Notes and Stuff – 11.18.06
Posted by Jason A. Churchill on November 18, 2006
I have to empty my inbox, so here we go.
This is what I’ve been hearing around the league, some of it Mariners related – most of it not – but somewhat interesting anyway.
The San Diego Padres, with new skipper Bud Black pushing for more pitching, are after a number of mid-level free agent and trade-available bats, including the likes of David Dellucci, who, according to a reliable source, has very little chance of returning to Philadelphia.
The Pads, however, have expressed initial interest in a slew of starting pitchers, with southpaw Ted Lilly and righthanders Adam Eaton, Tomo Ohka and even Greg Maddux among them.
The San Francisco Giants are fairly active in trade talks, and many believe it would be a major surprise if they do not land a run-producing bat, whether Barry Bonds is re-signed or not.
But the Giants need pitching, too, and don’t have a lot of trade-worthy talent to spare. Like the M’s, they will likely come up short in one area or the other, due to a lack of viable options on the market this winter.
It appears that Peter McGowan and Brain Sabean are playing hardball with Bonds and his salary demands, but most in the industry seem to believe the third member of the 700-HR club will remain in San Francisco, despite rumors of Oakland, Chicago and Boston.
Mark Mulder and Vicente Padilla will get ridiculous contracts, as will Jason Schmidt – likely here in Seattle. I surveyed several team reps over the past week or so, and only two of the 12 believed Schmidt would end up anywhere else but Seattle.
One said Texas, the other said he thought Schmidt would end up with the Cubs. Hmmm.
Billy Beane is serious, by the way, about Barry Bonds, and he’s also rumored to be heavily interested in dealing for Vernon Wells.
Speaking of Wells… with the signing of Frank Thomas, the Blue Jays may be all over Gary Matthews to the tune of 3 years and 25 mil, so they can spin Wells to the White Sox for a package including center fielder Brian Anderson and lefthander Mark Buehrle.
The Red Sox want JD Drew and might be on the verge of pulling the trigger on a Manny Ramirez deal, once and for all. According to one Mets front office executive, they have already had extensive talks with the Red Sox about Manny, and are more than willing to include both Lastings Milledge and Aaron Heilman in the trade.
If Manny is out and Drew is in, probably for four years and 48 million or so, the Sox, who are presumably adding Daisuke Matsuzaka to their starting rotation, the club would then likely go after a right-handed hitting first baseman without spending tons of cash.
With the Mets nearly completing a deal for outfielder Moises Alou, however, things may change in a hurry.
The New York Yankees are the front-runners to land M’s first baseman Richie Sexson, if he’s traded this offseason.
The M’s are expected to sign one mid-level starting pitcher in the early stages of the winter, so they can work on the meat and potatoes of their wish list during the first 10 days of December, when many of the bid deals and signings occur.
Some think it’s Adam Eaton, but it really sounds like Ted Lilly and Tomo Ohka are the most likely candidates, with Tony Armas, jr, a distant third.
Gil Meche turned down the Blue Jays initial offer of 3 years and $23 million and is said to be asking for more than $9 million per. He might get it, just not here.
The rumors that the Baltimore Orioles are interested in Richie Sexson are true, as are the rumors that the Mariners would probably want Erik Bedard in return, which is laughable, but they’d sure ask for him.
The Colorado Rockies are willing to trade righty Jason Jennings, who is a free agent after the 2007 season, and the Mariners are interested – again. The Rockies may have asked for Adam Jones in preliminary talks, but the M’s have apparently already told Jones, who expressed concern for being traded this winter, that he isn’t going anywhere. It’s a rare occurance that a prospect has been told he’s staying put, so, with a grain of salt…
With the Cubs in the market for starting pitching, they have approached the Florida Marlins about Dontrelle Willis, and have asked the White Sox about Freddy Garcia, who thrived under Lou Piniella in Seattle.
The Marlins say Willis isn’t going anywhere, but they really ought to just take the best deal they can get, which is probably a pretty good haul. I’d think the Cubs would toss Rich Hill into a package that includes Felix Pie and others.
Dave Cameron is right about one thing, at least, when he says Dontrelle Willis is destined for a short career. While I don’t share his belief that Willis is out of baseball in as little as three years, I certainly believe he is a candidate to be very ordinary on the mound as his arm begins to seperate itself from the rest of his body with that throwing motion.
Here’s my favorite piece of news so far… Contrary to the beliefs of some within baseball, M’s uber scout Bob Engle is apparently not leaving the club to join Pat Gillick in Philly, as was speculated quite a bit this past summer.
Engle is the best scout in the system and has had his hands in on every Latin gem the club has landed since 2000, including Jose Lopez, Felix Hernandez and the newest signee, shortstop Carlos Truinfel.
You can make the argument that Engle is more responsible for the positives on the M’s roster than anyone else, and ya know what, you’d win that argument, too.