Tyler Clippard Rumors

Sherman On Yankees, Padres, Clippard

Joel Sherman of the New York Post dishes all kinds of Yankees rumors today; let's check it out.

  • Yankees GM Brian Cashman admitted the team's weakness is left-handed pitching, but says, "I can't force it.  I can't make it happen if it is not there." Another Yankees official said that a lefty would help, "But I don't think it is live or die."  Sherman believes Wandy Rodriguez and Francisco Liriano might be the two best available southpaw starters, but both bring concerns.  Relief-wise they could go for the Marlins' Randy Choate or consider higher-priced names in August like Brian Fuentes and Mike Gonzalez.
  • In general, Cashman said he doesn't think he can trade for a starter better than Bartolo Colon or Phil Hughes or a reliever better than Rafael Soriano, and all three could be back in July.  According to Sherman, the Yankees "have shown no interest in high-cost veterans with dubious stuff such as the Brett Myers, Carlos Zambrano, Ryan Dempster, Edwin Jackson, Livan Hernandez, and Jason Marquis."
  • Hoping for the Yanks to acquire Jair Jurrjens or Derek Lowe?  We're not sure if either is available, but Sherman says "the Yankees' policy has become pretty much to run away from Atlanta pitching after having successful Braves hurlers blow up on them."
  • The Yankees would not offer an extension to Hiroki Kuroda, if the righty were to make that a condition of a trade.  We know Kuroda will require some form of compensation.
  • The Padres "want to get out in the market quickly" with relievers Heath Bell and Chad Qualls, writes Sherman.  The Yankees, however, prefer Mike Adams, who is considered much less available.
  • The Nationals are willing to trade setup man Tyler Clippard, but are looking for a center fielder and have their sights on B.J. Upton.

Rangers Hope To Improve Bullpen Soon

Rangers GM Jon Daniels is having "active discussions with other teams" with the aim of improving his bullpen via trade, reports MLB.com's T.R. Sullivan.  Said Daniels:

"It's something that we're open to, but it's easier said than done.  There are not a lot of clubs eager to move quality arms right now. We've got to be able to address it right now."

Sullivan names Koji Uehara, Jim Johnson, Kevin Gregg, Joakim Soria, Kerry Wood, and Heath Bell as several relievers who could become available.  He also notes that the Rangers have discussed Todd Coffey and Tyler Clippard with the Nationals.  And the Giants are scouting Rangers catcher Taylor Teagarden, so there could be a match.

Cafardo On Capps, Clippard, Athletics, Cabrera

There are indications that Cubs owner Tom Ricketts could be considering a management overhaul in Chicago, and Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe thinks Ricketts would do well to hire as many Red Sox people as possible. Cafardo suggests that Allard Baird, Ben Cherington, and DeMarlo Hale are among the names that should be attractive to the Cubs. Here are some other highlights from the Globe's Sunday Notes:

  • Matt Capps should draw plenty of trade interest if the Twins decide to move him. However, the closer likely won't become available until the Twins are absolutely sure they're out of the race, as the defending AL Central champs will be reluctant to give up on their season.
  • If the Nationals are willing to deal him, there will be a strong market for setup man Tyler Clippard. Cafardo speculates that Clippard would be a good fit for the Yankees or Phillies.
  • An AL GM on the Athletics' decision to replace manager Bob Geren with Bob Melvin: "[GM Billy] Beane made the move now because he thought there was something to salvage. They still have the pitching. So it’s not out of the realm of possibility."
  • Any contenders with interest in Orlando Cabrera may be able to acquire him sooner rather than later, after the Indians' promotion of Cord Phelps reduced Cabrera to a part-time role.
  • Jason Bay's most recent slump had the Mets' $66MM man out of the lineup this week. "His bat is slow and he’s just not himself," said one veteran scout. "The ballpark [Citi Field] isn’t good for him, but the way he hit his home runs, I never thought that was a big issue."

Close Continues To Represent 12 Former CAA Clients

Derek Jeter, Ryan Howard and Derrek Lee aren’t the only former CAA clients agent Casey Close will continue to represent now that he’s at Excel Sports Management. Close told MLBTR that he still represents Tyler Clippard, Michael Cuddyer, Alex Gordon, Jerry Hairston Jr., Scott Hairston, Casey Kotchman, Ben Sheets, Marcus Thames and Jamey Wright

Close left CAA Sports in February and recently joined the New York-based agency Excel Sports Management. For the latest on all agencies and players, check out MLBTR’s Agency Database.


NL East Notes: Zimmermann, Marlins, Heyward

Players with zero to three years of service time are under team control and don't have the power to negotiate their salaries. Most of these players agree to terms with their clubs on deals worth $400-500K, but some don't agree to terms and their clubs renew their contracts instead (it doesn't affect the player's timeline for arbitration or free agency). Here's the latest on the NL East, including news on some contract renewals:

Quick Hits: Rockies, Dodgers, McDonald, Clippard

Links for Thursday night..

  • While I wondered if the Braves could be a match for the Cardinals as they look for pitching, Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports suggests that the Rockies could be a match.  A major league source told Rosenthal that the Cards will first explore internal options before looking out-of-house.
  • Commissioner Bud Selig has rejected a proposal under which FOX would have loaned about $200MM to Dodgers owner Frank McCourt, three people familiar with the talks told Bill Shaikin of the LA Times.
  • Ex-Giant Juan Uribe is happy to be aboard with the Dodgers, writes John Shea of the San Francisco Chronicle.
  • Former Dodgers pitcher James McDonald is excited to turn over a new leaf with the Pirates, writes Evan Drellich of MLB.com.  McDonald was shipped to Pittsburgh along with Andrew Lambo for Octavio Dotel last season. 
  • Nationals reliever Tyler Clippard says that he will continue to be represented by agent Casey Close, who is leaving CAA Sports, writes MLB.com's Bill Ladson.
  • Brewers right-handers Justin James and Shaun Marcum were drafted by Toronto in the same year but took very different paths to wind up in Milwaukee, writes Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel.  James claimed off waivers by the Brewers from the A's this offseason.

Nationals DFA Kip Wells, Call On Clippard

MLB.com's Bill Ladson reports that the Nationals designated reliever Kip Wells for assignment to make room for Tyler Clippard. Wells, a 32-year-old righty, has an ERA of 6.49 in just over 26 innings, with 18 strikeouts and as many walks.

It's possible that Clippard will be the Nats' best reliever, as he's dominated Triple A so far this year. He backs up his sparkling 0.92 ERA with 42 strikeouts in 39 innings, and just 20 hits and 15 walks allowed.

The Nationals’ Bullpen

According to Chico Harlan of the Washington Post, "changes are coming" to the Nationals' bullpen if it doesn't improve. The Nats have since DFA'd Mike Hinckley and called up Ron Villone, but they could make more moves:

  • The Nats could exchange bad contracts with another team. Trading Austin Kearns ($8MM) for Miguel Batista ($9MM) has been discussed.
  • Harlan adds that the trade market for relievers isn't good because many teams have struggling bullpens. 
  • The Nats' will likely address the bullpen from within the organization. Jason Bergmann and Tyler Clippard are available in the minor leagues.  

Tyler Clippard To Nationals For Albaladejo

A source at the Meetings tells me the Yanks are sending Tyler Clippard over to the Nats in a trade for minor league reliever Jonathan Albaladejo.  Ah here we go, the Washington Post now has this one.

Clippard, a righthanded starter, turns 23 in February.  He’s said to be a "finesse righty with a plus curve."  A move to the NL and a rotation spot means things are looking up for him.

Albaladejo is a 25 year-old who did a nice job in relief at Triple A and with Washington last year.  The Nats had snagged him as a minor league free agent. 

You’ve got to like this move for the Nats, even if it seems small.

Heyman On Eric Gagne

SI.com’s Jon Heyman had a new post in the wee hours of the morning today.  The Yankees seem to be the frontrunner for Eric Gagne, while simultaneously trying to unload Kyle Farnsworth.

Gagne would set up Mariano Rivera in New York.  Gagne can’t veto this trade, even though working as a setup man would cause him to miss some of his incentives.  Heyman talks about the Yankees accomodating this problem, although they are under no obligation to do so.

The Yankees are being very possessive about their pitching prospects.  Beyond Joba Chamberlain and Phil Hughes, they’ve deemed Ian Kennedy and Alan Horne off-limits.  Jeff Marquez and Tyler Clippard are two who could go to Texas for Gagne.  Not bad, but not the big names we’ve been expecting.

The Mets might pay some mind to Gagne, whose price couldn’t be higher than Chad Cordero‘s.  The Mets are the other contender to can trade for Gagne without his approval.

As for Farnsworth, we’ve already heard the Tigers and Rockies have some interest.  Heyman adds the Dodgers to the mix; they inquired on him as a Plan B if they can’t get Octavio Dotel.