Ryan Church Rumors

Odds & Ends: Church, Yuniesky, Pirates

A few links for the afternoon as the All-Star Break approaches:

  • Ryan Church has no animosity or hard feelings towards the Mets organization. He says that he's appreciative of Omar Minaya and everything that he has done for Church over his career. He's also excited to be playing with Chipper Jones. Says Church:
"I grew up in the '90s as a big Braves fan. I'll never tell him, but he was my favorite player," he said. "It's cool now to be playing with him."
  • Joe Posnanski continues to lament the recent acquisition of Yuniesky Betancourt by the Royals, stating that either the numbers are right, or the Royals are right. Posnanski's bet seems to be on the numbers.
  • MLB.com's Jen Langosch has some notes on the Pirates, including an update on Ian Snell who allowed one run on seven hits through six innings in his most recent Triple-A start. That outing lowers Snell's ERA to 0.45 since being demoted. We've heard Snell's names in trade rumors this year, and he appears to be taking some strides toward re-establishing his value. Langosch also mentions the two international signings that Mike wrote about here yesterday, and I feel obligated to give my vote to Dovydas Neverauskas for having the coolest name in baseball.

Baseball Blogs Weigh In: Church, Francoeur, Betancourt

Had enough of yesterday's trades yet? Good, because here are some reactions from around the blogosphere…

  • Matt Cerrone at MetsBlog says he's not sure the Ryan ChurchJeff Francoeur swap makes total sense, and he's not sure if the move will have an impact for either team.
  • Sam Page at Amazin' Avenue says that he's convinced the trade makes no sense, and all of the "talk about potential, shake-ups and athleticism is just noise."
  • Talking Chops' "gondeee" likes the Church pickup, even if it cost the once-face of the franchise. Admittedly, it's been a while since Francoeur was viewed in that light.
  • Jay Yencich at USS Mariner says the Mariners came out pretty good in the Yuniesky Betancourt deal, even if they had to send some cash Kansas City's way.
  • D.W. at Tangled Up In (Royal) Blue doesn't understand how the move fits into the big picture for the Royals.
  • Keith at The Royals Tower is taking a hiatus from blogging out of frustration caused by the deal.

Mets, Braves Swap Church For Francoeur

6:07pm: Hubbuch clears up some confusion: the Braves are sending the Mets cash in the deal. That makes more sense given the difference in salaries.

5:48pm: Adam Rubin of The NY Daily News reports that Braves also received cash in the deal. Church is making $2.8MM this year, his second arbitration eligible season. Francoeur is making $3.375MM in his first arbitration eligible year.

5:04pm: Hubbuch says the deal was straight up, one for one.

5:01pm: David Lennon tweets that Church was traded to Atlanta for Jeff Francoeur. Francoeur has put up a .250-.282-.352 batting line in 324 plate appearances in 2009.

5:00pm: Bart Hubbuch of The NY Post tweets that the Ryan Church has "apparently been traded." Church is hitting .280-.332-.375 in 255 plate appearances this season, and has been playing centerfield recently while Carlos Beltran is the DL. 

Eight More Avoid Arbitration

SI.com’s Jon Heyman has seven more players who avoided arbitration today: Jeremy Accardo ($900K), Heath Bell ($1.225MM), Ryan Church ($2.8MM), Gerald Laird ($2.8MM), Javier Lopez ($1.35MM), Bobby Seay ($1.3MM), and Joel Zumaya ($735K).  I think next year we’ll put all of these in one constantly-updated post.

ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick says Angel Pagan signed for $575K.

Mets Prioritize Pitching

9:15pm: Michael Schmidt has a look at the amusing binder the Boras Corporation compiled to sell Oliver Perez.

6:31pm: Mets GM Omar Minaya commented on Manny Ramirez, indicating that he plans to invest in pitching instead.

2:34pm: The Mets expressed preliminary interest in Jon Garland and Ryan Dempster, according to Ken Davidoff.  Dempster’s agent made it clear that he won’t be re-signing with the Cubs soon.

1:23pm: ESPN’s Buster Olney wrote in his blog this morning that the Mets are probably not willing to go past three years for Francisco Rodriguez or any reliever.

10:03am: More Mets chatter from Joel Sherman of the New York Post. He says the Mets and Rays have had preliminary discussions about Edwin Jackson and Andy Sonnanstine.  The Rays have some interest in Aaron Heilman, though the Mets would need to give more.

Sherman believes the Mets’ interest in Ibanez is minor, and Carlos Delgado or Ryan Church would have to be dealt first.

9:45am: The Mets are prioritizing pitching this winter, based on articles by Mike Puma of the New York Post, Adam Rubin of the New York Daily News, and Ken Davidoff of Newsday.  Let’s dig in!

  • Puma says the Mets have Scott Boras clients Oliver Perez and Derek Lowe on the radar.  Perez offers the benefit of familiarity, though he’s not likely to sign quickly.  Ken Rosenthal says the Mets would probably do $12MM a year for Perez, but Boras will want more.  Rubin notes that Lowe is doubly attractive to the Mets for his closing experience.
  • Rubin lists the Rockies, Cardinals, Cubs, and D’Backs as potential trade destinations for Aaron Heilman.  The Rays have also been connected to Heilman.
  • Davidoff mentions Omar Minaya’s Javier Vazquez connection.  ESPN’s Keith Law says the Vazquez to the Mets rumor "appears to have originated in the Chicago camp, and the White Sox are keen to move him." 
  • ESPN’s Buster Olney says the Mets inquired on Rays pitcher Edwin Jackson.
  • Davidoff also points out the Mets’ interest in Raul Ibanez despite their emphasis on pitching.  The Royals and Cubs are also in on Ibanez so far.

Odds and Ends: LaCava, Colletti, Andruw

Links for Wednesday…

Odds and Ends: McLouth, Doumit, Eyre, Bradley

Here’s today’s link roundup.

Sherman On The Mets

Joel Sherman of the New York Post talked to Mets GM Omar Minaya yesterday, gaining insight on the team’s plans for the second half.

  • If Ryan Church is able to return (the Mets are cautiously optimistic), the Mets will focus on a righty-hitting left fielder.  Raul Ibanez is a lefty, while the prospect price on Matt Holliday and Xavier Nady seems prohibitive.  I assume the same applies to Jason BaySherman has mentioned Austin Kearns in the past; he could make sense.
  • The price on Brian Fuentes and similar relievers is also apparently too high.  Minaya might prefer not to further deplete the farm system.
  • The Mets could elect to solve their problems from within – Minaya suggested Jon Niese and Fernando Martinez could be in the bigs next month. 
  • Minaya’s recent history of midseason acquisitions – Luis Castillo and Jeff Conine in ’07, Orlando Hernandez, Shawn Green, Guillermo Mota, Roberto Hernandez, and Oliver Perez in ’06.  Over his career, Minaya has dealt often with Indians GM Mark Shapiro.

Odds & Ends: Bonds, Church, Myers, Teixeira

Some odds and some ends:

  • Ozzie Guillen says "Barry [Bonds] can’t play for my team," according to Joe Cowley from the Chicago Sun Times.
  • The New York Daily News’ Adam Rubin is reporting Ryan Church‘s diagnosis was positive and his ability to return may "lessen the pressure" on the Mets to find a replacement.  They will also get Angel Pagan back next week and management’s "not averse" to promoting 19-year old prospect Fernando Martinez in the second half.
  • Matt Gelb of the Philadelphia Inquirer says Brett Myers feels he’s ready to return.
  • The Atlanta Journal Constitution’s David O’Brien notes the Braves are mum on whether they’re buyers or sellers.  If they can prove they’re in it then they will seek a right handed hitter.  If they can’t, then they will entertain offers for upcoming free agents Mark Teixeira and Will Ohman.

Mets Looking For Outfield Help?

A small note from SI.com’s Jon Heyman:

The Mets appear to be looking for a right-handed-hitting outfielder to platoon with Ryan Church.

Presumably the need would be for a lefty-mashing, right-handed hitter.  Drunk Jays Fans would like a Reed Johnson rumor started.  Pretty good fit.  Kevin Millar, Jason Michaels, Matt Murton, and Jay Payton seem to make sense as well.