Miguel Cabrera Rumors
Michael Silverman has a little detail on Boston's three-year offer to Mike Lowell: it's between $12-15MM per season. It's all guaranteed, and it doesn't seem to be a "take it or leave it" offer, but they won't add a fourth year. So it's for $45MM on the high end. If you agree with Jon Heyman's 4/52 prediction, Lowell would be leaving a minimum of $7MM on the table.
Silverman adds that the Red Sox won't go nuts trying to replace Lowell with a big name if things don't work out. They figure that if Kevin Youkilis can win a Gold Glove at first, he might be adequate at third base. They peeked their head in on Miguel Cabrera and balked at the price of Jacoby Ellsbury and Clay Buchholz. Joe Crede might be someone for the Sox to consider.
The Yankees, Angels, and Phillies will be in on Lowell if he can't come to an agreement with Boston. However, Phils GM Pat Gillick has stated his focus is pitching rather than third base.
Ken Rosenthal has cranked out another rumor-filled column. A summary is below.
- The Marlins are insisting on Howie Kendrick in a Miguel Cabrera deal. The Angels are understandably reluctant.
- The Nationals could sign Andruw Jones long-term if they felt it was a bargain - say, $13MM a year. The Giants, White Sox, and Padres may be in the mix as well. Hmmm, White Sox and Boras? And if Scott Boras changes his tune and hunts for a one-year "rebuild value" contract for Jones, the Red Sox could get involved.
- The Phillies think Aaron Rowand will end up getting a 4/52 contract, though Rosenthal expects him to get the fifth guaranteed year. It's previously been reported that Rowand is looking for a six-year, $84MM deal. Yikes.
- Aside from the Astros and Mets, the Indians, Padres, and Dodgers could get in on Luis Castillo. In the Tribe's case, it would involve a scenario where Jhonny Peralta was dealt.
- Interesting note on Curt Schilling's $2MM in weight incentives - the target weights are aggressively low, and the weigh-ins will be done randomly. So, no cheating the system. By the way, isn't it ridiculous that one Cy vote gets him $1MM? Sportswriters have given out single votes on a whim for much dumber reasons.
- The Red Sox are apparently asking a lot for Coco Crisp, more than the Twins are ready to give up.
- The Indians and Brewers have an excess of starters. Names that could hit the market include Cliff Lee, Dave Bush, and Chris Capuano. The Nationals have their eye on Lee. He came up as an Expo through Double A.
- The Nationals might be able to get something good for outfielder Ryan Church. In general, Jim Bowden desires a young MLB-ready starter like Kevin Mulvey or Kevin Slowey.
For up for auction: two years of Miguel Cabrera. Who's going to place a bid? The latest buzz from Joe Capozzi is that the Dodgers, Angels, Giants, Yankees, Red Sox, and White Sox are all after him. A deal could happen at the Winter Meetings from December 3-6. The needs for the Marlins are starting pitching, third base, catcher, and center field. They want three players.
- Dodgers: Capozzi's source says they're "making a big push" for Cabrera, after calling about him last summer. This could even involve a package deal with Dontrelle Willis. The names being thrown around: Matt Kemp, Andre Ethier, Andy LaRoche, Chad Billingsley, Clayton Kershaw, Scott Elbert, and Jonathan Meloan. I can't see the Dodgers trading Billingsley; he's integral to the 2008 team. Dodgers side note: Bill Shaikin names Kosuke Fukudome as someone the Dodgers are monitoring.
- Angels: Capozzi says Cabrera could be the Angels' alternative if they fail to sign Alex Rodriguez. Bill Shaikin speculates on Brandon Wood, Nick Adenhart, and Mike Napoli/Jeff Mathis/Hank Conger. I'd make that deal. However, Ken Rosenthal says Howie Kendrick would be a requirement.
- Giants: Cabrera could be their new Face of the Franchise, but it's tough to see this happening without Tim Lincecum or Matt Cain.
- Yankees: Joe Girardi managed him with the Marlins and speaks highly of him. The Yanks have already touched base about Cabrera with the Fish. It sounds like the Yankees will trade Melky Cabrera, but are very reluctant to trade Joba Chamberlain, Phil Hughes, or Ian Kennedy. I could see them relenting on Kennedy. Capozzi mentions their second tier of prospects - Alan Horne, Humberto Sanchez, Ross Ohlendorf, and Jose Tabata. Nah.
- Red Sox: Any big name, the Yankees and Red Sox have to at least check in. If the Sox somehow don't retain Mike Lowell, they could move on to Cabrera. The price is said to be Jacoby Ellsbury plus Jon Lester or Clay Buchholz. I don't see the Red Sox doing it.
- White Sox: Ozzie Guillen is friends with Cabrera and sure, the White Sox love him. Any package would have to start with Josh Fields, but I'm still not sure they have the goods even if they add Lance Broadway and Gio Gonzalez to the package.
- Indians: Capozzi doesn't mention them, but Paul Hoynes says they'll inquire. The Tribe has some expendable guys but a deal might have to start with Adam Miller.
Rumor-man Jon Heyman has some good info from the GM meetings.
- Miguel Cabrera is officially available, as the Marlins have made calls to selected teams describing what they'd want in return. The main contenders for Cabrera are the Red Sox, Yankees, Dodgers, Giants, and Angels. Also, Paul Hoynes suggested this morning that the Indians could be in the mix. You know the drill - it takes 2-3 top flight prospects, at least one of them a blue chip pitcher. Heyman even says Cabrera could be combined with Dontrelle Willis to create the mother of all blockbusters. This package will exceed the one Texas got for Mark Teixeira. Cabrera has two full years left before free agency.
- Heyman names 12 other trade candidates, most of which we've discussed before. He mentions under Hank Blalock that the Dodgers and Red Sox have called. Suddenly there are tons of third basemen available.
- Mariano Rivera received a three-year, $39MM offer from the Yankees, about what we expected. He hasn't responded; he has all the leverage as the best free agent closer.
- The Rangers aren't interested in Barry Bonds, according to Jon Daniels.
According to Juan C. Rodriguez of the South Florida Sun-Sentinel, both Miguel Cabrera and Dontrelle Willis are available. We had heard previously that trade availability was limited to Cabrera, but Willis can definitely be discussed as well.
Rodriguez notes that trading a hitter of Cabrera's age and accomplishment is unprecedented. Good point. It wouldn't be surprising to see him stay put, given the enormous value of young starters like Phil Hughes and Clay Buchholz. It might be easier for the Marlins to reach an accord on a Willis trade.
According to Ken Davidoff of Newsday, the Yankees aren't likely to trade for Joe Crede. They're aiming for bigger fish like Mike Lowell, Adrian Beltre, Miguel Cabrera, and Scott Rolen. Garrett Atkins has been deemed unavailable. Additionally, Kenny Williams hopes to deal Crede relatively quickly and the Yankees are in no rush to fill their third base vacancy. Maybe the Phillies will jump into the fray for Crede.
Lowell at least won't involve giving up young talent. But there are some questions about how he'd hit away from Fenway. And we're talking four or even five years to lure him. Beltre would be a fine acquisition and is affordable, though I don't know why the Mariners would part with him. And the Ms would want at least one blue-chipper, I'd imagine. The Yanks would have to mortgage tons of young talent for Cabrera. Davidoff's dark horse, Rolen, suddenly makes the most sense. It would be a salary dump and a health risk, but 3/36 isn't that scary for the Yanks. And it's less than Lowell would sign for.
Davidoff has a tidbit at the end of his column, a one-liner, that the Yanks are likely to re-sign Mariano Rivera at three years, $40MM soon. I'm surprised Newsday didn't call more attention to that part.
This is a promising hot stove season with tons of angles to entertain us. Miguel Cabrera shouldn't get lost in the shuffle - this is a bona fide 24 year-old superstar, and he's available via trade.
Joe Capozzi of the Palm Beach Post lists the reasons - Cabrera is entering eight-figure salary territory, and he's been getting lazy. Capozzi's teams source says the idea of the Marlins signing Alex Rodriguez has no substance. But they would certainly trade Cabrera if they received a sweet package as they did for Josh Beckett. Translation: Phil Hughes or Clay Buchholz. Joel Sherman's source says this won't be an auction - the Marlins will target players and teams and make their demands. You have to imagine Hughes and Buchholz are on that short list. Michael Silverman expects the Red Sox to inquire on Cabrera, among others.
Capozzi also indicates that Dontrelle Willis is likely to stay put.
Your daily collection of random rumors and links...
- MLB.com's Free Agent Frenzy has begun. You can win Opening Day tickets by closely predicting where 15 free agents will land. A good strategic move would be to wait until deadline day, November 15th, before submitting. That way you'll have more info (keep your browser right here for all the latest free agent info). By the way, my Top 50 Free Agents list should be ready around Monday.
- Fielding Bible has their 2007 awards (click the Winners tab). So much for those who say Andruw is slipping!
- Miguel Cabrera is available, according to Peter Gammons. Gammons thinks any package would have to begin with a top pitching prospect such as Phil Hughes, Clay Buchholz, or Clayton Kershaw.
- Sounds like the Rockies want to keep the 2007 club mostly intact by bringing back free agents (Kaz Matsui, Yorvit Torrealba, Matt Herges, LaTroy Hawkins). However Josh Fogg and Jeremy Affeldt may be allowed to leave.
- Though they're on his list, it doesn't sound like the D'Backs can afford Curt Schilling.
- The A's are talking about re-signing Shannon Stewart, but I don't see it. That would have to cost at least $3-4MM. Meanwhile, Mike Piazza might retire. Susan Slusser talks about how the A's would receive compensation for Stewart and Piazza, both Type B free agents. But that's only if they offer them arbitration, which is questionable.
- Comeback time! Matt Mantei is all surgically repaired and wants to get back into action. He feels great! He'd take a minor league contract and/or play for the minimum. Can't wait til spring, when we can hear about all the guys who are in the best shape of their careers. The Tigers might need him with Joel Zumaya's new, odd injury.
- A couple of 40+ southpaws will pitch in '08 - Tom Glavine and David Wells.
- The O's will pass on Kris Benson at $7.5MM next year, no surprise. He had rotator cuff surgery last March.
- U.S.S. Mariner's "reasonable" offseason plan.
As usual, Tom Krasovic has the scoop with the Padres.
- The Padres expect Greg Maddux back, at a salary near the $10MM he earned in '07. One way it could happen - Mad Dog declines his $8.75MM player option and the Padres exercise their $11MM club option. Otherwise they'll just tear it up and figure something out.
- The Padres will pass on available third basemen Alex Rodriguez and Miguel Cabrera. It sounds like a Padres team source is indicating the Marlins plan to shop Cabrera aggressively. As if this offseason wasn't going to be crazy enough, here's another marquee player on the market. The Padres have some depth at third base, so they'll sit out.
- Apparently the Elias rankings have leaked out somewhere, though I haven't seen the list yet. Michael Barrett and Milton Bradley both earned Type A designation, though it won't matter if the Padres don't offer arbitration to either. With either player there's a decent chance he would accept the offer. Barrett maybe not, as he might be able to find a two-year deal elsewhere. Still, it'd be risky. Unfortunately Mike Cameron and Doug Brocail got the Type B designation (not that that makes sense). Cameron will probably get offered arbitration; it would've been nice to get the Braves' 18th overall pick.
Clark Spencer writes of the possibility of the Yankees going after Miguel Cabrera to fill their third base vacancy (assuming M-Cab can hold up at the position for a few more years).
Cabrera's salary will jump from $7.4MM past $11MM this year through arbitration. A year from now he could be looking at $15-17MM.
Spencer sees a partial match in center fielder Melky Cabrera; the Marlins have had instability at that position since Juan Pierre was dealt. Add Phil Hughes to the package and I think this could get done. The Yankees seem to favor Joba Chamberlain over Hughes (I don't have any proof for that) and Chien-Ming Wang will be getting pricey. Ian Kennedy is solid but the Marlins are going to want a front-rotation guy like Hughes.
One consideration is that if Cabrera can't stay at third base, they might have to move him to first and pass on Mark Teixeira next winter. But as I said earlier, maybe the Yanks will take a break from Boras clients anyway. Hank Steinbrenner seems primed to make all sorts of petty/irrational decisions. That should be fun to watch.