Melvin Mora Rumors
FRIDAY, 8:32pm: MLB.com's Bill Ladson reports that Hudson is looking for $9MM, but the Nationals are only willing to pay him a third of that. GM Mike Rizzo has spoken to Hudson recently, however they talked about how he would fit with the team, rather than dollars and years.
THURSDAY, 3:15pm: Chico Harlan of the Washington Post hears that the Nationals are waiting on Hudson's decision.
10:32am: Ken Rosenthal and Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports suggested yesterday three teams are in on free agent second baseman Orlando Hudson. Today, Rosenthal says six teams are "showing varying degrees of interest."
The Nationals are one of those clubs, though MLB.com's Bill Ladson tweets that Hudson's price is still too high and they're considering either going internal or signing Adam Kennedy or Orlando Cabrera.
Rosenthal indicates Hudson is the "linchpin" of the free agent infield market, with the fates of Kennedy, Cabrera, Felipe Lopez, and Melvin Mora tied to Hudson. Regarding Mora, a Rosenthal tweet has the Rangers, Rockies, Mariners, and Reds in the mix.
Rosenthal's list of teams that are or could be looking for infield help includes the Nats, Twins, Reds, Tigers, Rockies, Mariners, Rays, and Cardinals. Morosi likes Kennedy as a match for Detroit.
Troy Renck of the Denver Post looks at a number of Rockies-related items in his latest blog entry....
- Eric Goldschmidt, agent of veteran infielder Melvin Mora, says his free-agent client is "definitely interested" in playing for Colorado. Renck points out that Mora's versatility would make him a logical signing for the Rockies, given that their other recent bench signing (Jason Giambi) can only play first base. Mora could decide on his future by the end of the week as he picks from between "roughly" five interested teams.
- Speaking of Giambi, Renck said that his clubhouse presence was a big factor in his re-signing with the Rockies. Troy Tulowitzki credited Giambi with "helping...with the mental side" of baseball.
- Renck says the Rockies are "expected to sign" reliever Justin Speier to a minor-league contract. Released by the Angels in August, Speier pitched for Colorado from 2001 to 2003 and has a 2.55 K/BB ratio in 12 major league seasons.
- Eric Gagne is "becoming a more likely non-roster invite than Derrick Turnbow." We heard yesterday from ESPN's Jerry Crasnick (via Twitter) that Arizona is also interested in Turnbow, so perhaps Colorado doesn't want to get into a bidding war with its divisional rival.
- Colorado GM Dan O'Dowd told Renck he was "surprised" when Jose Contreras signed with Philadelphia. O'Dowd said the Rockies wanted to use Contreras out of the bullpen while the Phillies offered him a chance to start. Interestingly, Phillies manager Charlie Manuel said today (as reported by Todd Zolecki of MLB.com) that Contreras will only start during spring training and will be a reliever by Opening Day.
A pair of former Oriole bats are still looking for somewhere to sign, and Baltimore has shown no interest in bringing back either Melvin Mora or Aubrey Huff, according to Dan Connolly and Jeff Zrebiec of the Baltimore Sun. Here are some more Baltimore-centric tidbits from their piece:
- The O's may not be interested in Mora, but we heard earlier in the week that a few other clubs are. Mora confirms that several teams have been in touch with his agent, including the Rockies, Cardinals, and Angels.
- The Orioles are still looking to add a corner infielder. Although they've had discussions with Miguel Tejada's representation, "a reunion remains unlikely."
- The club would prefer to play Garrett Atkins at first base, rather than at third. The greater number of affordable first basemen left on the market, however, may force their hand.
- A handful of teams, including Baltimore, have extended minor league contract offers to Rich Hill, but the lefty has yet to make a decision.
Yesterday, Dan Connolly of the Baltimore Sun learned from Melvin Mora's agent that the third baseman has two NL clubs and one AL team as suitors, none in the Eastern divisions. MLB.com's Joe Frisaro may have solved this riddle, as he tweets that the Rockies, Mets, and Angels have talked to Mora. The Mets don't fit given the non-eastern criteria, however.
Mora's agent, Eric Goldschmidt, says his client is looking for a team that will contend and "maybe give him 300-something at-bats." Mora, 38 in February, hit .260/.321/.358 in 496 plate appearances this year for the Orioles while playing 1,050 innings at third base.
Lots of other bits of information to get to on a busy Monday:
- The Baltimore Sun's Dan Connolly has several pieces of information about once and perhaps future Orioles. Former Oriole Melvin Mora has three suitors, according to Mora's agent, two National League teams and one American League team.
- Mark Hendrickson, by contrast, could well return to Baltimore. He lives in nearby York, PA and wants to play in Baltimore. His agent, Joe Urbon, said both sides have talked, but there's been no movement yet.
- David O'Brien of the Atlanta Journal Constitution believes that if his price tag drops to well below $10MM, Johnny Damon could be a good fit for the Braves. You'd have to think the Yankees would get back involved at that price, however.
- Matt Klaassen of Fangraphs.com thinks a disparity in GM talent could be behind the gap between the National and American League.
- And if Cleveland fans weren't upset enough over recent deals for Cliff Lee, C.C. Sabathia and Victor Martinez, MLB.com's Anthony Castrovince checks in with when he expects Cleveland to begin looking to trade Grady Sizemore in his latest Inbox.
- MLB.com's Chris Haft thinks the Giants should take a look at Mike Jacobs.
Links for Day 2 of the Winter Meetings, which are taking place in Indianapolis...
- Add Robb Quinlan to the list of utility men on the Rockies' radar, according to Troy E. Renck of the Denver Post. Tracy Ringolsby of FOX Sports names Melvin Mora as another target. MLB.com's Lyle Spencer tweets of interest from the Twins in Quinlan.
- The Mariners' deal for Chone Figgins is official, tweets the Brock & Salk show. The team press release notes it's a four-year deal with an option for 2014.
- Cardinals manager Tony La Russa acknowledged interest in Miguel Tejada, talking to Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. By the way, Astros GM Ed Wade is certain he won't re-sign Tejada, tweets Alyson Footer. Tejada apparently wants multiple years.
- MLB.com's T.R. Sullivan says the Rangers are considering free agent catchers such as Rod Barajas, Jason Kendall, Yorvit Torrealba, and Jose Molina.
- WEEI's Alex Speier passes along Scott Boras' comments from an XM Radio appearance. Boras discussed Matt Holliday, Johnny Damon, Ivan Rodriguez, and Adrian Beltre.
- The Brewers are discussing relievers Kevin Gregg and Mike Gonzalez at least internally, writes MLB.com's Adam McCalvy. The Crew recently lost reliever Mark DiFelice for the 2010 season. Gonzalez would cost good money and the Brewers' second-round pick (currently #50).
- Yahoo's Kevin Kaduk asks whether Twitter is helping or hurting the Winter Meetings. My opinion: hurting. The information crush was tolerable when reporters all got blogs a few years back, but now it's excessive. Of course, we're not helping.
- Jamey Carroll would love to play for the Reds but hasn't received an offer yet, writes MLB.com's Mark Sheldon.
- The D'Backs offered Chris Snyder to the Rangers for C.J. Wilson and were turned down, reports MLB.com's T.R. Sullivan. Wilson tweets that he's "borderline offended" by Arizona's offer.
- The Pirates have had further talks with free agent hurler Justin Duchscherer, says Dejan Kovacevic of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, but don't expect him to sign soon. We learned yesterday that the Rockies have cooled on Duchscherer. Kovacevic also reports that despite scouting Aroldis Chapman, the Pirates are not a player for him. ESPN's Jorge Arangure Jr. indicates that Chapman will be showcased in Houston later this month.
- The Rays and White Sox discussed a Carlos Quentin-Carl Crawford trade, says Joe Cowley of the Chicago Sun-Times. Manager Ozzie Guillen implies that nothing is cooking on that front though. The two clubs also discussed closer Bobby Jenks, but the Rays did not like the asking price.
- Angels GM Tony Reagins admitted to interest in Hideki Matsui, reports Mike DiGiovanna of the L.A. Times. Keep in mind, though that the Japanese press is apparently grilling every GM on Matsui. Reagins also said he hasn't ruled out re-signing Vladimir Guerrero.
- Carl Pavano explained his decision to accept arbitration from the Twins, in an email to Kelsie Smith of the St. Paul Pioneer Press. La Velle E. Neal III of the Minneapolis Star-Tribune suggests retaining Pavano makes Glen Perkins expendable.
- The Rangers are not interested in trading for Pirates catcher Ryan Doumit, reports MLB.com's Jenifer Langosch.
Dan Connolly of the Baltimore Sun reports that the Orioles aren't offering arbitration to any of their four free agents, the most notable of whom is Type B free agent Melvin Mora. The move comes as no surprise given that Mora made $8MM last season and Baltimore declined to pick up his option for 2010.
The Orioles are positioned to be buyers in free agency, according to Jeff Zrebiec and Dan Connolly of The Baltimore Sun. GM Andy MacPhail says that the club is looking to spend this offseason, but there remains some skepticism in Baltimore as to whether owner Peter Angelos will be willing to open up his checkbook. If the O's decide to dole out dollars this winter, here are some of the players they will and won't be targeting:
- Barring a change in organizational plans, you can cross the Orioles off the list of suitors for outfielders Matt Holliday and Jason Bay.
- The Orioles have contacted the agents of Chone Figgins and John Lackey, but are hardly alone in that regard.
- Adrian Beltre and Pedro Feliz top the O's wish list to replace Melvin Mora at third base.
- At first base, Nick Johnson, Hank Blalock, and Carlos Delgado are options. We know that Baltimore is not the only club keeping tabs on Delgado, as his last employer is said to be keeping an eye on him as well. The 37-year-old slugger ranked #43 on Tim's Top 50 Free Agents list, where it is predicted that he will sign with the Orioles.
- Andy MacPhail & Co. are considering Dodgers pitchers Randy Wolf and Jon Garland, as well as Braden Looper. MacPhail noted that the club is not afraid to take a chance on a hurler with a history of injuries and high upside. Former Oriole Erik Bedard, Ben Sheets, and Rich Harden all fit the bill.
- The O's would gladly add an established closer at the right price. Billy Wagner, Fernando Rodney, and Mike Gonzalez are mentioned as members of a deep crop of available relievers.
- It shouldn't be long before the Orioles agree to terms with pitcher Mark Hendrickson as both sides want to get a deal done. The 6'9 lefty spent time with four different organizations before coming to Baltimore - eight if you count NBA teams.
Here's some more links on a busy first day at the GM meetings...
- WEEI.com's Alex Speier writes that when Jed Hoyer took over as GM of the Padres, it only made it tougher for the Red Sox to pull off a deal for Adrian Gonzalez. “He knows all my tricks, and I know his,” said Theo Epstein of Hoyer.
- Meanwhile, WEEI.com's Rob Bradford reports that Roy Halladay has identified the Red Sox as a team he'd be willing to accept a trade to. Doc has a full no-trade clause.
- Andy Pettitte has apparently told his Yankee teammates that he'd like to come back for one more year, though there's been no definitive word according to SI.com's Jon Heyman. GM Brian Cashman said he expects the team to be more "cautious than anxious" this offseason, and that he plans to go slow, even with their own free agents according to Joel Sherman of The NY Post.
- Mets' GM Omar Minaya "has told several of his friends in the industry that he badly wants to add a run-producing bat at either first base and/or left field," according to Sherman.
- MLB.com's Steve Gilbert reports that Chris Snyder confirmed there has not been a setback in his rehab from back surgery. The Blue Jays nixed a potential Snyder for Lyle Overbay swap over the weekend over concerns about the catcher's back.
- The Orioles claimed righthander Armando Gabino off waivers from the Twins, according to Joe Christensen of The Star Tribune. Meanwhile, a team press release says the Rays claimed righty Ramon Ramirez off waivers from the Reds.
- FoxSports.com's Ken Rosenthal and Jon Paul Morosi report that Melvin Mora is working out at other positions to increase his versatility and up his value as a free agent.
- Dave Cameron of FanGraphs compared Jason Bay to Mike Cameron, and determines that the latter is a better value.
- Jon Weisman at Dodger Thoughts breaks down some Chad Billingsley rumors.
The 2009 Elias Rankings have been released, and Ed Price of AOL FanHouse has a full list of the Type-A and B free agents.
- Chone Figgins qualifies as a Type-A, not a Type-B as projected.
- Vladimir Guerrero qualifies as a Type-B, not a Type-A as projected.
- Gregg Zaun goes from no compensation to Type-B.
- Jerry Hairston Jr. goes from Type-B to no compensation.
- Hideki Matsui goes from Type-B to no compensation.
- Aubrey Huff goes from Type-B to no compensation.
If you're not sure how free agent compensation works, or if you just forgot, make sure you check out our primer.