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Here's another collection of links…
- Larry LaRue of The News Tribune writes about why you shouldn't get your hopes up about Seattle landing John Lackey, if you're a Mariners fan.
- Andy Martino of The Philadephia Inquirer says that it's clear the Phillies want to add a free agent reliever or two, although GM Ruben Amaro said that Scott Eyre "may have priced himself out of our range.”
- The Mets have to balance two different sets of priorities this offseason, writes Ben Shpigel of The NY Times.
- As The KC Star's Bob Dutton notes, today's AL Cy Young Award win triggered a bonus that put $100K in Zack Greinke's pocket.
- FoxSports.com's Dayn Perry lists his ten offseason moves the need to happen. The Twins locking up Joe Mauer long-term tops the list.
- Brewers' assistant GM Gord Ash shot down the idea of the club taking on Eric Gagne as a reclamation project, writes MLB.com's Adam McCalvy. We learned of Gagne's desire to return to the big leagues late last week.
MLB.com's Todd Zolecki runs down the Phillies offseason, looking at how the club is planning to improve coming off back-to-back World Series appearances. Here's some highlights:
- The Phillies are looking to upgrade at third base, as we've heard before. Chone Figgins figures to be too expensive for their liking, and they'll look for a shorter, more affordable contract. Zolecki names the same possibilities we heard earlier in the week: Adrian Beltre, Mark DeRosa, and Placido Polanco.
- Philadelphia has interest in Fernando Rodney, but it may not be mutual, as Rodney likely would prefer a team with whom he can close. As Zolecki writes, that is "not an option" in Philly.
- The Phillies have seven impending free agents: Paul Bako, Miguel Cairo, Scott Eyre, Pedro Feliz, Pedro Martinez, Chan Ho Park, Matt Stairs, and Jack Taschner. Zolecki says Park and Eyre are the two most likely to return, with Ruben Amaro Jr. already having contacted Park's agent.
- Bako's return hasn't been ruled out, but Amaro has said that he's seeking a backup catcher. Feliz is in a similar situation, with his return not being ruled out but the team looking to upgrade.
- If Stairs returns, it will be on a minor league contract. Taschner and Martinez are not expected to return.
- The futures for Eric Bruntlett, Clay Condrey, and Tyler Walker are in question.
Scott Eyre had successful surgery on his throwing elbow and has filed for free agency, according to MLB.com's Todd Zolecki. Zolecki says that if Eyre doesn't retire, the left-hander only wants to pitch for the Philadelphia Phillies in 2010.
We heard earlier in the season that Eyre was leaning towards retiring, but Philadelphia's playoff run rejuvenated his interest in continuing his career. The team was waiting to see how Eyre's elbow surgery turned out before discussing the 37-year-old's future. Now that the surgery has been performed without a hitch, Zolecki indicates that the Phillies will be in touch with Eyre's agent about a possible return.
When he was healthy, Eyre was one of the club's most dependable relievers, posting a 1.50 ERA in 42 appearances (albeit only 30 innings). If the Phillies are confident in Eyre's health, I don't think they'd mind bringing him back on a one-year deal similar to the one he signed for $2MM last winter.
Let's check out a few Saturday evening links….
- Paul Sullivan of the Chicago Tribune writes that the Chicago Cubs seem prepared to part ways with Rich Harden and Reed Johnson.
- ESPN.com's Rob Neyer isn't a big fan of the Minnesota Twins' decision to exercise Michael Cuddyer's 2011 option.
- Potential free agent Scott Eyre will have surgery on his left elbow, according to Todd Zolecki of MLB.com. Zolecki mentions that Raul Ibanez and Brad Lidge will also go under the knife. Eyre and Ibanez should be ready for the start of spring training, but Lidge may need a little more time.
- John Shea of the San Francisco Chronicle doesn't think the New York Yankees will be able to hold back on their spending this offseason, and expects them to make a big free agent splash or two.
- MLB.com's Joe Frisaro projects the Florida Marlins' payroll for 2010.
- We heard earlier today from Toronto Blue Jays GM Alex Anthopoulos, regarding his club's offseason plans. Dave Rutt at Batter's Box provides an interesting article on the same subject, sharing his own thoughts on how to improve the Jays.
4:32pm: MLB.com's Todd Zolecki tweets more info on the Phillies. He says that if Matt Stairs returns, it would be a minor league deal. The team will wait to see how Scott Eyre's elbow surgery turns out. And they've contacted Chan Ho Park's agent about a possible new contract.
1:33pm: Pitcher Brett Myers was told today by Phillies GM Ruben Amaro Jr. that the team will not pursue a new contract with him, according to Jim Salisbury of the Philadelphia Inquirer. Myers told Salisbury he's open to starting or relieving with his new club.
Myers, 29, posted a 4.84 ERA in 70.6 innings this year. The Phillies' Opening Day starter missed time with hip surgery and a back strain. He could be an interesting buy-low opportunity for many teams.
Links for Monday…
- Slate's Craig Fehrman writes about "the sports media's unique mindset toward [online] aggregators" and how MLBTR fits in.
- On his MLB.com blog, Phillies reliever Scott Eyre suggests he and catcher Paul Bako are reconsidering retirement because they're having so much fun.
- Dodgers GM Ned Colletti told CBSSports.com's Danny Knobler that he offered four players to the Indians for Cliff Lee back in July. Lee instead landed with the Phillies and shut down the Dodgers last night.
- Sam Mellinger of the Kansas City Star believes it's very difficult for fans and reporters to create realistic trade scenarios. Do you agree?
- The Rockies are "ready to finalize deals with general manager Dan O'Dowd and manager Jim Tracy," according to Tracy Ringolsby of Inside The Rockies.
- The Yusei Kikuchi talks are moving along, says NPB Tracker's Patrick Newman. U.S.S. Mariner's Jay Yencich gives his scouting report on Kikuchi. In another post, Newman runs down the interested MLB teams. He notes that the Rangers sent pitcher Derek Holland along with Jim Colburn.
- WEEI's Alex Speier passes along a Dale & Holley appearance by ESPN's Buster Olney. Olney guesses the Red Sox might stop at four years for Jason Bay, and their primary competition will come from the Mariners and Giants.
- ESPN's Peter Gammons discusses Jed Lowrie as Boston's short-term answer at shortstop, with Jose Iglesias as the long-term answer.
- Pete Grathoff of the KC Star writes about the 35-year anniversary of Tommy John surgery.
According to Scott Lauber of The Wilmington Journal, 37-year-old reliever Scott Eyre is considering retiring after this season.
Eyre was diagnosed with a "loose body" in his left elbow earlier this week and plans to undergo surgery in the offseason to repair it. If his rehab doesn't run smoothly, he's likely to hang up the cleats. Eyre has posted an impressive 1.61 ERA and 1.25 WHIP over 28 innings out of the Phillies' bullpen this year, holding left-handed hitters to a .207 batting average.
He has a 4.24 career ERA, 1.52 WHIP and four saves over 12 major league seasons.
Tonight all eyes will be on Randy Johnson as he goes for his 300th win. Here are some links to keep you going until then…
- Jim Salisbury of the Philadelphia Inquirer says the Phillies are in no hurry to deal prospect Michael Taylor, who's slugging over .600 at Double A. Taylor understands that, as a corner outfielder, there's not much room for him in Philly. Could Taylor be a trade chip as the Phillies look to add pitching?
- Andy Martino of the Inquirer reports that Scott Eyre says he's "more than 90 percent" sure he'll retire after this year. Eyre, 37, has pitched for five teams in 13 seasons.
- Roy Halladay threw 133 pitches last night and ESPN.com's Rob Neyer hopes for Halladay's sake that it isn't the beginning of a trend though he doesn't criticize Cito Gaston's decision to let Doc pitch.
- Baseball America has more minor league transactions. Dave Borkowski was released by the Astros after he was designated for assignment.
- John Fay of the Cincinnati Inquirer revisits the Josh Hamilton for Edinson Volquez deal and asks Reds fans whether they like the deal for their team.
According to Scott Lauber of The News Journal, the Phillies signed reliever Scott Eyre to a one-year deal worth $2MM plus bonuses. Eyre, 36, posted a 4.21 ERA in 25.2 innings with the Cubs and Phillies this year. He was much better in his 14.1 innings with the Phils. He dealt with elbow and groin injuries during his time with the Cubs.
5:44pm: MLB.com’s Ken Mandel says the Phillies have Rocco Baldelli, Jerry Hairston Jr., and Kevin Mench on the radar in the event they don’t re-sign Burrell. The Phillies have long liked Baldelli, though the Rays hope to talk contract soon. Reds GM Walt Jocketty recently met with Hairston’s agent, and feels he made progress. And the Hanshin Tigers hope to lure Mench to Japan.
9:38am: Checkin’ in on the Phillies…
- GM Ruben Amaro Jr. had an informal five-minute talk with Casey Close, who represents Ryan Howard and Joe Blanton.
- Talks have not yet begun with free agents Pat Burrell, Jamie Moyer, and Scott Eyre. Conversations will begin soon with Moyer and Eyre.
- Curt Schilling would be open to returning to the Phillies if he pitches next year. Amaro says he hasn’t even considered the possibility yet. He would make a nice fifth starter if they can re-sign Moyer.
- The Phillies control setup man Ryan Madson through 2009, but he’s represented by Scott Boras. Boras compared Madson to Mariano Rivera circa 1996, so don’t look for an affordable long-term deal.
- Amaro talked to at least 27 other GMs at the meetings.
- No word yet from the Philly writers on Andrew Baggarly’s rumor that the Phils will listen on Jimmy Rollins.