UPDATE: More on the Carlos Quentin trade rumors


UPDATE: Joe Cowley of the Chicago Sun-Times is defending his initial report and adds that a scout told him that White Sox general manager Ken Williams is hoping to trade Carlos Quentin for a “Carlos Lee-type” return.

The White Sox traded Carlos Lee to the Brewers for Scott Podsednik, Luis Vizcaino and a player to be named later (Travis Hinton) in December of 2004.

Cowley adds that if Williams can’t find a satisfactory deal involving Lee, he would explore moving Mark Teahen or Dayan Viciedo, but knows that the return wouldn’t be as substantial.

12:49 PM: In an additional Tweet, van Dyck quotes Williams as saying that he won’t move a piece of his everyday lineup for relief pitching. Just because Williams denies it doesn’t mean it won’t happen — he could be holding out for a specific player — but there you go.

11:29 AM: White Sox general manager Ken Williams told Dave van Dyck of the Chicago Tribune that any trade rumors involving Carlos Quentin “are not true.”

Friday, 7:41 PM: According to Joe Cowley of the Chicago Sun-Times, the White Sox are shopping Carlos Quentin for bullpen help, but “are asking a lot so far.”

Just last month at the GM Meetings, a White Sox source told Bruce Levine of ESPN Chicago that the club wasn’t shopping Quentin, but that was, well, last month. The club may be more willing to part with him now that they have successfully secured Paul Konerko and Adam Dunn for the middle of their lineup.

Quentin, 28, batted .243/.342/.479 with 26 homers, 87 RBI and an 821 OPS this past season, but he has struggled to stay healthy throughout his career. He made $3.2 million in 2010 and figures to earn somewhere around $5 million through the arbitration process this winter.

Quentin still has plenty of value since he offers some thump from the right side of the plate, but concerns about his durability will likely have an impact on the quality of the players the White Sox would receive in return.

Tigers in discussions with Jordan Zimmermann

Jordan Zimmermann
AP Photo/Alex Brandon

Jon Morosi of FOX Sports reports that the Tigers are in discussions with free agent starter Jordan Zimmermann. His sources have told him that the talks have become “serious”.

Zimmermann, 29, has a career 3.32 ERA across parts of seven seasons in the majors. He finished fifth in National League Cy Young Award balloting in 2014, finishing with a 2.66 ERA and a 182/29 K/BB ratio over 199 2/3 innings.

Among starters who have amassed at least 1,000 innings since 2009, only Cliff Lee, Dan Haren, Madison Bumgarner, and Zack Greinke have compiled a better strikeout-to-walk ratio than Zimmermann’s 4.09. While he doesn’t have the star power of other free agents such as Greinke or David Price, the Tigers would certainly improve their rotation by bringing him on board.

Blue Jays still focused on upgrading their pitching

Marco Estrada
AP Photo/LM Otero

Having already added Jesse Chavez and J.A. Happ to the mix and re-signing Marco Estrada early in the offseason, Blue Jays interim GM Tony LaCava said the team will continue to pursue pitching upgrades, as Sportsnet’s Ben Nicholson-Smith reports. Nicholson-Smith added that LaCava declined to comment on free agent ace David Price. It is believed that the Jays will not pursue Price and other big-name free agent starting pitchers given their November activity.

The Jays re-signed Estrada to a two-year, $26 million deal on November 13, acquired Chavez from the Athletics in exchange for reliever Liam Hendriks on November 20 and signed Happ to a three-year, $36 million deal on Friday.

Nicholson-Smith notes in a column on Sportsnet that the Jays need to address the bullpen in particular. That is especially true after swapping Hendriks, who had a career-best 2.92 ERA out of the Jays’ bullpen in 2015, for a back-end starting pitcher.

Report: Jonathan Papelbon is “untradeable”

Jonathan Papelbon
AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin

Jon Heyman of CBS Sports spoke to an anonymous baseball executive, who said that Nationals closer Jonathan Papelbon is “untradeable”. The Nationals are hoping to trade both Papelbon and the man he displaced, Drew Storen.

Papelbon has a poor reputation in baseball, particularly after a dugout altercation with superstar outfielder Bryce Harper. Focusing strictly on what he does on the field, Papelbon still gets the job done. The 35-year-old finished the last season with a combined 2.13 ERA, 24 saves, and a 56/12 K/BB ratio over 63 1/3 innings between the Phillies and Nationals.

The Nationals owe Papelbon $11 million for the 2016 season.

Minor league home run king Mike Hessman retires

NEW YORK - JULY 29:  Mike Hessman #19 of the New York Mets bats against the St. Louis Cardinals on July 29, 2010 at Citi Field in the Flushing neighborhood of the Queens borough of New York City. The Mets defeated the Cardinals 4-0.  (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)
Jim McIsaac/Getty Images

Baseball America’s J.J. Cooper reports that corner infielder Mike Hessman has retired from professional baseball after 20 seasons. Hessman hit 433 home runs in the minor leagues, an all-time record. He broke Buzz Arlett’s record this past August and with style as #433 was a grand slam.

Hessman, 37, was selected in the 16th round of the 1996 draft by the Braves and remained with the organization through the 2004 season. He then went to the Tigers from 2005-09, the Mets in 2010, then drifted into the Astros and Reds’ farm systems before returning to the Tigers for the last two years.

Hessman took 250 plate appearances at the major league level, batting .188/.272/.422 with 14 home runs and 33 RBI.