Kevin Towers Rumors

Odds & Ends: Backe, Ellis, Crisp, Macha, Holliday

Some links to check out as the Rockies try to win their ninth straight…

Baseball Blogs Weigh In: Hendry, Lugo, Towers

On this day back in 2003, the Tigers became the first team in baseball history to have four pitchers make their Major League debut in the same game. The starter was 20-year-old Jeremy Bonderman, who gave way to 22-year-old Wil Ledezma, 25-year-old Chris Spurling, and 23-year-old Matt Roney before "veteran" closer Matt Anderson entered the game. Anderson was just 25-years-old at the time, but the first overall pick of the 1997 draft already had 210 big league appearances to his name. 

The Tigers went on the finish the season 43-119, and were rewarded by selecting Justin Verlander with the second overall pick the following season. Here's this week's set of links from around the web…

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Odds & Ends: Lowell, Ohka, Towers, Washburn

Leftover links for Tuesday evening….

Odds & Ends: Weathers, Towers, Span

Links for Tuesday…

Odds & Ends: Mauer, Strasburg, Towers, Washburn

Thursday linkage…

Yankees To Hire Kevin Towers

The Yankees will announce the hiring of former Padres GM Kevin Towers before spring, tweets Bob Nightengale of USA Today.  ESPN's Buster Olney had been predicting this since October.

Towers planned to meet with the Yankees, Mets, Mariners, and Red Sox during the Winter Meetings, reported's Corey Brock.  Towers later told Tim Sullivan of the San Diego Union-Tribune that he wanted to see how an American League team was put together.  Click here to download Towers' Padres trade history, compiled by Brendan Bianowicz.

GM Trade Histories: NL West

Today Brendan Bianowicz updates the GM Trade History series for the NL West.  You can download the info-packed Excel spreadsheets below.

Odds & Ends: Holliday, Phillies, Marquis, Navarro

Some Saturday morning links…

Odds & Ends: Oeltjen, Hensley, Gload, Halladay

Links for Friday, as team execs and media folk pack their bags for Monday's Winter Meetings in Indianapolis…

  • The Brewers signed Trent Oeltjen to a minor league deal, according to's Adam McCalvy.  Oeltjen, 27 in February, hit .303/.362/.500 in his third Triple A tour, playing the outfield corners.
  • Brewers assistant GM Gord Ash spells out why his team won't be acquiring Roy Halladay, talking to McCalvy.
  •'s Joe Frisaro tweets six minor league free agents signed by the Marlins, including Jesse Foppert, Vinny Rottino, and Hector Luna.
  • The Pirates expressed "mild interest" in free agent pitcher Clay Hensley, according to Dejan Kovacevic of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.  Hensley, 30, spent the year at Triple A in the Astros and Marlins organizations, posting a 3.56 ERA in 124 innings.
  • Joe Capozzi of the Palm Beach Post feels there's "still a good chance [Ross] Gload returns [to the Marlins] with a two-year deal."
  • Darren Dreifort's five-year, $55MM deal tops Jeff Passan's list of the ten worst contracts of the 2000s for Yahoo.
  • Joe Pawlikowski of River Ave. Blues explains why the Yankees probably won't sign Rafael Soriano.
  • In his Winter Meetings preview for AOL FanHouse, Ed Price says there was some discussion about a Tigers-Diamondbacks trade involving Edwin Jackson and Max Scherzer.
  • ESPN's Buster Olney talked to rival executives who say the Tigers have not aggressively shopped Curtis Granderson.
  • Olney doesn't think the Mariners will pay up for Jason Bay.  He believes the Red Sox are "controlling the market" for Bay and Matt Holliday.
  • Joe Strauss of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch says the Cardinals are "increasingly weighing spreading what it would cost to retain Holliday over several players."  Bernie Miklasz of the P-D feels the Cards are "enacting their exit strategy from the Holliday sweepstakes."  I would not be surprised to see the Cardinals make their best offer soon - let's say $110MM over six years – and entirely move on if Scott Boras rejects it.
  • SI's Jon Heyman tweets that Nick Johnson is "drawing interest from the Giants, maybe Braves, and a half-dozen more."
  •'s Corey Brock talked to former Padres GM Kevin Towers, who will meet with the Mets, Yankees, Mariners, and Red Sox at the Winter Meetings.
  • ESPN's Keith Law isn't impressed with the Phillies' Placido Polanco signing.  My initial impression upon hearing about the signing is that no other team would've valued Polanco that highly.
  •'s Joe Frisaro tweets that other teams have been more aggressive on Jamey Carroll than the Marlins.  Other Carroll suitors include the Rockies, Red Sox, Angels, Dodgers, A's, Rangers, Pirates, Reds and Indians.

Odds & Ends: Gonzalez, Lowell, Mariners

Links for Saturday…

  • Bob Ryan of The Boston Globe thinks the Red Sox made a big mistake by letting Alex Gonzalez go to Toronto. I can't say I'd be too upset if my team let a guy with a 78 career OPS+ go, no matter how good his defense was.
  • ESPN Boston's Gordon Edes writes that even if the Red Sox eat a big chunk of Mike Lowell's contract, they'll still have trouble trading him because of all the third base options on the free agent market.
  • Geoff Baker of The Seattle Times wrote about all of the flexibility Mariners' GM Jack Zduriencik has going into the winter meetings.
  • Meanwhile, Larry Stone at The Seattle Times wouldn't be surprised to see Kevin Towers end up with the Mariners because of his relationship with Zduriencik.
  • Lynn Henning of The Detroit News guesses that the Tigers will offer arbitration to Placido Polanco, Fernando Rodney, and Brandon Lyon before Tuesday's midnight deadline. Polanco is a Type-A free agent, Rodney and Lyon are both Type-B's.
  • The sale is complete and the Ricketts family has assumed control of the Cubs, according to David Roeder of The Chicago Sun Times.
  • The deadline for the sale of another team, the Rangers, passed more than a week ago, but owner Tom Hicks hasn't indicated what happened, or how many groups actually made a pitch, according to Barry Shlachter of The Star Telegram.
  • Patrick Newman of NPB Tracker passes along the news that Jose Contreras has one less suitor in Japan.  Meanwhile, Ryo Shinkawa writes that Hiroshima is looking into signing Giancarlo Alvarado, who pitched with the Dodgers' Triple-A affiliate last season, posting a 3.49 ERA.
  • The best bet for the Red Sox to fill their need at shortstop might be to make a trade, says Tyler Hissey of  Hissey suggests that Reid Brignac, Stephen Drew, and Yunel Escobar could be had via trade, but would cost the BoSox a pretty penny.
  • Steve Melewski of MASN Sports says that the Orioles can find their next closer in-house.  Recently, we learned that the O's are one of eight teams interested in free agent Billy Wagner.