Lastings Milledge Rumors
Buster Olney's latest offering is packed full of links:
- and please, no el cheapo deals for rehabbing pitchers, medically risky pitchers, broken-down pitchers."
- The Pirates have it a little bit tougher. According to pitching coach Jeff Andrews, it consists of Paul Maholm and "a blank sheet." Here's one vote for adding Ian Snell, "on the verge of becoming the best right-handed pitcher to come from Delaware since World War I," according to DelwareBaseball.com, who sponsors his Baseball Reference page.
- According to GM Jim Bowden, the Nationals will explore ways to upgrade their defense for 2009, including the possibility of moving Lastings Milledge from center field back to a corner spot. Left fielder Elijah Dukes could move to center.
- Despite going through a difficult divorce, Padres' owner John Moores is not planning on selling the team---which he bought because of his soon-to-be ex.
- The Mets seem to be rushing John Maine back from the DL in an attempt to keep their playoff hopes alive.
- Dave Krieger is amazed that the Rockies aren't doing anything to try and keep free-agent closer Brian Fuentes.
David Lennon reports that the Mets had conversations with the Giants about sending Lastings Milledge over for Noah Lowry. The Giants wanted a young pitcher back as well, so Minaya shipped Milledge elsewhere. Still, the Lowry idea could be revisited.
UPDATE, 12-3-07 at 5:48pm: Jayson Stark confirms the Reds' interest in Willis. However he suggests that the Marlins would ask for Homer Bailey and then some in return.
FROM 12-3-07 at 11:41am:
SI.com's Jon Heyman checks in with the latest hot stove banter he's hearing. There's some confusion here as Heyman has contrary info to other published sources.
- Heyman believes Johan Santana is "more likely than not" to get traded at the Meetings, and quite possibly today.
- Heyman says the Red Sox and Yankees are the two teams Santana would waive his veto power for, running contrary to LENIII's recent note.
- Heyman reports that the Mets offered Gomez/Humber/Heilman for Erik Bedard, though as you may recall Roger Rubin said it was Lastings Milledge and not Gomez. Whatever it was, the Orioles weren't impressed with the offer. Heyman says the Mets feel they still have a chance. The Dodgers, Mariners, and loser of Santana will be in on Bedard as well.
- Heyman seems to indicate the Marlins are still asking for Adenhart and Ervin Santana in a Miguel Cabrera deal, despite Peter Gammons' comment this morning.
- The Reds may pursue Dontrelle Willis. I was thinking they might, the fit makes sense. A package with Josh Hamilton and one of the Reds' stud pitchers might be required though. Also keep in mind that Joe Frisaro said the Marlins plan to keep Willis at least until July.
- Heyman suggests the Mets could re-acquire Xavier Nady to play right field for them.
According to SNY via Metsblog as well as WFAN, the Mets have traded Lastings Milledge to the Nationals for Brian Schneider and Ryan Church.
Initial thought: sweet deal by Jim Bowden. Milledge, who turns 23 in April, has star potential or at least will become an above average right fielder (though he should be tried in center unless he's terrible there). The 31 year-old Schneider is strong defensively, but he doesn't hit. The 29 year-old Church has a career OPS over .800, and may be a bit underrated. But he is 29 and not likely to get much better. He's quite a ways away from free agency, at least.
I'm just surprised Milledge couldn't net more.
Jon Heyman checks in with a couple of notable points.
- Heyman sets odds for Johan Santana, going with the Yankees and then Red Sox. I'll let you click through for the rest.
- While we'd recently heard from Ken Rosenthal that the A's had cooled on certain young Mets, perhaps Omar Minaya and Billy Beane can still work something out. Heyman indicates that Beane still covets Lastings Milledge and Mike Pelfrey. He also likes Kevin Mulvey, Carlos Gomez, and Fernando Martinez. So maybe Keith Law was right today in his chat - the Mets can pull off a deal with the A's despite popular belief.
- The Mets are shopping Johnny Estrada, but it's not known who's on the receiving end of those calls. Along with Estrada, the Mets aren't jazzed about Bengie Molina. Though he has been discussed.
We've discussed this before...it seems like the Mets don't stack up with certain other clubs trying to acquire available frontline starting pitching. Ken Rosenthal definitely feels this way - Carlos Gomez is considered a blue-chipper but the others may not be.
Rosenthal notes that a package starting with Lastings Milledge and Aaron Heilman doesn't do much for Billy Beane. The A's don't see Milledge as a long-term center field solution, and Heilman is a reliever. Mike Pelfrey and Phil Humber aren't the top-shelf pitching prospects the A's covet in return for Dan Haren or Joe Blanton. It seems as if the very best package the Mets can assemble might only be enough for Blanton.
The Mets are also after Johan Santana and Erik Bedard, but it's the same story. Unless they create a huge hole by trading Jose Reyes, it doesn't seem they can offer the best package. Though the Twins still want Reyes, Adam Rubin and Joel Sherman indicate that's not an option.
Dipping into the free agent market for Hiroki Kuroda or Carlos Silva seems to make more sense. One option the Mets have been linked to in the past, Dontrelle Willis, may be off the market now.
According to David Lennon of Newsday, the Mets are focused on getting Dan Haren or Joe Blanton from the A's. Lennon admits they probably don't have the chips to get Johan Santana, which makes me wonder how they'd have enough to get Blanton or Haren.
Omar Minaya and Billy Beane discussed these guys a year ago, and couldn't come to an agreement. Now Beane's price has risen - Lastings Milledge and Aaron Heilman won't cut it (not sure if it would've last year anyway). I'm not sure if adding any Mets pitching prospect to that pair would be enough to get Blanton, who would have a lesser price tag than Haren. Add Carlos Gomez to the package and you might have something.
I honestly can't see how the Mets would present the best package for Haren, but maybe they have a shot at getting Blanton. Lennon notes that the A's are more eager to trade Blanton, since he's arbitration-eligible for the first time.
SI.com's Jon Heyman checks in with a new Daily Scoop column full of rumors.
- A lot of the standard trade talk we've seen regarding Miguel Cabrera, Johan Santana, Miguel Tejada, and Dan Haren. All these guys require two good young players or more in a trade.
- Mike Piazza is considering DHing in Japan if he doesn't find anything he likes in the U.S.
- Heyman talked to an AL exec who speculated that the Angels may try to unload Gary Matthews Jr. GMJ makes $9MM in '08, $10MM in '09, $11MM in '10, and $12MM in '11. He currently has a full no-trade clause.
- Juan Uribe and Vicente Padilla are two salary-dump types whose names have surfaced in recent trade talks (unrelated to each other). Padilla is owed $24.75MM over the next two seasons.
- Heyman believes the Mets are very willing to trade Lastings Milledge and have discussed him often.
- We knew the Mets had discussed Ramon Hernandez and Gerald Laird. Heyman adds the Nats' Brian Schneider to the mix. He makes $4.9MM in '08 and another $4.9MM in '09.
Plenty of action around the Mets lately; Omar Minaya has his work cut out for him. Hat tip to MetsBlog for several of the links.
- The sensational storyline here is that Minaya will meet with Scott Boras to discuss Alex Rodriguez. However, Boras and Minaya might spend more time discussing Kyle Lohse and Eric Gagne than A-Rod - the Mets' focus is pitching.
- Newsday's Ken Davidoff reminds us of past trade talks regarding Joe Blanton, Jose Contreras, and Jon Garland. Those talks may be re-opened, though Davidoff notes that the White Sox aren't enamored of Lastings Milledge. Additionally, the Mets will meet with Carlos Silva's people this week.
- Buster Olney discusses the Mets' pursuit for pitching today in his blog. They need a horse, somebody who can chew up innings. Aside from the aforementioned Silva and Blanton, Olney names Roy Oswalt, Dan Haren, Scott Kazmir, and Dontrelle Willis as possible targets (though Marc Lancaster considers the declaration of Kazmir's availability to be "dubious at best." Meanwhile one exec thinks the Rays would only make him available if "his arm is about to blow.") Olney's guess is that the Mets will acquire Blanton. The Mets have some combination of Mike Pelfrey, Philip Humber, Lastings Milledge, Carlos Gomez, and Aaron Heilman to offer. There are pros and cons to dealing each.
- There are other concerns besides pitching: second base and catcher. Besides the forthcoming monster offer to Jorge Posada, the Mets are considering Paul Lo Duca and Yorvit Torrealba as fallbacks. Ramon Castro is looking for a two-year deal, and hopes it's with the Mets. However, the Rockies have their eye on him.
- Pedro Martinez expects to pitch beyond 2008. Whether that will be for the Mets or someone else, who knows.
- Marlon Anderson's two-year deal will be announced today, according to Adam Rubin. The Mets will pass on Jose Valentin and Brian Lawrence's options.
Pretty much the same old story with the Mets, though Joel Sherman and Mark Hale of the New York Post do have some new tidbits.
- The authors name Chad Cordero, Jon Rauch, Octavio Dotel, and Eric Gagne as relievers on the radar. However it seems the asking price is too high for Gagne and the Indians have become the frontrunner for Dotel (they may have passed the Dodgers). Shawn Chacon doesn't catch the Mets' eye, and they don't want Chad Bradford's three-year commitment. They had that option with Bradford this winter. I think that logic is silly - Bradford's pitched well this year, and acquiring him now would be akin to a two-year contract. Sometimes it seems GMs pass over certain players because they simply want to add a fresh name.
- You can add Al Reyes to the mix for the Mets, according to the St. Petersburg Times.
- The Mets think many of the available starting pitchers could be traded in August - Jose Contreras, Kyle Lohse, and Steve Trachsel for example. I don't agree on Lohse - he'll be traded today or tomorrow. But Contreras's contract would probably get through waivers without a claim.
- The Post reports no substantive talks to the Royals about Mark Grudzielanek. An inquiry has been made on Mark Loretta.
- Meanwhile, Newsday says the Twins are open to trading Luis Castillo but don't want any of the current Major League Mets. Dan Graziano of the Newark Star-Ledger seems to disagree, citing a Twins scout at Shea yesterday. Graziano does not believe Castillo would get through waivers unclaimed. He believes the Twins want Double A starter Kevin Mulvey and then some (perhaps Ruben Gotay).
- Graziano says a deal for Castillo could be expanded to include 28 year-old righty reliever Juan Rincon. Rincon had been consistently solid for three years (perhaps aided by steroids) but has seen his strikeout rate and overall performance plummet in 2007. Rincon is under control next year and will make at least $2MM again.
- Graziano notes that the Mets have talked to the A's about Joe Blanton, but Billy Beane wants Lastings Milledge. The Mets can't do that without damaging the current team. The Mets could actually add an outfielder in Jay Payton; the Cubs' interest has waned. The Sammy Sosa rumor also has some legs, as the Mets could bring him in to platoon with Shawn Green if they decide they can tolerate the sideshow.