Results tagged ‘ Dodgers ’
The Hot Stove took a back seat to the Hall of Fame on Wednesday, when Greg Maddux, Tom Glavine and Frank Thomas saw their tickets to Cooperstown punched.
But even with the spotlight on former players, news continued to trickle in about some who still are in uniform, including a few who are looking for a new one.
- Free-agent outfielder Nelson Cruz carries one of the most powerful bats on the market, and his name has been tied to several teams. But the veteran remains unsigned as the offseason drags on, an issue MLB.com’s Tracy Ringolsby explores in his latest column.
- Dodgers general manager Ned Colletti addressed several topics, revealing that he has talked with the agent for Japanese right-hander Masahiro Tanaka, while also engaging in extension talks with Clayton Kershaw and Hanley Ramirez. Colletti also is looking to add an infielder.
- The D-backs have a “plan of attack” in their pursuit of Tanaka, but they’re not offering up much in the way of details.
- With Tanaka set to meet with Major League clubs in the coming days, the Japanese media is reporting that he flew to the U.S. on Wednesday, according to Dylan Hernandez of the Los Angeles Times. David Waldstein of The New York Times reported that Tanaka is currently in Chicago.
- As part of a Q&A with MLB.com’s Bill Ladson, Nationals shortstop Ian Desmond addresses the possibility of a contract extension and says it isn’t a distraction for him. Desmond and teammate Jordan Zimmermann are potential candidates for extensions, as both have two seasons remaining before free agency.
- The Tigers and shortstop Jose Iglesias agreed on a new one-year contract.
- The Marlins re-signed veteran righty Kevin Slowey to a Minor League deal, with an invitation to Spring Training.
— Andrew Simon
The Dodgers and manager Don Mattingly reached agreement on an extension Tuesday, a source told MLB.com’s Ken Gurnick. According to ESPN.com, which first reported the news, the deal keeps him in uniform through the 2016 season. The Dodgers have not confirmed the agreement.
Mattingly was previously only under contract through the 2014 season, a result of his option automatically vesting when the Dodgers beat the Braves in the National League Division Series, but the two sides had been in talks about removing his lame-duck status for most of the offseason.
Mattingly, 52, is 260-225 in three seasons with the Dodgers. Last year, he guided the team through a thrilling turnaround that saw them go from 12 games below .500 on June 21 to 28 games over by Sept. 3, ultimately losing to the Cardinals in the NL Championship Series. For that, Mattingly finished second to Pirates skipper Clint Hurdle for the NL Manager of the Year Award.
— Alden Gonzalez
Don Mattingly and the Dodgers are making progress on a contract extension that would remove his lame-duck status as the team’s manager, according to reports from FOXSports.com and the Los Angeles Times.
The new deal, which the two sides have been in talks about for most of the offseason, is “expected to be done soon,” FOXSports.com’s Ken Rosenthal wrote via Twitter.
Mattingly is currently only under contract through the 2014 season, his option automatically vesting when the Dodgers beat the Braves in the National League Division Series.
That spilled into an awkward season-ending press conference, when Mattingly – with general manager Ned Colletti by his side – voiced displeasure over being guaranteed for just one more year and said he didn’t want to work where he didn’t feel wanted, resurfacing reports from early in the summer that his job is in jeopardy.
By the time the Owners’ Meetings came around in early November, though, the two sides appeared to clear up any misunderstandings and were talking through a contract extension, with Mattingly saying: “I love where I’m at. I’m proud to be representing the Dodgers and managing their club. We’re in talks right now. Things are going good. No real hurry or rush for me at this point — I don’t think for the Dodgers, either.”
Mattingly, 52, has gone 260-225 in three seasons with the Dodgers. This year, he guided the team through a thrilling turnaround that saw them go from 12 games below .500 on June 21 to 28 games over by Sept. 3, ultimately losing to the Cardinals in the NL Championship Series. For that, Mattingly finished second to Pirates skipper Clint Hurdle for the NL Manager of the Year Award.
— Alden Gonzalez
The Hot Stove tends to focus on what teams can add. But sometimes, a team’s best move could be to prevent one of its players from joining next offseason’s Hot Stove discussion.
The Tigers might be one of those clubs, writes MLB.com’s Jason Beck. While Detroit is no stranger to making significant trades or signings after Jan. 1, general manager Dave Dombrowski could choose to focus on a contract extension for reigning American League Cy Young Award winner Max Scherzer. It will take a sizable offer to lock up the right-hander for the long term, but that might prove preferable than letting Scherzer hit the open market next winter.
In other news from around the league on Thursday:
- After turning the calendar to 2014, MLB.com’s Doug Miller surveys the Hot Stove scene and takes stock of who remains available.
- Baseball America’s Ben Badler made a list of the 10 teams most likely to sign Japanese righty Masahiro Tanaka and put the Mariners at No. 1, followed by the Yankees and Dodgers. Wherever he goes, Tanaka is likely to taste plenty of success, writes our Mike Bauman.
- The Twins are “kicking tires” on another free-agent righty, Matt Garza, according to Darren Wolfson of 1500ESPN.com.
- The Phillies and Tigers are among at least six teams that have tried to trade for Yankees outfielder Brett Gardner this offseason, according to Peter Gammons of Gammonsdaily.com. However, Yankees GM Brian Cashman will only part with Gardner if he has to do so in order to acquire starting pitching, Gammons writes.
- The White Sox announced their one-year deal with free-agent left-handed reliever Scott Downs, who will make $4 million and have a club option for 2015.
- The Rays claimed left-handed reliever Pedro Figueroa off waivers from the A’s, according to Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports.
- The Mariners signed a trio of players to Minor League deals, including veteran reliever Ramon Ramirez.
— Andrew Simon
Masahiro Tanaka is one step closer to joining the Major Leagues, according to a series of Christmas Day reports.
Mark Feinsand of the New York Daily News, citing a source, said that the posting period for the Japanese right-hander started Thursday morning and will conclude by Jan. 24 at 5 p.m.
Meanwhile, Dylan Hernandez of the Los Angeles Times, citing the Sponichi website in Japan, reported that Casey Close will serve as Tanaka’s agent. Close also represents big league All-Stars Clayton Kershaw, Zack Greinke and Derek Jeter.
Tanaka’s Nippon Professional Baseball club, the Rakuten Golden Eagles, reportedly revealed the decision to post him on Tuesday evening. The posting figures to trigger a Major League frenzy, not just because of Tanaka’s talents, but also because of the new posting system regulations.
Under the new posting system, bids cannot exceed $20 million. Also, any Major League team can negotiate freely with Tanaka, with only the signing team ultimately paying the $20 million fee.
It presents a much different situation than two years ago when the Rangers won exclusive rights to negotiate with Yu Darvish after posting a winning bid worth $51.7 million.
The new posting rules figure to allow more teams the chance to pursue Tanaka, who this past season went 24-0 with a 1.27 ERA in leading the Golden Eagles to the Japan Series title. Overall, despite being just 25 years old, Tanaka has gone 99-35 with a 2.30 ERA over seven seasons in Japan.
Various reports have already mentioned the Yankees, Dodgers, Cubs, Braves, Rangers and Diamondbacks as potential frontrunners to land Tanaka’s servies.
– Paul Casella
Major League general managers got perhaps their biggest Christmas present a little early, when Nippon Professional Baseball’s Rakuten Golden Eagles reportedly announced late Tuesday night that they will post star pitcher Masahiro Tanaka.
The right-hander, who went 24-0 with a 1.27 ERA in Japan this season, is certain to command serious interest from several teams, who can submit a maximum bid of $20 million in order to earn the right to negotiate with him. ESPN’s Jim Bowden listed the Yankees, Angels, D-Backs, Rangers and Dodgers as some teams to watch as the situation develops.
The Eagles’ decision also could open the floodgates for the starting-pitcher market. With Tanaka in limbo, the likes of Bronson Arroyo, Matt Garza, Ubaldo Jimenez and Ervin Santana remained unsigned.
ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick talked to Arroyo and reported that the Yankees have “touched base” with the durable 36-year-old righty, while the Angels, Orioles and D-backs also could be good fits. Arroyo told Crasnick that his last team, the Reds, has not offered him a one-year deal, and that he hasn’t been close to signing with the Twins, although those clubs still could be options.
In other news from around the league:
- The Dodgers announced the signings of free agents Juan Uribe, Chris Perez, J.P. Howell and Jamey Wright, and general manager Ned Colletti said after those moves he is “pretty much done” tweaking his roster for 2014. Colletti also deflected a question about his club’s interest in Tanaka and reiterated his belief that center fielder Matt Kemp, recovering from a broken ankle, will be ready for Opening Day.
- The Blue Jays re-signed infielder Munenori Kawasaki to a Minor League contract, with an invitation to Spring Training. A fan favorite in Toronto last season, when he hit .229/.326/.308 in 289 plate appearances, Kawasaki will compete for a bench spot and possibly playing time at second base.
- Left-handed reliever Jordan Norberto has agreed to a Minor League deal with the Rays, according to the San Francisco Chronicle’s Susan Slusser. Norberto posted a 2.77 ERA in 39 appearances for the A’s in 2012 but didn’t pitch in the Majors last season, undergoing Tommy John surgery in June, a month after Oakland released him. Slusser also reports that Norberto still must serve his 50-game suspension that came as a result of the Biogenesis investigation.
- There is mutual interest in a reunion between the Phillies and reliever Ryan Madson, CSNPhilly.com’s Jim Salisbury reports. Madson played for Philadelphia from 2003-11 and saved 32 games with a 2.37 ERA in his final season there before having his past two years wiped out by elbow injuries. According to Salisbury, Madson will audition for teams soon after New Years and likely will have to take a Minor League deal.
— Andrew Simon
The Dodgers already have a strong closer in Kenley Jansen, but that hasn’t stopped them from bolstering their bullpen during Hot Stove season, acquiring a pair of experienced ninth-inning men in the process.
Los Angeles, which already had re-signed Brian Wilson and J.P. Howell, took steps to further strengthen its relief corps on Sunday and Monday by reaching reported agreements with former Indians closer Chris Perez and veteran right-hander Jamey Wright. The club’s bullpen could be a force to be reckoned with this season, writes our Phil Rogers.
In other news around the league on Monday:
- Our Doug Miller takes a look at the players who could be finding new homes during the holiday season in the latest edition of The Week Ahead.
- Also in the holiday spirit, our Anthony Castrovince proposes the perfect gift for each National League club.
- The Twins finalized their deals with catcher Kurt Suzuki and right-hander Mike Pelfrey.
- At Sports on Earth, Jack Moore runs through the top six remaining free agents, with Kendrys Morales grabbing the top spot.
- Reds general manager Walt Jocketty told the Cincinnati Enquirer that his club will account for the loss of Shin-Soo Choo by making speedy prospect Billy Hamilton its starting center fielder and leadoff hitter.
- After backing out of a deal with Grant Balfour due to concerns over his physical, the Orioles are looking at Fernando Rodney to fill their closer vacancy but also are interested in re-signing Fernando Rodriguez, according to The Baltimore Sun.
- Meanwhile, Balfour continues to draw interest from other teams, with the New York Post reporting that the Yankees are among those involved. The San Francisco Chronicle’s Henry Schulman also tweeted that the Giants have had “conversations” with Balfour.
- The Cubs are one of the teams interested in veteran reliever Jesse Crain, according to Bruce Levine of Chicago’s WSCR-AM and 670thescore.com.
— Andrew Simon
The Dodgers have signed veteran right-hander Jamey Wright to a one-year deal, according to Dylan Hernandez of the Los Angeles Times.
Wright, who turns 39 on Tuesday, pitched for the Dodgers in 2012 before spending last season with the Rays. He has made 192 appearances over the last three years, all but one out of the bullpen, and gone 9-8 with a 3.32 ERA, 167 strikeouts and 83 walks over 206 innings.
The 6-foot-6 former Rockies first-round pick owns a 4.82 career ERA for 10 teams across 18 big league seasons.
— Andrew Simon
The most significant Hot Stove news to break on Monday likely wasn’t a trade or a signing. Instead, it might have been Major League Baseball’s announcement that it had agreed with Nippon Professional Baseball on revised protocols for the leagues’ posting system.
The agreement allows NPB’s Rakuten Golden Eagles to post right-hander Masahiro Tanaka this offseason, a move that likely would make him the most sought-after pitcher on the market. While Rakuten would not have to let Tanaka go, owner Hiroshi Mikitani will allow him to leave, reports the Los Angeles Times’ Dylan Hernandez, relaying the news from the Japanese website Sanspo.
In other news from around the league:
- The D-backs, one of many teams that could go after Tanaka, made a move for another pitcher, trading third-base prospect Matt Davidson to the White Sox for closer Addison Reed. While Davidson was ranked as Arizona’s No. 2 prospect by MLB.com, Reed saved 40 games for Chicago last season. Meanwhile, D-backs general manager Kevin Towers is hoping to work out a contract with veteran third baseman Eric Chavez, tweets our Steve Gilbert.
- The Dodgers are closing in on a two-year deal to re-sign left-handed reliever J.P. Howell, a source tells our Ken Gurnick. Howell would make $11.25 million, with a $6.25 million vesting option for 2016.
- The Braves signed free-agent right-hander Gavin Floyd to a one-year contract, taking a chance on a pitcher still recovering from Tommy John surgery.
- The Indians also will give a shot to a veteran pitcher coming off injury, after agreeing to a Minor League deal with righty Shaun Marcum.
- The Astros added another piece to their bullpen, signing Matt Albers to a one-year contract.
- The Yankees are considering veteran free-agent infielders Mark Reynolds, Michael Young and Brian Roberts, tweets Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com and MLB Network.
- The Phillies have let other teams know they are “very willing” to trade shortstop Jimmy Rollins, according to ESPN’s Buster Olney, but Rollins has a no-trade clause and will make $11 million this season, with an $11 million vesting option for 2015.
— Andrew Simon
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