Posted on: December 22, 2011 5:15 pm
Edited on: January 24, 2012 9:03 pm

Nats great drafts helped them land Gio

The Nationals' tremendous drafting over the past few years helped them land Gio Gonzalez from the A's.

They became the favorite for Gonzalez immediately after entering the picture through their teremndous prospct list, which was compiled vis super recent drafts.

Once Gonzalez passes the physical, the A's will get pitchers Brad Peaccock, A.J. Cole and Tommy Milone and catcher Derek Norris for Gonzalez. Peacock has a power fastball, a good curveball and improving changeup and is on the cusp of being a full-fledged major leaguer. Cole has the best arm of the bunch. Milone has great stats but was described by one competing GM as "ordinary.''

Norris is a big-time RBI guy who has struggled some the last couple years but is seen for having huge offensive potential.

 These are four of the Nationals' top 10 prospects. But of course, none of them is Stephen Strasburg or Bryce Harper.

 Meanwhile, they improved their rotation to the point where they may be a cotender. Good for them.

Category: MLB
Posted on: December 22, 2011 3:52 pm
Edited on: January 24, 2012 9:03 pm

Nats, Red Sox may be Gio finalists

The Gio Gonzalez trade talks are said to be progressing, and word is that the Nationals or Red Sox could land the star lefthander within the next couple days.

The derby for Oakland's prized pitcher is "most likely'' down to those two teams, said someone familiar with the negotiations. The Marlins and Blue Jays are among many other teams that have pursued Gonzalez, a hot young lefthander who's only 26 and seen as being on the rise.

Executives of other teams see Washington as having the best chance to land Gonzalez simply because they have such a fine array of prospects. While Stephen Strasburg and Bryce Harper are obviously off limits, the Nationals have pitchers Brad Peacock and A.J. Cole, catcher Derek Norris ad outfielders Eury Perez and Destin Hood, among many other prized prospects.

Some believe it's possible shortstop Ian Desmond or even second baseman Danny Espinosa could be "in play.'' though it's hard to imagine the Nats giving up Espinosa at this point. Washington made a four-for-one offer for Zack Greinke last year that is believed to have included Espinosa, Norris and Jordan Zimmerman but that deal fell through when Greinke declined to go to Washington.

The Red Sox have some decent prospects but many of their best ones are at the lower levels. Third baseman Will Midddlebrooks would likely be of interest for Oakland, as would pitcher Anthoy Ranaudo. The Red Sox also have young outfielders Ryan Kalish and Josh Reddick.

Category: MLB
Posted on: December 21, 2011 5:42 pm

Nationals pushing for Gio Gonzalez

The Nationals are pushing hard for Gio Gonzalez, the most popular trade target among starting pitchers. The Red Sox, Nationals, Tigers, Blue Jays, Marlins and Yankees also are believed to be in the mix to varying degrees, while several more ave checked in.

The Nationals are believed willing to include multiple top prospects, basically almost anybody short of Stephen Strasburg or Bryce Harper. That could mean Brad Peacock, Derek Norris, Destin Hood, Eury Perez and A.J. Cole. Peacock and Norris are probably their third- and fourth-best prospects. Hood and Perez are outfielders, Oakland's biggest need.

It's possible Washington could be enticed to include young shortstop Ian Desmond, although that is uncertain.

Washington has been determined to land a left-hander. It missed out on Mark Buehrle earlier.
Posted on: December 21, 2011 5:21 pm

Oswalt market depends on Gio, Jurrjens

Veteran free agent pitcher Roy Oswalt is waiting for a couple of the hot young starting pitchers on the market to be dealt before finding his spot. Nothing appears imminent with Oswalt, and it may not be until Gio Gonzalez and Jair Jurrjens are dealt.

Oswalt is believed to have drawn some level of interest from the Red Sox, Nationals, Marlins, Blue Jays, Yankees, Rangers and Twins.

However, reasonably the Rangers may be less interested after winning the bid for Yu Darvish, the Yankees seem to have prioritized others and the Twins may not be able to afford him.

Oswalt remains one of the most desirable free-agent pitchers remaining, especially since he may consider a one-year deal.
Posted on: December 21, 2011 10:04 am
Edited on: January 24, 2012 9:08 pm

Mariners, Nats, O's among teams eyeing Prince

Indications are the Mariners, Nationals and Orioles are among about a half-dozen teams still eyeing star free agent Prince Fielder.

The Fielder derby is heating up, as some teams have made offers or at least given an indication where they'd be willing to go monetarily for the slugger. The Cubs, Rangers, Blue Jays, Marlins and incumbent Brewers also have been mentioned as possibilities for Prince.

The Mariners are one of the teams that's suggested their price range for Fielder, although it's unclear how serious Fielder might be about willing to play on the West Coast. Some close to the Florida product and longtime Brewer have suggested he'd prefer to stay in the East or Central time zones. Seattle is also said to have financial limitations and are believed unwilling to break their bank for any one player.

The Nationals have been keeping a low profile on their pursuit and it's unknown where they stand but signs suggest they do have Fielder on their radar. He isn't a perfect fit as they already have Mike Morse and Adam LaRoche for first base, though they could move Morse to the outfield and LaRoche is a small expense compared to Fielder.

The Orioles remain interested, according to a person with knowledge of their thinking. They may be geographically desirable to Fielder but it isn't known how their status as a rebuilding team might impact the player.

The Marlis remain a curiosity. Team president David Samson has suggested they lack interest, but owner Jeffrey Loria has give public quotes amounting to something along the lines of "we'll see.'' The Rangers are also believed to have interest even after winning the bid for star Japanese pitcher Yu Darvish. The Cubs are said to interested but the status of their pursuit, and that of the Jays, remains unclear.

The Brewers have been painted as a long shot but they haven't given up all hope they could retain Fielder.

For more MLB news and rumors from Jon Heyman, follow @JonHeymanCBS.

Posted on: December 20, 2011 1:11 pm
Edited on: December 20, 2011 2:20 pm

Don't count out Rangers on Fielder

So now that the Rangers have bid $51.7 million on Yu Darvish, they have to be out of the Prince Fielder sweepstakes, right?

Not necessarily.

The Rangers have always seemed on the periphery of the Fielder derby, but they still appear to be eyeing the top remaining free agent even after winning the Darvish auction and presumably targeting at least $100 million, and likely more, for the star 25-year-old right-handed pitcher from the Nippon Ham Fighters.

Texas is a threat to win Fielder, too, provided that the Rangers are willing to make the financial commitment it would take, as it is a desirable landing spot with an already stacked lineup and fine hitting ballpark.

Texas had baseball’s third most productive offense last year, but would threaten to possess baseball’s best lineup with Fielder in it. The Fielder pursuit has been pretty quiet, but other teams believed to have some interest in Fielder include the Mariners, Nationals, Cubs, Orioles, Marlins and incumbent Brewers.

The Rangers have always liked Fielder, and it’s not known whether their interest has actually increased in response to the chief rival Angels landing superstar Albert Pujols and frontline pitcher C.J. Wilson, the ex-Ranger. The Angels’ two huge purchases, which occurred the same day at the Winter Meetings, surprised the Rangers and most of baseball and gave Los Angeles of Anaheim a resounding early offseason victory at a cost of $332.5 million.

Word is, Darvish is seeking a deal for about $75 million over five years, which would be on top of the $51.7 million posting fee Texas would be required to pay the Fighters should they sign him, as expected. If they were to pay Fielder, say $206 million, they’d top the Angels in expense for their two players.

The Rangers were not interested in Pujols but do like Fielder because he is only 27 years old and would fit into their star-studded lineup.  Texas is also trying to lock up several of their own stars, including Derek Holland, Ian Kinsler and Josh Hamilton.

Signing Fielder would also give the Rangers some middle-of-the-order insurance against the possibility of losing Hamilton, who is eligible for free agency after next year. While the Rangers want to keep Hamilton, they want to do it with a shorter contract than he will likely want.

For more MLB news and rumors from Jon Heyman, follow @JonHeymanCBS.

The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com