Jake Westbrook Rumors
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.
Derrick Goold and Tom Timmermann of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch have a round-up of what the Cardinals could be planning now that Albert Pujols has left town...
- The Cardinals "have explored what the market is" for Carlos Beltran. Beltran would see most of his playing time in center field, since Allen Craig is slated to be the everyday right fielder.
- Jimmy Rollins' desire for a five-year contract will probably keep the Cards out of the bidding unless Rollins is willing to accept a shorter-term deal. The team is still talking to Rafael Furcal and would like to bring back Nick Punto as a veteran backup, should the Cardinals decide to look within and give Tyler Greene a shot at the everyday shortstop job.
- The team is looking for a left-handed reliever and have spoken to representatives for Mike Gonzalez and J.C. Romero.
- The planned $110MM payroll for 2012 won't be lowered because Pujols is gone, said GM John Mozeliak.
- In regards to the Jake Westbrook/Kyle Lohse trade rumors, Mozeliak said no deals materialized and one of the starters would be dealt only if the Cards need to "reallocate" some money towards another move.
6:40pm: Mozeliak confirmed that both Lohse and Westbrook are in play in trade talks, but he doesn't anticipate a deal happening, tweets Joe Strauss of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.
5:10pm: Lohse wrote in a text message to Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch that "as of right now" he'd take advantage of his full no-trade clause to reject any trade opportunity.
3:34pm: The Cardinals are trying to trade righty Kyle Lohse, reports Phil Rogers of the Chicago Tribune. Rogers believes their goal is to make room for Missouri native Mark Buehrle. ESPN's Buster Olney also hears that the Cardinals are making Lohse's availability known.
Lohse, 33, is owed $11.875MM in 2012 and has a full no-trade clause. As of Monday night, nothing had been brought to Lohse's attention, according to MLB.com's Matthew Leach. The righty posted a 3.39 ERA in 188 1/3 innings this year.
Leach notes that Cardinals GM John Mozeliak said he's not prioritizing starting pitching, and if he needed rotation help it'd likely come from within.
The Cardinals have re-signed Jake Westbrook to a two-year contract with a mutual option for 2013 worth a guaranteed $16.5MM. The deal includes a full no-trade clause that was given in exchange for a non-guaranteed third year.
Westbrook, 33, joined the Cardinals in a three-team trade that sent Ryan Ludwick to the Padres and prospects to the Indians at the deadline. He pitched to a 3.48 ERA with 6.6 K/9 and 2.9 BB/9 in 75 innings for St. Louis. After missing the 2009 season due to Tommy John surgery, Westbrook's overall season looked very much like the rest of his career: an ERA in the 4.20's and lots of innings (202 2/3 to be exact).
The new deal will pay the right-hander $8MM in 2011 and $8.5MM in 2012. The 2013 option calls for a $8.5MM base salary, though he'll receive a $1MM buyout if the team declines the option. If Westbrook declines the option, he'll receive no buyout.
Links on a busy Tuesday as the first day of the GM Meetings wraps up...
- Paul Hoynes of The Cleveland Plain Dealer says (via Twitter) the Indians "kicked the tires" on Jake Westbrook, but never formally offered him a contract before he re-signed with the Cardinals.
- FoxSports.com's Ken Rosenthal tweets that the market for Jorge de la Rosa won't take shape until Cliff Lee signs. He's a fallback option for several teams.
- Former Orioles reliever Dennis Sarfate is in talks to join the Hiroshima Carp according to MASNSports.com's Roch Kubatko.
- ESPN's Jerry Crasnick tweets that the Giants are currently in on just two players: Aubrey Huff and Juan Uribe.
- Bob Brookover of The Philadelphia Inquirer says that Phillies GM Ruben Amaro offered a lot of "no comments" when asked about the team's interest in retaining Chad Durbin.
- SI.com's Jon Heyman says (via Twitter) the trade market for Jonathan Papelbon is "very weak," but the Red Sox are willing to pay part of what will surely be a sizable 2011 salary.
- SI.com's Jon Heyman hears that the Yankees will bid at least three years to keep Derek Jeter (Twitter link). Owner Hal Steinbrenner added that "things are going well."
- Chad Jennings of The Journal News has a quote from Yanks GM Brian Cashman: “I’ve got a small player move that I’m working on that might get done at some point this week ... But it’s small.”
- Meanwhile, ESPN's Buster Olney tweets that the Yanks are still waiting to hear whether Mariano Rivera wants a one or two-year deal.
- Troy Renck of The Denver Post tweets that the Athletics are not moving Conor Jackson, though he remains a non-tender candidate.
- Twins GM Bill Smith said it's "not at all" a question when asked if the team would tender Matt Capps a contract, according to Adam Kilgore of The Washington Post (Twitter link).
- John Fay of The Cincinnati Enquirer says that Reds GM Walt Jocketty has talked to Arthur Rhodes' agent and plans to do the same with Miguel Cairo's, but he has yet to talk to any other free agents.
- SI.com's Tom Verducci lists players available on the "secondary market" that could have a big impact, starting with Jack Cust.
- Roy Halladay's Cy Young Award netted him $250K in bonus money, tweets Matt Gelb of The Philadelphia Inquirer. The bonus was negotiated into his original contract with Toronto.
- In the wake of Justin Upton being made available, FanGraphs' Dave Cameron examines his trade value.
Links for Monday evening...
- Jon Paul Morosi of FoxSports.com tweets that the Royals have signed reliever Steven Shell to a minor league deal. Shell, 27, had a 3.59 ERA in 72.2 innings with the Mariners' Triple-A affiliate last season.
- Troy Renck of The Denver Post lists the Cardinals, Phillies, and Rockies as some of the teams that were interested in Hiroki Kuroda before he re-signed with the Dodgers (Twitter link). Kuroda, however, re-signed without fielding offers from other teams according to Dylan Hernandez of the L.A. Times.
- Add the Rangers to the list of teams showing interest in Victor Martinez says SI.com's Jon Heyman (via Twitter).
- WEEI.com's Rob Bradford tweets that Hideki Okajima is subject to a normal arbitration calendar this offseason. In the past the Red Sox had to offer him a contract by November 20th.
- Non-tender candidate Kyle Davies hopes to remain with the Royals, says MLB.com's Dick Kaegel. Davies hasn't heard anything from the team regarding his future.
- Alden Gonzalez of MLB.com reports that Cliff Lee's agent Darek Braunecker is still unsure if he will attend this week's GM Meetings.
- MLB.com's Jane Lee provides a list of power bat the Athletics could potentially pursue as free agents this offseason.
- The Yankees don't believe that Derek Jeter will ultimately leave New York, but they're prepared for a long negotiation according to Heyman (Twitter link).
- Meanwhile, Jon Paul Morosi of FoxSports.com tweets that there is still no word whether or not Andy Pettitte will return to pitch in 2011.
- Cardinals GM John Mozeliak doesn't expect any roster moves at this week's meetings according to MLB.com's Matthew Leach. Ken Rosenthal of FoxSports.com says the team is growing more optimistic about re-signing Jake Westbrook, however (Twitter link).
- Indians GM Chris Antonetti told Paul Hoynes of The Cleveland Plain Dealer that it's too early in the offseason to tell whether his team's needs will be filled through trades or free agency.
- MLBTR's Ben Nicholson-Smith is on location at this week's GM Meetings in Orlando, and you can follow him on Twitter at @mlbtrorlando for the latest breaking news and analysis.
- There is mutual interest between the Marlins and free agent catcher A.J. Pierzynski, reports Joe Capozzi of The Palm Beach Post. Capozzi says the team might not be able to afford him, though they could free up payroll space by dealing Dan Uggla.
- FoxSports.com's Ken Rosenthal says that the Dodgers are looking to add power to their lineup, and James Loney is the player they're most most willing to trade. They would then turn around and sign one of the many power-hitting first baseman available on the free agent market.
- Mets GM Sandy Alderson said that the first round of manager interviews includes one or two more candidates while the second round will consist of three or four candidates according to Andy Martino of The New York Daily News (all Twitter links). The second set of interviews could begin in Orlando this week, and Alderson said his father's death on Sunday will not slow things down.
- ESPN's Jerry Crasnick profiles Giants GM Brian Sabean and the work that lies ahead following his team's World Series victory.
- Joe Pawlikowski of River Ave. Blues looks at how signing Lee would impact the Yankees' future payroll. Meanwhile, Brian Cashman told MLB.com's Bryan Hoch that he doesn't expect to get any deals done this week.
- Best of luck to MLB.com's Jordan Bastian. He's trading in the Blue Jays' beat for the Indians' beat.
Links for Friday, four years to the day after the Cubs signed Aramis Ramirez to a five-year $75MM contract. He has 93 homers and a .287/.356/.510 line since signing the deal...
- MLB executives predicted the destinations for some top free agents along with Jerry Crasnick of ESPN.com.
- Ivan Rodriguez told Raul Alzaga of Primera Hora that he works out for three or four hours per day and feels physically fit enough to play three more years (link in Spanish).
- Yankees manager Joe Girardi told Vincent M. Mallozzi of the New York Times that he's happy to help recruit free agents.
- The Royals announced that they promoted Lonnie Goldberg to scouting director.
- Cleveland GM Chris Antonetti has spoken to the agents for former Indian Jake Westbrook, according to Paul Hoynes of the Cleveland Plain Dealer. When he was traded to the Cardinals, Westbrook said he was open to re-signing in Cleveland after the season.
- The Indians are looking for a third baseman, and they don't have much money to spend, but they have discussed potential trades.
- Orioles president of baseball operations Andy MacPhail told Dan Connolly of the Baltimore Sun that the O's have talked to "a wide variety" of free agents already.
- Derek Jeter and GM Brian Cashman told Mark Feinsand of the New York Daily News that they're hopeful they can work out a contract.
- For what it's worth, Joe Torre, Jeter's longtime manager, told Peter Botte of the New York Daily News that he can't envision the shortstop playing elsewhere.
- Joel Sherman of the New York Post argues that no team can "allow the heart to rule the brain in on-field decisions."
You’ve heard by now that the A’s acquired David DeJesus, but he was far from the only bat they considered trading for. GM Billy Beane was after Josh Willingham and considered making a deal for Dan Uggla, according to Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports. The A’s probably aren’t done adding offense. Beane told Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle that he’d still like to make an upgrade or two (Twitter link). Here are the rest of Rosenthal’s rumors.
- The Red Sox aren’t likely to offer Adrian Beltre a five-year deal.
- The Cardinals are still in contact with Jake Westbrook, but they would prefer to reach a two-year deal and Westbrook might be able to get three years from another club, so talks appear to be losing momentum.
- Orlando Cabrera and Juan Uribe are already drawing more interest than they did at this time last year, according to Rosenthal.
- The White Sox are checking in on Rafael Soriano and, as Rosenthal points out, that’s yet another sign that they’re open to trading or non-tendering Bobby Jenks.
The Rockies are interested in Jake Westbrook, Jon Garland and Hiroki Kuroda and will be in touch with the representatives for all three starters, according to Troy Renck of the Denver Post (on Twitter). Free agent left-handers Jeff Francis and Jorge de la Rosa may not return to Colorado, so the Rockies are exploring the open market in case they have to look elsewhere to solidify their rotation.
The Dodgers may also have interest in Westbrook, Garland and Kuroda, according to the LA Times. The pitchers figure to be looking for multi-year deals. Last week Garland turned down his side of a $6.75MM option with the Padres, which suggests he'll look for a longer term contract. The Cardinals were discussing an extension with Westbrook last month, but the sides didn't reach a deal.
None of the Rockies' three potential targets will cost a compensation pick; Garland and Kuroda are Type B free agents and Westbrook is not ranked. They are among the more attractive free agent starters other than Cliff Lee, De La Rosa and Carl Pavano. Click here for details on the free agent market for righty and lefty starters.
Joe Strauss of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch talks free agency and trades in his latest column, suggesting that GM John Mozeliak will attempt to fill the Cardinals' holes with a mix of both approaches. Here are the other notes of interest from Strauss:
- No deal with Jake Westbrook is imminent, according to Mozeliak, but "sources familiar with talks" are optimistic about the negotiations. The two sides are currently discussing a two-year contract, perhaps with an option for a third year, Strauss says.
- The Cardinals are reluctant to sign Type A free agents and surrender high draft picks, which may prevent them from pursuing a player like Arthur Rhodes.
- With Jason LaRue retired and Matt Pagnozzi outrighted, the Cards will be in the market for a backup catcher. I don't think we can look at the backup from solely a catch-and-throw standpoint," Mozeliak said. "We need to consider offense, too."
- "Strong sentiment exists" to acquire a veteran third baseman as insurance for the oft-injured David Freese.
- Mozeliak sounds more likely to seek middle infield help through trades than free agency. According to Strauss, however, Orlando Hudson is a free agent who has received "internal support" as a second base target.