylor from Elizabeth Taylor speak authoritatively about a hole in the ... outfielder's swing."
- Mike Lupica of the New York Daily News says the Yankees should have enough talent not to have to bring in another Cy Young Award winner less than 100 games after adding C.C. Sabathia.
Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports hears that the Angels and Cardinals will have a hard time assembling a package enticing enough for the Blue Jays to part with Roy Halladay. One GM said the Angels have "zero chance" at acquiring the Jays ace. Players like Brandon Wood and Howie Kendrick have lost some of their appeal and prospect Jordan Walden finds himself on the DL for the second time this season.
- The Dodgers are interested in Halladay, Jason Frasor and George Sherrill.
- The White Sox would probably have to part with Gordon Beckham to acquire Doc.
- The Jays and White Sox haven't discussed an Alex Rios deal recently, but the White Sox have long been interested in the Jays outfielder.
- Jason Bay is close to setting a cutoff date for negotiations on an extension with the Red Sox.
Jon Heyman of SI.com believes Roy Halladay will be traded before the end of the month. Here are some teams that could pursue him:
- The Phillies have the right combination of money, prospects and need to go after Doc.
- The Rangers probably don't have the money to take on the $14.25MM Halladay makes this year.
- It's hard to see the White Sox obtaining Halladay without surrendering Gordon Beckham in the deal.
- Heyman considers Beckham as close to untouchable as it gets, along with Neftali Feliz, Derek Holland, Brett Wallace and others.
- The A's may have to hold onto Matt Holliday and hope for a pair of high draft picks after the season, as Holliday's shown little power recently.
- The D'Backs aren't impressed by what the Brewers are willing to give up for Doug Davis, so they may try to keep him in Arizona.
- The offers for Chad Qualls may be too tempting for the D'Backs to ignore.
- "Teams will call" about Cliff Lee.
- Jose Valverde would be a trade candidate but for one thing: "the 'Stros don't like to sell."
- Pedro should decide on his future soon. The Phillies are the favorites, followed by the Rangers.