Kenny Lofton Rumors

Davidoff’s Latest: Padres, Garcia, Lofton

Newsday’s Ken Davidoff posted a new column yesterday.

  • Davidoff spoke to Padres GM Kevin Towers, who is not ready to throw in the towel.  Realistically Towers could let all of June play out before shopping his veterans.
  • If all goes according to plan, Freddy Garcia might appear in the Majors in late August.  If so, he’d be eligible for the postseason.
  • Davidoff implies that Kenny Lofton is asking for the same $6MM he earned last year.  No wonder he’s still sitting at home.

Crasnick On Remaining Free Agents

ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick examines the status of nine free agents: Sammy Sosa, Kenny Lofton, Reggie Sanders, Jeff Cirillo, Royce Clayton, Steve Finley, Freddy Garcia, David Wells, and Damian Miller.

  • Lofton is likely to find a job; he’s healthy and played reasonably well last year.  The Cubs still might be a fit.
  • Seems that Garcia probably won’t reach a big league mound until September; auditioning for teams may take place in July.
  • Miller received calls from the Yankees and Padres, but he’s still taking a Brewers or nothing stance.

Lofton Still Wants To Play

According to ESPN’s Buster Olney, free agent Kenny Lofton "is still waiting and hoping for a chance to play."  Why can’t the 41 year-old outfielder find a job?  With an .818 OPS last year, he still has talent.  Is Lofton sitting at home for lack of interest, or is he asking for too much in terms of money or playing time?

Lofton would fit with a contender; he should be used strictly against righties.  Would the A’s have room?  Emil Brown could use a platoon partner.  The Cubs might make sense if Jim Edmonds doesn’t pan out.  Atlanta or San Diego maybe?  What do you think?

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Rosenthal’s Latest: Crede, Lofton, Millwood, Dunn

Ken Rosenthal has a new Full Count video up; let’s discuss.

  • Despite his .268/.330/.537 start, the White Sox would still entertain trading Joe Crede if it’d help the big league team.  This is a change from their apparent springtime willingness to deal him for prospects.  The most likely desire would be pitching, if the Sox can find a suitor.
  • Jake Peavy put on his GM hat, suggesting the Padres sign Kenny Lofton.  Rosenthal likes the idea, but notes that Kevin Towers will first turn to his farm system.  I discussed some future trade candidates for San Diego in my latest video mailbag.
  • Rosenthal suggests Kevin Millwood‘s contract will be an obstacle in trading him.  He earns $8.5MM this year, $11MM in ’09, and a fairly achievable $12MM vesting option for ’10.  Plus there’s a limited no-trade clause.
  • Walt Jocketty’s biggest test this year might be deciding whether to trade Ken Griffey Jr. and/or Adam Dunn.  They both have no-trade clauses to deal with; even after June 15th Dunn’s includes most high-revenue teams.

Olney’s Latest: Nady, Delgado, Clement, Lofton

Buster Olney has some thoughts. Let’s have a looksee.

  • He thinks that Xavier Nady could fit with the Mets or the Indians, but notes that the Pirates are sitting tight for now, hoping to compete this year. They’ll be singing a different tune in July.
  • Olney goes on to speculate that the Mets could release Carlos Delgado if he continues his weak hitting. Nady would seem a decent replacement, though he hasn’t played first since 2006. Scott Hatteberg could be another option.
  • In what he calls "pure speculation," Olney suggests that the Mariners trade Jeff Clement to the Red Sox for Coco Crisp and some pitching. It’s a rather vague trade idea, and I’d think that the Mariners could fetch a lot more than Crisp if they opted to trade Clement, who is having his way with AAA pitching.
  • It appears Jake Peavy wants the Padres to sign Kenny Lofton. With the way Jim Edmonds and Scott Hairston are hitting, I can’t blame him.

Posted by Joe Pawlikowski.

Heyman’s Latest: Lofton, Owings, Sabathia’s Jon Heyman has a new column up.

  • Heyman and Buster Olney both believe the Cubs should sign free agent Kenny Lofton to help fill in for Alfonso Soriano.  However, Olney noted that the Cubs don’t seem interested.
  • Apparently the Yanks pushed hard to get Micah Owings in the Randy Johnson deal a few years ago.  Ross Ohlendorf still looks interesting, at least.
  • Heyman has heard whispers about C.C. Sabathia having arm problems but admits there’s no real evidence.  Sabathia threw 256.3 innings last year (postseason included), an increase of almost 60 IP over 2007.

Lofton Turned Down Two Offers

Kenny Lofton tells Ken Rosenthal, "age ain’t nothing but a number."  However, he feels that his age (41 in May) is the reason he’s not getting offers he deems acceptable this winter.  He’s turned down two offers: a minor league one from the Reds and a Major League one from the Rays in excess of $1MM.

Rosenthal suggests Lofton may retire, which would be a shame.  I don’t think fans would think less of Lofton if he played for a million or two; most wouldn’t even know his salary.  As a part-time player with suspect defense, does he really deserve more?  Maybe it was last year’s $6MM salary that was out of line. 

Lofton says his hands are tied.  But the reality is that his pride, rather than a lack of interest in his services, could lead to his retirement.

Stark’s Latest: Roberts, Fuentes, Lofton

ESPN’s Jayson Stark has a new blog post jam-packed with hot stove rumors.

  • The Cubs are getting frustrated with the Brian Roberts situation, wondering if they’ll ever complete this trade.  The Orioles are scouting players but still haven’t given the Cubs the names they crave.  I got the exact same vibe from the source who told me Jose Ceda‘s inclusion was never proposed by the Cubs.
  • The Tigers and Phillies are both hunting for bullpen help; Detroit’s sights are set higher than Philadelphia’s.  Unwanted players such as Wes Helms and Brandon Inge aren’t in demand.  And while Marcus Thames is desirable, he’s not enough to get Aaron Heilman from the Mets.  Brian Fuentes, also a Yankees target, may be the best available reliever.  But Stark says the Rox want a "high-upside young arm" for the southpaw.
  • My own guess at some useful relievers who may be available: Damaso Marte, Joe Nathan, Jamie Walker, Chad Bradford, Huston Street, Alan Embree, Kevin Gregg, Jon Rauch, and Chad Cordero.
  • Stark names the Cubs, Rays, and Mets as the teams looking for an extra outfielder.  No deals appear imminent, though the Rays made an unsuccessful offer to Kenny Lofton.  The Mets and Cubs are considering the same names we’ve heard for a few weeks now.  The Cubs are in a holding pattern since they may get Jay Payton in a Roberts deal with Baltimore. 

Rays Likely To Fill Outfield Void Through Trade

According to Marc Lancaster, the Rays would prefer to fill their need for a fourth outfielder via trade as opposed to signing a free agent such as Kenny Lofton.

Lancaster notes the Rays are likely to offer one of their surplus of starting pitchers. The Rays have five pitchers competing for the final two spots in the rotation and two of those pitchers (Edwin Jackson and Jason Hammel) are out of options. In addition Lancaster mentions that the Rays have a number of pitching prospects at AA and AAA that could be included in a deal.

The Rays would prefer a player that in addition to regular playing time in right field, can serve as a backup to center fielder BJ Upton. Lancaster lists several players that match this description including Juan Rivera, Reggie Willits, Coco Crisp, Reed Johnson and Ryan Freel. Ken Rosenthal previously said that Willits is untouchable, and Crisp and Johnson seem unlikely as trades rarely occur within a division. The Reds seem like the best fit of this group as they have been rumored to be active in the trade market this off-season for a starting pitcher.

Cork Gaines writes for Rays Index and can be reached here.

Rosenthal’s Latest: Roberts, Horacio, Willits

Rumor guru and baseball insider Ken Rosenthal has a new column at FOX Sports.  Let’s discuss.

  • Rosenthal does not see the Cubs taking on the salaries of both Brian Roberts and Coco Crisp, even if they shed their Jason Marquis commitment.  Roberts remains the focus.
  • Horacio Ramirez‘s agent says seven clubs have already expressed interest in his client.  Perhaps he meant to say 0.7.
  • Rosenthal runs through many Rocco Baldelli replacement options for the Rays: Reggie Willits, Kenny Lofton, Gabe Gross, and Reed Johnson.  Only Willits seems the perfect fit, and the Angels aren’t making him available. Willits and his .393 career OBP could be headed to Triple A.
  • The Phillies are looking for middle relief help; Rosenthal suggests a possible match with Arizona.  Or, how ’bout signing Bob Wickman?  Is he officially retired?