J.D. Drew Rumors
Some notes from around the majors....
- ESPN's Buster Olney is "85-95%" confident that Davey Johnson will be the next Nationals manager. Johnson is currently an advisor with the Nats and hasn't managed since 2000. SI.com's Jon Heyman says Johnson is "in the mix" and might take the job if offered but "he loves [Jim] Riggleman and is sensitive to [the] situation" concerning Riggleman's abrupt departure. (All Twitter links)
- Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports also chimes in on the Nationals' managerial situation, noting that while Riggleman was wrong to leave the team, it was also unfair of Nationals management to leave Riggleman as a lame duck without a guaranteed 2012 contract. Rosenthal also reports that GM Mike Rizzo rarely communicated with Riggleman and has a similar lack of regular contact with his scouting department.
- “Given the division, if we were to get real hot over the next two weeks, a final decision might be delayed a week or two,” a Padres executive tells Bill Center of the San Diego Union-Tribune about when the Friars will start looking to trade players. “But the day is coming.” Center figures Heath Bell, Ryan Ludwick and Chad Qualls are all sure bets to be dealt. Jason Bartlett and Orlando Hudson may stay put, however, since San Diego has no Major League-ready middle infield replacements in the farm system. Such a young player could possibly come back in any deal for one of those two veterans, but if you're a team with a good young middle infielder, you'd probably want to keep that player rather than move him for a Hudson or a Bartlett.
- Jed Hoyer says "nothing is imminent" and "the only thing that’s true [about various Padres rumors] is that people call us," reports Marty Caswell of XX1090 Radio in San Diego. (Twitter link)
- With David Wright cleared to resume baseball activities, ESPN New York's Rob Parker hopes the Mets won't abandon a much-needed rebuilding plan in pursuit of a longshot chance at the postseason.
- ESPN Boston's Jeremy Lundblad looks at J.D. Drew's struggles this season. With Drew and Mike Cameron providing a negative WAR, Lundblad argues the Red Sox will need to look for right field help, whether it's via trade or an internal option like Josh Reddick or Ryan Kalish.
- The Cubs will have to go on a tear in the second half of the season in order to save Mike Quade's job, writes Paul Sullivan of the Chicago Tribune. Even this might not be enough, since if GM Jim Hendry goes, so will Quade.
- In an appearance on Jim Rome's radio show on Wednesday (via Jim Armstrong of the Denver Post), Todd Helton said he thinks the Rockies need another quality starter to be World Series contenders. Colorado GM Dan O'Dowd recently stated his team might be in the market for pitching.
- The Twins appear to be having second thoughts about the trade that sent Wilson Ramos to Washington for Matt Capps. Ramos is playing well and Joe Mauer has spent much of the season on the disabled list.
- It wouldn’t surprise people if J.D. Drew and Roy Oswalt retire after the season, according to Heyman. Oswalt and the Phillies have a mutual option for 2012 and Drew is a free agent after the season.
- Jose Reyes’ remarkable play has essentially forced the Mets to make him “a respectable offer.” The prospective free agent has been one of the best players in the game so far this season.
- Mets right-hander Matt Harvey and Nationals outfielder Bryce Harper are too good for Class A, according to Heyman. Harvey has a 2.49 ERA with 11.1 K/9 and 2.8 BB/9 and Harper has 14 home runs and a .342/.436/.619 line.
J.D. Drew doesn't always get credit for it, but he has been an above-average offensive player since arriving in Boston four years ago (120 OPS+). Despite his productivity at the plate, Drew told Michael Silverman of the Boston Herald that he'll consider retirement after the season, when his five-year contract with Boston expires.
“I don’t really know what I’m going to do, I’m leaning both ways. I guess, I don’t really know,” Drew said. “It depends on how the year goes. I don’t know what I’ll do. There’s benefits to both sides, but I have to think it out, pray about it, talk with my family, see how my body holds up over the year, and go from there.”
Drew, who hinted at retirement last fall, stayed on the field for 139 games last year, though his hamstring bothered him at times. The 35-year-old former first rounder hit 22 homers last year, posting a .255/.341/.452 line in 546 plate appearances.
Links for Sunday, as the Padres, Giants, and Rockies find themselves separated by a single game in the NL West standings....
- Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe hears from a pair of Mets officials that the team may make a run at Jacoby Ellsbury this winter.
- GM Neal Huntington discusses the Pirates' nine arbitration-eligible players with Dejan Kovacevic of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.
- Geovany Soto will have arthroscopic surgery on his right shoulder tomorrow, tweets Gordon Wittenmyer of the Chicago Sun-Times. Soto will be looking at a three-month recovery, so he should be fully healthy for spring training.
- J.D. Drew isn't sure what the future holds after his current deal expires, writes WEEI's Rob Bradford. Drew is under contract through 2011 and indicates that he's considering the possibility of retiring after that.
- Paul Hoynes of the Cleveland Plain Dealer outlines a few of the Indians' needs, and addresses the possibility of Josh Byrnes joining the team's front office.
Links for Monday, 14 years after the Mariners sent David Ortiz to the Twins to complete the Dave Hollins trade. Precisely 346 home runs later, Big Papi is one of the most recognizable players in the game...
- The Red Sox will probably not have the chance to void J.D. Drew’s deal, as Alex Speier of WEEI.com explains. The Red Sox could be able to sidestep the 2011 portion of the contract depending on injuries, but Drew seems healthy.
- The D'Backs will interview Angels scouting director Eddie Bane for their GM opening, according to Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports (on Twitter).
- The Blue Jays named Jay Sartori assistant GM. The 31-year-old was previously the director of baseball operations for the Nationals and worked in MLB’s labor relations department, advising teams on salary arbitration, among other things.
- The Mariners fired pro scouting director Carmen Fusco, according to KING 5 Sports. Ed Price of AOL FanHouse confirms the report (on Twitter) and suggests it's a warning shot to GM Jack Zduriencik. The Mariners front office is under scrutiny after trading for Josh Lueke.
- Pirates GM Neal Huntington told Chuck Finder of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette that his team “can't throw $55MM at somebody just because it makes [everyone] feel better.” Instead, the team has to be sure the players they pursue fit the team’s needs.
- Jose Reyes told Newsday's Ken Davidoff that he wants to stay in New York. The Mets can retain their shortstop for $11MM next year or buy him out for $500K.
Links for Thursday, as Armando Galarraga receives a new Corvette (but no perfect game)...
- Reliever Chad Cordero has been called up to the Mariners roster, according to a team news release. Cordero hasn't pitched in the majors since undergoing labrum surgery in July 2008. He signed a minor league deal with Seattle last winter and has a 4.12 ERA and 5.50 K-BB ratio in 17 appearances for Triple-A Tacoma this season. In six seasons with the Expos/Nationals organization, Cordero posted a 2.78 ERA and racked up 128 saves, including a league-best 47 in 2005.
- 2009 first rounder Jared Mitchell told reporters that he is recovering well from his ankle injury. The White Sox prospect, who will represent the team at this year's draft, does underwater drills and is progressing towards baseball activities.
- Daniel Murphy will miss four to six months with an MCL tear, so the Mets have reduced infield depth, according to Newsday's David Lennon (via Twitter). Murphy, who has not played in the majors this year, has missed significant time because of his right knee.
- MLB.com's Ian Browne wonders if the Red Sox will have to trade Boof Bonser.
- The A's claimed Triple A infielder Adam Heether off of waivers from the Brewers, according to MLB.com's Adam McCalvy (via Twitter). Heether, 28, was hitting .245/.343/.440 in Nashville.
- J.D. Drew and Jason Varitek told Rob Bradford of WEEI.com that agent Scott Boras does not pressure them to return from injuries any earlier or later than they want to. Boras says he does not draw medical conclusions for any of his clients, including Jacoby Ellsbury.
- Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports wonders if Ken Griffey Jr. felt pressure from Mariners manager Don Wakamatsu to retire. Wakamatsu says it was "Ken's decision."
- Stephen Strasburg, who debuts against the Pirates next week, pitched five shutout innings at Triple A and even got a hit, writes MASN.com's Ben Goessling.
- Strasburg's a star now, but college coach Tony Gwynn says the phenom was "sweating like a hostage" before his San Diego State debut, according to Tom Krasovic of AOL FanHouse. The entire piece is worth reading.
Links for Thursday...
- Chat today, 2pm CST.
- Dan Hayes of the North County Times tweets that the Padres signed Eric Munson to a minor league deal. Munson, 32, hit .265/.362/.450 in Triple A last year while catching 73 games.
- Potential high 2010 draft pick Anthony Ranaudo, a righty at LSU, will miss a start Friday due to elbow discomfort according to Baseball America's Aaron Fitt.
- ESPN's Jerry Crasnick looks at the mentor role Ben Sheets will play for the Oakland pitching staff.
- Maury Brown of The Biz of Baseball reports that despite a decrease in attendance, MLB revenue reached a record $6.6 billion in 2009.
- J.D. Drew feels that he's been worth the $42MM he's been paid so far by the Red Sox over the 2007-09 seasons, reports Steve Buckley of the Boston Herald.
7:58pm: The deal is in the range of $15.5MM for two years, tweets Ken Rosenthal.
7:53pm: Mike Cameron has agreed to sign a two-year deal with Boston, the AP reports.
6:38pm: It is "believed" that Cameron would play left field for the BoSox, with Jacoby Ellsbury in center and J.D. Drew in right, writes Jerry Crasnick of ESPN.com. This would make recently-acquired Jeremy Hermida the team's fourth outfielder.
The Cubs and Mariners both had interest in Cameron, but shied away for different reasons. The Cubbies were waiting on a taker for Milton Bradley while the M's continue to focus on Jason Bay. The Braves also had interest, but it now it sounds as though Boston has the inside track.
Speaking of Bay, Crasnick wonders aloud (via Twitter) if this is the "final nail" in the free agent's chances of returning to Fenway.
5:40pm: Free agent outfielder Mike Cameron is in "serious talks" with the Red Sox, tweets Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports. The two sides are reportedly discussing a two-year pact.
Rosenthal adds that it is unclear whether the BoSox would place Cameron in left field or center field.
John Tomase of the Boston Herald reports that while J.D. Drew has undergone minor surgery on his left shoulder, it will have no impact on the team's opt out clause in his contract.
Drew's contract states that the club can opt out if he spends 35 or more days on the disabled list due to his pre-existing right shoulder troubles or if he finishes 2010 on the disabled list and cannot play in the outfield for 2011.
Drew is entering the fourth year of a five-year, $70MM contract he signed in 2007, which pays him $14MM annually. The article suggests that even if the surgery had been on the right shoulder, Boston wouldn't have opted out of Drew's deal. General manager Theo Epstein feels that Drew's offense, defense, and baserunning are integral to the Boston lineup.
Another round of links before the weekend...
- WEEI.com's Alex Speier suggests J.D. Drew has been worth slightly more than the $42MM the Red Sox have paid him since 2007 because of his on-base skills and strong defense. Drew's no RBI machine, but GM Theo Epstein likes his hitting approach as-is. Considering the massive deals handed out to Vernon Wells, Alfonso Soriano and others after 2006, Drew's contract seems reasonable.
- Jack Moore of FanGraphs expects Bengie Molina to draw interest this offseason and predicts that the catcher will be worth $4MM or more next year.
- Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post Dispatch says the Cardinals are in position to bring back their entire bullpen in 2010. The Cards expect Ryan Franklin to close once again next season.
- ESPN.com's Jorge Arangure Jr. reports (via Twitter) that Aroldis Chapman will meet with the Cardinals Monday before going to Boston Wednesday to meet with the Red Sox.
- Blue Jays GM Alex Anthopoulos tells MLB.com's Jordan Bastian that the Jays are talking to other teams about possible trades.