Michael Taylor Rumors

Athletics Notes: Drew, Peralta, Nakajima, Rule 5

The A's have been pursuing a reunion with Stephen Drew, but Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle has some information on the team's fallback plans should they fail to do so…

  • A major league executive tells Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle (via Twitter) that he believes Drew will sign with the A's for one year with an additional player option for 2014.
  • If Drew ends up signing elsewhere and the Tigers do indeed find a new shortstop (possibly Drew himself), the A's would likely make a move to acquire Jhonny Peralta. Peralta and his $6MM salary would obviously be expendable to the Tigers in that scenario.
  • The two don't immediately line up on paper as a fit given the Tigers' need for a right-handed hitting outfielder (the Tigers aren't interested in Michael Taylor). However, Slusser writes that Detroit likes Jemile Weeks and would contemplate moving him to the outfield. There's no guarantee the A's would move Weeks, however, even though they demoted him to Triple-A this season.
  • Hiroyuki Nakajima is still in play for the A's, and he's seeking a three-year deal worth about $5MM annually. Most believe he'll have trouble doing better than one year and an option, though.
  • Contrary to some national reports, Grant Green and Brad Peacock were not on the table in the team's Yunel Escobar trade discussions with the Marlins.
  • The A's aren't likely to select a player in the Major League portion of the Rule 5 Draft tomorrow, but there's a good chance that they lose 2007 first-rounder James Simmons to another club. Simmons, the 26th overall selection that year, posted a 2.98 ERA, 7.1 K/9 and 3.1 K/9 in 63 1/3 innings between Double-A and Triple-A in 2012. The 26-year-old also turned in a dominant performance in the Arizona Fall League.

A’s Notes: Taylor, Gomes, Damon, Outman, Moscoso

On this date in 1986, the Mets and Twins completed a five-player trade involving former first rounder Billy Beane. Now the Athletics’ GM, Beane completed a trade today, obtaining Seth Smith from Colorado for Guillermo Moscoso and Josh Outman. Here are the latest Athletics-related links… 

  • Beane says the Athletics are still looking for right-handed hitting outfielder depth, Joe Stiglich of the Bay Area News Group tweets. Michael Taylor will have to play his way into the picture, according to Stiglich.
  • John Shea of the San Francisco Chronicle hears that the A's are pursuing a Jonny Gomes/Ryan Ludwick type for depth. The A's haven't ruled out Johnny Damon, Shea tweets.
  • Outman told Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle that the trade was "bittersweet," but that he's "not mad by any means," Pitching so far above sea level will be an adjustment for the fly ball pitcher, however.
  • Moscoso told Slusser that he's "in shock," although he's looking forward to the opportunity in Colorado.

Quick Hits: Leyland, Phillies, Trumbo, Taylor

Some notes from around the majors as Casey Kotchman is a walkoff hero for Tampa Bay….



Roy Halladay-Cliff Lee Trade Finalized

3:27pm: Over at BlueJays.com, Blue Jays Alex Anthopoulos talked about the players the Jays received in the Halladay deal, as well as recent signing John Buck.  A few notes: Anthopoulos sees Wallace as a first baseman, and he has still has ongoing trade talks about other players.

1:48pm: The Mariners announced the trade in a press release, with GM Jack Zdruriencik congratulating the Phillies and Blue Jays on the way the deal was handled.  ESPN's Jayson Stark notes that the deal will be complete all-around once Bud Selig signs off on the $6MM going to the Phillies.  Elliott says an MRI on Wallace's shoulder cleared the Taylor part of the swap.

1:31pm: Jeff Blair of the Globe and Mail heard that the report of a failed physical is a "totally false rumour."  ESPN's Shannon Drayer tweets that the deal is official and Lee is a Mariner.  MLB.com's Todd Zolecki agrees, saying a Halladay press conference is set for 4pm CST.

12:38pm: Davidi passes along an AP report that has Phils GM Ruben Amaro Jr. saying he's hopeful the trade can be completed today but talks may go into Thursday.  Larry Stone of the Seattle Times doesn't expect the deal to unravel, and is hearing it's not a Mariners prospect who failed a physical.

11:47am: The three/four-way trade involving Roy Halladay and Cliff Lee is not yet official; here's our post yesterday for a refresher.  The latest bit of news kicking off today's post: Bob Elliott of the Toronto Sun tweets that he heard someone involved in the trade flunked their physical (one of the minor leaguers).  Shi Davidi of The Canadian Press says Phillippe Aumont passed.  There appears to be six other prospects involved in the deal, if you include the Michael Taylor-Brett Wallace component.  Drabek had Tommy John surgery in July of '07, while Aumont had elbow issues toward the end of the '08 season.

A recap of the expected deal:

  • The Phillies get Roy Halladay, Phillippe Aumont, Tyson Gillies, Juan Ramirez, and $6MM.  The Phillies will give Halladay a three-year extension plus vesting options.
  • The Mariners get Cliff Lee.
  • The Blue Jays get Kyle Drabek, Brett Wallace, and Travis d'Arnaud.
  • The A's get Michael Taylor.

The Roy Halladay-Cliff Lee Blockbuster

8:28pm: Ken Rosenthal and Jon Paul Morosi report (scroll down to 7:50pm) that Billy Beane and the A's first became interested in Taylor last summer when the Phillies tried to acquire Matt Holliday.

6:39pm: Jayson Stark reports on the historic maginitude of this deal as this will be the closest two Cy Young winners have ever come to being traded for each other.

6:35pm: It appears as though one of the last hurdles has been overcome as Todd Zolecki reports that Halladay has passed his physical.

2:54pm: Olney says the option vests if Halladay is close to as durable as he's been for the last two years. Halladay's made 65 starts and thrown 485 innings the last two years; he's as durable as they come.

2:43pm: Yahoo's Tim Brown hears that the Halladay extension runs through 2013 at $20MM per season. A vesting option for another $20MM could prolong the pact by another year. The deal is now pending physicals.

11:56am: Jim Salisbury of CSNPhilly.com reports that the Phillies have agreed to an extension with Halladay.

10:00am: Rosenthal hears there's a chance for a fourth year. It's still under discussion, but it could be guaranteed and it could be a vesting option.

9:42am: A source tells Andy Martino of the Philadelphia Inquirer that the deal is "very unlikely" to be completed today. We could see resolution tomorrow.

9:36am: The Phillies are still working out extension details with Halladay, according to Heyman. The teams may not complete the deal until tomorrow.

9:02am: Halladay will agree to a three-year extension worth $60MM, according to Jon Heyman of SI.com. The deal will include two vesting options, so it could keep Halladay in Philly through 2015.

(more…)


Blockbuster Trade Reactions

One of the biggest trades in recent memory is nearing completion. Here are some reactions to the Roy Halladay-Cliff Lee-prospects swap from around the game.

  • ESPN.com's Keith Law expects Brett Wallace- the player the Jays will obtain for Taylor – to end up at first base. Law likes the prospects Seattle gave up, but doesn't love them. Given that Seattle has other prospects, he says "making a legitimate run at a division title is a pretty good reason to empty out your farm."
  • Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports says the Phillies couldn't afford to have Halladay and Lee in the same rotation because it would have cost too much in terms of money and prospects.
  • Scott Lauber of the News Journal says Phillies GM Ruben Amaro Jr. has staked his legacy on Halladay.
  • Yahoo's Jeff Passan says two teams have reason to celebrate this deal: the Jays and the Mariners. The Phillies, on the other hand, are "not demonstrably better" than before. 
  • One veteran talent evaluator tells ESPN.com's Buster Olney that the only clear winner is Seattle. Olney hears from some Yankees people who believe the Jays got less than what they were demanding from Brian Cashman & Co.
  • Jon Heyman of SI.com says the Yankees were willing to offer Jesus Montero in a package for Halladay, but not Phil Hughes or Joba Chamberlain.
  • Rob Neyer of ESPN.com agrees with Dave Cameron of U.S.S. Mariner: the deal is a "heist" for the Mariners. Cameron likes the deal so much he tells Mariners fans to "dance in the streets."
  • Over at FanGraphs, Cameron says all three franchises had understandable motivations for making the trade. Still, he wonders if Philly could have obtained more for Lee.
  • Marc Hulet of FanGraphs wonders why the Phils didn't wait and deal Lee for more.
  • Richard Griffin of the Toronto Star says the Jays "should be embarrassed" by the return they got for Halladay.
  • One member of the Phillies organization tells MLB.com's Noah Coslov that he doesn't understand the trade because Michael Taylor is MLB ready now.
  • Andy Martino of the Philadelphia Inquirer says it was never realistic to expect Halladay and Cliff Lee to pitch in the same rotation.

Michael Taylor Will Be Traded For Brett Wallace

The Blue Jays will trade outfielder Michael Taylor to the A's for third base prospect Brett Wallace, according to ESPN.com's Buster Olney.

The A's acquired Wallace from the Cardinals when they sent Matt Holliday to St. Louis in July. The Jays drafted Wallace in 2005 and  were rumored to have interest in him last summer when Roy Halladay first hit the trade market.

Wallace went to college and signed with the Cards as a first rounder in 2008. The 23-year-old hit .281/.403/.438 in the upper minors for the A's and Cards last year. Ben Badler of Baseball America isn't crazy about the deal for the Jays, but Keith Law of ESPN.com says Wallace can be a better hitter than Taylor.

Taylor, who's eight months older than Wallace, hit .320/.395/.549 in the upper minors for the Phillies and fits into Oakland's system better, in Law's opinion.


Phils, Ms, Blue Jays Agree On Halladay-Cliff Lee Blockbuster

12:45am: Jason Churchill of Prospect Insider has had this info for quite a while today – the Phillies will get Aumont, Gillies, and righty Juan Ramirez from Seattle.

11:33pm: Rosenthal reports that the Phillies get $6MM from the Jays. Kyle Drabek, Michael Taylor and probably Travis D'Arnaud are headed to Toronto, Rosenthal says. Phillippe Aumont, Tyson Gillies and a third player are apparently headed to Philadelphia.  

10:12pm: Bob Elliott of the Toronto Sun (via Twitter) has Toronto getting Kyle Drabek, Michael Taylor, and Travis D'Arnaud; Philly getting Roy Halladay and Phillippe Aumont; and the Mariners getting Cliff Lee, plus another piece (or, pieces).

9:46pm: One Mariner prospect headed to Philly would be 21-year-old outfielder Tyson Gillies, writes Stark in his latest update.

9:25pm: As the deal stands now, M's prospects would only be going to Philadelphia, not Toronto, sources tell Todd Zolecki of MLB.com (via Twitter).

(more…)


Roy Halladay Rumors: Thursday

11:36pm: One baseball source tells Tom Verducci of SI.com that the Phillies have been "very aggressive" in their efforts to obtain Halladay. Apparently the Phils are trying to find the players the Blue Jays want, even if that means looking on other teams.

10:00pm: Angels GM Tony Reagins didn't comment on the reported offer of Saunders, Aybar and Bourjos, but two sources shot the rumor down when Mike DiGiovanna of the LA Times asked them about it.

Reagins said the Blue Jays have targeted Saunders, Bourjos and Mike Napoli. It's even "possible" that the deal could be expanded to send more Blue Jays to Anaheim.

"They have a lot of pieces that are attractive," Reagins said.

8:33am: Phillies GM Ruben Amaro Jr. had this to say to Scott Lauber about acquiring Halladay:  "I don't think there's any likeliness. None."

6:01am: Mark Feinsand of The NY Daily News spoke to a source who said "Don't rule out them including Cole Hamels" in a potential Halladay deal. I'm not sure it's wise for Philly to sell low on Hamels for only one year of Halladay, but that would be something.

4:47am: Ken Rosenthal of FoxSports.com says that the Angels and Phillies have emerged as the frontrunners in the Roy Halladay sweepstakes. Philadelphia is prepared to offer a package that will likely include J.A. Happ, plus either Michael Taylor or Domonic Brown. Echoing a report from yesterday, Rosenthal says the Angels offered Joe Saunders, Erick Aybar, and Peter Bourjos to the Blue Jays.

Halladay will likely require a contract extension in exchange for waiving his no-trade clause according to Rosenthal, and the Phillies would almost certainly have to make another move to fit Halladay into the payroll. Joe Blanton is a prime candidate to be that sacrificial lamb. Meanwhile, the Angels are trying to re-sign John Lackey, and could withdraw from the Halladay pursuit if he returns.


Odds & Ends: Rays, Phillies, Indians

A few more evening links….

  • Bill Chastain of MLB.com writes that the arrival of Reid Brignac in Tampa Bay could lead to the Rays buying out Akinori Iwamura's option this offseason. The $4.25MM 2010 option can be bought out for $250k. Chastain suggests that the emergence of Ben Zobrist and the recent strong play of Brignac could make Iwamura expendable.
  • Todd Zolecki of MLB.com passes on news of Phillies' minor league players of the year Kyle Drabek and Michael Taylor being honored before Tuesday's game against Washington. Given the Phillies' talent and depth on the major league level, Zolecki predicts that both prospects will start 2010 at Triple-A Lehigh Valley. Like Ryan Howard before him, Taylor has his path to the major league roster blocked by veterans with bigger contracts. Howard eventually took advantage of a Jim Thome injury and excelled in Philadelphia. It will be interesting to see if Taylor and Drabek, who were so coveted at this year's trade deadline, will earn similar opportunities in 2010.
  • Terry Pluto of the Cleveland Plain Dealer blogs about a few former Phillies prospects, expressing some concern about the Indians' haul in the trade that sent Cliff Lee to Philadelphia.