The Hot Stove saw a lot of action on Friday, most notably a multiyear contract extension for White Sox manager Robin Ventura. Though the club did not release the terms of the agreement, the extension comes with Ventura entering the final season of his original three-year deal.
While Ventura’s immediate future has been secured, there remains some uncertainty surrounding free agents Matt Garza and Tyler Colvin, each of whom appeared to have contracts in place this week.
Here’s a look at Friday’s news from around the league:
* Garza technically remains a free agent despite reports on Thursday that the right-hander and the Brewers agreed in principle to a four-year, $52 million contract. There appears to be a holdup with the deal and a source familiar with the negotiations said on Friday to “stay tuned.”
* In a similar development, the Orioles had a potential deal with Colvin fall through because of a back issue during the outfielder’s physical. Baltimore wants to reduce the contract to a Minor League deal.
* The Giants acquired left-handed pitcher David Huff from the Yankees in exchange for cash considerations. Huff had been designated for assignment on Wednesday after New York signed coveted Japanese right-hander Masahiro Tanaka.
* The Phillies avoided salary arbitration with Ben Revere, agreeing to a one-year contract with the center fielder. Philadelphia has now signed all of its arbitration-eligible players.
* The Cubs inked left-hander Travis Wood to a one-year contract, avoiding arbitration and leaving them with three arbitration-eligible players in second baseman Darwin Barney, outfielder Justin Ruggiano and right-hander Jeff Samardzija.
* The Dodgers officially announced the signing of veteran utility man Chone Figgins to a Minor League deal with an invitation to Major League Spring Training.
* The Red Sox reportedly signed Jose Mijares to a Minor League deal, and invited the left-hander reliever to Major League Spring Training.
* Daisuke Matsuzaka returned to the Mets on a Minor League deal, which includes an invitation to Major League Spring Training. Dice-K will likely compete with John Lannan and Jenrry Mejia for a spot in the rotation.
* Freddy Garcia will have another opportunity to make an impact with the Braves, as the veteran right-hander agreed to a Minor League contract with an invitation to Major League Spring Training, according to multiple sources.
* The Mariners agreed to Minor League deals with veteran left-handed reliever Joe Beimel and right-hander Mark Rogers, inviting both to Major League Spring Training.
* Following years of success against the Marlins, veteran infielder Ty Wigginton will try to make an impact for Miami this season. Wigginton signed a Minor League contract with an invitation to Major League Spring Training, as the club looks to potentially add an experienced bat off the bench. He’s posted a .286 average against Miami during a 12-year big league career.
– Austin Laymance
While plenty of news came out of the Hot Stove on Friday thanks to the arbitration deadline, Saturday was much quieter in comparison. However, a few interesting tidbits did pop up.
Here’s a look at some of the day’s news and notes from around the league:
* Five teams have reportedly submitted formal offers for Japanese pitcher Masahiro Tanaka, who is expected to make his decision by next Friday. The teams include the Cubs, White Sox, Yankees, Dodgers and D-backs. All of the bids were believed to be more than $100 million and over six years.
* The Rangers signed left-hander Rafael Perez to a Minor League deal with an invitation to Spring Training. He last appeared in the Majors with the Indians in 2012. Pitching for Minnesota and Boston minor league affiliates last season, Perez combined to go 3-2 with a 2.60 ERA and six saves in 29 relief appearances for Triple-A Rochester and Double-A Portland.
* The Mets inked New York native John Lannan to a Minor League contract with an invitation to Spring Training. The left-hander is expected to compete with Jenrry Mejia and prospects Rafael Montero and Jacob deGrom for the fifth starter role. The team also agreed to terms with shortstop Omar Quintanilla on a Minor League deal.
* The Mariners and Indians are the apparent frontrunners to land starting pitcher Scott Baker, according to Chris Cotillo of MLB Daily Dish. Between five and seven teams are interested in the right-hander.
* According to Tim Brown of Yahoo! Sports, left-handed reliever Joe Beimel has agreed to a Minor League contract with the Mariners with an invitation to Major League camp. Beimel hasn’t pitched in the Majors since 2011 and had Tommy John surgery in ’12.
* The Phillies, Red Sox and Royals are among the teams interested in reliever Ryan Madson, according to Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports. However, it is unlikely that he will sign with anyone until after teams watch him pitch in February.
– Quinn Roberts
What is the Yankees’ infield going to look like this season? That was the big question on the Hot Stove a day after an arbitrator ruled that Alex Rodriguez will be suspended for the entire 2014 season.
With Rodriguez and Robinson Cano gone and Derek Jeter and Mark Teixeira coming off major injuries, New York has collected a handful of options but also faces plenty of uncertainty. It reportedly added another name to the mix on Sunday, agreeing to a Minor League deal with Scott Sizemore, who could provide an offensive boost if he is able to move past the knee injuries that caused him to miss most of the past two seasons.
Another newcomer who could chip in at multiple positions is Kelly Johnson, a versatile veteran who says he will be ready to help out wherever the Yankees need him.
In other news from around the league:
* Agent Scott Boras told Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe that he has “actively talked” to “five or six” clubs about free-agent shortstop Stephen Drew. Cafardo reports that the Red Sox want Drew back but prefer a one-year deal, while Boras is gunning for two years.
* Cafardo also reports that two new teams have become involved in the bidding for free-agent right-hander Bronson Arroyo and that Arroyo is getting closer to the three-year offer he wants.
* Former All-Star infielder Chone Figgins, who didn’t play last season after the Marlins released him in March, is attempting a comeback. According to ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick, Figgins will work out for teams this week in Tampa. Figgins, who turns 36 later this month, hit only .185 in 147 games for the Mariners from 2011-12.
– Andrew Simon
On the final day of 2013, the Hot Stove was relatively quiet. However, the biggest news of the day came out of Houston. The Astros agreed to a one-year contract with right-hander Jesse Crain to help bolster their bullpen.
Crain, an All-Star in 2013, posted a 0.74 ERA in 38 games with the White Sox. He didn’t pitch after being traded to the Rays on July 29 because of biceps tendinitis that eventually required surgery. However, he could still be ready for Opening Day.
The right-hander played at the University of Houston and lives in the area with his family.
“It’s exciting,” Crain said. “I don’t know what I’m getting myself into with family and friends and all that. We’re real excited to spend time at home. Having three young kids definitely played a huge decision in signing here.”
Here’s a look at some of Tuesday’s other news and notes from around the league:
* The Indians don’t have any interest in Jake Westbrook, according to Paul Hoynes of the Cleveland Plain Dealer. Westbrook pitched for Cleveland from 2001-10, but has received little interest from teams after the Cardinals bought out his 2014 option.
* The Braves aren’t pursuing Angels second baseman Howard Kendrick, according to David O’Brien of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. While many believed that Kendrick was on the trade block earlier this offseason, moves by the Halos since then have nearly silenced that possibility.
* Peter Gammons reports that the Yankees will not sign infielder Stephen Drew. Having re-signed Derek Jeter and Brendan Ryan, while also adding Brian Roberts and Kelly Johnson, New York already has a plethora of infielders.
– Quinn Roberts
With the days ticking down until the new year, the Hot Stove was relatively quiet on Monday. However, a few attention grabbing tidbits popped up.
Here’s a look at some of the day’s news and notes from around the league:
* Free-agent infielder Yuniesky Betancourt continues to draw interest from a number of teams. It’s even possible he could start, according to Zach Links of MLBTradeRumors.com. Betancourt had drawn interest from the Marlins earlier in the offseason, but with the signing of Casey McGehee, the team no longer has a need for him.
* The National re-signed second baseman Will Rhymes to a minor-league deal with an invitation to Spring Training. Rhymes hit .274 for Triple-A Syracuse last season. In his career with the Tigers and Rays, Rhymes hit .266 with 29 RBIs in 130 games.
* The Pirates acquired first baseman Chris McGuiness from the Rangers in exchange for right-hander Miles Mikolas. McGuiness was designated for assignment on Friday to make room for Shin-Soo Choo on Texas’ 40-man roster. Mikolas, who ranked third in the Pacific Coast League with 26 saves for Tucson last season, was added to Texas’ 40-man roster and will compete for the closer’s job after free agent Joe Nathan signed with Detroit.
* The Braves are still in talks with reliever Eric O’Flaherty, according to David O’Brien of the Atlanta Journal Constitution. O’Flaherty had Tommy John surgery last May and is expected to miss the beginning of the upcoming season.
* The Yankees continue to show their interest in Japanese right-hander Masahiro Tanaka, contacting his representatives. New York is one of the first clubs to make contact with Tanaka’s agent Casey Close and could make an offer sometime this week.
– Quinn Roberts
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
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
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.