Jason Heyward Rumors

NL East Notes: Pelfrey, Parra, Nats, Valdez, Phillies

On this date last year the Mets released Oliver Perez with one year and $12MM remaining on his contract. Perez, now a member of the Mariners organization, hasn't appeared in the Major Leagues since. Here are some links from his former division…

  • After talking to a Mets official, "it doesn't seem" like the team has talked about cutting Mike Pelfrey, reports Mike Puma of the New York Post (Twitter link).  However, the Mets are "well aware of the fact" that Pelfrey's contract is non-guaranteed and, if the right-hander is cut, the Mets will only have to pay a portion of his $5.68MM salary.  Pelfrey has had a very rough Spring Training, posting a 14.90 ERA in 9 2/3 innings of work.
  • The Diamondbacks aren't going to trade Gerardo Parra to the Nationals, a D'Backs source tells Nick Piecoro of the Arizona Republic (via Twitter).
  • The Phillies are looking for infield help but it's "doubtful" they would try to re-acquire Wilson Valdez, tweets Jon Heyman of CBS Sports.  The Phils dealt Valdez to the Reds in January since the Phillies felt they were already set for utility infield options — somewhat ironic given their current position.
  • David Murphy of the Philadelphia Daily News argues that the Phillies need to add a veteran infielder give the questionable health of their projected starters. Ryan Howard, Chase Utley, Placido Polanco and Michael Martinez are all currently dealing with injuries.
  • ESPN.com’s Buster Olney gets the sense that the Braves’ on-field personnel prefer Andrelton Simmons for the starting shortstop job, while the front office favors Tyler Pastornicky. Such divergences of opinion are common and not necessarily problematic, as Olney notes.
  • Olney hears from talent evaluators who say Jair Jurrjens has struggled to command his fastball and that Jason Heyward is "still thinking about his mechanics" at the plate.

MLBTR's Mark Polishuk also contributed to this post

Quick Hits: Royals, Heyward, Diamondbacks

On this date 25 years ago Andre Dawson signed a one-year, $650K contract with the Cubs. Owners were colluding against players at the time, and Dawson had even offered the Cubs a blank check earlier that winter. Dawson would go on to win the 1987 NL MVP, though the Cubs finished last in the NL East that year. Here are today's links…

NL East Links: Rollins, Lowe, Heyward, Nats

The National League portion of the playoffs don't start until tomorrow, but there's plenty of news coming out of Senior Circuit. Let's round up some links from the NL East…

  • "That's a tough call, a tough call" joked Jimmy Rollins of the Phillies when asked by Newsday's David Lennon if he would play in New York (Twitter link). Rollins will become a free agent after the season, like Mets shortstop Jose Reyes.
  • Braves GM Frank Wren told Dave O'Brien of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution that Derek Lowe is not projected to have a spot in the rotation next year (Twitter link). The bullpen or a trade are options. Lowe is owed $15MM next year, the final one on his contract.
  • Wren also said that Jason Heyward is not guaranteed to start in right field next year, but the GM told MLB.com's Mark Bowman that the Braves have never talked about trading the 22-year-old (Twitter link).
  • Mark Zuckerman of CSNWashington.com looked at five issues the Nationals must deal with this offseason, including settling on a manager.

Braves Notes: Heyward, Chipper, Coaches, Reyes

The Braves will be facing extra pressure this offseason as the team tries to recover from its September collapse.  Here's the latest from Turner Field….

  • "There is some sentiment within the organization that Atlanta might be better off dealing Jason Heyward," writes ESPN's Buster Olney (Insider subscription required).  Heyward suffered through a difficult sophomore season and as a result, "there are voices within the franchise asking the question of whether he can be counted on" as a long-term building block.  I'd say that there's little chance the club gives up such a promising young talent, though as the Yunel Escobar trade showed, the Braves aren't afraid to deal a quality player if they feel the player isn't a fit.  The Braves would be selling low on Heyward, though they would still recoup a nice return given his reputation and impressive 2010 rookie season.
  • Chipper Jones says the team's September failure hasn't affected his decision to return in 2012, reports David O'Brien of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
  • Fredi Gonzalez confirmed that the entire Braves' coaching staff will return next year, reports MLB.com's Mark Bowman.
  • The Braves don't require a major overhaul, opines Fangraphs' Eno Sarris, though he suggests a few position switches that could improve the team's defense.   
  • ESPN's Jim Bowden (Insider subscription req'd) agrees that the Braves don't need to shake up their roster and suggests that Atlanta could be one of the top suitors for Jose Reyes.  Bowden also notes that the Braves have fewer looming issues than their September collapse partners in Boston: "While age and a barren farm system dim the Red Sox's upside going into 2012, the Braves have a much brighter outlook."

Casey Close To Represent Jason Heyward

Jason Heyward has switched agents and is now represented by Casey Close of Excel Sports Management, instead of Career Sports Entertainment, according to MLB.com’s Mark Bowman. Bowman suggests that Heyward is following Victor Menocal, a former Career Sports agent.

Heyward, one of the game’s top young stars, is arbitration-eligible after 2012 and eligible for free agency after 2015. The 2007 first rounder has a .269/.383/.458 line with 25 homers in a year and a month as a big leaguer.

Close left CAA Sports in February and recently joined the New York-based agency Excel Sports Management. He continues to represent 12 former CAA clients, including Derek Jeter and Ryan Howard. For the latest on all agencies and players, check out MLBTR’s Agency Database.

NL East Notes: Zimmermann, Marlins, Heyward

Players with zero to three years of service time are under team control and don't have the power to negotiate their salaries. Most of these players agree to terms with their clubs on deals worth $400-500K, but some don't agree to terms and their clubs renew their contracts instead (it doesn't affect the player's timeline for arbitration or free agency). Here's the latest on the NL East, including news on some contract renewals:

Odds & Ends: Miner, Gorzelanny, Heyward, Twins

Links for Wednesday, as the lights go out at Wrigley Field…

  • Tigers pitcher Zach Miner will undergo Tommy John surgery, writes MLB.com's Jason Beck.
  • The Tigers are better-known for developing power arms, but as Beck shows, the Tigers have successfully developed some position players, too.
  • Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports says the Cubs don't appear to be involved in serious talks to trade Tom Gorzelanny, but wonders if clubs like the Tigers and Rangers could inquire if the lefty becomes available.
  • You knew Jason Heyward was good, but Dave Cameron of FanGraphs puts the outfielder's amazing start in perspective, saying he's on his way to "one of the great rookie seasons of all time."
  • Meanwhile, Cameron wonders if the Rays should deal B.J. Upton to a team looking to capitalize on talent. It would save the Rays money and improve their chances of keeping Carl Crawford around.
  • One AL assistant GM told ESPN.com's Jerry Crasnick that he doesn't expect the Twins to trade for a reliever this summer.
  • 2010 draft prospect and Arlington native Michael Choice tells Chris Cox of MLB.com that it would be "a dream come true" to play for the Rangers, who pick 15th this year. Jonathan Mayo, Frankie Piliere and Keith Law all predicted Choice would be selected before that in their most recent mock drafts.

Odds & Ends: Strasburg, Piniella, Ely, Marlins

Jamie Moyer, we are all witnesses.  Some quick notes as we finish up the work week….

  • Stephen Strasburg allowed just one hit and one walk over six shutout innings in his debut for Washington's Triple-A affiliate, reports The Associated Press.
  • Jon Paul Morosi of FOXSports.com predicts the Cubs' woes may drive Lou Piniella into retirement when his contract is up after this season.
  • The Los Angeles Times' Steve Dilbeck thinks the Dodgers erred in sending rookie right-hander John Ely back down to the minors so quickly.
  • Clark Spencer of The Miami Herald has some details of Florida owner Jeffrey Loria's chat with reporters today.  Loria dismissed any problems between him and manager Fredi Gonzalez, though Spencer notes that Loria "never exactly came out and said Gonzalez's job was 100 percent secure."  Loria was vague about when Mike Stanton would be called up to the majors, but the owner noted that the Marlins "don't want him to come and fail. If he's going to come here, he's going to come here to stay."
  • Speaking of Stanton, his name came up more than once during Baseball America's J.J. Cooper's chat with fans today.  When asked if he'd rather have Stanton or Jason Heyward for the next 10 years, Cooper's answer was "Heyward and it didn't really take any time to think about it," though that's more of a nod to Heyward's limitless potential than a slight towards Stanton.
  • Brian McCann revealed today that he is having more vision problems, and he will again start wearing glasses in the field, reports David O'Brien of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
  • ESPN's Buster Olney reports (via Tweets here and here) that the Mariners will still be paying Milton Bradley while he is on the team's restricted list.
  • Jean-Jacques Taylor of the Dallas Morning News writes that of all the catcher possibilities the Rangers looked at over the winter, little-regarded Matt Treanor became the team's "savior" due to his solid defensive and game-calling skills.  (Probably on purpose, Taylor doesn't mention Treanor's .619 OPS.) 
  • Aaron Rowand, like Barry Zito, is also starting to live up his big Giants contract, writes Mychael Urban of CSNBayArea.com.  Urban notes that Rowand's early-season success may be due to a better offseason fitness regiment and a total swing overhaul.

Odds & Ends: Antonetti, Harper, Embree

Links for Wednesday…

Odds & Ends: Britton, Beckett, Crawford, Blue Jays

Links for Friday…