Rich Aurilia Rumors
According to Bob Dutton of the KC Star, the Twins are in the market for a second baseman. Alexi Casilla has a serious thumb injury. Dutton mentions Mark Grudzielanek, Rich Aurilia, and Brian Roberts as possibilities. Roberts, however, may be off the market. Dutton says the Twins could use Boof Bonser and Craig Monroe as bait.
Here's a look at the trade market for second basemen.
New collection of rumors from ESPN's Jayson Stark...
- The Twins have asked the Giants about Rich Aurilia. They've been dangling Boof Bonser for a position player; would they trade him back to San Francisco for Aurilia?
- On the Phillies' radar: John Grabow, Will Ohman, Arthur Rhodes, and Jack Taschner.
- A Brian Fuentes trade remains doubtful.
- The White Sox will trade Orlando Cabrera for the right pitcher. The Sox aren't generating much interest in their prospects.
Yesterday, the Giants traded second baseman Ray Durham to the Brewers for minor leaguers Darren Ford and Steve Hammond. They were ranked 21st and 27th among Brewers prospects heading into the season, according to Baseball America. Today let's look at reactions to the trade.
- ESPN's Keith Law considers Durham a useful addition for Milwaukee, albeit only offensively. He considers the prospects received by San Francisco to be "close to a zero return."
- The Giants picked up roughly half the money owed to Durham.
- The trade was jarring for Ford.
- Henry Schulman wonders if Rich Aurilia will be the next Giants veteran to go.
- Sam Mellinger notes that Durham is a reasonable comparable for Mark Grudzielanek.
- Sabean may make an acquisition to aid the '08 club, which is only five games out. However, he won't acquire players who will become free agents after the season. He compared his situation to '05, when the Giants added Randy Winn for Jesse Foppert and Yorvit Torrealba.
- Unlike that deal, the Giants are not going to move any of their young pitchers.
- Ray Durham, Rich Aurilia, and Omar Vizquel are prime candidates to be traded. Durham told Baggarly he wouldn't use his 10-and-5 rights to block a deal. The second baseman was recently linked to the Brewers by Ken Rosenthal.
- Henry Schulman noted a few days ago that Sabean is "not thinking of trading Randy Winn or Bengie Molina."
Giants GM Brian Sabean explained his trade deadline strategy to the San Francisco Chronicle's Henry Schulman.
- As you might expect, starters Tim Lincecum, Matt Cain, and Jonathan Sanchez are off-limits. The trio has 331 Ks already.
- The Giants aren't interested in a rental, even though they are in the race at five games out.
- Sabean is likely to keep Bengie Molina and Randy Winn, but Ray Durham, Omar Vizquel, and Rich Aurilia are available.
Henry Schulman of the San Francisco Chronicle has some telling quotes from Giants GM Brian Sabean. Despite a 17-24 record and being 8.5 games behind the D-Backs in 3rd place of the NL West, Sabean says the Giants are not going to give up on the '08 season and will not be trading off their veteran players.
"As long as we've got a chance to stay in and around third place, why not?" Sabean said as he stood along the dugout rail and watched his players take batting practice. "Why wouldn't you want to think that way? These guys think that way"
"You're seven games under .500. That's where you don't want to be, but I really feel good about the energy around the club and I feel good about some of our choices. We've now got a solution at first base. We've got a solution at third. We've gotten Omar (Vizquel) back. Freddie Lewis has come into his own and (Emmanuel) Burriss has been a real factor lately.
"I don't think we're going to lose as many games as we did last year. If anything, we're going to be a second-half team."
These comments seem odd considering that the Giants have several players that would appear to be good candidates to be traded, including Ray Durham (free agent at end of year), Dave Roberts (on DL, $6.5MM in '09), Omar Vizquel ($5.2MM team option in '09), Rich Aurilia (free agent at end of year) and Bengie Molina ($6MM in '09). Of course, even if Sabean did want to move those players, he might have a hard time without eating a good portion of the contracts remaining.
Henry Schulman at The San Francisco Chronicle reports that Giants GM Brian Sabean is seeking a left-handed hitting 1B to complement the aging Rich Aurilia, and lists Nick Johnson and the Braves' Scott Thorman as points of interest.
Nick Johnson is off to a hot start hitting .368/.455/.688 in 19 ABs, and for this reason Schulman suggests he could be off the market; however, contrary to that rationale, the Nationals might want to take advantage of Johnson's sudden upswing in value. They do have Dmitri Young sitting idly by. If the Giants want to spend $11MM over the next 2 years on Johnson, he would be a solid addition to a lackluster offense. Johnson would almost certainly make a bench player of Aurilia.
Scott Thorman, who the Braves have been shopping for over a month, is 26, and hit 11 homeruns in 268 ABs last season. With Mark Teixeira locked in at 1B this season, and plenty of guys who can be moved to 1B next year (Matt Diaz, Mark Kotsay, et al), Thorman no longer seems to be the heir apparent should Teixeira not re-sign.
While I'm always hesitant to suggest a team should deal with Billy Beane, Dan Johnson needs a new home. Sure his value has collapsed over the past couple seasons, but he hits lefty, could provide power, and is only 28. He's on a one year contract for $410,000, so there's not much risk, and Beane's asking price can't be high. If the Giants don't want to commit $11MM to a player as they try to rebuild, DJ could be a good alternative.
Any other 1B options you think would be a good fit?
By Nat Boyle
ESPN's Jayson Stark checks in with a blog entry jam-packed with rumorage.
- Stark says the Giants are shopping Rich Aurilia, Ray Durham, Steve Kline, Randy Winn, Tyler Walker, Rajai Davis, and Merkin Valdez. The vets we knew about; the last two are a surprise. Probably stems from both being out of options.
- Brian Roberts update: Stark talked to a club official who's in touch with the Cubs and O's. That guy expects a deal to be done next week. Plus, Stark sees the O's as an active suitor for Kyle Lohse at the right price.
- Stark confirms the rumblings that the Rays have checked in on Kenny Lofton. Lofton could be a nice bargain this year for a couple mil.
Some interesting tidbits this afternoon before I check out:
- Henry Schulman of the San Francisco Chronicle reports that one of Brian Sabean's top advisors, Ted Uhlaender, was present to witness Joe Crede's homer off of Arizona's Max Scherzer on Saturday. Seems more and more likely, as Crede proves his back is fine, that he will be moved to the Giants. Will the White Sox get Kevin Correia in exchange for Crede? The White Sox need a back-of-the-rotation guy, and Kenny Williams and company think they can win this year. So prospects probably won't get it done. While the Giants could conceivably use Rich Aurilia or Kevin Frandsen at third, Sabean will most likely be unable to resist Crede's 2006.
- Juan Rodriguez of the Sun-Sentinel digs up this little tidbit: The Florida Marlins haven't signed a player to a multi-year contract since December 2005, when they signed Carlos Delgado to a four-year, $55MM contract, and Paul Lo Duca to a three-year, $18MM deal. One would hope that this trend will end soon enough, and that owner Jeff Loria will open the purse strings for Hanley Ramirez when the time is right.
- Tyler Kepner of The New York Times explores the relative surprise that Robinson Canó has been considering his draft position and reputation as a prospect, and details how frequently the Yankees almost dealt him before he made the big club. Canó was nearly dealt for Alex Rodriguez, Carlos Beltrán, and Randy Johnson in different instances.
- AP Sports Writer Bob Baum explains that Bud Selig isn't trying to keep Barry Bonds from being signed. Selig stressed that each club is free to deal with whomever they please.
Andrew Baggarly gives his take on the Giants hot stove buzz.
- One Reds official think the Giants almost have to trade Tim Lincecum to build an offensive core. It seems the Mariners and Reds in particular are pushing for Lincecum. The Ms could offer Adam Jones; the Reds have Jay Bruce, Joey Votto, and Josh Hamilton. The Mariners could've had Lincecum with the fifth overall pick in 2006, but opted for Brandon Morrow instead. The Reds could've had him too but went for Drew Stubbs.
- The Giants and Orioles discussed Miguel Tejada, and the O's like players such as Jonathan Sanchez, Brad Hennessey, Fred Lewis, and Guillermo Rodriguez. Outside of Sanchez those guys don't seem like what the Orioles would ask for to me. No deal is close.
- Baggarly talks of the rumored Richie Sexson for Ray Durham or Rich Aurilia swap, though Larry LaRue says it's bogus.
- The one team inquiring on Bengie Molina was the Mets, and that was before they got Brian Schneider.