Steve Lombardozzi Rumors
The Mets have decided to place both Ike Davis and Lucas Duda on their Opening Day roster, Kristie Ackert of New York Daily News writes. GM Sandy Alderson did not confirm which of the two would start at first base. Davis, in particular, has frequently been the subject of trade rumors, and the Pirates have been connected to Davis and have a notably unsettled first-base situation. But it appears Davis may remain a Met for now. Here are more notes from the East divisions.
- The Nationals are one of several teams to touch base with infielder Kevin Frandsen, Adam Kilgore of the Washington Post tweets. Frandsen recently opted for free agency after the Phillies outrighted him. Frandsen hit .234/.296/.341 in 278 plate appearances while playing every infield position but shortstop for Philadelphia last year.
- The trade of Alex Gonzalez to the Tigers was a "gem" from the Orioles' perspective, Dan Connolly of the Baltimore Sun writes. The move demonstrates one reason it makes sense for organizations to sign lots of players to minor-league deals, Connolly suggests -- the Orioles signed Gonzalez with little risk, then were able to flip him for a potentially useful, versatile, cost-controlled player in Lombardozzi.
Lombardozzi, 25, hit .259/.278/.338 in 307 plate appearances for the Nationals last year, appearing at second base, left field, and third base. He was traded to the Tigers in December along with Robbie Ray and Ian Krol for Doug Fister. Lombardozzi is a Maryland native whose father spent parts of six seasons in the Majors. The move gives the Orioles added infield depth in light of third baseman Manny Machado starting the season on the DL. The Orioles added Triple-A depth yesterday with their waiver claim of David Adams.
Gonzalez, 37, was in Orioles camp as a non-roster invitee. Gonzalez had signed a minor league deal with Baltimore in January, and put together a strong line in 30 spring plate appearances. Gonzalez provides another option for the Tigers for the injured Jose Iglesias, who will begin the season on the DL and will miss likely significant time with stress fractures in both shins. The Tigers acquired infielder Andrew Romine from the Angels two days ago.
The Tigers' return for Fister, already seen around the game as light, takes a further hit with Lombardozzi being swapped for an expendable player like Gonzalez.
Today in NL Central news, the Cardinals reached a three-year agreement with lefty reliever Randy Choate, the Pirates traded for wild power lefty Andy Oliver, and the Cubs signed right fielder Nate Schierholtz to a one-year deal. The latest from the division:
- Speaking of lefties, the Brewers are in the market for one, tweets Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel. Haudricourt can see Tom Gorzelanny as a fit, since the recently non-tendered 30-year-old can retire righties as well as lefties. Gorzelanny, though, has been some combination of wild and homer-prone against righties the last few years.
- J.P. Howell is a name to watch for the Brewers, as MLB.com's Adam McCalvy notes that GM Doug Melvin met with agent Greg Genske today at the Winter Meetings. Genske's agency also represents free agents Edwin Jackson, Francisco Liriano, Brad Penny, and Joe Saunders.
- "I don’t see this being one of our more active years at this point," Melvin told Haudricourt today.
- The Cubs were in on Jeff Keppinger and Eric Chavez before they signed with the White Sox and Diamondbacks, respectively, GM Jed Hoyer told reporters. The Cubs are seeking someone who can help at the hot corner.
- The Cardinals want to upgrade with a utility infielder, tweets Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports. They've discussed free agent Alex Gonzalez and trade options Chris Getz of the Royals and Steve Lombardozzi of the Nationals.
The Nationals rewrote Major League history on Sunday in yet another sign that the beleaguered franchise has turned the proverbial corner. Bryce Harper and Steve Lombardozzi became the first rookies to hit back-to-back home runs to lead off a game in the modern era. Here's the latest odds and ends from around the league as we look forward to Monday's amateur draft...
- Alfonso Soriano is open to being traded to a contender as he concedes his career is winding down at 36, reports Joe Cowley of the Chicago Sun-Times. Soriano has made himself an attractive trade candidate with a 2012 slash line of .267/.311/.460, but remains unlikely to be moved thanks to his hefty contract. The Cubs owe Soriano the remainder of his $18MM salary for this year and $36MM over the next two seasons.
- Cubs manager Dale Sveum hasn't seen team president Theo Epstein or scouting chief Jason McLeod in days and that's because they are in lockdown mode for Monday's amateur draft, says Paul Sullivan of the Chicago Tribune. "Theo and Jason and Jed (Hoyer), they've had a whole different system in the draft, and obviously it's worked pretty well," Sveum said. "The high picks they had in Boston panned out pretty good." Equipped with the sixth pick in the draft, the Cubs are expected to take high school center fielder Albert Almora or Puerto Rican shortstop Carlos Correa based upon projections from Baseball America.
- Look for the Mets to consider making minor moves at the trade deadline rather than taking on salary to acquire an expensive veteran, writes Matthew Cerrone of MetsBlog.com. Cerrone points to Buster Olney's comments on Sunday night in which he stated that the team is focused on the big picture when Matt Harvey and Zack Wheeler arrive in Queens in as soon as 14 months.