Results tagged ‘ Diamondbacks ’
Japanese closer Kyuji Fujikawa is nearing a decision and the Angels are believed to be the front-runners, Tim Brown of Yahoo! Sports reported via Twitter on Friday afternoon. Fujikawa’s agent, Don Nomura, did not immediately return a call seeking comment.
Fujikawa, 32, is one of the top relievers in the Far East, racking up 202 saves to go along with a 1.36 ERA, a 0.86 WHIP and a rate of 12.4 strikeouts and 2.3 walks per nine innings in 369 2/3 frames while pitching for the Hanshin Tigers.
Fujikawa met with Angels general manager Jerry Dipoto in Anaheim last week, a source confirmed to MLB.com, as part of a five-team tour that also saw him make stops in the Dodgers’, Orioles’, Cubs’ and D-backs’ facilities. At least 10 teams are believed to have made him an offer, according to Patrick Newman of NPB Tracker, who said Fujikawa is seeking a multi-year deal.
The Angels signed Ryan Madson to potentially be their closer on Wednesday, adding him to a back end of the bullpen that also includes Ernesto Frieri, Kevin Jepsen and Scott Downs. On Friday, they freed up a spot in the ‘pen by trading Jordan Walden to the Braves for starter Tommy Hanson.
If the Angels sign Fujikawa, they’d probably be out of the Zack Greinke sweepstakes, instead going with a cheaper alternative to fill their final rotation spot.
– Alden Gonzalez
UPDATE, MONDAY, 1:30 P.M. PT: Fujikawa did indeed meet with Angels general manager Jerry Dipoto this weekend, a source confirmed to MLB.com, with Mike DiGiovanna of the LA Times specifying that it took place Saturday and Mike Scioscia was also in attendance.
Right-hander Kyuji Fujikawa, the top closer in Japan for nearly a decade, is a free agent now, has begun meeting with Major League clubs and is slated to stop by the Angels’ facility, according to a recent report in The Dallas Morning News, which added that the 32-year-old had already visited with the D-backs and Cubs and was also slated to meet with the Dodgers. The Rangers are also believed to have interest.
Since he’s a free agent, Fujikawa won’t have to go through the expensive posting system, where teams bid on the rights to simply negotiate with a player. Fujikawa, who mixes a mid-90s fastball with a split-finger and slider, has gone 42-25 with a 1.77 ERA, a 0.96 WHIP, 914 strikeouts and 220 saves in 692 1/3 career innings for the Hanshin Tigers. In 2012, he posted a 1.24 ERA and 41 saves in 56 games.
Angels general manager Jerry Dipoto likes him, but he’s among several free agents the club is looking at in hopes of improving the bullpen.
“I have seen Fujikawa; we have up-to-date scouting reports on him,” Dipoto said. “We have scouted him, as have the 29 other Major League clubs. He’s no secret in the industry. Everyone has seen him. He’s been a premier closer in Japan for the last half-dozen, seven years, and it remains to be seen where he winds up. But he’s one of the available free agents, and therefore he’s a name that we, like everybody else, have considered.”
– Alden Gonzalez
- The Cubs’ Ryan Dempster is said to be attracting a lot of trade interest. The Dodgers are one team that has proposed a deal for the veteran right-handed pitcher, according to Bruce Levine of ESPNChicago.com. The Cubs would like to add young pitching in return. Tim Brown of Yahoo! Sports reported that the two clubs were “having somewhat constructive conversations” about a deal by Thursday but that the Tigers and Braves figure to be among the other teams vying for Dempster.
- Ken Rosenthal of FoxSports.com tweeted that teams also are expressing interest in two other Cubs, infielder Jeff Baker and outfielder Reed Johnson, who could serve as right-handed bats off the bench.
- Rosenthal and colleague Jon Morosi also reported that the Pirates, Red Sox and Tigers are among the clubs pursuing D-backs shortstop Stephen Drew. The Pirates are still after Arizona outfielder Justin Upton as well, according to Morosi.
- The Tigers, Rangers and Pirates are a few of the teams that have asked the Rockies about second baseman Marco Scutaro, according to the Denver Post. With Colorado in last place in the NL West, the team also could deal relievers such as closer Rafael Betancourt, as well as catchers Ramon Hernandez and Wil Nieves.
- Teams interested in outfielder Carlos Quentin and closer Huston Street of the Padres might end up disappointed. San Diego plans to sign both players to long-term deals before the trade deadline, reported Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com.
- The Twins will look to acquire pitching in exchange for surging lefty Francisco Liriano, wrote Scott Miller of CBSSports.com. The Yankees, Mets, Angels, Braves, Blue Jays and Red Sox highlight the group looking into Liriano.
– Andrew Simon
UPDATE, 10:37 P.M. PT: Bartolo Colon has agreed to sign with an unknown team, USA Today’s Bob Nightengale reported via Twitter on Saturday night. The right-hander wouldn’t give the club’s identity because he has not yet passed his physical.
The Athletics are negotiating with free-agent starting pitcher Bartolo Colon, ESPN’s Buster Olney reported via Twitter on Saturday.
Colon, 38, had a surprisingly resurgent season for the Yankees in 2011, posting a 3.29 ERA in his first 18 games (15 starts) before falling off a bit down the stretch. Colon’s 2011 performance, which finished with an 8-10 record and a 4.00 ERA, came after being out of the big leagues for the entire 2010 season.
The Diamondbacks had also expressed interest in the former American League Cy Young Award winner, and the Yankees were interested in bringing him back before acquiring Michael Pineda and Hiroki Kuroda on a busy Friday night.
– Alden Gonzalez
That hasn’t really been decided yet.
Since Carlos Beltran officially joined the Giants on Thursday, no big moves have been made — at least not as of late afternoon on Friday. So, with the non-waiver Trade Deadline now less than two days away, and lots of big names remaining, we’re almost bracing for an avalanche of deals to be carved out just in time.
Before then, here are Friday’s biggest rumors …
* Ubaldo Jimenez is still the big ace that’s apparently being dangled, but nobody seems to have stepped up. Jon Heyman of SI.com and MLB Network said the Red Sox are aggressively pursuing Jimenez, the Yankees are “lurking,” and the Indians, Reds and Blue Jays are also in the mix. Jayson Stark of ESPN.com then stated that the Yankees’ interest has waned, and the Indians are the ones emerging.
* The Astros remain in “intense” trade talks for Hunter Pence, according to MLB.com’s Brian McTaggart. Pence was removed from Thursday’s lineup because of a potential trade, McTaggart added, and said a direct two-team deal remains general manager Ed Wade‘s preference. The Phillies have made Pence their top target, but how much are they willing to give up?
* The Tigers are a contending team, and they need starting pitching. That’s no secret. The question is who they can get — or better yet, who can they get without giving up top prospect Jacob Turner? One way or another, MLB.com’s Jason Beck wrote, the Tigers’ search for a starter is nearing a resolution.
* The Reds may be 6 1/2 games out of first place after losing four straight, but GM Walt Jocketty said this much: “We are not selling.”
* If you need a third baseman, don’t look to the Cubs. Aramis Ramirez and his no-trade clause are not on the market.
* The Mariners traded Ryan Langerhans to the Diamondbacks for cash considerations, in order to clear room on the roster for former D-backs outfielder Wily Mo Pena.
* The Rangers are pushing hard to get closer Heath Bell, MLB.com’s T.R. Sullivan writes. Whether or not that materializes, the Padres have a lot of interesting pieces, and things should pick up between now and the Deadline.
* Jason Marquis, Jeremy Guthrie, Koji Uehara, Hiroki Kuroda, Erik Bedard (who pitches tonight), Doug Fister, Mike Adams, Wandy Rodriguez, Grand Balfour and Kevin Slowey are some of the arms that can be had before 4 p.m. ET on Sunday. B.J. Upton, Denard Span, Michael Bourn, Jamey Carroll, Carlos Quentin, Jason Kubel, Delmon Young and Josh Willingham are some of the position players to be had. But no movement yet.
So we wait.
According to SI’s Jon Heyman on Monday, Cubs first baseman Carlos Pena “will almost surely be moved” by the trading deadline and the Diamondbacks may interested. Any team that adds Pena would have to be prepared to pay him $5 million in January; his $10 million contract was structured so half of it was deferred to next year. Pena was batting .221 with 20 homers, nine doubles, one triple and 51 RBIs in 97 games.
– Carrie Muskat
Kirk Gibson waited until Friday morning to make up his lineup. Here it is:
Bloomquist ss, Johnson 2b, Upton rf, Young cf, Miranda 1b, Mora 3b, Montero c, Parra lf, Kennedy p
The Hot Stove took a bit of a backseat on Wednesday, with the announcement that Roberto Alomar and Bert Blyleven will be inducted into the Hall of Fame this July dominating the baseball headlines.
With Adrian Beltre‘s signing with the Rangers now official, the rumor mill did ramp up on the trade market — namely, on Tampa Bay starter Matt Garza and a possible deal to the Cubs, reported on Tuesday night by the Chicago Sun-Times. That story was news to the Cubs, according to MLB.com’s Carrie Muskat, who also reported that the Rays are more likely to wait until the summer to move Garza.
Here’s the rundown of the rest of the news from Wednesday:
- Staying in the NL Central, the Cardinals have resumed extension talks with their own potential Hall of Famer, first baseman Albert Pujols. Pujols could hit the free-agent market following the 2011 season.
- The latest out of Southern California is that the Angels have interest in signing Vladimir Guerrero.
On MLB Network Radio on Sirius XM, Angels manager Mike Scioscia told co-hots Jim Duquette and Kevin Kennedy that the Angels are not closing the door on the possibility of Guerrero returning to his former home after one season in Texas.
After hitting .300 with 29 homers and 115 RBIs in 2009, the Angels’ American League Most Valuable Player in 2004, accepted a one-year contract with the Rangers and helped the AL West rivals reach the World Series.
Guerrero, whose career began with nine games in Montreal in 1996, is a .320 career hitter with a .383 on-base percentage and .563 slugging mark.
- The Mariners are working on a potential two-year deal with recently acquired shortstop Brendan Ryan, according to MLB.com’s Greg Johns. Ryan, who came over from St. Louis in a December trade, is eligible for arbitration for the first time in his career.
- The Red Sox claimed catcher Max Ramirez off waivers from the Rangers, tweeted MLB.com’s T.R. Sullivan. Ramirez, you may remember, was close to going to Boston last off-season in exchange for Mike Lowell. Ramirez hit .217 in 28 games for the Rangers in 2010.
- The Blue Jays announced that they claimed left-handed reliever Wil Ledezma on waivers from the Pirates. Ledezma was 0-3 with a 6.86 ERA for Pittsburgh in 2010.
- The Diamondbacks resigned lefty reliever Clay Zavada to a Minor League deal, as reported by Baseball America. Zavada pitched in five games for Triple-A Reno in 2010 before undergoing Tommy John surgery. Zavada posted a 3.35 ERA in 49 games for Arizona in 2009.
- The Rangers and Beltre made it official on Wednesday, with the club announcing the addition of the third baseman in an afternoon press conference. The signing of Beltre means that the Rangers are no longer interested in their former DH Vladimir Guerrero, according to a tweet from the Dallas Star-Telegram’s Anthony Andro.
- Likewise, the Brewers finalized their deal with Takashi Saito. As reported by MLB.com’s Adam McCalvy, the right-hander’s base salary will be under $2 million, but he can make more than $3 million in incentives.
- The Rockies have signed utilityman Hernan Iribarren to a Minor League contract. Iribarren, 26, last played in the Majors with Milwaukee in 2009, spending last season with Texas’ Triple-A affiliate. The deal includes an invitation to Colorado’s Major League Spring Training camp.
- The Padres signed versatile Kevin Frandsen and catcher Guillermo Quiroz Minor League contracts. The deal will pay Frandsen $575,000 if he makes San Diego’s Major League roster, according to ESPN.
Frandsen, 28, has played several positions during his MLB career with the Giants and Angels, playing primarily third base last season for the Angels, who did not tender him a contract for 2011.
Quiroz, 29, has played parts of the last seven seasons in the Major Leagues with the Blue Jays, Mariners, Rangers and Orioles. He is a career .208 hitter in 255 at-bats.
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
The Konerko deal was somewhat surprising, considering talks between the two
sides seemed to be on life support just a day ago. But even after signing Adam
Dunn, Chicago was able to give Konerko a three-year, $37.5 million to form what looks like one of the best lineups in baseball for 2011.
With the Cubs, Pena is reunited with his old esteemed hitting coach, Rudy
Jaramillo, and receives what super-agent Scott Boras referred to as
a “pillow contract” — because, as Boras said, it’s comfortable for both
sides. That deal is for one year and $10 million, as Pena will try to rebuild
his worth after hitting 28 homers but batting below .200 in 2010.
Here’s more from around the league on Wednesday …
* No more fooling around for the Yankees. They’re ready to make ballyhooed
free-agent starter Cliff Lee a
preliminary offer of six years and between $140 and $150 million, MLB.com’s
Bryan Hoch confirmed. Will that be enough, considering reports of mystery teams
offering seven years?
* The Rangers met with Carl Crawford‘s agent, according to MLB.com’s T.R. Sullivan.
* Adrian Beltre is still open to signing with the Athletics, according
to Boras. Boras also said negotiations for his third-base client are moving
quickly, and that the Angels are a very possible suitor.
* There had been several reports that the Red Sox would be interested in
trading for Mets outfielder Carlos Beltran. But Boras, who represents
him, says Beltran plans
to be a Met in 2011. That’s significant, considering he has a no-trade clause.
* Five teams are seriously pursuing Zack Greinke while another three are
“on the periphery,” according to FOXSports.com. It still seems like
he’d be tough
to move, however. The Royals are specific with what they want: pitching and
* The Red Sox, according to CBS Sports, are zeroing in on Magglio Ordonez
to fill their outfield void, which would not be good news for Crawford. The Tigers are also checking.
* The Twins continue their
interest in resigning Carl Pavano, but they have competition. The
Brewers, according to MLB.com’s Adam McCalvy, have
also met with Pavano. The Nationals are another club known to have
* In less-heralded one-year deals on Wednesday, the Mariners signed
non-tendered designated hitter Jack Cust; the Royals brought
in outfielder Jeff Francoeur; the D-backs were reportedly on the verge of signing catcher Henry
Blanco and veteran lefty Mike Hampton (Minor League deal); the
Braves acquired non-tendered lefty reliever George Sherrill; and the Dodgers were close to bringing back Russell Martin.
– Alden Gonzalez