Kent Mercker Rumors
John Perrotto at Baseball Prospectus has his Every Given Sunday column up. Here's the highlights from the Rumors and Rumblings section (with some added speculation here and there from yours truly):
- There's a growing rumor that Cardinals manager Tony La Russa could step down after this season and pursue a job as a general manager. We all know Seattle's looking...
- The Diamondbacks love Adam Dunn's production so much that they are considering re-signing him and possibly having him play first base. Dunn's racked up a .474 OBP since coming to Arizona... what's not to like about that?
- The Padres seem willing to move Kevin Kouzmanoff once again. Perrotto doesn't say, but it would make sense for young starting pitching to be the target for the Padres, and a move would allow Chase Headley to move back to his natural position, third base. The Giants are looking for help at third, but I doubt the Pads would trade him within the division. Minnesota, perhaps?
- The Marlins are considering playing Jorge Cantu at first next season, using Dallas McPherson at third, and trading Mike Jacobs in the offseason.
- The Royals will not re-sign Mark Grudzielanek this offseason, but will likely target both Rafael Furcal and Raul Ibanez. Given Mike Aviles' emergence at the plate, shifting him to second base and putting Furcal at shortstop would make for a very good middle of the infield in Kansas City. The Royals will also explore options for trading Jose Guillen. I personally didn't like the contract they gave him at the time, and I doubt many clubs like it now either. Moving him could be difficult.
- The Rangers will try to trade Gerald Laird for pitching, given their surplus at catcher. The Yankees could use some help behind the plate if Jorge Posada is unable to catch...
- Jeff Kent, Frank Thomas, and Kent Mercker are all mentioned as possibilites for retirement this offseason, with Jeff Kent being almost a certainty, regardless of how his knee reacts to surgery.
Today we've got a trio of pitchers who may be ready to call it quits.
- John Smoltz will have season-ending shoulder surgery. Retirement is not out of the question, but right now he's got his eye on returning in '09.
- Jeff Zrebiec talked with Steve Trachsel in spring; he'll probably retire if the Orioles release him.
- Hal McCoy expects Kent Mercker to hang it up. He's on the 60-day DL with a sore back.
Ken Rosenthal has a new column; let's take a look.
- Aside from Adam Dunn and Ken Griffey Jr., Rosenthal suggests Walt Jocketty could look to trade veterans Paul Bako, Scott Hatteberg, David Weathers, Jeremy Affeldt, and Kent Mercker.
- Most of the Marlins' best players will reach arbitration for the first time after this season, which could prompt a trade or two.
- Rosenthal expects collusion investigations to go nowhere.
- The Brewers don't plan on paying any of the $2.5MM remaining on Derrick Turnbow's contract in order to trade him. They might end up losing him and paying it anyway, however.