Hunter Pence Rumors
No team in baseball has a better ERA than the Nationals (3.25), who are seeking infield depth and monitoring the market for arms as the trade deadline approaches. Here are the latest links from the NL East, starting with the 61-40 Nationals...
- Though the Nationals liked Emilio Bonifacio, the Marlins said a trade "ain't happening," Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reports (on Twitter).
- The Nationals are looking for a utility player and are focusing on players who can back up at shortstop, Yahoo's Jeff Passan reports (on Twitter). The team has discussed 15-20 players in the Marco Scutaro, Jamey Carroll, Nick Punto mold, Adam Kilgore reported last week. With Ian Desmond on the disabled list, Washington needs middle infield depth.
- The Braves have checked in on relievers and Wade Davis' name has come up in discussions, Mark Bowman of MLB.com reports. However, the Rays seem reluctant to trade the right-hander.
- The Phillies are more likely to trade Hunter Pence than Cliff Lee, but it's possible both will be moved, Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports reports (on Twitter).
You may remember Matt Swartz from such MLBTR projects as the 2012 arbitration projections. Matt's model was very accurate the first time through, and he's made it even better for the 2013 projections. I asked Matt for a sneak peek at 2013 projected salaries for some arbitration eligible trade candidates. He used Dan Szymborski's rest-of-season ZiPS projections to account for the remainder of the 2012 season.
- Hunter Pence: $14.3MM
- Jason Vargas: $8.1MM
- Shin-Soo Choo: $7.6MM
- Chase Headley: $6.1MM
- Geovany Soto: $4.6MM
Yahoo's Jeff Passan posted his latest information in an early-morning column; here are a few highlights.
- Passan already noted that the Red Sox contacted the Braves and Rangers shopping Josh Beckett; in this article he mentions that the Sox shopped Beckett in the offseason as well. WEEI's Rob Bradford also reports Beckett discussions between the Red Sox and Rangers and that Boston has engaged other clubs on the righty. This morning, Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports tweeted that the Red Sox talked to a handful of teams that inquired about their starting pitching, including Beckett, but a trade is unlikely. ESPN's Buster Olney also considers a Beckett trade unlikely.
- The Marlins are far more concerned about their club beyond 2013 as opposed to 2013 itself, executives who have inquired on Josh Johnson told Passan. Those sources say the Marlins plan to cut payroll next year, after this year's franchise high, and thus seek cheap, young players.
- The Padres expect to decide today whether they'll trade third baseman Chase Headley this month, a source tells Passan. Headley, who is under team control through 2014, projects to earn $6.1MM for '13, according to MLBTR contributor Matt Swartz. The Padres are growing more leery of trading Headley, writes Joel Sherman of the New York Post, a sentiment we've been seeing the last several days from other reports. Sherman does not believe there was much life to talks between the Yankees and Padres about Headley.
- The Phillies haven't shopped Shane Victorino nearly as aggressively as Hunter Pence, writes Passan. Swartz projects Pence at $14.3MM for 2013.
The Phillies entered this weekend needing to perform well in a critical series against the division rival Braves. Instead, they were swept and now appear to be in the position to sell off several pieces. ESPN's Buster Olney tweets that the Phillies could be baseball's "most active sellers" in the next two days, and that they've laid the groundwork for several trades. Olney's colleague Jayson Stark hears from several teams that the Phillies could make 2-3 trades prior to Tuesday's deadline, though they've yet to officially declare themselves sellers (Twitter link).
CSNPhilly.com's Jim Salisbury agrees that selling is likely, and runs down several of the possibilities for the Phillies in the coming days. Salisbury writes that Shane Victorino is the "most likely" Phillie to be dealt, and lists the Giants, Pirates, Reds and Dodgers as possible destinations for Victorino. Interest in Victorino was said to be "heating up" as recently as yesterday.
The Reds have also inquired on Juan Pierre, and both the Orioles and Cardinals are potential destinations for Joe Blanton according to Salisbury. He also says that Hunter Pence could be moved if GM Ruben Amaro Jr. is blown away by an offer, and speculates that Ty Wigginton would fit on several teams looking for bench help.
Salisbury reiterates that the Phillies are likely to keep Cliff Lee for the time being, although he could be shopped this offseason in an attempt to fill multiple holes.
1:32pm: Mariners general manager Jack Zduriencik is looking to acquire hitters who could contribute for the next two or three seasons, Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports reports. The Mariners aim to improve an offense that currently ranks last in the American League with just 3.9 runs per game.
The Mariners are more focused on players such as Josh Willingham and Allen Craig than players like Shin-Soo Choo and Hunter Pence. Choo and Pence are eligible for free agency after the 2013 season, while Willingham is under contract through 2014 and Craig won't even be arbitration eligible before the 2013-14 offseason.
The results of Josh Johnson’s start against the Padres and Roy Halladay’s start against the Braves could have major consequences for the trade market, ESPN.com’s Jayson Stark writes. More than a dozen scouts are on hand to watch Johnson pitch in Miami today, while Halladay is attempting to prevent the Braves from sweeping the Phillies out of town and, possibly, out of the playoff mix. Here are the details from Stark:
- MLB executives are wary of Johnson’s past shoulder troubles, his career-high ERA and his diminishing fastball velocity, but no other available starter has his kind of stuff. The Marlins continue to look for a “dream package” for Johnson and they’re prepared to keep him if no club meets their asking price, Stark reports.
- The Rangers seem especially cautious about Johnson, but they have people watching his start today. The Marlins told the Rangers they aren’t interested in discussing a trade unless Mike Olt is involved, yet the Rangers haven’t been willing to make Olt available.
- As of last night, the Phillies were telling clubs they haven’t decided how they’ll approach the deadline. They’ve likely done enough talking to trade Shane Victorino, Joe Blanton, Juan Pierre and Ty Wigginton in short order if necessary, Stark writes.
- The Phillies continue dangling Hunter Pence, but seem intent on waiting until the offseason to start serious trade discussions.
- Philadelphia could keep its trade chips for now and make moves in August, when players have to be placed on waivers to be dealt.
The Giants lead the Dodgers by one game in the NL West, and the 51-50 Diamondbacks are just 4.5 games out of first place. Here's the latest from the division...
- The Giants are eyeing outfielders now and Shane Victorino and Hunter Pence of the Phillies could be options in San Francisco, Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com writes (Twitter link).
- Pence is likely too pricey for the Giants, Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reports (on Twitter). But as Rosenthal notes, the Dodgers might be able to afford him. Pence earns $10.4MM in 2012 and will get a raise through the arbitration process this coming offseason.
- Giants GM Brian Sabean continues to look for a right-handed reliever, John Shea of the San Francisco Chronicle reports (on Twitter).
- The Padres are sending signals they'll keep Chase Headley if they don't receive a better offer for him in the next two days, ESPN.com's Jerry Crasnick reports (on Twitter).
Trade buzz surrounding Shane Victorino has started to pick up, reports Jim Salisbury of CSNPhilly.com. The Reds, Dodgers, Pirates, and Giants all have interest in the outfielder and are scouting the Phillies. Cincinnati also has interest in Juan Pierre.
Victorino, 31, is hitting just .256/.321/.391 this season and will become a free agent this winter. He's owed approximately $6.3MM through the end of the season and thanks to the new collective bargaining agreement, any team that acquires him in a trade will not be eligible to receive draft pick compensation if he signs elsewhere as a free agent.
Phillies GM Ruben Amaro Jr. acknowledges his team’s upcoming series in Atlanta will have an impact on Philadelphia’s trade deadline plans, Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reports. “We have to play well against these guys,” Amaro said. “They’re a very tough team. We don’t necessarily have to sweep ‘em. But it’s important for us to win the series.” Here are the latest rumors from Rosenthal and colleague Jon Paul Morosi...
- Carlos Gonzalez is at or near the top of the Rangers’ wish list of outfielders for 2013, Morosi and Rosenthal report. For now, however, the Rockies are keeping Gonzalez and Dexter Fowler off-limits in trade talks.
- Mariners relievers Shawn Kelley, Josh Kinney and Steve Delabar are drawing mild interest, Morosi tweets.
- Left-hander Glen Perkins is drawing heavy interest, Morosi reports (on Twitter). The Twins have a very high asking price for Perkins, who signed a three-year, $10.3MM extension with the club in March.
- The Orioles would like to add a left-handed reliever, Morosi reports (on Twitter).
- The Giants want a right-handed bat and are expected to make a push for Hunter Pence if the Phillies make him available, Morosi reports (on Twitter). Jonathan Broxton is also of interest for the Giants, Morosi reports (on Twitter).
- The Pirates aren't optimistic about their search for a hitter at this point, Rosenthal reports (on Twitter).
- The White Sox haven't ruled out the possibility of adding another reliever, Morosi reports (on Twitter).
The Phillies signed Cole Hamels to a historic six-year, $144MM extension this morning. After weeks of rumors, it’s now apparent that Hamels will stay put, but his teammates don’t all enjoy the same security. Here’s the latest on the Phillies...
- The Yankees considered pursuing Ty Wigginton, but the Phillies aren't offering him up, Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com reports (on Twitter).
- An American League executive suggested the Phillies' deal with Hamels means Cliff Lee and Hunter Pence are available, Joel Sherman of the New York Post reports (on Twitter).
- The Phillies have reached out to "dangle" Jimmy Rollins to other teams in the last two weeks, ESPN.com's Buster Olney reports (on Twitter). The A's have considered Rollins, but he's not currently an option for them.
- Phillies GM Ruben Amaro Jr. is waiting to determine whether to buy or sell at the trade deadline, Bob Nightengale of USA Today reports (Twitter link).
- Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com isn't convinced the Phillies will go into complete sell mode (Twitter link).