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Jon Daniels Rumors
One American League executive told Anthony Castrovince of MLB.com that he'd be talking to Mike Trout about a "crazy-long deal" if he were running the Angels. Castrovince considers some possible comparables for extension talks, concluding that it probably makes sense for the Angels to wait before extending Trout. His leverage is high right now, even though he's arguably the best bargain in MLB.
Here are some more notes from the AL West…
- The Rangers announced that Jon Daniels has been promoted to president of baseball operations/general manager. Daniels, who became the club's GM in 2005, will still report to CEO Nolan Ryan.
- Daniels told Scott Miller of CBSSports.com that he's intent on being more than "the team that used to be good.” The Rangers lost Mike Napoli, Josh Hamilton and Ryan Dempster to free agency, but Daniels isn't worried about the transition. “You've got to keep moving forward and not be afraid of change,” Daniels said. The GM explained the importance of depth and noted that being the best team on paper doesn’t guarantee success.
- The Rangers are among the teams still interested in free agent infielder Ryan Theriot, Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com reports (on Twitter). However, Theriot continues looking for more playing time.
- Mariners right-hander Felix Hernandez recently established a new record for starting pitchers, signing a seven-year, $175MM contract. Hernandez told Heyman that he expects Clayton Kershaw will be the one to break the record because "he's a little younger" than other top pitchers. Hernandez suggested that Justin Verlander "might get the money, but less years.'' The Mariners ace said he helped other pitchers a bit, adding that he won't mind when another pitcher breaks his record.
Cubs first baseman Anthony Rizzo has delivered three game-winning RBIs in his five games since being called up from Triple-A last week. Here's the latest news and headlines from around the big leagues…
- The Rangers will take a business-as-usual approach to the upcoming trade deadline meaning Jon Daniels and his associates plan to consider the best players available, writes Evan Grant of The Dallas Morning News. Daniels hopes his team will benefit from getting four pitchers back from the disabled list before the end of the month. "… I’m hoping we’re not big players at the deadline. Hopefully, we get our guys back, get healthy and stay healthy. That’s the biggest thing."
- The Phillies will make at least one more attempt to sign Cole Hamels to a long-term contract before the team fully commits to dealing the left-hander, reports Buster Olney of ESPN.com (via Twitter). As mentioned earlier today, opposing clubs believe Philadelphia has an asking price of four to five prospects for Hamels, which makes a deal unlikely at this point. The 28-year-old was selected for his third All-Star team on Sunday after posting a 3.08 ERA with 9.0 K/9 and 2.3 BB/9 through 16 starts this season.
- Dodgers star Matt Kemp remains confident in his team's ability to be successful on the field after Los Angeles' deal with the Astros for Carlos Lee fell through on Sunday, says Alex Angert of MLB.com. "It's always good to get people to make your team better," Kemp said. "I don't know exactly what people think we need. We did a great job with what we have here. If we get somebody, that's good. But if we don't, it keeps going on and we have to keep playing the way we have in the first half."
- The Rays, depleted by a series of injuries, will determine how they approach the trade deadline based upon the health of Evan Longoria and Matt Joyce, writes Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times. If Longoria and Joyce return from the disabled list shortly after the All-Star break, it would free up the Rays to bolster their weak spots at catcher and shortstop. More likely, Tampa Bay will pursue an offensive weapon that adds power to the lineup, such as Cubs outfielder Alfonso Soriano, who has 15 home runs since May 15.
The Rangers agreed to a four-year contract extension with GM Jon Daniels, according to Jeff Wilson of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram (on Twitter). Daniels' contract was set to expire after the 2011 season and his new deal covers the 2012-15 seasons.
Daniels, who took over as GM in 2005, saw the Rangers increase their win total in each of the past three years. Baseball America named Daniels the 2010 Executive of the Year after he overhauled the Rangers' farm system and led the team to its first ever World Series berth.
The Rangers' eighth GM, Daniels became the youngest GM in MLB history when he was promoted into his current role a month after his 28th birthday. For a more complete look at Daniels' work, click through to MLBTR's Transaction Tracker.
The Rangers are interested in exploring extensions for a number of their players, as well.
The Rangers are negotiating a contract extension with general manager Jon Daniels, writes Richard Durrett of ESPNDallas.com.
Rangers president Nolan Ryan said on Jan. 20 that he expects Daniels' extension to be finalized before Spring Training, Durrett notes.
Daniels' current contract, negotiated with former Rangers owner Tom Hicks, expires after the 2011 season. That contract includes an opt-out clause in the event that ownership changed hands — which it did — but Daniels has insisted that he's happy with the Rangers and wants to remain with them.
Daniels was the youngest GM in baseball history at 28 when he originally signed on with Texas following the 2005 season. He has helped bring the organization to prominence, culminating in a World Series berth in 2010.
For a comprehensive look at all of Daniels' moves as a GM, check out our Transaction Tracker.
- Jon Daniels called a report indicating that he asked the Mets (through back channels) to hold off on their GM announcement until after the World Series "complete bull," according to CBSSports.com's Scott Miller. Daniels can opt out of his contract after the season since the Rangers were sold this year.
- Hisanori Takahashi switched agents from Peter Greenberg to Arn Tellem, tweets Newday's David Lennon. We learned that Takashi and the Mets were discussing an extension just a few days ago, but it appears that the lefty is positioning himself to test the free agent waters.
- Joel Sherman of the New York Post says the "belief in the sport" is that Josh Byrnes will join the Padres' front office after losing out on the Mets GM gig. Byrnes has strong ties to San Diego's front office, most notably owner Jeff Moorad.
- Peter Abraham of The Boston Globe wonders if the Tigers and Red Sox are getting ready to battle for the same free agents in a few weeks.
- The Yankees have had internal discussions about how much money they'd be willing to offer Cliff Lee, according to Jack Curry of the YES Network.
- The Cubs outrighted Jeff Gray to Triple A, so he’s no longer on the team’s 40-man roster. The 28-year-old righty struggled through 9.1 big league innings this year.
- Alex Speier of WEEI.com explains that the Red Sox will have trouble finding another pitching coach like John Farrell, the new Blue Jays manager.
- Omar Minaya isn't sure whether he'll stay with the Mets, according to Jon Heyman of SI.com (on Twitter). Heyman says there's a decent chance Minaya returns, since he gets along well with owner Fred Wilpon and incoming GM Sandy Alderson.
Sandy Alderson is "the overwhelming favorite" to become the next Mets GM, writes Mike Puma of the New York Post. A source with knowledge of the hiring process told Puma Alderson is "close to a slam dunk" for the position. His source adds that Alderson has the votes of Jeff and Fred Wilpon and only needs the approval of team president Saul Katz. Puma speculates that Alderson's hiring could be announced on Friday, a World Series travel day.
Andy Martino of the New York Daily News agrees that Alderson is the favorite and also speculates on a Friday announcement. Martino says Rangers GM Jon Daniels is no longer being considered for the Mets job.
Alderson, 63 next month, served as GM of the Athletics from 1983 through the 1997. He later worked in the commissioner's office and for the Padres.
Some links to check out as Cody Ross attempts to follow up yesterday's two-home run performance and the Phillies look to even the score…
- Speaking of Ross, Andrew Baggarly of The Mercury News reports that Giants GM Brian Sabean left a "clear impression" before tonight's game that the outfielder will be tendered a contract this offseason.
- Nick Cafardo of The Boston Globe tweets that Red Sox bench coach DeMarlo Hale is getting a second interview for the Blue Jays managerial position.
- SI.com's Jon Heyman tweets that the Mets have been "asking around" about Rangers GM Jon Daniels, and things could get interesting. Daniels can opt out of his contract after the season since the team was sold.
- Steve Popper of The Bergen Record says that the Mets might not be making the popular choices right now, especially with Francisco Rodriguez, Oliver Perez, Carlos Beltran, and Luis Castillo, but they're the right moves.
- Popper also reports that the Tigers denied the Mets permission to talk to assistant GM Al Avila about their GM vacancy.
- ESPN's Buster Olney tweets that Eric Young will be named the D'Backs first base coach later this week. In a second tweet, he says Eric Wedge's former pitching coach Carl Willis will likely play a big role on his new staff in Seattle.
- Despite the expected heavy interest from the Yankees and Rangers, Michael Silverman from the Boston Herald thinks the Red Sox should make a serious run at Cliff Lee.
- In the second page of that same article, Silverman quotes an unnamed executive in saying that a package consisting of Jacoby Ellsbury, Jed Lowrie, and prospect Anthony Rizzo wouldn't be enough to pry Adrian Gonzalez away from the Padres. He speculates the names that would be mentioned next would include Casey Kelly and Jose Iglesias.
- Roch Kubatko of MASN Sports says it makes more sense for the Orioles to trade for a middle-of-the-lineup hitter and an ace starter than seek one in free agency, and asks readers whether or not the O's should pursue Zack Greinke. In his blog post earlier today, ESPN's Buster Olney didn't see Baltimore as a fit for the Kansas City ace.
- Reduced payroll will force the Rays into some tough decisions, writes Marc Topkin of the St. Petersburg Times. As Topkin points out, nearly the entire bullpen is entering free agency. Rafael Soriano, Grant Balfour, Randy Choate, Joaquin Benoit, and Chad Qualls are only signed through 2010, while Dan Wheeler's $4MM option will be declined and Lance Cormier could be non-tendered. Balfour and Choate are most likely to return, while Benoit will likely look to capitalize on his monster season.
- Richard Griffin from the Toronto Star spoke with Phillies bench coach Pete Mackanin, who could be a candidate for the Jays' managerial opening, about the difficulty of getting a foot in the door as a manager. As Griffin says, part of the reason they continue to interview candidates while other teams are filling their managerial positions could be because they have a high level of interest in someone like Mackanin, whose team is still playing.
- The Phillies' worst nightmare isn't losing to the Giants in the NLCS or losing to the Yankees in the World Series, according FOX Sports' Ken Rosenthal. It's going to the World Series and facing the ace they traded away last offseason, who now sports a Rangers uniform — Cliff Lee.
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Rangers GM Jon Daniels chatted with ESPN readers yesterday afternoon. A few nuggets:
- Daniels explained that Josh Hamilton will not be eligible for free agency until after the 2012 season, and "a lot can happen between now and then that could keep him in Texas beyond that point." Hamilton reportedly turned down a four-year, $24MM offer in 2009. Rangers president Nolan Ryan recently testified that Hamilton's salary could jump to $8-10MM in 2010 if he wins the MVP award.
- Daniels has let the agents for Vladimir Guerrero and Cliff Lee know he'd like to re-sign their clients, but he feels it's best to talk specifics in the offseason.
- It's "certainly possible" Tanner Scheppers will make his MLB debut this year, and Daniels says the Rangers "don't really make decisions based on service time." The 23-year-old righty sports a 3.76 ERA, 9.2 K/9, and 3.4 BB/9 in 52.6 Triple A innings this year.
- The Rangers were discussing Cristian Guzman with the Nationals prior to Ian Kinsler's injury; Daniels viewed Guzman as a luxury at that point.
- The expectation is that the Rangers will be able to announce the player to be named received from the Red Sox in the Jarrod Saltalamacchia deal shortly.
- Daniels has a clause in his contract that allows him to leave if the Rangers are sold to a group other than the one fronted by Chuck Greenberg, but he said yesterday that "leaving the Rangers is not remotely on my mind" and "I love it here."
Jon Daniels was announced as the new general manager of the Rangers on October 4th, 2005. At 28, he was the youngest GM in Major League history.
In mid-November of '05, Daniels struck his first deal. He and Cubs GM Jim Hendry agreed on a trade that would send righty Jon Leicester to Texas for a player to be named later. Minor league pitcher Clint Brannon was sent to the Cubs as the PTBNL in March. Daniels was kind enough to answer a few questions about his first trade.
MLB Trade Rumors: How long did you have your eye on Leicester before making the deal? He was coming off a rough year in Iowa; what did you see in him? As one of the Cubs' better prospects heading prior to the '05 season, were you surprised they'd part with him for a player to be named later or cash?
Jon Daniels: He was an out of options reliever – a guy we'd had good reports on in the past, had recently gotten over an injury I believe. We looked at him as a nice buy low opportunity, with a chance to pay dividends if it clicked. The Cubs didn’t have a spot for him – some clubs hold their out of options guys as long as possible – others recognize he's not part of their plans and move quicker, that's what happened here.
MLBTR: The Cubs ended up getting Brannon in March to complete the deal, but got only 7.3 A ball innings out of him. Did any of the other choices on the Cubs' list of possibilities end up playing in the Majors?
Daniels: I don't think there were other names, actually. Brannon was the only guy we discussed. He'd had some low level success the year before – might have actually set the Northwest League ERA record if I recall – but didn't do well in Chicago. That's OK – Leicester hurt himself in some odd off-field deal and didn't really pan out here – no one made out in this one.
MLBTR: Does the Leicester trade hold significance for you as your first deal, or was it overshadowed by the bigger trades that soon followed?
Daniels: Not a lot of significance other than the fact I get to say I traded for Jon "Lester" before people realize it’s the one spelled "Leicester."
MLBTR: What kind of relationship did you have with Jim Hendry prior to the Leicester trade?
Daniels: I knew Jim some from his dealings with John Hart when I worked for John. We'd spent some time together at GM and Winter Meetings before, but we didn't have a lot of history together. We've worked together a couple of times since.
MLBTR: At just 28 years old, what kind of reception did you get from other GMs after you got the job?
Daniels: Respectful and positive for the most part. My age was a novelty for the first while, but more with media and fans than with counterparts around the league, at least outwardly.