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Jim Bowden Rumors
5:54pm: Callaspo’s deal is a one-year, $3MM contract, Joel Sherman of the New York Post reports (Twitter links). Another $1MM is available for Callaspo in performance incentives, according to FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal.
12:49pm: The Braves have agreed to a deal with free agent infielder Alberto Callaspo pending physical, tweets David O’Brien of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Jim Bowden of ESPN.com first reported on Twitter that the sides were nearing agreement.
Callaspo, 31, is a switch-hitter but struggled from both sides of the plate last year. His .223/.290/.290 slash over 451 plate appearances was obviously well below-average. But Callaspo has produced at an average to slightly-above-average clip in recent seasons, and Atlanta may have cause to believe that he’ll return to that level.
Presumably, Callaspo would have the inside track to take over at second for Atlanta. He also represents an option at third, where he has spent some time, either as a platoon mate or replacement for Chris Johnson if the incumbent is dealt away.
Brendan Bianowicz is back with a bunch of updates to the GM Trade History series. The Excel spreadsheets linked below cover each GM's trades, free agent signings, and top draft picks via tabs along the bottom. It's interesting to see each GM's most frequent trade partner – for example, Omar Minaya has matched up with Larry Beinfest and Mark Shapiro most often in his career.
Links for Thursday…
- MLB.com's Jonathan Mayo and ESPN's Jason Churchill say high school catcher Luke Bailey is having Tommy John surgery. He might fall out of the top 20 in the draft, says Churchill.
- Thom Loverro of The Washington Times transcribes all kinds of amusing comments made by former Nationals GM Jim Bowden earlier this month. Bowden touched upon Stephen Strasburg, Mark Teixeira, and Aaron Crow.
- Alex Speier of WEEI notes that free agency hasn't done much for the Red Sox recently, outside of the Tim Wakefield and David Ortiz bargain signings.
- ESPN's Jim Caple talked to pitcher Jeff Zimmerman, who is on the comeback trail with the Mariners.
- Mark Gonzales of the Chicago Tribune notes that White Sox outfielder Jerry Owens may be on the way out. It sounds like Scott Podsednik is coming up, but there will be no roster move today.
- Patrick Saunders of the Denver Post says Rockies reliever Randy Flores, currently in Triple A, is debating whether to opt out of his contract.
- Zach Berman of the Washington Post gathered quotes on new Nationals pitcher Logan Kensing.
- Tonight at 10pm CST, Seth Stohs and Twins pitcher Glen Perkins will co-host the MN GameNight radio show.
SI.com's Jon Heyman has a new column up.
- In talking to club execs who have spoken with Scott Boras about Stephen Strasburg, Heyman believes Boras does have $50MM in mind. Boras allegedly likened Strasburg to fictional pitcher Sidd Finch, with the plan being to shatter previous draft pick bonuses by using Daisuke Matsuzaka's contract as a model. One Nationals person told Heyman, "We'll pay the $10 million, and we'll get him signed." This much is clear: we'll have something off the field to talk about in August. For more Strasburg Mania, check out this article by Steve Henson at Yahoo.
- Heyman learned from Nationals sources that Stan Kasten and team ownership, not Jim Bowden, cut off the Aaron Crow negotiations at $3.3MM. Kasten's had many applicants for Bowden's GM job, but Heyman's sources expect Mike Rizzo to retain the gig.
- A Heyman source estimated that the Angels offered John Lackey four years and around $50MM. Talks are on hold given Lackey's elbow injury. He didn't want to negotiate during the season anyway. The latest report on Lackey's injury is pretty good.
- Pedro Martinez still wants $5MM, and is "willing to wait well into the season." Heyman believes the Dodgers, Indians, Pirates, Astros, and Mets are possibilities now.
By our count, Jim Bowden made over 168 trades as GM of the Reds and Nationals over the years. MLBTR contributor Brendan Bianowicz compiled all of Bowden’s deals in this spreadsheet. Click here to see the other entries in the GM Trade History series.
11:43am: Harlan says Nationals president Stan Kasten is performing the GM duties for the moment, at least as far as trades. Kasten didn’t offer much else regarding the search for Bowden’s replacement.
8:55am: The Washington Post has all kinds of reading material in the wake of Jim Bowden’s resignation.
- Thomas Boswell says Bowden shouldn’t blame the media. Bowden’s #1 job was to build a farm system, but the Nationals are in the bottom third of baseball in that regard.
- Barry Svrluga looks at Bowden’s significant moves as Nationals GM. Svrluga and Chico Harlan gathered quotes from many who worked with Bowden.
- Joshua Robinson and Michael S. Schmidt of the New York Times note that baseball investigators have examined 6-8 teams’ dealings in the Dominican Republic – not just the Nationals.
- Harlan figures Mike Rizzo and Tony LaCava are candidates to replace Bowden.
7:52pm: According to Ladson, the Nationals were shocked by Bowden’s resignation. Manager Manny Acta and several players made complimentary remarks Sunday evening.
"The news caught me by surprise," Acta said. "It takes a lot of courage for him to do that. As a manager, I appreciate what he did if he felt that he was being a distraction here. I will always be grateful and have a soft spot for Jim."
9:48am: The Washington Post has provided a link to Bowden’s official statement.
9:04am: According to Chico Harlan of the Washington Post, Nationals GM Jim Bowden has resigned.
ESPN.com has more, including quotes from Bowden. Most notably, Bowden says, "I’ve become a distraction," and, "my ability to properly represent the Washington Nationals has been compromised."
Finally, Bill Ladson of MLB.com captures a classic quote from the GM: "I have become a distraction. Unless you are Manny Ramirez, there is no place for distraction in baseball."