Terrmel Sledge Rumors
Links for Friday, as the free agent market officially opens...
- As Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports points out, the Angels' lack of interest in Matt Holliday bodes well for the Cardinals, but not for Scott Boras.
- Scott Boras tells FOX Sports that interest in Adrian Beltre and Mike Gonzalez is strong so far. The agent says he's fielded offers for eight players already.
- The Nippon Ham Fighters signed minor league free agent pitcher Buddy Carlyle, says NPB Tracker's Patrick Newman. Newman also says the Yokohama BayStars are working to sign Chris Bootcheck, Jose Castillo, and Terrmel Sledge.
- The Nats hired former Mariners manager John McLaren as a bench coach, according to Ed Price of AOL FanHouse.
- Yahoo's Jeff Passan ranks 131 free agents and provides capsules. We've also got SI's Jon Heyman and AOL FanHouse's Frankie Piliere with Top 50 lists.
- Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch breaks down the market for Mark DeRosa.
- ESPN's Buster Olney notes five arbitration-eligible players who could be traded, including Russell Martin and Kevin Correia.
- SI's Jon Heyman tweets that the Mariners and Tigers continue to discuss Edwin Jackson.
- Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel tweets a comment from Brewers GM Doug Melvin: the team will fill current needs before discussing a Prince Fielder extension.
- Garrett Atkins to Troy E. Renck of the Denver Post: "I know that I will be on another team next year."
- Joe Christensen of the Minneapolis Star-Tribune feels that free agents Carl Pavano, Jarrod Washburn, and Rich Harden are potential fits for the Twins.
- Christensen's colleague Sid Hartman wonders if catcher Mike Redmond "could wind up with a job in the [Twins] organization." However, Redmond told MLB.com's Kelly Thesier a month ago that he plans on playing in 2010.
- Paul Hagen's Phillies source shot down a story that Pat Gillick could be heading back to the Blue Jays.
- Maury Brown of The Biz of Baseball has a Winter Meetings primer.
- Chico Harlan is moving on from the Washington Post's Nationals beat, once a replacement is found.
Random rumors for this evening...
- ESPN's Jerry Crasnick reports that the Rays have contacted Geoff Jenkins' agent. They're eyeing him to replace Delmon Young in right field.
- Cubs lefty Scott Eyre exercised his $3.8MM player option for 2008.
- Terrmel Sledge never quite caught on in the U.S., so he's headed to Japan. I thought he was a sleeper entering 2007 as he'd posted a .985 OPS in Triple A in '06.
- The Yorvit Torrealba deal is official at two years and $7.25MM with a $4MM mutual option for 2010. Mutual options never get exercised by both sides so that doesn't mean much. Michael Barrett and Paul Lo Duca are the two remaining free agent starting catchers.
- It's true, Mike Piazza does have some interest from a Japanese team. But he also has three MLB teams interested, and he's much more likely to stay in the U.S.
- Could Yasuhiko Yabuta lead the Royals to sign Hiroki Kuroda? It's a possibility. The D'Backs are after him as well; Nick Piecoro has some in-depth info about Kuroda.
Kevin Towers made a great trade today, acquiring promising youngsters Chris Young and Adrian Gonzalez (plus Terrmel Sledge) for Adam Eaton and Akinori Otsuka. I didn't think a deal was imminent yesterday, but I also didn't think Jon Daniels would surrender a comparable, younger pitcher in the trade.
In what way is Adam Eaton better than Chris Young? Putting their numbers side by side, I'd say Young is already the preferable pitcher. Their strikeout rates are comparable, and Young's superior control results in fewer baserunners. Young's durability is an unknown, but it couldn't be much worse than Eaton's. Eaton's had a nice assist from Petco, while Young threw well in his initial exposure to the pitchers' hell that is Ameriquest. Throw in the fact that Young is four years away from a big payday while Eaton is right around the corner, and this looks like Jon Daniels's first misstep.
What's more, Adrian Gonzalez is a better bet than Akinori Otsuka. Gonzalez hit .338/.399/.561 in his third crack at Triple A this year. He never stuck with the Rangers, but only received 192 at-bats in the Majors. He's a useful player at his current level, and at 23 years old he can certainly improve.
Otsuka showed some serious signs of decline in his second Major League season. He's 33 years old and had a dangerously bad walk rate in '05. Strikeouts were down as well. He still may be helpful to the Texas bullpen, as he appears to keep the ball in the yard. But keep in mind that's based on just 66 non-Petco Major League innings.
The Otsuka-Gonzalez part of the deal is still fairly reasonable in light of each team's needs. Replacing Eaton with Young, however, heavily favors the Padres.
ESPN is reporting that Jim Bowden picked up Alfonso Soriano for the Nationals and sent Brad Wilkerson and Terrmel Sledge over to the Rangers.
The trade is a pretty fair one by my off-the-cuff analysis. I'll probably have some player projections on RotoAuthority tomorrow, given that players are moving from an extreme pitchers' park to a home run haven.
Once extra piece of information that we've managed to acquire contradicts a statement in the ESPN report. According to ESPN:
"With Jose Vidro already entrenched at second base, it's believed that the Nationals would move Soriano to left field."
My source is saying that the Nationals' front office is quietly concerned that Jose Vidro may be done for his career. Expect Soriano to see most of his time at second base in years to come.