Jason Bartlett Rumors

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.

East Notes: Millwood, Bartlett, Manuel, Jenks

Pitchers and catchers are reporting in Arizona and Florida, but up in the northeast, it doesn't feel like spring has arrived quite yet. Here are a few AL and NL East-related links while we wait for the snow to melt….

  • Although the Yankees and Kevin Millwood are still talking, they have "a ways to go," tweets SI.com's Jon Heyman. Yesterday, nearly 43% of over 6,300 MLBTR readers voted that Millwood would eventually sign with the Yanks.
  • The Rays were close to sending Jason Bartlett to San Francisco before they worked out a trade with another NL West club, Giants GM Brian Sabean tells Marc Topkin of the St. Petersburg Times.
  • John Gonzalez of the Philadelphia Inquirer wonders why it's taking so long for the Phillies and Charlie Manuel to work out a contract extension.
  • The Red Sox topped baseball's list of spenders this offseason, as ESPN.com's Katie Sharp writes. Since the turn of the century, the piece notes, only the 2009 Yankees have won a World Series after having outspent the rest of the league the previous winter.
  • Bobby Jenks spoke to the media in Fort Myers today, discussing his decision to sign with the Red Sox. The right-hander said he had offers elsewhere to close, but wanted to play in Boston, adding that he knows his role as a setup man and "didn’t come here to step on anybody’s toes." Alex Speier of WEEI.com has those quotes and more from Jenks.
  • Mike Puma of the New York Post and Dan Connolly of the Baltimore Sun each pose 10 questions that could shape the Mets' and Orioles' seasons, respectively. In addition to discussing how new arrivals will fit in, each article addresses the back of the bullpen. Will the Mets let Francisco Rodriguez finish 55 games to trigger his 2012 option? And will it be Kevin Gregg, Koji Uehara, Mike Gonzalez, or someone else closing in Baltimore?
  • For updates all year long on the closing situations in Boston, New York, Baltimore, and everywhere else, be sure to follow @closernews on Twitter. A great resource for fantasy players, @closernews will keep tabs on injuries, ineffectiveness, overuse, and anything else that could affect which relievers are getting save opps.

Padres, Jason Bartlett Agree To Two-Year Deal

The Padres avoided arbitration with Jason Bartlett and agreed to sign him to a two-year deal, the team announced. The sides agreed to an $11MM deal, according to MLB.com's Corey Brock and Bernie Wilson of the AP has the details on the LSW Baseball client (Twitter links). Bartlett earns $4MM in 2011, $5.5MM in 2012 and either $5.5MM or a $1.5MM buyout in 2013.

The agreement buys out Bartlett's final season as an arbitration eligible player and one free agent year. The shortstop, who arrived in San Diego in a December trade, earned $4MM last year and was due for a raise in 2011. Orlando Hudson signed in San Diego as a free agent for comparable money; he and Bartlett will man the middle of the Padres infield for the next two seasons.

After a 2009 season in which he made the All-Star team and batted .320/.389/.490, Bartlett slumped to .254/.324/.350 last year. The 31-year-old has stolen ten bases or more for five consecutive seasons and has a .281/.345/.385 line in parts of seven campaigns with the Twins and Rays. Bartlett was originally selected by the Padres in the 13th round of the 2001 Draft and signed by current Padres amateur scout Lane Decker.

Ryan Ludwick, Heath Bell, Tim Stauffer, Mike Adams and Chase Headley are the Padres' remaining arbitration eligible players, as MLBTR's Arbitration Tracker shows.


Padres Acquire Jason Bartlett

The Padres have acquired Jason Bartlett from the Rays, tweets Marty Caswell of XX1090 Sports Radio.  San Diego will also receive a player to be named later from Tampa Bay in exchange for Brandon Gomes, Adam Russell, Cesar Ramos, and Cole Figueroa.  The PTBNL will be a minor leaguer and will be worked out in advance of Opening Day, tweets Marc Topkin of the St. Petersburg Times.

The two sides reportedly had a deal worked out last week in which Bartlett would be shipped westward for Russell and Ramos.  There were rumblings that the Rays were concerned about Ramos' health but the club apparently feels comfortable enough with a new deal in place.

The swap marks a homecoming of sorts for Bartlett, who was originally drafted by the Padres in 2001 before being shipped to the Twins roughly one year later.  The shortstop shined in 2009 but slumped in 2010, hitting .254/.324/.350 with four home runs in 532 plate appearances.

With seemingly every Rays reliever on the free agent market, and limited spending power, Rays president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman had to get creative to find relief help. Russell, a 27-year-old right-hander, pitched 15 2/3 innings for the Padres in 2010, posting 10.3 K/9, 2.9 BB/9 and a 4.02 ERA. He also appeared in 50 Triple-A games, posting a 4.88 ERA with 8.9 K/9 and 5.6 BB/9. It marks the second time in two years that he's been traded; the Padres acquired him in the 2009 Jake Peavy deal.

Ramos, 26, pitched briefly for the 2010 Padres, but spent much of the season at Triple-A Portland, where he posted a 3.28 ERA as a swingman. He has never struck out an overwhelming number of hitters (5.9 K/9 in 2010) and his walk rate rose to 4.0 BB/9 this year. The lefty turned down the chance to sign with Tampa Bay when they drafted him in the 6th round of the 2002 draft. Three years later, he signed with the Padres after they selected him 35th overall.

Figueroa was ranked as the Padres' 30th best prospect heading into 2010 by Baseball America.  According to the publication, the middle infielder is a patient hitter with lackluster power.  Defensively, he has an average arm and great hands, meaning that he'll likely wind up at second base.

Gomes, a right-handed pitcher, has spent the last two seasons in Double-A San Antonio.  Since earning the promotion, the 26-year-old has registered a 2.24 ERA with 12.0 K/9 and 3.3 BB/9 in 116 appearances.

Ben Nicholson-Smith contributed to this post.


Bartlett Trade Holdup Nearly Resolved

THURSDAY, 1:30pm: The issue that slowed the trade down is "nearly resolved," according to Jon Heyman of SI.com (on Twitter).

TUESDAY, 6:23pm: Ramos told Dan Hayes of the North County Times that he's healthy and only on the DL to create roster space (Twitter links). The Padres contacted him yesterday to make sure that he was healthy. 

MONDAY, 9:25pm: Ramos, who is now playing in the Mexican League, is on the disabled list, according to MiLB.com. His health may have slowed down trade talks.

FRIDAY, 6:12pm: The Rays are looking to get a second opinion on either Russell or Ramos after the pitchers went through their physicals, says Bill Center of the San Diego Union-Tribune.  "The problem is not believed to be serious, but there are no guarantees the deal will go through as originally agreed upon," Center writes.

WEDNESDAY, 10:20pm: The deal is done, according to Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports (on Twitter).

6:43pm: The Rays say they have nothing to announce and that reports of a deal are premature, according to Marc Topkin of the St. Petersburg Times (Twitter link).

5:45pm: The Padres have acquired Jason Bartlett from the Rays for relievers Adam Russell and Cesar Ramos

The Padres drafted Bartlett in 2001 and traded him to Minnesota just over one year later for Brian Buchanan. Five years after that, the Twins shipped Bartlett to Tampa Bay with Matt Garza for Delmon Young, so the Padres' new shortstop is no stranger to being dealt.

After a 2009 season in which he made the All-Star team and batted .320/.389/.490, Bartlett slumped to .254/.324/.350 last year. The Rays can now ease Reid Brignac into an everyday role. The 24-year-old batted .256/.307/.385 in 326 plate appearances in his first extended taste of the major leagues.

With seemingly every Rays reliever on the free agent market, and limited spending power, Rays president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman had to get creative to find relief help. Russell, a 27-year-old right-hander, pitched 15 2/3 innings for the Padres in 2010, posting 10.3 K/9, 2.9 BB/9 and a 4.02 ERA. He also appeared in 50 Triple-A games, posting a 4.88 ERA with 8.9 K/9 and 5.6 BB/9. It marks the second time in two years that he's been traded; the Padres acquired him in the 2009 Jake Peavy deal.

Ramos, 26, pitched briefly for the 2010 Padres, but spent much of the season at Triple-A Portland, where he posted a 3.28 ERA as a swingman. He has never struck out an overwhelming number of hitters (5.9 K/9 in 2010) and his walk rate rose to 4.0 BB/9 this year. The lefty turned down the chance to sign with Tampa Bay when they drafted him in the 6th round of the 2002 draft. Three years later, he signed with the Padres after they selected him 35th overall.

The Padres had a vacancy at short since Miguel Tejada signed with the division rival Giants. GM Jed Hoyer met that need with Bartlett, but further depletes a 'pen that saw two relievers head to Florida's other team in the Cameron Maybin deal.

MLB.com's Corey Brock (on Twitter) first reported that the deal was official, Joel Sherman of the New York Post first reported that the Rays would make a trade (Twitter links), Dan Hayes of the North County Times (Twitter link), Marc Topkin of the St. Petersburg Times (Twitter link) and Bill Center of the San Diego Union Tribune also reported on the story as it broke.


Padres Notes: First Base, Bartlett, Cabrera

Padres GM Jed Hoyer appeared on XX1090 sports radio in San Diego recently, touching on a variety of topics. Let's round it up…

  • XX1090 producer/reporter Marty Caswell tweets that Hoyer said the team's first base solution will likely be a free agent signing, not a trade. It would also be a one-year solution. Hoyer joked that he won't shave until they have a new first baseman.
  • "It’s something I can hope can get resolved quickly," said Hoyer with regards to the Jason Bartlett non-trade (via Caswell's Twitter). "There are several different issues we're working on." SI.com's Jon Heyman tweets that the deal is "better than 50-50" to get done.
  • Hoyer said he wouldn't mind having shortstop Everth Cabrera start the season in the minors to build confidence and let him accrue at-bats, tweets MLB.com's Corey Brock. A Bartlett would trade would certainly help make Hoyer's wish come true.