Jason Bay Rumors
The trade deadline is officially behind us, but expect to see a number of waiver trades this month as teams begin to fall out of contention. Here's the latest from around the league as Wednesday turns into Thursday...
- Alex Speier of WEEI.com reports that the Red Sox held onto Jarrod Saltalamacchia and Kelly Shoppach at the deadline despite trade interest because they wanted to keep as many impact bats as possible while David Ortiz is on the DL. They also want to maintain catching depth.
- "Absolutely. That would be wonderful," said Hunter Pence to Andrew Baggarly of CSNBayArea.com when asked about signing long-term with the Giants (Twitter link). San Francisco acquired Pence yesterday.
- Earlier today we heard that the Mets and Marlins discussed a trade involving Jason Bay, Heath Bell, and John Buck, but Mike Puma of The New York Post reports (on Twitter) that Bay was never asked to waive his no-trade clause.
- ESPN's Jim Bowden graded each team's trade deadline activity, giving the Angels and Dodgers an A and an A-, respectively. The rebuilding Astros received a B+.
The Mets and Marlins discussed a change-of-scenery trade that would have sent Jason Bay to Miami for Heath Bell and John Buck, reports Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports. A deal was never close, though the contracts and the money matched up well. Bell is signed through 2014, Bay and Buck through 2013. Rosenthal notes that all three players are likely to clear waivers this month, so the two sides could revisit the deal. Here are the rest of his rumors...
- The Astros are paying virtually all of the $9MM left on Carlos Lee's contract, but one club that spoke to the Marlins said Miami wanted as much as $2.5MM in return for the slugger. Talks never progressed.
- The Orioles spoke to the Mariners about Kevin Millwood, but Seattle wanted a better return than what was offered given the right-hander's bargain $1MM salary.
- The Orioles also discussed a deal with the Royals that would have sent one of their young arms to Kansas City for Luke Hochevar and Jonathan Broxton. Rosenthal speculates that it may have been Jake Arrieta.
- The Brewers were close to trading Francisco Rodriguez to the Giants about a week before the deadline, but San Francisco backed off after the right-hander blew two saves and allowed six runs in Philadelphia last week.
Happy Father's Day to all dads! Jim Thome, a father of two, became just the fourth player in baseball history to hit 100 home runs for three different clubs with his solo shot in the Phillies' game against the Blue Jays. Thome joins Alex Rodriguez, Reggie Jackson, and Darrell Evans in that exclusive club.
- Mets manager Terry Collins told reporters, including Adam Rosenbloom of MLB.com, he is concerned about the playing career of Jason Bay, who is on the disabled list with his second career concussion. "We've got to put ourselves in his shoes, and decide what we think is the best for the future," Collins said.
- Indians GM Chris Antonetti will not show any apprehension approaching the trade deadline after the mixed results of the Ubaldo Jimenez deal last year, according to Paul Hoynes of the Cleveland Plain Dealer. "I continue to trust our process and evaluators," said Antonetti. "If we feel the right guy is out there, and it's the right trade, we'll certainly be willing to make it. I don't think we'd operate any differently."
- Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel writes the Brewers recent sweep at the hands of the Royals may cause the team to be sellers at the trade deadline. Haudricourt points out the Brewers will have several question marks heading into 2013 including the starting rotation, first base, outfield, and shortstop.
Mariano Rivera suffered an apparent right knee injury while shagging fly balls during batting practice today in Kansas City. MLB.com's Bryan Hoch has the details about the injury, which has been initially diagnosed as a twisted knee (Twitter link), though Rivera will undergo an MRI tonight. If the injury requires Rivera to miss time, it would be the legendarily durable closer's first DL stint since 2003. Follow @CloserNews for the latest on Rivera's status and how his possible absence would impact the Yankees' bullpen.
Here's some news from both Big Apple teams...
- Joba Chamberlain has been transferred to the 60-day DL, the Yankees announced today. In corresponding moves, Jayson Nix has been called up from Triple-A and Eric Chavez has been put on the seven-day DL due to a possible concussion.
- The Mets have no plans to call up star prospect Matt Harvey to become the team's new fifth starter, GM Sandy Alderson told Andy Martino of the New York Daily News. “Aside from Matt himself -- and I love that he thinks this way -- there is no one in the organization who feels he is ready to be in the major leagues,” Alderson said. "When we bring him up, we hope to do so and not have to send him back. This is not about filling an immediate need. This is about the long-term stability of the organization and the team.” To that same end, the Mets will also not call up any of their other top pitching prospects like Zack Wheeler or Jeurys Familia.
- "There are no other options" for the Mets in regards to Jason Bay other than to hope that he returns from the DL fit and starts hitting, writes MLB.com's Anthony DiComo as part of a reader mailbag. I wouldn't say Bay is completely untradeable, as the Mets may be able to move him for another bad contract, though that wouldn't really help the situation. Bay is owed approximately $13.3MM over the remainder of this season and $16MM in 2013, though as DiComo notes, Bay's injury problems make it unlikely he will get the necessary plate appearances for his 2014 $17MM club option to vest.
Jose Reyes played his first game at CitiField as a Marlin tonight after leaving New York for Miami and $106MM this offseason. Here's the latest on the Amazin's...
- Right-hander Mike Pelfrey was placed on the DL with an elbow injury today, and ESPN New York's Adam Rubin hears he suffered a partial tear of his UCL and could be out for the season. Pelfrey is headed for a second opinion and was a non-tender candidate even before the injury.
- Jason Bay was also placed on the DL today, and Rubin points out that the outfielder's 2014 option vests if one of two conditions are met: 500 plate appearances this year and next or 600 plate appearances in 2013. Bay currently has 57 plate appearances and the injury could impact the first condition.
- Earlier today we had some notes about the left side of the Mets' infield, shortstop Ruben Tejada and third baseman David Wright.
- The Mets’ proposal to Niese includes two option years, Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com reports (Twitter links). This is to be expected, since the deals for Derek Holland, Trevor Cahill and Clay Buchholz all included two team option years as well.
- A Mets official suggested the team may platoon Jason Bay in left field if he's struggling six or seven weeks into the season, Mike Puma of the New York Post reports. Team executives aren't discussing the idea yet and say it's too early to worry seriously about Bay, who has $32MM remaining on his contract with the Mets.
- Joel Sherman of the New York Post wonders how much speed the Mets will have without Jose Reyes and Angel Pagan.
Four years ago today, the Nationals signed Odalis Perez to a minor league contract. He pitched to a 4.34 ERA in 159 2/3 innings for them that season, then didn't show up to Spring Training the next year. Three years ago today, the two sides came full circle and Washington released him. Here's the latest from Perez's old division, the NL East...
- Phillies left-hander Cole Hamels ruled out the possibility of signing in his hometown of San Diego, asking Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com "why would I want to go where fans only support you from the third inning through the sixth?'' (Twitter link). Hamels will hit free agency after the season if the Phillies don’t sign him to an extension.
- Cody Ross told Ken Rosenthal and Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports that the Marlins’ decision not to give him a raise as a pre-arbitration eligible player bothered him and increased his willingness to go to an arbitration hearing against his former club.
- Brian Costa of The Wall Street Journal took a look at Jason Bay's contract and what the future could hold for the outfielder and the Mets. Bay is owed $16MM in 2012 and 2013, then a $17MM vesting option for 2014 comes into play.
- Here's the latest news regarding a contract extension for Ryan Zimmerman. The Nationals have approximately 36 hours to get their franchise player signed long-term before his self-imposed deadline. Zimmerman can't become a free agent until after 2013.
The latest from the NL East:
- Juan C. Rodriguez of the South Florida Sun Sentinel hears that bidding for Jorge Soler could end up over $20MM and doesn't expect the Marlins to be involved at that price (Twitter link).
- The Mets have asked around and not received "even minor interest" for Jason Bay, tweets Joel Sherman of the New York Post.
- A reunion of Endy Chavez and the Mets seems less likely following the club's acquisition of Andres Torres, tweets Andy Martino of the New York Daily News. The Mariners, Rangers, or Orioles could be landing spots for Chavez, says MLB.com's Anthony DiComo.
- ESPN's Adam Rubin tweets a similar notion, stating that a reunion between Chavez and the Mets is "not impossible" but that he's also not forecasting it (Twitter link).
- GM Mike Rizzo told Jim Bowden on MLB Network Radio on SiriusXM that the Nationals are "definitely" interested in Adam Jones and have done their homework on him (Twitter link). Orioles GM Dan Duquette has said he doesn't plan to deal Jones, however.
- The Nationals did add one outfielder today, according to Amanda Comak of the Washington Times, who says the Nats signed Brett Carroll to a minor league deal (Twitter link).
- While the Winter Meetings have been quiet for the Braves, GM Frank Wren points out that there will still be plenty of time left in the offseason to make deals after this week. David O'Brien of the Atlanta Journal Constitution has the quotes.
- O'Brien also shares a Q&A with Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez that touches on trade rumors, Jason Heyward, and a few other topics.
Steve Adams contributed to this post.
This is a running list of players who have cleared waivers, based on published reports. Once a player clears waivers, he can be traded to any team (barring a no-trade clause). This list can always be found in the sidebar under MLBTR Features. Player names are linked to the source articles.
Updated 8-30-11 at 10:56pm
- Aaron Harang, Padres - Harang's ERA is a respectable 3.92 with 6.7 K/9 and 3.3 BB/9 in pitcher-friendly Petco Park.
- Dontrelle Willis, Reds - Willis has bounced back with the Reds, posting a 4.10 ERA, 6.3 K/9, 3.8 BB/9, 0.68 HR/9, and 56.8% groundball rate in 52 2/3 innings.
- Carlos Zambrano, Cubs - Zambrano cleared waivers prior to being placed on the disqualified list. He has a short fuse, lousy stats, and over $22MM remaining on his contract through next year.
- Rodrigo Lopez, Cubs - Not surprising to see the journeyman clear waivers.
- Chris Capuano, Mets - Capuano owns a 3.74 SIERA as of August 14th and earns only $1.5MM plus incentives, so it's hard to see why a few teams didn't place claims.
- Bronson Arroyo, Reds - His peripheral stats haven't changed much, but Arroyo has a 5.31 ERA as of August 15th. $15MM of his $35MM contract is deferred through 2021 without interest. The deferrals are voided if he's traded, however. At any rate, expect Arroyo to stay put.
- Bruce Chen, Royals - Chen has his moments, but it's not surprising to see him clear waivers.
- Jason Vargas, Mariners - Like many of the starters here, Vargas' fastball wouldn't break a window. But he has less than a million bucks left on his contract this year and is under team control through 2013. He'd fit nicely at the back end of several rotations.
- Chien-Ming Wang, Nationals - His three starts this season were his first in over two years, so it's understandable that contenders wouldn't jump to claim him.
- Tom Gorzelanny, Nationals - Booted to the bullpen last month, the 29-year-old flyballing southpaw has posted strong strikeout rates in recent years but can't hold a rotation job.
- Ted Lilly, Dodgers - He always has strong strikeout-to-walk numbers, but is prone to the longball. With over 82% of his $33MM contract remaining ($27MM+), it's no surprise he cleared waivers.
- Joe Nathan, Twins - Nathan won't be traded, according to Joe Christensen of the Minneapolis Star-Tribune.
- Chad Qualls, Padres - Qualls is enjoying a bounce-back season, though his strikeout rate dipped to 5.3 K/9 this year.
- Bill Bray, Reds - Bray has been decent this year, and a little tougher against lefties. He'll be arbitration eligible for the second time this offseason.
- Hong-Chih Kuo, Dodgers - A dominant reliever last year, Kuo has dealt with a back injury and anxiety disorder as his control has eluded him.
- Huston Street, Rockies - Between a recent triceps injury and the $9MM+ owed to him through 2012, Street was expected to clear.
- Brian Fuentes, Athletics - He's owed over $6MM through next year, and has been mediocre for the A's.
- Jon Rauch, Blue Jays - Rauch is affordable, but he's on the DL for an appendectomy and wasn't great before that.
- Mike Gonzalez, Orioles - Gonzalez has been dominant in August, and against lefties. The problem is that he's still owed almost a million bucks.
- Kevin Gregg, Orioles - Gregg might be the worst reliever holding down a closer's job, and he's owed at least $6.4MM through next year.
- John Grabow, Cubs - He's been ineffective even against lefties, and he has over $700K remaining.
- D.J. Carrasco, Mets - The Mets signed Carrasco to a two-year deal in December - their biggest acquisition of the offseason - but optioned him to Triple-A in April. He stayed there until mid-June.
- Aramis Ramirez, Cubs - In July, Ramirez's agent said that his client would consider an August deal but he has since had a change of heart. The Cubs hold an option on Ramirez's deal worth $16MM.
- Alfonso Soriano, Cubs - This one was also obvious. SI's Jon Heyman notes on Twitter that the Cubs are willing to pay a "major, major chunk" of the $58.35MM owed to the left fielder through 2014.
- Lance Berkman, Cardinals - Berkman has said he hopes to re-sign with St. Louis after the season, when he hits free agency. Still, it's a surprise to see him clear waivers.
- Ryan Theriot, Cardinals - Theriot earns $3.3MM this year and will be a non-tender candidate after the season.
- David Wright, Mets - It's surprising that Wright cleared waivers, but it doesn't mean the Mets have interest in dealing him. Wright earns $15MM next year and can void a $16MM club option for 2013 if traded.
- Conor Jackson, Athletics - Olney notes that the Red Sox asked about the light-hitting 1B/LF/RF, but there doesn't seem to be any traction there.
- David DeJesus, Athletics - DeJesus has had a rough year but could at least be useful against right-handed pitching.
- Hideki Matsui, Athletics - The Athletics have several waiver trade candidates, and Matsui's hot second half and low salary (owed less than $2MM the rest of the season) could make him a popular target.
- Jason Bay, Mets - With Bay being owed at least $38.8MM through 2013, this was expected. It's only been 12 games, but Bay is at least having his first good month of 2011.
- Willie Harris, Mets - The versatile Harris has less than $200K left on his contract.
- Angel Pagan, Mets - It's been a dismal year for Pagan, who may be in line for a non-tender after the season.
- Carlos Lee, Astros - No surprise here, as the 35-year-old is hitting .263/.321/.417 and is owed almost $23MM through next year. El Caballo's ten-and-five rights kick in after the season.
- Johnny Damon, Rays - Damon blocked an August trade last summer and 12 months later he's a candidate to be traded once again.
Tim Dierkes contributed to this post.
There are indications that Cubs owner Tom Ricketts could be considering a management overhaul in Chicago, and Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe thinks Ricketts would do well to hire as many Red Sox people as possible. Cafardo suggests that Allard Baird, Ben Cherington, and DeMarlo Hale are among the names that should be attractive to the Cubs. Here are some other highlights from the Globe's Sunday Notes:
- Matt Capps should draw plenty of trade interest if the Twins decide to move him. However, the closer likely won't become available until the Twins are absolutely sure they're out of the race, as the defending AL Central champs will be reluctant to give up on their season.
- If the Nationals are willing to deal him, there will be a strong market for setup man Tyler Clippard. Cafardo speculates that Clippard would be a good fit for the Yankees or Phillies.
- An AL GM on the Athletics' decision to replace manager Bob Geren with Bob Melvin: "[GM Billy] Beane made the move now because he thought there was something to salvage. They still have the pitching. So it’s not out of the realm of possibility."
- Any contenders with interest in Orlando Cabrera may be able to acquire him sooner rather than later, after the Indians' promotion of Cord Phelps reduced Cabrera to a part-time role.
- Jason Bay's most recent slump had the Mets' $66MM man out of the lineup this week. "His bat is slow and he’s just not himself," said one veteran scout. "The ballpark [Citi Field] isn’t good for him, but the way he hit his home runs, I never thought that was a big issue."