Ryan Howard Rumors
Kevin Roberts of the Philadelphia Inquirer has a few Phillies rumors:
- GM Ruben Amaro Jr. says it's "very likely" the Phillies will not make any more additions.
- The Phillies have inquired on "almost every righthanded bat on the market." They've considerd Rich Aurilia, Nomar Garciaparra, Moises Alou and Mark Grudzielanek.
- Amaro's targeting Nomar.
- Roberts agrees with Jon Heyman that the Phillies gave Andruw Jones a "tepid look."
- However, they're in no hurry to bring in a righty bench bat and could take their time adding one.
- The $4MM gap between the Phillies' arbitration offer to Ryan Howard and his demand will influence how much the Phillies can spend. Amaro called Howard's case "the elephant in the middle of the room."
On this date 51 years ago, the Red Sox signed Ted Williams to a one-year deal for $135K - making him the highest paid player in Major League history. This contract came on the heels of a season in which Williams hit .388-38-87 with a .526 OBP and 233 OPS+. And all of that was at age 38. With one week to go before pitchers and catchers report, several players in the twilight of their career are still looking for contracts of their own. Let's take a look at what is being written in the Blogosphere...
- River Ave. Blues says a one-year deal for Manny Ramirez in L.A. would open the door to Manny being Manny in pinstripes next year.
- Feeling Dodger Blue takes a look at options for the Dodgers other than Manny.
- Braves Blast sees Bobby Abreu as a better fit for the Braves than Adam Dunn and a better option than trading for Xavier Nady or Nick Swisher.
- The Phrontiersman argues for trading Ryan Howard.
- UmpBump continues their "Hot Offseason Action" series, this time looking at the Red Sox, their offseason moves and how the roster might look on opening day.
- Mets Geek breaks down the Mets offseason.
- The 'Ropolitans say the Mets' bullpen still needs work and wonders why they don't go after one of the remaining big-name relievers on the market.
- Detroit Tigers Thoughts notes that if Orlando Hudson wants to sign a one-year deal after the June draft, he is more likely to lose his type-A free agent status next season if he signs with an NL club this season.
- Goat Riders of the Apocalypse feels that Nomar Garciaparra would make a nice backup shortstop for the Cubs.
- More Hardball puts together an All-Star squad of players still available on the free agent market.
- MLB Notebook takes a look at which teams might be interested in signing Ben Sheets for the second half.
Links for Wednesday...
- Here's the transcript of WEEI's interview with Theo Epstein. Epstein says "nothing is hot or active right now" for the Red Sox.
- Joe Christensen of the Minneapolis Star-Tribune wrote yesterday that "a Joe Crede signing remains a real possibility for the Twins."
- Shi Davidi of the Canadian Press writes about the Blue Jays' attempts to break into the Japanese market.
- Will the players union organize a training camp for unsigned players? Bill Shaikin of the L.A. Times discusses the slow-moving market.
- Paul Hagen of the Philadelphia Daily News had two baseball officials and an agent explain how they'd approach Ryan Howard's arbitration case.
- RotoAuthority ranks the second baseman for fantasy baseball.
Jim Salisbury of the Philadelphia Inquirer talked to Phillies GM Ruben Amaro Jr., who said the team is still involved in contract negotiations with Ryan Howard's agent Casey Close.
This is Howard's second arbitration year; he's requested $18MM while the Phils countered at $14MM. A panel of three people will decide whether Howard earns $18MM or $14MM in 2009, unless the two sides reach an agreement prior to the hearing. Salisbury believes the hearing is scheduled in the February 9-13 range.
ESPN's Jayson Stark wrote last week that the previous request record for a second-year arb player was Derek Jeter's $10.5MM in 2000. Howard is in uncharted waters once again.
A few more links for Wednesday...
- Ryan Howard said a long-term deal with the Phillies would be "beautiful," for what it's worth.
- The New York Times' Ben Shpigel comments on the Aaron Heilman deal and its effect on new teammate Jeff Samardzija.
- Marty Noble of MLB.com learned that Mets GM Omar Minaya met with Pedro Martinez in the Dominican Republic today, but did not make an offer (and re-signing him remains a long shot).
- Yahoo's Tim Brown has the roundup on the Twins' hot stove happenings.
- Matthew Cerrone of MetsBlog.com takes on the Manny Ramirez-to-Mets conspiracy theorists.
Links for Tuesday...
- Chat today, 2pm CST.
- Rangers president Nolan Ryan called the Winter Meetings "a big waste of money and time."
- Nationals GM Jim Bowden implied that a Tom Glavine signing is unlikely.
- Kyle Lohse feels the pain of all the unsigned free agents; he didn't sign until March 14th last year. Lohse said he "put a lot of pressure on all parties" to get his four-year, $41MM extension done on September 29th. Given that it wasn't on the open market, Scott Boras did well for Lohse.
- The Dodgers prefer Dennys Reyes over Luis Ayala, says Ken Gurnick.
- Joe Posnanski loves the Zack Greinke signing. Sam Mellinger says the Royals and fans are no longer allowed to complain about baseball's financial structure.
- Maury Brown leans slightly toward Ryan Howard winning his arbitration case. I think the Phillies will prevail.
- Brandon Lyon turned down more lucrative offers for a chance to close in Detroit. ESPN's Keith Law likes the Tigers' signing, in part due to Jim Leyland's track record with relievers.
- The Marlins seem to prefer the trade market, if they are to add a catcher.
- Joe Nathan knows his $47MM extension signed in March of '08 is looking pretty good right now.
According to the AP, Ryan Howard asked for $18MM in arbitration. The Phillies put in a $14MM figure. Prince Fielder requested a pretty reasonable $8MM; the Brewers came in at $6MM.
Reader Connor Garrison has identified an interesting point made in the middle of an article from MLB.com's Mark Bowman.
The article focuses on the addition of Derek Lowe to the Braves' rotation, but offers a reason as to why the Braves went so strong so quickly after Lowe.
Says Bowman: "Motivated by last week's meeting and under the belief that the Phillies might attempt to create payroll space by trading Brett Myers, the Braves acted quickly and provided an offer that Lowe couldn't refuse."
Myers may have been taken off the block after Lowe signed with the Braves. On the other hand, perhaps a bigger-than-expected deal for Ryan Howard could convince the Phillies to revisit the idea of trading Myers.
After Greg Dobbs' 2-year, $2.5MM deal, six players are left on the arb list: Ryan Howard, Ryan Madson, Shane Victorino, Joe Blanton, Jayson Werth and Chad Durbin.
According to Zolecki, "The Phillies have been talking with Madson about a contract extension, but he reportedly turned down a three-year, $12 million offer."
Zolecki also doesn't expect Howard's deal to be done anytime soon.
ESPN's Jayson Stark says we're headed for a historic arbitration class. Players file today, and the dollar submissions become known on Tuesday. If the sides can't come to an agreement, they go to a hearing and an arbitrator chooses one of the two salary submissions. Be sure to read the article, but here are a few highlights.
- Ryan Howard's dad may be behind the player's unprecedented salary expectations. Howard may ask for $15-17MM in his second arbitration year. He could be a trade candidate in the 2009-10 offseason.
- Prince Fielder's numbers and accolades don't match up to Howard's, so Scott Boras may have difficulty matching Howard's first arb year record award of $10MM.
- Cole Hamels could ask for $5MM or more, but seems more amenable to a long-term deal than Howard. Will the Phillies offer him more than three years?
- Other interesting names: Jonathan Papelbon, Kevin Youkilis, Felix Hernandez, Dan Uggla, Zack Greinke, Justin Verlander, Russell Martin, B.J. Upton, Ryan Zimmerman, Jeff Francoeur, and Ervin Santana.
- Looking for a surprise summer trade candidate? Stark talked to one AL exec who wondered if Verlander could be made available if the Tigers are out of contention.