Storylines: Moss trade could be finalized Friday
In this 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: @AndrewIBI.
Here are the stories from Thursday, Dec. 4.
- Raul Ibanez withdrew his name from consideration for the Rays managerial opening, Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times wrote. That leaves Indians bullpen coach Kevin Cash and Royals bench coach Don Wakamatsu as the two remaining finalists. The Rays are expected to make their decision no earlier than Friday. Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com also tweeted that a decision "will come tomorrow or soon thereafter." The 42-year-old Ibanez was one of three finalists for the Rays position. He cited a "desire to spend more time with [his] family" as the reason for the withdrawal. That probably also signals a plan to retire. He spent parts of 19 seasons in the majors, although he struggled throughout the 2014 campaign.
- The Indians "are guardedly optimistic" that they can complete a deal for Brandon Moss, according to Paul Hoynes of the Cleveland Plain Dealer. The A's are interested in Indians second base prospect Joe Wendle, Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle reported. Wendle hit .265/.326/.425 in 396 plate appearances while battling injury. He spent most of the season at Double-A. Meanwhile, Paul Hoynes of the Cleveland Plain Dealer reported that negotiations should reach a conclusion on Friday and that no players from the Indians 40-man roster are expected to be dealt.
News and Notes:
- Jon Lester is unlikely to sign prior to the Winter Meetings, according to Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports. With four clubs vying for his services, it makes sense to take time making a decision.
- The Orioles, Rangers, and Padres are still among the bidders for Braves outfielder Justin Upton, Jon Morosi of FOX Sports reported.
- Teams are being advised that Chase Headley has a four-year offer in hand that would guarantee him $65 million, Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports reported. Needless to say, that would represent a very nice haul for the 30-year-old, who had a nice turnaround after being dealt to the Yankees in mid-season.
- The Dodgers and Padres are in continued discussions on the possibility of a Matt Kemp trade, Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reported. One scenario that has been discussed would have Yasmani Grandalheaded to the Dodgers (among other pieces, presumably) with Kemp and some cash headed back to the Friars. However, Rosenthal was also careful to note that the Dodgers are still discussing Kemp with multiple clubs, and a deal with the Padres isn't necessarily any more likely than it is with a different team yet.
- Outfielder Melky Cabrera is looking for a five-year deal, Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reported. That is not surprising as an asking price, given that Cabrera is just 30 years of age, though it remains to be seen whether he can get that fifth year guaranteed.
- Former Rays bench coach Dave Martinez, who left the organization after he was not selected as a finalist for their managerial opening, joined the Cubs' coaching staff, Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times reported. Martinez will assume the familiar role of serving as Joe Maddon's bench coach, Jon Heyman of CBS Sports reported. That the well-respected Martinez wasn't named a finalist in Tampa's managerial search surprised many. He's previously interviewed for other managerial gigs and is widely considered to be have a chance to manage in the Majors someday. Heyman also noted that Brandon Hyde, who was expected to serve as bench coach on what was a full Cubs staff, will be re-assigned, but the team is expected to move him to a significant role.
- Derek Jeter's recent visit with the Marlins could signal his interest in purchasing the team, Ken Davidoff of the New York Post suggested. He has long talked about his plans to purchase a club, and he has some ties to Florida. It's unclear if current owner Jeffrey Loria is willing to sell. Jeter doesn't possess the wealth necessary to buy a majority stake in a major league franchise, but he could headline a consortium.
- The Tigers are receiving strong interest in David Price and Rick Porcello, Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reported. What Detroit would ask for in return for these starters remains a mystery, Rosenthal added. Of course, there are several other big-name, 5+ service time pitchers who could potentially be had, and Rosenthal notes that all are still "in play." He added that the primary appeal of such arms is their generally below-market salary and the achievement of a year of exclusive negotiating rights. Implicit, of course, is that teams are interested not only in a reasonable hope of achieving excess value on the contract, but also in doing so without exposure to the massive downside risk of a longer-term deal.
- As the White Sox look to add a right-handed starter, the team is not ruling out pursuit of high-end free agents, according to Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com. That includes quality arms up to and including Max Scherzer, Heyman said, who noted that Chicago remains unlikely to make the massive outlay that will be required to add the consensus best arm available. The South Siders are also exploring the trade market, of course, and are looking not only at controllable options but also a variety of veterans with just one year remaining on their deals.
- The Orioles and free agent Delmon Young have "dialogue going," per Roch Kubatko of MASNsports.com. The 29-year-old outfielder was effective for the O's in a limited role last season. Among the highlights, he hit .302/.337/.442 in 255 regular season plate appearances and had a couple clutch hits during the postseason.
- Recently non-tendered Braves starter Brandon Beachy is drawing interest from 10 teams, according to Chris Cotillo of SB Nation. The Braves are among the interested clubs, but aren't the most aggressive. He's expected to land a major league deal and has multiple offers on the table. Beachy is currently rehabbing from his second Tommy John surgery. An aggressive rehab schedule could have Beachy back on the mound in the early part of the season, but the average recovery time would indicate a mid-to-late season return.
There were two FA I suggested the Tribe pursue this offseason, first, Chase Headley, they have reportedly check in on him. Second, Alex Rios, they have reportedly checked in on him too. If Headley price is as high as I've heard, I would suggest Rios makes the most sense even if they acq. Moss in a trade. It seems logical to put Bourn on the mkt, and play Moss as LF/DH with Brantley in CF. However, I doubt the club makes multiple moves.
There are other alternatives....like working out some sort of salary move with Swisher or Murphy. Possible other players or even another team involved.
Let's be real. After last season, Frazier is still a good prospect, but he didn't look like a top 10 draft pick. His realistic upside 3 years from now is what Ramsey already is. He could be more, but also much less.
Wendle+Ramsey and one of Morimando/M.Brown/Baker/Plutko/Lugo/Colon/Roberts is my guess. If they want all bats, then any C could be included. Mejia, Haase or Lucas.
That would be not cheap by any means, but it makes sense to keep the two year contending window intact.
If we're getting Moss, I wonder who might be interested in David Murphy. Maybe the Rangers?
Moss may not be catching much interest after hip surgery.
Wendle for Moss? LOL. Why not?