Wladimir Balentien Rumors
MLB.com's Mark Sheldon cleaned out his inbox and answered a few questions from Reds fans today. Here are some of the more pertinent details...
- The team would like to move Willy Taveras if they could, but there are very few takers for a player who posted a .240/.275/.285 line in 2009 and is due to make $4MM next season. Given his limited abilities and how Shelton feels that Taveras wouldn't be happy on the bench, the Reds have to consider cutting their losses with Taveras and releasing him.
- Micah Owings will likely not be used as trade bait, given that he is expected to compete for the fifth spot in the rotation and is also valuable out of the bullpen or as a pinch-hitter.
- Sheldon thinks that between Jonny Gomes and Laynce Nix, Gomes has "the better chance" of being tendered a contract.
- If neither man is brought back, Cincinnati will turn to a variety of in-house options for the left field job, including Wladimir Balentien, Chris Dickerson or prospects Juan Francisco, Chris Heisey and Todd Frazier.
- Sheldon believes Joey Votto "has earned the right" to remain as Cincinnati's everyday first baseman, and the Reds would only consider moving their young slugger to left field if prospect Yonder Alonso proved he was ready for the major leagues.
- No surprise here, but Shelton confirms that the Reds don't have the payroll to go after major free agents like Matt Holliday or Jason Bay.
Did anyone expect the deadline to be this active? What a week. Some more tidbits:
- The Rangers signed their third-round selection, LHP Robbie Erlin, reports T.R. Sullivan at MLB.com.
- Jayson Stark has an extensive breakdown of the Cliff Lee trade--the Cy Young pitcher they needed, not the one they necessarily wanted.
- The Yankees have interest in Tigers OF Josh Anderson, says Danny Knobler at CBS Sports, and now Jim Leyland agrees, says Steve Kornacki at mlive.com.
- John Fay at the Cincinnati Enquirer notes that in a very roundabout fashion, the Reds traded Paul O'Neill for Wladimir Balentien.
- Mark Bowman at MLB.com reports that the Braves have been quiet on the trade front, and aren't pressured to make a big splash after the Cliff Lee deal. They've inquired on a few relievers that apparently aren't available.
- Despite the Phils' acquisitions, the Marlins are still in it to win it, says Alden Gonzalez at MLB.com.
- Fangraphs gives their analysis of the Freddy Sanchez and Jason Hirsh deals.
- Todd Zolecki at MLB.com gets Phillie rival players' takes on the Lee deal.
Ed Price of AOL FanHouse reports that the Reds acquired Wladimir Balentien from the Mariners for righty Robert Manuel, who was MiLB.com's right-handed reliever of the year in Double A last year, as Jonathan Mayo points out. The Mariners designated Balentien for assignment over the weekend.
The Mariners are in the playoff hunt with a 46-42 record, though many expected them to be sellers this month. As Gregg Bell of the AP reports, Mariners manager Don Wakamatsu and trade candidate Jarrod Washburn say they want to keep the team together and attempt to win now.
- Miguel Batista - Baker says it makes sense to move Batista, who makes $3.3MM before the end of the year. He could offset salary coming to Seattle.
- Relievers Sean White and Mark Lowe would atract interest and the Mariners may feel they have enough depth to part with one of them, especially with prospect Phillippe Aumont on his way.
- Unless the Mariners fall from contention, Baker suggests it makes sense to hold Erik Bedard, whose value is limited because of his time on the DL.
- Dealing Jarrod Washburn is a "no-brainer" if the M's fall out of it.
- Brandon Morrow, Wladimir Balentien and Jeff Clement could all be moved as well.
UPDATE, 12-6-07 at 1:10am: Geoff Baker believes the Mariners are still in on Bedard, and that no team has beaten their offer yet. However, that offer still may not be enough for Andy MacPhail and Co.
UPDATE, 12-5-07 at 1:38pm: Jon Heyman says Bedard turned down a three-year extension offer from the Orioles. He has some interesting thoughts; check it out.
Meanwhile there's chatter of a 610 WIP report coming out of Philly about the team's attempts to acquire Bedard. Something like Kyle Kendrick, Shane Victorino, Carlos Carrasco, and others. I don't put much stock in this one as the Orioles could do much better.
FROM 12-5-07 at 1:59am:
Tuesday ended with 11 teams expressing interest in Erik Bedard. Let's start a new thread for today's rumors.
Geoff Baker cautiously names the Mariners the frontrunners for Bedard, now that the Dodgers have vowed not to give up Jonathan Broxton. He says the front office is salivating over Bedard and could offer up some combination of Adam Jones, Wladimir Balentien, Brandon Morrow, and George Sherrill.
UPDATE: Word via the Kansas City Star is that the Royals will get Kyle Davies in the deal. The Teixeira trade needs to be finalized first though. Nice job by Dayton Moore. Apparently he preferred Davies over Wladimir Balentien.
UPDATE 2: Based on this MLB.com report and reports from Sports Radio 810, the deal is not complete and Davies for Dotel was simply an offer. Dotel was apparently seen shagging flies in batting practice today.
UPDATE 3: Mark Bowman of MLB.com says the teams are not close to finalizing a deal and John Schuerholz has yet to enter into serious negotiations.
Interesting development via Ken Rosenthal: the Braves are close to a deal for Royals' closer Octavio Dotel. They apparently have made a better offer than finalists Cleveland and Los Angeles.
Royals GM Dayton Moore knows his way around Atlanta's farm system, of course. He had all kinds of player development roles within the Braves organization. The Braves' top three prospects heading into the season per Baseball America were Jarrod Saltalamacchia, Elvis Andrus, and Matt Harrison. With those three out of the picture perhaps Moore is going for outfielder Brandon Jones or first baseman Scott Thorman.
Quite a day for Atlanta...now to snag a starter...
Jayson Stark has updated his big ol' rumor post over at ESPN.com. Some highlights:
- Stark believes Mark Teixeira to the Braves or Angels is "almost certainly going to happen." The Angels' willingness to offer Joe Saunders instead of Ervin Santana is seen as a big plus. Meanwhile the Braves want the Rangers to tack C.J. Wilson onto their trade but Texas is resisting. Stark's update counteracts Will Carroll's latest; Will recently wrote: "It's looking more and more like Mark Teixeira is going to stay a Ranger." You decide.
- Toss a few more scenarios into the Octavio Dotel mix: to the Red Sox for David Murphy, or to the Mariners for Wladimir Balentien. Big difference there.
- Stark calls Mark Loretta a "very big name to watch." Hmmm, maybe this trade deadline is lamer than I realized.
- OK, the market is now open on Houston's relievers.
- The Marlins would be happy to trade Armando Benitez or Byung-Hyun Kim. Both would need to shake off major control problems to be of any use.
- Stark says to forget about trades of Daniel Cabrera, Joe Blanton, Richie Sexson, Livan Hernandez, Dontrelle Willis, Todd Helton, Aaron Rowand, and Noah Lowry. C'mon now, that's no fun. Something tells me the rumors on some of this group won't disappear, so it's all good.
Jim Hickey mentioned yesterday that the Mariners have been all over White Sox pitchers lately. Assuming Jose Contreras isn't helpful and Javier Vazquez doesn't want to go west, that leaves Jon Garland as the most reasonable target.
The Chicago Tribune's Phil Rogers adds some color to that scenario, noting that one of Bill Bavasi's henchmen used to work for the White Sox and loves Garland. Rogers believes the right match would be 23 year-old right fielder Wladimir Balentien. Wlad has a robust .310/.381/.557 line in Triple A this year.
The two GMs roles were reversed on June 27th, 2004, when the White Sox acquired Freddy Garcia, Ben Davis, and cash for Miguel Olivo, Jeremy Reed, and Michael Morse.
No matter what you think of Garland, there's no arguing that he'd be a huge improvement over Horacio Ramirez. Plus, he's more than just a rental. This appears to be a move that makes sense for both teams, though Kenny Williams may require more than just Balentien.
The Tribune's Mark Gonzales notes that the White Sox have scouted the Yankees' entire farm system, and they're still in the mix for Garland as well.