There are an abundance of dates and deadlines in MLB’s offseason, but Tuesday night’s deadline for free agents to accept or decline arbitration offers could affect Hot Stove action heading into next week.
Big name free agents, like Cliff Lee, Carl Crawford, Jayson Werth and Adrian Beltre all were offered and expected to decline.
With the decisions made one way or the other, teams are better able to gain a sense of which players will be back with the club or conversely where funds might be available. That coupled with the impending Winter Meetings next week could finally get things moving on the free agent and trade markets.
The trade market did see some action on Tuesday afternoon as the Dodgers sent infielder Ryan Theriot
to St. Louis in exchange for pitcher Blake Hawksworth
. Los Angeles was expected to non-tender Theriot after signing Uribe, so the deal wasn’t altogether surprising.
Theriot struggled after arriving in L.A. at the Trade Deadline, but owns a strong career batting average of .284. He will also bring some of his speed on the basepaths to the Cards lineup.
In a seperate move on Tuesday, the Cardinals added some pitching depth by inking veteran pitcher Brian Tallet
. The 33-year-old left-hander had an off year with the Blue Jays in 2010, but could provide some valuable innings for the Cards.
As we await the midnight arbitration deadline, here’s a look around the league on Tuesday:
– The Rangers added a veteran pitcher off the International market on Tuesday, signing Japanese right-hander Yoshinori Tateyama
. Tateyama, who will be 35 when Spring Training opens, signed a one year deal with two club options. Primarily a reliever in his career, Tateyama sported a career-best 1.80 ERA for the Hokkaido Nippon-Ham Fighters in 2010.
-The Yankees have temporarily paused their talks with free agent shortstop Derek Jeter
, but negotiations are expected to pick back up shortly. While the talks have stalled a bit, Jeter is still widely expected to been in pinstripes next season. One place he won’t be is Boston, according to SI.com’s Jon Heyman. The Red Sox reportedly have no plans to pursue Jeter with a long wish list of their own. If for some reason Jeter doesn’t return to the Bronx in 2011, the Yankees do have a backup plan, according to ESPN’s Buster Olney, who tweeted that the team’s Plan B is Eduardo Nunez.
– Veteran pitcher Jamie Moyer isn’t ready to call it quits, yet
. The 48-year-old will undergo Tommy John surgery on his left elbow with hopes of making a comeback in time for the 2012 season. A free agent, Moyer originally injured the elbow in July but had rehabbed with the goal of proving he was healthy in Winter Ball. In his first start this Winter, though, Moyer re-injured the elbow. “We are cautiously optimistic superman will make a comeback!” he and his wife wrote on the page.
– The Dodgers have had an active winter, so far, but they might not be done yet. Free agent Johnny Damon is on the club’s radar, FoxSports.com reported Tuesday. Damon isn’t the only player the Dodgers have their eyes on. The club is looking at nearly every free agent catcher, including Jason Varitek and Rod Barajas, with catcher Russell Martin’s status up in the air.
– The Royals have been pretty clear that they aren’t overly inclined to trade away Zack Greinke
. In fact, one source with the club told Heyman that it’d take a blockbuster type deal to move the 2009 Cy Young pitcher. Greinke, though, could have other ideas. An acquaintance of Greinke’s also told Heyman that the 26-year old is “ready to go.”
– With a particularly ripe market for free agent relievers, multiple teams have reportedly expressed interest in Jesse Crain. There is a mutual interest, between one of those clubs, the Blue Jays, and Crain, Fox Sports.com reported on Tuesday.