Results tagged ‘ A.J. Pierzynski ’

11/12 Late-night Roundup

The second day of the General Manager Meetings in Orlando got off to a quick start, as the Phillies and outfielder Marlon Byrd agreed a two-year, $16-million deal.

Byrd, 36, hit .291/.336/.518 last season with the Mets and Pirates and now returns to the organization where he played his first 3 1/2 seasons after being a 10th-round selection in the 1999 First-Year Player Draft.

While that was the day’s only significant transaction, there was no shortage of other news, including a late-breaking rumor that has the Phillies making an even bigger splash.

NL East

  •  The Phillies are discussing a deal that would bring Blue Jays outfielder Jose Bautista to Philadelphia for a package including outfielder Domonic Brown, according to Howard Eskin of FOX 29 TV and WIP radio in Philadelphia.
  • The subject of trade speculation only a year after the Nationals acquired him from the Twins, center fielder Denard Span is hoping to return to Washington.
  • The Mets are looking for outfielders, with free agent Curtis Granderson representing one appealing option.

NL Central

  • While rumors continue to swirl about the Cardinals executing a blockbuster deal for Rockies shortstop Troy Tulowitzki, our Jenifer Langosch plays down the likelihood of that scenario. St. Louis could choose to sign a free agent such as Stephen Drew or orchestrate a trade for a shortstop who wouldn’t demand such a hefty return.
  • Cubs general manager Jed Hoyer confirmed his club’s interest in Japanese right-hander Masahiro Tanaka and acknowledged that other teams have asked about Chicago righty Jeff Samardzija.

NL West

  • The Rockies offered free-agent catcher Carlos Ruiz a two-year deal worth about $15 million, according to The Denver Post’s Troy Renck, but it seems that won’t be enough to entice Ruiz to Colorado. Renck writes that the veteran backstop has a two-year, $20 million offer from another, unspecified club.
  • The Padres could consider trading third baseman Chase Headley if they can’t agree on a contract extension to keep him in San Diego beyond this season, CBS Sports’ Jon Heyman writes.

AL East

  • The Yankees’ David Robertson isn’t a lock to inherit the ninth inning from the retired Mariano Rivera, with general manager Brian Cashman saying he will explore the free-agent and trade markets for relievers, including closers.

  • The Yankees’ reported interest in free-agent outfielder Carlos Beltran is legit, MLB.com’s Bryan Hoch hears.
  • The Blue Jays have some money to spend and could look to use it on a free agent starting pitcher.
  • Fox Sports’ Ken Rosenthal speculates that the Red Sox could be the frontrunners for Ruiz.

AL Central

  • The White Sox are prepared to welcome back Paul Konerko for his 16th season with the club, but Konerko remains undecided about his future.
  • The Indians have interest in free-agent closers Fernando Rodney and Brian Wilson, according to the Cleveland Plain Dealer.
  • According to Heyman, the Twins are exploring a reunion with free-agent catcher A.J. Pierzynski, whom they took in the third round of the 1994 Draft. Pierzynski, however, figures to have several suitors, including the Phillies.
  • Meanwhile, Minnesota may be closer to signing veteran right-hander Bronson Arroyo, according to the St. Paul Pioneer Press’ Mike Berardi.

AL West

  • Heyman reports that multiple teams are interested in Astros catcher Jason Castro, who hit .276/.350/.485 with 18 home runs last season. Our Brian McTaggart downplays the likelihood of a Castro trade, however.
  • The Mariners would like to add free-agent outfielders Carlos Beltran and Nelson Cruz, tweets ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick, who also reports that their interest in Jacoby Ellsbury is lower.

– Andrew Simon

Marlins pursuing John Buck to fill catching void

The Marlins are in need of catching this winter, and they’ll be able to pick from a pretty deep pool of backstops in the open market if they choose to go that route. Based on reports, the catcher they covet most appears to be John Buck.

AOL FanHouse’s Ed Price tweeted Tuesday that the word from other clubs is that the Marlins are “working hard” to sign Buck. FOXSports.com’s Ken Rosenthal, meanwhile, stated that while Florida still isn’t particularly close on Buck, the club is “definitely interested.”

Buck made $2 million with the Blue Jays last season but is coming off a career year, one that saw him set all-time highs with a .281 batting average, .314 on-base percentage, 20 home runs and 66 RBIs. The 30-year-old also threw out 28 percent of would-be base-stealers in his seventh season, which ranked seventh among Major League catchers who qualified.

The Marlins began last season with a Ronny Paulino-John Baker platoon behind the plate. But Baker is coming off Tommy John surgery and won’t be ready for the start of the season, and Paulino was handed a 50-game suspension last year that he still hasn’t completely served.

Besides Buck, the Marlins have a few other free-agent catchers to choose from, like A.J. Pierzynski, Rod Barajas, Gerald Laird and Bengie Molina (Victor Martinez would likely be outside their price range). 

– Alden Gonzalez

Yankees could be in the market for a catcher

NEW YORK — You can never really rule out any free agent with the Yankees, so even though Jorge Posada is coming back mostly as a designated hitter next year to pave the way for a youngster like Jesus Montero, New York could still pursue a safety net in the open market.

General manager Brian Cashman volunteered that on Thursday, saying he “wouldn’t even close the door on looking out in the marketplace to see if I can secure somebody else out there as a cushion.”

Posada, 39 and coming off knee surgery, will spend most of, if not all of his time at DH in 2011, so it’ll come down to prospects Montero and Austin Romine, as well as backup Francisco Cervelli. Free-agent catching options include A.J. Pierzynski, Rod Barajas, John Buck, Gerald Laird, Matt Treanor and a host of others (you can probably rule the top prize, Victor Martinez, out of the equation, though). 

“We’re certainly not handing a job to anybody,” Cashman said. “We have some serious young, good catching coming. They have to earn it, though. They have to earn it for the next level. No one’s going to be handing anything to anybody.”

Alden Gonzalez

Buck could be Plan B for Red Sox behind the plate

In case the Red Sox can’t resign Victor Martinez — and they’ll certainly give that a concerted effort — one potential option is free-agent catcher John Buck. And according to ESPNBoston.com, the Red Sox are “expected to be aggressive in their pursuit” of Buck if Martinez isn’t a possibility.

The Web site named the Tigers, Orioles and Rangers as teams that would go after Martinez. The free-agent pool of catchers is actually pretty deep this year, with Rod Barajas, Ramon Hernandez, Gerald Laird and A.J. Pierzynski among those also in the mix.

If Boston can’t resign Martinez, Jason Varitek would of course have a strong chance of returning also. And there are some who believe perhaps Jarrod Saltalamacchia should be given an opportunity to take the full-time reigns behind the plate. But Buck would be the safer — though more expensive — choice.

After signing a $2 million contract with the Blue Jays last offseason, Buck had a breakout year in 2010, one that saw him set career-highs in batting average (.281), home runs (20) and RBIs (66) while throwing out 28 percent of baserunners (third-highest among AL catchers who qualified).

Alden Gonzalez

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