Michael Barrett Rumors
Time to round up today's linkage.
- Susan Slusser believes Rich Harden and Joe Blanton will both be traded this season. She sees the Yankees and Mets as suitors for Harden, though he's already having a start pushed back.
- Jim Caple recently made his case for the Mariners to sign Barry Bonds; his logic is sound.
- Our Brian Bannister Q&A got a mention in the KC Star. Nice!
- RotoAuthority has the fantasy take on K-Rod's ailing ankles.
- Pure speculation, but Ken Rosenthal thinks Ramon Hernandez would be a good fit for the Reds. Not sure if the Reds were looking at Michael Barrett, but that option's off the table now.
- Who said you can't go home again? Craig Wilson is back with the Bucs.
- We'll be doing our third MLBTR chat here at 2pm CST; don't miss it!
MLB.com's Corey Brock quotes Kevin Towers as saying a free agent signing is unlikely, which implies that Shannon Stewart is not on the radar. Towers still may add an outfielder via trade.
The idea of the Padres and Mariners being interested in Stewart was misconstrued a bit. Jerry Crasnick said Towers "might be tempted to look at a free agent" and that the Mariners "seem like a potential fit." My summary of his article said the Mariners and Padres were possibilities. I should've been more clear that Crasnick was speculating on those two clubs rather than reporting specific interest - sorry about that. As for Stewart, only the Blue Jays have made an offer. He came up in the Toronto organization and had some nice seasons for them.
Back to the Padres. Brock adds that Michael Barrett is not likely to be traded - Towers likes having two starting-caliber catchers on the roster. Not an ideal situation for Barrett, but it was his choice to accept the Padres' offer of arbitration.
Let's take a run through Buster Olney's blog today.
- Olney chatted with Kevin Towers recently. One learning: the Padres plan on keeping Michael Barrett. Never hurts to have a little catching depth.
- The Padres might've given Mike Cameron a two-year deal worth at least $17MM, more than he received from the Brewers. Did Cameron want out of San Diego, or did his agent make a miscalculation of the market?
- Olney talked to a talent evaluator who wondered whether the Twins might be concerned about Johan Santana's health. Reduced late-season velocity and less use of his slider could be signs.
A few notes from this evening...
- Michael Barrett and the Padres avoided arbitration, arriving at a $3.5MM deal. A little less than I expected given his $4.6MM salary in '07. If some team acquires Barrett on the cheap he could bounce back if he's comfortable. Wasn't long ago he was one of the better-hitting catchers in the game. Is there even a slight chance he wouldn't embarrass himself back at the hot corner?
- Great ShysterBall post in reference to Curt Schilling's attempt to call out Roger Clemens.
- Sandy Koufax did not do steroids.
- Derrick Goold looks at how David Eckstein ended up leaving the Cardinals despite his desire to stay.
- LENIII says it's possible nothing has happened on the Johan Santana front since the Meetings ended. Neal also names Kris Benson as a pitcher on the Twins' radar. They were one of many teams watching his recent session. Plus they were eyeing Glendon Rusch before he signed with the Padres.
Ronny Paulino. The Pirates' backstop turns 27 in April and sports a career OPS of .730 (NL average for the position in '07 was .712). Paulino nailed 26.7% of baserunners in '07 and 36.2% in '06. For his gamecalling skills I'll defer to devoted Pirate fans, but he's got to be improving after two years behind the dish. In short, there's no reason to spend money at the catcher position for 2008.
That is exactly what the Pirates are planning, however. The names on the radar:
- Johnny Estrada - free agent with few remaining skills, will cost between $3.5-4MM
- Miguel Olivo - free agent hits for pop and guns runners down, will cost around $3MM
- Damian Miller - aging backup with little left, will cost around $2MM
- Michael Barrett - intriguing buy low trade possibility, but could cost $4.5-5MM
I don't really support any of these moves, but I can at least see the logic in acquiring Barrett on the cheap and hoping to cash in on a rebound year. But bringing in a vet to split time with Paulino doesn't seem good for his development.
Padres rumor guru Tom Krasovic has a new article up at the San Diego Union-Tribune.
- The Padres are open to trading 24 year-old catcher Nick Hundley. Hundley did not crack Baseball America's Padres top ten prospects for '08 after hitting .247/.324/.475 at Double A. Kevin Towers would've sent him to the Astros for Luke Scott, and still could send him to Pittsburgh for Xavier Nady.
- Krasovic says that if the Padres are to deal Michael Barrett for a few prospects, it's likely to happen soon. The Pirates are said to be interested so maybe a deal involving Nady and some prospects could go down.
- The Padres' offer to Geoff Jenkins will likely to be inferior to that of the Phillies. So Jenkins would have to be sold on the city. He's from California and went to USC, notes MLBTR reader Nathaniel S.
- The Friars expressed interest in another USC alum, Mark Prior (as have 11 other teams). The New York Daily News reiterated the Mets' and Yankees' interest in him this morning.
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.
Aside from the aforementioned Fukudome stuff, Tom Krasovic has some trade rumors to discuss in today's article.
- It seems the Padres and Rockies are the main competitors for Tadahito Iguchi. The Pads wouldn't mind getting Matt Antonelli more seasoning at Triple A. Meanwhile the Rockies are offering Iguchi two years. The Padres also like the idea of getting David Eckstein on a one-year deal, not something he's expecting to go for.
- The Pirates still like Michael Barrett, but expect him to require little in the way of players.
- While the Padres recently met with Barry Bonds' agent, Jeff Borris, the team's CEO said point-blank that they have no interest in him. It might've been a less interesting Borris client such as Jeff Cirillo, Tony Graffanino, or Jay Witasick.
- The Padres haven't been in touch with Aaron Rowand's people. They seem in agreement on two years for Mike Cameron, but they disagree on the dollars.
UPDATE, 12-8-07 at 2:47am: More excitement...throw Abraham Nunez into the mix of Marlins third base targets. This team is going places.
FROM 12-7-07 at 11:27am:
MLB.com's Joe Frisaro posted a new column last night full of good Marlins hot stove chatter.
- The most interesting note is that the Marlins talked to the Reds about swapping Dontrelle Willis for Josh Hamilton, prior to the blockbuster with Detroit.
- With Miguel Cabrera, the White Sox and Rangers were involved during the Meetings before the Tigers jumped in. The Rangers backed out when they couldn't get an extension window for Cabrera. The Tigers wanted the same but obviously it wasn't the dealbreaker. The Angels, Dodgers, and Giants were involved before the Meetings, with the Giants offering Noah Lowry.
- Frisaro says there are "strong indications the Marlins will sign Jorge Cantu. He'll be in the mix at third base.
- The Fish are offering the Phils Scott Nestor for Wes Helms, who'd also compete at the hot corner.
- The Mets have some interest in Alfredo Amezaga, though the Marlins are inclined to keep him.
- Miguel Olivo will be released soon, so throw him into the catcher market with Michael Barrett.
Catcher Michael Barrett has accepted the Padres' offer for arbitration, taking him off the free agent market. He should end up on a reasonable one year, $5MMish deal, and the Padres will explore trade options.
Ken Rosenthal names the Rays and Pirates as interested parties. Barrett is a lot more attractive to those clubs now that they don't have to surrender draft picks to get him. Rosenthal says a mid-level prospect would do the trick. At one point this winter the Marlins were said to have interest; Barrett would be their highest-paid player.