Results tagged ‘ Brian Wilson ’
The Dodgers and free-agent reliever Brian Wilson reached an agreement Thursday on a one-year contract, according to Tim Brown of Yahoo! Sports.
The deal will pay Wilson $10 million and includes a player option for a second year, sources told Brown, with the value of that second year ranging from $9-10 million based on his number of appearances in 2014.
MLB.com had reported on Tuesday that the two sides were making progress toward Wilson’s return. The right-hander came back from his second Tommy John surgery to pitch in 18 games for Los Angeles last season, posting a 0.66 ERA and striking out 13 in 13 2/3 innings.
— Andrew Simon
Two sought-after free agent closers appear to suddenly be off the market.
Just a short while after it was reported the Tigers were nearing a deal with Joe Nathan, Yahoo!’s Tim Brown has reported the Dodgers are close to bringing back Brian Wilson.
The right-hander made a comeback late last season, allowing just one run in 13 2/3 innings over 18 games with Los Angeles. The three-time All-Star saved 36-plus games from 2008-11 with the Giants.
— Joey Nowak
The Rangers officially introduced Prince Fielder on Monday, five days after acquiring the slugging first baseman from the Tigers for Ian Kinsler.
The move likely doesn’t signify the end of the club’s offseason maneuvering, however. Our T.R. Sullivan writes that while the Rangers are not expected to go after free-agent second baseman Robinson Cano, they are looking to add another impact bat to their lineup, either at the top or in the middle.
One of those available big bats belongs to free-agent outfielder Shin-Soo Choo. Speaking of Choo, our Mark Sheldon explores the question of whether the Reds could bring him back to Cincinnati, meeting his significant contract demands.
In other news from around the league:
- Veteran right-handed pitcher Dan Haren officially came off the board on Monday, when the Dodgers announced his one-year contract.
- After adding a center fielder (Peter Bourjos) and a shortstop (Jhonny Peralta) over the past week, Cardinals general manager John Mozeliak didn’t close the door on his offseason shuffling but added that, “if the clock stopped today, we’d be pretty happy with our club.”
- The Yankees’ signing of free-agent catcher Brian McCann signals the club’s aggressive intentions this offseason after falling short of the playoffs in 2013, writes MLB.com columnist Mike Bauman. Along those lines, a move for free-agent outfielder Carlos Beltran could be on the way.
- Blue Jays general manager Alex Anthopoulos addressed his team’s search for a starting pitcher, most notably the Cubs’ Jeff Samardzija.
- Veteran righty A.J. Burnett hasn’t decided if he will pitch in 2014, but if he does, the market could push him out of the Pirates’ price range.
- The Tigers and free-agent reliever Brian Wilson are in “serious” negotiations, a source has told The Detroit News. It appears that Wilson, and not Joe Nathan, is Detroit’s primary target to fill its closer role.
- Elsewhere in the American League Central, The Kansas City Star reported that the Royals are open to dealing from their bullpen depth, especially righty Aaron Crow or lefty Tim Collins.
- There were a few minor trades executed on Monday, with the Padres swinging a three-player deal with the Pirates and swapping pitchers with the Orioles, while the A’s picked up a left-hander from the Nationals. The Pirates also cleared 40-man roster space by designating first baseman-outfielder Garrett Jones for assignment.
- Our Doug Miller looks at what’s left on the free-agent market in The Week Ahead.
- The Marlins are looking into signing catcher Dioner Navarro and pitcher Phil Hughes, according to the Miami Herald.
— Andrew Simon
The Rockies’ pursuit of veteran right-hander LaTroy Hawkins, which resulted in a one-year, $2.5 million guarantee that will become official once Hawkins passes a physical, can be seen in an odd way as a compliment to young lefty Rex Brothers, who served capably as closer when veteran Rafael Betancourt was injured.
Brothers, who turns 26 on Dec. 18, went 19-of-21 on save chances and finished with a 1.74 ERA last season. At times he struggled putting away hitters early in innings but he still struck out 76 (against 36 walks) in 67 1/3 innings. It certainly is a signal that he could become even more effective.
But before Betancourt went through a right groin strain, an appendectomy and finally a season-ending elbow injury, many of Betancourt’s save opportunities came partly because of Brothers’ effectiveness as a setup man. Brothers’ club-record 30-inning scoreless streak, which covered 32 games, ran from April 10 to June 27. Only the final nine games of the streak came while he was in the closer role.
As the season progressed, several games ended with Brothers not even taking the mound, because the middle relief and setup men pitched away the lead. It’s the old sabermetric argument: Why have the best option sitting in the bullpen while lesser pitchers blow it?
Hawkins ended up an effective closer for the Mets late last season. He earned all 12 of his saves and blew just one from Aug. 6 to season’s end. He struck out 18 against one walk and held opponents to a .222 batting average in those 23 appearances. At 41, he still throws hard enough and deceptively enough to be trusted with the final inning. The Rockies believe if he holds the closer job, it frees them to use Brothers when the game is tight before the ninth. And if plans change and Brothers at some point ends up the closer — which has been his plan his entire career — Hawkins gives them an attractive option in a setup role.
The Rockies still want to shore up the setup roles through free agency. Signing Hawkins as closer likely takes them out of the chase for Brian Wilson and Grant Balfour, who could be invited to pitch the ninth inning by another club. But a hard throwers such as Jesse Crain, Joe Smith or Jose Veras could further fill the Rockies’ needs.
The attempt to load up the back of the bullpen makes for intriguing competition and decisions when it comes to holdovers from last season. The club likes the 96 mph-plus fastball that righty Chad Bettis brought last season when used in relief, and will keep him there rather than revisit him in the rotation. They tested righty Adam Ottavino in late innings and there were some encouraging numbers, such as a 2.00 ERA at Coors Field. Righty Mitchell Boggs finished up with the Rockies after struggling mightily with the Cardinals when forced into the closer role, and the club is having internal discussions about returning him to a starter role. Boggs started 15 of his first 24 big-league appearances when breaking in with the Cards in 2008 and 2009.
The Rockies also continue to be in the market for starting pitching, although it’s unclear exactly where they’ll look. They’re often leery of accomplishment elsewhere because of the Mike Hampton-Denny Neagle experiment a few years back, but Tim Hudson profiled well. However, Hudson decided to take his passion and intensity to the NL West with the Giants.
Left-handed hitting outfielder-first baseman James Loney continues to be a prime candidate for the corner bat the Rockies seek. Corey Hart, coming off a knee injury, told a satellite radio audience on Tuesday that the Rockies, Red Sox and his former team, the Brewers, have checked in with him. Not much will be known until next month, when he is cleared for full activity. What isn’t clear is how strongly the Rockies are pursuing first baseman Mike Napoli, whose ability to make a pitcher work would fit nicely at first base. However, with his 2013 team, the World Series champion Red Sox, and others in the mix, the Rockies may drop out of the bidding the way they did with catcher Carlos Ruiz, who re-signed with the Phillies on Monday.
— Thomas Harding
When a team is looking to improve on one facet of its club, it helps when it has a surplus in another area. Read ahead in today’s Hot Stove roundup to find out which club is in such a situation, and plenty of other news:
- Between Jurickson Profar, Elvis Andrus and Ian Kinsler, the Rangers have a wealth of infield depth. The Dallas Morning News‘ Evan Grant reports the Rangers could very well trade one of those players (with some top prospects also working their way into the picture) to fill other needs. “We have three guys at the major league level and two guys at Double-A [Rougned Odor and Luis Sardinas]; it would be irresponsible not to consider it,” general manager Jon Daniels told Grant. “Will we ultimately make a deal? I really don’t know. Teams are getting the lay of the land, see what’s out there and make a decision.”
- The Blue Jays are looking to add starting pitching talent. But would they be willing to part ways with Jose Bautista in order to get it? The Boston Globe‘s Nick Cafardo says it’s a possibility.
- Cafardo also notes there’s a “growing sentiment” that the Padres will deal third baseman Chase Headley this winter.
- It’s no secret the Tigers need a closer, and Joe Nathan and Brian Wilson are two names that have been closely linked to Detroit. It was reported earlier this week that there has been mutual interest between the Tigers and Nathan, but Buster Olney tweeted that the Tigers may prefer Wilson because of salary.
- Right-hander Jeff Samardzija has the potential to be a building block for the Cubs moving forward, and David Kaplan is reporting that the Cubs have reached out to him about a contract extension. Samardzija, who will become a free agent after the 2015 season and turns 29 in January, had a 4.34 ERA last year and logged a career-high 213 2/3 innings.
- Because of the unique structure of Bryce Harper‘s contract and some unresolved issues, the Washington Post‘s Adam Kilgore reports, Harper and the Nationals could be looking at a grievance hearing next winter.
— Joey Nowak
The second day of the General Manager Meetings in Orlando got off to a quick start, as the Phillies and outfielder Marlon Byrd agreed a two-year, $16-million deal.
Byrd, 36, hit .291/.336/.518 last season with the Mets and Pirates and now returns to the organization where he played his first 3 1/2 seasons after being a 10th-round selection in the 1999 First-Year Player Draft.
While that was the day’s only significant transaction, there was no shortage of other news, including a late-breaking rumor that has the Phillies making an even bigger splash.
- The Phillies are discussing a deal that would bring Blue Jays outfielder Jose Bautista to Philadelphia for a package including outfielder Domonic Brown, according to Howard Eskin of FOX 29 TV and WIP radio in Philadelphia.
- The subject of trade speculation only a year after the Nationals acquired him from the Twins, center fielder Denard Span is hoping to return to Washington.
- The Mets are looking for outfielders, with free agent Curtis Granderson representing one appealing option.
- While rumors continue to swirl about the Cardinals executing a blockbuster deal for Rockies shortstop Troy Tulowitzki, our Jenifer Langosch plays down the likelihood of that scenario. St. Louis could choose to sign a free agent such as Stephen Drew or orchestrate a trade for a shortstop who wouldn’t demand such a hefty return.
- Cubs general manager Jed Hoyer confirmed his club’s interest in Japanese right-hander Masahiro Tanaka and acknowledged that other teams have asked about Chicago righty Jeff Samardzija.
- The Rockies offered free-agent catcher Carlos Ruiz a two-year deal worth about $15 million, according to The Denver Post’s Troy Renck, but it seems that won’t be enough to entice Ruiz to Colorado. Renck writes that the veteran backstop has a two-year, $20 million offer from another, unspecified club.
- The Padres could consider trading third baseman Chase Headley if they can’t agree on a contract extension to keep him in San Diego beyond this season, CBS Sports’ Jon Heyman writes.
The Yankees’ David Robertson isn’t a lock to inherit the ninth inning from the retired Mariano Rivera, with general manager Brian Cashman saying he will explore the free-agent and trade markets for relievers, including closers.
- The Yankees’ reported interest in free-agent outfielder Carlos Beltran is legit, MLB.com’s Bryan Hoch hears.
- The Blue Jays have some money to spend and could look to use it on a free agent starting pitcher.
- Fox Sports’ Ken Rosenthal speculates that the Red Sox could be the frontrunners for Ruiz.
- The White Sox are prepared to welcome back Paul Konerko for his 16th season with the club, but Konerko remains undecided about his future.
- The Indians have interest in free-agent closers Fernando Rodney and Brian Wilson, according to the Cleveland Plain Dealer.
- According to Heyman, the Twins are exploring a reunion with free-agent catcher A.J. Pierzynski, whom they took in the third round of the 1994 Draft. Pierzynski, however, figures to have several suitors, including the Phillies.
- Meanwhile, Minnesota may be closer to signing veteran right-hander Bronson Arroyo, according to the St. Paul Pioneer Press’ Mike Berardi.
- Heyman reports that multiple teams are interested in Astros catcher Jason Castro, who hit .276/.350/.485 with 18 home runs last season. Our Brian McTaggart downplays the likelihood of a Castro trade, however.
- The Mariners would like to add free-agent outfielders Carlos Beltran and Nelson Cruz, tweets ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick, who also reports that their interest in Jacoby Ellsbury is lower.
— Andrew Simon
How would Carlos Beltran look in right field for the Rockies?
The club is weighing various options in free agency, with a big bat being one of the priorities. While trads are an option, the Rockies are more likely to go the free agency route. That’s what they did two years ago when they signed Michael Cuddyer, who paid off for them by winning the National League batting title this year.
Don’t be surprised if the Rockies don’t at least seriously consider making a run at Beltran, who made his first World Series appearance this year while with the Cardinals. He’ll be 37 to start next season, but was quite productive in 2013 — .296, .339 OPB, .491 SLG. Those aren’t far from the numbers over his career. With a team that includes Carlos Gonzalez, Troy Tulowitzki and Cuddyer, it could be a fit. He could come in at two years and $30 million, as the MLB Trade Rumors Web site predicts. The Rockies had interest in him in the past.
Of course, there are many was for the Rockies to spend their money on a slugger, who can fit in at either first base or right field with Cuddyer playing the other position. Nelson Cruz, who is expected to turn down the Rangers’ qualifying offer and test the market, Justin Morneau, Marlon Byrd, James Loney (.338, nine home runs, 54 RBIs, .957 OPS in 55 games at Coors Field) and Corey Hart also could fit the bill. Brian McCann can catch and play first base, but at the top of his earning value in terms of money and years it’s doubtful the Rockies will be a serious competitor for his services.
The Rockies will attempt to bring in a pitching leader, and are expected to inquire about Tim Hudson — despite the fact the Braves, Royals, Indians and and Red Sox have already identified themselves as contenders — and Josh Johnson. The price figures to be high for Ricky Nolasco or Ervin Santana, as SI.com and others report, but the Rockies need a stalwart and can’t be counted out in those sweepstakes. Matt Garza, who could score big in free agency, and Jason Vargas also could be possibilities.
Also, add the name of righty reliever Jesse Crain to the list of publicly identified free-agency targets. The Denver Post has identified Brian Wilson, Grant Balfour, Joe Smith and Jose Veras as bullpen possibilities. ESPNNewYork.com reported the club is looking at LaTroy Hawkins.
The Rockies are also pursuing free-agent catcher Carlos Ruiz, although the Phillies are making a push to keep him. If the Rockies sign him, the intriguing situation is what becomes of catcher Wilin Rosario, a slugger who doesn’t have Ruiz’s experience or ability defensively.
— Thomas Harding
The early reports on the Hot Stove have the Rockies seeking power and experience in the bullpen and skill behind the plate.
The Denver Post has reported the Rockies have expressed interest in Brian Wilson, Grant Balfour, Joe Smith and Jose Veras. In addition, ESPNNewYork.com reported Thursday that the Rockies are courting veteran LaTroy Hawkins, who was a leader and effective pitcher on the 2007 World Series team and is still going strong at age 41.
The Denver Post also mentions Carlos Ruiz as a catching target. To sign Ruiz, the Rockies are going to have to be creative to get Wilin Rosario’s power bat into the lineup with regularity. The team used Rosario at first base last season and right field has been mentioned. Still, there are forces in the organization who see Rosario as an asset because of his power. However, Ruiz is considered strong defensively and in working with a pitching staff, while Rosario is a work in progress. Another possibility behind the plate is Brian McCann, although the price tag may be higher than the Rockies are willing to pay. McCann also can play first base.
— Thomas Harding
Still, the team is looking for improvement offensively, with first base and right field as the positions to target. Look for the Rockies to evaluate Justin Morneau, Marlon Byrd, James Loney, Corey Hart and Nelson Cruz among others.
The action began to crank into high gear on Tuesday night, with less than 24 hours remaining before the non-waiver Trade Deadline, which comes at 4 p.m. ET on Wednesday. Here’s where things stand going into the final day:
- The Red Sox made a bold move late on Tuesday night, landing veteran starting pitcher Jake Peavy in a three-way deal with the Tigers and White Sox, along with reliever Brayan Villareal. While the right-hander will bolster Boston’s rotation, Detroit’s acquisition of slick-fielding shortstop Jose Iglesias gives them insurance if Jhonny Peralta is served with a long suspension as part of MLB’s investigation into the Biogenesis case. Chicago, meanwhile, received young outfielder Avisail Garcia and a trio of prospects in the deal.
- The A’s acquired infielder Alberto Callaspo from the Angels for former first-round pick Grant Green and plan to add the switch-hitter to their mix at second base. General manager Billy Beane said afterward that he was “not currently” involved in additional trade talks.
- The Indians added the left-handed arm they were seeking for their bullpen, nabbing veteran Marc Rzepczynski from the Cardinals for a Minor Leaguer. Rzepczynski had spent much of this season at Triple-A Memphis.
- St. Louis has been linked to some big names ahead of the Deadline and could be in the mix for a shortstop or starting pitcher, but GM John Mozeliak downplayed the likelihood of a trade. But with All-Star catcher Yadier Molina headed to the disabled list with a knee injury, it’s possible the club could be spurred to action.
- Astros right-hander Bud Norris continues to draw plenty of interest from contending teams.
- The Yankees are one of the clubs in pursuit of White Sox outfielder Alex Rios, although New York is one of six teams on his no-trade list.
- The Dodgers took a shot at bolstering their bullpen by signing former Giants closer Brian Wilson, but there might not be much else for GM Ned Colletti to do.
- The D-backs could part with right-hander Ian Kennedy, who started for Arizona on Tuesday.
- The Pirates seem likely to stand pat after grabbing the NL Central lead with a doubleheader sweep of the Cardinals on Tuesday.
– Andrew Simon
NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Bobby Evans, the Giants’ vice president of baseball operations, used some powerful language Monday to suggest that Brian Wilson ideally will always wear a San Francisco uniform.
Of course, whether Wilson views matters the same way remains to be seen.
The Giants declined to tender Wilson a 2013 contract last Friday. They didn’t want to pay him a minimum of $6.8 million, the minimum they could have offered him under terms of the Basic Agreement. Players’ salaries cannot be cut by more than 20 percent; the $6.8 million figure represented a 20 percent reduction from the $8.5 million Wilson earned in 2012.
To listen to Evans, Wilson’s value to the Giants is priceless.
“I think Brian’s a Giant for life, and he’ll hopefully be a guy who’ll consider coming back here as he evaluates his options,” Evans said, adding that the organization respected Wilson’s right to look elsewhere.
Added Evans, “He’s a commodity that’s hard to find. It’s hard to find guys built like him that have the mentality that he has that led to a lot of his success. So that’s going to be very interesting on the open market, injury aside. His makeup is part of what makes him successful.”
Manager Bruce Bochy, who personally contacted Angel Pagan and Marco Scutaro to help the Giants’ efforts to keep both players, said that he would call Wilson soon in an attempt to convince him to stay.
Whatever happens with Wilson, Bochy declared that Sergio Romo would open next season as the Giants’ closer, barring drastic roster moves. “I’ll tell you (that) right now,” Bochy said, though he indicated that he might continue the closer-by-committee strategy he employed in Wilson’s absence. Santiago Casilla saved a team-high 25 games, and Bochy mentioned Jeremy Affeldt and Javier Lopez as others who could lend support — as they did in 2012.
So if Angel Pagan remains productive for the duration of his four-year contract, what happens to Gary Brown, the 2010 first-round draft choice who was billed as the Giants’ center fielder of the future?
Evans said that Brown, 24, remains highly regarded within the organization. “I don’t doubt Gary at all,” Evans said.
“The timing for him will be dictated more by him than it will be us.”
In other words, if Brown excels, the Giants will find a place for him somewhere in the outfield. He hit .279 with 33 stolen bases at Double-A Richmond this year and followed that by hitting .313 in 17 games for Scottsdale in the Arizona Fall League.
“I think Gary will put himself in the big leagues at the right time,” Evans said.
— Chris Haft