Spring Training sits firmly on the horizon with just about a month to go until that special day when pitchers and catchers report. It could be a busy month, though, for several teams who are still looking to add a key piece or two to their roster for 2011.
One of those teams is the Yankees, who pulled by far the biggest move of Thursday, agreeing to terms with reliever Rafael Soriano on a three-year deal, pending a possible Tuesday physical, that would have him set up closer Mariano Rivera — for now — and earn about $35 million. He has opt-out options after each of the first two years of the contract.
While pitching is always a valued commodity, some clubs are also looking for a role player; maybe a fourth outfielder or a back-up infielder that will provide a little extra insurance.
Regardless of what they are shopping for, the Hot Stove market is definitely growing thinner at this stage in the game. However, there are still plenty of players out there who could prove to be a gem for one team.
Here’s a look at the latest updates on the market from around the league:
– The Padres are on the verge of adding some additional depth to their bullpen, in the form of right-hander Chad Qualls, according to MLB.com’s Corey Brock. Brock reported on Twitter on Thursday afternoon that the Padres are “very close” to a deal with Qualls.
– Utility man Willie Bloomquist has agreed to a one-year deal, $1.05 million deal with the D-backs, SI.com’s Jon Heyman tweeted on Thursday. The deal also includes a mutual option for the 2012 season.
– It’s not appearing that outfielder Willie Harris will return to the Nationals in 2011. Harris has two offers at this point, MLB.com’s Bill Ladson tweeted Thursday and neither of them are from the Nats. The two sides haven’t spoken in weeks, Ladson added.
– Veteran Eric Chavez has worked out recently for the Blue Jays, ESPN.com reported Thursday. Chavez has been working out for teams in Arizona over the past few weeks. The Mariners and Dodgers have also been linked to Chavez at times this offseason.
— Bailey Stephens