Ian Desmond Rumors
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.
The Nationals are "actively shopping" shortstop Ian Desmond, with the Giants and Red Sox among the suitors, according to Yahoo's Jeff Passan (Twitter link). However, Adam Kilgore of the Washington Post tweets that he's hearing the exact opposite about Desmond's availability. Kilgore wrote yesterday that the Nats have received several calls about Desmond, but the team views him as a core player and is reclutant to move him.
Whether or not the Nationals are actively looking to trade the 25-year-old, it seems unlikely he'll be dealt in the next week, writes MLB.com's Bill Ladson. Ladson's source says GM Mike Rizzo is a fan of Desmond and that if he "puts it all together in one season for another team, [the Nats] would look foolish."
In a second tweet, Passan says the minor league performance of Stephen Lombardozzi, who Rizzo loves, is one reason Desmond could be available. The 22-year-old has hit .322/.372/.461 in 437 plate appearances this year in Double-A and Triple-A. Desmond, meanwhile, has played well defensively for the Nats, but has seen his OPS slip to .589, down over 100 points from 2010.
Michael Morse could be "the biggest bargain in baseball," writes Thomas Boswell of the Washington Post. Morse, earning just $1.05MM this season, is hitting .311/.360/.552 for the Nats and is under team control through 2013. Boswell warns that it could be too early for Washington to explore a multiyear deal with Morse, however, given that Jayson Werth "could be the next overvalued Vernon Wells" in terms of an albatross contract and Morse is still somewhat unproven.
Some more Nats notes, courtesy of another Washington Post writer, Adam Kilgore...
- Ian Desmond has drawn interest from several teams but the shortstop is considered one of the Nats' core players and GM Mike Rizzo has stated the club isn't moving any of those pieces.
- Jason Marquis and Livan Hernandez are getting the most trade interest of any of Washington's starters, though the club isn't "actively shopping" either hurler. Kilgore hears from one Major League executive that the Nats' "perception of [Marquis'] value exceeded that of the league’s" and thus Marquis wouldn't be dealt.
- Ryan Zimmerman, who has known B.J. Upton since childhood, endorsed the idea of Upton coming to Washington. "I mean, I like the team we have here,” Zimmerman said. “Anytime you had talented players to your team, it gives you a better chance to win. That’s the ultimate goal. If he’s going to help us win, I’d love to have him on our team.” The Nationals have been interested in Upton for a while, but Kilgore notes that the team is looking for a long-term answer in center field and Upton is only under contract through 2012.
The Nationals are listening on top relievers Drew Storen and Tyler Clippard, reports Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports, but such a trade would have to fill a specific long-term need such as center field. Teams are calling on Storen, Clippard, and Todd Coffey.
Potential center field targets for Washington include B.J. Upton, Michael Bourn, Colby Rasmus, and Denard Span, writes Rosenthal. He believes that a reliever alone probably would not bring back a center fielder, but the Nats could also trade shortstop Ian Desmond since some club officials would like to move Danny Espinosa to shortstop.
Storen is under team control through 2016, Clippard and Desmond through '15. Desmond would be an interesting name for teams seeking shortstop help, though he's limped to a .226/.269/.311 line in 361 plate appearances this year.
The Nationals also have starting pitching to spare, as ESPN's Jerry Crasnick tweets that they will move Jason Marquis, Livan Hernandez, and Tom Gorzelanny. Gorzelanny is a bit of a surprise, as he's got strong strikeout and walk rates and is under team control through 2013.
Baseball lost one of its all-time greats tonight; Bob Feller passed away at 92. Rapid Robert won 266 games in his career, every single one of them with the Cleveland Indians. He probably would have cleared the 300 win plateau if he hadn't served in World War II from ages 23-25. Our condolences go out to the Hall of Famer's family...
- Baseball America's Matt Eddy posted this week's edition of minor league transactions. Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports adds (via Twitter) that the Twins have signed infielder Mike Hollimon to a minor league deal. He missed all of 2010 recovering from shoulder surgery.
- SI.com's Jon Heyman says (via Twitter) that Derrek Lee is telling teams he'd consider a one-year deal. At least six teams are interested in the free agent first baseman.
- Carlos Zambrano has not yet given the Cubs his consent to trade him, reports MLB.com's Carrie Muskat. The right-hander has a full no-trade clause.
- MLB.com's Bill Ladson looks at the impact the Jayson Werth signing will have on 2010 first overall pick (and right fielder) Bryce Harper. The Nationals plan to play Werth in center at least part of the time going forward.
- ESPN New York's Adam Rubin provides the contract details for D.J. Carrasco, Ronny Paulino, and Boof Bonser, while Dan Connolly of The Baltimore Sun does the same for Koji Uehara.
- Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports spoke to Phillies' general partner, president, and CEO David Montgomery about a variety of topics, including the Lee signing.
- Agent Scott Boras said Werth has a full no-trade clause, according to Adam Kilgore of the Washington Post (Twitter link).
- Not surprisingly, Mariners GM Jack Zduriencik has no interest in trading Felix Hernandez, according to Jon Heyman of SI.com (Twitter link).
- Nationals shortstop Ian Desmond has heard the trade rumors, but wants to stay in Washington, according to MLB.com's Bill Ladson.
- Josh Hamilton told Richard Durrett of ESPNDallas.com that he hasn't thought much about a contract extension.
- MLB's minimum salary will rise to $414K next year, according to the AP (on ESPN.com).
- The A's acquired Jose Rivero, a 20-year-old outfielder selected by the D'Backs in this year's Rule 5 draft, according to Matt Eddy of Baseball America (on Twitter).
The Nationals are "aggressively pursuing" a trade for Matt Garza or Zack Greinke, according to Adam Kilgore of the Washington Post. However, Kilgore’s source doesn’t expect Washington to trade for either pitcher. Earlier today, ESPN.com's Jerry Crasnick reported that Royals GM Dayton Moore is actively gauging the market for Greinke.
The Rays and Royals could have interest in Ian Desmond and Jordan Zimmermann, but the Nationals are not likely to move either player. However, Kilgore hears that the team would move Danny Espinosa “in a heartbeat.” Roger Bernadina would be available and it’s possible that the Nationals would consider trading Drew Storen or Sean Burnett, according to Kilgore.
12:22pm: A Dodgers source tells Yahoo's Steve Henson Loney will not be traded because he'd be too expensive to replace on the open market (Twitter link). Rosenthal now agrees that Loney will not be traded.
11:39am: The Nationals, Cubs, and Brewers have inquired on Dodgers first baseman James Loney, reports Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports. Loney is available, says Rosenthal. Rosenthal notes that the Brewers would only want him in the unlikely event of a Prince Fielder trade. The Cubs and Nationals appear to be focused on Carlos Pena, says Rosenthal.
Loney was tendered a contract on December 2nd, so he'll earn $4.5-5MM in 2011 after a disappointing '10 season. The Dodgers' asking price doesn't appear to be reasonable, as MLB.com's Bill Ladson tweets that they wanted Ian Desmond and Jordan Zimmermann from Washington.
Ian Desmond is drawing strong trade interest, according to Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports. The Nationals want starters and, other than Cliff Lee and Carl Pavano, the free agent pitching class has thinned out considerably. The free agent shortstop class is similarly weak, so Desmond is in demand.
Washington isn’t looking to trade Desmond, but they could part with him for a young pitcher with comparable service time, Rosenthal says. The 25-year-old batted .269/.308/.392 in 2010, his first full season. With just over one year of service time to his name, Desmond is still five years away from free agency.
The Nationals are going to pursue top players aggressively this offseason and they may be a sleeper team in the Cliff Lee sweepstakes, according to ESPN.com’s Jerry Crasnick. They are looking for an elite starter and Lee will be available to them within a few days.
"They're going to step up and try to get a top free agent,'' a baseball insider told Crasnick. "They'd like to make a splash.''
If Lee signs with the Yankees, the Rangers or someone else, the Nationals will consider trading for James Shields, Matt Garza or another potentially available starter. The Nationals have no interest in including Ian Desmond and Danny Espinosa in potential trades, according to Crasnick.
Links for Sunday....
- More from Rosenthal, as he tweets that the Padres are not looking to move Tim Stauffer despite there being several teams interested in the pitcher. Stauffer has been rumored to be on the trade block as he is out of options.
- FOX Sports' Ken Rosenthal reports (via Twitter) that the Twins will use a closer-by-committee approach to start the season, which presumably means no trades are imminent.
- Dave Dombrowski denies that the Tigers are looking for a second base upgrade, writes MLB.com's Jason Beck. ESPN.com's Jayson Stark had reported that Detroit could be in the market for a second baseman, given Scott Sizemore's up-and-down spring, but Dombrowski says the club's lineup is set. The GM also mentions that "a lot of clubs have been calling" about the Tigers' pitching.
- Ian Desmond has been named the Nationals' starting shortstop, according to the team's Twitter page. The rookie beat out Cristian Guzman, who will now earn $8MM this season as a utilityman. Guzman, for his part, will not ask for a trade, tweets MLB.com's Bill Ladson.
- The Rockies had interest in Chad Gaudin last year, but don't think they have a spot for him anymore, tweets Tracy Ringolsby of FOX Sports.
- Mike Lowell is maintaining a realistic outlook on his current situation, writes Gordon Edes of ESPNBoston. Edes adds in a tweet that Lowell took grounders at third base this morning, a good sign for the health of his knee.
- Adam Kilgore of the Washington Post explains the decision facing the Nationals regarding Scott Olsen. The Nats are evaluating whether or not Olsen belongs in their rotation, and will owe him his full 2010 base salary ($1MM) if he's with the team past March 31.