Jesus Guzman Rumors
Just over a year ago, the Dodgers announced their presence as big-money acquirers by trading for infielder Hanley Ramirez. While Ramirez has battled injury at times, he has certainly re-established himself as a top-line big leaguer with a .315/.367/.544 line to go with 21 home runs and 14 stolen bases in the last year. As ESPN's Mark Saxon explains, Ramirez has seemed energized since donning Dodger blue and has been on fire since returning from a DL stint in early June. He remains under team control for 2014 at a cost of $16MM. On the other hand, the primary piece that Los Angeles shipped out to acquire Ramirez - pitcher Nathan Eovaldi -- has been solid so far in Miami. The 23-year-old currently owns a 3.54 ERA in 40 2/3 MLB innings. Here's more out of the NL West..
- The Giants will listen to offers on Hunter Pence, tweets Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports. At this stage of the season, the club believes that they have to be open to everything. San Francisco certainly likes Pence and wants to keep him long term, but with a lack of offense out there, they could get a very strong return for him. It was recently reported that the Rangers have interest in acquiring Pence.
- Padres stars Chase Headley, Carlos Quentin, and Huston Street are likely to stay in San Diego but it appears that Luke Gregerson will be changing uniforms, writes Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com.
- After Gregerson and Chris Denorfia, the Padres getting the most interest are Street, left-handed reliever Joe Thatcher, and outfielder/first baseman Jesus Guzman, writes Bill Center of U-T San Diego.
- The Giants are searching for their identity as the deadline approaches, writes MLB.com's Andrew Owens. Manager Bruce Bochy has instructed his players to tune out the trade rumors between now and July 31st.
Jeff Todd contributed to this post.
Freddy Garcia hasn't pitched well for the Padres during Spring Training and is open to being moved to the bullpen rather than the starting rotation, the veteran righty tells Bill Center of the San Diego Union-Tribune. What Garcia won't accept, however, is a minor league assignment. “The bullpen, why not?” Garcia said. “But I’ll go home at the end of
spring training rather than go to Triple-A. I want to pitch. But I’m not
going to Triple-A.” Garcia signed a minor league deal with the Padres in January. He is scheduled to start on Saturday, an outing that Center thinks "might be an audition for another team seeking pitching."
Here are some more items about the Friars from Center's recent chat with fans...
- The Padres explored trading for Rick Porcello last winter and asked the Tigers if they had any interest in Jesus Guzman as part of the deal. San Diego reportedly turned down a recent offer of Porcello for Huston Street or Luke Gregerson, though Tigers GM Dave Dombrowski has denied offering Porcello to anyone.
- General manager Josh Byrnes said yesterday that he isn't currently involved in any talks for Porcello.
- Center doesn't see the value in acquiring Porcello since Detroit's asking price is too high for a pitcher who Center feels isn't necessarily better than the Padres' young arms.
- Padres ownership has given Byrnes the go-ahead to make moves and signed off on "a major offseason deal" that Byrnes was interested in but didn't end up coming together.
- Center believes the club's management team wouldn't be in danger of losing their jobs in the case of a 90-loss season "but this is baseball. Things change with the wind."
Bill Center of the San Diego Union-Tribune is back with his regular chat with fans about the Padres, and here are some of the relevant hot stove items...
- The Padres have been talking to right-hander Brett Myers, according to Myers' agent. San Diego would use Myers as a starting pitcher, which is Myers' preferred role after spending 2012 coming out of the bullpen for the Astros and White Sox.
- The Tigers are reconsidering trading Rick Porcello, who has drawn attention from the Padres and several other clubs since Detroit re-signed Anibal Sanchez. If Porcello is available, Center feels it would take more than a rumored trade package of Luke Gregerson and Jesus Guzman for the Padres to acquire the right-hander.
- It's a "gamble on both sides" for Chase Headley and the Padres that there are apparently no extension talks taking place between the club and the third baseman. Headley is under team control for two more years, but a repeat of his 2012 numbers could make him too expensive for the Padres to lock up.
- Everth Cabrera has drawn trade interest but most clubs (including the Padres) aren't sure if he is capable of being an everyday shortstop. Center notes that San Diego has been shopping "several" of its middle infielders this winter.
- The Padres are "actively seeking" starting pitching but aren't going to be forced into making a bad signing just for the sake of adding an arm to the rotation.
- Between Porcello, Shaun Marcum and Joe Saunders, Center lists Marcum as the most likely of the trio to be a Padre in 2013, followed by Saunders and Porcello in that order.
- The Padres won't be adding another outfielder as they already have several options on the roster.
- Center doesn't expect the Padres to have a $100MM payroll within the next few years, even adding an "if ever" to the idea.
- The Padres want to bring back Dustin Moseley and Tim Stauffer on minor league contracts. The two pitchers elected to become free agents in October following injury-plagued 2012 seasons.
- Center hasn't heard of the Padres having any interest in Carlos Zambrano.
- Several teams asked the Rockies about Carlos Gonzalez during the Winter Meetings, reports ESPN.com's Jayson Stark (Twitter link). The Rockies told clubs that both Gonzalez and Troy Tulowitzki weren't available, having not changed their stance from last month about trading their top two stars.
- The Dodgers' negotiations with Ryu Hyun-Jin will go right down to Sunday's deadline, a team source tells ESPN.com's Jim Bowden (Twitter link). Los Angeles will lose negotiating rights with the Korean left-hander if a deal can't be worked out by Sunday. The two sides were thought to be far apart on Tuesday, though the Dodgers and agent Scott Boras had exchanged offers and were continuing talks.
- The Padres are using their bullpen depth, infield depth and Jesus Guzman as trade bait, says Bill Center of the San Diego Union-Tribune as part of his most recent chat with readers.
- Marco Scutaro and Angel Pagan told reporters (including Alex Pavlovic of the San Jose Mercury News) that they looking for, respectively, a fourth guaranteed year and the most expensive possible contract, and were both happy that the Giants met their desires. “I know my age,” Scutaro said. “I was looking for the best contract. This might be my last one. When (the Giants) made the best offer, it was very exciting.”
Here's a look at some news out of the AL and NL West..
- The Dodgers are letting teams know that shortstop Dee Gordon is available, tweets Bob Nightengale of the USA Today. Gordon could represent a fallback option for teams who lose out on Stephen Drew. Earlier today, we learned five teams are in on Drew.
- The Giants are looking for a center fielder and are talking to Michael Bourn, Angel Pagan, and Shane Victorino, tweets CBSSports.com's Jon Heyman.
- The Angels are aren't acting like they're confident of landing Zack Greinke, writes Mike DiGiovanna of the Los Angeles Times. The Angels seem to be trolling for much cheaper starting pitching options like Ryan Dempster and Shaun Marcum, as opposed to Anibal Sanchez and Kyle Lohse.
- The Dodgers' shopping list includes Greinke, a fourth outfielder that can play center, and a backup corner infielder, according to MLB.com's Ken Gurnick. Gurnick also says negotiations continue with lefty reliever Randy Choate.
- Padres GM Josh Byrnes doesn't expect to be very busy during the Winter Meetings, reports Bill Center of the San Diego Union-Tribune. "I expect to do one thing, maybe two," said Byrnes. "I’m not expecting to do a lot. We’re filling the holes, not roster reshaping." The Padres are looking for starting pitching and have depth at the corner outfield slots, in the bullpen, and at middle infield. The names most often mentioned as possible trade chips, according to Center, are Luke Gregerson, Joe Thatcher, and Jesus Guzman.
- The Rangers are interested in talking with the Mets about R.A. Dickey at the Winter Meetings this week, a source tells T.R. Sullivan of MLB.com. The Rangers aren't alone in having interest in the knuckleballer as the Mets have taken calls from six or seven teams looking to swing a trade. The Mets are expected to look for outfield help and catching in a deal.
- The Rockies are considering a run at left-hander Daniel Schlereth as they look to improve their bullpen, according to Thomas Harding of MLB.com. The 26-year-old became a free agent this week when he was non-tendered by the Tigers.
- The Rockies are looking to restore their rotation, but not rebuild it entirely, writes Patrick Saunders of The Denver Post. The club will look to bolster their starting five with a veteran presence and they are known to have interest in free agent right-hander Kevin Correia.
Edward Creech contributed to this post.
Joey Votto celebrated his 28th birthday with a 3-for-4 performance today against the Rockies, including his 27th homer of the year. It wasn't enough, however, as Cincinnati dropped a 12-7 result to Colorado.
Some notes from around the majors....
- The Red Sox could use another solid starting pitcher but "for the moment don't feel there's anyone out there available who's better than what they have," a team official tells Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe.
- The Rockies will give catcher Wilin Rosario a lot of playing time this month as they decide what to do with Chris Iannetta this winter, reports Troy Renck of the Denver Post. If Rosario plays well, Colorado may decide to deal Iannetta, who's due to make $3.55MM in 2012. Iannetta's name was mentioned in trade rumors involving the Blue Jays, Red Sox, Pirates and Padres at the July deadline.
- Johan Santana will probably not pitch in the Major Leagues for the Mets this season, reports Anthony DiComo for MLB.com.
- Dontrelle Willis probably won't be back with the Reds next season, writes John Fay of the Cincinnati Enquirer. Willis has re-established himself as a big league starter this year but Fay figures that this progress has likely priced the southpaw out of the Reds' range.
- Another Red who likely won't be back in Cincinnati next year is Paul Janish, opines Hal McCoy of the Dayton Daily News. Despite some excellent glovework (a +11.6 UZR/150 at shortstop this year), Janish will be eligible for arbitration for the first time this winter and is probably a non-tender candidate with Zack Cozart taking over at short.
- Bill Center of the San Diego Union-Tribune says several American League scouts have asked him about Jesus Guzman's fielding ability in recent weeks, a sign that AL teams could have an interest in Guzman as a DH candidate. Center discusses Guzman, Bud Black's status, a possible extension for Cameron Maybin and other Padres-related topics in an online chat with fans.
- Andruw Jones has been playing all season with a small tear in his left knee, reports Marc Carig of the Star-Ledger. The Yankees discovered the injury during Jones' physical but signed the veteran outfielder anyway (both Twitter links).
Today's minor signings...
- The Padres signed third baseman/left fielder Jesus Guzman to a minor league deal, MLBTR has learned. Guzman, 26, hit .321/.376/.510 with 18 home runs in 492 Triple-A plate appearances for the Giants' affiliate this year, his second extended stint at the level. He'd been designated for assignment in January to make room when the Giants re-signed Bengie Molina, but remained in the organization for the 2010 season.
- The Tigers re-signed righty Enrique Gonzalez to a minor league deal, MLBTR has learned. Gonzalez, 28, posted a 3.41 ERA, 7.4 K/9, 2.2 BB/9, and 1.2 HR/9 in 66 Triple-A innings across eleven starts this year, also racking up 26 big league relief frames. He'd been designated for assignment in August and outrighted shortly thereafter.
- The Cubs re-signed first baseman/left fielder Bryan LaHair to a minor league deal, MLBTR has learned. LaHair, 28, hit .308/.385/.557 with 25 home runs in 478 Triple-A plate appearances this year, his fifth stint at the level.
The R-word has been swirling around Kelvim Escobar lately, amidst reports that the 33-year-old Mets reliever may need shoulder surgery again after managing just one start in two seasons. Escobar answers some of these concerns in an interview with Rafael Tejera at the Venezuelan paper El Nacional (link in Spanish), telling Tejera, "If I wanted to retire, I would have done it already."
As for the 2010 season, Escobar insists he hasn't given up on it yet, but he will only make his final decision after picking up a ball again. "In the coming weeks, I'll simply work to strengthen my shoulder, and then it will be April 1 when I return to throwing," he says. "If I feel the same pain that day, I'll have to make the decision I have been considering since I was with the Angels: to rest for a full year and recover."
Other links from the Spanish language beat:
- With Cuban prospect Leslie Anderson's foot now planted in the door to the tune of $3.75MM for four years with the Rays, the question becomes: When and at what position will he play? A source close to the negotiations tells the Nuevo Herald's Jorge Ebro that the Rays want to see the 27-year-old "wearing the uniform as quickly as possible," while Marc Topkin at the St. Petersburg Times notes that Anderson is widely expected to start off in the minors. Neither brings up the subject of positions, although Anderson's agent Jaime Torres tells Topkin that Anderson will head to Rays camp later this month ready to fight for a spot on the big league roster at first base and all three outfield positions.
- Another high-average hitter from the Cuban Serie Nacional, shortstop Yadil Mujica, has been cleared as a free agent, tweets ESPN's Jorge Arangure Jr. In the same day, Mujica switched agents to Legacy Sports, also the new home of Jose Julio Ruiz. A scouting report on Mujica can be found here.
- Jesus Guzman tells Lider en Deportes' Carlos Rodriguez that he has received no guarantee of making the Giants' opening day roster, but he has received another sort of guarantee from manager Bruce Bochy: Whatever chance he has will be in the outfield, as opposed to the infield, where Guzman has almost exclusively played in the past. After three brief callups in 2009, the Giants designated the 26-year-old Venezuelan for assignment to make room for Bengie Molina this offseason, then invited him back to spring training. Last season at Triple A Fresno, Guzman put up a .321/.379/.507 line in 500 PA while playing mostly first base.
Links for Friday...
- Tim Dillard, who was designated for assignment earlier in the week, cleared waivers, according to Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel (via Twitter).
- Don't expect the Twins to add much to their 2010 payroll. GM Bill Smith tells Joe Christensen of the Minneapolis Star-Tribune that the team is nearing the "upper extremes" of what it can spend (Twitter link).
- The Blue Jays are no longer in on Carlos Delgado, tweets Joel Sherman of the New York Post.
- Dave Cameron of FanGraphs says the Twins had one of the best offseasons in baseball.
- Alex Anthopoulos doesn't expect to trade any of his relievers before the season starts, tweets MLB.com's Jordan Bastian. However, the Jays GM points out that things can change.
- WEEI.com's Alex Speier compares Victor Martinez to similar catchers to hit free agency in recent years. Speier writes that after this season V-Mart could be in line for a four-year $40MM deal like the ones Ivan Rodriguez and Jason Varitek signed. Some consider Martinez a first baseman going forward, which would make him a "completely different animal" in the eyes of interested teams.
- Those small market Twins will open the season with a payroll of about $96MM, writes Joe Christensen of the Minneapolis Star-Tribune.
- Derek Jeter hits free agency after the season and Hank Steinbrenner says we can "pretty much assume" what will happen at that point given Jeter's place in Yankee history (link from the Philadelphia Daily News).
- Padres GM Jed Hoyer tells Michael Silverman of the Boston Herald that he hasn't ruled out signing Adrian Gonzalez long-term. That seems unlikely given the offers Gonzalez could demand as a free agent.
- MLB.com's Bill Ladson tweets that Adam Kennedy will be the Nats' everday second baseman, which likely leaves Cristian Guzman at short.
- Now the Nats will look for a veteran starter, tweets Ladson.
- Jesus Guzman cleared waivers and will receive an invitation to Giants Spring Training, tweets Henry Schulman of the San Francisco Chronicle. The Giants designated the infielder for assignment in late January.
- Sam Mellinger of the Kansas City Star tweets that Jarrod Washburn may be too expensive for the Royals.
- Joel Sherman of the New York Post notes that some within the Dodgers organization called Orlando Hudson "Slow-Dog" because they were surprised he wasn't faster. Some Dodgers officials believe Hudson's defensive reputation is better than it should be.
The Giants have designated infielder Jesus Guzman for assignment, tweets Andrew Baggarly of The San Jose Mercury News. The move frees up a 40-man roster spot for Bengie Molina.
The 25-year-old Guzman hit a clean .250/.250/.250 in 20 big league plate appearances last season, his first taste of the show. He's a career .299/.368/.470 hitter in the minors (.344/.368/.491 in 565 Triple-A plate appearances), and has spent considerable time at first, second, and third base while dabbling in the corner outfield spots. Sounds like a pretty decent player.