CSS Button No Image Css3Menu.com

Baseball Prospectus home
  
  
Click here to log in Click here for forgotten password Click here to subscribe

<< Previous Article
Fantasy Article Fantasy Team Preview: ... (11/18)
<< Previous Column
Premium Article Rumor Roundup: AL Rota... (11/15)
Next Column >>
Premium Article Rumor Roundup: Third B... (11/22)
Next Article >>
Premium Article Minor League Update: A... (11/18)

November 18, 2013

Rumor Roundup

Veteran Help Wanted

by Daniel Rathman

the archives are now free.

All Baseball Prospectus Premium and Fantasy articles more than a year old are now free as a thank you to the entire Internet for making our work possible.

Not a subscriber? Get exclusive content like this delivered hot to your inbox every weekday. Click here for more information on Baseball Prospectus subscriptions or use the buttons to the right to subscribe and get instant access to the best baseball content on the web.

Subscribe for $4.95 per month
Recurring subscription - cancel anytime.


a 33% savings over the monthly price!

Purchase a $39.95 gift subscription
a 33% savings over the monthly price!

Already a subscriber? Click here and use the blue login bar to log in.

Carlos Beltran on Orioles’ Radar
We knew the Red Sox and Yankees were among the teams vying for the services of one of the best active postseason hitters. Now it appears we can add a third American League East team to the mix.

According to FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal, the Orioles would like to bolster their corner-outfield and designated-hitter slots, and the 36-year-old Beltran would fit well near the top of manager Buck Showalter’s order. However, as Rosenthal’s source pointed out, in order to land the former Cardinals right fielder, Dan Duquette would need to create wiggle room in his budget.

The Orioles are currently slated to play some combination of Mike Morse, Steve Pearce, and Danny Valencia in left field and at designated hitter. They have Cuban import Henry Urrutia—who tore the cover off the ball in the Arizona Fall League—waiting in the wings and Nolan Reimold on the mend, but none of those players carries the upside that Beltran would bring.

One option for Duquette is to bring back Nate McLouth, whose free agency created the void in left, though that, too, is likely to be pricey. As Dan Connolly of the Baltimore Sun wrote, McLouth, a 2.1-win player who earned just $2 million last season, could use David DeJesus’ two-year, $10.5 million contract with the Rays as a starting point in negotiations. Re-signing McLouth would hike the O’s payroll without improving a team that finished 12 games out of first place in the East; in other words, it would not be enough.

In order to do more, though, the Orioles need to unload one of their hefty existing contracts. Nick Markakis is one trade candidate, but the same drawbacks that put the homegrown right fielder on the block could limit Duquette’s return. Markakis, who celebrated his 30th birthday yesterday, has not exceeded 15 home runs since 2009, and he was worth less than one win in 2013. To make matters worse, he is also due $15 million in the last guaranteed year of a six-year, $66.1 million extension that seemed like a bargain when he inked it on January 20, 2009. That pact also includes a $2 million buyout on a $17.5 million club option for the 2015 season, which will be declined unless Markakis suddenly rediscovers his pre-2011 form.

Duquette could also shop Matt Wieters, who boasts hard-to-find power behind the plate but has not realized the star-level ceiling once envisioned for him. The Georgia Tech product forwent arbitration by agreeing to a $5.5 million salary last January, and he is in line for another pay hike this winter, with free agency looming after 2015. Beltran would not replace Wieters directly, as he might supplant Markakis, but the Orioles could invest in one of the second-tier free-agent catchers and use the difference to outbid the competition.

Failing that, Duquette might ponder unloading J.J. Hardy—although he dismissed that possibility at the GM Meetings in Orlando last week. Hardy is another power source and forms an excellent left-side-of-the-infield tandem with Manny Machado. Plus, he is (pending Wieters’ arbitration outcome) likely to be the cheapest of the trio, with a $7 million check due next year.

At this point, the Orioles are the underdogs in the Beltran race, which includes at least six other teams, per Mark Feinsand of the New York Daily News. Barring a surprise, the trade winds would have to blow through Baltimore for that to change.

Twins Courting Top Free Agent Starters
The Twins have a mountain of prospect talent on the way. What they do not have is any reliable veteran starting pitchers. If the season started today, their top four starting pitchers—per the depth chart on their official website—would be Kevin Correia, Andrew Albers, Liam Hendriks, and Scott Diamond.

So it should come as no surprise that general manager Terry Ryan is in hot pursuit of the top arms on the market this winter. The Twins are one of the few teams with the prospect ammo to pull the trigger on a blockbuster swap for David Price, but they are instead inclined to let the Byron Buxton-led crop pave the way back to contention. A free-agent addition is much more likely.

What is less clear is which of the available right-handers Ryan prefers. A “rival GM” told Mike Berardino of the St. Paul Pioneer Press that Ricky Nolasco is Ryan’s no. 1 target. Darren Wolfson of 1500 ESPN refuted that claim and suggested instead that ex-Twin Matt Garza is the more-coveted pitcher. Since both were traded midseason, neither would require the Twins to part with their second-round draft pick (their first selection, no. 5 overall, is protected).

The market for Garza, who was shipped from the Cubs to the Rangers, is developing more slowly than the bidding for Nolasco, who went from the Marlins to the Dodgers. Nolasco is already mulling “multiple four-year offers,” one of which is worth $52 million, per Yahoo’s Jeff Passan. No word yet on whether the Twins are one of the clubs that have made their interest in the soon-to-be-31-year-old official.

Daniel Rathman is an author of Baseball Prospectus. 
Click here to see Daniel's other articles. You can contact Daniel by clicking here

0 comments have been left for this article.

<< Previous Article
Fantasy Article Fantasy Team Preview: ... (11/18)
<< Previous Column
Premium Article Rumor Roundup: AL Rota... (11/15)
Next Column >>
Premium Article Rumor Roundup: Third B... (11/22)
Next Article >>
Premium Article Minor League Update: A... (11/18)

RECENTLY AT BASEBALL PROSPECTUS
Premium Article Pitching Backward: The Guy Who Makes Scherze...
Fantasy Article Fantasy Team Preview: Los Angeles Angels of ...
Premium Article Rumor Roundup: Upton and Ubaldo in One Ugly ...
Premium Article Pebble Hunting: Hank Aaron's Hypothetical Fo...
Premium Article Raising Aces: Free Agent Pitchers: The Top T...
Premium Article Moonshot: A New View of Plate Discipline, Pa...
Premium Article 2015 Prospects: Cincinnati Reds Top 10 Prosp...

MORE FROM NOVEMBER 18, 2013
Premium Article Prospects Will Break Your Heart: Minnesota T...
Premium Article Baseball Therapy: Why Do Teams Overpay for F...
Premium Article Minor League Update: AFL Championship Game a...
Fantasy Article Fantasy Team Preview: Minnesota Twins
The Week in Quotes: November 11-17

MORE BY DANIEL RATHMAN
2013-11-27 - Premium Article Rumor Roundup: Replacing the Departed
2013-11-26 - Premium Article Rumor Roundup: Beltran to the Bronx?
2013-11-22 - Premium Article Rumor Roundup: Third Baseman for Sale
2013-11-18 - Premium Article Rumor Roundup: Veteran Help Wanted
2013-11-15 - Premium Article Rumor Roundup: AL Rotation Rumblings
2013-11-12 - Premium Article Rumor Roundup: The High Price of Free Agent ...
2013-11-08 - Premium Article Rumor Roundup: Backup Planning
More...

MORE RUMOR ROUNDUP
2013-11-27 - Premium Article Rumor Roundup: Replacing the Departed
2013-11-26 - Premium Article Rumor Roundup: Beltran to the Bronx?
2013-11-22 - Premium Article Rumor Roundup: Third Baseman for Sale
2013-11-18 - Premium Article Rumor Roundup: Veteran Help Wanted
2013-11-15 - Premium Article Rumor Roundup: AL Rotation Rumblings
2013-11-12 - Premium Article Rumor Roundup: The High Price of Free Agent ...
2013-11-08 - Premium Article Rumor Roundup: Backup Planning
More...