Omar Minaya Rumors
Emilio "Millito" Navarro, believed to be the oldest living professional baseball player at 105, passed away in Puerto Rico today. The former Negro Leaguer also played in the Dominican Republic, Venezuela, and Puerto Rico during his career. Our condolences go out to his family.
- Paul Hoynes of The Cleveland Plain-Dealer reports that former Mets GM Omar Minaya has spent the past two days on a "friendly visit" with Indians GM Chris Antonetti, president Mark Shapiro, and manager Manny Acta. Cleveland interviewed former Diamondbacks GM Josh Byrnes during the offseason, and Hoynes says Antonetti has "made [it] no secret that he'd like to add the right person to the front office."
- While researching the impending free agency of young stars, SI's Jon Heyman (via Twitter) learned that we can count on Jered Weaver and John Danks filing after 2012.
- It's been a bad day for star third basemen, writes Justin Sablich of the New York Times. The Giants lost Pablo Sandoval for 4-6 weeks with a broken bone in his right wrist and the Nationals announced that Ryan Zimmerman, who has been on the disabled list since April 12, will miss at least an another six weeks. If both players return within those timeframes, it's unlikely that either squad will look for an out-of-house fill-in.
- Matt Klaassen of Fangraphs questions the Blue Jays' wisdom in demoting Travis Snider to work on his hitting after just 99 plate appearances in 2011.
After extending Adrian Gonzalez this week, the Red Sox have guaranteed nearly $300MM to their two big offseason acquisitions, Gonzalez and Carl Crawford. However, according to Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe, some baseball people feel that Jayson Werth would have made more sense for the Sox than Crawford. One AL GM says he's "not sure that many of us are unhappy they chose Crawford over Werth," adding that Werth seemed to be a better fit for Boston's lefty-heavy lineup. Here are the rest of the highlights from Cafardo's Sunday Notes:
- The Red Sox may not have even been in on Crawford or Werth this winter if they had re-signed Jason Bay a year earlier. A National League GM calls Bay leaving Boston "one of the worst decisions both by a team and by the player," suggesting that both sides miss each other.
- According to Cafardo, Diamondbacks GM Kevin Towers was willing to deal Justin Upton to the Red Sox in the offseason, but only if he got the Adrian Gonzalez package or Clay Buchholz in return.
- Several teams have spoken to Omar Minaya about potential job openings. Minaya, who dubs himself a "free agent," says he's still sorting through everything and searching for the best fit, but he could make a decision soon.
- Cafardo points out that spending time on the disabled list could cost Takashi Saito a good chunk of money this season. Currently on the shelf with a hamstring injury, Saito can earn up to five $100K bonuses based on time spent on the active roster.
The Yankees signed Andy Pettitte on this date in 2009. The Bronx Bombers added an accomplished pitcher today, but it wasn't Pettitte; they're still waiting to hear from the left-hander. Here are some links for Wednesday...
- Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reports that free agent starter John Maine is throwing bullpen sessions and is auditioning for teams (Twitter link). The 29-year-old right-hander had his shoulder cleaned up last summer.
- Mets GM Sandy Alderson has not had any contact with former GM Omar Minaya since early January according to Adam Rubin of ESPN New York. Alderson indicated that there was a position available for his predecessor, assuming he wants it.
- Tyler Kepner of The New York Times wrote about the legacy of Gil Meche.
- Former Tiger Mike Maroth told Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports that he's retiring. Maroth started 100 games for the Tigers from 2003-05, but the left-hander's elbow has caused problems since. He last pitched in 2007 for the Cardinals and Tigers.
- The Rakuten Golden Eagles have announced the signing of Byung-Hyun Kim, according to Patrick Newman of NPB Tracker. The 32-year-old spent nine seasons with the D'Backs, Rockies, Red Sox and Marlins, posting a 4.42 ERA with 8.6 K/9 as a starter, closer and reliever. He allowed memorable home runs to Paul O'Neill and Tino Martinez in the 2001 World Series.
- Alex Speier of WEEI.com hears that the Red Sox aren't likely to sign any more pitchers to major league deals this offseason.
- The Royals edged out the Rays, Braves, Blue Jays and Phillies in Keith Law's organizational rankings at ESPN.com.
- Royals GM Dayton Moore explains to ESPN.com's Jerry Crasnick that he intends to turn the Royals into a "consistent, solid, thriving organization" by continuing to develop young players.
- Mets GM Sandy Alderson told ESPN.com's Adam Rubin that he would like to avoid arbitration with R.A. Dickey and remains open to a multiyear deal with the knuckleballer.
On this date in 1997, the Red Sox traded Tony Armas Jr. and Carl Pavano to the Expos for reigning NL Cy Young Award winner Pedro Martinez. A case can be made that Pedro's 1999 and 2000 seasons were the two best pitching seasons in baseball history, in which he held batters to a .186/.231/.274 batting line with 597 strikeouts in 430.1 innings.
It's highly unlikely that we'll see a pitcher of Pedro's caliber traded anytime soon, but that Zack Greinke kid is pretty good in his own right. Here are today's links...
- Two days ago we heard that the Rockies had interest in David Aardsma, Grant Balfour, and Todd Coffey, and now Troy Renck of The Denver post throws Jon Rauch's name into the mix.
- Marc Topkin of The St. Petersburg Times has some quotes from Rays principal owner Stuart Sternberg, who called the size of free agent contracts being handed out this winter "discouraging." He also commented (briefly) on the team's 2011 payroll.
- Bobby Jenks will take his physical on Monday, tweets Nick Cafardo of The Boston Globe. It was originally scheduled for today but was pushed back, and it's necessary to finalize his contract with the Red Sox.
- Renck also has the goods (Twitter links) on two recent Rockies signings. Ty Wigginton took less money to sign in Colorado, earning $3.5MM in 2011, $4MM in '12, and a club option for $4MM in '13 ($500k buyout). Meanwhile, pitcher Eric Stults has an out in his $435k minor league deal that will allow him to sign with the Hiroshima Carp if he does not make the big league roster.
- Richard Durrett of ESPN.com applauds the Rangers' efforts to bolster their starting depth.
- Dan Wheeler is happy to be a member of Boston's improved bullpen, writes MLB.com's Ian Browne.
- ESPN's Jerry Crasnick tweets that Seth McClung's deal with the Rangers will pay him $700K if he makes the team. There are another $700K available in bonuses tied to the number of starts he makes.
- Patrick Newman of NPB Tracker passes along a report (via Twitter) indicating that Hideki Matsui's contract with the A's has a limited no-trade clause preventing trades to the Mariners, Orioles, Twins, Blue Jays, Indians, and Royals.
- Mariano Rivera told Erik Boland of Newsday that he plans to give long-time teammate Andy Pettitte a call to try to convince the lefty to come back for another season.
- Finding a left-handed bat off the bench is one of the last remaining items on the Marlins offseason agenda, but MLB.com's Joe Frisaro says they might already have that guy on their roster. Catcher John Baker, who is currently recovering from Tommy John surgery, said he would be up for the job until he's cleared to catch again.
- Former Mets GM Omar Minaya told Ian Begley of ESPN New York that he plans to sit down with new GM Sandy Alderson after the holidays to discuss a potential new role with the team. Minaya said he has several offers on the table, including interest from the Diamondbacks.
- Hey iPhone users, do you have the MLBTR app yet? Jason Bartlett does, and that's how he found out his trade to the Padres was in the works.
The Mets relieved GM Omar Minaya and manager Jerry Manuel of duties, according to a press release. Minaya is not a part of the organization at present, but would not rule out a return in a new role. Assistant GM John Ricco will fill in for Minaya in the interim. Mets COO Jeff Wilpon had this to say:
"We are extremely disappointed in this year’s results and the failures of the past four seasons. We need to hire a new General Manager with a fresh perspective who will transform this club into a winner that we want and our fans deserve. We appreciate all that Omar and Jerry have done for the Organization and thank them for their time and effort. Changes like these are never easy, especially when you are dealing with people you like and respect."
Minaya was hired by the Mets six years ago. He made big trades involving Mike Cameron, Carlos Delgado, John Maine, Angel Pagan, Oliver Perez, Xavier Nady, Heath Bell, Brian Bannister, Lastings Milledge, Johan Santana, and Jeff Francoeur. Minaya spent big bucks on Pedro Martinez, Carlos Beltran, Billy Wagner, Jason Bay, and Perez as free agents and also extended Santana, Jose Reyes, and David Wright. The Mets made one playoff appearance under Minaya, in 2006.
On this date four years ago, Trevor Hoffman set a new career saves mark when he retired Ryan Doumit, Jose Bautista, and Freddy Sanchez of the Pirates in order. His 479th save moved him past Lee Smith and into first place on the all-time list, a spot he still holds today with 600 career saves on the nose. Other than Mariano Rivera and the soon-to-retire Billy Wagner, no active closer is within 310 saves of Hoffman's mark.
Here's a collection of links from the last week of the baseball blog world...
- The Hardball Times takes an in-depth look at the legal implications of the Johnny Cueto-Jason LaRue brawl that led to LaRue's retirement.
- Disciples of Uecker checks in with the players the Brewers traded for C.C. Sabathia back in 2008.
- Pittsburgh Lumber Co. looks at how the Pirates bullpen has performed since trading away some key pieces at the deadline.
- The Process Report follows up a previous post and explains how Jose Lobaton continues to help the Rays even though he's never played a game for them.
- Mike Scioscia's Tragic Illness breaks down the Dodgers' options with Russell Martin.
- Red Sox Beacon tries to figure out what Boston should do with David Ortiz.
- Amazin' Avenue audits Omar Minaya's front office.
- Crashburn Alley discusses the genius of Charlie Manuel.
- Drunk Jays Fans looked at the merits of Rays' bench coach Dave Martinez as a potential Cito Gaston replacement.
- Feeling Dodger Blue says Tim Wallach should have gotten the Dodgers manager job over Don Mattingly.
- A Fan's Opinion plans out the Angels offseason.
- DesigNate Robertson does the same, but for the Tigers.
- Lookout Landing guesses at the Mariners' 2011 payroll.
If you have a suggestion for this feature, Mike can be reached here.
Links on a Friday night...
- MLB.com's Joe Frisaro reports that negotiations between the Marlins and first round pick Christian Yelich are progressing slowly, but all signs point to a deal being reached before the August 16th deadline.
- Meanwhile, Adam Kilgore of The Washington Post says there is nothing new to report about talks between the Nationals and first overall pick Bryce Harper.
- Like the Marlins and Yelich, talks between the Tigers and their top picks will go down to the wire according to MLB.com's Jason Beck. Four of Detroit's top five selections remain unsigned, including their two first rounders Nick Castellanos and Chance Ruffin.
- When asked about his job security, Omar Minaya responded "The fact of the matter is that I have a contract beyond this year, two years beyond this," according to MLB.com's Anthony DiComo. Owner Jeff Wilpon recently implied that Minaya's job is safe through 2011.
- Jack Curry of the YES Network says (via Twitter) we shouldn't expect the Yankees to have any interest in Jose Guillen. We heard this morning that they were going to keep an eye on the recently DFA'd outfielder.
- Mark Feinsand of The New York Daily News spoke to an American League GM who said he can't see Derek Jeter signing anywhere but back with the Yankees after the season. I suspect that's the general belief pretty much everywhere.
- The Tigers have expanded the roles of three front office members, reports Steve Kornacki of MLive.com.
Links for Friday...
- Heyman tweets that the Angels and Dodgers could pursue Garret Anderson.
- Jon Heyman of SI.com tweets that the Mets are falling behind in their attempts to sign John Smoltz.
- As Rob Bradford of WEEI.com notes, Theo Epstein says the Red Sox do not have a policy against negotiating extensions during the season.
- The Red Sox, Phillies, Diamondbacks and Rockies watched Oscar Villarreal throw today, tweets Ed Price of AOL Fanhouse.
- An MLB executive tells ESPN.com's Jerry Crasnick that Jermaine Dye turned down $3.3MM from the Cubs before they signed Xavier Nady for the same price (Twitter link).
- MLB.com's Bill Ladson tweets that money may prevent the Nationals from signing Orlando Hudson. Adam Dunn believes Washington is Hudson's first choice.
- The club could go after Adam Kennedy if Hudson signs elsewhere, tweets Ladson.
- The Blue Jays have money, but aren't going to spend for the sake of spending, according to MLB.com's Jordan Bastian.
- In case you'd like more on the Johnny Damon-Yankees drama, SI's Jon Heyman talked to the player and GM.
- Alex Rodriguez was "staring at retirement right in the face" last March when diagnosed with a torn labrum in his hip, he told Kim Jones of the YES Network Wednesday night.
- Dave Cameron of FanGraphs wonders if aging players are the new market inefficiency.
- Cameron compares Jason Bay to Josh Willingham and concludes that the two outfielders are pretty similar.
- In an interview with SNY's Kevin Burkhardt last night, Mets GM Omar Minaya insisted he has full autonomy. Joel Sherman of the New York Post doesn't buy it.
- U.S.S. Mariner's Dave Cameron tweets of rumblings that the Royals and Mariners have discussed Alberto Callaspo.
- The Red Sox signed catcher Gustavo Molina to a minor league deal, reports WEEI's Rob Bradford. Molina, 28 in February, hit .209/.233/.308 for the Nationals' Triple A club last year.
- Larry Granillo of Wezen-Ball digs up the true story behind Andre Dawson, the Cubs, and the blank check in '87.
- Twins lefty Glen Perkins explained his grievance to Joe Christensen of the Minneapolis Star-Tribune.
Links for Wednesday...
- Check out Huston Street's contract extension details, courtesy of Troy E. Renck of the Denver Post.
- Free agent reliever Joe Nelson has expressed an interest in pitching for the Cubs, reports Mark Gonzales of the Chicago Tribune. Nelson seemed like a bargain signing by the Rays at $1.3MM, but his control and flyball rates took a turn for the worse and he was designated for assignment in September.
- ESPN's Keith Law ranks the farm systems, from the Rangers at #1 to the White Sox at #30. Law's Top 100 Prospects list comes out tomorrow.
- Baseball America is also kicking into gear, with their Prospect Handbook coming out soon. They're holding an all-day chat Friday, with BA editors as well as prospects Tim Alderson, Ryan Westmoreland, Logan Morrison, and Casey Crosby available for your questions.
- ESPN's Tim Kurkjian has a must-read article on Blue Jays GM Alex Anthopoulos and his plan to bring the team back to prominence.
- Scott Lauber of The News Journal tweets that while the Phillies like Chien-Ming Wang, but he might not be a fit because he won't be ready for the start of the season.
- Joel Sherman of the New York Post says the Mets are on a "Pollyanna streak," currently regarding their rotation. Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports seems to believe the Mets are a total mess, and suggests they start over.
- Red Sox GM Theo Epstein told Adam Rubin of the New York Daily News that he wouldn't have made the Billy Wagner deal last August without the shot at two draft picks.
- Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle says that the A's agreed not to offer arbitration to Ben Sheets if he's a Type A free agent after the season. Achieving that status seems impossible anyway after he missed all of '09 and did not receive DL days. Slusser also notes that Coco Crisp received a $250K signing bonus, bringing his deal to $5.5MM guaranteed.
Brendan Bianowicz is back with a bunch of updates to the GM Trade History series. The Excel spreadsheets linked below cover each GM's trades, free agent signings, and top draft picks via tabs along the bottom. It's interesting to see each GM's most frequent trade partner - for example, Omar Minaya has matched up with Larry Beinfest and Mark Shapiro most often in his career.
- Washington Nationals - Jim Bowden and Mike Rizzo
- Philadelphia Phillies - Pat Gillick and Ruben Amaro Jr.
- New York Mets - Omar Minaya
- Florida Marlins - Larry Beinfest and Michael Hill
- Atlanta Braves - Frank Wren