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Jonathan Broxton Rumors
The Mets are interested in Jonathan Broxton and Grant Balfour as they look to improve their bullpen before the July 31st trade deadline. They're definitely showing interest in Broxton, Danny Knobler of CBSSports.com reports (on Twitter), and Newsday's David Lennon says they're also targeting Balfour (Twitter link).
However, the Mets are not close on any deal involving a reliever, ESPN.com's Buster Olney reported today (on Twitter). They remain in "wait-and-see" mode for now. Though the Mets' bullpen is in rough shape, they've convinced some doubters they're a dangerous club, Ken Davidoff of the New York Post wrote earlier today.
Here are a few links Mets links as the Amazin's open an important three-game set against the NL East-leading Nationals tonight in Washington. …
- The Mets are "paying close attention" to Royals closer Jonathan Broxton, a source tells Adam Rubin of ESPNNewYork.com. Broxton has put together a nice rebound campaign as Kansas City's stopper after his stock had tumbled due to injuries in 2010-11. Meanwhile, the Mets could use reinforcements for a spotty relief corps that is without closer Frank Francisco, who has been sidelined by an oblique injury since June.
- To that end, the Mets are seeking bullpen help, according to Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com, although they're finding most relievers to be too pricey in terms of trade compensation or too insignificant of an upgrade. The Brewers, for one, are telling teams that former Mets closer Francisco Rodriguez is available but they are unwilling to eat any of the remaining $4MM owed to him. K-Rod, incidentally, was named Milwaukee's closer today.
- The Mets are also looking for a veteran catcher, according to Heyman, and have talked to the Rockies about Ramon Hernandez, but New York is not willing to pay the $3.2MM owed to Hernandez through next season.
- GM Sandy Alderson said all of the organization's scouts have been deployed to the Major League, adding "we are buyers," according to Rubin. Alderson also said pitching prospect Zack Wheeler will not pitch in the big leagues this season and will soon be promoted to Triple-A (Twitter links).
The Royals have inquired on pitchers they could acquire now and control through 2013, Danny Knobler of CBSSports.com reports. They’ve asked about Matt Garza of the Cubs, who earns $9.5MM this year and will remain under team control for the 2013 season.
The Royals intend to add a significant free agent starting pitcher for 2013 this coming offseason, Knobler reported one week ago. Kansas City's rotation currently includes, Bruce Chen, Luke Hochevar, Luis Mendoza, Everett Teaford and the struggling Jonathan Sanchez.
Though Royals closer Jonathan Broxton is drawing lots of trade interest, the Royals may still try to sign him for 2013 instead of making a trade, Knobler reports. Broxton earns a base salary of $4MM this year and is on track to hit free agency this coming offseason.
Rival executives are divided on what the Tigers need to acquire for the second half of the season, Danny Knobler of CBSSports.com reports. Some say the Tigers need a pitcher, others say they should acquire a second baseman and others believe they don’t need to make a major addition. Here are more of Knobler’s notes, starting with the Tigers:
- Detroit has shown some interest in Matt Garza, but Tigers people suggest a deal is fairly unlikely, according to Knobler. The Tigers don’t seem enthused about the possibility of trading for Marco Scutaro, though they’ve shown some interest in him.
- The Phillies have identified about four teams that would be a fit for Cole Hamels and they’re saying they'd want players who are close to contributing in the Major Leagues. However, the Phillies aren’t ready to deal the left-hander yet.
- Scouts believe the Diamondbacks are serious about listening to offers for Justin Upton.
- The Royals had been considering the possibility of becoming midseason buyers this year. They don’t intend to give Jonathan Broxton or other players away because they “badly want” to win games in the second half, Knobler writes.
- The 43-43 Athletics see themselves as sellers, rather than contenders, Knobler reports. A’s people are hoping Brandon McCarthy pitches well and increases his trade value when he returns from the disabled list.
- Scouts are unimpressed by Cubs pitching prospect Gerardo Concepcion, Knobler notes.
The Nationals are willing to boost payroll midseason if the right opportunity emerges, principal owner Mark Lerner told Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports. “We’ve never let dollars get in the way of us making decisions that will help this organization,” Lerner said. “That will always be our philosophy.” Here’s more from Morosi, starting in Washington:
- Lerner said the Nationals “don’t want to get somebody who’s a rental player,” Morosi reports. The Nationals have a club-record payroll in the $90MM range for 2012.
- The Royals are now asking for a Major League piece in return for Jonathan Broxton, Morosi tweets. The Royals are open to moving Broxton, Morosi and Ken Rosenthal reported last night. The 28-year-old right-hander has a 1.99 ERA with 6.5 K/9, 3.4 BB/9 and 21 saves this year.
- Marco Scutaro is available, but the Rockies’ asking price remains high, Morosi tweets. Scutaro would prefer to stay in Colorado, Troy Renck of the Denver Post reported today.
The Royals have indicated to other teams that they are willing to trade closer Jonathan Broxton, reports Ken Rosenthal and Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports. They list the bullpen-challenged Mets as one potential suitor.
Broxton, 28, is owed approximately $2MM for the rest of the season and will become a free agent this winter. The burly right-hander has pitched to a 2.05 ERA with 20 saves in 23 chances, though his strikeout rate (6.8 K/9) is way down compared to his glory years with the Dodgers. Broxton took over as closer after Tommy John surgery shelved Joakim Soria.
“I made an inexcusable mistake. Several years ago, I had surgery for a condition that was private and unrelated to baseball. Last winter, I suffered a recurrence of that condition and I was provided with a medication that resulted in my positive test. Although that medication is on the banned list, I absolutely did not use it for performance enhancement reasons. I am mortified by my carelessness and I apologize to everyone who loves this game as I do. I will serve my suspension, continue to work hard and hope that I am given an opportunity to help a Club win later this season.”
Here are some additional links for your Monday evening…
- Royals general manager Dayton Moore told Jon Heyman of CBS Sports that he has received zero calls on Jeff Francoeur, Bruce Chen, and Jonathan Broxton (Twitter link).
- Sean McAdam of CSNNE.com tweets that the reason the Red Sox didn't get more for Kevin Youkilis is because some offers from interested parties simply stated that they would take Youkilis "for nothing," if the Sox were willing to pick up the entire contract.
- The imminent sale of the Padres could have a positive impact on the Mariners, writes Geoff Baker of the Seattle Times. The sale price is said to be $800MM — $600MM for the Padres and $200MM for a stake in their upcoming $1.2 billion TV deal with FOX. The Mariners can opt out of their current TV deal in 2015, and could be sitting on top of a "financial windfall," writes Baker. He writes that Mariners "should be able to get more in any pending sale if everything remains equal."
- Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports writes that yesterday's Youkilis trade has kicked off the trade season, and runs through some big names that could be trade candidates at this year's deadline.
Here's the latest from around the league, on the night Yu Darvish made his MLB debut…
- Padres owner John Moore has retained investment banker Steve Greenberg to broker a sale of the club, reports Dan Hayes of The North County Times. Hayes says the club could fetch up to $700MM after the Dodgers sold for $2 billion last month.
- "If I could go back in time, I would have explored free agency earlier in my career," Lance Berkman told Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. The veteran missed the boat on truly massive contracts for first basemen, but he's still earned upwards of $100MM over the course of his career. Berkman, 36, is earning $12MM this year from the Cardinals.
- Giants owner Charles Johnson told Gwen Knapp of the San Francisco Chronicle that he plans to stay out of the club's day-to-day operations. The billionaire upped his stake in the club in September 2011, making him the team's top shareholder.
- In his latest mailbag, MLB.com's Bill Chastain says that he wouldn't be so sure that Rays fans have seen the last of Wade Davis as a starter. James Shields will make $12MM in 2013 and it's not clear if the Rays will bring him back at that number or deal him. If that were to happen then Davis would likely return to the rotation.
- Many writers scoffed when the Royals handed the closer’s role to Jonathan Broxton this spring, but so far it looks like he might be ready to return to form, writes J.P. Breen of Fangraphs. The 27-year-old's deal is worth $4MM plus $1MM in incentives based on games pitched.
Mike Axisa contributed to this post.
The Tigers, who agreed to sign Ramon Santiago to a two-year deal today, have interest in Coco Crisp. Here are the latest updates from their division, starting with a note on another possible outfield target for Detroit:
- Tigers GM Dave Dombrowski will watch Yoenis Cespedes play in the Dominican Republic, according to Danny Knobler of CBSSports.com, who suggests this is “very unusual” for Dombrowski (Twitter link). Cespedes isn’t yet a free agent, but he’s in the process of establishing temporary residency in the Dominican and may hit the open market soon.
- Before the Royals signed Jonathan Broxton, outfielder Jeff Francoeur and manager Ned Yost went hunting with the right-hander in Georgia, according to Kevin Kernan of the New York Post. The outing helped convince Broxton to join the Royals.
- Twins manager Ron Gardenhire says the team is "making a mad effort" to sign Michael Cuddyer, according to Phil Mackey of ESPN 1500 (on Twitter).
- Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle hears Josh Willingham may be a fit in Minnesota if the Twins don’t re-sign Cuddyer. Similarly, the Red Sox may have interest if they don’t re-sign David Ortiz, Slusser writes.
Some links as Tuesday turns into Wednesday…
- “Like I’ve always said, there is one person responsible for making those decisions, and one person accountable for those results,” said Cubs chairman Tom Ricketts to reporters (including Paul Sullivan of The Chicago Tribune) when asked about the possibility of signing a player to a mammoth contract. “So if [Theo Epstein] believes strongly that’s what’s in the best interests of the team, then he’s got my support.” Earlier today we heard that the Cubs are pursuing both Albert Pujols and Prince Fielder.
- Dave O'Brien of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution wonders if the Braves will offer Brian McCann a long-term contract extension soon. The six-time All-Star will make $11.5MM in 2012 and the team holds a $12MM club option for 2013, so there's no urgency to get a deal done at the moment.
- Nationals GM Mike Rizzo is currently in the Dominican Republic scouting Cuban outfielder Yoenis Cespedes, reports MLB.com's Bill Ladson. On Monday we heard that Washington views Cespedes as an alternative to Fielder.
- The Mariners have interest in Fielder, and Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports says (on Twitter) that they would make Justin Smoak available in a trade if they manage to sign the free agent slugger.
- Before he agreed to join the Royals, the Red Sox expressed interest in Jonathan Broxton according to Scott Lauber of The Boston Herald. Broxton wanted to sign before the winter meetings, and Lauber's source said that was “a little quicker than [the Sox] were comfortable with."
- There is no more than a "10 percent" chance that Rays GM Andrew Friedman could be convinced to take the Astros GM job according to one executive that spoke to Friedman and ESPN's Jayson Stark (Twitter link).
- Yankees GM Brian Cashman offered a “would not say" to George A. King III of The New York Post when asked if he has any interest in Japanese shortstop Hiroyuki Nakajima. The Seibu Lions posted Nakajima on Monday.
- Kelvim Escobar hopes to pitch in winter ball next month, agent Peter Greenberg told Mike Puma of The New York Post (Twitter link). The 35-year-old righty hopes to get back to MLB despite having pitched in just one game since 2007.