Will Ohman Rumors
The Orioles shipped Miguel Tejada out of town yesterday, and they might be done dealing according to Dan Connolly of the Baltimore Sun. Connolly doesn't anticipate more trades, but he ranks the Orioles most likely to go: Ty Wigginton, Will Ohman, and Luke Scott.
The Orioles lost a suitor for Wigginton when the Rangers acquired Jorge Cantu, and they like Wiggy's instruction of young players. Connolly says to forget about starter Jeremy Guthrie being dealt - he's been told it's a near impossibility and that the O's would have to be blown away.
FRIDAY, 1:03am: Theo Epstein has discussed multiple possible trades with former Red Sox assistant GM and current Padres GM Jed Hoyer, according to Peter Abraham and Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe. The Globe duo believes Boston could have interest in a reliever like Joe Thatcher, and, given the team's excess of outfielders when Jacoby Ellsbury returns, they may match up with San Diego.
THURSDAY, 12:59pm: Though they're on his no-trade list, the Red Sox asked the Brewers about Trevor Hoffman, tweets Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports. Rosenthal adds that the Brewers are not inclined to move Hoffman. Meanwhile they're getting calls on Carlos Villanueva and Todd Coffey.
12:05pm: The Red Sox are leaving no rock unturned in their search for relief help. They've explored Rafael Perez, Will Ohman, Mike Gonzalez, Matt Capps, Michael Wuertz, Craig Breslow, Sean Marshall, Kerry Wood, David Aardsma, and Kyle Farnsworth, reports Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe. Cafardo says Scott Downs looks unlikely unless the Blue Jays back down from their top prospect requests. On a related note, SI's Jon Heyman tweets that the Jays asked the Mets for outfield prospect Kirk Nieuwenhuis and one other player for Downs and were denied.
Marshall is the interesting name here. The 27-year-old lefty has had a dominant year in relief, posting a 1.71 ERA, 10.4 K/9, and 2.9 BB/9 in 52.6 innings with one home run allowed. He's been especially strong against lefties. Marshall is under team control through 2012 and would presumably be very difficult to pry loose from the Cubs. Gonzalez is another surprising name, since he's spent most of the season on the shelf with a shoulder injury and is still owed good money.
Cafardo adds that the Red Sox have been shopping reliever Ramon Ramirez, and offers the opinion that a National League team might want to take a look at him. Ramirez has a 4.57 ERA, 6.5 K/9, and 3.3 BB/9 in 41.3 innings with six home runs allowed and is a potential non-tender candidate after the season.
The Giants' search for another hitter has been well documented, but the team could be targeting more than just a bat. San Francisco is also looking into the possibility of acquiring Will Ohman, according to Henry Schulman of the San Francisco Chronicle.
Brian Sabean told listeners on his KNBR radio show Thursday that the team could use an experienced left-handed reliever, and Ohman fits the bill. Although the southpaw has had some control issues this year (5.1 BB/9), he has recorded a 2.57 ERA and struck out a batter per inning. He has also handled lefties well, holding them to a .531 OPS for the season.
If they don't acquire Ohman, the Giants could have a hard time finding another satisfactory left-handed arm for their bullpen. An already underwhelming relief market looks even more uninspiring when you consider the lack of lefties on the list. Besides Ohman and Scott Downs, whose price tag may be too high for the Giants, potentially available southpaws include Bruce Chen, Alan Embree, and Scott Schoeneweis.
The Red Sox are interested in Scott Downs and have also had internal discussion about acquiring Kerry Wood, according to Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe. However, given the price tags on Downs, Wood, and other veteran arms, along with the Red Sox' reluctance to part with prospects for relievers, the team may just attempt to shore up their bullpen internally instead.
Cafardo suggests that the Sox are trying to find their "2010 Billy Wagner," a reference to the club's late-season bullpen addition last season. After coming to Boston from the Mets, Wagner posted a 1.98 ERA in 15 appearances. The Sox could once again be in the market for a southpaw this year, with Hideki Okajima battling back issues. Both Downs, whose trade value we looked at yesterday, and the Orioles' Will Ohman may be options for Boston.
If the Sox don't trade for a reliever, help could come from the minors, in the form of Michael Bowden. Cafardo notes that the team has moved the right-hander from the Triple-A rotation to the bullpen, a move that suggests a call-up may be in his near future.
The Orioles may be 30 games under .500, but they’re not going to make deals for the sake of making deals. President of baseball operations Andy MacPhail told MLB.com’s Brittany Ghiroli that the club is open to making trades this summer and that’s a good thing, since opposing general managers regularly call to ask about his players.
"You can imagine the guys that are popular," MacPhail said. "Our young pitching is popular, but that's part of the cornerstone of what we are trying to do."
Jeremy Guthrie, who has a sub-4.00 ERA and won’t become a free agent until after the 2012 season, could be one of the appealing arms MacPhail is referring to. Some of Guthrie’s teammates - Ty Wigginton, Miguel Tejada, Kevin Millwood, Cesar Izturis, Will Ohman and Luke Scott - could be easier to obtain. But that doesn’t mean they’re going anywhere.
"We wouldn't [trade] just for the sake of moving payroll," MacPhail said.
If the Orioles determine that they can get something back for Millwood, he is “open" to the idea of switching teams, though he will not demand a trade. Last summer the O's traded Aubrey Huff, Gregg Zaun and George Sherrill away.
A few more links for Friday evening, as the Reds homer for the 17th straight game....
- Bill Dwyre of the Los Angeles Times explains what it means to be "out of options" and takes a look at how it affects Brandon Wood's current situation.
- Several teams have contacted the White Sox about Bobby Jenks, according to Joe Cowley of the Chicago Sun-Times. Cowley doesn't categorize any of the discussions as serious, but notes that Jenks is "very available." Earlier in the week, we heard that the Phillies were scouting the Sox' struggling closer.
- Hank Schulman of the San Francisco Chronicle explains in a tweet why he doesn't want to see the Giants attempt to acquire Prince Fielder.
- Schulman also tweets that although no deal is official yet, Pat Burrell is "leaning heavily" toward becoming a Giant.
- According to the Miami Herald's Fish Bytes blog, it'd make sense for the Marlins to pursue left-handed bullpen help later in the summer if they're still in contention. The piece names Will Ohman and Matt Thornton as possible targets.
- Paul Hoynes of the Cleveland Plain Dealer writes that the Indians are being patient with their roster for now, but changes could eventually be made.
- Cuban minor-leaguer Amaury Sanit has been suspended 50 games for violating baseball's drug policy, tweets Mark Feinsand of the New York Daily News. The right-hander had been pitching for Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, the Yankees' Triple-A affiliate.
Links on a memorable Thursday afternoon for Brooks Conrad and the Braves...
- Kevin Millar will join NESN as an analyst, according to Amalie Benjamin of the Boston Globe (via Twitter). Millar signed with the St. Paul Saints earlier this month.
- The Yankees signed utility player Jeff Natale and assigned him to Triple A, according to Pete Cava of the Times Leader via River Ave. Blues. The 27-year-old posted a .298/.432/.446 line in five seasons in the Red Sox organization.
- Royals GM Dayton Moore says winning the World Series is an eight or ten year process, according to MLB.com's Dick Kaegel.
- Sam Miller and Dan Woike of the Orange County Register run through some players the Angels could target, including Miguel Tejada and Will Ohman.
- Top Japanese pitcher Yu Darvish says his father has known agents like Arn Tellem and Scott Boras for years, according to Patrick Newman of NPB Tracker who translated from Chunichi. Darvish says he wants to keep playing in Japan.
- Tom D'Angelo of the Palm Beach Post wonders if the Marlins should trade Hanley Ramirez. It's a hypothetical question as the Marlins aren't looking to move their shortstop.
- Gene Collier of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette says Pirates manager John Russell deserves an extension, especially now that some top Pirates prospects are nearing the major leagues.
- ESPN.com's Rob Neyer understands why Ken Griffey Jr. wants to play, but questions whether Junior deserves a roster spot on the Mariners.
- Adam LaRoche explained in March that he didn't reject a two-year $17MM offer from the Giants, even though they were interested in him last winter. He repeated as much to Henry Schulman of the San Francisco Chronicle, adding that he has no hard feelings towards the Giants.
The Orioles signed lefty reliever Will Ohman, reports Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports. The 32-year-old tallied only 22.6 pro innings last year for the Dodgers due to a shoulder injury, and they declined his $2.2MM option after the season. Ohman didn't sign with the Dodgers until March 30th, so he didn't have much of a Spring Training.
Ohman can be very tough on lefties - he held them to a .200/.257/.314 line in 114 plate appearances in 2008. The Blue Jays and Royals also showed interest in Ohman this winter, reported Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe.
Scott Boras tells Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe that he has seen some "very creative proposals" for Johnny Damon's services. The market for Damon seems limited, but teams like the Blue Jays, Tigers and A's could be fits at some price. Here are the rest of Cafardo's rumors:
- The Blue Jays, Orioles and Royals seem most aggressive in their pursuit of reliever Will Ohman.
- Gary Sheffield is considering two unidentified teams and waiting for offers from them.
- Boras is trying to find interest for Jeff Weaver.
- There's interest in Chien-Ming Wang, but teams aren't offering the two-time 19 game winner much money.
The Orioles offered a minor league deal to lefty reliever Will Ohman, reports Dan Connolly of the Baltimore Sun. Ohman will throw for the O's and other clubs this week. Ohman, 32, had a lost 2009 season after signing with the Dodgers on March 30th. Shoulder problems led to September surgery. When he's right, Ohman can shut down lefties. Connolly adds that the Orioles are still in talks with southpaw Mark Hendrickson.
Connolly also notes that Miguel Tejada's one-year, $6MM deal to return to Baltimore is official. Connolly speculates that reliever Dennis Sarfate could be designated for assignment to make room for Tejada. You may recall that Sarfate came to the Orioles from the Astros in the December '07 Tejada trade.