Kevin Youkilis Rumors
- Although criticism is warranted, the Blue Jays-Marlins blockbuster was a legitimate baseball trade because Miami received plenty of young, high-end talent in return.
- Diamondbacks GM Kevin Towers was never really in the hunt for Jose Reyes, and he has yet to be overwhelmed with an offer for Justin Upton.
- The Red Sox are more likely to deal Jarrod Saltalamacchia than Ryan Lavarnway in the wake of the David Ross signing, but only if they get a good offer.
- Both the Red Sox and Diamondbacks are interested in Asdrubal Cabrera of the Indians while Boston also has some interest in Stephen Drew.
- Carl Pavano was given a clean bill of health in September after missing most of the season with a shoulder problem. His agent Dave Pepe has received a few preliminary calls, and Pavano could sign a minor league deal.
- Most executives love Dan Haren but would not be comfortable offering more than two years given concerns about his back. Most prefer a one-year deal with an option.
- Eight teams, including the Red Sox, have interest in right-hander Jason Grilli according to his agent Gary Sheffield. They have three offers at the moment but are not in a hurry to sign.
- The Indians are looking at Kevin Youkilis at first base while the Phillies and Dodgers like him at third. He's a back-burner option for Los Angeles and although Towers made a call, the Diamondbacks likely won't be involved.
Red Sox GM Ben Cherington appeared on WEEI's Dennis & Callahan Show this morning to discuss a number of topics about his team. WEEI.com's Alex Speier has a transcript, and here are the noteworthy items...
- "I think we’re going to make moves that are going to improve the team. It’s hard to say whether they’ll be defined as splashy moves or not," said the GM, who acknowledged that the club will have a large payroll next year even if he doesn't know the final number.
- The Red Sox have talked to Josh Hamilton's agent, but Cherington called it "due diligence." Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com suggests keeping an eye on Boston in the Hamilton chase.
- Cherington acknowledged talking to the representatives for Kevin Youkilis, but they've "talked about just about every free agent." He wouldn't handicap the chances of bringing Youkilis back next year.
- First base, starting pitching, and corner outfield help are all on the shopping list, but one doesn't necessarily take priority over the others.
- Cherington said he wasn't surprised by some of the names involved in the Blue Jays-Marlins blockbuster, but was surprised by the magnitude of the trade. Yesterday we heard that the deal would not impact Boston's offseason plan.
The lot of free agent third basemen isn't very strong this offseason, and as a result, Kevin Youkilis has become a hot commodity. Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports reports that the Mariners and Marlins have checked in on the 33-year-old, as have the Phillies, Dodgers, and Indians. The White Sox are also said to want him back.
Youkilis hit .235/.336/.409 in 509 plate appearances last year, including .236/.346/.425 in 344 plate appearances following his trade to the ChiSox. He has plenty of experience at both first and third base throughout his career, though he has been on the disabled list five times in the last four years. MLBTR's Tim Dierkes ranked Youkilis 27th in his Top 50 Free Agents List, predicting he would sign with the Phillies.
Here's the latest from Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports...
- The Rangers continue to insist that they will not trade either Elvis Andrus or Jurickson Profar for Justin Upton, which could allow the Rays to emerge as the front-runner. They could offer the Diamondbacks James Shields or Jeremy Hellickson in addition to shortstop prospect Hak-Ju Lee.
- The White Sox and Phillies are interested in Kevin Youkilis, and the Dodgers are considering him as well. Rosenthal says other clubs are concerned whenever Los Angeles is reportedly in on a player given their financial might.
- The Orioles and Nationals are still engaged in a dispute over money received from MASN -- both clubs own the network, but Baltimore's stake is nearly 90% -- though Nats GM Mike Rizzo said that will not limit the club's ability to spend.
- Angels GM Jerry Dipoto is not concerned about finding a pure closer. He intends to add the best bullpen arms he can and let things figure themselves out.
- A rival executive told Rosenthal that he expects Dan Haren to sign with the Padres. Haren is a West Coast guy and Padres GM Josh Byrnes originally acquired him from the Athletics while running the Diamondbacks a few years ago.
- “Like him. Don’t love him," said a Red Sox official when asked about Adam LaRoche. Boston is reportedly pursuing the first baseman.
- Joakim Soria and Ryan Madson will not be ready to pitch at the start of the season. Both right-handers are coming off Tommy John surgery.
Here's the latest out of the Windy City from both the White Sox and the Cubs...
- The Sox are talking to Kevin Youkilis about returning to fill their hole at third base, tweets Jon Heyman of CBS Sports. The Phillies and Indians are also in the mix for Youkilis, who had his $13MM option for 2013 bought out by the White Sox for $1MM.
- Four rival executives name Gordon Beckham, Alejandro De Aza, Gavin Floyd and Dayan Viciedo as players the White Sox would be open to trading, reports Dan Hayes of CSNChicago.com. If the Sox were looking for salary relief, two executives say that trading Alex Rios and the $26MM remaining on his contract will be much easier after Rios' strong 2012 season, though neither exec is certain that Rios is available.
- A.J. Pierzynski tells Dan Hayes that he is much more prepared for free agency now than he was in 2010. Pierzynski said he would like to return to the White Sox or possibly play for the Rays in his home state of Florida, though his childhood dream of playing for the Braves is unlikely with Brian McCann on board.
- The Cubs have reached out to Jeff Samardzija about a multiyear extension, reports Gordon Wittenmyer of the Chicago Sun-Times. Samardzija, who enjoyed a breakout year in 2012 in his first season as a starting pitcher, is arb-eligible for the first time this winter and is under team control through 2015.
- The proposed trade between the Angels and Cubs and would've brought Dan Haren to Chicago indeed fell through due to the Cubs' concerns about Haren's recent injury history, reports CSNChicago.com's David Kaplan.
- Haren denied that he was injured in an e-mail to Mike DiGiovanna of the L.A. Times. “I’ve never missed any time because of injury other than the three weeks this year because of my back," Haren said. "When I came back, I had to be cleared by doctors, so obviously, I was healthy."
The Indians are "believed" to be interested in Kevin Youkilis, reports Paul Hoynes of the Cleveland Plain Dealer. Tribe GM Chris Antonetti didn't directly confirm his club's interest in Youkilis when asked about the free agent, though he noted that the Indians are looking at players who fit Youkilis' mold.
"There aren't many of those kind of guys that we haven't talked to," said Antonetti. "We need help in the outfield, first base and DH. Does he play one or more than one of those positions? The DH opens up a lot of guys, too."
Youkilis turns 34 in March and the Pro Star Management client is coming off the most tumultuous season of his nine-year career. Youkilis battled injuries, posted a career-low .235/.336/.409 slash line, publicly feuded with Boston manager Bobby Valentine and was traded from the Red Sox to the White Sox in June. Despite this recent history, Youkilis would be a good fit for the Indians, who are in need of both right-handed hitting and help at first base and designated hitter. Youkilis would also be reunited with new Cleveland manager Terry Francona, who managed Youkilis for his first eight years in Boston.
The White Sox bought out Youkilis for $1MM rather than pick up his $13MM option for 2013. MLBTR's Tim Dierkes ranked Youkilis as the 27th-best available free agent this winter, arguing that Youkilis could find a multiyear contract given the "terrible" third base market. The Indians have third base earmarked for Lonnie Chisenhall and keeping Youkilis in a 1B/DH role would likely keep him healthier over the long run.
Here are some notes from around the AL Central...
- The White Sox won't make any qualifying offers to any of their remaining free agents, GM Rick Hahn told reporters (including Jim Margalus of the South Side Sox blog). Kevin Youkilis, A.J. Pierzynski and Brett Myers all weren't expected to receive the $13.3MM qualifying offers, though Hahn told all three players he would be interested in bringing them back to Chicago next season.
- In an interview with The Waddle & Silvy Show on ESPN 1000 radio, Hahn re-stated his interest in Youkilis. "He knows there is no confusion in his mind about our desire to bring him back. So we're going to stay on that, stay in communication," Hahn said. "It's not a great time to be a club in the free-agent market looking for a third baseman, the player pool is not real deep, so I expect Kevin will be popular, but we're going to be in on that until the end, I think."
- Tigers GM Dave Dombrowski told Don Kelly that the team was interested in re-signing him to a minor league contract, Kelly tells George Sipple of the Detroit Free Press. Kelly elected to become a free agent when the Tigers outrighted him off the 40-man roster yesterday.
- With Jose Valverde on his way out of Detroit, Dombrowski and Jim Leyland hinted that rookie Bruce Rondon could be the Tigers' closer next season, reports MLB.com's Jason Beck. The Venezuelan right-hander turns 22 in December and has a 2.53 ERA with 213 strikeouts in 196 minor league innings, though Rondon has only eight innings of experience above the Double-A level.
- The Royals' acquisition of Ervin Santana is "not a great trade," writes Rany Jazayerli of the Rany On The Royals blog, but he ultimately likes the move since it shows Kansas City is willing to make aggressive moves to upgrade their rotation and, even if Santana doesn't pan out, the Royals are only committed to him for one season.
The Rockies have six known candidates for their managerial vacancy in Jason Giambi, bench coach Tom Runnells, former shortstop Walt Weiss, Jerry Manuel, former Phillies bench coach Pete Mackanin, and current Diamondbacks bench coach Matt Williams. While they have expressed interest in Giants bench coach Ron Wotus, a major league source told Patrick Saunders of The Denver Post that the list is not likely to be expanded beyond those six. The source didn't completely rule out the possibility of more names being added, though Wotus hasn't had an interview scheduled with the club. Here's more from around baseball..
- In a conference call with reporters, White Sox General Manager Rick Hahn said that the short length of Jake Peavy's deal was "absolutely key" in getting the deal done, writes Jim Margalus of South Side Sox. Hahn went on to reiterate that he hopes to have Kevin Youkilis, A.J. Pierzynski, and Brett Myers back with the club in 2013.
- After acquiring reliever Heath Bell and shortstop Cliff Pennington, the Diamondbacks don't have a lot of free agent needs this winter, writes Corey Brock of MLB.com. General Manager Kevin Towers will now look to add a starting pitcher, left-handed reliever, and possibly a third baseman. Towers obviously isn't averse to trading and could go that route rather than looking to the open market.
- Patrick Newman of NPB Tracker runs down this year's NPB free agents with possible major league interest. Relievers Kyuji Fujikawa and Hideki Okajima are already well-known but shortstop Hiroyuki Nakajima and second baseman Kensuke Tanaka could also make the jump this winter. The Yankees won the rights to sign Nakajima last year but were unable to come to terms with him on a deal. Tanaka appears to be a prototypical small-ball player and is reportedly willing to take a minor league deal.
- Reds pitching coach Bryan Price has withdrawn his name from consideration for the Marlins' managerial vacancy, tweets John Fay of the Cincinnati Enquirer.
The White Sox announced that they have exercised the 2013 club option on the contract of right-hander Gavin Floyd while declining 2013 options on right-hander Brett Myers and third baseman Kevin Youkilis. Floyd will earn a base salary of $9.5MM in 2013. Myers will receive a $3MM buyout instead of his $10MM option while Youkilis will get $1MM in place of his $13MM option.
Floyd, 29, posted a 4.29 ERA with 7.7 K/9 and 3.4 BB/9 in 29 starts last season. The exercising of the option means that Floyd will earn more in 2013 than he has in any previous year. The right-hander signed a four-year, $15.5MM extension with the club in March of 2009 that now totals $25MM across five years with today's news.
The White Sox acquired Myers and a pair of minor leaguers from the Astros in July for cash considerations and a low-level minor league pitcher. The 32-year-old had a fairly even split between the two clubs, as he posted a 3.31 ERA with 5.6 K/9 and 2.1 BB/9 in total on the year. Keeping the reliever would have been fairly costly, but team president Kenny Williams recently said that Myers could potentially be moved into a starting role for the club next season. Of course, the White Sox could still sign the veteran to a new deal.
Youkilis' $13MM option was widely considered a slam dunk to be declined, but the club has been open abou their desire to keep him in Chicago. The veteran saw his offensive production improve after coming over from the Red Sox, hitting .236/.346/.425 with 15 homers in 344 plate appearances for the club.
The Red Sox will interview Rick Peterson for their pitching coach job, reports Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe (via Twitter). The Orioles granted Boston permission to interview Peterson, who is currently Baltimore's director of pitching development and is a former pitching coach with the A's, Mets and Brewers.
Here's the latest from around the AL East...
- No teams have yet contacted the Yankees about a possible Alex Rodriguez trade, tweets Jon Heyman of CBS Sports.
- The Orioles have scouted Japanese right-hander Shohei Otani, reports Dan Connolly of the Baltimore Sun, confirming an earlier report from Gerry Fraley of the Dallas Morning News that the O's had interest in the 18-year-old prospect. Since Otani has already been drafted (though not signed) by the NPL's Nippon Ham Fighters, Connolly suspects the O's might not make any quick attempts to sign Otani given the Orioles' issues last season in trying to sign Korean southpaw Seong-Min Kim.
- Zack Greinke and Josh Hamilton are both too expensive for the Orioles' taste, writes MASNsports.com's Roch Kubatko in an analysis of free agents who won't be pursued by the O's this winter. The team doesn't have interest in free agent pitchers Derek Lowe, Jeremy Guthrie, Edwin Jackson or Erik Bedard, while Kevin Youkilis is a longshot based on Baltimore's concerns about his health.
- James Loney has a less than 50-50 chance of returning to the Red Sox, reports MLB.com's Evan Drellich, though the Sox see Loney as a "Plan B" if they're still looking for first base help later in the offseason.
- The Rays have been denied permission by St. Petersburg mayor Bill Foster to explore new stadium sites in nearby counties in Tampa Bay, reports Roger Mooney of the Tampa Tribune. The Rays' lease at Tropicana Field runs through the 2027 season.
- Mariano Rivera's retirement could help the Yankees avoid a tough decision with the closer's job, opines Wallace Matthews of ESPN New York. If Rivera retired, the Yankees could then pursue a new contract with Rafael Soriano without worrying about committing too much payroll space on closers.
- From earlier today, Joel Sherman of the New York Post had more items about the Yankees.