Ian Kinsler Rumors
- Richard Durrett of ESPN Dallas takes a look at what the Rangers could do with their roster once Ian Kinsler returns from the disabled list tomorrow.
- Reds' GM Walt Jocketty said that the team doesn't have a timetable for Aroldis Chapman's arrival in the Majors, says John Fay of The Cincinnati Enquirer.
- Dejan Kovacevic of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette wonders why the Pirates didn't retain Matt Capps in hopes that he'd rebuild value. Capps is generating attention as MLB's saves (and save opportunity) leader. The righty told Gordon Wittenmyer of the Chicago Sun-Times it was a pretty close competition between the Cubs and Nationals for his services, once he was non-tendered.
- Yahoo's Tim Brown profiles Shin-Soo Choo, who his agent Scott Boras feels "has a chance to be the best Pacific Rim player ever over the course of his career."
- SI's Ann Killion writes about Barry Zito's apparent redemption. Zito is rocking a 1.32 ERA, an improved groundball rate, and an unsustainable .203 batting average on balls in play through four starts. If Zito can continue to keep the walks down, he could have his best year as a Giant. Of course, he flashed a similar walk rate in July and August of last year.
- Matt Kemp's agent Dave Stewart discussed Ned Colletti's recent comments on ESPN's Mason & Ireland show, saying the public criticism "should never have happened."
- Geoff Baker of the Seattle Times notes that the Mariners made the right call in not signing Jarrod Washburn.
- Baseball Prospectus' Kevin Goldstein does a mock draft of the first ten picks this year.
- Mark Zuckerman talked to a high-ranking Nationals official who finds Goldstein's criticism of Bryce Harper's makeup "way overblown." Meanwhile, Byron Kerr of MASNSports.com spoke to Harper's college coach about those same makeup concerns.
Miles could fill in for the injured Ian Kinsler, though he'd be unlikely to approach anything like Kinsler's production.
For instance, Miles has 16 career home runs in 2,423 plate appearances. Kinsler hit 31 home runs in the 2009 season alone.
Sullivan says that Miles would likely begin at Triple-A.
A few links to start the morning off...
- Sam Mellinger of the Kansas City Star says the draft picks who ask for big bonuses aren't always the bad guys.
- The biggest bonus so far belongs to Tony Sanchez of the Pirates ($2.5MM). Check out our updated list of first rounders to sign.
- Mark Feinsand of the New York Daily News reports that Xavier Nady suffered a setback during his rehab assignment.
- Nick Piecoro of the Arizona Republic shows how the D'Backs missed out on Ian Kinsler even though they drafted him twice.
- Dejan Kovacevic of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette suggests we shouldn't expect Ian Snell to be dealt soon.
- SI.com's Tim Marchman calls Willy Taveras and Edgar Renteria this year's biggest free agent busts.
- Joel Sherman of the New York Post hears that the Red Sox are hesitant to deal a starter, since Tim Wakefield and John Smoltz are the only two starters over 40 in the AL.
- Definitely not a trade rumor, but WEEI.com's Rob Bradford reports that Smoltz received 71 text messages after his start last night.
Here's a look at the latest from Ken Rosenthal.
- John Lackey is due up for extension talks with the Angels, as he'll be eligible for free agency after the '09 season. He'd easily be the best available starter. Rosenthal says talks with the Angels should occur before the beginning of the season, but the Halos may not be willing to offer A.J. Burnett money (five years, $82.5MM). In November, Jayson Stark said Lackey had been telling friends he expects to have an extension by Opening Day. That came after Lackey's confirmation he'd wait to see the Angels' offensive plans before re-signing.
- The Braves paid $60MM for Derek Lowe, though no one else made a comparable offer. This is a testament to Scott Boras (and perhaps the Braves' desperation), though Boras has more challenging work ahead in Manny Ramirez and Jason Varitek.
- The Red Sox have shown interest in Adam Dunn, one rival exec tells Rosenthal. Rosenthal considers the possibility a longshot - "a square peg in a round hole." The Sox could always make a midseason deal if their offense isn't cutting it.
- A Rangers official put Michael Young's chances of being with the team on Opening Day at at least 90%. The Rangers aren't interested in moving Ian Kinsler to left field and Young to second base.
- Rosenthal believes Xavier Nady is likely to garner Type A status when he becomes a free agent after the '09 season, but half of the equation (his 2009 stats) is missing.
- Jason Isringhausen is considering four teams, and he'd have a shot to close for those clubs. The Dodgers aren't terribly interested, while the Cardinals and Tigers are possibilities.
- Should the Mets sign Andy Pettitte as well as Randy Wolf or Oliver Perez? One rival exec suggested the idea.
- The Astros apparently made a three-year, $28.5MM offer to Wolf before pulling it back. Looks like he'll be settling for less.
- Rosenthal says a Rangers trade for Jermaine Dye is "not happening." They'll go with Hank Blalock's left-handed offense rather than sign an aging veteran. Blalock is headed into a contract year.
- If Todd Helton has a healthy spring, the Rockies could shop Garrett Atkins.
- The Red Sox and D'Backs are not close to a deal involving catcher Miguel Montero. Arizona will need to add a capable backup catcher if they do find a deal for Montero.
TUESDAY, 12:52am:ESPN's Jerry Crasnick pegs it at five years, $22MM plus a sixth year option at $10MM. Crasnick says it buys out one year of free agency and the option would be another. The '08 season is included in the extension.
MONDAY, 9:33pm:Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News reports that second baseman Ian Kinsler is close to a five-year deal worth $20MM. There may also be a sixth-year option worth $10MM or more.
Grant doesn't say whether the deal would include the upcoming season; Kinsler recently received a near-minimum deal for '08. If not, the new contract would buy out two years of free agency with an option for a third.
Kinsler, 25, has a career line of .274/.351/.447 in 250 games. The average AL second baseman hit .284/.339/.416 last year. Kinsler's probably not among the top ten defensively at his position, if you go by the Fielding Bible awards.
2:17pm:The Rangers signed Kinsler for near the minimum for '08, which doesn't really affect the long-term discussions.
10:40am:According to Anthony Andro of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, the Rangers have made little progress on a long-term deal with second baseman Ian Kinsler. Jon Daniels was positive about it, however.
Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News does see progress - he spoke to Kinsler and learned that talks for a five-year pact are ongoing. A sixth-year option could be included as well.
Kinsler has two years of service time, so a five-year deal would buy out one year of free agency. Grant believes a five-year deal for Kinsler would be for less than the $30MM Robinson Cano received. Kinsler, 25, has a career line of .274/.351/.447 in 250 games. The average AL second baseman hit .284/.339/.416 last year. Kinsler's probably not among the top ten defensively at his position, if you go by the Fielding Bible awards.
Here's the latest hot stove buzz surrounding the Rangers.
- The team will try again to lock up second baseman Ian Kinsler long-term. It would be a five-year deal, buying out one year of free agency. Kinsler had an inconsistent 2007. He hit .298/.375/.667 with 9 HR in April and .256/.351/.393 thereafter. Nice to see him draw 62 walks though.
- Jon Daniels has had several teams ask him about Gerald Laird and Hank Blalock. He's not likely to sell low on Blalock. But Laird is getting more costly and the Rangers want to use Jarrod Saltalamacchia full-time behind the plate. He's only 28 - young in catcher years - and has a cannon for an arm. And while he didn't hit much in '07, he's shown flashes of potential. The Red Sox have checked in on him.
- Daniels admitted publicly admitted that he's open to trading Vicente Padilla. Might as well not hide it. This could be a fine buy-low opportunity for some team, if they can keep his attitude in check. The Cubs had interest last summer but don't figure to re-open the discussion.
- The Rangers will look at Japanese options in Kosuke Fukudome and Hiroki Kuroda. They also like Mike Lamb and Ben Broussard. Those all seem like reasonable signings.
With Michael Young nearly locked up long-term, the Rangers are now trying to lock up his double-play partner Ian Kinsler. Kinsler would be arbitration-eligible after the '08 season. It's a Ranger tradition, the multiyear contract to avoid arbitration.
The outlook is good for Kinsler entering his age 25 season. He hit .286/.347/.454 as a rookie in 120 games. He spent a quarter of the season on the DL with a dislocated thumb but is ready to go this spring. The Rangers will bat him second, ninth, and occasionally leadoff. Kinsler's PECOTA calls for a jump to .285/.345/.475 this year.