Marcus Giles Rumors
According to Troy E. Renck of the Denver Post, the Rockies have several bargain-priced free agents on their radar.
GM Dan O'Dowd has ongoing talks with second baseman Marcus Giles, who prefers Colorado. Seems like the best place to rebuild value for Giles, who will turn 30 in May. Coors Field inflates right-handed batting average by 17% and right-handed home runs bt 23%, according to the Bill James Handbook. Giles made $3.25MM in 2007 but hit just .229/.304/.317.
Giles' agent says a few other teams are involved on him, and Renck adds that Todd Walker remains an option.
Pitching-wise, the Rockies are targeting Josh Towers, who turns 30 in February. Victor Zambrano is still a secondary option. Towers seems a decent bargain, but his home run issues won't play well in Coors (obviously). Chad Durbin only required $900K, so maybe Towers will be in that range. I don't think Rodrigo Lopez is in play; I'm told he may not be ready until the All-Star break at the earliest.
Here are today's random rumor tidbits.
- The Rox are interested in Marcus Giles for their second base opening. Giles was awful last year, they should just try something internal. Other Rockies notes: contracts with Kip Wells and Luis Vizcaino aren't quite finalized, and they may ink Victor Zambrano to a minor league deal. UPDATE: Wells, plus Mark Redman, are done deals.
- The Pirates still have their eye on Shawn Chacon and Chad Durbin. That''ll put butts in the seats. Also, Jake of Bucco Blog weighs in on a new Pirates hire.
- Speaking of Durbin, did he comment on this blog and suggest he's headed to the NL? I'm not sure.
- Drays Bay talked to Gerry Hunsicker. Seth Speaks talked to Pat Neshek.
- New prize added to our Hot Stove Hysteria contest - three months free of Scout.com access.
- Things are mostly quiet with the Brewers, but this Tom Haudricourt blog post notes tepid discussions for Scott Rolen, Hank Blalock, and Andre Ethier.
UPDATE, 12-4-07 at 11:19pm: Ah, the truth comes out. Sammy Sosa's people approached the Royals, but they weren't interested.
FROM 12-4-07 at 3:17pm:
ESPN has a huge team at the Meetings; here are some tidbits that haven't appeared elsewhere on MLBTR.
- Enrique Rojas says the Royals have interest in Sammy Sosa. Could that indicate a Mark Teahen trade is in the works also? Teahen is expected to move to first base to accomodate Jose Guillen, which would push Billy Butler to DH. But Sammy can only DH.
- Buster Olney says the Rangers and Padres are in on Mark Prior.
- The Padres also like lefties Glendon Rusch and Shawn Estes, and may sign both after the Rule 5 as a means of adding starting depth.
- Jayson Stark says the Mariners made an offer to Hiroki Kuroda in the range of four years, $45MM.
- Jerry Crasnick says Anthony Reyes is generating a lot of interest. The Cards, by the way, are open to trading Rick Ankiel, Chris Duncan, or Jim Edmonds.
- The Rockies have gotten in touch with Marcus Giles' agent.
- The Astros aren't interested in Jon Lieber, despite previous reports. They liked Matt Clement a bit among the injury guys but are over him now.
- Ryan Howard's agent and the Phillies will sit down soon to talk about a long-term deal.
Let's keep things rolling along with a morning Odds and Ends collection.
- U.S.S. Mariner is not amused with the Ms' decision not to offer arbitration to Jose Guillen.
- Andruw Jones hasn't been getting much player, and his camp initiated contact with the Royals yesterday. The mutual interest may have been what pushed Guillen to sign.
- With the David Riske to Milwaukee signing not official, the Orioles apparently had talks with his agent yesterday. He'll be too pricey for them, anyway. By the way, the Cubs checked in on Brian Roberts, but nothing is really stirring right now on that front.
- Corey Patterson seems a little down, as he's no one's first choice in center field. The Orioles are apparently moving on. Patterson wouldn't say whether he'd take a one-year deal. As a Scott Boras client, I imagine he won't.
- Summing up the Rockies' external second base candidates: Chris Burke, Marcus Giles, and Mark Loretta. The agents for both Giles and Loretta have contacted the Rockies, and Loretta would play there at a discount.
- Evan Grant has his Rangers column up, but we already hit upon most of the points yesterday (he was the source then, too). One new note is that the Rangers don't want to give Tony Clark anything more than one year plus an option, while Clark wants a two-year deal. The Rays, Dodgers, and Twins are said to like Clark.
Second baseman Marcus Giles was awful this year, hitting .229/.304/.317 in 420 ABs. You don't hear statheads talking him up quite as much these days. Nonetheless ESPN's Jayson Stark reports that the Rockies and Mariners have interest. Apparently one other NL team is interested as well.
For the Rox, Giles would be a fallback option if they can't sign Mark Loretta. The Mariners are trying to find someone to challenge or replace Jose Lopez. Giles made $3.75MM this year and doesn't figure to get much more on the open market.
Some odds and ends to catch us up in the minor-moves department:
- ESPN reports Marcus Giles was released by the Padres after an abysmal .229/.304/.317 in 420 at-bats. They declined his $4MM club option and bought out his contract for $500,000. He joins the 2B free agent market on the lower end of the talent spectrum.
- The Mercury News notes Oakland OF Chris Snelling was claimed off waivers by Tampa Bay.
Posted by Nat Boyle
Ken Rosenthal reports that the Padres are close to signing Marcus Giles to play second base. Brian is getting ready to deliver all sorts of dugout noogies.
Rosenthal believes it will be a one-year deal with a club option for '08. The signing will push Todd Walker to the bench.
The Padres seem to have a distinct advantage in that players want to come play in San Diego at the exclusion of other less enjoyable areas of the country. They're currently pursuing a couple such possibilities in Marcus Giles and David Wells.
A $3-4MM offer was made to Giles yesterday. Willie Randolph seemed to dismiss the idea of the Mets getting involved, but the San Diego Union-Tribune mentions the Red Sox as possible competition. Still, the Padres are a huge favorite.
In addition, Kevin Towers will dine with David Wells on Monday to try to convince him to return to the Padres. Wells would fit in nicely with Jake Peavy, Chris Young, Greg Maddux, and Clay Hensley.
The Padres are also talking to new free agent Jayson Werth to add some outfield depth.
According to the New York Post, David Wright will put on the charm to attempt to reel in Barry Zito for the Mets. He's offered to give Zito a tour and basically questions his manhood if he plays elsewhere. But if the Mets, aren't willing to go to the six-year, $100MM range, Zito won't be joining them.
Meanwhile, Willie Randolph made it clear that Jose Valentin, (and presumably not Marcus Giles), will be at second for New York in 2007. That's a shame, because Giles is probably the better bet. Some team, perhaps Tampa Bay, may have a bargain on its hands in Giles.
A source tells me that various clubs are asking about Double A first baseman Michel Abreu, a Cuban refugee. I think the return would be limited given that he may be turning 32 in February. Despite his age, Abreu did post a .900+ OPS at Double A and in the AFL this year.
Marcus Giles, with a career line of .285/.361/.448, has been granted free agency at age 28 after only five seasons of Major League service. While last year was ugly, Giles still may be the best second baseman available.
Most speculation has been centered around the Padres, because Marcus's brother Brian plays there. The Padres could've had Giles for Scott Linebrink, but now they can get him without surrendering players. Kevin Towers will talk to Giles's agent today, though San Diego does have a capable option in Todd Walker already.
The Mets are also interested; they are looking to acquire a second baseman despite re-signing Jose Valentin.
Finally, the Devil Rays might check in. Jorge Cantu could be moved to first base or traded, opening up a spot. If Cantu were moved to first, he'd be competing with Ty Wigginton for playing time. That assumes the Rays sign Akinori Iwamura, which seems likely.