Results tagged ‘ Edwin Encarnacion ’

Rockies have interest in Berkman

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

 

A’s reportedly make offer for Beltre

The A’s have reportedly offered free agent third baseman Adrian Beltre a five-year deal worth $64 million, according to ESPNDeportes.com. An A’s executive confirmed Wednesday he saw the report but would not confirm or deny anything. Sports Illustrated’s Jon Heyman also said via Twitter that it “sounds like A’s are willing to pay Adrian Beltre $60-plus million, but that’s apparently not in ballpark of asking price.”

It’s well known by now that Beltre turned down a multi-year deal from the A’s last year and instead chose to go to Boston, where he made $9 million on a one-year contract that included a $5 million player option for 2011 with a $1 million buyout. Beltre took the buyout and is now one of the most attractive free agents on the market, appearing to gain interest from nearly a dozen teams.

The A’s currently have Kevin Kouzmanoff and new addition Edwin Encarnacion as options at third base. Both are eligible for arbitration and either and/or both could be non-tendered or traded depending on Beltre’s status. Encarnacion is a DH option for the A’s, but the club could look to upgrade through several free agent options, including Hideki Matsui. According to Heyman, Oakland is “in the mix” for the Japanese slugger.

– Jane Lee

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