Wagner Mateo Rumors
The Diamondbacks officially signed 17-year-old prospect Wagner Mateo to a deal worth $512K today. Nick Piecoro of the Arizona Republic reported that the sides were nearing a deal in late April; MLBTR contributor Blake Bentley reported that the deal was done days later and Piecoro added the dollar amount. Today, Piecoro noted (via Twitter) that the deal had become official.
The $512K is a steep, but expected, drop from the $3.1MM deal that Mateo signed with St. Louis last July. That contract was voided by the club out of concerns about Mateo's vision. The Dominican outfielder was rumored to join the Giants in the winter, but a deal never materialized.
Ben Nicholson-Smith contributed to this post.
The Wagner Mateo saga may be reaching a conclusion, with The Arizona Republic's Nick Piecoro reporting that the Diamondbacks and Mateo, the 17-year-old outfield prospect from the Dominican Republic, are "getting closer" to a deal worth about 500K.
SI.com's Melissa Segura reported that Arizona expected to sign Mateo last week, but that report turned out to be premature. Piecoro reports that the Diamondbacks believe the report may have come from the Mateo camp to try and elicit another offer.
Mateo originally signed last summer with the Cardinals for $3.1MM, but St. Louis voided that deal after problems with Mateo's vision surfaced.
8:39pm: Then again, maybe they won't. There has been very little recent dialogue between the D-Backs and Mateo, a source tells Nick Piecoro of the Arizona Republic (via Twitter). He adds that no indications of a signing are imminent.
8:22pm: The Diamondbacks may sign outfielder Wagner Mateo by the end of April, tweets Melissa Segura of Sports Illustrated. Mateo worked out for Arizona (and other teams) in mid-March, though we heard recently that the club did not expect to sign him.
The Dominican slugger signed with the Cardinals in July of last year, but GM John Mozeliak ripped up the deal over concerns about his vision. Since then, other teams have been linked to the 17-year-old, including the Giants, who were said to be in pursuit of Mateo prior to his accord with St. Louis.
Mateo was set to earn $3.1MM under his old deal with the Cards.
Links for Thursday...
- The Giants' Byung-Hyun Kim experiment is over, as the pitcher asked the Giants for his release according to Baseball America's Matt Eddy.
- Multiple teams are interested in free agent outfielder Elijah Dukes, tweets Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports.
- Murray Chass chatted with agent Ron Shapiro about the Joe Mauer deal. Speaking of Mauer, 620 WTMJ's Dan O'Donnell spoke to MLBTR's Mike Axisa about how the catcher's deal might impact Prince Fielder.
- The Marlins' interest in Mike Lowell is "barely above zero," learned MLB.com's Joe Frisaro. Lowell told Manny Navarro of the Miami Herald today that he's not sure if a move back to the NL would work.
- The Diamondbacks don't expect to sign Dominican outfielder Wagner Mateo, reports Nick Piecoro of the Arizona Republic.
- Nick Canepa of the San Diego Union-Tribune spoke to Padres CEO Jeff Moorad, who wouldn't be surprised to see Adrian Gonzalez play two more seasons for his team.
- In reference to Mets rookie Jenrry Mejia, ESPN's Keith Law notes that "promoting prospects who aren't ready is a hallmark of GMs in fear for their jobs."
- Tracy Ringolsby is now on Twitter, give him a follow.
- Joel Sherman of the New York Post examines the Mets' reconfiguration of Hisanori Takahashi's contract.
- I'll be participating in an NFBC fantasy league Sunday evening. They've got all kinds of events and prizes, check it out.
Some links for your Friday...
- Tom Verducci of SI.com said on WEEI's Dennis & Callahan show that he expects Carl Crawford to sign with the Yankees after the season, because "nobody is going to outbid them." The Yankees and Red Sox both love Crawford, according to Verducci.
- Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports says the Dodgers should spend more aggressively, especially considering they led the league in attendance last year.
- Alex Speier of WEEI.com points out that Mike Lowell, Jason Varitek, Bill Hall and Jeremy Hermida will combine to make only $10MM or so less than the entire Pirates team this year. Why is that noteworthy? All four Red Sox are expected to be bench players.
- Cubs GM Jim Hendry is under contract through 2012, but he tells ESPN.com's Jerry Crasnick that he knows "these jobs aren't forever."
- The Pirates say Pedro Alvarez needs seasoning above AA, according to Dejan Kovacevic of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Sending the third baseman to the minors limits his MLB service time, so it's a sound financial decision by the Pirates.
- The A's haven't called Joe Beimel, according to Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle.
- The A's worked out Wagner Mateo on Tuesday, according to Slusser.
- ESPN.com’s Buster Olney thinks that the Joe Mauer contract negotiations, which remain cordial, could continue in a few months if the sides don’t reach a deal in Spring Training.
- The Dominican prospect already worked out for the D'Backs and will likely work out for the Indians.
- Twins minor league director Jim Rantz told Dejan Kovacevic of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette that another Dominican prospect, Miguel Sano, has "tremendous upside." Kovacevic says it's still too early to know how much the Pirates missed out on when Sano signed with the Twins instead of the Pirates.
- Phillies prospect Phillippe Aumont tells Bob Elliott of the Toronto Sun that he thought he was heading to the Blue Jays at one point this offseason.
- Carl Crawford tells Tyler Kepner of the New York Times that he's comfortable with the speculation about his future since it "comes with the territory." Crawford is a free agent after the season.
- The Indians drafted Lincecum in the 42nd round of the '05 draft. Told it'd take $1MM to sign him, the Tribe offered $700K. MLB draft exec Frank Coonelly wasn't pleased at the over-slot offer, but it still wasn't enough to convince Lincecum to sign. A year later he went tenth overall to the Giants. You can play "what might have been" with any team, but Lincecum would've changed the course of Indians history.
- The Indians are expected to work out Dominican outfielder Wagner Mateo, writes Hoynes. Mateo has already tried out for the Diamondbacks.
- Anderson Hernandez joins the mix for the Indians' utility job after yesterday's waiver claim. Assistant GM Chris Antonetti noted that manager Manny Acta is familiar with Hernandez from managing him in Washington.
Links for Wednesday...
- The Mets have no interest in trading for Cristian Guzman, according to MLB.com's Bill Ladson. Guzman could have played shortstop in New York while the Mets wait for Jose Reyes to get healthy.
- Dave Allen at FanGraphs thinks the Rays should use Andy Sonnanstine as a long reliever to start the season with an eye towards trading him if something comes up. Sonnanstine is going to get squeezed out of Tampa's rotation in a numbers crunch, but he has minor league options remaining.
- The Cardinals are in trade talks with the Reds in hopes of keeping Rule 5 lefty Ben Jukich, reports Joe Strauss of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.
- The Indians signed righty Justin Germano to a minor league deal, reports Paul Hoynes of the Cleveland Plain Dealer. Germano, 27, posted a 4.38 ERA, 4.97 K/9, and 1.18 BB/9 in 76 innings for the Softbank Hawks last year.
- After working out for the Diamondbacks, Dominican outfielder Wagner Mateo will audition for at least four more teams according to Nick Piecoro of the Arizona Republic.
- Dan O'Dowd told Tyler Kepner of the New York Times he hopes Troy Tulowitzki retires a Rockie.
- Joe Pawlikowski of River Ave. Blues explains why he does not expect the Yankees to sign Joe Mauer even if the superstar catcher reaches free agency.
- Kiko Calero received calls from a dozen teams this winter, reports Anthony McCarron of the New York Daily News.
- Dave Cameron of U.S.S. Mariner finds Seattle to be lacking in middle infield depth.
Links to kick off the work week...
- Dominican outfielder Wagner Mateo is scheduled to work out for the Diamondbacks today, writes Nick Piecoro of the Arizona Republic. Mateo's reps don't share the Cardinals' concerns about Mateo's vision.
- Joel Sherman of the New York Post says the Rays came second in the Kelvim Escobar bidding, offering $600K. Unlike the Mets, the Rays saw Escobar as a second half contributor.
- Thomas Boswell of the Washington Post thinks stat lovers themselves "may be the new inefficiency in the market," making Adam Dunn a bargain at three years and $40MM even if his defense doesn't improve.
- FanGraphs' Dave Cameron explains why the Astros and Royals sit at the bottom of his organizational rankings.
- SI's Jon Heyman names his "bests" for 2010, with the Angels getting the nod for the best rotation top to bottom. Heyman also talks about Jarrod Washburn, considered a person of interest for Seattle.
- Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports tweets that the Ms are "still pondering backup catching options from outside." There aren't too many available backstops who can be considered clear improvements.
- In his latest GM's Corner video for FOX Sports, Jim Bowden gathers all the GMs involved in the Roy Halladay and Cliff Lee deals. Alex Anthopoulos mentioned that Ruben Amaro Jr. would not include Kyle Drabek or Domonic Brown when Halladay was discussed at the GM Meetings, but relented on Drabek a few weeks later.
- Dustin Parkes of Drunk Jays Fans says "the team has put its money where its mouth is" by signing Adeiny Hechevarria.
Some news items from around the majors on this Monday night...
- MLB.com's Bill Chastain profiles left-hander Carlos Hernandez, who hasn't pitched in the majors since 2004 and is trying to return with Tampa Bay.
- While it's very unlikely that Barry Zito will live up to his $126MM contract, Craig Calcaterra of NBCSports.com notes that the left-hander is still a solid starter.
- The Braves have no interest in teenage prospect Wagner Mateo, reports MLB.com's Mark Bowman. Mateo was originally signed by St. Louis last summer but the Cardinals voided the contract due to concerns over Mateo's eyesight.
- The signings of Jason Jennings and Brett Tomko shouldn't cause any concern about the health of other key pitchers on the Oakland staff, says Tom Singer of MLB.com.
- Philadelphia has become a prime destination for free agents and stars looking to be traded, writes MLB.com's Todd Zolecki. Back-to-back NL pennants and a World Series title will tend to do that.
- Chris Young struggled in his first season of a five-year, $28MM deal with Arizona and has yet to have a true breakout year after three seasons as a major league regular. John Sickels of MinorLeagueBall.com, however, thinks it's too early to write Young off.
- MLB.com's Bill Ladson answers fan questions on a variety of topics, including how prospect Chris Marrero (Washington's first-round pick in the 2006 June Amateur Draft) could be affected if the Nationals re-sign Adam Dunn.
- Speaking of mailbags, Baseball America's Jim Callis answers some fan questions about prospects and also looks ahead to the 2011 June Amateur Draft.
Despite reports indicating that the Giants will sign 16-year-old prospect Wagner Mateo, it is "not safe to assume" that they will ink the Dominican outfielder, writes Andrew Baggarly of the San Jose Mercury News. While the Giants made a "strong offer" for the youngster prior to his ill-fated agreement with St. Louis, they are far from reaching an accord and "don't necessarily expect to reach one."
According to Mateo's agent, he recently went to Miami for a consultation regarding his vision. Baggarly writes that, presumably, the purpose of the trip was to undergo laser surgery. In late September Joe Strauss of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch penned a strong overview of Mateo's condition and how it led to the voiding of his contract.