Jason Botts Rumors

Odds and Ends: El Duque, Rays, Botts, Cruz

Today’s linkage…

  • RotoAuthority tries to decide what to do with the fourth pick in a fantasy draft.
  • The rumor about the Royals moving to the NL seems unfounded.
  • Sean McAdam says the Red Sox will keep an eye on the free agent pitching market, but don’t intend to spend much.
  • El Duque has all sorts of problems, which I won’t go into.   Maybe he’s just down on his luck,  but he indicated a 50/50 chance of this being his last season.  He’ll earn $6.5MM, and PECOTA calls for a 4.08 ERA in 98 innings.
  • DRays Bay talked to team owner Stu Sternberg.  Sternberg mentioned that he reads Rays Index, the blog of MLBTR contributor Cork Gaines.
  • Evan Grant compares Rangers Jason Botts and Nelson Cruz, one of whom will not be with the team by Opening Day.  They are among many on our Out of Options – 2008 list, which is growing by the hour.

Cubs’ Talks For Byrd Reach Impasse

The Cubs have been interested in Rangers’ center fielder Marlon Byrd for some time now, apparently offering Matt Murton.  However, MLB.com’s T.R. Sullivan says the Rangers’ insistence on good young pitching in the deal has caused a stalemate.  The Cubs like Byrd, but not at that price.

Evan Grant wrote recently that one of Jason Botts, Nelson Cruz, or David Murphy is likely to be dealt before Opening Day.  A Byrd trade might allow the Rangers to keep all three.

Odds and Ends: Manny, Johan, Saarloos

Here are some links I’ve rounded up for today.  I like the analogy that the Odds and Ends posts are like a pack of baseball cards.  You never know what you’ll get, and sometimes there’s gum.

Ranger Rumors: Botts, Otsuka, Padilla

Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News recently did a Q&A, and there were some interesting hot stove-related tidbits to consider.

  • Grant believes one of Nelson Cruz or Jason Botts will depart before Opening Day.  Botts is out of options, so he may be more likely to go.  While acknowledging that he is a 27 year-old DH, Botts’ recent Major League Equivalencies say he may be able to post an .800 OPS in the bigs.
  • Grant answers a question about Akinori Otsuka and his "scary" elbow.  He says Otsuka probably can’t pitch through the pain and if he did his ligament would be at risk of tearing anyway.  That’s why Otsuka is a free agent (not because he recommended San Diego to Kosuke Fukudome). The Padres and Phillies have been linked to Otsuka, while the White Sox passed on him.
  • Grant notes that the Mariners had mild interest in Vicente Padilla but that may be gone with their Carlos Silva signing.  Since Padilla’s value is at a low point it may make sense to hope he has a solid first half and deal him then.