Peter Bourjos Rumors
A swap of bad contracts may be the Angels' best way to move Vernon Wells, opines MLB.com's Alden Gonzalez, who lists a few other players with bloated deals that could be acquired in exchange for the remaining two years (and $42MM) on Wells' contract. Even when taking on the likes of John Lackey, Chone Figgins or Barry Zito, however, the Angels would still have to cover the difference on Wells' deal. Gonzalez addressed some other offseason possibilities for the Halos in a reader mailbag....
- Gonzalez predicts the chances of Torii Hunter re-signing with Los Angeles "lean slightly toward him coming back," though the Rangers and Yankees should be interested in the veteran outfielder. Gonzalez predicts Hunter will end up with a one- or two-year contract worth around $9MM per season.
- If Hunter is re-signed, Peter Bourjos could become expendable and would attract attention from several teams in need of center field help.
- The Angels could be better served finding a closer through the trade market than through free agency, Gonzalez opines. He also thinks the Halos should look to add a left-handed reliever.
- The Angels' 2013 payroll should be $10-$15MM lower than last season's $159MM total.
- "The similarities have long been unmistakable" between Alex Rodriguez and Albert Pujols' contracts, Gonzalez writes. While Pujols' numbers have been declining over the last few seasons, there are reasons that Pujols (33 next season) could age more gracefully than Rodriguez, whose future as an everyday player for the Yankees is in question at age 37.
The Rays are saying they’d move any pitcher except David Price and Matt Moore, but Shields is the most likely one to be traded, Knobler tweets. The Angels have discussed a package that includes center fielder Peter Bourjos and catcher Hank Conger. However, they were rebuffed when they offered Bourjos for Shields, Bob Nightengale of USA Today reports.
Shields earns $7MM in 2012 and his contract includes club options for 2013 ($9MM with a $1.5MM buyout) and 2014 ($12MM with a $1MM buyout). Shields, the third-place finisher in last year's AL Cy Young voting, has completed at least 200 innings in every one of his five full seasons. The 30-year-old has a 4.39 ERA with 8.5 K/9 and 2.7 BB/9 in 131 1/3 innings so far in 2012.
The Rays and Angels have talked about a deal that would send right-handed starter James Shields to Anaheim in exchange for outfielder Peter Bourjos and catcher Hank Conger, and possibly right-hander Ervin Santana, a source tells Tim Kurkjian of ESPN.com.
The deal is complex because of the money involved, the source tells Kurkjian, which accounts for Santana's possible inclusion. Santana makes $11.2MM this season with a $13MM club option for 2013. He can become a free agent at season's end with a $1MM buyout.
Shields, 30, could be locked up through 2014 and is considered quite affordable. He's owed $7MM this year with a $9MM club option for 2013 and an $11MM club option for 2014.
Bourjos, Kurkjian reports, would be a likely replacement for B.J. Upton, whom the Rays plan to allow to walk as a free agent this offseason. Conger, meanwhile, was once a pretty well regarded prospect, and the Rays have been rumored to be seeking a catcher.
The Angels continue to seek relief help, even as they pursue high-end rotation upgrades, Danny Knobler of CBSSports.com reports. They have talked to the Nationals about bullpen help and could have interest in Royals closer Jonathan Broxton, Knobler adds. Here’s the latest on the Angels, who now have a 50-41 record:
- The Angels are willing to offer Peter Bourjos for the right reliever and they're suggesting to teams that they would also deal Kendrys Morales, according to Knobler. Starter Garrett Richards could be available in a deal for a top starter such as Zack Greinke, Cole Hamels or Francisco Liriano.
- Adam Katz of WMG now represents Angels right-hander Ervin Santana, Liz Mullen of the Sports Business Journal reports (on Twitter). Agent Bean Stringfellow had represented Santana in the past. Be sure to check out MLBTR’s Agency Database for any information about player representatives.
- Torii Hunter told Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports that there hasn’t been any progress toward a contract extension that would keep him in Anaheim beyond this year. The 37-year-old would like to remain with the Angels, though he would consider other clubs if Los Angeles doesn’t have interest in bringing him back. “If my time is up here, then you think about Minnesota, think about Texas,” Hunter said. “The Angels are No. 1 for me.”
- Heyman keeps hearing that the Blue Jays want to trade Yunel Escobar (Twitter link). The Braves, Escobar’s former team, have little depth at shortstop following injuries to Andrelton Simmons and Jack Wilson, but they’re not interested in Escobar.
- The Angels are willing to trade outfielder Peter Bourjos in some deals, Heyman reports (Twitter link). The 25-year-old has a .243/.298/.360 batting line and won't be arbitration eligible until after the 2013 season.
- The Angels are looking at Hamels, Zack Greinke and potentially available relievers as they aim to improve their pitching staff, Heyman adds.
- Heyman keeps hearing the Marlins could trade Anibal Sanchez (Twitter link). The Braves have expressed interest in Sanchez, who’s earning $8MM in his final season before free agency, Bob Nightengale of USA Today reports (on Twitter).
- The Dodgers are looking in a variety of places for offense, Heyman reports (on Twitter). He suggests Shane Victorino, Jimmy Rollins, Michael Cuddyer, Josh Willingham, Corey Hart and Chase Headley are all possible fits, but says Alfonso Soriano is a no-go.
James Shields isn’t the only member of the Tampa Bay pitching staff who could be traded this summer. The Rays are open to moving any of their right-handed starters, Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reports. Right-handers Jeremy Hellickson, Wade Davis, Alex Cobb and Chris Archer would all appeal to teams in need of pitching. Here are more of Rosenthal’s notes from around MLB...
- The Rays probably won’t sell if it appears Evan Longoria will be able to return before long, but the third baseman’s timeline remains unclear.
- It’s highly unlikely that the Athletics will trade Bartolo Colon, Rosenthal reports. The A’s value Colon more than the mid-level prospects they’d be able to acquire for him in a trade.
- Executives say the Angels have enough young talent to trade for a pitcher of Zack Greinke’s caliber. Though GM Jerry Dipoto is reluctant to trade Peter Bourjos and Garrett Richards, both would appeal to other teams. One executive noted that prospects Jean Segura and Kaleb Cowart are also appealing trade chips.
- The Angels are looking for a left-handed reliever, Rosenthal reports.
- The Cubs are exchanging names with teams interested in Ryan Dempster. The Dodgers, Tigers, Braves and Red Sox are in the mix. A friend of Dempster’s said the right-hander would probably approve a trade to Boston but considers the Dodgers a better fit. The Dodgers have enough prospects to build a package for Dempster, rival executives tell Rosenthal.
- The Red Sox are still interested in Matt Garza, another potential trade chip.
- The prospect-rich Blue Jays are interested in Justin Upton. GM Alex Anthopoulos is pursuing numerous players and willing to listen on all of his own players, Rosenthal writes. The Pirates have shown considerable interest in Upton, but the Diamondbacks don’t view Pittsburgh as a fit.
- The Rangers are almost certain to bolster their bench. One option: upgrade over catcher Yorvit Torrealba.
- It’s not surprising to see the Giants pursuing relief help, Rosenthal writes.
The Angels have told some teams that Peter Bourjos is unavailable and offered the outfielder to other teams for relief help, Danny Knobler of CBSSports.com reports (on Twitter). The fleet-footed 25-year-old has a .237/.293/.348 batting line and won't be arbitration eligible until after the 2013 season. Here are today's links...
- Matt Cain, Robinson Cano and Yovani Gallardo all have considerable surplus trade value, Dave Cameron of FanGraphs writes. New MLBTR readers may not be familiar with Cameron's annual series; it's always an enjoyable one.
- Ryan Dempster told Bob Nightengale of USA Today that he’d be willing to re-sign with the Cubs this coming offseason even if he’s traded this summer. Many teams are interested in Dempster, who can block any trade
- Rogue Sports, an NBA Agency led by Happy Walters, acquired SFX Baseball, Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports reports (on Twitter). SFX represents dozens of MLB players including Justin Verlander, David Ortiz and Miguel Cabrera, as MLBTR's Agency Database shows. For all NBA-related rumors and free agent news check out Luke Adams’ latest posts at MLBTR’s sister site, HoopsRumors.com.
Colorado is the epicenter of scouting activity this afternoon as Cole Hamels starts against the Rockies. The Angels, Dodgers, and Rangers are scouting the Phillie left-hander, according to Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports (Twitter links). The Tigers are on hand taking a look at Marco Scutaro, tweets Tracy Ringolsby of Root Sports. Here's the rest of the news from the AL and NL West with the most recent up top:
- The Dodgers remain high on the Cubs' Ryan Dempster and Matt Garza and also have expressed interest in the Michael Cuddyer of the Rockies and Josh Willingham of the Twins, writes Danny Knobler of CBSSports.com.
- The Angels keep telling teams Peter Bourjos is not available, tweets Knobler.
- The A's don't appear to be a fit with the Diamondbacks for Justin Upton, unless it's part of a multi-team deal, writes Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle.
- In the same piece, Slusser writes, if the A's do make a trade, Bartolo Colon will be the first player dealt because he can net a decent prospect or two and the team has in-house replacement options.
- The A's will be buyers and sellers because they can move veteran starting pitching to fill other needs, tweets ESPN's Buster Olney.
- If the Diamondbacks do become sellers, Jon Morosi of Fox Sports tweets there will be interest in utilityman Willie Bloomquist because he can play short. The question is whether GM Kevin Towers will make him available.
- Earlier today, we learned the Dodgers may no longer be the favorite to land the Cubs' Ryan Dempster. There could a renewed sense of urgency as Chad Billingsley was scratched from his scheduled start today because of elbow pain. Billingsley will have a MRI, tweets MLB.com's Ken Gurnick, who adds manager Don Mattingly is unhappy the right-hander didn't disclose the injury earlier.
The Nationals will win the NL East this year, Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports writes. Bryce Harper appears to have solved the team's center field dilemma in the short term and the team's run prevention has been tremendous. General manager Mike Rizzo says his team's first half success isn't a fluke. “I’m very pleased with it -- don’t get me wrong -- but I’m not shocked by it," he told Morosi. Here are more of Morosi’s notes from around MLB:
- Peter Bourjos would likely intrigue the Phillies if the Angels ask about Cole Hamels, Morosi tweets. The Angels could explore the market for starting pitching depth given Ervin Santana’s first half struggles.
- There was once talk of the Pirates listening to offers on Kevin Correia, but it’s hard to see that happening now that Pittsburgh leads the NL Central, Morosi tweets.
- The Cubs will listen on Bryan LaHair, but their asking price remains high at the moment, Morosi tweets. Here’s more detail on LaHair and other potentially available first basemen.
- A rival executive expects the White Sox to look hard at possible relief help, Morosi tweets. Deunte Heath, Brian Omogrosso, Leyson Septimo, Hector Santiago, Nate Jones and Addison Reed join Matt Thornton in Chicago’s relatively inexperienced ‘pen.
With Chris Carpenter set to undergo season-ending surgery to repair a nerve condition in his shoulder, Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports writes that the Cardinals are in the market for at least one starter and one reliever. St. Louis has trade chips though the new collective bargaining agreement doesn't allow teams to recoup draft pick compensation for rental players, changing the landscape.
Let's round up the rest of Rosenthal's rumors...
- Zack Greinke would likely welcome a trade to - and a chance to sign long-term with - the Cardinals, though it's unclear if the Brewers would be willing to trade him within the division.
- The Astros are prepared to move Wandy Rodriguez and Brett Myers, though Jed Lowrie is essentially unavailable. Rosenthal says they could be an obvious trade partner for St. Louis since GM Jeff Luhnow spent nine years in the Cardinals' front office.
- The Cardinals may not want to invest $20MM+ annually into a pitcher, but both Lance Berkman ($12MM) and Kyle Lohse ($11.875MM) will be off the books after this season.
- The Blue Jays' immediate strategy may be to acquire a modest rotation upgrade before reassessing at the trade deadline, shortly before Brandon Morrow returns from his oblique injury. Rosenthal believes they should consider selling high on Colby Rasmus.
- Teams continue to call the Angels about Peter Bourjos and some believe he could be the centerpiece of a deal for a quality starting pitcher. The Halos believe the young outfielder is a building block for the future, however. They do not appear to be in the market for a pitcher at the moment.
- The difference in income tax rates between Texas (none) and California (among the highest in the country) was an issue for Astros first baseman Carlos Lee as he mulled over a potential trade to the Dodgers. Los Angeles may have been willing to help "bridge the gap" had he shown enthusiasm for the deal.