Ryan Perry Rumors
Balester, 25, has posted a 9.8 K/9 rate over the last two seasons but also has given up a lot of hits (8.4 H/9) and walks (4.0 BB) in that span. Balester is yet another right-hander in a Tigers bullpen that also features Jose Valverde, Joaquin Benoit, Al Alburquerque and the newly-signed Octavio Dotel.
Perry, who turns 25 in February, was taken by Detroit with the 21st overall pick of the 2008 draft. After two solid seasons in relief in 2009-10, Perry struggled to a 5.35 ERA in 37 innings last season and only recorded 24 strikeouts against 21 walks.
Here's a round-up of a few news items floating around the baseball world tonight....
- MLB.com's Jason Beck reports that Detroit might sit out the bidding for the few remaining closers on the market and instead hope that youngsters Ryan Perry, Daniel Schlereth or a healthy Joel Zumaya are able to pick up some saves.
- Jon Heyman of Sports Illustrated reports (via Twitter) that the Mets "have debated" the merits of offering Joel Pineiro a two-year contract, but Pineiro wants a deal akin to the three-year, $29.75MM contract that Randy Wolf signed with Milwaukee.
- Corey Brock of MLB.com reports that the Padres will sign an experienced backup catcher "within a few weeks."
- Dave Cameron of the U.S.S. Mariner blog isn't a big fan of Seattle's trade for Casey Kotchman.
- The apparent lack of interest in free agent Jason Giambi means that there's a greater chance he ends up back in Colorado, reports MLB.com's Thomas Harding.
- With Boston's signing of Adrian Beltre, Richard Durrett of ESPNDallas thinks that the Rangers might have leverage to get a more favorable trade for Mike Lowell, should Texas still be interested.
It took 163 games to determine the AL Central title in 2009. The Detroit Tigers were, of course, on the losing end. After leading the Tigers to the 2006 World Series in his first year as their skipper, Jim Leyland has been unable to steer the club back to the postseason.
As Keith Law writes, "This one will be hard to get past." Along with Baseball Prospectus and the ESPN Insider staff, Law takes a look at this past season and what the Tigs can do to improve in 2010. An Insider subscription is required to read the article, but here are some of the key tidbits from the piece:
- Law highlights the team's lack of production at the DH spot as one of its biggest shortcomings. However, GM Dave Dombrowski recently said that the team is unlikely to employ a full-time DH next season. If for some reason he has a change of heart, he will find more than a few candidates on the open market.
- Bullpen staples Brandon Lyon and Fernando Rodney are headed for free agency. Law says that Rodney "has the closer's mantle but not closer command." Ryan Perry should be able to step into that role eventually, but currently lacks the control to do so. if the youngster is asked to be the fireman and Lyon and Rodney walk, it'll leave a significant void in the 'pen.
- Christina Kahrl of Baseball Prospectus points out the poor performances of mid-season acquisitions Jarrod Washburn and Aubrey Huff. After posting a 2.64 ERA, 7.4 H/9 and 2.2 BB/9 in 20 starts with Seattle, Washburn recorded a 7.33 ERA, 10.7 H/9 and 3.3 BB/9 in eight starts. Huff was supposed to strengthen the middle of the Tigers' lineup but instead floundered as he recorded an OPS of .567.
- Tigers' second baseman Placido Polanco is a free agent after completing a four-year deal worth $4.6MM annually. The article says that retaining him would require $6-7MM per season, a steep price for a player who is not likely to improve much on his 2009 season in which he hit .285/.331/.396 with 10 HRs. Polanco, who turns 34 tomorrow, has been a $50MM value over the last three years according to Fangraphs.
- When Buster Olney polled six GMs asking if Detroit would keep Polanco, they were split. Law & Co. think that there's a good chance that Polanco plays elsewhere next season.
- Kevin Goldstein of Baseball Prospectus writes that 24-year-old Scott Sizemore is ready to take over for Polanco at second base. Scouts feel that he will become a well-rounded offensive player who should be able to hit ".280-plus with 12-15 home runs, 60 walks and 15-20 stolen bases annually."
- Because of high-priced commitments to Magglio Ordonez and Dontrelle Willis, the Tigers don't have much financial flexibility. Expect Detroit to find their next closer on the cheap from within the organization.
- Kahrl closes the piece by saying, "they need a major upgrade at DH or left if they're going to offensively afford themselves a luxury like a plus defender at shortstop." Dave Dombrowski will have to get creative as he is handcuffed by several bad contracts.
A few more links to cap off the night....
- GM Ed Wade and the Houston Astros will begin contacting managerial candidates Friday, according to Brian McTaggart of MLB.com. McTaggart adds that the team's interview process will get underway next week, as they hope to pare down a 10-name list.
- Keith Law and ESPN.com take a look at the Tigers' 2009 results and anticipate their offseason moves. Law notes that Detroit is a franchise that doesn't mind avoiding big-name closers, so Ryan Perry could conceivably pitch the ninth inning in 2010 if Fernando Rodney and Brandon Lyon depart. Law also thinks Scott Sizemore is ready to step in and play second base every day.
- Like everyone else, David O'Brien of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution thinks the Braves need a right-handed power bat next season. O'Brien also suggests that Atlanta would benefit from adding a little speed to their lineup. O'Brien thinks that Rangers outfielder Nelson Cruz, who can hit home runs and steal bases, will be discussed as a potential target for the Braves.
- The Cincinnati Enquirer's John Fay expects the Reds to wait until after St. Louis is out of the playoffs to hire a new pitching coach. Fay speculates that history between Cincinnati GM Walt Jocketty and Cardinals pitching coach Dave Duncan could make Duncan a candidate for the opening.
5:07pm: Ricciardi tells Ed Price of AOL FanHouse that he's not ruling out a trade. "We're waiting 'til 4 o'clock tomorrow," Ricciardi said.
4:23pm: Jack Curry of the New York Times has additional comments from Ricciardi on Halladay:
"We've got nothing going on. We expect him to be with us."
The Phillies are out, and the other suitors failed to wow Ricciardi.
3:19pm: Rosenthal and Morosi say the Dodgers have enough in their system to make a competitive offer for Halladay, even after acquiring Sherrill. And for Evan Grant's thoughts on the Rangers and Halladay, click here.
However, in another entry Rosenthal and Morosi talk to J.P. Ricciardi and label the Halladay sweepstakes "all but over." Ricciardi's comments indicate the same. Toronto's GM seems intent on keeping Scott Rolen, Marco Scutaro, and others if Doc stays.
2:23pm: Morosi says Halladay is looking unlikely for the Angels, who shot down a Toronto proposal that included Joe Saunders, Erick Aybar, and Brandon Wood.
The Halos are also looking for bullpen help, with names such as Heath Bell and George Sherrill in play (their offer for Mike Wuertz fell short).
1:26pm: Rosenthal and Morosi have a source saying things are "very quiet" on the Halladay front. Still, the Dodgers, Angels, Rangers, Rays, and Red Sox remain interested.
1:14pm: Yahoo's Tim Brown sees the Dodgers and Red Sox as the frontrunners for Doc in what is shaping up as a two-team race. Brown says the only Major Leaguer in the Dodgers' offer is James McDonald, while the Sox will part with Clay Buchholz, one of Justin Masterson, Michael Bowden, and Lars Anderson, and some lesser prospects. My guess is that the Red Sox find a way to get this done, given the quality they're already offering. ESPN's Jayson Stark says one Dodgers prospect who is off-limits is shortstop Devaris Gordon.
Meanwhile, Lynn Henning of the Detroit News says the Jays wanted Rick Porcello, Ryan Perry, and Casey Crosby from the Tigers for Halladay. Henning says the Tigers bowed out upon that request. Henning adds that the Tigers would consider adding Adam Dunn or Josh Willingham but the price is steep on the sluggers as well.
12:59pm: A Rosenthal/Morosi source with knowledge of the Jays' thinking discusses a package of Dodgers minor leaguers that could catch Toronto's attention in a Halladay deal.
12:21pm: Joe McDonald of the Providence Journal sees the Dodgers in the lead for Halladay, with the Rangers in the mix and talks with Boston calming down.
9:09am: Tony Massarotti of the Boston Globe feels the chances of the Red Sox acquiring Halladay are "remote," and believes that Boston has yet to increase their initial offer for him. And in an earlier column, Sean McAdam of the Boston Herald said the Blue Jays and Red Sox have not been in contact over the last three days.
7:55am: We'll start with a review of yesterday's Roy Halladay rumors. The Phillies acquired Cliff Lee instead, cutting into J.P. Ricciardi's leverage for Doc. Ricciardi now has the Red Sox, Yankees, Rangers, Dodgers, and possibly Angels and Rays to work with. The Blue Jays' GM is thinking about keeping Halladay for 2010, based on his comments to Joel Sherman of the New York Post. On to a few new links...
- Ken Rosenthal and Jon Paul Morosi at FOX Sports say the Jays are not requiring the Dodgers to include Clayton Kershaw or Chad Billingsley. Instead, they'd just take five or six of the team's top prospects.
- Mark Feinsand and Bill Madden of the New York Daily News say Ricciardi is trying to get the Yankees and Red Sox into a bidding war. Kind of cliche, J.P. The authors imply the Yanks may be more focused Jarrod Washburn, who obviously wouldn't require as big a bounty.
- Halladay's plan for today, according to Jim Salisbury of the Philadelphia Inquirer - lock himself in his hotel room. Might want to unplug the TV and disable the Internet. Doc is understandably drained from pitching last night amid all the rumors.