Joel Hanrahan Rumors
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.
Let's take a quick look around the league for a few of the morning's odds and ends out of Nashville....
- Giancarlo Stanton remains unhappy with the direction of the Marlins, agent Joel Wolfe tells Jon Heyman of CBS Sports (Twitter link). "It wasn't a reaction," Wolfe said, referring to Stanton's post-trade tweet last month. "It's a state of mind." Wolfe declined comment when asked if Stanton has requested a trade, according to Heyman (Twitter link).
- The Orioles may have some interest in Garrett Jones and could dangle pitching in trade talks with the Pirates, says Rob Biertempfel of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. Biertempfel adds within the same blog post that at least two American League teams weren't interested when the Pirates came to them to discuss Joel Hanrahan. According to Biertempfel, there are some concerns about Hanrahan's physical conditioning and his late-season performance in 2012.
- The Indians had been "seriously interested" in James Loney before he signed with the Rays, according to ESPN.com's Buster Olney (via Twitter).
- Fernando Rodney, who will be a free agent next winter, has switched agents, leaving ACES and hiring Dan Lozano, tweets ESPN.com's Jerry Crasnick.
- The Royals' interest in Brett Myers is at the "kicking the tires" stage, tweets Bob Dutton of the Kansas City Star.
- With a plethora of catchers in the mix, the Red Sox will field offers for Jarrod Saltalamacchia, tweets Jon Heyman.
The Mariners have talked with the Pirates about first baseman/right fielder Garrett Jones in recent weeks, according to Geoff Baker of the Seattle Times. Baker stresses that it was just one of the many conversations the M's have had with clubs, but the discussion went beyond just one phone call and names were batted back-and-forth.
One proposal had Jones and Pirates closer Joel Hanrahan and possibly another player going to the Mariners in exchange for first baseman Justin Smoak, catcher John Jaso, and starting pitcher Hector Noesi. The Bucs have let other teams know that Hanrahan is available and were said to be seeking rotation help in return.
Jones, 31, had a .274/.317/.516 batting line with 27 home runs in 515 plate appearances for the Pirates last year. We saw the first baseman/right fielder on the pages of MLBTR last offseason as the Yankees reportedly had interest in trading for him.
Hanrahan, also 31, posted a 2.72 ERA with 10.1 K/9 and 5.4 BB/9 last season in Pittsburgh. The closer earned $4.1MM last season and is in line to earn $6.9MM for 2013 in his final year of arbitration. Jones earned $2.25MM in 2012 after heading to arbitration in his first year of eligibility and is projected to make $4.4MM. Baker writes that the Pirates may be motivated to make a deal like this in order to ease their payroll burden.
Here are the latest news and notes from the NL and AL Central divisions:
- Sources tell FOXSports.com's Jon Paul Morosi and Ken Rosenthal the Reds like Dexter Fowler and the Rockies like Homer Bailey. Now the question is whether their mutual interest crystallizes into trade discussions during the Winter Meetings.
- The Brewers are prioritizing a left-handed reliever with the available free agent possibilities including Sean Burnett, Randy Choate, Mike Gonzalez, J.P. Howell, and Tom Gorzelanny, tweets Morosi.
- Cubs officials have yet to confirm or comment on reports of their signing of Japanese closer Kyuji Fujikawa, writes Carrie Muskat of MLB.com. The Cubs, however, are willing to talk about their need for a third baseman, an outfielder, and pitching depth. Muskat adds the Cubs could re-sign third baseman Ian Stewart after non-tendering him on Friday.
- The White Sox and Phillies are the two most aggressive teams in pursuit of a third baseman, a source tells Dan Hayes of CSNChicago.com. Kevin Youkilis is the object of both team's pursuit. Hayes writes the Sox may have to move another high salary in order to afford Youkilis and floats the names of Jeff Keppinger, Mark Reynolds, and Eric Chavez as alternatives.
- The Pirates feel they are better equipped to restock their bullpen, despite the free agency of Jason Grilli and the recent trade of Chris Resop, and may be interested in turning closer Joel Hanrahan into a much needed starting pitcher, according to MLB.com's Tom Singer.
- The Twins plan to focus more on free agents than trades during the Winter Meetings, tweets Phil Mackey of 1500ESPN.com. The Twins have already dealt their best trade chip in Denard Span and plan on keeping Josh Willingham, writes Mackey in a separate piece.
The Winter Meetings begin shortly at the Gaylord Opryland in Nashville. ESPN's Buster Olney, in an Insider-only post, writes past Winter Meetings have been dominated by free agent signings, but some GMs say there is more groundwork laid for possible trades this year than they can remember in the recent past. Here are some of the storylines that could play out this week, according to Olney:
- If Olney was Rangers' GM Jon Daniels, he would go all out to sign Zack Greinke and then trade some surplus pitching for offense.
- Some rival officials remain convinced the Diamondbacks will eventually trade Justin Upton, whose contract ($38.5MM due over the next three years) has become more attractive in the wake of his brother's deal with the Braves.
- The Indians have set the bar high in their demands for Asdrubal Cabrera and Shin-Soo Choo. "Time will tell on whether they've lowered (the asking prices)," said a rival GM.
- The most likely of the Rays' established starting pitchers to be dealt is Jeremy Hellickson. On paper, the best matchup appears to be the Padres.
- The Reds are looking to acquire a leadoff hitter and could target Dexter Fowler.
- The Phillies continue to push on Angel Pagan. If Pagan signs with Philadelphia, the Giants could look to Shane Victorino, who is looking for $9-10MM annually.
- The Pirates have let other teams know that closer Joel Hanrahan is available and they are looking for starting pitching.
- In a separate tweet, Olney says the perception among rival executives is the signing of David Wright makes it much easier for the Mets to trade R.A. Dickey without fear of a PR backlash.
- Nate Schierholtz received calls from nine teams within the first 12 hours of being non-tendered with the Yankees in the mix and the Rays also a good fit (Twitter links).
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.