Results tagged ‘ Diamondbacks ’

Roundup: 1B locked up in Windy City

Day 3 of the Winter Meetings saw a couple of slugging first
basemen land in Chicago, as the White Sox resigned
their captain
, Paul Konerko, and the Cubs took
a chance on Carlos Pena
.

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
up-the-middle help.

* 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
interest. 

* 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 

Rays Reported to Be Among Those Interested in Harden

Fox Sports is reporting that the Rays are among seven clubs interested in right-hander Rich Harden.

Harden, 29, had a 5.58 ERA for Texas in 2010, but he has a 3.63 career ERA. According to the report, several teams are interested in Harden as a starter while others believe he can become an effective reliever.

Given the fact the Rays have six solid starters, they are likely interested in him as a reliever.

The other teams identified as being interested in Harden are the Yankees, Twins, Diamondbacks, Brewers, Mariners, and Rockies.

–Bill Chastain

Roundup: Tigers snatch V-Mart from Red Sox

The arbitration deadline was expected to rule the day, but
it wound up being the Tigers that made the big splash. In a rather surprising
turn of events in this offseason, coveted free-agent catcher Victor Martinez
said no to the Red Sox and wound up agreeing to a four-year,
$50 million contract
with the Tigers.

The agreement, which a baseball source confirmed to MLB.com, is probably still pending a
physical and should be completed shortly.
At that point, the Tigers would officially be able to add Martinez to a middle
of the lineup that includes fellow Venezuelan Miguel Cabrera.

Here’s more from around the league Tuesday …

* After a bounce-back year that saw him make $3 million, Aubrey Huff inked
a two-year contract reportedly worth $22 million with the Giants. The
deal also includes a club option for 2013.

* Diamondbacks general manager Kevin Towers told MLB.com’s Steve Gilbert that
of all the clubs expressing interest in outfielder Justin Upton, only
“two or three” teams
have the players to make a deal work. Towers
says he seeks Major League-ready players in return, not just prospects.

* The Yankees prefer to give standout free-agent closer Mariano Rivera
just a one-year deal worth upwards of $18 million, according to Yahoo! Sports.
But Rivera, 41 next week, seeks two guaranteed years at that rate.  

* As for the Yankees’ other aging pitcher, Andy Pettitte is leaning towards a return to the Bronx, according to the Twitter account of Newsday’s Kevin Davidoff.

* And as for the free-agent pitcher the Yankees hope to land, an industry source told Yahoo! Sports on Monday that New York offered Cliff Lee a six-year contract worth nearly $140 million. But Lee seeks a seventh year.

* Jarrod Washburn, the 36-year-old left-hander who sat out all of last season, “continues to generate interest as a free agent,” according to Yahoo! Sports. The Brewers are believed to be one of the teams that have contacted his agent.

* Arbitration Day is in full swing. So far, Jayson Werth, Adam Dunn, Adrian Beltre and Paul Konerko have been among the ranked free agents being offered arbitration, while Derek Jeter, Mike Lowell, Manny Ramirez and Johnny Damon have been among those who have not. The deadline is 11:59 p.m. ET.

– Alden Gonzalez 

D-Train heads to Cincinnati

Still hoping for another shot at being a productive pitcher in the big leagues, Dontrelle Willis — one of the best young lefties in the game for a four-year stretch with the Marlins — signed a Minor League contract with the Reds on Monday.

Willis’ deal includes an invitation to Spring Training. And because of the depth in Cincinnati’s starting rotation, the long-time starter is going to try to pitch out of the bullpen, even though he’s only made three relief appearances in his big league career.

From 2003-06, Willis went a combined 58-39 with a 3.44 ERA and averaged 32 starts per year. But from 2007-10, he went 13-24 with a 5.81 ERA while averaging just 16 starts a year and striking out only 22 more batters than he walked.

In December 2007, Willis was given a three-year, $29 million contract, but the final year of that deal proved to be the tipping point. That season, the 28-year-old was designated for assignment by the Tigers on May 30, dealt to the Diamondbacks for Billy Buckner two days later, released by Arizona on July 6 and signed by the Giants to a Minor League contract on July 14.

With the Tigers and D-backs, Willis posted a 5.62 ERA while walking 56 and striking out 47 in 15 games (13 starts).

– Alden Gonzalez   

Roundup: Yanks stake their claim on Jeter

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
medal.

* 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  

Would Red Sox part with Bard?

The Red Sox, without question, are one of the many teams who have been in touch with the Diamondbacks about Justin Upton, the talented outfielder who is still just 23 years old.

The question is this: Would the Red Sox be willing to include Daniel Bard in a package for Upton? Bard is one of the most dominant setup men in the game and should be ready to step in as the closer should Jonathan Papelbon leave as a free agent following the 2011 season.

According to several reports, the D-Backs would be looking for the Red Sox to include not only Bard, but perhaps Jacoby Ellsbury and a signficangt prospect. While it wouldn’t be stunning to see Ellsbury and a prospect get moved, the additional price of Bard could wind up being too high. It all depends on what Arizona’s final asking price ends up being.

 — Ian Browne

Roundup: The Tigers have arrived to the GM Meetings

It was the Marlins who staked their claim in Orlando on Tuesday, when they traded Dan Uggla to the Braves and agreed on a three-year contract with John Buck. Wednesday is the day of the Tigers, apparently. The club agreed on a three-year, $16.5 million contract with setup man Joaquin Benoit, according to reports. Also, Detroit is said to be going after power-hitting lefty outfielder/first baseman/potential designated hitter Adam Dunn.
SI.com first reported the two sides were quickly coming together on a
deal, but ESPN.com followed up by saying nothing is imminent just yet.

Here’s more from the second full day of the General Managers Meetings …

* Diamondbacks new general manager Kevin Towers is apparently kicking the tires on a potential trade of franchise player Justin Upton.
The Red Sox, according to USA Today, are said to be the ideal
candidate, but the New York Post wrote that the Marlins and Rays — and
perhaps the Yankees — are prime candidates.

* White Sox chairman Jerry Reinsdorf confirmed to the Chicago Sun-Times that he would’ve let manager Ozzie Guillen go
to the Marlins if they would’ve given up the specific high-level player
he sought. Reinsdorf didn’t say who, but he denied it was Mike Stanton.

* In need of a lefty bat, the White Sox have engaged in talks with Hideki Matsui,
according to SI.com. Matsui expressed interest in a return to the
Angels, but they’d like to keep DH a revolving door with so many
veterans in their lineup. 

* Six to eight teams have spoken to free-agent starter Carl Pavano, according to The Washington Post, which names the Nationals as one of them. The Marlins, a source told MLB.com, are another.

* The Athletics traded speedy outfielder Rajai Davis to the Blue Jays in exchange for Minor Leaguers Trystan Magnuson and Daniel Farquhar, the club announced. Toronto also released right-hander Shawn Hill.

* The Rockies have expressed interest in A’s third baseman Kevin Kouzmanoff, according to The Denver Post, which added that Jose Lopez, Jorge Cantu and Ty Wigginton are also on the club’s radar.

* Brandon Webb is also reportedly drawing interest. According to
ESPN.com, the Dodgers, Pirates, Twins and Rangers have shown interest in
the right-hander.

* Seven to eight teams are reportedly interested in Jorge de la Rosa,
who is one of the top free-agent starters once you get past Cliff Lee.
The Rockies are a team that would like to keep him, but not if he gets an offer eclipsing four years.

– Alden Gonzalez

Upton a potential fit with the Marlins?

Though Diamondbacks general manager Kevin Towers cautioned that “he would be a tough guy to move,” he is at least looking into the possibility of trading young outfielder Justin Upton. With that regard, the Marlins could be a fit, writes The New York Post’s Joel Sherman.

Sherman said he heard from a few executives that the early favorites for Upton are the Marlins and Rays. The D-backs want to add to their bullpen, get some rotation arms and upgrade at first base. The Marlins, Sherman wrote, could offer up youngster Logan Morrison and No. 2 starter Ricky Nolasco. One executive told him that may be enough to get a deal done.

A source told MLB.com owner Jeffrey Loria had not heard anything regarding talks between the Marlins and D-backs about Upton. 

The Red Sox and Yankees may also get into the mix, Sherman added.

Upton, 23, is coming off batting .273 with 17 homers, 69 RBIs and 18 stolen bases. He is locked up through 2015 in an escalating contract that will have him make $4.25 million in 2011 and $6.75 million in 2012.

“You always seek out the information on what teams will do because you never know if, to get one player, a team will grossly overpay,” Towers was quoted as saying. 

– Alden Gonzalez

Marlins manager search winding down

With the World Series now completed, the Marlins appear to be days away from making their managerial decision.

Speculation is growing that there are two finalists — Edwin Rodriguez and Bo Porter.

Rodriguez posted a 46-46 record with the Marlins after taking over for Fredi Gonzalez in late June. For the season, Florida was 80-82 — third place in the NL East.

Porter, meanwhile, spent 2010 on the Arizona staff after he was the Marlins third base and outfield coach from 2007-09.

A week ago, Marlins president David Samson said the team expected to make a managerial announcement after the World Series. 

The Marlins will look to pick up the pace on naming a manager to get their offseason rolling. Once their manager is named, the team will look to round out its coaching staff.

Pitching coach Randy St. Claire is currently the only member of the 2010 staff under contract for next year.

Shortly after the season ended, the Marlins pursued Bobby Valentine, who withdrew from consideration a couple of weeks ago.

– Joe Frisaro
 

Rays on verge of acquiring Qualls from D-backs

NEW YORK — The D-backs are on the verge of completing a deal that would send reliever Chad Qualls to the Rays in exchange for a player to be named later, according to a baseball source.

The D-backs will not have to include any cash in the deal with the Rays picking up the roughly $1.6 million Qualls is owed for the rest of the season.

Arizona has actively shopped Qualls, who began the year as the team’s closer, but has struggled to find any consistency and is 1-4 with an 8.51 ERA in 42 games. The right-hander, who makes $4.185 million this year will be eligible for free agency at the end of the season.

The D-backs acquired Qualls along with Juan Gutierrez and Chris Burke from the Astros in December of 2007 in a deal that sent Jose Valverde to Houston.

– Steve Gilbert

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