Scott Rolen Rumors
The Yankees are still looking for help at both corner infield spots and no shortage of veteran names have been mentioned in connection to the search. CBS Sports' Jon Heyman (via Twitter) wonders if New York would be interested in Pirates first baseman Gaby Sanchez, who "appears to be available." The Yankees have also been scouting Lyle Overbay, Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe reports, and Overbay can opt out of his minor league deal with the Red Sox on Tuesday if he isn't on Boston's Major League roster. As of now, however, Cafardo believes Overbay would "probably" make the Red Sox.
Here's some more news from around baseball as we head into the weekend...
- One candidate the Yankees don't seem to be considering is Scott Rolen, according to Heyman, as the team "never really engaged" the veteran third baseman. Rolen is also "not on the radar" of the Dodgers, who are also looking for infield help in the wake of Hanley Ramirez's injury.
- The Twins "are not even thinking about" manager Ron Gardenhire's job security, a team source tells Andy Martino of the New York Daily News. Minnesota has suffered consecutive last-place seasons but the club doesn't fault Gardenhire given how little he had to work with on the roster. Gardenhire is one of several managers and GMs entering the final years of their contracts in 2013.
- The Angels could re-sign Bill Hall to a new minor league contract, Mike DiGiovanna of the Los Angeles Times reports. Hall was released earlier today and, if the Angels re-sign him after Tuesday, they won't have to pay the veteran utilityman a $100K bonus as an Article XX(B) free agent.
- Also from DiGiovanna (on Twitter), the Angels watched right-hander Adam Reifer throw a bullpen session today and could sign the former Cardinals prospect to a minor league deal. Reifer, 26, posted a 3.88 ERA, an 8.3 K/9 and a 2.47 K/BB rate over 204 1/3 IP (all out of the bullpen) in the Cards' system since 2008.
- Cubs outfielder David DeJesus stands out as a trade candidate for the Royals as a platoon partner with Jeff Francoeur, Rany Jazayerli of Rany On The Royals opines. Kansas City is known to be looking for a left-handed hitting complement to the right-handed hitting Francoeur in right field.
- The Mets are "going to go with the guys we have" in the outfield, GM Sandy Alderson tells Newsday's Marc Carig. Jordany Valdespin, Lucas Duda, Marlon Byrd, Mike Baxter, Collin Cowgill and Kirk Nieuwenhuis are all fighting for playing time in the Mets' outfield this season.
It’s no secret that the Yankees are searching for corner infield depth following Mark Teixeira’s wrist injury. GM Brian Cashman updated reporters on the team’s search earlier today, detailing interest in some veteran players. All links courtesy of Jack Curry of the YES Network and Joel Sherman of the New York Post on Twitter, unless noted otherwise..
- Jones got a "good chuckle" upon learning of the Yankees' interest in him, agent B.B. Abbott told Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com (on Twitter).
- Cashman called Derrek Lee a Yankees type because of his approach and makeup, Curry reports. The Yankees recently reached out to Lee to see if he’d come out of retirement to play in New York. Asked about the chances of completing a deal, Cashman noted that Lee isn’t with the Yankees now. The GM is not currently optimistic about signing Lee, according to Sherman.
- Cashman said he’d sign Chipper Jones if the third baseman were willing to come out of retirement, Sherman reports. The GM said his interest in Jones was serious and that he intended to call his agent, Curry notes. However, B.B. Abbott told Sherman that he can’t see his client coming out of retirement. "I don't think [playing for the Yankees] is something he would consider, but he would be flattered,” Abbott said.
- Cashman also investigated the possibility of signing free agent third baseman Scott Rolen, Curry reports. The GM hinted that Rolen wants a guarantee of playing time and/or money, however.
- The Dodgers and Reds both offered Rolen $4MM only to have him turn the proposals down, according to Sherman, who has heard that Rolen would only play for a guaranteed salary.
The injuries keep coming for the Yankees, who will now consider pursuing corner infielders after losing Mark Teixeira for eight to ten weeks. There aren’t many attractive options available in trades or on the free agent market, however. Ken Davidoff of the New York Post explains the team’s predicament:
- The Yankees acknowledge that their roster doesn’t have the same kind of depth it did in past seasons, when players such as Eric Chavez and Bartolo Colon were available to step in after others sustained injuries.
- Anything is possible for the Yankees at this point, Davidoff writes. Free agent Carlos Lee would be one option, but he hasn’t been willing to sign for a low base salary, according to Davidoff.
- Scott Rolen is available in free agency, but he hit just .244/.301/.397 in 2011-12.
- While Tyler Colvin doesn’t have a starting role with the Rockies, the Yankees and Rockies “haven’t clicked” in recent trade talks.
- GM Brian Cashman explained that he’s not at all worried about Derek Jeter’s health. “He’ll be ready when it counts,” the GM said.
We can expect Mike Trout, Bryce Harper and Clayton Kershaw to be among the game's best players in 2018, Dan Szymborski of ESPN Insider writes. Szymborski’s 30-player list includes many established MLB stars and some minor leaguers who have yet to make an impact at the highest level. Here are some more links for Thursday afternoon...
- Scouts say the Braves are looking for a left-handed hitting bench player, ESPN.com's Buster Olney reports (on Twitter). The left-handed hitting Jordan Schafer and the switch-hitting Ramiro Pena are internal candidates to make the Braves as bench players.
- Red Sox manager John Farrell said no third base additions are "being contemplated or imminent," Brian MacPherson of the Providence Journal reports (on Twitter). Rob Bradford of WEEI.com reported this morning that there’s a belief free agent third baseman Scott Rolen would be interested in talking to the Red Sox.
- Athletics first baseman Daric Barton didn't expect that Oakland would want him back this offseason, Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle writes. Barton, who hit just .204/.338/.292 in 46 games last season, re-signed with the A's on a non-guaranteed $1.1MM deal.
Zach Links contributed to this post.
MLBTR’s Offseason in Review series began today with a look at the Rays’ busy winter. Here are some notes from the rest of the AL East...
- The Yankees are tired of the physical and verbal risks surrounding Joba Chamberlain in the view of Joel Sherman of the New York Post. The team expects to benefit from having Chamberlain in the bullpen this year, but won’t want to invest multiple years in him when he hits free agency next offseason.
- Teams were once willing to overlook Johnny Damon’s below-average defense to obtain his bat, but Damon hit poorly in 2012. As Sherman notes, teams like the Yankees want offense, yet are passing on the 39-year-old because of doubts regarding his ability.
- The Red Sox haven’t called on free agent third baseman Scott Rolen, Rob Bradford of WEEI.com reports. However, there’s a belief that Rolen would be interested in talking to the Red Sox. It’s not something the Red Sox are expected to consider unless Will Middlebrooks’ wrist injury turns out to be more serious than initially anticipated.
The Reds enter the 2013 with high expectations after returning to the playoffs last season for only the second time since Barry Larkin's MVP season in 1995. While the Reds won't have the Astros to beat up on all season thanks to Houston's move to the American League, look for the squad to continue to rely on a talented pitching staff to hold off the Cardinals come September. Here's the latest news and stories making headlines out of the Queen City.
- Mat Latos and members of the Reds front office were seated in the room designated for arbitration hearings when the announcement came that the two parties had reached a deal on a new contract, says John Fay of the Cincinnati Enquirer (via Twitter). Right-hander Latos signed a two-year deal worth $11.5MM.
- Reds GM Walt Jocketty released a statement on Tuesday that third baseman Scott Rolen will not be joining Cincinnati for Spring Training this season, according to the team (all Twitter links). Rolen said, "Right now I’m simply not ready to make a commitment. I would like to leave my options open, without closing any doors..."
Here's the latest from around the majors...
- The Indians are no longer pursuing Jim Thome, FOX Sports' Ken Rosenthal (Twitter link) reports, as the team doesn't want to devote a roster spot to a full-time DH. Thome is "healthy, working out [and] open to other clubs," Rosenthal notes. Thome said in December that he was open to continuing his career in 2013.
- Scott Boras plans to open a sports fitness center for his clients in south Florida next year, FOX Sports' Ken Rosenthal reports, in part to prevent players from getting associated with doctors and clinics associated with PEDs. Boras says his clinic will “bring about a certain level of assurance that the players we represent are certainly given the best information and best professional training...We feel we can best avoid all of the outside resources that are attacking these young men and providing them with false information and less than licensed professional medical assistance.”
- The Angels twice chose to focus on their hitters ahead of their pitching rotation this winter, decisions that MLB.com's Alden Gonzalez feels will define their season, for better or worse.
- Angel Villalona will join the Giants' Spring Training camp after obtaining a work visa to come to the United States, Baseball America's Ben Badler reports. Villalona couldn't get a visa last year and was on MLB's restricted list in 2010-11 due to complications from being charged with murder in his native Dominican Republic in 2009, charges that were eventually dropped.
- While Scott Rolen can't contribute on the field as he could in his prime, his veteran leadership can still be a big boost to a contender, MLB.com's Mike Bauman writes. Rolen has toyed with retirement this winter but may be negotiating a return to the Reds.
The MLBPA announced that Dave Prouty has been promoted to the position of general counsel, replacing executive director Michael Weiner in that role. The 54-year-old Prouty becomes the fourth general counsel in the history of the MLBPA. “I am confident that Dave will excel in his new role and that the players will continue to receive the high level of legal representation they have come to expect from their union,” Weiner said. Here are some links from around MLB...
- While emphasizing that GM Brian Sabean decides which players to sign, Giants skipper Bruce Bochy won't rule out a return for Brian Wilson, writes Chris Haft of MLB.com. "I can't say that [Wilson] will be back." But, Bochy added, "I can't say the door's closed on Brian Wilson. ... I don't think that's completely shut."
- The Mets are still hopeful on Michael Bourn and General Manager Sandy Alderson talking about him publicly is a positive sign, tweets Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com. However, nothing appears to be imminent between the club and the top remaining free agent left on the open market.
- In an appearance on ESPN Dallas’ the Ben & Skin Show, Rangers shortstop Elvis Andrus said he hopes to stay in Texas long-term (story via Richard Durrett of ESPNDallas.com). However, the Scott Boras client said he’s prepared to “see what happens” when his contract expires following the 2014 season. “We’re still talking about it. That’s all I can say. For sure, I would love to stay here.”
- Dodgers GM Ned Colletti suggested on MLB Network that free agent third baseman Scott Rolen will "probably end up some other place than Los Angeles,"Ken Gurnick of MLB.com reports. The Dodgers had “some interest” in bringing Rolen on to provide depth at the corner infielder positions, Colletti acknowledged.
- Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times has the details on the incentives included in the contracts for Kyle Farnsworth and Kelly Johnson. The Rays announced their deals with both players yesterday.
Zach Links contributed to this post.
As February gets underway, Michael Bourn still stands as the best available free agent on the open market. Jim Bowden of ESPN.com (on Twitter) opines that the Mets, Mariners, and Rays are the teams that make the most sense for the center fielder. As for the best starter left on the free agent pile, Bowden sees the Red Sox, Rangers, Angels, Brewers, and Orioles as the best fits for Kyle Lohse. Here's more from around baseball..
- Don't look for the Marlins to make any major moves the remainder of the offseason, says Juan C. Rodriguez of the South Florida Sun-Sentinel (via Twitter). The team will enter spring training with the roster it currently has in place.
- Regardless of whether or not Scott Rolen joins the Reds, John Fay of the Cincinnati Enquirer writes that the club is facing a serious roster crunch. It seems that the veteran wants to play in 2013 but money will be a determining factor in his decision. Recently, the Dodgers reached out to Rolen to express interest.
- The Orioles expect to announce the signing of veteran left-handerMark Hendrickson to a minor league contract with a spring training invite early next week, according to Roch Kubatko of MASNsports.com. The O's also hope to announce their deal with Jair Jurrjens and remain interested in bringing Joe Saunders back despite the depth that they've added.
- Torii Hunter says that enjoyed his time with the Angels, but he also felt misled when the club told him they didn't have enough money to keep him before signing Josh Hamilton to a five-year, $125MM deal, writes Mike DiGiovanna of the Los Angeles Times. The veteran hooked on with the Tigers this winter in pursuit of a World Series ring.
- The Tigers had a tough time trying to find organizational depth this winter as many players figured that their path to the majors would be blocked, writes George Sipple of the Detroit Free Press. Regardless, assistant General Manager Al Avila says that the club is done signing minor league players and is ready for spring training.
Daniel Seco contributed to this post.
7:02pm: Reds GM Walt Jocketty tells Fay that he hasn't spoken to Rolen's agents in a few days but, “I think there’s a chance we get something worked out. We’re talking about the details — how much opportunity is there.”
4:17pm: After waiting for weeks to hear whether Scott Rolen will play in 2013, the Reds may have their answer. John Fay of the Cincinnati Enquirer now hears that Rolen wants to play and suggests that money is an issue. The Reds don’t have much payroll flexibility and can’t pay Rolen the $6.5MM salary he earned in 2013.
There’s also the question of roster space. The Reds have indicated that Todd Frazier will get the chance to play third on an everyday basis and they’ve also signed infielder Jack Hannahan. That said, the Reds appear to be Rolen’s top choice. The Dodgers reached out to express interest, but "Rolen is not an L.A. kind of guy," according to Fay.
Rolen played in 92 games for the Reds in 2012, posting a .245/.318/.398 batting line in 330 plate appearances. ACES represents the seven-time All-Star.