- Option decisions are due on Jason Giambi, Carl Pavano, and Damaso Marte by November 14th. The only uncertainty is with Marte’s $6MM option. George King reported yesterday that the Yankees are unlikely to exercise it. Abraham says Cashman indicated that Marte could be signed to a new contract if the option is declined. I imagine it’d take multiple years to entice him.
- There have been no conversations between the Yankees and Bobby Abreu’s agents. Abreu is looking for a three-year deal, so he’ll probably be cashed in for draft picks.
- Center field is not considered a priority; the Yanks like their in-house options.
- Cashman wants to acquire two starters; right now he considers Chien-Ming Wang and Joba Chamberlain his rotation.
- Eric Milton and Victor Zambrano are free agents again.
We saw the non-waiver trade deadline come and go this week, and plenty of action to go along with it. Let’s recap the big moves of the week:
- The Dodgers, Pirates, and Red Sox completed a three-team, blockbuster trade that sent Manny Ramirez to Los Angeles, Jason Bay to Boston, and Andy LaRoche, Bryan Morris, Craig Hansen, and Brandon Moss to Pittsburgh. The Pirates got a pretty nice haul, and while Bay won’t necessarily replace Manny’s production, he’s much more affordable, signed through ’09, and doesn’t disrupt the clubhouse. The Dodgers add the big bat they need for a push in the NL West, though are now overloaded with overpaid outfielders. All in all, I don’t think any team made a bad deal in this one.
- The Angels made a big move in adding Mark Teixeira to their lineup, sending Casey Kotchman and minor league pitcher Stephen Marek to Atlanta in exchange. The Angels didn’t need help at the time – they’re running away with the AL West – but this move will undoubtedly be significant in the postseason. Great boost to the Halos’ lineup.
- The White Sox and Reds completed a trade that sent Ken Griffey Jr. to Chicago in exchange for Nick Masset and Danny Richar. I don’t understand this trade from the Sox perspective. Griffey was only hitting .245 at the time of the trade, and his range in center field isn’t close to what it once was. Still, he’s a presence in both the lineup and the clubhouse. Will playing for a contender rejuvenate him?
- The Yankees acquired future hall-of-famer Ivan Rodriguez from the Tigers in exchange for Kyle Farnsworth. With Jorge Posada out for the season, New York did a good job of solidifying their catcher’s spot, while the Tigers got some much-needed improvement in their bullpen.
- The Twins aren’t known for making big trades at the deadline, and they held true to that in 2008. However, they made a move that could be bigger than any trade they might have made, when they designated Livan Hernandez for assignment, and recalled Francisco Liriano from Triple-A Rochester. The Twins DFA’ed Craig Monroe as well. The Rockies are looking for a fifth starter, and could have interest in Hernandez.
- Relievers on the move: Arthur Rhodes was traded to the Marlins, giving them another effective lefty option in the bullpen. The Astros acquired LaTroy Hawkins, still buying despite being 9.5 games out of the wildcard race at the time.
- The Nationals released Paul Lo Duca and Felipe Lopez. Both were highly unsuccessful this season, though they could generate interest from other teams.
- Tim explained the rules behind waiver trades for those who are unfamiliar with how the process works after the July 31st non-waiver deadline. He also takes a look at some noteable names who stayed put at the deadline.
- Minor moves: The Yankees signed Victor Zambrano to a minor league contract, while the Red Sox did the same with former Cleveland closer Joe Borowski.
- The Diamondbacks are talking extension with their second ace, Dan Haren.
- USA Today wrote an article on MLBTR. Check it out!
According to Peter Abraham, the Yankees have signed 33 year-old righty Victor Zambrano to a minor league deal. Zambrano posted a 9.45 ERA in 40 Triple A innings this year.
Abraham indicates he will stay in Tampa and work out and is coming off surgery. Not sure what surgery that refers to, but Zambrano did spent time on the DL with an elbow strain last year. He also had Tommy John surgery in May of ’06 as well as a procedure to repair a flexor muscle tear. At the time, it was thought to be possibly career-ending.
Time to round up some non-Sabathia links.
- The Dodgers are restructuring their offer for Pirates shortstop Jack Wilson, according to Ken Rosenthal.
- Kevin Baxter of the L.A. Times has sources who believe at least one general manager is under suspicion as part of the Dominican player bonus-skimming investigation. Additionally, MLB might look into the Michel Inoa signing on the Rangers’ behalf.
- The Yankees plan to scout starter Victor Zambrano. He’ll be 33 soon, and has a 9.45 ERA in 40 Triple A innings.
- Geoff Baker of the Seattle Times talks about Erik Bedard, who is now the best available southpaw starter.
- The Brad Lidge extension means Brett Myers will not close for the Phillies again.
According to Troy E. Renck of the Denver Post, the Rockies have several bargain-priced free agents on their radar.
GM Dan O’Dowd has ongoing talks with second baseman Marcus Giles, who prefers Colorado. Seems like the best place to rebuild value for Giles, who will turn 30 in May. Coors Field inflates right-handed batting average by 17% and right-handed home runs bt 23%, according to the Bill James Handbook. Giles made $3.25MM in 2007 but hit just .229/.304/.317.
Giles’ agent says a few other teams are involved on him, and Renck adds that Todd Walker remains an option.
Pitching-wise, the Rockies are targeting Josh Towers, who turns 30 in February. Victor Zambrano is still a secondary option. Towers seems a decent bargain, but his home run issues won’t play well in Coors (obviously). Chad Durbin only required $900K, so maybe Towers will be in that range. I don’t think Rodrigo Lopez is in play; I’m told he may not be ready until the All-Star break at the earliest.
Here are today’s random rumor tidbits.
- The Rox are interested in Marcus Giles for their second base opening. Giles was awful last year, they should just try something internal. Other Rockies notes: contracts with Kip Wells and Luis Vizcaino aren’t quite finalized, and they may ink Victor Zambrano to a minor league deal. UPDATE: Wells, plus Mark Redman, are done deals.
- The Pirates still have their eye on Shawn Chacon and Chad Durbin. That”ll put butts in the seats. Also, Jake of Bucco Blog weighs in on a new Pirates hire.
- Speaking of Durbin, did he comment on this blog and suggest he’s headed to the NL? I’m not sure.
- Drays Bay talked to Gerry Hunsicker. Seth Speaks talked to Pat Neshek.
- New prize added to our Hot Stove Hysteria contest – three months free of Scout.com access.
- Things are mostly quiet with the Brewers, but this Tom Haudricourt blog post notes tepid discussions for Scott Rolen, Hank Blalock, and Andre Ethier.
UPDATE, 12-6-07 at 12:57pm: According to Thomas Harding of MLB.com, David Eckstein is now a Rockies’ target for second base. They talked to Mark Loretta today, also. Harding adds that the holdup on the Cook deal is the amount of a fourth-year option.
FROM 12-6-07 at 12:21pm:
The Denver Post’s Troy E. Renck has a lunchtime Rockies update.
- Renck doesn’t see Tadahito Iguchi getting Kaz Matsui money, noting that only the Rockies are pursuing Iguchi at his preferred position of second base. That could change if the Orioles trade Brian Roberts.
- Though Aaron Cook’s 3/30 extension isn’t final, GM Dan O’Dowd believes it will get done.
- Free agents on the radar: LaTroy Hawkins, Shawn Chacon, Octavio Dotel, Victor Zambrano, and Kip Wells. There was recent chatter about Wells trying to become a setup man.
- According to Scott Boras, he’s never received a contract offer from the Rox for Matt Holliday. The original rumor was that the Rockies were planning to offer a four-year, $60MM extension.
We have a bunch of rumor-related tidbits today, and for now I’ll put them into one post.
- There’s a mini-controversy afoot regarding Cubs lefty Will Ohman. Ohman has indicated that the Cubs have been letting him pitch while hurt, and the Cubs contend that he never visited the trainer. No matter who you side with, Ohman’s days in the organization are numbered.
- The Cubs indeed won the Scott Podsednik claim, but the White Sox want a legitimate prospect in return. I’ve heard Sean Gallagher mentioned. There’s not much time for posturing here as the teams probably have until today or tomorrow to make a trade. The White Sox were considered nontendering Pods last offseason, and he didn’t do anything this year that should’ve changed their mind. Ozzie Guillen even called him "unreliable" publicly. Kenny Williams should take what he can get and give the playing time to someone else.
- Casey Fossum’s been released by the Devil Rays; he’ll hook on somewhere. The little lefty used to throw in the mid-90s with Boston. Not so much anymore, but he does boast one of the slowest curveballs you’ll find (slower than 50 mph). Back in ’03, the Red Sox offered him to Toronto for Kelvim Escobar, unwilling to give up Trot Nixon. He eventually went to Arizona in the Curt Schilling deal and later was traded to the Devil Rays for Jose Cruz Jr. Fossum’s battled shoulder woes for most of his career, having labrum surgery in ’06. He’s still only 29.
- The Rockies signed Elmer Dessens to a minor-league deal. They might have to throw the 34 year-old into the rotation for lack of better options.
- Carlos Silva wants to stay in Minnesota, and would sign at a discount before hitting the open market if the Twins are interested. Unfortunately, a discount for a Silva-type these days might be three years, $18MM. Jason Marquis’s contract was something of a benchmark. If Silva backs it up to two years, $10MM, I can see the Twins going for it.
- Victor Zambrano now finds himself toiling for the Pirates’ Triple A affiliate.
The Blue Jays have signed 31 year-old starter Victor Zambrano as an option at the back of their rotation. He received a minor-league deal with a spring training invite. Hard to believe we’re only a few weeks away from pitchers and catchers reporting!
Zambrano has had Tommy John plus an additional surgery on his right elbow, so he won’t make the Opening Day rotation. The Jays like the flexibility of using Zambrano as a starter or reliever. It probably won’t work out, but Zambrano did have a mild amount of success in the AL East back in 2003-04.
The Toronto Sun adds that J.P. Ricciardi hopes Zambrano will be ready by mid-season and his deal includes a 2008 option.
A slew of information coming from my Mets source today. Let’s see what we’ve got.
My source believes the Mets will give Julian Tavarez the four-year deal he’s looking for. The market explosion has necessitated this length, and Omar Minaya will go to great lengths to avoid a subpar bullpen like last year’s.
The Mets are the current frontrunners for Barry Zito, and Lastings Milledge is still a requirement. As reported earlier, the Mets plan to request a 72 hour contract extension window upon trading for Zito, but would make the trade with just a verbal agreement from the pitcher. Zito’s best years came under Rick Peterson’s guidance, so it’d be a good fit.
The Mets don’t have the upper hand in any possible Kris Benson trade, so teams are backing off and offering less value. The feeling is that Anna Benson’s media tirades are precluding small market teams from acquiring her husband. Anna has definitely decreased Kris’s value around baseball. She knows that her career will stall if they end up in a place like Kansas City, so she’ll do anything she can to stay in New York.
If the Mets can’t get fair value for Benson, Steve Trachsel and/or Victor Zambrano may be dealt for prospects. The Mets hope to acquire players that would appeal to the A’s as part of a Zito deal.
The Aaron Heilman for Danys Baez rumors that have been floating around are false.
Not surprisingly, there’s no market for Kaz Matsui, even at a 50% off discount. While they’d prefer Mark Grudzielanek, the Mets are OK with their depth at second base.