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Junichi Tazawa Rumors
8:41pm: Several Japanese sources report the Red Sox are set to sign Tazawa as early as December 1st, according to Newman. It seems that Boston did not have the top offer, but Tazawa likes their development plan.
MONDAY, 10:40am: Newman passes along another report that says the Rangers were the fourth team to make an offer to Tazawa, and their offer was the largest. Jon Daniels won’t confirm or deny it. Jim Allen recently wrote a scouting report on Tazawa for ESPN.com:
He has good command of his fastball and slurve, but he lacks velocity, stamina and the ability to keep the ball down. At 22, Tazawa is unlikely to throw much harder than he does now; his fastball barely tops 90 mph when he is rested, and he struggled to hit 88 mph at the end of last season.
SUNDAY, 10:35pm: Newman has more on Boston’s offer to Tazawa, via Sponichi. Another report from Nikkan Sports says Tazawa has already decided on the Red Sox.
2:01pm: Patrick Newman at NPB Tracker is reporting that Red Sox vice president of international scouting, Craig Shipley, had formal negotiations with Japanese pitcher Junichi Tazawa, which resulted in a $6MM contract offer. No word yet on whether or not it’s a Major League deal.
Current reports state that both the Red Sox, Braves, and Mariners have offered contracts to the 22-year-old right-hander.
Links for Monday…
- The Cardinals still don’t have a deal with Trever Miller.
- Is a multiyear deal coming soon for Jamie Moyer? Ken Mandel’s source says it’s been delayed only because of scheduling conflicts.
- The D’Backs released infielder Jamie D’Antona, who is headed to Japan.
- J.P. Ricciardi says trading Roy Halladay hasn’t even crossed his mind. Dan Graziano wrote last Wednesday that some continued to insist the Jays would explore trading their ace.
- River Ave. Blues considers Ben Sheets a better investment than A.J. Burnett for the Yankees.
- Jim Allen profiled the five Japanese players who plan to come over to MLB. He’s not high on Junichi Tazawa, Ken Takahashi, or Ryoji Aikawa.
- I never mentioned this, but the Braves released Rodrigo Lopez earlier this month (thanks to Jeff at Cot’s for the link).
- Dave van Dyck of the Chicago Tribune talked to White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen about various hot stove issues.
- Murray Chass talked to Tom Glavine about his future. Chass’ blog is an oddity – a veteran journalist writing and researching newspaper-style articles for his personal site.
- Joel Sherman believes the Angels are the Yankees’ biggest threat for C.C. Sabathia. Ken Davidoff agrees.
- In another article, Davidoff summarizes the situations of the ten big-name players.
- Ken Rosenthal talked to an agent who says the market is moving slowly right now.
- Viva El Birdos assesses the trade value of Ryan Ludwick.
- South Side Sox offers more thoughts on Dayan Viciedo.
Full Story | Comments | Categories: A.J. Burnett | Arizona Diamondbacks | Atlanta Braves | Ben Sheets | C.C. Sabathia | Chicago White Sox | Dayan Viciedo | Jamie Moyer | Junichi Tazawa | Ken Takahashi | Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim | New York Yankees | Philadelphia Phillies | Rodrigo Lopez | Roy Halladay | Ryan Ludwick | St. Louis Cardinals | Tom Glavine | Toronto Blue Jays | Trever Miller
Links for Saturday…
- Ken Rosenthal comes up with a few possible suitors for Mike Lowell if the Red Sox sign Mark Teixeira. He lists the Dodgers, White Sox, Tigers and Brewers as possible fits.
- Nick Piecoro likes Ramon Vazquez as a fit for the D-Backs.
- Highly coveted Japanese pitcher Junichi Tazawa pitched a complete game shutout in Osaka, walking no one and striking out 10.
- John Van Benschoten will move on from the Pirates and try to sign with another team.
- Luke Hudson will also leave his old club, moving on from the Royals instead of accepting an assignment to AAA.
- Bobby Crosby is out of the loop amid the rumors swirling about Rafael Furcal.
- Mike Scarr takes a look at the market for middle infielders.
Links for Thursday…
- New commenters are signing up every day as MLB Trade Rumors grows. Before commenting, be sure to read our policy. If you ever see someone violating the policy just send me an email and I’ll take care of it.
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- Bruce Miles of the Daily Herald wonders if Kerry Wood might accept an offer of arbitration from the Cubs.
- Hal Steinbrenner officially took over control of the Yankees from George.
- Former Dodgers GM Fred Claire takes a look at Jeremy Affeldt‘s motivations in signing early with the Giants.
- Check out recent fan chats with Astros GM Ed Wade and agent Scott Boras. Wade still hopes to sign Randy Wolf and Doug Brocail and doesn’t seem keen on trading Jose Valverde. Some fans didn’t seem to realize that just holding payroll steady will pose problems for the Astros.
- Joe Posnanski discusses the Royals’ acquisition of Coco Crisp.
- Nick Cafardo wonders if the Crisp trade sets up other moves for the Red Sox. They’ll explore signing Rocco Baldelli, according to Amalie Benjamin.
- Sox Machine reflects on Nick Swisher‘s time with the White Sox.
- A’s owner Lew Wolff would prefer to keep Matt Holliday all year.
- Tom Haudricourt wonders if the Brewers will pursue David DeJesus if they trade Mike Cameron.
- MetsBlog’s Matthew Cerrone lists which teams have been connected to the top free agent starting pitchers.
- Chad Finn wonders if the Red Sox are considering trading David Ortiz.
- Alan Schwarz has a nice article on Junichi Tazawa.
Full Story | Comments | Categories: Boston Red Sox | Chicago Cubs | Chicago White Sox | Coco Crisp | David DeJesus | David Ortiz | Doug Brocail | Ed Wade | Houston Astros | Jeremy Affeldt | Jose Valverde | Junichi Tazawa | Kansas City Royals | Kerry Wood | Matt Holliday | Mike Cameron | Milwaukee Brewers | New York Mets | New York Yankees | Nick Swisher | Oakland Athletics | Randy Wolf | Rocco Baldelli | San Francisco Giants | Scott Boras
Links for Tuesday…
- Scouts from the Tigers and Indians visited Junichi Tazawa yesterday.
- This week’s chat has been pushed to Wednesday at 2pm CST.
- I chatted with The Baseball Opinion on November 10th.
- Patrick Newman compares Kenshin Kawakami and Hiroki Kuroda.
- Jesse Spector talks to D’Backs GM Josh Byrnes.
- Ken Davidoff explains the semantics games often played by agents, GMs, and journalists.
- Peter Abraham makes free agent predictions.
- Chat with Scott Boras at USA Today on Wednesday at 10am CST. You can submit questions in advance.
- SI.com’s Jon Heyman says Mark Cuban’s bid for the Cubs wasn’t high enough, anyway.
According to Jon Paul Morosi, the Detroit Tigers are interested in Japanese pitcher Junichi Tazawa. Morosi lists the Red Sox, Mariners, Braves and Phillies as other potential suitors for the 22-year-old.
Tigers GM Dave Dombrowski told Morosi that it’s “too early to tell” whether the club will pursue Tazawa aggresively.
Though Morosi doesn’t think the Tigers have a great chance of signing Tazawa, their chances of signing Japanese players have gone up since they hired Kevin Hooker to co-ordinate their Pacific Rim scouting.
Morosi also wonders whether the Tigers would part with Matt Joyce or Jeff Larish in a deal for J.J. Putz. Earlier this week, Morosi wrote that the Tigers would have to find bullpen help outside the organization.
Links for Friday. As always, I’ll update this post with more stuff so refresh later if you’re interested.
- Nick Piecoro suggests catcher Miguel Montero could be the D’Backs’ best trade chip. Their needs will be second base and perhaps starting pitching.
- The Marlins’ top priority is improving their defense.
- Dave Cameron takes apart Scott Boras’ claim about Oliver Perez. If more of these client books leak out, Boras is going to have to hire Cameron to keep him quiet.
- White Sox GM Ken Williams talked about adding speed from within, though Williams is notoriously unpredictable.
- Two 19 year-old Indian men named Rinku Singh and Dinesh Patel will try out in front of Major League scouts today after winning the Million Dollar Arm contest. The idea of the contest was to find raw talent among India’s huge population, kids who could hit 85mph consistently. The Red Sox and Indians are among the clubs in attendance.
- The Phillies may be interested in Junichi Tazawa, though Ruben Amaro’s "We know of him" comment isn’t exactly an endorsement. The Indians, Yankees, and D’Backs will pass on Tazawa, who could command $7MM.
- Also at NPB Tracker, a second Japanese club hopes to convince the Rangers to trade Nelson Cruz. Doesn’t make much sense for Texas.
- Amaro is figuring out his front office; Chuck LaMar has been promoted to assistant GM.
- Chris De Luca’s sources close to Bud Selig say there’s "zero chance" Bud and the owners let Mark Cuban buy the Cubs.
- Baseball America has the full list of 561 minor league free agents. See anyone you like?
- Former Dodgers GM Fred Claire looks at the notable waiver claims of the past few years.
- Baseball Prospectus’ John Perrotto says the Twins are reportedly willing to trade Delmon Young to the Padres for Kevin Kouzmanoff.
Full Story | Comments | Categories: Arizona Diamondbacks | Boston Red Sox | Chicago Cubs | Chicago White Sox | Cleveland Indians | Delmon Young | Junichi Tazawa | Kevin Kouzmanoff | Miami Marlins | Miguel Montero | Minnesota Twins | Nelson Cruz | New York Mets | New York Yankees | Oliver Perez | Philadelphia Phillies | Ruben Amaro Jr. | San Diego Padres | Texas Rangers
Here’s a look at the latest blog post from ESPN’s Keith Law.
- Junichi Tazawa is not free to sign with an MLB team until he finishes a tournament later this month. Law and David O’Brien report that the Braves have made an offer to Tazawa.
- Law is also on board with O’Brien’s statement that Jeff Francoeur‘s name has not come up in trade talks.
- The Indians’ wish list: late inning reliever, an infielder, and a starter. Paul Hoynes discussed the closer situation this morning.
- Law says the Tigers do have money to spend this winter. Yesterday we figured they might have around $14MM to work with.
David O’Brien of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution has all kinds of Braves info, found in the body and comments of his latest blog post.
- The Braves have expressed interest in Ryan Ludwick, and the Cardinals would be willing to take Kelly Johnson or Yunel Escobar in return. However, the Braves would probably have to include one of their middle infielders in a Jake Peavy deal and don’t want to trade both this winter.
- Braves GM Frank Wren publicly acknowledged the Peavy trade talks. O’Brien believes a package built around Escobar has a chance. Pitching prospect Tommy Hanson is not available. The Braves don’t have interest in Khalil Greene, by the way.
- The Braves aren’t looking to sign health risk-starters like Ben Sheets and Brad Penny.
- The Braves have an eye on the available White Sox veterans: Jermaine Dye, Nick Swisher, and Javier Vazquez.
- The latest word on Atlanta’s offer to Junichi Tazawa: a $4-5MM signing bonus and a four-year contract, which wouldn’t be counted against ’09 payroll. Speaking of Tazawa – the Rangers are in on him too.
- The Braves are not shopping Jeff Francoeur. His name has not surfaced in trade talks.
Full Story | Comments | Categories: Atlanta Braves | Ben Sheets | Brad Penny | Chicago White Sox | Jake Peavy | Javier Vazquez | Jeff Francoeur | Jermaine Dye | Junichi Tazawa | Kelly Johnson | Khalil Greene | Nick Swisher | Ryan Ludwick | San Diego Padres | Texas Rangers | Tommy Hanson | Yunel Escobar
Collecting today’s Red Sox rumors and links…
- Nick Cafardo says the Red Sox did not meet with C.C. Sabathia‘s agent and he doesn’t appear to be in their plans.
- The Sox are eyeing southpaw reliever Billy Traber, according to WEEI’s Alex Speier.
- Scott Boras believes Derek Lowe would be a good fit in Boston or New York. Nick Cafardo says Lowe would like to return to Boston, maybe even at a slight discount.
- Jason Bay‘s agents say he’s loving Boston and is open to a contract extension.
- When asked about the possibility of Manny Ramirez signing with the Yankees, Red Sox GM Theo Epstein basically said it’s not his concern.
- Otherwise, the theme of Epstein’s comments was flexibility. Justin Masterson could be a starter or reliever, and Epstein won’t get hung up on acquiring any one player.
- Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe says the Red Sox are heavily involved on Junichi Tazawa, though the Braves and Mariners are after him as well. The Sox also like Kenshin Kawakami and may have interest in Paul Byrd and Javier Vazquez.
- Cafardo believes the Mets and White Sox have interest in Julio Lugo. It would have to be a bad contract swap. Cafardo adds that the Red Sox view Jacoby Ellsbury as their starting center fielder, and there has been trade interest in Coco Crisp.
- Boston’s luxury tax threshold for 2009 is $160.5MM.
- By tomorrow the Red Sox should receive the Jason Varitek book compiled by the Boras corporation. Boras gave a ridiculous Varitek pitch to the media; click the link for quotes. Epstein will meet with Boras today to discuss his clients.
- The Red Sox plan to talk to the Rangers, with Taylor Teagarden, Jarrod Saltalamacchia, and Gerald Laird as possibilities. For Teagarden, the Red Sox would probably have to give up Clay Buchholz or Michael Bowden.
Full Story | Comments | Categories: Boston Red Sox | C.C. Sabathia | Chicago White Sox | Clay Buchholz | Coco Crisp | Derek Lowe | Gerald Laird | Jarrod Saltalamacchia | Jason Bay | Jason Varitek | Javier Vazquez | Julio Lugo | Junichi Tazawa | Kenshin Kawakami | Manny Ramirez | Michael Bowden | New York Mets | New York Yankees | Paul Byrd | Taylor Teagarden | Texas Rangers