Jay Gibbons Rumors
A few more minor notes from the MLBiverse...
- Jay Gibbons joins the Long Island Ducks.
- The Giants may have to trade for a long-reliever. Bruce Bochy admits that his team is without a long-reliever and will work to find extra innings from his middle relievers.
- With Paul Lo Duca coming off the DL, the Nationals will now have three catchers. Chico Harlan feels the Nats will hope that Lo Duca plays well in his return to increase his trade value.
- Nick Cafardo believes that the White Sox will let Orlando Cabrera walk at the end of the season as a free agent, feeling that their double-play combination of the future is in the system and not far away.
- Bob Smizik doesn't see the Pirates landing any top prospects for Xavier Nady or Jason Bay, should they be dealt.
Let's catch up with some more links.
- Jay Gibbons took my advice! He'll join the independent Atlantic League.
- Mark Shapiro is still holding out hope that the Indians can contend.
- The Marlins are close to signing Kyle Skipworth, the sixth overall pick.
- The Phillies released Steve Kline. Might be time to hang it up.
- MLB told teams not to contact Dayan Viciendo until his situation is resolved. The Reds may look into it after that.
- Peter Abraham ponders scenarios for the Yankees to acquire C.C. Sabathia.
Today's link collection.
- The Yankees are in the mix for Cuban third baseman Dayan Viciedo, as are 13 other clubs.
- The Mets designated Abraham Nunez for assignment. Well, it was fun while it lasted.
- Hank Steinbrenner gets a monthly magazine column...this should be interesting.
- Jay Gibbons is begging for a minor league deal. Might make sense to join an independent league and prove himself. Additionally, Barry Bonds' agent has talked to all teams and can't get a bite at the minimum salary.
- Juan Uribe wants to stay with the White Sox. In the same article, John Danks sounds open to a long-term deal.
- Not rumor-related, but I found this Tom Verducci piece about Chipper and .400 interesting.
- Buster Olney says Freddy Garcia should be able to pitch a simulated game by month's end.
The Orioles today released their second longest tenured player, Jay Gibbons. In doing so, the O's must eat the remaining $11.9MM in salary.
Gibbons batted .230-6-28 in only 84 games last season. His 62 OPS+ was only the second time in his career that he posted a number below 100. Injuries have hampered Gibbons who has only played 100 games once in the past four years. His best season came in 2005 when he hit .277-26-79 with an OPS+ of 118.
Gibbons is still facing a 15-game suspension for use of Performance Enhancing Drugs. The suspension was recently postponed as the league negotiates stiffer penalties with the players' union. It is widely believed that Gibbons will have his suspension lifted as part of the agreement.
A couple minor notes this morning...
- The Phillies claimed reliever Tim Lahey off of waivers from the Cubs. Lahey was the top pick in the Rule 5 draft from the Twins' system. The Cubs had to expose Lahey to waivers prior to offering him back to the Twinkies. Rule 5 rules still apply with the Phillies, so Lahey must remain on their 25-man roster all season or be offered back to Minnesota.
- John Fay notes that after the Reds latest round of cuts the roster sits at 26 which could open the door for a trade. He doesn't offer any potential names, but Ryan Freel still seems like the most logical choice. By the way, LEN3 notes that the Reds called the Twins about Freel and the Twins weren't interested.
- Peter Schmuck thinks that the Orioles might be reluctant to cut Jay Gibbons while Major League Baseball continues to renegotiate the league's drug policy. Gibbons is facing a 15-day suspension for use of PEDs but many believe the suspension will be lifted under the new agreement which ironically is supposed to stiffen penalties. Schmuck feels that if Angelos decides to keep Gibbons, it could undermine Andy MacPhail's efforts to rebuild the Orioles.
- The Cubs and Orioles continue to be linked in trade speculation involving Brian Roberts. The latest from the Chicago Tribune says that an Orioles scout was in attendance for Sean Gallagher's two hitless innings on Saturday. The amount of time it's taking for these two clubs to get their acts together on this deal continues to be mind-boggling.
- The Trib is also reporting that Jon Lieber took a big step towards earning the fifth spot in the Cubs rotation on Saturday, coming through with four shutout innings against the Diamondbacks. Ryan Dempster and Jason Marquis are also in the mix. It figures that the loser(s) of this battle could be trade candidates.
- Jeff Zrebiec of the Baltimore Sun is reporting that Jay Gibbons looks like a natural pick to be the odd man out in Baltimore's outfield, but the two years and $11.9MM left on his contract-- plus the small matter of an appearance in the Mitchell Report and his upcoming 15-day suspension for violating MLB's drug policy-- means he's not exactly going to be the easiest fourth outfielder in the world to move.
- Speaking of expensive fourth outfielders named in the Mitchell Report, Gary Matthews Jr. insists to the Orange County Register that he's perfectly happy with the Angels decision to bring in Torii Hunter. No, seriously.
Update: Beat writer Jeff Zrebiec reports that yesterday Miguel Tejada told O's President of Baseball Operations Andy McPhail, "I don't care about changing positions if we're going to be a winner, and I want to be on a team that is going to compete and win." That is a change of tune from the once stubborn shortstop. Orioles Manager Dave Trembley also said, "I fully expect that he'll be a major part of this team next season."
The Orioles pitchers have been going the extra mile to make Alex Rodriguez feel at home in Camden Yards this weekend, writes Peter Schmuck. Schmuck doesn't add too much to the notion; however, he does suggest that, for a team at the mercy of indecision - do we sign big names or rebuild from within? - Alex Rodriguez, should he opt out of his contract, is one apparent solution.
The O's need desperately to revive their franchise and A-Rod could certainly do that. A new long term contract for Arod will have him chasing baseball's greatest records with whom he signs. Meanwhile, Miguel Tejada will either be moved to 3B or another team. Considering his decline in defense, productivity, and attitude it seems the Orioles should lower their demands and trade him this offseason. That would open up an obvious hole at shortstop, a spot once celebrated by Cal Ripken, and an opportunity that could entice Rodriguez and save the Orioles.
That said, I'm not sure the O's could afford a potential $30MM player. They have a total payroll of $93.5MM in 2007, already up 20% from 2006, and at an all-time high. If they deal Tejada, it's probable they swallow some of his $13MM/year. The departure of Benson and Wright free up another $14MM. If they could void Jay Gibbons' contract, they'd be looking in the ballpark of $30MM before arbitration for Erik Bedard and others, various departures, etc. It seems probable they would have to again increase payroll to afford A-Rod.
Posted by: Nat Boyle
Sean Welsh of the Baltimore Examiner has a source indicating that the Orioles may try to void the remaining two years and $11.9MM on Jay Gibbons' contract based on allegations of steroid use.
While the O's wouldn't mind getting out from the lousy contract they signed, it seems highly unlikely. There's no precedent for it; the Yankees wanted out of the Giambi contract and failed. There's no language in Gibbons' contract about steroids. He never failed a test that we know of. And the original SI.com report doesn't say Gibbons used steroids, just that he received them.
If somehow the Orioles did succeed, perhaps the Blue Jays would look into the same regarding Troy Glaus. He'll make $23.5MM over 2008-09 and has a full no-trade clause. The Angels could try to void the Gary Matthews Jr. contract. Perhaps if the Mitchell Report names certain players, that will carry enough weight to void contracts. It'd still be tough to get past the Players Union though.
Jeff Zrebiec's article for the Baltimore Sun this morning discusses the possibility that the Orioles start selling off veteran parts as we approach the trading deadline. He specifically names Scott Williamson, Corey Patterson, Jay Gibbons, and Steve Trachsel as trade candidates.
In a related note, Gotham Baseball's Mark Healey spoke to an industry source indicating that the Mets might be interested in trading for Williamson and Jay Payton.
Williamson makes $900K this year, with additional incentives based on his number of games. Patterson, a Scott Boras client, makes $4.3MM and is a free agent after the season. His terrible hitting this year will cost him what could've been a decent payday. The Gibbons contract is ugly: $5MM this year, $5.7MM in '08, and $6.2MM in '09. Trachsel earns $3.1MM this year plus a $4.75MM club option for '08. Finally, Payton makes $4.5MM this year and $5MM in '08.
The Orioles could really go nuts if they wanted to, dumping off contracts and veterans. Miguel Tejada, Melvin Mora, Kevin Millar, Ramon Hernandez, Danys Baez, Aubrey Huff, Chad Bradford, and Jamie Walker could be sent packing. If they were to commit to a rebuilding year in '08, the Orioles have players to fill almost any team's needs. Of course, trading all those vets would amount to admitting how many mistake contracts the Orioles have on the books.
Remember all that Jason Grimsley stuff from way back in June? L.A. Times reporters Lance Pugmire and Tim Brown got a glance at an unredacted version of Grimsley's affidavit, and all the names within were made public in this article.
Here are the infamous six:
In addition, Albert Pujols's trainer, Chris Mihlfeld, has apparently been cleared. The trainer in question turned out to be former Yankees and Blue Jays strength coach Dr. Brian McNamee. According to the article, McNamee works with Clemens and Pettitte. It had previously been reported on Deadspin (at about an 80% confidence level) that Mihlfeld was the trainer named in the affidavit.
It appears that McNamee once wrote a response column in the New York Times sometime in 2002 to refute Steve Kettman's allegation of widespread steroid use in baseball. I'll try to find that one, but in the meantime you can read this. McNamee was named on page 14 of Grimsley's affidavit as a person who once referred Grimsley to an amphetamine source. Kettman is an author and former sportswriter for the San Francisco Chronicle and was the ghostwriter of Jose Canseco's Juiced.
You can read a little bit about Brian McNamee's "Navy SEAL workouts" here and here. Aside from Clemens and Pettitte, Ted Lilly and some other pitchers from the 2001 Yankees participated in McNamee's rigorous workouts. At this link, McNamee is interviewed and repeatedly hawks a multi-vitamin called InVite. Finally, the New York Daily News adds to the info about McNamee, mentioning that he was questioned in connection with a possible sexual assault in 2001.
Dan Connolly and Jeff Zrebiec of the Baltimore Sun already have reactions from Tejada and Gibbons in the Sunday edition of the Baltimore Sun.
Gibbons, back when Alex Sanchez became the first steroid bust back in April of 2005:
"We're not messing around now. Just the public perception that every time he goes to the plate, people will say he's a cheater. You knew it was going to happen, you knew they would catch somebody."