Miguel Alfredo Gonzalez Rumors
The Red Sox are looking "pretty hard" at free agent Cuban righty Miguel Alfredo Gonzalez, president and CEO Larry Lucchino said on WEEI's Dennis & Callahan show this morning (Tim Healey has quotes). "The auctioning can begin," said Lucchino. Noting that GM Ben Cherington guards the team's prospects "like his first-born child," Lucchino explained, "Reaching into your pocket for your wallet is much easier." Lucchino confirmed the Sox are searching for rotation and bullpen help.
Gonzalez, 26, is expected to sign soon. On Monday, MLB.com's Jesse Sanchez said he's down to five teams. MLB.com's Ken Gurnick reported Tuesday that the Dodgers, who had been heavily linked to Gonzalez, are not pursuing him. Earlier this week, Ben Badler of Baseball America provided a scouting report on Gonzalez (subscription required and recommended). Badler noted that "projections vary significantly" on the righty, ranging from a big league ready No. 3 starter on the high end to a long reliever on the low end.
Rangers CEO Nolan Ryan and general manager Jon Daniels haven't heard anything new about Nelson Cruz's links to the Biogenesis scandal, but Daniels tells ESPN Dallas' Todd Willis that he has thought about the possibility of losing his right fielder to suspension. "We really are somewhat intentionally and maybe wisely in the dark on this. And so we we're going to sit back and wait for the best and try to make our club as strong as possible," Daniels said. If Cruz is indeed suspended for the rest of 2013, it could intensify the Rangers' search for batting help. In another piece from Willis, Daniels admitted that his club's offense hasn't been up to par and if Texas makes another move, it would likely be for a bat.
Here are some more items from around baseball...
- The Giants have shown no interest in trading Hunter Pence, ESPN's Jayson Stark tweets. We heard on Sunday that Giants were unlikely to deal Pence unless they received a blow-away offer or they fell out of the NL West race. The latter could be close to happening, given the Giants' 46-54 record.
- The Phillies will send a scout to Brian Wilson's throwing session on Thursday, Jim Salisbury of CSNPhilly.com reports. GM Ruben Amaro said the team will leave "no stone unturned" in their search for relief help, hence their interest in Wilson's progress. Amaro noted this isn't the first time the Phillies have checked in on Wilson, who hasn't pitched since April 2012 due to Tommy John surgery.
- Justin Morneau's July slump has just about destroyed his trade value, Phil Mackey of 1500 ESPN Twin Cities writes. Between Morneau's poor form, injury history, impending free agency and salary, Mackey doesn't think the Twins will be able to get even "a second-tier prospect" for the former AL MVP.
- The Dodgers are looking for veteran relief depth, ESPN Los Angeles' Mark Saxon reports, though Saxon notes that could even be a luxury piece given how the team is firing on all cylinders right now.
- If the Marlins are to trade Giancarlo Stanton, Metsblog.com's Matthew Cerrone hears that Miami wouldn't want prospects, but rather "equal value" -- a young star player who is controllable for longer than Stanton's three seasons of team control. For instance, if the Mets wanted Stanton, the Marlins would want Matt Harvey in return.
- Baseball America subscribers can read Ben Badler's scouting report on Miguel Alfredo Gonzalez, the Cuban right-hander who has drawn interest from at least 10 teams.
Despite a number of reports to the contrary, the Dodgers are not interested in Cuban right-hander Miguel Alfredo Gonzalez, reports Ken Gurnick of MLB.com. Gurnick writes that the Dodgers already have nearly $200MM committed to Zack Greinke, Hyun-Jin Ryu, Chad Billingsley and Josh Beckett already, and the Dodgers know it will take another $200MM or so to retain Clayton Kershaw. They'd also like former first-round picks Zach Lee and Chris Reed to have a shot at the rotation in the coming years.
Last night, reports said that Gonzalez has narrowed his options to five teams and could sign within the next few days. Recent reports have indicated that the Dodgers may be prepared to offer as much as a five-year, $50MM contract, but Gurnick refutes that thinking. Other teams with interest include the Cubs, Rangers, Red Sox, Phillies, Blue Jays, Braves, Twins, Yankees and Marlins.
Cuban right-hander Miguel Alfredo Gonzalez has been drawing attention from scouts for months now, and the 26-year-old is getting closer to signing. MLB.com's Jesse Sanchez reports that Gonzalez's selection is down to just five teams, and he could sign a deal within the next couple of days. According to Sanchez, the price for Gonzalez has gone up, and the number of interested teams has gone down (Twitter links).
Last Thursday, Gonzalez's agent, Jaime Torres, told reporters that he hoped to have a deal in place sometime this week. At that time, the Dodgers, Cubs, Rangers, Red Sox, Phillies, Blue Jays, Braves, Twins, Yankees and Marlins had all shown interest in Gonzalez, though the Twins and Marlins were thought to be long-shots due to Gonzalez's price tag.
Earlier today, Roch Kubatko of MASNsports.com tweeted that the Orioles scouted Gonzalez heavily but aren't expected to outbid the other interested parties. Similarly, Mike DiGiovanna of the L.A. Times tweeted that the Angels have scouted Gonzalez but aren't heavily involved in bidding for his services. According to weekend reports, the Dodgers are prepared to offer Gonzalez as much as $50MM over five years.
The Giants have lost left-handed reliever Jeremy Affeldt for four-to-six weeks after a MRI revealed a moderate strain of muscle and tendon in his left groin, reports Henry Schulman of the San Francisco Chronicle. Jose Mijares will absorb most of Affeldt's innings, but CSNBayArea.com's Andrew Baggarly writes the Giants could, if history is any guide, look to acquire another lefty reliever. Baggarly notes it was nearly three years ago to the day Affeldt injured his oblique and GM Brian Sabean acquired Javier Lopez, an under-the-radar move which paid dividends as the Giants won the World Series. In other news and notes from MLB's West divisions:
- While Affeldt's injury may change the calculus slightly, Baggarly, within that same article, sees the Giants continuing their quest for starting pitching. Manager Bruce Bochy loves Jake Peavy, but the two teams have not discussed a deal and the Giants don’t have the quantity or quality of trade chips to get a seat at the table, according to Baggarly.
- Ex-Giants closer Brian Wilson is expected to begin showcasing his arm for teams within the next few weeks and the Giants have asked Wilson's representative to include them in the process, reports Schulman. Wilson underwent his second Tommy John surgery 15 month ago.
- Dodgers GM Ned Colletti doesn't expect to make any franchise-altering deals prior to the Trade Deadline, according to Dylan Hernandez of the Los Angeles Times. "I don't know that that player is out there," Colletti said. "When I call around teams, there's not a lot of names of position players being discussed. I'm not sure if there's a market out there on the sell side."
- Earlier today, we learned the Dodgers are prepared to offer Miguel Alfredo Gonzalez something in the neighborhood of $50MM over five years. Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports.com, however, tweets sources have told him the Dodgers' interest in the Cuban right-hander is not as fervent as has been portrayed.
- Manager Eric Wedge doesn't think the fourth-place Mariners, winners of six straight, will be active at the Trade Deadline, writes MLB.com's Greg Johns. "Unless it's something that raises the bar, I don't think we're going to do anything," said Wedge. "We're not going to move somebody just to move somebody." The Mariners have several veterans on one-year deals, who could be appealing to contenders, including left-handed reliever Oliver Perez, left-handed starter Joe Saunders, outfielder Raul Ibanez, first baseman Kendrys Morales, and shortstop Brendan Ryan.
- Two years ago, the Dodgers had agreed to deals with both the Tigers and Red Sox for Hiroki Kuroda, but the right-hander invoked his no-trade clause to veto each trade. Through his interpreter, Kuroda provided FOXSports.com's Ken Rosenthal his rationale for refusing to join a team in the playoff hunt: if you only play for a team in August and September, it is not as meaningful as being with a club from Spring Training until the end of the season.
Steven Cohen, the hedge fund billionaire who was a finalist to purchase the Dodgers in 2012, faces Securities and Exchange Commission allegations that he failed to investigate evidence of possible insider trading by his employees, Bill Shaikin of the Los Angeles Times reports. A partnership between Cohen and the Los Angeles-based doctor and investor Patrick Soon-Shiong was one of three finalists in the bidding, but the two were eventually outbid by Guggenheim Baseball Management, which has spent lavishly to bring in marquee players like Yasiel Puig and Zack Greinke. Cohen eventually had to settle for a minority stake in the Mets. As Shaikin notes, a high-profile battle between Cohen and the federal securities regulator would probably have put a damper on the Dodgers' playoff chase this summer. Here's more out of the NL West..
- One GM tells Peter Gammons of MLB.com (via Twitter) that word is the Dodgers are prepared to offer Miguel Alfredo Gonzalez something in the neighborhood of $50MM over five years and if they do, he'll wind up in L.A. Recently we learned that the the Phillies, Blue Jays, and Braves are now in the mix for Gonzalez along with the Cubs, Dodgers, Rangers, and Red Sox, who have all been showing serious interest in his services for quite some time.
- Giants outfielder Hunter Pence is likely to remain with San Francisco through the end of the season, Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com writes. The Giants have a stronger bond with Pence than the Phillies did when they sent him to San Francisco last July, as the right fielder delivered an inspirational speech that helped boost the Giants in last year's NLDS with the Reds. Accordingly, the Giants would have to either drop out of the race or be overwhelmed by an offer to consider trading him. However, he'd likely draw interest from the Pirates and several other clubs if the Giants decide to make him available.
- The Dodgers bought the most talented team in the NL West, but that doesn't mean that they'll finish first, opines Troy Renck of the Denver Post.
Zach Links contributed to this post.
Earlier tonight, Jon Heyman of CBS Sports took a look at the Twins' trade chips, noting that the market for Justin Morneau is soft at this time, with a few interested parties deterred by the $6MM remaining on the former MVP's contract. Here's more on Morneau and the rest of the AL Central...
- Mike Berardino of the St. Paul Pioneer Press writes that the M&M Boys (Joe Mauer and Morneau) in Minnesota is coming to an end. Berardino took some time over the All-Star break to talk to Mauer and former teammates Michael Cuddyer, Joe Nathan and Carlos Gomez about Morneau's leadership abilities. All spoke with the utmost respect for the Canadian slugger.
- Royals general manager Dayton Moore is not in sell mode despite the team's recent slide in the standings, writes Bob Dutton of the Kansas City Star. Moore says he won't shift gears and focus on the future, though that doesn't mean he won't acquire players who can help the team beyond 2013. He also won't entertain offers for free-agent-to-be Ervin Santana.
- A source close to Cuban right-hander Miguel Alfredo Gonzalez told Darren Wolfson of 1500 ESPN Twin Cities that there's no steam between the Twins and Gonzalez (Twitter link). Earlier tonight, the Twins were connected to Gonzalez but listed as a long shot due to his price tag.
- The White Sox and Indians are two of the three teams that MLB.com's Jesse Sanchez reports as suitors for 19-year-old Cuban right-hander Leandro Linares (Twitter links). The Marlins also have interest in Linares, who does fall under the newest CBA's international signing guidelines.
THURSDAY: Jaime Torres, Gonzalez's agent, told Enrique Rojas of ESPNDeportes.com that he doesn't expect a deal to go down this weekend but that he hopes to announce an agreement next week. Torres is working on Gonzalez's visa process while the most interested teams make "their last internal consultations," the agent said.
Rojas added the Yankees, the Twins and the Marlins to the list of teams interested in the righty, citing a source close to Gonzalez, though the source adds that Minnesota and Miami are not expected to win the bidding because of Gonzalez's high salary demands.
WEDNESDAY: The market is taking shape for Cuban pitcher Miguel Alfredo Gonzalez and the right-hander could sign with a club as early as next week, an industry source tells MLB.com's Jesse Sanchez. There's also a trio of new teams in the mix for Gonzalez in the Phillies, Blue Jays, and Braves. They'll vie with the Cubs, Dodgers, Rangers, and Red Sox, who have all been showing serious interest in his services.
While teams are working the phones vigorously to land an impact pitcher before the July 31st deadline, Gonzalez could provide a boost to a contender without giving up anything other than money. Scouts believe Gonzalez needs only a few starts in the minors before making his MLB debut and his addition could move the needle as much as finding an arm via trade.
Aaron Steen contributed to this post.
Cuban right-hander Miguel Alfredo Gonzalez has been cleared by the U.S. Treasury Department and is free to sign with Major League teams, MLB.com's Jesse Sanchez reports (Twitter link). It isn't expected to take long for Gonzalez to find a club, as Sanchez believes the righty could be signed within the next two weeks.
Gonzalez, 26, is old enough that his contract wouldn't count against a team's international signing cap, and thus the highly-touted pitcher is expected to command a deal worth as much as $60MM over five years. The Dodgers are thought to be the favorites to sign Gonzalez, while the Red Sox, Rangers, Cubs and Twins are also known to have some interest.
It's the start of trade season with July underway, but the Rangers made the biggest splash of the day with a minor league signing. Fresh off of a very successful stint in Taiwan, Manny Ramirez will attempt to join the majors for the first time since his brief stint with the Rays in 2011. Whether Manny can bring his hot hitting from overseas to Arlington, Texas, however, remains to be seen. Here's more out of the AL West..
- Some many wonder if Ramirez is worth the gamble at age 41, but in the case of the Rangers, he absolutely is, opines Todd Wills of ESPNDallas.com. Texas needs a right-handed bat ever since Opening Day and Ramirez's minor league deal is a no-risk move.
- Before signing with the Rangers, Ramirez told Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle (on Twitter) that he also had conversations with the Nationals. The slugger believes that Washington had some interest in him as a pinch hitter.
- The Angels have scouted Cuban pitching prospect Miguel.Alfredo Gonzalez, but likely will not compete for him as hard as others, tweets Alden Gonzalez of MLB.com. Gonzalez is being pursued by a number of clubs, but we've heard recently that the Yankees won't try to sign him and he's "not a fit" for the Nationals either.