Joel Pineiro Rumors
Here's the latest on the Mets, who still have significant work to do...
- MetsBlog's Matthew Cerrone hears Ben Sheets will seek "at least $10 million, plus lots of incentives, and a second-year, player-controlled option." He says that while the Mets' interest in Sheets is legitimate, they prefer Joel Pineiro. The Mets made an offer - probably two years - to Pineiro.
- Cerrone writes about Bengie Molina, saying the Mets "offered at least $1 million more than the Giants, and also offered a player-controlled option for 2011." Cerrone believes Molina grew skeptical of playing in New York.
- Ken Davidoff of Newsday writes of a "team-fan disconnect," in that a Mets official he spoke to expected the team to get hammered for not signing Molina, but most fans don't mind.
- ESPN's Buster Olney writes of "signals being sent out on Tuesday night that the Mets are turning to Yorvit Torrealba." David Waldstein of the New York Times suggests the Mets would have to pay extra for Torrealba to settle the catcher's two-year-old grievance as part of a new deal. Rod Barajas is probably the only other starting-caliber free agent catcher remaining.
Metsblog's Matthew Cerrone reports that the Mets are interested in signing John Smoltz and one of either Joel Pineiro or Ben Sheets. Cerrone notes that "all three have legit interest in pitching for the Mets on short-term deals," and that signing Pineiro or Sheets would indicate that Smoltz's role in New York would be as a reliever.
The Mets have been linked to this trio and several other starters this winter, but they have yet to make any significant additions to their starting rotation. It's possible that pressure from fans and the New York media might be starting to take a toll on the club. Cerrone cites a report from SI.com's Jon Heyman on The MLB Network in relation to Sheets, where Heyman said the Mets would like to make a "positive" signing in the wake of missing out on free agent catcher Bengie Molina.
Cerrone passed on more info from Heyman and Tom Verducci's discussion of Sheets' throwing session today. More than one scout told Heyman the pitcher looked like "the old Ben Sheets," and both Heyman and Verducci agreed that Sheets will sign a contract similar to Brad Penny's one-year, $7.5MM pact with the Cardinals. Heyman named the Mets, Cubs and Rangers as interested suitors, while Verducci named St. Louis and Seattle as "a likely destination."
The Angels are in on the Joel Pineiro bidding, according to ESPN's Buster Olney (via Twitter). We first heard of their interest in the righty back in December, but they'll have to compete with the Mets and Dodgers for his services.
After losing John Lackey to the Red Sox and making a push for Roy Halladay before he landed in Philadelphia and Aroldis Chapman before he signed with Cincinnati, it's clear the Angels are looking to add another quality arm to their rotation. Despite that, they will not in attendance for Ben Sheets' workout today.
Free agent catcher Bengie Molina has rejected the latest offer from the Mets, according to a tweet by ESPN's Buster Olney. The team is now beginning to focus it's attention on Joel Pineiro.
We heard that the Mets were close to landing Molina earlier in the week, but apparently he had a change of heart. The two sides have been haggling over the length of a potential deal seemingly all offseason. The Mets are one of several teams interested in Pineiro, and they'll also be on hand to watch Ben Sheets throw today.
Earlier today we learned that GM Omar Minaya was never given a budget this offseason, and instead must seek approve from COO Jeff Wilpon on a case-by-case basis.
WEDNESDAY, 11:22pm: Dylan Hernandez tweets that in addition to Pineiro and Padilla, the Dodgers have recently contacted the agents for Braden Looper and Garland.
WEDNESDAY, 7:06pm: The Dodgers are open to bringing back Padilla if they are unable to land Pineiro, a major league source told Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports.
9:55am: It's been a quiet offseason for the Dodgers, as they've unloaded Juan Pierre while adding Jamey Carroll and a cast of minor league signings. With Randy Wolf joining the Brewers, there's still a strong need to add a veteran starting pitcher.
The Dodgers' search is focused on Joel Pineiro and Vicente Padilla, reports MLB.com's Ken Gurnick. Gurnick indicates they've backed off on Jon Garland. The Dodgers are aiming for a one-year deal, which might put Pineiro out of reach. Still, ESPN's Buster Olney wrote today that the Dodgers "are going through the process of getting approval for the funds necessary to make a Pineiro deal." Ed Price of AOL FanHouse tweeted Monday that the Mets were talking to Pineiro about a two-year deal in the $15MM range, so it's probably a two-horse race.
A reunion with Padilla seems likely, especially if his price starts to plummet. Early in the offseason, interest was mutual. The Dodgers' main competition appears to be the Cardinals, who are trying to stretch $6-7MM across several needs.
7:37pm: According to Tim Brown's Twitter feed, "In the face of economic limitations, Dodgers working on a way to sign Joel Pineiro."
7:09pm: According to Ed Price's Twitter feed, the Mets and Joel Pineiro are talking, with the money somewhere around two years, $15MM.
At that price, you'd have to think a deal could get done quickly. The Mets have been interested in Pineiro all offseason, though Pineiro has seemed to be looking for a deal that rivals or exceeds the three-year, $29.75MM contract Randy Wolf signed with the Brewers.
Two years, $15MM is exactly what Jason Marquis signed for earlier this offseason with the Nationals. Despite the concerns over whether Pineiro can repeat his successful 2009 without Dave Duncan, his pitching coach with the Cardinals, the Mets would be taking a worthwhile risk at that price and length.
Pineiro was 15-12 in 2009 with a 3.49 ERA and just 27 walks in 214 innings pitched.
The latest from SI's Jon Heyman...
- Heyman believes the Yankees would not go beyond one year and $6MM to re-sign Johnny Damon. On MLB Home Plate Boras said Damon "would just have to move forward," while not faulting the Yankees for sticking to a budget. Heyman suggests four alternatives for Damon: the Giants, Mariners, Braves, and Angels. The Angels would be a tough fit barring a Juan Rivera trade, as their outfield and DH spots are full. The problem with the Braves is that they're approaching their payroll limit.
- Despite a report that the Cardinals probably can't afford Miguel Tejada, Heyman sees them as the best fit. Heyman's $8MM idea seems too pricey though.
- The Mets debated offering Joel Pineiro a two-year, $15MM Jason Marquis special, but at this point Pineiro seems to be seeking Randy Wolf's three-year, $29.75MM deal. MetsBlog's Matthew Cerrone sees the team landing Jon Garland instead.
- Heymans says the Mets "seem serious about sticking with an offer of one year and a vesting option" for Bengie Molina. However, Cerrone "gets the feeling the Mets might have a two-year deal on the table."
Here's a round-up of a few news items floating around the baseball world tonight....
- MLB.com's Jason Beck reports that Detroit might sit out the bidding for the few remaining closers on the market and instead hope that youngsters Ryan Perry, Daniel Schlereth or a healthy Joel Zumaya are able to pick up some saves.
- Jon Heyman of Sports Illustrated reports (via Twitter) that the Mets "have debated" the merits of offering Joel Pineiro a two-year contract, but Pineiro wants a deal akin to the three-year, $29.75MM contract that Randy Wolf signed with Milwaukee.
- Corey Brock of MLB.com reports that the Padres will sign an experienced backup catcher "within a few weeks."
- Dave Cameron of the U.S.S. Mariner blog isn't a big fan of Seattle's trade for Casey Kotchman.
- The apparent lack of interest in free agent Jason Giambi means that there's a greater chance he ends up back in Colorado, reports MLB.com's Thomas Harding.
- With Boston's signing of Adrian Beltre, Richard Durrett of ESPNDallas thinks that the Rangers might have leverage to get a more favorable trade for Mike Lowell, should Texas still be interested.
Erik Boland and David Lennon over at Newsday have a piece up reporting that the Mets are "very interested" in bringing back Carlos Delgado.
Delgado, who played in the Puerto Rican Winter League Sunday for the first time since surgery on his hip in May, went 1-for-4 as a designated hitter. As befitting a player who managed to play in just 26 games in 2009, the Mets are interested in Delgado on an incentive-laden deal.
Still, it is easy to understand New York's interest. Delgado was hitting .298/.393/.521 in 2009, one year after putting up a 2008 batting line of .271/.353/.518, including a tremendous second half.
Just for fun, let's combine rumors for a Delgado platoon with Mike Lowell, who was rumored to be in discussions to come to New York in exchange for Luis Castillo early this evening in a tweet by ESPN.com's Jerry Crasnick.
Delgado, against righties, had a .912 OPS in 2008, .902 in 2009. Lowell had a .961 OPS against lefties in 2008, an .867 OPS against them in 2009.
In other words, it would be an offensive option that would likely leave Daniel Murphy in the dust.
The piece also reports that the Mets are interested in starting pitching, with Joel Pineiro their preferred choice.
Sean Casey tells Anthony McCarron of the New York Daily News that he likes the Jason Bay deal for the Mets. Casey, who played with Bay in Pittsburgh and Boston, expects the left fielder to adjust well to New York. Here are some more Mets-related rumors:
- The Mets aren't nearing an agreement with Bengie Molina, who is looking for a three-year deal. We've been hearing for a while now that the Mets aren't interested in committing to Molina for that long. They're comfortable with a one-year deal that includes a vesting option, according to McCarron's source.
- As ESPN.com notes, Yorvit Torrealba could be a solution for the Mets if there are no hard feelings between the two sides. The Rockies don't appear to have room for Torrealba now that they're reportedly close to signing Miguel Olivo.
- The Mets are still interested in Carlos Delgado, who could start playing winter ball this weekend.
- Joel Pineiro is still on the team's radar, but the Mets haven't spoken to his representatives this week.