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Let's finish off our series with the toughest division in baseball…
- Blue Jays: The Jays already traded away most of their top pieces, but they still have three desirable relievers in Scott Downs, Jason Frasor, and Kevin Gregg. All three can become free agents after the season. There might be some interest in first baseman Lyle Overbay, who will also hit the open market after the season.
- Orioles: Considering how poorly he pitched before landing on the DL, I'm sure a large part of the Baltimore faithful wouldn't mind seeing Mike Gonzalez go. Alas, that won't happen anytime soon. There always seems to be interest in Luke Scott, who still has two more years of team control left. If they decide to sell at mid-season, Kevin Millwood and Jeremy Guthrie could find their way onto the block.
- Rays: The Rays are a player development machine, and they have enough young players to get get pretty much anyone they want. They have enough depth that they could trade one of Reid Brignac or Sean Rodriguez plus one of Jeff Niemann, Wade Davis, or Jeremy Hellickson and not miss a beat. If they fall out of it and decide to sell, it doesn't get much better than Carl Crawford, Rafael Soriano, and Carlos Pena. I believe the term is "stacked."
- Red Sox: Boston has held onto Clay Buchholz for this long, but with his name appearing so frequently on the rumor circuit, it really wouldn't be surprising if they moved him for a big time player. They might still be able to find a taker for Mike Lowell, and there would be interest in Manny Delcarmen if he were made available. They did lose a valuable chip when Junichi Tazawa went down with Tommy John surgery.
- Yankees: They seem unwilling to trade either Phil Hughes or Joba Chamberlain, so their best chip is the semi-blocked Jesus Montero. Of course, the Yankees have the ability to absorb even the ugliest of contracts, so maybe we should consider that their biggest trade chip.
Full Story | Comments | Categories: Baltimore Orioles | Boston Red Sox | Carl Crawford | Carlos Pena | Clay Buchholz | Jason Frasor | Jeff Niemann | Jeremy Guthrie | Jeremy Hellickson | Jesus Montero | Kevin Gregg | Kevin Millwood | Luke Scott | Lyle Overbay | Manny Delcarmen | Mike Lowell | New York Yankees | Rafael Soriano | Reid Brignac | Scott Downs | Sean Rodriguez | Tampa Bay Rays | Top Trade Chips | Toronto Blue Jays | Wade Davis
Noon ET today was the deadline for both the team and player to submit their salary figures for arbitration, however the two sides can come to an agreement at any point before the actual hearing. The hearings are scheduled for the first week of February.
We'll keep track of the players who avoid arbitration today by agreeing to deals here. Make sure you check back in for updates, and be sure to click the "Continue Reading" link to see today's full list of settlements. Yesterday's list can be found here.
- Kevin Baxter of the Los Angeles Times reports that the Angels avoided arbitration with Mike Napoli and Reggie Willits by signing the duo to one-year deals. Napoli will earn $3.6MM in 2010 with a $100K bonus if he makes 120 starts. Willits' contract is worth $625K.
- Zach Duke's one-year contract with Pittsburgh is worth $4.3MM with no performance bonuses, tweets Dejan Kovacevic of The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.
- The Padres and reliever Mike Adams have agreed to a contract, reports MLB.com's Corey Brock (via Twitter). Brock's follow-up tweet says Adams' deal is worth $1MM, virtually splitting the difference between San Diego's $875K offer and Adams' $1.2MM demands.
- Joe Christensen of the Minneapolis Star Tribune tweets that the Twins have agreements in place with all eight of their arbitration eligible players. In a follow-up tweet, Christensen reports that Francisco Liriano agreed to a one-year deal worth $1.6MM and Jesse Crain agreed to a one-year contract worth $2MM.
- Marc Carig of the New Jersey Star-Ledger reports that the Mets avoided arbitration with reliever Sean Green (via Twitter). The one-year deal was worth $975K, according to the New York Daily News' Anthony McCarron.
- The Tigers avoided arb with Gerald Laird and Zach Miner as well according to James Jahnke of The Detroit Free Press. MLB.com's Jason Beck tweets the details on the one-year contracts: Laird will earn $3.95MM, Miner will earn $950K.
- Christensen tweets that the Twins avoided arb with Brendan Harris, signing him to a two year deal worth $3.2MM with another $650K in possible incentives.
- The Tigers and Bobby Seay avoided arbitration according to MLB.com's Jason Beck (via Twitter), agreeing to a one year deal worth $2.475MM.
- Thesier tweets that Matt Guerrier agreed to a one year deal worth $3.15MM with the Twins, avoiding arb.
- Amalie Benjamin of The Boston Globe tweets that the Red Sox have avoided arbitration with Ramon Ramirez and Manny Delcarmen, with Delcarmen getting $905K plus incentives according to Joe McDonald of The Providence Journal. Boston avoided arb with Jonathan Papelbon as well.
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Peter Abraham takes a look at the Red Sox checklist as they head into this year's Winter Meetings. Abraham is sure to note that his focus is on what Boston needs, not the fantasy trade scenarios that fans may want. Says Abraham, "The Sox needs refining, not rebuilding." That said, let's take a look:
- The easy solution in left field is to bring back Jason Bay. Abraham says though, that the acquisition of Jeremy Hermida presents Boston with the option of signing a right-handed hitter, such as Xavier Nady, to form a platoon. The Red Sox could also let Bay go in favor of pursuing Matt Holliday.
- While the rotation appears to be set for now with Josh Beckett, Jon Lester, Daisuke Matsuzaka, Clay Buchholz, and Tim Wakefield, Abraham says the Sox could use a "No. 5.5 starter, a No. 6, and possibly a No. 7" for depth. He names the usual suspects, including Ben Sheets, Erik Bedard, and Rich Harden.
- Boston has requested medical reports on Mike Gonzalez, and will need to fill out the back of the bullpen for 2010. Abraham feels the Red Sox will invite about a dozen relievers to camp and see who performs well.
- Boston should look to add a veteran outfielder and infielder for bench depth. Abraham says Boston doesn't seem interested in keeping Rocco Baldelli around. He names Adam Everett, Craig Counsell, Reed Johnson, Marcus Thames, and Adam Kennedy as options.
- Abraham doesn't see Buchholz, Casey Kelly, or Ryan Westmoreland being dealt. He names Casey Kotchman, Josh Reddick, and Manny Delcarmen as trade chips.
- Abraham also speculates on the possibility of Jonathan Papelbon being traded. With Daniel Bard waiting in the wings, this isn't the first time someone has speculated on the possibility of Papelbon being shipped off.
Full Story | Comments | Categories: Adam Everett | Adam Kennedy | Boston Red Sox | Casey Kelly | Casey Kotchman | Clay Buchholz | Craig Counsell | Jason Bay | Jeremy Hermida | Jonathan Papelbon | Josh Reddick | Manny Delcarmen | Marcus Thames | Matt Holliday | Mike Gonzalez | Reed Johnson | Rocco Baldelli | Ryan Westmoreland | Xavier Nady
In a piece for ESPN Boston, Peter Gammons and Gordon Edes answered five key questions about the Red Sox and the upcoming offseason. There's not many hard rumors in the piece, but there's plenty of discussion topics, so let us know what you think…
- Both Gammons and Edes believe the Sox will retain Jason Bay (Gammons guesses the contract will be in the four year, $64MM range), and neither is sure who will compete with them for his services.
- The Red Sox "can easily" keep shortstop Alex Gonzalez at a reduced rate even though they declined his option earlier this month. Gammons feels the team needs depth and mentions Marco Scutaro, while Edes doesn't think it would be wise to make a long-term commitment that would block prospect Jose Iglesias.
- When it comes to blockbuster trades, Gammons thinks the only way the team pulls one off is if they a) get frustrated during contract extension negotiations with Josh Beckett, or b) can get Adrian Gonzalez or Felix Hernandez.
- Edes says it wouldn't be a Red Sox offseason if they didn't explore a big trade, but he thinks it's a longshot that they'll acquire Gonzalez. He says another run at Roy Halladay is more likely.
- Gammons notes the Sox would like to add a righthanded batter than could play center and right, and they've long been intrigued by Cody Ross. He mentions that the Marlins tried to get Manny Delcarmen in July.
- Both writers believe they will make a run at Rich Harden, and Gammons thinks they'll go after Ben Sheets as well.
- And finally, Gammons says the team believes they will not be the high bidder for Aroldis Chapman, but they made a strong case for Boston as the place he'd want to be.
Full Story | Comments | Categories: Adrian Gonzalez | Alex Gonzalez | Aroldis Chapman | Ben Sheets | Boston Red Sox | Cody Ross | Felix Hernandez | Jason Bay | Jose Iglesias | Josh Beckett | Manny Delcarmen | Marco Scutaro | Miami Marlins | Rich Harden | Roy Halladay | San Diego Padres | Seattle Mariners | Toronto Blue Jays
A few links on a slow Sunday afternoon:
- Buster Olney says (Insider required) that the Red Sox made a "worthwhile gamble" placing a claim on Billy Wagner. Olney feels that with no obvious fixes to their starting rotation, trying to make their bullpen overpowering is a good strategy. As we learned last night, Jonathan Papelbon and Manny Delcarmen don't necessarily agree. Olney says the Mets "are crazy" if they pass the opportunity to move Wagner's salary.
- Marc Carig of the Star-Ledger says that the Yankees need to address the communication problems between A.J. Burnett and Jorge Posada. Both players have said they "couldn't get on the same page" during the recent blowout the Yankees suffered at the hands of the Red Sox.
- Dejan Kovacevic has a letter from Jack Wilson to the fans of Pittsburgh, thanking them for their support during his time as a Pirate. It's a good read; Wilson's a class act. Kovacevic's article also has Neal Huntington's thoughts on the extensions offered to Wilson and Freddy Sanchez, as well as a report on the Pirates' draft spending.
- MLB.com's Jen Langosch has Huntington's thoughts on September call-ups for the Pirates this season.
- Meanwhile, MLB.com's Alyson Footer tells fans what she would like to see the Astros do with the little money they have to spend this offseason. Her suggestions begin with picking up Brian Moehler's option and signing Randy Wolf. Moehler's option will be worth either $2.3MM or $3MM, depending on whether or not he exceeds 150 innings this season. Footer's rotation would consist of Roy Oswalt, Wandy Rodriguez, Wolf, Bud Norris, and Moehler. Is Moehler worth that money, or should the Astros pursue a cheaper free agent option?
Links for Thursday morning…
- Boston native Manny Delcarmen tries not to let rumors about his future distract him, as Steve Buckley of the Boston Herald reports.
- As Newsday's Ken Davidoff notes, J.P. Ricciardi's commitments to A.J. Burnett and B.J. Ryan hurt the Jays more than they helped.
- Rob Neyer of ESPN.com says Oliver Perez's return was "just short of a disaster." The Mets lefty is under contract for two and a half more seasons.
- None of the players on this list are getting traded again, but it's worth checking out Tom Verducci's ten most thrilling players ever.
- If you're wondering what trade chips might interest the Blue Jays, check out the mid-season edition of Baseball America's Top 25 Prospects.
- I'll be talking trade rumors on 830 KLAA in Los Angeles at 6:05 CST. Also, check out my chat on the Mike Heller Show on ESPN 1070 from yesterday afternoon.
- Remember to follow MLBTR on Twitter and become a fan on Facebook.
Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports says Javier Vazquez has more value than any available hitter. Here are the details and the rest of Rosenthal's rumors:
- Not even Matt Holliday or Corey Hart would be fair value for Vazquez, so Rosenthal asks why the Braves would want to trade him at all.
- The Mets inquired on Scott Hairston, who could have been an affordable stopgap, but balked when the Padres asked for Bobby Parnell.
- The Marlins offered Gaby Sanchez for Manny Delcarmen, but the Red Sox weren't interested.
- The Mariners, Tigers and Rays weren't far from agreeing to a deal that would have sent Edwin Jackson to Seattle and J.J. Putz to Detroit last offseason.
- Kevin Towers compares Rule 5 pick Everth Cabrera to Rafael Furcal.
- The Royals "do not seem terribly inclined" to deal Mark Teahen.
- The Pirates covet Eric Young Jr. of the Rockies.
- Some predict that the distribution of amateur talent- through the draft and international signings- will be the biggest issue in the next Collective Bargaining Agreement.
Full Story | Comments | Categories: Atlanta Braves | Bobby Parnell | Boston Red Sox | Corey Hart | Detroit Tigers | Edwin Jackson | J.J. Putz | Javier Vazquez | Kansas City Royals | Manny Delcarmen | Mark Teahen | Matt Holliday | Miami Marlins | New York Mets | Pittsburgh Pirates | San Diego Padres | Scott Hairston | Seattle Mariners
Talking to Newsday's Ken Davidoff, Nationals acting GM Mike Rizzo volunteered three trade candidates from his team:
"Nick Johnson, or (Josh) Willingham, or (Austin) Kearns, anyone on our roster, if we can make a good baseball trade and improve ourselves, not only for our present but also for our future — a player that can impact us — we have to make those kinds of trades."
Also, Rizzo rejected the idea that a Johnson-Manny Delcarmen swap was even discussed with the Red Sox.
Rizzo said that in general, the Nationals are seeking young, athletic players with high ceilings in trades. It seems possible Rizzo will deal within the NL East, with the Mets seeking a first baseman and the Braves needing outfielders.
MONDAY: Chico Harlan of the Washington Post has a Nationals source who "dismissed the seriousness" of the Johnson-Delcarmen discussions. Harlan says the Nationals believe they can get more value by waiting into the summer to trade Johnson, and have "fielded calls from about a dozen teams." What do you think – will the Nats maximize Johnson's value by waiting?
FRIDAY: Earlier today, we heard that the Nationals had offered Nick Johnson to the Red Sox in exchange for Manny Delcarmen. WEEI's Alex Speier is reporting that the Red Sox have officially turned the offer down.
According to Delcarmen's agent, Jim Masteralexis, the trade was "immediately shot down." Both Delcarmen and Johnson are having fine seasons, but it looks like the Nationals will have to try something else in order to improve their bullpen.
Hacks with Haggs has an interview with Manny Delcarmen who says he "wouldn't be too happy" if he were dealt. Said Delcarmen,
"To me, I think it’s always good when teams are asking about you and they want you. It made me feel really good when Theo (Epstein) and those guys turned it down right away. Because I feel like I’m a part of the team here and I’m used to being here. To start fresh somewhere (else), I wouldn’t be too happy about that. It’s cool to know that Boston wants to keep me here."
The hard throwing Delcarmen is out of options and continues to show promise, posting a 0.95 ERA through 18 games so far in '09. Just recently, Epstein shot down a rumor involving the Nationals swapping Nick Johnson for Delcarmen.