Miguel Cabrera Rumors
In today's blog post at ESPN, Buster Olney writes about the potential market for Miguel Cabrera, who is now apparently available in a trade. He notes the enormous financial commitment attached to Cabrera's All-World bat, and discusses the Red Sox, Angels, Mets, White Sox, Giants, Mariners, and Braves as potential landing spots.
Here's the rest of Olney's rumors...
- Olney tweets that the Astros' payroll will be cut from $107MM to the low $90MMs.
- Olney says the Yankees will look to add two relievers in all likelihood, though it's unclear if they're willing to give up a first round pick for one of the Type-A bullpen arms. For what it's worth, GM Brian Cashman said the bullpen wasn't an area of "obvious need" yesterday.
- Jack Cust could be in line for a $4.5MM payday through arbitration, which just might get him non-tendered. Given all the DH-types on the market, that might not be a good thing for Cust. We learned yesterday that the Mets might be among the suitors for him.
- Regarding a potential Milton Bradley to Tampa trade, Olney says the Rays "absolutely will not do it unless it's on their terms, which is that the Cubs might absorb enough money in the swap of Bradley and (Pat) Burrell to make it worthwhile for the Rays."
- Olney also reiterates that it's extremely unlikely the Padres will move Adrian Gonzalez given his favorable contract.
It's no secret that the Tigers are looking to cut down on future payroll, and to do so they've made both Curtis Granderson and Edwin Jackson available in trades. Lynn Henning of The Detroit News throws another name into the mix: first baseman Miguel Cabrera.
Henning says that nothing "irresistible" has been offered for Cabrera yet, and that GM Dave Dombrowski said "I'm not getting into any names," when asked about his first baseman. The Red Sox are looking to add a big bat, and we've already heard rumblings that they could turn around and move Clay Buchholz if they sign John Lackey.
Cabrera, still just 26, is about to enter year three of his eight year, $152.3MM contract. He's owed $126MM through 2015, so I guess we can rule out the small market clubs as trade partners. MLBTR readers discussed the idea of trading Cabrera earlier this month.
Some links to read before the weekend draws to a close...
- Juan Morillo, who pitched briefly for the Twins this year, has signed with a Japanese team, according to Patrick Newman of NPB Tracker.
- Tyler Hissey of Around the Majors argues that Jason Bay fits best in the American League because of his suspect defense. Bay is a productive hitter, but questions about his ability to play the field may limit his appeal to NL clubs. His agent insists that Bay plays solid defense, but advanced metrics suggest that's not the case.
- Here, Hissey argues that the Yankees should consider signing Mike Cameron for a year until Austin Jackson is ready.
- Steve Kornacki of MLive.com reminds us that the Miguel Cabrera trade talk is just speculation at this point. It's fun to wonder about, though.
- ESPN.com's Buster Olney doesn't think the Padres will face pressure to deal Adrian Gonzalez until next summer, so he doesn't expect them to be in a rush to deal their superstar. Instead, they'll wait to be overwhelmed.
- Nick Piecoro of the Arizona Republic predicts where some big-name free agents will sign. He has the Yankees signing Matt Holliday.
Over the past week, we've heard rumblings about the Tigers making players such as Curtis Granderson and Edwin Jackson available in order to shed payroll in the coming years. In his latest column, Ken Rosenthal offers up another question: should the Tigers look to trade Miguel Cabrera? Rosenthal opines that it makes financial sense for the Tigers to do just that.
Cabrera, 26, is entering his prime and is already established as one of the game's elite hitters. His bat is the cornerstone of Detroit's offense, and his 209 career home runs and career line of .311/.383/.542 would draw interest from many teams. Cabrera is owed $126MM over the final six years of his contract, however. He also had his share of off-field issues at the end of the season, as the Tigers lost a three-game lead on the AL Central with four games to go. Could the $126MM be spent more effectively by the Tigers? Fangraphs would say that for the time being, Cabrera is worth the money; they valued his performance at $24.3MM in 2009.
The Tigers will have $102.1MM committed to Cabrera, Magglio Ordonez, Jeremy Bonderman, Nate Robertson, Dontrelle Willis, Curtis Granderson, Carlos Guillen, and Brandon Inge in 2010, before arbitration raises to other players including Justin Verlander and Edwin Jackson.
However, following the 2010 season, the contracts of Ordonez, Bonderman, Robertson, Willis, and Inge will be coming off the books in Detroit, freeing up more than $57MM. Given that information, is it better to trade their best hitter to save payroll and stock the farm system, or try to gut it out and work through the financial difficulties that 2010 has to offer? Rosenthal speculates one possible trade scenario to Boston, an exchange of Cabrera for Jonathan Papelbon, Mike Lowell, and a solid prospect such as Lars Anderson or Stolmy Pimentel. What's the better move for the Tigers, and what kind of package could Cabrera fetch if he were available on the trade market this offseason?
In his latest column, Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe examines the differing opinions on this year's free agent market and passes on some info from around the majors. The highlights:
- One National League GM on the top players in this year's free agent class: "[Matt Holliday] won’t get what Mark Teixeira got. No chance. [John] Lackey may get A.J. Burnett money, but I’m not even sure anyone would go that high."
- A separate source tells Cafardo that many teams will wait out the market this winter, potentially resulting in a few bargains for thrifty teams later in the offseason.
- Cafardo wonders if the Detroit Tigers would entertain trade offers for Miguel Cabrera, who will make $20MM next season. If so, Cafardo thinks the Red Sox would get involved.
- The Seattle Mariners believe they're very close to contending, which will mean hanging on to Felix Hernandez and pursuing players like Lackey and Jason Bay this offseason.
- The San Francisco Giants are interested in bringing back Brad Penny.
- Cafardo says it "isn't far-fetched" that the Rays could deal B.J. Upton. He suggests Upton's availability will depend on Carl Crawford's future with the team, or lack thereof.
Michael Silverman of the Boston Herald shares a few of his thoughts about the Red Sox hot stove. Here are some highlights:
- With Jed Hoyer taking the reins as the Padres' GM and Kevin Towers having been offered a position in Boston, Silverman thinks Adrian Gonzalez trade talks will restart in the offseason. Given how well Hoyer knows the Red Sox farm system, talks could progress faster than they have in the past.
- Silverman says, though, that Hoyer's history with Boston doesn't necessarily mean a trade will happen. He points to former Epstein assistant and current Diamondbacks GM Josh Byrnes, and notes that Arizona and Boston haven't made a significant deal since Byrnes was hired.
- If the Padres decide to hang on to Gonzalez, the Red Sox could potentially turn to Prince Fielder or Miguel Cabrera in their search for a power-hitting corner infielder.
- Jacoby Ellsbury's below average defense in center (he posted a -12.3 UZR/150 in 2009) has the Red Sox thinking of moving him to left field.
- If the team were to move Ellsbury to left (Silverman doesn't expect they will), it would be more difficult to find a replacement center fielder than a left fielder. Silverman thinks Boston should keep an eye on Carlos Beltran's situation in New York, given the Mets' struggles this year and the fact that Beltran would likely only be about $2MM more expensive per season than someone like Jason Bay.
- Hideki Okajima is eligible for arbitration, but his contract states that he must be made an offer by November 10, so expect that to happen within a couple weeks.
On this date 32 years ago, Carlos Beltran was born. Beltran is still one of only 19 players to ever sign a contract for at least $100MM (four currently play for the Yankees). With three years left on Beltran's seven-year, $119MM deal signed in 2005, let's take a look a what is being written in the Blogosphere...
- Feeling Dodger Blue wonders if Mark Mulder is the Dodgers' best option.
- Never Forget '69 wonders if the Mets should explore adding Pedro Martinez.
- The Detroit Tigers Weblog addresses the recent rumors that the Tigers will look to trade Miguel Cabrera.
- The Baseball Opinion takes a closer look at the Nationals' attempt to remake their roster.
- River Ave. Blues says the Yankees' series against the A's was an audition for Matt Holliday.
Talking to MLB.com's Jason Beck, Tigers GM Dave Dombrowski moved quickly tonight to shoot down recent ESPN speculation that first baseman Miguel Cabrera could be traded. Said Dombrowski:
"I think it's absurd, absolutely absurd. We have no interest in trading Miguel Cabrera. We have had no talks regarding Miguel Cabrera. Not only is it one of the last things we would ever consider, we have an owner [Mike Ilitch] who wouldn't do it. This is our core player who's our foundation."
Given that the Tigers signed Cabrera to an eight-year, $152.3MM extension just one year ago, it didn't make sense that they'd change their mind so quickly on their investment. Cabrera is only 26 and seems headed for an MVP-type year.
SI.com's Jon Heyman has several new blog posts up. Let's take a look.
- The Yankees planned offers in the four-year, $60MM range for A.J. Burnett and Derek Lowe, but that's not sufficient for either pitcher. Burnett wants five years, and Lowe presumably at least $16MM per year and perhaps five as well.
- The Indians, Mets, and Yankees are in on Orlando Hudson, who wants a five-year, $50MM deal. The Dodgers are another possibility. The New York teams would have to do some shuffling to make room for Hudson. Paul Hoynes of the Cleveland Plain Dealer reported the Indians' interest yesterday evening. The Tribe is also in on Orlando Cabrera, according to Yahoo's Tim Brown.
- Heyman says the Angels will make a "fair proposal with a deadline" for Mark Teixeira, with Miguel Cabera's eight-year, $153MM deal as a baseline. This echoes recent columns from Ken Rosenthal and Bill Ladson.
Bill Ladson of MLB.com reports a mutual interest between the Washington Nationals and talented free agent Mark Teixeira. "[Maryland] is his home," mentions an anonymous source in Ladson's article. The source also sets Miguel Cabrera's eight-year, $153MM deal as a benchmark for Teixeira's next contract.
Presumably, any hometown discount afforded the Nationals would also apply to the Baltimore Orioles, another team widely assumed to be on Teixeira's short list of favorable destinations.