John Heyman Rumors: Gary Matthews, Vicente Padilla, and Mets Rumors

John Heyman, of Sports Illustrated, has some interesting notes in today’s article.  Let’s summarize:

  • According to Heyman, one unnamed American League executive predicted the Angels would now try to move Gary Matthews, Jr. “if they can.”   This makes sense given the outrageous deal they recently gave Torii Hunter.  Replace one fleece with another, right?
  • Rangers pitcher Vicente Padilla is apparently on the block.   Padilla is entering the second year of a 3 year, $33.75M contract (with a 2010 option).   That contract is a lot more attractive than the free agency options like Kyle Lohse, who wants $40M over 4 years.
  • Regarding the Mets, Heyman believes GM Omar Minaya is real interested in Livan Hernandez, that Lastings Milledge will probably be traded (no speculation on the receiving team, though) and that the Mets are interested in acquiring Brian Schneider from Washington.    Hey, how about Milledge/Estrada for Cordero/Schneider?  Thoughts?  Too much of a fleece for the Mets?

Cordero Back Closing for the Brewers?

c-cordero.jpgNo, not that Cordero, but the Nationals Chad Cordero.  According to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, the Brewers might look to the trade market to fill their closer’s role, and they may check-in on the availability of the Washington’s Cordero.  He was available at the trade deadline last season as well, but a deal was never consummated.  The Mets had offered Phil Humber and the D-Backs offered Carlos Quentin and a RP, but the Nationals balked at both proposals. 

It seems the Brewers would like an experienced closer to fill the role, as opposed to promoting one of their internal arms (although Derrick Turnbow remains the fallback option).  Chad Cordero was 3-3 last season, with a 3.36 ERA and 37 saves.  It seems the Brewers would be offering Chris Capuano as a starting piece for Cordero.

Anyone Want Chris Duffy?

According to the Pittsburgh Post Gazette, if Chris Duffy is not traded this winter, look for him to open the season at AAA. 

This begs the obvious question:  Who would want Chris Duffy?   Well, the speedy centerfielder would probably fall towards the end of the list of available center fielders behind the likes of Andruw Jones, Aaron Rowand, Mike Cameron, Coco Crisp and Corey Patterson, etc.  My guess is that if Duffy is traded, it will be after a few of these guys find their 2008 homes, and that Duffy suitors would probably be the smaller market teams in need of center fielders who lost out on the bigger names.  The Marlins, Nationals and Padres come to mind.  

I’m not sure that the Pirates can expect a decent return, though.  A once promising prospect, Duffy has hit only .269/.328/.361 in three seasons with Pittsburgh.  Sounds like a fourth outfielder to me.

Cafardo Rumors: Cabrera, Lincecum, Andruw, etc.

  • The most significant rumor from the Boston Globe’s Nick Cafardo this Sunday:   “It appears (Giants GM) Sabean is after Marlins third baseman Miguel Cabrera and is willing to offer a package that could include prized right hander Tim Lincecum.”   Could that deal be straight up?  Not sure who would wear the fleece in that one.  That would be a nice bounty for Florida although Lincecum’s size and delivery worry me.  I think they’d want at least one more top prospect.  But if Lincecum is available, the Giants have to be considered the new Cabrera front runners, especially since…..
  • If you listen to Dodgers owner Frank McCourt, it seems like LA will not be making any major moves this offseason but instead moving forward with their young crop of prospects (Matt Kemp, Andy Laroche, James Loney, Chad Billingsley, Clayton Kershaw) and hoping 2007 acquisitions like Jason Schmidt and Juan Pierre can step up in 2008.  Says McCourt: “I think we’re in a good position right now.  We don’t have to make a deal. We made the biggest move we needed to make in signing Joe (Torre).  I don’t anticipate any nonsense in that clubhouse. He gives us instant credibility and we’re thrilled to have him.”
  • Andruw Jones will not accept a one year deal, according to Scott Boras.  The Nationals seem to be the most interested in Jones.
  • Bump the Chicago White Sox up the list on prospective teams that may acquire Coco Crisp from Boston.   According to Cafardo, the ChiSox might be interested after being spurned by Torii Hunter.  An obvious match for Chicago and Boston doesn’t jump out at me, however.
  • Cafardo speculates that the A’s trade of Marco Scutaro could be a signal that the team will take the rebuilding route this year, meaning Danny Haren, Joe Blanton and Huston Street could be traded next month in three separate fleeces for Oakland.
  • Cafardo ruins the Mets acquisition of Johnny Estrada, pointing out that Estrada threw out only 6 of 79 baserunners last year and had clubhouse issues.  Apparently he “had conflicts with Brewers pitching coach Mike Maddux, and got into a shouting match in the dugout with teammate Tony Graffanino late in the season.”

Carlos Pena Update; Plus More Rays Rumors

Eduardo Encina is our source for Tampa Bay Rays rumors once again as the St. Petersburg Times writer informs us just now that Carlos Pena and his agent, Scott Boras, are still working to get a deal done with the Rays, but that nothing is imminent.  Encina reports that, according to Pena, a rumored 3 year, $30M offer was never offered by Tampa.  Apparently, reports had suggested Pena rejected such an offer.  Pena’s agent, Scott Boras, was quoted last season as saying Pena was having “a $15 million season.”  (The report that the entire MLB community collectively responded, “Alllllllllriiiiiiiiiight” to that comment is unconfirmed).

In other Rays news – and to follow up on a rumor relayed here at The Fleece Factor last week – Encina reports that the chances of the Washington Nationals acquiring troubled outfielder Elijah Dukes are “between a 6 and a 7” on a scale of 10.   Dmitri appears to be on board and is ready to mentor. 

Also, the Rays are interested in shortstop Cesar Izturis.

Brewers Would Not Be Fleeced… Now What?


As reported earlier, Francisco Cordero has signed with the Reds in a head-scratching move, both in the team he went to and the amount of money they gave him. But, such is life…

I applaud the Brewers for not wanting a thick fleece, especially since it can get awfully cold up in Wisconsin, but now they are in a pretty rough spot of finding a closer for an up and coming team with NL Central Championship aspirations. Where do they turn now? Tom Hadricourt of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel breaks it down.

  • It appears the logical guy, Eric Gagne, is not an option for the Brew Crew at this time.
  • The Brewers would like to look to the trade market, but GM Doug Melvin sees the market for a closer as a pretty steep one and would like to avoid getting fleeced for a Kevin Gregg of Florida or a Chad Cordero of Washington.
  • Internally, the Brewers could turn to Derrick Turnbow, who saved 39 games in 2005 and 24 in 2006. They seemed to have soured on the big righty in recent years, even after his big first half of last season.

So, it looks as though that after being smart in not getting fleeced by Cordero, the Brewers might be left with a very weak 9th inning guy this season….which makes me wonder, if there was ever a time to get fleeced, signing Cordero to that deal might have been the time.

That said, I think the smart move is to bring in Gagne. Maybe a 2 year deal for 18 million or so.

Five offers for Torii Hunter


 According to the Chicago Sun Times, Torii Hunter has received offers from at least 5 teams with a possible 6th (Yankees) sitting on the fringe depending on what happens with Melky Cabrera.

Of the 5 offers, it is believed that all are for 5 years, except for Texas’ offer of 6 years. What a surprise…Tom Hicks is trying to make the market. The Chicago White Sox and Texas Rangers are expected to be the front-runners, while the Los Angeles Dodgers offer could be sweetened if Miguel Cabrera goes elsewhere (LAA).

Hunter, 32, should get the grand prize this offseason (aside from A-Rod). In the end, you’d have to expect he gets a 5 year deal worth $75-80 million, unless he chooses Texas, where that number will likely be higher.

The other 2 “offers” are from Kansas City, who has been rumored to have a good amount of cash to spend, but lately have been linked to Andruw Jones more than Hunter. The last offer is likely from Washington. If Washington could land Hunter, it would be a huge boost to their franchise and could possibly be the start of more FA’s going to the capital city.

All in all, Hunter fits in well with all of these teams, and if the deal is around 5 years, I don’t think it is a bad move for any of these teams. I think he ends up in Chicago.