Rocco Baldelli Rumors

Odds & Ends: Lerew, Cuba, Coonelly, Hechavarria

Links for Wednesday…

Baldelli To Serve As Special Assistant For Rays

Rocco Baldelli will return to the Rays with a special assistant role, working with minor leaguers and other young players, reports Marc Topkin of the St. Petersburg Times.  Baldelli is "not ready to retire," but has a shoulder issue currently.  Topkin notes that Rays exec Andrew Friedman didn't make the deal with the idea that Baldelli would later play for the Rays, but said "anything's possible."

Baldelli, 28, signed a $500K deal with the Red Sox in January of '09 and hit .253/.311/.433 in 164 plate appearances.  He dealt with foot, hamstring, and hip injuries, but also has a type of channelopathy, which has caused muscle fatigue.

Odds & Ends: Rangers, Wang, Indians

A few links to pass along….

Baseball Blogs Weigh In: Baldelli, Gregg, Blockbusters

On this date way back in 1935, the Yankees released an aging slugger by the name of Babe Ruth just one day before his 40th birthday so he could sign with the Boston Braves. The Sultan of Swat hit .288/.448/.537 with 22 homers in his final season in New York, easily his worst full season with the team. He went on to hit just .181/.359/.431 with six homers in 28 games for the Braves before retiring in May. Ruth ended his career as a .342/.474/.690 hitter with a then-record 714 homers. 

 Here's some links from around the web…

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Odds & Ends: Hart, Yankees, Baldelli, Ruiz

A few Friday night links…

Rangers Interested In Garko, Baldelli

The Rangers are interested in Ryan Garko and Rocco Baldelli, according to's Jerry Crasnick. Rangers GM Jon Daniels said in an chat yesterday that "some interesting guys" remain on the market. Jermaine Dye, who was connected to the Rangers earlier in the offseason, seems less likely to end up in Texas than Garko or Baldelli.

Garko, 29, hit .268/.344/.421 last year with the Indians and Giants. He's been an average defender at first over the course of the last two seasons, and he's played some outfield. As's T.R. Sullivan reminds us, the Rangers were in the mix for Garko last summer. The Orioles had been linked to Garko earlier in the winter, but that was before they signed Miguel Tejada and Garrett Atkins

The Rangers could pursue Baldelli if they're looking for more outfield experience. Baldelli has mostly played center, but he has experience in left and right, too. The 28-year-old hit .253/.311/.433 last year for the Red Sox.

Rays Interested In Johnny Damon

The Rays have interest in Johnny Damon as a DH candidate, reports Joel Sherman of the New York Post.  Sherman says the Rays are considering Damon even if they can't unload Pat Burrell.  Sherman's sources believe Damon would be willing to play for $7MM, partially deferred. 

We learned earlier today from ESPN's Jerry Crasnick that agent Scott Boras is "trying to engage" the Reds and Tigers for Damon.  Crasnick notes that those clubs would have a hard time fitting Damon into the budget.  The Yankees are out, having reached an agreement with Randy Winn today.

Oakland's rumored interest in a Damon reunion was not directly addressed by GM Billy Beane, reports's Jane Lee.  Still, Beane said his priority is adding infield depth.

Tim Dierkes contributed to this post.

Odds & Ends: Hudson, Turnbow, Delgado, Nady

Links for Tuesday…

  • Orlando Hudson is "making progress on signing with a team," tweets's Bill Ladson, however Hudson declined to name the team. In separate tweet, Ladson says a source told him that the Nationals top Hudson's wish list.
  • ESPN's Jerry Crasnick tweets that the Diamondbacks and Rockies are pursuing Derrick Turnbow, who could sign soon.
  • MLBTR's resident translator Nick Collias passes along this report from Esteban Rivera of the Puerto Rican newspaper Primera Hora, in which Carlos Delgado says that the Mets, Orioles, and Royals "have seen him [play] on the island." Omar Minaya said there is still a mutual interest in bringing Delgado back to New York, tweets ESPN's Jorge Arangure
  • The final offer Scott Boras presented the Yankees with for Xavier Nady was worth $5MM, tweets Joel Sherman of The New York Post. He adds that the Yanks would have considered him at the price he signed for today, and that they'll only do a minor league deal for Rocco Baldelli (via Twitter).
  • Now that Ben Sheets has signed with the A's, Ken Rosenthal at tweets that the Mets' next target appears to be John Smoltz. A source tells him they haven't aggressively pursued Jon Garland
  •'s Brian McTaggart mentions that the Astros and Wandy Rodriguez are set to go an arbitration hearing on February 17th. Wandy filed for $7MM, the team $5MM.
  • Meanwhile, Richard Justice of The Houston Chronicle breaks down the Astros' offseason in a video.
  • Rick Ankiel said that the Nationals, Marlins, and Yankees were in it until the end, reports Doug Tucker of The Brownsville Herald.
  • Cody Ross' arbitration hearing has been scheduled for February 15th, reports's Joe Frisaro. Ross is seeking a $4.45MM salary in 2010, but the Marlins are countering with $4.2MM.
  • ESPN's Buster Olney wrote about baseball's internal discussions on how to fix the draft, including some notes about what was discussed at the recent general managers meeting (sub. req'd).
  • In a mailbag,'s Kelly Thesier says the Twins payroll appears to be right around $90MM, and they don't seem willing to spend much more than that.    
  • Meanwhile, Lyle Spencer of writes in his mailbag that the Angels "appear to have stretched the salary budget to its limit," so don't expect any more major moves.
  • Ken Davidoff of Newsday lists what he thinks are the best run organizations in baseball (sub. req'd). There's 15 of them, however ten are from the AL while just five come from the NL. 
  • John Fay of The Cincinnati Enquirer looks at the list of remaining free agents, and sees only one fit for the Reds: Orlando Cabrera. He's probably too expensive for them at this point, however. 
  •'s Marty Noble says in a mailbag that he doesn't believe the Mets' current roster and the Opening Day roster will be the same, but he's not sure where the club can turn to improve.

New York Notes: Pineiro, Smoltz, Nady

Some New York news and notes courtesy of Newsday's Ken Davidoff..

  • Davidoff's understanding is that the Mets' offer to Joel Pineiro was very similar to the Angels' offer of two-years, $16MM.  While it would be natural to assume that the free agent hurler preferred the stability of the Halos franchise to the Metropolitans, he writes that he doesn't know that for certain.
  • The Mets would definitely like to sign John Smoltz, though it would cause a logjam of starting pitchers.  Davidoff suggests that the team could move John Maine in order to create space for him.
  • Speaking of Smoltz, Davidoff hears that the Yankees were interested in the 42-year-old prior to landing Javier Vazquez.
  • As we've heard elsewhere, the Bombers are looking for one more outfielder and are considering right-handers Xavier Nady and Rocco Baldelli.

Odds & Ends: Baldelli, Wang, Jackson

A few more newsbits as we near the end of a busy Tuesday…

  • Marc Topkin of the St. Petersburg Times singles out the Cubs and Yankees as "among those interested" in Rocco BaldelliBryan Hoch of thinks Baldelli would be a good fit in the Bronx, though he notes that New York GM Brian Cashman "refused an internet rumor" claiming that the Yanks had already signed Baldelli.
  • Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that the Cardinals are looking over Chien-Ming Wang's medical history.
  • Jenifer Langosch of reports (via Twitter) that pitcher Steven Jackson was designated for assignment by the Pirates to make room for Ryan Church on the 40-man roster. Jackson posted an impressive 3.14 ERA in his 2009 rookie season, making 40 appearances out of the bullpen for Pittsburgh.
  •'s Mark Bowman thought the Braves might try to trade Jordan Schafer earlier this winter, but no more.
  • The Cubs have settled with five arbitration-eligible players, but still don't have deals worked out with Carlos Marmol and Ryan Theriot, reports Dave van Dyck of The Chicago Tribune.
  • Grant of the McCovey Chronicles blog is, shall we say, less than enthused about the Bengie Molina signing.