Roy Halladay Rumors
Links for Wednesday...
- Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports says the White Sox and Blue Jays discussed Dan Hudson and Tyler Flowers in a potential Roy Halladay deal, but the Sox weren't on Doc's list.
- The Braves signed J.R. House to a minor league deal, reports Dave O'Brien of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. House, 30, hit .251/.297/.352 for the Royals' Triple A club in '09 while catching 101 games.
- Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports explores Felipe Lopez's reputation as a lazy player, something former teammate Mike Rivera denies.
- Baseball America's Ben Badler has four Dominican signings, by the Rockies, Cardinals, Angels, and Rangers.
- Cardinals manager Tony La Russa and GM John Mozeliak are signed only through 2010, but neither seems concerned (Joe Strauss of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reporting).
Monday night linkage..
- The Tigers went from sellers to buyers this offseason, writes MLB.com's Jason Beck.
- Hank Blalock's former teammates are surprised to see him still without a job, writes T.R. Sullivan of MLB.com. Earlier today we heard that the Rays and Marlins are thought to have interest in the 29-year-old.
- Pitcher Cha Seung Baek tried out for the Mariners today, tweets Corey Brock of MLB.com. Baek last pitched in the majors in 2008 and was released by San Diego in October of 2009.
- Chuck Garfien of CSNChicago.com spoke to White Sox GM Ken Williams, who said that he nearly pulled off a deal that would have possibly given the club the best rotation in the history of the game. Williams wouldn't name names, but Garfien believes that he was referring to Roy Halladay.
- Nats pitcher John Lannan has decided to part ways with agent Andrew Mongelluzzi and latch on with Brodie Van Wagenen of Creative Artists Agency, according to Bill Ladson of MLB.com. Lannan will be arbitration-eligible after the 2010 season and become a free agent after the 2013 campaign.
- While the Dodgers remain in contact with Braden Looper's representation, the chances for a deal are slim as they cannot offer him a spot in the rotation or the salary he wants, writes MLB.com's Ken Gurnick.
Let's round up the last of the leftover links from the work week....
- MLB.com's Thomas Harding shares a few Rockies notes from Spring Training. According to Harding, 2011 free agent Jorge de la Rosa would like to stay in Colorado beyond this season.
- After watching Roy Halladay dominate the AL East for years, ESPN.com's Jayson Stark is eager to see what the Phillies' new ace is capable of in the Senior Circuit.
- Brian McTaggart of MLB.com reports that the Astros agreed to terms with three Minor Leaguers on their 40-man roster today: infielder Jose Vallejo and right-handers Matt Nevarez and Henry Villar. The trio signed one-year contracts with corresponding Major League values of $400K.
- Bruce Bochy's plan to give Bengie Molina a few more days off this season could hurt Molina financially, according to Andrew Baggarly of the San Jose Mercury News. Molina has multiple games-started incentives in his contract, and will not maximize his earnings if he starts fewer than 115 times.
- GM Alex Anthopoulos wants to focus on speed, athleticism, and strong baserunning throughout the Blue Jays' organization, writes MLB.com's Jordan Bastian.
- Joe Capozzi of the Palm Beach Post says that the Marlins are optimistic about their chances in 2010, despite being the only team not to sign a Major League free agent this winter.
- Maury Brown of The Biz of Baseball updates his arbitration scorecard following Jeff Mathis' win over the Angels. The only remaining arbitration case is Ryan Theriot's.
Some links for Sunday...
- As A's were unable to land Adrian Beltre and Marco Scutaro this offseason, GM Billy Beane says that the club had to work harder than ever to fill their holes, writes MLB.com's Jane Lee.
- Cody Ross' arbitration hearing with the Marlins will take place tomorrow morning at 10:00, tweets Joe Frisaro of MLB.com. Ross - who is one of seven remaining players who has an arbitration hearing scheduled - is seeking $4.45MM while the Marlins are countering with $4.2MM.
- Maury Brown of Biz of Baseball brings us the record of each club in arbitration hearings since the process was first put into place in 1974. In this span, the A's have had the most hearings with 35.
- Brady Gardiner of Sirius XM Radio tweets that Ryan Franklin's agent said that in 2007, his client turned down a more lucrative offer from Toronto to sign with the Cardinals in order to play for Dave Duncan. Franklin signed a one-year, $1MM deal with St. Louis in January of '07.
- Dustin Pedroia takes exception to those who question Boston's offense in 2010, writes WEEI.com's Rob Bradford. Pedroia feels the Red Sox lineup can score more runs than the 2009 club. He also voices high praise for Josh Beckett and says he wants Beckett around "for a long time."
- Joe Strauss of the St. Louis Dispatch answers 10 questions for Cardinals fans, and notes that Russ Springer would take a marked-down contract to return to St. Louis. St. Louis stands to enter camp with rougly a $92,625,000 payroll
- Sid Hartman of The Minneapolis Star Tribune says that Twins' owner Jim Pohlad may have to change his policy of not deferring money if they want to re-sign Joe Mauer. Hartman says Mauer would save millions in income tax by deferring some payments until after he retires.
- Joel Sherman of The New York Post names his winners and losers of the offseason. Roy Halladay and the Twins head the winners, while the Dodgers and Royals highlight the losers.
- Nick Cafardo of The Boston Globe runs down each team's offseason, and looks at what lies ahead for each during the 2010 season.
The Boston Globe's Nick Cafardo has plenty of rumors from around the league for us this morning, so let's round them all up...
- The Red Sox are likely to use Roy Halladay's three-year, $60MM deal "minus $6 million-$8 million" as a guideline for a potential Josh Beckett extension rather than John Lackey's five-year, $82.5MM deal. The reason being that they have some concern about the long-term health of his shoulder.
- If another team comes offering Beckett big money after the season, the Sox will move on just as they did with Jason Bay. They could then look into free agents like Cliff Lee, who they pursued at the trade deadline, or even Ben Sheets and Brandon Webb if they bounce back from injury problems of their own.
- With all of their additions this offseason, the Twins' payroll will jump from $65M to about $96M as they move into Target Field this year. GM Bill Smith said it will be up to manager Ron Gardenhire to determine how they use Jim Thome, and that they did their homework on Orlando Hudson's left wrist, which has given him trouble the last few seasons.
- Minnesota's payroll will be larger than the Dodgers' this year.
- The Red Sox watched Noah Lowry's recent workout, but "don't appear interested in signing him."
- Dodgers' third base coach Larry Bowa said he knows that Manny Ramirez still wants to play another three or four years.
- Two big league executives feel that the Giants and Tim Lincecum will settle on a contract before an arbitration hearing.
- One reason the Cubs signed Kevin Millar was to loosen up the clubhouse after the Milton Bradley fiasco last season.
- Drayton McLane is reportedly seeking $700MM to part with the Astros, but it's tough to see someone coming up with that when the Rangers sold for approximately $575MM.
Some links for Friday...
- In an interview with 619 Sports out of San Diego, Scott Hairston said he found out he got traded back to the Padres by reading MLBTR. Cool!
- The Brewers will wait until next month before they consider making an offer to Mark Mulder, reports MLB.com's Adam McCalvy.
- John Fay of The Cincinnati Enquirer runs down the Reds' arbitration history.
- The Orioles have signed outfielder Jeff Salazar to a minor league deal with an invitation to Spring Training, reports Dan Connolly of The Baltimore Sun.
- The Brewers are still in touch with Mark Mulder and Doug Davis, according to Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.
- The Yankees offered Jesus Montero straight up for Roy Halladay, according to Richard Griffin of the Toronto Star (Hat Tip: River Ave. Blues).
- The Rockies watched Derrick Turnbow throw today, according to Troy Renck of the Denver Post.
- The Nationals are still in the mix to sign Orlando Hudson, who hopes to sign soon (MLB.com's Bill Ladson reporting).
- Pete Caldera of NorthJersey.com hears of some mutual interest between the Yankees and Rocco Baldelli.
- The Rangers avoided arbitration with Brandon McCarthy, agreeing to a $1.32MM deal for 2010, according to Anthony Andro of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram.
- Rangers GM Jon Daniels tells Richard Durrett of ESPNDallas that he'd like to add a catcher, but he's not about to rush. "We have some time," the GM said.
- Ryan Theriot tells Paul Sullivan of the Chicago Tribune that he'd like the Cubs to sign Ben Sheets.
- The Mets signed Jolbert Cabrera to a minor league deal, according to Ed Price of AOL FanHouse (via Twitter).
- Writing for FanGraphs, Patrick Newman explains what the Rangers can expect from new signing Colby Lewis.
- Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports tweeted last night that the Mets contacted Jerry Hairston Jr..
- ESPN.com's Buster Olney says some people within the Mets organization believe Omar Minaya will be fired the first time his club slumps badly.
- Olney also notes that Adam LaRoche will be up against a crop of free agent first basemen that could include Carlos Pena, Lance Berkman and Derrek Lee after the season.
- Troy Renck of the Denver Post says the Giants, Padres, Rangers and Mariners have all called about Yorvit Torrealba.
- The Pirates aren't close to agreeing to terms with Zach Duke on his 2010 salary, according to Dejan Kovacevic of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Duke made $2.2MM last year in his first season as an arbitration-eligible player.
- The Cardinals will watch Derrick Turnbow throw today, according to Rob Rains of the St. Louis Globe-Democrat.
- The Cards signed knuckleballer Charlie Zink to a minor league deal, according to Alex Speier of WEEI.com. After eight years in the Red Sox organization, the 30-year-old will try to break camp with St. Louis.
- Bill James tells Peter Abraham of the Boston Globe that he's curious to see how much better the Red Sox are on defense this season.
Links for Monday...
- MLB.com's Mark Bowman says the Braves made it known they were willing to eat $9MM of the $45MM owed to Derek Lowe over the next three years, but found no takers.
- MLB.com's Jason Beck talked to Tigers GM Dave Dombrowski, who said nothing has changed in terms of using Scott Sizemore as the second baseman. Beck points out that if the Tigers wanted a veteran at the position they probably would've offered Placido Polanco arbitration.
- Mariners GM Jack Zduriencik told Murray Chass they he expressed interest in Roy Halladay a couple of times, before the trade deadline and at the Winter Meetings. It sounds like Halladay's no-trade clause was an obstacle.
- Chico Harlan of the Washington Post has a Q&A with new Nationals reliever Matt Capps, who agreed to a one-year, $3.5MM deal on Christmas Eve. MLB.com's Bill Ladson tweets that Capps' physical is scheduled for Tuesday.
- Baseball America's Jim Callis gives us a couple of prospect "All-Bust" teams for the 2000s.
- MLB.com's Todd Zolecki notes that the Phillies have a minor league offer out to Scott Eyre.
- MLB.com's Mark Sheldon talked to Reds GM Walt Jocketty, who will be looking at minor league deal possibilities. Sheldon indicated that the Reds' interest in Noah Lowry is now less than minimal.
- MLB.com's T.R. Sullivan fills us in on the Rangers' offseason plans and potential targets in his mailbag.
- Mike Axisa of River Ave. Blues would like to see the Yankees buy low on Oakland's Travis Buck. Buck made our list of right field trade candidates back in November.
Ever since the news of Frank and Jamie McCourt's divorce proceedings broke last October, Dodgers fans have been wondering (and dreading) if the ownership dispute would impact the team's operations. The first two months of the offseason have been quiet enough in L.A. to make it look like the Dodgers are themselves also still waiting to see how things will play out with the McCourts and have thus been in a holding pattern in regards to next season's payroll.
This isn't to say that Los Angeles hasn't been active. The Dodgers traded Juan Pierre to the White Sox, were involved in the Roy Halladay sweepstakes, tried to acquire Aaron Harang from Cincinnati and signed utilityman Jamey Carroll. But, as Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports pointed out today, the club is playing even-steven with its offseason moves in order to steady the budget. For instance, the Dodgers saved $8MM over the next two seasons by dealing Pierre, and spent $3.85MM of those savings to sign Carroll. Acquiring another notable free agent (such as Rosenthal's example of Joel Pineiro) would require L.A. to make another move to free up the cash to sign the right-hander.
We've already seen a bit of penny-pinching from the team this winter when they didn't offer arbitration to any of their free agents, passing on the chance to acquire compensatory draft picks for Type A free agents Orlando Hudson and Randy Wolf out of fear that Hudson or Wolf might accept the offer. The bright side for Dodgers fans is that the team is at least keeping the payroll stable, rather than shifting into outright cost-cutting mode. Rosenthal notes that there are no plans to deal any of L.A.'s young stars before their arbitration years --- trading the likes of Andre Ethier, for example, would be "counter-productive" given Ethier's reasonable arbitration number and Manny Ramirez's slight decline.
This stand-pat strategy will force Dodgers general manager Ned Colletti to be creative in filling the holes on a club that has lost the NLCS to Philadelphia in each of the last two seasons. Rosenthal said that George Sherrill is "a candidate to be traded," but L.A. wouldn't save much money from the deal and getting rid of Sherrill would weaken their bullpen. There is also a need to sign a veteran like Pineiro to anchor the otherwise young starting rotation.
Just because it's Christmas Eve doesn't mean the hot stove is taking a holiday. Let's check out some links....
- Washington's signing of Matt Capps takes one more option off the table for the Chicago Cubs, writes Dave van Dyck of the Chicago Tribune.
- Within today's blog entry, ESPN.com's Buster Olney notes that none of the remaining teams in need of a closer (Florida, Pittsburgh, and Detroit) have the payroll flexibility to spend $8-10MM on Jose Valverde. Valverde will probably have to settle for significantly less money than he is asking for, and could potentially even be forced into a setup role somewhere.
- David Murphy of the Philadelphia Daily News breaks down the options for the Phillies' bullpen.
- The longer Matt Holliday and Jason Bay remain unsigned, the more the rest of the league is asking the Red Sox and Yankees to swoop in, according to Yahoo's Jeff Passan. Sam Borden at LoHud.com understands that logic, but is skeptical about the conclusion.
- Amidst talk that the Pirates are engaged in discussions with Kevin Gregg and Octavio Dotel, Dejan Kovacevic of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette wonders if Joel Hanrahan could be the answer as the team's closer.
- If you want a full summary of the road to the Roy Halladay trade, Bob Elliott of the Toronto Sun has you covered. Elliott offers an extended look at the rumors that led to the deal, and the trade's aftermath. Geoff Baker of the Seattle Times breaks down the most interesting piece of info from Elliott's account, involving Mariners prospect Michael Saunders.
- Rob Neyer of ESPN.com isn't a big fan of the Angels' offseason so far, and questions whether the team even has room to make additional moves.
Some Dodgers notes from Ken Gurnick of MLB.com's latest mailbag...
- The club is uneasy about Blake DeWitt as their everyday second baseman because of his lackluster defense. If DeWitt's offense were on par with the likes of Andre Ethier and Matt Kemp, Jamey Carroll would likely be slotted on the bench rather than split time with the 24-year-old.
- The Dodgers made an earnest attempt to land Roy Halladay prior to the blockbuster deal that shipped him to Philadelphia. According to sources, the Blue Jays would have preferred L.A. as a trading partner, but of course, it wasn't really up to them. Ultimately, it didn't matter how much the Dodgers could give Toronto or potentially give Doc in an extension, the Phillies were at the top of his list.
- One reader asked why the Dodgers don't lock up their young core players in long-term contracts rather than go to arbitration with them. Gurnick says that it is often a risky proposition and references the regression of Russell Martin as an example. Had the Dodgers given him a hefty four or five-year deal after his back-to-back All-Star seasons, they would have likely regretted it after his slide the past two seasons.