Posted on: December 6, 2011 3:01 am
Edited on: December 6, 2011 3:23 am
DALLAS -- More baseball talk from the first full day at the winter meetings:
-- The Braves' duo of Jair Jurrjens and Martin Prado continue to be as sought after as any players on the slow-developing trade market. Sources say that 8-10 teams have shown real interest in Jurrjens, while "half the teams in baseball" have talked to the Braves about Prado, most with the idea of playing him at second base. The Braves continue to say that they don't need to move either player, and will only do so if the return helps make them more competitive in 2012 (as opposed to dealing for long-term prospects). The Braves have assured teams that Jurrjens is fully healthy, and that his velocity returned to the mid 90s when he resumed throwing in instructional league.
-- Royals executive J.J. Picollo became the latest to interview with the Astros for their vacant general manager position. The Astros' interest in Picollo and in the Rockies' Bill Geivett would seem to indicate that they want to hire someone with a strong background in scouting and player development. Picollo is Kansas City's assistant GM for scouting and player development, and he previously ran the Braves' minor-league system.
-- The Angels spent Monday night talking to Bob Garber, who represents free-agent pitcher C.J. Wilson. The Angels' interest in Wilson is serious, and has been since last month's general managers meetings in Milwaukee.
-- The Dodgers were considered to have a good day Monday, signing infielder Jerry Hairston and starter Aaron Harang to two-year deals. Rival executives suggest that Dodgers general manager Ned Colletti needs to do whatever he can to try to give his chance a team to play well early in 2012, in hopes of convincing whoever the new owner is that he should keep his job.
-- The A's continue to explore trading closer Andrew Bailey, and are expected to talk to the Red Sox on Tuesday. The Red Sox have not yet been aggressive in pursuit of Bailey.
-- The Tigers are not believed to have shown any significant interest in any of the big names on the free-agent market, and seem content to make smaller improvements to a team that won 95 games in 2011. If the Tigers make a big-money signing this winter, it seems a lot more likely to be Cuban outfielder Yoenis Cespedes than Mark Buehrle, Aramis Ramirez, Coco Crisp or other big names that have been speculated about. It's still not clear how soon Cespedes will be declared a free agent, because of delays in paperwork needed to establish residency in the Dominican Republic. One possibility is that Cespedes could try to establish residency in Mexico, instead.
-- While the White Sox are open to listening to trade proposals for any of John Danks, Gavin Floyd, Carlos Quentin and Gordon Beckham, some club officials insist that they are not "rebuilding," even though general manager Ken Williams used that exact word last month. The Sox insist that they while they are trying to get younger, they would only trade their valuable chips if they get players who are ready to contribute at the big-league level immediately.
-- The Pirates continue to show no interest in trading center fielder Andrew McCutchen, even though early talks on a possible long-term contract showed that the two sides were "not even in the same ballpark," according to sources. McCutchen isn't eligible for free agency for another four years, so the Pirates aren't yet under time pressure to sign him or trade him.
-- The Giants have talked to the representatives for Tim Lincecum, but there doesn't appear to be much progress towards getting Lincecum signed to a long-term contract. Lincecum has two years to go before free agency.
-- A day after some Brewers people expressed a slight hint of optimism at their chances of retaining free-agent first baseman Prince Fielder, others insisted the chances remain very bleak. The Brewers do have real interest in Aramis Ramirez, and have been in contact with every free-agent shortstop.
-- The Rays are open to trading Jeff Niemann or Wade Davis in their quest to improve their offense, but have told teams that they would only listen to overwhelming offers for James Shields. The Rays would also like to trade Reid Brignac, would still like to upgrade their catching, and are once again willing to talk about dealing B.J. Upton.
Tags: A's, Aaron Harang, Andrew Bailey, Andrew McCutchen, Aramis Ramirez, Astros, B.J. Upton, Braves, Coco Crisp, Dodgers, J.J. Picollo, Jair Jurrjens, James Shields, Jeff Niemann, Jerry Hairston, Mark Buehrle, Martin Prado, Ned Colletti, Pirates, Rays, Red Sox, Reid Brignac, Royals, Tigers, Wade Davis, winter meetings, Yoenis Cespedes
Posted on: November 30, 2011 5:46 pm
Barring a late intervention from owner Mike Ilitch, the Tigers aren't going after Jose Reyes. It's unlikely that they would make a strong bid for Aramis Ramirez, sources say.
And while they need a starting pitcher, it's more likely that they fill that need through a trade than through free agency.
So where do they look next, now that they've re-signed infielder Ramon Santiago to a two-year deal for a little more than $4 million?
Two names to watch: Coco Crisp, and Yoennis Cespedes.
Both come with risk, but either one would fit the Tigers' desire to get faster and more athletic.
Cespedes, the Cuban soon-to-be free agent, interests the Tigers enough that general manager Dave Dombrowski is making an rare scouting trip to the Dominican Republic. But Cespedes is drawing huge interest from many teams (and sending many GMs to the Dominican), and it's too early to know how high his price will rise and what chance the Tigers have of signing him.
The Tigers have also been in contact with Crisp's agent, and their interest is believed to be strong. Crisp has expressed a preference to stay on the West Coast, but it's believed that the chance to win could help lure him to Detroit.
Crisp is thought to prefer the Giants, but they're so financially limited that he may not be an option. Foxsports.com reported that the A's have interest in re-signing him.
If the Tigers sign Crisp, he would likely replace Delmon Young in left field, and would take Austin Jackson's spot as the leadoff hitter (with Jackson moving to the bottom of the order). The Tigers like Young, but Crisp is a better fit for their needs at this point.
Young would have some trade value. The Tigers offered him to the Braves for Martin Prado last month, but those talks died.
Posted on: July 22, 2011 6:58 pm
Edited on: July 22, 2011 7:08 pm
With center fielder Carlos Gomez on the disabled list, the Brewers are taking a look at Coco Crisp as a possible replacement.
The Brewers were already looking for more bullpen help and for a right-handed bat off the bench, and they already had a scout watching the A's. But with Gomez out after fracturing his left collarbone on Wednesday night, Crisp is another possibility.
Gomez was only playing part-time for Milwaukee, with Nyjer Morgan starting recently against right-handed pitchers. Crisp is a switch hitter, but he has also been better this year against right-handers (.283) than against lefties (.230), so he isn't a perfect fit.
But with few options available on the trade market, it appears that Crisp is a possibility.
The A's have also drawn attention from the Pirates, who also have a scout tracking Oakland. Outfielder Josh Willingham seems of most interest to the Pirates.
The Reds and Indians are other teams that have considered a move for Crisp.
For more trade deadline news, click here.
Posted on: July 19, 2011 3:39 pm
Edited on: July 19, 2011 4:47 pm
The Reds, four games behind in the crowded National League Central, continue to push to upgrade their starting pitching.
But that's not all.
Even as they've strongly pursued Colorado's Ubaldo Jimenez and have looked into Houston's Wandy Rodriguez, the Reds have expanded their search for a new leadoff hitter, as well.
The two names that currently interest them, according to sources: Seattle's Chone Figgins and Oakland's Coco Crisp.
Figgins has been a serious underachiever in his two years with the Mariners, and Seattle still owes him more than $20 million on a contract that is guaranteed through 2013. But the Mariners would likely eat much of that money in order to part with Figgins, and some people believe that he'll be a better player once he returns to the leadoff role he filled with the Angels.
Crisp has just a .312 on-base percentage in his second year with the A's, but he also has 27 stolen bases. Crisp is on the final year of his contract, and will be a free-agent at the end of 2011.
As for Jimenez, sources categorized the Reds' interest as "strong." Cincinnati could put together an attractive package, most likely built around Yonder Alonso, the first baseman whose path to the big leagues is blocked by Joey Votto's presence. The Rockies would like to find a first baseman to eventually replace Todd Helton.
It's not yet as clear how interested the Reds are in Rodriguez, whose contract is somewhat prohibitive. The Astros have told teams that they'll listen on any of their players, but an official of another team that talked to Houston said there was a fear that general manager Ed Wade is trying to make a "job-saving deal." Most people in baseball believe that Wade won't survive, once new owner Jim Crane takes over from Drayton McLane.
For more trade deadline news, click here.
Posted on: May 3, 2011 4:36 pm
Edited on: May 3, 2011 6:49 pm
Baseball suspended Ozzie Guillen for tweeting during a game.
Shin-Soo Choo was arrested for driving under the influence, and he isn't expected to miss a game.
We shouldn't be surprised. Choo is the sixth baseball player to face DUI charges this year alone.
Not one of the six has missed a regular-season game because of it.
I'm not sure what the proper penalty should be. Choo, like the others, does face legal charges.
But like the others, he won't face any baseball charges. There's no precedent for punishing players for off-field matters, and for now the Basic Agreement between the players and owners doesn't provide for it.
With six DUI incidents this year, you can be sure the owners will raise the issue in this summer's negotiations on a new Basic Agreement.
Meanwhile, baseball gets another black eye.
Fortunately, none of the players cited for DUI so far this year seems to have hurt anyone. But fans remember that Angels pitcher Nick Adenhart was killed by a drunk driver two years ago, and one fan suggested to me on Twitter that any player getting a DUI should be forced to donate a month's salary to the Adenhart Memorial Fund.
So far, that's not happening.
All we can do is present the ugly list, with the ugly details, and hope that the next player who goes out drinking remembers that he has enough money to afford a cab home -- and that the potential cost to his reputation is a lot more than the price of that cab ride:
-- Adam Kennedy, Mariners, Jan. 26 in Newport Beach, Calif. Kennedy signed with the Mariners on Jan. 10. Not even three weeks later, he was calling Seattle reporters to apologize to fans, after he was caught driving over the limit. "Regettable is an understatement," Kennedy told the Seattle Times.
-- Austin Kearns, Indians, Feb. 12 in Nicholasville, Ky. Police said Kearns was driving down an emergency lane without headlights, and was weaving. No wonder he didn't tell the Indians about it until the arrest became public several weeks later.
-- Miguel Cabrera, Tigers, Feb. 16 in St. Lucie County, Fla. This was the ugliest of all of them, with Cabrera allegedly firing threats and drinking Scotch in front of police officers. Baseball worked out a treatment plan for Cabrera, but said he would face penalties if he didn't stick to the plan.
-- Coco Crisp, A's, March 2 in Scottsdale, Ariz. Crisp was stopped at 2:15 a.m., driving a 2009 Rolls Royce Phantom with an expired license.
-- Derek Lowe, Braves, April 28 in Atlanta. Another bad one. According to police, Lowe was drag-racing another car, while drunk, on Peachtree Road in Buckhead.
-- Shin-soo Choo, Indians, May 2 in Sheffield Lake, Ohio. The details are still to emerge on this one, but Choo was picked up early Monday morning. Police said he blew a 0.20 on the Breathalyzer test, more than twice the legal limit. Police also said he asked an officer for directions to his (Choo's) home, then was weaving as he drove away and was pulled over.
Posted on: November 19, 2008 11:18 am
Edited on: November 19, 2008 1:54 pm
That doesn't mean Masterson will be in the rotation. It just means that he could be in it.
It doesn't mean that the Red Sox won't pursue A.J. Burnett or Derek Lowe. It just means that they don't need to sign either one of them, unless the price is to their liking.
Already, the Red Sox have Josh Beckett, Jon Lester, Daisuke Matsuzaka and Tim Wakefield set as four-fifths of their rotation. Already, they have Ramirez and Manny Delcarmen as right-handed setup options in front of closer Jonathan Papelbon.
The 23-year-old Masterson was 4-3 with a 3.67 ERA in nine starts for Boston in 2008. He had a 2.36 ERA in 27 regular-season relief appearances, and a 1.86 ERA in nine postseason appearances out of the bullpen.
He definitely figures in the Red Sox plans for 2009.
How will they use him?
They don't have to answer that yet.
As for Crisp, who just turned 29, he'll now become the Royals' center fielder and leadoff hitter. Crisp wasn't bad this past year with the Red Sox -- and he went 9-for-20 in the ALCS against the Rays -- but with the emergence of Jacoby Ellsbury he had become an extra outfielder.
By getting him, and picking up his $5.75 million contract for 2009, the Royals fill a need. They can move David DeJesus to left field, assuming they don't trade him later this winter (still a possibility).
Posted on: October 20, 2008 5:04 pm
ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- Joe Maddon says the Phillies are like an American League team, because they have a deep lineup.
Maddon's Tampa Bay players may not agree.
"I'll tell you what," ALCS MVP Matt Garza said today. "Facing that Phillies lineup, compared to facing the Red Sox lineup, the Tigers lineup or the Yankees lineup, you get a little bit of a break with the Phillies lineup, especially pitching in Philly. There's that nine-hole guy (pitcher) I get to throw against. I'm pretty pumped. I get to be that nine-hole guy, too. I'm excited about that."
While Maddon won't announce his World Series rotation until Tuesday, Garza pitched Game 7 against the Red Sox on Sunday night, so he won't be available until Game 3, on Saturday in Philadelphia. Maddon could go with Scott Kazmir and James Shields in the first two games, on normal rest.
"(Rollins) and Victorino are their sparkplugs, man," Garza said. "Just like Boston had Coco (Crisp) and (Jacoby) Ellsbury, and Chicago had (Orlando) Cabrera and (Alexei) Ramirez. Those guys are what make it go. (Chase) Utley and (Ryan) Howard, you've got to watch out, because those are the ones who drop the big bombs. But if you keep Rollins and Victorino off the bases, you can control the running game, shut down their offense a little bit and let them rely on their big swings."
Posted on: October 14, 2008 5:26 pm
Edited on: October 14, 2008 5:34 pm
BOSTON -- Interesting to see how Manny Ramirez reacted when people suggested that Boston's two ALCS comebacks (in 2004 and 2007) should give hope to the Dodgers, who are now down three games to one to the Phillies.
"That's in Boston," Ramirez told reporters at Dodger Stadium. "That was a great team."
Now the Sox down two games to one to the Rays, with the chance that they could fall behind 3-1 tonight.
Of course they could come back from that. But is this still a great team?
But Manny is gone, of course. Mike Lowell is missing due to injury, and the Red Sox said today that Lowell will have surgery on his hip next week. Josh Beckett seems to be hurting (although the Red Sox continue to deny it), and Ortiz may be hurting, too.
Are they great? Maybe we'll find out.
Drew has led off 59 times in his career, including 17 times for the Red Sox in 2007 and eight times this year.
"Last year we hit him leadoff to get him going," Francona said. "This year, it was more out of necessity."
The reason today, Francona said, is that Rays starter Andy Sonnanstine holds runners on so well that it's almost pointless to have a base-stealing threat in the leadoff spot. There were only four steals attempted while Sonnanstine was on the mound this year, and just one was successful.