Nate McLouth Rumors
Major league baseball has made strides in increasing racial diversity but has yet to increase its hiring of females in the sport's upper echelons, reports Ronald Blum of the Associated Press. Changes in the number of African-American and Latino players since last year reportedly fell within the range of regular fluctuation. Elsewhere around baseball:
- If you were wondering how bad your team's injury woes are compared against the rest of the league, be sure to check out the New York Times' Money on the Bench feature. With a daily wasted dollar total that is updated as you read, the site also includes a helpful graphic that shows which players have accounted for the largest hit. Currently leading the way are the Yankees, Dodgers, Blue Jays, Mets, and Cardinals. Alex Rodriguez and Johan Santana have been the biggest drags on their teams' payrolls.
- Every year, several players that look to be on the decline will manage to turn things around. Ben Nicholson-Smith of Sportsnet.ca details this year's turnaround specialists. Chase Utley, Scott Kazmir, and Nate McLouth are among the rebounding players who will be looking to take their early success into next year's free agent market.
- Earlier today, Tim Dierkes asked MLBTR readers to weigh in on which players would receive qualifying offers after this season. The current results have produced some clear favorites, with more than 50% of respondents identifying Robinson Cano, Jacoby Ellsbury, Shin-Soo Choo, and Curtis Granderson as likely to receive an offer. The only other player to receive a greater-than 35% response rate is Hunter Pence, at 46.0%. Hanging around the 30% mark are players like Chase Utley, Matt Garza, Brian McCann, Tim Lincecum, Hiroki Kuroda, Mike Napoli, and Nelson Cruz.
Mike Morse remains a prime piece of trade bait and earlier this afternoon we learned Adam LaRoche sought a no-trade clause as part of his new two-year deal with the Nationals. He did not receive one, however. Here's the latest on the Nats and Orioles...
- Buster Olney of ESPN.com (Insider sub. req'd) doesn't see the Nationals getting much for Morse. The 30-year-old is eligible for free agency next fall and GMs aren't eager to give up good prospects for a player in that situation. Some GMs have told Olney privately that while they like Morse, they can't see surrendering much for him due to his defensive shortcomings and lengthy injury history.
- Meanwhile, MLB.com's Matthew Leach says Morse is a very intriguing trade chip for the Nationals. He lists the Orioles, Yankees, Giants, Mariners, Rays, and Rangers as clubs who could have interest in the slugger.
- Nate McLouth says he re-signed with the Orioles in large part because of the team chemistry in Baltimore, writes Roch Kubatko of MASNsports.com. The outfielder inked a one-year, $2MM deal with the O's in December.
- Jonathan Bernhardt of Sports on Earth argues that the Orioles' lack of activity this offseason was the best of several bad options.
Zach Links contributed to this post.
3:41pm: Morosi tweets that the Orioles aren't likely to make a real push for Swisher with McLouth back in the fold. Jim Bowden of ESPN.com and SiriusXM identifies Swisher's strongest suitors as the Phillies, Indians, and Mariners (Twitter link).
2:44pm: Jon Paul Morosi and Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports still list the Red Sox and Giants among the potential suitors for Swisher. However, the Sox would have to move Jacoby Ellsbury, while the Giants figure to employ a low-cost platoon in left field instead.
The Orioles, Mariners, and Indians are also still involved, according to the FOX duo.
1:02pm: Indians manager Terry Francona called Swisher to pitch the Tribe to him, tweets Paul Hoynes of the Cleveland Plain Dealer.
11:38am: After missing out on Shane Victorino to the Red Sox, the Indians have shifted their focus to other outfielders. One of their targets, according to ESPN.com's Buster Olney (via Twitter), is Nick Swisher.
The Red Sox and Giants both had interest in Swisher, but with Victorino in Boston and San Francisco likely not having the money for a big free agent outfielder, those teams both appear to be out of the running.
The Orioles and Mariners are among the other clubs that could be in on Swisher, though MLB.com's Brittany Ghiroli writes that Baltimore may just be doing due diligence on the former Yankee. The O's still hope to sign Nate McLouth, and Swisher may be out of their price range, says Ghiroli.
The Orioles have found their left fielder, retaining Nate McLouth on a one-year, $2MM deal with $500K in incentives. McLouth is represented by The Sparta Group.
McLouth, 31, joined the Orioles in June after being released by the Pirates. He had a nice run for the O's, hitting .268/.342/.435 in 236 plate appearances. McLouth made the All-Star team in 2008 and signed a $15.75MM extension with the Pirates the following February. The Bucs traded him to the Braves a few months later, where he had a disappointing three-year stint. With the new Orioles contract, it was said McLouth sought only a straight one-year deal, as he looks to further re-establish his value.
Brittany Ghiroli of MLB.com first reported the agreement, Dan Connolly of the Baltimore Sun first reported it was close, and Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports added the amount. Photo courtesy of U.S. Presswire.
Originally published on December 5th at 12:37pm.
Orioles manager Buck Showalter addressed reporters and appeared on MLB Network Radio today to discuss a few O's-related subjects. Let's round up all things Orioles, courtesy of Dan Connolly of the Baltimore Sun, Roch Kubatko of MASNSports.com, MLB.com's Brittany Ghiroli, and Jim Bowden of ESPN.com and SiriusXM (all links go to Twitter)....
- Orioles VP of baseball operations Dan Duquette told reporters he hopes to come home with a signed player by the end of the week.
- The Orioles met with Joe Saunders' reps today and had preliminary talks, tweets Connolly.
- The Orioles have interest in free agents Kevin Correia and Nate Schierholtz, and have had meetings with their agents in Nashville, tweets Connolly.
- Showalter spoke to free agent outfielder Nate McLouth earlier today, and GM Dan Duquette is expected to meet with McLouth's agent tonight. McLouth is looking for only a one-year deal, tweets Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports, so he can re-establish his value and return to the market.
- The Orioles haven't given up on the idea of re-signing Mark Reynolds, who the club non-tendered last week.
- The O's are also hoping to re-sign Omar Quintanilla, another non-tender.
- If other clubs don't value Baltimore's young players as much as the O's do, the club won't make a trade just for the sake of making one, says Showalter.
- Baltimore's payroll will be between $90MM and $100MM next season.
- According to Showalter, MLB's managers were asked whether they were in favor of expanding instant replay, and 29 of 30 voted yes.
With plenty of rumors flying around the lobby of the Gaylord Opryland in Nashville, we're making sure we don't let anything slip through the cracks. Here are a few morning updates from around the league on some of this winter's free agents:
- Joel Sherman of the New York Post tweets that the Mets have displayed interest in the recently non-tendered John Lannan, perhaps as insurance if the team trades a starter.
- Although he hasn't pitched in the big leagues since 2009, Kelvim Escobar is healthy in winter ball and is drawing interest at the Winter Meetings, tweets ESPN.com's Buster Olney.
- The Yankees have spoken with Kevin Youkilis' agent, reports Jack Curry of the YES Network (Twitter link). According to Curry, Youkilis would consider a one-year deal if the salary was at a "premium amount."
- The Mariners are interested in free agent outfielder Nate McLouth, according to Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports (via Twitter).
- A rival evaluator tells ESPN.com's Buster Olney (Twitter link) that there's "no way" Stephen Drew would sign with the Yankees to be a part-time or utility player. Drew is seeking a full-time job.
- Red Sox GM Ben Cherington acknowledged that giving up a draft pick to sign Nick Swisher would be a factor in Boston's pursuit of the outfielder (link via Sean McAdam of CSNNE.com).
- Mike Silverman of the Boston Herald hears that the Red Sox still have a chance in the Josh Hamilton sweepstakes, but it's a long shot (Twitter link).
- After getting a clean bill of health on his hand and wrist, Ian Stewart has drawn wide interest from teams looking for third base help, tweets Bob Nightengale of USA Today. Tyler Kepner of the New York Times notes (via Twitter) that Stewart could be a fit for the Yankees.
- Within his latest piece for the New York Post, Ken Davidoff hears that the Mets and Ryan Ludwick are an unlikely match, and wonders if Nick Swisher could end up with the Mariners.
- The Reds will meet with Ludwick's agent this morning, according to John Fay of the Cincinnati Enquirer. The veteran outfielder could accept the offer on the table from Cincinnati, though Fay speculates that the Reds are offering two years and Ludwick wants three. A two-year deal with a third-year option might work for both sides, says Fay.
- The Athletics will meet with the reps for Japanese shortstop Hiroyuki Nakajima today, tweets Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports.
- The Dodgers, Giants, Brewers, Angels, and Rays are among the teams that have inquired on free agent reliever Mark Lowe, reports Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports.
- Scott Kazmir, who is throwing 90-94 mph in Puerto Rico, is drawing interest from a host of teams and could choose from a handful of offers soon, tweets Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com. However, the Mets aren't in the mix for the lefty, tweets Andy Martino of the New York Daily News.
The Orioles have shown interest in Brett Myers, who plans to pitch as a starter in 2013, according to Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports (via Twitter). The Twins and Royals are among the other American League teams in on the right-hander. Here's more on the O's..
- General manager Dan Duquette is confident that the team won't need to trade for an outfielder given the amount of options available via free agency, Morosi writes. The team would like to add an outfielder so that Chris Davis could move back to first base or DH.
- Duquette spoke with reporters at the meetings and said that the team still has interest in re-signing Nate McLouth and Joe Saunders, Eduardo A. Encina of The Baltimore Sun tweets. Duquette added that the club has not had contact with Jim Thome and is not sure if he intends to play next season.
- The O's feel good about their second base options and their priority remains trading for a middle-of-the-order bat, according to Britt Ghiroli of MLB.com (via Twitter).
- Manager Buck Showalter has narrowed the third base coach search down and hopes to have it done by the end of the meetings, Encina tweets.
Several player agents tell Larry Stone of the Seattle Times that the Mariners' chances of attracting free agent hitters have improved now that Safeco Field's fences are being moved in. That said, while the shorter fences will help, "players look at all of those factors, but in the end, it still comes down to where they can get the best contract. And it always will," one agent says.
Here are some items from a very busy day in baseball....
- The Dodgers met with Zack Greinke on Thursday, tweets Tim Brown of Yahoo Sports.
- In an interview with 1500 ESPN Twin Cities radio (via Phil Mackey of 1500 ESPN), Twins assistant GM Rob Antony said his team will likely pursue free agents over trades at the Winter Meetings. "We probably don't have a lot of pieces that we do have to trade for starting pitching [with Denard Span now gone]," Antony said. "We'll probably be a little more aggressive and spend our time at the winter meetings talking to agents rather than clubs."
- Russell Martin said the Yankees told him they didn't have the money available to match Pittsburgh's two-year/$17MM offer, reports David Waldstein of the New York Times. The Yankees didn't make Martin an offer and have yet to make any offers to position players this offseason, reports ESPN's Buster Olney (both links are to Twitter).
- The Yankees aren't likely to pursue either A.J. Pierzynski or Mike Napoli, reports Andrew Marchand of ESPN New York.
- The Pirates considered pursuing Napoli but didn't think he could stay healthy and effective as a full-time catcher in the NL, reports Rob Biertempfel of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review.
- The Royals offered Ryan Dempster a two-year, $26MM contract but are no longer bidding on the Canadian right-hander now that his price tag has risen, reports Bob Dutton of the Kansas City Star. At least six teams besides Kansas City have been connected to Dempster this offseason.
- Also from Dutton, the Royals offered Scott Feldman a one-year, $4.5MM deal before the righty agreed to a one-year, $6MM contract with the Cubs earlier this week.
- MLB.com's John Schlegel lists 10 potential bargain signings on the free agent market.
- The week's minor league transactions are recapped by Matt Eddy of Baseball America.
- Orioles GM Dan Duquette tells MASNsports.com's Mel Antonen (Twitter link) that negotiations with Nate McLouth and Joe Saunders have been a "little slow" to develop.
The Braves just added a high-profile center fielder, and the Phillies and Nationals have also been connected to the top options available, but those aren’t the only NL East teams exploring the outfield market. The Marlins also need a center fielder and “would love” to acquire Peter Bourjos from the Angels, according to Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports (on Twitter). However, a deal for Bourjos remains unlikely, so the club could pursue a free agent such as Nate McLouth.
Justin Ruggiano hit .313/.374/.535 in 320 plate appearances while playing all three outfield positions this past season and he represents one internal center field option for Miami. The 30-year-old responded to Rosenthal’s tweet and explained that the Marlins don’t need to acquire a center fielder. “I got this,” Ruggiano wrote. Giancarlo Stanton and Juan Pierre project as Miami’s corner outfielders.
If the Mets non-tender Andres Torres as expected tomorrow, they’ll also be in the market for a center fielder. New York will presumably pursue multiple outfielders this offseason, though the Mets are expected to look for bargains instead of spending at the top of the market.