Matt Morris Rumors
UPDATE, 12-12-07 at 3:56pm: Krasovic jumps in to say that the Padres definitely won't be trading Headley to the Bucs (and probably not at all). The Pirates and Padres have been talking a lot, and some kind of deal involving some of the players below could definitely happen.
UPDATE, 12-12-07 at 12:01pm: Buster Olney is reporting that the Padres are "deep into discussions" with the Pirates about a multiplayer trade in which Bay would be the centerpiece.
FROM 12-12-07 at 9:30am:
Tom Krasovic checks in with all sorts of fresh Padres rumors, as he often does. Below are the ones that haven't come up elsewhere on the site today.
- The Padres and Pirates might have mutual ground for some kind of multiplayer deal. Names like Matt Morris, Jason Bay, Xavier Nady, and/or Nate McLouth are possible future Padres. The Bucs could go for Michael Barrett and/or Padres' top prospect Chase Headley. My challenge to you: create a reasonable multiplayer trade scenario between these two clubs in the comments.
- Krasovic says the Padres "explored a trade" for the Cardinals' Anthony Reyes. The Indians and Phillies have also been linked to the youngster before.
- As you might expect, Morgan Ensberg will probably be non-tendered today. He made $4.35MM in '07, and the Friars don't want to pay him anything like that.
- Akinori Otsuka is another non-tender candidate, and the Padres could seek to bring him back if so. Otsuka has been throwing pain-free since late October, though, so the Rangers will probably retain him.
UPDATE, 12-4-07 at 11:28am: More from Renck. He confirms the Red Sox' interest in Fuentes and adds the Astros to the mix. While the Rox like Burke, the teams don't really match up because that's not enough.
UPDATE, 12-4-07 at 12:01am: The Denver Post's Troy E. Renck has more.
- Brian Anderson - remember him? - is on the radar as a lefty swingman. The 35 year-old hasn't pitched in the bigs since '05.
- Renck ponders whether the Rox might revisit talks for Matt Morris, a sentiment echoed by Jenifer Langosch.
- Nothing seems to be imminent on the Fuentes-Lowrie rumor.
UPDATE, 12-3-07 at 9:21pm: A suitor for Fuentes has emerged. ESPN's Amy Nelson says the Red Sox are interested and the Rockies could seek Jed Lowrie. Lowrie would be a nice fit at second base.
FROM 12-3-07 at 8:28pm:
MLB.com's Thomas Harding checks in with some Rockies nuggets.
- The Rockies have no pressing need to trade Brian Fuentes, so they'll sit pretty with two closers unless an impressive and helpful offer comes along. Dan O'Dowd believes four or five clubs might have the goods and need to get Fuentes. We'll see.
- The Rox let Josh Fogg's agent know they'd like to explore bringing him back. No figures were exchanged.
- The team still hopes to bring LaTroy Hawkins back, but they'd have to go to two years to pull that off. They already chose not to exercise an effective $3.5MM option on him. It seems the Rockies may have underestimated the interest in Hawkins.
MLB.com's Jenifer Langosch jumps into the fray with her own set of Pirates rumors.
- Jason Bay rumors are flying around. Langosch mentions Steve Phillips' rumor at ESPN: Kelly Shoppach and Cliff Lee for Bay. Andy Marte could be involved as well.
- The Rangers have decided they desire a corner outfielder, and moved from Nate McLouth to Bay accordingly. Langosch suggests the Rangers would send relievers over to Pittsburgh - now that would be a bad trade for the Bucs.
- McLouth, by the way, is drawing interest from the Giants and Padres. He's also been linked to the Marlins.
- The Rockies may have some interest in Matt Morris.
- Dealing Morris might allow the Bucs to give Brett Tomko what he wants - an opportunity to start. The Pirates will meet with Tomko's agent this week.
- Both beat writers are saying not to expect Jason Bay to be traded at the Meetings. It would be a sell-low move with bad PR.
- Both also agree that Matt Morris staying put. Kovacevic spins it as if the Pirates should actually want to keep Morris, while Perrotto's sources suggest the Bucs would have to eat more than 70% of Morris' contract to ditch him.
- Kovacevic also suggests that the Pirates need Jack Wilson, and that's why he won't be going anywhere.
- Relievers Salomon Torres, Damaso Marte, and John Grabow are available and drawing some interest. Marte in particular interests the Yankees.
- Chris Duffy can be had; the Braves and Marlins have previously expressed interest. Maybe they'll renew that with center field vacancies and a new Pirates GM. Duffy will start in Triple A if he's not dealt.
- The Pirates are still talking to Shawn Chacon about returning.
- Perrotto notes that interest in center fielder Nate McLouth is picking up, with the Padres and Marlins interested.
- Xavier Nady won't be non-tendered, contrary to previous reports.
Yesterday Joe Strauss wrote how the Cardinals' #1 reasonable target for shortstop appears to be the Pirates' Jack Wilson. Today, Dejan Kovacevic confirms it and adds Matt Morris as another possibility to head to St. Louis.
Kovacevic notes that the Cardinals tried to acquire Morris last summer, though that wasn't John Mozeliak. The Pirates would have to be willing to eat some of Morris' salary, though they would take on all of Wilson's. So far Anthony Reyes, Tyler Johnson, and Brad Thompson are named as the pitchers the Cardinals will trade. I still have some hope for Reyes.
Kovacevic adds that the Bucs are in on Japanese reliever Kazuo Fukumori. The Padres, Rockies, and Red Sox may also have Fukumori in their sights.
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.
UPDATE: This was a pure salary dump - the Bucs are paying the entire contract. Why, Dave? Why? Props to Sabean, but on June 1st he might've gotten a good prospect plus the same salary relief.
The Pirates have acquired Matt Morris from the Giants for outfielder Rajai Davis and a player to be named later. I'm guessing they just wanted salary relief, because Davis isn't much more than a speedy reserve outfielder. Brian Sabean made this deal about a month and a half too late. Morris had a 2.56 ERA in June 11th.
The Pirates seem to be trying that strategy that didn't work for Allard Baird - third-division club acquires third-division overpriced veterans to give the appearance of respectability. Maybe a few years from now they'll catch on to the Dayton Moore model.
UPDATE: Hickey writes that the Mariners have also scouted Kyle Lohse, Matt Morris, Jason Johnson (thought he went to Japan), and Octavio Dotel. However, a deal seems unlikely because none of those players are worth top Mariner prospects.
According to Jim Hickey of the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, the Mariners have been scouting all kinds of available and not-so-available starters lately.
- The Mariners have been scouting the White Sox "religiously" lately. If they saw Javier Vazquez beat the Tigers on Tuesday, they came away impressed. (However, Vazquez can and probably would veto a trade to the AL or NL West). They were on hand to watch Jose Contreras tonight; the Tigers had batting practice with him and his ERA is up to 6.22. Did you hear that? That was the sound of Contreras' remaining ounce of trade value evaporating.
- As you know, the Ms watched Dontrelle Willis on Monday. Compared to Contreras, Willis pitched well - four earned runs, nearly seven innings.
- The Ms also had a scout on hand to see Livan Hernandez twirl a gem over the Marlins on Tuesday. Hey, at least he takes the ball every fifth day. That has to be worth something.
- Hickey says Seattle has also been monitoring the Astros, perhaps in hope of acquiring Dan Wheeler or Chad Qualls. He speculates that Wandy Rodriguez would be a coup for the Mariners. Wand-Rod has thrown up stinkers in his last two outings but tossed a complete game shutout over the Mets in the game prior. He's inconsistent like that. The Astros' #2 starter for 2008 wouldn't come cheap.
Jim Molony's column today at MLB.com has many good trade rumors that I haven't seen elsewhere. Let's discuss.
- Molony says at least a dozen scouts watched Jason Jennings toss a quality start last night. He needed it; I was beginning to think he wasn't right. Still, the performance probably isn't enough to cause some team to offer a package for Jennings superior to two draft picks.
- The Diamondbacks and Pirates had a scouting presence at the Astros-Dodgers game. Interesting players appearing in the contest included James Loney, Andre Ethier, Wilson Betemit, Mark Loretta, Morgan Ensberg, Jason Lane, Chad Qualls, Dan Wheeler, and Brad Lidge. You connect the dots, I have no idea.
- The Red Sox suggested sending Joel Pineiro to the A's for Bobby Kielty in a swap of unwanteds; they were rebuffed.
- The Phillies and Braves watched Matt Morris allow four runs in six innings on Tuesday. They also may have been monitoring Steve Kline, who also pitched.
- A Devil Rays scout watched the Twins in Toronto on Tuesday. Ty Wigginton is thought to be a target for Minnesota. Perhaps the Rays' scout fancied Scott Baker, who started for the Twins and went seven innings. Baker would be a stupendous return for Wiggy, in my opinion.
- The Phillies had their assistant GM scouting Kevin Slowey's start on Saturday. Molony suggests Minnesota might want Pat Burrell. That would involve a ridiculous amount of salary relief and a lack of Slowey. Slowey allowed one run in six innings in the game.
- UPDATE: Just realized that the above pair of bullets seem to have originated from La Velle E. Neal III of the Minneapolis Star-Tribune. The scout watching the Twins on Tuesday was Lee Elia. Not sure why Molony didn't cite this source, but I suppose he may have come across the info independently.
I feel bad for Ken Rosenthal's family, as they won't be seeing much of him until August 1st. He's got another update for us tonight.
- The Mariners are hoping to unload Richie Sexson; can you blame them? To trade for Sexson now would be insane, even with the Ms eating half of the $14MM he's owed in 2008. He has shown almost no signs of life this season. Rosenthal suggests a Sexson for Matt Morris swap but I'd much rather have Morris.
- The Brewers have considered the possibility of a Jermaine Dye trade. Kenny Williams apparently wants Derrick Turnbow or Manny Parra, which actually sounds reasonable.
- Rosenthal also has some info regarding role players Jeff Conine and Mark Loretta. But even I have a hard time getting worked up over that. I'd like to see a new, interesting name tossed into the rumor mill. Like when Roy Oswalt came up a year ago. How about Rafael Furcal or Jim Thome? They're free agents after the '08 season, they should be semi-available.