Mike Olt Rumors

Rosenthal On Felix, Upton, Rangers, Nationals

The Mariners continue discussing an extension with Felix Hernandez, Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reports. The sides aren’t close to a deal, and are now “dancing.” However, Seattle is at least considering a four-year, $100MM offer, according to Rosenthal. It’s not clear if the Mariners have offered a nine-figure deal to Hernandez, whose current contract expires at the end of the 2014 season. The 26-year-old Octagon client would presumably want a longer commitment, as Rosenthal points out. Here are more of Rosenthal’s notes from around MLB...

  • The Mariners’ willingness to add veterans approaching free agency suggests GM Jack Zduriencik senses an urgency to win now in the view of some rival executives.
  • Justin Upton won’t be traded for Chase Headley, an official from one of the teams involved told Rosenthal. Headley is two years away from free agency, however, and Rosenthal suggests that the Padres figure to move him eventually. Upton, another trade candidate, is under contract through 2015.
  • The Diamondbacks and Rangers haven’t revived Upton-centered trade talks since the Mariners’ failed attempt at acquiring the 25-year-old right fielder. Rosenthal reports that the sides agreed to “move on.” When the teams were last in contact the Rangers offered a four-played package led by Mike Olt that would have included shortstop prospect Leury Garcia and either Martin Perez or Cody Buckel plus a fourth prospect.
  • The Rangers continue pondering one significant move. They are viewed as possible destinations for Kyle Lohse and Michael Bourn, and could also pursue relief help. The Rangers discussed right-handed reliever Tyler Clippard with the Nationals earlier this offseason, Rosenthal reports.
  • The Nationals could trade Clippard or Drew Storen now that they’ve signed Rafael Soriano. One rival executive suggested Washington could sign Lohse, but Rosenthal writes that a deal with free agent right-hander Javier Vazquez seems more likely.

Padres, D'Backs Discussed Upton, Kubel, Headley

11:37pm: The Padres and D'Backs found no match in trade talks about Upton or Jason Kubel, reports Jack Magruder of FOXSportsArizona.com (on Twitter). San Diego doesn't want to move Headley and they don't have a spot for Kubel with Carlos Quentin on the roster.

3:27pm: The Padres and Diamondbacks have had on-and-off discussions about a deal involving Justin Upton and Chase Headley since July, according to Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports.  However, those talks have yet to result in a deal.

Even though that deal hasn't worked out, the Diamondbacks continue to discuss Upton with other clubs, including the Rangers and Mariners while also considering offers for Jason Kubel.  The Rangers want to build a package around third baseman Mike Olt rather than shortstop Elvis Andrus or infielder Jurickson Profar and they're willing to add a top pitching prospect and a third quality piece to the package, sources say.

However, sources tell Rosenthal that the D'Backs believe they could make an even better deal for Upton with another club like the Mariners, who are aggressively trying to add a power hitter.  However, as we've heard before, Seattle is on Upton's four-team no-trade list and he's not inclined to approve a deal to the M's.  The Mariners might be able to change Upton's mind with a lucrative contract extension.

Earlier this week we learned that the Braves have also inquired on Upton.

Mike Axisa contributed to this post.

Quick Hits: Blue Jays, Marlins, Ethier

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...

Blue Jays, Mets Close To R.A. Dickey Trade

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.

Earlier updates:

  • 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).

Latest On The Rangers: Upton, Pierzynski, Dickey

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.

R.A. Dickey Rumors: Sunday

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 Drawing Trade Interest

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.

One report yesterday suggested that the Rangers would be open to including Olt in a deal for Justin Upton, but the Diamondbacks would prefer to acquire one of Texas' shortstops.

Justin Upton Rumors: Monday

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...

Earlier updates:

  • 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.

Braves Turned Down Simmons-For-Olt Trade

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.

Sherman's Latest: Dickey, Wright, Hunter, Upton

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.

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