Randy Wolf Rumors
9:36am: Haudricourt says not to put much stock into this rumor, since the Mets are looking to add pitching. SI's Jon Heyman wonders if Hart-Maine could happen if the Mets sign Randy Wolf first. Of course, both clubs are after Wolf.
6:58am: Tom Haudricourt adds that it's important to remember that there are countless deals discussed at the Winter Meetings that never go anywhere; hearing a rumor like this doesn't mean we should immediately expect it to happen. However, Haudricourt also lends credibility to the rumor by pointing out Maine's connection to new Brewers pitching coach Rick Peterson.
1:55am: Joel Sherman provides us with a new rumor, stating that he's learned the Mets and Brewers are discussing a swap of John Maine and Corey Hart. He adds that the Mets are also discussing Kevin Millwood with the Rangers.
Maine and Hart both had down years in 2009, as Maine found himself limited to just 81.1 innings due to injury, while Hart posted a line of .260/.335/.418 and watched his slugging percentage continue to trend downward for the second straight season.
Both players will be arbitration eligible for the second time this season. Maine made $2.6MM last year while Hart earned $3.25MM.
The Brewers would likely welcome the chance to add an arm, though Maine's injuries the past two seasons have to be a red flag. In a similar vein, while Hart has shown in the past that he can be the power-hitting, right-handed corner outfielder the Mets want, his .418 slugging percentage and 12 HR in 2009 are a long way removed from his 24 HR and .539 slugging percentage of 2007.
A fresh bash of Twitter rumors, with the earlier post so bloated...
- The Mets will meet with the agents for Randy Wolf, Joel Pineiro, Jason Marquis, and John Lackey, says SI's Jon Heyman.
- Ed Wade ranks the Astros priorities as closer, offense, eighth-inning reliever, and bench, according to MLB.com's Brian McTaggart. ESPN's Jerry Crasnick notes that the Astros will meet with Rafael Soriano's agent today.
- Crasnick says the Marlins are getting trade inquiries on arbitration-eligible outfielder Cody Ross. The Fish are expected to retain Ross, however.
- Giants GM Brian Sabean told Andrew Baggarly of the San Jose Mercury News that Ryan Garko is on the bubble in terms of being non-tendered. Reliever Brandon Medders will be tendered a contract. You can check out our other non-tender candidates here.
- Miguel Angel Sano has been determined by MLB to be 16-18, and GM Bill Smith doesn't seem to care where he falls in that range.
Collecting some tweets I couldn't quite turn into posts...
- Four unknown teams are in on Pirates catcher Ryan Doumit, says Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports.
- The Nationals have interest in free agent catcher Brad Ausmus, says MLB.com's Bill Ladson.
- The Red Sox have interest in free agent lefty Ron Mahay, says Michael Silverman of the Boston Herald. The 38-year-old posted a 4.29 ERA, 7.5 K/9, and 3.9 BB/9 in 50.3 innings for the Royals and Twins this year. Two years ago he was quite a hot commodity on the free agent market.
- ESPN's Jerry Crasnick says Brett Myers is seeking a two-year deal. The Rangers and other teams are interested at one year. Crasnick wrote a few days ago that the Astros are also interested, while Andrew Baggarly named the Giants as a suitor today.
- Dylan Hernandez of the L.A. Times shoots down Danny Knobler's rumor that the Pirates have interest in Juan Pierre. Nonetheless, MLB.com's Joe Frisaro tweets of interest from the Pirates, White Sox, and a third team.
- ESPN's Jayson Stark says the Yankees want to resolve the Andy Pettitte/Johnny Damon situations before moving on to Hideki Matsui and other starting pitcher options.
- White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen told Phil Rogers of the Chicago Tribune that the Sox are not in the market for a pure DH.
- The Brewers are making a "strong run" at Randy Wolf, tweets Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports.
- Ruben Amaro Jr.'s comment that "those are guys we will probably count on" implies relievers Chad Durbin and Clay Condrey will be tendered contracts by the Phillies (Andy Martino reporting).
- Crasnick says Geoff Jenkins wants to make a comeback in 2010 and has been working out at first base and outfield in hopes of landing a bench role.
- Crasnick says to expect the Cubs to tender a contract to Mike Fontenot on Saturday.
- Bill Shanks quoting Braves manager Bobby Cox: "clubs are knocking on the door for Kelly Johnson." I imagine Johnson will be dealt by Saturday.
- ESPN's Gordon Edes says that while Red Sox owner John Henry is a big fan of Miguel Cabrera from their Marlins days, the Red Sox "don't have the Major League-ready position players Detroit wants in return."
- Crasnick expects Elmer Dessens to re-sign with the Mets, though the pitcher has talked to the Dodgers and Padres.
- Yahoo's Steve Henson says the Braves want to move Derek Lowe or Javier Vazquez, but not Kenshin Kawakami.
- Andy Martino of the Philadelphia Inquirer says the Phillies will meet with Chan Ho Park's agent today "and attempt to resolve their differences over Park's value." The Phils did not offer arbitration to Park, a Type B free agent. Park craves another shot at starting, which won't happen in Philly.
- Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports says the Phillies like Brandon Lyon, but aren't "willing to pay the price for him." Lyon is said to be seeking a multiyear deal. He is expected to turn down the Tigers' offer of arbitration today. The Yankees have been named as another suitor.
- Crasnick says the Astros "have very little money to spend, unless Drayton McLane suddenly has a change of heart."
A look at the latest column from SI's Jon Heyman...
- Aside from Jason Bay and John Lackey, Heyman names Marlon Byrd, Rich Harden, Randy Wolf, and Joel Pineiro as Mariners targets. That's the first I've heard of Byrd, Wolf, or a Pineiro reunion. Heyman names the Cubs and Braves as other Byrd suitors.
- Heyman says "execs expect" Jose Valverde to remain in Houston, whether through accepting arbitration today or just re-signing later.
- Heyman expects the Yankees to offer about two years and $20MM to Johnny Damon, and otherwise move on to Mike Cameron, Jermaine Dye, Curtis Granderson, or possibly Byrd.
On this date two years ago, the Tigers acquired Miguel Cabrera and Dontrelle Willis for six players including Cameron Maybin and Andrew Miller. Only one of the other four players, Burke Badenhop has yet to see significant playing time at the big league level. With this year's winter meetings set to begin next week more big players could be on the move. Let's take a look at what is being written in the Blogosphere...
- Jorge Says No! wonders if the smart move for Adrian Belte is to accept arbitration from the Mariners now that the Phillies no longer need a third baseman.
- Around the Majors explains why the Dodgers made a mistake in not offering arbitration to Randy Wolf.
- The Baseball Opinion looks back at how each team did with their '04 free agency compensation draft picks.
- Royals Authority makes a case for trading Alberto Callaspo.
- River Ave Blues wonders who could play left field for the Yankees if they don't land Johnny Damon, Matt Holliday or Mike Cameron.
- UmpBump looks at what the Astros need this off-season.
- MLB Notebook believes Justin Duchscherer would be a good fit for the Pirates.
- Bucco Fans previews the right-handed pitchers in the upcoming Rule 5 draft with Aneury Rodriguez of the Rays listed as one of the top options overall.
- DRaysBay looks at some relief pitchers that are available in the Rule 5 draft.
- We Should Be GMs examines the free agent market for relief pitchers and who might be a good fit for the Phillies.
- The Pinstriper looks back at what might have happened had the Yankees not re-signed Alex Rodriguez in '07.
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.
As ESPN.com's Buster Olney notes, the Yankees and Red Sox are hesitant to give top prospects up for Roy Halladay, since they'd have to pay him like a free agent to keep him around long-term. But some scouts aren't sure Joba Chamberlain will be able to improve his control, so Olney wonders if the Yankees might consider including him in a potential Halladay trade. Here are the rest of Olney's rumors:
- The Mets appear poised to sign two or three veterans for $5-7MM per season. We know they're interested in Bengie Molina and they're looking for pitchers, but they have other needs, too.
- Olney expects the Mets to land a starter like Randy Wolf, Jason Marquis or Joel Pineiro.
- The Mets have discussed Mike Cameron, who would consider playing left or right, and Xavier Nady.
- Olney hears that the White Sox don't have much payroll flexibility this offseason.
Let's check out some Wednesday evening links....
- Red Sox scouting director Jason McLeod is leaving Boston to become the Padres' assistant GM under Jed Hoyer, according to Peter Gammons of ESPN (via Twitter). This news prompted a slew of baseball writers across Twitter to praise the move, including Keith Law, Amalie Benjamin, Ian Browne, and Kevin Goldstein.
- Joe Girardi discusses the Yankees' 2010 roster in an article by MLB.com's Bryan Hoch. Girardi's quotes aren't overly juicy, but he mentions that he likes having some flexibility at DH to periodically give players like Alex Rodriguez, Jorge Posada, and Derek Jeter a rest.
- Carrie Muskat of MLB.com talks to Cubs GM Jim Hendry about the offseason and the upcoming winter meetings. Hendry opines that "it'll be a good offseason of trades" and that plenty will be made throughout the winter.
- David O'Brien of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution passes on some quotes from Billy Wagner, following the lefty's signing with the Braves.
- ESPN.com's Keith Law thinks Wagner's price was too high for Atlanta. Law also shares his opinions on some of the more notable arbitration decisions from around the majors.
- In a piece for River Ave. Blues, MLBTR's Mike Axisa warns the Yankees against signing Brandon Lyon, arguing that he's a "fringe reliever" in the AL East. We heard yesterday that the Yanks are interested.
- Speaking of Lyon, Bob Elliott of the Toronto Sun reports (via Twitter) that the Phillies are also interested in the right-hander.
- Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel thinks that the Brewers are one of the teams Randy Wolf described as aggressively pursuing him in an earlier story.
- John Shea of the San Francisco Chronicle provides an interesting read about where revenue-sharing checks end up.
Houston Astros Senior Director of Digital Media Alyson Footer invited her Twitter followers to participate in a Q&A with Astros GM Ed Wade. The exchange resulted in too many tweets to individually link them all, but check out her Twitter account for some quotes from the conversation. Here are a few points of interest:
- If the team cannot retain Jose Valverde and/or LaTroy Hawkins, Wade notes that there are other back-of-the-bullpen options out there. He says the club would prefer to have Valverde return as their closer, but mentions Fernando Rodney, Kevin Gregg, Rafael Soriano, and Mike Gonzalez as potential alternatives.
- The Astros will "proceed with caution" when it comes to pursuing pitchers like Ben Sheets, who have questionable injury histories. Wade pointed to Mike Hampton and Russ Ortiz as cautionary tales.
- Wade doesn't expect to have a whole lot of money to commit to any starting pitching additions, given the other holes the team needs to fill.
- The GM singles out Randy Wolf as one starter who is "probably not realistic" due to his expected price tag.
- As much as the team would like to bring back Miguel Tejada, the market for the veteran will dictate whether they'll be able to afford it.
- The team might acquire a stopgap behind the plate, but would prefer if one of their in-house options could step up and earn the starting job.
Despite the club's uncertain ownership situation, Randy Wolf would welcome a return to Los Angeles next year, according to Dylan Hernandez of the Los Angeles Times.
Wolf states that he expects the Dodgers to be competitive next season, regardless of what happens with owner Frank McCourt's divorce. However, after the team failed to offer arbitration to the left-hander, it seems unlikely that Wolf will be wearing Dodger blue next year. The lack of an arbitration offer not only suggests that the Dodgers' payroll situation is up in the air, but also makes Wolf more attractive to other suitors who now won't have to part with a high draft pick to sign him. The lefty himself mentions that a couple teams have already been "aggressive" in their pursuit.
Nonetheless, if the Dodgers can afford him, Wolf would love to come back: "I always wanted to play for the Dodgers. My teammates are great. I had a great time with them."