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Links for Wednesday…
- Chat today, 2pm CST.
- The White Sox sent last year's first-round pick Gordon Beckham to Double A to play shortstop, according to Mark Gonzales of the Chicago Tribune.
- Brian McTaggart of the Houston Chronicle talked to Astros GM Ed Wade about the difference between guaranteed and non-guaranteed contracts.
- El Lefty Malo expects the Giants to trade lefty Jack Taschner and go after free agent Will Ohman. Andrew Baggarly of the San Jose Mercury News dismissed an internet rumor about Taschner and the Tigers. Not sure where that came from.
- Alex Speier of WEEI projects Boston's Opening Day payroll to be under $120MM, its lowest since '03. Speier suggests this could allow midseason financial flexibility.
- Chico Harlan of the Washington Post asks whether the Nationals will try to avoid an eventual Super Two status for Jordan Zimmermann.
- Bart Given says Shawn Hill made the right decision in signing with San Diego.
- Oil Can Boyd hopes to pitch in Ottawa in the Cam-Am Baseball League.
- The Royals Authority 2009 Annual is on sale now – check it out.
Chris Haft of MLB.com reports that Jack Taschner believes he is being actively shopped by the Giants front office. Taschner faced similar rumors last July as the trade deadline neared, but didn't buy into them. Now, it's a different story.
Taschner's velocity is intact, but he admits that his command of his two-seam fastball has been off this Spring, leading to his 6.23 ERA and 12 walks through 8.2 IP so far. Taschner stresses that he's fine physically.
Taschner, 31 in April, posted a 4.88 ERA last year to go along with a 1.69 WHIP and .292 opponent batting average. His numbers improve only slightly against lefties, who hit .279 against the southpaw last season. He's set to make $835K this season, which is a financial break compared to signing Will Ohman. It's hard, however, to buy Taschner as a lefty specialist when opposing lefties have hit .288 off of him for his career.
ESPN's Jayson Stark has a new blog post up.
- The Astros plan to give Chris Johnson a chance to win the third base job, but Stark says Juan Uribe, Jose Bautista, and Jeff Baker "could still show up on their shopping list in the next two weeks."
- Stark heard "rumblings the Yankees are poking around again on Mike Cameron's availability." Back in December, the Yanks and Brewers were pretty close on a deal.
- Eric Milton is looking decent and appears to be the frontrunner for the Dodgers' fifth starter job (given Pedro Martinez's asking price).
- Will Ohman seeks a one-year, $1.75MM deal with easily-reachable incentives for another million. He also prefers the West Coast, and Stark believes the Padres and Giants are more likely than the Dodgers. Like the Dodgers, the Phillies and Marlins have interest at a lesser price. Stark has also heard the Phils connected to Giants lefty Jack Taschner.
- Shawn Camp, Geoff Geary, John Buck, and Geoff Jenkins are currently available. The Phillies would eat almost all of the $8MM owed to Jenkins.
Full Story | Comments | Categories: Colorado Rockies | Eric Milton | Geoff Geary | Geoff Jenkins | Houston Astros | Jack Taschner | Jeff Baker | John Buck | Jose Bautista | Juan Uribe | Kansas City Royals | Los Angeles Dodgers | Miami Marlins | Mike Cameron | Milwaukee Brewers | New York Yankees | Pedro Martinez | Philadelphia Phillies | San Diego Padres | San Francisco Giants | Shawn Camp | Toronto Blue Jays | Will Ohman
Three more players avoided arbitration, according to the AP’s Ronald Blum: Robb Quinlan ($1.1MM), Jack Taschner ($835K), and Brad Thompson ($650K). We should have a full list of those who exchanged figures at some point this afternoon.
New collection of rumors from ESPN’s Jayson Stark…
- The Twins have asked the Giants about Rich Aurilia. They’ve been dangling Boof Bonser for a position player; would they trade him back to San Francisco for Aurilia?
- On the Phillies’ radar: John Grabow, Will Ohman, Arthur Rhodes, and Jack Taschner.
- A Brian Fuentes trade remains doubtful.
- The White Sox will trade Orlando Cabrera for the right pitcher. The Sox aren’t generating much interest in their prospects.
Full Story | Comments | Categories: Arthur Rhodes | Atlanta Braves | Boof Bonser | Brian Fuentes | Chicago White Sox | Colorado Rockies | Jack Taschner | John Grabow | Minnesota Twins | Orlando Cabrera | Philadelphia Phillies | Pittsburgh Pirates | Rich Aurilia | San Francisco Giants | Seattle Mariners | Will Ohman
According to Henry Schulman of the San Francisco Chronicle:
The Giants like Adrian Beltre, believing he would thrive in the more fastball-oriented National League, but a source said they have not exchanged names with the Mariners.
Schulman explains that Giants GM Brian Sabean is open to acquiring players who can help in 2009. Hank Blalock was also on the radar, but now he’s back on the DL. The Rangers told a white lie to the public regarding Blalock’s injury earlier this week. The Rangers had their eye on Jonathan Sanchez, but I doubt the Giants would’ve entertained a one-for-one swap even for a healthy Blalock.
The Giants could also try the free agent market this winter. Available third basemen include Casey Blake, Joe Crede, and Dallas McPherson.
The Marlins seemingly would swap first baseman Mike Jacobs for catcher Bengie Molina, but the Giants aren’t interested. They’re also reluctant to trade lefty Jack Taschner, who is under team control through 2011.
The NL East is a three-team race, with the Mets, Phillies, and Marlins all within a game of each other. Who’d have thought the Marlins would be contending after trading Miguel Cabrera?
According to Mike Berardino of the South Florida Sun-Sentinel, the Marlins have intensified their search for a catcher. The targets: Bengie Molina, Ramon Hernandez, Gerald Laird, and Ryan Doumit. Molina and Hernandez are the pricey options. Doumit would be especially tough to pry loose; he has a .937 OPS this year as a 27 year-old.
MLB.com’s Joe Frisaro wonders if Miguel Olivo, Gregg Zaun, and Paul Lo Duca could also enter the mix. He says it could even be a three-way possibility where the Jays acquire Olivo and move him to Florida.
The Marlins are also hunting for a lefty reliever, with Arthur Rhodes, Jack Taschner, John Grabow, Eddie Guardado, George Sherrill, Will Ohman, and Alan Embree all considered candidates. Dejan Kovacevic rattled off five suitors for Grabow this morning, the Marlins not among them. Also, the Marlins’ interest in Guardado is light. The Giants and Mariners both scouted the Marlins recently, and Berardino wonders if Mike Jacobs would interest them.
Berardino says acquiring a catcher and reliever in one trade would be ideal. The one Marlins minor leaguer considered off-limits is Sean West.
Full Story | Comments | Categories: Alan Embree | Arthur Rhodes | Atlanta Braves | Baltimore Orioles | Bengie Molina | Eddie Guardado | George Sherrill | Gerald Laird | Gregg Zaun | Jack Taschner | John Grabow | Kansas City Royals | Miami Marlins | Miguel Olivo | Mike Jacobs | Oakland Athletics | Paul Lo Duca | Pittsburgh Pirates | Ramon Hernandez | Ryan Doumit
The Brewers, Mets, Phillies, Marlins, and Cardinals have been linked to Giants’ lefty Jack Taschner in the past. Today, MLB.com’s Trade Talk blog says the Tigers have been observing him as well. However, the Tigers have fallen to 7.5 games out in the AL Central (they might shave that to 6.5 today if the bullpen can hold a four-run lead).
Taschner, 30, has struggled this month after a solid stretch in May and June. Control has always been an issue. Taschner is under team control for quite a while.
Dan Graziano of the Newark Star-Ledger has a new Trade Winds column.
- Graziano notes how incredible the Erik Bedard trade could look for Baltimore if they spin George Sherrill for prospects. He names the Cardinals, Rays, Marlins, and Red Sox as suitors. The Mets fear Sherrill’s price tag, while the Yankees don’t expect a deal within the division.
- The Yankees haven’t spoken to the Reds about Bronson Arroyo (although based on previous reports, they have scouted him). The Yanks aren’t likely to sign Barry Bonds, and aren’t terribly thrilled with the catching market.
- Fernando Martinez‘s possible injury could increase the Mets’ urgency to find a left fielder. For some reason, Adam Dunn is not in the mix. The Mets are in on relievers Brian Tallet, Jack Taschner, and Arthur Rhodes.
- The division rival Marlins are after Rhodes, as well as Gregg Zaun.
- Graziano says no one denied his rumor that the Blue Jays were quietly discussing Roy Halladay with other teams. The offseason might be a better time to shop him, though.
Full Story | Comments | Categories: Adam Dunn | Arthur Rhodes | Baltimore Orioles | Barry Bonds | Boston Red Sox | Brian Tallet | Bronson Arroyo | Cincinnati Reds | Erik Bedard | Fernando Martinez | George Sherrill | Gregg Zaun | Jack Taschner | Miami Marlins | New York Mets | New York Yankees | Roy Halladay | San Francisco Giants | Seattle Mariners | St. Louis Cardinals | Tampa Bay Rays | Toronto Blue Jays