Gordon Beckham Rumors
As Alex Rodriguez takes a step closer to the 600-homer club, here are some news items...
- Barry Shlachter of the Star-Telegram reports on Nolan Ryan's testimony about the Rangers' money problems. The most notable item from Ryan's testimony was that Texas may not be able to afford Josh Hamilton's inevitable arbitration raise this winter. This seems hard to believe, since you'd figure that Texas would cut corners anywhere else to find the money to pay Hamilton or to negotiate a long-term deal with their star.
- Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports.com tweets that the Rangers have excess pitching and could make Scott Feldman and/or Rich Harden available in a trade.
- Matt Gelb of the Philadelphia Inquirer writes that Jamie Moyer's recent elbow injury might end the 47-year-old's amazing career.
- The Cardinals feel more confident about their chances of signing draft pick Austin Wilson after the 12th-round selection and his family visited Busch Stadium, reports Joe Strauss of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. The highly-regarded Wilson has a full scholarship waiting for him at Stanford and thus the Cards' selection was thought to be a longshot.
- Tom Krasovic of the Inside The Padres blog writes that the Friars are looking for "a hitter adept at reaching base against right-handers."
- Holden Kushner of CSNWashington.com examines a potential Adam Dunn deal against the situation the Nationals faced in 2005 when they didn't trade Alfonso Soriano.
- Anthony Castrovince of MLB.com discusses some Indians prospects and more in a fan mailbag.
- David Haugh of the Chicago Tribune thinks the White Sox should resist the urge to trade Gordon Beckham for a rent-a-player. Haugh proposes that the Sox should instead offer up Bobby Jenks, whose closing job is up in the air.
MONDAY, 11:15pm: White Sox GM Kenny Williams has been trying “desperately” to acquire Adam Dunn from the Nationals, according to Joe Cowley of the Chicago Sun-Times. Cowley’s source says the White Sox don’t want to move Carlos Quentin or Gordon Beckham to acquire Dunn, but would move any minor leaguer, and would trade Dayan Viciedo or Daniel Hudson. But Williams still finds that Nats GM Mike Rizzo is asking a lot, according to Cowley’s source.
Though the White Sox appear to have interest in Dunn, Williams said that he isn’t optimistic about completing deals this summer.
"If I'm being honest and completely transparent right now of the price that is being asked for some of the players that we've inquired about, for us, it's more detrimental to our present and our future than we'd like,” Williams said.
The White Sox could definitely use an upgrade at DH, but as Williams pointed out, the team could still add a player in August. The White Sox acquired Alex Rios from the Blue Jays in an August 2009 waiver claim.
Annoyed your favorite team didn't strike a deal with the Mariners for Cliff Lee? At least consider the details of Jack Zduriencik's high asking price, as reported by Joel Sherman of the New York Post.
According to Sherman, the Mariners general manager set out to acquire "an interested organization's best position prospect with less than one year of service." He was offered none better than the Rangers' Justin Smoak. The Yankees' Jesus Montero was apparently the next-best position prospect offered. Zduriencik also targeted players such as Ike Davis of the Mets, Desmond Jennings of the Rays, Domonic Brown of the Phillies, Gordon Beckham of the White Sox, and Brett Lawrie (who would've had to have come from the Brewers in a three-way deal). Sherman notes that the Mets never offered a player better than Fernando Martinez; Jenrry Mejia and Wilmer Flores "were never part of discussions."
Sherman also gets into the failed Yankees-Lee deal like only he can. He gathered that the Yankees and Mariners had a deal in principle, at which point teams expect you to stop talking to other clubs. Sherman expects the bad blood to linger, making the Yanks unwilling to deal with the Mariners in the future. The Yankees were also apparently "rankled" by Seattle's confusingly high asking price for Jarrod Washburn last summer. Another thought: an executive recently wondered aloud to me how Kevin Towers was involved in the Lee trade talks. Towers has a close relationship with both Brian Cashman and Zduriencik.
From the Rangers' point of view, GM Jon Daniels indicated today to The Ticket's Norm Hitzges that he continually had an open dialogue with the Mariners. Daniels felt that the Rangers were in second place Friday morning, until he adjusted his offer.
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.