Luis Gonzalez Rumors
News from around the majors as we head into the very last weekend of the 2012 season...
- Former Diamondbacks star Luis Gonzalez is believed to be on the Marlins' short list of managerial candidates, reports MLB.com's Joe Frisaro. Gonzalez is currently a special assistant with the D'Backs and he spent his final season with Miami in 2008.
- Candidates for the Marlins job are being interviewed separately by front office personnel and by owner Jeffrey Loria, tweets Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports. Loria and his staff will convene after the World Series and then make a decision.
- Brewers owner Mark Attanasio tells Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel that his team will be focused on upgrading the bullpen and adding an experienced starter this winter, though the latter won't be at a large price. “We’re just not adding any veteran. It has to be the right move for us. I know Doug [Melvin] and his staff would like to add another veteran starter. I don’t know how or where that’s going to come from," said Attanasio. “We’ve got a lot of good young pitchers coming up from the minor leagues, so we may find our answers there.”
- Rangers pitching coach Mike Maddux hasn't yet been contacted about any managerial openings, reports MLB.com's T.R. Sullivan. Maddux was interviewed for the Cubs job last winter turned down an interview with the Red Sox.
- The Mariners "will make a strong push" to re-sign Hisashi Iwakuma, writes MLB.com's Greg Johns, who also notes that Iwakuma expressed in returning to Seattle earlier this year. Iwakuma signed a one-year, $1.5MM deal with the M's last winter and performed well in his first season in North America, posting a 3.16 ERA and a 7.3 K/9 rate in 30 games (16 of them starts). Those numbers included significant home-road splits, so it's no surprise that Iwakuma would want to continue pitching at Safeco Field.
- Tim Bogar turned down an offer to be the Astros' bench coach due to a contract clause that would've prohibited Bogar from interviewing for managerial jobs, reports Jon Heyman of CBS Sports. Bogar has been connected to manager jobs over the last few years, including the Astros job itself that eventually went to Bo Porter. Bogar served as the Red Sox bench coach last season, though he won't be returning to Boston, as Torey Lovullo will serve as bench coach under new manager John Farrell.
Clark Spencer of the Miami Herald looks at what's in store for the Marlins as the Winter Meetings approach:
- No surprise here, but the Marlins won't be players for any reputable free agents. In fact, were you aware that over the past three offseasons, the most the Marlins have spent on any one free agent was the $2MM they gave Luis Gonzalez in 2007? Needless to say, Matt Holliday and Jason Bay aren't headed to South Florida.
- The Giants have been one of the most outspoken suitors for Dan Uggla, but the Marlins have asked for Madison Bumgarner in any deal for Uggla. The Giants top pitching prospect is a hefty price to pay, and could lead the Giants to pursue other avenues to add some thunder.
- As we've heard before, Renyel Pinto and Matt Lindstrom could very well be moved at the Winter Meetings.
- Even if Pinto and Lindstrom stay put, the Marlins will be on the lookout for affordable bullpen help now that Kiko Calero and Brendan Donnelly have departed.
- The Marlins will turn to internal options such as Gaby Sanchez and Logan Morrison to replace departed free agent Nick Johnson and his monstrous OBP.
- Josh Johnson and Ricky Nolasco are the team's two locks for the starting rotation. From there, a combination of Anibal Sanchez, Andrew Miller, Sean West, Rick VandenHurk, Chris Volstad, and Hayden Penn will fill out the final three spots.
Bob Nightengale of USA Today reports that outfielder Luis Gonzalez will officially announce his retirement tomorrow during "Luis Gonzalez Appreciation Night" in Arizona. Gonzalez will join the Diamondbacks' front office as a special assistant to team president and CEO Derrick Hall, according to MLB.com's Steve Gilbert.
Gonzalez will retire with 2,591 hits, 354 career homers,and 1,439 RBI to his credit, but the most memorable hit of his career will surely be the walk-off bloop single in Game 7 of the 2001 World Series that gave the Diamondbacks the only championship in franchise history.
I can't even begin to describe the hyper-ness of these links:
- Nick Piecoro at the Arizona Republic got word that the Diamondbacks don't plan to decrease payroll from the $73 million they have on the books this year. He gives a nice rundown of what'll be due next season.
- Despite Jamie Moyer being sent to the bullpen before multiple incentives kicked in, Andy Martino at the Philadelphia Inquirer isn't convinced the move was financially motivated.
- Mark Sheldon at MLB.com thinks the Reds should pursue Bill Hall as it's a "no-risk move."
- Doug Davis is aware of the rumors swirling around him being dealt this deadline, but seems to be warm to the idea of pitching for a contender as some postseason experience can help his pending contract, says Steve Gilbert at MLB.com.
- It's appearing more and more that Luis Gonzalez will officially retire and potentially take a spot in the Diamondbacks front office, says Steve Gilbert.
- According to Dejan Kovacevic at the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, the Pirates have made their claim of John Meloan official and also have signed Australian free agent Jarryd Sullivan to a deal.
- Mike Scioscia isn't expecting Kelvim Escobar to return from injury this year, says Rhett Bollinger at MLB.com. Perhaps this accelerates the Angels' search for a starter.
ESPN's Jerry Crasnick has a new article up looking at a bunch of free agents.
- Crasnick talked to one American League exec who views Pedro Martinez as "strictly a National League pitcher." Coupled with his price tag and long layoff, the market isn't big for Pedro.
- Ben Sheets is weeks away from a throwing program. He's probably a ten-start guy this year, but interest figures to be strong.
- Jim Edmonds hopes to sign by May. He'll need two to three weeks to get ready. Mark Grudzielanek also wants to play, and tells friends he only needs a week. He'll look for a contender, and the Royals will hope he signs before June so they get that supplemental draft pick. Jacque Jones is another guy who still hopes to play.
- Geoff Jenkins is taking grounders at first base to increase his versatility.
- Jay Payton suffered a shoulder injury lifting weights last month, but once he's healthy a few months from now he still wants to play.
- Nothing appears to be cooking for Frank Thomas and Luis Gonzalez, who could be forced to retire. Dave Roberts hasn't officially retired, but a comeback appears unlikely.
- Paul Byrd's plan remains unchanged: sign with a contender around July.
- Jon Lieber's agent says the pitcher has retired. 131 wins, including 20 in '01. Lieber finishes with a 4.27 ERA in 2,198 innings for the Pirates, Cubs, Yankees, and Phillies. He earned over $46MM, according to Baseball Reference.
A few links for Saturday morning...
- Steve Melewski of MASN.com spoke with the Orioles Director of Player Development, David Stockstill, about Matt Wieters, who left last night's minor league game with an apparent right hamstring cramp.
- More bad news for Angels fans, as Vladimir Guerrero is out for at least a month.
- Luis Gonzalez tells Joe Capozzi of the Palm Beach Post that he's already missing baseball and he wouldn't ask for much salary-wise.
- Ozzie Guillen still doesn't have an answer in center field according to Joe Cowley of the Chicago Sun-Times. Cowley wrote earlier in the week that the Giants are looking to unload Aaron Rowand.
- ESPN.com's Keith Law discusses high school prospect Donovan Tate, who's the son of former NFL running back Lars Tate. Law says Tate is the "top prep position player in this draft."
Free agent outfielder Luis Gonzalez told Ed Price of AOL Fanhouse Saturday that he still wants to play, but hasn't recieved a phone call since spring training began.
Links for Thursday...
- Scot Gregor of the Daily Herald learned that while White Sox GM Ken Williams seeks a leadoff hitter, he does not have interest in Juan Pierre or Gary Matthews Jr.
- In an article yesterday, MLB.com's Lyle Spencer said all is quiet on the John Lackey extension front. Angels GM Tony Reagins said Lackey's initial Opening Day deadline was never a factor for the team.
- Murray Chass says Gary Sheffield's clubhouse presence is a positive.
- Luis Gonzalez, a free agent, hopes to play in 2009. But when he retires, he'll do so as a Diamondback according to MLB.com's Steve Gilbert.
- MLB.com's Joe Frisaro wrote in praise of Florida starter Josh Johnson.
- MLB.com's Corey Brock says the Padres introduced Tom Garfinkel as the new president and chief operating officer in charge of non-baseball operations.
- I wrote about Blue Jays starter David Purcey over at RotoAuthority.
With little more than a week remaining before the regular season begins let's check the list of unsigned free agents..
- Pedro Martinez is the biggest name out there. The Dodgers don't like his asking price of $5MM and Omar Minaya says Pedro's not coming back to the Mets.
- Orlando Hernandez, Mark Mulder and Will Ohman are still on the market.
- And don't forget about Paul Byrd and Ben Sheets, who could return midseason.
- Richie Sexson, Mark Grudzielanek and Ray Durham are some of the more interesting free agent infielders
- Dave Roberts and Jim Edmonds could offer outfield depth, but haven't attracted a lot of reported interest.
- Luis Gonzalez is on the market too. Could he return to the Marlins? He could return to the D'Backs if he retires as a player.
Links for Saturday...
- According to MLB.com's Bryan Hoch, the Yankees demoted righty Phil Hughes. He had a nice spring and figures to be the first in line when the team needs another starter.
- Tracy Ringolsby of Inside the Rockies reports that Diamondbacks CEO Derrick Hall spoke with Luis Gonzalez about re-joining the D'Backs once he retires as a player.
- Dave Perkin of Baseball America highlights some amateur players worth keeping an eye on.
- Check out Tim's Interview over at 6 Pound 8 Ounce Baby Joba.
- Cameron Smith of the Washington Post thinks Shawn Hill and the Blue Jays should work out a deal because it would benefit both sides.
- Paul Sullivan of the Chicago Tribune reports that Corey Koskie's baseball future could be in jeopardy. Koskie felt light-headed after diving for a ball yesterday in Spring Training.
- ESPN.com's Peter Gammons spoke with Matt Holliday about his home-road splits and his new Oakland teammates. Like Buster Olney, Gammons suggests the Red Sox, Yankees and Angels are possible fits for Holliday after the season.