Results tagged ‘ Athletics ’
Greetings from Tokyo, where it’s been gloomy and wet since our arrival. Most players, it seems, opted for sleep rather than exploring the city last night – an understandable choice, given the 12-hour flight time and ensuing 90-minute drive to the hotel, along with a 16-hour time change. Many, like myself, couldn’t sleep past 7 a.m., as I’m sure our internal clocks were struggling to adjust, though Tommy Milone should get some kind of award for falling asleep at 10 p.m. and not waking until 8 a.m. “I feel great right now,” he said, grinning.
Milone and Co. are currently taking part in their first workout here at the Tokyo Dome. The Mariners are also here, and a press conference with manager Bob Melvin and a handful of players is to follow shortly. Otherwise, it’s a light day, as both teams prepare for exhibition games the next two days. Read more
Usually, facing Giants ace pitcher Tim Lincecum is not a comfortable way to for a player to take his first game at-bats. But the player in this case is the Rockies’ Todd Helton, who has a career .364 (12-for-33) batting aveage with three doubles, a home run and four RBIs against Lincecum. Helton has walked seven times and struck out five against Lincecum.
Joining the lineup today will be shortstop Troy Tulowitzki, who is 7-for-38 (.184) with a home run and seven RBIs against Lincecum. Tulowitzki was scratched Monday because of illness and was not in the lineup Tuesday.
In fact, this lineup is quite similar to what the Rockies could be sending out for their home opener April 9 against the Giants. Spots 2-6 will be occupied by second baseman Marco Scutaro, left fielder Carlos Gonzalez, Tulowitzki, Helton and right fielder Michael Cuddyer.
An intriguing move has Charlie Blackmon leading off and playing center field. Blackmon showed positive flashes during a callup last season before suffering a broken right foot. The team’s two biggest prospects are in today, as well. Wilin Rosario, normally a catcher, will be the designated hitter, and Nolan Arenado will play third base.
Right-hander Jeremy Guthrie will be the starting pitcher, and left-handed veteran Jamie Moyer also will appear. A close eye will be kept on right-hander Esmil Rogers, who is fighting for a roster spot and wants to push his way into the rotation.
Here is the lineup:
Charlie Blackmon, CF
Marco Scutaro, 2B
Carlos Gonzalez, LF
Troy Tulowtizki, SS
Todd Helton, 1B
Michael Cuddyer, RF
Wilin Rosario, DH
Nolan Arenado, 3B
Wil Nieves, C
Jeremy Guthrie, P
On Thursday, Drew Pomeranz will start against the Royals at Salt River Fields at Talking Stick. Left-hander Josh Outman, obtained from the Athletics in the Seth Smith trade, also is scheduled to appear.
UPDATE, 10:37 P.M. PT: Bartolo Colon has agreed to sign with an unknown team, USA Today’s Bob Nightengale reported via Twitter on Saturday night. The right-hander wouldn’t give the club’s identity because he has not yet passed his physical.
The Athletics are negotiating with free-agent starting pitcher Bartolo Colon, ESPN’s Buster Olney reported via Twitter on Saturday.
Colon, 38, had a surprisingly resurgent season for the Yankees in 2011, posting a 3.29 ERA in his first 18 games (15 starts) before falling off a bit down the stretch. Colon’s 2011 performance, which finished with an 8-10 record and a 4.00 ERA, came after being out of the big leagues for the entire 2010 season.
The Diamondbacks had also expressed interest in the former American League Cy Young Award winner, and the Yankees were interested in bringing him back before acquiring Michael Pineda and Hiroki Kuroda on a busy Friday night.
– Alden Gonzalez
That still remains to be seen. But on Wednesday afternoon — after the Red Sox acquired Andrew Bailey from the Athletics in exchange for three young players — it became more possible than ever.
With the Red Sox, a team with money to spend, filling a huge need in the back end of its bullpen by acquiring the young Bailey, the market for Madson has reached a new low. It’s now pretty clear that the 31-year-old right-hander won’t get anything close to what the Phillies reportedly offered him before turning their attention to Jonathan Papelbon (a four-year, $44 million contract).
But just how much of a pay cut he takes is the big question.
It’d have to be a pretty sizeable one for the Angels to be a fit, now that the team has committed more than $330 million to Albert Pujols and C.J. Wilson. But it’s interesting to note that Wilson turned down a larger contract from the Marlins in order to sign with the Angels and return to Orange County, Calif. — where Madson was also born.
Angels general manager Jerry Dipoto said during the Winter Meetings that his mission was to “complement [closer] Jordan Walden, not replace Jordan Walden.” In tune with that, he signed veteran right-hander LaTroy Hawkins to potentially help lefty Scott Downs in a setup role. But getting Madson would be a far bigger step towards improving a bullpen that was tied for first in the American League in blown saves last season.
So far, it appears the Rays and Reds are the two main teams that still need a closer. But the Reds and Francisco Cordero reportedly want a reunion, and the Rays don’t have the financial wherewithal to allocate a lot of money to the ninth inning.
Time for Scott Boras to get creative with Madson.
– Alden Gonzalez
On Thursday, the list of suitors for Athletics starter Gio Gonzalez was deemed by FOXSports.com’s Ken Rosenthal to essentially look like this: Mets, Mariners, Marlins, Red Sox, Reds, Rangers and Nationals. On Friday, a few more-specific rumors were thrown around regarding the 26-year-old left-hander.
CBSSports.com’s Jon Heyman tweeted that the Mets wouldn’t include Jonathan Niese, Ike Davis, Matt Harvey, Jenrry Mejia or Jeurys Familia in a deal for Gonzalez, making it really hard to even fathom them in the race considering the A’s previous demands. Oakland, Heyman added, seeks a huge package for Gonzalez, who’s arbitration-eligible for the first time after combining to go 31-21 with a 3.17 ERA with 368 strikeouts and 183 walks the last two seasons.
The Tigers are only deemed to be on the “outskirts” for Gonzalez, according to ESPN.com’s Jerry Crasnick, and the Yankees are unwilling to surrender top prospects Jesus Montero, Manny Banuelos and Dellin Betances, according to Heyman. MLB.com’s Bill Ladson reports that the Nationals are “all but out” on Gonzalez because of that asking price.
The Rangers, however, could be in play, considering they have top prospect Mike Olt and the A’s are looking for a future third baseman, notes FOXSports.com’s Jon Paul Morosi. However, as ESPN.com’s Buster Olney says, 20-year-old Rangers lefty Martin Perez would “almost have to be” included in a deal between the A’s and Rangers.
For now, the situation remains awfully fluid.
And it should gain a lot more steam once the Yu Darvish situation is settled.
– Alden Gonzalez
In a Twitter post early Friday morning, FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal tweeted that the Mets and Mariners have joined the Marlins, Reds, Red Sox and Rangers as clubs checking up on Oakland’s Gio Gonzalez.
From a New York perspective, that one is tough to figure. This is the first time all winter the Mets have been rumored to be looking into acquiring an established Major League player, as opposed to trading one away. As recently as last week, the Mets had discussed dealing their own young left-handed starter, Jon Niese, with a list of teams including the Angels and Yankees.
General manager Sandy Alderson has been adamant in saying that he is looking at trades to improve the Mets both for the future and for 2012. Gonzalez would certainly represent more of the latter than the former; though just 26 years old, he is arbitration-eligible for the first time this winter, meaning his salary is poised to skyrocket.
What’s more, Alderson stated publicly last week that the top-tier prospects in New York’s farm system — Zack Wheeler, Matt Harvey et al — are the only untouchables in the organization outside of David Wright. Given that such prospects are presumably what Oakland would be seeking in a deal for Gonzalez, it is unclear what the Mets could offer in a swap.
Tigers president/general manager Dave Dombrowski noted a little progress on gaining some regard from other teams in Detroit’s position prospects, but he also noted that the primary interest from teams in trade talks has been the team’s highly-touted pitching prospects, as usual. If the Tigers are going to make a serious attempt at acquiring Gio Gonzalez from the A’s, as the San Francisco Chronicle’s Susan Slusser suggested late Tuesday evening, there’s little reason to think they could do it without giving up highly-regarded pitching prospects, starting with Jacob Turner.
Slusser reports the Tigers have strong interest in joining the Gonzalez sweepstakes, which so far has reportedly centered around more pitching-starved clubs like the Yankees, and would probably be willing to include Turner as part of their offer. Essentially, then, Gonzalez would slot into the open rotation spot rather than replace one of the other four, and Turner would be a man without a role in Detroit.
A’s general manager Billy Beane told reporters earlier Tuesday that nothing was imminent. Dombrowski said Tuesday afternoon that talks on various fronts had reached “a lull period.”
– Jason Beck
In need of a versatile presence for their infield with the departure of Aaron Miles, the Dodgers have contacted Adam Kennedy’s representatives, according to MLB Trade Rumors. Kennedy has Southern California roots and has been a travelin’ man since leaving the Angels in 2007 for the Cardinals after seven seasons as their second baseman.
Kennedy, a high school star in Riverside, Calif., before becoming a postseason star for the 2002 World Series champion Angels, has played first and third base as well as second in recent seasons for the Athletics, Nationals and Mariners. He’s a .272 career hitter with a .326 OBP and .385 slugging mark across 13 Major League seasons.
Kennedy, who turns 36 on Jan. 10, hit .234 in 114 games for Seattle in 2011. Twice a .300 hitter with the Angels, he is best known for his three-homer epic in the ’02 ALCS against the Twins.
The Dodgers acquired Mark Ellis as their new second baseman, joining James Loney, Dee Gordon and Juan Uribe in the projected infield. Kennedy is highly regarded as a tough-minded, positive clubhouse presence. – Lyle Spencer
The free-agent market has definitely thinned, now that less than one month remains before the start of Spring Training. But as of Friday, several big names remained in the veteran corner outfielder/designated hitter category.
That may change soon.
The Rays, an industry source told MLB.com’s Jesse Sanchez, are nearing a one-year deal with Johnny Damon and are also in the mix for his former Red Sox teammate, Manny Ramirez.
But Tampa Bay may have some competition for Ramirez’s services, since sources told MLB.com’s T.R. Sullivan that the Rangers and Angels are also interested. Sullivan notes that it’s the Rangers and Rays that are the front-runners at this point, with the Angels seemingly lagging behind.
Enrique Rojas of ESPNDeportes.com heard from sources that Vladimir Guerrero, like Ramirez and Damon, could also be close to signing, saying the Orioles and Angels have interest. The Rangers, Sullivan added, also haven’t closed the door on bringing back Guerrero.
The problem is the soon-to-be-36-year-old — coming off a season in which he batted .300
with 29 homers and 115 RBIs as Texas’ full-time DH — may still be
trying to land an everyday job.
Here’s more from around the league…
* The Red Sox were trying to reel in free-agent closer Rafael Soriano
on a lucrative one-year contract, according to Jon Heyman of SI.com and
MLB Network. If they would have succeeded in that, they could’ve dealt
current closer Jonathan Papelbon to the Athletics or White Sox. Boston also made Yankees closer Mariano Rivera an offer this offseason, so there’s seemingly concern in Beantown about Papelbon.
* When Prince Fielder hits free agency at the end of the 2011
season, the slugging first baseman expects to yield a contract of at least eight
years and for about $200 million, Heyman added.
* The Reds have been all about locking up their own players this
offseason, and they still may not be done. Regarding unsigned starter
Edinson Volquez, Reds general manager Walt Jocketty told the Cincinnati
Enquirer, “We’re looking at both — one-year and multi-year” deals.
Volquez, arbitration-eligible for the first time, made $445,000 in 2010. Bronson
Arroyo, Jay Bruce, Johnny Cueto and Joey Votto have all inked
multi-year deals with the Reds this offseason.
* The Cardinals signed veteran infielder Nick Punto
to a one-year contract. The 33-year-old switch-hitter will serve as a
utility infielder and an insurance policy at third base for David Freese.
* The Mariners reduced the signing bonus of Dominican shortstop Esteilon Peguero, from $2.9 million to $1.1 million, according to Baseball America.
– Alden Gonzalez
We are now exactly one month away from pitchers and catchers reporting to Spring Training, but there is offseason work to be done. And several teams were busy on Friday.
The Twins made the most noise with one move, signing Jim Thome to a one-year, $3 million contract that includes performance incentives based on plate appearances. Now, not only do they have a productive, veteran lefty slugger — one who was critical for them while Justin Morneau went down for the final three months of the season — but they may have a nice recruiting chip.
Thome is back, but the Twins still want to resign right-handed starter Carl Pavano, who was big for the Twins rotation behind staff ace Francisco Liriano. Thome, of course, feels the same way. So on Friday, while addressing his own new contract, he said: “Trust me, when I get off the phone with you [reporters], I will definitely be recruiting him and be sending him some text messages.”
General manager Paul Smith said the Twins are continuing in their negotiations with Pavano’s representation and hope to get a decision one way or another next week. Bringing back Thome certaintly can’t hurt their chances.
Here’s more from around the league Friday…
* The Athletics beefed up a bullpen that was already brimming with talented young arms, signing righty Grant Balfour to a two-year deal
with a third-year club option. According to The Associated Press,
Balfour is guaranteed $3.75 million in 2011 and $4 million in 2012.
* The Royals helped their thin rotation, signing left-hander Jeff Francis to a one-year contract that’s worth $2 million and includes performance bonuses.
* The Nationals introduced first baseman Adam LaRoche at a Friday afternoon
to terms a two-year deal worth about $16 million last week.
* The Mets and Cardinals dished out a few interesting Minor League contracts. New York inked Willie Harris, who’s all but guaranteed to be the backup outfielder and get somewhere between 250 and 400 plate appearances. St. Louis, meanwhile, brought in right-handers Miguel Batista and Ian Snell.
– Alden Gonzalez