Miguel Sano Rumors

Odds & Ends: Sano, Towers, D'Backs, Fehr

Links for Wednesday...

  • Kevin Towers has a standing offer from the Red Sox, according to Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe.  For now, Towers plans on taking a few months off.  In contrast, a week ago ESPN's Buster Olney wrote that "there would appear to be excellent odds that Towers will land with the Yankees as a special assistant sometime in the months ahead." 
  • The Cubs' contract with hitting coach Rudy Jaramillo is official.
  • Miguel Angel Sano received his U.S. work visa, according to SI's Melissa Segura.
  • The new Rays hitting coach is Derek Shelton, according to Marc Topkin of the St. Petersburg Times.
  • Nick Piecoro of the Arizona Republic crafts an offseason plan for the Diamondbacks, who have a decent amount of money to work with.  We did our Offseason Outlook for the team back in September.
  • J.C. Bradbury of Sabernomics says tendering a contract to arbitration-eligible right fielder Jeff Francoeur is probably worthwhile for the Mets.  I don't sense that non-tendering him is a serious consideration.
  • Donald Fehr will receive an $11MM parting gift when he steps down from his MLBPA position, says ESPN's Amy K. Nelson.  The players were mostly in favor of the decision, according to Curtis Granderson.
  • The Rangers met with Jim Crane's group Tuesday, according to MLB.com's T.R. Sullivan.  Two more potential investing groups are scheduled.
  • Backup catcher Mike Redmond told MLB.com's Kelly Thesier he plans on playing next year, whether or not it's with the Twins.
  • 41-year-old righty Keiichi Yabu also hopes to play in 2010, says NPB Tracker's Ryo Shinkawa.
  • Reliever George Sherrill has no hard feelings about the Orioles trading him to the Dodgers, says Dan Connolly of the Baltimore Sun.
  • MLB.com's Dick Kaegel talked to Zack Greinke, who was characteristically blunt.
  • In a Saturday post, Jon Weisman of Dodger Thoughts said he'd like to see how GM Ned Colletti handles the decreased payroll flexibility once his young players reach arbitration.  Weisman is even-handed in his assessment of Colletti, but here's a funny quote: "I don't laud him for retaining the young core of the team: Kershaw, Kemp, Billingsley, Broxton, Martin, et al. Knowing not to dump those guys is like knowing not to show up to work in your underwear."

Odds & Ends: Henry, Kikuchi, Accardo

Links for Friday...

  • MLB.com's Brian McTaggart tells us via Twitter that the Astros released pitchers Chad Paronto and Billy Sadler.
  • The Nationals interviewed longtime Braves scouting director Roy Clark, according to Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports.
  • The Blue Jays fired J.P. Ricciardi advisor Dick Scott, according to Bob Elliott of the Toronto Sun.
  • Interesting note from WEEI's Alex Speier.  Back in 2002, upon purchasing the Red Sox and selling the Marlins, John Henry attempted to have Josh Beckett and A.J. Burnett transferred to the Sox.
  • NPB Tracker's Patrick Newman says NPB is lobbying Japan's High School Baseball Federation to have Yusei Kikuchi appear in person for meetings with NPB teams but not MLB clubs.  Newman still likes the Rangers as Kikuchi's top suitor, based on reports.
  • Newman also tells us that pitcher Koji Mitsui, who was posted twice last winter but received no bids, has been released and will attempt to sign with an MLB team.
  • Gordon Wittenmyer of the Chicago Sun-Times has a plan for the Cubs that includes signing Chone Figgins and avoiding long-term free agent deals.
  • Padres exec Paul DePodesta explains the team's recent roster moves.
  • Via Twitter, ESPN's Jorge Arangure Jr. passes along info from Miguel Angel Sano's agent Rob Plummer. 
  • In an MLB.com chat, Blue Jays reliever Jeremy Accardo says that his first choice is to stay with Toronto for his entire career, but his second choice is to pitch on the West Coast.

Odds & Ends: Mariners, Marlins, Orioles

Time for your afternoon snack (naptime optional):

  • The question isn't so much if all the Marlins will return, Joe Capozzi writes in the Palm Beach Post, but which Marlins will be dealt. The $36.8MM payroll would expand to around $43MM next season with the current roster.
  • Geoff Baker writes in the Seattle Times that the Mariners can't expect the same group to win as many games in 2010.
  • The Baltimore Sun's Peter Schmuck says that Dave Trembley's job status will be determined "in the next 4 or 5 days."
  • A front office person tells Kevin Goldstein of Baseball Prospectus that Miguel Angel Sano has incredible power for a 16-year-old. The "sky is the limit" for the Dominican infielder.
  • Goldstein reports that plenty of teams are doing their "digging" on Dominican outfielder Wagner Mateo. The Cards voided Mateo's contract last month after agreeing to a $3.1MM deal with him in July.
  • MLB.com's Bryan Hoch says the Yankees still expect Phil Hughes to develop into a starter. 
  • ESPN.com's Jorge Arangure Jr. explains that Hanley Ramirez couples impressive work habits and awesome talent with a dismissive and distant demeanor.

Odds & Ends: Tribe, Hudson, Riggleman

A fresh roundup of links for Wednesday evening...

  • According to MLB.com's Anthony Castrovince, it's highly unlikely the Indians will look within to fill their managing vacancy.  Former Tribe pitcher and current Red Sox pitching coach John Farrell has been thrown around as a possible candidate by fans and media types in Cleveland.
  • David O'Brien of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution thinks impending free agent Tim Hudson is going to want to re-sign with Atlanta this offseason, even after they reject his $12MM 2010 option.  Hudson just built a dream home in nearby Auburn, Alabama and his wife is heavily involved in the community.
  • ESPN.com's Jorge Arangure goes in-depth on the Twins' signing of Miguel Angel Sano.  Arangure believes agent Rob Plummer did a fantastic job with the deal. 
  • Gordon Edes of Yahoo! Sports takes a cue from MLBTR's own Mike Axisa with a comparison of soon-to-be free agent outfielders Jason Bay and Matt Holliday.
  • As noted by Bill Ladson of MLB.com, Nationals GM Mike Rizzo indicated Wednesday that interim manager Jim Riggleman is a candidate for the permanent gig.  "Jim has done a great job. It's going to be an intense offseason and a busy," Rizzo said. "The ultimate goal is to make us a better ball club."

Miguel Angel Sano To Sign With Twins

WEDNESDAY: Kovacevic has details on the breakdown in communication between the Pirates and Plummer.  MLB.com's Jen Langosch has a statement from Huntington; here's the money quote:

"Miguel Sano has apparently agreed to terms with another organization without his agent engaging the Pirates in legitimate negotiations."

TUESDAY: Dejan Kovacevic of the Pittsburgh Post Gazette reports that the Twins will sign Dominican shortstop Miguel Angel Sano. Sano will receive a bonus of $3.15MM, the largest for an international amateur player given this summer. Sano's would be the second largest Latin American signing bonus ever behind only Dominican pitcher Michael Ynoa, who signed with the A's for $4.25MM last year, says Baseball America. It's the second largest in Twins history behind Joe Mauer's $5.15MM.

Last May, Kovacevic said Sano's bonus could reach $3MM. The deal will be signed tomorrow; however, Jorge Arangure of ESPN the Magazine adds via Twitter that "this deal isn't completed until Sano gets a visa to play in the U.S. And that's no given." While his age remains unconfirmed, Sano's saying he's 16.

The signing comes as a surprise. As many as 8-10 teams were reportedly interested in Sano, but it was the Pirates that had intensely pursued him. Kovacevic notes a breakdown between Sano's agent, Rob Plummer, and the Pirates:

"Plummer made clear that his relationship with the Pirates, particularly general manager Neal Huntington and Latin American scouting director Rene Gayo, became frayed during the process. The Pirates were the most aggressive team once the July 2 international signing period began, making offers of $2 million at the time and $2.6 million a month ago -- the latter payment to be split in three parts -- but talks were minimal in the past three weeks... each side expressed strong distrust in the other."

According to Kovacevic, Plummer says Huntington never believed other teams were interested in Sano and was overly concerned he was bidding against himself.

Tim Dierkes also contributed to this post.

Miguel Angel Sano Lowers Asking Price

Dominican shortstop Miguel Angel Sano has lowered his asking price in recent weeks, according to MASN's Steve Melewski.  The Orioles admitted "things have stepped up" in their talks with Sano, but a gap remains.  (Just a week ago, Orioles president Andy MacPhail characterized the talks as on the backburner.)  Melewski heard eight to ten teams are in on Sano, perhaps large-market clubs like the Yankees and Red Sox included.  Melewski believes Sano may sign in October.  The player's age remains unconfirmed, but he's saying he's 16.

The Pirates were the frontrunner for Sano a few months ago, but Sano's agent turned down their $2.6MM offer (ESPN's Jorge Arangure Jr. reporting).  Since then, Wagner Mateo's $3.1MM deal with the Cardinals was voided.

Odds & Ends: Aramis, Marte, Lowe

Links for Wednesday...

  • Paul Sullivan of the Chicago Tribune talked to Aramis Ramirez about his $14.6MM player option for 2011, and the Cubs' third baseman was noncommittal.  Other third basemen who may become free agents after the 2010 season include Garrett Atkins, Jorge Cantu, Mike Lowell, Jhonny Peralta, and Scott Rolen.
  • Former top prospect Andy Marte spoke with Indians GM Mark Shapiro about the future, according to Paul Hoynes of the Cleveland Plain Dealer.  Shapiro told Marte to play first and third base in winter ball and show up early to Spring Training.  It was a tough year for Marte, who turns 26 in November.  He was designated for assignment to make room for Juan Salas in February, cleared waivers, raked at Triple A, and then struggled in the bigs.
  • Braves GM Frank Wren told MLB.com's Mark Bowman that Derek Lowe "pitched really well for us."  Aside from his home run rate, Lowe's numbers declined across the board this year.
  • The Nationals will improve their minor league catching depth for next year, GM Mike Rizzo told MLB.com's Bill Ladson.
  • Miguel Angel Sano is on the backburner for the Orioles, Roch Kubatko of MASN learned from team president Andy MacPhail.  MLB's inconclusive age investigation is the problem.
  • David Waldstein of the New York Times says Ramon Pena, a special assistant to Mets GM Omar Minaya, will not be back next year.  Waldstein says a scouting/player development shakeup is in order.  Adam Rubin of the New York Daily News has info on possible changes aside from Pena.
  • White Sox closer Bobby Jenks is out for the season with a calf injury.  Joe Cowley of the Chicago Sun-Times wonders about the righty's future, given a possible $7MM arbitration reward for the 2010 season.
  • Andrew Baggarly of the San Jose Mercury News notes the impending raise for Giants closer Brian Wilson, who enters his first arbitration year.  Jenks' $5.6MM salary this year will serve as a comparable, so the Giants will add around $5MM to the payroll compared to Wilson's $480K this year.
  • Braves manager Bobby Cox was not happy with the way GM Frank Wren handled the John Smoltz situation last winter, according to Yahoo's Gordon Edes.

Odds & Ends: Mateo, Sano, Crow, Ethier

Some more links for the afternoon or, if you're on the East Coast, the early evening...

  • ESPN.com's Jorge Arangure Jr. hears that a vision issue could affect the status of the contract Wagner Mateo signed with the Cardinals earlier in the summer. If Mateo has a degenerative eye condition, the Cards may look to reclaim some of the $3.1MM they awarded the 16-year-old. Mateo's agent says it's a non-issue.
  • Miguel Angel Sano doesn't appear to be near a deal with any club, but Arangure Jr. hears that the shortstop seeks $3.2MM.
  • ESPN.com's Keith Law believes Aaron Crow's long holdout will hurt the pitcher more than it helped him. The Royals completed their deal with Crow just yesterday.
  • ESPN.com's Rob Neyer knows it's painful for the A's to see Andre Ethier's 30-homer season in LA, but he reminds his readers that Milton Bradley helped the A's win a division title after Billy Beane traded Ethier to acquire Bradley before the 2006 season. 

Odds & Ends: Hillman, White Sox, Japanese Pitchers

Let's start the evening off by rounding up a few spare links...

  • According to The Associated Press (via ESPN), Royals manager Trey Hillman will return to the team next season. Kansas City GM Dayton Moore, who originally hired Hillman, had his contract extended through 2014 earlier this week.
  • White Sox GM Kenny Williams was asked if the Jim Thome and Jose Contreras trades indicate that he was throwing in the towel according to Scot Gregor of The Daily Herald, and Williams replied "Hell no. We're still in it to win it.”
  • Patrick at NPB Tracker passes along a report saying that the Yokohama BayStars are looking to import Japanese pitchers currently playing in the States. The article mentions that players like Tomo Ohka, Yasuhiko Yabuta, and Masahide Kobayashi could interest the BayStars, while Patrick throws the names of Kei Igawa and Takashi Saito into the ring.
  • ESPN's Jorge Arangure Jr. writes that Miguel Angel Sano is not the only big name Latin American free agent stuck in age investigation limbo. Venezuelan pitcher Daniel Sanchez, considered one of the best pitchers available this year, is stuck in the same boat after the Brewers put in a formal request to MLB to investigate his age. An age investigation is a prerequisite to signing any player from Latin America.

Pirates Increase Offer To Sano

Dejan Kovacevic of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette hears that the Pirates "substantially increased" their offer to top Dominican prospect Miguel Angel Sano. The Pirates, who made Sano an offer when the international signing period first began, remain the lone team to offer the shortstop a deal, according to his agent. Sano claims to be 16 years old, but an MLB investigation concluded that his age is "undetermined."

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