Josh Hamilton Rumors
The Rangers lost out on a trade target when the Royals acquired James Shields last night, just days after losing out on free agent target Zack Greinke. Things aren't going exactly as they've planned this offseason, and Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports has a host of Rangers updates in his latest column...
- A rival executive told Rosenthal that the Rangers are either going to overpay Josh Hamilton or overpay Diamondbacks general manager Kevin Towers for Justin Upton. Rangers GM Jon Daniels is so focused on Upton that he figures to eventually land him, writes Rosenthal.
- It's not completely out of the question that the Rangers could acquire Upton and still sign Hamilton now that Greinke is off the table.
- Anibal Sanchez is a long shot for the Rangers, but he's on their radar. A trade for R.A. Dickey is also unlikely at this point.
- The team is said to prefer lower-cost starters and could pursue someone like Chris Capuano in a trade to provide an upgrade over Martin Perez.
- The Rangers are interested in A.J. Pierzynski, who would obviously push Geovany Soto into a backup role. Pierzynski's left-handed bat would help to balance a heavily right-handed lineup.
- Ian Kinsler isn't big on the idea of shifting to first base one year into his five-year extension in order to allow Jurickson Profar to play second base, but he will play wherever he's asked.
- Daniels tells Rosenthal he's not planning on Kinsler switching positions yet and is considering all possible scenarios for the 2013 roster.
- A three-team deal with the Rangers, Diamondbacks and Indians was "very close" to happening at the Winter Meetings. The foundation of the deal was Upton to Texas, Cabrera to Arizona, and Mike Olt and one of Trevor Bauer or Patrick Corbin to Cleveland. Presumably, other names were involved.
The Phillies have made a couple of significant trades in the past week, acquiring Ben Revere from the Twins in exchange for Vance Worley and Trevor May, and also landing Michael Young and cash from the Rangers for Josh Lindblom and Lisalverto Bonilla. Here's the latest on the Phils...
- During a press conference today, Young told the media that the Rangers were only going to give him 300 at-bats this season (Jeff Wilson of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram reporting on Twitter).
- Phillies manager Charlie Manuel is happy with the additions of Young and Revere but would like general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. to make one more big splash, writes Matt Gelb of the Philadelphia Inquirer.
- In a separate piece, Gelb writes that the Phillies figure to sign one of Cody Ross, Nick Swisher and Josh Hamilton to fill a corner vacancy. They've long coveted Ross, but aren't as big on Swisher, perhaps due to his price tag. Gelb notes that the Phillies could offer Hamilton a shorter-term deal with a high annual value if his demands decrease.
Here's a look at the latest from Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com..
- The Yankees aren't involved with Josh Hamilton at this stage and would only consider it if he fell into their laps at a low number, Heyman tweets. In short, Heyman says it's not happening. The Yankees reportedly had people other than GM Brian Cashman running background checks on Hamilton.
- The Dodgers will consider a shortstop or third baseman but don't appear to be in on Kevin Youkilis at the moment, tweets Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com. Heyman (via Twitter) also says not to be surprised if the Dodgers go after Anibal Sanchez or Kyle Lohse regardless of what happens with Hyun-Jin Ryu.
- In today's conference call, Rangers General Manager Jon Daniels said (via Twitter) that he hasn't had a "final conversation" with the free agent slugger. Last week, manager Ron Washington revealed that Hamilton told the club that he will give them a chance to make a final offer before signing with another team.
The Winter Meetings are over and the top free agent position player remains unsigned. Josh Hamilton has drawn serious interest from the Mariners and Rangers, and the Red Sox continue checking in on the outfielder. Here's the latest...
- The Phillies have shown very little interest in Hamilton and they seem wary of him, ESPN.com's Jayson Stark reports (on Twitter).
- One GM wondered to Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com why teams would make Hamilton offers if the outfielder will take the offers to Texas and provide the Rangers with the chance to match (Twitter link).
- As Joel Sherman of the New York Post explains, much would have to fall into place for the Yankees to sign Hamilton. At this point the chances of him joining the Yankees seem slim at best.
- Baseball people suggest Hamilton and agent Michael Moye are still holding out for a six or seven-year contract worth $25MM or so per season, ESPN.com's Jayson Stark reports.
- A rival general manager says Yankees people other than GM Brian Cashman are quietly running a background check on Hamilton, Bob Nightengale of USA Today reports (on Twitter). Jim Bowden of ESPN and MLB Network Radio recently suggested the Yankees should be viewed as a potential destination for Hamilton. However, the team aims to lower payroll below $189MM by 2014, so some creativity would be required to add a premium player such as Hamilton.
- Joel Sherman of the New York Post"will only believe the Yankees are truly out" on Hamilton when he's at a press conference wearing another team's jersey. While GM Brian Cashman has discussed the importance of remaining patient, Sherman senses that the Yankees are "incredibly touchy" to recent criticism and could pursue the slugging outfielder.
On Tuesday we learned that Josh Hamilton will give the Rangers the opportunity to match any offer another club makes before he signs. Talks were said to progress between Hamilton and the Rangers, but Texas is also in on Zack Greinke. As Hamilton works to determine where he'll play next year, we'll keep track of the latest rumors here...
- The Red Sox are very unlikely on Hamilton, Heyman tweets. Assistant GM Mike Hazen says the team remains engaged with Hamilton and other free agents but the club's focus is still on its young core, tweets Alex Speier of WEEI.com.
- The Mariners have discussed three-year deals with Hamilton in range of $20MM to $25MM per season, a source tells Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports (via Twitter).
- Armstrong's point about not having exchanged figures with Hamilton yet is largely semantics, writes Geoff Baker of the Seattle Times, because they've talked enough to hammer out a deal quickly. As it stands now, Hamilton's agent is waiting for Zack Greinke to sign, because the Rangers are unlikely to sign both.
- The Mariners are not close to signing Hamilton, team president Chuck Armstrong tells Bob Nightengale of USA Today. Armstrong says the Mariners are interested, but haven't exchanged numbers and figures with Hamilton.
- Jim Bowden of ESPN and MLB Network Radio reports that Hamilton's first choice is the Rangers, but if they sign Greinke and cannot afford him, the Mariners are his primary fallback option (Twitter link).
- The Mariners are making a big push for Hamilton, writes Geoff Baker of the Seattle Times, and talks are more serious between the two sides than has been let on. The holdup, not surprisingly, is the Rangers' ongoing pursuit of Greinke. If Greinke does land in Texas, Baker writes that the Mariners could make a deal for Hamilton happen "very soon" afterward.
- Rangers president Nolan Ryan did not rule out signing both Hamilton and Greinke, saying in a media session that principal owners Bob Simpson and Ray Davis would have to approve such a scenario (Jeff Wilson reporting).
- GM Ben Cherington and manager John Farrell represented the Red Sox in their Monday night meeting with Hamilton, reports Sean McAdam of CSNNE.com.
- The Rangers won't go to five years for Hamilton, tweets Bob Nightengale of USA Today.
- The Rangers met with Hamilton's agent Tuesday night but nothing has changed, GM Jon Daniels told reporters including Jeff Wilson of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram.
- We learned earlier that the Red Sox met with Hamilton before he left Nashville. It was an off-site meeting on Monday, tweets Dan Roche of WBZ.
- The Mariners continue to have interest in Hamilton, but like the other teams involved, they prefer a shorter-term deal, tweets Jon Heyman.
- The Rangers are being patient on Hamilton, waiting to hear if it will take more than something like three years and $75MM to sign him, writes Bob Nightengale of USA Today.
- The Rangers' discussions with Hamilton are "on hold" at the moment, according to Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com, who suggests the team's involvement on Greinke may be the reason for the delay.
- Most baseball people believe Hamilton will end up signing for five years or less, with some clubs exploring vesting options to protect themselves, says Heyman. He names the Mariners, Red Sox, Phillies and Brewers as teams besides the Rangers that have shown interest in the outfielder.
A ridiculous number of three and four-team trade scenarios have been discussed at the Winter Meetings, most of them seemingly involving Arizona's Justin Upton winding up with the Rangers. We'll track the latest on the discussions right here:
- The Upton talks aren't dead and never have been, an involved official tells Ken Rosenthal, but it doesn't have more legs than it did two weeks ago.
- Rangers GM Jon Daniels left the Winter Meetings without a deal, telling reporters including Jeff Wilson, "I would have guessed something would have happened here. And I would have been wrong. It hasn't gotten to the point where something had fallen through that I thought was going to get done."
- The Rangers, D'Backs, and Rays are still at the Winter Meetings, working on an Upton blockbuster according to Rosenthal. A friend of Rays top exec Andrew Friedman says that while Friedman has never done a three-way trade, he's determined to get one done.
- D'backs GM Kevin Towers made it clear that he seeks a shortstop he controls for more than two years, so it seems Elvis Andrus or Asdrubal Cabrera would not be sufficient, tweets Jim Bowden of SiriusXM and ESPN.
- Rosenthal has one possible outcome: Upton to the Rangers, a Rays starter to the D'Backs, and Mike Olt and other prospects to the Rays. The scenario doesn't seem to satisfy the needs of the D'Backs and Rays, but we'll see.
- There's nothing close on the Upton front, Diamondbacks GM Kevin Towers told Bob Nightengale.
- Bowden adds (also via Twitter) that the Mariners' reasoning for being in these talks is to use their prospects to ensure that Upton lands with Texas, which will open the door for them to sign Josh Hamilton. The Mariners are reportedly in serious talks with Hamilton, who considers them his fallback should he not sign with Texas.
- Jim Bowden of ESPN and MLB Network Radio tweets that the Diamondbacks will not budge from their insistence that Andrus or Profar be included in a trade with the Rangers. As such, they're more likely to trade two young pitchers to the Indians to land Cabrera.
- The fourth team in some permutations of the blockbuster is the Mariners, reports Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports. One official in the talks sees them as the biggest roadblock, as they're unsure whether to move forward and surrender prospects. A source tells Rosenthal the player the Mariners want most in these talks is Derek Holland of the Rangers. Rosenthal says Rangers GM Jon Daniels is driving the trade, "feverishly trying to land" Upton. In the end, the FOX writer says the four-team blockbuster "appears unlikely to happen."
- D'Backs GM Kevin Towers said today, "I've had more multi-team talks this year than ever before. In every discussion it seems three or four teams are involved."
- One scenario had Upton going to the Rangers, Cabrera to the D'Backs, and Martin Perez and more to the Indians, tweets Jon Heyman of CBS Sports.
- The Indians are pushing for the Diamondbacks to include Tyler Skaggs in a deal for Cabrera, tweets Jeff Passan of Yahoo! Sports. However, Arizona would prefer to move Trevor Bauer.
- Although the Diamondbacks like many of the Rangers' prospects, such as Mike Olt, Leury Garcia, and Cody Buckel, they continue to want Elvis Andrus or Jurickson Profar in return for Upton, tweets Passan. At this point, it seems more likely that the D-Backs would move Upton in a multi-team scenario that nets them Cabrera rather than trading straight-up with the Rangers.
Jeff Keppinger, Eric Chavez, Jason Bay, Nate McLouth, and Wil Nieves have all reached contract agreements this afternon in Nashville. Which moves might be coming next? Let's round up a few of the latest rumors from the Winter Meetings....
- The Mets are reluctant to commit to a two-year deal for Scott Hairston, tweets Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports. Rosenthal adds that the Mets could net a catcher in a trade involving R.A. Dickey or other players. Given the context, I assume he means an outfielder, though the Mets are seeking a backstop as well.
- Like the Brewers, the Royals may not be able to afford an arm like Anibal Sanchez or Kyle Lohse unless the team clears some salary, tweets Danny Knobler of CBSSports.com. Kansas City has remained in touch with both pitchers though.
- The Yankees have been exchanging trade proposals with other teams for a variety of players, including Curtis Granderson, tweets ESPN.com's Buster Olney, who cautions that that's "standard procedure."
- Seattle's payroll is expected to rise above $90MM, so the Mariners could afford to add one big-money player, tweets Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com. Josh Hamilton would be a tight fit though, Heyman adds.
- Although the Angels are interested in Brandon McCarthy, they've yet to speak to his people in Nashville, says ESPN.com's Jerry Crasnick (via Twitter).
The latest on free agent slugger Josh Hamilton...
- The Red Sox are not focusing on Hamilton, tweets Jon Heyman of CBS Sports. That's none too surprising given Boston's recent outfield acquistions.
- Reports of a Hamilton deal are overblown, Rangers GM Jon Daniels told reporters including Jeff Wilson. Daniels has not met with the Hamilton camp at the Meetings, though he could tonight.
- The Mariners still seem to believe they have a chance to sign Hamilton, tweets Danny Knobler of CBSSports.com.
- Hamilton has told the Rangers he'll come back to them for a final offer before he accepts a deal from another team, Ron Washington tells Bob Nightengale of USA Today (Twitter link).
- The Rangers and free agent slugger Josh Hamilton are making progress on what would likely be a four-year deal, tweets Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports. However, it is still possible another team beats the Rangers' offer.
- It will be an upset if the Rangers don't sign Hamilton or Greinke, writes Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports.
- Rangers GM Jon Daniels feels "very strong" that shortstop Elvis Andrus will be a Ranger in 2013, he told reporters including Richard Durrett of ESPNDallas.com.
- The Rangers finalized their two-year, $8MM deal with reliever Joakim Soria today. ESPN's Keith Law sees this as "a good deal for Texas that could turn out to be outstanding."
- The Rangers signed outfielder Chih-Hsien Chang to a minor league deal, tweets Anthony Andro of FOX Sports Southwest. Chang, 24, hit .249/.281/.363 in 479 plate appearances across the Mariners' Double and Triple-A affiliates, spending most of his time at the outfield corners.
With plenty of rumors flying around the lobby of the Gaylord Opryland in Nashville, we're making sure we don't let anything slip through the cracks. Here are a few morning updates from around the league on some of this winter's free agents:
- Joel Sherman of the New York Post tweets that the Mets have displayed interest in the recently non-tendered John Lannan, perhaps as insurance if the team trades a starter.
- Although he hasn't pitched in the big leagues since 2009, Kelvim Escobar is healthy in winter ball and is drawing interest at the Winter Meetings, tweets ESPN.com's Buster Olney.
- The Yankees have spoken with Kevin Youkilis' agent, reports Jack Curry of the YES Network (Twitter link). According to Curry, Youkilis would consider a one-year deal if the salary was at a "premium amount."
- The Mariners are interested in free agent outfielder Nate McLouth, according to Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports (via Twitter).
- A rival evaluator tells ESPN.com's Buster Olney (Twitter link) that there's "no way" Stephen Drew would sign with the Yankees to be a part-time or utility player. Drew is seeking a full-time job.
- Red Sox GM Ben Cherington acknowledged that giving up a draft pick to sign Nick Swisher would be a factor in Boston's pursuit of the outfielder (link via Sean McAdam of CSNNE.com).
- Mike Silverman of the Boston Herald hears that the Red Sox still have a chance in the Josh Hamilton sweepstakes, but it's a long shot (Twitter link).
- After getting a clean bill of health on his hand and wrist, Ian Stewart has drawn wide interest from teams looking for third base help, tweets Bob Nightengale of USA Today. Tyler Kepner of the New York Times notes (via Twitter) that Stewart could be a fit for the Yankees.
- Within his latest piece for the New York Post, Ken Davidoff hears that the Mets and Ryan Ludwick are an unlikely match, and wonders if Nick Swisher could end up with the Mariners.
- The Reds will meet with Ludwick's agent this morning, according to John Fay of the Cincinnati Enquirer. The veteran outfielder could accept the offer on the table from Cincinnati, though Fay speculates that the Reds are offering two years and Ludwick wants three. A two-year deal with a third-year option might work for both sides, says Fay.
- The Athletics will meet with the reps for Japanese shortstop Hiroyuki Nakajima today, tweets Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports.
- The Dodgers, Giants, Brewers, Angels, and Rays are among the teams that have inquired on free agent reliever Mark Lowe, reports Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports.
- Scott Kazmir, who is throwing 90-94 mph in Puerto Rico, is drawing interest from a host of teams and could choose from a handful of offers soon, tweets Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com. However, the Mets aren't in the mix for the lefty, tweets Andy Martino of the New York Daily News.