Mark Ellis Rumors

Cafardo On Peavy, Orioles, Lee, Vazquez, Dodgers

In today's column, Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe writes that it would be a shame if David Ortiz can't stay healthy given his level of production so far this year.  Even as he seems locked in at the plate, he's not in perfect health.  “I’m seeing the ball and hitting the ball good,” the 37-year-old said. “I just keep going out there, seeing and hitting the ball. I’m keeping it simple right now. I’m not trying to do too much and the hits are falling. And some hits get taken away. I’m still not 100 percent down there [pointing to his legs].”  Here's more from today's column..

  • Right-hander Jake Peavy is on the disabled list again, but he’s going to be very much in demand before the trading deadline if the White Sox start selling off. “He’s a great fit for a team like [the Orioles],” said one National League GM. “They’re looking to add that veteran, battle-tested pitcher to really finish off their staff and that Peavy type would be ideal.” The only problem is that the money might deter them.  Cliff Lee of the Phillies would also be an ideal guy, but he too is pricey.
  • Teams are still monitoring Javier Vazquez's recovery from knee surgery because he could be talked into pitching again and could be a solid mid-rotation starter.  Vazquez was in winter ball and wanted to come back to the majors, but the knee issue seemed to put that to rest. For the right contract, however, he can have a change of heart.
  • Twins skipper Ron Gardenhire doesn’t have a contract for next year, but he is earning one with Minnesota’s better-than-expected start.  With the pitching staff performing well and the lineup exceeding expectations, don’t be surprised if he gets a mid-season extension.
  • Hanley Ramirez is signed through 2014, so the Dodgers may eventually move Dee Gordon to second base, unless they feel they can sign Robinson Cano as a free agent after the season.  The Dodgers are unlikely to pick up their $5.75MM option on Mark Ellis.

National League Free Agent Arbitration Offers

10 National League teams have free agent arbitration offer decisions to make today, and we'll update them in this post in advance of the 11pm central time deadline.  For a fantastic customizable chart with all 57 Type A/B free agents and their teams' decisions in real-time, click here.  

Updated team decisions:

Teams with automatic decisions only:


Dodgers Sign Mark Ellis

Check another item off the Dodgers' winter to-do list, as the team officially signed second baseman Mark Ellis to a two-year, $8.75MM deal that includes a team option for 2014.  Dylan Hernandez has the contract breakdown; only $2.5MM is owed to Ellis in 2012.  He can earn an additional $125K per year in plate appearance-based incentives.   

EllisWith Dee Gordon penciled in at shortstop and Juan Uribe at third, second base was considered one of the Dodgers' offseason needs.  Ellis, 34, hit .248/.288/.346 in 519 plate appearances for the Athletics and Rockies this year.  He's best known for his strong second base defense.  Assuming the current free agent compensation system remains in place for this offseason, the Rockies will receive a supplemental draft pick for losing the Type B free agent.

Ellis' deal may have been based on Omar Infante's September pact with the Marlins.  Ellis is represented by TWC Sports.

It's been an active offseason for Dodgers GM Ned Colletti amid recent news of the team going up for sale.  Colletti reached an agreement with Matt Kemp on an eight-year, $160MM deal yesterday, signed Juan Rivera for $4.5MM, and made an offer to Ryan Doumit.

ESPN's Buster Olney broke the story of Ellis' agreement, with Ken Rosenthal adding the total and the option info.  Photo courtesy of Icon SMI.



Tigers Notes: Ellis, Hill, Molina, Laird

The Tigers had already locked up Brandon Inge, Jhonny Peralta, Joaquin Benoit and Victor Martinez by November 23rd of last year. Here’s the latest on the team as they start the current offseason more quietly… 

  • The Tigers seem to believe they can find help via trades, tweets Danny Knobler of CBSSports.com.  The club has given up a lot in the past but they are willing to deal anyone but their top minor league prospects.
  • Tigers GM Dave Dombrowski told John Lowe of the Detroit Free Press that the Tigers didn’t offer contracts to Mark Ellis, Jamey Carroll or Aaron Hill, three middle infielders who recently signed two-year deals. Should the Tigers pursue free agent middle infielders such as Clint Barmes or Kelly Johnson, they’d likely be looking at a two-year commitment given the deals we’ve seen so far and the number of teams with openings at second or short.
  • The Tigers are considering Jose Molina, Matt Treanor, Ramon Castro and former Tiger Gerald Laird as possible backup catchers, according to Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports (on Twitter). All four backstops are free agents who could give Alex Avila an occasional breather while keeping Martinez’s knees fresh so he can contribute on offense.

Dodgers, Mark Ellis On Verge Of Two-Year Deal

The Dodgers are on the verge of a two-year deal with second baseman Mark Ellis, tweets ESPN's Buster Olney.  Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports tweets that the deal is worth $8.75MM.  Ellis is represented by TWC Sports.  

With Dee Gordon penciled in at shortstop and Juan Uribe at third, second base was considered one of the Dodgers' offseason needs.  Ellis, 34, hit .248/.288/.346 in 519 plate appearances for the Athletics and Rockies this year.  He's best known for his strong second base defense.  Assuming the current free agent compensation system remains in place for this offseason, the Rockies will receive a supplemental draft pick for losing the Type B free agent.


Dodgers Links: Sale, Offseason, Infielders, Rivera

On this day in 1988, Los Angeles right-hander Orel Hershiser won the NL Cy Young Award by a unanimous vote after going 23-8 with a 2.31 ERA. Here are a few items of note regarding the Dodgers …

  • Tom Golisano, the former owner of the NHL's Buffalo Sabres, is preparing a bid to purchase the Dodgers, according to Craig Karmin and Matthew Futterman of the Wall Street Journal. Golisano is "one of the first to declare an interest in buying the franchise who actually has the money to pull off the transaction," according to the report.
  • Outgoing owner Frank McCourt hasn't told GM Ned Colletti not to spend on free agents — even ones of Prince Fielder's caliber — this offseason, a source tells Dylan Hernandez of the Los Angeles Times.
  • The Dodgers are "aggressively pursuing" infielders and are also interested in acquiring a catcher and starting pitchers, Major League sources tell Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports.com. Los Angeles is targeting Clint Barmes, Aaron Hill and Mark Ellis to play second base and/or a utility position.
  • Juan Rivera's new contract with the Dodgers could be worth as much as $9MM over the next two seasons, according to Hernandez. The outfielder is guaranteed $4MM in 2012, with a $4MM option or $500K buyout for 2013, and he can earn as much as $500K in each of the next two seasons depending on his number of at-bats.

Rockies Notes: Carroll, Ellis, Prado, Cuddyer

The Rockies have expressed interest in free agent second baseman Jamey Carroll​, writes Troy Renck of The Denver Post.  The 37-year-old enjoyed his time in Colorado and has interest in a return.  However, the veteran might be too rich for the Rockies' blood.  Renck sees Carroll's market value as something around a two-year, $8MM deal, as established by the Marlins' Omar Infante.  Here's more from Renck..

  • The Rockies' unwillingness to go to that range could also preclude a return for Mark Ellis, which hasn't been ruled out.
  • The Braves will reportedly listen on Martin Prado and Renck wonders if Seth Smith would be enough to pry him away from Atlanta.  Prado should get about $4.4MM in arbitration and the Braves are in search of a corner bat.
  • With the Phillies aggressively pursuing Michael Cuddyer, the Rockies are a longshot to land the free agent. 
  • The Rockies have long been linked to David Wright but Renck doesn't see him as a likely acquisition either.  The Mets will listen on Wright but if they lose Jose Reyes this offseason, the third baseman will be needed as a draw for fans.
  • Veteran Kevin Youkilis makes a lot of sense for the Rockies there's mixed opinions on how available he is from AL sources.  The Red Sox​ are left-handed heavy, and Youkilis provides balance to their lineup.  Youkilis can play first or third, making him particularly valuable to the Rockies.
  • Pitching remains necessary for the Rockies and Wandy Rodriguez is still a trade target.  After the Rockies' organizational summit this week in Scottsdale, Arizona, activity will pick up with the focus narrowing on specific pitchers such as Rodriguez, Carl Pavano, Wade Davis, John Danks and Kevin Slowey.
  • As the Rockies explore moving closer Huston Street, the Blue Jays and Phillies represent possible matches.
  • You can expect the Pirates to pursue former Rockie shortstop Clint Barmes.
  • The Mariners could be a fit for 49-year-old Jamie Moyer as he attempts a comeback.

West Notes: Rangers, Rockies, A’s

The Rangers advanced to their second consecutive World Series last night. Today, Buster Olney of ESPN.com breaks down some of the crucial moves Texas made — and didn't make — that helped them return to the Fall Classic. More on that and a couple other items of note out of the AL and NL West …

  • Danny Knobler of CBSSports.com feels that while the Rangers proved they didn't need Cliff Lee to win the American League pennant, they would not have done so had they traded Michael Young last offseason.
  • The Rockies will move their Rookie level affiliate from Casper, WY to Grand Junction, CO, writes William Browning of the Casper Star-Tribune.
  • The Rangers considered acquiring starters such as Zack Greinke and Matt Garza when Lee walked in free agency, writes Olney, but because the Rangers were stocked with young power arms, they decided to address other needs. Instead, they acquired players in Adrian Beltre and Mike Napoli who were seemingly undervalued by their former organizations. Beltre, after the Red Sox moved on from him quickly by acquiring Adrian Gonzalez and moving Kevin Youkilis to third, nearly signed with the Angels but felt he had a better chance to win with the Rangers.
  • Though it appears unlikely the Athletics will gain approval to build a new stadium in a different nearby city, John Shea of the San Francisco Chronicle wonders whether they'd be able to build a new stadium at the site of the Oakland Coliseum. The NFL's Raiders, with whom the A's share the Coliseum, may relocate to a shared stadium with the 49ers in Santa Clara, which would leave the A's as sole tenants of their current digs, so they wouldn't have to consider any other team's needs.
  • Mark Ellis provided some stability at second base when the Rockies acquired him this season, but the key stone has persisted as a unanswered question throughout Colorado's existence, writes Jim Armstrong of the Denver Post. Ellis, an impending free agent, "figures to return" to the Rox in 2012, according to Armstrong.
  • Elsewhere in Armstrong's piece, he writes that the Rockies will "dive into the offseason trade market in hopes of landing a quality starting pitcher." Three prospects whom other teams might seek are outfielder Tim Wheeler, infielder Nolan Arenado and pitcher Chad Bettis.

Rockies Rumors: Street, Ellis, Wright, Cuddyer

The Rockies conclude their season this afternoon in San Francisco, with Drew Pomeranz opposing Eric Surkamp.  The latest on the team from Troy E. Renck of the Denver Post:

  • Rafael Betancourt would be fine with closing next year for the Rockies, and the team likes what he's done recently in the role.  Renck reiterates that opposing executives expect the Rockies to shop Huston Street this winter.  Street has $8MM left on his contract for next year, assuming his club declines a 2013 option.  The free agent market offers closers such as Heath Bell, Jonathan Papelbon, and Ryan Madson, but those three will require multiyear deals.
  • The Rockies would like to retain second baseman Mark Ellis on a one-year deal in the $3MM range, writes Renck.  However, Omar Infante's new two-year, $8MM contract could decrease Colorado's chances of pulling off such a deal.
  • David Wright will be a Rockies target this winter if the Mets show an inclination to move him.  Wright is owed $15MM in 2012, and can void a '13 club option if dealt.  Wright, 28, has a .253/.344/.426 line heading into today's action.  He missed two months this year due to a back injury.
  • Michael Cuddyer is a potential outfield target for Colorado, writes Renck, and signing him might mean trading Seth Smith.

Quick Hits: Marquis, Aaron Hill, Ellis, Matsui

Dan Uggla's incredible 33-game hitting streak came to an end today. The Braves' slugger batted an insane .377/.438/.762 over that stretch with 15 homers, good for an even 1.200 OPS. Remarkably though, he still falls 23 games short of Joe DiMaggio's immortal record. Here are your Sunday links:

  • After fracturing a fibula today, new Diamondbacks acquisition Jason Marquis will miss four to six weeks.  SI's Jon Heyman tweets that it sounds like the team's inclination is to replace Marquis internally.  The Arizona Republic's Nick Piecoro doesn't think the team will go with top draft pick Trevor Bauer for the rotation spot, but notes that it's not crazy to suggest it.  The 20-year-old Bauer tossed five scoreless innings today in his Double-A debut.
  • Blue Jays GM Alex Anthopoulos told MLB.com's Gregor Chisholm, "We’re always open minded for Aaron [Hill] still being a long-term part of this team."  Anthopoulos notes that Hill has flashed his talent at times this year.  It's tough to picture the Jays picking up Hill's $8MM club option, but maybe they can work something out.
  • Troy E. Renck of the Denver Post tweets that he would be surprised if the Rockies don't re-sign second baseman Mark Ellis.  The 34-year-old had a .267/.304/.382 line in 139 plate appearances heading into tonight's action.
  • If Bob Melvin is managing the Athletics again in 2012, he wants them to bring Hideki Matsui back, writes John Shea of the San Francisco Chronicle. Matsui had just a .617 OPS in the season's first half, but has risen from the ashes to post a .410/.470/.630 slash line in 26 games since the All-Star Break.
  • Similarly, the Cubs and Carlos Pena both seem to be open to working out a new deal, writes Patrick Mooney of CSNChicago.com.  On a related note, ESPN's Buster Olney hears that "in some important corners of the Cubs' front office, there is concern about investing huge money in one player this winter."  In other words, the Cubs' brass might be wary of signing Albert Pujols or Prince Fielder to play first base.
  • Dejan Kovacevic of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review wonders if the Pirates can follow the path to prominence that their division rivals, the Brewers, followed to escape a similar tradition of losing.
  • Olney tweets that in three days, Drew Pomeranz can officially become the player to be named later from last month's Ubaldo Jimenez trade with the Indians. Pomeranz is expected to report to the Rockies' Double-A affiliate in Tulsa.

Tim Dierkes contributed to this post.