Joel Hanrahan Rumors
Diamondbacks GM Kevin Towers and MLBTR's Tim Dierkes weighed in on the modern-day trade deadline dynamic with Nick Piecoro of the Arizona Republic. The non-stop nature of online trade chatter can get in the way of certain trades and facilitate others, Towers said. Here are some assorted rumors with four days to go before the trade deadline...
- The Athletics aren’t presently in the mix for Marco Scutaro, but they could pursue him if other options don’t materialize, ESPN.com’s Jerry Crasnick reports (on Twitter).
- Before he signed his six-year, $144MM extension, Cole Hamels told Yahoo’s Jeff Passan that he’d give pitchers big money, but not long-term contracts. "I'd only give three or four years, but I'd give 'em $25 or $30 million," Hamels said. Fortunately for him, Ruben Amaro Jr. and the Phillies were willing to go beyond four years.
- Many teams would be willing to trade two Major League bats to acquire Joel Hanrahan, Tom Singer of MLB.com writes. The Pirates could rely on Brad Lincoln and/or Jason Grilli in high-leverage, late-inning situations if they trade Hanrahan.
Red Sox slugger David Ortiz's tenure in Boston almost ended soon after he signed with the club, writes Alex Speier of WEEI.com. “When I wasn’t playing, I told [Theo Epstein] to release me or trade me, because I was better than the other guys he had here,” Ortiz said, recalling a time in May 2003. “He told me to give it some time, he’d make some moves, then I would play. And then I started playing and here I am still.” One of the moves to help ease the logjam ahead of Ortiz was sending Shea Hillenbrand to the D'Backs for Byung-Hyun Kim. More from around baseball..
- Joel Hanrahan trade rumors have died down somewhat but the Pirates could still deal the closer based on how the season unfolds, write Bob Cohn and Rob Biertempfel of the PIttsburgh Tribune-Review. However, the club would need to receive an offer that they absolutely could not refuse.
- Execs are wondering if the Phillies will go into sell mode in July if they don't get healthy and turn things around quickly, writes Joel Sherman of the New York Post.
- Pitcher Mark Prior is attempting another comeback in the Red Sox system and reliever Clayton Mortensen told Alex Speier of WEEI.com that the veteran is close to being big league ready.
Someone finally got to Aroldis Chapman and, of all teams, it was the light-hitting Pirates. Chapman allowed back-to-back doubles to lead off the 10th inning, allowing his first earned run of the 2012 season and first since September 10, 2011 --- a stretch of 35 straight scoreless innings. Pittsburgh won the game by a 5-4 score.
Here's the latest from the NL Central...
- Joel Hanrahan doesn't think the Pirates will trade him this summer, the closer tells Ron Cook of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Cook opines that Pirates ownership's commitment to re-signing top players will be questioned if Hanrahan doesn't receive a long-term extension. Hanrahan told Cook he didn't think much about trade rumors, though we know he at least reads them on this very website.
- Astros GM Jeff Luhnow confirmed that his team still has an interest in Cuban outfielder Jorge Soler, reports MLB.com's Brian McTaggart. Luhnow wouldn't say if the Astros had submitted a contract offer by today, the reported deadline set by Soler's agents.
- A.J. Pierzynski tells CSN Chicago's Chuck Garfien about how he was almost dealt to the Cubs in 2003, as the Cubs offered the Twins a package of Juan Cruz and Todd Wellemeyer for the catcher. Pierzynski said that he'd like to remain with the White Sox when he hits free agency this winter but if the Southsiders' local rivals from Wrigleyville were to contact him, “if they were the only team that came after me and I wanted to continue to play, how could I say no?"
- Francisco Rodriguez wants to remain with the Brewers through the rest of this season, reports MLB.com's Adam McCalvy, though the reliever said he'd like to close again, in all likelihood for a new team since John Axford is ensconced as Milwaukee's stopper.
A few notes from around MLB's Central divisions, where the Indians and Cardinals will enter first place entering Sunday's action ...
- The White Sox could look to trade one of their four left-hander relievers if they fall out of contention later in the season, writes Scott Merkin of MLB.com, particularly Matt Thornton and/or Will Ohman. Thornton's contract calls for a $5.5MM salary in 2013 and includes a $6MM club option for 2014, while Ohman is a free agent at season's end.
- Pirates closer Joel Hanrahan is becoming a likelier trade candidate with so many relievers suffering injuries, writes Tom Singer of MLB.com. Hanrahan, for his part, is aware of the possibility but hopes to remain in Pittsburgh, mentioning the Bucs' decision not to sell off players at last year's deadline. The right-hander is slated to become a free agent after 2013.
- The Indians seriously scouted Yoenis Cespedes but were never close to signing the outfielder, who eventually inked with the A's, writes Paul Hoynes of the Cleveland Plain-Dealer.
- In an interesting piece for the New York Times, Tyler Kepner writes how Reds shortstop prospect Billy Hamilton's blazing speed is indicative of a trend in scouting and player development. With run production declining, speed is once again highly valued. Said Bill Bavasi, Cincinnati's vice president for scouting and player development: "We’re seeing the game go through a renaissance right now. We’re going to see some different bodies playing the game, and a premium is going to be placed on speed, on range and on doing all the little skills that were so important in baseball ..."
Older ballplayers are showing a lot of life so far this season, writes Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe. Veterans Paul Konerko, Derek Jeter, David Ortiz, and Jamie Moyer have all looked sharp in the month of April. Ortiz lost 25 pounds to get himself into shape for this season and plans to keep up the hard work as he hopes to play for another two seasons. Here's more from Cafardo..
- The Angels have inquired on A’s pitcher Grant Balfour and he is becoming one of the more sought-after bullpen pieces. The Halos have also shown interest in Joel Hanrahan of the Pirates and the Mariners' Brandon League, but Balfour seems the most logical.
- If the Twins don’t turn things around by the trade deadline, Carl Pavano will be a highly sought-after pitcher. The right-hander is earning $8.5MM in the final year of his contract and has limited no-trade protection. Jason Marquis, Matt Capps, and Francisco Liriano could also be used as chips to land prospects.
- Teams probably have their eye on Astros right-hander Brett Myers. Many teams, such as the Angels and Red Sox, could use the 31-year-old’s arm right now. He has also shown that he can pitch in a big market with his time in Philadelphia.
- If Tigers outfielder Delmon Young is convicted of a hate crime, it will be interesting to see whether the the club void his contract. They would be within their rights to do so under the collective bargaining agreement. The 26-year-old earns $6.75MM this year and can become a free agent after the season.
- The A's are a good bet to land Brandon Inge.
- Most baseball people feel there’s no way the Red Sox let Aaron Cook hit the open market by not calling him up May 1. The 33-year-old will earn the prorated portion of $1.5MM if he is called up to the majors.
The Pirates announced they've agreed to terms on a one-year deal with closer Joel Hanrahan, tweets MLB.com's Jenifer Langosch. The deal is worth $4.1MM, tweets ESPN's Keith Law. The righty can earn an additional $10K for 40 and 45 games finished and $15K each for 50 and 60 games finished, MLBTR has learned. Hanrahan, a client of Reynolds Sports Management, projected for a $4MM salary according to Matt Swartz. He was arbitration eligible for the second time after earning $1.4MM in 2011.
Having signed relievers Jason Grilli and Chris Resop as well, the Pirates still have Garrett Jones, Jeff Karstens, Casey McGehee, Evan Meek, and Charlie Morton on the docket, as our arbitration tracker shows.
It was on this day in 2009 that the Mets signed Jason Bay to a four-year, $66MM contract. The deal was almost immediately panned as one of the worst moves of the 2009-10 offseason and time has proven the critics right; Bay has hit just .251/.337/.386 in two injury-plagued years in New York.
Some news items as we head closer to 2012...
- Ryan Madson is "the loser of the offseason," writes Fangraphs' Eric Seidman. With no obvious teams still in need of a long-term closer, Seidman thinks Madson may have to settle for a one-year contract and try again for a multiyear deal next winter. 32.36% of MLBTR readers polled believe Madson will sign with the Angels, with just under 21% picking 'other' and 17.55% picking the Reds. Though LAA and Cincinnati have cheaper closing options in the fold already, they're also looking to win now. They'd both surely jump at Madson on a one-year deal and are probably Madson's only realistic suitors for a multiyear contract, though who knows what Scott Boras may yet pull out of his hat. (The 'other' voters clearly know all about Boras' relationship with the Mystery Team.)
- The Phillies aren't likely to bid on Yoenis Cespedes and Bob Brookover of the Philadelphia Inquirer argues that Jorge Soler (the other intriguing Cuban outfield prospect on the market the winter) is also too unproven and expensive for the potential $20MM+ contract he could receive from a team.
- Also from Brookover, he lists Jonny Gomes and Scott Hairston as potential targets for the Phillies as the team looks for a fifth outfielder. If the Phils want to spend more to fill the spot, Brookover suggests Cody Ross and Ryan Ludwick.
- The Rangers' January 18 deadline for signing Yu Darvish is also the day the "logjam will break" for Prince Fielder, opines Thomas Boswell of the Washington Post. If the Rangers can't sign Darvish, they "will be all over Fielder" to counter the Angels' signing of Albert Pujols.
- There are "roughly six teams that have shown consistent interest" in Wei-Yin Chen, reports Dan Connolly of the Baltimore Sun. The Orioles are one, the Pirates presumably still another, and the other four are yet unknown.
- Also from Connolly's piece, he predicts Edwin Jackson will find at least a four-year contract on the free agent market and notes that while "Jackson's upside intrigues the Orioles," team management has shied away from that long a commitment to free agent pitchers in the past.
- Pirates closer (and MLBTR fan) Joel Hanrahan tells Bill Brink of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette that he doesn't expect to receive a long-term contract offer from the Bucs this winter. Hanrahan is projected to earn around $4MM this winter in his second trip through the arbitration process. He said the team hasn't made contact with him or his representatives yet about his 2012 contract, but this was also the case during his first taste of arbitration last year.
On this day one year ago, the Brewers recieved Zack Greinke, Yuniesky Betancourt, and cash from the Royals for Jake Odorizzi, Lorenzo Cain, Alcides Escobar, and Jeremy Jeffress. Here's are a few links for Sunday evening..
- While there are some Reds fans who are unhappy with the club's recent trade for Padres pitcher Mat Latos, B.J. Bethel of the Dayton Daily News writes that GM Walt Jocketty had to make that type of move.
- With six days until Christmas, the Dodgers are nearly finished with their shopping, writes Dylan Hernandez of the Los Angeles Times. The club doesn't have much to spend but will look to sign a veteran reliever and remains in talks with Mike MacDougal.
- Pirates closer and regular MLBTR reader Joel Hanrahan told Karen Price of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review that he isn't fazed when his name comes up in trade rumors. Hanrahan added that he hopes that the Bucs aren't shopping him at the trade deadline this year and instead wants to see the club looking to add to the roster at mid-season.
- The Mets were genuinely interested in bringing outfielder Endy Chavez back to New York before he reached agreement with the Orioles on a one-year deal, writes Andy Martino of the New York Daily News.
I hesitated at first to include the Astros in these NL Central notes. Thankfully, I've got a year to remap the standings on my mind's sports page. On with the linkage ...
- The Pirates are looking at shortstop Rafael Furcal and other options at the position, tweets Jon Heyman of SI.com, although not the premium types like Jose Reyes and Jimmy Rollins. It'll be interesting to see how the Bucs handle shortstop after declining Ronny Cedeno's $3MM 2012 option last month.
- Pirates closer Joel Hanrahan would be receptive to working out an extension with the team, according to Jenifer Langosch of MLB.com, who reports that there have been no talks but that neither side has ruled it out, either. It's not a regular occurence in Pittsburgh, where Neal Huntington has dished out just one multiyear contract to a reliever, Matt Capps for 2008-09, since taking over in 2007, according to Langosch. Hanrahan is under team control for two more years and is due a sharp raise through arbitration on his $1.4MM 2011 salary coming off a 40-save campaign. The 30-year-old right-hander should earn $4MM in 2012 through arbitration.
- New Astros owner Jim Crane said it was made clear to him before agreeing to purchase the Astros that the team would be moved to the AL, according to Astros senior director of social media Alyson Footer. Crane also cautioned not to expect the Astros to be big players in free agency this year, as they will instead focus on building the farm, and said payroll will "be in line with" incoming revenue (all Twitter links).
- Brewers GM Doug Melvin said he's interested in extending starters Zack Greinke and Shaun Marcum, as was reported yesterday, but that the sides haven't had talks yet and aren't in a rush to do so, according to Adam McCalvy of MLB.com.
- Melvin also hasn't ruled out bringing Craig Counsell aboard as the Brewers' hitting coach, tweets McCalvy. Counsell, however, hasn't ruled out remaining in the game as a player.
- Cardinals CEO Bill DeWitt Jr. said the Redbirds are "going to make every effort" to re-sign first baseman Albert Pujols, tweets Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports.com. We heard earlier today and yesterday that the Cards and Pujols' agent have resumed talks.
- New Cubs manager Dale Sveum may bring in Robin Yount as one of his coaches, writes Gordon Wittenmeyer of the Chicago Sun Times.
Some links for Sunday afternoon...
- Rob Biertempfel of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review tweets that All-Star Joel Hanrahan doesn't have a bonus for being selected to the All-Star Game built into this year's contract with the Pirates, but you can bet his 2012 contract will have one.
- ESPN's Buster Olney tweets that Rich Harden could make sense for the Rockies or Diamondbacks if he continues throwing well.
- Olney quotes ESPN's Evan Cohen in this tweet, pointing out that the Dodgers owe $74MM to 40 creditors, which is more than twice the $31MM they have committed to players for 2012.
- The New York Post's Joel Sherman spoke to a Yankees executive and says it's unlikely that they pursue Royce Ring (Twitter link), who opted out of his contract with the Mariners today. Ring had a solid 2010 season for the Yanks' Triple-A affiliate.
- The Indians could use an outfielder and Paul Hoynes of The Plain Dealer outlined some possible trade targets for the Tribe. Ryan Ludwick, Melky Cabrera, Jeff Francoeur, and Jason Kubel are among the names suggested.
- Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports (via Twitter) expects Padres reliever Chad Qualls to be dealt.
- Between Latin American prospects Elier Hernandez and Nomar Mazara, Ben Badler of Baseball America (via Twitter) prefers the potential of Hernandez. Hernandez signed with the Royals yesterday for $3.05MM while Mazara agreed to a record setting deal worth more than $5MM with the Rangers.