Vladimir Guerrero Rumors
Orioles president of baseball operations Andy MacPhail and owner Peter Angelos met to discuss possible deals this week, according to Jeff Zrebiec of the Baltimore Sun. Zrebiec suggests the Orioles will make one or two moves in the next ten days; here are the names to watch:
- There’s a lot of action on Koji Uehara now, despite some concern about the 36-year-old’s age and health. The Orioles are listening to offers and willing to move Uehara, but they want something of value in return for him. If they don’t like the offers they see, they will welcome him back next year (a $4MM option for 2012 will vest once Uehara makes 15 more appearances).
- The Orioles don’t have much pitching depth, but they appear to have softened their stance on Jeremy Guthrie. Zrebiec gets the sense that “if they can get a decent return for Guthrie, they’ll send him packing.” That said, the O’s would likely look to obtain at least one MLB-ready starter in a trade for Guthrie.
- The Orioles and Phillies are not in the midst of serious trade talks.
- Baltimore would likely need a substantial haul to part with Jim Johnson, who could be a part of next year’s rotation.
- There’s no urgency when it comes to Derrek Lee and Vladimir Guerrero, since both would likely clear waivers. That means MacPhail can afford to wait until August to consider deals.
In today's column, Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe discusses Buster Posey and Scott Cousins, examines what went wrong with Daisuke Matsuzaka, and lists 25 of baseball's most passionate people. Here are the other highlights from Cafardo's piece:
- A National League talent evaluator on Carlos Beltran: "A contending team is going to get Beltran at the trading deadline, and they’re going to be very happy with him. He can still hit. He can be an emotional guy, but put him in a place where it counts, and he’ll produce for you."
- At least a couple National League teams are eyeing Vladimir Guerrero as a potential trade deadline pickup. As Cafardo notes, the primary concern for NL clubs is how significant a defensive liability Guerrero would be.
- Jason Marquis could be had in a trade if the Nationals received young talent in return. Cafardo speculates that Josh Reddick would be enough to acquire Marquis, but the Red Sox appear to be content with Tim Wakefield at the back of their rotation for now.
- Joakim Soria's demotion from the closer's role doesn't make him any more available via trade. Cafardo spoke to Royals people who said the team still wasn't considering dealing Soria.
Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports brings us some interesting tidbits in this week's installment of Full Count..
- The Mets will not sign Jose Reyes to a monster contract similar to the one given to Carl Crawford (seven-years, $142MM). However, despite the Mets' financial troubles, keeping Reyes is not out of the question if he's willing to accept a shorter deal in the vicinity of three-years, $45-50MM. Reyes, if healthy, will get more than that on the open market but it's still not a sure thing that the club will deal him. They'll have to consider their position in the standings, how it would impact attendance, and what the return in a trade would be versus the high draft picks they would get if Reyes left via free agency.
- The Mets won't have to worry about Francisco Rodriguez finishing 55 games if they deal him to a club that would use him as a set-up man as opposed to a closer. The Rangers, for example, have Neftali Feliz (if healthy) to finish games. K-Rod can block deals to as many as ten clubs as part of his deal but the Mets, to facilitate this deal, would gladly pick up the $3.5MM buyout to get rid of him.
- Nationals manager Jim Riggleman is one of a handful of managers whose future is uncertain beyond this season. The club has yet to pick up his option for '12 even though most in the game say that the Nats are on the right track. Riggleman's agent told Rosenthal that he is hopeful that the club will either exercise the option or sign him to a multi-year deal by Father's Day.
- The Orioles collected a number of veterans on one-year deals thinking that, at the very least, they'd have trade chips at the deadline. General Manager Andy MacPhail & Co. may need to think again as Derrek Lee and Vladimir Guerrero have done very little at the plate and J.J. Hardy has missed most of the year with an oblique injury. All of this could change, but Rosenthal wonders if manager Buck Showalter and owner Peter Angelos would even approve of a sell-off.
Links on a rainy Saturday afternoon in New York..
- Buster Olney of ESPN (via Twitter) believes that Jack Zduriencik's challenge with the Mariners is a lot like Neal Huntington's when he took over with the Pirates. Both GMs, he says, had to work from almost nothing in the farm system.
- The Indians will have to make a move to create a roster spot for the returning Grady Sizemore, writes Paul Hoynes of The Plain Dealer. The Tribe could theoretically shed spare outfielders Austin Kearns or Shelley Duncan but will most likely demote Travis Buck as he has an option remaining.
- Steve Melewski of MASNSports writes that Orioles newcomers Vlad Guerrero and Derrek Lee usually get off to solid starts. Early on in 2011, both veterans have struggled at the plate.
A few AL East links, as the Orioles enjoy first place...
- Check out some interesting quotes from Yankees executives Brian Cashman and Damon Oppenheimer in Tyler Kepner's profile of potential #1 draft pick Gerrit Cole for the New York Times. MLBTR's Ben Nicholson-Smith spoke to Cole in March.
- The Rays and other teams approached Brad Penny during the offseason about becoming a closer, reports Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports.
- Three club options "are far too many" from a player's point of view, writes SI's Jon Heyman in reference to Wade Davis' new contract with Tampa Bay. Davis' agent B.B. Abbott explained to MLBTR's Ben Nicholson-Smith on Thursday that the pitcher felt the contract represented a worthwhile tradeoff.
- Not much is known about Vladimir Guerrero's personal life, but Kevin Van Valkenburg and Jeff Zrebiec of the Baltimore Sun shed a little light on his personality.
On this date in 2009, the Mariners welcomed Ken Griffey Jr. back to Seattle, signing him to a one-year deal. The Kid hit 19 homers in his age-39 season and re-signed with Seattle for one last season before the 2010 campaign. Last year went poorly for Junior, but he's back in Seattle as a consultant this year. Here are today's links...
- Francisco Liriano told La Velle E. Neal III of the Minneapolis Star Tribune that he doesn't think his representatives had serious discussions with the Twins about a long-term deal during the offseason. (Twitter link).
- Vladimir Guerrero says he hasn't thought about retirement, according to MLB.com's Brittany Ghiroli (on Twitter). The Orioles finalized their deal with Vlad today.
- Brewers manager Ron Roenicke told ESPN.com's Jerry Crasnick that he doesn't expect Prince Fielder's contract status to be "an issue" for the team this year (Twitter link). Prince hits free agency for the first time after the coming season.
- The Marlins released Jamie D'Antona, according to MLB.com's transactions page. They signed the third baseman last month after he spent two seasons in Japan. The 2003 second rounder clubbed 36 homers for the Yakult Swallows last year.
- Tim Dierkes ranks this year's crop of third basemen from a fantasy perspective at RotoAuthority.
The Orioles signed Vladimir Guerrero to a one-year, the team announced. The SFX client will earn $8MM in total: $5MM this year and $3MM in deferred payments, according to Jeff Zrebiec of the Baltimore Sun (Twitter links). Zrebiec reports that Guerrero will get the $3MM several years from now.
It had been reported that the slugger was seeking a deal in the $8MM range while the O's were offering just $4.5MM for 2011. President of baseball operations Andy MacPhail appeared to be willing to let Guerrero go elsewhere, but it seems that the front office had a change of heart. Guerrero is the latest move for the O's, who signed Derrek Lee, Kevin Gregg, and Justin Duchscherer and traded for Mark Reynolds this offseason.
In 2010, the veteran belted 29 homers while hitting .300/.345/.496 in 152 games for the Rangers. Texas had some interest in retaining Guerrero last month but with Michael Young and Mike Napoli in the fold there wasn't a need for the nine-time All-Star.
Enrique Rojas of ESPNDeportes.com first reported the agreement.
Here are a few items of note for Feb. 17, the day on which Wally Pipp was born 118 years ago.
- The Orioles will hold a press conference for Vladimir Guerrero on Friday, tweets Enrique Rojas of ESPNDeportes.com, so it's safe to assume that he passed his physical earlier this week and that his one-year deal is now official.
- The Cardinals at some point offered Albert Pujols a nine-year contract extension worth more than $200MM, tweets Jon Heyman of SI.com. To this point, the value of St. Louis' offer has been consistently around the $200MM range, but the length has been less clear.
- Tigers slugger Miguel Cabrera, arrested in Florida late Wednesday night and charged with DUI and resisting arrest, will not likely face jail time, writes Jon Paul Morosi of FOXSports.com, who spoke to a "leading criminal defense attorney." Whether Cabrera will enter a treatment program at this time remains unclear, Morosi notes.
Here are a few AL East items of note for Feb. 12. On this day in 1981, a contract violation by the Red Sox made catcher Carlton Fisk a free agent. Pudge eventually signed with the White Sox, with whom he spent the balance of his 24-year, Hall of Fame career.
- Vladimir Guerrero's physical with the Orioles is scheduled for Wednesday, blogs Roch Kubatko of MASNSports.com. The Orioles' and Vlad's verbal agreement was first reported Feb. 4, so it's been an unusually long period between the agreement and scheduled physical, but O's president Andy MacPhail said that Guerrero's agent, Fernando Cuza, has signed an agreement that he can't accept another offer in the interim.
- Brian Anderson is in Yankees camp and trying to make the team as a reliever, writes Anthony McCarron of the New York Daily News. The former outfielder and first-round pick of the White Sox was DFA'd by the Royals in December after spending 2010 in the Kansas City organization, converting to life as a hurler. Anderson, signed to a minor league deal by the Bombers, said he was told by the Yankees that he has a chance to make the team out of camp, but if he doesn't, he will return to the minors to contine working.
- The Rays were one of two finalists to sign reliever Manny Delcarmen, blogs Alex Speier of WEEI.com, but the right-hander ultimately chose Seattle over Tampa Bay. Both clubs offered minor league deals, and as we noted Thursday, Delcarmen also turned down a Major League offer from a National League team.
Earlier this week, The Baltimore Sun published highlights of Orioles GM Andy MacPhail's address to a group of Baltimore School of Law students. MacPhail covered a wide range of topics and today the paper has published even more of his comments pertaining to the club..
- Someone in the audience asked if promises were made three years ago by ownership that some of the cash generated by the creation of MASN would go toward increasing payroll. MacPhail says that he instead told ownership to keep payroll down and invest in the farm system. The GM's reasoning was that the O's will never be able to spend like Yankees and Red Sox and MASN can't generate money the way NESN (Red Sox) or YES (Yankees) can.
- The O's would go beyond their budget to sign a special player under the right circumstances, or, as MacPhail phrased it, "the perfect storm". The GM cited the club's $140MM offer to Mark Teixeira after the 2008 season as an example of that. When someone asked if Albert Pujols could represent a similar perfect storm, MacPhail shot down the daydreams of optimistic Orioles fans everywhere by saying, "The likelihood of us stepping out to the degree that [Pujols] is looking at, for any one player, is remote at best. I read that he's looking for $30 million a year, and I just can't see how that's going to happen."
- The club never anticipated increasing their bid for Vladimir Guerrero's services to $8MM. While MacPhail didn't discern another active bidder at the time, he felt that the Rangers could jump back into the mix if they were to trade Michael Young. Because of that, the GM increased his bid in order to "make the right deal."
- The Orioles hope to make strides in international scouting, particularly in the Dominican Republic and in Venezuela.