– – The Angels agreed to terms on a 2011 contract with catcher Jeff Mathis, thus avoiding arbitration.
In addition the latest arbitration news, here’s a look around the rest of the league on Wednesday:
In addition to potential reclamation projects Jeff Francis and Chris
Young, right-hander Dave Bush is “on the Mets’ radar,” according to
ESPN.com. Bush, who was teammates with recent Mets acquisition Chris
Capuano from 2006-10 in Milwaukee, knows Mets special assistant to the
GM J.P. Ricciardi from their days in Toronto.
Bush finished 8-13 with a 4.54 ERA for the Brewers last season, making $4.2 million.
The Yankees are stepping up their pursuit of free agent right-hander Justin Duchscherer, according to a report on ESPN.com, which cited a baseball source.
A busy January continued for the Reds Monday as they checked off another item off of the wish list by signing Fred Lewis to a one-year big league contract worth $900,000, plus incentives.
Cincinnati was in search of a left-handed hitting outfielder for the bench and a potential leadoff hitter and the club gets both with the 30-year-old Lewis.
The club also announced the official signing of SS Edgar Renteria. Both players completed their physicals today. Renteria will earn $2.1 million in base salary with $900,000 in incentives based on plate appearances.
— Mark Sheldon
Joe Torre‘s name re-emerged on Saturday, not in candidacy for a position as manager but executive, leading a day of otherwise smaller moves on the hot stove.
MLB.com’s Barry Bloom reported that Torre, who retired as the Dodgers manager after last season, is seriously considering joining Major League Baseball as executive vice president of baseball operations.
The 70-year-old Torre speculated during the 2010 season that he might spend the coming years in an advisory position with the Dodgers, return to broadcasting or focus on his family and charitable foundation. After three-decades worth of managing in the big leagues — and four World Series titles with the Yankees — he was adamant that he was not actively looking for a new on-field managing opportunity.
Torre has never held an executive role before, but he is a part of a committee convened by Commissioner Bud Selig to consider on-field changes.
On-the-field news Saturday carried no names as esteemed as Torre’s, but saw a few American League clubs improve:
- MLB.com’s Scott Merkin confirmed that the White Sox signed left-hander Will Ohman to a two-year, $4 million deal, bringing the 33-year-old back to the town he began his career with on the Cubs. Ohman split last season between Baltimore and Florida, going 0-2 with a 3.21 ERA in 42 innings over 68 appearances. Left-handed hitters have a career .208 mark against him.
- The A’s swung a deal that brought over right-hander Guillermo Moscoso from Texas and sent Minor League right-hander Ryan Kelly to the Rangers. According to MLB.com’s Jane Lee, the A’s waived a former third overall draft pick Phil Humber to make room on their 40-man roster. Humber’s tenure with Oakland lasted only a few weeks after he was claimed off waivers in December.
- MLB.com’s Todd Zolecki reported a similar space-clearing move Saturday: the Phillies designated one southpaw, Sergio Escalona, for assignment to make way for another, J.C. Romero. Romero re-signed Thursday.
- There are some conflicting reports about whether the Yankees are still going after Rafael Soriano. Soriano said this week he’s open to a non-closing role, but general manager Brian Cashman has told the Journal News that the Yankees won’t surrender their first-round draft pick — as is necessary to sign a Type-A free agent like Soriano — for any remaining free agents this offseason. SportsIllustrated’s Jon Heyman, however, reported on Twitter Saturday that the Yankees are still in the mix for the Rays closer.
- The eight-player Matt Garza deal, Friday’s headliner, became official Saturday afternoon. The Cubs get Garza, outfielder Fernando Perez and left-hander Zachary Rosscup from the Rays for right-handed pitcher Chris Archer, catcher Robinson Chirinos, infielder Hak-Ju Lee and outfielders Sam Fuld and Brandon Guyer. MLB.com’s Peter Gammons reported Friday night that the Rangers were in talks to land Garza as well.