Michael Bowden Rumors
According to ESPN's Peter Gammons:
The Red Sox say the backup/Tim Wakefield catching job has been won by George Kottaras, but they are still looking for another catcher. The Diamondbacks, who would like another starting pitcher, continue to insist on Michael Bowden for Miguel Montero, and Boston GM Theo Epstein still won't trade Bowden.
Montero, 25, hit .255/.330/.435 last year in 207 plate appearances as Chris Snyder's backup. He threw out 18.2% of attempted base-stealers. Meanwhile Bowden, 22, tossed 144.3 innings in the minors last year with a 2.62 ERA. Baseball America called him "a safe bet with a good chance to become a No.3 starter."
9:10am: WEEI's Alex Speier talked to a source who said little has changed in the Montero trade talks. Speier says the D'Backs hope to receive a starter for Montero, meaning Daniel Bard might not cut it. The D'Backs aren't in any rush to trade Montero.
TUESDAY, 8:40am: Massarotti says the D'Backs and Red Sox "clearly feel there is a fit." They're still trying to determine which young Boston player is comparable to Montero. Massarotti reiterates that the Red Sox maintain interest in Jason Varitek and Jarrod Saltalamacchia as well.
MONDAY, 2:44pm: Nick Piecoro of the Arizona Republic weighs in:
We're hearing the Diamondbacks aren’t getting the impression that the Red Sox are zeroing in on Montero. The clubs are still talking -- or maybe we should say they are again talking -- and the Sox have tweaked their offer, but it apparently is not to the point where it satisfies the Diamondbacks.
8:59am: According to Michael Silverman of the Boston Herald, the Red Sox have been "intensifying talks with the Arizona Diamondbacks concerning 25-year-old catcher Miguel Montero." Silverman says the D'Backs have not been requesting Clay Buchholz, and the teams may be able to find a match. Last week Peter Gammons said the Red Sox would not give up Michael Bowden for Montero. Alex Speier wrote on December 9th that the Red Sox rejected that offer.
Silverman adds that the Red Sox are expected to continue to sign new players this week. They've already added John Smoltz, Brad Penny, Mark Kotsay, Rocco Baldelli, and Takashi Saito on one-year deals. Former Dodgers GM Fred Claire weighs in on Boston's bargains at MLB.com.
Peter Gammons did a chat today with Boston Globe readers, and he discussed Boston's pursuit for a catcher.
The Red Sox "seem focused" on Arizona catcher Miguel Montero, with Jarrod Saltalamacchia remaining a possibility. The Red Sox so far will not give up Michael Bowden for Montero. Gammons notes the Sox made failed runs at Russell Martin and Mike Napoli.
The latest from Ken Rosenthal...
- Rosenthal suggests the Brewers trade Prince Fielder for "premium pitching" and then sign Adam Dunn to replace him. Which begs the question, why wouldn't the team giving up this premium pitching just sign Dunn instead?
- Despite signing John Smoltz, the Red Sox still are not willing to trade Clay Buchholz for Jarrod Saltalamacchia. The Sox may be willing to move Michael Bowden or especially Daniel Bard for Salty.
- The Yankees' interest in Mike Cameron "seems to be waning."
- Despite Jon Heyman's report, the Phillies, Angels, and Brewers deny interest in Derek Lowe. Rosenthal says the market for Oliver Perez is even worse.
- Rosenthal suggests veterans such as Nomar Garciaparra, Frank Thomas, and Jim Edmonds could go the Kenny Lofton route. Lofton, a capable player, sat out the 2008 season when his salary demands weren't met. As I mentioned yesterday, we'll soon see which former stars are willing to play for a pittance (if you consider more than $500K a pittance).
- The Orioles have Edmonds on the radar as a first base candidate.
- Suitors for lefty reliever Dennys Reyes: the A's, Mets, and Dodgers. The Tigers and Rangers are also known to be on the lookout for a southpaw in the pen.
The latest blog post from ESPN's Peter Gammons is up.
- Gammons talked to a source close to Mark Teixeira who says Tex and the Red Sox are not that far apart.
- The Yankees backed off on the Mike Cameron trade because Melky Cabrera is showing improved plate discipline in winter ball (his walk rate is up, though it's only 15 games). Additionally, Brett Gardner has believers in the organization.
- The Diamondbacks were unwilling to trade catcher Miguel Montero to the Red Sox for Daniel Bard, while the Sox wouldn't part with Michael Bowden. Gammons says it hasn't been seriously discussed but wonders if the Red Sox would eat the $22MM owed to Eric Byrnes to get Montero.
- One part of the post that is getting attention is when Gammons names a bunch of things "we don't know," implying that he suspects these things are possible. For example: "We don't know whether the Red Sox will decide not to pony up and sign Teixeira or whether there really might be a three-way deal among the White Sox, Angels and Reds that would put Jermaine Dye in Cincinnati, Joey Votto in Anaheim and Chone Figgins in Chicago." So, not quite a trade rumor here. The Reds would, of course, want more for Votto if he's even available. When this semi-rumor makes the rounds it must be discussed in the proper context - the paragraph's theme was things we don't know are accurate.
According to Nick Piecoro of the Arizona Republic, the D'Backs are progressing towards a one-year deal with Tony Clark, though GM Josh Byrnes says they're "not all the way there" yet. Piecoro expects Clark to re-sign for less than $1MM.
Piecoro also found that Byrnes isn't likely to trade Miguel Montero. The D'Backs GM said that "nothing in trade exceeds the value of keeping both" Montero and Chris Snyder, so he'll hold onto them.
Arizona had considered dealing Montero to the Red Sox for Michael Bowden, but the Red Sox decided against the deal.
9:01pm: WEEI's Alex Speier says the D'Backs offered Montero to the Red Sox for Michael Bowden and were turned down.
6:48pm: According to Ed Price, the D'Backs are telling people they plan to keep catchers Chris Snyder and Miguel Montero. They did not like the way the market was shaping up.
- The interest shown in Kevin Millwood and Vicente Padilla has been "tentative at best."
- Rangers GM Jon Daniels wants Clay Buchholz from the Red Sox for one of his catchers, but Sullivan says the Sox made it clear Buchholz is not available under any circumstances. Sullivan suggests the Sox might be more inclined to trade Justin Masterson or Michael Bowden if they bolster their minor league pitching depth by signing Junichi Tazawa.
- Sullivan wonders if swapping John Mayberry Jr. for Greg Golson gives the Rangers the outfield depth to trade Marlon Byrd (perhaps because Golson is capable of playing center field).
- A club official told Sullivan it's "doubtful" that the Rangers would be interested in Jose Valverde.
- Wes Littleton has drawn trade interest; he was designated for assignment last week.
Let's take a look at Peter Gammons' Saturday blog post.
- Gammons indicates that Brad Penny is working hard this offseason, and teams such as the Cardinals, Red Sox, Rangers, and Blue Jays "appreciate" his past success.
- The Mets are apparently worried about Bobby Jenks' declining strikeout rate, a sentiment echoed by Joel Sherman. Sherman talked to a Mets official who said the chances of acquiring Jenks are "close to zero."
- The Rangers apparently wanted Clay Buchholz or two of Justin Masterson/Nick Hagadone/Michael Bowden for Jarrod Saltalamacchia. The Red Sox aren't biting.
- The Rangers would probably have to trade Hank Blalock ($6.2MM) to make room for Kerry Wood.
Next up we'll dig into the latest Rangers rumors, courtesy of Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News.
- The Rangers are expected to pick up their $6.2MM option on Hank Blalock today. It doesn't seem that Blalock will spend much time at third base if he's with the Rangers in 2009. Instead, he'd play first and DH. Of course, a trade is possible.
- The Rangers may look at outside options for third base, and they've been in touch with Casey Blake's agent. The Rangers have an eye on defense, which might rule out Garrett Atkins. Grant finds Joe Crede questionable, though he might be a decent fit given his glovework.
- The focus of the GM meetings for Texas has been shopping catching for pitching. The main suitors are the Red Sox and Marlins, with the Tigers a fallback. Names in the mix could include Scott Olsen, Clay Buchholz, Michael Bowden, and Justin Masterson. Over at the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, Jeff Wilson profiles the Rangers' four catchers.