Results tagged ‘ Jerry DiPoto ’

Angels have checked in on Cordero

The Angels have recently had dialogue with the representative for veteran closer Francisco Cordero — though they may only be in the periphery right now — an industry source familiar with the discussions told MLB.com.

The source pinned the market for Cordero as down to three or four teams, with the Angels and Reds being two of them. At this point, however, it’s hard to gauge where the Angels stand in that race considering the money they’ve spent this offseason and general manager Jerry Dipoto’s recent statements — that he already has a good ninth-inning man in Jordan Walden, and that finding a closer has never been a priority this offseason.

Cordero is only looking to go into a situation where he can close, and he’d probably have to take a big paycut or backloaded deal — or both — to find a fit in Southern California. All along, his former team, the Reds, have seemed to be the favorite for Cordero (as Reds reporter Mark Sheldon outlined recently). But the Angels checked in with his agent, Bean Stringfellow, within the first 24 hours of the free-agency period and up until two days ago, the source said.

Asked on Thursday about the chances of landing high-profile closer Ryan Madson, Dipoto called it “very unlikely,” adding: “Through the course of this offseason, we have never prioritized a closer, and while it’s certainly appealing to think about the option of adding a guy like Ryan Madson, it just doesn’t fit what we’re trying to do right now, and that’s from a variety of different perspectives.”

The 36-year-old Cordero, a three-time All-Star, has compiled a 3.17 ERA and 327 saves in his 13-year career. With the Reds in 2011, he posted a 2.45 ERA and a 1.019 WHIP while converting 37 of his 43 save chances.

 – Alden Gonzalez 

Angels sign Kendrick to 4-year extension

The Angels signed second baseman Howard Kendrick to a four-year contract extension on Saturday night, an industry source confirmed.

The deal, which USA Today’s Bob Nightengale reported to be worth $33.5 million, will take care of Kendrick’s final season of arbitration and his first three free-agent years, but won’t be official until Kendrick undergoes a physical on Monday. Angels general manager Jerry Dipoto said recently that he had begun extension talks with Kendrick and shortstop Erick Aybar, his two arbitration-eligible players who are a season away from hitting the open market.

Kendrick is coming off arguably his best season in 2011, one that saw him bat .285 with 63 RBIs, 14 stolen bases and a career-high 18 homers. The 28-year-old right-handed hitter, who’s expected to bat in front of Albert Pujols this season, was a 10th-round Draft pick by the Angels in 2002 and has compiled a .292 batting average, .329 on-base percentage, 50 homers and 61 stolen bases in his first six seasons with them.

The Angels’ two other arbitration-eligible players are Kendrys Morales and Alberto Callaspo, both of whom are two years away from free agency.

– Alden Gonzalez

Angels start long-term talks with Kendrick, Aybar

The Angels have begun extension talks with the representatives for second baseman Howie Kendrick and shortstop Erick Aybar, general manager Jerry Dipoto confirmed Thursday.

Kendrick and Aybar are both lifelong Angels, are both heading into their final years before free agency and are both coming off arguably their best seasons.

“It’s certainly something we’re exploring, and something we feel is important, otherwise we wouldn’t be exploring it,” Dipoto said. “Howie and Erick are both career-long Angels. We want to make sure that continues. We have four arbitration-eligible players remaining and they’re all important to us, and we want to make sure that each one of them is given the appropriate attention, and we’ve already taken the initial steps in the case of Howie and Erick, and making sure we can make them a part of what we’re doing here moving forward.”

The Angels’ other two arbitration-eligible players are first baseman Kendrys Morales and third baseman Alberto Callaspo, both of whom have two seasons to go before hitting free agency.

Dipoto said there is no timetable for the Kendrick and Aybar negotiations, but that those are the only two they’re negotiating with right now. Kendrick’s agent, Larry Reynolds, declined to go into specifics.

“We’re going to see where the process takes us; that’s all I can say at this point,” Reynolds said. “We don’t know what’s going to happen. It’s really kind of early in the process.”

– Alden Gonzalez

Dipoto: Angels “very unlikely” to sign Madson

Contrary to swirling Internet rumors — and essentially a process of elimination — the Angels are “very, very unlikely” to sign free-agent closer Ryan Madson, general manager Jerry Dipoto told The Los Angeles Times on Thursday.

Dipoto’s statements are consistent with those he made from the Winter Meetings in early December, when he said he was looking for someone to “complement [current closer] Jordan Walden, not replace” him. But Madson’s market has dried up considerably as teams have used a deep talent pool of closers to fill their ninth-inning needs, and it took a major hit when the Red Sox traded with the Athletics for Andrew Bailey.

Madson’s present scenario, his Orange County, Calif., roots and the Angels’ bullpen struggles last season seemingly made the two a fit. But the Angels have already spent nearly $330 million on Albert Pujols and C.J. Wilson this offseason. And now, Dipoto has basically shot down his team’s chances of adding a proven closer like Madson.

“We’re trying to add depth, and in a perfect world, we’d like to find another guy to join Jordan Walden, Scott Downs and [offseason addition] LaTroy Hawkins to help with those last nine outs,” Dipoto told the LA Times. “But closer has never been the real priority.”

You probably shouldn’t completely rule it out just yet, though. Madson’s agent, Scott Boras, can be real creative and Dipoto has already displayed an element of surprise. If Madson is willing to take less money, and perhaps even sign a backloaded deal — like Pujols and Wilson did — maybe, just maybe there’s still a glimmer of hope.

As we’re experiencing with the Nationals and those links to Prince Fielder that don’t seem to go away, there are very few certainties in the free-agent market.

– Alden Gonzalez

Madson to Anaheim possible?

That still remains to be seen. But on Wednesday afternoon — after the Red Sox acquired Andrew Bailey from the Athletics in exchange for three young players — it became more possible than ever.

With the Red Sox, a team with money to spend, filling a huge need in the back end of its bullpen by acquiring the young Bailey, the market for Madson has reached a new low. It’s now pretty clear that the 31-year-old right-hander won’t get anything close to what the Phillies reportedly offered him before turning their attention to Jonathan Papelbon (a four-year, $44 million contract).

But just how much of a pay cut he takes is the big question.

It’d have to be a pretty sizeable one for the Angels to be a fit, now that the team has committed more than $330 million to Albert Pujols and C.J. Wilson. But it’s interesting to note that Wilson turned down a larger contract from the Marlins in order to sign with the Angels and return to Orange County, Calif. — where Madson was also born.

Angels general manager Jerry Dipoto said during the Winter Meetings that his mission was to “complement [closer] Jordan Walden, not replace Jordan Walden.” In tune with that, he signed veteran right-hander LaTroy Hawkins to potentially help lefty Scott Downs in a setup role. But getting Madson would be a far bigger step towards improving a bullpen that was tied for first in the American League in blown saves last season.

So far, it appears the Rays and Reds are the two main teams that still need a closer. But the Reds and Francisco Cordero reportedly want a reunion, and the Rays don’t have the financial wherewithal to allocate a lot of money to the ninth inning.

Time for Scott Boras to get creative with Madson.

– Alden Gonzalez

Morales will be tendered contract by Angels

The Angels will indeed tender Kendrys Morales a contract prior to Monday’s deadline, general manager Jerry Dipoto confirmed during Saturday’s introductory press conference for Albert Pujols and C.J. Wilson.

After finishing fifth in voting for the American League’s Most Valuable Player award in 2009, Morales missed nearly two full seasons with a broken lower left leg. A lot is still unknown about Morales’ status for 2012, regarding his health – he’ll still need to prove he can run at full speed in Spring Training – and whether or not he’ll remain with the team.

But the Angels will at least keep their options open.

And when asked about plans for a cleanup hitter behind Pujols, manager Mike Scioscia went directly to his switch-hitter, who’s entering his second year of arbitration after making $2.975 million in 2011.

“The one thing that sets us up really well is if Kendrys Morales is coming back; just his presence, being from the left side,” Scioscia said. “Right now, a player like Albert, there’s really only one way to protect him. One is get guys on base in front of him, and the other is have some depth behind him that will take advantage when they walk him, or he gets on base a lot, too. So I think we’re going to get guys in front that hopefully are not going to set the table, but be able to run and get in scoring position and do things that you want for the middle of your lineup.”

– Alden Gonzalez 

Dipoto not concerned about Pujols’ age

Upon signing Albert Pujols to a 10-year deal that’s reportedly worth $254 million and will take the first baseman through his age-41 season, Angels general manager Jerry Dipoto was asked about Pujols’ age, which is listed as 31 but has come under scrutiny because of a history of age fraud in the Dominican Republic.

“I will say that Albert Pujols’s age to me is not a concern,” Dipoto responded. “He’s an honorable man. I think he’s a very respectful man, and I’m not a scientist. I can’t tell you where he is. But I can tell you he hits like he’s 27.”

– Alden Gonzalez 

DiPoto mum on C.J.; bullpen arm may be coming

If the Angels are indeed stepping up their efforts to sign C.J. Wilson, their general manager, Jerry DiPoto, isn’t saying.

Meeting with the media in the early part of Wednesday afternoon – the last full day of the Winter Meetings – DiPoto wouldn’t comment on the progress with Wilson, but did say smaller, cheaper bullpen additions could be on the forefront.

“I can’t say that we’re certain we’re creeping up on anything,” DiPoto said. “We’ve certainly continued to make progress on the things that we’re pursuing. If anything, I feel like we’re getting closer to solving some of our desire to get deeper in the bullpen. If I had a sense as to what might happen quickly, that may be the thing. But no certainty.”

An industry source told MLB.com’s Joe Frisaro that the Halos are increasing their efforts to sign Wilson, with hopes of a deal getting done on Wednesday. But the situation remains fluid, and it could hinge on whether or not the Marlins are able to acquire ballyhooed slugger Albert Pujols.

Multiple reports said on Wednesday that the Marlins had offered six years to Wilson, probably as a backup plan if they’re not able to retain Pujols.

“We’re very comfortable with the conversations we’ve had with a variety of players and teams,” DiPoto said, “and we’ll see where it goes.”

Late Tuesday night, the Angels were deemed to be the third team – along with the Marlins and Cardinals – in the hunt for Pujols. For his part, DiPoto didn’t categorically deny the Angels’ interest in Pujols, but did restate: “That’s not where our focus has been.”

– Alden Gonzalez

Angels the mystery team on Pujols?

Angels general manager Jerry DiPoto was expected to meet with the media at 4:30 p.m. CT on Tuesday, but five hours have passed and he still hasn’t come out of his suite. With speculation swirling, Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports.com reported the following via Twitter …

“Angels pursuing [Albert] Pujols. Ongoing conversations.”

The Marlins were the team hot after Pujols all day — offering 10 years at what was believed to be more than $200 million — with the Cardinals reportedly upping their original offer in hopes of resigning the slugger. Then, Bob Nightengale of USA Today tweeted that a third team had offered a 10-year contract, with the Cubs being rumored and, later, the possibility of the Angels being thrown out.

Initial calls to Pujols’ representatives were not returned, and an Angels spokesman told MLB.com there’s “nothing new to report.”

In an earlier tweet, Rosenthal also said the Angels are “already drawing trade interest in [Ervin] Santana in anticpation of [a] possible C.J. Wilson signing.”

– Alden Gonzalez 

Top priority for Scioscia: Starting pitching

Mike Scioscia made it clear during his availability at the Winter Meetings on Tuesday that adding starting pitching is the No. 1 priority.

Asked whether he’d prefer to add a bat (perhaps someone like Aramis Ramirez) or a starter (perhaps someone like C.J. Wilson), Scioscia chose a starter — despite the presence of Jered Weaver, Dan Haren and Ervin Santana.

“We need to get stronger pitching,” Scioscia said. “I think if you look at a lot of things ‑‑ you’re just talking about in the rotation, but we need depth in our bullpen, and we need depth in our rotation, and I think those are things that are priorities as Jerry [DiPoto] is moving through this process this winter. We had a lot of leads last year. Even though our offense wasn’t firing on all cylinders, we had countless games that maybe because of some depth in our bullpen that fell through the cracks that would have made a difference in our ability to contend particularly those last couple weeks in our division.”

More quotes are up on the blog.

Alden

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