Josh Byrnes Rumors
The brawl between the Padres and Dodgers last night left Zack Greinke sidelined for several weeks with a broken collarbone and put Carlos Quentin squarely in the media spotlight for charging the mound. CBS Sports' Jon Heyman and FOX Sports' Jon Paul Morosi both feel Major League Baseball should hand Quentin a significant penalty --- Heyman suggests a 15-game suspension while Morosi opines that Quentin should be out for at least a month for seeking "vigilante justice" against Greinke. It may be a while before Quentin misses any action given that the outfielder is likely to appeal any suspension leveled against him by the league.
As the Padres kick off a series against the Rockies at Petco Park tonight, here are some more items out of sunny San Diego...
- Padres GM Josh Byrnes seems to have won the favor of the club's new ownership group, Tom Krasovic of the San Diego Union-Tribune reports. New owners are often apt to bring in their own general managers though in the Padres' case, firing Byrnes would be costly given that he is under contract through the 2017 season.
- In his weekly chat with fans, Bill Center of the San Diego Union-Tribune notes that Byrnes will likely "blow up the roster" (in the words of one fan) should the Padres fail to match last year's 76-86 record.
- Also from Center, Cameron Maybin has "no trade value" given his struggles at the plate and the roughly $22.8MM owed to him through the 2016 season. Maybin signed the five-year, $25MM extension prior to the 2012 campaign but hit just .243/.306/.349 last season and has just two hits in 27 AB to begin this season.
- From earlier today on MLBTR, the Padres signed first baseman Brandon Allen to a minor league contract.
MLBTR's Steve Adams also contributed to this post
Here's a look at some news out of the AL and NL West..
- The Dodgers are letting teams know that shortstop Dee Gordon is available, tweets Bob Nightengale of the USA Today. Gordon could represent a fallback option for teams who lose out on Stephen Drew. Earlier today, we learned five teams are in on Drew.
- The Giants are looking for a center fielder and are talking to Michael Bourn, Angel Pagan, and Shane Victorino, tweets CBSSports.com's Jon Heyman.
- The Angels are aren't acting like they're confident of landing Zack Greinke, writes Mike DiGiovanna of the Los Angeles Times. The Angels seem to be trolling for much cheaper starting pitching options like Ryan Dempster and Shaun Marcum, as opposed to Anibal Sanchez and Kyle Lohse.
- The Dodgers' shopping list includes Greinke, a fourth outfielder that can play center, and a backup corner infielder, according to MLB.com's Ken Gurnick. Gurnick also says negotiations continue with lefty reliever Randy Choate.
- Padres GM Josh Byrnes doesn't expect to be very busy during the Winter Meetings, reports Bill Center of the San Diego Union-Tribune. "I expect to do one thing, maybe two," said Byrnes. "I’m not expecting to do a lot. We’re filling the holes, not roster reshaping." The Padres are looking for starting pitching and have depth at the corner outfield slots, in the bullpen, and at middle infield. The names most often mentioned as possible trade chips, according to Center, are Luke Gregerson, Joe Thatcher, and Jesus Guzman.
- The Rangers are interested in talking with the Mets about R.A. Dickey at the Winter Meetings this week, a source tells T.R. Sullivan of MLB.com. The Rangers aren't alone in having interest in the knuckleballer as the Mets have taken calls from six or seven teams looking to swing a trade. The Mets are expected to look for outfield help and catching in a deal.
- The Rockies are considering a run at left-hander Daniel Schlereth as they look to improve their bullpen, according to Thomas Harding of MLB.com. The 26-year-old became a free agent this week when he was non-tendered by the Tigers.
- The Rockies are looking to restore their rotation, but not rebuild it entirely, writes Patrick Saunders of The Denver Post. The club will look to bolster their starting five with a veteran presence and they are known to have interest in free agent right-hander Kevin Correia.
Edward Creech contributed to this post.
At this point in the offseason, when the free agent market features impact players capable of improving any club, it’s easy to forget that some teams can’t rely on free agency -- especially not in early November, when asking prices are high and bargains have yet to emerge. Padres general manager Josh Byrnes is considering free agents, but at this point he ranks free agency third in importance behind trades and developing internally.
“Is it going to happen through trade or free agency or patience? Probably a little bit of all, but probably not as much in free agency as some people think,” Byrnes told MLBTR at the GM Meetings in Indian Wells.
Six of the Padres’ starting pitchers -- Cory Luebke, Andrew Cashner, Anthony Bass, Casey Kelly, Joe Wieland and Robbie Erlin -- recently dealt with injuries, which makes it difficult to project the 2013 rotation (Wieland and Luebke are recovering from Tommy John surgery). The Padres could look to obtain some certainty by supplementing their rotation with free agents. If they do pursue players on the open market, they might choose to do so relatively late in the offseason. Often team-friendly deals emerge in January or even February.
“That’s certainly recent history,” Byrnes said. “When I was in Arizona we signed guys like [Adam] LaRoche or [Jon] Garland late in the offseason. The early offseason is usually the heavyweights financially but we have to stay active and know what’s out there and, as I said, be patient and disciplined.”
Byrnes said the Padres will remain flexible in case the unexpected occurs and it becomes advantageous to change plans. For now it doesn’t sound as though those plans are oriented around the free agent market.
Ten years and one day ago today, the Marlins traded Matt Clement and Antonio Alfonseca to the Cubs for Julian Tavarez, Ryan Jorgensen, Jose Cueto, and Dontrelle Willis. Willis alone made the deal worthwhile for the Fish. Here's the latest from around the league...
- When Cubs president of baseball operations Theo Epstein first called former Padres CEO Jeff Moorad for permission to speak to a member of his front office, he asked about assistant GM Josh Byrnes according to Dan Hayes of The North County Times. Epstein was instead allowed to speak to GM Jed Hoyer because "he was the GM of a last-place team," said Moorad.
- There has been some recent "back and forth" between the Giants and Matt Cain about a contract extension, reports Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com. Cain did say that his upcoming free agency is "an exciting part of your career."
- Outfielder Mike Baxter, catcher Mike Nickeas, and lefty Danny Herrera are front-runners for roster spots with the Mets, writes ESPN New York's Adam Rubin. Baxter and Herrera are not on the team's 40-man roster.
- Yankees GM Brian Cashman declined to comment when asked about Joba Chamberlain's contract situation according to Marc Carig of The Star-Ledger (on Twitter). The right-hander suffered an open dislocation of his right ankle playing with his son last week and could miss the season.
- When the Blue Jays and Athletics discussed Gio Gonzalez this offseason, Oakland asked for 19-year-old right-hander Noah Syndergaard according to Jeff Blair of The Globe and Mail. Baseball America ranked Snydergaard as Toronto's seventh best prospect in December.
Every NL West team enters Spring Training with three or more out of options players, as MLBTR’s Tim Dierkes showed earlier today. Here are the latest links from the division...
- Padres CEO Jeff Moorad told Tom Krasovic of Inside the Padres that Josh Byrnes' deal as GM is for five years plus an option. Moorad said he and Byrnes tore up the eight-year deal they signed when they were with the Diamondbacks. Byrnes obtained a raise and an extra year of guaranteed salary under his new deal, Krasovic writes.
- The Padres are on the verge of signing a 20-year, $1 billion TV deal with FOX, according to Barry Bloom of MLB.com. The club would earn $30MM in 2012 and $70MM by the time the contract expires unless something changes before it's finalized, Bloom explains.
- Bloom also reports that the ownership transfer from John Moores to Moorad isn’t about to go through and could take a couple of years to become official.
- Steve Dilbeck of the LA Times says the Dodgers should sign Andre Ethier to a three-year contract in the upper-$30MM range if possible. Ethier will earn $10.95MM in 2012 before hitting free agency, and I doubt he'd agree to the terms Dilbeck suggests.
It was on this day in 1982 that the Padres made a trade with the Cardinals that brought shortstop Garry Templeton to town. Though Templeton spent the next 10 seasons in San Diego, it's still a trade that Padres fans shake their heads over. The centerpiece of the package that went to the Cards was another shortstop --- future Hall-of-Famer Ozzie Smith.
Here are some notes from the modern-day Padres....
- The Padres will have about a 20% ownership stake in the new FOX regional TV network that will air their games, reports Tom Krasovic of Inside The Padres. The ownership stake is part of the pending 20-year broadcasting contract between the club and the new cable outlet. The Padres would get $30MM in the first year and that total would gradually increase to $65-70MM by the final year of the contract.
- Based on these ownership shares, Krasovic reports the Padres could receive around $1.5 billion from the contract, close to the $75MM annual payout that USA Today's Bob Nightengale reported on Thursday. Krasovic notes the $1.5 billion figure is "a best-case scenario" for the team, which may explain why club president Tom Garfinkel said yesterday that Nightengale's reported terms were too high.
- Andrew Cashner tells MLB.com's Corey Brock (via Twitter) that the Padres have promised him a chance to start again after this season. Cashner made his first Major League start in 2011 but pitched in just seven games due to a strained right rotator cuff.
- Josh Byrnes seems to have more room to operate than did former GM Jed Hoyer, writes Bill Center of the San Diego Union-Tribune as part of his weekly fan chat. Byrnes has already convinced owner Jeff Moorad to spend an extra $7MM on payroll this winter and Center doesn't "think Hoyer would have had the freedom to pull the trigger on the Carlos Quentin trade."
The Padres officially named Josh Byrnes their general manager today, so the two-year-long Jed Hoyer era is over in San Diego. Here's the latest on the Padres as they prepare for their first offseason under Byrnes...
- Byrnes says San Diego will likely offer Heath Bell arbitration, according to Dan Hayes of the North County Times (on Twitter). Bell is a Type A free agent, as MLBTR learned earlier today. If he declines arbitration to sign elsewhere, the Padres will obtain two draft picks in 2012. However, Bell has indicated that he will accept.
- Padres CEO Jeff Moorad explained in a statement that he holds Byrnes' predecessor in high esteem. “Thanks to Jed Hoyer’s leadership, we are in a far better position to win consistently in the future than we were two years ago." The Padres played to a 161-163 record in two seasons under Hoyer, though that's just one imperfect measurement of his contribution to the team.
- Jason McLeod, who left the Padres for the Cubs along with Hoyer, told Tom Krasovic of Inside the Padres that leaving San Diego is bittersweet in a Q&A about his time with the team.
- The Cubs offered Hoyer a five-year contract, which the Padres declined to match, according to Krasovic.
Happy 48th birthday to Bip Roberts, who joined the Padres via the Rule 5 draft and went on to play seven seasons in San Diego. Some news from the modern-day Friars...
- Josh Byrnes' rise from low-paid Indians intern to the Padres' new general manager is profiled by MLB.com's Corey Brock.
- Prospect Alvaro Aristy, who signed with the Padres in July 2008 for a $1MM bonus, has been discovered to have lied about his age and name, reports Ben Badler of Baseball America. Aristy's real name is Jorge Leandro Guzman and he is about two and a half years older than his claimed age (16) when he signed with the Padres. Guzman is now 22 and still a prospect in the club's system. The Padres were able to recoup about $900K of their bonus from an insurance claim.
- Bill Center of the San Diego Union-Tribune discusses such topics as the Padres' front office shakeup, how Byrnes has learned from his previous stint as a GM in Arizona and who the Padres might retain on their 40-man roster during his weekly live chat with fans.
Theo Epstein's first deal as the Cubs' president of baseball operations may be one of the most significant moves of his tenure in Chicago. The Cubs and Padres have confirmed that San Diego GM Jed Hoyer and assistant GM Jason McLeod will leave the Padres to accept positions with Epstein.
Once the World Series ends, the Cubs will introduce Hoyer as their executive VP and general manager and McLeod as their senior VP of scouting and player development. The Cubs will send the Padres a player to be named later as compensation for the two executives.
Meanwhile, Josh Byrnes will be introduced as San Diego's executive vice president and general manager next Monday, according to the Padres. Byrnes, formerly the Padres' senior VP of baseball operations, worked under current Padres CEO Jeff Moorad in Arizona, so he already knows his boss well. Byrnes was Arizona's GM from 2005-10, leading the Diamondbacks to a division title in 2007 before losing his job last July. MLBTR's Transaction Tracker offers a look back at his moves as the club's GM.
The NL West has featured some noteworthy personnel changes in the past year and a half. A.J. Hinch, the former D'Backs manager who was fired along with Byrnes last July, is now San Diego's assistant GM, so Hinch and Byrnes, two former D'Backs, now run the Padres while a longtime Padres executive, Kevin Towers, runs the D'Backs.
Byrnes worked with Epstein and Hoyer in Boston before leaving for Arizona. Before Hoyer obtained the San Diego job, he worked for Epstein as Boston's assistant GM from 2006-09. McLeod was Boston's scouting director from 2005-09.
Theo Epstein is officially the Cubs' president of baseball operations and the Red Sox have announced that Ben Cherington will be Boston's next GM, but there's still lots of front office turnover on the horizon. Here are the latest details from around MLB:
- De Jon Watson's interview for the Orioles' GM job will take place on Wednesday, according to Dan Connolly of the Baltimore Sun (on Twitter). I spoke to Watson, the Dodgers' assistant GM, last month. He's up against Jerry Dipoto of the Diamondbacks and Tony LaCava of the Blue Jays.
- Chase Headley and Heath Bell told Bill Center of the San Diego Union-Tribune that they expect a smooth transition from Jed Hoyer to Josh Byrnes when Hoyer leaves the Padres to become the Cubs' new GM.
- Paul Sullivan of the Chicago Tribune explains that Cubs president Crane Kenney will move exclusively to the business side now that Epstein is the club's president of baseball operations. Kenney is a polarizing figure in Chicago and the role he played in obtaining Epstein is unclear, according to Sullivan.
- Gordon Wittenmyer of the Chicago Sun-Times says letting assistant GM Randy Bush go would be a mistake for the Cubs.
- Yankees GM Brian Cashman met with Hal Steinbrenner in New York today and Joel Sherman of the New York Post says the sides expect to be able to complete a new deal for Cashman with relative ease (Twitter link).