Tagged: A's

Rafael Furcal News

Rafael Furcal has been a hot topic among baseball writers, but not among baseball teams. They have been disappearing from the Furcal sweepstakes after the A’s dropped out. The Indians could be interested, however.

Rafael FurcalI’m surprised that the A’s dropped out. They seemed like the perfect fit for Furcal, especially after the Giants signed Edgar Renteria. They offered him 4 years 35-40 million. Furcal declined, and the A’s ended their pursuit. I’m sure talks will start up again, partly because teams are dropping out of the Furcal sweepstakes.

There no longer seems to be a great fit for Rafael. The Dodgers don’t want to pay the amount of money he wants, and even if he came back with a smaller demand it’s possible the Dodgers could decide to fill different holes with their money. The Giants are out, and the A’s won’t up their offer. Just like that, the top three bidders are all out.

Some wild cards could enter the mix, however.Indians.jpg Like mentioned above, the Indians have shown interest. Furcal would make so much sense for their team. A signing would allow them to move Grady Sizemore down to the #3 hole in the lineup, greatly improving the overall team. Jhonny Peralta could move to third base in order to accommodate such a move. The Indians seem like the team that could jump in and steal Furcal right off the market.

KNU53CANPRUOCCA1AXTHOCARASJMXCAG7XKCJCAPZ1K3ZCAMGE5IDCA1PEIKPCA1DNZLBCAP289Q5CA8LQEV1CAZVE7CUCA5R46NFCAK5XHW3CA2CURRBCAJJ6ZF8CA6U55YQCATAO0PICA7F48LTCAWWVUYU.jpgThe Twins could also make sense. They have 15 million to spend, and don’t have much speed in their lineup. They pulled out of the Casey Blake sweepstakes (more on that later) almost right after the A’s dropped out on Furcal. This could just be a coincidence, but you never know. It seems to make a lot of sense to me.

68474CAN8RC8BCA7R6P4ZCAY4SXNXCALZZZP3CAI82BFCCA2T4JNACASQKVM2CAT5LH0FCANVIYEFCAR41UPUCAZ4RC1ACAUYHWY0CAHL4YJYCAP6SFQWCAH6NU37CA2G4QHICA0GMU0YCATG0LPXCA8VC10F.jpgThe Cubs want to add a leadoff man and almost had Furcal signed when he last entered free agency 3 years ago. He still fits great on their team. Ryan Theriot would move to second base, and Mark DeRosa would move to right field. Adding Furcal to their already impressive lineup would make them a much better team, which is hard to do when you win 97 games. The only issue is payroll. The Cubs only have about 3 million left to spend after arbitration raises if my calculations are correct. Jason Marquis could be traded, but it would still be a stretch to fit Furcal in. This is possible nontheless.

So we have learned that Furcal won’t sign with the A’s unless he takes less than what he wants, his market is not exactly booming, and the Indians, Twins, and Cubs could be possible dark horses.   

A’s Frontrunners for Rafael Furcal

The A’s are looking like the frontrunners for Rafael Furcal. The only teams left in the bidding are the A’s, Giants, and a mystery team. The mystery team is not the Reds according to Jon Heyman. (same link as above) The A’s pursuing Furcal makes sense. They could have a very good team next year with the additions of Matt Holliday and Rafael Furcal. With talks of them also being in on Nick Johnson and Jason Giambi, the offense looks like it will be getting much better. The Giants, Dodgers, and other teams looking for a shortstop will have to turn to Orlando Cabrera and Edgar Renteria. Finally things will start moving once Furcal signs.

Rafael Furcal Gets 3 year, 39 Million Offer

Free agency started only 4 days ago, yet Rafael Furcal has already gotten a 3 year, 39 million dollar offer from an unkown team. That’s the same amount of money that he made during his last contract with the Dodgers. No one knows who made this big time offer, but my guess is the Giants. Furcal’s agent said that the Giants had made an offer, but wouldn’t reveal it. He also said that the A’s haven’t made one yet. No other teams have been named specificly, so I think he ends up in San Francisco unless the A’s or Dodgers make some offer out of nowhere to land him. Also, the article says that he is “very excited” about the chance to play for the Braves again. Yunel Escobar might not be traded in a Jake Peavy deal, but they might swap him out for a power hitting left fielder or a starting pitcher. Furcal would make a great replacement, plus they would be adding a true leadoff man. Other mystery teams that could have made the big offer are the Cardinals, Cubs, A’s, Blue Jays, or Royals. None are great fits for various reasons, but are all possible. His agent also said that he expects Furcal to sign within a couple of weeks.

Giants and A’s Frontrunners for Rafael Furcal

The Giants and A’s are now the frontrunners to land former Dodgers’ shortstop Rafael Furcal. The battle across the bay! I’m surprised the Dodgers are out of it so early; I thought for sure they would be the team to sign him. I guess they would rather go cheaper with a guy like Orlando Cabrera and then spend more to adress third base and the rotation. Starting pitching could also be adressed cheaper by signing Randy Johnson, though. Maybe they’ll add two arms. I don’t know what they will do, but appearantly Furcal is on their backburner.

The A’s, after changin gears into win-now mode with the Matt Holliday trade, will try to continue improving their team, this time through free agency. They don’t have any speed in the lineup, but Furcal could change that very quickly. They already have a decent shortstop in Bobby Crosby, but he is in the final year on his deal and could easily be traded. Remember, they weren’t far behind the Angels last year in July. With Furcal and Holliday injected into that lineup, and with Mark Teixera possibly ditching LA to sign in Boston with the Red Sox, the A’s might compete for the AL West Crown.

The Giants also think they could be possible contenders. They recenly signed Jeremy Affeldt, and I talked in depth about all their free agent targets here. Furcal would give them a great leadoff man, and help change the style that they play baseball with. If they can trade Jonathan Sanchez for another infielder and then sign a decent #4 or 5 starter to replace him, they could contend in the very bad NL West.

So I really like the idea of Furcal signing with either of these teams. I’m upset that I got this pick wrong for my top 50 free agents, though. Darn!

A’s Aquire Matt Holliday!

The A’s have traded for Matt Holliday. Wow! This one is a real shock to me. I mean, I didn’t even know they were even in the bidding for him. They were just sellers, and now all of a sudden they become buyers. I thought the A’s would continue selling off parts, but I guess they want to go for it in 2009. For Holliday, they traded Carlos Gonzalez, Huston Street, and Greg Smith. In my opinion, the A’s did a decent job. I’d probably give them a B because they lost a great outfield prospect and will probably miss the playoffs even with Holliday. I give the Rockies an A because they got a huge return for just one year of Holliday. Carlos Gonzalez is a stud prospect that could become a player only a little worse than Holliday. Huston Street could become their next closer, replacing Brian Fuentes. If they would rather give the job to Taylor Buchholz or Manny Corpas, Street could become trade bait for a starter. Greg Smith is more of a throw in, but he adds depth to the rotation. having him out there instead of Glendon Rusch should make a big difference. The Rockies still need to add some pitching, though. Now that about 8 million is off the books, maybe the Rox will pursue a veteran starter via free agency. Derek Lowe could make sense because he’s a ground ball pitcher. So you wouldn’t have to overpay for him. They might again have to look at trades. Like I stated before, Street could be flipped to a different team for an arm. Maybe even combine him with a player such as Garret Atkins for a top-of-the-rotation starter. I know some people will think that Atkins will be off the block because of Holliday being moved; they’ll want to keep a big bat in there. But Ian Stewart still is without a position if they keep Garret. I think they trade Atkins even though Holliday is gone. Full seasons of Gonzalez and Stewart will make up for his production. The A’s might enter the free agent picture also. They showed that they will try to contend next year by trading for Holliday. They do have 30-35 million to spend if they are willing to raise payroll to 80 million. You’d think that they would be in the market for left side of the infield help. Rafeal Furcal could become a prime target. Casey Blake and Joe Crede could become possible third basemen aquisitions for their team. If they want to, they could even add another big bat like Prince Fielder. Imagine Prince Fielder and Matt Holliday together in a lineup that already features Jack Cust and possibly Rafael Furcal. With that kind of team and with various young players preforming well, they could rival the Angels for the AL East. If they can’t catch them, the wild card is an option. The Rockies might be able to compete in the weak NL West. Overall I like this trade a lot for both teams, but the Rockies definatly won it.

Team’s Payroll

I will put the amount of money teams will have to spend this offseason along with their payroll from the previous year, arbitration eligible players, and the salary they have committed. This will make things easier when trying to guess who could afford the top-notch free agents. I was informed greatly from MLB Trade Rumors. This will be a side-bar link.

 

 Teams

 Last year’s payroll

 Salary Committed

 Arbitration Eligible

 Estimated money to spend

Braves

102 million 

48 million 

Casey Kothman, Omar Infante, Kelly Johnson, Matt Diaz, Jeff Francoeur, Mike Gonzalez 

 45 million

Mets

 138 million

104 million 

 Ryan Church, John Maine, Aaron Heilman, Pedro Feliciano, Duaner Sanchez

28 million 

Phillies

103 million

100 million 

Cole Hamels, Jayson Werth, Shane Victorino, Joe Blanton, Greg Dobbs, Ryan Howard  

15 million 

Marlins

 21 million

 20 million

Scott Olsen, Jorge Cantu, Ricky Nolasco, Mike Jacobs, Jeremy Hermida, Josh Willingham, Dan Uggla, Cody Ross, Matt Treanor, Alfredo Amezaga, Joe Nelson, Kevin Gregg, Logan Kensing, Eulogio de la Cruz, Doug, Waechter 

0 million

Nationals

55 million 

40 million 

Ryan Zimmerman, Tim Redding, Jesus Colome, Ryan Wagner, Willy Harris

10 million 

Cubs 

118 million

122 million 

Reed Johnson, Ronny Cedeno, Michael Wuertz, Neal Cotts, Chad Gaudin 

20 million 

Brewers 

80 million 

60 million 

Prince Fielder, Rickie Weeks, JJ Hardy, Corey Hart, Dave Bush, Seth McClung, Todd Coffey, Chris Capuano 

20 million 

Cardinals 

100 million 

78 million 

Aaron Miles, Rick Ankiel, Ryan Ludwick, Todd Wellemyer, Brad Thompson 

20 million 

Reds 

74 million 

54.5 million 

Bill Bray, Edwin Encarnacion, Mike Lincoln 

15 million

Astros 

 86 million

88 million 

Humberto Quintero, Ty Wigginton, David Newhan, Brian Backe, Wandy Rodriguez, Jose Valverde, Geoff Geary, Tim Byrdak 

15 million 

Pirates 

 49 million

31 million 

Ryan Doumit, Adam LaRoche, Nate McLouth, Paul Maholm, Zack Duke, John Grabow, Tyler Yates, Denny Bautista 

8 million 

Dodgers 

59 million 

118  million 

Russell Martin, Andre Eithier, Takashi Saito, Jonathan Broxton, Scott Proctor, Yhency Brazoban

50 million 

Diamond Backs 

 66 million

55 million 

Chris Snyder, Augie Ojeda, Conor Jackson, Chris Burke, Edgar Gonzalez, Chad Qualls

10 million 

Rockies 

68 million 

77.5 million 

Garret Atkins, Willy Tavaras, Jorge de la Rosa, Jason Grilli 

3 million 

Padres 

73 million 

44 million 

Jody Gerut, Scott Hairston, Heath Bell, Clay Hensley 

4 million 

Giants 

76 million 

64 million 

Fred Lewis 

10 million 

Angels 

124 million 

87 million 

Macier Izturis, Rob Quinlan, Chone Figgins, Ervin Santana 

30 million 

A’s 

48 million 

29 million 

Huston Street, Justin Duchscherer Rob Bowen 

10 million + 

Rangers 

67 million 

63 million 

Gerald Laird, Marlon Byrd, Brandon McCarthy, Frank Francisco, CJ Wilson, Kameron Loe 

10 million 

Mariners 

117 million 

88 million 

Felix Hernandez, Erik Bedard, Jeremy Reed 

20 million – 

White Sox 

121 million 

108 million 

Bobby Jenks, DJ Carasco, DeWayne Wise

10 million 

Twins 

57 million 

54 million 

Jason Kubel, Matt Guerrier 

15 million 

Indians 

79 million 

64 million 

Kelly Shoppach 

15 million 

Tigers 

137 million 

115 million 

Marcus Thames, Ramon Santiago, Fernando Rodney, Justin Verlander, Gary Glover, Joel Zumaya, Bobby Seay 

5 million 

14 million

14 millionRoyals 

58 million 

52 million 

John Buck, Esteban German, Mark Teahen, Joey Gathright, Zack Greinke, Brian Bannister, Kyle Davies, Jimmy Gobble, Joel Peralta 

7 million 

Red Sox 

133 million 

92 million 

Kevin Youkilis, Kevin Cash, Javier Lopez, Jonathan Papelban 

33 million 

Rays 

43 million 

49 million 

Edwin Jackson, Dioner Navarro, Jason Bartlett, Gabe Gross, Jonny Gomes, Grant Balfour

5 million 

Yankees 

209 million 

140 million 

Xavier Nady, Wilson Betemit, Chien-Ming Wang, Brian Bruney 

50 million 

Blue Jays 

98 million 

80 million 

Jose Bautista, Jason Frasor, Brian Tallet, Brandon League

15 million 

Orioles 

67 million 

63 million 

Freddie Bynum, Luke Scott, Nick Markakis, Jeremy Guthrie, Daniel Cabrera, George Sherrill, Chris Ray, Fernando Cabrera 

15 million 

 

A’s Resign Mark Ellis

MLB.com is reporting that the A’s have resigned second baseman Mark Ellis to a two year, 11 million contract with a 6 million club option for a third. I was not happy that the A’s were even in talks with him, since they already have two very good second base prospects. But now that I look at the money and length of the deal, I love it for the A’s. Classic Billy Beane on this one. Ellis could always be traded when the prospects arrive. This just gives them another future trade chip. Now all they have to do is get a third baseman and a shortstop and they’ll be set. This will be a very scary team some day, possible as early as 2010. 

Player Market: Dan Uggla

It seems like the Marlins will make slugging second/third baseman Dan Uggla available this offseason. There will probably be tons of suitors. Lets check them out.

Cardinals (frontrunners)  Bryan Anderson for Dan Uggla. This trade just makes too much sense for both teams. The Marlins get a catcher significantly better than Matt Treanor and open up a position for the fast, good defensive Chris Coghlan. The Cardinals get the bat they want to protect Albert Pujols, and Bryan Anderson has no role on their team because of Yadier Molina. I’d be surprised if either team got a better offer for their player.

Indians (frontrunners)  They also have a catcher they could trade. They would be reluctant to do it, but Kelly Shoppach could get a deal done for both sides. I explained how it made sense for the Marlins above, and it makes sense for the Tribe, too. They’d have to be 100% sure Victor Martinez is healthy or else they shouldn’t do the deal. Dan Uggla can play either second base or third base, so it gives them even more flexibility as to who they will sign. This trade also makes sense.

Marlins (frontrunners)  Unless they can get a good, young catcher in return, it might make more sense to trade Jorge Cantu or Mike Jacobs instead. Both players could bring back a hard throwing pitching prospect: the kind of player the Fish are looking for. Plus, it improves the defense by moving Jorge Cantu to first base or another team. If they want to build around pitching, defense, and speed it makes sense to move someone other than Uggla.  

Twins (possible)  If the Marlins are willing to take young pitching for Uggla, then the Twins are a good fit. They could offer one of their young guns and play Uggla at third base. I don’t know if the Marlins would do this trade, though. 

Giants (possible)  It is pretty much the same thing here as with the Twins. If the Fish will take pitchers, the Giants could trade Jonathan Sanchez for him. If the Marlins don’t accept starters, then Uggla won’t be in a Giant uniform next year.

A’s (possible)  It’s possible the Marlins would rather have hard throwing prospects instead of proven young pitchers. If that is the case, don’t be surprised to see Uggla heading down to the bay area. The A’s could play him at second base until Adrian Cardenas is ready, then they could move him to third base. This makes sense for the A’s, but maybe not the Marlins.

Dodgers (possible)  They could offer James McDonald. He’s not the best prospect, but could get the deal done with an added player and poor offers for Uggla. Or, the Marlins could decide to keep him and trade someone else. 

White Sox (not likely)  They would be interested, but I don’t see them giving away their farm for another slow player. I don’t know if they could even pull off a trade. They’d be much more interested in Brian Roberts.

Player Market: Prince Fielder

It is possible that the Brewers look to trade Prince Fielder in the offseason. Lets see what team they can get a good pitcher from.

Brewers (frontrunners)  I think it’s more likely that they decide to trade JJ Hardy instead. There will be a bigger market for Hardy, they wouldn’t be losing as much offense, and the Brewers could get almost as good a pitcher for Hardy as they could get for Fielder. All in all, Fielder will likely be kept.

Giants (possible)  Could a Matt Cain for Prince Fielder trade work? I don’t know if either team would do it. I think it has a slight edge toward the Brewers because Cain is so cheap and far better than any starter they could get for Hardy. The Giants could make that trade, but might not unless they add Sabathia. It might make more sense for them to keep Cain and then trade a different pitcher for a first baseman like Adam LaRoche or Mike Jacobs.

Royals (possible)  They could offer Zack Greinke for Fielder. I don’t know if the Brewers would accept this one, because Greinke has one less year under contract than Cain. Maybe the Royals could add a player like Ron Mahay or David DeJesus to finish the deal. I think this scenerio is more likely. The Royals would like to add a big bat to their lineup, and could sign a starter like Oliver Perez or Jon Garland to replace Greinke.

Rays (possible)  The Rays need a DH, and want to inject a big power bat into their lineup, but the player has to be under control for more than one year. So Prince Fielder would make more sense than Matt Holliday. The Rays could put together a package of prospects as good as if not better than most teams. If the Brewers demand a proven starter, they could part with Matt Garza. Yes, he has been great for them this year, but then they could keep both Edwin Jackson and Andy Sonnanstine. Plus, if Price steps up they won’t lose much from the rotation. I think this would be a move the Rays have to do. The Brewers would make the trade also, unless Jeremy Guthrie, Matt Cain, or maybe Zack Greinke is offered. If they can get him without surrendering Garza, they could offer Wade Davis, Edwin Jackson, and either Grant Balfour or JP Howell. The Brewers get a solid closer, a good prospect, and a solid back-of-the-rotation starter. Either one of these deals would be good for the Rays in my opinion.

Orioles (not likely)  It’s not likely, but the Oriols could enter the Prince Fielder sweepstakes. They could offer a package centered around Jeremy Guthrie. He by himself could get him. I don’t know if they should offer him, though. The Brewers would jump on the deal. If the O’s don’t give up Guthrie, then they could try an offer of Brian Roberts, George Sherrill, and Melvin Mora plus cash. The Brewers would be filling three holes, yet they lose offensive firepower and don’t fix the rotation.

Angels (not likely)  If they miss out on Mark Teixera, I could definatly see it. They could center a deal around Nick Adenhart, or even Jered Weaver. If they add Brandon Wood to the trade, it might be enough. I think I would do a Jered Weaver plus Brandon Wood for Prince awap. It makes sense for both sides. Sean Rodriguez could also be added to finish off the trade. Chone Figgins could be part of the deal, too, and play center field in Milwaukee.

Yankees (not likely)  They would love to add a young power bat like Prince, but they might not have the pieces to do it. Maybe if they offered Phil Hughes and Austin Jackson something could be  worked out. Like with Jake Peavy, it would be smarter just to spend the extra money and sign Mark Teixera. When you have a 200 million payroll, you can’t be cheap.

A’s (dark horse)  The A’s have all the pitching in the world to spare. They are in need of a first base/DH type, and most of all they need power. How about a package of Huston Street, Brett Anderson or Gio Gonzalez, and Justin Duchscherer. The Brewers add a good starter, a good pitching prospect, and a good closer. I like this deal a lot for both teams, but I’m not sure the A’s would want to trade away a young gun like Anderson or Gio. Plus, they would miss Doosh, especially if they are trying to compete next year which a Fielder trade would suggest. 

Kevin Kouzmanoff for Brett Anderson Makes Sense

I was thinking about possible trade targets for the A’s, and I came up with one that makes a lot of sense. Brett Anderson for Kevin Kouzmanoff. The A’s have one of if not the best minor league system in the MLB. Pitching is the best part about the surplus. Plus, Billy Beane can find pitching anywhere. So, how about trading a good pitching prospect for a third baseman under team control with some serious pop and good defense. I love the trade for both teams. The Padres would miss Kouz, but Chase Headly could move back to his natural position and take over the job. Some would say that the A’s would be overpaying because of Kouzmanoff’s mere .290 OBP. But look at the needs. With all of the great yet blocked starting pitching of the A’s, and without anything at third base, it just makes sense. Then they could go sign Rafael Furcal and I wouldn’t be surprised to see them compete. The Padres are in for a long rebuilding process, and Anderson could develope into a solid #3 right behind Jake Peavy and Chris Young. This could be a good trade for both teams.