- The Rockies have some interest in Bobby Crosby as a utilityman and as a right-handed option at third base if starter Ian Stewart continues to struggle against lefties (.178/.278/.386 against LHP in 2009).
- Noah Lowry, who became a free agent in October, may be brought to spring training on a minor-league contract. Lowry hasn't thrown a major league pitch since 2007 due to injuries, but was a solid starter (4.03 ERA) in four seasons in San Francisco. He has a 9.10 ERA in six career starts at Coors Field.
- Colorado is "expected to call" free agent reliever LaTroy Hawkins, who was a major part of the Rockies' bullpen during their run to the 2007 National League pennant. The club's interest in Hawkins will only increase if Rafael Betancourt turns down Colorado's arbitration offer and signs elsewhere. Hawkins should be more appealing also because he did not receive an arbitration offer from the Astros and therefore will not cost a draft pick.
Links for Monday…
- MLB.com's T.R. Sullivan wonders if Bobby Crosby could be a match for the Rangers as a utility infielder.
- MLB.com's Mychael Urban has an update on free agent lefty Mark Mulder.
- Maury Brown of The Biz of Baseball analyzes Tim Lincecum's possible 2010 salary, and predicts the pitcher might submit $16.8MM against the Giants' $8MM figure.
- ESPN's Buster Olney tweets that Hideki Matsui's marketability is not a factor for the Yankees.
- Alex Speier of WEEI examines the chances of Roy Halladay remaining a workhorse over the next several seasons.
- Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch doesn't see geography as a big factor for Matt Holliday. Meanwhile, Bernie Miklasz of the P-D doesn't understand Albert Pujols' reasoning as to why he needs to wait to discuss an extension.
- MLB.com's Brian McTaggart asks readers to predict the Astros' arbitration decisions for free agents. Jose Valverde and LaTroy Hawkins are tough calls in that it makes sense but we're not sure if the Astros will. We'll have predictions on all Type A/B free agents later today.
- Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel explains why he feels only Felipe Lopez will get an arbitration offer from the Brewers.
- MLB.com's Joe Frisaro says the Marlins are leaning against offering arbitration to Type B free agents Kiko Calero and Nick Johnson. Calero might be worth it.
- Jon Weisman of Dodgers Thoughts says the Dodgers' arbitration decisions won't necessarily be influenced by the McCourts' divorce.
- Staying with this theme, FanGraphs' Dave Cameron looks at the factors that should influence a team's arbitration-offer decision.
- Ken Rosenthal and Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports look at the market for Miguel Tejada.
- Morosi suggests ten teams that should talk to the Tigers about Miguel Cabrera, Curtis Granderson, and Edwin Jackson.
- Jacob Jackson of Athletics Nation has a detailed offseason plan for the A's.
- Righty Miguel Batista told Geoff Baker of the Seattle Times that he has a few contenders interested in his services.
- Notes from NPB Tracker's Patrick Newman: the Orioles are eyeing pitcher Hisanori Takahashi, and Hideki Okajima would like a contract extension (he's under team control through 2012 as an arbitration-eligible player).
- Dejan Kovacevic of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette says the fates of Jeff Karstens, Robinzon Diaz, and Justin Thomas will be decided today.
- Elmer Dessens doesn't have a contract with the Mets quite yet, writes Adam Rubin of the New York Daily News.
More items from a busy opening day of baseball's hot stove season…
- Consider it a formality, but John Lackey, Matt Holliday, and Jason Bay were among the 79 players filing for free agency today according to MLB.com's Tom Singer.
- Free agent Bobby Crosby told MLB.com's Mychael Urban that he doesn't expect to be back in Oakland next season.
- Alex Gonzalez has yet to hear from the Red Sox in regards to whether or not they will exercise his $6MM option for next season, says The Boston Herald's Michael Silverman.
- Jim Street of MLB.com breaks down Seattle's free agents, noting that Russell Branyan and Ken Griffey Jr. "are the most likely to return," and that if Griffey comes back, it would likely mean that the Mariners wouldn't re-sign veteran Mike Sweeney. Street also reported that right-hander Miguel Batista feels he won't be back in Seattle next season, with Batista going so far as to say there is a "99.9 percent chance" he will be in another team's uniform in 2010.
- Texas introduced former Rockies manager Clint Hurdle as their new hitting coach on Thursday.
- John Harper of the New York Daily News feels that Hideki Matsui's World Series MVP award made the Yankees' decision whether or not to re-sign the free agent slugger much more difficult. Even before Matsui's huge Game Six performance, MLBTR's Luke Adams outlined the factors behind any decision to put Matsui back in pinstripes in 2010.
- Randy St. Claire has been hired as the Marlins' new pitching coach, reports Barry Jackson and Clark Spencer of the Miami Herald.
Bobby Crosby told Joe Stiglich of the San Jose Mercury News that he can't imagine signing with the A's after the season, when he becomes a free agent for the first time.
"If the opportunity was given to me to play shortstop here, I'd have no problem coming back," Crosby said. "But I know that's not going to be the case."
Crosby, who turns 30 this winter, makes $5.25MM this year. He's hitting .223/.294/.365 this season, with just 16 extra base hits. Since being named the 2004 Rookie of the Year, Crosby has struggled to stay healthy and has managed only a .669 OPS. Coming into this season, Crosby had been a defensive asset for five straight years, according to UZR.
He'll face tough competition on the free agent market after the season. Former A's Miguel Tejada, Marco Scutaro and Orlando Cabrera will lead a strong class of free agent shortstops this winter.
Susan Slusser at the San Francisco Chronicle says that the A's will be pressed to make a roster move upon the return of Jason Giambi this Tuesday, though it's unclear what the move will be. She notes that the A's essentially have five first basemen on their roster and wonders if one could be traded.
Slusser suggests that Nomar Garciaparra could generate interest as a bench bat in a waiver deal, but Billy Beane would likely ask for Garciaparra's approval before any move. She also notes that four teams' interest in Russ Springer before the deadline could spell a deal this month (the Cardinals were known to have some interest in Springer). No teams have reportedly made a call about Bobby Crosby, and she believes it's unlikely he is waived.
According to Nick Cafardo at the Boston Globe, the Red Sox have "left no stone unturned" in their search for a shortstop. Rounding out the list of names are Omar Vizquel, Jack Wilson, J.J. Hardy, the aforementioned Orlando Cabrera, Bobby Crosby, Jason Donald, Miguel Tejada and a mystery shortstop with the Braves. Ideally, Jed Lowrie would make a speedy return from the DL before they begin making any decisions.
As noted earlier, the Sox inquired on Cabrera but apparently aren't interested.
What should the Sox do? Just speculation–could the Braves' shortstop be Yunel Escobar or is it someone else?
Let's kick it off today with some odds and ends.
- RotoAuthority discusses responding to lame trade offers in your fantasy league.
- Reliever Mike MacDougal will join the Nationals tomorrow, according to MLB.com's Bill Ladson. Who knows, he could be closing for them by next week.
- Talking to Fred Mitchell of the Chicago Tribune, Cubs GM Jim Hendry defended the Mark DeRosa trade. Here is my problem with it: it was a financially-motivated deal made by a big-market team, and did not bring back players who could help in 2009.
- According to Dejan Kovacevic of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, the White Sox acquired journeyman minor league infielder Anderson Machado from the Pirates for a player to be named later.
- Padres exec Paul DePodesta explains the Jody Gerut for Tony Gwynn Jr. swap. DePodesta's third bullet point, money, had to be the overriding factor given Gwynn's negligible value around the league.
- Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle sees Bobby Crosby as perhaps a more pressing trade situation for the A's than Matt Holliday.
- Dr. James Andrews found no structural damage in Brian Bruney's elbow, according to Mark Feinsand of the New York Daily News. Given the uncertainty, though, a bullpen acquisition would still make sense.
- It looks like the writing is on the wall for Astros manager Cecil Cooper. Richard Justice of the Houston Chronicle lists his offenses.
- Bernie Miklasz of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch is skeptical the Cardinals will make a big move.
- Kiley McDaniel of Baseball Prospectus agrees that the Pirates are the favorite for Dominican talent Miguel Angel Sano, and says the Rays, Cubs, A's, Blue Jays, Yankees, Rangers, and Twins are also after him. It's speculated by McDaniel and elsewhere that the Pirates could budget less toward their fourth overall pick in June to compensate for Sano. John Perrotto of Inside Pittsburgh Sports says they like Kyle Gibson, Aaron Crow, Bobby Borchering, and Wil Myers. Tanner Scheppers did not give the Bucs permission to redraft him.
Some links to tide you over this Memorial Day Eve:
- John Sickels at Minor League Ball lists last year's starters who posted a Win Share over 10 alongside their draft origins. Last week, Future Redbirds advised against risking a first round pick on high school pitchers.
- MLB.com has a fan Q&A up with Pirates GM Neal Huntington, who believes this year's draft is deep in pitching but thin on quality college position players.
- Akinori Iwamura will probably hit the DL after he suffered a nasty collision in today's game and was carted off the field. Joe Maddon will have a look at internal options to fill in for now.
- With the Mets hurting badly, Ken Davidoff at Newsday acknowledges GM Omar Minaya has his work cut out for him. With Jose Reyes' lingering tendinitis in his right knee and his injured backups, Davidoff thinks Minaya should get an appraisal on Bobby Crosby. Davidoff also thinks the Mets should "aggressively" go after the rehabbing Ben Sheets and at least discuss Erik Bedard with the M's, despite the Mets' top prospects sitting at lower levels.
A few links for Saturday…
- Bart Hubbuch of the New York Post reports that Omar Minaya says the Mets won’t sign Pedro Martinez. Buster Olney was on this one earlier in the week, but that was before the Mets had to shut Tim Redding down because of weakness in his pitching shoulder.
- According to Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle Bobby Crosby played third and first yesterday in a Spring Training game. He had never played first before and had to borrow a glove. Playing well at many positions couldn’t hurt his trade value.
- We missed this one earlier in the week: Bill Shaikin of the LA Times asked Angels GM Tony Reagins if he has interest in Barry Bonds and heard he has "none."
- Barry Svrluga of the Washington Post reports that acting GM Mike Rizzo signed Julian Tavarez to the Nats because he wants depth and doesn’t want his players feeling too comfortable about their jobs.
Links for Tuesday…
- Chat today, 2pm CST.
- RotoAuthority sums up the stats you should target in each category for your fantasy league.
- The Braves released pitcher Anthony Lerew, according to Carroll Rogers of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
- Rany Jazayerli says the Royals will be better just by subtracting Ross Gload, Tony Pena Jr., and Joey Gathright. Here’s my Offseason In Review for the club, if you’re interested.
- A’s manager Bob Geren "chuckled and said no" when asked if Bobby Crosby is being showcased at third base for the Yankees, according to Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle. Crosby is learning third in part because Eric Chavez is injured again.
- Speaking of Crosby, Paul Sullivan of the Chicago Tribune wonders if the Cubs could work out a deal involving reliever Luis Vizcaino. Despite the $4MM owed to Vizcaino, he’s not a lock for the Cubs’ bullpen. We learned last week that the Cubs do not appear interested in Crosby.
- Slusser also has an article about young A’s pitcher Michael Ynoa, who believes he can be in the Majors in two years at age 19.
- Andruw Jones apologized to Dodgers fans in this Bill Plaschke article.
- Talking to Paul Hagen of the Philadelphia Daily News, Phillies manager Charlie Manuel sees Jayson Werth missing no more than 15-20 games this year. Geoff Jenkins, with $8MM left on his contract, looks like the odd man out.