Nyjer Morgan Rumors
- Nyjer Morgan, who is reportedly being eyed by a few teams, doesn't expect to open the season with the Nationals. "I just think this place isn't for me," the outfielder told MLB.com's Bill Ladson. "I'm not saying there are bad people here. It's just that, maybe, I'm not a fit here anymore. It's time to move on."
- In the same MLB.com piece, Ladson adds that Brian Broderick, a Rule 5 selection from the Cardinals, is expected to earn a spot on the Nats' Opening Day roster. Broderick figures to be used in short and long relief, though he can also start if needed.
- Yunesky Maya was optioned to Triple-A Syracuse today, the team announced. Washington signed the Cuban pitcher to a four-year deal last summer.
2:29pm: Brewers GM Doug Melvin told Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel that he has no interest in Morgan (Twitter link). The Brewers will rely on their in-house outfielders.
11:17am: The Brewers are one of the teams looking at Nyjer Morgan, according to Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports (on Twitter). Milwaukee just traded Chris Dickerson away and could have interest in restoring outfield depth.
Scouts covering the Nationals told ESPN.com's Jayson Stark that Morgan is very much available. However, Adam Kilgore of the Washington Post reported two weeks ago that the Nationals weren't considering releasing the outfielder.
As ESPN.com’s Jayson Stark points out, the Phillies’ decision to sign Luis Castillo suggests they aren’t overly optimistic about the timetable for Chase Utley’s return. According to Stark, the Phillies heard that there is no guarantee that surgery would make Utley healthy again, so they’re hoping rehab works. Here are the rest of Stark’s rumors...
- The Marlins have decided that Matt Dominguez isn’t ready for the majors, so they’re “actively exploring” outside options. Earlier tonight, Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports heard that the Marlins were “unlikely” to look outside of the organization for help at the hot corner.
- Though the Pirates are still shopping Ryan Doumit, teams that have spoken to Pittsburgh say the catcher/outfielder is not drawing much interest.
- Multiple teams, including the Phillies, Marlins and Cubs, appear to be eyeing Michael Young. None of those clubs can afford Young’s annual salary of $16MM and the Rangers expect a “massive” return if they’re going to eat a significant amount of Young’s salary.
- Scouts covering the Nationals say Nyjer Morgan is very much available. “They're trying to give him away," one scout said, before suggesting that the Nationals could release him.
- Scouts watching the Yankees expect the team to add a veteran catcher in the next week.
- The Phillies are looking for a veteran outfielder who’s capable of playing center field.
- Teams that have spoken with the Astros say they’d like to add a veteran catcher, but have very little money to spend.
Our condolences go out to the friends and family of Mitchell Page, a former outfielder and hitting coach who passed away Saturday. Page was the runner-up to Eddie Murray in a close vote for AL Rookie of the Year in 1977 and, more recently, served as a hitting coach for the Cardinals and Nationals. Here are today's links:
- According to Gordon Wittenmyer of the Chicago Sun-Times, scouts watching the Cubs this weekend "seemed more interested in what [Braden] Looper’s status was than whether the fat-salaried [Carlos] Silva could be had." If things don't work out with Chicago, however, Looper would likely just return to his family.
- One of the Yankees' Sunday roster moves involved returning Rule 5 pick Daniel Turpen to the Red Sox, as Chad Jennings of the Journal News notes.
- Jamie Moyer still intends to attempt a comeback in 2012, writes Phil Sheridan of the Philadelphia Inquirer. Moyer, who is recovering from Tommy John surgery, is realistic about the factors working against him: "I want to give this a chance and see what happens. If it doesn't work out, so be it."
- CBA talks are ahead of schedule, with the second round of collective bargaining set to occur in the next few weeks, according to MLB.com's Barry M. Bloom.
- Adam Kilgore of the Washington Post explains why the Nationals aren't considering releasing Nyjer Morgan.
- In another article for the Post, Kilgore says the Nationals are having trouble evaluating Rule 5 pick Elvin Ramirez due to health issues.
Adam Kilgore from the Washington Post provides us with some info on the Nationals as their season draws to a close this weekend:
- The quartet of Josh Willingham, Nyjer Morgan, Roger Bernadina, and Mike Morse have seen the majority of the outfield time this season, and Kilgore says it's likely that those four do the same in 2011. It would be tough for the Nationals to land a top outfielder like Carl Crawford or Jayson Werth, and beyond that there's not many attractive free agent options. Personal speculation, but if they do choose to look for free agent offense in the outfield, they could try to buy low on Magglio Ordonez.
- Manager Jim Riggleman says that despite Justin Maxwell's offensive struggles this season, the soon to be 27-year-old is too talented to give up on. Riggleman thinks everything will click for Maxwell next season and hopes he'll be a part of the club. He says there's no "last chance" situation with Maxwell.
- GM Mike Rizzo also said they're committed to Nyjer Morgan in 2011. That may have been in question with some fans as a result of his behavior and multiple suspensions this season.
- The Nationals are known to be looking for front-line starting pitching, and have Japanese phenom Yu Darvish on their radar. Darvish wouldn't be cheap, but he'll likely be more affordable than the market's only proven Major League ace -- Cliff Lee. Kilgore says it would be "speculative" to gauge Washington's interest, but notes that their scouts have seen him pitch in person at least nine times and recommended him to the front office.
If the Cardinals put Colby Rasmus on the trade market, they would “only get 60 or 70 cents on the dollar,” according to one MLB executive who spoke to ESPN.com’s Jayson Stark. Here’s a detailed look at potential suitors for Rasmus, and here are the rest of Stark’s rumors:
- Derek Jeter and agent Casey Close understand that the Yankees aren’t going to offer an embarrassingly low contract this winter. As Stark points out, the Yankees offered Jorge Posada a four-year deal heading into the season in which he turned 37. Posada was coming off of an MVP-caliber season, so the comparison only works to a point, but as many reporters have pointed out this week, Jeter is going nowhere and the Yankees aren’t going to low-ball him.
- Adrian Gonzalez probably won’t be on the trade market this winter, according to clubs that have spoken to the Padres. They’ll try to contend in 2011 and consider trading Gonzalez if they aren’t in contention next summer.
- Two scouts who cover the Nationals say they expect the team to shop Nyjer Morgan this winter. One of the scouts said there’s a “non-existent” chance that Washington keeps him.
A few links to check out while we wait to see if Jon Garland can halt the Padres' eight-game losing streak and get his team's season back on track...
- The Boston Globe's Nick Cafardo wonders out loud (via Twitter) if Paul Konerko could be a fit for the Red Sox in 2011. That speculation, of course, likely depends on Adrian Beltre's future in Boston.
- In a piece for MLB.com, Sarah D. Morris opines that the Dodgers should re-sign Hiroki Kuroda, even though the team's financial situation makes it unlikely.
- ESPN's Buster Olney (Insider req'd) draws the parallels between this year's Astros and last year's Padres, pointing out that both clubs traded long-time stars at the deadline for young players and payroll savings, then went on to have strong second halves.
- Olney also notes that given his disappointing season (.255/.314/.315) and recent suspension troubles, Nyjer Morgan is hurting his chances for future employment. FoxSports.com's Jon Paul Morosi also chimed in on the subject.
- The Nationals plan to call up Cuban defector Yunesky Maya following Monday's game according to MLB.com's Bill Ladson. Washington signed the 28-year-old righthander early last month.
- USA Today's Bob Nightengale recently sat down for a chat with Dan Hudson. Among other things, the righty said it's nice to be with a team that wants him. Hudson was traded from the White Sox to the Diamondbacks for Edwin Jackson before this year's deadline.
On this date two years ago, instant replay was used for the first time in baseball history, resolving a fair or foul call on an Alex Rodriguez home run against the Rays at Tropicana Field. Third base umpire Brian Runge originally called the ball a homer, and that call stood upon further review. Numerous umpire gaffes have some clamoring for expanded use of instant replay, but so far Major League Baseball hasn't budged.
Here's a look at what's been written around the baseball blogosphere...
- Amazin' Avenue looks at the illogicality of the Jeff Francoeur trade.
- Meanwhile, Baseball Time In Arlington recaps the last trade of the season.
- North And South Of Royal Brougham suggests Ted Lilly for the 2011 Mariners.
- The Process Report explains how the Rays used Jose Lobaton to manipulate their potential playoff roster.
- Cubs Pack provides Jim Hendry with an offseason to-do list.
- True Blue LA wonders what the Dodgers should do with James Loney.
- Capitol Avenue Club hands out some Braves minor league awards.
- Disciples of Uecker compares Yovani Gallardo's contract to those of some other great young pitchers.
- Saber By The Bay has some good news for Tigers fans looking ahead to next season.
- Midwest Sports Fans builds a roster of players who played for the Indians and White Sox, a la Manny Ramirez.
- The Nats Blog thinks it's time for Nyjer Morgan to go.
- MLB Depth Charts created the Tommy John Surgery Tracker in the wake of Stephen Strasburg's injury.
If you have a suggestion for this feature, Mike can be reached here.
Let's take a look at some Nationals tidbits courtesy of MLB.com's Bill Ladson..
- Recently, Ladson said that he would be writing about the Nats possibly signing Orlando Hudson for the third year in a row. However, the Nats beat writer now believes that the club has its second baseman of the future in Danny Espinosa. Pat Corrales, the team's senior assistant in player development, believes that the 23-year-old is the best all-around player in the organization. Espinosa was promoted to Triple-A Syracuse in early August and has posted a .295/.349/.463 slash line in 24 games.
- One reader asks if the Nationals can find a way to get beleaguered outfielder Nyjer Morgan's head back into the game. Ladson isn't sure why Morgan has been struggling this year but says that he could see Washington dealing him this offseason. Unsurprisingly, however, he doesn't envision the club getting much in return. People in the organization have said that he should be a fourth outfielder, an idea which likely wouldn't sit well with the 30-year-old.
- Even after acquiring Wilson Ramos from the Twins for Matt Capps, Ladson says that the Nats should hold on to fellow catcher Derek Norris. The Nats have historically had trouble with their depth at catcher and could use the security of having Norris in the fold. The former fourth-round pick was ranked second in the Nats' farm system by Baseball America heading into this year, ahead of Espinosa, Drew Storen, and Ian Desmond.
A few links to check out while the Yankees play their first game without George Steinbrenner at the helm since 1972...
- Susan Slusser of The San Francisco Chronicle reports that the Phillies have had a "top scout" on hand for the A's last four series, though Oakland isn't going to move Mark Ellis and Ben Sheets isn't scheduled to pitch this weekend.
- James Schmehl of MLive.com says that Sheets could be a "rather inexpensive" trade option for the Tigers if they're looking to add a starting pitcher.
- MLB.com's Corey Brock reports that Padres' GM Jed Hoyer told reporters he would like to make a move to improve the team, not just a cosmetic one (all Twitter links). He says the prices must first come down, and that he has the resources to add multiple pieces.
- WEEI.com's Rob Bradford says (via Twitter) that the Braves did not talk to the Red Sox about a potential Yunel Escobar-Marco Scutaro deal. He says that the Blue Jays were the only team Atlanta spoke to about an Escobar trade.
- Nationals' GM Mike Rizzo ranked the team's international free agent signings for MASNSports.com's Ben Goessling.
- Dylan Hernandez of The Los Angeles Times tweets that the Tokyo Giants have a scout attending tonight's Dodgers-Cardinals game. If nothing else, it shows that Japanese teams scour the U.S. for talent just like MLB teams do in Japan.