Jay Payton Rumors

Beimel Has “Several Irons In The Fire”

It's been a relatively quite winter for Joe Beimel, but the free agent lefty reliever told Troy Renck of The Denver Post that he has "several irons in the fire." The Rockies, however, are not involved.

Last month we heard that Beimel was sitting on several offers, but obviously nothing has materialized. The Marlins were said to have interest, but that was before they signed Randy Choate. Beimel, 34 in April, has held left-handed batters to a .254/.305/.394 batting line with 5.3 K/9 over the last three seasons. He didn't sign until mid-March in each of the last two offseasons, so the wait is nothing new for him.

Renck also notes that Jay Payton wants to still play, but he isn't interested in spending time in the minors. The 38-year-old outfielder hit .343/.361/.514 in 36 plate appearances with Colorado last year, his first big league action since 2008.

Odds & Ends: Brewers, Dodgers, Fielder, Konerko

Links for Sunday as Phil Hughes takes the mound against Boston..

Rockies Notes: Uggla, Wigginton, Iannetta

Following Troy Tulowitzki's wrist injury, the Rockies are considering their next move, hoping to stay in contention in a competitive NL West. Troy Renck of the Denver Post has a few tidbits on their potential plans, in a series of tweets:

Cafardo’s Latest: Oswalt, DeJesus, Aardsma, LaRoche

There are a handful of big names that could be moved before this July's trading deadline, and Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe opens his latest column by taking a look at some of the possibilities. Let's check out the highlights from Cafardo's piece….

  • There's skepticism within the Astros' organization that owner Drayton McLane would want to trade Roy Oswalt to the Rangers, baseball's other Texas team.
  • The return the Royals are requesting in exchange for David DeJesus is higher than any team is willing to pay for now.
  • Mariners closer David Aardsma is "already drawing a lot of interest."
  • Pedro Feliz, Willie Bloomquist, and Jay Payton could be small-scale trade bait.
  • Adam LaRoche on his brief time as a Red Sox: "The ballpark was perfectly suited for the way I swing, and it would have been nice to have stayed there and see what would have happened over a full year."

Rockies Sign Jay Payton

The Rockies announced the signing of outfielder Jay Payton to a minor league deal, reports MLB.com's Thomas Harding.  The 37-year-old last appeared in the Majors in 2008, when he hit .243/.291/.346 for the Orioles.  His corner outfield defense generally rated as a positive in his last few years.  Payton hoped to play in 2009, but had arthroscopic shoulder surgery in April after a weightlifting injury.

Payton played with the Rockies from the '02 trade deadline through the '03 season.  His .309/.359/.532 line contained drastic home/road splits, and the Rockies non-tendered him due to limited financial flexibility.

Crasnick On Remaining Free Agents

ESPN's Jerry Crasnick has a new article up looking at a bunch of free agents.

  • Crasnick talked to one American League exec who views Pedro Martinez as "strictly a National League pitcher."  Coupled with his price tag and long layoff, the market isn't big for Pedro.
  • Ben Sheets is weeks away from a throwing program.  He's probably a ten-start guy this year, but interest figures to be strong.
  • Jim Edmonds hopes to sign by May.  He'll need two to three weeks to get ready.  Mark Grudzielanek also wants to play, and tells friends he only needs a week.  He'll look for a contender, and the Royals will hope he signs before June so they get that supplemental draft pick.  Jacque Jones is another guy who still hopes to play.
  • Geoff Jenkins is taking grounders at first base to increase his versatility.
  • Jay Payton suffered a shoulder injury lifting weights last month, but once he's healthy a few months from now he still wants to play.
  • Nothing appears to be cooking for Frank Thomas and Luis Gonzalez, who could be forced to retire.  Dave Roberts hasn't officially retired, but a comeback appears unlikely.
  • Paul Byrd's plan remains unchanged: sign with a contender around July.
  • Jon Lieber's agent says the pitcher has retired.  131 wins, including 20 in '01.  Lieber finishes with a 4.27 ERA in 2,198 innings for the Pirates, Cubs, Yankees, and Phillies.  He earned over $46MM, according to Baseball Reference.

Stark On Greinke, Manny, Dunn, Swisher

The latest from ESPN’s Jayson Stark

  • The Cubs’ ownership situation is not close to the finish line, which is one reason the team won’t be acquiring Jake Peavy anytime soon.
  • One source of Stark’s suggested Zack Greinke nearly left his current agent John Courtright of SFX for Scott Boras, a whisper I’d heard as well.  But now Greinke is happy with his contract and agent.
  • Free agents such as Manny Ramirez and Ivan Rodriguez could reasonably wait until March to sign.  Not a bad thing for this website!
  • Adam Dunn would like Manny to sign earlier, as he’s waiting to see what the Dodgers (his preferred team) do.  The Nationals have been Dunn’s most aggressive suitor, the Orioles have mild interest, and the Braves have backed off.
  • Stark questions the idea of talks for Manny heating up lately, since the Mets, Yankees, and Angels are out and the Giants are only conditionally interested.
  • When Alex Rodriguez was a free agent last winter, Joe Torre advised the Dodgers against signing him.
  • The Phillies would like to move Geoff Jenkins for a right-handed hitting outfielder, but Jenkins is paid too much.  Jay Payton and Emil Brown are not on the Phillies’ radar; they still like Nomar Garciaparra.
  • The Yankees are apparently "softening to the idea of trading Nick Swisher," with the Braves the top suitor.

Red Sox Rumors: Payton, Taguchi, Bard, Paulino

Michael Silverman of the Boston Herald has a few new Red Sox rumors:

  • The Sox are not interested in Jay Payton or any Craig Landis client (he also reps Jon Garland).  They’re also not in on So Taguchi.
  • Josh Bard could be a Plan B or C at catcher.  Ronny Paulino has also been discussed.

Perrotto’s Latest: Dye, Jenks, Werth, Madson

THURSDAY: David Lennon of Newsday talked to a source who said there’s "nothing there" in regard to the rumor of a Dye and Jenks to the Mets blockbuster. Joel Sherman talked to a few Mets officials who called the rumor nonsense.  Sherman says Martinez is "all but untouchable."

WEDNESDAY: Let’s dig into the latest column from John Perrotto of Baseball Prospectus.

  • Perrotto speaks of whispers of a possible White Sox-Mets blockbuster.  The Mets would receive Jermaine Dye and Bobby Jenks and the White Sox would receive Fernando Martinez among others.
  • Regarding the Orioles’ possible involvement in a trade that would send Jake Peavy to the Cubs, Perrotto says Baltimore seeks Ronny Cedeno and Felix Pie from Chicago.
  • Phillies GM Ruben Amaro Jr. has spoken to outfielder Jayson Werth and setup man Ryan Madson about contract extensions.  Madson might be a tough one as he’s represented by Scott Boras (who recently compared him to Mariano Rivera).  Both players are under team control for one more season.
  • The Red Sox are considering free agents Willie Bloomquist, Jay Payton, and Mark Loretta as possible bench additions.  A return to Boston seems to be Payton’s preference.
  • Perrotto believes the only player seriously considering accepting arbitration is Darren Oliver.  Oliver’s already seen the Reds drop out of the mix due to the draft pick price.
  • Perrotto says the Tigers and Orioles are showing interest in Jack Wilson, while the Dodgers have backed off.

Huff, Millar, Payton Clear Waivers

According to Dan Connolly and Jeff Zrebiec of the Baltimore Sun, four Orioles players have cleared waivers: Aubrey Huff, Jay Payton, Kevin Millar, and Jamie Walker.  Walker we already knew about.  The Orioles can now trade any of the four to any team.

I had guessed that Huff would not clear waivers, on account of his .910 OPS (10th in the AL).  However, the $10.1MM owed to Huff through ’09 proved too much for the other 29 teams.  His limited defensive abilities probably also played a role.

The Sun also mentioned that George Sherrill was claimed by an AL team and pulled back, which was expected.