J.P. Arencibia Rumors
The Blue Jays have been very busy this offseason swinging a 12-player trade with the Marlins, acquiring R.A. Dickey from the Mets, and signing Melky Cabrera and Maicer Izturis. MLB.com's Gregor Chisholm touched on what these moves mean for the franchise and the other roster decisions that still need to be addressed when he recently opened his inbox.
- This offseason will determine the legacy of GM Alex Anthopoulos, not based on the timeline of winning but on the amount of money spent. Chisholm writes it's a similar investment to the one former GM J.P. Ricciardi made in 2006 by signing A.J. Burnett, B.J. Ryan and trading for the likes of Troy Glaus and Lyle Overbay. When those big moves didn't pan out, it reflected negatively on Ricciardi and ultimately led to his firing.
- Darren Oliver is still leaning toward retirement and the Blue Jays aren't expecting to hear a final decision until January.
- Anthony Gose is set to begin the season at Triple-A Buffalo with Rajai Davis assuming the role of fourth outfielder and late-game pinch-runner.
- The Blue Jays have one bench opening left to fill. With the versatility of Davis, Izturis, and Emilio Bonifacio, look for that final spot to go to somone invited to Spring Training on a minor league contract.
- In a separate article, Chisholm writes J.P. Arencibia has solidified his spot in the Toronto lineup for the forseeable future. Anthopoulos made the rare move of reaching out to Arencibia telling him not to concern himself with the trade rumors. "Not only does that make me feel good, but it makes you want to go out and work harder, go the extra mile and go the extra distance for this organization," Arencibia told Chisholm. "If they tell me I need to run through a wall, I'm going to try and run through that wall."
After a long day of rumors on Friday, the Blue Jays and Mets are nearing a trade that would send R.A. Dickey to Toronto for top prospect Travis d'Arnaud according to Jeff Passan of Yahoo! Sports. Other players involved in the deal are unconfirmed. Here's the latest on the potential trade...
- It's currently a 3-for-4 trade according to Sherman (all Twitter links). Dickey, Thole, and a prospect will go to Toronto for d'Arnaud, Syndergaard, John Buck, and a prospect. Sherman says the two unnamed prospects would not be elite guys. He adds that the framework could change since the Blue Jays will send the Mets money to help cover Buck's salary.
- Martino reports (on Twitter) that Blue Jays pitching prospect Aaron Sanchez has also been discussed.
- Rubin heard from a source that it's unclear if there will be resolution tonight (Twitter links). A Mets official indicated the same to Puma, saying "there is a lot to this."
- As of this morning, the deal had four players coming to the Mets and three to the Blue Jays, according to Mike Puma of the New York Post (Twitter links). Toronto also wants a catcher back in the deal, and that could be Josh Thole. The Mets have discussed getting pitching prospect Noah Syndergaard in the deal as well, Puma tweets.
- The two teams are inching towards the finish line, a source tells Passan (via Twitter). At least some players' medicals have been reviewed and a deal is imminent.
- Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com says the two sides have agreed that d'Arnaud can be the centerpiece of the trade after the Mets rejected a Gose/J.P. Arencibia package (all Twitter links). Once they finalize the rest of the players involved, it's believed Dickey will talk about an extension with Toronto.
- Sherman reports (on Twitter) that Gose is not part of the trade talks for Dickey. The Blue Jays are building a package around d'Arnaud.
- Richard Griffin of The Toronto Star reports (on Twitter) that the Blue Jays need to sign Dickey to an extension and receive a top prospect from the Mets if they're going to include d'Arnaud and Gose in the trade.
- Joel Sherman of The New York Post says (on Twitter) the two sides are still working through matters are there is confidence the deal will get done.
- Dickey has not yet engaged the Blue Jays in contract extension talks, reports Adam Rubin of ESPN New York. He also has yet to be asked to take a physical.
- The Blue Jays are willing to include d'Arnaud and Anthony Gose in the trade according to Andy Martino of the New York Daily News (Twitter links). Any other names remain unconfirmed.
- Martino reports (on Twitter) that the Blue Jays have been reviewing Dickey's medicals since yesterday afternoon.
All signs point to the Mets trading R.A. Dickey, Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reports (on Twitter). The sides aren't progressing toward an extension, and Dickey's one-year, $5MM salary seems quite appealing to teams seeking pitching. Here are today's Dickey rumors, with the most recent items up top...
- The Blue Jays and Mets are close to agreeing on a trade that would send Dickey to Toronto, according to Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports. The names in the trade aren't finalized, but outfielder Anthony Gose is likely to be included in the deal. The Mets also are expected to acquire either J.P. Arencibia or Travis d’Arnaud. However, the Blue Jays are looking to get more out of the deal if they surrender d'Arnaud.
- D'Arnaud is very much in play in the talks, tweets Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports. The deal would be bigger, however, with multiple pieces going both ways.
- The Mets may be landing d'Arnaud in the deal, Heyman tweets.
- Travis d'Arnaud was a "must have" during the winter meetings for a deal with the Blue Jays to happen, sources tell Andy Martino of the Daily News (via Twitter).
- Two sources involved in the talks say not to expect any resolution with Dickey tonight, tweets Anthony DiComo of MLB.com.
- The Mets and Blue Jays have made progress on a potential deal, Morosi reports (on Twitter). They aren't in agreement at this point.
- It looks like the Mets have a good offer from the Blue Jays, Matt Cerrone of MetsBlog reports (on Twitter). The Mets still appear to be talking to the Angels and Orioles.
- A high-ranking executive of a team that pursued Dickey believes the knuckleballer is being traded to Toronto, Morosi reports (on Twitter).
- Rangers GM Jon Daniels said on MLB Network Radio that if Dickey is being traded it's not to Texas, Casey Stern of MLB Network Radio reports (Twitter link, audio here). Daniels acknowledged that he had some dialogue about Dickey.
- The Blue Jays are growing confident they will acquire Dickey, Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports reports (on Twitter). Mike Wilner of Sportsnet 590 the FAN would characterize the Blue Jays as "hopeful" (Twitter link).
- The Mets were interested in Buckel, though he wasn't necessarily being offered, Martino clarifies (on Twitter).
- The Rangers believe they are out on Dickey, Martino reports (on Twitter). Reports suggesting Dickey wouldn't sign an extension with Toronto are false, according to Martino.
- The Rangers aren't involved anymore, Rosenthal reports (on Twitter). Texas didn't offer Olt and Buckel for Dickey, according to Rosenthal.
- The Blue Jays began the day with the belief that they could obtain Dickey within 24-48 hours, Ken Davidoff of the New York Post reports (on Twitter).
- The Rangers have indicated they would trade Mike Olt and Cody Buckel for Dickey, Andy Martino reports (on Twitter). That said, the Blue Jays still appear to be in the lead for the NL Cy Young winner.
- The Mets are close to trading Dickey, Mike Puma of the New York Post reports. The Blue Jays, Angels, Orioles and Rangers appear to be the four teams involved.
- Bo McKinnis, the agent for Dickey, told Jim Bowden of ESPN.com and MLB Network Radio that he hasn't been asked to consider an extension with any team (Twitterlinks).
- Arencibia and Anthony Gose have been mentioned in trade talks between the Mets and Blue Jays, Heyman reports (on Twitter). The Mets could use catching and outfielders and those are areas of depth for Toronto.
- The Mets are believed to have a trade they like for Dickey, Heyman reports (on Twitter). Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reported earlier today that the Mets are telling teams they have an acceptable trade offer in hand. They were trying to get an ever better return at that point, Rosenthal added.
- Joel Sherman of the New York Post hears that Dickey will not agree to an extension with the Blue Jays and suggests that could be slowing talks with Toronto (Twitterlinks). The Blue Jays appear to be the destination for Dickey if the contract hurdle disappears, Sherman writes.
- The Orioles and Rangers don't seem to be in the middle of the Dickey talks, Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com reports (on Twitter).
- Signs point to the Blue Jays leading in pursuit of Dickey, Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com reports (Twitterlinks). The Blue Jays want to keep Travis d'Arnaud, but have J.P. Arencibia and others to offer, Heyman notes. A trade now seems like a "strong possibility."
- A source familiar with Dickey's situation told Adam Rubin of ESPNNewYork.com that he expects Dickey to be traded and that a deal could occur today. A baseball executive told Rubin “we’re at that sensitive spot.” The Angels remain a potential destination for Dickey along with the Blue Jays and Rangers, an MLB executive tells Rubin.
- The sides haven't had extension talks since Wednesday, Martino reports (on Twitter). Thursday and Friday have been devoted to trade talks.
- Some people indicate to Andy Martino of the New York Daily News that the Blue Jays are more likely to acquire Dickey than the Orioles or Rangers (Twitter link).
- Intense trade talks took place yesterday, Andy Martino of the New York Daily News reports (on Twitter). The Rangers, Blue Jays and Orioles are serious players.
- Executives around MLB expect the Mets will trade Dickey, Joel Sherman of the New York Post reports (on Twitter). Many speculated that Toronto is a team to watch
- Teams seem to have ramped up their efforts on Dickey, Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com reports (Twitterlinks). Though the Mets are keeping their options open, a trade seems more likely than an extension. The Blue Jays and Angels are thought to be among the teams interested in Dickey, Heyman adds.
- It's now "getting to crunch time," Adam Rubin of ESPNNewYork.com reports (on Twitter). It's very active today on multiple fronts.
- One general manager told ESPN.com's Buster Olney the Mets could increase Dickey's trade value by giving the knuckleballer the two-year, $26MM extension he apparently seeks. Dickey will earn $5MM in 2013, so adding two years and $26MM would essentially make it a three-year, $31MM deal.
- However, the Mets aren’t going to sign Dickey to an extension and then trade him, Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com reports (on Twitter).
Yesterday, the Blue Jays non-tendered Bobby Wilson, leaving J.P. Arencibia, John Buck, and Travis D’Arnaud as the remaining catchers on the 40-man roster. Here's the latest out of Toronto courtesy of Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports..
- Arencibia is the most likely to be moved and the Jays previously have talked about him in trades for pitchers such as Rays right-hander Wade Davis and Mets left-hander Jon Niese, according to major league sources. The Jays might need to give more than the 26-year-old to acquire such a pitcher, but aren’t necessarily eager to make that type of move.
- Toronto seems more inclined to add depth than find an upgrade over fifth starter J.A. Happ, sources say. Happ, 30, posted a 4.79 ERA with 9.0 K/9 and 3.5 BB/9 last season for the Astros and Blue Jays.
- With that in mind, the Jays could look to sign a low-end free agent pitcher as well as minor league free agents to ensure that they are better protected against injuries than they were throughout last season.
Here are the latest hot stove items from FOX Sports' Ken Rosenthal....
- Teams in search of bullpen help have been looking at Royals right-handers Greg Holland and Aaron Crow, though Kansas City isn't likely to trade any of its Major League players unless they can move Jeff Francoeur.
- The Royals bolstered their pitching staff by re-signing Jeremy Guthrie and trading for Ervin Santana, but Rosenthal still feels the team needs a true ace.
- The Phillies are interested in free agent reliever Koji Uehara.
- The Diamondbacks could deal Jason Kubel instead of Justin Upton, which would be an easier move to make though Kubel would bring back a lesser return. A source tells Rosenthal that the Rangers are still interested in Upton but are waiting for the D'Backs to back down on their demands for Elvis Andrus or Jurickson Profar in return.
- Denard Span could be a good trade target for a club that doesn't want to pay for one of the expensive center fielders on the free market. With the Twins desperate for pitching, Rosenthal speculates that a team like the Braves (who need a center fielder and have pitching depth) could be a trade partner.
- The free agent catching market is stalled since the Red Sox and Blue Jays have catchers available for trade, plus the Yankees are waiting to address their pitching before making a decision on Russell Martin.
- Speaking of the Blue Jays' catching depth, Rosenthal thinks that Toronto is in no hurry to deal J.P. Arencibia, as a dependable catcher is needed if top prospect Travis D'Arnaud hasn't recovered from his season-ending knee injury.
- Reed Johnson is drawing interest from several teams, including the Braves, who acquired Johnson from the Cubs last July.
Earlier today the Blue Jays announced the hiring (or re-hiring) of former manager John Gibbons, though not everyone around the game is impressed by the move according to Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com. Here's the latest out of Toronto...
- "I've got more conviction in this hire ... than in any other transaction," said GM Alex Anthopoulos of the Gibbons hire according to Shi Davidi of Sportsnet.ca (on Twitter) Gibbons received a two-year contract plus an option for a third year, tweets Davidi.
- The Blue Jays have not yet made any announced about the rest of the coaching staff, but MLB.com's Gregor Chisholm says (on Twitter) they want to take care of that quickly.
- The team has exceeded payroll expectations, but Anthopoulos reminded everyone that he promised the money would be there when the time was right according to Mike Wilner of The Blue Jays Radio Network (on Twitter).
- Anthopoulos said he will now focus on improving the team further, specifically mentioning both rotation and bullpen depth, tweets Davidi.
- John Buck will serve as the backup catcher to J.P. Arencibia according to Anthopoulos, tweets Davidi.
The Blue Jays have three serviceable catchers on their Major League roster following this past week's blockbuster trade, including top prospect Travis d'Arnaud. With nearly every position on the field accounted for following the Melky Cabrera signing, it's safe to speculate that the Blue Jays would seek more pitching in return for one of their backstops.
Texas' primary catcher for the past two seasons has been Mike Napoli, but it appears there's a good chance that he'll sign elsewhere via free agency. General manager Jon Daniels acquired Geovany Soto from the Cubs over the summer, but the former Rookie of the Year's projected $4.6MM salary and dwindling production make him a non-tender candidate.
Arencibia, who will turn 27 in January, has averaged 29 homers per 162 games to date in his young Major League career, but also has an underwhelming .275 career on-base percentage. He won't be arbitration eligible until after the 2013 season.
Buck, 32, cashed in on his career year in 2010 (.281/.314/.481 with 20 homers) to the tune of a three-year, $18MM contract with the Marlins that offseason. He has one year and $6MM remaining on his contract, but has slumped since signing his deal. In two full seasons with the Marlins, he batted just .213/.308/.358 with a more than half of his walks coming from the eighth spot in the order, ahead of the pitcher.
Tigers GM Dave Dombrowski told Michael Silverman of The Boston Herald that he was unsure if he'd be able to acquire Miguel Cabrera (and Dontrelle Willis) in 2007. “A lot of clubs were involved and I didn’t think it was going to work for us for where we were financially,” said Dombrowski. “Once we sat down with the Marlins, it took us just a day to work out that deal. It happened very fast.”
Here are Silverman's rumors...
- The Dodgers are the favorite to sign Zack Greinke according to an insider. Both the Angels and Rangers are said to be "on the outside looking in."
- The Royals are listening to offers for Eric Hosmer, Mike Moustakas, Alex Gordon, Billy Butler, and even Wil Myers. The Rays, meanwhile, are listening on James Shields and Jeremy Hellickson.
- Despite their pending blockbuster, keep an eye on the Blue Jays and the pitching market. Silverman suggests that Anibal Sanchez and Edwin Jackson could be in play for Toronto.
- The Blue Jays are shopping their three catchers (John Buck, J.P. Arencibia, and Travis d'Arnaud) but are leaning towards Arencibia or d'Arnaud.
Jason Giambi was a surprise candidate to become the Rockies' next manager, but now that the job has gone to Walt Weiss, the team has offered Giambi the job of hitting coach, reports Troy Renck of the Denver Post. Giambi had said he would continue playing if he wasn't hired as manager, though he's taking a few days to consider Colorado's offer. If he turns it down and wants to keep playing, agent Joel Wolfe tells ESPN's Jerry Crasnick that "several teams" have shown interest in his client, who will be 42 years old on Opening Day.
Here are some more items from a very busy day around baseball...
- Robinson Cano believes he has already signed one team-friendly contract with the Yankees and will look for market value in his next deal, a "confidant" of the second baseman tells Joel Sherman of the New York Post. Cano's last contract with the Yankees ended up paying him $57MM over six years once New York exercised its two club options for 2012 and 2013.
- The Blue Jays' waiver claim of Bobby Wilson as catching depth "suggests J.P. Arencibia is in play on the trade market," writes Sportsnet.ca's Shi Davidi.
- Also from Davidi, Blue Jays GM Alex Anthopoulos said that Mike Aviles drew "pretty good demand...the Indians weren't the only team that asked about him," before the infielder was traded to Cleveland last weekend.
- Though Phillies GM Ruben Amaro said earlier today that he preferred signing players to making trades this offseason, David Murphy of the Philadelphia Daily News thinks the trade market might be the best way for the Phils to solve some roster problems.
- Angels GM Jerry Dipoto likes his core of position players, leaving Mike DiGiovanna of the Los Angeles Times to conclude that the Halos will pursue rotation depth through free agency, not trades.
- Jose Veras has switched agents, going from Bryce Dixon to the Praver Shapiro agency, tweets Jon Heyman of CBS Sports. The veteran righty chose to become a free agent after he was outrighted off the Brewers' 40-man roster.
- Minor league free agent Collin Balester is "in demand," reports FOX Sports' Ken Rosenthal (via Twitter). Balester, 26, had a 6.50 ERA in 11 relief outings for the Tigers last season but posted strong numbers at Triple-A Toledo.
Given Mike Napoli's status as an impending free agent, the Rangers will be looking for catching help this offseason, according to MLB.com's T.R. Sullivan. The Rangers have been ambivalent when asked if Napoli will receive a qualifying offer, according to Sullivan. As we learned last week, that offer would be $13.3MM on a one-year deal.
Sullivan also writes that it's likely the Rangers and Blue Jays will enter into trade discussions this offseason, given Toronto's catching surplus. The Blue Jays have J.P. Arencibia at the Major League level, with Travis d'Arnaud knocking on the door in Triple-A. Both profile as starting catchers, and the Jays also have Jeff Mathis and the recently claimed Bobby Wilson on their 40-man roster. Toronto would likely seek pitching depth in any deal involving a catcher.
Rangers GM Jon Daniels acquired Geovany Soto over the summer as a means to bolster the position for the stretch run. Soto currently profiles as the starter in Texas, but would become a non-tender candidate if the Rangers were to add a significant piece in the offseason. The 2008 NL Rookie of the Year earned $4.3MM in 2012 and would be due for a raise through arbitration despite hitting just .198/.270/.343. MLBTR's Ben Nicholson-Smith examined Soto as a non-tender candidate back in August.
All of this, of course, is assuming that the Rangers are unable to retain Napoli's services. Napoli hopes to return to the Rangers, according to Sullivan, but that will be dependent on what kind of offers he receives. Another factor could be how he's used in the lineup. Napoli went on record in July stating that he prefers catching to playing first base, so he could have interest in a team that will use him beind the plate more (though that's just my own speculation).
Check out MLBTR's 2013 free agent list for a full look at the upcoming class of catchers that the Rangers could pursue.