Results tagged ‘ Giants ’

Marlins interested in Morse, Morneau

Two names near the top of the Marlins’ list when it comes to filling their void at first base are free agent Michael Morse and Colorado’s Justin Morneau, according to MLB.com’s Joe Frisaro.

The Marlins have made it a priority this offseason to find an upgrade at first base. They believe Morse could be the solution after the 32-year-old batted .279/.336/.475 to go along with 16 homers and 61 RBIs over 131 games this past season with the Giants.

That said, it won’t be easy for the Marlins to sign him. A number of other teams have expressed interest in Morse, including at least two American League teams in the Rangers and Orioles. The option of occassionally serving as a designated hitter may be something that appeals to Morse, given his injury history.

As for Morneau, it’s unclear whether or not the Marlins have even contacted the Rockies at this point, let alone what they’d offer in return.

– Paul Casella

Giants in “backseat” on Lester talks?

Giants assistant general manager Bobby Evans suggested to reporters on Tuesday afternoon that the Cubs and Red Sox may be the favorites in the Jon Lester sweepstakes.

Evans reportedly added that the Giants are in the “backseat” when it comes to Lester talks, but other teams are “driving the car.” He also said that a Lester decision isn’t necessarily expected to come on Tuesday, as previously reported.

Though the Giants haven’t been informed that they are off Lester’s radar, Evans’ comments certainly aren’t encouraging. The Giants may have been late entrants in the pursuit of Lester, but general manager Brian Sabean confirmed on Monday that the club’s primary focus is on landing Lester.

“Right now it’s all about Lester,” Sabean said before later adding: “We’re still on the board.”

While that may still be the case, it appears that the Cubs and Red Sox — the initial favorites to sign Lester — are re-emerging as the left-hander’s most likely destinations.

– Paul Casella

Tigers intent on keeping Scherzer

The Tigers’ primary focus is on re-signing marquee free agent Max Scherzer, according to ESPN’s Buster Olney.

The market for Scherzer has been relatively quiet so far this offseason, though that’s likely to change over the next 24 hours with fellow free agent starter Jon Lester expected to announce his decision.

Olney writes that the Tigers are not only “prepared to spend big, big dollars” to sign Scherzer, but that they also plan to keep co-ace David Price in the fold for 2015, as well. Again, there has been very little talk surrounding Scherzer to this point as teams wait to see where Lester ends up.

Aside from the Tigers, other teams that have been linked to Scherzer in varying extents include the Red Sox, Yankees, Dodgers, Nationals, Phillies, Cardinals, Cubs, Giants, and Blue Jays. The team that ultimately signs Lester will obviously drop off that list.

Regardless, the final cost for Scherzer figures to be enormous, given the amount of deep-pocketed teams that are in the market for an elite starter. Scherzer, keep in mind, turned down a $144 million extension offer from the Tigers last spring.

– Paul Casella

Giants unwilling to give Headley a fourth year?

The Giants are reportedly “dead set” against offering Chase Headley a four-year deal, according to CBS Sports’ Jon Heyman.

If true, that would figure to significantly decrease the Giants’ chances of landing Headley, who has been reported to already have a four-year, $65 million offer in hand from an unidentified team. Regardless of the validity of that four-year, $65 million offer, Headley is likely to be able to find a four-year deal somewhere on the market.

The Yankees are the team that stands to benefit the most from the Giants’ apparent unwillingness to offer a fourth year. Though the Marlins and Astros have also been linked to Headley in recent days — and one of those two could very well be the mystery club that already has an offer out — the Yankees and Giants have been considered strong favorites ever since Pablo Sandoval signed with the Red Sox earlier this offseason.

Headley is expected to sign a deal at some point this week and could do so as soon as Tuesday, so there should be some clarity provided to this situation in the very near future.

– Paul Casella

Red Sox extend one-year offer to Masterson

The Red Sox have reportedly extended a one-year offer to free agent right-hander Justin Masterson, according to Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe.

The Red Sox are pursuing Masterson as a potential starter, not a relief option. That said, they are certainly not alone in their pursuit. It was reported on Monday by CBS Sports’ Jon Heyman that the Rangers also have an offer in to Masterson, while a number of other teams, including the Marlins, White Sox, Royals, Giants, Cubs, Tigers, Indians and Twins are all known to have interest as well.

Teams are banking on a bounceback year for Masterson, who is coming off a season in which he posted an unsightly 5.88 ERA over 28 injury-hampered outings (25 starts) between the Indians and Cardinals. Now seemingly healthy, teams are hoping to find a bargain with a one- or two-year deal for the 29-year-old righty.

– Paul Casella

Lester signing could reignite Hamels talks

Though the Phillies aren’t one of the four teams reportedly pursuing Jon Lester, they could be one of the clubs most impacted by his final decision, which is expected to come at some point on Tuesday.

Phillies left-hander Cole Hamels has been floated as a potential backup plan for both the Red Sox and Dodgers, leading Matt Gelb of the Philadelphia Inquirer to suggest that the Phils could start fielding serious offers for Hamels in the coming days. “The Phillies, a team desperate for outfield reinforcements, could target Joc Pederson in a trade with Los Angeles,” writes Gelb.

The Cubs and Giants, the other two clubs known to be pursuing Lester, could also attempt to engage the Phillies in trade talks if they miss out on Lester.

It’s no secret that the Phillies are trying to trade a number of their big-contract players this offseason, with Hamels’ name popping up most often in rumors. Not surprisingly, teams have been much less willing to take on the unfavorable contract of a player such as Ryan Howard.

The Red Sox have reportedly rejected past offers from the Phillies, but the Phils figure to gain at least some leverage in the aftermath of Lester’s decision. Either way, trade talks should heat back up once Lester is off the market.

– Paul Casella

Headley decision coming soon

There is “optimism” that a Chase Headley deal gets done on Tuesday, according to a tweet by Peter Gammons of Gammons Daily. The same tweet lists the Giants and Yankees as potential landing spots.

This backs up a similar report from Joel Sherman of the New York Post on Monday that said Headley will make his decision at some point this week, while adding that the Yankees and Giants are “among 3-4 teams bidding.” Jon Heyman of CBS Sports indicates that the Yankees are in a good position to bring back Headley.

The Marlins and Astros are among the other teams that have also been rumored to have interest in recent days. Headley has reportedly had a four-year, $60 million offer in hand from an unidentified team for nearly a week now.

– Paul Casella

Lester reportedly mulling over four offers

Jon Lester is reportedly considering four separate offers, all hovering around the six-year, $150 million mark, according to FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal.

Those are offers are believed to be from the Cubs, Red Sox, Giants and Dodgers, though a late push by another team can never be ruled in these situations. Rosenthal adds that one of those four teams with an offer already on the table is willing to add a seventh year and push the total to $175 million, though it’s unclear at this point which team that applies to.

Lester is expected to make a decision some time on Tuesday, at which point the starting pitching market will really begin to open up. Once Lester makes his decision, teams will likely ramp up their pursuit of the other two top-level free agents starters — Max Scherzer and James Shields – as well as the second-tier free agents such as Brandon McCarthy, Ervin Santana, Francisco Liriano and Justin Masterson.

The teams that ultimately miss out on Lester could also turn their attention toward the trade market where pitchers such as the Phillies’ Cole Hamels and the Tigers’ Rick Porcello, among many others, are believed to be available for the right price.

– Paul Casella

Masterson garnering significant interest

Free agent right-hander Justin Masterson has already met with the Red Sox and is expected to hold meetings with the Marlins, White Sox and possibly Cubs during this week’s Winter Meetings, according to CBS Sports’ Jon Heyman. At least three other teams — the Royals, Giants and Twins — have displayed varying amounts of interest in Masterson.

Masterson, who will turn 30 next March, is coming off a diastrous, injury-plagued season in which he went 7-9 with an unsightly 5.88 ERA over 28 combined outings (25 starts) between the Indians and Cardinals. The righty, however, was the Indians’ ace in 2013, making his first All-Star appearance while racking up a 14-10 record to go with a 3.45 ERA.

Now seemingly healthy, Masterson could be a legitimate bounceback candidate. It’s with that in mind that teams are hoping to find a bargain with what is likely to be a one- or two-year deal.

Masterson was drafted by the Red Sox in 2006 and broke into the big leagues with Boston in 2008. He pitched one-and-a-half seasons for the Sox before being traded to the Indians at the 2009 Trade Deadline. Given that history, Masterson is familiar with current Cubs executives Theo Epstein and Jed Hoyer from those days together in Boston.

The Cubs, however, have reportedly signed free agent Jason Hammel and remain focused on landing Jon Lester, who’s expected to announce a decision no later than Tuesday. The actual market for Masterson, like any pitcher still on the market, should become more clear once Lester announces his decision.

– Paul Casella

Giants considering Lowrie as contingency plan

The Giants are reportedly looking at Jed Lowrie as a potential option at third base in the event that Chase Headley decides to sign elsewhere, according to ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick.

Though primarily a shortstop over his first seven big league seasons, Lowrie is open to the idea of also playing second base or third base. Each of his 129 starts in the field for the A’s last season came at shortstop, though he has made 83 appearances at third base and 58 at second base during his career.

It was reported earlier Monday by MLB.com’s Brian McTaggart that the Astros are interested in a reunion with Lowrie, while Crasnick adds that the Marlins could be another potential landing spot.

Lowrie seems to be developing a significant amount of interest in recent days and his market would only develop further if Headley was to make a decision in the near future.

– Paul Casella

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 801 other followers