Max Scherzer Rumors
Saturday night linkage..
- The Tigers announced tonight they've demoted Max Scherzer and Scott Sizemore to Triple A, with Armando Galarraga and Danny Worth getting the call. Both Scherzer and Edwin Jackson have disappointed since changing teams in December's big deal.
- Hank Blalock comes to Tampa Bay determined to be a more well-rounded player, according to MLB.com's Adam Berry and Bill Chastain.
- The Marlins could make a 40-man roster move soon to bring back Mike Lamb, tweets MLB.com's Joe Frisaro. Lamb was designated for assignment last week and is currently in Triple A.
- Despite Adam LaRoche's successful 2009 stint in Atlanta (.325/.401/.557 in 57 games), the Braves didn't approach him about returning, writes Chris Vivlamore of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
- Alan Schwarz of the New York Times takes an in-depth look at the likely first overall pick in next month's draft, Bryce Harper.
- Nats manager Jim Riggleman says that the club will have to consider making a roster move with reliever Brian Bruney, writes Adam Kilgore of the Washington Post (via Twitter).
- Mets pitcher Oliver Perez won't accept a demotion to Triple-A if asked, tweets David Lennon of Newsday. Perez has been bumped out of the starting rotation and placed in the bullpen.
- Tyler Kepner of the New York Times writes that Eric Byrnes and Morgan Ensberg are making the most of life-after-baseball.
- Brewers pitching prospect Jeremy Jeffress will have to wait a little bit longer to return to the mound once he is reinstated, writes MLB.com's Adam McCalvy. Jeffress, the 18th overall pick in the 2006 draft, has tested positive for a "drug of abuse" on three separate occasions.
Once the Tigers traded Curtis Granderson and Edwin Jackson for four pre-arbitration eligible players, the thought was that owner Mike Ilitch was trimming payroll after the recession hit Detroit especially hard. However, he then approved a massive extension for ace Justin Verlander as well as the signing of Johnny Damon, and now his team's Opening Day payroll is expected to be somewhere around $130MM, up from $115MM last year.
Lynn Henning of The Detroit News wrote about the payroll savings GM Dave Dombrowski will enjoy after the season, which are pretty significant. Here's a look at the money the Tigers have coming off the books after the 2010 season...
- Jeremy Bonderman, $12.5MM salary in 2010
- Dontrelle Willis, $12MM
- Nate Robertson, $10MM
- Johnny Damon, $8MM
- Brandon Inge, $6.6MM
- Gerald Laird, $3.95MM
- Bobby Seay, $2.475MM
- Adam Everett, $1.5MM
That's $57.025MM in savings right there, and the team would be wise to avoid letting Magglio Ordonez reach the 540 plate appearances needed for his $15MM option to vest.
Ilitch isn't shy about spending big on the free agent market, and he'll have the money available to add a big bat to complement Miguel Cabrera (Jayson Werth, Aramis Ramirez if he declines his option?) as well as another elite starter to a rotation that already includes Verlander, Rick Porcello, and Max Scherzer (Josh Beckett, Cliff Lee?) after the season. Keep in mind that I was just throwing some names out there off our 2011 free agents list, and that the Tigers have not been linked to any of those players in any rumors we've seen.
The Tigers are already in a position to compete in the AL Central, and once they shed some dead money after the season, they'll have a chance to jump ahead of the pack if they spend wisely.
The Diamondbacks' main additions this offseason have been Adam LaRoche, Edwin Jackson, Ian Kennedy, Kelly Johnson, Aaron Heilman, and Bob Howry. They also exercised Brandon Webb's option and received Tony Abreu as the player to be named later in the Jon Garland trade. On the flip side, they subtracted Max Scherzer, Doug Davis, Yusmeiro Petit, and Daniel Schlereth from the pitching staff.
- Regarding LaRoche, Kendrick said, "There were a couple of other possibilities, and we were going to be able to do one of them."
- Given the losses of Webb and Conor Jackson last year, Kendrick considers them on par with big free agent additions for 2010.
- Kendrick spoke of four or five guys the D'Backs would prefer not to go year-to-year with, third baseman Mark Reynolds among them. Kendrick believes the time for those discussions is before the season begins. Reynolds will be arbitration-eligible for the first time in 2011, as he just missed the cutoff this time around.
- Byrnes spoke of "a pendulum in the game," where some teams chase a new philosophy to the extent that it creates a market inefficiency.
- Byrnes carefully explained why he traded Scherzer, suggesting Jackson has gotten "to that next level" while Scherzer hasn't. He also explained how that three-way deal came together - 90% was done quickly, and then there was "about a month of starting at each other and seeing if there were another deal, improvements or alternatives out there either club liked."
WEDNESDAY, 9:03am: Let's add Nick Piecoro's take from the Arizona Republic. I'm with him - I don't hate it for Arizona as much as most people. - Tim Dierkes
- Drew Sharp of the Detroit Free Press says it's a "damn shame" the Tigers had to trade Curtis Granderson.
- Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports says the Tigers had to make the move because they're overpaying a group of underperforming veterans.
- MLB.com's Jonathan Mayo breaks down the minor leaguers in the deal. For those of you wondering about Austin Jackson's defense, Mayo offers the following: "Many feel he has the skills to be an everyday center fielder at the Major League level, with above-average range and a solid arm." But will he have Granderson's knack for the spectacular play?
- Dave Cameron of FanGraphs says the deal is very good for the Yankees, okay for the Tigers and bad for the D'Backs.
- ESPN.com's Keith Law says he has "no idea" why the D'Backs would make this deal. Law considers the Tigers and Yankees winners.
- Frankie Piliere of AOL FanHouse says the Tigers are "clear winners" in this deal.
What do you think about the deal?
WEDNESDAY, 2:35pm: This deal is official, tweets Joel Sherman of the New York Post.
TUESDAY, 1:24pm: As chronicled here, a three-team blockbuster trade has been agreed upon between the Yankees, Diamondbacks, and Tigers. The players:
- The Yankees receive center fielder Curtis Granderson, who turns 29 in March. Granderson is owed $5.5MM in 2010, $8.25MM in '11, and $10MM in '12, with a $13MM club option/$2MM buyout for '13. That's $25.75MM guaranteed over the next three years. Melky Cabrera could now be expendable for the Yankees, and the Cubs are one possible suitor.
- The Diamondbacks receive a pair of starting pitchers: Edwin Jackson and Ian Kennedy. Jackson, 26, is under team control for '10 and '11 and is owed an arbitration raise on this year's $2.2MM salary. Kennedy, 25 this month, missed most of the '09 season due to surgery to remove an aneurysm near his shoulder. As far as I can tell he is under team control for another six seasons. This is the second year in a row Jackson has been traded at the Winter Meetings.
- The Tigers receive four players: starter Max Scherzer, relievers Daniel Schlereth and Phil Coke, and center fielder Austin Jackson. The Tigers get five years of Scherzer, six of Schlereth, five of Coke, and six of Jackson, potentially 22 years of control in total. Scherzer, 25, and Jackson, 23 in February, are probably considered the prizes of the haul.
12:48pm: Heyman tweets that an agreement has been reached, with only medicals pending. We'll do a fresh post once this trade is official. To reiterate: the Yankees get Curtis Granderson, the D'Backs get Edwin Jackson and Ian Kennedy, and the Tigers get Max Scherzer, Daniel Schlereth, Austin Jackson, and Phil Coke.
Sherman notes that the Yankees managed to pull off the Granderson acquisition without giving up Phil Hughes, Joba Chamberlain, or Mike Dunn.
12:35pm: Olney now says this deal is close. Sherman says medical records are being exchanged on Granderson. In another tweet Sherman says there's no deadline on the deal, but one source says it's "on the goal line." He adds that removing Dunn from the deal was key for the Yanks.
Tyler Kepner of the New York Times says the deal is "very close," and would be Austin Jackson, Coke, Scherzer, and Schlereth to the Tigers, Edwin Jackson and Kennedy to the D'Backs, and Granderson to the Yankees.
12:19pm: Rosenthal says the revised deal has the Tigers getting two players from the Yanks rather than three, with Coke or Dunn out. AOL FanHouse's Ed Price tweets that the D'Backs and Tigers are awaiting signoff from the Yankees, and expect an answer within 40 minutes.
11:24am: More from Olney - the D'Backs are aiming to get Edwin Jackson and Kennedy in the deal. Olney speaks of "growing confidence on at least two of the sides" involved, and his sources have the odds of a deal in the 20-30% range. One Heyman source said 50%.
11:15am: Rosenthal and Morosi note that the Yankees and Tigers are open to making a Granderson deal and leaving the D'Backs out of the discussion. Still, the three-team talks are ongoing and fluid, with the Tigers requiring a "high-ceiling, close-to-the-majors center fielder" as part of the Granderson package. Austin Jackson could be that player.
ESPN's Buster Olney says it's the Tigers that re-ignited the three-way talks, and they've lowered their asking price.
10:33am: Heyman tweets that this deal is "back with a chance." Mark Feinsand of the New York Daily News agrees, noting that the Tigers "may be caving" on the price for Granderson. He says the Yanks would likely downgrade one of the pitchers, most likely Dunn. Wouldn't be the Winter Meetings without three-team trade scenarios and the constant back-and-forth.
10:30am: Just to add a little intrigue, ESPN's Buster Olney says "one idea raised" was the Yankees getting both Granderson and Jackson. Regardless, two of the teams involved backed out of this three-team mess.
8:29am: SI's Jon Heyman tweets that this one "looks very unlikely." In his scenario Heyman had Daniel Schlereth, Scherzer, and more going to Detroit. He adds that the Yankees are saying no to the deal, which would've cost them the four prospects named below. Similarly, Morosi now finds the chances of this one to be "not good" because the Yankees balked at the price.
7:35am: Buster Olney adds that the talks progressed to the point where only one team liked the deal; he's not sure whether talks can resume or not.
TUESDAY, 7:00am: Morosi tweets that the deal is still a possibility as of this morning, according to one source.
MONDAY, 11:23pm: Joel Sherman of the New York Post hears that the Tigers were never satisfied with the blockbuster talks.
10:05pm: The D'Backs pushed for a blockbuster three-way deal with the Yankees and Tigers today, only to see one of those two teams veto it, according to Jon Paul Morosi and Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports. However, the teams are discussing the following scenario.
The deal would send Curtis Granderson to the Yanks, along with a prospect or two from the D'Backs. Arizona would obtain Edwin Jackson from the Tigers and Ian Kennedy from the Yankees. The Tigers would obtain Max Scherzer from the D'Backs and Austin Jackson, Phil Coke and Michael Dunn from the Yanks.
Talks are apparently at an "impasse" now, though the D'Backs continue to push for a trade.
Links for Friday, as team execs and media folk pack their bags for Monday's Winter Meetings in Indianapolis...
- The Brewers signed Trent Oeltjen to a minor league deal, according to MLB.com's Adam McCalvy. Oeltjen, 27 in February, hit .303/.362/.500 in his third Triple A tour, playing the outfield corners.
- Brewers assistant GM Gord Ash spells out why his team won't be acquiring Roy Halladay, talking to McCalvy.
- MLB.com's Joe Frisaro tweets six minor league free agents signed by the Marlins, including Jesse Foppert, Vinny Rottino, and Hector Luna.
- The Pirates expressed "mild interest" in free agent pitcher Clay Hensley, according to Dejan Kovacevic of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Hensley, 30, spent the year at Triple A in the Astros and Marlins organizations, posting a 3.56 ERA in 124 innings.
- Joe Capozzi of the Palm Beach Post feels there's "still a good chance [Ross] Gload returns [to the Marlins] with a two-year deal."
- Darren Dreifort's five-year, $55MM deal tops Jeff Passan's list of the ten worst contracts of the 2000s for Yahoo.
- Joe Pawlikowski of River Ave. Blues explains why the Yankees probably won't sign Rafael Soriano.
- In his Winter Meetings preview for AOL FanHouse, Ed Price says there was some discussion about a Tigers-Diamondbacks trade involving Edwin Jackson and Max Scherzer.
- ESPN's Buster Olney talked to rival executives who say the Tigers have not aggressively shopped Curtis Granderson.
- Olney doesn't think the Mariners will pay up for Jason Bay. He believes the Red Sox are "controlling the market" for Bay and Matt Holliday.
- Joe Strauss of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch says the Cardinals are "increasingly weighing spreading what it would cost to retain Holliday over several players." Bernie Miklasz of the P-D feels the Cards are "enacting their exit strategy from the Holliday sweepstakes." I would not be surprised to see the Cardinals make their best offer soon - let's say $110MM over six years - and entirely move on if Scott Boras rejects it.
- SI's Jon Heyman tweets that Nick Johnson is "drawing interest from the Giants, maybe Braves, and a half-dozen more."
- MLB.com's Corey Brock talked to former Padres GM Kevin Towers, who will meet with the Mets, Yankees, Mariners, and Red Sox at the Winter Meetings.
- ESPN's Keith Law isn't impressed with the Phillies' Placido Polanco signing. My initial impression upon hearing about the signing is that no other team would've valued Polanco that highly.
- MLB.com's Joe Frisaro tweets that other teams have been more aggressive on Jamey Carroll than the Marlins. Other Carroll suitors include the Rockies, Red Sox, Angels, Dodgers, A's, Rangers, Pirates, Reds and Indians.
TUESDAY 3:41pm: D-Backs' managing general partner Ken Kendrick says the payroll will likely increase to north of $75MM next year, according to MLB.com's Steve Gilbert. The payroll in 2009 was appoximately $73.5MM.
"We definitely have more than $10 million to spend in the market," Kendrick said. "There are other moves that we may make that could change the money landscape that have yet to be determined."
MONDAY 6:54pm: Arizona Diamondbacks President and CEO Derrick Hall said his team is "definitely adding to the payroll" during a web chat on MLB.com Monday.
Hall weighed in on a huge number of issues, including:
- He wants to look at free agent starting pitchers, relievers, and a bench player. He expects most acquisitions to come through trades.
- He believes both Juan Gutierrez and Esmerling Vasquez can pitch the sixth, seventh or eighth innings next season.
- Only Brandon Webb, Dan Haren and Max Scherzer are guaranteed rotation spots in 2010. Billy Buckner, Kevin Mulvey, and possibly free agents could also be in the mix.
- Stephen Drew "would be too tough to replace if we ever moved him."
An assortment of links to get the day started...
- Adam Rubin of the New York Daily News hears that one AL contender has at least some interest in adding Billy Wagner for the stretch run. The lefty makes $10.5MM this year and has a $1MM buyout for 2010, so Wagner seems likely to clear waivers.
- Rubin says the Mets won't likely offer Wagner or Carlos Delgado arbitration after the season.
- As Nick Piecoro of the Arizona Republic reports, Max Scherzer uses some pretty advanced stats to judge his performances.
- Joel Sherman of the New York Post hears that the Yanks and Padres almost completed the Chad Gaudin trade before the deadline. When Kenny Williams called about the Jake Peavy deal, Towers had to ignore Cashman, but the teams struck a deal in the end.
- Danny Knobler of CBS Sports says one look at John Smoltz's face suggests he may be done.
- Yahoo's Gordon Edes says Smoltz looked like a "pitcher turned pinata" last night.
- Sam Donnellon of the Philadelphia Inquirer says Phillies GM Ruben Amaro Jr. looks pretty smart right now.
In this chat with fans, Diamondbacks CEO Jeff Moorad mentions that Max Scherzer will be the No. 5 starter for Arizona in 2009, and that the No. 4 starter will be "a player to be named." Could indicate they're looking to acquire someone.
For D-Backs fans still hoping that someone will be Randy Johnson...don't count on it:
We told Randy's agents that we wanted to meet with him in-person. They told us that they would get back to us after he filed for free agency. We haven't heard another word on the subject. We offered to pay Randy what we felt was fair and respect the fact that he chose to explore the market - he will always have a place here in Arizona.