Jeremy Guthrie Rumors

AL East Links: Peterson, A-Rod, Otani, Orioles, Loney

The Red Sox will interview Rick Peterson for their pitching coach job, reports Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe (via Twitter).  The Orioles granted Boston permission to interview Peterson, who is currently Baltimore's director of pitching development and is a former pitching coach with the A's, Mets and Brewers.

Here's the latest from around the AL East…


Royals Rumors: Payroll, Sanchez, Lohse, Trades

Royals owner David Glass recently said that the team is "committed to improving (their) starting pitching" while also indicating a willingness to operate at a financial loss to be competitive. Bob Dutton of The Kansas City Star has the latest on the team…

  • “Our market is what it is,” said GM Dayton Moore. “We’re not going to have a payroll of $100MM. We know that going into it. We embrace who we are … We’ve got to stay consistent with our approach. We’re not going get crazy and go nuts in free agency.”
  • There are indications that the Royals have Anibal Sanchez and Kyle Lohse at the top of their free agent target list. Bringing Zack Greinke back for a second tour of duty is unlikely.
  • The team's list of secondary pitching targets is believed to include Ryan Dempster, Hiroki Kuroda, Shaun Marcum, Carlos Villanueva, and Carlos Zambrano. They will also monitor pitchers who could have club options declined, like Dan Haren and Ervin Santana.
  • “Absolutely … I think any pitcher would be fortunate to pitch here," said right-hander Jeremy Guthrie, an impending free agent the team would like to retain. They are unwilling to go beyond a two-year deal, however.
  • Moore acknowledged that there is a chance of working out a new contract with Guthrie during the exclusive negotiating window prior to free agency.
  • “I wouldn’t say anybody is untouchable,” said Moore with regards to potential trade talks. “You go into any discussion with an open mind. That being said, there are certain positions on the diamond that are very difficult to replace …  You don’t want to compromise in one area just to get strong in another area.”
  • Dutton estimates that the Royals could have $20-23MM to spend this winter while keeping the current roster intact.

Free Agent Stock Watch: Jeremy Guthrie

Before Jeremy Guthrie was traded to the Royals, he was in the midst of a career-worst season and appeared to be headed for a minor league contract in free agency. Since the Royals acquired Guthrie for Jonathan Sanchez on July 20th, the right-hander has pitched effectively, returning to his career norms. The turnaround should assure him of a guaranteed contract as a free agent this offseason and a multiyear deal remains possible.

Jeremy Guthrie - Royals (PW)

Coors Field was not a particularly welcoming home to Guthrie this year. Opponents posted a Bonds-esque .368/.415/.720 batting line against him in Denver’s thin air. Overall, Guthrie posted a 6.35 ERA with 4.5 K/9 and 3.1 BB/9 in 90 2/3 innings for the Rockies. He allowed 12 hits and two home runs per nine innings. Not surprisingly, he lost his rotation spot and, eventually, his place on the team.

Credit Royals general manager Dayton Moore for looking past those numbers. Since Guthrie has joined the Royals he has a 3.13 ERA with 5.8 K/9 and 1.6 BB/9 in 72 innings over the course of 11 starts. He’s generating more swings and misses with Kansas City (7.7% swinging strike rate) and averaging 93mph with his fastball.

Guthrie should appeal to the Royals when he hits free agency this offseason, as Kansas City could use more starting pitching. Moore has said that the club will "probably" wait until after the season to explore contract talks with Guthrie

Guthrie’s representatives at CAA Sports figure to look for a multiyear contract in free agency and it sounds as though some longtime Royals observers aren’t opposed to the possibility. Rany Jazayerli has suggested a two year, $15MM contract could work for both sides. Sam Mellinger of the Kansas City Star has suggested a two year, $18MM contract with a club option. 

A multiyear deal is certainly possible for the 33-year-old Guthrie. But in some ways he reminds me of Joe Saunders, who was selected ten spots before Guthrie in the first round of the 2002 draft. Both are innings eaters who limit walks, don’t induce many strikeouts and allow lots of hits. The combination generally leads to substantial salaries through arbitration, but it doesn’t do as well in free agency. Saunders, for example, signed a one-year, $6MM contract with Arizona last offseason. I expect Guthrie to sign a contract in that range following his up and down 2012 campaign.

Photo courtesy of US Presswire.



Quick Hits: Berkman, Nationals, Royals, Pagan

The Orioles drew first blood in their big four-game series with the Yankees, slugging six homers en route to a 10-6 victory.  Mark Reynolds hit two home runs, and has now enjoyed three multi-homer games against New York within the span of a week.  Baltimore is now tied with the Yankees atop the AL East.

Here's some news from around baseball…

  • If Lance Berkman retires, he tells Mark Berman of FOX 26 Sports Houston that he intends to finish his degree at Rice and be an assistant coach for the school's baseball team.  Berkman said he is still leaning towards retirement but is focused on the Cardinals right now and will save a final decision under the offseason.
  • Between Bryce Harper's play in center field and new leadoff hitter Jayson Werth's performance (a 1.014 OPS in 14 games as the leadoff man entering tonight's action), Amanda Comak of the Washington Times wonders if the Nationals may not need to focus on these long-time problems areas this offseason. 
  • The Royals should re-sign Jeremy Guthrie to a two-year, $15MM contract and non-tender Luke Hochevar, opines Rany Jazayerli of Rany On The Royals.  Jazayerli believes Guthrie would pitch well in the AL Central while Hochevar hasn't been able to translate his decent advanced metrics into on-the-field success.
  • Fangraphs' Dave Cameron cites Angel Pagan as "the most underrated player in baseball."  Pagan has a .284/.336/.430 line with eight homers, 78 runs scored and 23 steals for the Giants this season.  He is also a free agent this winter, and compares well with bigger-name free agent center fielders like Michael Bourn or B.J. Upton.
  • Players and owners aren't close to a decision about limiting September roster sizes, reports Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports.  We heard earlier this week that MLB was looking to change the rules for next season, but Rosenthal reports that since different teams deal with the September rosters in different ways, some clubs aren't willing to commit to the players' demands for minimum number of active roster spots for each game.

Quick Hits: Yankees, Guthrie, D’Backs, Brewers

The Yankees are faced with a number of issues in the short-term and long-term, writes Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com.  Among their long-term issues is the fact that their position player average age is 32.7 years.  One scout is also concerned that Robinson Cano hasn't looked like himself lately which is an unfortunate development for the Yanks as they appear to be intent on locking him up for the long-term.  Here's more from around baseball.

  • Royals General Manager Dayton Moore says that the club will "probably" wait until after the season to explore contract talks with pending free agent Jeremy Guthrie, tweets Bob Dutton of The Kansas City Star.  Moore recently said that he will be focusing on the rotation this offseason, which includes trying to re-sign Guthrie.  The 33-year-old is earning $8.5MM this season.
  • One has to imagine that Diamondbacks pitchers Ian Kennedy and Daniel Hudson regret not signing lucrative extensions when they had the chance prior to this season, writes Nick Piecoro of The Arizona Republic.  It's not known how much Arizona was offering to each pitcher, but Piecoro estimates that for Kennedy it was something close to $30MM and around $15MM for Hudson.
  • A source tells Ben Badler of Baseball America that the Brewers are not planning to renew the contract of Fernando Arango, who has been one of the team's top scouts in Latin America since 2003.  The club is looking for more production out of their Latin American department as they continue to work with a low-to-mid-range budget.

Quick Hits: Giants, Ross, Rangers, Morneau, Royals

One of the largest trades in baseball history was made official on Saturday, but here's a look at what else is going on in baseball…

  • The Giants' search for an outfielder is going "nowhere fast," reports Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports (Twitter links). The Dodgers and Diamondbacks have waiver priority and can block deals, though San Francisco likes having Gregor Blanco's defense in left for their fly ball pitching staff.
  • Following their recent major move, the Red Sox want to keep Cody Ross according to Rosenthal (on Twitter). Gordon Edes of ESPN Boston says that Ross knows this and an extension could happen before the end of the season (Twitter links). Talks have not yet begun, however.
  • The Rangers have claimed a number of players this month, including Justin Upton according to MLB.com's T.R. Sullivan. The club is looking for a number of ways to improve prior to August 31st.
  • Before moving on to Adrian Gonzalez, the Dodgers made another attempt to acquire Justin Morneau last week according to Dylan Hernandez of The Los Angeles Times. They tried to land the Twins' slugger prior to the trade deadline as well.
  • There is mutual interest between the Marlins and Carlos Lee about a return next season, reports MLB.com's Joe Frisaro. Earlier this month we heard that Lee wanted to return to Miami, but the club's intentions were unclear.
  • Royals GM Dayton Moore told Bob Dutton of The Kansas City Star that the team's focus this offseason will be the pitching staff, including an attempt to re-sign Jeremy Guthrie.
  • Jonny Gomes told Susan Slusser of The San Francisco Chronicle that he would like to return to the Athletics next season. The 31-year-old is hitting .248/.360/.478 with 15 homers in 267 plate appearances this year.

NL West Notes: Lee, Dodgers, Rockies

Cliff Lee will remain a Phillie as the window on the Dodgers' waiver claim closed today. Lee responded by allowing three home runs in a no-decision against the Diamondbacks this afternoon. When asked by Zach Links yesterday, 68% of MLBTR readers thought the Phillies should have let Lee go. But, Danny Knobler of CBSSports.com outlines two scenarios explaining why the Phillies held onto Lee. In other news involving teams from the NL West:

  • The Dodgers have been busy wheeling and dealing the past week turning over 20% of their roster with their recent trade acquisitions. Steve Dilbeck of the Los Angeles Times writes about how the Dodgers are being forced to mesh and develop its own chemistry in the season’s final two months while battling for a playoff spot.
  • The Rockies rearranged the duties of General Manager Dan O'Dowd and Assistant GM Bill Geivett this past week, but the Denver Post's Troy Renck believes the switch seems convoluted unless it leads to a major overhaul in personnel, especially in the drafting and development of better starting pitching.
  • The Rockies placed struggling left-hander Jonathan Sanchez on the 15-day disabled list with left bicep tendinitis. Sanchez was acquired from the Royals for Jeremy Guthrie last month, but Andrew Baggarly of CSN Bay Area tweets the real get for Colorado was salary relief to the tune of $1.1MM. 

Rockies, Royals Swap Guthrie, Sanchez

The Rockies and Royals have agreed to a trade that will send left-hander Jonathan Sanchez to Colorado for right-hander Jeremy Guthrie, Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports reports (on Twitter). Both players have struggled in 2012 and are on track to hit free agency after the season. The teams have confirmed the move.

Sanchez was recently designated for assignment following a short and disappointing stint in Kansas City. The Royals acquired him in an ill-fated offseason trade that sent Melky Cabrera to San Francisco. Sanchez posted a 7.76 ERA with 6.1 K/9 and 7.4 BB/9 in 53 1/3 innings for Kansas City, averaging less than 4.5 innings per start. He earns $5.6MM this year and will likely be in line for an incentive-based or minor league deal as a free agent unless he restores his value in hitter-friendly Coors Field.

Guthrie, 33, posted a 6.35 ERA with 4.5 K/9 and 3.1 BB/9 in Colorado. He allowed a league-leading 21 home runs in 90 2/3 innings. He earns $8.2MM this year.


Rockies Links: Guthrie, Scutaro, Betancourt, Nieves

The Rockies are one of the few teams in baseball who are firmly out of contention, and thus figure to be sellers as the trade deadline approaches.  Here's the latest on some of Colorado's top trade chips, courtesy of Troy Renck and Patrick Saunders of the Denver Post…

  • Jeremy Guthrie's continued struggles are ruining the starter's trade value, writes Renck.  Guthrie has a 6.35 ERA in 19 games this season, including a whopping 9.50 ERA at Coors Field.  Renck suggests that the Rockies could limit Guthrie only to road starts in order to properly showcase him for any trade suitors.
  • Marco Scutaro has drawn interest from the Pirates and Rangers, reports Renck and Saunders, in addition to the Tigers' known interest in the veteran infielder.  Scutaro would be an upgrade over Clint Barmes at shortstop for the Pirates, and he would provide the Rangers with middle infield depth behind Elvis Andrus and Ian Kinsler.
  • The Braves and Red Sox have shown some interest in Rafael Betancourt.  We heard last month from ESPN's Buster Olney that the Rockies "would have to be overwhelmed" to deal Betancourt or Matt Belisle.
  • The Nationals have scouted Wil Nieves.  The catcher played for Washington from 2008-10 and has a .738 OPS in 51 plate appearances for Colorado after signing a minor league deal with the Rockies in December.  Nieves is on the DL with a turf toe injury.  The Nats also asked about Colorado's Ramon Hernandez as they continue to look for catching help.
  • Scouts say the Rockies want pitching back in any deal.

Rockies, Royals Close To Swapping Guthrie, Sanchez

The Rockies and Royals are close to a trade that would send left-hander Jonathan Sanchez to Colorado for right-hander Jeremy Guthrie, Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports reports (on Twitter). Both players have struggled in 2012 and are on track to hit free agency after the season.

Sanchez was recently designated for assignment following a short and disappointing stint in Kansas City. The Royals acquired him in an ill-fated offseason trade that sent Melky Cabrera to San Francisco. Sanchez posted a 7.76 ERA with 6.1 K/9 and 7.4 BB/9 in 53 1/3 innings for Kansas City, averaging less than 4.5 innings per start. He earns $5.6MM this year and will likely be in line for an incentive-based or minor league deal as a free agent unless he restores his value in hitter-friendly Coors Field.

Guthrie, 33, posted a 6.35 ERA with 4.5 K/9 and 3.1 BB/9 in Colorado. He allowed a league-leading 21 home runs in 90 2/3 innings. He earns $8.2MM this year.

This post was first published on Friday, July 20th.