Philip Humber Rumors

Odds & Ends: Hunter, Keppinger, Swisher

Links for Monday…

Twins Claim Morillo; Designate Humber

According to La Velle E. Neal III of the Minneapolis Star-Tribune, the Twins claimed reliever Juan Morillo off waivers from the Rockies and designated Philip Humber for assignment.  They must feel that Morillo has more upside given the mid-90s heat.  Both pitchers are out of options.  Tracy Ringolsby of Inside The Rockies notes that the Twins were the 21st in line to make the Morillo claim.

Humber, 26, was chosen third overall by the Mets in '04.  He was traded to the Twins as part of the Johan Santana deal in February of '08.

Cafardo’s Latest: Players Out Of Options

Lots of stuff in Nick Cafardo’s column in the Boston Globe to go over.

With around 100 free agents vying for less than 20 remaining roster spots, things become more interesting with 227 players on big-league rosters who are out of options. If a player is out of options and is not rostered, he has to either be traded or designated for assignment. If designated, that player has to clear waivers. This could affect remaining free agent signings. Cafardo makes note of a few who are out of options and may wind up as trade fodder or designated for assignment before the season begins:

Red Sox: George Kottaras
Yankees: Melky Cabrera
Cubs: Chad Gaudin, Rich Hill (possibly heading to Baltimore?)
Brewers: Tony Gwynn Jr.
Indians: Anthony Reyes, Andy Marte
Twins: Boof Bonser, Philip Humber
Rays: Jeff Niemann
Orioles: David Pauley

  • With Jason Varitek re-signed, the Red Sox will either have to trade catcher Kottaras or designate him for assignment.
  • Cafardo notes Niemann is a former No. 1 pick and the righthander should garner some attention.
  • Bonser or Humber could be traded to land a reliever. Cafardo also mentions Delmon Young as a possible trading chip.

A few more bullets from Cafardo’s notebook:

  • Scott Boras thinks the World Baseball Classic will showcase Ivan Rodriguez and generate "even more" interest for the 14-time All-Star catcher.
  • Cafardo mentioned Manny Ramirez to Omar Minaya and Minaya laughed it off saying, "We’ll look into adding some offense, but only if it makes sense."
  • All quiet on the Jake Peavy front.
  • Cafardo calls Randy Johnson‘s $8MM deal from the Giants as "a stroke of genius" by his agents.
  • In case you missed it, Bobby Kielty signed a minor-league deal with the Mets last week.

Twins Intrigued With Mets’ Johan Offer?

Joe Christensen of the Minneapolis Star-Tribune has a new article up focused on how the ultimate package for Johan Santana may not be fan-pleasing.  That’s because the Twins "seem most intrigued" with the Mets’ offer, which doesn’t include household names.  They’re proposing some combination of Carlos Gomez, Fernando Martinez, Deolis Guerra, Philip Humber, and Kevin Mulvey.  Seems it would be one of the outfielders plus the three pitchers.

Christensen notes the Chuck Knoblauch and A.J. Pierzynski trades as examples of deals that were derided in Minnesota at the time but ended up favoring the Twins.  However I do believe fans are better equipped to evaluate trades these days, the way prospects are followed.  (An aside – I still think we all would’ve praised Brian Sabean at the time of the Pierzynski/Liriano/Bonser/Nathan deal.)

In other Johan news, Sid Hartman has some fresh Hank quotes if you’re interested.

Johan Santana Rumors

It’s time for today’s dose of Johan Santana rumors and info.  It’s funny – I sense that everyone is getting sick of this stuff and would prefer a fresh rumor about, say, Brad Wilkerson

  • Lisa Kennelly wrote this morning that the Mets appear to be sticking to their guns with an offer of Carlos Gomez or Fernando Martinez, Phil Humber, Kevin Mulvey, and Deolis Guerra.  However, she says the Mets prefer Erik Bedard over Santana since he will not require a huge extension.  The New York Times adds that the Mets "are not engaged in heavy discussions with the Twins."
  • MetsBlog’s Matthew Cerrone dives into the situation, summing up recent events and providing some insight from a roundtable that included Ken Rosenthal, Dan Graziano, and Jim Duquette.
  • Michael Silverman, with some help from Baseball America, evaluates each reported package of prospects that has been offered for Santana. 
  • An end may be in sight – the Twins lose leverage if teams truly start to pull out, writes Joe Christensen.

Mets May Have Top Santana Offer; Yanks Backing Off?

UPDATE, 1-10-08 at 11:29am: Christensen says Mets owner Fred Wilpon gave Omar Minaya the green light to try to acquire Santana, meaning he’s amenable to a contract extension exceeding $100MM.

UPDATE, 1-10-08 at 9:38am: Peter Botte of the New York Daily News has a new quote from Hank: he’s "leaning away from" from the Yankees doing a Santana deal.

FROM 1-09-08 at 10:54pm:

Joe Christensen of the Minneapolis Star-Tribune suggests the Mets might be the best fit for Johan Santana.  He says they’re offering four players, three of them pitchers: Deolis Guerra, Carlos Gomez, Kevin Mulvey, and Phil Humber.  It’s a strong package. 

Christensen says the Twins would accept if the Mets added Fernando Martinez to the package (not sure if Martinez would replace Gomez, or it would just be five players instead of four).

Something’s got to give here in the next few weeks – how long can the Santana saga hold up the free agent pitching market?

Dan Haren Will Be Pricey

UPDATE, 12-4-07 at 11:09pm: Hank Steinbrenner weighed in on the Haren-Yankees talks, calling Billy Beane’s request "ridiculous."  The Yankees are out on Haren.

UPDATE, 12-4-07 at 2:00pm: Nick Piecoro’s source says Conor Jackson is not a part of the Haren talks, actually.

UPDATE, 12-4-07 at 12:13pm: The Boston Herald’s Rob Bradford says the A’s and D’Backs have had "constructive talks" about Haren for Carlos Gonzalez, Conor Jackson, and two others.

FROM 12-4-07 at 10:58am:

OK, you already knew that.  But Joel Sherman has details.

  • Billy Beane sees Dan Haren as equal in value to Johan Santana, all things considered.  Over the next three years, that could be true – plus Haren is much more reasonable in terms of salary.
  • Beane’s focus is young pitching.
  • Beane doesn’t want Melky Cabrera from the Yankees.  He wants a package starting with Phil Hughes and one of Ian Kennedy or Alan Horne.
  • Sherman says the Mets don’t have the blue-chippers in Mike Pelfrey, Phil Humber, and Kevin Mulvey
  • The Dodgers and D’Backs match up better for Haren than the Yankees and Mets, though Arizona doesn’t really have the young pitching.
  • Joe Blanton won’t be cheap either; Beane equates him with Brad Penny.
  • Athletics Nation believes Blanton is much more likely to be traded than Haren this winter.

Heyman’s Latest: Santana, Bedard, Willis

UPDATE, 12-3-07 at 5:48pm: Jayson Stark confirms the Reds’ interest in Willis.  However he suggests that the Marlins would ask for Homer Bailey and then some in return.

FROM 12-3-07 at 11:41am:’s Jon Heyman checks in with the latest hot stove banter he’s hearing.  There’s some confusion here as Heyman has contrary info to other published sources.

  • Heyman believes Johan Santana is "more likely than not" to get traded at the Meetings, and quite possibly today. 
  • Heyman says the Red Sox and Yankees are the two teams Santana would waive his veto power for, running contrary to LENIII’s recent note.
  • Heyman reports that the Mets offered Gomez/Humber/Heilman for Erik Bedard, though as you may recall Roger Rubin said it was Lastings Milledge and not Gomez.  Whatever it was, the Orioles weren’t impressed with the offer.  Heyman says the Mets feel they still have a chance.  The Dodgers, Mariners, and loser of Santana will be in on Bedard as well.
  • Heyman seems to indicate the Marlins are still asking for Adenhart and Ervin Santana in a Miguel Cabrera deal, despite Peter Gammons’ comment this morning.
  • The Reds may pursue Dontrelle Willis.  I was thinking they might, the fit makes sense.  A package with Josh Hamilton and one of the Reds’ stud pitchers might be required though.  Also keep in mind that Joe Frisaro said the Marlins plan to keep Willis at least until July.
  • Heyman suggests the Mets could re-acquire Xavier Nady to play right field for them.

Erik Bedard Rumors

The Baltimore Sun’s Jeff Zrebiec has the latest regarding ace Erik Bedard.  Some rank Bedard as the best available starter, all-in-all – he’s under team control for longer than Johan Santana, doesn’t have no-trade rights, and has better stuff than Dan Haren.

  • The Orioles and Bedard’s agent never actually exchanged salary figures, and now contract extension talks have come to a stop.  Andy MacPhail isn’t concerned but no one seems to expect the O’s to pony up the money needed to retain their ace beyond 2009. Johan Santana should set the bar; Bedard may become a $20MM pitcher.
  • Zrebiec lists the Yankees, Mets, Mariners, Angels, and Dodgers as teams that have inquired on Bedard.  It’s surprising to see the Red Sox omitted from that list.
  • The Mets made an offer: Carlos Gomez, Aaron Heilman, and perhaps Phil Humber.  That’s an OK starting point but the O’s could do better.
  • The Dodgers have also had talks with the O’s, with Matt Kemp, Jonathan Broxton, and Clayton Kershaw coming up.  That’s certainly worth mulling over.

Can Mets Acquire An Ace?

We’ve discussed this before…it seems like the Mets don’t stack up with certain other clubs trying to acquire available frontline starting pitching.  Ken Rosenthal definitely feels this wayCarlos Gomez is considered a blue-chipper but the others may not be.

Rosenthal notes that a package starting with Lastings Milledge and Aaron Heilman doesn’t do much for Billy Beane.  The A’s don’t see Milledge as a long-term center field solution, and Heilman is a reliever.  Mike Pelfrey and Phil Humber aren’t the top-shelf pitching prospects the A’s covet in return for Dan Haren or Joe Blanton.  It seems as if the very best package the Mets can assemble might only be enough for Blanton.

The Mets are also after Johan Santana and Erik Bedard, but it’s the same story.  Unless they create a huge hole by trading Jose Reyes, it doesn’t seem they can offer the best package.  Though the Twins still want Reyes, Adam Rubin and Joel Sherman indicate that’s not an option.   

Dipping into the free agent market for Hiroki Kuroda or Carlos Silva seems to make more sense.  One option the Mets have been linked to in the past, Dontrelle Willis, may be off the market now.