Matt Harrison Rumors
It's hard to gauge what the Texas Rangers will look to do this offseason. There are reports that they are interested in acquiring outfielder Milton Bradley from the Cubs, who would likely eat a large chunk of the $21MM owed to him over the next two years of his contract. At the same time, they may not have the cash necessary to retain Marlon Byrd, who has posted .283/.328/.483 with a career-high 20 HRs. Buster Olney and the Baseball Prospectus staff break down the season that was for the Rangers and what they can expect going forward. An ESPN Insider subscription is required to read the article, but here are the nuts and bolts of it:
- Signing John Lackey, widely regarded as this offseason's top free agent starter, would certainly bolster their rotation. However, Buster Olney says that GM Jon Daniels could be handcuffed financially by the impending change in ownership.
- Olney also theorizes that Daniels may not be able to roll the dice on the problematic Bradley, for fear of a public relations backlash under a new regime.
- The ownership situation is murkier than most, as anywhere between four and six groups are in contention to purchase the club. One group is led by team president Nolan Ryan, whose involvement is largely considered productive.
- The aforementioned Byrd earned $3MM in 2009, the final year of his contract. Re-signing him might require a two or three-year commitment at triple the price.
- Christina Kahrl of Baseball Prospectus says that the Rangers have a good amount of pitching talent, but feels that they must live up to their potential. Rookies Derek Holland (ERAs of 5.77 in August and 10.20 in September) and Neftali Feliz have run out of gas down the stretch, but have shown tons of upside. If the Rangers feel confident in Matt Harrison and oft-injured Brandon McCarthy, they might not have to spend on a high-priced arm this winter to complement Kevin Millwood.
The Houston Chronicle is reporting that the Rangers have signed 16 players to 2009 contracts. These players include Scott Feldman and Matt Harrison, who are both expected to make the Rangers starting rotation.
Position players include catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia and right fielder Nelson Cruz.
Here's a list of the others:
- Pitchers - Josh Rupe, John Bannister, Tommy Hunter, Luis Mendoza, Dustin Nippert, Omar Proveda, Kason Gabbard
- Position Players - Joaquin Arias, Jose Vallejo, Brandon Boggs, David Murphy, and Greg Golson
The Rangers have yet to sign Josh Hamilton, Taylor Teagarden, and nine others.
According to Ken Rosenthal, the deal is finally done, pending a review of medical records. The Braves will receive Mark Teixeira and lefty reliever Ron Mahay, while the Rangers will get Jarrod Saltalamacchia, Elvis Andrus, and two pitching prospects. Matt Harrison is said to be one of them; his MRI today came up clean.
I'll have some analysis of the deal once we have all the details. Kind of makes tomorrow anticlimactic, doesn't it?
UPDATE: Sent Bowman an email about Harrison - it was definitely supposed to be his left (pitching) shoulder. The MLB.com article has been updated.
22 year-old Double A southpaw Matt Harrison might be the Braves' top pitching prospect, and he was part of the team's offer for Mark Teixeira. However, Harrison is having shoulder problems and has apparently been removed from the deal. Ken Rosenthal does not indicate which shoulder, while MLB.com's Mark Bowman repeatedly says it's his right shoulder. Harrison is to see a doctor on Monday.
Furthermore, one source of Bowman's thinks Harrison is still in the Braves' offer along with Jarrod Saltalamacchia and Elvis Andrus. Another source of Bowman's believes the injury isn't a dealbreaker.
Rosenthal, however, says the Braves gave Texas a list of pitchers to choose instead of Harrison, not including Jo-Jo Reyes. Rosenthal adds that talks are fluid and it could become a 4 for 2 deal. That might convince the Braves to part with Reyes.
Salty was the only position player not used in today's 14-0 blowout; Brian McCann did not get relief. That decision certainly seems related to an impending trade.
Meanwhile, the Diamondbacks inquired on Teixeira and were told it would take Conor Jackson, Carlos Gonzalez, and a pitching prospect. The Dodgers have been slipping while Arizona has been playing well, and the result is a virtual tie for first place. It would be interesting if the Diamondbacks jump in and become aggressive buyers.
According to Ken Rosenthal's sources, the Braves have made an offer to the Rangers for Mark Teixeira: Jarrod Saltalamacchia, Matt Harrison, and Elvis Andrus. That's without any relievers coming back to Atlanta. That's three young players all with a chance to become above-average big league regulars. You couldn't really criticize Daniels for it, no matter how it turned out.
The only other major player seems to be the Angels. The Halos recently tweaked their original offer of Casey Kotchman plus Nathan Haynes or Terry Evans. There's now a pitcher in the mix, apparently one of Ervin Santana, Joe Saunders, or Nick Adenhart. I'd consider this a comparable offer, especially if Adenhart was the one.
The Dodgers aren't out of it, but I don't see them getting Teixeira.