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Shane Victorino Rumors
Shane Victorino would like to re-sign with the Dodgers when he hits free agency this coming offseason. But if there isn’t room in Los Angeles’ starting outfield, he won’t be back. The 31-year-old switch-hitter told Dylan Hernandez of the LA Times that he has no intention of returning as a bench player.
"Are you crazy?" Victorino said. "I'm not even thinking about stepping back. Why would I? I'm 31 years old. . . . I'm going to be an everyday play, whether it be here, whether it be Philly, whether it be any uniform."
Los Angeles seemed like a possible long-term fit for Victorino when he was acquired from the Phillies before the non-waiver trade deadline. The Dodgers have since acquired Carl Crawford, who’s under contract through 2017. However, Crawford recently underwent Tommy John surgery, so he might not be ready for the beginning of the 2013 season.
Victorino, who lives in Las Vegas, said he likes what the Dodgers are doing and would consider re-signing with the team if there’s interest on both sides. "Anything can happen,” he told Hernandez.
The Indians have lost nine games in a row, but they don’t plan on reacting to their struggles by making a managerial change. General manager Chris Antonetti said Manny Acta will return as the team's manager in 2013, Paul Hoynes of the Cleveland Plain Dealer reports (on Twitter). The team already exercised Acta's 2013 option last September. Here are today’s links…
- Shane Victorino hasn't been with the Dodgers long, but he'd like to stay there long-term, in part because of the proximity to his parents in Hawaii and family home in Las Vegas, writes ESPN's Mark Saxon.
- The Dodgers and Angels could bid against one another for Zack Greinke when the right-hander hits free agency this coming offseason, ESPN.com’s Buster Olney writes. The Angels intend to keep Greinke, and the Dodgers are prepared to spend on elite pitching, as evidenced by their claim of Cliff Lee.
- Olney points out that Kyle Lohse is positioning himself for a solid free agent contract, and suggests he could approach Mark Buehrle’s four-year, $58MM contract. Lohse is older than Buehrle and doesn’t have the same history of durability, so I will personally be surprised if Lohse gets a four-year deal or an annual salary of $14MM.
- Matt Kemp, Carlos Gonzalez and Andrew McCutchen provide their respective teams with considerable value, relative to their contracts, but Evan Longoria has the most team-friendly contract in MLB, Yahoo's Jeff Passan writes (Passan's not considering pre-arbitration eligible players). The Rays announced that they will activate Longoria from the disabled list for tomorrow’s game.
- The Nationals announced that they agreed to sign four international free agents: right-hander Ramses Rosario and outfielders Aldrem Corredor, Darryl Florentino and Luis Guzman.
The Phillies traded Hunter Pence and Shane Victorino this morning and the Marlins followed up those moves by trading Gaby Sanchez and Edward Mujica later in the day. The Braves welcomed new acquisitions Paul Maholm and Reed Johnson to Atlanta, but deadline day was relatively quiet for the Mets and Nationals. Here are the latest notes from the NL East…
- The Phillies are slightly under the luxury tax limit following today’s trades, GM Ruben Amaro told reporters, including Matt Gelb of the Philadelphia Inquirer (Twitter link). The Phillies opened the season with a $172MM payroll, and the MLB luxury tax affects teams that spend more than $178MM.
- At one point the Phillies considered trading Hunter Pence, obtaining a center fielder, and re-signing Shane Victorino for right field, Danny Knobler of CBSSports.com reports (on Twitter). Instead, the Dodgers acquired Victorino, and the Giants traded for Pence.
- Marlins right-hander Josh Johnson drew interest from the Rangers, Red Sox, Blue Jays, Reds and others, but Miami kept him, Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports writes (on Twitter).
- GM Mike Rizzo said the Nationals made all their splashy moves this past winter, Adam Kilgore of the Washington Post reports. "We like who we are, and we like where we’re at and we like the composition of the roster,” Rizzo said.
Shane Victorino is returning to the organization that drafted him in 1999. The Dodgers acquired Victorino from the Phillies today for starting pitching prospect Ethan Martin and reliever Josh Lindblom, according to Yahoo's Tim Brown (Twitter link). The deal has been officially announced by both teams, and the Phillies also received a player to be named later or cash considerations. It's been another active summer for Dodgers GM Ned Colletti, who also acquired Hanley Ramirez, Randy Choate, and Brandon League this month.
Victorino, 31, has $3.3MM remaining on his contract and will be eligible for free agency after the season. The center fielder has a .261/.324/.401 line in 431 plate appearances for the Phillies this year. It seems likely he'll play left field for the Dodgers, despite less than 200 career innings at that position. For the Phillies, Domonic Brown will come up to play left field with John Mayberry Jr. becoming the regular center fielder.
The Flyin' Hawaiian was drafted by the Dodgers in the sixth round in 1999. Former Dodgers GMs Dan Evans and Paul DePodesta let him go twice in the Rule 5 draft, claiming him back from the Padres the first time in '03 but not from the Phillies in '05. Victorino went on to become a star for the Phils, snagging three Gold Gloves, two All-Star appearances, and even some MVP votes in his time with the club. With the team's surprising last place performance this season, Victorino was dealt to a contender a few months prior to free agency. The Reds, Orioles, and Giants had also reportedly been in the mix. The Dodgers announced they've designated lefty Michael Antonini to open a 40-man roster spot for Victorino.
Martin, the Dodgers' first-round draft pick from 2008, owns a 3.58 ERA, 8.5 K/9, 4.7 BB/9, and 0.38 HR/9 in 118 Double-A innings this year. Drafted as a raw high schooler, Baseball America ranked Martin 17th on their Dodgers prospect list prior to the season. They wrote that Martin "maintains the ceiling of a No. 2 starter but has a long way to go."
Lindblom, 25, has a 3.02 ERA, 8.1 K/9, 3.4 BB/9, 1.70 HR/9, and 38% groundball rate in 47 2/3 relief innings this year, so he's had some issues with the longball. He doesn't have much big league service time, and is technically under team control through 2017. Drafted in the second round in '08, Lindblom was once considered one of the team's top prospects. Lindblom was made more expendable by the Dodgers' acquisition of League from the Mariners last night.
Photo courtesy of US Presswire/Robert Mayer. Jon Heyman first reported a deal was very likely.
- A Dodgers-Victorino trade is looking very likely, tweets Heyman. ESPN's Jayson Stark tweets that the Dodgers are close to acquiring Victorino for Lindblom and a second player. Another sign a deal is imminent: outfielder Domonic Brown was scratched from today's Triple-A game and will be joining the Phillies in Washington, D.C., tweets Matt Gelb of the Philadelphia Inquirer.
- The Dodgers are in serious talks for Victorino, reports Heyman. The Phillies have been asking for relievers.
- The Reds and Phillies have ceased talks on Victorino and Juan Pierre, tweets Jon Heyman of CBS Sports, putting the Dodgers in a good position for Victorino.
- Potential Phillies target Josh Lindblom became more expendable for the Dodgers after the team acquired Brandon League from the Mariners, wrote Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports early this morning. Lindblom, 25, has a 3.02 ERA, 8.1 K/9, 3.4 BB/9, 1.70 HR/9, and 38% groundball rate in 47 2/3 relief innings this year, so he's had some issues with the longball.
Earlier today, Yahoo's Jeff Passan wrote that the Phillies haven't shopped center fielder Shane Victorino nearly as aggressively as right fielder Hunter Pence, even though Victorino will be eligible for free agency after the season and Pence is under team control for 2013. The latest on the Phillies' outfielders:
- The Dodgers and Reds seem to be the last two Victorino suitors remaining, ESPN.com's Jerry Crasnick tweets.
- The Giants are discussing Pence, but not Victorino, Jerry Crasnick of ESPN.com reports (on Twitter).
- The Reds still want a leadoff hitter and Victorino has been their top target, Danny Knobler of CBSSports.com reports. The Reds don't like the Phillies' asking price for Victorino, and their interest in Pierre seems to have been exaggerated, Knobler writes.
- The Dodgers are more likely to acquire Victorino, but they're also in on Pence, reports Jon Heyman of CBS Sports.
- The Reds appear to be zeroing in on Pierre, writes ESPN's Jayson Stark. He says the Dodgers look like the frontrunner on Victorino, while teams that have checked in on Pence believe the Phillies will wait until the offseason.
- The Phillies' asking price on Victorino is outrageous, an executive of one team tells Jon Heyman of CBS Sports.
- The Orioles have interest in Victorino, Pence, and Juan Pierre, tweets Dan Connolly of the Baltimore Sun, who notes Pierre is the best fit cost-wise. The Reds have quietly evaluated Pierre as a possible target since June, tweets ESPN's Buster Olney, and USA Today's Bob Nightengale says the Reds' coaching staff loves him.
- The Pirates did not seem alive on Victorino as of late last night, tweeted Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports. The Giants, Reds, and Dodgers have been named as other potential suitors for the 31-year-old. Victorino is hitting .261/.324/.401 in 431 plate appearances this year.
- The Phillies have pushed Pence but want a big return, tweets Jim Salisbury of CSNPhilly.com. Salisbury says most interest is on Victorino and starter Joe Blanton.
Yahoo's Jeff Passan posted his latest information in an early-morning column; here are a few highlights.
- Passan already noted that the Red Sox contacted the Braves and Rangers shopping Josh Beckett; in this article he mentions that the Sox shopped Beckett in the offseason as well. WEEI's Rob Bradford also reports Beckett discussions between the Red Sox and Rangers and that Boston has engaged other clubs on the righty. This morning, Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports tweeted that the Red Sox talked to a handful of teams that inquired about their starting pitching, including Beckett, but a trade is unlikely. ESPN's Buster Olney also considers a Beckett trade unlikely.
- The Marlins are far more concerned about their club beyond 2013 as opposed to 2013 itself, executives who have inquired on Josh Johnson told Passan. Those sources say the Marlins plan to cut payroll next year, after this year's franchise high, and thus seek cheap, young players.
- The Padres expect to decide today whether they'll trade third baseman Chase Headley this month, a source tells Passan. Headley, who is under team control through 2014, projects to earn $6.1MM for '13, according to MLBTR contributor Matt Swartz. The Padres are growing more leery of trading Headley, writes Joel Sherman of the New York Post, a sentiment we've been seeing the last several days from other reports. Sherman does not believe there was much life to talks between the Yankees and Padres about Headley.
- The Phillies haven't shopped Shane Victorino nearly as aggressively as Hunter Pence, writes Passan. Swartz projects Pence at $14.3MM for 2013.
The Phillies entered this weekend needing to perform well in a critical series against the division rival Braves. Instead, they were swept and now appear to be in the position to sell off several pieces. ESPN's Buster Olney tweets that the Phillies could be baseball's "most active sellers" in the next two days, and that they've laid the groundwork for several trades. Olney's colleague Jayson Stark hears from several teams that the Phillies could make 2-3 trades prior to Tuesday's deadline, though they've yet to officially declare themselves sellers (Twitter link).
CSNPhilly.com's Jim Salisbury agrees that selling is likely, and runs down several of the possibilities for the Phillies in the coming days. Salisbury writes that Shane Victorino is the "most likely" Phillie to be dealt, and lists the Giants, Pirates, Reds and Dodgers as possible destinations for Victorino. Interest in Victorino was said to be "heating up" as recently as yesterday.
The Reds have also inquired on Juan Pierre, and both the Orioles and Cardinals are potential destinations for Joe Blanton according to Salisbury. He also says that Hunter Pence could be moved if GM Ruben Amaro Jr. is blown away by an offer, and speculates that Ty Wigginton would fit on several teams looking for bench help.
Salisbury reiterates that the Phillies are likely to keep Cliff Lee for the time being, although he could be shopped this offseason in an attempt to fill multiple holes.
Marlins outfielder Logan Morrison could miss the rest of the season, Clark Spencer of the Miami Herald reports (on Twitter). Miami placed Morrison on the 15-day disabled list with right knee inflammation earlier today. Here are some more NL East links…
- The Phillies may start a partial sale after two consecutive losses to the Braves, Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com reports (on Twitter). Shane Victorino, Juan Pierre and Joe Blanton could be moved.
- There's interest in Scott Hairston, but the Mets may value him more than his potential suitors do, Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports writes (on Twitter). The Mets see the value of finishing strong and Hairston could help them over the course of the season's final two months.
- Teams are expressing zero interest in left-hander Tim Byrdak, a Mets person tells Andy Martino of the New York Daily News (Twitter link). The 38-year-old has a 4.76 ERA with 9.8 K/9 and 5.7 BB/9 in an NL-leading 53 appearances this year.
- The Mets haven't been impressed by offers for Daniel Murphy, Martino reports (on Twitter). "We're not trading Murphy for a reliever," a Mets person told Martino.
The results of Josh Johnson’s start against the Padres and Roy Halladay’s start against the Braves could have major consequences for the trade market, ESPN.com’s Jayson Stark writes. More than a dozen scouts are on hand to watch Johnson pitch in Miami today, while Halladay is attempting to prevent the Braves from sweeping the Phillies out of town and, possibly, out of the playoff mix. Here are the details from Stark:
- MLB executives are wary of Johnson’s past shoulder troubles, his career-high ERA and his diminishing fastball velocity, but no other available starter has his kind of stuff. The Marlins continue to look for a “dream package” for Johnson and they’re prepared to keep him if no club meets their asking price, Stark reports.
- The Rangers seem especially cautious about Johnson, but they have people watching his start today. The Marlins told the Rangers they aren’t interested in discussing a trade unless Mike Olt is involved, yet the Rangers haven’t been willing to make Olt available.
- As of last night, the Phillies were telling clubs they haven’t decided how they’ll approach the deadline. They’ve likely done enough talking to trade Shane Victorino, Joe Blanton, Juan Pierre and Ty Wigginton in short order if necessary, Stark writes.
- The Phillies continue dangling Hunter Pence, but seem intent on waiting until the offseason to start serious trade discussions.
- Philadelphia could keep its trade chips for now and make moves in August, when players have to be placed on waivers to be dealt.