Mark Buehrle Rumors
The Marlins expected about 25 percent more fans than they’ve drawn this year, according to ESPN.com’s Buster Olney. The Marlins are averaging 28,406 fans per game, an improvement of more than 10,000 people per game that amounts to the largest increase in the game since last year. Here are more notes from Olney, starting in Miami...
- Marlins president David Samson has said the team isn’t making financially motivated trades, but Olney suggests Miami will have to manage its money carefully to field a competitive team. This could include shedding the contracts of the team's best-paid players.
- The Marlins will likely look to dump the contracts of players like Jose Reyes at some point in the coming years, and they won’t be offered much in return. The salaries of players like Reyes and Mark Buehrle are back-loaded and will soon spike, which will reduce interest from rival clubs. Ricky Nolasco, Josh Johnson and Heath Bell are among the other Marlins who have significant money remaining on their current contracts.
- Olney points out that Red Sox manager Bobby Valentine has as much opportunity as any manager to shape his team. Valentine shouldn’t have accepted the job if he wanted more control than he’s getting, Olney writes.
Here's the latest out of the NL East...
- Phillies GM Ruben Amaro told reporters (including Jim Salisbury of CSNPhilly.com) that his plan is to keep his team's rotation intact, though plans can change. The Phillies have a "lot of balls in [the] air trade-wise."
- The Phillies are listening to offers for Shane Victorino though they haven't yet indicated that they're willing to move him, tweets ESPN.com's Jayson Stark. The Dodgers, Giants, Pirates and Reds are among the teams interested in the center fielder.
- The Braves are still looking to upgrade their rotation, reports MLB.com's Mark Bowman. The Braves have shown interest in Edinson Volquez and James Shields, though Bowman notes that a less-pricey pitching option like Rays right-hander Wade Davis could fit Atlanta's needs. Multiple teams have asked about Davis, though he's pitched out of the bullpen all season and wouldn't be able to immediately help a team looking for a starter.
- Jose Reyes, Mark Buehrle and Ozzie Guillen told reporters (including Joe Capozzi of the Palm Beach Post) that despite the Marlins' struggles, they don't regret coming to Miami.
- The Mets are focused on acquiring players who can help the team beyond just the 2012 season, reports ESPN New York's Adam Rubin. Both Rubin's source and manager Terry Collins didn't think any deals were imminent before the deadline.
- Scott Hairston told Rubin that the Mets haven't approached him about a contract extension. A team insider tells Rubin that "Nothing I know of was accomplished" when the Tigers and Mets recently discussed a Hairston trade.
- The Marlins are telling teams Jose Reyes and Mark Buehrle are off-limits, Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com reports. They feel committed to Buehrle and believe Reyes will play better now that Hanley Ramirez has been traded. The Marlins are also sure to keep Giancarlo Stanton, Heyman writes.
- The Marlins are reluctant to trade Emilio Bonifacio, Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reports (on Twitter).
- The Padres offered to trade Luke Gregerson for Daniel Murphy, but the Mets rejected the possible deal, John Harper of the New York Daily News reports. Gregerson, 28, has a 3.05 ERA with 9.5 K/9 and 2.6 BB/9 in 44 1/3 innings this year. He earns $1.55MM and will remain under team control through 2014.
The Phillies are eager to trade Hunter Pence, Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reported today. Here are some more notes from the NL East with exactly one week remaining before the July 31st trade deadline...
- The Nationals' primary concern is improving their middle infield depth, Adam Kilgore of the Washington Post reports. The Nationals could make a move very soon now that Ian Desmond might miss a month with a strained oblique. The team has discussed 15-20 players in the Marco Scutaro, Jamey Carroll, Nick Punto mold, Kilgore reports.
- The Nationals aren’t looking for a starting position player and they aren’t offering much for starting pitching, Bill Ladson of MLB.com reports (Twitter links). It seems unlikely that GM Mike Rizzo will trade for a premium pitcher like Zack Greinke or Matt Garza.
- One GM told Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com that the Marlins are expected to listen on any player not named Giancarlo Stanton or Jose Reyes. However, the Marlins would likely have to be overwhelmed to trade Mark Buehrle.
- The Mets announced that they have signed reliever Craig Hansen to a minor league contract (via Twitter). Hansen was a first-round draft pick of the Red Sox in 2005.
Here's the latest from around the league as Wednesday turns into Thursday...
- There doesn't appear to have been much contract dialogue between the Brewers and Zack Greinke, reports Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports. As of today, there is no evidence that a formal offer has been made even though we heard last week that the team was prepared to make one.
- Torii Hunter told Mike DiGiovanna of The Los Angeles Times that he's willing to take a big paycut to return to the Angels next season. Hunter is in the final year of his five-year, $90MM deal. If things don't work out with the Halos, the outfielder said he would consider playing for the Yankees, Rangers, or Dodgers. Retirement would be an option as well.
- The Marlins have no intention of trading Justin Ruggiano, reports MLB.com's Joe Frisaro (on Twitter). The 30-year-old outfielder is hitting .368/.440/.705 in 111 plate appearances for Miami this season.
- Frisaro also notes (on Twitter) that the Marlins are not dangling Giancarlo Stanton, Jose Reyes, or Mark Buehrle. Yesterday we heard that the team could become sellers if they don't turn things around in the coming weeks.
- The Yankees, Tigers, and Royals were all on hand to watch Wandy Rodriguez get knocked around by the Padres this afternoon according to Scott Miller of CBSSports.com. The left-hander remains available before the trade deadline.
On this day last year, the Padres traded Brandon Gomes, Adam Russell, Cesar Ramos, and Cole Figueroa to the Rays for Jason Bartlett and a player to be named later (though Tampa would eventually send cash instead). Here's some notes from around the league...
- The Reds have had conversations with Jason Kubel, according to John Fay of the Cincinnati Enquirer (via Twitter). GM Walt Jocketty told Fay (Twitter link) that the club does not have the type of money to sign someone to a Josh Willingham-type deal.
- Even after trading for Mat Latos, Reds GM Walt Jocketty still plans on using Aroldis Chapman as a starter, tweets John Fay of the Cincinnatti Enquirer. Jocketty did leave room for a change of heart, however, noting that things could change later on.
- We should soon find out which team won the bidding for Japanese outfielder Norichika Aoki, tweets Adam Kilgore of the Washington Post.
- ESPN's Keith Law feels that the Rockies overpaid for Michael Cuddyer, who he considers to be a part-time player (ESPN Insider link). In Law's opinion, Colorado is receiving perhaps a one win upgrade over Seth Smith, but paying $7-8MM more than Smith would earn.
- In that same piece, Law says that he likes the Twins' gamble on Josh Willingham better, but notes that he should be a DH rather than an outfielder and that the contract is still a gamble because Willingham showed signs of decline in 2011.
- Willingham told MLB.com's Jane Lee that leaving the Athletics wasn't an easy decision, but GM Billy Beane was honest and up front about the fact that he could probably only offer a one-year deal through arbitration.
- Juan C. Rodriguez of the Miami Sun-Sentinel provides some details on the heavily backloaded contracts that Heath Bell, Jose Reyes, and Mark Buehrle received from the Marlins. Bell's vesting option triggers if he finishes 55 games in 2014, or a combined 100 between 2013-14. He and Buehrle both took signing bonuses deferred withiout interest, and all three have contractual obligations to donate to charity each season.
- Law (via Twitter) prefers Aaron Cunningham to Cory Burns. The Indians acquired Cunningham from the Padres in exchange for Burns yesterday.
The Marlins non-tendered Clay Hensley and traded Burke Badenhop last night, eliminating any doubt that their bullpen will look considerably different in 2012. Here are some more notes on the Marlins, one of the most aggressive spenders in baseball so far this offseason...
- Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports suggests the Marlins should trade Hanley Ramirez and considers possible suitors such as the Mariners, Tigers and Giants.
- Rosenthal also notes that the Mariners are having trouble luring free agents to Seattle and that the Tigers have shown a willingness to move Jacob Turner in the right deal.
- Mark Buehrle's backloaded deal with the Marlins will act as a no-trade clause of sorts, according to Rosenthal (Twitter links). The left-hander will earn $6MM in 2012, $11MM in 2013, $18MM in 2014 and $19MM in 2015. The deal also includes a $4MM signing bonus that's deferred without interest.
- Badenhop told Joe Capozzi of the Palm Beach Post that the deal was “kind of nuts. I really wasn’t expecting that to say the least.” Badenhop was the last player remaining in Miami from the 2007 deal that sent Miguel Cabrera to Detroit.
Some links to check out as we await tomorrow night's non-tender deadline..
- As expected, the Yakult Swallows filed posting paperwork on outfielder Norichika Aoki Monday morning in Japan, tweets Jon Paul Morosi of FOXSports.com.
- Free agent Michael Cuddyer's decision will be huge news and could happen soon, tweets Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports. Morosi adds that the decision will have a big impact on the Twins' and Rockies' plans.
- Chuck Garfien of CSNChicago.com spoke with Mark Buerhle who said that he hopes to return to the White Sox in some capacity after his four-year deal with Miami is through. The veteran also said that the Sox didn't make him an offer after the Marlins put their deal on the table.
- Free agent left-hander George Sherrill is drawing interest from the Royals, Phillies, Blue Jays, and Mariners, a source tells Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports (via Twitter). The Rockies were also said to be targeting the veteran last week.
- Even though the two sides were reportedly talking on Tuesday, the Red Sox aren't discussing a deal for Carlos Quentin with the White Sox, tweets Michael Silverman of the Boston Herald. Earlier today we learned that Quentin has come up in talks with the Blue Jays, though those discussions have apparently cooled.
- The Indians are in on all "non-[Prince] Fielder" bats, including Josh Willingham, but don't have much financial flexibility, tweets Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports. The Tribe is after a right-handed bat and the club has been linked to Derrek Lee, Andruw Jones, and Mike Cameron among others.
- Troy Renck of The Denver Post (via Twitter) doesn't see catcher Eliezer Alfonzo returning to the Rockies but could see the club going after someone like Jeff Mathis if he is non-tendered. Mathis, 28, was shipped from the Angels to the Blue Jays on December 3rd for left-hander Brad Mills.
- Craig Breslow, who was traded to the Diamondbacks along with starter Trevor Cahill on Friday, first heard of the deal via Twitter, not the A's front office, writes Katie Dowd of the San Francisco Chronicle.
- Former Mets General Manager Steve Phillips likes the Astros' hire of Jeff Luhnow as GM and believes that he understands how to operate a small market team, writes Stephen Goff of Examiner.com.
On this day in 2008, the Rays traded Edwin Jackson to the Tigers for Matthew Joyce. In his first full season for Tampa Bay in 2011, Joyce hit .277/.347/.478 with 19 homers and received his first All-Star nomination. Here are some links for Saturday afternoon..
- The personal services clause in Albert Pujols' contract ties him to the Angels for ten years beyond his playing contract, tweets Scott Miller of CBSSports.com. In total, Pujols and the Angels are set to be in business together for 20 years.
- The Angels were the only team to call the Cardinals about a possible trade for Pujols in recent years, according to Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports (Twitter links). The talks never advanced, however, as the Cards wouldn't consider trading him (via Twitter).
- There's no evidence of any interest in Carlos Lee yet, tweets Jon Heyman of MLB Network. Heyman suggests that the 35-year-old might need Prince Fielder to come off the board first before the Astros can trade him. Last year, Lee hit .275/.342/.446 with 18 homers for the Astros. The Indians have reportedly considered the veteran but are wary of his price tag.
- The Athletics’ haul for right-hander Trevor Cahill should be a pretty good indication of what the Rays might expect for righty Wade Davis, writes Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports.com. Clubs might not view Davis as highly, but his contract might make him even more appealing to teams such as the Reds and Marlins.
- According to a person with knowledge of the situation, the Nationals’ final offer to Mark Buehrle was $39MM over three years, writes Adam Kilgore of the Washington Post. Ultimately, the right-hander signed with the Marlins for $58MM over four years. Ultimately, the Nats' offer was $19MM less in overall guaranteed money and $1.5MM less in average annual value.
Joel Sherman of the New York Post shares a few Yankees items and more from around baseball...
- The Yankees have a number of concerns about Yu Darvish and team officials "sounded pessimistic about making a significant posting bid, if they submit one at all." Given how the Yankees have been linked to Darvish for months, it's hard to believe they won't be bidding on the star pitcher, so this could well be some misdirection on the Bombers' part.
- The Yankees were interested in Mark Buehrle but wouldn't offer the veteran more than a two-year contract. This clearly wasn't going to get it done given the large market for Buehrle, who signed a four-year, $58MM pact with the Marlins.
- After "canvassing executives," Sherman finds the consensus is that Prince Fielder will sign with the Cubs. The belief is that Theo Epstein won't pass up the chance to acquire a slugger like Fielder given the lack of power hitters coming onto the market, and Epstein wants to make "a statement sign" in his first year in Chicago.
- Andruw Jones is likely to re-sign with the Yankees but the team will see if they can address starting pitching before taking care of their backups. Jones, for his part, plans to compete for a starting job this spring.