Shannon Stewart Rumors
Taking a look back at this week's happenings here on MLBTR...
- The biggest move of the month was the Diamondbacks' acquisition of slugger Adam Dunn for Dallas Buck, Micah Owings, and Wilkin Castillo. I can't remember any August trades of this magnitude.
- Bronson Arroyo told the media Dunn would be seeking over $100MM this offseason; Dunn denied the report wholeheartedly. I'd be surprised to see him get $100MM, but I also certainly don't think it would be the worst signing we've seen in the past few offseasons.
- The Red Sox acquired Paul Byrd from the Indians. Boston will pay the remaining portion of Byrd's salary. Byrd has been very good lately, and you can never have too much pitching depth. Not a bad move for Boston, in my opinion.
- The Twins were very active in discussions this week, though nothing surfaced as of yet. Minnesota claimed Jarrod Washburn off waivers from Seattle, but a deal wasn't worked out. Boof Bonser and salary relief was originally thought to be the offer, but that report was later denied. Passing a chance to unload Washburn's salary makes no sense to me. The Twins also claimed Alan Embree from Oakland, but he was pulled back.
- Freddy Garcia signed a minor-league contact with the Tigers. They must have liked what they saw at his audition. If he can return to be as effective as he was in his Chicago days, that would be a great signing. Nice low-risk move for Detroit.
- We've seen a lot of teams signing their young talent to long-term deals, but it looks like San Francisco ace Tim Lincecum will not be one of them. He'd prefer to go year-to-year.
- Minor moves happening around baseball: The Reds DFA'd David Ross, the Blue Jays released Shannon Stewart, and the Twins signed Bobby Kielty to a minor-league deal. The Giants DFA'd Jose Castillo, and Richie Sexson's time in New York was cut short when he was released after just 35 plate appearances. The Rockies added another arm, signing Oscar Villareal.
- And now, for the draft-pick signings! Here are all the signings and not-signings teams made with their top picks this week: The White Sox signed Gordon Beckham, the Orioles signed Brian Matusz, the Padres signed Allan Dykstra, the Rangers signed Justin Smoak, the Giants signed Buster Posey, the Pirates signed Pedro Alvarez, the Royals signed Eric Hosmer, and the Reds not only signed Yonder Alonso, but Venezuelan outfielder Yorman Rodriguez as well. The Nationals failed to sign Aaron Crow, and the Yankees failed to sign Gerrit Cole.
- And to cap things off, since we just covered a bunch of guys who probably weren't even alive when Jamie Moyer first started pitching in the Majors... he didn't deny the possibility of pitching until he's 50. He's 45 right now with 11 wins and an ERA of 3.64, who knows?
Time to gather up today's links.
- With Mike Lowell headed to the DL, Jeff Horrigan wonders if a waiver trade for an infielder could be in order.
- ESPN's Buster Olney mentioned the Indians' Jamey Carroll as a possibility for the D'Backs on Monday, though he noted the two teams have not talked.
- Evan Grant suggests the Rangers trade Engel Beltre or Elvis Andrus for pitching this winter. Additionally, he thinks the Rangers might end up trading Jarrod Saltalamacchia rather than Gerald Laird.
- Aaron Gleeman revisits the '03 trade of Bobby Kielty for Shannon Stewart.
- Patrick Newman runs down some lesser-known Japanese free agents.
- Rany Jazayerli has an interesting post about Royals first base prospect Kila Kaaihue.
- Jeff Passan's list of this year's 25 most improbable success stories is a good read.
- MLB.com's Justice B. Hill has a story about a kid who had Tommy John surgery at age 14.
- ESPN did a bunch of mini-features about this year's hired guns for their magazine.
Let's kick off the morning with some random links.
- Live chat here today at 2pm CST.
- Brian Matusz is hopeful about striking a deal with the Orioles by Friday's deadline. Roch Kubatko has a source saying it's likely.
- Baseball America's Jim Callis warns us not to listen to the posturing - he still expects all the first-round draft picks to sign with the possible exception of Allan Dykstra.
- Should the Mariners offer Raul Ibanez a three-year deal at $10-11MM per?
- No word yet on possible Rays acquisitions in wake of the Carl Crawford and Evan Longoria injuries. Marc Lancaster wonders if Kenny Lofton or...don't say it...Barry Bonds would make sense.
- The Mets had no interest in Adam Dunn. They wonder about his passion, according to Joel Sherman. Did you know he doesn't like baseball?
- The Phillies were more interested in Casey Blake than Manny Ramirez.
- Athletics Nation looks at some free agent options for '09.
- Shannon Stewart didn't understand his latest Blue Jay Experience.
- The Yankees, Mets, Angels, and Padres have scouts at the Olympics to watch Hitoki Iwase, Koji Uehara, Kenshin Kawakami, Yu Darvish, and Kyuji Fujikawa.
According to the Globe and Mail, the Blue Jays released outfielder Shannon Stewart today. He'd signed a minor league deal in February.
Stewart, 34, hit .240/.325/.303 in 200 plate appearances. He dealt with a sore groin and ankle sprain during the season. Stewart was paid $1.5MM. Adam Lind had an excellent July and seems entrenched in left at least for the rest of the year.
SUNDAY: According to the Toronto Star, the Jays have released Reed Johnson. The Jays have to pay $546K of his $3.275MM salary. Not a huge deal, but non-tendering him several months ago would've been better. Joel Sherman describes the Mets' interest in Johnson as "mild at best."
SATURDAY: The Globe and Mail's Jeff Blair refers to "scuttlebutt among scouts" about the Jays placing outfielder Reed Johnson on waivers. However, J.P. Ricciardi said this was not true. The Toronto GM said a choice is close regarding Johnson and Shannon Stewart, and both won't make the team. The Mets might be a match for Johnson.
I'm surprised by the way the Jays have gone about things in left field this year. They brought back Matt Stairs, who can pretty much only play left since Frank Thomas and Lyle Overbay own the DH and first base spots. They've got a seemingly Major League ready (and cheap) outfielder in Adam Lind. They decided to tender a contract to Johnson, something I did not expect. And then they signed Shannon Stewart on top of it all. What are the Jays going to do with all these guys?
According to Joel Sherman of the New York Post, the Mets have checked in on Blue Jays outfielders Shannon Stewart and Reed Johnson. Nicely done, Drunk Jays Fans. Although you spelled "rumor" incorrectly.
Sherman says Stewart is a long shot since he can't handle right. The Mets want someone who can handle both corners, and Johnson could be that someone (he's played 64 games in right in '06 and 13 in '07). The 31 year-old will earn $3.275MM this year. He could be useful if last year's back problems are behind him.
FOX's Ken Rosenthal checks in with the latest buzz from Spring Training.
- The Mets, Cardinals, and Orioles are listed as possibilities for Kyle Lohse. However, the Mets may deem him unnecessary, reports are conflicting on the Cards' interest, and the Orioles are wary of the price.
- Rosenthal says Rafael Furcal's agent met with Ned Colletti a few days ago, but the Dodgers would likely want to see Furcal return to form before entertaining an extension. Click here to see the other shortstops eligible for free agency after the '08 season. The Dodgers may have a viable replacement for Furcal in defensive whiz Chin-Lung Hu.
- Rosenthal notes that the Yankees, in search of a right-handed outfielder, considered Shannon Stewart and Mike Cameron this winter.
- Kenny Lofton's chances of a getting the big league deal he wants with the Reds or Twins look slim.
- The rumor going around for Corey Patterson is the Marlins, if the price is right.
- Rosenthal confirms two additions for our 2008 Out Of Options list - Gabe Gross and Clint Barmes.
- Rosenthal says the Mets need a right-handed hitter who can play left field and first base. Here are some names I came up with: Ryan Ludwick, Xavier Nady, Matt Murton, Franklin Gutierrez, and Kevin Millar. Granted, not all those guys know their way around first base.
TODAY: Fun fact/correction, courtesy of Susan Slusser. Turns out the A's will not be receiving a compensation pick for Stewart, since he signed a minor league deal. It also seems a long shot that they get one for Mike Piazza, as he could retire, settle for a minor league deal, or head to Japan.
2-24-08: According to Jeff Blair of the Globe and Mail, Shannon Stewart has signed a minor league deal with the Blue Jays. It seems that Stewart's agent switch helped facilitate the contract, as the Jays made an offer earlier in the winter. My guess is that this is around a million bucks, and you really can't complain about that. Stewart is a fine defender in left and a solid fourth outfielder. Stewart was originally drafted by the Jays 19th overall in '92. That draft also had Derek Jeter, Jason Kendall, and Johnny Damon in the first round.
By the way, the A's are set to receive the 39th or 46th overall pick as compensation for Stewart, depending on what Mike Piazza does.
Meanwhile, Adam Lind joins the class of expendable young outfielders with MLB experience. Lind, 24, didn't hit much last year but projects at .267/.324/.443 according to PECOTA. That's a notch below other available guys like Matt Murton and Gabe Gross.
Let's round 'em up!
- I'm doing a fantasy baseball mailbag feature at The Hardball Times. Check out the first entry.
- Nothing really new from Coco Crisp...if he loses the center field battle, he'll probably prefer a trade.
- The Brewers are close to a minor league deal with Russell Branyan, who might have a hard time sniffing the big league roster anytime this season.
- The Toronto Star relays from J.P. Ricciardi that the Blue Jays no longer have an offer on the table for Shannon Stewart.
- Turns out Oakland's Dan Meyer has a fourth option, meaning he's likely to lose the fifth starter battle to Dana Eveland.
- I can't help it...I love the Juan Gonzalez story. I'm rooting for him for no apparent reason.
- Mark Teixeira didn't offer much info regarding extension talks with the Braves. He did refute that report about building a home in Atlanta and another about a rift with Scott Boras.
- Peter Abraham thinks the Yanks should trade Hideki Matsui.
MLB.com's Corey Brock quotes Kevin Towers as saying a free agent signing is unlikely, which implies that Shannon Stewart is not on the radar. Towers still may add an outfielder via trade.
The idea of the Padres and Mariners being interested in Stewart was misconstrued a bit. Jerry Crasnick said Towers "might be tempted to look at a free agent" and that the Mariners "seem like a potential fit." My summary of his article said the Mariners and Padres were possibilities. I should've been more clear that Crasnick was speculating on those two clubs rather than reporting specific interest - sorry about that. As for Stewart, only the Blue Jays have made an offer. He came up in the Toronto organization and had some nice seasons for them.
Back to the Padres. Brock adds that Michael Barrett is not likely to be traded - Towers likes having two starting-caliber catchers on the roster. Not an ideal situation for Barrett, but it was his choice to accept the Padres' offer of arbitration.