Marco Scutaro Rumors
Buster Olney outlines the most pressing offseason needs for ten teams viewed as contenders in his latest column at ESPN.com. Here are more of Olney’s notes from around MLB...
- Some GMs and agents say they sense that others are still waiting at this stage in the offseason. There’s a sense that asking prices could drop and opportunities could emerge a little later on.
- The Giants aren’t sure they’re willing to commit to Angel Pagan for as many years as he’s seeking, Olney reports. But the Giants do believe they’ll find a way to re-sign second baseman Marco Scutaro.
- Rival executives say the Angels have a thin farm system, Olney writes. This puts pressure on GM Jerry Dipoto to address his rotation through free agency, which gives Zack Greinke considerable leverage.
- Some general managers believe the secondary starting pitching options are incredibly overpriced, Olney reports. MLBTR's Free Agent Tracker offers a complete list of the unsigned starting pitchers available in free agency.
- Some executives say they’d be comfortable offering Josh Hamilton a three-year deal that includes protective language for the team. I expect Hamilton can do far better than a three-year deal.
- The A’s seem like a possible fit for Asdrubal Cabrera, but they probably wouldn’t want to part with the kind of starting pitching the Indians would want in a trade for their shortstop.
- Rival executives expect Scott Boras to try to engage the Tigers on Rafael Soriano, according to Olney. However, the Tigers have suggested they’d prefer to rely on internal options instead of spending big on a closer.
- Some agents presume the Phillies will be particularly aggressive in addressing their center field need. Acquiring a center fielder remains the club's priority.
- The Red Sox are open to signing Cody Ross, even after agreeing to terms with Jonny Gomes, according to Olney.
The Marlins' colossal deal with the Blue Jays has some wondering if Giancarlo Stanton will be the next big name shipped out of Miami, but that may not be the case. Outside executives tell Joel Sherman of the New York Post (via Twitter) that of all the players the Marlins floated at the GM meetings, Stanton was not among them. Here's more from around baseball..
- Multiple sources tell Henry Schulman of the San Francisco Chronicle that the Giants are confident that they'll be able to re-sign Marco Scutaro. The veteran would likely return on a two-year deal.
- Torii Hunter left his meeting with the Tigers today without a deal or a formal offer, according to Jerry Crasnick of ESPN.com (Twitter link). Several officials still see Detroit as the frontrunner for him, however. We kept track of the latest on Hunter in one handy post on Tuesday.
- The Red Sox made a push for Josh Johnson and Jose Reyes, but the Blue Jays just blew the Marlins away, a source tells Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe (via Twitter).
- Infielder Steven Tolleson agreed to terms on a minor league deal with the White Sox, according to Roch Kubatko of MASNsports.com (via Twitter). Kubatko adds that the Orioles would have liked to retain him.
- More than a dozen teams have checked in on free agent pitcher Jeremy Bonderman, according to Buster Olney of ESPN.com (via Twitter). Bonderman has an offer in hand from the Tigers and the Nationals are among the dozen teams with interest, Olney tweets.
- The Red Sox are among the teams in contact with Jason Bay as he considers his options for 2013, tweets Olney. Bay is looking for a solid opportunity as well as familiarity and Boston would obviously provide the latter.
- "We're not going to do that," said Beane to MLB.com's Lyle Spencer when asked if the Athletics will trade one of their starting pitchers for a shortstop. "In years we've been successful, it's because we've had good young pitchers."
- Giants GM Brian Sabean confirmed to ESPN's Jerry Crasnick that the team will tender a contract to Hunter Pence prior to the November 30th deadline. With a projected salary of $13.8MM, Pence will be this winter's most expensive arbitration case.
- Sabean also told Crasnick that the Giants are "actively working" to re-sign Angel Pagan, Jeremy Affeldt, and Marco Scutaro. He said he's "optimistic" about all three but declined to go into detail about the talks.
On a busy night in baseball, we've also seen some changes in representation. Of course, you can keep up on all agency news with MLBTR's Agency Database. Here's the latest..
- Marco Scutaro is now represented by agent Barry Praver, tweets Jerry Crasnick of ESPN.com. The Giants hope to re-sign the infielder this winter and by all accounts the interest appears to be mutual.
- Nationals left-hander Mike Gonzalez is now represented by Dan Lozano of MVP Sports Group, according to Tim Brown of Yahoo Sports (via Twitter). Gonzalez was a client of Scott Boras last season when he joined the club on a minor league deal. The Nats would like to re-tool their bullpen this winter but are said to have interest in retaining the 34-year-old.
- Rockies outfielder Eric Young Jr. has left CAA to hook on with Dan Lozano at MVP, according to Jerry Crasnick of ESPN.com (via Twitter). Young is not yet arbitration eligible and won't hit the open market until after the 2016 season.
The Giants don't plan on making qualifying offers to Marco Scutaro, Jeremy Affeldt or Angel Pagan by tomorrow's deadline, reports Andrew Baggarly of CSNBayArea.com. MLBTR's Tim Dierkes predicted that Pagan would get a qualifying offer (a one-year, $13.3MM contract) that would ultimately be rejected by the outfielder as he will no doubt receive multiyear offers on the open market. Without a qualifying offer, Pagan can sign elsewhere and the Giants wouldn't receive any draft picks as compensation.
Here's some more news from around the NL West...
- The Giants want to bring back all three players, though Baggarly reports that team officials "are less confident about their ability to" re-sign Pagan given how much interest the outfielder is likely to get from other teams.
- Scutaro, Affeldt and Pagan all want to return to the Giants, though Affeldt specified that he's looking for a multiyear contract, writes Ann Killion of the San Francisco Chronicle.
- The Giants are talking to the agents of the three players to see if a deal can be struck before the end of the team's exclusive negotiating period, tweets Hank Schulman of the San Francisco Chronicle. None of the deals are close and Schulman predicts that Pagan will test the market, while Scutaro is the player with the best chance to re-sign quickly.
- Walt Weiss, Jason Giambi and Matt Williams will all meet with Rockies owner Dick Monfort and GM Dan O'Dowd, reports Troy Renck of the Denver Post. These three and Tom Runnells (who has already met with management) appear to be the final candidates to be the next Rockies manager. (Both links are to Twitter).
- The Rockies are unlikely to pick a new manager by the end of the week, writes MLB.com's Thomas Harding, as O'Dowd is currently out of town and will then be attending next week's GM meetings.
- The Astros have claimed right-hander Sam Demel and infielder Jake Elmore off waivers from the Diamondbacks, according to an Astros media release. Demel, who came to Arizona in the 2010 trade that sent Conor Jackson to Oakland, has a 4.95 ERA in 72 relief appearances for the Snakes since 2010, with a 1.85 K/BB ratio and 48 strikeouts in 63 2/3 innings. Elmore, 25, was a 34th-round pick of the D'Backs in 2008 who made his Major League debut this season, posting a .497 OPS in 73 plate appearances.
- In news from earlier today, the Giants declined their 2013 option on Aubrey Huff and I posted a collection of Diamondbacks notes.
- The Angels are still working to trade Dan Haren and expect to move him by Friday, reports ESPN's Jim Bowden (Twitter links). Haren will bring a much bigger return that what they received for Santana, adds Bowden.
- Angels GM Jerry Dipoto acknowledged that "in all likelihood we weren't going to exercise (Santana's) option ... We got piece we didn't have," reports Mike DiGiovanna of The Los Angeles Times (on Twitter).
- Re-signing Zack Greinke is a "huge priority" for the Angels, says Danny Knobler of CBSSports.com. Part of the club's motivation to move Santana (and Haren) was to free up money for Greinke.
- The Angels are showing no inclination of making Torii Hunter a $13.3MM qualifying offer by this Friday's deadline, reports USA Today's Bob Nightengale (on Twitter). The Halos will not receive draft pick compensation if Hunter signs elsewhere in that case.
- Marco Scutaro told Andrew Baggarly of CSNBayArea.com that his first choice this offseason is to re-sign with the Giants (Twitter link). When asked what kind of contract he was seeking, the infielder joked "15 years, three thousand million dollars."
- "There's a market established," said Jeremy Affeldt to Baggarly in reference to Brandon League's new contract (Twitter link). The veteran southpaw said he will cherish his time with the Giants if he doesn't re-sign with them.
- Oliver Perez pitched to a 2.12 ERA in 29 2/3 relief innings for the Mariners this year, and he told MLB.com's Josh Liebeskind that he enjoyed his new role and would like to remain in the bullpen going forward. Perez will be a free agent this offseason.
- The Dodgers will hire Bob Engle as their Latin America scouting director, reports Bob Elliott of The Toronto Sun (on Twitter). Engle left the Mariners this month and had previously worked with the Blue Jays as well. He's responsible for signing Roy Halladay and Felix Hernandez as amateurs, among others.
Giants general manager Brian Sabean has the makings of a dynasty centered around strong pitching and affordable young position players such as Buster Posey, Pablo Sandoval and Brandon Belt, writes Shi Davidi of Sportsnet.ca. Here are some links surrounding the team that captured its second World Series title in three years last night...
- The Giants will decline their $10MM club option on Aubrey Huff, tweets Andrew Baggarly of CSN Bay Area. The news isn't much of a surprise given Huff's injuries and struggles at the plate since 2010. Huff's contract contains a $2MM buyout.
- MLB.com's Alden Gonzalez spoke to several members of the Giants organization about the impact that Marco Scutaro had on the team following his acquisition from the Rockies.
- Gonzalez's colleague, Chris Haft, writes that the Giants and Scutaro will "likely forge a deal" this offseason, as the 37-year-old is too valuable both on and off the field to let go.
- Haft also writes that Angel Pagan is expected to receive a multi-year contract with an average annual value perhaps in the $10MM range in a thin free agent market. Sabean will need to determine if Pagan is worth that to his team.
- Haft goes on to say that Jeremy Affeldt could be in line for a multi-year deal on the free agent market. That, along with the presence of Jose Mijares could mean that Affeldt will find himself wearing a new uniform come 2013.
MLB.com's Gregor Chisholm provides a look at the Blue Jays upcoming offseason and tackles a host of free agent issues in the process:
- Of the team's four free agents -- Kelly Johnson, Brandon Lyon, Jason Frasor and Carlos Villanueva -- the most likely to return is Frasor or Lyon. The bullpen has become a position of depth, however, with the acquisitions of Steve Delabar and Brad Lincoln. Sergio Santos should return in 2013 as well. That could mean all four free agents will find new homes.
- The team has no interest in shopping Ricky Romero and selling on the left-hander when his value is at an all-time low.
- There doesn't appear to be much interest in retaining Johnson, according to Chisholm. The team once had eyes on bringing Marco Scutaro back to Toronto, but his torrid run with the Giants has likely made him too spendy. Instead, Adeiny Hechavarria or Mike Aviles could take the role.
- The Blue Jays aren't willing to give Villanueva a multi-year deal and an opportunity to pitch out of the rotation -- two things that the free agent is seeking. He'll likely pitch elsewhere in 2013.
- Anibal Sanchez will probably get an "extended look," according to Chisholm, but it's more likely that GM Alex Anthopoulos will upgrade the rotation via trade.
The Yankees are not talking about a potential Alex Rodriguez trade with the Marlins, according to GM Brian Cashman. Cashman said Keith Olbermann’s report about trade talks is "not true," according to Bryan Hoch of MLB.com. It’d be an unusual time to discuss a trade, as the Yankees are still in the playoffs and the Marlins have uncertainty in their front office. On to today’s links...
- Orioles executive vice president Dan Duquette said Jim Thome "did a nice job" in Baltimore and "added a real veteran presence,” Roch Kubatko of MASNsports.com reports. Thome sounds undecided about his next step, but he could re-sign with Baltimore this coming offseason. Making room for him on the roster could require some creativity on the part of Duquette and manager Buck Showalter.
- Baseball executives Brian Sabean (Giants GM), Dan O'Dowd (Rockies GM) and J.P. Ricciardi (Mets special assistant) agree that Marco Scutaro is a talented played with toughness, Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reports. The Giants infielder stayed in the game to deliver a key hit after being knocked down by Matt Holliday’s overly aggressive slide in the second game of the NLCS.
- Brian McCann could miss the beginning of the 2013 season to recover from shoulder surgery, so the $12MM club option on his contract presents the Braves with a quandary, ESPN.com’s Buster Olney writes. McCann doesn’t have much to worry about in Olney’s estimation. Either the Braves bring the 28-year-old back or he hits free agency and draws interest from many teams, especially AL clubs looking at him as a catcher/DH.
- It's too soon to know if the Braves will pick up the option, but MLB.com's Mark Bowman would guess that McCann will be back.
Blue Jays president and CEO Paul Beeston will continue in his current role after the end of October, when his contract had been set to expire, Shi Davidi of Sportsnet.ca reports. Beeston and the Blue Jays are believed to be working toward a two-year extension. The 67-year-old acknowledged to Davidi that the sides are "in discussion" and that he's "committed to seeing this thing through." Here are more notes from the AL East...
- Rays bench coach Dave Martinez hasn't heard from the Red Sox or Rockies about possible manager interviews, tweets Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times. Martinez was one of the top candidates to manage the Astros before they hired Bo Porter last month.
- The Red Sox shouldn't have any regrets about dealing Marco Scutaro last winter, writes WEEI.com's Alex Speier, despite Scutaro's strong performance down the stretch with the Giants.
- Dan Connolly of the Baltimore Sun lists the five biggest questions facing the Orioles this winter.
- It doesn’t appear that Red Sox bench coach Tim Bogar will be interviewed for the team’s managerial opening, Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe reports (on Twitter).
- Jon Lester just completed a disappointing season, but as Rob Bradford points out at WEEI.com it could be a good time for the Red Sox to approach the left-hander about another contract extension. Lester, who's under team control through 2014, has said he's "always open" to extension talks. So far the sides haven't discussed a new deal, Bradford reports.
- Outfielder Nate McLouth would like to re-sign with Baltimore when he hits free agency this offseason, but the Orioles could decide to stick with internal options and try to find another McLouth-like performer next year, Eduardo A. Encina of the Baltimore Sun writes. In case you missed it, Mike Axisa examined McLouth’s free agent stock over the weekend.
MLBTR's Mark Polishuk also contributed to this post