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Seth Smith Rumors
8:46pm: Smith will earn $2.415MM, MLBTR's Tim Dierkes has learned.
Smith, 29, was eligible for arbitration for the first time. The outfielder has been a productive offensive player thus far in his career, posting a .275/.348/.485 line in 1,449 plate appearances. The left-handed hitter is well above average against righties (.290/.364/.518) but struggles mightily against southpaws (.202/.269/.319), so he's best deployed in a platoon.
Smith, a second-round pick of the Rox in 2004, was projected by MLBTR's Matt Swartz to earn $2.6MM through arbitration.
Exactly one year ago, the Rays and Cubs finalized an eight-player deal that sent Matt Garza to Chicago. 365 days later, Garza is on the block again, though so far teams have balked at the Cubs' asking price. Could Garza be back in the AL East before Opening Day? While we wait to find out, here are a few links from the division:
- Although we heard in recent weeks that Tampa Bay was interested in Rockies' outfielder Seth Smith, the Rays may not have held onto Smith had they acquired him. According to Buster Olney of ESPN.com (Insider link), one deal discussed earlier in the winter involved the Rays trading for Smith and flipping him to the Reds in exchange for catcher Ryan Hanigan.
- Newsday's Ken Davidoff explains why the Yankees haven't made a move for one of the top starting pitchers (including Garza) available via free agency or trade.
- Roch Kubatko of MASNSports.com looks into the Orioles' search for a designated hitter.
- Check out this morning's Red Sox notes here and last night's AL East notes here.
Rockies outfielder Seth Smith remains a coveted trade chip, though the Braves’ interest in him has cooled, Troy Renck of the Denver Post reported yesterday. The Rockies would like to trade Smith for a back-of-the-rotation starter or a second baseman, Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports writes.
The Rays are not in the hunt for Smith, though the Rockies covet Wade Davis and Jeff Niemann, Renck reported. The Athletics and Mariners have interest in Smith, according to Rosenthal, who reported along with Jon Paul Morosi last month that the Mets have expressed interest as well. Rosenthal now adds the Indians and Red Sox to the list of teams that have shown at least some interest in Smith.
Smith, a left-handed hitter, posted a .284/.347/.483 line with 15 homers in 533 plate appearances this past season, playing left and right field. MLBTR contributor Matt Swartz estimates a 2012 salary of $2.6MM for the 29-year-old via the arbitration process. He’ll remain under team control through 2014.
Links for Thursday night, starting with a pair of notes on the offseason's top remaining free agent…
- The Nationals appear to be a leading suitor for Prince Fielder, but first baseman Adam LaRoche told MLB.com’s Bill Ladson that he won’t hold grudges if he’s not a part of Washington’s plans for 2012. “Hopefully, I'll be a part of it. If not, that's life," he said.
- If the Mariners are serious about making Fielder a competitive offer without hamstringing the organization, they could propose a backloaded seven-year, $155MM deal that includes an opt-out after three years, Dave Cameron of U.S.S. Mariner explains.
- ESPN.com’s Jerry Crasnick suggests the Marlins are convinced Javier Vazquez is retiring (Twitter link). Miami rounded out its rotation today, obtaining the unpredictable Carlos Zambrano for Chris Volstad.
- Angels infielder Mark Trumbo says the stress fracture in his right foot is taking longer than expected to heal and that his rehabilitation will likely extend to late February, according to Mike DiGiovanna of the LA Times.
- The Braves’ interest in Rockies outfielder Seth Smith has cooled, according to Troy Renck of the Denver Post. The Rays, who had interest in Smith earlier in the offseason, are not in the hunt any longer, Renck writes.
- The Rockies aren’t actively pursuing Braves right-hander Jair Jurrjens, though they continue to monitor the market for starting pitching, according to Renck.
- The Mets continue to look for a shortstop to back up Ruben Tejada, according to Andy Martino of the New York Daily News. They brought Omar Quintanilla in on a minor league deal this week, but the move doesn’t necessarily eliminate the need for shortstop depth. Jack Wilson and Ryan Theriot have been linked to the Mets this offseason.
It’s been a quiet day from a transactions standpoint, but we’ve got some late night links to pass along as Tuesday turns into Wednesday…
- The Rockies have some interest in free agent infielder Ryan Theriot, according to Troy Renck of the Denver Post (Twitter links). The Rockies are considering many options at second base and there’s no indication that the team is seriously pursuing Theriot at the moment, but it’s the first time he’s been linked to Colorado since the Cardinals non-tendered him earlier this month.
- It’s “very likely” that the Rockies will trade Seth Smith before Opening Day, Renck writes.
- Athletics managing partner Lew Wolff told Jane Lee and Barry M. Bloom of MLB.com that the club isn't any closer to moving to San Jose to his knowledge. "We're still looking for a 'yes' or 'no' answer," he said. USA Today recently reported that the A’s may soon obtain permission to move.
- Free agent infielder Omar Vizquel suggested on Twitter that he wouldn't consider signing with the Mets. The 44-year-old has indicated that he would be interested in signing with the Giants.
- Billionaire Steven Cohen is bidding for the Dodgers, according to Bill Shaikin of the LA Times. Agent Arn Tellem and former deputy commissioner Steve Greenberg are allies with Cohen, who has already met with some MLB owners, according to Shaikin.
Six years ago today, the Diamondbacks officially traded third baseman Troy Glaus and shortstop prospect Sergio Santos to the Blue Jays for righty Miguel Batista and second baseman Orlando Hudson. Josh Byrnes and J.P. Ricciardi were the respective GMs. Glaus' retirement came with little fanfare despite 320 career home runs and four All-Star Game appearances. Santos eventually found his way to the White Sox, who helped him become a successful reliever and recently traded him back to Toronto. Batista is a 40-year-old free agent with 101 career wins to his name. Hudson, a four-time Gold Glove winner, is a trade candidate for the Padres, the team Byrnes now heads up. Ricciardi now serves as a special assistant to Mets GM Sandy Alderson, who appears to have interest in re-signing Batista.
MLBTR was less than two months old at the time of the Glaus trade; you can read my paragraph on it here. Back then the site was a one-man show with gray text against a black background, and Twitter did not exist. We've come a long way! On to today's links…
- Carlos Beltran offered to sign with the Yankees for the same two-year, $26MM deal he ultimately signed with St. Louis, tweets Jon Heyman of CBS Sports. Adds Heyman, "Like seven years ago, they declined."
- Reliever Manny Corpas, who agreed to a non-guaranteed split contract with the Cubs, has a $1MM base salary while in the bigs with another potential $1MM in incentives, tweets Heyman.
- The Mets sent R.A. Dickey's agent a letter to warn that they can void his contract if he's injured climbing Mount Kilimanjaro in January, writes Brian Costa of the Wall Street Journal. As GM Sandy Alderson noted, that hasn't dissuaded the 37-year-old knuckleballer.
- The Rockies' interest in Cody Ross is based on whether they trade Seth Smith, writes ESPN's Buster Olney.
- Yahoo's Jeff Passan looks at the 2012-13 free agent class, writing, "What the class lacks in breadth up top it makes up for in depth." We've got the full list here. The potentially available young starting pitching looks deep in theory, but we'll see which of Matt Cain, Cole Hamels, Zack Greinke, Anibal Sanchez, and Brandon McCarthy are extended.
Saturday: The talks between the Rockies and Braves that centered upon Seth Smith going to Atlanta and Martin Prado heading to Colorado have gone cold, writes Thomas Harding of MLB.com. However, the Braves still appear to be interested in acquiring Smith.
Thursday: Seth Smith is drawing interest from the Athletics, Rays, Mariners, Braves and Mets, according to Ken Rosenthal and Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports. The Reds have also been linked to Smith this offseason and are looking for a left fielder, though Rosenthal and Morosi don't mention Cincinnati. The Rockies can afford to part with Smith, as they already have outfielders Carlos Gonzalez, Dexter Fowler, Michael Cuddyer and Tyler Colvin.
GM Dan O'Dowd would likely look for MLB-ready pitching or a second baseman for Smith, Rosenthal and Morosi write. Smith, a left-handed hitter, posted a .284/.347/.483 line with 15 homers in 533 plate appearances this past season, playing left and right field. MLBTR contributor Matt Swartz estimates a 2012 salary of $2.6MM for the 29-year-old via the arbitration process.
Ed Wade is heading back to the NL East after four years in Houston. Here are more links from the division, starting with Wade’s longtime team…
- Mark DeRosa says he's interested in playing for the Nationals, according to MLB.com's Bill Ladson (Twitter links). However, other teams are interested and DeRosa is not close to making a decision.
- Phillies GM Ruben Amaro Jr. says he's comfortable heading into Spring Training with the team he has, according to Paul Hagen of MLB.com. The Phillies have already made major free agent signings, added complementary players such as Laynce Nix, Jim Thome and Dontrelle Willis and signed players to minor league deals, as our Free Agent Tracker shows.
- Those who know Cole Hamels doubt he would give the Phillies much of a discount on a potential extension, according to Tyler Kepner of the New York Times. The 27-year-old John Boggs & Associates client posted a 2.79 ERA with 8.1 K/9, 1.8 BB/9 and a 52.3% ground ball rate in 215 innings this past season. He's set to hit free agency after the 2012 season (MLBTR contributor Matt Swartz projects a $14MM salary for Hamels in his final season of arbitration eligibility).
- Adam Rubin of ESPNNewYork.com shows that the Mets already have a projected payroll in the $90MM range. GM Sandy Alderson has suggested the team's payroll could be less than $100MM, so the Mets may not have much offseason shopping remaining.
- The Mets are interested in catcher Luis Martinez, who was designated for assignment by the Padres on Sunday, according to Mike Puma of the New York Post (on Twitter). The 26-year-old hit .203/.309/.305 in 68 plate appearances with the Padres this past season.
- The Braves and Rockies have continued discussing a possible deal that would send Seth Smith to Atlanta for Martin Prado, according to MLB.com's Thomas Harding. The Braves appear to be seeing what they can get for Jair Jurrjens first, however. Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports examined possible suitors for Smith earlier today, including the Braves despite their preference for a right-handed hitter.
The Mets aren't actively shopping Jonathon Niese, and despite an earlier report that they were interested in trading him for a package around Rockies outfielder Seth Smith, they have "zero interest" in such a deal according to ESPN's Jerry Crasnick (in these four tweets).
New York would have to be "knocked out" to trade Niese, who is not yet arbitration eligible and owns 286 strikeouts and 106 walks in 331 innings over the past two seasons. His ERA is a pedestrian 4.30 in that time, though his 49.5% groundball rate and advanced metrics like FIP (3.75) and SIERA (3.67) tell a different story.
At the Winter Meetings, we heard that the Mets would be willing to move any player other than David Wright, and several teams showed interest in the 25-year-old Niese, viewing him as a potentially cheaper alternative to Gio Gonzalez. Reports since then say that there have been "no significant talks," however, and Crasnick's strong words suggest that Niese won't be easy to acquire at all.
- Jonathon Niese "is believed to be available in a package built around" Rockies outfielder Seth Smith, reports Tracy Ringolsby of FOX Sports. Smith's name has been whispered in the trade rumors all winter and he could be even more expendable now that Colorado has agreed to terms with Michael Cuddyer. The Mets hadn't had any "significant" talks about Niese, though the Rockies were known to be one of the several teams interested in the young southpaw.
- Rockies GM Dan O'Dowd "is having a very good winter. If he can add another strong arm or two, he has a chance at a great winter," writes Scott Miller for CBSSports.com. Miller also examines how Cuddyer's clubhouse presence was an important factor in the Rockies' decision to sign him.
- The Padres have the payroll space to trade for an available slugger like Carlos Quentin, writes Ken Rosenthal and Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports. With free agent hitters wary of coming to Petco Park, the trade market is San Diego's best avenue for finding a bat, Rosenthal/Morosi note. They also mention Quentin's past with Padres GM Josh Byrnes in Arizona, though it was Byrnes who dealt Quentin to the White Sox in 2007 when Byrnes was the Diamondbacks' general manager.
- There is no risk of Frank McCourt trying to keep ownership the Dodgers, reports Bill Shaikin of the Los Angeles Times. Doing so "would put hundreds of millions of dollars at risk to try a 'hail Mary' strategy," Shaikin writes.
- Padres owner Jeff Moorad should speed up his purchase of the team from John Moores, opines Tim Sullivan of the San Diego Union-Tribune.