Shane Victorino Rumors
Agreeing to sign Mike Napoli doesn't take the Red Sox out of the running for Nick Swisher, according to Jon Heyman of CBS Sports, who says (via Twitter) that the Sox remain in talks with Swisher. Cody Ross and Shane Victorino also remain on Boston's radar, though the team is likely out of the running for Adam LaRoche, tweets ESPN.com's Jayson Stark.
The Red Sox were said on Friday to be one of a number of clubs that has spoken to Swisher's representatives. However, both Swisher and the Red Sox are considering their options, tweets Scott Miller of CBS Sports. Scott Lauber of the Boston Herald adds (via Twitter) that Boston's pursuit of Swisher had been moving slowly, though that could change now that the team has locked up Napoli.
Buster Olney of ESPN.com (Twitter link) believes the market for Swisher could become much clearer once Josh Hamilton signs. If Hamilton leaves Texas, Swisher could be a good fit with the Rangers, says Olney.
MLBTR is providing 24-hour coverage of the Winter Meetings for the fourth straight year. I'll once again be handling overnight duties for the following four nights to keep track of late-breaking and crack-of-dawn news and rumors. Here's the latest from around the league...
- There is a "growing sense" that the Nationals and Adam LaRoche will get a new contract worked out, writes Peter Abraham of the Boston Globe. That transaction would make Michael Morse expendable, which would explain reports that the Nats and Rays are discussing Morse in a trade.
- The Marlins figure to be observers at this year's Winter Meetings, writes Clark Spencer of the Miami Herald. The team is likely to pursue bullpen options and bench depth.
- The Giants are still interested in Shane Victorino as a fallback option in the event that they are unable to re-sign Angel Pagan, tweets John Shea of the San Francisco Chronicle.
- Giants general manager Brian Sabean told Shea that the team isn't in on any "high-ticket items" (Twitter link). As Shea notes, that should rule out Michael Bourn. I wonder if Sabean is also including Nick Swisher, who has been linked to the Giants, in that description.
- Delmon Young might wait until January to sign, tweets Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports. Young is recovering from ankle surgery and wants to be healthy in his auditions for new teams.
- Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel reports that Brewers general manager Doug Melvin isn't inclined to go beyond two years in deals for free agent pitchers (Twitter link).
- John Lannan will be a popular name among teams in need of starting pitching depth, and the Twins are expected to kick the tires, according to Phil Mackey of 1500 ESPN (on Twitter). The Nationals non-tendered the 28-year-old southpaw on Friday.
Here's a look at some news out of the AL and NL West..
- The Dodgers are letting teams know that shortstop Dee Gordon is available, tweets Bob Nightengale of the USA Today. Gordon could represent a fallback option for teams who lose out on Stephen Drew. Earlier today, we learned five teams are in on Drew.
- The Giants are looking for a center fielder and are talking to Michael Bourn, Angel Pagan, and Shane Victorino, tweets CBSSports.com's Jon Heyman.
- The Angels are aren't acting like they're confident of landing Zack Greinke, writes Mike DiGiovanna of the Los Angeles Times. The Angels seem to be trolling for much cheaper starting pitching options like Ryan Dempster and Shaun Marcum, as opposed to Anibal Sanchez and Kyle Lohse.
- The Dodgers' shopping list includes Greinke, a fourth outfielder that can play center, and a backup corner infielder, according to MLB.com's Ken Gurnick. Gurnick also says negotiations continue with lefty reliever Randy Choate.
- Padres GM Josh Byrnes doesn't expect to be very busy during the Winter Meetings, reports Bill Center of the San Diego Union-Tribune. "I expect to do one thing, maybe two," said Byrnes. "I’m not expecting to do a lot. We’re filling the holes, not roster reshaping." The Padres are looking for starting pitching and have depth at the corner outfield slots, in the bullpen, and at middle infield. The names most often mentioned as possible trade chips, according to Center, are Luke Gregerson, Joe Thatcher, and Jesus Guzman.
- The Rangers are interested in talking with the Mets about R.A. Dickey at the Winter Meetings this week, a source tells T.R. Sullivan of MLB.com. The Rangers aren't alone in having interest in the knuckleballer as the Mets have taken calls from six or seven teams looking to swing a trade. The Mets are expected to look for outfield help and catching in a deal.
- The Rockies are considering a run at left-hander Daniel Schlereth as they look to improve their bullpen, according to Thomas Harding of MLB.com. The 26-year-old became a free agent this week when he was non-tendered by the Tigers.
- The Rockies are looking to restore their rotation, but not rebuild it entirely, writes Patrick Saunders of The Denver Post. The club will look to bolster their starting five with a veteran presence and they are known to have interest in free agent right-hander Kevin Correia.
Edward Creech contributed to this post.
The Winter Meetings begin shortly at the Gaylord Opryland in Nashville. ESPN's Buster Olney, in an Insider-only post, writes past Winter Meetings have been dominated by free agent signings, but some GMs say there is more groundwork laid for possible trades this year than they can remember in the recent past. Here are some of the storylines that could play out this week, according to Olney:
- If Olney was Rangers' GM Jon Daniels, he would go all out to sign Zack Greinke and then trade some surplus pitching for offense.
- Some rival officials remain convinced the Diamondbacks will eventually trade Justin Upton, whose contract ($38.5MM due over the next three years) has become more attractive in the wake of his brother's deal with the Braves.
- The Indians have set the bar high in their demands for Asdrubal Cabrera and Shin-Soo Choo. "Time will tell on whether they've lowered (the asking prices)," said a rival GM.
- The most likely of the Rays' established starting pitchers to be dealt is Jeremy Hellickson. On paper, the best matchup appears to be the Padres.
- The Reds are looking to acquire a leadoff hitter and could target Dexter Fowler.
- The Phillies continue to push on Angel Pagan. If Pagan signs with Philadelphia, the Giants could look to Shane Victorino, who is looking for $9-10MM annually.
- The Pirates have let other teams know that closer Joel Hanrahan is available and they are looking for starting pitching.
- In a separate tweet, Olney says the perception among rival executives is the signing of David Wright makes it much easier for the Mets to trade R.A. Dickey without fear of a PR backlash.
- Nate Schierholtz received calls from nine teams within the first 12 hours of being non-tendered with the Yankees in the mix and the Rays also a good fit (Twitter links).
In today's Insider-only blog post, ESPN's Buster Olney says David Price is available right now for the right offer. Rival executives are convinced the reigning Cy Young Award winner will be traded in the next 13 months as his salary through arbitration becomes prohibitive for the Rays. Here are the rest of Buster's rumors...
- The Rays and Price are not close to working out a long-term contract extension.
- The Mets increased their offer to R.A. Dickey, but it's unclear how close the two sides are to a deal.
- Olney speculates that the non-tendered Nate Schierholtz could be a fit for the Yankees, who are looking for a right fielder to replace Nick Swisher.
- The Mariners have money to spend, but it appears they will have to overpay to land any premium free agents.
- Last night we learned the Phillies are pursuing Angel Pagan, and Olney clarifies (on Twitter) that the two sides have been talking for weeks.
- If the Giants don't re-sign Pagan, Olney says (on Twitter) they would seriously consider signing Shane Victorino.
- Scott Kazmir is pitching in winter ball and teams have already started to show interest in the 28-year-old left-hander, tweets Olney.
- The Tigers continue to say they are not in the market for a closer, tweets Olney.
The third episode of Rosters and Rumblings, the new podcast featuring MLBTR's Ben Nicholson-Smith and Jason Martinez of MLB Depth Charts, was recorded today. Check out the podcast for discussion of the non-tender deadline, the David Wright extension and the Russell Martin signing. Here's the latest from around the league...
- The Diamondbacks want Andrelton Simmons from the Braves in a Justin Upton trade, reports Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports (on Twitter). Earlier this month we heard the Rangers tried to acquire Simmons so they could flip him to Arizona for Upton.
- Meanwhile, Dave O'Brien of The Atlanta Journal Constitution says (on Twitter) the Braves have interest in free agent outfielders like Ryan Ludwick, Shane Victorino, and Cody Ross even after signing B.J. Upton.
- Both the Braves and Reds are trying to acquire a leadoff hitting left fielder, reports ESPN's Jim Bowden (on Twitter). Both teams had interest in Denard Span before he was traded to the Nationals.
- The Reds have had conversations with the representatives for Victorino and Angel Pagan, GM Walt Jocketty confirmed to John Fay of The Cincinnati Enquirer. "Nothing formal though," added the GM, who confirmed speaking with Ludwick's agent as recently as last week.
- Even after claiming and signing Phil Humber, Astros GM Jeff Luhnow told MLB.com's Brian McTaggart that he is still in the market for pitching (Twitter link).
Zack Greinke turned down a potential trade to the Nationals two years ago when he was a member of the Royals, but now that the Nats are the defending NL East champs and have added Denard Span as their latest upgrade, FOX Sports' Ken Rosenthal thinks that Greinke (or any free agent) would see Washington as a prime destination. The Nationals have been mentioned as one of Greinke's top suitors this winter, along with the Dodgers, Angels and Rangers, so there's a possibility the right-hander could yet end up in D.C. two years later.
Here are some items from around the division...
- David Wright may wait under after the Winter Meetings to decide on the Mets' seven-year, $124MM extension offer, reports Mike Puma of the New York Post. A Mets source speculates that Wright and his representatives may wait due to their unhappiness that negotiations were made public. Wright and agent Seth Levinson told MLBTR earlier this week that rumors about the contract talks were inaccurate.
- The Phillies' best offer to B.J. Upton was a five-year, $55MM contract, tweets MLB.com's Mark Bowman. Upton agreed to a five-year, $75.25MM pact with the Braves yesterday.
- The Braves and Marlins are two of a half-dozen teams interested in free agent utilityman Ryan Raburn, reports ESPN's Jayson Stark (Twitter link). The Rays and Rangers are two of the other known teams.
- The Nationals still have a minor league option remaining on left-hander John Lannan, reports Mark Zuckerman of Nats Insider. Washington could keep Lannan at Triple-A as rotation insurance again, though MLBTR's Tim Dierkes thinks Lannan will be non-tendered rather than earn a projected $5MM in his third year of arbitration eligibility.
- Shane Victorino "might actually represent the best value on the market," writes David Murphy of the Philadelphia Daily News, though Murphy doesn't think the Phillies will look for a reunion with their former outfielder. The Phils haven't been linked to Victorino this offseason, though at least seven teams are known to be interested in the Hawaiian.
MLBTR’s Tim Dierkes will interview Peter Gammons of MLB Network tomorrow, and if you have any particular questions you’d like Tim to ask the Hall of Famer we’d like to hear them. To get in touch you can leave a comment below, reach us on Twitter (@mlbtraderumors) or use MLBTR’s contact form. Here are today’s links...
- An executive who asked the Twins about Joe Mauer heard the catcher isn't available, ESPN.com's Jayson Stark reports (on Twitter). Not only does Mauer have a no-trade clause, he's the face of the Twins and Minnesota isn't looking to dump salary.
- Yahoo's Tim Brown tells the story of a recent meeting between Scott Boras and Marvin Miller. Check out Brown’s entire piece, which includes some thoughtful quotes from Boras and is definitely worth your time. Miller, the first executive director of the MLBPA, died this week at the age of 95.
- Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com previews the outfield market in the aftermath of B.J. Upton’s five-year, $75.25MM contract with the Braves. The Phillies’ best offer to Upton was worth $55MM over five years, MLB.com’s Mark Bowman reports (on Twitter). The Red Sox weren't in on Upton, but have been in on Shane Victorino, Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe reports (on Twitter).
- Chan Ho Park is set to announce his retirement tomorrow, reports Korea's Yonhap News Agency (passed on by C. Trent Rosecrans of CBS Sports). The 39-year-old right-hander was the first Korean-born player to reach the Major Leagues, posting a 4.36 ERA in 476 games over his 17 seasons in MLB from 1994-2010. Park earned $85.46MM (hat tip to Baseball Reference) during his Major League career and pitched for seven teams. Park spent the last two seasons pitching in Japan and South Korea, respectively.
B.J. Upton's name has dominated the conversation regarding free agent center fielders lately, but Jon Heyman of CBS Sports reports that the Indians, Rangers, Yankees, Giants, Rays, Red Sox and Reds all have interest in another free agent center fielder -- Shane Victorino.
Several teams, according to Heyman, are willing to offer three years to Victorino in spite of his slow finish to the 2012 season. Victorino is willing to move to a corner outfield spot, though he has a track record of solid defense in center field.
Victorino stole a career-high 39 bases in 2012 (with a brilliant 87-percent success rate), but his 11 homers were his lowest total since 2009. He slumped at the plate following a trade to the Dodgers and finished the season with a .255/.321/.383 batting line, which will likely prevent him from securing the five-year contract he sought prior to the 2012 season.
The Phillies haven’t made any major additions to their team to this point in the offseason, but they continue working to address their biggest needs, GM Ruben Amaro Jr. told Jim Salisbury of CSNPhilly.com. “We’ve had some good discussions, some fruitful discussions, with agents as well as other clubs,” Amaro said. “There are some situations where we’re waiting right now on someone to say ‘yes,’ and other situations where other teams are waiting for us to say ‘yes.’ It’s an interesting dynamic right now.” Here’s the latest on the Phillies, who are looking to contend again following an 81-81 season in 2012:
- Amaro still wants to add at least one outfielder and a veteran reliever for the eighth inning. The club could also pursue help at third base, though that could depend on the team’s search for outfielders.
- Reading between the lines, Salisbury suggests the Phillies have reached out to the Marlins to see if they’d trade Giancarlo Stanton in a follow up to Miami’s recent blockbuster trade with the Blue Jays. “We’ve made some inquiries about a lot of players that went in that trade, both to Toronto and to Miami,” the GM acknowledged. “But nothing imminent so far.”
- Amaro said he has not received any indication that former Phillies closer Ryan Madson is opposed to pitching in a setup role. Madson underwent Tommy John surgery before the 2012 season and is now a free agent.
- While B.J. Upton appears to be the Phillies’ top target, Amaro also mentioned free agents Angel Pagan, Michael Bourn and Shane Victorino as other potential center field options. “We can’t put all our resources in one area and not address others,” Amaro said. He added that the Phillies are more likely to add an outfielder or two in free agency than via trades.
- Earlier this month I previewed the Phillies’ offseason.