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12/10 noon links: Morrison, Balfour, Trumbo

The rumors and speculation continue on Day 2 of the Winter Meetings. Here’s a few of the top stories from Tuesday morning at the Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Resort in Lake Buena Vista, Fla.:

  • Marlins first baseman Logan Morrison is drawing tons of interest, and it’s almost inevitable he’ll be dealt, but’s Joe Frisaro writes that Morrison might not be dealt during the Winter Meetings.
  • The Orioles are trying to get a deal done with closer Grant Balfour, tweets Fox Sports’ Ken Rosenthal. Our Brittany Ghiroli writes that no deal is on the table, though that could change quickly.
  • The Angels have been open to dealing Mark Trumbo this offseason, with the D-backs the most-talked about destination. According to ESPN’s Keith Law, the White Sox have joined the conversation. In this scenario, the Angels would get pitchers Tyler Skaggs and Hector Santiago from Arizona and Chicago, respectively, the D-backs would get Trumbo and the Sox would receive D-backs outfielder Adam Eaton.
  • The Phillies are willing to talk about left-handers Cliff Lee and Cole Hamels, according to ESPN’s Buster Olney.
  • The Indians are willing to listen on right-hander Justin Masterson and shortstop Asdrubal Cabrera, tweets Fox Sports’ Jon Morosi. As Morosi notes in a later tweet, the Indians have young shortstop Francisco Lindor waiting in the wings.
  • Third baseman Juan Uribe is drawing interest from the Dodgers, White Sox and other teams, according to ESPN Deportes’ Enrique Rojas, though’s Scott Merkin doesn’t see Uribe as a fit.
  • The A’s may not trade left-hander Brett Anderson this week, according to Yanoo!’s Jeff Passan.

- Cash Kruth

Tigers, Davis nearing 2-year deal

The Tigers are nearing a two-year deal with outfielder Rajai Davis, according to Fox Sports’ Jon Paul Morosi.

Davis, 33, hits right handed and figures to slide into left field, where he will share time with incumbent Andy Dirks, a left-handed hitter.

Davis spent the past three years with the Blue Jays and adds athleticism to the Tigers’ lineup. He’s stolen more than 40 bases in four of the last five years and has 268 in his career.

He is a .268 career hitter over an eight-year career with the Pirates, Giants, A’s and Jays.

This likely takes the TIgers out of the running for free-agent outfielder Shin-Soo Choo.

- Cash Kruth

12/9 early afternoon notes

The first day of the Winter Meetings has been busy through early Monday afternoon, as rumors and speculation are running rampant.

Before we get to those, first some actual news:

  • Former managers Bobby Cox, Tony La Russa and Joe Torre were elected to the Hall of Fame by the Expansion Era Committee.
  • Two-time Cy Young Award winner Roy Halladay signed a one-day contract with the Blue Jays and retired, citing back injuries.

Other rumors:

  • The Rockies might resume trade talks with the A’s regarding left-hander Brett Anderson, writes’s Thomas Harding.
  • Matt Kemp’s agent, former pitcher Dave Stewart, told the Los Angeles Times he expects the Dodgers outfielder to be dealt this offseason.
  • Sources told Fox Sports’ Ken Rosenthal the Angles are willing to shop first baseman/outfielder Mark Trumbo.
  • Rosenthal also hears that even though the Rangers already dealt second baseman Ian Kinsler, shortstop Elvis Andrus also might be available; though Rosenthal notes it’s “very much a long shot.”
  • Two items from Fox Sports’ Jon Paul Morosi: The Indians have talked with free agent starter Jason Hammels’ representatives, while the Pirates are interested in Toronto’s Adam Lind and Miami’s Logan Morrison.
  • Yahoo!’s Jeff Passan hears the Phillies are “actively shopping” Domonic Brown.

- Cash Kruth

Reports: Halladay retiring

Two-time Cy Young Award winner Roy Halladay will announce his retirement on Monday, according to CBS Sports’ Jon Heyman.
Halladay will sign a one-day contract with Toronto so he retires as a Blue Jay, according to Heyman.
Halladay, 36, was one of the game’s top pitchers for much of his career, winning the 2003 AL Cy Young Award with Toronto and the 2010 NL Cy Young Award with Philadelphia.
He was 203-105 over a 16-year career, most of which was spent in Toronto. He pitched the last four seasons with the Phillies, going 19-6 with a 2.35 ERA and finishing second in the NL Cy Young Award balloting as recently as 2011.
He also threw a no-hitter in Game 1 of the 2010 NL Division Series against the Reds, only the second no-hitter in postseason history.
An eight-time All-Star, Halladay finished in the top five of the Cy Young Award voting every year from 2005-11.
Shoulder injuries the past two seasons forced Halladay into retirement, however, as he made only 13 starts last season and struggled to the tune of a 6.82 ERA.
- Cash Kruth

12/8 roundup

The eve of the Winter Meetings was quiet as executives rolled into Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Resort in Lake Buena Vista, Fla.

No moves happened, but just because this past week was one of the busiest in recent memory doesn’t mean the Winter Meetings will be boring, writes’s Anthony Castrovince.

The moves that occur this week don’t have to be big to make an impact, says’s Richard Justice.

And, as’s Phil Rogers writes, every team coming to Florida needs something — whether they’ve already made a move or not.

Many general managers met with reporters on Sunday night. Here’s what they told the media they’re looking for over the course of the next few days:

  • The Red Sox are still looking to stay active, even with first baseman Mike Napoli resigned and catcher A.J. Pierzynski and reliever Edward Mujica added.
  • The Tigers might not be done yet. Ditto for the Yankees.
  • Braves GM Frank Wren has some items to cross off his list, including adding a starting pitcher and attempting to trade second baseman Dan Uggla.
  • The Reds are looking to add offense, while the Royals still need an impact bat.
  • Need an outfielder? Call the Dodgers. How about a pitcher? The A’s have a surplus.
  • The White Sox are looking to improve for the long term and likely won’t move any big names, says GM Rick Hahn.
  • The Cubs are looking for upgrades across the board, including their bullpen.
  • The Orioles have lost a lot of pieces — closer Jim Johnson, pitcher Scott Feldman and outfielder Nate McLouth — but come to Florida looking to add value.
  • The Indians are looking to add pitching. So, too, are the Rockies and the Blue Jays.
  • The Cardinals appear set, but would like to add depth. The Nationals need to bolster their bench.
  • Plenty of questions surround the Rays. Of course, the future of left-hander David Price is the biggest.
  • The Astros are going to continue to add pieces. As are the Marlins.
  • The Angels have been busy during the past few Winter Meetings and are hoping to continue that trend.
  • The Brewers aren’t expecting to make many big moves, but are definitely interested in some upgrades.
  • The Twins are hoping to add to their offseason haul of Ricky Nolasco and Phil Hughes, and also are looking for someone to catch them.
  • The Mets hope signing outfielder Curtis Granderson was only the beginning.
  • The Phillies are looking to be creative in adding parts.
  • The Padres expect to be quiet outside of looking for a lefty reliever.
  • The Pirates need a right fielder and first baseman.
  • The Giants are looking to deal for a left fielder.

- Cash Kruth

12/6 roundup

The Hot Stove reached ridiculous heat levels Friday, as a handful of free agents signed or agreed to terms — including the biggest free agent of all.

Five-time All-Star second baseman Robinson Cano agreed to a 10-year, $240-million deal with the Mariners on Friday, according to multiple sources.

The Yankees didn’t sulk for long, as they reportedly agreed to a three-year, $45-million contract with outfielder Carlos Beltran.

The money the Yankees saved on Cano allowed them to land Beltran, and they still have financial flexibility going forward. Worth noting: Beltran signed with St. Louis following Albert Pujols’ $240-million departure to the Angels — the same dollar amount of Cano’s deal.

While the Beltran deal came at night, the baseball world had all day to digest the Cano news.

Cano’s new teammates expressed their excitement.

“It’s pretty exciting,” first baseman Justin Smoak said from his offseason home in South Carolina. “It’s something we’re all looking forward to. Man, that’s a pretty big-time deal. It’s good for us and good for the city of Seattle.”

The Cano signing was a good start for the Mariners, but’s Richard Justice writes Seattle needs to do more in order to improve its offense.’s Phil Rogers writes that Cano bucked the trend by being the rare superstar to leave the Yankees.

Cano’s departure gives the Yankees financial flexibility. Here’s an updated look at what New York will look at accomplish at the Winter Meetings.

The Mariners now have two of the top 11 highest-paid players in baseball.

Although by far two of the biggest deals on Friday, the signings of Cano and Beltran weren’t the only ones that went down.

  • Mike Napoli tweeted he is coming back to Boston. The deal is reportedly for two years and $32 million.
  • The Mets inked outfielder Curtis Granderson for four years and $60 million.
  • The Yankees reportedly brought back right-hander Hiroki Kuroda for one year and $16 million. New York also officially announced its one-year deal with infielder/outfielder Kelly Johnson.
  • The Astros and right-hander Scott Feldman agreed to a three-year, $30-million deal.
  • The Rangers are nearing a deal with free-agent catcher J.P. Arencibia.
  • The Marlins are close to a two-year pact with first baseman Garrett Jones.
  • The Nationals reportedly signed outfielder Nate McLouth to a two-year, $10.75-million deal with an option for a third year.
  • The Orioles agreed to a two-year, $4.5-million deal with right-handed reliever Ryan Webb.

Other Friday notes from around the league:

  • The Phillies are trying to deal closer Jonathan Papelbon, according to Fox Sports’ Ken Rosenthal.
  • A’s left-hander Brett Anderson is well aware of the trade rumors.
  • Indians general manager Chris Antonetti plans on staying away from the big-money deals, writes’s Anthony Castrovince.
  • Cincinnati players attended Redsfest and said they’re ready to turn the page on 2013. Despite swirling trade rumors, second baseman Brandon Phillips attended.
  • The White Sox outrighted Blake Tekotte and Mike McDade to Triple-A to lower their 40-man roster to 37.

12/5 roundup

The biggest free agent available dominated the Hot Stove on Thursday, as second baseman Robinson Cano reportedly flew to Seattle to visit with the Mariners.

Cano, 31, is the top free agent on this year’s market, a five-time All-Star and two-time Gold Glove Award winner with 204 career home runs.

ESPN Desportes quoted a source as saying the Mariners would be willing to go up to 10 years and $230-$240 million for Cano, who reportedly has been offered seven years at about $170 million by the Yankees. is reporting that Cano asked for $240 million, but the Mariners have not offered more than $200 million.

From Wednesday: Mariners general manager Jack Zduriencik is keeping quiet.

The Yankees, meanwhile, are still talking with Cano.

“Look, we’re still talking,” Yankees managing general partner Hal Steinbrenner said at Yankee Stadium, where the club was introducing new catcher Brian McCann. “Nobody has given up. We’re still talking, but obviously we’re a decent distance apart. We’re just going to have to see, day by day. That’s all we can do.

More than rumors happened Thursday, as numerous deals went down:

  • The Royals acquired outfielder Norichika Aoki from the Brewers for left-hander Will Smith. Here’s the Royals’ side, the Brewers’ angle and’s Phil Rogers writing the trade is a win-win for both clubs.
  • The Red Sox signed right-handed reliever Edward Mujica for two years and $9.5 million.
  • The Dodgers resigned reliever Brian Wilson to a one-year, $10-million deal.
  • The Marlins have agreed to a one-year deal, pending a physical, with Rafael Furcal, who will play second base.
  • The Rangers inked a trio of Minor League free agents, including righty Jose Contreras, who turns 42 on Friday.
  • The Cubs signed left-handed reliever Wesley Wright to a reported one-year, $1.425-million deal that also includes him being under team control in 2015.
  • The White Sox and right-handed reliever Ronald Belisario agreed to a one-year deal.

In other news, Major League Baseball and Nippon Professional Baseball continue to close in on a deal that would revise the current posting system.

Other notes from around the league:

AL East

  • The Yankees officially introduced catcher Brian McCann.
  • Yankees general manager Brian Cashman said free-agent right-hander Hiroki Kuroda “wants to come back” for a a third season in the Bronx.
  • The Rays resigned right-handed reliever Juan Carlos Oviedo to a one-year deal.
  • Within this Blue Jays notebook: Toronto is looking to upgrade its rotation but is content with its production at second base.
  • Orioles reporter Brittany Ghiroli answers questions in this inbox, including who takes over the closer role for the recently-traded Jim Johnson.

AL Central

AL West

  • Infielder Willie Bloomquist is excited to return to Seattle.
  • Astros manager Bo Porter is pleased with the club’s acquisition of outfielder Dexter Fowler.

NL East

  • Braves right-hander Brandon Beachy is confident he’ll be at full strength by the time Spring Training starts after missing much of the past two seasons rehabbing from Tommy John surgery.
  • The Phillies signed Wil Nieves to serve as backup catcher and also inked right-hander Jeff Manship to a Minor League contract with an invitation to Spring Training.
  • The Marlins likely won’t deal from their young pitching depth.
  • Among other things, Mets reporter Anthony DiComo breaks down the pros and cons of the club pursuing free-agent outfielder Curtis Granderson in this inbox.

NL Central

  • New Cubs manager Rick Renteria finally made it to Wrigley Field to be formally introduced.
  • The Cubs plan on keeping top prospect Javier Baez at shortstop at this stage in his development, as Cubs reporter Carrie Muskat writes in this notebook.
  • Cardinals reporter Jenifer Langosch fields fan questions in this inbox, including her thoughts on when prospect Oscar Taveras will be ready for the bigs.

NL West

  • Right-hander Daniel Hudson is optimistic he’ll return to the D-backs.
  • With Dexter Fowler in Houston, Carlos Gonzalez is a candidate to leadoff for the Rockies.

- Cash Kruth

Furcal to Miami

The Marlins and free-agent infielder Rafael Furcal have agreed to a one-year deal, pending a physical,’s Joe Frisaro has confirmed.

Fox Sports’ Ken Rosenthal was the first to report the deal.

Furcal, 36, missed all of 2013 after undergoing Tommy John surgery in March.

Furcal, the 2000 National League Rookie of the Year and a three-time All-Star at shortstop, will play second base in Miami, according to Rosenthal. The Marlins have 24-year-old at Adeiny Hechavarria at short.

Furcal hit .264/.325/.346 with five home runs in 121 games for St. Louis in 2012.

He is a .281/.346/.403 career hitter over 13 years with the Braves, Dodgers and Cardinals.

- Cash Kruth

Report: White Sox, Belisario agree to 1-year deal

The White Sox reportedly added to their bullpen on Thursday, agreeing to a one-year, $3-million deal with right-handed reliever Ronald Belisario, according to The Chicago Tribune.
Belisario, who turns 31 on Dec. 31, wasn’t tendered a contract on Monday by the Dodgers, the only team he’s played for in his four-year Major League career.
Belisario was 5-7 with a 3.97 ERA in 77 appearances for Los Angeles in 2013, though he impressed in 2009 (2.04 ERA in 69 games) and 2012 (2.54 in 68).
He has a 3.29 ERA in 273 career games.
- Cash Kruth

12/2 afternoon roundup

The Hot Stove was buzzing Monday morning and afternoon, as a handful of deals went down.

The headliner was left-hander Scott Kazmir agreeing to a two-year deal with the A’s.


Kazmir, who turns 30 in January, finished the season 10-9 with a 4.04 ERA and 162 strikeouts in 158 innings for the Indians, who took a chance on the former first-round Draft pick via a Minor League deal shortly after the lefty finished a stint with the Sugar Land Skeeters in independent ball.

Before this year, Kazmir had last pitched in a Major League game in April 2011.

Other notes from Monday:

  • The Blue Jays and veteran catcher Dioner Navarro agreed to a two-year contract believed to be worth $8 million.
  • The Yankees sent catcher Chris Stewart to the Pirates for a player to be named later, which frees a roster space for the Yankees.
  • New York also officially announced a two-year contract with infielder Brendan Ryan reportedly worth $5 million with a mutual option for 2016. 
  • The Tigers agreed to a one-year, $1-million deal with infielder/outfielder Don Kelly.
  • The Rays, interested in a left-handed hitting first baseman, have talked with the Rangers about Mitch Moreland.
  • The Yankees have made an offer to right-hander Hiroki Kuroda, according to ESPN New York’s Andrew Marchand. The Yanks offered Kuroda a qualifying offer ($14.1 million), which he turned down.


- Cash Kruth



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