November 2007 - Baseball Wiretap
Yankees Now Frontrunners For Santana?
The New York Yankees may now be the frontrunners in the Johan Santana sweepstakes. Reluctantly, the Yankees seem prepared to include young right-hander Phil Hughes in a three-player package for baseball's best pitcher. Outfielder Melky Cabrera and an undetermined player would also be included in the trade. If the Yankees ultimately surrender Hughes, league sources indicate they have a strong chance to complete a trade for Santana. The Yankees had been offering a package leading with young pitcher Ian Kennedy and Cabrera, but the Minnesota Twins insist that Hughes be included. The Yankees made Joba Chamberlain off-limits, but it appears the Twins would settle for Hughes if the other pieces are right.
Troy Percival Signs With Rays
The Tampa Bay Rays signed reliever Troy Percival to a two-year contract Friday, addressing a pressing need to improve one of the worst bullpens in the major leagues. The 38-year-old right-hander, who came out of retirement to go 3-0 with a 1.80 ERA in 34 appearances for St. Louis in 2007, will make $8 million during the next two seasons. In addition, he'll have a chance to earn another $4 million-plus in performance incentives. A four-time AL All-Star, Percival is 12th on the all-time saves list with 324. He is 33-41 with a 3.02 ERA in 639 career games with the Cardinals, Detroit Tigers and Los Angeles Angels, where he spent the first 10 years of his career and built a close relationship with Rays' Manager Joe Maddon. Percival left baseball after injuring his right forearm in while pitching for Detroit and missing half of 2005 and all of 2006. He signed with the Cardinals in June 2007 and worked almost exclusively in middle relief this year.
Source: A-Rod's Deal Could Reach $314M
As the New York Yankees and agent Scott Boras move toward a 10-year deal for Alex Rodriguez, the most important number is etched in stone: if Rodriguez achieves all the goals laid out for him, he will finish with a total payout of $314 million. A source with knowledge of the negotiations said the two sides are getting "close" on a deal that will pay Rodriguez $275 million in guaranteed money, $30 million for milestones based on home runs, and $9 million in deferred money that the Texas Rangers owe Rodriguez in conjunction with his decision to opt out of his last contract. In addition, the deal is front loaded, with Rodriguez expected to receive $32 million in each of the first three seasons. Boras and the Yankees are now down to negotiating the final contract language, the source said. Rodriguez, 32, won his third career Most Valuable Player Award this season after hitting 54 homers and driving in 156 runs for the Yankees. Both he and Boras came in for major criticism when it was reported during Game 4 of the World Series that Rodriguez was opting out of the final three years of his deal with New York.
Braves Offer LHP Mahay Arbitration; Decline Offer To A. Jones
The Atlanta Braves today offered salary arbitration to left-handed relief pitcher Ron Mahay and declined to offer arbitration to their other ranking free agent, outfielder Andruw Jones. Teams have until midnight on December 1 to offer arbitration to free-agent players. Mahay, 36, went 1-0 with a 2.25 ERA in 30 games for Atlanta in 2007 after being acquired along with first baseman Mark Teixeira in a July 31 trade with the Texas Rangers. With the Rangers, he went 2-0 with a 2.77 ERA in 28 games. Drafted as an outfielder by the Boston Red Sox in the 18th round of the 1991 draft, the converted pitcher has a career record of 19-10 with four saves and a 3.87 ERA in 359 career games.
Indians, RHP Bauer Agree To Minor League Deal
Right-hander Rick Bauer agreed Friday to a minor league contract with the Indians and was invited to spring training. The 30-year-old Bauer split last season between the Phillies' and Dodgers' organizations. At Triple-A, he was 2-4, 7.36 ERA in 16 games with Ottawa and 0-2 with a 3.60 ERA in 25 games for Las Vegas.
Cardinals Sign Cesar Izturis To One-Year Deal
Hoping to improve their defense, the Cardinals on Friday signed free agent shortstop Cesar Izturis to a one-year contract. Financial terms were not disclosed.
Mr. Milledge Goes To Washington
The Nationals on Friday traded outfielder Ryan Church and catcher Brian Schneider to the Mets for right fielder Lastings Milledge. Both teams have scheduled news conferences for 3 p.m. to announce the trade.
A's Throw Haren Beside Santana In Trade Pool
Johan Santana has company on the trade market. According to league sources, the A's, within the past couple days, have begun calling teams to seek interest in star pitcher Dan Haren, one of the better right-handers in the American League. One difference between Santana and Haren: The Twins are under pressure to deal Santana as he has a year to go before free agency, while the A's have Haren under a team-friendly contract that will pay him $16.25 million through 2010 assuming his $6.75 million option for 2010 is exercised. The A's have contacted at least the Mets, Yankees and Red Sox -- three teams that also have showed interest in Santana -- about Haren, who was 15-9 with a 3.07 ERA in 2007. The A's are thought to be seeking from the Red Sox center fielder Jacoby Ellsbury -- who's currently the sticking point in Boston's bid for Santana -- plus either of two top young pitchers, Clay Buchholz and Jon Lester. The A's also will consider offers for their other top pitchers, including Joe Blanton and Rich Harden. Oakland is believed to have its sights on one or more of the Yankees' three top young pitchers -- Joba Chamberlain, Phil Hughes and Ian Kennedy. From the Mets, among those expected to interest Oakland include pitchers Mike Pelfrey and Kevin Mulvey and outfielders Carlos Gomez, Fernando Martinez and perhaps Lastings Milledge.
Rogers Re-Signs With Detroit
Kenny Rogers ended his free agency Friday and will return to the Detroit Tigers for a third season. Rogers agreed to a one-year deal, representing himself in contract negotiations. He was 3-4 with a 4.43 ERA in an injury-shortened 2007 season after helping the Tigers reach the 2006 World Series.
Dodgers And Mariners Both Want Kuroda
The Dodgers have joined Seattle in aggressive pursuit of Japanese right-hander Hiroki Kuroda. Dodgers' closer Takashi Saito joined club officials in meeting with Kuroda earlier this month in Tokyo. Kuroda, who pitched for the Hiroshima Carp, is a non-restricted free agent. The Mariners have offered a three-year, $30 million deal. Arizona also has made an offer - three years and $27 million - but Kuroda wants to pitch for a team on the West Coast.
Boston And Twins Discussing Framework Of Deal
Any team that agrees with the Twins on the framework of a deal would ask for a 72-hour window to negotiate an extension with Johan Santana.
Will 'Crafty' Billy Beane Trade The A's Top Pitchers?
Everybody wants to know if Dan Haren, Joe Blanton, Rich Harden, or Huston Street might be available.
Twins May Try To Get Reyes From Mets?
Speculation in MLB circles swirled Wednesday that the Mets were considering parting with Jose Reyes to obtain Johan Santana.
Boston Can Get Santana If They Give Up Ellsbury
To this point, the Red Sox have declined to include Jacoby Ellsbury in a package for Johan Santana that centers around young left-handed pitcher Jon Lester.