John McDonald Rumors
The Yankees are not actively looking for a utility infielder, according to Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports. Rosenthal names Willie Bloomquist, John McDonald and Jayson Nix as options the Yanks could consider should they decide that they want more experience than Kevin Russo and Ramiro Pena can offer. Here are the rest of Rosenthal's rumors:
- Adrian Beltre will almost certainly reject his player option after the season and re-enter free agency. He has been one of the game's best players this year, rating characteristically well on defense (according to UZR) and hitting .336/.371/.528.
- The Mariners won't necessarily get a first round pick in next year's draft if they hold onto Cliff Lee. First of all, a losing team could sign Lee (the first 15 picks are protected). Secondly, a team could sign Lee and a free agent who ranks higher under the Elias system. That would mean the Mariners get a supplementary rounder and a second rounder.
- If the Rangers are sold before the winter, they could be a potential landing spot for Carl Crawford, one executive suggested.
- Rosenthal hears that Astros owner Drayton McLane is not against the idea of trading Roy Oswalt to Texas, though the Rangers' ability to take on payroll and the pitcher's no-trade clause could prevent a deal from going through.
- The Marlins inquired on Matt Thornton back when the White Sox were sellers. Now, the White Sox would not consider dealing the left-hander.
- If White Sox GM Kenny Williams becomes a buyer, he may pursue a left-handed bat.
- The Mariners want major league or major league-ready hitters for Cliff Lee, but the Dodgers' best prospects are a few years away from the majors.
- The Rockies are interested in Ty Wigginton, according to Rosenthal's colleague, Tracy Ringolsby.
- The Rays will look for impact players at the trade deadline.
Bastian tweets that McDonald's role is "undefined" heading into next year, and that the Jays don't view him as their starter. The team will attempt to fill that role via free agency, and GM Alex Anthopoulos hopes to get something done soon.
Incumbent shortstop Marco Scutaro is perhaps the most attractive of the position's free agent class this offseason, but Bastian reports that talks with the infielder have come to a halt. It's still possible the Jays and Scutaro could agree on a one-year deal, but it doesn't look probable that the 34-year-old will be back in Toronto.
Considering they already have one defensive specialist in McDonald, it seems unlikely that the Jays would pursue a player like Adam Everett or Alex Gonzalez. Of the rest of the free agent shortstops, only Miguel Tejada and Orlando Cabrera look like sure-thing, everyday options.
WEDNESDAY 4:01pm: ESPN's Buster Olney reports (via email) that McDonald's deal is worth a total of $3MM over two years.
TUESDAY 7:52pm: Fanhouse's Ed Price (via Twitter) has learned that Toronto is "expected" to bring back free agent infielder John McDonald to a deal worth around $1.5MM, in what would likely be a one-year contract.
McDonald has been a reserve with the Blue Jays since 2005, and has become a fan favorite in Toronto due to his often-spectacular defense at shortstop. He just completed a two-year/$3.8MM deal with the club and his return would give the Jays a strong back-up glove at third base (where Edwin Encarncacion and his "E-5" nickname has the starting job) and may even be a candidate to get regular playing time at shortstop given Marco Scutaro's Type A free-agent status. McDonald's .258/.271/.384 line last season represented career highs in slugging percentage and OPS, but obviously the Jays would be absorbing a blow to their lineup by giving McDonald regular at-bats.
There's no such thing as an offseason- just different kinds of on-seasons.
- Todd Zolecki of MLB.com believes the Phillies will find a replacement for Eric Bruntlett among John McDonald, Omar Vizquel, Jamey Carroll, Ronnie Belliard and Juan Uribe.
- According to Scott Olsen, arbitration-eligible member of the Washington Nationals (for now, anyway), his shoulder is now 100 percent.
- Larry Stone of the Seattle Times discusses how Edwin Jackson, Curtis Granderson, and John Lackey would look in Seattle.
- Tyler Hissey at Around the Majors talks Yankees' roster strategy.
- Dave Cameron tells us which minor league free agents are most worth pursuing, including Ruben Gotay.
- Dan Dibley of KNBR, the Giants' flagship station, weighs in on a number of topics in an interview with SFGiantsbaseball.net.
The Blue Jays would like to re-sign Marco Scutaro, Rod Barajas and John McDonald, but retaining the free agents may not be realistic. GM Alex Anthopoulos told Shi Davidi of the Canadian Press that he's not necessarily bringing them back.
In the midst of a tight Dodgers-Phillies game, here are some news tidbits from around the baseball world....
- Before Game Five, Joe Torre said he wants to (and believes he will) be the Dodgers' manager next season, reports Mike Jensen of the Philadelphia Inquirer.
- Jeff Schultz of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution writes that Frank Wren is in a bit of a Catch-22 when it comes to re-signing Tim Hudson and Adam LaRoche, and/or trading Kenshin Kawakami or Derek Lowe for hitting help.
- MLB.com's Jordan Bastian reports that new Blue Jays general manager Alex Anthopoulos has spent his first few weeks on the job talking to the team's coaches and players. After talking to pending free agents Marco Scutaro, Rod Barajas and John McDonald, Anthopoulos said he wants to speak to their respective agents in the coming weeks.
- As reported by Kevin Gorman of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, Mark Cuban told a group of Pitt students that he won't be buying the Pirates.
- Speaking of Pittsburgh natives looking to be involved in MLB ownership, MLB.com's T.R. Sullivan said that Pittsburgh lawyer Check Greenberg's investment team made with members of the Hicks Sports Group on Wednesday to discuss buying the Rangers.
- Tommy Rancel of the DRaysBay blog outlines why he thinks the Rays should look into signing Kelvim Escobar this off-season.
More Monday linkage...
- Troy E. Renck of the Denver Post says the Rockies want catcher Yorvit Torrealba back, but not at his $4MM option price.
- WEEI's Alex Speier explains that outrighting Takashi Saito makes a Boston re-signing more feasible.
- Rudy Jaramillo will likely reach an agreement soon with the Cubs for their hitting coach position, according to SI's Jon Heyman. Heyman says Jaramillo will be near the top of the coach pay scale, at $800K a year for multiple years. The Cubs are hoping Jaramillo can help Alfonso Soriano. Milton Bradley hit well in Texas, though he's a trade candidate.
- MLB.com's Joe Frisaro talked to first baseman Nick Johnson, who is approaching free agency for the first time in his career. Johnson seems unlikely to stay with the Marlins. (Check out our discussion post on him here). Frisaro says the Fish could further shake up the infield corners by trading Jorge Cantu.
- Newsday's David Lennon reminds us the Mets chose Oliver Perez over Randy Wolf last winter. Wolf supplied 214.3 innings of 3.23 ball for the Dodgers for $8MM.
- MLB.com's Jordan Bastian talked to Blue Jays defensive whiz/impending free agent John McDonald about the future and his popularity in Toronto.
- MLB.com's Bill Chastain feels the Rays will at least talk to free agent reliever Billy Wagner. Nice fit, though VP Andrew Friedman found it unlikely they'd sign a closer when asked a few weeks ago. It won't help if Wagner turns down an arbitration offer from the Red Sox, which would attach a draft pick cost.
Assorted rumblings from around the majors...
- Former MLB manager Ned Yost tells MLB.com's Alyson Footer that he thinks the Astros are just one starter away from having a quite a good rotation. (Footer agrees.) At the moment, the Astros have Roy Oswalt, Wandy Rodriguez, Brian Moehler, Bud Norris and Felipe Paulino.
- As Howard noted earlier, Yost is a candidate to manage the Astros next year.
- Former Nats manager Manny Acta confirmed to Anthony Castrovince of MLB.com that he interviewed for Cleveland's managerial opening.
- As Kevin Goldstein of Baseball Prospectus notes, Mike Leake will make his unofficial pro debut in the Arizona Fall League today. The Reds chose Leake in the first round of this year's draft.
- If the O's decide to pursue John McDonald, Roch Kubatko of MASN.com expects they'd want him to play a utility role.
- The AP (via ESPN) reports that Jose Reyes should be ready for the 2010 season after undergoing surgery on his right leg in Dallas today.
According to Bob Elliott of the Toronto Sun (via Twitter), the Orioles are interested in free agent infielder John McDonald.
McDonald, 35, hit .258/.271/.384 with four home runs and 13 RBI in 152 plate appearances this season for the Blue Jays. The Orioles are expected to let Melvin Mora walk this offseason in lieu of exercising his $8MM option for 2010 and could use some inexpensive infield depth. McDonald was well above average defensively this season with a 10.5 UZR/150 (per FanGraphs). He made $1.9MM in 2009.
The Red Sox have been trying to find a long term solution at shortstop ever since the Nomar Garciaparra trade back in 2004, and while the recent pickup of Alex Gonzalez has provided some stability, the team still needs to find a solution for next year and beyond. Nick Cafardo of The Boston Globe says that first, the Sox have to decide if "they can afford to carry a light-hitting, great-fielding shortstop or sacrifice a bit of defense to aim for a more balanced lineup."
He presents some possible solutions to their seemingly perpetual shortstop issues, so let's round 'em up...
- Marco Scutaro: The 33-yr old has enjoyed a tremendous season for Toronto (.282/.380/.411), and projects to be a Type-A free agent. He made just $1.1MM this season, and it seems likely that the Blue Jays would offer him arbitration.
- Hanley Ramirez: Cafardo mentions that it still remains to be seen if Hanley can stick at short long term, but there is no question that he's one of the five best players in the game today. Given his team friendly contract that will pay him $64.5MM between now and 2014, the Sox would have to offer a bounty of young talent just to get their foot in the door.
- Miguel Tejada: A projected Type-B free agent this offseason, it seems unlikely that the Astros would offer him arbitration. He could be a one year stopgap at shortstop, and perhaps enjoy an offensive resurgence similar to Mike Lowell thanks to Fenway Park and the Green Monster.
- J.J. Hardy: As Cafardo notes, it "would take a leap of faith to think that his horrid season is an aberration." However, he did hit .280/.333/.470 from 2007-2008, and they'd definitely be buying low.
- Jose Reyes: We've seen plenty of talk that the Mets should trade Reyes, but it remains to be seen if they actually will. Can you imagine Reyes and Jacoby Ellsbury on the bases?
- Troy Tulowitzki: Cafardo admits it's a long shot, but everybody has a price. Considering that Tulo is guaranteed just $29.25MM between now and 2014 and is hitting .283/.363/.526 this year, doesn't it seem like it might be easier to acquire Hanley?
- Cafardo also throws out the names of several other possible options, including Adam Everett, John McDonald, Omar Vizquel, Stephen Drew, and Brandon Wood.
The Red Sox still have Jed Lowrie in-house, but he's missed considerable time this year with wrist problems. It would be a stretch to think that 19-yr old Cuban signee Jose Iglesias could fill in next year, but stranger things have happened. I'll throw the name of one more impending free agent out there: Felipe Lopez. He last played shortstop regularly in 2007, but it's at least worth considering.
Here's the rest of Cafardo's non-Red Sox rumors...
- Ken Griffey Jr. would like to return to Seattle for another year, and "probably can if his price is right." Junior is hitting .218/.325/.393 in 382 plate appearances this year, almost exclusively as a DH.
- The Brewers placed Jeff Suppan on trade waivers last week, and Cafardo says it'll be interesting to see "if any contending team still looking for an experienced starter puts in a claim or tries to make a deal for him." Considering there's still $14.5MM in guaranteed money left on his contract, I'd guess no one puts a claim in.
- Hardy was also placed on trade waivers.
- Free agent pitcher Mark Mulder has decided not to make a comeback this year even though he made progress with his throwing program. He's likely to play winterball though.
- Agent Gregg Clifton says client Tom Glavine is unlikely to attempt a comeback next year, and has started to field calls about broadcasting opportunities.