Kyle Davies Rumors

Quick Hits: Slowey, Royals, Lee, Reddick

For a while, it seemed as though we'd have a quiet trade deadline. So much for that – today we saw Ubaldo Jimenez, Derrek Lee, Orlando Cabrera, Rich Harden, Koji Uehara, Chris Davis, Tommy Hunter, Jason Marquis, Mike Aviles, Jerry Hairston Jr., Doug Fister and David Pauley all get traded. Let's gear up for the deadline itself with another round of links…

Quiet Deadline Possible For Royals

Though Jeff Francis, Bruce Chen and Kyle Davies are drawing interest from several clubs, the Royals may hold onto all three and continue using a six-man rotation, according to Bob Dutton of the Kansas City Star. The Royals continue to say they’re happy to hold onto the starters, who hit free agency after the season.

“Nothing has changed with our situation,” GM Dayton Moore told Dutton. “The guys we have, I think, are more valuable to us than the potential [return].”

Chen projects as a Type B free agent under our most recent projections, so the Royals could obtain a supplementary draft pick if the left-hander turns down an offer of arbitration to sign elsewhere. Francis and Davies, however, don’t currently project as ranked free agents, so the Royals can’t expect picks for them.

Kansas City appears to be seeking a number three starter (or close to it) for Melky Cabrera or Jeff Francoeur. However, trades involving the two outfielders don’t appear to be brewing at the moment.

Stark On Pirates, Royals, Bedard, K-Rod

Pirates GM Neal Huntington told Jayson Stark of that he wants “to fight that mentality of, 'We're .500, so we're really on our way.'" Huntington points out that it takes years to develop an elite team and an elite farm system and says one season of .500 ball isn't going to satisfy the Pittsburgh front office. Here are the rest of Stark's rumors from around the league:

  • People in the game suggest the Royals' decision to call Eric Hosmer up early may mean they intend to compete in the AL Central this year. Stark hears that the Royals will have money to spend in July if necessary (remember that Gil Meche retired instead of collecting the $12MM he was scheduled to earn).
  • The Royals believe Triple-A pitchers Danny Duffy and Mike Montgomery are nearly MLB-ready, so GM Dayton Moore may talk about moving Kyle Davies and Jeff Francis within a few weeks. The Royals probably wouldn't get much for Davies, but Francis could draw interest.
  • Erik Bedard could be an attractive trade chip this summer, but one NL executive says the left-hander needs to “prove he can log innings.” Tim Dierkes suggested a month ago that Bedard could have lots of appeal at the deadline.
  • Left-hander Randy Flores can opt out of his minor league deal on Sunday if the Padres don't call him up from Triple-A. Cory Luebke is the lone left-hander in the Padres' 'pen at the moment, so they could consider calling on Flores instead of cutting him loose.
  • Teams are still skeptical of Francisco Rodriguez, despite his 10 saves and 1.10 ERA. K-Rod has walked 10 of the 73 batters he has faced (16 1/3 innings).
  • Stark points out that it's been a while since Giants GM Brian Sabean made win-now midseason trades that cost him top prospects.

Players To Avoid Arbitration: Tuesday

Today is the deadline for players and teams to submit arbitration figures. The sides will then settle on a salary between the team's proposed number and the player's proposed number or go to an arbitration hearing. Arbitration eligible players are under team control, so the clubs don't risk losing them – it's a question of how much the players will earn.

Yesterday, 11 players avoided arbitration. We could see just as many agreements trickle in today and we'll keep you posted on them right here and with our Arb Tracker. The latest updates will be at the top of the post:


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Odds & Ends: Shell, Kuroda, V-Mart, Okajima, Davies

Links for Monday evening…

  • Jon Paul Morosi of tweets that the Royals have signed reliever Steven Shell to a minor league deal. Shell, 27, had a 3.59 ERA in 72.2 innings with the Mariners' Triple-A affiliate last season.
  • Troy Renck of The Denver Post lists the Cardinals, Phillies, and Rockies as some of the teams that were interested in Hiroki Kuroda before he re-signed with the Dodgers (Twitter link).  Kuroda, however, re-signed without fielding offers from other teams according to Dylan Hernandez of the L.A. Times.
  • Add the Rangers to the list of teams showing interest in Victor Martinez says's Jon Heyman (via Twitter).
  •'s Rob Bradford tweets that Hideki Okajima is subject to a normal arbitration calendar this offseason. In the past the Red Sox had to offer him a contract by November 20th.
  • Non-tender candidate Kyle Davies hopes to remain with the Royals, says's Dick Kaegel. Davies hasn't heard anything from the team regarding his future.
  • Alden Gonzalez of reports that Cliff Lee's agent Darek Braunecker is still unsure if he will attend this week's GM Meetings.
  •'s Jane Lee provides a list of power bat the Athletics could potentially pursue as free agents this offseason.
  • The Yankees don't believe that Derek Jeter will ultimately leave New York, but they're prepared for a long negotiation according to Heyman (Twitter link).
  • Meanwhile, Jon Paul Morosi of tweets that there is still no word whether or not Andy Pettitte will return to pitch in 2011.
  • Cardinals GM John Mozeliak doesn't expect any roster moves at this week's meetings according to's Matthew Leach. Ken Rosenthal of says the team is growing more optimistic about re-signing Jake Westbrook, however (Twitter link).
  • Indians GM Chris Antonetti told Paul Hoynes of The Cleveland Plain Dealer that it's too early in the offseason to tell whether his team's needs will be filled through trades or free agency.
  • MLBTR's Ben Nicholson-Smith is on location at this week's GM Meetings in Orlando, and you can follow him on Twitter at @mlbtrorlando for the latest breaking news and analysis.
  • There is mutual interest between the Marlins and free agent catcher A.J. Pierzynski, reports Joe Capozzi of The Palm Beach Post. Capozzi says the team might not be able to afford him, though they could free up payroll space by dealing Dan Uggla
  •'s Ken Rosenthal says that the Dodgers are looking to add power to their lineup, and James Loney is the player they're most most willing to trade. They would then turn around and sign one of the many power-hitting first baseman available on the free agent market.
  • Mets GM Sandy Alderson said that the first round of manager interviews includes one or two more candidates while the second round will consist of three or four candidates according to Andy Martino of The New York Daily News (all Twitter links). The second set of interviews could begin in Orlando this week, and Alderson said his father's death on Sunday will not slow things down.
  • ESPN's Jerry Crasnick profiles Giants GM Brian Sabean and the work that lies ahead following his team's World Series victory.
  • Joe Pawlikowski of River Ave. Blues looks at how signing Lee would impact the Yankees' future payroll. Meanwhile, Brian Cashman told's Bryan Hoch that he doesn't expect to get any deals done this week.
  • Best of luck to's Jordan Bastian. He's trading in the Blue Jays' beat for the Indians' beat.

Non-Tender Candidate: Kyle Davies

Kyle Davies was a well-regarded young pitcher in the summer of 2007, when the Royals acquired him from the Braves for a few months of Octavio Dotel.  Since then Davies has had an extended opportunity in Kansas City.  Over 469 2/3 innings spread across 86 starts, he sports a 5.15 ERA, 6.2 K/9, 4.1 BB/9, and 1.11 HR/9.  He also logged another 104 innings at Triple-A.

Davies, 27, just hasn't made much progress in the bigs.  The best that can be said is that he's been healthy and is good for 170-180 innings with an ERA around 5.00.  That has value, in that it's better than the production of most fifth starters, but you'd prefer to pay the league minimum for it.  Davies, however, could make more than $2MM as a third-time arbitration eligible player.

Davies is still young, and he throws relatively hard with a 92.6 mph average fastball this year.  With improved control and a move to the NL, you can picture him as a solid #4 starter.  In that sense Davies is more of a trade candidate than a non-tender possibility.  Still, you have to wonder if the Royals will give him one more shot given their rotation uncertainty.  Zack Greinke could be traded, though he'd likely bring back a Major League ready arm.  Brian Bannister is a non-tender candidate, and Bruce Chen is a free agent.  If the Royals do give up on Davies and Bannister, they'll probably have to add at least one free agent starter.

Your turn: will Davies be non-tendered?  Click here to make your prediction and here to view the results.

Giants Discussing Guillen, Interested In Willingham

The San Francisco offense is heating up, but the Giants are still looking for outfield bats. The Royals are discussing Jose Guillen with San Francisco, according to Joel Sherman of the New York Post. The potential deal would send the 34-year-old to San Francisco along with cash to cover some of the $4.5MM or so remaining on Guillen’s contract. 

But Jayson Stark of hears (via Twitter) from a rival official who believes the Royals have “no real options” to move Guillen, even if they ask for a modest return and take on salary. Stark’s source says (via Twitter) there’s very little action on some of Guillen’s teammates: Brian Bannister, Kyle Davies and Kyle Farnsworth.

Another one of Guillen’s teammates, Scott Podsednik, is drawing strong interest from NL West teams, including the Giants. For what it’s worth, the Giants have been scouting Guillen aggressively, according to Jon Heyman of (via Twitter). For the season, Guillen has 16 homers and a .271/.333/.457 line.

The Giants are pursuing outfielders other than Guillen and Podsednik, according to Ken Rosenthal and Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports. Like the Braves, Rays and Red Sox, the Giants have interest in Josh Willingham.

Royals Will Listen To Offers

Royals GM Dayton Moore told Bob Dutton of the Kansas City Star that the club has some "nice pieces" to market this summer. The 27-37 Royals have a number of players who might appeal to contenders and Moore is ready to listen, even though the Royals aren't actively looking to move players at this point.

"We'll evaluate what comes our way if anything does come our way," he said. 

It wouldn't be surprising to see an offer or two for David DeJesus come the Royals' way. Dutton reports that clubs are already scouting the outfielder, who is hitting .314/.392/.479. DeJesus makes an affordable $4.7MM salary this year and there's a club option for $6MM in 2011 ($500K buyout). 

If the Royals hold onto DeJesus, they could decline his option and offer him arbitration. If he turns down their offer to sign elsewhere, they would obtain at least one draft pick, possibly two. The promise of draft picks makes the Royals hesitant to deal him for a pedestrian return, but there are advantages to dealing now. DeJesus must climb into Type A territory under the Elias rankings system and decline arbitration for them to get two picks. Even if they get the picks, they would have to wait a year and pay each draftee about $1MM. 

Rival teams could also have interest in Scott Podsednik, Jose Guillen, Kyle Farnsworth, Willie Bloomquist, Brian Bannister, Kyle Davies, Alberto Callaspo and Rick Ankiel.

Stark On Royals, Phillies, Holliday's Jayson Stark asks some thoughtful baseball people why we're not greeting Manny Ramirez like the "team-wrecking, alibi-distorting, female-fertility-drug-popping scoundrel he is." And, of course, Stark has piles of rumors. Here they are:

  • The Mets were never willing to move Bobby Parnell or other top young arms for Mark DeRosa, so they weren't as close to acquiring him as the Reds and Cubs were. The Phillies, Marlins and Giants were also in the mix.
  • The Indians are more interested in dealing Rafael Bentancourt than Kerry Wood, whose contract ($15MM remaining) would be hard to move.  
  • The Royals will listen on anyone but Zack Greinke, but that doesn't mean they're looking to deal starters. They're "reluctant" to deal Brian Bannister, Kyle Davies or Gil Meche, who has a no-trade clause.
  • The Phillies were looking at Juan Cruz, who the Royals say they'd only deal for an upper-tier prospect ready to make a big-league impact.  
  • The Reds will wait it out and ramp up their pursuit of a bat if they're in the race later in the month.  
  • One executive says Pedro Martinez didn't look bad in last month's workout; Pedro's just demanding too much money. 
  • The Phillies haven't given up on pursuing Cliff Lee, Erik Bedard or Roy Oswalt 
  • The Braves are trying to deal Jeff Francoeur everywhere, but no one's interested. One front-office guy says his team would be interested if Francoeur's non-tendered.  
  • Officials are divided on whether Yunel Escobar could be dealt, but a trade is unlikely at best.  
  • Rangers GM Jon Daniels says he is now looking to bolster his rotation.  
  • As expected, Daniels confirmed that the Rangers will have "limited" ability to take on salary at the deadline. 
  • The A's will want "two prospects with tremendous upside" for Matt Holliday if they deal him. It's unclear how much of the $6.75MM remaining on his contract the A's would pick up.
  • Could Josh Willingham be the next-best bat on the market? One exec says he might be if Russell Branyan and Miguel Tejada don't become available.  
  • Another official says Willingham's unappealing because of his back issues.  

Royals Avoid Arb With Kyle Davies

According to Troy E. Renck of the Denver Post, the Royals avoided arbitration with pitcher Kyle Davies by signing him for $1.3MM.