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Hot Stove Roundup 12/20

There were some interesting twists and turns on the Hot Stove Friday, especially in Baltimore.

The Orioles are still in search of a closer after the club’s medical staff “wasn’t satisfied” with 35-year-old Grant Balfour’s physical exam this week.

The team planned to introduce Balfour on Friday at a press conference after reportedly agreeing to a two-year, $15 million contract. However, multiple sources have said that the issue was Balfour’s surgically repaired right shoulder.

“I guess the good news is we have other options to look at as we continue to try to improve our ballclub. But this is a situation where the deal’s not going to come together,” Orioles executive vice president of baseball operations Dan Duquette said. “We would never say never or close the door, but we’re going to turn our attention elsewhere for now, to look at some other options to try to staff our team and continue to build a contending team for 2014.”

Here’s a look at some of Friday’s other news and notes from around the league:

* The Yankees introduced Carlos Beltran in a news conference at Yankee Stadium. Beltran, who signed a three-year deal reportedly worth $45 million, was joined by his wife, Jessica, and daughters, Kiara and Ivana. He’ll wear No. 36 for New York.

* Kevin Youkilis, a 10-year Major League veteran, signed a one-year deal with the Rakuten Golden Eagles of Nippon Professional Baseball, according to MLBTradeRumors.com. Youkilis played in only 28 games for the Yankees last season, the fewest in his career.

* The D-backs and reliever Brad Ziegler agreed to terms on a two-year contract extension with a club option for 2016. According to MLB.com’s Steve Gilbert, he will receive salaries of $4.5 million in 2014 and $5 million in 2015. The team also finalized a one-year contract with 36-year-old infielder Eric Chavez.

* The Twins agreed to a one-year deal worth $2.75 million with veteran catcher Kurt Suzuki, according to MLB.com’s Rhett Bollinger. The San Francisco Chronicle was first to report the signing.

* The A’s signed first baseman Daric Barton to a one-year contract, avoiding arbitration with their longest tenured player. According to MLB.com’s Jane Lee, it’s Barton’s second straight non-guaranteed contract.

- Quinn Roberts

12/1 Hot Stove Roundup

The first day in December saw little Hot Stove action, yet plenty is on the horizon with the Winter Meetings in Orlando fast approaching. Here’s a quick roundup of what was happening around the baseball world on Sunday.

* Robinson Cano and the New York Yankees are roughly $80 million apart on a new contract, according to ESPN.com’s Buster Olney. Cano has reportedly asked for a nine-year deal at $28 million a year, with a vesting option for a 10th year at $29 million. After previously offering the second baseman a seven-year deal worth $160 million, the Yankees upped their offer to $170 million.

* The Twins are in talks with free-agent catcher A.J. Pierzynski, according to the Minnesota Star-Tribune. Pierzynski was a third round draft pick of the Twins in 1994 and spent the first six years of his career with the club.

* San Diego general manager Josh Byrnes told MLB.com’s Corey Brock that the team could be done filling their off-season needs soon. “In the next week or two, there could be some activity,” Byrnes said Saturday. The team’s main attention is on finding a left-handed hitting outfielder.

- Quinn Roberts

Garza Lands with Rangers

The Rangers acquired Cubs right-hander Matt Garza on Monday in exchange for third baseman Mike Olt, pitchers C.J. Edwards and Justin Grimm and at least one player to be named later.

Righty Neil Ramirez could be the player to be named if he has no further issues with his right shoulder. The Cubs could also choose two other players.

Garza is expected to join the Rangers on Tuesday and is tentatively scheduled to start against the Yankees on Wednesday.

After almost two weeks of negotiations between the clubs, the Rangers landed Garza, who is 6-1 with a 3.74 ERA in 11 starts this season. He began the season on the disabled list with a strained lat muscle in his left rib cage and was activated on May 21. He is 5-0 with a 1.24 ERA in his last five starts.

 

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