Noah Lowry Rumors
The Boston Globe's Nick Cafardo has plenty of rumors from around the league for us this morning, so let's round them all up...
- The Red Sox are likely to use Roy Halladay's three-year, $60MM deal "minus $6 million-$8 million" as a guideline for a potential Josh Beckett extension rather than John Lackey's five-year, $82.5MM deal. The reason being that they have some concern about the long-term health of his shoulder.
- If another team comes offering Beckett big money after the season, the Sox will move on just as they did with Jason Bay. They could then look into free agents like Cliff Lee, who they pursued at the trade deadline, or even Ben Sheets and Brandon Webb if they bounce back from injury problems of their own.
- With all of their additions this offseason, the Twins' payroll will jump from $65M to about $96M as they move into Target Field this year. GM Bill Smith said it will be up to manager Ron Gardenhire to determine how they use Jim Thome, and that they did their homework on Orlando Hudson's left wrist, which has given him trouble the last few seasons.
- Minnesota's payroll will be larger than the Dodgers' this year.
- The Red Sox watched Noah Lowry's recent workout, but "don't appear interested in signing him."
- Dodgers' third base coach Larry Bowa said he knows that Manny Ramirez still wants to play another three or four years.
- Two big league executives feel that the Giants and Tim Lincecum will settle on a contract before an arbitration hearing.
- One reason the Cubs signed Kevin Millar was to loosen up the clubhouse after the Milton Bradley fiasco last season.
- Drayton McLane is reportedly seeking $700MM to part with the Astros, but it's tough to see someone coming up with that when the Rangers sold for approximately $575MM.
MONDAY, 4:13pm: Lowry's scheduled throwing session has been pushed back, according to the AP. His agent says the lefty has not had a setback; he just wants to throw a few more bullpen sessions before auditioning.
THURSDAY, 1:35pm: Scott Lauber of the News Journal tweets that the Phillies will be there.
WEDNESDAY, 4:29pm: The Rangers will watch Lowry throw, reports MLB.com's T.R. Sullivan.
8:27am: Lefty Noah Lowry is set to throw for teams Tuesday, reports ESPN's Jerry Crasnick. The 29-year-old seeks a one-year contract after battling thoracic outlet syndrome the last few years. His last truly effective season was 2005.
Crasnick expects about 15 teams to attend the session, including the Reds, Red Sox, Cardinals, Braves, Astros, Dodgers, Mariners, Cubs, Nationals and Mets. Back in December, a Crasnick report linked the Padres, A's, Rockies, and Pirates to Lowry as well.
6:43pm: MLB.com's Corey Brock says (via Twitter) that he's "nearly certain" the Padres aren't in on Lowry. They need a dependable starter, and with only $5MM or so left to spend, the Friars can't afford to miss on a player.
5:42pm: Free agent southpaw Noah Lowry may be close to picking his next team, tweets Henry Schulman of The San Francisco Chronicle. He says that it won't be the Giants, unsurprisingly.
Plenty of teams have expressed interest in the lefty, including the Padres, Reds, Dodgers, and several others. Lowry lasted pitched in the big leagues back in 2007 because of thoracic outlet syndrome.
Here are some links to close out the week...
- The Padres are one of several teams to request Noah Lowry's medical records, according to MLB.com's Corey Brock. In a tweet, Brock notes that the team isn't likely to bring Khalil Greene back, and instead will likely wait for an out-of-options player in Spring Training.
- Evan Grant of The Dallas Morning News tweets that Rangers are "still pushing" on Jermaine Dye, and team officials met with him last week.
- Grant at McCovey Chronicles ranks the ten biggest "future free agent mistakes" for Giants' fans.
- Tom Haudricourt of The Journal Sentinel mentions that Brewers' GM Doug Melvin and his staff are traveling to Phoenix next week to meet with Mark Mulder and decide if it makes sense to offer him a minor league deal with incentives. Haudricourt previously said we should "expect a signing," and earlier this week we learned that Milwaukee may not have enough payroll room left to add another starter.
- MLB.com's Brian McTaggart looks at the Astros' rotation now that Brett Myers is on board.
- Meanwhile, Alyson Footer of MLB.com tweets that Houston officially announced their deal with Josh Banks, and has renewed the contracts of pre-arbitration eligible players J.R. Towles and Chris Johnson.
- Steve Gilbert of MLB.com has some more details on Bobby Howry's contract with Arizona. Howry can void the $3MM club option for 2011 if he's traded during the upcoming season.
- Tigers' GM Dave Dombrowski said his team "did not really pursue" Scott Podsednik, according to MLB.com's Jason Beck. Scotty Pods had been connected to Detroit earlier this offseason.
Some links for Wednesday night...
- The Marlins have no interest in trading Jorge Cantu to save money, even if they don't trade Dan Uggla before the season, tweets Clark Spencer of The Miami Herald. Yesterday we heard the team may "start taking calls" about Cantu if they can't unload Uggla.
- Dylan Hernandez of The Los Angeles Times says that the Dodgers are among the 14 teams that have asked for Noah Lowry's medical records according to his agent Damon Lara. We first heard of their interest in the lefty way back in early December.
- Nationals GM Mike Rizzo said he is still looking for starting pitching and to improve his team's defense, according to MLB.com's Bill Ladson.
- MLB.com's Mark Bowman says that Braves' team president John Schuerholz indicated the team's payroll "won't be diminished at all." Bowman's rough estimate has the team's 2010 payroll at about $87MM after they spent roughly $95MM in 2009.
- MLB.com's Adam McCalvy reports (via Twitter) that the Brewers have outrighted pitcher Omar Aguilar to Triple-A, however assistant GM Gord Ash said the team has no move in the works to the fill the vacated 40-man roster spot according to Tom Haudricourt of The Journal Sentinel (again, via Twitter).
- In response to a fan on Twitter, C.J. Wilson tweets that the Rangers have never offered him a long-term deal.
- Andrew Baggarly of The Mercury News says there's a chance Juan Uribe could be the Giants' starting third baseman, shifting Mark DeRosa to the outfield. He adds that the team plans to make more moves, however their lack of pitching depth will make it tough to swing a trade.
- Alex Speier of WEEI.com examines how the recent moves by the Red Sox impact their payroll with regard to the luxury tax.
- The Diamondbacks have released minor league righthander Tony Barnette so he can pursue opportunities in Japan, according to MLB.com's Steve Gilbert (via Twitter).
Links for Monday...
- MLB.com's Mark Bowman says the Braves made it known they were willing to eat $9MM of the $45MM owed to Derek Lowe over the next three years, but found no takers.
- MLB.com's Jason Beck talked to Tigers GM Dave Dombrowski, who said nothing has changed in terms of using Scott Sizemore as the second baseman. Beck points out that if the Tigers wanted a veteran at the position they probably would've offered Placido Polanco arbitration.
- Mariners GM Jack Zduriencik told Murray Chass they he expressed interest in Roy Halladay a couple of times, before the trade deadline and at the Winter Meetings. It sounds like Halladay's no-trade clause was an obstacle.
- Chico Harlan of the Washington Post has a Q&A with new Nationals reliever Matt Capps, who agreed to a one-year, $3.5MM deal on Christmas Eve. MLB.com's Bill Ladson tweets that Capps' physical is scheduled for Tuesday.
- Baseball America's Jim Callis gives us a couple of prospect "All-Bust" teams for the 2000s.
- MLB.com's Todd Zolecki notes that the Phillies have a minor league offer out to Scott Eyre.
- MLB.com's Mark Sheldon talked to Reds GM Walt Jocketty, who will be looking at minor league deal possibilities. Sheldon indicated that the Reds' interest in Noah Lowry is now less than minimal.
- MLB.com's T.R. Sullivan fills us in on the Rangers' offseason plans and potential targets in his mailbag.
- Mike Axisa of River Ave. Blues would like to see the Yankees buy low on Oakland's Travis Buck. Buck made our list of right field trade candidates back in November.
Dejan Kovacevic of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette informs us that while it may be an unlikely scenario, general manager Neal Huntington does have the payroll flexibility to make a big move at the meetings if he sees value in it for the Pirates. Says Huntington:
The Pirates are currently projected to have a $34MM payroll, down significantly from the $49MM they spent on their 40-man roster in 2009. So the "value" that Huntington mentions doesn't necessarily have to mean "inexpensive."
"The key word you're going to be hearing from us is value... We could do something big just so that we can feel good about ourselves and show everybody that we did something or that we're spending up to a certain level. But we're not going to do that unless it makes sense and unless there's a real value to the Pittsburgh Pirates."
Still, Kovacevic calls any real interest in Matt Holliday, Jason Bay, Rich Harden, or Mike Gonzalez "unlikely," and reminds us that the Pirates free agent contact so far has consisted of Rick Ankiel, Hank Blalock, Justin Duchscherer, Noah Lowry, J.J. Putz, Ron Villone, and Kameron Loe.
Danny Knobler from CBS Sports seems to think the Pirates have some money as well though, as he's heard them linked to Juan Pierre. Knobler reports that the Dodgers would like to acquire Zach Duke or Paul Maholm in any deal, meaning they'd have to eat a significant portion of Pierre's salary. Personally, I'd assume they'd have to include some prospects as well to make the deal make sense for Pittsburgh.
While the Pierre scenario may not entirely make sense for the Buccos on the surface level, it does add to the thought that Pittsburgh may be in line to surprise us at this year's meetings. Any thoughts on an ace that Huntington may have up his sleeve?
Reds GM Walt Jocketty confirmed his interest in free agent infielder Jamey Carroll and left-handed starter Noah Lowry with MLB.com's Mark Sheldon.
While Jocketty said that the organization has not discussed Carroll "at length," he acknowledged that he admires his hard-nosed play.
Carroll would be slotted into shortstop, where defensive-minded Paul Janish plays. However, Jocketty insisted that he is not looking to squeeze Janish out of the picture, as both he and manager Dusty Baker value his glove. In 82 games this season, the light-hitting 27-year-old turned in a UZR/150 of 24.6 while posting .211/.296/.305 at the plate.
Carroll, on the other hand, hit .276/.355/.340 in 2009 for the Indians. However, it is worth noting that he has not played shortstop with any semblance of regularity since 2005, when he played 241 innings at the position for the Nationals (with a subpar -6.7 UZR/150).
Meanwhile, Jocketty says that Lowry could work as the Reds' fifth starter, provided that he is healthy. The former first round pick of the Giants recorded a 3.92 ERA in 2007, but walked as many batters as he struck out.
1:45pm: Aside from the Pirates and Rockies, ESPN's Jerry Crasnick says the Dodgers, Padres, A's, Mariners, and Reds are interested in Lowry.
10:56am: The Pirates are interested in free agent lefty Noah Lowry, according to Dejan Kovacevic of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. As Kovacevic notes, the former Giant had forearm surgery in March of 2008, which the pitcher's agent later claimed was a misdiagnosis. In May of '09 Lowry had surgery to remove a rib to help with thoracic outlet syndrome. Earlier this month, Lowry's agent said his client is finally "completely healthy." Yesterday, Troy E. Renck of the Denver Post noted the Rockies' interest in Lowry.
The first four spots in the Pirates' rotation appear set, with Paul Maholm, Zach Duke, Ross Ohlendorf, and Charlie Morton. Lowry could compete for the fifth starter job; the Bucs would have three lefties in the rotation if he won it. Lowry's best season came in 2005, when he made 33 starts with a 3.78 ERA. That campaign netted him a four-year, $9.25MM extension.
- The Rockies have some interest in Bobby Crosby as a utilityman and as a right-handed option at third base if starter Ian Stewart continues to struggle against lefties (.178/.278/.386 against LHP in 2009).
- Noah Lowry, who became a free agent in October, may be brought to spring training on a minor-league contract. Lowry hasn't thrown a major league pitch since 2007 due to injuries, but was a solid starter (4.03 ERA) in four seasons in San Francisco. He has a 9.10 ERA in six career starts at Coors Field.
- Colorado is "expected to call" free agent reliever LaTroy Hawkins, who was a major part of the Rockies' bullpen during their run to the 2007 National League pennant. The club's interest in Hawkins will only increase if Rafael Betancourt turns down Colorado's arbitration offer and signs elsewhere. Hawkins should be more appealing also because he did not receive an arbitration offer from the Astros and therefore will not cost a draft pick.