|Hot Stove roundup, 1 p.m.: Mark Reynolds to Orioles finalized||12.06.10 at 1:00 pm ET|
The Diamondbacks have sent third baseman Mark Reynolds to the Orioles for pitchers David Hernandez and Kam Mickolio, writes ESPN’s Buster Olney. The 27-year-old Reynolds has 121 homers in four major league seasons, and will add some nice power to Baltimore’s lineup. Yet, he’s also a bit wild at the plate, as Reynolds has struck out over 200 times each of the past three seasons, including a major league record 223 in 2009. In the talented AL East, those totals could even increase.
The Diamondbacks, meanwhile, acquired the pitching talent they’ve been hunting for. Hernandez, 25, turned in a 1.05 WHIP and 79:18 K:BB ratio over 57 1/3 innings this year at the Triple-A level. Meanwhile, Mickolio has disappointed since his impressive early years in the minors, but joining a new team could be just the ticket he needs to return back to form. Olney adds that the deal is only pending physicals.
- SI.com’s Jon Heyman writes that Adrian Gonzalez is seeking an eight-year, $161 million extension from the Red Sox.
- The Royals, Phillies, Indians and Astros are all rumored to be interested in free agent outfielder Jeff Francoeur, according to Peter Gammons. FoxSports.com’s Ken Rosenthal, meanwhile, adds the Rockies to that list, but cites Kansas City as the most likely landing spot due to playing time.
- Padres general manager Jed Hoyer indicated Monday that closer Heath Bell will not be traded this offseason, reports Heyman. “This isn’t a fire sale,” said the GM, also adding that “in no means are we giving up on year. … [We] will consider signing free agents.”
- Nick Piecoro of the Arizona Republic reports that the Diamondbacks have been in touch with free agent Melvin Mora. He could be a possible replacement at third base for Reynolds.
|Adrian Gonzalez’ agent says he isn’t ‘going for the jugular’ with contract extension with Red Sox||at 12:36 pm ET|
San Diego-based agent John Boggs, who represents Red Sox first baseman Adrian Gonzalez, is hopeful the two sides can reach a long-term contract extension soon. Following the press conference to introduce Gonzalez, Boggs spoke of the give-and-take that will need to exist for the two sides to reach an agreement.
“I think there’s a good feeling of everybody knowing where they are,” Boggs said. “When you get down to the wire, that’s when you basically drill down to the final line, numbers, where they have their standoff, where we have our standoff, there’s enough for everybody to walk away. There’s obviously going to be a compromise somewhere. ‘¦ It benefits everybody to get things expedited, because I’ve got a player that wants to be here.”
The sides reached an impasse in their negotiations Sunday, leading Boggs to believe the Sox would not go through with trading for Gonzalez. The Red Sox later called Boggs as he was set to leave for the Winter Meetings. After the sides reconvened, the team decided their was enough common ground to move forward with the deal.
At the end of the day, I was surprised we couldn’t push through, and when we walked away from it, it’s a bad feeling, but i’s a feeling of, ‘Hey, we weren’t going to bend on our side and they weren’t going to bend on their side,’ and you have that impasse,” Boggs said. “To get the phone call to say, ‘Let’s regroup,’ was something we hoped for, but we also didn’t know how we were going to resolve this thing. Was it to try to resolve some issues and get a deal done, or was it trying to say, ‘Hey, let’s take a deep breath here. We’ve got a great player. We’re going to work something out if you are reasonable and we’re reasonable. Let’s work in that kind of a spirit and go from there.’
“We’re not working in a spirit to get them by the jugular or squeeze every nickel, or set a precedent-setting deal. My job is to represent the player to the best of my abilities. At the end of the day, the player ultimately has given me direction as to what he would sign for, what deal would make him happy and what team would make him happy. … He’s going to do what’s right for him and his family. It doesn’t mean getting the last penny and playing for a team he doesn’t want to play for. It basically means he wants to be compensated fairly and play for a team that he really wants to play for.”
Sox general manager Theo Epstein was comfortable enough with the good faith between the team and Gonzalez’ representatives and wife, Betsy, that they ultimately deemed it safe to move forward with trading Casey Kelly, Reymond Fuentes, and Anthony Rizzo for the slugger.
“It’s ironic in the end, because through that process and negotiating with [Gonzalez’ agents] ‘¦ we reached a point in the end where what actually got the trade done was the fact that we didn’t get a contact done,” Epstein said at the introductory press conference. “There was so much good faith that we were comfortable moving on with the trade with the knowledge that when the time was right, we could sit down and get something done. I think it was an uplifting experience in that way.”
Gonzalez will make $6.3 million in the coming season, the final year of his current contract.
LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. — Padres owner Jeff Moorad has seen a superstar in his prime go to Boston before. In 2000, he was the agent for Manny Ramirez, orchestrating the landmark eight-year, $160 million deal that positioned a middle-of-the-order hitter in the center of the Red Sox lineup for years of his prime.
Moorad is now in a different position. As the man at the top of the food chain in San Diego, he oversees a club that has a payroll in the vicinity of $40 million that has to make the hard decisions to sacrifice such players in order to acquire the prospects who can keep his club competitive for the long term.
But the fact that he has to make such moves does nothing to diminish Moorad’s appreciation for the player. Indeed, he suggested that Gonzalez could make the same kind of impact in Boston that Ramirez did. Moorad has no doubt that the Sox will do what is necessary to lock up Gonzalez for the long haul.
“Yes, in some ways [he is reminiscent as an impact player of Ramirez in his prime]. Certainly the bat will be powerful,” said Moorad. “He also brings a defensive dimension to the game that’s as good as it gets. It’s a great thing to know you have Adrian Gonzalez at first base late in games in August and September.
“He’s one of the top 10 players in the game. I’m certain the Red Sox will work something out to reflect that. He is a class act. He’ll be a proud member of the Red Sox for a lot of years.”
As for the rest of the market, the agent-turned-owner declined to discuss his sentiments about the market-shaking seven-year, $126 million deal that Jayson Werth signed with the Nationals.
“I have a lot of respect for the Lerner family,” Moorad said of the Nationals owners. “It wouldn’t be appropriate to question their motives publicly.”
FoxSports.com’s Ken Rosenthal reports Royals ace Zack Greinke will accept a trade to any team in the league. This contradicts original speculation that Greinke, who takes medicine for an anxiety disorder, would not be open to a high-pressured environment. Greinke also reportedly had a no-trade list of 15 teams.
One team on that list was the Blue Jays, who contacted the Royals about a trade, according to Rosenthal. Moreover, the Royals are “intrigued” by what the Jays are offering. Still, the Royals need Greinke’s permission before anything can be reached, which they apparently have. Rosenthal does mention that other clubs are “speculative” of Greinke’s changed stance. The Jays’ reported trade of Shaun Marcum should heat up the buzz surrounding this deal.
The Toronto Sun speculates the Jays could potentially land Greinke if they were willing to part with right-hander Kyle Drabek, outfielder Travis Snyder and another minor leaguer or two. Rosenthal’s sources say this type of package would intrigue the Royals. The Rangers, Braves and Reds are among the rumored teams with possible interest in him that aren’t on the list. Unlike the Jays, none of these teams would face this obstacle in trading for the 2009 AL Cy Young winner.
- New Diamondbacks GM Kevin Towers reportedly had “extended talks” with the agent of first baseman Paul Konerko. Towers did his best to convince Konerko to join his squad rather than return to the White Sox, who he’s been with for the past 12 seasons.
- Buster Olney writes the player to be named in the Red Sox and Adrian Gonzalez trade is thought to be a “secondary prospect, not frontline.”
- The Orioles are “getting there” on a deal with the Diamondbacks for third baseman Mark Reynolds, writes Rosenthal. Right-hander David Hernandez is expected to be part of the trade, as Arizona is seeking bullpen help. His inclusion is not certain, however
|Live chat from winter meetings with Lou Merloni at noon||at 11:04 am ET|
LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. — Join WEEI.com’s Lou Merloni in a noontime live chat from the winter meetings at the Swan and Dolphin, where you can ask Lou all things Red Sox, including his thoughts on Monday morning’s Adrian Gonzalez press conference.
ESPN.com reports the Brewers and Blue Jays have agreed on a trade that will send right-handed starter Shaun Marcum to Milwaukee. The report states that the Brewers are trading infield prospect Brett Lawrie to obtain Marcum’s services. The 28-year old was the opening day starter for Toronto this season and compiled a 13-8 record with 3.64 ERA.
Marcum enters a highly needy rotation in Milwaukee. The Brewers ranked 14th out of 16 National League teams with a 4.58 team ERA and .277 opposing batting average in 2010. Meanwhile, the Jays obtain the player that was considered the Brewers’ top prospect in Lawrie. The infielder hit .285 this year with eight home runs and 63 RBIs at Double-A Huntsville. He’s from Langley, British Columbia, and played for Team Canada in the 2008 Olympics.
- White Sox chairman Jerry Reinsdorf will reportedly “do anything he can” to re-sign first baseman Paul Konerko. Reinsdorf and other team representatives will meet with Konerko’s agent, Craig Landis, on Monday.
- The Cardinals and Lance Berkman agreed to a one-year, $8 million deal, according to SI.com’s Jon Heyman. The team will reportedly move Matt Holliday to right field and place Berkman in left.
- The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports the Pirates’ pursuit of free agent pitcher Brandon Webb has “gone cold.” The Cubs and Nationals, among others, are the teams most linked to talks with the former Cy Young winner.
Walk through the Dolphin’s lobby, ask about Casey Kelly, and you were bound to get a least a few differing opinions. Some were wary of the numbers he ended up with in Double-A Portland last season (3-5, 5.31 ER in 21 starts). Others — including one American League general manager — offered the reminder that pitching at that level as a 20-year-old is no easy task.
But all of that didn’t matter.
Jed Hoyer and Jason McLeod liked Kelly ‘¦ a lot. They scouted him. They drafted him. And they had felt a bit more invested in the pitcher’s progress than most outsiders throughout the past season or so. It was for this reason that the San Diego general manager and his assistant had no problem making the hurler a centerpiece in a trade for the face of a franchise.
But they weren’t alone in their infatuation. That’s why it took this long for the apple of the Sox’ eye, Adrian Gonzalez, to don a Boston cap.
According to a major league source, when the Red Sox were talking trade with Toronto in ’09, they refused to discuss the possibility of putting Kelly in any deal for Roy Halladay. That was a common theme when the Sox explored the kind of blockbuster they executed Sunday.
It wasn’t until the Sox finally relented a few weeks ago, and agreed to include Kelly in the trade for Gonzalez, that any kind of true traction could be uncovered.
|Source: Chien-Ming Wang seeking big league deal||at 2:58 am ET|
According to a baseball source, former Yankees pitcher Chien-Ming Wang is exploring the market to see whether he can find a team willing to sign him to a big league deal. If he cannot find such a deal, the source said, Wang would likely return to the Washington Nationals, who are offering the 30-year-old a minor league deal.
Wang, a 19-game winner in 2006 and 2007, signed a one-year, $2 million deal with the Nats for 2010 that included $3 million in incentives. But his return from shoulder surgery in 2009 proved deliberate, to the point where he was unable to face hitters until the end of the year. There were some promising reports of his performance in Fall Instructional League, but after he’d missed the entire year, the Nationals elected not to tender Wang a contract as opposed to going to arbitration with a guarantee of at least $1.6 million.
The sinkerballer could represent an interesting buy-low option for a club seeking depth in its starting rotation. However, after not having pitched in a big league game since July 4, 2009, it remains to be seen whether his potential upside would convince a club to give him a major league contract that might be needed to woo him away from Washington.
|Source: Red Sox never made formal offer to Jayson Werth||at 2:19 am ET|
According to a source familiar with the situation, the Red Sox never made a formal contract offer to outfielder Jayson Werth before he signed his stunning seven-year, $126 million deal with the Nationals. The Sox, according to the source, “got nowhere near” such figures in their conversations with the outfielder (which included a face-to-face meeting between the player, agent Scott Boras and Red Sox officials last week).
The Sox did have legitimate interest in Werth (hence the meeting), and one team source felt that even if one viewed outfielder Carl Crawford as a better all-around player and a more likely impact player because of his age (he turned 29 in August; Werth turned 31 last May), Werth would still represent the better value in the marketplace based on the idea that Crawford might get a seven- or eight-year deal in the $18-20 million range. The source expected that Werth would get at least five years.
But no one — presumably, except for the Nationals and Boras — foresaw the possibility of a seven-year deal that will keep Werth under contract through his age 38 season. Industry reaction in the lobby of the Dolphin Resort was near disbelief, with the deal being deemed by one source “comical.”
The Sox are in position to spend this offseason, thanks in no small part to the acquisition of Adrian Gonzalez, who will account for just $6 million and change against the luxury tax threshold this year. Even so, the team would never have gone to the lengths of the Nationals’ deal for Werth and, with his contract now representing the bar for elite outfielders, it will be interesting to see whether Crawford ends up being an option, or if he will command a deal of more years and dollars that would deter the Sox from becoming involved in the bidding.
Werth’s signing did have a significant benefit for the Sox, however. The Sox were anxious to see whether Werth might sign with the Tigers. If he did so (and the Tigers are believed to be in the market for an outfield upgrade), the compensatory draft pick that the Sox received from Detroit for its signing of Victor Martinez would have been bumped from the first round to the second round, owing to the fact that Werth received a higher rating from the Elias Sports Bureau than Martinez.
If the Tigers had added Werth, the Sox’ compensation pick for Martinez would have dropped from the No. 19 overall selection in the 2011 draft to a second round selection, likely more than 40 picks later. But, with Werth not in Motown, unless the Tigers sign closer Rafael Soriano or starter Cliff Lee (neither of whom has been connected to Detroit), the Sox now appear to be in excellent shape to receive their highest draft pick since 2003, in what is expected to be a phenomenal draft.
|He’s a Red Sox: Sox finish deal to acquire Adrian Gonzalez||12.05.10 at 8:48 pm ET|
ORLANDO — The Red Sox completed a deal with the San Diego Padres to acquire three-time All-Star first baseman Adrian Gonzalez. The finalized deal was first reported by Jon Heyman of SI.com (via twitter).
The deal will send three top Sox prospects — pitcher Casey Kelly, first baseman Anthony Rizzo and center fielder Reymond Fuentes — to the Padres in exchange for the 28-year-old slugger. San Diego will also receive a player to be named. (For more on the prospects, click here.)
After the Sox and Padres agreed to the deal, Major League Baseball granted Boston a window to negotiate through Sunday at 2 p.m. with Gonzalez, who passed a physical (which included an exam of his surgically repaired right shoulder) on Saturday. The two sides negotiated right up through that deadline, and did not have a resolution at 2 p.m.
Gonzalez is under contract for the 2011 season for a bargain $6.2 million option on the four-year deal he signed prior to the 2007 season, but in order to part with such a strong prospect package, the Sox wanted to ensure that they could have Gonzalez’ services for more than one year.
While the Sox and Gonzalez have not announced an extension, the two sides have at least achieved an understanding of a framework for a multi-year deal that will make Gonzalez one of the highest paid players in the game. Heyman reported that Gonzalez will receive a seven-year extension for roughly $23 million per year (roughly the average annual value of Mark Teixeira’s eight-year, $180 million deal with the Yankees.
The Sox stand to benefit from a luxury tax standpoint if they complete a long-term deal but do not announce it until after the start of the 2011 season. (For more on that, click here.)
After the season, Gonzalez’ agent, John Boggs, said that his client was in line for a contract similar to the eight-year, $180 million deal that Mark Teixeira has with the Yankees, the eight-year, $184 million deal between Joe Mauer and the Twins and the five-year, $125 deal that Ryan Howard struck with the Phillies.
That assessment was based on the fact that Gonzalez represents one of the top sluggers in the game and, moreover, one who is in his prime. He has hit 30 or more homers in each of the last four seasons, hitting .284/.377/.517/.894 in that time while averaging 34 homers and 105 RBI per season, despite playing in a park that kills fly balls. He leads the majors in road homers since the start of 2007, having hit 90 outside of Petco Park. For that reason, many talent evaluators believe that he could see his production take off in Boston. Moreover, the two-time Gold Glover is viewed as an elite defender, making him one of the top all-around players in the game.
The Sox had long sought Gonzalez, exploring possible deals for him at least since the middle of the 2009 season. On Sunday, the longstanding interest in acquiring him appears finally to have come to fruition.
The Sox had to pay a steep price, parting with their best pitching and power hitting prospects as well as a player whose defense alone could make him a major league starting center fielder. But they landed a player who could become a lineup cornerstone for years to come.
The deal is expected to be announced on Monday.
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