Richie Sexson Rumors

Rosenthal’s Latest: Teixeira, Liriano, Garcia, Willingham

Ken Rosenthal has a new hot stove article up.

  • Rosenthal leads with some Mark Teixeira-Angels speculation, but admits the Braves aren’t considering trading him and the Angels are content with their team.  The Halos’ .706 team OPS ranks 12th in the AL; something should be done.
  • All kinds of Mariners turmoil.  They could look to acquire a center fielder given the move back to right for Ichiro.  Releases of Richie Sexson and Jose Vidro could be on the agenda.  And chemistry problems abound, with Ichiro and Kenji Johjima at the center.
  • The Ms might consider Chris Antonetti and David Forst for the GM job, but both could choose to wait for the position to open up on their current teams.  Antonetti seems likely to stay put, based on his comments and actions.
  • Adam Dunn likes the Reds’ future and wants to stay.
  • If the Twins keep Francisco Liriano in the minors a bit longer, he will lose his shot at becoming a Super Two player.
  • Past reports have named the Mets, Red Sox, Braves, Yankees, White Sox, Rangers, Indians, Mariners, and Tigers as clubs interested in Freddy Garcia.  Rosenthal adds the Rays to the mix.
  • On Sunday, Peter Gammons said the Red Sox "might look at a count worker like the Marlins’ Josh Willingham" if David Ortiz needs surgery.  Rosenthal agrees that the Sox "indeed might be interested" but believes the Marlins want to hang on to him (even though he reaches arbitration after this season).
  • The Cardinals "made a quick inquiry" on Michael Barrett but backed off when Yadier Molina’s injury turned out to be day-to-day.

Mariners To Release Sexson

Kirby Arnold of the Everett Herald is reporting that the Mariners will release Richie Sexson, and it could happen in the next week.

According to one person familiar with moves that are planned, Sexson will be let go, possibly within days. The timing is not set because the team is dealing with other personnel issues that go beyond the procedures for moving Sexson.

Sexson is still due about half of his ’08 salary of $14MM. This was the last year of a 4-year/$50MM deal.

This move shouldn’t come as a big surprise. After the firing of Bill Bavasi, the M’s are clearly ready to shake up the roster and Sexson’s contract was dead-weight.

Cork Gaines writes for RaysIndex and can be reached here.

Crasnick On Griffey And Dunn

Jerry Crasnick comments today on the Reds new youth movement and what that might mean for Ken Griffey Jr and Adam Dunn.

Crasnick notes that it will be difficult to replace Dunn’s production, but wonders if he just needs a change of scenery. Dunn does not appear to have any desire to enter negotiations on an extension and still seems to be harboring some bad feelings towards the club…Although Crasnick doesn’t specifically speculate, it sounds as if the Reds would be best served trading Dunn.

As for Griffey, Crasnick believes that Griffey might be willing to renegotiate his $16.5MM ’09 option if the team is willing to add a second year on to the deal. However, Crasnick is not sure the Reds are willing to keep Griffey around until he is 40. Crasnick does speculate that even though the Mariners poor start eliminates the possibility of a trade during the season, the M’s may be willing to bring Griffey back in ’09 as a free agent to play first base, especially with Richie Sexson’s contract set to expire.

Cork Gaines writes for Rays Index and can be reached here .

Speculating on Sexson, Hatteberg

Geoff Baker of the Seattle Times writes of "mounting speculation" about  Richie Sexson‘s situation with the Mariners and "a growing call among fans" for Seattle to acquire recently DFA’d Scott Hatteberg from the Reds to replace him. The Mets are reportedly also in the mix for Hatteberg, who was designated on May 27. Hatteberg is 38 and hitting .173. He did, however, hit .310 last year.

Sexson, only 33, is struggling to clear the Mendoza line at present.  The struggle began last year when he hit .205 in 121 games. However, of his 31 hits this year, nine have been homers. It’s also worth noting that his average has been much better (.333) against lefties, though of course, it’s a piteously small sample size (36 plate appearances). Even so, he wouldn’t be very useful as a role player considering that he has been a DH/1B since 2000. He’s in the last year of his contract, he’s not fragile, and yet I can’t think of a single team who would sign him if Seattle does release him. Possibly the Indians? The Rangers? Any other ideas?

Sarah Green writes for UmpBump and the Boston Metro. She can be reached here.

Rosenthal’s Latest: Delgado, Sexson, Crisp, Byrd

Ken Rosenthal has some items worth discussing in his latest Full Count video:

  • Trade Carlos Delgado for Richie Sexson? Rosenthal doesn’t see why not. They’re both in walk years, neither have a no-trade-clause, and they’re both making roughly the same amount. I’ll add to that by noting both have arguably met more success hitting in each other’s league.
  • The Indians may put Paul Byrd on the block in an effort to acquire pieces that could eventually lead to an upgrade at 2B or 3B later this season.  The Indians currently have 7 capable starters in Sabathia, Carmona, Lee, Byrd, Westbrook, Sowers, and Laffey.
  • Crisp’s Latest: It may be in the best interest of the Red Sox to wait to deal Coco Crisp in the offseason when the demand increases.  The Padres could use him now but the 2009 Free Agent class is thin at centerfield.  Coco could be maintained for $5.75MM in ’09 and a club option in 2010 for $8MM, or a $0.5MM buyout.
  • Two Byrds in one post! Marlon Byrd‘s return from the DL could mean more time at DH for Josh Hamilton in an effort to keep him rested throughout the season.  Hamilton only played 90 games last year after missing about 4 years due to drug suspensions and injury.  If Byrd performs then this would take the Rangers out of the DH market.  So far, so good.

By Nat Boyle

On The Hot Seat: Giambi, Hafner, Sexson, Timlin

I love lists, and here’s one from Peter Abraham at The Journal News that details who he thinks is in the hot seat.  In other words, who might be traded or released if current trends continue.  There are a number of managers and GMs on the list, but we like to focus on players here.  I’m going to go through the list and take stabs-in-the-dark whether a player is likely to be dealt or if they’re just fluff for Mr. Abraham’s article – and then we can discuss in the comments.

Jason Giambi – An announcer this year said that Giambi’s defensive range extended from his right knee to his left knee.  As a fielder, he’s decent with no range; however, as a hitter Giambi has never been considered a slow starter, as Abraham notes he is a career .281 hitter in April.  Still, like Carlos Delgado, Giambi has shown some recent spurts of life in his bat, and he does have 7 HR (one shy of the league leading 8) and 20 RBI.  PECOTA projects .230-24-73 with a .362 OBP.  If he can bring his average up, he’ll be roughly on target for that projection.  If he can’t, Abraham thinks the Yankees "might as well give someone else a chance."  So far, Joe Girardi’s been supportive and patient calling the slump a product of bad luck.  Prediction: Staying put.

Travis Hafner – Abraham sees .256 with 27 HR in almost 700 ABs and wonders if the Indians would rather trade him to a team who believes he can turn it around than risk eating the remaining $56MM on Hafner’s contract.  At 31, Hafner is an oddity.  Last year the slumping behemoth of a man saw his power drop by almost 20 HR.  He’s currently continuing that trend with his OPS at a mere 640 and w/o a homerun since April 17 (!).  During an ESPN game, they were discussing how his timing – particularly with his front foot-plant – is off making it hard for him to get ahead of pitches.  So his problem seems both perceptual and mechanical – but why can’t Pronk seem to correct this?  I’d be worried because his contract is slowly going from bothersome to disastrous.  PECOTA is not a believer, projecting .275-28-98 – hardly a rebound.  He’s making $6.3MM this year and is on the books for another $70MM until 2013 (with a $2.75MM buyout in his last year).  Is there a batting coach out there on a big-market team that can fix this?  Wouldn’t count on it.  Prediction: Staying put.

Richie Sexson
– In the Year of the Slumping First Basemen, Richie Sexson is not at all unlike Giambi or Delgado.  Abraham pulls no punches with Richie, calling him "one of the worst hitters in baseball during the last two seasons and shows no signs of coming around."  He’s making $14MM this year, owed approx. $11.2MM more, and then he’s surely done in Seattle.  I agree with Abraham that $11.2MM will "buy him another month or two" but the Mariners have options and I’d expect them to explore them by trading Sexson and eating some of the contract – maybe sooner rather than later as cutting your losses is (almost) acceptable practice this season.  Sexson has never been the hitter Delgado, Giambi, or Hafner have been and has been intolerably bad for just too long.  Prediction: Shipping off.

Mike Timlin
– Making $3MM this year, Abraham notes Timlin has allowed 9 runs in 7 1/3 IP and with a small contract would be an easy piece to move.  But I ask why?  Relief pitching is a commodity, and Timlin – known to the Red Sox as the captain of the bullpen – brings to the team a fair deal of intangible value, particularly as they integrate Craig Hansen and Justin Masterson into their relief corps.  7.1 IP is hardly a sample worth examining as he’s basically still in spring-training-form.  Last year he had a 3.42 ERA in 50 IP and while he’s not the 2.24 ERA Timlin that saved 13 games when Keith Foulke went down, he’s serviceable.  If he fails to progress and becomes a liability then maybe the Red Sox will move him from mop up duty to another team.  Still, I doubt it.  Prediction: Staying put.

Let’s hear your thoughts.  Who did Abraham forget?  Who disagrees?

By Nat Boyle

Odds and Ends: Ponson, Inge, Papelbon

Let’s round up some Monday morning links.

  • The Cardinals are taking another look at Sidney Ponson.  Insert your own punchline in the comments.
  • Jeff Zrebiec of the Baltimore Sun could see the O’s making a minor trade for a veteran second baseman if they acquire Ronny Cedeno but not Eric Patterson in a Brian Roberts deal with the Cubs.
  • Brandon Inge is trying his best to talk his way out of town.  The Dodgers’ recently reported nibble hasn’t been publicly shot down, so that’s a plus.
  • South Side Sox thinks speedy infielder Eugenio Velez is the type of player the White Sox could desire for Joe Crede.
  • Jonathan Papelbon wants $900K in his last year before arbitration eligibility.  Ryan Howard set a scary precedent last year.  If Papelbon doesn’t get offered something close, he’d rather make a statement and be renewed near the minimum.
  • Buster Olney suggests Dan Johnson and Doug Mientkiewicz could be possibilities for the Mets in their quest for a backup first baseman.  Olney speculated on Nick Johnson, Scott Hatteberg, Richie Sexson, Tony Clark, and Kevin Millar the day before.

Mariners May Lock Up Several Players

I noticed a John Hickey article from three days ago that hasn’t been mentioned here at MLBTR.  Hickey notes that the Mariners like to sign players to extensions during spring if possible.  He assesses the chances of extensions for Felix Hernandez, Erik Bedard, Kenji Johjima, Raul Ibanez, and Richie Sexson in the article.

Johjima, Ibanez, and Sexson are all set to reach free agency after the ’08 season.  Johjima seems the most likely to stay, though prospect Jeff Clement may be close to big league ready.  Sexson is as good as gone, while the decision on Ibanez will likely hinge on ’08.  I’m not sure how Jose Vidro‘s vesting option for ’09 works; Ibanez may be best served filling his DH spot.

Hickey expects to see Felix locked up before the season begins.  A deal would buy out his three arbitration years (2009-11), at least.  The Ms could also incorporate the ’08 season into the contract.  The Angels bought out John Lackey‘s three arb years for $17MM, but that was two years ago.  Chris Young‘s deal covered his final four years of team control for $14.5MM; that was signed a year ago.  Matt Cain‘s contract may also be a comparable.

Hickey does see Bedard getting an extension; he can become a free agent after the ’09 season.  Bedard recently signed at $7MM for ’08.  His deal could be massive, in the $18-19MM per year range.

Giants Rumors: Lincecum, Tejada, Sexson

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.

Rosenthal’s Latest: Feliz, Nathan, Sexson

UPDATE, 12-3-07 at 6:04pm: Update on Richie Sexson: no one wants him, not even the Giants.

FROM 12-3-07 at 1:55pm:

More Rosenthal, let’s cut to the chase.

  • The Cardinals could look at Pedro Feliz at third base if they trade Scott Rolen.  Rosenthal is too kind in saying the Cards would have a "sub-par offense on the left side of the infield."  Rosenthal also suggests the Cardinals could take a look at Hank Blalock.
  • Hiroki Kuroda isn’t dead set on the West Coast – he’s keeping an open mind in terms of location.
  • The Twins are discussing Joe Nathan with the Astros.  Interesting match but who goes over to Minnesota in that one?
  • The Mariners desperately want to trade Richie Sexson.  Meanwhile they also may non-tender Ben Broussard when decision time comes.