|Looks like Johnny Cueto isn’t settling for Jordan Zimmermann deal||11.30.15 at 1:10 pm ET|
Even though the consensus is that Cueto would be a notch below the other two, that doesn’t mean he’s going to come cheap.
According to Jerry Crasnick of ESPN.com, Cueto is looking for the kind of payday Jon Lester reeled in last offseason when he inked his six-year, $155 million deal with the Cubs.
One of the selling points for a team interested in acquiring Cueto is that he would not cost a draft pick, having not been eligible to receive a qualifying offer due to his midseason trade. According to FoxSports.com, such a dynamic was a factor for the Diamondbacks, who own the third-most valuable non-protected pick (13) in next June’s draft.
While organizational philosophies don’t always necessarily line up in terms of valuing draft picks, Arizona’s reluctance to part with No. 13 is notable considering the Red Sox own No. 12. The highest pick ever surrendered for a free agent signing since the qualifying offer system went into place was last year, when San Diego forfeited No. 13 to lock up James Shields.
(Price would not cost a team a draft pick, while Greinke would.)
Prior to joining Kansas City in July, Cueto was viewed neck-and-neck with Price as the top free agent-to-be starter. But rumors of an elbow issue, coupled with a 4-7 mark and 4.76 ERA in 13 starts with the Royals, seemingly diminished the 29-year-old’s value.
“It depends,” said Cueto on if he would sign with the Red Sox after this season. “Because I’m a free agent, and I’m just going to pick the best choice to go. The main thing ‘ I would like to come here because it’s a championship-caliber team.”
Clubs in the Johnny Cueto market believe he's looking for a $140-160M payout. That's Cole Hamels-Jon Lester territory.
— Jerry Crasnick (@jcrasnick) November 30, 2015
|Former Blue Jays GM Alex Anthopoulos on David Price: ‘He’s probably the best teammate I’ve ever seen’||11.27.15 at 9:57 am ET|
“This [would be] someone guys can look up to. You would think it would be someone who would be a leader by example, in addition to the performance he puts on the field. That would go a long way in taking our rotation another step forward.”
Then you talk to former Blue Jays general manager Alex Anthopoulos — who acquired a pitcher named David Price at last season’s non-waiver trade deadline — and the mystery in regard to whom the Red Sox might be targeting gets a tad less murky.
Price is certainly the kind of top of the rotation talent Dave Dombrowski has been suggesting remains on the top of the Red Sox‘ to-do list. But, evidently, he also fits the bill when it comes to the rest of the package the Sox are prioritizing.
“You hear about how he’s a great guy, good teammate,” Anthopoulos told WEEI.com. “You hear that a lot about certain players, and it’s mostly guys who can change a clubhouse and a culture. You would think it comes from the position players side. But I remember Ryan Dempster years ago telling me at one of the Baseball Canada dinners how he was considered a great clubhouse guy. But he said, ‘Look, I pitch every five days. There’s only so much I can do.’ But David Price was one of the guys that if you talk to people in that clubhouse … We already had a good clubhouse, but he took it to a whole different level. He’s probably the best teammate I’ve ever seen. I haven’t been in the game that long, but everyone else who has been around him has said he’s the best they’ve ever seen.
“Look, he’s got front-line stuff. But he’s legitimately a great teammate. His work ethic is off the charts and he makes everybody else on the team a lot better. He brings something else more than just the two ERA and the 240 innings and everything else. He leads. He sets a great example. He’ll be a great get for any team that gets him.”
|Now question can be asked: Should Red Sox prioritize Zack Greinke or David Price?||11.04.15 at 1:19 pm ET|
Nobody should have been surprised Zack Greinke took the route he did earlier Wednesday morning, opting out of the final three years of his current deal with the Dodgers.
Sure, the 32-year-old pitcher surrendered a guaranteed $71 million, but coming off the season(s) he produced, it was absolutely the logical move considering where the age Greinke would be hitting free agency if staying with his previous deal.
It’s not out of the realm of possibility we’re talking a six-year deal for Greinke, who has been one of the best pitchers in baseball over the past three seasons. Since 2013, he has gone 51-15 with a 2.30 ERA. (As a quick aside, how in the world have the Dodgers not won more considering their other top starter, Clayton Kershaw, is 53-19 with a 1.92 ERA over that same span.)
So, with the Red Sox very publicly stating finding a pitcher like Greinke this offseason is their top priority, the pitcher’s newfound life as a free agent should be a top priority Dave Dombrowski and Co.
The fly in the ointment is the perceived hesitation Greinke might have when it comes to playing in a place like Boston. Having battled a debilitating social anxiety disorder, the righty has been on record saying he couldn’t envision himself pitching in a place like New York. But what about Fenway Park?
Greinke did have Boston, along with New York, on his no-trade list, but that doesn’t necessarily mean much considering such a move is used for contract leverage more than anything.
There is seemingly a strong support system for the former Royal, Brewer and Dodger, with his former general manager Allard Baird serving as the Red Sox senior vice president of player personnel, and Brian Bannister, the Sox director of pitching analysis and development, having a long history with the pitcher. Bannister and Greinke developed a close relationship while playing together in KC, having shared a common interest in advanced pitching metrics and analytics.
|Curt Schilling on D&C: Cubs ‘could set themselves up to kind of be the Patriots for the next 10, 15 years’||10.14.15 at 9:29 am ET|
ESPN baseball analyst Curt Schilling checked in with Dennis, Callahan & Minihane on Wednesday to talk about the playoffs and explain his controversial tweet about Tuesday night’s Democratic presidential candidates debate. To hear the interview, go to the Dennis & Callahan audio on demand page.
During the Democratic debate, Republican candidate Donald Trump tweeted: Who is winning the debate so far (just last name)?
Responded Schilling: ISIS.
Not surprisingly, the critics went after Schilling for the sarcastic remark, especially considering Schilling’s last ISIS reference on Twitter ended up with him getting suspended by ESPN.
“Somehow people were saying, ‘Oh my God, I can’t believe you support ISIS.’ I swear to God,” Schilling said. “I was like, ‘Wait, what?’ I thought it was a joke, but then they started getting liberal and vile, so I figured it wasn’t.”
Added Schilling: “First of all, I didn’t see one minute of the debate. So the answer was going to get that way no matter what. I was watching the game. But I thought, ‘I know who’s up there. And I know what they’re saying. So I know who’s going to win.’ ”
Turning to baseball, Schilling said he’s not cheering against anyone in the postseason out of respect for the challenge they face, but there are teams and players he would like to see advance.
“The matchup I would really like to see in the World Series is Cubs-Blue Jays,” he said. “But I’d like to see the Mets, because I’d love to see that pitching. I’d love to see the Dodgers because I’d like to see [Zack] Greinke and [Clayton] Kershaw if they can do it. There’s a lot of really cool stories now. The Astros. I’m not rooting against them, but I really don’t want to watch the Royals. … In the context of championship-caliber clubs, I think they’re boring. There’s no 40-home run guy. … [The Astros] have I think the best young player in baseball at shortstop. This kid is absolutely breathtakingly good. I love to watch [Jose] Altuve play the game, because I appreciate guys that are built like that and play like that. I like [Dallas] Keuchel. [Collin] McHugh concerns me today that he’s not a swing-and-miss guy and he’s got the [Blue Jays] lineup that never strikes out. But they’re interesting. They’re fun.”
“They’re not done,” Schilling said. “They’re playing on house money for everybody else. But to them, they believe that they should be holding the big trophy at the end. That’s a deadly combination.”
Schilling also noted that team president Theo Epstein has freer reign than when he was in Boston.
“If you look at what’s happened there, I don’t believe the Ricketts family will meddle in baseball ops. You know that’s one of the reasons Theo left here,” Schilling said. “I think they will leave him to his vices and let him do what he’s going to do. And left alone with the people he’s got, now he’s in a market where — and Joe Maddon‘s managing a team where he doesn’t have to maximize value for five years and watch a guy walk. That’s a deadly combination for me. They could set themselves up to kind of be the Patriots for the next 10, 15 years. With that much talent, and the money, new stadium.
“If they win it this year, it’s going to be — Theo Epstein, what does he do next? Does he go to Cleveland? And then win there?”
|MLB Trade Deadline: Mets-Brewers trade falls through; David Price likely on move||07.30.15 at 10:23 am ET|
As the trade deadline gets closer and closer teams are beginning to make their final efforts to get things done before Friday’s deadline.
— The Pirates acquired pitcher Joe Blanton from the Royals on Wednesday for cash considerations.
— It was an interesting night Wednesday as a trade between the Mets and Brewers that involved Milwaukee center fielder Carlos Gomez going to New York in exchange for pitcher Zack Wheeler and infielder Wilmer Flores reportedly was going to happen until it fell through at the last minute.
Flores, who began crying on the field when he was informed of the trade, likely via a player who saw on social media, learned later that things had fallen through when Mets general manager Sandy Alderson said “there is no trade.” MLB.com reported the Mets backed out because of concerns with Gomez’s right hip, which he’s had soreness throughout the season.
— According to Bob Nightengale of USA Today, “a high-ranking executive who spoke to Tigers twice this week says he’d be shocked if the Tigers don’t move David Price by Friday” and Buster Olney said later on Wednesday that the Cubs, Giants, Yankees, Giants, Dodgers and Astros could be in on the pitcher.
Now that Hamels is gone, CBS Sports’ Jon Heyman wrote the Yankees will talk to the Tigers about Price, though they are not necessarily considered a favorite to get him. New York had turned down a trade for Hamels when the Phillies asked for two of their top prospects in Luis Severino and Aaron Judge.
— The Tigers are also listening on closer Joakim Soria and former Red Sox outfielder Yoenis Cespedes and could field offers for their other impending free agents, according to ESPN.com’s Jayson Stark. They will likely focus on Price, Cespedes and Soria though, Stark wrote.
|Tigers’ David Price won’t rule out trade to Red Sox||07.27.15 at 1:35 pm ET|
As the rumor mill spins regarding David Price‘s status on the trading block as well as his potential destinations, he spoke with WEEI.com’s John Tomase on Saturday, refusing to dismiss the Red Sox as his destination this offseason, despite some hostile moments with the team in the past.
“I won’t rule out anybody,” Price said. “If you can prove to me that you want me for the player that I am and the person that I am, I’ve got to respect that. If you have a formula to win and can do it over a sustained period of time, who doesn’t want to win? That’s why you play the game. It’s not about the money. It’s about being able to win now and in the years in the future. That’s what I want to do. I want to be a part of something special. That’s what I’m looking for.”
Price, who has been associated with teams like the Cubs and Dodgers of late, also showed his disdain for teams that would discount him simply because of his age (29).
“If you’re not going to sign a pitcher that’s 30, so be it,” he said. “I’ll cross you off my list.”
Furthermore, even though he will hit his third decade on Aug. 26, Price is certain that he is improving each and every year.
“I’m getting better,” he said. “I don’t care what anyone says [about 30]. I continue to get better. I’ve never been as good as I am right now. I know of a couple of ways that I can and will get better. I’m loving what I’m doing right now and the direction that I’m heading pitching-wise. I’m going to get better. I am.”
|Red Sox-Tigers series preview||07.24.15 at 1:10 pm ET|
After an abysmal road trip and start to the second half, the Red Sox return to Fenway to start a 10-game homestand with a three-game set against the Tigers.
Over the tail end of June and beginning of July, the Sox gained momentum and looked to be putting themselves in a position to make a run in the season’s second half. Instead, the Sox have won just one of their last 10 games and have gone 0-7 since the All-Star break.
All of a sudden the Red Sox, who had gotten as close as five games back in the AL East, own a 42-54 record. The team owns the worst record in the American League and sits 12 games behind the first-place Yankees in the division.
General manager Ben Cherington addressed the media on Wednesday and expressed disappointment with the team’s recent performance but did not indicate any change in the organization’s long-term plan.
“We’re not where we want to be. The last 10 days or so haven’t gone well and not the way we wanted them to go. I don’t think it changes anything in the big picture,” Cherington said. “We’ve still got to pursue things that are going to make us better and continue to try to build a good team as quickly as we can. The last 10 days haven’t gone the way we wanted it to.”
While the Red Sox’ struggles have made all the headlines in these parts, the Tigers have similarly failed to live up to their own expectations. The Tigers are 47-48, placing them third in the AL Central. The team has lost seven of its last 10 games
The Tigers are 10 1/2 games behind the Royals in the division. Because KC owns the second-best record in the majors, the Tigers (and the second-place Twins) face a steep road to being competitive and closing the divisional gap.
A week before the non-waiver trading deadline, rumors are starting to swirl throughout baseball about which players may be on the move and where they may go.
Given the Red Sox‘ spot in the standings, WEEI.com’s Rob Bradford reported Wednesday that they will not pursue trades for high-profile pitchers in the last year of their contracts. That includes players like Cincinnati’s Johnny Cueto or Detroit’s David Price.
Those types of players, however, remain likely to be traded to contending teams that feel an additional pitcher would put them over the top.
The last-place White Sox have yet to wave the white flag on their season. However, according to Jerry Crasnick of ESPN.com, the White Sox have been actively engaged in trade talks. One player teams may target is starter Jeff Samardzija. The Blue Jays have shown interest in trading for Samardzija, per Jon Morosi of Fox Sports.
The Tigers sit in third place in the AL Central well behind the first-place Royals. According to Morosi, Detroit will wait at least until the end of this weekend’s series in Boston before deciding whether to buy or sell at the deadline.
If the Tigers indeed end up as sellers, the most attractive piece to contenders will be Price, who owns a 2.31 ERA this season. The Blue Jays and Cubs both had scouts at Price’s start on Thursday, and both are in the market for pitchers as the deadline approaches, Morosi reported.
Phillies left-hander Cole Hamels has been consistently in the middle of trade rumors since spring training, and that will only persist in advance of the deadline. CSN Chicago reports that the Cubs have been in discussions about Hamels with the Phillies.
|David Price says David Ortiz isn’t same hitter: ‘If he was he’d be [at All-Star Game] right now’||07.14.15 at 5:13 pm ET|
Asked by WEEI.com prior to Tuesday’s All-Star Game if he thought Ortiz was the same hitter as he once was, Price didn’t hesitate.
“No, he’s not. He’s just different,” Price said. “If he was he’d be here right now.”
Price also said Ortiz did not reach out to him following last year’s incident. He said he doesn’t have a problem with Ortiz, though.
Another player in the American League clubhouse had a different take on Ortiz.
Albert Pujols of the Angels was asked what he thought of people saying Ortiz was “washed up” or nearing the end of his career.
“That’s what they said last year and he hit over 30 homers,” Pujols said. “Those are the critics and those are the people that need to go away and don’t watch any games.”
“He’s great. He’s one of the ambassadors of this game,” he added. “He’s been pretty much a face of the game. Great man, great friend of mine and a lot of things I have learned from him.”
Ortiz is batting .231 with 15 home runs and 43 RBIs at the All-Star break.
|Buster Olney on Hot Stove Show: ‘Hard to imagine [Jon Lester signing for] less than $150 million’||12.05.14 at 8:02 am ET|
ESPN baseball analyst Buster Olney, in an interview on WEEI’s Hot Stove Show, said that the bidding for free agent left-hander Jon Lester seems destined to clear $150 million. That likely outcome, in turn, will not reflect well on the Red Sox‘ approach to extension talks in spring training, when the team made a four-year, $70 million offer.
“It was mind-boggling,” said Olney. “If in fact Jon Lester ends up signing someplace else for about $150 million, and given the presence of the Cubs and the Dodgers and the Giants and the Red Sox, it’s hard to imagine that it’s going to be for less than $150 million, there’s no question that one of the biggest things you take away from that is, my goodness the Red Sox miscalculated. That offer, whether it’s the Red Sox signing Lester to $150 million or some other team doing it, your reaction is the Red Sox really misread where the market was going to end up winding up.”
Olney said that the industry is still trying to get a feel for what the Dodgers’ late entry into the Lester sweepstakes means.
“I’m surprised that the Dodgers are in this late. I think everyone is still trying to figure out how serious it is, but it certainly changes the dynamics dramatically. Imagine if you have a weekend poker game with three of your neighbors and then someone walks in with a stack of hundreds. That’s kind of what’s going on here,” said Olney. “Let’s face it, the timing of this was such that suddenly we heard from the Dodgers on the day the Dodgers were meeting with Lester, it may be the classic Red Sox-Yankees push the opponent to pay as much as possible. I think there’s reason to think that, but because the Dodgers have so much money, as one general manager said to me today, they’re the new Yankees. When they jump in, you’ve got to take them seriously just because of how much money they have. Quite frankly, if they want him, then they’re probably going to get him, unless Jon Lester has a serious problem pitching with L.A. We just don’t know yet if their end game is to sign Lester.”
Whenever Lester does sign, Olney expects a flurry of moves involving a starting pitching market that has yet to start moving. Free agents could come off the board quickly, and trade activity could be significant.
“[Lester is] the biggest domino. He’s the bottleneck in the whole marketplace right now,” said Olney. “I will tell you that talking with some teams today and this evening, they’re telling me that there’s a ton of talk going on. Whereas three days ago there were a lot of teams that were just inclined to wait until the Lester thing happened, I think the fact that it may not get resolved to the middle of the winter meetings — which is the latest timetable I heard — I think teams are now lining up to do other things. But [James] Shields is directly affected. If Shields, let’s say for argument’s sake, the feeling entering the winter was Shields was most likely to end up with the Dodgers or the Red Sox, and if one of those two teams winds up with Lester, that affects Shields. Maybe the Cubs look at Shields more seriously because of the history now with Joe Maddon, now that he’s their manager. I think for guys like Francisco Liriano and Brandon McCarthy, they’re waiting for Jon Lester so they can kind of draft in his wake.” Read the rest of this entry »
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