Reggie Sanders Rumors

Crasnick On Remaining Free Agents

ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick examines the status of nine free agents: Sammy Sosa, Kenny Lofton, Reggie Sanders, Jeff Cirillo, Royce Clayton, Steve Finley, Freddy Garcia, David Wells, and Damian Miller.

  • Lofton is likely to find a job; he’s healthy and played reasonably well last year.  The Cubs still might be a fit.
  • Seems that Garcia probably won’t reach a big league mound until September; auditioning for teams may take place in July.
  • Miller received calls from the Yankees and Padres, but he’s still taking a Brewers or nothing stance.

Reggie Sanders Ponders Future

According to ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick, free agent outfielder Reggie Sanders is looking at several options for 2008.  He could continue his playing career; he’s discussed backup roles with the Padres and Dodgers.  The Dodgers don’t seem to need more outfielders, while the Padres are looking to trade for a corner outfielder.

Other options for Sanders include retirement and/or a foray into a TV analyst career.

A’s Interested In Cameron

Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle reports in with new info regarding an A’s target.  She says Mike Cameron is in their sights, and the A’s have had "several conversations" with his agent.  The A’s weren’t mentioned as a contender for Cameron last night; he is expected to land with the Brewers or Yankees.

Slusser also names a couple of available right-handed hitting free agent outfielders in Reggie Sanders and Rondell White.  Those are just examples, though – there is no current indication that the A’s have interest.

Slusser adds that there’s nothing to recent rumors of a Huston Street for Coco Crisp swap.  That one sounds like fan speculation (in fact I think I saw it in our comments somewhere).

Rosenthal’s Latest: Bonds, Broussard, Hunter, Rowand, More

We missed an installment from good ol’ Kenny Rosenthal yesterday. He’s back today in full force (unlike another great rumor source, Buster Olney, who posted nothing really new in his blog today).

  • The A’s, once considered the best bet for Barry Bonds, are no longer interested in the indicted slugger. Rosenthal thinks it’s likely that Bond’s trial will start after Opening Day, causing him to miss time regardless of the verdict. And then there’s the whole prison issue.
  • The Rangers spoke to the Mariners at the GM meetings regarding the availability of Ben Broussard. Talks didn’t really go anywhere, since Broussard is a non-tender candidate. The Mariners might not be too keen on offering Broussard a raise over the $3.55 million he made last year, in which he managed just 264 plate appearances.
  • Teams, including the Dodgers, might be more interested in Aaron Rowand over Torii Hunter because of one year and $30 million. Rowand is seeking five years, $60 million, while Hunter wants six and $90 mil. Hunter is far more proven a commodity, though, and is more athletic than Rowand. The negative in Hunter’s corner is that he’s two years older than Rowand.
  • He mentions that the Cubs are interested in Luis Castillo and Kaz Matsui, both switch hitters, to play second base next year. The Astros and Mets are also in on Castillo, while the Rockies would like to re-sign Kaz — though they have a number of internal candidates, including Ian Stewart.
  • The Padres are considering offering arbitration to Mike Cameron and Mike Barrett. Barrett seems like a no-brainer. He’s a Type A free agent, and would probably be worth a one-year deal. He could be pricey, though, as Ivan Rodriguez and Jorge Posada are making $13 million or more. Cameron also makes sense. The Padres still need a center fielder for 2008, and they’d do well to sign Cam to a one-year deal should he accept arbitration. Otherwise, the supplemental pick would be nice.
  • Reggie Sanders will consider retirement if he can’t land a deal with the Dodgers, Giants, or Padres. Sanders missed most of the 2007 season with hamstring problems.

Joe Pawlikowski is co-author of River Ave. Blues.

Grudzielanek Leaves Game

UPDATE: Turns out Grudz is just day-to-day with knee sorenessThe Mets deny any rumor that they’ve traded for him.  Two Royal false alarms today, sorry about that.

A friendly emailer tells me that Royals second baseman Mark Grudzielanek was in the original lineup, but was scratched at the last minute.  Joe Girardi says he may be headed to the Mets.  We’ll keep you posted.  And now back to my sweet n’ sour chicken.

And an update on Reggie Sanders: according to Girardi, Reggie was just shipping his kids’ stuff off to Arizona, where they’ll go to school.  False alarm.

Unfounded Rumors

Would you think less of me if I busted out the old Unfounded Rumors category?  I know the #1 request at MLBTR is More Rumors.  So why not toss a few unfounded ones out there?  These are 100% unconfirmed, shaky rumors that have crossed my inbox.  Believe them at your own risk. 

But since 99% of deadline rumors don’t happen anyway, why not put ’em out there for discussion?

Latest On Octavio Dotel

You know what I love about the Kansas City Star?  The enormous, extreme close-up pixellated player photo that seems to accompany every article.  It’s bizarre in a good way.

Anyway, Bob Dutton gives us the latest on hot commodity Octavio Dotel.  According to Dutton, the Dodgers and Indians are at the forefront, with the Red Sox, Mets, and some other teams monitoring the situation.

As before, Dutton indicates that the Dodgers are the best possibility.  They refuse to part with Tony Abreu, however.  Abreu is seen as Jeff Kent‘s replacement at second base, though Kent is still going strong and his 2008 option becomes guaranteed with 550 plate appearances this year.  Barring injury, he’ll reach that.

This seems parallel to the shortstop situation, where Rafael Furcal is signed through 2008 and Chin-Lung Hu is knocking on the door.  For some reason Dutton seems to view Hu as more available than Abreu.

The Indians won’t give up outfielders Franklin Gutierrez or Ben Francisco, at least not yet.  Paul Hoynes of the Cleveland Plain Dealer confirms the info.  Is Francisco really anything more than a fourth outfielder? 

The Red Sox could go after Dotel and Reggie Sanders in a package deal, perhaps with Wily Mo Pena going to KC.

If Dayton Moore gets anything close to his asking price, the Dotel rental will end up a fantastic move. 

Reggie Sanders Likes Red Sox

Is the feeling mutual?  39 year-old outfielder Reggie Sanders is finally back from his hamstring tear, pinch-hitting on Monday and playing left field last night against the Red Sox.  Sanders spoke positively of the possibility of playing for the Red Sox when asked.

In the half-month he’s played this year, Sanders has hit well.  He has about $2.1MM left on his contract currently.  The Royals would probably trade him for some salary relief and an A ball long shot prospect.  The motivation for the Red Sox would be replacing Wily Mo Pena as the fourth outfielder, as the 25 year-old has really been scuffling this year outside of May.

Pena is a guy who really got the short end of the stick.  After hitting 45 homers in 647 ABs for the Reds from 2004-05, he was traded to the Red Sox and stopped playing regularly.  Surely that’s hurt his development.  His comparables list is littered with 40-50 HR types, and as a baseball fan I want to see if he can realize that potential.  Hopefully there’s a power-hungry team that values Pena as much as Epstein does and a deal can be made.  The Padres have been mentioned, and that sounds reasonable.

Royals Trade Rumors

I received a request for some Royals action here at MLBTR.  I thought to myself, who better to fill us in than Craig Brown of Royals Authority and Heater Magazine?  Craig obliged, and his Royals trade rumor update follows.

It’s a new season, but the results are the same in Kansas City as once again the Royals are struggling to win games in April.  The slow start means trade talk will begin sooner rather than later.  But despite the struggles, the Royals feel they’re headed in the right direction with a solid nucleus of young ballplayers.  The trade options will be limited to the few remaining veterans on the roster.

As the season rolls on, more and more teams will be paying attention to Reggie Sanders.  Sanders, who was linked to a deal with the Orioles in spring training, is off to a good start in a part time role hitting .391/.440/.696.  Although the Baltimore deal fizzled out, there’s still some interest as the Orioles would like to add a right-handed power bat to their thin bench.  Sanders has no problem coming off the bench, but would like to do it for a contender.  Other teams that could be in the market include Toronto, St. Louis or even the Angels.

Other than Sanders, it’s been relatively dry on the rumor front.  But keep an eye on Emil Brown.  Another member of the Royals crowded outfield, Brown will come cheap (he’s due $3.4 million for 2007) and has a consistent track record over the last two seasons.  He’s gained a reputation as a defensive liability, so he could appeal to a contender looking for a right-handed bat for the bench.  If the Royals are asking too much for Sanders, Brown could be Plan B.

One name that seems to come up in trade rumors every year is Mike Sweeney.  Unfortunately, Iron Mike’s bad back and hefty salary have put the kibosh on any prospective deal.  He’s stayed healthy so far (no small feat) but has struggled at the plate, hitting just .162/.238/.162.  At this point, it looks like he’ll play out the season in Kansas City before hitting the free agent market this winter.  If Sweeney gets dealt, it will be to a team in the AL since his back keeps him off the field.

Don’t look for any deals that include the Royals giving up any pitching.  GM Dayton Moore’s first priority since taking the job last summer has been restocking the team and system with arms.  He’s made some progress, but it’s still a thin staff and with pitching at a premium, it wouldn’t make sense for the Royals to let go of any of their pitchers.

By Craig Brown of Royals Authority and Heater Magazine

Orioles Considering Reggie Sanders

Somewhere, Dayton Moore is praying that the Orioles take Reggie Sanders off his hands.  Sanders, now 39, was signed in December of 2005 for two years and $10 million.  He’s one of a handful of Allard Baird mistakes still residing on the Royals’ roster.

I imagine Moore has struggled to find a team willing to take Sanders and most of the $5MM he’s owed.  What team would want to do that?

Enter the Orioles.  Baltimore wants a right-handed bat and the Royals just want a reliever with his arm attached.  The two sides are talking, so maybe Moore can unload Sanders before the season begins.  Bob Dutton adds that the sticking point is how much of Sanders’s salary the Royals would consume.