Miguel Tejada Rumors
Links from Spanish-language news sources...
- Sources close to Miguel Tejada and Juan Uribe said the infielders will wait and see what kind of contract Derek Jeter signs before committing to anything on their own, according to ESPN Deportes' Enrique Rojas. Neither player is aspiring to Jeter-like money, Rojas writes, but they think Jeter will "establish the market value of veteran shortstops" and give their own respective values a boost. The Cardinals are supposedly interested in both players.
- Neftali Feliz told Jose Caceres of Hoy he's heard rumors about the Rangers planning to move him to the rotation, but on the team's end, "Nobody has said anything to me." SI's Jon Heyman tweeted earlier today that the team would consider the move if they can't sign Cliff Lee.
- Victor Mesa, a former Cuban National Team manager and one of the all-time greats of Cuban baseball, told the official government newspaper Trabajadores that the time has finally come for those in power to allow Cuban players to sign with foreign teams, conveys Diario de Cuba. "I think there could be incorporation [into foreign teams], so that they could spend eight years playing in our National Series and [sign] with our involvement, not independently," Mesa said. The most recent prominent player to flee the country is a speedy teenaged outfielder in the mold of Mesa himself: 17-year-old centerfielder Yasiel Balaguer, who arrived in Nicaragua a few days ago.
Cardinals GM John Mozeliak would like to begin talks on an Albert Pujols extension "between now and the Christmas holiday," he told Joe Strauss of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. Strauss has a source who believes Pujols "is unlikely to revisit the matter once the 2011 season opens." At the least, Pujols figures to sign the third-largest contract in baseball history whether this winter or as a free agent after the '11 season.
Regarding infield upgrades, Mozeliak told Strauss Sunday that "we probably have more of an emphasis on short than second at this point." They'd also like a utility infielder to back up David Freese at third base. Unless Dan Uggla fits into the picture somewhere, free agents Juan Uribe and Miguel Tejada are on the Cardinals' radar according to Strauss. Though they also have an eye on recently-posted infielder Tsuyoshi Nishioka, Mozeliak "indicated the timing may not be right for the club to make such a heavy commitment for a Pacific Rim player."
It's becoming more and more clear the Cardinals won't be moving Colby Rasmus; today Ken Rosenthal and Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports quoted a source who sees a 99% chance of the center fielder staying put. Indeed, Mozeliak told Strauss Sunday that Rasmus is "almost impossible to replace."
Links from Spanish-language news sources, highlighted by a rumor-packed tweet from un hombre de Bristol (links in Spanish).
- Enrique Rojas at ESPN Deportes says the A's are working hard to sign yet another third baseman. Only this time, it's Adrian Beltre, who reportedly turned down a three-year, $24MM offer from the team last winter.
- In the same tweet, Rojas says the Dodgers are interested in Edgar Renteria and his willingness to play second base, notes that there is a "good market" for Miguel Tejada, and revives an old rumor with a question: "Vic-Mart with the Rays?"
- According to Jorge Ebro at El Nuevo Herald, 17-year old Cuban centerfielder Yasiel Balaguer has defected to Nicaragua with hopes of signing with a Major League team. Ebro cites reports saying Balaguer's big draws are his explosive speed and throwing arm, though he has shown some offensive power as well in the Cuban National Series.
- Former Mariner and Red Wladimir Balentien has told his usual Venezuelan Winter League team, the Leones de Caracas, that he can't play this winter because he has signed with a team in Japan, reports Cesar Augusto Marquez at Lider en Deportes. Marquez doesn't say which team Balentien has joined.
Earlier tonight we learned that the Padres will not pick up Chris Young's $8.5MM option for 2011 and that GM Jed Hoyer will meet with Adrian Gonzalez's agent in the coming weeks, but MLB.com's Corey Brock brings us some more rumors. Let's dive in...
- Hoyer confirmed that the team will exercise Gonzalez's $6.2MM option for next season when the time comes. There was never a doubt about this one. He also mentioned that they will listen to trade offers for their star player during the winter.
- They will also listen to offers for closer Heath Bell, who figures to earn a nice raise after pulling down $4MM in 2010. "I haven't made any definitive decisions, but we are a better team with [Gonzalez and Bell] than without them," Hoyer said. "I'm sort of in the never-say-never category. In this business, the job is to make the team and the organization as good as it can be."
- Hoyer indicated that he would be open to bringing Miguel Tejada back, but not at the $6MM salary he earned in 2010. The 36-year-old hit .268/.317/.413 with eight homers in 253 plate appearances after being acquired at the deadline, and he even moved back to his natural position of shortstop for all but four games.
- Bench coach Ted Simmons will not return next season as he looks for a managerial job. First base coach Rick Renteria could replace him, but he is expected to interview for some manager jobs himself. Hitting coach Randy Ready is in the same boat as Renteria.
The Padres were supposed to be trading Adrian Gonzalez right about now. Instead, they traded for someone to hit behind him. The Padres and Orioles agreed to a deal that will send Miguel Tejada and cash to San Diego for minor league pitcher Wynn Pelzer.
Tejada, the 2002 AL MVP, is no longer an elite hitter. In fact, he's hitting just .269/.308/.362 this season. His defense has also been below-average in recent years, according to UZR, though he can play third or shot.
Tejada makes $6MM this year and the Padres and Orioles will split the $2.2MM remaining on his contract. He projects as a Type B free agent, though an offer of arbitration seems unlikely.
Baseball America ranked Pelzer seventh among all Padres prospects before the season. The 24-year-old is a power pitcher whose fastball sits in the mid-90s. As a starter, he has a 4.20 ERA with 7.9 K/9 and 5.3 BB/9 in AA this year, but BA said he could become a closer in time.
Dan Connolly of the Baltimore Sun first reported that a deal seemed likely and added detail later on. MLB.com's Corey Brock and Dan Hayes of the North County Times also contributed elements of the story. The Orioles and Padres have confirmed the deal.
The Padres' chief infield target is Miguel Tejada, reports CBS' Scott Miller. They're facing competition from the Phillies, who are also said to be after the Orioles infielder. Last we heard, the Cardinals inquired but didn't get anywhere.
The Padres and Phillies share another target in the Royals' Willie Bloomquist, tweets ESPN's Jerry Crasnick. Crasnick says the Angels and Yankees have also kicked the tires on the 32-year-old utility man. Bloomquist is still owed $619K plus performance bonuses.
THURSDAY: The Cardinals contacted the Orioles about Tejada, reports Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, but there was "no traction" for a trade.
WEDNESDAY: The Cardinals are interested in Miguel Tejada, according to Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports. Regular third baseman David Freese is on the disabled list with ankle and toe injuries, so Tejada could see time at the hot corner. The Cards have had below-average offensive production from the left side of the infield this year, which presumably contributes to their interest.
Tejada is drawing lukewarm interest from the Yanks, according to George A. King III of the New York Post. The former AL MVP is Philadelphia’s top infield target, according to ESPN.com’s Jayson Stark and the Padres are interested in the longtime shortstop, too.
The 36-year-old makes $6MM this season (about $2.3MM remains) and he projects as a Type B free agent, though he's close to Type A status. That likely won't matter, since Tejada is hitting .271/.309/.364 and an arbitration offer seems unlikely.
8:02pm: The Blue Jays are asking the Mets for a top prospect in exchange for Downs according to Jon Heyman of SI.com (via Twitter). The Twins have assigned a scout to watch the Blue Jays' relievers, according to Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports.
7:48am: Blue Jays GM Alex Anthopoulos has the best reliever available in Scott Downs, and he knows it. Check out these asking prices for two months of Downs' services, courtesy of George A. King III of the New York Post: Joba Chamberlain or Jesus Montero from the Yankees, Casey Kelly or Jose Iglesias from the Red Sox (Montero link from SI's Jon Heyman via Twitter). With almost 80 hours remaining until the trade deadline, it doesn't hurt to ask.
Other teams are also trying to buy low on Chamberlain, who sports a 5.95 ERA, 10.0 K/9, and 3.6 BB/9 in 42.3 relief innings this year. The Diamondbacks also tried to get Chamberlain as part of a Dan Haren deal. Joba is under team control through 2013 and arbitration-eligible for the first time after this season.
Regarding the Yankees' search for a bench bat, King says they've spoken to the Orioles about Ty Wigginton. The O's are dangling Miguel Tejada, who's generated only lukewarm interest from the Yanks. Tejada is said to be the Phillies' primary infield target. As for a Yankees-Orioles deal, SI's Jon Heyman tweeted two days ago that O's owner Peter Angelos doesn't want to trade with his division rival.
The Rangers and Phillies have some interest in Nationals infielder Cristian Guzman, tweets Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports. Guzman is able to play multiple positions, and he's hitting .287/.331/.366 on the season.
The problem with Guzman is that he has a cool $3MM left on his contract. And regarding the Phillies, ESPN's Jayson Stark says Miguel Tejada is their primary infield target. Tejada has $2.25MM in base salary remaining, with another $250K in bonuses coming if he's traded and reaches 630 plate appearances.
Links for Thursday, after somebody finally beat the Cardinals...
- Agent Scott Boras told Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports that Jarrod Washburn has not yet decided whether to pitch in 2010.
- ESPN.com's Buster Olney hears that rival teams expect the Royals to trade Kyle Farnsworth and the Pirates to trade Octavio Dotel (Twitter links).
- The A’s agreed to sign two Venezuelan 16-year-olds, Argy Raga and Jesus Rivas, according to Ben Badler of Baseball America.
- The Astros would need to be "overwhelmed" to move Brett Myers, according to Ken Rosenthal and Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports.
- Dodgers hitting coach Don Mattingly definitely wants to manage in the major leagues, according to MLB.com's Evan Drellich.
- The Padres, who are interested in Miguel Tejada, believe he could potentially play some outfield once David Eckstein returns, according to Bill Center of the San Diego Union-Tribune.
- The Padres won't rush to acquire middle infield help until they know more about Eckstein's injury, according to MLB.com's Corey Brock. GM Jed Hoyer told Brock the club had already been looking for infield depth.
- The Reds will discuss manager Dusty Baker's future this August, according to John Fay of the Cincinnati Enquirer. Baker's contract expires after the season.
- At FanGraphs, Aaron Rowand and Carlos Lee make their way onto Dave Cameron's list of the MLB players with the least trade value.
- Baseball America lists the 15 biggest bonuses ever handed out to international amateurs.