Xavier Nady Rumors
Someone alert Dr. Dre and the Beach Boys, since here's a rundown of news from the Golden State...
- The Padres are so high on Chase Headley that MLB.com's Corey Brock says the team once turned down a deal with Pittsburgh that would've brought Nate McLouth and Xavier Nady to San Diego.
- MLB.com's Lyle Spencer reports that the Angels will pay their five regular infielders a total of $8.05MM in 2010 --- or, almost $1MM less than Chone Figgins by himself will make in Seattle.
- Tony Jackson of ESPN Los Angeles talks to Jeff Weaver, whose minor league contract with the Dodgers allows him to opt out and become a free agent if he doesn't make the club out of spring training. Weaver said the escape clause allows him to stay out of the minors: "I am here to make this team. If it doesn't work out...then I don't really want to do the Triple-A thing again."
- As part of a reader mailbag, Jackson said it's unlikely that Jamie McCourt's claim of half-ownership of the Dodgers will hold up in court. But if it does, then Jackson predicts Frank McCourt "probably will be forced to sell, whether it's to Jamie and the group she allegedly has lined up to buy the club or to someone else." One would think that if this divorce halves McCourt's fortune as many predict it will, he may have to sell the team regardless of the result of his ex-wife's claim.
- Scout X (who may or may not be ESPN's Gene Wojciechowski) previews the 2010 season. One of the more interesting tidbits in the piece is that Scout X would take Matt Cain over Tim Lincecum if he had to choose between the two Giants aces because "Cain pitches with such ease."
The Cubs officially signed Xavier Nady to a one-year deal worth $3.3MM today. GM Jim Hendry was also considering Reed Johnson, Jonny Gomes and Jermaine Dye, but he settled on Nady, who could earn an extra $2MM in incentives tied to games played.
Nady is coming off his second Tommy John surgery, which is uncharted territory for an established everyday player. The 31-year-old appeared in just seven games in 2009, but he hit 25 homers the year before that, so you can see why the Cubs were intrigued.
Next up for Nady: proving he's healthy enough to deserve a big contract next winter. Next up for his agent, Scott Boras: find a home for Johnny Damon.
ESPN Chicago's Bruce Levine first reported that the Cubs were close to adding an outfielder. Yahoo's Tim Brown reported that the deal was official and Jon Heyman of SI.com added the terms of the contract.
Ben Nicholson-Smith contributed to this post.
Links for Tuesday...
- Orlando Hudson is "making progress on signing with a team," tweets MLB.com's Bill Ladson, however Hudson declined to name the team. In separate tweet, Ladson says a source told him that the Nationals top Hudson's wish list.
- ESPN's Jerry Crasnick tweets that the Diamondbacks and Rockies are pursuing Derrick Turnbow, who could sign soon.
- MLBTR's resident translator Nick Collias passes along this report from Esteban Rivera of the Puerto Rican newspaper Primera Hora, in which Carlos Delgado says that the Mets, Orioles, and Royals "have seen him [play] on the island." Omar Minaya said there is still a mutual interest in bringing Delgado back to New York, tweets ESPN's Jorge Arangure
- The final offer Scott Boras presented the Yankees with for Xavier Nady was worth $5MM, tweets Joel Sherman of The New York Post. He adds that the Yanks would have considered him at the price he signed for today, and that they'll only do a minor league deal for Rocco Baldelli (via Twitter).
- Now that Ben Sheets has signed with the A's, Ken Rosenthal at FoxSports.com tweets that the Mets' next target appears to be John Smoltz. A source tells him they haven't aggressively pursued Jon Garland.
- MLB.com's Brian McTaggart mentions that the Astros and Wandy Rodriguez are set to go an arbitration hearing on February 17th. Wandy filed for $7MM, the team $5MM.
- Meanwhile, Richard Justice of The Houston Chronicle breaks down the Astros' offseason in a video.
- Rick Ankiel said that the Nationals, Marlins, and Yankees were in it until the end, reports Doug Tucker of The Brownsville Herald.
- Cody Ross' arbitration hearing has been scheduled for February 15th, reports MLB.com's Joe Frisaro. Ross is seeking a $4.45MM salary in 2010, but the Marlins are countering with $4.2MM.
- ESPN's Buster Olney wrote about baseball's internal discussions on how to fix the draft, including some notes about what was discussed at the recent general managers meeting (sub. req'd).
- In a mailbag, MLB.com's Kelly Thesier says the Twins payroll appears to be right around $90MM, and they don't seem willing to spend much more than that.
- Meanwhile, Lyle Spencer of MLB.com writes in his mailbag that the Angels "appear to have stretched the salary budget to its limit," so don't expect any more major moves.
- Ken Davidoff of Newsday lists what he thinks are the best run organizations in baseball (sub. req'd). There's 15 of them, however ten are from the AL while just five come from the NL.
- John Fay of The Cincinnati Enquirer looks at the list of remaining free agents, and sees only one fit for the Reds: Orlando Cabrera. He's probably too expensive for them at this point, however.
- MLB.com's Marty Noble says in a mailbag that he doesn't believe the Mets' current roster and the Opening Day roster will be the same, but he's not sure where the club can turn to improve.
Ken Rosenthal and Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports provide the latest Cubs rumblings...
- Morosi reported Wednesday that the Cubs were "engaged in negotiations" with free agent reliever Kiko Calero. However, he now says their interest has waned. A right-handed setup man is still a primary item on the Cubs' shopping list.
- Previous reports have connected the Cubs to outfielders Xavier Nady, Jonny Gomes, Rocco Baldelli, and Reed Johnson. The FOX writers say Nady is the Cubs' top choice unless Dye's contract demands come down.
- The Cubs seek rotation insurance, but the FOX writers confirm ESPN's Jayson Stark Saturday suggestion that Ben Sheets is unlikely. Perhaps Mark Mulder, linked to the Cubs Tuesday by Morosi, is more feasible.
- Though the Cubs have looked into Adam Kennedy and Orlando Hudson, adding a second baseman is not a high priority.
SATURDAY, 3:12pm: Yanks GM Brian Cashman denies that the club is waiting on Damon before looking into other outfield options, reports Chad Jennings of the LoHud Yankees Blog.
Additionally, Cashman stressed that the team has "had no discussions on Jermaine Dye" and is "not on Jim Edmonds at all."
2:30pm: In a text to Marc Carig of the Star-Ledger, Damon says that he "should have a team in a week" (via Twitter).
1:56pm: Heyman reports (via Twitter) that Damon has "days" to take a "low deal" from the Yankees. Assuming he says no, the club will sign another outfielder from the group of Reed Johnson, Xavier Nady, Randy Winn, Jim Edmonds, and Jermaine Dye.
FRIDAY, 6:17pm: SI.com's Jon Heyman was on MLB Network's Hot Stove show tonight, and said that the Yankees and Johnny Damon have spoken recently. Here's his exact quote:"He did meet or talk to the Yankees in the last couple of days. Still doesn't look like a great chance of happening though believe it or not. They are talking, but the Yankees have these budgetary constraints. They've been telling other teams they have about 2 million dollars to spend. I think for Damon they would probably go over that. I mean this is a guy who's had 100 runs scored 9 times and 24 home runs. Terrific player, but I would still say more likely Braves or Tigers, at this point."
Two days ago we heard from former Yankee Jerry Hairston Jr. that the team never made him an offer because they're "waiting on Damon's price to come down," however GM Brian Cashman shot that report down.
It's certainly getting late in the offseason, however just for a frame of reference, Bobby Abreu didn't sign with the Angels until February 12th of last season. Damon might have a little more waiting to do.
Some New York news and notes courtesy of Newsday's Ken Davidoff..
- Davidoff's understanding is that the Mets' offer to Joel Pineiro was very similar to the Angels' offer of two-years, $16MM. While it would be natural to assume that the free agent hurler preferred the stability of the Halos franchise to the Metropolitans, he writes that he doesn't know that for certain.
- The Mets would definitely like to sign John Smoltz, though it would cause a logjam of starting pitchers. Davidoff suggests that the team could move John Maine in order to create space for him.
- Speaking of Smoltz, Davidoff hears that the Yankees were interested in the 42-year-old prior to landing Javier Vazquez.
- As we've heard elsewhere, the Bombers are looking for one more outfielder and are considering right-handers Xavier Nady and Rocco Baldelli.
The Cubs are interested in outfielder Xavier Nady, writes Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports. Nady's agent, Scott Boras, told Morosi his client is on schedule to be ready for Spring Training after July Tommy John surgery. With Nady and Jermaine Dye reportedly on the Cubs' radar, they appear to be setting their sights a little higher for their fourth outfielder role.
The Yankees and Braves are two other clubs that have been linked to Nady, with previous suitors such as the Cardinals, Rangers, and Pirates going in different directions. At any rate it doesn't look like he will be well-compensated this year.
- It appears that the Yankees added pitcher Zack Segovia on a minor league deal, writes Chad Jennings of The Journal News.
- Reed Johnson is still in the mix for the Cubs' fourth outfielder job, assistant GM Randy Bush told Paul Sullivan of the Chicago Tribune.
- Andrew Baggarly of the San Jose Mercury News passes along a comment from Giants GM Brian Sabean: someone will be designated for assignment to make room for Aubrey Huff. CSNBayArea.com's Mychael Urban says it won't be Fred Lewis, but Lewis is probably done with the Giants anyway.
- The Royals named former Brewers manager Ned Yost special advisor to baseball operations, according to a team press release.
- John Dewan of Baseball Info Solutions suggests the Red Sox could add eight or nine wins via their defensive improvements (hat tip to Alex Speier of WEEI). In an article for ESPN, Dave Cameron says the Red Sox "have traded on-base percentage for ultimate zone ratings."
- Rany Jazayerli says the Royals' move for Scott Podsednik "wasn't a good signing, but it's not worth getting worked up over either."
- Bernardo Fallas of the Houston Chronicle suggests Drayton McLane's $650MM asking price for the Astros "might make it difficult for him to find a buyer."
- Joe Pawlikowski of River Ave. Blues assesses possible Yankees target Xavier Nady.
- Jack Moore of FanGraphs likes the Ryan Church signing for the Pirates.
- MLB.com's Jordan Bastian writes that the Blue Jays signed pitcher Willie Collazo, infielder Jesus Merchan, and outfielder Jorge Padilla to minor league deals.
- Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports reiterates the Cubs' interest in Kiko Calero, but guesses the team's interest "is probably contingent" on the health of the reliever's shoulder.
- Brett Myers intends to "stick it" to the Phillies, according to the AP. How dare they pay him over $30MM and stick by him through domestic abuse charges.
Rounding up some news from around the majors on this Tuesday night....
- MLB.com's Jason Beck cites a report from an unnamed radio station which states the Tigers' offer to Jose Valverde is for two years. In another piece, Beck calls Detroit "the most logical destination" for Valverde.
- Brett Gardner has two backers (sort of) in Anthony McCarron of the New York Daily News and ESPN's Keith Law. McCarron would like to see the Yankees acquire a "get-the-uniform-dirty type" but thinks Gardner should get "a real chance" to play every day. Law would let Gardner start the season because he feels that potential signings Reed Johnson or Xavier Nady are "marginal improvements that may not justify the cost."
- Jordan Bastian of MLB.com says the Blue Jays aren't thinking of moving Vernon Wells to a corner outfield spot in spite of Wells' declining UZR numbers in center. One factor might be that the Jays don't really have any other solid CF options, especially with Alex Rios no longer on the roster.
- C.J. Wilson is not a candidate to be traded despite the Rangers' signing of Darren Oliver, reports Ben Rogers of ESPNDallas.com.
- MLB.com's Jim Street says Miguel Tejada's asking price is too high for the Mariners to make a play for the free-agent infielder.
- Brian McTaggart of MLB.com passes along a report from Houston's KRIV-TV that Great Court Capital is the investment company negotiating to buy the Astros from Drayton McLane.
- Eric Hinske tells David O'Brien of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution that Atlanta "really seemed like the best situation" out of the clubs who made him offers.
- Doug Miller of MLB.com provides a quick round-up of some of the remaining free agents on the market.
Both writers say Damon would have to greatly reduce his salary demands. According to Sherman, the Yankees are telling agents they have only $2MM to spend. Both writers also agree that Brian Cashman would have to lobby Hal Steinbrenner to expand the budget to accomodate Damon. Sherman says a July trade for Mike Cameron was scrapped because Hal would not approve a $5.5MM increase.
In the likely event the Yanks move on from Damon, Sherman ranks the team's targets: Xavier Nady, Reed Johnson, Rocco Baldelli, Jerry Hairston Jr., and Marcus Thames.