The White Sox netted one of the free agent market’s biggest bats, Adam Dunn, on Thursday as the Hot Stove kicked into high gear with Thursday’s 11:59 p.m. ET non-tender deadline looming.
Chicago has agreed to terms with the slugger pending a physical, according to multiple media reports. Dunn’s deal is reportedly for four years and $56 million.
The Athletics also reportedly had interest in signing Dunn, who hit 38 home runs for the Nationals last season.
Dunn’s deal could signal the end of Paul Konerko’s tenure in Chicago as the club might not be inclined to keep two high-priced veteran first baseman on the roster.
Elsewhere, the Red Sox will welcome back
veteran backstop Jason Varitek in 2011, according to multiple published reports. Varitek, 38, reportedly agreed to a two-year deal worth $2 million plus incentives.
Varitek projects to be a good fit alongside several young Red Sox catchers, including Jarrod Saltalamacchia.
Varitek isn’t the only player who after Thursday is set to return to his previous club. The Braves agreed
with utility man Eric Hinske on a one-year deal, plus an option for 2012. Financial terms of the deal weren’t made public.
Hinske, 33, figures to be a left-handed pinch hitter for the Braves again in ’11, and could occasionally spell rookie first baseman Freddie Freeman.
“It’s a perfect fit,” Braves veteran catcher Brian McCann told MLB.com. “There are a lot of guys who are going to be excited to hear about this.” <p>
Another utility player, Jeff Baker, agreed to a deal
of his own on Thursday that will keep him in Chicago for the 2011 season. Baker, acquired in 2009 from the Rockies, will reportedly make $1.175 million in 2011, according to a FOXSports.com report.
Baker’s signing came hours before the deadline for club’s to offer unsigned players under their control a contract for next season. Baker hit .272 last season for the Cubs and proved especially valuable against left-handed pitching, batting .350.
While these players will stay put for next season, free agent Hisanori Takahashi could be on the move — to a different league and a different coast.
The Angels had been clear about desiring some veteran bullpen help and the veteran pitcher could help fill that void. Takahashi proved effective in a variety of roles last season for the Mets, going 10-6 with a 3.61 ERA.
– Bailey Stephens