We heard know that Julio Lugo worked out at the Mets complex in the Dominican, but Alex Speier of WEEI.com says we shouldn't assume he'll sign with the Mets. Earlier in the season, when the Mets were closer to contention and in need of infield help, the Red Sox offered to trade Lugo for little or nothing, but the Mets declined.
Some spare links on a busy Saturday morning …
- Adam Rubin of The NY Daily News says an AL official indicated that the recently DFA'd Julio Lugo has been working out at the Mets complex in the Dominican Republic, and expects the team to sign the shortstop once he clears waivers and is released.
- Jeff Passan of Yahoo! Sports says Matt Holliday won't say if he wants to be traded or remain an Athletic, but he does have a preference.
- Red Sox GM Theo Epstein says he doesn't think his team has one glaring weakness, but at same time thinks there are opportunities to get better, according to Adam Kilgore of The Boston Globe.
- Considering some of the contracts we've seen players receive in the last few months, the union might concede "financially harnessing the signing system for both draftees and international players" in the next CBA so their players get what they want, according to Kevin Goldstein of Baseball Prospectus.
- The Padres are calling up top prospect Mat Latos to start Sunday, reports Corey Brock of MLB.com. They are looking to find more playing time for their young players.
- ESPN's Jorge Arangure Jr. wrote about the increasingly competitive market for representing Cuban amateurs.
Nick Piecoro of The Arizona Republic says a team source indicated that the Diamondbacks could revisit the idea of an Eric Byrnes–Julio Lugo swap now that Lugo's been designated for assignment. Byrnes is currently on the disabled list with a broken hand. The two teams had discussions about such a swap in the offseason, but the talks went nowhere.
Meanwhile, lefthander Doug Davis says he senses "they might come after me for an extension" according to Piecoro. Davis said they're not ready to starting talking terms, but GM Josh Byrnes confirms the talks. Davis' agent Steve Canter decined to talk about specifics according to MLB.com's Steve Gilbert, but he did say Davis is "player of interest to the organization."
Davis' name has popped up in trade rumors the past few weeks.
The Cubs, Cardinals and Mets have shown some interest in Red Sox shortstop Julio Lugo, according to Steve Buckley of the Boston Herald. The Red Sox will have to pay all of the $13.5MM remaining on Lugo's deal if they release him, so they're likely to pick up the vast majority of the contract in any trade.
Some links for the afternoon…
- Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports says the A's want two highly regarded prospects in any deal for Matt Holliday.
- Rosenthal believes the Braves have too much pitching not to make a serious run at the playoffs.
- Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports hears that Mark DeRosa will test his wrist to see how much pain it gives him before deciding if he needs surgery. The Cards hope to activate him within a few days.
- Multiple teams have inquired about Julio Lugo, according to Amalie Benjamin of the Boston Globe. The Red Sox designated him for assignment earlier today.
- DRaysBay hosts a roundtable discussion with bloggers for each AL East team.
- I'll be talking trades on 107.5 The Game in about ten minutes. Click here to listen in.
The Red Sox designated Julio Lugo for assignment according to Rob Bradford of WEEI.com. The move is not surprising, as Lugo did not travel to Toronto with the Red Sox, who need roster space for players returning from injury.
Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports hears that the Red Sox consider Lugo a "sunk cost" and would expect very little in return for him in any trade. Lugo will likely be released if the Red Sox can't trade him.
The 33-year-old has a .352 OBP and fields well enough, so he figures to draw some interest.
Amid rumors that the Red Sox are doing everything they can to move him, Julio Lugo missed a mandatory team workout and didn't travel to Toronto with his teammates for their upcoming series against the Blue Jays. As Adam Kilgore of the Boston Globe reports, manager Terry Francona said Lugo missed the workout because of a mix-up.
5:19pm: Citing a major league source, Rosenthal says that the Red Sox "have informed teams that they are willing to assume virtually all of shortstop Julio Lugo's remaining salary in a trade." He also says that Boston realizes Lugo is a sunk cost at this point, and would accept a fringe prospect in return for him.
1:37pm: Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports hears that the Red Sox are trying "desperately" to move Julio Lugo now that Jed Lowrie, Mike Lowell and Clay Buchholz are about to return to the active roster. The Red Sox won't have room for Lugo anymore, so they're looking to trade him. They've been trying to deal him since last year to no avail, so Rosenthal hears the Red Sox could simply release Lugo if they don't find a match.
The Mets, Reds, Cardinals, Twins, Cubs, Brewers and Giants could all potentially look for middle infield help. Here are some trade candidates, listed from largest 2009 salary to smallest:
- Miguel Tejada – His $13MM salary would be too much for some teams if the Astros made him available, but his 32 extra base hits and low strikeout numbers sure look good.
- Julio Lugo – He makes $9MM this year and the same amount next year, so the Red Sox would presumably take on salary in any deal. The 33-year-old is hitting .370 since the beginning of June.
- Cristian Guzman – At $8MM this year and next he's not cheap, but he's consistently hit for a high average in recent years.
- Jack Wilson – He makes $7.25MM this year and his team will have to buy him out for $600k to avoid paying him even more in 2010. However, he's a good defender who puts the ball in play and has doubles power.
- Freddy Sanchez – He'll make over $6MM this year and his 2010 option for $8MM will likely vest. It's a lot of money, but the former batting titlist is a better hitter than most middle infield trade candidates.
- Dan Uggla - The most powerful option available may not be available, after all. The Marlins are in it, so they may keep Uggla and his $3.5MM salary.
- Orlando Cabrera – He's posted a .610 OPS this year and he'll make $4MM- not an enticing combination, but the A's are falling far out of the race.
- Felipe Lopez – At just $3.5MM, his .771 OPS looks good, in spite of the big strikeout total.
- Jamey Carroll - As a free agent-to-be on the Indians, he's a candidate to be moved. The 35-year-old has a .735 OPS to go along with his $2.5MM salary.
- Cesar Izturis – He'll earn $2.4MM this year and $2.6MM in 2010. He's on the DL, recovering from an apendectomy, and his slow recovery is making it less likely that he'll be traded.
- Yuniesky Betancourt – His $2MM salary is deceptive, as he's still guaranteed about $10MM before his deal expires. That figure, plus his .609 OPS mean he'll likely be staying put, but he could be had.
- John McDonald – He's barely played at all for the Jays, but McDonald, who makes $1.9MM, could work for a team looking for a defensive specialist.
- Yunel Escobar – He makes just $425k this year and Buster Olney says the Braves would consider dealing him for a bat.
- Blake DeWitt – The Dodgers have Orlando Hudson playing second base, so DeWitt could be expendable. He's making just $405k, but his Triple A numbers are uninspired.
- Adam Kennedy – The A's are just paying Kennedy the major league minimum and he's produced an OPS approaching .800 for them.
It's a busy day for international signings, but lots is going on at the major league level, so let's take a look:
- The Dodgers are looking for pitching, but how about Jason Schmidt? He pitched well at Triple A for the second time yesterday, according to MLB.com's Ken Gurnick.
- Newsday's Ken Davidoff creates a history of recent deadline deals.
- Edgar Renteria told Henry Schulman of the San Francisco Chronicle that he turned down two multi-year offers to sign with the Giants.
- Think it's too early to talk about Bryce Harper? Well Joe Dunand Jr., Alex Rodriguez's nephew, is just 13 years old and, as Ian Begley of the New York Daily News reports, he's already quite a slugger.
- The relative of another superstar signed with the Angels. Mike Piazza's second cousin will go pro, according to the Florida Tech Sports site.
- Geoff Baker of the Seattle Times crunches some numbers and suggests Franklin Gutierrez could be more valuable than Adam Jones this year.
- Kevin Towers says the addition of Bob Melvin to the Padres' staff wasn't meant to threaten Bud Black, according to Nick Canepa and Bill Center of the San Diego Union-Tribune.
- Julio Lugo admits that his deal with the Red Sox hasn't worked out, according to Steve Buckley of the Boston Herald.
- Jim Salisbury of the Philadelphia Inquirer says the Phillies have more minor league pitching depth than ever.