Mark Ellis Rumors
Congratulations to the 2010 World Champion San Francisco Giants! Here are your links as the celebration begins...
- The Mets have not set up interviews for their managerial opening, according to Adam Rubin of ESPNNewYork.com (on Twitter).
- Brewers owner Mark Attanasio told Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel that the team is still gathering information about the four finalists for the job. Bobby Valentine appears to be the favorite and Ron Roenicke, Joey Cora and Bob Melvin are also candidates.
- Blue Jays GM Alex Anthopoulos told Chris Toman of The Sports Network that he isn’t opposed to trading prospects for big leaguers.
- Angels GM Tony Reagins told Dan Woike of the Orange County Register that he'll be as patient as possible with Brandon Wood, who has struggled to hit in the majors and is now out of options.
- Mark Gonzales of the Chicago Tribune says it would be "stunning" to see the White Sox offer Bobby Jenks $9MM through arbitration.
ESPN's Buster Olney dishes hot stove opinions and rumors...
- In today's blog, Olney says some folks see the fairly expensive deals given to mid-level free agents Ted Lilly and Brandon Inge as a sign that teams will spend aggressively this offseason. Olney feels that this forecast might make certain club options, like those of David Ortiz and Mark Ellis, more palatable.
- Final decisions aren't due yet, but Olney tweets that his sources expect the Athletics to pick up the 2011 options on Ellis ($5.5MM net) and Coco Crisp ($5.25MM net). Based on the free agent market for center fielders, the Crisp option is looking like a good deal.
- Olney tweets that Boston's next pitching coach "may well be Curt Young, who turned down a two-year offer to stay with Oakland." Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle wrote recently that the A's offered Young a one-year deal. Young interviewed with the Red Sox today, reports WEEI's Alex Speier, and was the most impressive external candidate so far.
Let's discuss the latest on the Athletics, with some help from Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle...
- The A's haven't set their budget yet. Slusser expects payroll flexibility to be created by the team letting Ben Sheets leave, declining Eric Chavez's club option, and non-tendering Jack Cust and Gabe Gross. We looked at the team's 12 arbitration eligible players a week ago and suggested that Jeremy Hermida, Conor Jackson, Kevin Kouzmanoff, and Travis Buck may also be cut.
- More uncertainty comes in the form of club options for Mark Ellis ($6MM with a $500K buyout) and Coco Crisp ($5.75MM with a $500K buyout). Slusser writes that GM Billy Beane expects to have conversations about that next week.
- Wrote Slusser: "Beane emphasized that he doesn't want to add power at the expense of defense, noting in particular that the team has no intention of moving Daric Barton from first base." The A's could look at a slew of DH options beyond Cust. But perhaps Beane's statement rules out a Carlos Pena reunion.
- Beane is optimistic about getting approval for a new stadium, but it's only a gut feeling. He believes MLB's blue-ribbon panel will issue its report soon.
Links for the final day of the 2010 regular season...
- Despite seeing limited action, Gabe Gross told Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle that he would return to the A's "with bells on".
- Carrie Muskat of MLB.com writes that Cubs interim manager Mike Quade expects to return.
- Adam Dunn won't be getting a four-year deal from the Nats, writes MLB.com's Bill Ladson.
- Oakland hasn't decided what to do with Mark Ellis' $6MM option for 2011 but the A's do want the 33-year-old back one way or another, says Buster Olney of ESPN.
- A final announcement on the Brewers field staff is expected Monday, tweets Buster Olney of ESPN.
- The Bucs may retain pitching coach Ray Searage, Pirates GM Neal Huntington told Dejan Kovacevic of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.
- GM John Mozeliak told Joe Strauss of The St. Louis Post-Dispatch that he plans to engage Albert Pujols and his camp in contract negotiations this winter, but they "have a number of other issues [they] need to get to first." Pujols' ten-and-five no-trade rights kick in today, and he has maintained that he will consider the club's long-term competitiveness when discussing a new deal.
- Jeff Zrebiec of The Baltimore Sun reports that Orioles' president of baseball operations Andy MacPhail has no plans to approach owner Peter Angelos about a contract extension. His deal expires after next season.
- Carlos Zambrano wants to see the Cubs sign Adam Dunn this winter, writes Paul Sullivan of The Chicago Tribune.
- Patrick Newman of NPB Tracker passes along a report that the Yankees signed lefthander Naoya Okamoto to a minor league contract.
- The Detroit Free Press lists some of the Tigers' dead weight salary obligations. They owe Gary Sheffield between $1MM and $2.5MM annually until 2019.
- Meanwhile, Jim Leyland told Tom Gage of The Detroit News (Twitter link) that an "RBI bat" is one of the team's biggest needs this offseason, in addition to bullpen help.
Some links to check out as the Rockies try to win their ninth straight...
- Astros Senior Director of Social Media Alyson Footer tweets that Brandon Backe is working out and hopes to throw for scouts this winter with the idea of getting an invite to Spring Training with a team next year. Backe hasn't appeared in a big league game since last June.
- Billy Beane told MLB.com's Jane Lee that the decisions on the 2011 options for Mark Ellis and Coco Crisp likely won't be made until after the season (Twitter link).
- Tom Haudricourt of The Journal Sentinel reports that the Brewers and Ken Macha have yet to discuss the manager's club option for next season.
- Matt Holliday volunteered to move to right field after the Cardinals traded Ryan Ludwick according to FoxSportsMidwest.com's B.J. Rains. The idea was to the give the team the flexibility to pursue a player limited to left field if the opportunity presented itself.
- Andy Martino of the New York Daily News doesn't agree with the report earlier today that John Ricco is out of contention to take over as the Mets' general manager if Omar Minaya is removed from the role.
- The Boston Globe's Peter Abraham says that Theo Epstein and Brian Cashman might be celebrating the "best deal they never made" -- trading for Johan Santana -- following the announcement that he requires shoulder surgery.
- Edwin Rodriguez loves managing the Marlins and hopes they factor him into their search for a permanent candidate this offseason, writes Joe Capozzi of the Palm Beach Post.
- ESPN's Buster Olney says the Diamondbacks aren't going to spend a ton of money on their next general manager, but they will pay Kevin Towers what is needed if they decide he's their guy (Twitter links). Olney says the team is likely to decide on their next GM within the next couple of weeks.
- The Phillies have traded "over 20 players" from their farm system over their last four years according to assistant GM Chuck Lamar, but Bob Brookover of The Philadelphia Inquirer says the team's minor league system is still in good shape. Keep in mind that they've traded for Cliff Lee, Roy Halladay, and Roy Oswalt within the last 14 months.
- Paul Sullivan of The Chicago Tribune lists nine traits the Cubs' next manager should have.
Links for Friday, before the Giants and Padres continue an immensely important series...
- MLB.com's Barry Bloom reports that former Diamondbacks' manager A.J. Hinch is close to joining the Padres to work in their scouting department.
- David Ortiz suggested to Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports that Rafael Soriano deserves a five-year deal. The Rays closer is having a fantastic season, but he's not going to see a five-year offer this winter.
- Mark Ellis told Joe Stiglich of the San Jose Mercury News that he wants to stay in Oakland next year. The A’s have a $6MM option for 2011 with a $500K buyout.
- At SI.com, Bud Black of the Padres tops Jon Heyman's list of the year's most impressive managers.
- Bob Young of the Arizona Republic argues that the D'Backs will have a hard time finding a better manager-GM combination than Kirk Gibson and Jerry Dipoto.
- Dejan Kovacevic of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette explains that the Pirates have a lot of promising young pitching in the minor leagues. Take a look at the team's projected 2011 rotation here.
- I didn't consider Phil Coke when previewing the Tigers' 2011 rotation, but manager Jim Leyland told Perry A. Farrell of the Detroit Free Press that the Tigers will at least consider the lefty.
- Cardinals manager Tony La Russa defended the team's decision to trade Ryan Ludwick, as Joe Strauss of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch explains.
Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports kicks off his latest column with a look at Alex Rodriguez's $30MM worth of home run incentives. The chase isn't generating the buzz the Yankees anticipated when they re-signed A-Rod. On to Rosenthal's rumors...
- Talks are on again between the Red Sox and Rockies regarding catcher Chris Iannetta. The Rockies would want to improve their big league club with an in-season deal, so perhaps we'll hear heightened Iannetta buzz during the offseason if Miguel Olivo is retained.
- The Nationals do not seem to have chosen a course with Adam Dunn in terms of trading or extending him now.
- The Athletics have no intention of trading Coco Crisp or Mark Ellis, as both players have club options for 2011.
- Yankees catcher Francisco Cervelli is "a frequent trade target of rival clubs," but the team likes having depth at the catcher position.
- As part of the Yunel Escobar-Alex Gonzalez talks, the Braves and Blue Jays discussed Jose Bautista. For now, the Braves still have time to evaluate Nate McLouth's recovery from a concussion. MLB.com's Mark Bowman wrote today that the Braves have considered David DeJesus, Cody Ross, Corey Hart, and Josh Willingham as potential trade targets.
A few links to check out while the Yankees play their first game without George Steinbrenner at the helm since 1972...
- Susan Slusser of The San Francisco Chronicle reports that the Phillies have had a "top scout" on hand for the A's last four series, though Oakland isn't going to move Mark Ellis and Ben Sheets isn't scheduled to pitch this weekend.
- James Schmehl of MLive.com says that Sheets could be a "rather inexpensive" trade option for the Tigers if they're looking to add a starting pitcher.
- MLB.com's Corey Brock reports that Padres' GM Jed Hoyer told reporters he would like to make a move to improve the team, not just a cosmetic one (all Twitter links). He says the prices must first come down, and that he has the resources to add multiple pieces.
- WEEI.com's Rob Bradford says (via Twitter) that the Braves did not talk to the Red Sox about a potential Yunel Escobar-Marco Scutaro deal. He says that the Blue Jays were the only team Atlanta spoke to about an Escobar trade.
- Nationals' GM Mike Rizzo ranked the team's international free agent signings for MASNSports.com's Ben Goessling.
- Dylan Hernandez of The Los Angeles Times tweets that the Tokyo Giants have a scout attending tonight's Dodgers-Cardinals game. If nothing else, it shows that Japanese teams scour the U.S. for talent just like MLB teams do in Japan.
There's just a 40% chance the A's make Mark Ellis available, a source tells Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports (Twitter link). The A's, who already traded infielder Eric Patterson, will choose between Ellis' $6MM option for 2011 and a $500K buyout if he's still in Oakland at the end of the season.
Ellis would probably draw interest if GM Billy Beane made him available. The 33-year-old is hitting .288/.355/.374 this year, and has been an average defender at second base over the course of the past two seasons (according to UZR/150).
The Red Sox and Phillies have injured second basemen and could have interest in Ellis, who missed time with a hamstring injury early in the year. The Yankees are looking for bench help, but Ellis has $2.75MM remaining on this year's contract and that's a lot of money to spend on a reserve.
Last month, Orlando Hudson signed for a third of what Mark Ellis got back in October. That Ellis signed for more than Hudson shows the unpredictability of the current free agent market. With Hudson expected to be the bellwether, Ellis was considered an affordable alternative. His extension was expected to increase demand for Hudson's glove.
Buster Olney points out just how smart Mark Ellis and his agents look by agreeing to a 2-year $11MM extension with the A's that at the time was considered a mistake by many. Olney notes it wasn't about economic forecasting:
This begs the question: Would Billy Beane have been better off waiting? With Oakland's young rotation, Ellis' defense is probably not something they wanted to risk losing.