Mark Teahen Rumors
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.
White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen addressed some of the team's needs before heading off to Indianapolis, and MLB.com's Scott Merkin has the goods..
- Guillen would like to find an upgrade over Gordan Beckham in the leadoff spot. However, Guillen went out of his way to say that he is a "good RBI man" and added that he would like to move him down to sixth or seventh in the lineup.
- Andruw Jones could be an everyday outfielder for the ChiSox if (and, as Merkin notes, "that's a big if") he reports to Spring Training in shape.
- Guillen seems to like the flexibility that comes with not having a true designated hitter. The way he sees it, he can use Jones, Omar Vizquel, Mark Kotsay, Paul Konerko or Mark Teahen in the spot when neccessary, and shift them around as he sees fit.
- Freddy Garcia is working to get himself in position to be the club's fifth starter. The 33-year-old posted a 4.34 ERA in nine starts with the White Sox last season.
Some Saturday night links:
- MLB.com's Jordan Bastian (via Twitter) says that Roy Halladay's reported unwillingness to stay in Toronto is less than shocking and speculates that his time with the Blue Jays is nearing its end.
- Mark Teahen's flexibility could open up some interesting options for the White Sox this winter, according to Ken Rosenthal and Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports. GM Ken Williams says that he likes Teahen at third base, but wouldn't completely rule out the possibility of moving him to first base or right field.
- Chad Jennings of the LoHud Yankees Blog weighed in on the Astros' signing of former Yankees minor league pitcher Jose Valdez. Jennings was surprised not by the signing but by the fact that Houston chose to protect the once-highly touted hurler from the Rule 5 draft.
- As mentioned by Jennings, the Pirates DFA'd pitcher Jeff Karstens. Jenifer Langosch of MLB.com characterized the move as "somewhat surprising." The 27-year-old posted an ERA of 5.42 and 1.16 K/BB in 108 IP last season.
Let's close out this Sunday evening with a few links...
- Paul Sullivan of the Chicago Tribune runs down the Cubs' offseason wish list. Unsurprisingly, getting rid of Milton Bradley is the top priority.
- The agent for Scott Podsednik claims that the lines of communication with the White Sox are still open, despite GM Ken Williams' reluctance to re-sign the 33-year-old, writes the Tribune's Mark Gonzales. Scotty Pods' chances of returning decreased after the club took on salary in the trade for Mark Teahen.
- Giants prospect Angel Villalona is out on bail, says ESPN's Enrique Rojas (via Twitter). Villalona was charged with murder back in September.
3:42pm: Bob Dutton of the Kansas City Star heard the Royals sent $1MM to the White Sox with Teahen.
12:35pm: White Sox GM Ken Williams told reporters Teahen will play third base, with Gordon Beckham moving to second. He told MLB.com's Scott Merkin that Scott Podsednik is unlikely to re-sign and the DH position might not be decided until the end of the offseason.
11:16am: The deal is official, according to a Royals press release. The Royals acquired Getz and Fields for Teahen and cash considerations.
THURSDAY, 5:30pm: The story keeps changing. Now, according to MLB.com's Dick Kaegel, neither team has confirmed the deal.
11:13am: The White Sox have confirmed the trade, according to The Chicago Sun Times. It's Teahen for Getz and Fields.
9:04am: According to Bill Madden of The NY Daily News, the Royals have agreed to send the versatile Mark Teahen to the White Sox in exchange for Chris Getz and Josh Fields. Madden says Teahen is expected to replace free agent-to-be Jermaine Dye in right field.
The 28-year-old Teahen hit .271/.325/.408 last year, but is a career .261/.325/.514 hitter at U.S. Cellular Field. FanGraphs has him at -2.0 UZR/150 in right, which is a massive upgrade over Dye's -17.5 mark. Teahen earned $3.575MM in 2009, and has two more years of arbitration eligibility ahead of him. He's certainly been the subject of many trade rumors over the years.
Getz, 26, was Chicago's every day second baseman for most of 2009, hitting .261/.324/.347 with 25 stolen bases in 27 attempts. Fields, 28, has struggled to find a place with the White Sox, hitting .229/.302/.416 in 746 plate appearances over the last four years while playing first, third, and left field. Both players are in their pre-arbitration years, and have a combined ten years of team control left.
It's been a busy first day on the hot stove, so here's another batch of links...
- Derrick Goold of The St. Lous Post Dispatch says there are eight teams "that have the need and the financial wherewithal" to sign Matt Holliday. It's the usual suspects (i.e. big market clubs), and Goold explains why each may be interested in Holliday.
- Craig Landis, agent for J.J. Putz, said that his client "hasn't ruled out returning to the Mets with a cheaper, incentive-laden deal," according to Bart Hubbuch of The NY Post. Earlier today we learned that the Mets informed Putz that they wouldn't be picking up his 2010 option.
- MLB.com's Adam McCalvy says the Brewers are waiting to see whether Felipe Lopez qualifies as a Type-A or B free agent, and that will likely play a role in their decision whether or not to offer him arbitration. Eddie Bajek's work projects Lopez to be a Type-B, but he's right on the cutoff.
- ESPN's Keith Law loves the Mark Teahen trade for the Royals, noting that they traded one average player close to free agency for two average players with several years of team control left.
- John Fay of The Cincinnati Enquirer reports that Reds' relievers Nick Masset and Jared Burton are arbitration eligible as Super Two's, but Micah Owings is not.
- Meanwhile, the Reds are expected to decline Ramon Hernandez's $8.5MM option for 2010, according to MLB.com's Mark Sheldon.
- David O'Brien of The Atlanta Journal Constitution has some quotes from Tim Hudson about his contract extension.
- Did you catch Mariano Rivera saying that he wants to play another five years during the Yankees' World Series celebration last night? It turns out he wasn't kidding. Chad Jennings of The Journal News quotes the Yanks' closer as saying “I’m serious. I hope the organization does whatever it takes to bring me back.”
Royals GM Dayton Moore tells Sam Mellinger of the Kansas City Star that he plans on improving his team's defense this offseason. Moore expects to have about $70MM to work with this winter, but, as Mellinger points out, that doesn't leave the Royals with much flexibility. Here are the details:
- The Royals figure to look for an everyday outfielder, a catcher and relief help.
- They will probably have to non-tender some players to stay within their budget.
- Mellinger assumes the Royals will buy Coco Crisp out for $500k, rather than pick up his $8MM option.
- Mike Jacobs is a prime non-tender candidate. He has a .692 OPS, but he's making $3.275MM this year and would be in line for at least $2.6MM if the Royals offer him arbitration.
- Miguel Olivo is likely to pursue free agency. The Royals may need another catcher if they decide that the $3MM or so John Buck would earn through arbitration is too much.
- Club officials say there's "no chance" they non-tender Mark Teahen.
Nobody's been traded so far in August, but deals are sure to go through. ESPN.com's Jerry Crasnick considers some trade candidates:
- Doug Davis and Jon Garland
- Heath Bell - An unlikely trade candidate, since he's sure to be claimed, but he could be dealt even if he's claimed (to the NL team with the worst record among all claiming teams).
- Lyle Overbay - He makes $7MM next year, a deterrent for possible suitors.
- Justin Duchscherer - Some health concerns remain, as he hasn't pitched in the majors this year.
- Kevin Millar, Nomar Garciaparra and Jason Giambi - Veteran bats for the playoffs.
- Jamey Carroll - Mark Teahen's another utility type, but he's less likely to be dealt than Carroll.
- Carl Pavano - Just don't expect the Yankees to come calling.
- Arthur Rhodes and David Weathers
- Miguel Batista
- Russell Branyan won't clear waivers, but the Mariners could consider dealing six weeks of Branyan to the claiming team for a decent prospect.
- Like Duchscherer, Erik Bedard has to prove he's healthy before anyone will commit to him.
- Baker expects the Mariners to try to move Adrian Beltre. They won't want to offer him arbitration after the season and risk paying him $14MM or so next year, so now's their chance to get a return for Beltre. They would almost certainly have to pick up salary in the process.