Jesus Montero Rumors
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.
- Red Sox GM Theo Epstein responded to speculation about the Cubs' GM opening by saying that he's happy in Boston and “all Red Sox, all the time," according Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe.
- Gonzalez told MLB.com's Brittany Ghiroli that he'd listen to offers from the Orioles if they're interested in signing him this offseason.
- ESPN.com's Jerry Crasnick looks back at what went wrong for the Orioles this year and starts to address the question of how they can turn things around.
- The Yankees were also involved in trade talks for Gonzalez, according to MASNsports.com's Roch Kubatko. However, Baltimore president of baseball operations Andy MacPhail preferred the pitcher the Rangers were offering.
- Yankees manager Joe Girardi sounds like he's ready for Jesus Montero to join the team tomorrow, according to MLB.com's Bryan Hoch (on Twitter).
- As MLBTR's Tim Dierkes explained earlier today, Montero would have to be added to the Yankees' now-full 40-man roster before getting called up.
- The Rays aren't expect to make any deals today, according to Marc Topkin of the St. Petersburg Times (on Twitter).
Last September, 22 players were designated for assignment as teams cleared spots on their 40-man rosters. One reason to open a 40-man spot is to add a September call-up when the active roster expands.
For example, Joel Sherman of the New York Post says the Yankees intend to promote Jesus Montero, but not Manny Banuelos or Dellin Betances. Montero will have to be added to the Yankees' 40-man roster, which is currently full. A spot can be created by designating someone for assignment, or transferring a player from the 15-day DL to the 60-day.
MLBTR's 40-man roster count post indicates that 11 teams currently have at least one open spot on the 40-man. Montero, Martin Perez, and Devin Mesoraco are a few top prospects who would have to be added to 40-man rosters, notes MLB.com's Jonathan Mayo, and the Yankees, Rangers, and Reds are all currently full.
Here's the latest Full Count video clip from Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports.com:
- The Astros may place lefty Wandy Rodriguez on waivers next week, and it's possible but unlikely that Rodriguez will be claimed by another team. He stands to earn $36MM over the next three seasons, which could be a deterrent for teams considering a claim, but if he clears, the Diamondbacks and other teams may show interest in working out a trade.
- The Reds have not seen a significant spike in attendance coming off last season's division title and will likely be relatively inactive this offseason.
- The Rays considered trading center fielder B.J. Upton in July, but they may hold him this offseason and allow him to walk in free agency after 2012. The Rays value Upton highly and think they may not be able to spend his 2012 salary, which Rosenthal estimates will be roughly $7MM, any better on another player or players.
- Tampa might be more willing to trade righty James Shields, who would probably yield a greater return than Upton.
- The Yankees will not release catcher Jorge Posada, which is why they're having trouble squeezing prospect Jesus Montero to the big leagues. The Yanks do not want to go to an 11-man pitching staff, which they'd have to do if they called up Montero.
As if Joe DiMaggio didn't have enough honors already, the U.S. Postal Service plans to sell a DiMaggio stamp in 2012, along with stamps bearing the likenesses of three other yet-to-be-announced baseball superstars. A fitting tribute to a legend of the game....or a subtle way of trying to jinx Dan Uggla? If it was the latter, the jinx didn't work, as Uggla extended his hitting streak to 29 games tonight.
Here's some more on Uggla, DiMaggio's old team and the other eastern franchises....
- David Ortiz has been upset about the lack of contract talks between he and the Red Sox, but Fangraphs' Steve Slowinski argues that if negotiations had begun, Ortiz might not liked what he would've heard. "Which would you prefer: a star player that’s mildly hurt you won’t talk about a new contract with him, or one that feels unappreciated and lowballed?" Slowinski asks.
- Dustin McGowan hasn't pitched in the majors since 2008, but the injury-plagued Blue Jays right-hander hopes to finally return this September, reports MLB.com's Gregor Chisholm.
- Speaking of Blue Jays pitchers, Sportsnet.ca's Shi Davidi reports that Toronto has called up right-hander Henderson Alvarez. The 21-year-old will make his first Major League start for the Jays sometime this week.
- Matt Gelb of the Philadelphia Inquirer suggests the Phillies should consider acquiring Arthur Rhodes to provide some left-handed bullpen depth.
- Uggla's hot streak has finally made him look like the player the Braves expected when they acquired him from Florida last winter, writes MLB.com's Mark Bowman.
- The Boston Globe's Nick Cafardo touches on a number of Red Sox-related topics in a fan mailbag, such as the likelihood of Jacoby Ellsbury signing a contract extension, how Josh Reddick has improved his trade value and if the Red Sox would get involved in the bidding for Jose Reyes this winter.
- The Yankees won't call up Jesus Montero for Tuesday's game with the Angels, reports Marc Carig of the Star-Ledger. There had been speculation that Montero would soon be in pinstripes given the team's announcement that Jorge Posada would be relegated to a bench role.
- Orioles manager Buck Showalter told Bill Madden of the New York Daily News that while fans focus on the payroll gap between big-market and small-market clubs, "the real disparity, the disparity that's hurting baseball, is the disparity that no one sees -- the amount of money being spent on scouting and player development." In a follow-up piece for the Baltimore Sun, Robbie Levin looks at how the O's have fallen behind their AL East rivals in developing Latin American talent.
- The Marlins have agreed to terms with seventh-round draft pick Ryan Rieger, reports Baseball America's Aaron Fitt. (Twitter link) Rieger, a first baseman, had committed to play for Long Beach State University next year.
The Tigers contacted the Rockies about Ubaldo Jimenez yesterday and they're far from the only team in the mix. The Yankees, Red Sox, Reds and Indians are still involved and the Rockies are eyeing each team's top prospects in possible deals. Colorado's asking price hasn't dropped, so it will still take multiple top young players to pry the right-hander away. Here are the latest rumors, with the most recent updates up top:
- Danny Knobler tweets that the Tigers are out on Jimenez for now, and while the Indians have tried it looks like the Yankees or Red Sox if there's a trade at all. He says the door is slightly open for the Tigers to have another go at it, but that's not expected to happen.
- A Rockies source pegs the chances of a Pence deal at less than 50%, with the Yankees and Red Sox most likely, tweets Yahoo's Jeff Passan.
- The Tigers have strong interest and are willing to include top prospect Jacob Turner in a Jimenez deal, tweets Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports. Turner is ranked anywhere from #11 to #26 among all prospects by the gurus.
- The Yankees have made no calls to the Rockies thus far today, tweets Ken Rosenthal.
- Others believe the Indians are a big threat to acquire Jimenez, according to Jon Heyman of SI.com (on Twitter).
- The Yankees’ interest in Jimenez appears to be waning, according to ESPN.com’s Jayson Stark. However, the Indians are sending signals that their “untouchables” might be available in a deal for Jimenez, according to Stark.
- Joel Sherman of the New York Post says the Rockies are "mad" at Jimenez for for the way he has acted this year (Twitter link). However, Troy Renck of the Denver Post weighs in on Ubaldo the person: "There are no questions about his character," Renck tweets. "Zero."
- The Red Sox are aggressively pursuing Jimenez while the Indians, Reds, and Blue Jays are also interested, tweets Jon Heyman of SI. Meanwhile, Heyman says that the Yankees are "lurking".
- Joel Sherman of the New York Post says that the Yankees would only package Jesus Montero and Dellin Betances in the same deal in exchange for a sure thing, and they don't view Jimenez as a sure thing.
- Joel Sherman of the New York Post hears that talks between the Yankees and Rockies have not gone well (Twitter link).
- Any Jimenez deal with the Tigers would "almost certainly" include Jacob Turner and/or Rick Porcello, according to Danny Knobler of CBSSports.com (on Twitter).
- Rival teams expect to know the Rockies’ true intentions regarding Jimenez tomorrow, according to ESPN.com’s Buster Olney. If the sky-high asking price drops in the next day and a half, other teams will see the price reduction as a signal that Colorado intends to move Jimenez.
Yesterday's Ubaldo Jimenez info: about seven teams are in on him, but the Yankees and Reds are best-positioned to make a deal if the Rockies are as motivated as has been reported. So far, the Rockies' asking price of "three sure-thing young players, including one pitcher who goes into their rotation immediately" has not dropped. The latest:
- The Red Sox are still in on Jimenez, according to Gordon Edes of ESPNBoston.com (on Twitter).
- The Indians have asked about Jimenez, but are a "real longshot," according to Danny Knobler of CBSSports.com (on Twitter).
- The Indians are strongly in the mix for Jimenez, according to Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports. The Indians have been working aggressively to upgrade their offense and rotation, Rosenthal writes. They're "thinking big in multiple deals."
- Though the Yankees and Reds have been the most active suitors for Jimenez, they aren’t close to a deal, according to Troy Renck of the Denver Post. The Yankees aren’t close to matching Colorado’s asking price and it’s hard to imagine the Reds obtaining Jimenez without surrendering Mesoraco. The Tigers and Red Sox are ‘on the fringe’ of the trade talks and the Rangers are no longer considered a candidate to acquire the right-hander.
- The Yankees have the best chance of landing Jimenez, reports Danny Knobler of CBS Sports. The Rangers are all but out, while the Tigers and Blue Jays are remote.
- The Rockies do not require Reds untouchables Devin Mesoraco or Billy Hamilton in a deal with the Reds, tweets Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports.
- The Rockies are in active trade talks with six to eight teams, reports ESPN's Jayson Stark. A source tells Stark that two NL teams, yet to be identified, are in the mix, and the guess is that one of them is the Nationals.
- As of yesterday, the Reds were the most motivated Jimenez suitor and the Red Sox were more seriously inquiring than the Yankees, reports Joel Sherman of the New York Post. Still, the Rockies appear amenable to doing a Jimenez deal for three of these Yankee youngsters: Manny Banuelos, Dellin Betances, Jesus Montero, and Ivan Nova. The Yankees, however, are hesistant to even include two. Ownership is not pushing Yankees GM Brian Cashman to make a deadline splash, writes Sherman, and the front office is more focused on relievers.
The latest on the Yankees...
- Though the Yankees think Edwin Jackson is solid, they aren't pursuing him now, according to Jack Curry of the YES Network (on Twitter).
- A rival executive believes the Yankees will add a left-handed reliever via trade, tweets Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports. Left-handed relief is a weakness of this trade market, though perhaps the Yanks could take on a bad contract like that of Baltimore's Mike Gonzalez.
- Unless a no-doubt number one starter appears on the market, the Yankees have made it clear they won't move prospects Manny Banuelos, Dellin Betances, Jesus Montero, and Austin Romine, tweets Joel Sherman of the New York Post.
- The White Sox are spending a lot of time scouting the farm systems of the Yankees, Red Sox, and Phillies in case Kenny Williams and company decide to sell, tweets Sherman.
- The Yankees would pay big for A's lefty Gio Gonzalez, tweets Sherman, but Oakland still refuses to discuss the southpaw. The 25-year-old ranks eighth in the American League with 124 strikeouts and seventh with a 2.67 ERA, and is not arbitration-eligible until after this season.
- One MLB official says the Rockies never seriously intended to deal Jimenez, according to Jayson Stark of ESPN.com (on Twitter). It still sounds like he's staying put.
- The return in a Jimenez trade "would have to blow everybody away," GM Dan O'Dowd told Woody Paige of the Denver Post.
- The Rockies have yet to receive a single official offer for Jimenez, report Yahoo's Tim Brown and Jeff Passan. The Tigers, Reds, and Yankees are said to be the "most smitten" clubs. The writers add that a Tigers package would have to include pitching prospect Jacob Turner, the Reds would have to part with catcher Devin Mesoraco, and the Rockies inquired on Jesus Montero and Manny Banuelos of the Yankees.