Ryan Sweeney Rumors

Nick Swisher Traded To White Sox

Baseball Digest Daily is reporting that the A’s have traded Nick Swisher to the White Sox for Gio Gonzalez, Fautino De Los Santos, and Ryan Sweeney.  I’d heard about the Sweeney part but hadn’t been able to confirm it.  This is a fascinating trade – let’s discuss.

I have to imagine the White Sox plan to use Swisher as their center fielder for the next couple of years; he did play 59 games there in ’07.  Kenny Williams stuck to his word about adding OBP to his team, picking up Swisher and Carlos Quentin to fill out his outfield.  Swisher, 27, is signed at a very reasonable price: $3.5MM in ’08, $5.3MM in ’09, $6.75MM in ’10, $9MM in ’11, and a $10.25MM club option for ’12 with a $1MM buyout.  The option gets a $1.75MM bump if Swisher is top five for the MVP voting during the contract.  He has limited no-trade protection for 2011-12.

The White Sox paid a massive price to get their man, however.  Pitchers De Los Santos and Gonzalez were their two best prospects, according to Baseball Prospectus’ Kevin Goldstein.  De Los Santos is said to have a huge ceiling, whereas Gio is a solid lefty who’s nearly big-league ready.  Goldstein ranked Sweeney eighth on the team, but projects him as more of a fourth-outfielder type (he was once very highly regarded though).

If it wasn’t obvious with the Dan Haren trade, the A’s are in full-fledged rebuilding mode.  Joe Blanton, Huston Street, and Mark Ellis could be next to go.


Odds and Ends: Cabrera, Blanton, Haren, Sabathia

Let’s round ‘em up.

  • Indians GM Mark Shapiro will soon get a contract extension offer for C.C. Sabathia approved by ownership.  Then he’ll put that in front of Sabathia’s agent, with an eye on resolving the situation one way or another before Spring Training.  Shapiro’s model will not be Johan Santana‘s upcoming deal but rather Jake Peavy‘s three-year, $50MMish extension.
  • White Sox outfielders Ryan Sweeney and Brian Anderson might be on the fringe.  The Marlins, if I recall correctly, once had interest in Anderson as a center field option.
  • Miguel Cabrera is out to prove he’s a good athlete and can stay at third base – he’s beginning a rigorous workout program like nothing he’s ever done before.
  • The D’Backs could pursue Joe Blanton or Dan Haren, while the Yankees may turn to Haren if they fail to acquire Johan.
  • The Yankees are receiving a lot of interest in The Farnz, according to Brian Cashman.


Odds and Ends: Garcia, Greene, DeJesus

With so many rumors, there’s a need for a daily Odds and Ends post to catch ‘em all.

  • Buster Olney talked to Freddy Garcia‘s agent.  He’s looking at a June return from shoulder surgery.
  • Indians GM Mark Shapiro made an offer on Brad Lidge.  The Astros didn’t even reply.  They did hear back from the Marlins on their Miguel Cabrera inquiry.  The price is seemingly too high for talks to continue.  Peter Gammons says that before the Astros got Michael Bourn, the White Sox pushed for a Chad Qualls for Ryan Sweeney swap.
  • Evan Grant notes that the Rangers have discussed trading shortstop Joaquin Arias to the Royals for Joey Gathright.  They’ve also talked to the Brewers about Tony Gwynn Jr.  GM Jon Daniels needs to have options if he can’t afford Torii Hunter or the other free agents.  Grant adds that the Rangers have already been in touch with Kerry Wood.
  • Jose Guillen declined his $5MM option with the Mariners – that’s no surprise.  So far the Royals have expressed interest.
  • Khalil Greene is under the Padres’ control through 2009, but his salary is going to jump significantly in arbitration for the ’08 and ’09 seasons.  The Padres want to sign him to a multiyear deal, perhaps buying out one year of free agency.  GM Kevin Towers is also posturing that he might use Scott Hairston as the regular center fielder next year, which seems a stretch.  Also, Geoff Jenkins is on Towers’ radar.
  • Ed Wade and the Astros have asked the Marlins about Dontrelle Willis.  However the ‘Stros probably do not have the goods.’
  • One way or another, the Marlins will ditch Miguel Olivo.  They hope to bring Yorvit Torrealba aboard, which would take an offer better than two years, $6MM.  The Mets, Brewers, and Blue Jays also like Torrealba.  The Marlins are serious about upgrading behind the plate and will spend some money to do so.
  • Jorge Posada seems set on testing the market, which never bodes well for the incumbent team.
  • David DeJesus is a hot commodity as an affordable center fielder, but Dayton Moore expects to hang onto him.  Maybe he’ll change his mind once some big names are off the board.



Kenny Williams Ready To Deal

This is going to be an incredible offseason, I just know it.  This is going to be a hot stove season for the ages.  White Sox GM Kenny Williams seems ready to dive right in, starting with the GM meetings on Monday.

Interesting notes from the above-linked Mark Gonzales article:

  • Josh Fields‘ position for 2008 will be revealed shortly, which seems to indicate a trade of Joe Crede on the horizon.  Fields will end up at third base or left field next year.
  • Outfielders Brian Anderson and Ryan Sweeney may be shopped.  Anderson is doing a nice job talking his way out of Chicago, and Williams notes that Anderson must be "disappointed over the opportunities he hasn’t maximized."  Ouch.  Maybe the Marlins will take a flier.
  • Gonzales throws down the Crede for Johnny Damon idea I’ve been pushing here repeatedly.  This idea is spreading!


White Sox Receive Tejada Offer

Remember when I decided to start calling Kenny Williams "spunky" based on his Javier Vazquez and Jim Thome trades?  I’m starting to think I should stick with "bold," as cliche as it may be.

As I mentioned earlier on this site, the White Sox submitted two trade proposals for Miguel Tejada with a deadline of December 31st.  Now the White Sox have re-entered the Tejada fray.


A rock-solid source of mine close to the White Sox tells me that the team is "lying in the weeds" and allowing the Mets, Devil Rays, Orioles, and Red Sox to beat each other up with this whole Manny/Tejada 4-way thing.  The White Sox hope that the 4-way deal falls apart because it’s too complicated and too expensive.  Presently, it seems that their wish will be fulfilled.

The Orioles want the Tejada deal done soon, and approached the White Sox yesterday with a proposal.  The Orioles asked for Jose Contreras, Juan Uribe, Ryan Sweeney, and a top pitching prospect.  That unknown prospect may be a sticking point, but it can probably be worked out.  Alex Woodson has been previously mentioned in discussions between the two clubs.  It would be a daring move by Kenny Williams to subtract Uribe and Aaron Rowand after winning a World Series with defense as the team’s strength.

My source tells me to look for an announcement by Friday about Tejada, no matter where he ends up.  The White Sox have their own motivation to wrap things up before the weekend: they’d like to have an announcement that does not conflict with a Bears playoff weekend or the Cubs Convention.