Right-hander Ervin Santana has rejected the Braves’ qualifying offer, according to CBS Sports’ Jon Heyman.
The move was expected after Santana went 14-10 with a 3.95 ERA in 31 starts for the Braves this season. The right-hander, who turns 31 in December, is looking for a multiyear deal after also receiving a qualifying offer last year.
He is 119-100 with a 4.17 ERA in 299 career games (296 starts) with the Angels, Royals and Braves.
- Cash Kruth
The Mets are more likely to fill their outfield corners via trade than free-agent signing, Joel Sherman of The New York Post writes.
The two biggest free-agent outfielders are Nelson Cruz and Melky Cabrera. Not only do both have a past that includes performance-enchancing drugs but, as Sherman writes, the Mets aren’t sure Cruz has the defensive ability to handle Citi Field’s large outfield.
Another top outfielder, Cuban Yasmany Tomas, has generated a lot of buzz. But one club official told Sherman that Mets’ scouts “did not love him” enough to offer the $100 million or more it will take to land him.
So, what are the Mets looking at as far as outfielders go?
The top of the list has to include the Dodgers trio of Matt Kemp, Carl Crawford and Andre Ethier — who are all available, as we noted here Sunday. According to Sherman, a person who has spoken to the Dodgers said the club would prefer to move Ethier and Crawford over Kemp.
The Braves also have been rumored to listen on Justin Upton or Jason Hayward but, as Sherman notes, the chances of Atlanta moving them within the National League East are low.
- Cash Kruth
The Dodgers are apparently getting serious about moving an outfielder.
Fox Sports’ Ken Rosenthal tweeted Sunday the club is “aggressively” looking to move Matt Kemp, Carl Crawford or Andre Ethier — but Yasiel Puig is not on the table.
The club is willing to eat payroll in order to trade one of the trio, Rosenthal tweeted. According to Cots, Kemp has five years and approximately $108 million remaining on his deal, while Crawford is due about $65 million over the next three years and Ethier is due $53.5 million through 2017 with a $2.5 million club option for 2018.
Although Kemp is drawing interest after his huge second half (.309/.365/.606), Rosenthal notes that some teams may prefer the lefty-hitting Crawford or Ethier.
On top of this quartet, Joc Pederson — the Dodgers’ No. 3 overall prospect — also appears Major League ready.
- Cash Kruth
Long-time scout Jeff Schugel has joined the Cincinnati Reds as a special assistant to general manager Walt Jocketty, according to sources.
Schugel worked with Jocketty in 1994 when Jocketty was an assistant general manager of the Colorado Rockies, and Schugel was a major league scout. Jocketty left after that season to become general manager of the St. Louis Cardinals, Jocketty assumed the general manager’s role with the Reds in 2008.
Schugel, 56, was an 18th round draft choice of the Twins in 1983, and played three seasons in the Twins minor-league system before getting into scouting.
He has worked as a talent evaluator with the Twins, Rockies, Los Angeles Dodgers, Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, and the last two years the Atlanta Braves.
Bill Geivett, who resigned a front office position with the Rockies following an organizational shakeup, is in line to become a cross-checker with the Astros, according to sources close to the situation. Geivett was a finalist for the Astros general manager job when the team hired Jeff Luhnow in December of 2011.
Geivett joined the Rockies in 2000, and most recently was the Senior Vice President of Major League Operations. In that role Geivett moved his office full-time into the clubhouse, and traveled with the team.
When Dan O’Dowd turned down a contract extension to remain as general manager of the Rockies, and Jeff Bridich was promoted to replace O’Dowd, Geivett resigned.
He previously scouted with the Yankees, and worked in the front offices of the Montreal Expos, Tampa Bay Rays and Los Angeles Dodgers.
Nothing quite lived up to the Fourth of July blockbuster that sent Jeff Samardzija and Jason Hammel to the A’s, but there was a minor trade Saturday.
The Angels acquired left-hander Joe Thatcher from the D-backs for outfielder Tony Campana. In addition, the Angles designated left-hander Rich Hill for assignment.
Thoughts on the Samardzija/Hammel deal:
- Jon Heyman thinks the Cubs won the deal.
- Mike Petriello of Fangraghs thinks it’s a win/win.
- The Yankees were involved, obviously.
- Addison Russell might’ve been able to net the A’s David Price.
- This means the A’s might extend Jed Lowrie.
- You’re not the only one excited about a left side of Kris Bryant and Addison Russell.
A handful of players and clubs avoided arbitration on Saturday, while the Dodgers added a pitcher on the same day their pitchers and catchers reported to Camelback Ranch in Arizona.
Los Angeles agreed to a one-year, $1.5-million contract, plus incentives, with left-hander Paul Maholm.
The official announcement came eight hours after Maholm appeared in the Dodgers clubhouse in Spring Training.
Other news and notes from Saturday:
- Yankees right-hander Masahiro Tanaka is expected to meet with the media Tuesday in New York.
- The Rays held a youth clinic on Saturday.
- The Indians won their arbitration case with reliever Vinnie Pestano. He’ll make make $975,000 this season.
- The A’s are confident with how they’re currently constructed. They also hope to avoid arbitration with outfielder Josh Reddick.
- Mets right-hander Matt Harvey, who had surgery last October, hopes to begin throwing this month.
- The Cubs and right-hander Jeff Samardzija agreed to a one-year, $5.345-million deal, avoiding arbitration.
- Padres starter Andrew Cashner will make $2.4 million this season after winning his arbitration case.
- Dodgers manager Don Mattingly discussed an array of topics, including outfielder Matt Kemp, on the first day of Spring Training.
- Dodgers right-hander Chad Billingsley feels like he has a new arm.
- Arizona players say they’re happy with the right-hander Bronson Arroyo, within this notebook.
- Padres right-hander Josh Johnson says he received some positive feedback from a college coach, within this notebook.
- The D-backs donated $700,000 to local youth and Little League ballplayers.
- Cash Kruth
It’s almost here.
Wednesday, the day before the D-backs are the first team to have pitchers and catchers report to Spring Training, was relatively quiet.
A few Minor League deals were made as the Indians signed former All-Star first baseman Bryan LaHair to a Minor League contract with an invitation to Spring Training. The Nationals inked veteran catcher Koyie Hill to the same, as did the Dodgers with infielder Justin Turner.
The Braves and first baseman Freddie Freeman also officially announced their eight-year, $135-million deal.
“For them to believe in me with this kind of contract, it’s truly an honor and humbling,” Freeman said. “But having it this young, I never thought it would be possible or could imagine that.”
Freeman’s deal was announced on the 80th birthday of Braves Hall of Famer and legend Hank Aaron.
But there was some sad news on Wednesday, as former Major Leaguer Curt Schilling announced he has cancer.
Other news and notes from Wednesday:
- Former pitcher and current YES Network analyst David Cone thinks highly of new Yankee right-hander Masahiro Tanaka.
- Within this Rays notebook is right-hander Jake Odorizzi’s take on stepping up for the injured Jeremy Hellickson.
- Orioles reporter Brittany Ghiroli answers questions in her inbox.
- Blue Jays reporter Gregor Chisholm does the same here.
- Pedro Martinez, Roger Clemens and Nomar Garciaparra, along with radio broadcaster Joe Castiglione, will be inducted into the Red Sox Hall of Fame.
- Current Twins third baseman Trevor Plouffe is focused on the now while also taking top prospect and fellow third baseman Miguel Sano under his wing.
- Cleveland outfield prospects Clint Frazier and Tyler Naquin hope to live up to the hype.
- Former Tiger Lance Parrish will manage in Detroit’s system at Double-A Erie.
- A’s reporter Jane Lee answers questions in this inbox.
- The Rangers sold their ballpark naming rights. They now play in Globe Life Park in Arlington.
- Mets outfielder Chris Young has used the phone to get to know his new teammates.
- Marlins reporter Joe Frisaro fields questions in this inbox.
- Former Phillies Jamie Moyer and Matt Stairs are among those who Comcast SportsNet could add to the booth.
- The Braves unveiled military appreciation jerseys.
- Pirates center fielder and reigning NL Most Valuable Player Andrew McCutchen is entering his 10th season of pro ball.
- Clint Hurdle isn’t satisfied despite helping the Pirates break their postseason drought.
- Rinku Singh, the left-hander who won the “Million Dollar Arm” contest in 2008, is ready to showcase his stuff at Pirates’ Spring Training.
- A number of former Cubs shared their memories of Wrigley Field, which turns 100 this year.
- Padres right-hander Tyson Ross is ready to be a full-time starter.
- The Giants are hoping Michael Morse is a steady contributor in left field.
- The Dodgers are hoping small tweaks to last year’s team will lead to the next step.
- The D-backs are ready for Spring Training.
- Cash Kruth
Wednesday was a landmark day in Major League Baseball, as the Dodgers and left-hander Clayton Kershaw agreed to the largest contract in the game’s history for a pitcher, according to a baseball source.
The deal for Kershaw, a two-time National League Cy Young Award winner, is for seven years and $215 million with an opt-out clause after five years.
MLB.com’s Richard Justice writes the contract shows that, along with signing free agents and taking on big contracts via trades, the Dodgers also take care of their own.
In a sign that Spring Training and Opening Day is near, MLB released game times for the 2014 season.
Other news and notes from Wednesday:
- The Red Sox reached a one-year deal with reliever Burke Badenhop.
- The Orioles agreed to a contract with outfielder Tyler Colvin and also signed righty Alfredo Aceves to a Minor League deal.
- MLB.com’s Barry Bloom sat down with Yankees owner Hal Steinbrenner.
- Despite being indefinitely suspended, Rays prospect Josh Sale is grateful for Tampa Bay’s support.
- Toronto’s Aaron Sanchez, MLB.com’s No. 9 right-handed pitching prospect, is taking things one step at a time as he tries to ascend to the Majors.
- Cuban first baseman Jose Abreu impressed on the first day of the White Sox hitters minicamp. Left-hander Chris Sale is ready to lead.
- The Royals and right-hander Brad Penny reportedly agreed to a Minor League deal.
- Minnesota’s Ryan Pressly will pitch in honor of his father, who died of cancer on Nov. 1.
- Seattle and outfielder Michael Saunders agreed to a one-year deal to avoid arbitration.
- The Rangers did the same with reliever Neal Cotts.
- Mariners right-hander Taijuan Walker is prepping for a Major League rotation spot.
- MLB.com’s Phil Rogers writes that Derek Holland’s loss is a major setback for the Rangers.
- The Astros are looking for a new Spring Training facility. Houston also announced its Minor League managers will remain the same.
- Former manager Charlie Manuel is reportedly returning to the Phillies as a senior adviser to the general manager.
- The Mets and shortstop Ruben Tejada agreed to a one-year deal to avoid arbitration.
- Philadelphia reliever Mike Adams might not be ready for Opening Day.
- Braves reporter Mark Bowman answers fan questions in his inbox. Nationals reporter Bill Ladson does the same here.
- Marlins prospect Nick Wittgren has closer potential.
- The Nationals extended their contract with Double-A Harrisburg for four years.
- The Cubs signed Chris Coughlan to a Minor League deal with an invite to Spring Training.
- Milwaukee signed veteran lefty Zach Duke to a Minor League deal with a Spring Training invite. Brewers pitching prospect David Goforth is returning to the bullpen and could get his own spring invite.
- The Pirates can’t overlook their hole at first base, writes MLB.com’s Anthony Castrovince.
- The Reds announced five more Spring Training invites, including Robert Stephenson — MLB.com’s seventh-best right-handed pitching prospect.
- Cardinals reporter Jenifer Langosch answers questions in this inbox.
- Cubs prospects are taking part in a week-long development program.
- The D-backs and righty Josh Collmenter agreed to a two-year deal to avoid arbitration.
- The Rockies agreed to a one-year deal with lefty Franklin Morales to avoid arbitration.
- Giants third baseman Pablo Sandoval, reportedly 42 pounds lighter, is joining Magallanes in the Venezuelan Winter League playoffs.
- Colorado’s Jon Gray, MLB.com’s No. 4 right-handed pitching prospect, is determined.
- Arizona’s Archie Bradley was named MLB.com’s top right-handed pitching prospect. Fellow D-backs prospect outfielder Keon Broxton is working hard in Australia.
- Cash Kruth
The Hot Stove was quiet on Tuesday, with the biggest news that 146 players filed for salary arbitration — a process that begins Friday when players and teams exchange numbers.
Among those who filed were a trio of aces: Los Angeles’ Clayton Kershaw, Detroit’s Max Scherzer and Tampa Bay’s David Price.
Here’s the full list of all 146.
While those 146 players likely will play in 2014, seven-time All-Star Michael Young might not as he is reportedly considering retirement.
There’s still no news regarding Japanese right-hander Masahiro Tanaka, who has until Jan. 24 to sign. Sports on Earth’s Jonathan Bernhardt opines who needs Tanaka the most.
In the spirit of the upcoming NFL conference championship games, three of the quarterbacks remaining in the playoffs — Russell Wilson, Colin Kaepernick and Tom Brady — were selected in the MLB Draft.
Other news and notes from around the league:
- The Yankees officially signed second baseman Brian Roberts.
- The Orioles signed pitcher Luis Vizcaino and infielder Brock Bond to Minor League contracts with invites to Spring Training.
- Red Sox reporter Ian Browne answers questions in this inbox. Rays reporter Bill Chastain does the same here.
- MLB.com’s Phil Rogers writes that Baltimore’s playoff chances hinge on its defense.
- Blue Jays infielder Ryan Goins is working with hitting coach Kevin Seitzer to improve his approach.
- Twins lefty Brian Duensing is ready to be a leader in the clubhouse.
- White Sox reporter Scott Merkin fields questions in this inbox.
- Detroit’s Robbie Ray is among the game’s best left-handed pitching prospects.
- The Mariners have reportedly reached an agreement with catcher John Buck.
- Former A’s left-hander Dallas Braden is retiring.
- The Angels extended Spring Training invites to Mark Mulder and a host of prospects.
- Seattle invited 15 prospects to Spring Training.
- The Astros are moving signs in Minute Maid Park’s left field.
- The Nationals are interested in Mark Reynolds, a by product of their hope to improve their bench.
- Miami’s Andrew Heaney was named the top left-handed pitching prospect in the game by MLB.com.
- Top prospect Jameson Taillon is among four non-roster Spring Training invitees for the Pirates.
- Cardinals outfielder Jon Jay is hosting a bowling tournament to benefit the Boys & Girls Clubs of Miami-Dade.
- The Padres and outfielder Seth Smith agreed to a one-year deal to avoid arbitration.
- Colorado’s Jordan Pacheco is excited to return to catching.
- Dodgers second baseman Miguel Rojas has drawn comparisons to former Major Leaguer Omar Vizquel for his defense.
- San Diego’s Max Fried was named the third-best left-handed pitching prospect by MLB.com.
- The Padres announced their Minor League coaching staffs.
- Cash Kruth