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Wagner Mateo Rumors
A few links to click through before the Phillies and Yankees do battle in Game 1 of the World Series…
- According to Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Mark DeRosa underwent surgery Monday to repair a torn tendon sheath in his left wrist. He's a free agent this winter and is expected to be fine by the start of spring training.
- Wagner Mateo, a 16-year-old Dominican outfielder, won Bo Jackson's first annual Five-Tool Challenge over the weekend. It's an event open to 18-year-olds. Mateo's contract with the Cardinals was nullified a month ago after the organization discovered he had an eye problem, but he is expected to sign with the Giants soon.
- Marty Noble of MLB.com takes another round of Mets-related questions.
- Bruce Miles of the Arlington Heights Daily Herald hopes the Cubs will steer clear of Gary Matthews Jr., who told reporters Tuesday that he wants out of Anaheim.
- David O'Brien of the Atlanta Journal Constitution is high on Jair Jurrjens, who has been mentioned as a potential trade chip by commenters on his blog. "I can’t see how the Braves would seriously consider trading Jurrjens this winter," writes O'Brien. "And I don’t believe they have, or will, seriously consider it." The 23-year-old went 14-10 last season with a 2.60 ERA.
A few links to start your Sunday….
- Tony La Russa didn't officially say he'll be back in St. Louis in 2010, according to Joe Strauss of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. But it sounds like he's leaning towards returning, and that an announcement could be made within a couple days.
- Terry Pluto of the Cleveland Plain Dealer writes that Bobby Valentine would be the best choice as an "impact" manager for the Tribe. He thinks that Manny Acta is the favorite though.
- The Plain Dealer's Bud Shaw also gives his two cents on the Indians' managerial hunt, opining that Valentine's "outside-the-box interview strategy figures to backfire."
- At least four teams are very interested in Cuban lefty Noel Arguelles, according to Kiley McDaniel of Baseball Prospectus (via Twitter). In the same tweet, McDaniel mentions that Wagner Mateo still looks headed to the San Francisco Giants.
- Michael Baron of MetsBlog agrees with MLB.com's Marty Noble when he says the New York Mets have to address their need for a catcher.
ESPN.com's Jorge Arangure Jr. has the latest on a number of international prospects:
- Felix Perez, who was suspended for a year after lying about his age, has been reinstated by MLB. The 24-year-old outfielder is eager to sign with an MLB team, though he won't receive a bonus worth as much as the $3.5MM the Yankees were prepared to hand over when they thought he was 20.
- Wagner Mateo may be close to signing with the Giants, as Arangure said earlier in the week.
- Pitcher Noel Arguelles is looking less impressive than he used to.
- Miguel Angel Sano has a visa, so he's closer to beginning his career in the States.
- Aroldis Chapman will meet with the Yankees eventually. For now, the Cuban lefty wants to see Yankee Stadium – as a fan.
ESPN.com's Jorge Arangure reports (via Twitter) that the Giants may be on the verge of signing 16-year-old Dominican prospect Wagner Mateo. A deal could be finalized "within [the] next couple of weeks."
Mateo was originally signed by St. Louis in June to a contract with a $3.1MM signing bonus, but the deal was voided by the club in September after medical tests revealed that the young outfielder was suffering from vision problems. The entire situation is nicely detailed in this piece by Joe Strauss of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, noting that Mateo's signing was an impressive victory for the Cardinals' rebuilt Latin American scouting operations.
In a tweet from last June, Arangure said that San Francisco came closest to signing Mateo away from St. Louis' grasp in the first place, but got "cold feet" offering a bonus of $3.5MM. The Cards and Giants were two of several teams interested in the highly-regarded young outfielder.
Time for your afternoon snack (naptime optional):
- The question isn't so much if all the Marlins will return, Joe Capozzi writes in the Palm Beach Post, but which Marlins will be dealt. The $36.8MM payroll would expand to around $43MM next season with the current roster.
- Geoff Baker writes in the Seattle Times that the Mariners can't expect the same group to win as many games in 2010.
- The Baltimore Sun's Peter Schmuck says that Dave Trembley's job status will be determined "in the next 4 or 5 days."
- A front office person tells Kevin Goldstein of Baseball Prospectus that Miguel Angel Sano has incredible power for a 16-year-old. The "sky is the limit" for the Dominican infielder.
- Goldstein reports that plenty of teams are doing their "digging" on Dominican outfielder Wagner Mateo. The Cards voided Mateo's contract last month after agreeing to a $3.1MM deal with him in July.
- MLB.com's Bryan Hoch says the Yankees still expect Phil Hughes to develop into a starter.
- ESPN.com's Jorge Arangure Jr. explains that Hanley Ramirez couples impressive work habits and awesome talent with a dismissive and distant demeanor.
Some more links on this Sunday afternoon…
- The Chicago Tribune's Phil Rogers writes that Tim Bogar and Manny Acta are early front-runners for the Astros managerial job. Jeff Bagwell and Craig Biggio could get called in for interviews by general manager Ed Wade.
- Joe Strauss gives us an overview of the dispute the Cardinals are having with recently signed Dominican outfielder Wagner Mateo.
- Veteran Rich Aurilia doesn't expect to be a part of the Giants' plans in 2010 according to John Shea of the San Francisco Chronicle.
- Mike Hargrove, who last managed the Seattle Mariners, could land a job this winter, says Jon Paul Morosi of FoxSports.com.
- Marc Topkin tells us, via Twitter, that Rays' manager Joe Maddon will talk with his coaching staff immediately after the season, but doesn't anticipate any changes. Tampa's playoff hopes plummeted when they dropped 14 of their first 16 games in September.
- Even at the age of 42, Omar Vizquel would still like to return for another season, according the AP. Can you think of any teams in need of the veterans services? Omar's only logged 189.2 innings at shortstop, but it's no surprise to see a tremendous 21.6 UZR/150.
- Dejan Kovacevic checks in with the latest and greatest from Pirates' GM Neal Huntington, who once again stresses that the Buccos will not be spending money just to spend money this offseason.
Here's a few links to check out as Roy Halladay makes what might be his final start in Toronto as a member of the home team…
- MLB.com's Jordan Bastian spoke to Blue Jays manager Cito Gaston about Halladay, and what the offseason might hold for him. "If you didn't [have a shot at the playoffs in '10], I think you would maybe think about ''Maybe it is time to move him.'" He also added "I can't make those decisions. They're going to do what's right for the club and certainly Doc's got a little bit of say-so."
- Rob Neyer of ESPN suggests that Cardinals owner Bill DeWitt wait a year before signing Albert Pujols to an extension because Pujols' value will never be higher than it is right now. What to do you guys think, any chance Pujols actually increases his value next season?
- Yoel Adames of ESPN Deportes has some quotes from Edgar Mercedes, agent for Wagner Mateo, about a possible lawsuit against the Cardinals. St. Louis voided Mateo's $3.1MM contract earlier this week after finding "pre-existing injuries and physical defects."
- Bob Nightengale of USA Today says that the "hottest rumor among baseball scouts is that Pat Gillick will be returning to Toronto to become president of the club, but not GM."
- The Astros released Armando Benitez and the Braves released John Halama, according to this week's edition of minor league transactions, courtesy of Baseball America.
8:28pm: Cardinals GM John Mozeliak told Derrick Goold of the P-D he has no plans to renegotiate with Mateo at this time. Mozeliak is disappointed the deal fell apart.
5:37pm: Badler talked to Mateo's agent Edgar Mercedes, who said his client will be among those in attendance at a tryout in October. By the way, the Cardinals noted that there were no concerns about Mateo's age.
2:43pm: The Cardinals voided the contract of top prospect Wagner Mateo, according to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. The 16-year-old Dominican signed a $3.1MM deal with the Cards in July, but failed to meet the club's physical standards. The team discovered "pre-existing injuries and physical defects" and voided the deal.
Mateo's representatives say the outfielder has 20/30 vision in his right eye, according to Ben Badler of Baseball America. However, they say Mateo doesn't have a degenerative eye condition or nerve damage. Mateo's representatives say the prospect's vision is the same as it was earlier in the year when Mateo was impressing scouts. Regardless of the severity of Mateo's eye issue, he's a free agent again now.
Some more links for the afternoon or, if you're on the East Coast, the early evening…
- ESPN.com's Jorge Arangure Jr. hears that a vision issue could affect the status of the contract Wagner Mateo signed with the Cardinals earlier in the summer. If Mateo has a degenerative eye condition, the Cards may look to reclaim some of the $3.1MM they awarded the 16-year-old. Mateo's agent says it's a non-issue.
- Miguel Angel Sano doesn't appear to be near a deal with any club, but Arangure Jr. hears that the shortstop seeks $3.2MM.
- ESPN.com's Keith Law believes Aaron Crow's long holdout will hurt the pitcher more than it helped him. The Royals completed their deal with Crow just yesterday.
- ESPN.com's Rob Neyer knows it's painful for the A's to see Andre Ethier's 30-homer season in LA, but he reminds his readers that Milton Bradley helped the A's win a division title after Billy Beane traded Ethier to acquire Bradley before the 2006 season.
"Certain teams will save money for run at Aroldis. Last minute offer (for) Sano less likely now."
9:04pm: Seeking more information, I asked Arangure whether the Twins and Pirates also see Sano as a guy not worth a $4MM signing bonus. He was kind enough to respond:
"For me, the Twins aren't real contenders anymore. The Pirates won't give record money because they won't have to."
8:58pm: ESPN's Jorge Arangure, who's been on the ball since the international signing period began on July 2, just rattled off a couple of interesting "tweets" involving 16-year-old shortstop Miguel Angel Sano:
"Am convinced Sano will not get record money. Orioles see him as late-first-round talent, which does not equal $4 million. More like $1-$1.5."
"Those who think Orioles will give record $ for Sano remember: They gave $3.2m to No. 4 pick [Brian] Matusz last year. Gave [Matt] Hobgood $2.4 this yr."
"There's no way Orioles are giving more to Sano than they gave Matusz and Hobgood."
If Arangure is correct, and the other teams tracking Sano follow suit, Wagner Mateo, singed July 2 by the Cardinals for $3.1MM, will go down as the highest-paid international prospect from 2009. Sano has been courted this summer by the Twins, Pirates and O's, who are awaiting the results of an MLB investigation into his age and identification.