Joba Chamberlain Rumors

Crasnick On Cano, Tanaka, Price, Ellsbury

ESPN.com's Jerry Crasnick checked in with 21 general managers, assistant GMs, player personnel people, and scouts to get their take on some of the biggest storylines of the winter.  Here's a look at some of the highlights..

  • Almost everyone sees Robinson Cano staying put with 19 votes for the Yankees, one vote for the Dodgers, and one for the Cubs.  Nearly everyone sees Cano getting a seven- or eight-year deal worth $160MM-$230MM and no one expects him to approach the $300MM figure he was asking for from the Bombers earlier this year.  It should be noted that the GM that picked the Cubs said that he has no inside info to support that pick.
  • Nine execs see Masahiro Tanaka landing with the Dodgers while six chose the Yankees.  All but a handful of those surveyed think his payout will exceed the $60MM Yu Darvish got from the Rangers.  Tanaka is ranked as the top available pitcher by MLBTR's Tim Dierkes.
  • Seventeen of the 21 participants in the survey say David Price will get traded this winter.  Where will he land?  The Rangers got nine votes and the Dodgers got four nods with one vote each for the Nationals, Cardinals, Angels, and Astros.
  • Opinions were somewhat split on whether Jacoby Ellsbury or Shin-Soo fChoo will provide better value over the course of their next deals.  Twelve execs said Ellsbury, eight voted for Choo, and one GM declined to vote, saying that neither one will match what they get.
  • When asked to pick the best pitcher between Matt Garza, Ervin Santana, and Ubaldo Jimenez, ten execs chose Garza.  Most seemed to agree that the lack of quality starting pitching available will lead to all three being overpaid.  One American League scout seemed to like Jimenez on some level but was skeptical of him long-term.  "Ubaldo has the best chance to give you impact in the short term, but I am not buying him over the course of 3-4 years," the scout said.
  • When asked which former Yankees prospect has a better chance of succeeding elsewhere with a change of scenery, Phil Hughes was the overwhelming choice over Joba Chamberlain.
  • Crasnick asked the execs which aging pitcher had the most left in the tank between Roy Halladay, Hiroki Kuroda, and Tim Hudson.  Kuroda had the backing of 12 people surveyed, Hudson got eight votes, and Halladay had just one exec in his corner.  "Maybe the chances of [Halladay] coming back aren't real good if you look at it objectively," a scout said. "But if the guy wants to [keep pitching] and be successful, I wouldn't put it past him."

Yankees Notes: Granderson, Jeter, Chavez, Joba

By all accounts, it looks like the Yankees will be big players in free agency this winter, CBS Sports' Jon Heyman writes.  The Yankees may have at least a dozen players in mind, and Heyman adds the names of Scott Feldman and Bronson Arroyo to the long list of free agents who have already been linked to the Bombers.  One would suspect that Feldman and Arroyo would be backup plans should New York not be able to land a higher-profile starter like Masahiro Tanaka.  Here's the latest out of the Bronx…

  • The Yankees "obviously" want Curtis Granderson to reject the team's $14.1MM qualifying offer so they can pursue other free agent outfield options.  While Granderson says he's still considering accepting the one-year deal, he seems likely to find a solid multiyear offer on the open market, his injury-shortened 2013 season notwithstanding.
  • Hal Steinbrenner was the one who negotiated Derek Jeter's one-year, $12MM deal for 2014, Heyman reports.  Steinbrenner is "very involved" in the team's dealings this winter, according to a source.
  • The Yankees have discussed bringing back Eric Chavez, Dan Martin of the New York Post reports.  Chavez would provide needed bench depth, and he wouldn't require a big commitment since he only wants a one-year contract.  There does seem to be mutual interest between Chavez and the Diamondbacks for 2014, however.
  • Joba Chamberlain hasn't received any attention from the Yankees but over a dozen other clubs have checked in on the free agent reliever, WFAN's Sweeney Murti reports (Twitter link).  It has been widely reported that the Yankees will part ways with their former top prospect.
  • The 10-year contracts given to Alex Rodriguez and Albert Pujols when both men were in their 30's are reasons why the Yankees shouldn't make a decade-long commitment to 31-year-old Robinson Cano, MLB.com's Mike Bauman opines.

Yankees Links: Oppenheimer, Payroll, Joba, Drew

It was 10 years ago today that the old Yankee Stadium hosted the last World Series game in the building's storied history.  It wasn't a memorable one for the Yankees, as they were shut out by Josh Beckett in Game Six of the 2003 World Series and the Marlins clinched the title.  Here's the latest news about the Bronx Bombers…

  • Damon Oppenheimer will remain as the Yankees' amateur scouting director, Mark Feinsand of the New York Daily News reports.  Oppenheimer's job was rumored to be in jeopardy due to a series of less-than-fruitful drafts but the Yankees' highly-regarded 2013 draft class may have saved him.  Mark Newman, the club's senior VP of baseball operations, could still be in danger of being fired, Feinsand notes.
  • Even if the Yankees spend $300MM on free agents this offseason, ESPN's Mike Petriello (Insider subscription required) doesn't think it will be enough to offset its declining veterans and lack of farm system reinforcements.
  • Joba Chamberlain's days as a Yankee are finished, according to Mike Axisa of the River Ave Blues blog in his review of Chamberlain's 2013 season.  "I don’t think [the Yankees] will bring him back under any circumstances, not even on a minor league contract," Axisa writes.  Chamberlain posted a 4.93 ERA, 8.1 K/9 and 5.6 BB/9 in 42 relief innings last year and has fallen out of favor with the Yankees.
  • Stephen Drew's ability to play both shortstop and third base would fill a valuable need for the Yankees next season, but ESPN New York's Andrew Marchand doesn't think Drew would sign for a team that might not have a regular starting job for him if Derek Jeter and Alex Rodriguez are around.  The Bombers also wouldn't want to give up their first round draft pick to sign Drew if the Red Sox make Drew a qualifying offer.
  • David Robertson doesn't know if he'll be the Yankees closer next year but the reliever tells MLB.com's Bryan Hoch that he's ready for the challenge of taking over from Mariano Rivera.  As I wrote in my Offseason Outlook piece about the Yankees, it wouldn't be surprising if New York brings in a veteran with closing experience to at least compete with Robertson for the job.


AL Central Notes: Morneau, Tigers, Rios, Peavy

We'll end the evening with some links from the AL Central …

  • Twins first baseman Justin Morneau talked to reporters, including MLB.com's Rhett Bollinger, about the recent trade rumors that have circulated. While he has a six-team no-trade clause, Morneau said that none of those teams are among the clubs reportedly interested in dealing for him.
  • Morneau also expressed that he hopes to stay in Minnesota, but has not been contacted about an extension. Set to become a free agent in 2013, the 32-year-old figures to be worth far short of his now-expiring six-year, $80MM deal.
  • For his part, Twins owner Jim Pohlad told La Velle E. Neal II of the Minneapolis Star-Tribune that, while he would not "feel great about [Morneau] being traded," the team ultimately must "do whatever it takes to win." He added that Minnesota has twice rebuffed Morneau when he approached the club to try and discuss an extension.
  • Even with Joaquin Benoit, Drew Smyly, and Bruce Rondon pitching well at the back of the bullpen, the Tigers continue to explore the trade market, according to CBSSports.com's Danny Knobler. He says that Detroit is scouting the Marlins, Brewers, Padres, Mariners, and Astros in search of bullpen pieces.
  • While Knobler does not connect the Tigers to any specific relievers, he does say that the team is not interested in Joba Chamberlain of the Yankees. Dan Martin of the New York Post, on the other hand, reports precisely the opposite. (Hat tip to River Ave. Blues.) He writes that the Tigers may be one of the only teams interested in Chamberlain, with the Phillies, Braves, and Giants not intrigued.
  • There was a moment of excitement tonight when White Sox outfielder and trade candidate Alex Rios was pulled from the game after the sixth inning. Rumored to have been seen hugging in the dugout, it turns out that Rios was pulled for not hustling on the basepaths. MLB.com's Scott Merkin was among the first (Twitter link) to firmly quash the speculation that a Rios trade had gone down. 
  • Since peaking in late May with an OPS that reached .928, Rios has seen his on-base and (especially) power numbers plummet. On the heels of two substandard months, Rios now stands at a league-average OPS of .755 for the year, making him a less compelling trade piece than he looked to be back in May. 
  • Expect a lot of teams to be watching Jake Peavy's start today for the White Sox. Peavy, who could be the most valuable starter available since he is controlled through next season, will look to prove that he is healthy and effective after a DL stint.

Bowden’s Latest: Garza, Rox, Rios, Morneau, Perkins

The trade deadline is just two weeks away, and with the All-Star Game in the rear-view mirror, Jim Bowden of ESPN and MLB Network Radio writes that the market will pick up rapidly beginning Friday. Here are some highlights from the highly informative article penned by the former GM of the Reds, Expos and Nationals (ESPN Insider required and recommended)…

  • Bowden hears there's an 80 percent chance that Matt Garza will be traded before his next scheduled start (Monday or Tuesday of next week). The Rangers, Red Sox and Diamondbacks are still involved, He describes the D-backs as "dark horses," adding that their odds in the Garza sweepstakes would increase if they were willing to part with left-hander David Holmberg.
  • The Rockies could also be interested in Garza, but they're not clear-cut buyers right now, and the prospective cost is prohibitive to them. If they were to sell, Rafael Betancourt and Matt Belisle could be had. Michael Cuddyer could be moved, but only if Colorado is "blown away."
  • The White Sox have been "extremely disappointed" with offers for Alex Rios thus far. Bowden feels that offers will improve as the deadline draws closer.
  • The Justin Morneau era in Minnesota is coming to an end, and the Twins are prepared to trade the former MVP, according to Bowden. The Rays, Pirates and Yankees are said by Bowden to be possible destinations for Morneau.
  • The Cardinals, Reds, Dodgers and Braves have all inquired on Twins closer Glen Perkins and been turned away. Those four teams are all monitoring the health of Jesse Crain as well.
  • The Yankees are trying to use Phil Hughes, Joba Chamberlain and catching prospect J.R. Murphy to acquire a bat but have had no luck thus far. None of those players figure to interest the Twins in regards to Morneau, Bowden adds, given the impending free agency of Hughes and Chamberlain and the presence of Joe Mauer behind the plate for the Twins.

Phillies Expressed Interest In Joba Chamberlain?

WEDNESDAY, 1:27pm: A source tells Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports (on Twitter) that the Phillies are not among the clubs pursuing Chamberlain.

TUESDAY, 9:05am: The Phillies are amenable to trading infielder Michael Young and have expressed interest in Yankees reliever Joba Chamberlain, writes Mark Feinsand of the New York Daily News.  Phillies catcher Carlos Ruiz may be available as well, since the 34-year-old is a free agent after the season.  He'd make sense for the Yankees, one of few contenders with a clear need behind the plate.

So what's getting in the way of a deal?  The Phillies' status as a team on the bubble is one factor, as they have three weeks remaining until the trade deadline to pull closer than their current 7.5 games out.  Lack of interest from the Yankees seems to be another — GM Brian Cashman's interest "has been lukewarm at best," writes Feinsand.     

The Chamberlain-Young-Ruiz trade scenario only makes sense if the Phillies are looking for a way to dump Young's salary, as Feinsand suggests, and/or if they also receive a prospect in return.  Otherwise, renting Chamberlain in his contract year only makes sense for the Phillies if they're making a push toward contention.  That's the general problem with the idea of Chamberlain and Phil Hughes as trade chips for the Yankees: non-contenders have little need for players in contract years.  A contender-to-contender deal could work; for example, the Braves were reportedly interested in Chamberlain earlier this month.


Yankees Aggressively Pushing Chamberlain, Hughes

The Yankees are aggressively pushing trades involving Joba Chamberlain and Phil Hughes, an AL executive tells Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports (via Twitter).  In fact, a deal sending Chamberlain to a National League team could happen soon, though nothing is imminent on either front.

Yesterday we learned that the Phillies have expressed interest in Chamberlain as they feel out the market for Michael Young.  However, as Tim Dierkes noted yesterday, the market for the 27=year-olds is somewhat limited as they are in their walk years and not of much use to non-contenders.  In the case of the Phillies, they may see themselves as buyers with a real chance to win this year, as ESPN.com's Buster Olney hears.

Chamberlain typically wouldn't garner trade attention, but a team in need of bullpen help could bite.  The right-hander has a 5.75 ERA with 9.7 K/9 and 4.4 BB/9 in 22 relief appearances this year.  Hughes, meanwhile, has a 4.55 ERA with 7.4 K/9 and 2.4 BB/9 in 17 starts. 


Braves Interested In Joba; Giants Eyeing Twins’ Pen

4:36pm: Schulman notes that excepting Glen Perkins, whom the Twins are unlikely to trade, the interesting reliever for the Giants in Minnesota's bullpen is Casey Fien. However, Schulman doesn't know whether the righty, who's posted a 3.55 ERA in 38 appearances, is available.

11:33am: Elder, a Giants scout, was in Minnesota last night to see the Twins' bullpen rather than Chamberlain, tweets Henry Schulman of the San Francisco Chronicle.  Casey Fien,Jared BurtonBrian Duensing, and Josh Roenicke appeared for the Twins, with Burton and Duensing struggling.

10:30am: The Braves and Giants have an interest in Yankees reliever Joba Chamberlain, a pair of American League talent evaluators told George A. King III and Dan Martin of the New York Post.  The Braves' Jim Fregosi saw Chamberlain Friday night, while the Giants' Lee Elder attended last night's game "exclusively to watch Chamberlain."

Chamberlain, 27, has a 5.75 ERA, 9.7 K/9, 4.4 BB/9, 1.77 HR/9, and 35.5% groundball rate in 20 1/3 innings this year.  He missed most of May with an oblique strain.  Chamberlain has worked at 95-97 miles per hour as of late and seems a good candidate for a change of scenery.  Once an untouchable starting pitching prospect, Chamberlain is in his contract year and isn't expected to be with the Yankees next season.  The Braves are known to be in the market for relief help; they last matched up with the Yankees in a minor trade in November 2010.

Aaron Steen contributed to this post.


Rosenthal’s Latest: M’s, Yanks, Roenicke, Rays, Cubs

Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports has a lengthy new article discussing All-Stars, some of the game's top young hitters and a plethora of hot stove info. Here are some highlights…

  • Rival executives around the league are critical of the Mariners for rushing their top prospects, but Rosenthal notes that Nick Franklin has been more than up to the challenge, and Brad Miller earned his promotion with his minor league performance. Regarding the struggling Mike Zunino, GM Jack Zduriencik told Rosenthal: "We planned all along to get Mike to Seattle at some point in July … He wasn't expected to be a big contributor offensively if it was now, July, September … but he has held his own, and what he is receiving now will set him up for 2014 and beyond."
  • Multiple scouts have questioned the work ethic of the Brewers' players, with one telling Rosenthal "there's a lot of quit on that team." Rosenthal writes that it isn't manager Ron Roenicke's fault that Ryan Braun, Corey Hart and Aramis Ramirez have been injured, but the negative reports could be an "ominous sign" for Roenicke. Rosenthal tweets a correction, noting that Roenicke is signed through 2014, not through 2013 as he initially reported.
  • The Yankees aren't planning a fire sale, but if they did, they'd have some of the most attractive trade chips in the game. The Yankees could part with Joba Chamberlain and Phil Hughes, however, and Rosenthal adds Curtis Granderson's name to the mix, assuming the injured outfielder gets healthy in time.
  • The Rays aren't looking to add a starting pitcher with both David Price and Alex Cobb likely to return in the near future. If the Rays make any moves at all, they'll be for impact players regardless of position.
  • The Cubs are "all but certain" to trade pending free agents Matt Garza, Kevin Gregg and Scott Feldman, but they're not in a rush to deal Nate Schierholtz and David DeJesus, both of whom are controlled beyond 2013. 

Martino’s Latest: Hughes, Joba, Nats, O’s, Nolasco

Andy Martino of the New York Daily News has a new column up that is loaded with trade deadline info after speaking to several Major League executives over the past few days. Here are some highlights from his excellent article…

  • One National League executive told Martino that the Yankees won't be able to get a useful bat or prospect back for either one of Phil Hughes or Joba Chamberlain.
  • The Nationals are the most aggressive buyer on the market at this point, and their primary focus is on starting pitching. "They're calling everybody, said Martino's source. The Nationals recently placed the struggling Dan Haren on the disabled list, and Chris Young has been worse at Triple-A with a 7.88 ERA.
  • The Orioles are also making calls as part of a search for starting pitching, which lines up with reports from last week.
  • Martino spoke with another NL official who told him that the Marlins are "aggressively" shopping their pitchers. Ricky Nolasco is known to be available, and they're said to be open to dealing Ryan Webb as well. I'd imagine that the team will be willing to listen to offers on Kevin Slowey and Chad Qualls also. It would make sense to listen on Mike Dunn and Steve Cishek, though previous reports state that the Fish would like to hold onto both relievers.
  • Nolasco's name came up in February trade talks with the Mets, and one NL executive says that the Marlins are still "desperate" to move him. The Mets aren't a fit for Nolasco at this point, but Martino reiterates that the team could act as buyers this July, despite their losing record, as they look to add outfielders with multiple years of team control.