Wade Davis Rumors

Rays Notes: Davis, Niemann, Pitching

With so many teams now in Florida for Spring Training, let's check on one of the teams that calls the Sunshine State home year-round…

  • Wade Davis wasn't pleased about the possibility of pitching out of the bullpen this season, reports Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times.  "I don't see any reason for me to be in the bullpen," Davis said.  "I understand they've got to do certain things, but we'll see. … I definitely want to be a starter and stay a starter forever. And that'll be my mentality."  Davis and Jeff Niemann will be battling to be Tampa Bay's fifth starter, with the other becoming a reliever.  As Topkin points out, there's little Davis could do if he is assigned a relief gig, as "he wouldn't have much leverage to force a trade."
  • ESPN's Buster Olney hears from some scouts that Davis is "much better suited" as a relief pitcher and "could actually be pretty good at that job."
  • Between Davis, Niemann and prospects Alex Torres and Alex Cobb, the Rays like their pitching depth and want to hang onto it, executive VP of baseball operations Andrew Friedman told media (including Topkin) on Monday.  Friedman did say that the Rays would "be aggressive in trying to improve [the] roster."
  • Niemann didn't seem too upset over losing his arbitration case to the Rays earlier this month.  “I considered it a win-win situation going in,” Niemann told Roger Mooney of TBO.com. “Certain circumstances got us to that point. We did it, went through it, got the experience. Now I’m ready to go out there and play."

Rays Notes: Davis, Niemann, Maddon, Pena

A few items on the Rays courtesy of Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times..

  • A few months ago it would have seemed unlikely that the Rays would have been able to fill their primary holes without dealing Wade Davis or Jeff Niemann, but the club has done just that.  They say they are willing to go into the season with an extra starter, but team president Matt Silverman says that the club continues to look for a deal.
  • Topkin suggests that the club could deal Niemann in order to land an experienced catcher.  Geovany Soto, Kurt Suzuki, and Nick Hundley are possibilities on the trade market while Ivan Rodriguez and Bengie Molina remain free agents.
  • The Rays and manager Joe Maddon are expected to announce a three-year contract extension before the February 20th opening of Spring Training.
  • There's an interesting theory floating about that suggests that the Rays raising their offer to $7.25MM to sign Carlos Peña helped lead the Tigers to spend $214MM on Prince Fielder.

Seth Smith Continues Drawing Interest

Rockies outfielder Seth Smith remains a coveted trade chip, though the Braves’ interest in him has cooled, Troy Renck of the Denver Post reported yesterday. The Rockies would like to trade Smith for a back-of-the-rotation starter or a second baseman, Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports writes. 

The Rays are not in the hunt for Smith, though the Rockies covet Wade Davis and Jeff Niemann, Renck reported. The Athletics and Mariners have interest in Smith, according to Rosenthal, who reported along with Jon Paul Morosi last month that the Mets have expressed interest as well. Rosenthal now adds the Indians and Red Sox to the list of teams that have shown at least some interest in Smith.

Smith, a left-handed hitter, posted a .284/.347/.483 line with 15 homers in 533 plate appearances this past season, playing left and right field. MLBTR contributor Matt Swartz estimates a 2012 salary of $2.6MM for the 29-year-old via the arbitration process. He’ll remain under team control through 2014.



Reds Eyeing Gonzalez, Latos, Jurrjens

Gio Gonzalez, Mat Latos and Jair Jurrjens are among the pitchers on the Reds’ wish list, according to Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports (Twitter links). Latos may be available in the right deal, Gonzalez could be had, but Oakland's asking price is high and Jurrjens also appears to be availableGM Walt Jocketty recently told Rosenthal that he’s looking aggressively at ways of improving his team’s pitching staff, despite the high asking prices sellers are setting for available arms.

Matt Garza, who could earn a salary approaching $9MM through arbitration, is too expensive for Jocketty’s liking and John Danks is less appealing than some alternatives, as he’s under team control for just one season, Rosenthal writes. James Shields appears to be out of the reach for every team, including the Reds, and Jocketty is aiming to obtain a better pitcher than Wade Davis.


Rangers Focused On Trading For Starting Pitching

The Rangers are more focused on trading for a starter than signing Prince Fielder or bidding on Yu Darvish, according to Ken Rosenthal and Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports. Here are the details on the Rangers…


Quick Hits: Pujols, Lee, Davis, Buehrle

On this day in 2008, the Rays traded Edwin Jackson to the Tigers for Matthew Joyce.  In his first full season for Tampa Bay in 2011, Joyce hit .277/.347/.478 with 19 homers and received his first All-Star nomination.    Here are some links for Saturday afternoon..

  • The personal services clause in Albert Pujols' contract ties him to the Angels for ten years beyond his playing contract, tweets Scott Miller of CBSSports.com.  In total, Pujols and the Angels are set to be in business together for 20 years.
  • The Angels were the only team to call the Cardinals about a possible trade for Pujols in recent years, according to Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports (Twitter links).  The talks never advanced, however, as the Cards wouldn't consider trading him (via Twitter).
  • There's no evidence of any interest in Carlos Lee yet, tweets Jon Heyman of MLB Network.  Heyman suggests that the 35-year-old might need Prince Fielder to come off the board first before the Astros can trade him.  Last year, Lee hit .275/.342/.446 with 18 homers for the Astros.  The Indians have reportedly considered the veteran but are wary of his price tag.
  • The Athletics’ haul for right-hander Trevor Cahill should be a pretty good indication of what the Rays might expect for righty Wade Davis, writes Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports.com.  Clubs might not view Davis as highly, but his contract might make him even more appealing to teams such as the Reds and Marlins.
  • According to a person with knowledge of the situation, the Nationals’ final offer to Mark Buehrle was $39MM over three years, writes Adam Kilgore of the Washington Post.  Ultimately, the right-hander signed with the Marlins for $58MM over four years.  Ultimately, the Nats' offer was $19MM less in overall guaranteed money and $1.5MM less in average annual value.

King’s Latest: Yankees, Fielder, Rangers, McGehee

Here are some notes from George A. King III of The New York Post

  • “I am ready to rock and roll," said Yankees GM Brian Cashman while acknowledging that he still isn't optimistic about making a major pitching addition. "The Yankees are open for business."
  • An NL executive heard that the Rangers have interest in signing Prince Fielder and trading Mitch Moreland to the Rays for Wade Davis. A person with knowledge of Texas' plans say neither scenario is close to being done, however. The Rangers checked in with Scott Boras about Fielder during the winter meetings.
  • The Rangers also have interest in Casey McGehee of the Brewers to play first base, which would still allow them to make the Moreland-for-Davis swap. Matt Moore's new extension means the Rays won't have to send him down to the minors for service time reasons, giving them six starters (David Price, James Shields, Jeff Niemann, Jeremy Hellickson, Moore, and Davis) for five spots.

Knobler’s Latest: Braves, Beckham, Tigers, Rays

Some Winter Meetings rumors courtesy of CBS Sports' Danny Knobler:

  • Jair Jurrjens and Martin Prado continue to be "as sought after as any players" on the trade market. Atlanta has received calls from 8-10 teams on Jurrjens and "half the teams in baseball" on Prado. Most see Prado as a second base upgrade. The Braves continue to say they don't need to move either player.
  • It's been well-documented that the White Sox could trade any combination of John Danks, Gavin Floyd, and Carlos Quentin this offseason, but Knobler says they'll listen on Gordon Beckham as well. Many Sox officials are hesitant to concede to rebuilding, despite the fact that GM Ken Williams used that exact word last month.
  • If the Tigers are going to make a big free agent signing, it's more likely to be Yoenis Cespedes than anyone else.
  • The Rays are open to trading Jeff Niemann and Wade Davis to improve the offense. They're also looking to deal Reid Brignac and upgrade their catching.

Rockies Rumors: Trade Targets, Stewart, Sizemore

The latest on the Rockies from the Denver Post's Troy Renck:

  • The Rockies continue to search for starting pitching via trade, having met with a few teams already. They probably won't match the asking prices for John Danks or Wandy Rodriguez, but they could target arms such as Ricky Nolasco, Anibal Sanchez, Jeff Niemann, and Wade Davis, if the Marlins and Rays are willing to deal.
  • The club plans to tender Ian Stewart a contract, but that doesn't necessarily mean he'll be a Rockie in 2012. Multiple clubs have inquired on Stewart, and Colorado is listening.
  • Grady Sizemore won't work out for the Rockies, but the team hopes to get a better read on his health when he visits the Steadman-Hawkins clinic in Vail, Colorado.
  • The Rockies would have interest in LaTroy Hawkins if they opened up a spot for him by trading Huston Street.

Yankees, Red Sox, Rangers Interested In Buehrle

6:05pm: It's highly unlikely that the Yankees will make a serious run for Buehrle, according to ESPN.com's Buster Olney (on Twitter).

1:54pm: The Yankees, Red Sox, and Rangers are interested in free agent lefty Mark Buehrle, report Ken Rosenthal and Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports, and the Marlins are meeting with him today.  Buehrle, 32, posted a 3.59 ERA, 4.8 K/9, 2.0 BB/9, 0.92 HR/9, and 44.9% groundball rate in 205 1/3 innings this year.  The long time White Sox starter has pitched 200+ innings in every season since 2001.

The Marlins and Blue Jays are the teams most aggressively pursuing trades for starting pitchers, add Rosenthal and Morosi.  One GM said of the Jays' Alex Anthopoulos, "You can’t pin him down. He has interest in every one of your players."

James Shields, Wade Davis, Gio Gonzalez, Trevor Cahill, Jair Jurrjens, John Danks, Gavin Floyd, Chad Billingsley, and Wandy Rodriguez are the pitchers "known or thought to be available in trades," according to the FOX writers.  Cahill and Billingsley are the new names here, but it's unclear whether they fall under "known" or "thought."  The availability of Rodriguez will depend on whether Jim Crane is approved as new Astros owner next week, as Crane does not share Drayton McLane's reluctance to move the 32-year-old.