Ramon Santiago Rumors
Theo Epstein admitted that the Cubs "got a little ahead of ourselves" in signing Edwin Jackson to a four-year, $52MM contract last winter. In response to a fan's question at a season ticket-holders event in Chicago, Epstein said the team “didn’t fully understand the scope of our situation, the overall situation with the timing of our business plan, the timing of our facilities and the timing of our baseball plan." (hat tip to Gordon Wittenmyer of the Chicago Sun-Times). The Jackson signing was seen a surprise move for the rebuilding Cubs and it hasn't worked out thus far, as Jackson posted a 4.98 ERA over 175 1/3 IP in 2013.
Here are some more items as we head into the weekend...
- Epstein told reporters (including MLB.com's Carrie Muskat) that he expects Jackson to be a positive for the Cubs next season, though he noted that the team plans to add more "quality" starting pitching this winter. "Every starting pitcher we acquire is someone we hope is starting Game 1 of the World Series for us," Epstein said.
- The Indians' biggest needs this winter are bullpen pieces and a complementary bat, Tribe general manager Chris Antonetti tells Jim Bowden and Casey Stern on MLB Network Radio on SiriusXM (Twitter link).
- Scott Boras scoffed at projections that Stephen Drew would only find a three-year contract this winter, CBS Sports' Jon Heyman writes. "A three-year deal, for a 30-year-old free agent, really? Are these writers aware of what Elvis Andrus signed for?", Boras asked. The Andrus comparison isn't as entirely outlandish as it first appears, since Andrus' eight-year, $120MM extension with the Rangers is only guaranteed for four years and $62MM since Andrus has opt-out clauses. Still, even that price tag seems quite high --- MLBTR's Tim Dierkes predicted Drew for a four-year, $48MM deal this winter and that was with reservations about the fourth year and the draft pick compensation attached to Drew's free agency.
- Reds catcher Ryan Hanigan could be a better catching option for 2014 than Jarrod Saltalamacchia even aside from the financial considerations, Fangraphs' Dave Cameron opines (Twitter links). Hanigan actually has a higher career WAR than Saltalamacchia (8.3 to 6.9) and could be available in a trade, while "Salty" could cost a team around $36MM in free agency.
- The Dodgers should at least consider trading Yasiel Puig, ESPN Los Angeles' Mark Saxon argues. He would certainly net more in a deal than any club's higher-priced outfielders and the Dodgers could be selling high on Puig since it's unclear whether his style of play will age well.
- The Angels don't have much payroll room to make big changes for 2014 but MLB.com's Tracy Ringolsby thinks the Halos might only need a few tweaks to contend.
- The Tigers aren't likely to re-sign Ramon Santiago, MLive.com's Chris Iott reports, as the team has younger and cheaper utility infield options available. Santiago, 34, has played for Detroit since 2006 and spent 10 seasons overall with the Tigers as a backup or part-time starter in the middle infield.
Here are some notes on a few possible trade situations shaping up around baseball:
- The Tigers are shopping middle infielder Ramon Santiago, reports ESPN's Buster Olney (on Twitter). The 33-year-old Santiago has spent 9 of his 11 big league seasons in Detroit, but his performance fell off last year when he hit just .206/.283/.272 in 259 plate appearances for the Tigers.
- In light of today's news that Padres third baseman Logan Forsythe suffered a setback in his attempt to recover from a foot injury, the club once again finds itself wondering who will man the hot corner for the start of the season after already losing Chase Headley. As reported by Bill Center of The San Diego Union-Tribune, manager Bud Black acknowledged that a DL stint was likely for Forsythe. GM Josh Byrnes says that it is unlikely that the team will look outside the organization for a replacement, tweets Corey Brock of MLB.com. Center suggests that, instead, rookie Jedd Gyorko will move over to third, with Alexi Amarista filling in at second.
- Meanwhile, the White Sox also have some injury concerns that they do not expect to address via trade, writes Mark Gonzales of the Chicago Tribune. However, GM Rick Hahn says that the team is "looking around outside for other upgrades." Chicago manager Robin Ventura also announced that righty Dylan Axelrod will be the team's fifth starter to begin the year, writes Daryl Van Schouwen of the Chicago Sun-Times, in conjunction with the news that John Danks will begin the year on the DL.
Let's round up a few rumblings from Nashville on players who might be on the trade block...
- The Phillies are dangling pitcher Vance Worley as a trade chip and may be willing to include pitching prospect Trevor May in a deal, writes Jim Salisbury of CSNPhilly.com.
- The Dodgers are becoming aggressive in shopping starters Aaron Harang and Chris Capuano, tweets Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports, in a potential sign of confidence regarding a Zack Greinke signing.
- There have been "no conversations" about trading Andre Ethier, Dodgers manager Don Mattingly tells Bill Shaikin of the Los Angeles Times (Twitter link).
- One rival executive thinks the Royals will eventually make a deal for Rays starter James Shields, according to Danny Knobler of CBSSports.com. Within his piece, Knobler explains why the Royals are more inclined to trade Wil Myers than Billy Butler.
- The return the Twins received for Denard Span has somewhat hampered the Indians' efforts to trade Shin-Soo Choo, as Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports explains in a pair of Twitterlinks.
- Ramon Santiago's name has surfaced at the Winter Meetings as a potential trade candidate, according to MLB.com's Jason Beck (via Twitter). While Beck isn't sure if the Tigers would move him, he says the utility infielder could draw interest.
- The Dodgers are "aggressively shopping" Juan Uribe in Nashville, but predictably aren't receiving much interest, writes Mark Saxon of ESPNLosAngeles.com. Bill Shaikin of the Los Angeles Times tweets that when he asked an MLB official if the Yankees could have interest in Uribe with Alex Rodriguez out, he was met with a chuckle.
Here are a few links to peruse on your Saturday, as Redsfest continues in Cincinnati:
- Joey Votto and Yonder Alonso aren't bothered by trade rumors and speculation, MLB.com's Mark Sheldon writes in two separate pieces. Votto concedes "it would be disappointing to get traded," but it doesn't appear he'll have to face that possibility this offseason - GM Walt Jocketty said during the GM meetings that the Reds won't move the 2010 MVP this winter.
- Jocketty says the Reds have identified six starting pitchers as potential trade targets, according to John Fay of the Cincinnati Enquirer (via Twitter). While the GM didn't name anyone specifically, Fay guesses that James Shields, Gio Gonzalez, and Jair Jurrjens are on the list.
- The Reds are looking for a veteran infielder who can play shortstop, tweets Sheldon. They were interested in Ramon Santiago before the 32-year-old agreed to return to Detroit.
- Sheldon also says that manager Dusty Baker hopes the club can give the closer's job to a specific pitcher. Baker's thoughts on the topic: "We're going to look in-house. We're going to look at trades or free agents and try to come up with a guy, a main guy. The one thing we don't want to do is have a closer by committee."
The Tigers announced that they've agreed to sign Ramon Santiago to a two-year contract. The deal guarantees Santiago slightly more than $4MM, Danny Knobler of CBSSports.com reports (on Twitter). The 32-year-old infielder will provide manager Jim Leyland with a familiar option for three infield positions.
Santiago hit .260/.311/.384 in Detroit this past season, appearing at shortstop, second and third. He became the Tigers’ regular second baseman toward the end of the season and continued starting in the postseason. He was not a ranked free agent, so the team would not have obtained a draft pick had he signed elsewhere.
Though the Tigers like Santiago, they didn't appear to view him as an everyday solution at second base heading into the offseason. It's not clear if they now view him as a viable everyday starter or if he'll return as a utility player.
The Pirates are interested in free agent Ramon Santiago as a possible everyday shortstop, according to Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports. The 32-year-old hits free agency after a decade in the Major Leagues with the Tigers and Mariners.
Santiago hit .260/.311/.384 in Detroit this past season, appearing at shortstop, second and third. He became the Tigers’ regular second baseman toward the end of the season and continued starting in the postseason. Though the Tigers like Santiago, they don't view him as an everyday solution. He is not a ranked free agent.
Congratulations to the 2011 Gold Glove winners. Here are some notes from around MLB...
- Brandon Phillips ($250K), Adrian Beltre ($100K) and Adrian Gonzalez ($100K) were among the winners to obtain bonuses for their fielding excellence, according to the AP (via SI.com).
- Jamie Moyer threw for scouts last Thursday, according to Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports (on Twitter). Reports on the left-hander, who’s nearly a year removed from Tommy John surgery, are excellent.
- Patrick Newman of FanGraphs explains what you need to know about Yu Darvish, the Japanese starter who could be posted this offseason.
- Dave Cameron of FanGraphs makes the case that teams should treat Darvish as a super two player by guaranteeing him two or three years at an average annual value of approximately $10MM.
- Jim Margalus of South Side Sox isn't thrilled that the White Sox exercised Jason Frasor’s 3.75MM option and explains what the decision means for Chicago.
- The Yankees expect to be heavily involved in trade talks this offseason because they have prospects to trade and are willing to deal pitching, according to ESPN.com's Buster Olney (on Twitter).
- Tigers GM Dave Dombrowski told reporters, including MLB.com's Jason Beck, that he'd like to re-sign free agent infielder Ramon Santiago. Though the Tigers like Santiago, they don't see him as an everyday solution.
- Phillies GM Ruben Amaro Jr. says he’d like to re-sign free agents Ryan Madson and Jimmy Rollins if possible, according to Bob Brookover of the Philadelphia Inquirer. "We've had discussions with the agents of both players," Amaro said.
- Marlins president of baseball operations Larry Beinfest repeated that he can consider major expenditures this offseason, according to Joe Frisaro of MLB.com.
The Twins will likely pursue starting pitching, relief pitching, a backup catcher and middle infield help this offseason after finishing with the worst record in the American League. Here are some notes on the club's offseason plans...
- La Velle E. Neal III of the Minneapolis Star-Tribune hears from people in the Twins’ front office that the club recently examined the free agent market for starting pitchers and shortstops. They’re determined to find a reliable shortstop this offseason and Neal suggests free agents Ramon Santiago and Alex Gonzalez could be targets.
- The Twins will “push hard” to re-sign Michael Cuddyer, according to Neal.
- Earlier today, MLB.com's Jordan Bastian suggested the Indians will likely "kick the tires" on Cuddyer once he reaches the open market.
- Rhett Bollinger of MLB.com explained why the Twins traded Delmon Young to the Tigers in August. He was struggling in Minnesota and the Twins weren't likely to tender him a contract through arbitration.
- I looked ahead to the Twins’ offseason earlier in the month.
Another night, another pair of exciting LCS games. The Tigers succeeded in stretching the ALCS to a sixth game while the Brewers evened the NLCS at 2-2 with the Cardinals.
Here's the latest from around the majors....
- Frank McCourt's decision to take the Dodgers into bankruptcy means he could become the rare pro sports owner to sell his team and have no profits to show for it, writes Bill Shaikin of the Los Angeles Times.
- The Pirates haven't yet declined Paul Maholm's $9.75MM option for 2012 yet, and MLB.com's Jenifer Langosch explains that the Bucs are trying to find a trade partner who "A) thinks $9.75 million is a fair cost for Maholm and B) doesn’t want to take the risk of letting Maholm go into the free agent market."
- Geoff Baker of the Seattle Times examines the Mariners' franchise value and how it may impact the club's payroll in the coming seasons.
- The Mariners erred not once, not twice, but thrice in not keeping Ramon Santiago, writes Larry Larue of the Tacoma News Tribune.
- John Axford was released without fanfare by the Yankees after the 2007 season, long before Axford rose to prominence as the Brewers' closer. Brian Costa of the Wall Street Journal looks back at the circumstances behind Axford's release.
- The Giants won't be able to afford the likes of Albert Pujols, Prince Fielder, Jose Reyes or C.C. Sabathia this winter, but MLB.com's Chris Haft believes the club "will make a genuine offer to re-sign Carlos Beltran." Beltran, for his part, said last month that he was open to returning to San Francisco if the team added more offense to the lineup.
- The week's minor league transactions are compiled by Baseball America's Matt Eddy.
- Diamondbacks CEO and president Derrick Hall predicts a "relatively quiet offseason" for his team since most of the major pieces are already in place. Hall also discusses Aaron Hill, Willie Bloomquist and several other topics in his monthly chat with fans on MLB.com.
- Baseball America's Jim Callis profiles Sean Buckley, the Reds' sixth-round pick in the June amateur draft and the son of Chris Buckley, Cincinnati's senior director of amateur scouting.
- A multiyear extension for Jacoby Ellsbury, moving Daniel Bard to the starting rotation and a possible run at Jose Reyes are a few of the suggestions made by Gordon Edes of ESPN Boston that would help the Red Sox put their catastrophic month behind them and focus on returning to the playoffs next year.
- Writing for Baseball Prospectus, Rany Jazayerli breaks down how just a year of age difference between teenage prospects reveals huge differences in projected production. "At least when it comes to high school hitters, young draft picks are a MASSIVE market inefficiency," Jazayerli writes.
We're officially less than a week away from the start of the 2011 season! Here are some news items to tide you over as we start the countdown to another great year of baseball...
- Ramon Santiago "is available in the right deal," an anonymous scout tells Steve Kornacki of MLive.com. The long-time Tigers middle infielder started 78 games last season, posting a .662 OPS in 367 plate appearances. Santiago's competition for the utility job, Danny Worth, "has made a great impression on Jim Leyland," Kornacki writes.
- Troy Renck of the Denver Post isn't hearing much "trade buzz" (Twitter link) from scouts about Jose Lopez, contrary to a Ken Rosenthal report from earlier today. Renck reiterated his item from earlier this month about how Eric Young Jr. would draw interest if the Rockies wanted to put him on the trade market.
- Baseball America's Matt Eddy rounds up the week's minor league transactions.
- The Giants "might be the deepest team in baseball," but Dave Cameron of Fangraphs thinks their "big flaw" is Miguel Tejada and Mike Fontenot at short. Cameron suggests San Francisco should try to move one of their excess outfielders for "a real Major League shortstop."