Results tagged ‘ Giants ’

11/20 Roundup

The Hot Stove was cranked up to full blast on Wednesday night, thanks to a surprise exchange of All-Stars. In a deal first reported by CBSSports.com and later confirmed by the teams, the Tigers will send first baseman Prince Fielder to the Rangers for second baseman Ian Kinsler. Detroit also will include $30 million to help offset the disparity between the two players’ remaining contracts.

Despite the move, the Rangers still want to add a free-agent hitter such as Brian McCann, Carlos Beltran or Nelson Cruz, according to Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports.com and MLB Network.

In other news from around the league:

  • The Giants and left-handed reliever Javier Lopez are nearing an agreement on a new three-year contract.
  • After losing Tim Hudson to San Francisco, the Braves are looking to add a veteran starting pitcher, writes our Mark Bowman. A trade for the Brewers’ Kyle Lohse is one possibility.
  • The Padres finalized their one-year pact with free-agent righty Josh Johnson.
  • The Indians might have found a new right fielder in former Ranger David Murphy.
  • The Marlins would like to add a few good bats this offseason, particularly at catcher and third base, our Joe Frisaro writes. But that’s easier said than done, considering the high demand for such players.
  • Our Todd Zolecki wonders if the Phillies have finished tinkering with their lineup after signing Carlos Ruiz and Marlon Byrd.
  • The Orioles signed former Rockies reliever Edgmer Escalona to a one-year contract.
  • Free-agent righty Dan Haren and the Dodgers have “mutual interest” as Los Angeles looks to add to its rotation, reports ESPN Los Angeles.
  • The Royals have talked about pursuing A’s left-hander Brett Anderson, according to ESPN’s Buster Olney.
  • The Mets are suffering from “sticker shock” as they evaluate the free-agent market this offseason, reports the New York Post.

– Andrew Simon

A look at the Rockies’ plans with Hawkins and Brothers, plus notes on batting and pitching pursuits

The Rockies’ pursuit of veteran right-hander LaTroy Hawkins, which resulted in a one-year, $2.5 million guarantee that will become official once Hawkins passes a physical, can be seen in an odd way as a compliment to young lefty Rex Brothers, who served capably as closer when veteran Rafael Betancourt was injured.

Brothers, who turns 26 on Dec. 18, went 19-of-21 on save chances and finished with a 1.74 ERA last season. At times he struggled putting away hitters early in innings but he still struck out 76 (against 36 walks) in 67 1/3 innings. It certainly is a signal that he could become even more effective.

But before Betancourt went through a right groin strain, an appendectomy and finally a season-ending elbow injury, many of Betancourt’s save opportunities came partly because of Brothers’ effectiveness as a setup man. Brothers’ club-record 30-inning scoreless streak, which covered 32 games, ran from April 10 to June 27. Only the final nine games of the streak came while he was in the closer role.

As the season progressed, several games ended with Brothers not even taking the mound, because the middle relief and setup men pitched away the lead. It’s the old sabermetric argument: Why have the best option sitting in the bullpen while lesser pitchers blow it?

Hawkins ended up an effective closer for the Mets late last season. He earned all 12 of his saves and blew just one from Aug. 6 to season’s end. He struck out 18 against one walk and held opponents to a .222 batting average in those 23 appearances. At 41, he still throws hard enough and deceptively enough to be trusted with the final inning. The Rockies believe if he holds the closer job, it frees them to use Brothers when the game is tight before the ninth. And if plans change and Brothers at some point ends up the closer — which has been his plan his entire career — Hawkins gives them an attractive option in a setup role.

The Rockies still want to shore up the setup roles through free agency. Signing Hawkins as closer likely takes them out of the chase for Brian Wilson and Grant Balfour, who could be invited to pitch the ninth inning by another club. But a hard throwers such as Jesse Crain, Joe Smith or Jose Veras could further fill the Rockies’ needs.

The attempt to load up the back of the bullpen makes for intriguing competition and decisions when it comes to holdovers from last season. The club likes the 96 mph-plus fastball that righty Chad Bettis brought last season when used in relief, and will keep him there rather than revisit him in the rotation. They tested righty Adam Ottavino in late innings and there were some encouraging numbers, such as a 2.00 ERA at Coors Field. Righty Mitchell Boggs finished up with the Rockies after struggling mightily with the Cardinals when forced into the closer role, and the club is having internal discussions about returning him to a starter role. Boggs started 15 of his first 24 big-league appearances when breaking in with the Cards in 2008 and 2009.

The Rockies also continue to be in the market for starting pitching, although it’s unclear exactly where they’ll look. They’re often leery of accomplishment elsewhere because of the Mike Hampton-Denny Neagle experiment a few years back, but Tim Hudson profiled well. However, Hudson decided to take his passion and intensity to the NL West with the Giants.

Left-handed hitting outfielder-first baseman James Loney continues to be a prime candidate for the corner bat the Rockies seek. Corey Hart, coming off a knee injury, told a satellite radio audience on Tuesday that the Rockies, Red Sox and his former team, the Brewers, have checked in with him. Not much will be known until next month, when he is cleared for full activity. What isn’t clear is how strongly the Rockies are pursuing first baseman Mike Napoli, whose ability to make a pitcher work would fit nicely at first base. However, with his 2013 team, the World Series champion Red Sox, and others in the mix, the Rockies may drop out of the bidding the way they did with catcher Carlos Ruiz, who re-signed with the Phillies on Monday.

– Thomas Harding

Report: One less LH reliever to be on the market

According to a tweet from Comcast SportsNet Bay Area‘s Andrew Baggarly, the Giants are close to re-signing left-handed reliever Javier Lopez

The 36-year-old Lopez went 4-2 with a 1.83 ERA in 69 appearances last year, spanning 39 1/3 innings of work. He struck out 37 while walking 12 and held lefties to a .156 average (righties hit .296). 

For a list of some of the top southpaw relievers on the free agent market, check out MLB.com‘s Doug Miller’s story here.

– Joey Nowak

Arroyo: Angels among interested teams …

Former Reds starter Bronson Arroyo went on MLB Network Radio on Monday and mentioned the Angels among the teams that have expressed interest in the early portion of his free agency.

In addition to the Angels, Arroyo, entering his age-37 season, said the Phillies, Dodgers, Giants, Twins and (maybe) Orioles have reached out to his agent, but no teams have tendered any offers just yet. The Twins and Giants, who just signed Tim Hudson to a two-year, $23 million deal but need more starting pitching, have been in touch more than once, Arroyo said.

Arroyo, who did not get a $14.1 million qualifying offer from the Reds, seeks a three-year deal, though that may be very difficult to come by — even for someone like Arroyo, who has a great health record.

Over the last two years, while pitching mainly at the hitter-friendly Great American Ball Park, Arroyo has put up almost identical seasons, compiling a 3.76 ERA, a 1.18 WHIP and a 3.67 strikeout-to-walk ratio in 404 innings. The veteran right-hander has averaged 207 innings over the last 10 years, doing so with a 4.10 ERA.

The Angels could turn to Arroyo as a fallback option if they can’t resign Jason Vargas, but Arroyo will probably be more expensive — at least with regards to average annual value.

“I feel like I’ve proven myself in the game, I feel like I’ve given any team that I’ve ever played for their money’s worth,” Arroyo told MLB Network Radio. “And so I really would like somebody to come further than two years and give me a three-year deal. I feel like I’ve got plenty left in the tank for that.

“I feel as good now as I did when I was 25, other than a few days in the weight room when your knees hurt a little bit squatting. My repertoire of pitching is without question better than it’s ever been, my mind is better than it’s ever been. That just comes with experience and learning your body and knowing how to get hitters out with what you have. So I don’t feel like I’m going downhill at all.”

Alden Gonzalez

Hudson heading back to the Bay Area?

Tim Hudson and the Giants are nearing a deal that would bring the right-hander to San Francisco on a two-year, $23 million contract. It was first reported by the Bay Area Sports Guy

Hudson pitched most recently for the Braves before sustaining a season-ending right ankle injury last year, but has also spent time in the Bay Area with the A’s and reportedly enjoyed it. 

– Joey Nowak

Report: Vogelsong, Giants still talking

SAN FRANCISCO — The Giants have informed right-hander Ryan Vogelsong that they won’t pick up the $6.5 million option on his 2014 contract, but the club is attempting to agree with him on a deal laced with performance bonuses, CSNBayArea.com reported.

The Giants were expected to make an announcement later Monday regarding the status of Vogelsong and potential free agent Javier Lopez, the club’s leading left-handed reliever in 2013.

Vogelsong posted a 27-16 record with a 3.05 ERA in 2011-2012 and was the team’s leading winner in the 2012 postseason (3-0). He slumped this year (4-6, 5.73) and encountered bad luck when he sustained a broken right hand resulting from being hit by a pitch from Washington’s Craig Stammen on May 20. Vogelsong also endured the physical erosion that struck almost every Giant who participated in the World Baseball Classic.

Chris Haft

11/3 Roundup

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

11/2 Roundup

With the deadline for exercising or declining options looming at 5 p.m. ET on Monday, teams continued to make those decisions on Saturday. Below is a recap of those moves, plus news on the Mariners’ managerial search and more.

  •  The Rays will bring back their same middle infield in 2014 after picking up options on second baseman Ben Zobrist and shortstop Yunel Escobar. However, they still must decide whether to do the same for outfielder David DeJesus and reliever Juan Carlos Oviedo.
  • The Red Sox declined a team option on reliever Matt Thornton, while two of the team’s free agents — first baseman Mike Napoli and catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia — would like to return. In other news, second baseman Dustin Pedroia soon will undergo surgery on his left thumb after playing the whole season with a sprained ulnar collateral ligament.
  • Joey Cora is among a handful of finalists to become the Mariners’ new manager.
  • Roger McDowell will return as pitching coach of the Braves after signing a new two-year deal.
  • As expected, the Giants declined their option on pitcher Barry Zito, according to the MLB Players Association. Zito becomes a free agent after completing his seven-year contract with San Francisco, which also declined an option on outfielder Andres Torres.
  • Also per the MLBPA, the Orioles declined their option on lefty Tsuyoshi Wada, who underwent Tommy John surgery after signing a two-year deal before the 2012 season and never appeared in a game for Baltimore.

– Andrew Simon

Norris drawing lots of interest as deadline nears

Astros pitcher Bud Norris continues to get interest from the Giants and Pirates with teams like the D-backs and Rangers also in the mix, MLB Network’s Peter Gammons reported on Twitter.

A source told MLB.com on Tuesday the D-backs, Orioles and Pirates were three of the teams showing the most interest in him.

Norris, 28, is 6-9 with a 3.93 ERA in 21 starts and is on pace to throw 200 innings for the first time in his career. Norris is making $3 million this year in his first year of arbitration and would certainly be attractive to a team considering he’s under club control for two more seasons.

– Brian McTaggart

7/8 Matt Garza rumors

Matt Garza has been rumored to be traded since Spring Training. Could the Cubs keep the right-hander and sign him to a long-term deal? CBSSports.com’s Jon Heyman reported Monday the Cubs have talked to Garza’s agents about a possible long-term contract. FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal confirmed that the Cubs and Garza have had recent talks. Rosenthal reported that signing Garza has always been one of the Cubs’ options. The team also could make him a one-year qualifying offer at the end of the season.

Garza is considered the top pitcher available on the trade market, and there is still time before the July 31 deadline for teams to make a deal with the Cubs. One scout told MLB.com that because Garza will be a free agent at year’s end, and a possible short-term rental, teams don’t want to give up top top prospects in exchange. The Cubs, obviously, are looking for top prospects.

The Rangers, Red Sox, Indians, Rockies, Giants, Padres, Nationals and Cardinals all need starting pitching, and the number of scouts has increased each time Garza pitches. Garza, who is making $10.25 million this year, will be a free agent after this season, and could demand a deal similar to what Anibal Sanchez got — five years, $80 million.

Garza will be on the mound Monday night when the Cubs face the White Sox at U.S. Cellular Field in a makeup game.

– Carrie Muskat

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