Mark Prior Rumors
Links for Thursday..
- The Marlins will likely need bullpen help before the trade deadline, writes Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports.
- Until closer Huston Street returns, the Rockies' late-inning relievers need improvement, writes Troy E. Renck of The Denver Post.
- After Carl Crawford was quoted as saying that he and Carlos Pena would not be returning to the Rays, Pena reiterated his desire to remain in Tampa Bay, writes Marc Topkin of the St. Petersburg Times.
- Joel Sherman of the New York Post wonders how long of a contract the Yankees should offer Derek Jeter this offseason. Mr. November will celebrate his 36th birthday in June.
- The Angels will try to turn things around with the pieces that they have, writes Mark Saxon of ESPNLosAngeles.com.
- Chris Jenkins of the Union Tribune spoke to Mark Prior, who sees similarities between himself and Stephen Strasburg,
- Baseball's highest-ranking executives are absurdly underpaid, says Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports. Most general managers earn between $500K and $2MM annually.
- Cardinals manager Tony La Russa called the late Robin Roberts a "real gentleman" and a "great man", writes MLB.com's Zach Schonbrun. The legendary Phillies pitcher passed away at the age of 83.
Jayson Stark of ESPN.com points out that teams aren't handing out long-term contracts as liberally as they were a few years ago. We've seen just eight contracts of three-plus years this offseason, after seeing 13 such contracts in each of the previous two winters. The offseason before that? Players signed 29 contracts of three years or more. Here are Stark's rumors:
- Detroit doesn't seem that interested in Johnny Damon and the Braves haven't spoken with Damon's agent, Scott Boras, in a month and a half. The Rays have checked in, but they have little to spend.
- Erik Bedard and the Orioles have mutual interest in a reunion, Stark hears.
- The Phillies would like to add a veteran left-handed reliever on a minor league deal, but Alan Embree and Ron Mahay are holding out for big league deals at this point, despite the Phillies' interest.
- Kevin Gregg is high on the Rockies' shopping list. They're looking at infield options and hoping to save enough money to shore up their bullpen, too.
- The Blue Jays have told clubs that Scott Downs and Jason Frasor are available. The Cubs have checked in on the pair of relievers.
- The Royals have told teams they're "open minded" about moving Gil Meche or Brian Bannister.
- John Smoltz is in no rush to sign. He's open to waiting for a few months, since he'd like a starting job and some execs question his ability to start for an entire season.
- Ben Sheets will be the first A's pitcher to make $10MM (though some believe Sheets will be traded before the end of the year).
- Mark Prior is throwing off a mound and would like to make a comeback.
A few notes from ESPN's Buster Olney...
- Via Twitter, Olney's heard from other teams that the Reds would love to move closer Francisco Cordero. Of course, closers are plentiful and Cordero is set to earn $25MM over the next two years. I mentioned in our Reds Offseason Outlook that the team would have to eat half of that to make him mildly appealing. Similarly, the Indians would definitely listen on Kerry Wood, who is set to earn $20MM over the next two years.
- Olney believes other teams could join the Reds and Tigers in cost-cutting mode. He says the teams with payroll space "will be in position to make some excellent deals."
- Olney finds it unlikely that Matt Holliday, Jason Bay, or John Lackey will receive a $100MM contract.
- Catcher Brad Ausmus on 2010: "I could end up playing if somebody wants me."
- The A's are interested in free agent infielder Jamey Carroll. Ed Price of AOL FanHouse tweets that the Dodgers and at least seven other teams are also interested in Carroll.
- Mark Prior is throwing on flat ground and plans to audition for scouts. Prior, 29, most recently had shoulder surgery in June.
- The Giants are attempting to re-sign Brad Penny, who lost 12 pounds since the end of the season.
- Olney wonders if the Royals will dump more players before the December 12th non-tender deadline. I think Mike Jacobs, John Buck, and John Bale fit the bill.
- Olney's heard that the Phillies "will be aggressive in signing a set-up man/closer safety net," with Brad Lidge having flexor tendon surgery.
It's easy to forget that Mark Prior's just 28. He's battled arm troubles with the Cubs and been released by the Padres, but he tells MLB.com's Fred Claire that he still wants to pitch. Pedro Martinez and Chris Carpenter have come back from injuries, so Prior looks at them and remains determined to come back.
Some links to pore over as we just miss another no-hitter:
- Alex Speier at WEEI reports that the Red Sox won't give 16-year-old Dominican hurler Victor Payano a contract, despite being rumored as favorites to sign him. Payano, in line for a bonus around $900k, had failed his physical.
- Peter Schmuck at the Baltimore Sun notes that top prospect Brian Matusz was called up to start tonight for the O's and they in turn optioned Kam Mickolio to Triple-A. After Melvin Mora's recent spat with manager Dave Trembley, there was speculation Mora would be gone, but he is starting tonight. He still could be moved.
- Scott Podsednik's improved play has increased his value, but he wants to stay with the White Sox in 2010, says Scott Merkin at MLB.com.
- Rangers GM Jon Daniels said in an e-mail to Yahoo's Gordon Edes that there was no effort by J.P. Ricciardi to mislead the Rangers in Roy Halladay talks, and Ricciardi was "upfront" about what he wanted.
- The Padres officially released Mark Prior today, says CBS Sports. The move was reported to be on the horizon by Corey Brock at MLB.com Saturday.
Another chapter ends in the Mark Prior saga, and it still isn't on a positive note: According to MLB.com's Corey Brock, there are indications that the Padres are about to release Prior from his minor-league contract, possibly today.
The 28-year-old Prior hasn't thrown since April, says Brock. The former phenom had signed a deal with the Padres in January that would have been worth $1MM had he reached the majors. But as it stands, Prior hasn't played in a big league game since 2006.
Links for Thursday...
- The Nationals remain interested in Duaner Sanchez, says Barry Svrluga of the Washington Post.
- Yahoo's Jeff Passan talked to Mark Prior.
- Joel Sherman of the New York Post heard Manny Ramirez and Scott Boras consider the contract with the Dodgers a one-year deal with a safety net. Sherman wonders if the Yankees and/or Mets could get involved depending on how Manny's 2009 season plays out.
- Red Sox closer Jonathan Papelbon commented about Manny to Chris Jones in the April issue of Esquire. It's a good article and there's a lot more to it than the Manny comments.
- Free agent catcher Ivan Rodriguez is working out at first base, according to Will Gonzalez of MLB.com.
- The Padres have the third pick in the June draft. Tom Krasovic of the San Diego Union-Tribune asks whether they'll finally take a player with big upside.
- Jake Peavy's agent Barry Axelrod seems to be writing off the Padres, in comments to Fred Mitchell of the Chicago Tribune: "It's tough with the Padres' situation. They are not very good and it looks like it is going to be another long year for them."
- Marlins shortstop Robert Andino is out of options, so Mike Phillips of the Miami Herald says this is his audition.
- ESPN's Buster Olney says Mark Mulder's audition is drawing closer and he's throwing well. Olney also says Luis Gonzalez is waiting by the phone. For a look at the other remaining free agents, click here.
Links for Monday...
- Peter Schmuck of the Baltimore Sun says the Orioles are "bringing Ty Wigginton back for further examination this week."
- Bill Center of the San Diego Union-Tribune snagged this Mark Prior quote: "If Kurt Warner can disappear for five years, I can disappear for three."
- Dave Cameron of FanGraphs points out that a Jermaine Dye career path is Andruw Jones' best case scenario.
- Baseball America has a run-down of all the minor league transactions between January 31 and February 6.
- Athletics Nation wonders if the A's could bring Mark Mulder in to fill a lefty reliever role.
- I did a Q&A with We Should Be GMs.
The San Diego Padres have signed Mark Prior and Chris Burke to one-year, minor league deals. The signings include invitations to Spring Training, according to Scout.com.
Buster Olney has contract info: "If Prior pitches in the major leagues, he'll earn $1 million, and Burke -- who will go into spring training with a strong chance of winning the Padres' everyday job at second -- will earn $650,000."
Paul DePodesta has more on the signings, along with info on another minor league acquisition, Virgil Vasquez.