Orlando Cabrera Rumors

NL East Notes: Lidge, Cabrera, Nationals, Wright

It's been a busy offseason in the NL East and Yoenis Cespedes and Prince Fielder could join the division before the winter's up. Here are the latest links…

  • The Phillies have stayed in touch with Brad Lidge this offseason, Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com tweets.
  • The Braves have not offered Roy Oswalt a contract, David O’Brien of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution tweets.
  • The Braves offered Orlando Cabrera a one-year deal this winter, Yahoo's Tim Brown tweets. Cabrera, who announced his retirement yesterday, presumably obtained the offer before the Braves re-signed Jack Wilson six days ago.
  • The Nationals could hope to double or triple the $29MM they obtained from MASN last year when they reset their regional TV deal, Adam Kilgore of the Washington Post confirms. The team hired an outside expert to re-negotiate the deal in the hopes of boosting revenues substantially, Kilgore adds. Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reported earlier this month that the Nationals' TV revenues could “double, triple or more” when they reset the deal.
  • Any team that acquires David Wright from the Mets this summer wouldn't get a draft pick if he opts out of his contract after the season and leaves as a free agent, Adam Rubin of ESPNNewYork confirms on Twitter. Wright can void a $16MM club option for 2013 if he's traded, so Rubin suggests the third baseman's trade value may be highest next offseason.

Orlando Cabrera To Retire

Longtime MLB shortstop Orlando Cabrera said on a Colombian radio station that he will retire from baseball, reports ElHeraldo.co. Cabrera spent 15 seasons in the Major Leagues, winning two Gold Gloves and collecting 2,055 hits along the way.

The 37-year-old Colombia native signed with the Expos in 1993, made his MLB debut four years later and played for Montreal until the Red Sox traded for him in 2004. After winning a championship in Boston, Cabrera moved on to the Angels, White Sox, Athletics, Twins, Reds, Indians and Giants. He retires with a .272/.317/.390 career batting line, 123 home runs and 216 stolen bases. Baseball-Reference pegs his career wins above replacement at 18.3 and his career earnings at $51.7MM.

Quick Hits: Bailey, Reds, Rays, Rhodes, Posada

While we wait for the big free agents to make their decisions, here's a grab bag of links from Day Three at the Winter Meetings:

  • The Athletics feel like they're much closer to moving Andrew Bailey than Gio Gonzalez, but even that may not happen until after the Meetings, tweets Joel Sherman of the New York Post.
  • GM Walt Jocketty finds the lack of action in Dallas for the Reds so far "very frustrating," says MLB.com's Mark Sheldon. Jocketty said he was approached with one proposal today that' he's considering, but "nothing is close."
  • Candidates for the Royals' utility infielder opening include Edgar Renteria, Mark DeRosa, Orlando Cabrera, and Carlos Guillen, tweets Bob Dutton of the Kansas City Star. No deals are imminent.
  • The Rays are still attempting to figure out the best way to bolster their offense, writes Bill Chastain at MLB.com.
  • The Mariners are displaying interest in Arthur Rhodes, tweets Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports.
  • Jorge Posada would still like to play if he can find the right situation, tweets Jon Heyman of MLB Network.
  • Former Angels GM Bill Stoneman will return to the team for another year as special advisor to the GM, tweets Mike DiGiovanna of the Los Angeles Times.

Elias Rankings For Free Agents Who Switched Leagues

Every summer prospective free agents on non-contenders get traded to new teams and, sometimes, to different leagues. The Elias Rankings for free agents are separate for the American and National Leagues, so players who projected as Type Bs in the American League won't necessarily project as Type Bs if they are dealt to the NL. Here's an update on the Elias Rankings for the prospective free agents who were traded between leagues last week (current projections, last week's projections):

  • Edwin Jackson, Cardinals – A Type B in the American League, Jackson remains a Type B with St. Louis.
  • Octavio Dotel, Cardinals – He was a Type B with Toronto and his status hasn't changed.
  • Orlando Cabrera, Giants – He remains unranked in the NL. He's close to Type B status, however.
  • Derrek Lee, Pirates – Like Cabrera, Lee remains unranked, but within striking distance of Type B status.
  • Kosuke Fukudome, Indians – Though Fukudome cannot be offered arbitration, his projected ranking changed from a Type B to unranked.

Giants Acquire Orlando Cabrera

It appears that Orlando Cabrera is headed for October baseball yet again. The infielder, who has appeared in four consecutive postseasons for four different teams, is going to San Francisco in exchange for outfield prospect Thomas Neal, the Indians announced.

With Mark DeRosa, Freddy Sanchez and Miguel Tejada on the disabled list, the defending World Champions needed infield depth. Cabrera, who will become San Francisco's primary shortstop, began the season as the Indians' everyday second baseman and has since transitioned into more of a utility role. The 36-year-old Colombia native has a .244/.277/.321 line in 344 plate appearances at second, third and short this year.

Meanwhile, the Indians will continue rely on rookie infielders Jason Kipnis and Lonnie Chisenhall, two of the top prospects the Indians did not send to Colorado in the deal that will send Ubaldo Jimenez to Cleveland.

Neal, 23, has spent the 2011 season at Triple-A Fresno, where he has a .295/.351/.409 line. Baseball America ranked him 96th among all MLB prospects before the 2010 season and seventh among Giants prospects before the 2011 season. Neal, who played on a youth travel team with Mike Leake, Stephen Strasburg and the son of Giants manager Bruce Bochy, has an enviable combination of power and arm strength, according to Baseball America, which suggested he could become an everyday player. However, Neal has seen his power numbers decline this year (13 doubles, two homers, .409 slugging percentage).

Danny Knobler of CBSSports.com broke the news and Henry Schulman of the San Francisco Chronicle added detail.

Heyman On Padres, Athletics, Twins

The latest from SI's Jon Heyman

  • The Padres are being aggressive in engaging in trade discussions, say executives who have spoken to them.  They're even willing to discuss dominant set-up man Mike Adams, who is under team control for next year.  Many teams prefer Adams over closer Heath Bell, who Heyman says is "very likely" to be dealt.  There are a couple of surprise suitors for Bell, but one exec told Heyman the righty "won't bring as much as you think."
  • The impending returns of Rich Harden, Brandon McCarthy, and Tyson Ross are delaying the Athletics' decision on whether to sell.  If they do sell, here's a look at who might be available.
  • A rival executive believes the Mets would have to be bowled over to trade Jose Reyes, though teams seem convinced Carlos Beltran and Francisco Rodriguez will be traded.  Teams haven't even called the Mets yet about Reyes' availability, tweets ESPN's Buster Olney.
  • Heyman says that the Dodgers have not received any calls on Matt Kemp.
  • Though they are nine games out, Heyman says there is no evidence the Twins will start shopping soon.  A competing exec thinks they'll stand pat.  While Michael Cuddyer would be coveted, his value in the clubhouse might compel the Twins to keep him.
  • The Giants don't have much interest in Cleveland's Orlando Cabrera, writes Heyman.
  • The Reds "seem reluctant" to trade catcher Ramon Hernandez.  For more on Hernandez, click here.
  • The Rockies are in wait-and-see mode, but if they sell they'll look to move closer Huston Street.  Street is signed through 2012 with a club option for '13.

Quick Hits: Deadline, Reds, Asdrubal, Pirates, Rox

Another assortment of links for your Sunday viewing pleasure…

  • Tim Sullivan of the San Diego Union Tribune opines that Major League Baseball should push the trading deadline back. Sullivan's piece includes quotes from Padres GM Jed Hoyer and Yankees GM Brian Cashman, and is an excellent read. Sullivan reminds us that in 2004, there was a 50-50 split in a GM poll that asked whether they'd prefer to move the deadline to August 15 or keep the status quo.
  • Reds GM Walt Jocketty is sticking with the combination of Edgar Renteria and Paul Janish in lieu of promoting top prospect Zack Cozart (and presumably making a trade as well), writes MLB.com's Mark Sheldon. Jocketty praises the glove work of Janish and Renteria.
  • Orlando Cabrera may not be setting the world on fire with the Indians, but Ken Rosenthal's latest column suggests that the move may have a benefit that goes beyond the stat sheet; during Spring Training, O-Cab encouraged Asdrubal Cabrera, saying he shouldn't be afraid to "let it fly" after marveling at the shortstop's power in batting practice. Asdrubal has already belted a career-high 12 homers.
  • Bill Brink of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazzette writes that Pirates manager Clint Hurdle is working with the front office to re-evaluate the offense. The Bucs have looked outside the organization to make improvements, but other teams weren't ready to deal.
  • Troy E. Renck of the Denver Post looks at the Rockies' need for starting pitching in the wake of Jorge de la Rosa's injury, but says the Rox need something more than a fourth or fifth starter in any trade. He also opines that Clayton Mortensen and Greg Reynolds should get a look before any big moves are made.

Cafardo On Capps, Clippard, Athletics, Cabrera

There are indications that Cubs owner Tom Ricketts could be considering a management overhaul in Chicago, and Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe thinks Ricketts would do well to hire as many Red Sox people as possible. Cafardo suggests that Allard Baird, Ben Cherington, and DeMarlo Hale are among the names that should be attractive to the Cubs. Here are some other highlights from the Globe's Sunday Notes:

  • Matt Capps should draw plenty of trade interest if the Twins decide to move him. However, the closer likely won't become available until the Twins are absolutely sure they're out of the race, as the defending AL Central champs will be reluctant to give up on their season.
  • If the Nationals are willing to deal him, there will be a strong market for setup man Tyler Clippard. Cafardo speculates that Clippard would be a good fit for the Yankees or Phillies.
  • An AL GM on the Athletics' decision to replace manager Bob Geren with Bob Melvin: "[GM Billy] Beane made the move now because he thought there was something to salvage. They still have the pitching. So it’s not out of the realm of possibility."
  • Any contenders with interest in Orlando Cabrera may be able to acquire him sooner rather than later, after the Indians' promotion of Cord Phelps reduced Cabrera to a part-time role.
  • Jason Bay's most recent slump had the Mets' $66MM man out of the lineup this week. "His bat is slow and he’s just not himself," said one veteran scout. "The ballpark [Citi Field] isn’t good for him, but the way he hit his home runs, I never thought that was a big issue."

Quick Hits: Pirates, Cabrera, Realignment, Oeltjen

Links for Saturday, as a pair of offseason headliners (Cliff Lee and Matt Garza) prepare to face off in Philadelphia this afternoon…

  • The Pirates have been asking around for a catcher but have found that the asking prices are high as clubs want to take advantage of their situation, tweets Jenifer Langosch of MLB.com.  Pittsburgh is in a bind with Ryan Doumit and Chris Snyder on the disabled list.
  • As the Giants look for infield help, ESPN's Buster Olney (via Twitter) says that Orlando Cabrera is a name to keep an eye on.  The veteran just lost his everyday job in Cleveland and the Giants were close to inking him over the winter.
  • After the Orioles tabbed Dylan Bundy with the fourth overall pick in the draft, Dan Connolly of The Baltimore Sun takes a look at Adam Loewen, the No. 4 pick that got away.
  • Major League Baseball and the players' association have discussed doing away with divisions altogether and balancing out the leagues to 15 teams each, writes ESPN.com's Buster Olney.  The new structure would have teams vying for five playoff spots in each league.  The odds of this happening, however, are still less than 50-50, according to one source.
  • Dylan Hernandez of The Los Angeles Times says that Trent Oeltjen could have become a free agent if the Dodgers didn't add him to the Major League roster by June 15th (Twitter link). Oeltjen was called up two days ago.
  • In a piece for ESPN, Jim Bowden wrote about how GM's prepare to make trades, a process that usually begins with low-ball offers being exchanged.
  • The writers at FanGraphs conducted a franchise player draft, selecting a player they would build a team around. Evan Longoria and Troy Tulowitzki were the first two off the board.
  • The Royals have signed 16 draft picks according to MLB.com's Dick Kaegel. The highest signed pick was ninth rounder Aaron Brooks.

Rosenthal On Betemit, Reds, Indians

The latest from Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports…

  • The Marlins are "among the teams tracking" Royals third baseman Wilson Betemit.  The 29-year-old is a free agent after the season and has hit .303/.378/.488 in 492 plate appearances in his Royals career.  Betemit is earning only $1MM, so any team could fit him in.  He has experience all around the infield and has dabbled at the outfield corners as well.  MLBTR's Ben Nicholson-Smith discussed his trade candidacy earlier this month.
  • "There is not a lot of pitching to be had. It would be tough to get anyone if we do need someone," remarked Reds GM Walt Jocketty to Rosenthal.  The Reds' rotation has been surprisingly lousy this year, but Travis Wood, Bronson Arroyo, and Mike Leake are not as bad as their cumulative 5.33 ERA suggests.
  • Orlando Cabrera's impact is "very difficult to quantify," Indians GM Chris Antonetti tells Rosenthal.  You have to wonder if O-Cab could provide the same intangibles off the bench, allowing the Tribe to start Cord Phelps or Jason Kipnis at second base.