Miguel Batista Rumors
It's just one line at the end of Troy E. Renck's Denver Post column, but here's a few fresh Rockies targets: righties Justin Duchscherer and Miguel Batista. Renck says the Rockies are "trolling for pitching depth of all types" given the uncertainty with free agents Rafael Betancourt, Jose Contreras, and Joe Beimel.
Duchscherer is also known to be on the radar of the Pirates and Red Sox after missing the '09 season with hip and elbow surgeries and clinical depression. We learned what Batista is up to in yesterday's Geoff Baker article for the Seattle Times. Batista said he's heard from a few contending clubs.
Also of note: MLB.com's Thomas Harding talked to Rockies GM Dan O'Dowd, who indicated there's a slight chance the Rockies reach an agreement with Garrett Atkins in advance of the December 12th non-tender deadline. Maybe the Rockies could release Atkins and then re-sign him without the restriction of the 80% rule?
Links for Monday...
- MLB.com's T.R. Sullivan wonders if Bobby Crosby could be a match for the Rangers as a utility infielder.
- MLB.com's Mychael Urban has an update on free agent lefty Mark Mulder.
- Maury Brown of The Biz of Baseball analyzes Tim Lincecum's possible 2010 salary, and predicts the pitcher might submit $16.8MM against the Giants' $8MM figure.
- ESPN's Buster Olney tweets that Hideki Matsui's marketability is not a factor for the Yankees.
- Alex Speier of WEEI examines the chances of Roy Halladay remaining a workhorse over the next several seasons.
- Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch doesn't see geography as a big factor for Matt Holliday. Meanwhile, Bernie Miklasz of the P-D doesn't understand Albert Pujols' reasoning as to why he needs to wait to discuss an extension.
- MLB.com's Brian McTaggart asks readers to predict the Astros' arbitration decisions for free agents. Jose Valverde and LaTroy Hawkins are tough calls in that it makes sense but we're not sure if the Astros will. We'll have predictions on all Type A/B free agents later today.
- Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel explains why he feels only Felipe Lopez will get an arbitration offer from the Brewers.
- MLB.com's Joe Frisaro says the Marlins are leaning against offering arbitration to Type B free agents Kiko Calero and Nick Johnson. Calero might be worth it.
- Jon Weisman of Dodgers Thoughts says the Dodgers' arbitration decisions won't necessarily be influenced by the McCourts' divorce.
- Staying with this theme, FanGraphs' Dave Cameron looks at the factors that should influence a team's arbitration-offer decision.
- Ken Rosenthal and Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports look at the market for Miguel Tejada.
- Morosi suggests ten teams that should talk to the Tigers about Miguel Cabrera, Curtis Granderson, and Edwin Jackson.
- Jacob Jackson of Athletics Nation has a detailed offseason plan for the A's.
- Righty Miguel Batista told Geoff Baker of the Seattle Times that he has a few contenders interested in his services.
- Notes from NPB Tracker's Patrick Newman: the Orioles are eyeing pitcher Hisanori Takahashi, and Hideki Okajima would like a contract extension (he's under team control through 2012 as an arbitration-eligible player).
- Dejan Kovacevic of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette says the fates of Jeff Karstens, Robinzon Diaz, and Justin Thomas will be decided today.
- Elmer Dessens doesn't have a contract with the Mets quite yet, writes Adam Rubin of the New York Daily News.
More items from a busy opening day of baseball's hot stove season...
- Consider it a formality, but John Lackey, Matt Holliday, and Jason Bay were among the 79 players filing for free agency today according to MLB.com's Tom Singer.
- Free agent Bobby Crosby told MLB.com's Mychael Urban that he doesn't expect to be back in Oakland next season.
- Alex Gonzalez has yet to hear from the Red Sox in regards to whether or not they will exercise his $6MM option for next season, says The Boston Herald's Michael Silverman.
- Jim Street of MLB.com breaks down Seattle's free agents, noting that Russell Branyan and Ken Griffey Jr. "are the most likely to return," and that if Griffey comes back, it would likely mean that the Mariners wouldn't re-sign veteran Mike Sweeney. Street also reported that right-hander Miguel Batista feels he won't be back in Seattle next season, with Batista going so far as to say there is a "99.9 percent chance" he will be in another team's uniform in 2010.
- Texas introduced former Rockies manager Clint Hurdle as their new hitting coach on Thursday.
- John Harper of the New York Daily News feels that Hideki Matsui's World Series MVP award made the Yankees' decision whether or not to re-sign the free agent slugger much more difficult. Even before Matsui's huge Game Six performance, MLBTR's Luke Adams outlined the factors behind any decision to put Matsui back in pinstripes in 2010.
- Randy St. Claire has been hired as the Marlins' new pitching coach, reports Barry Jackson and Clark Spencer of the Miami Herald.
Nobody's been traded so far in August, but deals are sure to go through. ESPN.com's Jerry Crasnick considers some trade candidates:
- Doug Davis and Jon Garland
- Heath Bell - An unlikely trade candidate, since he's sure to be claimed, but he could be dealt even if he's claimed (to the NL team with the worst record among all claiming teams).
- Lyle Overbay - He makes $7MM next year, a deterrent for possible suitors.
- Justin Duchscherer - Some health concerns remain, as he hasn't pitched in the majors this year.
- Kevin Millar, Nomar Garciaparra and Jason Giambi - Veteran bats for the playoffs.
- Jamey Carroll - Mark Teahen's another utility type, but he's less likely to be dealt than Carroll.
- Carl Pavano - Just don't expect the Yankees to come calling.
- Arthur Rhodes and David Weathers
- Miguel Batista
- Russell Branyan won't clear waivers, but the Mariners could consider dealing six weeks of Branyan to the claiming team for a decent prospect.
- Like Duchscherer, Erik Bedard has to prove he's healthy before anyone will commit to him.
- Baker expects the Mariners to try to move Adrian Beltre. They won't want to offer him arbitration after the season and risk paying him $14MM or so next year, so now's their chance to get a return for Beltre. They would almost certainly have to pick up salary in the process.
Executives tell Jon Heyman of SI.com that we saw the "softest deadline ever" last week because there's still the possibility for trades this month. Here's an explanation of how trades can occur after the deadline and here are the players Heyman deems likely to clear waivers (player who clear waivers may be traded):
- Bronson Arroyo, Adam Dunn, Jose Guillen, Aaron Harang, Adrian Beltre, Aubrey Huff, Jason Giambi, Melvin Mora, Miguel Batista, Juan Cruz, Ty Wigginton, Ron Mahay, Willie Bloomquist, Lyle Overbay, Willy Taveras.
Some players who could clear waivers:
- Jon Garland, Doug Davis, Gil Meche, Alex Rios, Carl Pavano, Mark Hendrickson, Jhonny Peralta, Jamey Carroll, Ron Villone.
And some players who probably won't clear waivers, but who could be dealt to a claiming team:
- Roy Halladay, Felix Hernandez, Heath Bell, Adrian Gonzalez, Marco Scutaro, Chad Qualls, Michael Wuertz, Brian Bannister, Josh Willingham, Gary Sheffield, David Eckstein, Jason Frasor, Mark Teahen.
The Mariners are in the playoff hunt with a 46-42 record, though many expected them to be sellers this month. As Gregg Bell of the AP reports, Mariners manager Don Wakamatsu and trade candidate Jarrod Washburn say they want to keep the team together and attempt to win now.
- Miguel Batista - Baker says it makes sense to move Batista, who makes $3.3MM before the end of the year. He could offset salary coming to Seattle.
- Relievers Sean White and Mark Lowe would atract interest and the Mariners may feel they have enough depth to part with one of them, especially with prospect Phillippe Aumont on his way.
- Unless the Mariners fall from contention, Baker suggests it makes sense to hold Erik Bedard, whose value is limited because of his time on the DL.
- Dealing Jarrod Washburn is a "no-brainer" if the M's fall out of it.
- Brandon Morrow, Wladimir Balentien and Jeff Clement could all be moved as well.
More links for the afternoon...
- Steve Kelley of the Seattle Times says the Mariners face some tough long-term decisions about Adrian Beltre and his future as a Mariner.
- Pirates president Frank Coonelly believes his team will be able to match or surpass the Brewers' payroll once attendance picks up, according to Dejan Kovacevic of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.
- Maury Brown of the Biz of Baseball reports that Ken Rosenthal will join the MLB Network and keep reporting for FOX Sports.
- Geoff Baker of the Seattle Times can see the Mariners trading Miguel Batista whether they're buyers or sellers.
- Patrick Newman of NPB Tracker shows that Yu Darvish relied on fastballs and sliders to take a no hitter into the 8th inning in Japan recently.
Rounding up links involving possible Mariners trades...
- Start with Jon Paul Morosi's article at FOX Sports. Morosi talked to Mariners GM Jack Zduriencik, who is in no hurry and has not received any offers yet. Seattle, at six games out in the AL West, is technically still focused on the pennant race.
- SI's Jon Heyman writes about Erik Bedard, who may just be the best pitcher available this summer. His contract's not a problem, and I should mention that unlike Jake Peavy, Bedard does not have no-trade protection. Heyman believes that Bedard would probably require a better package than the one the White Sox were going to send to San Diego for Peavy. He likes the Phillies, White Sox, and Brewers as possible suitors.
- Heyman rattles off other Mariners trade candidates when the time comes: Jarrod Washburn, Miguel Batista, Adrian Beltre, Yuniesky Betancourt, and Russell Branyan. In his article, Morosi wondered if now is the time to sell high on reliever David Aardsma.
- Larry LaRue of The News Tribune has the local take.
According to Chico Harlan of the Washington Post, "changes are coming" to the Nationals' bullpen if it doesn't improve. The Nats have since DFA'd Mike Hinckley and called up Ron Villone, but they could make more moves:
- The Nats could exchange bad contracts with another team. Trading Austin Kearns ($8MM) for Miguel Batista ($9MM) has been discussed.
- Harlan adds that the trade market for relievers isn't good because many teams have struggling bullpens.
- The Nats' will likely address the bullpen from within the organization. Jason Bergmann and Tyler Clippard are available in the minor leagues.
Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports compiles a number of rumors from around the majors:
- The Mariners need to free up money, but to do so, they'd likely have to trade one of Adrian Beltre, Jarrod Washburn or Miguel Batista. All three will be free agents after the season, but moving one of them would be "extremely difficult."
- The Mariners and Yankees considered a Hideki Matsui-Washburn swap, but Matsui's contract ($13MM) pays him more than Washburn's ($10.35MM) so they didn't find a match.
- The Twins are looking to move Delmon Young.
- They showed interest in Washburn last year, but only some of Rosenthal's sources believe he and Delmon Young could be the foundation for a larger deal.
- Rosenthal has a source who says the Yankees are not currently pursuing Juan Cruz. Yesterday, we had a discussion about the rules regarding free agent quotas.
- The Yanks like their bullpen, but they could try to add an arm if they trade Xavier Nady or Nick Swisher.
- The Rays are making a strong run at Brian Shouse.
- The Orioles would not likely have to give up much more than a low-level prospect to deal for Rich Hill.