Lastings Milledge Rumors
1:40pm: Kovacevic says the teams have agreed in principle to exchange Lastings Milledge and Joel Hanrahan for Nyjer Morgan and Sean Burnett.
1:35pm: The deal isn't complete, but Kovacevic has an update. It would also send Sean Burnett to Washington and Joel Hanrahan to Pittsburgh.
12:05pm: The Pirates already made one deal this morning, but that's not stopping them from talking trades. Dejan Kovacevic of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports that the Pirates are close to dealing Nyjer Morgan to the Nationals for Lastings Milledge. However, nothing is final yet.
We first heard of the possible swap on the weekend.
SATURDAY, 3:51pm: MLB.com's Bill Ladson has confirmed through a source that the Nationals are in hot pursuit of Morgan. Milledge was offered, but the Pirates are seeking a starting pitcher or middle infielder.
Washington infielders Alberto Gonzalez and Danny Espinosa probably aren't going anywhere, and the Nats seem to like their young nucleus of starters (mainly Stammen, Jordan Zimmermann and John Lannan). Ladson suggests Anderson Hernandez could be part of the move, but he surely won't "wow" Pittsburgh's upper management.
FRIDAY, 9:58pm: Via Twitter, Ed Price of Fanhouse.com says the Pirates and Nationals have been discussing an outfield swap of Nyjer Morgan for Lastings Milledge but that talks stalled when Pittsburgh asked for right handed starter Craig Stammen as well.
Milledge is currently recovering from a broken finger sustained in Triple-A. Morgan is having a fine breakout season hitting .267 with 18 stolen bases; however, Pittsburgh has a glut of up-and-coming outfielders in Andrew McCutchen, Delwyn Young, and Steven Pearce.
Yahoo's Gordon Edes updates us on the Cardinals' search for a bat and more in his most recent column. Here are the details:
- The Cardinals aren't interested in Miguel Tejada, but they are looking to add offensive help at third or in the outfield.
- Some have criticized the Pirates for taking Tony Sanchez fourth overall, but Edes hears they chose him because they like his tools and believe he's polished enough to reach the majors before most players in the draft.
- The Nationals would move Elijah Dukes or Lastings Milledge. Ryan Zimmerman is their only untouchable player.
- The Rangers have interest in Nick Johnson.
- There is speculation that Indians GM Mark Shaprio could be promoted to club president, with Chris Antonetti becoming GM. Edes hears that we won't see an in-season shake-up.
- Bill Lajoie, one of the decision-makers behind the deal that sent Hanley Ramirez to Florida, doesn't second guess the move.
- Edes heard from one scouting director who believes Bryce Harper is stronger than Chipper Jones, Alex Rodriguez or Manny Ramirez when they were in high school. However, some scouts wonder whether Harper would be better if he didn't rush to the majors.
SI.com's Jon Heyman places Marco Scutaro and David Ortiz atop his lists of over and underperforming players. In the same article, he provides some trade rumors:
- The Phillies, Mets and Cardinals are among the teams "in" on the Brad Penny discussions.
- Philadelphia would still like to acquire a premium pitcher; they're "aiming higher" than Penny.
- Dustin Ackley is apparently seeking "Mark Teixeira money." No, he's not looking for $180MM, but he'd like a deal worth $9.5MM, like the one Teixiera received out of college.
- And there's word of trade talks involving Lastings Milledge.
Your links for Tuesday...
- MASN's Buck Martinez believes the Orioles are headed in the right direction as an organization. "Sit back, relax and watch the organization grow," he writes.
- Vlae Kershner of the San Francisco Chronicle summarizes the current standing of the Athletics' bid for a new ballpark. Would a fancy facility in San Jose, the nation's 10th largest city, help boost the team's payroll?
- Lastings Milledge, who was demoted to Triple-A Syracuse on April 14, told the Washington Post's Chico Harlan that he hasn't kept in touch with the Nationals' front office, and hasn't been paying attention to the club's day-to-day progress. Sounds like a bad situation that might only get worse.
- According to the Cleveland Plain Dealer, super agent Scott Boras told Playboy magazine in a recent interview that his client, Manny Ramirez, simply didn't like living in the city of Boston. That, Boras claims, is the reason Manny wanted out. "It wasn't like Cleveland," said Boras. And it's not like L.A., apparently.
Links for Tuesday...
- The Nationals issued a press release regarding Lastings Milledge's demotion to Triple A. Seems like they're hoping it's a wake-up call.
- Scott Boras spoke to Henry Schulman of the San Francisco Chronicle about matching his client Dallas McPherson with the Giants.
- Baseball America has the 2009 June draft order.
- According to a Reuters article, one source suggested the sale of the Cubs to the Ricketts family may drag on past May.
- Bart Given of Inside The Majors says the Indians are an exception in terms of providing nutritious meals to minor leaguers.
- This week's chat will take place tomorrow at 2pm CST.
9:55pm: This is getting a little ridiculous. Bill Ladson reports another signing; the Nationals agreed to terms with righty Jason Bergmann. Bergmann was just 2-11 with a 5.09 ERA last season.
Ryan Zimmerman is now the team's lone unsigned player. Zimmerman has been talking long-term with the Nats, but has an arbitration hearing scheduled for tomorrow.
8:59pm: Another update from the Miami Herald, the Nationals signed Lastings Milledge today as well. And as long as I'm mentioning Milledge, while it's not really Hot Stove related, Bill Ladson reported earlier that Milledge will hand his number 44 over to Adam Dunn and wear the number 85 (the year he was born) this year.
7:09pm: Pete McElroy adds that the Nats also signed Anderson Hernandez to a one-year deal today. Still no word on any of the numbers.
6:43pm: The Miami Herald is reporting that the Nationals have agreed to terms on one-year deals for Alberto Gonzalez and Mike O'Connor. No word on the numbers yet.
Gonzalez, acquired from the Yankees in 2008, hit .347 with one home run and 9 RBI in 17 games as a National. He'll be in the mix for second base in Washington.
O'Connor was 1-1 with a 13.00 ERA over five games, including one start, in 2008.
On this day 29 years ago, Albert Pujols was born. 2009 will be the sixth year of his eight year, $111MM deal (safe to say Cards will pick up his '11 option). According to Fangraphs, Pujols has already been worth $151.9MM in the first five years of the contract ($30.4M per season), begging the question: How much will Pujols command following the '11 season, when he will be 32? Last winter, Alex Rodriguez signed for 10 years and $275MM prior to his age 32 season. With less than a month to go before pitchers and catchers report, many players are still looking for their own new contracts. Let's take a look at what is being written in the Blogosphere...
- River Ave. Blues expands on Baseball Prospectus' case against a salary cap and how small-market teams likely would not be able to support a minimum payroll.
- Bucco Blog says the value of young talent has kept the Pirates from rebuilding. Instead, the team has spent the last two years restructuring and are now moving on to the next phase.
- Jorge Says No examines the market for Orlando Hudson and feels the Nationals have to make a play for the second baseman.
- The Detroit Tigers Weblog takes a look at who is still available to close for the Tigers in '09.
- Infield Chatter says the Braves were forced to overpay for Derek Lowe.
- Braves Blast takes a look at the Braves offseason and what is left to do: adding an outfield bat and extending Chipper Jones' contract.
- On Baseball and The Reds takes a look at Adam Dunn's value, with the numbers suggesting he is not worth much more than $20MM over four years.
- Pinstripes Published makes a case for the Yankees acquiring Lastings Milledge from the Nats, while The Chuck Knoblog argues for Elijah Dukes.
Elijah Dukes and Lastings Milledge are the Washington Nationals' two candidates for the center field opening, MLB.com reports.
The Nationals, after missing out on the newest Cub, Milton Bradley, have decided to look internally for center field help.
Milledge (.268/.330/.402) played center field for the Nationals in 2008. He'll turn 24 in April. Dukes (.264/.386/.478) will be 25 in June.
MLB.com's Bill Ladson has dug up more Nationals rumors...
- Prince Fielder is one of the left-handed power bats that interest the Nats. Ladson writes that "it's doubtful" that the Brewers would part with him.
- Lastings Milledge "could be trade bait before the season starts."
- Ladson expects the Nats to go after Orlando Hudson, and suggests he could bat leadoff.
- Willie Harris will stay put in Washington.
- Nick Johnson could start the season at first for the Nats, but they'd rather avoid relying on him.
- Washington isn't likely to make a play for a big-name starter.