Logan Morrison Rumors
The Marlins have improved greatly over the course of the season, as evidenced by their 22-17 record since May 31. MLB.com's Joe Frisaro writes that the team attributes the success to a young core coming together and isn't likely to sell significant pieces to jeopardize that core.
According to Frisaro, Giancarlo Stanton, Logan Morrison, Steve Cishek and Mike Dunn are all considered building blocks and are likely to stay put with the Fish. All of that could change if the Marlins are overwhelmed by a team willing to overpay, but even a package for Cishek would have to start with a team's No. 1 prospect, according to Frisaro. As it stands, the 27-year-old closer is not available.
Ryan Webb and Chad Qualls may still be dealt, as could position players Placido Polanco, Greg Dobbs and Justin Ruggiano. That quintet of veterans has less team control than the untouchables listed by Frisaro, and those players likely aren't seen as core members of the team going forward. It's likely that the Marlins' biggest July trade has already occurred in the form of the Ricky Nolasco trade. The Marlins, according to Frisaro, may be more active on the August waiver trade front than before the July 31 non-waiver trade deadline.
While a deal sounds unlikely, the team has still received plenty of hits on Stanton as well as its many bullpen arms. Ruggiano has also drawn some interest from teams like the Rangers and Yankees, although he's another player the team isn't in a rush to trade.
Now that the draft is over, teams are focusing more on bolstering their rotations with one more piece, writes Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe. No one more aggressive in the pursuit of pitching than Orioles GM Dan Duquette who knows that one veteran starter could make all the difference. While they're anxious to improve their starting five, it doesn't sound as if the O's will be in the mix for someone like Cliff Lee. “We’re looking for a starter and a reliever,” said Duquette. “We’d like to solidify our pitching all around because that’s the name of the game, really. We have to look at everything. Don’t think we’re going to be in the market for a big-money pitcher, but there seem to be some guys out there that we might focus on and see where it takes us.” Here's more from today's column..
- The Astros will craft a game plan early this week for how to approach their veteran assets. Teams are already calling about Bud Norris, who has a cheap $3MM salary, but won't be cheap to acquire. The Orioles, Giants, and Pirates have kicked around the idea of acquiring Norris, but one National League exec says there will be about a dozen teams interested before all is said and done.
- It seems like a no-brainer for the A’s to pick up Coco Crisp's 2014 option for $7.5MM, but he'll be in demand if they don’t. Even though he's 33-years-old, there aren’t many top center fielder/leadoff hitter types out there. Jacoby Ellsbury will be the No. 1 guy in that department, but , one American League special assignment scout said Crisp might be a better low-cost option because “he can do everything Ellsbury can do. Neither of them have an arm, but Coco is still fast, a very good outfielder, and can still be a game-changer.”
- The Phillies believe there are at least three teams — Red Sox, Tigers, and Cardinals — that may have some interest in Jonathan Papelbon at the trade deadline and the Phillies are scouting those teams with a potential deal in mind. General Manager Ruben Amaro Jr. said last week that he’s not ready to “blow up” the Phillies, but a Papelbon trade could help retool the club.
- Teams continue to nudge Javier Vazquez into coming back to pitch, but the right-hander seems to be content with staying with his family, according to a source familiar with Vazquez’s thinking.
- The Red Sox can trade Stephen Drew now that June 15th has come and gone, and they would have no problem finding a taker given the lack of shortstops around baseball. However, Boston firmly believes that Drew is their guy. One National League GM doesn't quite understand their infatuation with the shortstop. “They’re either trying to justify the $9.5MM they paid him, or they’re not sold on [Jose] Iglesias, who could start for 29 other teams.”
- If the White Sox decide to finally bolster their farm system, they could get some helpful prospects back by moving right-hander Jesse Crain. The reliever is becoming a top name on wish lists around baseball.
- While many baseball people remain focused on Giancarlo Stanton’s availability in a deal, 25-year-old Logan Morrison is now healthy and has returned to the lineup. The Marlins first baseman/outfielder is a big lefthanded hitter who will be monitored closely by scouts over the next month.
Seventeen years ago today, Cuban defector Livan Hernandez inked a four-year, $4.5MM contract with the Marlins, which included a record $2.5MM signing bonus. Hernandez made his Major League debut just eight months later as a September call-up. Hernandez was instrumental in the Marlins' 1997 World Series title run earning NLCS MVP honors and being named the MVP of the Fall Classic after winning both of his starts against the Indians. Hernandez has found steady employment ever since donning the uniform of the Giants, Expos, Nationals, Diamondbacks, Twins, Rockies, Mets, Nationals (again), Braves, and Brewers. The 37-year-old right-hander pitched for the latter two clubs in 2012 compiling a 6.42 ERA, 6.4 K/9, 2.1 BB/9, and 2.0 HR/9 in 67 1/3 innings out of the bullpen. The Praver/Shapiro client has said he wants to pitch in 2013. In other other news involving MLB's Florida teams:
- The Marlins have no interest in re-signing first baseman Carlos Lee despite concerns about the health of Logan Morrison, according to MLB.com's Joe Frisaro. Morrison, recovering from right knee surgery, isn't expected to begin running until a week into Spring Training.
- The Marlins are one of several teams in talks with free agent reliever Matt Capps, reports Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald.
- Within the same piece, Jackson writes the Marlins are expected to sign Austin Kearns. Clark Spencer, Jackson's colleague at the Herald, adds the deal includes an invitation to Spring Training. Kearns spent 2012 in Miami posting a slash line of .245/.366/.367 in 175 plate appearances while playing both corner outfield positions, first base, and serving as DH in interleague play and as the team's primary right-handed pinch hitter.
- Jackson also writes Marlins owner Jeffery Loria has told team president David Samson he can no longer do interviews. This comes in the wake of Loria banning Samson from doing his radio show. Jackson opines this is a mistake because Samson has made himself more accountable and accessible than many team presidents, even amid unpopular decisions made solely by Loria, who, Jackson adds, has refused to speak to the media since mid-November.
The Rays will hold their annual development camp this week for 31 of their top prospects. One point of emphasis will be baseball's drug policy in the wake of the organization seeing six of their minor leaguers receive 50-game suspensions in 2012, according to Joe Smith of the Tampa Bay Times. "It stunk, very disappointing," Rays Director of Minor League Operations Mitch Lukevics said of the suspensions. "We spend as much time on the education of 'Do's and Don'ts' and derailers as much as we do hitting or pitching or throwing. It was very disappointing, there's no getting around it."
The Marlins aren’t done yet. One day after agreeing to a blockbuster trade with the Blue Jays, they’re shopping outfielder/first baseman Logan Morrison, according to Joe Capozzi of the Palm Beach Post (on Twitter). Furthermore, several general managers expect Ricky Nolasco to be traded as well.
The Yankees are among the teams with an interest in Nolasco, Erik Boland of Newsday reports (on Twitter). The right-hander has one year and $11.5MM remaining on his contract with Miami. The Rockies had interest in Nolasco last winter and could inquire about him, Troy Renck of the Denver Post suggested this morning (on Twitter).
The Marlins do not intend to trade Giancarlo Stanton, MLB.com's Joe Frisaro reports. The sides are not currently discussing a long-term deal, but the slugger "pretty much remains untouchable" for 2013, according to Frisaro.
Marlins outfielder Logan Morrison could miss the rest of the season, Clark Spencer of the Miami Herald reports (on Twitter). Miami placed Morrison on the 15-day disabled list with right knee inflammation earlier today. Here are some more NL East links...
- The Phillies may start a partial sale after two consecutive losses to the Braves, Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com reports (on Twitter). Shane Victorino, Juan Pierre and Joe Blanton could be moved.
- There's interest in Scott Hairston, but the Mets may value him more than his potential suitors do, Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports writes (on Twitter). The Mets see the value of finishing strong and Hairston could help them over the course of the season's final two months.
- Teams are expressing zero interest in left-hander Tim Byrdak, a Mets person tells Andy Martino of the New York Daily News (Twitter link). The 38-year-old has a 4.76 ERA with 9.8 K/9 and 5.7 BB/9 in an NL-leading 53 appearances this year.
- The Mets haven't been impressed by offers for Daniel Murphy, Martino reports (on Twitter). "We're not trading Murphy for a reliever," a Mets person told Martino.
Twelve years ago today, the Mets traded Octavio Dotel, Roger Cedeno, and Kyle Kessel to the Astros for Mike Hampton and Derek Bell. Hampton pitched to a 3.14 ERA in 217 2/3 innings during his one season in New York, then signed his monster eight-year, $121MM contract with the Rockies that winter. Here's the latest from continually improving the NL East...
- The Marlins were willing to part with top minor leaguers to acquire Gio Gonzalez, but MLB.com's Joe Frisaro says they weren't willing to move anyone from their everyday lineup. Both Logan Morrison and Mike Stanton are considered "off limits."
- Within the same piece, Frisaro says that Javier Vazquez continues to maintain that he is retiring. The Marlins do not expect him back and are looking elsewhere for pitching.
- In a comment on one of his blog posts, Dave O'Brien of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution explains why the Braves have less money to spend this winter than many believe.
- Baseball people keep waiting for Nationals GM Mike Rizzo to "bail out" Scott Boras on one of his free agents according to ESPN's Jerry Crasnick (on Twitter). Unsigned Boras clients include Prince Fielder, Edwin Jackson, Johnny Damon, Carlos Pena, and Ryan Madson.
- Mark Zuckerman of Nats Insider takes a look at the far-reaching implications of yesterday's Gonzalez trade for the Nationals.
- Amanda Comack of The Washington Times tries to sort out the Nationals pitching staff following the Gio trade.
The Marlins held an introductory press conference for Mark Buehrle today, and here are a few hot stove details from those proceedings and beyond...
- The Marlins have "poked around in the market" to see what interest there would be in Hanley Ramirez, tweets ESPN's Buster Olney. The team claimed Ramirez wouldn't be dealt in the wake of Jose Reyes' signing but even coming off a down year, Ramirez would be a big trade chip.
- Logan Morrison is "drawing more trade interest" than any other Miami player, reports Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports (via Twitter). Still, it is "highly, highly unlikely" Morrison is sent elsewhere.
- Team president David Samson denied reports that the Marlins offered Albert Pujols a near-record contract, saying the club's offer was worth a bit more than $200MM, tweets Juan C. Rodriguez of the South Florida Sun Sentinel. USA Today's Bob Nightengale reported yesterday that Miami offered Pujols a ten-year, $275MM deal that could have ultimately been worth $300MM with incentives and because Florida has no state income tax.
- When asked if the club would pursue Prince Fielder, owner Jeffrey Loria replied "Oh, I don't know about that. We'll see," reports Joe Capozzi of the Palm Beach Post. In another tweet, Capozzi hears from a source that the Marlins never had interest in Fielder.
- Juan C. Rodriguez reports the Marlins also aren't interested in free agent starter Edwin Jackson (Twitter link).
- The Marlins are planning to have internal discussions about an extension for Mike Stanton, Capozzi reports (via Twitter). There is no time frame, however, as the club is waiting until "after [the] dust settles" on their busy offseason. Stanton is already under team control through 2016 and doesn't reach arbitration for two more years.
- MLB.com's Anthony DiComo details the incentive clauses and the year-by-year breakdown of Jose Reyes' six-year deal. Reyes will earn $10MM in each of the next two seasons, $16MM in 2014, and then $22MM in each of the final three guaranteed seasons. The Marlins have a $22MM team option on Reyes for 2018 that can be bought out for $4MM.
WEDNESDAY, 10:55am: Gio Gonzalez trade talks haven't really started, reports ESPN's Buster Olney, who notes that the A's did not ask for Logan Morrison in brief check-in talks with the Marlins.
TUESDAY, 8:54am: The Marlins have pursued trades and free agents aggressively so far this offseason. Most recently, Gio Gonzalez has emerged as a possible trade target for the team. Here are the details on the Marlins’ offseason, via Clark Spencer of the Miami Herald:
- The A’s have demanded a package containing Logan Morrison or Mike Stanton for Gonzalez and the Marlins “flatly rejected” the possibility.
- C.J. Wilson will visit the Marlins after Thanksgiving. The free agent left-hander met with the Angels last night and has more visits scheduled.
The latest rumors tweeted from SI's Jon Heyman...
- The Yankees haven't been in touch with free agent Jorge Posada so far this offseason, according to Heyman.
- A person with knowledge of the Dodgers sale says bidding will definitely go over $1 billion, and Frank McCourt may well reach his $1.2 billion target.
- The Phillies and Ryan Madson are now engaged in serious discussions, and Heyman expects the two sides to reach an agreement soon. This fits with what was written about Madson and the Phillies yesterday.
- The Red Sox are interested in free agent right fielder Carlos Beltran. I ranked Beltran ninth on my top 50 free agents list, predicting Boston as his destination.
- One executive who spoke to the Marlins tells Heyman 24-year-old left fielder Logan Morrison is off-limits. The executive could see the Fish making an exception for James Shields, however.
- The Brewers believe they have almost no hope to re-sign Prince Fielder and are now targeting free agent shortstop Jose Reyes. The Marlins will meet with Reyes in South Florida tomorrow, tweeted Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports. The Brewers would have to give the Mets the 28th overall pick in next year's draft to sign Reyes, while the Marlins would only have to surrender a second-round pick.
- The Yankees were disappointed Jonathan Sanchez went to the Royals, as they believed they had more to offer to the Giants. The Royals acquired Sanchez and a minor leaguer from the Giants for Melky Cabrera yesterday.
- The Yankees are impressed by what they've seen so far of Cuban center fielder Yoenis Cespedes, though it's mainly limited to video. Cespedes' bizarre showcase video mostly shows off the player's athleticism and style. For a rundown of Cespedes' suitors, click here, and for a scout's view of him, check out the latest from MLB.com's Jonathan Mayo.
- Yankees executive Billy Eppler grew up with free agent lefty C.J. Wilson, for what it's worth. The Yankees will talk to Wilson, who GM Brian Cashman acknowledged is the "best pitcher on the marketplace right now."
The Twins finish the season with 99 losses, their most since 1982, and will officially select second in next year’s draft. Here's a sampling of links from the AL Central on the night that Minnesota avoided loss #100:
- Twins manager Ron Gardenhire told Rhett Bollinger of MLB.com that he'd like to have free agents Michael Cuddyer and Joe Nathan back in 2012 (Twitter links). MLBTR’s Tim Dierkes examined Cuddyer's free agent stock earlier in the month.
- The Indians announced that Sandy Alomar Jr. will become the club's bench coach in 2012. Tim Tolman, who was Manny Acta's bench coach this year, will transition into another role because of health reasons.
- White Sox GM Kenny Williams told Daryl Van Schouwen of the Chicago Sun-Times that he "absolutely" has a preferred candidate to succeed Ozzie Guillen as manager. Alomar Jr., Rays bench coach Dave Martinez and even Red Sox manager Terry Francona are candidates for the job, according to Van Schouwen.
- The White Sox wanted Logan Morrison from the Marlins for Guillen, according to Clark Spencer of the Miami Herald. Chicago relented because the Marlins were prepared to offer Bobby Valentine the job if they didn't get Guillen (Twitter link).