Juan Castro Rumors
Dodgers hot stove info courtesy of Dylan Hernandez of the L.A. Times...
- Why didn't the Dodgers offer arbitration to Type A free agent Randy Wolf? They feared he'd accept and get $15MM. Do you agree with that logic? The Dodgers were given one last chance to sign Wolf this morning, but GM Ned Colletti passed.
- Free agent possibilities at second base: Ronnie Belliard, Juan Uribe, Craig Counsell and Jamey Carroll.
- The Dodgers offered only a minor league deal to Juan Castro, so he went with the Phillies.
- The Mets have inquired on Dodgers relievers Ronald Belisario and Cory Wade.
Some links for Thursday...
- John Manuel of Baseball America ranks all 30 MLB farm systems at SI.com. The Rangers, Rays and Giants top the list.
- ESPN.com's Jerry Crasnick lists nine potential free agent bargains.
- Keith Law, Dave Cameron and Tyler Hissey don't like the Placido Polanco deal from the Phillies' standpoint.
- Dejan Kovacevic of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports that the Pirates have tentative interest in Xavier Nady and Ron Villone, who are both Scott Boras clients.
- Sam Borden of the Journal News wonders how many long-term contracts the Yanks can take on.
- The Yankees get the sense that Andy Pettitte isn't done yet, according to Mark Feinsand of the New York Daily News.
- They aren't expected to consider an extension for Joe Girardi this offseason.
- Mark Gonzales of the Chicago Tribune reports that the White Sox have begun preliminary talks with arbitration-eligible reliever Bobby Jenks.
- Placido Polanco appears to be nearing a three-year deal with the Phillies, but the Astros have some interest in the Gold Glover, according to Brian McTaggart of MLB.com.
- Curtis Granderson tells MLB.com's Jason Beck that he doesn't let the trade talk get to him.
- The Rockies have tentative plans to meet with Rafael Betancourt's representatives this coming Monday, according to Troy Renck of the Denver Post.
- As Bill Center of the San Diego Union-Tribune reports, Donavan Tate, the Padres' third overall selection in the June draft, was injured in an ATV accident. He broke his jaw, but should be ready for Spring Training.
- Jason Marquis had a falling out with the Rockies, so Jon Heyman of SI.com suggests he isn't likely to accept the team's offer of arbitration.
- MLB.com's Matthew Leach explains why long-term deals are becoming less frequent in MLB.
- Juan Castro passed his physical, so his deal with the Phils is now offiicial, according to Andy Martino of the Philadelphia Inquirer.
With all the arbitration decisions flying around today, we haven't had time for an Odds & Ends until now.
- Diamond Leung tweeted last night that the Yankees "signed Taiwanese 18-year-old infielder Fu-Lin Kuo to six-figure bonus." Taiwan Baseball says Kuo received about $150K.
- Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch has the Cardinals, Phillies, Mets, and Giants as suitors for Mark DeRosa. ESPN's Buster Olney heard that a few teams are concerned with DeRosa's range at third base.
- Fungoes shows us "when the hot stove is the hottest," graphically. Looks about right to me...peaks in December, stays hot in January.
- A.J. Burnett talked to Mark Feinsand of the New York Daily News about Roy Halladay potentially being traded.
- Juan Castro will take his physical Thursday according to Andy Martino of the Philadelphia Inquirer; if he passes, his one-year deal with the Phillies will be official.
- ESPN's Jerry Crasnick wrote about potential fits for Jermaine Dye, noting that the Yankees have discussed him internally. Crasnick says geography will not be a major factor for Dye.
- MLB.com's Jordan Bastian tweeted comments from Blue Jays GM Alex Anthopoulos regarding their search for a catcher. Anthopoulos is eyeing some potential non-tenders. Dioner Navarro and John Buck come to mind, with Kelly Shoppach going to the Rays.
- The market for Miguel Tejada should be decent now that he certainly will not cost a draft pick. SI's Jon Heyman tweets that the Cardinals, Phillies, Giants, Rangers, and Astros are interested. Rangers?
- MLB.com's Adam McCalvy reports that the Brewers officially announced their minor league deal with John Halama today.
- Nick Green's agent Tom O'Connell tells Ken Davidoff of Newsday his client is drawing "significant interest" on Major League contracts.
1:40pm: MLB.com's Todd Zolecki learned from Castro's agent Oscar Suarez that he's closing in on a deal with the Phillies. As Suarez put it: "Who doesn't like Juan Castro?" Scott Lauber of The News Journal says only a physical remains, and David Murphy of the Philadelphia Daily News says an agreement has been reached on a one-year deal with a club option.
1:11pm: Andy Martino of the Philadelphia Inquirer believes the Phillies are the frontrunner to sign Castro, though no deal is imminent.
11:50am: Ken Rosenthal and Jon Paul Morosi of FoxSports.com report that both the Dodgers and Phillies are pursuing utility infielder Juan Castro. The Phillies are looking at him as a replacement for Eric Bruntlett (who isn't likely to return), while Dodgers are trying to retain him after he hit .277/.311/.339 in 121 plate appearances for them last year.
The 37-year-old Castro signed a minor league deal with LA last season, though he spent basically the entire season in the big leagues. He made $700K while playing three infield spots and left field in 2009.
The latest from Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports...
- The White Sox are still trying to figure out their center field situation, but they are not involved on pricey veterans such as Juan Pierre and Gary Matthews Jr.
- Fantasy alert: Rosenthal names David Aardsma as the likely leader for the Mariners closer job, with Chad Cordero and Brandon Morrow lingering.
- The Dodgers "continue to balk at Pedro Martinez's $5MM asking price."
- Rockies utility man Jeff Baker, who is out of options, is drawing interest from the Phillies, Astros, and Pirates. Rosenthal suggests recently-demoted Kyle Kendrick as a possible target for Colorado, assuming the Phils can move Geoff Jenkins or Matt Stairs to clear a spot. Troy E. Renck of the Denver Post says the Yankees are unlikely to acquire Baker.
- The Blue Jays have been scouting shortstops Chin-Lung Hu, Juan Castro, and others in hopes of finding someone they can stash at Triple A for insurance.
- Was Willy Taveras a bad move for the Reds? Rosenthal says rival executives think so.
Dylan Hernandez of the L.A. Times has the latest on the Dodgers, as well as free agent pitcher Pedro Martinez.
- Nothing much to report with Manny Ramirez - there has been no new offer from the Dodgers yet but the two sides are still talking. That two-year $45MM offer Scott Boras dissed isn't looking too bad anymore.
- Boras is "just looking for a situation" for Andruw Jones. I see. Boras had a meeting in November with Ned Colletti and Joe Torre and the three decided to rework the contract and get him out of L.A.
- Hernandez says Trevor Hoffman remains a possibility but the Dodgers haven't heard back from Takashi Saito.
- The Dodgers are not pursuing Pedro, but he's narrowed his choices to two teams in each league according to his agent.
- Diamond Leung tells us the Dodgers signed infielder Juan Castro to a minor league deal.
Links for Wednesday...
- Common misconception Joe and I keep running into: signing one of the 15 Type A free agents who were offered arbitration will only cost the signing team one draft pick. The player's old team also gets a second pick, but it doesn't come from the new team. It's just squeezed into the supplemental round. Check out a deeper explanation here.
- Nuggets from a Frank Coonelly chat: he expects the Pirates to make room on the 40-man roster for a potential Rule 5 addition, and they'd still like to re-sign Doug Mientkiewicz.
- Pirates pitcher Jason Davis looks like a non-tender candidate.
- Twins manager Ron Gardenhire doesn't have Delmon Young in his preferred starting outfield.
- The Cubs signed pitcher Chad Fox to a minor league deal.
- Ken Griffey Jr.'s agent Brian Goldberg says he's fine with DHing but is capable of playing the field. Goldberg thinks Junior can bounce back and have a 30 home run season.
- Click here to listen to free agent reliever Russ Springer talk to The ITD Morning After radio show on 1380 AM. He's gotten calls from teams in both leagues, including "World Series participants." Springer is known to be on the Phillies' radar.
- Recently I talked to Sarah Small of the Daily Illini.
- SI.com's Tom Verducci looks at the supposed shortstop revolution that seems to have petered out.
- Dave Cameron respects the Astros' signing of Mike Hampton.
- Tony Jackson says the Dodgers offered a minor league deal to Juan Castro.
- Royals GM Dayton Moore did a Q&A with fans at MLB.com. His priority is adding right-handed relief help after trading Leo Nunez and Ramon Ramirez. Also, he says Mark Teahen is "more important to our team today then he was in all of 2008 -- and he was very important to our team in '08."
- McCovey Chronicles is skeptical of all the teams blaming the economy.
- Drunk Jays Fans predicts Kevin Mench's Japan experience.
- Jesse Spector looks at comparable pitchers for C.C. Sabathia.
- Trevor Hoffman may meet with the Mets soon. Also, Mets COO Jeff Wilpon spoke of "addition by subtraction" yesterday.
- East Windup Chronicle disputes a Richard Griffin column.
- The Phillies are still willing to sign Type A free agents who were offered arbitration, such as Raul Ibanez or Juan Cruz.
- Evan Grant's latest Rangers mailbag, always a good read.
- Joe Sheehan discusses various poor arbitration decisions by teams.
- Minor league deals for the Mets: Nelson Figueroa, Adam Bostick, and Rene Rivera. Marty Noble adds Andy Green.
- Rany Jazayerli figures Mark Grudzielanek agreed in advance to reject the Royals' offer of arbitration.
- As usual, ESPN will be all over the Winter Meetings. I'm told they'll be doing daily Baseball Tonight specials and will have a team of seven on the scene in Vegas.
- ESPN's Peter Gammons says the free agent and trade markets are flooded with corner/DH type bats. There will be bargains.
- Bruce Miles thinks Milton Bradley would be a nice match for the Cubs. The biggest issue would be his ability to play right field every day.
Ken Rosenthal is reporting that the D-Backs are the favorite to land David Eckstein from the Blue Jays, prior to tonight's deadline for players to be eligible for the post-season. Previously we heard that both the D-Backs and the Angels were in pursuit of Eckstein.
Eckstein, 33, is almost certain to be traded before the deadline for setting postseason rosters at midnight Sunday. While talks are fluid, the Jays currently are more inclined to trade with the D-backs, sources say.
Rosenthal says the Angels are now considering other options, including Omar Vizquel of the Giants and Juan Castro of the Orioles.
FRIDAY: Blue Jays GM J.P. Ricciardi confirmed he's in discussions with the Angels about his shortstops.
THURSDAY: With Maicer Izturis out for the season and Erick Aybar day-to-day, the Angels are looking to acquire a veteran backup shortstop. Backup at second base wouldn't be a bad idea either, in case Howie Kendrick's injury is serious. Mike DiGiovanna names John McDonald, David Eckstein, Marco Scutaro, Juan Castro, and Jamey Carroll as targets. The numbers on these guys:
- McDonald: .222/.269/.292 in 162 PAs. Owed $350K in '08, $1.9MM in '09.
- Eckstein: .274/.353/.357 in 293 PAs. Owed $830K in '08.
- Scutaro: .265/.347/.348 in 475 PAs. Owed $290K in '08, $1.1MM in '09.
- Castro: .194/.233/.250 in 118 PAs. Owed minimum, Reds paying contract.
- Carroll: .271/.355/.346 in 314 PAs. Owed $400K in '08, $2.5MM club option for '09 with $0.15MM buyout.
Scutaro seems like the best fit; Carroll has not played shortstop this year. It is not known whether any of these players have cleared waivers. Who do you think the Angels should target?
Fordin spoke to Andy MacPhail, and the implication is that the Orioles' midseason hunt for a shortstop may have come to an end with Castro. Castro is understandably happy, as there aren't too many places where he'd have a shot at a starting gig. I'm sure MacPhail will continue hunting for a long-term option at short, even if it carries into the offseason.