John McDonald Rumors
We won't see nearly as many trades as we did in July, or even in August, but teams can still make deals. New acquisitions won't be eligible to play in the post-season, but they could still help their new clubs make the playoffs. Here are a few of the players who could be dealt this month:
- Mark Hendrickson and Danys Baez are among the players known to have cleared waivers; they could appeal to clubs.
- Kevin Millar has managed a .750 OPS against lefties in an otherwise disappointing offensive season, so clubs may want him off the bench, especially considering his reputation as a positive clubhouse presence. His teammate, John McDonald, could appeal to teams as a defensive specialist. He has a well-earned reputation as an excellent defender up the middle.
- Buster Olney suggested today that the Rangers will look into infielders now that Michael Young is injured. Jamey Carroll could appeal to the Rangers and other clubs.
- Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle reported recently that the Phillies have an eye on Nomar Garciaparra.
The Mets, Reds, Cardinals, Twins, Cubs, Brewers and Giants could all potentially look for middle infield help. Here are some trade candidates, listed from largest 2009 salary to smallest:
- Miguel Tejada - His $13MM salary would be too much for some teams if the Astros made him available, but his 32 extra base hits and low strikeout numbers sure look good.
- Julio Lugo - He makes $9MM this year and the same amount next year, so the Red Sox would presumably take on salary in any deal. The 33-year-old is hitting .370 since the beginning of June.
- Cristian Guzman - At $8MM this year and next he's not cheap, but he's consistently hit for a high average in recent years.
- Jack Wilson - He makes $7.25MM this year and his team will have to buy him out for $600k to avoid paying him even more in 2010. However, he's a good defender who puts the ball in play and has doubles power.
- Freddy Sanchez - He'll make over $6MM this year and his 2010 option for $8MM will likely vest. It's a lot of money, but the former batting titlist is a better hitter than most middle infield trade candidates.
- Dan Uggla - The most powerful option available may not be available, after all. The Marlins are in it, so they may keep Uggla and his $3.5MM salary.
- Orlando Cabrera - He's posted a .610 OPS this year and he'll make $4MM- not an enticing combination, but the A's are falling far out of the race.
- Felipe Lopez - At just $3.5MM, his .771 OPS looks good, in spite of the big strikeout total.
- Jamey Carroll - As a free agent-to-be on the Indians, he's a candidate to be moved. The 35-year-old has a .735 OPS to go along with his $2.5MM salary.
- Cesar Izturis - He'll earn $2.4MM this year and $2.6MM in 2010. He's on the DL, recovering from an apendectomy, and his slow recovery is making it less likely that he'll be traded.
- Yuniesky Betancourt - His $2MM salary is deceptive, as he's still guaranteed about $10MM before his deal expires. That figure, plus his .609 OPS mean he'll likely be staying put, but he could be had.
- John McDonald - He's barely played at all for the Jays, but McDonald, who makes $1.9MM, could work for a team looking for a defensive specialist.
- Yunel Escobar - He makes just $425k this year and Buster Olney says the Braves would consider dealing him for a bat.
- Blake DeWitt - The Dodgers have Orlando Hudson playing second base, so DeWitt could be expendable. He's making just $405k, but his Triple A numbers are uninspired.
- Adam Kennedy - The A's are just paying Kennedy the major league minimum and he's produced an OPS approaching .800 for them.
8:10pm: David O'Brien of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution on the Red Sox-Francoeur rumor:
Talked to someone in Braves organization who sort of dismissed the Red Sox rumor. Said he hadn’t heard one thing about them having any serious interest in Francoeur or scouting him recently.
9:01am: Yahoo's Gordon Edes wrote about many different trade scenarios in his column last night.
- Edes seconds Ken Rosenthal's rumor that the Red Sox have been scouting Jeff Francoeur.
- The Nationals have been scouting the Mets' Triple and Double A teams, trying to figure out a possible return for Nick Johnson. Names of interest for Washington: Jon Niese, Mike Antonini, Eddie Kunz, and big leaguer Bobby Parnell. The Red Sox also had interest in Johnson, but not for the price of Michael Bowden. Back to the Mets - Joel Sherman of the New York Post has a list of available players they could consider aside from Johnson, including Jermaine Dye, Ben Francisco, Adam LaRoche, and Eric Hinske.
- Edes likes the fit of Jose Valverde with the Rays, but speculates that the Astros could ask for Wade Davis in return. Six years of Davis would be a huge price to pay for a few months of Valverde plus possible draft picks. Edes also likes Mark DeRosa for Tampa Bay, but they seem well-equipped to handle Akinori Iwamura's injury with internal options.
- Edes names the Phillies, Brewers, Royals, and Twins as possible suitors for Brad Penny. Edes adds that the Phillies "are already making plans for life without Brett Myers" after this season.
- The shortstop market includes Jack Wilson and perhaps John McDonald, but could become more interesting for a team like Boston if the Indians make Jhonny Peralta available.
Beyond attempting to re-sign starter A.J. Burnett, Blue Jays GM J.P. Ricciardi does not intend to dabble in free agency this year. He told MLB.com's Jordan Bastian he'd probably stay in-house. Ricciardi shot down rumors of interest in Jason Giambi, Milton Bradley, and Rafael Furcal. Drunk Jays Fans doesn't buy the talk, though.
Trades are Ricciardi's ideal route, though Richard Griffin notes J.P. has rarely dealt prospects for Major Leaguers. Griffin believes big league trade chips may include B.J. Ryan, John McDonald, and Lyle Overbay. Jason Frasor could be another.
According to Jon Paul Morosi of the Detroit Free Press, the Tigers seek a short-term solution at shortstop. The Tigers like the idea of using prospect Cale Iorg in 2010. That means they won't be signing free agents Orlando Cabrera and Rafael Furcal. The Tigers view the relief market in the way - they like their long-term options (Ryan Perry, for example).
The Tigers have "mild interest" in Khalil Greene, who is signed through 2009. They don't like his $6.5MM price tag, which might mean Jack Wilson is also too pricey. John McDonald is a more affordable name on the radar (the pitchers certainly wouldn't mind).
The Tigers have an eye on the Rangers' catchers, Gerald Laird in particular. It might be tough to make a deal, as the Tigers don't have pitching to spare.
FRIDAY: Blue Jays GM J.P. Ricciardi confirmed he's in discussions with the Angels about his shortstops.
THURSDAY: With Maicer Izturis out for the season and Erick Aybar day-to-day, the Angels are looking to acquire a veteran backup shortstop. Backup at second base wouldn't be a bad idea either, in case Howie Kendrick's injury is serious. Mike DiGiovanna names John McDonald, David Eckstein, Marco Scutaro, Juan Castro, and Jamey Carroll as targets. The numbers on these guys:
- McDonald: .222/.269/.292 in 162 PAs. Owed $350K in '08, $1.9MM in '09.
- Eckstein: .274/.353/.357 in 293 PAs. Owed $830K in '08.
- Scutaro: .265/.347/.348 in 475 PAs. Owed $290K in '08, $1.1MM in '09.
- Castro: .194/.233/.250 in 118 PAs. Owed minimum, Reds paying contract.
- Carroll: .271/.355/.346 in 314 PAs. Owed $400K in '08, $2.5MM club option for '09 with $0.15MM buyout.
Scutaro seems like the best fit; Carroll has not played shortstop this year. It is not known whether any of these players have cleared waivers. Who do you think the Angels should target?
Today's random links...
- Ken Rosenthal discusses possible changes at various GM positions. Jon Heyman says Pat Gillick could take a high-ranking role with the Blue Jays if not the Mariners.
- Former Indians and Rangers GM John Hart is interested in the Mariners job. The Mariners hope to have their permanent GM hired by the end of October.
- A Japanese pitcher invented a new pitch called the shake.
- Eddie Bajek wonders if Mark Ellis could handle shortstop. It's good to think out of the box given the free agent market at the position.
- Doug Mientkiewicz would like to spend another season as a Pirates clubhouse leader, but he'd also like more playing time.
- The trio of Blue Jays middle infielders react to the Angels rumor.
- DraftInfo chatted with MLB.com's Jonathan Mayo.
- Amalie Benjamin believes there's a good chance the Red Sox re-sign Jason Varitek.
According to Sportsnet.ca, the Blue Jays have placed Vernon Wells and John McDonald on waivers. Keep in mind that many players on placed on waivers every year even when the team has no intent of making a trade.
Wells stands a good chance of clearing waivers, though a trade is unlikely. He has a complicated, massive backloaded contract. From 2009-14 he will earn $100MM in salary, plus another $17MM as part of his signing bonus. He has a full no-trade clause and opt-out clause after '11.
McDonald, a defensive whiz at shortstop, is signed for '09 at $1.9MM. He probably will be claimed.
Collection o' links...
- Craig Monroe has cleared waivers and become a free agent.
- ESPN's Jerry Crasnick talks to Pirates GM Neal Huntington about his deadline deals.
- Pirates players Chris Duffy and Franquelis Osoria cleared waivers and will head to Triple A.
- Blue Jays GM J.P. Ricciardi says manager Cito Gaston will be back next year.
- Yesterday Dan Shaughnessy wrote a few sentences about the commissioner's office investigating Manny Ramirez's final hours with the Red Sox. It's become a national story. More on the situation from the L.A. Times.
- Sean McAdam wonders if the Red Sox could acquire Toronto shortstop John McDonald. He'd have to get past ten other AL teams first.
- In regards to the Chad Bradford deal, Andy MacPhail said, "I can use the dough." MacPhail said the Orioles will receive a prospect, to be determined in the offseason.
- Jack Etkin of the Rocky Mountain News believes Rockies reliever Kip Wells is expendable.
- Tracy Ringolsby heard speculation that Nationals VP of baseball operations Mike Rizzo could replace GM Jim Bowden.
The Dodgers continue to look everywhere for a shortstop, and tons of names have come up in connection with their search. They don't seem likely to land the Pirates' Jack Wilson, but they're scouring other organizations for options, having touched base with Toronto about John McDonald, the Yankees about Alberto Gonzales, the Twins about Adam Everett and even the Rangers about Michael Young, though it's unclear whether or why Young would be available.
Young is new to the discussion. The 31 year-old shortstop is hitting .298/.345/.421 in 469 plate appearances this year. He's currently dealing with a fractured ring finger. His five-year, $80MM extension was signed in March of '07 but doesn't kick in until next year. Even if the Rangers would listen on Young, could the Dodgers take on such a contract?