Scott Williamson Rumors
Links in Spanish from where winter is just a cool breeze...
- Edgar Renteria has "three options" for a 2011 contract, according to an AP story out of Colombia. "All of them are in the National League, and one is the Giants," Renteria said. "I'd like to return [to the Giants], but if it doesn't work out, there are the other teams." The Cardinals and Marlins could be the fallbacks, as Renteria has said he'd like to end his career playing for one of the two.
- No matter the season or league, Pedro Martinez wants to play for a winner. Martinez downplayed reports that he is training with the Licey Tigers in the Dominican Winter League, telling Pedro G. Briceño at Listin Diario, "I'm taking a break right now." In another interview, though, Martinez sounded more open, telling El Dia's Justo de la Cruz that he might change his mind if the Tigers improve in the standings or qualify for the Dominican playoffs. In regard to his plans stateside, Martinez told de la Cruz he hasn't hung up his spikes, but on the other hand said: "I don't rule out having an impulse to leave definitively."
- Scott Williamson is planning to pitch in Mexico this winter, and several Major League teams will be watching, Williamson's agent told the blog Baseball Mexico (link in English). The former National League Rookie of the Year hasn't pitched in the majors since 2007, but he put up impressive numers in part-time closing duty for the independent Somerset Patriots last summer.
The Marlins are about to add Scott Williamson to their bullpen, according to MLB.com's Joe Frisaro. They're close to finalizing a minor league deal with the 33-year-old righty, who could join new additions Brendan Donnelly and Luis Ayala in the 'pen after a stint in the minors.
According to Jon Paul Morosi of the Detroit Free Press, the Tigers' Scott Williamson experiment is over. They released the righty to clear a spot for Eddie Bonine on the Triple A club. Williamson's comeback attempt resulted in runs allowed in three of five appearances for the Toledo Mud Hens. He hasn't pitched in the Majors since '07, but spent time last year with the Atlanta and Seattle Triple A clubs.
According to Danny Knobler, reliever Scott Williamson is close to a minor league deal with the Tigers. Knobler says the Brewers also had interest in Williamson, who pitched in Triple A for the Braves and Mariners last year. You have to look back to a 28.6 inning stint with Boston in '04 to find his last big league success.
Jeff Zrebiec's article for the Baltimore Sun this morning discusses the possibility that the Orioles start selling off veteran parts as we approach the trading deadline. He specifically names Scott Williamson, Corey Patterson, Jay Gibbons, and Steve Trachsel as trade candidates.
In a related note, Gotham Baseball's Mark Healey spoke to an industry source indicating that the Mets might be interested in trading for Williamson and Jay Payton.
Williamson makes $900K this year, with additional incentives based on his number of games. Patterson, a Scott Boras client, makes $4.3MM and is a free agent after the season. His terrible hitting this year will cost him what could've been a decent payday. The Gibbons contract is ugly: $5MM this year, $5.7MM in '08, and $6.2MM in '09. Trachsel earns $3.1MM this year plus a $4.75MM club option for '08. Finally, Payton makes $4.5MM this year and $5MM in '08.
The Orioles could really go nuts if they wanted to, dumping off contracts and veterans. Miguel Tejada, Melvin Mora, Kevin Millar, Ramon Hernandez, Danys Baez, Aubrey Huff, Chad Bradford, and Jamie Walker could be sent packing. If they were to commit to a rebuilding year in '08, the Orioles have players to fill almost any team's needs. Of course, trading all those vets would amount to admitting how many mistake contracts the Orioles have on the books.
Jason Schmidt has been offered $45 million over three years to join the Cubs. If that offer has been leaked already, $60M/4 seems within the realm of possibility. Strangely, Schmidt has already said he's not interested in the East Coast--you'd think he'd wait until Cashman made an offer and drove up his price before saying no. Once Schmidt signs, it'll be fun to watch Scott Boras conduct the sure-to-be-insane bidding for Barry Zito.
Some team (to be announced tonight) won the bidding for Kei Igawa for $25 million. Hanshin has accepted. That's the second largest posting fee ever--somebody must think Igawa is pretty good, definitely on the high side of the typical #3/#4 projection he's gotten. I'm guessing it's not the Cubs, or we wouldn't be hearing so much about the other pitchers they're after. That leaves plenty of other possibilities, though.
The Baltimore Orioles are continuing their quest to build the most expensive bullpen of all time: Chad Bradford is close to a three-year deal with them. Anybody think it's a little odd that the O's traded Chris Britton for a reclamation project and are now probably spending about $8M a year for Bradford and Danys Baez? (Odd? Yes. In character? Absolutely.)
And, this just in: the O's are also adding Scott Williamson. He's cheap--only $900K for the year. Oddly enough, he could be the best of their new additions. I'm a little surprised nobody else was willing to go higher for him on a one-year deal.
Many of you have emailed me about a possible Angels-White Sox trade involving Ervin Santana and Chone Figgins for Freddy Garcia and Joe Crede. As Rotoworld points out, this could be a recycled rumor; regardless, Kenny Williams says no. And there's no way Bill Stoneman deals Santana for Garcia without getting a lot more in return. Five years of a good pitcher under the team's control for one year of Garcia? Right.
By Jeff Sackmann
The Padres picked up 30 year-old reliever Scott Williamson from the Cubs today. In return the Cubs received some Class A pitchers: Fabian Jimenez Angulo and Joel Santo.
Santo was ranked 16th among Padres prospects coming into this season, while Angulo was not in the top 30.
Williamson is making $2MM this year. He was one of Jim Hendry's Tommy John rehab projects. This season, Williamson has dealt with a problem similar to tennis elbow. Speculation is that the Padres acquired Williamson to set up a trade of Scott Linebrink for a third baseman. The deal marks Jim Hendry's first with Kevin Towers.
Another day, another rumor roundup. Let's throw everything fresh into the mill.
The Orioles are thinking about taking on one of Philly's huge outfielder contracts, for some reason. I guess this could help next year's push for third place. Baltimore is one of baseball's most baffling teams to me. Abreu rumors have been floating around the Orioles since at least November.
The Cubs and Yankees may have something cooking, with Scott Williamson the likely candidate to be dealt. If the reliever market is really so inflated, why don't the Cubs trade Howry and Eyre?
The Pirates are offering up all sorts of non-difference makers, but Mike Gonzalez could actually get them something decent. The 28 year-old southpaw has a 2.27 ERA in 39 innings this season. Fantay leaguers should start thinking about Matt Capps as his successor.
Trade rumor All-Star Ken Rosenthal is getting into the game more lately, with a full plate of whisperings posted an hour ago. Jose Vidro could become a Giant, and the D'Backs would love to trade Shawn Green (of course).
Unfounded rumors: Billy Beane may be shopping Mark Ellis and Jason Windsor, with possible interest in Brian Roberts...the Angels could be after David Dellucci...teams are calling the Mets about Alay Soler...Dallas McPherson is definitely on the block...there's a decent chance Jon Lieber ends up a Yankee...the Mets and Nats are still talking about Livan Hernandez.
Mike Kiley of the Sun-Times notes that "Other teams are highly interested in Scott Williamson, as they have been all winter in trade talks with general manager Jim Hendry." In a separate article, Kiley quotes Jim Hendry saying that Matt Murton, Ronny Cedeno, and Rich Hill have been highly sought after as well.
Hill came up in talks for Barry Zito and a possible Miguel Tejada deal. As a 26 year-old, Hill is far past prospect status. Despite pitching college ball as late as 2002, he didn't pitch above A ball until 2005. Ridiculously high strikeout totals have been negated by massive walk totals. Hill finally got the walks down to an acceptable level in the minors in 2005. If his success continues in Iowa, it's likely he's dealt before the All-Star break.
Cedeno was mentioned in talks for Brad Wilkerson, but that was before the Dodgers signed Rafael Furcal. Missing out on him has taken away one of the Cubs' best trading chips, as they're now forced to rely on Cedeno as their starting shortstop. Concern has been expressed over Cedeno's hitting prior to 2005, but he may have turned a corner at age 22. He kept his contact rate near 90% and may be able to couple a .290 average with good defense. At this point, trading Cedeno makes very little sense.
Murton should be fairly expendable, as he may not project to hit for enough power to play left field regularly. He's a 24 year-old with a sweet swing and a good eye. The average National League left fielder hit .272/.348/.457 last year, and PECOTA projects Murton at .278/.339/.411 for 2006. Sure, there's room for growth, but the Cubs probably can't wait around for it with below average production at a power position. You might think of him as Rondell White without the health issues. He's better suited for a developing team like the Pirates or Royals.
Williamson does fit the win now mentality, and he's probably the one Cubs reliever with the potential to dominate. I would keep him around as closer insurance and not worry about having too many setup men. At $2MM something like his 2002 season would be spectacular (2.92 ERA in 74 innings). I can't see how the Cubs would get a more useful player in return unless perhaps it was to bolster their bench.