Garret Anderson passed his physical; he’s a Brave on a $2.5MM deal. Do you like the move? Will he be better than Ken Griffey Jr. this year?
A few links on a slow Monday afternoon in the baseball world…
- According to MLB.com’s Anthony Castrovince, teams will have a chance to claim Andy Marte off waivers over the next few days.
- Baseball America’s Matt Eddy has the latest minor league transactions, including the Pirates’ signing of Ruben Gotay.
- Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle writes about the A’s move toward high school players.
- Dale Robertson of the Houston Chronicle talked to Ed Wade and Gerry Hunsicker about this year’s free agent market.
- Patrick Newman looks at a couple of amateur Japanese pitchers who are drawing interest from MLB teams.
- Sam Miller of the Orange County Register runs down "The 13 Smartest Baseball Moves" of this offseason, with pictures!
- The Dodgers are hoping to find a gem among their non-roster camp invitees. MLB.com’s Ken Gurnick has the list, which includes Jeff Weaver, Shawn Estes and Eric Milton.
- Trevor Hoffman took out a full-page ad in the San Diego Union-Tribune, thanking fans with a truly heartfelt note.
- ESPN.com’s Rob Neyer likes the Garret Anderson signing.
- Oh, and for you folks that like to Twitter… add MLB Trade Rumors!
4:01pm: O’Brien’s official story is up. Anderson will get about $2.5MM on a one-year deal. The official announcement will come tomorrow.
Anderson will platoon with Diaz, and be reunited with former teammate Casey Kotchman, who went to Atlanta in the Mark Teixeira trade.
3:43pm: Further down in the comments, O’Brien adds:
"It’s one year, $2.5 mill."
3:11pm: In the comments section of his blog, Dave O’Brien confirms that the Braves have signed Anderson. Says O’Brien:
"It’s a done deal, Anderson’s going to be here as early as tomorrow. He’s en route today, I’m told. Whether that means he’ll be introduced tomorrow, not certain. But likely.
Important thing is: He’s signed. And this isn’t a friend telling us."
1:18pm: Mark Bowman of MLB.com is reporting on his blog that the Braves may have interest in Garret Anderson, having missed out on Ken Griffey Jr.
Previously, we’ve heard that the Braves will look within their system for answers to their outfield situation. Bowman previously shared the same opinion, but is changing his tune. He writes:
"Now, I’m of the opinion that the Braves have definite interest in Garrett Anderson and may be working to get a deal done with him in the very near future. "
Anderson, 37 in June, posted a .758 OPS, though that may be a bit misleading. Following the All-Star Break, he put up a very nice .855 OPS through his last 60 games. He was also far more effective against right-handed pitching. While his average was nearly identical against both righties and southpaws, he slugged .450 against right-handed opponents, compared to .371 against lefties. He also clubbed 14 of his 15 home runs against righties.
Sounds to me like he could still form an effective platoon with Matt Diaz.
The latest from SI.com’s Jon Heyman…
- Red Sox GM Theo Epstein says he’s had "casual conversations" about a contract extension with Jason Bay. We learned a few days ago that Bay is open to an extension but doesn’t consider it the "end-all, be-all."
- Jonathan Papelbon says he’s a "gambling man," and he prefers to go year-to-year rather than sign long-term. Boston’s offer was far off his expectations, and he wants to set the market for closers. Papelbon is under team control through 2011, and will earn $6.25MM in his first arb year.
- Heyman says there’s "some indication Dodgers owner Frank McCourt is about to become involved in the Manny Ramirez negotiations." Maybe that’ll get things moving.
- Heyman says the Braves will look at Garret Anderson, Jim Edmonds, and Luis Gonzalez, though ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick has indicated the Braves aren’t interested in the veteran free agents.
- The Orioles’ acquisition of Felix Pie cost Edmonds a chance to sign with the team.
On this date 46 years ago, Willie Mays signed a new contract for $100K, becoming the highest paid player in baseball. Mays hit .304-49-141 with a 165 OPS+ at the age of 31. He was also the runner-up for the NL MVP, his sixth top-5 finish. He would go on to finish in the top-5 three more times. Forty-six years later, Mays may have helped influence Ken Griffey Jr.’s decision to sign with his original franchise. With most players already in their respective camps, several big names are still looking for an empty locker. Let’s take a look at what is being written in the Blogosphere…
- MLBDepthCharts.com is a new site that projects the rosters and starting lineups of every team.
- MLB Notebook compares Ken Griffey Jr. and Garret Anderson and suggests that the Braves should be happy that Griffey is back in Seattle with Anderson still available.
- Pirate Revolution says the Pirates accomplished little with Nate McLouth’s extension noting that he likely won’t be worth the $9.4MM option in 2012, which was the one free agency season the Bucs bought out.
- Jorge Says No! takes a look at what has been a strange market for left-handed relievers.
- Hot Stove New York puts together a list of the top 20 free agent signings this off-season.
- UmpBump breaks down the offseason of the Mets.
- Goat Riders of the Apocalypse projects the opening day roster for the Cubs.
Some links for your Thursday night viewing pleasure…
- Diamond Leung has some Dodgers notes, including a particularly interesting one regarding Scott Boras. Earlier, Peter Gammons reported that the Dodgers scouting department wouldn’t be touching any Boras clients in the June draft. Leung refutes that, citing Dodgers Assistant General Manager of Scouting Logan White’s statement that the Dodgers will consider Boras clients because "talent comes first."
- The Nationals have been watching Chad Cordero’s auditions, according to Dave Sheinin. Cordero threw 40 pitches "at 70-75 percent effort" the other day. Cordero’s agent, Larry Reynolds, says that he’s on pace to be ready for Opening Day.
- Tracy Ringolsby of the Rocky Mountain News has a good article highlighting Okalahome State University lefty Andy Oliver and his victory in a lawsuit against the NCAA. Oliver challenged the rule that athletes cannot have attorneys participate in direct negotiations with Major League teams prior to being drafted. Oliver was suspended prior to an NCAA Regional in 2008.
- Ringolsby also notes, in the same article, that the Braves have interest in Garret Anderson.
- Tim Hudson got into a heated exchange with a reporter in the clubhouse, regarding the recent Ken Griffey Jr. drama, and had to be separated by a team official, according to the AP.
- Speaking of Griffey, the Mariners will hold a press conference for him this Saturday, Geoff Baker reports.
- Anthony Castrovince reports that Edward Salcedo, a top Dominican prospect who had been tied to the Indians last year, had an investigation launched surrounding his age. There were doubts that he was really 16, which obviously quieted talks.
ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick talked to Braves GM Frank Wren, who says the Braves are more likely to try their young outfielders than acquire a veteran outfielder after failing to sign Ken Griffey Jr.
Crasnick adds that the Braves "aren’t very excited" about Garret Anderson and have little to no interest in Jim Edmonds and Luis Gonzalez. He says the salaries of Xavier Nady or Nick Swisher might be prohibitive. Pure speculation on my part – the Braves could definitely afford Luke Scott if he’s available for trade.
5:01pm: According to MLB.com’s Mark Bowman, Griffey met with Braves GM Frank Wren earlier today. It sounds like Junior will be making his decision on Tuesday.
Wren is scheduled to meet with Griffey’s agent, Brian Goldberg, on Tuesday and in the hours that follow, the veteran outfielder will likely announce whether he’ll be playing for the Braves or Mariners this year, writes Bowman.
1:10pm: Geoff Baker of the Seattle Times has more on the topic. He’s learned that Griffey will decide today or early tomorrow at the latest.
10:00am: Over the weekend we learned that Ken Griffey Jr. is campaigning to play for the Braves, and they may be willing to offer him $1.5MM.
Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports says Griffey may decide today. One of Rosenthal’s sources still believes it could go either way (Braves or Mariners). Both teams are considering Griffey and Garret Anderson.
9:03pm: Another interesting item from Bowman:
About a week ago, [Nick] Swisher seemed to be at the top of the wish list. But that was before Griffey called the Braves and campaigned for the opportunity to play for Atlanta.
As more and more information pours out, it really sounds like Junior wants to, and is going to, end up with the Braves.
5:38pm: According to MLB.com’s Mark Bowman, "It’s believed the Braves are willing to offer Griffey a one-year deal worth up to $1.5 million."
The Mariners can probably afford to make a counter offer that beats that number but, as was reported yesterday, M’s CEO Howard Lincoln is less than enthused about the idea of getting into a bidding war with the Braves.
3:12pm: Jayson Stark’s latest article discusses Griffey and Atlanta. Has he wanted to play there for years? The answer to that question is yes, according to Chipper Jones. And Chipper would love to have Griffey in Atlanta as well:
"He’s a guy who can still hit," said Chipper Jones, who would figure to find Griffey keeping him company in the middle of the lineup. "I played with him a few years ago in the [World Baseball] Classic, and he was our best hitter. He’s got a knack for being able to turn it up and prove people wrong."
Stark writes that Griffey has moved ahead of both Garret Anderson and Nick Swisher on the Braves’ list, and points out that Junior can still hit righties very well, making him an ideal platoon candidate with Matt Diaz.
"It appears likely that Griffey and [Garret] Anderson will wind up in Atlanta and Seattle. The big question at this point is which player will end up with which team."
While Griffey lives in Orlando and has a daughter playing AAU basketball in Georgia, Anderson is a resident of Southern California with more recent success in the AL West. Still, Heyman notes Griffey is the prize here because of the draw he brings to the stadium, a draw that would even allow the M’s to stretch their budget for the added revenue Griffey brings in.
8:21pm: Geoff Baker of the Seattle Times had a conversation with Mariners CEO Howard Lincoln on Saturday and Griffey was obviously a topic of discussion. Lincoln seemed less than enthused about the possibility of getting into a bidding war with the Braves.
"Everybody always wants more money, that’s reality,” he said. "It doesn’t matter whether it’s the baseball business or any other business. But you’ve got to go with what you’ve got.”
6:14pm: David O’Brien took to the comments section of his blog for a little more insight on the Griffey situation:
Atlanta is his first choice. He really wants to play for the Braves. Has a daughter on an Atlanta AAU team and a son who’s playing high school football this year in Orlando, and Griffey doesn’t want to be on the other side of the country at Seattle. Plus, he’s always wanted to play for Bobby Cox.
If I had to bet, I’d say this gets done early next week.
5:28pm: So much for the whole "agent leaking" theory. Braves GM Frank Wren just confirmed to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution’s David O’Brien that his club does indeed have interest in Griffey:
"We have interest in several available outfielders, including Griffey," said Wren.
5:22pm: The Tacoma News Tribune’s Ryan Divish suggests that the Braves’ reported interest in Griffey "could be another case of an agent leaking some info to the media to make it seem like his client is coveted to enhance his positions in negotiations."
It’s just speculation, but it’s definitely a possibility. With Griffey off playing in a Pro-Am tournament at Pebble Beach, his agent might as well stir the pot.
2:33pm: Jerry Crasnick at ESPN.com reports that the Atlanta Braves are looking to acquire Ken Griffey, Jr.. According to Crasnick’s sources, "Griffey is Atlanta’s prime target."
Crasnick says there is mutual interest between the two parties. Griffey lives in Orlando, where the Braves’ spring training facilities are located. Also, Griffey may benefit from the ability to split time with Matt Diaz in left field.
If the Braves miss on Griffey, their next likely target would be Garrett Anderson.