Ross Gload Rumors
The Phillies have had internal discussions about acquiring a left-handed bench bat to serve as a pinch-hitter, according to Bob Brookover of the Philadelphia Inquirer.
The Phils discussed trades involving Rockies first baseman Jason Giambi and Twins first baseman/DH Jim Thome prior to the non-waiver trade deadline, and they would still like to acquire either of those sluggers, according to Brookover. However, both would be long shots at this point because it's unlikely Giambi or Thome would fall to the Phillies through waivers.
Ross Gload and Brian Schneider are the only lefty hitters on the bench presently, although the Phils recently signed former Athletics and Mariners slugger Jack Cust to a minor league contract in hopes that he could serve in a Matt Stairs-like role. Cust has declined in recent years, though, and has not had much success in his career as a pinch-hitter, so it doesn't sound like the Phils are expecting much there.
Otherwise, one remaining option would be to recall Domonic Brown, although that is less than ideal because he is slumping with Triple-A Lehigh Valley and needs to play every day to develop. Another option the Phils have discussed, a source tells Brookover, is recalling Brandon Moss from Lehigh Valley. Moss, of course, was involved in the three-team swap that sent Manny Ramirez to the Dodgers and Jason Bay to the Red Sox a couple years back.
The Phils look to be fine-tuning things before the postseason. We also heard yesterday that they are seeking a left-handed reliever.
A couple of Fish-related tidbits from the land of Dwyane Wade and Dexter Morgan tonight....
- Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald reports that the Marlins have made finding relief pitching a priority over replacing Ross Gload. Jackson mentioned Adam Kennedy and Jeremy Reed as left-handed hitters "mentioned in informal talks" that Florida might be interested in signing once they take care of their bullpen.
- It looks as if Dan Uggla will still be a Marlin when the 2010 season starts, reports Juan C. Rodriguez of the South Florida Sun-Sentinel. Rodriguez thinks that if the Fish can't find a trade partner for Uggla, they may shift gears and "start taking calls" about Jorge Cantu. Cantu's ability to place both first and third base makes him an attractive option to teams looking for help at the corners. Could Baltimore be interested? We know they're still in the market for a corner infielder, and the Orioles and Marlins touched base with each other about an Uggla trade earlier this winter.
Links for Wednesday...
- The Tigers signed lefty Brad Thomas out of Korea, and Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports tweets that they paid $1MM.
- Dejan Kovacevic of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette confirmed our report of the Pirates' interest in Kelly Johnson, explaining that the Pirates view him as a corner outfield option.
- FanGraphs' Dave Cameron wonders why teams seem to undervalue Cliff Lee. In a related story, Lee's agent Darek Braunecker believes their position has been mischaracterized.
- ESPN's Buster Olney expects Jamey Carroll to choose between two-year offers from the A's and Dodgers, probably today (I mistakenly wrote the Angels earlier).
- Mentioned first on Twitter: I've heard that Coco Crisp would prefer a one-year deal with the Padres or A's.
- Boston's Mike Cameron signing was officially announced today. Michael Silverman and John Tomase of the Boston Herald have details on the two-year, $15.5MM contract. John Lackey's deal was also announced.
- WEEI's Alex Speier says the Red Sox told Jeremy Hermida they'd trade him if they re-signed Jason Bay. Speier wonders if the Cameron signing will prompt a Hermida deal.
- The Angels' one-year, $6.5MM deal with Hideki Matsui was also announced, as was John Buck's one-year, $2MM deal with Toronto and Ross Gload's two-year, $2.6MM deal with the Phillies.
- The Royals put out word they've re-signed outfielder Shane Costa to a minor league deal. Costa, 28, missed almost the entire '09 season with a leg injury.
- USA Today's Bob Nightengale tweets details on LaTroy Hawkins' two-year, $7.5MM deal with the Brewers.
- Patrick Newman of NPB Tracker examines the reports about reliever Ryota Igarashi, who might be headed to the Red Sox or Mets.
- The Mariners signed 19-year-old shortstop Pedro Okuda to a minor league deal, according to a team press release. Okuda was born and raised in Brazil but attended high school in Japan.
There's more going on with the Phillies than the big trade. Here are the details:
- MLB.com's Todd Zolecki says Fernando Rodney and John Smoltz are "believed to be" top targets for the Phillies.
- Ross Gload's two-year deal is worth $2.6MM, according to Scott Lauber of the News Journal.
- Andy Martino of the Philadelphia Inquirer says the Phils had two scouts watch Aroldis Chapman today. The NL champs are not considered major threats to sign the lefty, though.
The Phillies have agreed to sign Ross Gload to a two-year deal, according to MLB.com's Todd Zolecki. He leaves the Marlins behind and joins Ben Francisco, Brian Schneider, Greg Dobbs and Juan Castro on Philly's bench.
We heard earlier tonight that the Marlins and Braves were also willing to offer Gload two-year deals. The 33-year-old led the league in pinch hits last year and can sub in at first and in left or right. He hit .261/.329/.400, appearing in over 100 games for the third straight season.
Ross Gload should soon sign a two-year deal with an NL East team, according to Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports. The only question is: which team will he choose? The Phillies, Braves and Marlins are all interested in the 33-year-old utilityman. The Marlins turned down a $2.6MM option for Gload's 2010 services earlier in the offseason.
He hit .261/.329/.400 in 259 plate appearances with the Marlins this year, playing a combination of first base, left field and right field. He even pitched a scoreless frame against the Rays this May, inducing a double play ball off of Dioner Navarro.
Links for Friday, as team execs and media folk pack their bags for Monday's Winter Meetings in Indianapolis...
- The Brewers signed Trent Oeltjen to a minor league deal, according to MLB.com's Adam McCalvy. Oeltjen, 27 in February, hit .303/.362/.500 in his third Triple A tour, playing the outfield corners.
- Brewers assistant GM Gord Ash spells out why his team won't be acquiring Roy Halladay, talking to McCalvy.
- MLB.com's Joe Frisaro tweets six minor league free agents signed by the Marlins, including Jesse Foppert, Vinny Rottino, and Hector Luna.
- The Pirates expressed "mild interest" in free agent pitcher Clay Hensley, according to Dejan Kovacevic of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Hensley, 30, spent the year at Triple A in the Astros and Marlins organizations, posting a 3.56 ERA in 124 innings.
- Joe Capozzi of the Palm Beach Post feels there's "still a good chance [Ross] Gload returns [to the Marlins] with a two-year deal."
- Darren Dreifort's five-year, $55MM deal tops Jeff Passan's list of the ten worst contracts of the 2000s for Yahoo.
- Joe Pawlikowski of River Ave. Blues explains why the Yankees probably won't sign Rafael Soriano.
- In his Winter Meetings preview for AOL FanHouse, Ed Price says there was some discussion about a Tigers-Diamondbacks trade involving Edwin Jackson and Max Scherzer.
- ESPN's Buster Olney talked to rival executives who say the Tigers have not aggressively shopped Curtis Granderson.
- Olney doesn't think the Mariners will pay up for Jason Bay. He believes the Red Sox are "controlling the market" for Bay and Matt Holliday.
- Joe Strauss of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch says the Cardinals are "increasingly weighing spreading what it would cost to retain Holliday over several players." Bernie Miklasz of the P-D feels the Cards are "enacting their exit strategy from the Holliday sweepstakes." I would not be surprised to see the Cardinals make their best offer soon - let's say $110MM over six years - and entirely move on if Scott Boras rejects it.
- SI's Jon Heyman tweets that Nick Johnson is "drawing interest from the Giants, maybe Braves, and a half-dozen more."
- MLB.com's Corey Brock talked to former Padres GM Kevin Towers, who will meet with the Mets, Yankees, Mariners, and Red Sox at the Winter Meetings.
- ESPN's Keith Law isn't impressed with the Phillies' Placido Polanco signing. My initial impression upon hearing about the signing is that no other team would've valued Polanco that highly.
- MLB.com's Joe Frisaro tweets that other teams have been more aggressive on Jamey Carroll than the Marlins. Other Carroll suitors include the Rockies, Red Sox, Angels, Dodgers, A's, Rangers, Pirates, Reds and Indians.
The Marlins did not offer arbitration to Type B free agents Kiko Calero and Nick Johnson, nor did they offer to Brendan Donnelly or Ross Gload, tweets Clark Spencer of the Miami Herald.
Calero merited consideration after posting a 10.4 K/9 and 1.95 ERA in 60 innings, but apparently the Marlins did not want to risk giving him a raise on this year's $500K salary. It's a similar story for Johnson, whose .426 OBP leads all free agents.
After declining his option earlier in the month, the Florida Marlins have offered Ross Gload a lesser contract, according to Clark Spencer of the Miami Herald. Spencer indicates the offer is similar to the one that Wes Helms signed with the Marlins last winter, which was a two-year deal worth $1.9MM. The option that the Marlins turned down was for $2.6MM.
Gload hit .261/.329/.400 as a pinch-hitter and occasional starter for Florida in 2009, and stated previously that he'd like to stay with the Marlins. As of midnight tonight, of course, any team will be able to negotiate with Gload.
Later in his article, Spencer adds Ronny Paulino's name to the ever-growing list of Marlins players that teams have looked into acquiring. Ricky Nolasco, Dan Uggla, Jorge Cantu, and Cody Ross have also "received nibbles."
The Marlins have declined Ross Gload's 2010 option according to MLB.com's Joe Frisaro. Had the team picked up the option, Gload would have made $2.6MM next season. He did not receive a buyout, according to information provided at Cot's Baseball Contracts.
The 33-year-old Gload hit .261/.329/.400 in 259 plate appearances last year, but the lefty swinger excelled off the bench, hitting .318/.418/.455 in 79 plate appearances as a pinch hitter. He even threw a scoreless inning for good measure.