Winter Meetings 2009 Day Three
More from Levine saying that Cubs and White Sox lead the chase for J.J. Putz who will throw again Friday. Putz expects around a $2.5M base salary with incentives that could take it into the $6-7M range. The White Sox apparently have already made an offer.
Levine also says if the Red Sox trade for Bradley, they would immediately flip him possibly to Texas or Tampa. ~shrug~
NPSport Canada tweets that Hendry does have one firm offer for Bradley and the deal will happen by Friday (rolls eyes), but does not involve the Blue Jays (thanks to navigator for the find).
- Phil Rogers believes the Cubs have already made their mind up about moving spring training to Naples for the simple reason that he believes the Ricketts want their base of operation out of Florida.
Harden's contract details from Ed Price; $6.5M in 2010 with $3.5M in escalating incentives up to 195 IP, $11M mutual option for 2011 with a $1M buyout if either side declines.
Levine says Hendry had meetings with Mike Cameron's agent Wednesday night and agent Casey Close who reps Ben Sheets, Derrek Lee and Mike Fontenot among others.
Cardinals - Added Brad Penny & Hitting Coach that Knows How to Get things, probably losing DeRosa, Holliday and Smoltz.
Brewers - Added LaTroy Hawkins, Randy Wolf and swapped J.J. Hardy for Carlos Gomez.
Astros - Essentially swapped Valverde and Hawkins for Lindstrom and Lyon.
Pirates - Added Bobby Crosby and Akinori Iwamura.
Reds - Still employing Dusty Baker.
Cubs - Resigned John Grabow and traded Jake Fox, Aaron Heilman and Aaron Miles for 5 minor leaguers.
Another Rule 5 draft preview (h/t to MLBTR) from Jonathon Mayo, he thinks Steve Clevenger is the most likely Cub to get selected but adds that the Cubs could get "hit a few times".
From Gorden Edes twitter:
Cubs chutzpah: They really did ask Sox about Bradley for Lowell...under the heading: Can't hurt to ask. Got the response you'd expect.
The Red Sox have been kicking the tires on free agents. They have had talks with the agent for free agents third baseman Adrian Beltre, formerly of the Mariners. If you look at the trade and free agent market, Bradley may be the most attractive power hitting player available, besides free agents Matt Holliday and Jason Bay.
If a team like the Red Sox were intelligent, which they are, they could bring in Beltre to play third base, trade Lowell to the Cubs for Bradley and then end up with two players for next season for the same price or less that they'd have to pay for the big ticket free-agents Holliday and Bay.
Oh did I say Levine's latest? I meant here's the verbatim story handed to Levine by the Cubs to try and float some ideas out there and generate a false market. If a team like the Red Sox were intelligent? I think they've showed their intelligence a few times over by this point.
Anyway, Cubs like Melky Cabrera (although I still have doubts the Yankees will move him) and have talked to Cameron's agent and two other center field free agents, possibly Byrd or Podsednik.
Hendry held court and...nothing. The best we have is a non-denial about Boston and Mike Lowell.
Hendry says they're considering a few names in tomorrow's Rule 5 draft. Muskat lists Thomas Diamond, Steve Clevenger, Chris Robinson and Matt Camp as possible Cubs that could be drafted (Chirinos was mentioned earlier by Phil Rogers). Hendry says Marshall, Gorzelanny and Samardzija will compete for the 5th starter spot with all being able to move to the bullpen if needed.
Via MLBTR, Ben Sheets wants something close to the $12M he was paid in 2008 (Searches for delusions of grandeur tag).
Milton Bradley has a better shot of succeeding Ted Kennedy than he does of wearing a Red Sox uniform....unless I've completely lost my mind.
Via MLBTR, J.J. Putz and Matt Thornton seem to be best of buddies and word is that will lead him to the White Sox.
Rich Harden to the Texas Rangers on a one year, $7.5M deal with an $11.5M club option for 2011. I imagine incentives and possibly vesting clauses are in there as well. Also remember that Texas has no state tax, so the deal is a little better than what Brad Penny received. I'll comment later once I know all the details, but I think it's a good enough deal that Harden would have passed up arbitration.
MLB Trade Rumors saw something from Buster Olney that Rich Harden could be on the verge of agreement, but the link that they provide is wrong or doesn't verify it.
Bruce Levine adds the Red Sox as a team of interest for Bradley, although Mike Lowell seems to be their only bad contract they'd like to move and that was shot down earlier.
- Astros seemed to have moved from R. Soriano to Matt Lindstrom according to Rosenthal...exchanging medical records.
- Braves seeking prospects and salary relief rather than veteran bat for Derek Lowe according to Jayson Stark. Good luck with that. I think a team would only be interested in Lowe if they could move one of their own bloated contracts.
Seems the Rays are the most interested in Rafael Soriano with the Astros lurking. Braves are said to actually want some decent prospects plus take his full arbitration obligation.
- Flat out releasing Milton Bradley isn't on the table at the moment according to Crane Kenney.
"We don't run away from our problems,'' Kenney said. "That fact it's painful doesn't change anything.''
We do like to make our problems more complicated by suspending the player and doing everything we possibly can to lower his trade value.
- Kenny Williams seems to like Milton, but doesn't see a fit on the White Sox.
- Reader "Seamhead" listened to Bruce Levine on the radio and summarizes that the mystery team interested in Bradley is real, the Cubs are willing to eat $4-$5M of Bradley's contract, Cubs would have interest in Melky Cabrera and J.J. Putz is throwing off flat ground at the moment.
- Jay Mariotti won't be dirtying up the Tribune.
Half way through Wednesday on that impending Bradley deal...
- Kevin Millwood to the O's for Chris Ray seems to be close to happening.
- LaTroy Hawkins signing with the Brewers, two year deal.
As has been hinted, Harden seems willing to take a 1-yr deal with tons of incentives.
J.J. Putz will throw for the Cubs and other teams in Scottsdale, Arizona today. (thanks to navigator in the comments for the link)
Twins trying to fit Mark DeRosa into their budget and the same article says the Mariners seem to be the most interested in Rich Harden at this point (thanks to MLB Trade Rumors). My own speculation is I wonder why the Brewers aren't more interested in Harden if he's really going to get just a 1-yr deal. If they do end up signing Randy Wolf (latest is a 3/27M offer), add in Harden and they could have a nice trio of Gallardo, Wolf and Harden next season.
- Phillyburbs.com lectures everyone on the spreading of rumors...from the guys that reported Pat Burrell was traded twice on Monday. Oh sweet irony.... (hat tip to Wrigleyville 23).
- Muskat says ignore all that mystery team crap as well....Rays still the frontrunner.
- Phil Rogers tweets that the buzz is that Robinson Chirinos will be selected in the Rule 5 draft this year. I can't imagine how bored the writers are if that's the current topic of discussion.
The quiet before the storm...
Sullivan tweeted that Hendry was meeting with Jerry Reinsdorf but said it has nothing to do with Bradley.
- Around the rest of the league, Andy Petitte is about to resign with the Yankees and Rafael Soriano has requested a trade after accepting arbitration, with the O's, Angels and Astros the most interested at this point.