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Links for Saturday…
- The Astros claimed 25-year-old pitcher Wilton Lopez off waivers from the Padres and assigned him to Double-A, according to this AP article.
- Nick Piecoro of the Arizona Republic relays some recent Orlando Hudson comments. O-Dog said the D'Backs made him an offer this offseason, it just didn't appeal to him.
- Matthew Cerrone of MetsBlog suggests that we could see the Mets release Marlon Anderson today to make room for Livan Hernandez.
- Richard Justice of the Houston Chronicle sounds confident about the Astros' chances this year.
- John Perrotto of Pirates Report anticipates a 2009 MLB debut for Pedro Alvarez.
- Sean McAdam of the Boston Herald discusses Scott Boras in light of the Nick Adenhart tragedy.
- MLB.com's Scott Merkin reports that the White Sox still haven't found a fit for their leadoff spot.
A few links for Saturday…
- Chuck Finder of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette heard from a talent evaluator who says Pedro Alvarez is the most talented Pirates prospect since Barry Bonds.
- Amalie Benjamin of the Boston Globe looks at some of Chris Carter's quirks.
- Jon Paul Morosi of the Detroit Free Press believes the Tigers need a top-notch closer.
- According to Tom Krasovic of the San Diego Union-Tribune Padres executive Paul DePodesta now reports to GM Kevin Towers, not CEO Sandy Alderson.
- ESPN.com's Buster Olney expects Gary Sheffield to help the Mets.
- MLB.com's Lisa Winston notes that only eight of the 21 Rule 5 draftees are still with their new teams.
- MLB.com's Jennifer Langosch has some minor Pirates transactions.
- And Stephen Strasburg improved to 6-0 last night with six strikeouts in as many innings. The prospect is averaging almost two punchouts per inning, so this is nothing for him.
- Kevin Baxter of the LA Times reports that Torii Hunter thought Strasburg looked sharp.
A few links for Thusrday night…
- Pedro Alvarez, who was drafted by the Red Sox in 2005, remembers thinking about signing with Boston in an article by Alex Speier on WEEI.com.
- Joe McDonald of the Providence Journal heard from Theo Epstein and Terry Francona about building a winning team. Epstein said the Sox have a history of making room for young talent, but Francona added that there’s never room for all the youngsters.
- Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports that Mike Cameron was preparing himself to be traded this offseason and considers it "a blessing" to be in Milwaukee.
- Ironically, Mark DeRosa, who was actually traded, didn’t see it coming at all according to this article by Chris De Luca of the Chicago Sun-Times.
- ESPN.com’s Buster Olney spoke with a number of baseball people who say "baseball’s internal code of conduct is strengthening." Players who act out aren’t getting away with it as often.
- Chico Harlan of the Washington Post reports that Nationals president Stan Kasten didn’t comment directly on whether we should expect any more dismissals within the organization soon.
- Andrew Baggarly of the San Jose Mercury News heard from Giants president Larry Baer that the team doesn’t consider the Edgar Renteria and Jeremy Affeldt signings mistakes.
- And bad news out of Colorado: The Rocky Mountain News will publish its final edition Friday.
The latest on the Pirates, from Dejan Kovacevic of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.
- Extension talks with Nate McLouth are dormant, but talks with Paul Maholm are not. Maholm is arbitration-eligible for the first time this winter, so he’s under team control through 2011.
- Doug Mientkiewicz was overwhelmed by the support he’s getting from Pirates fans.
- Scott Boras apparently told the Pirates Pedro Alvarez was working very hard to stay in shape while their negotiations dragged, but team president Frank Coonelly says Alvarez "was not in good condition" when he showed up for the Florida Instructional League in September.
A few notes from the MLBiverse…
- Ken Williams says the White Sox are in a position where they could either add more young players to develop or add some veteran pieces to the group. Williams says whichever road they choose, the team is "in a pretty good position."
- Joe Posnanski, on his blog, takes a look at some recent rumors surrounding the Royals. He feels that is the rumors have any truth to them, they are scary, noting that it would lead to an OBP-deprived lineup. Posnanski feels Dayton Moore is a "smart baseball man" and won’t make the moves being rumored.
- Cathal Kelly of the Toronto Star looks at the Jays roster and dreams about the free agents that could fill in the holes.
- Paul Hoynes of the Cleveland Plain Dealer says Joe Crede will not return to the White Sox.
- DraftInfo talked to Eric Hosmer about his first year as a pro. Hosmer discussed the Pedro Alvarez situation, noting that he was never worried with Scott Boras as his agent.
Links for Wednesday…
- I did a Q&A with the Roselle Press. The article includes a sweet picture of me hacking the Internet.
- Greg Cote of the Miami Herald speculates on the new-look 2009 Marlins. If defense is a goal, they could look to acquire Adrian Beltre and try Jorge Cantu at first base. Randy Winn could improve the defense in right.
- John Fay runs through the Reds’ nine free agents. He believes Jerry Hairston Jr. wants to return.
- Brian Cashman wants to acquire a real first baseman, rather than have Johnny Damon and Hideki Matsui spend time there.
- The Mariners received permission to interview Blue Jays assistant GM Tony LaCava, according to Geoff Baker.
- It’s still not known whether the Dodgers will bring GM Ned Colletti back for the final year of his contract. Interesting note from ESPN’s Buster Olney – the Andruw Jones signing was engineered by owner Frank McCourt rather than Colletti.
- Olney feels Brian Cashman is more likely to pursue Derek Lowe than Mark Teixeira.
- Will Joe Girardi’s presence discourage free agents from signing with the Yankees?
- McCovey Chronicles sees the Giants trading for a second or third baseman this winter. I tossed out a bunch of names in my Offseason Outlook.
- Pedro Alvarez clammed up when asked precisely what time he accepted the original deal from the Pirates.
- MetsBlog tries to figure out whether Ryan Church loves or hates New York.
- Oliver Perez predicts a tough offseason following the Mets’ final-day elimination. On the bright side, he stands to earn a ridiculous amount of money as a free agent.
Full Story | Comments | Categories: Andruw Jones | Cincinnati Reds | Derek Lowe | Jerry Hairston Jr. | Los Angeles Dodgers | Mark Teixeira | Miami Marlins | Ned Colletti | New York Mets | New York Yankees | Oliver Perez | Pedro Alvarez | Pittsburgh Pirates | Ryan Church | San Francisco Giants | Seattle Mariners | Toronto Blue Jays
Here’s your weekly look back at some of the biggest stories we’ve covered on MLBTR!
- The Pedro Alvarez drama may finally be behind us. The Pirates’ first-round pick agreed to terms with the organization on a new four-year, $6.355MM major league contract. Jim Callis and Dejan Kovacevic have some more insight to offer on the signing here. The contract was officially signed later in the week, and the grievance was resolved. Royals fans and Eric Hosmer are also both relieved that this is over I’m sure.
- The Blue Jays began talking extension with A.J. Burnett this week. Later on, we learned that the Jays would offer a two-year, $30MM extension onto the remaining two years of his contract, bringing the total remaining value to four years, $54MM. Burnett seemed pleasantly surprised with the amount of money the Jays were said to offer. He expected they’d offer less. You’re always going to be wondering just how many innings he can give you in a season, but in a world where Carlos Silva makes $12MM per season, if Burnett is healthy he’d be a steal at this price.
- Lots of question marks for another AL East team’s rotation, with the Yankees trying to figure out just what exactly Andy Pettitte and Mike Mussina are planning for 2009. Pettitte has said that he’ll play for the Yankees or retire. Bringing Pettitte back only makes sense if he’s willing to take a much smaller contract. I think around $10MM would make sense; someone also suggested a $7-8MM deal with incentives. That seems fair as well. As for Mussina, he initially said that he didn’t think he’d pitch in 2009, but later at least discussed the possibility of pitching for 300 wins. His first preference would be to pitch for the Yankees again. Congrats to Moose on picking up win number 20 today, by the way. Another milestone in a great career.
- Erik Bedard’s injury and operation weren’t as serious as thought, and the Mariners now face more of a decision on bringing him back. If he’s healthy enough to pitch, I can’t see a reason not to bring him back. Maybe they can at least get a few months of the pitcher they initially thought they were getting, and get something in return in July.
- Curious about what it will take for your club to reel in that free agent you’re craving? Buster Olney took a look at the market earlier this week that might shed some light on the issue.
- One player who will be in that free agent pool is Orlando Cabrera. He openly criticized his teammates, saying that none of them wanted to win enough, and that "they were the problem," not him. Cabera’s hitting a very weak shortstop market; he should draw a lot of interest from numerous clubs. Interestingly, that article suggests Chicago’s biggest rival – Minnesota – as a possible landing place for Cabrera.
- Two players officially called it quits this week. Todd Jones retired, notching 319 saves in his career. Elsewhere, J.T. Snow signed a one-day contract with San Francisco, so he could officially retire as a Giant.
- Tim updated the Offseason Outlook series with entries for the Reds, Rockies, and Rangers.
- Has anyone seen Brad Penny recently? No? Apparently, neither have the Dodgers.
- Brewers fans, act quickly to snag free tickets to tonight’s game courtesy of Eric Gagne. Nice gesture.
- Of course Ned Colletti wants to re-sign Manny Ramirez. It’s just a question of dollars and years. Does Manny get the rumored 4/100 he might desire?
- The Jays locked manager Cito Gaston up through 2010.
- Richard Griffin says the Blue Jays will be better for it if they lose A.J. Burnett. Meanwhile, River Ave. Blues is open to the idea of the Yankees signing him.
- No, Corey Patterson is not dating Dusty Baker’s daughter. And Baker says he wasn’t behind the signing, either.
- The Reds might not be in the market for a catcher this winter, if they go with Ryan Hanigan as the starter in ’09.
- The Mariners officially founded the 100/100 club.
- Peter Abraham sees the Yankees going with Brett Gardner as the center fielder in 2009. Peter Gammons is "convinced he is going to be an everyday center fielder."
- Sam Mellinger discusses a way to drastically shake up the Royals: trade both Zack Greinke and Joakim Soria for loads of young, cheap players. As he notes, the strategy could work out but might cause a fan revolt.
- Andrew Baggarly wonders if Noah Lowry‘s injury problems could prevent a Matt Cain trade. Also, Baggarly sees a non-tender in Kevin Correia‘s future.
- Frank Coonelly suggested Pedro Alvarez‘s new deal is comparable in value to the original. Scott Boras then jumped on the conference call to say it was a favorable change, and much different from the original. Additionally, Coonelly contacted Baseball America’s Jim Callis to dispute the idea of a premeditated plan to negotiate with Alvarez after the deadline.
- The Marlins will focus on improving their defense this winter.
Full Story | Comments | Categories: A.J. Burnett | Brett Gardner | Cincinnati Reds | Corey Patterson | Eric Gagne | Joakim Soria | Kansas City Royals | Kevin Correia | Los Angeles Dodgers | Manny Ramirez | Matt Cain | Miami Marlins | Milwaukee Brewers | New York Yankees | Noah Lowry | Pedro Alvarez | Pittsburgh Pirates | San Francisco Giants | Scott Boras | Seattle Mariners | Toronto Blue Jays | Zack Greinke
5:47pm: Alvarez’s contract is signed.
3:26pm: MLB just issued a press release…the dispute has been resolved. Alvarez and Eric Hosmer are free to play ball.
10:06am: According to Dejan Kovacevic of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Pedro Alvarez and Scott Boras are in downtown Pittsburgh this morning. The union’s grievance might be dropped today (testimony has been postponed), and Alvarez should take his physical and sign the contract soon.
A few questions to ponder. If Alvarez wins ROY in 2010, will all be forgiven in Pittsburgh? And will the Pirates be willing to use their early first-round pick next year on a Boras client?
- After Bud Selig testified on the first day of the hearing, Scott Boras and the Pirates got in touch (it’s not known who broke the ice). The Pirates renegotiation doesn’t look great for president Frank Coonelly, who was publicly against the idea.
- Callis implies that MLB and the Pirates may have made a calculated move by finishing the Alvarez deal after the deadline. Maybe Boras and Alvarez aren’t the villains here, after all. Unlike the Julio Borbon signing in ’07, the Pirates didn’t contact the players union for approval of the extension. Hopefully Alvarez is given a fair shake by baseball fans.
- Callis considers the new deal an improvement for Alvarez and Boras, despite the present-day value of $5.67MM. The Pirates save face with the lower number, but ultimately it looks like Boras and Alvarez won this battle.