Joba Chamberlain Rumors
9:43am: Sherman tweets that the deal is done.
9:08am: Not surprisingly, the Yankees will pay Vazquez's entire salary, according to David O'Brien of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution (via Twitter).
8:40am: Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports tweets that it's a two for one deal. The money is still unclear, though it would be a surprise to see the Braves pay any of Vazquez's $11.5MM salary next year.
8:34am: The Yankees are closing in on a deal for Vazquez, according to Jon Heyman of SI.com. Heyman says the Yankees will acquire Vazquez and Boone Logan for Melky Cabrera, Mike Dunn and a prospect.
TUESDAY, 8:08am: Olney reports (via Twitter) that the Yanks have inquired on Pirates pitchers Ross Ohlendorf, Paul Maholm and Zach Duke before. Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports tweets that the Yankees aren't trading for Duke or Mahlom (though he doesn't mention Ohlendorf).
MONDAY, 9:11pm: Now Mark Feinsand of the New York Daily News tweets that the Yankees are "close to a deal for a starting pitcher, says a source. Still working on who, but I'm told it's not a salary dump deal."
8:55pm: Now Ken Davidoff of Newsday tweets "Hear that Yankees have 'two or three' serious trade talks for starting pitcher - Harang isn't one of them." FoxSports.com's Ken Rosenthal adds via Twitter: "Source: Yankees in 'active negotiations' for a starting pitcher. Not Harang. Trying to find out who."
8:07pm: Could this be related to what David O'Brien of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution wrote in the comments section of his blog earlier this evening?
"Got a call from a NY writer today wanting to know if I’d heard anything heating up between Yankees and Braves…. Apparently Yankees have hinted at doing “something big” soon. Don’t know if that means pitching."
Hard to imagine the Yankees will go another round with Javier Vazquez, but could this mean Derek Lowe? Like Harang, the Yankees could be among the few teams able to take on Lowe's three-year, $45MM deal.
7:49pm: ESPN.com's Buster Olney tweets the following: "Yankees working very hard tonight on deal for starting pitcher. Remember that they came close to deal for Aaron Harang in summer."
If Harang is indeed the target, the Yankees could be one of the few teams that could afford him. Harang is due $12.5MM in 2010, with a $12.75MM team option for 2011 (and more likely, a $2MM buyout).
Harang pitched to a 4.21 ERA in 162 1/3 innings with Cincinnati in 2009, though his peripherals- 142 strikeouts, 43 walks- were strong.
With Andy Pettitte, C.C. Sabathia and A.J. Burnett all under contract for 2010- acquiring Harang would likely spell the end of either Philip Hughes or Joba Chamberlain in the 2010 rotation plans.
Links for Thursday...
- One official who spoke to MASN's Roch Kubatko called yesterday's Gordon Edes tweet about the Orioles making a run at Adrian Gonzalez "complete fiction."
- ESPN's Keith Law doesn't mind the Orioles' Mike Gonzalez signing, but finds the loss of a decent draft pick to be the "real negative." Law does not expect much from Garrett Atkins.
- Dave Cameron of FanGraphs says there's a surplus of available second basemen this year. He suggests some free agents will have to switch positions to find jobs.
- Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch writes about the "longstanding mutual interest" between the Cardinals and Brad Penny.
- Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe does not think the Red Sox should include Jacoby Ellsbury in a trade for Gonzalez.
- Talking to Mark Feinsand of the New York Daily News, Yankees catcher Jorge Posada said he'd like the team to acquire one more starter to allow Phil Hughes or Joba Chamberlain to work in relief. Also, Posada expects Johnny Damon to return.
One of the biggest trades in recent memory is nearing completion. Here are some reactions to the Roy Halladay-Cliff Lee-prospects swap from around the game.
- ESPN.com's Keith Law expects Brett Wallace- the player the Jays will obtain for Taylor - to end up at first base. Law likes the prospects Seattle gave up, but doesn't love them. Given that Seattle has other prospects, he says "making a legitimate run at a division title is a pretty good reason to empty out your farm."
- Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports says the Phillies couldn't afford to have Halladay and Lee in the same rotation because it would have cost too much in terms of money and prospects.
- Scott Lauber of the News Journal says Phillies GM Ruben Amaro Jr. has staked his legacy on Halladay.
- Yahoo's Jeff Passan says two teams have reason to celebrate this deal: the Jays and the Mariners. The Phillies, on the other hand, are "not demonstrably better" than before.
- One veteran talent evaluator tells ESPN.com's Buster Olney that the only clear winner is Seattle. Olney hears from some Yankees people who believe the Jays got less than what they were demanding from Brian Cashman & Co.
- Jon Heyman of SI.com says the Yankees were willing to offer Jesus Montero in a package for Halladay, but not Phil Hughes or Joba Chamberlain.
- Rob Neyer of ESPN.com agrees with Dave Cameron of U.S.S. Mariner: the deal is a "heist" for the Mariners. Cameron likes the deal so much he tells Mariners fans to "dance in the streets."
- Over at FanGraphs, Cameron says all three franchises had understandable motivations for making the trade. Still, he wonders if Philly could have obtained more for Lee.
- Marc Hulet of FanGraphs wonders why the Phils didn't wait and deal Lee for more.
- Richard Griffin of the Toronto Star says the Jays "should be embarrassed" by the return they got for Halladay.
- One member of the Phillies organization tells MLB.com's Noah Coslov that he doesn't understand the trade because Michael Taylor is MLB ready now.
- Andy Martino of the Philadelphia Inquirer says it was never realistic to expect Halladay and Cliff Lee to pitch in the same rotation.
ESPN's Buster Olney kicks off his latest blog post with a poignant look at his relationship with Peter Gammons. As for the rumors...
- Olney says the Yankees and Johnny Damon appear to be far apart in early contract negotiations. Mark Feinsand of the New York Daily News believes the Yanks will turn to Hideki Matsui, Mike Cameron, or Mark DeRosa if Damon won't take a two-year offer within two weeks or so. Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports says Damon seeks three or four years at $13MM annually, while the Yanks are at two years, $19MM (Bobby Abreu's contract).
- Olney heard the Blue Jays' asking price of the Phillies for Roy Halladay "is about the same" as it was in July. That doesn't seem logical, but we are talking about two different GMs here. Olney was able to confirm the reported Halladay demands the Jays made of the Yankees: Jesus Montero, Joba Chamberlain or Phil Hughes, and more.
- The Mets' initial offer to catcher Bengie Molina contains a vesting option. Olney doesn't speculate, but do you think the Mets were willing to guarantee the first two years?
- The Dodgers, Indians, and A's are among the teams eyeing Jamey Carroll, who seeks a two-year deal. Carroll may look at Craig Counsell's yet-unsigned deal as a precedent.
10:32pm: ESPN.com's Jayson Stark hears that Halladay would approve a deal to the Phillies, Yankees, Red Sox and Angels. The Rays and Dodgers are possibilities, and one person "who knows [Halladay] well" doesn't think he'd go to the Mets. Check out Stark's entire article for a detailed breakdown of the "Doc on the block" part two.
10:26pm: One GM tells Jon Heyman of SI.com that the Jays should take the offer of Joe Saunders, Erick Aybar and Peter Bourjos if it's really on the table. Ed Price of AOL FanHouse says the Jays prefer minor leaguers to major leaguers.
9:00pm: Phils GM Ruben Amaro Jr. told MLB.com's Todd Zolecki that he's not likely to trade for a big-time starting pitcher. Such a deal would not be impossible, however.
7:30pm: A major league source tells Bastian that Halladay might waive his not-trade clause to join the Angels.
7:19pm: The Angels have made an offer, according to Bob Elliott of the Toronto Sun. They'd give up Joe Saunders, Erick Aybar and Peter Bourjos for Halladay. Saunders and Aybar are set to become free agents after 2012. Halladay, of course, would have to approve any deal, but one unnamed executive implies the Angels believe Halladay would accept.
6:56pm: Jon Heyman of SI.com hears that the Phillies are "joining the fray" for Halladay. MLB.com's Todd Zolecki said yesterday that the Phils have the pieces to complete a deal.
5:52pm: MLB.com's Lyle Spencer reports that the Angels could bring on two elite pitchers this offseason. It's "possible, but not likey," according to GM Tony Reagins.
5:30pm: Jays GM Alex Anthopoulos says the Jays aren't currently likely to make a deal at the Winter Meetings, according to Bastian. If they do make a trade, they'll look for above average players, not average ones. And what does the manager think? Cito Gaston expects Halladay to leave, he's just not sure when it'll happen.
2:12pm: SI's Jon Heyman says the Blue Jays requested Jesus Montero and one of Phil Hughes/Joba Chamberlain plus more from the Yankees for Halladay.
1:13pm: MLB.com's Jordan Bastian tweets that we should not count out the Phillies for Halladay - they're "still quietly in the mix." MLB.com's Todd Zolecki did an informal poll and determined that they do have the pieces to get it done. Still, GM Ruben Amaro Jr. finds a major trade for a pitcher unlikely.
7:05am: ESPN.com's Buster Olney (via Twitter) hears from officials involved in the Halladay discussions that the Jays are still in "info-gathering mode" and aren't close to a deal with any team yet.
6:50am: The New York Yankees remain very much in the hunt for Roy Halladay, according to Joel Sherman of the New York Post. Sherman considers Doc to be the Yankees' Mark Teixeira, in that he's not their priority but Brian Cashman will monitor the situation.
In yesterday's round of Halladay rumors, we heard, among other things, that the Yankees' acquisition of Curtis Granderson would make it harder for them to trade for Halladay, since they parted ways with outfield prospect Austin Jackson. However, Sherman suggests that the Yanks have continued discussions with the Blue Jays, with their efforts to acquire Halladay even "intensifying."
The Blue Jays likely don't want to deal Halladay within the division, but according to Sherman's sources, Toronto "loves" New York catching prospect Jesus Montero. If the Yankees were willing to part with Montero and either Phil Hughes or Joba Chamberlain, the Jays would definitely be listening.
As ESPN.com's Buster Olney notes, the Yankees and Red Sox are hesitant to give top prospects up for Roy Halladay, since they'd have to pay him like a free agent to keep him around long-term. But some scouts aren't sure Joba Chamberlain will be able to improve his control, so Olney wonders if the Yankees might consider including him in a potential Halladay trade. Here are the rest of Olney's rumors:
- The Mets appear poised to sign two or three veterans for $5-7MM per season. We know they're interested in Bengie Molina and they're looking for pitchers, but they have other needs, too.
- Olney expects the Mets to land a starter like Randy Wolf, Jason Marquis or Joel Pineiro.
- The Mets have discussed Mike Cameron, who would consider playing left or right, and Xavier Nady.
- Olney hears that the White Sox don't have much payroll flexibility this offseason.
2:09pm: SI's Jon Heyman sees a potential Red Sox-Yankees battle brewing for Halladay. He says the Blue Jays told the Yankees they're interested in Phil Hughes, Joba Chamberlain, Jesus Montero, and Austin Jackson (not necessarily all four).
10:22am: Joel Sherman of the New York Post terms the Yankees as "bystanders rather than aggressive pursuers" when it comes to Blue Jays ace Roy Halladay. The Yankees remain "averse to giving up both high-end prospects and a top-of-the-market contract extension to secure one player." Some members of the Yankee front office would prefer to acquire Doc but not extend him. Speaking in general terms, Blue Jays GM Alex Anthopoulos told MLB.com's Jordan Bastian he'd prefer not to give an extension window in a trade. Sherman also learned that the Blue Jays "have yet to divulge exactly what it would take to land Halladay."
As for Halladay's Spring Training deadline for a trade, Sherman talked to "outside executives" who don't take it entirely seriously. Regarding agent Jeff Berry's comments to ESPN about the deadline, Anthopoulos told Bastian, "I just want to hear it for myself and talk to him." Bob Elliott of the Toronto Sun notes that George Bell issued the Blue Jays a similar ultimatum at the 1987 Winter Meetings.
Some links on this Friday evening:
- Daniel Barbarisi of The Providence Journal talks about the Red Sox shortstop search and concludes that Marco Scutaro is their best option. The article mentions a few other possibilities, including Brewers infielder Felipe Lopez. The 30-year-old is coming off of a career year but hasn't played shortstop regularly since 2007, when he posted a UZR/150 of -12.3.
- In a column for CBSSports.com, Larry Dobrow lays out his suggestions for the Brewers this winter. Dowbrow urges the club to lay the groundwork for a Prince Fielder deal and cash in their trade chips, Corey Hart and Mat Gamel.
- Hey American League fans, ever wonder what Jim Bowden would do if he were your team's GM? Well, wonder no more because with the help of his Amazing Technicolor Dreamtie, he lays out the moves he would make for several AL teams for FOX Sports. Amongst other things, Bowden pushes the Yankees to beat Boston to the punch and deal Joba Chamberlain, Brett Gardner, and Ian Kennedy to the Blue Jays for Roy Halladay.
In his usual Sunday morning column for the Boston Globe, Nick Cafardo passes on some hot stove talk from around the majors. Let's check out the highlights....
- The fate of John Lackey could potentially affect the offseason plans of each of the AL East powers. Both the Yankees and Red Sox have interest, and Cafardo suggests that landing Lackey would allow the Red Sox to turn around and move Clay Buchholz in a deal for a coveted bat, like Adrian Gonzalez.
- Cafardo relays this quote from an AL GM: "The Red Sox could be the major player this offseason if certain things fall together for them. They still have enough chips in their farm system to make something big happen."
- The Yankees, meanwhile, appear willing to part with Phil Hughes or Joba Chamberlain in the hunt for Roy Halladay, though they'd like to hang on to Austin Jackson.
- Gary Sheffield will return in 2010 and has softened his stance on DHing since his Tigers days. He now says he'd accept a DH role, though he'd still like to play in the field occasionally. Cafardo names a handful of teams that could find a spot for Sheffield, noting that the 41-year-old would love to return to Atlanta or play in his hometown of Tampa Bay.
- The Twins and Brewers are "very interested" in Carl Pavano.
- The Brewers could also be players for John Smoltz, though the Cardinals would like to bring him back.
We've heard a lot about the "Joba Rules" ever since Joba Chamberlain was first called up to the Yankees in 2007. Going into next season, however, the "Rules" are up in the air since nobody seems to even know what the game will be for the young right-hander in 2010. Chamberlain told MLB.com's Anthony DiComo that the Yankees have yet to inform him if he will be a starter or a reliever next season.
Chamberlain doesn't seem bothered by the lack of information, saying "it helps me just to know that I've been put in a lot of situations and it's going to help me in the long run." In fact, Chamberlain also said that he hopes Andy Pettitte (a man he regards as a good friend and mentor) comes back for another season in New York, even though Pettitte's return might squeeze Chamberlain out of a rotation spot.
DiComo notes that should Pettitte re-sign with the Yankees, he would be the No. 3 starter behind C.C. Sabathia and A.J. Burnett. This leaves the final two spots in the New York rotation open, to be contested between the likes of Chamberlain, Phil Hughes, Chad Gaudin, Sergio Mitre, Alfredo Aceves and possibly Chien-Ming Wang (as reported last week by the New York Post's Joel Sherman). This competition could end up being for just one rotation spot should the Yankees sign a free agent pitcher like John Lackey.
Chamberlain posted a 4.75 ERA in 31 starts for New York last season, but was hit hard in the second half of the season --- the Nebraskan had a 7.67 ERA in August and September. He was moved to the bullpen for the Yankees' playoff run and recorded a 2.84 ERA in 10 relief appearances, plus a win in Game 4 of the World Series.
Interestingly, DiComo said that Hughes is "more of a lock to start than Chamberlain" in spite of the fact that Hughes flourished coming out of the bullpen in 2009. Hughes had a 5.45 ERA in seven starts last season, but a 1.40 ERA in 44 relief appearances as he gradually became Mariano Rivera's primary set-up man.
What do you think, Yankees fans? Who would you be more comfortable with as a starter in 2010 if you could pick only one: Chamberlain or Hughes? For what role do you think each pitcher is ideally suited?