Jacoby Ellsbury Rumors
The Red Sox avoided arbitration with Jacoby Ellsbury, agreeing to a one-year, $9MM contract for 2013, Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com reports (on Twitter). Scott Boras represents Ellsbury, who is on track to hit free agency following the 2013 season.
- "(We are still) working through some issues, and we'll continue to do so. ... Until something's done, it's not done," said the GM when asked about Mike Napoli, tweets Scott Lauber of The Boston Herald. Napoli's three-year, $39MM contract reportedly hit a snag due to a red flag found during his physical.
- Cherington reiterated that he intends to keep center fielder Jacoby Ellsbury, tweets ESPN Boston's Gordon Edes. The 2011 AL MVP runner-up can become a free agent after next season.
- Stephen Drew is expected to take his physical "soon," tweets Tim Britton of The Providence Journal. The shortstop agreed to a one-year deal worth $9.5MM earlier this week.
- Earlier today the Red Sox designated Pedro Beato for assignment to clear room on the 40-man roster for Dempster.
We've already had one batch of AL East Notes on MLBTR today, but here are some more items on a busy day around the division...
- The Orioles have had a quiet offseason while their division rivals have been spending, writes Peter Schmuck of the Baltimore Sun. While the O's didn't make any major signings en route to a playoff appearance last year and face a payroll increase due to several arbitration-eligible players, Schmuck thinks spending on a big free agent like Adam LaRoche would help the team contend again.
- A Dodgers official flatly denied that the Dodgers and Red Sox could make an Andre Ethier/Jacoby Ellsbury swap, reports Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe. Ethier's name has come up in recent rumors but L.A. isn't shopping the outfielder and doesn't appear eager to move him.
- Also from Cafardo, he hears from an AL general manager that the Red Sox may be trying to deal Ellsbury so they can shift Shane Victorino to center field and then sign Cody Ross. Several teams are interested in Ross but none have yet met his desired price of a three-year, $21-$31MM contract.
- Jose Iglesias has "always been available, but nobody has knocked down [Boston's] door," writes Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe about the Red Sox prospect's trade value. Given that Stephen Drew was signed to just a one-year contract, it's too early to say that the Sox have given up on Iglesias as a long-term solution at shortstop.
- Also from Cafardo's piece, he thinks that Rafael Soriano and Matt Garza could both still be targets for the Red Sox.
- Right-hander Daniel McCutchen has received multiple offers to play in Japan, MLBTR’s Tim Dierkes has learned. McCutchen’s minor league deal with the Orioles permits him to accept an offer from a Japanese team. The 30-year-old appeared in one game for the Pirates this past season, but he spent most of the season at Triple-A, where he posted a 2.98 ERA with 7.8 K/9 and 2.0 BB/9 in 63 1/3 innings.
- The Blue Jays were picked as the 2013 AL East champions by 13 of 20 scouts and executives polled by FOX Sports' Jon Paul Morosi. In that same poll, the Orioles were picked to finish last by 10 voters, while the Red Sox received six last-place votes and were the only team that didn't get at least one pick as division winners. Morosi himself picks Toronto for first place and Boston for last.
- From earlier today, the Rays signed Roberto Hernandez, the Red Sox finalized the signing of Koji Uehara and I compiled some Yankees-related notes.
MLBTR's Ben Nicholson-Smith also contributed to this post
- The Red Sox have been rebuffing trade inquiries about Jacoby Ellsbury, Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com reports (on Twitter). Boston can obtain a compensatory draft pick if Ellsbury declines a qualifying offer to sign elsewhere following the 2013 season, when he’ll become eligible for free agency.
- As Shi Davidi of Sportsnet.ca writes, the value of the Blue Jays' prospects shifted from what they might eventually contribute in Toronto to what they can bring back in trades.
- The Blue Jays aim to win now, even if it means surrendering multiple top prospects for a 38-year-old, Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports writes. The Blue Jays are betting that Dickey's success will continue, and as Rosenthal points out the knuckleballer is no one-year fluke.
- Though the Orioles have been quiet to this point in the offseason, Eduardo A. Encina of the Baltimore Sun points out that we're still eight weeks away from the start of Spring Training. The trade value on young arms such as Chris Tillman, Brian Matusz and Jake Arrieta remains unclear, Encina writes.
To this point in the offseason, the Red Sox have focused on adding offense. That will make a difference, but they still must address a pitching staff that allowed more runs than all but two American League teams in 2012. Here are the latest Red Sox-related rumors...
- The Red Sox have kept in contact with the representatives for Nick Swisher throughout the offseason, Rob Bradford of WEEI.com reports. Boston executives have maintained contract with the MVP Sports Group client even after reaching agreements with Shane Victorino and Mike Napoli, Bradford adds.
- However, the Boston outfield is set barring a trade, so Swisher doesn't appear to be a fit, Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com reports (Twitter links). Heyman adds that a trade involving Jacoby Ellsbury seems "very unlikely."
- The Red Sox will turn their attention to starting pitching and consider everyone from Anibal Sanchez and Kyle Lohse on down, Heyman reports. GM Ben Cherington seeks value, according to Heyman. Check out MLBTR's Free Agent Tracker for a look at the remaining unsigned starters.
- Here's the latest on Mike Napoli, whose deal with Boston hasn't been finalized.
Here's the latest on Philadelphia's offseason dealings, courtesy of CSNPhilly.com's Jim Salisbury...
- Before the Phillies acquired Ben Revere from the Twins, they attempted to also get Josh Willingham in either the same trade package or in a separate deal.
- The club is still in the market for a corner outfielder. The Phillies "have seriously considered" signing Ichiro Suzuki and "have long liked" Cody Ross.
- Any further upgrades may have to come via the free agency market since the Phillies don't have much prospect depth aside from possibly at catcher. Salisbury notes that Tommy Joseph, the most well-regarded of the team's young catchers, "probably isn't going anywhere."
- The Red Sox approached the Phillies about a trade of Jacoby Ellsbury for Cliff Lee, but the Phillies said that Lee wasn't available. I can't blame the Phils for turning that offer down; even if they did want to move Lee, he would fetch far more on the trade market than just one year of Ellsbury, who hits free agency next winter.
Red Sox GM Ben Cherington held court with reporters today; here's the latest:
- Trading center fielder Jacoby Ellsbury "is not our intent," Cherington said. The GM sees Ellsbury as a big part of the 2013 team. There's been recent speculation about Ellsbury as a trade candidate given Shane Victorino's ability to play center field and Ellsbury's impending walk year.
- The starting pitching market is starting to move a bit, and Cherington says it's his top priority now. It's known that the Red Sox made an offer for Dan Haren before he signed with the Nationals, and they've shown some interest in Ryan Dempster and Carl Pavano.
- Cherington is open-minded about outfielder Cody Ross, but the team has not been in contact with him since news of the Victorino agreement broke.
- Cherington acknowledged meeting with a player this week, who Gordon Edes of ESPNBoston believes was Josh Hamilton. The Sox indeed met with Hamilton before he left Nashville, tweets Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports.
As the third day of the 2012 Winter Meetings gets underway, let's round up a few items out of the AL East...
- Keppinger was the Yankees' first choice as the right-handed part of a third base platoon, tweets Joel Sherman of the New York Post. With Keppinger signing with Chicago, the Yankees are forced to move on to Plan B.
- Teams that have spoken to the Rays have come away thinking Tampa Bay is more likely to move James Shields or Jeremy Hellickson than David Price, says Danny Knobler of CBSSports.com.
- With Darren Oliver still uncommitted to returning for the 2013 season, the Blue Jays continue to seek bullpen help, according to Ken Davidoff of the New York Post.
- The Yankees are one of six teams vying for Jeff Keppinger's services, according to Joel Sherman of the New York Post. Although we heard overnight that Keppinger could receive a three-year deal worth around $4MM annually, Sherman suggests that something in the two-year, $10MM range could work too
- Within the same column, Sherman writes that he's receiving "strong indications" the Yankees don't intend to pursue A.J. Pierzynski
- The Red Sox and Phillies haven't engaged in talks for Jacoby Ellsbury, a source tells Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe (Twitter link)
- Despite agreeing to three-year deals for Mike Napoli and Shane Victorino already this week, the Red Sox still have plenty of room to spend, says Alex Speier of WEEI.com
- WEEI.com's Kirk Minihane believes the Victorino signing was a mistake by the Red Sox
- The Orioles met with Nick Swisher's agent in Nashville, and Rich Dubroff of CSNBaltimore.com wonders if there's a fit there.
- The Red Sox announced that they've signed 26-year-old right-hander Anthony Carter to a minor league deal, writes Speier at WEEI.com.
While we wait to see whether any major moves will be finalized in Nashville today, let's check out a few odds and ends from Wednesday morning....
- After signing Marco Scutaro to a three-year deal, the Giants may have a hard time affording the sort of outfield bat they'd been targeting, tweets Andrew Baggarly of CSNBayArea.com. According to Baggarly, the Giants had a two-year offer out to Ryan Ludwick, but both Ludwick and Scott Hairston may be too pricey for them now.
- Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com reported earlier today that Shin-Soo Choo and Asdrubal Cabrera are "very available," but a rival official tells ESPN.com's Buster Olney (Twitter link) that "the price for Choo is high, and for Asdrubal even higher."
- Most baseball people in Nashville believe it will be hard for teams to seriously consider dealing for Jacoby Ellsbury when they have no idea whether they'll be able to keep him long-term, tweets Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe. Olney adds in a tweet that while the Red Sox are listening to offers for Ellsbury and Jon Lester, they aren't motivated to move either player unless a team overpays.
- Although the Marlins spoke to Carl Pavano's agent yesterday, the team doesn't seem overly enthusiastic about a reunion with the right-hander, says Joe Capozzi of the Palm Beach Post.
Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com has been sharing a few Winter Meetings nuggets on this Twitter feed this morning, so let's dive right in and round them up (all links go to Twitter)....
- Heyman classifies both Shin-Soo Choo and Asdrubal Cabrera as very available, as the Indians search for long-term assets.
- The Red Sox are very active this week and are willing to discuss anyone, even Jacoby Ellsbury and Jon Lester.
- Ten teams are in on Jason Grilli, as the market for the right-handed reliever heats up. Grilli tweeted early this morning that he was heading for Nashville and has a "full day" on tap.
- The Royals are "one of many" teams looking at Shaun Marcum, who is a Kansas City product.