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The Marlins expected about 25 percent more fans than they’ve drawn this year, according to ESPN.com’s Buster Olney. The Marlins are averaging 28,406 fans per game, an improvement of more than 10,000 people per game that amounts to the largest increase in the game since last year. Here are more notes from Olney, starting in Miami…
- Marlins president David Samson has said the team isn’t making financially motivated trades, but Olney suggests Miami will have to manage its money carefully to field a competitive team. This could include shedding the contracts of the team's best-paid players.
- The Marlins will likely look to dump the contracts of players like Jose Reyes at some point in the coming years, and they won’t be offered much in return. The salaries of players like Reyes and Mark Buehrle are back-loaded and will soon spike, which will reduce interest from rival clubs. Ricky Nolasco, Josh Johnson and Heath Bell are among the other Marlins who have significant money remaining on their current contracts.
- Olney points out that Red Sox manager Bobby Valentine has as much opportunity as any manager to shape his team. Valentine shouldn’t have accepted the job if he wanted more control than he’s getting, Olney writes.
Here's the latest out of the NL East…
- Phillies GM Ruben Amaro told reporters (including Jim Salisbury of CSNPhilly.com) that his plan is to keep his team's rotation intact, though plans can change. The Phillies have a "lot of balls in [the] air trade-wise."
- The Phillies are listening to offers for Shane Victorino though they haven't yet indicated that they're willing to move him, tweets ESPN.com's Jayson Stark. The Dodgers, Giants, Pirates and Reds are among the teams interested in the center fielder.
- The Braves are still looking to upgrade their rotation, reports MLB.com's Mark Bowman. The Braves have shown interest in Edinson Volquez and James Shields, though Bowman notes that a less-pricey pitching option like Rays right-hander Wade Davis could fit Atlanta's needs. Multiple teams have asked about Davis, though he's pitched out of the bullpen all season and wouldn't be able to immediately help a team looking for a starter.
- Jose Reyes, Mark Buehrle and Ozzie Guillen told reporters (including Joe Capozzi of the Palm Beach Post) that despite the Marlins' struggles, they don't regret coming to Miami.
- The Mets are focused on acquiring players who can help the team beyond just the 2012 season, reports ESPN New York's Adam Rubin. Both Rubin's source and manager Terry Collins didn't think any deals were imminent before the deadline.
- Scott Hairston told Rubin that the Mets haven't approached him about a contract extension. A team insider tells Rubin that "Nothing I know of was accomplished" when the Tigers and Mets recently discussed a Hairston trade.
Full Story | Comments | Categories: Atlanta Braves | Cincinnati Reds | Edinson Volquez | James Shields | Jose Reyes | Los Angeles Dodgers | Mark Buehrle | Miami Marlins | New York Mets | Philadelphia Phillies | Pittsburgh Pirates | San Francisco Giants | Scott Hairston | Shane Victorino | Tampa Bay Rays | Wade Davis
Three AL East executives said they view the Red Sox as the Yankees’ greatest intra-divisional threat this year, Joel Sherman of the New York Post reports. “There is just too much talent on that roster for them not to contend,” one of the executives said of the Red Sox. Here are the latest notes and rumors from Sherman…
- The Red Sox are trying to find a high-end starting pitcher or a shortstop, one official told Sherman.
- Boston tried to flip Carl Crawford to Miami to address their shortstop situation, Sherman reports. However, GM Ben Cherington said on WEEI in Boston today that there was just one conversation with Miami and that talks about Crawford never got serious (Twitter link via Rob Bradford).
- Boston “wants [Crawford] out in the worst way,” Sherman hears from an exec.
- James Shields, Jeremy Hellickson and Wade Davis are drawing lots of interest, Sherman writes. The Rays are hoping demand for Shields spikes once Zack Greinke gets traded. It's conceivable that a bidding war could emerge between the Angels and Rangers.
- The Marlins are telling teams Jose Reyes and Mark Buehrle are off-limits, Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com reports. They feel committed to Buehrle and believe Reyes will play better now that Hanley Ramirez has been traded. The Marlins are also sure to keep Giancarlo Stanton, Heyman writes.
- The Marlins are reluctant to trade Emilio Bonifacio, Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reports (on Twitter).
- The Padres offered to trade Luke Gregerson for Daniel Murphy, but the Mets rejected the possible deal, John Harper of the New York Daily News reports. Gregerson, 28, has a 3.05 ERA with 9.5 K/9 and 2.6 BB/9 in 44 1/3 innings this year. He earns $1.55MM and will remain under team control through 2014.
We checked in on the AL East this morning, but with less than a week remaining before the trade deadline, the rumors don’t stop coming. Here’s the latest…
- The Red Sox won't trade Jon Lester this summer, Gordon Edes of ESPNBoston.com reports. The Red Sox are working to add starting pitching and have interest in controllable right-handers Matt Garza and Josh Johnson, Edes writes.
- Several clubs have approached the Red Sox about possible trades involving outfielders such as Ryan Kalish, Ryan Sweeney and Cody Ross. The Pirates and Reds have both scouted the Red Sox extensively, according to Edes.
- Joel Sherman of the New York Post reports that the Blue Jays are trying to move Yunel Escobar and suggests they could have interest in Jose Reyes. The Blue Jays were very interested in Reyes as a free agent, Sherman writes.
- The Yankees aren’t likely to pursue Aramis Ramirez, Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com reports (on Twitter). They could have interest in Chase Headley, however.
- In case you missed it, the Rays designated Hideki Matsui for assignment.
The Phillies are eager to trade Hunter Pence, Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reported today. Here are some more notes from the NL East with exactly one week remaining before the July 31st trade deadline…
- The Nationals' primary concern is improving their middle infield depth, Adam Kilgore of the Washington Post reports. The Nationals could make a move very soon now that Ian Desmond might miss a month with a strained oblique. The team has discussed 15-20 players in the Marco Scutaro, Jamey Carroll, Nick Punto mold, Kilgore reports.
- The Nationals aren’t looking for a starting position player and they aren’t offering much for starting pitching, Bill Ladson of MLB.com reports (Twitter links). It seems unlikely that GM Mike Rizzo will trade for a premium pitcher like Zack Greinke or Matt Garza.
- One GM told Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com that the Marlins are expected to listen on any player not named Giancarlo Stanton or Jose Reyes. However, the Marlins would likely have to be overwhelmed to trade Mark Buehrle.
- The Mets announced that they have signed reliever Craig Hansen to a minor league contract (via Twitter). Hansen was a first-round draft pick of the Red Sox in 2005.
Here's the latest from around the league as Wednesday turns into Thursday…
- There doesn't appear to have been much contract dialogue between the Brewers and Zack Greinke, reports Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports. As of today, there is no evidence that a formal offer has been made even though we heard last week that the team was prepared to make one.
- Torii Hunter told Mike DiGiovanna of The Los Angeles Times that he's willing to take a big paycut to return to the Angels next season. Hunter is in the final year of his five-year, $90MM deal. If things don't work out with the Halos, the outfielder said he would consider playing for the Yankees, Rangers, or Dodgers. Retirement would be an option as well.
- The Marlins have no intention of trading Justin Ruggiano, reports MLB.com's Joe Frisaro (on Twitter). The 30-year-old outfielder is hitting .368/.440/.705 in 111 plate appearances for Miami this season.
- Frisaro also notes (on Twitter) that the Marlins are not dangling Giancarlo Stanton, Jose Reyes, or Mark Buehrle. Yesterday we heard that the team could become sellers if they don't turn things around in the coming weeks.
- The Yankees, Tigers, and Royals were all on hand to watch Wandy Rodriguez get knocked around by the Padres this afternoon according to Scott Miller of CBSSports.com. The left-hander remains available before the trade deadline.
Full Story | Comments | Categories: Detroit Tigers | Giancarlo Stanton | Houston Astros | Jose Reyes | Justin Ruggiano | Kansas City Royals | Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim | Los Angeles Dodgers | Mark Buehrle | Miami Marlins | Milwaukee Brewers | New York Yankees | Texas Rangers | Torii Hunter | Wandy Rodriguez | Zack Greinke
The Red Sox are contacting teams to determine their trade interest in Carl Crawford, Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reports. The Red Sox reached out to both the Marlins and the Dodgers, but no deal appears close.
“There’s nothing going on with Carl,” Red Sox GM Ben Cherington told Rosenthal. “He’s our left fielder and we’re glad to have him back in our lineup.”
Crawford is in the second year of a seven-year, $142MM contract he signed following the 2010 season. His contract allows him to block trades to two teams and states that teams can’t flip him to the New York Yankees. Crawford, who returned from the disabled list two days ago, has lingering elbow issues that could require Tommy John surgery at some point. The 30-year-old posted a .255/.289/.405 line last year in his first season with the Red Sox.
Some Marlins officials are frustrated with Hanley Ramirez, so Rosenthal suggests Cherington could look to acquire the former Red Sox prospect for Crawford. Jose Reyes could also be considered a trade chip, Rosenthal writes.
Every year a few players join baseball’s exclusive $100MM club with free agent deals and mega-extensions. Last offseason was no different — eight players signed nine figure deals. The contracts were all for five years or more, so it’s far too early to call them successes or failures. As the season approaches its halfway point, let’s check in on baseball’s newest $100MM contracts:
- Albert Pujols, ten-year, $240MM contract - Pujols had a painfully slow start, but he has raised his batting line to a respectable .270/.332/.461. His last 40 games have been legitimately Pujols-like: 11 home runs and an OPS over 1.000.
- Joey Votto, ten-year, $225MM extension - It's impossible to have a complete discussion about baseball's best hitters without considering Votto. The 28-year-old leads the National League in on-base percentage, slugging percentage, walks, doubles and wOBA, so this deal couldn't be going any better for the Reds.
- Prince Fielder, nine-year, $214MM contract - Fielder continues to hit at an All-Star level, though he has a relatively modest total of 12 home runs. Unfortunately for Tigers fans Mike Ilitch's bold investment hasn't been enough to keep the team above .500.
- Matt Kemp, eight-year, $160MM extension - Hamstring issues have sidelined Kemp, who was the best hitter in the National League for the first month of the season.
- C.C. Sabathia, five-year, $122MM extension - Sabathia, now on the disabled list with a strained groin, is in the midst of yet another tremendous season. He has a 3.45 ERA with 8.8 K/9 and 2.4 BB/9 in 107 innings.
- Matt Cain, five-year, $112.5MM extension - Cain's enjoying his best season as a Major Leaguer. He has a career-best ERA (2.27), strikeout rate (9.0 K/9) and walk rate (1.9 BB/9) through 107 innings. The Giants' decision to invest in Cain still looks like a good one.
- Jose Reyes, six-year, $106MM extension - Reyes' offensive numbers have dropped off across the board this year, no thanks to a 60 point dip in batting average on balls in play.
- Ryan Zimmerman, six-year, $100MM extension - Zimmerman's off to a slow start at the plate despite two home runs in his past three games. He missed two weeks with shoulder soreness earlier in the year and has just a .235/.297/.350 batting line.
Full Story | Comments | Categories: Albert Pujols | C.C. Sabathia | Cincinnati Reds | Detroit Tigers | Joey Votto | Jose Reyes | Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim | Los Angeles Dodgers | Matt Cain | Matt Kemp | Miami Marlins | New York Yankees | Prince Fielder | Ryan Zimmerman | San Francisco Giants | Washington Nationals
Jared Hughes of the Pirates and Zach Putnam of the Rockies made history today as the 26th players on their teams' respective rosters for this afternoon's double-header. This was the first time teams carried extra players, now a possibility for select double-headers under the sport's new collective bargaining agreement. I believe the change makes sense for ownership, which reduces injury risk by adding depth, and players, who obtain additional service time and pay. On to today's links…
- Jose Reyes says the Mets should keep David Wright in place long-term, Kevin Kernan of the New York Post reports. “That’s good if they can bring David back, he’s a symbol of the game,’’ Reyes said.
- Dan Szymborski of ESPN and Baseball Think Factory takes his readers on a tour of the worst trades in recent history. The Bartolo Colon trade and the Mark Teixeira trade top the list, but the Vernon Wells-Mike Napoli swap also makes an appearance.
- Marvin Miller, the 95-year-old former leader of the MLB players association, says player salaries are reasonable when compared to the earnings of some CEOs, the Associated Press reports (via ESPN.com). Miller describes the current dynamic between owners and players as a win-win situation. "It is an amazing story how under those circumstances, there can be both management and labor really winning," Miller said.