Raul Ibanez Rumors
- "Vladimir Guerrero has made it known to the Yankees that he wants their DH spot," tweets ESPN's Buster Olney, but Raul Ibanez remains the frontrunner. Ibanez had a slightly worse 2011 season, but the Yankees seem to prefer his left-handed bat.
- The Cubs and Red Sox submitted briefs regarding the Theo Epstein compensation issue, tweets Jon Heyman of CBS Sports, and a decision could come this week.
- Red Sox GM Ben Cherington told WEEI after the Ortiz settlement that he doesn't expect any major moves between now and when pitchers and catchers report Sunday, but added, "We're still working on some stuff." WEEI's Rob Bradford hears there's still no traction with Roy Oswalt.
- Orioles executive director of international recruiting Fred Ferreira will still fly to the Dominican Republic this weekend to scout six Cuban players, including outfielder Jorge Soler, he told Roch Kubatko of MASNSports.com. The Orioles had interest in Yoenis Cespedes, but Ferreira isn't surprised or disappointed about not getting him.
- Matt Moore, Dylan Bundy, Manny Machado, Travis d'Arnaud, Jake Marisnick, Manny Banuelos, Xander Bogaerts, Gary Sanchez, Brandon Jacobs, Daniel Norris, Will Middlebrooks, Dellin Betances, Hak-Ju Lee, Anthony Gose, Jonathan Schoop, Noah Syndergaard, Ryan Lavarnway, and Mason Williams are the division's best prospects, based on Kevin Goldstein's recently-released top 101 prospects list for Baseball Prospectus. Jacobs, Norris, and Syndergaard didn't merit mentions on Keith Law's top 100 or his "just missed" list for ESPN. On the other hand, Law included Drew Hutchison, Chris Archer, Enny Romero, Mikie Mahtook, Taylor Guerrieri, Aaron Sanchez, and Blake Swihart on his list and Goldstein did not.
9:50pm: Talks were ongoing as of Friday evening, according to Bill Brink of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, and do not include Garrett Jones. Brink adds that Bucs are more receptive to taking on salary than moving a player or prospect.
4:14pm: The Yankees are telling the Pirates that absorbing $10MM isn't enough, Joel Sherman of the New York Post tweets.
3:47pm: The Pirates appear to be willing to absorb $10MM in a trade, Heyman tweets. The Yankees have been pushing for an even split and seek an OK prospect in return. Heyman tweets that the chances of a deal remain "decent." The clubs are talking, but aren't close to a deal, Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports tweets. The Pirates are also looking at other starters.
12:34pm: There seems to be a fair amount of optimism about a deal, Heyman tweets.
10:28am: The Pirates haven't yet offered to pay $10MM of the $33MM remaining on Burnett's contract, Heyman tweets.
7:57am: The Yankees and Pirates continue discussing a possible A.J. Burnett trade, Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com reports. The Yankees are willing to pay a substantial portion of the $33MM remaining on the right-hander’s contract through 2013, but the teams are still a few million apart. The Yankees first asked the Pirates to pay well over $11MM, Heyman writes.
The Yankees want to create payroll room for a designated hitter and appear to be leaning toward Raul Ibanez, perhaps because they prefer his ability to play the outfield. Johnny Damon and Eric Chavez also intrigue the Yankees as possible free agent additions, according to Heyman. The Pirates rejected the Yankees’ request for Garrett Jones, Heyman writes.
Joel Sherman of the New York Post reports that Burnett’s no-trade list includes all of the teams on the West Coast (Twitter links). Sherman expects the Yankees to trade Burnett before Spring Training and suggests the team is waiting to see if the Pirates or another club offers to absorb more money.
- The Red Sox signed 17-year-old Australian Daniel McGrath, Rob Bradford of WEEI.com writes. The left-hander will visit Boston's Spring Training camp for a week before returning to finish high school in Australia. Bradford hears 15 MLB teams had interest before Boston completed the deal.
- Even after signing Hall, the Yankees continue to be focused on Eric Chavez and Raul Ibanez according to Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com. Last night we learned that they were in serious talks with Ibanez, and Heyman says the Yankees are in excellent position because all of their targets have interest in playing for a contender.
- Meanwhile, Joel Sherman of The New York Post reports that the Yankees are not offering more than $2MM for a DH-type and might not even want to spend more than $1MM.
- Orioles executive director of international recruiting Fred Ferreira will watch Cuban outfielder Jorge Soler in the Dominican Republic when he travels to watch Yoenis Cespedes play, Roch Kubatko of MASNsports.com reports.
ESPN.com's Buster Olney reported earlier tonight that the Yankees could add a left-handed hitter such as Ibanez, Johnny Damon or Hideki Matsui within a week. Yankees manager Joe Girardi said last week that he would like to see GM Brian Cashman add a bat before Opening Day.
Ibanez posted a .245/.289/.419 line with 20 home runs in 575 plate appearances as the Phillies' everyday left fielder last year. The 39-year-old could provide the Yankees with an option at designated hitter or in the corner outfield positions. He owns a .286/.351/.488 line against right-handed pitching in 16 MLB seasons and appears to be a possible platoon partner for Andruw Jones.
The Yankees are considering adding a left-handed hitter and could sign Raul Ibanez, Johnny Damon or Hideki Matsui within a week, ESPN.com’s Buster Olney writes. Adding one of the veterans would provide the Yankees with a weapon against right-handed pitching for their open DH spot.
Yankees manager Joe Girardi said last week that he would like to see GM Brian Cashman add a bat before Opening Day. The skipper suggested he'd prefer a lefty hitter, someone who can complement the right-handed hitting Andruw Jones. The Yankees will explore alternatives before the July 31st trade deadline if they aren’t getting enough production from their DHs, Olney tweets.
Only one MLB team outscored the 2011 Yankees, but manager Joe Girardi wouldn’t object if GM Brian Cashman adds one more bat to the roster before Opening Day. MLB.com’s Bryan Hoch reports that Girardi suggested he’d prefer a left-handed hitter and openly discussed free agents Johnny Damon, Raul Ibanez and Hideki Matsui.
"I think we've had a good offseason; I think Brian has done a really good job this offseason in what he's done,” he said. “But I think it's important to our club that you add that other bat. The American League is going to be tough."
Girardi said he’d prefer to add a left-handed hitter, though the club won't rule out right-handed bats. A lefty hitter would provide Girardi with a complement to Andruw Jones, who has power from the right side. The skipper acknowledged that Damon, Matsui and Ibanez have historically been strong offensive players, but cautioned that it’s too early to say which of those left-handed hitters, if any, are serious targets for the Yankees. Damon and Vladimir Guerrero appear to be seeking $5MM contracts for 2012.
The Mets are looking for a veteran left-handed bat for the bench and are looking at options such as Rick Ankiel, Kosuke Fukudome, Raul Ibanez, and Johnny Damon, two team insiders tell Andy Martino of the New York Daily News.
Ibanez and Damon appear to be less of a fit as the Mets as they would prefer more at-bats and have less defensive versatility than the links of Ankiel and Fukudome. Either one of those outfielders would provide Terry Collins with a lefty pinch-hitter, an occasional platoon partner for Jason Bay, and insurance against the club's starters.
Willie Harris signing with the Reds left the Mets with two unproven lefties off the bench in Mike Baxter and Adam Loewen. The club is prepared to begin Spring Training with only Baxter and Loewen, but that is a less likely scenario, one insider told Martino.
The Mets could be helped by Juan Pierre's agreement on Friday with the Phillies and the abundance of left-handed outfielders on the open market. Pierre agreed to a minor league deal with an invite to Spring Training on Friday.
The Yankees have interest in Raul Ibanez, Kevin Kernan of the New York Post reports. Ibanez has drawn interest from a number of clubs, including the Mets and Tigers, in recent weeks. We heard ten days ago that ACES had contacted the Yankees about Ibanez, but this is the first concrete indication that the interest is mutual.
Ibanez posted a .245/.289/.419 line with 20 home runs in 575 plate appearances as the Phillies' everyday left fielder last year. The 39-year-old could provide the Yankees with an option at designated hitter or in the corner outfield positions. He owns a .286/.351/.488 line against right-handed pitching in 16 MLB seasons. ESPN.com’s Buster Olney suggested earlier today that Ibanez would be a good fit in the Bronx (Twitter link).
The Mets are "diligently monitoring" the market for left-handed-hitting outfielders such as Johnny Damon, Kosuke Fukudome, Rick Ankiel, Raul Ibanez and Juan Pierre, according to Jerry Crasnick of ESPN.com. Crasnick adds that the surplus of players who fit that bill affords the cash-strapped Mets with some much-needed negotiating leverage (Twitter links).
Andres Torres is the Mets' projected starting center fielder, and he'll be flanked by Jason Bay in left and perhaps a platoon of Scott Hairston and Lucas Duda in right, so it's unclear as to what role one of the above-mentioned players would fill.
As our Transaction Tracker shows, it's been a pretty quiet offseason for the Mets, their most notable moves being the acquisitions of Torres and relievers Frank Francisco, Jon Rauch and Ramon Ramirez.
11:53pm: Knobler indicates that Oswalt has turned the Tigers down even though they were very interested in signing him (Twitter links). They even had Justin Verlander make a recruiting call. He says the Tigers are likely to leave the fifth starter's job up for grabs in Spring Training.
9:01am: The Tigers have some interest in Hideki Matsui and Raul Ibanez, Danny Knobler of CBSSports.com reports on Twitter. Victor Martinez will likely miss the entire season with a torn ACL, so Tigers GM Dave Dombrowski is in the market for a designated hitter.
The Tigers are considering free agents Johnny Damon and Juan Pierre, but might rely on internal options at DH. Matsui, Ibanez, Pierre and Damon all bat from the left side, but club could consider right-handed bats such as Vladimir Guerrero, Magglio Ordonez and Derrek Lee. Both Matsui and Ibanez have been linked to the Yankees, another club that may add a designated hitter.
The Tigers have also shown interest in Roy Oswalt, according to Knobler. While Jacob Turner and others are candidates to start for Detroit, the team is considering ways of adding starting pitching depth before Opening Day. Knobler says it appears unlikely that the Tigers will sign Oswalt, which matches up with what Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports reported yesterday.