Juan Rincon Rumors
According to La Velle E. Neal III of the Minneapolis Star-Tribune, the Twins went after Rockies' third baseman Garrett Atkins with a package that included Juan Rincon.
Given the way Rincon has pitched this year, I would guess he has little trade value. The Twins would've had to offer a good young player like Scott Baker to be taken seriously.
Pretty much the same old story with the Mets, though Joel Sherman and Mark Hale of the New York Post do have some new tidbits.
- The authors name Chad Cordero, Jon Rauch, Octavio Dotel, and Eric Gagne as relievers on the radar. However it seems the asking price is too high for Gagne and the Indians have become the frontrunner for Dotel (they may have passed the Dodgers). Shawn Chacon doesn't catch the Mets' eye, and they don't want Chad Bradford's three-year commitment. They had that option with Bradford this winter. I think that logic is silly - Bradford's pitched well this year, and acquiring him now would be akin to a two-year contract. Sometimes it seems GMs pass over certain players because they simply want to add a fresh name.
- You can add Al Reyes to the mix for the Mets, according to the St. Petersburg Times.
- The Mets think many of the available starting pitchers could be traded in August - Jose Contreras, Kyle Lohse, and Steve Trachsel for example. I don't agree on Lohse - he'll be traded today or tomorrow. But Contreras's contract would probably get through waivers without a claim.
- The Post reports no substantive talks to the Royals about Mark Grudzielanek. An inquiry has been made on Mark Loretta.
- Meanwhile, Newsday says the Twins are open to trading Luis Castillo but don't want any of the current Major League Mets. Dan Graziano of the Newark Star-Ledger seems to disagree, citing a Twins scout at Shea yesterday. Graziano does not believe Castillo would get through waivers unclaimed. He believes the Twins want Double A starter Kevin Mulvey and then some (perhaps Ruben Gotay).
- Graziano says a deal for Castillo could be expanded to include 28 year-old righty reliever Juan Rincon. Rincon had been consistently solid for three years (perhaps aided by steroids) but has seen his strikeout rate and overall performance plummet in 2007. Rincon is under control next year and will make at least $2MM again.
- Graziano notes that the Mets have talked to the A's about Joe Blanton, but Billy Beane wants Lastings Milledge. The Mets can't do that without damaging the current team. The Mets could actually add an outfielder in Jay Payton; the Cubs' interest has waned. The Sammy Sosa rumor also has some legs, as the Mets could bring him in to platoon with Shawn Green if they decide they can tolerate the sideshow.
Charley Walters of the St. Paul Pioneer-Press writes that the Astros and Rockies are talking to the Twins about righty reliever Juan Rincon. The Venezuelan will be 28 this January. Rincon has always shown good command and kept the ball in the park; he's seemingly a lock for 75 innings and an ERA around 3.
Struggling with a groin injury, Rincon posted a 1.60 WHIP in the second half and lost his job as the eighth inning setup man in September. Also, he had surgery to remove bone chips in his pitching elbow in October of 2005 and soreness lingered into the start of the season. Back in May of '05, Rincon earned a 10 game suspension for performance-enhancing drugs. He lost an appeal of the suspension.
Rincon made about $700,000 in 2006; he'll be a free agent after the 2008 season. As RotoWorld mentioned, a fine fit would be third baseman Morgan Ensberg.