Matt Clement Rumors

Padres Rumors: Peavy, Fukudome, Clement

Tom Krasovic of the San Diego Union-Tribune has a new column up with some good Padres info.

  • The Padres are still hammering out Jake Peavy‘s deal.  It’ll include no-trade protection and a player option for 2013.  Brandon Webb and his agent will be watching closely.
  • The Friars have stepped up their interest in Kosuke Fukudome, who they’d use as a center fielder.  The Cubs are also in hard on him.  I recently broke down Fukudome’s suitors here.
  • Randy Wolf will get $4MM guaranteed, with another possible $5MM in incentives.
  • Matt Clement‘s top choice is the Padres, but they’re not treating the situation with any urgency given the Wolf signing.  The Ms and Jays are pushing hardest for Clement.  The Rockies, Pirates, Diamondbacks, Phillies, and Royals are known to have interest as well.  The Bucs, in fact, recently contacted Clement’s agent.
  • Eight clubs are after Brett Tomko.  From yesterday we know the Padres, Nationals, Rockies, Astros, and Marlins are among them.

Odds and Ends: Colon, Clark, Gagne

Random rumors, let’s round ’em up.

Blue Jays Like Lo Duca, Clement, Armas

J.P. Ricciardi is going bargain-shopping this winter.  The Jays won’t be in on any big-name free agents.  Instead, names like Paul Lo Duca, Matt Clement, and Tony Armas are on Ricciardi’s shopping list.

The Jays like the idea of pairing Gregg Zaun with another veteran backstop, but don’t want to give out a deal greater than one year.  It doesn’t seem like Lo Duca would go for that, but sometimes the last catcher standing has to settle.  It happened to Bengie Molina in ’06 and he was coming off a decent year.  The Marlins could pluck one of Lo Duca or Michael Barrett and the other one could get screwed.

The Jays have good rotation depth: Roy Halladay, A.J. Burnett, Dustin McGowan, Shaun Marcum, Casey Janssen, and Gustavo Chacin.  That front three stacks up with anyone’s when healthy.  You can never have too much pitching, however, so projects like Clement and Armas are being considered.  Clement worked with Jays pitching coach Brad Arnsberg in Florida.  The Padres might be the favorite, but plenty of teams are interested.

Crasnick’s Latest: Kuroda, Marquis, Morris

ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick has an in-depth look at the pitching market.  I’ll highlight a few new tidbits.

  • Hiroki Kuroda might require four years, as some teams are viewing him as the best available free agent starter.
  • Scott Boras might wait out the market a bit and then push for five years for Kyle Lohse.  That’s right, five years for Kyle Lohse.
  • Matt Clement to the Reds is a possibility I hadn’t considered.  Clement did pitch for Dusty Baker with the Cubs.
  • Crasnick reports there would be huge interest in Mark Prior if the Cubs non-tender him.  As in, pretty much every team in baseball.  Crasnick’s source indicates that Prior and the Cubs don’t have the best relationship.
  • Crasnick spoke to Doug Melvin and confirmed that Claudio Vargas and Chris Capuano will not be non-tendered.  But they could definitely be traded.
  • The Cubs are listening to offers for Jason Marquis, who is owed $16.25MM over 2008-09.  So maybe they are still in on Kuroda.
  • New Pirates GM Neal Huntington is shopping Dave Littlefield’s mistake, Matt Morris.  Morris makes $9.5MM in ’08 and would be owed a $1MM buyout in ’09.

Odds And Ends: Cabrera, Bay, Liriano, Clement, Dotel

Lots to go over this morning, so this might not be the last bullet point list you see.

  • The Angels and Marlins are progressing in talks for Miguel Cabrera. It’s believed that the Angels are willing to deal players like Reggie Willits, Howie Kendrick, and Jeff Mathis, but the sticking point here is the inclusion of Nick Adenhart. If the Angels want Cabrera, I would have to think Adenhart would be a part of any deal.
  • Pirates GM Neal Huntington says that he is not actively shopping any of his players. However, he acknowledges that if he hears an offer, he’ll have to consider it. Some of his team’s asking prices are "outrageous," he says. This includes players like Jason Bay and Jack Wilson. But the Pirates may choose in the end to dish Bay, since their strength, if any, is the outfield, and Bay is slated to make $13.25 million over the next two years. That might not seem like a lot, but it’s costly when you’re working with a paltry $50 million budget. Surely Huntington would love to deal Wilson, though he denies it. He might have trouble finding a partner on that one.
  • Though the Twins deny it, any Johan Santana deal might be dependent on the status of Francisco Liriano. The 24-year-old "hasn’t had a single setback" in his recovery from ligament replacement surgery last October. He’s completed his rehab program, and might pitch in the Dominican this winter. He’s expected to be ready in February fo Spring Training.
  • Add the Pirates to the list of teams interested in Matt Clement. It now spans the Rockies, Diamondbacks, Royals, Padres, and Blue Jays in addition to the Bucs. However, with their payroll cap, Clement might not be feasible.
  • The Tigers remain interested in closer Octavio Dotel. There is no word on whether the team has offered him a contract.

Joe Pawlikowski is co-author of River Ave. Blues.

Phillies Make Offers To Kuroda, Wolf

According to Todd Zolecki of the Philadelphia Inquirer, the Phillies currently have offers out to free agent starters Hiroki Kuroda and Randy Wolf.  There are other unknown offers out as well.  The Phils are thought to have roughly $10-12MM to burn this winter.

Jayson Stark reiterated that the Phils are after Wolf, noting that he’s high on their list.  Stark adds Matt Clement, Kris Benson, and Mike Wood to those coveted by the Phils.  Seven other teams are after Benson, including the Royals and Marlins.

MLBTR readers also know the Phils like Jon Lieber, Bartolo Colon, Kenny Rogers, Livan Hernandez, Mark Prior, Shawn Chacon, Joe Kennedy, Brian Fuentes, and A.J. Burnett.

Blue Jays, Nationals, Rays Notes

We’ll start with the Blue Jays. Jordan Bastian has an article up on reporting that the Jays have been in contact with Matt Clement. He says that the team has "always liked Matt,"  but added that he think "it depends on what Matt’s looking for a this point."

Indeed, Bastian opines that the club "would likely take a shot on Clement if the pitcher agreed to a Minor League contract with a chance at competing for a job with the Jays." With interest from a few other clubs, that seems unlikely. So this is likely one big non-rumor.

The article also quotes Ricciardi saying that Reed Johnson will be the team’s leadoff hitter in 2008, "for the most part." This would indicate that Matt Stairs is indeed a backup, and it certainly doesn’t bode well for Adam Lind. It surely fuels the speculation that Lind could be traded, as Keith Law noted yesterday.

Finally, the Jays are looking to bring back Sal Fasano to back up Gregg Zaun, though that might not happen until Fasano shops his services at the Winter Meetings, beginning December 3. Note that I am disappointed that Sal doesn’t have his own category here at MLBTR.

On the Rays end, we have reports that Nationals manager Many Acta has attended Elijah Dukes’s games in the Dominican this winter. Dukes’s team is managed by Tim Tolman, the Nats’ third base coach. reports that Dukes has said that "he desperately needs to leave Tampa Bay in order to resuscitate his career."

There’s a note on the Rays possibly being interested in Michael Barrett, but then mentions the forfeiture of the team’s second round pick as a deterrent. Indeed, Barrett may have few options beyond the Padres because of his free agent classification.

Speaking of catchers, if anyone was hoping that the Rays would leave catcher John Jaso (.316/.408/.484 at AA this year) off their 40-man roster, you’re going to be disappointed. The Rays plan to add him prior to Tuesday’s deadline for the Rule 5 draft.

Joe Pawlikowski is co-author of River Ave. Blues.

Odds And Ends: Cordero, Torrealba, Koskie, Clement

Just browsing the web this morning:

  • Troy Renck of the Denver Post speculates that the Mets deal with Yorvit Torrealba might have fallen apart because of the catcher’s shoulder issues. This is based on Torrealba having missed time in 2006 with two shoulder injuries. The deal fell apart when it was thought to be complete, with only the physical remaining.
  • The Rockies have also inquired on Matt Clement. Renck mentions the Diamondbacks as also having interest in the 33-year-old righty, adding them to the aforementioned Padres and Royals. Clement has thrown just 65.1 innings in the past two years.
  • The Yankees have identified Francisco Cordero as their Plan B closer, should talks with Mariano Rivera fall apart. It should be moot, though, as Rivera is expected to sign this week. Cordero has not made any significant strides in talks with the Brewers.
  • The Twins, who could use an upgrade at third base, aren’t interested in Corey Koskie, who was drafted by the team in 1994 and played with them until he reached free agency after the 2004 season. Koskie missed 2006 with symptoms related to post-concussion syndrome.
  • It is unclear whether the Marlins are still interested in Yorvit Torrealba, writes Joe Capozzi. The price tag could be prohibitive. If the Marlins gave Torrealba the same three-year, $14.4 million deal he was to get with the Mets, he would become their second highest paid player. A catcher was the Marlins highest paid player last year, but they look to be severing ties with Miguel Olivo. I’m not sure Torrealba is much of an upgrade, though. At least Olivo has some pop, having hit 16 homers in each of the last two years.

    Remember, Torrealba hit just .212/.292/.326 away from Coors Field. Then again, Olivo had some pretty severe home/road splits: .247/.277/.493 at home, .228/.249/.325 on the road. You can decide for yourself what that could mean.

Joe Pawlikowski is co-author of River Ave. Blues.

Wood On BoSox Radar

In Nick Cafardo’s column in the Boston Globe today, he mentions that Kerry Wood is on Sox’s radar. He says they envision him as the guy they were looking for when they traded for Eric Gagne on July 31. Unfortunately, this may not jibe with Wood’s intentions. As Tim has discussed here, he might be looking to remain as a starter, though that would limit the teams that are interested in him. Presumably, given his injury history and temporary success as a reliever in ’07, more teams would line up to have Wood in their bullpens.

The Cubs, who could use Wood either as a starter or a reliever — even a closer — remain the front runners. Other teams with a noted interest include the Reds, the Rangers, and the Yankees.

Cafardo also offers up the standard-issue rumors regarding Matt Clement (Padres or Royals), Bartolo Colon (Giants, Cubs, White Sox, Phillies), and Kris Benson ("drawing a lot of interest"). He also mentions the Tigers in connection with Livan Hernandez, Carlos Silva, and obviously Kenny Rogers. He also notes that without Joel Zumaya, the team might be looking at Eric Gagne.

And then there’s the recycled Miguel Cabrera talks. Cafardo describes the situation as we’ve all known it for some time now (guess what…Angels and Dodgers!).

Joe Pawlikowski is co-author of River Ave. Blues.

D’Backs Eyeing Clement, Colon

One fact I foolishly didn’t consider when predicting Randy Wolf would sign with Arizona is that as an organization they almost never give incentives in contracts.  This was a big factor a year ago when the Diamondbacks were making a pitch to Mark Mulder.

However, maybe we shouldn’t rule the D’Backs out on pitchers coming back from injuries.  That’s where the bargains are.  Today Nick Piecoro reported that Josh Byrnes has checked in with the agents for Bartolo Colon and Matt Clement.  Maybe they could offer one year, $10MM to Colon or one year, $6MM to Clement as a way of compensating for the lack of incentives. 

Since Arizona doesn’t need added uncertainty and doesn’t offer incentives, Piecoro still expects them to add a more reliable starter via trade.  Carlos Gonzalez is the primary chip.  Miguel Montero and Albert Callaspo also could be useful pieces.  Even Jose Valverde or Orlando Hudson could go in a blockbuster.  Ten days ago Piecoro noted that Ervin Santana and Jeremy Bonderman are two possible targets for the D’Backs.  The Tigers, looking to add a starter, probably wouldn’t part with Bonderman.  I would also expect the Byrnes to inquire on Dan Haren, Joe Blanton, and Erik Bedard