Jeff Marquez Rumors

Perrotto’s Latest: Position Battles, Roberts, Pudge

John Perrotto’s Every Given Sunday column is up over at Baseball Prospectus. This week, he takes a look at some of the position battles teams will face entering Spring Training. And, as always, there’s some interesting items in his Rumors & Rumblings section. Let’s take a look:

  • Some of the more interesting position battles mentioned: 1B/DH/RF in Oakland (Daric Barton, Jack Cust, Jason Giambi, Aaron Cunningham, and Travis Buck all in the mix), Tampa’s closer if Troy Percival gets hurt or falters (Dan Wheeler, J.P. Howell, Grant Balfour), and the White Sox rotation behind John Danks, Mark Buerhle, and Gavin Floyd (Clayton Richard, Aaron Poreda, Bartolo Colon, Jeff Marquez).
  • Brian Roberts still wants a four-year deal before Spring Training starts up, or he’ll cut off negotiations. Does Roberts make more sense as a cornerstone in Baltimore or as a trade chip?
  • Perrotto feels Tom Glavine will inevitably re-sign with the Braves.
  • The White Sox have minor interest in signing Ivan Rodriguez as a backup for A.J. Pierzynski. I’m sure Pudge would prefer a starting gig, but at this point, it’s tough to be picky.
  • We’ve heard a lot about the Orioles having interest in Rich Hill lately, but Perrotto reminds us that the Mariners are interested in the 28-year-old lefty as well.

Yankees Acquire Nick Swisher

3:02pm: Rosenthal now says the White Sox will also receive Wilson Betemit and pitching prospect Jhonny Nunez.  Betemit could be an option at third base for the Sox.

2:54pm: Ken Rosenthal says the Yankees also get pitcher Kanekoa Texeira from Chicago.

2:41pm: According to ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick, the Yankees acquired Nick Swisher from the White Sox for minor league pitcher Jeff Marquez.  It’s not yet known if other players are involved.

Swisher, 28 this month, hit .219/.332/.410 in 588 plate appearances this year.  He’s set to earn $5.3MM in ’09, $6.75MM in ’10, $9MM in ’11, and has a $10.25MM club option for ’12 with a $1MM buyout.  So, about $22MM over the next three years.  River Ave. Blues loves the flexibility for the Yanks.

Latest Johan Santana Rumors

UPDATE, 1-2-08 at 10:45pm: Nothing new with Boston’s pursuit of Santana; Nick Cafardo says the Sox still have two different offers on the table for the Twins.  Cafardo notes that Santana’s agent quoted the starting bid around seven years, $140MM – and the Red Sox are fine with that. 

UPDATE, 1-2-08 at 4:19pm: LEN3 adds that the Mariners are not in the running for Johan.  Coupled with the info below it seems to be between the Mets and Red Sox currently.

FROM 1-2-08 at 1:21pm:

Peter Abraham had a note this morning about Johan Santana.  He says "there are no indications the Yankees will suddenly get back into the mix for Santana."  Abraham notes that the main issue for the Yanks remains the massive extension they’d have to give Santana.

Back on December 28th Joel Sherman said the Yanks had "become more entrenched in their unwillingness to pay the price both in prospects and dollars."  He noted that they were reluctant to hand over Phil Hughes or $130MM to Johan.

On the 27th, Jayson Stark said the Yankees last offer was Hughes, Melky Cabrera, Jeff Marquez, and an undetermined fourth player, but the proposal was off the table.  Stark believed that Hank Steinbrenner could still decide to re-engage the Santana talks though.

Twins Back Down On Santana Demand

Murray Chass reports this morning that the Twins have scaled back their demands for Johan Santana, at least with the Yankees.  He says they are now willing to substitute Jeff Marquez for Ian Kennedy.  So the Yankees would have to give up Phil Hughes, Melky Cabrera, and Marquez (and one more player, I’m guessing). 

Marquez is a 23 year-old Double A righty who probably does not fall within the Yankees’ top ten prospects.  He seems a more reasonable demand than Kennedy.  About three weeks ago, Bill Madden said the Yanks could’ve acquired Santana for Hughes, Cabrera, Marquez, and Mitch Hilligoss but bailed out for financial reasons.

Anyway, Chass adds that the Yanks would be hit by luxury tax if they acquired and extended Santana.  For example, a five-year, $100MM deal would result in a constant $7.5MM annually in luxury tax.  This does not seem to bother the Yankees.

Nick Cafardo wrote a few days ago that the Red Sox are standing pat with an offer of Coco Crisp, Jon Lester, Justin Masterson, and Jed Lowrie for Santana.  For what it’s worth, David Ortiz doesn’t think the Sox will get Johan.

Johan Santana Rumors: Wednesday

UPDATE, 12-5-07 at 7:50pm: Tim Brown says the Red Sox had a moment of doubt, but they remain the frontrunner for Santana.  The previously mentioned packages apply.

UPDATE, 12-5-07 at 6:21pm: LENIII checks in on the interest level of the six teams involved.

UPDATE, 12-5-07 at 5:05pm: Santana’s agent, Peter Greenberg, indicated that the Mets are in the running for Santana.

UPDATE, 12-5-07 at 2:48pm: BP’s John Perrotto talked to a Twins official, and it definitely looks like the Meetings will end without a Johan deal.  Perrotto says he’s still likely to be dealt before Spring Training.

UPDATE, 12-5-07 at 2:18pm: Ken Rosenthal believes the door is open for more teams to jump in, especially the Mariners.

UPDATE, 12-5-07 at 12:43pm: Jon Heyman reports that the Mets are trying to work their way back into the mix.  They’re still viewed as a longshot without Jose Reyes in the offer, but at least the Twins are listening.

UPDATE, 12-5-07 at 12:21pm: The Red Sox and Twins are still engaged in talks.  The Sox are still considering the Yankees a factor.  And no, Ellsbury signing on with Boras doesn’t change the Twins’ opinion of him.

UPDATE, 12-5-07 at 11:26am: Joel Sherman describes Boston’s two goals in the Santana Sweepstakes.  He wonders whether the Sox and Twins could reach an accord on players and then the Red Sox wouldn’t be able to agree with Santana on an extension.  Meanwhile Gammons himself reiterates that he senses the Twins will hold onto Santana.

UPDATE, 12-5-07 at 10:54am: Peter Gammons via Amy Nelson is saying Santana may not be traded.

UPDATE, 12-5-07 at 9:56am: According to Keith Law via MetsBlog, the Twins have reached out to the Mets, Dodgers, and Angels to revisit Santana talks.

UPDATE, 12-5-07 at 9:43am: Joel Sherman agrees with Bill Madden’s take below – part of the reason the Yankees pulled out is that even they have a payroll.

UPDATE, 12-5-07 at 8:30am: The Yankees could’ve had Santana for Phil Hughes, Melky Cabrera, Jeff Marquez, and Mitch Hilligoss.  Brian Cashman, however, never wanted to sacrifice Hughes for Santana and convinced his bosses that the Yankees couldn’t afford him now that Andy Pettitte is in the fold.  This near-trade won’t be forgotten by Yankees fans, unless Hughes takes off in ’08.

FROM 12-5-07 at 12:55am:

Time for a fresh Johan thread.  Yesterday’s had 297 comments on it.

The Boston Herald’s Rob Bradford says the Red Sox told Ryan Kalish‘s agent that his name has never come up in the Santana talks with Minnesota.  Peter Gammons had said the 19 year-old outfielder was added to the deal to make it a 5-for-1 around 3pm yesterday.

Heyman On Eric Gagne’s Jon Heyman had a new post in the wee hours of the morning today.  The Yankees seem to be the frontrunner for Eric Gagne, while simultaneously trying to unload Kyle Farnsworth.

Gagne would set up Mariano Rivera in New York.  Gagne can’t veto this trade, even though working as a setup man would cause him to miss some of his incentives.  Heyman talks about the Yankees accomodating this problem, although they are under no obligation to do so.

The Yankees are being very possessive about their pitching prospects.  Beyond Joba Chamberlain and Phil Hughes, they’ve deemed Ian Kennedy and Alan Horne off-limits.  Jeff Marquez and Tyler Clippard are two who could go to Texas for Gagne.  Not bad, but not the big names we’ve been expecting.

The Mets might pay some mind to Gagne, whose price couldn’t be higher than Chad Cordero‘s.  The Mets are the other contender to can trade for Gagne without his approval.

As for Farnsworth, we’ve already heard the Tigers and Rockies have some interest.  Heyman adds the Dodgers to the mix; they inquired on him as a Plan B if they can’t get Octavio Dotel.

Yankees Focused On Gagne, Wheeler, Qualls

It seems highly likely that the Yankees will make a move to upgrade their bullpen before the Tuesday trade deadline.  They appear to have three main targets.

Kat O’Brien of Newsday says the Yanks have had serious discussions with Texas regarding Eric Gagne.  Though Gagne wants to close, remember that he can be traded to New York without his consent.  A Rivera-Gagne combo would essentially turn every game into seven innings.  O’Brien names righthanders Ian Kennedy and Jeff Marquez as two pitchers the Rangers might be after.  Kennedy is definitely more highly regarded.  The Rangers also like Melky Cabrera but the Yankees are resisting.

Meanwhile, Mark Feinsand of the New York Daily News tells us that the Yankees have "narrowed their sights" to Dan Wheeler and Chad Qualls of the Astros.  The Astros control Wheeler through 2009 and Qualls through 2010, so the asking price will be significant.  Jayson Stark says Houston is looking for a young MLB-ready position player; Cabrera seems to fit the bill.

Another Yankee-related note from O’Brien’s article – the Yankees are not pursuing Ty Wigginton anymore.  Other writers do not agree.  Dan Graziano indicates that Wiggy is still in play and the Yankees might try get Al Reyes added to the deal as well.  Peter Abraham talked to an AL exec who expects the Yanks to get Wigginton.  Graziano adds that the Yankees have had recent discussions about Octavio Dotel and Jon Rauch.