Grady Sizemore Rumors
The Red Sox traded Coco Crisp to the Royals for Ramon Ramirez three years ago today, and four years prior to that the Nationals traded Maicer Izturis and Juan Rivera to the Angels for Jose Guillen. Here's the latest from baseball's two East divisions...
- Infielder Matt Antonelli will undergo a physical on Monday to finalize his major league deal with the Orioles, tweets Dan Connolly of The Baltimore Sun.
- Orioles GM Dan Duquette didn't sound terribly interested in signing a high-priced DH such as David Ortiz during an interview on WEEI (audio link, 9:00 mark).
- If Liberty Media decided to sell the Braves, Mark Cuban wouldn't pursue the franchise, tweets David O'Brien of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. A recent AJC poll showed 95% of readers would like Cuban to buy the team but the eccentric owner told O'Brien that he would prefer to buy a team that is in need of a lot of help. Liberty Media has the right to sell the team after the current CBA expires on December 11th, but there's no evidence that a sale is imminent.
- The Marlins have already scouted Cuban outfielder Jorge Soler, reports MLB.com's Joe Frisaro. The 19-year-old has been working out for teams in the Dominican Republic, and yesterday we heard that the Rangers have scouted him as well.
- The Indians and Grady Sizemore are in "serious discussions" about a reunion, but the Phillies had interest in the outfielder according to Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports (Twitter link). Current GM Ruben Amaro Jr. and former GM Pat Gillick visited Sizemore in Arizona on the first day of free agency.
- “The free agent guys haven’t made me any offers,” said Yankees GM Brian Cashman to Dan Martin of The New York Post. “The free agent [market] is moving at a glacial speed. And the category I’m shopping in, I don’t believe guys are jumping off the board this week. The players I’m interested in won’t be coming off the board anytime soon."
SATURDAY, 8:50am: Paul Hoynes of The Cleveland Plain Dealer says the one-year deal would include a low base salary and incentives that could push the total value to $9MM, the same amount as the option the Indians declined after the season. Hoynes also mentions that the two sides discussed a deal like this before the option decision was made.
FRIDAY, 8:52pm: "The Indians came at us with an aggressive offer,'' Sizemore's agent Joe Urbon tells ESPN.com's Jerry Crasnick. "Grady has always maintained that he would be interested in returning to Cleveland. We've exchanged proposals, but there's nothing more I can say at this point.'' Crasnick's ESPN colleague Buster Olney hears from a source that the deal "will be done" between the two sides (Twitter link).
8:11pm: Urbon confirmed to Rosenthal (Twitter link) that the negotiations with the Indians are taking place. "Our efforts right now are to see if we can make that happen," Urbon said.
6:34pm: The Indians and Grady Sizemore are having "serious discussions" about a one-year contract, reports Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports (Twitter link). One of Rosenthal's sources says a deal is "very likely," while another source is only slightly less optimistic, pegging the chances of an agreement at "70-30."
Several teams have shown interest in Sizemore this winter but a source tells Rosenthal that Sizemore is "pulling back" from talks with other clubs in order to pursue this new deal with Cleveland. Things could be finalized between the two sides by this weekend.
As Rosenthal noted in a follow-up tweet, the Tribe's medical personnel knows Sizemore best and with just a one-year contract, he could pursue a bigger deal next offseason. There isn't much risk involved for the Indians -- a healthy and in-form Sizemore helps the team contend in the AL Central or, if Cleveland falls out of the pennant race, Sizemore would be a sought-after commodity at the trade deadline even as a rental player.
The latest on the Rockies from the Denver Post's Troy Renck:
- The Rockies continue to search for starting pitching via trade, having met with a few teams already. They probably won't match the asking prices for John Danks or Wandy Rodriguez, but they could target arms such as Ricky Nolasco, Anibal Sanchez, Jeff Niemann, and Wade Davis, if the Marlins and Rays are willing to deal.
- The club plans to tender Ian Stewart a contract, but that doesn't necessarily mean he'll be a Rockie in 2012. Multiple clubs have inquired on Stewart, and Colorado is listening.
- Grady Sizemore won't work out for the Rockies, but the team hopes to get a better read on his health when he visits the Steadman-Hawkins clinic in Vail, Colorado.
- The Rockies would have interest in LaTroy Hawkins if they opened up a spot for him by trading Huston Street.
TUESDAY, 11:27am: The Rockies have examined Sizemore's medical records and believe he's worth the risk on a one-year deal, reports Troy E. Renck of the Denver Post. The Rockies expect to watch Sizemore work out in the coming days.
The A's have no interest in pursuing Sizemore, reports Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle.
MONDAY, 7:38pm: There's no shortage of interest in Grady Sizemore this offseason. The free agent outfielder has drawn interest from eight teams, according to ESPN.com's Jerry Crasnick. The Cubs, Rangers, Giants and Yankees are potential suitors for Sizemore, along with the Phillies, Rockies, Red Sox and Indians.
The Giants are interested, even after acquiring Melky Cabrera, and the Cubs view Sizemore as a possible fit in right field. The A's, who saw their entire outfield hit free agency after the season, have also been linked to Sizemore.
Sizemore's knees have limited him to 104 total games in the past two seasons, so the Indians declined their $9MM club option after the season, making the 29-year-old a free agent. He hit 10 homers and posted a .224/.285/.422 line in 2011, but Sizemore combined power, speed and on-base skills as one of baseball's premier center fielders from 2005-08.
We've seen a good amount of talk surrounding the A's lately and Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle gave her take on it all..
- Even though it's been said that Billy Beane will listen on all of his players this offseason, that is standard operating procedure for the GM and nothing new. Beane's philosophy is that there is a match for any player, if the price is right.
- If GM Billy Beane could get a substantial return for them, Slusser could see him trading Gio Gonzalez or Andrew Bailey. Gonzalez is coveted by many contenders, with the Yankees at the head of the pack. Bailey's value isn't terribly high after missing the first-half of last season with elbow issues, but the skyrocketing price of closers helps his case. The two-time All-Star is under team control for three more years.
- Slusser believes that it would take a Dan Haren-type deal to pry Gonzalez away and doesn't see that happening.
- Of the bullpen options that the A's have, Bailey probably would make the most sense if the A’s were to trade a younger piece. Then again, Slusser notes that Grant Balfour is making more than Bailey and would also draw interest.
- Even though the A’s have been linked to Grady Sizemore, Slusser hasn't heard any rumblings at all from the team about the center fielder. The A’s are believed to be focusing on building a team with an eye towards a new stadium and signing Sizemore on a one-year deal doesn't fit with that idea.
- There also hasn't been any talk from the team of going after Yoenis Cespedes, who on paper is the kind of player that the team might have interest in. The A’s are not in the mode where they’ll do the kind of spending that it will take to land the 26-year-old, so it's not likely that they'll land him. They have had high level scouts and executives at games and workouts but the pricetag is likely too high for Oakland. Slusser suggests taking the Sizemore and Cespedes talk with a grain of salt until the team has more clarity on the stadium situation.
One of Red Sox GM Ben Cherington's toughest tasks this season will be finding fourth and fifth starters, writes Nick Cafardo of The Boston Globe. Cherington could do it by pursuing the top free agent hurlers on the open market or try to bolster the rotation via trade. It's widely expected that the White Sox will make either Gavin Floyd or John Danks available and Cafardo wonders if the Red Sox could get Anibal Sanchez back from the Marlins. Free agent Hiroki Kuroda is a likely target but appears to be out of reach. The veteran declined a chance to be traded to the Sox last season as he didn’t want to play anywhere but Los Angeles. Here's more from Cafardo..
- Free agent Michael Cuddyer isn't as high of a priority for the Phillies as portrayed by the media. A major league source characterized him as "a middle priority" and while Philadelphia would love to have him, the club isn't going to "go crazy" to make it happen.
- It's widely believed that Grady Sizemore could be had for a bargain price but the center fielder has a few teams pursuing him, including the Red Sox. However, his talks with Boston are in very preliminary stages, and his injury history and left-handed bat mean that he's an unlikely fit.
- An agent told Cafardo that the Marlins' offers to Albert Pujols, Mark Buehrle, and Jose Reyes should be taken seriously and are not for show.
- If the Marlins land Pujols or Prince Fielder, first baseman Gaby Sanchez will be major trade bait for the club.
- If the Red Sox don't make a lot of pitching moves, we could see Alfredo Aceves moved into the rotation. The right-hander pushed to start in the past but Terry Francona thought Aceves was too valuable to remove from his bullpen role.
- A National League scout says that center fielder Yoenis Cespedes is likely to be moved to one of the corner outfield spots in the majors. Yesterday, we learned that the Cuban defector may not become a free agent for two months.
The Rockies have expressed interest in free agent outfielder Grady Sizemore, reports Troy Renck of The Denver Post. The team is casting a wide net as they look for offensive help, but Renck says they are not expected to aggressively pursue Sizemore until they exhaust all trade options with the Braves for Martin Prado.
The Red Sox and Phillies have checked in on Sizemore, but the Mets are unlikely to get involved. Yesterday we heard that the 29-year-old outfielder is looking for a one-year contract in order to rebuild his value, similar to Adrian Beltre's stint with the Red Sox. The Rockies need help in left field as Tim Dierkes wrote in his Offseason Outlook, and Coors Field is a pretty good place to hit. Obviously the key for Sizemore at this point is staying healthy.
On a day when Jonathan Papelbon switched teams and the Miami Marlins were officially born, the biggest and best news was unquestionably Wilson Ramos' rescue from kidnappers in his native Venezuela. Here are a few other items as we head into the weekend...
- The Astros' potential sale to Jim Crane is on the agenda at next week's owners meetings, reports The Associated Press. Two sources say Crane, Drayton McLane and Major League Baseball have "reached an understanding" on how the Astros could move to the American League in 2013.
- Crane could be getting as much as an $80MM discount off his original price for the team by agreeing to move the Astros to the AL, tweets Sports Illustrated's Jon Heyman.
- Grady Sizemore is looking for a one-year contract so he can re-establish his value for a longer-term deal next winter, reports Jon Heyman (Twitter link). Heyman makes the comparison to the one-year deal Adrian Beltre signed with the Red Sox before the 2010 season, which saw Beltre have a big season and earn a multiyear deal with the Rangers last winter. Sizemore won't match the $10MM Beltre got from Boston, but a $6-7MM deal with incentives seems reasonable.
- Heyman says the Athletics are interested in Sizemore but are worried about his health and his asking price.
- With the Phillies reportedly interested in both Sizemore and Jason Kubel, Fangraphs' Eric Seidman argues that Sizemore is the better choice for the Phils.
- The Phillies want to sign Michael Cuddyer and re-sign Jimmy Rollins but the club finds both players' asking prices to be too high, tweets Danny Knobler of CBSSports.com.
- Major League Baseball and the Players' Association are expected to "continue to negotiate amicably" about the new collective bargaining agreement over the weekend, reports Ken Rosenthal and Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports.
- Also from Rosenthal, he thinks teams take a major risk by hiring managers with little or no Major League managing or coaching experience.
- The Pirates' offseason moves will be influenced by the number of players on the roster who are out of options, writes MLB.com's Jenifer Langosch.
After seven seasons and a World Series title with the Red Sox, Jonathan Papelbon is leaving Boston for the Phillies and $50MM. Here's the latest on the Red Sox, starting with an update on the bullpen...
- The Red Sox will be in on Ryan Madson and Heath Bell, according to Danny Knobler of CBSSports.com (on Twitter). Boston isn't yet committed to Daniel Bard as the closer.
- The Red Sox had preliminary talks with Michael Cuddyer's representatives, according to Rob Bradford of WEEI.com.
- They’ve also been in touch with Grady Sizemore’s agents, Bradford reports (on Twitter).
Some notes to pass along from the AL and NL East ...
- The Red Sox have contacted free agent outfielder Grady Sizemore, tweets Mike Silverman of the Boston Herald, and they are not thought to have spoken to free agent outfielder Carlos Beltran. Both players remain a long shot for Boston, according to Silverman, until the Red Sox figure out whether they want to re-sign David Ortiz.
- The Mets will likely seek an affordable closer this offseason, according to Andy Martino of the New York Daily News, who spoke to three stoppers who might fit that bill: Jonathan Broxton, Brad Lidge and Joe Nathan. Broxton's agent told Martino that Brox is seeking an incentive-laden one-year deal with perhaps a vesting option, and he's willing to pitch as a setup man or a closer. Lidge's agent said Lidge, too, is flexible with respect to his role, and Nathan said he is receptive to either a short- or long-term contract.
- Now that the Phillies' agreement on a four-year contract with Ryan Madson has either fallen through or never actually materialized in the first place, Scott Lauber of the Boston Herald opines that Jonathan Papelbon, like Madson, is unlikely to secure a contract of four or more years from Philly. Just reading the tea leaves, it looks like the fourth year will be the primary haggling point for Madson and Papelbon in their respective negotiations.