According to Nick Piecoro at the Arizona Republic, the Diamondbacks have released veteran reliever Tom Gordon. Flash, now 41, went on the DL in May with a hamstring injury after pitching only 1.2 innings on the year. He had begun a minor-league rehab assignment on July 13th.
10:51pm: As he often does, Troy Renck of the Denver Post comes through with contract details. Gordon’s incentives are based on the number of days he spends on the active roster.
3:19pm: According to John Gambadoro of KTAR Radio, the Diamondbacks signed reliever Tom Gordon to a one-year deal worth $500K guaranteed. With incentives, Flash could earn up to $2.5MM. Gordon, 41, had ulnar nerve decompression surgery in October. A solid, low-risk acquisition by Arizona.
FRIDAY, 5:15pm: MLB.com’s Steve Gilbert confirms that the Diamondbacks are closing on an agreement with Gordon. "We don’t have a deal yet, but we’re close," said Flash’s agent, Rick Thurman.
THURSDAY, 10:31pm: Piecoro spoke with Thurman, who said, "We’ve had a number of conversations and we’re getting close." Gordon expects to be ready for Opening Day following October elbow surgery. If he’s throwing well, I’m surprised there aren’t more suitors.
THURSDAY, 12:10pm: According to Nick Piecoro of the Arizona Republic, the D’Backs are interested in free agent reliever Tom Gordon. Flash, 41, has been affected by elbow injuries the last two seasons. Arizona can’t have much left to spend.
Piecoro adds that the Diamondbacks were serious players to re-sign Brandon Lyon, but wanted to use him as a starter.
Alright, time to lump today’s remaining options together in one post.
- The Pirates declined Jason Michaels‘ $2.6MM option. He could re-sign for less.
- The Phillies declined their options on So Taguchi ($1.25MM with a $150K buyout) and Tom Gordon ($4.5MM with a $1MM buyout). The moves may have been Pat Gillick’s last as GM.
- The Brewers declined Craig Counsell‘s $3.4MM option, paying a $400K buyout.
- The Athletics declined Alan Embree‘s $3MM option. As a Type B free agent, the A’s could offer him arbitration. Susan Slusser spoke to Embree, who didn’t mind having the option declined.
Nick Cafardo from the Boston Globe has a nice article up catching up on some Hot Stove news, with a few other odds and ends tied in. Let’s hit the highlights here:
- Cafardo seems to think the Yankees could entice C.C. Sabathia to pitch on the East Coast, and that the Angels would be crazy not to re-sign Mark Teixeira at whatever the cost. He also points out Joe Maddon’s connection to Francisco Rodriguez from his days as a coach with the Angels, and covers other top names such as Jake Peavy, A.J. Burnett, Derek Lowe, Manny Ramirez, Pat Burrell, Matt Holliday, and Garrett Atkins.
- The Minnesota Twins were ranked as the #1 team in young talent by the 2009 Bill James Handbook. Minnesota had ten players in the top 150: Joe Mauer, Delmon Young, Justin Morneau, Kevin Slowey, Scott Baker, Carlos Gomez, Nick Blackburn, Jason Kubel, Denard Span, and Glen Perkins.
- The article includes a Q&A with Tom Gordon, who has high praise for the Phillies, particularly Brad Lidge. Gordon says that having avoided Tommy John Surgery, he feels he can continue his career, and would love to pitch in Philadelphia next year. Gordon will understand if his option is declined, but is emphatic in saying he’s "going to pitch somewhere." Plenty of teams need bullpen help, and even with his injury, I can’t imagine him having a hard time finding work.
- Cafardo likes the idea of either Rocco Baldelli or Gabe Kapler as a fourth outfielder for the Red Sox.
- Would Pedro Martinez consider an incentive-laden contract to be Boston’s fifth starter next season?
- Red Sox catching prospect Mark Wagner has shown improvement the Arizona Fall League. This only adds to the Jason Varitek dilemma that Boston is faced with.
Links for Friday…
- The Padres claimed second baseman Travis Denker off waivers from the Giants. Surprising to see the Giants let him go.
- Ted Berg at MetsBlog explains how a Carlos Beltran rumbling spun out of control.
- I recently did a Brewers Q&A with Bernie’s Crew.
- The Padres called yesterday’s report about John Moores selling his share of the team "highly speculative." Tim Sullivan considers the statement revealing, and notes that this is a bad time to sell.
- Michael S. Schmidt of the New York Times chatted with Scott Boras.
- Mark Cuban mentions that the struggling economy is slowing down the sale of the Cubs.
- Terry Pluto believes the Indians should pursue Brian Roberts.
- David Brown at Yahoo profiles Theo Epstein and Andrew Friedman.
- Freddy Garcia is headed to winter ball. The Tigers will have the first crack at signing him. Andruw Jones will also play winter ball; he seems to want a trade if he’s not a starter next year.
- Elbow surgery for Tom Gordon, which probably means the Phillies will buy out his ’09 option for $1MM.
Astros GM Ed Wade is taking a close look at pitcher Freddy Garcia, currently rehabbing in Miami. Houston is currently 13.5 games out of first place. About 15 teams in all watched Garcia work out, leading to much speculation. His agent told ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick that the 33-year old "would prefer to sign a contract for the rest of 2008, show that he’s fully recovered from shoulder surgery, then go on the open market as a free agent in November." Here’s the full list of teams who watched him work out: The Red Sox, Yankees, Rays, Tigers, Rangers, Mets, Phillies, Astros, Brewers, Cubs, Rockies, and Dodgers, and possibly the White Sox and Marlins. The Phillies aren’t interested. Garcia is expected to make a decision soon.
It’s looking like Tom Gordon‘s season is done. He was on the DL for inflammation in his elbow, but it’s now starting to look like he’ll need surgery. Philadelphia was hoping the righty set-up man would be back in time for their stretch run.
The Dodgers have DFA’d Brian Falkenborg to make room for Brad Penny. The thirty-year-old righty has a 6.17 ERA in 11 and two-thirds innings with LA this year. He has never pitched more than 20 innings per season in the big leagues.
We’ve got mostly smaller stuff today, so let’s kick it off with an odds and ends.
- The Mets designated Claudio Vargas for assignment. I’m a bit surprised, I think he’s still a useful pitcher.
- Pitcher Jon Lieber may retire after the season. 130+ wins, that’s a nice career.
- With Tom Gordon‘s shoulder barking, the Phillies’ desire to add a reliever has intensified. Here’s a look at the relief market.
- When a 2.93 ERA is considered underperforming, expectations were never reasonable. Anyone else get the impression that if Johan Santana‘s record was 10-3 instead of 7-6, there wouldn’t even be a discussion? Joel Sherman believes the Yankees (if under Brian Cashman) would not go six or seven years to sign C.C. Sabathia in light of the Barry Zito and Santana deals. He wonders whether Sabathia could be lured with a shorter term and higher average annual value.
- Julian Tavarez chose to become a free agent, surprising the Brewers.
- Roy Oswalt reminds us that he has a no-trade clause and hasn’t been approached by management about any deals.
- The Adam Dunn-J.P. Ricciardi saga continues.
- I chatted with Ryan Henning about the Twins recently.
- T.J. Simers and Ned Colletti argue about the GM’s trading track record.
- The Pirates are looking for pitching. Brett Tomko anyone? Anyone?
- Evan Grant discusses the Rangers’ trade options in his mailbag.
Here’s the latest from around baseball…
Dejan Kovacevic mentions that the A’s are considering Sean Casey. Casey’s doing his usual good batting average/low slugging thing and he’s getting $8.5MM for it. The combined efforts of Dan Johnson and Nick Swisher have been inadequate at first, but would Casey really help? Johnson is hitting .485/.575/.848 in 33 Triple A at-bats; maybe he deserves another look. The Athletics, who are dead last in the AL in slugging, wouldn’t be helped by adding the powerless Casey. They need Alfonso Soriano, Carlos Lee, Pat Burrell, or even Raul Ibanez to make a difference.
The Yankees have decided to hold on to Philip Hughes, and the Phils aren’t biting on whatever else they offered. According to George King, the Yanks think assuming Abreu’s contract and exercising his option should be enough. Still, it would be cool to see a nasty young Phillies rotation in 2008 with Hughes, Cole Hamels, Gio Gonzalez, and Scott Mathieson.
Also, I’m hearing that WPEN in Philadelphia has mentioned a trade rumor: Tom Gordon for Trot Nixon. Nixon is a good hitter (.400 OBP), though he’s 32 with declining power numbers. Given that Flash would be hands down the best reliever on the market, I’d expect the Phils to get more.
Kenny Williams didn’t deny the recent Soriano rumor, so now you know it’s legit. Kenny has been pretty shrewd with the media, so this is probably all part of his plan. Despite word of a possible contract extension with Washington, Buster Olney all but assured us of a Soriano trade in today’s blog.
Also, Olney nixed the A-Rod to the Cubs idea, explaining that Rodriguez is a bargain in the Yankees’ world. This column is kind of weird to me. Phil Rogers almost seems like he’s just cooked up a brilliant scenario or something, with Aramis Ramirez and Jacque Jones being swapped for A-Rod. Thing is, Bleed Cubbie Blue broke out this exact trade rumor three weeks ago.
RotoAuthority has a look at which pitchers have been abused this season.
According to Adam Rubin of the New York Daily News, the Mets may be able to acquire Freddy Garcia or Javier Vazquez from the White Sox. He says:
"The White Sox have been calling around to clubs – including the Mets – letting it be known that Javier Vazquez or Freddy Garcia would be available. The price: top-notch relief help, which would allow the Sox to fortify their bullpen leading to closer Bobby Jenks, sources told the Daily News. Chicago has 23-year-old Brandon McCarthy ready to step into its rotation."
Seems like relievers are the hot ticket item of this particular trading season. They’re always a popular deadline commodity but the price seemed quite high yesterday. My Mets source is adamant that New York would not give up Duaner Sanchez (2.45 ERA, 1.24 WHIP, 6.4 K/9) for Garcia or Vazquez. He tells me that Aaron Heilman is an option. To me, sounds like just the pitcher Don Cooper could fix after he’s stumbled a bit this season.
This year, the Mets have seen fine work from Heath Bell (0.83 ERA in 21 Triple A innings plus a 3.68 ERA in 22 big league innings) and Royce Ring (1.53 ERA in 29 Triple A innnings). Henry Owens jumped up from Double A after 25 innings of 1.08 ball.
Rubin’s story also indicates that the Sox could have some interest in Tom Gordon, the best reliever on the trade market. Flash has pitched for both Chicago teams. He posted a 3.16 ERA, 1.19 WHIP, 12 saves, and 11.0 K/9 in 74 innings for the Sox back in 2003.