Roger Clemens Rumors
Links for Thursday...
- If Curt Schilling does a half-season next year, he apparently will not model it after Roger Clemens' approach.
- Drunk Jays Fans discusses Ken Rosenthal's recent chat with J.P. Ricciardi.
- Richard Justice says some GMs complained privately that Ed Wade didn't do a good job letting teams know Brad Lidge was available last year.
- The Adam Dunn trade pushed the D'Backs a little over budget. They don't have much to spend this winter. Nick Piecoro of the Arizona Republic elaborates on the topic.
- Dave Cameron looks at some free agent landmines, led by Manny Ramirez.
- The Giants voided their $625K contract with Dominican righty Luis Mateo after finding bone chips in his elbow.
Buster Olney has some fun-to-read analysis of last night's game, as well as some solid rumors for our consumption:
- The Yankees seem almost destined to sign Mark Teixeira this offseason, but while it's been suggested that Teixeira is seeking upwards of 10 years, $200MM, the Yankees may be looking to offer half of that, or "a deal in the range of 6 years, $18-20MM a year." Good news for the Orioles who look to be the biggest competitor for the Yankees in pursuing both Teixeira and A.J. Burnett.
- The Yankees are gearing up to offer CC Sabathia "an offer that may dwarf those of other clubs, by a factor of 30 or 40 percent." Olney feels that may be a necessary surcharge to convince Sabathia to pitch in the Big Apple.
- An interesting note: a few months ago, the suggested numbers for a Manny Ramirez contract were 3 or 4 years and $45MM; however, Scott Boras is effectively "working to change the perception of what is an acceptable offer... trying to raise the bar in the minds of teams, so that in the end, somebody might give him 3 years, $60MM and feel like they're getting a bargain." I'll add that Manny has done a lot, if not more, to change this perception as well.
- Make of this what you will but Derek Jeter, whether intentional or not, contributed toward restoring Roger Clemens' image by standing beside him on the sidelines of the nationally televised Longhorns game yesterday. Olney notes, "I know a whole lot of image-conscious players who would not have done that." Clemens is still unsure whether he is officially retired or not.
KRIV-TV in Houston talked to Roger Clemens recently. Clemens seems caught in some kind of limbo between pitching and retiring:
"Right now I don't have the desire to do so. I'm enjoying what I'm doing, the number of things I'm doing around town, just enjoying that. I don't know if I will ever say no. I would have to know that I could perform at a high level and that my body would be able to hold up."
Not sure exactly what to make of that meandering quote - is the 46 year-old leaving the door open to playing again? What will he not say no to?
Drayton McLane, the chairman and chief executive of the Astros, spoke with Roger Clemens recently and said that Clemens has not ruled out a possible return to playing baseball.
"We have a personal services contract with him and it's not activated until he tells us he's ready to retire," said McLane, just after this week's quarterly owners' meetings drew to a conclusion. "Well, he hasn't said that. I think if he was ready to retire, and that was clear, he would have already said that to us. But that has not happened."
McLane noted that the Astros would not rule out the possibility of resigning Clemens to pitch for the Astros, but emphasized that both the team and Clemens want to see all of his legal issues resolved before making a decision.
If the Astros are still within two games of the NL Central lead in July and Chris Sampson is still pitching to a 6.27 ERA, the name 'Roger Clemens' might be an easier sell to the fanbase.
A couple of notes for this Thursday afternoon.
- Bob Watson, GM of the U.S. Olympic baseball team, says Roger Clemens is not welcome. "We don't need that type of distraction," said Watson.
- Should the Royals give Joakim Soria a shot as a starter? I'm always inclined to say yes. If he fails in the rotation, just bump him back to the bullpen. Same logic goes for Joba Chamberlain.
- In a minor trade, the Astros have sent 34-year-old lefty Stephen Randolph to the Phillies for a player to be named later. Randolph was 0-1 with a 1.23 ERA in AAA this year.
- Rehabbing Cardinal Mark Mulder will be sidelined for the next week to 10 days with a rotator cuff strain.
Posted by Joe Pawlikowski.
It's been refreshing to ignore Roger Clemens on this site. But Ken Davidoff does have a piece of information today that fits within our realm.
Davidoff talked to Astros owner Drayton McLane and learned that the Astros had a conversation with Clemens in December (post-Mitchell Report) about the Rocket pitching in 2008. One last half season with the Astros might've made sense at the right price, and it appeared at the time that Clemens wanted to play.
However, Davidoff says the events since that time make another comeback unlikely.
- Seems there's a chance Corey Patterson takes a cheap deal to return to Baltimore. He could be relegated to fourth outfielder duty in that case. Stark says the Marlins have discussed Patterson internally, but aren't sure if they could afford the Boras client. Patterson would be a nice stopgap for Cameron Maybin, who'd be well-served with some time in Triple A. Ken Rosenthal also mentioned the Florida possibility.
- One of the most surprising free agents at this point is Kyle Lohse. Stark shoots down the notion of Lohse signing with the Met or Phillies on a one-year deal. Rosenthal tossed out the Cards and O's as slight possibilities. It's tough to be impressed with Boras' work with Patterson and Lohse this year. Stark's colleague Buster Olney even speaks of rumors that Lohse could ditch Boras.
- Kenny Lofton wants a Major League deal, and the offers so far have been minor league (including one from the Reds). I don't find this an unreasonable demand on Lofton's part; he's still a useful player. He's OK with starting the season late and coming in as a mercenary when a spot opens up.
- Stark talked to a friend of Drayton McLane who believes the Astros' owner could roll the dice on Roger Clemens at the right price.
- Scott Spiezio is in trouble with the law, and the Cardinals decided to release him for it. Joe Ostermeier notes that the Cards now have about $20MM in dead money on the payroll for '08.
- Evan Grant believes the Rangers would want Jose Ceda or Donald Veal in a deal for Marlon Byrd.
- Call it informed speculation, but Mike Berardino wonders whether Carl Pavano could end up back with the Marlins eventually.
- Ken Rosenthal recently wrote that the Padres were eyeing Gabe Gross. Tom Haudricourt found out that Kevin Towers never inquired on the Brewers outfielder, but that doesn't mean the Friars weren't eyeing him.
- Ken Davidoff makes a case for why the Astros should sign Roger Clemens.
- Sadly, the Rockies pulled the plug on a deal with Neifi Perez at the last minute.
- We hear "best shape of his life" often in Spring Training, but not with the newly signed Bartolo Colon. The Red Sox have some history pursuing Colon, as noted by Rob Bradford.
- Conor Jackson switched agents.
Here's today's collection.
- Interesting article about Phil Hughes' blog. We should see more and more player blogs as the Internet generation reaches the Majors.
- Jonathan Mayo's book Facing Clemens has hit shelves. The MLB.com writer attempts to put you in the batter's box against the Rocket.
- Nothin' doin' on the Joe Nathan talks. I thought they'd hammer this one out to restore some Johan goodwill. Guess not.
- Like reading about injuries? Take a look at Baseball Injury Report, by my friend Rick Wilton. Especially good for fantasy junkies.
- Pedro isn't going to approach the Mets about an extension, but he'd listen if they came to him. The Mets want to see at least part of this season play out before considering it.
Last week we looked at one face of the steroid era (Barry Bonds) and wondered where he might end up playing in 2008. Today let's take a look at the newest face of the steroid era, Roger Clemens. Clemens has yet to decide whether to pitch in 2008.
While his friends believe that the Astros are the only option, Buster Olney suggested the Cardinals could also be an option. And while the Yankees and the Red Sox have shown zero interest, we can't rule out a mid-season return to either team. Both have question marks in their rotations, and if the proposed solutions don't pan out, they will be in the market for a proven pitcher in July, no matter what Hank Steinbrenner says now. Another team that could be a darkhorse after the All-Star break is the New York Mets. We learned yesterday that they have tried trading Orlando Hernandez, as there appear to be serious concerns about his health. And if the Mets are fighting for a playoff spot in July, memories of last year's collapse with the added pressure of having added Johan Santana will fuel the effort to win "at any cost." Let's also not forget that 11 more wins would put Rocket into the Top 5 all-time and 20 wins (2009?) would make Clemens the third winningest pitcher ever, behind only Cy Young and Walter Johnson. Let's take a look at what some are thinking about Clemens in the Blogosphere.
If there is a topic you would like to see covered in "Baseball Blogs Weigh In" please let me know HERE.
- The Redbird Blog does not see Clemens as a difference-maker for the Cardinals, and wonder if it is worth signing him.
- C70 At The Bat does not think that the Cardinals pitching situation is as dire as some have portrayed, so the need for Clemens may be minimal.
- My Baseball Bias reiterates what Hank Steinbrenner stated...Clemens will not pitch for the Yankees. They also think that the Astros are the only logical destination for Clemens.
- Center Field feels that the Phillies would be a good match based on an actual letter sent from PETA to Clemens urging him to become a vegetarian.
And that's it from the Blogosphere. Is Roger Clemens pitching in '08 a non-story? Is there a team out there that we are not considering that the Rocket could help this season? Let us know in the comments.