Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports has been plenty busy over the past few days, digging up rumors from all around the league. Here are some highlights from his latest work…
- Two sources tell Rosenthal that Matt Wieters’ throwing program is going poorly and surgery is looking more likely (Twitter links). A third source, however, cautions that it’s too soon to make that judgment, adding that Wieters has good days and also bad days at this time.
- In this weekend’s Full Count video, he notes that while many were shocked by Max Scherzer’s decision to turn down $144MM in an attempt to secure more on next year’s free agent market, Scherzer has an insurance policy on his right arm that Scherzer says “takes the injury risk out of it.” While the policy likely doesn’t cover the full amount of that offer, it sounds to be a substantial amount. Rosenthal adds that Jon Lester has a similar policy, though not for nearly as much money as Scherzer’s policy.
- Some friends of Jimmy Rollins feel that he’ll be willing to waive his 10-and-5 rights to approve a trade once he passes Mike Schmidt for the franchise lead in hits. Others feel he and his wife, a Philadelphia native, prefer to stay no matter what. Of course, Rollins’ $11MM vesting option damages his trade value as well, as he will easily reach the required plate appearances if he stays healthy.
- The Giants are looking to upgrade at second base this summer. While they could use a starting pitcher, they aren’t likely to make an addition that would turn Tim Lincecum into a $17MM bullpen arm. The Athletics, on the other hand, could use a starting pitching upgrade and have the necessary catching depth to make a move.
- The Orioles are willing to move Delmon Young, who is batting .286/.318/.369 and has lost most of his plate appearances to Steve Pearce. While Young isn’t the hitter than Kendrys Morales is, Rosenthal lists him as a low-cost alternative to teams that missed out on Morales; Young is set to earn about $600K over the rest of the season.
- The Mariners are looking to add a starting pitcher, a rival executive tells Rosenthal (link to his latest Notes column). Felix Hernandez, Hisashi Iwakuma, Roenis Elias and Chris Young make up the top four of Seattle’s rotation, and with James Paxton and Taijuan Walker battling injuries, the M’s have had trouble filling the fifth starter’s role. Adding payroll in a trade could still be an issue for the Mariners, Rosenthal adds.
- A clause in John Lackey’s five-year, $82.5MM deal with the Red Sox allowed the team to extend the contract through 2015 and pay Lackey a league minimum salary if he missed significant time with an arm injury. This clause was enacted when Lackey underwent Tommy John surgery two years ago, though it’s not certain that Lackey would be such a bargain for the Sox since Rosenthal suggests that the veteran righty could simply retire rather than play for what would amount to roughly $265K (after taxes) in 2015. Rosenthal thinks a two-year extension would be beneficial to both Lackey and the Red Sox in this situation.
- The Tigers’ biggest need is still in the bullpen thanks to Joe Nathan’s unexpected struggles. Relief help would be easier to find than a short-term shortstop, as Rosenthal notes that most of the ideal veteran shortstop options are playing for contenders (though Stephen Drew could be a trade possibility if Boston falls out of the race). If a proven shortstop can’t be found, the Tigers may have to make do with rookie Eugenio Suarez.
- Rosenthal feels the Cubs should make a trade for David Price, a move that would address both the club’s desire to add pitching and help the Cubs answer criticisms of their payroll if Price was extended.
- While top Dodgers prospect Joc Pederson has been on fire at the Triple-A level, Rosenthal said the club isn’t in a rush to promote him. Beyond just the fact that L.A. has a crowded outfield, Dodgers officials feel the 22-year-old Pederson still has to solve some maturity issues, cut down on his strikeouts and perform better against left-handed pitching.