Results tagged ‘ Cardinals ’
The focus of the hot stove season shifted away
from Derek Jeter on Saturday, but not necessarily away from the Yankees.
Jeter and the Yankees finally came to terms — a move almost
universally expected — to the tune of a guaranteed three-year deal, worth $15
to $17 million per. The deal isn’t official until Jeter takes a physical, but the
hard part, the sometimes contentious negotiations, should be a thing of the
Left atop the free agent market are Cliff Lee and Carl
Crawford, and the former’s destination could be what determines the latter’s.
MLB.com’s Lyle Spencer wrote that the Angels are
actually pulling for the Yanks to land Lee: If Texas, the other perceived
contender in the Lee sweepstakes, is able to re-sign Lee, that means the Angels
could be up against not only the Red Sox, but the Yankees in a bidding war for
Crawford. If the Yankees sign Lee, however, New York likely would be
hard-pressed to get seriously involved with Crawford as well.
Boston on Saturday grabbed headlines too when it took a
giant step toward a revamped lineup.
Adrian Gonzalez, the Padres’ first baseman who is a free
agent after the 2011 season, was flown into Boston on Saturday and passed a
physical. The Padres and Red Sox have a trade in place that would bring
Gonzalez to the Sox, but that’s contingent on Gonzalez agreeing to a contract
extension. The reported deadline for the two sides to reach an agreement is 2
The Cardinals made noise late in the day by announcing the
signing of Lance Berkman. The one-year, $8 million deal brings the 34-year-old
back to the National League Central, where he thrived for so long with Houston.
Another NL Central club, the Reds, might have reason to be
concerned that their slugger — and the league’s MVP — might not want to be
around for long. Joey Votto, who’s arbitration eligible, said on Saturday that
he’s just not sure where he’ll be a few years down the road.
“When [Colorado's Troy Tulowitzki] signed that 10-year
contract, I was blown away,” Votto told MLB.com’s Mark Sheldon. “I
can’t imagine seeing myself 10 years from now saying I want to be here. It’s an
overwhelming thing to ask a young person like myself and say, ‘Here’s a lot of
money. Be happy with this over 10 years, deal with it.’”
The Dodgers have had a busy start to the offseason, locking
up Ted Lilly, Jon Garland and Hiroki Kuroda. They added Rod Barajas to the mix
on Saturday, signing the catcher to a one-year, $3.25 million deal.
– Evan Drellich
Rockies general manager Dan O’Dowd has said it’s doubtful he can land a big bat, but he’s trying. According to The Denver Post, the Rockies have aggressively pursued switch-hitting Lance Berkman to play the outfield corners and occasionally spell Todd Helton at first base.
The key here would be Berkman’s desire to return to the National League. Berkman saw a dramatic drop in his power with the Astros and Yankees last season, although finished he year with the Yankees as a designated hitter on an upswing as far as average is concerned.
An important aspect of the pursuit of Berkman, according to the Post, is Helton would be on board with bringing in Berkman. The two have the same agent. Helton helped the Rockies recruit Jason Giambi as his backup last season, but by season’s end Helton admitted not playing nearly every game was difficult. Still, the Rockies need a solid alternative, given Helton’s history of back problems and his age.
The Rockies desire a right-handed corner bat, preferably one that can play some first base. Berkman has more power from the left than from the right, but he fits — if the price is right. The Cardinals, Blue Jays and Athletics also have pursued Berkman.
The Mariners’ Jose Lopez, if he’s non-tendered, Jorge Cantu, whom the Rockies considered trading for last season, and Troy Glaus are acknowledged targets. The Rockies also are looking at the Athletics, who appear to be deciding whether to non-tender Edwin Encarnacion or Colorado native Kevin Kouzmanoff.
Some current Rockies will no doubt be watching the situation closely. Third baseman Ian Stewart and outfielders Seth Smith and Ryan Spilborghs could potentially lose playing time, depending on who is signed. Interestingly, the Rockies hired Carney Lansford as hitting coach and charged him with the task of waking up the bats of all three. Stewart and Smith didn’t meet the club’s expectations for production last year. Spilborghs finished strong but struggled with strikeouts early.
– Thomas Harding
With one week remaining until the start of the usually-hectic Winter Meetings in Lake Buena Vista, Fla., the busy Dodgers made another move, agreeing to terms with Juan Uribe on a three-year deal reportedly worth about $21 million.
With Uribe, the Dodgers swipe a big piece of the Giants’ World Series championship run away from their division rivals and add a much-needed right-handed power bat to the middle of the lineup. Uribe played 103 games at shortstop, 26 at third base and 24 at second while batting .248 with 24 homers and 85 RBIs in 2010 (not including a postseason run that saw him drive in nine runs in 14 games).
In Los Angeles, he figures to start at second base, which will likely lead to the non-tendering of Trade Deadline acquisition Ryan Theriot. Despite dealing with instability up top, the Dodgers had already locked up their rotation by re-signing Ted Lilly and acquiring Jon Garland.
Here’s more from around the league …
* The Rangers signed catcher Yorvit Torrealba to a two-year
contract. Torrealba, a 10-year veteran who played in 95 games for the
Padres in 2010 — batting .271 with seven homers and 37 RBIs while
starting 89 games — fills a void left by Bengie Molina (likely retired) and Matt Treanor (free agent). The deal, according to MLB.com’s T.R. Sullivan, is worth $6.25 million.
* They also avoided an arbitration hearing with Mark Lowe and agreed on a one-year contract. The deal is worth $1.2 million, plus another $100,000 in incentives.
* A source told ESPNNY.com the Yankees believe Derek Jeter and his agent, Casey Close, need to “drink the reality potion.” The unnamed source told the Web site the Yankees are still not budging from their three-year, $45 million offer, and Jeter still seeks a longer contract between $23 million and $25 million per season. Talks between the two sides did not take place during the holiday weekend and none are currently scheduled, ESPNNY.com added.
* While the Jeter negotiations appear heated, ESPNNY.com added that talks between the Yankees and Mariano Rivera are “progressing much smoother.” Rivera will likely receive a bump from his 2010 salary, probably in the $16-17 million range, but the question remains whether he gets one or two years.
* Free-agent first baseman/outfielder/designated hitter Lance Berkman was originally disappointed the Astros didn’t want him back, but the Texas product told The Houston Chronicle “there’s been a lot of interest” in his services. Berkman specifically named the Cardinals, Cubs, Rockies, Athletics, Pirates and Blue Jays as teams who have been in touch, but added he hasn’t received a formal offer yet. Berkman has said he’d prefer to play in the National League, adding that he’s still capable of serving as an outfielder and first baseman.
* The Astros have talked about the possibility of an extension with right-hander Wandy Rodriguez, general manager Ed Wade told The Houston Chronicle. Rodriguez hits free agency after the 2011 season.
* The Mets will do their due diligence in shopping shortstop Jose Reyes this winter, but considering his value has never been lower, it would be shocking if they actually went ahead and traded him, MLB.com’s Anthony DiComo writes.
* The Twins have until late December to agree on a contract with Japanese middle infielder Tsuyoshi Nishioka, who sounds like someone excited to play in Minnesota. In quotes passed along by The Minneapolis Star Tribune, Nishioka told the Japanese press he has no preference between shortstop and second base and said, “I don’t think that I will give up the idea of going to the Majors because of the amount of money.”
“Minnesota Twins has been contending to the playoff every year,” he added. “To play for the good team is one of my wishes. I am happy that I could advance one step forward.” The Twins won their exclusive-negotiating for Nishioka on Friday and could use him to fill their middle-infield needs.
– Alden Gonzalez
On the day the Yankees signed Larry Rothschild to a three-year contract
to be their new pitching coach, New York reportedly reached out to its
shortstop. The Yankees, SI.com reported on Friday afternoon, are about
to offer Derek Jeter a three-year contract worth $45 million.
That may not be enough, though, as several outlets have stated that “The
Captain” seeks a four- or five-year deal.
Here’s more from around the league …
* New Diamondbacks general manager Kevin Towers is a popular man these
days, considering he recently said his club would listen
in on offers for young star Justin Upton. According to The New York
Post, at least half the league — not including the Yankees — have shown
interest in the outfielder, and five clubs have wanted to move negotiations
forward. The Blue Jays, Mariners, Marlins, Rays, Orioles, Red Sox and Rays have
all been linked to Upton recently.
* The Yankees would like another left-hander in their bullpen besides Boone
Logan, so they are showing interest in free agent J.C. Romero,
according to FOXSports.com. New York has also been linked to Pedro Feliciano.
* The Indians might have re-gained a stud outfielder without having to spend an
extra penny. Shin-Soo Choo has probably avoided
required military service after leading his South Korea club to the gold
* In need of a shortstop, the Orioles are expected to bid on Japanese infielder
Tsuyoshi Nishioka, according to a Sports Hochi report relayed by NPB
Tracker. The Mariners, Padres, Dodgers and Cardinals have also been linked to
the 26-year-old switch-hitter, who batted .346 with 22 steals last year.
* Veteran designated hitter Vladimir Guerrero is talking to the Rangers and three other American League teams, according to SI.com.
– Alden Gonzalez
The Dodgers are among a handful of clubs who have expressed interest in free agent right-hander Brandon Webb. According to ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick, the Pirates, Twins and Rangers also have checked in on Webb, and the Nationals, Reds and Cardinals are considered possibilities to join in the pursuit.
Webb, 31, was a 22-game winner in 2008 for Arizona before shoulder surgery cost him the past two sesons. He did not miss a start from 2004 through ’08, delivering 226 or more innings in four straight seasons. — Lyle Spencer
A source close to the negotiations has confirmed the terms of Jake Westbrook’s new contract with the Cardinals.
The Cardinals can scratch item No. 1 off of their offseason shopping list.