Wednesday 7 December 2011

Winter Meetings-- Day 3


Yu Darvish will be posted tomorrow.  Get your dancing shoes on everybody.  Well, don't put them on, I guess, because you're probably getting ready for bed, or at least winding down to the point where you're not going to wear shoes specific for dancing at this point on a Wednesday.  This seems like more of a kick-back-and-relax point in time of the evening, pretty much regardless of your current location worldwide, assuming nobody is reading this from a spot where it also happens to be a good time for dancing.  Anyway, Dave Cameron from Fangraphs said that he expects the Red Sox and Yankees to pretty much strangle each other on the auction for Darvish's services, and I apparently the Blue Jays are fucking poor (FUCK!  RIGHT?!?!), so I think the hype around Darvish in TOR is just that.  I could be wrong though.

There are a few rumblings around the meetings at this time, but I think things are pretty well settled for the night, unless the Darvish news wakes everyone.  CJ Wilson is expected to sign tomorrow, and Albert Pujols was expected to sign today until the Angels hopped in with an offer for $210MM.  I would hazard a guess that the Cardinals' offer is higher, or at least equal to that one, and I only think Pujols would agree to go wherever the highest bid is if it were significant (i.e. the Angels would need to offer much more money/years to make their offer work).  He wants to stay in STL, and the difference between $200MM and $205MM isn't really one that fucking matters, at least it shouldn't.  This is all leverage for Lozano and Pujols to make a shitload of money from the Cards, but ultimately, expect Pujols to sign in STL tomorrow.  Predicting 10y/$216MM.

I think we will probably wake up to a few DFA's or releases or really minor trades as teams make some room for the rule 5 draft.  Teams must have an empty spot on their 40-man roster to be eligible for the rule-5 draft, and I couldn't possibly be bothered to go through and see who has empty spots and who doesn't.  I do know that the Jays currently have a full one, and that the Pirates have released Ross Ohlendorf to make room on theirs, which filled when they acquired Yamaico Navarro earlier tonight.

12:15: Kelly Johnson has accepted arbitration and will be back on the roster for the 2012 season. The Jays will get a paltry 6 picks in the first round of the 2012 draft, instead of the 8 that they would have gotten had Johnson rejected and signed elsewhere.  This isn't the end of the world, because Johnson is probably better than any other 2B option out there, save for maybe Martin Prado.  The Jays will need to remove someone shitty from the 40-man roster if they wish to grab someone in the rule-5 draft.

K-Rod has accepted as well, and will rejoin the Brewers bullpen, at least for now.

11:24:  Expect a CJ Wilson decision tonight.  He appears to want to pitch in Anaheim, but Miami is apparently offering 6 years.

Dan Lozano is still wheeling and dealing for Albert Pujols.  Apparently the Angels are still in, and a mysterious third team is still interested too.  Rumor has it that the Cards' offer is only for 9 years.

Scott Boras says that Prince Fielder has a number of offers, including some from teams he wasn't expecting.  The Marlins are almost certainly out though.

The Cubs and Rangers are discussing a trade for Matt Garza, which pretty much locks up the prospect of the Rangers losing CJ Wilson.

Expect Ryan Madson to decline the Phillies' arbitration offer.  K-Rod is still undecided apparently, for some reason.

The Pittsburgh Pirates have acquired Yamaico Navarro from the Royals for two prospects, Diego Goris and Brooks Pounders.  Pounders was a 2nd rounder in 2009, Goris has played in the Dominican Summer League for four straight years, but other than that I can't really find any info on him pertaining to signing bonuses or whatever.  Navarro was as a free agent by the Red Sox and was traded last year for Mike Aviles.  He hasn;t done much in 125 mlb PA's or something like that, and has pretty mediocre numbers in the minors all the way through.  This was a move to clear up a spot on the 40-man roster for the Royals, presumably so they can get someone in the rule-5 draft tomorrow.

The Latroy Hawkins signing is official.

9:45:  Tigers close to Dotel, Angels close to Latroy Hawkins.  Kelly Johnson's arbitration decision due in 2 hours.

8:39:  It appears the Marlins withdrew their offer to Pujols, as opposed to Pujols/Lozano telling the Marlins that they were out of the running.  I'm not sure if that had anything to do with the Buehrle signing, nor do I know the timeline of what happened between the Marlins and the two free agents, but whatever.

Elsewhere, the Red Sox offered David Ortiz a two year deal worth $18-ishMM this afternoon, and have since upped to to closer to $20MM.  Bringing Ortiz back sort of precludes them from chasing Carlos Beltran to play RF, both from a budget and lineup standpoint.  They may look in to Cody Ross now.  Jayson Stark believes that if Ortiz wins his arbitration case (i.e. they pay Ortiz more than $13-14MM), they probably won't spend big on an OF or a closer.  I'm not sure whether or not that means that they wouldn't trade for a closer or not, but I assume that higher payroll means that they're more likely to make a deal for Andrew Bailey.

Elsewhere, Gregor has stuff about the Jays financial situation, which appears to have been blown so far out of proportion my ears are starting to bleed.

8:30: Nothing major has happened in the last couple of hours, but it seems like we're kind of on the cusp of something-ish.  In the meantime... I didn't mention it earlier, mostly because I had a bit of an idea for a full post that didn't really turn in to anything so I'll just stick it in here.  That's what he said.

The Pirates had a pretty busy day, overshadowed by the Albert Pujols/Mark Buehrle/Prince Fielder/CJ Wilson stuff, by signing Jose Morales, Nate Mcclouth, and Erik Bedard, and apparently being close with Wilson Betemit.  Remember that time that I wrote a book about Paul Maholm and his contract option?  Do you think they couldn't have found a taker here this weekend?  Sure they might have had to eat some cash, but they would have gotten something better than fucking Jose Morales.  The Bedard deal is fine, but they're pretty much stocking up their bench/AAAA talent pool with the other signings.  I thought the Pirates might be kind of ready to compete this year, but the way things are looking now, with the way they opted to load up on organizational 25th-men, I'm not so sure they aren't just going to wait until next year.

8:05ET: Marlins are in on Wilson, not in on Fielder.  Asking prices on Niese and Murphy are "high" apparently.  Which is what you're supposed to say if you're going to trade someone, though if there are 4 teams interested, as is being reported, then there should be plenty of leverage for the Mets.

7:20ET:  Jimmy Rollins and the Phillies may as well be done and good to go.  Rollins et al cancelled a meeting with the Brewers, presumably because they had a deal finished with the Phillies, and now Jim Bowden says that it's close.

Joel Sherman says that the Jays are having a look at Jon Niese, and are spinning the wheels pretty hard along with the Red Sox, Padres and Rockies.  That probably means that the Jays are doing their due diligence, but aren't completely interested.  Yankees have called as well.  Looking at advanced metrics, Niese might be a better option that Gio Gonzalez. Stats compare pretty well, and the price for Niese would probably be much lower.

6:40:  Dan Lozano, Pujols' agent, claims that there are still 3 10y/200MM+ offers on the table, despite the Marlins being out.  By what I've read, Lozano told the Marlins that they were out, and not the other way around.  If that's the case, I call bullshit on the above rumor.  And honestly, I can't see the Marlins just saying "Ok fuck it, we quit" based on how aggressive they've been.  My best guess is that they're just giving everybody else a quick chance at the last minute to toss in an offer, or to get the Cards to jack up the offer a little bit.  Pujols to the Cards within the hour, IMO.

Susan Slusser's take on the Jays joining the Gio Gonzalez race.

6:15ET:  Gregg Zaun is on twitter saying that Jeff Mathis will hit better, now that he's gone from Anaheim.  Mike Scioscia really likes defense from his catchers, so Mathis just focused on D, and not on hitting.  Sounds wild.

A few people are tweeting that the Jays are having a look at Gio Gonzalez.  It's been brought to my attention that Gio walks an awful lot of people...

6:07:  Dan Lozano says that the Marlins are out on Pujols.  We'll see if this is real.

The Mets are looking for a catcher, infielder and some sort of prospect for Jon Niese.  Jays appear to be a fit if the Mets will take prospecty catchers/infielders... otherwise, meh.

6:00-ish: Marlins are still looking at Prince Fielder, despite spending something like $200MM in the last 3 days.

Octavio Dotel is close to signing somewhere, possibly Detroit.

Dave Cameron at fangraphs is doing a live chat right now!  He just called the Nats the favorites to land Yoenis Cespedes, hunches that the Brewers will re-sign Prince Fielder, and thinks the Red Sox and Yankees will go insane on Yu Darvish.

5:20:  I've been spelling Buehrle wrong all day.  B-U-E-H-R-L-E.  Ok.

4y/58MM is ballsy.  Buehrle is 32 (33 by the start of the year), and the Marlins are signing on for his age 33-36 seasons assuming he's a 3.5WAR player right now.  Back to the WAR vs. $ thing that I did yesterday for Pujols (which I made a pretty glaring mistake on now that I think about it... I'll repost once the Pujols deal is done), Buehrle needs to be worth 10WAR over the contract to be worth it, so assuming they're really going for it this year and next, this is sort of excusable in a sense?  But yeesh, the Marlins are just going to be dogshit in 3 years again, so this is pretty much just a big moneygrab I suppose.

Buehrle is bound to start aging sooner or later, but he's been durable enough throughout his career that the Marlins could find some surplus value somewhere.  I'm sure if he puts up 4+WAR this season or next then the Marlins will be fine with their deal no matter what he does over the final two.

5:05: The Marlins have officially lost their minds, signing Mark Buerhle to a 4 year, $58MM deal.  More on that in a minute.  The Marlins are probably out on CJ Wilson

Dave Cameron at Fangraphs has a look at the prospective Albert Pujols deal, kind of like I did, but has a different look at it based on backloading and inflation and correct math, and whatnot.

4:30: Ken Rosenthal says that the Hanley trade stuff is bogus.

4:20: Buster Olney says that Hanley asked the Marlins to restructure his contract because he was mad.  Then the Marlins got sad, and now they're looking to trade him.  This of course sounds exactly like something Buster Olney would say, sooo...  I dunno, wait and see I guess.  Hanley is owed $46MM over the next 3 years, which would help pay for someone else, or just reduce their payroll after adding trillions this offseason.

The Nationals are out on CJ Wilson, but still in on Mark Buehrle.  The Marlins have big offers to both, but will only whoever comes along first.

Aramis Ramirez declined arbitration.

3:52:  Joel Sherman expects the Mets to shop Jonathan Niese, and not Ike Davis.  Davis is at a valley in his value after an injury caused him to miss time last year.  The Mets plan on moving in their fences, so they're hoping Davis can rebuild some value.  Niese is being shopped as an alternative to Gio Gonzalez for whoever misses out on that train.

3:30: Multiple reports claiming that CJ Wilson has a 6-year offer in hand from the Marlins.  The Angels were reportedly in the lead for Wilson, but now if they don't match that, Wilson will probably be a Marlin.

Add David Ortiz to the list of arbitration accepty people.

The Huston Street deal is official, and the Rockies will eat just $1MM of salary.  Expect the PTBNL to never make it to the majors.

Kevin Gray tells us that Ricky Romero and former Miss USA turned pro wrestler turned drunk driver, Rima Fakih, have broken up.

3:00:  JP Morosi thinks Kelly Johnson is going to accept arbitration.  Likely the same with K-Rod.

Johnson accepting isn't really the end of the world.  He'll be an upgrade over the 3/4 of a season of Aaron Hill last year, and he could become a valuable member of the team, not just next season, but going forward as well.  He won't be one of those type-A equivalents or whatever you want to call it next year, so there's a chance of extending him longterm if he becomes worth it with his play this season.  There is obviously the negative aspect of losing out on the two draft picks; there are still 6 picks in the first 2 rounds for the Jays, but 8 is better than 6.
There is really something to say about the market for 2B right now, unless he's just asking for something absurd in terms of a contract.

Trevor Cahill is apparently being shopped by the A's, and Ike Davis is being discussed by the Mets.  The Mets should obviously be in firesale mode, and have said that they would listen on everybody but David Wright.  They should really include David Wright, but what do I know?  Anyway, teams who were interested in Prince/Pujols but missed will probably inquire.

2:50: To be filed under the "What the fuck?" label, the Cubs and Rockies are apparently discussing Tyler Colvin for Ian Stewart.  Assuming this is straight up, get ready to laugh at the Rockies.  There also seems to be something brewing with the Red Sox and Rangers, possibly concerning Jed Lowrie and Ranger relievers.  Stay tuned.

2:40: Heath Bell's adjusted type-A status will mean that the Padres will get a pick in the compensation round, and that the Mets will get a 2nd rounder from the Marlins, not the third rounder as was originally reported.  The Marlins have a protected first rounder.

The A's are unlikely to move Gio until after the meetings.  They want a deal similar to the aforementioned Dan Haren trade.

2:25 ET:  Jon Heyman says that the Marlins are pretty much giving up on Pujols and are now going after Prince.  In other words, expect a Pujols signing with STL soon.

2:15:  Pirates sign Erik Bedard.

The Huston Street deal may not be complete after all, but it seems as though they're just exchanging names and values or something, so this one should get done in a matter of hours, says Jayson Stark.

Phillies are out of the Gio bidding.  The A's are poor, so it seems that they require players who are not only cheap, but will remain cheap for a few years, i.e. players with little-to-no MLB experience.

2:00 PM ET:  Jose Reyes' contract is very backloaded.  The Marlins weren't going to give him a full no-trade, so by backloading the deal big time, they're considering that as close as possible.

The Globe's Jeff Blair is claiming that the Jays inquired on Jose Reyes, which shouldn't really mean a whole lot, since THEY INQUIRE ON EVERYBODY.  THIS ISN'T NEWS ANYMORE.
12:50 ET: Unrelated to mostly everything, but OMG REDDIT IS DOWN WTF?!?

12:40 ET:  Everything here is coming fom MLBTR.

The Marlins have no intention of moving Hanley Ramirez.  This is what people typically say when they get ready to move a player though, hoping to jack up the price.  President Larry Beinfest has said in the Jose Reyes presser that they fully intend on having Hanley at 3B this year.

Expect a resolution in the Albert saga today.  Buster Olney of ESPN says that Albert will probably stay in STL, per Cardinal officials.

The D'Backs are making a push for Gio Gonzalez now.  The two teams have hooked up in trades in the past, when the A's sent Dan Haren to the desert in December of '07, in exchange for Carlos Gonzalez, Greg Smith (both were later shipped to COL for Matt Holliday), Brett Anderson, Chris Carter, and former DFA-Jay Dana Eveland.  Expect a bajillion Gio rumors until something happens, because about 10 teams are going to be in on that one.

Expect Mark Buerhle to sign either today or tomorrow.

12:30 ET:  Early rumblings from today's meetings include:

The Rockies have traded closer Huston Street to the San Diego Padres, presumably to take over for Heath Bell.  My dad used to work with a guy named Heath Buell.  Weird huh?  Anyway, this goes to show how overrated the Closer tag really is.  The initial reports said that the Rockies would eat the entire $8MM contract in exchange for a prospect, but it appears that the Padres are taking the whole contract, and this will basically be a salary dump for the Rockies.  Street's move to Petco should really help his 1.54HR/9 rate.  I assume it will be a PTBNL, but the player going back to the Rockies hasn't been announced as of yet.

The Rockies are now said to be interested in Jair Jurrjens, now that they have some extra cash.

Elsewhere, the Yankees are believed to have won the posting auction for Hiroyuki Nakajima, as if they were going to have any use for him at all.  They have 30 days to negotiate a contract, and apparently plan on using him in a utility role.  Honestly.

The Angels are gunning to get a CJ Wilson deal done today.

The Yankees would be willing to eat $8MM in a trade for AJ Burnett.  Soooo generous.  Burnett is owed $33MM over the next two seasons, and has been goddamn terrible during his first three seasons in NY, so I'm guessing literally nobody bites.  Maybe if they would eat all but $8MM...

Mornin' folks!  Let's see what we missed overnight.

-The Cardinals have apparently upped their offer to Albert Pujols to the 10 year, $220MM range, believed to be in the same range as the Marlins offer.  The Cubs are believed to still be involved, though don't appear to be serious.   All things considered, expect Albert to stick around in STL if the offers are at all similar.

-Philadelphia is interested in Gio Gonzalez as a type of insurance against losing Cole Hamels to free agency.  If they get Gio, they'd probably trade Hamels, who has one year left before free agency.  Domonic Brown has been one name that's been thrown around, though I doubt just Brown would be enough.

- The Red Sox are discussing Andrew Bailey.  Josh Reddick and prospects was the last offer I saw.

- Mike Scioscia wants a pitcher.

- The Rays appear to be in on Yonder Alonso.

- The Dodgers are willing to trade James Loney, and don't want to absord salary.  Whoopty Fuck man.  I'm amazed that Loney hasn't been non-tendered twice by now.

- Look for the Marlins to go hard after Mark Buerhle if they can't get Pujols.

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