According to Ken Rosenthal, David Eckstein is drawing interest from five teams as both a second baseman and shortstop. Rosenthal speculates on the Padres, Pirates, and Orioles.
Ken Rosenthal is on the scene at the GM meetings, and as usual has all kinds of new info.
- The Brewers are unlikely to trade Prince Fielder, and reluctant to trade J.J. Hardy or Alcides Escobar. It’d be smart to retain those three players.
- Rosenthal still likes the Braves as the favorite for Jake Peavy, but wonders if the Cubs or another team could incorporate a third team to get it done.
- The Cubs will need to spend much of their available money on pitching, which may leave little payroll room for an outfielder like Bobby Abreu. They could backload contracts and move some of Jason Marquis’ salary though.
- The Mets are interested in lefty reliever Joe Beimel, as well as usual suspects Francisco Rodriguez, Brian Fuentes, and Kerry Wood. They also like Raul Ibanez.
- The Cardinals could move forward with a Ryan Ludwick/Colby Rasmus/Rick Ankiel outfield, or trade one of them. Ankiel, entering his contract year, seems most likely to go if Rasmus is ready.
- David Eckstein is marketing himself as a second baseman for 2009.
- Don’t look for the Phillies to move Shane Victorino in a Matt Holliday deal.
- The Cardinals and Nationals are not contenders for A.J. Burnett. Still no word on Burnett’s opt-out.
- The Marlins may wait until some of the top free agent starters sign before shopping Scott Olsen.
Sunday afternoon means it’s time to look back at the week and recap the major stories here on MLBTR. Let’s take a look:
- Arizona made a move to help replace Orlando Hudson when they acquired David Eckstein from Toronto for minor league pitcher Chad Beck. Second major move we saw from the D’Backs in August, and it seems like a fair price to add some stability to the middle of their infield for the remainder of the season.
- Brief update on the Pedro Alvarez drama. The Pirates will not re-negotiate his contract even if that option is somehow allowed.
- Tim began a couple of new series this week, one being the Offseason Outlook series, which will take a look at potential signings and moves for each team this offseason. So far, the Giants, Mariners, Padres, and Orioles have been covered.
- Tim also broke down some of the free agent market, taking a look at free agent starters sorted by strikeout rate, and position players sorted by on-base percentage.
- Curious to see if your team’s pitchers will be Type-A or B free agents? Here’s a look at the Elias rankings for both American League and National League free agent starters.
- Speaking of starting pitchers, Randy Wolf (Type B) has decided that his desire to pitch closer to home wasn’t as important as he originally thought. He’ll be open to all options this offseason. Wolf has pitched well since being acquired by Houston, despite moving to a more hitter-friendly park.
- Can’t say I’m surprised, but if you any Seattle fans were hoping for a big-name free agent this offseason, you’ll have to wait a bit longer.
Let’s dig in with today’s links!
- As you know, the Steinbrenners want Brian Cashman back for ’09. Now it’s up to him.
- Geovany Soto was discussed as a throw-in on the trade that ultimately sent Sammy Sosa to Baltimore back in ’05. One that did get away that year: Ricky Nolasco (in the Juan Pierre deal).
- Michael Gluckstadt interviewed ESPN’s Buster Olney.
- CBSSports.com’s Danny Knobler takes a look at the deep free agent class of starting pitchers. Dave Cameron considers this "the greatest collection of free agent arms to hit free agency at the same time in the history of the game."
- Joel Sherman disagrees with the ’09 Joba Rules.
- Ned Colletti, the game’s best GM? It’s hard to tell if T.J. Simers is being entirely serious here.
- Nick Piecoro gives a scout’s take on Chad Beck, who the D’Backs sent to Toronto for David Eckstein.
- The Red Sox, Braves, and Mets are eyeing Japanese amateur pitcher Junichi Tazawa, and Patrick Newman has more details.
- John Perrotto says Pedro Alvarez is coming across as a punk.
Labor Day linkage…
- I did a Q&A with an Angels blog called The Halo Is Lit.
- Royals catcher Miguel Olivo patched things up with manager Trey Hillman. Olivo has a mutual option for ’09.
- David Eckstein is a borderline Type B player, but the D’Backs won’t get a pick unless they offer him arbitration and he declines and signs elsewhere. As of August 29th, Eckstein did not have Type B status anyway. By the way, the D’Backs designated Emiliano Fruto for assignment to make room for Eckstein.
- Needless to say, the Angels weren’t able to acquire a shortstop.
- Richard Justice thinks many Astros fans owe GM Ed Wade an apology.
- Patrick Newman has more info on Satoru Komiyama’s mysterious breaking pitch, the shake.
It’s official: The Diamondbacks have acquired Blue Jays shortstop David Eckstein in exchange for minor league pitcher Chad Beck, according to MLB.com.
Eckstein has posted a respectable line of .273/.352/.355 this season over 75 games with Toronto.
Rotoworld sees Beck, 23, as a long shot to make it to the majors as starter, but feels he can reach the big-league level as a reliever. Beck has had success at both Class-A levels this season. He posted a 2.04 ERA with South Bend, and after being promoted to High-A Visalia, struggled as a starter but has posted a very nice 1.37 ERA as a reliever for the club.
Ken Rosenthal is reporting that the D-Backs are the favorite to land David Eckstein from the Blue Jays, prior to tonight’s deadline for players to be eligible for the post-season. Previously we heard that both the D-Backs and the Angels were in pursuit of Eckstein.
Eckstein, 33, is almost certain to be traded before the deadline for setting postseason rosters at midnight Sunday. While talks are fluid, the Jays currently are more inclined to trade with the D-backs, sources say.
Rosenthal says the Angels are now considering other options, including Omar Vizquel of the Giants and Juan Castro of the Orioles.
The Angels have been in pursuit of infield depth this week, and were rumored to be finalizing a deal with the Blue Jays for veteran shortstop and 2006 World Series MVP, David Eckstein until a "mystery" team entered the running.
Ken Rosenthal is now reporting that the mystery team is the Arizona Diamondbacks. Both teams are looking to finalize the deal before Sunday’s deadline for setting post-season rosters.
The Angels would mainly use Eckstein as a backup, but the D-backs need a boost in the infield since Orlando Hudson is out for the rest of the season.
It seems the Diamondbacks are the team with the most urgent need for Eckstein’s services, but a return to Anaheim would be a homecoming of sorts. Where would he be a better fit?
Alejandro A. Leal writes for UmpBump.com. Comments? Rumors? E-mail me alexo05 (at) umpbump (dot) com.
FRIDAY: Blue Jays GM J.P. Ricciardi confirmed he’s in discussions with the Angels about his shortstops.
THURSDAY: With Maicer Izturis out for the season and Erick Aybar day-to-day, the Angels are looking to acquire a veteran backup shortstop. Backup at second base wouldn’t be a bad idea either, in case Howie Kendrick’s injury is serious. Mike DiGiovanna names John McDonald, David Eckstein, Marco Scutaro, Juan Castro, and Jamey Carroll as targets. The numbers on these guys:
- McDonald: .222/.269/.292 in 162 PAs. Owed $350K in ’08, $1.9MM in ’09.
- Eckstein: .274/.353/.357 in 293 PAs. Owed $830K in ’08.
- Scutaro: .265/.347/.348 in 475 PAs. Owed $290K in ’08, $1.1MM in ’09.
- Castro: .194/.233/.250 in 118 PAs. Owed minimum, Reds paying contract.
- Carroll: .271/.355/.346 in 314 PAs. Owed $400K in ’08, $2.5MM club option for ’09 with $0.15MM buyout.
Scutaro seems like the best fit; Carroll has not played shortstop this year. It is not known whether any of these players have cleared waivers. Who do you think the Angels should target?
Today’s random links…
- Ken Rosenthal discusses possible changes at various GM positions. Jon Heyman says Pat Gillick could take a high-ranking role with the Blue Jays if not the Mariners.
- Former Indians and Rangers GM John Hart is interested in the Mariners job. The Mariners hope to have their permanent GM hired by the end of October.
- A Japanese pitcher invented a new pitch called the shake.
- Eddie Bajek wonders if Mark Ellis could handle shortstop. It’s good to think out of the box given the free agent market at the position.
- Doug Mientkiewicz would like to spend another season as a Pirates clubhouse leader, but he’d also like more playing time.
- The trio of Blue Jays middle infielders react to the Angels rumor.
- DraftInfo chatted with MLB.com’s Jonathan Mayo.
- Amalie Benjamin believes there’s a good chance the Red Sox re-sign Jason Varitek.