Kevin Hart Rumors
Players outrighted off 40-man rosters today:
- The Reds announced that they outrighted Daryl Thompson and Jared Burton off of the 40-man roster. Burton would have been arbitration eligible for the second time and MLBTR projected a salary in the $900K range for the 30-year-old.
- The Pirates announced that they outrighted Brian Burres, Kevin Hart, Brandon Wood and Steve Pearce to Triple-A to create 40-man roster space. All four players can now elect free agency. Wood and Pearce would have been arbitration eligible for the first time this offseason, and though neither player projected to earn even $1MM, the Pirates decided to cut them loose instead of tendering contracts.
- The Tigers outrighted catcher Omir Santos and lefty Brad Thomas, tweets MLB.com's Jason Beck. Thomas would have been arbitration eligible, but it was clear he wouldn't make it to the point of being tendered a contract after missing much of the season with an elbow injury.
Links for Saturday evening..
- New to Arizona, J.J. Putz tells Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports that he's a perfect fit for the Diamondbacks.
- Second baseman Josh Barfield is competing for a utility spot on the Phillies but isn't concerned with talk of Luis Castillo, writes Jonathan Mayo of MLB.com.
- Brian MacPherson and Tim Britton of The Providence Journal wonder how much longer Red Sox catcher Jason Varitek will continue to play. Varitek could be asked to backup Jarrod Saltalamacchia in 2011 but could still be given plenty of playing time in a platoon. McPherson set the over/under at 2.5 years but Britton takes the under, pointing out that the list of catchers who have played the most games is chock full of players who retired before reaching 40-years-old. The team captain will celebrate his 39th birthday in less than a month.
- Pirates left-hander Joe Beimel was scratched again due to elbow pain today, which seems to contradict what GM Neal Huntington said yesterday after picking up Garrett Olson off of waivers, tweets Rob Biertempfel of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. Huntington insisted yesterday that the addition of Olson was not motivated by concern about Beimel or Scott Olsen.
- Pittsburgh right-hander Kevin Hart was on the bubble for a roster spot with the club and out of options for 2011, but the club will now have more time to consider him after a shoulder injury sent him to the 60-day DL, writes Jenifer Langosch of MLB.com.
- Dave Cameron of Fangraphs rallies against the tyranny of the corner label.
- Red Sox veteran David Ortiz told Gordon Edes of ESPNBoston.com that the pressure isn't off, even with the new additions.
- ESPN's Buster Olney (Insider req'd) hears from a talent evaluator that the best way for Kevin Millwood to get back to the big leagues is by signing with a team and pitching in games. "That's no way to win a job -- sitting at home," said the source. Millwood's fastball was clocked at 85 mph during a recent workout.
- The Rangers ackowledge that Chris Davis has opened some eyes with his strong Spring Training, writes MLB.com's T.R. Sullivan. He's under consideration for a roster spot, though teams have inquired about his availability.
- Now without star second baseman Dan Uggla, the Marlins are once again in a transitional phase, writes Jerry Crasnick of ESPN.com.
- While he really enjoyed his time in Houston, Lance Berkman is happy to be with the Cardinals, writes MLB.com's Brian McTaggart.
8:36pm: MLB.com's Corey Brock learned from Towers that he should know one way or another on a Peavy trade by the end of the Meetings. Towers now believes a fourth team will be required. Towers mentioned that Marquis and DeRosa may be hangups, especially Marquis' contract. Though he'd prefer not to, under certain circumstances the Padres might pay some of his salary.
There was some goofy Carlos Carrasco/Jason Donald stuff we didn't link to today, and that was shot down. Brock suggests names like Josh Vitters, Felix Pie, and Kevin Hart could be involved on the Cubs' part.
8:31pm: Jayson Stark says Peavy to the Cubs doesn't seem inevitable anymore, and the sides have not made progress in the last 24 hours. The Cubs have leverage, so they've dug in their heels. Stark adds that once word of the possible inclusion of DeRosa linked, Jim Hendry has been "bombarded with calls from other clubs interested" in him. Hendry does not want to trade DeRosa.
6:00pm: Buster Olney says the Yankees have talked with the Padres recently about Peavy, but it didn't go anywhere.
5:19pm: Brock talked to a Padres source who does not believe the Twins are involved.
4:10pm: Buster Olney says Axelrod left the Meetings with no word of a deal but the expectation is still that the Cubs will get it done.
3:48pm: Tom Krasovic reminds us that Peavy's agent Barry Axelrod said going into the Meetings that the Yankees would be more attractive to his client if they signed C.C. Sabathia. Still, Peavy prefers the NL.
3:17pm: Corey Brock says the Phillies might want Scott Hairston from the Padres to use in left field.
2:33pm: Carrie Muskat's Cubs source says DeRosa will not be traded.
9:45am: LEN3 says the Twins discussed DeRosa with the Cubs yesterday. The Cubs will present the Twins with a list of pitchers they like, which will be influenced by the Padres' preferences.
9:31am: There's word from Jim Salisbury that pitcher Kyle Kendrick could be included in this three-team trade.
1:19am: If you dare to sort through yesterday's Jake Peavy rumors, click here. Today, Gordon Wittenmyer of the Chicago Sun-Times maintains that the biggest obstacle is the Cubs moving part of Jason Marquis' contract. Another factor - the Padres will need to free up several spots on the 40-man roster. The Cubs' sale will not be an issue.
Wittenmyer adds that a Phillies official didn't expect to get Mark DeRosa from the Cubs but rather other players. Also, Cubs officials shot down the John Perrotto rumor that the Cubs might shop Carlos Zambrano after acquiring Peavy.
11:02pm: Jim Salisbury backs up the idea that the Phils could receive DeRosa and the Padres could get Happ. It's worth noting that the Cubs could trim $5.5MM off the payroll by sending out DeRosa and using Fontenot at second base.
10:31pm: MLB.com's Lyle Spencer says the Angels have not taken themselves out of the Peavy sweepstakes.
Also, Tom Krasovic of the San Diego Union-Tribune supplies more info. A third team would definitely be involved in a Cubs trade. DeRosa could wind up a Phillie, and Michael Wuertz is a new name of interest for the Padres. Peavy's agent Barry Axelrod said again that Peavy will require a full no-trade clause upon a deal. One more thing - Towers said trading Peavy could free up money for Trevor Hoffman.
9:00pm: MLB.com's Corey Brock says the legwork on this trade "has essentially been completed." No deal has been reached, but Towers says he's facilitated a three or possibly four-team deal. The third and possibly fourth teams (Orioles, Phillies) have agreed to players. There could be some haggling remaining on players sent from the Cubs to Padres.
Brock says all Towers needs now is the go-ahead from Hendry. Peavy, by the way, was spotted at the Meetings.
8:35pm: Jayson Stark gives his take on the Peavy-Cubs situation. He says Hendry is dealing with restrictions due to the team's ownership situation, despite his comments.
8:01pm: Scott Miller of CBSSports.com says Jason Marquis and Angel Guzman (among others) could end up with the Padres in the three-team deal. The Padres could get J.A. Happ and/or Chris Coste from the Phils. Miller adds that the Phils are known to have interest in Mark DeRosa.
6:53pm: Rosenthal says the Phillies are now in the mix as a possible third team in a Peavy trade. Those talks are preliminary. Rosenthal says the Cubs can't complete a deal for Peavy until their new owner is decided.
5:33pm: Roch Kubatko says the O's are still interested in Pie, but may only get him for Olson straight up if Olson is to be flipped to San Diego in a Peavy trade.
2:37pm: Joel Sherman learned from Towers that if he doesn't reach an agreement on a Peavy deal with the Cubs at the Meetings, he will keep the pitcher to start the season. The Dodgers are apparently the only other team to which Peavy has approved a trade.
Sherman adds that the Cubs "are willing to let [Peavy] keep his no-trade clause." Not sure if Sherman is trying to say the Cubs would replace Peavy's partial no-trade rights for 2011 and part of 2012 with full no-trade powers.
2:33pm: Kevin Towers told Ken Rosenthal he's talking to only the Cubs about Peavy. He expects to have a good idea on whether to drop it or move forward by the end of the Meetings. Towers approached Ned Colletti but talks didn't get far.
12:22pm: Jerry Crasnick says Kevin Towers and Peavy's agent Barry Axelrod drove together for the 4.5 hour ride from San Diego to Las Vegas, but Axelrod says they only talked about Peavy for about three minutes. Also, Axelrod brought a sweet mix CD.
11:44am: Bruce Miles of the Daily Herald says the Cubs and Padres did not talk about Peavy on Sunday but will today. He's heard the Padres might be concerned with Vitters' hand/wrist.
1:14am: Gordon Wittenmyer of the Chicago Sun-Times says the Cubs first want to trade Jason Marquis and acquire their left-handed hitting outfielder before Peavy. Wittenmyer's sources do believe the Cubs will eventually acquire San Diego's ace. However, his sources say the Tom Krasovic report about a five-for-one framework being in place is exaggerated.
Wittenmyer hears that the Orioles would be willing to swap Garrett Olson for Felix Pie; the Cubs would then send Olson to the Padres in the Peavy deal.
12:54am: According to SI.com's Jon Heyman, Padres GM Kevin Towers "envisions a way to do a [Jake Peavy] deal now only with the Cubs." We've heard rumors of the Padres and Cubs trying to rope in the Orioles or Rays as a third team.
Heyman adds that Peavy would approve a trade to Chicago "without any significant reworking of his contract or other major concessions." Does that imply that the Cubs would not have to guarantee Peavy's 2013 option ($22MM) or grant him a full no-trade clause?
Keep in mind that despite all the virtual ink that will be spilled on Peavy over the next four days, Jayson Stark sees "just about a zero chance" he's dealt at the Meetings. Still, the Cubs and Padres seem to already have a framework in place involving Sean Marshall, Kevin Hart, Josh Vitters, and maybe Ronny Cedeno.
Summing up this weekend's Jake Peavy information...
- David O'Brien noted that the friendship between Padres GM Kevin Towers and Peavy's agent Barry Axelrod has raised some eyebrows. O'Brien also learned that Peavy's concern over Yunel Escobar being in the deal was overblown - it's more a general concern that the pitcher joins a strong team.
- On Saturday, Ken Rosenthal had the Braves and Cubs as frontrunners with the Yankees and Dodgers on the backburner. He said the Padres discussed keeping Peavy if offers do not suffice. The Braves were said to be growing impatient.
- Astros owner Drayton McLane indicated the Padres' demands for Peavy were too high for his club - "multiple players and some of our best players."
- Chris De Luca of the Chicago Sun-Times had it as a race between the Cubs and Braves, with the Dodgers a long shot. De Luca said no other teams will be considered at this point. A Cubs deal would apparently include Sean Marshall, and possibly Kevin Hart and Mike Fontenot. Jeff Samardzija is not in the mix.
- Dave O'Brien says the Braves' offer looks something like this: Escobar, Gorkys Hernandez or Jordan Schafer, and one or two pitching prospects (possibly Charlie Morton or Jo-Jo Reyes among them). Tommy Hanson is not in the mix. O'Brien agrees that it's between the Braves and Cubs, and likes the Braves' package more. O'Brien expects a deal before Thanksgiving, which is November 27th.
1:47pm: This Scott Miller column is from yesterday, but it has some good info. Miller's source believes the Braves are the frontrunners for Peavy and are willing to include Gorkys Hernandez. Additionally, the source said the Cubs are very aggressive and the Dodgers are making a strong pitch.
12:53pm: Bruce Miles of the Daily Herald says Samardzija is not on the table and has a full, not partial, no-trade. Additionally, the Cubs have not thrown Fontenot into the mix. Miles gives a 50-50 chance of the Cubs getting Peavy.
9:39am: GM Kevin Towers expects to trade Jake Peavy before the winter meetings, saying, "The train's kind of left the station." Continuing the metaphor, Barry Axelrod said, "The only thing we've got is a brake."
According to Yahoo's Jeff Passan, the Cubs have moved in front of the Braves in the battle for Peavy. Passan says the Padres want Jeff Samardzija (who has a limited no-trade clause), and the Cubs could also include players such as Felix Pie, Sean Marshall, Ronny Cedeno, Kevin Hart, and Donald Veal. Chris De Luca of the Chicago Sun-Times suggests Rich Harden or Mike Fontenot could be involved. De Luca notes that a Peavy trade would probably prevent the Cubs from acquiring Brian Roberts. ESPN's Buster Olney believes Josh Vitters would have to be involved, while the Daily Herald's Bruce Miles adds Jose Ceda, Welington Castillo, and Mitch Atkins as possibilities. Miles does not see the Cubs as a player for C.C. Sabathia, by the way.
The Padres would prefer a deal with Atlanta, but can't pry Tommy Hanson loose. The Braves are willing to trade Yunel Escobar, Charlie Morton, and Jordan Schafer.
Meanwhile, Tom Krasovic at the San Diego Union-Tribune says Peavy and Barry Axelrod are concerned about the Braves' shortstop situation if they are to include the defensively-talented Escobar. Perhaps the Braves could sway them by outlining some contingency plans at the position.
MONDAY: SI.com's Jon Heyman says a Roberts to Chicago trade still has a little life, and the Orioles are scouting Cubs' players. Meanwhile Jason Churchill wrote a few days ago that the O's may require Felix Pie or Tyler Colvin instead of the Cubs' apparent offer of Ronny Cedeno, Sean Gallagher, and Kevin Hart. Churchill says the O's are also high on Eric Patterson.
SUNDAY: Check out this piece by Jim Salisbury of the Philadelphia Inquirer. Here's the one-liner that has caught some readers' attention:
Sources say that Orioles second baseman Brian Roberts will be traded to the Cubs as soon as the Orioles decide which pitchers they want in return.
All sorts of Cubs pitchers have been rumored in these talks: Sean Marshall, Sean Gallagher, Jason Marquis, Jose Ceda, Donald Veal. It's been said that the Cubs won't part with Ceda. My best guess is that this deal does get done before Opening Day.