Miguel Sano Rumors
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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."
More links, with less than a week remaining for contenders to add pieces...
- Pete Abraham of the Journal News says the Brian Cashman and the Yankees were smart not to trade for Johan Santana, even though it seems likely that the Mets will get their ace back.
- Matthew Carruth of FanGraphs argues that Santana won't likely be worth the $90MM-plus remaining on his extension.
- Ryan Zimmerman's extension has worked out well for the Nationals, and Tyler Hissey of Around the Majors believes the team deserves some credit.
- Dejan Kovacevic of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports that talks between the Pirates and Miguel Angel Sano have stalled. The Pirates made a formal offer at the beginning of July, but pulled it back more than a month ago.
- Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports says Carlos Zambrano's next meaningful start will come on Opening Day 2010.
- It looks like top Japanese amateur Yusei Kikuchi will play in Japan, as Patrick Newman of NPB Tracker shows.
- Jerry Ford of PerfectGame.org says Bryce Harper has been overhyped. But has his ability been overrated? Not at all - Ford says he has tons of potential. Check out the entire piece for a wide-ranging discussion of the top prospect.
ESPN's Jorge Arangure Jr. has some good inside info on the international free agent market, as always. Let's scope out his latest:
- Despite reports that the Padres had been interested in top talent Miguel Angel Sano, a Padres executive "assured" Arangure that the team would not be signing Sano. Investigation into Sano's age is ongoing.
- Arangure believes that the recent acquisition of Alex Rios by the White Sox takes them out of the running for top Cuban pitching talent Aroldis Chapman. It had been rumored that the White Sox were one of the top suitors for Chapman, as the Sox already field Cuban stars like Jose Contreras and Alexei Ramirez.
- The Padres are said to be scouting Edgar Ferreira, who Arangure says is the top Dominican amateur pitcher still unsigned. They'll watch him pitch tomorrow. Ben Badler at Baseball America ranked Ferreira the 11th overall best international free agent this season.