Roundup: Market continues to evolve in 2011
In the new year’s first week, the Hot Stove is in full gear. With Adrian Beltre nearing terms with Texas and Kevin Gregg inking a deal with Baltmore, the number of available impact free agents has begun to dwindle, as has their potential destinations.
One of the big fish remaining is Vladimir Guerrero, whose time in Texas is all but finished with the Rangers on the verge of a deal with Beltre. Guerrero’s former team, the Angels, were also in talks with Beltre, but ESPN Los Angeles.com is reporting that the Halos aren’t targeting their former AL MVP for offensive help.
Here’s the rundown on the other movers and shakers on Tuesday:
– MLB.com’s T.R. Sullivan reports that the Rangers are close to signing Beltre to a six-year, $96 million contract. The 31-year-old Beltre is coming off of a strong bounceback season in Boston, where he hit .321 with 28 homers and 102 RBIs. Current Texas third baseman Michael Young told the club he would be willing to change positions — again — to designated hitter to accommodate the addition of Beltre, a two-time Gold Glove winner at third.
– Gregg took his time making a decision, but the right-handed reliever has signed a two-year deal with the Orioles, MLB.com has confirmed. Gregg has 121 saves and a 3.79 ERA over the last four seasons, including 37 saves for Toronto in 2010. Baltimore will be his fourth club in as many seasons and fifth in the last six years.
– According to the outfielder himself, Carlos Gonzalez has “practically concluded” talks with the Rockies on a seven-year, $80 million contract extension. The 25-year-old Gonzalez had a breakout campaign in 2010 with a .336 average, 34 home runs and 117 RBIs — good enough to finish third in the NL MVP balloting. If and when the deal is finalized, Colorado will have locked up two of its young stars in Gonzalez and Troy Tulowitzki through at least the 2017 season.
– The Reds came to terms on a Minor League deal with outfieder Jeremy Hermida. The left-hand-hitting Hermida is a .259 career hitter, but batted just .216 last season between stops in Boston and Oakland. He has hit .267 in his career off of right-hand pitching.
– The Giants and World Series MVP Edgar Renteria are back in negotiations, as tweeted by CSNBayArea.com’s Mychael Urban. San Francisco, however, isn’t overly optimistic about signing the shortstop, who termed an earlier $1 million offer from the club a “lack of respect.”
-The Nationals and Adam LaRoche continue to near a two-year agreement, tweeted Jim Bowden of Sirius XM, echoing news MLB.com’s Bill Ladson reported on Monday.
-The Phillies and right-handed reliever Chad Durbin have exchanged offers, according to the Philadelphia Inquirer. Durbin, who has been a member of the Philadelphia bullpen for three seasons, is apparently seeking a raise from the $2.125 million he made in 2010.