Max Scherzer Rumors
Yesterday, Max Scherzer, in hopes of being in the Diamondbacks rotation in 2009, said, "If they want me to get more innings, I would be more than happy to go to the Arizona Fall League to obtain those innings."
In this piece by Nick Piecoro of the Arizona Republic, it's noted the Diamondbacks do not like to increase an innings count by more than 30 per season and Scherzer will be happy to finish around 60. According to Piecoro, Scherzer referenced a Sports Illustrated article - presumably Tom Verducci's Year After Effect - and understands that having 60 major league innings under his belt does not guarantee he'll be a starter next season.
The Diamondbacks conditioned Scherzer, a max-effort pitcher, as a starter in Triple-A, where he totaled 53 innings. If the Diamondbacks go ahead with having him pitch in the Arizona Fall League, I would expect them to monitor Scherzer's workload and arm strength closely in 2009.
12:10am: SI.com's Jon Heyman is hearing the Braves are locked in on the D'Backs, so I'm not sure who to believe. Heyman believes the Rays could be the fallback.
11:42pm: Jack Magruder of the East Valley Tribune has a source saying there's "no way" the D'Backs acquire Teixeira or Manny Ramirez. The Braves proposed a package of Scherzer, Parker, and Tracy for Tex. Sounds like these two teams are not close to being on the same page.
11:29pm: MLB.com's Mark Bowman checks in. His source says the Yankees, Rays, and Angels are more likely to acquire Teixeira than the D'Backs. Frank Wren isn't having the Tracy over Jackson idea.
11:06pm: Buster Olney heard from sources that the Braves are leaning toward the D'Backs. He believes a deal could be structured around Tracy and a non-Scherzer pitching prospect. Will Carroll believes the Braves have two solid offers and a third on the way, and Tex could be traded by tomorrow.
10:32pm: Ken Rosenthal has the D'Backs as frontrunners for Tex, noting that they'll trade Tracy but not Jackson. Micah Owings or a prospect not named Scherzer or Parker could also be included. Tracy and Owings does seem superior to two draft picks. Rosenthal notes that the D'Backs would not attempt to re-sign Teixeira after the season. Meanwhile, Will Carroll heard that the Orioles and Dodgers also inquired.
9:39pm: Steve Gilbert of MLB.com has a source saying the D'Backs don't want to part with Conor Jackson, Max Scherzer, or Jarrod Parker for Teixeira.
7:12pm: David O'Brien of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution talked to GM Frank Wren, who says the Braves have deals on the table right now for Teixeira. Wren is still trying to find the best deal.
6:38pm: The Braves are now taking bids for Teixeira. ESPN's Jayson Stark says the teams in the mix are the D'Backs, Red Sox, Rays, and Angels. Still, Arizona seems the most logical fit. The Angels won't trade Casey Kotchman, and the Braves don't care for Kendry Morales.
5:08pm: According to Yahoo's Steve Henson, negotiations between the Braves and Diamondbacks for first baseman Mark Teixeira are "pretty far along." Henson talked to a front office source from another team interested in Tex. The Braves reportedly want a prospect plus Chad Tracy or Conor Jackson.
ESPN's Keith Law wrote earlier today that the Braves have at least four suitors for Teixeira.
Buster Olney's blog post is overloaded with rumors today. Here's a rundown:
- Olney's Speculation: Will the Red Sox will express interest in Khalil Greene with Julio Lugo on the DL for 4-6 weeks? Olney also wonders if the Dodgers will seek Huston Street if Takashi Saito is seriously hurt.
- Scout Speculation: Huston Street and Matt Murton to the Rays for prospects?
- Bobby Kielty was granted release by the Red Sox.
- Richie Sexson could decide where to go based on greatest offered playing time. I'd say that's expected for a veteran starter.
- Olney says that requests for Max Scherzer are keeping the Dbacks from making any moves, such as for Raul Ibanez.
- David Ortiz is slated to return to the lineup on July 25th, which leaves the Red Sox less than a week to evaluate him and make a move if necessary. Olney details some options:
- Acquire a hitter during the waiver period after the deadline. This would rule out comparable replacements such as Matt Holliday or Mark Teixeira.
- Make a "preemptive strike" for Holliday or Teixeira costing them "at least one of their best prospects".
- Target a "second or third tier bat" such as Ibanez or Xavier Nady.
- Continue on with or without an effective Ortiz, hoping their offense is good enough.
Some odds and ends before you fire up the grill...
- The Twins signed their other first round pick, Carlos Gutierrez.
- According to Jeff Passan, 15 year-old Venezuelan center fielder Yorman Rodriguez may have already agreed to a deal with the Reds.
- MLB.com's Jim Molony notes that the Phillies' director of Major League scouting watched a recent Red Sox-Astros game.
- Like Brian Bannister, Arizona's Max Scherzer uses an understanding of BABIP to his advantage.
- Josh Hamilton sensed jealousy in the Reds' clubhouse. Wayne Krivsky says it wasn't a factor in the trade but that "there were issues in the clubhouse."
- Yahoo's Tim Brown has an article on Kim Ng.
- Phillies' pitching prospect Carlos Carrasco has "mild soreness" in his pitching shoulder.
- Jeff Francoeur has been sent to Double A to reboot his swing.
- I chatted with Eric DeLash over at his blog. I also answered some questions from The Blog Of Champions.
Ken Rosenthal has a new column up; let's take a look.
- Rosenthal gives a good refresher on July trade candidates; pretty much the names you'd expect.
- Reasons for Wayne Krivsky's firing are discussed. By the way check out John Fay's blog for some candid final comments from Krivsky. One interesting note is that he had no extension talks with Adam Dunn.
- The D'Backs could use Max Scherzer to strengthen their bullpen, or they could shop Chad Tracy for a reliever.
- Rosenthal wonders whether the Nationals might consider the under-30 segment of the next free agent class.
- Plenty of teams continue to express interest in the Rays' Edwin Jackson. Something has to give in their rotation when Scott Kazmir returns, but demoting Andy Sonnanstine to the pen would solve the logjam.
A handful of random links...
- Josh Kalk did a guest post at RotoAuthority, using PITCHf/x data to analyze C.C. Sabathia's early struggles.
- Nick Cafardo comments on Julio Lugo's unimpressive Red Sox career, noting that Jed Lowrie is nipping at his heels. Is there any chance the Sox consider guys like Orlando Cabrera or Rafael Furcal this winter?
- Christina Kahrl believes leaving Matt Murton in Triple A was the right move.
- White Sox beat reporter Joe Cowley explains that real baseball is different from fantasy baseball.
- The Scherzer Watch begins, especially for fantasy leaguers.
- Joe Sports Fan offers their list of the seven worst baseball contracts.
Some interesting tidbits this afternoon before I check out:
- Henry Schulman of the San Francisco Chronicle reports that one of Brian Sabean's top advisors, Ted Uhlaender, was present to witness Joe Crede's homer off of Arizona's Max Scherzer on Saturday. Seems more and more likely, as Crede proves his back is fine, that he will be moved to the Giants. Will the White Sox get Kevin Correia in exchange for Crede? The White Sox need a back-of-the-rotation guy, and Kenny Williams and company think they can win this year. So prospects probably won't get it done. While the Giants could conceivably use Rich Aurilia or Kevin Frandsen at third, Sabean will most likely be unable to resist Crede's 2006.
- Juan Rodriguez of the Sun-Sentinel digs up this little tidbit: The Florida Marlins haven't signed a player to a multi-year contract since December 2005, when they signed Carlos Delgado to a four-year, $55MM contract, and Paul Lo Duca to a three-year, $18MM deal. One would hope that this trend will end soon enough, and that owner Jeff Loria will open the purse strings for Hanley Ramirez when the time is right.
- Tyler Kepner of The New York Times explores the relative surprise that Robinson Canó has been considering his draft position and reputation as a prospect, and details how frequently the Yankees almost dealt him before he made the big club. Canó was nearly dealt for Alex Rodriguez, Carlos Beltrán, and Randy Johnson in different instances.
- AP Sports Writer Bob Baum explains that Bud Selig isn't trying to keep Barry Bonds from being signed. Selig stressed that each club is free to deal with whomever they please.
According to John Mahnke of the East Valley Tribune, the Diamondbacks have a trade offer out to the A's for Dan Haren. The package includes Carlos Gonzalez, Emilio Bonifacio, and Brett Anderson - but not Max Scherzer.
Gonzalez is apparently the headliner - the A's would try him in center field even though he's mostly played right. Mahnke says Gonzalez hasn't appeared in a winter league game in over a week, and that's a sign that he's part of a possible trade.
It'd be surprising to see Josh Byrnes pull this off without giving up any young Major Leaguers. However, none have been named as part of Arizona's offer as of yet. The D'Backs are one of few teams that could pull this off without disrupting their big league club much. Pairing Brandon Webb with Haren could really help the team plow through playoff series.
UPDATE, 12-5-07 at 11:20am: Joel Sherman says Stephen Drew, Mark Reynolds, and Tony Pena are also off the table in the Haren talks.
UPDATE, 12-5-07 at 8:09am: Susan Slusser adds that the A's aren't being unreasonable with Arizona - they haven't asked for Justin Upton or Chris Young. Slusser also notes that Billy Beane wouldn't sit down with the Tigers unless they'd discuss Andrew Miller and Cameron Maybin. That's when the Tigers turned to the Marlins. Beane downplayed the chances of trading Haren, but what else is he going to say?
FROM 12-5-07 at 12:09am:
Technically it's Wednesday now, and some of the more rumor-filled threads were getting really long. So I'm happy to start a set of new ones. You can check out Tuesday's Dan Haren thread here.
According to Jack Magruder of the East Valley Tribune, the D'Backs are willing to discuss a package of Carlos Gonzalez, Emilio Bonifacio, and Brett Anderson for Haren. That the D'Backs could spare these three very talented youngsters without skipping a beat speaks to how deep their farm system is. Magruder's source says the A's could ask for a staggering six players.
Jose Valverde, Dustin Nippert, and/or Alberto Callaspo could be involved to give the A's some MLB-ready talent. From previous reports, we know that Conor Jackson and Max Scherzer will not be involved. Ken Rosenthal had suggested last night that the A's initial request scared the D'Backs off, but he's since corrected that information.
The A's, however, want to wait for something to happen with Johan Santana before trading Haren.
Additionally, Magruder adds that the D'Backs have a touch of interest in Noah Lowry.
MLB.com's Steve Gilbert has some trade rumors to digest this evening concerning the D'Backs.
- Arizona had discussions with the A's about Dan Haren today. Many names were thrown about. Conor Jackson was not involved. The A's asked about Max Scherzer and were told he's not available. We learned earlier that Carlos Gonzalez's name came up.
- By the way, the D'Backs aren't interested in Joe Blanton.
- Arizona is still around 3/30 on Hiroki Kuroda.
- The Rangers inquired about Carlos Gonzalez but wouldn't consider parting with Eric Hurley for him.
- The Nats are indeed interested in Miguel Montero, as reported previously.