Marc Topkin Rumors

East Notes: Myers, Desmond, Young, Morse, Orioles

The Rays have received some trade inquiries about Wil Myers, but do not seem apt to deal him, Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times writes. “The guy we saw last year was injured and didn’t really have a chance to demonstrate what he has,” says Rays executive Matt Silverman. “We look at him as a rookie of the year who really missed most of the season and expect him to be back in that form as a formidable bat in the middle of the lineup who also plays a pretty good outfield.” The Rays are widely expected to deal an outfielder this offseason, but that will likely be David DeJesus or Matt Joyce; as Topkin notes, trading the 2013 ROY-winning Myers after a down season would be selling low. Here are more notes from the East divisions.

  • Nationals shortstop Ian Desmond does not want to be traded, MLB.com’s Bill Ladson writes. “Do I want to be a National [beyond 2015]? Yes,” says Desmond. “Do I think, at this particular moment, I will be, I don’t know.” Desmond and the Nationals have been unable to settle on a long-term extension, and he’s now one of several key Nats who’s eligible for free agency after the 2015 season.
  • The Orioles still have interest in Delmon Young as a right-handed power source but could pursue Michael Morse (to whom they’ve previously been connected) as a backup plan, ESPN’s Jayson Stark tweets. Another possible option for them could be to acquire Allen Craig in a trade with the Red Sox. SB Nation’s Chris Cotillo adds (via Twitter), however, that the Orioles are not close to signing Young. Young and Morse are both poor defensive players, but they’re coming off strong offensive seasons — Young hit .302/.337/.442 in a part-time role with Baltimore in 2014, while Morse batted .279/.336/.475 in 482 at bats with the Giants. (Before that, the Orioles acquired Morse for their stretch run in 2013, and he collected 30 plate appearances for them.) With Nelson Cruz gone, the Orioles could have either player pick up at bats at DH, while occasionally playing an outfield corner. Morse would likely be the more expensive of the two, with MLBTR’s Jeff Todd predicting Morse will get a two-year, $22MM deal.

East Notes: Sandoval, Burnett, Shields, Mets

The AL East champion Orioles are looking for their first playoff sweep since they eliminated the A’s in the 1971 ALCS as they face the Tigers in Game Three of their ALDS. The NL East champion Nationals, meanwhile, will look to avoid being swept by the Giants tomorrow in their NLDS.

Here’s the latest from baseball’s East divisions:

  • Pablo Sandoval, with his personality and left-handed bat, would be a good fit for the Red Sox, opines the Boston Globe’s Nick Cafardo. Despite Sandoval’s weight issues and a declining OPS over the past four seasons, Cafardo hears the third baseman will command a five-year, $100MM pact with the Yankees and Dodgers joining Boston in the bidding.
  • A.J. Burnett‘s decision whether to exercise his $12.75MM player option will dictate how the Phillies‘ offseason unfolds, according to CSNPhilly.com’s Corey Seidman. If Burnett declines the option, the Phillies will have the financial flexibility required to make impactful free agent signings and begin the necessary roster overhaul, Seidman writes.
  • The James Shields-Wil Myers trade between the Rays and Royals is still under evaluation, notes Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times. At this point, who “won” the trade depends on whom you ask.
  • The Mets don’t need a spending spree to improve for 2015, posits Joel Sherman of the New York Post. Of course, it would be nice if they could spend the necessary money to sign free agent catcher Russell Martin, but there are cheaper ways they can upgrade their offense. One idea Sherman has is calling the Red Sox to inquire on a Bartolo Colon for Shane Victorino deal.

Topkin On Percival

I recently named the St. Petersburg Times’ Marc Topkin as Rumor Royalty for the Rays.  He was kind enough to answer a few questions for the site.

MLBTR: Who gets more saves in ’08, Troy Percival or Al Reyes?  Is there any chance the Rays shop Reyes now?

Topkin: Percival will get most of the save opportunities, probably all except when he needs a day off. Reyes could be traded, but I think Wheeler is more likely to go. (Unless one of them learns how to pitch lefthanded!)



Topkin On Rocco Baldelli

I recently named the St. Petersburg Times’ Marc Topkin as Rumor Royalty for the Rays.  He was kind enough to answer a few questions for the site.

MLBTR: Do you expect Rocco Baldelli to be with the Rays on Opening Day?  What kind of trade value does he have right now?

Topkin: I definitely expect him to be there, as much because the Rays need him badly the way the team is presently constructed as because his trade value is so low because of his lack of playing time due to a series of injuries. I can’t imagine the Rays getting anywhere near enough value for him now compared to what his peak value was/could be. An interesting sidenote is that the Rays have to decide by April 1 on his 2009 option, picking between a $4-million buyout or a $6-million salary AND then being on the hook for his combined 2010-11 option or a $2-million buyout.


Topkin On The Delmon/Garza Trade

I recently named the St. Petersburg Times’ Marc Topkin as Rumor Royalty for the Rays.  He was kind enough to answer a few questions for the site.

MLBTR: In your opinion, which club got the better end of the Delmon for Garza swap?

Topkin: My immediate reaction is that the Twins did because Delmon established himself as a potential impact player for a long time, a guy who could be a ten-season All-Star and hit in the middle of a lineup for fifteen years, while Garza still has to make that leap and Bartlett has to become more than a "steady" shortstop.


Rumor Royalty: Marc Topkin (Rays)

As originally described here, Rumor Royalty is an MLBTR series where I name the one journalist for each team who has done the most for us hot stove junkies.  If the writer is up for it, I ask that person three questions for publication on the site.  You can see all of the entries in the series here.

Please join me in honoring Marc Topkin of the St. Petersburg Times as the top rumormongering talent for the Rays.  Topkin contributes to a blog for the paper called The Heater.  I asked him three questions, which will be posted separately over the next few days.