Raul Ibanez Rumors
- Dayan Viciedo says he tried to recruit fellow Cubans Yoenis Cespedes and Jorge Soler for the White Sox, tweets Dave van Dyck of the Chicago Tribune. Cespedes appears to be drawing substantial interest from Chicago’s other team.
- The representatives for Vladimir Guerrero and Raul Ibanez contacted the Yankees about their DH opening, Newsday’s Ken Davidoff tweets. The Yankees have also been in touch with the representatives for Carlos Pena, Johnny Damon and Hideki Matsui, though they aren’t inclined to spend big on a DH.
- Mark Zuckerman of NatsInsider.com has the salary breakdown for Gio Gonzalez’s recent five-year, $42MM extension (Twitter link). The Nationals have two $12MM options for 2017 and 2018, Gonzalez’s second and third free agent years.
- Brewers GM Doug Melvin said right fielder Corey Hart will be asked if he's willing to play some games at first base, tweets Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. Mat Gamel is the Brewers’ projected first baseman, since Prince Fielder will almost certainly sign elsewhere.
- At times “winks and nods” are involved when it comes to Type B free agents. The free agents have been known to agree in advance to decline arbitration offers, since doing so doesn’t hurt their free agent value.
- However, GM Doug Melvin says the Brewers did not ask agent Scott Boras to decline the team’s offer to Francisco Rodriguez. "We felt that with us trading some players the last few years that this was a chance to recover with some high picks,” Melvin told Olney. The GM explained that he’s not expecting to obtain many compensation picks in the next couple of years.
- As Olney points out, Rodriguez faces a similar decision to the one another Boras client, Rafael Soriano, faced last offseason: “take more money to be a setup man, or less to be a closer.”
- Olney notes that Raul Ibanez’s agents have a good relationship with the Phillies and suggests it’s likely Ibanez has agreed to turn down the team’s offer.
- There's no understanding that Derrek Lee will reject the Pirates' offer, according to Olney (on Twitter).
- Olney suggests gentlemen's agreements are likely in place with Aaron Harang, Jose Molina and David DeJesus and that the three players will decline arbitration(Twitter link).
- The Yankees are quietly confident that Phil Hughes will start Spring Training in improved physical condition and have a bounce-back season in 2012. They will continue to discuss available starting pitchers, even after agreeing to terms with Freddy Garcia.
10 National League teams have free agent arbitration offer decisions to make today, and we'll update them in this post in advance of the 11pm central time deadline. For a fantastic customizable chart with all 57 Type A/B free agents and their teams' decisions in real-time, click here.
Updated team decisions:
- The Giants won't offer arbitration to Pat Burrell (B) or Cody Ross (B) according to John Shea of the San Francisco Chronicle (on Twitter). Carlos Beltran (A) contractually cannot be offered arbitration.
- The Dodgers declined to offer Hiroki Kuroda (B) arbitration, according to Dylan Hernandez of the LA Times (on Twitter). Rod Barajas (B) already signed with the Pirates.
- The Pirates offered arbitration to Derrek Lee (B) while declining to offer Ryan Ludwick (B) and Chris Snyder (B) arbitration. Ryan Doumit (B) already signed with the Twins.
- The Phillies did not offer Roy Oswalt (A) or Brad Lidge (B) arbitration, according to the AP (via ESPN). The team announced that it offered arbitration to Raul Ibanez (B), Ryan Madson (A, will not cost signing team a draft pick), and Jimmy Rollins (A), according to Todd Zolecki of MLB.com (via Twitter).
- The Cubs offered arbitration to Carlos Pena (B) and Aramis Ramirez (B) but not to Kerry Wood (B), according to Paul Sullivan of the Chicago Tribune (on Twitter).
- The Cardinals offered Edwin Jackson (B) and Albert Pujols (A) arbitration, but declined to make offers to Rafael Furcal (B) and Arthur Rhodes (B), according to Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch (on Twitter). That leaves Octavio Dotel (modified B, no arbitration offer necessary).
- The Mets offered Jose Reyes (A) arbitration, according to Newsday's Ken Davidoff (on Twitter).
- The Padres will offer arbitration to Heath Bell (A, will not cost signing team a draft pick) and Aaron Harang (B), tweets Corey Brock of MLB.com.
- The Brewers offered Prince Fielder (A) and Francisco Rodriguez (A, will not cost signing team a draft pick) arbitration. They declined to offer Yuniesky Betancourt (B) arbitration. Takashi Saito (A), contractually cannot be offered arbitration.
- The Braves did not offer arbitration to Alex Gonzalez (B), according to David O'Brien of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
Teams with automatic decisions only:
- Reds: Francisco Cordero (modified B, no arbitration offer necessary), Ramon Hernandez (modified B, no arbitration offer necessary)
- Astros: Clint Barmes (B, already signed with Pirates)
- Rockies: Mark Ellis (B, already signed with Dodgers)
Here are some items of note and musings coming out of the East divisions as Phillies interim closer Jose Contreras hits the DL ...
- Mets reliever Pedro Beato, a Rule 5 draftee this offseason, is pitching well, writes Thomas Boorstein of MLB.com. "I've been impressed ever since he walked into camp," Mets manager Terry Collins said. Earlier this week, the Mets returned second baseman Brad Emaus - their other Rule 5 pick - to the Blue Jays, who flipped him in turn to the Rockies, but it looks like Beato has a good shot of sticking with the Mets throughout the season.
- Phillies outfielder Raul Ibanez is struggling, as is Philly's lineup on the whole, and David Murphy of the Philadelphia Daily News wonders how long the Phils will continue to start Ibanez. Should the Phils choose to divvy up starts between John Mayberry Jr., Ben Francisco and Domonic Brown, it would be interesting to see whether they would look into trading the 39-year-old. Ibanez is past his prime, sure, but he posted a triple-slash of .272/.347/.552 as recently as two years ago, and his contract expires at season's end, so he could draw interest at a cheap price. However, he does have no-trade protection.
- The Blue Jays will place second baseman Aaron Hill on the DL, writes Gregor Chisholm of MLB.com. We'll never know the answer, but I wonder whether the Jays would have held onto Emaus to fill in briefly with Hill, Jayson Nix, and Edwin Encarnacion being banged up. Of course, it seems pretty clear that the Jays had made the decision that Emaus didn't factor into their plans, but they are stretched thin now, as John McDonald and Mike McCoy started at third and second base, respectively, on Sunday.
- The Nationals signed infielder Tug Hulett to a minor league contract, according to NBC Sports. Hulett last appeared in the big leagues with the Royals in 2009. He was with the Rockies earlier this season but was let go after Colorado acquired Emaus.
- The Brewers are having ongoing discussions with the representatives for Craig Counsell, according to Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel (on Twitter).
- If you've heard about agent Darek Braunecker, but don't know much about him, you're not alone. David Waldstein of the New York Times introduces us to Cliff Lee's agent.
- The Phillies do not intend to trade Raul Ibanez, according to Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports (on Twitter). Joe Blanton, on the other hand, is available.
- Rosenthal also notes that the Rangers and Rockies have not discussed Michael Young since the Winter Meetings (Twitter link).
- The Orioles are still talking to the representatives for Adam LaRoche, according to Dan Connolly of the Baltimore Sun.
- Indians manager Manny Acta is watching Bartolo Colon's start in the Dominican Republic tonight, according to Enrique Rojas of ESPNDeportes (on Twitter).
- Kerry Wood told Fred Mitchell and David Kaplan of the Chicago Tribune that he could see himself playing for the Cubs, but probably not for the White Sox.
- In case you were wondering, the Marlins don't intend to trade Josh Johnson, according to MLB.com's Joe Frisaro (on Twitter).
- Gary Sheffield told Mike Ferrin and Tom Gordon of MLB Network Radio that he has discussed a potential deal with the Rays. However, manager Joe Maddon told Marc Topkin of the St. Petersburg Times that the Rays have limited interest in Sheffield, though they wanted to get to know him better.
In his latest piece for ESPN.com, Jayson Stark discusses the ripple effect that Jayson Werth's $126MM deal will have on the remaining free agents. One AL official opines that it raises Carl Crawford's price in a "big, big way": "He's looking at maybe eight years, $180 million now, maybe 10 years, $190 million." Here are the rest of Stark's hot stove notes:
- Crawford is the clear top target for the Angels, but in the past they've tried to avoid going as high as eight years for any player, let alone ten.
- Despite getting Werth's contract done already, Scott Boras often drags out negotiations for his top clients. Stark polled a dozen people across baseball on when Adrian Beltre would sign, and many predicted it wouldn't happen until Christmas or later.
- Neither the Yankees or Rangers have made a formal offer to Cliff Lee yet, but many of those baseball people polled by Stark expect a deal to get done within the next week.
- There's good news and bad news for the Royals and Zack Greinke's trade value: with many free agent arms coming off the board already, Greinke has become more valuable in a pitching-thin market. However, according to one AL source, "Greinke has been trying to convince the Royals that it's not a great idea if he's there next year," which reduces Kansas City's leverage.
- The Diamondbacks haven't totally ruled out trading Justin Upton, though it appears unlikely. Kevin Towers tells Stark "it's going to take somebody a little on the crazy side" to get anything done.
- There's a sense that Jason Bartlett is the player most likely to be traded this week. However, Stark has trouble finding a team in need of a shortstop that matches up well with the Rays, who would like a late-inning reliever in return.
- With Werth off the market, the Phillies will look to replace him with a complementary player rather than a big name. Stark lists Scott Hairston, Jeff Francoeur, and Matt Diaz as a few possible targets. Philadelphia has also been trying to find a taker for Raul Ibanez, but would likely have to eat a good chunk of salary to do so.
- Vladimir Guerrero is talking to the Rangers and three other AL teams, according to Jon Heyman of SI.com (on Twitter).
- Heyman reports that Bengie Molina wants to play another year (Twitter link).
- Phillies GM Ruben Amaro Jr. suggested that Raul Ibanez and Jayson Werth are comparable hitters, according to David Murphy of the Philadelphia Daily News. That's probably not the first comparison agent Scott Boras would make about Werth.
- An AL executive explained to Sherman that he believes the Royals will trade Zack Greinke sooner rather than later for two reasons: the demand for ace-level starters is high and the Royals don’t want to see a personal or physical issue reduce Greinke’s value.
- Boras tells Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports that Magglio Ordonez has finished rehabilitating his fractured right ankle and "returned to full workout routines"
- Rays president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman tells Cork Gaines of Rays Index that he's likely to hold onto his starting pitching because it's so hard to come by.
In today's blog post at ESPN (Insider req'd), Buster Olney names the winners and losers in yesterday's Cliff Lee deal. Beyond the obvious, he says the Red Sox and Rays win because Lee stays away from the team they're chasing in the AL East while the Athletics and Angels lose because he's going to the team they're chasing in the AL West. Olney also dubs the Phillies losers because yesterday's trade again showed that they didn't receive as much as they could have for Lee when they traded him last winter.
Here are the rest of Buster's rumors...
- People within the Mets' front office are working under the assumption that they will not be able to expand payroll. Earlier this week we heard that the team liked the idea of acquiring Ted Lilly and taking on the now $5.55MM left on his deal as a way to move fewer prospects.
- The Phillies would prefer to move Raul Ibanez and the $17MM left on his deal to make room for top prospect Domonic Brown, but I can't imagine anyone will bite. Impending free agent Jayson Werth might go instead.
- Kosuke Fukudome's stock is falling, but the Cubs are still keeping the eye on the market for his services.
- The Royals are telling teams that they are going to hang on to David DeJesus until the trade deadline before deciding whether or not to move the outfielder.
The Yankees, Red Sox and Rays have told the Phillies that they would have interest in Jayson Werth if he is available, according to George A. King III of the New York Post. We heard yesterday that the Phillies, who would like to add a proven starter, are discussing possible Werth trades with ‘a lot of teams.’
Werth, 31, will hit free agency after the season and is projected to be a Type A free agent. That ranking likely boosts his value in the long-term. For now, Werth boasts a .278/.365/.514 line and plays solid defense in right field. Check back throughout the day for the latest rumors on Werth:
- The Red Sox have shown interest in Werth, but no deal is imminent, according to Rob Bradford of WEEI.com.
- An official of one team the Phillies discussed Werth with told ESPN.com's Jayson Stark that he would be very surprised to see the Phils trade him. Stark reports that the Phillies appear to have evaluated the market for Werth, Ibanez and Shane Victorino. The Phillies would have interest in Vazquez if the Yankees make him available.
- There’s no reason to believe that the Phillies will trade Werth to the Yankees for Javier Vazquez, according to MLB.com’s Todd Zolecki. The Phillies would want major league-ready players who are under team control after 2010 if they deal Werth, Zolecki confirms.
- The Phillies would part with Werth in the right deal, but aren't sure how they would do without a comparable right-handed bat, according to Jim Salisbury of CSNPhilly.com (via Twitter).
- The Phillies would prefer to move Raul Ibanez than Werth, according to ESPN.com's Buster Olney (via Twitter). The chances of that happening seem slim.
- Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports says the Phillies would be looking to obtain players who can contribute instantly and who are under team control after 2010 (Twitter link).
- Rosenthal puts the odds of a Javier Vazquez-Werth swap at 50-1 and says the Rays are not likely to acquire the Phillies' outfielder (Twitter link).
There may be a lot of NBA and NHL rumors and signings floating around today, but the MLB hot stove will only get hotter as we approach the trade deadline. Here are some items from around the majors...
- Scott Miller of CBSSports.com speculates that the Angels and Reds could join the Cliff Lee sweepstakes. Perhaps one of them could be the mystery team?
- Speaking of that mystery team and the possibility that it could be the Cardinals, Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch thinks it would be a bad move for the Cards to deal prospect Shelby Miller.
- Anthony Castrovince of MLB.com reports that the Russell Branyan trade was "a very popular move in the Indians' clubhouse. Branyan was great with reporters, but he was not exactly up for team captain consideration by his teammates."
- Jim Salisbury of CSNPhilly.com says trying to replace Chase Utley is Ruben Amaro Jr.'s "next big test" as Philadelphia's GM.
- Commenting on Tom Krasovic's item about Jayson Werth possibly being on the trade market, ESPN.com's Rob Neyer uses the "pretty far-fetched" rumor as further evidence that the Phillies erred with the Raul Ibanez signing.
- Washington manager Jim Riggleman is using the trade deadline as motivation for his team to play well enough that it doesn't get broken up, reports MASNSports.com's Ben Goessling.
- With the international signing period beginning tomorrow, Baseball America's Ben Badler ranks players by their projected signing bonuses. The story also provides links to other pieces breaking down what each team is looking for and scouting reports on various international players, though these stories are only available to Baseball America subscribers.
- Dan McNeil of the Chicago Tribune thinks Carlos Zambrano is a lost cause with the Cubs and can't believe that Jim Hendry defended Zambrano's contract extension.
- With Manny Delcarmen headed to the disabled list today, Joe McDonald of ESPNBoston.com thinks this will force Boston's hand in acquiring a reliever. If the Sox do get some bullpen help, don't expect them to give up any good prospects in return.
- Speaking of bullpen deals, Jon Weisman of ESPNLosAngeles.com cites the Josh Bell-for-George Sherrill deal as proof that the Dodgers should be very wary about another trade for a reliever.