Ryan Klesko Rumors

Odds and Ends: Klesko, Street, Davis

I’ve got a slew of links for you.

Red Sox Considering Bench Additions

Sean McAdam writes today about some bench players on Boston’s radar.  He names Russell Branyan, Ryan Klesko, Corey Koskie, Jeff Cirillo, and Olmedo Saenz as possibilities.  Branyan may be toward the bottom of the list.  He had an odd .196/.320/.423 line this year with 10 HR in 163 ABs.

Klesko seems the best hitter of the bunch with a .744 OPS this year.  Koskie missed the ’07 season with post-concussion syndrome.  He said he’ll re-evaluate in January and decide whether he can play or has to retire.

Rosenthal’s Latest: Nats After Dunn

Ken Rosenthal’s got a new column up; let’s dive in.

  • Fun new rumor: the Nationals are pursuing Adam Dunn.  Huh?  Makes no sense on the surface.  Jim Bowden’s possible motivation would be to sign Dunn long-term and make him the cornerstone of the franchise.  If he fails at that, all would not be lost given the draft pick compensation.  Rosenthal says the market for Dunn beyond Washington is a bit foggy – the Twins, Angels, Yankees, Red Sox, and Padres could all get involved but none stand out.
  • Rosenthal adds some color to my recent Nationals post.  He mentions that Ron Belliard is a name that might interest the Mets, an idea that has come up before.  Rosenthal says the Mets will not do a Lastings Milledge for Chad Cordero trade.
  • The Dodgers have jumped to the forefront on Octavio Dotel, with Takashi Saito ailing.  According to Rosenthal, the Royals aren’t demanding the very specific bounty Joel Sherman claimed.  Instead, they just want a near MLB-ready player.  Rosenthal says Tony Abreu is out of reach but Chin-Lung Hu might not be.  He suggests moving Hu to second base to accomodate Tony Pena Jr., which should probably be reversed.   It appears the Indians wouldn’t surrender Franklin Gutierrez or Ben Francisco for Dotel.  I’d give one up, personally.
  • I didn’t know this: Jermaine Dye can veto a deal to four clubs.  With his solid play, interest is picking up.  As are Kenny Williams’ demands; he wants an elite prospect.  The Indians and Red Sox have inquired; the Cubs might make sense too.  I thought we had ruled out the Red Sox earlier though.
  • The Padres are looking for bench help, perhaps in the name of Ryan Klesko, Mike Piazza, Mark Loretta, or Mike Lamb.  Couple of prodigal sons there.  Would Piazza be happy as a pricey bench player?  Rosenthal says Matt Stairs isn’t available.  Why not?

Giants Sign Ryan Klesko

According to the AP, the Giants have signed Ryan Klesko to a one-year deal.

Rich Aurilia will be the primary first baseman in San Francisco, but could certainly be needed at second base for 20+ games.  Klesko can squeeze in at first as well as play a little left field, DH during interleague, and pinch-hit. 

Back in October, Klesko said he was feeling the best he has since the first half of 2003.  He hit .262/.361/.520 with 19 HR before the break that year.  He finally has two healthy shoulders and no neck problems.  I like the signing.  It’s like the poor man’s version of last year’s Frank Thomas signing.

Waiver Trade Candidate: Ryan Klesko

Let’s assess Ryan Klesko’s situation and background.  He could be a  candidate for a waiver trade this month.

When he has been on the field, the 35 year-old Klesko has recently been seen in left field.  Last year, he dealt with back soreness/spasms, a fever, a pinched nerve in his neck, and a strained shoulder.  He got into 137 games despite all of that, but slugged just .418. 

The Padres planned to move him to first base and the #2 slot this year, but a cortisone shot didn’t solve his shoulder problem.  By April he’d decided to have surgery.  Currently he’s about a week away from playing in rehab games.  Some team might want his left-handed bat, and if his shoulder’s better some power could return. 

Klesko makes $8MM in the final year of his deal; Kevin Towers has already mentioned that he won’t exercise Klesko’s 2007 option.  As a 10 and 5 player, he the ability to reject any waiver claim.  He’s said he’s willing to waive that right if there’s a chance to play full-time for a contender.  Adrian Gonzalez is hitting .303/.346/.519 as Klesko’s replacement.

Earlier in July, the Red Sox expressed a little bit of interest in Klesko.  While any trade would involve a contending team, it’s unlikely Klesko would be a starter.  The Twins and Angels could have interest as well. 

Red Sox Interested In Klesko?

A reader passed along a trade rumor heard this morning on WEEI in Boston from Sean MacAdams.  Here’s the report:

The Red Sox would send reliever Rudy Seanez to the Padres for first baseman Ryan Klesko.

Some background seems appropriate.  Seanez is a 37 year-old right-handed reliever signed to a one-year, $1.9MM deal by the Red Sox this winter.  The club has a $2.1MM option for ’07 that can be bought out for $200,000.  Seanez also will earn incentives this year for his number of appearances. 

Last year with the Padres was easily the best season of his career; he was worth more than three wins and had the third best strikeout rate in the game among pitchers with 60 innings.  He’s toiled for eight different teams and a return to San Diego would mark his third stint with the Pads.  Seanez has seen all of his peripherals decline in his 33 innings this year, and he’s projected by Baseball Prospectus to be out of the game by ’08.  He spent time on the DL last year with shoulder discomfort.

I’m sure you’re familiar with 35 year-old slugger Ryan Klesko.  He was once a feared six-win player in the early part of the decade with San Diego.  The left-hander was acquired by the Padres in a blockbuster deal in 1999 along with Bret Boone in exchange for Quilvio Veras, Wally Joyner, and Reggie Sanders.  Klesko has a no-trade clause as a 10 and 5 player as part of his complicated, reworked contract; he makes $8MM in the final year of the deal.  Kevin Towers has already said he will not exercise the ’07 option.

Klesko hopes to return to the Padres around August 1st after having shoulder surgery on his A/C joint in April.  He hasn’t topped 500 ABs since 2002, but remains adept at drawing walks and may owe last year’s career-low slugging percentage to his painful shoulder and a pinched nerve in his neck.  Klesko would certainly clear waivers, so the Padres have until August 31st to deal him.  He’s willing to waive his no-trade rights if he’s not getting playing time with the Padres and he’s being sent to a contender.  That’s probably the main wrinkle in this possible deal – Klesko would only be a bench player in Boston.  In addition, Kevin Towers’s main concern right now is finding a third baseman.