Jeremy Hermida Rumors

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 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.

Red Sox Acquire Jeremy Hermida

According to Juan C. Rodriguez of The Sun Sentinel, the Red Sox have acquired Jeremy Hermida from the Marlins in exchange for minor league lefthanded pitchers Hunter Jones and Jose Alvarez.

Hermida, 25, has hit .265/.344/.425 in almost 2,000 career plate appearances, which is not what many had in mind for the guy Baseball America once ranked as the fourth best prospect in baseball. He earned $2.25MM in 2009, and still has two more years of arbitration eligibility ahead of him.

The 25-year-old Jones got his first taste of the big leagues in 2009, when he put up a 9.24 ERA in 12.2 innings. He spent most of the year in Triple-A, where he held lefties to a .206 AVG against. Alvarez, 20, spent 2009 in Class-A ball, where he put up a 2.26 ERA in 26 games (12 start).

Odds & Ends: Kikuchi, Astros, Smoltz, Hermida

Some links to read for Thursday morning…

Hermida A Non-Tender Candidate

The Marlins are unlikely to tender a contract to outfielder Jeremy Hermida, according to Joe Capozzi of the Palm Beach Post.  Hermida followed up on a lackluster '08 with a .259/.348/.392 line in 491 plate appearances this year.  His defense is not well-regarded, though heading into the season John Dewan of the Fielding Bible said Hermida was "dependable, if unspectacular" and has the physical talent to improve.

In 2006, Hermida graced the cover of Baseball America's Prospect Handbook.  A few years later, he's a non-tender candidate.  If the Marlins cut Hermida loose, he'll be the youngest member of this winter's free agent class at 26 years old (which the exception of Aroldis Chapman).  The Fish will presumably attempt to find a trade partner first.

Cubs Acquire John Grabow, Tom Gorzelanny

4:50pm: The Pirates' return of Hart, Ascanio, and Harrison is confirmed by a press release from the Cubs.  Gorzelanny will head to Triple A Iowa.  The Pirates keep adding arms; I guess this means they like Hart more than Gorzelanny.

4:47pm: ESPN Chicago says the Cubs sent pitchers Kevin Hart and Jose Ascanio to Pittsburgh for Grabow and Gorzelanny.  Ed Price, via Twitter, says the Cubs are also sending third baseman Josh Harrison

4:43pm: Finally a possible name as part of the package going to Pittsburgh.   Kevin Goldstein of Baseball Prospectus, via Twitter, hears pitching prospect Jay Jackson may be in the deal.  Jackson, a starting pitcher, was a ninth-round pick last year and ranked ninth on Baseball America's list of Cubs prospects.

3:22pm: Via Twitter, Kovacevic says Grabow and Gorzelanny to the Cubs is almost or "just about" done, while Chris De Luca of the Chicago Sun-Times says they closed the deal for Grabow. ESPNChicago's Jon Greenberg says the Cubs are "in the process of finalizing" the deal for Grabow.  Heyman terms the deal for both hurlers as "very close."

Gorzelanny, who is from Evergreen Park, IL, has a 2.48 ERA in 15 Triple A starts this year.  He won 14 games in the bigs in '07, but was derailed by back, shoulder, and finger problems in '08.  We still don't know what the Pirates will get back in this deal, but it ought to be something decent.

2:56pm: Dejan Kovacevic of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports that the Cubs and Pirates are discussing a deal that would send Grabow and Tom Gorzelanny to Chicago. No deal is in place and other teams remain interested in Grabow. 

2:21pm: Heyman (via Twitter) thinks the Cubs are getting closer on Grabow, and could acquire another pitcher as well.

1:27pm: SI's Jon Heyman says the Cubs and Pirates are in "serious discussions" about Grabow.

11:58am: ESPN's Jayson Stark says the Cubs are "strictly mining the lefthanded reliever market" and not looking for a bat.  Bruce Miles of the Daily Herald concurs.

10:51am: Ken Rosenthal and Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports say the Cubs prefer Pittsburgh's John Grabow over Washington's Joe Beimel, and they continue to discuss the lefty reliever with the Pirates.  The FOX report suggests the Cubs will stay internal for their Reed Johnson replacement.

Grabow currently ranks as a Type A free agent in the wacky world of Elias, but for his team to have a chance at draft picks they'd have to offer him arbitration and risk paying him more than $2.3MM if he accepts.

9:02am: The Cubs are looking for a left-handed hitter who can play right field, according to Gordon Wittenmyer of the Chicago Sun-Times.  While they're not optimistic about a deal, the plan would be to create a platoon with the disappointing Milton Bradley.  Wittenmyer says the Cubs have about $2-3MM of payroll room to work with.

Two players on the radar: Mark Teahen of the Royals and Jeremy Hermida of the Marlins.  The Royals are looking for a center fielder in return, however.  Teahen has $1.37MM left on his contract.  Hermida has $847K remaining.  Both players can be under team control through 2011.  Either player would still leave some wiggle room for the Cubs to acquire a left-handed reliever.

Trade Candidates: Outfielders

This year’s outfielders have a lot to live up to on July 31st. It was just a year ago that the Red Sox  parted with Manny Ramirez and acquired Jason Bay. This time, Matt Holliday’s the big name, but there are also a few cheap, powerful players out there for teams looking to add an outfielder. Here’s your list of trade candidates, ranked from highest 2009 salary to lowest:

  • Matt Holliday – At $13.5MM, Holliday's pricey, but he's a good defender with a history of batting excellence. With just seven extra base hits in the last month, Holliday's no longer perceived as a sure thing.
  • Jermaine Dye - He makes $11.5MM this year and there's a mutual option with a $1MM buyout for 2010 on his deal. The White Sox want to win now though, so Dye doesn't appear to be on the block.
  • Gary Matthews Jr. – The Angels would presumably pick up salary in any deal involving Matthews, as he makes $10MM this year and $23MM over the course of the next two years.  
  • Juan Pierre – Another overpaid outfielder in LA, Pierre makes $10MM this year and $18.5MM over the course of the next two. At least he's hitting well, with an OBP approaching .400 and a career-high slugging percentage.
  • Alex Rios – He makes $5.9MM this year and has $60MM more coming his way between now and 2014. His teammate, Vernon Wells likely could not be traded.
  • David Dejesus – Under contract for $3.6MM this year, he can play all three outfield positions, but his .714 OPS is ordinary. 
  • Mark Teahen – Makes $3.6MM as well and can play the outfield, though he's been manning third for the Royals. He has a .344 OBP and 27 extra base hits.  
  • Jeff Francoeur –  He's struggled since last year and makes $3.4MM this season, so the suitors are not lining up for Francoeur. 
  • Josh Willingham – He has 10 homers for a .534 slugging percentage and he'll earn $3MM in 2009. Mike Rizzo says Adam Dunn's staying in Washington.
  • Luke Scott - He makes just $2.4MM this year and won't be a free agent until after 2012, so the Orioles have a cheap, powerful asset on their hands. They have three talented outfielders already in Nolan Reimold, Nick Markakis and Adam Jones, so they could conceivably part with Scott.
  • Jeremy Hermida – With good patience, some power and a $2.25MM contract, Hermida could appeal to teams in need of a bat.
  • Cody Ross – Like Scott, Ross is cheap and powerful. He's slugging .505 and makes just $2.2MM this year. He's scheduled to hit free agency after 2011.  
  • Scott Hairston – He was just traded, but he plays solid defense and has extra base power, so Hairston, who makes $1.25MM this year, could appeal to other teams.  
  • Ryan SpilborghsApparently the Rockies would prefer to hold onto Spilborghs, who's under team control for three more years and makes just $415k this season.  

The Tigers, Braves, Mets, Giants and Reds could all look for outfield bats.

Marlins & Pirates Talking Capps; Aren’t Close

The Marlins, who have signed three relievers this week, are talking with the Pirates about trading for another. Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports reports that the Marlins have maintained contact with the Pirates about closer Matt Capps, though the two sides are not close to a deal.

The Marlins already included Jeremy Hermida in an offer for Capps, but the Pirates declined, as they have limited interest in Hermida. As Morosi points out, both Hermida and Capps make about $2.3MM this year and will likely hit free agency after 2011, so they match up financially. However, the Pirates aren't necessarily going to move Capps, one source told Morosi.

In their quest to stengthen their bullpen, the Marlins have added Luis AyalaBrendan Donnelly and Scott Williamson in the last week.