Scott Hairston Rumors
While we wait to see whether any major moves will be finalized in Nashville today, let's check out a few odds and ends from Wednesday morning....
- After signing Marco Scutaro to a three-year deal, the Giants may have a hard time affording the sort of outfield bat they'd been targeting, tweets Andrew Baggarly of CSNBayArea.com. According to Baggarly, the Giants had a two-year offer out to Ryan Ludwick, but both Ludwick and Scott Hairston may be too pricey for them now.
- Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com reported earlier today that Shin-Soo Choo and Asdrubal Cabrera are "very available," but a rival official tells ESPN.com's Buster Olney (Twitter link) that "the price for Choo is high, and for Asdrubal even higher."
- Most baseball people in Nashville believe it will be hard for teams to seriously consider dealing for Jacoby Ellsbury when they have no idea whether they'll be able to keep him long-term, tweets Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe. Olney adds in a tweet that while the Red Sox are listening to offers for Ellsbury and Jon Lester, they aren't motivated to move either player unless a team overpays.
- Although the Marlins spoke to Carl Pavano's agent yesterday, the team doesn't seem overly enthusiastic about a reunion with the right-hander, says Joe Capozzi of the Palm Beach Post.
7:22pm: The Phillies, Mets, and Yankees remain in the mix for Hairston, tweets Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports.
6:16am: The Mets and Scott Hairston are both optimistic that they can work out a new contract, Adam Rubin of ESPN New York reports. Hairston told ESPN New York yesterday that he considered a return to the Mets "probable."
Hairston seeks a bigger role than many potential suitors could offer, but uncertainties in the Mets' outfield should present the opportunity for greater playing time. In 377 plate appearances for the Mets in 2012, the 32-year-old hit .263/.299/.504 with 20 homers. He saw time at all three outfield positions.
Hairston has been a popular name thus far at the Winter Meetings, having been linked to the Giants, Yankees, Tigers, Indians, Cardinals and Mets. Detroit general manager Dave Dombrowski refuted reports that he had made a two-year offer to Hairston yesterday.
The Mets are shopping R.A. Dickey, the Nats agreed to sign Dan Haren, the Phillies are in on Michael Bourn, the Marlins are telling teams they won't trade Ricky Nolasco, and the Braves are exploring their left field options. Here are even more NL East notes:
- The Nationals are at two years for Adam LaRoche, and a third-year vesting option figures to be enough to get a deal done, says Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports (via Twitter). According to Adam Kilgore of the Washington Post, Nationals GM Mike Rizzo talked to LaRoche's agent last night. Rizzo is optimistic, but the team is staying at two years and not including an option.
- In speaking to reporters today, Nats manager Davey Johnson conveyed his desire to have LaRoche back in the middle of Washington's lineup: "Adam LaRoche is going to come back. If I have to go to Kansas and take all his cattle to Florida, I will" (Twitter link via Dan Kolko of MASNSports.com).
- Mets GM Sandy Alderson spoke to Scott Hairston's agent today, and believes the Mets may leave Nashville with an outfielder. Whether that player is Hairston or someone else, Alderson will be "careful" about giving out a multiyear deal (Twitter links via ESPNNewYork.com's Adam Rubin).
- There has been virtually no trade discussion about Jon Niese in Nashville, with the Dickey talks at the forefront for the Mets, says Alderson (Twitter link via Andy McCullough of the Star-Ledger).
Between the Mets' R.A. Dickey trade talks and the Nationals' signing of Dan Haren, much of today's major news has come out of the National League. Here are a few more updates from across the Senior Circuit....
- Although the Marlins have no intention of trading Giancarlo Stanton, that certainly hasn't stopped teams from calling to ask about him, according to Danny Knobler of CBSSports.com. "It would be easier to list who hasn't called," a source close to the Marlins told Knobler.
- With Angel Pagan locked up, the Giants have turned their attention to corner outfielders, and have spoken to Nick Swisher's reps, says Ken Davidoff of the New York Post (on Twitter). However, the team will likely target a more affordable option -- perhaps Ryan Ludwick or Scott Hairston.
- The Mets, in their search for veteran left-handers for the bullpen, have inquired on Manny Parra, according to Joel Sherman of the New York Post (via Twitter).
- The Dodgers are shopping for a shortstop or third baseman to pair with Hanley Ramirez on the left side of the infield, tweets Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com, adding that the team's approach at this point appears to involve pursuing an All-Star at every position.
- In addition to a center fielder, the Phillies also need a right fielder and a third baseman, though they likely won't be able to afford both, GM Ruben Amaro Jr. tells Jayson Stark of ESPN.com (Twitter link).
- Yuniesky Betancourt is among the third base options being considered by the Cubs, writes Carrie Muskat at MLB.com.
The World Champion Giants dropped $40MM on a four-year deal to bring back center fielder Angel Pagan today. I expect Pagan to prove a worthwhile investment, providing enough value at the front end of the deal to make it a win overall. The latest on the Giants' other dealings...
- The Giants' payroll is going to the $140MM range up from the low $130s, tweets John Shea of the San Francisco Chronicle.
- The Giants seek a right-handed complement to projected starting left fielder Gregor Blanco, writes Andrew Baggarly of CSNBayArea.com, and they've checked in with Scott Hairston's agent. Reed Johnson, Andruw Jones, and Ben Francisco could be a few other names to consider depending on how much the team wants to spend, in my opinion.
- Giants VP Bobby Evans wouldn't rule out second baseman Marco Scutaro getting a three-year offer on the open market, in talking with Baggarly.
- Giants manager Bruce Bochy considers Sergio Romo his closer, tweets Baggarly, but plans on calling recently non-tendered reliever Brian Wilson soon to recruit him to return.
6:25pm: Tigers GM Dave Dombrowski seemingly refuted the initial Hairston report, as he told the Detroit Free Press he hasn't offered a multiyear deal to any free agent outfielders.
4:20pm: Hairston "will not be a Tiger," tweets Rubin.
4:18pm: The Tigers have offered a two-year contract to outfielder Scott Hairston, tweets Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports. Earlier today, Adam Rubin of ESPNNewYork.com named the Tigers, Giants, Cardinals, Indians, and Yankees as the teams with real interest in the 32-year-old, who socked 20 home runs in 2012.
While the Dodgers have been linked to just about everyone this offseason, they won't be the only NL West club active in Nashville this week. Here are a few updates from around the division:
- Chris Haft of MLB.com (Twitter link) heard from an agent earlier today that the Giants were "bending over backwards" to re-sign Angel Pagan and Marco Scutaro. Haft wonders if Scutaro is next, now that the team has reached an agreement with Pagan.
- The Rockies are targeting late-inning and closer-type pitchers this week, according to Troy Renck of the Denver Post (via Twitter).
- The Dodgers would be "shocked" if Shohei Otani declares for MLB and doesn't sign with them, says Bill Shaikin of the Los Angeles Times (via Twitter). However, the Dodgers are skeptical that Otani will come stateside. We heard this morning that the 18-year-old was leaning toward remaining in Japan.
- In discussing Dexter Fowler with the Braves, the Rockies asked for Mike Minor, according to David O'Brien of the Atlanta Journal Constitution (Twitter link).
- Troy Renck of the Denver Post notes (via Twitter) that the Yankees had some interest in Chris Nelson last season, and wonders if their interest in the Rockies' infielder could be renewed now that Alex Rodriguez is undergoing hip surgery.
- The Giants are one of five teams with "real interest" in Scott Hairston, according to Adam Rubin of ESPNNewYork.com. The Cardinals, Tigers, Indians, and Yankees round out the list, and Hairston himself hasn't ruled out a return to the Mets.
After taking a quick look at the latest notes out of the AL Central, we'll do the same with the AL East:
- Joel Sherman of the New York Post tweets that the Yankees continue to be in on Scott Hairston, but it will likely take a two-year deal to lock him up, and New York would rather avoid adding 2014 salary.
- Sherman adds in a separate tweet that a Padres official insists the team isn't moving Chase Headley, so he's unlikely to be an option for the Yankees.
- Nick Swisher is drawing interest from a number of teams, including the Red Sox, but he may exercise some patience before agreeing to a deal, according to Rob Bradford of WEEI.com. Bradford hears from a source that Swisher may wait to sign until after Josh Hamilton has secured a deal. The WEEI.com scribe also reiterates that Boston's signing of Mike Napoli hasn't taken them out of the running for Swisher, as we heard earlier today.
- Discussing Alex Rodriguez's hip surgery at an afternoon press conference, Yankees GM Brian Cashman indicated that the team will "become very aggressive" if they see an opportunity to upgrade at third base that makes sense (Twitter link via MLBTR's Ben Nicholson-Smith).
- In his latest column for FOX Sports, Jon Morosi explains why he thinks the Yankees should pursue Chase Headley, and explores what sort of return the Padres could expect for their star third baseman.
- According to Eduardo A. Encina of the Baltimore Sun, Orioles GM Dan Duquette said on MLB Network Radio today that the club's decision to non-tender Mark Reynolds was made in part because the O's believed Reynolds could be in line for a salary of $12-14MM through arbitration. MLBTR was projecting a salary in the neighborhood of $8.9MM for Reynolds before he was non-tendered.
The latest on the Tigers from Ken Rosenthal and Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports..
- There has been a great deal of talk about the Tigers pursuing a shortstop but that may have been overstated. Detroit has cooled on Stephen Drew due to his desire for a multi-year deal and they have not discussed a trade for the Indians’ Asdrubal Cabrera, according to a source with knowledge of the club’s thinking.
- Rosenthal and Morosi note that Drew still could re-emerge as a possibility if his market fails to develop, but Cabrera appears out of the question. The Tigers are a part of Cabrera's six-team no-trade clause along with the Yankees, Red Sox, Nationals, Giants, and Mets.
- Instead, the Tigers are looking to add a left-handed reliever and a right-handed platoon partner for Andy Dirks in left field. One right-handed outfielder with Tigers interest is free agent Scott Hairston, according to a second source. The Mets and Yankees also have interest in Hairston.
- The Tigers have an opening for a closer, but club officials are high on rookie right-hander Bruce Rondon.
- For now, the shortstop job still belongs to Jhonny Peralta. Peralta was drawing interest from the Diamondbacks recently but that no longer seems like a possibility if the TIgers are unable or unwilling to upgrade at the position.
Blockbuster trades motivated by one team's desire for financial flexibility (AKA a salary dump) like the Marlins-Blue Jays deal or the Red Sox-Dodger swap are nothing new in baseball history. On this date in 1947, the St. Louis Browns and the Boston Red Sox began a two-day trading frenzy involving 13 players (four Browns and nine Red Sox) and the Browns receiving $375K (worth nearly $3.1MM in today's dollars). Here's the latest news, notes, and comments from the present-day American League:
- The Yankees continue to have conversations with free agent outfielder Scott Hairston, writes the New York Post's Dan Martin. Hairston would bring a right-handed power bat to the outfield mix and could fit into a platoon, as the Yankees have already had preliminary discussions to bring back Raul Ibanez.
- The Yankees still want to trim payroll to $189MM by 2014 for luxury tax and revenue sharing refund purposes, but Joel Sherman of the New York Post wonders if Hal Steinbrenner isn't risking a brand worth billions for the millions the team would earn by doing so.
- If the Tigers fail to re-sign Anibal Sanchez, the signing of Torii Hunter will still make the offseason a success, team president and GM Dave Dombrowski told George Sipple of the Detroit Free Press. "We'll see where other things take us," Dombrowski said. "If we end up with this major move (Hunter) being our major move of the winter, I would be very happy."
- The Indians have yet to set their 2013 budget, but it is expected to be in the neighborhood of this past season's $65MM, according to the Cleveland Plain Dealer's Paul Hoynes. As a result of this "fluid" situation, GM Chris Antonetti must take any intriguing proposals to ownership.
- Also in that article, Hoynes lists the five best and five worst free agent signings by the Tribe.
- The Red Sox will interview Craig Counsell and Greg Colbrunn for their hitting coach opening, reports Alex Speier of WEEI.com. Counsell, a special assistant to Brewers GM Doug Melvin, will interview tomorrow while Colbrunn, the hitting instructor for the Yankees' Single-A affiliate in Charleston, is in the process of being scheduled for another time during the week. The Red Sox have already interviewed their minor league hitting coordinator Victor Rodriguez, former Diamondbacks hitting coach Rick Schu, and Braves assistant hitting coach Scott Fletcher.