Tyler Flowers Rumors
WEDNESDAY, 6:20pm: Cowley follows up on Pierzynski's comments by getting a few reaction quotes from Ozzie Guillen. The White Sox skipper attempted to quell speculation about a possible trade or Flowers promotion, saying of Pierzynski: "He's not going to lose his job. I'm very happy with what I've got and I have a lot of optimism with what I have and I think A.J. is my catcher.... As long as I'm here, I don't see why he's not going to be my catcher."
TUESDAY, 9:28pm: Joe Cowley of the Chicago Sun-Times caught up with A.J. Pierzynski about his future with the White Sox. As pointed out by Tim earlier today, the catcher would achieve 10-and-5 rights this June, meaning he could veto any trade.
Pierzynski, 33, wanted to work out an extension with the White Sox, but with that off the table for now, he's looking for a resolution about his future.
‘‘Everyone knows my situation, I’m a free agent at the end of the year," Pierzynski told Cowley. "But I also know this, if it gets to about June then they can’t trade me, so they’re going to have to make a decision here pretty quick.’’
He added that Chicago is his first choice. Pierzynski is hitting just .171/.227/.195 in his first 44 plate appearances this season, but says his status has nothing to do with the slow start.
For his part, White Sox GM Kenny Williams is preaching patience.
Let's continue our look at each club's top trade chips today with the AL Central...
- Indians: The Tribe have dealt their Opening Day starter in each of the last two seasons, and there's a good chance they'll do it again with Jake Westbrook in 2010. The 32-year-old righty will earn $11MM this season, the last one on his contract. After dumping Cliff Lee and Victor Martinez in cost-cutting moves last year, expect them to shop Westbrook around for prospects this summer.
- Royals: All four of Kansas City's outfielders come off the books after this season (assuming some options are bought out for six figures), so Rick Ankiel, David DeJesus, Scott Podsednik, and even Jose Guillen could be moved in a deal for a young player. The team would obviously have to eat a lot of money to move Guillen. The contracts of relievers Juan Cruz and Kyle Farnsworth also expire after the season, so there might be some interest in them.
- Tigers: Detroit isn't going to move any of their young power arms, but if they eat a large chunk of salary like they did with Nate Robertson, there might be interest in Jeremy Bonderman and/or Dontrelle Willis. Young backstop Alex Avila could make Gerald Laird expendable as well. The Tigers have four lefty relievers on their 40-man roster (Phil Coke, Fu-Te Ni, Daniel Schlereth, and Brad Thomas), and that demographic is always in demand.
- Twins: Minnesota has one of the best trade chips in the league, blocked catching prospect Wilson Ramos. Lefty Glen Perkins is pitching in Triple-A and seems to have fallen out of favor with the club after filing a grievance, so he could be made available as well. He has four years of team control left.
- White Sox: GM Kenny Williams isn't shy about emptying out the farm system in a trade for an established big leaguer, which has left him with little minor league ammo. Their best young prospects are catcher Tyler Flowers and starter Daniel Hudson, who would seem to have a future with the club, but I'm not going to put anything past Williams. Flowers could make A.J. Pierzynski or Ramon Castro expendable, ditto Hudson and Freddy Garcia. Gordon Beckham should be untouchable, obviously.
Links for Wednesday...
- Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports says the White Sox and Blue Jays discussed Dan Hudson and Tyler Flowers in a potential Roy Halladay deal, but the Sox weren't on Doc's list.
- The Braves signed J.R. House to a minor league deal, reports Dave O'Brien of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. House, 30, hit .251/.297/.352 for the Royals' Triple A club in '09 while catching 101 games.
- Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports explores Felipe Lopez's reputation as a lazy player, something former teammate Mike Rivera denies.
- Baseball America's Ben Badler has four Dominican signings, by the Rockies, Cardinals, Angels, and Rangers.
- Cardinals manager Tony La Russa and GM John Mozeliak are signed only through 2010, but neither seems concerned (Joe Strauss of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reporting).
The Chicago White Sox have announced their Spring Training invitees.
The White Sox invited 18 players: Left-handed pitching prospect Aaron Poreda and infield prospect Gordon Beckham; catchers Tyler Flowers and Donny Lucey; right-handed reliever Mike MacDougal joins fellow White Sox minor leaguers Poreda and Beckham as non-roster invitees.
These 13 signed minor-league deals with the White Sox: Infielders Javier Castillo, Bryan Myrow, Sergio Santos and Eider Torres; catchers Corky Miller and Chris Stewart; outfielders Josh Kroeger and Michael Restovich; right-handed pitchers Ryan Braun, Franklyn German, Brad Salmon and Jon Van Benschoten ; left-handed pitcher Randy Williams.
Tom Krasovic of the San Diego Union-Tribune had an article yesterday involving a couple of failed Padres trades.
Krasovic says the Padres and Braves were discussing a 4-for-1 Jake Peavy deal in November. Yunel Escobar and Gorkys Hernadez were agreed upon. The conflict came as the Padres wanted Charlie Morton over Jo-Jo Reyes as well as Jeff Locke or Tyler Flowers over Blaine Boyer. To me that gap looks pretty sizeable, so maybe the trade was never close. At this point it seems like the Braves could end up with Javier Vazquez and Kenshin Kawakami as their rotation upgrades. They've reportedly made Escobar unavailable, leading Dan Hayes of the North County Times to suggest the Braves would have to remove Tommy Hanson's apparent "untouchable" tag to get Peavy. Everything I've read about Hanson has said the Braves are adamant about keeping him.
Krasovic also says the Giants made a run at shortstop Khalil Greene before he was dealt to the Cardinals.
The word yesterday evening was that the Braves acquired starter Javier Vazquez and lefty reliever Boone Logan for Tyler Flowers, Brent Lillibridge, Jon Gilmore, and Santos Rodriguez (MLB.com's Mark Bowman confirms the prospects). Look for the trade to become official tommorrow. Reactions to the deal:
- South Side Sox expects a couple of accompanying moves: the trade of Jermaine Dye for a young starter and the signing of an affordable free agent outfielder. They don't see the White Sox benefitting from the Vazquez trade in 2009, but at least Ozzie cleared out his doghouse.
- Mark Gonzales of the Chicago Tribune says the Sox will still have power if Dye is dealt. Gonzales also provides info on the prospects received for Vazquez.
- Yahoo's Tim Brown says the White Sox are also willing to trade Paul Konerko and Jim Thome.
- Sox Machine provides a more in-depth look at the prospects.
- From the Braves' point of view, J.C. Bradbury sees this as a solid win-now move that won't affect the '09 team.
- Ken Davidoff says the Braves will now have less of a need for Jake Peavy or A.J. Burnett. I think, though, that they'll still aggressively try to acquire one of the two. Most of the rumored packages for Peavy didn't involve the prospects sent to Chicago, with the possible exception of Flowers.
- Dave Cameron notes Vazquez's career-long underachievement. This always baffled me when trying to do fantasy baseball projections based on component stats.
Another day, another column from Ken Rosenthal.
- With multiple vacancies in the rotation and bullpen, the Brewers may need to see what kind of pitching Mike Cameron and/or J.J. Hardy can bring in return. GM Doug Melvin is not ready to shop Hardy. He's received interest, but most teams have not given names (one team suggested swapping him for a pitcher Melvin termed, "a fifth starter.")
- The Padres have asked the Braves to substitute catcher Tyler Flowers for center fielder Gorkys Hernandez in their Jake Peavy offer. Dave O'Brien sees this as unlikely.
- If they can't sign Mark Teixeira, the Angels are ready to shift gears to C.C. Sabathia, Francisco Rodriguez, or other players. The idea of a Manny Ramirez pursuit was "tabled rather quickly."
- The Cardinals plan to add one or two lefthanded relievers, probably free agents.
- In his quest for righthanded power, Reds GM Walt Jocketty inquired on Matt Holliday and Josh Willingham before they were traded. Purely speculative - Jermaine Dye could be a nice fit.
- At least half a dozen teams have expressed interest in free agent starter Randy Wolf.