Jason Kendall Rumors

Odds & Ends: Unit, Rhodes, Crisp, Valverde

More links for the evening…

Odds & Ends: Mora, Figgins, Tejada, Rangers

Links for Day 2 of the Winter Meetings, which are taking place in Indianapolis…

  • Add Robb Quinlan to the list of utility men on the Rockies' radar, according to Troy E. Renck of the Denver Post.  Tracy Ringolsby of FOX Sports names Melvin Mora as another target.  MLB.com's Lyle Spencer tweets of interest from the Twins in Quinlan.
  • The Mariners' deal for Chone Figgins is official, tweets the Brock & Salk show. The team press release notes it's a four-year deal with an option for 2014.
  • Cardinals manager Tony La Russa acknowledged interest in Miguel Tejada, talking to Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.  By the way, Astros GM Ed Wade is certain he won't re-sign Tejada, tweets Alyson Footer.  Tejada apparently wants multiple years.
  • MLB.com's T.R. Sullivan says the Rangers are considering free agent catchers such as Rod Barajas, Jason Kendall, Yorvit Torrealba, and Jose Molina.
  • WEEI's Alex Speier passes along Scott Boras' comments from an XM Radio appearance.  Boras discussed Matt Holliday, Johnny Damon, Ivan Rodriguez, and Adrian Beltre
  • The Brewers are discussing relievers Kevin Gregg and Mike Gonzalez at least internally, writes MLB.com's Adam McCalvy.  The Crew recently lost reliever Mark DiFelice for the 2010 season.  Gonzalez would cost good money and the Brewers' second-round pick (currently #50).
  • Yahoo's Kevin Kaduk asks whether Twitter is helping or hurting the Winter Meetings.  My opinion: hurting.  The information crush was tolerable when reporters all got blogs a few years back, but now it's excessive.  Of course, we're not helping.
  • Jamey Carroll would love to play for the Reds but hasn't received an offer yet, writes MLB.com's Mark Sheldon.
  • The D'Backs offered Chris Snyder to the Rangers for C.J. Wilson and were turned down, reports MLB.com's T.R. SullivanWilson tweets that he's "borderline offended" by Arizona's offer.
  • The Pirates have had further talks with free agent hurler Justin Duchscherer, says Dejan Kovacevic of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, but don't expect him to sign soon.  We learned yesterday that the Rockies have cooled on Duchscherer.  Kovacevic also reports that despite scouting Aroldis Chapman, the Pirates are not a player for him.  ESPN's Jorge Arangure Jr. indicates that Chapman will be showcased in Houston later this month.
  • The Rays and White Sox discussed a Carlos QuentinCarl Crawford trade, says Joe Cowley of the Chicago Sun-Times.  Manager Ozzie Guillen implies that nothing is cooking on that front though.  The two clubs also discussed closer Bobby Jenks, but the Rays did not like the asking price.
  • Angels GM Tony Reagins admitted to interest in Hideki Matsui, reports Mike DiGiovanna of the L.A. Times.  Keep in mind, though that the Japanese press is apparently grilling every GM on Matsui.  Reagins also said he hasn't ruled out re-signing Vladimir Guerrero.
  • Carl Pavano explained his decision to accept arbitration from the Twins, in an email to Kelsie Smith of the St. Paul Pioneer PressLa Velle E. Neal III of the Minneapolis Star-Tribune suggests retaining Pavano makes Glen Perkins expendable.
  • The Rangers are not interested in trading for Pirates catcher Ryan Doumit, reports MLB.com's Jenifer Langosch.

Royals Eyeing Jason Kendall, Rod Barajas

The Royals are considering catchers Jason Kendall and Rod Barajas in addition to Ivan Rodriguez, tweets Bob Dutton of the Kansas City Star.  These three, as well as Bengie Molina, Yorvit Torrealba, and Miguel Olivo, are part of a catching musical chairs game that involves the Royals, Giants, Mariners, Rangers, Mets, Nationals, and Rockies to varying degrees and combinations.  It's a low-OBP group as usual; what's your preference?

Overnight Links: Red Sox, Jays, Posey, Past Deals

Some overnight links for your viewing pleasure as we start to get into the real late hours of the night:

  • USA Today's Bob Nightengale says good morning with a series of tweets; Nightengale says he continues to hear Edwin Jackson's name floated about, and that "most executives" feel he'll be traded soon. He also wouldn't be surprised to see Adrian Beltre fall into Boston's lap if he declines arbitration. Not sure where he envisions Mike Lowell in that scenario.
  • Jeff Zrebiec lists ten trade targets for the Orioles, though he admits that some are highly unlikely. In a separate piece, Peter Schmuck opines that it's not a waste of money if the O's spend money on free agents this offseason to add a few wins and show future free agents that Baltimore is trending in the right direction.
  • Alex Speier of WEEI.com explains why it would be unlike the Red Sox sacrifice a high draft pick for a free agent reliever such as Mike Gonzalez or Rafael Soriano.  As you know, Boston currently owes their first-round #29 pick to the Blue Jays for signing Marco Scutaro.
  • Anything can happen at the Winter Meetings, writes Peter Schmuck, who reminds us of the 1990 deal between the Blue Jays and Padres that sent Fred McGriff and Tony Fernandez to San Diego for Roberto Alomar and Joe Carter. That trade started off as a minor discussion.
  • The Boston Herald has ten things to keep in mind at this year's Winter Meetings.
  • Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch looks at how the economy will affect this year's Winter Meetings, and poses five key questions to keep in mind this time around.
  • Gordon Wittenmyer looks at why the Cubs are optimistic that they can move Milton Bradley this offseason.
  • Count Tim Wakefield and Daniel Bard among those in the Jason Bay camp for the Red Sox, says Michael Silverman. While Matt Holliday may be a more complete player, Wakefield and Bard would prefer their friend and proven AL East commodity. Good read, if for no other reason than Wakefield's quote at the end on how closely he follows the offseason: "…We’ll be sitting in the dugout in spring training in Fort Myers and I’ll look across and be, ‘How the hell did he get over there?’ ”
  • John Tomase touches on the Red Sox needs this offseason. Tomase hits most of the names we've already heard, and throws Mark DeRosa and Jamey Carroll into the mix as well.
  • Quick! Who do you see spending the most money on the draft in 2010? Bet you didn't guess the Blue Jays (unless of course you took into consideration the large hint I provided in the title of this post). Reports are that the Jays will have a ridiculous $16MM to spend on the draft in 2010. The Jays have eight picks in the first three rounds (nine if Rod Barajas signs elsewhere), and plan to take full advantage of it.
  • El Lefty Malo takes a look at the possibility that the Giants sign Jason Kendall as their starting catcher because of the belief that Buster Posey isn't ready. Apparently, it's not a thought that sits well.
  • MLB.com looks back at some of the best trades and free agent signings by each club in the National League and American League since the era of Divisional play began. They've also got a more generic list of the best moves of the past 40 seasons.
  • Per Kyodo News, several teams have expressed interest in So Taguchi, according to his agent Alan Nero. Several teams? Can't say I expected that one.

Giants Notes: Rodriguez, Uggla, Bumgarner

Let's take a look at some Giants tidbits courtesy of Andrew Baggarly of the Mercury News

  • We heard earlier today that the Giants are one of a handful of teams interested in Ivan Rodriguez.  It has also been reported that the club is interested in Yorvit Torrealba and Brad Ausmus as they look to ease Buster Posey into the role of catcher.  However, Baggarly says Miguel Olivo, Rod Barajas, and Jason Kendall are more likely targets.
  • Although Florida's Dan Uggla is highly coveted by GM Brian Sabean, he is unwilling to sacrifice valuable commodities such as left-hander Madison Bumgarner to get him.
  • Just as the club wants to wait before giving Posey the reins as starting catcher, they would like to have Bumgarner start the year in Triple-A.  In order to do this, they need to find a fifth starter.  If they cannot retain Brad Penny, they'll have to look out-of-house.

Odds & Ends: Kendall, Uggla, Reds, Pedro

You want links? Well we got 'em…

  • Ed Price of AOL Fanhouse says that Jason Kendall was looking for $5MM to return to Milwaukee for another year. Yeah, good luck with that. No wonder why the Brewers went with Gregg Zaun.
  • Dan Uggla doesn't have any control over whether the Marlins trade him or not, but if they do, he hopes it happens sooner rather than later, according to Joe Capozzi of The Palm Beach Post.
  • When asked about the hot stove, Reds' manager Dusty Baker said "there's not much of anything going on," reports MLB.com's Mark Sheldon.
  • Michael Silverman of The Boston Herald says that Pedro Martinez wants to pitch a full season in 2010, instead of going on the Roger Clemens plan (pitching in the second half only) again.
  • Nick Piecoro of The Arizona Republic says that the D-Backs' perfect world Winter Meetings scenario "involves them acquiring a cost-effective starting pitcher in a trade and then using their remaining payroll flexibility to upgrade other areas of the club."
  • According to WEEI.com's Alex Speier, Padres' GM Jed Hoyer said that given his (and new assistant Jason McLeod's) experience with the Red Sox, they have a “level of comfort” in any potential trade with them, moreso than with any other team.
  • Re-signing Andy Pettitte is the Yankees' top priority, says George A. King III of The NY Post.
  • MLB.com's Carrie Muskat says as many as three teams are interested in Milton Bradley, and Cubs' GM Jim Hendry will spend next week trying to find the best match.
  • Former Blue Jays' GM J.P. Ricciardi said that Roy Halladay wants to be traded, according to The Canadian Press. Ricciardi added that a "lot of these decisions are out of the general manager's hands as far as what ownership perceives as fan reaction and what the perception of the club (is) and the direction that they are going. I think any time you have a player of this magnitude, that's really an ownership call."
  • In addition to Justin Miller, the Dodgers also signed Prentice Redman to a minor league contract, according to Dylan Hernandez of The LA Times.
  • MLB.com's Steve Gilbert has the news of three players the Diamondbacks inked to minor league contracts: T.J. Beam, Drew Macias, and Carlos Corporan. All three received invites to Spring Training.
  • ESPN's Jayson Stark wrote about the five biggest plotlines going into the Winter Meetings next week, while Scott Miller of CBSSports.com has some pre-Winter Meetings chatter of his own.
  • Got a problem with how FanGraphs puts a dollar amount on a player's performance? If so, Dave Cameron clarifies some things.

Brewers Do Not Offer Arb To Any Free Agents

The Brewers chose not to offer arbitration to any of their free agents, tweets Tom Hauricourt of the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel.  The Brewers had five Type Bs in Braden Looper, David Weathers, Felipe Lopez, Jason Kendall, and Mike Cameron.  A case could've been made for Lopez, but GM Doug Melvin said earlier that they didn't have a spot for him. 

Brewers Notes: Washburn, Davis, Kendall

Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel has the latest on the Brew Crew's off-season maneuvering….

  • As reported earlier today, the Brewers are expected to pursue veteran starters Jarrod Washburn and Doug Davis.  Scott Boras, Washburn's agent, said that he hadn't met with Brewers management yet, but expected the team to "resume their interest" (via Twitter).
  • Haudricourt tweeted that the Brewers have already made contact with Davis' agent.  Milwaukee could be battling with (among other teams) the Mariners over Davis' services, as FOX Sports' Ken Rosenthal and Jon Paul Morosi noted that Seattle "may be keen" on Davis themselves.
  • Milwaukee GM Doug Melvin said he didn't ask the Red Sox for Clay Buchholz or Daniel Bard in exchange for the now-departed J.J. Hardy, but those names did surface in trade talks with Boston last summer (via Twitter).
  • Melvin said the club may go with prospect Jonathan Lucroy at catcher next season, either as part of a platoon or perhaps as an everyday player should Lucroy perform well in spring training.  Lucroy hit .267/.381/.418 in 506 plate appearances at Double-A Huntsville last season, and has an .844 OPS over his three minor league seasons.  Another catching prospect, Angel Salome, will be given a long look in the spring as well.
  • Lucroy's elevation could spell the end of Jason Kendall's time in Milwaukee, though Haudricourt noted that Melvin met with Kendall's representatives to see if the free agent catcher would be willing to return.  If the veteran does come back to the Brewers, it will surely be at a lower price than Kendall's $5MM salary in 2009.

Brewers Face Plenty Of Roster Decisions

After a tremendous run last year that resulted in the club's first playoff berth in a quarter-century, the Brewers sat 13.5 GB of a playoff spot coming into today's action, and sport the National League's worst starting rotation thanks to their 5.22 ERA. As Adam McCalvy of MLB.com writes, the club has a ton of roster decisions to make this offseason, although GM Doug Melvin says "We've got a lot of decisions, and none of them will be discussed until the end of the season."

Some of the issues facing the Brew Crew this offseason are…

  • Impending Free Agents: Trevor Hoffman, Claudio Vargas, Mike Cameron, Felipe Lopez, Jason Kendall, Craig Counsell, Frank Catalanotto, and Corey Patterson will all be free agents after the season. The clubs holds a $3.7MM option for David Weathers next year ($400K buyout), and there's a $6.5MM mutual option for Braden Looper ($1MM buyout) that McCalvy says the club "will almost certainly pick up."
  • Arbitration Eligibles: Dave Bush, Corey Hart, Rickie Weeks, Seth McClung, J.J. Hardy, Jody Gerut, and Todd Coffey are all eligible for salary arbitration. Coffey, who's been the club's primary setup man, figures to get a nice raise over his current $800K salary.
  • Starting Pitching: As I mentioned earlier, Milwaukee sports the NL's worst starting staff. McCalvy reports that "Melvin promised this week that he would be much more aggressive this winter in his search for answers," and that the club might take a "little more chances and risks" than they're accustomed to taking.

The Brewers also have questions about the key up-the-middle positions. They have to sort out the Hardy-Alcides Escobar situation at short, and decide whether to try and retain Lopez or give Weeks another shot at second base duty. Cameron and Kendall have both made it clear they'd like to return, but those decisions will have to wait until the winter.

Milwaukee also must figure out third base, and whether Mat Gamel or Casey McGehee deserves the job. Prince Fielder has the other corner infield spot locked down, and is under contract for $10.5MM next year before being arbitration eligible in 2011, his final year before free agency. McCalvy also mentions that manager Ken Macha faces a lame-duck year next season, and that Melvin is fielding questions about whether another managerial change may be in order.

Who Will Catch For The Brewers In 2010?

The Brewers face a tough decision about who to put behind the plate next year, according to Adam McCalvy of MLB.com. Veterans Jason Kendall and Mike Rivera have said they want the job, and prospect Angel Salome is an option as well.

Kendall, who has caught the majority of Milwaukee's games for the last two seasons and is approaching free agency, has made it clear that he would like to return next year. "This is my first choice and they know that," Kendall said. "I really, really love it here."

Meanwhile, Rivera feels like he is ready for full-time duty. He is about to turn 33, but will be eligible for arbitration for the first time after this season. He hit well in limited duty last year and has hit .241 with 2 homers in 83 at-bats this year.

Salome has battled injuries this year, but posted a.360/.415/.559 line at AA Huntsville as a 22-year-old last season. According to McCalvy, he "should be ready to make the leap" from prospect to pro next year. 

McCalvy writes that the Brewers will not make any decisions until the offseason and that who will win the job is "anybody's guess."