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Jimmy Rollins Rumors
The Brewers grabbed headlines on the trade and free agent market yesterday. Here’s more news from Milwaukee…
- Before signing Aramis Ramirez, the Brewers pursued Jimmy Rollins and told agent Dan Lozano that they'd be willing to offer a four-year deal, Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reports. "We can’t and sit and wait like other clubs," GM Doug Melvin told Rosenthal.
- Ramirez will earn just $6MM in 2012, according to Rosenthal. He'll earn $10MM in 2013 and $16MM in 2014 with a $4MM buyout on a mutual option for 2015, Rosenthal reports. The 2014 salary includes $6MM in deferred money.
- Melvin explained to Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com that a small market team such as Milwaukee doesn’t generally sign top free agents such as Prince Fielder (Twitter link). "We have to face the reality of the smallest market and the best young player in free agency and how does it work," the GM said.
- The Boras Corporation put together a 73-page binder detailing Fielder's accomplishments and ESPN.com's Jerry Crasnick explains how it ended up in the slugger's 'man cave' beside his Sliver Slugger awards. One unnamed GM admits to looking forward to annual books on Boras clients: "I think they're a curiosity," the GM said. "It's kind of like the Sports Illustrated swimsuit calendar," the GM told Crasnick. "You look forward to it coming out each year. But you're not really going to do anything about it."
A handful of odds and ends as Friday night winds down …
- Joe Frisaro of MLB.com has the breakdown on Heath Bell's and Jose Reyes' respective contracts with the Marlins. Bell's 2015 club option for $9MM will vest if he finishes 55 games in 2014 or 100 games in 2013-14. Reyes will earn a $1MM bonus if he wins a World Series MVP.
- D'Backs GM Kevin Towers told reporters, including Nick Piecoro of the Arizona Republic, that he's looking to fortify his bullpen and perhaps add another starting pitcher (Twitter link).
- The Rockies are looking for a short-term answer at third base so as not to block the path of prospect Nolan Arenado, tweets Troy Renck of the Denver Post.
- Phillies GM Ruben Amaro will meet with shortstop Jimmy Rollins' agent, Dan Lozano, on Saturday, tweets Jerry Crasnick of ESPN.com.
- Brewers shortstop Alex Gonzalez told Spanish-language sports talk radio show Los Cronistas in Venezuela that he had offers from the Giants and the Mets but that he chose to sign with Milwaukee because he wanted to be a starter (Twitter links). Thanks to MLBTR's Nick Collias for the translation.
Derrick Goold and Tom Timmermann of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch have a round-up of what the Cardinals could be planning now that Albert Pujols has left town…
- The Cardinals "have explored what the market is" for Carlos Beltran. Beltran would see most of his playing time in center field, since Allen Craig is slated to be the everyday right fielder.
- Jimmy Rollins' desire for a five-year contract will probably keep the Cards out of the bidding unless Rollins is willing to accept a shorter-term deal. The team is still talking to Rafael Furcal and would like to bring back Nick Punto as a veteran backup, should the Cardinals decide to look within and give Tyler Greene a shot at the everyday shortstop job.
- The team is looking for a left-handed reliever and have spoken to representatives for Mike Gonzalez and J.C. Romero.
- The planned $110MM payroll for 2012 won't be lowered because Pujols is gone, said GM John Mozeliak.
- In regards to the Jake Westbrook/Kyle Lohse trade rumors, Mozeliak said no deals materialized and one of the starters would be dealt only if the Cards need to "reallocate" some money towards another move.
Here's the latest from the NL East, including several aftershocks from the Albert Pujols signing…
- After missing out on Pujols, it has been speculated that the Marlins could turn their attention to Prince Fielder. FOX Sports' Ken Rosenthal reported yesterday that Miami wasn't interested, and today adds that the Marlins' club policy against no-trade clauses would probably keep them out of the running for Fielder anyway. The Marlins' insistence on avoiding no-trade clauses was a "big reason they lost" Pujols. (All links are to Rosenthal's Twitter account.)
- It seemed as if the Phillies could have been the last suitor left for Jimmy Rollins after the Brewers signed Alex Gonzalez, but with Pujols gone, the Cardinals have money to spend on a Rollins contract, writes Matt Gelb of the Philadelphia Inquirer. Gelb's Inquirer colleague Bob Brookover wonders if a Rollins/Cardinals match could be impacted by the fact that Rollins' agent Dan Lozano also represents Pujols.
- When asked if he would sign with the Phillies, Omar Vizquel told Manuel Lira of the Venezuelan newspaper Lider en Deportes (passed on by ESPN's Enrique Rojas) that "We're working on it." Vizquel turns 45 in April and would be playing his 24th Major League season in 2012. Vizquel played under Charlie Manuel when Manuel managed the Indians from 2000-02.
- David Wright may be the only "untouchable" on the Mets roster, writes Mike Puma of the New York Post. The Mets seem willing to listen to offers on everyone, though young, controllable players such as Ike Davis would naturally require a high price.
- What the Mets are paying new bullpen acquistions Frank Francisco, Jon Rauch and Ramon Ramirez isn't out of line with other reliever contracts this winter, notes Andy McCullough of the Star-Ledger.
- Mark Zuckerman of Nats Insider thinks the Nationals should look at Pujols leaving the Cardinals as incentive to re-sign Ryan Zimmerman to an extension. Zimmerman is under contract in Washington through 2013 and Zuckerman says the club's desire to save money for a Zimmerman extension is a reason the Nats haven't pushed for Fielder this offseason.
The latest on free agent shortstop Jimmy Rollins…
- Phillies sources tell Jim Salisbury of CSNPhilly.com (Twitter link) that there was no meeting with Rollins tonight.
- The Phillies are currently meeting with Lozano and could "get to the finish line" tonight, tweets Bob Brookover of the Philadelphia Inquirer.
- While no deal between the Phillies and Rollins has been agreed upon, Jim Bowden of ESPN and MLB Network Radio hears from sources on both sides that it will get done (Twitter link).
- The Brewers expect Rollins to re-sign with the Phillies because their second meeting with agent Dan Lozano was canceled, tweets Haudricourt. According to MLB.com's Todd Zolecki, GM Ruben Amaro Jr. had this to say on the Brewers' expectations: "That's good news, I guess. I don't know why they have that thought process, but I hope it's true."
- The Phillies are not close to re-signing Rollins, tweets Ken Rosenthal.
- The Brewers are hearing that Rollins is staying with the Phillies, tweets Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel. ESPN's Chris Singleton received an encouraging report from a Phillies person that a deal with Rollins will get done soon.
This would seem to indicate optimism about re-signing Jimmy Rollins, as we heard earlier that the Phillies would be interested in trading Polanco and acquiring Ramirez if they were unable to bring back Rollins. However, Rosenthal says this decision is unrelated to the club's negotiations with their longtime shortstop.
The Angels and Brewers are among the teams still in on Ramirez, tweets Rosenthal.
The latest on free agent shortstop Jimmy Rollins…
- Phillies manager Charlie Manuel said he thinks there's a "big chance" Rollins returns to the Phillies, tweets Todd Zolecki of MLB.com.
- Brewers GM Doug Melvin told Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel he met with Rollins' agent Dan Lozano at the start of the Winter Meetings, but no proposal was made.
- The Phillies met late into the night with Lozano on Rollins, tweets Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports. No meeting is expected between the two parties today, but Lozano is a busy man with Albert Pujols and Carlos Beltran as clients.
The latest on free agent shortstop Jimmy Rollins…
- Philadelphia's reported interest in Ramirez may be a way of showing Rollins that they have a backup plan, with the goal of pushing him to accept a shorter deal according to Danny Knobler of CBS Sports. Some of Knobler's sources believe Amaro could be pushed to compromise at four years. Knobler says Philly's "overwhelming desire" is to have Rollins back.
- The Phillies and Lozano hope to meet again tonight, tweets ESPN.com's Jayson Stark. CBS Sports' Danny Knobler tweets that most people still believe Rollins will return to Philadelphia, even though their earlier meeting wasn't a huge success.
- Brewers manager Ron Roenicke didn't deny his team's interest in Rollins today, writes David Murphy of the Philadelphia Daily News. The skipper was "highly complimentary" when discussing Rollins with reporters.
- Amaro's recent meeting with Rollins' agent Dan Lozano "did not go all that well," hears Jim Salisbury of CSNPhilly.com. Rollins is not backing off his desire for a five-year deal, which led the Phillies to inquire about Aramis Ramirez. Yahoo's Steve Henson also hears Lozano and the Phillies are not on the same page about Rollins.
- Phillies GM Ruben Amaro Jr. has already met with Lozano at the Winter Meetings, tweets ESPN's Buster Olney. Olney says it appears now that the Phillies' greatest competition for the shortstop could be the Brewers and Cardinals, but his colleague Jerry Crasnick tweets that the Cardinals are saying they have no plans to pursue Rollins — even if they fail to re-sign Albert Pujols.
- The Red Sox may only be able to take on a very limited amount of payroll for a number of reasons, and Alex Speier of WEEI.com has the rundown.
- The Phillies have not had any extension talks with Cole Hamels, tweets ESPN's Buster Olney. Still, CBS Sports' Danny Knobler says there's a strong expectation on both sides that a deal will eventually get done.
- In his "10 Degrees" column for Yahoo! Sports, Jeff Passan calls the former small-market Marlins' outbidding of the Mets for Reyes "bizarro baseball," opines that Reyes at his best is better offensively than Carl Crawford, and runs down a number of other big name free agents and hot stove issues.
- David Murphy of the Philadelphia Daily News breaks down Laynce Nix's two-year deal with the Phillies, but has difficulty finding the logic behind the signing.
- Jimmy Rollins is the Phillies' top priority at the Winter Meetings, writes Bob Brookover of the Philadelphia Inquirer. Other than that, however, Brookover finds it unlikely that the Phils will make a big splash this week.
- In his latest blog, MLB.com's Bill Chastain says he doesn't think the Rays will be in on Manny Ramirez, he expects B.J. Upton to stay put, and he a "big part of him" still believes Johnny Damon could return to Tampa despite reported interest from the Orioles.
- New Orioles special assistant Lee Thomas told reporters, including Steve Melewski of MASNSports, that other teams "missed the boat" on GM Dan Duquette.
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.