Rob Johnson Rumors
A few more evening links....
- Geoff Baker of The Seattle Times says that Kenji Johjima's opt-out is "an early Christmas present" for the Mariners.
- Meanwhile, Rob Johnson has one surgery down and one to go, according to MLB.com's Jim Street. Johnson will battle for time behind the plate in Seattle next season, with Johjima's departure resulting in one less competitor.
- Speaking of offseason surgeries, Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports is reporting that Albert Pujols will have elbow surgery tomorrow. Breathe easy though, Cardinals fans: according to Rosenthal, Pujols expects to be fully healthy for spring training.
- Anthony Castrovince of MLB.com breaks down four of the confirmed finalists for the Cleveland Indians' managerial opening.
- Of the candidates for the Indians' job, Manny Acta would be the best choice for appealing to the team's Latino players, writes Terry Pluto of the Cleveland Plain Dealer. Pluto anticipates Latinos to make up about a third of the team's 25-man roster in 2010.
- The San Francisco Chronicle's Henry Schulman looks at the Super Two rule, and explains why Tim Lincecum's extra week of major-league service could mean a big payday for the Cy Young winner.
7:12pm: MLB.com's Joe Frisaro says Mariners catcher Rob Johnson and Rangers catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia were discussed in these Hermida talks, but no match was found.
6:31pm: Baker says the Marlins wanted catching prospect Adam Moore from the Ms in a Hermida deal. Baseball America ranks Moore as the Mariners' sixth best prospect. They say he looks like a future big league starting catcher; he'll start '09 at Triple A.
5:31pm: Clark Spencer of the Miami Herald says the Ms and Rangers initiated the Hermida talks, and they didn't get far.
4:44pm: Geoff Baker says the Marlins offered Hermida to the Mariners and Rangers for catching.
12:26pm: Berardino has an update. He says the Marlins proposed trading Hermida to the Rays for two pitchers, likely among Jeff Niemann, Wade Davis, Jeremy Hellickson, and Mitch Talbot. The Rays rejected the offer and it's unlikely to be revisited.
Berardino now says the Reds have yet to inquire on Hermida.
12:04pm: Mike Berardino of the South Florida Sun-Sentinel discusses Jeremy Hermida trade possibilities in a blog post today (hat tip, Rays Index). He says the Reds have definitely shown interest, and also discusses the Rays. Berardino's sources believe Micah Owings could be had, but not Johnny Cueto. In the case of the Rays it'd apparently take Andy Sonnanstine rather than Edwin Jackson.
By the way, the Marlins have talked about the possibility of moving Hermida to left field if they keep him. Hermida has been a slightly above-average right fielder according to the plus/minus system.
FROM 12-3-07 at 12:31pm:
MLB.com's Jim Street checks in with the latest Mariners buzz.
- As I wrote in the Johan Santana post, the Mariners are officially out of the running.
- Street says the Ms offered Hiroki Kuroda three years and $30MM or so, which doesn't jive with Larry LaRue's report of 4/44. Street says Kuroda will not decide until after the Meetings.
- The Rays' Edwin Jackson is available, and the Rays are seeking a veteran first baseman or a young catcher. The Mariners have both, and Ben Broussard seems like a starting point.