Scott Podsednik Rumors
Links for Tuesday, as Jose Bautista becomes the first major leaguer to reach the 30-homer plateau this season...
- Reds GM Walt Jocketty told John Fay of the Cincinnati Enquirer that trade talk has been "very quiet." The Reds aren't on the brink of making any deals (Twitter link).
- Kyle Farnsworth left tonight's game with a hamstring cramp, according to Bob Dutton of the Kansas City Star (Twitter link). It's not a strain, so he may be OK. Farnsworth's health may be a moot point, as ESPN's Jayson Stark tweeted today that the Royals are getting little action on their trade candidates.
- The Rangers released former Astro and Phillie Geoff Geary, according to the transactions page for the Pacific Coast League. Geary had been pitching at Triple A Oklahoma City, where he posted a 5.37 ERA.
- Rockies owner Dick Monfort told Jim Armstrong of the Denver Post that he would add payroll this summer if the circumstances are right. The team's approach to the deadline isn't yet clear.
- Kelly Johnson is drawing more interest than other available D’Backs, according to Jack Magruder of FOX Sports Arizona (via Twitter).
- The Rangers signed second-rounder Cody Buckel for $590K according to Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News (via Twitter).
- The Rockies have inquired about Cubs infielder Ryan Theriot, according to Troy Renck of the Denver Post (via Twitter). Troy Tulowitzki is ready to return to action, so the Rockies' need for infield help is no longer pressing.
- The Padres aren't a fit for Scott Podsednik, a source tells Tom Krasovic of AOL FanHouse (on Twitter). NL West teams appear to covet the speedy left fielder.
- Gil Meche needs shoulder surgery and will miss the rest of the season, according to Bob Dutton of the Kansas City Star (via Twitter).
- It wasn't so long ago that Meche and Jeff Francoeur were linked by the same rumors, but, as ESPN.com's Jayson Stark points out on Twitter, Jason Bay's mild concussion makes a Francoeur deal less seem likely.
The San Francisco offense is heating up, but the Giants are still looking for outfield bats. The Royals are discussing Jose Guillen with San Francisco, according to Joel Sherman of the New York Post. The potential deal would send the 34-year-old to San Francisco along with cash to cover some of the $4.5MM or so remaining on Guillen’s contract.
But Jayson Stark of ESPN.com hears (via Twitter) from a rival official who believes the Royals have “no real options” to move Guillen, even if they ask for a modest return and take on salary. Stark’s source says (via Twitter) there’s very little action on some of Guillen’s teammates: Brian Bannister, Kyle Davies and Kyle Farnsworth.
Another one of Guillen’s teammates, Scott Podsednik, is drawing strong interest from NL West teams, including the Giants. For what it’s worth, the Giants have been scouting Guillen aggressively, according to Jon Heyman of SI.com (via Twitter). For the season, Guillen has 16 homers and a .271/.333/.457 line.
The Giants are pursuing outfielders other than Guillen and Podsednik, according to Ken Rosenthal and Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports. Like the Braves, Rays and Red Sox, the Giants have interest in Josh Willingham.
Royals GM Dayton Moore told Bob Dutton of the Kansas City Star that the club has some "nice pieces" to market this summer. The 27-37 Royals have a number of players who might appeal to contenders and Moore is ready to listen, even though the Royals aren't actively looking to move players at this point.
"We'll evaluate what comes our way if anything does come our way," he said.
It wouldn't be surprising to see an offer or two for David DeJesus come the Royals' way. Dutton reports that clubs are already scouting the outfielder, who is hitting .314/.392/.479. DeJesus makes an affordable $4.7MM salary this year and there's a club option for $6MM in 2011 ($500K buyout).
If the Royals hold onto DeJesus, they could decline his option and offer him arbitration. If he turns down their offer to sign elsewhere, they would obtain at least one draft pick, possibly two. The promise of draft picks makes the Royals hesitant to deal him for a pedestrian return, but there are advantages to dealing now. DeJesus must climb into Type A territory under the Elias rankings system and decline arbitration for them to get two picks. Even if they get the picks, they would have to wait a year and pay each draftee about $1MM.
Thursday night linkage..
- Indians catching prospect Carlos Santana is making major strides behind the plate, writes The Plain Dealer's Doug Lesmerises.
- Boston GM Theo Epstein doesn't believe that personnel changes in May can make much of an impact, writes Scott Lauber of The Boston Herald.
- Astros outfielder Carlos Lee says that he may retire following the 2012 season, writes Bernardo Fallas of The Houston Chronicle. Lee is due to make $18.5MM in each of the next three seasons.
- The Mariners have promoted Michael Saunders after placing Milton Bradley on the restricted list, tweets Shannon Drayer of ESPN Radio Seattle.
- Bruce Levine of ESPNChicago.com spoke to Scott Podsednik, who said that he wasn't surprised that the White Sox didn't come up with an offer strong enough to keep him. After months of negotiation, Scotty Pods signed a one-year, $1.75MM deal with Kansas City, which included a 2011 club option.
Let's continue our look at each club's top trade chips today with the AL Central...
- Indians: The Tribe have dealt their Opening Day starter in each of the last two seasons, and there's a good chance they'll do it again with Jake Westbrook in 2010. The 32-year-old righty will earn $11MM this season, the last one on his contract. After dumping Cliff Lee and Victor Martinez in cost-cutting moves last year, expect them to shop Westbrook around for prospects this summer.
- Royals: All four of Kansas City's outfielders come off the books after this season (assuming some options are bought out for six figures), so Rick Ankiel, David DeJesus, Scott Podsednik, and even Jose Guillen could be moved in a deal for a young player. The team would obviously have to eat a lot of money to move Guillen. The contracts of relievers Juan Cruz and Kyle Farnsworth also expire after the season, so there might be some interest in them.
- Tigers: Detroit isn't going to move any of their young power arms, but if they eat a large chunk of salary like they did with Nate Robertson, there might be interest in Jeremy Bonderman and/or Dontrelle Willis. Young backstop Alex Avila could make Gerald Laird expendable as well. The Tigers have four lefty relievers on their 40-man roster (Phil Coke, Fu-Te Ni, Daniel Schlereth, and Brad Thomas), and that demographic is always in demand.
- Twins: Minnesota has one of the best trade chips in the league, blocked catching prospect Wilson Ramos. Lefty Glen Perkins is pitching in Triple-A and seems to have fallen out of favor with the club after filing a grievance, so he could be made available as well. He has four years of team control left.
- White Sox: GM Kenny Williams isn't shy about emptying out the farm system in a trade for an established big leaguer, which has left him with little minor league ammo. Their best young prospects are catcher Tyler Flowers and starter Daniel Hudson, who would seem to have a future with the club, but I'm not going to put anything past Williams. Flowers could make A.J. Pierzynski or Ramon Castro expendable, ditto Hudson and Freddy Garcia. Gordon Beckham should be untouchable, obviously.
Links for Tuesday...
- Twins assistant GM Rob Antony told Parker Hageman of Over The Baggy that the team just hired a stats guy. Also, Antony reads MLBTR every day!
- According to Tom Gage of the Detroit News, pitcher Casey Fien asked the Blue Jays why he was released and was told he was a liability.
- Scott Podsednik told MLB.com's Scott Merkin there was miscommunication between his agent and the White Sox this offseason, but Sox assistant GM Rick Hahn disagreed.
- Joel Sherman of the New York Post wonders if the Mets will be thinking about trading Fernando Martinez for a top-notch starter come July.
- Ed Price of AOL FanHouse tweets that the Rangers are still looking at bringing Ramon Vazquez back. Vazquez is a prime candidate to be traded or released by the Pirates before the season begins, though the Rangers added Hernan Iribarren ten days ago.
- It appears that the Yankees added pitcher Zack Segovia on a minor league deal, writes Chad Jennings of The Journal News.
- Reed Johnson is still in the mix for the Cubs' fourth outfielder job, assistant GM Randy Bush told Paul Sullivan of the Chicago Tribune.
- Andrew Baggarly of the San Jose Mercury News passes along a comment from Giants GM Brian Sabean: someone will be designated for assignment to make room for Aubrey Huff. CSNBayArea.com's Mychael Urban says it won't be Fred Lewis, but Lewis is probably done with the Giants anyway.
- The Royals named former Brewers manager Ned Yost special advisor to baseball operations, according to a team press release.
- John Dewan of Baseball Info Solutions suggests the Red Sox could add eight or nine wins via their defensive improvements (hat tip to Alex Speier of WEEI). In an article for ESPN, Dave Cameron says the Red Sox "have traded on-base percentage for ultimate zone ratings."
- Rany Jazayerli says the Royals' move for Scott Podsednik "wasn't a good signing, but it's not worth getting worked up over either."
- Bernardo Fallas of the Houston Chronicle suggests Drayton McLane's $650MM asking price for the Astros "might make it difficult for him to find a buyer."
- Joe Pawlikowski of River Ave. Blues assesses possible Yankees target Xavier Nady.
- Jack Moore of FanGraphs likes the Ryan Church signing for the Pirates.
- MLB.com's Jordan Bastian writes that the Blue Jays signed pitcher Willie Collazo, infielder Jesus Merchan, and outfielder Jorge Padilla to minor league deals.
- Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports reiterates the Cubs' interest in Kiko Calero, but guesses the team's interest "is probably contingent" on the health of the reliever's shoulder.
- Brett Myers intends to "stick it" to the Phillies, according to the AP. How dare they pay him over $30MM and stick by him through domestic abuse charges.
Here are some links to close out the week...
- The Padres are one of several teams to request Noah Lowry's medical records, according to MLB.com's Corey Brock. In a tweet, Brock notes that the team isn't likely to bring Khalil Greene back, and instead will likely wait for an out-of-options player in Spring Training.
- Evan Grant of The Dallas Morning News tweets that Rangers are "still pushing" on Jermaine Dye, and team officials met with him last week.
- Grant at McCovey Chronicles ranks the ten biggest "future free agent mistakes" for Giants' fans.
- Tom Haudricourt of The Journal Sentinel mentions that Brewers' GM Doug Melvin and his staff are traveling to Phoenix next week to meet with Mark Mulder and decide if it makes sense to offer him a minor league deal with incentives. Haudricourt previously said we should "expect a signing," and earlier this week we learned that Milwaukee may not have enough payroll room left to add another starter.
- MLB.com's Brian McTaggart looks at the Astros' rotation now that Brett Myers is on board.
- Meanwhile, Alyson Footer of MLB.com tweets that Houston officially announced their deal with Josh Banks, and has renewed the contracts of pre-arbitration eligible players J.R. Towles and Chris Johnson.
- Steve Gilbert of MLB.com has some more details on Bobby Howry's contract with Arizona. Howry can void the $3MM club option for 2011 if he's traded during the upcoming season.
- Tigers' GM Dave Dombrowski said his team "did not really pursue" Scott Podsednik, according to MLB.com's Jason Beck. Scotty Pods had been connected to Detroit earlier this offseason.
The Royals finalized their one-year $1.75MM deal with Scott Podsednik today. The contract includes a 2011 club option worth $2MM, but Podsednik can void it if he picks up 525 plate appearances this year. Both the 2010 and 2011 years include incentives worth $250K or more.
Podsednik, who turns 34 before the season starts, will compete with Mitch Maier and perhaps Brian Anderson for playing time in center field. He rates slightly below average on defense, according to UZR/150, but does add some value on offense. He hit .304/.353/.412 for the White Sox last year, stealing 30 bases in 43 attempts.
Royals GM Dayton Moore said last night on 610 Sports Radio that the Royals were close to signing a speedy outfielder. Today, Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports tweeted that Podsednik had a deal and ESPN.com's Jerry Crasnick confirmed it was with the Royals. Dick Kaegel of MLB.com, Sam Mellinger of the KC Star, Rosenthal and John Marshall of the AP followed up with the details.
Ben Nicholson-Smith contributed to this post.
ESPN's Jerry Crasnick names three free agents on the Royals' radar for center field: Rick Ankiel, Scott Podsednik, and Randy Winn. It should be noted that none of the three logged 500 innings in center in '09. Crasnick's source doesn't see the Royals spending much more than $2MM on a one-year deal, so playing time could be the biggest selling point. Coco Crisp at $5.25MM coming off two shoulder surgeries might be seen as an overpay by Oakland, if these other free agents sign for less than half that.
My guess is that Scott Boras will end up finding a reasonable one-year deal for Ankiel, much as he did for Joe Crede last year. Beyond the Pirates, we haven't heard much from other Ankiel suitors. Podsednik could land with the Giants or Tigers, while Winn is being courted by the Padres and D'Backs.