Tadahito Iguchi Rumors
According to Troy Renck and Patrick Saunders, the Rockies met with Tadahito Iguchi's agent yesterday to discuss their second base opening. Iguchi prefers the idea of second base, and is looking for a two-year deal. Other teams interested in Iguchi are the Dodgers, Giants, Phillies, and Brewers.
Other second basemen on Colorado's radar include Chris Burke and Mark Loretta.
Pat Gillick told reporters a few minutes ago that Tadahito Iguchi has reconsidered his stance to market himself strictly as a second baseman. Iguchi is now open to playing third, and the Phillies might bring him back.
Tom Krasovic fills us in on the latest with the Padres.
- Kevin Towers is considering Mark Loretta and Tadahito Iguchi as second base options. Loretta has expressed interest. I wonder how this will make the Padres feel; his strong flirtations may turn them off.
- Jake Peavy will get full no-trade protection for 2008-10, limited for 2011-12.
- As reported yesterday Towers is in talks for Mark Prior and Josh Towers. Towers said that himself? Tampering!
- The Padres still expect Michael Barrett to accept arby. Krasovic mentions the Cubs actually considered having Barrett switch positions last year. Yes! Barrett should market himself as a third baseman and play the field.
- The Padres recently talked about a multiyear (probably two year) deal with Mike Cameron.
In some ways, Tadahito Iguchi might be a better buy at second base than Luis Castillo. He's getting half the press, but that doesn't mean he's getting half the interest. Iguchi's agent said today that the Astros, Brewers, Padres, Angels, and Rockies have expressed interest. Keep in mind that the Phillies asked Iguchi about playing third base several weeks ago and he said he'd rather sign elsewhere at a second baseman.
I wonder if Iguchi may have relaxed that stance. The Brewers and Angels have third base vacancies. They have Rickie Weeks and Howie Kendrick at second base, respectively. Weeks could be an interesting option in center, and Kendrick has been rumored as part of a Miguel Cabrera package. So Iguchi could theoretically still play second for either club.
The Padres and Rockies just have good old-fashioned vacancies at second base. Both clubs could still fill the spot internally - the Padres with Matt Antonelli and the Rockies with Ian Stewart.
As for the 'Stros, well, Ed Wade has contacted half the free agent class.
As promised, new Astros GM Ed Wade has touched base with a ton of free agents. We already knew about Luis Castillo, Jon Lieber, Scott Linebrink, Torii Hunter, Aaron Rowand, and Tom Glavine (see Astros rumor archive).
Today we've got more names to add to the list, courtesy of Jose de Jesus Ortiz. The most interesting one: closer Francisco Cordero. Buster Olney's thinking is that the Astros contacting Cordero indicates a willingness to trade incumbent closer Brad Lidge. Olney spoke to one executive who predicted Cordero would get $40MM this winter. That sounds about right. Cordero's agent, the delightfully named Bean Stringfellow, represented Billy Wagner for his landmark four-year, $43MM deal in November of 2005. If several teams decide they need to have an All-Star closer, I could see bidding getting closer to $50MM for Cordero. Or even a five-year deal.
The Astros are also poking around on a couple of second baseman, despite their supposed satisfaction with Chris Burke. Aside from Castillo, Wade has contacted Tadahito Iguchi and Kaz Matsui. That trio pretty much sums up the second base market.
By the way, Olney also notes that any notion of the Astros making Roy Oswalt available is false.
According to Jim Salisbury of the Philadelphia Inquirer, the Phillies asked Tadahito Iguchi about re-signing to play third base in 2008. He said he wants to stay at second base, so he won't be re-signing with the Phils. It was a creative thought by the Phillies given the weak market for third basemen.
Where might Iguchi land as a contender for the best free agent second baseman? The Twins, Mariners, Mets, and Rockies seem like possibilities.
According to Yahoo Japan, the Yomiuri Giants are looking into signing free agent second baseman Tadahito Iguchi this winter. However, my translator Tak notes that Iguchi is unlikely to return to Japan if MLB teams show interest in him.
Overall this season, the 32 year-old Iguchi is hitting .269/.349/.402 in 458 ABs. He's been better since jumping to the NL in a trade to Philadelphia: .313/.370/.450 in 131 ABs.
Iguchi is joined by Luis Castillo, Damion Easley, Marcus Giles, Mark Loretta, Kaz Matsui, and Jose Valentin in the free agent second baseman class. He might be the best option at the position and could take a three-year, $12MM type deal comparable to Mark DeRosa's.
According to WSCR 670 out of Chicago, the Phillies have acquired second baseman Tadahito Iguchi from the White Sox for 21 year-old Low A ball reliever Mike Dubee. Dubee, son of Phillies pitching coach Rich Dubee, was originally drafted by the White Sox in 2004 but did not sign. Here's the press release for the trade, if you're interested.
You really can't fault the Phils for making the move; they had to bring someone in to man second base. They didn't give up much in Dubee, and they could snag some draft picks for Iguchi after the season. [Correction: Sounds like the Phils won't get draft picks for him. I suppose if that was possible the Sox would've just kept him.]
The move leaves Mark Loretta, Mark Grudzielanek, Jose Castillo, Rich Aurilia, Ray Durham, Ty Wigginton, and maybe Luis Castillo as the available second baseman if the Padres or Mets are interested. Plenty of options, really.
The Padres have gotten a woeful .244/.315/.328 line out of their second baseman, most of it from Marcus Giles. They're starting to work Geoff Blum in more often, but it's a clear area for an upgrade.
The two names on the radar, according to the San Diego Union-Tribune, are Mark Loretta and Tadahito Iguchi.
Iguchi's slugging percentage is down this year, mostly from an awful May. But he still represents an upgrade on Giles.
The more versatile Loretta is hitting .297/.373/.390 this year; he's done a nice job drawing walks. Loretta pushed to sign with the Padres, but Kevin Towers stood him up. Now the Friars have come crawling back. The problem is that the Phillies and Mets have sustained injuries to their second basemen and could get in on him.
Joel Sherman of the New York Post has an article today regarding ten veterans who may be traded this month. He's packed the column full of insider info beyond the ten players highlighted; check it out.
- Mark Teixeira is now more likely to be dealt than Eric Gagne. Sherman sees the Angels as perhaps the best possibility here; they'd have to include Casey Kotchman. I imagine Ervin Santana's stock is down far enough that the Rangers would not settle for the two.
- The Indians appear to be out on Gagne but the Tigers still make sense for all parties. Would Todd Jones graciously step down from his closer post? Detroit's bullpen has actually been doing well lately.
- The Royals want a righthanded-hitting center fielder in return for Octavio Dotel. Now that's a tall order. Sherman names Lastings Milledge and Carlos Gomez as two who fit the bill, but such a trade would require young talent like Zack Greinke coming back to the Mets. Just speculating, but Melky Cabrera and Reggie Willits also fit the Royals' need.
- Apparently the Mariners and Braves are "very interested' in Dmitri Young. That's the first I've heard of a team besides Atlanta inquiring.
- Oddly, the Devil Rays appear to have some interest in Kyle Farnsworth if the money can be worked out. They like Scott Proctor as well, so keep an eye on that Ty Wigginton rumor. Sherman mentions that the market is heavy with available role players, so look for a lot of boring deals with that type of player. Just kidding, trade rumors are never boring. Sherman tosses out Tadahito Iguchi to the Padres; that's a fresh one.
- Sherman runs down all of the available relievers we already know about. Throw Kiko Calero in there as a new name.