Jed Lowrie Rumors

A’s Asked About Lowrie; Interested In Aledmys Diaz

The Athletics talked to the Astros about a possible trade involving Jed Lowrie earlier this winter, Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle reports.  The A's weren't prepared to meet Houston's asking price of both Chris Carter and a young pitcher in exchange for Lowrie, who has drawn interest from several teams this winter.  Hiroyuki Nakajima has since been signed and is slated to be Oakland's regular shortstop, though Slusser speculates that the A's could revisit Lowrie if they develop a need for an infielder during the season. 

Lowrie was limited to 387 plate appearances last season due to DL stints with ankle and thumb injuries, and .244/.331/.438 with 16 homers in his first season in Houston.  He was arb-eligible for the second time this winter, avoiding the process by agreeing to a one-year, $2.4MM deal with the Astros.

The A's could also add depth at shortstop in the form of Cuban prospect Aledmys Diaz, as Slusser reports the club will have scouts at Diaz's workout later this month.  At least ten teams (including the Twins and Cardinals) are known to be interested in Diaz, a 23-year-old who can be signed without having his salary count against the international signing cap.


Players Avoiding Arbitration: Friday

Dozens of players will agree to terms with their respective teams today and avoid arbitration. We'll have detailed posts on the top earners around MLB, and we'll track more modest agreements — those worth less than $4MM — right here. MLBTR's Arbitration Tracker will have all of the details.

Teams had until 12pm CDT today to exchange filing numbers with their arbitration eligible players. Generally speaking the deadline creates lots of discussion and leads to early deals. Plus, for ‘file and trial’ teams this marks the final chance for negotiations in advance of a hearing. Here are the latest agreements from around MLB…

  • The Padres announced that they have avoided arbitration with Edinson Volquez.  Terms of the deal were not disclosed.
  • The Red Sox announced that they avoided arbitration with Andrew Bailey ($4.1MM), Daniel Bard ($1.8625MM), Andrew Miller ($1.475MM), and Franklin Morales ($1.4875MM).  Terms courtesy of WEEI.com's Rob Bradford.
  • The Mets and Bobby Parnell avoided arb with a $1.7MM deal, Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com reports (on Twitter).
  • The Red Sox avoided arbitration with Alfredo Aceves, agreeing to a deal worth $2.65MM plus incentives, according to O'Connell Sports Management, Aceves' agency (on Twitter via Jon Heyman).
  • The Cubs avoided arbitration with James Russell and Jeff Samardzija, Jesse Rogers of ESPNChicago.com reports (on Twitter). Samardzija obtains $2.64MM while Russell gets $1.075MM, Bruce Levine of ESPNChicago.com reports (on Twitter).
  • The Diamondbacks announced that they avoided arbitration with Chris Johnson ($2.2875MM). The team also avoided arbitration with Brad Ziegler ($3.15MM), agreeing to a one-year deal, ESPN.com's Jayson Stark reports (on Twitter).  Terms courtesy of Nick Piecoro of the Arizona Republic (on Twitter).
  • The Nationals announced that they agreed to terms with Tyler Clippard, avoiding arbitration (via Amanda Comak on Twitter). The Nationals avoided arbitration with Ian Desmond, agreeing to a one-year, $3.8MM deal, Amanda Comak of the Washington Times reports (on Twitter). The Nationals also avoided arb with Roger Bernadina according to the outfielder's agent, James Wagner of the Washington Post reports (on Twitter). The Nationals and Ross Detwiler agreed to a one-year, $2.3375MM contract, according to CAA (via Twitter).
  • Brennan Boesch and Phil Coke avoided arbitration, agreeing to one-year deals with the Tigers, Jason Beck of MLB.com reports (on Twitter). Boesch will earn $2.3MM while Coke will earn $1.85MM. The Tigers also avoided arbitration with Alex Avila, agreeing to a one-year, $2.95MM deal, Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com reports (all Twitter links). Austin Jackson agreed to a deal worth $3.5MM for 2013, Heyman reports. Doug Fister obtained a one-year, $4MM deal from Detroit, Heyman reports.
  • The Dodgers and A.J. Ellis avoided arbitration, agreeing to a one-year, $2MM deal, Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com reports (on Twitter). Ronald Belisario agreed to a one-year, $1.45MM deal, MLB.com's Ken Gurnick reports (on Twitter).
  • The Mariners announced that they avoided arbitration with Kendrys Morales and Brendan Ryan on one-year agreements for 2013. Morales will obtain $5.25MM plus performance bonuses, Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com reports (on Twitter). Ryan obtained $3.25MM, Heyman reports (on Twitter).
  • The Rockies avoided arb with Tyler Colvin, agreeing to a one-year deal, the team announced (on Twitter). Colvin will earn $2.275MM, Troy Renck of the Denver Post writes (on Twitter).
  • The Braves avoided arbitration with Cristhian Martinez, agreeing to a one-year deal, MLB.com's Mark Bowman reports (on Twitter). The Braves avoided arb with Kris Medlen, David O'Brien of the Atlanta Journal Constitution reports (on Twitter). Medlen will earn $2.6MM in 2013. They also avoided arb with Jason Heyward, agreeing to a one-year, $3.65MM deal, Bowman reports (onTwitter). The Braves agreed with another young player, avoiding arb with Jonny Venters, O'Brien reports (on Twitter). It's a $1.625MM deal. Earlier today the Braves agreed to a one-year deal with Eric O'Flaherty, avoiding arbitration, Bowman reported (on Twitter). He'll earn $4.32MM plus awards bonuses, Bowman adds.
  • The Athletics announced they avoided arb with Jerry Blevins and Brandon Moss, agreeing to one-year deals for 2013.
  • The Cardinals avoided arb with Mitchell Boggs and Edward Mujica, B.J. Rains of FOX Sports MidWest reports (on Twitter).
  • The Indians announced that they avoided arb with Matt Albers and Justin Masterson. Albers will earn $1.75MM in 2013, MLB.com's Jordan Bastian reports (on Twitter). Masterson will earn $5.6875MM according to Bastian (on Twitter). The Indians and Joe Smith avoided arbitration with a one-year, $3.15MM deal, Bastian reported earlier today (on Twitter). The Indians also avoided arbitration with Lou Marson, Bastian reports (Twitter links). The catcher will earn $1MM on a one-year deal in 2013.
  • The Astros avoided arb with Wesley Wright, agreeing to a one-year deal, MLB.com's Brian McTaggart reports (on Twitter).  Wright will earn $1.025MM, according to Heyman (on Twitter). Earlier today the Astros and Bud Norris avoided arb with a one-year, $3MM deal, McTaggart reports (on Twitter). The Astros and Jed Lowrie avoided arbitration with a one-year, $2.4MM deal with awards bonuses, according to his representatives at CAA Baseball (on Twitter).
  • The White Sox announced that they avoided arbitration with Alejandro De Aza, agreeing to a $2.075MM deal for 2013. The White Sox also avoided arb with Gordon Beckham, agreeing to a one-year deal worth $2.925MM for 2013, MLBTR has learned.
  • The Orioles announced that they avoided arb with Chris Davis and Brian Matusz (Twitter link). Matusz gets a base salary of $1.6MM while Davis gets $3.3MM, Dan Connolly of the Baltimore Sun reports (Twitter links). The Orioles also avoided arbitration with Troy Patton. The sides agreed to a one-year, $815K deal, his agency, CAA Sports, announced on Twitter
  • The Brewers avoided arb with right-hander Marco Estrada and reliever Burke Badenhop, Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports (Twitter links). Estrada will earn $1.955MM while Badenhop will earn $1.55MM, Haudricourt reports.
  • The Rays avoided arbitration with Matthew Joyce and Ryan Roberts, Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times reports (on Twitter). Joyce will earn $2.45MM and Roberts will earn $2.95MM plus incentives, the Rays announced. The Rays also avoided arbitration with Sam Fuld, agreeing to a one-year, $725K deal, Topkin reported (on Twitter). Earlier today the Rays avoided arbitration with Jeff Niemann. The sides agreed to a one-year, $3MM deal, Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com reports (on Twitter).
  • The Royals announced that they avoided arbitration with Luke Hochevar, agreeing to a one-year deal for 2013. Hochevar will earn $4.56MM plus performance bonuses, Pete Grathoff of the Kansas City Star reports (on Twitter).
  • The Yankees avoided arb with Boone Logan, agreeing to a one-year, $3.15MM deal (via CAA Sports on Twitter).
  • The Padres avoided arb with John Baker, agreeing to a $930K deal (via CAA Sports on Twitter).
  • The Twins and Brian Duensing avoided arb with a $1.3MM deal for 2013 (via CAA Sports on Twitter).
  • The Marlins avoided arbitration with Ryan Webb, agreeing to a $975K deal, Clark Spencer of the Miami Herald reports (on Twitter).
  • The Blue Jays announced that they avoided arbitration with Emilio Bonifacio by agreeing to a one-year, $2.6MM deal. The Blue Jays also announced that they avoided arbitration with J.A. Happ, agreeing to a one-year, $3.7MM deal for 2013.
  • The Angels and Tommy Hanson avoided arbitration with a one-year, $3.725MM deal, Jeff Fletcher of the Orange County Register reports. 
  • The Giants avoided arb with Gregor Blanco, agreeing to a one-year, $1.35MM deal, Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com reports (on Twitter).
  • The Phillies announced that they avoided arbitration with Antonio Bastardo with a $1.4MM contract for 2013.
  • Gaby Sanchez and the Pirates have reached agreement on a one-year, $1.75MM deal plus bonuses to avoid arbitration, according to the Beverly Hills Sports Council (on Twitter).

Full Story | Comments | Categories: A.J. Ellis | Alejandro De Aza | Alex Avila | Alfredo Aceves | Andrew Bailey | Andrew Miller | Antonio Bastardo | Arizona Diamondbacks | Atlanta Braves | Austin Jackson | Baltimore Orioles | Bobby Parnell | Boone Logan | Boston Red Sox | Brad Ziegler | Brandon Moss | Brennan Boesch | Brian Duensing | Brian Matusz | Bud Norris | Burke Badenhop | Chicago Cubs | Chicago White Sox | Chris Davis | Chris Johnson | Cleveland Indians | Colorado Rockies | Cristhian Martinez | Daniel Bard | Detroit Tigers | Doug Fister | Edinson Volquez | Edward Mujica | Emilio Bonifacio | Eric O'Flaherty | Franklin Morales | Gaby Sanchez | Gordon Beckham | Gregor Blanco | Houston Astros | Ian Desmond | J.A. Happ | Jason Heyward | Jed Lowrie | Jeff Niemann | Jeff Samardzija | Jerry Blevins | Joe Smith | Josh Thole | Justin Masterson | Kansas City Royals | Kendrys Morales | Kris Medlen | Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim | Los Angeles Dodgers | Lou Marson | Luke Hochevar | Matt Albers | Matt Joyce | Miami Marlins | Milwaukee Brewers | Minnesota Twins | Mitchell Boggs | New York Mets | New York Yankees | Oakland Athletics | Phil Coke | Philadelphia Phillies | Pittsburgh Pirates | Roger Bernadina | Ronald Belisario | Ross Detwiler | Ryan Roberts | Sam Fuld | San Diego Padres | San Francisco Giants | Seattle Mariners | St. Louis Cardinals | Tampa Bay Rays | Tommy Hanson | Toronto Blue Jays | Transactions | Troy Patton | Tyler Clippard | Tyler Colvin | Washington Nationals

Heyman & Knobler On Oswalt, Norris, Porcello

The latest from Jon Heyman and Danny Knobler of CBSSports.com (links go to Twitter)…

  • There’s no word from Roy Oswalt on whether he’ll pitch in 2013, Heyman reports.
  • The Astros would have to be overwhelmed to trade Jed Lowrie, according to Heyman. However, the Astros have talked to teams such as the Cardinals and Rangers about possible deals involving Bud Norris. Norris, 27, goes to arbitration for the first time this offseason following a 2012 campaign in which he posted a 4.65 ERA with 8.8 K/9 and 3.5 BB/9 in 168 1/3 innings. Even after a mixed platform season, Norris will do reasonably well in arbitration thanks to his career total of 563 2/3 innings. MLBTR projects a salary of $2.9MM.
  • The Tigers had almost a dozen calls about Rick Porcello within a few hours of their agreement with right-hander Anibal Sanchez, Knobler reports. The Tigers are expected to trade Porcello, who’s second time arbitration eligible with a projected salary of $4.7MM. The Cubs called, but there's no match, Knobler adds.
  • The Twins aren't done adding pitching, Heyman reports.


Teams Calling On Bud Norris

Teams are calling the Astros on Bud Norris, tweets Yahoo's Jeff Passan, and Houston is listening.  The Royals reached out to the Astros on Norris, and they've also got interest in free agent Shaun Marcum, writes Passan.

As a first time arbitration eligible player, the inconsistent Norris is under team control for three more years and projects to earn $2.9MM in 2013.  Norris, 28 in March, posted a 4.65 ERA, 8.8 K/9, 3.5 BB/9, 1.23 HR/9, and 39.2% groundball rate in 168 1/3 innings this year, struggling mightily away from Minute Maid Park.  The Astros have another asset in shortstop Jed Lowrie.  GM Jeff Luhnow told reporters today he's getting offers on Lowrie, but a trade is unlikely.

The Royals added some decent-sized commitments for Ervin Santana and Jeremy Guthrie this year, and they also tendered a contract to Luke Hochevar.  Still, as GM Dayton Moore told Bob Dutton of the Kansas City Star today about their search for a front-rotation starter, "We’re trying to upgrade with guys who will make a major difference to our team. How many opportunities do you get to do that? Not many."


Passan’s Latest: Myers, Fowler, Asdrubal, McCarthy

The Royals have been shopping top prospect Wil Myers but only in exchange for starting pitching, reports Yahoo Sports' Jeff Passan.  Earlier this week, Michael Silverman of the Boston Herald reported that Kansas City was known to be at least listening to offers for Myers and top position players like Alex Gordon, Billy Butler, Mike Moustakas and Eric Hosmer.  The only untouchable Royals appear to be Alcides Escobar and Salvador Perez due to their team-friendly contracts — "executives consider [Perez's deal] the best in the game," Passan writes.

The Royals have discussed trades with the Rays, Mariners, Diamondbacks and Athletics, Passan reports.  While Myers would be of interest to any team, he is of particular value to low-payroll teams like the Rays and A's given that Gordon and Butler have large contracts and Moustakas/Hosmer are Scott Boras clients.

Here are some more items from Passan…

  • The Rockies' asking price for Dexter Fowler is "absurd," one rival executive tells Passan.  It appears to be a buyers' market for center fielders right now, though another executive warns that "it will shake out" as the offseason progresses.
  • The Indians are shopping Asdrubal Cabrera, though "not at Black Friday prices," an executive says.  Cabrera is one of a few shortstops on the trade market, along with the Astros' Jed Lowrie and the Marlins' Yunel Escobar.
  • Teams are more worried about Brandon McCarthy's history of arm injuries than with his season-ending brain surgery.  If McCarthy's medicals are clear, however, a team executive thinks the right-hander will get a multiyear contract.
  • Anibal Sanchez's demands for a six-year, $90MM contract are "crazy, and he's probably going to get it," an executive tells Passan.

Jed Lowrie Drawing Interest

Several teams have expressed interest in acquiring Jed Lowrie, but the Astros are intent on keeping him unless they are overwhelmed with an offer according to ESPN's Buster Olney (on Twitter). With few free agent shortstops available, Lowrie figured to be a hot commodity this winter.

The 28-year-old switch-hitter came to Houston in a trade with the Red Sox last offseason. Lowrie hit .244/.331/.438 with 16 homers in 387 plate appearances during his first season with the Astros, but he missed time with thumb and ankle injuries. He's been on the disabled list six times since 2009. Lowrie has experience at all four infield spots and is a career .292/.362/.486 hitter against lefties.

Matt Swartz projects Lowrie to earn $1.9MM in his second trip through arbitration this winter. He'll be eligible for free agency after 2014.


Luhnow Talks Pitching, Trades, Lowrie

The Astros will play with a designated hitter next year, when they move to the American League, so a significant part of their offseason involves acquiring a DH. That’s not the only challenge they face as a result of the league change.

“The hidden element of it is more on the pitching side,” general manager Jeff Luhnow told MLBTR. “It exposes any weaknesses that you might have either in your rotation or in your bullpen because there is no breathing room.”

The Astros will focus on adding depth throughout the pitching staff this offseason. That said, Luhnow doesn’t want to impede the development of players already in the organization who project as long-term contributors. Trades are in play, but the Astros are hesitant to surrender significant players.

“We’ve got some assets that other clubs are interested in, but they’re valuable for us because they help us win games in the short term and they’re cost controlled,” Luhnow said. “So the return would have to be significant to go down that path.”

Jed Lowrie, the 28-year-old shortstop who’s under team control through 2014, could be seen as a trade candidate, especially at a time that the market for free agent shortstops isn’t deep. However, Lowrie remains an important part of the Astros’ vision. 

“We expect him to be our everyday shortstop and put up some pretty big numbers for us assuming he can make it through a whole season,” Luhnow said, noting that the Astros expect the shortstop to remain healthy in 2013.

Until the team completes the move to the AL, it'll be difficult to project its future revenues. While the Astros aren’t expected to bid for the market’s top few free agents, they could spend on select players. Multiyear free agent deals are an option for the Astros under the right circumstances, Luhnow said.


NL Central Notes: Lowrie, Brewers, Cardinals

The NL Central includes the Senior Circuit's most potent offense (the Cardinals) and its lowest-scoring team (the Cubs). The Cardinals outscore the Cubs by more than one run per game (4.88 runs per game vs. 3.69). Here are the latest links from the NL Central…

  • The Astros are telling teams they're open to more trades, Danny Knobler of CBSSports.com reports (on Twitter). Even Jed Lowrie, who has been on the disabled list with a sprained ankle for the past two weeks, is available.
  • Brewers president of baseball operations Doug Melvin joined Casey Stern and Jim Bowden on MLB Network Radio on SiriusXM and explained how the Zack Greinke trade went down (audio here).
  • The Brewers released Seth McClung, Adam McCalvy of MLB.com reports (on Twitter). The right-hander, who last pitched in the Major Leagues in 2009, appeared in 21 games for Milwaukee's Triple-A affiliate this year, posting a 6.36 ERA in 103 1/3 innings.
  • The Cardinals have never been more open to trading pitching prospect Shelby Miller, ESPN.com's Jayson Stark reports. However, at least one team has lost interest in Miller.
  • Cubs manager Dale Sveum will be surprised if Ryan Dempster isn't traded, Bruce Levine of ESPNChicago.com reports (on Twitter). Click here for the latest rumors surrounding the right-hander.

Rosenthal’s Latest: Cardinals, Greinke, Astros, Rasmus

With Chris Carpenter set to undergo season-ending surgery to repair a nerve condition in his shoulder, Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports writes that the Cardinals are in the market for at least one starter and one reliever. St. Louis has trade chips though the new collective bargaining agreement doesn't allow teams to recoup draft pick compensation for rental players, changing the landscape.

Let's round up the rest of Rosenthal's rumors…

  • Zack Greinke would likely welcome a trade to – and a chance to sign long-term with – the Cardinals, though it's unclear if the Brewers would be willing to trade him within the division.
  • The Astros are prepared to move Wandy Rodriguez and Brett Myers, though Jed Lowrie is essentially unavailable. Rosenthal says they could be an obvious trade partner for St. Louis since GM Jeff Luhnow spent nine years in the Cardinals' front office.
  • The Cardinals may not want to invest $20MM+ annually into a pitcher, but both Lance Berkman ($12MM) and Kyle Lohse ($11.875MM) will be off the books after this season.
  • The Blue Jays' immediate strategy may be to acquire a modest rotation upgrade before reassessing at the trade deadline, shortly before Brandon Morrow returns from his oblique injury. Rosenthal believes they should consider selling high on Colby Rasmus.
  • Teams continue to call the Angels about Peter Bourjos and some believe he could be the centerpiece of a deal for a quality starting pitcher. The Halos believe the young outfielder is a building block for the future, however. They do not appear to be in the market for a pitcher at the moment.
  • The difference in income tax rates between Texas (none) and California (among the highest in the country) was an issue for Astros first baseman Carlos Lee as he mulled over a potential trade to the Dodgers. Los Angeles may have been willing to help "bridge the gap" had he shown enthusiasm for the deal.

Carlos Lee Rumors: Saturday

Last night we learned that the Dodgers and Astros are in serious talks about a trade involving Carlos Lee, though the two sides also discussed Jed Lowrie at one point as well. Dodgers' pitching prospect Garrett Gould was rumored to be involved and he was scratched from last night's start, perhaps an indication of how far along things are at the moment. Here's the latest on Lee, the Astros, and Dodgers, with the latest up top…

  • Lee told reporters (including McTaggart) that he expects to make his decision about waiving the no-trade clause by tomorrow.
  • Olney hears that the Dodgers' attitude toward the trade is: "Something else will come up (if it falls through). We'll get somebody." (Twitter link)
  • Sources tell Jon Paul Morosi and Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports that the deal would be Lee and cash to ‪the Dodgers‬ for Gould (Twitter links). It's still unclear if Lee will waive his no-trade clause.
  • As of early-afternoon today, Lee continues to tell the Astros that he will not waive his no-trade clause according to ESPN's Buster Olney (on Twitter).
  • Lee met with GM Jeff Luhnow this morning and told reporters (including MLB.com's Brian McTaggart and The Houston Chronicle's Zachary Levine) that the Dodgers have made an offer (Twitter links). He is going to take some time to decide if he wants to accept the trade, and he has not been given a deadline for his decision. He's unsure if he'll have an answer this weekend.
  • The Astros "will do cartwheels'' if the trade is completed according to Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com. The hard part won't be agreeing to the pieces involved, but getting Lee's approval. Heyman mentions that Houston is willing to trade just about anyone on their roster, but it'll take quite a bit to part with Lowrie.
  • The Dodgers prefer to take on salary rather than give up quality prospects under their new ownership, write Ken Rosenthal and Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports. Lee is owed just under $9MM for the remainder of the season.
  • As a reminder, the Dodgers are one of the 14 teams on Lee's no-trade list, so he can veto a deal. Lee does not have traditional 10-and-5 protection, having essentially traded it for a full no-trade clause during the first four years of his six-year, $100MM contract back in 2007.