According to MLB.com’s Mark Sheldon, the Reds are interested in adding outfielder Luis Gonzalez as a bench bat. GM Walt Jocketty admitted to liking Gonzalez, and the interest is mutual. The Pirates were said to have an eye on Gonzalez before their Eric Hinske signing became likely.
According to Dejan Kovacevic of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette:
The Pirates are pursuing free-agent outfielder Luis Gonzalez, with their most recent discussion having occurred late last week.
He adds that two other clubs are also pursuing Gonzalez for a fourth outfielder type role. Kovacevic says the Bucs are eyeing other free agent outfielders as well. One player not on their radar is Kris Benson.
According to MLB.com’s Joe Frisaro, Luis Gonzalez wants to play in 2009, but says he could retire if he doesn’t get the right offer.
Gonzalez is working out to prepare for the season, but told Frisaro: "Maybe I will be one of those guys like Jeff Kent and retire."
Last year he signed with the Marlins in February for $2MM and went on to post an OPS of .749 in 382 PAs.
The column is from Sunday, but we missed a lot of good stuff from Nick Cafardo’s latest.
- Finally an answer! Cafardo learned that teams can sign as many as nine Type A or B free agents this year. So to all those who emailed: yes, the Yankees can technically sign Manny Ramirez. I tried to decipher the quota section of the Basic Agreement in October, but didn’t come up with nine.
- At some point this winter, the Red Sox made an offer to Takashi Saito.
- Cafardo says Boston does not have interest in Michael Young.
- The Brewers and A’s "are big on" Mark Mulder. The Red Sox will also watch him throw this month.
- Luis Gonzalez is likely to sign somewhere as a fourth outfielder.
According to MLB.com’s Joe Frisaro, the Marlins declined to offer arbitration to Type B free agents Arthur Rhodes, Luis Gonzalez, and Paul Lo Duca. Rhodes might’ve been worth the risk, but the Marlins will play it safe.
Ken Rosenthal has a new column up this evening.
- The A’s and Giants remain the top suitors for Rafael Furcal, and the team that’s willing to give him four guaranteed years may win the bidding. The Dodgers, Braves, and Cubs are also in the mix.
- Rosenthal talked to a source with knowledge of the Blue Jays’ thinking, and that person can’t imagine them giving A.J. Burnett five years. Rosenthal says to forget the idea of a Roy Halladay trade, unless they attempt and fail to sign him to an extension. And if Burnett is signed, a Halladay extension would be next on the docket.
- Luis Gonzalez wants to play next year.
ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick looks at nine veteran players and estimates their chances of retiring. He assesses the situations of Jim Edmonds, Garret Anderson, Ken Griffey Jr., Cliff Floyd, Jeff Kent, Nomar Garciaparra, Luis Gonzalez, Frank Thomas, and Moises Alou.
Crasnick feels Edmonds, Anderson, Griffey, and Floyd are likely to play, while the rest are not. Of the long shots, Thomas seems most intent on playing in ’09.
SI.com’s Jon Heyman has a new rumor-packed article up.
- Heyman suggests the battle for the three elite free agents – Mark Teixeira, Manny Ramirez, and C.C. Sabathia – will mostly be fought by the New York and Los Angeles clubs. Heyman talked to one GM who believes the country’s economic situation will not affect the big names but could be bad for the lower-tier guys.
- Heyman’s potential Manny suitors: the Mets, Yankees, Blue Jays, Orioles, and Phillies. The Phillies’ interest will depend on whether Pat Burrell stays. I’m not sure why the Orioles would be in the mix.
- The Rockies are "very likely" to trade Matt Holliday. The Rox would be willing to sign Holliday for five years and $100MM, but that won’t cut it. The team’s focus in a trade will be a young starter. Heyman echoes a Ken Rosenthal thought from a few months ago: surprising small-market teams may enter the Holliday bidding.
- Heyman has the Mets, Rangers, and Indians as teams looking at Brian Fuentes. The Mets are the favorite to sign him in the three-year, $36MM range.
- Jake Peavy has already turned down one American League team. Heyman believes hes particularly opposed to the Rangers and has mixed feelings about the Yankees. Peavy is reeling from the Padres’ decision to shop him.
- Heyman has unkind words for Luis Gonzalez, who may not be welcomed back to the D’Backs based on his "uneasy relationship" with Stephen Drew and Chris Young.
- Heyman does not think MLB has any evidence against Nationals GM Jim Bowden in the scout skimming scandal.
- Heyman gives Ruben Amaro a slight edge over Mike Arbuckle to replace Pat Gillick as Phillies GM.
- George W. Bush as baseball’s next commissioner? "Many have long believed" that Bush would like to be Bud Selig’s successor.
According to Dan Bickley of the Arizona Republic, Luis Gonzalez wants to finish his career with the Diamondbacks. Money is not an issue for him. If the D’Backs can add Gonzo for $1MM or so, why not?
Gonzalez, 41, hit .261/.336/.413 in 387 plate appearances this year. He allowed 11 more bases than the average left fielder in his 503.2 innings there, according to the plus/minus system.
Links for Wednesday…
- Chat today, 2pm CST.
- Mets GM Omar Minaya regrets the Luis Castillo contract. In another post, Minaya admits that in an ideal world he wouldn’t have to give multiyear deals to relievers, but that’s the way it is.
- The Tigers decided not to allow the Mariners to interview assistant GM Al Avila.
- Outfielder Luis Gonzalez would be open to re-signing with the Marlins, but it doesn’t seem likely. Gonzo hopes to play in 2009, as he’d like to reach certain statistical milestones.
- Viva El Birdos examines the Cardinals’ trade chips.
- Charley Walters wouldn’t be surprised if the Twins have trade talks with the Giants regarding Delmon Young. The Giants seem more likely to pursue a slugging infielder, however.