Jesus Montero Rumors
The Athletics have already traded one of their young starting pitchers this offseason, but it wasn't Gio Gonzalez even though his name is popular on the trade rumor circuit. Here's the latest on the 26-year-old left-hander...
- The Mets are unlikely to pursue Gonzalez according to Andy Martino of the New York Daily News, with one team official saying talks never moved passed the preliminary phase. “Nothing serious,” said the official, with another source saying they are "unlikely" to continue pursuing the southpaw.
- Martino says the Athletics asked the Yankees for Jesus Montero and top pitching prospects in exchange for Gonzalez when they discussed his availability earlier this winter.
A week ago, Jon Heyman reported that the Yankees were unwilling to trade Manny Banuelos or Jesus Montero for White Sox lefty John Danks. The newly-minted CBS Sports scribe now tweets that the White Sox asked for two of Montero, Banuelos, or Dellin Betances, and the Yankees might give up one in a package.
It's easy to see why the Yankees have resisted so far, as Danks is only under team control for one year. He'll certainly be motivated with free agency on the horizon, and he would be just 27 years old on the open market. If Danks can put up 32 starts with a sub-4.00 ERA, as was his custom prior to 2011, I think he'll be able to top four years and $50MM. Edwin Jackson's upcoming contract may set the bar.
One executive told ESPN's Buster Olney during the Winter Meetings that the White Sox sought a "Ubaldo Jimenez" package for Danks, which would be hard to defend since Jimenez came with two-plus years of cost certainty. In addition to the Yankees, AL East rivals such as the Blue Jays and Red Sox appear to have checked in.
The White Sox are asking for big returns for starters John Danks and Gavin Floyd, tweets Joel Sherman of the New York Post. The Yankees like Danks, tweets SI's Jon Heyman, but they're unwilling to meet Chicago's request of top prospects Manny Banuelos and Jesus Montero. In fact, Heyman says the Yankees wouldn't trade either for Danks.
Though Danks is generally regarded as a better pitcher than Floyd, it's possible Floyd has more trade value since he's potentially under club control for 2013.
Here's a look at some items concerning the AL and NL Central..
- Several Royals officials have told Bob Dutton of the Kansas City Star (via Twitter) that any major roster upgrades will come through trades rather than the free agent market.
- There's nothing serious between the Tigers and Aramis Ramirez at the moment, a source told Jon Paul Morosi of FOXSports.com (via Twitter).
- In a deal for John Danks, the White Sox told the Yankees that they want Manny Banuelos and Jesus Montero from the Yankees, tweets Jon Heyman of SI. Heyman writes that the Sox are obviously not serious about dealing Danks just yet.
- The Tigers looking harder at the market for No. 5 starters than had been anticipated when the offseason began, tweets Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports. The club is after a reliever as well.
- The Cubs told at least one team that it would take an overwhelming offer to even consider trading Matt Garza, tweets Jon Heyman of SI.
- The Brewers are interested in hearing what it'll take to sign Jimmy Rollins, tweets Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.
- There's lots of skepticism over Albert Pujols' claim that he is 31 years old, tweets Jon Heyman of SI. Heyman writes that the slugger may not be able to top the Cardinals' nine-year, $200MM offer if he cannot produce a birth certificate.
- Jim Riggleman will accept the Reds' offer to manage their Double-A affiliate, writes Adam Kilgore of The Washington Post. Earlier today, Heyman reported that Riggleman was offered the position and was likely to accept.
It's been a busy day for the Yankees. They've announced their extension with GM Brian Cashman and declined their option on Andrew Brackman, making the right-hander a free agent. Reactions to C.C. Sabathia's extension have continued streaming in and we have some more notes to pass along from Cashman's conversation with reporters. Most of the quotes below come via Marc Carig of the Star-Ledger:
- By signing Sabathia, the Yankees added "the most important piece" of the offseason, Cashman said.
- "Offense is not a problem with this club," Cashman said. He's right - the Yankees scored more runs than any MLB team but the Red Sox and their starting lineup returns in 2012, so pursuing Prince Fielder or Albert Pujols doesn't seem likely.
- The focus of the winter is "pitching, pitching, pitching," Cashman said.
- Cashman said the organization is better-positioned to evaluate Japanese players than it was a few years ago. The Yankees could express interest in Yu Darvish, the Japanese right-hander who may be posted this offseason.
- Jesus Montero's role with the Yankees has yet to be determined: he could DH, catch on a semi-regular basis or be a bat off of the bench. Cashman expects Montero to contribute in the Major Leagues.
- Cashman said picking up Nick Swisher's $10.25MM option was an easy decision.
- Agent Peter Greenberg says there’s mutual interest between the Yankees and free agent Freddy Garcia in working out a new deal, according to Mark Hale, George A. King III and Joel Sherman of the New York Post. The Yankees would likely offer the Type B right-hander arbitration.
- I examined the Yankees' offseason last week.
- The Yankees are considering Carlos Beltran as a possible right fielder, according to Wallace Matthews of ESPNNewYork.com. The Yankees have a $10.25MM option for Nick Swisher that they have to make a decision on after the World Series, but they could pick up the option, sign Beltran and trade Swisher.
- The Yankees’ negotiations with C.C. Sabathia could come down to the team's willingness to guarantee the left-hander a seventh year, according to George A. King III of the New York Post. While the Yankees would be comfortable with a five or six-year deal worth roughly $25MM per season, the Yankees would pause if Sabathia wants a seven or eight-year deal. Sabathia is expected to opt out of the four years and $92MM remaining on his contract.
- Anthony McCarron of the New York Daily News hears that Brian Cashman’s extension with the Yankees is “just about” complete. The GM’s deal, which appears to be for three years or more, could be announced as soon as the World Series ends.
- Joel Sherman of the New York Post draws parallels between Mike Napoli of the Rangers and Yankees catching prospect Jesus Montero. Montero can hit despite questions about his defensive ability, so Sherman suggests it might be wise for the Yankees to keep Montero instead of trading him for starting pitching.
Some links as we look forward to Game 6 of the NLCS tonight..
- The only way Jose Reyes will sign in the exclusivity period is if the Mets blow him away with an offer, and that isn't happening, writes Steve Popper of the Bergen Record.
- With his team's spot in the playoffs already locked up, Yu Darvish will skip his start on October 18th, according to the Kyodo News Agency (Japanese link). Orioles player development director John Stockstill traveled to Japan to watch Darvish pitch in this game. (Translation provided by Patrick Newman of NPB Tracker)
- The Yankees will look for in-house fixes this winter, writes Joel Sherman of the New York Post. Sherman wonders aloud if the club might deal Jesus Montero for a starter and further open the DH slot, but a team official said that it wouldn't make sense to throw more dollars and add risk to the offense. Sherman added that he doesn't sense that the club has a strong affinity for free agent left-hander C.J. Wilson.
- Some of the Red Sox coaches have been granted permission to explore other opportunities while awaiting their fate, multiple sources tell Rob Bradford of WEEI.com.
You knew there would be a lot of Yankee news the day after the Bronx Bombers were eliminated from the postseason. Ben Nicholson-Smith already gave us one batch of items out of New York today, and now here are a few more tidbits as the Yanks look ahead to next year...
- Jesus Montero may once again be trade bait this winter, writes John Harper of the New York Daily News. A group of scouts tells Harper that such pitchers as James Shields, Gio Gonzalez, Trevor Cahill, Mat Latos or Matt Cain could potentially be obtained in a deal featuring Montero. Harper also says "the early indications are the Yanks won't go to extremes to sign" C.J. Wilson as a free agent.
- Brian Cashman says that starting pitching is "always, always, always" the club's offseason focus and this year will be no different, reports Marc Carig of the Star-Ledger. Cashman noted, however, that he doesn't expect next year's roster to be drastically different from the 2011 edition.
- With Alex Rodriguez's weak postseason numbers fresh in everyone's mind, Adam Kilgore of the Washington Post and Brian Costa of the Wall Street Journal both express worry about the six years and $143MM remaining on A-Rod's contract.
- Locking up C.C. Sabathia for more years and more millions could turn the ace into a Rodriguez-esque albatross on the Yankee payroll, warns Johnette Howard of ESPN New York.
- Which of New York's two big free agents is a safer signing: Sabathia or Mets shortstop Jose Reyes? Ken Plutnicki of the New York Times asks the question.
All eyes will be on a trio of AL East matchups today, as the Rays take on the Blue Jays while the Yankees and Red Sox play a split doubleheader in the Bronx. By the end of the day, we could see a massive swing one way or the other in the Wild Card race. If the Sox sweep the doubleheader and the Rays fall to Toronto, Boston would clinch at least a tie of the Wild Card. On the other hand, if the Rays beat the Jays and the Yanks win a pair at home, Tampa Bay and Boston will be tied heading into the season's final series. While we look forward to today's slate of games, let's check out the latest links from the division....
- The Rays asked the Mets about Jose Reyes' availability in June, according to Newsday's Ken Davidoff. Reyes' stock was incredibly high at the time - he was healthy and hit .352/.397/.529 through the season's first three months - so the Mets turned away the Rays' inquiries.
- Within Davidoff's piece, Rays GM Andrew Friedman said his team won't feel the need to trade any starting pitching this winter: "We can't be cavalier about the depth that we have right now."
- Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports takes a look at Terry Francona's future in Boston, wondering whether the skipper will be the scapegoat if the Red Sox miss the playoffs.
- The Yankees should give Jesus Montero a chance to catch the season's last few games to see if he's a viable option behind the plate, argues Filip Bondy of the New York Daily News.
The Mariners endured their 13th walk-off loss of the season at the hands of the Twins yesterday, setting a franchise record. Seattle which is tied with the Angels for the most walk-off losses in baseball this season, visits the Rangers tonight...
- The Mariners are expected to sign Daniel Thieben, an 18-year-old right-hander who's the youngest member of Germany's World Cup roster, according to John Manuel of Baseball America. The deal will likely become official in early November, when international scouting director Bob Engle visits Germany. Thieben's best pitch is a curveball and his fastball sits in the mid or upper-80s.
- Brian Cashman's comments about Carl Crawford made headlines today and his candor extended to the near-trade that would have sent Jesus Montero and others to the Mariners for Cliff Lee last summer. The GM told Ian O'Connor of ESPNNewYork.com that Montero "would've been by far the best player moved" in any of the three deals involving Lee.
- Cashman told Larry Stone of the Seattle Times that he had Lee until the Mariners decided they didn't like the medicals on second baseman David Adams and moved on to the Rangers, who were offering Justin Smoak.