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Sean Burnett Rumors
The Mets are talking R.A. Dickey trades, the Marlins' highest-paid player wants out and the team is shopping its second-highest, and the Phillies have moved on to other outfielders with Angel Pagan off the board. More from around the NL East…
- Nationals GM Mike Rizzo does not "see a fit financially or term-wise" with free agent lefty Sean Burnett, he told reporters including Mark Zuckerman today, but he won't rule anything out as the team seeks a second lefty in the bullpen to pair with the newly re-signed Zach Duke.
- Braves GM Frank Wren spent part of the day talking to the agents of free agent bench candidates, tweets David O'Brien of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. O'Brien says the team is believed to have an offer out to bring back outfielder Reed Johnson.
- Wren told reporters including MLB.com's Mark Bowman that while no player is untouchable, shortstop Andrelton Simmons is "unreachable." Pitching prospects Julio Teheran and Randall Delgado aren't off-limits, but "if we’re going to trade one of those guys it’s going to be a significant deal," explained Wren.
- Joe Capozzi of the Palm Beach Post has more from Nolasco's agent Matt Sosnick, who explained that his client would "be a completely happier player playing somewhere else."
The Brewers are looking to make some additions to their pitching staff; here's the latest.
- GM Doug Melvin said he has talked to Gary Sheffield, who represents reliever Jason Grilli. He's also been in touch with Sean Burnett's agent (Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel reporting).
- Regarding the recent chatter that the Brewers are unwilling to do more than two years for a pitcher, Melvin quipped, "I'll do a 10-year deal if the money is right. $1 million a year."
- Despite mounting evidence that it won't happen, the Josh Hamilton rumor won't die. The Brewers "do appear to be involved at least to some degree," tweets Jon Heyman of CBS Sports. Asked whether the Brewers could get involved on Hamilton or Zack Greinke, Melvin said today, "No. It sounds like they're getting market value."
9:05am: The Angels are one of the eight teams interested in Burnett, according to Mike DiGiovanna of the Los Angeles Times (Twitter link), who classifies the team's interest as "serious."
4:07am: Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch has a rundown of the Cardinals' gameplan for the Winter Meetings, and within it he writes that St. Louis is one of at least eight teams to have reached out to lefty Sean Burnett.
Burnett figures to be the premier left-handed reliever available in this year's free agent crop now that Jeremy Affeldt has re-upped with the Giants on a three-year deal. Burnett's agent, Jim Munsey, recently refuted a report that his client was seeking a four-year deal.
The Brewers are said to be prioritizing left-handed relief this week, and the Nationals have made it known that they'd like Burnett to return for a fifth season. Burnett declined his half of a mutual option with the Nats last month in order to seek a multi-year free agent deal.
Here are the latest news and notes from the NL and AL Central divisions:
- Sources tell FOXSports.com's Jon Paul Morosi and Ken Rosenthal the Reds like Dexter Fowler and the Rockies like Homer Bailey. Now the question is whether their mutual interest crystallizes into trade discussions during the Winter Meetings.
- The Brewers are prioritizing a left-handed reliever with the available free agent possibilities including Sean Burnett, Randy Choate, Mike Gonzalez, J.P. Howell, and Tom Gorzelanny, tweets Morosi.
- Cubs officials have yet to confirm or comment on reports of their signing of Japanese closer Kyuji Fujikawa, writes Carrie Muskat of MLB.com. The Cubs, however, are willing to talk about their need for a third baseman, an outfielder, and pitching depth. Muskat adds the Cubs could re-sign third baseman Ian Stewart after non-tendering him on Friday.
- The White Sox and Phillies are the two most aggressive teams in pursuit of a third baseman, a source tells Dan Hayes of CSNChicago.com. Kevin Youkilis is the object of both team's pursuit. Hayes writes the Sox may have to move another high salary in order to afford Youkilis and floats the names of Jeff Keppinger, Mark Reynolds, and Eric Chavez as alternatives.
- The Pirates feel they are better equipped to restock their bullpen, despite the free agency of Jason Grilli and the recent trade of Chris Resop, and may be interested in turning closer Joel Hanrahan into a much needed starting pitcher, according to MLB.com's Tom Singer.
- The Twins plan to focus more on free agents than trades during the Winter Meetings, tweets Phil Mackey of 1500ESPN.com. The Twins have already dealt their best trade chip in Denard Span and plan on keeping Josh Willingham, writes Mackey in a separate piece.
Full Story | Comments | Categories: Chicago Cubs | Chicago White Sox | Cincinnati Reds | Colorado Rockies | Dexter Fowler | Eric Chavez | Homer Bailey | Ian Stewart | J.P. Howell | Jeff Keppinger | Joel Hanrahan | Josh Willingham | Kevin Youkilis | Kyuji Fujikawa | Mark Reynolds | Mike Gonzalez | Milwaukee Brewers | Minnesota Twins | Randy Choate | Sean Burnett | Tom Gorzelanny
In response to a rumor regarding free agent lefty reliever Sean Burnett seeking a four-year deal, agent Jim Munsey told MLBTR tonight, "Those words have never come out of my mouth nor Sean's. We are not seeking a four-year deal and it's crazy to hear such rumors out there. Complete fabrication by someone."
Munsey told MLBTR he's pleased with the amount of interest in his client, and looks forward to the free agent process playing out. Burnett, 30, is the top free agent lefty reliever on the market. I would expect Jeremy Affeldt's three-year, $18MM contract to be a point of reference in negotiations.
The latest on the Cardinals..
- The Cardinals aren’t interested in giving Sean Burnett a four-year deal, according to Derrick Goold of the Post-Dispatch (via Twitter).
- The Cardinals have interest in left-hander Sean Burnett, a source tells Bill Ladson of MLB.com (via Twitter). Burnett is looking to get a four-year deal but Ladson (Twitter link) doesn’t see the Nationals going beyond two. The reliever posted a 2.38 ERA with 9.1 K/9 and 1.9 BB/9 through 56.2 innings of work last season.
- Joe Strauss of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch (via Twitter) expects General Manager John Mozeliak to swing a trade at the Winter Meetings.
- Strauss adds also believes that the Cardinals will have interest in one of the recently non-tendered players (Twitter link). You can peruse the full list using MLBTR’s Non-Tender Tracker and look at the notable non-tendered players here.
On this date four years ago the Rockies officially sent Matt Holliday to the Athletics for a package of players including Carlos Gonzalez and Huston Street. The A's didn't get what they were hoping for in the deal, but Gonzalez has since become a cornerstone player for the Rockies. Here are today's links…
- The Orioles are indeed interested in Gomes, according to Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports (on Twitter).
- Before acquiring Chris Young from Arizona, the Athletics had extensive talks with free agent outfielder Jonny Gomes about a possible two-year deal, ESPN.com's Buster Olney reports (on Twitter). Olney suggests the Orioles could be a fit for Gomes now.
- Adam Kilgore of the Washington Post explains that Jeremy Affeldt could help set the market for Sean Burnett by agreeing to terms with the Giants. Both free agent left-handers have positioned themselves for multiyear deals.
- Free agent outfielder Josh Hamilton seems pretty risky to one NL executive who spoke with ESPN.com’s Jayson Stark (Twitter link). "He's going to break somebody's bank — and probably break somebody's heart," the person said.
Here's the latest from around the NL East…
- The Marlins are less likely to deal Josh Johnson this offseason than they are to deal him in the weeks leading up to the July trade deadline, a source tells Scott Lauber of the Boston Herald (Twitter link).
- Also on Johnson, there is "not much traction" between the Marlins and Red Sox about a possible trade for the Miami ace, tweets WEEI.com's Rob Bradford.
- The Marlins have hired Tino Martinez as their hitting coach, reports Adam Rubin of ESPN New York (via Twitter). The Red Sox were reportedly also considering Martinez as a candidate to become their new hitting coach.
- Martinez will be the Marlins' only hitting coach, as Juan C. Rodriguez of the South Beach Sun-Sentinel reports, though some other teams carry two hitting coaches on staff.
- Phillies GM Ruben Amaro tells Matt Gelb of the Philadelphia Inquirer that he'd "rather pay for the player than trade for the player" in order to hold onto the Phils' minor leaguers. "I'd rather spend money but it's not an unlimited pool to work with," Amaro said. "We have some flexibility. I guess I would anticipate our payroll being similar to last year."
- The Phillies aren't planning to trade high-priced talent like Cliff Lee in an attempt to save payroll dollars, Amaro tells Brian MacPherson of the Providence Journal. "There's a reason why they're high-priced — it's because they're good. I feel like we have a much better chance of winning with them than without them," Amaro said.
- Adam Kilgore of the Washington Post wonders if the Nationals and Zack Greinke could be a match this winter, given that the Nats almost acquired Greinke from the Royals two years ago.
- "What's not to like?" Nats GM Mike Rizzo rhetorically asked about Greinke today, tweets Amanda Comak of the Washington Times. Rizzo also said there are "five or six really intriguing starters" on the free agent market, tying into Comak's report from earlier today about the Nationals' "open-minded" search for pitching.
- Also from Comak (Twitter link), Rizzo said the Nationals want to add at least one left-handed reliever. The team has talked to both Sean Burnett and Mike Gonzalez and they'd like to bring both southpaws back in 2013. Burnett declined his mutual option last week but said he's like to stay in Washington, while Gonzalez is also open to returning, though up to 10 teams are reportedly interested in him.
Adam LaRoche and Sean Burnett declined their mutual options and are now free agents, Adam Kilgore of the Washington Post reports. The Nationals exercised their side of the $10MM mutual option on LaRoche's contract and the $3.5MM mutual option on Burnett's contract.
Both LaRoche and Burnett have said they'd like to stay in Washington. The Nationals retain exclusive negotiating rights for all of their free agents, including LaRoche and Burnett, until Saturday morning. Neither player gets a contract buyout in this case (it would have been $1MM for LaRoche and $250K for Burnett if the Nationals had declined).
LaRoche and the Nationals established some parameters for an extension last week, but haven't been in recent contact about a potential deal. Burnett hits the market as a candidate for a multiyear deal at a time that teams such as the Dodgers and Cardinals figure to seek left-handed relief.
Sean Burnett's contract with the Nationals contains a $3.5MM mutual option for the 2013 season, but the left-hander is expected to decline his portion in hopes of securing a multi-year deal, according to MLB.com's Bill Ladson. Burnett's decision doesn't necessarily spell the end of his time with the Nats. His "first priority," writes Ladson, is to return to the Nationals on a new contract.
Burnett signed a two-year, $3.95MM extension with Washington in December of 2010. He rewarded general manager Mike Rizzo with 113 1/3 innings of 3.10 ERA ball to go along with a 7.1 K/9, 2.6 BB/9 and also picked up six saves. He was particularly effective this past season, tallying a 2.38 ERA with career-best marks of 9.1 K/9, 1.9 BB/9 and a 57.4 percent ground-ball rate. Since the beginning of the 2011 season, only eight left-handers have topped Burnett's 139 relief appearances.
Burnett could look to multi-year deals given out to left-handed relievers over the past several years, perhaps targeting something in the two-year, $8-9MM range. Fellow southpaws Javier Lopez ($8.5MM), Pedro Feliciano ($8MM) and Hisanori Takahashi ($8MM) all signed for similar totals. Burnett could also look to recent extensions for Sean Marshall (three years, $16.5MM) and Glen Perkins (three years, $10.3MM), though Burnett hasn't been as dominant as either of that pair.
Burnett was originally acquired from the Pirates along with Nyjer Morgan in a trade that sent Joel Hanrahan and Lastings Milledge to the Buccos. If and when Burnett declines his option, the Nationals will not have to pay him the $250K buyout they hold over their own half of the option.
Should he decides to entertain offers from other teams, the 30-year-old Burnett's combination of youth, effectiveness and durability will make him one of the top southpaw relievers on the free agent market.