Joe Saunders Rumors
The Orioles would like to re-sign Joe Saunders and have continued talks with him, according to Buster Olney of ESPN.com (on Twitter). They'll have plenty of competition for the left-hander, however, as he is drawing high interest from three other clubs. Here's more from around baseball..
- On today’s edition of the Rosters & Rumblings podcast, MLBTR’s Ben Nicholson-Smith and Jason Martinez of MLB Depth Charts discussed the Mariners-Angels trade, the Cubs’ new-look rotation, and some recent trade rumors.
- The Dodgers are still kicking the tires on Joel Hanrahan of the Pirates and free agent Brian Wilson as they look to deepen their bullpen, but they aren't in the mix for Rafael Soriano, according to Jim Bowden of ESPN.com (on Twitter).
- The Nationals continue to talk to Mike Gonzalez about returning and the Reds are also in pursuit, Bowden tweets.
- Sources tell Jeff Wilson of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram (on Twitter) that the Rangers were never serious bidders for Edwin Jackson. The right-hander signed a four-year, $52MM contract with the Cubs earlier today.
- Mariners General Manager Jack Zduriencik has landed a bigger bat for the middle of his lineup, but that doesn't mean Seattle is done with its roster maneuverings, writes Greg Johns of MLB.com. The Mariners still have financial flexibility since they should several million dollars in the difference between what Kendrys Morales ($4.8MM) will earn compared to Jason Vargas ($7.4MM) in their final year of arbitration eligibility.
- Dexter Fowler told Jim Bowden of SiriusXM (on Twitter) that Rockies General Manager Bill Geivett told him that it would take a lot in return for them to deal him to the Braves. Atlanta is targeting Fowler along with Emilio Bonifacio and other outfield options.
Some free agent notes from around MLB...
- The Orioles are still in talks with free agent left-hander Joe Saunders, Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports reports (on Twitter). The Orioles have had a quiet offseason so far, but they do want to add a starter.
- Though the Red Sox won't rule out the possibility of adding another outfielder, they feel "comfortable" with Ryan Kalish or Daniel Nava as a left-handed hitting platoon partner for Jonny Gomes, Scott Lauber of the Boston Herald reports (on Twitter).
- It sounds like the Twins are still interested in adding a starting pitcher, Rhett Bollinger of MLB.com reports (on Twitter). “I think we have to continue to look," GM Terry Ryan said. The Twins have added Vance Worley, Kevin Correia, Alex Meyer and Mike Pelfrey so far this offseason.
- Anthony Castrovince of MLB.com examines the market for Kyle Lohse, explaining the free agent right-hander's strengths, shortcomings and potential destinations. Once Edwin Jackson agrees to a deal, Lohse will clearly be the top free agent starter available.
- Bobby Crosby, who last played at the MLB level in 2010, plans to make a comeback, agent Paul Cohen told Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports (Twitter link). The free agent infielder will work out for for teams in mid-January. Crosby, who turns 33 next month, was the American League Rookie of the Year in 2004.
- Be sure to check out MLBTR’s Free Agent Tracker.
10:42am: In addition to the pitchers listed below, Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com (Twitter link) identifies Edwin Jackson, Shaun Marcum, Brandon McCarthy, Jair Jurrjens, and Carl Pavano as potential targets for the Twins. Pavano is said to be drawing interest from five teams, including the Red Sox, tweets Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe.
9:52am: As they look to shore up their starting rotation, the Twins have offers out to Joe Saunders and Francisco Liriano, according to La Velle E. Neal III of the Minneapolis Star-Tribune. The Twins are waiting to hear back from the two left-handers and may have offers out to other pitchers, says Neal.
According to Neal, there are seven other teams that also have interest in Liriano.
Orioles manager Buck Showalter addressed reporters and appeared on MLB Network Radio today to discuss a few O's-related subjects. Let's round up all things Orioles, courtesy of Dan Connolly of the Baltimore Sun, Roch Kubatko of MASNSports.com, MLB.com's Brittany Ghiroli, and Jim Bowden of ESPN.com and SiriusXM (all links go to Twitter)....
- Orioles VP of baseball operations Dan Duquette told reporters he hopes to come home with a signed player by the end of the week.
- The Orioles met with Joe Saunders' reps today and had preliminary talks, tweets Connolly.
- The Orioles have interest in free agents Kevin Correia and Nate Schierholtz, and have had meetings with their agents in Nashville, tweets Connolly.
- Showalter spoke to free agent outfielder Nate McLouth earlier today, and GM Dan Duquette is expected to meet with McLouth's agent tonight. McLouth is looking for only a one-year deal, tweets Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports, so he can re-establish his value and return to the market.
- The Orioles haven't given up on the idea of re-signing Mark Reynolds, who the club non-tendered last week.
- The O's are also hoping to re-sign Omar Quintanilla, another non-tender.
- If other clubs don't value Baltimore's young players as much as the O's do, the club won't make a trade just for the sake of making one, says Showalter.
- Baltimore's payroll will be between $90MM and $100MM next season.
- According to Showalter, MLB's managers were asked whether they were in favor of expanding instant replay, and 29 of 30 voted yes.
1:52pm: Dan Haren's agreement with the Nationals takes another starting pitching option off the board for the Angels, who made an effort to bring back the right-hander after not tendering him a qualifying offer. According to Mike DiGiovanna of the Los Angeles Times (via Twitter), the Angels made a one-year offer to Haren with a very achievable option year.
Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com tweets that there was at least one other team in on Haren at around $13MM, suggesting that the price tag for free agent starters will be high this offseason. That isn't great news for the Angels, since the team appears to have a finite amount of money to spend on pitching, according to DiGiovanna (Twitter link). If the Angels go big on a starter, they'll have to scrimp on relievers, and vice versa, says DiGiovanna.
Although the Angels have checked in on virtually every free agent starting pitcher, including Anibal Sanchez, Kyle Lohse, Edwin Jackson, Ryan Dempster, and Joe Saunders, Zack Greinke remains their first choice, tweets DiGiovanna.
The Orioles have shown interest in Brett Myers, who plans to pitch as a starter in 2013, according to Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports (via Twitter). The Twins and Royals are among the other American League teams in on the right-hander. Here's more on the O's..
- General manager Dan Duquette is confident that the team won't need to trade for an outfielder given the amount of options available via free agency, Morosi writes. The team would like to add an outfielder so that Chris Davis could move back to first base or DH.
- Duquette spoke with reporters at the meetings and said that the team still has interest in re-signing Nate McLouth and Joe Saunders, Eduardo A. Encina of The Baltimore Sun tweets. Duquette added that the club has not had contact with Jim Thome and is not sure if he intends to play next season.
- The O's feel good about their second base options and their priority remains trading for a middle-of-the-order bat, according to Britt Ghiroli of MLB.com (via Twitter).
- Manager Buck Showalter has narrowed the third base coach search down and hopes to have it done by the end of the meetings, Encina tweets.
Several player agents tell Larry Stone of the Seattle Times that the Mariners' chances of attracting free agent hitters have improved now that Safeco Field's fences are being moved in. That said, while the shorter fences will help, "players look at all of those factors, but in the end, it still comes down to where they can get the best contract. And it always will," one agent says.
Here are some items from a very busy day in baseball....
- The Dodgers met with Zack Greinke on Thursday, tweets Tim Brown of Yahoo Sports.
- In an interview with 1500 ESPN Twin Cities radio (via Phil Mackey of 1500 ESPN), Twins assistant GM Rob Antony said his team will likely pursue free agents over trades at the Winter Meetings. "We probably don't have a lot of pieces that we do have to trade for starting pitching [with Denard Span now gone]," Antony said. "We'll probably be a little more aggressive and spend our time at the winter meetings talking to agents rather than clubs."
- Russell Martin said the Yankees told him they didn't have the money available to match Pittsburgh's two-year/$17MM offer, reports David Waldstein of the New York Times. The Yankees didn't make Martin an offer and have yet to make any offers to position players this offseason, reports ESPN's Buster Olney (both links are to Twitter).
- The Yankees aren't likely to pursue either A.J. Pierzynski or Mike Napoli, reports Andrew Marchand of ESPN New York.
- The Pirates considered pursuing Napoli but didn't think he could stay healthy and effective as a full-time catcher in the NL, reports Rob Biertempfel of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review.
- The Royals offered Ryan Dempster a two-year, $26MM contract but are no longer bidding on the Canadian right-hander now that his price tag has risen, reports Bob Dutton of the Kansas City Star. At least six teams besides Kansas City have been connected to Dempster this offseason.
- Also from Dutton, the Royals offered Scott Feldman a one-year, $4.5MM deal before the righty agreed to a one-year, $6MM contract with the Cubs earlier this week.
- MLB.com's John Schlegel lists 10 potential bargain signings on the free agent market.
- The week's minor league transactions are recapped by Matt Eddy of Baseball America.
- Orioles GM Dan Duquette tells MASNsports.com's Mel Antonen (Twitter link) that negotiations with Nate McLouth and Joe Saunders have been a "little slow" to develop.
The Angels could shift their focus away from top free agent starting pitching and pursue relief depth if Zack Greinke’s asking price increases beyond their limit, Mike DiGiovanna of the LA Times reports. Adding Japanese right-hander Kyuji Fujikawa to the bullpen might provide the Angels with enough depth to avoid spending on Greinke and other free agents whose asking prices could increase when Greinke signs.
The Angels are one of the top suitors for Greinke, along with the Dodgers, Nationals and Rangers, Jim Bowden of ESPN.com and MLB Network Radio reports (all Twitter links). However, the Angels haven’t made a play on Anibal Sanchez or Kyle Lohse, according to Bowden. The Angels, Rangers, Red Sox and White Sox are among the teams in play for free agent reliever Mike Adams, Bowden reports.
Agents and players have considerably more interest in Baltimore as a potential destination now that the Orioles are viewed as a contender, ESPN.com’s Buster Olney reports. "It's winning," one agent told Olney. "Period.” Some free agents now list the Orioles as a team they’d like to join. Here are more notes from Olney, starting in Baltimore...
- The Orioles are looking for starting pitching and hope to bring Joe Saunders back. Jeremy Guthrie’s three-year, $25MM contract could affect Saunders’ asking price, as Olney points out.
- While the Orioles have talked about adding a bat, they’re not expected to be particularly aggressive about free agent outfielder Josh Hamilton.
- The Marlins, Indians and Pirates are among the teams that could have trouble luring free agents even if they’re offering competitive salaries.
- One AL GM credits the Red Sox for building a team that plays well in Fenway Park.
- Earlier in the offseason there had been talk that the SoftBank Hawks, the Japanese team that recently agreed to sign Bryan LaHair, could pursue veteran free agents such as Mike Napoli or Kevin Youkilis.
- A number of teams, including the Indians, are scouting left-hander Scott Kazmir, Olney writes. The Astros had some interest in Kazmir during the regular season.
- Olney suggests arbitration eligible players such as Chris Heisey and A.J. Ellis could be candidates for two or three-year extensions this winter.
The Twins have not yet made any moves this offseason, but John Shipley of The Pioneer Press says the team continues to monitor the free agent pitching market. GM Terry Ryan also acknowledged talking to the Marlins prior to their blockbuster with the Blue Jays.
"Anybody who is a starting pitcher that we've identified as having some ability, you can assume we've touched base with them," said Ryan, adding that they were "aware of (the Marlins) feelings" before the blockbuster.
Shipley said the team's list of pitching targets includes Zack Greinke, Anibal Sanchez, Edwin Jackson, Brandon McCarthy, and Joe Saunders, though some may be more realistic than others. The club has approximately $25MM to work with this winter assuming they'll maintain a similar payroll level next season, and outside of 26-year-old lefty Scott Diamond, no one from Minnesota's 2012 rotation is guaranteed a spot in 2012.