January 2012

Rockies make offer to veteran Moyer

For now, the Rockies’ 2012 potential Opening Day starting rotation can be called the “under-30 club.” But that could change, considerably, with one potential signing.

Looking for a veteran to help guide the young rotation, the Rockies could be bringing in the veteran – 49-year-old left-hander Jamie Moyer. The Rockies have made an offer of a Minor League contract, and a club official told MLB.com on Tuesday morning that “it’s in his court.”

Moyer had Tommy John ligament transfer surgery in his throwing elbow in December 2010 and worked for ESPN as an analyst last year, but stated all along he hoped to pitch again in 2012. He went 9-9 with a 4.84 ERA for the Phillies in 2010.

By making the offer, the Rockies are signaling that they believe Moyer can be a help to them, not merely a novelty, although his potential signing sparks folks to go digging for trivia. For example, when Moyer made his Major League debut for the Cubs on June 16, 1986, the following competitors for the Rockies’ 2012 rotation had not been born: Jhoulys Chacin (Jan. 7, 1988), Tyler Chatwood (Dec. 16, 1989), Juan Nicasio (Aug. 31, 1986), Drew Pomeranz (Nov. 22, 1988) and Alex White (Aug. 29, 1988).

One of Moyer’s teammates on the 1986 Cubs was Rockies television color commentator George Frazier, then a relief pitcher.

The Denver Post, which reported the offer to Moyer on Monday night, also reported that the Rockies are looking at trading for a second baseman, with the Red Sox’s Marco Scutaro and the Mets’ Justin Turner as possibilities.

– Thomas Harding

For now, the Ro…

For now, the Rockies’ 2012 potential Opening Day starting rotation can be called the “under-30 club.” But that could change, considerably, with one potential signing.

Looking for a veteran to help guide the young rotation, the Rockies could be bringing in the veteran – 49-year-old left-hander Jamie Moyer. The Rockies have made an offer of a Minor League contract, and a club official told MLB.com on Tuesday morning that “it’s in his court.”

Moyer had Tommy John ligament transfer surgery in his throwing elbow in December 2010 and worked for ESPN as an analyst last year, but stated all along he oped to pitch again in 2012. He went 9-9 with a 4.84 ERA for the Phillies in 2010.

By making the offer, the Rockies are signaling that they believe Moyer can be a help to them, not merely a novelty, although his potential signing sparks folks to go digging for trivia. For example, when Moyer made his Major League debut for the Cubs on June 16, 1986, the following competitors for the Rockies’ 2012 rotation had not been born: Jhoulys Chacin (Jan. 7, 1988), Tyler Chatwood (Dec. 16, 1989), Juan Nicasio (Aug. 31, 1986), Drew Pomeranz (Nov. 22, 1988) and Alex White (Aug. 29, 1988).

One of Moyer’s teammates on the 1986 Cubs was Rockies television color commentator George Frazier, then a relief pitcher.

The Denver Post, which reported the offer to Moyer on Monday night, also reported that the Rockies are looking at trading for a second baseman, with the Red Sox’s Marco Scutaro and the Mets’ Justin Turner as possibilities.

– Thomas Harding

Reds get Ludwick

MLB.com has learned via a source Monday night that outfielder Ryan Ludwick has agreed to a one-year contract with a mutual option for 2013. The dollar figure remains unclear, but the Reds weren’t expected to spend a lot to fill their opening for a fourth outfielder.

Ken Rosenthal at FOX and MLB Network was first with the story.

Ludwick, 33, batted .237 with 13 home runs last season in a combined 139 games with the Padres and Pirates. He has a history with Reds general manager Walt Jocketty, having played for him with the Cardinals. Ludwick spent the 2007-09 seasons in St. Louis and hit a career best 37 homers with 113 RBIs in 2008.

This fills the Reds need for a fourth outfielder that can mainly play left field in a quasi-platoon with Chris Heisey.

– Mark Sheldon

Callaspo done; only Aybar left for Angels

The Angels agreed to a one-year, arbitration-avoiding contract with infielder Alberto Callaspo on Monday. The deal is worth $3.15 million, which is slightly higher than the reported figure Kendrys Morales agreed to – $2.975 million – and right around what Callaspo was projected to garner via arbitration.

Callaspo, two seasons away from free agency, hit .288 with a .366 on-base percentage, six home runs and 46 RBIs while playing mostly third base in his first full season with the Angels in 2011.

The only arbitration-eligible player remaining now is shortstop Erick Aybar, who’s eligible for free agency after this season and who general manager Jerry Dipoto previously said is open to negotiating an extension with.

– Alden Gonzalez

Zumaya agrees to deal with Twins

Joel Zumaya’s comeback isn’t going to happen in Detroit, but he’s going to a very familiar place. The hard-throwing, injury-riddled reliever has agreed to terms with the Minnesota Twins, Zumaya told MLB.com.

The deal reached Saturday gives Zumaya the roster spot he wanted going into Spring Training with a bullpen that could use his services. He could make anywhere from $800,000 to $1.7 million depending on appearance-based incentives. The Twins can part ways out of camp and owe Zumaya about half his full salary.

A Twins official would neither confirm nor deny the deal to MLB.com, but said they’ve been in negotiations since December.

Zumaya had what he called “good offers” from three other clubs, but the Twins included guaranteed money rather than a minor league deal with a Spring Training invite. If he’s healthy, they’ll bring him to the same mound at Target Field where he last threw a Major League pitch. He fractured his elbow throwing for the Tigers against the Twins on June 28, 2010.

As it turns out, that was his last appearance as a Tiger. Though the Tigers had an offer out to him for a minor-league contract with a non-roster invitation to Spring Training, they made it clear they weren’t going to guarantee him a spot. Zumaya told MLB.com in November he was most likely moving on, and in the end, the Tigers were not on his short list.

Zumaya joins a Twins bullpen in transition. having lost closer Joe Nathan to the Rangers earlier in the offseason. Minnesota re-signed Matt Capps at closer and returns Glen Perkins coming off an impressive season of middle and late-inning work, but while Perkins blossomed into a high-strikeout lefty last year, the Twins haven’t had a truly overpowering reliever in a while.

If Zumaya’s healthy, he has that potential. Though he hasn’t topped 32 games or 40 innings in a season since his impressive rookie season of 2006, he has been an effective reliever when he hasn’t been hurt. He was showing flashes of his old form in 2010 before he was hurt, striking out 34 batters over 38 1/3 innings while allowing 32 hits and posting a 2.58 ERA.

Zumaya underwent surgery after that July injury to repair a fractured bone at the tip of his elbow, a procedure that included inserting a screw to hold the elbow together. He had to undergo a follow-up surgery to replace the screw after complaining of elbow pain last Spring Training.

The surgery cost Zumaya the entire 2011 season. He threw for interested teams last month and reportedly hit the mid-90s on the radar gun. Since then, Zumaya and his agents, Randy and Alan Hendricks, have been negotiating with clubs, trying to land him a Major League contract in a situation where he could fit into a good bullpen role.

– Jason Beck

A’s negotiating with Colon

UPDATE, 10:37 P.M. PT: Bartolo Colon has agreed to sign with an unknown team, USA Today’s Bob Nightengale reported via Twitter on Saturday night. The right-hander wouldn’t give the club’s identity because he has not yet passed his physical.

——-

The Athletics are negotiating with free-agent starting pitcher Bartolo Colon, ESPN’s Buster Olney reported via Twitter on Saturday.

Colon, 38, had a surprisingly resurgent season for the Yankees in 2011, posting a 3.29 ERA in his first 18 games (15 starts) before falling off a bit down the stretch. Colon’s 2011 performance, which finished with an 8-10 record and a 4.00 ERA, came after being out of the big leagues for the entire 2010 season.

The Diamondbacks had also expressed interest in the former American League Cy Young Award winner, and the Yankees were interested in bringing him back before acquiring Michael Pineda and Hiroki Kuroda on a busy Friday night.

– Alden Gonzalez 

Yankees begin work of rebuilding rotation

The Yankees may have solved the lingering questions of their starting rotation in just one night, nearing completion on deals that will fit right-handers Michael Pineda and Hiroki Kuroda for pinstripes in 2012.

In Pineda’s case, the price proved to be a steep one, as New York agreed to part with power-hitting catcher Jesus Montero, shipping their top prospect to the Mariners in a four-player trade.

Though the teams have not made an official announcement, a source confirmed that Seattle is set to send Pineda and Minor League pitcher Jose Campos to the Yankees for Montero and 24-year-old right-hander Hector Noesi.

Marlins among clubs vying for Cespedes

The Yoenis Cespedes sweepstakes appears to be down to six teams.

The center fielder from Cuba told a reporter from The Associated Press in the Dominican Republic that the Marlins, Cubs, White Sox, Orioles, Tigers and Indians have expressed the most interest.

Cespedes, 26, made his debut on Thursday for Aguilas Cibaenas in the Dominican Republic Winter League.

Rangers, Fielder meet in Dallas

The Rangers met on Friday with free-agent first baseman Prince Fielder at a Dallas-area hotel, according to multiple media reports.

Fielder is the highest-profile free agent remaining on the market. The Nationals also are believed to be heavily involved with Fielder, who, according to reports, is seeking a long-term deal with a no-trade clause. The Mariners have also been connected with Fielder.

D-backs talking to Bartolo Colon

PHOENIX — Could Bartolo Colon be the fifth starter the D-backs have been looking for?

The D-backs seem to believe so as a baseball source said they were in talks to sign the right-hander.

Colon was 8-10 with a 4.00 ERA in 29 games (26 starts) for the Yankees last season. The 38-year-old did not pitch in 2010 and signed a Minor League deal with the Yankees after undergoing stem cell treatment for elbow and rotator cuff injuries.

Thanks to a strong performance in the spring, Colon made the Yankees roster and was an effective starter before seeming to tire down the stretch. In September, Colon posted a 5.96 ERA and was not added to the team’s postseason roster.

The D-backs rotation currently consists of Ian Kennedy, Daniel Hudson, Trevor Cahill and Josh Collmenter with the fifth spot set to come from a group of young pitchers that includes among others Wade Miley, Barry Enright, Tyler Skaggs, Trevor Bauer and Charles Brewer.

Given the youth and inexperience of that group, the D-backs had hoped to add a veteran fifth starter as added depth in case none of the young starters were able to make the jump to the big leagues.

– Steve Gilbert

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