Jorge Posada Rumors
Heath Bell isn’t close to signing, despite last night’s rumors, but it’s not for lack of interest. Here’s the latest on Bell and a handful of other free agents, via Jon Heyman of SI.com (Twitter links):
- The Red Sox are content to wait out the market for closers, since so many of them are available.
- Mark Buehrle is drawing interest from 14 teams, Heyman reports.
- Opposing GMs expect the Cubs to trade Matt Garza.
- The Mets would offer Jose Reyes $80MM for five years, but would not guarantee a six or seven-year contract.
- Jorge Posada inquired with the Mets about a job and heard the team wasn't interested, according to Heyman. However, agent Seth Levinson told Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports that "there is no truth to that report. None" (Twitter link).
- The Marlins met with Bell and seem very aggressive. “This is no publicity stunt,” Heyman writes.
- Miami was interested in meeting with free agent closer Ryan Madson, but the right-hander declined, since their offer “wasn’t right.”
- The Mets and Orioles are among the teams showing interest in Jason Varitek, Heyman writes. The Orioles are definitely looking for backup catching help, but it appeared earlier in the week that they were uninterested in Varitek. GM Dan Duquette favors players who could catch every day if necessary.
The Orioles have expressed interest in left-hander Renyel Pinto, according to Roch Kubatko of MASNsports.com. Orioles director of international operations David Stockstill scouted the 29-year-old in his native Venezuela last week. Stockstill met with Pinto, a five-year veteran of the Major Leagues, and a deal remains possible.
Pinto has a 1.42 ERA with a 42K/16BB ratio in 43 2/3 innings as a starter in the Venezuelan Winter League this year, for what it’s worth. He last pitched in the Major Leagues for the 2010 Marlins. In parts of five seasons with the Marlins, Pinto posted a 3.62 ERA with 8.6 K/9, 5.9 BB/9 and a 42.4% ground ball rate in 231 innings (244 relief appearances).
The Orioles don’t currently have interest in free agents Jason Varitek or Jorge Posada as possible backup catchers, since they prefer someone who could catch every day if necessary. Matt Wieters is the lone catcher on the Orioles’ 40-man roster at the moment.
Some news from the AL East....
- Team sources tell Gordon Edes of ESPN Boston that Ben Cherington is "extremely high" on Dale Sveum. The former Red Sox third base coach is one of five candidates that appear to be the finalists to be Boston's new manager. Edes guesses that Cherington may have already settled on his choice and "is just going through the process" for the sake of due diligence.
- We heard yesterday from SI's Jon Heyman that Jorge Posada could sign with the Orioles or Marlins if he decides to keep playing, but Steve Melewski of MASNsports.com doesn't see Posada in Baltimore "under any circumstances" next year. I agree with Melewski; it's hard to imagine Posada wanting to spend his probable last season as a bench player for a non-contender.
- Bob Klapisch of the Record lays out the case for Posada to retire.
- Blue Jays GM Alex Anthopoulos enters this offseason with much more "clarity" about the state of his team after spending two years remaking the roster, writes Rogers Sportsnet's Shi Davidi.
- Melvin Mora tells Dan Connolly of the Baltimore Sun that he wants to return to the Orioles. If not Baltimore, Mora wants to play on the East Coast to be near his wife and six children.
The Orioles officially hired executive VP of baseball operations Dan Duquette this week. Here’s the latest on the team as they begin their first offseason under Duquette...
- Dan Connolly of the Baltimore Sun is convinced there's no chance of the Orioles spending on free agents such as Albert Pujols, Prince Fielder and C.J. Wilson. It seems more likely Duquette will build the Orioles from within, but it's not as though the team will sit free agency out entirely.
- Connolly gets the sense that Michael Cuddyer is near the top of the Orioles' wish list, but the Phillies seem to be a more likely destination for the free agent outfielder.
- Roch Kubatko of MASNsports.com looks ahead to the Orioles’ options for backing up catcher Matt Wieters in 2012 and wonders if veterans such as Ivan Rodriguez and Jorge Posada could be fits.
- Jon Heyman of SI.com expects Posada to sign with the Orioles or Marlins if he continues playing in 2012 (Twitter link). Posada knows he won't return to the Yankees.
Yankees GM Brian Cashman spoke to reporters while at a charity function earlier today, and Marc Carig of The Star Ledger provided a recap. Here are the highlights...
- The Yankees were aware that Jonathan Sanchez was on the trade block, but Cashman said the team did not have discussions about acquiring him. The Giants traded Sanchez to the Royals for former Yankee Melky Cabrera earlier this week.
- Clubs have already inquired about the Yankees' young catchers, such as Jesus Montero, Austin Romine, and Francisco Cervelli. "I've had a lot of teams express 'Hey, if you're ever going to do something there, mark us down,' that type of things," said Cashman.
- Cashman said it's too early to know if the best pitching options are available via trade or free agency. "I haven't talked to every team and I haven't talked to every agent yet," said the GM. "And I certainly haven't had any agent tell me what they want financially. So, no one's made any demands to me, no one's made me an offer, so I don't know what these current free agents are looking for yet in terms of years and dollars."
- The Yankees have requested the medical information for some players, which Cashman said is standard procedure.
- Cashman has not had any talks with Jorge Posada or Eric Chavez yet, and he doesn't know if either will continue playing or retire. Posada told Carig that he's undecided about playing in 2012, but he's resigned to the fact that it would not be with the Yankees. He believes he can still serve as a backup catcher and DH, and he told Newsday's Erik Boland that he's been contacted by five or six teams (all Twitter links).
- Posada's wife hinted that the Marlins could be a fit, according to Mark Feinsand of the New York Daily News (on Twitter). "We live in Miami, so… We love Miami. Nice transition," she said.
- The Yankees have the flexibility to stretch the budget, if needed. "There's no set number where you can't exceed it that obviously exists in other environments," said Cashman.
- The team has a ton of scouts in the Dominican Republic this week, and they are there to see more players than just Yoenis Cespedes.
The latest rumors tweeted from SI's Jon Heyman...
- The Yankees haven't been in touch with free agent Jorge Posada so far this offseason, according to Heyman.
- A person with knowledge of the Dodgers sale says bidding will definitely go over $1 billion, and Frank McCourt may well reach his $1.2 billion target.
- The Phillies and Ryan Madson are now engaged in serious discussions, and Heyman expects the two sides to reach an agreement soon. This fits with what was written about Madson and the Phillies yesterday.
- The Red Sox are interested in free agent right fielder Carlos Beltran. I ranked Beltran ninth on my top 50 free agents list, predicting Boston as his destination.
- One executive who spoke to the Marlins tells Heyman 24-year-old left fielder Logan Morrison is off-limits. The executive could see the Fish making an exception for James Shields, however.
- The Brewers believe they have almost no hope to re-sign Prince Fielder and are now targeting free agent shortstop Jose Reyes. The Marlins will meet with Reyes in South Florida tomorrow, tweeted Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports. The Brewers would have to give the Mets the 28th overall pick in next year's draft to sign Reyes, while the Marlins would only have to surrender a second-round pick.
- The Yankees were disappointed Jonathan Sanchez went to the Royals, as they believed they had more to offer to the Giants. The Royals acquired Sanchez and a minor leaguer from the Giants for Melky Cabrera yesterday.
- The Yankees are impressed by what they've seen so far of Cuban center fielder Yoenis Cespedes, though it's mainly limited to video. Cespedes' bizarre showcase video mostly shows off the player's athleticism and style. For a rundown of Cespedes' suitors, click here, and for a scout's view of him, check out the latest from MLB.com's Jonathan Mayo.
- Yankees executive Billy Eppler grew up with free agent lefty C.J. Wilson, for what it's worth. The Yankees will talk to Wilson, who GM Brian Cashman acknowledged is the "best pitcher on the marketplace right now."
One year ago this weekend, the Yankees re-signed manager Joe Girardi to a three-year contract. GM Brian Cashman got a new three-year deal of his own this week, and now the team will move forward with its offseason plans. Here's the latest from the Bronx...
- Although Cashman will meet with CC Sabathia's agent this weekend, George A. King III and Joel Sherman of The New York Post report that the team is not overly optimistic about reaching an agreement about a new contract before their ace can opt out of the final four years and $92MM of his deal on Monday night.
- "You hope he thinks long and hard about coming back and why he likes it here so much," said Girardi when asked by reporters (including MLB.com's Bryan Hoch) about the future of Jorge Posada. Earlier this month, more than 10,000 MLBTR readers said they expect Posada to retire.
- Because so many big name free agents play positions that are already occupied on the roster, King says it's possible the Yankees will stay relatively quiet during free agency. They don't figure to chase Carlos Beltran or Michael Cuddyer because they will command multi-year contracts.
- For more about what could in store for the Yankees this offseason, check out Ben Nicholson-Smith's Offseason Outlook. Tim Dierkes broke down the team's six arbitration cases in his Arbitration Eligibles series.
The Yankees season came to an end on Thursday night, and along with it may have come the end of Jorge Posada's career. Posada's four-year, $52.4MM contract expires after the season, and so far the only team he's ever played for has shown little interest in re-signing him.
Although he hit a career worst .235/.315/.398 with 14 homers in 2011, Posada was the team's best hitter in the postseason, when he picked up six hits and four walks in the five games against the Tigers (.429/.570/571). He was in the lineup all five games because Detroit used four right-handed starters, and the switch-hitter actually handled righties very well this year (.269/.348/.466). It was lefties that gave him trouble (.092/.169/.108).
Despite seeing his playing time dwindle throughout the summer, Posada said in August that he wants to keep playing beyond this year. The Yankees used him almost exclusively at DH this summer, in part because his defensive skills behind the plate have eroded, but also because of long-term concerns about head injuries. Posada did appear in 14 games at first base in 2011 (eleven starts).
As always, the free agent market is flooded with one-dimensional DH types. Posada's pedigree is on par with anyone's, but teams have been shying away from overpaying for name value in recent years. His market may not be as robust as he may like, and may even be non-existent.
The Yankees won 97 regular season games and two more in the playoffs, but their quest for a 28th World Championship fell short in the Bronx last night, as the Tigers beat them 3-2. Here are some links as the Yankees look ahead to another offseason...
- Tyler Kepner of the New York Times says retaining C.C. Sabathia is the most pressing task of the Yankees' offseason. If they let him slip away, the Red Sox could have interest, as Kepner points out.
- Jon Heyman of SI.com points out that the Yankees' biggest offseason need is once again starting pitching and runs through a number of other issues facing the Bronx Bombers this winter.
- Sabathia can opt out of the four years remaining on his seven-year, $161MM contract after the season and the left-hander says he can't wrap his head around the decision yet, according to Bryan Hoch of MLB.com. However, Sabathia repeated that he loves it in New York.
- Joel Sherman of the New York Post suspects that the Yankees will wait, instead of extending Robinson Cano and Curtis Granderson this offseason. Both players are eligible for free agency after 2013 (assuming New York exercises Cano's two options).
- Alex Rodriguez told Sherman that the Yankees' season was a "major failure" though they finished with the best record in the American League. Rodriguez says he has a lot to prove and is looking forward to the challenge of "coming back with a vengeance."
- As Mike Vorkunov of the Star-Ledger explains, Jorge Posada may have played his final game in Yankee pinstripes and the catcher turned DH is emotional about the possibility.
- Brian Cashman reiterated that he wants to return to the Yankees, according to Marc Carig of the Star-Ledger. The GM's contract expires after the season, but the Yankees want him back, so a new deal appears likely.
Cubs starter Carlos Zambrano could use a change of scenery, as Jon Heyman explains at SI.com. One rival GM considers the right-hander a fourth starter, which matches Tim Dierkes’ assessment of Zambrano from yesterday. Here are the rest of Heyman’s rumors, starting with another note on the Cubs...
- Cubs owner Tom Ricketts has had good things to say about GM Jim Hendry, but Heyman hears that Hendry is still “at risk” of losing his job. Despite a weekend report to the contrary, Hendry doesn't have any guarantees.
- The Marlins demoted Logan Morrison to the minors because Marlins officials, including manager Jack McKeon, believe the outfielder needs to show more maturity and be less outspoken. It doesn't appear that Morrison will file a grievance.
- One GM called first overall pick Gerrit Cole a “slam dunk” number one starter, Heyman reports. The Pirates signed the former UCLA right-hander to an $8MM deal on Monday.
- The Yankees won’t release Jorge Posada, but it appears that he’ll have to earn a spot on their playoff roster.