Ty Wigginton Rumors
Let's round up the latest updates on the Rockies, courtesy a pair of Denver Post scribes....
- The deepest part of the Rockies' roster is the bullpen, writes Troy Renck. The team figures to try to take advantage of that depth, and deal from a position of strength when they discuss trades this winter.
- Within the same piece, Renck adds that, while Colorado will listen to inquiries on Seth Smith and Chris Iannetta, Ty Wigginton is the position player most likely to be traded. There are "strong indiciations" that the Rox would pay a chunk of Wigginton's salary if it would help facilitate a deal.
- GM Dan O'Dowd discussed the team's outlook with Renck's colleague Jim Armstrong, saying that his approach in the offseason will depend on what's available on the trade market: "In reality, to be a championship club, we probably need a front-of-the-rotation starter, and we also need another middle-of-the-lineup bat."
- More O'Dowd: "I'm telling you we absolutely will (spend), but it's got to be something we really like. We're not going to spend money for the sake of spending money. If we don't find that piece, it will be more finding the Mark Ellises and complementary pieces that bridge the gap until the (prospects) are ready to come."
The Rockies are 11 games back in the NL West, so it's time to consider selling various pieces. The latest:
- The Red Sox, Rangers, Tigers, Blue Jays, Yankees, and Reds scouted Ubaldo Jimenez's start yesterday in Arizona, tweets SI's Jon Heyman. Troy E. Renck of the Denver Post tweets that nothing has changed since his column yesterday - the Reds and Yankees make the most sense, with the Rangers, Red Sox, and Tigers lurking. At that point, Renck wrote that the price is huge - at least three players - but the Rockies "haven't pulled Jimenez off the showroom floor."
- The Pirates have interest in Ty Wigginton, tweets Renck. Wigginton, who played for the Bucs from 2004-05, is a good source of righthanded pop at the corners.
- Right-handed relievers Rafael Betancourt and Matt Lindstrom are also trade candidates, tweets Renck.
The Red Sox are "not pursuing anyone aggressively right now," a source familiar with the team's thinking told WEEI's Alex Speier. Instead, the team is currently trying to determine which internal solutions will work. We've heard the Red Sox named as one of the most aggressive suitors for Carlos Beltran, but that may not be the case.
The Sox are still taking their normal approach of "inquiring about anyone who may make an appreciable difference to the team," in the words of the Boston Globe's Nick Cafardo. Cafardo says the Red Sox have inquired on Beltran, Ubaldo Jimenez, Felix Hernandez, Jose Reyes, Jeff Francoeur, Jeff Baker, Michael Cuddyer, Ty Wigginton, Hiroki Kuroda, Ted Lilly, Jeremy Guthrie, Ryan Ludwick, Josh Willingham, Conor Jackson, Ryan Spilborghs, Mike Adams, and others. The team needs include starting pitching, a reliever, an outfielder, and a shortstop, but the Red Sox may prefer internal options in many cases.
A few more notes from Tim Brown and Jeff Passan of Yahoo...
- The Rockies are not actively shopping Chris Iannetta and Ty Wigginton, though they appeal to other teams.
- Mets shortstop Jose Reyes told friends he'd love to sign with the Angels after the season. However, the writers feel that Angels owner Arte Moreno is unlikely to win the bidding. Plus, the team is content with Erick Aybar at shortstop.
- The Halos' trade deadline emphasis is their bullpen, though they believe the cost of top-tier relievers like Heath Bell and Mike Adams is prohibitive. They'll look at the next tier, and also consider third base upgrades.
Some assorted links for your Sunday reading:
- Ty Wigginton's name has come up in talks between the Yankees and Rockies, tweets SI.com's Jon Heyman. As Heyman points out, Wigginton could fill in for Alex Rodriguez as he recovers from surgery.
- The Boston Globe's Nick Cafardo feels that the Red Sox should go all-in and acquire Jose Reyes to put the team over the top.
- Bob Brookover of the Philadelphia Inquirer spoke to a scout from each league and got their takes on several Phillies' trade targets, including: Josh Willingham, Ryan Ludwick, Heath Bell, Mike Adams, Hunter Pence, and Carlos Beltran.
- Derek Lowe isn't concerning himself with trade rumors and is even making light of the Tigers' interest in him, writes Carroll Rogers of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Rogers speculates that the Braves could move Lowe to clear salary for a big-name hitter.
- The Tigers are looking at improving their rotation and possibly third base, writes Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports. With Carlos Guillen coming back and Phil Coke being placed back in the bullpen, GM Dave Dombrowski doesn't feel second base and relief help are big areas of need.
The Rockies don’t need to shed salary this summer and don’t plan to be sellers regardless of their record, according to Troy Renck of the Denver Post. The Rockies are now 41-46 and if they continue struggling they may move Aaron Cook and Ian Stewart, but Huston Street and Ty Wigginton are likely staying put.
For now, the Rockies will attempt to add a pitcher who’s under team control beyond 2011. They’ve asked the Twins about their starters, but Minnesota is reluctant to trade until they’re further out of the race.
Though Brett Myers and Carlos Beltran are among the best players available, the price tags for those players make them unappealing to Colorado. GM Dan O’Dowd won’t consider trading prospects for a ‘rental player’ unless Colorado is leading the division, according to Renck (the Rockies now trail by 7.5 games).
Ken Rosenthal has his lastest Full Count video up over at FOXSports.com. Let's go over the highlights:
- If the Marlins make a managerial change, the most likely candidate would be Nationals' third base coach Bo Porter. Porter spent five years with the Marlins, and three as a Major League coach. Rosenthal wonders if the Nats would let him go to a division rival midseason, and if Porter would accept the job on an interim basis, knowing the Marlins ultimately want Ozzie Guillen. Porter turned down a similar offer last season.
- Rosenthal asked Yankees GM Brian Cashman if he would consider trading for an ace, and Cashman replied, "I'm not Ruben Amaro," referring to the Phillies GM and his affinity for blockbuster trades. Rosenthal names Wandy Rodriguez as a potential target for New York, but says there could be a hangup since the Astros value Rodriguez as an ace, while the Yanks would view him as a back-of-the-rotation addition.
- The Phillies are doing their due dilligence in looking for right-handed hitters and left-handed relievers, but are limited by payroll issues. They also don't currently have regular at-bats for any hitter they'd acquire. Rosenthal says someone like Ryan Spilborghs, making $2MM with the Rockies, is the type of hitter that would be appealing to Philadelphia.
- The Rockies could be buyers or sellers, depending on their play over the next month. If they're buyers, they'll seek innings-eating pitchers (Rosenthal names Hiroki Kuroda of the Dodgers and the Twins' Kevin Slowey as possible targets), while if they sell they could look to move Huston Street, Ty Wigginton, and Aaron Cook.
On this date in 1997, the Red Sox traded Tony Armas Jr. and Carl Pavano to the Expos for reigning NL Cy Young Award winner Pedro Martinez. A case can be made that Pedro's 1999 and 2000 seasons were the two best pitching seasons in baseball history, in which he held batters to a .186/.231/.274 batting line with 597 strikeouts in 430.1 innings.
It's highly unlikely that we'll see a pitcher of Pedro's caliber traded anytime soon, but that Zack Greinke kid is pretty good in his own right. Here are today's links...
- Two days ago we heard that the Rockies had interest in David Aardsma, Grant Balfour, and Todd Coffey, and now Troy Renck of The Denver post throws Jon Rauch's name into the mix.
- Marc Topkin of The St. Petersburg Times has some quotes from Rays principal owner Stuart Sternberg, who called the size of free agent contracts being handed out this winter "discouraging." He also commented (briefly) on the team's 2011 payroll.
- Bobby Jenks will take his physical on Monday, tweets Nick Cafardo of The Boston Globe. It was originally scheduled for today but was pushed back, and it's necessary to finalize his contract with the Red Sox.
- Renck also has the goods (Twitter links) on two recent Rockies signings. Ty Wigginton took less money to sign in Colorado, earning $3.5MM in 2011, $4MM in '12, and a club option for $4MM in '13 ($500k buyout). Meanwhile, pitcher Eric Stults has an out in his $435k minor league deal that will allow him to sign with the Hiroshima Carp if he does not make the big league roster.
- Richard Durrett of ESPN.com applauds the Rangers' efforts to bolster their starting depth.
- Dan Wheeler is happy to be a member of Boston's improved bullpen, writes MLB.com's Ian Browne.
- ESPN's Jerry Crasnick tweets that Seth McClung's deal with the Rangers will pay him $700K if he makes the team. There are another $700K available in bonuses tied to the number of starts he makes.
- Patrick Newman of NPB Tracker passes along a report (via Twitter) indicating that Hideki Matsui's contract with the A's has a limited no-trade clause preventing trades to the Mariners, Orioles, Twins, Blue Jays, Indians, and Royals.
- Mariano Rivera told Erik Boland of Newsday that he plans to give long-time teammate Andy Pettitte a call to try to convince the lefty to come back for another season.
- Finding a left-handed bat off the bench is one of the last remaining items on the Marlins offseason agenda, but MLB.com's Joe Frisaro says they might already have that guy on their roster. Catcher John Baker, who is currently recovering from Tommy John surgery, said he would be up for the job until he's cleared to catch again.
- Former Mets GM Omar Minaya told Ian Begley of ESPN New York that he plans to sit down with new GM Sandy Alderson after the holidays to discuss a potential new role with the team. Minaya said he has several offers on the table, including interest from the Diamondbacks.
- Hey iPhone users, do you have the MLBTR app yet? Jason Bartlett does, and that's how he found out his trade to the Padres was in the works.
The Rockies continued their active offseason today, officially announcing their contract with Ty Wigginton. Wigginton received a two-year, $8MM deal with an option for 2013, which is steep compared to Eric Hinske's one-year, $1.35MM deal. The Wigginton contract represents another big win for ACES, the agency behind the deals for Joaquin Benoit, John Buck, Jhonny Peralta, Brandon Inge, and Javier Vazquez.
Wigginton, 33, hit .248/.312/.415 with 22 home runs in 649 plate appearances for the Orioles in 2010. The veteran utility man saw time at first base, second base, and third base for the Orioles, and also has experience in the oufield. He'd been previously identified as the Rockies' top target for a right-handed utility bat.
The Orioles made a curious decision this summer in not trading Wigginton, as he was certain to finish the year as an unranked free agent. Rather than acquire some minor league depth or salary relief, they will instead receive no compensation for his departure.
Wigginton is added to the list of offseason activity from the Rockies that has included extending Troy Tulowitzki, signing Jorge de la Rosa, and acquiring Jose Lopez and Felipe Paulino. Dave Cameron of FanGraphs is confused as to why the Rockies added Wigginton after getting Lopez.
We've heard that Ty Wigginton is the Rockies' top target for a right-handed bat, but the club has other targets for that role, as well as interest in several other players, according to Troy E. Renck of the Denver Post. Let's go over some of them:
- Jorge Cantu is one alternative to Wigginton, despite a miserable second half to the 2010 season. GM Dan O'Dowd acknowledged that they'd prefer someone who can play in the outfield, but that's not critical.
- The Rockies have soured on Josh Willingham due to Washington's asking price and concerns over the 31-year-old's knee. They've also called about Jeff Francoeur, believing he could handle first base.
- Colorado would have interest in Rich Harden in a bullpen role, if the righty would be willing to make the switch from starting pitching. There's also the question of whether or not the injury-prone Harden could hold up physically. Renck says the Rox have tried to acquire Harden numerous times in the past, but to no avail.
- Colorado is also looking at Kevin Gregg, Bobby Jenks, Brian Fuentes, Jesse Crain, and Pedro Feliciano, though the first three prefer to close, which won't happen in Denver.
- The Rockies also haven't closed the door on Joe Beimel, who tells Renck he'd love to come back to Colorado.