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UPDATE, 12-6-07 at 12:57pm: According to Thomas Harding of MLB.com, David Eckstein is now a Rockies’ target for second base. They talked to Mark Loretta today, also. Harding adds that the holdup on the Cook deal is the amount of a fourth-year option.
FROM 12-6-07 at 12:21pm:
The Denver Post’s Troy E. Renck has a lunchtime Rockies update.
- Renck doesn’t see Tadahito Iguchi getting Kaz Matsui money, noting that only the Rockies are pursuing Iguchi at his preferred position of second base. That could change if the Orioles trade Brian Roberts.
- Though Aaron Cook‘s 3/30 extension isn’t final, GM Dan O’Dowd believes it will get done.
- Free agents on the radar: LaTroy Hawkins, Shawn Chacon, Octavio Dotel, Victor Zambrano, and Kip Wells. There was recent chatter about Wells trying to become a setup man.
- According to Scott Boras, he’s never received a contract offer from the Rox for Matt Holliday. The original rumor was that the Rockies were planning to offer a four-year, $60MM extension.
UPDATE, 12-4-07 at 5:49pm: Jayson Stark says the Mets haven’t talked to the the A’s or Orioles at all in Nashville, meaning no talks for Haren or Bedard as of yet.
FROM 12-4-07 at 8:05am:
What’s cooking with the Mets? Let’s round ‘em up.
- Mark Hale reports that the Mets have advanced to "Round 2" of the bidding process for Hiroki Kuroda. They did this by indicating a ballpark of what they might offer but without actually making an offer. Hale says 8-10 teams are in on Kuroda, including the Royals, Phillies, Diamondbacks, and Mariners. The Ms reportedly have some kind of offer out to him, either 3/30 or 4/44. The Phils are said to have an offer out as well. Hale doesn’t name the Dodgers but it’s been said they’re getting aggressive on him too. The Cubs and Rangers are other teams that have been connected to Kuroda.
- The Mets appear to have mild interest in Livan Hernandez, perhaps as a fallback innings-eater option. The Phillies, Cardinals, Nationals, and Astros are other known suitors for Livan.
- The big fish are still out there in Johan Santana, Erik Bedard, and Dan Haren. The Mets won’t include Jose Reyes, David Wright, or Carlos Beltran in any deal. It’s been said that a Carlos Gomez/Aaron Heilman/Philip Humber package was offered for Bedard and rejected.
- Dan Graziano says the Mets also inquired on Dontrelle Willis, Ben Sheets, and Roy Oswalt and were told none of the three are available. Graziano adds that the Mets are looking into signing Bartolo Colon.
- Omar Minaya will meet with the agents for Octavio Dotel and Shawn Chacon today.
- Minaya disputes Ken Rosenthal’s report that he sought an extension from the Mets and didn’t get one. Ownership told him he’ll be there "a long time."
- Though they didn’t want him in the Lastings Milledge deal, the Nationals are interested in acquiring Johnny Estrada for their catcher vacancy. Damian Miller is also known to be a target of Jim Bowden’s.
Full Story | Comments | Categories: Baltimore Orioles | Bartolo Colon | Ben Sheets | Dan Haren | Dontrelle Willis | Erik Bedard | Hiroki Kuroda | Houston Astros | Johnny Estrada | Livan Hernandez | Miami Marlins | Milwaukee Brewers | New York Mets | Oakland Athletics | Octavio Dotel | Omar Minaya | Roy Oswalt | Shawn Chacon | Washington Nationals
T.R. Sullivan has the Rangers goods for us this evening. Wow, did MLB.com send 30+ reporters out to Nashville?
- The Rangers are still pursuing Eric Gagne to return as their closer (and then maybe they’d flip him again). The interest is mutual.
- The team is also considering LaTroy Hawkins, Shawn Chacon, Luis Vizcaino, Trever Miller, and Octavio Dotel. Basically, most of the relief market. Problem is, the Rangers don’t want to give more than one year to any of these guys.
- The Rangers are moving toward filling center field internally after exploring options. Carlos Gomez, Felix Pie, and Carlos Gonzalez proved unavailable or too pricey (though if all the Mets wanted for Gomez was Gerald Laird, Daniels should’ve pounced).
- Daniels has shifted gears to a corner outfielder. Kosuke Fukudome remains on the radar.
- The Rangers had a preliminary conversation with the Bucs about Jason Bay.
- The team isn’t focused on getting pitching for once, but Daniels is still perusing medical reports on Bartolo Colon, Freddy Garcia, and Jason Jennings.
- Daniels said he’s not shopping Hank Blalock.
Full Story | Comments | Categories: Arizona Diamondbacks | Bartolo Colon | Carlos Gomez | Carlos Gonzalez | Chicago Cubs | Eric Gagne | Felix Pie | Freddy Garcia | Hank Blalock | Jason Bay | Jason Jennings | Kosuke Fukudome | LaTroy Hawkins | Luis Vizcaino | New York Mets | Octavio Dotel | Pittsburgh Pirates | Shawn Chacon | Texas Rangers | Trever Miller
- Both beat writers are saying not to expect Jason Bay to be traded at the Meetings. It would be a sell-low move with bad PR.
- Both also agree that Matt Morris staying put. Kovacevic spins it as if the Pirates should actually want to keep Morris, while Perrotto’s sources suggest the Bucs would have to eat more than 70% of Morris’ contract to ditch him.
- Kovacevic also suggests that the Pirates need Jack Wilson, and that’s why he won’t be going anywhere.
- Relievers Salomon Torres, Damaso Marte, and John Grabow are available and drawing some interest. Marte in particular interests the Yankees.
- Chris Duffy can be had; the Braves and Marlins have previously expressed interest. Maybe they’ll renew that with center field vacancies and a new Pirates GM. Duffy will start in Triple A if he’s not dealt.
- The Pirates are still talking to Shawn Chacon about returning.
- Perrotto notes that interest in center fielder Nate McLouth is picking up, with the Padres and Marlins interested.
- Xavier Nady won’t be non-tendered, contrary to previous reports.
The New York Post’s Mark Hale has an update for us regarding the Mets’ pursuit of pitching.
- Even though the Wilpons haven’t made any declarations to the media, the Mets are showing interest in Johan Santana. Hale notes a couple of stipulations: David Wright, Jose Reyes, and Carlos Beltran won’t be dealt, and the Mets would want a 72-hour negotiation window. I don’t think anyone expected anything different on either point. The Twins could certainly use an influx of outfield talent, and the Mets have it.
- Octavio Dotel is one free agent on the Mets’ radar, though we’ve known that since the 16th. "On the radar" is getting overused…I need an alternative. Dotel would be fine with a setup role, though I’m guessing it would take two years and $12MM or more. Dotel came up through the Mets’ system as a starter, and was traded to the Astros in ’99 in the Mike Hampton/Derek Bell/Roger Cedeno deal. The Tigers and Royals may also be in on Dotel.
- The Mets also like Shawn Chacon, possibly as a swingman. The Rockies have interest in Chacon but only as a reliever. He’s said that he’d prefer to start.
Time for a Rockies update, courtesy of the Denver Post’s Patrick Saunders.
- The Rox appear to be making progress with Yorvit Torrealba, though they’re leaving the door open for Michael Barrett or Paul Lo Duca. So things are creeping along there.
- Matt Herges will decide where to pitch within a day or two. It’s down to two teams – the Rockies and perhaps the Brewers. He’d like to stay with Colorado but would prefer a two-year deal.
- Shawn Chacon continues to surface on GM Dan O’Dowd’s radar. O’Dowd will only consider Chacon in a relief role, though Chacon’s agent seems to indicate other teams may toss some starts his way.
Picking up some rumors and tidbits that haven’t been otherwise posted during this busy day…
- An Atlanta TV station states that Tom Glavine would take a lot less money to play for the Braves. Also, the Astros have reportedly been in touch with him.
- Joe Torre senses that Jeff Kent will return in 2008. The Dodgers certainly hope so; he led the team with 20 home runs in ’07.
- Trey Hillman took a parting shot at Japanese reporters (hat tip to JapanBall).
- Reliever Masafumi Hirai might come over to MLB. I’ll have to learn more about him.
- Hiroki Kuroda prefers to play on the West Coast because he doesn’t like cold weather. Hmmm, Chicago might not work for him. Kuroda has declared free agency, and the Mariners are interested. There is word here that the Rangers have scouted him as well.
- The Braves are interested in Masahide Kobayashi to close, while the Mariners like him as a middle reliever (link in Japanese).
- There will be no Mike Lowell + A-Rod combo in Boston.
- Luis Gonzalez would like to return to the Tigers, while the team is interested in Cliff Floyd and Shannon Stewart for left field. Ben Broussard may also be on the radar.
- The Rangers also like Broussard, and they’ve contacted Mike Lamb as well regarding their first base vacancy. Lamb could play third if they trade Hank Blalock. Jon Daniels also has Kerry Wood in his sights.
- The Rockies like Shawn Chacon, but only as a reliever.
- Derrick Goold breaks down the options for the Cardinals at shortstop.
- Don’t forget to make an entry in our Hot Stove Hysteria contest. The deadline is November 12th. If you feel the need to edit your entry, just post a new one. They’re time-stamped; your latest entry will be used. A new prize has been added: a fantasy draft kit from Big Dawg Baseball.
Full Story | Comments | Categories: Alex Rodriguez | Atlanta Braves | Ben Broussard | Boston Red Sox | Cliff Floyd | Colorado Rockies | Detroit Tigers | Hiroki Kuroda | Hot Stove Hysteria | Houston Astros | Jeff Kent | Kerry Wood | Los Angeles Dodgers | Luis Gonzalez | Masafumi Hirai | Masahide Kobayashi | Mike Lowell | Seattle Mariners | Shannon Stewart | Shawn Chacon | St. Louis Cardinals | Texas Rangers | Tom Glavine
Nate Silver of Baseball Prospectus recently wrote in reference to the Rockies:
Teams that overachieve expectations tend to keep everything in place, and in fact that’s exactly what Charlie Monfort is saying. This is likely to be one of the bigger misplays of the offseason.
Indeed, no one is expecting any kind of shake-up or blockbuster. That said, Tracy Ringolsby indicates that teams will inquire on Brian Fuentes and Garrett Atkins over the next few months. The free agent market for closers and third basemen isn’t robust.
Ringoslby notes that Josh Fogg may seek the Jason Marquis special – three years, $21MM. The Rockies will pass, instead entertaining bringing Jason Jennings back.
The Rockies are also expected to sign a veteran catcher to help Chris Iannetta along. Ringolsby names Yorvit Torrealba, Jason Kendall, and Paul Lo Duca as the options. Troy E. Renck of the Denver Post names the same trio.
Renck adds that the Rockies will attempt to re-sign Kaz Matsui and Matt Herges soon as well. Renck mentions that the team has also gotten in touch with Shawn Chacon‘s agent. Chacon came up through the Rockies system but was traded to the Yankees in July of 2005.
What do you think about this plan? Should the Rockies make a major free agent strike or trade instead?
Some random tidbits that didn’t get their own posts today…
- The Rockies picked up Aaron Cook‘s $4.5MM option as expected. The bigger question is whether they can sign him long-term, maybe for three years. They also passed on LaTroy Hawkins for $3.75MM but may still sign him.
- The Rangers agreed to a two-year contract with reliever Joaquin Benoit for two years and $6MM. He would’ve hit free agency after 2008. Smart move would be to let him rack up 10-15 saves next season and then trade him for something good.
- The Braves aren’t expected to get their next center fielder through free agency, and Terence Moore suggests trading for Ken Griffey Jr. to fill the position. More reasonable targets might be David DeJesus or Coco Crisp.
- The Royals may yet retain David Riske, who wants a multiyear deal and would like to stay. They’ll definitely offer him arbitration, since he’s a Type B free agent. Also, longtime Royal Mike Sweeney might finally play elsewhere.
- Free agent Shawn Chacon is looking to start in 2008, and he’ll make over $4MM.
- Charley Walters says the Twins won’t pursue Barry Bonds. If Bonds is to land in the AL, the Orioles, Devil Rays, Royals, Angels, and A’s may be his only options.
- McCovey Chronicles suggests a Noah Lowry for Bill Hall swap.
Full Story | Comments | Categories: Aaron Cook | Atlanta Braves | Barry Bonds | Bill Hall | Colorado Rockies | David Riske | Joaquin Benoit | Kansas City Royals | Ken Griffey Jr. | LaTroy Hawkins | Mike Sweeney | Milwaukee Brewers | Minnesota Twins | Noah Lowry | Pittsburgh Pirates | San Francisco Giants | Shawn Chacon | Texas Rangers
According to Dejan Kovacevic of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, the Pirates are likely to cut ties with three of their veteran players this winter: Shawn Chacon, Tony Armas Jr., and Cesar Izturis. As it should be.
Chacon, 29, has been decent in relief (3.52 ERA in 76.2 innings). His 1.7 K/BB is worrisome, but Chacon has always been prone to the free pass. One change is that Chacon is back to getting groundballs near a league average rate, as he did when he succeeded with the Yankees in ’05. While Chacon wanted to stay, a contract of at least two years, $8MM would be required. Such a deal just doesn’t make sense for Pittsburgh. $3.8MM off the books when Chacon leaves.
Armas was a bad move by Dave Littlefield in the first place. He was predictably bad this year. Then again, I didn’t think much of Steve Trachsel in the AL East and the O’s spun him into two useful players (Scott Moore and Rocky Cherry). Anyway, the Pirates will give those 93 innings Armas ate up to a younger player in 2008. That’s $3.5MM off the books.
Izturis was an odd acquisition. I think Littlefield expected to move Jack Wilson when he acquired Izturis. When that fell through the Pirates just looked silly. The Cubs paid the Pirates an undisclosed amount of cash to take Izturis so I can’t say how much is off the books here.
The result of dumping this trio is $8MM to play with for the next Pirates’ GM. Let’s hope he or she uses it wisely for once.