Juan Uribe Rumors
This week's Sunday Baseball Notes piece from Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe is packed with juicy hot stove tidbits. According to one of Cafardo's major league sources, the Angels have had "serious talks" with Carl Crawford. The team's front office has been mum on the subject, but they've long been viewed as a strong potential suitor for the speedy outfielder. When five MLBTR writers predicted free agent destinations, all five guessed Crawford would sign with the Halos. Here are some of the other highlights from Cafardo's column:
- "Word is" that the Yankees are currently willing to offer Cliff Lee about $115MM over five years. Cafardo says the Rangers are aiming to match whatever the bidding gets up to, while the Nationals are also still in the hunt. Earlier in the week, Nolan Ryan said he didn't expect Texas to be able to outbid the Yanks for Lee.
- One National League scout said if he had limited trade chips to put toward a big bat, he'd acquire Adrian Gonzalez over Justin Upton. Gonzo is, as the scout notes, currently a "much better hitter," though he's also five years older than Upton and only under contract through 2011.
- While Cafardo adds Kansas City to the list of teams who have "considerable interest" in Upton, we learned Friday that the 23-year-old can block a trade to the Royals.
- The Dodgers would like to add a veteran "who can step up and be vocal when times are tough." Cafardo speculates that A.J. Pierzynski, Juan Uribe, or Johnny Damon could be a good fit.
- The Dodgers are also considering signing a low-cost starter, and haven't ruled out bringing back Vicente Padilla.
- "More and more teams" in need of middle infield help are eyeing Uribe.
- The Nationals and Giants, in addition to the Orioles, have some interest in trading for Jason Bartlett. The Rays are looking for young bullpen help in return.
- Mark Prior, attempting to make it back to the bigs, has three teams waiting on his decision, according to his agent, John Boggs.
- Not all of the clubs who are showing interest in acquiring Marco Scutaro would necessarily use him at shortstop. The Dodgers could have interest in Scutaro as a second baseman, Cafardo says.
Links on a busy Tuesday as the first day of the GM Meetings wraps up...
- Paul Hoynes of The Cleveland Plain Dealer says (via Twitter) the Indians "kicked the tires" on Jake Westbrook, but never formally offered him a contract before he re-signed with the Cardinals.
- FoxSports.com's Ken Rosenthal tweets that the market for Jorge de la Rosa won't take shape until Cliff Lee signs. He's a fallback option for several teams.
- Former Orioles reliever Dennis Sarfate is in talks to join the Hiroshima Carp according to MASNSports.com's Roch Kubatko.
- ESPN's Jerry Crasnick tweets that the Giants are currently in on just two players: Aubrey Huff and Juan Uribe.
- Bob Brookover of The Philadelphia Inquirer says that Phillies GM Ruben Amaro offered a lot of "no comments" when asked about the team's interest in retaining Chad Durbin.
- SI.com's Jon Heyman says (via Twitter) the trade market for Jonathan Papelbon is "very weak," but the Red Sox are willing to pay part of what will surely be a sizable 2011 salary.
- SI.com's Jon Heyman hears that the Yankees will bid at least three years to keep Derek Jeter (Twitter link). Owner Hal Steinbrenner added that "things are going well."
- Chad Jennings of The Journal News has a quote from Yanks GM Brian Cashman: “I’ve got a small player move that I’m working on that might get done at some point this week ... But it’s small.”
- Meanwhile, ESPN's Buster Olney tweets that the Yanks are still waiting to hear whether Mariano Rivera wants a one or two-year deal.
- Troy Renck of The Denver Post tweets that the Athletics are not moving Conor Jackson, though he remains a non-tender candidate.
- Twins GM Bill Smith said it's "not at all" a question when asked if the team would tender Matt Capps a contract, according to Adam Kilgore of The Washington Post (Twitter link).
- John Fay of The Cincinnati Enquirer says that Reds GM Walt Jocketty has talked to Arthur Rhodes' agent and plans to do the same with Miguel Cairo's, but he has yet to talk to any other free agents.
- SI.com's Tom Verducci lists players available on the "secondary market" that could have a big impact, starting with Jack Cust.
- Roy Halladay's Cy Young Award netted him $250K in bonus money, tweets Matt Gelb of The Philadelphia Inquirer. The bonus was negotiated into his original contract with Toronto.
- In the wake of Justin Upton being made available, FanGraphs' Dave Cameron examines his trade value.
Cardinals GM John Mozeliak would like to begin talks on an Albert Pujols extension "between now and the Christmas holiday," he told Joe Strauss of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. Strauss has a source who believes Pujols "is unlikely to revisit the matter once the 2011 season opens." At the least, Pujols figures to sign the third-largest contract in baseball history whether this winter or as a free agent after the '11 season.
Regarding infield upgrades, Mozeliak told Strauss Sunday that "we probably have more of an emphasis on short than second at this point." They'd also like a utility infielder to back up David Freese at third base. Unless Dan Uggla fits into the picture somewhere, free agents Juan Uribe and Miguel Tejada are on the Cardinals' radar according to Strauss. Though they also have an eye on recently-posted infielder Tsuyoshi Nishioka, Mozeliak "indicated the timing may not be right for the club to make such a heavy commitment for a Pacific Rim player."
It's becoming more and more clear the Cardinals won't be moving Colby Rasmus; today Ken Rosenthal and Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports quoted a source who sees a 99% chance of the center fielder staying put. Indeed, Mozeliak told Strauss Sunday that Rasmus is "almost impossible to replace."
Links for Saturday...
- Newsday's Ken Davidoff provides a primer for next week's GM Meetings in Orlando. MLBTR's Ben Nicholson-Smith will be on the scene there Tuesday and Wednesday.
- Dylan Hernandez of The Los Angeles Times tweets that former Phillies' first base coach Davey Lopes is close to joining the Dodgers' coaching staff in an unknown capacity.
- Tom Krasovic of AOL FanHouse analyzes the Cameron Maybin trade, saying the outfielder doesn't need to develop into a star to represent an upgrade for the Padres.
- Richard Griffin of The Star has a one-on-one interview with new Blue Jays manager John Farrell.
- Cubs GM Jim Hendry told Gordon Wittenmyer of The Chicago Sun Times that he's not worried about making a splash this offseason, but that it's "really imperative that we have two or three really good moves."
- MLB.com's Joe Frisaro says that in the wake of the Maybin deal, the Marlins will give Scott Cousins a long look in center field next year (Twitter link).
- Meanwhile, Padres GM Jed Hoyer told Dan Hayes of The North County Times that Maybin is "exactly the type of player we hoped to acquire for Petco Park." (Twitter link)
- MLB.com's Jason Beck states the obvious, saying that the Marlins probably would have been better off keeping Miguel Cabrera and Dontrelle Willis and then taking the draft picks when they left as free agents. I'm not sure that keeping those two would have been financially possible, though.
- Jenifer Langosch of MLB.com writes that after catcher Erik Kratz signed with the Phillies, the Pirates will now have to bring in a catcher or two to provide depth at the Triple-A level.
- The Nationals have signed righty reliever Tim Wood to a minor league contract with an invitation to Spring Training, tweets Jon Paul Morosi of FoxSports.com. Wood, who turns 28 on Tuesday, appeared in 44 games with the Marlins over the last two seasons, pitching to a 4.32 ERA with nearly as many walks (25) as strikeouts (26) in 50 innings.
- ESPN's Buster Olney expects the Cardinals to aggressively pursue Juan Uribe since they could use him at pretty much any of their non-first base infield positions (Twitter link).
- Michael Silverman of The Boston Herald reports that GM Theo Epstein said the team has talked to Kevin Youkilis about moving to third base in the event that they are unable to re-sign Adrian Beltre, who we learned is one of their priorities.
- Meanwhile, Alex Speier of WEEI.com separates fact from fiction with regards to Scott Boras' claims about Beltre.
- SI.com's Melissa Segura tweets that a new league launched in the Dominican Republic yesterday, and it features the top young free agent players the country has to offer.
One talent evaluator told ESPN.com's Buster Olney that Aubrey Huff posted impressive numbers in 2010 because he “got better as a player." Huff has set himself up for a nice payday and he isn’t the only Giants free agent who stands to cash in this offseason, as Olney explains:
- One GM says players like Juan Uribe, who can hit 20 homers and play in the middle infield, are becoming harder to find. “Five years ago, you could find a lot of guys who could do what he does,” the GM said. “But not now.”
- Olney surveyed scouts and executives about the A’s-Royals trade and everyone said it was a good deal for both clubs.
- Rival teams believe the Rays are willing to trade B.J. Upton. What’s more, Tampa Bay wouldn’t have to be overwhelmed to agree to a deal.
- The Yankees are interested in John Buck, but the catcher could likely command a two-year deal (possibly from the Red Sox) and it seems unlikely that the Yankees would offer more than a one-year contract.
- In a series of tweets, Olney explains that the Blue Jays may only obtain a second or third round pick for losing Type A free agent Scott Downs (they will also get a compensation pick if they offer arbitration). There's a chance that Downs' new team will sign another free agent with a higher ranking, which would prevent Toronto from getting a first rounder.
You’ve heard by now that the A’s acquired David DeJesus, but he was far from the only bat they considered trading for. GM Billy Beane was after Josh Willingham and considered making a deal for Dan Uggla, according to Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports. The A’s probably aren’t done adding offense. Beane told Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle that he’d still like to make an upgrade or two (Twitter link). Here are the rest of Rosenthal’s rumors.
- The Red Sox aren’t likely to offer Adrian Beltre a five-year deal.
- The Cardinals are still in contact with Jake Westbrook, but they would prefer to reach a two-year deal and Westbrook might be able to get three years from another club, so talks appear to be losing momentum.
- Orlando Cabrera and Juan Uribe are already drawing more interest than they did at this time last year, according to Rosenthal.
- The White Sox are checking in on Rafael Soriano and, as Rosenthal points out, that’s yet another sign that they’re open to trading or non-tendering Bobby Jenks.
It's been less than a week since the Giants were crowned World Champions, but GM Brian Sabean has already started to act on his offseason agenda. Here's the latest from San Francisco, courtesy of Andrew Baggarly of The Mercury News...
- Sabean was very explicit in saying that Pablo Sandoval will be sent to the minors next year if he doesn't improve his conditioning. Kung Fu Panda will spend the winter with fitness and nutrition experts in San Diego before reporting to Spring Training a month early. He will have benchmarks to meet this offseason.
- Sabean has reached out to the agents for Aubrey Huff and Juan Uribe, and although he acknowledged that both players are priorities, he couldn't commit to bringing them back. The market could play out very favorably for those two.
- The team is currently discussing Pat Burrell internally, who would be brought back in a reserve role if anything. Remember that the Giants will have Mark DeRosa and his righty bat back from injury next season.
- Sabean's priority is to get more left-handed, and when asked about Carl Crawford, he responded "We'll see. That's the best answer I can give you."
- Sabean also said that he's still upset about being portrayed as a suitor for CC Sabathia two offseasons ago, claiming he never met with the player or his representatives. "[W]e do not want to be somebody’s fallback or stalking horse to be used as leverage," said the game's longest-tenured GM.
- Baggarly doesn't think the Giants will be serious players for Jayson Werth, and their desire to get more athletic could take them out of Adam Dunn sweepstakes.
- The team's payroll is expected to eclipse the $100MM mark for the first time, and Sabean wouldn't commit to offering arbitration to all eight of his eligible players. He is interested in bringing them all back, however.
- It almost goes without saying, but Sabean is hopeful that the World Series victory will make San Francisco a more desirable landing spot for free agents.
Links for tonight as we remember Hall of Fame manager Sparky Anderson, who passed away today at the age of 76. MLB.com's Marty Noble penned a great article today looking back at the life and career of the universally beloved skipper.
- The Mets announced that GM Sandy Alderson will interview in-house candidates Wally Backman, Terry Collins, and Chip Hale in California this weekend, writes Adam Rubin of ESPNNewYork.com. Earlier today the Mets sat down with Bob Melvin and Dave Jauss in New York.
- Giants GM Brian Sabean says that the club will soon make an offer to Aubrey Huff and will "certainly be in discussions" with Juan Uribe, writes Andrew Baggarly of the Mercury News.
- Expect the Rockies to call Kevin Gregg's agent, tweets Troy Renck of The Denver Post.
- Cardinals slugger Albert Pujols said that he hopes to work out an extension with the club before Opening Day, according to the Associated Press.
- Jonathan Maurer, the agent for Brandon Webb, says that several teams have already contacted him with interest in his client, according to the Associated Press. We learned yesterday that Webb would like to return to Arizona but that seems unlikely.
- After turning down his end of a mutual option today, Scott Podsednik is still in talks with the Dodgers, tweets Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports.
- The Denver Post's Troy Renck says that Jorge de la Rosa hasn't been presented with an offer from the Rockies since last winter when he instead opted to take a one-year deal in arbitration.
- The Mets dropped five players from the 40-man roster today including Jesus Feliciano and Omir Santos, tweets Adam Rubin of ESPNNewYork.com.
- Barret Loux had a second throwing session for scouts today, according to Brian McTaggart and Jeff Seidel of MLB.com. The Astros, Marlins, Rangers, Cubs, Twins, Giants, Brewers, Phillies and Mariners watched the free agent first-round pick throw between 50 and 60 pitches.
- Uribe's 2010 performance should give him a handful of options in free agency this winter, tweets ESPN.com's Buster Olney.
- Newsday's Ken Davidoff isn't sure that Jerry Dipoto is the right person for the Mets' GM job, even if Dipoto were available.
- Jim Hendry tells Paul Sullivan of the Chicago Tribune that Greg Maddux will remain in the Cubs' organization next year. Upon being hired as Arizona's GM, Kevin Towers suggested that he'd like to put Maddux on the Diamondbacks' payroll. The four-time Cy Young winner is flattered by the interest, writes Bob Nightengale of USA Today.
- Hendry also conducted his second official interview in his search for the Cubs' next manager, according to Carrie Muskat of MLB.com. Ryne Sandberg is the latest candidate to interview with Hendry, after Eric Wedge did so last month.
- MLB.com's Todd Zolecki breaks down some of the key roster moves that have led to the Phillies' NL-best record this year.
Juan Uribe will draw interest after the season, when he brings his versatile glove and powerful bat to the free agent market. Uribe signed a one-year, $3.25MM deal with the Giants in January and he has certainly been worth the investment so far.
At the plate, Uribe is walking more than ever, though his walk rate remains a modest 8.1%. He does have power (15 homers and 20 doubles), but his .256/.318/.449 line makes him a league-average hitter. Much of the ten-year veteran's value comes from his versatility; he plays regularly at second, third and short. UZR suggests that Uribe is an above-average defender this year and has played above-average defense at second, third and short over the course of his career.
Placido Polanco ($18MM/ three years) and Chone Figgins ($36MM/ four years) signed deals that are presumably out of reach for Uribe. Other veteran infielders, including Pedro Feliz ($4.5MM/ one year), Orlando Hudson ($5MM/ one year) and Miguel Tejada ($6MM/ one year) signed deals that provide context for Uribe's next contract.
Uribe currently projects to be a Type B free agent, but he is close to Type A status and could become a Type A by the end of the season. If he's a Type B free agent, teams won't have to surrender draft picks to sign him. However, Type A status would hurt Uribe's free agent value, since teams would have to surrender a top pick to sign him if the Giants offer arbitration. San Francisco wouldn't necessarily offer arbitration, but it's in Uribe's best interest to stay in the Type B range.
If Uribe is a Type B free agent, as expected, a two-year deal seems possible, but not likely. Regardless, the 31-year-old can expect a significant raise from his current $3.25MM salary because of his versatility, power and improved walk rate.