Heath Bell Rumors
The Angels are one of five or five teams with "serious interest" in free agent third baseman Aramis Ramirez, agent Paul Kinzer told Mike DiGiovanna of the L.A. Times. DiGiovanna notes that earlier this month Angels GM Jerry Dipoto described his interest level in Ramirez as "lower, but I never close the door on anyone."
Ramirez is open to playing on the West Coast, Kinzer told DiGiovanna. With full no-trade rights this summer, Ramirez was not so flexible. DiGiovanna believes Ramirez could make a decision on his new team at next week's Winter Meetings. On November 14th, Kinzer told Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports Ramirez seeks a four-year deal or three years with an option.
The Angels are interested in relievers Matt Capps, Heath Bell, Francisco Cordero, Octavio Dotel, and Scott Linebrink, adds DiGiovanna. They're also very interested in starter C.J. Wilson, who's touring the country meeting with suitors.
The Padres have Carlos Quentin "on their list of possibilities" for an offseason trade, reports Bill Center of the San Diego Union-Tribune. It seems like a good match, given that the White Sox are thought to have Quentin on the market and the Padres are looking for a corner outfielder. Center mentions elsewhere in his chat with readers that given the Padres' difficulty in luring free agent hitters to Petco Park, a trade would be the club's best chance to add that desired corner outfield help.
Quentin has posted a .257/.352/.505 line over the last four seasons in Chicago, though it remains to be seen how his bat and his glove (a career UZR/150 of -9.3, though this metric also shows Quentin was an above-average defensive right fielder in 2011) would play in spacious Petco Park. If Quentin was acquired, he and Cameron Maybin would play every day, with Center including Chris Denorfia, Jesus Guzman, Kyle Blanks, Mark Kotsay and Will Venable all in the mix at the other corner outfield spot.
Some other news about the Friars...
- Also from Center, GM Josh Byrnes is "actively talking trade with a number of clubs." Center lists Maybin, Nick Hundley, Mat Latos and Anthony Rizzo as "the only players who I believe are close to untouchable."
- Former Padres GM Jed Hoyer tells Tom Krasovic of Inside The Padres that the new collective bargaining agreement played a big role in the club's decision to keep Heath Bell at last summer's trade deadline. "We checked with MLB several times to make sure the compensation system wouldn't be eliminated after the 2011 season," Hoyer said. "The value of the picks was the crux of our decision not to trade him in July or August. In our minds (and many people were involved in the decision), we never were offered anything all that close to the value of the draft picks in return." If Bell turns down San Diego's offer of arbitration and signs elsewhere, Bell's modified Type A status means that the Padres would receive a first-round pick in a slot directly ahead of Bell's new team, plus a supplementary round pick.
- Writing for Fangraphs, Mike Axisa thinks the Padres got the better end of the recent John Baker-for-Wade LeBlanc trade.
- The Padres' willingness to spend on their international scouting and development system is paying dividends, writes Dan Hayes of the North County Times.
10 National League teams have free agent arbitration offer decisions to make today, and we'll update them in this post in advance of the 11pm central time deadline. For a fantastic customizable chart with all 57 Type A/B free agents and their teams' decisions in real-time, click here.
Updated team decisions:
- The Giants won't offer arbitration to Pat Burrell (B) or Cody Ross (B) according to John Shea of the San Francisco Chronicle (on Twitter). Carlos Beltran (A) contractually cannot be offered arbitration.
- The Dodgers declined to offer Hiroki Kuroda (B) arbitration, according to Dylan Hernandez of the LA Times (on Twitter). Rod Barajas (B) already signed with the Pirates.
- The Pirates offered arbitration to Derrek Lee (B) while declining to offer Ryan Ludwick (B) and Chris Snyder (B) arbitration. Ryan Doumit (B) already signed with the Twins.
- The Phillies did not offer Roy Oswalt (A) or Brad Lidge (B) arbitration, according to the AP (via ESPN). The team announced that it offered arbitration to Raul Ibanez (B), Ryan Madson (A, will not cost signing team a draft pick), and Jimmy Rollins (A), according to Todd Zolecki of MLB.com (via Twitter).
- The Cubs offered arbitration to Carlos Pena (B) and Aramis Ramirez (B) but not to Kerry Wood (B), according to Paul Sullivan of the Chicago Tribune (on Twitter).
- The Cardinals offered Edwin Jackson (B) and Albert Pujols (A) arbitration, but declined to make offers to Rafael Furcal (B) and Arthur Rhodes (B), according to Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch (on Twitter). That leaves Octavio Dotel (modified B, no arbitration offer necessary).
- The Mets offered Jose Reyes (A) arbitration, according to Newsday's Ken Davidoff (on Twitter).
- The Padres will offer arbitration to Heath Bell (A, will not cost signing team a draft pick) and Aaron Harang (B), tweets Corey Brock of MLB.com.
- The Brewers offered Prince Fielder (A) and Francisco Rodriguez (A, will not cost signing team a draft pick) arbitration. They declined to offer Yuniesky Betancourt (B) arbitration. Takashi Saito (A), contractually cannot be offered arbitration.
- The Braves did not offer arbitration to Alex Gonzalez (B), according to David O'Brien of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
Teams with automatic decisions only:
- Reds: Francisco Cordero (modified B, no arbitration offer necessary), Ramon Hernandez (modified B, no arbitration offer necessary)
- Astros: Clint Barmes (B, already signed with Pirates)
- Rockies: Mark Ellis (B, already signed with Dodgers)
Matt Capps, Francisco Cordero, Octavio Dotel, Ramon Hernandez and Darren Oliver were all Type A free agents under the Elias Rankings system, but they will now be treated as Type B free agents, the MLBPA announced. Teams won't have to surrender draft picks to sign them, but the players' former teams obtain a supplementary first round pick whether or not they offer arbitration tomorrow.
Meanwhile, clubs won't have to surrender a draft pick to sign one of the following six players: Heath Bell, Michael Cuddyer, Kelly Johnson, Ryan Madson, Josh Willingham and Francisco Rodriguez. Teams that lose these players after offering arbitration will obtain first round picks in the slot before the signing team plus a supplementary draft pick for a total of two selections.
Albert Pujols, Prince Fielder, C.J. Wilson, David Ortiz, Jonathan Papelbon, Roy Oswalt, Jose Reyes and Jimmy Rollins were also Type A free agents this offseason. They will cost one draft pick to sign. Their teams will obtain two total picks if they decline offers of arbitration to sign elsewhere, as expected. Takashi Saito and Carlos Beltran, two other Type As, cannot be offered arbitration. Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports first reported the changes.
Let's look at some news from both the AL and NL West....
- The Rangers have scouted 19-year-old Cuban defector Jorge Soler, reports MLB.com's T.R. Sullivan. Texas is one of a few teams who have interest in Soler, who Sullivan says "might have more offensive upside" than the heavily-scouted Yoenis Cespedes.
- Bill Center of the San Diego Union-Tribune reports that Adrian Gonzalez has been lobbying the Red Sox to check in on several Padres, including Heath Bell and strength/conditioning coach Jim Malone. Boston is known to have an interest in Bell as a possible replacement for Jonathan Papelbon in the Red Sox bullpen. Center also discusses San Diego's own closing situation among other topics as part of his weekly online chat with Padres fans.
- Rockies third base prospect Nolan Arenado has hired Scott Boras as his agent, tweets ESPN's Jerry Crasnick. Arenado was represented by the Beverly Hills Sports Council when Colorado picked him in the second round of the 2009 draft. Arenado, 20, has enjoyed a strong start to his pro career, compiling an .829 OPS in his first three seasons ranging from rookie league to high-A ball.
- The Mariners can afford Prince Fielder, writes Geoff Baker of the Seattle Times and "aversion to risk is how mediocre teams stay bad a long, long time." Baker figures that if the Mariners "eat most of the remaining cash on the Chone Figgins contract" and deal Jason Vargas or Brandon League, the club can afford the slugging first baseman. MLBTR's Tim Dierkes picked Seattle as Fielder's landing spot in his top 50 free agent predictions.
Yesterday, we heard that Heath Bell has become less certain about accepting an arbitration offer from the Padres, and that there were a few East Coast teams interested in the right-hander. Dan Hayes of the North County Times brings us a few more updates on the three-time All-Star today....
- Bell's decision on an arbitration offer may come down to the final hour. If he doesn't get a contract offer he prefers before the arbitration deadline, he might accept arb.
- Years are more important to Bell than dollars, and he's hoping to sign a three-year contract.
- Hayes hears from a source that the Padres are unlikely to commit to more than two years for Bell.
- If the Padres are unable to retain Bell, they'll look outside the organization for a ninth-inning replacement, according to GM Josh Byrnes.
My agents have told me numerous other teams are interested with most of those on the East Coast,” said Bell. "I told my guys that if there is any shot for San Diego, hold onto it. But I haven’t really heard anything from the Padres since they changed general managers. Right now, I have no idea what to expect.... But I think there’s going to be a three-year deal out there from someone. And that's what I’d like to have. I’d rather stay on the West Coast. But I still have a home in Florida."
Bell's representatives at ACES negotiated Jonathan Papelbon's deal with the Phillies and have a reputation for working quickly to get their clients signed. Bell indicated that he'd like to have a clearer idea about his future before he leaves for a vacation to Fiji on Thursday, and even suggested that he could end up on Papelbon's old club: "I’ve heard Boston might have interest in me. I could go play with Adrian [Gonzalez] again. I could do that."
During the season, Bell said that he'd accept an arbitration offer from the Padres, but he's less certain about that decision now.
"I have to weigh all my options," said Bell. "I don’t know what I’m going to do. But it seems like there are going to be some very good options soon. And after everything that has happened with the Padres, I don’t know what is going on."
The Marlins offered $90MM over six years to Jose Reyes, a source told Ken Rosenthal and Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports. They say Reyes is intrigued by playing in warm weather and for Ozzie Guillen. Reyes wants a contract worth a minimum of $100MM, however, tweeted Joel Sherman of the New York Post yesterday. More from Rosenthal and Morosi...
- The Marlins have not discussed moving Hanley Ramirez to center field.
- Many in the industry are skeptical of the sincerity of the Marlins' early offers to Reyes, Albert Pujols, Mark Buehrle, and Ryan Madson, feeling the proposals are competitive but not good enough to accept.
- The Rangers and Angels are among the teams that are interested in both C.J. Wilson and Roy Oswalt. The Nationals prefer Oswalt. Both pitchers are clients of Bob Garber.
- Heath Bell could benefit from the new collective bargaining agreement if teams no longer have to surrender a draft pick to sign Type A free agents who turned down arbitration. Ramon Hernandez too, in my opinion. I'm surprised to hear that such a change could be instituted for the 2012-13 offseason, after some teams made July trade decisions based on the old free agent compensation system.
- The Padres want to trade Jason Bartlett or Orlando Hudson. They are currently the only two players the Padres have under contract. Bartlett's $5.5MM option for 2013 will vest with 432 plate appearances in 2012.
- Rafael Furcal has drawn interest from the Rockies, Tigers, and Blue Jays as a second baseman, but he prefers to remain at shortstop.
- Rosenthal and Morosi say not to rule out the Giants on Carlos Beltran yet.
- The Angels will know more about Kendrys Morales' condition after January 1st. Morales is still recovering from a fracture in his leg suffered in May of 2010.
The Padres aren't too optimistic about their chances of retaining Heath Bell, tweets Jon Heyman of Sports Illustrated. They club has offered a two-year deal to the closer but he can likely get three years for more than $30MM elsewhere, Heyman adds.
Bell will obviously attract a great deal of attention from teams, including the Red Sox who also be in on Ryan Madson following Jonathan Papelbon's signing with the Phillies. Last week, Bell said in an interview that he’d prefer to sign with the Padres, Angels or Dodgers and would also like to play for the Red Sox or Phillies, though it's probably safe to say that the Phillies are no longer a possibility for Bell.
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).