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Stephen Strasburg Rumors
Weather permitting, Nationals phenom Stephen Strasburg will make his 2011 MLB debut tonight, almost one year from the day of having Tommy John surgery performed on his elbow. Whether or not Strasmas is cancelled, here are today's links…
- Strasburg still needs to knock a little rust off his command, Nationals GM Mike Rizzo told ESPN's Jayson Stark. Stark takes the stance that the Nationals are not rushing Strasburg back. Stark's colleague Keith Law has a fantastic article discussing the Tommy John procedure and recovery, with help from pitchers Jarrod Parker and Chad Durbin. For a look at what Strasburg did during his down time and how he's changed in the last year, check out Dave Sheinin's article from the Washington Post.
- SI's Jon Heyman hears that the Cardinals are "not completely confident" Albert Pujols will remain in St. Louis, which is one reason they didn't trade Lance Berkman (Twitter link).
- The Chicago Sun-Times talked to Tim Wilken, the Cubs' director of amateur and professional scouting, about the possibility of an extension in the wake of Oneri Fleita's four-year deal. Such a move would quickly sour many Cubs GM candidates, hears Yahoo's Jeff Passan (Twitter link). Wilken recently told Baseball America's Phil Rogers that it's been 20 years since he's had the kind of ownership commitment toward draft and international free agent spending that he had in 2011.
- NPB Tracker's Patrick Newman explains why he's predicted against Yu Darvish being posted in past years, but also outlines why he can see the righty being posted this winter.
- Tigers righty Doug Fister has "basically turned himself into the modern version of Brad Radke," writes Dave Cameron of FanGraphs. Does he represent the best acquisition by a contender this summer? Hunter Pence belongs in that discussion as well.
Sunday afternoon linkage..
- In a terrific article, Jonathan Newton of the Washington Post looks at Stephen Strasburg's recovery from Tommy John surgery and explains the four key advancements since the operation's initial occurence that have made it so commonplace and so successful.
- ESPN.com's Buster Olney has an interesting take on the Cubs' extension of player personnel director Oneri Fleita. The move means that the incoming general manager will not be allowed to pick his own executive in that spot. Olney says that high-profile GM candidates like Theo Epstein, Andrew Friedman, or Billy Beane would likely want to fill that position themselves.
- Dodgers manager Don Mattingly said that if he had to choose between a big bat or a quality arm this winter, he'd choose the former, writes Dylan Hernandez of the Los Angeles Times. Of course, their financial situation could hamstring them in the offseason. Clayton Kershaw, Chad Billingsley, and Ted Lilly are all set to return but with Rubby De La Rosa possibly missing the 2012 season, the Dodgers could have two spots to fill in the rotation.
- Troy Renck of The Denver Post writes that the Rockies have money to spend and they shouldn't be gun-shy this winter. Their payroll situation is helped largely by Aaron Cook's $9.25MM deal coming off the books.
- Mike Gonzalez already feels comfortable with his new club, writes Richard Durrett of ESPNDallas.com. On Thursday we learned that the Brewers were also in on Gonzalez before he was dealt to the Rangers.
The Nationals took a 63-73 record into today's action, putting them on pace to finish with a better record than the Orioles (55-81) for the sixth time since the Nats moved to Washington after the 2004 season. Of course, since neither team has topped the .500 mark in that stretch, the Battle of the Beltways isn't exactly recognized as a top-tier baseball rivalry.
Here are the latest items about the Nats and the O's….
- Stephen Strasburg talks to The Washington Post's Adam Kilgore about his year-long rehabilitation from Tommy John surgery. Strasburg is scheduled to make his 2011 debut on Tuesday against the Dodgers, and is penciled in for three more starts in September if things proceed as planned. Strasburg is on a 60-pitch limit for Tuesday and will be on an innings cap for the 2012 season.
- Livan Hernandez will be shut down after his start on Sunday so the Nationals can take look at some younger pitchers, reports MLB.com's Bill Ladson. Hernandez agreed to the move and will be "a mentor/coach" for the club's young pitchers, perhaps with an eye towards a coaching job after his retires. Hernandez wants to return to Washington next season and has even offered to pitch middle relief, noting he will not go to the bullpen for any other team.
- If Hernandez doesn't re-sign, Adam Kilgore hears from a source that the Marlins are the top candidates to sign the veteran hurler.
- With Andy MacPhail rumored to be leaving at the end of the season, MASNsports.com's Amber Theoharis looks back at MacPhail's three best moves as the Orioles' president of baseball operations.
- This is probably no surprise given MacPhail's possible departure, but Jeff Zrebiec of the Baltimore Sun expects "a significant front office overhaul" in Baltimore. In that same piece, Zrebiec also discusses how Kevin Gregg is a popular clubhouse figure and a valuable mentor to the Orioles' young pitchers, but the right-hander is having a difficult time closing games. Gregg is under contract for $5.8MM in 2012, with a $6MM club option for 2013.
- Also from Zrebiec, Brian Roberts has been told by doctors that his concussion problems shouldn't be career-ending. The second baseman hasn't played since May 16 after suffering his second concussion in as many seasons.
On this date 11 years ago, the Angels signed amateur free agent Ervin Santana. The right-hander recently reached the 200-inning plateau for the fourth time in his career and he has a 3.27 ERA to go along with his July no-hitter. Here are the latest links from around MLB…
- Nationals GM Mike Rizzo is "definitely" on the Cubs' wish list for their vacant GM position, reports Adam Kilgore of The Washington Post. Rizzo shot down any speculation about him leaving though, saying "there's nowhere I'd rather be than the Washington Nationals right now," and "this is the place I need to be."
- MLB.com's Mark Bowman reports (on Twitter) that Kurt Kemp has stepped down as Braves' director of player development to pursue other opportunities.
- Jim Salisbury of CSNPhilly.com suggests that the Phillies could have interest in the recently designated for assignment Aaron Rowand after he clears waivers. He would not be eligible for postseason play, but Salisbury notes the team has had a "longstanding interest" in bringing Rowand back after losing him to the Giants in free agency.
- In a piece for Grantland.com, Jonah Keri wonders if losing Albert Pujols to the free agency would really be that bad for the Cardinals.
- Indians minor leaguer Hector Rondon told Carlos Alberto Zambrano of the Venezuelan paper Lider en Deportes that it appears that Cleveland starter Carlos Carrasco will undergo Tommy John surgery. Rendon says the currently-disabled Carrasco told him of the upcoming operation.
- Meanwhile, Indians skipper Manny Acta told MLB.com's Jordan Bastian that the team is stil exploring options for Carrasco's injured elbow (Twitter link). He acknowledged that Tommy John surgery was a possibility, but it is not a certainty at this point.
- Nate Mink of MLB.com explains that Nationals starter Stephen Strasburg showed he's ready for the Major Leagues in his final minor league rehab start.
- Doug Miller of MLB.com shows how so many former members of Mike Scioscia's coaching staff – Joe Maddon, Bud Black and Ron Roenicke – have gone on to become MLB managers.
- It appears that first base prospect Angel Villalona will return to the Giants organization now that murder charges against him have been dismissed, Henry Schulman of the San Francisco Chronicle writes. The Giants expect to resolve a $5MM breach-of-contract lawsuit that Villalona filed against the team.
- Former GM Jim Bowden introduces us to the agents behind this offseason's big-name free agents in a must-read piece for ESPN. If you're interested in agents, be sure to check out our Agency Database.
The Nationals expect Stephen Strasburg to return to the Major Leagues one week from today. Here are some links from D.C. in the meantime…
- Nationals manager Davey Johnson told Adam Kilgore of the Washington Post that he intends to handle Strasburg with "kid gloves" as the right-hander completes his return from the Tommy John surgery he underwent last September.
- Livan Hernandez said today that he wants to return to Washington in 2012, even if it means working in middle relief next year, Kilgore reports (on Twitter).
- Top 2010 draft pick Bryce Harper will suit up for the Scottsdale Scorpions of the Arizona Fall League this year, MLB.com's Jonathan Mayo writes. Harper, who made it to Double-A in his first professional season, is now recovering from a hamstring injury.
- Kilgore suggests Nationals starter Jordan Zimmermann could be an extension candidate this offseason. Zimmermann, a likely super two player, came back from Tommy John surgery to put together a fantastic season in 2011, but he has now reached his innings limit for the year.
- For a look at a key member of the Nationals' front office, check out MLBTR's piece on GM candidate Bryan Minniti.
Dan Uggla will look to extend his hitting streak to 29 games tonight, when the Braves take on the Marlins, Uggla's former team. Here's the latest on the division, as Florida starter Brad Hand prepares for Uggla and his teammates…
- Bill Conlin of the Philadelphia Daily News shows that the Phillies have traded prospect after prospect in recent years. But the established big leaguers they've obtained – Brad Lidge, Cliff Lee, Roy Halladay, Roy Oswalt and Hunter Pence – have propelled the Phillies from contender to baseball superpower, Conlin writes.
- Stephen Strasburg can mean to the Nationals what Justin Verlander means to the Tigers, Yahoo's Jeff Passan writes.
- Newsday's Ken Davidoff wonders how MLB teams including the Mets will value Jose Reyes this offseason, when the shortstop hits free agency. Reyes left yesterday's game with an injury and questions about his health could prevent teams from guaranteeing $142MM, the amount Carl Crawford obtained last winter.
On this date in 1998, the Mariners traded Joey Cora to the Indians for David Bell. More than a decade later, Cora is still making headlines in Cleveland – sort of. The White Sox coach translated for Manny Ramirez at this afternoon’s Progressive Field press conference. Here are some more links as we await another round of trades…
- The Braves are listening to offers for Troy Glaus, according to David O'Brien of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution (on Twitter). On Sunday we heard that multiple AL teams have some interest in Glaus.
- The A's re-signed Tommy Everidge, who played for Oakland last year, but hasn't appeared in the majors since, according to the Pacific Coast League's transactions page.
- Dodgers manager Joe Torre told Dylan Hernandez of the LA Times that he expects to be able to work out a deal with the Dodgers this offseason if he decides to manage in 2011 (Twitter link).
- The Padres are still interested in adding a starting pitcher, according to Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports (on Twitter). MLBTR's Tim Dierkes provided a list of potentially available starters earlier today. Jon Heyman of SI.com says the Padres claimed a number of pitchers, but weren't able to work out any deals (Twitter link).
- Nationals GM Mike Rizzo told Adam Kilgore of the Washington Post that Stephen Strasburg will undergo Tommy John surgery this Friday.
- MLBPA leader Michael Weiner told Andrew Marchand of ESPNNewYork that the hearing between Francisco Rodriguez and the Mets will take place in mid-October (Twitter link).
Links for Friday…
- Dylan Hernandez of The Los Angeles Times says (via Twitter) that Dodgers GM Ned Colletti hasn't asked anyone to waive their no-trade clause, which would include Manny Ramirez.
- Lyle Overbay was pulled from tonight's game in the 6th inning, and Jon Paul Morosi of FoxSports.com says there has been trade interest in the Jays' first baseman recently. However, Overbay left for precautionary reasons as he's been feeling under the weather according to MLB.com's Jordan Bastian (Twitter links).
- Rob Bradford of WEEI.com reports that Brad Hawpe chose the Rays over the Red Sox was because there was "a perceived better fit in terms of guaranteed playing time."
- The Dodgers placed Ted Lilly on waivers today, according to Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports (on Twitter). ESPN.com's Jayson Stark reported yesterday that the Dodgers aren't inclined to trade Lilly.
- Yahoo's Jeff Passan reports that Marlins president David Samsom directed millions of dollars to owner Jeffrey Loria. Samson has said publicly that he did no such thing, but Passan contests that "what Samson said was so provably false that it was akin to a 3-year-old trying to hide his peas under a pile of mashed potatoes."
- Stephen Strasburg will probably need Tommy John surgery, according to the Nationals.
- Mark Feinsand of the New York Daily News says the idea of Joe Girardi leaving the Yankees for the Cubs this offseason is "pure insanity," since the Yankees will always provide Girardi with the chance to win.
- However, Cubs sources confirmed to Gordon Wittenmyer of the Chicago Sun-Times that the Cubs will pursue Girardi to manage, possibly as the leading candidate, if he is available.
- Padres GM Jed Hoyer told MLB.com's Corey Brock that he and Red Sox GM Theo Epstein joked about the inevitable Adrian Gonzalez rumors last winter. As Brock shows, those rumors are a thing of the past for the first place Padres.
Sunday night linkage..
- Tim Brown of Yahoo Sports implores the Nats to get a deal done with Bryce Harper.
- Nats pitcher Stephen Strasburg had some interesting comments to make about the club's negotiations with Harper, writes Bill Ladson of MLB.com.
- Dylan Hernandez of the Los Angeles Times (in these tweets) says that rival agents think that the Dodgers will offer first-round pick Zach Lee roughly $3MM and at least one of them thinks that will be enough to get a deal done.
- Toronto manager Cito Gaston told David Ely of MLB.com that he didn't think Ricky Romero would feel any pressure after signing a lucrative contract extension. The lefty didn't show any signs of jitters today as he allowed just one run in seven innings against the Angels.
- Boston outfielder Jeremy Hermida is making the most of his time in the minors, writes Daniel Barbarisi of The Providence Journal. Hermida was just thirty days shy of accruing enough major league time to decline a demotion when he was sent down by the Red Sox.
On this date 41 years ago, Major League owners unanimously elected Bowie Kuhn to a seven-year term as commissioner. It was under Kuhn that the reserve clause was eliminated, paving the way for free agency as we know it.
We've got a lot of links to get to, so let's dive right in…
- Joe Posnanski tries to determine who the worst everyday player in baseball is.
- Royals Review breaks down all the changes the Royals have gone through since the start of last season.
- Mike Scioscia's Tragic Illness congratulates Garret Anderson on the worst offensive season in Dodgers history.
- Bright House Sports Network looks at the Rays' history of waiver trades, plus some names they might target this month.
- The Process Report wonders if this season will be Dan Wheeler's last stand in Tampa.
- DRays Bay tries to figure out if Gabe Kapler should be designated for assignment.
- Disciples of Uecker thinks the Jim Edmonds-Chris Dickerson trade was the best for everyone.
- Around The Majors posted a two part series looking at the events that have brought Andres Torres' career back from the dead (parts one & two).
- Meanwhile, Joe Pawlikowski at FanGraphs examines Pat Burrell's resurgence since joining the Giants.
- The Nats Blog breaks down Stephen Strasburg's first bump in the road.
- Red Sox Beacon re-introduces us to Carlos Delgado.
- U.S.S. Mariner looks at the job security of Major League managers, or the lack thereof.
- Camden Crazies explains the Buck Showalter magic going on in Baltimore.
- Randall On Baseball revisits the trade that sent Brandon Morrow to the Blue Jays for Brandon League.
- Baseball 101 looks at a different way of valuing relievers based on the work of Bill James.
- Baseball Analysts analyzed the Rule 5 Draft.
If you have a suggestion for this feature, Mike can be reached here.
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