Rafael Furcal Rumors
The Marlins offered $90MM over six years to Jose Reyes, a source told Ken Rosenthal and Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports. They say Reyes is intrigued by playing in warm weather and for Ozzie Guillen. Reyes wants a contract worth a minimum of $100MM, however, tweeted Joel Sherman of the New York Post yesterday. More from Rosenthal and Morosi...
- The Marlins have not discussed moving Hanley Ramirez to center field.
- Many in the industry are skeptical of the sincerity of the Marlins' early offers to Reyes, Albert Pujols, Mark Buehrle, and Ryan Madson, feeling the proposals are competitive but not good enough to accept.
- The Rangers and Angels are among the teams that are interested in both C.J. Wilson and Roy Oswalt. The Nationals prefer Oswalt. Both pitchers are clients of Bob Garber.
- Heath Bell could benefit from the new collective bargaining agreement if teams no longer have to surrender a draft pick to sign Type A free agents who turned down arbitration. Ramon Hernandez too, in my opinion. I'm surprised to hear that such a change could be instituted for the 2012-13 offseason, after some teams made July trade decisions based on the old free agent compensation system.
- The Padres want to trade Jason Bartlett or Orlando Hudson. They are currently the only two players the Padres have under contract. Bartlett's $5.5MM option for 2013 will vest with 432 plate appearances in 2012.
- Rafael Furcal has drawn interest from the Rockies, Tigers, and Blue Jays as a second baseman, but he prefers to remain at shortstop.
- Rosenthal and Morosi say not to rule out the Giants on Carlos Beltran yet.
- The Angels will know more about Kendrys Morales' condition after January 1st. Morales is still recovering from a fracture in his leg suffered in May of 2010.
The latest on the Cardinals...
- Francona and Oquendo seem to be favorites for the managerial opening, according to Jon Heyman of SI.com (Twitter links). However, Heyman hears Matheny is beloved by Cardinals people and has a "real shot" at the position.
- Ryne Sandberg and Jose Oquendo are on deck for managerial interviews tomorrow, report Joe Strauss and Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, and Terry Francona interviewed today.
- GM John Mozeliak is hopeful the Cardinals will have a manager chosen by next week, though he won't artifically hasten the process, writes Goold. Last week the Cardinals interviewed Chris Maloney, Joe McEwing, and Mike Matheny.
- Rafael Furcal is willing to wait to negotiate a contract with the Cardinals until after their manager search concludes, according to Goold.
- Albert Pujols is interested to hear the Cardinals' choice, writes Goold. "Albert would stay if Oquendo got the job," former teammate David Eckstein told Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports earlier this month.
A pair of legendary former Cubs and Cardinals third basemen (Ron Santo and Ken Boyer) are among the 10 "Golden Era" figures to be considered for induction into the Hall Of Fame by the Veterans' Committee. Some other news from the NL Central...
- Rafael Furcal has told the Cardinals that he will wait for the team to hire a new manager before deciding where to play in 2012, reports Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. Paul Kinser, Furcal's agent, says six teams have already contacted him about Furcal's services but "we're not in a hurry."
- A number of Cardinals writers note in a Post-Dispatch roundtable that the club apparently has no problem in hiring a manager with no Major League experience.
- Jim Crane's purchase of the Astros will likely be approved at the owners' meetings in two weeks, reports Richard Justice of the Houston Chronicle. Issues such as Crane's compensation for moving the team to the American League are still being negotiated but "for the first time since Crane and Drayton McLane shook hands on a deal almost six months ago, there’s a feeling within MLB that the deal will get done," Justice writes.
- The Pirates are trying to re-sign Derrek Lee, reports MLB.com's Jenifer Langosch.
- John Fay of the Cincinnati Enquirer thinks the Reds are looking for an extension for Brandon Phillips in the neighborhood of four years and $48MM. Fay also discusses several other Reds-related topics with fans as part of the online chat.
- There are no hard feelings between Theo Epstein and Ryne Sandberg, Epstein tells Paul Sullivan of the Chicago Tribune. The two exchanged complimentary phone calls in the wake of the Cubs' statement that their new manager "must have managerial or coaching experience at the Major League level," which Sandberg doesn't possess.
The Cardinals declined their options for Octavio Dotel and Rafael Furcal, according to the Associated Press (via Sports Illustrated). The Cardinals will pay Dotel a $750K buyout instead of a $3.5MM salary and they'll pay Furcal a $1.3MM buyout instead of a $12MM salary.
Dotel, 37, arrived in St. Louis along with Marc Rzepczynski and Edwin Jackson in the trade that sent Colby Rasmus to Toronto. In 54 total innings for the Cardinals and Blue Jays, Dotel posted a 3.50 ERA with 10.3 K/9, 2.8 BB/9 and a 30.1% ground ball rate. MLBTR reported today that Dotel is a Type A free agent.
Furcal, a Type B free agent, hit .231/.298/.348 in 369 plate appearances for the Dodgers and Cardinals in 2011, spending time on the disabled list with a strained left oblique. The 34-year-old shortstop started discussing an extension in September, but didn't reach an agreement.
SI's Jon Heyman leads his latest column with an examination of Albert Pujols' impending free agency. An additional $20MM in total dollars wouldn't compel Pujols to leave St. Louis, says one person who knows the slugger well. The preseason gap was large, though, as Heyman says the Cardinals were at nine years and "a bit more than $200MM" while Pujols wanted to beat Alex Rodriguez's ten-year, $275MM deal. Wherever he lands, Pujols is certainly putting an exclamation point on his season. Heyman's other rumors...
- The Rangers almost surely would be out of the C.J. Wilson bidding if it reaches five years and $75MM, hears Heyman. A Rangers person tells Heyman Wilson hasn't actually named an exact asking price. The lefty is looking forward to free agency and noted to Heyman that he doesn't have a wife, a child, or a dog, implying the decision will be entirely his. The Nationals, Marlins, and Royals are likely to pursue Wilson, writes Joel Sherman of the New York Post.
- The Angels' desire for a scouting type in their GM job may favor the Yankees' Damon Oppenheimer, hears Heyman.
- Prospective Astros owner Jim Crane seeks a $50MM discount for moving to the American League.
- "I wish I stay here," remarked Rafael Furcal on his upcoming free agency. The 34-year-old shortstop joined the Cardinals at the trade deadline and is playing in his first World Series.
Some links from around baseball as we await Game Three tomorrow night..
- Former Mariners pitcher Randy Messenger has agreed to a contract to return to the Hanshin Tigers in 2012, a source tells Patrick Newman of NPB Tracker. Messenger’s agent Matt Sosnick confirmed that the deal is for one-year with an option for 2013. MLBTR has learned that the two-year deal could be worth just under $5MM.
- If the White Sox stick to their plan of cutting their $127MM payroll, with $89MM already tied to eleven players, it's likely that John Danks or Mark Buehrle won't start next season with the team, writes MLB.com's Scott Merkin. The arbitration-eligible Danks would be one of the team's greater trade chips.
- Three days after the World Series, Indians GM Chris Antonetti will have to decide whether to exercise club options on center fielder Grady Sizemore and starter Fausto Carmona, writes Jordan Bastian of MLB.com. Picking up the options of both would cost the Tribe $16MM in 2012.
- Shortstop Rafael Furcal wrestled with the decision of whether or not to approve the deal sending him from the Dodgers to the Cardinals, writes Kevin Baxter of the Los Angeles Times.
- After clearing waivers, Cardinals lefty Arthur Rhodes could have wound up with any number of teams, writes Sam Donnellon of the Philadelphia Daily News.
- Blue Jays skipper John Farrell gained valuable experience in his first year as a big league manager, writes MLB.com's Gregor Chisholm.
Here are a few items of note regarding the NL Central as the Redbirds threaten to take a 3-2 series lead over the Brew Crew in the NLCS ...
- Cardinals manager Tony La Russa is hinting at returning to manage St. Louis in 2012, according to the Associated Press (via ESPN). Prior to Game 5, TLR was excitedly discussing the talent the Cards have in place for next season, and he also mentioned recently that he will hold a charity event in January at the team's Winter Warmup, according to the report. La Russa and the Cards have a mutual option for 2012.
- Cards shortstop Rafael Furcal reiterated that he'd like to re-sign with St. Louis after the season, according to Matthew Leach of MLB.com. Furcal, an impending free agent, and the Cardinals expressed mutual interest in working out a new deal last month, though nothing came to pass.
- While the Cubs and Red Sox continue to haggle over compensation and other details of Theo Epstein's potential move the Chicago, one GM told Buster Olney of ESPN.com that the North Siders should hold firm on giving up little for Boston's GM (Twitter link). "What are the Red Sox going to do -- bring Theo back? No way," said the GM.
- Albert Pujols has reestablished his negotiating leverage, opines Olney (via Twitter), who finds it hard to believe the Cards will let him walk if they reach or win the World Series.
The Cardinals still don't know whether or not Albert Pujols will be playing in St. Louis past this season, and the team is making moves to prepare for either scenario, according to Joe Strauss of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. The Cards are currently negotiating with the agents of Lance Berkman and Rafael Furcal in an effort to retain both players on short-term deals. Strauss adds that the team hopes Pujols' future will be decided no later than December 11th. Here's the latest on a couple other NL Central clubs:
- Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel wonders which teams will pursue Prince Fielder this winter. He essentially rules out the Brewers, and runs through a few other possibilities.
- The Cubs' new GM may have some work to do on the starting rotation, but the bullpen is looking strong, writes Toni Ginnetti of the Chicago Sun-Times.
- With no GM in place, the Cubs' 2012 manager is still a question mark, but Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe thinks hiring Ryne Sandberg would provide a major public relations bump for owner Tom Ricketts. Chicago would embrace Sandberg's "lunchpail mentality," says Cafardo.
The Cardinals have won five in a row and come into the day just 4.5 games back of the Braves for the NL Wildcard, making things unexpectedly interesting in the season's final weeks. Let's round up the latest from St. Louis...
- Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports confirms the report of Chris Carpenter's two-year extension, and he likes the deal for both sides (Twitter links). The team saves some cash while Carpenter gets more guaranteed money.
- With Carpenter locked up and Adam Wainwright on his way back from Tommy John surgery, the Cardinals' 2012 rotation looks pretty strong, writes Roger Hensley of The St. Louis Post-Dispatch. Those two will join Jake Westbrook and Jaime Garcia.
- GM John Mozeliak told Derrick Goold of The St. Louis Post-Dispatch that he wants to use the final weeks of the regular season and the first few weeks of October "to lock-in existing free agents and clear up any questions for 2012," beyond Albert Pujols. There are ongoing talks with Rafael Furcal's representatives, and Lance Berkman has already given the team a sense of what it would take for him to return next year.
TUESDAY: Furcal told Strauss, "I'd want to play for St. Louis," adding that he still needs to sit down with his agent Paul Kinzer and talk business.
MONDAY: The Cardinals hope to explore a new contract with shortstop Rafael Furcal by month's end, GM John Mozeliak told Joe Strauss of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. Mozeliak acknowledged that making it work financially is a challenge, but a Furcal contract is on his to-do list for September. A shorter term is preferable for the team, and that's expected for Furcal since he's missed so much time due to injuries over the last few years.
Furcal, 34 in October, is hitting .228/.278/.390 in 134 plate appearances since the Cardinals acquired him at the trade deadline. Mozeliak has bigger fish to fry in potential free agents Albert Pujols, Lance Berkman, and Chris Carpenter, so signing Furcal quickly and affordably makes sense. Technically Furcal faces a $12MM club option with a $1.3MM buyout. That'll be declined, but a one-year deal for $4MM plus incentives seems reasonable.