Trade Rumors

2012 Winter Meetings – Day 1 Recap

The market for Hamilton is getting clearer. Photo: AP

Market For Hamilton Becoming Clearer

We learned yesterday that the Red Sox, Brewers, and Phillies are all on the sidelines, biding their time for Josh Hamilton while the Mariners have met with Hamilton the most recent. Jayson Stark Tweeted that the Phillies interest in Hamilton is “wary“. Jim Bowden of ESPN doesn’t think the Yankees should be counted out while Ken Rosenthal has heard that the Rangers have been the most aggressive suitor for Hamilton.

Pagan Gone

The Giants and center fielder Angel Pagan came to a four-year, $40 million contract agreement yesterday. We talked a bit about that here. Later in the day, Jim Salisbury of CSN reported that the Phillies don’t believe Michael Bourn‘s profile as a player is the best fit, that Cody Ross could be a good corner fit, and that they are “lukewarm” on a Shane Victorino reunion. We learned yesterday that Victorino has multiple three-year contract offers and at least one four-year offer on the table. Salisbury also reported that Ruben Amaro thinks the preferred method of acquiring a center fielder is via free agency rather than engaging in a trade.

Third Base

Yesterday afternoon, the Phillies were linked to Michael Young. Young is due $16 million for 2013 and was statistically the least valuable first baseman in baseball last year. This is not good news.

Granderson Now Available Via Trade

Buster Olney Tweeted yesterday that Curtis Granderson is available via trade. Granderson had a sharp increase in power but a sharp decrease in plate discipline (Ks up, BBs down) in 2012. The 31-year old center fielder is in the final year of his deal and is due approximately $15 million in 2013. Keep your eye on this one as a match for the Phillies.

The Mariners are Ready to… Do Something

One of the emerging stories of this offseason is the Mariners’ penchant to do something, or anything really. Yesterday alone, they were linked to signing Hamilton, trading for Justin Upton, and trading for Billy Butler. I think the Mariners could reasonable trade for just about any player they want; their warchest includes top prospects catcher Mike Zunino, pitchers Taijuan Walker, Danny Hultzen, and James Paxton, and infielder Nick Franklin. The Mariners also talked extension with Felix Hernandez, who has two years left on his deal, have been linked to trading for Brennan Boesch, trading for Mike Morse, and have been linked to signing Jason Bay.

NL East Divisional Moves/Rumors

The Nats engaged the Rays in talks about James Shields. Danny Espinosa and Mike Morse are two names according to Jon Heyman that may head to Tampa in a potential deal.

The Mets met with eight different teams on Monday to discuss trading R.A. Dickey with the asking price supposedly out-of-this world. The Mets reportedly asked the Red Sox for top prospects Xander Bogaerts and Jackie Bradley Jr. Yikes.

Yunel Escobar and Ricky Nolasco could be the next Fish headed out of Miami. The Rays, A’s, Cubs, and Yankees reportedly are interested in Escobar while Nolasco has simply voiced his displeasure at this point.



  1. Mike in NJ

    December 4, 2012 at 10:03 am

    Granderson on a 1 year deal would certainly be worth pursuing, as long as all sides understand this is a rental and the Phils don’t give up any top prospects. If the Phils think Gilles will be the long term answer in CF and think he will be ready in 2014, then this may be the best option. If not, then they’d be better off waiting out the market for Bourne or Hamilton, or trading for a CF somewhere else.

    • rc

      December 4, 2012 at 1:06 pm

      don’t think they can afford to give Grandy away with their OF, they would probably want Ruf.

  2. Scruff

    December 4, 2012 at 10:08 am

    The thought of Granderson in our outfield is compelling to me, as you’d think that his power numbers would remain up at CBP. However, one of the trends I’ve been seeing when talking about potential trades/free agent signings is ensuring that person brings strong plate discipline to the table. I know you mentioned his higher K rate and lower BB rate, but I wonder how he’d do in the NL, and if the new hitting coaches would have any effect.

    That being said, who are our strongest trade bait on this team, and can we really afford to deal any of them at this point?

  3. medalistebailey

    December 4, 2012 at 10:16 am

    Rule 5 Draft Tomorrow – players that could help;
    Conner Crumbliss – A’s, if you love Utley, this is your guy, OBP machine, great base runner, works pitchers, mediocre defensively, could be a great utility guy.
    Ryan Chaffee – Angels, RHP, throws hard, plus slider, could help our pen
    Josh Fields – Red Sox, RHP, could be an 8th inning set-up candidate
    Chris McGuiness – Texas, power, great swing, great athlete, rbi machine
    Nate Freiman – Rangers – RH power bat, 1B, could play left possibly
    Ryan Buchter – Braves – LHP – flame throwing reliever
    Josh Fellhauer – Reds – corner outfielder, hits, OBP, and a great leader, hard nosed player
    Kenny Wilson – Toronto, played through a labrum injury, once repaired, was outstanding

  4. Ken Bland

    December 4, 2012 at 10:23 am

    I’d like to restate a couple things, if for nothoing else, the sake of internal mindkeeping. Cannot think of a better example than Josh Hamilton. This is not an editorial expressing the desire to see the Phils sign Hamilton. They be signing who they be signing, and my “job” is to watch and root for who fits that bill. Josh, like most any candidate, has plusses (a lot), and minuses, and in that general sense, is no different than any other candidate. Don’t know, don’t care much about luxury tax implications. A little budget concious because it’s good mental discipline to always be, but hardly one of these peeps that love throwing money around even if it isn’t mine, nor silly enough as an outsider to brush my nose into knowing what can be afforded.

    The biggest Hamilton story related to the Phillies was 2 weeks ago when some nonsense came out about the Phils had decided to move on. Bullbleep. The market changes by the conversation at this time, and day by day at it’s slowest. I wouldn’t even rule out the possibility of a master scheme by some GMs to flip into total sales mode and set up imagery for the sake of the art of a deal. Yeah, that could be seen as synonomous with paranoid, but there’s a fine line ‘tween paranoia, and thinking ypou know what’s happenin’ (might not, but ya think ya do).. Two weeks henceforth, the word “wary” stands out when I read the Hamilton update. Let me be redundant. Bullbleep. Let me be original. Bullbleepingbleep.

    The hardest working man on the semi baseball beat (he didn’t say reporting live from Nashville, but is putting energy into the coverage, Ian R (I’m not looking up how to spell Riccaboni) tells us the Hamilton market is becoming clearer. Right. So is the bear market, and all the prognostications for when the post election economic slump belittles us all. Guess what, sports fans? There is no clarity to the Hamilton market. There was clarity to the Albert Pujols market last year. See how effective he was for the Marlins or Cardinals this year?

    Watch and listen to the Josh Hamilton market with an entertained eye, and a VERY open ear. The only solid liklihood is that there is a final conversation between Josh and the Ranger administration when he has a firm offer on the table. And despite the daily, hell, hourly rumors of destination, the wind will figure to blow another direction sooner than it took you the time to read through this.

    • Ian Riccaboni

      December 4, 2012 at 10:58 am

      Would love to be in Nashville right now Ken, but instead I am resigned to writing paragraph after paragraph after reading Tweet after Tweet before and after, and sometimes during lunch, my day job.

      Hamilton is the biggest mystery with some of the biggest question marks of any free agent in quite some time and I think that has a lot to do with a lot of the confusion. I don’t think the persons that are reporting the confusion, and the ones I cite, are doing anything they aren’t supposed to or getting anything wrong and you haven’t implied that either. Hamilton, however, is that intriguing, and confusing of a FA, that I truly believe teams change their minds on a daily basis.

      • Ken Bland

        December 4, 2012 at 3:30 pm

        You told the wrong person you’d love to be in N’ville. I went to the meetings last year, it truly fewlt like what image heaven carries. Sure, you get to rub elbows with big names, and it’s pretty easy to get in conversation with them (more relaxed in a way offseason?), but you meet people from all over ranging from tourists to job seekersRan into one dude who recalled the Phils glory years 76-83 better than I do, and he a lifelong Central Texan.

        You think you’ve completed your resume when you’ve hit x ballparks, seen y post season games, whatever your individual criteria might be. I suppose most people would think the winter meetings way down on the list. I believe you’d thoroughly enjoy the experience should it fall your way, or if you choose to plan it.

  5. The Red McNertney

    December 4, 2012 at 11:38 am

    Bring back Ben Francisco. He can do it all. Let’s go after all the old, washed-up players we can get. Experience — you can’t teach it.

  6. Pops

    December 4, 2012 at 11:57 am

    Haren signed with the Nats. Not looking good for the Phighten Phil’s this offseason.

  7. rc

    December 4, 2012 at 12:54 pm

    I don’t see Grandy as a “match” for the Phillies. Maybe if they get totally desperate but you need to explain the Phillies lineup vs lefthanders if you’re going to say that.

    One of the highest strikeout rates and since he’s a lefty that makes it even worse
    rental player
    15 million contract
    yankees would probably want Ruf, they have no OFs
    hit mostly in 1-2 spot
    might need to adjust to NL, not good for a rental player
    was 3-33 in playoffs, 1 hr, 2 rbis, 0 dbls, 0 triples

    What is your lineup with him

    1. Rollins .218 vs LH
    2. Granderson .218 vs LH
    3. Utley .225 vs LH
    4. Howard .173 vs LH

  8. Don M

    December 4, 2012 at 2:34 pm

    Ken Rosenthal reporting that the Rangers and Josh Hamilton are “making progress on what would likely be a four-year deal”.. “However it is still possible another team beats the Rangers’ offer.”

    I think the Phillies might be getting close to stealing Michael Bourn soon .. 3 years, $40-42 M is my guess, 4th year option at $10 M with a $2-3 M buyout

    • hk

      December 4, 2012 at 3:05 pm

      It looks like the Phils will be Bourn’s only remaining suitor although Boras will surely have Jon Heyman leak that a mystery team is interested. Once Hamilton signs, the Phils should make one take-it-or-leave-it offer to Boras for Bourn. If he turns it down, they should let him sign elsewhere and turn their sights to another OF.

    • Lefty

      December 4, 2012 at 3:15 pm

      If there is any truth to this at all, I’ll bet it truly was awkward.

      • Ken Bland

        December 4, 2012 at 3:42 pm

        well, it’s not the norm. Awkward? Maybe. Even probably. But I go back to when he had a slip up and had a few drinks the night he was out with Kinsler. Had a presser a day or 2 later, and apologized and vented. Now that mioght have been a PR move, who knows, all I know is it struck me as real gutsy after he screwed up. I’d think that would have been more awkward.
        Didn’t hide behind a PR Dept’s writing, stood there head on to the lights, and seemed real. Hell, for all the baggage he brings, the man’s reversal to this date is one of the great stories ever. Maybe shooting up when you have all his athletic skill is what’s really awkward.

    • Ken Bland

      December 4, 2012 at 3:36 pm

      Here’s what cracks me up. Something seems REAL obvious, then you research it, and find 20,000 counter examples.

      We all know Boras holds his clients out forever. Wonder if it’s possible that you could find a shocking number he has signed early. But the REPUTATION, in his case would counter your anticipation. I kinda feel like Ruben would be sort of panicing if it goes that way. I figure if he wanted Bourne, we’d have heard more rumors about contact to date. Does not mean they haven’t, of course, but it doesn’t feel like heartfelt interest’s been shown.

      Having said all that, Bourne prolly inks soon.

  9. Manny

    December 4, 2012 at 3:00 pm

    If the Rangers are only offering 4 years to Hamilton, the Phillies should definitely match that (at least!).

  10. Manny

    December 4, 2012 at 3:57 pm

    This is probably the only good option for 3B in the free agent pool. If he’s going for only 8M, RAJ better have a good offer ready for him. There has been no mention whatsoever re Phillies and Keppinger, which is very disappointing.

    • schmenkman

      December 4, 2012 at 4:22 pm

      He’s projected to OPS ~.734. I think Frandsen can at least come close to that, don’t you?

  11. Dave

    December 4, 2012 at 4:25 pm

    Red Sox are supposedly close to signing Victorino. Giants are looking at Swisher. I have a feeling Amaro is going to come away with zilch. Teams know the Phillies have 3 unproven outfielders and are desperate. In fact, we may have the worst outfield in baseball.

  12. Chuck A.

    December 4, 2012 at 4:31 pm

    Jesus. Red Sox have offered Vic 3/37.5 …. 12.5 M AAV for Shane Victorino??? I wanted him back but at more of a “team-friendly” sort of deal…. maybe something like 3/24-27.

  13. Don M

    December 4, 2012 at 4:48 pm

    I said in March last year that I thought he would sign a 4 year/ $44 M contract somewhere… , I didn’t think he’d get to $12 M per season in a contract, but thought someone would go the 3-4 year range he was looking for

    A lot of people were predicting $15 M per year contract for Victorino, and I only see teams handing out those deals for guys that have Power – or Age on their side .. Upton for $15 M . . .

    Similarly, i don’t think that Bourn will sign for more than $15 M per season – I think he’s going to sign a 3-4 year deal for (3/$40 .. $4/50 .. etc) … he’s better than Vic defensively, but doesn’t hit HRs … we’ll see if that matters in his upcoming contract

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