Ivan Rodriguez Rumors
Let's round up a few Winter Meetings leftovers...
- C.J. Wilson was a little disappointed the Rangers didn't try to make more of an effort to re-sign him, writes Richard Durrett of ESPN.com. The Yankees also passed on a final opportunity to get involved on Wilson, tweets Bob Klapisch of the Bergen Record.
- Gregor Chisholm of MLB.com has a rundown of comments made this morning by Blue Jays GM Alex Anthopoulos on Kelly Johnson, Yu Darvish, and potential areas of need.
- John Manuel of Baseball America shares some thoughts and quotes relating to this morning's Rule 5 draft.
- The Nationals didn't make any major moves at the Winter Meetings, but GM Mike Rizzo says they're still "open for business," as MLB.com's Bill Ladson writes.
- Geoff Baker of the Seattle Times says the Angels' signing of Albert Pujols is a wake-up call for the Mariners. Several Cardinals players were surprised by Pujols' decision, according to MLB.com's Matthew Leach. For more reactions and fallout on Pujols, click here.
- The Rays and Mets could be among the suitors for Ivan Rodriguez, who is working out in Miami, tweets Jon Heyman of MLB Network.
- The Rockies are expected to sign Mike Ekstrom to a minor league deal, tweets Troy Renck of the Denver Post.
- Yahoo's Jeff Passan thinks the Angels and Marlins might regret spending so aggressively this offseason.
Agent Scott Boras held court in Dallas tonight, providing updates on his many free agent clients and entertaining reporters with quips along the way. Here are the details:
- Boras made it clear that Prince Fielder has drawn lots of interest this offseason. The agent explained that Fielder compares favorably to all-time greats such as Jimmie Foxx and suggested teams will look to lock Fielder up for as long as possible if they recognize his potential as someone who can produce at the plate for the better part of a decade while boosting TV ratings and attendance (Boras' arguments, not mine). He played down concerns about Fielder's body, suggested he's just entering his prime and argued that comparable free agent power hitters won't be available any time soon.
- Fielder doesn't have any geographical preference as to where he signs, tweets Richard Griffin of the Toronto Star. Boras quipped that the distance from home plate to the outfield fence is the only geography concerning Fielder. For more on Fielder, click here.
- Generally speaking, Boras explained that Seattle and Milwaukee are desirable places to play because they have the potential to draw substantial crowds. He also said "the city [of Los Angeles] is waiting for the return of the Dodgers" and praised the Dodgers as a storied franchise in American sports.
- Johnny Damon played "very well" in 2011, according to Boras. He joked that 38-year-old is in line for a five-year deal, though a one-year contract is probable in reality. Boras half-jokingly suggested the Rays "have lots of money" despite their perennially low payrolls.
- Carlos Pena will likely have multiyear offers, Boras said.
- Asked if Kyle Lohse could waive his no-trade clause, Boras replied that he thinks Lohse is happy in St. Louis, tweets B.J. Rains of Fox Sports Midwest.
- The market for Ivan Rodriguez is narrowing, tweets Amanda Comak of the Washington Times. The Nationals aren't in on Pudge, tweets Adam Kilgore of the Washington Post.
- The Nats have some interest in bringing back Rick Ankiel, tweets Comak.
- Boras expects Daisuke Matsuzaka to be healthy and return "sometime this summer," tweets Brian MacPherson of the Providence Journal.
- J.D. Drew is undecided on whether he'll play in 2012. It would have to be the right situation.
- Andruw Jones would've liked more playing time in 2011, but understands he won't be a full-time player, tweets MLB.com's Bryan Hoch. A deal with the Yankees is likely in the coming weeks, tweets Mark Feinsand of the New York Daily News.
- The Braves haven't progressed toward an extension for Michael Bourn, tweets Stephen Goff of Examiner.com.
MLBTR's Luke Adams co-wrote this post.
- Keith Law of ESPN.com previews the free agent market for outfielders. Law likes Carlos Beltran, isn't optimistic about Michael Cuddyer and suggests avoiding Raul Ibanez, Rick Ankiel and Ryan Ludwick.
- Though the Yankees have reached out to many agents, including Mark Buehrle’s representative, GM Brian Cashman says they have yet to make formal offers, according to Mark Feinsand of the New York Daily News (on Twitter).
- Dave Cameron of U.S.S. Mariner outlines his offseason plan for the Mariners, assuming Seattle doesn't trade for Reds first baseman Joey Votto.
- Agent Scott Boras says a lot of teams have inquired on free agent catcher Ivan Rodriguez, according to Adam Kilgore of the Washington Post.
- Rick Ankiel, another free agent Boras client, is still developing as a Major Leaguer, according to the agent. “We have not seen his best years," Boras said. "It’s certainly clear the Nats liked what they saw. It’s just pretty hard to find guys who can play center field, who have that arm strength and who can hit for power.”
Nationals GM Mike Rizzo told reporters on a conference call that the team will make an announcement about its 2012 manager within a few days. The team has conducted a series of interviews and will presumably announce that Davey Johnson will return to the bench next year. Here are more notes from Rizzo's conference call with:
- The Nationals are indeed expected to make Johnson their manager, according to MLB.com's Bill Ladson.
- The team is corresponding with the representatives for right-hander Chien-Ming Wang, but the sides aren't close to a deal, according to Ladson (on Twitter). They discussed a contract extension earlier in October.
- The Nationals haven't spoken to free agents Ivan Rodriguez or Livan Hernandez since early in the offseason, according to Ben Goessling of MASNsports.com.
- Washington would lose its 16th overall pick for signing a Type A free agent and that's something that Rizzo will factor into the team's decision-making process this offseason.
- Rizzo has not seen Yu Darvish in person in the last two years, according to Goessling. However, the Nationals have scouted the right-hander and it sounds as though they’re open to bidding on him if he’s posted.
- Darvish is on Washington's radar and Nationals scouts have seen him pitch in person at least nine times, Adam Kilgore of the Washington Post reported earlier this month.
A few items about the D.C. nine....
- John Lannan could be a valuable trade chip for the Nats this winter, writes Ben Goessling of MASNsports.com. Lannan will go into the arbitration process for the second time and could possibly double his $2.75MM salary from 2011. It's not like the club couldn't afford paying Lannan a $5.5MM salary, but Goessling speculates that the Nationals could address other needs by dealing Lannan and then signing C.J. Wilson as an even better left-hander for the rotation.
- Also from Goessling, he wonders how the Nats' season would have played out if the team had kept Josh Willingham.
- MLB.com's Bill Ladson looks at Washington's roster and predicts what each player's role on the 2012 team will be. Roger Bernadina, Ross Detwiler, Jesus Flores, Chris Marrero and Drew Storen are all listed as "possible trade chips" and Ladson thinks Ivan Rodriguez and Livan Hernandez (among others) are "all but gone."
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Links from the NL East, as the Mets and Braves start the first of two games at Citi Field...
- There is a sense that Marlins owner Jeffrey Loria and president David Samson will be taking on bigger roles in making player personnel decisions, according to ESPN.com’s Buster Olney (on Twitter). That would mean less autonomy for president of baseball operations Larry Beinfest and general manager Michael Hill, who are nominally in charge of baseball moves.
- Ivan Rodriguez will be a backup catcher for the Nationals for the rest of the season, but he says he'd like to play four more years in the Major Leagues, according to MLB.com's Bill Ladson.
- Mets first baseman Ike Davis told ESPNNewYork’s Adam Rubin that he won’t have surgery to help repair the left ankle sprain that has sidelined him since May (Twitter link).
- Click here to read about the Braves' starting pitching depth and how it could affect their offseason.
Jason Heyward hit his first MLB grand slam at Wrigley Field tonight, helping the Braves in their attempt to strengthen their hold on the NL Wild Card. Here are the rest of today’s links from Heyward’s division...
- As Dave O'Brien of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution explains, the Braves' late-inning combination of Jonny Venters and Craig Kimbrel is the kind of shutdown late-inning tandem most teams can only dream of having.
- The Marlins are calling Logan Morrison back to the Major Leagues tomorrow, a week and a half after demoting him to the minors, according to MLB.com’s Joe Frisaro (on Twitter). Morrison can still receive credit for a full year of service this year, so the demotion probably won’t affect his service clock.
- Agent Scott Boras says the Nationals should re-sign Ivan Rodriguez when the veteran catcher hits free agency after the season, according to Ben Goessling of MASNsports.com.
Down 4-2 in the bottom of the ninth last night, the Nats rallied back to tie the game against Phillies closer Ryan Madson and then won it on Ryan Zimmerman's walkoff grand slam. Here's the latest from Washington as the Nationals continue their series with the first-place Phils....
- Ivan Rodriguez's chances of returning to Washington next season depend on Jesus Flores' ability to stick as the Nats' backup catcher, reports MLB.com's Bill Ladson. Manager Davey Johnson called Rodriguez "a valuable asset" who he'd like to see back in 2012, but "it's also a valuable time for Flores to try to regain the status that he had a couple of years ago. That will weigh more than Pudge coming back. Everybody knows what Pudge can do."
- Johnson is also interested in seeing Chien-Ming Wang pitch for the Nationals in 2012, reports Ben Goessling of MASNsports.com. Wang is finally back after two injury-plagued years, and Johnson hopes his club's patience with Wang would help convince him to return next season. I think a key for Wang this offseason will be to look for a team who can give him a clear path to a starting job, whereas in Washington he would be one of "seven or eight options" for the Nats' rotation in Spring Training.
- There are some similarities between how the Phillies built their World Series-caliber team and how the Nationals are trying to turn themselves into contenders, writes The Washington Post's Dave Sheinin.
- Mark Zuckerman of CSNWashington doesn't think the Nationals will be one of the teams bidding on Prince Fielder this winter. Zuckerman notes that the Nats already have Mike Morse and Adam LaRoche under contract next season, plus GM Mike Rizzo "loves defense at 1B." Also, Zuckerman says that between Jayson Werth's contract and a possible extension for Zimmerman, Washington won't be able to afford Fielder. (Both Twitter links)
Is the American League East really the best division in baseball? National League East teams have averaged 51 wins apiece so far this year, two more than AL East teams and more than any other division in baseball. Here’s the latest from the division, which is home to the two winningest teams in the National League...
- Jose Reyes prefers the Mets to other teams, but wants to see the club's offseason plan, since he's unsure about the kind of offer they'll be able to make, according to Jon Heyman of SI.com (on Twitter).
- Phillies manager Charlie Manuel told Jim Salisbury of CSNPhilly.com that he'd like to see the Phillies add a reliever and a bat this month. The skipper makes it clear that he's looking for an upgrade, not just a lateral move. “If we’re going to get somebody, I want somebody good that will help us," Manuel said. "I don’t want someone we’ve already got."
- Nationals GM Mike Rizzo told Adam Kilgore of the Washington Post that rival teams have called the Nationals about relievers, veteran starters and Ivan Rodriguez (Twitter link). The Nationals will listen on their relievers, including Drew Storen and Tyler Clippard.
- Ivan Rodriguez makes a lot of sense for the Giants, writes Andrew Baggarly of the San Jose Mercury News. Reports last month indicated that San Francisco didn't view Pudge as "the answer" at catcher, though the club did inquire following Buster Posey's injury.
- The Padres are optimistic about working out deals with each of their top four draft picks, scouting director Jaron Madison tells Dan Hayes of the North County Times.
- John Van Benschoten has signed a minor league deal with the Padres, according to the team's Triple-A affiliate in Tucson. The eighth overall pick in the 2001 draft has struggled in 90 big league innings in his career, posting a 9.20 ERA.
- T.J. Simers of the Los Angeles Times thinks that when Dodgers GM Ned Colletti talks about the team and its approach at the trade deadline, he's just telling fans what he thinks they want to hear.