Michael Cuddyer Rumors
The latest on the Phillies...
- The Phillies are looking for a backup catcher, tweets Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports. They're talking to Brian Schneider and others.
- Jonathan Papelbon explained how his deal with the Phillies came about: "One day, I finally told [my agent] - I said, 'I want to play for the Phillies and let's make it happen.'" Asked Sunday by Jeff Skversky of WPVI Philadelphia about becoming the richest reliever in baseball, Papelbon said, "That doesn't really play a role. The biggest thing that plays a role is the ability to come here and win."
- The Phillies still have the flexibility to sign Jimmy Rollins, said GM Ruben Amaro Jr. to reporters in response to a question about the shortstop.
- A Cole Hamels contract extension is "an agreement both sides want to forge," writes Matt Gelb of the Philadelphia Inquirer. He doesn't see Papelbon's contract affecting Hamels.
- Michael Cuddyer visited the Phillies last week. Manager Charlie Manuel explained to Jeff Janiczek of the Philadelphia Daily News that Cuddyer told him, "Charlie, I'm a baseball player. I'll play anywhere you want me to play, and I'll do a good enough job that it will pass."
- Ken Davidoff of Newsday places Amaro tenth among all GMs in his annual rankings.
One of Red Sox GM Ben Cherington's toughest tasks this season will be finding fourth and fifth starters, writes Nick Cafardo of The Boston Globe. Cherington could do it by pursuing the top free agent hurlers on the open market or try to bolster the rotation via trade. It's widely expected that the White Sox will make either Gavin Floyd or John Danks available and Cafardo wonders if the Red Sox could get Anibal Sanchez back from the Marlins. Free agent Hiroki Kuroda is a likely target but appears to be out of reach. The veteran declined a chance to be traded to the Sox last season as he didn’t want to play anywhere but Los Angeles. Here's more from Cafardo..
- Free agent Michael Cuddyer isn't as high of a priority for the Phillies as portrayed by the media. A major league source characterized him as "a middle priority" and while Philadelphia would love to have him, the club isn't going to "go crazy" to make it happen.
- It's widely believed that Grady Sizemore could be had for a bargain price but the center fielder has a few teams pursuing him, including the Red Sox. However, his talks with Boston are in very preliminary stages, and his injury history and left-handed bat mean that he's an unlikely fit.
- An agent told Cafardo that the Marlins' offers to Albert Pujols, Mark Buehrle, and Jose Reyes should be taken seriously and are not for show.
- If the Marlins land Pujols or Prince Fielder, first baseman Gaby Sanchez will be major trade bait for the club.
- If the Red Sox don't make a lot of pitching moves, we could see Alfredo Aceves moved into the rotation. The right-hander pushed to start in the past but Terry Francona thought Aceves was too valuable to remove from his bullpen role.
- A National League scout says that center fielder Yoenis Cespedes is likely to be moved to one of the corner outfield spots in the majors. Yesterday, we learned that the Cuban defector may not become a free agent for two months.
On a day when Jonathan Papelbon switched teams and the Miami Marlins were officially born, the biggest and best news was unquestionably Wilson Ramos' rescue from kidnappers in his native Venezuela. Here are a few other items as we head into the weekend...
- The Astros' potential sale to Jim Crane is on the agenda at next week's owners meetings, reports The Associated Press. Two sources say Crane, Drayton McLane and Major League Baseball have "reached an understanding" on how the Astros could move to the American League in 2013.
- Crane could be getting as much as an $80MM discount off his original price for the team by agreeing to move the Astros to the AL, tweets Sports Illustrated's Jon Heyman.
- Grady Sizemore is looking for a one-year contract so he can re-establish his value for a longer-term deal next winter, reports Jon Heyman (Twitter link). Heyman makes the comparison to the one-year deal Adrian Beltre signed with the Red Sox before the 2010 season, which saw Beltre have a big season and earn a multiyear deal with the Rangers last winter. Sizemore won't match the $10MM Beltre got from Boston, but a $6-7MM deal with incentives seems reasonable.
- Heyman says the Athletics are interested in Sizemore but are worried about his health and his asking price.
- With the Phillies reportedly interested in both Sizemore and Jason Kubel, Fangraphs' Eric Seidman argues that Sizemore is the better choice for the Phils.
- The Phillies want to sign Michael Cuddyer and re-sign Jimmy Rollins but the club finds both players' asking prices to be too high, tweets Danny Knobler of CBSSports.com.
- Major League Baseball and the Players' Association are expected to "continue to negotiate amicably" about the new collective bargaining agreement over the weekend, reports Ken Rosenthal and Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports.
- Also from Rosenthal, he thinks teams take a major risk by hiring managers with little or no Major League managing or coaching experience.
- The Pirates' offseason moves will be influenced by the number of players on the roster who are out of options, writes MLB.com's Jenifer Langosch.
The Diamondbacks have been one of baseball’s busiest teams so far this offseason. GM Kevin Towers and manager Kirk Gibson agreed to extensions and John McDonald, Henry Blanco and Willie Bloomquist have all re-signed with the defending NL West Champions. Here’s the latest from the division...
- If the Rockies are indeed interested in Padres second baseman Orlando Hudson, Bill Center of the San Diego Union-Tribune doubts the Padres would be willing to pick up any of Hudson's salary in a trade. Hudson will earn $5.5MM in 2012, with an $8MM option for 2013 that can be bought out for $2MM. Center also discusses several other Padres topics in his weekly chat with fans, such as the possibility of moving in the fences at Petco Park.
- Billionaire Patrick Soon-Shiong told Arash Markazi of ESPN Los Angeles that he has been approached by at least one of the groups trying to buy the Dodgers. Soon-Shiong is considered to be the richest man in Los Angeles and bought a 4.5% share of the L.A. Lakers last year.
- The Rockies aren't going to revisit their pursuit of Michael Young, tweets Troy Renck of the Denver Post. Colorado and Texas were very close to a deal involving Young last winter in the wake of Young's trade request, but Young settled things with Rangers management and now there is "no motivation for [the] Rangers to move him."
- Also from Renck, he doesn't think the Rockies will look to move Matt Belisle this winter, though Matt Lindstrom could be available.
- As part of a reader mailbag, MLB.com's Chris Haft was surprised that the Giants needed to include Ryan Verdugo along with Jonathan Sanchez in the deal that brought Melky Cabrera to San Francisco. That said, Haft writes "it's conceivable that the Giants might have obtained the most that Sanchez and Verdugo would bring."
- The Rockies “love” Jamey Carroll, but wouldn’t be interested in signing him to a multiyear deal, according to Renck (Twitter links). The former Rockies infielder is nearing a multiyear deal with Twins.
- The Rockies aren’t likely to sign Michael Cuddyer, but they continue pursuing Martin Prado, Renck reports.
- The Diamondbacks have a multiyear offer on the table to Aaron Hill and it expires Monday, according to Jack Magruder of FOXSportsArizona.com (on Twitter). If Hill signs, the Diamondbacks will turn their attention to starting pitching.
- Bruce Jenkins of the San Francisco Chronicle suggests the Giants should re-sign Carlos Beltran to a two or three-year deal.
MLBTR's Mark Polishuk also contributed to this post
After seven seasons and a World Series title with the Red Sox, Jonathan Papelbon is leaving Boston for the Phillies and $50MM. Here's the latest on the Red Sox, starting with an update on the bullpen...
- The Red Sox will be in on Ryan Madson and Heath Bell, according to Danny Knobler of CBSSports.com (on Twitter). Boston isn't yet committed to Daniel Bard as the closer.
- The Red Sox had preliminary talks with Michael Cuddyer's representatives, according to Rob Bradford of WEEI.com.
- They’ve also been in touch with Grady Sizemore’s agents, Bradford reports (on Twitter).
- Twins GM Terry Ryan said he remains interested in re-signing Michael Cuddyer, according to Rhett Bollinger of MLB.com. Ryan said he spoke with Cuddyer earlier this week and added that the Twins should have the flexibility in their projected $100MM 2012 payroll to make Cuddyer a fair offer. So far, the Phillies have been aggressively pursuing Cuddyer this offseason.
- Free agent outfielder/DH Pat Burrell, 35, said his career is likely over due to a nagging right foot injury, according to Janie McCauley of the Associated Press (via NBCSports.com). The former Phillie, Ray and Giant, however, has yet to make a final decision. The Phils made Burrell the No. 1 overall draft pick in 1998.
- Left-hander Dontrelle Willis is drawing a lot of interest on the free agent market, according to Jon Heyman of SI.com (via Twitter). Willis pitched to a 5.00 ERA/4.10 FIP in 75 2/3 innings with the Reds in 2011.
- Mariners GM Jack Zduriencik said on MLB Network Radio that he is motivated to acquire an impact bat either through trade or free agency, tweets Jim Bowden.
- A pair of veteran scouts who follow the international free agent market predicted that Cuban outfielder Yoenis Cespedes would sign a bigger contract than the one fellow defector Aroldis Chapman signed with the Reds two offseasons ago, according to Danny Knobler of CBSSports.com. Chapman signed for six years and $30.5MM.
The Orioles officially hired executive VP of baseball operations Dan Duquette this week. Here’s the latest on the team as they begin their first offseason under Duquette...
- Dan Connolly of the Baltimore Sun is convinced there's no chance of the Orioles spending on free agents such as Albert Pujols, Prince Fielder and C.J. Wilson. It seems more likely Duquette will build the Orioles from within, but it's not as though the team will sit free agency out entirely.
- Connolly gets the sense that Michael Cuddyer is near the top of the Orioles' wish list, but the Phillies seem to be a more likely destination for the free agent outfielder.
- Roch Kubatko of MASNsports.com looks ahead to the Orioles’ options for backing up catcher Matt Wieters in 2012 and wonders if veterans such as Ivan Rodriguez and Jorge Posada could be fits.
- Jon Heyman of SI.com expects Posada to sign with the Orioles or Marlins if he continues playing in 2012 (Twitter link). Posada knows he won't return to the Yankees.
- Michael Cuddyer visited the Phillies today, according to Tom Sredenschek of FOX 29 in Philadelphia (on Twitter). The Phillies are said to be pursuing the outfielder seriously.
- The Phillies are still talking to free agent right-hander Roy Oswalt as they complete their deal with Madson, according to Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports (Twitter link). Many other teams are pursuing Oswalt, who seeks a multiyear deal. Rosenthal reported earlier today that the Nationals plan a major push for Oswalt.
- Cuddyer placed 11th on MLBTR's list of top free agents, while Madson ranked 14th and Oswalt placed 18th.
Terry Ryan returned to the role of Twins GM yesterday; here's the latest on the club.
- Ryan will be the GM for as long as he wants to be, a member of the Twins organization told Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports. "I don't know if it'll be for one year or 10 years," Ryan said yesterday, noting that if he likes the job he expects owner Jim Pohlad to let him stay.
- Ryan alluded to a $100MM payroll for 2012 yesterday, down from the $113-118MM range the Twins had in 2011. However, Twins president David St. Peter told Joe Christensen of the Minneapolis Star-Tribune, "Terry and I, frankly, have not had one discussion about our payroll for next year. He’s been privy to it because nothing has changed from what we had been telling Bill [Smith]...I think it can be a fluid number. I’m hoping we can find a way to inch it forward." Christensen guesses the Twins will ultimately have a payroll in the $110MM range.
- If Kevin Slowey and Jose Mijares are not retained, I'd estimate the Twins' commitments in the $74MM range for 2012 before accounting for minimum salary players. That could mean as much as $30MM to spend on 2012 salaries.
- Ryan's said his first priority is to reach out to the agents for the team's own free agents: Michael Cuddyer, Jason Kubel, Joe Nathan, and Matt Capps.
- This morning we learned that the Mets will listen on offers for David Wright. With a $15MM salary next year and a $16MM option (which Wright can void if dealt) for 2013, Olney writes that the club's best chance to get value in return for him is to deal him now. Wright will turn 30 next year and while he has been a good solider, he could eventually ask to be sent to a contending team. Instead, the Mets can deal him now and get players to help them win in 2014 or 2015.
- There is sentiment within the Mets' organization that the timing isn't right to build around Jose Reyes, tweets Buster Olney of ESPN.com. There are concerns that he's not a fit between his leg injuries and their own timetable for contending.
- One official told Olney that the Phillies' interest in Michael Cuddyer is so ardent that if wants to play with the Phillies, the deal is inevitable as the club will make it happen. The expectation within the industry is that the veteran will get at least a three-year deal.
- The Braves are open to trading Martin Prado this winter and given the attention currently being lavished on Michael Cuddyer in the free agent market, Prado figures to be quite popular. An AL official told Olney that Prado is like a younger version of Cuddyer and might be a better hitter.
- The Diamondbacks continue to negotiate with second baseman Aaron Hill, and there appears to be some momentum toward getting a deal done.
- Dan Duquette is on the verge of becoming the Orioles' next GM but as recently as five days ago, the club had no plans to interview him.