Travis D’Arnaud Rumors

Reactions To R.A. Dickey Proposed Trade

Earlier today, the Mets agreed to trade R.A. Dickey to the Blue Jays pending Toronto and the NL Cy Young award winner coming to terms on a contract extension by a Tuesday 1 p.m CST deadline. The negotiations have already begun, as have the reactions to the proposed trade.

  • Mets GM Sandy Alderson received the maximum possible return for Dickey, tweets Jim Bowden of ESPN.com and MLB Network Radio.
  • Bowden adds (via Twitter) the Blue Jays have gone from non-contenders to division favorites with their second blockbuster trade in a month, which netted them Dickey, Josh Johnson, Mark Buehrle, and Jose Reyes.
  • The Mets are gambling Travis d'Arnaud becomes a perennial All-Star more than Dickey falls off, tweets MLB.com's Anthony DiComo.
  • The timing is perfect for the Blue Jays to go all in and deal prospects, but it will take three years to see if it pans out for the Mets, tweets Andy Martino of the New York Daily News.
  • In a separate tweet, Martino quotes an AL executive who says d'Arnaud is "an offensive catcher. He's OK back there. He's always been a baseball rat. Good kid."
  • A talent evaluator echoed those sentiments about d'Arnaud praising his mental toughness to Andy McCullough of The Star-Ledger (Twitter link).
  • A rival executive tells Newsday's Marc Carig "both sides win" with this trade adding Noah Syndergaard has an advanced feel for his three main pitches (fastball, curve, and changeup).
  • Carig also tweets the trade looks good in the long view, but he can understand why Mets fans are upset for seeing more of the same in the immediate future.
  • Dickey did himself no favors with the pointed remarks he made regarding his contract situation at the Mets' recent holiday party, writes ESPNNewYork.com's Adam Rubin. This wasn't the first time Dickey has irked management with his outspoken views, according to Rubin citing Dickey's comments about Citi Field and its effect on David Wright before its reconfiguration.
  • While some might dismiss the Dickey acquisition, it could very well be one of the most important moves made in what has become a fascinating AL East division race because the true separator will be starting pitching, according to Rob Bradford of WEEI.com. Bradford also analyzes the starting rotation for each AL East team.
  • For teams like the Blue Jays, this is the time to strike with blockbuster trades and free agent signings because of the weakness of the YankeesRed Sox, and Mets, opines Jeff Passan of Yahoo! Sports.

Quick Hits: Phillies, D’Arnaud, Angels, Rays

The Phillies‘ lack of big moves this offseason likely indicate that 2013 will be a transition year, writes Matt Gelb of the Philadelphia Inquirer.  Soon after trading Hunter Pence and Shane Victorino in July, General Manager Ruben Amaro explained that the moves would allow flexibility to sign at least one major free agent, and possibly even more.  Amaro wound up making his first foray into the open market on Saturday with the signings of Mike Adams and John Lannan.  Here’s more from around baseball..

  • Some have wondered about the condition of Travis d’Arnaud’s knee, but a club source says that the Mets have looked over his medicals and they are fine, Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports tweets.  D’Arnaud is believed to be a part of the heavily rumored R.A. Dickey trade along with Noah Syndergaard.
  • The Angels are continuing their search for starting pitching and are considering filling the void with mid-level free agent pitchers rather than make trades, according to Jim Bowden of ESPN.com (via Twitter).
  • Rays manager Joe Maddon will miss James Shields for a number of reasons, but his chief problem will be making up all the innings that Shields provided, writes Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times.   Shields gave the club 30 to 40 more innings than any other starter and averaged 220 over the past six seasons.

Blue Jays Working On Trade For R.A. Dickey

After a long day of rumors on Friday, the Blue Jays and Mets are nearing a trade that would send R.A. Dickey to Toronto for top prospect Travis d'Arnaud according to Jeff Passan of Yahoo! Sports. Other players involved in the deal are unconfirmed. Here's the latest on the potential trade…

  • It's currently a 3-for-4 trade according to Sherman (all Twitter links). Dickey, Thole, and a prospect will go to Toronto for d'Arnaud, Syndergaard, John Buck, and a prospect. Sherman says the two unnamed prospects would not be elite guys. He adds that the framework could change since the Blue Jays will send the Mets money to help cover Buck's salary.
  • Martino reports (on Twitter) that Blue Jays pitching prospect Aaron Sanchez has also been discussed.
  • Rubin heard from a source that it's unclear if there will be resolution tonight (Twitter links). A Mets official indicated the same to Puma, saying "there is a lot to this."

Earlier Updates:

  • As of this morning, the deal had four players coming to the Mets and three to the Blue Jays, according to Mike Puma of the New York Post (Twitter links). Toronto also wants a catcher back in the deal, and that could be Josh Thole. The Mets have discussed getting pitching prospect Noah Syndergaard in the deal as well, Puma tweets.
  • The two teams are inching towards the finish line, a source tells Passan (via Twitter). At least some players' medicals have been reviewed and a deal is imminent.
  • Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com says the two sides have agreed that d'Arnaud can be the centerpiece of the trade after the Mets rejected a Gose/J.P. Arencibia package (all Twitter links). Once they finalize the rest of the players involved, it's believed Dickey will talk about an extension with Toronto.
  • Sherman reports (on Twitter) that Gose is not part of the trade talks for Dickey. The Blue Jays are building a package around d'Arnaud.
  • Richard Griffin of The Toronto Star reports (on Twitter) that the Blue Jays need to sign Dickey to an extension and receive a top prospect from the Mets if they're going to include d'Arnaud and Gose in the trade.
  • Joel Sherman of The New York Post says (on Twitter) the two sides are still working through matters are there is confidence the deal will get done.
  • Dickey has not yet engaged the Blue Jays in contract extension talks, reports Adam Rubin of ESPN New York. He also has yet to be asked to take a physical.
  • The Blue Jays are willing to include d'Arnaud and Anthony Gose in the trade according to Andy Martino of the New York Daily News (Twitter links). Any other names remain unconfirmed.
  • Martino reports (on Twitter) that the Blue Jays have been reviewing Dickey's medicals since yesterday afternoon.


Blue Jays, Mets Close To R.A. Dickey Trade

All signs point to the Mets trading R.A. Dickey, Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reports (on Twitter). The sides aren't progressing toward an extension, and Dickey's one-year, $5MM salary seems quite appealing to teams seeking pitching. Here are today's Dickey rumors, with the most recent items up top…

  • The Blue Jays and Mets are close to agreeing on a trade that would send Dickey to Toronto, according to Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports.  The names in the trade aren't finalized, but outfielder Anthony Gose is likely to be included in the deal.  The Mets also are expected to acquire either J.P. Arencibia or Travis d’Arnaud.  However, the Blue Jays are looking to get more out of the deal if they surrender d'Arnaud.
  • D'Arnaud is very much in play in the talks, tweets Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports.  The deal would be bigger, however, with multiple pieces going both ways.

Earlier updates:

  • The Mets may be landing d'Arnaud in the deal, Heyman tweets.
  • Travis d'Arnaud was a "must have" during the winter meetings for a deal with the Blue Jays to happen, sources tell Andy Martino of the Daily News (via Twitter).
  • Two sources involved in the talks say not to expect any resolution with Dickey tonight, tweets Anthony DiComo of MLB.com.
  • The Mets and Blue Jays have made progress on a potential deal, Morosi reports (on Twitter). They aren't in agreement at this point.
  • It looks like the Mets have a good offer from the Blue Jays, Matt Cerrone of MetsBlog reports (on Twitter). The Mets still appear to be talking to the Angels and Orioles.
  • A high-ranking executive of a team that pursued Dickey believes the knuckleballer is being traded to Toronto, Morosi reports (on Twitter).
  • Rangers GM Jon Daniels said on MLB Network Radio that if Dickey is being traded it's not to Texas, Casey Stern of MLB Network Radio reports (Twitter link, audio here). Daniels acknowledged that he had some dialogue about Dickey.
  • The Blue Jays are growing confident they will acquire Dickey, Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports reports (on Twitter). Mike Wilner of Sportsnet 590 the FAN would characterize the Blue Jays as "hopeful" (Twitter link).
  • The Mets were interested in Buckel, though he wasn't necessarily being offered, Martino clarifies (on Twitter).

(more…)


R.A. Dickey Rumors: Wednesday

Dollars, rather than years, are holding up extension talks between the Mets and R.A. Dickey, as we heard yesterday. That divide could make a trade more likely, though New York is still weighing its options.  The team left the Winter Meetings without a resolution. Here are Wednesday’s Dickey-related rumors, with new updates added to the top of the page throughout the day:

  • The Blue Jays and the Rangers are involved in the talks for Dickey, Heyman tweets.  Toronto is thought to be unlikely to part with Travis D’Arnaud but may be willing to trade Anthony Gose.
  • The Rangers like Dickey but the Mets’ prospect request at this point is too rich for them, tweets Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com.
  • “I think the Mets are going to sign him,” an executive with a club that has tried to trade for Dickey told Jon Paul Morosi.
  • The Mets talked to the Yankees and Nationals (prior to their Dan Haren signing) this week about Dickey, tweets Andy Martino, but the Yankees don’t have the pieces and GM Sandy Alderson wouldn’t trade within the division.
  • The Mets are hoping for the Rangers in the Dickey trade talks, tweets Jon Heyman.

Earlier updates:

  • Dickey’s asking price appears to be two years and $26MM in addition to his $5MM salary for 2013, writes Andy Martino of the New York Daily News. Mets officials have told Martino that they’re sitting on at least one “acceptable” trade offer, but Martino reports that Alderson would like to keep the knuckleballer.
  • Although Dickey was at the Winter Meetings, he only went to congratulate David Wright on his new contract, and left without negotiating with the Mets, tweets Andy Martino of the New York Daily News. His situation remains in limbo.
  • The Mets are sitting on a number of potential trades for Dickey, tweets David Lennon of Newsday. He says that if a team caves and adds a necessary piece, a deal could be done quickly.  The Mets are also working on a trade for an outfielder that does not involve Dickey.
  • Dickey is seeking a two-year deal worth roughly $30MM, writes Jon Heyman of CBS Sports, while the Mets are around two years and $20MM.
  • GM Sandy Alderson now believes the most likely scenario involves the Mets keeping Dickey without an extension, tweets Bob Nightengale of the USA Today. However, that’s not the team’s preferred option.
  • Speaking to the media, Jeff Wilpon reiterated that Dickey could return to the Mets for 2013 without an extension, and made that option sound more realistic than a trade, according to ESPNNewYork.com’s Adam Rubin (Twitter link).
  • Dickey himself told Jim Bowden of ESPN.com and SiriusXM that he feels like he and the Mets are “inching toward” an extension (Twitter link). The knuckleballer also spoke to ESPN.com’s Buster Olney, repeating that he’s “hopeful” about a deal with the Mets, but understands that it’s Sandy Alderson’s job to make the Mets better (Twitter link).
  • The Mets know they can sign Dickey to a two-year extension worth about $13MM annually, according to Andy Martino of the New York Daily News. However, the team doesn’t appear willing to go quite that high yet.
  • If no trade or extension is worked out, the Mets have the “safety net” of having Dickey on an affordable deal in 2013, with the opportunity to trade or extend him later, says Joel Sherman of the New York Post. Although GM Sandy Alderson hasn’t indicated when the team would move on from trade and extension talks if no deal can be reached, one Mets official hinted to Sherman that it could happen between next week and Christmas.
  • Mets officials suggest the chances of Dickey remaining a Met are in the 55-45 range, says Sherman. The Mets’ asking price remains high, as one rival executive tells Sherman: “Any team would take Dickey. But this is not Roy Halladay or Cliff Lee being traded. I would take him, but for top prospects, no.”

Silverman’s Latest: Greinke, Royals, Rays, Blue Jays

Tigers GM Dave Dombrowski told Michael Silverman of The Boston Herald that he was unsure if he'd be able to acquire Miguel Cabrera (and Dontrelle Willis) in 2007. “A lot of clubs were involved and I didn’t think it was going to work for us for where we were financially,” said Dombrowski. “Once we sat down with the Marlins, it took us just a day to work out that deal. It happened very fast.”

Here are Silverman's rumors…


Rangers Targeting Catchers This Offseason

Given Mike Napoli's status as an impending free agent, the Rangers will be looking for catching help this offseason, according to MLB.com's T.R. Sullivan. The Rangers have been ambivalent when asked if Napoli will receive a qualifying offer, according to Sullivan. As we learned last week, that offer would be $13.3MM on a one-year deal.

Sullivan also writes that it's likely the Rangers and Blue Jays will enter into trade discussions this offseason, given Toronto's catching surplus. The Blue Jays have J.P. Arencibia at the Major League level, with Travis d'Arnaud knocking on the door in Triple-A. Both profile as starting catchers, and the Jays also have Jeff Mathis and the recently claimed Bobby Wilson on their 40-man roster. Toronto would likely seek pitching depth in any deal involving a catcher.

Rangers GM Jon Daniels acquired Geovany Soto over the summer as a means to bolster the position for the stretch run. Soto currently profiles as the starter in Texas, but would become a non-tender candidate if the Rangers were to add a significant piece in the offseason. The 2008 NL Rookie of the Year earned $4.3MM in 2012 and would be due for a raise through arbitration despite hitting just .198/.270/.343. MLBTR's Ben Nicholson-Smith examined Soto as a non-tender candidate back in August.

All of this, of course, is assuming that the Rangers are unable to retain Napoli's services. Napoli hopes to return to the Rangers, according to Sullivan, but that will be dependent on what kind of offers he receives. Another factor could be how he's used in the lineup. Napoli went on record in July stating that he prefers catching to playing first base, so he could have interest in a team that will use him beind the plate more (though that's just my own speculation).

Check out MLBTR's 2013 free agent list for a full look at the upcoming class of catchers that the Rangers could pursue.


Rosenthal On Headley, Blue Jays, Myers, Dodgers

Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports points out that we should expect the unexpected once trade talk picks up this summer. For example, who expected Ubaldo Jimenez to be traded this time last year? Here are Rosenthal’s notes from around MLB…

  • White Sox GM Kenny Williams says he’d prefer to focus on short-term goals for now and figure out whether to buy or sell closer to the July 31st trade deadline. “We’ll see where we are in July and then we’ll figure it out,” he said.
  • Chase Headley is a popular trade target, Rosenthal reports. The Padres could replace Headley at third with Jedd Gyorko or move Gyorko to second if they hold onto Headley.
  • The Diamondbacks explored the trade market for young catchers before signing Miguel Montero to an extension, only to find that acquiring a backstop such as Travis d’Arnaud or Austin Romine would have cost them top pitching prospect Tyler Skaggs and then some.
  • Some executives wonder if the Blue Jays should make their move this summer, asking “If not now, when?” One person says the Blue Jays are monitoring Matt Garza of the Cubs.
  • Carlos Lee can block trades to 14 teams, including the Dodgers, Rosenthal reports. Almost all of the teams on Lee’s no-trade list are high-revenue clubs. This provides Lee with some leverage, but doesn’t necessarily mean he’d block a deal.
  • Brett Myers’ $10MM option for 2013 likely vests with between 40 and 50 games finished, Rosenthal estimates. If a team acquired the right-hander and used him as a setup man, the option wouldn’t become an issue. But teams interested in using Myers as a closer might have interest in re-working the option like the Brewers did with Francisco Rodriguez a year ago.
  • The contracts for Cliff Lee, Ryan Howard, Chase Utley and Roy Halladay of the Phillies include the same no-trade protection, Rosenthal reports. Each player can block deals to 21 teams per year.
  • Dodgers president Stan Kasten expects his team to be “aggressive, but not reckless” in considering possible upgrades.

Rosenthal On Braves, Dempster, Rizzo, Astros

One scout told Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports that the work of the Braves’ hitting instructors and the performance of Kris Medlen has made the difference for the team so far in 2012. Atlanta GM Frank Wren agrees with that assessment, according to Rosenthal, who offers notes and rumors from around the league in his latest column:

  • The Cubs are more likely to trade Ryan Dempster if they sign Matt Garza to an extension. However, Dempster’s ten and five rights allow him to veto any trade, so he’ll have leverage if the Cubs look to make a move. It doesn’t seem likely that Dempster will sign a below-market extension to stay in Chicago, Rosenthal writes.
  • The Cubs don’t have immediate plans to call up Anthony Rizzo, who figures to stay in the minor leagues until an opening emerges.
  • Releasing Alfonso Soriano doesn’t appear to be an option; the outfielder has approximately $50MM remaining on his contract with the Cubs.
  • General managers criticize the collective bargaining agreement, Rosenthal reports. Some low-revenue teams dislike spending restrictions on the draft, since they feel the limitations will drive up the price of MLB talent.
  • Chien-Ming Wang, who is now rehabbing at Triple-A, could be valuable insurance for the Nationals, since they’ve decided to cap Stephen Strasburg’s innings.
  • Brett Myers’ 2013 option likely vests with approximately 55 games finished, Rosenthal suggests. The right-hander will obtain a $500K bonus if the Astros trade him.
  • One scout says Blue Jays catching prospect Travis D’Arnaud looks like Russell Martin did with the Dodgers.

Rosenthal On Ethier, Santana, Blue Jays, D’Backs

Here's the latest from Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports

  • Impending free agent Andre Ethier is "the first opportunity for the Dodgers’ new ownership to make a statement in the post-McCourt era," and while Ethier has let it be known that he's willing to negotiate a new deal during the season, Rosenthal thinks Stan Kasten would prefer to see Ethier perform well and stay healthy for the entire 2012 season before offering him a contract extension.  Rosenthal predicts Ethier will look for a deal similar to Jayson Werth's seven-year, $126MM contract with the Nationals, and given the lack of proven power bats on the market, Ethier "probably can name his price" this winter if he keeps producing.
  • Johan Santana's hefty contract and no-trade clause will make it hard for the Mets to move him without eating a lot of money in a deal.  Rosenthal thinks it makes more sense for the Mets to just hang on to Santana, who can be a valuable mentor to the team's young pitchers.
  • The Blue Jays are unlikely to trade either J.P. Arencibia or Travis d'Arnaud before the end of the season, as the Jays like Arencibia's game-calling and d'Arnaud's overall potential.  Rosenthal cites the Diamondbacks as one of several teams interested in Toronto's catchers, which follows up on his report in March that the Snakes were looking at Arencibia.  Arizona's interest would seem to indicate that the D'Backs are preparing a backup plan should they not be able to re-sign Miguel Montero.
  • It "does not appear out of the question" that the Rockies will make changes to the coaching staff given the team's pitching woes, defensive struggles and overall poor start.
  • A scout tells Rosenthal that Andy Pettitte "does not look close to ready" and will need several more minor league starts before he's ready to return to the Yankees.