Grady Sizemore Rumors
Baseball America's Matt Eddy provided a breakdown of the minor trade that went down earlier in the week that saw the Twins ship Duke Welker back to the Pirates in exchange for Kris Johnson. Johnson has an above-average two- and four-seam fastball that sits in the low 90s, but his breaking pitches are average at best, says Eddy. One bonus for the Twins is that Johnson has three minor league options remaining, while Welker has just one. Here's more on the Twins and the rest of the AL Central...
- The Twins were interested in free agent/reclamation project Grady Sizemore at one point, but they've moved on from Sizemore, according to Darren Wolfson of 1500 ESPN (Twitter link).
- ESPN's Buster Olney tweets that the Royals have had internal discussions about acquiring Brett Anderson from the Athletics. An Anderson acquisition would be a somewhat similar move to GM Dayton Moore's decision to buy low on Ervin Santana in a trade last October. Unlike Santana, however, the Royals could control Anderson for two years, as his contract contains a $12MM option for 2015.
- White Sox southpaw Hector Santiago told the Chicago Tribune's Colleen Kane that the summer trades of Jake Peavy and Matt Thornton taught him that any player can get traded. Santiago said he tries not to worry about hearing his name in rumors. He added that he hopes Chicago's decision to shut him down after 130 innings is an indication that they're protecting his arm so he can throw 200 innings in 2014.
- The Indians will listen to offers on Asdrubal Cabrera this winter, writes Paul Hoynes of the Cleveland Plain Dealer in his latest mailbag. Hoynes adds that any trading the team does will likely prioritize getting pitching in return, and the team would like to add a free agent starting pitcher. Hoynes lists Bartolo Colon and Jake Westbrook as speculative possibilities.
In today's column, Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe writes that there are several top teams that will have surpluses in certain areas this offseason that will be second guessing whatever move they make. In the case of the Dodgers, they have four strong outfielders in Matt Kemp, Yasiel Puig, Andre Ethier, and Carl Crawford. One would imagine that Ethier, who is frequently in trade rumors, would be the one to go, but GM Ned Colletti could also give some thought to dealing Kemp if the right offer comes along. Here's more from today's column..
- After bouncing back from a slow start, catcher Carlos Ruiz is desirable again and the Phillies are more enthused about the idea of re-signing him. That may prove to be difficult once Ruiz gets to the open market as he’d be a cheaper alternative to Brian McCann or Jarrod Saltalamacchia and more consistent than Dioner Navarro.
- According to Mike Napoli's agent Brian Grieper, there still haven't been contract talks with the Red Sox. It appears they will play it out and decide about a qualifying offer. One possibility is that they put Xander Bogaerts at third and Will Middlebrooks at first, taking Napoli out of the equation.
- Tim Hudson, 38, wants to return from the ankle fracture he suffered in July. Hudson, who should cleared for baseball activities by mid-December, will be a free agent but wants to stay in Atlanta. It'll come down to the money for the veteran, who earned $9MM this season.
- Grady Sizemore tried to get back playing this season, but he needs more time for his knees to heal. He'll likely be ready for a major league camp next spring and work out for teams this offseason to show he’s healthy. If he looks OK, he’ll probably get a few teams interested.
- Some still believe that it was a mistake for the Angels to only pay Mike Trout $510K this season and that he won't forget it when it comes time to work out a new deal with the club.
Former Indians center fielder Grady Sizemore has remained in touch with multiple clubs and is likely to sign with one in the offseason, reports Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports (on Twitter). A series of major surgeries on Sizemore's knee, back and elbow have slowed what looked to be one of the most promising careers in baseball a few years ago.
Sizemore, who recently turned 31, hit .281/.372/.496 with 107 homers and 115 steals from 2005-08 -- his age 22-25 seasons -- earning three straight All-Star selections, a pair of Gold Gloves and a Silver Slugger. He missed only nine games over the course of that four-year run, but he's played in just 210 games since, hitting .234/.314/.413.
This past offseason, Sizemore stated that he would wait until he was ready to participate in games to sign with a club. He hasn't appeared in the Majors since 2011, but considering the fact that he's still just 31 and will likely receive a minor league deal, I'd imagine a significant number of teams will be in touch with Sizemore's agent, Joe Urbon of CAA Sports. Sizemore was connected to the Mets back in December, and more recent reports indicated that the Twins would be interested as well.
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.