Joba Chamberlain Rumors
- Dan Connolly of The Baltimore Sun says that the Orioles can't afford to take a risk like signing Josh Hamilton given their resources relative to the rest of the AL East. Yesterday we heard that Baltimore was targeting Hamilton and Cody Ross in their search for a left fielder.
- The Red Sox have interest in Japanese right-hander Kyuji Fujikawa, reports Nick Cafardo of The Boston Globe (on Twitter). The 32-year-old is a true free agent and has been the country's top closer for nearly a decade.
- The Red Sox are casting a wide net in their search for outfield help and even checked in on Grady Sizemore, writes WEEI.com's Rob Bradford. Yesterday we heard that Sizemore will try to play next season after missing all of this year due to injury.
- “Right now we’ve got some gaping holes," said Yankees GM Brian Cashman to Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports. Morosi wrote about the team's challenge of building a competitive roster in 2013 while trying to get under the 2014 luxury tax threshold.
- Ken Davidoff of The New York Post writes that while the Yankees intend to offer him a pay cut, talks with Mariano Rivera should go smoother than they did with Derek Jeter two offseasons ago.
- Yankees right-hander Joba Chamberlain has left the Hendricks Brothers and followed agent Jim Murray to Excel Sports Management, reports Joel Sherman of The New York Post (on Twitter).
- The Red Sox are eyeing Tino Martinez for their hitting coach job, reports Joe McDonald of ESPN Boston. The team is considering hiring two hitting coaches.
Roger Clemens won his 300th MLB game and joined the 4,000 strikeout club on this date in 2003, when he pitched the Yankees to victory against the Cardinals. Here are today's AL East links...
- Kevin Youkilis said this year hasn't been fun and realizes he might be traded, Scott Lauber of the Boston Herald reports. “If I get traded, I get traded. Nothing you can do,” Youkilis said.
- Steve Tolleson, Miguel Gonzalez and Xavier Avery are candidates to join the Orioles should Endy Chavez go on the disabled list, Roch Kubatko of MASNsports.com writes. Baltimore could also call on Lew Ford or Nate McLouth, but doing so would require opening a spot on the 40-man roster.
- The perception that the Yankees' handling of Joba Chamberlain led to his Tommy John surgery frustrates GM Brian Cashman, Joel Sherman of the New York Post writes. The right-hander has started throwing bullpen sessions and is "clearing all the hurdles" to return to the Major Leagues in 2012.
Mariano Rivera suffered an apparent right knee injury while shagging fly balls during batting practice today in Kansas City. MLB.com's Bryan Hoch has the details about the injury, which has been initially diagnosed as a twisted knee (Twitter link), though Rivera will undergo an MRI tonight. If the injury requires Rivera to miss time, it would be the legendarily durable closer's first DL stint since 2003. Follow @CloserNews for the latest on Rivera's status and how his possible absence would impact the Yankees' bullpen.
Here's some news from both Big Apple teams...
- Joba Chamberlain has been transferred to the 60-day DL, the Yankees announced today. In corresponding moves, Jayson Nix has been called up from Triple-A and Eric Chavez has been put on the seven-day DL due to a possible concussion.
- The Mets have no plans to call up star prospect Matt Harvey to become the team's new fifth starter, GM Sandy Alderson told Andy Martino of the New York Daily News. “Aside from Matt himself -- and I love that he thinks this way -- there is no one in the organization who feels he is ready to be in the major leagues,” Alderson said. "When we bring him up, we hope to do so and not have to send him back. This is not about filling an immediate need. This is about the long-term stability of the organization and the team.” To that same end, the Mets will also not call up any of their other top pitching prospects like Zack Wheeler or Jeurys Familia.
- "There are no other options" for the Mets in regards to Jason Bay other than to hope that he returns from the DL fit and starts hitting, writes MLB.com's Anthony DiComo as part of a reader mailbag. I wouldn't say Bay is completely untradeable, as the Mets may be able to move him for another bad contract, though that wouldn't really help the situation. Bay is owed approximately $13.3MM over the remainder of this season and $16MM in 2013, though as DiComo notes, Bay's injury problems make it unlikely he will get the necessary plate appearances for his 2014 $17MM club option to vest.
Ten years and one day ago today, the Marlins traded Matt Clement and Antonio Alfonseca to the Cubs for Julian Tavarez, Ryan Jorgensen, Jose Cueto, and Dontrelle Willis. Willis alone made the deal worthwhile for the Fish. Here's the latest from around the league...
- When Cubs president of baseball operations Theo Epstein first called former Padres CEO Jeff Moorad for permission to speak to a member of his front office, he asked about assistant GM Josh Byrnes according to Dan Hayes of The North County Times. Epstein was instead allowed to speak to GM Jed Hoyer because "he was the GM of a last-place team," said Moorad.
- There has been some recent "back and forth" between the Giants and Matt Cain about a contract extension, reports Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com. Cain did say that his upcoming free agency is "an exciting part of your career."
- Outfielder Mike Baxter, catcher Mike Nickeas, and lefty Danny Herrera are front-runners for roster spots with the Mets, writes ESPN New York's Adam Rubin. Baxter and Herrera are not on the team's 40-man roster.
- Yankees GM Brian Cashman declined to comment when asked about Joba Chamberlain's contract situation according to Marc Carig of The Star-Ledger (on Twitter). The right-hander suffered an open dislocation of his right ankle playing with his son last week and could miss the season.
- When the Blue Jays and Athletics discussed Gio Gonzalez this offseason, Oakland asked for 19-year-old right-hander Noah Syndergaard according to Jeff Blair of The Globe and Mail. Baseball America ranked Snydergaard as Toronto's seventh best prospect in December.
The Tigers released Carlos Pena on this date in 2006. The first baseman spent most of the year in the minors with the Yankees and Red Sox then broke out with a 46-homer season for the Rays the following season. Here are today's AL East-related links...
- Gustavo Cabrera worked out for the Rays recently, Jonathan Mayo of MLB.com reports. The 16-year-old Dominican outfielder is one of this summer's top eligible amateurs and could command a bonus in the $1.5-2.5MM range, Mayo writes.
- Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports wonders if Daniel Bard can successfully transition to Boston's rotation this year and explains that in a perfect world he wouldn't have to become a starter. A number of baseball people are skeptical that the Red Sox right-hander will succeed in the rotation, Rosenthal writes.
- Executives monitoring the outfield market say the Blue Jays are inclined to keep Travis Snider, Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports tweets. The Blue Jays optioned the left-handed hitting 24-year-old to Triple-A over the weekend.
- Yankees manager Joe Girardi said he's optimistic Joba Chamberlain will pitch in the Major Leagues this year, Jeff Bradley of the Star-Ledger reports. The right-hander dislocated his right ankle last week and will likely wear a cast for six weeks.
- It doesn't appear that the Yankees have any intention of releasing Chamberlain in an attempt to save money, Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com writes.
Two weeks from now, the regular season will be underway. In the meantime, here are some links, including injury updates on a trio of pitchers...
- "We are pretty comfortable with the team that we have right now," said Nationals GM Mike Rizzo to reporters (including MLB.com's Bill Ladson). "If something comes up to improve ourselves, we'll certainly investigate it. We are not selling anybody or shopping anybody or making a lot of phone calls, because we are comfortable where we are at."
- The Blue Jays have five roster spots up for grabs - left field, fifth starter, utility infielder, two bullpen spots - but there are clear frontrunners for each job according to MLB.com's Gregor Chisholm. The team doesn't want to delay any official moves, but they also want to make sure everyone gets enough playing time to audition for jobs.
- Royals closer Joakim Soria will undergo Tommy John surgery on April 3rd, Bob Dutton of the Kansas City Star reports (Twitter links).
- Chris Carpenter is out indefinitely with a nerve issue, Cardinals GM John Mozeliak told reporters, including MLB.com's Jenifer Langosch (Twitter link). Joe Strauss of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch suggests Carpenter will likely miss two months or more (Twitterlink).
- Joba Chamberlain dislocated his right ankle and lost a life-threatening amount of blood yesterday, Anthony McCarron of the New York Daily News reports. The injury will end Chamberlain's season and could threaten his career.
- One scout says Mark Reynolds isn't appealing, especially given his $7.5MM salary, Danny Knobler of CBSSports.com tweets. The Orioles are shopping Reynolds and teammate Kevin Gregg.
- Padres owner John Moores could earn a substantial profit when he sells his team, partly because bidders who fail to purchase the Dodgers may view Padres as consolation prize, Jon Paul Morosi writes at FOX Sports.
- Former All-Star reliever Chad Cordero tells Jonathan Hacohen of MLB Reports that he's getting the itch to play again and will attempt to come back to the Major Leagues in 2013. The 30-year-old reliever took time off to deal with the death of his infant daughter, but he's not ready to give up on baseball yet.
Mike Axisa contributed to this post.
Dozens of arbitration eligible players have agreed to deals with their respective teams today and we've been tracking all of the developments right here. Several teams, including the Rays, Nationals, Marlins, White Sox, Blue Jays, Braves, and perhaps Astros, are known for committing to going to hearings if they get to the point of filing. Keep track of all the madness with MLBTR's arbitration tracker, which shows settlement amounts, filing figures, and midpoints. Today's players to avoid arbitration on deals worth less than $4MM:
- The Cardinals avoided arbitration with pitcher Kyle McClellan, tweets B.J. Rains of FOX Sports Midwest. Joe Strauss of The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports (on Twitter) that the one-year deal is worth $2.5MM with incentives based on starts. MLBTR projected a $2.7MM for the Steve Comte client.
- MLBTR's Ben Nicholson-Smith reports (on Twitter) that the Padres and Chase Headley agreed to a one-year deal worth $3.475MM, avoiding arbitration. Earlier this evening, the Padres announced that they avoided arbitration with Luke Gregerson, Edinson Volquez, Carlos Quentin and Will Venable. They also avoided arbitration with lefty reliever Joe Thatcher on a deal worth $700K, tweets Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports. CAA announced catcher John Baker has signed for $750K. Bill Center of the San Diego Union-Tribune first reported that the Padres reached agreements with Hundley, Chase Headley, and Tim Stauffer. Hundley will earn $2MM in 2012, MLB.com's Corey Brock tweets. Dan Hayes of the North County Times tweets the salaries for Volquez ($2.2375MM), Venable ($1.475MM), Gregerson ($1.55MM)
- The Rangers avoided arbitration with Matt Harrison, tweets Evan Grant of The Dallas Morning News. The ACES client gets $2.95MM on a one-year deal. MLBTR had projected a $2.9MM salary.
- The Cubs announced that they have avoided arbitration with Jeff Baker ($1.375MM), Blake DeWitt ($1.1MM), Ian Stewart ($2.237MM) Chris Volstad ($2.655MM), and Randy Wells ($2.705MM). MLB.com's Carrie Muskat tweeted the salary figures.
Here are some links from the Central divisions....
- Cubs chairman Tom Ricketts gave votes of confidence to GM Jim Hendry and manager Mike Quade during a state-of-the-franchise address on Wednesday, reports Paul Sullivan of the Chicago Tribune. "I have 100 percent confidence in Jim," Ricketts said. "He's working very hard to do everything he can to get this season back to where we want it to be. And I think Mike's done a great job. You know Mike has got those guys playing hard. You know they're not giving up. You know there's good spirit in the clubhouse. Yeah, those guys are fine." Hendry's future in Chicago has been a hot topic given the Cubs' struggles, with ESPNChicago.com's Jon Greenberg just one of several pundits who think Hendry will be fired.
- Ricketts also said the Cubs' debt problems wouldn't factor into any baseball-related spending. "The fact is this year we've spent more on Baseball Operations than any year in the past, and we continue to invest in the team," Ricketts said. "[The debt is] no way a limitation on our ability to sign free agents or our flexibility to build a better organization. It's just irrelevant for that."
- Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch looks back at the Cardinals' decision to pass on Joba Chamberlain in the 2006 draft and wonders if the Cards have "developed their own" version of Chamberlain in Kyle McClellan.
- Jim Leyland feels the Tigers have "too many" left-handers in their bullpen, writes MLB.com's Jason Beck. With a number of teams short on southpaw relievers, the Tigers could look to a fellow contender in a trade for a right-hander.
- The Twins have signed 15 picks from the 2011 amateur draft, according to La Velle Neal III of the Minneapolis Star Tribune. Fifth-round shortstop Tyler Grimes is the highest-drafted player to sign.
- The Pirates announced the signings of six draft picks. Auburn third baseman Daniel Gamache, a sixth-rounder, is the highest-selected of the signed players.
- The Astros' pending sale, Hunter Pence's big season and strong play from younger players has the club's future looking bright, writes MLB.com's Brian McTaggart.
Here are a few items of note coming out of the Big Apple as the Mets face the Pirates in Pittsburgh:
- The Mets were just one game under .500 entering Saturday night's game, and the team has played surprisingly well with an unheralded cast largely assembled by former GM Omar Minaya, writes Andy Martino of the New York Daily News.
- Jesus Montero, the Yankees' touted catching prospect, was out of the lineup for Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre tonight but not because he was called up to the big leagues, according to Marc Carig of the Star-Ledger (Twitter links).
- In the wake of Phil Hughes' DL stint and Joba Chamberlain's season-ending injury, Bill Madden of the New York Daily News writes that the Yanks should handle top arms Manuel Banuelos and Dellin Betances differently.
- Within the same piece, Madden writes that the Mets appear to be taking a long-term approach to restocking the organization under new GM Sandy Alderson, as evidenced by their selection of prep outfielder Brandon Nimmo with the No. 13 pick in the Draft.
The Yankees were just swept by the Red Sox at home for the second time this season, the first time that's happened since 1912. The Yankees were still the Highlanders back then. That qualifies as a crisis in the Big Apple, so let's round up the latest links...
- Joba Chamberlain will undergo Tommy John ligament replacement surgery on his right pitching elbow next week, according to Danny Knobler of CBS Sports (on Twitter).
- Joel Sherman of The New York Post says the Yankees need to move their young prospects along more aggressively, particularly pitchers like Dellin Betances, Manny Banuelos, and Hector Noesi to help shore up an injury-depleted bullpen. GM Brian Cashman, however, said yesterday that the team will not rush their top arms no matter what.
- Earlier today we heard that prospect Kevin Whelan could be an option for the bullpen. He's pitching well in Triple-A and was part of the trade that sent Gary Sheffield to the Tigers a few years ago.
- In a separate column, Sherman explains that while there should be plenty of right-handed relievers available on the trade market, the history of those guys performing in new surroundings is not good.
- We also heard that Cashman told SI.com's Jon Heyman that he doesn't see an ace-caliber starter on the trade market.