Phil Coke Rumors

Odds & Ends: Hinch, Soriano, Ellis, Tigers, Ludwick

Links for Friday, before the Giants and Padres continue an immensely important series…


Top Trade Chips: AL Central

Let's continue our look at each club's top trade chips today with the AL Central…

  • Indians: The Tribe have dealt their Opening Day starter in each of the last two seasons, and there's a good chance they'll do it again with Jake Westbrook in 2010. The 32-year-old righty will earn $11MM this season, the last one on his contract. After dumping Cliff Lee and Victor Martinez in cost-cutting moves last year, expect them to shop Westbrook around for prospects this summer.
  • Royals: All four of Kansas City's outfielders come off the books after this season (assuming some options are bought out for six figures), so Rick Ankiel, David DeJesus, Scott Podsednik, and even Jose Guillen could be moved in a deal for a young player. The team would obviously have to eat a lot of money to move Guillen. The contracts of relievers Juan Cruz and Kyle Farnsworth also expire after the season, so there might be some interest in them.
  • Tigers: Detroit isn't going to move any of their young power arms, but if they eat a large chunk of salary like they did with Nate Robertson, there might be interest in Jeremy Bonderman and/or Dontrelle Willis. Young backstop Alex Avila could make Gerald Laird expendable as well. The Tigers have four lefty relievers on their 40-man roster (Phil Coke, Fu-Te Ni, Daniel Schlereth, and Brad Thomas), and that demographic is always in demand.
  • Twins: Minnesota has one of the best trade chips in the league, blocked catching prospect Wilson Ramos. Lefty Glen Perkins is pitching in Triple-A and seems to have fallen out of favor with the club after filing a grievance, so he could be made available as well. He has four years of team control left.
  • White Sox: GM Kenny Williams isn't shy about emptying out the farm system in a trade for an established big leaguer, which has left him with little minor league ammo. Their best young prospects are catcher Tyler Flowers and starter Daniel Hudson, who would seem to have a future with the club, but I'm not going to put anything past Williams. Flowers could make A.J. Pierzynski or Ramon Castro expendable, ditto Hudson and Freddy Garcia. Gordon Beckham should be untouchable, obviously.

Odds & Ends: Beltre, Lyon, Nats, Rangers

Some more links for your Thursday night…



Blockbuster Reactions

WEDNESDAY, 9:03am: Let's add Nick Piecoro's take from the Arizona Republic.  I'm with him – I don't hate it for Arizona as much as most people.  – Tim Dierkes

TUESDAY, 8:27pm: Dave Dombrowski and Brian Cashman might not be commenting on today's big trade, but lots of other people sure are:

  • Drew Sharp of the Detroit Free Press says it's a "damn shame" the Tigers had to trade Curtis Granderson.
  • Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports says the Tigers had to make the move because they're overpaying a group of underperforming veterans. 
  • MLB.com's Jonathan Mayo breaks down the minor leaguers in the deal. For those of you wondering about Austin Jackson's defense, Mayo offers the following: "Many feel he has the skills to be an everyday center fielder at the Major League level, with above-average range and a solid arm." But will he have Granderson's knack for the spectacular play?
  • Dave Cameron of FanGraphs says the deal is very good for the Yankees, okay for the Tigers and bad for the D'Backs.
  • ESPN.com's Keith Law says he has "no idea" why the D'Backs would make this deal. Law considers the Tigers and Yankees winners.
  • Frankie Piliere of AOL FanHouse says the Tigers are "clear winners" in this deal.

What do you think about the deal?


Granderson To Yanks, Edwin Jackson To D’Backs, Scherzer To Tigers

WEDNESDAY, 2:35pm: This deal is official, tweets Joel Sherman of the New York Post.

TUESDAY, 1:24pm: As chronicled here, a three-team blockbuster trade has been agreed upon between the Yankees, Diamondbacks, and Tigers.  The players:

  • The Yankees receive center fielder Curtis Granderson, who turns 29 in March.  Granderson is owed $5.5MM in 2010, $8.25MM in '11, and $10MM in '12, with a $13MM club option/$2MM buyout for '13.  That's $25.75MM guaranteed over the next three years.  Melky Cabrera could now be expendable for the Yankees, and the Cubs are one possible suitor.
  • The Diamondbacks receive a pair of starting pitchers: Edwin Jackson and Ian Kennedy. Jackson, 26, is under team control for '10 and '11 and is owed an arbitration raise on this year's $2.2MM salary.  Kennedy, 25 this month, missed most of the '09 season due to surgery to remove an aneurysm near his shoulder.  As far as I can tell he is under team control for another six seasons.  This is the second year in a row Jackson has been traded at the Winter Meetings.
  • The Tigers receive four players: starter Max Scherzer, relievers Daniel Schlereth and Phil Coke, and center fielder Austin Jackson.  The Tigers get five years of Scherzer, six of Schlereth, five of Coke, and six of Jackson, potentially 22 years of control in total.  Scherzer, 25, and Jackson, 23 in February, are probably considered the prizes of the haul.

Agreement Reached In Yanks, Tigers, D’Backs Blockbuster

12:48pm: Heyman tweets that an agreement has been reached, with only medicals pending.  We'll do a fresh post once this trade is official.  To reiterate: the Yankees get Curtis Granderson, the D'Backs get Edwin Jackson and Ian Kennedy, and the Tigers get Max Scherzer, Daniel Schlereth, Austin Jackson, and Phil Coke.

Sherman notes that the Yankees managed to pull off the Granderson acquisition without giving up Phil Hughes, Joba Chamberlain, or Mike Dunn.

12:35pm: Olney now says this deal is close.  Sherman says medical records are being exchanged on Granderson.  In another tweet Sherman says there's no deadline on the deal, but one source says it's "on the goal line."  He adds that removing Dunn from the deal was key for the Yanks. 

Tyler Kepner of the New York Times says the deal is "very close," and would be Austin Jackson, Coke, Scherzer, and Schlereth to the Tigers, Edwin Jackson and Kennedy to the D'Backs, and Granderson to the Yankees.

12:19pm: Rosenthal says the revised deal has the Tigers getting two players from the Yanks rather than three, with Coke or Dunn out.  AOL FanHouse's Ed Price tweets that the D'Backs and Tigers are awaiting signoff from the Yankees, and expect an answer within 40 minutes.

11:51am: Morosi sees progress being made, while MLB.com's Steve Gilbert thinks this thing is close; the Arizona Republic's Nick Piecoro agrees.

11:24am: More from Olney – the D'Backs are aiming to get Edwin Jackson and Kennedy in the deal.  Olney speaks of "growing confidence on at least two of the sides" involved, and his sources have the odds of a deal in the 20-30% range.  One Heyman source said 50%.

11:15am: Rosenthal and Morosi note that the Yankees and Tigers are open to making a Granderson deal and leaving the D'Backs out of the discussion.  Still, the three-team talks are ongoing and fluid, with the Tigers requiring a "high-ceiling, close-to-the-majors center fielder" as part of the Granderson package.  Austin Jackson could be that player.

ESPN's Buster Olney says it's the Tigers that re-ignited the three-way talks, and they've lowered their asking price.

10:33am: Heyman tweets that this deal is "back with a chance." Mark Feinsand of the New York Daily News agrees, noting that the Tigers "may be caving" on the price for Granderson.  He says the Yanks would likely downgrade one of the pitchers, most likely Dunn.  Wouldn't be the Winter Meetings without three-team trade scenarios and the constant back-and-forth.

10:30am: Just to add a little intrigue, ESPN's Buster Olney says "one idea raised" was the Yankees getting both Granderson and Jackson.  Regardless, two of the teams involved backed out of this three-team mess.

8:29am: SI's Jon Heyman tweets that this one "looks very unlikely."  In his scenario Heyman had Daniel Schlereth, Scherzer, and more going to Detroit.  He adds that the Yankees are saying no to the deal, which would've cost them the four prospects named below.  Similarly, Morosi now finds the chances of this one to be "not good" because the Yankees balked at the price.

7:35am: Buster Olney adds that the talks progressed to the point where only one team liked the deal; he's not sure whether talks can resume or not.

TUESDAY, 7:00am: Morosi tweets that the deal is still a possibility as of this morning, according to one source.

MONDAY, 11:23pm: Joel Sherman of the New York Post hears that the Tigers were never satisfied with the blockbuster talks. 

10:05pm: The D'Backs pushed for a blockbuster three-way deal with the Yankees and Tigers today, only to see one of those two teams veto it, according to Jon Paul Morosi and Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports. However, the teams are discussing the following scenario.

The deal would send Curtis Granderson to the Yanks, along with a prospect or two from the D'Backs. Arizona would obtain Edwin Jackson from the Tigers and Ian Kennedy from the Yankees. The Tigers would obtain Max Scherzer from the D'Backs and Austin Jackson, Phil Coke and Michael Dunn from the Yanks.

Talks are apparently at an "impasse" now, though the D'Backs continue to push for a trade.