Kurt Suzuki Rumors

Gammons On Marlins, Kurt Suzuki

The latest from Peter Gammons of MLB Network (Twitter links)...

  • Marlins owner Jeffrey Loria told Gammons that he’s prepared to make additions to his team if necessary. "We still need a couple of parts, and in time we'll go get them," Loria said. The Marlins' offense ranks 14th in the National League in runs scored, so it won’t be surprising if president of baseball operations Larry Beinfest pursues a bat or two this summer.
  • Athletics catcher Kurt Suzuki could make sense for the Marlins, Mets or Rays, Gammons tweets. The Marlins have John Buck and Brett Hayes behind the plate, the Mets have Josh Thole and Mike Nickeas, and the Rays have Jose Molina and Jose Lobaton. The A’s called up prospect Derek Norris, so they could be positioned to listen to offers for Suzuki.

Rosenthal On Royals, A’s, Barney, Orioles

Many baseball people expect the Padres to trade Carlos Quentin, but the team is in a fluid situation, so that assumption is not safe, Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports writes. The Padres should have some payroll flexibility this offseason, so they could keep the outfielder despite their modest budget. Here are Rosenthal’s latest rumors:

  • Jeff Francoeur has played through ailments and injuries this year and the Royals like his leadership, so they aren’t necessarily looking to trade him.
  • Last August the Royals offered Melky Cabrera the same two-year, $13.5MM contract Francoeur eventually signed, but Cabrera declined the offer and the Royals traded him a few months later.
  • Rosenthal suggests the A’s aren’t eager to trade veterans for marginal returns. The team is hovering around .500 and plays 18 of its next 28 games at home. The A’s would probably love to trade Kurt Suzuki, Rosenthal writes.
  • One exec predicts the Phillies don’t have enough confidence in their outfield depth to trade Hunter Pence this summer.
  • An agent predicts Cole Hamels will sign a monster free agent contract this coming offseason and Rosenthal says the Phillies won’t go near $150MM for six years or $175MM for seven years.
  • Rival teams frequently ask about Darwin Barney and it’s possible the Cubs will trade the second baseman.
  • The Orioles seem to have the most interest in trading for Diamondbacks left-hander Joe Saunders, Rosenthal reports.
  • The Orioles’ Triple-A team, which includes Miguel Tejada, Jamie Moyer and Dontrelle Willis, tops the Orioles’ MLB team in career earnings, Rosenthal notes.
  • One executive suggested a growing number of teams could request 72-hour windows to negotiate extensions with trade targets this summer because of the provision in the new collective bargaining agreement that prevents teams from obtaining draft pick compensation for players acquired midseason. However, players wouldn’t necessarily be interested in signing and it’d cost teams time and leverage.

AL East Notes: Suzuki, Yankees, Rays, Lawrie

With Opening Day right around the corner, the Yankees are set to enter the 2012 season with tremendous pitching depth.  Yesterday, we learned that the Bombers offered Freddy Garcia to the Marlins but couldn't get the Fish to bite on a deal.  Here's more on the Yanks' pitching and other items out of the American League East..

  • The Rays say that they haven't talked with the A's about Kurt Suzuki, tweets Buster Olney of ESPN.com.  Earlier today, Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe wrote that the Rays have been pushing hard to land the catcher.
  • Joel Sherman of the New York Post writes the Yankees' wealth of left-handed pitching this season is a change of pace from what they've had in years past.  Aside from a David Wells here or a Sabathia there, Sherman argues that the club hasn't been successful when it comes to developing and importing lefty arms.
  • Players' union president Michael Weiner is happy about the Rays increased payroll and hopes to see the club's attendance numbers rise along with it, writes Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times.  Owner Stuart Sternberg has said they made the increase essentially as an investment, hoping that spending beyond their means will lead to more wins, and, in turn, better attendance.
  • Brett Lawrie told Jayson Stark of ESPN.com that he wasn't thrilled with the way that the Brewers were looking to develop him and happy to be dealt to the Blue Jays.

Cafardo On Suzuki, Oswalt, Correia, Zimmermann

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."

Olney On Fielder, Byrd, Suzuki

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).

AL West Notes: Gonzalez, Bailey, Oliver, Wilson

Mariners outfielder Greg Halman was stabbed to death earlier today. MLBTR extends condolences to Halman's friends and loved ones. Here are some notes from the AL West...

A’s Will Listen On Anyone But Weeks

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.

Quick Hits: Mauer, Dodgers, Suzuki, Soria

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.

Brian Wilson, Kurt Suzuki Now With Dan Lozano

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 mlbtrdatabase@gmail.com.

A’s, Suzuki Agree To Extension

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.

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