Paul Lo Duca Rumors
Let's dig through today's rumor bin...
- The Jays claimed southpaw Reid Santos off waivers from the Indians. MLB.com's Anthony Castrovince says the Indians are clearing room on their 40-man roster in preparation for the winter.
- Dejan Kovacevic has yet to observe why new Pirates third baseman Andy LaRoche is so highly regarded.
- Jamey Newberg feels Hank Blalock's $6.2MM option for '09 is an easy call to exercise.
- J.C. Bradbury sees a rift within the Braves organization.
- Craig Calcaterra dismisses the silly idea of Frank McCourt suing Andruw Jones.
- Paul Lo Duca would prefer a non-guaranteed deal next year if he gets a chance to compete for a starting job.
- Ian O'Connor doesn't see Alex Rodriguez finishing his contract as a Yankee.
- C.C. Sabathia just wants to be happy in his next destination.
- Will the Braves re-sign Mike Hampton this winter? Is it possible both he and Carl Pavano are useful pitchers in 2009?
Here's a quick look back at some of the bigger stories on MLBTR over the past week:
- D'Backs ace Dan Haren signed a very affordable extension with the team, which would keep him in Arizona through 2012 with an option for 2013. Great deal for the D'Backs and their fans.
- Brian Giles was claimed off waivers by the Red Sox, which is now believed to have been an effort to block the Rays from acquiring him. Giles blocked the trade to Boston with his no-trade clause.
- The Rockies acquired Livan Hernandez from the Twins. Minnesota won't receive a player in return, but unloads Hernandez's remaining $1.5MM on his contract, as well as his 5.48 ERA. Seems fine to me.
- Fifteen teams watched a throwing session from Freddy Garcia. Here are a few reactions.
- Relievers on the move: The Cubs DFA'ed Scott Eyre, and traded him to the Phillies the next day. The Rays acquired Chad Bradford from the Orioles, and DFA'ed Al Reyes in order to make room for him. In a rare inter-division trade, the Royals traded Horacio Ramirez to the White Sox. Huston Street was claimed, but is staying put.
- Position players on the move: Felipe Lopez signed with the Cardinals, the Mariners released Jose Vidro, and the Marlins signed Paul Lo Duca in addition to claiming Brad Ausmus off waivers. No word on whether or not a deal will be worked out for Ausmus yet.
- A few glimpses into 2009? Rafael Furcal hopes to re-sign with the Dodgers. Bobby Abreu hopes to be wearing Yankee pinstripes again, and the Nationals hope Willie Harris is a part of the organization again as well.
- Tim made a list of waiver trade candidates for both the American League and National League and compiled a list of players who were known to have cleared waivers in 2007. Remember, these are just players who would likely clear waivers, whether because of their talent level or contractual status. Teams often place big-name players on waivers that they have no intention of trading.
According to Joe Frisaro of MLB.com, the Marlins signed Paul Lo Duca to a minor league deal today. Lo Duca will head to Triple A as the team's insurance plan.
The Nationals signed Lo Duca for a hefty $5MM in December of '07, three days before he was named in the Mitchell Report. The 36 year-old hit just .230/.301/.281 in 153 plate appearances, hobbled by knee surgery and a broken bone in his throwing hand. Lo Duca was a Marlin for part of the '04 season and all of '05, though he did not hit well for them.
Additionally, Joe Capozzi of the Palm Beach Post reports that the Marlins claimed Brad Ausmus off waivers from the Astros. It's unclear whether they'll work out a deal or salary dump. Ausmus is owed another $590K this year.
We saw the non-waiver trade deadline come and go this week, and plenty of action to go along with it. Let's recap the big moves of the week:
- The Dodgers, Pirates, and Red Sox completed a three-team, blockbuster trade that sent Manny Ramirez to Los Angeles, Jason Bay to Boston, and Andy LaRoche, Bryan Morris, Craig Hansen, and Brandon Moss to Pittsburgh. The Pirates got a pretty nice haul, and while Bay won't necessarily replace Manny's production, he's much more affordable, signed through '09, and doesn't disrupt the clubhouse. The Dodgers add the big bat they need for a push in the NL West, though are now overloaded with overpaid outfielders. All in all, I don't think any team made a bad deal in this one.
- The Angels made a big move in adding Mark Teixeira to their lineup, sending Casey Kotchman and minor league pitcher Stephen Marek to Atlanta in exchange. The Angels didn't need help at the time - they're running away with the AL West - but this move will undoubtedly be significant in the postseason. Great boost to the Halos' lineup.
- The White Sox and Reds completed a trade that sent Ken Griffey Jr. to Chicago in exchange for Nick Masset and Danny Richar. I don't understand this trade from the Sox perspective. Griffey was only hitting .245 at the time of the trade, and his range in center field isn't close to what it once was. Still, he's a presence in both the lineup and the clubhouse. Will playing for a contender rejuvenate him?
- The Yankees acquired future hall-of-famer Ivan Rodriguez from the Tigers in exchange for Kyle Farnsworth. With Jorge Posada out for the season, New York did a good job of solidifying their catcher's spot, while the Tigers got some much-needed improvement in their bullpen.
- The Twins aren't known for making big trades at the deadline, and they held true to that in 2008. However, they made a move that could be bigger than any trade they might have made, when they designated Livan Hernandez for assignment, and recalled Francisco Liriano from Triple-A Rochester. The Twins DFA'ed Craig Monroe as well. The Rockies are looking for a fifth starter, and could have interest in Hernandez.
- Relievers on the move: Arthur Rhodes was traded to the Marlins, giving them another effective lefty option in the bullpen. The Astros acquired LaTroy Hawkins, still buying despite being 9.5 games out of the wildcard race at the time.
- The Nationals released Paul Lo Duca and Felipe Lopez. Both were highly unsuccessful this season, though they could generate interest from other teams.
- Tim explained the rules behind waiver trades for those who are unfamiliar with how the process works after the July 31st non-waiver deadline. He also takes a look at some noteable names who stayed put at the deadline.
- Minor moves: The Yankees signed Victor Zambrano to a minor league contract, while the Red Sox did the same with former Cleveland closer Joe Borowski.
- The Diamondbacks are talking extension with their second ace, Dan Haren.
- USA Today wrote an article on MLBTR. Check it out!
The Washington Post is reporting that the Nationals released both Paul Lo Duca and Felipe Lopez following tonight's game. The move was made to free-up space on the roster for Elijah Dukes and Emilio Bonifacio.
Lo Duca was hitting .230/.301/.281 in 139 at bats this season and made $5MM on a one-year deal. Lopez was hitting .231/.303/.309 in 324 at bats and was in his final arbitration-eligible season, making $4.9MM.
1:38pm: Jayson Stark says Fuentes is staying put. A little more than an hour left til the deadline.
9:33am: Mark Zuckerman of the Washington Times says the Nationals are leaning toward keeping Redding, and have even had preliminary extension talks with him. Trades of Paul Lo Duca, Odalis Perez, and Felipe Lopez are also unlikely.
THURSDAY, 8:31am: Troy E. Renck of the Denver Post indicates the Rockies want to keep Fuentes. He says they're looking at starters such as Tim Redding, Josh Fogg, and Paul Byrd. Redding's stock dropped last night with an ugly start.
WEDNESDAY, 9:12pm: On Sunday, Rockies GM Dan O'Dowd termed a Brian Fuentes trade "highly unlikely." However, ESPN's Jayson Stark says the Rockies will decide late tonight whether to put Fuentes on the market. The Mets, Phillies, and Rays are out given the high asking price.
Ken Rosenthal wrote earlier that the Rockies were "poking around" with interested parties, still asking for a young MLB starting pitcher or two good prospects.
The NL East is a three-team race, with the Mets, Phillies, and Marlins all within a game of each other. Who'd have thought the Marlins would be contending after trading Miguel Cabrera?
According to Mike Berardino of the South Florida Sun-Sentinel, the Marlins have intensified their search for a catcher. The targets: Bengie Molina, Ramon Hernandez, Gerald Laird, and Ryan Doumit. Molina and Hernandez are the pricey options. Doumit would be especially tough to pry loose; he has a .937 OPS this year as a 27 year-old.
MLB.com's Joe Frisaro wonders if Miguel Olivo, Gregg Zaun, and Paul Lo Duca could also enter the mix. He says it could even be a three-way possibility where the Jays acquire Olivo and move him to Florida.
The Marlins are also hunting for a lefty reliever, with Arthur Rhodes, Jack Taschner, John Grabow, Eddie Guardado, George Sherrill, Will Ohman, and Alan Embree all considered candidates. Dejan Kovacevic rattled off five suitors for Grabow this morning, the Marlins not among them. Also, the Marlins' interest in Guardado is light. The Giants and Mariners both scouted the Marlins recently, and Berardino wonders if Mike Jacobs would interest them.
Berardino says acquiring a catcher and reliever in one trade would be ideal. The one Marlins minor leaguer considered off-limits is Sean West.
Dan Graziano of the Newark Star-Ledger says the Yankees have inquired on four catchers: Gerald Laird, Paul Lo Duca, Miguel Olivo, and Rod Barajas.
- Laird, 28, is expected to rejoin the Rangers Saturday after his hamstring injury. He's a Boras client with a $1.6MM salary this year. He's under team control through 2010, and Ken Rosenthal says the Rangers want young pitching for him.
- Lo Duca, 36, will be a free agent after the season. He's got about $1.9MM left on his contract this year. He understands that he's a strong trade candidate.
- Olivo, 30, is splitting time with John Buck in Kansas City. Olivo has hit lefties quite well. He has a $2.7MM club option for '09. Rosenthal says the Royals are "aggressively shopping" him.
- Barajas, 32, is slumping currently. He has a $2.5MM club option for '09. Eddie Bajek took a stab at projecting the Elias rankings for catchers, and Barajas seems to be right on the border of Type B status. However, he might choose to accept an offer of arbitration. Peter Abraham says that the Blue Jays might be reluctant to trade within the division.
Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald writes of the Marlins' pursuit of a catcher, which has been going on for several weeks now.
The Fish would like to find an upgrade on Matt Treanor, who is currently on the DL with a hip strain. However, they're not impressed by available backstops Paul Lo Duca, Yorvit Torrealba, and Dave Ross. Jackson adds an interesting name - the Marlins asked the Tigers about Ivan Rodriguez, but he's not available at this time. They could always sign him in the offseason if the price is right.
We revisited the trade market for catchers about a week ago. Two names I haven't heard much for the Marlins are Gregg Zaun and Rod Barajas of the Jays.
Here's a list of loose links (sink ships) from today:
- The A's officially inked Michel Inoa for $4.25MM.
- Corey Brock of MLB.com has a piece on the Padres' international signings. More here from the man himself, Paul DePodesta.
- The Marlins are still looking for a catcher, and one of their former guys might be available. That would be Paul Lo Duca. With the Nats out of it, could they swap Lo Duca within the division? And would they assume part of Lo Duca's remaining salary? Keep in mind that MLB.com's Joe Frisaro said yesterday that the Marlins were "not serious" about Lo Duca.
- Ozzie Guillen is completely content with the current White Sox team. Other than an underperforming and injured Paul Konerko, they're looking solid.
- Sam Mellinger goes over the Royals trade options. It's full of the usual suspects: Mark Grundielanek and Ron Mahay. He also mentions Esteban German, who in the past might have intrigued teams as a solid utility player, but who has dropped off considerably in 2008.
- The best way to rebuild the Mariners? Trade Ichiro, says Scott Miller.