Rocco Baldelli Rumors
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.
A few links to pass along....
- Jon Daniels says "it's less than 50-50" that the Rangers make any more moves before spring training, reports Jeff Wilson of The Dallas Morning News. Wilson adds that Rod Barajas and Rocco Baldelli have been connected to Texas this winter, and the Rangers might also be interested in a platoon partner for Chris Davis.
- Joe Strauss of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that the Cardinals are out of the Chien-Ming Wang sweepstakes. We've already learned that the Nationals are the favorites to sign the right-hander.
- Paul Hoynes of The Cleveland Plain Dealer answers some reader mail that covers such topics as a possible Grady Sizemore trade and Omar Vizquel's somewhat surprising criteria for picking a new city.
- Orlando Cabrera and Aaron Miles aren't exactly the first two names that leap to mind when you're thinking about October baseball, but Reds GM Walt Jocketty said that the duo's playoff experience was a factor in their acquisition, reports John Fay of the Cincinnati Enquirer.
- Larry Stone of the Seattle Times provides a general recap of the 2009-10 offseason.
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...
- TYU wants to see the Yankees invite Rocco Baldelli to Spring Training as a non-roster player.
- The Tao of Stieb tries to make sense of the Kevin Gregg addition for the Blue Jays.
- Red Legged, Blue Blooded Boilermaker reviews Cincinnati's offseason and projects their 25-man roster.
- Fantasy Baseball Junkie examines how players perform after being involved in a blockbuster trade, with a fantasy spin.
- More Hardball built a 25-man roster out of players still available on the free agent market.
- Camden Crazies looks at how Miguel Tejada may handle the transition to third base.
- Flushing University says that the Mets have failed to address their biggest needs this offseason.
- MLB News and Rumors compiled prospect lists from all of the different outlets.
A few Friday night links...
- The Brewers and Corey Hart appear headed to an arbitration hearing after negotiations reached an impasse, reports MLB.com's Adam McCalvy. Hart filed for $4.8MM, the team $4.15MM.
- Chad Jennings of The Journal News spoke to a Yankees' executive about the possibility of bringing in some players on minor league deals, and was told “I wouldn’t say we’re done, but probably close to done.”
- Four teams - including the Yankees, Rangers, and Mariners - are interested in Rocco Baldelli's services, reports Joe McDonald of The Providence Journal.
- ESPN's Jorge Arangure tweets that Cuban first baseman Jose Julio Ruiz is now free to sign after being "unblocked" by the Office of Foreign Asset Control. In a second tweet, Arangure says that Ruiz is expected to command a multi-million dollar contract, and a few months ago we heard that the Red Sox and Tigers had some interest.
- Dan Connolly of The Baltimore Sun reports that Mark Hendrickson passed his physical today, however his deal with the Orioles likely won't be made official until Monday because the league's offices are closed during the weekend.
- MLB.com's Steve Gilbert says that the Diamondbacks and Edwin Jackson are playing close attention to how Wandy Rodriguez's arbitration case unfolds.
- The Rockies and Cardinals are in the mix for Felipe Lopez, tweets SI.com's Jon Heyman. The 29-year-old had a higher OBP (.383) and SLG (.427) than either Orlando Hudson or Orlando Cabrera in 2009.
- MLB.com's Bill Ladson says that the Nationals have spoken to John Smoltz's agent recently, but there is no progress to report and they aren't willing to break the bank for him (both links open in Twitter).
- Meanwhile, Ladson also tweets that the team views the newly signed Miguel Batista as a starter for the back of their rotation, as opposed to an arm for the bullpen.
- Jon Paul Morosi of FoxSports.com says (via Twitter) that Craig Monroe isn't ready to retire to just yet. Over the last three years, Monroe has hit .215/.272/.377 with 23 homers in 693 plate appearances for four teams.
The Rangers are interested in Ryan Garko and Rocco Baldelli, according to ESPN.com's Jerry Crasnick. Rangers GM Jon Daniels said in an EPSN.com 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 MLB.com'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.
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.
Tim Dierkes contributed to this post.
Links for Tuesday...
- Orlando Hudson is "making progress on signing with a team," tweets MLB.com'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 FoxSports.com tweets that the Mets' next target appears to be John Smoltz. A source tells him they haven't aggressively pursued Jon Garland.
- MLB.com'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 MLB.com'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, MLB.com'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 MLB.com 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.
- MLB.com'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.
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.
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 Baldelli. Bryan Hoch of MLB.com 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 MLB.com 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.
- MLB.com'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.
Some links for Friday...
- In an interview with 619 Sports out of San Diego, Scott Hairston said he found out he got traded back to the Padres by reading MLBTR. Cool!
- The Brewers will wait until next month before they consider making an offer to Mark Mulder, reports MLB.com's Adam McCalvy.
- John Fay of The Cincinnati Enquirer runs down the Reds' arbitration history.
- The Orioles have signed outfielder Jeff Salazar to a minor league deal with an invitation to Spring Training, reports Dan Connolly of The Baltimore Sun.
- The Brewers are still in touch with Mark Mulder and Doug Davis, according to Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.
- The Yankees offered Jesus Montero straight up for Roy Halladay, according to Richard Griffin of the Toronto Star (Hat Tip: River Ave. Blues).
- The Rockies watched Derrick Turnbow throw today, according to Troy Renck of the Denver Post.
- The Nationals are still in the mix to sign Orlando Hudson, who hopes to sign soon (MLB.com's Bill Ladson reporting).
- Pete Caldera of NorthJersey.com hears of some mutual interest between the Yankees and Rocco Baldelli.
- The Rangers avoided arbitration with Brandon McCarthy, agreeing to a $1.32MM deal for 2010, according to Anthony Andro of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram.
- Rangers GM Jon Daniels tells Richard Durrett of ESPNDallas that he'd like to add a catcher, but he's not about to rush. "We have some time," the GM said.
- Ryan Theriot tells Paul Sullivan of the Chicago Tribune that he'd like the Cubs to sign Ben Sheets.
- The Mets signed Jolbert Cabrera to a minor league deal, according to Ed Price of AOL FanHouse (via Twitter).
- Writing for FanGraphs, Patrick Newman explains what the Rangers can expect from new signing Colby Lewis.
- Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports tweeted last night that the Mets contacted Jerry Hairston Jr..
- ESPN.com's Buster Olney says some people within the Mets organization believe Omar Minaya will be fired the first time his club slumps badly.
- Olney also notes that Adam LaRoche will be up against a crop of free agent first basemen that could include Carlos Pena, Lance Berkman and Derrek Lee after the season.
- Troy Renck of the Denver Post says the Giants, Padres, Rangers and Mariners have all called about Yorvit Torrealba.
- The Pirates aren't close to agreeing to terms with Zach Duke on his 2010 salary, according to Dejan Kovacevic of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Duke made $2.2MM last year in his first season as an arbitration-eligible player.
- The Cardinals will watch Derrick Turnbow throw today, according to Rob Rains of the St. Louis Globe-Democrat.
- The Cards signed knuckleballer Charlie Zink to a minor league deal, according to Alex Speier of WEEI.com. After eight years in the Red Sox organization, the 30-year-old will try to break camp with St. Louis.
- Bill James tells Peter Abraham of the Boston Globe that he's curious to see how much better the Red Sox are on defense this season.