Miguel Cabrera Rumors
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.
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 today. Peter 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.
With so many rumors, there's a need for a daily Odds and Ends post to catch 'em all.
- Buster Olney talked to Freddy Garcia's agent. He's looking at a June return from shoulder surgery.
- Indians GM Mark Shapiro made an offer on Brad Lidge. The Astros didn't even reply. They did hear back from the Marlins on their Miguel Cabrera inquiry. The price is seemingly too high for talks to continue. Peter Gammons says that before the Astros got Michael Bourn, the White Sox pushed for a Chad Qualls for Ryan Sweeney swap.
- Evan Grant notes that the Rangers have discussed trading shortstop Joaquin Arias to the Royals for Joey Gathright. They've also talked to the Brewers about Tony Gwynn Jr. GM Jon Daniels needs to have options if he can't afford Torii Hunter or the other free agents. Grant adds that the Rangers have already been in touch with Kerry Wood.
- Jose Guillen declined his $5MM option with the Mariners - that's no surprise. So far the Royals have expressed interest.
- Khalil Greene is under the Padres' control through 2009, but his salary is going to jump significantly in arbitration for the '08 and '09 seasons. The Padres want to sign him to a multiyear deal, perhaps buying out one year of free agency. GM Kevin Towers is also posturing that he might use Scott Hairston as the regular center fielder next year, which seems a stretch. Also, Geoff Jenkins is on Towers' radar.
- Ed Wade and the Astros have asked the Marlins about Dontrelle Willis. However the 'Stros probably do not have the goods.'
- One way or another, the Marlins will ditch Miguel Olivo. They hope to bring Yorvit Torrealba aboard, which would take an offer better than two years, $6MM. The Mets, Brewers, and Blue Jays also like Torrealba. The Marlins are serious about upgrading behind the plate and will spend some money to do so.
- Jorge Posada seems set on testing the market, which never bodes well for the incumbent team.
- David DeJesus is a hot commodity as an affordable center fielder, but Dayton Moore expects to hang onto him. Maybe he'll change his mind once some big names are off the board.
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.