Jeremy Hermida Rumors

Cafardo On Ortiz, Iannetta, Atkins, Lowell

The key to the Rays' success so far has been their pitching staff, according to Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe, who praises Tampa Bay for playing so well despite a few slumping bats. Cafardo says that it may be hard for the club to add another piece or two before the trade deadline, since their budget is already maxed out. However, Cafardo acknowledges that with Carl Crawford and Carlos Pena facing free agency, the Rays may go all-out this year and stretch their budget a little in hopes of winning a championship. Here are some of Cafardo's other notes:

  • After this season, David Ortiz is probably "done in Boston unless he takes a massive pay cut." Ortiz might have trouble catching on anywhere next year, since there's virtually no market for one-dimensional players, and he may not be willing to accept a role similar to Jason Giambi's in Colorado.
  • If Ortiz and Victor Martinez continue to hit, the Red Sox are very unlikely to pursue Chris Iannetta.
  • One of the winter's most disappointing new additions has been Garrett Atkins, who is homerless and sports a .221/.261/.283 slash line in 119 plate appearances. The Orioles will have to consider releasing him if he doesn't turn things around.
  • The Rangers are looking for a starting pitcher and a productive right-handed bat. A Rangers official tells Cafardo that he'd still love to see Mike Lowell in Texas.
  • Cafardo thinks that if the Red Sox fall out of playoff contention and become sellers, they could replenish their farm system, acquiring multiple players for Martinez, Lowell, Ortiz, Adrian Beltre, Marco Scutaro, and Jeremy Hermida. I'm less optimistic than Cafardo about the caliber of talent the Sox could land for most of those guys.

Cafardo On Fielder, Wood, DeJesus

Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe would like to see the Red Sox acquire a marquee player in his prime.  Let's dive in and check out the tidbits that he has for us today..

  • The Red Sox will shed a great deal of payroll this offseason thanks in large part to David Ortiz and Mike Lowell coming off of the books.  MLBTR's Tim Dierkes examined the team's 2011 contract issues recently, suggesting $40MM could be freed up.  With that newfound breathing room, Cafardo writes that the BoSox would like to zero in on one of three elite first basemen this winter.  While he anticipates Albert Pujols remaining in St. Louis, he says that Prince Fielder and Adrian Gonzalez could be acquired via in-season trades.
  • If Kerry Wood can show that he's healthy, he should be able to attract a contending team as we approach the trade deadline.  Wood was recalled from his rehab assignment in Akron on Friday.  The 32-year-old is set to make $10.5MM this season but if a team were to trade for him they would only have to assume the prorated portion of that.
  • David DeJesus is "more than available" for teams seeking a lefty outfield bat.  In return, the Royals would seek bullpen help and a positional prospect.  Kansas City was said to be expecting serious interest in DeJesus this winter.  The 31-year-old earns $4.5MM this season with a $6MM option for next season.
  • While there's still some skepticism in Houston that Lance Berkman would really leave the organization, one Astros organizational person opined that the 34-year-old would "fit Boston like a fiddle".  However, considering his advanced age and his offensive struggles this season, he's an unlikely fit for the club at present.  Meanwhile, Cafardo mentions the Mariners and White Sox as teams that could really use a bat like Berkman's.
  • Meanwhile, Jeremy Hermida is an outfielder that would seem to fit Seattle, though it doesn't appear that the Red Sox would entertain offers for him right now.

Odds & Ends: Jeter, Marlins, Fielder, Aurilia, Boras

If you're in the Northeast, here are some links to check out while you take a break from shoveling…



Players To Avoid Arbitration: Tuesday

We'll round up any and all players that agree to deals today to avoid arbitration in this post, so check back in for updates…

  • MLB.com's T.R. Sullivan reports (via Twitter) that the Rangers have avoided arbitration with reliever Frank Francisco by agreeing to a one-year, $3.265MM contract.
  • The official Brewers Twitter site is reporting that Carlos Villanueva has agreed to a one-year contract.  The deal is worth $950K according to MLB.com's Adam McCalvy (via Twitter).
  • The Red Sox and Jeremy Hermida have agreed to a one-year deal for 2010 to avoid arbitration according to a team press release. Michael Silverman of The Boston Herald reports (via Twitter) that Hermida will earn $3.345MM in 2010. Theo Epstein's streak of avoiding arbitration lasts another year.

Odds & Ends: Carroll, Crisp, Cameron, Hermida

Links for Wednesday…

  • The Tigers signed lefty Brad Thomas out of Korea, and Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports tweets that they paid $1MM.
  • Dejan Kovacevic of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette confirmed our report of the Pirates' interest in Kelly Johnson, explaining that the Pirates view him as a corner outfield option.
  • FanGraphs' Dave Cameron wonders why teams seem to undervalue Cliff Lee.  In a related story, Lee's agent Darek Braunecker believes their position has been mischaracterized. 
  • ESPN's Buster Olney expects Jamey Carroll to choose between two-year offers from the A's and Dodgers, probably today (I mistakenly wrote the Angels earlier).
  • Mentioned first on Twitter: I've heard that Coco Crisp would prefer a one-year deal with the Padres or A's.
  • Boston's Mike Cameron signing was officially announced today.  Michael Silverman and John Tomase of the Boston Herald have details on the two-year, $15.5MM contract.  John Lackey's deal was also announced.
  • WEEI's Alex Speier says the Red Sox told Jeremy Hermida they'd trade him if they re-signed Jason Bay.  Speier wonders if the Cameron signing will prompt a Hermida deal.
  • The Angels' one-year, $6.5MM deal with Hideki Matsui was also announced, as was John Buck's one-year, $2MM deal with Toronto and Ross Gload's two-year, $2.6MM deal with the Phillies.
  • The Royals put out word they've re-signed outfielder Shane Costa to a minor league deal.  Costa, 28, missed almost the entire '09 season with a leg injury.
  • USA Today's Bob Nightengale tweets details on LaTroy Hawkins' two-year, $7.5MM deal with the Brewers.
  • Patrick Newman of NPB Tracker examines the reports about reliever Ryota Igarashi, who might be headed to the Red Sox or Mets.
  • The Mariners signed 19-year-old shortstop Pedro Okuda to a minor league deal, according to a team press release.  Okuda was born and raised in Brazil but attended high school in Japan.

Mike Cameron Agrees To Deal With Boston

7:58pm: The deal is in the range of $15.5MM for two years, tweets Ken Rosenthal.

7:53pm: Mike Cameron has agreed to sign a two-year deal with Boston, the AP reports.

6:38pm: It is "believed" that Cameron would play left field for the BoSox, with Jacoby Ellsbury in center and J.D. Drew in right, writes Jerry Crasnick of ESPN.com.  This would make recently-acquired Jeremy Hermida the team's fourth outfielder.

The Cubs and Mariners both had interest in Cameron, but shied away for different reasons. The Cubbies were waiting on a taker for Milton Bradley while the M's continue to focus on Jason Bay.  The Braves also had interest, but it now it sounds as though Boston has the inside track.

Speaking of Bay, Crasnick wonders aloud (via Twitter) if this is the "final nail" in the free agent's chances of returning to Fenway.

5:40pm: Free agent outfielder Mike Cameron is in "serious talks" with the Red Sox, tweets Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports.  The two sides are reportedly discussing a two-year pact.

Rosenthal adds that it is unclear whether the BoSox would place Cameron in left field or center field. 


Red Sox Winter Meetings Preview

Peter Abraham takes a look at the Red Sox checklist as they head into this year's Winter Meetings. Abraham is sure to note that his focus is on what Boston needs, not the fantasy trade scenarios that fans may want. Says Abraham, "The Sox needs refining, not rebuilding." That said, let's take a look:

  • The easy solution in left field is to bring back Jason Bay. Abraham says though, that the acquisition of Jeremy Hermida presents Boston with the option of signing a right-handed hitter, such as Xavier Nady, to form a platoon. The Red Sox could also let Bay go in favor of pursuing Matt Holliday.
  • While the rotation appears to be set for now with Josh Beckett, Jon Lester, Daisuke Matsuzaka, Clay Buchholz, and Tim Wakefield, Abraham says the Sox could use a "No. 5.5 starter, a No. 6, and possibly a No. 7" for depth. He names the usual suspects, including Ben Sheets, Erik Bedard, and Rich Harden.
  • Boston has requested medical reports on Mike Gonzalez, and will need to fill out the back of the bullpen for 2010. Abraham feels the Red Sox will invite about a dozen relievers to camp and see who performs well.
  • Boston should look to add a veteran outfielder and infielder for bench depth. Abraham says Boston doesn't seem interested in keeping Rocco Baldelli around. He names Adam Everett, Craig Counsell, Reed Johnson, Marcus Thames, and Adam Kennedy as options.
  • Abraham doesn't see Buchholz, Casey Kelly, or Ryan Westmoreland being dealt. He names Casey Kotchman, Josh Reddick, and Manny Delcarmen as trade chips.
  • Abraham also speculates on the possibility of Jonathan Papelbon being traded. With Daniel Bard waiting in the wings, this isn't the first time someone has speculated on the possibility of Papelbon being shipped off.

Odds & Ends: Matsui, Belcher, Cuddyer, Griffey

Links for Friday…


Baseball Blogs Weigh In: Dodgers, Red Sox, Iwamura, Matsui

On this date 33 years ago, Bill Campbell became one of the first players to sign a contract with a new team under baseball's new free agency system. After saving 20 games with the Twins in '76, Campbell signed a four-year, $1MM deal with the Red Sox. In his first season in Boston, he would save 31 games and make his only All-Star appearance. As we enter the 34th Hot Stove season, let's take a look at what is being written in the Blogosphere…

Cork Gaines writes for RaysIndex.com. If you have a suggestion for this feature, Cork can be reached here, and followed on Twitter here.


Epstein: Red Sox Bought Low On Hermida

Red Sox GM Theo Epstein says he bought low on a player with considerable promise when he acquired Jeremy Hermida.

"He hasn't fulfilled his potential yet," Epstein said of the former top prospect. "We acquired him today to see if he can fulfill that potential."

It's impossible to predict whether Hermida can become a star, but Red Sox saw "positive indicators" that suggest the 25-year-old can improve upon the .259/.348/.392 line he posted for the Marlins this year.

Hermida hit .284/.398/.436 throughout the minors, with plate discipline and flashes of power. As recently as 2007, he posted an .870 OPS in the majors, so Hermida has succeeded in the big leagues before.

The Red Sox consider Hermida an average defender in either left or right field. According to UZR/150, Hermida has slightly below average range and a slightly below average arm. Ultimately, the Red Sox wanted to see if a change of scenery can improve Hermida's production.

"It was a chance to get a guy with unfulfilled potential for a reasonable cost," Epstein said.

The Red Sox have Hermida under team control for two seasons. The outfielder has missed time due to a variety of injuries, but the Red Sox say he doesn't have lingering structural problems.