Jason Donald Rumors
Three years ago today the Diamondbacks cut ties with righthander Russ Ortiz. With $22MM remaining on the four year, $33MM deal he signed before the 2005 season, Ortiz became the highest paid player ever to be released by a Major League team.
On to the links...
- Despite his knee injury, Jason Donald remains one of the Phillies' best trade chips according to Scott Lauber.
- Derrick Goold writes that Mark DeRosa's trade value is rising with the team's recent hot streak.
- The Detroit Free Press polled it's readers, and 32.7% want to see the Tigers trade for a bullpen arm to stay in contention.
- Bill Shaikin writes about master negotiator Scott Boras and his affect on the draft.
- Kurt Streeter reports that 36-year-old Jose Lima is still hoping to make it back to the big leagues. Lima Time is currently 1-1 with a 3.16 ERA for the independent Long Beach Armada, and last pitched in the big leagues for the Mets in 2006.
- ESPN's Jorge Arangure tweets that the Padres are targetting Dominican outfielder Jose Alberta Pena.
- Miami linebacker Glenn Cook was surprised when the Cubs drafted him in the 48th round because he hasn't played baseball in six years.
6:49pm: The Morning Call's article has been updated to say Donald will miss three to four weeks. which matches Zolecki's report. This would give the Phillies a few weeks before the deadline to showcase a healthy Donald.
5:42pm: MLB.com's Todd Zolecki reports that Phillies' infield prospect Jason Donald will have surgery on Monday to repair a torn meniscus in his left knee. The Morning Call says that he could miss up to six weeks, which means he could be on the shelf until the trade deadline.
Donald was hitting just .230-.293-.324 in 226 plate appearances for Triple-A Lehigh Valley this year, but he's considered one of Philadelphia's best prosects. Just last week we heard rumors of a Brad Penny for Donald swap, but any trade talks involving the 24-yr old shortstop will have to be put on hold now.
According to Nick Cafardo at the Boston Globe, the Red Sox have "left no stone unturned" in their search for a shortstop. Rounding out the list of names are Omar Vizquel, Jack Wilson, J.J. Hardy, the aforementioned Orlando Cabrera, Bobby Crosby, Jason Donald, Miguel Tejada and a mystery shortstop with the Braves. Ideally, Jed Lowrie would make a speedy return from the DL before they begin making any decisions.
As noted earlier, the Sox inquired on Cabrera but apparently aren't interested.
What should the Sox do? Just speculation--could the Braves' shortstop be Yunel Escobar or is it someone else?
Donald has struggled early, but it is hard to believe the Phillies would make such a deal. If they see the guy who pitched 208 innings of 3.03 ERA baseball for the Dodgers in 2007, maybe. But Penny is at 6.04 ERA in 149 innings ever since, and it is hard to see Penny as enough of an upgrade to warrant dealing one of your best middle infield prospects.
Zolecki also reports that the Phils don't seem to view Tom Glavine or Vicente Padilla as options. Hard to believe the Phils would take on another Jamie Moyer-like pitcher in Glavine, or deal for a pitcher, Padilla, they dealt away for very little a few years ago.
Realistically, none of these pitchers is likely to pitch better than Antonio Bastardo, who was dominant at Double-A Reading.
ESPN.com's Buster Olney wonders where Tom Glavine will land and comes up with a couple options. The Rangers, who are looking to shed Vicente Padilla, "will probably talk about Glavine." Olney says the pitcher could also "fit cheaply" with the Marlins and former Braves coach, Fredi Gonzalez. Here are the rest of Olney's rumors:
- Adam Dunn fits Boston's needs, but the Nationals would want a "big-time pitching prospect" in exchange for the slugger. The two teams match up well, but Olney warns this doesn't mean we'll see a deal.
- The Phillies heard that the Red Sox would want infielder Jason Donald in exchange for Brad Penny.
- The Reds are looking for a third baseman.
- Olney hears buzz that the Mariners may pass on Dustin Ackley, who's considered the best college hitter in the draft. If that's the case, the Padres would consider him and Donovan Tate with their 3rd pick.
- The Brewers are "actively looking" to improve their team.
This is 100% speculation on Buster Olney's part, but it makes for a good discussion topic. Should the Phillies trade infield prospect Jason Donald for starter Brad Penny? (I repeat - this is not an actual trade rumor).
The first question is how much Penny would help the Phillies. He's rung up a 5.96 ERA in nine American League starts, and has a 5.47 xFIP to match. Olney discounts Pedro Martinez for the Phillies in part because he's a flyball pitcher, but Penny's groundball rate this year isn't impressive at 38.4%. Olney's other argument against Pedro is that he does not go deep into games, but Penny's averaged only 5.37 innings per start this year. So if the Phillies like Penny, shouldn't they like Pedro almost as much? (They actually have no interest in Pedro, by the way).
The other question is whether six years of Donald is too much to give up for four or fewer months of Penny. Does Donald profile as a super-utility player in the future, as Baseball America wondered in their '09 Handbook?
Let's take a look at the latest Rumblings and Grumblings column from ESPN's Jayson Stark.
- The Padres' recent winning streak has not changed their intention of trading Jake Peavy. The Dodgers and Cubs are in Peavy's first tier of choices, follwed by the Giants, Cardinals, and Astros. The Angels would be the one AL team he'd consider. The East Coast is a long shot. Also, Peavy will want his 2011-13 partial no-trade clause to become a full no-trade. Peavy's friend Roy Oswalt has been unsuccessful in lobbying Astros owner Drayton McLane, as the 'Stros can't take on Peavy's contract. As for the Dodgers, GM Ned Colletti told the L.A. Times he hasn't talked to the Padres about Peavy since the pitcher vetoed the White Sox deal.
- Stark talked to scouts who believe Oswalt has "lost his edge" and needs a change of scenery. The Phillies have inquired on him, but they've asked about everyone: Peavy, Brandon Webb, Roy Halladay, Doug Davis, Erik Bedard, Cliff Lee, Aaron Harang, Brad Penny, Chris Young and Jason Marquis. Popular Phillies trade targets include Lou Marson, Jason Donald, Carlos Carrasco, Travis D'Arnaud, Freddy Galvis, Kyle Drabek, Dominic Brown, and Antonio Bastardo.
- The Braves are interested in bringing Mark DeRosa back to Atlanta. He came up with them and was non-tendered in '04 after tearing his ACL. But to deal young arms, the Braves would want an impact bat. Stark says they're "mostly listening" rather than shopping Jeff Francoeur. His trade value is difficult to gauge.
- The Mets seem content to wait out the first base trade market.
- The Giants seek a middle-of-the-order bat, and Jonathan Sanchez is being dangled. Three targets they haven't had success on are Dan Uggla, Jorge Cantu, and possibly Carlos Lee. Lee, according to one Stark source, doesn't intend to waive his no-trade for anyone.
7:05pm: LEN3 says the Twins would want more than Donald for Young, but it's a moot point because the Phillies don't want to trade Donald. The teams haven't spoken lately and don't have plans to meet in the near future.
Neal also says there's nothing going on between the Twins and Giants.
4:20pm: LEN3 says the Twins do like Donald. Neal also believes the rumor about the Giants being interested in Young.
One other fresh note from Neal's blog post - Dennys Reyes "might be on the Reds' radar."
1:26pm: According to Paul Hagen of the Philadelphia Daily News, the Phillies have inquired on Twins outfielder Delmon Young. Hagen believes the Twins would want shortstop prospect Jason Donald in return.
According to La Velle E. Neal III of the Minneapolis Star-Tribune, the Twins have broken off talks with free agent Casey Blake. Neal heard from a source that discussions ended when the Twins, who preferred a two-year deal with an option, wouldn't offer a guaranteed three-year contract.
The Twins have varying levels of interest in Adrian Beltre, Garrett Atkins, Jason Donald and Jack Wilson. Neal writes that Minnesota balked earlier this year when the Rockies requested Kevin Slowey and Denard Span in exchange for Atkins.
Since shortstops are disappearing fast, Neal's source says the Twins felt pressure to improve their infield and didn't want to negotiate for too long with Blake.
Neal heard that the Twins have received calls about Delmon Young, but aren't in a hurry to trade him for infield help, regardless of how well he fits into their outfield.
There's a chance the Twins could restart talks with Blake, but for now the Dodgers are the frontrunner for his services, according to Neal.
Rumor machine Ken Rosenthal has a new column...
- Free agent starters C.C. Sabathia and A.J. Burnett are in no hurry to sign. Makes sense; they're obviously special compared to the other starters on the market.
- Nationals owner Ted Lerner "has spent extensive time" with Scott Boras, presumably in regard to Mark Teixeira.
- The Cubs want to acquire their left-handed hitting outfielder before worrying about Jake Peavy. Rosenthal says the trade market is bleak, suggesting free agents such as Raul Ibanez and Milton Bradley might make sense. As we've said, there is no perfect fit for the Cubs' right field vacancy (unless Brian Giles will waive his no-trade clause).
- Paul Byrd is "virtually certain" to decline Boston's offer of arbitration. He aims to pitch near his Atlanta home - the Braves, Marlins, or Rays could work for him.
- A Rosenthal source pegged Jon Garland's chance of accepting arbitration at less than 50-50. ESPN's Jerry Crasnick recently indicated it was 75-25 he'd decline. Buster Olney says "some executives are stunned" that Garland will seemingly not accept.
- Rosenthal spoke to officials from two teams interested in Mariners closer J.J. Putz. The Ms haven't decided yet whether to make him available, contrary to a previous report. Jack Zduriencik apparently doesn't consider his club in rebuild mode.
- The Giants' signing of Edgar Renteria: "widely panned in industry circles." Joel Sherman found the same consensus. This differs from the web, where Keith Law and Dave Cameron liked it.
- Rosenthal says the Dodgers are not pursuing Jack Wilson; those talks broke down earlier in the offseason. Who to believe? He says the Tigers are making a "more serious push."
- Phillies shortstop prospect Jason Donald is a popular trade target, but the Phils might need him to fill in for Chase Utley at the start of the season.