Jeff Baker Rumors
Midnight ET is the non-tender deadline, so we'll keep track of all the players who are offered and/or agreed to contracts today in this post. Keep coming back throughout the day for updates.
- Washington tendered contracts to Josh Willingham, Jesus Flores, Wil Nieves, Jason Bergmann, and Sean Burnett.
- Zach Duke was tendered an offer by the Pirates.
- The Marlins reached an agreement with Ronny Paulino. The deal will be for one-year, $1.1MM.
- The Royals avoided arbitration by reaching one year deals with Brian Bannister ($2.3MM) Roman Colon ($660K), and Kyle Davies ($1.8MM).
- Dioner Navarro will remain with the Rays on a one-year deal worth $2.1MM.
- The White Sox will offer contracts to Bobby Jenks, John Danks, Carlos Quentin, and Tony Pena.
- Milwaukee will tender offers to six players: Dave Bush, Carlos Villanueva, Todd Coffey, Jody Gerut, Corey Hart, and Carlos Gomez.
- Toronto will tender an offer to Jeremy Accardo.
- Kevin Correia will remain with the Padres for one-year, $3.6MM.
- The Rangers have signed Esteban German to a 2010 contract. He'll earn $600K in the majors and $200K in the minors. They offered contracts to their other arbitration-eligible players including Scott Feldman, Chris Ray, Frank Francisco, C.J. Wilson, Dustin Nippert, Brandon McCarthy, and Josh Hamilton.
- Tampa Bay avoided arbitration with Lance Cormier by inking him to a one-year deal. The contract will pay Cormier $1.2MM.
- The Twins will tender contracts to all 30 unsigned players on their 40-man roster. That means Jesse Crain, Matt Guerrier, J.J. Hardy, Brendan Harris, Francisco Liriano, Pat Neshek, Delmon Young, and many more figure to be in the Twins' plans in 2010.
- The following eight Cubs will receive offers from the team: Carlos Marmol, Ryan Theriot, Jeff Baker, Angel Guzman, Sean Marshall, Koyie Hill, Tom Gorzelanny, and Mike Fontenot.
- Atlanta tendered offers to relievers Peter Moylan and Boone Logan.
- The Marlins will tender offers to almost all of their arbitration-eligible players - Dan Uggla, Jorge Cantu, Ricky Nolasco, Cody Ross, Josh Johnson, Leo Nunez, and Renyel Pinto.
- The Astros will tender offers to all remaining arbitration-eligible players. This means Michael Bourn, Hunter Pence, Wandy Rodriguez, Matt Lindstrom, Tim Byrdak, Chris Sampson, Jeff Keppinger, and Humberto Quintero are invited back.
- Matt Albers and Cla Meredith have agreed to terms with the Orioles. Albers' deal is worth $.68MM for one-year. Meanwhile, Meredith will recieve $.85MM in 2010.
- Randy Choate agreed to a one year deal. Terms of the deal are one-year, $700K.
12:07pm: In a corresponding move, the Cubs designated Ryan Freel for assignment, according to a team press release. Freel, 33, put up an OPS of .369 in 14 games for the Cubs.
11:27am: ESPN.com's Bruce Levine reports that the Rockies receive right-hander Alberto Alburquerque, who was pitching in A ball for the Cubs. The 23-year-old has struck out 44 and allowed 40 baserunners in nearly 35 innings pitched this year.
8:41am: The Cubs acquired Jeff Baker from the Rockies, according to Yahoo Sports. It's unclear what the Rockies will receive in exchange for the infielder. Baker, 28, has played in just 12 games this year for Colorado, but he posted a respectable .791 OPS in over 100 games last year. He's played all four corner positions in his five-year career, but he's played mostly at second base.
A look at Ken Rosenthal's column from yesterday afternoon...
- The Marlins chose Ross Gload over Frank Catalanotto, but are still considering signing Cat for the minimum now that he's been released.
- The Braves are not interested in bringing back Gary Sheffield. Meanwhile, Joel Sherman of the New York Post believes the Mets (as well as the Phillies and Reds) have an eye on Sheffield.
- Sheffield is apparently the only right-handed hitter on the Phillies' radar. Rosenthal learned that the Rockies' asking price for Jeff Baker is high.
- The Braves almost made a deal for Dodgers outfielder Jason Repko, but backed off recently.
- The Yankees will pass on Dallas McPherson, but the Giants may consider him.
- The Yanks don't seem desperate to move Melky Cabrera. They've received multiple calls on him but Rosenthal says "the team will only move him for the right price."
Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports has a new column...
- The Angels attempted to sell the Reds on Gary Matthews Jr., but it was a one-sided discussion. The Reds have no desire to trade Bronson Arroyo or Aaron Harang for Matthews. Angels GM Tony Reagins told Rosenthal, "We haven't had much discussions with respect to trades and trade possibilities." UPDATE: Reds GM Walt Jocketty told John Fay he hasn't talked to the Angels since the Winter Meetings.
- Free agent DH Frank Thomas is still waiting for an offer. He intends to delay a decision about retirement until at least the All-Star break. My thought - his situation just got a bit tougher with Gary Sheffield becoming available.
- Rosenthal says the Rays could keep both Jason Hammel and Jeff Niemann and cut Lance Cormier, if trade offers for the first two aren't acceptable. Rosenthal adds the Rangers, Nationals, and Indians to the already known suitors (Padres, Pirates, and Rockies). He names the Brewers as "yet another possibility." Rosenthal says the Angels attempted to acquire Niemann a year ago but learned from Reagins that they're not actively looking for pitching.
- The Phillies ate Adam Eaton's contract, but team president David Montgomery is unwilling to do the same to make Geoff Jenkins go away.
- Rosenthal says the offers received for Rockies infielder Jeff Baker "have not been enticing." They may elect to keep him.
4:53pm: According to John Perrotto of Pirates Report, the Pirates are also interested in Niemann. He says the Bucs also remain interested in Robert Andino and Jeff Baker.
Additionally, Ed Price of AOL Fanhouse says the Rockies have jumped in on Hammel.
11:16am: Tom Krasovic of the San Diego Union-Tribune wrote Saturday regarding the Padres' interest in Rays pitcher Jeff Niemann:
In return, the defending American League champions have inquired about Padres prospects Simon Castro, Wynn Pelzer, Juedy Valdez and Nick Schmidt. The Padres have deemed the price too high. Niemann is out of minor league options, reducing the Rays' trade leverage.
Out of those four Baseball America likes righty Castro the most, ranking him 14th among Padres prospects. Pitchers Pelzer (16) and Schmidt (21) also make their top 30.
Niemann will make a minor league start today, perhaps his last chance to win the fifth starter job. The decision will probably be made today; Jason Hammel appears to be the favorite. UPDATE: Niemann tossed six scoreless innings.
ESPN.com's Jayson Stark has a new blog post up. Some of this is old news, but probably worth revisiting...
- The Reds are dangling infielder Jeff Keppinger, with the Red Sox and Astros as possible suitors.
- The Red Sox and Astros have also checked in on Colorado's Jeff Baker, along with the Phillies. But, the Rockies are reportedly demanding a "quality young starter" in return.
- The Mets expressed interest in Ronny Paulino before he was dealt to the Giants (then moved swiftly to the Marlins).
- The Phillies continue to shop around for a right-handed reserve outfielder.
Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports has a new column up with plenty of rumors:
- The Rangers think they can trade Frank Catalanotto if they pick up a considerable portion of the $6MM he's owed or if they accept a similar sized contract in return. They just aren't sure it's worth making room for Andruw Jones, who's making progress with his swing.
- Ian Stewart's emergence means Jeff Baker's become expendable for the Rockies.
- Rosenthal doesn't expect the A's to sign a free agent starter even though Justin Duchscherer needs surgery and will likely miss six weeks. Instead Rosenthal suggests the A's could trade for Jason Hammel or Jeff Niemann, both of whom are out of options.
- The A's can't afford Mark Mulder.
- Kris Benson could claim a spot in the Texas rotation and Rosenthal wouldn't be surprised to see Neftali Feliz or Derek Holland there before the All-Star break.
- They signed Cesar Izturis for now, but the Orioles hope to find a long-term solution at short.
LInks for Thursday...
- Chico Harlan of the Washington Post says the Nationals will honor a handshake agreement Dmitri Young made with Jim Bowden, and put the first baseman back on the 40-man roster.
- Catcher Matt Wieters has been told by the Orioles that he'll be optioned to Triple A on Monday, according to Peter Schmuck of the Baltimore Sun. Will the Orioles wait until late May to try to avoid Super Two status?
- Reds assistant GM Bob Miller talked to fans in an MLB.com Q&A.
- Check out an entertaining chat transcript with Mike DiGiovanna of the L.A. Times over at Halos Heaven.
- Sam Mellinger of the Kansas City Star interviewed Zack Greinke.
- Rangers owner Tom Hicks told Richard Durrett of the Dallas Morning News that the team has not reduced its budget for 2010. The Rangers have yet to set next year's budget, but it's known that some big salaries will be coming off the books. Meanwhile, MLB.com's Barry Bloom notes that Hicks intends to sell a minority share of the team.
- Rays exec Andrew Friedman said the team's demotion of David Price was entirely for baseball reasons, talking to Marc Topkin of the St. Petersburg Times. R.J. Anderson of DRays Bay supports the decision. Bart Given agrees.
- Tom Haudricourt and Adam McCalvy write about Brewers GM Doug Melvin's irritation with the bogus Jake Peavy rumor.
- Purely speculative, but Mike Berardino of the South Florida Sun-Sentinel wonders if Dontrelle Willis could get his career back on track with the Marlins.
- Rockies infielder Jeff Baker, unaffected by the trade rumors, homered twice yesterday.
- John Moores says the Padres sale to Jeff Moorad is "awfully close," talking to MLB.com's Barry Bloom. As you know, Sandy Alderson will step down as CEO when the deal closes (possibly today).
- Padres pitcher Shawn Hill had offers from six teams, according to MLB.com's Corey Brock.
- The Red Sox signed reliever Rocky Cherry to a minor league deal.
- MLB.com's Alyson Footer says reliever Danny Graves asked for and received his release from the Astros.
Troy E. Renck of the Denver Post writes today about the Rockies desire to trade catcher Yorvit Torrealba and infielder Jeff Baker.
Torrealba was signed in November of '07 after coming close to a deal with the Mets. The Rockies had reached the World Series with Torrealba behind the dish, and Chris Iannetta had yet to emerge. Now, though, the Rox would love to move Torrealba and the $4MM owed to him for '09. Renck says they shopped him hard this winter but came up empty. The Rockies like Sal Fasano as the backup catcher and don't have much use for Torrealba.
Baker, 27, hit .268/.322/.468 in 333 plate appearances for the Rockies last year, crushing lefties while struggling away from Coors. Baseball Prospectus likens Baker to former Padre Archi Cianfrocco, circa 1994. Baker has spent time at first base, second base, third base, left field, and right field in his career. Yesterday Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports said the Phillies, Astros, and Pirates were interested. Rosenthal suggested Phillies pitcher Kyle Kendrick as a possible target for the Rockies, but Phils GM Ruben Amaro Jr. doesn't see that as a fair trade. Renck says the Pirates and Astros have interest in Baker while the Yankees, Braves, and Phillies have a need. Baker is trying to bounce back from elbow soreness this spring.
The latest from Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports...
- The White Sox are still trying to figure out their center field situation, but they are not involved on pricey veterans such as Juan Pierre and Gary Matthews Jr.
- Fantasy alert: Rosenthal names David Aardsma as the likely leader for the Mariners closer job, with Chad Cordero and Brandon Morrow lingering.
- The Dodgers "continue to balk at Pedro Martinez's $5MM asking price."
- Rockies utility man Jeff Baker, who is out of options, is drawing interest from the Phillies, Astros, and Pirates. Rosenthal suggests recently-demoted Kyle Kendrick as a possible target for Colorado, assuming the Phils can move Geoff Jenkins or Matt Stairs to clear a spot. Troy E. Renck of the Denver Post says the Yankees are unlikely to acquire Baker.
- The Blue Jays have been scouting shortstops Chin-Lung Hu, Juan Castro, and others in hopes of finding someone they can stash at Triple A for insurance.
- Was Willy Taveras a bad move for the Reds? Rosenthal says rival executives think so.