Results tagged ‘ blue jays ’

Marlins among the teams still pursuing Shields

Though it’s unclear whether or not they are a frontrunner in the James Shields sweepstakes, the Marlins at least “remain in talks” to potentially sign the free agent right-hander, according to MLB.com’s Joe Frisaro.

Shields’ market has started to develop rapidly this week, with FOX Sports’ Jon Heyman even reporting that Shields has “multiple offers in hand” and could sign somewhere by the end of the week. It obviously remains unclear which teams exactly have extended those offers, though reports have suggested that neither the Red Sox nor the Royals are among those suitors.

Along with the Marlins, the Padres and Blue Jays have both been mentioned as potential landing spots. There have also been conflicting reports regarding the Yankees’ interest, with Joel Sherman of the New York Post saying they are “not in play” for Shields and Jon Morosi of FOX Sports tweeting that he is hearing the Yanks are “now actively pursuing” him.

It should also be noted that Shields apparently prefers to play on the West Coast near his home in San Diego. That report would obviously suggest that the Padres have an advantage in that regard, but it’s unclear whether or not that will factor into Shields’ final decision.

Though there may not be a frontrunenr as of right now, Shields’ situation should continue to come into focus in the coming days.

— Paul Casella

Papelbon trade talks still alive

The Phillies are in the midst of a rebuilding effort, but the club still has a number of veteran players it would like to move, such as closer Jonathan Papelbon.

While rumors surrounding Papelbon have died down recently, Phillies general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. tells Jim Salisbury of CSN Philly that trade talks are still ongoing with at least two teams.

“Things are still alive,” Amaro told CSNPhilly.com. “We’re still having discussion — and not just with one club. … It’s complicated. There are a lot of different factors involved.”

The Brewers and Blue Jays are the two clubs that have discussed a potential deal for Papelbon, MLB.com’s Todd Zolecki reported last week.

A number of factors make trading Papelbon difficult. He will earn $13 million this season and has a $13 million club option for 2016 that kicks in if he finishes at least 48 games this year. Papelbon also has limited no-trade rights, though he told reporters in July that would not be an issue in facilitating a trade.

Papelbon, 34, would help clubs looking for a closer. He had a 2.04 ERA and 39 saves in 43 opportunities last year. His 90.7 save-completion percentage ranked sixth out of 29 qualifying closers in baseball, while his 0.90 WHIP ranked 19th out of 185 qualifying relief pitchers.

The Phillies have a number of moves to make going forward, so Papelbon’s situation is worth monitoring.

–Austin Laymance

Blue Jays sign pair to Minor League deals

The Blue Jays have reportedly signed a pair of veterans to Minor League deals: reliever Ronald Belisario and infielder Ramon Santiago. Both players have been invited to Major League Spring Training.

Belisario’s contract will pay him $1.7 million if the right-hander makes the big league club, according to ESPN’s Jim Bowden.

Belisario, 32, has closing experience, but has been better in a middle relief role over a five-year career in the big leagues. He’s coming off a bit of a down season, though, after going 4-8 with a 5.56 ERA in 62 appearances with the White Sox in 2014. Chicago designated him for assignment in November. His best season came in 2012 with the Dodgers, when he went 8-1 with a 2.54 ERA in 68 relief appearances covering 71 innings.

Santiago, 35, appeared in 75 games with the Reds last season and produced a .246/.343/.324 slash line in 214 plate appearances. His deal with the Blue Jays was reported by Sportsnet’s Shi Davidi. A veteran of 13 seasons in the Majors, Santiago can play shortstop, second base and third.

The Blue Jays begin Spring Training next month, with pitchers and catchers scheduled for their first workout Feb. 23 and the first full squad workout on Feb. 27.

–Austin Laymance

Blue Jays close to adding bullpen help

The Blue Jays could still use some help in the bullpen, as MLB.com’s Gregor Chisholm writes, and the club is making progress on a contract with right-hander Ronald Belisario, tweets Jon Morosi of FOX Sports.

While a deal with Belisario is not yet finished, he would appear to be a solid fit in Toronto.

Belisario, 32, has closing experience, but has been better in a middle relief role over a five-year career in the big leagues. He’s coming off a bit of a down season, though, after going 4-8 with a 5.56 ERA in 62 appearances with the White Sox in 2014. Chicago designated him for assignment in November.

Belisario’s best season came in 2012 with the Dodgers, when he went 8-1 with a 2.54 ERA in 68 relief appearances covering 71 innings.

There are still a number of proven relievers available on the free-agent market, including Francisco Rodriguez, Rafael Soriano, Alexi Ogando and John Axford.

–Austin Laymance 

Royals monitoring Shields’ situation, unlikely to sign him

Royals general manager Dayton Moore said he is “still monitoring” the market for James Shields, but added that the club is unlikely to sign him, according to Andy McCullough of the Kansas City Star.

Though Shields’ price tag is likely to drop a bit in the near future, if it hasn’t already, the right-hander will likely remain out of the Royals’ price range. Along with the financial limitations, the Royals already have six pitchers set to compete for the five rotation spots in Yordano Ventura, Jason Vargas, Jeremy Guthrie, Edinson Volquez, Kris Medlen and Danny Duffy.

The market for Shields is still largely unclear at this point, but the Marlins, Diamondbacks, Padres and Blue Jays are all among the teams that have been linked to him, one way or another, in recent days.

— Paul Casella

Shoulder issues shut down J. Santana’s comeback bid

Johan Santana‘s latest comeback attempt has been halted by discomfort in his left shoulder, according to Nelson Medina Arnías of LVBP.com.

Santana, who will turn 36 in March, had been pitching in the Venezuelan Winter League as he attempts to work his way back to the Majors. He will now miss the league final due to the shoulder issue, though an MRI reportedly showed no structural damage.

The latest injury is a significnat blow for Santana, especially considering that he’s already had multiple shoulder surgeries in the past four years. Those shoulder problems forced him to miss all of both the 2011 and 2013 seasons, while he also missed the 2014 campaign after suffering a torn Achilles’ tendon during extended Spring Training with the Orioles last June.

The southpaw last pitched in the Majors in 2012, going 6-9 with a 4.85 ERA and two complete game shutouts over 21 starts. A two-time Cy Young Award winner, Santana led his respective league in ERA three times from 2004-08 and had a strong 2010 campaign (11-9, 2.98 ERA, 1.176 WHIP) before injuries derailed his career over the past five years.

Prior to the injury news, at least six teams — including the Yankees, Blue Jays and Padres — had been rumored to have interest in signing Santana to what would presumably be an incentive-laden deal. It’s unclear at this point exactly what affect this shoulder soreness will have on Santana’s comeback bid, but the chances of him breaking camp with any Major League club have certainly taken a serious hit.

— Paul Casella

Belisario getting interest from multiple teams

The Red Sox, Nationals, Blue Jays and Rays have shown interest in free-agent reliever Ronald Belisario, according to Jon Morosi of FOX Sports.

Belisario, 32, spent time as a closer for the White Sox in 2014 and recorded eight saves. The right-hander had a 5.56 ERA in 62 appearances. The White Sox designated him for assignment in November.

The Red Sox are looking for a right-handed option to fill out their bullpen, tweets Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports, so Belisario could be a fit in Boston. Meanwhile, the Nationals and Blue Jays have also shown interest in free-agent reliver Burke Badenhop.

–Austin Laymance

Astros sign Colby Rasmus

The Astros have signed free-agent outfielder Colby Rasmus to a one-year contract for the 2015 season, the club announced on Tuesday.

Rasmus’ deal is for $8 million, a source told MLB.com’s Brian McTaggart.

Houston was in need of an established outfielder after trading Dexter Fowler to the Cubs on Monday. Rasmus is close with Astros general manager Jeff Luhnow, who drafted him in 2005 when Luhnow was the scouting director for the Cardinals.

A left-handed hitter, Rasmus was a free agent for the first time in his career. He’s spent the last three-plus seasons in Toronto after beginning his big league career in St. Louis. The 28-year-old had a .225/.287/.448 slash line with 18 home runs and 21 doubles in 104 games last season.

To make room for Rasmus on the 40-man roster, the Astros designated catcher Carlos Corporan for assignment.

–Austin Laymance 

Nationals, Blue Jays interested in Burke Badenhop

There a number of clubs still looking for bullpen help on the free-agent market. The Nationals and Blue Jays are among those teams and have both shown interest in veteran right-hander Burke Badenhop, reports Jon Morosi of FOX Sports.

Badenhop, 31, made 70 appearances with the Red Sox last season and had a 2.29 ERA. He’s pitched for four different clubs in each of the last four years.

The Red Sox were linked to Badenhop earlier in the offseason. Boston remains in the market for right-handed relief, tweets Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports. The Dodgers and Brewers are still looking for bullpen help, too.

–Austin Laymance

D-backs change course, not interested in adding another catcher

Though the Diamondbacks have been tied to rumors involving both the Blue Jays’ Dioner Navarro and the Cubs’ Welington Castillo, among others, the club is no longer looking to acquire another catcher, according to Nick Piecoro of the Arizona Republic.

D-backs general manager Dave Stewart confirmed that the team is content with its current catching situation, thanks primarily to the development of prospect Peter O’Brien, who was acquired from the Yankees in the Martin Prado deal this past summer. The 24-year-old O’Brien, who checks in as the D-backs’ No. 8-ranked prospect according to MLB.com, posted a .271/.316/.594 batting line with 34 home runs over just 106 games between Class A and Double-A this past season.

“I’ve decided that I’m not going to pursue another catcher,” Stewart said, according to the report. “I talked with my people and my coaching staff. They believe that O’Brien is going to be around sooner than later. If that does happen, there’s no need to go out and get another guy.”

With O’Brien not quite ready for the Majors, however, Arizona is set to enter the season with the catching duo of Tuffy Gosewisch and Oscar Hernandez, who was taken in last month’s Rule 5 Draft. Gosewich racked up a .225/.242/.310 batting line over 132 plate appearances in 41 games last season, while serving as Miguel Montero’s backup. Montero, of course, was traded to the Cubs last month.

Though the D-backs had been linked to a number of rumors involving catchers in the aftermath of trading away Montero, the team has instead decided to stand pat at the position for the time being. As for Navarro and Castillo, both players remain possible trade chips with each of their respective clubs having upgraded behind the plate earlier this offseason.

— Paul Casella

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 810 other followers