Ian Desmond Rumors

Nats Open To Extensions For Zimmermann, Desmond

The Nationals have agreed to 2013 contracts with six of their seven arbitration-eligible players. Jordan Zimmermann is the lone exception, and Adam Kilgore and James Warner of the Washington Post report that the Nationals are interested in multi-years deal for Zimmermann and teammate Ian Desmond. Desmond agreed to a $3.8MM salary last week, avoiding arbitration in his first year of eligibility.

Zimmermann, 26, filed for $5.8MM, and Washington countered with a $4.6MM offer. General manager Mike Rizzo said he's hopeful of avoiding an arbitration hearing with Zimmermann but will go to hearing if it's necessary. As a Super Two player, Zimmermann is eligible for arbitration for the second time this offseason. He earned $2.3MM this past season as a first-time eligible player.

Zimmermann pitched to a 2.94 ERA with a 7.0 K/9 and 2.0 BB/9 in 195 1/3 innings in 2012. Rizzo told Kilgore and Warner that he approached Zimmermann about an extension prior to the 2012 season, but there have been no negotiations since. Zimmermann is under team control through 2016.

Desmond, 27, enjoyed a breakout 2012 season in which he batted .292/.335/.511 with 25 home runs and 21 stolen bases. He, like Zimmermann, is under team control through the 2016 season. The Nationals approached Desmond about a long-term deal midseason but were told by the shortstop that he'd prefer to table discussions until the offseason.


Players Avoiding Arbitration: Friday

Dozens of players will agree to terms with their respective teams today and avoid arbitration. We'll have detailed posts on the top earners around MLB, and we'll track more modest agreements — those worth less than $4MM — right here. MLBTR's Arbitration Tracker will have all of the details.

Teams had until 12pm CDT today to exchange filing numbers with their arbitration eligible players. Generally speaking the deadline creates lots of discussion and leads to early deals. Plus, for ‘file and trial’ teams this marks the final chance for negotiations in advance of a hearing. Here are the latest agreements from around MLB…

  • The Padres announced that they have avoided arbitration with Edinson Volquez.  Terms of the deal were not disclosed.
  • The Red Sox announced that they avoided arbitration with Andrew Bailey ($4.1MM), Daniel Bard ($1.8625MM), Andrew Miller ($1.475MM), and Franklin Morales ($1.4875MM).  Terms courtesy of WEEI.com's Rob Bradford.
  • The Mets and Bobby Parnell avoided arb with a $1.7MM deal, Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com reports (on Twitter).
  • The Red Sox avoided arbitration with Alfredo Aceves, agreeing to a deal worth $2.65MM plus incentives, according to O'Connell Sports Management, Aceves' agency (on Twitter via Jon Heyman).
  • The Cubs avoided arbitration with James Russell and Jeff Samardzija, Jesse Rogers of ESPNChicago.com reports (on Twitter). Samardzija obtains $2.64MM while Russell gets $1.075MM, Bruce Levine of ESPNChicago.com reports (on Twitter).
  • The Diamondbacks announced that they avoided arbitration with Chris Johnson ($2.2875MM). The team also avoided arbitration with Brad Ziegler ($3.15MM), agreeing to a one-year deal, ESPN.com's Jayson Stark reports (on Twitter).  Terms courtesy of Nick Piecoro of the Arizona Republic (on Twitter).
  • The Nationals announced that they agreed to terms with Tyler Clippard, avoiding arbitration (via Amanda Comak on Twitter). The Nationals avoided arbitration with Ian Desmond, agreeing to a one-year, $3.8MM deal, Amanda Comak of the Washington Times reports (on Twitter). The Nationals also avoided arb with Roger Bernadina according to the outfielder's agent, James Wagner of the Washington Post reports (on Twitter). The Nationals and Ross Detwiler agreed to a one-year, $2.3375MM contract, according to CAA (via Twitter).
  • Brennan Boesch and Phil Coke avoided arbitration, agreeing to one-year deals with the Tigers, Jason Beck of MLB.com reports (on Twitter). Boesch will earn $2.3MM while Coke will earn $1.85MM. The Tigers also avoided arbitration with Alex Avila, agreeing to a one-year, $2.95MM deal, Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com reports (all Twitter links). Austin Jackson agreed to a deal worth $3.5MM for 2013, Heyman reports. Doug Fister obtained a one-year, $4MM deal from Detroit, Heyman reports.
  • The Dodgers and A.J. Ellis avoided arbitration, agreeing to a one-year, $2MM deal, Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com reports (on Twitter). Ronald Belisario agreed to a one-year, $1.45MM deal, MLB.com's Ken Gurnick reports (on Twitter).
  • The Mariners announced that they avoided arbitration with Kendrys Morales and Brendan Ryan on one-year agreements for 2013. Morales will obtain $5.25MM plus performance bonuses, Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com reports (on Twitter). Ryan obtained $3.25MM, Heyman reports (on Twitter).
  • The Rockies avoided arb with Tyler Colvin, agreeing to a one-year deal, the team announced (on Twitter). Colvin will earn $2.275MM, Troy Renck of the Denver Post writes (on Twitter).
  • The Braves avoided arbitration with Cristhian Martinez, agreeing to a one-year deal, MLB.com's Mark Bowman reports (on Twitter). The Braves avoided arb with Kris Medlen, David O'Brien of the Atlanta Journal Constitution reports (on Twitter). Medlen will earn $2.6MM in 2013. They also avoided arb with Jason Heyward, agreeing to a one-year, $3.65MM deal, Bowman reports (onTwitter). The Braves agreed with another young player, avoiding arb with Jonny Venters, O'Brien reports (on Twitter). It's a $1.625MM deal. Earlier today the Braves agreed to a one-year deal with Eric O'Flaherty, avoiding arbitration, Bowman reported (on Twitter). He'll earn $4.32MM plus awards bonuses, Bowman adds.
  • The Athletics announced they avoided arb with Jerry Blevins and Brandon Moss, agreeing to one-year deals for 2013.
  • The Cardinals avoided arb with Mitchell Boggs and Edward Mujica, B.J. Rains of FOX Sports MidWest reports (on Twitter).
  • The Indians announced that they avoided arb with Matt Albers and Justin Masterson. Albers will earn $1.75MM in 2013, MLB.com's Jordan Bastian reports (on Twitter). Masterson will earn $5.6875MM according to Bastian (on Twitter). The Indians and Joe Smith avoided arbitration with a one-year, $3.15MM deal, Bastian reported earlier today (on Twitter). The Indians also avoided arbitration with Lou Marson, Bastian reports (Twitter links). The catcher will earn $1MM on a one-year deal in 2013.
  • The Astros avoided arb with Wesley Wright, agreeing to a one-year deal, MLB.com's Brian McTaggart reports (on Twitter).  Wright will earn $1.025MM, according to Heyman (on Twitter). Earlier today the Astros and Bud Norris avoided arb with a one-year, $3MM deal, McTaggart reports (on Twitter). The Astros and Jed Lowrie avoided arbitration with a one-year, $2.4MM deal with awards bonuses, according to his representatives at CAA Baseball (on Twitter).
  • The White Sox announced that they avoided arbitration with Alejandro De Aza, agreeing to a $2.075MM deal for 2013. The White Sox also avoided arb with Gordon Beckham, agreeing to a one-year deal worth $2.925MM for 2013, MLBTR has learned.
  • The Orioles announced that they avoided arb with Chris Davis and Brian Matusz (Twitter link). Matusz gets a base salary of $1.6MM while Davis gets $3.3MM, Dan Connolly of the Baltimore Sun reports (Twitter links). The Orioles also avoided arbitration with Troy Patton. The sides agreed to a one-year, $815K deal, his agency, CAA Sports, announced on Twitter
  • The Brewers avoided arb with right-hander Marco Estrada and reliever Burke Badenhop, Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports (Twitter links). Estrada will earn $1.955MM while Badenhop will earn $1.55MM, Haudricourt reports.
  • The Rays avoided arbitration with Matthew Joyce and Ryan Roberts, Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times reports (on Twitter). Joyce will earn $2.45MM and Roberts will earn $2.95MM plus incentives, the Rays announced. The Rays also avoided arbitration with Sam Fuld, agreeing to a one-year, $725K deal, Topkin reported (on Twitter). Earlier today the Rays avoided arbitration with Jeff Niemann. The sides agreed to a one-year, $3MM deal, Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com reports (on Twitter).
  • The Royals announced that they avoided arbitration with Luke Hochevar, agreeing to a one-year deal for 2013. Hochevar will earn $4.56MM plus performance bonuses, Pete Grathoff of the Kansas City Star reports (on Twitter).
  • The Yankees avoided arb with Boone Logan, agreeing to a one-year, $3.15MM deal (via CAA Sports on Twitter).
  • The Padres avoided arb with John Baker, agreeing to a $930K deal (via CAA Sports on Twitter).
  • The Twins and Brian Duensing avoided arb with a $1.3MM deal for 2013 (via CAA Sports on Twitter).
  • The Marlins avoided arbitration with Ryan Webb, agreeing to a $975K deal, Clark Spencer of the Miami Herald reports (on Twitter).
  • The Blue Jays announced that they avoided arbitration with Emilio Bonifacio by agreeing to a one-year, $2.6MM deal. The Blue Jays also announced that they avoided arbitration with J.A. Happ, agreeing to a one-year, $3.7MM deal for 2013.
  • The Angels and Tommy Hanson avoided arbitration with a one-year, $3.725MM deal, Jeff Fletcher of the Orange County Register reports. 
  • The Giants avoided arb with Gregor Blanco, agreeing to a one-year, $1.35MM deal, Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com reports (on Twitter).
  • The Phillies announced that they avoided arbitration with Antonio Bastardo with a $1.4MM contract for 2013.
  • Gaby Sanchez and the Pirates have reached agreement on a one-year, $1.75MM deal plus bonuses to avoid arbitration, according to the Beverly Hills Sports Council (on Twitter).

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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).