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The Giants signed Aubrey Huff on this date in 2010. The first baseman hit .290/.385/.506 and the Giants won the World Series. Here are some links and news items to look through while we await the bargain signing of the 2010-11 offseason…
- Jack Curry of the YES Network tweets that while the Yankees continue to monitor the starting pitcher market, we shouldn't expect them to sign Jeremy Bonderman. The Yanks showed interest in the right-hander about a week ago.
- "I think I'm done," said Reds GM Walt Jocketty to MLB.com's Mark Sheldon. "[Today's Fred Lewis and Edgar Renteria signings] are a couple of pieces we felt we needed."
- ESPN's Buster Olney wonders if the Twins' interest in Jim Thome is limited because they know he won't play as much in 2010 with Justin Morneau returning (Twitter links). He adds that once Thome comes off the board, the free agent DH logjam should clear up. Earlier today we learned that the Rangers' were after the man with the eighth most homers in baseball history (589).
- Padres' GM Jed Hoyer told MLB.com's Corey Brock that the team's payroll is in the mid-$40MM range, so they do have a little more money to spend (Twitter link).
- Scott Thorman and Fu-Te Ni are among the Tigers' non-roster invitees, according to the team. Manager Jim Leyland's son Patrick will also be in camp.
- As Yahoo's Jeff Passan explains in his examination of the Padres' offseason, it doesn't make sense for San Diego to extend Heath Bell. You can discuss Bell's future right here.
- Chad Jennings of the Journal News takes our list of top remaining free agents and considers whether those players would fit on the Yankees.
- MLB.com's Anthony Castrovince points out that the Cardinals have limited time to figure out an extension with Albert Pujols. The Cards started talks with their first baseman and they appear to be going well at this point.
- Angels manager Mike Scioscia tells MLB.com's Lyle Spencer that he'd like to add a player with a high on base percentage.
Links for Wednesday…
- Longtime Rangers hitting coach Rudy Jaramillo turned down a one-year offer from the team and will explore free agency, according to Evan Grant. Phil Rogers of the Chicago Tribune thinks Jaramillo would be a perfect addition to the Cubs.
- According to Bob Dutton of the Kansas City Star, the Royals re-signed three players eligible for minor league free agency: Scott Thorman, Kelvin Villa, and Carlos Rivas.
- Dave Cameron of FanGraphs says this year's free agent class is pretty darn interesting, even if it lacks top-level talent.
- Sean McAdam of the Boston Herald considers free agent alternatives should the Red Sox fail to sign Jason Bay.
- McAdam's colleague Michael Silverman talked to agent Scott Boras, who had this to say about Jason Varitek's future: "Theo and I will be talking about Tek whenever he deems the time appropriate."
- The Giants don't have much money to spend this winter unless they raise payroll, says Ray Ratto of the San Francisco Chronicle.
- Nick Piecoro of the Arizona Republic says the Diamondbacks aren't likely to change their core, but the clubhouse could use a dose of veteran leadership.
- The Rays ought to target free agent reliever Kiko Calero, in the opinion of Tommy Rancel of DRays Bay.
- Padres third baseman Kevin Kouzmanoff has no control over his future, but wants to stay in San Diego according to Bill Center of the San Diego Union-Tribune.
- Dodgers manager Joe Torre doesn't anticipate working past his current contract, which runs through 2010 (according to the AP).
- Jose Cruz was shocked to be dismissed from his coaching job with the Astros, according to Jose de Jesus Ortiz of the Houston Chronicle.
Full Story | Comments | Categories: Arizona Diamondbacks | Boston Red Sox | Chicago Cubs | Houston Astros | Jason Bay | Jason Varitek | Kansas City Royals | Kevin Kouzmanoff | Kiko Calero | Los Angeles Dodgers | San Diego Padres | San Francisco Giants | Scott Thorman | Tampa Bay Rays | Texas Rangers
Links for Tuesday…
- Big League Stew names Scott Boras’ ten most notorious deals. Darren Dreifort also probably belongs on the list. Any others?
- Roch Kubatko of MASN Online debunks a rumor about the Orioles offering Brian Roberts a three-year contract with a soft deadline.
- ESPN’s Keith Law likes the Astros’ signing of Mike Hampton.
- The Brewers signed first baseman Scott Thorman to a minor league deal. He hit .251/.283/.465 at Triple A this year. Also, Salomon Torres officially retired.
- C.C. Sabathia attended a Golden State Warriors game last night, for what it’s worth.
- Dodgers GM Ned Colletti paid lip service to the idea of re-signing Rafael Furcal.
- Joel Sherman says Andy Pettitte is a phony if he signs with a team other than the Yankees. He says the Yanks made a $10MM offer. Craig Calcaterra weighs in on Sherman’s column at Shysterball.
- I did a Q&A with Mets Fans Forever.
- Blue Jays owner Ted Rogers passed away.
Full Story | Comments | Categories: Andy Pettitte | Baltimore Orioles | Brian Roberts | C.C. Sabathia | Houston Astros | Los Angeles Dodgers | Mike Hampton | Milwaukee Brewers | New York Mets | New York Yankees | Rafael Furcal | Salomon Torres | San Francisco Giants | Scott Boras | Scott Thorman | Toronto Blue Jays
Henry Schulman at The San Francisco Chronicle reports that Giants GM Brian Sabean is seeking a left-handed hitting 1B to complement the aging Rich Aurilia, and lists Nick Johnson and the Braves’ Scott Thorman as points of interest.
Nick Johnson is off to a hot start hitting .368/.455/.688 in 19 ABs, and for this reason Schulman suggests he could be off the market; however, contrary to that rationale, the Nationals might want to take advantage of Johnson’s sudden upswing in value. They do have Dmitri Young sitting idly by. If the Giants want to spend $11MM over the next 2 years on Johnson, he would be a solid addition to a lackluster offense. Johnson would almost certainly make a bench player of Aurilia.
Scott Thorman, who the Braves have been shopping for over a month, is 26, and hit 11 homeruns in 268 ABs last season. With Mark Teixeira locked in at 1B this season, and plenty of guys who can be moved to 1B next year (Matt Diaz, Mark Kotsay, et al), Thorman no longer seems to be the heir apparent should Teixeira not re-sign.
While I’m always hesitant to suggest a team should deal with Billy Beane, Dan Johnson needs a new home. Sure his value has collapsed over the past couple seasons, but he hits lefty, could provide power, and is only 28. He’s on a one year contract for $410,000, so there’s not much risk, and Beane’s asking price can’t be high. If the Giants don’t want to commit $11MM to a player as they try to rebuild, DJ could be a good alternative.
Any other 1B options you think would be a good fit?
By Nat Boyle
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution’s David O’Brien talked to Braves GM Frank Wren, and he learned that Wren expects to "make a deal or two."
DOB says the Braves are looking to add a proven bench bat. They can spare an out of options reliever from the group of Blaine Boyer, Chris Resop, Tyler Yates, and Royce Ring. O’Brien sees Yates as the one to go. Catcher Brayan Pena and first baseman Scott Thorman are other possible trade chips.
As for who’s coming to Atlanta, O’Brien pretty much ruled out Reed Johnson and Robert Fick. He considers Wes Helms a possibility. The Orioles and Giants are two teams with veterans to spare, though most are of the overpriced variety.
Scout.com writer Bill Shanks is reporting that the Braves are shopping backup first baseman Scott Thorman and are considering other options at first base, including Mark Kotsay, Brayan Pena, Matt Diaz, and Joe Borchard.
Atlanta Journal-Constitution baseball writer David O’Brien confirms this report in the comments section of his blog.
Thorman is out of options, so this makes sense. Shanks points out that Pena is also out of options, "but with his time at first and his ability to be a third catcher he could have more value than Thorman." O’Brien says he doesn’t think Pena will make the team. Nor does he think Kotsay will see time at first.
Atlanta’s once strong bullpen took a few hits this offseason. They traded Oscar Villarreal to the Astros in November for outfielder Josh Anderson. Ron Mahay signed with the Royals. And Mike Gonzalez is out until mid-season after having Tommy John surgery. So Atlanta is most likely looking to land a reliever.
The AJC’s David O’Brien has a rumor update on his blog. Let’s summarize.
- The White Sox are very reluctant to go after Andruw Jones, because of Scott Boras. They’d offer three years and less than $30MM, which would result in a dial tone. Unless it was a cell phone.
- The Braves need a lefty reliever, and might turn to the Pirates for Damaso Marte. That’d be easier to pull off if the Yankees opt to sign Ron Mahay or Jeremy Affeldt for their lefty reliever.
- O’Brien suggests the Braves have collected a starting pitching surplus, which is a dangerous thought. What do you want to bet there’d be no surplus six months from now, if the current group is maintained? O’Brien believes some team might push hard for Chuck James, anyway.
- Matt Diaz may be available, if Brandon Jones proves MLB-ready. First baseman Scott Thorman may also be on the market.