Jimmy Rollins Rumors

Cardinals Rumors: Beltran, Romero, Gonzalez, Punto

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.

NL East Notes: Marlins, Rollins, Mets, Zimmerman

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.

Brewers Expect Rollins To Sign With Phillies

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.

Phillies Not Shopping Polanco, Backing Off Ramirez

The Phillies are no longer shopping Placido Polanco and are "backing off" their pursuit of Aramis Ramirez, a rival executive tells Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports (Twitter link).

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.

Jimmy Rollins Rumors: Tuesday

The latest on free agent shortstop Jimmy Rollins

Jimmy Rollins Rumors: Monday

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.

More East Links: Red Sox, Hamels, Reyes, Nix

Another batch of links surrounding the Eastern divisions, less than 12 hours after the Marlins and Jose Reyes agreed to terms on a six-year, $106MM contract:

Central Notes: Royals, Tigers, White Sox, Garza

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.

Brewers Looking For Bullpen, Infield Help

The Brewers stand to lose both Takashi Saito and Francisco Rodriguez to free agency this winter, and GM Doug Melvin told Tom Haudricourt of the Journal Sentinel that he plans to talk to agents and look for bullpen help at the Winter Meetings next week (all Twitter links). Furthermore, the club is also looking to add infield help, though the only player they are actively trying to sign right now is Jerry Hairston Jr.

Jimmy Rollins, Alex Gonzalez, Rafael Furcal, and 2011 Brewer Yuniesky Betancourt are among the shortstops the club has checked in on. Melvin said he plans to meet with Betancourt's agent next week. Last week we heard that Milwaukee has already offered Hairston a one-year deal, but several other teams are interested as well. Melvin also confirmed that he does not have any offers out to free agent relievers at the moment.

Olney On Rollins, Fielder, Red Sox

Between his ESPN.com blog and his Twitter feed, Buster Olney has a few hot stove notes to share this morning. Let's check them out….

  • Jimmy Rollins, who turns 33 today, is seeking a five-year deal this winter, and the Phillies may have to commit that many years if they want to bring their longtime shortstop back. "I'm not sure if Rollins will get five years," said an NL evaluator. "But he's a safer bet for me than any starting pitcher on the free agent market — and some of those (or at least C.J. Wilson) will get five years…. He will get paid. The only question is whether it will be four years or five years."
  • An AL evaluator believes that, "while he's not the force at the plate that he used to be," Rollins is one of the more underrated defensive shortstops in the game.
  • Olney tweets that neither Prince Fielder nor Albert Pujols is an ideal long-term target for the Cubs, noting that Fielder makes the most sense for an AL club that could move him to DH for the back half of a long-term contract.
  • The Red Sox have narrowed their managerial search to two finalists, Bobby Valentine and Gene Lamont. Olney says some of GM Ben Cherington's peers (with other teams) are wondering if Cherington prefers Lamont while his bosses prefer Valentine, and, if so, whether it's worth it for the GM to fight ownership for his choice.