Ryan Shealy Rumors
10:46pm: Roch Kubatko says Zaun wants a two-year deal but the Orioles prefer one year. The O's are also talking with Ivan Rodriguez. Kubatko adds that Kenshin Kawakami was seeking a three-year deal. In another post, Kubatko says the O's have no interest in Shelley Duncan, but Richie Sexson and Ty Wigginton are possibilities for first base. Peter Schmuck adds Nick Swisher, Ryan Garko, Billy Butler, and Ryan Shealy as trade possibilities.
Dan Connolly says the Orioles offered Brian Roberts a multiyear extension at about $10MM per, but the two sides have not made progress and Roberts doesn't want talks dragging into the season. Andy MacPhail said he hasn't had trade talks for Roberts for at least a month. As for Nick Markakis, the sides were about $10MM apart on a possible six-year extension.
11:31am: Orioles notes...
- As you know, the Orioles reached an agreement with their first-ever Japanese player, Koji Uehara. It's a two-year deal worth $10MM guaranteed, with another $6MM in incentives and bonuses. Patrick Newman offers commentary on the signing, which is not getting a ton of press in the Japanese media. Keith Law wonders if Baltimore was a wise choice for Uehara.
- Dan Connolly says the Orioles' immediate priority is now to add a catcher, with Gregg Zaun and Ivan Rodriguez the candidates.
- Peter Schmuck says the O's are looking for a reserve infielder as well. They've talked to Chris Gomez's agent and Willie Bloomquist "might be another possibility."
Reportedly, a Royals TV affiliate in Kansas City is saying that Jeremy Affeldt has gone through the clubhouse to say goodbyes. Word from MLB Radio is that Affeldt was sent to Colorado along with Denny Bautista for Ryan Shealy and Scott Dohmann.
This one's been in the works for a while now, dating back to July 19th.
It's tough to get anything out of Boston these days; Theo Epstein has plugged all of his leaks. Let's see what we can piece together though.
"Friends of the Rocket insist he's sorry that he chose the Astros over the Red Sox." McAdams mentions that Clemens would love a trade to Boston if it could be done without infuriating the Houston fanbase. Also, a source of mine tells me that the Mets have inquired about Clemens.
Then there's the possible three-way trade with the Rockies and Padres. The Padres would get Mike Lowell, the Red Sox would get Ryan Shealy and a starter, and who knows what the Rockies would get.
Don't get that rumor confused with the other three-team scenario from Gordon Edes of the Boston Globe. In that case, the Red Sox get Julio Lugo and Scott Linebrink, the Padres get Mike Lowell, and the D-Rays get prospects.
Plus, Jayson Stark mentioned last night that the Red Sox are "making a late run at Alfonso Soriano." He doesn't have much more than that, but it can't be dismissed. Stark has also connected Boston to Jason Schmidt and Brad Lidge.
Let's run down all the possible trades Dave Littlefield and the Pirates have brewing.
The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review still has Oakland as the favorite for Sean Casey, a move that makes little sense to me.
The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette mentions a possible swap of John Grabow for Ryan Shealy. That sounds reasonable.
Dejan Kovacevic's article also indicates that the Mets and Yankees are leading the charge for Kip Wells. The Yankees also want Craig Wilson and Roberto Hernandez. Wilson and Wells seem unlikely at this point, though, as the Abreu deal looks close.
According to my Royals source, Dayton Moore has finished evaluating his roster and the team is about to become quite active in the trade market.
You saw the Mark Redman rumor yesterday. Today MLBTradeRumors has learned of a possible deal in the works between the Rockies and Royals. The Rox are looking for relievers, and the Royals have Elmer Dessens and Jeremy Affeldt available. Mike MacDougal also has a chance to be dealt. The Royals would prefer to unload shortstop Angel Berroa and just one reliever to get first baseman Ryan Shealy. That way other relievers could snag more value in separate deals.
Shealy has had all kinds of suitors over the last few months, and he is likely to be dealt for relief help this month.
It might be helpful to summarize all the Ryan Shealy suitors from the last few months, just so we can keep them straight. These are all from various newspapers.
The most recent one is that the Red Sox offered 23 year-old southpaw starter Abe Alvarez. Alvarez posted a 4.85 ERA but a solid 1.20 WHIP in Triple A last year. This season, he's at 4.46 with a 1.36 WHIP. He's had little opportunity to prove himself in Boston. Random bio: Alvarez likes to wear his hat crooked, is legally blind in one eye, and is known for pinpoint control. Actually, those first two facts aren't so random - Alvarez wears his hat that way to balance the lighting for that eye. Sounds like a good kid who has overcome quite a bit of adversity, but the Rockies are looking for more.
Then there's the Orioles. Baltimore has little in the way of first basemen waiting in the wings, but they balked at the Rockies' request for Hayden Penn. It's said the team would prefer to deal Javy Lopez, but they've been trying to do that for ages. The Rockies could use a decent catcher for their unlikely pennant run, and Lopez is hitting .282/.329/.437 this season at 35. That's not particularly young for a backstop, and Lopez has only caught 12 games this season out of 56 played. He'd make an interesting addition to a lot of teams, but at $8.5MM this will probably just be a salary dump. The O's will have to surrender a young player to get Shealy. Adam Loewen seems like too high a price, but I am not an expert in the Orioles' farm system.
It's been noted that the Blue Jays are interested, so a third AL East team is in the mix. The Jays already have Shea Hillenbrand and Eric Hinske clogging up the DH spot, so something would have to give before they acquired Shealy. Toronto doesn't have much in the way of Triple A starters who could be swapped with the Rox.
The Cubs poked around in May with their first base vacancy (albeit two weeks later than they should have). Recent word is that Cubs offered reliever David Aardsma. Besides having the first name in the baseball encyclopedia, Aardsma has 20 solid Triple A innings to his credit. He hasn't shown much in the Majors this season. The persistent walk problem remains. Assuming Shealy was healthy enough to play left field, the Cubs should step up their offer to at least Rich Hill.
One of the papers mentioned that the Indians inquired within the last year, but there's no longer a fit. Ryan Garko is not setting the world afire at Buffalo, nor is Ryan Mulhern at Double A. Michael Aubrey has been on the DL with a knee injury since late May. So I'm thinking the Indians would still like to acquire Shealy, but maybe the Rockies were asking for too much.
Shealy is doing well in Colorado Springs (though of course in a hitters' environment). He's at .284/.357/.593 after 43 games.
I've been waiting almost a month for a name to surface in connection with the Cubs' first base vacancy that I actually like. I've heard about Mike Sweeney, Kevin Millar, Tony Clark, and Jeff Conine. While I was OK with the Clark idea, that deal made more sense two weeks ago. I could see Derrek Lee back on the field for the Cubs in about one month. In that case, you'd hope Jim Hendry could acquire a player who may be useful beyond then.
Even more ideal, though, would be acquiring a player who the Cubs might still want around if they cash in 2006 as a rebuilding year. Ryan Shealy fits that description. The 26 year-old right-handed first baseman is said to interest the Cubs. Granted it was for Colorado Springs, but Shealy hit .328/.393/.601 in Triple A last year. He's at .293/.370/.683 in 11 games this season.
Acquiring Shealy is all about his 30 HR potential and nothing about his defense. The Rockies attempted to convert him into an outfielder this spring, and the increased throws caused an elbow injury. He's a huge guy, and it's not going to be pretty to see him lumber around the outfield.
I know you typically need an arm to play right field, but once Shealy's elbow is 100%, why not try him in right field a bit? If Jeromy Burnitz can do it, maybe Shealy can too. Jacque Jones is 1 for 18 against lefties and is hitting .238/.295/.363 against them over the past three seasons. That's like throwing Royce Clayton, Mike Matheny, or Neifi Perez out in right field. The Cubs, as much as any team, need to be able to hit southpaws. Maybe Shealy could push Matt Murton a bit too and DH in the AL interleague games. Trust me, the Cubs can find this guy 350-400 ABs.
The Cubs have been auditioning all sorts of kid pitchers this year, and it's time to send one of them packing for Shealy before a smarter team like the Red Sox or Athletics snags him.