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Here's the latest from ESPN's Jayson Stark…
- One official who spoke with the Marlins brass estimates that the odds Josh Johnson remains with Miami are "95 percent." The Red Sox, Angels, Rangers, White Sox, Blue Jays, and Royals have all checked in.
- Carlos Lee, Ricky Nolasco, Heath Bell, and Gaby Sanchez are all very available. Other than Johnson, Giancarlo Stanton will be the toughest player to pry away from the Fish.
- The Phillies have talked about trading Cliff Lee following the Cole Hamels extension and they haven't discouraged other teams from inquiring, but their game plan right now is to keep their trio of aces intact.
- Shane Victorino and Joe Blanton are good bets to be dealt and the Phillies will listen on Hunter Pence. They want multiple young big leaguers to plug holes at third base, in the outfield, and in the bullpen in return.
- The Dodgers are in on a number of starting pitchers, including Nolasco, Blanton, Kevin Millwood, and Jason Vargas in addition to Ryan Dempster and Matt Garza. They've also checked in on outfield and first base help, including Victorino and Justin Morneau.
- Clubs have not been assured by the Cubs that Garza will make another start before the trade deadline due to his triceps issue. He's more likely to be dealt in the offseason.
- In the wake of acquiring Wandy Rodriguez, the Pirates are sending signals that they could trade away a starter like Jeff Karstens or Kevin Correia.
- The Twins' asking prices for Morneau ("pricey"), Denard Span ("more pricey"), and Josh Willingham ("it made me laugh") are high. Minnesota insists they will listen on anyone and Stark says Morneau is the bat they're most likely to move. Francisco Liriano is "nearly 100 percent" likely to be traded.
- The Orioles continue to look for pitching, someone they consider a number three starter or better. Garza and Vargas have their eye but Dylan Bundy and Manny Machado are off the table. They've gotten hits on Jake Arrieta but won't move him unless they get a similar young arm with several years of team control remaining in return.
- The Brewers will trade Randy Wolf "for nothing if you take the money," according to one official.
- The Rays have "got a big market" for Wade Davis.
Full Story | Comments | Categories: Baltimore Orioles | Boston Red Sox | Carlos Lee | Chicago Cubs | Chicago White Sox | Cliff Lee | Denard Span | Dylan Bundy | Francisco Liriano | Gaby Sanchez | Giancarlo Stanton | Heath Bell | Hunter Pence | Jake Arrieta | Jason Vargas | Jeff Karstens | Joe Blanton | Josh Johnson | Josh Willingham | Justin Morneau | Kansas City Royals | Kevin Correia | Kevin Millwood | Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim | Los Angeles Dodgers | Manny Machado | Matt Garza | Miami Marlins | Milwaukee Brewers | Minnesota Twins | Philadelphia Phillies | Pittsburgh Pirates | Randy Wolf | Ricky Nolasco | Ryan Dempster | Seattle Mariners | Shane Victorino | Tampa Bay Rays | Texas Rangers | Toronto Blue Jays | Wade Davis
The Nationals will win the NL East this year, Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports writes. Bryce Harper appears to have solved the team's center field dilemma in the short term and the team's run prevention has been tremendous. General manager Mike Rizzo says his team's first half success isn't a fluke. “I’m very pleased with it — don’t get me wrong — but I’m not shocked by it," he told Morosi. Here are more of Morosi’s notes from around MLB:
- Peter Bourjos would likely intrigue the Phillies if the Angels ask about Cole Hamels, Morosi tweets. The Angels could explore the market for starting pitching depth given Ervin Santana’s first half struggles.
- There was once talk of the Pirates listening to offers on Kevin Correia, but it’s hard to see that happening now that Pittsburgh leads the NL Central, Morosi tweets.
- The Cubs will listen on Bryan LaHair, but their asking price remains high at the moment, Morosi tweets. Here’s more detail on LaHair and other potentially available first basemen.
- A rival executive expects the White Sox to look hard at possible relief help, Morosi tweets. Deunte Heath, Brian Omogrosso, Leyson Septimo, Hector Santiago, Nate Jones and Addison Reed join Matt Thornton in Chicago’s relatively inexperienced ‘pen.
The Marlins ended their franchise record offensive draught of scoring five runs or less for 25 consecutive games in their 9-0 win over the Blue Jays. And, for good measure, the nine runs were a season-high for the Marlins, who ended their six-game losing streak. Here's the latest news from around baseball.
- The Braves could make starting pitching a priority at the trade deadline because of the growing pains of Mike Minor and Randall Delgado and the uncertainty surrounding Jair Jurrjens, tweets Mark Bowman of MLB.com.
- The Pirates need to create an opening in their starting rotation when Jeff Karstens returns from the disabled list this week and Rob Biertempfel of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review thinks a trade could create that opening (via Sulia). Biertempfel reported yesterday the Pirates are shopping Kevin Correia.
- With the Pirates looking for offensive help, the Denver Post's Troy Renck notes the Rockies have players available, including Marco Scutaro. In the same piece, Renck offers his suggestions on who the Rockies should play the rest of the way in 2012, so as to best prepare for 2013.
- The Nationals are not willing to pay a fine in order to exceed their draft bonus pool, writes Adam Kilgore of the Washington Post. This is a corection to a story Kilgore wrote yesterday. Kilgore writes this stance will lower the amount the Nationals will be able to offer their first round draft pick Lucas Giolito.
- Condolences to the friends of family of Padres' bullpen coach Darrel Akerfelds, who lost his battle with pancreatic cancer today. He was 50.
The Pirates have let teams know that pitcher Kevin Correia is available, tweets Rob Biertempfel of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. The right-hander is making $3MM this season on the backend of a two-year, $8MM pact.
Correia, 31, has a 4.12 ERA with 3.3 K/9 and 2.7 BB/9 through 13 starts this season. It seems likely that Pittsburgh will look to use their pitching surplus, which includes Correia, to net some offense via trade. The Bucs' pitching has been banged up recently but will be replenished with the returns of Jeff Karstens and Chris Leroux.
In today's column, Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe argues that two best players at catcher and shortstop positions in camp with the Red Sox organization are Ryan Lavarnway and Jose Iglesias and believes that they absolutely should be on the final 25-man roster. There could be disagreement from different factions of the club about what to do with the two players and it'll be interesting to see how it all turns out. Here's more from Cafardo..
- The Rays have been trying hard to get A's catcher Kurt Suzuki but Oakland isn’t crazy about getting Wade Davis or Jeff Niemann in return. One National League GM points out that those are the type of pitchers that Billy Beane winds up trading and would want a higher grade of pitcher. Right now, the Rays aren’t willing to pay that price.
- The idea that Roy Oswalt wants to play in the Midwest or South can be overcome with money, according to a major league source. To get him, Cafardo writes that the Red Sox have to loosen their purse strings.
- Major league sources say that the Pirates would entertain a deal for right-hander Kevin Correia.
- The Angels asked the Nationals about Jordan Zimmermann, but there’s no chance unless they part with someone like Mike Trout, and that’s not happening.
- Red Sox outfielder Darnell McDonald could get some bites if he gets squeezed out in Boston. The Indians, Giants, and Braves are all looking for a righthanded-hitting outfielder.
- The Yankees are being a little careful about trading their pitching depth, but it appears Freddy Garcia would be available at the right price, which may be high.
- White Sox pitchers Gavin Floyd and John Danks are both available in the right deal, but according to one GM, Kenny Williams will want at least "two A-level prospects and a third that’s a notch below, and that might not get it done."
Last offseason, agents negotiated four contracts known to include the bonus of prohibiting the team from offering arbitration if the player received Type A status. Aside from Orlando Hudson, none of the four came close to Type A (Hudson was a B). In general, none of the 14 Type As who were offered arbitration in November saw their market adversely affected, though Jason Frasor and Frank Francisco played it safe and accepted. It was thought that Grant Balfour might have a hard time finding a deal, but the Athletics inked him for two years and $8.1MM.
Three contracts signed this winter prevent the team from offering arbitration if the player is a Type A at the end of the term:
- Javier Vazquez, ACES. The Yankees may have been counting on snagging a draft pick upon Vazquez's departure, but he slipped to Type B with a lousy 2010. If Vazquez pushes himself back to A status with a strong season for the Marlins, they won't be able to offer arbitration.
- Kevin Correia, Lapa/Leventhal. This agency snagged the "no arbitration offer" clause for Justin Duchscherer last offseason as well. Correia signed a two-year deal with the Pirates, so this clause applies to the 2012-13 offseason. More importantly, Correia has a million bucks in incentives for '12.
- Carl Pavano, O'Connell Sports Management. As a Type B after the '09 season, Pavano accepted the Twins' arbitration offer and took the one-year deal. He moved up to a Type A this winter, and the draft pick cost possibly did give a few teams pause. After the '12 season, Pavano will not be saddled with that cost.
- The contract was negotiated six years ago, but Scott Boras client Carlos Beltran can't be offered arbitration after '11. Beltran was pretty close to Type A for 2009-10 despite playing in only 145 games over that span. Given his $18.5MM salary the arbitration offer question is probably moot for the Mets anyway.
Here are some recent updates on contracts from around the majors:
- Jay Bruce gets $25.25MM for his four arbitration years and $12-12.5MM each for a pair of free agent seasons, reports MLB.com's Mark Sheldon.
- Cliff Lee can earn $50K for winning a Gold Glove or a Silver Slugger and his new deal also includes bonuses for winning the Cy Young Award, making the All-Star team and winning playoff MVP awards, according to MLB.com's Todd Zolecki.
- Jonathan Papelbon is Boston's closer, but Bobby Jenks' new deal with the Red Sox includes up to $1MM in incentives for finishing games, according to Rob Bradford of WEEI.com.
- The Pirates cannot offer Scott Olsen or Kevin Correia arbitration if they rank as Type A free agents when their contracts expire, according to MLB.com's Jenifer Langosch, who has all the details you'd want to know about the contracts for those two pitchers and Josh Fields.
- As MLB.com's Adam McCalvy explains, Carlos Gomez can earn up to $100K in incentives depending on how many plate appearances he picks up next year. The Brewers' decision to trade Lorenzo Cain likely helped Gomez.
The Pirates officially signed Kevin Correia to a two-year, $8MM deal. He can earn another $1MM in performance bonuses; Dejan Kovacevic of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette has the contract breakdown. The team announced the deal, with this quote from GM Neal Huntington:
"Kevin Correia is a solid major league starting pitcher and a strong addition to our rotation. We feel he is poised for a return to his 2009 form where he gave his club a chance to win nearly every start while carrying a significant innings pitched workload."
Aside from Yoslan Herrera, it has been 12 years since the Pirates last gave a free agent pitcher a multiyear deal – Cam Bonifay signed Pete Schourek to a two-year, $4MM deal in '98. Back on November 10th, two MLBTR writers predicted Correia would sign with the Pirates.
Correia posted a 5.40 ERA with 7.1 K/9 and 4.0 BB/9 in 145 innings for the Padres in 2010. The 30-year-old missed time in May after his younger brother died in a tragic accident. He lost his rotation spot to Tim Stauffer after a trio of poor starts in late August. Agents Scott Leventhal and Damon Lapa did much better than I expected them to when I looked ahead to Correia's free agency this fall.
Correia’s walk rate jumped from 2.9 BB/9 to 4.0 BB/9 in 2010, but some of his stats reflect more favorably on his performance. Despite the righty's 5.40 ERA, defense-independent pitching stats suggest he was unlucky. Nearly 15% of fly balls hit off of Correia left the yard, so homers inflated his ERA. He induces ground balls and is just one year removed from a season in which he posted a 3.91 ERA in 33 starts, which likely contributed to GM Neal Huntington's willingness to make an $8MM guarantee.
The Padres offered Correia arbitration, so they'll obtain a supplementary first round pick in the 2011 draft for losing the Type B free agent.
3:25pm: The Pirates are aggressively pursuing Accardo, according to Kovacevic (on Twitter).
2:51pm: The latest on the Pirates:
- The Pirates are deeply interested in Jeremy Accardo, reports Dejan Kovacevic of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. The Dodgers are also known to be in on the recently non-tendered reliever.
- A couple of teams have approached the Pirates about center fielder Andrew McCutchen, tweets ESPN's Gordon Edes, but they'd have to be overwhelmed.
- The Pirates and Justin Duchscherer have mutual interest, reports Kovacevic.
- The Pirates have shown some interest in Braves starter Kenshin Kawakami, reports MLB.com's Jenifer Langosch. She estimates Kawakami would only cost the Pirates $1-2MM and no significant players, as the Braves are just looking to unload part of his $6.667MM salary.
- Langosch says the Pirates have mild interest in Cardinals shortstop Brendan Ryan. Kovacevic says the Pirates continue to discuss shortstops with many teams, including J.J. Hardy with the Twins.
- Kovacevic adds that the Pirates would love to trade Ryan Doumit. He says they'd only trade Evan Meek or Joel Hanrahan for a very significant return.
Ron Santo, the longtime Cubs star and broadcaster, died overnight. Condolences to his family, friends and many fans. Here are today's links…
- ESPN.com's Jerry Crasnick profiles Brewers manager Ron Roenicke, who expects to be a players' manager, partly because his experience as a player allows him to relate to those who are struggling to produce.
- The Orioles offered Adam Dunn a four-year deal worth about $40MM before he agreed to sign with the White Sox, according to Dan Connolly of the Baltimore Sun (on Twitter).
- The Pirates have had "ongoing discussions with multiple free-agent starters, and would be pleased to sign more than one starting pitcher to compete for a spot in the rotation," president Frank Coonelly told fans in a chat on MLB.com. The team made Jorge de la Rosa an offer and is also open to upgrading in right field, at first base or at short.
- The market for Kevin Correia is heating up, according to ESPN.com's Jerry Crasnick (on Twitter). The right-hander is in "active negotiations" with two or more teams.
- Ryan Zimmerman tells Adam Kilgore of the Washington Post that he wouldn't mind signing a Troy Tulowitzki-like extension (Twitter link).
- "It's no secret we want Cliff [Lee], and we will do what we can to get him," Hank Steinbrenner told ESPN.com. Lee's agent, Darek Braunecker insists he never said he's looking to match C.C. Sabathia's $161MM deal.
- MLB.com's Corey Brock suggests Brendan Ryan might be a better trade target for the Padres than Jason Bartlett (Twitter link).