Ivan Rodriguez Rumors
6:47pm: ESPN New York's Adam Rubin hears that it is "very unlikely" the Mets will add Rodriguez because they think Rob Johnson or Mike Nickeas will hit enough as Josh Thole's backup (all Twitter links). A second source said definitively: "We are not bringing Ivan here."
5:48pm: The Mets haven’t ruled out signing free agent catcher Ivan Rodriguez, Mike Puma of the New York Post tweets. However, they want to be sure Johan Santana is healthy before spending the $2MM or so remaining in their budget. If the left-hander gets injured, the Mets would allocate their remaining funds toward a starting pitcher.
A Mets official spoke with Rodriguez as recently as ten days ago, telling the veteran backstop to “stay in shape” in case anything happens. The 21-year veteran has fielded a few inquiries this offseason, including one from the Diamondbacks, but he says it’s been a tough market for veteran players such as himself. Rodriguez, 40, posted a .218/.281/.323 line in 137 plate appearances last year, preventing 13 of the 25 stolen base attempts against him.
Here's the latest from baseball's two West divisions...
- The Giants are not in the market for outfielders such as Johnny Damon, Hideki Matsui, and Bobby Abreu according to Hank Schulman of The San Francisco Chronicle (on Twitter). They feel the lineup is too lefty-heavy as it is, and defense is a concern as well.
- Ivan Rodriguez has fielded a few inquiries according to Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com (on Twitter), including one from the Diamondbacks. Pudge seeks a job with "real playing time," however.
- Angels manager Mike Scioscia told MLB.com that he believes he can find regular playing time for Abreu, and that the veteran hitter won't be a distraction after saying he wanted to be traded.
- The Dodgers have signed left-hander Brent Leach, reports Kevin Goldstein of Baseball Prospectus (on Twitter). The 29-year-old reliever appeared in 38 games for the Dodgers in 2009 (5.75 ERA), but spent last season in Japan.
The city of Montreal will pay tribute to former Expos great Gary Carter by naming a street or other public place in his honor, reports Linda Gyulai of the Montreal Gazette. City officials will consult with the Carter family to find an "appropriate" location to bear the Hall of Famer catcher's name. Carter passed away last Thursday after a lengthy battle with brain cancer.
Some news from around the majors....
- Jim Callis of Baseball America breaks down how much each team will have to spend in the first 10 rounds of the 2012 draft. The Twins top the list, able to spend as much as $12.37MM to sign their 13 picks over the initial 10 rounds, while the Angels ($1.645MM) have the least to spend on their eight picks over the same stretch.
- The draft pool totals will shift if Derrek Lee -- the last free agent with compensation attached to him -- signs a Major League deal with a new team. As Callis notes, however, it's pretty unlikely that Lee will find such a deal at this point.
- The Pirates and Phillies both passed on signing Dmitri Young after working him out in Florida this months, reports MLB.com's Matthew Leach. Even if Young's baseball comeback falls short, he says the real victory is his improved health, having lost over 70 pounds.
- Jair Jurrjens and Martin Prado are both pleased to still be Braves after a long winter of trade rumors surrounding both men, reports MLB.com's Mark Bowman.
- Ivan Rodriguez isn't prepared to retire and is keeping in shape for a possible job this season, he tells the Associated Press. "It has been a tough market for veterans," Rodriguez said. "There are a lot of guys who have won championships and have playoff experience to offer teams with no jobs. It's hard to believe.''
Here's the latest from South Beach...
- Once Albert Pujols was off the market, the Marlins told Gaby Sanchez and his agent that rumors about Miami pursuing Prince Fielder were false and that the club wasn't looking for another first baseman, reports MLB.com's Joe Frisaro. Sanchez said he wasn't offended that the Marlins were pursuing Pujols: "He's proven what he can do for 10 straight years. I still have so much time to go."
- Anibal Sanchez told reporters (including MLB.com's David Villavicencio) says the Marlins haven't approached him about a contract extension but he'd be open to signing such a deal. MLBTR's Ben Nicholson-Smith recently examined Sanchez as an extension candidate.
- Sanchez also didn't mind his recent arbitration hearing with the Marlins, where he won his case and earned an $8MM salary for 2012. "I think everybody thought they were going to say a lot of things that were bad about me. But I didn't think they said anything bad or that I didn't know. It's part of the business," Sanchez said.
- Jose Reyes understands that the Mets didn't have the finances to re-sign him, but he wished his former team would've at least made some kind of offer, reports Dan Martin of the New York Post.
- The Marlins offered Yoenis Cespedes a six-year, $36MM contract, reports Frisaro. The team wanted a six-year deal since they felt Cespedes would need minor league seasoning and didn't want to pay him a large salary if he'd be spending time in the minors. Cespedes instead agreed to sign with the A's for $36MM over four years.
- With Cespedes gone, Frisaro says the Fish aren't expected to add any more players before Spring Training, though they could look for veteran starting pitching later in camp. The Marlins aren't interested in Ivan Rodriguez for the backup catching job.
The two biggest free agent contracts handed out by NL East teams this offseason went to Jose Reyes and Mark Buehrle of the Marlins. They signed deals worth $106MM and $58MM, respectively, in December. Here are the latest links from the division...
- Bob Nightengale of USA Today previews the 2012-13 free agent market and explains that Cole Hamels and B.J. Upton project as two of the top available players. Nightengale suggests Johan Santana’s $137.5MM contract could be a target for Hamels, who has had some talks with the Phillies about a long-term extension. The Phillies aren’t expected to offer the left-hander more than five years, Nightengale writes.
- Now that the Marlins have officially missed out on Yoenis Cespedes, Joe Frisaro of MLB.com examines the team's center field options. Emilio Bonifacio figures to start in center with Aaron Rowand, Chris Coghlan and other players in the mix for reserve roles.
- Frisaro doubts the Marlins will make a last-minute push for Ivan Rodriguez.
- Danny Knobler of CBSSports.com suggests Braves right-hander Jair Jurrjens could draw trade interest this spring if he appears to be healthy.
The latest links from the NL East...
- Though Alex Cora announced his retirement from winter ball, he intends to play in the Major Leagues this year. He has drawn interest as a coach and infielder, Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com tweets. According to the Puerto Rican paper El Nuevo Dia, Cora says he'd still like to play in the majors for another year, even though he hasn’t seen official offers yet (translation by Nick Collias).
- Ivan Rodriguez, who caught for the Nationals last year but hasn’t signed with a new team yet, tells Amanda Comak of the Washington Times that it’s tough not having a job. “At the same time, what you going to do?” Rodriguez said. “You really cannot do anything. The only thing I can tell you is that I'm in good shape.”
- The Phillies are bottom fishing for infielders, Heyman tweets. ESPN.com’s Buster Olney tweets that the Phillies could look for someone with a little more power than Wilson Valdez -- perhaps Ryan Theriot.
- The Mets don’t expect to re-sign Jason Isringhausen, though they haven’t ruled anything out, Dan Martin of the New York Post reports.
Friday night links..
- The Giants and the agent for Tim Lincecum have made significant progress since exchanging arbitration figures and both sides are confident that a resolution can be reached before a hearing would be scheduled, writes Andrew Baggarly of the Mercury News.
- The Reds could look to land an infielder via trade, writes MLB.com's Mark Sheldon.
- It appears that talks between the Rockies and Red Sox regarding Marco Scutaro are dormant, but Rob Bradford of WEEI.com writes that Boston's possible motivation for a move involving Scutaro would be to free up payroll. The club has reportedly expressed interest in White Sox starter Gavin Floyd and free agent outfielder Cody Ross, but neither move could be made unless a trade was made to offer budgetary relief according to a source.
- The Royals and Alex Gordon aren't particularly close on a deal but talks remain cordial and both sides want to get something done, tweets Bob Dutton of the Kansas City Star.
- Left-hander Jeff Francis is starting to attract more interest from teams in the market for a starting pitcher including the Mariners, Reds, Blue Jays, and Mets, according to Jerry Crasnick of ESPN.com (Twitter links)
- Jesus Montero has dealt with his visa issue and is scheduled to travel from Florida to Seattle today for his Mariners physical, tweets Ken Davidoff of Newsday.
- Braves GM Frank Wren doesn't believe that his club has a major personnel need, writes Mark Bradley of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Wren also believes that this year's bullpen figures to be even deeper that last year's.
- Joe Capozzi of The Palm Beach Post (via Twitter) is told that the Marlins have no interest in bringing Ivan Rodriguez back.
Most of the current chatter surrounding the Nationals focuses on a certain free agent first baseman, but as Amanda Comak of the Washington Times explains, the team also seeks bench and bullpen help. Here are the details:
- The Nationals haven’t ruled out bringing Rick Ankiel back, partly because they like his defense and influence in the clubhouse.
- We shouldn’t expect the Nationals to re-sign Ivan Rodriguez or Livan Hernandez, Comak writes. The door has been ‘closed’ on Hernandez, as the team no longer has room on its roster or openings in its rotation.
- There's a 50-50 chance free agent reliever Todd Coffey returns to the Nationals, tweets MLB.com's Bill Ladson. Ladson says the Brewers still have interest in Coffey, who has also drawn interest from the Angels and Mets.
The latest links from around MLB on a big day for the Nationals...
- The Astros may not keep Humberto Quintero and Ivan Rodriguez is a possibility in Houston, Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com tweets. The Astros avoided arbitration with Quintero last week, signing him to a one-year deal worth $1MM.
- Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports suggests agent Scott Boras is “gunning for” an average salary of $25.5MM for Prince Fielder (Twitter link). A contract that generous would surpass Albert Pujols’ average salary of $25.4MM.
- Alex Speier of WEEI.com takes a detailed look ahead to the candidates to make Boston's 2012 rotation. Josh Beckett, Jon Lester and Clay Buchholz are the only ones who are guaranteed starting jobs for the Red Sox at this point.
- The Giants are talking to Boof Bonser about a possible minor league deal, according to Henry Schulman of the San Francisco Chronicle (on Twitter). Bonser is recovering from Tommy John surgery.
Some links as Tuesday turns into Wednesday...
- The Red Sox have not yet made catcher and captain Jason Varitek a contract offer, reports Rob Bradford of WEEI.com. Boston added Kelly Shoppach to Jarrod Saltalamacchia and Ryan Lavarnway on Tuesday, a move that likely spelled the end of Varitek's time with the Sox.
- There are clubs with interest in trading for both Gio Gonzalez and Andrew Bailey and others with interest in both Jair Jurrjens and Martin Prado, but Ken Rosenthal and Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports says the Athletics and Braves are likely to deal their players separately to maximize the return. Rosenthal and Morosi note that the Braves and Orioles have discussed a deal that included both Jurrjens and Prado.
- Interest in free agent closer Francisco Cordero has slowed down, reports Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports (on Twitter). His market could hinge on how clubs fill their other roster holes.
- The Pirates still have interest in first baseman Derrek Lee even after trading for Casey McGehee, reports CBSSports.com's Jon Heyman (on Twitter). Bringing Lee back at first base would allow them to use McGehee at the hot corner with Pedro Alvarez.
- Heyman hears that the Angels put a deadline on their ten-year, $254MM offer to Albert Pujols (Twitter link). The deal did seem to come together very quickly Wednesday night into Thursday morning last week.
- The Rockies do have some money to spend according to Heyman (on Twitter). In addition to Carlos Beltran and Michael Cuddyer, they also have interest in Hiroki Kuroda, Joe Saunders, and various trade targets.
- Morosi says (on Twitter) that Andruw Jones could also be an option for the Rockies if Beltran and Cuddyer sign elsewhere.
- The Cardinals' interest in pitching upgrades is "understated," reports Joe Strauss of The St. Louis Post-Dispatch (on Twitter). Both Kyle Lohse and Jake Westbrook remain on the trade block.
- The Yokohama Bay Stars have released right-hander Hiroki Sanada so that he may pursue a deal in MLB according to a report passed along by Patrick Newman of NPB Tracker. No teams bid on Sanada when he was posted last week.
- The Astros and Rays are possibilities for Ivan Rodriguez, according to Heyman (on Twitter). Though the Mets have discussed Rodriguez, they’re leaning toward relying on Mike Nickeas as their backup to starter Josh Thole.
- MLBPA executive director Michael Weiner says the Joint Drug Agreement should provide Ryan Braun with privacy and fair proceedings. “I urge all to reserve judgment on this matter until the JDA's process has played itself out," Weiner said in a statement.