Stephen Drew Rumors
Brennan Boesch has drawn trade interest from multiple teams, Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports reports (on Twitter). While one of Morosi’s sources believes a trade could be completed during next week’s Winter Meetings, the Tigers might prefer to trade the non-tender candidate before Friday’s deadline for tendering contracts to arbitration eligible players. With a projected salary of $2.1MM, it’s hard to imagine Boesch has substantial trade value.
The Tigers are interested in free agent shortstop Stephen Drew on a short-term deal, Morosi reports (on Twitter). If the Tigers acquire Drew, they'd be positioned to trade Jhonny Peralta to a team such as the Diamondbacks. Jon Heyman reported eight days ago that the Tigers, Red Sox and Yankees are interested in Drew.
Shortstop Stephen Drew is drawing interest from such clubs as the Tigers, Red Sox and Yankees, reports CBS Sports' Jon Heyman. Drew became a free agent after the A's declined their half of a $10MM mutual option in October, though Oakland is still interested in re-signing the Scott Boras client at a lower price.
Drew could start in Boston or at least provide veteran backup behind Jose Iglesias, while Heyman writes that the Yankees saw Drew as a "super sub" who could provide depth around the infield. New York didn't see Drew as a short-term fill-in for Derek Jeter at short since Brian Cashman is confident that Jeter will be recovered from ankle surgery by Opening Day.
The Tigers already have a shortstop in Jhonny Peralta, though ESPN's Jim Bowden reports (Twitter link) that the Tigers look to sign Drew and then deal Peralta to either the Red Sox or the Diamondbacks. We heard earlier today that Peralta was drawing interest from Arizona.
Peralta hit .239/.305/.384 batting line in 585 plate appearances for the Tigers last season and the Tigers picked up his $6MM club option for 2013 last month. Peralta's 2012 performance wasn't much better than Drew's .223/.309/.348 line in 327 PAs with Arizona and Oakland, though Drew was returning in July after being sidelined for almost a full year with a severe ankle injury.
- Although criticism is warranted, the Blue Jays-Marlins blockbuster was a legitimate baseball trade because Miami received plenty of young, high-end talent in return.
- Diamondbacks GM Kevin Towers was never really in the hunt for Jose Reyes, and he has yet to be overwhelmed with an offer for Justin Upton.
- The Red Sox are more likely to deal Jarrod Saltalamacchia than Ryan Lavarnway in the wake of the David Ross signing, but only if they get a good offer.
- Both the Red Sox and Diamondbacks are interested in Asdrubal Cabrera of the Indians while Boston also has some interest in Stephen Drew.
- Carl Pavano was given a clean bill of health in September after missing most of the season with a shoulder problem. His agent Dave Pepe has received a few preliminary calls, and Pavano could sign a minor league deal.
- Most executives love Dan Haren but would not be comfortable offering more than two years given concerns about his back. Most prefer a one-year deal with an option.
- Eight teams, including the Red Sox, have interest in right-hander Jason Grilli according to his agent Gary Sheffield. They have three offers at the moment but are not in a hurry to sign.
- The Indians are looking at Kevin Youkilis at first base while the Phillies and Dodgers like him at third. He's a back-burner option for Los Angeles and although Towers made a call, the Diamondbacks likely won't be involved.
The Athletics have had minimal contract talks with their free agents this winter, with the exception of Jonny Gomes, writes Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle. Sources say that Oakland presented Gomes' former agency, ACES, with an offer at the end of the season. The two sides were unable to come to terms on a deal, however, and the A's went on to trade for Chris Young. Here's more from Slusser..
- Brandon McCarthy has drawn immediate interest from numerous teams including the Cubs, White Sox and Blue Jays. McCarthy was impressive when healthy but missed significant time thanks to shoulder issues and the scary line drive incident in early September.
- Oakland hopes to continue talks with shortstop Stephen Drew, who became a free agent after the club declined their side of a $10MM mutual option. The shortstop posted a combined batting line of .223/.309/.348 in 327 plate appearances for the Diamondbacks and A's in 2012.
- The Athletics won't totally rule out a return for Brandon Inge, but he hasn't been considered a strong candidate to return.
- The A's agreed to a new one-year deal with Bartolo Colon earlier this afternoon, and GM Billy Beane told MLB.com's Jane Lee that he considers the right-hander low-risk depth (Twitter link).
- Slusser notes (on Twitter) that the Colon deal will not impact the club's attempts to re-sign McCarthy.
Mike Axisa contributed to this post.
The latest from notes and rumors from Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com...
- The Mets are discussing a long-term deal with David Wright, Heyman reports. They'll exercise the third baseman's $16MM option for 2013 by tomorrow, assuming a larger deal isn't completed by then. The sides appear to have made progress, though some say the negotiations are progressing slowly. It appears the discussions will continue after the option's exercised, Heyman writes.
- The Athletics are talking to free agent shortstop Stephen Drew about a new contract, Heyman reports. The A's declined their half of Drew's 2013 mutual option yesterday, but assistant general manager David Forst said the team will continue talking to him about a possible deal.
- Everth Cabrera has hired Scott Boras as his agent, Heyman reports (on Twitter). Cabrera, a former ACES client, will be arbitration eligible for the first time this coming offseason. Be sure to check out MLBTR’s Agency Database for any information about player representatives.
- The Angels are still talking to teams about possible deals involving Ervin Santana and Dan Haren, Heyman reports. In case you missed it, MLBTR reported today that Santana switched agencies again.
The A's declined their half of Stephen Drew's mutual $10MM option earlier today, but assistant general manager David Forst told Joe Stiglich of the Bay Area News Group that the team will continue to negotiate with the shortstop. Forst feels that the team has reason to be optimistic, but $10MM wasn't a number they were comfortable with (All Twitter links).
Drew was injured for much of the 2012 season and was acquired by the A's in an August trade. Drew hit .250/.326/.382 with five homers in 39 games for the AL West Champions. Overall on the year, however, Drew's triple-slash line was a meager .223/.309/.348.
The A's traded 2012 Opening Day starter Cliff Pennington to Drew's former team, the Diamondbacks, earlier this month, so there's a clear need at shortstop. Drew represents one of the better shortstop options on this season's free agent market in spite of his diminished production, meaning GM Billy Beane will have some competition.
Drew, who is represented by Scott Boras, received a $1.35MM buyout when the A's bought out their half of his option.
The A's announced that they exercised their club option for Grant Balfour and declined their side of Stephen Drew's mutual option (Twitter link). Balfour will earn $4.5MM to return to Oakland in 2013. Drew, whose option was valued at $10MM, will hit free agency and obtain a $1.35MM buyout.
Balfour appeared in 75 games for the A's this past season, spending much of the year as Bob Melvin's closer. The 34-year-old right-hander collected 24 saves, posting 8.7 K/9 and 3.4 BB/9 in 74 2/3 innings.
Drew, 29, appeared in 39 regular season games for the A's following the midseason trade that sent him from Arizona to Oakland. The shortstop posted a combined batting line of .223/.309/.348 in 327 plate appearances between the two leagues. He projects as one of the top shortstops available in a free agent class that doesn't feature many impact infielders and could even be a fit in Oakland again. Drew will be free to sign with any team starting Saturday.
The latest on the Diamondbacks as General Manager Kevin Towers and Managing General Partner Ken Kendrick opened up a bit on the club's plans..
- Towers told Barry M. Bloom of MLB.com that he has a very open-minded approach to improving the roster and wouldn't rule out a trade of Justin Upton. However, finding the right deal could prove to be difficult. "It's probably going to be very difficult to move him. We've explored it the last couple of years and there wasn't a deal that presented itself that made sense, that we felt was going to make us better," said Towers.
- Kendrick had a similar take in an interview today on KTAR radio, tweets Nick Piecoro of The Arizona Republic. "I would think it’s highly likely that we’ll see Justin Upton in a Diamondbacks uniform next year," Kendrick said. Kendrick also emphasized the club's never-say-never attitude to trades (Twitter link).
- Kendrick seemed to give a less-than-enthusiastic evaluation of right-hander Trevor Bauer. "In an employer/employee situation it’s incumbent on employee to make adjustments to satisfy the needs of the employer," said Kendrick, according to Piecoro (via Twitter).
- When asked if Bauer has a future with the D'Backs, Kendrick responded, "Well he has talent," (via Twitter). Kendrick wasn't asked to expound on his specific issues with the former third-overall pick.
- The club has time to decide on J.J. Putz's $6.5MM option for next season, but Towers termed it a "no-brainer" based on his performance this year and the going rate for closers of his caliber. If Arizona has a sudden change of heart, Putz can be bought out for just $1.5MM.
- Despite falling short of expectations this season, Towers told Bloom that he still believes that the club isn't far from contending once again. The GM also chalked up some of the disappointment for the 2012 season to raised expectations heading into the year.
- Asked about his shopping list for this offseason, Towers said that he will likely target a shortstop to replace Stephen Drew. He doesn't see Willie Bloomquist as a full-time answer given his injury history and John McDonald probably couldn't fill the void at the age of 38. Beyond that, Towers would like to bolster the pitching, but any veteran pitching they acquire would happen via trade. Towers will also look to upgrade at third base this winter.
- Towers won't completely rule out a return for Drew via free agency, but it's not likely seeing as how they already opted to move him this year.
- In general, Towers believes that he will look to improve via trade rather than free agency. The club could free up additional cash by moving an outfielder as they are high on both A.J. Pollock and Adam Eaton, though they should already have enough money to contend next season as it stands.
No one with the Athletics is discounting the possibility of bringing Stephen Drew back for another season, even though most believe his $10MM option would be overly expensive, Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle reports. Drew’s contract includes a $10MM mutual option for 2013 ($1.35MM buyout) and even if he hasn’t considered his options thoroughly, he’s open to the idea of returning.
“I know I have an option and I've got to sit down and discuss it with my family,” Drew told Slusser. “So far, I haven't really thought about it, I just want help this team win."
Many baseball people believe the 29-year-old would be wise to explore his options in free agency, Slusser reports. Shortstops are at a premium, so one person suggested the market for a player such as Drew would be “robust.” He appears to have recovered from the ankle injury that sidelined him for the end of 2011 and the beginning of 2012, posting a .269/.331/.400 batting line with Oakland since being acquired from Arizona on August 20th.
On this date 20 years ago the Mets sent right-hander David Cone to the Blue Jays for 24-year-old second baseman Jeff Kent. Cone helped Toronto win the first of two consecutive World Series titles and Kent went on to become a borderline Hall of Famer (though he spent his most productive seasons in San Francisco). Here are today’s links as we await the next major trade of the 2012 season...
- Alan Blondin of the Houston Chronicle writes that Roger Clemens called his recent performance for the Sugar Land Skeeters a favor to Skeeters manager Gary Gaetti. Clemens told Blondin he doesn't have plans for further pitching performances, but cautioned, "That could change in a couple days."
- Twins general manager Terry Ryan feels that now is the time for Trevor Plouffe to step up and establish himself as the team's long-term answer at third base, writes Phil Mackey of 1500 ESPN. Mackey quotes Ryan as saying Plouffe "[has] the rest of the year" to show the Twins that third base isn't a position they need to address.
- Diamondbacks manager Kirk Gibson and general manager Kevin Towers told Nick Piecoro of the Arizona Republic that they don’t regret trading Stephen Drew to Oakland, even though Willie Bloomquist experienced a setback in his return from a back injury. “No. We wanted to see what [Jake] Elmore was capable of doing,” Towers said. “He’s held his own, I think, defensively out there.”
- David Ortiz, a free agent this offseason, wants to re-sign with the Red Sox, according to Alex Speier of WEEI.com. “This is what I know and this is something I want to be part of,” Ortiz said.
- The Athletics and Astros have improved their farm systems considerably in the last year, Jim Callis of Baseball America writes in this week’s edition of Ask BA.
- The Blue Jays should have publicly told the Red Sox that manager John Farrell is off-limits long ago, Shi Davidi writes at Sportsnet.ca. The Blue Jays have failed to limit speculation about the possibility of Farrell returning to Boston, Davidi writes. Toronto GM Alex Anthopoulos has said the Blue Jays won’t announce an extension with Farrell, even if the sides agree to one.