Results tagged ‘ blue jays ’

1/29 Roundup

In a free-agent market light on shortstops, Stephen Drew would figure to be a hot commodity, coming off a year in which he played solid defense at the position and produced a .777 on-base-plus-slugging percentage for the Red Sox. Yet the 30-year-old seems to be running out of options, with Spring Training rapidly approaching.

On Tuesday night, Mets general manager Sandy Alderson told MLB.com’s Anthony DiComo that it is “unlikely” his club will sign Drew. On Wednesday, our Bryan Hoch reported that the Yankees are not considering bringing in Drew, while Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports.com and MLB Network wrote that the A’s also are not interested.

All of those factors could make a return to Boston more likely for Drew, who is tied to Draft pick compensation after receiving a qualifying offer.

In other news from around the league:

  • The Phillies could be a team to watch in the competition for veteran right-hander A.J. Burnett, a free agent who recently decided to pitch this season. Signing Burnett would be a great move for Philadelphia, one that just might get it back to the postseason, writes MLB.com columnist Richard Justice. Meanwhile, MLB.com’s Tom Singer offers an idea for how the Pirates could manage to bring back Burnett.
  • Bronson Arroyo told ESPN.com’s Jayson Stark that while 12 teams have contacted his agent this offseason, he has not come close to a deal with any of them. Arroyo and Burnett are drawing some interest from the Blue Jays, but Toronto appears more focused on fellow free-agent right-handers Ubaldo Jimenez and Ervin Santana, according to Rosenthal.
  • After a 15-year career that included six All-Star teams, a World Series title and 366 home runs, Lance Berkman told MLB.com that he has decided to retire. Berkman spent an injury-plagued 2013 with the Rangers.
  • Right-hander Scott Baker, who returned from Tommy John surgery at the end of last season, signed a Minor League deal with the Mariners and figures to compete for a spot in their starting rotation.
  • Former Phillies closer Ryan Madson, who has missed the past two seasons due to injury, held a private workout for an unknown team on Tuesday and is planning a public audition for more clubs on Feb.7 in Phoenix, according to Jerry Crasnick of ESPN.com.
  • The Cardinals and infielder Daniel Descalso agreed to a one-year contract, avoiding arbitration, while the Cubs did the same with outfielder Justin Ruggiano.
  • The Reds bolstered their infield depth by signing veteran Ramon Santiago to a Minor League contract.
  • For the third time this offseason, the Twins signed a former member of the organization to a Minor League deal, this time bringing back reliever Matt Guerrier.
  • The Angels added Chad Tracy to the mix in their crowded competition for bench spots.
  • The Royals acquired outfielder Carlos Peguero from the Mariners for a player to be named later and designated left-hander Everett Teaford for assignment.

– Andrew Simon

1/17 Roundup

On a day when the Dodgers announced their seven-year, $215 million contract extension with ace left-hander Clayton Kershaw, numerous smaller deals were completed across the Major Leagues.

Friday was the deadline for teams to exchange salary figures with arbitration-eligible players, leading many to work out compromises, albeit none that carry the financial impact of Kershaw’s. For those who didn’t reach agreements, negotiations can continue until hearings take place from Feb. 1-21, at which point the decisions will be in the hands of three-judge arbitration panels.

Here is a look at some of Friday’s big arbitration-related news:

  • The Nationals signed five of their seven eligible players, including All-Star right-hander Jordan Zimmermann and shortstop Ian Desmond. Washington bought out the final two years of arbitration for both players, locking them up for $24 million and $17.5 million, respectively.
  • Reigning American League Cy Young Award winner Max Scherzer agreed to a $15.525 million contract with the Tigers, who still have a lot of work to do if they want to prevent him from reaching free agency next offseason.
  • Chris Davis headlined the Orioles’ five signings, getting a raise of roughly $7 million in his second year of arbitration after leading the Majors in home runs and RBIs. Catcher Matt Wieters, also two years from free agency, has yet to reach a deal.
  • Third baseman Chase Headley was among the players to settle with the Padres as he readies for his final season before free agency.
  • While the Braves were able to sign four arbitration-eligible players, they will have to exchange figures with closer Craig Kimbrel, first baseman Freddie Freeman and outfielder Jason Heyward.
  • The Marlins put a stop to all three of their arbitration cases, handing $6.5 million to slugger Giancarlo Stanton in the process. Stanton’s salary will jump from $537,000 in his first year of arbitration.
  • The Yankees also locked up all of their arbitration-eligible players, as outfielder Brett Gardner led the way with a $5.6 million settlement.
  • Another club set to sit out the hearings is Toronto, which rewarded center fielder Colby Rasmus’ strong 2013 with a $7 million deal in his final year of club control.
  • Royals first baseman Eric Hosmer, who bounced back in a big way after going through a rough ‘12, settled on a $3.6 million contract in his first year of arbitration.
  • Josh Reddick is the only A’s player who remains unsigned after the club came to agreements with four more players on Friday, including offseason acquisitions Craig Gentry and Luke Gregerson.
  • Pedro Alvarez and Neil Walker were among the players to come to terms with the Pirates, who closed all of their arbitration cases.
  • A day after settling with ace lefty David Price, the Rays avoided arbitration with each of their six remaining players, including righty Jeremy Hellickson.
  • The Reds have negotiating left to do with starter Homer Bailey and closer Aroldis Chapman and are hoping to ink Bailey to a long-term deal.

– Andrew Simon

12/24 Roundup

Major League general managers got perhaps their biggest Christmas present a little early, when Nippon Professional Baseball’s Rakuten Golden Eagles reportedly announced late Tuesday night that they will post star pitcher Masahiro Tanaka.

The right-hander, who went 24-0 with a 1.27 ERA in Japan this season, is certain to command serious interest from several teams, who can submit a maximum bid of $20 million in order to earn the right to negotiate with him. ESPN’s Jim Bowden listed the Yankees, Angels, D-Backs, Rangers and Dodgers as some teams to watch as the situation develops.

The Eagles’ decision also could open the floodgates for the starting-pitcher market. With Tanaka in limbo, the likes of Bronson Arroyo, Matt Garza, Ubaldo Jimenez and Ervin Santana remained unsigned.

ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick talked to Arroyo and reported that the Yankees have “touched base” with the durable 36-year-old righty, while the Angels, Orioles and D-backs also could be good fits. Arroyo told Crasnick that his last team, the Reds, has not offered him a one-year deal, and that he hasn’t been close to signing with the Twins, although those clubs still could be options.

In other news from around the league:

  • The Dodgers announced the signings of free agents Juan Uribe, Chris Perez, J.P. Howell and Jamey Wright, and general manager Ned Colletti said after those moves he is “pretty much done” tweaking his roster for 2014. Colletti also deflected a question about his club’s interest in Tanaka and reiterated his belief that center fielder Matt Kemp, recovering from a broken ankle, will be ready for Opening Day.
  • The Blue Jays re-signed infielder Munenori Kawasaki to a Minor League contract, with an invitation to Spring Training. A fan favorite in Toronto last season, when he hit .229/.326/.308 in 289 plate appearances, Kawasaki will compete for a bench spot and possibly playing time at second base.
  • Left-handed reliever Jordan Norberto has agreed to a Minor League deal with the Rays, according to the San Francisco Chronicle’s Susan Slusser. Norberto posted a 2.77 ERA in 39 appearances for the A’s in 2012 but didn’t pitch in the Majors last season, undergoing Tommy John surgery in June, a month after Oakland released him. Slusser also reports that Norberto still must serve his 50-game suspension that came as a result of the Biogenesis investigation.
  • There is mutual interest in a reunion between the Phillies and reliever Ryan Madson, CSNPhilly.com’s Jim Salisbury reports. Madson played for Philadelphia from 2003-11 and saved 32 games with a 2.37 ERA in his final season there before having his past two years wiped out by elbow injuries. According to Salisbury, Madson will audition for teams soon after New Years and likely will have to take a Minor League deal.

– Andrew Simon

White Sox claim Surkamp; Blue Jays claim Morel

The White Sox have claimed left-hander Eric Surkamp off waivers from the Giants, while the Blue Jays have claimed Sox infielder Brent Morel.
Surkamp, 26, went 7-1 with a 2.80 ERA and 71 strikeouts over 16 starts between Class-A San Jose and Triple-A Fresno last season in the Giants system. He made one start with the Giants (July 23 against the Reds).
Surkamp began last season on the DL after missing the entire 2012 season following UCL replacement surgery on his left elbow in July 2012.
The 26-year-old Morel played in 12 games for the White Sox last year, hitting .200 (5-for-25). He hit .266 with six homers and 54 RBIs in 106 games for Triple-A Charlotte.
Morel has spent parts of six seasons in the big leagues, hitting .229 with 13 homers and 54 RBIs in 194 games.
– Joey Nowak

Chien-Ming Wang to sign with Reds

The comeback continues for Chien-Ming Wang who continues to try to make it back in the big leagues to stay after a few failed attempts over the last couple years. He has reportedly signed with the Reds on a minor league contract that includes an invite to Spring Training. 

If he makes the Major League roster, Wang would earn $1.25 million, and he could make as much as $3 million if he reaches all the incentives in the deal. 

The 33-year-old won 19 games in both 2006 and 2007 for the Yankees, but hasn’t been the same since shoulder surgery in 2009. He missed the 2010 season, then appeared in 21 games (16 starts) for the Nationals from 2011-12 before becoming a free agent. 

He pitched well in last year’s World Baseball Classic, which likely earned him a contract with the Yankees, but he never reached the big leagues with New York. He signed with Toronto and turned in two strong outings mixed in with four dismal ones. He finished the 2013 season with a 7.67 ERA in 27 innings of work.

– Joey Nowak

12/11 Cubs and Samardzija

Jeff Samardzija’s agent was expected to meet Wednesday with Theo Epstein, Cubs president of baseball operations, at the Winter Meetings. It’s more a chance for the two to touch base. The Cubs would like to extend Samardzija, but he will be a free agent after the 2015 season and is most likely to politely reject their offer. The right-hander has been the subject of trade rumors, and if the Cubs do not deal him now, they could move Samardzija at the Trade Deadline in July.

The three-way trade between the Angels, the Diamondbacks and the White Sox may have had an impact on what the Cubs do with Samardzija. The Cubs were believed to be looking at lefty Tyler Skaggs as part of the package for the right-hander, but Skaggs was sent to the Angels.

One team that could be in the market for Samardzija is Toronto. The Blue Jays have gotten inquiries on right-handed pitchers Marcus Stroman, 22, and Aaron Sanchez, 21, and also are trying to move Colby Rasmus, 27, a left-handed hitting outfielder. Rasums batted .276 in 118 games with the Blue Jays last season, hitting 22 home runs but also striking out 135 times. Stroman was 9-5 with a 3.30 ERA at Double-A New Hampshire, striking out 129 over 111 2/3 innings, and Sanchez compiled a 3.34 ERA in 22 games at Class A Dunedin, striking out 75 over 86 1/3 innings.

– Carrie Muskat

Reports: Halladay retiring

Two-time Cy Young Award winner Roy Halladay will announce his retirement on Monday, according to CBS Sports’ Jon Heyman.
 
Halladay will sign a one-day contract with Toronto so he retires as a Blue Jay, according to Heyman.
 
Halladay, 36, was one of the game’s top pitchers for much of his career, winning the 2003 AL Cy Young Award with Toronto and the 2010 NL Cy Young Award with Philadelphia.
 
He was 203-105 over a 16-year career, most of which was spent in Toronto. He pitched the last four seasons with the Phillies, going 19-6 with a 2.35 ERA and finishing second in the NL Cy Young Award balloting as recently as 2011.
 
He also threw a no-hitter in Game 1 of the 2010 NL Division Series against the Reds, only the second no-hitter in postseason history.
 
An eight-time All-Star, Halladay finished in the top five of the Cy Young Award voting every year from 2005-11.
 
Shoulder injuries the past two seasons forced Halladay into retirement, however, as he made only 13 starts last season and struggled to the tune of a 6.82 ERA.
 
- Cash Kruth

12/2 Roundup

The Nationals, looking to bounce back from last season’s disappointing finish, had been quiet this offseason — until Monday. That’s when general manager Mike Rizzo announced his entry into the Hot Stove conversation by pulling off a big trade with the Tigers.

Rizzo bolstered his rotation and replaced Dan Haren by acquiring another veteran right-hander, Doug Fister, in exchange for reserve infielder Steve Lombardozzi and young left-handers Ian Krol and Robbie Ray.

Monday also was the last day for teams to tender contracts to their arbitration-eligible players, with the deadline looming at midnight ET. Any non-tendered player immediately becomes a free agent and can sign with any club.

Among the players reportedly cut loose were pitchers John Axford of the Cardinals, Andrew Bailey of the Red Sox, Daniel Hudson of the D-backs, Jerome Williams and Tommy Hanson of the Angels, Jeremy Hefner of the Mets and Mitchell Boggs of the Rockies; catcher J.P. Arencibia of the Blue Jays; infielders Mat Gamel of the Cubs, Justin Turner of the Mets, Elliot Johnson and Paul Janish of the Braves, Jayson Nix of the Yankees and Chris Getz of the Royals; and outfielders Sam Fuld of the Rays and Ryan Kalish of the Red Sox.

In other news from around the league:

  • The A’s have added to their rotation by agreeing to a two-year deal with left-hander Scott Kazmir, who resurrected his career with the Indians this season.
  • The A’s also picked up a closer, with Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports and MLB Network reporting that they sent second baseman Jemile Weeks to the Orioles for Jim Johnson.
  • The Blue Jays found a new starting catcher, agreeing to a two-year contract with free agent Dioner Navarro, who is coming off a strong offensive year with the Cubs.
  • Speaking of catchers, the Pirates swapped backups for starter Russell Martin, acquiring defensive specialist Chris Stewart from the Yankees and designating Michael McKenry for assignment.
  • The Yankees, meanwhile, announced their signing of slick-fielding shortstop Brendan Ryan to a two-year deal.
  • New York also has made a one-year offer to right-hander Hiroki Kuroda, according to ESPN New York. Kuroda is deciding between retirement or playing another season in the Majors or in his native Japan.
  • Free-agent outfielder Curtis Granderson could be an option for the Mets.
  • Sources told The Boston Globe’s Pete Abraham that free-agent catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia is unlikely to return to the Red Sox, with Rosenthal and others mentioning the Marlins among those currently in pursuit.
  • Veteran utility man Willie Bloomquist is heading back to Seattle after three years with Arizona.

– Andrew Simon

12/2 afternoon roundup

The Hot Stove was buzzing Monday morning and afternoon, as a handful of deals went down.

The headliner was left-hander Scott Kazmir agreeing to a two-year deal with the A’s.

 

Kazmir, who turns 30 in January, finished the season 10-9 with a 4.04 ERA and 162 strikeouts in 158 innings for the Indians, who took a chance on the former first-round Draft pick via a Minor League deal shortly after the lefty finished a stint with the Sugar Land Skeeters in independent ball.

Before this year, Kazmir had last pitched in a Major League game in April 2011.

Other notes from Monday:

  • The Blue Jays and veteran catcher Dioner Navarro agreed to a two-year contract believed to be worth $8 million.
  • The Yankees sent catcher Chris Stewart to the Pirates for a player to be named later, which frees a roster space for the Yankees.
  • New York also officially announced a two-year contract with infielder Brendan Ryan reportedly worth $5 million with a mutual option for 2016. 
  • The Tigers agreed to a one-year, $1-million deal with infielder/outfielder Don Kelly.
  • The Rays, interested in a left-handed hitting first baseman, have talked with the Rangers about Mitch Moreland.
  • The Yankees have made an offer to right-hander Hiroki Kuroda, according to ESPN New York’s Andrew Marchand. The Yanks offered Kuroda a qualifying offer ($14.1 million), which he turned down.

 

- Cash Kruth

 

Report: Jays, Navarro reach 2-year deal

The Blue Jays have agreed a two-year, $8-million deal with free-agent catcher Dioner Navarro, according to Fox Sports’ Ken Rosenthal.

The deal is pending a physical, per Rosenthal.

Navarro, who turns 30 in February, is coming off one of his best seasons. Navarro hit a career-high 13 home runs while batting .300/.365/492 in 89 games in a backup role with the Cubs.

Navarro has played 10 years in the Majors, posting a career .251/.313/.371 line. He played five years with the Rays, where he was an All-Star in 2008, and also has been with the Yankees, Dodgers and Reds.

As Rosenthal mentions, Navarro’s signing would give the Jays four catchers on their 40-man roster, possibly leading to a trade of incumbent J.P. Arencibia.

- Cash Kruth

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