Mat Gamel Rumors
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.
John Perrotto of Baseball Prospectus brings us his latest from around the leagues:
- When they come off the DL, Francisco Liriano and Glen Perkins will be used in relief. So, the Twins are hoping to add a starter who can pitch in the playoffs. This means they have until tomorrow at midnight to do so.
- The Yankees would like to re-sign Johnny Damon to a one year deal and give Austin Jackson a second year to develop at Triple-A, while pursuing Matt Holliday and Jason Bay in the offseason.
- The Marlins and Giants are frontrunners to land Brad Penny.
- The Cardinals expect to exercise Ryan Franklin's $2.75MM club option and then sign an extension with their closer for 2011.
- The Royals want to extend G.M. Dayton Moore who is signed through 2010.
- Perrotto says the Cubs are likely to deal Milton Bradley this winter, even if it means eating a large portion of the $21MM owed to him through 2011.
- Jermaine Dye will more than likely not see his $12MM option exercised by the White Sox after a dip in production in tandem with the salary demands of Alex Rios and Jake Peavy.
- For the postseason, the Dodgers are seeking "a left-handed bat with power" for their bench.
- The Nats are auditioning Livan Hernandez as a veteran innings eater for 2010.
- The Diamondbacks may non-tender Conor Jackson.
- Brewers manager Ken Macha said G.M. Doug Melvin "scoured the area for pitching" before the deadline but was unable to add a starter because he refused to trade Mat Gamel or Alcides Escobar.
- After making seven trades this year, the Pirates are the youngest team in the MLB.
- Melvin admits that pitchers like John Smoltz and Oliver Perez were tempting, but says he's glad he resisted.
- The Brewers were interested in Jarrod Washburn at the deadline, but didn't have enough young pitching to complete a deal with the Mariners.
- The Brewers were in on the Roy Halladay sweepstakes, but were reluctant to give up Alcides Escobar and Mat Gamel.
- Melvin sounds hesitant to experiment with Rickie Weeks in center field.
- The Brewers will have some "some flexibility" to add free agents this offseason.
- Melvin expects the Red Sox to pursue free agent position players aggressively.
- As of today, Melvin says he's not motivated to move J.J. Hardy, but hints that the Brewers could move him after the season to make room for Alcides Escobar.
- Melvin's pleased with the progress 2009 first rounder Eric Arnett has made.
Tom Haudricourt from the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel has some topics of discussion for your reading pleasure this Sunday afternoon:
- Haudricourt says that there's a best case scenario for Bill Hall, and it's not returning to the Brewers' lineup. Haudricourt feels the best thing for both sides is for Hall to play strongly at the Triple-A level, draw interest from a team needing infield help, and get traded. This would require the Brewers eating a significant portion of the roughly $10MM Hall has left on his deal, but with Casey McGehee's emergence and Mat Gamel waiting in the wings, Hall is an odd man out.
- It's not fair to blame the Brewers' lack of minor league pitching depth on injuries to first round picks such as Mike Jones and Mark Rogers. As Haudricourt says, at some point, you have to develop a mid- or late-round pick into a viable major leaguer. His example: Randy Wells - a 38th round pick - and his 2.84 ERA.
- Matt Cain's dominance this season serves as a testimonial as to why the Brewers were unable to acquire him when they were rumored to be pursuing the San Francisco righty in the past. Haudricourt says the Giants never intended to deal Cain, and his 12-2 record and 2.12 ERA are the reasons for that.
- Haudricourt wonders aloud how nice Zack Greinke would look in a Brewers uniform, and offers this quote from the Kansas City ace: "The way we've been playing, it's as bad as any team I've played for." Strong words from someone who's been with the Royals since 2004. Greinke is just 10-6 despite leading the Majors with a 2.08 ERA, and has a 2.97 ERA over his five no-decision this season. Ouch.
- Haudricourt discusses the Indians as well, pointing out that no team had ever traded the AL Cy Young winner in back-to-back seasons. He quotes Cliff Lee:
Today was hectic, but imagine how much wilder it would have been if these two deals had gone through:
- Via Twitter, Jon Heyman of SI.com reports that the Padres almost dealt Heath Bell and Adrian Gonzalez to the Dodgers for James Loney, Russell Martin, Blake DeWitt, James McDonald and Ivan Dejesus. Wow.
- Danny Knobler of CBS Sports confirms that the division rivals considered a blockbuster deal involving those players.
- Knobler also says the Rangers and Angels both pursued Heath Bell aggressively this afternoon. The Angels and Padres were discussing Jose Arredondo, Sean O'Sullivan and Sean Rodriguez.
- Brewers GM Doug Melvin says his team was involved in a "big one that didn't happen," according to Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.
- The Crew also had interest in Jarrod Washburn and Brian Bannister.
- Melvin says everyone asked the Brewers for Mat Gamel and Alcides Escobar. Since the Brewers didn't want to deal either prospect and don't have the young pitching to offer rival teams, they had limited options.
Two Cy Young Award winners were traded this deadline and neither one of them was Roy Halladay. It's been a wild few days. Here's a recap of the action and here are some more details and reactions:
- Omar Minaya told Bart Hubbuch of the New York Post that the Mets couldn't find a trade partner because of what other teams were asking for.
- MLB.com's Jonathan Mayo says Aaron Thompson is a pretty good return for Nick Johnson. it sure beats losing him for nothing after the season.
- Joel Sherman of the New York Post reports that the Mariners told the Yankees they had to give up an Austin Jackson-type player for Jarrod Washburn, who was dealt to Detroit.
- The Brewers were told they'd have to surrender Manny Parra, Alcides Escobar or Mat Gamel for Washburn, Sherman reports.
- Bob Nightengale of USA Today reports that Washburn is open to returning to the Mariners in the offseason, when he hits free agency.
- Tigers GM Dave Dombrowski tells MLB.com's Jason Beck that the Tigers were "not close at all" to completing any other moves.
- Marc Topkin of the St. Petersburg Times says the Rays will look for help on the waiver wire in August.
- Any bobblehead collectors? Tomorrow night is still Victor Martinez bobblehead night in Cleveland, according to MLB.com's Anthony Castrovince.
- The Phillies, Cardinals, Red Sox and Tigers are Jon Heyman of SI.com's deadline winners. His losers? The Nats and Royals.
9:34am: Heyman says the Yankees inquired about Cliff Lee and were told they'd have to give up Joba Chamberlain or Phil Hughes, plus other players.
8:34am: Jon Heyman of SI.com has the latest on the biggest stars available:
- The Phillies are the frontrunners to acquire Roy Halladay. Heyman says the Jays are expected to ask for one of J.A. Happ and Kyle Drabek, one of Dominic Brown and Michael Taylor, plus others.
- The Brewers may be the Phillies' biggest threat, but they'd probably have to part with Alcides Escobar, and maybe Mat Gamel, too.
- The Mets bowed out of the Halladay talks once Fernando Martinez's name came up.
- There's a "good chance" the Cardinals trade for Matt Holliday, according to one of Heyman's sources.
- Indians GM Mark Shapiro wonders if teams are holding onto their prospects too tightly: "It's almost to the point where there's an over-evaluation of these guys. There's almost an over-correction."
- Heyman says the Nats should trade Nick Johnson, Adam Dunn and Josh Willingham.
6:49pm: ESPN's Peter Gammons says the Dodgers are still in the mix for Halladay. Pros for the Dodgers are a number of Single-A and Double-A prospects and the willingness to take on Halladay's contract. Cons are a lack of near-ready pitching prospects, and absence of Toronto scouts at Dodger games.
5:02pm: ESPN.com's Tim Kurkjian says he doesn't expect the Jays to deal Halladay because their asking price is "enormously high."
3:40pm: Rockies GM Dan O'Dowd told MLB.com that Halladay is not a fit for his team because the cost would be "devastating" financially and in terms of talent.
12:59pm: Wondering what kind of haul the Jays might bring in? ESPN.com's Jerry Crasnick looks back at nine trades for top pitchers and shows that not all blockbusters are created equal.
11:08am: Jon Heyman of SI.com says the Brewers appear to be a threat to acquire Halladay. He's hearing Manny Parra's name and suspects Mat Gamel or Alcides Escobar would have to be involved, too.
11:06am: Ricciardi told ESPN.com's Jayson Stark that talks are expected to intensify early next week. The Blue Jays haven't exchanged names with interested teams yet, but Ricciardi expects to tell teams what he's looking for by Monday.
That wouldn't leave much time before Tuesday's self-imposed deadline, but Ricciardi said it's a soft deadline.
Ricciardi says four teams are "really, really serious" about Halladay. The Phillies are believed to be one of his top suitors and Ricciardi confirmed that the Jays will scout Kyle Drabek's upcoming start.
8:33am: Here's what we heard yesterday: the Yankees and Mets aren't major threats to acquire Roy Halladay; the Cards are still involved; the Phillies are considering other options and may have told the Jays Kyle Drabek is off-limits; the Jays have imposed a pre-deadline of July 28th on the negotiations and GM J.P. Ricciardi says a trade is becoming "unlikely."
- Yahoo's Gordon Edes says the Phillies want Halladay more than Cliff Lee, but bellieve the Jays are asking for too much.
- Sportsnet.ca has a clip of Ricciardi saying a deal is unlikely.
- The Phillies won't publicly admit they're pursuing Doc, but Ray Parrillo of the Philadelphia Inquirer hears they're still interested.
- Tracy Ringolsby of FOXSports suggests the Blue Jays have to consider trading Halladay because Ricciardi hasn't committed money to the right players.