Jason Schmidt Rumors
MLB.com's Ken Gurnick confirmed Wednesday that Jason Schmidt is likely to retire.
Schmidt filed for free agency last week, but it may have simply been a formality. "Leaving my options open," he said. "At this moment, no, I'm not thinking about pitching anymore. Down the road, I'm not sure. Initially, I'd say no way. I'm not planning on playing at this moment. In my mind, I retired when I left in August."
The 36-year-old right-hander made just 10 starts during his three-year tenure with the Dodgers, finishing 3-6 with a 6.02 ERA. He has pitched 13 major league seasons, and, if truly done, will end his career with a 130-96 record, 3.96 ERA and 1,758 strikeouts.
A few Thursday evening links to browse through....
- MLB.com's Brian McTaggart reports that the Houston Astros will decrease their spending in 2010, after the team's payroll exceeded $100MM the first time in 2009.
- Filing for free agency may have just been a formality for Jason Schmidt, according to Ken Gurnick of MLB.com. The 36-year-old righty looks headed for retirement.
- Dick Kaegel of MLB.com hasn't heard anything that substantiates rumors of an Alberto Callaspo-A.J. Ellis swap between the Royals and Dodgers.
- Evan Brunell of The Hardball Times is "horrified" that the Phillies are considering Placido Polanco for their third base opening.
- Jenifer Langosch at MLB.com fields Pirates-related questions from readers. Most of them react to Pittsburgh's recent acquisition of Akinori Iwamura.
MLB.com's Ken Gurnick takes a look at what he figures to be an "exciting" offseason for the Dodgers. Let's go over the highlights:
- No surprise that Gurnick lists Manny Ramirez as the biggest question mark heading into 2010. Manny's 37, and while many feel he's a lock to pick up his $20MM option for 2010, Gurnick cautions not to be too sure. As Gurnick points out, Manny is as unpredictable as they come, as is his agent, Scott Boras. Gurnick reminds us of 2006, when no one thought J.D. Drew would walk away from $33MM guaranteed, but he and Boras did just that, securing more years and more dollars with the Red Sox. Additionally, Manny's told his teammates that the pounding on his legs is getting to him, and that he ought to be a designated hitter.
- The Dodgers are set to have up to $40MM come off the books this offseason, which should more than cover the arbitration raises due to Andre Ethier, Matt Kemp, James Loney, Russell Martin, Chad Billingsley, Jonathan Broxton, George Sherrill, and Hong-Chih Kuo.
- Jason Schmidt accounts for $15.5MM of that $40MM sum. Gurnick says that Schmidt is "expected to retire."
- The Dodgers did extremely well signing Orlando Hudson and Randy Wolf to one-year deals last offseason, but now find themselves right back where they started, writes Gurnick, with second base and starting pitching as the biggest needs.
- Gurnick lists outfielder Jason Repko as a non-tender candidate.
- Rather than give the second base job to Blake DeWitt, Gurnick feels that an acquisition for second base is "almost a certainty."
Another round of links...
- Reds GM Walt Jocketty tells MLB.com's Mark Sheldon that no team has inquired on Francisco Cordero.
- Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports has a series of predictions for the season's final month. He doesn't expect Jake Peavy to win more than a single game for the White Sox.
- MLB.com's Ken Gurnick reports that Jason Schmidt's season is over. Schmidt, who won three games in as many seasons for the Dodgers, hinted he may retire.
- Ken Griffey Jr. tells C. Trent Rosecrans of CNati.com he's having the time of his life back in Seattle. He's open to staying with the Mariners, but says he understands if the team decides to move on. Check out the entire interview - it's a great read.
- Roy Oswalt says there's "a dead feeling" in the Astros clubhouse, according to Richard Justice of the Houston Chronicle. Justice argues that "the people in charge have screwed up the franchise."
- Tony Massarotti of the Boston Globe reports that the Red Sox evaluated Billy Wagner in depth before trading for him.
The tireless Ken Rosenthal of FoxSports.com has a new Full Count video up. Let's dive in...
- Yankees GM Brian Cashman told Rosenthal that he was "very aggressive" going after pitching help, whether it be high-end starters, low-end starters, or relievers. "I was on all of it," Cashman said.
- Cashman specifically targeted Jarrod Washburn, but the Mariners asked for top prospect Austin Jackson in return. The Yankees were also "one of several clubs" to inquire about Felix Hernandez.
- Rosenthal says Heath Bell was their primary target among relievers, as the idea was to make him the primary setup man for Mariano Rivera, and possibly put Phil Hughes or Alfredo Aceves back into the rotation.
- The Dodgers "never got close" in their attempted blockbuster for Adrian Gonzalez and Bell. The deal would have helped Los Angeles' rotation by shortening the game from the back end with another elite reliever.
- They still have issues in the rotation however, as Jason Schmidt topped out at 87 last night. Only two National League clubs have gotten fewer innings out of their starters than the Dodgers.
- We won't know the true result of the Pirates' firesale until 2011 or 2012, but the early returns on the Jason Bay trade are not good. Rosenthal says the Rays may have been willing to pay more for Bay at the time, possibly including the since-traded Jason Hammel and/or Edwin Jackson in a package.
- Hitters and relievers will be in "ample supply" during the August waiver period, but quality starting pitchers ... not so much. Doug Davis might be one of the best available starters, and the Diamondbacks will need to be realistic about a return since they are unlikely to offer him arbitration after the year.
- There was "precious little action" on Davis in July. When Rosenthal mentioned to a club official that the offers for Davis might not be much better in August, the official responded "they can't be much worse."
Some links as we begin a week of non-stop rumors...
- Joel Sherman of the New York Post says John Smoltz, Jonathan Sanchez and Jason Schmidt, who all start tonight, will have an impact on their teams' deadline decisions. Red Sox officials want to see how much they can count on Smoltz, Sanchez can quiet teams' concerns about his control with a good start and Schmidt can provide the Dodgers a back-of-the-rotation arm.
- Joe Strauss of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch says Troy Glaus and Khalil Greene are both advancing to Triple A for the next stage of their respective rehab assignments.
- Evan Brunell of the Hardball Times finds the Padres-Orioles trade baffling from the Padres' perspective.
- Texas Rangers Trades interviews MLB.com's T.R. Sullivan and the chat is worth a read.
- Jeff Wilson of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram lists 11 pitchers the Rangers could potentially trade for, including Roy Halladay.
A few links for your Saturday evening reading...
- MLB.com's B.J. Rains says that Troy Glaus is going to work out in the outfield as he rehabs from offseason shoulder surgery. The Cardinals haven't committed to using him in the outfield when he returns, they're just giving it a try to see what happens. Glaus played five innings in left field tonight before moving to first base. The Cards have been looking to add a bat seemingly all year.
- John Perrotto of Pirates Report.com says that it's unlikely Jack Wilson and Freddy Sanchez sign extensions. This morning we learned that the Bucs lowballed both players with their offers.
- Jason Schmidt will return to the Dodgers' rotation on Monday, reports MLB.com's Ken Gurnick. It'll be just his seventh start for the Dodgers since signing his three year, $47MM deal in Decemeber 2006, and his first since June 16th of 2007.
- The Cubs have signed second round pick D.J. LeMahieu, according to Carrie Muskat of MLB.com. LeMahieu was the 79th overall pick in last month's draft, which has an expected slot recommendation of around $460k.
- Bronson Arroyo wants to see the Reds kept together at the trade deadline rather than having the veterans sold off, says MLB.com's Mark Sheldon.
It's a busy day for international signings, but lots is going on at the major league level, so let's take a look:
- The Dodgers are looking for pitching, but how about Jason Schmidt? He pitched well at Triple A for the second time yesterday, according to MLB.com's Ken Gurnick.
- Newsday's Ken Davidoff creates a history of recent deadline deals.
- Edgar Renteria told Henry Schulman of the San Francisco Chronicle that he turned down two multi-year offers to sign with the Giants.
- Think it's too early to talk about Bryce Harper? Well Joe Dunand Jr., Alex Rodriguez's nephew, is just 13 years old and, as Ian Begley of the New York Daily News reports, he's already quite a slugger.
- The relative of another superstar signed with the Angels. Mike Piazza's second cousin will go pro, according to the Florida Tech Sports site.
- Geoff Baker of the Seattle Times crunches some numbers and suggests Franklin Gutierrez could be more valuable than Adam Jones this year.
- Kevin Towers says the addition of Bob Melvin to the Padres' staff wasn't meant to threaten Bud Black, according to Nick Canepa and Bill Center of the San Diego Union-Tribune.
- Julio Lugo admits that his deal with the Red Sox hasn't worked out, according to Steve Buckley of the Boston Herald.
- Jim Salisbury of the Philadelphia Inquirer says the Phillies have more minor league pitching depth than ever.
On this date back in 2003, Johnny Damon hit a single, a double, and a triple in a 14-run first inning against the Marlins. The Red Sox set a league record by scoring ten runs before making an out.
On to the linkage...
- Matthew Pouliot of Circling The Bases says that Dayton Moore's moves over the last season and a half are enough to warrant his dismissal. He notes they have a more than qualified replacement already in-house in senior advisor Mike Arbuckle.
- Ben Bolch of The LA Times notes that Jason Schmidt threw 104 pitches over 7.2 shutout in a rehab start yesterday. We know the Dodgers are looking for pitching, but a healthy and reasonably effective Schmidt could lessen that urgency.
- Tracy Ringolsby writes that Garrett Atkins' recent hot streak creates "more of a possibility of another team having interest in acquiring him." Atkins is hitting .340-.415-.553 in June.
- The Rangers have been getting good production from unexpected sources like Jason Jennings, says Ken Sherrington of The Dallas Morning News.
- Rockies outfielder Carlos Gonzalez says he's happy to be in Colorado, according to Susan Slusser of The SF Chronicle.
- Joe Cowley tweets this Ozzie Guillen quote: "The people that run baseball teams now are soft." I wonder what Kenny Williams thinks about that.
- Marc Carig writes that the Rockies had begun combing through the Yankees' farm system in advance of a potential Huston Street trade back in May.
They're 15-8, in first place in the NL West, but the Dodgers face questions about a rotation that includes three ERAs of 5.50 or more. Behind Chad Billingsley and Randy Wolf, they have Clayton Kershaw, who hasn't pitched out the the fifth inning his last two starts, James McDonald, who has walked a batter an inning this year, and Eric Stults, who's allowing two baserunners an inning. Yahoo's Tim Brown takes stock of the rotation and how Ned Colletti will progress with it.
- Brown says it's unlikely the Dodgers will add Pedro Martinez, Paul Byrd, Odalis Perez or Freddy Garcia.
- One scout's analysis: "There's plenty of pitching available. None you'd want."
- Brown suggests the Dodgers need a club like the Indians, Reds or Mariners to fall from contention so some quality arms become available.
- If David Price pitches his way into the Rays' rotation, Jeff Niemann could become trade bait.