Roundup: Clubs wrap up smaller prizes

As the push to land big name free agents Brandon Webb and Adrian Beltre intensifies, many clubs have begun using the final days before the Christmas holiday as a chance to wrap up some smaller signings. 
A host of these type of signings and announcements occurred on Tuesday, including the Blue Jays inking of outfielder Corey Patterson and the announcement of Rich Harden’s deal with the A’s.
Here’s a rundown of Tuesday’s top news from around the league: 
– Patterson was just one of a group of six that received contracts from the Blue Jays on Tuesday. The others who officially inked contracts include right-hander Winston Abreu, catcher Ryan Budde, left-hander Sean Henn, left-hander Mike Hinckley and right-hander Brian Stokes. 
– The talk surrounding Brandon Webb seemed to gain some steam on Tuesday. While there is no deal imminent as of yet, there are indications the Rangers are having an on-going dialogue with Webb and his agent, Jonathan Mauer,’s T.R. Sullivan reported Tuesday. Sullivan points out that for a deal to be reached, there are likely several key factors to consider with regard to how the contract is structured. The Nationals and Cubs also reportedly have interest in the free agent right-hander.
– The Halos are still quite interested in bringing in Beltre and haven’t rescinded their earlier offer, contrary to conflicting Internet reports, a source told’s Ken Gurnick Tuesday. The only other team believed to have serious interest in Beltre is Texas, but they could be priced out at those terms, according to the source. The Angels are believed to have made a five-year, $70 million offer for Beltre, who is said to be seeking a six-year deal in the neighborhood of $90 million. 
– The Red Sox made their signing of reliever Bobby Jenks official on Tuesday, announcing a two-year, $12 million deal. Jenks, who successfully passed his physical, will add significantly more depth to the back of the Red Sox ‘pen. 
– In a minor trade, the Padres picked up catcher Rob Johnson from the Mariners, in exchange for a player to be named later or cash. Johnson would seemingly slot in behind Nick Hundley in a back-up role. 
– The Brewers picked up another arm for their bullpen, claiming right-hander Roque Mercedes off waivers from the D-backs. Mercedes, 24, returns to Milwaukee nearly a year and a half after being sent to Arizona in the July 2009 trade that brought infielder Felipe Lopez. 
-The Nats made Rick Ankiel’s signing official on Tuesday, inking the 31-year-old outfielder to a one-year deal. 
— Bailey Stephens


I wish the giants would sign Beltre to play third base because I dought Pablo Sandoval will come into camp in shape.

While I agree Sandoval may not be mature enough to get his act (and bod) in shape I don’t think Beltre is the answer. He’s had 2 good seasons in his career both in contract ending years. If Pablo can’t go at 3rd then possible existing options include Huff or DeRosa both of whom have prior 3rd base experience. If Brandon Belt appears ready to move up from Trip A then Huff would need to move anyway.

I agree with the Sandoval comment but do not believe Beltre is the answer. In my opinion he has had only 2 good seasons in his career both coming at the end of contract years. The $’s he would cost should be banked for future pitching contracts. Looking at the existing roster both DeRosa and Huff have prior 3B experience. Age will limit mobility however such a move might ultimately be explored since there is some speculation that Brandon Belt might be moving up from AAA to the 1B slot before too long.

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