Kevin Millar Rumors
Links on a memorable Thursday afternoon for Brooks Conrad and the Braves...
- Kevin Millar will join NESN as an analyst, according to Amalie Benjamin of the Boston Globe (via Twitter). Millar signed with the St. Paul Saints earlier this month.
- The Yankees signed utility player Jeff Natale and assigned him to Triple A, according to Pete Cava of the Times Leader via River Ave. Blues. The 27-year-old posted a .298/.432/.446 line in five seasons in the Red Sox organization.
- Royals GM Dayton Moore says winning the World Series is an eight or ten year process, according to MLB.com's Dick Kaegel.
- Sam Miller and Dan Woike of the Orange County Register run through some players the Angels could target, including Miguel Tejada and Will Ohman.
- Top Japanese pitcher Yu Darvish says his father has known agents like Arn Tellem and Scott Boras for years, according to Patrick Newman of NPB Tracker who translated from Chunichi. Darvish says he wants to keep playing in Japan.
- Tom D'Angelo of the Palm Beach Post wonders if the Marlins should trade Hanley Ramirez. It's a hypothetical question as the Marlins aren't looking to move their shortstop.
- Gene Collier of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette says Pirates manager John Russell deserves an extension, especially now that some top Pirates prospects are nearing the major leagues.
- ESPN.com's Rob Neyer understands why Ken Griffey Jr. wants to play, but questions whether Junior deserves a roster spot on the Mariners.
- Adam LaRoche explained in March that he didn't reject a two-year $17MM offer from the Giants, even though they were interested in him last winter. He repeated as much to Henry Schulman of the San Francisco Chronicle, adding that he has no hard feelings towards the Giants.
Ken Rosenthal's latest Full Count video is up at FOX Sports. Let's check out the highlights of this week's clip....
- Given the Padres' success so far and the slow starts by some clubs who may be interested in Adrian Gonzalez (Mariners, White Sox, Braves), it looks for now as if the slugger could be traded in the offseason rather than in July.
- If the White Sox made a play for Gonzalez, they wouldn't want to extend him for $20MM+ annually past 2011.
- Friends of Joe Torre indicate to Rosenthal that the Dodgers' skipper may not want to return next year if the organization is still handcuffed financially by Frank McCourt's divorce. Rosenthal suggests that the Mets, Cubs, or Braves might end up being options for Torre.
- Rosenthal questions the Cubs' decision to part ways with Kevin Millar, noting that the club could have used the 38-year-old's energy and clubhouse presence. The St. Paul Saints will be the beneficiaries of that clubhouse presence now.
Kevin Millar has signed with the St. Paul Saints, according to a press release from the team. Millar began his career with the Saints in '93 before the Marlins purchased his contract. He'll presumably still work for the MLB Network as an analyst this year.
Millar was signed by the Cubs to a minor league deal in February, but released in March. He posted a solid .274/.358/.452 line in 12 big league seasons for the Marlins, Red Sox, Orioles, and Blue Jays. Millar banked about $20MM along the way, according to Baseball Reference.
Links for Wednesday...
- Daniel Barbarisi of the Providence Journal thinks that Victor Martinez's inability to contain baserunners could cost him millions in free agency and compromise his long-term future with the Red Sox.
- Jeff Wilson of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram writes that Tom Hicks is "concerned" about the sale of the Rangers to new ownership. Hicks' comments prompted MLB to release a statement in which they say the league has taken control of the Rangers' sale.
- Despite Stephen Strasburg's hot start, Mike Rizzo has no plans to rush his prized prospect through the minors, according to Mark Zuckerman of CSNWashington. Rizzo says that when Strasburg arrives in Washington, the club wants it to be for good.
- Ever seen a $17.875MM reliever? Paul Sullivan of the Chicago Tribune reports that the Cubs are moving Carlos Zambrano to the bullpen on Friday. Carlos Silva will remain in the rotation; Tyler Kepner of the New York Times recently looked at his potential resurgence.
- In a pair of February articles, Mark Gonzales of the Chicago Tribune noted that Mark Buehrle's 10-and-5 rights kick in on July 6th, while A.J. Pierzynski's date is June 14th.
- Geoff Baker of the Seattle Times posits that if the Mariners hadn't traded Adam Jones, they wouldn't have Jack Zduriencik and Franklin Gutierrez.
- Though he'll continue to work for ESPN, Joe Morgan has joined the Reds as a "special advisor to baseball operations." Morgan will not be involved in the team's day-to-day operations, learned John Fay of the Cincinnati Enquirer.
- ESPN's Jerry Crasnick says the Diamondbacks looked into a trade for Nate Robertson before the southpaw was dealt to Florida. Crasnick's article deals with the performances of nine important fill-ins so far this season.
- FanGraphs has added an aspect of catcher defense to its Wins Above Replacement stat.
- Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports talks about the plight of Dodgers pitcher Chad Billingsley. I imagine quite a few teams would like to try to get him back on track.
- Kevin Millar, released by the Cubs in March, has joined the MLB Network as an analyst according to Maury Brown of The Biz of Baseball.
Let's check in on the Rumblings and Grumblings of ESPN's Jayson Stark...
- One exec Stark spoke to implied the Padres may not be motivated to trade closer Heath Bell because he's under team control through 2011 and signed at $4MM for 2010. Bell's salary could double in '11, though, and I'm not convinced the Padres will want to pay it.
- Stark talked to a GM who thinks Bell makes sense for the Twins as a backup plan in case Joe Nathan needs a 16-month Tommy John recovery period to get back to normal. Stark learned that a significant part of Nathan's salary this year is insured, so that frees up some money this year. But again, will the Twins want to pay nearly $20MM to two relievers in 2011?
- Should Houston's troubles continue, Stark wonders if Roy Oswalt would consider waiving his no-trade clause. He says a friend of Oswalt believes the pitcher's preferred destinations are Atlanta, St. Louis, and Texas. It's hard to see those clubs making a play for Oswalt, especially with his large salaries for '10 and '11.
- Stark guesses the Nationals are more likely to trade Adam Dunn before the deadline than sign him to an extension. Last we heard, ESPN's Buster Olney said there were no ongoing extension talks.
- Twins catching prospect Wilson Ramos has been labeled as one of the game's best trade chips, but assistant GM Rob Antony says that "right now, we'd lean toward keeping him."
- If he can't find a big league job, Kevin Millar could sign with the St. Paul Saints, where his pro career began. Millar was released by the Cubs on March 30th.
Action-packed links for Wednesday...
- NL offense rankings are up at RotoAuthority, courtesy of CHONE projections and the Baseball Musings lineup analysis tool. The Rockies are on top and the Padres bring up the rear, but plenty will change as the season unfolds.
- Two closers were named in recent days, and our Twitter account @CloserNews passed along the info instantly to allow you to make the winning fantasy pickups.
- The Rangers are attempting to work out a trade with the Giants that will allow them to retain Rule 5 lefty Ben Snyder, tweets Jeff Wilson of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. Snyder already cleared waivers, reports MLB.com's T.R. Sullivan. Sullivan also notes that Matt Treanor chose not to exercise his out clause; he's headed to Triple A.
- WEEI's Rob Bradford writes that although the Rangers are scouting Mike Lowell today and they're more interested in him than any other club, a deal is unlikely now and the Rangers would want the Red Sox to pay almost all of his salary. Bradford also notes that earlier this offseason, the Rangers expressed interest in Jed Lowrie.
- Free agent Kevin Millar hopes to continue his playing career, he explained on ESPN's Waddle & Silvy show.
- Diamondbacks second baseman Kelly Johnson strongly considered offers from the Blue Jays, Pirates, and Indians, reports Nick Piecoro of the Arizona Republic.
- The A's feel that out of options players Eric Patterson and Jake Fox would not clear waivers, so they're likely to send Landon Powell and Adam Rosales down (Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle reporting).
- Baseball America's Matt Eddy offers analysis and predictions for seven out of options pitchers.
- The Orioles are looking for a suitor for catcher Chad Moeller, who is "shocked and disappointed" about not making the team according to Dan Connolly and Jeff Zrebiec of the Baltmore Sun. Peter Schmuck feels that Moeller was a better choice than Craig Tatum.
- Jeff Suppan explained to MLB.com's Adam McCalvy that he's not dealing with a phantom neck injury, despite the convenient timing.
- Though they could've saved $750K, the Nationals chose not to cut Scott Olsen according to MLB.com's Bill Ladson.
- Dave Cameron of FanGraphs knows the Mariners, and he analyzes the organization's health in this article.
The Cubs released first baseman Kevin Millar, reports Paul Sullivan of the Chicago Tribune. The Cubs will go with Chad Tracy for a corner infield bench role instead. Tracy made more sense, given his ability to back up Aramis Ramirez at third base.
Millar, 38, hit .223/.311/.363 in 283 plate appearances for the Blue Jays last year, playing 386.6 innings at first base. In an article Sunday, ESPN's Jim Reeves said Millar is on the Rangers' watch list. However, MLB.com's T.R. Sullivan writes today that the Rangers are not interested.
The Rangers are looking to acquire a backup corner infielder before Opening Day, writes Jim Reeves of ESPN.com. Manager Ron Washington had hoped that one of the club's young players - such as Matt Brown or Max Ramirez - would step up to fill the role, but that has not happened.
One Rangers source said that the team keeps coming back to Boston's Mike Lowell. The same source indicated that Texas believes that they can basically get Lowell for the same player they agreed to deal over the winter, Max Ramirez.
Kevin Millar is also on the Rangers' watch list, though he may earn himself a bench spot with the Cubs. Wes Helms of the Marlins and Fernando Tatis of the Mets could also fit the bill as corner infielders off of the bench. Meanwhile, "super-utility" players like Houston's Geoff Blum and Kansas City's Willie Bloomquist are likely too rich for Texas' blood.
The Boston Globe's Nick Cafardo has plenty of rumors from around the league for us this morning, so let's round them all up...
- The Red Sox are likely to use Roy Halladay's three-year, $60MM deal "minus $6 million-$8 million" as a guideline for a potential Josh Beckett extension rather than John Lackey's five-year, $82.5MM deal. The reason being that they have some concern about the long-term health of his shoulder.
- If another team comes offering Beckett big money after the season, the Sox will move on just as they did with Jason Bay. They could then look into free agents like Cliff Lee, who they pursued at the trade deadline, or even Ben Sheets and Brandon Webb if they bounce back from injury problems of their own.
- With all of their additions this offseason, the Twins' payroll will jump from $65M to about $96M as they move into Target Field this year. GM Bill Smith said it will be up to manager Ron Gardenhire to determine how they use Jim Thome, and that they did their homework on Orlando Hudson's left wrist, which has given him trouble the last few seasons.
- Minnesota's payroll will be larger than the Dodgers' this year.
- The Red Sox watched Noah Lowry's recent workout, but "don't appear interested in signing him."
- Dodgers' third base coach Larry Bowa said he knows that Manny Ramirez still wants to play another three or four years.
- Two big league executives feel that the Giants and Tim Lincecum will settle on a contract before an arbitration hearing.
- One reason the Cubs signed Kevin Millar was to loosen up the clubhouse after the Milton Bradley fiasco last season.
- Drayton McLane is reportedly seeking $700MM to part with the Astros, but it's tough to see someone coming up with that when the Rangers sold for approximately $575MM.
The Cubs officially signed first baseman Kevin Millar to a minor league deal today. ESPN's Jerry Crasnick first reported the agreement on Monday. The Cubs signed Chad Tracy last week, so Millar will compete with him for a backup job.
Millar, 38, hit .223/.311/.363 in 283 plate appearances for the Blue Jays last year.