Dan Haren has a decision to make this offseason about whether or not he’ll pitch next year. He was traded from the Dodgers to the Marlins along with Dee Gordon during the Winter Meetings.
But there’s one problem with that: Haren has said he would rather retire than pitch for a team far away from his family in Southern California.
So, according to Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com, the 34-year-old right-hander is “holding out hope” that Miami will trade him to either the Angels or Padres. In that case, one would assume, Haren would continue pitching next season.
Neither team would seem to be a likely suitor for Haren, as the Angels and Padres have plenty of rotation options already on board.
Though he has consistently churned out 30-plus starts a year, Haren hasn’t profiled as anything other than a back-of-the-rotation starter recently. Since 2012, Haren is 35-38 with a 4.33 ERA, good for an ERA+ of just 86.
Last season, Haren went 13-11 with a 4.02 ERA in 186 innings over 32 starts with the Dodgers.
The Dodgers will pay the $10 million owed to Haren next year if he pitches. If he retires, the Marlins will receive that $10 million anyway.
The Padres are taking another chance on oft-injured right-hander Josh Johnson.
San Diego and Johnson agreed to a one-year, $1-million contract Monday, according to Yahoo. Bonuses can take the deal to $7.25 million.
Johnson will earn $500,000 for his fifth start, $1 million for his 10th, $500,000 for his 15th, $1 million for his 20th and $250,000 for every start from Nos. 21-33, according to the report.
Johnson signed a one-year, $8-million deal with the Padres last offseason, but missed all year after undergoing Tommy John surgery for the second time in April. San Diego declined a $4-million club option for 2014 earlier this year.
The 30-year-old Johnson is one of the game’s most dominant starters when healthy. He earned All-Star nods in 2009 and 2010 and posted a 2.30 ERA over 28 starts in 2010. He was 8-14 with a 3.81 ERA in 31 starts in 2012, but made only 16 starts in 2013 for the Blue Jays because of injuries.
He is 58-45 with a 3.40 ERA in 170 games (160 starts) in nine years with the Marlins and Blue Jays.
The Giants have re-signed reliever Sergio Romo to a two-year contract, the club announced on Monday. The deal is worth $15 million, according to Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports.
Romo, 31, has spent his entire big league career with San Francisco. He appeared in 64 games this season as both a setup man and closer, going 6-4 with a 3.72 ERA with 23 saves. He has 78 career saves with the Giants, all in the last four years.
Romo is coming off another solid postseason, helping the Giants win the World Series for the third time in the last five years. He made nine appearances in October, posting a 1.29 ERA with seven strikeouts in seven innings.
The Pirates placed the winning bid for Korean shortstop Jung-Ho Kang, according to Jon Heyman of CBS Sports.
Pittsburgh will have an exclusive 30-day period to negotiate with Kang. The $5 million bid was the second highest for a Korean baseball player, trailing the $25.7 million bid the Dodgers posted for Hyun-Jin Ryu in 2012.
If the two sides agree to a deal, Kang’s former team, the Nexen Heroes, will receive the $5,002,015 bid. But if the two sides are unable to come to terms, Kang won’t be eligible to be posted again until Nov. 1.
Kang, 27, is coming off a strong offensive season, hitting .356 with 40 home runs and 117 RBIs in 117 games.
An industry source told the Yonhap News Agency that Kang and his agent, Alan Nero, are seeking a four-year contract worth $5 million a season, a three-year deal worth $5.5 million a year or a two-year deal worth $6 million per year.
The Nationals have signed veteran reliever Heath Bell to a Minor League contract with an invitation to Major League Spring Training, according to Chris Cotillo of SB Nation.
Bell, 37, appeared in 13 games this year with the Rays, his 11th season in the big leagues. The right-hander has a career 3.49 ERA and 168 saves. He has pitched for four different teams — Padres, Marlins, D-backs, Rays — over the last four seasons.
Bell struggled in his limited appearances in 2014, allowing 14 earned runs over 17 1/3 innings. It was the first year since 2008 in which he did not record a save. He was a three-time All-Star with the Padres from 2009-11.
Pitchers and catchers report to Nationals Spring Training on Feb. 19.
The Yankees were thought to have acquired their next shortstop when they traded for Didi Gregorius in December.
However, despite that transaction, it appears the Yankees are still exploring all options and have even checked in on Rockies shortstop Troy Tulowitzki, according to CBS Sports.
It does not appear any move is imminent between the Rockies and Yankees, but Tulowitzki is rumored to love the idea of playing for the Yankees and caused quite a stir when he sat in a box seat at a Yankee game during the 2014 season.
Any trade for Tulowitzki would involve multiple factors, including his health and contract situation.
The 30-year old has played more than 100 games in just one of the past three seasons, had his 2014 campaign cut short as a result of hip surgery and is owed $118 million over the next six seasons.
- William Boor
The Twins have agreed to a three-year, $42 million contract extension with right-hander Phil Hughes, according to multiple reports. The Twins have not confirmed the deal.
Hughes, 28, had a strong first season with the Twins after signing as a free agent in December of last year. He set a Major League record with 11.63 strikeout-to-walk ration and went 16-10 with a 3.52 ERA.
The extension will keep Hughes under contract through 2019. He earned $8 million this season and will also make $8 million in each of the next two years.
It’s the second deal with a starting pitcher in as many weeks for the Twins, who signed free-agent right-hander Ervin Santana to a four-year, $54 million deal at the Winter Meetings.
San Diego might not be done with big acquisitions.
The Padres and Phillies have discussed a potential trade for left-hander Cole Hamels, Philly.com reported Sunday evening. Outfielder Wil Myers — who came to San Diego as part of Friday’s four-team blockbuster — would be the headliner heading back to Philadelphia, according to the report.
San Diego has a plethora of outfielders following its offseason moves, beginning with Matt Kemp, Justin Upton and Myers. Incumbents Seth Smith, Cameron Maybin, Will Venable and Carlos Quentin are the players many outsiders figure to be dealt, although dealing one of the newly-acquired players could make sense. The Padres’ outfield is currently comprised of all right-handed hitters and no true center fielder.
The Boston Globe reported last week the Padres, Cubs, Red Sox, Dodgers and Rangers were interested the 30-year-old Hamels. Hamels has four years and $96 million remaining on his contract, plus a vesting option for 2019 that would bring the total dollars to $110 million.
– Cash Kruth
The Phillies could use another option at shortstop now that Jimmy Rollins has been traded to the Dodgers.
Asdrubal Cabrera appears to be a possibility for the Phillies, who would need to clear some payroll to sign the free agent, tweets ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick.
Cabrera, 29, can play both shortstop and second base. He split last season between the Indians and Nationals, hitting a combined .307 with 14 home runs, 31 doubles and four triples. He was an All-Star in 2011-12 with Cleveland.
Phillies general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. said Friday that Freddy Galvis will have the first opportunity to replace Rollins in 2015. However, Amaro did not rule out the possibility of adding another option to the mix at short.
A number of teams have shown interest in Cabrera this offseason, including the A’s, Cardinals, Giants, Mets and Twins, tweets Jon Heyman of CBS Sports. It appears the Phillies are now in that group of potential suitors, too.
The Orioles lost a crucial pair of outfielders — Nelson Cruz and Nick Markakis — this offseason thanks to free agency. Now they may be looking toward a veteran replacement to help make up for the loss.
Ichiro Suzki is the latest outfielder on the Orioles radar, according to a report from Jon Heyman of CBSsports.com. Suzuki turned 41 in October and needs 156 more hits to reach 3,000 during his career in Major League Baseball.
The Yankees planned on using Suzuki in a platoon role this past season, but injuries and some ineffectiveness in their outfield turned him into an everyday player. He compiled a slash line of .284/.324/.340 in 143 games in New York last season, respectable numbers along with 102 hits. So it seems almost certain that if Suzuki were to surpass 3,000, he will need to play at least two more seasons.
He was said to have drawn some mild interest during the Winter Meetings but nothing serious ever materialized.
The Orioles are trying to maintain their place atop the American League East after running away with it in 2014, however, the Red Sox, Blue Jays and Yankees have all made major additions during free agency. Baltimore is also reportedly considering free agents Nori Aoki and Colby Rasmus to help fill their vacancies in the outfield.
— Jamal Collier