Rod Barajas Rumors
- The Dodgers are open to re-signing Rod Barajas, Vicente Padilla and Scott Podsednik, though they didn’t offer the players arbitration. Dylan Hernandez of the LA Times reports on Twitter that the team remains in contact with all three.
- Scott Boras' company provided families of poor Dominican prospects with tens of thousands of dollars, reports Michael S. Schmidt of the New York Times. Boras tells Yahoo's Tim Brown that he was helping prospects out when their careers were on the line, but MLB will investigate the issue.
- The Rangers expect Frank Francisco to accept their offer of arbitration, according to Jeff Wilson of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram (on Twitter).
- The Nationals are no longer pursuing Adam Dunn aggressively and they appear to be a fringe suitor for him, according to Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports.
- Brian Moehler tells MLB.com's Brian McTaggart that he intends to play in 2011 and has interest in returning to the Astros. But Moehler has never pitched in the playoffs, so he'd like to sign with a team that has a good chance of making a playoff run.
- The divorce between Frank and Jamie McCourt is now final, according to the AP (on ESPN). The McCourts await a decision that will determine whether Frank has sole ownership of the Dodgers or whether he shares the club with his ex-wife.
- Don Nomura, the agent for Japanese pitcher Hisashi Iwakuma, told Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle that he "deeply" hopes to complete a deal between his client and the A's. Oakland, who won the bidding for Iwakuma, broke off talks earlier in the week because the sides were too far apart.
No one can compete with Cesar Carrillo when it comes to waiver claims. The former first rounder was claimed three times within two weeks this month, so he's approaching waiver claim Hall of Fame territory. Here are five other waiver claims that made a difference this season:
- White Sox Claim Manny Ramirez, August 31st, 2010 - Ramirez has been getting on base, but he has just one extra base hit since joining the White Sox. GM Kenny Williams was hoping for a repeat of Manny's 2008 surge, but he didn't get it and Chicago won't make the playoffs.
- Dodgers Claim Rod Barajas, August 22nd, 2010 - Barajas has an .882 OPS since joining the Dodgers, but it won't be enough to lead the team back to the playoffs. The catcher did his part when the team was in contention, hitting three homers in his first five games as a Dodger.
- Pirates Claim Chris Resop, August 4th, 2010 - The Pirates bought low on Resop and he has responded with 17.2 solid innings; he has walked 5.1 batters per nine, but also has a 2.04 ERA and 10.7 K/9 in Pittsburgh.
- Astros Claim Nelson Figueroa, July 21st, 2010 - The 36-year-old Figueroa pitched 54.1 innings for the Astros after GM Ed Wade claimed him from his former team, the Phillies. The right-hander posted a 3.98 ERA with 7.5 K/9 and 3.3 BB/9 for Houston.
- Indians Claim Jayson Nix, June 24th, 2010 - Nix has played second, third and left for the Indians and though he doesn't get on base much, he has hit 11 homers for the Tribe.
The Marlins don’t have a permanent manager and Dan Uggla is nearing free agency so Marlins president of baseball operations Larry Beinfest and GM Michael Hill have some franchise-defining decisions to make this offseason. Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald has the details:
- Dan Uggla’s representation has asked for a deal worth about five years and $58MM, but the Marlins are offering fewer years and less money. They’d prefer to work out a three-year deal and are offering just over $8MM per season. Uggla, who will be eligible for free agency after 2011, makes nearly that much this year and he’ll earn a raise through arbitration next year, so the Marlins don’t appear to be offering much of a deal.
- The Marlins say they would like to add a top catcher and they’ll consider alternatives to John Baker, who is recovering from Tommy John surgery. Yorvit Torrealba, Bengie Molina, John Buck and Miguel Olivo will be considerations for Florida if they hit the open market, but Victor Martinez probably won’t be a fit. The Marlins could also have interest in Jason Varitek and Rod Barajas as part-time options.
- Rafael Soriano’s expected salary demands have priced him out of the Marlins’ plans.
- The Marlins will consider Yankees bench coach Tony Pena, Padres first base coach Rick Renteria and Padres bench coach Ted Simmons as they search for their next manager. Interim manager Edwin Rodriguez could keep his job and it doesn’t seem likely that the team will resume talks with Bobby Valentine, who was once considered the frontrunner for the gig.
- The Marlins would have interest in Ozzie Guillen if he were available, but the White Sox skipper is under contract in Chicago next year. However, Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports hears that Guillen wants assurances that the White Sox want him to be their long-term manager. White Sox owner Jerry Reinsdorf would prefer to keep Guillen around than search for a new manager, so Guillen could get the security he’s looking for.
It's been an eventful week for the Dodgers, with news that Don Mattingly will replace Joe Torre as the team's manager. Let's check out a few more updates out of Los Angeles, as the club prepares for the offseason....
- GM Ned Colletti says he doesn't intend to drastically overhaul his roster this winter, according to MLB.com's Ken Gurnick. "A year like this makes you look at every aspect of the team and makes you more apt to listen [to trade overtures]," Colletti said. "But it won't make me aggressively tear it up."
- Bill Plaschke of the Los Angeles Times thinks that Colletti would be right not to move Matt Kemp or Andre Ethier, but argues that the club should look into dealing James Loney. He also suggests that signing a free agent outfielder should be the Dodgers' "only big winter expenditure."
- According to Gurnick, Colletti would like to add a productive left fielder to replace Manny Ramirez. It's unclear whether the Dodgers will have the resources to bid on players like Carl Crawford and Jayson Werth.
- Catcher and third base also may be areas that need to be addressed, says Gurnick. Rod Barajas will be a free agent, Russell Martin will be recovering from a broken hip, and Casey Blake could be shifted into a utility role.
- The team is expected to try to retain free agents Ted Lilly, Jay Gibbons, and Barajas. They could also attempt to bring back Hiroki Kuroda and Vicente Padilla, depending on asking price and health.
- A few longtime Yankees weighed in on Torre's decision to step down, as Chad Jennings of the Journal News writes.
With the Padres, Giants and Rockies all battling for the playoffs and the Diamondbacks knee-deep in a GM search, don't forget about that fifth team in the NL West. Here are some news items from Dodger Stadium...
- GM Ned Colletti tells Tony Jackson of ESPNLosAngeles.com that the Dodgers will be more active this winter than they were during their relatively quiet 2009-10 offseason.
- According to CSNNE.com's Sean McAdam (Twitter link), Andre Ethier "has told some [he] would love to come to Boston." McAdam doesn't elaborate on whether or not Ethier really wants out of L.A. or that the Dodgers would consider moving him, but in another tweet McAdam writes that he has "a feeling, that given the mess the franchise is in, nothing [is] off table."
- Since the Dodgers are in the market for a third outfielder next season, Jon Weisman of ESPNLosAngeles.com suggests they could acquire a center fielder and move Matt Kemp to right. Kemp has delivered a -17.7 UZR/150 in center this season after being an above-average fielder in 2009.
- Weisman also writes that Rod Barajas and Jay Gibbons have performed well enough to be brought back by the club in 2011. Gibbons, for his part, is on board with that idea. He tells Dylan Hernandez of the Los Angeles Times (Twitter link) that playing for the Dodgers is a "dream job."
- Hernandez also tweets that Dodgers assistant GM De Jon Watson will interview for the vacant Arizona general manager's job tomorrow, while Logan White interviewed for the job today.
- Jim Peltz of the L.A. Times has the story of the Dodgers' John Lindsey, who is finally a major leaguer after spending 16 years in the minors.
- As we wait to find out if Joe Torre will leave the Dodgers after this season, the L.A. Times' Steve Dilbeck simply asks, "why would Joe Torre stay?"
Links for Sunday, as the White Sox complete a weekend sweep in Boston....
- Xavier Nady has been doing quite well since the Cubs dealt Derrek Lee to the Braves, writes MLB.com's Carrie Muskat.
- Cal Ripken Jr. told Dan Connolly of The Baltimore Sun that recently-appointed O's manager Buck Showalter is one of the best baseball guys he has spoken to.
- Javier Lopez tells Henry Schulman of the San Francisco Chronicle that he's not too upset about falling just short of free agency heading into next year.
- There's a chance Rod Barajas remains a Dodger past this season, according to Steve Dilbeck of the Los Angeles Times.
- NPB Tracker, via Twitter, passes on a news item from Sponichi that says the Mets, Rangers, and Rays all watched Yu Darvish pitch this weekend.
- Toni Ginnetti of the Chicago Sun-Times wonders if Carlos Zambrano's impressive performance over the last month means the Cubs may not ditch him after all.
- What does the future hold for the Yankees' "Core Four"? Joel Sherman of the New York Post explores that question in his latest column.
- Tim Wallach's number one goal this winter is landing a major league managerial job, writes Kevin Baxter of the Los Angeles Times.
- Newsday's Ken Davidoff lists three "hot names" for potential general manager openings this offseason: Damon Oppenheimer, Kevin Towers, and Logan White.
From the South Bay to the Valley, from the West Side to the East Side, everybody is very happy because Vin Scully will return in 2011. Let's check out some links from around the web..
- A member of the Mets watching Rod Barajas say goodbye to his teammates quipped "Can I go with him?", tweets Andy Martino of the New York Daily News.
- Ken Rosenthal pays tribute to Lou Piniella, and opines that Joe Girardi would be a perfect managerial replacement, though he has doubts that the Cubs could pry him away from New York.
- The Nationals have extended their affiliation with the Syracuse Chiefs for an additional two seasons, according to the team's official Twitter page.
- Josh Thole is excited about having the opportunity to start every day now that Rod Barajas has been claimed off waivers by the Dodgers, writes Adam Rubin of ESPNNewYork.com.
- The Rays might be willing to take a chance on Manny Ramirez, writes Marc Topkin of the St. Petersburg Times.
- With the way Austin Jackson is playing, it looks like the Tigers got the better end of the Curtis Granderson deal, writes Marc Carig of the Newark Star-Ledger.
- Pittsburgh's signing of Mexican hurler Luis Heredia was years in the making, writes Dejan Kovacevic of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.
- Paul Hoynes of the Plain Dealer writes that the Indians weren't afraid to spend on the draft this year. Cleveland's top ten picks all signed for more than their recommended slot.
- Jon Heyman of Sports Illustrated (via Twitter) jokes that Buck Showalter has done too well with the Orioles as the club might now lose out on the first overall pick in the draft. Baltimore is now 44-80 while the Pirates are 40-83.
10:37am: The Dodgers have claimed Rod Barajas on waivers, according to Andy Martino of the New York Daily News. The Mets will receive cash considerations in return, according to the Dodgers (via Twitter).
Barajas, who turns 35-years-old in September, has hit .225/.263/.414 with 12 homers in 267 plate appearances this season. In late July it was reported that the Red Sox offered reliever Ramon Ramirez in exchange for the veteran. The Mets have summoned Jesus Feliciano to take his place on the roster.
Starting catcher Russell Martin has not played since August 3rd due to a hip injury and will likely be out for the remainder of the year. Brad Ausmus and A.J. Ellis have been splitting time behind the plate but have struggled offensively.
Feliciano, 31, has a .688 OPS for the Mets in 27 big league games this season. He began the year with the Mets' Triple-A affiliate where he posted a .342/.389/.418 slash line with one homer in 322 plate appearances. This season marked his fourth straight in Triple-A and was his strongest at that level.
The Red Sox offered reliever Ramon Ramirez to the Mets for Rod Barajas before the catcher went on the disabled list, according to Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports (via Twitter). A source confirmed to Alex Speier of WEEI.com that the Red Sox and Mets discussed several trade possibilities involving Ramirez, including one that involved Barajas. However, Speier's source says the Red Sox aren't likely to trade Ramirez to the Mets.
The failed trade tells us two things about Boston's intentions for the coming week. First, it tells us that the Red Sox are willing to part with Ramirez, as Gordon Edes of ESPNBoston reported on Twitter earlier today. It's not a surprise, since Ramirez, who makes $1.55MM this year, will get raises in 2011 and 2012 before hitting free agency. He's not super-cheap, and he's effective (4.69 ERA, 6.2 K/9, 3.3 BB/9), but far from dominant.
Secondly, we are reminded that the Red Sox want to add a catcher, even though Victor Martinez is returning from the DL tonight. They have been connected to Chris Snyder and Chris Iannetta for months, and could pursue John Buck if they're interested in a short-term fix behind the plate. The list of potentially available catchers isn't a long one, so the Red Sox have limited ways of upgrading over Dusty Brown or Kevin Cash.
Some links to check out while we wait to see if Jon Garland can help the Padres extend their lead in the NL West...
- Mark Saxon of ESPNLosAngeles.com reports that the Angels may take their time in trading for a first baseman, both to save money and to determine if they need to make a big pickup.
- Brewers' first-round pick Dylan Covey is looking for a $2MM signing bonus, which Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel notes is about $300K higher than MLB's slotted bonus price for a 14th overall selection.
- Haudricourt also reports that Milwaukee's first two picks from the 2009 Amateur Draft (26th overall right-hander Eric Arnett and 39th overall outfielder Kentrail Davis) have both been sent down a level. Arnett posted a 6.87 ERA in 12 starts at the low-A level and is moving down to rookie ball, while Davis goes from high-A to low-A.
- Royals manager Ned Yost tells MLB.com's Dick Kaegel that in spite of Alex Gordon's success at Triple-A, Gordon won't be called back up to the majors until Kansas City can find an everyday space for him.
- Five teams have an interest in outfielder Wilmer Romero in advance of the international signing period opening on July 2, tweets Melissa Segura of Sports Illustrated.
- Chuck Finder of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette thinks the Pirates could spend around $10.5MM to sign their draft class since they "need, and want, to flood...their system with talent."
- The already pitching-rich Braves have "the most talented rotation in the minors" at Advanced-A Myrtle Beach, according to Fangraphs' Marc Hulet.
- MLB.com's Bill Ladson sees Washington pursuing a pitcher and a hitter at the trade deadline, and answers a number of hot stove-related questions in a fan mailbag.
- Dylan Hernandez of The Los Angeles Times says that the Dodgers haven't made any progress towards acquiring Cliff Lee and are balking at the money left on Roy Oswalt's contract.
- Meanwhile, Bill Shaikin of The Los Angeles Times says the Angels could have Paul Konerko today, if they wanted. He adds that if they do make a trade, they might be better off targeting a third baseman.
- A Mets' official indicated that the team won't discuss an extension with Rod Barajas until after the season, tweets Newsday's David Lennon.
- Peter Abraham of The Boston Globe tweets that Ted Lilly was "begging" the Yankees to sign him before the 2007, but they went for Kei Igawa instead.
- Paul Hagen of The Philadelphia Daily News says the Phillies shouldn't expect a trade deadline boost this year because of a depleted farm system beyond Domonic Brown and close to $140MM in salary commitments for 2011.
- Richard Justice of The Houston Chronicle says it might not be until July that the Astros decide to "blow up the roster and start over."
- Jeff Passan of Yahoo! Sports looks at nine starting pitchers who will be on the market this summer, led by Lee.