3:08pm: Roch Kubatko of MASN Online gives thoughts on the Orioles and Mark Teixeira and Burnett. Kubatko believes there's no chance the O's offer five years to Burnett, and even four would be a stretch. He'd have to be willing to take a discount to come to Baltimore. As for Tex, will he be willing to play for a team that may not be competitive in the first few years of his deal?
8:32am: Dan Connolly of the Baltimore Sun talked to A.J. Burnett's agent Darek Braunecker, who said his client has narrowed his list from twelve to about six teams. The Orioles remain in the mix after Andy MacPhail had a "nice conversation" with Braunecker on Friday.
It's speculated that the Yankees, Red Sox, Blue Jays, Phillies, and Braves are the other five clubs. In his comments, Braunecker didn't seem dead set on a five-year deal.
In other Orioles news, Nick Markakis' agent had "active talks" with MacPhail about a contract extension. Markakis is entering his three arbitration years.
Finally, Steve Melewski of MASN Online says the O's have shown interest in four Japanese free agents: Koji Uehara, Kenshin Kawakami, Junichi Tazawa, and catcher Ryoji Aikawa. Tazawa seems close to signing with the Red Sox. Uehara might be a more affordable alternative to Burnett.
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Full Story | Comments (17) | Categories: A.J. Burnett | Atlanta Braves | Baltimore Orioles | Boston Red Sox | Junichi Tazawa | Kenshin Kawakami | Koji Uehara | Mark Teixeira | New York Yankees | Nick Markakis | Philadelphia Phillies | Toronto Blue Jays
2:56pm: I exchanged emails with Yancen Pujols, sports editor at the El Caribe newspaper. He reminded me that the author of their article, Rafael Fellito Ortiz, quoted Furcal himself regarding offers from the A's and Mets. So the unanswered question here is why Furcal said these things.
9:23am: Let's sort out the facts involving free agent shortstop Rafael Furcal.
- Reports about Furcal from yesterday from El Caribe and Impacto Deportivo have been dismissed. There has been no four-year, $48MM offer from the A's, no four-year, $52MM offer from the Braves, and no interest from the Mets. MLB.com's Mark Bowman says the Braves wouldn't be in a position to make an offer unless they dealt Yunel Escobar or Kelly Johnson first.
- Three teams have made offers for Furcal, at least one of them for four years according to Dylan Hernandez. The A's and Giants seem to be in the lead, while the Dodgers are slipping out of the picture. Hernandez says they're "reluctant to even match the three-year, $39 million contract he completed this year."
- Susan Slusser expects negotiations for Furcal to drag into December.
- The third team making an offer seems to be the "surprise team." That team is not the Mets, and probably not the Dodgers, Reds, or Braves. Brown wondered if it could be the Cubs, Orioles, or Cardinals.
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Full Story | Comments (17) | Categories: Kelly Johnson | Los Angeles Dodgers | New York Mets | Oakland Athletics | Rafael Furcal | San Francisco Giants | Yunel Escobar
Earlier today I spoke with a source familiar with the Cubs' thinking, and dug up enough info for a fresh post.
- While Mark Teahen is a player of interest for the Cubs, they certainly won't be trading Mike Fontenot and Sean Marshall for him. The Cubs don't consider Teahen the middle of the order bat they require.
- Royals outfielder David DeJesus also interests the Cubs, but the source has the impression Dayton Moore would have to be overwhelmed to trade him. There seems a good chance DeJesus stays put this winter.
- The Cubs aren't keen on bringing Jim Edmonds back for 2009.
- There are no perfect fits for the right field vacancy, and the Cubs are willing to sacrifice some defense to add that middle of the order lefthanded hitter.
- The Cubs are hoping a market forms for Jason Marquis, and are willing to eat salary "within reason." They would be content with Marquis as their fifth starter if nothing surfaces. I couldn't get any specifics, but the Cubs do feel that they have reasonable options to clear payroll other than trading Marquis.
- Teams around baseball are wary of certain Type A/B free agents accepting offers of arbitration. Expect the Cubs to figure out where Kerry Wood stands before deciding whether to offer.
Full Story | Comments (25) | Categories: Chicago Cubs | David DeJesus | Jason Marquis | Jim Edmonds | Kansas City Royals | Kerry Wood | Mike Fontenot | Sean Marshall
Rounding up today's Mets rumors...
- On Friday, David Lennon of Newsday said the Mets had received Francisco Rodriguez's medical records. He also had Omar Minaya saying the club's doctors were looking it over. However, Bart Hubbuch of the New York Post writes today that the Mets did not receive the records until yesterday afternoon. According to Hubbuch, the Mets told Paul Kinzer they'll get back to him after Thanksgiving regarding K-Rod.
- Hubbuch names five other Mets targets: Brian Fuentes, Kerry Wood, Trevor Hoffman, J.J. Putz, and Huston Street.
- Adam Rubin of the New York Daily News talked to Minaya, who said the Mets have not made offers to any free agents yet.
- In case you missed it, Ken Rosenthal had several Mets nuggets in today's column. He said the Mets balked at Chicago's asking price for Jermaine Dye, and aren't enamored with Javier Vazquez. Rosenthal believes the Rays' Andy Sonnanstine "represents a more desirable target" for the Mets.
- SI.com's Jon Heyman rattles off a list of the Mets' free agent targets, which does not include Manny Ramirez.
Full Story | Comments (42) | Categories: Andy Sonnanstine | Brian Fuentes | Chicago White Sox | Colorado Rockies | Francisco Rodriguez | Huston Street | J.J. Putz | Javier Vazquez | Jermaine Dye | Kerry Wood | Manny Ramirez | New York Mets | Seattle Mariners | Tampa Bay Rays | Trevor Hoffman
Links for Tuesday...
- The weekly chat has been moved to Wednesday at 2pm CST this time.
- I'll be on Seth Stohs' radio show tonight around 8pm CST.
- From NPB Tracker: Kenshin Kawakami has switched to Dan Evans as his agent, while Koji Uehara wants a rotation spot and multiple years.
- Ken Griffey Jr.'s agent, Brian Goldberg, has been in contact with nine teams (six AL, three NL). The Mariners were one of the AL teams.
- It's been over a decade since the White Sox signed a free agent from another team for more than $20MM.
- Justin Morneau would like the Twins to add one more bat.
- East Windup Chronicle has scouting reports on Rinku Singh and Dinesh Patel.
- Things are quiet with the Dodgers - no recent talks for Manny Ramirez, "no real movement" on C.C. Sabathia.
- Rany Jazayerli questions the Royals' nonchalance toward signing Zack Greinke.
- Nothing is close with the Tigers and Joe Beimel, and the team will not make an offer to Junichi Tazawa (partially to preserve their relationships in Japan).
- The Brewers signed Jason Bourgeois to a minor league deal. Bourgeois, 27 in January, hit .286/.335/.404 in Triple A this year.
- Quietly, the Indians signed reliever Greg Aquino. He pitched well in Triple A this year but missed time with a hamstring strain.
Full Story | Comments (12) | Categories: C.C. Sabathia | Chicago White Sox | Cleveland Indians | Greg Aquino | Justin Morneau | Kansas City Royals | Ken Griffey Jr. | Kenshin Kawakami | Koji Uehara | Los Angeles Dodgers | Manny Ramirez | Milwaukee Brewers | Minnesota Twins | Pittsburgh Pirates | Zack Greinke
Ken Davidoff of Newsday lays out the backup plans for the Yankees.
Mark Teixeira would come into play for Brian Cashman if C.C. Sabathia turns down the Yankees' offer. Davidoff adds that Sabathia would likely turn down the Yankees if Tex turns down the Angels first. So we could have a scenario where Teixeira signs with the Yankees and Sabathia with the Angels, and neither team addresses its biggest need. The Yankees could also get in on Manny Ramirez if they fail to sign Sabathia.
There's some hand-wringing coming out of New York as Sabathia continues to sit on the Yankees' huge offer. I don't think Sabathia's silence sends a message, nor am I convinced he can't get a larger contract. It's sensible for Sabathia to hear the Angels out, especially with the rumor that they are considering a Johan Santana-like offer. If the Halos make that offer, the Yankees may have to come back with a seven-year contract worth more than $160MM.
Full Story | Comments (89) | Categories: C.C. Sabathia | Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim | Manny Ramirez | New York Yankees
Lance McAlister of 1530 WCKY in Cincinnati has a rumor up regarding trade talks between the White Sox and Reds.
McAlister's source says the White Sox initiated talks to send Jermaine Dye to the Reds for Homer Bailey and another player. Ken Rosenthal says Dye's no-trade clause mostly covers teams in the northeast. Perhaps the Sox can trade him to the Reds without his consent. Ken Williams and Walt Jocketty matched up in July on the Ken Griffey Jr. trade. It's known that Jocketty prefers trades to free agency.
Full Story | Comments (46) | Categories: Chicago White Sox | Cincinnati Reds | Homer Bailey | Jermaine Dye
Let's check in on the Padres.
- SI.com's Jon Heyman talked to GM Kevin Towers, who doesn't anticipate a deal for Khalil Greene anytime soon. The market for free agent shortstops is buzzing right now, so it makes sense to wait until after the top guys sign.
- MLB.com's Corey Brock says Towers can't move to address other team needs until the Jake Peavy situation is resolved. The package for Peavy will likely fill multiple pitching needs, and then Towers can move on to free agent bargains and a backup catcher.
- Sean McAdam has a Padres article up at ESPN.com, describing the sad state of affairs.
Full Story | Comments (26) | Categories: Jake Peavy | Khalil Greene | San Diego Padres
MLB.com's Nick Zaccardi talked to Dave Ross' agent Ryan Gleichowski, who said the Astros are one of at least seven teams to express interest in his client. The interest is mutual. Ross, 32 in March, hit .225/.369/.352 in 182 plate appearances for the Reds and Red Sox. He showed big-time power in 2006, but not much since.
Zaccardi also talked to Barry Meister, who represents Paul Bako. The Louisiana native would be interested in playing for the Astros, but Meister wouldn't say whether the Astros have been in touch.
Full Story | Comments (6) | Categories: Dave Ross | Houston Astros | Paul Bako
- Manager Lou Piniella would prefer the Cubs acquire a middle of the order hitter over a leadoff man, if only one can be acquired.
- Piniella had kind words for possible free agent target Raul Ibanez.
- Piniella continued to dismiss the idea of the Cubs pursuing Jake Peavy (despite recent comments from Padres GM Kevin Towers).
- He'd like to give Mike Fontenot more playing time in 2009, which would help balance the lineup. In the spring the Cubs will see if Fontenot can chip in at shortstop.
- The idea that the Cubs can only move Alfonso Soriano down in the order if they acquire a known leadoff man lives on.
- Anthony McCarron of the New York Daily News reported on Friday that the Cubs h
Troy E. Renck of the Denver Post talked to Rockies manager Clint Hurdle, who said the team has internally discussed lefthanded free agent relievers Alan Embree, Brian Shouse, and Will Ohman. Ken Rosenthal also suggests Embree is a possibility.
Another note from Rosenthal:
The Rockies, at least for the moment, seem content to keep third baseman Garrett Atkins and the three players they acquired in the Matt Holliday trade - left-hander Greg Smith, outfielder Carlos Gonzalez and reliever Huston Street.
Thinking about Street...it makes the most sense to trade him in June or July. Right now the supply for closers outstrips the demand, plus Street did not finish the season as a closer. The Rockies should let him rack up 20 saves, prove he's on top of his game, and then move him during the summer when contenders are desperate for bullpen help.
TUESDAY, 9:45am: Gammons emailed to explain that the ESPN Rumor Central report was erroneous, and he did not say the Red Sox made a one-year offer to Varitek.
TUESDAY, 8:48am: ESPN's Peter Gammons sides with Bradford, confirming the Red Sox made a one-year offer to Varitek. Boras denied it after Bradford's initial report surfaced.
MONDAY, 12:41pm: A day of denials. The Boston Globe's Nick Cafardo contacted Scott Boras, who said the Red Sox have not begun negotiations with Varitek.
8:43am: According to Rob Bradford of WEEI, the Red Sox made an initial offer to free agent catcher Jason Varitek. It's one year, and the salary does not approach Jorge Posada's $13.1MM average.
Here's a look at the latest from Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports.
- Rosenthal says the Braves are interested in A.J. Burnett, but you already knew that.
- Rosenthal believes Trevor Hoffman to the Dodgers "makes sense."
- The Red Sox apparently have confidence they could trade Mike Lowell if need be, but rival execs believe he'd have to prove his health in spring first. Lowell has two years and $24MM on his deal.
- The White Sox want a young starter and additional players for right fielder Jermaine Dye. The Mets, Rays, and Phillies are "balking at such a price." Rosenthal learned that most of the six teams on Dye's no-trade list are in the northeast. Interesting that the White Sox are still willing to trade Dye after moving Nick Swisher.
- The Mets "aren't enamored" with Javier Vazquez.
- Rosenthal suggests the Rays will sit back and hope one of the free agent DH-types becomes a bargain for them.
- SI.com's Jon Heyman wrote on Friday that the "Braves, Dodgers, and Mets are believed to be among teams that have inquired about Rangers starting pitchers Kevin Millwood and Vicente Padilla." However, Rosenthal says the Braves and Mets are not interested in either pitcher and the Rangers aren't desperate to move them.
- Rosenthal has Francisco Rodriguez, Brian Fuentes, and Pat Burrell on the Angels' radar if they fail to sign Mark Teixeira, C.C. Sabathia, or Manny Ramirez.
- A rival GM tells Rosenthal Twins outfielder Delmon Young is "very, very much out there."
Cardinals GM John Mozeliak continues to hammer out the details of a contract with Trever Miller; he hopes to add two lefties to the pen.
Goold says the Cardinals are also considering two righthanded relievers in Brandon Lyon and Jason Isringhausen. Three other teams have expressed interest in Isringhausen, who would like to regain his job as the Cardinals' closer.
The Cardinals remain in the mix for Edgar Renteria, and they'll be consulted before a deal is finalized with any other team. They'll wait until after the December 1st deadline for offering arbitration.
angels talk with cc]
, the Angels have begun contract discussions with C.C. Sabathia. The authors believe the Halos could make an offer in the range of Johan Santana's six-year, $137.5MM deal. If the Angels do make such an offer, you have to imagine the Yankees will respond by upping their bid significantly.
Despite the talks for Sabathia, Mark Teixeira remains the Angels' top priority. They haven't made an offer yet, but Scott Boras seems to want ten years while the Angels are willing to do seven. It makes sense to open serious dialogue with Sabathia to lessen the risk of missing out on both star free agents.