Sunday Morning Rumors Comin' Down

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Fox’s Ken Rosenthal’s latest column has all kinds of tidbits to last you until kickoff this afternoon:

  • An unnamed exec can’t feature the Red Sox pulling off a trade for Adrian Gonzalez that makes it worth the Padres’ while.  I agree with Rosenthal: the Padres shouldn’t be in any hurry to trade Gonzalez. Given that he’s locked up at a bargain basement price through 2011, they should wait at least until someone is desperate for offense next June, at which point the offers will only be better.  Besides: why trade the only marquee player you have during season ticket renewal season?  My guess: Gonzalez is with the Padres on Opening Day.
  • Josh Beckett is probably going to demand A.J. Burnett money in any extension. The Sox are on the hook for $12 million for him next year. If you’re Theo Epstein I can’t see how you talk extension now. If he goes out in 2010 and pitches like the 2008 Beckett, you’ll be sorry you blew any more money on him than you had to and you’ll be happy to let him go.  If he’s a Cy Young contender again, well, you’re still better positioned to bid for his services after 2010 than anyone else. The Red Sox spend quite a bit, but they aren’t usually in the business of spending before they have to, and likely won’t with Beckett.
  • Jorge De La Rosa “wants to be paid like Oliver Perez.”  Query: if you’re De La Rosa’s agent, why on Earth would you bring up a horrendous bust like Perez as you’re beginning to position your client for a pay day? Why don’t you just say “I’d like you to throw money in the toilet at my client like the Mets did with Perez!”
  • Rosenthal thinks that the Twins’ moves thus far — trading for Hardy; exercising Michael Cuddyer’s option — are all a part of the plan to get Mauer locked up long-term. They were probably the right moves independent of that, but I tend to agree that the Twins are doing what they can to make sure Mauer can’t play the only non-monetary get-out-of-Minnesota card at his disposal, and that’s claiming that the Twins aren’t committed to winning.
  • As usual, tons of other stuff from Rosenthal, so click on over.

    Max Scherzer still can’t throw fastballs

    WASHINGTON, DC - OCTOBER 13: Max Scherzer #31 of the Washington Nationals works against the Los Angeles Dodgers in the fifth inning during game five of the National League Division Series at Nationals Park on October 13, 2016 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)
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    The Nationals will be many people’s favorites in the NL East this season. Not everything is looking great, however. For example, their ace — defending NL Cy Young winner Max Scherzer — can’t even throw fastballs right now.

    The reason: the stress fracture he suffered last August is still causing him problems and Scherzer is unable to use his fastball grip without feeling pain in his right ring finger. He will throw a bullpen session tomorrow, but will only use his secondary stuff.

    Scherzer has not been ruled out for Opening Day — the fact that he is throwing some means that his timetable isn’t totally on hold — but you have to figure, at some point, not being able to air things out and use his heater will lead to some problems in his spring training routine.

    The Dodgers asked the Tigers about Justin Verlander this offseason

    DETROIT, MI - MAY 18: Justin Verlander #35 of the Detroit Tigers pitches during the first inning of the game against the Minnesota Twins on May 18, 2016 at Comerica Park in Detroit, Michigan. (Photo by Leon Halip/Getty Images)
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    File this under “man, that would’ve been cool.” Or, if you’re a Tigers fan, file it under “man, that would’ve signaled several years of misery.” However you fall on the matter, however, know that, according to Jon Heyman, the Dodgers inquired about trading for Justin Verlander over the winter.

    It never went anywhere, but it’s not like it was silliness for the Dodgers to ask. As you may recall, the Tigers were reported to be willing to listen to offers on any and all players back in November, as GM Al Avila contemplated a tear-down. That never came to pass — the Tigers had a quiet offseason and are keeping the team together to make another run at the playoffs with the Verlander/Miguel Cabrera core — but it couldn’t hurt to ask.

    Verlander, who is coming off a resurgent season which saw him return to form as one of baseball’s best pitchers, has 10-5 rights, allowing him to veto any trade. He’s married to an actress/model, however, owns a home in L.A., and the Dodgers are a clear contender, so there’s a good chance he would’ve allowed such a trade to happen. Heck, dude even loves pitchers batting, so a chance to do it all the time would be right up his alley.

    The bigger issue likely would’ve been Verlander’s $28 million salary. The Dodgers already pay the luxury tax so taking on that commitment would cost them more than the sticker price. And, of course, if the Tigers are going to ever give up one of the best players in franchise history, it would take the motherlode of prospects to do it.

    So, no, a Verlander-to-L.A. trade wasn’t ever a strong possibility. But even the slight possibility seems exciting in hindsight. It was a boring as hell offseason.