Mat Gamel Rumors
Happy birthday, Jayson Werth! Let's celebrate by reading these news items...
- FOXSports.com's Jon Paul Morosi outlines the unique contract situation of right-hander Chris Resop, who has been a revelation as a starting pitcher this season for Atlanta's Triple-A team.
- A bit further down the FOX Sports Buzz page, Morosi notes that Mat Gamel's time playing first base during his rehab assignment isn't necessarily a hint about Prince Fielder's fate in Milwaukee.
- In response to a piece about the Dodgers' spending under Frank McCourt, Fanhouse's Tom Krasovic relates how L.A. shipped Carlos Santana to Cleveland in the Casey Blake deal rather than pick up $2MM of Blake's salary. If Santana becomes the star catcher that he's projected to be for the Tribe, Dodger fans might be regretting that $2MM worth of savings for a long time.
- Henry Schulman of the San Francisco Chronicle says the Giants may have Eric Hacker replace the struggling Todd Wellemeyer in the rotation. Star prospect Madison Bumgarner has pitched well in Triple-A this season, but Schulman thinks the Giants want the young left-hander to have more innings at that level before they bring him up to the majors.
- Troy Renck of The Denver Post writes that the recently DFA'ed Willy Taveras worked out in Houston this week. The Astros offered Taveras a minor league deal over the winter, so Taveras' workout could represent a rekindling of the club's interest, or it could've just been a courtesy extended to a former Astro.
- Terry Pluto of The Cleveland Plain Dealer thinks Michael Brantley and the Indians would both be better served by having the outfield prospect back in the majors. Pluto points out that if the Tribe are trying to stall Brantley's service time, then they shouldn't have had him start with the club on Opening Day.
- The Rays have had almost as many key injuries as the Yankees this season, but Tampa Bay's depth made them better prepared to deal with it, writes Steve Slowinski of the DRaysBay blog.
- Speaking of those Yankee injuries, Brian Cashman said today that the club would look within their system to fill the holes, reports Chad Jennings of The Journal News.
Links for Saturday...
- David Ortiz said he isn't letting his contract situation get to him, writes ESPN Boston's Gordon Edes. Big Papi will earn $12.5MM this year, and the Red Sox hold an option at the same salary for 2011 with no buyout. Tough to see them picking that one up.
- An interesting point raised by MLB.com's Adam McCalvy: The Brewers essentially traded Hernan Iribarren to the Rangers for Joe Inglett. Milwaukee picked up Inglett in January after he was waived by Texas. Mat Gamel and Inglett are now in the mix for the Brewers' final bench spot.
- Edward Salcedo was officially introduced to Braves reporters this morning, writes Mark Bowman of MLB.com. The 18-year-old Dominican shortstop said that Atlanta was the only organization to show significant interest in him over the past two years.
- Jim Edmonds may be playing his way into a role with the Brewers, writes Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports.
- Both the Diamondbacks and Mariners had interest in Dana Eveland before he was acquired by the Blue Jays, tweets MLB.com's Alden Gonzalez.
- Jon Paul Morosi of FoxSports.com spoke to a scout who wouldn't be surprised if the Marlins traded lefty Andrew Miller (link goes to Twitter).
- David Murphy is just biding his time on Texas' bench, writes Anthony Andro of The Star-Telegram. Murphy is a .278/.336/.465 career hitter, but he might get too expensive for a bench job as he enters his first arbitration year after 2010.
- Ben Shpigel of The New York Times reports that Yankees' hitting coach Kevin Long was analyzing videotape of Curtis Granderson to help him improve against lefthanders way back in November, a month before the team traded for him.
Links for Thursday...
- The Marlins aren't that confident in Kiko Calero's ability to hold up as well as he did last year, tweets MLB.com's Joe Frisaro.
- The Nationals designated right-hander Marco Estrada for assignment to make room for Tyler Walker according to MLB.com's Bill Ladson, via Twitter.
- The A's have no interest in Eric Byrnes, tweets Mychael Urban of CSNBayArea.com.
- The Dodgers are a finalist for Derrick Turnbow, tweets MLB.com's Ken Gurnick.
- The Mets are interested in Josh Fogg, according to Matt Cerrone of MetsBlog.
- Mike Timlin said on WEEI.com that he will stay in retirement this year. Last year, Timlin pitched in the Rockies' minor league system.
- Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports notes that Jays GM Alex Anthopoulos is "open to anything." The Jays could stand to add a corner outfielder and there are a number of options available should the Jays decide to pursue them.
- I wrote an article for my fantasy website, RotoAuthority.com, suggesting that overhyped "sleepers" can still provide a profit.
- USA Today's Bob Nightengale tweets that Gary Sheffield might be a good fit for the Reds, and that Sheff was "on his way" to the Diamondbacks before they signed Adam LaRoche.
- Brandon Webb still contends that re-signing with the D'Backs is his first choice, in an article written by MLB.com's Steve Gilbert.
- Joel Sherman of the New York Post says the Reds, Padres, White Sox, and Royals inquired on the Yankees' Brett Gardner this winter, with hopes of using him as a starting center fielder.
- Bill Shanks of Scout.com makes a case for the Braves to sign Johnny Damon.
- Yahoo's Tim Brown tweets that the Dodgers are one club eyeing Garret Anderson for a fourth outfielder role.
1:19pm: Earlier in the week Brewers GM Doug Melvin told Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel that the club isn't currently talking trades with the Mariners. A deal is still possible, but the Brewers have shown no inclination to trade Gamel.
10:59am: The Mariners are trying to trade one of their young players and lock another one up long-term, according to Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports. Rosenthal hears that the Mariners are trying to trade Brandon Morrow for a corner infielder or DH. The M's may re-visit talks with the Brewers about a Mat Gamel for Morrow swap.
Barry Meister, who represents free agent infielder Craig Counsell, told MLB.com's Adam McCalvy that his client may have a deal finalized with the Brewers (or possibly another team) by Monday. Milwaukee made an initial offer to the 39-year-old veteran on Dec. 4, and then reportedly upped it yesterday. The conventional wisdom has been that Counsell will re-sign with the Brewers, given that he lives in the Milwaukee area and that both the player and team have seemed eager to work out a deal. No dollar amounts have been mentioned, but it would surely be a raise from the one-year/$1MM contract that Counsell received from the Brewers last winter. Despite Counsell's age, the offer may also be for more than one year in length.
Counsell has spent the last three seasons in Milwaukee and also played for the Brewers in 2004. He hit .285/.357/.408 over 459 plate appearances in 2009, notching a career-high in OPS for a season in which he had more than 189 PAs. Solid numbers aside, Counsell's value to the Brewers in 2010 will be to provide veteran leadership backing up the club's young infield corps of Mat Gamel, Alcides Escobar and Casey McGehee.
Some links on this Friday evening:
- Daniel Barbarisi of The Providence Journal talks about the Red Sox shortstop search and concludes that Marco Scutaro is their best option. The article mentions a few other possibilities, including Brewers infielder Felipe Lopez. The 30-year-old is coming off of a career year but hasn't played shortstop regularly since 2007, when he posted a UZR/150 of -12.3.
- In a column for CBSSports.com, Larry Dobrow lays out his suggestions for the Brewers this winter. Dowbrow urges the club to lay the groundwork for a Prince Fielder deal and cash in their trade chips, Corey Hart and Mat Gamel.
- Hey American League fans, ever wonder what Jim Bowden would do if he were your team's GM? Well, wonder no more because with the help of his Amazing Technicolor Dreamtie, he lays out the moves he would make for several AL teams for FOX Sports. Amongst other things, Bowden pushes the Yankees to beat Boston to the punch and deal Joba Chamberlain, Brett Gardner, and Ian Kennedy to the Blue Jays for Roy Halladay.
The White Sox have a new third baseman of the future, writes Phil Rogers of the Chicago Tribune. Dayan Viciedo held his own as a 20-year-old in AA this year (.708 OPS), but Brent Morel has passed him on Rogers' depth chart with a torrid stint in the Arizona Fall League. Here are the rest of Rogers' rumors:
- A's GM Billy Beane likes what he sees from pitching prospect Fautino de los Santos, who is hitting the mid-nineties as he recovers from Tommy John surgery.
- Casey McGehee has emerged as a solid player, but the Brewers are reluctant to trade Mat Gamel, even if it would net them the starting pitching they covet.
- The Twins are talking to Orlando Cabrera about returning to play second base.
- Rogers says the Yankees are more likely to sign Johnny Damon than Hideki Matsui.
Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel is speculating that Mat Gamel might be a candidate to be traded in the offseason based on comments made by Milwaukee general manager Doug Melvin and assistant GM Gord Ash during their end-of-season press conference on Wednesday.
The Brewers' management team said that Casey McGehee has "taken the bull by the horns" for the starting third base job next season in the wake of McGehee's .301/.360/.499 performance in 394 plate appearances as a rookie last season. Gamel, in contrast, posted a .242/.338/.422 line in 148 plate appearances.
Melvin ruled out Gamel moving to the outfield and Ash said that the Brewers will "probably have to be higher risk taking than we have been in the past" in terms of dealing prospects, thus making it appear that Milwaukee will at least listen to offers for their slugging prospect. Gamel is a year removed from an overall .923 OPS between Double-A Huntsville and Triple-A Nashville in 2008 and is an attractive option for a team looking to shed payroll and give the Brewers one of the starters on their winter wish-list. An American League destination might be the ideal spot for Gamel, who made seven errors in 61 chances at third base last season.
Brewers GM Doug Melvin spoke to reporters today, and Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel has quotes. A few highlights:
- Melvin feels that re-signing closer Trevor Hoffman early will aid the Brewers in attracting free agent starting pitchers. Melvin hopes to add two starters.
- When asked about trading Prince Fielder or Ryan Braun, Melvin responded, "I don't see that happening." Might as well close the book on those rumors.
- The Brewers view Rickie Weeks as their starting second baseman, which implies they'll let free agent Felipe Lopez leave.
- Melvin told Haudricourt it would "be very difficult" for the Brewers to keep both J.J. Hardy and Alcides Escobar. Hardy could be a great pickup given the scarcity of shortstops. Also, Haudricourt thinks Mat Gamel could be available in trade.
After a tremendous run last year that resulted in the club's first playoff berth in a quarter-century, the Brewers sat 13.5 GB of a playoff spot coming into today's action, and sport the National League's worst starting rotation thanks to their 5.22 ERA. As Adam McCalvy of MLB.com writes, the club has a ton of roster decisions to make this offseason, although GM Doug Melvin says "We've got a lot of decisions, and none of them will be discussed until the end of the season."
Some of the issues facing the Brew Crew this offseason are...
- Impending Free Agents: Trevor Hoffman, Claudio Vargas, Mike Cameron, Felipe Lopez, Jason Kendall, Craig Counsell, Frank Catalanotto, and Corey Patterson will all be free agents after the season. The clubs holds a $3.7MM option for David Weathers next year ($400K buyout), and there's a $6.5MM mutual option for Braden Looper ($1MM buyout) that McCalvy says the club "will almost certainly pick up."
- Arbitration Eligibles: Dave Bush, Corey Hart, Rickie Weeks, Seth McClung, J.J. Hardy, Jody Gerut, and Todd Coffey are all eligible for salary arbitration. Coffey, who's been the club's primary setup man, figures to get a nice raise over his current $800K salary.
- Starting Pitching: As I mentioned earlier, Milwaukee sports the NL's worst starting staff. McCalvy reports that "Melvin promised this week that he would be much more aggressive this winter in his search for answers," and that the club might take a "little more chances and risks" than they're accustomed to taking.
The Brewers also have questions about the key up-the-middle positions. They have to sort out the Hardy-Alcides Escobar situation at short, and decide whether to try and retain Lopez or give Weeks another shot at second base duty. Cameron and Kendall have both made it clear they'd like to return, but those decisions will have to wait until the winter.
Milwaukee also must figure out third base, and whether Mat Gamel or Casey McGehee deserves the job. Prince Fielder has the other corner infield spot locked down, and is under contract for $10.5MM next year before being arbitration eligible in 2011, his final year before free agency. McCalvy also mentions that manager Ken Macha faces a lame-duck year next season, and that Melvin is fielding questions about whether another managerial change may be in order.