Unfounded Rumors Rumors
UPDATE, 11-28-07 at 10:50am: LaVelle E. Neal III and Joe Christensen of the Minneapolis Star-Tribune looked into both of these rumors, and found nothing.
FROM 11-27-07 at 10:25pm:
We have seen some Unfounded Rumors come to fruition in the past; you never know. No insult is intended towards the originators of these, but they are reports I have not been able to verify. I know most of you just want rumors any way you can get them.
- DRays Bay has some chatter about a possible Boof Bonser to Tampa Bay deal. Apparently quotes from Bonser himself played a part in this one, though Marc Topkin isn't buying it.
- Over at Minor League Ball, a person posted about a rumor heard on a California radio station: Justin Morneau to the Angels for Ervin Santana and Casey Kotchman. This one has zero verification but it's rapidly making its way around the Internet today.
So there you go, a couple of Unfounded Rumors to mull over this evening.
UPDATE, 11-28-07 at 10:45am: Buster Olney says talks for Matsui are indeed picking up, and the Cubs are in the thick of things. He notes that if a team is dead set on acquiring a left-handed hitting middle infielder, its options are limited. It's possible the Astros are still talking to Matsui.
FROM 11-28-07 at 8:30am:
Since last night, about a dozen people have emailed me about a supposed Denver radio station report. This report purportedly claimed Kaz Matsui had signed with the Cubs for three years and $14MM.
However, none of the emailers had actually heard the report with their own two ears. Details are slim - no one knows who actually said it on air. While the rumor sounds reasonable, it may be made up or a contortion of the truth. It may also be accurate - we don't know yet.
One sign that the hot stove season has officially kicked in is the spreading of unverifiable radio rumors. These are slippery because they're very difficult to confirm but have an air of authority to them. That makes radio rumors easy to fabricate and spread around the 'Net. I've also seen many cases where radio personalities were clearly speculating, but a few games of telephone later and they were talking about actual offers.
All that said, radio reports have value when verified. For instance Bruce Levine of ESPN Radio 1000 out of Chicago scooped everyone on the Kerry Wood and Scott Linebrink signings.
UPDATE: SI.com's Jon Heyman says Weathers has been pulled off the block.
An MLBTR reader had good seats at last night's Reds game, and he observed about eight scouts watching. Specifically, he saw a Seattle Mariners scout. Apparently the scout got pretty active when David Weathers took the hill. This is reasonable; the Ms are known to be looking for bullpen help.
Weathers picked up a two-inning save last night. He's having a surprisingly strong year, with some of the best control of his career. His contract runs through 2008, when he will make $2.75MM. However, Will Carroll wrote yesterday that the Reds want to keep Weathers and trade Todd Coffey instead.
Another reason eight scouts might have been watching last night's Reds-Brewers contest: Kyle Lohse started. He wasn't too bad, allowing two runs (one earned) in 5.2 innings. The Mariners seem to be monitoring quite a few starters so it wouldn't surprise me if they had an eye on Lohse.
I have debated about posting this one because I can't verify the source. Some folks have confirmed that this is indeed in the ballpark, so I'm going to go with it. As you know, MLBTradeRumors doesn't pretend to be a newspaper, so I am just going to post this info under Unfounded Rumors because I can't get multiple sources to confirm. The beauty of a self-owned blog I guess.
I am told that Aramis Ramirez's agent Paul Kinzer is asking for six years at $15MM per or seven years at $14MM annually.
Jim Hendry's counteroffer: five years, $70MM guaranteed (11/12/15/16/16), sixth year vests at $14MM with a team option and seventh year a player option at $14MM. Full no-trade 2007-09, partial no-trade 2010-13.
If true, it seems like a gap the Cubs can close. Thoughts?
Just a few tidbits that are floating around today...
All sorts of emails about the Reds recently. Everyone thinks they're due for a trade, and I can't disagree. Unfortunately I've come up empty on any inside rumblings of a deal. But take a look at this depth chart! The team has three catchers and five middle infielders, but lacks a real first baseman and could use some relief help. Something's gotta give. The Jays could probably spare a corner type, and the Twins could have some use for a middle infielder who can hit. The Mets might not mind another second base option.
I've also heard that some Boston radio stations are tossing around a possible Red Sox proposal for Dontrelle Willis. Apparently their package would start with Jon Lester. I don't know how much foundation this one has, so I'm just tossing it out there. The D-Train has quieted March concerns by allowing just two earned runs in his first thirteen innings. Of course, he doesn't have a win to show for it yet.
Carlos Pena is still floating around unemployed, and Barry Zito is starting trade rumors with cab drivers. Tom Powers thinks Torii Hunter will be dealt by August if the Twins aren't in contention. I think the team will at least be within spitting distance of the playoffs this summer and Hunter will stay put.
I'm told that one of the shows on ESPN 710 in Los Angeles reported a couple of interesting Dodger trade rumors Saturday morning. I didn't hear the program myself so I can't vouch for it, but it's a slow news day so let me toss it out there.
Supposedly, Ned Colletti is looking a couple of proposals over. The first would be Barry Zito and Mark Kotsay for Chad Billingsley, Greg Miller, and Joel Guzman. There are a host of reasons not to buy into this one. Billingsley looks like a front-rotation prospect, best in the Dodger system according to Baseball America. 21 year-old Guzman ranks third, while Miller is recovering from a couple of shoulder surgeries. While I really don't think the Dodgers would be that shortsighted, this deal would seem hard to resist for Billy Beane.
The other rumor apparently tossed out there by the radio station was Odalis Perez and Hee Seop Choi for Aubrey Huff and a player to be named later. As you may recall, I've been a big proponent of the Rays acquiring Choi. While their starting staff is hurting for a vet like Perez, this doesn't seem like the time for Tampa Bay to take on his $15MM salary over the next two seasons.
Pretty wacky stuff, but that's why I tossed it under Unfounded Rumors for Sunday night amusement.
It's time for everyone's favorite segment, Unfounded Rumors. It's where I toss out some rumors that have been floating around radio stations, message boards, my inbox, whatever. You never know; we did get Russell Branyan right the last time we did this. Feel free to debunk.
Apparently Dodgers GM Colletti is working on two deals, one big, one small. Many have theorized that Bengie Molina would represent the small deal. As for the big one, there are plenty of possibilities. Could Eric Gagne be on the block? It seems he'd have to prove his health first.
How about Bobby Abreu and Gavin Floyd to the White Sox for Jermaine Dye and Jose Contreras? According to message boards, Philly radio personality Howard Eskin originated this one. I'm trying to find more, but on the surface it seems like the Phils would want someone younger with less service time for their star outfielder. Plus, word is that the White Sox want to wait til spring training before they consider deals for Contreras.
Inevitably someone will sneak in here and say that none of my rumors have a foundation. Well, they do, but I am thinking of starting a segment here called Unfounded Rumors. It'll just be a dumping ground of things I couldn't confirm. Maybe it was heard through the grapevine, on a message board, or from a source I don't know too well yet. Doesn't make it any more true or false, I just can't vouch for it at the moment. A lot of things end up in my inbox that would at least make good fodder for discussion. I figured that this is a rumor site, so I might as well add fuel to the fire for the fun of it. So that's your disclaimer.
An insider over at the Orioles Hangout message board says the Orioles will trade a starting pitcher soon. Could be Erik Bedard, Rodrigo Lopez, or Hayden Penn. Speculation is that the Orioles would love to swap a starter for a power hitter now that they've added Kris Benson. I know some Oriole fans are clamoring for Adam Dunn, and at the very least we know the Reds will be more open to trading with O'Brien gone.
Speaking of Adam Dunn, a source tells me that the Reds have been talking to the Dodgers about him. Derek Lowe or Brad Penny may be involved. He also tells me that Boston could send Brandon Moss to Cincy along with Matt Clement. It would be part of a three-way deal where Austin Kearns and Moss land in Cleveland. I think Coco Crisp would then end up in Boston. Yeah, I just confused myself, but maybe you can sort that one out.
Jay Payton could be on the block, but the Zito rumors seem to be running cold. I guess Beane said recently that any team trading for Zito would be "ripped off," indicating that Zito will stay unless he's blown away.
The Devil Rays might be looking at Russell Branyan for a minor-league deal. Branyan has slugged .518 against righties over the last three years.
Someone told me that a Griffey to the Braves rumor was floating around last week. I'm not sure where it originated, but it would be a nice fit in my opinion. Plus, the Braves would have the ammo to get it done.