Jarrod Saltalamacchia Rumors
The trade deadline is officially behind us, but expect to see a number of waiver trades this month as teams begin to fall out of contention. Here's the latest from around the league as Wednesday turns into Thursday...
- Alex Speier of WEEI.com reports that the Red Sox held onto Jarrod Saltalamacchia and Kelly Shoppach at the deadline despite trade interest because they wanted to keep as many impact bats as possible while David Ortiz is on the DL. They also want to maintain catching depth.
- "Absolutely. That would be wonderful," said Hunter Pence to Andrew Baggarly of CSNBayArea.com when asked about signing long-term with the Giants (Twitter link). San Francisco acquired Pence yesterday.
- Earlier today we heard that the Mets and Marlins discussed a trade involving Jason Bay, Heath Bell, and John Buck, but Mike Puma of The New York Post reports (on Twitter) that Bay was never asked to waive his no-trade clause.
- ESPN's Jim Bowden graded each team's trade deadline activity, giving the Angels and Dodgers an A and an A-, respectively. The rebuilding Astros received a B+.
The Red Sox have a 51-51 record after taking two of three from the Yankees in New York over the weekend. Here are the latest rumors surrounding the Red Sox as they host the Tigers at Fenway Park...
- Jarrod Saltalamacchia and Mike Aviles have drawn interest from rival teams, Alex Speier of WEEI.com reports. The Red Sox are looking to add at the trade deadline, but a modest deal is more likely than a blockbuster.
- The Red Sox remain interested in Justin Masterson, even though they saw him struggle in his most recent start, Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe reports (on Twitter). The Indians have told teams they will consider trading Masterson, who pitched for the Red Sox in 2008-09.
- A few teams inquired on Jacoby Ellsbury, but the Red Sox will likely wait until the offseason to seriously consider trading him, Cafardo reports (on Twitter). The Reds asked about Ellsbury, according to Gordon Edes of ESPNBoston.com (on Twitter).
- The Rangers have pursued Red Sox players more aggressively than other teams, Cafardo reports (Twitterlinks). Texas has scouted both Aaron Cook and Kelly Shoppach and while Rangers officials have backed off on Cook, they maintain interest in Shoppach.
- Here’s the latest on Josh Beckett.
The Rays announced that they added Hideki Matsui to their active roster today, optioning Stephen Vogt to Triple-A and transferring Brandon Guyer to the 60-day disabled list in corresponding moves. Here are some items of interest from the AL East...
- Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports explains that Adam Jones’ new extension is about Jones the person, not just Jones the center fielder. The Orioles signed Jones to a six-year, $85.5MM deal last week.
- The Blue Jays aren’t currently discussing an extension with the representatives for Edwin Encarnacion, Morosi reports (on Twitter). The Wasserman Media Group client is on track to hit free agency after the season.
- The Blue Jays announced that they optioned Eric Thames to Triple-A. Thames, the Opening Day left fielder, returns to the minors and infielder Mike McCoy takes his place on Toronto’s active roster.
- Brian MacPherson of the Providence Journal suggests it wouldn't be surprising if the Red Sox moved to extend Jarrod Saltalamacchia in the next few months. The hot-hitting catcher will be arbitration eligible for the third and final time this coming offseason and can expect a raise from his current $2.5MM salary.
- Here's a look at the 2013 contract issues facing the AL East teams: Red Sox, Orioles, Yankees, Rays, Blue Jays.
The Red Sox and catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia have avoided arbitration by agreeing to terms on a one-year, non-guaranteed contract, the team announced. The deal is worth $2.5MM, tweets Scott Lauber of the Boston Herald.
Saltalamacchia, 27 in May, hit 16 homers and posted a .235/.288/.450 line in 386 plate-appearances for the Red Sox in 2011, his first full campaign in Boston. Once a highly touted prospect with the Braves, Salty has been something of a disappointment as a Major Leaguer, hitting .244/.307/.406 in nearly 1,300 career plate appearances over parts of five seasons, although catchers are known the develop late.
Matt Swartz of MLBTR projected Salty would earn $1.6MM in 2012 through arbitration, so the reported $2.5MM is favorable for the Munsey Sports Management client based on that projection.
Boston's remaining arbitration eligible players are Alfredo Aceves, Mike Aviles, Andrew Bailey, Daniel Bard, Jacoby Ellsbury, Franklin Morales and David Ortiz, according to Peter Abraham of the Boston Globe.
The Rays remain on the fringe of contention, 6.5 games out in the wild card. The other four AL East teams have clear positions: the Yankees and Red Sox are buyers, and the Blue Jays and Orioles are sellers. The latest:
- The Rays are willing to trade closer Kyle Farnsworth, tweets ESPN's Buster Olney. The 35-year-old has a 1.99 ERA, 7.1 K/9, 1.8 BB/9, 0.44 HR/9, and 53.8% groundball rate in 40 2/3 innings this year. He's more than a rental, with a $3.3MM club option for 2012. Joel Peralta might be next in line to close if Farnsworth is dealt, suggests Dan Mennella at CloserNews.
- Trade rumors have "become a comedy to me," Rays center fielder B.J. Upton told Marc Topkin of the St. Petersburg Times. Upton wants to stay in Tampa Bay, though he's heard himself linked to the Giants, Indians, Nationals, and Phillies.
- The Yankees are among the teams pursuing the Dodgers' Hiroki Kuroda, tweets Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports. The Yanks had a scout at Edwin Jackson's start yesterday in Cleveland, tweets Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports.
- The Orioles' next GM will have his hands full with many team needs this offseason, writes Jeff Zrebiec of the Baltimore Sun.
- WEEI's Alex Speier looks at the circumstances that led to the Red Sox acquiring catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia from the Rangers last summer.
C.C. Sabathia told Jon Heyman of SI.com that he hopes the Yankees will add guaranteed years to his contract after the season. The left-hander has an opt-out clause that enables him to walk away from the four years and $92MM remaining on his contract and become a free agent, so he has leverage. Here's the latest on Sabathia, the Yankees and the Red Sox:
- Executives around the league tell Heyman that they're sure Sabathia will use the opt out to leave or obtain an extension.
- However, people around the Yankees like what Sabathia delivers and say he is "pretty well entrenched" as a Yankee.
- Miguel Cabrera is the best hitter in the league, according to Sabathia, who gave Jose Bautista an honorable mention.
- It's possible that the Yankees will allow Nick Swisher to hit free agency instead of exercising his $10.25MM option after the season. Here's a list of all 2012 free agents.
- Jarrod Saltalamacchia, who has homered in three of his past four games, is rewarding the Red Sox people who believed in his ability.
- Carl Crawford has been a "real professional" despite his struggles, a Red Sox person told Heyman.
While the Red Sox's struggles so far this season have not been lost on GM Theo Epstein, the club doesn't plan to make any major moves at this time, writes Brian MacPherson of The Providence Journal. Even though there still areas in which the club can improve, any additions likely will have to come from within the organization until after June 1st.
“A lot of it is dictated by opportunity,” the GM said. “You’re not going to make a blockbuster trade in April, for the most part, or May. Usually that’s something for the middle third of the season.”
The Red Sox could likely use an upgrade behind the plate, but Epstein isn't terribly concerned, citing that other clubs aren't receiving high offensive production from their catchers either. Backstops Jarrod Saltalamacchia and Jason Varitek have a combined slash line of .181/.246/.244 thus far.
Some links for Sunday afternoon..
- The Dodgers have become an embarrassment to the sport of baseball, writes Troy Renck of The Denver Post.
- Brewers right fielder Corey Hart is set to return on Tuesday and the club will have to clear a roster spot, writes MLB.com's Adam McCalvy. Unfortunately for Milwaukee, both Erick Almonte and the recently-promoted Brandon Boggs are out of options.
- Although Chris Sampson was somewhat shocked on April 1st when he learned that the Rockies would be releasing him, he was optimisitic that opportunities would likely fall into his lap toward the end of April, writes Stephen Goff of Examiner.com. Sampson signed a minor-league deal with the Marlins yesterday.
- Michael Silverman of the Boston Herald sees Jarrod Saltalamacchia's coronation as the Red Sox's starting catcher as being indicative of the lack of catching depth in the majors.
- Cutter Dykstra isn't exactly expected to accomplish what his father did, writes Bob Brookover of the Philadelphia Inquirer. The 21-year-old was recently shipped to the Nationals from the Brewers.
- The Yankees no longer have the largest payroll of any sports team on the planet as a pair of soccer teams have unseated them, according to Nick Harris of Sporting Intelligence.
Do not expect Dodgers owner Frank McCourt to go quietly into the night, writes Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe. The McCourt-Bud Selig saga could turn out to be one of the great sports legal battles of the 21st century. While he's been silent publicly, major league sources close to McCourt indicate he is flabbergasted by Selig’s actions, and that he has not been able to discuss the issues with the commissioner face-to-face. Here's more from Cafardo's Sunday column..
- A couple of major league evaluators say the Rays could explore moving B.J. Upton if they fall out of contention, or even if they’re in contention. They’d like to make a deal similar to the Matt Garza trade, in which they received good talent, including Sam Fuld.
- The Pirates received calls on catcher Ryan Doumit this winter but the talks eventually petered out. The Red Sox could be in the market for a backstop, but one talent evaluator says that Doumit isn't a great receiver and the club is better off sticking with Jarrod Saltalamacchia. Pittsburgh’s Chris Snyder, who is off to a hot start, could also be available.
- The Nationals are thought to be in the market for a center fielder and/or someone who can add give a boost to the Nats offense.
- The White Sox lead the majors with six blown saves, but one club exec stands by the team's decision to let Bobby Jenks go. Even though Jenks may do very well with Boston, it was the right decision, even if it doesn't look like it right now.
- Cafardo was surprised to see BoSox chariman Tom Werner issue a statement that he wasn’t interested in pursuing ownership of the Dodgers. Werner has Los Angeles roots and was once the owner of the Padres. The chairman himself pointed out that his business and personal relationships with John Henry are too good to walk away from.
Rainfall on the East Coast has already postponed a couple games on Friday night, but here's some items of note to hold you over ...
- Mets third baseman David Wright's days in New York may be winding down, writes Adam Rubin of ESPNNewYork.com. The Mets, who may be in full-on rebuild mode as soon as midseason, could opt to trade Wright because he is signed to team-favorable terms through 2013 and would therefore yield a better haul in a trade than Jose Reyes, Carlos Beltran or Francisco Rodriguez, writes Rubin. That the Mets could entertain this is indicative of how far they've fallen the past couple years; it once seemed likely Wright would spend his entire career in Queens.
- Red Sox catchers Jarrod Saltalamacchia and Jason Varitek have struggled so far this season, writes Alex Speier of WEEI.com, but with underwhelming and unready in-house options and limited trade or free-agent targets out there, a move is not imminent. Bengie Molina, 36, is still unsigned, but as Speier points out, would he be much of an improvement?
- The Nationals have purchased the contract of infielder Brian Bixler from Triple-A Syracuse, tweets Mark Zuckerman of CSNWashington.com. A corresponding move on the 40-man roster was to be announced. Bixler, a second-round pick of the Pirates in 2004 out of Eastern Michigan, last appeared in the bigs in 2009. In 166 career plate appearances, he has a .178/.238/.237 line.
- Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez has hired Steve Loy of Gaylord Sports Management to handle his marketing. As our Agency Tracker shows, A-Rod has not officially announced an agent since parting ways with Scott Boras, and he may not need one for a while considering he's signed through age 42. For a complete list of Scott Boras clients, click here.