Miguel Cabrera Rumors

Orioles, Dodgers Talking Bedard, Kemp

Earlier this month, we learned that the Orioles will listen to offers for Erik Bedard. Sounds kinda crazy, shopping a potential Cy Young candidate with two years remaining until free agency. But if the Orioles can pick up a couple of younger but still MLB-ready players, so be it. The first connection comes from the Dodgers, who are offering a package centered around -- guess who -- Matt Kemp.

Kemp himself won't get this deal done. Tim Brown of Yahoo! Sports lists the usual suspects from the Dodgers: Andy LaRoche (because 93 at-bats is a plenty big sample), Jonathan Meloan, James Loney, Clayton Kershaw, Delwyn Young, Andre Ethier, and Tony Abreu.

Of course, Kemp would play a large part in a potential Miguel Cabrera trade, so the Dodgers must choose wisely. They certainly have the players it would take to land either player.

Brown notes that the Dodgers are already looking to upgrade at center field. We all know what that means: Hunter, Rowand, and Jones.

Joe Pawlikowski is co-author of River Ave. Blues.

Miguel Carbera To Drop Weight

Miguel Cabrera has spoken to LasMayores.com, the Spanish version of MLB.com. Mike Phillips of the Miami Herald relays the information. Apparently, Cabrera is at least saying that he plans to get into better shape this off-season so that he can "have the best season possible for the team [he ends] up on." He even says that he's been at it for four weeks already.

This would help alleviate universal concerns regarding Cabrera's weight and defensive ability. He'd like to stay with the NL because of his familiarity with it, but AL teams might be more interested, since they can move him to DH in the later years of a potential long-term contract.

"I'd like to stay at third, but if the team feels that it's best for me and everyone that I play somewhere else, that's what I'll do,'' Cabrera said. "I'd have no problem playing first, or even the outfield again, if that's how I can help my team in 2008."

Cabrera ranked third to last for third basemen in Dave Pinto's PMR, ahead of only Ryan Braun and Garrett Atkins, and second to last in Zone Rating, only to Braun. Dropping some weight might help things, but unless he's taking 1,000 ground balls per day like Braun, he could still be a liability at the hot corner.

The Dodgers and the Angels, both with a bevy of young talent, remain the front runners in any potential Miggy trade.

Joe Pawlikowski is co-author of River Ave. Blues, a Yankees blog.

Odds and Ends: Kuroda, Hunter, Crede

What'd I miss recently?  Here are some odds and ends.

  • The Tigers have expressed interest in Hiroki Kuroda.  They join the Phillies, Mariners, Dodgers, Royals, Rangers, Cubs, and Mets in that pursuit.
  • 10 teams are interested in Aaron Rowand!  That's almost 1/3 of all baseball teams!
  • Torii Hunter is after a seven-year deal.  Most feel he's saying that because he wants six.  Clever!
  • The Twins are taking a look at Tony Clark as a cheap DH option.  He's supposedly looking for something like two years, $4MM and more playing time.  This would be a very Twins-like signing. 
  • T.R. Sullivan has a Rangers update.  Apparently Jon Daniels is checking in on big names like Johan Santana, Erik Bedard, and Miguel Cabrera.  More realistically Daniels may go out to Japan for players such as Kosuke Fukudome and Hiroki Kuroda (we knew that already).  We also knew the Rangers had Kerry Wood and Eric Gagne on their radar.  Sullivan speculates that Scott Linebrink and LaTroy Hawkins could also be in the mix.
  • Barry Rozner expects Joe Crede to be traded. It seems like Crede is a Plan B or C for a lot of teams and Kenny Williams may have to wait til a few dominoes fall first. 

Giants Rumors: Cabrera, Rolen, Walker

Finally some Giants rumors!  I know a few fans have been clamoring for the team to join the hot stove rumblings.  Andrew Baggarly has an article here and Henry Schulman has one here.  Let's discuss.

  • The Giants have no one to play third base.  Kevin Frandsen could technically do it but they prefer him at second.  Thankfully, they will pass on Pedro Feliz.  Feliz - get this - wants a three year deal.  He's on the Brewers' radar, by the way.
  • Miguel Cabrera is one option, though Baggarly doesn't see the Giants offering up Tim Lincecum to jump into the fray.  However Schulman's source says the Giants have been "one of the most aggressive teams" after Cabrera.  Who to believe? 
  • Baggarly's team source doesn't expect to go after the available Scott Rolen, given his health questions and contract.  Free agents Morgan Ensberg and Mike Lamb seem more likely options at third base.
  • Brian Wilson and the newly signed Tyler Walker will mix it up for the closer job.  Brian Sabean doesn't anticipate dropping big bucks/losing a draft pick for Scott Linebrink.  Nor are the Giants likely to hit up the Japanese market.

Orioles To Attempt To Extend Bedard

It looks like Erik Bedard is Andy MacPhail's top priority right now.  He's already gauged the trade interest for his ace, and is now exploring the idea of a contract extension.

Jeff Zrebiec says the Mets, Yankees, Angels, and Dodgers expressed interest in the southpaw starter.  Interesting to see the Halos in the mix.  The Dodgers are pushing the hardest for him.  Two years of Bedard is expected to cost a team three MLB-ready players.  The names mentioned for the Dodgers are Jonathan Broxton, Matt Kemp, and Clayton Kershaw.  While Kershaw's not MLB-ready, I doubt the Orioles would mind.  Zrebiec says the problem with the Dodgers is that Kemp and Kershaw would be part of a Miguel Cabrera package.

What would a contract extension cost?  I'm thinking it would require something like four years, $65MM to cover the two team-controlled years and two years of free agency.

Zrebiec also mentions that the Mets inquired on Ramon Hernandez, but found the price of a high-end prospect prohibitive.

Cafardo's Latest: Crawford, Haren

The Boston Globe's Nick Cafardo has a new colum up this morning; let's check it out.

  • The Carl Crawford/Cubs thing won't die.  Cafardo says the Cubs are after him, possibly offering a package starting with Rich Hill and Carlos Marmol.  This rumor originated with Bruce Levine a few days ago, though Roger Mooney dismissed it yesterday.
  • While the Red Sox have discussed Miguel Cabrera with the Marlins, Cafardo believes they might instead be eyeing a blockbuster for Johan Santana or Dan Haren.  As if the Red Sox need more pitching.

Angels and Dodgers Battling For Miguel Cabrera

UPDATE, 11-15-07:  MLB.com's Joe Frisaro says the Angels are in the lead now, and trade talk for Cabrera is picking up with A-Rod on the verge of signing.  Frisaro says a deal could be done by Thanksgiving, in contrast to Joe Capozzi's suggestion that this would happen at the Winter Meetings.  The L.A. Times explained several Dodgers/Angels scenarios on Wednesday; that's also worth a read.

FROM 11-13-07:

Joe Capozzi of the Palm Beach Post says the Dodgers and Angels are leading the pack in the Miguel Cabrera derby.  Four other clubs are said to be in the mix.  The Marlins will continue to field offers and hope to trade Cabrera at the Winter Meetings in a few weeks.

Both the Dodgers and Angels are also in the mix for Alex Rodriguez.  Scott Boras must love Cabrera messing up his market.  A friend of Tommy Lasorda's told me today that Lasorda puts the Dodgers' chances of signing A-Rod around 25%.

From the Angels, the Marlins want Howie Kendrick, Nick Adenhart, another pitcher, and an outfielder.  Now that's a tall order! Ervin Santana or Joe Saunders could be in the mix.  Maybe the Marlins like Terry Evans, Nathan Haynes, or Reggie Willits as well.

The Dodgers are being asked to pony up four of Chad Billingsley, Clayton Kershaw, Andy LaRoche, James Loney, and Matt Kemp.  Capozzi suggests the Dodgers would probably only include one of the pitchers.  Even so, a Kershaw/LaRoche/Loney/Kemp package is insane for one player.  That has to be well over $100MM of value - a bit less than 20 team-controlled seasons.  Three of the five would still make for a sweet bounty.  The team acquiring Cabrera would probably be compelled to lock him in past 2009.   

An educated guess at the other four teams in the mix for Cabrera: White Sox, Red Sox, Yankees, and Giants.  I'll guess that the Indians have bowed out. 

Odds and Ends: Kendrick, Uggla, Haren

Another random collection of rumorage...

  • The Braves have "many millions more" to spend on players this winter.  One emailer suggested that maybe the Braves will offer arbitration to Andruw Jones and he'll accept. 
  • Corey Patterson and the Nationals have mutual interest.  Baseball Prospectus' Joe Sheehan considers him a possible bargain, noting that he is only 28.
  • We figured the Padres and Matt Clement had mutual interest.  Now it's official.  Clement wants a one-year deal with incentives.
  • Tracy Ringolsby confirms that Yorvit Torrealba wants a three-year deal.  He says the Rockies are at two years, $7MM, the Marlins are in the same range, and the Mets are at two years, $9MM.  UPDATE: The Denver Post says Torrealba will have a decision Thursday.
  • Interesting Miguel Cabrera stuff from the L.A. TimesHowie Kendrick is not considered untouchable, but the Marlins might have to include Dan Uggla.  Basically if the Marlins are to get four players back, they'll have to add Uggla or Dontrelle Willis to the deal.   
  • Our friends at Gotham Baseball say if the Mets were to acquire Dan Haren, the package would start with Billy Beane favorite John Maine.  Mark Healey figures Lastings Milledge and Aaron Heilman would have to go also.
  • Ken Rosenthal thinks a one-year, $8MM offer from Atlanta would be enough to secure Tom Glavine.
  • The D'Backs' main trading chip is outfielder Carlos Gonzalez.  It appears that the team explored what they could get for Conor Jackson and decided to keep him.

Rosenthal's Latest: Cabrera, Haren, Barrett

Rumor guru Ken Rosenthal checks in with a new column this afternoon.

  • The White Sox are legitimately in the mix for Miguel Cabrera, but many stars would have to align for it to get done.  Suitors with better prospects would have to balk, and the Sox would have to part with Josh Fields and Gio Gonzalez.  Kenny Williams might even have to cash Jon Garland in and turn around and flip that prospect in a Cabrera deal.  Regardless, it's clear that Williams is once again thinking big.
  • Let's face it: the Twins aren't retaining free agents Torii Hunter or Carlos Silva.  You gotta know when to fold 'em - maybe it's best to punt 2008 and trade both Johan Santana and Joe Nathan now.  Rosenthal says that philosophy is gaining some steam in the organization.  Both Santana and Nathan are only under contract for one year, but both are signed well below market prices.  That means that any mildly competitive team could entertain the notion of acquiring one of them for a big boost.  Baseball Prospectus values Santana at $25MM and 8.1 wins next year (he earns $13.25MM).  They put Nathan at $15MM and 6 wins (he earns $6MM).
  • The A's are another team that could take one step back in order to take two steps forward.  Billy Beane has Joe Blanton and Dan Haren, two solid young pitchers each under team control for three seasons.  That's a big advantage over the other frontline names who might be available.  Santana and A.J. Burnett have one year.  Jake Peavy and Erik Bedard have two.  Haren for three years is huge.  Blanton is under team control but Haren is actually under contract.
  • The Rays have gotten in touch with Michael Barrett's people.  Will Barrett's Type A status become an issue?  Only if the Padres dare offer him arbitration.  If I had to guess I'd say they won't offer, but it's a close call.  Troy E. Renck recently mentioned Barrett has drawn interest from six clubs, perhaps including the Rockies and Marlins.  I'm sure the Rockies would not give up their #25 overall pick to the Padres just to sign Barrett.  The Marlins' sixth overall pick next year is protected. 

Contract Window For Miguel Cabrera?

MLB.com's Joe Frisaro says the Miguel Cabrera trade talks are heating up.  As you know, Cabrera is under team control for the 2008 and 2009 seasons.  He might become more enticing if the acquiring team can talk to his agent prior to completion of a trade, with a long-term contract in mind.  As far as I can tell Cabrera is represented by Arn Tellem and Fernando Cuza currently.

Frisaro says the Angels and Dodgers are in the lead for Cabrera.  The Yankees, White Sox, Indians, and Tigers are also in the mix.  However this Paul Hoynes article seems to indicate the Indians are fading on Cabrera.  And I think it's questionable whether the White Sox have the goods.  Frisaro doesn't include the Red Sox, which jives with Michael Silverman's info todayPeter Gammons says the Red Sox could get Hank Blalock in a Coco Crisp deal but aren't ready to do that right now.

It's known that the Marlins want Howie Kendrick from the Angels; Ken Rosenthal first reported that yesterday.  Maicer Izturis would also be thrown in there, but I imagine Nick Adenhart would be required as well.  If such a deal were reached, Dan Uggla would move to third base to accomodate Kendrick.  There's also speculation that the Marlins could trade Uggla if they get Kendrick.

Frisaro expects Dontrelle Willis to stay put this winter.

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