Joel Hanrahan 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.
3:00pm: The deal is not complete, but it is in the final stages, a Pirates source tells Bowden (on Twitter).
12:24pm: The Red Sox are moving closer to a trade for Joel Hanrahan, reports ESPN Boston's Gordon Edes. One source cautioned there is "still work to be done," however. It's unclear what the Pirates would receive for their closer, though Edes hears they want a "significant return."
Hanrahan, 31, pitched to a 2.72 ERA with 10.1 K/9 and 5.4 BB/9 in 59 2/3 innings for Pittsburgh last season. He earned $4.1MM and projects to earn $6.9MM through arbitration next year. Hanrahan is scheduled to become a free agent after 2013.
Andrew Bailey, Boston's incumbent closer, pitched to a 7.04 ERA in 15 1/3 innings in 2012 while missing most of the year with injuries. WEEI.com's Rob Bradford reports they have not discussed free agent Rafael Soriano despite having a protected first round pick. The Dodgers were among the teams with interest in Hanrahan in recent weeks.
What would a contract extension for Mike Trout look like? Though the Angels aren’t currently discussing a long-term deal with their 21-year-old star, it’s a topic that will come up eventually. Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports examines the question with the help of MLB agents, executives and players, and hears estimates from $60-250MM, with most suggested deals falling in the $100-150MM range. Check out Passan’s entire piece for a thorough exploration of what it would mean to lock Trout up.
Now for some more links as Wednesday turns into Thursday...
- Mark Feinsand of The New York Daily News hears the Mariners and Rangers both prefer power over speed as they look to add offense (Twitter link). Seattle acquired Kendrys Morales on Wednesday.
- Mariners GM Jack Zduriencik told Geoff Baker of The Seattle Times that talks about Morales started after texting Angels GM Jerry Dipoto to congratulate him on the Josh Hamilton signing.
- ESPN's Buster Olney speculates (on Twitter) that Justin Smoak could be a fit for the Orioles. Some folks with Baltimore like his swing, and Smoak could be expendable following the Morales pickup.
- Free agent right-hander Brett Myers wants to start again and remains an interesting free agent option in the view of FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal (Twitter link).
- The Rockies are looking to add another reliever, Troy Renck of the Denver Post reports (on Twitter). Colorado had interest in Mike Adams before the right-hander signed with the Phillies.
- The Pirates are interested in Rick Porcello, but the Tigers don't want to trade the 23-year-old right-hander straight up for reliever Joel Hanrahan, Rob Biertempfel of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review reports (on Twitter).
Mike Axisa contributed to this post.
The latest from Jon Heyman and Danny Knobler of CBSSports.com...
- Both the Dodgers and Red Sox have interest in Pirates closer Joel Hanrahan, reports Heyman. He hears Los Angeles could also make a play for Indians closer Chris Perez or Mets right-hander Bobby Parnell as well.
- The Rangers were interested in Anibal Sanchez and Russell Martin before they signed elsewhere, Knobler reports. Now Texas is pursuing Edwin Jackson, A.J. Pierzynski and Cody Ross. Michael Bourn and Kyle Lohse aren't thought to be "front-burner" items for the Rangers now, Knobler reports. Knobler suggests the Rangers are interested in a relatively short-term deal for Jackson, who's also drawing serious interest from the Cubs.
- The Dodgers have talked about trading Andre Ethier and signing Bourn to replace him, reports Knobler. Los Angeles is looking for a leadoff hitter. Earlier this week we heard they've considered trading Ethier and signing Nick Swisher.
- The Rangers may be the best bet for Pierzynski since the Yankees still can’t get excited about the backstop, Heyman reports (on Twitter). Instead, New York is looking to go with Austin Romine.
- The Braves continue eyeing a left fielder and would prefer to add a leadoff type, Heyman reports (on Twitter).
- Bobby Abreu, who is now playing winter ball, hopes to play for two or three more years, Heyman reports (on Twitter).
Mike Axisa contributed to this post.
The latest from Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports...
- Rangers officials aren’t overwhelmed by the remaining free agent position players available, Rosenthal reports. Texas has done background work on A.J. Pierzynski, and could work to sign him. However, Adam LaRoche, Nick Swisher and Michael Bourn seem like less likely targets. The Rangers are particularly concerned about makeup, according to Rosenthal. Manager Ron Washington knows Swisher from their days in Oakland and likes the outfielder, Rosenthal reports.
- The Rangers still want to add to their bullpen, and Rosenthal suggests they could make a play for Pirates closer Joel Hanrahan. The team is also exploring other bullpen options via trades and free agency. Hanrahan’s projected salary of $6.9MM limits interest from the Dodgers and Tigers, Rosenthal writes.
- Hiroyuki Nakajima has range that is average “at best,” one executive told Rosenthal. However, the A’s agreed to sign the 30-year-old free agent to a two-year deal in part because they like his offensive potential.
- Now that many free agent third basemen have signed, the Marlins could pursue a top third base prospect who’s close to contributing at the MLB level. However, it would be difficult to put together a package for a player such as Mike Olt.
- Some executives believe the Diamondbacks will trade Justin Upton even after GM Kevin Towers said a deal seems unlikely. There’s a perception that the Diamondbacks are down on Upton, Rosenthal notes.
- When Mets executive Paul DePodesta watched outfield prospect Wuilmer Becerra in 2011, he liked the prospect’s athleticism and effort. The Mets acquired the 18-year-old Becerra in the R.A. Dickey trade.
- The Red Sox are always looking to upgrade their bullpen, Rosenthal adds.
Joel Hanrahan has saved 76 games with a 2.24 ERA for the Pirates over the past two seasons, but his name has surfaced in numerous trade rumors this offseason and now Danny Knobler of CBS Sports tweets that the Buccos are pushing to trade him (Twitter link). The Dodgers are one possibility, according to Knobler.
Hanrahan projects to earn $6.9MM through arbitration, according to MLBTR contributor Matt Swartz. The 31-year-old is arbitration-eligible for the final time and will be a free agent following the 2013 campaign.
Hanrahan's production slipped in 2012, mainly due to a sharp increase in walks. He issued 36 free passes in 59 2/3 innings after allowing just 16 in 68 2/3 innings during the 2011 season. Hanrahan's fastball velocity also dipped from 2011, though he still averaged a very strong 95.9 mph. Teams have expressed concerns about his conditioning.
The Angels have been in contact with the Tigers about Rick Porcello, reports Danny Knobler of CBSSports.com. The Pirates, Padres, Rangers, Phillies, Twins, and Royals also have interest in the right-hander, though Knobler says Detroit doesn't have interest in Pittsburgh closer Joel Hanrahan.
Drafted 23rd overall in 2007, the 23-year-old Porcello zoomed to the big leagues after just one season in the minors. He owns a 4.55 ERA with 5.0 K/9 and 2.3 BB/9 in 120 starts and 691 2/3 innings. His 52.3% ground ball rate helps make up for the lack of strikeouts. Porcello earned $3.1MM in 2012 and projects to earn $4.7MM in his second trip through arbitration this winter. He's a Super Two and will be eligible for free agency after 2015.
The Tigers re-signed Anibal Sanchez a few days ago, rounding out a stellar front-four that includes also Justin Verlander, Doug Fister, Max Scherzer. Porcello and Drew Smyly are the front-runners for the fifth starter's spot. The Angels have acquired Tommy Hanson and signed Joe Blanton this winter, but they're still looking for rotation depth behind Jered Weaver and C.J. Wilson.
Pirates General Manager Neal Huntington and President Frank Coonelly hosted a Q&A session for fans and addressed a number of topics concerning the club. Here's a look at some highlights, courtesy of Rob Biertempfel of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review on Twitter, unless noted otherwise..
- The Pirates president says that payroll "could be approaching" $70MM this year, but didn't go so far as to offer a guarantee (Twitter link). Today marked the first time that he went public with that information.
- Huntington says that it's no guarantee that Joel Hanrahan will be dealt. The team's plan is to keep Garrett Jones in the fold for next season, but won't make any promises (via Twitter).
- Coonelly explained that the club has no regrets about the way they handled the Mark Appel negotiatons. "We'd make [the] same decision today. And we wouldn't call [agent Scott Boras] to see if Appel would sign if available," said the club president. However, the club will continue to draft the best player available and won't be deterred from doing business with certain agents (Twitter links).
- Huntington said that the Pirates have a handful of young arms ready to step up in place of Jeff Karstens and Kevin Correia (link). That may mean that Pittsburgh will concentrate more on in-house solutions than previously thought.
- Reports of the Pirates holding a meager TV contract are not true, according to Coonelly. "The facts out there have been wrong. Our contract is well over $16M and it did include signing bonus," Huntington explained (via Twitter). Coonelly added that the extra money will allow Pittsburgh to spend more in the draft (link).
- Dodgers starters Aaron Harang and Chris Capuano are even more in play with the Pirates, Mariners, Twins, Blue Jays, and Indians among the teams checking in, major league sources tell Jon Paul Morosi. The club began shopping Harang and Capuano at the winter meetings, anticipating that they would add at least two other starters, which turned out to be Zack Greinke and Ryu Hyun-Jin.
- One rival executive predicts that the Angels will keep Peter Bourjos and Mark Trumbo while moving Vernon Wells. The outfielder holds a no-trade clause and is owed $21MM in each of the next two seasons but probably can't bring the Angels the pitcher they need.
- Joel Hanrahan has been linked to both the Tigers and Dodgers, but both clubs are wary of his salary, according to sources. Hanrahan is projected to make $6.9MM in arbitration next season.
- A source says that the Indians' four-player return for Shin-Soo Choo and Jason Donald won't deter them from moving right-hander Justin Masterson, shortstop Asdrubal Cabrera, or closer Chris Perez in the right deal, Rival teams say the Tribe insisted upon major leaguers/major league ready pieces for Choo and they would presumably seek the same in return for their other veterans.
Wade Davis told ESPN.com’s Buster Olney that he’s excited to join the Royals, since he’ll be asked to start in Kansas City. The right-hander said he’s been “champing at the bit” to start again after spending the 2012 season in the bullpen. Here’s the latest from Olney, starting with the recent Rays-Royals trade...
- One GM said Wil Myers is “not without his flaws,” Olney reports. The prospect struck out 140 times this past season and, as the GM notes, “holes are exposed at the next level."
- Olney suggests A.J. Pierzynski could be a fit for the Rays, but notes that rival evaluators don’t particularly like his defense. One agent predicts the White Sox will end up re-signing the free agent catcher.
- The Dodgers have interest in Joel Hanrahan, Olney reports. The Pirates have some interest in Chris Capuano, so perhaps there’s a match for the two NL clubs. Both players have one guaranteed year remaining on their contracts.
- Friends of Michael Young’s say he feels he was lied to repeatedly with the Rangers, according to Olney. The Phillies acquired the veteran infielder over the weekend after Young approved the proposed trade.