Omar Infante Rumors
Anibal Sanchez will take the ball in Oakland tonight as the Tigers look to advance to the ALCS for the second consecutive season. In the meantime, here are some AL Central links...
- The Tigers' decision to trade for Sanchez and Omar Infante looks better than ever, Drew Sharp of the Detroit Free Press writes. Sanchez, a free agent this offseason, said he doesn't think much about what will happen when his contract expires. "Right now, I just focus on what I'm going to do tomorrow," he said.
- Manager Terry Francona said he's not worried about how much the Indians spend on payroll, Sheldon Ocker of the Akron Beacon Journal reports. "My job is to build a relationship with every player on the team and get the most out of them,” Francona said. The skipper is believed to be earning something close to the $4MM salary he earned in Boston, Ocker writes.
- Francona and GM Chris Antonetti have talked to Sandy Alomar Jr. about joining the Indians’ on-field staff, Paul Hoynes of the Cleveland Plain Dealer reports (via Sulia). Alomar told Hoynes he expects to return, though managerial opportunities could emerge elsewhere. Alomar, a 20-year veteran of the Major Leagues, was a finalist for the Indians job.
The latest notes and rumors from Danny Knobler of CBSSports.com...
- The Brewers hoped to market Francisco Rodriguez to teams seeking bullpen help, but that may be difficult given the right-hander’s recent struggles and $8MM salary. "Good luck to them," one scout told Knobler.
- The Tigers view Anibal Sanchez as a true rental player, Knobler writes (all Twitter links). They see the right-hander as a middle-of-the-rotation starter, but felt they didn’t have a strong chance of acquiring a true top-of-the-rotation starter this summer. The Tigers proposed the trade for Sanchez and Omar Infante last week.
- It now appears likely that trade candidate Edinson Volquez will stay in San Diego, Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com reports. The Padres intend to keep Volquez, who drew trade interest this summer, according to Heyman.
4:59pm: The teams also swap the picks they obtained in last week's competitive balance lottery, Peter Gammons of MLB Network tweets. The Marlins obtain prospects Rob Brantly and Brian Flynn along with Turner, Gammons tweets. The Tigers will now have the last pick in compensation round A (after the first round), while the Marlins will have the final pick in compensation round B (after the second round).
4:41pm: The Tigers have addressed their two most pressing needs with one trade, acquiring Omar Infante and Anibal Sanchez from the Marlins in a deal that will send top pitching prospect Jacob Turner to Miami. Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports first reported the trade, which suggests the Marlins are willing to look to 2013 and beyond following a disappointing 44-51 start to the season (on Twitter).
The Marlins are extremely disappointed by their team's performance and are prepared to make a series of trades, Ken Rosenthal and Morosi report (on Twitter). Josh Johnson, Randy Choate and Carlos Lee are among the team's possible trade chips.
Infante, who played for the Tigers from 2002-07, should provide Detroit with an offensive boost at second base. Tigers second basemen -- mainly Ramon Santiago and Ryan Raburn -- have combined for an MLB-worst .201/.286/.276 batting line. Infante, who's in the first year of a two-year, $8MM contract, has a .287/.312/.442 batting line in 347 plate appearances this year.
Meanwhile, Sanchez will provide Detroit with an established starter to go along with Justin Verlander, Max Scherzer, Rick Porcello and Doug Fister. Drew Smyly, now on the disabled list, provides the team with an additional option. Sanchez, 28, has a 3.94 ERA with 8.2 K/9 and 2.5 BB/9 in 121 innings for Miami this year. He's earning $8MM this year and is on track to hit free agency after the season. The Tigers won't be able to obtain compensatory draft picks for Sanchez, since he was acquired midseason.
Turner, the ninth overall selection in 2009, entered the season as the 22nd-best prospect in baseball, according to Baseball America. He started for the Tigers yesterday, helping Detroit beat the White Sox 6-4. The 21-year-old has spent most of the season in the minor leagues, where he has a 2.77 ERA with 6.1 K/9 and 3.3 BB/9 in 84 1/3 innings so far in 2012.
Flynn, 22, has a 3.95 ERA with 7.3 K/9 and 2.9 BB/9 in 107 innings as a starter at Class A and Double-A this year. The 6'8" left-hander was a seventh round selection in 2011. Brantly, 23, is a catcher who has spent the 2012 season in the upper minors. He has a .287/.332/.387 batting line in 334 plate appearances so far this year.
MLB.com's Joe Frisaro first reported Turner's inclusion in the deal (on Twitter).
On average, the ten teams in baseball's two East divisions are four games over .500. Here’s the latest from the two divisions...
- Rays president Matt Silverman says MLB needs to make significant changes to its economic structure, Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times reports. “We have advocated for meaningful change, especially when it comes to addressing the dramatic imbalances in our game,” Silverman said. “Meaningful change has not occurred.” The Rays were one of two eligible teams that didn’t obtain an additional draft pick in yesterday’s competitive balance lottery. Silverman called the picks “trifling.”
- The Tigers have barely obtained any offensive production from second base this year, so John Lowe of the Detroit Free Press discusses the possibility of a reunion with Omar Infante in light of yesterday's report linking the Tigers to the Marlins infielder.
- The Nationals recently asked a Mets person if they'd have interest in Rick Ankiel, Adam Rubin of ESPNNewYork.com reports (on Twitter). The Nationals believe the recently-designated Ankiel is a Major League caliber player and they expect him to be picked up by another club, Adam Kilgore of the Washington Post reports (on Twitter). Peter Gammons of MLB Network suggests on Twitter that Ankiel would be a "great fit" for the Yankees.
- Jamie Moyer intends to continue pitching, Tom Mahon of the Philadelphia Daily News reports. "I'm not retired," Moyer said, adding that his agent is working to find a fit for him. Moyer, 49, has been a free agent since the Blue Jays released him two weeks ago.
1:10pm: There's no current discussion involving Crawford, Ramirez and Bell, ESPN.com's Buster Olney reports (on Twitter). The idea surfaced briefly as a concept and immediately died.
12:57pm: The Red Sox and Marlins are discussing a trade that would send Carl Crawford to Miami for Hanley Ramirez and Heath Bell, Bob Nightengale of USA Today reports. The Marlins approached the Red Sox about the possible blockbuster, Nightengale reports.
The biggest impediment to the deal is the Marlins' indecision about their course for the rest of the 2012 season. Miami VP Dan Jennings is in Boston scouting Crawford, according to Nightengale. The potential trade would be the second-biggest contract swap in history, trailing only the 2004 trade involving Alex Rodriguez and Alfonso Soriano, Nightengale writes.
Ken Rosenthal reported earlier today that the Red Sox are determining trade interest in Crawford. However, GM Ben Cherington says there's "nothing going on" with the left fielder, who is in the second year of a seven-year, $142MM contract he signed following the 2010 season.
General managers say the trade market has been surprisingly stagnant, ESPN.com’s Buster Olney writes. The value of a Wild Card berth has diminished under baseball’s new collective bargaining agreement, and executives wonder if this change has affected the trade market. “There's not as much incentive to being a Wild Card team as there has been,” one NL GM told Olney. Here are the rest of Olney’s notes and rumors:
- Under the new CBA, the spending money attached to draft picks is more valuable than the picks themselves, one GM said. Teams with large spending limits have more flexibility than other clubs and can pursue players more aggressively.
- Olney spoke with officials who are convinced the Diamondbacks will trade Justin Upton. Here are all the latest rumors on Upton.
- The 43-46 Marlins and the 46-44 Rays could create a significant shift in the trade market between now and the end of July. Both Florida teams are hovering around .500 for now.
- The Marlins will be willing to discuss every player on their roster, including Giancarlo Stanton, Josh Johnson and Omar Infante, if they decide to sell, Olney writes.
- Marlins owner Jeffrey Loria may soon be faced with the question about selling at the deadline, something he wanted to avoid in the first year of the club's new ballpark. The best thing they could do to improve their farm system likely involves trading guys like Anibal Sanchez, Omar Infante, and the newly acquired Carlos Lee.
- White Sox GM Kenny Williams always thinks big and it would not be surprising to see him get in on pitcher such as Zack Greinke. The problem is that his farm system doesn't have much to offer and they don't want to give up pieces off the big league roster while contending.
- The best guess right now has the Padres keeping Carlos Quentin and trading Chase Headley. Rosenthal says it's simple supply-and-demand; as many as ten teams have shown interest in the third baseman Headley. The team isn't sure they can get more for Quentin in a trade than they would by letting him walk as a free agent and recouping draft picks after the season.
- The Orioles are clearly buyers. They're willing to trade any prospect not named Dylan Bundy or Manny Machado, but they probably don't have enough to get Greinke. They do have interest in lesser arms like Joe Blanton and Jason Vargas, as well as leadoff man Juan Pierre.
- The Brewers could pit the Rangers and Angels against each other in the Greinke sweepstakes. Texas is unwilling to trade Mike Olt, Jurickson Profar, or Martin Perez for a rental, which could create an opening for the Halos if they're willing to deal Major League talent.
- The Phillies do not intend to trade Cliff Lee to create payroll room for Cole Hamels. If they do keep Hamels long-term, they could have $140MM tied up in just eight players going into next season.
We took a glimpse at the NL Central earlier this evening and in the interest of equal time, we'll run down the latest out of the AL Central as well..
- The Tigers have Marlins second baseman Omar Infante on their shopping list, according to Jayson Stark of ESPN.com (via Twitter). If Miami sells, Stark writes that the former Tiger would be an excellent fit for Detroit.
- Carl Pavano could have been a potential trade chip for the Twins but the hurler won't be back in action before the trade deadline, tweets Phil Mackey of 1500 ESPN. Mackey notes that the Twins acquired Pavano prior to the waiver deadline in 2009 and speculates that they could go that route this year if they choose to move him.
- Adelyn Santa, the Tigers' most expensive international signing in 2011, is no longer with the team, writes Jim Callis of Baseball America. The Dominican third baseman signed for $750K last year on July 3 and it's not yet known why he was cut loose by Detroit.
The Marlins have reached an agreement with second baseman Omar Infante on a two-year contract believed to be worth $8MM, according to MLB.com's Joe Frisaro. Infante passed his physical Tuesday, tweets Frisaro.
The Marlins acquired Infante in last November's Dan Uggla trade and plugged the 29-year-old Venezuelan in at second base this year. He has a .277/.316/.381 line in 629 plate appearances in his first season for the Marlins and final season before free agent eligibility.
Combine his 2011 performance with his All-Star 2010 campaign and you get a projected Type B ranking. That means the Marlins would have obtained a compensatory pick in next year's draft if Infante had turned down an offer of arbitration to sign with another club as a free agent.
On most nights, this would easily be the biggest Marlins news, but that's not the case tonight. Jack McKeon announced that he won't return as manager in 2012 and the White Sox released Ozzie Guillen, who is expected to sign with Florida. For even more Marlins links click here.
The last-place Marlins won't taste the playoffs in 2012, but they're moving into a new ballpark next year and could spend big this offseason, so things might be different in Miami a year from now. Here's the latest on the Marlins...
- Omar Infante told Christina De Nicola of MLB.com that he and the Marlins are going to postpone all contract talks until the season ends next week. The sides have discussed a multiyear deal this month.
- Javier Vazquez has given every indication that this will be his final season, though he hasn't officially said he's going to retire, according to Clark Spencer of the Miami Herald. The Marlins haven't discussed next season with Vazquez, who has had a resurgent second half, as I explained last week.
- Clay Hensley, a non-tender candidate this offseason, told Spencer that he would love to return to Miami in 2012. The right-hander earned $1.4MM in 2011 and will be arbitration eligible for the second time this offseason. He has pitched well recently, though he had two stints on the disabled list and struggled as a starter.