Jair Jurrjens Rumors
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 Braves avoided arbitration with starter Jair Jurrjens on a deal worth $5.5MM, MLBTR has learned. the Boras client can earn another $25K each time for reaching 175, 180, 190, 200, 210, and 215 innings. With the deal, the Braves have signed all their arbitration eligible players.
Some links as Thursday turns into Friday...
- As part of his comeback attempt, Manny Ramirez will work out for teams later this month according to ESPN's Buster Olney (on Twitter). Manny was officially reinstated last month, and he indicated that the "doors are open" for a minor league contract.
- Braves GM Frank Wren told MLB.com's Mark Bowman that he feels both Jair Jurrjens and Martin Prado will be with the team at the start of Spring Training. They still have interest in Adam Jones and could continue to pursue the outfielder if the Orioles lower their demands.
- The Yankees never inquired on lefty reliever Darren Oliver before he signed with the Blue Jays, reports MLBTR's Ben Nicholson-Smith (on Twitter). New York has brought in southpaws Hideki Okajima and Mike O'Connor on minor league deals this offseason.
- Miguel Tejada is training in Miami as he looks to make a comeback, reports Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com (on Twitter). The 37-year-old was designated for assignment by the Giants in August after hitting .239/.270/.326 in 343 plate appearances.
- Matt Eddy of Baseball America recapped the last three weeks of minor league transactions. We've covered all the significant moves here, but you can check out which low-level minor leaguers your favorite team recently released.
Links for Thursday night, starting with a pair of notes on the offseason's top remaining free agent...
- The Nationals appear to be a leading suitor for Prince Fielder, but first baseman Adam LaRoche told MLB.com’s Bill Ladson that he won’t hold grudges if he’s not a part of Washington’s plans for 2012. “Hopefully, I'll be a part of it. If not, that's life," he said.
- If the Mariners are serious about making Fielder a competitive offer without hamstringing the organization, they could propose a backloaded seven-year, $155MM deal that includes an opt-out after three years, Dave Cameron of U.S.S. Mariner explains.
- ESPN.com’s Jerry Crasnick suggests the Marlins are convinced Javier Vazquez is retiring (Twitter link). Miami rounded out its rotation today, obtaining the unpredictable Carlos Zambrano for Chris Volstad.
- Angels infielder Mark Trumbo says the stress fracture in his right foot is taking longer than expected to heal and that his rehabilitation will likely extend to late February, according to Mike DiGiovanna of the LA Times.
- The Braves’ interest in Rockies outfielder Seth Smith has cooled, according to Troy Renck of the Denver Post. The Rays, who had interest in Smith earlier in the offseason, are not in the hunt any longer, Renck writes.
- The Rockies aren’t actively pursuing Braves right-hander Jair Jurrjens, though they continue to monitor the market for starting pitching, according to Renck.
- The Mets continue to look for a shortstop to back up Ruben Tejada, according to Andy Martino of the New York Daily News. They brought Omar Quintanilla in on a minor league deal this week, but the move doesn’t necessarily eliminate the need for shortstop depth. Jack Wilson and Ryan Theriot have been linked to the Mets this offseason.
- Executive vice president of baseball operations Dan Duquette told Roch Kubatko of MASNSports.com he wants to improve the Orioles' "on-base capability from top to bottom." Duquette isn't sure he currently has a .380 OBP guy, and isn't sure if his second baseman is currently on the roster. The free agents with the best 2011 OBPs include Casey Kotchman, Chris Snyder, Carlos Pena, and Pat Burrell.
- The Orioles haven't made contract with Luke Scott since non-tendering him on December 12th, reports Kubatko.
- The Orioles are fairly confident they will add another outfielder, though that wouldn't necessarily portend an Adam Jones trade, writes Dan Connolly of the Baltimore Sun. The Orioles were not overly intrigued by the Braves' offer of Jair Jurrjens, Martin Prado, and a minor league pitcher. Connolly doesn't see Jurrjens as a centerpiece for a Jones trade. Instead, the Orioles are intrigued by Tommy Hanson.
- Connolly notes that an extension remains possible for Jones, who is under team control for two more years. January is always a big month for extensions.
- An Orioles source told Connolly they would not offer Prince Fielder the seven-year, $140MM deal Mark Teixeira rejected three years ago. For the Orioles to sign Fielder, Connolly feels that his market would have to completely collapse, and he finds that highly unlikely. Connolly reiterates that agent Scott Boras and Fielder "did not meet with [Orioles owner] Peter Angelos despite being in the area – which I thought should demonstrate once and for all that the Orioles really aren’t anywhere near the frontburner of this issue and Fielder's side isn't forcing it."
Here's the latest from the AL East....
- The Red Sox are not in on Jair Jurrjens, but the Orioles, Blue Jays, Rockies and Tigers remain in on the Braves right-hander, according to Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com (on Twitter).
- The Orioles are still interested in Chunichi Dragons left-hander Wei-Yin Chen, reports Roch Kubatko of MASNsports.com, and the team has scouted Chen several times in Japan. The O's were linked to Chen earlier this offseason and we've also heard that the PIrates had an interest in the free agent southpaw. MLBTR's Tim Dierkes predicted Chen could be signed for a contract in the neighborhood of four years and under $20MM.
- Rays third baseman Evan Longoria texted the St. Petersburg Times (reported by The Times' Marc Topkin) to deny recent internet rumors that he wanted to leave Tampa Bay. "I don't have any idea where that rumor came from! It's completely false,'' Longoria said. "I've said from the start I love Tampa, I love the direction we are heading as a franchise and there is no better place for me to continue to grow as a player and person.''
- The Yankees have been quiet this winter seemingly in an attempt to avoid a hefty luxury tax penalty next season, but one AL executive doesn't think this strategy will last. "I think they can sit back right now," the anonymous exec told The Star-Ledger's Jeff Bradley, "because on paper they have a very strong team. But do I think the Yankees won't spend aggressively if they start to dip in the win column? Not a chance. I think they'll do what they have to do to win."
- The Athletics wanted right-hander Noah Syndergaard from the Blue Jays as part of any trade for Gio Gonzalez, reported Jeff Blair on the Fan590's Prime Time Sports radio show (passed on by Andrew Stoeten of the Drunk Jays Fans blog.) Syndergaard was drafted 38th overall by Toronto in the 2010 draft and has posted impressive numbers in his first two years of pro ball.
- Earlier today, MLBTR's Ben Nicholson-Smith posted a collection of Red Sox notes.
Troy Renck of the Denver Post shared a number of Rockies tidbits with his Twitter followers this afternoon. Here are a few of the hot stove-related highlights...
- There hasn't been much movement in the Martin Prado trade negotiations between the Rockies and Braves but talks aren't "dead" since Atlanta likes outfielder Seth Smith. It would take a package of both Smith and center field prospect Tim Wheeler to acquire Prado but Renck says the Rockies "aren't doing" that particular deal.
- Colorado still has an interest in Jair Jurrjens, but the Braves' asking price could be "prohibitive" in the wake of what the Padres received from the Reds in the Mat Latos deal. The Rockies like Jurrjens "but aren't trading four guys for him."
- If Smith is dealt, Ryan Spilborghs' return to Colorado is "not necessarily" a given. Spilborghs was non-tendered by the Rockies earlier this month but we heard from Renck earlier this month that the club was interested in bringing the outfielder back at a lower salary than what he would've earned through arbitration.
- There is "very little" going on between the Rockies and Cody Ross, as the team is concentrating on finding pitching. Yesterday, a team source denied a Buster Olney report that the Rockies were in contract negotiations with Ross, though Olney specified that Colorado was only interested in Ross in the event that Smith is traded.
- Renck is "not sure" if the Rockies still have any interest in Paul Maholm. The Rockies and Cubs are the only two clubs known to be connected to Maholm this winter. The Cubs can possibly be counted out of the running due to their recent acquisition of Travis Wood, but more spots could open in the Chicago rotation should Matt Garza and/or Randy Wells be dealt.
- The Mariners' interest in Kevin Millwood won't affect the Rockies' pursuit of the veteran right-hander, as the Rockies only "see Millwood at [a] certain price." Of a group of pitchers that also includes Maholm, Jurrjens and Jeff Francis, Renck feels Millwood is the likeliest to join the Rockies.
- Colorado has been one of baseball's busiest teams this offseason, which Renck says is a reflection of the club's "great disappointment with last season" rather than any sense of 2012 being a "final chance" for GM Dan O'Dowd.
The Braves and Orioles discussed a possible Adam Jones trade recently, but talks didn’t progress far, ESPN.com’s Jerry Crasnick reports (all Twitter links). The Orioles wanted Jair Jurrjens, Martin Prado and at least two of Brandon Beachy, Mike Minor, Julio Teheran, Arodys Vizcaino and Randall Delgado. The Braves weren’t interested at that price, Crasnick writes.
Conflicting reports about the Braves’ interest level in Jones emerged yesterday, but it appears some preliminary discussions occurred. Orioles GM Dan Duquette joined Jim Bowden and Casey Stern on MLB Network Radio this week and explained that the Orioles are trying to "build around" Jones. "When you have some good players, other teams are interested," he said. "We're not marketing Adam Jones." However, he stopped short of guaranteeing that Jones would stay put.
The Braves made a run at Orioles outfielder Adam Jones earlier this month, according to Dan Connolly of the Baltimore Sun. Connolly reports that Atlanta offered Jair Jurrjens, Martin Prado, and a pitching prospect for Jones, but the O's "didn't bite," indicating how much they value their center fielder.
However, a source familiar with the negotiations tells Mark Bowman of MLB.com that the Braves merely expressed interest in Jones and did not offer any particular package. The O's told the Braves that Jones was unavailable, Bowman adds, then got back to the Braves later and asked for Jurrjens, Prado and "two other premium guys," which the Braves declined.
It was reported earlier in the month that the Orioles and Braves talked about Jurrjens and Prado, though it hadn't been confirmed that Jones was also discussed. Here are the rest of this morning's Orioles notes:
- Connolly and Roch Kubatko of MASNSports.com both address a report indicating the Orioles are in on Prince Fielder, concluding that Fielder coming to Baltimore is an extreme long-shot unless his asking price drops significantly.
- Although the Orioles are looking for starting pitching and Roy Oswalt is reportedly willing to accept a one-year contract, the righty probably isn't a realistic target for Baltimore. The O's play in the wrong ballpark and wrong division for Oswalt to boost his stock on a make-good deal, says Connolly.
- Connolly adds that the Orioles continue to discuss Wei-Yin Chen internally and externally.
Ed Wade is heading back to the NL East after four years in Houston. Here are more links from the division, starting with Wade’s longtime team...
- Mark DeRosa says he's interested in playing for the Nationals, according to MLB.com's Bill Ladson (Twitter links). However, other teams are interested and DeRosa is not close to making a decision.
- Phillies GM Ruben Amaro Jr. says he's comfortable heading into Spring Training with the team he has, according to Paul Hagen of MLB.com. The Phillies have already made major free agent signings, added complementary players such as Laynce Nix, Jim Thome and Dontrelle Willis and signed players to minor league deals, as our Free Agent Tracker shows.
- Those who know Cole Hamels doubt he would give the Phillies much of a discount on a potential extension, according to Tyler Kepner of the New York Times. The 27-year-old John Boggs & Associates client posted a 2.79 ERA with 8.1 K/9, 1.8 BB/9 and a 52.3% ground ball rate in 215 innings this past season. He's set to hit free agency after the 2012 season (MLBTR contributor Matt Swartz projects a $14MM salary for Hamels in his final season of arbitration eligibility).
- Adam Rubin of ESPNNewYork.com shows that the Mets already have a projected payroll in the $90MM range. GM Sandy Alderson has suggested the team's payroll could be less than $100MM, so the Mets may not have much offseason shopping remaining.
- The Mets are interested in catcher Luis Martinez, who was designated for assignment by the Padres on Sunday, according to Mike Puma of the New York Post (on Twitter). The 26-year-old hit .203/.309/.305 in 68 plate appearances with the Padres this past season.
- The Braves and Rockies have continued discussing a possible deal that would send Seth Smith to Atlanta for Martin Prado, according to MLB.com's Thomas Harding. The Braves appear to be seeing what they can get for Jair Jurrjens first, however. Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports examined possible suitors for Smith earlier today, including the Braves despite their preference for a right-handed hitter.