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Johan Santana Rumors
The Red Sox made their annual announcement of front office personnel changes today, and among the most significant changes is the creation of a department of behavioral health, writes Alex Speier of the Boston Globe. The Red Sox will hire Dr. Richard Ginsburg as the department head, and he will pair with former Major Leaguer Bob Tewksbury, who served as a mental skills coach with Boston from 2005-13. Tewksbury left the club for a year to work with the MLBPA, and Speier writes that his absence was noticed by young players such as Jackie Bradley Jr. and Xander Bogaerts as they struggled to transition to everyday roles. Said GM Ben Cherington of the new department: “We’re trying to take care of the body as well as we possibly can… Health extends past the body, but it’s all related. … We’re really just trying to help players be as healthy as they possibly can be, physically and mentally.”
More from the AL East…
- The Red Sox may have to sell low on Bradley Jr., as they did with Will Middlebrooks, writes Jason Mastrodonato of MassLive.com. Boston will likely trade Bradley or another outfielder before Opening Day due to the fact that they have a logjam in the outfield. Mastrodonato opines that Bradley absolutely has the upside to be an everyday center fielder in the field and at the plate — his defense is already considered among the best in baseball — and worries about the danger of moving him only to see him take off with another club. He likens Bradley to Carlos Gomez, who was slow to develop but has always possessed a good glove and is now a perennial MVP candidate in the NL. Bradley may not have that type of power, but Cherington has told Mastrodonato this offseason that he thinks there are other clubs that will perceive Bradley as an everyday outfielder, and the Sox feel he has that ability as well.
- Though the Orioles have not approached right-hander Tommy Hunter about an extension, the setup man tells Rich Dubroff of CSN Baltimore that he’s certainly open to a long-term deal to remain with the club. Hunter’s agent, Mike Moye, just wrapped up negotiation on a contract to avoid arbitration for the final time, settling on a $4.65MM salary for 2015. Hunter is one of 11 Orioles that can hit the open market next winter, and while he says he’d love to see the group stay together, he acknowledged that that the business element of the game prevents that before adding, “Let’s win this year, and worry about everything else after.”
- Roch Kubatko of MASNsports.com penned a column with multiple Orioles notes, including the fact that the Orioles had definite interest in acquiring Ben Zobrist from the Rays before he was dealt to Oakland. However, the Rays brought up names such as Dylan Bundy and Chance Sisco in talks, neither of whom GM Dan Duquette was willing to surrender.
- Kubatko also notes that the Orioles don’t appear to have interest in a reunion with Johan Santana, and there’s nothing hot between the O’s and Colby Rasmus at this time. Baltimore’s interest hasn’t waned, but they’re maintaining the same level and don’t appear willing to go beyond their comfort zone to add him to the roster.
- The Yankees are wise to have looked at the big picture this offseason rather than focusing on the immediate, opines Anthony Castrovince of MLB.com. Historically speaking, the Yankees have lived largely in the present, doling out large contracts with little regard for the potential negatives at the end of a deal. However, despite needs in the rotation, the Yankees have stayed out of the Max Scherzer market and haven’t been seriously connected to James Shields or Cole Hamels. Rather, the club is prioritizing defense and a strong bullpen. While their 2015 outlook may not have improved much, Castrovince writes, the team is in a better place in the long-term due to exercising caution.
- Sportsnet’s Ben Nicholson-Smith hosted a Blue Jays chat with readers today and covered a wide variety of hot stove topics. To name a few, Ben noted that he doesn’t foresee a reunion with Casey Janssen, that he expects Dioner Navarro to open the season with the club and that he believes the team will end up acquiring a new closer prior to Spring Training.
As things stand, the Nationals have the game’s best rotation while the Royals have the top pen, ESPN.com’s Buster Olney opines (Insider links). Of course, the offseason is not yet over. Here are the latest notes on the pitching market:
- Diamondbacks GM Dave Stewart confirmed that the team has active interest in starter James Shields, Joel Sherman of the New York Post reports on Twitter. Stewart adds that he likes the idea of Shields serving as a mentor while fronting the team’s rotation. Fellow free agent Max Scherzer, however, is too spendy for Arizona.
- When the Cardinals pursued lefty Jon Lester, the team indicated it was willing to spend only to the $120MM range, Olney tweets. That could give an idea of what kind of payroll space the club feels willing to occupy, says Olney. St. Louis was recently linked to a trio of top starting pitchers, each of whom would represent quite a different investment.
- Alexi Ogando apparently produced solid results in his recent workout, with Peter Gammons of GammonsDaily.com tweeting that scouts were impressed. The Red Sox and Dodgers are “aggressive” on Ogando, Gammons adds. Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe had tweeted that Boston was in attendance.
- Righty Matt Albers is throwing in preparation for a showcase early next month, Jon Morosi of FOX Sports reports (Twitter links). The shoulder issues that shut him down last year did not involve any structural damage, says Morosi.
- Agent Bobby Witt says that client Scott Baker, another free agent righty, prefers to join a team that will allow him to enter camp as a starter, Morosi reports (Twitter links). Baker has five minor league offers in hand but is hoping to receive a major league contract.
- Interest in lefty Phil Coke is “amping up,” Chris Iott of MLive.com tweets. Nevertheless, a signing does not appear to be imminent, per the report.
- The Twins are planning to watch lefty Johan Santana throw today after already seeing him on the mound last week, Darren Wolfson of 1500 ESPN tweets. Santana is not the only prominent hurler eyeing a comeback, it seems. Former closer Carlos Marmol threw in the Dominican earlier this winter and is now pitching in Venezuela, Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com tweets. And one-time relief ace Daniel Bard, whose career derailed with a failed conversion back to the rotation, is also seeking a return, Cafardo reports. The 29-year-old says he is finally healthy and expects to sign a deal this week.
Full Story | Comments | Categories: Alexi Ogando | Arizona Diamondbacks | Boston Red Sox | Carlos Marmol | Daniel Bard | James Shields | Johan Santana | Jon Lester | Kansas City Royals | Los Angeles Dodgers | Matt Albers | Max Scherzer | Minnesota Twins | Phil Coke | Scott Baker | St. Louis Cardinals | Washington Nationals
The Orioles could be preparing for Delmon Young to play more next season, Eduardo A. Encina of the Baltimore Sun writes. “Delmon Young is an accomplished major league hitter who had a nice year with a lot of clutch hits in part-time duty in 2014,” texts Orioles executive vice president Dan Duquette. “We look forward to his return and contribution on our 2015 team. Depending on how the team is structured, he could have a more vital role this season.” Playing the right-handed Young more regularly could help make up for the loss of Nelson Cruz, although the Orioles continue to look at the left-handed Colby Rasmus as well, with an Orioles source telling Encina the odds that the team will sign him are “50-50.” Here are more notes from around baseball.
- About two dozen teams were expected to be on hand for Alexi Ogando‘s showcase yesterday in Tampa, tweets Hall of Fame journalist Peter Gammons. Ogando, 31, was non-tendered by the Rangers this offseason after he missed much of the 2014 campaign with a sprained ulnar collateral ligament in his right elbow. Although he had a rough time in 2014 with an ERA near 7.00, Ogando entered the season with a career 3.12 ERA, 7.2 K/9 and 2.8 BB/9 in 381 innings split between the Rangers’ rotation and bullpen. Given his track record of success as both a starter and reliever, it’s not surprising that more than two-thirds of the team in the league would want to get a look at him to gauge his health for themselves.
- Johan Santana is again plotting a comeback, and ESPN.com’s Jerry Crasnick updates his progress. The lefty is preparing to appear in a Venezuelan winter league game and hopes to sign before camp opens, agent Peter Greenberg says.
- Reds GM Walt Jocketty didn’t want to handicap the odds of his club signing ace Johnny Cueto to an extension prior to his specified Opening Day deadline when asked by MLB.com’s Mark Sheldon. Jocketty says the Cincinnati front office has a lot on its plate right now, with arbitration cases for Mike Leake, Devin Mesoraco, Todd Frazier, Aroldis Chapman and Zack Cozart on the horizon. The Reds are also still pursuing upgrades for the bench and bullpen — a process Jocketty referred to as “slow.” Sheldon feels that given the Reds’ full 40-man roster, the most likely scenario would be a few additions on minor league deals with invites to big league camp.
Here’s the latest from the Orioles and the Nationals…
- The Orioles‘ negotiations with Colby Rasmus “are gaining steam,” ESPN’s Jim Bowden tweets. Manager Buck Showalter personally visited Rasmus over the weekend and the O’s have interest in Rasmus on a one-year contract. Rasmus has also recently had some talks with another AL East team, the Rays.
- Johan Santana‘s stint with the Orioles was cut short by a torn achilles tendon last June but team executive VP Dan Duquette told MASNsports.com’s Roch Kubatko earlier this offseason that the O’s were open to bringing Santana back on a new contract. Santana is scheduled to pitch next week in the Venezuelan Winter League.
- Also from Kubatko, Delmon Young‘s signing is expected to be officially announced today, meaning the Orioles would have to make a 40-man roster move to make room. In the wake of the J.P. Arencibia signing, Kubatko speculates that Baltimore could drop a catcher since they have five other backstops on the 40-man — starter Matt Wieters (obviously not a candidate to be dropped), Steve Clevenger, Caleb Joseph, Ryan Lavarnway and Mike Ohlman.
- Ben Zobrist and the Nationals are an “almost perfect” match for a trade given the team’s need at second base and the news of Jayson Werth‘s shoulder surgery, FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal writes. Rosenthal feels the Nats would make a push to acquire Zobrist, though there are a few complications to a deal. Zobrist would join Tyler Clippard, Ian Desmond, Doug Fister, Denard Span and Jordan Zimmermann as notable Nationals on the 2015-16 free agent market, and thus the Nats might be hesitant about adding yet another player who would require a qualifying offer. I’m not necessarily sure this would be a big concern for Washington; I wouldn’t think Clippard or Span would get qualifying offers anyway, and the other four would surely reject the QO in search of lucrative multiyear deals.
- Also looking ahead to next offseason, MASNsports.com’s Dan Kolko notes that the Nationals don’t need to worry too much over potentially losing both Zimmermann and Fister to the open market given the number of other quality arms available in free agency next winter.
- With Werth and Nate McLouth both question marks due to injury, James Wagner of the Washington Post wonders if the Nationals could bring back Nate Schierholtz as outfield depth. Schierholtz signed a minor league deal with Washington last August and appeared in 23 games for the club.
Face-to-face communication is downright passé at the winter meetings with most deals being discussed via text or email rather than in person. Meanwhile, executives and agents are keeping up with every rumor and rumbling right here on MLBTradeRumors. “I definitely wasn’t picturing being a resource for any kind of executive or agent when I started it in 2005,” MLBTradeRumors.com founder Tim Dierkes said to Joe Lemire of Medium.com. “The whole idea that we’ve affected how deals are made — that’s almost scary to me.” More from around baseball..
- Brian McTaggart of MLB.com (via Twitter) hears that Jed Lowrie wants a three-year deal. The Mets have an eye on Lowrie and the Marlins and Giants are said to be considering him as well.
- Free agent left-hander Johan Santana is preparing to pitch in January for the Navegantes del Magallanes, his agent Edward Greenberg tells Ken Davidoff of Newsday (via Twitter).
- Yasmany Tomas is no longer available, but Cuban prospects remain a popular topic of discussion at the winter meetings, writes Jesse Sanchez of MLB.com. Switch-hitting middle infielder Yoan Moncada, 19, and right-handed pitcher Yoan Lopez, 21, are among the players generating the most buzz in international circles this week. Both are expected to sign with a team sometime next year.
The latest from Joel Sherman of the New York Post…
- Sherman notes that in the past, A.J. Burnett signed close to his Maryland home because his wife hated flying. However, agent Darek Braunecker says this is no longer a restriction. Sherman mentions previous interest from the Angels and Rangers. Burnett is wise to expand his market, since teams like the Orioles, Mets, and Nationals are not generally looking to add starting pitching.
- The Padres are working to re-sign Josh Johnson. They already declined a $4MM option on the righty, who had Tommy John surgery in late April. No deal is close for Johnson, tweets Chris Cotillo of MLB Daily Dish.
- The Dodgers have let teams know they prefer to trade Andre Ethier and/or Carl Crawford and will listen on Matt Kemp. The Dodgers are willing to kick in cash or take a bad contract back, and will pay more down for a better return in players. This is one of the few ways teams can still use financial clout to purchase young talent, in my opinion. Sherman says the Dodgers feel their current outfield situation is untenable, which fits with Ken Rosenthal’s report from Sunday. In a poll of 28 baseball industry insiders by ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick, Ethier was considered the most likely to be traded.
- The Dodgers are also looking to add to their rotation and bullpen and are among the more interested suitors for Russell Martin. The Dodgers were one of four teams recently revealed to have a meeting in place with Martin’s agent.
- Johan Santana is “hellbent on coming back,” agent Chris Leible tells Sherman. Santana, 36 in March, was close to returning to the Majors with the Orioles last summer after April 2013 shoulder surgery, but he ruptured his Achilles tendon in June. Santana is currently jogging and playing catch.
Orioles hurler Johan Santana has torn his achilles tendon and will miss the season, reports Dan Connolly of the Baltimore Sun (Twitter links). Baltimore had signed Santana to a minor league deal that included a $3MM base salary and up to $5.05MM in incentives.
The Orioles had just purchased Santana’s contract and moved him to the 15-day DL as he completed his rehab from left shoulder surgery. With Santana no longer an option, executive VP Dan Duquette says that the club will look to add depth over the summer, possibly via trade.
Though Santana was only working in the high 80s with his fastball, he had found success with that level of heat earlier in his career. Once perhaps the best pitcher in the game, Santana last threw in the bigs in 2012 with the Mets, when he posted a 4.85 ERA in 117 innings with 8.5 K/9 and 3.0 BB/9. For his career, Santana owns a 3.20 ERA with 8.8 K/9 against 2.5 BB/9.
Now 35 years old, and having already rehabbed two significant shoulder surgeries, it is fair to wonder whether Santana will make another attempt at a comeback. The initial word is that we should not count him out, per a report from Chris Cotillo of MLBDailyDish.com (Twitter link). When asked if Santana’s career was in jeopardy, agent Peter Greenberg responded: “No. Not with this guy.”
While the Yankees have had “at least” internal discussions regarding Kendrys Morales, his bat wouldn’t solve all of the problems with the team, writes Ken Davidoff of the New York Post. The Bombers’ bullpen has faltered of late and doesn’t have room for error given the lackluster offense, he opines. Meanwhile, Mark Teixeira‘s wrist offers no certainty, even if he did homer last night. Davidoff notes that Teixeira looked “tentative” from both sides during batting practice and “fiddled” with his surgically repaired right wrist while others took their cuts.
More notes from the AL East…
- The Orioles could be looking at a six-man rotation when Johan Santana is ready to join the club, manager Buck Showalter told reporters, including MASNsports.com’s Roch Kubatko. As the Baltimore Sun’s Eduardo A. Encina notes, the plan for Santana, who was placed on the 15-day DL after his contract was purchased on Monday, is to make one more start in extended Spring Training before heading on a rehab assignment. After two starts, the former ace would be on track to join the team on June 20. Said Showalter: “I’ve been hinting at going to six starters anyway. It’s easy to solve. It’s not a problem. Any time there’s good pitchers available, I’m in, especially with his pedigree.”
- The Red Sox continue to search high and low for an outfielder, reports Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe, who points out that the Sox are on pace to field their least-productive outfield group of the 162-game era. Cafardo runs down a list of some names that might potentially be available as the summer wears on, and he also reports that the Phillies have had three scouts following the Sox for their past five series.
The Orioles announced that they’ve selected the contract of Johan Santana and placed him on the 15-day disabled list as he continues his recovery from left shoulder surgery. Santana had an opt-out clause in his contract that would’ve allowed him to elect free agency at midnight tonight. Instead, he will be added to the team’s 40-man roster, though not the 25-man roster for the time being. MASNsports.com’s Roch Kubatko tweets that technically, Santana did exercise his opt-out, which is what prompted the team to instead purchase his contract and place him on the Major League disabled list.
Santana’s recovery has progressed nicely, as he’s pitched in extended Spring Training and is said to be eyeing a return to the Majors as early as June 18. The Orioles signed him to a minor league contract this offseason that came with a hefty $3MM base salary plus $5.05MM worth of incentives.
Santana, a two-time American League Cy Young Award winner, can now be sent on a minor league rehab assignment as he continues to build strength in his surgically repaired shoulder. The 35-year-old Legacy Agency client has a career 3.20 ERA with 8.8 K/9 and 2. BB/9 in 2025 2/3 innings for the Twins and Mets. Reports in early May indicated that his velocity had reached 89 mph, meaning he’s not far off from the 2009-10 speed at which he posted a combined 3.05 ERA in 365 2/3 innings.
Red Sox players made news this winter by campaigning openly for the re-signing of Mike Napoli. And Dustin Pedroia even agreed to defer salary in his extension, in part to free payroll space to make a run (which ultimately proved unsuccessful) at retaining Jacoby Ellsbury. As WEEI.com’s Rob Bradford writes, staff ace Jon Lester — one of the players who pushed to keep Napoli — will almost certainly benefit from much the same treatment. The clubhouse clearly wants Lester to be kept in Boston, says Bradford, who notes that there was “some grumbling” after reports emerged of the club’s somewhat underwhelming extension offer.
Here’s more out of the American League:
- Southpaw Sean Burnett, who signed a two-year, $8MM deal with the Angels before the 2013 season, learned today that he has suffered a torn UCL for the second time in his career, tweets Jeff Fletcher of the Orange County Register. Burnett had just worked his way back from an elbow injury that cut him down after just 13 appearances in 2013, and now seems destined to miss the rest of the year. That makes it rather likely, of course, that the club will decide to pay him a $500K buyout rather than picking up his $4.5MM option for 2015. The Halos currently feature only one lefty in the pen in Wade LeBlanc. Though the team has some options stashed in the upper minors, such as Nick Maronde and Buddy Boshers, none has Burnett’s track record.
- As expected, the Orioles are working to secure an extension of the June 1 opt-out date in starter Johan Santana‘s minor league deal, reports Rich Dubroff of CSNBaltimore.com. Assuming that can be worked out, Baltimore hopes to set Santana on a course that could bring him back to the majors as soon as June 18.
- Twins catcher Kurt Suzuki said he would be open to extension talks if the club is interested, reports Mike Berardino of the St. Paul Pioneer Press. “It’s something that I think you’d be crazy not to listen,” he said. “You’re always open to those things.” Berardino notes that Minnesota previously extended former backstop Ryan Doumit at a similar point in the 2012 season, after originally signing him to a one-year deal as a free agent (as was the case with Suzuki). Nevertheless, a source says that it is still “too early” to consider a new deal for Suzuki, who could also be setting himself up as a nice trade piece with his .297/.363.405 start.
- While the Twins seem to have made the right call in locking up Suzuki to a modest deal, they missed out on an even bigger opportunity back in 2009 — though the club was not alone in that respect. As Darren Wolfson of 1500 ESPN tweets, Minnesota was among about ten other clubs that made offers to outfielder Gregory Polanco which came in just under the Pirates’ winning bid of $175K.