Mark Sweeney Rumors
According to Tony Jackson of the Los Angeles Daily News, pinch-hitting extraordinaire Mark Sweeney has announced his retirement from baseball.
Sweeney was hoping to land a contract this offseason, but didn't draw much interest. He'll instead work as an assistant coach for the Dodgers.
"We are excited to be able to keep Mark Sweeney in the Dodger organization and we congratulate him on his retirement from his playing career," GM Ned Colletti said Friday. "With 14 years of big league experience, he will bring some very valuable baseball knowledge to our staff."
Links for Friday...
- RotoAuthority hosts a roundtable discussion of the worst fantasy picks of the first three rounds.
- Nationals president Stan Kasten expects "heavy trade talk," given the team's surplus of first basemen/outfielders. Nick Johnson is the most likely candidate.
- Mark Sweeney may be forced into retirement, according to Tony Jackson of the L.A. Daily News.
- Joe McDonald of the Providence Journal wonders if Jon Lester could be the next Red Sox player to get a long-term extension.
- Maury Brown of The Biz of Baseball analyzes the salary arbitration class of 2009.
- Brian McTaggart of the Houston Chronicle has Astros GM Ed Wade explain split contracts.
- Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports writes the Yankees outfielders and Scott Boras clients Xavier Nady and Johnny Damon have been affected by the Stanford financial scandal.
- MLB.com's T.R. Sullivan says Joe Beimel turned down a minor league offer from the Rangers about a month ago. Tough time to be a lefty reliever.
ESPN's Jerry Crasnick talked to Mark Sweeney's agent Barry Axelrod, who says his client will probably only play next year if a Major League deal is offered. Sweeney, 39, hit .130/.250/.163 in 108 plate appearances for the Dodgers while earning $600K plus incentives.
Crasnick says Sweeney could wind up working for XM Radio, MLB Network, or a San Diego station.
Some Odds & Ends for this Sunday morning:
- Bill Shaikin of the Los Angeles Times proposes the Dodgers offer middle reliever Cory Wade or Single-A fireballer Javy Guerra for OF Juan Rivera. Despite already having a logjam in the outfield, Rivera would provide the power the Dodgers need. As he sees it, the Angels have a propensity for stockpiling arms and Rivera is only gathering dust behind Gary Matthews Jr. Fun fact from Shaikin: it's been 32 years since the last Dodgers/Angels trade.
- The Baltimore Sun's Peter Schmuck tells Orioles fans not to expect C.C. Sabathia to be signed by the O's this offseason.
- Tony Jackson of the Los Angeles Daily News says Mark Sweeney may draw the short straw when Rafael Furcal and Nomar Garciaparra return from the DL within the next week. The Dodgers would release the 38 year old.
- Marc Topkin of the St. Petersburg Times notes all indications are that the Rays will be making some moves before the deadline. They have the payroll flexibility, prospect depth, and would be happy to pickup draft picks from any big free agent they can't re-sign. They're looking for a veteran starting pitcher, a late inning reliever, and a right handed hitting outfielder.
How about some late morning odds and ends? You don't really have a choice, do you.
- The Rays have talked to the Braves about acquiring Willy Aybar, according to Marc Lancaster. Aybar has had some off the field problems. But he turns 25 in March and could still be a useful player.
- Reader Yu Hsing Chen checks in from Taiwan with news that Chien-Ming Wang might be heading to an arbitration hearing with the Yankees. MLBTR had 228 visits from Taiwan yesterday - welcome! Taiwan is our fifth biggest traffic source, behind the U.S., Canada, UK, and Japan.
- According to Dylan Hernandez of the L.A. Times, the Dodgers have spoken to free agents Mark Sweeney and Rudy Seanez about bringing them back, but the discussions have stalled.
- Bud Selig's contract extended through 2012. Thoughts?
Random rumors, let's round 'em up.
- How about Bartolo Colon to the Mets? David Lennon notes that Omar Minaya sold the farm to acquire him in 2002 as the Expos' GM.
- Scott Lauber says Aaron Rowand is insisting on a five-year deal. He adds that the Phils have interest in Geoff Jenkins but he might be too expensive.
- Cameron Maybin and Andrew Miller are considered untouchable, so don't look for the Tigers to make any big trades.
- Patrick Saunders runs down some free agents the Rockies may consider for the back end of their rotation: Tony Armas, Matt Clement, Steve Trachsel, Josh Fogg, Jason Jennings, Jon Lieber, Mark Redman, Brett Tomko, and Kip Wells.
- The Rays may go after Tony Clark, in large part because they're seeking leadership. Marc Topkin agrees, and also rattles off Geoff Jenkins, Brad Wilkerson, Cliff Floyd, Mike Lamb, Mark Sweeney, Corey Koskie, and Greg Nortion as other possibilities.
- It's expected that Eric Gagne will not accept Boston's offer of arbitration, because he wants to close. One place he could do so is Texas, who like him if he'll take one year.
- The Marlins' new marketing materials exclude Miguel Cabrera.
- The Rangers have interest in Sean Casey and Mike Lamb.
The Dodgers acquired pinch-hitter extraordinaire Mark Sweeney from the Giants yesterday, which is notable because two rivals hadn't struck a deal since 1985. The Giants will receive cash or a player to be named later.
The 37 year-old provides a needed left-handed bat, and can play first base and left field. He's got about $280K left on his contract this year. He can still help against righties off the bench.