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- Tigers Exercise Alex Avila's Option
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Links for Friday, as teams continue trimming their rosters down…
- Chuck Greenberg will no longer be part of the Rangers organization, but he leaves with $20-25MM in profit, according to Bob Nightengale of USA Today (on Twitter)
- The Giants renewed Madison Bumgarner's contract for 2011, according to John Shea of the San Francisco Chronicle (on Twitter). That means the sides did not agree to terms on a deal, but it doesn't change the timetable for Bumgarner's arbitration or free agency.
- As Alex Speier of WEEI.com explains, the only two outfielders ever to sign free agent contracts with an average annual value of $20MM have opposite styles of play. The Red Sox signed Manny Ramirez for his power, and they signed Carl Crawford for his overall offensive output, baserunning and defense.
- Marlins outfielder Mike Stanton has a creative approach to addressing weaknesses in his swing, as Yahoo's Steve Henson explains.
- Dave Sheinin of the Washington Post offers up a must-read profile of Nationals phenom Bryce Harper.
Agent Matt Sosnick appeared on the Diamond Hoggers' Baseball Show today, and spoke at length about how he became involved in baseball, his experiences in the sport, and a few of his clients. Here are the highlights from the discussion, which you can listen to here:
- Jay Bruce is open to signing a long-term contract with the Reds. "If the Reds felt the same way," Sosnick said. "We'd be open to doing something that was five or six years."
- Sosnick acknowledged that locking up Joey Votto would likely be a higher priority for the club, but cited deals signed by Justin Upton and Troy Tulowitzki as potential starting points for a Bruce extension.
- As we heard earlier today, Josh Willingham is interested in signing an extension with the Nationals. Sosnick feels that if Willingham were hitting the open market this winter, the 31-year-old could land a multi-year deal worth $10MM annually.
- According to Sosnick, when the Giants made a push for Willingham, the Nats asked for either Jonathan Sanchez or Madison Bumgarner in return.
- Regarding a possible Ricky Nolasco extension, Sosnick says he and the Marlins agreed on the years, but were off by "about 20%" on salary. The two sides will resume extension talks in November or December, working on a one-year deal in the meantime.
- Adam Dunn is not a Sosnick client, but the agent predicts that Dunn will receive about $40MM for three years this offseason.
The latest on slugger Adam Dunn, who we learned yesterday is comfortable serving as a designated hitter for two months…
- Dunn was not traded, according to many reports.
- Rosenthal tweets that Dunn to the White Sox for Jackson and others is "far from over."
- Edwin Jackson for Dunn is still possible, tweets SI's Jon Heyman, but the Nationals want another player or two.
- One Nationals source tells Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports he thinks Dunn is staying.
- The Giants are still checking in on Dunn but the Nationals still want Jonathan Sanchez or Madison Bumgarner, tweets Henry Schulman of the San Francisco Chronicle.
- The Nationals are getting late interest in Dunn from new teams and longshots are being explored, tweets Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports.
- The odds of a Dunn trade are less than 50-50, tweets ESPN's Jayson Stark. He adds that the Rays are not pursuing any bat aggressively.
The Giants are still actively looking for an impact bat, but discussions about Brewers sluggers Corey Hart and Prince Fielder are "dead in the water," according to Henry Schulman of the San Francisco Chronicle. That's not a surprise, since Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reported on Twitter that the Brewers plan to hold off on trades until tomorrow at the earliest. Hart has an injured right wrist, so the Brewers aren't likely to deal him until he proves his ability to hit.
Injuries to Hart and David DeJesus have not derailed the Giants' search for a bat. They have been connected to Jose Guillen, Josh Willingham, Scott Podsednik and Adam Dunn in the last 24 hours. The asking price for Dunn? Madison Bumgarner, says Schulman.
The Brewers asked the Giants for Jonathan Sanchez or Madison Bumgarner in exchange for Corey Hart, according to Henry Schulman of the San Francisco Chronicle (Twitter link). Giants GM Brian Sabean is understandably hesitant to deal either pitcher.
The Brewers appear willing to deal Hart, though the right fielder has been red-hot since the middle of May. The Giants, Rays, Padres and Braves are among the teams interested in the 28-year-old. Hart has a .288/.349/.569 line with 21 homers this season after a disappointing 2009 campaign. He earns $4.8MM this year and doesn't become a free agent until after 2011.
Sanchez has a 3.47 ERA with 9.0 K/9 and 4.6 BB/9 this season. The Giants control the 27-year-old's rights through 2012. Baseball America ranked Bumgarner second among Giants prospects before the season (after Buster Posey). So far in 2010, the 20-year-old left-hander has started four games and posted a 2.57 ERA.
In today's blog post at ESPN (Insider req'd), Buster Olney says that even though the Yankees already have five good starters, the tight race in the AL East is enough to keep them engaged with the Mariners about Cliff Lee. They will probably make an offer at some point, but they're unlikely to land him because they've been philosophically opposed to trading prospects for a player they could just sign as a free agent after the season.
Here are the rest of Olney's rumors…
- Olney's message to any team looking for bullpen help: Good luck with that. There are no difference-making relievers on the market, and guys like Kerry Wood, David Aardsma, and Jason Frasor are no sure things.
- Carlos Zambrano has some value as an innings eater, and the Cubs could probably get a team to absorb $10-15MM of the $45MM left on his deal. If he does get traded, Olney says it would likely be in the offseason.
- People in the Dodgers' organization say there is "little or no hope" that money will be available for the team to make moves.
- Olney doesn't see the Giants and Brewers matching up in a Prince Fielder trade. Matt Cain is a deal breaker given Tim Lincecum's recent struggles, and Jonathan Sanchez or Madison Bumgarner won't be enough.
Full Story | Comments | Categories: Carlos Zambrano | Chicago Cubs | Cleveland Indians | Cliff Lee | David Aardsma | Jason Frasor | Jonathan Sanchez | Kerry Wood | Los Angeles Dodgers | Madison Bumgarner | Matt Cain | Milwaukee Brewers | New York Yankees | Prince Fielder | San Francisco Giants | Seattle Mariners
Links for Friday night, as Edwin Jackson tosses a 149-pitch no-hitter against his former team….
- Madison Bumgarner was scratched from tonight's Triple-A start, fueling speculation that the Giants would call him up to start tomorrow's game. However, Henry Schulman of the San Francisco Chronicle tweets that the team still plans to start Joe Martinez tomorrow, with Bumgarner as the backup option.
- In his weekly appearance on WEEI's Big Show, Peter Gammons discusses the Red Sox' bullpen issues and the best one-year signing of this past offseason.
- Bill Ladson of MLB.com wonders if the Nationals will be interested in the recently DFA'd Chad Tracy, given Tracy's connection to Nats GM Mike Rizzo.
- Although it looks as if the Rangers won't be able to afford Roy Oswalt, you can add Texas to the list of teams the pitcher would be willing to play for, according to the Dallas Morning News. Oswalt has previously said he'd accept a trade to anywhere he could contend.
- Garrett Atkins tells MLB.com's Brittany Ghiroli (Twitter link) that being released by the Orioles would be a "welcome opportunity." It appears as though Atkins will soon be designated for assignment.
- Following a blow-up during today's game, Carlos Zambrano has been suspended indefinitely by the Cubs, according to Paul Sullivan of the Chicago Tribune. When Zambrano returned to the Cubs' rotation, we discussed Tom Gorzelanny as a trade chip, but as long as Zambrano remains suspended, that possibility looks less likely.
- The Astros signed their second-round pick, right-hander Vincent Velasquez, per a team release.
- Dusty Baker says Gary Matthews Jr. "has got to get his act together" before the outfielder earns a shot at the Reds' big league lineup, writes MLB.com's Mark Sheldon.
Full Story | Comments | Categories: 2010 Amateur Draft | Baltimore Orioles | Boston Red Sox | Carlos Zambrano | Chad Tracy | Chicago Cubs | Cincinnati Reds | Garrett Atkins | Gary Matthews Jr. | Houston Astros | Madison Bumgarner | Roy Oswalt | San Francisco Giants | Texas Rangers | Tom Gorzelanny | Washington Nationals
Happy birthday, Jayson Werth! Let's celebrate by reading these news items…
- FOXSports.com's Jon Paul Morosi outlines the unique contract situation of right-hander Chris Resop, who has been a revelation as a starting pitcher this season for Atlanta's Triple-A team.
- A bit further down the FOX Sports Buzz page, Morosi notes that Mat Gamel's time playing first base during his rehab assignment isn't necessarily a hint about Prince Fielder's fate in Milwaukee.
- In response to a piece about the Dodgers' spending under Frank McCourt, Fanhouse's Tom Krasovic relates how L.A. shipped Carlos Santana to Cleveland in the Casey Blake deal rather than pick up $2MM of Blake's salary. If Santana becomes the star catcher that he's projected to be for the Tribe, Dodger fans might be regretting that $2MM worth of savings for a long time.
- Henry Schulman of the San Francisco Chronicle says the Giants may have Eric Hacker replace the struggling Todd Wellemeyer in the rotation. Star prospect Madison Bumgarner has pitched well in Triple-A this season, but Schulman thinks the Giants want the young left-hander to have more innings at that level before they bring him up to the majors.
- Troy Renck of The Denver Post writes that the recently DFA'ed Willy Taveras worked out in Houston this week. The Astros offered Taveras a minor league deal over the winter, so Taveras' workout could represent a rekindling of the club's interest, or it could've just been a courtesy extended to a former Astro.
- Terry Pluto of The Cleveland Plain Dealer thinks Michael Brantley and the Indians would both be better served by having the outfield prospect back in the majors. Pluto points out that if the Tribe are trying to stall Brantley's service time, then they shouldn't have had him start with the club on Opening Day.
- The Rays have had almost as many key injuries as the Yankees this season, but Tampa Bay's depth made them better prepared to deal with it, writes Steve Slowinski of the DRaysBay blog.
- Speaking of those Yankee injuries, Brian Cashman said today that the club would look within their system to fill the holes, reports Chad Jennings of The Journal News.
Full Story | Comments | Categories: A.J. Pierzynski | Atlanta Braves | Carlos Santana | Chris Resop | Cleveland Indians | Eric Hacker | Houston Astros | Los Angeles Dodgers | Madison Bumgarner | Mat Gamel | Michael Brantley | Milwaukee Brewers | New York Yankees | Prince Fielder | Tampa Bay Rays | Willy Taveras
Sunday night linkage..
- It appears that Kaz Matsui is in danger of losing his job as starting second baseman, writes Alyson Footer of MLB.com. This is thanks in large part to the red-hot play of Jeff Keppinger.
- Braves CEO Terry McGuirk refuted a report that the team slashed payroll 13% since last season, writes David O'Brien of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. McGuirk also says that he doesn't see the Liberty Media group, which owns the Braves, selling the team in the near future.
- ESPN.com's Rob Neyer looks at Madison Bumgarner's recent troubles on the mound.
- Kris Benson believes that can throw the ball even harder than he did in his debut with the D'Backs, writes Nick Piecoro of The Arizona Republic. Benson, who signed a minor league deal with the club this offseason, was recently promoted to be Arizona's fifth starter.
Friday night linkage..
- Dodgers second baseman Ronnie Belliard has still yet to make weight, tweets Dylan Hernandez of the Los Angeles Times. Upon re-signing him to a one year deal, the club asked that the veteran weigh no more than 209 pounds by the start of Spring Training.
- In his latest mailbag, MLB.com's Bill Ladson writes that the Nationals are trying to trade for a top-of-the-rotation starter.
- El Lefty Malo implores the Giants to ink free agent pitcher Braden Looper as Madison Bumgarner continues to struggle in Spring Training. You can read up on Looper and the other remaining starters in Ben's post from earlier today.
- With a good showing this spring, Joey Gathright has a solid chance of making the Blue Jays' roster, says Jordan Bastian of MLB.com. The soon-to-be 29-year-old has hit .263./.327/.303 for his career with a UZR/150 of 10.3 in the outfield.