Gregg Zaun Rumors
The Brewers introduced new manager Ron Roenicke at a press conference on Thursday, and GM Doug Melvin spoke to the media about the upcoming free agent period afterwards. Tom Haudricourt of The Journal Sentinel fills us in on the details...
- Melvin told right-hander Dave Bush that "he should test the market." Bush didn't take it as a sign that the team will not attempt to re-sign him however, he told Haudricourt that Melvin encouraged him to explore the market since it's his first time as a free agent.
- Melvin indicated that he had calls into the agents for Chris Capuano and Craig Counsell, and that it's possible he'll make them offers before other teams can jump in.
- There has been no indication that the team will try to bring Trevor Hoffman, Doug Davis, and/or Gregg Zaun back. The Brewers recently declined the club options for all three players.
- MLB.com's Adam McCalvy reports that Milwaukee has re-signed right-hander Tim Dillard to a minor league contract with an invitation to Spring Training. The 27 year old spent the season in Triple-A working on a new sidearm delivery.
The Brewers declined their 2011 options for Gregg Zaun, Trevor Hoffman and Doug Davis, according to MLB.com's Adam McCalvy. Milwaukee paid a total of $2MM in buyouts. Zaun got $250K instead of a $2.25MM salary; Hoffman got $750K instead of a $7MM salary and Davis got $1MM instead of a $6.5MM salary. All three moves were expected.
Zaun, who tore the labrum in his right shoulder this summer, has said he would like to play in 2011, but it probably won't be in Milwaukee. The Brewers have Jonathan Lucroy, George Kottaras and Mike Rivera behind the plate. Davis made just eight starts in 2010 because of injuries.
Hoffman picked up his 600th career save this year, but struggled early in the season, lost the closer's job to John Axford and pitched to a 5.89 ERA overall. In the highly unlikely event that the Brewers offer arbitration and Hoffman turns it down to sign elsewhere, the team would obtain a compensatory pick in next year's draft for losing a Type B free agent.
Links for Thursday, exactly seven years after the Padres traded Jason Bay and Oliver Perez to the Pirates for Brian Giles. Bay and Perez are teammates once again, though Perez barely pitches and Bay is on the disabled list with a concussion...
- Micah Owings cleared waivers and accepted a minor league assignment, according to John Fay of the Cincinnati Enquirer. Owings asked to be traded after the Reds designated him for assignment last week.
- Gregg Zaun told Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports that his injury rehab is going well and says he plans to play in 2011.
- The Rangers have been "very active" recently, one executive told Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports (Twitter link).
- MLB.com's Corey Brock hears that the Padres will pass on Brad Hawpe (Twitter link). They had interest, but appear to be content with their current outfielders.
- Jamey Newberg checks in on all the prospects the Rangers traded away this summer in an MLB.com article. Justin Smoak was the big name in the Cliff Lee trade, but Josh Lueke and Blake Beavan have played well for the Mariners since the deal.
- In this video clip at the Cleveland Plain Dealer, Indians assistant GM Chris Antonetti explains that he'd like to see improved infield defense, since Cleveland pitchers induce lots of grounders.
- Mets GM Omar Minaya tells Dan Martin of the New York Post that he knows his job isn't completely secure.
- Juan Pierre explained to Scott Merkin of MLB.com that Manny Ramirez could help the White Sox this season. Pierre's reasoning is simple - he considers Manny "probably one of the top five hitters ever."
- Nationals scouting director Kris Kline tells MASN's Ben Goessling that the club is optimistic about finalizing a deal with Bryce Harper earlier in the summer than they signed Stephen Strasburg last season.
- Tony La Russa suggests that the Cardinals could pursue starting pitching, writes Rhett Bollinger of MLB.com. We've heard this a couple times since both Brad Penny and Kyle Lohse hit the disabled list.
- With this year's draft barely in the books, MLB.com's Jonathan Mayo looks ahead to ten top prospects that could be drafted in 2011.
- Gregg Zaun confirmed today that he will have season-ending surgery on his shoulder, according to Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. At the time of Zaun's injury, we looked at the Brewers' backstop options.
- Dave Cameron of U.S.S. Mariner (via Twitter) has trouble believing the Phillies would have chosen the Mariners' package for Cliff Lee over a Yankees' offer headed by Jesus Montero, as Ken Rosenthal reported earlier today.
- Cameron also predicts that Ian Snell will be designated for assignment after a disastrous outing tonight in Texas (Twitter link).
Brewers GM Doug Melvin told Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel that the Brewers are content with catchers George Kottaras and Jonathan Lucroy, though the club may consider pursuing another backstop. Gregg Zaun has a torn labrum and may miss the entire season, so the Brewers are left with a relatively inexperienced catching tandem - the duo has a combined 69 games of big league experience. Melvin says he's "open" to improving the club, but sounds content with Kottaras and Lucroy.
"We're going to go with what we have for now," Melvin said. "We talked about whether we need more depth at Triple A, but there are no catchers really available. A few guys have gone through waivers but they're all backup types."
Those backup types - players like Paul Hoover and Paul Phillips - could be available, but they're not as appealing as an experienced big leaguer like A.J. Pierzynski. The White Sox have said they are not shopping their players yet and Melvin says he wouldn't want to meet the asking price for Pierzynski.
"I'm not sure I want to give up the players they'd be looking for to do that," Melvin said.
It will be easier to deal for Pierzynski before June 14th, when he picks up ten and five rights. Haudricourt notes that Brewers catching prospect Angel Salome has left Triple A Nashville for mental health reasons.
Gregg Zaun has a torn labrum in his throwing shoulder, and may retire if the injury persists, according to MLB.com's Adam McCalvy. Zaun says there's a 50-50 chance he plays this season. We'll know more in two to four weeks, when doctors re-evaluate Zaun's shoulder.
The Brewers currently have catchers Jonathan Lucroy and George Kottaras on their active roster. Lucroy has appeared in two big league games and Kottaras has appeared in 67, so it would not be a surprise to see the Brewers pursue a veteran catcher. Lucroy, who is a highly-regarded prospect, made his big league debut last Friday. Baseball America said Lucroy "projects as a good offensive threat for a catcher" when they ranked him fifth among Brewers prospects before the season. Kottaras has a respectable .238/.357/.442 line in 182 big league plate appearances.
You want links? Well we got 'em...
- Ed Price of AOL Fanhouse says that Jason Kendall was looking for $5MM to return to Milwaukee for another year. Yeah, good luck with that. No wonder why the Brewers went with Gregg Zaun.
- Dan Uggla doesn't have any control over whether the Marlins trade him or not, but if they do, he hopes it happens sooner rather than later, according to Joe Capozzi of The Palm Beach Post.
- When asked about the hot stove, Reds' manager Dusty Baker said "there's not much of anything going on," reports MLB.com's Mark Sheldon.
- Michael Silverman of The Boston Herald says that Pedro Martinez wants to pitch a full season in 2010, instead of going on the Roger Clemens plan (pitching in the second half only) again.
- Nick Piecoro of The Arizona Republic says that the D-Backs' perfect world Winter Meetings scenario "involves them acquiring a cost-effective starting pitcher in a trade and then using their remaining payroll flexibility to upgrade other areas of the club."
- According to WEEI.com's Alex Speier, Padres' GM Jed Hoyer said that given his (and new assistant Jason McLeod's) experience with the Red Sox, they have a “level of comfort” in any potential trade with them, moreso than with any other team.
- Re-signing Andy Pettitte is the Yankees' top priority, says George A. King III of The NY Post.
- MLB.com's Carrie Muskat says as many as three teams are interested in Milton Bradley, and Cubs' GM Jim Hendry will spend next week trying to find the best match.
- Former Blue Jays' GM J.P. Ricciardi said that Roy Halladay wants to be traded, according to The Canadian Press. Ricciardi added that a "lot of these decisions are out of the general manager's hands as far as what ownership perceives as fan reaction and what the perception of the club (is) and the direction that they are going. I think any time you have a player of this magnitude, that's really an ownership call."
- In addition to Justin Miller, the Dodgers also signed Prentice Redman to a minor league contract, according to Dylan Hernandez of The LA Times.
- MLB.com's Steve Gilbert has the news of three players the Diamondbacks inked to minor league contracts: T.J. Beam, Drew Macias, and Carlos Corporan. All three received invites to Spring Training.
- ESPN's Jayson Stark wrote about the five biggest plotlines going into the Winter Meetings next week, while Scott Miller of CBSSports.com has some pre-Winter Meetings chatter of his own.
- Got a problem with how FanGraphs puts a dollar amount on a player's performance? If so, Dave Cameron clarifies some things.
1:33pm: ESPN's Buster Olney has the contract details: a $1.9MM base in 2010, and a $2.25MM club option for '11 with a $250K buyout.
1:18pm: Zaun is close to a deal with the Brewers, according to MLB.com's Adam McCalvy. Yahoo's Tim Brown tweets that the deal is signed, and worth $2.15MM guaranteed (with a 2011 option). The free agent market didn't offer much, but Zaun was one of the better catchers out there. The Rays will receive a supplemental draft pick for their loss.
10:03am: Free agent catcher Gregg Zaun spoke to Don Landry and Gord Stellick of The Fan 590 this morning, and revealed that he'll sign with a team "possibly by the end of the day." Zaun confirmed that he'll be signing with the Brewers, Rockies, Rays, or Mariners.
My guess is the Mariners. How about you?
Troy E. Renck of The Denver Post has some Rockies rumors for us...
- GM Dan O'Dowd called Brad Hawpe a "legitimate alternative" that can spell Todd Helton at first base. The team had been looking for a bench player capable of playing both first and third.
- The Rockies have expressed preliminary interest in free agents Chad Tracy and Jamey Carroll.
- O'Dowd confirmed that he's not looking to move Ryan Spilborghs.
- Contrary to reports, the Rockies are not interested in Gregg Zaun, though they still hope to bring Yorvit Torrealba back.
- Ken Rosenthal and Jon Paul Morosi of FoxSports.com say that reports about hard feelings between Jason Marquis and the Rockies about not getting a playoff start are untrue.
The Brewers, Rockies, and Rays are showing the most interest in free agent catcher Gregg Zaun, according to Ken Rosenthal and Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports. Zaun still has an arbitration offer from the Rays, on which he must decide by Monday. However, Zaun has said he expects to sign with a team by week's end. As the FOX writers note, he'd get the most playing time with the Brewers. Earlier this offseason it seemed that they planned to spend all of their money on starting pitching, but maybe they'll peel off a few million for Zaun.
Rosenthal and Morosi wrote yesterday that the Mariners were pursuing Zaun, but they don't mention the team in tonight's update.