Ronnie Belliard Rumors

Odds & Ends: Carroll, Wang, Hudson, Fielder

Sunday night linkage..

  • Despite their budget constraints, Marc Topkin of the St. Petersburg Times expects the Rays to upgrade their roster.  Topkin mentions several quality free agents who may have to accept minor league deals such as Jim Edmonds, Rocco Baldelli, and ex-Ray Jonny Gomes as proof that the market is rife with valuable players.
  • At the Mariners Fan Fest event, pitcher Mark Lowe told the crowd in attendance that he keeps up on all of the latest transactions with MLBTradeRumors (video from MLB.com, :40 mark).  Dave Sims – the television voice of the M's – followed that up with his own mention of MLBTR.  Thanks guys!
  • Tim brings us the terms of Jamey Carroll's contract with the Dodgers via Twitter.  Carroll will earn $1.35MM in 2010 and $2.5MM in 2011.  The 35-year-old could also earn up to $525K per year in plate appearance incentives.
  • The Dodgers are among the teams that have reviewed Chien-Ming Wang's medical records, according to a tweet from Dylan Hernandez of the Los Angeles Times.  Recently, ESPN's Jayson Stark pegged the Dodgers as a possible destination for the 29-year-old.
  • Washington GM Mike Rizzo and Orlando's Hudson's representative haven't talked in a couple of days, according to MLB.com's William Ladson (via Twitter).  Furthermore, Rizzo says that if Hudson has brought his price down, it's news to him (also via Twitter).
  • In response to a fan asking how much he thinks Prince Fielder will sign for, MLB.com's Adam McCalvy writes that he doesn't think he will sign at all and will instead opt to hit the open market after the 2011 season (via Twitter).
  • Jon Weisman of the Los Angeles Times writes that the Dodgers' rumored signing of Reed Johnson likely means that Ronnie Belliard will get the nod over Blake DeWitt at second base.  Weisman's reasoning is that the roster, as it stands now, would feature an all right-handed bench without DeWitt's inclusion.  Weisman wonders if this overload of righty sluggers means that the Dodgers will pursue another free agent backup outfielder.

Dodgers Sign Jamey Carroll

The Dodgers signed veteran infielder Jamey Carroll to a two-year deal, as first reported by ESPN's Buster OlneyKen Rosenthal of FOX Sports specified the contract's value as $3.85MM.  Dylan Hernandez of the L.A. Times says there's another $500K in incentives.  Carroll reportedly drew interest from eight teams this winter.

Carroll hit .276/.355/.340 in 358 plate appearances with Cleveland last season, playing mostly as a second baseman but also seeing significant time at third base and in the outfield.  His versatility makes him particularly attractive to the Dodgers, since they stand to lose multiple infielders to free agency and Carroll would fill any number of holes on the bench or in the starting lineup should Blake DeWitt struggle as the everyday second baseman.

Where did the cash-strapped Dodgers get the money for Carroll?  Hernandez notes that the infielder's funds came from the money GM Ned Colletti saved by shipping Juan Pierre to the White Sox.  Colletti quickly spent about half of the Pierre savings on Carroll.

This post has been rewritten by Tim Dierkes.


Heyman On Bay, Molina, M’s, Dodgers

The Mariners are "not a serious player" for Jason Bay, according to Jon Heyman of SI.com. The Braves and Giants don't appear to be engaged with Bay and the Angels aren't focused on him now, so the Mets are the lone known suitor for the left fielder. They're keeping in touch with Scott Boras, who represents Matt Holliday, but they may be willing to offer Bay a deal in the five-year $75MM range. They're hoping to hear back from him today

Ideally, the Mets would like to sign Bay and Bengie Molina, who still wants a three-year deal worth about $20MM, or roughly twice as much as the team is presently willing to commit. Here are the rest of Heyman's rumors:

  • The Angels have more interest in Javier Vazquez than Derek Lowe, according to one source.
  • The Mariners are interested in locking up Cliff Lee and Felix Hernandez. 
  • The Red Sox would like to acquire Adrian Gonzalez. If they can't pull a trade for Gonzalez off, they would like to sign Adrian Beltre. However, that could put them over the luxury tax. 
  • The Dodgers are interested in Ronnie Belliard and Felipe Lopez. 


Dodgers Rumors: Wolf, Belisario, Wade

Dodgers hot stove info courtesy of Dylan Hernandez of the L.A. Times

  • Why didn't the Dodgers offer arbitration to Type A free agent Randy Wolf?  They feared he'd accept and get $15MM.  Do you agree with that logic?  The Dodgers were given one last chance to sign Wolf this morning, but GM Ned Colletti passed.
  • Free agent possibilities at second base: Ronnie Belliard, Juan Uribe, Craig Counsell and Jamey Carroll
  • The Dodgers offered only a minor league deal to Juan Castro, so he went with the Phillies.
  • The Mets have inquired on Dodgers relievers Ronald Belisario and Cory Wade.

Twitter Rumors: Capps, Felix, Harden, Pierre

A fresh batch of Twitter rumors, for those of you with extra-short attention spans…

  • MLB.com's Jenifer Langosch learned that the Pirates plan to tender a contract to Matt Capps.
  • Stubborn Dodgers GM Ned Colletti says he has no regrets about not offering arbitration to Randy Wolf, reports Dylan Hernandez of the L.A. TimesHernandez also notes that the Dodgers are considering Ronnie Belliard, Craig Counsell, Juan Uribe, and Jamey Carroll as second base options.  The Reds also like Carroll, says MLB.com's Mark Sheldon.
  • Yahoo's Steve Henson says the Rockies are open to re-signing Jason Marquis at a reduced number (less than the $9.875MM he made in '09).
  • SI's Jon Heyman believes Felix Hernandez is seeking six years and $100MM, while the Mariners are thinking four years plus an option at less than $50MM.  That phrasing makes a possible divide seem larger than it is, since those last two years of the deal would be the most expensive (more than $15MM per year).  At any rate, Shannon Drayer and Mike Salk learned that no numbers have been exchanged on Felix yet.
  • La Velle E. Neal III of the Minneapolis Star-Tribune says White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen wants Mike Redmond to back up A.J. Pierzynski.
  • MLB.com's Steve Gilbert says the Rangers may have interest in arbitration-eligible D'Backs infielder Augie Ojeda.  The Rangers added Joe Inglett off waivers, but were said to still be looking at utility infield candidates.
  • Morosi tweets that Rich Harden is "willing to sign a one-year deal with a lot of incentives."  Will he exceed Brad Penny's $7.5MM base salary?  Morosi names the Red Sox, Yankees, and Mariners as the most serious suitors. 
  • Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports says the Tigers have interest in Juan Pierre, and are "looking for a third team to supply the pitcher L.A. needs."  Odd, since the Tigers have more bad pitching contracts than anyone.  The Tigers apparently prefer to unload Carlos Guillen.
  • Dejan Kovacevic of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette says the Pirates are not interested in bringing back Brian Giles.
  • ESPN's Jayson Stark says the Red Sox "have two or three teams they could trade Mike Lowell to right now" if they'd take a similar contract back.  Looking at our Bad Contract Swap Meet I don't see any obvious matches for one year and $12MM.
  • There's been some tire-kicking with the Phillies and Ron Mahay, writes Andy Martino of the Philadelphia Inquirer. The Red Sox were linked to Mahay by Michael Silverman on MondayMartino also says the Phillies met with John Smoltz's agent this morning, "but discussions remain informal."
  • Bob Dutton of the Kansas City Star characterizes the White Sox and Red Sox interest in Coco Crisp as "low-level," but says that's still more than the Royals have shown.  Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports says the White Sox would consider Crisp, Mike Cameron, and Marlon Byrd. ESPN's Mike Salk notes that the Mariners spoke to Byrd's agent.
  • Dutton also has the Red Sox eyeing Ryan Shealy on a minor league deal.
  • Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports names the most asked-about Padres: Heath Bell, Kevin Kouzmanoff, and Adrian Gonzalez (in that order).  He says the Padres are "not hearing anything compelling on Bell."  MLB.com's Corey Brock says about eight teams inquired on Kouzmanoff.  Surprised not to see Kevin Correia mentioned by Rosenthal.  He'd be a great affordable option for a team like the Brewers.  ESPN's Buster Olney heard from rival execs who expect the Padres to get second-line prospects for Kouzmanoff and Correia.
  • The Mets appear to find a Luis Castillo deal unlikely, says Joel Sherman of the New York Post.
  • ESPN's Jayson Stark says the Yankees are shopping their #1 pick in tomorrow's Rule 5 draft, which they acquired for Brian Bruney.  If they don't trade the pick, Yahoo's Steve Henson says the Yankees could use it on pitcher Arquimedes Caminero.

Dodgers Make No Arb Offers To Free Agents

The Dodgers aren't offering arbitration to any of their free agents, team spokesman Josh Rawitch told Dylan Hernandez of the L.A. Times.  They've got Type As with Orlando Hudson and Randy Wolf, and Type Bs with Guillermo Mota, Jon Garland, Ronnie Belliard, Vicente Padilla, and Will Ohman.

Wolf in particular seemed a lock to receive an offer.  It's difficult to understand why the Dodgers chose not to; Jon Weisman of Dodgers Thoughts is depressed.  Oddly enough, Wolf has avoided an arb offer for two years running despite being worthy both times.  Surely he's not complaining; he's now more attractive to other teams.  Ditto for Hudson.


Odds & Ends: Phillies, Nationals, Mariners

There's no such thing as an offseason- just different kinds of on-seasons.