Reid Brignac Rumors
Sunday night linkage..
- Ben Goessling of MASNSports.com wonders if the reason Nationals' GM Mike Rizzo has made players like Adam Dunn and Josh Willingham available is because the team's offense is struggling with them as it is, so he'll try to improve other areas of the team.
- ESPNChicago's Bruce Levine says the Yankees could join the mix for Ted Lilly following Andy Pettitte's injury today. Meanwhile, Yanks' GM Brian Cashman told Wallace Matthews of ESPNNewYork.com that he is "not inclined" to make a move to replace Pettitte yet, saying that he prefers to give internal options a try first. Levine has the Tigers, Twins, Mets, and Dodgers also in the hunt for Lilly.
- Scott Miller of CSBSports.com wonders if this weekend's poor play (three losses to the Padres) makes a Dan Haren trade more likely.
- David Villavicencio of Fox Sports Florida tells us that players like Cody Ross and Ricky Nolasco want to stay with the Marlins, and know they need a strong run to make that a reality.
- Mark Kotsay knows what it's like to be the player who's desired in a trade, but also to be the player who would lose playing time as a result of one, writes MLB.com's Scott Merkin.
- Jose Bautista was honored that Alex Anthopoulos called him to help get Yunel Escobar settled into his new environment, writes MLB.com's Jordan Bastian. Bautista says that he loves Toronto and would like to stay there long-term.
- The Yankees, who have been interested bystanders through most of the process, are now getting more interested in Mexican amateur pitcher Luis Heredia, according to Dejan Kovacevic of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. However, the Pirates and the Blue Jays remain the frontrunners for the 15-year-old, who is sure to get a bonus of more than $2MM.
- Jerry Crasnick of ESPN tweets that Tampa Bay expressed interest in Yunel Escobar before he was dealt to Toronto. He also tweets that Reid Brignac was part of the talks.
- Hayden Penn, a pitcher for the Pirates' Triple-A affiliate who was reportedly nearing a deal with the Chiba Lotte Marines, is on his way to Japan, according to Indianapolis Indians Triple-A announcer Scott McCauley (via Twitter). McCauley also says that another Indianapolis hurler is "close to a deal".
- The White Sox, who have been linked to Nationals slugger Adam Dunn, have had a scout present for Washington's series against the Marlins, according to Adam Kilgore of the Washington Post (via Twitter).
- Reliever David Aardsma is a possible fit for the Tigers, tweets Ed Price of AOL Fanhouse.
- R.J. Anderson of Fangraphs attempted to peg Fausto Carmona's trade value.
- Roy Oswalt wants to claim the Astros win record before leaving, writes Bernardo Fallas of the Houston Chronicle.
- Jean-Jacques Taylor of The Dallas Morning News praised the moves made by Rangers GM Jon Daniels.
- Peter Schmuck of The Baltimore Sun senses deja vu all over again as the deadline approaches.
Let's finish off our series with the toughest division in baseball...
- Blue Jays: The Jays already traded away most of their top pieces, but they still have three desirable relievers in Scott Downs, Jason Frasor, and Kevin Gregg. All three can become free agents after the season. There might be some interest in first baseman Lyle Overbay, who will also hit the open market after the season.
- Orioles: Considering how poorly he pitched before landing on the DL, I'm sure a large part of the Baltimore faithful wouldn't mind seeing Mike Gonzalez go. Alas, that won't happen anytime soon. There always seems to be interest in Luke Scott, who still has two more years of team control left. If they decide to sell at mid-season, Kevin Millwood and Jeremy Guthrie could find their way onto the block.
- Rays: The Rays are a player development machine, and they have enough young players to get get pretty much anyone they want. They have enough depth that they could trade one of Reid Brignac or Sean Rodriguez plus one of Jeff Niemann, Wade Davis, or Jeremy Hellickson and not miss a beat. If they fall out of it and decide to sell, it doesn't get much better than Carl Crawford, Rafael Soriano, and Carlos Pena. I believe the term is "stacked."
- Red Sox: Boston has held onto Clay Buchholz for this long, but with his name appearing so frequently on the rumor circuit, it really wouldn't be surprising if they moved him for a big time player. They might still be able to find a taker for Mike Lowell, and there would be interest in Manny Delcarmen if he were made available. They did lose a valuable chip when Junichi Tazawa went down with Tommy John surgery.
- Yankees: They seem unwilling to trade either Phil Hughes or Joba Chamberlain, so their best chip is the semi-blocked Jesus Montero. Of course, the Yankees have the ability to absorb even the ugliest of contracts, so maybe we should consider that their biggest trade chip.
Hank Blalock will report to the Rays' Triple-A affiliate in Durham, according to the Tampa Bay Tribune (via Twitter). Marc Topkin of The St. Petersburg Times tweets that this means the 29-year-old was unable to find a major league job elsewhere.
Late last week, Reid Brignac made Tampa Bay's Opening Day roster, leaving Blalock as the odd man out. Despite his assertion that he does not want to play minor league ball, he told Topkin that he would remain in Durham for the "foreseeable future" if he could not land a gig in the big show (link goes to Twitter).
9:36pm: Marc Topkin of the St. Petersburg Times (via Twitter) thinks "it's unlikely anything happens" between Tampa Bay and Hudson, noting that the Rays are happy with Zobrist, Reid Brignac and Sean Rodriguez at second base. He does say, however, that the Rays "have interest in [a number] of free agents."
8:12pm: ESPN's Buster Olney reports (via Twitter) that Tampa Bay is "in on Orlando Hudson talks." The plan would be to install Hudson at second base while Ben Zobrist gets moved to right field. Olney says that the move "all depends on the price," which would presumably have to be significantly lower than Hudson's $9MM asking price.
The Nationals have been considered to be the leaders in the Hudson sweepstakes this winter, and MLB.com's Bill Ladson was told today by a source that the Nats "have a good chance" of signing the free-agent second baseman due to Hudson's close ties to Adam Dunn and Willie Harris.
Ladson also went straight to the horse's mouth and talked to Hudson himself, who told Ladson that "progress had been made." The interview also included this interesting passage from Hudson that cited two other teams in the hunt:
"I will sign soon enough. You can put it on the Internet and on TV. I'm going to sign. I can't say exactly when. It will not be long. I can't say if it's with the Nationals, San Diego or Cleveland. I can't say with whom. Something is getting done."
The Padres could be a longshot if, as MLB.com's Corey Brock tweeted earlier today, they've completed their winter shopping following the signing of Jon Garland. The Tribe also seem like unlikely suitors given Hudson's contract demands.
- The Blue Jays will offer Marco Scutaro salary arbitration. Blair hears indications that the shortstop may have a three-year deal coming his way.
- The Jays made a serious run at Orlando Cabrera, but decided against a deal since it would have taken a commitment of about $12MM and two years. The Jays like Cabrera, but have concerns about the former Gold Glover's range and arm.
- Cabrera's agent is telling teams that his client is ready to play second base. The Twins may have interest in re-signing Cabrera to play second.
- The Jays spoke to the Rays about Reid Brignac, but felt Tampa was asking for too much.
- Blair wonders if Jays GM Alex Anthopoulos will try to trade Gonzalez at next summer's trade deadline if the shortstop starts the year well.
A few more evening links....
- Bill Chastain of MLB.com writes that the arrival of Reid Brignac in Tampa Bay could lead to the Rays buying out Akinori Iwamura's option this offseason. The $4.25MM 2010 option can be bought out for $250k. Chastain suggests that the emergence of Ben Zobrist and the recent strong play of Brignac could make Iwamura expendable.
- Todd Zolecki of MLB.com passes on news of Phillies' minor league players of the year Kyle Drabek and Michael Taylor being honored before Tuesday's game against Washington. Given the Phillies' talent and depth on the major league level, Zolecki predicts that both prospects will start 2010 at Triple-A Lehigh Valley. Like Ryan Howard before him, Taylor has his path to the major league roster blocked by veterans with bigger contracts. Howard eventually took advantage of a Jim Thome injury and excelled in Philadelphia. It will be interesting to see if Taylor and Drabek, who were so coveted at this year's trade deadline, will earn similar opportunities in 2010.
- Terry Pluto of the Cleveland Plain Dealer blogs about a few former Phillies prospects, expressing some concern about the Indians' haul in the trade that sent Cliff Lee to Philadelphia.
3:11pm: Baseball America's Ben Badler reports Brignac will play in the second game of Durham's Saturday doubleheader. His "right leg was bothering him" this afternoon.
1:54pm: Marc Lancaster of the Tampa Tribune tweets, "Word from Durham is Reid Brignac was pulled from the game for not hustling to first base." Well, that's that.
1:51pm: As a handful of readers have noted, 23-year-old shortstop Reid Brignac was pulled from Triple-A Durham's lineup in the third inning Saturday for a non-injury reason. He's definitely a potential trade chip, so we'll keep an ear to the grindstone.
Marc Topkin of the St. Petersburg Times reports that the Rays will replace Akinori Iwamura's production from within the organization. Rays executive VP Andrew Friedman said the club will rely on Ben Zobrist, Willy Aybar and Reid Brignac to fill the void created by Iwamura's injury. Even with Jason Bartlett injured, the Rays aren't expected to add anyone, in part because they cannot add payroll. It would have been a surprise to see the Rays give something up for a middle infielder when they're getting production from the players they already have.
We've got plenty of links today.
- There is speculation that Andruw Jones could be sent back to the minors.
- Joel Sherman wonders if MLB should've gotten involved when Manny Ramirez decided to orchestrate his own exit. Kind of reminds me of Gary Sheffield intentionally botching plays to force a trade out of Milwaukee in '92.
- Gordon Edes stands by his report that Manny pledged to give full effort if the Red Sox dropped his options. That phone call between Scott Boras and Theo Epstein occurred within an hour of his trade to the Dodgers.
- Jon Heyman takes us inside the Manny trade. He says Ramirez signed an agreement in advance that he'd accept a trade to any team if his options were dropped. Heyman believes Omar Minaya fibbed in saying he had failed trade discussions with Boston.
- The Red Sox are still waiting to hear whether Joe Borowski will accept their offer of a minor league deal.
- Dejan Kovacevic gives as inside look at the Jason Bay trade talks here and here. Did the Rays offer Reid Brignac and Jeff Niemann? Reports are conflicting.
- The Cardinals released Matt Clement on Saturday. Let this serve as another reminder of how hard it is to come back from shoulder surgery.
- The Cardinals weren't willing to trade catching prospect Bryan Anderson plus a pitching prospect for Brian Fuentes. Also, GM John Mozeliak confirmed failed talks for Bay.
- RotoAuthority takes a look at young pitchers who may face innings caps this year.
- Another failed deal: Orlando Cabrera to the Orioles in a Brian Roberts deal.
- Geoff Baker believes that when inside information related to the Blue Jays leaks out, GM J.P. Ricciardi is likely responsible.
- Please continue to email me if you see a pop-up or full-page ad on MLB Trade Rumors.
3:29pm: Bay to the Dodgers? Jennifer Langosch says it's possible.
3:00pm: Rosenthal has a source saying Bay to the Rays is off "unless a miracle happens." He has Bay headed to Boston once again.
2:43pm: MLB.com's Jonathan Mayo says there is no done deal - the Rays might not make Brignac available.
2:11pm: MLB.com's Bill Chastain with the scoop - the Rays have acquired Jason Bay for Reid Brignac and Jeff Niemann. The Rays haven't confirmed it yet though, and Rosenthal says the Bucs want to replace Niemann with other prospects. I wonder if Bay would DH for the Rays.
Will we see a Jack Wilson trade next, or will that wait until the offseason? Brignac, 22, is hitting .257/.304/.429 in 91 Triple A games. He probably isn't ready yet. Baseball America still expects him to develop into a solid offensive-minded shortstop.
Niemann, 25, has a 3.53 ERA in 18 Triple A starts this year. He'll probably go straight into the Pirates' rotation. Baseball America feels he has #2 or #3 starter stuff, but his star has dimmed in recent times.