Nelson Cruz Rumors
Links for Friday. As always, I'll update this post with more stuff so refresh later if you're interested.
- Nick Piecoro suggests catcher Miguel Montero could be the D'Backs' best trade chip. Their needs will be second base and perhaps starting pitching.
- The Marlins' top priority is improving their defense.
- Dave Cameron takes apart Scott Boras' claim about Oliver Perez. If more of these client books leak out, Boras is going to have to hire Cameron to keep him quiet.
- White Sox GM Ken Williams talked about adding speed from within, though Williams is notoriously unpredictable.
- Two 19 year-old Indian men named Rinku Singh and Dinesh Patel will try out in front of Major League scouts today after winning the Million Dollar Arm contest. The idea of the contest was to find raw talent among India's huge population, kids who could hit 85mph consistently. The Red Sox and Indians are among the clubs in attendance.
- The Phillies may be interested in Junichi Tazawa, though Ruben Amaro's "We know of him" comment isn't exactly an endorsement. The Indians, Yankees, and D'Backs will pass on Tazawa, who could command $7MM.
- Also at NPB Tracker, a second Japanese club hopes to convince the Rangers to trade Nelson Cruz. Doesn't make much sense for Texas.
- Amaro is figuring out his front office; Chuck LaMar has been promoted to assistant GM.
- Chris De Luca's sources close to Bud Selig say there's "zero chance" Bud and the owners let Mark Cuban buy the Cubs.
- Baseball America has the full list of 561 minor league free agents. See anyone you like?
- Former Dodgers GM Fred Claire looks at the notable waiver claims of the past few years.
- Baseball Prospectus' John Perrotto says the Twins are reportedly willing to trade Delmon Young to the Padres for Kevin Kouzmanoff.
Links and tidbits for Wednesday. Remember to check back on this post for updates!
- Dave Cameron notes that the Elias rankings screwed over Damaso Marte by making him a Type A. See also: Doug Brocail, Bob Howry, Darren Oliver.
- Remember to check out the Previous Entries link at the bottom of the website, as stories get buried pretty quickly in times like these.
- Japanese outfielder Saburo Ohmura (link in Japanese) would be fine with a minor league deal.
- Roch Kubatko has info on what it might take to trade for Khalil Greene or Jack Wilson.
- Pirates president Frank Coonelly confirmed the team's interest in Junichi Tazawa. For what it's worth, Coonelly wouldn't rule out Derek Lowe when asked.
- Geoff Baker of the Seattle Times offers his thoughts on the rumor mill.
- Official Elias rankings for the AL and NL.
- Ballplayers are in for a tax bump under the Obama administration. They'll manage.
- The Twins are looking for righthanded pop.
- The D'Backs have just $3-5MM budgeted for Randy Johnson.
- The Hanshin Tigers are eyeing Nelson Cruz, Kevin Mench, and Jose Bautista. Only Mench is a free agent of the three.
- The Rockies are looking for a lefty reliever, according to Troy Renck and Keith Law. How about Jeremy Affeldt again?
- Brewers GM Doug Melvin doesn't like his C.C. Sabathia offer being called window dressing.
Patrick Newman of NPB Tracker passes along a Sanspo.com story. Apparently the Hanshin Tigers plan to aggressively pursue Rangers outfielder Nelson Cruz this winter. Cruz had an incredible 2008, both in Triple A and a month with the Rangers. It figures that they'll pencil him in as next year's starting right fielder rather than sell/trade him to Japan. A year ago, Cruz could've been had for little.
Let's round 'em up...
- Chat today, 2pm CST.
- Richard Griffin of the Toronto Star tries to view J.P. Ricciardi's tenure from both sides. Drunk Jays Fans gives their take on the article.
- Aaron Gleeman takes a closer look at Eddie Guardado, while Jamey Newberg tells us about Mark Hamburger.
- Inspired by Nelson Cruz's excellent '08 MLB debut, Rob Neyer and Sam Mellinger discuss cheap talent and "4A" players. Do Jeff Bailey, Mike Hessman, Joe Koshansky, Scott McClain, Terry Tiffee, and Josh Whitesell fit the bill? It's always fun when these guys get a legitimate shot.
- The Pirates are getting frustrated with Scott Boras' games regarding Pedro Alvarez - he's signed, so let him take his physical already. Is Boras anti-winter ball for some reason? Speaking of Alvarez, Matt Bandi strikes back at Bob Smizik for his article regarding the scoop on the signing.
- If the Padres have the #1 overall pick next June, will they pass on Boras-repped phenom Stephen Strasburg due to signability?
- Andrew Baggarly wonders if the Giants should sign Mark Mulder this winter.
- Ken Rosenthal examines the Yankees' upcoming offseason challenges. River Ave. Blues responds to the piece.
- Tigers reliever Francis Beltran was designated for assignment after 13 innings. The 28 year-old had been hittable in Triple A as well.
According to MLB.com's T.R. Sullivan, the Reds may pursue Rangers' outfielder Nelson Cruz to replace Ken Griffey Jr. in right field.
Cruz, 28, is hitting a ridiculous .345/.436/.716 with 37 home runs in 97 minor league games. Of course, this is his fourth shot at Triple A.
28 year-old Rangers minor league outfielder Nelson Cruz has a career line of .231/.282/.385 in 478 plate appearances. So why is he drawing trade interest right now?
Cruz has utterly destroyed Triple A pitching this year, hitting a monstrous .343/.444/.689 in 80 games. He's even cut down on the strikeouts somewhat. Of course, this is his fourth extended stint at Triple A and he's mashed there before. But perhaps after Jack Cust last year teams will give these Quad-A types a closer look. Cruz, unlike Cust, can play right field. He does not appear to be in the Rangers' plans.
Here are today's links.
- Dave Cameron notes Nelson Cruz's video game numbers in Triple A and suggests he deserves another shot.
- Japanese catcher Hayato Doue was expected to join the Red Sox organization, but visa problems have gotten in the way.
- Buster Olney notes that Rafael Furcal will test free agency if he can't hammer out an extension with the Dodgers by midseason.
- Shigetoshi Hasegawa denies the notion that he pushed Hiroki Kuroda toward the Dodgers.
- Athletics Nation sees Billy Beane targeting pitcher Tanner Scheppers if he's available with the 12th pick. Also, Jonathan Mayo of MLB.com has an overall look at the '08 draft class.
WEDNESDAY at 6:29pm: Surprisingly, Tejeda passed through waivers unclaimed. He's headed to Oklahoma.
TUESDAY at 9:07am: We discussed 26 year-old starter Robinson Tejeda here. Imagine Carlos Silva with poor control and mid-90s heat (hmm, doesn't sound too much like Silva actually). Anyway, the Rangers designated Tejeda for assignment last week and have until Wednesday to trade him. Jon Daniels doesn't expect a deal, meaning Tejeda may simply be plucked off waivers. He's a project, so he might make more sense for a rebuilding team. Jayson Stark saw no indications that the Mets were after Tejeda; David Lennon did.
The above-linked article from Anthony Andro also notes that outfielder Nelson Cruz passed through waivers unclaimed and is headed to Triple A. The 27 year-old seems to have earned the Quad-A tag.
As expected the Rangers DFA'd outfielder Nelson Cruz and pitcher Robinson Tejeda over the weekend. Tejeda is a casualty of the Rangers' Friday deal for Dustin Nippert, and has been undergoing a thus far unsuccessful transition to the bullpen. He went 0-1 with a 6.23 ERA during the spring, but did manage to run a streak of four scoreless appearances prior to giving up a game-ending RBI triple to Felix Pie last week.
Cruz's release was expected. There was some light talk of him possibly being moved to Tampa last week, but that evaporated when the Rays acquired former Angels prospect Nathan Haynes. Ironically, according to Lone Star Ball, Haynes was once offered to Texas along with Casey Kotchman in a proposed deal for Mark Teixeira. Sands through the hourglass...
Control problems have always plagued Tejeda (67/60 K/BB in 2007), but he's got a live fastball that touches the upper 90s and a decent change to compliment it. Plus he owns Orlando Cabrera (1 for 10 lifetime). It seems likely someone might give the 6' 3" Dominican another shot.
Some nuggets from today...
- The Braves look to be the market for a bat off the bench and according to David O'Brien of the Atlanta-Journal Constitution it's not likely to be a minor name. O'Brien asked Wren if the Braves "had money to add a player of significant salary to their payroll," throwing out an accompanying figure of $3-4MM, to which Wren said yes "without hesitation." Let's use this to set the stage for what should be an interesting late spring Reed Johnson sweepstakes.
- Evan Grant of the The Dallas Morning News believes that Jason Botts 2 for 5 performance on Saturday versus the Mariners has locked up a roster spot for the young DH/1B. Speculation is that Kevin Mench, who can be optioned, would be sent to the minors and that Nelson Cruz could be designated for assignment.
- MLB.com speculates the ugly spring put up by Aaron Fultz may have played a part in the team's decision to claim Craig Breslow off waivers from the Red Sox. Fultz has put up an 11.88 ERA in just over eight innings and last week he gave up four runs on five hits during a performance against Double-A Akron in an intrasquad game last week.