November 2008 - Baseball Wiretap
Sox Looking For Picks Should Varitek Leave
The Red Sox are likely to offer catcher Jason Varitek arbitration to ensure that they will get something in return should he reject the deal and sign elsewhere. Varitek is a Type A free agent, meaning that Boston would guarantee themselves two draft picks should he sign with another team.
Braves Won't Offer Arbitration To Smoltz
The Braves don't plan to offer pitcher John Smoltz arbitration by Monday's deadline as they wait to see how he heals from shoulder surgery in June. If Atlanta did offer arbitration, and Smoltz accepted, he would position himself to make at least 80 percent of his 2008 salary ($14 million).
White Sox Hoping To Land Extra Picks
The White Sox have no intention of bringing Orlando Cabrera back to the team but are offering him arbitration in hopes of landing extra draft picks. If Cabrera rejects the team's offer, which is expected, Chicago would receive two draft picks as compensation.
Royals Undecided On Grudzielanek
Kansas City must make a decision on Monday regarding whether or not to offer veteran infielder Mark Grudzielanek arbitration. If arbitration is offered, and Grudzielanek signs with another team, the Royals would receive a compensatory draft pick. Grudzielanek is the team's only free agent.
Phil Hughes Focusing On 2009
Yankees' pitcher Phil Hughes spoke with Mark Feinsand of the New York Daily News recently, saying that he is focused on the 2009 season. He has kept tabs on New York's pursuit of a number of high-profile free agents. "It's just one of those wait-and-see things," Hughes said. "We'll sign whoever we sign this winter, and I'll go to spring training with the same attitude that I always do. I don't worry about the things I can't control." Hughes suffered from a rib injury during the 2008 season, meaning that - depending on free agent signings - he may have to fight for a spot in the team's rotation. "Especially the way my season went, that's realistically going to be the case," Hughes said. "I had the same attitude in spring training when I was 19 and had no shot at making the team as I did last year when everyone expected I would. I'll just work hard and see where that takes me."
Reds Definitely Interested In Dye?
Reds' GM Walt Jocketty commented on the offseason Saturday, admitting that the team has had trade discussions with the White Sox. "I'm not going to comment," Jocketty said. "But we have talked to the White Sox about some players. Nothing is close." There have been rumors that Cincinnati is interested in Jermaine Dye, while Jocketty shot down rumors that he is interested in shortstop Khalil Greene.
Will Rice Make Hall On Final Attempt?
Legendary Red Sox slugger Jim Rice is on this year's Hall of Fame ballot for the fifteenth time this year, his final year of eligibility. If Rice isn't named on at least 75 percent of the ballots, he will be dropped from the ballot and have to rely on the reconstituted Veterans Committee to install him in Cooperstown someday. Rice missed election by only 16 votes last year and was named on nearly 72 percent of the ballots. No player who has ever received 70 percent of the vote in a prior year has ever failed to be elected.
Phillies Likely To Offer Moyer Arbitration
The Phillies have until Monday to offer salary arbitration to their four free agents: lefthander Jamie Moyer, leftfielder Pat Burrell, and relievers Tom Gordon and Rudy Seanez. Philadelphia is likely to offer Moyer arbitration. They have had serious discussions with the pitcher about a contract extension but have been unable to reach an agreement. If Moyer, 46, accepts arbitration by next Sunday's deadline, he would be a signed player for 2009.
Orioles Revisit Pie Talks With Cubs?
The Orioles have reportedly revisited trade talks with the Cubs about outfielder Felix Pie, and could end up as the third team in a deal that would send Jake Peavy to Chicago. Baltimore targeted Pie at this time last year, when a deal involving second baseman Brian Roberts was discussed. Orioles president Andy MacPhail said yesterday that a deal is not imminent, but acknowledged that Pie is the kind of player the team is pursuing. "We have a lot of different irons in the fire," MacPhail said. "We're in the process of determining who our trading partners might be and which free agents we might have a chance to sign. We're basically in the same position as everybody else, waiting for a couple of big dominoes to fall."
Trades Could Be Mets' Route For Closer
Free agency isn't the only avenue the Mets are exploring to find a closer this offseason. They reportedly have interest in the Houston's Jose Valverde, Colorado's Huston Street, Seattle's J.J. Putz, and Bobby Jenks of the White Sox. New York's bullpen this past season had a 4.25 ERA, which ranked 13th in the National League.
Tazawa Rejects All Offers But Boston's
Japanese right-hander Junichi Tazawa has informed all teams other than the Red Sox that he is rejecting their offers.
Cubs, Phillies, And Mets Still In On Ibanez
Raul Ibanez remains high on the list of at least three playoff-caliber teams, with the Cubs, Phillies, and Mets each talking to his agent this week.
Ricciardi: Trading Halladay Makes No Sense
Toronto general manager JP Ricciardi says trading Roy Halladay, who has two years left on his contract, makes no sense, short or long term.
Peavy Talks To Cubs To Become A Three-Way Deal?
The Padres want Josh Vitters and young pitching.
Hoffman Doesn't Want To Talk To Padres?
Padres' CEO Sandy Alderson said he has offered to talk to Padres closer Trevor Hoffman and his agent Rick Thurman since an impasse moved him into free agency.
Incentives An Answer For Injured Free Agents
Some teams could look to sign players with a history of injury to an incentive-laden deal to lower the risk of spending a ton of money this offseason.
Junior Still Drawing Interest On Market
Ken Griffey Jr. has drawn a good amount of interest this month, with as many as nine teams lining up to negotiate with the free agent.
Rangers Trade Reliever Littleton To Boston
The Rangers have traded reliever Wes Littleton to the Red Sox in exchange for a player to be named later.
Phillies Add Koplove To Bullpen
The Phillies have agreed to terms with veteran reliever Mike Koplove on a deal that would further strengthen their bullpen.
Garcia's Shoulder Issue Might Be Back
Veteran free-agent Freddy Garcia reportedly left a game in the Venezuelan Winter League on Thursday after two innings due to shoulder discomfort.
Red Sox Hire Bogar From Rays
The Red Sox have hired former major leaguer and Rays' coach Tim Bogar as their new first base coach.
Report: MLB Will Not Share Amphetamine Test Data
Major League Baseball told the New York Times that it would release the number of players who had first-time positive tests for amphetamines in 2008.
Local Players Unlike To Land In Baltimore?
The Orioles haven't had a winning season since 1997, but are looking to sign Mark Teixeira and/or A.J. Burnett, who both have ties to the Baltimore area.
$100M Pitchers Rarely Pitch In Postseason?
CC Sabathia figures to sign a contract well over the $100 million mark this offseason, but history indicates that may not bode well for his team's playoff chances.
Beeston: Blue Jays May Save The $24M Burnett Passed Up
Blues Jays interim CEO Paul Beeston said Thursday that the club might choose to save the $24M that A.J. Burnett passed up this off-season rather than spend it on other free agents.
Could Angels Assemble The Best Rotation In History?
According to sources, the Angels could conceivably sign CC Sabathia, and acquire Jake Peavy in a trade from the Padres.
Tigers Lose Interest In Boston's Lugo
The Tigers have reportedly lost interest in Red Sox shortstop Julio Lugo.
Madonna Unofficially Confirms Relationship With A-Rod
Madonna unofficially confirmed her relationship with Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez on Wednesday night during a concert in Miami.
Agent: Furcal Paring Potential Suitors
Free-agent shortstop Rafael Furcal is close to selecting a team as he begins comparing the offers he has received.