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Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports points out that we should expect the unexpected once trade talk picks up this summer. For example, who expected Ubaldo Jimenez to be traded this time last year? Here are Rosenthal’s notes from around MLB…
- White Sox GM Kenny Williams says he’d prefer to focus on short-term goals for now and figure out whether to buy or sell closer to the July 31st trade deadline. “We’ll see where we are in July and then we’ll figure it out,” he said.
- Chase Headley is a popular trade target, Rosenthal reports. The Padres could replace Headley at third with Jedd Gyorko or move Gyorko to second if they hold onto Headley.
- The Diamondbacks explored the trade market for young catchers before signing Miguel Montero to an extension, only to find that acquiring a backstop such as Travis d’Arnaud or Austin Romine would have cost them top pitching prospect Tyler Skaggs and then some.
- Some executives wonder if the Blue Jays should make their move this summer, asking “If not now, when?” One person says the Blue Jays are monitoring Matt Garza of the Cubs.
- Carlos Lee can block trades to 14 teams, including the Dodgers, Rosenthal reports. Almost all of the teams on Lee’s no-trade list are high-revenue clubs. This provides Lee with some leverage, but doesn’t necessarily mean he’d block a deal.
- Brett Myers’ $10MM option for 2013 likely vests with between 40 and 50 games finished, Rosenthal estimates. If a team acquired the right-hander and used him as a setup man, the option wouldn’t become an issue. But teams interested in using Myers as a closer might have interest in re-working the option like the Brewers did with Francisco Rodriguez a year ago.
- The contracts for Cliff Lee, Ryan Howard, Chase Utley and Roy Halladay of the Phillies include the same no-trade protection, Rosenthal reports. Each player can block deals to 21 teams per year.
- Dodgers president Stan Kasten expects his team to be “aggressive, but not reckless” in considering possible upgrades.
Full Story | Comments | Categories: Arizona Diamondbacks | Brett Myers | Carlos Lee | Chase Headley | Chase Utley | Chicago Cubs | Chicago White Sox | Cliff Lee | Houston Astros | Los Angeles Dodgers | Matt Garza | Philadelphia Phillies | Roy Halladay | Ryan Howard | San Diego Padres | Toronto Blue Jays | Travis D'Arnaud | Tyler Skaggs
Carlos Zambrano hit and pitched the Marlins into a first place tie with the Nationals in the NL East. Zambrano hit a 431-foot home run, the longest by a pitcher in four years according to the ESPN Home Run Tracker, and struck out seven in 7 2/3 innings. Here are today's other pitcher-related links.
- The Red Sox may need to take a breather from the Daniel Bard experiment as a starter after his performance today, explains John Tomase of the Boston Herald. According to Baseball Reference, Bard became the first starting pitcher since 1918 to walk six and hit two batters in two or less innings of work.
- Roy Halladay's time on the disabled list could affect his $20MM vesting option for 2014 and make him a free agent one year earlier than expected, according to Todd Zolecki of MLB.com.
- Jorge De La Rosa was pulled from his latest rehab assignment because of a small fluid build-up in his surgically repaired left elbow, says Patrick Saunders of the Denver Post. The Rockies also placed right-hander Juan Nicasio on the DL with a strained left knee.
- The Orioles have added Steve Johnson to their 40-man roster after the right-hander sought to opt out of his contract, writes Steve Melewski of MASNSports.com.
Earlier today, we learned Roy Oswalt would still prefer to play for the Rangers or Cardinals. Here is the latest:
- Oswalt's asking price has gradually decreased over the course of the season, but still may need to be reassessed if the right-hander wants to return the big leagues any time soon, reports CBSSports.com's Jon Heyman. Oswalt may not meet his asking price of $7.5MM prorated, predicts an executive of an interested team, who says the former Astros ace should eclipse Andy Pettitte's $2.5MM contract.
- Heyman says the Phillies could be more in play for Oswalt considering Roy Halladay's shoulder issue (Twitter link). Halladay left his start today after only two innings as a precaution due to right shoulder stiffness.
- Peter Gammons of the MLB Network tweets Oswalt's agent is telling teams his client worked out for the Dodgers on Friday. This morning, Heyman reported via Twitter that the Dodgers inquired about Oswalt at one point, but don't appear involved now.
- Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports reports the possibility of Oswalt returning in June is diminishing. According to Rosenthal, Major League executives say it's his asking price. One source tells Rosenthal Oswalt wants a pro-rated $7.5MM in base salary. Another said that Oswalt’s desired salary is a moving target, “but always high.”
- Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel (via Twitter) says the Brewers checked in on Oswalt but apparently he wanted more money than they have in budget for half a season.
Roy Halladay is pitching differently this year, according to pitch f/x data and team officials who spoke to Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports. Though Halladay remains effective, he’s relying on different weapons than the ones he used in the past. Here are Rosenthal’s latest rumors:
- The Royals have lost ten consecutive games, but GM Dayton Moore says it’s not always bad to scuffle. “I’m not shocked that we’re struggling out of the gate,” Moore told Rosenthal. “Although you expect good things to happen, we’re very young.” Rosenthal cites a scout who was “decidedly unimpressed” by the Royals’ play this weekend.
- Rosenthal suggests the Padres might be inclined to trade Carlos Quentin if he hits well once he returns from knee surgery in May. Rosenthal wonders if the Padres might look to sign Quentin to a two-year deal in the $18-20MM range if he has a decent season.
- Many teams are intimidated by Wandy Rodriguez’s contract, Rosenthal reports. The left-hander earns $10MM in 2012 and $13MM in 2013. The Astros hold a $13MM club option for 2014, but it becomes a player option if they trade him.
- Some executives were surprised the Reds committed $72.5MM to Brandon Phillips when some of their best prospects (Billy Hamilton and Didi Gregorius) are middle infielders.
- Adam Dunn looks more comfortable at the plate this year, one scout says.
Blue Jays president Paul Beeston sat down with Richard Griffin of the the Toronto Star to talk about the state of the club, free agents coming north of the border, and even his own contract. Here are some highlights..
- Beeston was reluctant to tip his cap on whether or not the Blue Jays will make a run at Yu Darvish, but he did say that "I think those people at Rogers who never heard of him before, now know this player is in existence." Despite that, he has yet to inform ownership that he is ready to spend extra payroll dollars.
- Beeston said that he's happy for the ex-Jays that made it to the postseason this year with other clubs. Ultimately, he says that there's no way of knowing if the Blue Jays would have made it to the playoffs if they still had players such as Roy Halladay, Shaun Marcum, John McDonald, and Aaron Hill in the fold.
- When discussing Hill, Beeston said, "I think that [General Manager] Alex [Anthopoulos] had determined that he wanted to make a move with Aaron." Toronto shipped Hill and McDonald to the Diamondbacks for Kelly Johnson in an August trade.
- Halladay "made it quite clear" that he was not going to re-sign with the Blue Jays after the 2010 season.
- The Blue Jays didn't make a serious run at Cliff Lee in free agency last year and Beeston believes that doing so would have been a "waste of time".
- Even though the senior people at Rogers aren't baseball fans, Beeston still keeps them informed of major decisions. For example, Beeston discussed the Halladay trade with management before pulling the trigger. Beeston says that Rogers has yet to interfere with or object to a front office decision.
- At a fan get-together in February, Beeston said that the club could possibly spend up to $120MM on payroll. Beeston clarified those comments and says that the $120MM figure is in reference to salaries on the 40-man roster and not including draft bonuses and international free agency.
- That uptick in payroll could happen this year or next year. Beeston plans on adding a big piece at the right time for the right price. He later added that the team first has to show that they can contend before they can land the premier free agents on the open market.
- The Blue Jays have built up the farm system and they're reassured of their talent by the amount of inquiries they get from other teams. The Colby Rasmus trade showed that the club could afford to trade several attractive pieces without mortgaging their future.
- Rumors of Beeston re-upping his contract through 2015 are not true. In fact, he says that he hasn't talked to anyone about an extension of his current deal.
- Beeston said that he sees an opening in the AL East because of the uncertainty in Boston, aging stars in New York, and limited capital in Tampa Bay.
- Even though attendance in down in Toronto, revenue continues to grow for the organization. The belief is that the pace will pick up once the team is contending again.
A few late-night items of note as a thriller in the Bronx reaches its climax …
- Baltimore Sports and Life polled 17 analysts about the Orioles' odds of signing impending free agent Prince Fielder. Interestingly, opinions vary wildly about whether the O's should even pursue Prince, not to mention what kind of financial commitment it might take to procure his services.
- Cubs scouting director Tim Wilken will be watching a pair of his notable draft selections when Phillies co-ace Roy Halladay squares off against his Cardinals counterpart, Chris Carpenter, in Friday's NLDS Game 5, writes Carrie Muskat of MLB.com. Wilken tabbed both of those pitchers when he was scouting director in Toronto, and he provides some cool insight into how each hurler was regarded before they became household names.
- Andrew Stoeten of Drunk Jays Fans breaks down Toronto's outfield, replete with sound, humorous analysis and a spelling of "center" that looks odd to those of us in the States. Be sure to check it out.
- Halladay is signed through 2013, with an option for '14. It's possible the option will vest if Halladay tosses 225 innings in '13, 415 innings in '12-13, and avoids the disabled list at the end of the '13 season.
- Lee is signed through 2015, with a $27.5MM club option for '16. This option can vest more easily than Doc's, if Lee has 200 innings in '15 or 400 in '14-15 and does not finish the '15 season with a left shoulder or elbow injury. Plus, the massive $12.5MM buyout on that option gives it a $15MM net price, which might be worth exercising if Lee is good but not great in his age 36 season.
- Hamels is signed through 2011 and is arbitration eligible for the '12 season. Will he test the free agent waters after '12? The Phillies were able to sign Hamels to his current deal two years ago, but were not able to secure his final arbitration year let alone a free agent season or two.
- Oswalt is signed through 2011. He has a $16MM mutual option for '12 with a $2MM buyout. The $14MM net price should be appealing to the Phillies if Oswalt performs anywhere near his 2010 level, though the pitcher does have the ability to opt out. There are plenty of possibilities after the '11 season: Oswalt could retire, both sides could decide $16MM is a fair salary for another go-round, the Phillies could choose to decline, or the pitcher could decide he wants security for 2013 and seek a multiyear deal.
My guess: the Phillies will work something out with Oswalt for 2012, and we'll enjoy these four pitching together for two seasons.
Thanks to Cot's for the contract info.
Links on a busy Tuesday as the first day of the GM Meetings wraps up…
- Paul Hoynes of The Cleveland Plain Dealer says (via Twitter) the Indians "kicked the tires" on Jake Westbrook, but never formally offered him a contract before he re-signed with the Cardinals.
- FoxSports.com's Ken Rosenthal tweets that the market for Jorge de la Rosa won't take shape until Cliff Lee signs. He's a fallback option for several teams.
- Former Orioles reliever Dennis Sarfate is in talks to join the Hiroshima Carp according to MASNSports.com's Roch Kubatko.
- ESPN's Jerry Crasnick tweets that the Giants are currently in on just two players: Aubrey Huff and Juan Uribe.
- Bob Brookover of The Philadelphia Inquirer says that Phillies GM Ruben Amaro offered a lot of "no comments" when asked about the team's interest in retaining Chad Durbin.
- SI.com's Jon Heyman says (via Twitter) the trade market for Jonathan Papelbon is "very weak," but the Red Sox are willing to pay part of what will surely be a sizable 2011 salary.
- SI.com's Jon Heyman hears that the Yankees will bid at least three years to keep Derek Jeter (Twitter link). Owner Hal Steinbrenner added that "things are going well."
- Chad Jennings of The Journal News has a quote from Yanks GM Brian Cashman: “I’ve got a small player move that I’m working on that might get done at some point this week … But it’s small.”
- Meanwhile, ESPN's Buster Olney tweets that the Yanks are still waiting to hear whether Mariano Rivera wants a one or two-year deal.
- Troy Renck of The Denver Post tweets that the Athletics are not moving Conor Jackson, though he remains a non-tender candidate.
- Twins GM Bill Smith said it's "not at all" a question when asked if the team would tender Matt Capps a contract, according to Adam Kilgore of The Washington Post (Twitter link).
- John Fay of The Cincinnati Enquirer says that Reds GM Walt Jocketty has talked to Arthur Rhodes' agent and plans to do the same with Miguel Cairo's, but he has yet to talk to any other free agents.
- SI.com's Tom Verducci lists players available on the "secondary market" that could have a big impact, starting with Jack Cust.
- Roy Halladay's Cy Young Award netted him $250K in bonus money, tweets Matt Gelb of The Philadelphia Inquirer. The bonus was negotiated into his original contract with Toronto.
- In the wake of Justin Upton being made available, FanGraphs' Dave Cameron examines his trade value.
Full Story | Comments | Categories: Arizona Diamondbacks | Arthur Rhodes | Atlanta Braves | Aubrey Huff | Boston Red Sox | Chad Durbin | Cincinnati Reds | Cleveland Indians | Conor Jackson | Dan Uggla | Dennis Sarfate | Derek Jeter | Jack Cust | Jake Westbrook | Jonathan Papelbon | Jorge de la Rosa | Juan Uribe | Justin Upton | Mariano Rivera | Matt Capps | Miami Marlins | Miguel Cairo | Minnesota Twins | New York Mets | New York Yankees | Oakland Athletics | Philadelphia Phillies | Roy Halladay | San Francisco Giants
Phillies righty Roy Halladay unanimously won the National League Cy Young award today, seven years after taking home the American League trophy. Adam Wainwright, Ubaldo Jimenez, and ten others received votes; click here for the full results.
On this date two years ago, the Cubs exercised Rich Harden's $9MM option for 2009 after tests showed that his throwing shoulder was healthy. Harden made 26 starts with a 4.09 ERA, 10.9 K/9, and 4.2 BB/9 in 141 innings that year before joining the Rangers in the offseason. The 28-year-old battled through another injury plagued year in 2010, throwing just 92 innings with a 5.58 ERA, 7.3 K/9, and 6.3 BB/9 for Texas.
Harden might not be able to find a guaranteed Major League deal on the free agent market this winter, but I can guarantee that these links represent the best from around the blogosphere…
- Crashburn Alley re-lives Roy Halladay's playoff no-hitter, moment by moment.
- Meanwhile, Phoul Ballz spoke to some Blue Jays minor leaguers about how Doc's effort inspired them.
- The Nats Blog debates Halladay's Cy Young candidacy. Not that anyone asked me, but I consider him the frontrunner, and it's not particularly close either.
- Blogging From The Bleachers takes an in depth look at how Japanese pitchers have transitioned to MLB.
- The OC Baseball Council examines some potential destinations for Prince Fielder.
- U.S.S. Mariner looks at some free agent second base options for the Mariners.
- Amazin' Avenue reveals their John Hart-Rick Hahn-Chip Hale management plan.
- Blogging Mets hands out a final report card for the 2010 Mets.
- Waiting For Next Year compares how the Indians' roster was built to those of some postseason clubs.
- SD Sports Net wonders if Ryan Ludwick should be patrolling the Padres' outfield next season.
- Cubs Pack wonders what life will be like after Aramis Ramirez.
- The Outfield Ivy looks at some first base options for the Cubs next season.
- SPANdemonium lists the game's 50 more underrated prospects.
- Batter's Box names their top ten Blue Jays prospects.
If you have a suggestion for this feature, Mike can be reached here