Neil Walker Rumors
The latest on several Central division clubs...
- The Pirates are not currently engaged in contract extension discussions for Neil Walker, reports Rob Biertempfel of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. The second baseman is under team control through 2016, and will be eligible for arbitration after the 2012 season if he qualifies as a Super Two player.
- Roy Oswalt's agent Bob Garber is expected to meet with the Royals today or tomorrow in Milwaukee, tweets ESPN's Jerry Crasnick. Garber's agency also represents C.J. Wilson. Kansas City's interest in Oswalt is minimal, however, cautions a Royals source (Twitter link).
- SI's Jon Heyman hears scuttlebutt that if Jim Crane is approved as Astros owner this week, he may spend on a free agent or two. Click here to read my offseason outlook for the team.
- The Tigers have scouted Cuban center fielder Yoenis Cespedes several times, assistant GM Al Avila told John Lowe of the Detroit Free Press.
- The Cubs and White Sox could lose possible supplemental draft picks if Type B compensation is eliminated this winter, explains Phil Rogers of the Chicago Tribune. Of course, under the current system the player has to receive and turn down an arbitration offer for compensation to be possible. For a look at all the Type B free agents, click here.
The Pirates are deep into extension talks with Neil Walker, according to Rob Biertempfel of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. Talks between the two sides are proceeding well, but a final agreement isn't imminent. The Pirates would like to sign Walker to a long-term deal similar to the one Jose Tabata is nearing.
Walker, 25, projects to be arbitration eligible after the 2012 season as a super two player. He is on track to go to arbitration four times and hit free agency after the 2016 campaign. The former first rounder has a .271/.333/.396 line this year with 10 homers and 21 doubles in 507 plate appearances this season.
Let's round up some assorted Sunday links....
- ESPN.com's Buster Olney tweets that the A's finished second to the Reds in the chase for Aroldis Chapman.
- A major league source tells Alex Speier of WEEI.com that the Red Sox tried hard to sign Chapman earlier in the offseason. They pulled their initial offer after Chapman switched agents and never offered another formal deal.
- Nick Piecoro of the Arizona Republic finds it hard to imagine Brandon Webb returning to the D'Backs after 2010.
- Jamey Newberg wonders if Vladimir Guerrero will "revive his pinball numbers by playing half his games in his favorite arcade." Vlad has a career 1.175 OPS in Texas, but Jack Moore of FanGraphs suggests this stat is overblown.
- Within his Sunday blog entry, ESPN.com's Buster Olney addresses the persistent rumors about a potential reunion for Johnny Damon and the Yankees. Olney says that a few executives around the league "are absolutely convinced" that Damon will end up in the Bronx, but that it would require Damon significantly lowering his asking price and initiating contact with the Yanks.
- FOX Sports' Jon Paul Morosi reports that the Dodgers avoided arbitration with Jason Repko, signing him to a one-year deal worth $500K. Repko should compete for the team's fourth outfield spot.
- Peter Abraham of the Boston Globe writes that injuries have slowed the development of Red Sox prospect Ryan Westmoreland, whose name frequently pops up in trade rumors.
- Pittsburgh's 2004 first-round pick, Neil Walker, could be without a position at Triple-A this year, and is a candidate to be traded, according to Dejan Kovacevic of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.
- Terry Pluto of the Cleveland Plain Dealer says the Indians hope that at least one of Austin Kearns and Shelley Duncan makes the 25-man roster, to add a right-handed bat to their lefty-heavy outfield.