Josh Fields Rumors

Orioles Explore Deals for Pie, Salazar

According to Jeff Zrebiec at the Baltimore Sun, the Orioles have a roster decision to make when Cesar Izturis returns from the disabled list, and thus have considered dealing Oscar Salazar and Felix Pie. Both players are out of options and are likely to get claimed if put on waivers, so a deal makes sense, Zrebiec says.

Sources say that the Orioles have discussed Pie in a potential deal for Sox corner infielder Josh Fields, who has struggled this season, though it's not clear if the Sox would still agree to such a trade. Salazar reportedly has drawn interest from some NL teams who value his positional flexibility and bat off the bench.


Odds And Ends: Fields, Grilli, Boras, D’Backs

Some links for Thursday evening…

  • Josh Fields told MLB.com's Scott Merkin that he had a "blunt and straightforward" meeting with Ken Williams about his place on the White Sox.
  • Mark Gonzales of the Chicago Tribune reports the White Sox drafted their GM's son, Tyler Williams, and Harold Baines Jr..
  • Jason Grilli was recently dealt to the Rangers and now he's working on a deal of his own. According to his Twitter, Grilli plans to exchange "cash or an item to be named later" for number 49.
  • Gavin McCourt, the son of Dodgers owner Frank McCourt, was drafted by the Red Sox. The 39th round pick says Scott Boras wouldn't fit into his "family dynamics," so his dad will represent him, according to the LA Times .
  • Scott Bordow of the East Valley Tribune believes it's time for the Diamondbacks to sell, beginning with Felipe Lopez and Doug Davis.
  • And I'll be talking baseball on 590 KFNS in St. Louis tonight at 11pm CST, so tune in if you're in the area. If not, you can always listen online.

Odds And Ends: Hamilton, Vizquel, Draft

Why not rattle off a few more links to wrap up this Monday afternoon…



Discussion: Josh Fields’ Future

As recently reported by Mark Gonzales at the Chicago Tribune, with the recent slotting of top prospect Gordon Beckham at third, White Sox GM Kenny Williams admits that Josh Fields' future with the team is "undefined":

"I see it here in Chicago and certainly, this isn't an indication we're giving up on Josh, but you guys understand we're all about winning here."

Williams goes on to say there's a place for Fields "right now," though, as Gonzales notes, the surplus of Pale Hose infielders offers an opportunity to swing a deal and patch some holes. Fields has seen his share of ups and downs for the Sox–he was seen to be the future at third after he jacked 23 homers in 373 at-bats in 2007, but he hasn't flashed that potential since. He's posted a meager .626 OPS in 176 at-bats this year.

Do you see Fields staying with the Sox? Or would he make sense for a team starved for depth at the corners like, say, the Mets? Could he command any useful parts for Kenny Williams, or would he be selling too low?


Mariners Sign First-Round Pick

According to MLB.com’s Jim Street, the Mariners have finally inked right-handed reliever Josh Fields.  He was the team’s first-round pick in the 2008 first year player draft.

Jim Callis of Baseball America dug up the numbers over the weekend: Fields will receive $1.75 million, splitting the difference between MLB’s $1.5 million recommendation for his draft slot and the $2 million he was seeking

The 23-year-old passed a physical Saturday and the deal became official with his signature this afternoon.  Fields will now join the Mariners’ camp as a non-roster invitee.


Fields, Mariners Agree To Deal

SUNDAY, 9:34am: Jim Callis of Baseball America has the numbers: "A baseball source said Fields will receive $1.75 million, splitting the difference between MLB’s $1.5 million recommendation for his draft slot and the $2 million he was seeking, pending the results of a physical he took on Saturday."

Callis notes while the deadline to sign draft picks was August 15, Fields and Seattle were allowed to continue negotiations due to Fields having exhausted his college eligibility.

FRIDAY, 7:07pm: The Seattle Mariners have reached an agreement with Josh Fields, their first-round selection in the 2008 draft, MLB.com’s Jim Street reports.

Street writes that the deal was delayed by a $500,000 gap between the $2MM deal he wanted and the $1.5MM the Mariners were offering.

Fields, 23, was the closer for Georgia in 2008. He also was the Southeastern Conference Pitcher of the Year last season while helping the Bulldogs reach the finals of the NCAA College World Series.

The Mariners selected him as the 20th overall selection.


Mariners’ Top Pick Remains Unsigned

Jim Hickey of the Seattle Post-Intelligencer is reporting that the Mariners and their top pick, Josh Fields, remain about $500K apart in their negotiations. As a player that has completed his college eligibility, Fields was not subject to the August 15 deadline for picks to sign. 

Fields’ agent, Scott Boras is demanding $2MM while the Mariners are said to be offering $1.5MM, which is in line with the MLB’s slotting recommendations. Hickey feels it is unlikely that Boras and Fields will move from their asking price and seem willing to let Fields pitch for an independent league team this year and re-enter the draft next June.

Bleeding Blue and Teal thinks the Mariners may be better off not signing Fields. They question the M’s need for a closer while the team is rebuilding and note that Seattle could have four of the top 50 picks next year if Fields goes unsigned.

Fields (#20 overall) is one of three first round picks that has not signed. The other two players, Aaron Crow (WAS, #9 overall) and Gerrit Cole (NYY, #28) did not sign prior to the deadline. Crow has signed with an independent league team and Cole will play for UCLA.

Cork Gaines writes for RaysIndex.com and can be reached here.


Draft Pick Signing Update: Posey, Matusz, Alonso

10:51am: Baggarly has the latest on Posey.  He says it’s a "spitting contest" between Scott Boras and Posey’s agency to have the highest-paid draft pick.

7:46am: The latest links involved unsigned first-round draft picks.


Carroll’s Latest: Duchscherer, Burnett, Ibanez, Cabrera

Will Carroll of Baseball Prospectus has some rumors to consider this afternoon.

  • The Tigers are 5.5 games out, but are still on the fence about buying or selling.
  • Carroll says there’s "much more substance to rumors of the White Sox going after Justin Duchscherer" as compared to the one about the A’s pursuing Jason Bay.
  • The Phillies could jump back in on A.J. Burnett if the price comes down.  Also – could Burnett clear waivers in August?
  • The Rockies’ demands for Brian Fuentes might be holding up the relief market.
  • Regarding Raul Ibanez, the Mariners either want to tack Jose Vidro on in a deal or get back premium prospects.
  • The White Sox have become aggressive, and apparently had failed talks about Orlando Cabrera with the Red Sox.  Josh Fields is not considered untouchable.

Rosenthal’s Latest: Laird, Washburn, Nady, Bay

Ken Rosenthal has more new material.  I’ve updated the post, as Rosenthal updated his.

  • The Yankees are looking for catching – Rosenthal and Jon Heyman do not agree with Peter Abraham. Rosenthal says the Yanks have expressed interest in Gerald Laird and Miguel Olivo.  The Rangers want young pitching for Laird, however.
  • Jarrod Washburn‘s limited no-trade protection includes the Yankees.  He might want compensation to waive that, putting him out of the Yanks’ price range.  Washburn, a Boras client, wouldn’t mind pitching in New York though.  The Mariners are looking for young pitching for him.  It sounds like the Yankees aren’t willing to eat the entire contract and send good prospects.
  • The Yankees may explore other trades, and are said to have interest in A.J. Burnett and Bronson Arroyo.
  • The Nationals were apparently locked in on a second baseman for Jon Rauch, perhaps explaining why they traded him for just Emilio Bonifacio.  The jury is still out on the speedy young infielder.
  • The White Sox explored a scenario where they would’ve acquired Brian Roberts from Baltimore, traded Orlando Cabrera to the Dodgers, and moved Alexei Ramirez to shortstop.  That obviously didn’t work out.  The Sox may be currently trying to decide whether to part with third baseman Josh Fields, their best trade chip and third baseman of the future.
  • Suitors for Xavier Nady, such as the Rays, Yankees, and Phillies, are balking at Pittsburgh’s asking price.  The Bucs continue to insist they’re being reasonable.
  • Interestingly, the A’s are still talking to the Pirates about Jason Bay.  Rosenthal says a trade seems unlikely.
  • The Cardinals had scouts in Baltimore yesterday, and their interest in George Sherrill is well-known.  But they might not match up with the Orioles’ needs.