Toronto Blue Jays Rumors
Yesterday it was reported that the Mariners have a real opportunity to acquire David Price. Seattle would prefer to keep Taijuan Walker but could be willing to move Mike Zunino, according to those reports. Here's the latest on Price's trade market...
- The Giants have checked in on Price, according to ESPN's Buster Olney (on Twitter). The two sides have yet to get into any sort of exchange, however.
- The Blue Jays have also asked about Price, tweets Rosenthal, but they're not big on the idea of parting with Aaron Sanchez and Marcus Stroman.
- Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports spoke with Price's agent, Bo McKinnis, this morning at the Winter Meetings and was told that Price would not sign a long-term deal if he were traded to the Mariners. McKinnis told Rosenthal that Price would consider signing an extension with other clubs, but wouldn't disclose which clubs in which Price would have interest. Rosenthal stresses that this doesn't preclude the Mariners from acquiring Price anyway (All Twitter links).
It's still early on Day Three of the Winter Meetings in Orlando, but Joel Sherman of the New York Post is coming out of the gate with a few items of note. Let's dive in and round them up...
- An increasingly crowded first base trade market may make it difficult for the Mets to acquire a solid return for Ike Davis, as Sherman outlines in a column.
- Sherman adds in the same piece that the Mets have placed a "significant return cost" on Daniel Murphy, but people around the league continue to believe he could be dealt.
- With Tyler Skaggs headed to the Angels, the Diamondbacks may no longer have the trade pieces to pry Jeff Samardzija away from the Cubs. However, Sherman says (via Twitter) that the D-Backs would now "really love" to acquire Justin Masterson from the Indians.
- The Toronto Sun's Bob Elliott reported on Tuesday that the Blue Jays had offered Colby Rasmus to a pair of teams in exchange for starting pitching, and it sounds as if Rasmus remains in play. Sherman tweets that the Jays will use Rasmus to try to land a starter.
The Red Sox would benefit most strongly if Masahiro Tanaka were to not be posted, Tim Britton of the Providence Journal writes. If Tanaka were to stay in Japan, not only would he not go to the Yankees, but prices for other starters (such as Ervin Santana and Matt Garza) would rise, and so would the value of the Red Sox's own pitchers, such as John Lackey, Ryan Dempster and Jake Peavy. Also, if Tanaka were to be posted next offseason, the Red Sox might actually bid for him. Right now, they don't have a need. Here are more notes from the East divisions.
- The Blue Jays have offered outfielder Colby Rasmus to two teams in exchange for starting pitching, the Toronto Sun's Bob Elliott writes.
- If Corey Hart doesn't re-sign with the Brewers, the team could quickly deal for Ike Davis of the Mets, tweets Andy Martino of the New York Daily News. Hart could make a decision tonight about where to sign.
- The Mets have had discussions with the Legacy Agency, which represents Freddy Garcia and Cesar Izturis, today, Mike Puma of the New York Post reports (via Twitter). Puma notes the Mets could sign either player.
- The Braves are on the lookout for a hitter for their bench, and Eric Chavez could be their top free agent option, reports MLB.com's Mark Bowman. They also continue to stay in touch with reliever Eric O'Flaherty.
Cuban shortstop Aledmys Diaz continues to draw heavy interest from Major League teams, reports Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports. Some teams like Diaz, who can't sign until Feb. 19 due to falsifying his age last offseason, as a second baseman. Passan reports that Braves, Yankees, Dodgers, Giants, Blue Jays and Cardinals as teams who have been heavily represented at Diaz's most recent showcases in Mexico (Twitter links). Some more links from around the league...
- Jeff Francoeur, who recently underwent LASIK surgery, is seeking a job as a backup outfielder, tweets Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports (Twitter link). Frenchy will also abandon his use of a 35-ounce bat in 2013 -- a weight only utilized by Orioles slugger Chris Davis.
- Felix Pie is nearing an agreement with Korea's Hanwah Eagles, according to Jon Morosi of FOX Sports (via Twitter). Pie hasn't seen much big-league action in the last two years, recording just 31 plate appearances in 27 games with the Pirates in 2013.
- ESPN's Buster Olney tweets that the Royals' offer to Carlos Beltran was slightly less than the Yankees' three-year, $45MM offer but would technically have paid Beltran more due to the tax differences between Missouri and New York.
- The Dodgers have not been involved in negotiations with Omar Infante, tweets Mark Saxon of ESPNLosAngeles.com.
- As they search for starting pitching help, the Orioles will be open to multiyear contracts rather than just one-year deals, GM Dan Duquette confirmed today (Twitter link via Brittany Ghiroli of MLB.com).
- The Twins pursued a catcher before the market dried up, but had no interest in going to three years for any of the free agents they targeted, tweets Mike Berardino of the St. Paul Pioneer Press. Minnesota "made that clear from the start," according to Berardino.
- Patrick Newman of NPB Tracker passes along word, in a translated tweet, that Japanese right-hander Kenta Maeda has expressed interest in playing in MLB, perhaps as soon as 2015.
Luke Adams contributed to this post.
Earlier today, we heard from Ken Rosenthal and Jon Morosi of FOX Sports that a trade agreement between the Rangers and Blue Jays fell through when a player involved in the deal failed his physical. The FOX duo reported that Sergio Santos would have been sent to Texas in the swap, and Shi Davidi of Sportsnet.ca adds another detail, revealing that the agreed-upon trade would have seen the Blue Jays land a starting pitcher. Here's more on the Jays from Orlando:
- The Pirates approached the Jays about Adam Lind, but talks quickly fizzled when Toronto countered by asking about Neil Walker, according to Davidi.
- While the Jays aren't necessarily looking to move Lind, the team has asked around about other first base options like James Loney, Mitch Moreland, and Logan Morrison, in case a Lind deal presents itself.
- GM Alex Anthopoulos didn't comment specifically on whether the Blue Jays would bid on Masahiro Tanaka, but said, "I think it’s safe to say any good starter that’s out there we’re going to be active, we’ll try to be involved and see if it makes sense for us."
- Anthopoulos added that the Jays are "having some dialogue" on a smaller deal that would add a right-handed bat to the team's bench.
- Gregor Chisholm of MLB.com passes along a transcript of manager John Gibbons' conversation with the media today, which includes plenty of discussion about possible holes on the roster and potential moves to address them.
We rounded up several Orioles rumors from Orlando right here, but the O's aren't the only AL East team making news. Let's check in on a few more items related to Baltimore's division rivals....
- Rays GM Andrew Friedman says he made some progress in talks today, according to Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times (Twitter link). Topkin suggests the Rays have been meeting more with other teams than with agents.
- Friedman added that nothing is imminent for the Rays when it comes to the club's pursuit of a first baseman, tweets Topkin.
- A Red Sox source tells Gordon Edes of ESPNBoston.com (Twitter link) that the team's discussions for Matt Kemp haven't reached the serious stage, and are unlikely to do so.
- Red Sox GM Ben Cherington told reporters, including Scott Lauber of the Boston Herald (Twitter links), that the Sox need "two guys to play shortstop" and that a handful of teams have inquired on Boston's starting pitching surplus. The club doesn't appear inclined to move a starter at this point though.
- The Red Sox are among one of three or four teams with some interest in Carlos Marmol, according to Gordon Wittenmyer of the Chicago Sun-Times, who cites the Brewers as another possible suitor (Twitter link).
- Mike Napoli's new two-year contract with the Red Sox includes a limited no-trade clause, according to Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com (Twitter link).
- The Blue Jays are nearing an agreement to sell Thad Weber's rights to the NC Dinos in South Korea, reports Shi Davidi of Sportsnet.ca (Twitter link). Once the deal is finalized, it will reduce the Jays' 40-man roster count to 39 players.
The Rangers, Blue Jays, and an unknown third team agreed on a trade about two weeks ago that would have sent Sergio Santos to Texas, reports Jon Morosi and Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports. However, according to the FOX duo, the agreement fell through when another player involved in the swap failed his physical (Twitter links).
It's not clear if Texas and Toronto will attempt to revisit the deal in another form, but as Morosi notes (via Twitter), the news suggests that the Rangers are still looking to bolster their bullpen. The Jays, on the other hand, seem very open to using their crop of relievers as trade bait to improve in other areas.
Santos, 30, has missed a good chunk of the last two season with injuries, but was excellent when he was healthy this past season, recording a 1.75 ERA and 9.8 K/9 in 29 appearances.
3:50pm: The Brewers aren't on the verge of acquiring Morrison, GM Doug Melvin tells Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel (on Twitter).
3:16pm: The Orioles have also checked in on Morrison, according to Morosi (on Twitter).
3:11pm: The Rays are not close to acquiring Morrison, according to Joel Sherman of the New York Post (on Twitter). Sherman takes the report a step further noting that the Rays never engaged the Marlins on Morrison.
2:49pm: ESPN's Jayson Stark tweets that the Marlins are telling other clubs they will trade Morrison shortly. Stark again lists the Rays as a possibility.
2:33pm: Jon Heyman of CBS Sports tweets that interest in Morrison is picking up and adds the Brewers and Blue Jays to the list of interested parties (Twitter link).
2:07pm: The Pirates' interest in Morrison is "mild" at this point, according to Rob Biertempfel of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review (Twitter link). Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports tweets that the Rays are also interested in Morrison.
Pittsburgh was first connected to Lind last week. Those reports also connected the Buccos to James Loney, but Morosi specifically notes in his tweet that they're currently looking at the trade market (perhaps the result of Loney's three-year, $30MM target on the open market). Lind struggles tremendously against left-handed pitching, but the Pirates possess an in-house platoon candidate in the form of Gaby Sanchez. Lind's left-handed pop would play well at PNC Park, amplifying his career .286/.343/.508 line against right-handed pitching.
Morrison, 26, is likely to be available on the trade market now that the Marlins have finalized their two-year deal with Garrett Jones. LoMo has clashed with the Marlins' organization on numerous occasions and is expected to be heavily shopped this week. Morrison has batted just .236/.321/.387 over his past two big league seasons after slashing .259/.351/.460 through his first two Major League campaigns.
3:01pm: Peter Gammons noted on the MLB Network's broadcast that the Mariners have been in on Colon from the beginning and mentioned the Blue Jays as a possibility as well.
2:35pm: Colon's market is heating up, Jon Heyman of CBS Sports hears (on Twitter). Heyman lists the Orioles and Mets as possibilities, noting that if Colon signs a one-year deal it could be north of $10MM.
1:18pm: The Mets and Adam Katz of the Wasserman Media Group -- Bartolo Colon's agent -- had a meeting today, according to Sweeny Murti of WFAN (Twitter link). Andy Martino of the New York Daily News tweets that the Mets aren't considered to be serious suitors for Colon, as they feel him to be too expensive.
Colon, 40, posted a sterling 2.65 ERA with 5.5 K/9 and 1.4 BB/9 with the A's in 2013 but doesn't figure to return to Oakland now that the A's have inked Scott Kazmir to a two-year pact. Katz is also the agent for Nelson Cruz, though the Amazins don't appear to be a good fit for Cruz after bringing in Chris Young and Curtis Granderson in recent weeks.
Roy Halladay is retiring from baseball, according to Jon Heyman of CBS Sports. Halladay will sign a one-day contract with the Blue Jays today so that he can announce his retirement from the game as a member of the Jays, adds Heyman (Twitter links).
Halladay, 36, has been hampered by shoulder injuries in each of the past two seasons and underwent surgery to attempt to repair the issue in May 2013. He returned to the mound for the Phillies in late August and made six more starts but still wound up posting an uncharacteristic 6.82 ERA in his final, injury-riddled campaign.
Halladay, affectionately referred to as "Doc," spent the better portion of a decade as one of the greatest pitchers of his time. From 2001-2011, Halladay pitched an even 2300 innings and posted a stellar 2.98 ERA with 7.0 K/9 and a brilliant 1.6 K/9. Despite pitching in two of baseball's most hitter-friendly environments -- Toronto's Rogers Centre and Philadelphia's Citizens Bank Park -- Halladay yielded just 0.7 homers per nine innings in that time as well.
That peak run for Halladay saw him pile up accolade after accolade; Doc was named to eight All-Star teams, won a pair of Cy Young Awards and added in five other Top 5 finishes in the Cy Young voting -- most recently finishing runner-up in 2011. Halladay finished in the Top 10 in NL MVP voting in both 2010 an 2011 as well.
Perhaps most famously, Halladay will be remembered for firing a no-hitter in Game 1 of the 2010 National League Division Series against the Reds, with a fifth-inning walk to Jay Bruce being the lone plate appearance preventing him from a perfect game. Just five months prior, Halladay had hurled a perfect game against the Marlins during the regular season.
Halladay's sudden retirement brings to close a career that will finish with a 203-105 record, a 3.38 ERA and 2,117 strikeouts in 2,749 1/3 innings pitched. Halladay's 67 complete games and 20 shutouts are a rarity in today's game of specialized bullpens, and they serve as a testament to the durability and mental acumen that allowed him to lead the league in innings pitched on four separate occasions. Baseball-Reference.com values his career at 65.6 wins above replacement, and Fangraphs is even more generous, rating him at 67.6 WAR. Halladay earned just shy of $149MM in his career, per Baseball-Reference.
Congratulations on a great career to one of the best of our generation, and best of luck in life after baseball, Roy.
Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.