Mike Olt Rumors
Now that we’re midway through the 2012-13 offseason, Jayson Stark of ESPN.com checks in with executives, statistical analysts and oddsmakers to take a look at the teams that have improved themselves the most this winter. Not surprisingly, the Blue Jays are a popular choice for most improved team. Here are some more links from around MLB...
- The Marlins tried to trade for Mike Olt of the Rangers, Nick Castellanos of the Tigers and Jedd Gyorko of the Padres before signing Placido Polanco, Stark reports.
- The Mariners recently spoke with the Dodgers about Chris Capuano, Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports reports. However, it doesn't appear that those talks have progressed. Seattle could add a veteran arm after trading Jason Vargas to the Angels for Kendrys Morales, and the Dodgers have a surplus of starting pitchers.
- The Red Sox asked the Dodgers about Andre Ethier at the start of the winter and heard he was “not available,” Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com reports (on Twitter). It doesn’t appear that the Dodgers will trade Ethier this winter.
- The Mariners also talked to the Dodgers about Ethier, Ken Rosenthal and Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports report. However, talks failed to progress.
All signs point to the Mets trading R.A. Dickey, Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reports (on Twitter). The sides aren't progressing toward an extension, and Dickey's one-year, $5MM salary seems quite appealing to teams seeking pitching. Here are today's Dickey rumors, with the most recent items up top...
- The Blue Jays and Mets are close to agreeing on a trade that would send Dickey to Toronto, according to Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports. The names in the trade aren't finalized, but outfielder Anthony Gose is likely to be included in the deal. The Mets also are expected to acquire either J.P. Arencibia or Travis d’Arnaud. However, the Blue Jays are looking to get more out of the deal if they surrender d'Arnaud.
- D'Arnaud is very much in play in the talks, tweets Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports. The deal would be bigger, however, with multiple pieces going both ways.
- The Mets may be landing d'Arnaud in the deal, Heyman tweets.
- Travis d'Arnaud was a "must have" during the winter meetings for a deal with the Blue Jays to happen, sources tell Andy Martino of the Daily News (via Twitter).
- Two sources involved in the talks say not to expect any resolution with Dickey tonight, tweets Anthony DiComo of MLB.com.
- The Mets and Blue Jays have made progress on a potential deal, Morosi reports (on Twitter). They aren't in agreement at this point.
- It looks like the Mets have a good offer from the Blue Jays, Matt Cerrone of MetsBlog reports (on Twitter). The Mets still appear to be talking to the Angels and Orioles.
- A high-ranking executive of a team that pursued Dickey believes the knuckleballer is being traded to Toronto, Morosi reports (on Twitter).
- Rangers GM Jon Daniels said on MLB Network Radio that if Dickey is being traded it's not to Texas, Casey Stern of MLB Network Radio reports (Twitter link, audio here). Daniels acknowledged that he had some dialogue about Dickey.
- The Blue Jays are growing confident they will acquire Dickey, Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports reports (on Twitter). Mike Wilner of Sportsnet 590 the FAN would characterize the Blue Jays as "hopeful" (Twitter link).
- The Mets were interested in Buckel, though he wasn't necessarily being offered, Martino clarifies (on Twitter).
- The Rangers believe they are out on Dickey, Martino reports (on Twitter). Reports suggesting Dickey wouldn't sign an extension with Toronto are false, according to Martino.
- The Rangers aren't involved anymore, Rosenthal reports (on Twitter). Texas didn't offer Olt and Buckel for Dickey, according to Rosenthal.
- The Blue Jays began the day with the belief that they could obtain Dickey within 24-48 hours, Ken Davidoff of the New York Post reports (on Twitter).
- The Rangers have indicated they would trade Mike Olt and Cody Buckel for Dickey, Andy Martino reports (on Twitter). That said, the Blue Jays still appear to be in the lead for the NL Cy Young winner.
- The Mets are close to trading Dickey, Mike Puma of the New York Post reports. The Blue Jays, Angels, Orioles and Rangers appear to be the four teams involved.
- Bo McKinnis, the agent for Dickey, told Jim Bowden of ESPN.com and MLB Network Radio that he hasn't been asked to consider an extension with any team (Twitterlinks).
- Arencibia and Anthony Gose have been mentioned in trade talks between the Mets and Blue Jays, Heyman reports (on Twitter). The Mets could use catching and outfielders and those are areas of depth for Toronto.
- The Mets are believed to have a trade they like for Dickey, Heyman reports (on Twitter). Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reported earlier today that the Mets are telling teams they have an acceptable trade offer in hand. They were trying to get an ever better return at that point, Rosenthal added.
- Joel Sherman of the New York Post hears that Dickey will not agree to an extension with the Blue Jays and suggests that could be slowing talks with Toronto (Twitterlinks). The Blue Jays appear to be the destination for Dickey if the contract hurdle disappears, Sherman writes.
- The Orioles and Rangers don't seem to be in the middle of the Dickey talks, Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com reports (on Twitter).
- Signs point to the Blue Jays leading in pursuit of Dickey, Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com reports (Twitterlinks). The Blue Jays want to keep Travis d'Arnaud, but have J.P. Arencibia and others to offer, Heyman notes. A trade now seems like a "strong possibility."
- A source familiar with Dickey's situation told Adam Rubin of ESPNNewYork.com that he expects Dickey to be traded and that a deal could occur today. A baseball executive told Rubin “we’re at that sensitive spot.” The Angels remain a potential destination for Dickey along with the Blue Jays and Rangers, an MLB executive tells Rubin.
- The sides haven't had extension talks since Wednesday, Martino reports (on Twitter). Thursday and Friday have been devoted to trade talks.
- Some people indicate to Andy Martino of the New York Daily News that the Blue Jays are more likely to acquire Dickey than the Orioles or Rangers (Twitter link).
- Intense trade talks took place yesterday, Andy Martino of the New York Daily News reports (on Twitter). The Rangers, Blue Jays and Orioles are serious players.
- Executives around MLB expect the Mets will trade Dickey, Joel Sherman of the New York Post reports (on Twitter). Many speculated that Toronto is a team to watch
- Teams seem to have ramped up their efforts on Dickey, Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com reports (Twitterlinks). Though the Mets are keeping their options open, a trade seems more likely than an extension. The Blue Jays and Angels are thought to be among the teams interested in Dickey, Heyman adds.
- It's now "getting to crunch time," Adam Rubin of ESPNNewYork.com reports (on Twitter). It's very active today on multiple fronts.
- One general manager told ESPN.com's Buster Olney the Mets could increase Dickey's trade value by giving the knuckleballer the two-year, $26MM extension he apparently seeks. Dickey will earn $5MM in 2013, so adding two years and $26MM would essentially make it a three-year, $31MM deal.
- However, the Mets aren’t going to sign Dickey to an extension and then trade him, Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com reports (on Twitter).
The Rangers lost out on a trade target when the Royals acquired James Shields last night, just days after losing out on free agent target Zack Greinke. Things aren't going exactly as they've planned this offseason, and Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports has a host of Rangers updates in his latest column...
- A rival executive told Rosenthal that the Rangers are either going to overpay Josh Hamilton or overpay Diamondbacks general manager Kevin Towers for Justin Upton. Rangers GM Jon Daniels is so focused on Upton that he figures to eventually land him, writes Rosenthal.
- It's not completely out of the question that the Rangers could acquire Upton and still sign Hamilton now that Greinke is off the table.
- Anibal Sanchez is a long shot for the Rangers, but he's on their radar. A trade for R.A. Dickey is also unlikely at this point.
- The team is said to prefer lower-cost starters and could pursue someone like Chris Capuano in a trade to provide an upgrade over Martin Perez.
- The Rangers are interested in A.J. Pierzynski, who would obviously push Geovany Soto into a backup role. Pierzynski's left-handed bat would help to balance a heavily right-handed lineup.
- Ian Kinsler isn't big on the idea of shifting to first base one year into his five-year extension in order to allow Jurickson Profar to play second base, but he will play wherever he's asked.
- Daniels tells Rosenthal he's not planning on Kinsler switching positions yet and is considering all possible scenarios for the 2013 roster.
- A three-team deal with the Rangers, Diamondbacks and Indians was "very close" to happening at the Winter Meetings. The foundation of the deal was Upton to Texas, Cabrera to Arizona, and Mike Olt and one of Trevor Bauer or Patrick Corbin to Cleveland. Presumably, other names were involved.
With Zack Greinke now off the market, the secondary free agent starting pitchers perhaps will begin to sign, writes Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. Or, the trade market for R.A. Dickey could heat up quickly. ESPN's Buster Olney tweets, given the economics of free agent starting pitching from Greinke's six years and $147MM to Joe Blanton's two-year, $15MM deal with the Angels, Dickey's extension demands look very reasonable. Here are today's rumors involving the reigning NL Cy Young Award winner with the most recent up top:
- The Mets have asked for a rich package from the Rangers that included Mike Olt and the Rangers have yet to counter, tweets the New York Post's Ken Davidoff. The lack of a counteroffer most likely means the Rangers don't see common ground for a deal, Davidoff tweets.
- The Rangers have expressed a willingness to include Olt in a deal for Dickey, sources tell Andy Martino of the New York Daily News. But, Martino tweets it will take more than Olt for the Mets to move Dickey.
- In a separate tweet, Martino says "modest" progress has been made in extension talks since the end of the Winter Meetings, as the two sides have resumed their dialogue.
Mike Olt is a name to watch this week at the Winter Meetings, according to Jon Morosi of FOX Sports, who tweets that at least one rival official believes the Rangers are willing to trade the young third baseman.
According to T.R. Sullivan of MLB.com, the Rangers are receiving plenty of inquiries on Olt, but Sullivan isn't as certain Texas is open to a deal. General manager Jon Daniels tells Sullivan that although the perception is that Olt is blocked by Adrian Beltre, the Rangers don't view him that way. With Nelson Cruz, David Murphy, and Michael Young set to hit free agency a year from now, the Rangers feel Olt could be a key part of the lineup going forward, according to Daniels.
We'll round up today's rumors on Justin Upton, one of the winter's most intriguing trade candidates, right here, with the latest updates added to the top of the page throughout the day...
- The Mariners and Diamondbacks met tonight, tweets Jon Heyman of CBS Sports.
- The Diamondbacks are said to be one of the most aggressive teams at the Winter Meetings so far, tweets ESPN.com's Buster Olney, who says rival teams believe Arizona will move Upton.
- The Rangers haven't given up on Upton, though the D-Backs continue to insist Elvis Andrus is included in any deal, says Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports. Texas would prefer to build a package around players like Mike Olt and/or Derek Holland rather than giving up Andrus or Jurickson Profar, according to Rosenthal.
- Jack Magruder of FOXSportsArizona.com tweets that the Rangers and D-Backs are still talking about Upton, but that there's "nothing there" at the moment.
It was reported over the weekend that the Rangers attempted to acquire Andrelton Simmons from the Braves in order to flip him to the Diamondbacks as part of a package for Justin Upton. Danny Knobler of CBS Sports takes the story one step further, adding that the Rangers are so interested in Upton that they were willing to flip top prospect Mike Olt for Simmons to facilitate the trade. Knobler reports that the D-backs want Simmons, but the Braves will keep him rather than making a run at Upton to fill their own corner outfield needs (Twitter links).
The attachment to Simmons isn't a surprise. He batted .289/.335/.416 with three homers in 49 games this season, but was far more impressive with his glove. Simmons posted an astounding 31.6 UZR/150, and John Dewan's Fielding Bible pegged him at +19 runs despite totaling only 426 innings.
Arizona would like a young shortstop in a trade for Upton, but the Rangers are reluctant trade either Elvis Andrus or top prospect Jurickson Profar. The 24-year-old Olt ranked 43rd on Baseball America's Top 100 prosspect list prior to 2012, but emerged as one of the game's top prospects with a monstrous season at Double-A. He batted .288/.398/.579 with 28 home runs and made his Major League debut, appearing in 16 games for the Rangers down the stretch.
Here's the latest from Joel Sherman of The New York Post...
- The Mets are making progress, albeit slowly, in contract talks with David Wright and R.A. Dickey. The impression is that there is still a substantial gap in talks with Dickey, and they've been gauging his trade value during the GM Meetings. They are not doing the same with Wright, however.
- The Yankees would not do a two-year deal worth $20MM or so for Torii Hunter since they want to get under the luxury tax threshold next year. They are fixated on one-year contracts this offseason and could fill their right field hole with a low-cost platoon.
- "The Yankees are not on him," said a source about Justin Upton, in part because they're unsure if he's a good fit for New York (Twitter link). The Rangers and Rays are strongest early players for Upton, and Sherman gets the sense that the D'Backs want to act quickly (Twitter links).
- The Diamondbacks want high-end, MLB ready players in return for Upton and would love to get Jurickson Profar or (more likely) Elvis Andrus from the Rangers. They don't love Mike Olt, however (Twitter links). GM Kevin Towers likes Yankees prospect Mason Williams, but he is several years away from the show and unlikely to be enough to headline a trade package (all Twitter links).
- Next year's crop of free agent starting pitchers is weak, which could benefit Zack Greinke since teams won't be able to find a stopgap and reassess next year. Josh Johnson and Tim Lincecum highlight next winter's pitching crop, and both come with question marks.
- The Mariners, who have young pitching, are said to be talking to the Royals and Twins, who have young hitting. Seattle would love to pry Wil Myers, Aaron Hicks, and/or Ben Revere loose.
- Jason Bay didn't produce with the Mets, but he lived up to his billing as a hard worker and good teammate. Sherman expects the outfielder to take a low-salary, change of scenery deal (Twitter link).
- Mets officials think Scott Hairston will get a two-year deal worth between $8-10MM this winter.
The results of Josh Johnson’s start against the Padres and Roy Halladay’s start against the Braves could have major consequences for the trade market, ESPN.com’s Jayson Stark writes. More than a dozen scouts are on hand to watch Johnson pitch in Miami today, while Halladay is attempting to prevent the Braves from sweeping the Phillies out of town and, possibly, out of the playoff mix. Here are the details from Stark:
- MLB executives are wary of Johnson’s past shoulder troubles, his career-high ERA and his diminishing fastball velocity, but no other available starter has his kind of stuff. The Marlins continue to look for a “dream package” for Johnson and they’re prepared to keep him if no club meets their asking price, Stark reports.
- The Rangers seem especially cautious about Johnson, but they have people watching his start today. The Marlins told the Rangers they aren’t interested in discussing a trade unless Mike Olt is involved, yet the Rangers haven’t been willing to make Olt available.
- As of last night, the Phillies were telling clubs they haven’t decided how they’ll approach the deadline. They’ve likely done enough talking to trade Shane Victorino, Joe Blanton, Juan Pierre and Ty Wigginton in short order if necessary, Stark writes.
- The Phillies continue dangling Hunter Pence, but seem intent on waiting until the offseason to start serious trade discussions.
- Philadelphia could keep its trade chips for now and make moves in August, when players have to be placed on waivers to be dealt.
Besides the Angels and Brewers themselves, perhaps no team was as impacted by the Zack Greinke trade as the Rangers. Here's the latest on the Rangers' own pursuit of Greinke and how they plan to counter the Angels' newest salvo in the battle for the AL West.
- Brewers GM Doug Melvin told reporters (including Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel) that the Rangers were the other finalist for Greinke's services. The Rangers offered Leury Garcia, Chad Bell and Justin Grimm to the Brewers.
- Had the Rangers been willing to include third base prospect Mike Olt in their offer to the Brewers, Greinke probably would've ended up in Texas, USA Today's Bob Nightengale. FOX Sports' Ken Rosenthal, however, reports the Brewers wanted Martin Perez and didn't "insist" on Olt or Jurickson Profar, though Texas still felt the requested package of prospects was too much (both links are to Twitter).
- With Greinke gone, the Rangers won't necessarily try to acquire Josh Johnson or James Shields, a source tells MLB.com's T.R. Sullivan. The Marlins and Rays have put a high price tag on their aces and the Rangers may wait to see if they lower their demands. Sullivan notes that if the Rangers weren't willing to deal the likes of Olt for Greinke, they wouldn't trade him or other top prospects for another pitcher who they didn't value as highly.
- The Rangers also valued Cole Hamels and Cliff Lee more than they did Greinke, reports Jeff Wilson of the Forth Worth Star-Telegram (Twitter link). Hamels just signed an extension to remain in Philadelphia and the Rangers shied away from the large salary still owed to Lee through the 2015 season.
- The Rangers are "unlikely" to get Johnson, while they're still in play for Shields, tweets CBS Sports' Jon Heyman.