Kurt Suzuki Rumors
In today's column, Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe argues that two best players at catcher and shortstop positions in camp with the Red Sox organization are Ryan Lavarnway and Jose Iglesias and believes that they absolutely should be on the final 25-man roster. There could be disagreement from different factions of the club about what to do with the two players and it'll be interesting to see how it all turns out. Here's more from Cafardo..
- The Rays have been trying hard to get A's catcher Kurt Suzuki but Oakland isn’t crazy about getting Wade Davis or Jeff Niemann in return. One National League GM points out that those are the type of pitchers that Billy Beane winds up trading and would want a higher grade of pitcher. Right now, the Rays aren’t willing to pay that price.
- The idea that Roy Oswalt wants to play in the Midwest or South can be overcome with money, according to a major league source. To get him, Cafardo writes that the Red Sox have to loosen their purse strings.
- Major league sources say that the Pirates would entertain a deal for right-hander Kevin Correia.
- The Angels asked the Nationals about Jordan Zimmermann, but there’s no chance unless they part with someone like Mike Trout, and that’s not happening.
- Red Sox outfielder Darnell McDonald could get some bites if he gets squeezed out in Boston. The Indians, Giants, and Braves are all looking for a righthanded-hitting outfielder.
- The Yankees are being a little careful about trading their pitching depth, but it appears Freddy Garcia would be available at the right price, which may be high.
- White Sox pitchers Gavin Floyd and John Danks are both available in the right deal, but according to one GM, Kenny Williams will want at least "two A-level prospects and a third that’s a notch below, and that might not get it done."
The Rangers, Reds and Yankees have some of the top infields in baseball, when offense and defense are considered, ESPN.com's Buster Olney writes. Olney suggests the Royals, Blue Jays and Indians have infields that are potentially on the rise. Here are his latest rumors...
- Some rival executives strongly believe that the Nationals will be the eventual landing place for Prince Fielder. Agents say now is the time for Fielder to take advantage of the market and sign a long-term deal, according to Olney. Click here for the latest on Fielder, who was linked to the Nationals again today.
- Olney suggests the Red Sox and Nationals could have interest in Cubs outfielder Marlon Byrd, who will earn $6.5MM in 2012, the final year of his contract. The Red Sox could play Byrd in right and the Nationals could use him in center.
- Though trading catcher Kurt Suzuki isn’t a priority for the Athletics, Olney suggests he’ll likely be playing elsewhere by the time next summer’s trade deadline passes (Twitter link).
- A's people mention the Dan Haren deal as a point of reference for Gio Gonzalez trade talks, according to Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle. The A's obtained Carlos Gonzalez and Brett Anderson for Haren, so it's clear they'll be looking for top prospects in any deal involving the 26-year-old Gonzalez. Andrew Bailey is "more available" than Gonzalez, according to Slusser, but the A's aren't in a rush to make a move despite interest in both pitchers.
- Slusser suggests the A's could also trade Grant Balfour or Brian Fuentes.
- Kurt Suzuki's trade value isn't particularly high, so the backstop may stay put in Oakland, Slusser writes.
- Free agent left-hander Darren Oliver told Drew Davison of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram that re-signing with the Rangers would be his “first choice, no doubt.” The Rangers will be looking to add lefty relievers this offseason.
- Rangers GM Jon Daniels told reporters, including Anthony Andro of FOXSportsSouthwest that he's realistic about re-signing C.J. Wilson, though he hasn't ruled the possibility out (Twitter link).
- Click here to read about Joe Nathan’s deal with the Rangers and here for the latest on the Angels.
The Athletics are willing to listen to trade offers for any player except Jemile Weeks, according to Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports. The A’s aren’t sure where they’ll be playing in a few years, so their spending decisions appear to be on hold as they await word from MLB on a potential relocation to San Jose.
Though Oakland GM Billy Beane isn’t shopping his players, he’ll listen to proposals for Gio Gonzalez, Trevor Cahill, Kurt Suzuki and others. The A’s have more starting pitching than most teams and they may leverage their depth in trade talks.
If the A’s move to nearby San Jose, they would look to contend as their new park opened, likely in approximately three years, according to Rosenthal. However, if the A’s remain in Oakland, the team may strip down its payroll. I explained last month that the A's will be looking to restore outfield depth and improve their offense.
Evan Longoria is back in the cleanup spot and his eighth-inning homer led the Rays to a win against the Rangers today. Here are some links from around the Major Leagues...
- Twins manager Ron Gardenhire told Rhett Bollinger of MLB.com that he doesn't plan to move Joe Mauer from behind the plate when he returns from the disabled list. "He signed an eight-year deal to catch in the big leagues for the Minnesota Twins," Gardenhire said. "So we're trying to get him back as a catcher. If it doesn't work out when he comes back, then we're going to have to figure somewhere else."
- Tom Verducci of SI.com crunches some numbers and says the Twins are done. The Cubs and White Sox aren't much better off if you ask Verducci.
- A's GM Billy Beane told catcher Kurt Suzuki that he wants him to avoid collisions at the plate, according to ESPN.com's Buster Olney. Across the bay, Giants catcher Buster Posey will miss the rest of the season with a leg injury after a home plate collision.
- Dodgers manager Don Mattingly told AJ Cassavell of MLB.com that there's no mistake he hasn't learned from in his first year as L.A.'s skipper.
- Royals manager Ned Yost told Dick Kaegel and Adam Holt of MLB.com that the Royals haven't had serious discussions about converting recently-demoted closer Joakim Soria to the rotation.
Giants closer Brian Wilson, Athletics catcher Kurt Suzuki, Astros first baseman Brett Wallace, and Twins outfielder Jason Repko are represented by agent Dan Lozano, MLBTR has learned. Lozano left Beverly Hills Sports Council to form his own agency in June, and these four players are among many who went with him. Here's a look at Lozano's client list; click here for BHSC.
Wondering about a player's representation or an agency's client list? MLBTR's newly-launched, constantly-updated Agency Database puts all of the information at your fingertips. A link to the database can always be found in the Tools menu on the navigation bar. If you have any corrections or omissions, please email email@example.com.
The A’s signed Kurt Suzuki to an extension that will keep the catcher in Oakland through 2013, according to Joel Sherman of the New York Post (via Twitter). The A’s, who have been discussing a possible extension with Suzuki since the spring, added a 2014 option to the deal.
Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle reports that the deal guarantees Suzuki $16.25MM over four years, supplanting his 2010 contract. The 2014 option will vest if Suzuki plays in 118 games in 2013, and would earn him $9.25MM. If the option doesn't vest, the club could still choose to exercise it for $8.5MM or buy it out for $650K. Suzuki would have been eligible for free agency after 2013, so the extension buys out his three arbitration seasons and possibly a free agency season.
When MLBTR's Tim Dierkes examined a possible Suzuki extension in April, he suggested that the backstop ought to seek at least $12MM for his remaining arbitration years, so the $16.25MM figure is a little higher than we were expecting for the 26-year-old.
Suzuki is hitting .257/.316/.408 this season, right in line with his career averages. He is throwing 26% of would-be base stealers out, also in line with his career marks.
The A's continue to discuss a multi-year deal with catcher Kurt Suzuki, according to Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle. A's GM Billy Beane told Slusser that he's optimistic about completing a deal with Suzuki and agent Dan Horwits, though nothing is imminent. Back in the spring, the A's had "preliminary talks" with Suzuki about an extension.
Suzuki, 26, will qualify for arbitration for the first time after this season and won't be eligible for free agency until after the 2013 season. In 204 plate appearances this season, he is hitting .266/.324/.436 with eight homers. Suzuki has thrown 29% of would-be base stealers out in 2010 and in his career.
Back in April, MLBTR's Tim Dierkes showed that recent catcher extensions have typically valued the player's three arbitration seasons at $7-11MM in total. Suzuki has more experience than his peers did when they reached arbitration, so he could seek $12MM for the three remaining years he's under team control.
- Speaking of Griffey, Bob Nightengale of USA Today says (via Twitter) that he will remain with the Mariners in a front office role.
- Big League Stew lists ten players who could be traded before the deadline, headlined by Roy Oswalt and Cliff Lee.
- Tom Krasovic of AOL FanHouse grades the Padres' offseason pickups.
- The Red Sox almost drafted Kurt Suzuki instead of Dustin Pedroia in the second round of the 2004 draft, according to WEEI.com's Alex Speier.
- D'Backs GM Josh Byrnes did not deny that Dan Haren may be dealt this summer, according to Jim Bowden of Sirius XM Radio (Twitter link).
- ESPN.com's Jerry Crasnick presents the nine most-hyped draft picks of all time.
- Ben Goessling of MASN.com imagines what a Roy Oswalt-Nationals swap might look like, just as MLBTR's Howard Megdal did. Last night we heard that Oswalt would consider a deal to Washington.
- ESPN.com's Jerry Crasnick reports that Randy Wells switched agents "a while ago," leaving the Beverly Hills Sports Council for ACES (Twitter link).
- Lynn Henning of the Detroit News believes Oswalt and Cliff Lee would cost more than the Tigers can afford to give up.
- Scott Boras told Scott Miller of CBS Sports that Tony Gwynn was an "extraordinary" coach for Stephen Strasburg at San Diego State University.
- Boras doesn't want Bryce Harper to catch, but ESPN.com's Keith Law points out that Harper's bat is worth much more behind the plate than anywhere else.
- Henry Schulman of the San Francisco Chronicle predicts that Pat Burrell may make his Giants debut as soon as this weekend.
- Yahoo's Jeff Passan describes the journey Colby Lewis took from the majors to Japan and back.
- The Rangers need a reliable catcher more than anything else, writes Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News.
- The Indians had no interest in Dontrelle Willis, according to Paul Hoynes of the Cleveland Plain Dealer.
- But other teams are eyeing an Indians starter. One executive told Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports that Jake Westbrook is "everything you look for if you want to add an arm down the stretch."
A look at the latest from Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports...
- Rosenthal explains why we shouldn't expect the A's to make catcher Kurt Suzuki available in trade. He suggests that if Suzuki did become available, the demand to acquire three-plus years of his services would exceed Cleveland's return last summer for Victor Martinez. Suzuki hasn't had extension talks with the A's, though John Shea of the San Francisco Chronicle tweeted that he's open to the idea.
- Although the Twins explored trades for closers after Joe Nathan went down, they "never had a formal discussion with the Padres about Heath Bell." He may not be a big strikeout guy, but Jon Rauch has done a solid job so far in saving six out of seven.
- Rosenthal says Dusty Baker asked the Reds about a contract extension, but "evidently the team is not yet ready to decide upon his future."