The Marlins dominated Sunday’s relatively quiet Hot Stove, agreeing to terms on a one-year deal with veteran right-hander Javier Vazquez.
The deal, which is pending a physical, will give Florida the quality veteran starting pitcher they desired this offseason. Vazquez, 34, has pitched more than 200 innings nine times in his career evidencing a durability the Marlins were after.
Vazquez is plenty familiar with the National League East, where he nearly won a Cy Young Award with Atlanta in 2009. His 2010 season with the Yankees, however, wasn’t nearly as smooth as he compiled a 10-10 record to go with a 5.32 ERA.
The Puerto Rico native was offered arbitration by the Yankees last week, meaning that once the deal becomes official the Yankees will earn a sandwich-round pick for the Type B free agent.
Elsewhere in the NL East, the Nats remain “strong candidates” to land free agent pitcher Brandon Webb this offseason, MLB.com’s Bill Ladson reported Sunday.
Talks between the two aren’t supposed to heat up until the Winter Meetings, which are a little over a week away. The Nats have been clear about their desire for an established starter to lead their young staff and Webb has apparently hit their radar.
Over in the American League, the Red Sox are also interested in acquiring some pitching depth of their own, as Boston has shown interest in free agent reliever Matt Guerrier according to WEEI.com.
Guerrier, 32, registered a 3.17 ERA in 2010 for the Twins. The seven-year veteran would have qualified as a Type A free agent, but the Twins did not offer Guerrier arbitration, meaning that potential suitors would not have to forfeit a Draft pick to sign him.
Meanwhile, the Yankees are still negotiating with their free agent captain Derek Jeter. While both parties have said they would prefer not to play things out publicly, figures have continued to leak out over the last several days.
Recently, the Yankees reportedly made an initial offer of three years, $45 million to keep their captain in pinstripes.
Last week, reports indicated that Jeter’s camp had requested a six-year deal somewhere in the neighborhood of $150 million, a figure which Jeter’s agent Casey Close called “simply inaccurate” in a response on Friday.
The Bombers are prepared to ramp up the first offer to some extent but Jeter will have to take a pay cut, SI.com reported on Sunday. The Yankees reportedly aren’t willing to pay Jeter the yearly equivalent of his just-completed contract that netted him about $21 million last season.
Pursuit of one of the Yankees other coveted free agents, left-hander Cliff Lee, is reportedly expected to ramp up heading into the Winter Meetings. While the Rangers are still expected to join the Yanks as major players for Lee, the Rangers are discussing backup plans internally, according to the Boston Globe.
One such plan, reportedly discussed by the club, involves moving Neftali Feliz into the starting rotation and signing another closer, like Rafael Soriano.