Mark Teahen Rumors
On the off-chance you missed it, the Blue Jays, Cardinals and White Sox announced a pair of major trades today. The Blue Jays acquired center fielder Colby Rasmus and pitchers Trever Miller, Brian Tallet, and P.J. Walters from the Cardinals for starter Edwin Jackson, relievers Marc Rzepczynski and Octavio Dotel, outfielder Corey Patterson, and three players to be named later or cash considerations. Before completing the deal with St. Louis, the Blue Jays acquired Jackson and third baseman Mark Teahen from the White Sox for reliever Jason Frasor and prospect Zach Stewart. Here’s reaction to the trades from around MLB. Be warned, Cardinals fans, you might not like what follows...
- The price the Cardinals paid to acquire Jackson and bullpen help was "just too high," according to ESPN.com's Keith Law, who suggests St. Louis' internal emphasis is on manager Tony La Russa, not the players. Law loves what Toronto did and doesn't understand Chicago's move.
- Jim Bowden of ESPN says the Cardinals had better win this year "or they will really regret this one." He calls St. Louis' move the "worst trade of the year" and gives the Blue Jays an 'A.'
- Joel Sherman of the New York Post confirms that the Cardinals turned down the Rays' offer of Jeff Niemann and J.P. Howell for Rasmus (Twitter link). Sherman suggests the Cardinals would have been better off accepting Tampa Bay's offer.
- The Giants showed how to go for it today and the Cardinals showed how not to go for it, Yahoo's Jeff Passan writes.
- A longtime scout tells ESPN.com’s Buster Olney that Rasmus has a chance to be a star. “I don't understand that deal at all," the scout said (Twitter link).
- Matthew Leach of MLB.com likes what the Cardinals got for 2011, but finds it hard to like the deal for St. Louis because of what it means for 2012-14 (Twitter link).
- Now that Rasmus and Carlos Beltran are off of the market, the list of teams with possible interest in B.J. Upton is taking shape, as Marc Topkin of the St. Petersburg Times explains. The Braves, Indians, Nationals, Phillies, Pirates and Reds are possible destinations for Upton.
- As Matt Eddy of Baseball America explains, Walters should qualify for a fourth option year in 2012 and Rzepczynski "might be the prototype" pupil for Cards pitching coach Dave Duncan.
- Joe Pawlikowski of FanGraphs explains that it's easiest to see the trade from the Blue Jays' perspective, since they gave up three relievers and a prospect for a player who can help them contend for 2012-14.
- At CloserNews, Dan Mennella wonders if Kyle McClellan could be in line for some saves, now that he's back in the bullpen.
- Tim Dierkes wrote earlier today that “it's hard to see this as anything but a win for the Blue Jays.”
- I agree with Tim and many of the others above- it’s a win for the Blue Jays. Let’s not forget how much has to be in place for this kind of deal to happen: a creative GM who reads the market well, payroll flexibility (for Teahen’s contract), willingness from ownership to take on salary, enough appealing prospects to be able to part with Stewart and enough bullpen depth to send three quality relievers packing on the same day. This trade doesn’t seem simple and in some ways it may actually be more complicated that it appears.
The Blue Jays acquired starter Edwin Jackson and third baseman Mark Teahen from the White Sox for reliever Jason Frasor and starter Zach Stewart, announced the teams. Contrary to an earlier report, no cash will change hands in the deal.
Trades are commonplace for Jackson (pictured), who was dealt for the fifth time in his career. The surprising part is that the Blue Jays, 11 games out in the wild card, acquired the impending free agent. Speculation is that Jackson may be flipped, possibly to the Cardinals in a deal involving Colby Rasmus. Jackson, 27, has a 3.92 ERA, 7.2 K/9, 2.9 BB/9, 0.59 HR/9 and 46.9% groundball rate in 121 2/3 innings this season, making him one of the better starters available. The Scott Boras client will head to free agency after the season most likely as a Type B. He has about $2.9MM remaining on his contract this year.
Teahen is regarded as a salary dump, with almost $7.2MM remaining on his contract through 2012. The 29-year-old is hitting .203/.277/.305 in 130 plate appearances this year, and is another example of Blue Jays GM Alex Anthopoulos taking on a bad contract to get a deal done. It was reported yesterday that White Sox owner Jerry Reinsdorf wanted to trim payroll. The Sox will save about $9MM over two years, Sox GM Kenny Williams told Gonzales, though that will be less Frasor's option if they pick it up.
Frasor, the Blue Jays' franchise leader in appearances with 455, has a 2.98 ERA, 7.8 K/9, 3.2 BB/9, 0.85 HR/9, and 40.2% groundball rate this year. The 33-year-old Oak Forest, Illinois native has about $1.2MM remaining on his contract this year, plus a $3.75MM club option for 2012. If the option is declined, Frasor will likely be a Type B free agent. He's a fine addition to any team's bullpen, though the Sox already rank third in the AL with a 3.33 relief ERA. The move shouldn't have much effect on Frasor's fantasy value, writes Dan Mennella of CloserNews.
Stewart, 24, ranked 44th among Keith Law's top 100 prospects prior to the season. Stewart, who Law said has number two starter potential, posted a 4.20 ERA, 7.1 K/9, 2.6 BB/9, and 0.6 HR/9 in 94 1/3 innings this year at Double-A.
Photo courtesy of Icon SMI.
Links from the AL Central, before the second-place Royals host the first-place Indians...
- Indians center fielder Grady Sizemore, who has returned from microfracture knee surgery, tells Yahoo’s Jeff Passan that he feels healthy again. Passan explains that there’s no guarantee Sizemore will have the same explosiveness he had early in his career, even though he has recovered from the procedure.
- The Tigers have called up Omir Santos from Triple-A, but have yet to announce a corresponding move, according to MLB.com's Jason Beck (on Twitter). The Tigers may have to cut someone if Victor Martinez doesn't need a DL stint.
- Scot Gregor of the Daily Herald looks at the struggling White Sox and points out that Mark Teahen has likely improved his trade value a little with his strong start. That doesn't make up for Chicago's five-game losing streak, however.
Links for Sunday afternoon..
- ESPN's Jerry Crasnick says (via Stephen Goff of Examiner.com) it's unlikely the Astros will attend Doug Davis' upcoming workout. Zachary Levine of the Houston Chronicle reported earlier that the race for Houston's fifth starter was down to Jordan Lyles and Nelson Figueroa, with Ryan Rowland-Smith now vying for a bullpen job.
- Kelsie Smith of the St. Paul Pioneer Press tweets that the Twins aren't adding anyone to their 40-man roster in light of San Diego's claim of Pat Neshek, suggesting that the team was clearly trying to trade the right-hander but failed.
- David Murphy of the Philadelphia Daily News writes that the Phillies may not be able to add to their $165MM payroll but believes that they could make personnel moves to create payroll flexibility.
- The White Sox have informed rookie Brent Morel that he's won the starting job at third base, according to Jerry Crasnick (via Twitter). This means less playing time for Mark Teahen, whom the club is open to trading.
A couple of Spring Training notes from Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports..
- The White Sox are open to trading Mark Teahen, who is set to earn $4.75MM this season and $5.5MM in 2012. At the moment, the veteran is little more than a pricey utility man, though he could serve as insurance for rookie third baseman Brent Morel. The youngster is viewed as an outstanding defender who might not be able to produce at the plate immediately. Manager Ozzie Guillen is likely in favor of keeping Teahen as he believes that he can find significant playing time for him if Morel wins the starting job at third base.
- Teams are asking the Red Sox about right-handed hitting outfielder Juan Carlos Linares. Boston signed the Cuban defector 2009 for $750K. Linares is currently set to open the season in Triple-A but the club doesn't want to sacrifice any depth. Because of that, we probably won't see them move any significant pieces before Opening Day.
SATURDAY,1:40pm: White Sox GM Kenny Williams is hoping for a "Carlos Lee-type return" in a deal for Quentin, a scout confirmed to Joe Cowley of the Chicago Sun-Times (via Twitter). The White Sox sent Lee to Milwaukee following the 2004 season for Scott Podsednik, Luis Vizcaino, and a player to be named later (Travis Hinton).
10:17am: Kenny Williams shot down the Quentin trade talk, telling Dave van Dyck of The Chicago Tribune that it's untrue (Twitter links). Williams added that he will not move a piece of his everyday lineup for bullpen help.
FRIDAY, 7:04pm: The White Sox are "actively looking" to move Carlos Quentin for a package that includes at least one reliever, tweets Joe Cowley of the Chicago Sun-Times. The Sox "are asking a lot so far," according to Cowley's sources, so it's possible they may just be gauging the market at this point, though we know at least one team (Philadelphia) has shown interest in Quentin.
Since his breakout 2008 campaign (a .965 OPS and a fifth-place finish in MVP voting), Quentin has battled injuries and posted a .240/.334/.469 line over the past two seasons. The outfielder is headed into his second arbitration year; he and the Sox avoided the process last season by agreeing on a $3.2MM contract.
Quentin's name came up in trade rumors for Adam Dunn over the summer and more recently for Colby Rasmus. Quentin's terrible outfield glove (a -32.7 UZR/150 in right field last year and a -25.2 UZR/150 as a left fielder in 2009) may leave him with no alternate spot in the White Sox lineup now that Dunn and Paul Konerko are firmly entrenched at the first base and DH spots. We know the Sox are looking for bullpen help, so they may feel that need and Quentin's poor defense outweighs what he might provide at the plate.
Tuesday night linkage...
- Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports weighed in on Orlando Hudson's assertion that racism plays a role in free agency. Earlier today, Tim gave us his take on the matter.
- The Blue Jays hope to see Adeiny Hechavarria reach Double-A by season's end, tweets Jordan Bastian of MLB.com.
- Morgan Campbell of the Toronto Star spoke to Alexei Ramirez, who believes that "it won't be long" before we see Adeiny Hechavarria in the majors. Ramirez watched Hechavarria's meteoric rise through the the ranks of Cuban baseball.
- Kris Benson is a candidate to become the D-Backs' fifth starter, writes MLB.com's Steve Gilbert. Arizona signed the 35-year-old to a minor league deal in mid-March.
- Mark Teahen is still adjusting to his new club, writes Larry Millson of MLB.com.
Recently MLBTR spoke to several MLB executives to gather their nominations for the best and worst moves of the offseason.
Free agent signings that received mention for the best moves: Felipe Lopez, Adrian Beltre, Adam LaRoche, Chone Figgins, Hideki Matsui, and Aroldis Chapman. Said one exec on Chapman: "He might truly live up to the hype." It's hard not to praise the Cards for getting Lopez on a one-year, $1MM deal.
Three trades came up as choices for the best moves of the offseason: the Mariners' acquisition of Cliff Lee, the Royals' trade of Mark Teahen, and the Rangers' trade of Kevin Millwood. One exec noted that the Mariners "didn't trade anyone that can hurt them in the next couple of years" for Lee, while another believed that "trading Lee and Kyle Drabek in the Roy Halladay deal will hurt [the Phillies] in the long run." The Royals received props for "getting some value for Teahen," while the Rangers' increased payroll flexibility from the Millwood deal was noted.
Nominated for the worst moves: free agent deals for Jason Bay, Matt Holliday, Brandon Lyon, Jason Kendall, Aubrey Huff, Jason Marquis, Randy Wolf, and Garrett Atkins. All the execs polled mentioned Holliday's seven year, $120MM deal when choosing their worst deals of the winter. Said one: "The fear that he would sign a one-year deal elsewhere and take his chances a year from now — that just doesn't make sense to me."
Aside from Kendall and Huff, there was a vibe of "like the player, hate the contract" with the panned free agent signings. One exec felt the Royals downgraded behind the plate with Kendall. Huff was nominated as a small-scale misstep, in that the exec felt that "Hank Blalock is better and he couldn't get half that salary on a non-roster deal."
MLB.com's Scott Merkin reports that White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen seems satisfied to stand pat with the current composition of his roster, a decision that would leave Chicago without the everyday DH that seemed to be the club's top priority this winter.
Guillen tells Merkin that he likes the idea of using several different players (such as Andruw Jones, Paul Konerko, Mark Kotsay, Jayson Nix, or even Omar Vizquel) as a designated hitter depending on matchups or, in Konerko's case, to rest him without taking him out of the lineup altogether.
Chicago GM Kenny Williams doesn't sound entirely convinced with this plan, but seems to be willing to acquisece to Guillen on this front. Williams told Merkin, "I don't want to do anything that conflicts with what my manager wants....Regardless if I think there might be a need for another left-handed bat in middle of the lineup, he's the one in there, and I fully support how he sees the situation fitting and piecing it together."
It's not like the Southsiders haven't been active this offseason --- they acquired Mark Teahen and Juan Pierre in trades and signed Jones, Vizquel and J.J. Putz. But given all of the high-profile designated hitter options on the market this winter, it's safe to say that White Sox fans were counting on a bit more than just Jones and Vizquel as DH upgrades. Do you think that Williams should, in fact, look to acquire that left-handed bat or do you agree with Guillen and think the Sox roster is fine as it is?
The White Sox agreed to a three-year deal with Mark Teahen, tweets team employee Scott Reifert. AOL FanHouse's Ed Price tweets that the deal is worth $14MM (Bruce Miles of the Daily Herald has details). Teahen hinted about the deal a few hours ago on Twitter, saying his family's Christmas wish list just got longer. The deal buys out two arbitration years and one free agent season. On November 6th, the Sox acquired Teahen and a million bucks from the Royals for Chris Getz and Josh Fields. Teahen will be Chicago's regular third baseman.
My opinion: I'd rather go year-to-year with Teahen to keep my options open, but the White Sox are saving money over what he would've earned in arbitration.