Ian Desmond Rumors

Nationals Notes: Desmond, Morse, Moore, Jackson

Yesterday, Nationals manager Davey Johnson said that he wants to return to the club in 2013 and GM Mike Rizzo is eager for him to return as well.  Johnson is likely to be back in Washington as it will just take ownership approval to get a new deal ironed out.  Here's the latest out of Washington, courtesy of MLB.com's Bill Ladson..

  • The Nationals had preliminary talks about a contract extension with Ian Desmond earlier this season, a source told Bill Ladson of MLB.com.  Ladson adds that it would not be a surprise to see the Nats and the shortstop start up talks again this winter.  Recently, Adam Kilgore of the Washington Post suggested that Desmond could be in line for a six-year, $45MM deal.
  • A source indicated that opposing teams have expressed interest in Tyler Moore.  The Nats may also look at trading Michael Morse.  Both players are best suited for first base and their fit in Washington will hinge largely on what happens with LaRoche.  As it stands now, both players figure to be involved in left field alongside Bryce Harper and Jayson Werth.
  • The source told Ladson that there could be a possible domino effect if Adam LaRoche isn't re-signed this winter.  Ryan Zimmerman could potentially be moved to first base while Anthony Rendon would be given a chance to start at third.
  • The same source quantified the odds of Edwin Jackson returning to the Nats at 50/50 as it seems doubtful that Rizzo would give the pitcher a long-term deal.
  • It's almost a given that John Lannan will be non-tendered this offseason, according to a baseball source.  Lannan earned $5MM in 2012 and spent the bulk of the year in Triple-A.

Quick Hits: Beltran, Prospects, Cano, Nationals

Chris Carpenter and Ryan Vogelsong will oppose one another at AT&T Park a few hours from now. Here are some links from around MLB to keep you entertained while waiting for the NLCS to resume…

  • Giants assistant general manager Bobby Evans told John Shea of the San Francisco Chronicle that the team had approximately a dozen offseason conversations with Carlos Beltran's agent, Dan Lozano. That's a stark contrast from Beltran's statements, who said the two sides never talked. Shea speculates that Lozano didn't convey any of the communication to Beltran, who is of course, squaring off against his former teammates in the NLCS.
  • Matt Eddy of Baseball America has a rundown of 10 minor league deals that reaped significant Major League benefits, including Gregor Blanco, Brandon Moss and Quintin Berry.
  • Mets 2011 draftee Bradley Marquez will undergo surgery on his left knee after sustaining an injury playing football at Texas Tech, writes ESPN's Adam Rubin. The Mets allowed Marquez to continue playing football in order to facilitate the signing of their 11th-round selection.
  • Alex Rodriguez may be in the midst of a disappointing October, but at least he has a long-term contract in place. Robinson Cano, an offseason extension candidate, may have diminished his bargaining power by hitting poorly in the postseason, Joel Sherman of the New York Post writes. Plus, Rodriguez's struggles probably won't make the Yankees over-eager to spend a comparable amount on another struggling player.
  • The Nationals are set at every infield position but first base heading into the offseason, Adam Kilgore of the Washington Post writes. Ian Desmond could be in line for an extension this offseason, and Kilgore suggests a six-year, $45MM contract could work for both sides. It sounds as though there's a good chance Adam LaRoche will re-sign in Washington, even if he declines his side of the mutual option on his contract.
  • Giants GM Brian Sabean said coaches Ron Wotus and Dave Righetti would be excellent managers given the opportunity, Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe reports (on Twitter). Wotus is the Giants' bench coach and and Righetti is the team's pitching coach.

NL East Notes: Martin, Desmond, Strasburg

The Nationals will host Washington's first playoff game in 79 years today when they welcome Chris Carpenter and the Cardinals to Nationals Park. Here are some links from the NL East…

  • Joel Sherman of the New York Post suggests the Mets should sign Russell Martin if the Yankees let him leave as a free agent this offseason. The Mets could use catching help and they know Martin can handle New York while offering a combination of defense, power and youth.
  • Multiple teams have tried to buy low on Ian Desmond, but GM Mike Rizzo says he “never one time considered trading him at all," according to Adam Kilgore of the Washington Post (quote via Twitter). Kilgore explains that Desmond’s tremendous year can no longer be overlooked now that he’s producing for the Nationals in the postseason.
  • If the Nationals get eliminated from the playoffs, questions about Stephen Strasburg’s shutdown will be coming from within the team’s clubhouse and from outside critics, Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reports.
  • In case you missed it, here’s my offseason outlook for the Mets. A top priority for the club is locking up David Wright, and they’d like to reach a deal for $100MM or so — an unrealistic price in my view.

NL West Notes: Dodgers, Montero, Desmond

Four teams have won the NL West since 2006 and the Rockies, the lone team never to win the division, have made the postseason twice in that six-year period. Here are the latest links on the NL West…

Olney On Diamondbacks, Ackley, Cardinals

Some GMs believe the White Sox have set an extraordinarily high asking price for right-hander Gavin Floyd, ESPN.com’s Buster Olney reported last night. Olney passes on more rumors in today’s Insider-only column; here they are:

  • Stephen Drew will likely miss Opening Day as he recovers from last summer’s ankle injury, and the Diamondbacks have started evaluating other long-term solutions at short. They’ve scouted Ian Desmond of the Nationals and could have interest in Cliff Pennington of the Athletics. Drew’s contract includes a $10MM mutual option for 2013, so replacing him isn’t a top priority just yet.
  • Scouts say Mariners second baseman Dustin Ackley looks “exceptional” this spring.
  • The Cardinals could pursue free agent right-hander Roy Oswalt aggressively if Chris Carpenter isn’t ready for Opening Day.

Rosenthal On Braves, Blue Jays, Nationals, Gonzalez

Rival executives believe Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez may already be on ‘probation,’ Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports writes. Last year’s team lost its grip on a playoff spot down the stretch under Gonzalez, who’s now entering his second season as Atlanta’s manager. Here are the rest of Rosenthal’s notes from around the Major Leagues…

  • Special assistant Jim Fregosi may be the Braves’ leading candidate to manage should they replace Gonzalez internally.
  • The Diamondbacks would have interest in catcher J.P. Arencibia if the Blue Jays made him available. Arencibia isn’t going anywhere just yet, but top catching prospect Travis d'Arnaud could force the Blue Jays to make some difficult decisions within the year.
  • The Blue Jays, Royals, Tigers and others are in the market for starting pitching and many options are available, Rosenthal writes. Joe Blanton, Gavin Floyd and John Lannan are among the potential trade targets for teams seeking starters.
  • The Tigers, who are currently leaning toward left-hander Andy Oliver for their final rotation spot, could be a fit for Lannan. MLBTR's Tim Dierkes examined possible fits for Lannan last week, including the Tigers.
  • The Padres’ financial outlook is improving, so owner John Moores may be less eager to sell the team to CEO Jeff Moorad. Moorad has two years to complete his purchase of the club, but the deal won’t be finalized in the near future.
  • The A’s are no longer interested in free agent reliever Mike Gonzalez and the White Sox aren’t currently pursuing him, Rosenthal reports. The lefty is “about ready to go” following arthroscopic knee surgery.
  • Some in the industry question shortstop Ian Desmond, but the Nationals like him.

Rosenthal On Lincecum, Jackson, Red Sox, Abreu

The Prince Fielder sweepstakes are nearing an end, Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports wrote earlier this morning. Click here for the latest on Fielder and continue reading for Rosenthal’s rumors…

  • It appears likely that Giants starter Tim Lincecum will sign a two-year deal in the $41-42MM range, Rosenthal writes. The Giants and their ace right-hander exchanged arbitration submissions last week and the club has since offered Lincecum a deal worth $100MM-plus.
  • It’s possible that Edwin Jackson will sign a one-year contract, like fellow Scott Boras client Ryan Madson. The Red Sox and Mariners could be interested in Jackson if he’s willing to sign for one year. 
  • The Red Sox aren’t pursuing Wandy Rodriguez, according to Rosenthal.
  • The Orioles could be a logical trade partner for Yankees right-hander A.J. Burnett in Rosenthal’s estimation.
  • The Red Sox seem to have interest in acquiring an everyday shortstop and the Reds, Giants and Rays are looking for veteran shortstop help, Rosenthal writes. 
  • Free agent infielder Ryan Theriot would prefer to stay in the National League, unless he can obtain a starting job.
  • Earlier in the offseason the Astros inquired about Ian Desmond, who hasn’t convinced everyone with the Nationals that he’s their long-term solution at shortstop.
  • Some teams would play Gordon Beckham at short, according to Rosenthal. Beckham has only played second and third in three seasons at the MLB level.
  • The Angels aren’t ready to trade Bobby Abreu, who could be a fit for Detroit’s DH opening.

A’s Talking Gio Gonzalez, Andrew Bailey

3:02pm: Rival executives say the Nationals have the best chance at obtaining Gonzalez and some believe Danny Espinosa or Ian Desmond could be in play, according to Heyman.

2:44pm: The Red Sox are trying to get Gonzalez and Bailey in a "monster deal," tweets Rosenthal. The Rays are also in on Bailey and the Nationals are the team to beat on Gonzalez, Rosenthal reports.

2:20pm: The Red Sox are still discussing both Andrew Bailey and Gonzalez with the Athletics, tweets Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe. The Red Sox "obviously won't get both," Cafardo writes.

2:14pm: It looks like the Nationals and Red Sox are the finalists for Gonzalez, tweets Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com. Peter Gammons of MLB Network tweets that the Red Sox or Nationals will likely acquire Gonzalez today. Both Heyman and Gammons suggest the Nationals are the favorites to obtain the left-hander.

1:10pm: The A's are moving closer to a Gio Gonzalez trade, according to ESPN.com's Buster Olney (all links go to Twitter). The bidding is down to two teams, one of which is the Nationals. The Marlins and Red Sox may also be involved, but the Rangers are not. The Yankees and A's never built momentum toward a deal involving Gonzalez, Olney reports. The Mariners had discussed Gonzalez and it's not clear if they're involved in the current trade talks.

The Nationals are believed to be willing to include multiple top prospects for Gonzalez, according to Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com. Prospects such as Brad PeacockDestin HoodEury Perez and A.J. Cole could be available to the Athletics. Derek Norris is in the discussion, Olney writes.

Gonzalez is under team control through 2015 and has reached the 200-inning plateau in each of the past two seasons without posting an ERA above 3.23. However, no MLB pitcher has walked more opponents in the past two seasons than Gonzalez and he's about to get expensive through arbitration (projected 2012 salary of $4.2MM).

Nationals Targeting Denard Span

10:08am: The Twins are unhappy with the Nationals' offer, Rosenthal reports (on Twitter). Meanwhile, the Nationals are worried about Span's concussion.

FRIDAY, 9:23am: Talks between the Twins and Nationals are ongoing, according to Jon Paul Morosi and Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports. Span and Storen are at the center of discussions, with Roger Bernadina and others in play. The Nationals aren't talking exclusively to the Twins as they search for a center fielder, but Span appears to be high on their list of targets.

THURSDAY, 12:52pm: The Nationals are not willing to trade Storen for Span, reports MLB.com's Bill Ladson.

WEDNESDAY, 3:20pm: The Nationals continue to target Span, tweets Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports, and Storen may be in play.

MONDAY, 2:03pm: The Nationals have talked to the Twins about Span, reports Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports.  The Nationals are unwilling to trade Drew Storen or Tyler Clippard, though Rosenthal feels Ian Desmond could be of interest to the Twins.

1:30pm: Twins center fielder Denard Span is high on the Nationals' list of targets, reports Amanda Comak of the Washington Times.  Span would fit the team's desire for a controllable center fielder/leadoff hitter, assuming there are no ill effects from a concussion suffered in June.

Span, 27, is hitting .294/.361/.385 on the season in 255 plate appearances.  His center field defense has been a plus in recent years, according to UZR.  His team-friendly contract has less than $15MM remaining through 2014, plus a club option for '15.  It's not known whether the Twins consider Span expendable; Ben Revere has a .249/.287/.284 line filling in.  The asking price would surely be significant.

Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports first mentioned Span as a potential Nats target earlier this month, along with B.J. Upton, Michael Bourn, and Colby Rasmus.

Passan On Upton, Nationals, Melky, Francoeur

The latest on the trade market from Yahoo’s Jeff Passan

  • A number of MLB officials tell Passan that they consider the Nationals the favorites for B.J. Upton. However, a Rays official says there’s no favorite at this point (click here for the latest on Upton).
  • Nationals GM Mike Rizzo has told teams that pitching prospect Brad Peacock is not available.
  • Nationals executives and scouts have told others that Ian Desmond is available (despite reports that that Washington will hold onto its shortstop).
  • The Royals are leaning toward keeping Melky Cabrera in 2012, according to Passan. Cabrera, who is having an excellent season and remains under team control next year, might not fetch enough in a trade for GM Dayton Moore to pull the trigger.
  • The Royals are hoping to work out some kind of contract for next year with Jeff Francoeur. The sides have a 2012 mutual option for $4MM, but the Royals would likely have to offer more to lock Francoeur up for next season. They get the impression that the 27-year-old is interested in staying in Kansas City.