Results tagged ‘ blue jays ’

Mets add outfielder in Mayberry Jr.

The Mets have reportedly signed outfielder John Mayberry Jr. to a Major League contract, according to Jon Heyman of CBSSPorts.com.

Mayberry was non-tendered by the Blue Jays earlier this month, making him a free agent. The Phillies traded him to Toronto at the non-waiver Trade Deadline in August. In 78 games between the Phils and Jays, Mayberry hit .212 with seven home runs and 10 doubles.

A first-round pick in the 2005 First-Year Player Draft, Mayberry has a lifetime .208 average over six Major League seasons. He can play all three outfield positions, as well as first base.

–Austin Laymance

Drew garnering broad interest

Free agent shortstop Stephen Drew is drawing varying amounts of interest from at least 10 teams, according to CBS Sports’ Jon Heyman.

The list of teams that have tossed around the idea of signing Drew reportedly includes the Yankees, Mets, Astros, A’s, Braves, Padres, Dodgers, Blue Jays, Nationals and Marlins. The lack of shortstop depth on the free agent market this offseason has certainly played a part in the vast amount of interested teams.

Despite his struggles this past season, Drew is garnering significantly more interest this offseason than he did a year ago due to the fact that he is not tied to a compensatory draft pick this time around. He went unsigned last winter after rejecting a qualifying offer from the Red Sox before ultimately returning to Boston in late May.

– Paul Casella

Tigers intent on keeping Scherzer

The Tigers’ primary focus is on re-signing marquee free agent Max Scherzer, according to ESPN’s Buster Olney.

The market for Scherzer has been relatively quiet so far this offseason, though that’s likely to change over the next 24 hours with fellow free agent starter Jon Lester expected to announce his decision.

Olney writes that the Tigers are not only “prepared to spend big, big dollars” to sign Scherzer, but that they also plan to keep co-ace David Price in the fold for 2015, as well. Again, there has been very little talk surrounding Scherzer to this point as teams wait to see where Lester ends up.

Aside from the Tigers, other teams that have been linked to Scherzer in varying extents include the Red Sox, Yankees, Dodgers, Nationals, Phillies, Cardinals, Cubs, Giants, and Blue Jays. The team that ultimately signs Lester will obviously drop off that list.

Regardless, the final cost for Scherzer figures to be enormous, given the amount of deep-pocketed teams that are in the market for an elite starter. Scherzer, keep in mind, turned down a $144 million extension offer from the Tigers last spring.

– Paul Casella

Royals’ trio of relievers garnering significant interest

The Royals remain open to the idea of at least listening to offers for relievers Greg Holland and Wade Davis, according to Andy McCullough of the Kansas City Star.

That report comes on the heels of ESPN’s Jayson Stark reporting that the Royals have also received plenty of interest in Kelvin Herrera, the third piece of the their vaunted bullpen trio. Stark adds that some inquiring teams already view the 24-year-old Herrera as a potential closer.

As for Holland and Davis, their rising salaries make them prime trade candidates for an organization such as the Royals. Holland is projected to make more than $9 million in arbitration for next season, which would make him the Royals’ second-highest paid player behind only Alex Gordon ($14 million). The club also just picked up Davis’ $7 million option for next season.

In addition, the Royals’ lone moves so far this offseason have been to sign reliever Luke Hochevar to a two-year, $10 million deal and fellow reliever Jason Frasor to a $1.8 million contract. Though Herrera is only expected to make approximately $1.5 million in arbitration, that’s still a substantial amount of money already committed to the bullpen.

From a salary standpoint, it makes sense that the Royals would be more interested in fielding offers for Holland and Davis as opposed to Herrera. Regardless, Kansas City will understandably be asking for a significant return for any of the three relievers.

It’s unclear at this point which teams exactly have inquired about the trio, though Bob Elliott of the Toronto Sun suggests that the Blue Jays are at least one team that is pursuing Holland. However, it’s likely that a number of teams will enter the mix as the Royals continue to field offers.

Though nothing seems imminent at this point, it’s certainly one of the many situations worth monitoring at this week’s Winter Meetings.

– Paul Casella

Reports: Blue Jays interested in Duquette, Williams for president/CEO job

The owners of the Blue Jays are searching for a replacement for longtime president and CEO Paul Beeston, according to a report from ESPN’s Buster Olney, and they have discussed filling that position with Orioles executive vice president of baseball operations Dan Duquette or White Sox executive vice president Ken Williams.

Beeston became the Jays’ first employee in 1976 and their president and CEO in ’89, leaving for a job in the Commissioner’s Office in ’97 but returning in 2008.

Duquette, who has helped to turn around the Orioles since being hired in November 2011, has won multiple Executive of the Year awards this winter. He’s under contract with Baltimore through 2018, so the club would not have to let him go, or could ask for significant compensation if it does. However, Duquette is a “top candidate” for the job, according to Ken Rosenthal of FoxSports.com.

The White Sox promoted Williams from general manager to executive vice president after the 2012 season, with Rick Hahn taking over as GM. The club is “balking” at allowing the Blue Jays permission to speak to Williams about the position, according to Rosenthal, who reports that Williams is considering resigning.

“I’m focused on helping the White Sox win another championship,” Williams told Rosenthal. “I’ve considered all options as anyone would given the set of circumstances.”

– Andrew Simon

Blue Jays sign Smoak

The Blue Jays have signed first baseman Justin Smoak to a one-year deal worth $1 million, the club announced on Wednesday.

Smoak, 27, was non-tendered by Toronto on Tuesday. He was projected to earn roughly $3 million in arbitration, so the club was able to clear some room on their payroll for 2015.

The Blue Jays acquired Smoak in October off waivers from Seattle. The 11th overall pick in the 2008 First-Year Player Draft by the Rangers, Smoak has a lifetime .224 average with 74 home runs in 566 games over parts of five seasons in the Majors.

Smoak projects as the starting first baseman for the Jays, who would like to use Edwin Encarnacion more as a designated hitter in ’15, tweets MLB.com’s Gregor Chisholm.

–Austin Laymance

Melky Cabrera heading back to Kansas City?

Melky Cabrera is one of the top free-agent outfielders available, so it’s no surprise a number of teams are interested in the former All-Star.

The Royals have been in contact with Cabrera, while the Reds, Mariners, Orioles, White Sox and Blue Jays are also in the mix, according to a report from CBSSports.com.

Cabrera, 30, could help a number of teams offensively. He’s coming off a strong season with Toronto in which he posted a .301/.351/.458 slash line with 16 home runs, 35 doubles and 73 RBIS over 139 games.

The Royals are in need of a bat after the departure of designated hitter Billy Butler in free agency. The club is familiar with Cabrera too, as he spent the 2011 season with Kansas City.

Cabrera is reportedly looking for at least a five-year contract. He could be in line for a deal similar to fellow outfielder Nelson Cruz, who signed with the Mariners this week for four years and $57 million. Cabrera earned $8 million this season.

The Blue Jays could still bring Cabrera back, though. Toronto appears to be all-in this season after signing free-agent catcher Russell Martin and trading for third baseman Josh Donaldson. The club has holes to fill in the outfield after deciding to non-tender John Mayberry Jr. and Andy Dirks on Tuesday.

With the Winter Meetings set to begin next week in San Diego, the market for Cabrera could soon become more clear.

–Austin Laymance

Potential suitors lining up for Markakis

With multiple reports surfacing in recent days that a Nick Markakis return to the Orioles is no longer inevitable, multiple teams including the Braves, Blue Jays and Giants are beginning to express interest in the free agent outfielder, according to CBS Sports’ Jon Heyman.

Each of those three teams has an obvious need for either an outfielder or another strong bat in the lineup. The 31-year-old Markakis is coming off a season in which he posted a .276/.342/.386 line with the O’s, while also winning his second career Gold Glove Award for his defense in right field.

The Braves already traded away outfielder Jason Heyward and are said to be listening to offers for fellow outfielder Justin Upton. That leaves an obvious opening in the Atlanta outfield, while the Braves could also be an interesting fit for Markakis off the field, as he grew up in nearby Woodstock, Ga., went to college in-state at Young Harris College and has a home in Georgia.

The Jays, meanwhile, are known to be in the market for at least one outfielder this offseason, with both Melky Cabrera and Colby Rasmus testing free agency. Toronto is still open to re-signing Cabrera, though recent reports indicate Cabrera would prefer to sign elsewhere. Assuming Markakis indeed listens to other offers, the Jays could make a strong push for him, especially considering an already thin free agent class got even thinner this week with the Mariners signing Nelson Cruz.

As for the Giants, their interest in Markakis will largely depend on what ultimately happens with Jon Lester. The Giants aren’t necessarily in the market for a top free agent outfielder, but they could use the money saved by Pablo Sandoval leaving for Boston to add another bat in an attempt to compensate offensively for Sandoval’s departure.

The Orioles still remain very much in the mix, especially after losing Cruz on Monday, but it appears that other teams now at least have a shot to lure away Markakis.

– Paul Casella

Report: Martin to Blue Jays

Cubs fans can cross Russell Martin off their wish list. According to reports Monday, the 31-year-old free agent catcher signed a five-year, $82 million deal with the Blue Jays. The Cubs were viewed as the front runner for Martin, but most likely were not willing to commit that type of deal. No Martin would leave the Cubs with Welington Castillo, who has improved defensively, but struggled offensively this past season. Martin would have provided veteran leadership much needed on the young Cubs.

– Carrie Muskat

David Robertson generating interest

David Robertson became the top closer on the market after declining a $15.3 million qualifying offer from the Yankees on Monday, and he’s certain to have many suitors this offseason.

In addition to the Yankees, there are at least six teams interested in signing Robertson, according to a report by the New York Daily News. Any club that signs Robertson would surrender a draft pick as compensation, but that doesn’t appear to be a major hurdle.

The Tigers, Brewers, Blue Jays, White Sox, Indians and Astros are among a number of teams with needs in the bullpen. Robertson would be an upgrade for any of those clubs.

Robertson, 29, saved 39 games last season in his first year as the Yankees’ closer. He earned $5.215 million and is set up for significant pay raise.

Yankees general manager Brian Cashman said Monday he has not yet begun negotiations with Robertson’s agent, Scott Leventhal. The right-hander is a likely to receive at least a three-year contract.

Cashman also said it’s not yet clear what the market value is for Robertson. It’s worth noting Jonathan Papelbon earned $13 million with the Phillies in 2014 as baseball’s highest-paid closer. Already this offseason, Koji Uehara re-signed with the Red Sox for $18 million over two years.

Robertson’s impending contract could affect deals for other free agent closers, including Francisco Rodriguez, Sergio Romo and Rafael Soriano.

–Austin Laymance

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