Kiko Calero Rumors
CSNBayArea.com's Mychael Urban had his weekly A's and Giants-centric chat with fans on Tuesday, and here are the hot stove highlights...
- Urban thinks Giants outfielder Fred Lewis will be "cut loose near the end of camp." Lewis is one of several players who are out of options for 2010.
- Jermaine Dye isn't an option for the Giants. Urban says the veteran slugger turned down an offer of $2MM from an unnamed team, and San Francisco wouldn't offer Dye anything more than that. We already heard that Dye turned down a $3MM offer from the Cubs earlier this winter, so you have to wonder what kind of deal Dye thinks is still out there for him.
- Urban predicts the Giants and Athletics will eventually settle their territorial rights dispute over San Jose and "the San Jose A's will exist within the next 5-10 years." He also wonders why Sacramento has never been seriously considered as a possible new home for the A's.
- The Giants made an offer to Kiko Calero over the winter but Calero signed with the Mets last week. Urban agrees with a commenter that "the Giants did miss the boat" on not locking up the veteran reliever who posted a 1.95 ERA in 2009.
Links for Sunday....
- In his latest mailbag, MLB.com's Jim Street writes that he could see Chad Cordero hooking on with a major league club if he continues to stay healthy and perform well in Spring Training. Cordero is in camp with the Mariners and competing for a job, but is unlikely to make the team as the bullpen is already stocked with quality right-handers.
- Mark Grudzielanek is eager to hook on with the Indians, writes Anthony Castrovince of MLB.com. The 39-year-old second baseman, who was absent from the majors in 2009, says he has his eye on the starting job.
- MLB.com's Dick Kaegel reports that Royals shortstop prospect Jeff Bianchi will miss the 2010 season with elbow surgery. Danny Duffy, a left-handed pitcher and the organization's #8 prospect according to Baseball America, will be shut down as well for the time being due to elbow stiffness.
- Michael Hunt of the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel talks to Brewers GM Doug Melvin about Prince Fielder's future. Melvin reiterates that the team hopes to keep Fielder around for many years, and revisits an instance during his stint as the Rangers' GM when he had to trade a heavy hitter.
- Questions about Kiko Calero's health might have kept him on the market longer than expected this winter, but Adam Rubin of the New York Daily News says that the righty has been throwing off a mound and looks okay for now. "Conditioning-wise he's pretty good," pitching coach Dan Warthen said. "He just hasn't seen hitters."
- Newly-acquired Melvin Mora could end up playing nearly every position on the diamond for the Rockies this year, writes Jim Armstrong of the Denver Post.
- WEEI's Alex Speier reports that Brian Shouse's minor league contract will earn him $800K if he makes the Red Sox' major league roster.
The Mets signed Kiko Calero to a minor league deal worth up to $1.5MM. He earns $850K if he makes the team, with another $650K available in incentives. There is no opt-out if the Mets send him to the minors.
Calero had been looking for a major league deal, so the Mets deserve credit for adding him on a minor league contract, especially since there's a good chance Kelvim Escobar will start the season injured.
The 35-year-old pitched 60 innings of 1.95 ERA ball last year for the Marlins, with 10.4 K/9 and 4.5 BB/9. But the Marlins had concerns about his health and they weren't the only ones. Peter Abraham of the Boston Globe heard from two executives who said Calero's medicals didn't look good (Twitter link). That didn't prevent eight teams from offering the righty minor league deals, according to MLB.com's Alden Gonzalez (via Twitter).
TUESDAY, 9:09am: Paul Sullivan of the Chicago Tribune says the Cubs "are not interested in any of the remaining free agent relievers." They'll look within for their open bullpen spots, and manager Lou Piniella wouldn't rule out using '08 first rounder Andrew Cashner.
SUNDAY, 10:17am: Injury issues in the Cubs' bullpen won't prompt the club to rush out and acquire a veteran reliever, according to Gordon Wittenmyer of the Chicago Sun-Times. Cubs officials say they still intend to scout opposing players and consider possible trades through March, but that nagging injuries to Angel Guzman and Jeff Gray won't accelerate their pursuit of bullpen help.
Having lost Kevin Gregg via free agency and having handed Carlos Marmol the ninth-inning role, the Cubs are looking for someone to step up and take over as their primary setup man. Guzman and Gray are two candidates, but are suffering from a sore shoulder and strained groin, respectively.
In addition to exploring the trade market, the Cubs could still add a free agent pitcher. Kiko Calero remains the most intriguing right-handed arm available and has been linked to the team a few times this winter. The Cubs were concerned, however, that Calero could have health questions of his own, given his past shoulder injuries.
Links to kick off the new month...
- The Mets "would have interest in Kiko Calero on a minor league deal," tweeted Ken Davidoff of Newsday yesterday. Calero is holding out for a big league contract, which seems reasonable.
- Scott Boras client Jacoby Ellsbury hasn't had any long-term contract discussions with the Red Sox, nor does he intend to, reports Joe Haggerty of CSNNE.com.
- The latest GM's Corner video from Jim Bowden of FOX Sports is fifteen minutes well-spent, with appearances by Billy Beane, Jack Zduriencik, Mike Rizzo, Logan White, and Lance Berkman. The video is all about scouting.
- Check out Rob Bradford's in-depth discussion with Josh Beckett for WEEI.
- Geoff Baker of the Seattle Times says the Mariners might have a nice find in hard-throwing lefty Mauricio Robles, who came from Detroit in last summer's Jarrod Washburn trade.
- Baker's colleague Larry Stone talked to Jason Bay, who said the Mariners expressed interest but never made a serious push for him.
- Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle notes that Brett Tomko and Jason Jennings will each earn $700K if they make the A's.
A 1.95 ERA sure doesn't go as far as it once did. Veteran reliever Kiko Calero posted that career-low mark in 67 appearances for the Marlins last year, as well as an impressive 10.4 K/9 ratio. With those numbers, a career ERA+ of 132 and a history of dominance against right-handed hitting (RHB have hit just .202/.266/.312 against Calero in his career), you would've thought that the 35-year-old had set himself up for a decent free agent contract this winter.
Instead, teams have opened their spring training camps and Calero (a Type B free agent) is still without a new address. He has been connected to a few clubs, but hasn't signed for a variety of reasons...
- Florida, who signed Calero to a minor-league deal for $500K in January 2009, didn't offer salary arbitration to the right-hander and haven't pushed hard to bring him back. MLB.com's Joe Frisaro tweeted that the chances of Calero returning to the Marlins "are very slim" since the Fish are worried about Calero's injury history. The reliever tore his right rotator cuff in 2008 and also missed a few weeks of action last season with shoulder problems.
- These arm problems may have also scared off the Cubs, who were talking to Calero last month. Chicago only wanted to give Calero a one-year contract, while the reliever was looking for two years. The Cubs have been looking for bullpen help all winter and might be well served to revisit negotiations with Calero given right-hander Angel Guzman's most recent injury woes.
- San Francisco made an offer to Calero that CSNBayArea.com's Mychael Urban guessed was probably a one-year deal plus an option. But that news broke over a month ago, and the Giants have since announced that they had finished their winter shopping.
So if these teams are out of the running, who's left? One intriguing destination is St. Louis. Calero broke into the majors with the Cardinals, posting a 2.80 ERA in 67 appearances with the Redbirds in 2003 and 2004 before being shipped to Oakland in the Mark Mulder trade. Erik Manning of Fangraphs points out that the Cards' bullpen is the "one potential Achilles heel" on a team that should dominate the NL Central, and finds it "surprising" that there have been no whispers about the Cardinals bringing Calero back.
If the righty performs as he did in 2009, he would provide a big boost to whatever team takes the plunge and signs him. For Calero's part, he might have to recognize the reality of the market and accept a one-year deal or a contract similar to the Giants' reported offer rather than hold out for a multi-year commitment. After all, not every reliever can be as lucky as Brandon Lyon.
Links for Saturday...
- Jordan Bastian of MLB.com provides his list of the top 10 prospects in Toronto's system and answers other Jays-related questions in a reader mailbag.
- MLB.com's Mark Sheldon writes that the holding pattern between Jonny Gomes and the Reds is continuing. Sheldon says that Gomes might make his decision once one of the other second-tier outfielders - guys like Garret Anderson, Cliff Floyd, Endy Chavez, or Marlon Anderson - sign with a club.
- Susan Slusser of The San Francisco Chronicle says that Tim Lincecum's contract with the Giants will have future ramifications because it'll help keep his salary down after it expires. Lincecum will still have two more years of arbitration eligibility left when this new deal expires.
- The Yankees will be serious bidders for Cuban shortstop Adeiny Hechevarria once he is "unblocked" by the Office of Foreign Assets Control, reports George A. King III of The New York Post.
- Despite signing Mike Lamb to a minor league deal, the Marlins are still on the lookout for a lefty bat off the bench, tweets MLB.com's Joe Frisaro.
- In a separate tweet, Frisaro says that the chances of the team bringing Kiko Calero back are slim, even on a minor league deal. They have concerns about his shoulder.
- Jim McLennan of AZ Snakepit posted Part Two if his interview with Diamondbacks' GM Josh Byrnes.
- John Tomase of The Boston Herald says that the Red Sox don't look like a team in transition, despite GM Theo Epstein's comments earlier this offseason.
- Here are the latest minor league transactions, courtesy of Baseball America's Matt Eddy. The Marlins signed outfielder Jason Lane to a minor league deal.
Links for Thursday...
- The Marlins aren't that confident in Kiko Calero's ability to hold up as well as he did last year, tweets MLB.com's Joe Frisaro.
- The Nationals designated right-hander Marco Estrada for assignment to make room for Tyler Walker according to MLB.com's Bill Ladson, via Twitter.
- The A's have no interest in Eric Byrnes, tweets Mychael Urban of CSNBayArea.com.
- The Dodgers are a finalist for Derrick Turnbow, tweets MLB.com's Ken Gurnick.
- The Mets are interested in Josh Fogg, according to Matt Cerrone of MetsBlog.
- Mike Timlin said on WEEI.com that he will stay in retirement this year. Last year, Timlin pitched in the Rockies' minor league system.
- Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports notes that Jays GM Alex Anthopoulos is "open to anything." The Jays could stand to add a corner outfielder and there are a number of options available should the Jays decide to pursue them.
- I wrote an article for my fantasy website, RotoAuthority.com, suggesting that overhyped "sleepers" can still provide a profit.
- USA Today's Bob Nightengale tweets that Gary Sheffield might be a good fit for the Reds, and that Sheff was "on his way" to the Diamondbacks before they signed Adam LaRoche.
- Brandon Webb still contends that re-signing with the D'Backs is his first choice, in an article written by MLB.com's Steve Gilbert.
- Joel Sherman of the New York Post says the Reds, Padres, White Sox, and Royals inquired on the Yankees' Brett Gardner this winter, with hopes of using him as a starting center fielder.
- Bill Shanks of Scout.com makes a case for the Braves to sign Johnny Damon.
- Yahoo's Tim Brown tweets that the Dodgers are one club eyeing Garret Anderson for a fourth outfielder role.
Two high-ranking Giants officials told Mychael Urban of CSNBayArea.com that the club is done shopping. As Urban notes via Twitter, the Giants' decision not to hand out more major league contracts means we shouldn't expect a Kiko Calero signing. The door appears shut on the Eric Byrnes front and Johnny Damon appears to be an unlikely fit, also.
Ken Rosenthal and Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports provide the latest Cubs rumblings...
- Morosi reported Wednesday that the Cubs were "engaged in negotiations" with free agent reliever Kiko Calero. However, he now says their interest has waned. A right-handed setup man is still a primary item on the Cubs' shopping list.
- Previous reports have connected the Cubs to outfielders Xavier Nady, Jonny Gomes, Rocco Baldelli, and Reed Johnson. The FOX writers say Nady is the Cubs' top choice unless Dye's contract demands come down.
- The Cubs seek rotation insurance, but the FOX writers confirm ESPN's Jayson Stark Saturday suggestion that Ben Sheets is unlikely. Perhaps Mark Mulder, linked to the Cubs Tuesday by Morosi, is more feasible.
- Though the Cubs have looked into Adam Kennedy and Orlando Hudson, adding a second baseman is not a high priority.