J.P. Ricciardi Rumors
Ken Rosenthal of FoxSports.com has a new Full Count video up, so let's dive right on in...
- Southpaws Randy Wolf and Clayton Kershaw are likely to start the first two games of the playoffs for the Dodgers, but Kershaw must recover from his dislocated non-throwing shoulder first. The back-to-back lefties would be a big advantage if LA played the lefthanded hitter heavy Phillies. Rosenthal also mentions that the Cardinals, despite being so righty heavy, have the second lowest team OPS (.675) against lefthanded pitchers in the National League.
- Hiroki Kuroda would likely start game three for the Dodgers, followed by either Vicente Padilla or Jon Garland. Chad Billinglsey will likely be left out of the rotation.
- The Cards have put their contract extension talks with Mark DeRosa on hold until the offseason, making it more likely that he'll become a free agent. The deal St. Louis originally proposed was less than the three-year, $17.5MM contract Casey Blake received as a free agent last offseason. DeRosa is a year younger now than Blake was then, but the offseason wrist surgery he is scheduled to have makes the situation cloudy.
- The Cubs will be open to "anything and everything" this offseason, including trading Milton Bradley and/or Carlos Zambrano. Anything to improve the club, basically. However, perhaps the only way the Cubs could unload Bradley would be to take on another underachieving, overpaid player in return.
- Zambrano has a full no-trade clause and is owed $54MM over the next three years, but he's still only 28-years-old and still incredibly talented. The free agent market for starting pitching is thin, which may work in Chicago's favor. Big Z might be appealing at the right price.
- Ken Macha will likely remain with the Brewers, but at least four other managers are in danger of being fired. The list starts with Cecil Cooper of the Astros, and also includes Jim Riggleman of the Nationals, Dave Trembley of the Orioles, and Eric Wedge of the Indians.
- Among general managers, Ned Colletti of the Dodgers, Brian Sabean of the Giants, and Dan O'Dowd of the Rockies are all without contracts for next year, and two of them are going to the postseason. The only GM that appears to be in jeopardy of losing his job is J.P. Ricciardi of the Blue Jays.
Jeff Blair of the Globe and Mail spoke with J.P. Ricciardi and heard that the Blue Jays GM expects the game to become younger.
Blue Jays GM J.P. Ricciardi is tired of the Roy Halladay rumors, even though they are entirely his fault. He told ESPN's Jayson Stark:
"Roy Halladay is not going anywhere," Ricciardi says, as emphatically as he can possibly say it without grabbing a bullhorn or splashing it on a billboard. "This has become kind of a hot topic in baseball, but we're not trading him. We have no intention of trading him. He allows us to be good. And we feel we are going to be good. And he's going to be The Guy." So there. It's settled, right? Trading his ace has never entered the GM's mind? "Nope," the GM says succinctly.
But here's Ricciardi about a week ago, to Joel Sherman of the New York Post:
"Ownership wants no part of trading Roy at this time. He's the face of the organization. Right now we are not thinking about going down that road. But that is what we feel in February. Who knows how you feel in June? We have thought about it, this has not escaped us [that Halladay could leave as a free agent, and trading him might be best for the long-term health of the organization]. In June, we may have to say. 'Is this the way we want to go?' It will be up to ownership, and ownership has a strong attachment to Doc."
Ricciardi left the door wide open in his quotes to Sherman, and that was his choice. Ricciardi also had this to say to CBSSports.com's Scott Miller:
"The only way we'd trade him, I'd say, is if all hell broke loose and the stock market went nuts and (ownership) said we've got to take the payroll down to bare bones. And if that was the case, then we'd be trading a lot of people."
If Ricciardi had made his emphatic statements to Sherman or Miller, we wouldn't be talking about Halladay.
So much for J.P. Ricciardi's recent name-drop of Orlando Hudson and Jason Giambi. He told MLB.com's Jordan Bastian today: "We're done. We won't be spending any money." J.P. is going to let the kids play in 2009.
One minor option for the Blue Jays is Michael Barrett, who they'd like to sign to a minor league deal.
Blue Jays GM J.P. Ricciardi tossed out a few names in a conversation with Nick Cafardo:
"Orlando Hudson is out there. Jason Giambi is out there. We'll have to see who's out there still when the music stops and see who we might be able to get."
MLB.com's Jordan Bastian says the Blue Jays have a payroll of around $84MM for 2009, meaning they'd have to trade someone before signing a significant free agent.
Links for Thursday...
- If Curt Schilling does a half-season next year, he apparently will not model it after Roger Clemens' approach.
- Drunk Jays Fans discusses Ken Rosenthal's recent chat with J.P. Ricciardi.
- Richard Justice says some GMs complained privately that Ed Wade didn't do a good job letting teams know Brad Lidge was available last year.
- The Adam Dunn trade pushed the D'Backs a little over budget. They don't have much to spend this winter. Nick Piecoro of the Arizona Republic elaborates on the topic.
- Dave Cameron looks at some free agent landmines, led by Manny Ramirez.
- The Giants voided their $625K contract with Dominican righty Luis Mateo after finding bone chips in his elbow.
9/25/08: Griffin was correct; the Gaston extension implied another year for GM J.P. Ricciardi. Blue Jays president and CEO Paul Godfrey announced today that Ricciardi will be back for the '09 season. You have to figure he's gone if the Jays don't reach the playoffs next year. Will Ricciardi's job status affect his offseason plans?
9/17/08: According to Richard Griffin of the Toronto Star, the Blue Jays will announce an extension for manager Cito Gaston soon. Griffin believes that the timing of the announcement indicates that GM J.P. Ricciardi will be back for the 2009 season. The team's recent success apparently convinced the Jays to give Ricciardi one more chance.
If he does stay, Ricciardi will have to find a starting shortstop and decide whether to offer more money/years to A.J. Burnett.
Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports has a new column up.
- Mark Attanasio set a dangerous precedent by firing Ned Yost. Will he interfere with GM Doug Melvin's plans in the future?
- Rosenthal considers Aubrey Huff a "highly desirable trade commodity" this winter. That begs the question - why did Huff pass through waivers unclaimed in August?
- Trading J.J. Hardy is more likely than moving him to third base. Hardy is under team control for two more seasons. The Jays, Tigers, Royals, Twins, Giants, Dodgers, and Cardinals could be in the market for a shortstop. Demand certainly outstrips supply.
- Rosenthal believes Rafael Furcal would be a nice fit for the Blue Jays. He agrees that GM J.P. Ricciardi is likely to return.
- The Orioles might prefer affordable veterans to A.J. Burnett as they try to improve their pitching staff this winter.
- Russ Ortiz wants to pitch in 2009, and he worked out for ten days a week ago. ESPN's Jerry Crasnick first reported the workout yesterday. He says the Royals, Astros, Brewers, and Red Sox had scouts at the audition.
MLBTR contributor Brendan Bianowicz has completed the J.P. Ricciardi trade history. Download the spreadsheet here.
- SI.com's Tom Verducci ranks the five best midseason deals of the past 25 years.
- Peter Abraham thinks the Yankees should stick with Robinson Cano.
- Pat Gillick says there's a slight chance the Phils acquire a reliever this month. He was not able to acquire Kyle Farnsworth in August.
- MLB.com's T.R. Sullivan doesn't put much stock in the rumor that Nolan Ryan will clean house in Texas.
- Phillies GM Pat Gillick admitted signing Adam Eaton was a mistake. Many MLBTR readers thought so when the signing was finalized in November of '06.
- The Red Sox hope to sign a Japanese amateur pitcher named Junichi Tazawa, which may not go over well with Nippon Professional Baseball.
- Gil Meche, Joakim Soria, and Zack Greinke are pretty much off-limits. Most other Royals are fair game in trade discussions. GM Dayton Moore intends to make changes this winter, and may also dive back into the free agent market.
- The Blue Jays have $15MM to spend, with needs at shortstop, first base/DH, and catcher. GM J.P. Ricciardi would prefer to fill those holes internally. Shysterball wonders why Ricciardi is talking about next year.
- Michael Rosenberg says Ivan Rodriguez is all about the money.