Nick Swisher Rumors
The 4pm CST deadline for players to accept qualifying offers has come and gone and none of the eight players in play opted to return to their respective clubs for a $13.3MM salary in 2013. That means that Nick Swisher, Hiroki Kuroda, Rafael Soriano, B.J. Upton, Adam LaRoche, Michael Bourn, Josh Hamilton, and Kyle Lohse will net their teams a compensatory pick if they sign elsewhere. Here's the latest from around baseball..
- The Giants are confident that they will be re-signing Jeremy Affeldt and the club believes that they will work out a three-year deal, tweets Bob Nightengale of USA Today. GM Brian Sabean indicated yesterday that he is optimistic about being about to keep Affeldt, Angel Pagan, and Marco Scutaro.
- Brewers General Manager Doug Melvin told Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel (via Twitter) that he has not approached Corey Hart's agent about an extension and doesn't have immediate plans to do so. A report earlier today suggested that the Brewers and Hart were discussing a deal to keep him beyond 2013. The first baseman/right fielder is set to earn $10MM next season.
- The Tigers aren't interested in Soriano and plan to stay in-house to find their closer, tweets Danny Knobler of CBSSports.com. Right-hander Bruce Rondon, 21, will get a chance at the job.
The latest from Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com..
- Yankees GM Brian Cashman doesn't expect Hiroki Kuroda or Nick Swisher to accept their qualifying offers, Heyman tweets. We learned last night that Rafael Soriano will reject his as well, but the sides are still talking (Twitter link).
- Even though the Giants have been getting calls on Brandon Belt, they won't be trading him, according to Heyman (via Twitter). The club's current goals are to goals are to re-sign Angel Pagan and Marco Scutaro while fortifying their bullpen. That includes retaining Jeremy Affeldt, if they can.
- The Red Sox don't see Zack Greinke as a fit for Boston but they are still thinking a bit about Josh Hamilton, Heyman tweets. It remains unlikely that the Red Sox will go for the free agent slugger, however. Earlier today, Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports wrote that the Phillies could be one surprise suitor for Hamilton.
- The Mariners have reached out to catchers Russell Martin and Mike Napoli, tweets Heyman. Heyman adds that General Manager Jack Zduriencik is also looking at corner outfield bats. Nick Swisher is one corner bat that the Mariners are considering, Heyman tweets.
- The Giants have been getting lots of calls on Brandon Belt, according to Heyman (via Twitter). Belt comes with solid upside and quality defense and is not yet arbitration-eligible.
- Unsurprisingly, Swisher will pass on the Yankees' qualifying offer and look for a lucrative multiyear contract this offseason, report Dan Martin and George A. King III of The New York Post.
- Steve Melewski of MASNSports.com thinks the Orioles have enough pitching depth to trade an arm or two this winter. He listed eight potential starters currently on the team's 40-man roster.
- Brian MacPherson of The Providence Journal makes a case that the Red Sox should have made Cody Ross and qualifying offer before yesterday's deadline.
- The Yankees intend to keep 2011 Rule 5 Draft pick Cesar Cabral and give him another look in Spring Training, reports Chad Jennings of The Journal News. Cabral, a left-hander, missed all of this season with an elbow injury.
The Yankees extended qualifying offers to Rafael Soriano, Nick Swisher and Hiroki Kuroda, Danny Knobler of CBSSports.com reports (on Twitter). The players now have one week to accept or decline the offers.
Soriano and Swisher are expected to decline the offers, but Kuroda could accept -- he has indicated he’d be content to sign a one-year deal. If he accepts he’d earn $13.3MM on a one-year deal in 2013. If he declines, he’ll be linked to draft pick compensation in free agency -- his new team will have to surrender a top selection to sign him.
The three Yankees figure prominently on MLBTR’s top 50 free agent list. Swisher ranks sixth, Kuroda ranks ninth and Soriano ranks 17th.
The Yankees are considering a defensive change for next season, shifting Curtis Granderson to left field and Brett Gardner to center, reports Danny Knobler of CBS Sports. Granderson's defense has declined in recent years, as he has posted negative UZR/150 ratings in four of the last five years, including a -18.2 UZR/150 in 2012. Gardner, on the other hand, has a career 30.6 UZR/150, ranking him amongst the best defensive outfielders in the game.
Here's the latest from both the Yankees and Mets...
- Yankees GM Brian Cashman doesn't plan to offer Rafael Soriano a deal similar to the one he signed after the 2010 season that established Soriano as Mariano Rivera's set-up man and understudy at closer, reports ESPN New York's Wallace Matthews. "I don't think Soriano would sign here if he's not going to be the closer," Cashman said. "And I don't think we would do again what we did before. He's going to want closer money and I doubt he would want to come back here as a set-up man." Soriano is a free agent after opting out of the last year of his deal, and agent Scott Boras said Soriano is looking for a four-year contract to close. Soriano could still return to the Bronx, of course, if Rivera retires and the Bombers suddenly have a hole at the back of their bullpen.
- Also from Matthews, he reports that the Yankees will make qualifying offers to Nick Swisher and Hiroki Kuroda. Swisher will almost surely turn this offer down but Kuroda "might accept it." The Yankees have interest in bringing back Ichiro Suzuki and Raul Ibanez on short-term contracts, while the club also would like to re-sign Andy Pettitte and Russell Martin.
- The Yankees haven't received any calls from teams interested in Alex Rodriguez, reports USA Today's Bob Nightengale. It could be a moot point, as Nightengale hears that Rodriguez isn't willing to waive his no-trade clause for any team.
- The Mets are continuing to talk to David Wright about a multiyear extension but talks are "stuck in neutral" and there is "nothing imminent" between the two sides, reports Mike Puma of the New York Post and Andy McCullough of the Star-Ledger (both links to Twitter).
- ESPN's Jim Bowden believes Wright and the Mets will agree to a new long-term contract, but if they can't, Bowden suggests five teams who could become trade destinations for Wright.
The Yankees are averaging 96 regular season wins in their first five years under manager Joe Girardi. Here's the latest from the Bronx, via Joel Sherman of the New York Post...
- The Yankees would be far better off with Mariano Rivera, Andy Pettitte and Derek Jeter contributing in 2013, Sherman writes. Rivera appears to be undecided about whether to continue playing, Pettitte hasn't announced his plans for the '13 season and Jeter’s recovering from ankle surgery. Sherman hears from a friend of Rivera's who expects the closer to return.
- The Yankees realize Curtis Granderson adds value and will almost certainly avoid trading him in a reactionary move, Sherman writes. “I will listen on anybody, but you would be hard-pressed to get enough to trade a center fielder who is a perennial 40-homer-plus man,” GM Brian Cashman said of Granderson, whose 2013 option will be exercised in the coming weeks. Rival executives told Sherman that Granderson could draw trade interest from teams aiming to contend in 2013 if the Yankees made him available.
- Sherman also notes that Nick Swisher is almost certain to leave in free agent.
Earlier today we learned that the Yankees intend to exercise Curtis Granderson's $15MM club option for 2013, and Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com reports that the team is disinclined to explore a long-term extension for the slugger. Let's see what else is going on in the Big Apple...
- The Yankees are still planning on making a qualifying offer of about $13.5MM to free agent Nick Swisher, writes Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com. However, the club will only do so in order to receive draft pick compensation and have no expectations of Swisher accepting the deal.
- Yankees General Manager Brian Cashman told Heyman that he has no plans to shop Alex Rodriguez this winter. Furthermore, the GM doesn't seem to think that there's much of a market for the third baseman. "He's got a full no-trade, and his contract is what it is,'' Cashman said.
- Yankees president Randy Levine confirmed to Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com that both Cashman and manager Joe Girardi will return in 2013. Heyman adds (via Twitter) that the status of the team's coaches will be up to Cashman and Girardi. Cashman told Heyman that as far as he's concerned, all of the coaches are safe (Twitter link).
- Ken Davidoff of the New York Post believes that Rodriguez will return to the Yankees and refuse to waive his no-trade clause as he stated last night. The highly-paid third baseman has been linked to the Marlins in recent days following his disappointing performance in the playoffs.
Mike Axisa contributed to this post.
After 95 regular season wins and two postseason series, the Yankees' year has ended. The Tigers swept the ALCS in four games, which means it's now time for the Bronx Bombers to look ahead to the 2012-13 offseason. Here's the latest...
- Yankees management wants to step away from the disappointment of the 2012 ALCS before finalizing offseason plans, Joel Sherman of the New York Post reports. The Yankees will continue relying on power hitters, even after a team-wide slump against the Tigers. “I’m not going to turn myself into the Bronx Bunters because all of a sudden we didn’t hit for this week in October,” GM Brian Cashman said.
- Yankees left-hander Andy Pettitte hopes to decide within a few weeks whether he'll return for another season of baseball in 2013, Jeff Bradley and Andy McCullough of the Star-Ledger report. “I still have the desire to compete, but there are family things. I just have to try and figure that out,” Pettitte said.
- Nick Swisher would "absolutely" like to re-sign with the Yankees and described his tenure in New York as "awesome," Bradley and McCullough report.
- Ichiro Suzuki said he hopes to be needed and wanted but declined to get into specifics, Bradley and McCullough report.
- Bradley also outlines an offseason to-do list for the Yankees. The possibility of a trade sending Alex Rodriguez to Miami might be tempting for the New York front office.
- Curtis Granderson said he expects to return in 2013, Bryan Hoch of MLB.com reports. Unless the Yankees trade the center fielder he'll still be wearing pinstripes when the season opens.
- Cashman said he isn't worried about the age of his team, Hoch reports. "I don't care if it's old; I care if it's good," Cashman said.
The Yankees will reach a crossroads with three of their most productive players this offseason when Nick Swisher hits free agency and Curtis Granderson and Robinson Cano get a little closer to the open market. Jayson Stark surveyed MLB executives about the value of those Yankees and passed along the results in his latest column at ESPN.com. Here are the details and more notes from Stark...
- Two National League executives had no reservations about spending on Cano. “Pay him what he's worth," one said. The other said Cano has a legitimate case for a $200MM extension.
- The execs praised Granderson as a person but questioned his value on the field. A $100MM contract would be excessive in the view of one executive. Both Cano and Granderson will be eligible for free agency following the 2013 season, assuming the Yankees exercise their '13 club options.
- Similarly, the executives don’t consider Swisher a candidate for a Jayson Werth-type deal (seven years and $126MM). Swisher may look to match Werth’s contract as a free agent this coming winter.
- The Nationals have considered picking up their side of Adam LaRoche’s $10MM mutual option for 2013 and keeping Bryce Harper in center field, Stark reports. Alternatively, they could sign Michael Bourn when he hits free agency, move Harper to a corner spot and trade Michael Morse. I examined LaRoche’s option in detail last week, before his recent hot streak.
- The Phillies are looking at third base and left field options for next year and that search includes players already in the organization. One scout has been impressed by 26-year-old Darin Ruf, who hit 38 home runs at Double-A this year. "He might be Matt Holliday," the scout said, praising Ruf's hitting ability.
- An old friend of Roger Clemens doesn’t believe the seven-time Cy Young Award winner when he says he’s not thinking about playing at the MLB level. The person expects Clemens to sign with the Astros this month.
Chris Corrigan of the High-A ball Palm Beach Cardinals made history tonight by throwing a perfect game in his start against the Charlotte Stone Crabs. Corrigan, 24, was a 30th-round selection for the Cardinals in the 2009 amateur draft and carried a career 4.04 ERA in 102 minor league games (25 starts) entering tonight. Corrigan's gem was the first minor league perfect game since Jeanmar Gomez threw a perfecto for Double-A Akron in 2009. As for the Stone Crabs, they're an affiliate of (who else?) the Rays, who have been perfecto'd three times in the last four years at the Major League level.
Some news and notes from around the baseball world...
- “Every team needs a guy like [Nick] Swisher,” an AL executive tells Mark Feinsand of the New York Daily News. “You watch him play every day and you can see how much he cares. I wish every player cared that much.” Feinsand suggests that the Yankees could re-sign Swisher and move Brett Gardner to center field, thus creating room to trade the more expensive Curtis Granderson. MLBTR's Ben Nicholson-Smith recently looked at Swisher's free agent stock.
- Chase Utley took some groundballs at third base before today's game and he told reporters (including MLB.com's Todd Zolecki) that he had approached the Phillies about getting some reps at third in order to "create some more flexibility as far as the organization is concerned." Utley spent a season playing third in 2002 in Triple-A before but hasn't played at the hot corner since.
- Phillies GM Ruben Amaro Jr. commented on Utley's trial, noting that "in a perfect scenario," Utley could hold down third base until prospect Cody Asche is ready, theoretically for the 2014 season. Amaro cautioned reporters (including Matt Gelb of the Philadelphia Inquirer) that it's hypothetical since Asche has yet to play above Double-A.
- Billy Hamilton will "probably not" be called up for September, Reds general manager Walt Jocketty tells MLB.com's Mark Sheldon. Jocketty noted that the decision wasn't finalized yet, however, and that he was going to watch Hamilton play in person this weekend.
- Mets outfielder Scott Hairston believes the Diamondbacks claimed him off waivers, he tells Adam Rubin of ESPN New York (Twitter link). The Giants were known to be interested in outfield help and Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports speculated earlier this month that the D'Backs would likely try to block Hairston or Juan Pierre from getting to their NL West rivals. Rosenthal also reported that the team that claimed Hairston did so as a blocking maneuver.
- Roger Clemens is planning to start again for the Sugar Land Skeeters on September 7, according to a text the pitcher sent Mark Berman, sports director of FOX 26 KRIV (Twitter link). Clemens, 50, threw 3 1/3 scoreless innings in his first start with the Skeeters on August 25.
- Gordon Edes of ESPN Boston suggests a few moves the Red Sox should make this offseason, including re-signing David Ortiz and Cody Ross and trying to add Justin Upton and a top-tier starting pitcher.
- Major League Baseball is investigating whether agents Sam and Seth Levinson arranged for former client Paul Lo Duca to meet with PED distributor Kirk Radomski, reports Bob Nightengale of USA Today.