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Kenny Rogers Rumors
UPDATE, 11-30-07 at 10pm: The deal is believed to be for $8MM, which seems a fair price.
FROM 11-30-07 at 11am:
The Tigers put out a press release this morning; they’ve reached an agreement with Kenny Rogers on a one-year deal. I imagine it’s around $9-10MM. Rogers amicably parted with Scott Boras prior to negotiating the deal himself.
This takes the Tigers out of the running for various available starters such as Carlos Silva and Hiroki Kuroda.
Some random rumorage before I shut it down for the evening…
- My 2008 MLB Free Agents list is current; take a gander.
- The Cardinals signed Jason LaRue to be their backup catcher. LaRue had a nice five-year trend of rising OPS, culminating with an .806 mark in 2005. Then he lost all ability to hit whatsoever. Fortunately, he can still throw guys out. The Cards also inked a couple of sweet former Rated Rookies in Dewon Brazelton and John Wasdin.
- The Tigers have begun chatting with Kenny Rogers again, this time with The Gambler representing himself.
- Don’t buy that Torii Hunter White Sox jersey just yet – Hunter is finishing up a tasty meal at Tom Hicks’ house as we speak. If Hicks was smart he whipped up some chicken fried rice for Torii.
Quick note from Danny Knobler: free agent starter Kenny Rogers has fired Scott Boras, and reiterated that the Tigers are his first priority. Not a good offseason so far for Boras.
Rogers will represent himself. Jason Beck says Rogers received two contract offers through Boras from the Tigers and they were declined. I imagine now they’ll get something done soon.
Buster Olney’s blog today had some good rumors to digest.
- Olney writes that the Dodgers are making a "heavy play" for Aaron Rowand. Apparently they love the idea of adding a good character guy to the clubhouse. They’d be paying $25MM for Rowand and Juan Pierre in their outfield for the next several years.
- The Phillies are making a "big play" for Mike Lowell. This certainly doesn’t jive with the speculation that the Phils only have $10MM to spend and it’s going toward pitching. By the way, Ruben Amaro Jr. ruled out the possibility of signing Torii Hunter.
- Olney has an exec source who believes Hunter will sign with the Rangers for six years and $90MM.
- Olney doesn’t see Kenny Rogers apologizing to the Rangers anytime soon.
- Mike Cameron has a better chance of re-signing with the Padres, now that his 2008 season will be reduced by 15% in playing time.
- Six teams are in on Matt Clement, but he’s still expected to land in San Diego. The Royals are probably one of the six.
- Speculation is growing that the Braves might consider bringing Andruw Jones back.
There was some speculation a few days ago that the "right circumstances" that would allow a Kenny Rogers-Rangers reunion would be an apology to management. Owner Tom Hicks erased any ambiguity on that front today, saying Rogers would have to apologize to the Rangers for them to entertain signing him. Evan Grant notes that made all sorts of apologies after his cameraman incident, but one to the Rangers was conspicuously absent.
Rogers, a Scott Boras client, wants a one-year, $10MM contract. The Tigers are still atop his list, but the Rangers, Mariners, Phillies, Dodgers, and Mets could also enter the picture.
Regarding Torii Hunter, it turns out Hicks did not attend the Tuesday night dinner. It was just Jon Daniels; maybe Hicks doesn’t like Arby’s. Hunter has also met with the White Sox and Royals. Grant believes a contract offer from the Rangers could come next week.
MLB.com’s T.R. Sullivan has some new info regarding the Rangers’ plans this offseason.
- Kenny Rogers has already had three separate stints with the Rangers, the last one ending with the cameraman incident. The Rangers would like to bring him back for a fourth tour, if the price is right. One emailer speculated that the team also wouldn’t mind an apology to management for the incident, also. Sullivan says the Mariners, Phillies, Dodgers, and Mets may also have Rogers on the radar. Seems like Ned Colletti is letting bygones be bygones with Scott Boras. UPDATE: Boras reiterated tonight that the Tigers are Rogers’ priority. He seemingly wants one year and $10MM.
- The Rangers have interest in another Boras client, Eric Gagne. I think I read this in ESPN Magazine recently – how about re-signing him and flipping him all over again at the ’08 deadline?
- Owner Tom Hicks and GM Jon Daniels had dinner with Torii Hunter tonight. I heard they had the roast beef. The Rangers will make an offer later this week, though they’ll have to top whatever the White Sox come up with.
- The Rangers also want to bring back Jamey Wright for the ‘pen.
Leave it to Scott Boras to be unsatisfied with Kenny Rogers‘ declarations that he will either play for the Tigers or retire. Boras told Tigers GM Dave Dombrowski yesterday that Rogers wanted to explore the open market.
The Tigers remain Rogers’ first choice, but Boras wants to be make sure the the 43-year old southpaw is paid at a level commensurate with his peers. To Boras that would be the Maddux-Schilling-Glavine range, which is roughly $10MM. Rogers earned $8MM in 2007, and is probably a tad less appealing than that trio. According to Jon Paul Morosi (linked above), the Mariners and Rangers would be in the mix if the Tigers couldn’t get something done.
Dombrowski won’t let the Rogers wrinkle stop him from pursuing other pitchers. Morosi says the Tigers have already expressed interest in Carlos Silva. Wow, that list is growing rapidly.
The team’s other focus is relief pitching, given Joel Zumaya‘s injury. They still want to re-sign Todd Jones, and Matt Mantei is a mildly interesting wild card. Morosi added today that the Tigers have talked to the Rockies about Brian Fuentes. Morosi says relievers from the Cubs and Pirates could also be available – I’m guessing Ryan Dempster, Will Ohman, Damaso Marte, and Salomon Torres. An intriguing trade option: Jose Valverde.
Lynn Henning of the Detroit News has some Tigers tidbits today.
- The Tigers want to bring Kenny Rogers back, who has said Detroit is the only place he’ll play if he doesn’t retire.
- The team will finally go with Joel Zumaya in the closer role next year, but they’d like Todd Jones around as a backup. Jones’ first pick is Atlanta but it’s not known if they’re interested. The mustachioed closer earned $5MM this year.
- Henning indicates that the acquisition of Edgar Renteria will allow the Tigers to be content with a Marcus Thames/Timo Perez/Ryan Raburn combo in left field, instead of signing Geoff Jenkins. Maybe the Tigers don’t want to appear too desperate for Jenkins, or maybe they’re serious.
Lynn Henning of the Detroit News runs down all of the big names rumored to be possibilities for the Tigers this winter and assesses the likelihood of each. It’s a well-written article so be sure to read it. Here are the players, ranked by the percent chance of playing for Detroit next year:
Kenny Rogers – 90%
Todd Jones – 80%
Geoff Jenkins – 75%
Edgar Renteria – 50%
Jack Wilson – 30%
Francisco Cordero – 5%
Alex Rodriguez – 3%
Mariano Rivera – 3%
Raul Ibanez – 0.5%
Torii Hunter – 0%
Andruw Jones – 0%
- Henning believes Jenkins is quite likely to become a Tiger on a two-year deal. He only costs money, as the Brewers won’t be offering him arbitration if they decline his option. The Twins may be in the mix for him as well.
- Henning notes that new Braves GM Frank Wren and current Tigers GM Dave Dombrowski have a connection and could easily work together on a Renteria trade. Pitching would be the requirement. Jeremy Bonderman seems like too much; Nate Robertson perhaps too little.
- The Tigers badly want to bring Rogers back; that seems very likely.
- Henning expects Jones back unless he receives an offer from the Braves, located somewhat near his home. That’s not expected.
Lynn Henning of the Detroit News posted a Q&A yesterday, giving his informed opinion on the Tigers’ various hot stove situations. Below are some highlights.
- Henning expects Kenny Rogers to be with the Tigers in 2008, and I think that’s the general sentiment around baseball. Rogers has already stated that it’s the Tigers or retirement in 2008. I’ll guess a $6MM base salary plus incentives to make $10MM possible.
- Henning sees the Tigers picking up Ivan Rodriguez‘s $13MM option for ’08, for lack of a better option. Given the $3MM buyout it’s kind of a like a one-year, $10MM deal. Ken Rosenthal opined back on August 11th that the Tigers would choose the buyout, but he also felt the team was "almost certain" to exercise the option when discussing it in April.
- The price for Miguel Tejada – $26MM over two years plus a bevy of young players – is considered too high. I’m not sure where the Tigers payroll will be in ’08; they opened ’07 with a team-record $95MM mark. Based on my back of the napkin estimates, the Tigers will have to pay out a net $7.5MM extra based on escalating salaries of players already under contract. Contracts for Carlos Guillen, Magglio Ordonez, and Jeremy Bonderman will contribute to a $19MM increase, while the losses of Todd Jones, Sean Casey, and Neifi Perez will save the team $11.5MM. The net effect is the $7.5MM increase, which doesn’t account for replacements for the players lost.
- One minor offseason acquisition for Detroit could be a left-handed hitting outfielder who can play first base. Luis Gonzalez, Mark Sweeney, or Darin Erstad could fit the bill.