Nick Johnson Rumors


Giants Make Offer To DeRosa?

3:30pm: Baggarly believes DeRosa is one of multiple offers the Giants have out to free agents.  He's less certain that Johnson and Scott Podsednik received offers.

1:15am: Steve Henson of Yahoo! Sports says that DeRosa is the team's top third base target because he's cheaper then Beltre, and versatile enough to move if Pablo Sandoval can stick at third.

THURSDAY, 12:22am: Baggarly writes that the Giants "might be making a subtle misdirection play to get the Florida Marlins to take a lesser return" for Uggla.

1:07pm: MLB.com's Joe Frisaro tweets that we should not rule out the Giants on Uggla - "there is still smoke."  He notes that the Marlins never asked for Madison Bumgarner in return.

WEDNESDAY, 12:59am: According to Baggarly, the Giants are hoping to sign one infielder from a group that includes DeRosa, Nick Johnson, and Adrian Beltre. Hudson is also a possiblity, while Adam LaRoche is a "back-burner option." Baggarly also notes that Sabean doesn't sound too enthusiastic about pursuing Jermaine Dye, despite previous reports of the Giants' interest in the veteran: "We want to stay young," Sabean said. "That's a blanket statement, not a comment against Dye."

TUESDAY, 7:50pm: Baggarly reports that the Giants are not a serious bidder for Dan Uggla. His salary (which could be $7MM or so) and his weak glove limit the team's interest. 

6:50pm: Andrew Baggarly of the San Jose Mercury News has the latest on the Giants:

  • Johnny Damon is not a fit for the Giants.
  • Bengie Molina will not return: in the words of Giants GM Brian Sabean, "that ship has sailed."
  • It's possible that Juan Uribe will reconsider the Giants' contract offer (for one year, plus an option).

Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports has more:

  • The Giants will move Freddy Sanchez to third base if they sign Orlando Hudson.
  • Mark DeRosa , however, would fit in at the hot corner if the Giants sign him.
  • Rosenthal confirms that the Giants and Padres have discussed a Kevin Kouzmanoff trade, but says the Padres aren't enticed by the Giants' youngsters.
  • Rosenthal hears that Sabean has at least considered signing Jason Bay.



Giants Aren't Interested In Beltre

8:10pm: The Giants have Scott Podsednik on their radar, Baggarly reports. He's apparently one of the center fielders the club is considering.

7:11pm: The Giants don't have interest in Adrian Beltre, according to John Shea of the San Francisco Chronicle. Giants GM Brian Sabean told Shea that his club isn't interested in the free agent "at this time." In fact, Sabean says the Giants have "no need" to talk to Boras right now, according to Andrew Baggarly of the San Jose Mercury News.

Instead, the Giants are focused on adding a first baseman on a short-term deal. Sabean didn't name names, but acknowledged that his list doesn't include any surprise candidates. That probably means the Giants would consider Nick Johnson, Adam LaRoche and Mark DeRosa, though DeRosa probably wouldn't man first. Baggarly hears that the Giants might consider offering DeRosa a third year; they'd offer Johnson a two-year deal.

On another note, Sabean said it's possible the Giants could sign a center fielder and move Aaron Rowand to one of the corners.



Seven Teams In On Nick Johnson

WEDNESDAY, 2:53pm: Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports tweets that the Giants and Mariners are still in on Johnson, but are neither is offering a second year.

MONDAY, 3:17pm: MLB.com's Steve Gilbert notes that it would be tough for the D'Backs to fit Johnson and a starter into the budget.

2:44pm: Seven teams are in on injury-prone on-base machine Nick Johnson, tweets ESPN's Jayson Stark: the Mariners, Giants, Mets, Red Sox, Diamondbacks, Orioles, and Yankees.  Stark says Johnson is high on Seattle's first base shopping list.  It's been said that Johnson, 31, is seeking a two-year deal.  Check out our discussion post on him here.



Orioles Rumors: Millwood, Uggla, Atkins, Beltre

WEDNESDAY, 10:02am: Millwood update: Zrebiec says the Rangers originally wanted David Hernandez and a low-level prospect for Millwood, and were willing to pay $3MM of the $12MM owed to the veteran.  Meanwhile Zrebiec's colleague Peter Schmuck says Chris Ray could be involved and the Rangers would pick up most of Millwood's salary, in one scenario.

TUESDAY, 9:36pm: Jeff Zrebiec of the Baltimore Sun reports that the O's are still exchanging trade proposals with the Rangers for Kevin Millwood. T.R. Sullivan reported that the Rangers wanted Chris Tillman initially, but talks have since developed. The Orioles are among the frontrunners for Millwood.

The O's met with the Marlins about Dan Uggla, but the Marlins want two pitching prospects in return and the Orioles are reluctant to hand that kind of package over. The Marlins have one less suitor for Uggla, according to Andrew Baggarly, who says the Giants aren't serious bidders, so that could lower the asking price for the arbitration-eligible infielder.

Here are even more O's rumors:

  • Kevin Kouzmanoff and Garrett Atkins interest the O's to an extent.
  • Joe Crede and Pedro Feliz remain options for Baltimore, but Adrian Beltre has priced himself out of reach.
  • We heard about their interest in Hank Blalock, Carlos Delgado and Nick Johnson earlier today.
  • They also have "tepid" interest in Russell Branyan.
  • The Orioles aren't particularly intrigued by Joe Blanton and Derek Lowe, who are both available via trade.
  • Vladimir Guerrero, Adam LaRoche, Jose Valverde and Kevin Gregg all interest the O's slightly.
  • They do have interest in Rafael Soriano, and spoke with the Braves about him.
  • They're not interested in J.J. Putz.
  • MLB.com's Spencer Fordin reports that the Royals engaged the O's in Felix Pie trade talks without ever coming close to a deal.



Orioles Day One Recap

The Baltimore Sun's Jeff Zrebiec takes a look back at Baltimore's first day of the Winter Meetings:

  • The O's targeted pitching heavily, inquiring on Kevin Millwood and attaining the medical record for former Baltimore ace Erik Bedard. The O's would want Texas to eat some of Millwood's $12MM salary. They won't go after Bedard (or any other pitcher) if they're not 100% for Opening Day.
  • Andy MacPhail will meet with Bedard's agent in the next couple of days.
  • The Orioles were interested in Rafael Soriano prior to his decision to accept arbitration from the Braves.
  • Kevin Gregg is an option for relief help, but Baltimore sees him as a 7th or 8th inning guy, not a closer.
  • Felix Pie has drawn a lot of inquiries, but MacPhail points out that none of Pie, Nolan Reimold, and Adam Jones have played a full, healthy season yet, and the depth is probably a good thing for the Orioles when taking that into consideration.
  • Lots of young O's pitching has come up, including Zach Britton and David Hernandez.
  • MacPhail met with Joe Urbon, agent for Mark Hendrickson. Zrebiec says it's only a matter of time before a deal is done.
  • There hasn't been much in the way of talks for Dan Uggla recently.
  • Baltimore won't be bidders for John Lackey, but they like Hank Blalock, Nick Johnson, and Carlos Delgado as options for first base. Luke Scott is not a full-time first base option. Pedro Feliz is their primary third base target.
  • Baltimore isn't in on talks for Edwin Jackson or Matt Lindstrom, but they did meet with the agent for Aroldis Chapman.
  • Baltimore may sign another catcher, but it's not a priority.



Marlins Meeting Notes: Uggla, Bullpen, Free Agents

Clark Spencer of the Miami Herald looks at what's in store for the Marlins as the Winter Meetings approach:

  • No surprise here, but the Marlins won't be players for any reputable free agents. In fact, were you aware that over the past three offseasons, the most the Marlins have spent on any one free agent was the $2MM they gave Luis Gonzalez in 2007? Needless to say, Matt Holliday and Jason Bay aren't headed to South Florida.
  • The Giants have been one of the most outspoken suitors for Dan Uggla, but the Marlins have asked for Madison Bumgarner in any deal for Uggla. The Giants top pitching prospect is a hefty price to pay, and could lead the Giants to pursue other avenues to add some thunder.
  • As we've heard before, Renyel Pinto and Matt Lindstrom could very well be moved at the Winter Meetings.
  • Even if Pinto and Lindstrom stay put, the Marlins will be on the lookout for affordable bullpen help now that Kiko Calero and Brendan Donnelly have departed.
  • The Marlins will turn to internal options such as Gaby Sanchez and Logan Morrison to replace departed free agent Nick Johnson and his monstrous OBP.
  • Josh Johnson and Ricky Nolasco are the team's two locks for the starting rotation. From there, a combination of Anibal Sanchez, Andrew Miller, Sean West, Rick VandenHurk, Chris Volstad, and Hayden Penn will fill out the final three spots.
Spencer closes, quoting Marlins president of baseball operations Larry Beinfest: "We'll definitely be active... There's no reason to go there and not do anything. Whether that leads to anything is anyone's guess."



Giants Notes: Rodriguez, Uggla, Bumgarner

Let's take a look at some Giants tidbits courtesy of Andrew Baggarly of the Mercury News...

  • We heard earlier today that the Giants are one of a handful of teams interested in Ivan Rodriguez.  It has also been reported that the club is interested in Yorvit Torrealba and Brad Ausmus as they look to ease Buster Posey into the role of catcher.  However, Baggarly says Miguel Olivo, Rod Barajas, and Jason Kendall are more likely targets.
  • Although Florida's Dan Uggla is highly coveted by GM Brian Sabean, he is unwilling to sacrifice valuable commodities such as left-hander Madison Bumgarner to get him.
  • Just as the club wants to wait before giving Posey the reins as starting catcher, they would like to have Bumgarner start the year in Triple-A.  In order to do this, they need to find a fifth starter.  If they cannot retain Brad Penny, they'll have to look out-of-house.



Odds & Ends: Oeltjen, Hensley, Gload, Halladay

Links for Friday, as team execs and media folk pack their bags for Monday's Winter Meetings in Indianapolis...

  • The Brewers signed Trent Oeltjen to a minor league deal, according to MLB.com's Adam McCalvy.  Oeltjen, 27 in February, hit .303/.362/.500 in his third Triple A tour, playing the outfield corners.
  • Brewers assistant GM Gord Ash spells out why his team won't be acquiring Roy Halladay, talking to McCalvy.
  • MLB.com's Joe Frisaro tweets six minor league free agents signed by the Marlins, including Jesse Foppert, Vinny Rottino, and Hector Luna.
  • The Pirates expressed "mild interest" in free agent pitcher Clay Hensley, according to Dejan Kovacevic of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.  Hensley, 30, spent the year at Triple A in the Astros and Marlins organizations, posting a 3.56 ERA in 124 innings.
  • Joe Capozzi of the Palm Beach Post feels there's "still a good chance [Ross] Gload returns [to the Marlins] with a two-year deal."
  • Darren Dreifort's five-year, $55MM deal tops Jeff Passan's list of the ten worst contracts of the 2000s for Yahoo.
  • Joe Pawlikowski of River Ave. Blues explains why the Yankees probably won't sign Rafael Soriano.
  • In his Winter Meetings preview for AOL FanHouse, Ed Price says there was some discussion about a Tigers-Diamondbacks trade involving Edwin Jackson and Max Scherzer.
  • ESPN's Buster Olney talked to rival executives who say the Tigers have not aggressively shopped Curtis Granderson.
  • Olney doesn't think the Mariners will pay up for Jason Bay.  He believes the Red Sox are "controlling the market" for Bay and Matt Holliday.
  • Joe Strauss of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch says the Cardinals are "increasingly weighing spreading what it would cost to retain Holliday over several players."  Bernie Miklasz of the P-D feels the Cards are "enacting their exit strategy from the Holliday sweepstakes."  I would not be surprised to see the Cardinals make their best offer soon - let's say $110MM over six years - and entirely move on if Scott Boras rejects it.
  • SI's Jon Heyman tweets that Nick Johnson is "drawing interest from the Giants, maybe Braves, and a half-dozen more."
  • MLB.com's Corey Brock talked to former Padres GM Kevin Towers, who will meet with the Mets, Yankees, Mariners, and Red Sox at the Winter Meetings.
  • ESPN's Keith Law isn't impressed with the Phillies' Placido Polanco signing.  My initial impression upon hearing about the signing is that no other team would've valued Polanco that highly.
  • MLB.com's Joe Frisaro tweets that other teams have been more aggressive on Jamey Carroll than the Marlins.  Other Carroll suitors include the Rockies, Red Sox, Angels, Dodgers, A's, Rangers, Pirates, Reds and Indians.



Mets Notes: Delgado, Johnson, Lackey, Halladay

Tonight on SNY's Mets Hot Stove, SI's Jon Heyman delivered his latest on the Mets:

  • The Mets still like Carlos Delgado and continue to keep an eye on him this winter.  Heyman says that the market for Delgado is rather weak as there are many DH-type players on the open market.  In his look at Free Agent DHs, Tim noted that there appear to be no more than eight available slots in total.
  • Meanwhile, the Mets are not interested in free agent first baseman Nick Johnson, because they believe he has declined considerably in terms of range and power.  Nicky J hit just 8 HRs in 2009, compared to a career-high 23 HRs in 2006, his last healthy season.
  • Their interest in John Lackey remains strong, but as of right now it doesn't look like the Mets are "heavily involved" with the 32-year-old hurler.  Heyman believes that he will garner close to $100MM.
  • Heyman says that he would be "shocked" if the Mets pulled off a deal for Roy Halladay at the winter meetings.



Giants Interested In Beltre, Uggla, Johnson

The Giants would like to add offense and, as Ken Rosenthal and Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports point out, Pablo Sandoval and Freddy Sanchez are versatile enough to give GM Brian Sabean plenty of options. The FOX Sports duo reports that Adrian Beltre, Dan Uggla and Nick Johnson are all high on the team's wish list.

One source tells FOX Sports that the Giants and Marlins are in the midst of ongoing discussions about Uggla, a prime trade candidate. The Marlins are looking to obtain major league-ready players for the arbitration-eligible infielder. The Giants, not surprisingly, would only have interest in Johnson on a short-term deal.









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