J.J. Hardy Rumors
Chris Tillman allowed eight runs to the Royals without completing four innings today. Here's the latest on the O's, who had won six of their past nine heading into today's game in Kansas City...
- Alfredo Simon, now rehabbing while on the restricted list, will have to be promoted or released by May 22nd or so, according to Dan Connolly of the Baltimore Sun (on Twitter).
- Orioles president of baseball operations Andy MacPhail told Roch Kubatko of MASNsports.com that the O's are building Simon up as a starter and open to putting him back in the bullpen later.
- The Orioles may have to remove someone from their active roster soon, as Robert Falkoff points out at MLB.com. J.J. Hardy is starting a rehab assignment tomorrow and it may not be long before the shortstop is ready to return, so MacPhail and the rest of the front office have a potential decision on the horizon.
- Don't forget to stay up to date with MLBTR's Orioles-centric Facebook page and RSS and Twitter feeds.
Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports brings us some interesting tidbits in this week's installment of Full Count..
- The Mets will not sign Jose Reyes to a monster contract similar to the one given to Carl Crawford (seven-years, $142MM). However, despite the Mets' financial troubles, keeping Reyes is not out of the question if he's willing to accept a shorter deal in the vicinity of three-years, $45-50MM. Reyes, if healthy, will get more than that on the open market but it's still not a sure thing that the club will deal him. They'll have to consider their position in the standings, how it would impact attendance, and what the return in a trade would be versus the high draft picks they would get if Reyes left via free agency.
- The Mets won't have to worry about Francisco Rodriguez finishing 55 games if they deal him to a club that would use him as a set-up man as opposed to a closer. The Rangers, for example, have Neftali Feliz (if healthy) to finish games. K-Rod can block deals to as many as ten clubs as part of his deal but the Mets, to facilitate this deal, would gladly pick up the $3.5MM buyout to get rid of him.
- Nationals manager Jim Riggleman is one of a handful of managers whose future is uncertain beyond this season. The club has yet to pick up his option for '12 even though most in the game say that the Nats are on the right track. Riggleman's agent told Rosenthal that he is hopeful that the club will either exercise the option or sign him to a multi-year deal by Father's Day.
- The Orioles collected a number of veterans on one-year deals thinking that, at the very least, they'd have trade chips at the deadline. General Manager Andy MacPhail & Co. may need to think again as Derrek Lee and Vladimir Guerrero have done very little at the plate and J.J. Hardy has missed most of the year with an oblique injury. All of this could change, but Rosenthal wonders if manager Buck Showalter and owner Peter Angelos would even approve of a sell-off.
The latest from Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports...
- Rosenthal discussed Prince Fielder in his Full Count video on Saturday and has a bit more today. The FOX writer spoke to agent Scott Boras, who talked up Fielder's "flexibility, dexterity, and athleticism," noting that his small strike zone gives him an advantage. You have to think Boras will set the bar at seven years and be aiming for eight, so he'll need to be able to convince NL teams that Fielder will hold up through his early 30s.
- The White Sox made a two-year offer to J.J. Putz early in the winter meetings, but it wasn't close to the $10MM the Diamondbacks offered.
- The Twins "probably won’t be a factor in the Jose Reyes sweepstakes" due to the shortstop's $11MM salary, in the opinion of Rosenthal. My take: if Reyes is dealt on deadline day he'll have $5.4MM remaining, and I'd be surprised if the Twins couldn't find a way to fit that in if money was the only holdup.
- Stan Kasten "will step on toes," says one exec who thinks he'd be an excellent choice as the Dodgers' trustee. On Wednesday, Commissioner Bud Selig said in a statement, "I will announce the name of my representative in the next several days."
Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports brings us another edition of Full Count. Here are some highlights..
- Prince Fielder is off to a great start and one GM predicts that he'll be one of the most interesting free agents of all-time. The GM says that Fielder runs hard and is more athletic than most people think. He's about to turn 27 years old which means that he's about four-and-a-half years younger than Ryan Howard and Albert Pujols. A team like the Cubs could use Fielder against Pujols, saying that if he doesn't meet their price, they could sign Fielder instead.
- The Marlins are second in the National League in ERA and first in bullpen ERA by a wide margin. Theyr'e going to have to keep winning with pitching as Hanley Ramirez is off to a slow start, Logan Morrison is out with an injured foot and Mike Stanton still hasn't found his form since coming back from a hamstring strain. Last week, Rosenthal pointed out the potential availability of Mark DeRosa and this week he says that the veteran would be a perfect fit in Florida.
- The Yankees will soon face some decisions regarding their rotation. Kevin Millwood has an out in his contract if he's not in the majors by May 1st. The club might have better options such as Adam Warren and possibly Hector Noesi or David Phelps. In addition to those prospects, Carlos Silva is working his way back into shape and Phil Hughes is about to start a rehab assignment this week.
- Miguel Tejada is off to a rough start in 2011 as he looks less-than-sharp in the field and is hitting just .209/.239/.328. The Giants don't have any great internal options at shortstop, so Rosenthal says to keep an eye on Jose Reyes, Marco Scutaro, J.J. Hardy as possible trade targets.
Some links to round out this Monday evening..
- Even though he's now with the White Sox, Jake Peavy still looks back fondly on his time with the Padres, writes Barry M. Bloom of MLB.com.
- MLB.com's Corey Brock writes that Rule 5 pick George Kontos was a longshot to make San Diego's bullpen. Earlier today the club returned the right-hander to the Yankees.
- The Giants would be better off releasing Aaron Rowand, opines Grant Brisbee of McCovey Chronicles.
- Left-hander Jo-Jo Reyes is out of options but MLB.com's Gregor Chisholm expects the Blue Jays to keep him on the 25-man roster.
- Now with his third club, the Orioles' J.J. Hardy is looking to get his career back on track, writes Brittany Ghiroli of MLB.com.
Twins Assistant GM Rob Antony recently sat down for a chat with Jesse Lund from Twinkie Town to discuss a variety of topics. Let's recap the hot stove talk...
- Tsuyoshi Nishioka first popped up on the team's radar after Antony mentioned to his agent that the team was looking to get more athletic on the infield. This was long before they decided to trade J.J. Hardy.
- The Twins believe Nishioka is a good player, but they understand there might be a bit of a transition period. Not just for the move to MLB, but the move to the United States. They've hired an interpreter for Nishioka, and don't believe the additional Japanese media will be an issue in the clubhouse.
- The three-year, $9MM contract Nishioka signed was "exactly what we pretty much anticipated and were willing to give." They were trying to add speed and athleticism to the lineup, but no one on the free agent market jumped out at them, hence the pursuit of Nishioka.
- Hardy was expected to make $5MM+ in 2011 (he eventually signed for $5.85MM), and the team "just decided that we wanted to put that money into other areas." Carl Pavano, Jim Thome, and most of the bullpen were free agents, so they had to prioritize. "Trying to fit all those guys into a budget was going to be impossible."
- The Twins had conversations with other teams about Hardy, but there were never any real offers. The trade with Baltimore was "by far [their] best opportunity to make a deal." It became apparent that Brendan Harris wasn't a fit anymore, hence his inclusion in the trade.
- Antony says the Twins like Rule 5 Draft pick Scott Diamond in long relief, and Dusty Hughes' success against Minnesota last year played a role in claiming him off waivers.
- Although they would have liked to retain Jesse Crain, Matt Guerrier, Jon Rauch, and Brian Fuentes, the Twins just "couldn't compete" with the multyear offers they were receiving as free agents.
- Thome decided that Minnesota was where he wanted to be after talking with his family, and the money didn't appear to be much of an issue.
- Antony expected Pavano to get two or three years at $10-11MM per season, and he knows the Brewers had some interest in the right-hander. Pavano's agent basically told the Twins he wanted to play there, and he wasn't a guy that was "chasing the last dollar."
- Rumors of Francisco Liriano being available in a trade were just that, rumors. As far as a multiyear deal with the lefty, Antony said there "can be many reasons why you don't consummate a multiyear deal, and sometimes the player doesn't want to, sometimes the club doesn't want to, sometimes you just don't agree on numbers, or whatever. So we're not going to talk about any of our negotiations with that or anything else, but he was a big part of our rotation. We're not talking to anybody right now on Francisco Liriano."
- The team is at the "far reaches" of where they can go with payroll, so they tried to maintain flexibility for 2012 by not doing any multiyears deals this offseason (aside from Pavano).
- "If the right deal arises and we can improve our ballclub, we could look at it from that point of view," said Antony, regarding a potential trade involving one of the team's excess starting pitchers. "I don't think we'd trade away one of our starting pitchers for a middle reliever or something. It would have to be something that would make sense for us. And a trade isn't even the most likely scenario, it's a possible scenario."
Today is the deadline for players and teams to submit arbitration figures. The sides will then settle on a salary between the team's proposed number and the player's proposed number or go to an arbitration hearing. Arbitration eligible players are under team control, so the clubs don't risk losing them - it's a question of how much the players will earn.
Yesterday, 11 players avoided arbitration. We could see just as many agreements trickle in today and we'll keep you posted on them right here and with our Arb Tracker. The latest updates will be at the top of the post:
- The Angels have agreed to terms with Reggie Willits and Howie Kendrick, tweets Bill Shaikin of The Los Angeles Times. Bill Plunkett of The Orange County Register tweets that Kendrick will earn $3.3MM, Willits $775K (on Twitter).
- The Giants agreed to terms with Santiago Casilla on a one-year deal worth $1.3MM with incentives, according to ESPN Deportes' Enrique Rojas (on Twitter). The team also announced that they avoided arb with Jonathan Sanchez and Ramon Ramirez (on Twitter). Sanchez will earn $4.8MM with incentives tweets Hank Schulman of The San Francisco Chronicle while Ramirez will earn $1.65MM according to Janie McCauley of The Canadian Press.
- The Braves agreed to terms with Peter Moylan and Eric O'Flaherty, according to MLB.com's Mark Bowman (on Twitter). Moylan gets $2MM, O'Flaherty gets $895K according to Dave O'Brien of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution (on Twitter).
- The Mariners agreed to terms with Brandon League, David Aardsma and Jason Vargas, the team announced. Aardsma will earn $4.5MM with plenty of incentives, according to Geoff Baker of the Seattle Times (plus Twitter link).
- The Rangers agreed to terms with C.J. Wilson and Nelson Cruz, according to MLB.com's T.R. Sullivan (Twitter links). Cruz gets $3.65MM, and Wilson gets $7.05MM with a chance to earn another $100K according to his agent Bob Garber, via email.
- The Padres avoided arbitration with Chase Headley (2.535MM) and Tim Stauffer ($1.075MM), according to MLB.com's Corey Brock (on Twitter).
- The Phillies and Kyle Kendrick avoided arbitration with a $2.45MM deal, according to Jon Heyman of SI.com (on Twitter). The team has confirmed the deal.
- The Pirates announced that they agreed to terms with Joel Hanrahan. It's a $1.4MM deal, according to Colin Dunlap of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (on Twitter).
- The Cubs agreed to a one-year deal with Tom Gorzelanny, despite reports that a trade to Washington is imminent. Gorzelanny will earn $2.1MM next year, according to Mark Zuckerman of NatsInsider.com (on Twitter). They also announced a two-year, $4.7MM deal with Sean Marshall.
- The Diamondbacks agreed to a one-year deal with Joe Saunders.
- The Padres agreed to a $2.535MM deal with Mike Adams, according to Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports (Twitter links).
- The Angels agreed to a $3MM deal with Erick Aybar and a $2.975MM deal with Kendry Morales.
- The White Sox agreed to a $5.05MM deal with Carlos Quentin, according to Rosenthal.
- The Braves agreed to a $3.1MM deal with Martin Prado and a $3.25MM deal with Jair Jurrjens according to Rosenthal.
- The Orioles agreed to a $5.85MM deal with J.J. Hardy, according to Rosenthal.
- The Athletics agreed to a $4.75MM deal with Kevin Kouzmanoff, according to Slusser (Twitter link).
- The Giants avoided arbitration with Cody Ross, according to Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports (Twitter link). Ross will earn $6.3MM in 2011.
- The Red Sox avoided arbitration with Jonathan Papelbon ($12MM) and Jacoby Ellsbury ($2.4MM).
- The Yankees avoided arbitration with Joba Chamberlain ($1.4MM), Phil Hughes ($2.7MM) and Boone Logan ($1.2MM), according to Jon Heyman of SI.com (all Twitter links).
- The Dodgers agreed to a $6.275MM deal with Chad Billingsley, according to Heyman (on Twitter).
- The White Sox agreed to a $6MM deal with John Danks, according to Heyman (on Twitter).The Cubs avoided arbitration with Matt Garza and agreed to a $5.95MM deal, according to Heyman (on Twitter).
- The Indians avoided arbitration with Shin-Soo Choo, the team announced. The deal is worth $3.975MM, according to Paul Hoynes of the Cleveland Plain Dealer (on Twitter).
- The Twins avoided arbitration with Matt Capps ($7.15MM) and Glen Perkins ($700K), according to Joe Christensen of the Minneapolis Star-Tribune (on Twitter).
- The Rays avoided arbitration with Andy Sonnanstine, agreeing to a deal worth $913K plus incentives, according to Marc Topkin of the St. Petersburg Times (on Twitter).
- The Mets avoided arbitration with Mike Pelfrey, agreeing on a deal worth close to $4MM, according to Adam Rubin of ESPNNewYork.com.
- The Brewers avoided arbitration with Prince Fielder and Manny Parra, signing the players to one-year deals, the team announced. Parra will earn $1.2MM, according to MLB.com's Adam McCalvy (on Twitter).
- The Athletics avoided arbitration with Dallas Braden ($3.35MM) and Conor Jackson ($3.32MM), according to MLB.com's Jane Lee (on Twitter).
- The Blue Jays agreed to a one-year, $2.3MM deal with Brandon Morrow, the team announced.
- The Indians announced that they agreed to a one-year deal with Rafael Perez (Twitter link). It's worth $1.33MM, according to Paul Hoynes of the Cleveland Plain Dealer (on Twitter).
- The Athletics avoided arbitration with Josh Willingham, agreeing to a $6MM deal, according to Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle (on Twitter).
- The Astros signed Michael Bourn to a one-year, $4.4MM deal, according to MLB.com's Brian McTaggart (on Twitter).
- The Nationals announced (on Twitter) that they avoided arbitration with Michael Morse.
- The Marlins avoided arbitration with Anibal Sanchez, according to MLB.com's Joe Frisaro (on Twitter). They agreed to a $3.7MM deal, according to Enrique Rojas of ESPNDeportes.com (Twitter link).
- The Orioles avoided arbitration with Felix Pie, according to Dan Connolly of the Baltimore Sun (Twitter links). The deal is for $985K.
- The Blue Jays avoided arbitration with Rajai Davis, agreeing to a two-year, $5.25MM deal with the outfielder.
- The Marlins avoided arbitration with Clay Hensley and agreed to a $1.4MM deal, according to MLB.com's Joe Frisaro (on Twitter).
- The Astros agreed to a one-year, $2.3MM deal with Jeff Keppinger, avoiding arbitration, according to Zachary Levine of the Houston Chronicle (on Twitter). The Astros confirmed the deal.
- The White Sox agreed to a one-year, $1.6MM deal with Tony Pena, according to Jon Heyman of SI.com (Twitter link).
- The Padres avoided arbitration with Ryan Ludwick with a $6.775MM deal, according to Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports (on Twitter).
- The Astros avoided arbitration with Clint Barmes, signing the infielder to a one-year, $3.925MM deal, according to Rosenthal. The Astros confirmed the deal.
- The Rockies avoided arb with Felipe Paulino and agreed to a one-year, $790K deal, according to Troy Renck of the Denver Post (on Twitter).
- The Blue Jays announced that they have agreed to terms with Yunel Escobar on a $2.9MM deal for 2011.
- The Indians signed Chris Perez for 2011, avoiding arbitration, the team announced (on Twitter). It's a $2.225MM deal, according to Paul Hoynes of the Cleveland Plain Dealer (on Twitter).
- The Royals announced that they agreed to terms with Kyle Davies on a one-year deal, avoiding arbitration. It's a $3.2MM deal, according to MLB.com's Dick Kaegel (on Twitter).
- The Reds avoided arbitration will Bill Bray, according to John Fay of the Cincinnati Enquirer (on Twitter). The AP says the deal is for $645K.
- The Nationals avoided arbitration with Doug Slaten, and agreed to a one-year, $695K deal according to Adam Kilgore of the Washington Post.
- The Padres avoided arbitration with Heath Bell and agreed to a one-year, $7.5MM deal.
Hardy, 28, hit .268/.320/.394 in 375 plate appearances this year for the Twins after coming over from Milwaukee for Carlos Gomez. He missed time with wrist and knee injuries. Hardy earned $5.1MM this year and is arbitration eligible one last time. He would have been a free agent already, but fell just short of the service time requirement because the Brewers briefly demoted him to Triple-A late in the '09 season. Hardy joins Mark Reynolds in a revamped left side infield for Baltimore. He became expendable for Minnesota with their expected signing of Japanese import Tsuyoshi Nishioka.
Harris, 30, received only 120 plate appearances from the Twins this year after more regular duty in previous seasons. He was outrighted in June due to poor performance, and a $1.75MM commitment for 2011 likely allowed him to clear waivers. Harris is capable of playing all around the infield.
Hoey, 28 later this month, hasn't pitched in the Majors since '07. In a season split between Double and Triple-A, the reliever posted a 3.25 ERA, 12.0 K/9, 5.8 BB/9, and 0.2 HR/9 in 52 2/3 innings in 2010. Prior to his '08 shoulder surgery, Hoey's average fastball velocity exceeded 95 mph.
Jacobson, a 24-year-old reliever, posted a 2.79 ERA, 8.5 K/9, 3.0 BB/9, and 0.9 HR/9 in 71 High-A innings this year. Baseball America ranked him 16th among Orioles prospects heading into the season, noting that he came over from the Tigers in the Aubrey Huff deal in August of '09. He's said to have a power repertoire and a setup man profile.
Tim Dierkes contributed to this post.
- The team did not offer Carlos Pena or Paul Konerko contracts before the first basemen signed in Chicago, according to president of baseball operations Andy MacPhail.
- It's likely that the team's shortstop will be Hardy, Jason Bartlett, Brendan Ryan or Cesar Izturis, MacPhail said. The Padres appear to be close to a deal for Bartlett, which would limit the Orioles' options.
- MacPhail says the club has expressed interest in a number of DH types. Vladimir Guerrero, Hideki Matsui and Jim Thome are believed to be among the team's targets.
- The team, which selects fourth in tomorrow's Rule 5 draft, is considering a number of players.
- There are no updates on Kevin Gregg, but Zrebiec reported yesterday that the team has offered the former Blue Jays closer a two-year deal.
- Troy Renck of the Denver Post hears (on Twitter) that Nick Green could end up in Baltimore.
7:11pm: The Twins and Orioles are still working on a Hardy deal, tweets Smith.
4:23pm: The teams were never close to a deal today, according to MLB.com's Brittany Ghiroli (on Twitter). The Pirates are also talking to the Twins about Hardy, according to Scott Miller of CBS Sports. Meanwhile, Jason Bartlett's availability will likely shape talks to an extent and the Rays are apparently going to trade their shortstop.
2:28pm: A deal is unlikely to be completed today, tweets Kelsie Smith of the St. Paul Pioneer Press.
12:58pm: The Orioles are in serious trade negotiations with the Twins for J.J. Hardy, tweets Dan Connolly of the Baltimore Sun via his colleague Jeff Zrebiec. Zrebiec believes two Orioles minor league pitchers would be involved, including Brett Jacobson.