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2016 MLB thread. Baseball is upon us! Royals are the champs - Page 302

post #9031 of 72992
Thread Starter 
You have a lot of IF's for a team that's probably heading for a last or second to last place finish. You severely overrate Victorino. And now all of a sudden after everyone in Boston nation declared him an MVP and a perennial MVP candidate and swore his power was for real, now you clowns can admit what he really is and can't wait to get rid of him. The Sox have done nothing but move laterally since getting rid of the bad contracts.
post #9032 of 72992
bobby....the thing about ellsbury is there is no way we can sign him (or want to sign him for what boras is asking for) we want him traded so we can actually get something in return. as far as perennial mvp way. he can't stay on the field, let alone keep up that power surge. i still like him and would love to keep him...but not at the price that it's going to take.

as for the flyin''s a "bridge" move. it's not an answer. it's a somewhat popular name to keep fans semi interested until jackie bradley is ready to play everyday. i do think we overpaid for what victorino brings to the table, but we have the space right now to take on that contract. three years is ehhh...but whatever.
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post #9033 of 72992
Thread Starter 
Oh I definitely get you, I just thought it was funny that where we were two years ago debating how good he is to where we are now describing him laugh.gif

Three years is not a bridge gap brother, that's gonna be a horrible contract towards the end of year one mean.gif hopefully Bradley will be ready by next ASB which I think he will be.
post #9034 of 72992
yeah agreed. i think bradley will get his shot in year 2...possibly even end of this year if things completely fall off. although it probably too soon for this year.
Boston Bruins | New England Patriots | Boston Red Sox | Georgetown Hoyas | Michigan Wolverines |
Arsenal FC | Huevos Rancheros Hockey | USMNT
Boston Bruins | New England Patriots | Boston Red Sox | Georgetown Hoyas | Michigan Wolverines |
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post #9035 of 72992
Thread Starter 
Well you still have the Royals shopping Wil Meyers and if they want Lester, they should have accepted that asap.
post #9036 of 72992
Seeing on Twitter that the Mariners are "very close" to signing Josh Hamilton.

Texas is also pursuing Greinke.
post #9037 of 72992
Thread Starter 
Well I just read that the team president told USA Today that they are not close so who knows laugh.gif
post #9038 of 72992
Thread Starter 
Playing free-agency dominoes.
Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show)
NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- There has been a lot of trade talk here, and a flurry of second- and third-tier signings, most of them relative pricey. When an evaluator heard about a rival team within his division making a multiyear signing this week, he gave the best line heard at the winter meetings: "Subtraction by addition."

Club officials and agents continue to wait for the two big names -- Zack Greinke and Josh Hamilton -- to come off the board, so that the other dominoes can fall. Let's push some of those dominoes:

If Greinke signs with the Rangers, the domino that could follow ...

Hamilton to the Mariners. Texas president Nolan Ryan told reporters Wednesday that it might be possible for the Rangers to sign Greinke and Hamilton, and remember, this team is owned by billionaires. If they want to put their own money in play, anything is possible.

But it seems more likely that the Rangers would pick one or the other, and if they keep Greinke, the Mariners could become the front-runners for Hamilton; Geoff Baker writes about that here.

Seattle has money, Hamilton is looking for the one big deal of his career, so although few free agents view the Mariners as their ideal landing spot, Seattle could be where he can get paid.

If Greinke lands in Texas and Hamilton goes to Seattle, a domino that could follow ...

Michael Bourn to the Phillies. Look, there are just not many teams that have a lot of cash left to spend, and once Hamilton goes off the board, Bourn may be the last big-time center fielder remaining in this game of musical chairs. And the Phillies need a center fielder.

Bourn is not a perfect fit for them, because they want power, and he's looking for more money than they want to spend. The Phillies might not be an ideal fit for him, because they might not want to spend what he's looking for. But the two sides might be pushed together by circumstance. The key for agent Scott Boras might be to get a deal that pays Bourn more annually than B.J. Upton, who got $15 million a year. So maybe the middle ground is a four-year, $66 million deal (about $16.5 million a year, or five years and $77.5 million ($15.5 million).

The Phillies are still looking for a center fielder, writes Ryan Lawrence. They say they have to be creative, writes Jim Salisbury.

If Greinke lands in Texas, a domino that could follow ...

Anibal Sanchez or Kyle Lohse or Edwin Jackson with the Dodgers. Or maybe two of those three. They are looking for pitching and have money to spend, and they will try to grab the next-best guys if they can't get Greinke.

Dylan Hernandez wonders if the Dodgers' position on no-trade clauses is going to hurt them.

If Greinke lands in Texas and Hamilton goes to Seattle, a domino that could follow ...

Justin Upton and/or Nick Swisher to the Rangers. Texas has been incredibly busy here, negotiating with the top two free agents as well as talking about a possible Michael Young trade and discussing a four-team trade that is said to include some combination of Arizona (which would get shortstop Asdrubal Cabrera), Kansas City, Cleveland (which would get young pitching) and Seattle.

If Hamilton leaves, this could push the Rangers' effort to get Upton (or maybe they want him either way). And Swisher might really want to work out something with Texas, knowing that his best alternative to get paid well would be with the Cleveland Indians, who are not expected to contend next season.

The Rangers are playing it close to the vest, writes Jeff Wilson.

Hot stove

• The Rays have some really exciting possibilities, says GM Andrew Friedman. If Tampa Bay nets Wil Myers in a James Shields trade, he, Evan Longoria and Ben Zobrist could be a nice 2-3-4 tandem for the next few years, at least.

The Rays are working on deals beyond the Yunel Escobar deal, writes Marc Topkin.

• We had R.A. Dickey on our set Wednesday to talk about his situation.

• The Rangers are in advanced talks with the Phillies about Michael Young, writes Evan Grant. There are a lot of interesting sides to this. Young has a full no-trade clause and can control this, but it may be that the Rangers have made it clear to him that Jurickson Profar is going to play in 2013 and if Young stays, he will have limited at-bats.

From the Phillies' perspective, they would bring him in to play third base -- a position that the Rangers came to believe he couldn't play effectively; it was because of their evaluation that they pursued Adrian Beltre.

• The Angels signed two pitchers.

• Oakland had a deal it could have made for Escobar but turned it down, and will instead wait to see whether Stephen Drew signs with them or whether Jhonny Peralta becomes available.

The Athletics are keeping an eye on Peralta, writes Susan Slusser.

• Other officials say that the winter meetings are perfectly built for Arizona GM Kevin Towers. "He doesn't need any sleep," one executive said. Towers is waiting to see whether the multiteam stuff comes together.

• Fredi Gonzalez's contractual option for 2014 was exercised.

• "SportsCenter" producer Missy Motha posed this debate for the show Thursday morning: Among three icons in their respective sports, who has the best chance to break the record that lies ahead of him -- Derek Jeter in hits, Peyton Manning in touchdown passes and Kobe Bryant in points scored?

Kobe Bryant has 30,016 points; record is 38,387 (Kareem Abdul-Jabbar)
Derek Jeter has 3,304 hits; record is 4,256 (Pete Rose)
Peyton Manning has 428 TD passes; record is 508 (Brett Favre)

I say: 1. Manning. 2. Bryant. 3. Jeter.

Jeter has wanted to be a Yankee his entire life, from the time he was a kid, and he made that clear through his contentious negotiation with the team a couple of years ago. At some point -- maybe in 2014, maybe later, maybe sooner -- his age will start to affect his offense. Whenever it happens, I can't see the Yankees keeping him in the lineup as a subpar player for long, in pursuit of a record, and I don't think Jeter would want that, either. Rose was the ultimate compiler in pursuit of Ty Cobb's record, bouncing to different teams, keeping himself in the lineup as a Reds player-manager at the end (with the full blessing of club owner Marge Schott). Jeter won't have that luxury, and I don't think that's the path he would want, anyway.

Jeter looked decidedly thin on Wednesday, Anthony McCarron writes.

Moves, deals and decisions

1. The Tigers may ask a rookie to close, and this follows a successful trend, writes John Lowe.

Scott Boras, who represents Rafael Soriano, isn't buying this, by the way, as Jason Beck writes. I'm closer to Boras' thinking than the Tigers right now: I can't imagine that Detroit would put together this machine capable of winning a World Series and leave the ninth inning in the hands of someone who hasn't thrown an inning in the majors.

That said, I'm not sure the Tigers' best play is to meet Soriano's demands while giving up a draft pick. A much more modest investment in Brian Wilson could make more sense, and Wilson could be at full speed sometime next season, as his agent told John Shea. In this piece, Boras wondered out loud about San Francisco's plans. The Tigers traded Andy Oliver.

[+] Enlarge

Kim Klement/US Presswire
James Shields could land in K.C.
2. The Royals are desperately trying to acquire a pitcher for the front of their rotation, and they have been unable to lure Ryan Dempster. They are still very much involved in trade talks with the Rays for James Shields.

3. The Cardinals landed the lefty they wanted in Randy Choate. Now they'll look for a right-handed thumper off the bench, and then their winter's work will be all but done.

4. Terry Francona is aggressively pitching to free agents.

5. The Marlins won't be giving Adam Greenberg an invitation to spring training.

6. The Jays haven't made any moves here, writes Bob Elliott. I still think the best potential match for an R.A. Dickey deal is between the Jays and Mets, because of the range of catchers that Toronto has to offer.

7. The Braves are balking at some of the asking prices, writes David O'Brien.

8. The Astros continue to eye Lance Berkman.

9. The Nationals wrapped up their winter meetings early. Washington's rotation is set. Within the same piece, there is word that the Nationals are among the teams pursuing J.P. Howell, who will have some choices.

10. The Yankees are still looking at third-base options, writes Jorge Arangure. The Yankees are taking a winter beating, writes John Harper. The Yankees are looking at Mark Reynolds and Kevin Youkilis, writes George King.

11. David Wright's deal is done.

12. The Orioles re-signed Nate McLouth and won't go after Nick Swisher, writes Dan Connolly.

13. The Pirates added a pitcher.

14. An Ellsbury trade would be the right move for the Red Sox, writes John Tomase. This is not their intent, says Ben Cherington.

15. The Cubs signed Nate Schierholtz, an excellent value signing.

16. The White Sox got Jeff Keppinger, to play third base.

17. The Brewers are waiting for the big names to sign.

18. The Twins have some offers out on pitchers.

19. Arizona signed Eric Chavez.

Dings and dents

The Padres' Andrew Cashner was hurt in a hunting accident.

Analyzing deals for Scutaro, Escobar.
Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show)
Running through the various minor deals of the last 24 hours or so ...

• I don't think much of Yunel Escobar, not as a hitter and especially not as a human being after the eye black incident, but I can't blame the Tampa Bay Rays for getting him practically for free, giving up only fringe prospect Derek Dietrich to acquire Escobar and his very reasonable contract.

Escobar's an above-average defensive shortstop who makes a lot of contact, enough to make up for the fact that he doesn't walk or hit for power -- and he hasn't hit at all since leaving the Atlanta Braves except for a stretch at home in the first half of 2011. It's kind of ironic to think of the Miami Marlins' owners trading a player whose makeup isn't actually any worse than their own. The Marlins must have wanted to shed Escobar's modest salary, as Dietrich's ceiling is a fringe-average second baseman who adds more value with his bat than he can give back with his glove, although he could also provide a similar mix of skills at third.

• Reliever Wilton Lopez is good, but his elbow didn't pass muster with multiple teams over the past few months, notably the Philadelphia Phillies earlier this offseason. Why the Colorado Rockies felt the need to acquire a broken reliever when they have more critical needs is beyond me, even though I do like what Lopez can provide if he's healthy -- maybe a win above replacement value.

Alex White, heading to the Houston Astros in the deal with Alex Gillingham, is probably a reliever in the long run, as he's a fastball/splitter guy who relies on that second pitch for most of his swings and misses and has struggled for years to find a consistently average breaking ball. That said, there is a non-zero chance he's a starter, especially now that he's out of Colorado, with a very good chance he becomes an effective late-game reliever. He's the perfect guy for the Astros to target when dealing a reliever, especially one with a bad elbow. Gillingham is an extreme ground baller (3.29 ground out/fly out ratio in low Class A this year) who throws strikes, but was also 22 years old and very experienced for his level.

• The Chicago White Sox signed Jeff Keppinger to a three-year, $12 million deal, presumably to play third base while the team waits for top prospect Carlos Sanchez to take over at second base from the disappointing Gordon Beckham. Keppinger's a contact hitter who's very useful as long as he keeps his BABIP up and doesn't try to pull too many balls, with fastballs on the inner half his main weakness. I don't like Keppinger as a regular, since he doesn't have great secondary skills, but they're paying him a below-regular salary and he's better than any in-house options at third.

• The Giants, meanwhile, gave Marco Scutaro 67 percent more money than Keppinger got even though Scutaro is four years older and only a slightly better player today. They did better with the Angel Pagan signing, which is probably a year too long given his limited track record in the majors, but pays him the same total money that Shane Victorino will get for one fewer year and for inferior performance. Scutaro's deal might be fine for a year, but the odds of him holding this kind of value through his age-39 season seem pretty low, especially given how recently it appeared that his career was over.

• The Cardinals gave three years to lefty specialist Randy Choate, which flies in the face of the history of every three-year contract ever given out to a reliever. So, good luck with that, I guess.

The best alternative to Greinke.
Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show)
A bunch of starting pitchers have already left the market. Dan Haren is the latest, but before him, Hiroki Kuroda, Jeremy Guthrie, Hisashi Iwakuma, Scott Baker, Bartolo Colon, Scott Feldman, Jason Marquis and Andy Pettitte were all snapped up, and the Los Angeles Dodgers won the rights to negotiate with Ryu Hyun-jin.

Now, with Zack Greinke seemingly having narrowed his choices down to the Dodgers and Texas Rangers, the top pitcher on the market is also as good as gone. So who is the next-best option out there?

Looking at the remaining players on the market, there are eight who wouldn't make you immediately go into convulsions: Ryan Dempster, Edwin Jackson, Francisco Liriano, Kyle Lohse, Shaun Marcum, Brandon McCarthy, Anibal Sanchez and Carlos Villanueva. If you squint, you could include guys like Joe Blanton and Chris Young, but we'll leave them out of this discussion.

Right away, we see that most of these guys have a warning light or two flashing. Dempster will be in his age-36 season in 2013, and he didn't take too kindly to the American League last season. Jackson doesn't have a real red flag, but he has been traded approximately 3,482 times, which is either good or bad depending on your perspective.

Lohse was presented with a qualifying offer, so whoever signs him is going to have to forfeit a draft pick. That may limit his suitors to the teams that have a protected first-round pick or perhaps a team picking at the end of the first round that was going to have a small draft budget anyway. There are also questions as to whether Lohse has been the product of his environment in St. Louis.

Liriano's role vacillated the past couple of seasons, and he has started 30 games in a season only once in his big league career. Marcum has a nasty habit of being above-average in the season's first two months and then a piñata afterward (see table). McCarthy was already viewed as injury-prone before taking a ball off the head in September that required surgery.

Rough finish
Shaun Marcum starts strong and finishes slow.

March/April 4.02
May 3.27
June 4.47
July 4.63
August 4.93
Sept./Oct. 4.42
During his career, Sanchez has dealt with elbow and shoulder problems, and while it hasn't affected him the past three years (his fastball velocity from 2010 to 2012 was actually higher than it was before his shoulder injury) it's definitely something in the back of team's minds. Finally, Villanueva has never been a starter for a full season -- last year's 16-start campaign counts as his career high -- and there are some who don't believe he is durable enough to consistently maintain a 30-start workload.

To get a good picture of what these guys are capable of, we want to look at their past three years. In this way, we won't overrate their most recent production. In doing so, we can highlight some of their flaws in comparison to the others. A few things jump out right away. The first is Villanueva's ground-ball rate. While most of the other pitchers on the list generate grounders more than 40 percent of the time, Villanueva has generated them only 35.8 percent of the time since 2010. Marcum also is under 40 percent, but he has walked batters far less frequently than has Villanueva.

As mentioned, another red flag is McCarthy's innings total. Over the past three seasons, McCarthy has tossed only 281 2/3 innings, which is more than 300 fewer than Dempster, Jackson and Sanchez. Speaking of Jackson, he combines not striking out a lot of hitters (his 19.5 percent K rate ranks sixth of eight in this group) with putting a lot of hitters on base (his 1.35 WHIP ranks seventh of eight). Jackson was better in both respects last season, but it is something on which to keep an eye (or even two).

Looking across the board, one pitcher comes out looking pretty rosy, and that is Sanchez. Of the myriad of statistics I looked at in this three-year comparison, the only one in which he doesn't come out as one of the better pitchers in is batting average on balls in play. And that isn't all that surprising, since the Miami Marlins -- his primary team during that period -- have had one of the worst defenses in the majors the past few years, and the Detroit Tigers' defense last season was straight-up abominable.

But in looking at the three most important markers -- strikeout rate, walk rate and ground-ball rate --Sanchez is the only pitcher who comes out in the top half of this group every time. He also comes out in the top half of the group in home runs per fly ball rate, ERA, FIP and the raft of "minus" stats that FanGraphs uses -- ERA-, FIP- and xFIP- -- which relate how pitchers did in those particular stats in comparison to the league average.

Finally, Sanchez has been the most consistent of the group. Over the past three years, he is the only pitcher who has been worth at least three wins above replacement in each season (though Dempster and Jackson come close). In fact, Sanchez has been worth at least 3.8 WAR in each of the past three seasons, which is close enough that we can say he's been a four-win player. No one else in this group can claim that. Of the other 21 seasons in this group, only two of them were worth more than four wins -- Liriano's 6.1 WAR in 2010 and McCarthy's 4.8 WAR in 2011. If you could bottle those seasons and crank them out every year, you'd be a happy camper, but there is a reason most of the talk around each pitcher has centered on one- to two-year contracts.

Most throughout the game scoffed when it was revealed a few weeks ago that Sanchez wanted between $90 and 100 million over six years for his next contract, but in a market where Shane Victorino is worth $13 million per year and Greinke is poised to land a deal north of $20 million a year, $16.6 million a year for Sanchez doesn't sound so outrageous. Like Jackson, Liriano, McCarthy and Villanueva, Sanchez will still be under 30 years old in 2013. And over the past three seasons, Sanchez has proved himself durable and consistently good. He's succeeded in the National League and the American League, and he's succeeded during the playoffs. And if that wasn't enough, Sanchez also won't cost his next team a draft pick the way Lohse will. Once Greinke signs, Sanchez not only will be the best option remaining on the market, but he'll also be the safest.

Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show)
Available hitters
AM ETTop Free Agent Bats Recommend0Comments19EmailTop Free Agent HittersJosh Hamilton, OFB.J. Upton, OF | Braves: 5 years, $75.25 millionMichael Bourn, OF Nick Swisher, OF Adam LaRoche, 1BMike Napoli, C/1B/DH | Red Sox: 3 years, $39 million David Ortiz, DH -- Red Sox: 2 years, $26 millionTorii Hunter, OF -- Tigers: two years, $26 millionKevin Youkilis, 3B/1BAngel Pagan, OF | Giants: 4 years, $40 million Melky Cabrera, OF -- Blue Jays: 2 years, $16 millionShane Victorino, OF | Red Sox: 3 years, $39 million Cody Ross, OF Stephen Drew, SSLance Berkman, 1B/DHWith several names off the market halfway through the winter meetings, the top two hitters -- Nick Swisher and Josh Hamilton -- remain free agents.

Bourn is the lone center field option left, assuming Hamilton will play in a corner in 2013 and beyond, and Youkilis the lone third baseman.

Drew is the only free agent shortstop projected to play regularly going forward. He's drawn interest from a few clubs that like the idea of using him as a utility player, but he may fit in Detroit if the Tigers can move Jhonny Peralta.

Trade candidate Shin-soo Choo could become a hot commodity after Swisher and Hamilton sign, and the Royals may move a big league hitter such as Billy Butler in return for pitching.

Justin Upton is the top trade target among hitters.

Adam LaRoche could return to Washington, which would likely make Michael Morse a trade candidate. The Orioles and Rangers could also see LaRoche as a fit. The Red Sox may be out on LaRoche after signing Napoli, who could play some first base as well as catch.

- Jason A. Churchill
Tags:B.J. Upton, Torii Hunter, Mike Napoli, Michael Bourn, David Ortiz, Josh Hamilton, Cody Ross, Nick Swisher, Angel Pagan, Shane Victorino, Scott Rolen, Lance Berkman, Melky Cabrera, Carlos Pena, Mark Reynolds, Shin-Soo Choo, Justin Upton, Adam LaRoche, Texas Rangers, Baltimore Orioles, Boston Red Sox, Detroit Tigers, Cleveland Indians, Oakland Athletics, Philadelphia Phillies
When will Lohse sign?
AM ETKyle Lohse | Cardinals Recommend0Comments0EmailKyle Lohse is among the better free agent starting pitchers available this offseason, but there hasn't been a lot of buzz generated in his direction. The reason for that is likely all about right-hander Zack Greinke.

Greinke is being courted by the Dodgers and Rangers -- and perhaps the Angels aren't really out of the running -- all three clubs that reportedly have interest in Lohse, too.

Lohse is likely a fallback for those three, as well as showing up on the radar of the Boston Red Sox, Kansas City Royals and Detroit Tigers. Once Greinke signs, Lohse could become the hottest pitching commodity, along with Anibal Sanchez.

- Jason A. Churchill
Tags:Detroit Tigers, Kansas City Royals, Boston Red Sox, Texas Rangers, Los Angeles Angels, Los Angeles Dodgers, Kyle Lohse
Philly closing in on Young
AM ETMichael Young | Rangers Recommend0Comments0EmailLate Wednesday night's Danny Knobler wrote that the Philadelphia Phillies and Texas Rangers were discussing a deal that would send infielder Michael Young to the National League East

Early Thursday, T.R. Sullivan reports that a deal is close, though not considered a done deal. Sullivan adds that the Rangers are expected to pick up a "large part" of Young's $16 million salary in 2013, but the biggest hurdle is Young's no-trade clause.

Young would presumably play third base for the Phillies and his absence in Texas opens some at-bats for a backup corner infielder or a platoon partner for Mitch Moreland at first base.

- Jason A. Churchill
Tags:Philadelphia Phillies, Texas Rangers, Michael Young
LAD's pitching search
AM ETLos Angeles Dodgers Recommend0Comments0EmailThe Los Angeles Dodgers are clearly out to build a big-time starting rotation and are in on right-hander Zack Greinke. The club has also been linked to Anibal Sanchez.

Thursday morning, ESPN The Magazine's Buster Olney writes that if Greinke signs in Texas, the Dodgers could turn to Sanchez, Edwin Jackson or Kyle Lohse, or perhaps two of them.

The club also has the rights to Korean southpaw Ryu Hyun-jin with a deadline to sign him approaching fast.

Ken Gurnick of reported Wednesday night that the Dodgers are among the clubs that have interest in acquiring R.A. Dickey from the New York Mets.

Earlier in the week, Gurnick suggested that if the Dodgers get two starters, right-hander Aaron Harang and southpaw Chris Capuano could become trade bait.

- Jason A. Churchill
Tags:New York Mets, Texas Rangers, Los Angeles Dodgers, Aaron Harang, Chris Capuano, Anibal Sanchez, Kyle Lohse, Edwin Jackson, Zack Greinke
Philly considering five
AM ETPhiladelphia Phillies Recommend0Comments1EmailThe Philadelphia Phillies have a need at third base, but appear much more motivated to fill their hole in center field.'s Danny Knobler wrote early Thursday morning that the club is considering five options in particular.

Those targets include free agents Michael Bourn and Josh Hamilton, plus trade possibilities in Ben Revere, Curtis Granderson and Dexter Fowler.

Fowler is likely to be quite expensive in terms of trade cost and the two free agents are expected to be pricey. What the Twins and Yankees will require in return for Revere and Granderson is unknown, but with Granderson due $15 million in 2013, Revere seems to be the very best fit for Philadelphia, who has little payroll flexibility at present.

- Jason A. Churchill
Tags:Colorado Rockies, Minnesota Twins, New York Yankees, Philadelphia Phillies, Michael Bourn, Josh Hamilton, Ben Revere, Curtis Granderson, Dexter Fowler
Yanks make offer to Youk
AM ETKevin Youkilis | White Sox Recommend0Comments8EmailThe New York Yankees have made a 1-year, $12 million offer to the top free agent third baseman on the market, reports Bryan Hoch of

Of course, that player's name is Kevin Youkilis, who is also believed to be negotiation with the Cleveland Indians.

The Yankees' other considerations include Mark Reynolds or the trade route with potential trade targets such as Jhonny Peralta.

- Jason A. Churchill
Tags:Cleveland Indians, New York Yankees, Mark Reynolds, Joel Peralta, Kevin Youkilis
Astros still after Berkman
AM ETLance Berkman | Cardinals Recommend0Comments0EmailThe Houston Astros are still looking to bring back Lance Berkman to serve as their designated hitter in 2013, reports Brian T. Smith of the Houston Chronicle. The veteran is contemplating retirement.

If Berkman does return, he may have options with contenders on top of a potential return to Houston where it all got started for him. The Baltimore Orioles and Tampa Bay Rays could be ideal fits for Berkman, and the Texas Rangers could make some sense, too, depending on what else they do between now and the time Berkman decides he's going to play next season.

The Astros could consider Jim Thome, Travis Hafner and Raul Ibanez for their DH role, too.

- Jason A. Churchill
Tags:Houston Astros, Lance Berkman
Cuddyer on the block?
AM ETMichael Cuddyer | Rockies Recommend0Comments0EmailThe Colorado Rockies have received calls on Michael Cuddyer as well as Dexter Fowler, their young centerfielder, tweets Troy Renck of the Denver Post. Cuddyer has two years and $21 million remaining on his contract and could be very attractive to teams looking for corner outfield help that don't want to splurge for Nick Swisher.

Cuddyer could be a fit for the Red Sox, who have been linked to both Swisher and Josh Hamilton, and even the Mets, Astros or Indians are fits for Cuddyer.

The Rockies are looking for starting pitching and might hold out for such a return before they strongly considering dealing Cuddyer, despite the fact that he struggled at the plate last season.

- Jason A. Churchill
Tags:New York Mets, Houston Astros, Boston Red Sox, Cleveland Indians, Colorado Rockies, Michael Cuddyer
Hamilton's options
AM ETJosh Hamilton | Rangers Recommend0Comments0EmailBy all accounts, tweets and reports, Josh Hamilton still prefers to head back to the Texas Rangers.There's a growing belief, however, that the Rangers will not sign Zack Greinke, trade for Justin Upton and sign Hamilton, and ESPN Insider's Jim Bowden tweets early Thursday morning that the Seattle Mariners are Hamilton's second choice.

The Red Sox brass met with Hamilton in Nashville, so Boston could be a dark horse, but it seems the Mariners may be considering a multi-team trade that helps the Rangers land Upton, which could be the nail in the coffin on Hamilton's chances to return to Arlington.

If the M's were to land Hamilton, it's not only an upgrade to their offense, but it lends the club some street cred for other free agents such as Michael Bourn and Nick Swisher.

- Jason A. Churchill
Tags:Texas Rangers, Seattle Mariners, Boston Red Sox, Josh Hamilton, Zack Greinke, Justin Upton
December 5, 2012Atlanta's left field search
PM ETAtlanta Braves Recommend0Comments15EmailThe Atlanta Braves last week landed the center fielder they wanted in free agent B.J. Upton. Next on the wish list is a left fielder, but a deal is unlikely by the time the club leaves the winter meetings on Thursday, writes David O'Brien of the Atlanta JC.

We mentioned earlier this week the club might be willing to deal prospects Julio Teheran or Randall Delgado and that remains a possibility this season, especially since their value declines if they spend another year in Triple-A.

"If we're going to trade one of those guys it's going to be a significant deal," GM Frank Wren told O'Brien. "And I don't know if that's going to happen or not."

As for the trade route, O'Brien says the Braves have inquired about Arizona's Justin Upton, Colorado's Dexter Fowler, Cleveland's Shin-Soo Choo and Kansas City's Alex Gordon, among others.

- Doug Mittler
Tags:Randall Delgado, Julio Teheran, Atlanta Braves
December 5, 2012Available lefty relievers
PM ETFree Agent Relievers Recommend0Comments0EmailThe relief pitching market again has seen the bar set quite high with Jeremy Affeldt's three-year, $18 million deal to remain in San Francisco. Affeldt was the top left-hander on the market, leaving a mediocre crop for the rest of the league.

Furthermore, Oliver Perez re-signed with Seattle and veteran Brian Fuentes, 37, announced his retirement last week. Sean Burnett, Tim Byrdak, J.P. Howell, Pedro Feliciano and Mike Gonzalez remain on the market.

Randy Choate inked a deal with the Cardinals Wednesday, shrinking the lefty reliever market by one. Veteran Darren Oliver is key to the free agent market for lefty relievers, as he's considering retirement. If he hangs up the spikes the Blue Jays may be in the market for one of the aforementioned southpaws, adding demand to the limited supply.

Jon Morosi reports Wednesday that Oliver has yet to make a decision on his future and has not asked to be traded. Oliver lives in Dallas and presumably would like to go back to the Rangers to finish his career.

Burnett, perhaps the top lefty relief option on the market, is close to signing with the Los Angeles Angels, reports Ken Rosenthal of

Right-hander Koji Uehara could be an alternative for clubs, as the 37-year-old held right-handed batters to a .188 average in 2012 and has historically been very good against them thanks to plus-plus control and a big-time changeup.

With Perez in the fold, Seattle could be willing to part with one of their other two solid lefty relievers in Lucas Luetge and Charlie Furbush.

- Jason A. Churchill
Tags:New York Yankees, San Francisco Giants, Seattle Mariners, Lucas Luetge, Charlie Furbush, Oliver Perez, J.P. Howell, Tim Byrdak, Sean Burnett, Jeremy Affeldt, Brian Fuentes, Randy Choate, Pedro Feliciano, Mike Gonzalez, Koji Uehara
December 5, 2012NYY considering Reynolds
PM ETNew York Yankees Recommend0Comments7EmailUPDATE:

The Yankees, tweets Joel Sherman of the New York Post, are having discussions with the representatives for Mark Reynolds.

The Orioles are also in on Reynolds and if they offer multiple years by any chance the Yankees might be out of the running as they stay the course heading toward the luxury tax relief of 2014.

With Alex Rodriguez headed for hip surgery that could sideline him for half the season, the New York Yankees have stepped up their search for a third baseman. GM Brian Cashman confirmed that he met Tuesday night with the agent for Kevin Youkilis, telling Andrew Marchand" "Beggars can't be choosers."

The club was in on Jeff Keppinger before the White Sox inked the veteran to a three-year deal and watched Eric Chavez sign a contract with Arizona. This leaves the Yankees without a lot of options.

Other than Youkilis, who is reportedly being courted successfully by the Indians, the Yankees could consider free agent Mark Reynolds, or call the Tigers about Jhonny Peralta. Detroit could move Peralta this winter if they land a shortstop such as Stephen Drew.

Danny Knobler tweets Wednesday afternoon that the Braves may shop Juan Francisco once they find an outfielder, because their plan is to use Martin Prado, last year's left fielder, at the hot corner.

- Doug Mittler and Jason A. Churchill
Tags:Kevin Youkilis, Alex Rodriguez, New York Yankees
December 5, 2012Ellsbury's trade value
PM ETJacoby Ellsbury | Red Sox Recommend0Comments2EmailThere has been some chatter from the winter meetings in Nashville on the possibility that the Boston Red Sox trade centerfielder Jacoby Ellsbury. It makes sense for them to consider it -- he's a free agent after 2013 and isn't going to sign an extension. He could bring back a piece or two the club can use to contend in 2013, too. There's also a downside to the idea.

Ellsbury's value isn't exactly high after some injury issues robbed him of more than half of 2012 and almost the entire 2010 season. Sandwiched in between was his MVP-caliber 2011.

With just one year left until free agency, clubs aren't likely to be willing to part with high-end, club-controlled young talent to get Ellsbury, despite a few teams still out there looking for help in center field. Buster Olney wrote Wednesday that among those are the Phillies, Rangers, Braves, Mariners and Reds.

The Braves could use Ellsbury in left or center, and the Mariners need run production from just about everywhere.

The question remains: What is Ellsbury worth, both to inquiring clubs and the Red Sox?

- Jason A. Churchill

Gordon Edes | ESPN Boston
Trade Ellsbury?

"Even though the Sox would be selling low because he's coming off an injury-shortened season, there may be a win-now team willing to chance a one-year rental that would part with a major league-ready arm in return. Am I sending up the white flag for 2013 by trading Ellsbury? Hardly. I can move the Flying Hawaiian, Shane Victorino, to center, and sign another outfielder to play right field. Maybe even Josh Hamilton. I have Jackie Bradley Jr. waiting in the wings. But I need pitching. And if I could add an arm who could help me in 2013 and beyond, I'd do it."
Tags:Jacoby Ellsbury, Boston Red Sox, Seattle Mariners, Philadelphia Phillies, Cleveland Indians, Cincinnati Reds, Atlanta Braves, Cincinnati Reds
December 5, 2012Youk and Tito?
PM ETKevin Youkilis | White Sox Recommend0Comments2EmailThe Cleveland Indians, reports Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe, are making significant progress in contract talks with free agent third baseman Kevin Youkilis, who would be rejoining manager Terry Francona.

The Tribe, Cafardo notes, would like to use Youkilis at first base, however, so the Indians still would have questions at the hot corner.

Mike Aviles, Cord Phelps, Jason Donald and Lonnie Chisenhall are the club's in-house options.

Youkilis could also a be a fit for the Yankees, but word is they aren't interested. The Phillies are also looking for third base help, but payroll is a problem.

- Jason A. Churchill
Tags:Philadelphia Phillies, New York Yankees, Cleveland Indians, Cord Phelps, Mike Aviles, Lonnie Chisenhall, Jason Donald, Kevin Youkilis
December 5, 2012Tigers alternatives to Sanchez
PM ETDetroit Tigers Recommend0Comments0EmailThe Detroit Tigers' starting rotation is in pretty good shape as is. Drew Smyly is a good No. 5 starter with Rick Porcello, Max Scherzer and Doug Fister supporting ace Justin Verlander. The club does want Anibal Sanchez back, however, but are waiting out his market in hopes he won't be too pricey for them in the end, tweets Danny Knobler of

If the Tigers land Sanchez, Porcello or Smyly could become trade bait, rather than be wasted in the bullpen. If Sanchez signs elsewhere and the Tigers continue to pursue starting pitching, Edwin Jackson, Kyle Lohse and Ryan Dempster could all become targets.

Sanchez, reports Jon Morosi of, already has received more than one five-year offer.

- Jason A. Churchill
Tags:Detroit Tigers, Drew Smyly, Rick Porcello, Ryan Dempster, Kyle Lohse, Edwin Jackson, Anibal Sanchez
December 5, 2012Trades next for White Sox?
PM ETChicago White Sox Recommend0Comments0EmailThe Chicago White Sox, having signed Jeff Keppinger to man third base for them for the next three years, may now venture out onto the trade market, tweets Danny Knobler of For what, exactly, is not clear.

If the club deals right-hander Gavin Floyd they could look to acquire a starting pitcher in another trade. Catcher is a bit of a question mark with A.J. Pierzynski a free agent, but the trade winds are thinner than the free agent market for backstops.

The club could look for a more reliable second baseman and move Gordon Beckham in a trade, or look to shore up the bullpen. Knobler's tweet, however, stated that the Sox were hoping to make a big splash. Relief help doesn't fit that bill.

- Jason A. Churchill
Tags:Chicago White Sox, Gordon Beckham, Gavin Floyd
December 5, 2012At least three eyeing Swisher
PM ETNick Swisher | Yankees Recommend0Comments13EmailFree agent Nick Swisher is waiting for Josh Hamilton to sign and prefers the San Francisco Giants, tweets Jon Heyman of Swisher is believed to like the idea of playing in New York or Los Angeles, but none of the four clubs in those two cities appear to be a fit.

Swisher may be the No. 2 outfield bat on the market behind Hamilton and could fit in Boston, who is said to be in on him.

The Giants, who just re-signed Angel Pagan and tendered a contract offer to Hunter Pence, may not have the payroll left to compete for Swisher, especially after re-signing infielder Marco Scutaro, too.

If Swisher's market sinks a bit, the Seattle Mariners could be a fit, though Swisher is almost certainly going to want to play for a team with a chance to contend.

Swisher could fit in Texas, with or without a Hamilton re-signing. The Rangers could use Swisher in a corner outfield spot or at first base, or both.

The Red Sox are also a possibility, with time available at first base and in the outfield.

Wednesday, Jon Morosi tweeted that among the clubs still in the market for Swisher are the Red Sox, Indians and Mariners.

- Jason A. Churchill
Tags:Boston Red Sox, Seattle Mariners, San Francisco Giants, Texas Rangers, New York Yankees, Nick Swisher
December 5, 2012Four-team deal on table
PM ETJustin Upton | Diamondbacks Recommend0Comments3EmailThe four-team trade scenario reported by ESPN The Magazine's Buster Olney Tuesday is apparently not dead, as Olney reiterates Wednesday via Twitter.

The deal would include the Arizona Diamondbacks and Cleveland Indians, plus two other clubs, one of those being the Kansas City Royals, Olney adds.

Presumably, Asdrubal Cabrera would land in Arizona with common sense suggesting Upton ends up in Cleveland, but Jeff Passan of Yahoo! Sports tweeted Wednesday afternoon that the Tribe is pushing the Diamondbacks to include lefty Tyler Skaggs rather than Trevor Bauer, so there's clearly a lot more to this and the fourth team appears to be where Upton would land.

Possibilities for that fourth team include the Rangers and Mariners.
Tags:Texas Rangers, Seattle Mariners, Arizona Diamondbacks, Cleveland Indians, Kansas City Royals, Tyler Skaggs, Trevor Bauer, Asdrubal Cabrera
December 5, 2012Dempster wants three years
PM ETRyan Dempster | Rangers Recommend0Comments0EmailRyan Dempster is among the second-tier starting pitching options in free agency and it sounds like he's waiting for others to set the market, as Ken Rosenthal tweets Wednesday that the right-hander wants a three-year contract and believes he can get it if some other arms get four or five.

Anibal Sanchez, Edwin Jackson and Kyle Lohse are three examples, and Jon Morosi tweeted Tuesday that Sanchez already has received multiple five-year offers.

Dempster's suitors range from the Minnesota Twins to both L.A. teams to the Boston Red Sox and everywhere in between. Seattle and San Diego may be two dark horses for Dempster, depending on how the market develops. The Tigers, if they lose out on Sanchez, could surface as the prime fit for Dempster. The Brewers make a lot of sense, especially considering Dempster lives in nearby Chicago.

Rosenthal tweeted later Wednesday afternoon that the Royals, Red Sox and Brewers are among the teams that have expressed interest.

- Jason A. Churchill
Tags:Ryan Dempster, Los Angeles Angels, Los Angeles Dodgers, Seattle Mariners, San Diego Padres, Milwaukee Brewers
December 5, 2012Granderson's trade value
PM ETCurtis Granderson | Yankees Recommend0Comments1EmailCurtis Granderson's trade value, should the New York Yankees shop his services, is layered. On one level, the Yankees can get some talent in return, perhaps a useful piece that fits on their 25-man roster immediately, and as much as $15 million in payroll relief. For potentially-interested clubs, it's different, as they are adding payroll and a productive player.

Granderson could serve as a solid center field option for clubs -- which makes him more valuable -- that do not want to pay the freight on free agent Michael Bourn. He could also play left field for a club that has a better defender in center.

Clubs that could make some sense include the Atlanta Braves, though Granderson's salary and the trade cost both could be problems. The Braves have young pitching, even after non-tendering Jair Jurrjens and trading Tommy Hanson, but dealing any of it for one year of Granderson may not be something GM Frank Wren is willing to do.

Seattle, Texas and Philadelphia are all in the market for outfielders. The Mariners and Rangers have young talent to trade, but again, it's a one-year rental, like Shin-Soo Choo, and using up a top prospect to get him may not be wise for anyone.

The Yankees could use the payroll savings to spend on pitching, third base and perhaps a cheaper outfielder. They can also hang onto Granderson and go cheap on the right fielder, such as Cody Ross, a player they were linked to this week.

Wednesday, ESPN The Magazine's Buster Olney tweets that the Yankees have been exchanging trade proposals with clubs, including those that involve Granderson, so the chances of him being moved are non-zero.'s Andrew Marchand wrote Tuesday that there at least six reasons to trade Granderson. One being his relative value:

- Jason A. Churchill

Andrew Marchand | ESPN New York
One of six reasons to trade Granderson

"The money you would one day spend on Granderson to stay can be spent on others. We have written about the possibility of getting Josh Hamilton. Ultimately, I think the Yankees will probably stay away from Hamilton, but trading Granderson creates the flexibility Cashman craves."
Tags:Seattle Mariners, Texas Rangers, New York Yankees, Curtis Granderson, Cody Ross
December 5, 2012Is Stanton available?
PM ETGiancarlo Stanton | Marlins Recommend0Comments7EmailThe Miami Marlins, who already have traded Heath Bell, Jose Reyes, Mark Buehrle and Josh Johnson this offseason, do not plan to trade Giancarlo Stanton, but teams keep asking, anyway, reports Danny Knobler of

The price, Knobler says, is "sky high," and likely includes five players in all -- including three high-level prospects. The Marlins say so many teams have called that it would easier to list those that haven't.

The Marlins could get quite the haul if they move Stanton, but it's difficult to imagine a team being able to match up with the Fish. Organizations with deep farm systems and good young talent come to mind, such as the Tampa Bay Rays, San Diego Padres, Oakland Athletics, Seattle Mariners, Texas Rangers and Kansas City Royals, but only the Rays, A's and Mariners of that group have a sore need for offense.

The Boston Red Sox, Los Angeles Dodgers and New York Yankees do not appear to have the necessary young, cheap talent to land Stanton -- the Sox have the best collection of the trio -- and the Angels don't appear to fit that bill, either.

Stanton is likely staying put, it seems, but at some point the Marlins may have to lower their asking price a little bit. The 23-year-old right fielder isn't happy about the fire sale and the chance he re-signs with the club long term figures to be near zero.

One outside-the-box idea is the Pittsburgh Pirates. They have young takent, including shortstop Alen Hanson and right-handers Jameson Taillon and Gerrit Cole. Both Cole and Taillon are generally considered among the top few pitching prospects in the game.

Since Stanton isn't making big money -- and won't for a few years -- the Bucs' payroll limitations aren't a concern in a move for Stanton.

The Pirates, however, are looking to compete in 2013 and 2014 and most of their assets are likely to be spent on adding starting pitching.

- Jason A. Churchill
Tags:Giancarlo Stanton, Boston Red Sox, Kansas City Royals, Los Angeles Angels, Los Angeles Dodgers, Miami Marlins, Oakland Athletics, Seattle Mariners, St. Louis Cardinals, Tampa Bay Rays, Texas Rangers, Pittsburgh Pirates
December 5, 2012Could A's eye Gordon?
PM ETDee Gordon | Dodgers Recommend0Comments2EmailThere is a shortage of quality shortstops in baseball putting a premium value on the good ones, and stretching that value down to the top defenders and those with some upside. Los Angeles Dodgers youngster Dee Gordon falls into the latter category and is drawing trade interest. Among the clubs that have contacted the Dodgers about the 24-year-old is the Seattle Mariners, tweets Scott Miller of

The Dodgers appear to have a plan on the left side of their infield that includes Hanley Ramirez at shortstop and Luis Cruz manning third base. This leaves Gordon without a place to play, suggesting the most value he has to the club is via trade.

For Seattle, Gordon could allow a trade of Brendan Ryan, who could earn more than $3 million via arbitration. The M's picked up middle infielder Robert Andino last month giving the team some depth. Such a trade could also free up the Mariners to deal prospect Nick Franklin in a trade for a hitter.

The A's, who considered Yunel Escobar but ultimately passed, could be one of the teams asking about Gordon.

- Jason A. Churchill
Tags:Robert Andino, Brendan Ryan, Seattle Mariners, Los Angeles Dodgers, Dee Gordon
December 5, 2012Sluggish market for Choo
PM ETShin-Soo Choo | Indians Recommend0Comments6EmailThe Cleveland Indians are believed to be shopping right fielder Shin-Soo Choo, but so far the market has been slow, and the deal the Minnesota Twins made in sending Denard Span to Washington may be having a negative effect on the Tribe's attempt to get value in return, tweets's Ken Rosenthal.

Span, who is under contract for three more seasons, brought back Alex Meyer, a high-upside starting pitcher, but one who has yet to reach Double-A. Choo is only under contract through 2013. As a result, his value is blurred.

Choo's value could improve once the top outfielders on the free agent market sign, leaving clubs still in need with fewer options. One place Choo may fit well is Atlanta. The Braves have young pitching, and the Indians need that very same thing.

- Jason A. Churchill
Tags:Shin-Soo Choo, Denard Span, Cleveland Indians, Atlanta Braves
December 5, 2012Kubel on the block
AM ETJason Kubel | Diamondbacks Recommend0Comments1EmailThe Arizona Diamondbacks have been in the news quite a bit this offseason, having dangled Justin Upton in trade talks and acquiring Heath Bell from the Miami Marlins. Their next move may be a trade of outfielder Jason Kubel, rather than one including Upton, tweets Ken Rosenthal of

In 2012, Kubel posted his best season since 2009 including a career-best 30 home runs. he's not generally considered a good defender, but could have good value to an American League club that can use him at designated hitter.

Kubel signed a 2-year deal with Arizona last December and is set to earn $7.5 million in 2013. His contract includes a club option for 2014 at the same price, or a $1 million buyout. The salaries are affordable for almost every team in the league, suggesting even the Cleveland Indians, Oakland Athletics and Tampa Bay Rays could have interest.

- Jason A. Churchill
Tags:Jason Kubel, Justin Upton, Arizona Diamondbacks, Cleveland Indians, Oakland Athletics, Tampa Bay Rays
December 5, 2012High price for Dickey
AM ETR.A. Dickey | Mets Recommend0Comments2EmailWe mentioned previously that Mets general manager Sandy Alderson is a popular guy at the winter meetings as he ponders trade options for Cy Young Award winner R.A. Dickey.

The Mets are also discussing an extension with Dickey, who will make $5 million next season (the same as Scott Baker with the Cubs). Dickey's agent Bo McKinnis, tells Adam Rubin of there is enough difference of opinion that he would not be surprised if a trade is completed. "I'm not saying that's our first choice, but if it happens, I'm not going to be surprised," the agent said.

The Mets continue to drive a hard bargain in any trade talk, with one rival executive telling Joel Sherman of the New York Post: "the price is through the roof. He's good, but he's a 38-year-old knuckleballer."

One team that has experienced sticker shock is the Kansas City Royals, who have no intention of surrendering top outfield prospect Wil Myers for Dickey, reports Bob Dutton of the Kansas City Star.

As many as eight teams have expressed interest in Dickey.

- Doug Mittler
Tags:New York Mets, Kansas City Royals, R.A. Dickey
December 5, 2012A's seek a shortstop
AM ETOakland Athletics Recommend0Comments0EmailThe Oakland Athletics had significant interest in Yunel Escobar before the shortstop was traded from the Marlins to the Rays on Tuesday.

Shortstop remains an issue for the A's, with Susan Slusser reporting the club met Tuesday with Hiroyuki Nakajima's agent, Greg Genske, and possibly getting together with Scott Boras, the agent for Stephen Drew.

The A's were more than pleased with Drew's performance after acquiring him in August, but they apparently have no interest in the type of five-year deal that Boras reportedly is seeking.

- Doug Mittler
Tags:Stephen Drew, Oakland Athletics
December 5, 2012Braves pursue Reed Johnson
AM ETReed Johnson | Braves Recommend0Comments1EmailThe Braves are looking to bring back free agent outfielder Reed Johnson, and that could signal the end of the Atlanta career of Matt Diaz, reports David O'Brien of the Atlanta JC.

GM Frank Wren says the club has had conversations with the agent for Johnson, who posted .290/.337/.398 numbers in 269 at-bats last season with the Cubs and Braves, including 18 pinch hits.

.The 35-year-old Johnson would fill the need for a righty-hitting bat off the bench. Diaz, who hit .220 with two homers in 108 at-bats, is no longer an option.

- Doug Mittler
Tags:Matt Diaz, Reed Johnson, Atlanta Braves
December 5, 2012Phils interested in Young?
AM ETMichael Young | Rangers Recommend0Comments0EmailThe Texas Rangers are unsure as what role Michael Young will play in 2013, particularly if they are able to re-sign outfielder Josh Hamilton.

Young was the primary designated hitter for the Rangers but also played a fair amount in the infield. As Richard Durrett details on, Young could be in line for fewer at-bats. If the Rangers re-sign Hamilton and still have the rest of their outfield group, including center fielder Leonys Martin, manager Ron Washington could try to get at-bats for David Murphy and Nelson Cruz at DH.

Jeff Wilson of the Star Telegram says the Phillies, among the teams looking to add a bat, could be interested in Young, who has 10-5 rights and would have to approve any trade. Ranger general manager Jon Daniels said Monday he was not looking to deal Young.

- Doug Mittler
Tags:Michael Young, Philadelphia Phillies, Texas Rangers
December 5, 2012Greinke update
AM ETZack Greinke | Angels Recommend0Comments2EmailThe Los Angeles Dodgers are reportedly shopping right-hander Aaron Harang and southpaw Chris Capuano, a sign that they are indeed the frontrunners for free agent right-hander Zack Greinke, as reported by Jon Morosi of via Twitter.'s Jayson Stark says Greinke is handling the courting process at a very deliberate pace, and that has left the rest of the free agent starting pitching market "in a state of near paralysis." Once Greinke decides, the other dominoes could fall quickly.

Several clubs could be fits for either mid-rotation starter via trade, including a long list of clubs searching for starting pitching tweeted by Jon Heyman of

Capuano is signed through 2013 at $6 million with a club option for 2014 at $8 million. The 34-year-old pitched 198 innings in 2012 and posted a solid 3.72 ERA and figures to be a very attractive chip for the Dodgers.

The Red Sox checked in on Greinke, but ESPN Insider's Jim Bowden reports via Twitter that the it didn't get any further than said tire kicking.

If Greinke lands with the Dodgers, the Angels, Rangers and Red Sox could move on to Anibal Sanchez, Kyle Lohse or potentially look into a trade for Cliff Lee.

- Doug Mittler and Jason A. Churchill
Tags:Texas Rangers, Seattle Mariners, Boston Red Sox, Los Angeles Dodgers, Los Angeles Angels, Chris Capuano, Kyle Lohse, Anibal Sanchez, Zack Greinke, Cliff Lee
December 5, 2012Any progress on Hamilton?
AM ETJosh Hamilton | Rangers Recommend0Comments0EmailThere was some buzz around Nashville that the Rangers and Josh Hamilton were making progress on a multi-year deal, but Texas general manager Jon Daniels told Richard Durrett of he has not communicated Hamilton's agent, Mike Moye, at the winter meetings as of Tuesday.

Daniels did acknowledge that he could meet with Moye shortly either late Tuesday night or Wednesday.

Ken Rosenthal of tweeted Tuesday afternoon that progress has been made in contract talks between the former MVP and the Rangers. Rosenthal says the deal would likely be for four years and that it remains a possibility that another club could offer five years or more.

The Red Sox have also been mentioned as a potential suitor, but Boston's signing of Shane Victorino could make that far less likely. The Phillies have been linked to Hamilton, too, but they may not have the payroll flexibility to make a competitive offer without trading a significant contract, such as left-hander Cliff Lee.

- Doug Mittler and Jason A. Churchill
Tags:Josh Hamilton, Texas Rangers, Seattle Mariners, Boston Red Sox, Philadelphia Phillies, Cliff Lee
December 5, 2012Fowler deal more likely?
AM ETDexter Fowler | Rockies Recommend0Comments7EmailAs free agent outfielders continue to come off the board, the Colorado Rockies have an increasingly valuable bargaining chip in Dexter Fowler, wrote Troy Renck of the Denver Post on Tuesday.

In an updated story, Renck says keeping Fowler in Colorado could be as risky as trading him for a pitcher, given the outfielder's value may never be as high as it is now.

The Giants' Angel Pagan (four years, $40 million), the Braves' B.J. Upton (five years, $75 million) and Boston's Shane Victorino (three years, $39 million) already have signed, and the price of Josh Hamilton and Michael Bourn won't be cheap, That could prompt the Rockies to seriously consider offers from desperate teams for Fowler, who is coming off a breakout season (.300/.389/.474).

Possible targets include the Phillies, Reds and Braves, all of whom are seeking a leadoff hitter.

- Doug Mittler
Tags:Atlanta Braves, Dexter Fowler, Cincinnati Reds, Colorado Rockies
December 5, 2012Reds, Ludwick close to a deal?
AM ETRyan Ludwick | Reds Recommend0Comments0EmailReds general manager Walt Jocketty sounded optimistic Tuesday that the club would be able to retain free agent outfielder Ryan Ludwick, and Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports reported that night the two sides were "getting close" to a deal.'s Mark Sheldon later tweeted that the rumor of a deal being imminent was "not so true," but there was nothing to suggest the talks had collapsed either.

Ludwick ended up as one of baseball's best bargains in 2012 after signing a one-year, $2.5 million with Cincinnati as a free agent and batting .275 with 26 home runs and 80 RBI. The Reds have been linked previously to Angel Pagan and Shane Victorino, two outfielders who have landed elsewhere, so there could be more of an incentive for Jocketty to make a deal.

- Doug Mittler
Tags:Ryan Ludwick, Cincinnati Reds
December 5, 2012Second base questions in St. Louis
AM ETSt. Louis Cardinals Recommend0Comments0EmailThere have been conflicting reports as to whether the St. Louis Cardinals made a serious push for Marco Scutaro, who ended up taking a three-year, $20 million deal to stay in San Francisco.

The question remains whether the Cardinals at comfortable at second base, where manager Mike Matheny used a rotating cast last season before settling on Daniel Descalso down the stretch. The Cardinals also are counting on shortstop Rafael Furcal to be return from elbow surgery, and his progress is believed to be encouraging.

As for outside options, Derrick Goold of the Post Dispatch says the Cardinals are one of the teams to check on the cost of free agent Stephen Drew, who split last season between Arizona and Oakland.

- Doug Mittler
Tags:Daniel Descalso, St. Louis Cardinals
December 5, 2012Extension for Bailey?
AM ETHomer Bailey | Reds Recommend0Comments0EmailThe Cincinnati Reds have talked to Homer Bailey about a long-term extension and plan to do the same with fellow righthander Mat Latos, tweets John Fay of the Enquirer.

Bailey, who won 13 games with a 3.68 ERA, made $2.4 million this past season and is eligible for arbitration. At this stage, Bailey looks like the fourth starter behind Johnny Cueto, Latos and Bronson Arroyo, a slot that could change if Aroldis Chapman lands in the rotation.

- Doug Mittler
Tags:Homer Bailey, Cincinnati Reds
December 5, 2012One of each for Texas?
AM ETTexas Rangers Recommend0Comments0EmailThe Texas Rangers have been linked to trades for Justin Upton and free-agent deals for Josh Hamilton and Zack Greinke, and Ken Rosenthal writes Tuesday night that it's not likely the clubs gets Hamilton and Greinke, meaning one or the other, probably due to financial cost. Rosenthal adds that their plans is to add one premium bat -- Upton or Hamilton -- and one premium arm -- Greinke or James Shields.

If the Rangers ink Hamilton and as a result are out on Greinke, they may be out on Upton, too, considering they may need their trade assets to land a starting pitcher, perhaps or Shields or Cliff Lee.

Whether or not the Rangers have enough young talent to acquire both Upton and Shields or another impact starting pitcher remains to be seen. Greinke could break CC Sabathia's record for guaranteed dollars, which would mean north of $160 million, and the Dodgers are believed to be the favorites heading into Day 3 of the winter meetings.

- Jason A. Churchill
Tags:Zack Greinke, Josh Hamilton, Justin Upton, James Shields, Cliff Lee, Texas Rangers, Los Angeles Dodgers
December 5, 2012Rockies add reliever
AM ETColorado Rockies Recommend0Comments0EmailThe Colorado Rockies have long been after starting pitcher upgrades and while that continues, Troy Renck of the Denver Post reported early Tuesday that the club also would like to add a late-inning relief option. Renck reports Tuesday night that the club is nearing a deal with the Houston Astros for right-hander Wilton Lopez.'s Thomas Harding reports the Rockies acquired Lopez and a player to be named or cash from the Astros for righty starter Alex White and minor league right-hander Alex Gillingham.

Lopez was traded to Philadelphia last week but the deal fell apart. A source told Rumor Central that Lopez's elbow didn't check out with the Phillies after taking a physical, thus they pulled out and moved on to other options.

The Rockies are likely to use Lopez to set up closer Rafael Betancourt, potentially sharing the role with Rex Brothers, a left-hander.

- Jason A. Churchill
post #9039 of 72992
Sources: Phillies acquire Ben Revere from Twins.
What's 1.21 gigawatts to a McFly like me. Can you please remind me?
What's 1.21 gigawatts to a McFly like me. Can you please remind me?
post #9040 of 72992
Seattle's chances of landing Hamilton, 32, depend largely on whether the Texas Rangers are able to outbid the Dodgers for the services of starting pitcher Zack Greinke.

If the Rangers land Greinke, they are expected to abandon their pursuit of Hamilton. And if that occurs, the source says the Mariners and Hamilton would likely get a deal done "very soon" after.
post #9041 of 72992
Breaking: #Twins trade Ben Revere to Phillies for pitcher Vance Worley.


Phillies acquire Ben Revere from Twins for Vance Worley, Trevor May Insiders report the Phillies have traded for Minnesota's Ben Revere, thus giving them their long-sought center fielder. Right-hander Vance Worley and, reports our Scott Miller, a "good" prospect will be going to the Twins in return.

The 24-year-old Revere is coming off a 2012 season in which he batted .294/.333/.342 with six triples and 40 stolen bases in 124 games played. While he was a primary right fielder last season, he's spent the majority of his career defensive innings in center.

As for Worley, age 25, he boasts a career ERA of 3.50 across two seasons and change at the highest level. In 2012, however, his ERA was a less impressive 4.20. The 23-year-old May, meanwhile, posted a 4.87 ERA at Double-A last season. He was named the Phillies Minor League Pitcher of the Year in 2011, and presently ranks him as is currently ranked as the second-ranked prospect in the Phillies' system.
Edited by RyGuy45 - 12/6/12 at 10:08am
post #9042 of 72992
i cant believe im gonna wind up rooting for youkilis mean.gif
Yanks Knicks Jets
Yanks Knicks Jets
post #9043 of 72992
Originally Posted by onewearz View Post

i cant believe im gonna wind up rooting for youkilis mean.gif


have fun with the wife beater...can't believe he's marrying into sports royalty mean.gif
Boston Bruins | New England Patriots | Boston Red Sox | Georgetown Hoyas | Michigan Wolverines |
Arsenal FC | Huevos Rancheros Hockey | USMNT
Boston Bruins | New England Patriots | Boston Red Sox | Georgetown Hoyas | Michigan Wolverines |
Arsenal FC | Huevos Rancheros Hockey | USMNT
post #9044 of 72992
Originally Posted by DeadsetAce View Post

Originally Posted by onewearz View Post

i cant believe im gonna wind up rooting for youkilis mean.gif


have fun with the wife beater...can't believe he's marrying into sports royalty mean.gif

it feels so dirty laugh.gif
Yanks Knicks Jets
Yanks Knicks Jets
post #9045 of 72992
Thread Starter 
Well supposedly it's between them and Cleveland, I'd bet he takes less money + guaranteed job + Terry over the $12mm from the Yanks.
post #9046 of 72992
Originally Posted by NooEra View Post

Why do people think Jacoby Ellsbury is good? Red Sox please trade this man ASAP and let some other chump give him 6 years and 100+ million

Dude sucks laugh.gif


If you want to say you hate Ellsbury because he is injury prone, fine. No argument here. If you wanna say he sucks, you come off looking like either an idiot or a hater. Ellsbury doesnt suck. Period.
post #9047 of 72992
I mean, this is unheard of right? Normally peoples no-trade list have teams like the Pirates, the Royals or other s****y teams. Its like this dude doesnt want to be traded to a good team. I was blown away when I was listening to them talk about this.
It's a contract extension tactic.

They better get a deal for him done today. Cabrera for Bauer and Corbin. The end.
post #9048 of 72992
Come on Phillies, take a chance on Josh Hamilton
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Hard Knocks Open Tough Locks

post #9049 of 72992
Thread Starter 
You want another old/bad contract on that team?
post #9050 of 72992
Originally Posted by Proshares View Post

You want another old/bad contract on that team?

I'll take my chances, Utley and Halladay or gone after this year
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Hard Knocks Open Tough Locks

post #9051 of 72992
Thread Starter 
I don't think you'd want to take your chances. You'd still be maybe 3rd best in the division with him.
post #9052 of 72992
Originally Posted by Proshares View Post

I don't think you'd want to take your chances. You'd still be maybe 3rd best in the division with him.

Please the Phil's will compete for the division again this yr, they got to .500 and made up 14 games after the AS break once they got their players back

That's a pace to win 95 games
Edited by StillIn729 - 12/6/12 at 12:10pm
Hard Knocks Open Tough Locks

Hard Knocks Open Tough Locks

post #9053 of 72992
Thread Starter 
They'll compete sure. They won't finish higher than 3rd though. Too many holes and another year on those old players. I'm sure Doc will be back to his ways but the bullpen will be a problem and there's not another 5+ win catcher walking through that door.
post #9054 of 72992

nt's resident cuban inda house



Aledmys Diaz & Dariel Alvarez Close To Free Agency

Cuban prospects Aledmys Diaz and Dariel Alvarez are expected to be declared free agents soon, reports's Jesse Sanchez. Both players have submitted their paperwork to the commissioner's office and could enter the market as soon as early next week.

Diaz, 22, is a right-handed hitting shortstop who defected last summer and has since established residency in Mexico. He stands 6-foot-1 and 185 lbs. and will take part in a series of showcase events starting next week. Sanchez says Diaz can hit for average and power while providing speed as well. Several teams have already expressed interest in signing him.

Alvarez, 24, is a right-handed hitting outfielder. He also defected last summer and established residency in Mexico, where he has been playing winter ball. Alvarez stands 6-foot-2 and 190 lbs. and is said to be able to play all three outfield spots while providing an above-average arm. Sanchez says it's unclear if Diaz or Alvarez will command contracts on par with Yoenis Cespedes and Yasiel Puig.



post #9055 of 72992
Buster Olney said the Dodgers would have to pay 180 mil to equal 150 mil that Texas could pay because of taxes
post #9056 of 72992
Originally Posted by dland24 View Post

If you want to say you hate Ellsbury because he is injury prone, fine. No argument here. If you wanna say he sucks, you come off looking like either an idiot or a hater. Ellsbury doesnt suck. Period.

Umm no Ellsbury does suck laugh.gif

Games played is one of the most important stats there is. If u cant stay on the field then you suck.

Ellsbury is 30 years old. Had one good year. Dude sucks. Period.
Team Boston {since 1990}
Team Boston {since 1990}
post #9057 of 72992
Originally Posted by NooEra View Post

Umm no Ellsbury does suck laugh.gif
Games played is one of the most important stats there is. If u cant stay on the field then you suck.
Ellsbury is 30 years old. Had one good year. Dude sucks. Period.



Stupid and proud of it.

post #9058 of 72992
Originally Posted by mr jordan04 View Post

Buster Olney said the Dodgers would have to pay 180 mil to equal 150 mil that Texas could pay because of taxes

Interesting discussion on the twitters sphere, although it is deceiving since property taxes are higher in Texas. So hope Greinke doesn't plan on buying a house in Texas if he signs there.
Instagram: backyardlobo
Instagram: backyardlobo
post #9059 of 72992
Fam ive watched a lot of Jacoby. Probably more than anyone on this board other than Deadset. DA is a smart dude and very knowledgable when it comes to Boston sports so i respect his opinion on everything sports but i have to disagree with him on wanting Jacoby back.

Do yall remember that year Bill Muelluer (sp) won the batting title? It was a mirage. A one hit wonder. Thats what Jacobys MVP candidate year was. Baseball is mental. Any pro ball player can be confident and have a good year. The great ones are consistently good. Jacoby never been consistently good.

You know who's really stupid? Anyone who signs dude to a big contract. Like, VERY stupid. He will NOT live up to expectations. He will make a few athletic catches then break his ankle a quarter of the way through the season running out a bunt.

But thats okay guiz. Believe the hype. The fact that Jacoby is actually a desirable trade asset speaks to how trash the FA pool is. Yall are funny trying to inst my intelligence based on my evaluation of a player who is extremely overrated laugh.gif
Team Boston {since 1990}
Team Boston {since 1990}
post #9060 of 72992
^ just to be clear, i want him back...but not at the price that it would take. he's not a $20M/year player imo. boras is going to get him a $80M-$100M thanks.
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