Grady Sizemore Rumors
While major league players implicated in the Biogenesis scandal have yet to provide substantive information to MLB, multiple minor leaguers have discussed their transactions with Anthony Bosch's clinic in detail, sources with knowledge of the interviews told Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports. "Players aren't going to say anything – until they know what [Bosch] said," one source with knowledge of the players' plan said. "There's nothing to be gained from talking now. As long as they don't say anything, they're not lying." Here's more from around baseball..
- Free agent Grady Sizemore is still "a ways away from getting on the field," a source tells Darren Wolfson of 1500 ESPN (on Twitter). We heard last week that there's a "strong belief" that the Twins will have interest in the outfielder when he's ready to return to action.
- Mets GM Sandy Alderson believes that the club will have a $90-100MM payroll in 2014, writes Joel Sherman of the New York Post. Alderson estimates that they have roughly $55MM in commitments for next season, which should give them flexibility over the winter.
- Mariners GM Jack Zduriencik did his best to downplay the hype surrounding Mike Zunino when he spoke with reporters earlier today, writes Ryan Divish of The News Tribune.
Darren Wolfson of 1500 ESPN has plenty of Twins-oriented news in this week's edition of his "Scoops" column. Here are the highlights...
- Grady Sizemore has resumed baseball activities, and there's a "strong belief" that the Twins will be interested when ready to sign with a team in a month or two. The Twins did their due diligence on Sizemore in March, but Sizemore made it clear in January that he preferred not to sign until he was able to play in games.
- The Twins are one of many teams with interest in Cuban right-hander Miguel Alfredo Gonzalez, Wolfson reports. They will send a scout to attend his showcase on June 20. We learned last night that the Dodgers, Rangers, Red Sox and Cubs are all in on Gonzalez as well, so the Twins will have some deep-pocketed competition.
- Vice president of player personnel Mike Radcliff told Wolfson that the Twins "made an effort" to sign Yasiel Puig last year, but obviously they didn't come close to the Dodgers' seven-year, $42MM offer. Many around the game considered the Puig signing to be a drastic overpay at the time, but the Dodgers clearly aren't complaining right now.
- The Twins are still planning to select as many as seven pitchers with their first 10 picks. Both Kohl Stewart and Ryan Eades, the Twins' two picks on day one of the draft, are right-handed pitchers. Eades is being advised by Scott Boras, Wolfson reports.
- Clete Thomas, who was recently promoted based on his strong Triple-A results and ability to play center field, had an opt-out clause in his minor league contract this week. Radcliff told Wolfson that the timing of his promotion was more coincidental than anything else, though. Their first option for a backup center fielder may have been Quintin Berry, whom the team was interested in. The Royals had priority due to their inferior record and claimed Berry.
In today's column, Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe wonders if George Brett is being groomed to be the Royals' next manager now that he has committed to being with the team every day as hitting coach. Dennis Gilbert, who represented Brett as an agent and who has fallen short in bids to purchase the Dodgers, Padres, and Rangers, would have installed Brett as manager had he landed one of those clubs. Brett could very well be Ned Yost’s eventual replacement if he boosts Kansas City's offense, but there’s also a lot of sentiment for Jim Fregosi, who has ties to GM Dayton Moore. Here's more from today's column..
- Cafardo spoke to a couple dozen executives, scouts, and players over the past few days about who the top player on the trade block will be and the consensus was Phillies left-hander Cliff Lee. The Red Sox, Orioles, Indians, Angels, and Rangers would really like to have Lee and there are many more clubs who could be in the mix, including the Dodgers and the Yankees, who say they can’t swing it but have the means to do it. One American League exec indicated there would be 20 teams lined up for Lee. Lee might be the last guy Ruben Amaro Jr. wants to trade, but he'd yield the greatest return.
- The Phillies have another interesting piece in Jonathan Papelbon and if they decide they are retooling, they probably don’t need a top closer. Several baseball people say the Tigers would be a tremendous fit for Papelbon since pairing him with that starting rotation would be rather formidable. He would also be an option for the Angels and Red Sox, but the Sox want to give Andrew Bailey every chance to do the job. The Indians would also be a possibility.
- It shouldn’t be long before a long list of teams start to inquire about free agent Grady Sizemore. Sizemore has begun baseball activities after being sidelined by knee surgeries and so far he’s had no setbacks. Cafardo suggests the Mets could be a fit as they are in need of outfield help.
- The White Sox, Blue Jays, and Twins might hold some of this year's top trade chips. “Alex Rios, Jose Bautista, Edwin Encarnacion, and you can add Justin Morneau, are definitely the major guys scouts are focusing on,” said one AL GM.
- After Red Sox outfielder Jacoby Ellsbury stole five bases Thursday night against the Phillies, it started to dawn on people — including some in the Philadelphia organization — that Ellsbury would be a nice piece in the Phillies’ lineup next season. However, he also hurt his groin during the game, and the injury question popped up.
Major League Baseball Players Association executive director Michael Weiner has been an inspiration to everyone that works in his office, writes Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe. Weiner, who is living with an inoperable brain tumor, handed his role of general counsel to David Prouty last week. “Mike has handled this whole situation with incredible grace and incredible humor, too,” Prouty said. “That’s the way he’s handled everything. So in a way, we’ve all been inspired by him. More generally, Mike is always an inspiration to be around in terms of being a colleague and an executive director who cares about players and about the game.” Here's more from today's column..
- The Nationals and others continue to keep an eye Javier Vazquez, who is recovering from minor knee surgery. Washington’s interest may be piqued by Gio Gonzalez’s alleged link to the Miami PED clinic. The Nationals have faith in Ross Detwiler, but Vazquez would give them depth.
- There was thought that a team would sign Grady Sizemore and wait until he recovers from his latest knee surgery, but so far, they are staying away. “It’s hard to take the risk, even if it’s minimal,” said one exec whose team needs outfield help. “At this point, I think you wait until he feels he’s ready and then you look. If someone beats you to it, so be it.”
- Bud Norris is one of the last remaining assets on the Astros and should become one of the most sought-after pitchers before the season or at the trading deadline. The Astros haven’t said they’d deal him, but they didn't indicate they would move Jed Lowrie either before he was sent to the A's. The Cardinals and Orioles are two teams to watch on Norris.
- The Red Sox were willing to part ways with Kelly Shoppach in part because of his attitude.
- One scout thinks one of the best under-the-radar moves this winter was the Rays obtaining Yunel Escobar, who was traded twice this winter.
We know that the Orioles aren't looking to trade J.J. Hardy based on recent comments from manager Buck Showalter, but that doesn't mean that Baltimore won't look to make other deals. "I know from talking to Peter [Angelos], if there's a deal there that everybody thinks works, we're going to go. Nobody's scared here. Nobody's afraid to make a deal here. Trust me. Trust me. It's just, we've got to get the right one," said the skipper, according to Roch Kubatko of MASNsports.com (on Twitter). Here's more out of the AL and NL East..
- The Mets are reportedly showing serious interest in Brian Wilson, but Adam Rubin of ESPNNewYork.com (onTwitter) doesn't see a signing in the immediate future. At this stage, Rubin is told that Wilson still has a ways to go after undergoing Tommy John surgery last year.
- Don't look for the Mets to actively pursue Grady Sizemore thanks to an outfield already full of left-handed hitters, adds Rubin (via Twitter). The former Indians star's health remains an issue heading into 2013 as Sizemore works to recover from microfracture surgery on his knee.
- Other teams in the AL East, like the Blue Jays, claim that they're not building with the idea of pouncing while the Yankees are cost-conscious, but Ken Davidoff of the New York Post isn't necessarily buying it. Toronto GM Alex Anthopoulos has said that his club has a three-to-five-year window to seriously contend, and a person familiar with the the Blue Jays’ internal discussions says that it ties back into the Yankees’ apparent weakening and the Red Sox's disappointing 2012.
- The Red Sox have high hopes for their recently-replenished youth movement, writes Tim Britton of The Providence Journal. Boston has placed a greater emphasis on developing talent from within their system ever since their August trade with the Dodgers.
Daniel Seco contributed to this post.
The latest notes from Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports...
- The Yankees were in on Lance Berkman before he signed a one-year, $11MM contract with Texas, Rosenthal reports (on Twitter). Two people tell Rosenthal the Yankees made Berkman an offer, while a third source says the sides simply talked.
- Free agent outfielder Grady Sizemore doesn’t want to sign a new contract until he’s ready to play again, agent Joe Urbon told Rosenthal. The 30-year-old underwent microfracture surgery on his right knee in September, and isn’t ready to commit to a team just yet. “It could be Opening Day. It could be midseason,” Urbon said. “Midseason is more likely.” The CAA agent added that a number of teams have expressed interest in Sizemore. Some of those teams have offered to sign the 30-year-old and let him rehab on his own schedule.
Scott Hairston would like to return to the Mets in 2013 but the club also has their eye on another free agent outfielder. Here's more on that and other news out of Queens..
- Kevin Burkhardt of SNY (via Twitter) hears that the Mets are very interested in Grady Sizemore. Sizemore missed the entire 2012 season with the Indians and is coming off of microfracture surgery on his right knee.
- The Mets have reached out to the reps of free agent left-hander Francisco Liriano, right-hander Carl Pavano, and many others to replace R.A. Dickey, according to Ken Davidoff of the New York Post (on Twitter). Talks between Liriano and the Twins have reportedly regressed and earlier today we learned that Minnesota is showing intense interest in Rich Harden.
Here's the latest from the Winter Meetings on a handful of free agents:
- Roy Oswalt is unsure about whether he'll pitch in 2013, one of his agents tells Morosi.
- The Mariners checked in on Delmon Young, tweets Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports. Morosi reported previously that Young might wait until January to sign given his November ankle surgery.
- Grady Sizemore had been drawing interest from a few clubs, including the Red Sox, but he won't be a real option until midseason, according to MLB.com's Anthony Castrovince. Agent Joe Urbon confirmed to Castrovince that his client underwent microfracture surgery on his right knee in September.
- Besides being interested in Scott Hairston, the Yankees are also eyeing Cody Ross, according to Jon Morosi of FOX Sports (Twitter link).
- The Mariners have checked in on Ryan Ludwick, among other hitters, tweets Jon Heyman of CBS Sports.
- Cesar Izturis' reps are expected to meet with the Mets this week and there could be a match there, writes Adam Rubin of ESPNNewYork.com.
- The Orioles' interest in righty Brett Myers appears minimal, tweets Dan Connolly of the Baltimore Sun, and they have no meetings set up with his reps.
- The Twins are one team with early interest in southpaw John Lannan, tweets Adam Kilgore of the Washington Post. The Pirates also have an eye on Lannan, reported Rob Biertempfel of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review earlier today.
- The Cubs are talking to many agents about bullpen help and they like Jason Grilli, tweets Bruce Levine of ESPNChicago.
- Solid interest in Jason Bay (from teams other than Boston) may lead to a Major League deal, tweets Rob Bradford of WEEI.
- The Marlins are interested in utility man Mark DeRosa, according to Juan C. Rodriguez of the South Florida Sun Sentinel. The 37-year-old had indicated at season's end that he was unsure what his future held.
- The Royals are "sending out signals" that they have the money and the motivation to pursue a pitcher who could be considered a No. 1, reports Danny Knobler of CBS Sports. A run at Anibal Sanchez isn't out of the question for Kansas City, according to Knobler.
- Tigers people continue to say the team isn't even considering Rafael Soriano, tweets Joel Sherman of the New York Post. However, Sherman notes that owner Mike Ilitch's great relationship with Scott Boras still makes Detroit a wild card in the Soriano sweepstakes.
- Rival executives view the Nationals as a good fit for Mike Pelfrey, especially considering GM Mike Rizzo and Scott Boras have a history of working out deals, says Jerry Crasnick of ESPN.com (Twitterlinks).
- Teams are showing "no hesitation whatsoever" in pursuing Jeff Keppinger, who underwent surgery to repair a right fibula fracture, agent Keith Grunewald tells Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports (Twitterlinks).
- Jason Giambi would like to continue his playing career, and is drawing interest from three or four teams, tweets Jon Heyman of CBS Sports.
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.
- Dan Connolly of The Baltimore Sun says that the Orioles can't afford to take a risk like signing Josh Hamilton given their resources relative to the rest of the AL East. Yesterday we heard that Baltimore was targeting Hamilton and Cody Ross in their search for a left fielder.
- The Red Sox have interest in Japanese right-hander Kyuji Fujikawa, reports Nick Cafardo of The Boston Globe (on Twitter). The 32-year-old is a true free agent and has been the country's top closer for nearly a decade.
- The Red Sox are casting a wide net in their search for outfield help and even checked in on Grady Sizemore, writes WEEI.com's Rob Bradford. Yesterday we heard that Sizemore will try to play next season after missing all of this year due to injury.
- “Right now we’ve got some gaping holes," said Yankees GM Brian Cashman to Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports. Morosi wrote about the team's challenge of building a competitive roster in 2013 while trying to get under the 2014 luxury tax threshold.
- Ken Davidoff of The New York Post writes that while the Yankees intend to offer him a pay cut, talks with Mariano Rivera should go smoother than they did with Derek Jeter two offseasons ago.
- Yankees right-hander Joba Chamberlain has left the Hendricks Brothers and followed agent Jim Murray to Excel Sports Management, reports Joel Sherman of The New York Post (on Twitter).
- The Red Sox are eyeing Tino Martinez for their hitting coach job, reports Joe McDonald of ESPN Boston. The team is considering hiring two hitting coaches.