Josh Beckett Rumors
Four AL East teams can be found amongst the top eight in ESPN's Future Power Rankings, which measure how well-positioned teams are for success over the next five years. The list can be found in two parts (ESPN Insider subscription required).
Here's the latest from the AL East...
- Larry Lucchino discussed his team's turbulent season both on and off the field in a radio interview on WEEI's Dennis & Callahan show (WEEI.com's Morley Quatroche has a partial transcript) and the Red Sox president didn't rule out making large changes in the offseason. "I think we’ll examine all options, absolutely,” Lucchino said. “It’s not a question of fine tuning. It’s a question of looking back to the fundamental things....do we have the right kind of system in place? You need to build it all on pitching and we will focus heavily on that, but we’ll look at everything. We’ll look under every rock.”
- With Josh Beckett a sure bet to pass through waivers, the Nationals could be a good trade partner for the Red Sox, opines Fangraphs' Dave Cameron. Beckett could give the Nats an experienced arm in the rotation once Stephen Strasburg is shut down. Cameron thinks, however, that the Red Sox would only be able to move Beckett if they agree to eat at least $20MM of the approximately $36MM owed to the right-hander through the 2014 season.
- Derek Jeter is a good bet to finish in the top six of AL MVP voting this season, which ESPN New York's Wallace Matthews points out will earn Jeter an extra $2MM if he picks up his 2014 player option with the Yankees. That option is worth $8MM, though incentives could push the value to $14MM.
- "No chance. No chance. Nada. Zero. No, not a chance," is how Jeter described his interest in someday becoming a manager, reports CSN Chicago's Jeremy Lynn.
- J.J. Hardy "makes a ton of sense" as a trade target for the Diamondbacks this winter, writes Nick Piecoro of the Arizona Republic. The Orioles could unload Hardy to make room for Manny Machado at his natural shortstop position, while the D'Backs pick up Hardy as a "stopgap" for the next two seasons until prospect Chris Owings is ready for the majors. Arizona GM Kevin Towers said yesterday that his team would likely pursue a shortstop via the trade market in the offseason as the D'Backs look to replace Stephen Drew.
The Dodgers probably won’t trade for Adrian Gonzalez this month, but there’s a remote chance of a deal, Dylan Hernandez of the Los Angeles Times writes. Gonzalez, who’s now on revocable waivers, drew trade interest from the Dodgers last month. However, Hernandez hears that the Dodgers don’t expect the Red Sox to make Gonzalez available.
If the sides do discuss a trade, they won’t have to worry about Gonzalez’s limited no-trade clause, He can’t block a move to the Dodgers, according to Hernandez. The point would be moot if an American League team or a National League team with a worse record than the Dodgers were to claim the first baseman.
Gonzalez will earn $21MM per season through 2016 and obtain a raise to $21.5MM for 2017-18. The total exceeds $130MM when accounting for the remainder of Gonzalez's 2012 salary. While this sum would deter most teams, the Dodgers have been willing to spend under their new ownership group.
"We are trying to add players. That doesn't mean we will be able to," chairman Mark Walter said, speaking in general terms.
The Dodgers claimed Cliff Lee on waivers earlier this month after trading for Shane Victorino, Hanley Ramirez, Joe Blanton and Brandon League. They’ve also shown aggressiveness on the international market, signing Yasel Puig.
Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports has heard that the Red Sox would only move Gonzalez in a transformative or franchise-changing move (Twitter link). A trade isn’t out of the question, but seems unlikely. Executives could see the Dodgers claiming Gonzalez, according to Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com (on Twitter). Still, the Red Sox wouldn’t let him go for nothing.
Steve Dilbeck of the LA Times examines the possibility that the Dodgers could persuade the Red Sox to part with Gonzalez by taking on Carl Crawford and Josh Beckett as well. Beckett drew some interest from the Dodgers leading up to the non-waiver trade deadline, according to Hernandez. However, this scenario sounds extremely unlikely to me given the money involved and Crawford’s elbow injury (he was scheduled to undergo Tommy John surgery today).
Beckett, 32, earns $15.75MM per season through 2014. He has posted a 5.23 ERA with 6.6 K/9 and 2.7 BB/9 in 127 1/3 innings this year, while facing considerable scrutiny for his on-field performance and off-field actions.
One unnamed GM recently told Heyman "Boston's first priority has to be to trade Josh Beckett'' this August. The Red Sox and Rangers discussed a trade that would have sent Beckett, Jacoby Ellsbury and Kelly Shoppach to Texas leading up to the trade deadline, so the Rangers could be considered a long-shot suitor.
Teams routinely place players on waivers, even if they don't plan on trading them, so this is not an indication that the Red Sox intend to move Beckett. If he goes unclaimed, the Red Sox will be able to complete a trade just as easily as they could have before the current waiver period began at the beginning of August.
If a team claims Beckett, the Red Sox will have three choices. They can let him (and his contract) go to the claiming team, they can complete a trade with the claiming team, or they can pull him back off of waivers. American League teams will have claiming priority on Beckett.
Four teams have at least a 98% chance of reaching the postseason this year, according to Baseball Prospectus' Playoff Odds Report. The Yankees, Rangers, Nationals and Reds look like playoff teams now, but they all saw what happened to the Braves and Red Sox last year, so I doubt any contending teams intend on coasting from this point on. Here are today’s links...
- The chances that Melky Cabrera will appear in a potential postseason game or re-sign with the Giants this offseason are "close to nil," according to Henry Schulman of the San Francisco Chronicle.
- Pirates manager Clint Hurdle told reporters, including Rob Biertempfel of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, that the team wouldn't attempt to retain Juan Cruz if he clears waivers (Twitter link). The Bucs have younger players who have passed Cruz, according to Hurdle. Cruz was designated for assignment earlier today.
- The Red Sox "weren't trying very hard" to trade Josh Beckett before the non-waiver trade deadline, Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com reports. The Rangers and Braves are believed to be among the teams that spoke to Boston's executives about Beckett, Heyman writes. One unnamed GM said "Boston's first priority has to be to trade Josh Beckett'' this August. Another executive suggested the Rangers could make sense for Beckett, who would have to be placed on waivers to be traded this month.
- The Cardinals signed 16-year-old right-hander Ronald Medrano, Ben Badler of Baseball America reports. Medrano has touched 90-91 mph with his fastball and has shown good feel for his secondary pitches. He had been considered one of the top Nicaraguan prospects available, according to Badler.
- Nationals first rounder Lucas Giolito re-injured his pitching elbow and will be examined by Dr. Lewis Yocum, ESPN.com's Keith Law reports. Giolito, who was at one point a candidate to be selected first overall, signed for $2.925MM after the Nationals drafted him 16th overall in June.
The Giants are seeking outfield help following Melky Cabrera's 50-game suspension, reports Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports (on Twitter). For now the team plans to promote Justin Christian from Triple-A and stick with Gregor Blanco, Angel Pagan, and Hunter Pence as the regulars.
Rosenthal reports that Scott Hairston and Juan Pierre have yet to be placed on trade waivers, though the Diamondbacks would likely block both players from getting to San Francisco. Arizona has a higher waiver priority and both Hairston (approximately $300K) and Pierre ($200K) are reasonably priced for the remainder of the season. Alfonso Soriano remains unlikely to approve a trade to the 2010 World Champs.
The Red Sox and Rangers discussed a trade that would have sent Josh Beckett, Jacoby Ellsbury and Kelly Shoppach to Texas, Rob Bradford of WEEI.com reports. It’s unclear what the Red Sox would have obtained in the potential trade, which was discussed in the days leading up to yesterday’s non-waiver trade deadline.
Bradford’s sources are divided on how serious talks were before the Rangers moved on and acquired Geovany Soto and Ryan Dempster from the Cubs in a pair of trades. GM Ben Cherington said the Red Sox explored a lot of options before deciding to complete one low-profile deadline deal.
"We did feel empowered to do something bold, we just didn't find something bold that made sense for us," Cherington said.
Trade talks never advanced to the point where the Red Sox asked Beckett about the possibility of waiving his ten and five rights. Beckett would have provided the Rangers with some rotation depth and Texas could have paired Shoppach with Mike Napoli behind the plate. Ellsbury, who’s under team control for 2013, would have represented insurance for the Rangers in case they don’t re-sign Josh Hamilton when he’s eligible for free agency this coming offseason.
- The Yankees had planned to designate Chad Qualls for assignment to create roster space for Joba Chamberlain, so trading him to Pittsburgh wasn't a problem for the club, Mark Feinsand of the New York Daily News reports (on Twitter).
- The Yankees were in on Ryan Dempster, but talks "never got to crunch time," Marc Carig of the Star Ledger reports (on Twitter).
- The Orioles continued general discussions about a possible Joe Blanton trade, but never took the next step, Dan Connolly of the Baltimore Sun reports (on Twitter). "We would have liked to have done a deal or two today, but I don't think we're done adding to the team," executive VP Dan Duquette said, according to Eduardo A. Encina of the Sun (on Twitter).
- The Blue Jays were discussing a trade late Monday, only to see the deal fall apart, GM Alex Anthopoulos said, according to Richard Griffin of the Toronto Star (on Twitter). Griffin suggests the deal was with the Cubs, who were discussing trades involving Matt Garza last night.
- Red Sox GM Ben Cherington said he didn’t ask Josh Beckett if he’d waive his ten and five rights, according to Brian MacPherson of the Providence Journal (on Twitter).
The latest on the Red Sox, with less than two hours remaining for Ben Cherington to make a deal...
- The Red Sox are in the market for a left-handed reliever, according to Sean McAdam of CSNNE.com (on Twitter McAdam credits Peter Gammons for first reporting the news). Adding a lefty reliever would allow the Red Sox to move Franklin Morales back to the rotation, McAdam writes. Here are some southpaw relievers for Cherington to consider.
- The Red Sox and Rangers definitely won't revisit the possibility of a Josh Beckett trade, Rob Bradford of WEEI.com reports. The sides could re-engage next month if the right-hander clears waivers.
The Blue Jays traded two outfielders for two relievers in a pair of late-night trades Monday, while the Orioles continued engaging the Phillies on Joe Blanton. Here’s the latest from the AL East as today’s 3pm CDT trade deadline draws closer...
- Though some fans and analysts insist it's time for the Red Sox to trade Josh Beckett, he's not the negative clubhouse presence Manny Ramirez was, Alex Speier of WEEI.com writes. The Red Sox don't feel compelled to move Beckett, who's still well-respected by many teammates and club officials. Speier breaks down the reasons for and against a Beckett trade in detail at WEEI.com. It doesn't sound as though the Red Sox will move him today.
- The Red Sox are on the lookout for an outfielder who bats from the right side, Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe reports (on Twitter). Scott Hairston and Alfonso Soriano are among the potentially available outfielders who bat right-handed.
- The Red Sox aren't involved on Matt Garza, Nick Cafardo reports (on Twitter).
- Mark Teixeira's left wrist injury shouldn't affect the Yankees' trade plans, Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reports (on Twitter). The Yankees continue looking for a third baseman who plays strong defense.
- Brad Lincoln probably can't start for the Blue Jays, but he can be a strong setup man and won't be worse than a right-handed specialist, ESPN.com's Keith Law writes. Travis Snider, the player Toronto gave up to acquire Lincoln, still has flaws, but could become an everyday outfielder with power. Law doesn't anticipate either Eric Thames or Steve Delabar will have a major impact on his new team. Within the Insider-only piece, Law also breaks down the Chris Johnson and Francisco Liriano trades.
Despite a report of the Red Sox shopping righty Josh Beckett to the Rangers and Braves, there was a clear vibe from reporters this morning that a trade is unlikely. Beckett can veto any trade given his 10-and-5 rights, and he's owed $37MM through 2014. The latest on the 32-year-old Texan...
- The Red Sox won't trade Beckett before the deadline, Gordon Edes tweets.
- The Rangers haven't ruled out the possibility of trading for Beckett, according to Gordon Edes of ESPNBoston.com. Yet a rival GM estimates that there's just a 2% chance of a deal being completed. "Too much money involved, and Beckett isn't pitching that well," the GM told Edes.
- Beckett will not be traded to the Rangers, reports WEEI's Rob Bradford.
- Sean McAdam of CSNNE.com has a different take on the Beckett situation. He says the Red Sox are willing to listen but not aggressively seeking to move him, and it is the Rangers, Braves, and Dodgers who called to inquire on Beckett. McAdam says the Sox won't assume much of the $37MM owed to Beckett, and the chances of a deal are less than 50-50.
- Asked by Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe whether reports of him trying to move Beckett were accurate, Red Sox GM Ben Cherington said no.
- The Braves are not a viable landing spot for Beckett right now, reports WEEI's Rob Bradford. Bradford says the Braves are not in position to assume Beckett's financial obligation, even if the Red Sox pick up a significant portion. MLB.com's Mark Bowman says the Braves are not a likely fit for Beckett, but Atlanta would be more interested in Jon Lester. The Red Sox are saying no, flatly, regarding calls about Lester, tweets ESPN's Buster Olney.
- Rangers people aren't too excited about the Beckett speculation, tweets Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe.
- There is a sense that Beckett might waive his 10-and-5 rights for certain teams, tweets Jon Heyman of CBS Sports, but clubs are concerned about his attitude and performance. In comments made to Bradford a couple days ago, Beckett said he prefers to stay, "But if people don’t want you, you don’t want to be there. Obviously I have some things where it would be very difficult for them to trade me if I didn’t want to be traded. But you have to think realistically. If you’re not wanted somewhere, why stay there? Know what I mean? It kind of makes it a little more difficult. But [GM Ben Cherington] assured me during spring training that he wants me here, so as far as I’m concerned, it’s just made-up fodder."
- Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports says there is no longer a required 24-hour waiting period for 10-and-5 players to approve a trade, so trade talk for players like Beckett and Ryan Dempster can go right down to the wire.