Upton’s Interest in Atlanta “Soaring”
MLB.com’s Mark Bowman reported early this morning that B.J. Upton‘s interest in Atlanta “seemed to soar” after meeting with GM Frank Wren, manager Freddi Gonzalez, and former manager Bobby Cox. Bowman is referencing a meeting that took place over a week ago, however it is widely believed Upton may be the first of the center fielders to sign.
Madson to Angels
Jon Heyman is reporting that Ryan Madson will sign with the Angels today on a one-year pact and be their closer. Heyman reported that both of Madson’s former clubs, the Phillies and Reds, had interest in bringing him back. Madson turned down his half of a $11 million mutual option and took a $2.5 million buyout instead to become a free agent.
Seven Teams Interested in Victorino, Phils Reportedly Not One of Them
The Indians, Rangers, Giants, Yankees, Rays, Red Sox, and Reds have all reportedly shown interest in The Flyin’ Hawaiian per Jon Heyman. While the Rangers, Giants, and Rays all have presumed holes in center field to fill, the other teams of interest presumably don’t. With Shane Victorino drawing this much interest, it no longer seems like he will be any type of bargain.
Analysis: Of note, the Yankees inquired about Victorino at the trade deadline but already have a center fielder in Curtis Granderson, who is in the last year of his contract. If Victorino signs with the Yankees, and Ichiro re-signs to play right, Granderson may be the odd man out as Brett Gardner will be handling left. Granderson may be available for a song should the Yankees choose to move in a different direction.
Mackanin Joins Yankees as Scout
Phillies Sign Second Minor Leaguer
The Phils signed former Baltimore third round pick Brandon Erbe yesterday. Erbe, 24, was ranked #78 in the 2007 Baseball America Top 100 Prospects list powered by a 98 MPH fastball but quietly fell off the radar soon after. Erbe has had a series of shoulder injuries over the last few seasons and posted a 6.82 ERA in 19 appearances for High-A Frederick last season.
Analysis: Erbe was invited to camp with the Orioles in 2010 as a member of their 40-man roster, seemingly on the fast track to making the big league club. His 98 MPH fastball fizzled after mid-season labrum surgery in 2010. Erbe used to rely heavily on the fastball to post impressive K/9 IP numbers – it will be interesting to see if he can recreate any of that magic in Clearwater or Reading.