Jason Bartlett Rumors

2013 Vesting Options

Which players can lock in 2013 contract options based on their 2012 performance?  Let's take a look.

  • Jason Bartlett, Padres: $5.5MM option vests with 432 plate appearances.
  • Alex Gonzalez, Brewers: $4MM option vests with 525 plate appearances.
  • Chipper Jones, Braves: $9MM+ option vests with 123 games.
  • Kevin Gregg, Orioles: $6MM option vests with 50 games finished.
  • Brett Myers, Astros: $10MM option vests based on unknown starting or relieving milestones.

Stark On Tigers, Blanton, Bartlett, Kazmir

As ESPN.com’s Jayson Stark points out, the NL Central will look considerably different in 2012, now that Prince Fielder, Albert Pujols and Tony La Russa have moved on. Ryan Braun could miss 50 games with a suspension that would make the division even less recognizable. Here are Stark’s latest notes and rumors:

  • Scouts and executives doubt Miguel Cabrera will be able to play third base with much skill in 2012.
  • One AL executive suggests the Tigers would have to eat a lot of money to trade Victor Martinez next offseason. Insurance will likely cover approximately half of the switch hitter’s 2012 salary of $13MM, Stark writes.
  • Stark hears that the Phillies have sent signals that they might make Joe Blanton available this spring.
  • Jason Bartlett has been available this winter and the Red Sox could pursue him, Stark writes. However, the shortstop will earn $5.5MM in 2012 and the Red Sox aim to stay below the luxury tax threshold.
  • Scott Kazmir intends to pitch in 2012, but his fastball velocity is in the 84-85 mph range. The 28-year-old appeared in one game for the Angels last year and they released him after a rough stretch at Triple-A.
  • There’s every indication that the commissioner’s office will discipline Juan Carlos Oviedo/Leo Nunez and Roberto (Heredia) Hernandez/Fausto Carmona for using false identities.
  • Though many have told Bud Selig that adding a second Wild Card team to each league this year will create scheduling issues, the commissioner seems intent on expanding the playoffs in 2012, and Stark expects him to get his wish.

Padres Rumors: Latos, Headley, Bartlett, Hudson

Last week we heard that the Padres aren't shopping right-hander Mat Latos, but today Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reminds us that the team isn't in the position to rule anything out. Here are Rosenthal's rumors out of San Diego…

  • Byrnes is "willing to talk about every player on his roster" and other clubs are inquiring about Latos, but Rosenthal reiterates that the 24-year-old isn't being shopped.
  • Third baseman Chase Headley is the player most in demand and most likely to be traded. The Tigers have interest in him, but the Padres are said to be asking for "the moon."
  • Jason Bartlett and Orlando Hudson are very available, but they're also drawing very little interest.
  • Rosenthal expects the Padres to be active at some point in soon.

NL West Rumors: Ludwick, Gillick, Padres, Rockies

The latest on various NL West clubs…

Pads Feel It’ll Be Easier To Deal Bartlett Than Hudson

Earlier this week we heard that the Padres hope to trade either Jason Bartlett or Orlando Hudson this offseason, and today Dan Hayes of The North County Times heard from a source that the team believes it will be easier to trade Bartlett because of his contract (Twitter links). The Padres think they'd have to eat part of Hudson's deal to get actual prospects back.

The double play combo are the only players San Diego has under contract next season. Bartlett, 32, will earn $5.5MM in 2012 after hitting .245/.308/.307 in 2011. Like many of his teammates, he hit better away from Petco Park: .265/.323/.330 with 16 doubles. Bartlett's $5.5MM option for 2013 will vest with 423 plate appearances next season, otherwise he will be owed a $1.5MM buyout.

Hudson, 34 next month, hit the disabled list twice due to hamstring strains this past season. He hit .246/.329/.352 with seven homers and 19 steals when healthy, and is owed $7MM in 2012. As our Free Agent Tracker shows, middle infielders like Jamey Carroll, Mark Ellis, and Aaron Hill have signed multi-year contracts this winter, all worth between $3.25MM and $5.5MM per season. Clint Barmes is poised to join them as well.

Marlins Offered Jose Reyes Six Years, $90MM

The Marlins offered $90MM over six years to Jose Reyes, a source told Ken Rosenthal and Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports.  They say Reyes is intrigued by playing in warm weather and for Ozzie Guillen.  Reyes wants a contract worth a minimum of $100MM, however, tweeted Joel Sherman of the New York Post yesterday.  More from Rosenthal and Morosi…

  • The Marlins have not discussed moving Hanley Ramirez to center field.
  • Many in the industry are skeptical of the sincerity of the Marlins' early offers to Reyes, Albert Pujols, Mark Buehrle, and Ryan Madson, feeling the proposals are competitive but not good enough to accept.  
  • The Rangers and Angels are among the teams that are interested in both C.J. Wilson and Roy Oswalt.  The Nationals prefer Oswalt.  Both pitchers are clients of Bob Garber.
  • Heath Bell could benefit from the new collective bargaining agreement if teams no longer have to surrender a draft pick to sign Type A free agents who turned down arbitration.  Ramon Hernandez too, in my opinion.  I'm surprised to hear that such a change could be instituted for the 2012-13 offseason, after some teams made July trade decisions based on the old free agent compensation system.
  • The Padres want to trade Jason Bartlett or Orlando Hudson.  They are currently the only two players the Padres have under contract.  Bartlett's $5.5MM option for 2013 will vest with 432 plate appearances in 2012.
  • Rafael Furcal has drawn interest from the Rockies, Tigers, and Blue Jays as a second baseman, but he prefers to remain at shortstop.
  • Rosenthal and Morosi say not to rule out the Giants on Carlos Beltran yet.
  • The Angels will know more about Kendrys Morales' condition after January 1st.  Morales is still recovering from a fracture in his leg suffered in May of 2010.

Quick Hits: Angels, Astros, Bartlett, Konerko

The Tigers defeated the Rangers tonight and they now trail two games to one in the ALCS. Detroit could even the series at two games if they win at home tomorrow afternoon. Here are today's links…

  • The Angels have D'Backs exec Jerry Dipoto and Yankees scouting director Damon Oppenheimer on their list of GM candidates, according to Jon Heyman of SI.com (Twitter link). We recently introduced Dipoto and Oppenheimer as part of our GM Candidates series.
  • Astros owner Drayton McLane told Stephen Goff of the Houston Astros Examiner that he'll complete the ownership transfer to Jim Crane, though it could take three or four weeks (all Twitter links).
  • The Astros announced that they have agreed to one-year deals with hitting coach Mike Barnett and pitching coach Doug Brocail.
  • MLBTR's Tim Dierkes learned that Jason Bartlett's $5.5MM club option for 2013 vests if he picks up 432 plate appearances in '12 (Twitter link). That would give the Padres infielder 1050 trips to the plate in 2011-12.
  • White Sox GM Kenny Williams admitted to reporters that he considered Paul Konerko as a possible player-manager before hiring rookie skipper Robin Ventura. "He would probably drive himself nuts right now playing and managing at the same time," Williams said, according to Mark Gonzales of the Chicago Tribune.
  • Nolan Ryan wouldn't predict the Rangers' chances of re-signing C.J. Wilson, according to Richard Durrett of ESPNDallas.com. Ryan says the Rangers will start negotiating with Wilson's agent once their season ends.
  • Joel Zumaya told reporters, including Jason Beck of MLB.com, that he'd like to re-sign with the Tigers after the season. The hard-throwing right-hander didn't pitch this year because of elbow soreness and has started throwing again.
  • As J.J. Cooper of Baseball America explains, young players are being squeezed out of independent baseball. But some, such as Marshall Schuler of the Frontier League, could become options for MLB teams.

NL West Notes: Bell, Stewart, Padres, Giants

On this date three years ago, the Diamondbacks acquired Jon Rauch from the Nationals for Emilio Bonifacio. Neither player remains in the NL West, but that won't stop us from passing along the latest from their former division…

  • There's no frontrunner yet in the Heath Bell trade talks, a source tells Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports (via Twitter).
  • The Rockies are playing Ian Stewart in part because they want the rival scouts on hand to watch him, according to Jim Armstrong of the Denver Post. Stewart's struggles continued last night; he struck out three times.
  • Jason Bartlett is staying put in San Diego, according to ESPN.com's Jerry Crasnick (on Twitter).
  • The Padres have focused their trade talks around Heath Bell, Chad Qualls, Ryan Ludwick and Aaron Harang, according to Crasnick, who hears that they're going at a "slow pace" (Twitter link).
  • The A's are open to trading within the AL West or with the Giants, according to Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports (on Twitter).

Cardinals Notes: Wainwright, Heath Bell, Bartlett

At 41-38, the Cardinals are three games behind the Brewers in the NL Central.  They rank second in the league with 4.67 runs scored per game, though Albert Pujols will miss all of July with a left forearm fracture.  The Cards' starters rank 10th in the league with a 3.90 ERA, while the bullpen is 13th at 4.19.  Today's links…

  • Adam Wainwright hopes to make the Cardinals' September and playoff rosters this year, to help the team and to force his $9MM option for 2012 and $12MM option for 2013 to vest, he told Rick Hummel of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.  However, since Wainwright had Tommy John surgery in late February, manager Tony La Russa isn't expecting anything from him this year.  I think the Cardinals would prefer Wainwright not to rush, and will happily pick up his options anyway.
  • Joel Sherman of the New York Post hears that the Cardinals "are trying to land" Heath Bell and Jason Bartlett of the Padres.  In that scenario, Ryan Theriot would have to move to second base.  Acquiring Bell and Bartlett at the trade deadline would require taking on about $3.7MM in additional 2011 salaries, plus quality prospects.    
  • Get your Cardinals MLBTR fix through our team-specific Facebook, Twitter, and RSS pages.

NL Central Notes: Reds, Cardinals, Bartlett, Cubs

Let's take a look at some items out of the NL Central, including a Point-Counterpoint on the Cardinals and Jason Bartlett..

  • The Reds' biggest need at the trade deadline will be at shortstop if Paul Janish doesn't turn things around at the plate, tweets John Fay of the Cincinnati Enquirer.  The 28-year-old is hitting .221/.250/.260 so far this year.
  • Jeff Gordon of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch says the Cardinals should be "all over" Jason Bartlett if the Padres make him available.  While Gordon likes what Ryan Theriot has brought to the table this year, he believes that his substandard defensive play at shortstop is hurting the club.
  • Meanwhile, Derrick Goold of the Post-Dispatch presents a respectful dissent to the case for Bartlett.  While Bartlett is a better option defensively than Theriot, the gap between the two at the plate is too large to overlook.
  • Bruce Miles of the Daily Herald wonders if it's time for a regime change with the Cubs’ baseball operation.  Miles points out that GM Jim Hendry is getting to rebuild his club for a third time, something few major-market GMs get to do.