Travis Hafner Rumors
Executive VP of baseball operations Andrew Friedman says the Rays can afford to keep both James Shields and David Price on next year's roster, Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times reports (Twitter link). As I explained this morning, it could be tempting for the Rays to address other needs by trading a frontline starter. For example, the Dodgers are among the teams that could try to obtain Shields from Tampa Bay. Here are today’s links...
- Mark Reynolds would like to play for the Orioles next year, but he’ll explore his options if he hits the open market, Roch Kubatko of MASNsports.com reports. "If they non-tender me it wouldn't be very smart of me to not see what else is out there," Reynolds said. The Orioles declined their club option for Reynolds today, and they now have a month to determine whether to tender him a contract through the arbitration process.
- GM Chris Antonetti suggested there's a slim chance the Indians will re-sign Roberto Hernandez this offseason, MLB.com's Jordan Bastian reports (Twitter links). The chances of re-signing Travis Hafner seem more remote, Bastian writes. The Indians, who declined club options for Hernandez and Hafner earlier today, are not working with a set payroll, according to the GM.
- All Bases Covered Sports now represents free agent reliever Chad Durbin, ESPN.com's Jerry Crasnick reports (Twitter link). Check out MLBTR's Agency Database for current information on players and their agents.
- Earlier in the week I previewed the top offseason storylines at MLBTR. In case you missed it, there’s a parallel piece running online at USA Today and in this week’s edition of Sports Weekly.
Jimenez, 28, will earn $5.75MM next season after pitching to a 5.40 ERA in 31 starts and 176 2/3 innings last year. Given his track record and age, it's a worthy gamble. The 35-year-old Hafner hit .228/.346/.438 in 263 plate appearances this year, and will receive a $2.75MM buyout instead of a $13MM salary. Hernandez, 32, allowed 15 runs in 14 1/3 innings across three starts this year. His option was worth $6MM.
As the World Series shifts to Comerica Park for tomorrow's Game Three, here's the latest from around the AL Central....
- The Royals' waiver claim pickup of Chris Volstad could be a sign of how the team plans to take a low-cost approach to upgrading its pitching staff, writes Bob Dutton of the Kansas City Star. Royals GM Dayton Moore said free agents "won’t be a long-term answer for us” because the club hopes to have homegrown pitching prospects in the rotation by 2014. “We’ve got to look internally,” Moore said. “We’ve got to look through trades. We’ve got to look, certainly, through free agency…we might be able to pick off a player or two, but we’re not going to build our team through free agency. It won’t work.”
- Given the Indians' need for pitching and the cost of acquiring new starters, MLB.com's Jordan Bastian believes the team won't deal starter Justin Masterson (Twitter link). The groundball specialist has been rumored to be on the trade market following a disappointing 2012 season.
- Travis Hafner's $13MM team option for 2013 is a sure bet to be bought out by the Indians, tweets Bastian, while the Tribe will likely also decline Roberto Hernandez's $6MM club option. Ubaldo Jimenez's $5.75MM club option for next season is "expected" to be picked up. Bastian thinks it's "hard to believe" that the Indians would re-sign the injury-plagued Grady Sizemore as a free agent.
- The White Sox face four difficult option decisions on Jake Peavy, Kevin Youkilis, Gavin Floyd and Brett Myers, writes Paul Swydan for ESPN (Insider subscription required). Swydan opines that Floyd is a more proven rotation candidate than Myers and "if only one option of the two is picked up, it should be Floyd's," while Youkilis could be a good candidate to be retained given Chicago's lack of depth at third base. Peavy's $22MM option "is difficult to justify" given his injury history, though Swydan notes that Peavy provided close to $20MM worth of value during his healthy 2012 season.
- In other White Sox news, Hahn discussed Peavy's option and more in his introductory press conference as the club's new general manager.
It was on this day in 1908 that Addie Joss of the Cleveland Naps threw a perfect game against the Chicago White Sox. Joss basically had to be perfect to secure the 1-0 victory, as opposing pitcher and fellow Hall-of-Famer Ed Walsh recorded 15 strikeouts in the game. Here's some modern-day news and notes about this very imperfect season for the Tribe...
- Terry Francona is the favorite to become the Indians' next manager, tweets Nick Camino of WTAM 1100 Radio. Francona and current Tribe interim manager Sandy Alomar Jr. will both interview for the job later this week and are the only known canadidates to replace Manny Acta on the Indians' bench.
- Francona and the Indians are perfectly matched to fit each other's needs, opines ESPN's Jim Bowden (Insider subscription required). While Bowden believes Alomar deserves to be a manager someday, he thinks the pressure is on Cleveland GM Chris Antonetti to deliver quick results. "This is the wrong time and place for Antonetti to take a chance or gamble on an unproven manager. He needs a sure thing to keep his own job, and the Indians need to hire the best available, given the lack of trust from the Indians’ fan base," Bowden writes.
- Travis Hafner "hasn't talked to anybody" in the Indians' front office about their plans for him but he would like to remain with the club, reports MLB.com's Jordan Bastian. The Indians will surely decline Hafner's $13MM option for 2013, making the 35-year-old DH a free agent after 10 years in Cleveland.
- As reported earlier today, Chris Perez said that he wants to stay with the Indians in 2013.
The Tigers are holding their collective breath after righty Max Scherzer exited Tuesday night's start prematurely because of shoulder pain. Scherzer, who leads the American League in strikeouts, is scheduled to undergo an MRI. More on the Tigers in this batch of links ...
- The Indians are expected to decline their $13MM club option on DH Travis Hafner for 2013, writes Jordan Bastian of MLB.com. Hafner, sidelined since early August due to a back injury, is trying to get back on the field for what could be his final appearances as a member of the Tribe. With a career line of .278/.382/.508, the 35-year-old has posted solid offensive numbers when healthy, but staying on the field has been an issue, as he's missed chunks of time in each of the past five seasons.
- Tigers manager Jim Leyland said he is focused on his team's playoff chase rather than his own contract status, writes Anthony Odoardi of MLB.com. Leyland's deal expires after this season, but he maintains he has held no discussions with Detroit about this future: "I haven't discussed my situation with anyone nor has my situation been discussed with me. And I don't want to discuss my situation with anyone nor do they want to discuss it with me right now. We're trying to win a division."
- The Astros hope to pick their next manager by the end of next week, but they may have to wait till after then to announce the decision, writes Brian McTaggart of MLB.com. If the selected candidate is on a team that's still in the playoffs, Houston will wait till that team's season is over, McTaggart explains.
- Astros owner Jim Crane reiterated that he's not expecting Roger Clemens to pitch this season, tweets Zachary Levine of the Houston Chronicle.
- While some consider the second-place Tigers a disappointment after a splashy offseason that saw them land top free agent Prince Fielder, Detroit has played pretty close to where some advanced metrics suggest they should be, explains Jeff Sullivan of Fangraphs.
Travis Hafner obtained ten and five rights yesterday when he reached ten years of MLB service, MLBTR has confirmed. Hafner, who entered the season with nine years and nine days of service time, has 164 days of service so far in 2012 for a total of ten-plus years at the MLB level.
Hafner is in the final season of a four-year, $57MM contract that includes a limited no-trade clause. The Indians now need Hafner’s permission to trade him to any team. It’s presumably a moot point for 2012, as the designated hitter has been sidelined since August 5th with lower back inflammation. If Hafner re-signs with the Indians as a free agent he’d retain the right to veto any trade. However, if he signs elsewhere he won’t have no-trade rights unless his representatives at Legacy Sports Group negotiate them into his contract.
Players who have accumulated ten years of major league service time can't be traded without their permission if they have spent the last five years with their current club. Hafner has been playing for Cleveland since 2003.
There are currently 52 starting pitchers on the disabled list, and it’s costing teams money as well as production, Yahoo's Jeff Passan reports (Twitter links). Executives estimate teams will spend $500MM on injured players this year, so let’s hope they took out some insurance. Here are today’s links...
- Blue Jays infielder Omar Vizquel wants to manage at the MLB level next year, Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports reports. The 45-year-old 11-time Gold Glove winner said he'd like to manager close to his Seattle area home or for a team with which he has pre-existing ties. As Morosi points out, Mike Matheny and Robin Ventura are doing just fine this year despite their relative inexperience managing professionally.
- Orioles outfielder Endy Chavez will report to Triple-A early next week, according to MLB.com’s Brittany Ghiroli (Twitter links). Chavez decided to stay in the organization instead of electing free agency, and the Orioles expect him to be back with the MLB team by the time rosters expand in September.
- ESPN.com’s Buster Olney wonders if Travis Hafner’s tenure with the Indians could be over now that he’s on the disabled list and his contract is about to expire.
Players who have accumulated ten years of major league service time can't be traded without their permission if they have spent the last five years with their current club. Here's a list of players whose ten and five rights kick in in the near future (service time through 2011 in parentheses):
- Bronson Arroyo, Reds ( 9.150) - Arroyo will obtain ten and five rights late this month. If the Reds trade the right-hander, deferred payments are voided and paid up-front by his new team. It’s hard to imagine a trade involving Arroyo.
- Brian Roberts, Orioles (9.131) - Roberts’ ten and five rights will kick in by the middle of May. However, his contract already provides him with full no-trade protection and no team would trade for him at this point.
- Travis Hafner, Indians (9.009) - Hafner's rights will kick in this September, replacing the limited no-trade clause he currently enjoys. If the Indians retain Hafner for 2013 by exercising their club option or re-signing him as a free agent, he'll have full no-trade protection.
Every AL Central team except the Royals has won the division at least once since 2007. Here are the latest AL Central links as the Tigers look to win back-to-back division titles for the first time since they won the 1934-35 pennants...
- The Indians are hoping for modest production from Travis Hafner in 2012, which will probably be his final season with the Indians, Paul Hoynes of the Cleveland Plain Dealer writes. "If Travis can be a productive major-league hitter this year, we'll be happy," GM Chris Antonetti said.
- Justin Verlander and Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports discussed the right-hander's newfound celebrity in a piece that's well worth reading. Verlander makes it clear that he loves Detroit, but admitted he’s thought about what playing in a bigger market would be like. “It would be fun, but hopefully I help turn Detroit into a major market,” Verlander said. “Other teams are major markets not just because of their fan base but because of the national fan base.”
- No talks about a new contract for Verlander have taken place, but he’s “open for conversation” with the Tigers. Verlander, who’s under team control through 2014, is intrigued by free agency.
- In this FOX Sports video, Morosi said the Tigers are realistic about Miguel Cabrera's limitations as a defender at third base, and seem committed to making the arrangement work.
- Tigers manager Jim Leyland recently joined Evan & Phillips on Sirius XM Radio and said he's willing to accept that Cabrera won't get to as many balls as Brandon Inge might.
There’s a feeling the Yankees and Pirates will complete a deal involving A.J. Burnett and judging by the most recent rumors, Pittsburgh would take on $10-15MM of the $33MM remaining on Burnett’s salary if the trade goes through. Here are today’s rumors:
- A fourth team has checked in on Burnett, Heyman reports.
- The Hafner for Burnett deal is no longer on the table, MLB.com's Bryan Hoch tweets.
- The Indians have checked in, Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com reports (Twitter links). Talk between the Yankees and Indians has revolved around Burnett and Travis Hafner, though the Indians aren't sure they'd make that trade.
- The Angels are interested in Burnett, but they're on his no-trade list, Rosenthal tweets.
- Momentum for a deal stayed strong last night, according to Joel Sherman of the New York Post. The Yankees continue to engage two other teams, but the Pirates are the favorites to land Burnett. Pittsburgh has offered to pay $10MM and if they raise their bid to $13MM, the Yankees would be more inclined to accept lesser prospects in return. The Pirates view the Derek Lowe deal as a relevant point of reference for their discussions with the Yankees.
- The teams are still trying to decide which players would head from Pittsburgh to New York, Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reports (all Twitter links). Some Yankees people oppose trading Burnett now, and believe they could obtain more in return at the trade deadline.