According to Dylan Hernandez, the Marlins avoided arbitration with third baseman Dallas McPherson, signing him at $500K for ’09. McPherson mashed 42 homers at Triple A this year. He could get a shot at the hot corner if the Marlins move Jorge Cantu to first base.
John Perrotto at Baseball Prospectus has his Every Given Sunday column up. Here’s the highlights from the Rumors and Rumblings section (with some added speculation here and there from yours truly):
- There’s a growing rumor that Cardinals manager Tony La Russa could step down after this season and pursue a job as a general manager. We all know Seattle’s looking…
- The Diamondbacks love Adam Dunn’s production so much that they are considering re-signing him and possibly having him play first base. Dunn’s racked up a .474 OBP since coming to Arizona… what’s not to like about that?
- The Padres seem willing to move Kevin Kouzmanoff once again. Perrotto doesn’t say, but it would make sense for young starting pitching to be the target for the Padres, and a move would allow Chase Headley to move back to his natural position, third base. The Giants are looking for help at third, but I doubt the Pads would trade him within the division. Minnesota, perhaps?
- The Marlins are considering playing Jorge Cantu at first next season, using Dallas McPherson at third, and trading Mike Jacobs in the offseason.
- The Royals will not re-sign Mark Grudzielanek this offseason, but will likely target both Rafael Furcal and Raul Ibanez. Given Mike Aviles’ emergence at the plate, shifting him to second base and putting Furcal at shortstop would make for a very good middle of the infield in Kansas City. The Royals will also explore options for trading Jose Guillen. I personally didn’t like the contract they gave him at the time, and I doubt many clubs like it now either. Moving him could be difficult.
- The Rangers will try to trade Gerald Laird for pitching, given their surplus at catcher. The Yankees could use some help behind the plate if Jorge Posada is unable to catch…
- Jeff Kent, Frank Thomas, and Kent Mercker are all mentioned as possibilites for retirement this offseason, with Jeff Kent being almost a certainty, regardless of how his knee reacts to surgery.
Yahoo’s Tim Brown posted a new column this evening.
- The Nationals got an OK return for Jon Rauch, acquiring second baseman Emilio Bonifacio. That could set the pace for reasonable reliever prices.
- The Indians are listening on Casey Blake, Paul Byrd, and Jamey Carroll, as you know. Jhonny Peralta isn’t off-limits either.
- Here’s a new name of interest for the Dodgers: Marlins minor league third baseman Dallas McPherson. He’ll be 28 soon, and carries a .287/.400/.650 line with 32 home runs in 314 Triple A at-bats. This could be the second time McPherson blasts 40 home runs in a minor league season.
- The Red Sox inquired on J.J. Putz, but the Mariners say he’s not available.
Ah, now some of the free agents are moving off the shelves. The Marlins signed Dallas McPherson to a one-year deal worth $425K. Barely above the minimum; he must’ve liked the opportunity.
He’ll join Jose Castillo and Jorge Cantu in a battle royale to replace Miguel Cabrera at third base. Tough shoes to fill, eh? Who knows, maybe that 30 HR power is still in McPherson’s bat somewhere.
With the McPherson and Ensberg signings today, Corey Koskie is pretty much the only remaining available free agent third baseman.
Some evening odds and ends for your enjoyment…
- The Marlins are "pretty far along" on a deal with Jorge Cantu. He’d battle with Jose Castillo for playing time at third base. Dallas McPherson may be another possibility – he had talks with another club (the Giants?) recently fall through. The Fish are one of three or four clubs McPherson likes, though he’s not sure whether the interest is mutual. I hope the Marlins sign ’em both, maybe one of the three works out.
- Nick Cafardo discusses the slight possibility that the Red Sox and Kevin Youkilis discuss a long-term extension rather than go year-to-year with him. This is Youk’s first year of arbitration eligibility. I imagine his salary could jump up from $425K to $2-4MM.
I’m not sure of the Giants’ plan – are they rebuilding? Playing for 2008? Kind of rebuilding but trying to seem respectable?
At any rate, the Giants don’t have much going on at first and third base. I like the idea of going after a cheap under-30 third base upside play like Dallas McPherson. But I wouldn’t fill the spot with a vet just to fill it. As for first, I’ve said before I’d just toss Dan Ortmeier there for 550 ABs in lieu of adding some stopgap. But that’s just me; here’s the latest on Brian Sabean’s corner infield pursuits:
- Tony Clark is a target, and San Francisco is a good fit for him in terms of playing time. He’d probably get a one-year deal and be paired with Ortmeier.
- The Mariners are apparently shopping Adrian Beltre for pitching. Doesn’t seem to be a smart move for Seattle but it may be a moot point if they are nearing a Carlos Silva signing.
- No doubt Joe Crede can be had. Paul Konerko, not so much. Crede makes sense for the Giants in that they might be able to flip him if he has a good April-May.
- Morgan Ensberg is a free agent who would probably play for $3MM and jump at a full-time chance.
- Pedro Feliz remains on the radar, but apparently still wants three years. C’mon now.
- The Giants have "moved in opposing directions" with McPherson, a Scott Boras client.
Collection o’ links…
- LENIII has a Johan Santana update…nothing groundbreaking going on, pretty much looks like the Yanks and Red Sox are still both involved.
- The Brewers were apparently pretty deep in discussions for Miguel Tejada during the Winter Meetings.
- After a year out of baseball Javy Lopez is back with the Braves on a minor-league deal. Remember when he slugged .687 with 43 home runs in 457 ABs? Good times.
- Nick Piecoro has some chatter about Orlando Hudson, who hits free agency after the ’08 season. The most interesting part is that Hudson refers to Bob Melvin as "Bo-Mel." It’s the same story with Hudson – he’d like an extension, the D’Backs are noncommittal. You never know – I certainly didn’t expect them to re-up Eric Byrnes. But as of right now it seems like Hudson will walk.
- Alex Rodriguez is not on speaking terms with Scott Boras…let’s all hope they reconcile, they were a great couple.
- Barry Jackson says the Marlins have their eye on Dallas McPherson. The Giants are known to be interested as well.
- Mike Sweeney’s agent has been in touch with the Royals as well as two other clubs. I think he might have to accept a bench role this year.
Let’s round up a few Saturday odds and ends.
- Pitcher C.J. Nitkowski writes a semi-defense of Brian McNamee. Nitkowski has his own blog and recently finished up a season in Japan.
- According to Andrew Baggarly, the Giants have been in touch with Scott Boras regarding free agent corner infielder Dallas McPherson. He missed the ’07 season with back surgery, but recently appeared in the Arizona Instructional League. The 27 year-old has a career line of .247/.294/.461 in 360 ABs, including 121 strikeouts in those 117 games. The 30 HR power may remain but he’ll need to show more than just that.
- Peter Abraham has a funny comment regarding the appearance of Rich Garces on the phony steroid list that circulated Thursday morning. That bogus list actually hit my inbox the night before and it was an obvious delete. I shouldn’t throw stones, because I have definitely put up a few bad trade rumors in my day. But it was very surprising to see an NBC affiliate running with that crap on Thursday.
- Andy MacPhail continues to leave the door open for an Erik Bedard contract extension. That same article mentions the Orioles’ claim of 30 year-old reliever Greg Aquino. Fantasy geeks recall Aquino’s stint as D’Backs closer in 2004, when they were the worst team in baseball. Aquino supplanted Mike Koplove that summer.
Another day, another rumor roundup. Let’s throw everything fresh into the mill.
The Orioles are thinking about taking on one of Philly’s huge outfielder contracts, for some reason. I guess this could help next year’s push for third place. Baltimore is one of baseball’s most baffling teams to me. Abreu rumors have been floating around the Orioles since at least November.
The Cubs and Yankees may have something cooking, with Scott Williamson the likely candidate to be dealt. If the reliever market is really so inflated, why don’t the Cubs trade Howry and Eyre?
The Pirates are offering up all sorts of non-difference makers, but Mike Gonzalez could actually get them something decent. The 28 year-old southpaw has a 2.27 ERA in 39 innings this season. Fantay leaguers should start thinking about Matt Capps as his successor.
Trade rumor All-Star Ken Rosenthal is getting into the game more lately, with a full plate of whisperings posted an hour ago. Jose Vidro could become a Giant, and the D’Backs would love to trade Shawn Green (of course).
Unfounded rumors: Billy Beane may be shopping Mark Ellis and Jason Windsor, with possible interest in Brian Roberts…the Angels could be after David Dellucci…teams are calling the Mets about Alay Soler…Dallas McPherson is definitely on the block…there’s a decent chance Jon Lieber ends up a Yankee…the Mets and Nats are still talking about Livan Hernandez.