Shawn Chacon Rumors
Pretty much the same old story with the Mets, though Joel Sherman and Mark Hale of the New York Post do have some new tidbits.
- The authors name Chad Cordero, Jon Rauch, Octavio Dotel, and Eric Gagne as relievers on the radar. However it seems the asking price is too high for Gagne and the Indians have become the frontrunner for Dotel (they may have passed the Dodgers). Shawn Chacon doesn't catch the Mets' eye, and they don't want Chad Bradford's three-year commitment. They had that option with Bradford this winter. I think that logic is silly - Bradford's pitched well this year, and acquiring him now would be akin to a two-year contract. Sometimes it seems GMs pass over certain players because they simply want to add a fresh name.
- You can add Al Reyes to the mix for the Mets, according to the St. Petersburg Times.
- The Mets think many of the available starting pitchers could be traded in August - Jose Contreras, Kyle Lohse, and Steve Trachsel for example. I don't agree on Lohse - he'll be traded today or tomorrow. But Contreras's contract would probably get through waivers without a claim.
- The Post reports no substantive talks to the Royals about Mark Grudzielanek. An inquiry has been made on Mark Loretta.
- Meanwhile, Newsday says the Twins are open to trading Luis Castillo but don't want any of the current Major League Mets. Dan Graziano of the Newark Star-Ledger seems to disagree, citing a Twins scout at Shea yesterday. Graziano does not believe Castillo would get through waivers unclaimed. He believes the Twins want Double A starter Kevin Mulvey and then some (perhaps Ruben Gotay).
- Graziano says a deal for Castillo could be expanded to include 28 year-old righty reliever Juan Rincon. Rincon had been consistently solid for three years (perhaps aided by steroids) but has seen his strikeout rate and overall performance plummet in 2007. Rincon is under control next year and will make at least $2MM again.
- Graziano notes that the Mets have talked to the A's about Joe Blanton, but Billy Beane wants Lastings Milledge. The Mets can't do that without damaging the current team. The Mets could actually add an outfielder in Jay Payton; the Cubs' interest has waned. The Sammy Sosa rumor also has some legs, as the Mets could bring him in to platoon with Shawn Green if they decide they can tolerate the sideshow.
Ryan McConnell of the New Jersey Star-Ledger posted a run-down of Mets' rumors, mostly old hat by now. Items of note:
- The Mets are being asked too much for both Chad Cordero and Octavio Dotel, causing them to take another look at Eric Gagne. They are also looking at Matt Thornton (White Sox), Shawn Chacon (Pirates), Chad Bradford (Orioles) and Jon Rauch (Nationals). I think they should go for Chad Bradford, silly contract be damned.
- We've all heard about second base possibilities in Mark Grudzielanek, Mark Loretta and Luis Castillo. I think that of these candidates, Grudzielanek is the best defender, while Castillo is the best offensive player, even though Loretta is putting up better numbers this year. All three will be free agents this off-season, with the exception of Grudzielanek if he earns the $4M player option for 2008 which vests with 500 plate appearances, a slim possibility. Castillo is the youngest player and the best choice for the Mets, if they can get him. He's likely be a Type A free agent if the Mets let him go; if they don't, he could be their 2008 second baseman. All in all, though, I'd prefer the Mets stick with Damion Easley and Rubén Gotay.
- Now the kicker. This is what makes trade deadlines fun (and painful). From McConnell:
And, finally, the hot, completely unsubstantiated rumor floating around my workplace was that the Mets and D-Rays were discussing a Lastings Milledge and "a Minor League pitcher" (probably Pelfrey, maybe Humber) for Carl Crawford. It didn't pass my smell test -- I'd think Tampa would command a lot more for their stud outfielder -- but it's fun to think about regardless. Plus, for what it's worth, a Met scout was spotted at Tropicana Field last week.
It doesn't pass my smell test either, but it's still fun to think about, unless you're convinced that Lastings Milledge is the next Gary Sheffield, like I am.
John Peterson writes for the Met-blog Blastings! Thrilledge.
Let's have a look at the latest rumors swirling around the Mets.
- Second base remains an area of focus. A Twins scout was at Shea recently, presumably trying to figure out what to ask for from the Mets for Luis Castillo. The Mets were recently scouting the Twins as well. The problem is that Castillo is not yet officially available. A couple of Marks, Grudzielanek and Loretta, remain on the radar. The Astros might consider signing Loretta to an extension, though no details have been discussed.
- The Devil Rays hosted the Red Sox last night, and a Mets scout was on hand. Speculation on my part, but possible targets include Ty Wigginton, Jonny Gomes, Edwin Jackson, Al Reyes, and Casey Fossum. The Mets had some interest in Jackson way back in November.
- According to Dan Graziano, the Mets are still pushing for Chad Cordero or Jon Rauch. Graziano is skeptical that the Nationals can arrive at a trade. Matthew Cerrone believes the Mets might give up Mike Pelfrey to get Cordero.
- Will Carroll has some other relievers the Mets are considering: Matt Thornton, Chad Bradford, and Shawn Chacon.
- The Mets had a scout in attendance yesterday to watch Jon Garland. He gave up ten hits but only three runs in 7.1 innings to the Blue Jays.
Time for a Pirates roundup. They deserve some love here at MLBTradeRumors.
- Dejan Kovacevic reports that Salomon Torres's grievance against the Pirates may prevent the team from trading him. On the off chance he wins the grievance, he would become a free agent and the acquiring team would be screwed. While that scenario is unlikely, it does look like this thing needs to be resolved before any deal is made. I imagine that if some team wanted him badly all the involved parties could figure something out.
- The Bucs owe Shawn Chacon a phone call on whether they're open to negotiating a contract extension with him. Their lack of action speaks volumes; even Dave Littlefield isn't going to sign Chacon for multiple years at $4MM+ per. Chacon has managed to subdue righties this year and increase his strikeout rate significantly. He's still got lousy control though. He's a trade candidate but shouldn't bring much.
- On the other hand, Damaso Marte is known to be available. He'd be helpful as a lefty-killer. For Marte, Chacon, or Torres, the Pirates want a Major Leaguer of some sort (according to MLB.com's Mark Bowman). Bowman says the Braves would get in on Marte if Littlefield would drop the price.
Mark Healey at Gotham Baseball has long been a solid, underappreciated source of inside information. He's got another Rumor Mill up at his site. My summary follows.
- The Yankees have an eye on big-name 1Bs like Mark Teixeira and Todd Helton. But more realistically, they're looking at Tampa Bay's Carlos Pena. He's got the defense, so even if he regresses to a 20 HR bat it's a nice pickup. Healey's source believes Tyler Clippard is too much but the Rays like Sean Henn. The Yanks have also inquired about the versatile Ty Wigginton.
- The Reds, Rockies, and others have been scouting the Yankees' Double A Trenton affiliate. Joba Chamberlain, Ian Kennedy, and Brett Gardner are probably the most desirable players on that roster. Gotham Baseball has previously connected the Yankees to Brian Fuentes and David Weathers. Another reliever the Yankees like is Chad Bradford, though the O's price may be too high.
- Gotham quotes an NL scout who doesn't believe the Mets will acquire a starter by trading Lastings Milledge, Carlos Gomez, or Fernando Martinez. That scout believes the return of Pedro will supply the needed boost. Personally, I can see Milledge going.
- Some former Mets on the radar: Brady Clark, Jay Payton, and David Weathers.
- Healey says the Mets sent scouts to look at Randy Winn this weekend. They must not be pleased with Moises Alou's progress. As I mentioned earlier, Winn is signed through 2009. He has a full no-trade clause this year. For 2008-09 he can block deals to ten teams.
- The Pirates have some vets to trade, and have contacted the Mets regarding Shawn Chacon and Damaso Marte. Marte is quietly having a fine season with a 1.21 ERA and 1.03 WHIP. Marte earns $2.45MM this year, and $2MM in '08 with an odd $6MM club option for 2009. He can also earn incentives based on games finished.