TROT COFFEY* for a day.

(* Trade Rumor Offerings To Chew On For Fun, Even Yuks)

Not to be confused with veteran reliever Todd Coffey, the TROT COFFEY is a mailing list-only Newberg Report update on various trade and free agent rumblings unearthed, if not hatched, by the media or player agents:

But for today only, I'm putting this morning's COFFEY here on the website. If you want to get future COFFEY reports -- and for a reference point, I've sent four of these out since my last regular report on November 23rd -- click the Mailing List link above to sign up for the Newberg Report email distribution list. It's free.

  • According to Gerry Fraley (Dallas Morning News), the Rangers “are pursuing free agent Mike Napoli and in-season addition Geovany Soto at catcher next season.”  It’s the first report I’ve seen suggesting that Texas might be prioritizing a status quo situation behind the plate going into 2013.

Fraley notes Friday’s deadline to tender contract offers to players on the 40-man roster and the likelihood that Texas will not tender such an offer to Soto, which procedurally would permit him to reenter the arbitration process.  Coming off a season in which Soto was paid $4.2 million, the Rangers are expected to avoid arbitration with the 29-year-old, perhaps by agreeing to more reasonable terms with him before Friday.  If those talks don’t produce a deal, Fraley suggests, Texas will probably non-tender him Friday and he’ll become a free agent.

  • After earlier reports that Texas and Napoli could visit Wednesday, Jeff Wilson (Fort Worth Star-Telegram) tweeted yesterday that the two sides will actually visit today.  The free agent has met already with Boston and Seattle, though it’s unclear whether he’s been presented with a formal offer from either club.
  • Then again, Ben Rogers (ESPN Dallas) hears the Texas-Napoli meeting will take place tomorrow after all.
  • Well, we know this: They’re probably meeting this week, most likely in the next 36 hours, before everyone heads to the frenzy in Nashville.
  • According to T.R. Sullivan (, while Napoli seeks a four-year contract, the Rangers “don’t seem to be willing to go more than two years.”
  • Pete Abraham (Boston Globe) thinks the Red Sox will end up signing Napoli, because club owner “John Henry has been focused on him for a while.”


  • Ken Rosenthal (Fox Sports) reports that free agent catcher Russell Martin, whom the Yankees are trying to re-sign, is also drawing “significant interest” from Texas, Seattle, and Pittsburgh.  Rosenthal suggests that “[t]he Rangers, in particular, could pose a threat to the Yankees, who intend to be under the $189 million luxury-tax threshold by 2014,” and that Texas “could pressure the Yankees by making him a substantial offer” on a multi-year deal.
  • According to Sullivan, the Blue Jays plan to go with J.P. Arencibia as their starting catcher, backed up by John Buck, with Travis d’Arnaud starting the season in AAA, and thus “may not be eager to trade a catcher,” but since they also have veteran backup Bobby Wilson on the roster, a trade of Arencibia for “the right offer” can’t be ruled out.
  • Sullivan reports that there’s some thought that the Dodgers may choose not to throw play money at Zack Greinke and instead make an effort to trade for starting pitching.

A couple thoughts on that.

Why wouldn’t they do both?

Or maybe they’re just sending signals to the Greinke camp that they might go in a different direction, because the concept of cost containment sure isn’t going to lower Greinke’s ask in any talks with the Dodgers.

I want Greinke here.  I hold onto one sliver of hope (aside from Sullivan’s note) as far as some arbitrary Dodger “budget” consideration factoring in is concerned: That Los Angeles might balk at going to six years and $150 million or more for Greinke with Clayton Kershaw two years from free agency – not because the Dodgers can’t afford both, but because Kershaw will likely be able to justify a demand of more than Greinke got.

Nah, that’s not going to stop L.A.

  • Sullivan notes that even though Toronto exercised its $3 million option on Darren Oliver for 2013, the lefthander is likely to retire – unless the Blue Jays are willing to trade him to Texas.
  • The Angels are evidently zeroing in on a one-year deal to make Ryan Madson their new closer, which would result in Ernesto Frieri assuming eighth-inning duties.

That’s sorta better than the Jordan Walden-LaTroy Hawkins tandem Los Angeles trotted out last season.

  • Angels GM Jerry Dipoto has emerged as the champion of publicly saying exactly what you shouldn’t believe.
  • Jon Heyman (CBS Sports) reports that the Rangers, Reds, Indians, Yankees, Giants, Rays, and Red Sox (if not others) are believed to be interested in Shane Victorino.
  • According to Sullivan, the Rangers “don’t seem to be that hot” on Victorino, and there are “mixed feelings” internally about B.J. Upton.
  • Sullivan suggests Texas would be interested in Josh Willingham if the Twins were open to moving him.
  • Executives that Sullivan talked to believe Milwaukee, Boston, and Seattle are “likely to be the prime pursuers” of Josh Hamilton, whose eerily quiet market may be a product of “his agent Michael Moye [being] maybe the best at not leaking information to the media.”
  • Free agent infielder Jeff Keppinger, who was part of my crystal ball spitball launch last month (and a player who would never sign here given how little he’d play), reportedly broke his leg tripping down the stairs at his house.  It’s not expected to threaten his 2013 season.  Buster Olney (ESPN) suggests the Cubs, Diamondbacks, and Rays were among the teams “aggressive” on Keppinger before his mishap.
  • If you look at the extension that Evan Longoria signed with Tampa Bay yesterday, and try to overlay it against what it might take to lock Elvis Andrus up long-term, there’s at least a little bit of symmetry since they would have be free agents together after the 2014 season if not under contract.  Here you go:

Longoria in his four arbitration-level seasons (he was a Super Two in 2011): $2 million (2011), $4.5 million (2012), $6 million (2013), $7.5 million (2014).

Andrus in his three arbitration-level seasons: $2.375 million (2012), $4.8 million (2013), $6.475 million (2014).

Longoria in 2015-2017: $11 million, $11.5 million, $13 million.

Those will be Andrus’s first three free agent seasons.

Longoria in 2018-2022: averaging $17.4 million.

To state it another way, Longoria’s eight seasons after reaching free agency will guarantee him $122.5 million.  That’s an average annual value of $15.3125 million.

Would Andrus, who has settled for slightly less than Longoria each step of the way to date, take that contract, widely couched as an extremely team-friendly deal?

Would Scott Boras recommend it?

  • Rangers Special Assistant to the GM Greg Maddux will be the pitching coach for Team USA in this spring’s World Baseball Classic.
  • The Tigers re-signed utility player Marcus Lemon to a minor league deal, giving him a second season with Detroit, and that just had to happen at some point.
  • The Giants signed catcher Guillermo Quiroz to a minor league deal.
  • And I think there’s a reasonable chance they didn’t sign both Fabio Castillo and Fabio Castro last week.  The Castillo reports seem accurate, but the couple stories I’ve seen suggesting San Francisco also signed Castro were possibly the result of someone seeing the Castillo note and mistaking him for the lefthander who has bounced around the big leagues.
  • Like you care.
  • The Astros have confirmed that they will be active in the December 6th Rule 5 Draft, in which they will select first, and if you’re looking for new Houston Pro Scouting Coordinator Kevin Goldstein, he’s barricaded himself inside a candy store.
  • A final note from Sullivan this morning: “One source said some agents will likely push hard to get their clients signed this week before the Winter Meetings get started.  The concern is once clubs start gathering in Nashville and start talking trades, the demand for free agents could weaken to some degree.”
  • Which means I might actually get to break up this string of COFFEY’s with some actual news to report.
  • Not holding my breath.
  • And that’s OK.

It’s not a race.


Jamey Newberg

Dallas attorney Jamey Newberg has been commenting on Rangers from the big club down through the entire farm system since 1998.

Scott Lucas

Scott Lucas was born in Arlington, Texas, to Richard and Becky Lucas. He lived mostly in Arlington before moving to Austin, where he graduated from The University of Texas. Scott works for Austin Valuation Consultants, Ltd., and has published several boring articles about real estate appraisal and environmental contamination. He makes a swell margarita and refuses to run longer than ten kilometres.

Eleanor Czajka

Eleanor grew up watching the AAA Mudhens in Toledo, Ohio. A loyal Ranger fan since 1979, she works "behind the scenes" at the Newberg Report.

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