Placido Polanco Rumors
Some Saturday morning links...
- Bernie Miklasz of The St. Louis Post Dispatch says the Cardinals blew it by telling the fans and media that they'd make an aggressive attempt to re-sign Matt Holliday. How could they have blown it when there's still a chance he could come back?
- Both David Murphy of The Philadelphia Daily News and Scott Lauber of The News Journal looked at the Phillies' long-term payroll now that Placido Polanco is on board for the next three years.
- The Mets are among the teams on Jason Marquis' wish list, writes Ben Shpigel of The NY Times, and the team has reciprocated that interest. Shpigel adds that the Mets are trying to find a "sturdy starter" from a group that includes Marquis, Joel Pineiro, and Randy Wolf.
- The Rays have a week to decide whether they'll tender a contract to Dioner Navarro, and executive vice president Andrew Friedman "indicated this week he might need every hour until that deadline to make a decision," according to Roger Mooney of The Tampa Tribune.
- In a highly recommended feature by Tim Sullivan of The San Diego Union Tribune, former Padres' GM Kevin Towers indicated that he'd like to learn more about the AL, saying "I’d like to see how they do business, how you put an American League team together."
- Lynn Henning of The Detroit News says that the Tigers got nothing in return for Placido Polanco, but they could have if he hadn't played so well in the second half.
- With Chone Figgins on the verge of going to Seattle, the Angels may finally give Brandon Wood a chance to play, writes Bill Shaikin of The LA Times.
- ESPN Boston's Gordon Edes says that if Terry Francona has his way, Mike Lowell won't be moving to first. Lowell said he wouldn't rule out a move across the diamond earlier this week.
- The Orioles have been downplaying the posssibility of any major moves during the Winter Meetings, according to The Baltimore Sun's Peter Schmuck.
Links for Friday, as team execs and media folk pack their bags for Monday's Winter Meetings in Indianapolis...
- The Brewers signed Trent Oeltjen to a minor league deal, according to MLB.com's Adam McCalvy. Oeltjen, 27 in February, hit .303/.362/.500 in his third Triple A tour, playing the outfield corners.
- Brewers assistant GM Gord Ash spells out why his team won't be acquiring Roy Halladay, talking to McCalvy.
- MLB.com's Joe Frisaro tweets six minor league free agents signed by the Marlins, including Jesse Foppert, Vinny Rottino, and Hector Luna.
- The Pirates expressed "mild interest" in free agent pitcher Clay Hensley, according to Dejan Kovacevic of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Hensley, 30, spent the year at Triple A in the Astros and Marlins organizations, posting a 3.56 ERA in 124 innings.
- Joe Capozzi of the Palm Beach Post feels there's "still a good chance [Ross] Gload returns [to the Marlins] with a two-year deal."
- Darren Dreifort's five-year, $55MM deal tops Jeff Passan's list of the ten worst contracts of the 2000s for Yahoo.
- Joe Pawlikowski of River Ave. Blues explains why the Yankees probably won't sign Rafael Soriano.
- In his Winter Meetings preview for AOL FanHouse, Ed Price says there was some discussion about a Tigers-Diamondbacks trade involving Edwin Jackson and Max Scherzer.
- ESPN's Buster Olney talked to rival executives who say the Tigers have not aggressively shopped Curtis Granderson.
- Olney doesn't think the Mariners will pay up for Jason Bay. He believes the Red Sox are "controlling the market" for Bay and Matt Holliday.
- Joe Strauss of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch says the Cardinals are "increasingly weighing spreading what it would cost to retain Holliday over several players." Bernie Miklasz of the P-D feels the Cards are "enacting their exit strategy from the Holliday sweepstakes." I would not be surprised to see the Cardinals make their best offer soon - let's say $110MM over six years - and entirely move on if Scott Boras rejects it.
- SI's Jon Heyman tweets that Nick Johnson is "drawing interest from the Giants, maybe Braves, and a half-dozen more."
- MLB.com's Corey Brock talked to former Padres GM Kevin Towers, who will meet with the Mets, Yankees, Mariners, and Red Sox at the Winter Meetings.
- ESPN's Keith Law isn't impressed with the Phillies' Placido Polanco signing. My initial impression upon hearing about the signing is that no other team would've valued Polanco that highly.
- MLB.com's Joe Frisaro tweets that other teams have been more aggressive on Jamey Carroll than the Marlins. Other Carroll suitors include the Rockies, Red Sox, Angels, Dodgers, A's, Rangers, Pirates, Reds and Indians.
Some links for Thursday...
- John Manuel of Baseball America ranks all 30 MLB farm systems at SI.com. The Rangers, Rays and Giants top the list.
- ESPN.com's Jerry Crasnick lists nine potential free agent bargains.
- Keith Law, Dave Cameron and Tyler Hissey don't like the Placido Polanco deal from the Phillies' standpoint.
- Dejan Kovacevic of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports that the Pirates have tentative interest in Xavier Nady and Ron Villone, who are both Scott Boras clients.
- Sam Borden of the Journal News wonders how many long-term contracts the Yanks can take on.
- The Yankees get the sense that Andy Pettitte isn't done yet, according to Mark Feinsand of the New York Daily News.
- They aren't expected to consider an extension for Joe Girardi this offseason.
- Mark Gonzales of the Chicago Tribune reports that the White Sox have begun preliminary talks with arbitration-eligible reliever Bobby Jenks.
- Placido Polanco appears to be nearing a three-year deal with the Phillies, but the Astros have some interest in the Gold Glover, according to Brian McTaggart of MLB.com.
- Curtis Granderson tells MLB.com's Jason Beck that he doesn't let the trade talk get to him.
- The Rockies have tentative plans to meet with Rafael Betancourt's representatives this coming Monday, according to Troy Renck of the Denver Post.
- As Bill Center of the San Diego Union-Tribune reports, Donavan Tate, the Padres' third overall selection in the June draft, was injured in an ATV accident. He broke his jaw, but should be ready for Spring Training.
- Jason Marquis had a falling out with the Rockies, so Jon Heyman of SI.com suggests he isn't likely to accept the team's offer of arbitration.
- MLB.com's Matthew Leach explains why long-term deals are becoming less frequent in MLB.
- Juan Castro passed his physical, so his deal with the Phils is now offiicial, according to Andy Martino of the Philadelphia Inquirer.
12:18pm: MLB.com's Todd Zolecki reports that the deal is official.
11:44am: Stark reports that the deal will be complete once Polanco passes a physical.
9:35am: MLB.com's Todd Zolecki hears that the Phils are close to signing Polanco to a three-year deal worth $18MM. The contract, which is pending a physical, includes a mutual option for 2013.
8:44am: Stark hears indications that the sides are discussing a three-year deal.
THURSDAY, 8:23am: Rob Bradford of WEEI.com hears that Polanco is "close" to a deal with the Phillies.
8:57pm: ESPN.com's Jayson Stark classifies Philadelphia's talks with Polanco as "very serious" and Ken Rosenthal and Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports concur. A source "with knowledge of the Phillies' intentions" tells the FOX duo that the NL champs could offer Polanco a two-year deal worth between $10MM and $12MM.
7:18pm: Now that signing Polanco won't mean parting with draft picks, one team after another is being linked to the infielder. Todd Zolecki of MLB.com reports that the Philadelphia Phillies are focusing on Polanco for their third base opening, as opposed to Adrian Beltre or Mark DeRosa. Zolecki acknowledges Houston's and Boston's interest, but writes that "it appears the Phillies are further down the line in their pursuit."
7:08pm: MLB.com's Brian McTaggart reports that Polanco has also "drawn serious interest" from the Houston Astros.
WEDNESDAY, 5:32pm: The Boston Red Sox have expressed interest in Placido Polanco, according to MLB.com's Ian Browne. A source tells Browne that the Tigers' decision not to offer Polanco arbitration yesterday landed the second baseman on Boston's radar.
Polanco doesn't seem like a fit for the Red Sox unless the team asks Dustin Pedroia about playing shortstop, as has been rumored. If Pedroia moved to short, the Sox could sign Polanco for second base without having to give up any draft picks, whereas signing a Type A shortstop like Marco Scutaro would cost the club their first-rounder. Browne notes that Pedroia has said he "would welcome" a move to the left side of the infield.
As Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe indicated earlier, and Tim reiterated today in our Red Sox offseason outlook, switching Pedroia's position is probably a last resort. It looks like the team is keeping all their options open though.
5:13pm: GM Dave Dombrowski told Beck that he would be "very surprised" if Rodney or Lyon accepts arbitration.
1:16pm: The Tigers offered arbitration to Type B free agent relievers Fernando Rodney and Brandon Lyon, but not Type A second baseman Placido Polanco, writes MLB.com's Jason Beck. These decisions fit with our predictions from yesterday.
The Tigers most likely want to go in a cheaper direction at second base, and Polanco benefits because his new team will not have to surrender a draft pick. I am guessing they do not expect Rodney or Lyon to accept the arbitration offers, but wouldn't mind if either one does.
Links for Saturday...
- Bob Ryan of The Boston Globe thinks the Red Sox made a big mistake by letting Alex Gonzalez go to Toronto. I can't say I'd be too upset if my team let a guy with a 78 career OPS+ go, no matter how good his defense was.
- ESPN Boston's Gordon Edes writes that even if the Red Sox eat a big chunk of Mike Lowell's contract, they'll still have trouble trading him because of all the third base options on the free agent market.
- Geoff Baker of The Seattle Times wrote about all of the flexibility Mariners' GM Jack Zduriencik has going into the winter meetings.
- Meanwhile, Larry Stone at The Seattle Times wouldn't be surprised to see Kevin Towers end up with the Mariners because of his relationship with Zduriencik.
- Lynn Henning of The Detroit News guesses that the Tigers will offer arbitration to Placido Polanco, Fernando Rodney, and Brandon Lyon before Tuesday's midnight deadline. Polanco is a Type-A free agent, Rodney and Lyon are both Type-B's.
- The sale is complete and the Ricketts family has assumed control of the Cubs, according to David Roeder of The Chicago Sun Times.
- The deadline for the sale of another team, the Rangers, passed more than a week ago, but owner Tom Hicks hasn't indicated what happened, or how many groups actually made a pitch, according to Barry Shlachter of The Star Telegram.
- Patrick Newman of NPB Tracker passes along the news that Jose Contreras has one less suitor in Japan. Meanwhile, Ryo Shinkawa writes that Hiroshima is looking into signing Giancarlo Alvarado, who pitched with the Dodgers' Triple-A affiliate last season, posting a 3.49 ERA.
- The best bet for the Red Sox to fill their need at shortstop might be to make a trade, says Tyler Hissey of MVN.com. Hissey suggests that Reid Brignac, Stephen Drew, and Yunel Escobar could be had via trade, but would cost the BoSox a pretty penny.
- Steve Melewski of MASN Sports says that the Orioles can find their next closer in-house. Recently, we learned that the O's are one of eight teams interested in free agent Billy Wagner.
Scott Lauber of The News Journal spoke to Philadelphia Phillies GM Ruben Amaro Jr. today about some of the team's offseason plans. Here are a few of the highlights from Lauber's article:
- The Phillies' offseason wishlist: a third baseman, bullpen help, bench depth, and starting pitching depth.
- The team expects to have about $120MM committed in salaries and $20MM to spend to fill their needs.
- Amaro Jr. doesn't comment on specific free agents he's interested in, but Lauber suggests Mark DeRosa and Placido Polanco are still the club's top targets.
- The "greatest challenge" Amaro Jr. will face in attempting to sign free agents could be persuading players to assume lesser roles. That could mean convincing a closer such as Fernando Rodney to assume a setup role, or asking someone like Juan Uribe to come off the bench.
- Amaro Jr. expects relievers Chan Ho Park and Scott Eyre to test the free agent market. Eyre has said he'll only pitch for the Phillies, but the Phillies GM is skeptical about whether that's really true.
ESPN.com's Jayson Stark responds to some of Scott Boras' recent comments before providing some rumors in his latest Rumblings and Grumblings column:
- The Rays, Rangers and Jays appear to be the three likeliest landing spots for Milton Bradley. The Cubs say they don't want to eat much of the $21MM remaining on Bradley's contract, so a bad contract swap still seems possible.
- Stark hears that the Marlins were in serious trade talks with the Giants and Rangers about Dan Uggla.
- There's no indication that the Yankees are in on Jason Bay or Matt Holliday at this point. The Yanks figure to negotiate firmly with Johnny Damon and Hideki Matsui.
- The Braves would like to trade for a cleanup-hitter and are expected to try to extend Javier Vazquez if they can move Derek Lowe and his contract.
- The Phillies don't appear to have a preference at third base, though they're said to be considering Placido Polanco, Mark DeRosa and Adrian Beltre.
- At least two executives believe Pedro Martinez fits best as a half-year starter next season.
MLB.com's Todd Zolecki runs down the Phillies offseason, looking at how the club is planning to improve coming off back-to-back World Series appearances. Here's some highlights:
- The Phillies are looking to upgrade at third base, as we've heard before. Chone Figgins figures to be too expensive for their liking, and they'll look for a shorter, more affordable contract. Zolecki names the same possibilities we heard earlier in the week: Adrian Beltre, Mark DeRosa, and Placido Polanco.
- Philadelphia has interest in Fernando Rodney, but it may not be mutual, as Rodney likely would prefer a team with whom he can close. As Zolecki writes, that is "not an option" in Philly.
- The Phillies have seven impending free agents: Paul Bako, Miguel Cairo, Scott Eyre, Pedro Feliz, Pedro Martinez, Chan Ho Park, Matt Stairs, and Jack Taschner. Zolecki says Park and Eyre are the two most likely to return, with Ruben Amaro Jr. already having contacted Park's agent.
- Bako's return hasn't been ruled out, but Amaro has said that he's seeking a backup catcher. Feliz is in a similar situation, with his return not being ruled out but the team looking to upgrade.
- If Stairs returns, it will be on a minor league contract. Taschner and Martinez are not expected to return.
- The futures for Eric Bruntlett, Clay Condrey, and Tyler Walker are in question.
Steve Kornacki of MLive.com has plenty of material from Tigers' GM Dave Dombrowski for us this morning, but it's all spread out among several articles. We're here to make things easy for you, so let's round 'em up...
- Dombrowski indicated that no player on his team is untouchable, but "there are some on our club that we want to hold on to." He also added that there was more trade talk at the GM meetings this year than in previous years.
- The team obviously wants to keep Justin Verlander around for a long time, but Dombrowski wouldn't comment about the possibility of locking him up to a long-term deal. "I won't get into that because that is best kept internal," he said. Verlander can become a free agent after the 2011 season.
- Dombrowksi acknowledged that the team is "looking to be fiscally responsible," citing economic changes in the community.
- The Tigers called both Jarrod Washburn and Aubrey Huff this week to let them to know the team won't be pursuing them. We first heard the team won't attempt the re-sign the two a little over a week ago.
- MLB.com's Jason Beck reports that the team has had contact with the agents for Fernando Rodney, Brandon Lyon, Placido Polanco, and Adam Everett, but the talks were believed to be just preliminary.