MLB Winter Meetings News Day 1

December 3, 2007 at 1:12 pm 4 comments

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—The Dallas Morning News reports that the Cardinals and Rangers may be discussing a swap of Scott Rolen and Chris Duncan for Hank Blalock. Including Duncan could be a way for the Cardinals to avoid having to pay much of Rolen’s $12 million-per-year salary. It’d be an interesting gamble for the Rangers. They’d get older at third base and they’d have to hope Rolen’s shoulder heals up well, but it’s possible that Rolen would prove to be an upgrade from Blalock and Duncan would fit nicely at first base. (


—The Nats and Rays have scheduled 5pm press conferences so it makes it all but certain that Elijah Dukes in going to the Nats. One person heard Jim Bowden talking to someone named Elijah on the phone in the lobby earlier today. They may be giving up Jon Rauch in the deal. According to one source the Nats will part with closer Chad Cordero. (some info from The Washington Post just reported (3:40 pm) that the Nationals will only be giving up a minor leaguer for Elijah Dukes.

—The Rays also made Edwin Jackson available and they want a catcher or 1B/OF and the Mariners may give Ben Broussard for him. The Mariners have shown significant interest in Jackson. (

—The Astros are pursuing Jon Lieber after missing out on Randy Wolf. (

—The D-Backs traded OF Carlos Quentin to the White Sox for minor league 1B Chris Carter. The article is here (

—The Pirates are showing interest in Colorado’s Jamey Carroll. (buccoblog)

—A source told ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick that the Dodgers have a two-year, $32 million offer to Andruw Jones on the table.

—The Rockies have reportedly offered free agent Jeremy Affeldt only $4 million for two years.
(The News Journal)

—The Mariners are intent on trading Richie Sexson at the winter meeting, says’s Ken Rosenthal. I personally think you might see the Yanks go after him. Could you imagine him with that short porch in LF! Another team that might go after him is the Giants.

—The Pirates claimed MIF Josh Wilson off waivers from the Rays today making it clear that the Rays made a move. (

—A baseball source says 10-12 teams have inquired about Jason Jennings, who is recovering from elbow surgery. He is expected to begin throwing by spring training and should be ready to pitch sometime next season. (Amy Nelson

—There are rumblings that the Pirates and Indians are talking about a potential Jason Bay trade. ESPN’s Steve Phillips believes the Pirates are looking at Cliff Lee and Kelly Shoppach from the Indians as a potential return for Jason Bay. I would ask for more if I were the Pirates. The Indians should pull the trigger on that in a heartbeat!


—The Padres have offered free agent Brett Tomko a one-year, $1.5 million contract. He will likely be a reliever. (

—Free agent Darin Erstad has received interest from the Padres, Mariners, Astros and Rays. He makes sense for the Rays to be a 1B/OF that can play defense and pinch run/pinch hit. (

—The very first person to arrive at Livan Hernandez’s agent’s door — literally at Greg Genske’s office door in Newport Beach, Calif. — at the onset of the free-agent period was Philadelphia Phillies general manager Pat Gillick. I don;t think he’s the answer in that hitter’s haven in Philly. I understand the Phillies need pitching but bad pitching is not what they need. (

—The Elijah Dukes trade appears to be for a player to be named now. The deal is all but done. (

—The Texas Rangers are quietly shopping third baseman Hank Blalock, who spent last season battling injuries. Even when healthy, Blalock’s production has slipped significantly from his All-Star 2003 and 2004 seasons when he hit 61 home runs and drove in 200 runs.

The Rangers plan to approach the Dodgers regarding Blalock, who will make an affordable $5.95 million in 2008 with a club option in 2009 for $6.2 million. The Dodgers want to add a big bat at third base because they aren’t convinced Nomar Garciaparra will return even to his 2006 form or that prospect Andy LaRoche can shake back pain and become a productive everyday player. However, they aren’t convinced Blalock is the answer. (

—The Pirates designated 1B/OF Brad Eldred and reliever Brian Rogers for assignment to make room on the 40-man roster. Someone should take a flier on Eldred. He has awesome power but has strikeout problems and isn’t very good in the field. (

—Left-hander Glenn Gibson (4-3 with a 3.10 ERA and a 58/15 K.BB rate in 58 IP and a .223 BAA) is going from the Nationals to the Rays for Elijah Dukes. The Rays could have done worse here, as Gibson, a 2006 fourth-round pick, ranked among the Nationals’ top-10 prospects. The trade is expected to be officially announced at 6 p.m. EST. (

—The Dallas Morning News reports that the Cardinals and Rangers may be discussing a swap of Scott Rolen and Chris Duncan for Hank Blalock. Including Duncan could be a way for the Cardinals to avoid having to pay much of Rolen’s $12 million-per-year salary. It’d be an interesting gamble for the Rangers. They’d get older at third base and they’d have to hope Rolen’s shoulder heals up well, but it’s possible that Rolen would prove to be an upgrade from Blalock and Duncan would fit nicely at first base. (

—The Nationals have reportedly targeted free agent Jason Jennings as they seek to upgrade their rotation. (

—Agent Joe Urbon is scheduled to meet with the Giants, as well as the Cubs, regarding Kosuke Fukudome. (


—Free agent Marcus Giles has attracted interest from the Rockies and Mariners. Colorado is trying to sign Mark Loretta to replace Kaz Matsui, and Giles is one of their fallback options if they lose out on Loretta. Seattle would be interested if it trades Jose Lopez. (

—Geoff Baker of the Seattle Times has heard rumors of a Raul Ibanez-for-Mark Prior trade, though he’s been told it isn’t happening.

—The Mariners are after Erik Bedard, the Tacoma News Tribune reports. Larry LaRue believes the Mariners would have to offer Adam Jones, Brandon Morrow and Jeff Clement to pull off a Bedard deal. That price sounds about right, though the Orioles may prefer Wladimir Balentien to Clement with Matt Wieters on the way as a catcher of the future. (

—Yankees re-signed catcher Jose Molina to a two-year, $4 million contract. The Yankees might have wanted a better backup had Jorge Posada left, but as is, they’re fine with the defensive-minded Molina. It didn’t hurt that he hit .318 in 66 at-bats after coming over from the Angels last season. The 32-year-old is a career .243/.279/.345 hitter. (

—Yankees designated first baseman Andy Phillips for assignment. Phillips, who cleared waivers when the Yankees cut him at the end of spring training, ended up hitting .292/.338/.373 in 185 at-bats last season. He’d be eligible to become a free agent if he clears waivers again. The Yankees would be open to using him as a part-time first baseman again, but he was definitely one of the most expendable players on their 40-man roster, even if that 40-man roster does still include Carl Pavano. (

— Right-hander Hiroki Kuroda, a 32-year-old free agent, is being pursued by the Diamondbacks, Dodgers, Mariners, Phillies and Royals. Seattle is believed to have offered Kuroda a three-year contract for close to $30 million. Kuroda isn’t expected to make a decision until after the Winter Meetings, which end Thursday morning at the Operyland Hotel. (

—Despite Doug Melvin’s claim Saturday, the Brewers and Cardinals are discussing a Scott Rolen trade, says the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. Joe Strauss calls the Brewers the front-runner and believes the momentum for a deal is there. Chris Capuano would likely be involved in any deal with Milwaukee. T.R. Sullivan, who covers the Rangers for, has indicated that there’s little to the rumors of a Rolen-for-Hank Blalock swap. (

Chris Capuano-for-Scott Rolen trade talk is alive and well at the Opryland Hotel. But the Brewers are wary of Rolen’s medical reports, and they would have to pick up a significant chunk of the $36 million left on Rolen’s contract over the next three years. Given the hard feelings that exist between Rolen and St. Louis manager Tony La Russa, Rolen probably wouldn’t be averse to waiving his no-trade clause. “It hasn’t gotten any better,” one person with the Cardinals said of the Rolen-La Russa dynamic. (

—The Reds need pitching, but they don’t have a lot of money left after signing closer Francisco Cordero to a four-year deal. So Cincinnati is talking trade with a bunch of teams here in Nashville and using some of its young position players as bait for a starter. Jay Bruce is out of the question, and Joey Votto would be tough to get, but the Reds are listening on third baseman Edwin Encarnacion and center fielder Josh Hamilton. The Cubs are a natural fit for Hamilton, but Sean Marshall isn’t likely to get it done. One possible fit for Encarnacion: the Giants, who may need a third baseman if incumbent Pedro Feliz declines the team’s salary arbitration offer. (


—The Phillies and Rays both spoke with Damon Lapa, the agent for free-agent outfielder Geoff Jenkins. It’s not a strong year for left-handed hitting corner men — with Trot Nixon, Shawn Green, Cliff Floyd, Brad Wilkerson and Luis Gonzalez as the other main options — so Jenkins is getting considerable play. “We expect multiple multiyear offers,” Lapa said. San Diego and Texas are among the other clubs keeping tabs on Jenkins. (

—Barry Praver, the agent for free-agent starter Carlos Silva, arrived at the Opryland this afternoon after attending Silva’s wedding in Venezuela over the weekend. Now Praver and his partner, Scott Shapiro, will try to negotiate a four- or five-year deal for Silva for more than $10 million annually. Silva and Kyle Lohse might have to wait for the Johan Santana, Dan Haren and Erik Bedard sweepstakes to play out before teams start getting serious. (


—The Red Sox are interested in Rockies reliever Brian Fuentes, and Colorado could ask for Jed Lowrie in return, a baseball source says. Lowrie, a 23-year-old second baseman who’s been rumored in other trade discussions, was the 45th overall pick in the 2005 draft and is a product of Stanford. (

—WFAN radio in New York reports that “there’s news floating around that the Mets are close on Erik Bedard.” The Bedard rumors have picked up steam since he reportedly told the Orioles that he’s not interested in working out a long-term contract extension. There’s some speculation that the Orioles could ask the Mets to take Miguel Tejada and his contract back in a Bedard trade, but it’s unclear where Tejada would play in New York. It remains to be seen if the Mets have the pieces to pull off a trade for Bedard even after dealing Lastings Milledge. (

—Orioles agreed to terms with catcher Guillermo Quiroz on a one-year contract. Quiroz’s stock has plummeted since being a top catching prospect years ago, but he’s still just 26 years old and could carve out of a career as a backup. He hit just .266/.307/.398 in 71 games at Triple-A in 2007, but could replace Paul Bako as Ramon Hernandez’s caddy. (

—According to, “one theory” has the Cardinals trading Scott Rolen to the Giants before signing former Giants third baseman Pedro Feliz to replace him. The Giants are also said to be in on Miguel Tejada, so they’re clearly looking for a veteran third baseman. As always, Rolen’s no-trade clause looms large over any potential trade. (


–General manager Jon Daniels said Monday the Rangers have talked to the Pirates about Jason Bay. “We’ve had some conversations with them, but nothing has bubbled to the surface,” Daniels said. speculates that the Pirates could be interested in relievers Joaquin Benoit, Frank Francisco or Kameron Loe, but there’s little chance of Bay fetching that little. (

—The Padres are moving closer to a trade for a pitcher, perhaps for either Mark Prior or Josh Towers. Towers should pay the Padres for a chance to pitch in San Diego. He’d likely make it back as a free agent next winter. Both Prior and Towers are candidates to be non-tendered, though at the moment, it looks like it won’t come to that for either. (San Diego Union-Tribune )

— reports that the Nationals are shopping Austin Kearns and Felipe Lopez for starting pitching. Kearns is more expendable after Monday’s trade for Elijah Dukes gave the Nationals four outfielders for three spots. Washington is said to be interested in Mike Pelfrey of the Mets and Kevin Slowey of the Twins. (

—The Indians will soon make a contract proposal to 2007 Cy Young Award winner C.C. Sabathia. The club intends to have the matter of a contract extension for Sabathia settled by the time pitchers and catchers report. If he doesn’t agree to one by then, they’ll let him play out the season and then resume negotiating once he’s eligible for free agency. Sabathia is likely to command at least a Barry Zito-type deal (seven years, $126 million) as a free agent. The Indians probably won’t get him for Jake Peavy money. (

—General manager Kevin Towers indicated Monday that Matt Antonelli could begin 2008 as the Padres’ starting second baseman. The Padres are still in the market for a veteran, but Towers has said throughout the offseason that he wouldn’t be opposed to handing Antonelli the job if needed. “We’re keeping an open mind,” Towers said. “If we don’t feel [Antonelli’s] ready, we will start him off at Triple-A.” (

—The Royals are moving close to agreeing to a three-year deal with Jose Guillen worth $11 million-$12 million per season. (

—Tigers looking at Octavio Dotel and Latroy Hawkins. Tigers president/general manager Dave Dombrowski said Monday evening that he’d be “content” if his team left Nashville with the same pitching staff it has now, but that doesn’t seem to stop Detroit from looking for relief help.

Octavio Dotel’s agent, Dan Horwits, was set to meet with the Tigers later Monday night, and LaTroy Hawkins’ agent, Larry Reynolds, was expected to meet with the club at some point during these meetings. In addition, Dombrowski said they’ve had more initial trade discussions than usual after sending out their scouts and other officials to gather what other teams needed and had available to give. (

-Jonathan C. Mitchell

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Entry filed under: Uncategorized.

D-Backs send Quentin to White Sox MLB Winter Meetings News Day 2

4 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Denver Browns Baseball  |  December 3, 2007 at 4:22 pm

    The Rox need to step up and make a big move….

  • 2. Jonathan C. Mitchell  |  December 3, 2007 at 4:23 pm

    I agree. They could use a 2B and/or another pitcher.

  • 3. Kev  |  December 3, 2007 at 5:34 pm

    Dukes trade was for Glenn Gibson.

  • 4. Jonathan C. Mitchell  |  December 3, 2007 at 5:36 pm

    Yes sir, you are correct. We have it near the bottom of the 3:30-6:30 time slot with his stats too. Not a bad move for either team at all.


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