Sunday, November 30, 2008

Pie to Orioles?

According to the Baltimore Sun, the Orioles and Cubs are discussing a trade that would send Garrett Olson to the Cubs for prospect Felix Pie. This would give the Cubs the legitimate pitching prospect they need to include in the Jake Peavy deal, which is still weeks away from happening. The Orioles have always thought very highly of Pie, nearly acquiring him in a Miguel Tejada deal three years ago (That deal was going to send Erik Bedard and Miguel Tejada to the Cubs for Felix Pie and Mark Prior). Olson, 25, went 9-10 with a 6.65 ERA in 26 games last season. The Orioles reportedly tried to send Khalil Greene to the Orioles for Olson, but were rejected. 

Bringing in Olson, and other Cubs prospects would not only clear up payroll, but make them much better in the future. The players the Cubs have talked about with the Padres include Josh Vitters, Jeff Samardzija, Randy Wells, Angel Guzman, Ronny Cedeno, Wellington Castillo, and so on. The deal will likely include Josh Vitters, with two or three other players going to the Padres.

This story was approved by MLB Rumors.

Diamondbacks Need To Offer Dunn Arbitration

The Diamondbacks are reportedly having financial problems, causing them to cut ties with Randy Johnson, Orlando Hudson, Juan Cruz, and Adam Dunn. Dunn, who is a Type-A free agent, isn't drawing the initial interest that industry sources thought he would. Dunn has hit 40 or more homeruns over the last five seasons and is just twenty-nine. The Nationals are showing interest, as well as the Cubs, Rays, Royals, and possibly Angels and Orioles. For the American League teams, a lot depends on where Mark Teixeira signs. Teams that can afford Teixeira can definitely afford Dunn, who is looking at 15-17 million dollars annually. 

One thing holding the Diamondbacks back from making an offer is the fear that he would accept it. The Diamondbacks are already working to trade Eric Byrnes, which would clear up the clog in the outfield and give them some more money to spend. Ken Rosenthal explains that offering Dunn arbitration is probably a safe bet considering his agents would have to decide by next weekend, a week before the Winter Meetings, to accept the offer or not. He goes on to say that if he accepts it, they could always trade him. 

Drafting his been the Diamondbacks specialty as of late, so getting the two draft picks from Dunn would really benefit their future. 

This story was approved by MLB Rumors.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Thanksgiving Weekend Headlines

The offseason has been very quiet so far, but here are a few stories that have made the news over the holiday break:
  • Free agent Junichi Tazawa is closing in on a deal with the Boston Red Sox, according to Tazawa contacted the teams who made him offers and rejected them. 
  • The Red Sox also acquired Wes Littleton from the Rangers for two players to be named later or cash. Great pick up by the Red Sox, who get more depth from this move. Littleton went 7-1 with a 4.01 ERA in Triple-A.
  • According to the New York Daily News, the Mets have legitimate interest in Raul Ibanez. Ibanez is also being pursued by the Cubs and Phillies, among others. 
  • The Tigers are still talking with the Pirates about Jack Wilson, but struggle to find a player to send back that would work financially. They are believed to be interested in Alex Cora.
  • The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette is reporting that the Pirates are really pushing a trade for Ronny Paulino. They are also shopping John Grabow and Jack Wilson. As for Paulino, it would probably take a player to be named later or cash to land him. The Tigers, Cubs, Nationals, or Marlins could pursue him, among others.
  • According to the Kyodo News, Ryan Wing and Justin Germano have signed with Japanese teams. Wing reestablished himself as a reliever with a 2.33 ERA in Triple-A for the Athletics. Germano will join Kameron Loe with the Hawks of Japan. 
  • The Phillies have signed Mike Koplove to a minor league deal, according to
  • According to the Contra Costa Times, the Rockies are interested in free agent Alan Embree.
  • According to, the Astros are slowing down negotiations with Randy Wolf, suggesting they could be focusing on a bigger deal.  

This story was approved by MLB Rumors.

Friday, November 28, 2008

What Will The Blue Jays Do?

Blue Jays interim CEO Paul Beeston told the Toronto Star earlier this week that the Blue Jays will not be players in the free agent market. This comes as a surprise to many who have heard the Jays mention Rafael Furcal, Jason Giambi, and Raul Ibanez as possible targets. However, sponsorships are down and while season tickets are "consistent," the plummeting value of the Canadian dollar might force more season ticket holders to forego their tickets.

The Blue Jays can spend at least 24 million dollars on the market. That is the money that would have gone to A.J. Burnett if he hadn't opted out of his contract. The Blue Jays could pursue a guy like Felipe Lopez to help out at shortstop, but his price might rise now that several teams are going after him. The Blue Jays will need a number two starter behind Roy Halladay, and who would be a better stop-gap than Randy Johnson? Bringing in Johnson would not only sell tickets, but it would allow Dustin McGowan to come back strong in the four or five spot of the rotation. While this is merely speculation, it would limit the amount of trades the Blue Jays have to make, a weakness of GM J.P. Ricciardi's.

As for low-cost players they could trade for, they could work a deal, with prospects of course, to acquire Jason Marquis. Marquis is in the last year of his three year deal and is coming off a strong 2008 going 11-9 with a 4.53 ERA in 29 games. Marquis has averaged 15 wins over the last five seasons, and will only make 9.87 million dollars in 2009.

If Ricciardi does not make improvements, he will be an early candidate to be fired if the Blue Jays are not off to a good start in 2009.

This story was approved by MLB Rumors.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Towers Finds Third Team For Peavy?

According to Tim Brown of Yahoo! Sports, Padres GM Kevin Towers says that he thinks he found a third team willing to send a standout pitcher to the Cubs, who would then package that player with others to the Padres for Jake Peavy. Towers and Cubs GM Jim Hendry will talk following the holiday, and they will try to get a deal done before within the next couple of weeks. If the Cubs can land the standout pitcher, probably losing Felix Pie, Mike Fontenot, or a different top prospect, it would only be a matter of time before the Cubs and Padres get their deal done. It is believed that the Padres and Cubs have agreed on certain players to include, it is just that they are waiting for the stud pitcher to focus the deal around. Josh Vitters, Sean Marshall, and others, are believed to be apart of the deal that would bring Jake Peavy to Chicago.

As for who the third team could be, no one knows. The Rays, Nationals, Twins, Rangers, Red Sox are a couple teams that may be willing to deal a top prospect for a pair of prospects.

This story was approved by MLB Rumors.

Fuentes to Brewers?

According to the New York Daily News, the Mets are balking at free agent closer Brian Fuentes' asking price. Fuentes, who went 1-5 with a 2.73 ERA and 30 SV, is reportedly asking for about 10-12 million dollars. One source informed me that the Brewers appear more willing to dish out that kind of money to an established closer despite spending 10 million dollars on Eric Gagne last season (Gagne went 4-3 with a 5.44 ERA in 50 games). 

The Rangers and Cardinals might make a play for Fuentes, but one source informed me that teams might stay away from him until his price falls. Trevor Hoffman, Kerry Wood, and Brandon Lyon are all available and would be effective, so teams might pursue see these guys until Fuentes' price comes down. 

This story was approved by MLB Rumors.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Quick Hits

Quick Hits:
  • According to the Philadelphia Inquirer, the Phillies have contacted the agents of Derek Lowe and A.J. Burnett. This suggests that the Phillies will likely pursue a second-tier outfielder instead of someone like Manny Ramirez, while trying to make a splash with an innings eater like Lowe.
  • Dodgers manager Joe Torre and free agent pitcher Andy Pettitte have spoken more than once about the possibility of pitching in LA, according to
  • Cubs manager Lou Piniella is quietly pushing Cubs management to consider Raul Ibanez, according to a source.
  • The Marlins are reportedly considering Jason Varitek for a one year deal, according to the Boston Herald. 
  • The Mets have reportedly made contact with Brian Fuentes and Francisco Rodriguez, according to Newsday. According to an industry source, the Mets prefer Francisco Rodriguez. 
This story was approved by MLB Rumors.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

A's Close In On Furcal?

According to Ken Rosenthal, the A's met with free agent Rafael Furcal at the stadium, toured local communities where he could possibly live, and had a two-hour lunch with GM Billy Beane. The A's have yet to make a formal offer, but are believed to be preparing a multi-year offer. The Giants are also interested in the shortstop, as well as a third team, according to his agent. If the Athletics sign Furcal, Rosenthal expects the A's to then trade Bobby Crosby, possibly to the Orioles or Blue Jays.

The Athletics are also interested in Nick Johnson, and have reportedly expressed interest in Michael Barrett, but that has yet to be confirmed.

This story was approved by MLB Rumors.

Dodgers After Wilson?

According to, the Dodgers are expressing interest in Jack Wilson, which suggests that they are pulling out of the Rafael Furcal talks. Wilson is a good fielder but an average shortstop at best. He is coming off an oft-injured year, but hit .296 in 2007 in 135 games. The Dodgers would have to give up a prospect or two to get Wilson and cash. Wilson will make 7.25 million dollars that comes with a 600,000 dollar buyout (8.4 M club option). 

The Tigers are also talking with the Pirates about Wilson, but the Dodgers may be more willing to acquire, especially if they don't have to pay little to no money for him. 

This story was approved by MLB Rumors.

Angels Turning To Sabathia?

According to the Los Angeles Times, the Angels will pursue other needs as they wait for their Mark Teixeira's price to fall. What this means is that the Angels will aggressively pursue CC Sabathia as they wait for Teixeira to back of his ten year demands. The Angels have reportedly met with CC Sabathia and plan to extend him a 140-million dollar contract offer, similar to the one the Yankees have offered. It is hard to argue that Mark Teixiera does not deserve the twenty-million dollars he is asking for. He is a game changer, who is still solid in the field and a leader in the clubhouse. While the ten years is a lot to ask for, seven or eight years is not unreasonable. 

He is twenty-eight years old, has hit .290 over the course of his career, and has his best years ahead of him. Aside from contributing to the team, you could put a new face on the franchise and create a marketing campaign as he approaches historic milestones (assuming he stays healthy). Either way, he will be a draw in Anaheim.

This story was approved by MLB Rumors.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Tazawa To Sign With Red Sox?

According to Nikkan Sports, free agent pitcher Junichi Tazawa is expected to sign with the Red Sox. At least five other teams made guaranteed offers to the top amateur arm in the country, who has recently dominated in the Industrial League. Tazawa would likely start on an accelerated program in Single-A, developing an approach and adjusting to an American style of play.

The Red Sox's offer is believed to be worth 6 million dollars. 

This story was approved by MLB Rumors.

Red Sox Make Varitek Offer

According to, the Red Sox have made Jason Varitek a one year offer worth an undisclosed amount. Varitek is coming off his worst offensive year hitting .220 with 13 HR in 131 games. The Red Sox reportedly are pursuing other options, eyeing Rangers catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia or Gerald Laird. Not many teams are interested in Varitek, 37, but he will likely get picked up. He is a solid veteran with playoff experience and could help a struggling pitching staff like the Tigers.

The Nationals could take a chance on him as well, assuming his price is low.

This story was approved by MLB Rumors.

Perez Hopes To Stay With Nationals

Free agent pitcher Odalis Perez is drawing some interest on the open market, but says he would like to stay with the Nationals. The White Sox and Yankees have reportedly made offers to Perez, but it is believed that he is working on a two or three year deal with the Nationals. Perez went 7-12 with a 4.34 ERA in thirty games for the Nationals, but lacked the run support that would have made his numbers look a lot better.

The Nationals are also pursuing a big time power hitter, and it is believed they will target Adam Dunn, a product of Jim Bowden's from his days with the Reds.

This story was approved by MLB Rumors.

Report: Giants Sign Renteria

According to WFAN in New York, the Giants and Edgar Renteria have agreed to a two year deal worth 18 million dollars. Renteria might bounce back by returning to the NL, but one look at his numbers and you can tell that he is on the decline. He hit .270 and his OBP was done thirty points from his career average. However, Renteria is an All Star shortstop with playoff experience, so he should be a leader in the clubhouse and out on the field.

The Giants will likely pull out of talks with Rafael Furcal, making the Athletics the favorite to sign him.

UPDATE: Rafael Furcal's agent Paul Kinzer has denied the report and said that talks with the Giants and his client are ongoing.

This story was approved by MLB Rumors.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Royals Target Marshall, Fontenot?

According to Phil Rogers, the Royals are targeting Sean Marshall and Mike Fontenot in a trade involving Mark Teahen. I would be very surprised to see the Cubs trade either of their rising stars, who could have a serious impact on the 2009 Cubs. Aside from being a lefty, Teahen really doesn't bring much to the table for the Cubs. They would be better off moving DeRosa to right field and starting Fontenot at second base, saving their money for a big move.

The Cubs would probably be willing to give up Randy Wells or Ronny Cedeno in a deal, or maybe even Jake Fox. The Cubs have interest in Bobby Abreu and Raul Ibanez, but may not be willing to give them the money they want. 

This story was approved by MLB Rumors.

Garland to Mets?

According to the New York Daily News, the Mets are interested in free agent pitcher Jon Garland, believing that Derek Lowe is out of their price range. Garland was 14-8 with a 4.90 ERA in 32 starts this past season, but has averaged 15 wins over the past four seasons. Garland has always been a solid pitcher in the AL, and a switch to the NL would probably improve his numbers. One concern teams should have is that Garland's walks have jumped by twenty and his strikeouts have dropped by nearly twenty. 

Garland is reportedly seeking a four year deal worth 12-14 million dollars annually. The Cardinals and Braves have reported varying degrees of interest, but he isn't expected to sign until the big names come off the market. 

This story was approved by MLB Rumors.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Braves Target Padilla?

According to Jon Heyman, the Braves have expressed interest in Rangers pitchers Kevin Millwood and Vicente Padilla. The Braves are still pursuing Jake Peavy, and have expressed interest in Derek Lowe and A.J. Burnett. However, their shot at landing one of the three remains slim. Talks between the Padres and Braves are moving very slow, and probably won't get serious again till the Winter Meetings. A.J. Burnett and the Blue Jays are making strides in their negotiations, and they could strike a deal within the next week or two. As for Lowe, the Red Sox and Yankees are battling for him now, but don't rule out a surprise team like the Tigers making a big offer to bring him in. 

That leaves the Braves with very few options. They could go after Jon Garland or Randy Wolf, but they will be battling it out with several other desperate teams on the market, driving up the price. Going after someone like Vicente Padilla, who went 14-8 in the hitter friendly Rangers Ballpark with a 4.74 ERA, would be an inexpensive move. Not to mention he only has one more year left on his contract. Another solid option for the Braves could be former Brave Jason Marquis. Marquis has averaged thirteen wins over the past five seasons, and is coming into the last year of his contract. He saw a sports psychiatrist and improved his second half numbers, which he has struggled with in years past. He could be in for a big year.

This story was approved by MLB Rumors.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Renteria Talking With Giants

According to, Edgar Renteria's agents are talking with the Giants. It is obvious the Giants want to sign a shortstop and will sign one soon, so which one will it be? Rafael Furcal will start make the market more clear because he takes one team off the market in the pursuit of Edgar Renteria, the next best available shortstop. It is believed that the A's have an offer on the table for Furcal, and the Giants are talking with him as well.

I expect some of these big names to sign fairly soon, teams often re-submit offers in the week before Thanksgiving, hoping to strike a deal before the break.

This story was approved by MLB Rumors.

Royals Shopping Guillen

According to Jon Heyman, the Royals are still shopping outfielder Jose Guillen. Guillen still has two years with 24 million dollars left on his contract, so he might be hard to move. The Mets and Royals did talk about a move that would send Jose Guillen to the Mets for Luis Castillo, so that remains possible. Castillo has three years and eighteen million dollars left on his contract, so their contracts match up well.

GM Dayton Moore will probably hold off on a trade until the teams needs are more defined, so a deal could happen soon after the Winter Meetings.

This story was approved by MLB Rumors.

Giants After Hudson?

According to, the Giants have serious interest in second baseman Orlando Hudson. The Giants are also pursuing Rafael Furcal, but do they want to add twenty-million dollars in payroll for two oft-injured infielders? Giants GM Brian Sabean is really desperate and may be willing to add up to forty-million dollars by signing Hudson, Furcal, and Sabathia.

We'll see what happens...

This story was approved by MLB Rumors.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Peavy Prefers Cubs?

According to the San Diego Union-Tribune, Padres pitcher Jake Peavy "has created the impression" to friends that he would prefer a trade to the Chicago Cubs. This shouldn't come as a surprise considering the Cubs are coming off a 97-win season and bringing in someone like Peavy would make them even better. However, this could effect how the Padres go about their business because if Peavy feels strongly about this, he could reject a trade to the Braves or Dodgers. 

Padres GM Kevin Towers and the Cubs are still working out some details, but it is believed they are trying to add a third team to complete the trade. The Cubs might be forced to include Jeff Samardzija and Josh Vitters, along with other prospects to get a deal done, and it is probably worth it considering Peavy is under contract through 2012. 

UPDATE: is reporting that the Cubs came into the offseason knowing they could bring in one pitcher, but bringing in both Ryan Dempster and Jake Peavy would cause serious financial problems for the next owner. We'll see what happens.

This story was approved by MLB Rumors.

Athletics Offseason Update

  • Oakland Athletics owner Lewis Wolff told media outlets that the A's will hold onto Matt Holliday all season, whether they are in contention or not. He said he would rather have two draft picks instead of a package of prospects.
  • According to the SF Chronicle, the A's are still pursuing free agent shortstop Rafael Furcal in hopes that he would be their leadoff man and shortstop. The Giants, Dodgers, Twins, Orioles, Blue Jays, and Tigers are all interested.
  • Eric Chavez, currently recovering surgery, is expected to be ready for Opening Day. 

This story was approved by MLB Rumors.

Phillies After Ibanez?

According to the Philadelphia Daily News, the Phillies plan to take a look at free agent outfielder Raul Ibanez. Ibanez is a solid lefty who has been very consistent at the plate for the past several seasons. While he has declined in the field, moving to the NL and a hitter friendly stadium could outweigh the poor fielding. Ibanez is reportedly looking for a three year deal worth 11-12 million dollars annually, and will probably get it despite being thirty-six years old.

The Mets, Cubs, and Nationals are reportedly interested in Ibanez, who isn't expected to sign until some of the bigger names find new homes.

This story was approved by MLB Rumors.This story was approved by MLB Rumors.

Heilman Wants Out If He Can't Start

Mets pitcher Aaron Heilman told the NY Daily News that if the Mets won't let him start, he would like to be traded. Heilman isn't exactly in a position to demand a starting spot, considering he went 3-8 with a 5.21 ERA in 78 games for the Mets. He is thirty years old, and probably needs a change of scenery to really live up to his potential. With that said, the Rockies could be a suitor. They have always had interest in Heilman and could trade Street for Heilman and a prospect. 

The Cubs are looking to trade for Jake Peavy and could trade someone like Ronny Cedeno and a prospect for Heilman. This would give the Cubs a solid pitcher to include in the Jake Peavy deal, a move that would give the Cubs the best rotation in the National League, if not the whole MLB. 

This story was approved by MLB Rumors.

Giants, Angels After Sabathia

According to Tom Haudricourt, the Giants and Angels will enter the bidding for free agent pitcher CC Sabathia. The Yankees and Brewers already have offers on the table, and the Dodgers are still considering making him an offer. Several insiders believe Sabathia has not pounced on the Yankees offer because of his preference for the NL, so if the Giants make a solid offer, he could jump on it. Sources with knowledge of Giants plans have informed me that the Giants will make Sabathia an offer that will pay him more annually, but not as much in total contract. So a five year deal worth 100-115 million dollars makes sense.

This story was approved by MLB Rumors.

Teixeira to Red Sox?

According to the Boston Herald, the Red Sox are very interested in first baseman Mark Teixeira. Teixeira is coming off a great year and is probably looking at 19-22 million dollars annually. The Nationals and Orioles are both interested in Teixeira, but it is hard to see him choosing the lowly Nationals over the Red Sox or Angels. However, Ken Rosenthal suggests that Teixeira could be intrigued by being the face of a young franchise, the same way Alex Rodriguez was with the Rangers. The Red Sox would need to move either Mike Lowell, Kevin Youkilis, or David Ortiz to open up a spot for Teixeira, so when the Red Sox start shopping one of those guys, we know talks are serious.

Bringing in Teixeira would make the Red Sox a force in the AL, and it would probably help them in their pursuit of free agent A.J. Burnett. At this point, the Angels are still the favorites.

This story was approved by MLB Rumors.

Utley To Have Surgery On Hip

According to, Phillies second baseman Chase Utley will have right hip surgery next week and may be out till June. Phillies GM Ruben Amaro Jr. does not plan to pursue a full time second baseman, but it is possible he would go after a platoon player. Losing Utley through June could be a big blow for the Phillies, considering Utley was hitting .321 with 21 HR though June 3rd last season. Utley will need a couple weeks to find his swing and get back in playing shape, so if he is ready to play by June, he probably won't be back with the team till mid or late June. 

The Phillies have two in-house candidates in Eric Bruntlett and Jason McDonald, so they probably won't pursue a guy like Ray Durham or Mark Grudzielanek. 

This story was approved by MLB Rumors.

Ramirez to Diamondbacks?

According to the Boston Globe, Ramon Ramirez could be dealt in another trade to help the Red Sox land a catcher. With that said, the Diamondbacks could be a suitor for Ramirez to help fill the void that was once taken by Juan Cruz, who will likely leave as a free agent. The Diamondbacks have a young, promising catcher in Miguel Montero, and could trade Montero in exchange for Ramirez. 

Montero is tearing it up in Winter Ball, hitting .310 with 4 HR in 12 games in Venezuela. The Rangers are also a possibility, but they sold Kameron Loe to Japan to clear up space on their 40-man roster so they probably are not looking to add someone else. 

This story was approved by MLB Rumors.

Cardinals Sign Miller

The Cardinals and Trever Miller have agreed to a two year deal, ESPN's Keith Law reports. This deal probably takes the Cardinals out of the running for Will Ohman, mostly because Miller was equally as dominant versus lefties as Ohman (lefties hit .209 versus Miller). Miller went 2-0 with a 4.15 ERA in 68 games for the Tampa Bay Rays, and should help the Cardinals in the bullpen where they blew a league leading 31 blown saves. 

This story was approved by MLB Rumors.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Yankees P Mike Mussina Retires

According to Ken Rosenthal, Mike Mussina will retire after his first 20-win season of his career. Mussina, who is 270-153 with a 3.68 ERA in his career, was a first round pick by the Orioles in 1990. Mussina has pitched in the offense dominated AL East his whole career, and dominated it on all accounts. He is a three time All-Star and is 7-8 with a 3.42 ERA 23 playoff games. He was consistent throughout his whole career, winning at least eleven games every time after his rookie season. 

If I had a vote, I'd say he is a Hall of Famer. He might be up against some tough competition if Greg Maddux retires, but he deserves it. 

This story was approved by MLB Rumors.

Red Sox Deal Crisp To Royals

According to, the Red Sox have traded Coco Crisp to the Royals for pitcher Ramon Ramirez. The Red Sox have been trying to deal Crisp for nearly two seasons now, and land a solid reliever in return. Crisp hit .283 in 118 games for the Red Sox, with 7 HR and 41 RBIs while Ramirez went 3-2 with a 2.64 ERA in 71 games. At this point, the Royals do not have room for him, so they might need to trade David DeJesus or Mark Teahen, both of whom are drawing interest on the market.

This story was approved by MLB Rumors.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Mariners Pick Wakamatsu

According to the Seattle Times, the Mariners will name Athletics bench coach Don Wakamatsu as their new manager in a press conference tomorrow. Wakamatsu is very familiar with the AL West having coached with both the Athletics and Rangers. He is also a former ballplayer, having been a catcher who reached as high as Triple-A in the early nineties. 

Wakamatsu will probably start to name his coaching staff after the Thanksgiving break. 

This story was approved by MLB Rumors.

Quick Hits: Tigers, Martinez, Weathers, Tazawa

Quick Hits:
  • According to Ann Arbor News, the Tigers are exploring all possibilities at shortstop, and have contacted the Padres about Khalil Greene and the Red Sox about Julio Lugo. Nate Robertson appears to be the guy most likely to go in either trade.
  • The Mets are interested in bringing back Pedro Martinez, but at a reduced price. Martinez is looking for an opportunity, and several teams will probably give the veteran a one or two year deal. The Nationals would likely consider giving Martinez a shot, as would the Tigers, who are looking for help at the bottom end of the rotation. Another possibility is the Padres, who are looking for a stopgap while some of their younger prospects improve.
  • Free agent reliever Dave Weathers is drawing interest from the Giants, according to the SF Chronicle. 
  • The Indians and Tigers have sent scouts to meet with free agent Junichi Tazawa, who is drawing interest from at least 15 teams. 

This story was approved by MLB Rumors.

Yankees Have Offer Ready For Burnett

According to the New York Post, the Yankees are preparing an offer for A.J. Burnett for five years worth nearly 80 million dollars. The Dodgers already have 140 million dollars on the table for Sabathia, and sources believe they will pursue Derek Lowe as well. Believe it or not - the Yankees have the money to sign all three! The Blue Jays, Braves, Red Sox, and Cardinals are also after Burnett, who, according to sources, will wait till CC Sabathia signs before making a move. 

This past season, Burnett was 18-10 with a 4.07 ERA in 35 games. 

This story was approved by MLB Rumors.

Cubs Sign Dempster

The Cubs and Ryan Dempster have agreed to a four year deal worth 52 million dollars, according to Ken Rosenthal. Dempster went 17-6 with a 2.96 ERA for the Cubs this season, and was reportedly drawing interest from a dozen teams. Dempster was a fairly successful closer for the Cubs through 2007, saving 87 games. He will return to the rotation probably in three spot, behind Ted Lilly. 

Cubs GM Jim Hendry did not rule out anything this offseason, hinting at possibility going after Jake Peavy as well. 

This story was approved by MLB Rumors.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Source: Giants Have "Inside Track" With Furcal

The Giants have the inside track in negotiations with free agent shortstop Rafael Furcal, industry sources with knowledge of the situation have informed me. The Giants are reportedly preparing an offer for Furcal, which they plan to get to him this week. The Athletics are also pursuing Furcal, but it is uncertain whether or not they are willing to give him the price he wants. Furcal made 13 million dollars playing in just 36 games for the Dodgers and is reportedly looking for four years at 10 million dollars annually. 

It is hard to imagine that negotiations would go quickly, considering Furcal is asking for ten million dollars after playing in just 36 games for the Dodgers. When healthy, Furcal is the type of player that can change a game, having hit .352 with 5 HR before he went down in May. Realistically, he could probably get a three year deal worth 25-30 million dollars, but because there is no one close to his ability at shortstop, he will probably get the deal he wants. It's risky, but it could pay off huge for the Giants if they sign him. 

The Cardinals, Tigers, Orioles, and Blue Jays are also pursuing Furcal, but negotiations are not serious as of right now.

This story was approved by MLB Rumors.

Byrd to Pirates?

According to the Boston Globe, the Pirates may pursue free agent veteran Paul Byrd. Byrd was 11-12 with a 4.60 ERA with the Indians and Red Sox last season, and will be thirty-eight in a couple of weeks. While Byrd would help their rotation, the Pirates should spend their money on a power hitter to build their lineup around. They have LaRoche and McLouth, but bringing in someone like Milton Bradley or Juan Rivera would make them that much better.

Paul Maholm is finally reaching that point in his career where he will be able to beat his opponents more frequently. He went 9-9 with a 3.71 ERA in 31 games for the Pirates, but promising prospects Ian Snell and Zach Duke went a combined 14-26 with a 5.12 ERA. If the Pirates went out and pursued a pitcher like Jon Garland or Brad Penny, they would have a solid ace to shape a rotation around:

P Jon Garland
P Paul Maholm
P Ian Snell
P Tom Gorzelanny
P Zach Duke

Not to mention Russ Ohlendorf and Jeff Karstens also vying for spots in the rotation. Not only does the addition of Garland give the Pirates pitching depth, but it gives them an ace who would take pressure off everyone in the rotation to be the guy to win every fifth day. As for the offense, the Pirates don't appear willing to spend the money so they might just have to wait until their prospects are ready, or surrender a young pitcher for Marlins outfielder Jeremy Hermida, who they pursued at the trade deadline. 

This story was approved by MLB Rumors.

Rockies After Beimel, Cruz?

The Rockies are preparing offers for both Joe Beimel and Juan Cruz, according to a source with knowledge of the Rockies plans. Both Beimel and Cruz were effective pitchers this season in the NL West and bringing in dominant relievers would really help their pitching. The Denver Post reported that the Rockies were after Joe Beimel, but had nothing to report on details of an offer. The Rockies, at this point, will hold onto Garrett Atkins and move Ian Stewart to left field, pushing Ryan Spilborghs, Carlos Gonzalez, and Willy Tavarez into a platoon in center field. The Rockies would be smart to move Tavarez, who would likely bring back a solid pitching prospect in return. 

The Rockies are expected to make their offers official sometime this week, and the deal is expected to be two to three years worth about 5-7 million dollars annually. 

This story was approved by MLB Rumors.

Astros Looking To Dump Payroll?

According to the Boston Globe, the Astros are looking to clear some payroll and have made Jose Valverde and Miguel Tejada available. While teams probably have more interest in Lance Berkman or Roy Oswalt, both Tejada and Valverde are solid players who might not cost as much as people think. Tejada will be coming into a contract year and has already made it clear that he is preparing for a big year. 

Tejada and Valverde's total salary for 2009 will come out close to 22 million dollars (assuming Valverde's 2009 salary is around 7-8 million), just four million more than Ordonez's 2009 salary. If the Astros traded Tejada and Valverde to the Tigers for Ordonez and a top prospect or two, they would dump nearly four million dollars, maybe even more if the Tigers take Valverde to arbitration. Another possibility for the Astros would be to acquire a package around Nate Robertson, Dusty Ryan, and other top prospects. While the Tigers are not looking to give up several top prospects for the second straight year, they could consider a small package around a major leaguer to help make them better. 

At this point, Tejada looks more like a trade deadline acquisition than an offseason trade acquisition. 

This story was approved by MLB Rumors.

Phillies After Baldelli?

According to the Philadelphia Inquirer, the Phillies would be interested in Rocco Baldelli in the event that they lose Pat Burrell. Baldelli is a very risky signing considering he suffers from extreme fatigue, but he would make for a superb reserve outfielder. The Phillies would be smart to go and add a power bat, because the pitching is particularly strong. If they bring back Jamie Moyer and add a pitcher like Braden Looper or Randy Wolf, they will have the depth in the bullpen to make a serious run for the playoffs again, assuming the offense can hold up.

With that said, the Phillies are a logical fit for Manny Ramirez. He would create more opportunities for Ryan Howard and Chase Utley, as well as loosen up the relatively young clubhouse. While bringing in Ramirez for a long term deal is risky, the Phillies have the money to offer him more cash while giving the club more options to buy him out. The Dodgers continue to talk with Ramirez, but it is likely he will head elsewhere. 

This story was approved by MLB Rumors.

Giants Sign Affeldt

According to Ken Rosenthal, the Giants have signed lefty reliever Jeremy Affeldt to a two year deal worth 8 million dollars. Affeldt was 1-1 last season with a 3.33 ERA, a year after going 4-3 with a 3.51 ERA for the Rockies. The Giants hope Affeldt will "bridge the gap" between their starting pitchers and their closer, a spot in the bullpen that really hurt the Giants last season.

The Cardinals were reportedly pursuing Affeldt, as well as the Tigers and Mets. We can now expect Will Ohman to receive the exact same deal as Affeldt, or better, considering Ohman was much more dominant versus lefties.

This story was approved by MLB Rumors.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Tigers to Acquire Lugo?

According to the Boston Globe, the Tigers are talking with the Red Sox about sending either Nate Robertson or Dontrelle Willis to the Red Sox for Julio Lugo. Lugo struggled in 82 games for the Red Sox this season hitting .268 with 1 HR and 12 SB. In eight games for the Tigers this season, Willis was 0-2 with a 9.38 ERA, and has two years and 22 million dollars left while Lugo has two years and 18 million dollars left. As for Robertson, he went 7-11 with a 6.35 ERA in 32 games and has two years and 17 million dollars left. 

The obvious choice would be Robertson, who is closer in contract value and would probably benefit from a switch to the Red Sox. No deal is imminent at this point. 

This story was approved by MLB Rumors.

Giants Interested In Furcal

According to Rafael Furcal's agent Paul Kinzer, the Giants are showing serious interest in shortstop Rafael Furcal. Furcal believes the Giants can be "competitive quick," which really doesn't make much sense considering the Giants were last in the league in homeruns, RBIs, and second in the league for base on balls. Furcal is seeking a four year deal worth about 8-9 million dollars annually, and he will likely go to the highest bidder. The Cardinals, Orioles, and Tigers are showing varying degrees of interest in Furcal, among others, but the Giants may be willing to give Furcal the long term deal he wants. 

The Giants need to build up their bullpen and structure a lineup around a power hitter, so it might be a better move to pursue Prince Fielder through trade or someone like Casey Blake on the open market. 

This story was approved by MLB Rumors.

Cardinals Targeting Ohman

According to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Cardinals GM John Mozeliak is pursuing left handed reliever Will Ohman. Ohman has shown flashes of greatness over the course of his career, posting a 2.91 ERA in 2005 in 69 games. In 2008, Ohman was 4-1 this year with a 3.68 ERA in 83 games, and was the subject of many trade discussions at the deadline. The Cardinals are intrigued by Ohman because of his dominance versus lefties, as well as his familiarity with the NL Central. 

Ohman is just 31, and will probably receive a two or three year deal worth 3-4 million dollars. 

This story was approved by MLB Rumors.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Yankees In On Peavy?

According to, the Yankees have had several discussions with the Padres concerning Jake Peavy. With the Yankees extending offers to every top free agent, their top prospects are expendable. If they include Phil Hughes, Dellin Betances, Brett Gardner, and maybe Juan Miranda, they probably could land him. Brian Cashman and Kevin Towers are close friends and could work out a deal. The one road block in this deal is that Peavy prefers to be on the West Coast, and would probably need a reason to go to New York beside heading to a good team.

The Cubs remain interested in Jake Peavy, but are still working on the players to include in the deal. The Padres are looking for a solid young pitcher in the trade and the Cubs are looking to include a third team to make the deal happen.

This story was approved by MLB Rumors.

Johnson to Cubs?

According to Ken Rosenthal, the Cubs have interest in free agent pitcher Randy Johnson. Johnson is 3-0 with a 1.00 ERA in four career starts at Wrigley, but the Cubs also like him because he is an experienced veteran who could take over in the five spot. While bringing in Johnson would be great for the Cubs and the city, it probably would take starts away from Jason Marquis, who is coming into a contract year after a strong second half. 

The Dodgers are also reportedly interested in Randy Johnson as well, and that might appeal to Johnson geographically. We'll see what happens, but a one year deal worth about five to seven million dollars. 

This story was approved by MLB Rumors.

Rockies After Beimel?

With Huston Street and Manny Corpas patrolling the eight and ninth innings, the Rockies would like to bring in Joe Beimel to close up the seventh, according to The Rockies are impressed by Beimel's ability to force ground balls. Over the past two seasons, Beimel has given up just one homerun while playing for the Dodgers. Colorado may appeal to Beimel because he would be playing in the same division as he has for the past three seasons. Beimel has reportedly had discussions with the Tigers and Cardinals, but no contract offers have been exchanged. 

The Rockies are expected to pursue a late inning guy, and could also target Dan Wheeler, Ron Villone, or Trevor Miller. As for starters, they are expected to target Brad Penny, who has also had success in Colorado. 

This story was approved by MLB Rumors.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Braves Out Of Peavy Talks

According to Ken Rosenthal, the Braves have bowed out of the Jake Peavy talks. "We've moved on," Braves GM Frank Wren said. The Braves presented a very good offer to the Padres based around Yunel Escobar, but the Padres are looking for more. Sources say the Cubs remain interested, and will talk throughout the weekend.

The Braves plan to pursue Ryan Dempster or Derek Lowe. 

This story was approved by MLB Rumors.

Rangers After Wood

According to Ken Rosenthal, people within the industry believe the Rangers will pursue closer Kerry Wood. The Rangers would receive a big boost from Wood, and probably have the inside track at this point, mostly because Wood is from there. However, the Mets, Angels, Tigers, and Diamondbacks have expressed interest in the closer, who is reportedly seeking a multiyear deal. Wood went 5-4 with a 3.26 ERA and 34 SV in 65 games this season, and is just 31. He is probably looking for seven to eight million dollars annually and could get more if the demand is high.

Wood will probably wait on Fuentes and Rodriguez to sign, mostly because it will drive up his price even more. 

This story was approved by MLB Rumors.

Yankees, Mets Interested in Sabathia

According to the NY Daily News, the Yankees and Mets are interested in free agent pitcher CC Sabathia. The Yankees have reportedly made an offer for six years worth somewhere between 145 and 155 million dollars. At this point, the Mets' offer is unknown, but it is believed to be close to Johan Santana's offer, which is a lot for the Mets to take on in the midst of an economic crisis. Obviously, his agent will try to squeeze as much money as he can out of interested teams before he has Sabathia sign, but it will be interesting to see how long this plays out.

The Brewers offer is reportedly closer to 110 million dollars, so it looks like they will probably bow out of the race. 

This story was approved by MLB Rumors.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

News and Notes: Montero to Yankees?

Diamondbacks catcher Miguel Montero is drawing interest on the open market, mostly because scouts believe he may be on the verge of a breakout season. Montero has some experience playing third base, but is most comfortable behind the plate. Montero combines his small frame with a quick swing that finds gaps and is known for having pretty solid instincts behind the plate. 16 of his 47 hits this season were doubles which comes out to a .255 AVG with 5 HR in 70 games. The Yankees, who are reportedly looking for a catcher in the event that Jorge Posada is not ready to start the season, could send a prospect to the Diamondbacks for Montero. Montero has drawn interest from the Red Sox, Giants, and Reds, among others, and it is possible the Diamondbacks might finally deal him.

In other news...

K-Rod likes Mets: Angels owner Arte Moreno informed media outlets that is time to turn the page on Rodriguez, which means they will look elsewhere. Rodriguez likes the Mets, and if there is mutual interest a deal will probably get done. The Cardinals and Indians are also interested.

Cubs won't sign Wood: Cubs closer Kerry Wood will not be back with the Cubs next season. Wood was reportedly holding out for a multiyear deal and the Cubs were only willing to go year to year. The Tigers, Red Sox, Diamondbacks, and Angels could pursue him.

Phillies interested in Burrell: The Phillies are showing some renewed interest in Pat Burrell, but only for a short-term deal. This means that they will have to pay him more annually, or he is gone. A two year deal worth 25-28 million dollars would probably get it done. The Royals have expressed interest in giving him a long-term deal, so he may be on his way out. 

Mets interested in Garland, Wolf: The Mets are showing some interest in pitchers Jon Garland and Randy Wolf hoping that they will help shape the bottom end of their rotation. Both Garland and Wolf are being pursued by smaller payroll teams who may be willing to pay them more than the Mets or Dodgers.

This story was approved by MLB Rumors.

Furcal Back To Braves?

According to Ken Rosenthal citing major league sources, the Braves would pursue Rafael Furcal in the event that they acquire Jake Peavy and lose Yunel Escobar. Furcal only played in 36 games for the Dodgers this past season, hitting .357 with 5 HR. Furcal spent six seasons with the Braves before signing with the Dodgers, and is currently being pursued by at least ten other teams, including the Athletics, Blue Jays, and Cardinals.

Despite spending most of the season on the disabled list, Furcal can probably get a multiyear deal somewhere. 

This story was approved by MLB Rumors.

Yankees Acquire Swisher

The Yankees have traded Wilson Betemit, Jeff Marquez, and Jhonny Nunez to the White Sox in exchange for Nick Swisher and Kanekoa Teixeira. Swisher will likely take over at first base for the Yankees, who need to fill the void now that Jason Giambi is a free agent.

Jeff Marquez shows lots of promise as a pitcher, and this could turn out to be a steal for the White Sox.

This story was approved by MLB Rumors.

Cubs Acquire Gregg

The Cubs have trade pitching prospect Jose Ceda to the Marlins for closer Kevin Gregg. This is a very interesting move from the Cubs, who have regarded Ceda as a top pitching prospect for several seasons. As for Gregg, he had a pretty solid season for the Marlins despite leading the league in blown saves. Ceda will likely see time in the MLB next season for the Marlins while Gregg will be used in late inning relief. The Cubs will still attempt to sign Kerry Wood, and it is possible they will turn Gregg and cash into the Jake Peavy deal with the Padres. The Padres are looking for a solid pitcher and could use Gregg in late inning relief as well. While he isn't a deal breaker, he would certainly help get a deal done.

This story was approved by MLB Rumors.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Brewers, Mets Interested In Street

According to rival executives, the Brewers and Mets are showing the most interest in Rockies closer Huston Street. The Rockies are currently shopping both Huston Street and Garrett Atkins, but nothing appears imminent at this point. The Reds have expressed interest in Garrett Atkins, but have no intention of parting with Jay Bruce, Joey Votto, Johnny Cueto, or Edinson Volquez, suggesting a deal, if any, will be based around Homer Bailey. The Angels, Twins, and Indians are also pursuing Atkins, and a deal could be struck by the Winter Meetings. 

As for Street, the Brewers are showing serious interest, but do not have too much to offer at this point. They do not want to surrender someone like Manny Parra, mostly because he is very reliable and one of the only young, established pitchers they have. The Mets, who appear more than willing to deal Aaron Heilman, match up better. They have a deeper farm system and an established pitcher with 8th inning experience. The Indians and Tigers are also showing some interest in Street, but reportedly have not had contact with GM Dan O'Dowd. 

This story was approved by MLB Rumors.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Angels Interested In Sabathia?

Could the Angels possibly add forty-five million dollars in payroll by signing just two players? The Angels are reportedly looking to sign both Mark Teixeira and CC Sabathia, but view Teixeira as their number one priority. The Angels payroll at the start of the 2008 season was at 119 million dollars, and while losing Rodriguez and Anderson will bring that down, several players will see their salaries increase, which brings it right back to nearly 115 million dollars. The Angels have a team compiled of All-Stars, and bringing in CC Sabathia might not be worth their while, despite the strong finish he had last season. 

Bringing in an established veteran like Derek Lowe would be cheaper and possibly better for the Angels. Lowe would be playing for a team with a good offense, solid defense, and a great bullpen, not to mention pitching in mostly pitcher friendly parks against poor offensive teams. The Los Angeles Times believes that if the Angels lose both Teixeira and Sabathia, they will pursue free agent A.J. Burnett. 

This story was approved by MLB Rumors.