Josh Bard Rumors
9:48pm: The Rockies are moving forward on a deal for Rusch, according to Tracy Ringolsby. Ringolsby adds that the Rox may explore a long-term deal with Ubaldo Jimenez after the holidays, but aren't quite ready to do so with Chris Iannetta. Also, the Rockies like Josh Bard but they don't have room for him.
1:00pm: Joel Sherman adds Eddie Guardado as a lefty of interest for Colorado.
2:07am: Troy E. Renck of the Denver Post sums up the latest hot stove buzz around the Rockies.
- As you know, the Nationals are interested in Rockies outfielder Willy Taveras. Taveras might be just a step above a non-tender, so the price shouldn't be too high. The real question is whether the Nats are planning on starting four players in the outfield.
- Joe Beimel is dropping out of the picture, but the Rockies still like Alan Embree, Ron Villone, and Glendon Rusch.
- The Mets' asking price for Aaron Heilman was too high. Jason Marquis could be a trade target, he can at least eat innings at a cost of $6MM to the Rockies. Then again, a lot of guys can do that.
- No chance of multiyear contract talks between the Rockies and Brian Fuentes.
9:38pm: A bit more on the Reds from Jocketty via John Fay - Paul Bako won't be back, and the team has mild interest in Josh Bard.
10:56am: Mark Sheldon of MLB.com talked to Reds GM Walt Jocketty, who said he will not re-sign outfielder Corey Patterson. Patterson, 29, hit .205/.238/.344 in 392 plate appearances. This decade, only Alex Gonzalez of the 2000 Marlins had a worse OBP (.229) over 390+ plate appearances. Gonzalez, however, had only one PA in the leadoff spot (Patterson had 155). Patterson did play strong defense in center field this year.
Sheldon expects the Reds to attempt to re-sign at least two of their nine free agents in David Weathers and Jerry Hairston Jr. John Fay guesses the Reds will also talk to Jeremy Affeldt and Mike Lincoln.
According to MLB.com's Corey Brock, catcher Josh Bard and pitcher Shawn Estes have elected free agency and cleared waivers. Both players were expected to join the free agent class, though perhaps not this early.
Bard is interesting - he will be 31 in March, and was injured for much of '08. In '07 he hit pretty well away from PETCO.
Another week down here at MLBTR, here's your review!
- The Brewers fired manager Ned Yost on Monday. Yost has taken a lot of criticism, and while I personally don't feel like it's a bad move, it seems like an odd time to disrupt the clubhouse, given that the Brewers are right in the wild card race. Perhaps this was intended to spark the Brewers and act as a wakeup call, but they have just two wins since the move.
- In an attempt to cut payroll, the Tigers may have to move Magglio Ordonez this offseason. Ordonez will make $18MM next year and has options for 2010 and 2011. Anyone else think the Reds should make a serious run at Maggs? A lineup filled with Jay Bruce, Brandon Phillips, Joey Votto, Edwin Encarnacion, and Ordonez could be extremely potent, to go along with a rotation anchored by Edinson Volquez, Aaron Harang, and Johnny Cueto.
- Despite their bullpen woes, the Mets are not likely to make a run at either Francisco Rodriguez, or Brian Fuentes either. The Mets' internal options have been bad, but K-Rod is in for a record-setting deal, and aside from the sheer number of saves, I don't feel that his numbers stand out to the point where the team that lands him is going to get the full value of that contract. Personally, I think passing is a good decision.
- Are the Royals currently interested in making a move for Braves' right fielder Jeff Francoeur? The Royals have very few guys with solid OBPs, and adding Francoeur to the everyday lineup doesn't seem like the route to go. Still, he has a long-standing relationship with Royals GM Dayton Moore, so it could be a valid possibility. The Royals have said they are willing to part with anyone aside from Zack Greinke, Gil Meche, and Joakim Soria.
- The Red Sox and Theo Epstein have agreed to a contract extension.
- Things to think about for in the offseason: Kevin Gregg expects to be traded, Matt Cain wants to stay in San Francisco, Milton Bradley wants a long-term deal and feels he has a 50-50 chance at returning to the Rangers. In the meantime, likely non-tender candidates include both Josh Bard and Erik Bedard.
- Tim updated the Offseason Outlook series with entries for the Athletics, Braves, and Tigers. He also took a look at the Third Base Market, led by Casey Blake.
- And for anyone curious about Manny Ramirez's end in Boston, here's Curt Schilling's take on the situation.
According to MLB.com's Corey Brock, the Padres plan to non-tender catcher Josh Bard this winter. They'll use Nick Hundley as the starting catcher in '09, and may add a veteran backup like Brad Ausmus.
Bard is out for the year with a strained triceps. He hit .202/.279/.270 in 198 plate appearances, also dealing with an ankle injury. The Padres would've had to pay him at least $1.79MM in '09. It's not a bad situation for Bard, though - he'll reach free agency without putting in six years of service. He'll be 30 in March as will join a weak free agent market for catchers. Small sample size, but in his last healthy season (2007) Bard hit .330/.386/.456 away from PETCO.
With Bard out of the picture, the Padres have $42.4MM committed for '09 plus arbitration raises to Jody Gerut, Scott Hairston, Heath Bell, and Clay Hensley. It seems possible the Padres could exercise Brian Giles' option and re-sign Trevor Hoffman without going too far past a $50MM payroll. Giles is included in the $42.4MM figure.
5:33pm: ESPN's Jerry Crasnick talked to a baseball source who finds Zaun to Florida unlikely, on account of the money owed to the catcher.
12:18pm: Dan Hayes of the North County Times reports that the Marlins inquired on Padres catcher Josh Bard yesterday. However, Bard is under team control through 2010 and the Marlins weren't offering nearly enough.
11:48am: An unconfirmed report is floating about that the Marlins might have interest in bringing back catcher Gregg Zaun. It couldn't take too much to pry him loose.
Also, I can't pass up an opportunity to link to Zaun's website. Make sure to bring your Z-game and also turn the sound on for some G&R.