Miguel Tejada Rumors

NL West Notes: Tejada, Rowand, Harang

The Giants designated Aaron Rowand and Miguel Tejada for assignment today before shutting out the Cubs 4-0. Here are some links from the NL West, starting with the latest on the Giants...

  • Grant Brisbee of McCovey Chronicles says it’s probably too late for a shakeup to affect the Giants’ season. They trail the D'Backs by 5.5 games, so their postseason chances are slim, but they got better today and for next season by designating Rowand and Tejada for assignment, Brisbee argues.
  • There will be no dynasty for the Giants, Jon Paul Morosi writes at FOX Sports.
  • ESPN.com's Jim Bowden and Padres GM Jed Hoyer agree that MLB should reduce the number of players MLB teams are allowed to call up in September.
  • A trade involving Padres starter Aaron Harang has become more likely, according to Morosi.
  • The Padres are still discussing Chad Qualls with multiple teams, according to Morosi (on Twitter).

Giants Designate Miguel Tejada For Assignment

The Giants designated infielder Miguel Tejada for assignment, reports Andrew Baggarly of the San Jose Mercury News.

Tejada, 37, posted the worst offensive season of his career with a .239/.270/.326 line in 343 plate appearances.  He split his time between shortstop and third base.

The Giants signed Tejada to a one-year, $6.5MM deal in December to be their starting shortstop after losing Juan Uribe to the Dodgers and missing out on other targets.  From the beginning, that felt like a hefty price for a stopgap.  The Giants are eating $1MM in salary by cutting Tejada now, for a total of $14.8MM given Aaron Rowand's dismissal.

International Links: Felix, Tejada, Céspedes

With over 20 international players across AL and NL rosters last night, the quotes were flowing in both of America's native tongues. Links are in Spanish...

  • Felix Hernandez wants to stay in Seattle well beyond the end of his contract in 2014, the reigning Cy Young winner told Manuel Lira at the Venezuelan paper Líder en Deportes. "Hopefully Seattle locks me up further," Hernandez said. "I want to sign for more. At least five years more." As for any chance of being traded to New York or elsewhere, Hernandez dismissed the notion as "just rumors."
  • At a charity event in the Dominican Republic yesterday, six-time former All-Star Miguel Tejada sounded undecided about the direction of his career. "I won't disgrace myself in order to continue playing," he told Juan Mercado of the Dominican daily Hoy. "With the pride that I have, I don't think anyone is going to see me embarrassing myself in baseball, when I feel that I'm not useful enough to be in the Major Leagues." On the other hand, Tejada told Freddy Tapia from Listin Diario, "I'm used to having good years with losing teams. Now the opposite is happening, and the truth is that I'm enjoying it."
  • Cuban National Team star center fielder Yoennis Céspedes has been missing for almost two weeks. In a piece today, Jorge Ebro at the Miami-based El Nuevo Herald explains, "His presence hasn't been reported, nobody responds at his telephone, and people are talking about three possible hypotheses: that he is in the power of the island authorities, that he is hidden somewhere in the country, or that he took to the sea," in an attempt to escape Cuba. Cuban baseball writer Fernando Vilá tells Ebro, "In years of following Cuban baseball, I don't remember a case like this."

Quick Hits: D'Backs, Figgins, Tejada, McCourt

As Anthony Rizzo prepares for his Major League debut tomorrow with the Padres, it was one year ago today that Stephen Strasburg and Mike Stanton both made their first appearances in the majors.  Both star prospects lived up to the hype -- Strasburg recorded 14 strikeouts and no walks in seven innings against the Pirates, while Stanton went 3-for-5 (all singles) and scored twice against the Phillies.

Some items from around the league...

  • The Diamondbacks were judged as the biggest winners of the amateur draft, writes Jonathan Mayo of MLB.com.  Mayo spoke to a number of scouts to produce a list of the five teams who had the best drafts, with three AL East teams making the cut. 
  • Fangraphs' Joe Pawlikowski wonders how long the Mariners can afford to keep putting Chone Figgins in the lineup.  Pawlikowski also predicts that the Giants will release Miguel Tejada once Pablo Sandoval returns from the DL.
  • Dodgers owner Frank McCourt will be able to meet the team's payroll on June 15, reports Bob Nightengale of USA Today.
  • In a radio appearance on the Mut & Merloni Show today, Peter Gammons noted the lack of top-quality arms available at this year's trade deadline.  Gammons said a pitching-needy team like the Yankees would have to look at pitchers like Brett Myers or Edwin Jackson, while he shoots down the idea that Felix Hernandez, Francisco Liriano or any of the Athletics' young arms would be on the market.  WEEI's Jerry Spar has the full transcript of Gammons' appearance here.

Quick Hits: Giants, Tejada, Mets, Hall

The draft is right around the corner but there's still plenty more going on in the world of baseball..

  • The rise of Emmanuel Burriss combined with the return of Pablo Sandoval could push Miguel Tejada out the door, writes Carl Steward of the Mercury News.  Even though eating Tejada's contract is less than ideal, Giants GM Brian Sabean has often said that he wants the best 25 players active and contributing, regardless of contract.
  • The Mets have released Double-A outfielder Carlos Guzman, according to Adam Rubin of ESPNNewYork.com (via Twitter).  Guzman, 25, was let go in order to make room Bubba Bell and Erik Turgeon, who are moving down from Triple-A Buffalo.
  • Mets manager Terry Collins plans to continue using closer Francisco Rodriguez in high-leverage, non-save situations late in games, write Anthony DiComo and Aaron Taube of MLB.com. The Mets have used K-Rod liberally despite his looming 2012 option for $17.5MM, which vests if he finishes 55 games this year.
  • Astros GM Ed Wade checked with both Drayton McLane and new owner Jim Crane before releasing Bill Hall, tweets Zachary Levine of the Houston Chronicle.  Wade called the move "a big economic hit before [Crane] even takes control of the club."

Rosenthal On Rodriguez, Tejada, Brewers

MLB executives tell Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports that the struggles of large market teams such as the Mets and Dodgers have helped build competitive balance in baseball this year. Here are Rosenthal’s notes from around the league:

  • Though Francisco Rodriguez has 15 saves (16 chances) and a sparkling 0.76 ERA, his fastball velocity (90.4 mph) continues to drop and two scouts say his stuff is diminished. That perception could affect the right-hander’s trade value this summer.
  • D’Backs GM Kevin Towers told Rosenthal that righty Josh Collmenter’s arm angle almost makes him look left-handed and helps create deception.
  • While Miguel Tejada has struggled this year, he’s heating up at the plate and the Giants aren’t about to quit on him, according to Rosenthal.
  • The Brewers are pleasantly surprised by Yuniesky Betancourt’s defensive work this season. If you haven’t seen these plays, you’re in for a pleasant surprise yourself.
  • Rosenthal confirms that the Mariners figure to call top prospect Dustin Ackley up before long.

West Notes: Giants, Smoak, Trumbo, D'Backs

There are two intra-divisional matchups between NL and AL West rivals slated for tonight.  The Rockies face the Diamondbacks at Chase Field while the Mariners host the Rangers.  Here are some tidbits from the western divisions...

  • "There is discussion in the [Giants'] executive offices as to how long they can stay with [Miguel] Tejada and Pat Burrell," reports Bruce Jenkins of the San Francisco ChronicleJose Reyes has been mentioned as a trade target for the Giants, though Brian Sabean denied his club's interest yesterday. 
  • Thanks to Justin Smoak's emergence, the Mariners seem to have gotten the best of the three recent Cliff Lee trade packages, writes Larry Stone of the Seattle Times.
  • If Mark Trumbo keeps hitting and Kendrys Morales is out of action for most of the season, Eric Denton of the LA Angels Insider blog notes that the Angels could face a tough choice this offseason.  Denton suggests the Halos could even non-tender Morales, but if they do choose to move the first baseman, surely you'd think the team could find a trade partner.
  • We know the Diamondbacks have an interest in UCLA prospect Gerrit Cole with the third pick of the upcoming amateur draft, but Nick Piecoro of the Arizona Republic adds a couple of other interesting nuggets about the right-hander.  Arizona also has the seventh overall pick, but Piecoro notes that since that pick is unprotected, the D'Backs "almost certainly couldn’t risk drafting him" at that spot if they pass on him at #3.  Cole is represented by Scott Boras and could be a difficult signing.
  • Cole was drafted 28th overall by the Yankees in the 2008 draft but he didn't sign.  Piecoro "got the sense from talking with other scouts and executives that there are still some people in the game harboring a grudge toward Cole" since Cole didn't let it be known that he wasn't interested in signing back in 2008.
  • MLB.com's Corey Brock profiles A.J. Hinch, the former D'Backs manager who is now the Padres' vice president of professional scouting.
  • Julio Borbon welcomes the center field competition of newly-signed Rangers prospect Leonys Martin, reports Richard Durrett of ESPNDallas.com.

Rosenthal On Fielder, Marlins, Yankees, Giants

Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports brings us another edition of Full Count.  Here are some highlights..

  • Prince Fielder is off to a great start and one GM predicts that he'll be one of the most interesting free agents of all-time.  The GM says that Fielder runs hard and is more athletic than most people think.  He's about to turn 27 years old which means that he's about four-and-a-half years younger than Ryan Howard and Albert Pujols.  A team like the Cubs could use Fielder against Pujols, saying that if he doesn't meet their price, they could sign Fielder instead.
  • The Marlins are second in the National League in ERA and first in bullpen ERA by a wide margin.  Theyr'e going to have to keep winning with pitching as Hanley Ramirez is off to a slow start, Logan Morrison is out with an injured foot and Mike Stanton still hasn't found his form since coming back from a hamstring strain.  Last week, Rosenthal pointed out the potential availability of Mark DeRosa and this week he says that the veteran would be a perfect fit in Florida.
  • The Yankees will soon face some decisions regarding their rotation.  Kevin Millwood has an out in his contract if he's not in the majors by May 1st.  The club might have better options such as Adam Warren and possibly Hector Noesi or David Phelps.  In addition to those prospects, Carlos Silva is working his way back into shape and Phil Hughes is about to start a rehab assignment this week.
  • Miguel Tejada is off to a rough start in 2011 as he looks less-than-sharp in the field and is hitting just .209/.239/.328.  The Giants don't have any great internal options at shortstop, so Rosenthal says to keep an eye on Jose Reyes, Marco Scutaro, J.J. Hardy as possible trade targets.

Giants Sign Miguel Tejada

The Giants signed Miguel Tejada to a one-year contract, the team announced today. The deal is worth $6.5MM, including a $500K bonus, according to Enrique Rojas of ESPNDeportes (on Twitter).

The Giants had been pursuing shortstops aggressively ever since Juan Uribe signed with the Dodgers. They matched Los Angeles' three-year, $21MM offer before moving on to other targets, according to Dylan Hernandez of the L.A. Times. The Giants appeared to have strong interest in Jason Bartlett, and even contacted Derek Jeter's agent. 

It's not clear whether the Giants will use Tejada at shortstop, but ESPN.com's Jerry Crasnick hears that is their plan (Twitter link). Third baseman Pablo Sandoval is falling out of favor with the Giants, who have Freddy Sanchez at second base and utilityman Mark DeRosa. Wherever Bruce Bochy puts him, Tejada figures to stay on the field. He has been exceptionally durable this decade, averaging 158 games per season since 1999.

The 36-year-old played third for the Orioles before the Padres acquired him in a summer trade and made him their starting shortstop. Tejada batted .269/.312/.381 with 15 homers and 26 doubles in 681 plate appearances between the two leagues.

The Padres did not offer Tejada arbitration, so the Giants don't have to surrender a top pick to their division rival. SFX represents Tejada. 

Jason Bartlett Rumors: Tuesday

10:55pm: The Giants are not in on Bartlett, according to Andrew Baggarly of the San Jose Mercury News (on Twitter). 

10:00pm: The Giants and Cardinals both added infielders today, but haven't completely ruled out acquiring Bartlett, according to Jon Heyman of SI.com (on Twitter). Bartlett, a long shot for the Giants, would be insurance in case Pablo Sandoval's struggles continue.

8:59pm: The Giants are one of several clubs engaging the Rays in trade talks about Bartlett even after reaching a deal with Miguel Tejada, according to Scott Miller of CBS Sports.

5:00pm: The Giants are "wide open" on their options at short, according to ESPN.com's Jerry Crasnick (on Twitter). They've considered Bartlett, Miguel Tejada, Orlando Cabrera and Marco Scutaro. Meanwhile, an Orioles source tells Dan Connolly of the Baltimore Sun that the Rays and O's aren't moving closer to a deal involving Bartlett.

TUESDAY, 3:45pm: The Giants have become one of the most serious suitors for Bartlett, according to Rosenthal and Morosi.

MONDAY, 5:40pm: The Rays are moving closer to trading Jason Bartlett, according to Ken Rosenthal and Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports. The reporters’ sources say the Dodgers’ deal with Juan Uribe accelerated trade talks. The Cardinals, Padres, Giants, Orioles and Pirates have all expressed interest in Bartlett, who is arbitration eligible for the third and final time this offseason.

The Rays appear to be looking for bullpen help in any trade involving Bartlett. If they do trade the 31-year-old, they’ll likely replace him with Reid Brignac, who played 50 games at short in 2010 and posted a higher OPS than Bartlett (.692 vs. .675). 

Bartlett slumped to .254/.324/.350 in 2010 after an All-Star season in 2009, but his career line (.281/.345/.385) suggests he's capable of more offense. He earned $4MM in 2010 and will likely earn over $5MM through arbitration in 2011.

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