Josh Fields Rumors
Fields, 28, joined Kansas City a year ago in the Mark Teahen trade. Hip surgery took up most of his Royals career, though he had 104 interesting pro plate appearances before being non-tendered this month. Beyond the hot corner, he's dabbled at first base and left field.
Fields was drafted 18th overall by the White Sox in 2004 and was once considered a top prospect. He crushed 23 home runs in 418 plate appearances with the Sox in '07, nine of which came in August of that year. Earlier this month the Pirates added another former top third base prospect in Andy Marte, cutting a third one loose in Andy LaRoche.
This post will list all the American League players non-tendered today, but the best place to track all 200+ arbitration eligible players is our new non-tender tracker.
- Blue Jays: Fred Lewis, Jeremy Accardo
- Red Sox: Hideki Okajima, Andrew Miller, Taylor Buchholz
- Mariners: Ryan Rowland-Smith
- Rays: Lance Cormier, Willy Aybar, Dioner Navarro, J.P. Howell
- Royals: Josh Fields
- Rangers: Dustin Nippert
- Angels: Kevin Frandsen
- Athletics: Jack Cust, Travis Buck, Edwin Encarnacion
- Yankees: Alfredo Aceves, Dustin Moseley
- Orioles: Matt Albers
- White Sox: Bobby Jenks, Erick Threets
- Tigers: Zach Miner
Now that six years have passed since the 2004 draft, let's take a look at a few of the choices teams made between prospects at the same position to get a sense of who came out ahead in the great pick-by-pick spin of fate.
- Justin Verlander (Tigers) vs. Phil Humber (Mets) vs. Jeff Niemann (Rays): Here we have a textbook study in the perils of pitching prospects. In Verlander, the second overall pick, the Tigers got a true ace. He has posted three top-seven finishes in the Cy Young voting already, and struck out an incredible 269 batters in 240 innings last year. Picking third, the Mets got an ace as well, sort of: Humber was eventually traded in the deal that landed them Johan Santana. Needless to say, Humber has not been an ace himself, pitching to an ERA over 5.00 at Triple-A for a second straight year in 2010. Niemann, meanwhile, has profiled somewhere in-between, though his 2010 so far suggests he may be fulfilling the promise of his status as fourth overall pick. He's pitching to a 2.83 ERA in 2010, though the strikeout rate (just 5.8 per nine innings) suggests that ERA will likely rise. Overall winner here? Everyone except the Twins.
- Billy Butler (Royals) vs. Josh Fields (White Sox): Well, it certainly appears the Royals got the better of this battle of third basemen. Butler, picked 14th, didn't stick at third, but he is finally getting some attention as a legitimately excellent bat, putting up a .341/.396/.494 line in 2010 so far. Meanwhile, Fields, picked 18th, has struggled to remain on the field, and is actually now property of the Royals as well, coming over this winter in the deal for Mark Teahen. But he will miss most, if not all, of the 2010 season after having hip surgery in April. Fields, 28 in December, has had some impressive Triple-A seasons, so he may eventually fulfill his promise. Butler, however, is clearly here to stay. Overall winner? The Royals. Almost makes up for Alex Gordon!
- Glen Perkins (Twins) vs. Phil Hughes (Yankees): Lost in the many months of Johan Santana trade talks back in 2007-2008, which centered around whether the Yankees would deal Phil Hughes, was the realization that the Twins could have drafted Hughes themselves. Instead, at pick 22, Minnesota took Glen Perkins, a college product out of University of Minnesota. The outlook isn't brilliant for Perkins at this point, with a 7.76 ERA in Triple-A, though his strikeout rate is at least relatively strong. Meanwhile, Phil Hughes has become one of the best pitchers in the American League, with a fantastic 74 strikeouts and 22 walks in 75.1 innings in support of his 3.11 ERA. Hughes won't be 24 until later this month. And among those who won't be celebrating his birthday? The Twins.
Links for Sunday....
- Injuries have really soured the Royals' half of the Mark Teahen trade so far. Both Chris Getz and Josh Fields are on the disabled list, and the Associated Press reported today that Fields will undergo hip surgery that will likely end his season.
- Ethan Trex has an interesting article up on CNN.com that highlights some unusual contractual clauses over the years, including George Brett becoming partial owner of a Memphis apartment complex back in 1984 and Charlie Kerfeld receiving 37 boxes of orange Jell-O in 1987. Seriously.
- It looks like a trend is developing in the NL Central. A few days after the Cubs moved Carlos Zambrano to the bullpen, Adam McCalvy of MLB.com reports that the Brewers will do the same thing with Jeff Suppan and his $12.5MM salary. As for Zambrano, the Cubs won't use him on back-to-back days for now, tweets MLB.com's Carrie Muskat.
- Joel Sherman of the New York Post tries to play matchmaker and work out a Carlos Silva-George Sherrill/Jamey Carroll trade between the Cubs and Dodgers. I'm not sure such a swap necessarily makes sense for either team, given the Cubs' lefty surplus and Silva's price tag next year.
- Brian MacPherson of the Providence Journal writes that Victor Martinez is working overtime to improve his throwing, presumably hoping to silence the constant rumblings about the Red Sox shopping for a catcher.
- The latest mailbag from Paul Hoynes of the Cleveland Plain Dealer includes a Carlos Santana update and an assessment of the Indians' free agent prospects following the 2010 season.
A roundup of some news on this Thursday night...
- In an interview on CSNNE's Sports Tonight show, Josh Beckett said he would "probably not" negotiate with the Red Sox about a new contract once the season begins. WEEI's Rob Bradford reports on Beckett's appearance here.
- Bobby Cox thinks Chipper Jones will play out the final three years on his contract, reports David O'Brien of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Jones was hinting at retirement last fall in the wake of his disappointing (for him) 2009 campaign, but thus far in spring training, O'Brien reports that Jones has been nothing but enthusiastic about Atlanta's chances this season.
- In an interview with Jane Lee of MLB.com, Jack Cust confirms what we all thought about this winter's crop of free agents at outfield and DH: "it just wasn't a very good market unless you're Matt Holliday or Jason Bay. Even for those guys, I don't think the interest level was as high as they may have thought it to be. Unless you're one of those big dudes, you take what you can get."
- Bruce Levine of ESPNChicago.com says that the Cubs have some interest in Luke Gregerson and/or Jason Frasor.
- Jon Paul Morosi tweets that there is "not much new" going on with the negotiations between Joe Mauer and the Twins.
- MLB.com's Anthony DiComo reports that Alex Rodriguez offered Johnny Damon some free agency advice this winter. Oh, so THAT's why it took so long for Damon to sign...
- We had heard about Toronto's possible interest in Jose Julio Ruiz, and MLB.com's Jordan Bastian now reports that the Jays may be looking at another Cuban prospect: Adeiny Hechevarria.
- Dick Kaegel of MLB.com reports that the Royals agreed to terms with Josh Fields and Kila Ka'aihue on one-year contracts. Terms were not disclosed, but Bob Dutton of the Kansas City Star tweeted that neither deal is expected to exceed $500K.
Links for a busy Wednesday, as writers, agents, and GMs catch their flights out of O'Hare...
- Welcome to Twitter: ESPN's Buster Olney.
- ESPN's Keith Law assesses the Mark Teahen, J.J. Hardy, Jeremy Hermida, and Akinori Iwamura trades.
- The Royals are committed to Alex Gordon as their third baseman despite acquiring Josh Fields, according to Ken Rosenthal and Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports. Fields instead could play left field in the event David DeJesus is traded. DeJesus' name popped up in our left field trade market post.
- Rosenthal and Morosi also note that the Giants are talking with Juan Uribe about a new contract. Uribe was one of the year's best minor league deals. He's represented by Barry Praver.
- Rosenthal reported yesterday that the Nationals hired Bryan Minnitti from the Pirates to be their new assistant GM. Jake from New Bucs interviewed the young exec last year.
- Nick Piecoro of the Arizona Republic names four relievers who might be of interest to the Diamondbacks: Rafael Betancourt, Mike Gonzalez, LaTroy Hawkins, and Bob Howry.
- Joe Pawlikowski of River Ave. Blues has a reality check for fans as we head toward the offseason insanity.
- Victor Martinez's agent Alan Nero told WEEI's Rob Bradford there's been "little or no dialogue" in terms of the Red Sox extending his client.
- Joel Sherman of the New York Post wonders if the Yankees' championship might enable them to take things more slowly this winter.
- Sherman tweets that there is interest in Japan from Kei Igawa, but he doesn't want to go. Igawa posted a 4.15 ERA in 145.3 Triple A innings this year, and still has $8MM remaining on his contract.
- Baseball America's Matt Eddy has your minor league transactions. Wilson Valdez and Mike Gosling are among those joining the free agent ranks.
- New Blue Jays GM Alex Anthopoulos seems passionate, talking to Bob Elliott of the Toronto Sun. Anthopoulos even gives props to the fine Jays blogs out there.
- Padres pitcher Chris Young told Bill Center of the San Diego Union-Tribune that he understands the business aspect of baseball. With a healthy first half, Young could be a trade candidate.
- Grant at McCovey Chronicles says AT&T Park isn't a pitcher's park anymore, and agents know that.
Here's a few links on a gorgeous Saturday, at least around these parts...
- Acquiring Carlos Gomez allows the Brewers to wave goodbye to Mike Cameron, and Tom Haudricourt of The Journal Sentinel says they'll use the savings on pitching. "We're going to have to take our resources that we gave to Mike and distribute them to fill other needs for our ballclub," said GM Doug Melvin. "We've said pitching is our focus. We still have other needs, like any club. And the salaries of our other players go up, too."
- The return of Manny Ramirez allows the Dodgers to resume searching for a trade partner for Juan Pierre, according to Dylan Hernandez of The LA Times. Pierre still has two-years and $18.5MM remaining on his contract.
- In today's blog post, ESPN's Buster Olney says that Brandon Webb will be prime trade bait in the middle of next season if he makes it all the way back and the Diamondbacks aren't in contention.
- Jason A. Churchill of Prospect Insider takes a look at some offseason options for the Mariners.
- Meanwhile, former Mariner Kenji Johjima can provide some additional input on American pitchers the Hanshin Tigers may pursue, notes Patrick Newman of NPB Tracker. Patrick also passes along a report that lists some pitchers Hanshin is looking at, including two Mariners: Ryan Rowland-Smith and Chris Jakubauskas.
- Rowland-Smith is on Twitter, and was a little surprised by the news.
- Bob Dutton of The KC Star takes a look at the newest Royals, Chris Getz and Josh Fields.
- Maury Brown at The Biz of Baseball lists all 39 players who filed for free agency on Friday.
3:42pm: Bob Dutton of the Kansas City Star heard the Royals sent $1MM to the White Sox with Teahen.
12:35pm: White Sox GM Ken Williams told reporters Teahen will play third base, with Gordon Beckham moving to second. He told MLB.com's Scott Merkin that Scott Podsednik is unlikely to re-sign and the DH position might not be decided until the end of the offseason.
11:16am: The deal is official, according to a Royals press release. The Royals acquired Getz and Fields for Teahen and cash considerations.
THURSDAY, 5:30pm: The story keeps changing. Now, according to MLB.com's Dick Kaegel, neither team has confirmed the deal.
11:13am: The White Sox have confirmed the trade, according to The Chicago Sun Times. It's Teahen for Getz and Fields.
9:04am: According to Bill Madden of The NY Daily News, the Royals have agreed to send the versatile Mark Teahen to the White Sox in exchange for Chris Getz and Josh Fields. Madden says Teahen is expected to replace free agent-to-be Jermaine Dye in right field.
The 28-year-old Teahen hit .271/.325/.408 last year, but is a career .261/.325/.514 hitter at U.S. Cellular Field. FanGraphs has him at -2.0 UZR/150 in right, which is a massive upgrade over Dye's -17.5 mark. Teahen earned $3.575MM in 2009, and has two more years of arbitration eligibility ahead of him. He's certainly been the subject of many trade rumors over the years.
Getz, 26, was Chicago's every day second baseman for most of 2009, hitting .261/.324/.347 with 25 stolen bases in 27 attempts. Fields, 28, has struggled to find a place with the White Sox, hitting .229/.302/.416 in 746 plate appearances over the last four years while playing first, third, and left field. Both players are in their pre-arbitration years, and have a combined ten years of team control left.
Some more links for the morning...
- Multiple major league sources tell Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports that many Blue Jays are fed up with manager Cito Gaston and don't want him to return. One source says it's "nearly a mutiny" in the clubhouse.
- Eric Wedge wants to manage again at some point, according to MLB.com's Anthony Castrovince.
- Marlins prospect Mike Stanton still projects as a middle-of-the-order 40 homer threat, according to Ben Badler of Baseball America.
- Phillies GM Ruben Amaro Jr. gets high marks from his predecessors, according to MLB.com's Todd Zolecki. Former Phillies GMs Ed Wade and Pat Gillick praised Amaro's moves.
- Mike Sweeney is having the most fun he's ever had in the big leagues, according to Geoff Baker of the Seattle Times. He wants to return and play one more year for the Mariners or the Angels.
- As Jon Heyman of SI.com notes, players chose Michael Weiner as the next executive director of the MLBPA.
- Mark Gonzales of the Chicago Tribune doesn't expect Jermaine Dye, Josh Fields or Octavio Dotel to return to the White Sox next year.
It worked for Brian Anderson, maybe it will work for Josh Fields, too. After being demoted to Triple A, the third baseman told Joe Cowley of the Chicago Sun-Times that he wants to be traded. Fields says he had a good meeting with White Sox GM Ken Williams, but hopes he's dealt before the deadline nonetheless.
The 26-year-old is hitting .220/.301/.354 this year and hasn't been able to find the power stroke that carried him to 23 homers in his 2007 rookie season.