Phil Nevin Rumors

Quick Hits: Tigers, Nevin, Murphy, Polanco

The Tigers have a clear need for bullpen help but finding relief arms is easier said than done,’s Chris Iott writes.  Iott’s reasons include the difficulty of making trades this early in the season, the scarcity of quality left-handers and the amount of competition that Detroit could have in signing free agent Joel Hanrahan.

A few more items from around baseball…

  • Phil Nevin, the Diamondbacks‘ Triple-A manager, would likely be the choice to replace Kirk Gibson in the Major League dugout if GM Kevin Towers decides a change is necessary, USA Today’s Bob Nightengale reports.  This is only Nevin’s first season in the Arizona organization, though he has ties to Towers from his playing days in San Diego (when Towers was the Padres’ GM).  Prior to joining the D’Backs, Nevin managed the Tigers’ Triple-A team from 2011-13 and their Double-A team in 2010.
  • John Ryan Murphy has drawn the attention of several opposing scouts and the young catcher could become a sought-after trade chip for the YankeesJohn Harper of the New York Daily News reports.  “Some team might see him as a guy who could start for them,’’ one scout told Harper. “He’s solid with the bat and behind the plate.’’
  • Delaying a prospect’s Super Two service clock “is not a driving factor” behind the Pirates‘ decision to call up a young star, GM Neal Huntington tells Rob Biertempfel of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review in regards to Gregory Polanco‘s continued presence at Triple-A.  Huntington said that Polanco is “continuing to refine some of the intricacies of his game” and didn’t give details for fear that opposing teams would use the info against the outfielder (an explanation that Biertempfel doesn’t buy).  Polanco currently has a 1.104 OPS in 100 PA at Triple-A this season and his bat would be a big addition to the offensively-challenged Bucs lineup.

Draft Notes: Phillies, White Sox, Brewers, Nationals

The first round of the MLB draft takes place tomorrow night.  Here are the latest notes on the draft:

  • The Phillies intend to spend their entire draft pool of $4.9MM on their first ten picks and will draft a position player early, Matt Gelb of the Philadelphia Inquirer writes.
  • White Sox scouting director Doug Laumann told the Chicago Tribune's Dave Van Dyck he doesn't expect to find an immediate impact player in the draft.  “It’s probably as thin as I've seen in a decade,” Laumann said. “We see that it's pretty thin right now in the college ranks."
  • Brewers amateur scouting director Bruce Seid doesn't think there much of a talent dropoff after the first ten picks, according to Adam McCalvy of  The Brewers have the 27th, 28th, and 38th selections.
  • Nationals GM Mike Rizzo isn't letting the new CBA impact his draft strategy, says's Bill Ladson.
  • The Padres will keep an eye out for shortstops in the draft, says Corey Brock of
  • The Astros have the first overall pick in the draft for the first time in 20 years.'s Brian McTaggart recalls how that missed pick (Phil Nevin) affected the franchise.

Padres Need A Bat

The Padres are currently 13th in the NL in OBP and 10th in slugging.  They could really use a hitter – Mike Cameron and Kevin Kouzmanoff have been offensive black holes, Brian Giles has less power than his brother, Khalil Greene never gets on base, and Josh Bard batted cleanup a few days ago.

Phil Nevin‘s agent and apparently a San Diego radio station have been campaigning for the Padres to sign the free agent.  I think his supporters are more focused on the 22 homers than the fairly meager .438 SLG or the fact that Nevin can’t play defense.  Tim Sullivan of the San Diego Union-Tribune throws out three other possible upgrades at third base: Troy Glaus, Hank Blalock, and Ryan Zimmerman.

Blalock seems to be bouncing back so far; he’s at .292/.346/.467.  Kevin Towers and Jon Daniels have hooked up for two deals – one the infamous Adam Eaton trade, and the other a minor one that sent Freddy Guzman to Texas. 

We discussed Glaus yesterday – he would have to have a desire to come to San Diego.  Some scouts from other teams have been spotted at recent Blue Jays games, but the Padres were not among them.  As for Zimmerman, I would imagine the Nationals want to build around him.

We went through a Kevin Towers analysis last year, when the Padres were more clearly in need of a third baseman.  We learned that Towers has strong connections with Bill Bavasi and also the Red Sox.  That could make Adrian Beltre and Mike Lowell legitimate candidates.  Lowell is in his walk year and has slugged a surprising .549 so far.


Twins Trade For Phil Nevin

Given that the Twins rank second from the bottom of the AL in home runs, they acquired a DH type with some pop: Phil Nevin.

Nevin’s had his ups and downs this year between the Rangers and Cubs, but he is slugging .456 in 355 ABs.  Twins’ DHs have been a void this season so Nevin can only help.  Minnesota currently trails the White Sox by a half game for the AL wild card. 

Nevin’s $10MM salary ranks second on his new club, though the Cubs are footing some of the bill in hopes of receiving a decent prospect.

Clemens Signs, Nevin to Cubs

The long expected Roger Clemens signing with Houston has finally been made official.  One less distraction; the sideshow is finally over.  Until Clemens decides there’s a slight chance he pitches in 2007.  The Astros are 6.5 games back and Clemens should provide a several-win boost over the likes of Fernando Nieve.

The Cubs are 11 games under .500, 12.5 out of first, but they’re not giving up.  Jim Hendry just swapped Jerry Hairston for Phil Nevin, a clear win now type move for a team with little chance of winning now.  Cubs fans shouldn’t mind the deal, given that the Rangers should take on most of Nevin’s salary.  Would’ve been nice if Hendry could’ve pulled this off a month ago though.

Finally, Pat Burrell was curiously absent from the Philadelphia lineup given all the trade rumors swirling about.  Burrell makes plenty of sense for the Yanks if they can get him, but they can’t afford to give up any decent starting pitching.