Results tagged ‘ cubs ’
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
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
As the Cubs look for another catcher to work alongside Welington Castillo, CSN Chicago‘s Patrick Mooney reports they’re interested in Kurt Suzuki.
Rather than making a splash and going for free agents like Brian McCann or Jarrod Saltalamacchia, Mooney cites a source as saying the Cubs have interest in the more low-profile Suzuki. He spent time with the Nationals and A’s last year — two fine pitching staffs — and could be a strong candidate to help mentor Castillo.
Mooney says fellow Cubs catcher Dioner Navarro has priced himself out of Chicago and will likely end up elsewhere so he can get more playing time.
– Joey Nowak
The Nationals have made a habit of going after big-name starting pitchers the last two seasons, and could do so again this winter. Names like Max Scherzer and David Price have been floated, but the Washington Post‘s Adam Kilgore cites a source as saying Cubs right-hander Jeff Samardzija could be a possible trade target.
Samardzija becomes a free agent after the 2015 season and could be used in Chicago as a building block for the rebuilding Cubs, or as trade bait to help further that process in another way. He went 8-13 with a 4.34 ERA this past season. But in comparing him to Price, Kilgore points out that Samardzija has less wear on his arm and would surely come at a lesser cost.
– Joey Nowak
-The Rangers signed left-hander Martin Perez to a four-year contract through 2017 with club options for 2018, 2019 and 2020. The Rangers’ Rookie of the Year, who will turn 23 in April, was already under team control through the 2018 season, so his long-term extension essentially just buys out his arbitration-eligible years and, if all three options are picked up, delays him from entering free agency another two years.
-The Cubs officially announced the hiring of new manager Rick Renteria, the former Padres bench coach. Renteria and the Cubs agreed to a three-year deal with club options for 2017 and 2018.
-The Dodgers have talked with manager Don Mattingly about a contract extension, according to MLB.com’s Ken Gurnick, but no deal is imminent. Mattingly is under contract for next season because a club option vested when Los Angeles advanced to the National League Championship Series.
-Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports wrote that it would make sense for outfielder Curtis Granderson to decline the Yankees’ $14.1 million qualifying offer and explore the free agent market, drawing a comparison to Nick Swisher, who cashed in on the open market last winter. Rosenthal also noted on Twitter that the Yankees might have to pay more than $14.1 million to retain right-hander Hiroki Kuroda considering the threat that he could return to pitch in Japan.
-Agent Scott Boras appeared on ESPN writer Keith Law’s “Behind the Dish” podcast on Thursday to discuss several of his free agent clients. Boras described center fielder Jacoby Ellsbury as a “game-changer for a lot of franchises” and said Ellsbury and Shin-Soo Choo “have the ability to bat third in the lineup and they have the ability to lead off.”
-Boras said shortstop Stephen Drew “could really change the dynamic of the production” of seven or eight teams’ infield “by having that kind of power and that kind of defense on their team.” Boras also argued that switch-hitting first baseman/designated hitter Kendrys Morales has “a resume that, frankly, few hitters have in this market — the only one other than Cano who you can say has the ability to be a run producer in the middle of the lineup” due to his power from both sides of the plate.
The Angels have signed starting pitcher Chris Volstad to a Minor League deal with a Spring Training invite.
Volstad, 27, was the 16th overall pick by the Marlins in 2005. The 6-foot-8 righty had a solid rookie season in ’08, posting a 2.88 ERA in 15 games (14 starts), but was never able to duplicate that.
Over the next four years, the last of which was spent with the Cubs, Volstad compiled a 5.14 ERA and averaged 153 innings per season. Last year, he spent the vast majority of the season — minus six relief appearances — pitching for the Rockies’ Triple-A affiliate in the Pacific Coast League, posting a 4.58 ERA, a 1.57 WHIP and a 1.30 strikeout-to-walk ratio in 127 2/3 innings.
– Alden Gonzalez
There were reports that the Diamondbacks were talking to the Cubs about pitcher Jeff Samardzija. The right-hander says he doesn’t pay attention to the talk. Samardzija also is not in a hurry to sign a contract extension with the Cubs. The right-hander told CSNChicago.com’s David Kaplan that he’ll wait. “I have two more years of arbitration so thre is a lot of time to get something done,” Samardzija said.
– Carrie Muskat
Jeff Samardzija and the Cubs have talked about a possible long-term deal, but have been unable to reach a resolution. Could Samardzija be traded? According to a tweet by ESPN’s Buster Olney, the Cubs and Diamondbacks are talking about a possible deal involving the right-handed pitcher. This season, Samardzija set personal highs in innings pitched (214 2/3), starts (33), quality starts (19), strikeouts (214), and complete games (two). He finished 8-13 with a 4.34 ERA. The price tag would likely be high. Samardzija has two years before he is eligible for free agency.
– Carrie Muskat
The Hot Stove was focused on new managers on Sunday, with the Tigers making their choice official, and the Mariners and Cubs continuing to search. Notes on those situations, plus other tidbits from the offseason, are below.
- The Tigers introduced Brad Ausmus as their new manager on Sunday, with the longtime Major League catcher stepping into a pressure-packed spot at the helm of the reigning American League Central champions.
- The Mariners, still looking to fill their managerial opening, now have brought back three candidates for a second interview, as general manager Jack Zduriencik tries to find a replacement for Eric Wedge.
- Meanwhile, Wedge is one of the candidates known to have interviewed for the only other available manager position. The Cubs are expected to reveal their choice sometime this week.
- It appears that teams hoping to add a big bat to the middle of their lineups this offseason can cross one option off their list. Marlins general manager Dan Jennings said on Sunday that slugger Giancarlo Stanton “is not available” in trade talks and will open the 2014 season as the Marlins’ right fielder.
- Masahiro Tanaka earned the save as the Rakuten Golden Eagles beat the Yomiuri Giants in Game 7 of the Japan Series on Sunday. With that series over, Rakuten is expected to post the 25-year-old right-hander, which would make him one of the top arms available this offseason.
- The Rays picked up their $6.5 million team option on David DeJesus and are trying to work out a multi-year deal with the veteran outfielder, whom they acquired on July 23. The club still must decide whether to exercise its option on reliever Juan Carlos Oviedo.
- The Giants aren’t going to pick up right-hander Ryan Vogelsong’s $6.5 million option, but the sides are discussing a new deal for a lower guaranteed salary, according to a report from CSN Bay Area.
– Andrew Simon
According to FOX Sports and MLB Network’s Ken Rosenthal, the Cubs are expected to move either David DeJesus or Nate Schierholtz today. The Pirates are interested in both. The Pirates, who have a 1 1/2 game lead in the NL Central over the Cardinals, could use a left-handed bat. They’re hitting .241 against right-handed pitching compared to .251 vs. lefties. Schierholtz was batting .283 against right-handers with a career-high 14 home runs. DeJesus, who just returned from the DL, was batting .282 against right-handers. Money-wise, DeJesus has a $6.5 million club option for 2014, while Schierholtz was only signed for this year and would be a less expensive option.
– Carrie Muskat