Kyle Drabek Rumors
The Blue Jays have been one of the busiest teams this offseason, per MLBTR's Transaction Tracker. GM Alex Anthopoulos has traded a manager (John Farrell), hired his replacement (John Gibbons, his second stint in Toronto), acquired the reigning NL Cy Young Award winner R.A. Dickey, Jose Reyes, Josh Johnson, Mark Buehrle, Emilio Bonifacio, Josh Thole, Mike Nickeas, and Esmil Rogers while signing free agents Melky Cabrera, Maicer Izturis, Henry Blanco, and Mark DeRosa. Is there anything left for Anthopoulos to do before pitchers and catchers report to Dunedin on February 12? MLB.com's Gregor Chisholm answered that question and others when he opened his inbox recently.
- The remaining moves the Blue Jays have left to make are minor league signings for organizational depth, writes Chisholm.
- The only real area of competition is the bullpen. Casey Janssen and Sergio Santos will battle to be the closer. Right-hander Jeremy Jeffress is a favorite to win a job, as he is out of options. Chisholm thinks Brandon Lyon would add a reliable veteran presence to the bullpen, but doesn't see the Blue Jays re-signing the right-hander because the team has reached its payroll limit.
- It appears Izturis received some sort of promise from the organization he would be the starting second baseman before agreeing to his three-year, $10MM deal, according to Chisholm. Look for Bonifacio to be used in a super utility role even though, in Chisholm's view, he has more upside than Izturis and would bring another element of speed to the lineup.
- Don't expect Kyle Drabek and Drew Hutchison, both recovering from Tommy John surgery, to make a major impact until 2014.
- The Blue Jays' farm system has been weakened by the flurry of trades this offseason. Chisholm notes there's talent in the lower levels, which is at least three years away, but that isn't a concern for the Blue Jays because their core is tied up for a similar period at the big league level.
Teams interested in acquiring starting pitching help surely noticed when the Cubs placed right-hander Ryan Dempster on the disabled list with right lat tightness today. Dempster, 35, is one of the top starters known to be available in trades. Here are today’s links...
- A quick sale of the Padres may not be possible at this point, writes Bill Shaikin of the L.A. Times. The three apparent finalists are all leading bid groups with multiple investors, which will require extensive background work once a sale is announced.
- Jim Salisbury of CSNPhilly.com examines the trade stock of some of the Phillies biggest names in the event that their slide continues into late July.
- Blue Jays righty Kyle Drabek is scheduled to undergo Tommy John surgery tomorrow, tweets Barry Davis of Sportsnet.ca. This will be the second time Drabek has been through Tommy John.
- Free agent designated hitter Vladimir Guerrero isn't close to signing, Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports reports (on Twitter).
- There's no indication the Tigers are interested in Jim Thome, John Lowe of the Detroit Free Press reports. Thome, a "longtime tormentor" of the Tigers, bats left-handed, which means he’s not a perfect fit in Detroit. The Tigers are interested in acquiring a bat before the July 31st trade deadline and they'd prefer to add a right-handed hitter, Morosi reported yesterday.
- GM Brian Cashman told Jim Bowden on MLB Network Radio that the Yankees haven't pursued contract extensions for Robinson Cano or Curtis Granderson, but aim to keep both players long-term (Twitter link).
- Maury Brown explains that TV deals are boosting franchise values across MLB in a piece at Baseball Prospectus.
Blue Jays hurlers Brett Cecil and Kyle Drabek and drawing attention from scouts of other teams, reports Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports (on Twitter). The team is reluctant to move Drabek while his value is down, however. He was acquired in the Roy Halladay trade and considered one of the game's 30 best prospects just one year ago by Baseball America.
Cecil, 25, pitched to a 4.73 ERA in 123 2/3 innings for Toronto last season. His velocity had dropped noticeably, and he spent a dozen starts in Triple-A trying to figure things out. Drabek, 24, posted a 6.06 ERA with more walks (55) than strikeouts (51) in 78 2/3 innings last season. He spent another 75 ineffective innings in Triple-A. The left-handed Cecil is under team control through 2015, the right-handed Drabek through 2017.
Earlier today Rosenthal reported that the Jays were in the market to add starting pitching, not necessarily subtract it. They've spoken to the White Sox about Gavin Floyd and GM Alex Anthopoulos recently scouted Joe Blanton of the Phillies. Nationals' left-hander John Lannan is said to be available as well. The Jays could be willing to move either Cecil or Drabek for a more established pitcher with a similar amount of team control years remaining.
The Blue Jays are looking for a closer this offseason and Bob Elliott of the Toronto Sun says the team has checked in on free agents Francisco Cordero and Matt Capps. Heath Bell is another option for the Blue Jays, who had interest in Jonathan Papelbon before he signed with the Phillies. Here are more notes on the Blue Jays, who have yet to make a major move so far this offseason...
- The Blue Jays would listen to offers on 24-year-old first baseman David Cooper, according to Jon Heyman of SI.com. Cooper, the Blue Jays' first round draft pick in 2008, debuted with the team in 2011 and posted a .678 OPS in 81 plate appearances. He won the Pacific Coast League batting title with a .364/.439/.535 line this past season, adding nine home runs and 51 doubles.
- Blue Jays president Paul Beeston isn't a fan of the posting system and Elliott suggests Toronto's interest in Yu Darvish is "lukewarm."
- The Yankees are interested in Kyle Drabek, according to Elliott. Drabek started the season in the Blue Jays' rotation before being demoted to the minor leagues. He had a standout season in 2010, but struggled with command in the Majors (6.3 BB/9) and in the minors (4.9 BB/9) in 2011.
- The Royals have some interest in Colby Rasmus because of concerns that Lorenzo Cain may not be ready for an everyday role, Elliott reports.
- The Phillies have discussed ways of re-obtaining Travis d'Arnaud, the Double-A catcher who arrived with Drabek in the 2009 Roy Halladay trade. As Elliott points out, the Blue Jays would need a ton to part with this year's Eastern League MVP.
The Blue Jays have been connected to Zack Greinke basically all offseason, but they have no intention of trading Travis Snider and Kyle Drabek for him according to ESPN's Buster Olney (via Twitter). Obviously, Toronto is not close to completing a deal for the Royals' ace.
Kansas City understandably want a bounty for Greinke, who has two years and $27MM left on his contract. Snider, 23 in February, is a .255/.318/.446 hitter in 675 big league plate appearances, though Baseball America ranked him the sixth best prospect (and third best outfield prospect) in the game prior to the 2009 season. The 23-year-old Drabek was the centerpiece of the Roy Halladay trade, making three very respectable starts for the Jays late in the season. Baseball America said the development of his cutter and changeup "would put him over the top as a frontline starter" when they named him the team's top prospect last month.
Zack Greinke appears willing to waive his no-trade clause in any deal, but his list of potential suitors appeared to shrink when the Brewers acquired Shaun Marcum. Milwaukee tried to pry Greinke away from the Royals, but found that GM Dayton Moore was asking a lot for the 2009 AL Cy Young Award winner. We'll keep track of all the day's Greinke rumors right here:
- The Royals appear to be tiring of the Rangers' offers, according to Bob Dutton of the Kansas City Star. Discussions with Toronto appear to hinge on the Blue Jays' willingness to include Kyle Drabek and Travis Snider in a potential deal. Royals officials say a deal could come together in a hurry if the Blue Jays decide they're willing to part with those two players.
- The Reds have not talked to the Royals about a potential Greinke deal, according to John Fay of the Cincinnati Enquirer.
- The Braves are not pursuing Greinke and have not been pursuing him, according to David O'Brien of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution (on Twitter).
- The Mariners "quietly have interest" in Ryne Sandberg, writes Troy E. Renck of The Denver Post.
- Jayson Werth is looking for an agency willing to charge a lower commission than the usual 5%, reports Ken Davidoff of Newsday. Davidoff provides an update on Werth's search for representation and examines the chances of the Yankees pursuing the outfielder this offseason.
- In a separate piece, Davidoff looks at some options for the Mets' next manager and GM.
- There are hints that Tony La Russa is leaning toward managing the Cardinals in 2011, as Joe Strauss of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch writes.
- The Blue Jays will call up top prospect Kyle Drabek to make his major league debut Wednesday in Baltimore, according to the team (Twitter link).
- Ronny Cedeno is on his way to locking up the Pirates' 2011 shortstop job, according to Rob Biertempfel of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review.
- Richard Durrett of ESPNDallas points out that Darren Oliver needs to make just one more appearance to guarantee his option for next season.
- Nationals GM Mike Rizzo tells MASN (Twitter link) that the team is still "in conversations" to keep Adam Dunn in Washington.
Some links for Friday...
- Jayson Stark and Jerry Crasnick of ESPN.com expect the Cubs to go after free agent center fielders now that they've dealt Milton Bradley.
- John Fay of the Cincinnati Enquirer doesn't expect the Reds to deal Aaron Harang in the near future.
- The Chiba Lotte Marines signed Bryan Corey, according to NPB Tracker.
- A source close to Javier Vazquez tells MLB.com's Mark Bowman that it's highly unlikely the pitcher would approve a trade to a west coast team like the Angels. The Braves are still interested in trading Derek Lowe.
- USA Today's Bob Nightengale says it would be an upset to see anyone but the Cardinals sign Matt Holliday.
- Now that the Dodgers have traded Juan Pierre, the Angels are optimistic about unloading Gary Matthews Jr. and his contract, according to Ed Price of AOL FanHouse. The Angels will have to eat some of the $23MM owed to Matthews if they hope to deal him.
- O's reliever Jim Johnson tells Jeff Zrebiec of the Baltimore Sun that he's glad to have new acquisition Mike Gonzalez around.
- Mike Lupica of the New York Daily News says the Yankees still need another arm. Brian Cashman says the Yankees aren't done.
- Tyler Kepner of the New York Times expects the Yanks to spend big on next year's free agent class.
- New Blue Jay Kyle Drabek tells the Toronto Sun that he doesn't plan on changing his approach, though he does feel some pressure as a major piece of the Roy Halladay trade.
- Dejan Kovacevic of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette says the Pirates evaluate players and then stand by the figures they decide on almost all the time. This approach prevents the Pirates from over-spending and sometimes prevents them from signing their targets (like Miguel Angel Sano).
- Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel reports that the Brewers expect Claudio Vargas to take his physical today and finalize his deal.
- Yahoo's Jeff Passan examines Scott Boras' relationship with mystery teams.
3:27pm: Over at BlueJays.com, Blue Jays Alex Anthopoulos talked about the players the Jays received in the Halladay deal, as well as recent signing John Buck. A few notes: Anthopoulos sees Wallace as a first baseman, and he has still has ongoing trade talks about other players.
1:48pm: The Mariners announced the trade in a press release, with GM Jack Zdruriencik congratulating the Phillies and Blue Jays on the way the deal was handled. ESPN's Jayson Stark notes that the deal will be complete all-around once Bud Selig signs off on the $6MM going to the Phillies. Elliott says an MRI on Wallace's shoulder cleared the Taylor part of the swap.
1:31pm: Jeff Blair of the Globe and Mail heard that the report of a failed physical is a "totally false rumour." ESPN's Shannon Drayer tweets that the deal is official and Lee is a Mariner. MLB.com's Todd Zolecki agrees, saying a Halladay press conference is set for 4pm CST.
12:38pm: Davidi passes along an AP report that has Phils GM Ruben Amaro Jr. saying he's hopeful the trade can be completed today but talks may go into Thursday. Larry Stone of the Seattle Times doesn't expect the deal to unravel, and is hearing it's not a Mariners prospect who failed a physical.
11:47am: The three/four-way trade involving Roy Halladay and Cliff Lee is not yet official; here's our post yesterday for a refresher. The latest bit of news kicking off today's post: Bob Elliott of the Toronto Sun tweets that he heard someone involved in the trade flunked their physical (one of the minor leaguers). Shi Davidi of The Canadian Press says Phillippe Aumont passed. There appears to be six other prospects involved in the deal, if you include the Michael Taylor-Brett Wallace component. Drabek had Tommy John surgery in July of '07, while Aumont had elbow issues toward the end of the '08 season.
A recap of the expected deal:
- The Phillies get Roy Halladay, Phillippe Aumont, Tyson Gillies, Juan Ramirez, and $6MM. The Phillies will give Halladay a three-year extension plus vesting options.
- The Mariners get Cliff Lee.
- The Blue Jays get Kyle Drabek, Brett Wallace, and Travis d'Arnaud.
- The A's get Michael Taylor.
8:28pm: Ken Rosenthal and Jon Paul Morosi report (scroll down to 7:50pm) that Billy Beane and the A's first became interested in Taylor last summer when the Phillies tried to acquire Matt Holliday.
6:39pm: Jayson Stark reports on the historic maginitude of this deal as this will be the closest two Cy Young winners have ever come to being traded for each other.
6:35pm: It appears as though one of the last hurdles has been overcome as Todd Zolecki reports that Halladay has passed his physical.
2:54pm: Olney says the option vests if Halladay is close to as durable as he's been for the last two years. Halladay's made 65 starts and thrown 485 innings the last two years; he's as durable as they come.
2:43pm: Yahoo's Tim Brown hears that the Halladay extension runs through 2013 at $20MM per season. A vesting option for another $20MM could prolong the pact by another year. The deal is now pending physicals.
11:56am: Jim Salisbury of CSNPhilly.com reports that the Phillies have agreed to an extension with Halladay.
10:00am: Rosenthal hears there's a chance for a fourth year. It's still under discussion, but it could be guaranteed and it could be a vesting option.
9:42am: A source tells Andy Martino of the Philadelphia Inquirer that the deal is "very unlikely" to be completed today. We could see resolution tomorrow.
9:36am: The Phillies are still working out extension details with Halladay, according to Heyman. The teams may not complete the deal until tomorrow.
9:02am: Halladay will agree to a three-year extension worth $60MM, according to Jon Heyman of SI.com. The deal will include two vesting options, so it could keep Halladay in Philly through 2015.
8:58am: The negotiations are complete, according to ESPN.com's Buster Olney. The deal is in place and Halladay is taking his physical now.
8:15am: By now, you've heard that the Jays, Phillies and Mariners are working towards a blockbuster deal that would send prospects north of the border, one Cy Young Award winner to Seattle and another one to Philadelphia. The trade is "close," but "not done" in the words of Jayson Stark's source. Here's what we know so far:
- The Phillies get Roy Halladay, who will take a physical today, according to Ed Price, and $6MM from the Jays. They also get Phillippe Aumont, Tyson Gillies and Juan Ramirez from the M's. (Ryan Divish of the Tacoma News Tribune confirmed that Ramirez is headed to Philly.)
- Halladay will also agree to a three-year extension that will pay him about $20MM annually through 2013, according to Stark. The extension won't affect his 2010 salary ($15.75MM) and will include a vesting option.
- The Mariners get Cliff Lee from the Phils and they could be getting more.
- The Blue Jays get pitcher Kyle Drabek, outfielder Michael Taylor and catcher Travis D'Arnaud from the Phils.
Stay tuned throughout the day - we'll have all the updates for you.