Results tagged ‘ 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 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.
That’s the big question after the Angels attained some much-desired cost-controlled starting pitching by using backup catcher Hank Conger to get 24-year-old right-hander Nick Tropeano (and Minor League catcher Carlos Perez) from the Astros.
Howie Kendrick’s name has been thrown around quite a bit this month, similar to what took place around this time last year. Last week, Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports.com reporting before the trade that the Angels are “likely” to trade Kendrick, along with third baseman and fellow walking free agent David Freese. And on Thursday, Ben Nicholson-Smith of Sportsnet.ca wrote that the Blue Jays have “placed multiple calls” on Kendrick.
The Blue Jays, Mets, Marlins and Rays are reportedly the four teams Kendrick can block trades to this offseason, and it remains to be seen how aggressively the Angels will continue to shop the 31-year-old right-handed hitter.
Kendrick has been one of the best second basemen in baseball in recent years, posting a .288/.332/.420 slash line since 2010 while compiling a Wins Above Replacement score of 18.7 (according to Baseball-Reference). He’s only got one year left on his contract — at $9.5 million — and second base is the Angels’ deepest position organizationally. Trading him can, at the very least, free up some payroll space, with Grant Green potentially taking over.
But the Angels tried to shop Kendrick for cost-controlled starting pitching last winter and couldn’t get much value in return, ultimately having to use Mark Trumbo to get Tyler Skaggs and Hector Santiago. And the acquisition of Tropeano at the very least lessens the urgency to part ways with more Major League position players in pursuit of pitching.
“The team that you saw at the end of the season is probably something similar to what you’ll see at the start of the next, as far as our everyday players go,” Angels general manager Jerry Dipoto said after Wednesday’s trade. “There could be a subtle change here and there, but we don’t anticipate anything dramatic at this point.”
— Alden Gonzalez
The Brewers have acquired first baseman Adam Lind from the Blue Jays for right-hander Marco Estrada, after Toronto picked up Lind’s $7.5 million option for 2015.
Only two Major League clubs got a lower OPS from their first basemen in 2014 than the Brewers, who split at-bats between veterans Mark Reynolds and Lyle Overbay. The 31-year-old Lind could present an upgrade after hitting .321/.381/.479 with six home runs and 40 RBIs for Toronto this year, though he spent time on the disabled list with back and foot injuries. In nine big league seasons, Lind owns an .860 OPS against right-handed pitchers and a .588 mark against lefties, making him a candidate for a platoon.
Estrada split time between the rotation and the bullpen in ’14, going 7-6 with a 4.36 ERA in 39 games, including 18 starts. In 150 2/3 innings, he served up an MLB-high 29 home runs while striking out 127 and walking 44. The 31-year-old had posted a 3.75 ERA in 50 games (44 starts) over the previous two seasons for Milwaukee.
The Jays also made several other moves, most notably extending a $15.3 million qualifying offer to Melky Cabrera. If the outfielder declines the offer and signs with another team, Toronto will receive Draft pick compensation.
In addition, the club picked up options of $6.7 million on left-hander J.A. Happ and $1.75 million on catcher Josh Thole while declining options on right-handers Dustin McGowan, Brandon Morrow and Sergio Santos. Those three are now free agents. First baseman Justin Smoak, recently acquired on waivers from Seattle, also had his option declined but remains under team control and is eligible for arbitration.
Finally, the Jays reinstated third baseman Brett Lawrie, infielder Maicer Izturis, right-hander Chad Jenkins and outfielder Andy Dirks from the 60-day disabled list, filling up the club’s 40-man roster.
– Andrew Simon
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
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
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
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
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