Ramon Ramirez Rumors
FRIDAY, 1:03am: Theo Epstein has discussed multiple possible trades with former Red Sox assistant GM and current Padres GM Jed Hoyer, according to Peter Abraham and Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe. The Globe duo believes Boston could have interest in a reliever like Joe Thatcher, and, given the team's excess of outfielders when Jacoby Ellsbury returns, they may match up with San Diego.
THURSDAY, 12:59pm: Though they're on his no-trade list, the Red Sox asked the Brewers about Trevor Hoffman, tweets Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports. Rosenthal adds that the Brewers are not inclined to move Hoffman. Meanwhile they're getting calls on Carlos Villanueva and Todd Coffey.
12:05pm: The Red Sox are leaving no rock unturned in their search for relief help. They've explored Rafael Perez, Will Ohman, Mike Gonzalez, Matt Capps, Michael Wuertz, Craig Breslow, Sean Marshall, Kerry Wood, David Aardsma, and Kyle Farnsworth, reports Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe. Cafardo says Scott Downs looks unlikely unless the Blue Jays back down from their top prospect requests. On a related note, SI's Jon Heyman tweets that the Jays asked the Mets for outfield prospect Kirk Nieuwenhuis and one other player for Downs and were denied.
Marshall is the interesting name here. The 27-year-old lefty has had a dominant year in relief, posting a 1.71 ERA, 10.4 K/9, and 2.9 BB/9 in 52.6 innings with one home run allowed. He's been especially strong against lefties. Marshall is under team control through 2012 and would presumably be very difficult to pry loose from the Cubs. Gonzalez is another surprising name, since he's spent most of the season on the shelf with a shoulder injury and is still owed good money.
Cafardo adds that the Red Sox have been shopping reliever Ramon Ramirez, and offers the opinion that a National League team might want to take a look at him. Ramirez has a 4.57 ERA, 6.5 K/9, and 3.3 BB/9 in 41.3 innings with six home runs allowed and is a potential non-tender candidate after the season.
Links for Monday, as we congratulate Matt Garza for throwing the first no-hitter in Rays history...
- Joe Capozzi of the Palm Beach Post hears (via Twitter) that the Marlins have zero interest in Brendan Donnelly. The recently-DFA'd righty pitched well for the Marlins last year.
- The Giants have been scouting Jose Guillen aggressively, according to Jon Heyman of SI.com (via Twitter). The Royals have been willing to move the 34-year-old for a while.
- MLBTR's Tim Dierkes answered questions about the upcoming trade deadline for SD Sports Net.
- Pirates GM Neal Huntington told MLB.com's Jenifer Langosch that "money seems to be really tight within the industry" right now.
- Nick Piecoro of the Arizona Republic offers his interpretation of interim GM Jerry Dipoto's comments about Joe Saunders' winning percentage.
- The Mets are in wait-and-see mode at this point, according to ESPN.com's Buster Olney (Twitter link).
- GM Omar Minaya confirmed to Andy Martino of the New York Daily News that the Mets aren't going to fire any coaches today (Twitter link).
- The Red Sox are pursuing bullpen help, but would consider trading relievers Ramon Ramirez and Manny Delcarmen, according to Gordon Edes of ESPNBoston (Twitter link).
- The Marlins aren't going to hire Bobby Valentine to manage the team, according to Juan C. Rodriguez of the South Florida Sun Sentinel. Valentine told 790 the Ticket that his candidacy for the Marlins gig was "not a dead issue."
The Red Sox offered reliever Ramon Ramirez to the Mets for Rod Barajas before the catcher went on the disabled list, according to Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports (via Twitter). A source confirmed to Alex Speier of WEEI.com that the Red Sox and Mets discussed several trade possibilities involving Ramirez, including one that involved Barajas. However, Speier's source says the Red Sox aren't likely to trade Ramirez to the Mets.
The failed trade tells us two things about Boston's intentions for the coming week. First, it tells us that the Red Sox are willing to part with Ramirez, as Gordon Edes of ESPNBoston reported on Twitter earlier today. It's not a surprise, since Ramirez, who makes $1.55MM this year, will get raises in 2011 and 2012 before hitting free agency. He's not super-cheap, and he's effective (4.69 ERA, 6.2 K/9, 3.3 BB/9), but far from dominant.
Secondly, we are reminded that the Red Sox want to add a catcher, even though Victor Martinez is returning from the DL tonight. They have been connected to Chris Snyder and Chris Iannetta for months, and could pursue John Buck if they're interested in a short-term fix behind the plate. The list of potentially available catchers isn't a long one, so the Red Sox have limited ways of upgrading over Dusty Brown or Kevin Cash.
Ramirez has just 16 big league games to his credit, but pitched decently while with the Reds' Triple-A affiliate. In 31 appearances last season (20 of which were starts), Ramirez posted a 4.03 ERA with 5.5 K/9 and 3.5 BB/9. His 39.1 innings pitched in the majors yielded a 2.97 ERA with 6.6 K/9 and 3.4 BB/9.
The move also clears up confusion within the Boston clubhouse as they have another reliever by the name of Ramon Ramirez. He was acquired in 2008 when Theo Epstein & Co. sent Coco Crisp to the Royals. As they said in the Highlander, there can be only one.
Noon ET today was the deadline for both the team and player to submit their salary figures for arbitration, however the two sides can come to an agreement at any point before the actual hearing. The hearings are scheduled for the first week of February.
We'll keep track of the players who avoid arbitration today by agreeing to deals here. Make sure you check back in for updates, and be sure to click the "Continue Reading" link to see today's full list of settlements. Yesterday's list can be found here.
- Kevin Baxter of the Los Angeles Times reports that the Angels avoided arbitration with Mike Napoli and Reggie Willits by signing the duo to one-year deals. Napoli will earn $3.6MM in 2010 with a $100K bonus if he makes 120 starts. Willits' contract is worth $625K.
- Zach Duke's one-year contract with Pittsburgh is worth $4.3MM with no performance bonuses, tweets Dejan Kovacevic of The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.
- The Padres and reliever Mike Adams have agreed to a contract, reports MLB.com's Corey Brock (via Twitter). Brock's follow-up tweet says Adams' deal is worth $1MM, virtually splitting the difference between San Diego's $875K offer and Adams' $1.2MM demands.
- Joe Christensen of the Minneapolis Star Tribune tweets that the Twins have agreements in place with all eight of their arbitration eligible players. In a follow-up tweet, Christensen reports that Francisco Liriano agreed to a one-year deal worth $1.6MM and Jesse Crain agreed to a one-year contract worth $2MM.
- Marc Carig of the New Jersey Star-Ledger reports that the Mets avoided arbitration with reliever Sean Green (via Twitter). The one-year deal was worth $975K, according to the New York Daily News' Anthony McCarron.
- The Tigers avoided arb with Gerald Laird and Zach Miner as well according to James Jahnke of The Detroit Free Press. MLB.com's Jason Beck tweets the details on the one-year contracts: Laird will earn $3.95MM, Miner will earn $950K.
- Christensen tweets that the Twins avoided arb with Brendan Harris, signing him to a two year deal worth $3.2MM with another $650K in possible incentives.
- The Tigers and Bobby Seay avoided arbitration according to MLB.com's Jason Beck (via Twitter), agreeing to a one year deal worth $2.475MM.
- Thesier tweets that Matt Guerrier agreed to a one year deal worth $3.15MM with the Twins, avoiding arb.
- Amalie Benjamin of The Boston Globe tweets that the Red Sox have avoided arbitration with Ramon Ramirez and Manny Delcarmen, with Delcarmen getting $905K plus incentives according to Joe McDonald of The Providence Journal. Boston avoided arb with Jonathan Papelbon as well.
- Pat Neshek agreed to a one year deal with $625K with another $75K in incentives, avoiding arbitration with the Twins according to MLB.com's Kelly Thesier (via Twitter).
- The Nationals have agreed to terms with Jason Bergmann, Jesus Flores, Wil Nieves, and Josh Willingham according to a team press release. All four players avoided arbitration. MLB.com's Alden Gonzalez tweets that Willingham will make $4.6MM next season, while Bergmann will make $750K according to a tweet from MLB.com's Bill Ladson.
- MLB.com's Mark Bowman tweets that the Braves and Peter Moylan have agreed to a deal, avoiding arbitration. He gets $1.15MM.
- Matt Garza avoided arbitration with the Rays, tweets Topkin. The two sides agreed to a one year deal worth $3.35MM,
- MLB.com's Jim Street tweets that the Mariners and David Aardsma have avoided arbitration, agreeing to a one year deal worth $2.75MM.
- The Astros avoided arbitration with Michael Bourn, Matt Lindstrom, and Humberto Quintero according to a tweet from MLB.com's Brian McTaggart. Bourn gets $2.4MM, Lindstrom $1.625MM, and Quintero $750K (via McTaggart's Twitter).
- Troy Renck of The Denver Post reports that the Rockies and Jason Hammel have avoided arbitration, agreeing to a one year deal worth $1.9MM.
- The A's agreed to a one year deal with Kevin Kouzmanoff, reports The Oakland Tribune. Oakland acquired Kouzmanoff from the Padres over the weekend.
- Jered Weaver agreed to a one year deal worth $4.265MM with the Angels to avoid arbitration, according to a tweet from Jon Heyman.
- Topkin tweets that J.P. Howell agreed to a one year deal worth $1.8MM, avoiding arbitration with the Rays.
- According to the team's official Twitter feed, the Blue Jays avoided arbitration with Jason Frasor ($2.65MM) and Brian Tallet ($2MM) by agreeing to one year deals.
- Delmon Young avoided arbitration with the Twins by agreeing to a one year deal worth $2.6MM, according to a tweet by Joe Christensen of The Star Tribune. Kelly Thesier of MLB.com tweets that Young will get $25K each for 575 and 600 plate appearances.
- According to a team press release, the Royals have avoided arbitration with Alex Gordon and Robinson Tejeda. Terms of either deal was not disclosed.
- Heyman tweets that Stephen Drew and the Diamondbacks agreed to a one year deal worth $3.4MM, avoiding arbitration.
- The White Sox and John Danks avoided arbitration by agreeing to a one year deal worth $3.45M, according to ESPN Chicago's Bruce Levine.
- Ken Davidoff of Newsday tweets that the Mets and Pedro Feliciano have agreed to a one year deal worth $2.9MM, avoiding arbitration. There's another $100K in performance bonuses.
- The Star Telegram's Anthony Andro reports that the Rangers and Chris Ray have avoided arbitration. MLB.com's T.R. Sullivan says it's a one year deal worth $975K.
- Russell Martin has agreed to a one year contract worth $5.05MM, avoiding arbitration with the Dodgers according to Dylan Hernandez of The Los Angeles Times (via Twitter)
- MLB.com's Jordan Bastian tweets that the Blue Jays and reliever Jeremy Accardo have agreed to a one year deal worth $1.08MM, avoiding arbitration.
- Rafael Perez agreed to a one year deal with the Indians to avoid arbitration according to a team press release. MLB.com's Anthony Castrovince tweets that Perez will make $795K in 2010.
- The Orioles and Luke Scott avoided arbitration, agreeing to a one year deal worth $4.05MM according to Dan Connolly and Jeff Zrebiec of The Baltimore Sun. He earned $2.4MM last season, hitting .258/.340/.488 with a career high 25 homers.
- MLB.com's Carrie Muskat tweets that the Cubs have avoided arbitration with Jeff Baker ($975K). Mike Fontenot ($1MM,) Koyie Hill ($700K), Angel Guzman ($825K), and Tom Gorzelanny ($800K). Terms of the deals came from Gordon Wittenmyer of The Chicago Sun Times (via Twitter).
- Dejan Kovacevic of The Pittsburgh Post Gazette reports that the Pirates and Zach Duke have avoided arbitration by agreeing to a one year deal.
- Mike Salk of 710 ESPN Radio reports that Mark Lowe and the Mariners have avoided arbitration, agreeing to a $1.15MM salary for next season.
- LaVelle E. Neal III of The Star Tribune tweets that the Twins and J.J. Hardy have avoided arbitration, agreeing to a one year deal worth $5MM. He gets a small raise over last year's $4.65MM salary after hitting .229/.302/.357.
- According to the Cardinals' official Twitter feed, the team has avoided arbitration with Ryan Ludwick by agreeing to a one year deal. Heyman tweets that he'll receive $5.45MM next year after earning $3.7MM in 2009.
- The Rangers avoided arbitration with Josh Hamilton, giving him $3.25MM plus awards-based bonuses according to a tweet from SI.com's Jon Heyman. It was his first time eligible. Hamilton hit .268/.315/.426 in 2009, missing time with back trouble and a sports hernia.
- Mark Topkin of The St. Petersburg Times tweets that the Rays and Jason Bartlett have avoided arbitration, agreeing to a $4MM salary for 2010. He earned just under $2MM in 2009, hitting .320/.389/.490 with a career high 14 homers.
- Casey Janssen agreed to a $700K deal for 2010 to avoid arbitration, according to the Blue Jays official Twitter feed. It was his first time up for arbitration.
- Juan C. Rodriguez of The Sun Sentinel reports (via Twitter) that the Marlins and Jorge Cantu have avoided arbitration, agreeing to a one year deal worth $6MM. Cantu hit .289/.345/.443 while making $3.5MM in 2009, his first year of arb eligibility.
- MLB.com's Adam McCalvy tweets that both Carlos Gomez and Rickie Weeks have agreed to one year deals to avoid arbitration. Tom Haudricourt of The Journal Sentinel tweets that Weeks will earn $2.75MM next year, while Gomez will earn $1.1MM as a Super Two.
- Heyman tweets that the Dodgers have avoided arbitration with both George Sherrill and James Loney. Sherrill gets $4.5MM plus incentives in his third year eligible, Loney $3.1MM in his first go around.
- According to the Blue Jays official Twitter feed, reliever Shawn Camp has agreed to a $1.15MM deal for 2010, avoiding arb. He was eligible for the second time after posting a 3.50 ERA in 79.2 innings last season.
- Clark Spencer of The Miami Herald reports (via Twitter) that Leo Nunez and the Marlins have avoided arbitration by agreeing to a $2MM salary for 2010. Sticking with the theme of the day, it was his first time eligible for salary arbitration.
- MLB.com's Ken Gurnick tweets that the Dodgers and Hong Chih-Kuo have agreed to a one-year deal worth $950K, avoiding arb. It was Kuo's first time eligible.
- Jon Heyman of SI.com tweets that the Mets and Jeff Francoeur have avoided arb by agreeing to a $5MM deal. Francoeur earned $3.375MM in 2009 and hit .280/.309/.423 for the Mets and Braves.
- Heyman tweets that Howie Kendrick and the Angels have agreed to a $1.75MM deal with incentives. This was Kendrick's first crack at arbitration.
- Heyman tweets that the A's and Rajai Davis agreed to a $1.35MM salary for 2010, plus incentives. This was Davis' first year eligible for arbitration.
- Heyman tweets that Jonathan Sanchez avoided arb with the Giants by agreeing to a $2.1MM deal, plus incentives. He posted a 4.24 ERA in 163.1 innings last year, and was up for arbitration for the first time in his career.
The Red Sox claimed pitcher Ramon Ramirez off waivers from the Rays, according to a team press release. This is a different Ramon Ramirez than the one the Sox acquired from the Royals last year. The Ramirez the Sox got today spent '09 in the Reds' organization, posting a 4.03 ERA, 5.5 K/9, and 3.5 BB/9 in 127.3 Triple A innings.
Richard Durrett of ESPNDallas rounds up some Texas Rangers-related rumors from the second day of the winter meetings. We've heard one or two of these already, but let's check out the highlights of Durrett's recap....
- The Rangers are looking to bolster their bullpen, and names of interest include J.J. Putz, Matt Lindstrom, and Brett Myers. Ramon Ramirez and Chris Ray are also on their radar.
- As FOX Sports' Jon Paul Morosi indicated earlier today, no Kevin Millwood trade appears imminent. A few teams are interested, but the Rangers will pull the trigger only on "the right deal." Presumably the "right" return is more about money than talent.
- If the club is able to move Millwood, they'd look to fill the hole in their rotation with another veteran starter. Ben Sheets and Rich Harden are potential options, with the Rangers hoping to meet with Sheets' agent this week.
- Dealing Millwood would also allow Texas to free up some money to pursue a right-handed bat. Perhaps Vladimir Guerrero or Jermaine Dye.
- The team is looking for a catcher as well. Durrett names Jason Kendall, Rod Barajas, Jose Molina, and Yorvit Torrealba as targets.
- Durrett and others heard earlier that the Rangers offered top prospects Neftali Feliz and Justin Smoak to Florida in exchange for Josh Johnson. Another official denies that Texas made that proposal, but suggests that the team does have interest in Johnson.
Some afternoon links...
- Baseball America's Conor Glassey reports that Bryce Harper passed his GED exam, which will allow him to attend junior college next year and be eligible for the 2010 draft. Harper is the odds on favorite to go first overall.
- Now that they've taken care of third base and the bench, Andy Martino of The Philadelphia Inquirer says the Phillies will focus on their bullpen. He notes that GM Ruben Amaro Jr. is "intrigued by low-risk/high reward types," which is why the team recently kicked the tires on J.J. Putz. ESPN's Buster Olney mentions Brandon Lyon as a name to watch as well.
- Mark Feinsand of The NY Daily News has some hot stove related quotes from Yankees' manager Joe Girardi.
- Marlins' president of baseball operations Larry Beinfest said "we're definitely going to be active" at the Winter Meetings next week, according to MLB.com's Joe Frisaro.
- Jarrod Saltalamacchia's recent winter ball injury (he felt tingling and numbness in his right arm) could making catching a priority for the Rangers next week, writes T.R. Sullivan on MLB.com.
- The Rays have released righty Ramon Ramirez, according to Marc Topkin of The St. Petersburg Times. Ramirez was claimed off waivers from the Reds back in early November.
- Dejan Kovacevic of The Pittsburgh Post Gazette says the Pirates are one of the teams interested in Bobby Crosby. This morning we learned that about six teams were interested in the former Rookie of the Year.
- SI.com's Jon Heyman tweets that even though the Mets asked for his medical records, they are not going after Hideki Matsui.
Here's some more links on a busy first day at the GM meetings...
- WEEI.com's Alex Speier writes that when Jed Hoyer took over as GM of the Padres, it only made it tougher for the Red Sox to pull off a deal for Adrian Gonzalez. “He knows all my tricks, and I know his,” said Theo Epstein of Hoyer.
- Meanwhile, WEEI.com's Rob Bradford reports that Roy Halladay has identified the Red Sox as a team he'd be willing to accept a trade to. Doc has a full no-trade clause.
- Andy Pettitte has apparently told his Yankee teammates that he'd like to come back for one more year, though there's been no definitive word according to SI.com's Jon Heyman. GM Brian Cashman said he expects the team to be more "cautious than anxious" this offseason, and that he plans to go slow, even with their own free agents according to Joel Sherman of The NY Post.
- Mets' GM Omar Minaya "has told several of his friends in the industry that he badly wants to add a run-producing bat at either first base and/or left field," according to Sherman.
- MLB.com's Steve Gilbert reports that Chris Snyder confirmed there has not been a setback in his rehab from back surgery. The Blue Jays nixed a potential Snyder for Lyle Overbay swap over the weekend over concerns about the catcher's back.
- The Orioles claimed righthander Armando Gabino off waivers from the Twins, according to Joe Christensen of The Star Tribune. Meanwhile, a team press release says the Rays claimed righty Ramon Ramirez off waivers from the Reds.
- FoxSports.com's Ken Rosenthal and Jon Paul Morosi report that Melvin Mora is working out at other positions to increase his versatility and up his value as a free agent.
- Dave Cameron of FanGraphs compared Jason Bay to Mike Cameron, and determines that the latter is a better value.
- Jon Weisman at Dodger Thoughts breaks down some Chad Billingsley rumors.
A fresh batch of links for Wednesday afternoon...
- Richard Justice of the Houston Chronicle highlights some of the positives and negatives of the ongoing Drayton McLane era in Houston. "This is his franchise," writes Justice, "and he's certainly no absentee owner. He's front and center for all the good and all the bad."
- According to David Roeder of the Chicago Sun-Times, the IRS may be planning to challenge the Tribune Co.'s sale of the Cubs. The Tribune is attempting to save about $300 million in capital gains taxes with the sale, but is also maintaining a 5 percent stake in the franchise. So it's really more of a partnership.
- Milton Bradley's mother, Charlena Rector, told the Sun-Times' Chris DeLuca Tuesday that her son is open to returning to the Cubs. Of course, GM Jim Hendry and Co. probably don't want him back.
- MLB.com's T.R. Sullivan lays out several facts regarding the sale of the Texas Rangers. For what it's worth, Major League Baseball is hoping the sale price will be over $500MM.
- As Adam Kilgore of the Boston Globe notes, Ramon Ramirez is extremely happy with the trade that brought him to Boston last winter. “I love these guys,’’ the reliever said Tuesday. “It’s been great to be in Boston. I’m enjoying it. It’s been a good time. This is a great team.’’ He's done well for himself, too, posting a 2.67 ERA and a .227 BAA.
- ESPN.com's Jerry Crasnick highlights nine players who are, as he puts it, "at a career crossroads." Among the names? Delmon Young, B.J. Upton and Francisco Liriano.