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MLB News and Rumors: Wilson nearing deal with Detroit?

MLB News and Rumors: Wilson nearing deal with Detroit?
November 26, 2013
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With the offseason now in full spring, news will continue to become more and more frequent. In this new MLB News and Notes segment, I will be giving occasional reports on the latest news and rumors throughout the MLB. I also will try to tweet news and rumors as I see them, so feel free to follow me on Twitter: @ajnicholsIBI.

Here are the stories from Monday, November 25th.

Top Stories

  • It was another slow day on Monday as there were no free agent signings of note and no major trades.  The biggest news came from the Detroit News with Lynn Henning reporting that the Tigers are moving towards a deal with free agent closer Brian Wilson. Wilson and his agent met with new Tigers manager Brad Ausmus on Sunday in Los Angeles.

Other News and Notes

  • The Orioles acquired reliever Brett Brach from the Padres.  Baltimore also claimed former Indian Cord Phelps off wavers.
  • The Pirates designated Garret Jones for assignment.  Jones is coming off a down year in 2013, but he did hit 100 homers in his 5-year stint with Pittsburgh.
  • Bob Dutton of the Kansas City Star reported that with the Royals surplus of bullpen arms, relievers Aaron Crow and Tim Collins are “very available”.  Dutton states that the reason for Crow and Collins being the ones that Kansas City may look to move is because of their increasing price tags through arbitration.
  • Andrew Marchand of says the Yankees may tell Robinson Cano that they have a limited time offer for him.  Yankees officials have already stated that they do not plan to sit around and wait for Cano to make a decision.
  • Also on the Yankees, Ken Rosenthal says New York is interested in Nate McLouth as a backup plan to top free agent targets Carlos Beltran and Curtis Granderson.
  • Rich Dubroff of CSN Baltimore says the Orioles could look into moving closer Jim Johnson into the starting rotation.  Johnson is expected to cost around $10 million through arbitration, and Dubroff believes that for that amount, a move to the rotation may be best for Baltimore.  The Orioles did consider that move prior to the 2012 season, but a back injury delayed the start of Johnson’s season and the idea was scrapped.
  • Peter Gammons of MLB Network says that catcher Dioner Navarro is working towards finalizing a deal, although the team is unknown.

User Comments

November 27, 2013 - 12:06 AM EST
I recall asking Tony straight up if the Tribe would sign Bourn he replied, something to the effect of "no chance or not happening." I felt like it was a realistic option, signing Bourn after they missed out on Edwin Jackson. They indicated a willingness to spend near $50 M to get a deal done.

Tony, basically, said it was possible, but very unlikely. I was the one posting etc. the Tribe should sign Bourn. They did, and now they need payroll space, it's part of the game for the Tribe.
November 26, 2013 - 11:51 PM EST
I don't recall being someone leading the charge for the Indians to sign Bourn. I was intrigued all last offseason at the prospect of getting him to an undermarket deal, which the Indians did, but now that the payroll issues have come to light, he's a luxury they can no longer afford to keep. I even wrote about the looming payroll issues last February right after the Bourn signing:

I think Andy and others have already spoken for me....and that is in order for the Indians to add the players suggested, they have to create salary space by trading others. A trade of Stubbs will help, but even that only drops payroll to $80M. Tomlin is going to be tendered....and Wood and Marson are 50-50 tender candidates and even if so they have a small impact on payroll. I would love to know all of these places you hear about payroll reaching the low 90s. I haven't seen one Indians beat guy so such a thing, unless I have missed it. And from what I can gather, until they say so otherwise, the payroll is expected to be about the same....maybe in the $85M range. Hopefully they surprise and do push it to the low 90s, but I don't expect it.
November 26, 2013 - 9:42 PM EST

I respectfully disagree, the 2012 OF situation is part of the reason the club was looking to improve and why they brought in Raburn, Stubbs and Bourn. Furthermore, the OF situation has changed dramatically, right now the club is 7 OF deep on the 40 man roster. They have Tim Fedroff, Tyler Holt, Tyler Naquin and Carlos Moncrief waiting in the wings. The cupboard was almost completely bear last yr, but now they have options and depth.

Signing Murphy provides the club a LH bat, plus positional flexibility to potentially trade any of the OF on the roster. Something they did not have prior to his deal.

FWIW, I advocated trading Chris Perez and ACab last yr too. Side note here, I have been a fan of Michael Bourn for several yrs. it wasn't and isn't a fly by night decision...where I am flip flopping, sign him / trade him. I live in Braves country and I have seen Bourn play with the Braves numberous times. I believe he could be a bounce back candidate but the wheels could come off too.

What solutions do you offer? It's obvious they need to make some kind of move / moves. And it's obvious, we don't agree on how to approach the offseason. So let's hear it...
November 26, 2013 - 9:01 PM EST

totally agree with you on Stubbs and Bourn. I didn't like the deal with Bourn but since he is here and likely will be here I am going to support him. On Stubbs, I don't care what numbers they show he isn't a leadoff hitter and really isn't a starting outfielder, IMO. I agree with you on his defense in RF. That ATL game still sticks into my mind in which he blew the catch. It's a shame because the guy has all the talent but he has no discipline at the plate and for 4M it can be spent in another area of the team
November 26, 2013 - 8:49 PM EST
Well Hiram, at least we do agree on two things. I also did not want the Indians signing Bourn and thought they would eventually regret the deal they gave him. And as much as I would love to see them deal Bourn and get out from under his salary, I also don't understand people's thinking when they say Stubbs could replace Bourn. They can show me all the numbers they want to try to prove that they are very similar, but I'll take my eyes over any stat they throw out. Even though Bourn is vastly overrated, Stubbs is also quite overrated among Indians fans. He did not look good in right field, despite his speed. He strikes out 1/3 of his plate appearances, can't hit righties, can't lay off low and away breaking balls, didn't utilize his speed on the base paths as much as fans expected, and showed very little pop. Yes he hit 10 homers, but he rarely drove the ball and a majority of his hits looked like he just punched the ball over the infield (or just beat out swinging bunts). No thanks on moving Bourn to let Stubbs take over.
November 26, 2013 - 8:16 PM EST

Indians new exactly what they were getting into and ppl still wanted to sign him. I didn't want to sign him because he strikes out way too much for a leadoff hitter and told Tony this in February before they signed him. The fact that they indeed did sign him is fine because they are getting what they asked for.
The fact that 2012 had a bad OF has nothing to do with now. The OF landscape hasn't changed that dramatically. They added Murphy and probably will get rid of Stubbs that isn't big change, IMO.

On trading Bourn, you have to keep in mind that it's not as simple as trading him. He's coming off a slightly down year, he has escalating salary and teams know this and will be reluctant to deal for him. You think these teams want to sit back and do a favor for the Indians??

Those who are second guessing the Indians appear to be somewhat hypocritical because either they didn't see Bourn play or they totally glossed over the things he can and cannot do and it's going to be hard to get out of this deal in which THEY ADVOCATED.

Also, I don't care what the sabremetrics say, replacing Bourn with Stubbs isn't the answer, you need to replace him if you indeed to get rid of him.
November 26, 2013 - 8:09 PM EST
rumor is that they will non tender him and if he's still available sign him to a new deal. If he isn't available other depth options are out there

You can look at the glass half empty if you want to do so. Just telling you what the reports are from several ppl. I heard 90+, I'm not the one that can guarantee you anything on the teams payroll. I also heard that Kazmir has a standing offer of a three year deal from the O's and the fact that he hasn't signed it is encouraging. I heard at the same time that he really wants to come back to the Indians. Not trying sway your mind or anything, just telling you what I'm hearing and I'm willing to go with that until I am notified differently.

You seem to have your mind made up on what they can and cannot do and I would rather go there based on what Dolan and Antonetti have been consistently saying which contradicts where you're going.
November 26, 2013 - 7:59 PM EST
Love the passion people are giving on this site. We are not to the Winter meetings. What a difference a year makes? Last year most people were generally negative of what the Indians will do during the off season. They played it smart and it led to 92 wins. Just want to remind everyone that most people thought that the Toronto BlueJays won last years Hot Stove Season. The potential on paper did not translate to wins on the field.

Relax enjoy Thanksgiving and see what the Indians will actually do. If the Indians get the opportunity to move a bad contract they should do it. Remember how Hafner contract handcuffed the payroll for years and him not being healthy. The same with Sizemore.
November 26, 2013 - 7:46 PM EST

First, I advocated signing Bourn because his salary did come down. Bourn really has never dealt with injuries as he has this past season...which, could mean it was an aberration. That being said, it is understandable that the Tribe would / could move him.
Second, the Indians OF landscape has changed tremendously within the last yr (depth & player development). Please remember the horrific OF play of 2012, sorry, for bringing that up. Shall I go further an mention a few names here? Seriously, how horrible was the OF play of 2012, and how much did that improve with the adds of Bourn, Stubbs, and Raburn?
Third, signing and acquiring OF talent was a necessity last yr. The OF picture has changed tremendously for the Tribe, in particular adding Murphy who offers positional flexibility and another $5.5 M on the books this yr. Adds more depth and more options.
Fourth, the Tribe realistically, has to run risk aversion when possible. Bourn is now on the wrong side of 30, coming off a relatively unspectacular performance and a leg injury. Unlike ACab his contract extends three more yrs, moving his (Bourn's) contract would provide $13.5 M to spend depending upon the return.
Fifth, that cash would IMHO be better spent on signing one of Ubaldo Jimenez, Matt Garza or even Ricky Nolasco for that matter. This team has to add another qlty SP for depth and stability, they cannot afford to depend on Bauer or Carrasco to break the rotation IF they plan to contend in 2014. As much as I like both of Bauer and Carrasco, they haven't proven a thing at the big league level.
Finally, my take is simple, all talent is brought in to progress this club toward winning a WS, that includes FA that are signed, talent the club drafts and develops or acq. via trade. All talent can and should be utilized to develop a championship caliber club. I am a pitching first guy, this being said, the club has to build with pitching. Look at STL they can acquire anything they want because they have pitching depth and player development, they can supplement the club where necessary ---that's the model this club has to move toward.
November 26, 2013 - 7:42 PM EST
The Indians are not non-tendering Tomlin. What reason do they have to do that? He is now recovered from Tommy John and as things stand right now, would be competing for the 5th starters spot. After they add a starter this winter, he'll likely be the first option in Columbus to make a spot start. Wood is iffy to me, and yeah I think Marson will be non-tendered. There's no guarantee they will go to $90 million for payroll next season. Maybe you have seen reports, but those mean nothing. Tony speaks with Indians officials and believes they won't exceed last year's payroll by much. So I think it's safe to trust him over some reports you come across. And say they miss out on Kazmir. I'm almost certain he will get more than $9 million. So say some team overspends on him... There's no other starter on the free agent market that Cleveland could get for $9 million that would have the potential impact that Kazmir could have. There's just no way to significantly improve this team without dumping some salary. And I mean more than just Stubbs.
November 26, 2013 - 7:16 PM EST

keep in mind that they will either trade or non tender Stubbs by Monday. They will non tender Tomlin, Marson and Wood too. Those four players will save them a total of 7M in payroll. If the payroll is at 84M and you minus that 7 you will 77 M. It has been reported by SOME that the Indians will go as high as low 90's for payroll. If this is indeed the Case they have 13-16 M in payroll to play with and then they can revisit the guys non tendered at another time to sign to minimum salary.

With that 15 M, You can give Kazmir 9M, sign a nice 8th inning 5M on a 1-2 year deal like Crane and then sign Mijares to a 1 M deal. Problem solved
November 26, 2013 - 6:58 PM EST

What's wrong with the team you presented is pretty obvious. How are they signing those players without dumping some payroll? You say they should sign Kazmir, Mijares, and Crain - and then ask what is wrong with that? Well, that's adding on about $12-15 million to a payroll that is already at about $83 million. So that's what is wrong with the team you suggest. It's easy to just point out players that would help the team without worrying about how to pay them. But the Indians front office and owners DO have to worry about how to pay these guys. It's not as easy as you suggest.
November 26, 2013 - 6:53 PM EST

I think it's very hypocritical of you guys to one advocate signing Bourn and then one year later say we need to trade him because it's too much money. It's not like you didn't know how much he was going to cost and if in fact Bourn came down alot on what he was asking for initially.

We haven't mentioned the fact that teams might not be interested because of this salary. If they trade him fine but, don't think we should make plans on the fact that they will indeed trade him or Acab because it's very unlikely to happen
November 26, 2013 - 6:43 PM EST
I think Tony's right... I advocated signing Bourn because he was / is an undervalue ($$$) signing, but his deal could hamstring this club long term. Moving Bourn preferably or ACab has become almost a necessity for the long term good of this club. IF Bourn were completely healthy and performing at capacity it would certainly make it more difficult to consider. However, Bourn has underperformed to date, and could be in decline - a risk the Tribe can't take, IMHO.

As for ACab, obviously, he's got one year remaining and might put up big numbers in his walk yr, but his $10 M would be better suited paid out to a SP like Kazmir. I think they should trade him for young SP or a big league RP and a qlty prospect or two. Then re-invest his salary in SP.
November 26, 2013 - 6:14 PM EST

If you're not satisfied with the roster then tell us what would be an improved roster to satisfy you without trading Acab or Bourn because it takes two to be able to do that and so far no one is willing to do that. I would love to hear your plan
November 26, 2013 - 6:12 PM EST

you keep jumping too conclusions bout trading Bourn when you were the one who advocated signing him. In saying that, what 's wrong with the roster that I presented. It's improved, it's deeper and it's more versatile??
November 26, 2013 - 5:55 PM EST
I have no doubt that the Indians will address the three needs they wanted to add this offseason: LH bat, starter and backend reliever. But here's the thing being glossed over, what are they going to give up or lose in order to get those pieces? They have already lost Perez, Jimenez, Kazmir, Smith and Albers. Kazmir and Jimenez are possible resigns, but can't bank on them. So if they lose those players and maybe trade someone like Bourn or Cabrera.....and come away with Murphy, Feldman and Rodney.....I'm not sure how anyone can be excited with the results of the offseason.

Again, it is early in the process. I want to see how creative the Indians get with filling needs without giving up big assets. They have always thrived on the smaller trades and signings, so I am hopeful that is the case yet again this offseason.
November 26, 2013 - 1:15 PM EST
Like I've said before. Antonetti has said on three different occasions in the last month that he's coming out with a lefthanded complimentary bat, starter and two relievers. The lefty bat is already done.

If Antonetti comes back with resigning Kazmir, signing Mijares or Thatcher when they are non tendered then signs Jesse Crain or another solid RP either strong setup man or closer the Indians will have a very solid and deep team.





Tell me what's wrong with that team??
November 26, 2013 - 11:58 AM EST
Agree Clay. Without a good, proven and healthy addition to the pen and rotation, I am not so confident. That said, it is very early in the offseason and hopefully that need addresses itself.
November 26, 2013 - 11:40 AM EST
Love your optomism Hiram. The solid, deep approach will only take you as far as your pitching will take you. Will be interesting to see what ultimately happens.
November 26, 2013 - 11:21 AM EST
Indians make a couple of moves and this team will be rock solid and tough to beat. Other teams will have more stars but the Indians' solid approach, solid players and solid depth can have them competing with anyone
November 26, 2013 - 10:35 AM EST

Jose Mijares is someone I'm interested in too. Just as a lefty specialist to get 1-2 outs
November 26, 2013 - 10:00 AM EST
I seriously doubt Tim Collins will be non tendered. That would just be foolish for the Royals.

Thatcher would be an interesting addition one way or another. Pretty much any lefty not named Rich Hill would be worth looking into.
November 26, 2013 - 9:31 AM EST
Jose Mijares and Joe Thatcher reportedly are about to be non tendered and I think either one would really look good in an Indians uniform
November 26, 2013 - 8:43 AM EST

What do you think of looking at Pedro Feliciano as lefty specialist out of the bullpen for one year or until someone from the farm steps up into that role??
November 26, 2013 - 8:42 AM EST

Royals are a good team especially with that bullpen. IMO, they need Verdura and Duffy to come thru because once you get to that bullpen it's a tough road to win. I would like the Indians to take a look at Tim Collins if he is non tendered
November 26, 2013 - 8:29 AM EST
Maybe it's just me, but the Royals are a team that I think can make a lot of noise next year. If they are able to move some money and get a big OF bat...

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