Jay Gibbons Rumors
Some news items as the Dodgers do battle with the D'Backs tonight...
- Jay Gibbons is expected to be re-signed by L.A., writes MLB.com's Ken Gurnick. Gibbons may get some interest from Japanese teams, but it seems likely the California native will stay close to home.
- There has been no settlement yet in the ongoing McCourt divorce case, tweets the Los Angeles Times' Dylan Hernandez. The trial continues on Monday.
- The Dodgers could be setting themselves up for a future bad contract if they re-sign Ted Lilly to a long-term deal, warns Jon Weisman of ESPNLosAngeles.com.
It's been an eventful week for the Dodgers, with news that Don Mattingly will replace Joe Torre as the team's manager. Let's check out a few more updates out of Los Angeles, as the club prepares for the offseason....
- GM Ned Colletti says he doesn't intend to drastically overhaul his roster this winter, according to MLB.com's Ken Gurnick. "A year like this makes you look at every aspect of the team and makes you more apt to listen [to trade overtures]," Colletti said. "But it won't make me aggressively tear it up."
- Bill Plaschke of the Los Angeles Times thinks that Colletti would be right not to move Matt Kemp or Andre Ethier, but argues that the club should look into dealing James Loney. He also suggests that signing a free agent outfielder should be the Dodgers' "only big winter expenditure."
- According to Gurnick, Colletti would like to add a productive left fielder to replace Manny Ramirez. It's unclear whether the Dodgers will have the resources to bid on players like Carl Crawford and Jayson Werth.
- Catcher and third base also may be areas that need to be addressed, says Gurnick. Rod Barajas will be a free agent, Russell Martin will be recovering from a broken hip, and Casey Blake could be shifted into a utility role.
- The team is expected to try to retain free agents Ted Lilly, Jay Gibbons, and Barajas. They could also attempt to bring back Hiroki Kuroda and Vicente Padilla, depending on asking price and health.
- A few longtime Yankees weighed in on Torre's decision to step down, as Chad Jennings of the Journal News writes.
With the Padres, Giants and Rockies all battling for the playoffs and the Diamondbacks knee-deep in a GM search, don't forget about that fifth team in the NL West. Here are some news items from Dodger Stadium...
- GM Ned Colletti tells Tony Jackson of ESPNLosAngeles.com that the Dodgers will be more active this winter than they were during their relatively quiet 2009-10 offseason.
- According to CSNNE.com's Sean McAdam (Twitter link), Andre Ethier "has told some [he] would love to come to Boston." McAdam doesn't elaborate on whether or not Ethier really wants out of L.A. or that the Dodgers would consider moving him, but in another tweet McAdam writes that he has "a feeling, that given the mess the franchise is in, nothing [is] off table."
- Since the Dodgers are in the market for a third outfielder next season, Jon Weisman of ESPNLosAngeles.com suggests they could acquire a center fielder and move Matt Kemp to right. Kemp has delivered a -17.7 UZR/150 in center this season after being an above-average fielder in 2009.
- Weisman also writes that Rod Barajas and Jay Gibbons have performed well enough to be brought back by the club in 2011. Gibbons, for his part, is on board with that idea. He tells Dylan Hernandez of the Los Angeles Times (Twitter link) that playing for the Dodgers is a "dream job."
- Hernandez also tweets that Dodgers assistant GM De Jon Watson will interview for the vacant Arizona general manager's job tomorrow, while Logan White interviewed for the job today.
- Jim Peltz of the L.A. Times has the story of the Dodgers' John Lindsey, who is finally a major leaguer after spending 16 years in the minors.
- As we wait to find out if Joe Torre will leave the Dodgers after this season, the L.A. Times' Steve Dilbeck simply asks, "why would Joe Torre stay?"
Links for Wednesday, after a roller coaster win by Joey Votto and the Reds...
- GM Doug Melvin told MLB.com's Adam McCalvy that the Brewers won't discuss an extension with Rickie Weeks until the season's over. Weeks, who will hit free agency after 2011, recently switched agents.
- Scott Downs, Jason Frasor, Shawn Camp, Kevin Gregg and John Buck all hit waivers, according to Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports (on Twitter). There's no indication that the Blue Jays intend on moving any of their players this month.
- Over at RotoAuthority, Tim Dierkes analyzes the seasons some top second basemen are having.
- Number 18 is an 'ace number' in Japan, so Daisuke Matsuzaka has a clause in his contract ensuring that he gets to wear it. Matsuzaka explained to Alex Speier of WEEI.com that a childhood idol of his, Masumi Kuwata, wore the number for the Yomiuri Giants.
- Ben Kabak of River Ave. Blues calls the Javier Vazquez trade a "true disappointment," but hesitates to label it a "true bust."
- Joel Sherman of the New York Post argues that the Mets should make decisions with the future of the organization in mind, instead of "letting a lame-duck manager make choices" to win as much as possible.
- Manny Ramirez isn't the only Dodger on waivers. As Dylan Hernandez of the LA Times notes (on Twitter), Casey Blake, Jay Gibbons and Scott Podsednik also hit the waiver wire today.
Sunday night linkage..
- Jay Gibbons, who retired from baseball a season ago, is grateful for his latest opportunity with the Dodgers, writes Evan Drellich of MLB.com.
- Steve Dilbeck of the Los Angeles Times wonders why the Dodgers waited until now to designate Garret Anderson for assignment.
- The Pirates fired pitching coach Joe Kerrigan and bench coach Gary Varsho, writes Dejan Kovacevic of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.
- Mets manager Jerry Manuel told reporters that Fernando Martinez and Jeff Francoeur won't platoon all of the time, according to Michael Baron of MetsBlog. Yesterday we learned that Francoeur was unsatisfied with the arrangement and was ready to meet with GM Omar Minaya to discuss trade possibilities.
Baseball America's Matt Eddy is back with minor league transactions for the period of December 21-31. A few notable moves...
- The White Sox signed 1B/OF Jason Botts, who compiled a .230/.325/.344 career line with the Rangers.
- The Marlins signed reliever Chris Schroder, who posted a 2.22 ERA in 56.6 Triple A innings last year.
- The Dodgers brought Jay Gibbons aboard. Gibbons signed a minor league deal with the Marlins in January of '09 and was cut in March.
- The Yankees added outfielder Reid Gorecki, who hit .286/.351/.464 in Triple A. Also, according to Joel Sherman of the New York Post, the Yanks signed lefty reliever Royce Ring and outfielder David Winfree.
- The Giants signed reliever Kevin Cameron, who had a respectable rookie season with the Padres back in '07. He pitched only 32.3 innings in '09 for various A's affiliates.
- The Blue Jays signed left fielder Chris Lubanski, who was originally drafted fifth overall by the Royals in 2003.
The Baltimore Sun's Dan Connolly details the questions facing a Baltimore team with some young offensive talent, some terrific young pitching on the way, and a lot of extra cash.
Connolly writes that while the 64-98 record Baltimore had in 2009 was the third-worst in team history, "there is a sense that the future has promise because of the emergence of young starting pitchers Brian Matusz, Chris Tillman and Brad Bergesen, catcher Matt Wieters and outfielders Nolan Reimold and Felix Pie."
Left unsaid, of course, is the emergence of Adam Jones and Nick Markakis continuing to be a tremendous player.
The good news? The Orioles, according to Connolly, went from roughly $77MM owed in payroll at the start of the 2009 season-including $9MM to Jay Gibbons and Ramon Hernandez- to a $30MM commitment for 2010, not including raises through arbitration.
The bad news is that there aren't many marquee free agents (though there is Jason Marquis), and those that do qualify- Jason Bay, Matt Holliday, John Lackey- aren't great fits, particularly Bay and Holliday in an overcrowded outfield.
Connolly captures the problem of desires vs. realistic options perfectly here:
"The preference is to find a right-handed or switch-hitting first baseman in his prime, like the New York Yankees' Mark Teixeira. But there's no one who fits that profile in this year's class. The best free-agent options might be left-handed-hitting first basemen Russell Branyan and Hank Blalock or right-handed do-it-all Mark DeRosa."
So what's an Oriole to do?
According to Clark Spencer of the Miami Herald, the Marlins released outfielder Jay Gibbons today.
Gibbons and Jose Guillen were the first players to be suspended without failing a drug test. Gibbons was slapped with a 15-day penalty in December of '07 after SI.com learned that he'd received shipments of steroids and hGH. He was released by the Orioles in March of '08 (they ate $11.9MM), and shortly thereafter the Gibbons and Guillen suspensions were rescinded. Gibbons wrote an impassioned letter to all 30 teams, and then spent '08 with the Long Island Ducks before signing a minor league deal with the Brewers.
According to Jeff Zrebiec of the Baltimore Sun, Jay Gibbons is expected to sign a minor league deal with the Brewers. He had been playing for the Long Island Ducks.
Gibbons is known for writing a letter to the other 29 teams after being cut by the Orioles, apologizing for taking HGH and offering to play for free. I'm surprised; I didn't expect anyone to sign him.