Potent quotables: Penny has words for Girardi

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“I don’t give two f—s what Joe
Girardi says. I’m coming inside. I don’t care. Anybody can say that. We
can say that about the time they hit our guys. I’m just trying to pitch
inside. Maybe he should worry about managing and not trying to be the

– Brad Penny responds to Joe Girardi’s assertion that he intentionally hit Alex Rodriguez on Thursday.

“We always support everyone here and
always will. But, you know, we’re all just together trying to win every
day, trying to turn it around. And we’re going to continue to try until
we figure it out. We know the future is bright but we’re not waiting
for the future to get here. We’re going to do everything we can to
speed it up.”

– Nationals owner Stan Kasten addresses a report that Manny Acta could be fired as soon as Monday.

“Brandon was supposed to be taking on
that 3-0. That could have been the ballgame because we had him on the
ropes at that time. He said he didn’t see the take but in that
situation, you have to know you’re taking even if you don’t see the
take. That’s a big play in the ballgame.”

– Dusty Baker calls out Brandon Phillips
for swinging at a 3-0 pitch after Kyle Davies had already walked two
batters. He killed the rally with a flyout and the Reds lost to the
Royals 7-4.

“I wasn’t ready and I’m not going to come back to hurt the team. It is what it is. When it’s ready, it will be ready.”

– Jeremy Bonderman admits he came back too early
from right shoulder surgery. He allowed six runs over four innings in a
Tuesday start against the White Sox. He’s now a long-shot to contribute
this season.

“It’s just disappointing, more than anything. I haven’t been pitching well at all.”

– Manny Parra on being sent down to Triple-A Nashville
after being hammered for six runs over 1 2/3 innings against the White
Sox on Saturday. Parra is 3-8 with a 7.52 ERA in 13 starts this season.

Report: Ben Zobrist’s price tag is currently four years, $60 million

Ben Zobrist
AP Photo/Charlie Riedel
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Ben Zobrist will turn 35 years old early next summer, but that doesn’t seem to be putting too much of a dent in his free agent value.

According to Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports, the “sense among interested teams” is that Zobrist’s price is currently hovering around four years, $60 million and it “may go higher.”

There was a report from FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal on Sunday stating that the Mets have made Zobrist their “No. 1” offseason target, and over a dozen other clubs have linked to him since the World Series ended. That’s the kind of attention you command when you can both hit — Zobrist posted an .809 OPS (120 OPS+) in 2015 — and also cover a range of positions defensively.

He makes sense for just about any club looking to contend in the coming seasons.

Wilin Rosario elects to become free agent

Wilin Rosario
AP Photo/Lenny Ignelzi
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Wilin Rosario was designated for assignment by the Rockies late last month. Now, according to Thomas Harding of MLB.com, the 26-year-old former National League Rookie of the Year vote-getter has elected to become a free agent.

Rosario is a bad defensive catcher and wasn’t much better when the Rockies tried him at first base, but he should draw some interest from American League teams looking for a bench bat and part-time DH.

Rosario slugged 28 home runs for the Rockies in 2012 and he’s averaged 26 home runs for every 162 games over the course of his five-year major league career.

He boasts a .319/.356/.604 career batting line against left-handed pitching.

Orioles acquire Mark Trumbo from Mariners for Steve Clevenger

Mark Trumbo
AP Photo/Joe Nicholson

As first reported by Bob Dutton of the Tacoma Tribune and now confirmed by CBS Sports’ Jon Heyman, the Mariners have traded first baseman and corner outfielder Mark Trumbo to the Orioles in exchange for catcher and first baseman Steve Clevenger. There is also a second player headed to Baltimore in the deal.

This feels like an admission from the O’s that they’re not going to be able to re-sign Chris Davis, who is said to be looking for more than $150 million in free agency.

Clevenger was out of options and the Orioles have both Matt Wieters and Caleb Joseph coming back at the catcher position. Wieters was due to become a free agent but accepted a one-year, $15.8 million qualifying offer from Baltimore last month.

Trumbo has always been a low-OBP guy and he rates as a poor defender everywhere he has played, but the 29-year-old has averaged 31 homers and 96 RBI for every 162 games in his six-year major league career. Camden Yards is a much better place than Safeco Field for him to show that power.

Cardinals finished runner-up to Red Sox in David Price sweepstakes

David Price
AP Photo/Orlin Wagner

These kind of after-the-ink-has-dried reports have to be taken with a grain of salt for a variety of reasons, but they’re fantastic conversation-starters …

Bob Nightengale of USA Today says the Cardinals “finished runner-up” to the Red Sox in the bidding for free agent left-hander David Price, who signed with Boston on Monday for a record seven years and $217 million.

There were reports early on that the Red Sox were going to have to overpay on Price because he wanted to either stay in Toronto or make the move to the more pitcher-friendly National League. And maybe they did go significantly above and beyond the next-best offer to land him.

But the report from Nightengale serves as an indication that the Cardinals are ready and willing to spend big money ahead of next week’s Winter Meetings in Nashville. Does that chunk of change now get directed toward Jason Heyward? Or might the Cardinals pounce one of the falling dominos in this still-loaded starting pitching market? What about both?

St. Louis lost Lance Lynn to Tommy John surgery last month and both Carlos Martinez and Michael Wacha carry some injury concerns into 2016. There’s money to spend there with a new billion-dollar local television deal about ready to kick in.