Results tagged ‘ Cardinals ’

2/6 Roundup

The Hot Stove saw a flurry of activity involving relievers on Thursday, most notably closer Fernando Rodney reportedly agreeing to a two-year contract with the Mariners worth at least $14 million.

Rodney was the top bullpen arm on the market entering Thursday. Over the past two seasons with the Rays, he collected 85 saves and posted a 1.91 ERA. Seattle has not confirmed the deal, which won’t be official until he passes a physical.

Meanwhile, the Marlins and Carlos Marmol reached an agreement on a one-year contract worth $1.25 million. A former All-Star closer with the Cubs, Marmol transitioned to a middle relief role last season after being traded to the Dodgers. The veteran is expected to compete for a setup role this year. Miami added further depth to its bullpen in Chaz Roe, who agreed to a Minor League contract that includes an invitation to Major League Spring Training.

The Cardinals were also in on the action, signing veteran Pat Neshek to a Minor League deal with an invitation to big league camp.

In other news from around the league:

• Despite interest from at least a dozen teams, the Nationals are in no rush to trade second baseman Danny Espinosa, writes MLB.com’s Bill Ladson. Although he’s coming off a down year, Washington still has faith in Espinosa and will give him every chance to make the club this season.

• The D-backs inked outfielder Mark Trumbo to a one-year deal, avoiding arbitration.

• The Cubs and second baseman Darwin Barney won’t be going to arbitration after agreeing to a one-year contract. The deal leaves right-handed starter Jeff Samardzija as Chicago’s only arbitration eligible player.

• Catcher Matt Wieters and the Orioles also avoided arbitration by coming to terms on a one-year deal.

• Infielder Brett Wallace was designated for assignment by the Astros in a move to open a roster spot for pitcher Jerome Williams, who agreed to a one-year pact earlier this week. Houston has 10 days to trade Wallace, outright him to the Minor Leagues or release him.

• Tampa Bay signed five players to Minor League contracts with invitations to Major League Spring Training: infielder Wilson Betemit, outfielders Justin Christian and Jeremy Moore, catcher Eddy Rodriguez and right-hander Juan Sandoval.

-Austin Laymance

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

Angels sign Mulder to Minors deal …

The Angels have agreed to terms on a Minor League contract with a Spring Training invite with veteran starter Mark Mulder, the two-time All-Star who hasn’t pitched in the big leagues since 2008, a source confirmed to MLB.com on Wednesday.

The agreement – first reported by Jerry Crasnick of ESPN.com – will pay Mulder up to $6 million if he reaches all incentives, according to several reports.

Mulder, 36 and previously working as an ESPN analyst, was one of the game’s top left-handers from 2001-05, averaging 18 wins and posting a 3.65 ERA for the A’s and Cardinals. But he pitched only 12 2/3 Major League innings from 2007-08 and retired in ’09 after struggling to bounce back from two shoulder surgeries.

This past October, though, he started emulating the delivery of Dodgers reliever Paco Rodriguez and found something that worked for him, according to an ESPN.com story. That prompted Mulder to spend the month of November working himself back into shape in Arizona, before throwing off the mound near his home in Scottsdale and reportedly sitting between 89-90 mph with his fastball.

The Angels were one of the teams who saw Mulder throw that day. Now, they’ll give him a chance to compete for a spot in their rotation this spring.

“I can’t even begin to tell you how excited I am,” Mulder told ESPN in early December. “To be honest with you, I never anticipated this five or six weeks ago. It was just a flat-out fluke that came from me trying to imitate Paco Rodriguez in my living room.”

– Alden Gonzalez

Mulder reportedly looking West

Veteran pitcher Mark Mulder, who’s looking to make a comeback after five seasons out of the big leagues, apparently has a few suitors and is considering teams on the West Coast and that train in Arizona. 

ESPN.com‘s Jerry Crasnick reports the Angels, D-backs and Giants were the first three teams to watch Mulder when he first worked off a mound in November. Crasnick says Mulder is “close” to finding a team. MLB.com‘s Alden Gonzalez has also reported the Angels are in the mix

The 36-year-old former first-round pick (of the A’s in 1998) pitched nine seasons in the big leagues (five with Oakland, four with St. Louis) and was an All-Star in 2003 and 2004.

– Joey Nowak

12/17 Roundup

The pool of potential closers available on the free-agent market shrank on Tuesday, when the Hot Stove was focused on relief pitching.

The Orioles were on the hunt for a closer after trading Jim Johnson to the A’s earlier this offseason, and they now appear set to use some of the savings from that deal on Oakland’s former closer. Grant Balfour, who saved 38 games for the A’s in 2013, reportedly is in agreement on a two-year contract with Baltimore.

The Cubs also might have snatched up a new ninth-inning man after reaching a reported one-year pact with Jose Veras. That would leave Fernando Rodney, Joaquin Benoit, Rafael Betancourt and Chris Perez among a dwindling group of free agents with recent success as closers. The Padres appear to be targeting Benoit for an eighth-inning role in front of Huston Street.

In other news from around the league:

  • Highly touted Japanese right-hander Masahiro Tanaka has informed his Nippon Professional Baseball club, the Rakuten Golden Eagles, that he wants to be made available to Major League teams. But even with NPB and MLB having a new posting agreement in place, the Eagles do not have to post Tanaka, and it appears they might be reluctant to do so.
  • One club that figures to pursue Tanaka if he becomes available is Arizona, which is looking to add more starting pitching this offseason.
  • The Yankees are close to signing a pair of veteran players, reportedly reaching an agreement on a one-year deal with second baseman Brian Roberts and a two-year contract with left-handed reliever Matt Thornton. Meanwhile, New York still would like to add free agent Mark Reynolds but is facing competition from the Angels and Twins, among others, according to Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com and MLB Network. Jeff Baker is another veteran bat drawing interest from the club, per the New York Post’s Joel Sherman.
  • The Braves’ search for additional starting pitching likely concluded with Monday’s signing of Gavin Floyd to a one-year contract, despite the fact that the righty won’t be ready until May as he rehabs from Tommy John surgery. Atlanta had explored trades for the likes of the Rays’ David Price and the Cubs’ Jeff Samardzija but found the asking prices too steep.
  • Our Tom Singer checks in on free-agent righty A.J. Burnett, who has yet to make a decision about whether to retire, return to the Pirates or perhaps pitch for another team. It’s a delay that is making things difficult for Pittsburgh general manager Neal Huntington.
  • After losing out on Juan Uribe, the Marlins continue to search for a third baseman. The club is looking at both free agents and trade possibilities.
  • The Mets’ top priority is to trade one of its first basemen, Ike Davis or Lucas Duda. The Brewers and Pirates are the two remaining clubs that seem like obvious trade partners for such a deal. Pittsburgh is interested in both Davis and the Rangers’ Mitch Moreland, according to Heyman.
  • The Cardinals’ recent signing of free-agent second baseman Mark Ellis likely will turn out to be their last significant move of the offseason, as GM John Mozeliak acknowledged on Tuesday.
  • On the other hand, Astros GM Jeff Luhnow said his club still is looking hard at free agents, with the bullpen one area to address. Houston already has signed relievers Chad Qualls and Matt Albers.

– Andrew Simon

Report: Cardinals, 2B Mark Ellis nearing agreement

The Cardinals are nearing a one-year deal with second baseman Mark Ellis, according to multiple reports on Sunday. The St. Louis Post-Dispatch‘s Derrick Goold first reported the deal was close.

According to reports, the deal is pending a physical.

The 36-year-old Ellis spent the last two seasons with the Dodgers, and has also spent time with the Rockies and A’s. He hit .270 with six homers and 48 RBIs in 126 games last season.

The veteran is expected to serve as a complement to rookie Kolten Wong at second base.

– Joey Nowak

Report: Red Sox bolster bullpen, sign Mujica

The Red Sox are signing reliever Edward Mujica to a two-year, $9.5 million deal, Yahoo’s Jeff Passan has reported.

The 29-year-old emerged as the Cardinals closer last season, with a 2.78 ERA and 37 saves before Trevor Rosenthal took over late in the year as Mujica struggled.

Passan reports the deal is pending a physical, which is taking place today. 

– Joey Nowak 

11/25 Roundup

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

11/23 Roundup

The Yankees stole the Hot Stove headlines on Saturday, when they filled their void at catcher by agreeing to a five-year contract with free agent Brian McCann. In a deal first reported by The Dallas Morning News, New York committed to paying McCann $85 million, with a $15 million vesting option for 2019.

 The Yankees clearly needed more offense behind the plate, after their catchers combined for a .587 OPS last season. McCann comes in with seven All-Star appearances, five Silver Slugger Awards and a career .823 OPS.

In other news from around the league:

  • The Cardinals apparently have found their shortstop, with ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick breaking the news that St. Louis is close to an agreement with free agent Jhonny Peralta.
  • The Angels will bolster their bullpen by signing free-agent right-hander Joe Smith to a three-year contract worth roughly $15 million.
  • Free-agent right-hander Colby Lewis, who missed the 2013 season due to injury, re-signed with the Rangers on a one-year Minor League deal that includes an invitation to Major League camp. Lewis went 32-29 with a 3.93 ERA over 80 starts with Texas from 2010-12 but hasn’t pitched in the Majors since July of ‘12.
  • In his morning (Insider-only) column, ESPN’s Buster Olney said some executives, “see the Mariners as the great sleeping giant in baseball,” because of their potential financial clout, lack of long-term contract commitments outside of Felix Hernandez, and solid stable of young players. Olney wonders if the Mariners could go after top free agents Robinson Cano and Jacoby Ellsbury.
  • The Cubs have generated a lot of interest in right-hander Jeff Samardzija, with the Blue Jays one of those trying to pry him away, according to Bruce Levine of ESPN Chicago and ESPN Radio 1000.
  • There was speculation on Friday that Cano was in Detroit to visit the Tigers. A deal between the two parties would seem to be a longshot considering the club just acquired Ian Kinsler, as FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal tweeted.
  • The market for free-agent closers is locked in a “staring contest,” tweets FOX Sports’ Jon Morosi.

– Andrew Simon

Report: Cardinals, Peralta close to deal

The Cardinals and free agent Jhonny Peralta are “closing in on a deal,” according to a tweet from ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick.

St. Louis has been seeking an upgrade at shortstop, and Peralta presumably would fill that role, Crasnick writes. The 11-year-veteran, who turns 32 in May, hit .303/.358/.457 with 11 home runs and 55 RBIs for the Tigers this year but also served a 50-game suspension for his ties to the Biogenesis case.

– Andrew Simon

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