John McDonald Rumors
Red Sox assistant GM Ben Cherington told Jim Bowden of Sirius XM Radio that Boston will consider improving its bullpen, adding a defense-first shortstop and finding outfield help this summer (Twitter link). Red Sox relievers have combined for a 4.18 ERA and a 1.85 K/BB ratio, so the 'pen has pitched respectably. Still, the team could use a top arm or two behind Jonathan Papelbon and Daniel Bard.
Adam Everett, now a free agent, would likely be an option for any club looking to acquire a strong defensive shortstop. The Red Sox could also consider John McDonald, who backed up current Boston shortstop Marco Scutaro when both were with the Blue Jays last year.
Mike Cameron, Jacoby Ellsbury, Jeremy Hermida and J.D. Drew have all missed time with injuries this year, but replacements like Daniel Nava and Darnell McDonald have filled in admirably. The Red Sox just called up Josh Reddick, but could look outside the organization for outfield help. David DeJesus seems like a fit, since the Red Sox would prefer to add a left-handed hitter.
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.