Miguel Cabrera Rumors
Mike DiGiovanna of the L.A. Times writes his "State of the Angels" Winter Meetings intro, and some information is revealed regarding Miguel Tejada.
As you know, Tejada is the Angels' fallback option if they can't get Miguel Cabrera. Well, it doesn't sound like the price is reasonable on Tejada either. The Orioles want both third baseman Brandon Wood and starter Jered Weaver for him. The Angels would be comfortable with one of Joe Saunders or Ervin Santana plus a lesser prospect.
Given the lack of interest in Tejada and the multiple question marks, it's surprising to see such a huge demand for talent. No wonder Ken Rosenthal said the Giants, Astros, and Cards don't have the young talent to get Tejada. And by the way - the Orioles won't be eating any of the $26MM owed to Tejada over the next two years.
Random rumors, let's round 'em up.
- How about Bartolo Colon to the Mets? David Lennon notes that Omar Minaya sold the farm to acquire him in 2002 as the Expos' GM.
- Scott Lauber says Aaron Rowand is insisting on a five-year deal. He adds that the Phils have interest in Geoff Jenkins but he might be too expensive.
- Cameron Maybin and Andrew Miller are considered untouchable, so don't look for the Tigers to make any big trades.
- Patrick Saunders runs down some free agents the Rockies may consider for the back end of their rotation: Tony Armas, Matt Clement, Steve Trachsel, Josh Fogg, Jason Jennings, Jon Lieber, Mark Redman, Brett Tomko, and Kip Wells.
- The Rays may go after Tony Clark, in large part because they're seeking leadership. Marc Topkin agrees, and also rattles off Geoff Jenkins, Brad Wilkerson, Cliff Floyd, Mike Lamb, Mark Sweeney, Corey Koskie, and Greg Nortion as other possibilities.
- It's expected that Eric Gagne will not accept Boston's offer of arbitration, because he wants to close. One place he could do so is Texas, who like him if he'll take one year.
- The Marlins' new marketing materials exclude Miguel Cabrera.
- The Rangers have interest in Sean Casey and Mike Lamb.
The Angels are a bit frustrated in the Miguel Cabrera dealings. According to Jayson Stark, they've told the Marlins to come swing by their suite whenever they're ready to give a little on their demands.
In the deal for sure: Howie Kendrick and Jeff Mathis. One of Ervin Santana, Joe Saunders, and Nick Adenhart would be included as well. However, the Fish want two of those starters. The Halos won't do it, but might be able to give one starter plus Reggie Willits. Either way it's going to be a major haul.
It wouldn't be impossible to get Cabrera for three players, but they'd have to be damn good ones. It's always fascinating to watch the Marlins replenish their system.
Angels owner Arte Moreno isn't happy with the way the Marlins dealt with his club on the Miguel Cabrera negotiations. Twice already the Angels thought they had deals only to have the Marlins come back at the last minute asking for more. Moreno also believed this happened to the Dodgers and the Fish are playing the two teams off each other.
None of this seems outside the realm of negotiation; it's just curious that Moreno went public with it. Perhaps that's strategy, his way of telling the Marlins he won't take any more BS.
Moreno said the Marlins' demand is four players. Three of them must be Major Leaguers and two pitchers. If the Angels are to give up two good young pitchers, they won't also include both Howie Kendrick and Jeff Mathis.
It hasn't really been said but it seems like the Cabrera negotiations may stall now unless the Marlins come down a bit. Or maybe some other dominoes will fall at the Winter Meetings and a team will get desperate.
Ken Rosenthal recently dished out a slew of fresh rumors for us to devour.
- Rosenthal still believes that if the Twins trade Johan Santana, they will also trade Joe Nathan in a separate deal. Back on November 11th, Rosenthal first suggested this might happen. About a week ago, Joe Christensen reported that the Twins exchanged contract proposals with Nathan. Nathan is in line to earn at least $15MM per season, if he wants full market value. Rosenthal suggests the Brewers, Indians, Tigers, Cubs, and Red Sox as possible fits for Nathan.
- The Angels may want to keep Gary Matthews Jr., given Vladimir Guerrero's declining defensive abilities. Also, Guerrero may soon get a contract extension in the $18MM per season range to put him in line with Torii Hunter. His contract runs through 2009.
- The Twins may be close to getting a center fielder, but it may not be Coco Crisp. Another team is chasing Crisp - perhaps the White Sox?
- Melky Cabrera could be dealt independent and regardless of a Johan Santana deal. The Braves may be interested; the Yanks would then move Johnny Damon back to center.
- Matt Garza or Boof Bonser may be moved for a bat. Probably not Delmon Young, but some young slugger. The Rays also want to find a young shortstop to compete with Reid Brignac.
- The Yanks don't want to overpay for a free agent reliever - 3/12 seems their limit on the Riskes and Mahays of the world.
- Back at the GM meetings, the Mets inquired on Erik Bedard. The O's are waiting to see what happens with Miguel Cabrera since they covet many of the prospects being discussed there.
Mike DiGiovanna of the L.A. Times has the latest on the Angels' ongoing talks with the Marlins about superstar third baseman Miguel Cabrera.
The two teams have hit a snag about the combination of players, according to Giovanna. It's not that the Angels view any of Howie Kendrick, Jeff Mathis, Ervin Santana, Joe Saunders, Nick Adenhart, Reggie Willits, or Brandon Wood to be untouchable (previously it had been said that the inclusion of Adenhart was an issue). It seems that the Angels will give up certain combinations of the above-named players (probably three of them) but the two teams can't quite match up.
SI.com's Jon Heyman checks in with a new Daily Scoop column full of rumors.
- A lot of the standard trade talk we've seen regarding Miguel Cabrera, Johan Santana, Miguel Tejada, and Dan Haren. All these guys require two good young players or more in a trade.
- Mike Piazza is considering DHing in Japan if he doesn't find anything he likes in the U.S.
- Heyman talked to an AL exec who speculated that the Angels may try to unload Gary Matthews Jr. GMJ makes $9MM in '08, $10MM in '09, $11MM in '10, and $12MM in '11. He currently has a full no-trade clause.
- Juan Uribe and Vicente Padilla are two salary-dump types whose names have surfaced in recent trade talks (unrelated to each other). Padilla is owed $24.75MM over the next two seasons.
- Heyman believes the Mets are very willing to trade Lastings Milledge and have discussed him often.
- We knew the Mets had discussed Ramon Hernandez and Gerald Laird. Heyman adds the Nats' Brian Schneider to the mix. He makes $4.9MM in '08 and another $4.9MM in '09.
Let's kick off the morning with some odds and ends, absent any earth-shattering rumors. I'll keep adding to this post.
- Awesome inside look at the Torii Hunter deal via Bob Nightengale. Hunter's first choice outside of Minnesota was the Cardinals, but they weren't interested.
- Hunter - not overpaid? So says J.C. Bradbury.
- Still some confusion about Johan Santana's no-trade clause. Buster Olney says it's full and doesn't indicate that the rights change on any certain date. Matthew Cerrone says it's a full NTC only until Opening Day '08, when it switches to 12 teams. Those are not mutually exclusive comments, so I guess we'll see.
- Phil Rogers doesn't think the Cubs will re-sign Kerry Wood. He also sees the Giants in the lead for Miguel Cabrera now.
- My coworker Jonathan makes a good point - thought the Sox wouldn't give four-year deals to pitchers? They made a huge fuss over Mark Buehrle. Suddenly Scott Linebrink is worthy of breaking the rule again? Some are skeptical.
- Bobby Kielty typically smacks around left-handed pitching (Brian Fuentes for example). He'll hook on as some team's fourth outfielder as a free agent. He'd like to return to Boston, but that would require a Coco Crisp trade. Rob Bradford names the Twins, Braves, Rangers, and White Sox as possibilities otherwise.
Lots to go over this morning, so this might not be the last bullet point list you see.
- The Angels and Marlins are progressing in talks for Miguel Cabrera. It's believed that the Angels are willing to deal players like Reggie Willits, Howie Kendrick, and Jeff Mathis, but the sticking point here is the inclusion of Nick Adenhart. If the Angels want Cabrera, I would have to think Adenhart would be a part of any deal.
- Pirates GM Neal Huntington says that he is not actively shopping any of his players. However, he acknowledges that if he hears an offer, he'll have to consider it. Some of his team's asking prices are "outrageous," he says. This includes players like Jason Bay and Jack Wilson. But the Pirates may choose in the end to dish Bay, since their strength, if any, is the outfield, and Bay is slated to make $13.25 million over the next two years. That might not seem like a lot, but it's costly when you're working with a paltry $50 million budget. Surely Huntington would love to deal Wilson, though he denies it. He might have trouble finding a partner on that one.
- Though the Twins deny it, any Johan Santana deal might be dependent on the status of Francisco Liriano. The 24-year-old "hasn't had a single setback" in his recovery from ligament replacement surgery last October. He's completed his rehab program, and might pitch in the Dominican this winter. He's expected to be ready in February fo Spring Training.
- Add the Pirates to the list of teams interested in Matt Clement. It now spans the Rockies, Diamondbacks, Royals, Padres, and Blue Jays in addition to the Bucs. However, with their payroll cap, Clement might not be feasible.
- The Tigers remain interested in closer Octavio Dotel. There is no word on whether the team has offered him a contract.
Joe Pawlikowski is co-author of River Ave. Blues.
UPDATE: Some added info from yesterday's Miami Herald. It sounds like the Angels are willing to part with Reggie Willits, Howie Kendrick, and a catcher. Not a bad haul. However the Marlins are apparently insisting on the inclusion of top pitching prospect Nick Adenhart as well.
Just because the Angels dropped $90 million on Torii Hunter doesn't mean they won't continue to make deals this off-season. Specifically, the two players most linked to them -- Miguel Cabrera and Miguel Tejada -- are still hot on the radar, according to GM Tony Reagins.
"All I can say is I'm going to be looking at some other things to make us better," Reagins said. "The winter meetings are coming up, and I'm sure we'll have more discussions. I'm going to be open-minded."
Mike DiGiovanna of the L.A. Times opines that the acquisition of Hunter could make it easier to incur the loss of Howie Kendrick, a potential major chip in a Cabrera trade. Other players sought by the Marlins are catcher Jeff Mathis, pitcher Nick Adenhart, and one of Joe Saunders, Jered Weaver, or Ervin Santana. That's quite steep asking price, but in line with the Marlins demands from the Dodgers of Matt Kemp, Clayton Kershaw, Andy LaRoche, and one more prospect.
The deal for Tejada would be less costly, but could cost the Angels SS Erick Aybar. Since the Halos want to move Tejada to third, that could mean starting Chone Figgins at short, or, as Tim mentioned the other day, bringing back David Eckstein.
Joe Pawlikowski is co-author of River Ave. Blues.