Oliver Perez Rumors
Mets GM Sandy Alderson confirmed that the team will not spend more than $135-140MM on 2011 payroll. That's a ton of money for most teams, but the Mets have committed most of that to the players already on their roster, so they don't have much to spend. Adam Rubin of ESPNNewYork has the details:
- Not surprisingly, Alderson said there's "no market" for Luis Castillo or Oliver Perez, even if the Mets wanted to trade them. The two players will be in Mets camp this Spring Training.
- Alderson confirmed that he's looking to sign a "bounceback" starter to a low base salary. Chris Young was Alderson's "hypothetical" example of such a pitcher, but the tall right-hander is more than just an example. As Rubin notes, the Mets are still interested in Young.
- It appears that Johan Santana will return around the All-Star break. The lefty underwent surgery to repear an anterior capsule tear in his left shoulder in October.
- The Reds and Mets have not discussed a potential Jose Reyes trade, GM Walt Jocketty told John Fay of the Cincinnati Enquirer (Twitter link).
Here's the latest on the Mets as their first offseason under new GM Sandy Alderson continues:
- Alderson guaranteed that the Mets will come back from the Winter Meetings "with some new players," according to Mike Puma of the New York Post (via Twitter). Alderson cautioned, however, that he doesn't have much financial flexibility.
- The Mets have not offered contracts to free-agent pitchers Chris Young and Jeff Francis, contrary to reports, notes Anthony DiComo of MLB.com (via Twitter). Young and Francis are thought to be good fits for the Mets as low-cost, potentially high-reward hurlers who have enjoyed success in the past and could benefit from Citi Field's spacious dimensions.
- Alderson said that he expects Oliver Perez to report to Spring Training, according to Adam Rubin of ESPNNewYork (via Twitter). The embattled Perez is currently in the Mexican Winter League after pitching in just 17 games last season due to injury and ineffectiveness. He's entering the final year of a three-year pact he signed prior to the 2009 season.
- Alderson said that the Mets probably won't be engaged in talks of contract extensions with any of their players prior to Spring Training, according to Rubin (via Twitter). Of note, shortstop Jose Reyes is in the final year of his contract after having his 2011 team option picked up earlier this offseason.
The Mets officially announced that they signed Sandy Alderson to a four-year deal with a club option for 2015 and there's no question that the new GM definitely has his backers. Commissioner Bud Selig told Chris Russo of SIRIUS XM Radio that “the fans of the Mets ought to be very happy” with the team's choice. J.P. Ricciardi and Kevin Towers tell Joel Sherman of the New York Post that Alderson has earned their admiration and respect over the years. So what is Alderson himself saying about the Mets? Matt Cerrone of MetsBlog has the latest from this afternoon's news conference:
- It doesn't seem like the Mets will spend big on free agents, as they have in recent offseasons. “Will we be aggressive in the free agent market this year? Not likely,” Alderson said.
- Alderson says “the manager is a critical part of the overall leadership structure” who has to be analytical. That doesn't mean Alderson will hire someone bland, though. He pointed out that he has worked with fiery skippers like Billy Martin before.
- The manager he selects may or may not have previous managerial experience in the majors.
- Alderson sidestepped a question about the future of Oliver Perez and Luis Castillo, saying the team must "be careful about writing off any player or any asset ... without thinking about it carefully.”
Some links to check out as Cody Ross attempts to follow up yesterday's two-home run performance and the Phillies look to even the score...
- Speaking of Ross, Andrew Baggarly of The Mercury News reports that Giants GM Brian Sabean left a "clear impression" before tonight's game that the outfielder will be tendered a contract this offseason.
- Nick Cafardo of The Boston Globe tweets that Red Sox bench coach DeMarlo Hale is getting a second interview for the Blue Jays managerial position.
- SI.com's Jon Heyman tweets that the Mets have been "asking around" about Rangers GM Jon Daniels, and things could get interesting. Daniels can opt out of his contract after the season since the team was sold.
- Steve Popper of The Bergen Record says that the Mets might not be making the popular choices right now, especially with Francisco Rodriguez, Oliver Perez, Carlos Beltran, and Luis Castillo, but they're the right moves.
- Popper also reports that the Tigers denied the Mets permission to talk to assistant GM Al Avila about their GM vacancy.
- ESPN's Buster Olney tweets that Eric Young will be named the D'Backs first base coach later this week. In a second tweet, he says Eric Wedge's former pitching coach Carl Willis will likely play a big role on his new staff in Seattle.
- Despite the expected heavy interest from the Yankees and Rangers, Michael Silverman from the Boston Herald thinks the Red Sox should make a serious run at Cliff Lee.
- In the second page of that same article, Silverman quotes an unnamed executive in saying that a package consisting of Jacoby Ellsbury, Jed Lowrie, and prospect Anthony Rizzo wouldn't be enough to pry Adrian Gonzalez away from the Padres. He speculates the names that would be mentioned next would include Casey Kelly and Jose Iglesias.
- Roch Kubatko of MASN Sports says it makes more sense for the Orioles to trade for a middle-of-the-lineup hitter and an ace starter than seek one in free agency, and asks readers whether or not the O's should pursue Zack Greinke. In his blog post earlier today, ESPN's Buster Olney didn't see Baltimore as a fit for the Kansas City ace.
- Reduced payroll will force the Rays into some tough decisions, writes Marc Topkin of the St. Petersburg Times. As Topkin points out, nearly the entire bullpen is entering free agency. Rafael Soriano, Grant Balfour, Randy Choate, Joaquin Benoit, and Chad Qualls are only signed through 2010, while Dan Wheeler's $4MM option will be declined and Lance Cormier could be non-tendered. Balfour and Choate are most likely to return, while Benoit will likely look to capitalize on his monster season.
- Richard Griffin from the Toronto Star spoke with Phillies bench coach Pete Mackanin, who could be a candidate for the Jays' managerial opening, about the difficulty of getting a foot in the door as a manager. As Griffin says, part of the reason they continue to interview candidates while other teams are filling their managerial positions could be because they have a high level of interest in someone like Mackanin, whose team is still playing.
- The Phillies' worst nightmare isn't losing to the Giants in the NLCS or losing to the Yankees in the World Series, according FOX Sports' Ken Rosenthal. It's going to the World Series and facing the ace they traded away last offseason, who now sports a Rangers uniform -- Cliff Lee.
For the first time in six years, the Mets are looking for a new GM. ESPN's Adam Rubin has the latest.
- The field of GM candidates has about 32 names. Five to seven will be interviewed in person (twice), with a resolution hoped for by month's end. Terry Ryan and Rick Hahn are on the list, reports MetsBlog's Matthew Cerrone. SI's Jon Heyman expects the Mets to consider Josh Byrnes, Sandy Alderson, Gerry Hunsicker, and John Hart as well to head their baseball operations.
- In the meantime, interim GM John Ricco will begin discussions with free agents Hisanori Takahashi and Pedro Feliciano and also talk about a Jose Reyes extension. Takahashi can declare free agency on October 31st, so there's slightly increased urgency. We discussed his situation here.
- COO Jeff Wilpon told reporters Omar Minaya never asked ownership to eat the contracts of Oliver Perez or Luis Castillo. Wilpon also said he "can't imagine" trading David Wright, but he'd listen if the new GM proposed something.
The Mets aren’t planning to pursue Cliff Lee this offseason, people familiar with the team tell Andy Martino of the New York Daily News. Johan Santana underwent left shoulder surgery and won’t resume throwing until the spring, but barring the unexpected, Lee won't sign with the Mets. In fact, the team probably won’t seriously consider spending on any elite free agents, whether Omar Minaya or another general manager is in charge.
Martino's sources say the Mets have too much money committed to the current roster to commit to this year's top free agents. The front office may consider trading Carlos Beltran, Luis Castillo, Oliver Perez and Francisco Rodriguez, but unless the Mets shed an unexpected amount of salary, they won’t be players for the biggest names on the free agent market.
Links for waiver trade deadline day, as the Reds prepare for Chapmania...
- Yesterday Brandon Webb's agent Jonathan Maurer told MLBTR contracts starting at a $7.5MM base salary were conversation starters for his client. Jack Magruder of FOXSportsArizona.com has a response from D'Backs president and CEO Derrick Hall: "It is a very strong stand."
- The White Sox appear unlikely to add a reliever today, based on an email GM Kenny Williams sent to Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports.
- Interested in hearing a couple of pitchers gripe? Jeremy Accardo spoke to Todd Dewey of the Las Vegas Review-Journal, while Oliver Perez made a brief comment to SNY's Kevin Burkhardt.
The 63-63 Mets don't seem to be in contention, but GM Omar Minaya told John Harper of the New York Daily News that his team is "still in the hunt." Regardless of what Minaya says, some of his players are already looking ahead to 2011. Here are the details on two of the team's potential trade candidates, a star who wants to stay, and an insight into the Mets' managerial hunt:
- Luis Castillo was unhappy with his role on the Mets earlier in the month and not much has changed for the second baseman. He told the Daily News that he'll talk to his agents about finding a "different kind of situation," even if that means a trade.
- Oliver Perez told Andrew Marchand of ESPNNewYork.com that he wants to return to the Mets in 2011. "I want to have a championship because I know the fans want it and I want it, too," Perez said.
- Jose Reyes wants to keep playing for the Mets, reports Andy Martino of the New York Daily News. "I love it here. My family is here, I love (living) on Long Island, I want to stay," Reyes said. The Mets have an $11MM club option on Reyes for 2011 that they're likely to pick up, and it appears both sides are interested in working out a longer-term contract.
- Rather than spend on a big-name manager like Joe Torre or Bobby Valentine, the Mets could install Wally Backman as the manager for 2011, writes Adam Rubin of ESPNNewYork.com.
Eight years ago today, the Diamondbacks signed amateur free agent Carlos Gonzalez out of Venezuela. Two major trades later, CarGo is establishing himself as a star in Colorado. Links for Tuesday...
- ESPN's Jerry Crasnick runs through a slew of August trade candidates, including Manny Ramirez, Johnny Damon, and Chone Figgins.
- The Padres originally intended to acquire Jake Westbrook for themselves, reports Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports.
- Dave Cameron of FanGraphs wonders how teams will value Adrian Beltre on the free agent market this winter.
- The Mets won't try to convince Oliver Perez to accept a minor league assignment again, according to Andy Martino of the New York Daily News. The Mets still don't plan on releasing Perez, preferring him to take a roster spot.
- The Braves released Willy Taveras from their Triple A club, according to the International League transactions page.
Ken Rosenthal has a new Full Count video up, so let's dive in...
- The Red Sox scouted Jarrod Saltalamacchia hard before acquiring him this afternoon, and they feel that he is throwing better and will benefit from a change of scenery. 18 months ago the cost for Salty was Clay Buchholz, so they feel he's worth the gamble considering the uncertain futures of Victor Martinez and Jason Varitek.
- The Braves didn't need either Kyle Farnsworth or Rick Ankiel, but picking up both improves their depth considerably. Ankiel will be the regular center fielder against righties, platooning with Melky Cabrera, while Farnsworth will help lessen the burden on Takashi Saito and Jonny Venters. The Braves are clearly going for it in Bobby Cox's final season.
- It seems odd that the Cardinals would trade Ryan Ludwick given their offensive inconsistency this year, but the team likes what Jon Jay has done and they'll save big when Ludwick goes to arbitration for the final time next season.
- Relative to its competition, no team did as poorly as the Mets at the deadline. They were outbid for Ramon Ramirez, and the Cubs wanted no part of a Luis Castillo and Oliver Perez for Carlos Zambrano swap. The Cubbies are hopeful that Big Z will come back and rebuild his value down the stretch.