Jeff Kent Rumors
Here's the latest from Will Carroll at Baseball Prospectus. Some of this info is from this afternoon, so I apologize for the tardiness.
- The Rockies may still move a lesser player like Yorvit Torrealba, if anyone's interested. There doesn't seem to be a match with the catching-hungry Marlins though.
- Carroll tosses a new name into the relief market: Dan Wheeler. Would the Rays part with him?
- Carroll's sources don't think much of the recent Jeff Kent rumor.
- The White Sox have been aggressive in their relief pursuit; the Twins have been passive in general. The Mets, Rays, and Phillies have been quiet.
- Still no interest in Adam Dunn. The man has 30 home runs! Carroll says David Weathers is drawing some inquiries.
Baseball Prospectus' John Perrotto has a new column.
- The Mets are looking at relievers Huston Street, Brian Fuentes, Arthur Rhodes, and Eddie Guardado. On the radar for outfielders: Jason Bay, Raul Ibanez, and Randy Winn.
- A new suitor for Fuentes has emerged: the Diamondbacks. Would they really make another move for a reliever? Other known suitors were named here.
- The Marlins would consider trading Cody Ross or Mike Jacobs for relief help.
- New name on the Rays' radar: Dodgers second baseman Jeff Kent. They're better off with Akinori Iwamura aren't they?
- George Sherrill suitors: Cardinals, Tigers, Dodgers, Marlins, and Phillies.
- The Blue Jays may offer A.J. Burnett an additional $2MM per year to convince him to stay for 2009-10.
- The Rangers are "expected to be among the top bidders" for CC Sabathia this winter.
With veteran infielders Nomar Garciaparra and Jeff Kent both likely to miss opening day, the Dodgers are scrambling to find themselves some backups. Ken Rosenthal says that since the Astros are unlikely to trade Mark Loretta while Kaz Matsui is out, L.A. is considering Ron Belliard of the Nationals and Esteban German of the Royals. Another possibility, Morgan Ensberg, seems unlikely, as the Yankees added him to their 40-man roster yesterday. Joe Crede of the White Sox and Brandon Inge of the Tigers are both probably too expensive.
This could impact roster decisions Los Angeles will make on Monday, when they decide whether they can afford to carry twelve pitchers with so much uncertainty around their infield.
Ned Colletti, meanwhile, says he expects Monday to mark an uptick in trade chatter---but also that he's content, for now, to fill his third base hole from within. It's worth noting that Ensberg's spot on the opening day roster is still not guaranteed, and that Matsui is expected to return in two to three weeks, perhaps freeing up Loretta.
Rounding up this morning's Odds and Ends, to be updated periodically...
- The Pirates are talking to the Tigers about acquiring Chad Durbin. The arbitration-eligible Durbin doesn't have a place in Detroit's rotation, but could be useful for the Bucs.
- Chien-Ming Wang would like a three or four-year deal with the Yanks.
- The Phillies will pass on Kevin Mench, though they've still got their eye on Nate McLouth. The Royals' disinterest in Mench was noted yesterday.
- We've assumed it for a while, but Jeff Kent playing in 2008 is now official.
- The Twins may have non-tendered Jason Tyner.
And now for your daily jumble o' rumors. More to come.
- The Twins cleared several spots on their 40-man roster...will they be active next week?
- The Yankees have "reached out" to free agent reliever David Riske. Troy Percival and Ron Mahay have also been linked to the Yanks this offseason.
- The Dodgers have an interest in Tony Clark, which has to bum out James Loney. Dylan Hernandez also notes that the Dodgers' talks for Erik Bedard have stalled because the Orioles want to see what happens with Miguel Cabrera first. Ned Colletti expects Jeff Kent back, by the way.
- The Cards won't be afraid to trade their young pitching (Anthony Reyes, Tyler Johnson, and Brad Thompson) for veteran pitching. They also still like Carlos Silva and Kyle Lohse, if the price is right.
- Bob Dutton reports that the Royals' Yasuhiko Yabuta signing will be finalized at week's end. Meanwhile nothing is imminent with Jose Guillen.
- Linked to this earlier in a D'Backs post...the Phils are in "serious talks" with Randy Wolf. As I said there, that shouldn't stop them from going after a more reliable starter.
- Things are heating up between the Twins and Red Sox for Coco Crisp, but that's all Gordon Edes has for us on the topic.
- As expected, the market for Mike Cameron has picked up now that Torii Hunter signed.
Dylan Hernandez of the L.A. Times has some insight into Ned Colletti's gameplan this offseason.
Colletti still isn't a fan of the free agent market for starting pitchers. He feels that the Dodgers' best chance of upgrading the rotation is via trade. Though the Dodgers have been previously linked to Hiroki Kuroda, Colletti seemed unimpressed by the Japanese market. Trade options might include Erik Bedard, A.J. Burnett, Cliff Lee, Jon Garland, Jose Contreras, Johan Santana, Dan Haren, Joe Blanton, Chris Capuano, and Dave Bush. Did I miss anyone?
As far as third base, Colletti says the Dodgers haven't decided whether to go after Alex Rodriguez. He was able to tolerate Scott Boras enough to talk with him briefly last week. The other options for the Dodgers would be Mike Lowell and Miguel Cabrera. Giving Andy LaRoche a try wouldn't be a terrible idea.
It sounds like the Dodgers really want to sign a center fielder and move Juan Pierre over. It seems that Colletti will investigate the Big Three among free agent center fielders. Him being on OK terms with Boras bodes well for the Andruw Jones possibility.
TV's Larry King spoke to Jeff Kent recently, and came away convinced he'll return to play in 2008. Odd source of information. The same sentiment about Kent has recently been expressed by Joe Torre and Ned Colletti. It sounds like the Dodgers will be set at second base for '08.
Torre also provided thoughts on Andy Pettitte and Alex Rodriguez recently. Torre said Pettitte was "leaning towards staying home" and it was "possible" the Dodgers could sign A-Rod. Such a signing would not cost the Dodgers their valuable 15th overall pick next year. The Yankees have to be rooting against this.
I recently watched an ESPN video (top right corner) where Keith Law said he didn't see Colletti patching things up to cut a deal with Scott Boras. If the Dodgers are to sign A-Rod it might have to be Dodgers owner Frank McCourt taking care of things. It's assumed that Pettitte will either retire or pitch for the Yankees, though Nick Cafardo speculated he could go to L.A. to pitch for Torre.
A couple of vets would like to re-join the Dodgers in David Wells and Luis Gonzalez. They've already made a minor addition in Chan Ho Park. Others who have been connected to the Dodgers: Miguel Cabrera, Luis Castillo (probably only if Kent retires), Hiroki Kuroda, Andruw Jones, and Torii Hunter. A note on Kuroda - Phil Rogers' straw poll indicated that roughly 20 teams have some level of interest in him.
Picking up some rumors and tidbits that haven't been otherwise posted during this busy day...
- An Atlanta TV station states that Tom Glavine would take a lot less money to play for the Braves. Also, the Astros have reportedly been in touch with him.
- Joe Torre senses that Jeff Kent will return in 2008. The Dodgers certainly hope so; he led the team with 20 home runs in '07.
- Trey Hillman took a parting shot at Japanese reporters (hat tip to JapanBall).
- Reliever Masafumi Hirai might come over to MLB. I'll have to learn more about him.
- Hiroki Kuroda prefers to play on the West Coast because he doesn't like cold weather. Hmmm, Chicago might not work for him. Kuroda has declared free agency, and the Mariners are interested. There is word here that the Rangers have scouted him as well.
- The Braves are interested in Masahide Kobayashi to close, while the Mariners like him as a middle reliever (link in Japanese).
- There will be no Mike Lowell + A-Rod combo in Boston.
- Luis Gonzalez would like to return to the Tigers, while the team is interested in Cliff Floyd and Shannon Stewart for left field. Ben Broussard may also be on the radar.
- The Rangers also like Broussard, and they've contacted Mike Lamb as well regarding their first base vacancy. Lamb could play third if they trade Hank Blalock. Jon Daniels also has Kerry Wood in his sights.
- The Rockies like Shawn Chacon, but only as a reliever.
- Derrick Goold breaks down the options for the Cardinals at shortstop.
- Don't forget to make an entry in our Hot Stove Hysteria contest. The deadline is November 12th. If you feel the need to edit your entry, just post a new one. They're time-stamped; your latest entry will be used. A new prize has been added: a fantasy draft kit from Big Dawg Baseball.
Let's see what we've got going on today in a potpourri-style format.
As predicted, Eric Byrnes was non-tendered last night. I can't possibly think of a better way for the Cubs to turn the Jacque Jones signing into a positive. If you sum up Byrnes and Jones' salaries, you'll be getting solid stats from RF for the price. Assuming Dusty Baker understands what a platoon is and how all that works.
Of course, it's probably one more roster spot than the Cubs wanted to use on this type of thing since they already have John Mabry. But Mabry can back up Aramis Ramirez, and the Cubs can carry one less pitcher and make it work. I put a word in to a Cubs source of mine, and he agreed that the idea makes sense (who wouldn't agree) and mentioned that the Cubs have liked Byrnes in the past.
UPDATE: Just talked to a second Cubs source, and he echoed the sentiment held by many readers of the site: Hendry didn't give Jones $16MM to platoon him. He's a full-timer for the most part.
Kirby Arnold reports that the Mariners offered Gil Meche to the Cubs for Corey Patterson. At first, I said, "Sure, why not." But then I looked at Meche's numbers, and I realized there's no way he can help the ballclub. When a pitcher loses his ability to strike batters out, as Meche may have, he has to counter the increased hits he's surrendering with good control. Or the ability to keep the ball in the park. Meche appears to have none of these traits, and would be a frustrating spot starter who would allow tons of baserunners. I might rather have Josh Fogg at this point. There's got to be something slightly better out there for the Cubs.
Alfonso Soriano won't move off second base for the Nationals and is pretty much raising a stink about being dealt to Washington. Let's see here, are there any teams with GMs dumber than Jim Bowden who might make a trade for Sori? Dan O'Brien's club doesn't have a need for a 2B; Placido Polanco is firmly entrenched in Detroit...maybe Littlefield is interested?
Is Millwood really getting a five year deal from someone? Insane. Incredible timing to have your 2.86 ERA season. Best timing award for the NL: Todd Jones.
My Mets guy is saying the club is still talking to the Dodgers about Jeff Kent, but right now it's a "pipe dream." Doesn't seem like the two teams will agree on anything. The Mets still have some faith in Victor Zambrano (or maybe they're just trying to save face), but Omar feels that after adding Julian Tavarez his bullpen will be pretty much set.
The Mariners seem desperate to get rid of Jeremy Reed after pushing hard to obtain him for Freddy Garcia. I guess they don't understand that center fielders are hard to find and Reed will get better. After the masterstroke that was the Johjima signing, Bill Bavasi has taken a step backward with Jarrod Washburn.
The Jeff Kent to the Mets rumor first surfaced in early December. Now it's rearing its ugly head again, this time courtesy of Gotham Baseball. According to author Mark Healey, Anderson Hernandez would be involved and the deal could happen soon. I asked my Mets source for his take on the Kent possibility.
He told me the deal isn't nearly as close as the article might imply. He said the Mets are willing to part with Anderson Hernandez, but the catch is that the Dodgers have to take Kaz Matsui too. No money would be exchanged. My source thinks this is simply a proposal the Mets put out there to get the ball rolling; Ned Colletti would never make the trade as described.
My source puts the ultimate chances of a deal at 50/50, and mentioned that ditching Matsui and adding one more 100 RBI bat at the same time would definitely be a feather in Omar's cap. However, even as a cash-saving move, this doesn't make a lot of sense for the Dodgers. I'll keep you posted as further permutations leak out.