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On this day 100 years ago, the Pittsburgh Pirates and Brooklyn Superbas (today the Dodgers) played what the Baseball Reference Bullpen describes as "the most evenly matched game ever." Both teams used two pitchers, scored eight runs, and recorded 13 hits, two errors, 38 at-bats, five strikeouts, three walks, 13 assists, 27 putouts, one hit batter and one passed ball. The game was perhaps fittingly called on account of darkness, thus preserving the total deadlock.
If two teams end up with matching scorecards tonight, we'll know there's some Friday the 13th spookiness at play. Until then, however, here are some news items…
- With Jose Mijares out for at least the next four weeks, the Twins may be in need of left-handed relief help, reports MLB.com's Kelly Thesier. The Twins were one of several teams interested in Scott Downs before the trade deadline, so it's possible Minnesota could revisit that pursuit.
- A Mets official tells Adam Rubin of ESPNNewYork.com that talks between the team and first-round pick Matt Harvey will "likely" last right up to Monday's deadline. Harvey, picked seventh overall by the Mets, is represented by Scott Boras. MLBTR's Mike Axisa profiled Harvey back in June.
- Michael Ynoa will undergo Tommy John surgery on August 24, reports Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle (Twitter link). Oakland signed the 18-year-old in 2008 to a contract that featured a $4.25MM bonus, a record high for a non-Cuban international player. Ynoa made his professional debut this seaon for the Athletics' Arizona League rookie-ball team, posting a 5.00 ERA and 11.0 K/9 ratio in three starts.
- Red Sox prospect Ryan Westmoreland is making " 'remarkable' progress" in his comeback from brain surgery, reports Alex Speier of WEEI.com.
- Writing for ESPNBoston.com, Mike Andrews looks at the "age advancement" of certain prospects in Boston's minor league system.
- Nationals president Stan Kasten criticized the draft pick signing process in a chat with MASN's Ben Goessling. "The charade, the Kabuki dance nature of all of this is just kind of silly," Kasten said. "We can do better as an industry, and I think both sides [players and owners] recognize that." Kasten didn't give any updates on Washington's negotiations with first overall pick Bryce Harper.
- Could Luis Rodriguez be "the next Andres Torres"? Fangraphs' Dave Cameron looks at the infielder's breakout season for the White Sox Triple-A affiliate.
Miguel Angel Sano, the 16-year-old Dominican prospect who's drawing interest from several Major League teams, isn't likely to receive a record bonus from the Pirates, according to Dejan Kovacevic of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Kovacevic sees "strong indications from the team's front office" that the Pirates won't surpass the $4.25MM bonus the A's paid Michael Ynoa last year.
Instead, the Pirates believe that Sano's talent and the market for his services place his value closer to the $2-3MM given to elite prospects other than Inoa. The Pirates remains "intensely interested" in Sano, who can sign with whoever he chooses on July 2nd.
Mike Hindman of the Dallas Morning News recently conducted a Q&A with Rangers GM Jon Daniels. A few highlights:
- Daniels thought the Rangers had a great chance to sign Michael Inoa, as ownership made a budget exception to pursue him.
- Daniels doesn’t seem inclined to trade his top pitching prospects for a young big league starter. He still has certain targets though.
- A contract extension for Josh Hamilton will probably be explored during the first three months of 2009.
- Daniels knows what he wants to do with Milton Bradley, but wouldn’t reveal it.
- He expects to exercise Hank Blalock‘s $6.2MM option for ’09.
- Daniels sees a "good possibility" of making a trade involving one of his four young catchers, but adds that it depends on the market. Daniels wouldn’t be opposed to trading both Gerald Laird and Jarrod Saltalamacchia in separate deals. He also admitted that the Red Sox inquired about catching.
- Daniels will attempt to improve the bullpen via free agency this winter.
- Pablo Ozuna…designated for assignment again. Additionally, the Phillies cut Andy Tracy. The 34 year-old hit .288/.377/.516 in Triple A this year.
- Eddie Bajek added AL infielders to his Elias rankings. Orlando Cabrera and Edgar Renteria are Type As, while Mark Ellis and Mark Grudzielanek are Type Bs. Cabrera could net the Sox some picks.
- The Phillies would like to bring Jamie Moyer back next year, but so far they’ve only had informal talks. Earlier this month Moyer spoke of an obligation with the Phillies, but he is not under contract for ’09. The Phillies have also had informal talks with Pat Burrell, who’s said he wants to stay.
- Richard Griffin discusses A.J. Burnett quite a bit in his mailbag, suggesting this is the pitcher’s best season because of his career-high win total.
- Athletics Nation talks to A’s owner Lewis Wolff about the Michael Inoa signing.
- Omar Minaya’s job is secure.
- Aaron Harang has suggestions for the Reds to make their ballpark more pitcher-friendly.
- Tom Glavine is feeling good after somewhat minor elbow surgery, but isn’t sure about playing in ’09. Ken Rosenthal wrote recently that Glavine wants to pitch next year.
- Grant at McCovey Chronicles gives his take on pitch counts.
Full Story | Comments | Categories: A.J. Burnett | Aaron Harang | Atlanta Braves | Chicago White Sox | Cincinnati Reds | Jamie Moyer | Los Angeles Dodgers | Michael Ynoa | New York Mets | Oakland Athletics | Omar Minaya | Orlando Cabrera | Pablo Ozuna | Pat Burrell | Philadelphia Phillies | Tom Glavine | Toronto Blue Jays
Let’s dig through today’s links.
- Cork Gaines takes a look at the Rays most likely to be traded.
- According to Ken Davidoff, the Rockies have been scouting Yankees pitching prospect Humberto Sanchez. He’d be a more reasonable return for Brian Fuentes.
- Erik Bedard‘s MRI came out clean, but it’s still hard to see him in a big league game before August.
- Dan Haren used to follow every trade rumor on the Internet, but Justin Duchscherer doesn’t monitor the hot stove buzz.
- Shane Victorino is aware of the rumors, but wants to stay in Philly.
- With Emilio Bonifacio gone, Scott Bordow thinks the D’Backs should try to sign Orlando Hudson. Bordow would only offer $8MM a year though.
- Paul Hoynes looks at the Indians’ areas of need for the offseason.
- Peter Abraham doesn’t expect the Yankees to pursue a catcher.
- Melissa Segura of SI.com writes about Michael Inoa‘s buscon.
- Patrick Newman profiles Kenshin Kawakami, who should be quite popular this winter.
- Buster Olney expects Jason Varitek to feel a ripple effect from Jorge Posada‘s injury. His sources expect the Red Sox to offer Varitek one or two years at $6-8MM per.
- MLB.com is looking for a fan to guest host their show The Dish.
Full Story | Comments | Categories: Arizona Diamondbacks | Boston Red Sox | Brian Fuentes | Cleveland Indians | Colorado Rockies | Dan Haren | Emilio Bonifacio | Erik Bedard | Humberto Sanchez | Jason Varitek | Jorge Posada | Justin Duchscherer | Kenshin Kawakami | Michael Ynoa | New York Yankees | Oakland Athletics | Orlando Hudson | Philadelphia Phillies | Seattle Mariners | Shane Victorino | Tampa Bay Rays | Washington Nationals
Time to round up some non-Sabathia links.
- The Dodgers are restructuring their offer for Pirates shortstop Jack Wilson, according to Ken Rosenthal.
- Kevin Baxter of the L.A. Times has sources who believe at least one general manager is under suspicion as part of the Dominican player bonus-skimming investigation. Additionally, MLB might look into the Michel Inoa signing on the Rangers’ behalf.
- The Yankees plan to scout starter Victor Zambrano. He’ll be 33 soon, and has a 9.45 ERA in 40 Triple A innings.
- Geoff Baker of the Seattle Times talks about Erik Bedard, who is now the best available southpaw starter.
- The Brad Lidge extension means Brett Myers will not close for the Phillies again.
Continuing with Tim’s new tradition, here’s my take on some of the top rumors of the week from June 29 – July 6:
- The C.C. Sabathia sweepstakes is nearing an end, with the Brewers’ Matt LaPorta package being the frontrunner. We’ll let everyone know the full story as soon as possible.
- The Phillies extended Brad Lidge to a three-year contract. Lidge looks like his old self – great deal for Philadelphia. Looks like this means Brett Myers will remain in the rotation if he can get back on track.
- We heard a lot about the Rays’ growing interest for Colorado closer Brian Fuentes. They could be preparing an offer. Troy Percival has been good, but injury prone, and you almost hate to move Dan Wheeler from the eighth inning where he’s been so good all year.
- The shortstop market is hot, as the Dodgers, Orioles, and Jays would all like to upgrade. The Dodgers are interested in Jack Wilson, while the Orioles are looking at David Eckstein and possibly Juan Uribe or Felipe Lopez. The Jays could look to move A.J. Burnett and his contract for an upgrade there as well. Interesting that Toronto wants an upgrade over Eckstein, while Baltimore looks at him as an upgrade…
- The Indians finally cut Joe Borowski loose, designating him for assignment. Was this too little too late? They tried to sneak Craig Breslow through waivers earlier this year. I’m guessing they’d rather have the 1.42 ERA he’s posted this season than Borowski’s 7.56, but the Twins are enjoying Breslow’s benefits.
- Could the Angels add Matt Holliday? Seems unlikely with the stockpile of large contracts they already have in their outfield if you ask me.
- The A’s signed Michel Inoa for $4.25MM on Thursday.
- The Padres will be sellers this July. The onslaught of injuries have made this a frustrating season for San Diego. If you’d been able to see Adrian Gonzalez‘s monster numbers through July 1 before the season started, who would’ve believed this team wasn’t contending? Wow.
- For those who are interested, Tim looked at this past years’ offseason moves and compiled an All-Star lineup of free agent hitters signed prior to the 2008 season. That’d be a heck of a team to try to beat right now…
Full Story | Comments | Categories: A.J. Burnett | Brad Lidge | Brian Fuentes | C.C. Sabathia | Cleveland Indians | Craig Breslow | David Eckstein | Felipe Lopez | Jack Wilson | Joe Borowski | Juan Uribe | Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim | Los Angeles Dodgers | Matt Holliday | Matt LaPorta | Michael Ynoa | Milwaukee Brewers | Oakland Athletics | Philadelphia Phillies | San Diego Padres | Tampa Bay Rays
Some draft notes for the morning…
- The Reds are still negotiating with Yonder Alonso.
- Boston’s first round pick, Casey Kelly, was seen wearing a Red Sox cap and hanging out around the team recently. However, negotiations have yet to begin and Kelly hasn’t decided between baseball and football. Baseball America says the Red Sox hope to develop Kelly as a pitcher if he signs, but Kelly appears to lean toward shortstop.
- Pirates pick Tanner Scheppers will undergo medical exams in Pittsburgh later this month. The results on his shoulder should guide negotiations. Meanwhile, the Bucs are expected to sign 16 year-old shortstop Jonathan Barrios on the international front.
- 16 year-old Dominican righty Michel Inoa turned down a $5MM Major League deal from the Reds and a $5.2MM bonus from the Rangers to sign for $4.25MM with the A’s. It takes more than just money with these international free agents. Reds and Rangers fans should at least be pleased with the effort. By the way, the A’s are encouraging Inoa to go by Michael instead of Michel.
Here’s a list of loose links (sink ships) from today:
- The A’s officially inked Michel Inoa for $4.25MM.
- Corey Brock of MLB.com has a piece on the Padres’ international signings. More here from the man himself, Paul DePodesta.
- The Marlins are still looking for a catcher, and one of their former guys might be available. That would be Paul Lo Duca. With the Nats out of it, could they swap Lo Duca within the division? And would they assume part of Lo Duca’s remaining salary? Keep in mind that MLB.com’s Joe Frisaro said yesterday that the Marlins were "not serious" about Lo Duca.
- Ozzie Guillen is completely content with the current White Sox team. Other than an underperforming and injured Paul Konerko, they’re looking solid.
- Sam Mellinger goes over the Royals trade options. It’s full of the usual suspects: Mark Grundielanek and Ron Mahay. He also mentions Esteban German, who in the past might have intrigued teams as a solid utility player, but who has dropped off considerably in 2008.
- The best way to rebuild the Mariners? Trade Ichiro, says Scott Miller.