October 2007 - Baseball Wiretap
Last Ball From World Series 'Lost?'
The last ball from Boston's 2007 World Series victory might not get back to the Red Sox, after all. Jason Varitek caught the final strikeout Sunday night to complete a four-game sweep of Colorado, then tucked the ball in his back pocket as he ran to the mound to celebrate. Varitek said after the game that he'd give the souvenir to the team, but on Wednesday he said he gave it to closer Jonathan Papelbon. "I already gave it to Pap," Varitek said. "It's out of my hands." Papelbon does not know where the ball is, his agent Sam Levinson said Wednesday.
Alou, Easley Staying With Mets
Moises Alou is staying with the Mets, and Damion Easley will return next season, too. The Mets exercised their $7.5 million option on Alou's contract Wednesday, bringing back the 41-year-old left fielder who was limited to 87 games this season because of a quadriceps injury. New York also re-signed Easley to a $950,000, one-year deal. The backup infielder and outfielder provided a boost off the bench in 2007 before a badly sprained left ankle ended his season on Aug. 18.
Reds Exercise $13 Million Option On Dunn
Left fielder Adam Dunn will be back with the Reds for at least one more season. The Reds on Wednesday exercised Dunn's $13 million option for 2008. Dunn, who turns 28 on Nov. 9, is eligible for free agency at the end of the season. The exercising of his option triggers a clause in his contract giving him full no-trade protection until June 15. After that, Dunn could be traded to 10 clubs, but the list would be of his own choosing.
Rowand Says He'll Test Market
Aaron Rowand filed for free agency this week. But while the Phillies maintain exclusive negotiating rights with him through Nov. 12, his California-based agent said Rowand won't re-sign with the Phils until after he gauges offers from other teams. "Let's say a club says it will pay market value and no more, and a player says he just wants his market value. How do you determine that unless you listen to other offers formally?" Craig Landis said by phone Tuesday. "Market value can only be defined by other offers, and the 2007-08 market hasn't been established yet." "We've waited this long. We're just going to wait for the official free agency to start, listen to what other interesting offers may be out there, and see what [the Phillies] have to say." Rowand, 30, figures to be courted by several teams after enjoying his best offensive season. He made $4.35 million through arbitration in 2007 and likely will seek a four-year deal that could be worth about $10 million per season.
Boras Says Yankees Can Still Talk With A-Rod
Scott Boras says the New York Yankees could still negotiate with Alex Rodriguez if they wanted to. Boras maintained Wednesday that the Yankees should treat A-Rod the same way they deal with reliever Mariano Rivera and catcher Jorge Posada, who also are free agents. "Why is it that Alex is the only Yankee who can't become a free agent?" Boras said Wednesday. "That question was not answered, and we think it's a question that's going to be asked for years to come." The Yankees had repeatedly said that they wouldn't negotiate with Rodriguez if he opted out because they would lose the subsidy the Texas Rangers agreed to as part of the 2004 trade that sent A-Rod to New York. Rodriguez terminated his contract on Sunday. "We were very sincere and honest and direct with Scott Boras. ... It's a lot of money -- to any franchise, even the New York Yankees," general manager Brian Cashman said Tuesday. "It was just a representation of simple economics: $30 million is nothing to sneeze at." New York was owed $21.3 million from Texas over the final three years of Rodriguez's contract, which also called for the Rangers to pay him $3 million annually in money to be deferred.
Pettitte: I'll Play For Yanks Or No One
Andy Pettitte said during the season that he would either return to the Yankees or retire. But with all the Yankees' recent changes, it would have been reasonable to wonder if he was having second thoughts. Pettitte nixed the idea that he might play elsewhere next year, in an interview with Houston's FOX 26 Sports (KRIV). The story was posted on the TV station's Web site. He told KRIV that he will either play for the Yankees next year or not at all.
White Sox Decline Options On Erstad, Myers
The Chicago White Sox on Wednesday declined club options for 2008 on infielder/outfielder Darin Erstad and left-hander Mike Myers. Erstad's option was for $3.5 million, and Myers' was for $1.1 million. Erstad's one season with the White Sox was marred by injuries. He twice went to the disabled list and ended up batting .248 with four homers and 32 RBIs in 87 games. He signed with the White Sox last January after spending 11 seasons with the Los Angeles Angels.
Cardinals Hire Mozeliak As New GM
The Cardinals hired John Mozeliak as their new general manager Wednesday, promoting him to replace the fired Walt Jocketty. The 38-year-old Mozeliak had been the Cardinals' assistant GM for the last five years. He got a three-year contract. The hiring signified a stay-the-course stance for the Cardinals, coming off a disappointing 78-win season a year after winning the World Series.
Dodgers: Mutual Interest With Torre
Los Angeles Dodgers' General Manager Ned Colletti sidestepped the Joe Torre question Tuesday, but on Wednesday he admitted to ESPN.com's Jayson Stark that there is "mutual interest" between the team and the former Yankees' manager. Colletti told Stark that the Dodgers and Torre are "in the early stages of getting to know each other." Grady Little resigned Tuesday as Dodgers' manager after two seasons.
Cameron Fails Second Stimulant Test
Mike Cameron, the Padres' Gold Glove center fielder, was suspended for the first 25 games of next season on Wednesday after testing positive a second time for a banned stimulant. Cameron, who plans to file for free agency, said he believes he took a tainted supplement. "The one thing I wanted to make sure was explained is, no steroids," Cameron told AM 1090, the Padres' flagship radio station. "I never took nothing like that before in my life. That would be 50 games, and that would affect me a whole lot more." Cameron issued a statement through his agent, saying doctors for the players' association helped him narrow down what triggered the positive test. "After all of the analysis and testing, I can only conclude that a nutritional supplement I was taking was tainted," he said. "Unfortunately, the actual supplement is gone, and therefore cannot be tested. Without the actual supplement in hand, the rules are clear, and I must accept the suspension."
Schilling Names 13 Teams He'd Play For
Curt Schilling listed 2007 playoff teams Cleveland, the Los Angeles Angels, Philadelphia, Arizona and the Chicago Cubs, plus 2006 World Series teams Detroit and St. Louis, the New York Mets, Atlanta,
Mets To Pursue Alex Rodriguez
Early indicators suggest the Mets are leaning toward a full courtship of Alex Rodriguez, pending David Wright's blessing.
Sources: Torre Accepts Dodgers Job
Don Mattingly is expected to accompany Joe Torre to Los Angeles as his bench coach.
Rivera Meeting With Yanks On $40 Million Deal?
A deal to bring Mariano Rivera back to the Bronx may be in the works, as the All-Star closer and his agent are meeting with the Yankees Tuesday at Legends Field.