Troy Percival Rumors
I recently named the St. Petersburg Times' Marc Topkin as Rumor Royalty for the Rays. He was kind enough to answer a few questions for the site.
MLBTR: Who gets more saves in '08, Troy Percival or Al Reyes? Is there any chance the Rays shop Reyes now?
Topkin: Percival will get most of the save opportunities, probably all except when he needs a day off. Reyes could be traded, but I think Wheeler is more likely to go. (Unless one of them learns how to pitch lefthanded!)
UPDATE, 11-29-07 at 8pm: Marc Topkin reports that Percival did indeed take and pass a physical with the Rays.
FROM 11-29-07 at 6pm:
Couple of notes for your drive-time commute. Ken Rosenthal reports that Troy Percival will sign with the Rays for two years and $8 million. Incentives could push it to $10 million. Here's something you don't see every day: they're not making him take a physical -- though they have seen his medical records.
Apparently the Yankees threw more cash at him, but he opted for the closing opportunity in Tampa Bay. I wonder where that leaves Al Reyes.
Over on the ESPN side, Buster Olney says that David Riske is close to a deal with the Brewers. Olney supplies no details beyond it being a multiyear deal. As he notes, the Royals offered him two years and $6 million earlier this off-season. This deal could be comparable to Scott Linebrink's four years and $19 million.
UPDATE, 11-28-07 at 10pm: Olney is still certain Percival is going to the Rays on a multiyear deal. One other note is that the Giants had been in on him.
UPDATE, 11-28-07 at 7:40pm: Not so fast, says Ken Rosenthal. The Rays may be in the lead on Percival because he is close to Joe Maddon and they'll offer two years. But the Yankees are in the mix offering a setup role and the Brewers are offering a one-year deal and a closer job.
FROM 11-28-07 at 3:40pm:
According to ESPN's Buster Olney, the Rays are "moving toward a deal" to sign free agent reliever Troy Percival. This could give them a potentially solid veteran relief group in Juan Rincon, Dan Wheeler, Percival, and Al Reyes.
Percival was known to have been seeking a multiyear deal (I'm guessing two years, $10MM or so). Other suitors: Yankees, Brewers, Giants, and Astros.
Tom Haudricourt recently spoke to Brewers GM Doug Melvin about his pursuit for a closer candidate. Melvin recently had Kerry Wood pass over his two-year, $6MM offer for a one-year deal with the Cubs.
Melvin seemingly would only offer a one-year deal to Eric Gagne, Troy Percival, or Octavio Dotel. All want multiyear contracts, however. It's a bit odd that he wouldn't offer two years to any of these guys but did to Wood. Maybe the Brewers only budgeted $6MM or so for this. I imagine Gagne, for instance, would want more than that for just one year.
By the way, both Melvin and owner Mark Attanasio were perturbed by Bean Stringfellow's handling of the Francisco Cordero negotiations. The Crew lost out by just $4MM but didn't get a chance to match Cincinnati's offer. Stringfellow's agency represents a couple of current Brewers in Greg Aquino and Claudio Vargas, plus free agent reliever and former Brewer Luis Vizcaino. I imagine Vizcaino is not among the eight or nine relievers on Melvin's radar.
Tim sent me a couple of items, so let's create another bullet list:
- Mariners GM Bill Bavasi and manager John McLaren have met with Hiroki Kuroda yesterday. There is no report of an offer, but it's believed that four years and $45 million are expected. Kuroda hopes to make his decision on the 29th.
- Impacto Deportivo, the same site that had first news of the Mets deal with Luis Castillo, reports that Carlos Pena has rejected a three-year, $30 million deal from the Rays. Pena, however, calls the report "a straight lie."
- Randy Wolf is generating interest from the Padres, Phillies, and Astros. Ken Rosenthal notes that the market for high-risk, moderate-reward pitchers is strong, since the rest of the market isn't very appealing. This includes Bartolo Colon, Jason Jennings, Freddy Garcia, Jon Lieber, Matt Clement, and Kris Benson.
- The Brewers are in on Troy Percival after losing Francisco Cordero to the Reds. As has been said since the signing, this could also mean that Derrick Turnbow gets another shot in the closer's role.
- The Mets inquired about Bengie Molina at the GM meetings, and even though they have acquired Johnny Estrada, they could rekindle talks at the Winter Meetings. Rosenthal notes that the Giants might not want to trade Molina, since they lose considerable leverage because of the $12 million owed to him over the next two years.
Joe Pawlikowski is co-author of River Ave. Blues.
Buster Olney sums up the known Troy Percival suitors thusly: Yankees, Brewers, Giants, Astros, and Rays. He obviously wouldn't close for the Yankees, but might be able to pitch the ninth for the other clubs Olney named.
The 38 year-old Percival is a fascinating story. He missed all of 2006 and joined the Cardinals this year and posted phenomenal numbers - 1.80 ERA, 0.85 WHIP, 3.6 K/BB. Suddenly he's primed to snag a closer gig again, if he wants it.
Olney named five clubs, but it's been said that ten teams are in on Percival. Teams that were confirmed to be involved last summer: Dodgers, Indians, Cardinals, Braves, Athletics, Phillies, Tigers, and Marlins. I think it's safe to assume the Phillies are one of the ten.
Let's kick things off today with one of those posts packed with random rumors.
- Tom Glavine's agent Gregg Clifton meets with Braves' GM Frank Wren this afternoon. They'll talk money. Wren is expected to offer $8-10MM for '08 plus a mutual option for '09. Glavine isn't a lock for the Braves - three other teams are interested. The pool includes the Mets, Phillies, Nationals, Cardinals and Astros.
- Reds beat writer John Fay recently suggested the Reds might have a payroll around $75MM, giving them only $6MM to spend. But now Fay is saying he thinks the Reds might go past $75MM. He believes the Reds will strike quickly with a focus on relief help - maybe even Francisco Cordero. The Brewers made an offer to Cordero Monday, and the Astros and Royals ar expected to be in the mix as well.
- Previously it was noted that eight teams were in on Troy Percival, four of which were considering him at closer. Now we're up to ten clubs, and the Rays are having serious talks with his agent. The Astros may also be in the mix.
MLB.com's Jim Molony has a new column up with some solid info.
- Molony says Tom Glavine will wait about a week and then announce he'll pitch for the Braves in '08. It would probably be for $8-9MM for '08 with a mutual option for '09.
- Molony suggests that the Phillies might go after Kosuke Fukudome, or lesser options like Brad Wilkerson or Trot Nixon.
- Eight teams are after Troy Percival, four of which consider him an option at closer. The Tigers aren't involved as of yet. Maybe the Cubs are in the mix? Also a reader just emailed me to tell me that 790 The Sports Animal in Houston says the Astros are in on Percival.
ESPN's Jayson Stark says the Dodgers are "actively exploring" a trade for Cardinals reliever Troy Percival. It would apparently require a mid-level prospect. Percy would be a consolation prize after the Dodgers missed on Octavio Dotel; really, he's not much worse.
Remember when the hottest rumor centered around which team would sign Troy Percival? Percival ultimately signed with St. Louis, but the Indians were one of many teams rumored to be in on him.
Now comes word via MLB.com's Jim Molony that the Indians might "try to make a pitch" to acquire Percival from the Cardinals. Percival has pitched 14.2 innings for the Cardinals, and he's been very sharp with a 3.75 K/BB. I'm sure he'd be open to a role in the back of Cleveland's pen.
The Tribe would probably have even more interest in Jason Isringhausen, but he's said to be unavailable.