Steve Trachsel Rumors
Bill Center of the San Diego Union-Tribune talked to Padres GM Kevin Towers, who said last week he's interested in starter Livan Hernandez and outfielder Cliff Floyd. The Padres are no longer targeting a $40MM payroll, so it seems they can afford to add a million or two for these two free agents. The Padres have two open spots in the rotation.
Hernandez, 34 in February, posted a 6.05 ERA and 3.35 K/9 in 180 innings last year for the Twins and Rockies. He earned $5MM. Floyd, 36, hit .268/.349/.455 in 284 plate appearances for the Rays last year; he suffered a slightly torn labrum in the World Series. He earned $2.75MM and had an '09 option for the same amount declined in November.
Center adds that the Padres had free agent pitchers Brian Lawrence, Steve Trachsel, and Scott Elarton work out at Petco Park recently but decided not to invite them to Spring Training (Ben mentioned this on Saturday; just a reminder). Trachsel was designated for assignment by the Orioles in June of last year and was thought to be considering retirement.
Links for Saturday...
- Cameron Smith of the Washington Post thinks the Orioles should pull the trigger on a possible Rich Hill deal immediately.
- MLB.com's Scott Merkin reports that Jermaine Dye remains "unfazed" by all the trade rumors that have involved him this winter.
- Joe Cowley of the Chicago Sun-Times suggests Dye doesn't expect to return to the White Sox after 2009.
- Dejan Kovacevic of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette writes that Eric Hinske attracted lots of interest. Hinske said eight teams showed "good interest" in him.
- Troy E. Renck of the Denver Post likes the Josh Fogg signing because of his clubhouse presence and his price.
- Bill Center of the San Diego Union-Tribune heard that the Padres will not offer a contract to Brian Lawrence, Steve Trachsel or Scott Elarton (hat tip to Buster Olney).
- Olney heard that the Blue Jays are looking for bargains to stock up their minor league system.
According to Roch Kubatko of the Baltimore Sun, the Orioles designated pitcher Steve Trachsel for assignment today. The move was expected, given Trachsel's 8.39 ERA and 0.59 K/BB in 39.6 innings this year.
The Sun's Jeff Zrebiec talked with Trachsel this spring and got the impression that he'd retire if the Orioles let him go (unless another team puts him in the rotation).
Today we've got a trio of pitchers who may be ready to call it quits.
- John Smoltz will have season-ending shoulder surgery. Retirement is not out of the question, but right now he's got his eye on returning in '09.
- Jeff Zrebiec talked with Steve Trachsel in spring; he'll probably retire if the Orioles release him.
- Hal McCoy expects Kent Mercker to hang it up. He's on the 60-day DL with a sore back.
A few notes to wrap up what I've come across this Saturday:
- The Hardball Times has an interview with Pirates GM Neal Huntington. It's plenty long. He talks about the dynamics in dealing with his former team, the Cleveland Indians.
- Steve Trachsel might be on his way out with the Orioles. Tough to argue against that move. As I mentioned in an earlier post, the O's are in the cellar, and might not climb out for the rest of 2008.
- Chris Duncan down, Joe Mather up. Could Mather be the piece that rounds out a powerful outfield? Or could he be trade bait to bring back, say, a second baseman?
- Glendon Rusch is back in the majors, having been recalled by the Rockies.
Jeff Zrebiec of the Baltimore Sun says the Orioles are looking at various one or two-year stopgap free agents.
- According to Scott Boras, he and Andy MacPhail have discussed six or seven of his clients. Among them are Kyle Lohse, Ron Villone, and Corey Patterson. Lohse would probably not sign for two years, I'm guessing. Or in the American League. Who else might they have discussed? Jeff Weaver? Anyway, it's nice to see the Orioles getting along with Boras!
- Zrebiec notes that the O's have had "preliminary talks" with the agents for Shawn Chacon and Steve Trachsel. Looks like MacPhail just wants some warm bodies for the back end of the rotation. Chacon seems to prefer to the Pirates, and a return to Pittsburgh looks "increasingly logical."
- Zbrebiec says Rod Barajas seems to be headed elsewhere despite "significant discussions" with Baltimore.
Tracy Ringolsby of the Rocky Mountain News has a list of available players the Rockies like. He names Chris Burke, Mark Redman, Steve Trachsel, Will Ohman, and Chris Capuano as the targets.
Trachsel and Redman we know about; they are two among a slew of starters the Rockies are considering. Capuano is new to the list, however. They'll have some competition from the Cardinals on him.
The Rockies like Ohman, who the Cubs consider expendable. It's strange, though, because the Rockies are currently shopping a better southpaw reliever in Brian Fuentes. Fuentes wants to close, so Dan O'Down will listen to offers. But it doesn't make sense that a team would surrender a young, eighth-inning ready reliever for Fuentes.
Random rumors, let's round 'em up.
- How about Bartolo Colon to the Mets? David Lennon notes that Omar Minaya sold the farm to acquire him in 2002 as the Expos' GM.
- Scott Lauber says Aaron Rowand is insisting on a five-year deal. He adds that the Phils have interest in Geoff Jenkins but he might be too expensive.
- Cameron Maybin and Andrew Miller are considered untouchable, so don't look for the Tigers to make any big trades.
- Patrick Saunders runs down some free agents the Rockies may consider for the back end of their rotation: Tony Armas, Matt Clement, Steve Trachsel, Josh Fogg, Jason Jennings, Jon Lieber, Mark Redman, Brett Tomko, and Kip Wells.
- The Rays may go after Tony Clark, in large part because they're seeking leadership. Marc Topkin agrees, and also rattles off Geoff Jenkins, Brad Wilkerson, Cliff Floyd, Mike Lamb, Mark Sweeney, Corey Koskie, and Greg Nortion as other possibilities.
- It's expected that Eric Gagne will not accept Boston's offer of arbitration, because he wants to close. One place he could do so is Texas, who like him if he'll take one year.
- The Marlins' new marketing materials exclude Miguel Cabrera.
- The Rangers have interest in Sean Casey and Mike Lamb.
UPDATE, 11-30-07 at 11am: Troy E. Renck spoke to Dan O'Dowd, who indicates the Rox are not close on Redman or Trachsel. They like that pair, but Brett Tomko and Jason Jennings continue to catch O'Dowd's eye.
FROM 11-29-07 at 2pm:
According to Tracy Ringolsby, the Rockies already have their 2008 rotation picked out: Aaron Cook, Jeff Francis, Ubaldo Jimenez, Franklin Morales, and Jason Hirsh. Of course, counting on each to make 30 starts would be folly. With that in mind, Dan O'Dowd is looking for some veteran filler. Specifically, he's trying to sign Mark Redman and Steve Trachsel. Trachsel in particular would like to become a Rockie.
Trax is 37; he pitched 159 innings over 29 starts in 2007. He's always working out of a jam, given the amount of baserunners he puts on. And he definitely pitches to contact. Whenever a pitcher walks more than he whiffs, that's not good. The Cubs deemed him to be worth less than $4.75MM, declining his '08 option for that amount. I'm thinking one year, $3MM.
Redman will be 34 in January. At one point he could almost be called an innings-eater, but the lefty doesn't appear to have much left in the tank.
MLBTR: Andy MacPhail has said he doesn't expect to be in on many free agents, but there was a rumor that the O's are entertaining Jose Guillen [note: written prior to debunking]. Do you expect them to spend any money on free agents this winter?
Zrebiec: First, the Guillen report was inaccurate. He's exactly the type of player the Orioles are not interested in at this stage. As for other free agents, I see the Orioles making a couple of small, low price/low risk signings to fill out their roster.
For example, I could see them signing a veteran starter on the cheap, somebody in the Steve Trachsel mold. I wouldn't rule out them signing a reliever, though it won't be at anywhere close to the contracts they gave out last year for Bradford, Walker and Baez. And if Tejada is traded and I fully expect him to be, signing a guy like Cesar Izturis could appeal to them. They've liked him in the past.
But for the most part, I think you'll see them try to fill their holes in trades and then patching a couple of spots up with one or two signings. I think it was telling that MacPhail didn't have one extensive meeting with an agent at the GM meetings.