LaTroy Hawkins Rumors
Random rumors collected from Twitter...
- The Brewers will meet with Mark Mulder's people today, says SI's Jon Heyman. Ken Rosenthal tweets that a meeting with the Royals already occurred today.
- Bob Dutton of the Kansas City Star says the Royals like Felix Pie, but are "finding it tough to meet Baltimore's needs."
- The Brewers are working to re-sign pitcher Claudio Vargas, MLB.com's Adam McCalvy learned. They view him as a reliever. UPDATE: McCalvy says the Brewers think they're close.
- Joel Sherman of the New York Post tweets that Ben Sheets' agent Casey Close will meet with both New York teams, among others. A throwing audition appears unlikely. MLB.com's T.R. Sullivan says the Rangers would like a medical update on Sheets, who they almost signed before the season.
- Newsday's David Lennon says the Mets met with Yorvit Torrealba's agent this morning. He could be an alternative to Bengie Molina, if the Mets and Torrealba can settle their grievance. Torrealba had a signed term sheet with the Mets two years ago for a three-year, $14.4MM deal, but the Mets pulled out over concerns with the player's shoulder. Lennon's colleague Ken Davidoff says the Giants are still involved on Torrealba.
- The Brewers have a meeting with minor league free agent/knuckleballer Charlie Zink this afternoon, says Amalie Benjamin of the Boston Globe.
- MLB.com's Brian McTaggart says LaTroy Hawkins will meet with the Astros today in hopes of getting a deal done soon.
- ESPN's Jerry Crasnick finds the Brewers likely to tender a contract to righty Dave Bush on Saturday. Despite a rough year Bush could get a small raise on this year's $4MM salary.
- WEEI's Alex Speier says five to six teams have checked in on free agent outfielder Brian Giles, the Red Sox not among them.
- Joe Crede doesn't expect to sign until late in the offseason, reports Kelsie Smith of the St. Paul Pioneer-Press.
The Rockies have made multiyear offers to arbitration-eligible players Huston Street, Clint Barmes, and Chris Iannetta, according to Troy E. Renck of the Denver Post. The details:
- The Street negotiations are early, but the Rockies made a three-year offer. That'd buy out one arbitration year and two free agent years.
- Renck believes Barmes was offered "two years, with a club option for free agency." That is, Barmes is already under team control for 2010 and 2011.
- Iannetta's offer would "carry him to at least free agency." Iannetta has three years of team control left. That the Rockies are entertaining a multiyear deal is a vote of confidence despite their pursuit of various veteran free agent backstops. The agents for Iannetta and Barmes have made counteroffers.
- Renck says the Rockies will turn to LaTroy Hawkins (again) if Rafael Betancourt turns down their offer of arbitration tonight. They're backing off on Justin Duchscherer.
- Utility man targets include Fernando Tatis, Bobby Crosby, Jamey Carroll, and Nick Green.
Rockies manager Jim Tracy doesn't "want to be the organization that pops up every three years or so," according to Troy E. Renck of the Denver Post. Renck offers up a look at the needs the Rockies will need to address at this year's Winter Meetings in order to strengthen the club's chances to be perennial contenders:
- General manager Dan O'Dowd will meet with Rafael Betancourt's representation today. We've heard that Betancourt may accept arbitration from the Rockies, but with the Red Sox and Phillies interested in his services, that may change. O'Dowd says he wants things to work out with Betancourt, but they've identified alternatives in the event that they don't.
- Colorado would be interested in bringing LaTroy Hawkins back to Coors Field. Hawkins is coming off a strong year with the Astros in which he posted a 2.13 ERA through 63.1 innings, fanning 45 and walking 17. His FIP checked in at a much more pedestrian 3.97, however.
- The Rockies have requested Justin Duchscherer's medical records and will meet with his agent today.
- They've inquired on free agent Chad Tracy in an attempt to add a left-handed bat off the bench. Even without Tracy, however, they could still find a suitable backup to Todd Helton in their own clubhouse, as Brad Hawpe is open to spelling Helton from time to time.
- O'Dowd will keep the team's struggles against left-handers in mind if teams inquire about names like Brad Hawpe and Jorge De La Rosa.
- O'Dowd says he'll remain open to anything, but the difference between this year and last year is that he's not specifically looking to move some players.
Tracy Ringolsby of FoxSports.com reports that the Rockies hope free agent reliever Rafael Betancourt accepts arbitration, even though he's a Type-A free agent and would net them two draft picks if he went elsewhere. Colorado declined their $4.5MM option for Betancourt last month, and he's since rejected their two year, $7MM offer.
The deadline for free agents to accept arbitration is Monday, and if Betancourt accepts, Colorado would get to keep him on a one year deal, though it might cost them somewhere in the neighborhood of $6M.
Meanwhile, Troy E. Renck of The Denver Post adds that Justin Duchscherer and LaTroy Hawkins have become "top targets," while the team has also expressed interest in Mark DeRosa.
Houston Astros Senior Director of Digital Media Alyson Footer invited her Twitter followers to participate in a Q&A with Astros GM Ed Wade. The exchange resulted in too many tweets to individually link them all, but check out her Twitter account for some quotes from the conversation. Here are a few points of interest:
- If the team cannot retain Jose Valverde and/or LaTroy Hawkins, Wade notes that there are other back-of-the-bullpen options out there. He says the club would prefer to have Valverde return as their closer, but mentions Fernando Rodney, Kevin Gregg, Rafael Soriano, and Mike Gonzalez as potential alternatives.
- The Astros will "proceed with caution" when it comes to pursuing pitchers like Ben Sheets, who have questionable injury histories. Wade pointed to Mike Hampton and Russ Ortiz as cautionary tales.
- Wade doesn't expect to have a whole lot of money to commit to any starting pitching additions, given the other holes the team needs to fill.
- The GM singles out Randy Wolf as one starter who is "probably not realistic" due to his expected price tag.
- As much as the team would like to bring back Miguel Tejada, the market for the veteran will dictate whether they'll be able to afford it.
- The team might acquire a stopgap behind the plate, but would prefer if one of their in-house options could step up and earn the starting job.
The Rockies' interest in Bobby Crosby might not amount to anything if there are teams interested in him a starter, according to MLB.com's Thomas Harding. The Rockies would like to sign Crosby as a utilityman, but the Red Sox and other clubs that have been linked to the shortstop might be willing to give him a chance to start, which Crosby would prefer. Here are a few of Harding's other Rockies-related rumors....
- The team will likely have "internal discussions" about signing Chad Tracy as a bench player.
- The Rockies won't pursue any free-agent relievers until they see what happens with Rafael Betancourt, who has been offered arbitration and is their top bullpen priority.
- If they can't retain Betancourt, LaTroy Hawkins could be a target.
- The club would like to re-sign Yorvit Torrealba, but will have to wait for him to test the market.
- Long-term contracts for Huston Street and Clint Barmes are another priority. One Rockies official says that it's too early in talks with Street to see how far apart the two sides might be.
- The Rockies have some interest in Bobby Crosby as a utilityman and as a right-handed option at third base if starter Ian Stewart continues to struggle against lefties (.178/.278/.386 against LHP in 2009).
- Noah Lowry, who became a free agent in October, may be brought to spring training on a minor-league contract. Lowry hasn't thrown a major league pitch since 2007 due to injuries, but was a solid starter (4.03 ERA) in four seasons in San Francisco. He has a 9.10 ERA in six career starts at Coors Field.
- Colorado is "expected to call" free agent reliever LaTroy Hawkins, who was a major part of the Rockies' bullpen during their run to the 2007 National League pennant. The club's interest in Hawkins will only increase if Rafael Betancourt turns down Colorado's arbitration offer and signs elsewhere. Hawkins should be more appealing also because he did not receive an arbitration offer from the Astros and therefore will not cost a draft pick.
The Astros offered arbitration only to Jose Valverde (A) and not Miguel Tejada (A), LaTroy Hawkins (A), or Doug Brocail (B), according to the team's Senior Director of Digital Media Alyson Footer.
Interesting relief choices; I'd predicted no arbitration offers to Valverde or Hawkins. That said, an offer to Valverde always made sense. He does not seem likely to accept arbitration and take a one-year deal. The Astros are known to have an offer on the table to Hawkins, so maybe they didn't want to complicate the picture by offering arbitration.
You might consider Valverde the loser here and Hawkins the winner, as Valverde will now come with a draft pick cost attached.
Links for Monday...
- MLB.com's T.R. Sullivan wonders if Bobby Crosby could be a match for the Rangers as a utility infielder.
- MLB.com's Mychael Urban has an update on free agent lefty Mark Mulder.
- Maury Brown of The Biz of Baseball analyzes Tim Lincecum's possible 2010 salary, and predicts the pitcher might submit $16.8MM against the Giants' $8MM figure.
- ESPN's Buster Olney tweets that Hideki Matsui's marketability is not a factor for the Yankees.
- Alex Speier of WEEI examines the chances of Roy Halladay remaining a workhorse over the next several seasons.
- Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch doesn't see geography as a big factor for Matt Holliday. Meanwhile, Bernie Miklasz of the P-D doesn't understand Albert Pujols' reasoning as to why he needs to wait to discuss an extension.
- MLB.com's Brian McTaggart asks readers to predict the Astros' arbitration decisions for free agents. Jose Valverde and LaTroy Hawkins are tough calls in that it makes sense but we're not sure if the Astros will. We'll have predictions on all Type A/B free agents later today.
- Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel explains why he feels only Felipe Lopez will get an arbitration offer from the Brewers.
- MLB.com's Joe Frisaro says the Marlins are leaning against offering arbitration to Type B free agents Kiko Calero and Nick Johnson. Calero might be worth it.
- Jon Weisman of Dodgers Thoughts says the Dodgers' arbitration decisions won't necessarily be influenced by the McCourts' divorce.
- Staying with this theme, FanGraphs' Dave Cameron looks at the factors that should influence a team's arbitration-offer decision.
- Ken Rosenthal and Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports look at the market for Miguel Tejada.
- Morosi suggests ten teams that should talk to the Tigers about Miguel Cabrera, Curtis Granderson, and Edwin Jackson.
- Jacob Jackson of Athletics Nation has a detailed offseason plan for the A's.
- Righty Miguel Batista told Geoff Baker of the Seattle Times that he has a few contenders interested in his services.
- Notes from NPB Tracker's Patrick Newman: the Orioles are eyeing pitcher Hisanori Takahashi, and Hideki Okajima would like a contract extension (he's under team control through 2012 as an arbitration-eligible player).
- Dejan Kovacevic of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette says the fates of Jeff Karstens, Robinzon Diaz, and Justin Thomas will be decided today.
- Elmer Dessens doesn't have a contract with the Mets quite yet, writes Adam Rubin of the New York Daily News.
Some more links to read through as we count down the hours until teams can start serious negotiations with all free agents...
- GM Neal Huntington tells MLB.com's Jenifer Langosch that the Pirates won't be spending big on relievers this year: "Our focus is going to be more on the borderline-type guys that may not get $3-4 million or may not even get a Major League contract," Huntington said.
- The Cubs probably can't afford Rich Harden or Reed Johnson, according to MLB.com's Carrie Muskat.
- Harden and Erik Bedard appear on Jeff Zrebiec's list of ten free agents the O's might target.
- Peter Schmuck of the Baltimore Sun says the O's need at least one middle-of-the-order bat.
- The Cubs don't intend to pursue Pedro Martinez this offseason, according to Paul Sullivan of the Chicago Tribune.
- David Ortiz tells WEEI.com that the Red Sox can always use more power.
- The Astros have already offered LaTroy Hawkins a contract, according to MLB.com's Brian McTaggart.
- Peter Gammons of ESPN.com shows that the low-budget Marlins have had a lot of recent success because they're well-run.
- Giants GM Brian Sabean hinted that he could approach ownership with creative offers for big-name free agents, according to MLB.com's Chris Haft.