Results tagged ‘ blue jays ’

Roundup: A’s out on Beltre?

The market for free agent third baseman Adrian Beltre continued to evolve on Wednesday amidst reports that another team was out of the mix.
The Athletics ended talks with Beltre this week to turn their focus toward other players, Fox Sports.com reported. 
Oakland entered the bidding for Beltre early on this offseason, reportedly offering him an initial five-year, $64 million deal. Until this week, the club continued to negotiate with Beltre.
While the Angels remain the front runners to land Beltre, the Rangers are still interested but aren’t comfortable with his price tag, the report suggested. For Texas, adding Beltre would meaning moving Michael Young to designated hitter or to another club, two unlikely concepts.
The Halos reportedly made a five-year, $70 million offer to Beltre earlier this month, a figure that the Rangers aren’t believed to be willing to approach. Scott Boras, Beltre’s agent, is reportedly seeking a deal in the neighborhood of five-years, $85 million. Angels owner Arte Moreno told the Los Angeles Times earlier this month that the club had made a “significant offer” to Beltre and it wouldn’t be increasing.
Oakland entered the bidding for Beltre early on this offseason, reportedly offering him an initial five-year, $64 million deal. Until this week, the club continued to negotiate with Beltre, according to the report.
There are several other unmentioned clubs who could be interested in Beltre, the report suggested, including the Orioles and Blue Jays.
The 31-year-old is coming off a very strong campaign in Boston, hitting .321 with 28 homers and 49 doubles. After missing out on free agent Carl Crawford, Beltre would add some of the desired power to the Angels lineup. 
Here’s a look Wednesday’s news from around the league: 
- The Orioles’ bullpen wish-list continues to take shape as the club has “definite interest” in free agent reliever Grant Balfour, MASNsports.com reported on Wednesday. Signing Balfour would mean the Orioles would have to forfeit a Draft pick, as the right-hander is a Type-A free agent. 
- Additional details on Octavio Dotel’s deal with the Blue Jays emerged on Wedesday as Fox Sports.com reported that the deal includes a favorable $3.75 million option for 2012, leaving the door open for a possible return. The deal also allows for the Jays to recoup Draft picks if Dotel departs as a Type-B free agent after next season. 
- The Yanks have checked in with free agent Rafael Soriano, SI.com’s Jon Heyman reported on Wednesday. Soriano would obviously have to move to a role outside the 9th inning to find in a fit in the Bronx. 
– Bailey Stephens

Roundup: Phils, Crew lock up relievers

Relievers continue to be a valuable commodity on the Hot Stove market, as two more free agents found a home on Monday to highlight an otherwise quiet day. 

Left-hander J.C. Romero agreed to a one-year deal with the Phillies, while veteran right-hander Takashi Saito agreed to a one-year pact with the Brewers. 

Saito’s deal, expected to be announced next week, gives the Crew another established arm in the back end of the ‘pen and continues their offseason pitching staff overhaul. 

Saito, who will be 41 on Opening Day, carried a 2.83 ERA while serving as Atlanta’s primary set-up man to closer Billy Wager. The Japanese-born hurler did suffer shoulder injuries as the season wore on, but he proved mostly effective when healthy. 

Elsewhere in the National League, the Phillies elected to bring back Romero after declining his $4.5 million option earlier this offseason. After a potential deal with Romero’s would-be replacement, left-hander Dennys Reyes, fell through, the club looked back to a familiar face. 

After injuries limited Romero to just 21 games in 2009, Romero registered a 3.68 ERA last season while struggling at times with his control. 

Here’s a look at Monday’s other happenings around the league: 

- The Blue Jays continue to “move closer” to an agreement with Octavio Dotel, Fox Sports.com’s Ken Rosenthal tweeted on Monday. In agreement with earlier reports, Rosenthal concurred that the deal will be in the $3.5 million range.

- Brandon Webb, who agreed to a one-year deal with the Rangers on Sunday, will earn $3 million plus incentives, ESPN.com’s Buster Olney tweeted Monday. Jerry Crasnick, also of ESPN.com, added that with incentives, Webb could earn between $8-10 million when all is said and done.


– Bailey Stephens

Roundup: Clubs wrap up smaller prizes

As the push to land big name free agents Brandon Webb and Adrian Beltre intensifies, many clubs have begun using the final days before the Christmas holiday as a chance to wrap up some smaller signings. 
A host of these type of signings and announcements occurred on Tuesday, including the Blue Jays inking of outfielder Corey Patterson and the announcement of Rich Harden’s deal with the A’s.
Here’s a rundown of Tuesday’s top news from around the league: 
- Patterson was just one of a group of six that received contracts from the Blue Jays on Tuesday. The others who officially inked contracts include right-hander Winston Abreu, catcher Ryan Budde, left-hander Sean Henn, left-hander Mike Hinckley and right-hander Brian Stokes. 
- The talk surrounding Brandon Webb seemed to gain some steam on Tuesday. While there is no deal imminent as of yet, there are indications the Rangers are having an on-going dialogue with Webb and his agent, Jonathan Mauer, MLB.com’s T.R. Sullivan reported Tuesday. Sullivan points out that for a deal to be reached, there are likely several key factors to consider with regard to how the contract is structured. The Nationals and Cubs also reportedly have interest in the free agent right-hander.
- The Halos are still quite interested in bringing in Beltre and haven’t rescinded their earlier offer, contrary to conflicting Internet reports, a source told MLB.com’s Ken Gurnick Tuesday. The only other team believed to have serious interest in Beltre is Texas, but they could be priced out at those terms, according to the source. The Angels are believed to have made a five-year, $70 million offer for Beltre, who is said to be seeking a six-year deal in the neighborhood of $90 million. 
- The Red Sox made their signing of reliever Bobby Jenks official on Tuesday, announcing a two-year, $12 million deal. Jenks, who successfully passed his physical, will add significantly more depth to the back of the Red Sox ‘pen. 
- In a minor trade, the Padres picked up catcher Rob Johnson from the Mariners, in exchange for a player to be named later or cash. Johnson would seemingly slot in behind Nick Hundley in a back-up role. 
- The Brewers picked up another arm for their bullpen, claiming right-hander Roque Mercedes off waivers from the D-backs. Mercedes, 24, returns to Milwaukee nearly a year and a half after being sent to Arizona in the July 2009 trade that brought infielder Felipe Lopez. 
-The Nats made Rick Ankiel’s signing official on Tuesday, inking the 31-year-old outfielder to a one-year deal. 
– Bailey Stephens

Yankees come to terms with Russell Martin

NEW YORK — The Yankees have agreed to terms on a contract with Russell Martin, multiple sources told MLB.com on Monday. Details of the deal, which is contingent on a physical and will not be made official until Martin does so, were not immediately available.

Martin was said to have been deciding between the Red Sox and Blue Jays.

Martin, 27, was deemed among the best catchers in the National League from 2007-08, when he was a back-to-back All-Star while compiling a .286 batting average, .380 on-base percentage and 32 homers for the Dodgers. But after a down year in 2009, Martin played 97 games in 2010 and then missed the rest of the season with a broken hip.

– Alden Gonzalez

Russell Martin close to a deal with the Yankees?

NEW YORK — While the Yankees await on the decision of one Cliff Lee, they have “continued to be aggressive” on free-agent catcher Russell Martin, ESPN’s Buster Olney reported on his Twitter account Monday, adding that it “would not be a surprise if we heard at any time of an agreement” between the two sides. 

Martin’s agent, Matt Colleran, didn’t immediately return a phone call from MLB.com seeking comment.

Non-tendered by the Dodgers, Martin has reportedly garnered the most serious interest from three American League East clubs — the Yankees, Red Sox and Blue Jays. Of the three, the Red Sox appear to be the least interested.

With the aging Jorge Posada serving mostly as a designated hitter next year, New York is expected to go into the season with Jesus Montero, Austin Romine and Francisco Cervelli competing for playing time behind the plate. But general manager Brian Cashman has said he’s open to acquiring outside help. As of now, Montero is deemed by many as the favorite.

Martin, 27, was a back-to-back All-Star and among the National League’s best catchers from 2007-08. But after a down year in 2009, he was limited to 97 games in 2010 because of a broken hip.

– Alden Gonzalez  

Roundup: Reds locking up their players

The Reds haven’t brought in much outside help this offseason, but they’ve still been among the busiest teams in baseball. Their mission is keeping guys in-house. The club had already inked starter Bronson Arroyo to a three-year, $35 million extension. Then, late Thursday night, the club agreed on a six-year, $51 million contract with Jay Bruce, a source told MLB.com’s Mark Sheldon.

Now, they’re apparently turning their attention to Joey Votto and Johnny Cueto.

The Reds have been wanting to sign Votto, the reigning National League MVP, to some sort of extension, but ESPN.com’s Jerry Crasnick believes it won’t be for the six years that Bruce got. According to the Cincinnati Enquirer, the Reds have also had preliminary discussions with Cueto about a long-term deal.

Here’s more from around the league on Friday …

* All was quiet on the Cliff Lee front as of Friday afternoon. The Rangers on Thursday presented Lee with a wide array of complex offers, and now, they wait. The Yankees had recently upped their proposal to seven years, but good friend CC Sabathia will give Lee his space, too. Is the ballyhooed left-hander agonizing over his decision right now? C.J. Wilson doesn’t think so. He thinks Lee is deer hunting.

* Young, non-tendered catcher Russell Martin could be close to making his decision. The Yankees, Red Sox and Blue Jays have been reported to have serious interest, with New York taking “an aggressive approach,” ESPN.com’s Buster Olney wrote via Twitter. He is said to be deciding between those three American League East teams.

* The Orioles made potential closer Kevin Gregg a two-year offer worth $8 to $10 million, according to the Baltimore Sun. Gregg seems to be negotiating with several teams right now. The question is whether the O’s would give him a chance to be their ninth-inning man.

* A few signings made today: The Royals got Melky Cabrera to be their center fielder; the Orioles resigned veteran infielder Cesar Izturis; the Brewers picked up catcher Wil Nieves; and the Braves officially signed lefty reliever George Sherrill.

* According to Olney, Jorge Cantu is one of the first basemen “seriously being considered” by the Diamondbacks. Cantu was a solid run-producer in the middle of the Marlins’ lineup the last two-plus years, but struggled while playing sparingly with the Rangers towards the end of the 2010 season.

– Alden Gonzalez 

Orioles reportedly made Gregg an offer

The Orioles, according to The Baltimore Sun, made free-agent reliever Kevin Gregg a two-year offer worth $8 to$10 million during the Winter Meetings.

Gregg, who served as the Blue Jays’ closer last year, also has interest from the Nationals, Pirates, Mariners and Red Sox, FOXSports.com reported recently.

The 32-year-old right-hander posted a 3.51 ERA, 1.390 WHIP and went 37-for-43 in save chances through 59 innings with Toronto in 2010. The Sun said Gregg is still negotiating with the O’s, who “still think they have a shot.”

One big factor in the negotiations could be whether Gregg would have the opportunity to close. Baltimore may choose to go with Koji Uehara in that spot.

– Alden Gonzalez 

Martin catching several AL East offers

Russell Martin has received interest from the Yankees, Red Sox and Blue Jays, according to a report Friday in the New York Post.

Agent Matt Colleran named the three American League East teams among those having “serious discussions” about the backstop. The newspaper reported that the Yankees have extended a contract offer to make Martin their starting catcher, according to Colleran. 
The Yankees tried to trade for Martin before he was non-tendered by the Dodgers, dangling Francisco Cervelli, before pulling away due to health concerns. Rookie Jesus Montero is currently envisioned as the Yankees’ starting catcher, with Jorge Posada transitioning to the designated hitter role.
– Bryan Hoch

Roundup: Winter Meetings Day 2

While Day 2 of the Winter Meetings brought the continuation of talks for some big free agents like Cliff Lee and Carl Crawford, it also surfaced the names of other players such as Delwyn Young and Ronny Paulino.
Here’s a rundown of the day’s bigger rumors and speculation. 
- The Rays and Orioles have been discussing a trade, possibly involving Rays shortstop Jason Bartlett for outfielder/first baseman Nolan Reimold. While the talks are serious, the names involved vary and nothing is imminent, according to MLB.com’s Brittany Ghiroli. The Rays are interested in more than Reimold, according to Marc Topkin of the St. Petersberg Times. 
- The Nationals are continuing their aggressive offseason on Day 2 of the Meetings. Tuesday morning brought rumors from all corners that Washington was making a hard charge for Lee, possibly offer a seven-year deal. While other reports have contradicted that, a baseball source told MLB.com’s Bill Ladson that “The Nationals are not out of it by any means.” 
Several afternoon reports, including one Twitter report from SI.com’s Jon Heyman indicated that while there was a seven-year market for Cliff Lee, it wasn’t the Nationals. By all accounts on the Yankees side,  the club isn’t willing to go to a seventh year. 
- Free agent left-hander Mark Hendrickson is drawing some interest from the Rays and Mariners, FoxSports.com’s Jon Paul Morosi tweeted on Tuesday. He added that the Orioles have kept tabs as well on the pitcher, whose value now is primarily as a reliever. 
- Add the Orioles to the list of teams who have talked to the Braves about Japanese pitcher Kenshin Kawakami, according to the Baltimore Sun. But Baltimore isn’t likely to pick up Kawakami from Atlanta, as the Braves are looking for outfield help, a baseball source told Dan Connolly of the Sun. 
-Left-hander Dennys Reyes could decide on a team within the next 48 hours, Morosi tweeted on Tuesday. The Phillies, Marlins, Mariners and Athletics have all been known to have interest. 
-Several teams are interested in utility man Delwyn Young, Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel tweeted. The Brewers, Marlins and Phillies are all talking to Young, who played second base, third base and right field last season. The 28-year-old elected free agency after being designated by the Pirates before the non-tender deadline. 
-After Monday’s news that the Royals were asking a very high price for Zack Greinke, it appears that teams are upping their offers for the ace, Ed Price of Yahoo Sports tweeted. While the Blue Jays and Rangers have been known to have serious interest in Greinke, the Nationals also recently inquired about him, CBSSports.com reported.
-Infielder Jorge Cantu has multiple teams interested, including the Padres, Mariners and D-backs, tweeted Yahoo Sports’ Tim Brown. The 29-year-old split last season between the Marlins and Rangers, hitting .256. 
- The Mets are having serious discussions with reliever D.J. Carrasco, according to an ESPN New York.com report. The report characterizes the negotiations to bring the right-hander to New York as “fruitful.”
-While it’s just discussion at this point and considered quite unlikely, the Red Sox are at least talking internally about a potential Carlos Beltran trade, ESPN New York reported. Boston would consider the outfielder a last option if their other outfield pursuits fall part, Joel Sherman of the New York Post tweeted. 
- The Mets are seemingly looking for a catcher to back up Josh Thole as on Tuesday morning ESPN New York reported the Mets were “closing in” on free agent Ronny Paulino. Other reports, including a tweet from Sherman, indicated the club was still talking to several backstops, but Paulino was one of them.
–Bailey Stephens

Brewers-Jays trade official

The scouts may be right, and 20-year-old infield prospect Brett Lawrie may indeed turn out to be the next Jeff Kent. But the Brewers need pitching today, and that’s why they pulled the trigger on their first trade of these Winter Meetings. 
The Brewers and Blue Jays on Monday announced the swap they set in place Sunday night, sending Toronto’s 2010 Opening Day starter Shaun Marcum to Milwaukee for Lawrie, a talented hitter who was widely considered the Brewers’ top prospect. 
The deal was met with some surprise in the lobby of the Walt Disney World Swan & Dolphin resort by a handful of rival executives who didn’t know Lawrie was available. The Langley, British Columbia native is coming off a solid season at Double-A Huntsville in which he batted .285 with eight home runs, 63 RBIs and 30 stolen bases. Sixty of Lawrie’s 158 hits went for extra-bases including 16 triples. 
In Marcum, the Brewers have a right-hander who, barring future deals, figures to join right-hander Yovani Gallardo and left-hander Randy Wolf in the top three slots of Milwaukee’s starting rotation. Marcum is arbitration-eligible again after earning $850,000 in 2010, and won’t reach free agency for two more seasons. 
“Shaun is an excellent strike-thrower and one of the better competitors we saw pitch last season,” Brewers GM Doug Melvin said in a statement.  “He has the ability to pitch at the top of the rotation along with Yovani Gallardo and Randy Wolf.  He fills a hole in our staff that we needed to fill.”
– Adam McCalvy
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