Could Mets be interested in Royals' Guillen?

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jose-guillen-ap2.jpgAdam Rubin of the Daily News writes that the Royals have identified the Mets as a potential trading partner for Jose Guillen.
According to the report, the Royals aim to acquire an inexpensive
outfielder in return for Guillen and are impressed with Angel Pagan.

Limited to just 81 games in 2009 due
to various injuries to his right leg including with a ligament tear in
his knee and hamstring discomfort, the 33-year-old Guillen batted just
.242/.314/.367 with nine home runs and 40 RBI. Meanwhile, the
28-year-old Pagan batted .306/.350/.487 with six home runs, 11 triples,
22 doubles, 32 RBI, 14 stolen bases and 54 runs scored in 343 at-bats
in 2009.

According to Rubin, the Royals are
willing to kick in some of Guillen’s $12 million salary for 2009, but
the Mets have doubts whether he can be a full-time player anymore. And
with good reason. Guillen ranked as one of the worst defensive
outfielders in the majors last season,
according to UZR
(Ultimate Zone Rating) and he completely collapsed against left-handed
pitching, batting just .181/.245/.309 with four home runs and nine RBI
in 94 at-bats.

Forget that Guillen is often viewed
as a malcontent, having played with nine different teams in 13 seasons.
If he was productive, nobody would care. However, aside from his 2003
campaign, Guillen has been merely average or worse throughout his
career. His 5.1% career walk rate almost touches Francoeur territory.
And imagine if the Mets signed Bengie Molina and his 4.0% career walk
rate? Five through nine of that lineup would be scary, and not in a good

Dealing the inexpensive Pagan for Guillen would be the very
definition of half-witted, so I don’t see much to this one. Mets fans should hope that he is pretty low
on the contingency plan if a contract for Matt Holliday or Jason Bay doesn’t pan out.

Orioles interested in Denard Span

Denard Span
AP Photo/Alex Brandon
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MASN’s Roch Kubatko is reporting that the Orioles have “some level” of interest in free agent outfielder Denard Span. The Nationals did not make a $15.8 million qualifying offer to Span, which means he doesn’t come attached with draft pick compensation unlike other free agents such as Alex Gordon and Dexter Fowler.

Span, who turns 32 in February, hit a solid .301/.365/.431 with five home runs, 22 RBI, 38 runs scored, and 11 stolen bases, but took only 275 plate appearances due to back and hip injuries. He underwent season-ending hip surgery in September but is expected to be ready to participate in spring training.

The Mets and Royals have also reportedly shown interest in Span’s services.

Blue Jays showing interest in Ryan Madson

Ryan Madson
AP Photo/Orlin Wagner
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ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick reports that the Blue Jays are on the prowl for relievers with closing experience. Ryan Madson is one of the names on their list.

Madson, 35, had a career rebirth with the Royals in 2015. He signed a minor league deal with the club that paid him a salary of $850,000 if he made it back to the majors. Due to a plethora of arm injuries, Madson hadn’t pitched in the majors since Game 5 of the 2011 NLDS against the Cardinals as a member of the Phillies. For the Royals, he wound up becoming a crucial member of the bullpen, finishing with a 2.13 ERA and a 58/14 K/BB ratio over 63 1/3 innings.

While Madson allowed five runs in 8 1/3 post-season innings, he pitched well when it mattered most, as he hurled three scoreless frames in three appearances in the World Series against the Mets.

Madson has closing experience, with 55 career saves. 32 of them came in 2011 when he took over the closer’s role from Brad Lidge.

After signing Marco Estrada and J.A. Happ, and trading for Jesse Chavez, the Jays have bolstered their rotation but it was reported on Saturday that interim GM Tony LaCava is still focused on upgrading the pitching staff.

Trevor Cahill considering the Pirates as a potential destination

Trevor Cahill
AP Photo/Paul Beaty

ESPN’s Buster Olney reports that free agent pitcher Trevor Cahill is looking for a one-year, bounce-back deal. The Pirates are one of the potential teams he is considering.

It’s no surprise that the Pirates are on Cahill’s list. Pirates pitching coach Ray Searage has garnered a reputation as a miracle worker after turning around the careers of a handful of pitchers, including Edinson Volquez, Francisco Liriano, and J.A. Happ. Volquez parlayed a one-year, $5 million deal with the Pirates into a two-year, $20 million deal with the Royals last December. Liriano signed with the Pirates on a one-year, $1 million contract and turned that into a three-year, $39 million deal. Happ, dealt to the Pirates from the Mariners at the most recent trade deadline, just signed a three-year, $39 million contract with the Blue Jays.

Cahill, once a highly-regarded pitching prospect, has scuffled over parts of seven seasons in the majors. The 27-year-old owns a career 4.13 ERA with a 754/427 K/BB ratio in 1,083 2/3 innings. Cahill had some brief success after signing with the Cubs as a free agent in mid-August, compiling a 2.12 ERA in 11 appearances out of the bullpen.

Blue Jays narrow GM search to two candidates: Tony LaCava and Ross Atkins

Tony LaCava
AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee

Jon Heyman of CBS Sports reports that the Blue Jays have narrowed their search for a new general manager down to two candidates: current interim GM Tony LaCava, and Indians vice president of player personnel Ross Atkins. Former Jays GM Alex Anthopoulos resigned last month.

LaCava was promoted to interim GM on November 2 and has already made a handful of moves along with new president Mark Shapiro. The club acquired Jesse Chavez in a trade and signed pitchers Marco Estrada and J.A. Happ to multi-year deals.

Atkins worked under Shapiro in the Indians organization for 15 seasons, so it is no surprise that he is a finalist for the open GM position.