Jose Iglesias Rumors
Peter Gammons appeared on WEEI's Minor Details podcast to discuss the value of a deep minor league system, the difficulty in finding power hitters, and, of course, the Red Sox. WEEI's Alex Speier has the partial transcript, and here are some of the highlights...
- The value of top prospects, Gammons notes, is higher than ever before since teams are realizing that it isn't cost-effective to sign free agents when those older players are entering a decline phase. Dealing for a star player in his prime is now the preferred option for a team like Boston that has a strong minor league system. “Having three really good prospects and getting Adrian Gonzalez so they won’t have to pay him past the age of 35, I think that’s part of it," Gammons said.
- To wit, Gammons believes the Yankees will forego trying for a free agent pitcher and instead use their own deep minor league system to acquire a pitcher like Brett Anderson or Gio Gonzalez "if Oakland doesn’t get off to a really good start." I'm not sure I agree with Gammons on this one. It's hard to believe the A's would deal Anderson or Gonzalez for anything short of a totally absurd offer, be it from the Yankees or anyone.
- Shortstop Jose Iglesias and outfielder Ryan Kalish are "without question" going to be regulars for Boston in 2012. This puts them right on track to succeed incumbents Marco Scutaro and J.D. Drew, who are both in the last year of their contracts.
- Theo Epstein told Gammons before the 2005 draft that drug testing was going to create "a new game over the next five to 10 years," and then the Sox drafted Jacoby Ellsbury in the first round. Gammons notes that Boston has yet to develop a consistent power hitter in Epstein's regime, aside from Kevin Youkilis (who was drafted by former Sox GM Dan Duquette).
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.
8:02pm: The Blue Jays are asking the Mets for a top prospect in exchange for Downs according to Jon Heyman of SI.com (via Twitter). The Twins have assigned a scout to watch the Blue Jays' relievers, according to Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports.
7:48am: Blue Jays GM Alex Anthopoulos has the best reliever available in Scott Downs, and he knows it. Check out these asking prices for two months of Downs' services, courtesy of George A. King III of the New York Post: Joba Chamberlain or Jesus Montero from the Yankees, Casey Kelly or Jose Iglesias from the Red Sox (Montero link from SI's Jon Heyman via Twitter). With almost 80 hours remaining until the trade deadline, it doesn't hurt to ask.
Other teams are also trying to buy low on Chamberlain, who sports a 5.95 ERA, 10.0 K/9, and 3.6 BB/9 in 42.3 relief innings this year. The Diamondbacks also tried to get Chamberlain as part of a Dan Haren deal. Joba is under team control through 2013 and arbitration-eligible for the first time after this season.
Regarding the Yankees' search for a bench bat, King says they've spoken to the Orioles about Ty Wigginton. The O's are dangling Miguel Tejada, who's generated only lukewarm interest from the Yanks. Tejada is said to be the Phillies' primary infield target. As for a Yankees-Orioles deal, SI's Jon Heyman tweeted two days ago that O's owner Peter Angelos doesn't want to trade with his division rival.
Red Sox rumors from those covering the team...
- GM Theo Epstein said he isn't close to any trades, reports Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe. Cafardo lists Scott Downs, Kerry Wood, Kyle Farnsworth, and David Aardsma as potentially available relievers, but says "the Sox aren’t crazy about bringing Aardsma back unless they could do so cheaply." Cafardo lists familiar names on the outfield front in David DeJesus and Cody Ross, while noting that Corey Hart "is likely out of Boston's range." Cafardo does not see the Sox pursuing a starting pitcher.
- MLB Network's Peter Gammons chimes in on Downs, tweeting, "before [the Yunel] Escobar deal, [the Blue Jays] wanted [Jose] Iglesias for Downs." That gives you an idea of the Jays' initial asking price for one of the best available relievers; the Dodgers, Yankees, and Phillies are also known to be interested.
- Gammons also tweets that the Rockies turned down an offer of Jed Lowrie for Chris Iannetta. We learned last night that the Sox are not currently pursuing Iannetta, however.
- Scott Lauber of the Boston Herald confirms yesterday's report that the Sox are interested in Florida's Leo Nunez. However, Lauber writes that, "they believe the Marlins will require a hefty return" for the righty reliever.
- Adrian Beltre is not thinking about his next contract yet, learned WEEI's Alex Speier.
People in the Royals organization “love” Red Sox shortstop prospect Jose Iglesias, according to Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe. The 20-year-old Cuban is hitting .306/.340/.408 in AA, so chances are most teams like the looks of him. Not only can Iglesias hit, “scouts can’t say enough about [his] defensive ability,” according to Baseball America.
All of Boston's 29 rivals would probably have some interest in Iglesias, who signed an $8.25MM deal with the Red Sox last summer. The Royals’ interest in the shortstop doesn’t mean the Red Sox would consider moving him, but it’s noteworthy as the trade deadline approaches.
Because of their depleted outfield, the Red Sox would like to acquire a left-handed hitting outfielder. David DeJesus, who is playing well and under contract for just $4.7MM this year, fits that description. Cafardo hears that the Royals want a lot in return for DeJesus in potential trades, though there’s no sign that the Red Sox would so much as consider moving their shortstop prospect. The Royals will have a top shortstop prospect of their own, once they officially agree to terms with Christian Colon.
In Nick Cafardo's latest piece for the Boston Globe, he takes an extended look at the Red Sox' early-season catching issues. He reiterates that if David Ortiz's struggles continue, the logical solution is to move Victor Martinez to DH and acquire a catcher. Cafardo names Kurt Suzuki as a player who would intrigue the Sox, since he can hit as well as play defense. Here are a few of Cafardo's other notes:
- Other catchers to keep an eye on for the Sox include Chris Iannetta, Miguel Olivo, Chris Snyder, and even Twins prospect Wilson Ramos, though he'd be costly.
- Cafardo praises the work Miguel Cabrera has put in to improve his image after last year's off-field problems. According to Cafardo, the Tigers "entertained trade proposals for him, but they wanted the farm in return."
- Ken Griffey Jr. is off to a slow start this year, but the Mariners will give him time to work through it. Seattle may eventually have to limit his playing time if his bat doesn't get hot, but would never release him.
- Cafardo is skeptical that the Cubs will be able to trade for a setup man and move Carlos Zambrano back into the rotation in the near future, suggesting the relief market is fairly thin.
- One AL international scout's assessment of Cuban shortstops Jose Iglesias and Adeiny Hechavarria: "Iglesias is certainly the more polished player at this stage, but Hechavarria has more upside.... I’d say Iglesias could play defensively in the big leagues right now, where Hechavarria would need a year or two to refine his game a bit." While the Sox would like to give Iglesias more minor league experience, they could bring him up if something were to happen to Marco Scutaro or Dustin Pedroia.
When you think about Cuban players that signed with a Major League team this past offseason, the first name that will come to mind is Aroldis Chapman and his six-year, $30.25MM contract. However, as ESPN's Jorge Arangure writes, the contracts signed by Jose Iglesias, Adeiny Hechevarria, and Noel Arguelles may dictate the future of the Cuban market.
Arangure notes that at this time last year, Iglesias and Arguelles were expected to command only $1-2MM on the open market. They, of course, signed for $8.25MM and $6.9MM, respectively. If those players meet expectations, not only will teams start to specifically target Cuban prospects, but players in Cuba will surely take notice and attempt to defect at a younger age.
Even though players like Hechevarria and Iglesias are college-aged, they're perceived to be more advanced than their American counterparts because they've faced tougher competition growing up. However, for every Kendry Morales making an impact in the big leagues, there's a Juan Miranda stuck in Triple-A. The risk associated with young players is the same no matter where they come from, but the Cuban market is getting more and more expensive.
- Joe Cowley at the Chicago Sun-Times has Kenny Williams' final take on missing out on Johnny Damon to the Tigers. Cowley's piece also expands a bit on the Dye note we've linked to below.
- The A's received cash to complete the trades for both Adam Rosales and Dana Eveland, writes Susan Slusser.
- Regarding his current contract situation, Josh Beckett says he and the Red Sox "talked about talking," according to WEEI.com's Alex Speier. Beckett says he won't have anything to say about the situation during Spring Training or even after. Speier's piece also contains video highlights of Beckett's press conference, including his take on Mike Lowell's situation.
- MLB.com's Steve Gilbert has a series of tweets regarding Mark Reynolds, who hopes to have his contract situation resolved within the next couple weeks. Reynolds says that the deadline for talks is still Opening Day. Gilbert adds that the current discussion is whether to buy out two or three arbitration years.
- White Sox GM Ken Williams considered pursuing Jermaine Dye, but felt that the Sox' need for a left-handed bat was more pressing, according to Mark Gonzales of the Chicago Tribune (via Twitter).
- MLB.com's Scott Merkin tweets that John Danks and the White Sox did not discuss a multi-year deal this offseason.
- Bob Nightengale of USA Today reports, via Twitter, that the Rays were in the mix for Johnny Damon until the end, bidding more than every team but the Tigers.
- Jim Leyland says that Damon's arrival in Detroit won't mean any less at-bats for Carlos Guillen, according to John Lowe of the Detroit Free Press.
- MLB.com's Jordan Bastian breaks down (via Twitter) the early-round draft picks the Blue Jays will now hold this summer, following the Mets' agreement with Rod Barajas.
- Former Brave Greg Norton will head into 2010 as a coach instead of a player for the first time. He'll serve as the hitting coach for the New Orleans Zephyrs, the Marlins' Triple-A affiliate.
- WEEI's Alex Speier takes a look at the first impression made in Red Sox camp by slick-fielding shortstop Jose Iglesias. Many felt the Sox overpaid for the Cuban prospect last summer, but according to Speier, the Cubs were willing to pay even more.
Peter Gammons' departure from ESPN has become a story in itself during this busy off-season, and Gammons' media rounds continued today as a guest on the WEEI Sports Radio Network's Big Show. A full transcript is available here, but here are some of the hot stove items that Gammons had to share....
- Gammons said that Jason Bay "does not want to play in San Francisco, pure and simple," in spite of the fact that the Giants would be willing to offer Bay the five-year contract that he is apparently seeking.
- The Angels won't be players in the Bay sweepstakes, as Gammons predicted they will instead spend their money to re-sign John Lackey.
- Gammons thinks the Mariners might still make an offer to retain Adrian Beltre, though such a move might create some issues with the newly-signed Chone Figgins, who came to Seattle under the impression that he would be the new third baseman. Gammons reported that Beltre "hates" Safeco Field.
- Given Roy Halladay's injury history, Gammons said "it would be a disaster" for Boston to trade Casey Kelly and Clay Buchholz for Halladay and sign the Toronto ace to a long-term contract.
- If the Red Sox don't end up with either Bay or Matt Holliday, Gammons opined that Boston could pursue a defense-first strategy for a season by signing Mike Cameron and Xavier Nady. Or, Boston could just save their money now and stand pat until mid-season before making any trades.
- Even if the Red Sox add another big-money starter, the team would like to keep Josh Beckett because of the leadership he provides to the younger pitchers.
- Speaking of clubhouse leadership, Gammons said that Marco Scutaro's ability to mentor Jose Iglesias was a factor in Boston signing the former Blue Jays shortstop. Another reason was that Scutaro had a clean bill of health, unlike Mark DeRosa, who Gammons said the Red Sox were "a little bit cautious" on signing due to his wrist problems last season.
Jeff Passan covers a few items in this piece for Yahoo Sports, headlined by 19-year-old Cuban pitcher Noel Arguelles. The young left-hander impressed a number of agents and representatives from various teams at a workout last month in the Dominican Republic, and the four teams most interested in signing Arguelles are the Athletics, Mariners, Rays, and (who but?) the Yankees. Passan predicted that Argulles' deal will be worth somewhere around $8.2MM to $10MM, which match the contracts given to Jose Iglesias and Dayan Viciedo last year by the Red Sox and White Sox, respectively.
In other news from Passan's column...
- Passan says the Yankees are much more interested in Aroldis Chapman than they are in Arguelles, and that Chapman's recent agent switch to Randy and Alan Hendricks may help New York. Andy Pettitte and Roger Clemens are/were both represented by the Hendricks brothers.
- The Royals are "going hard" to sign Erik Bedard to a short-term contract. Passan thinks Bedard will sign with someone for an "incentive-loaded one-year deal" in an effort to prove that he's healthy and worthy of a more lucrative longer-term deal for 2011.
- Detroit seem to be becoming more determined in their quest to trade pitcher Edwin Jackson. An unnamed executive is quoted as saying, "It’s like they want to give him away, and I don’t really understand why."