Results tagged ‘ Kendrys Morales ’
Here’s a Hot Stove riddle: Two starting pitchers who posted ERAs of 3.30 or below last season, two hitters who combined for 50 home runs, and a shortstop with a strong all-around game — what do they have in common?
The answer is that they all remain free agents, with Spring Training lurking on the horizon. Sure, Ubaldo Jimenez, Ervin Santana, Nelson Cruz, Kendrys Morales and Stephen Drew all have their flaws. But there is something else at work, too.
All five players are tied to Draft pick compensation, a situation MLB.com’s Phil Rogers outlines in his latest column. The Frozen Five, as Rogers calls them, still figure to find multiyear deals, but the clock is ticking, and their options are dwindling.
In other news from around the league:
- MLB.com’s Doug Miller takes stock of what remains on the market this offseason in The Week Ahead.
- The D-backs have come up empty so far in their search for a starting pitcher, watching Masahiro Tanaka and Matt Garza sign elsewhere, but team president and CEO Derrick Hall said the club will continue looking. Bronson Arroyo is one potential target for Arizona.
- The D-backs also reached a one-year deal with outfielder Gerardo Parra, avoiding arbitration.
- Will the Yankees sign Drew or reliever Fernando Rodney? MLB.com’s Bryan Hoch tackles that question and more in his latest inbox.
- In his inbox, Indians beat writer Jordan Bastian examines the situation involving Justin Masterson, who is headed toward an arbitration hearing and is set to become a free agent after this coming season.
- Agent Scott Boras told FOXSports.com’s Jon Morosi that he is “very close” to getting deals for relievers Oliver Perez and Francisco Rodriguez, utility man Jeff Baker and Korean pitcher Suk-min Yoon. Several teams reportedly have interest in Yoon, with the Orioles one of those making an offer, according to The Baltimore Sun.
- The Astros added another veteran arm to their staff, agreeing to a one-year deal with right-hander Jerome Williams.
- Monday’s Minor League deals included a trio of relievers, with Kyle Farnsworth going to the Mets, and Armando Galarraga and Daniel Bard to the Rangers.
– Andrew Simon
An already thin third-base market got a little slimmer on Thursday, with veteran Michael Young choosing to retire rather than pursue offers from a few teams. With Young off the market, Placido Polanco and Cody Ransom are the top third basemen available.
As MLB.com’s Richard Justice writes, Young was adored by teammates, coaches and fans over a 14-year Major League career. During his 13 seasons with the Rangers, Young not only established himself as the face of the franchise, he was a perennial Gold Glove candidate and an offensive threat.
Although Young’s retirement dominated the headlines on Thursday, the Hot Stove did see some more action:
* With Spring Training right around the corner, MLB.com’s Phil Rogers examined the remaining free agent crop and put together an interesting team of available players. A.J. Burnett, Ervin Santana, Bronson Arroyo, Ubaldo Jimenez and Tommy Hanson are among the top starting pitchers still on the market, not to mention Jason Hammel and Paul Maholm. Several talented relievers are also available, most notably closer Fernando Rodney.
As for position players, such big names as shortstop Stephen Drew, slugger Kendrys Morales and outfielder Nelson Cruz are all looking for work. The Hot Stove will surely heat up as these players move closer to signing deals.
* Meanwhile, left-hander Bruce Chen and the Royals are close to completing a one-year contract; Chen needs to undergo a physical before the deal becomes official.
Chen’s almost certain return to Kansas City’s rotation is likely to have an impact on Santana, who posted a 3.24 ERA with the Royals last year. MLB.com’s Dick Kaegel predicts Santana is “not likely to follow Chen back through the Royals clubhouse door.”
– Austin Laymance
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 free-agent market lost one of its biggest names on Saturday, when outfielder Shin-Soo Choo agreed to a seven-year, $130 million contract with the Rangers.
As the list of unsigned impact players continues to shrink, the big question hanging over the Hot Stove is whether Japanese pitcher Masahiro Tanaka will join the fray. The highly touted right-hander’s Nippon Professional Baseball club, the Rakuten Golden Eagles, has yet to decide whether to make him available via NPB’s recently revised posting system with Major League Baseball.
But the situation appears to nearing a resolution, with Baseball America’s Ben Badler reporting that the Eagles are expected to inform Tanaka of their decision by Wednesday.
In other news from around the league on a quiet Sunday:
- Former A’s closer Grant Balfour saw his two-year, $15 million deal with the Orioles fall through after issues arose with his physical, but as many as four teams — including the Rays — appear to have interest in the veteran righty.
- Former All-Star left-hander Mark Mulder, who is making a comeback attempt, has worked out for the Giants, Padres, D-backs, Angels and Phillies, according to The Boston Globe’s Nick Cafardo. Mulder last pitched in the Majors in 2008 but is working with a new delivery after injuries derailed his career.
- Cafardo also writes that free-agent shortstop Stephen Drew seems likely to return to the Red Sox, due in large part to a lack of other strong fits.
- Agent Scott Boras is trying to get the Mets interested in two of his remaining free agents, Drew and slugger Kendrys Morales, according to ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick. However, Crasnick says Drew’s price could be too high for New York, which doesn’t appear to have much interest in Morales.
– Andrew Simon
The Angels’ hopes of resigning free-agent starting pitcher Jason Vargas were squashed on Thursday, when the Royals announced they have signed the veteran left-hander to a four-year contract.
The average annual value of Vargas’ new deal, a reported $32 million, is $8 million. The Angels were willing to give him that much, but they weren’t willing to go four years (it would’ve been hard for them to even give him a third year).
And so, the Angels still have at least two holes to fill in their rotation.
Jered Weaver, C.J. Wilson and Garrett Richards are returning, Tommy Hanson is likely to get non-tendered in December and Joe Blanton — if not released this offseason — will not go into the season as a guaranteed member of the rotation. General manager Jerry Dipoto did not tender the $14.1 million qualifying offer to Vargas because he was almost certain Vargas would accept it, and by accepting it the Angels would already be dangerously close to the luxury tax threshold of $189 million.
Vargas was acquired in a one-for-one deal with the Mariners that sent Kendrys Morales to Seattle last December. In his first year in Southern California, where he grew up and briefly attended Long Beach State University, Vargas went 9-8 with a 4.02 ERA in 150 innings in a season that saw him miss two months with a blood clot.
The Angels are expected to use the trade market to bolster a rotation that ranked 11th in the American League in ERA last season, but they may also turn to other free agents to fill Vargas’ void. And while they aren’t expected to go after the likes of Ubaldo Jimenez, Ricky Nolasco or Ervin Santana, names like Phil Hughes, Dan Haren, Bronson Arroyo, etc., etc., could be enticing.
— Alden Gonzalez
-The Rangers signed left-hander Martin Perez to a four-year contract through 2017 with club options for 2018, 2019 and 2020. The Rangers’ Rookie of the Year, who will turn 23 in April, was already under team control through the 2018 season, so his long-term extension essentially just buys out his arbitration-eligible years and, if all three options are picked up, delays him from entering free agency another two years.
-The Cubs officially announced the hiring of new manager Rick Renteria, the former Padres bench coach. Renteria and the Cubs agreed to a three-year deal with club options for 2017 and 2018.
-The Dodgers have talked with manager Don Mattingly about a contract extension, according to MLB.com’s Ken Gurnick, but no deal is imminent. Mattingly is under contract for next season because a club option vested when Los Angeles advanced to the National League Championship Series.
-Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports wrote that it would make sense for outfielder Curtis Granderson to decline the Yankees’ $14.1 million qualifying offer and explore the free agent market, drawing a comparison to Nick Swisher, who cashed in on the open market last winter. Rosenthal also noted on Twitter that the Yankees might have to pay more than $14.1 million to retain right-hander Hiroki Kuroda considering the threat that he could return to pitch in Japan.
-Agent Scott Boras appeared on ESPN writer Keith Law’s “Behind the Dish” podcast on Thursday to discuss several of his free agent clients. Boras described center fielder Jacoby Ellsbury as a “game-changer for a lot of franchises” and said Ellsbury and Shin-Soo Choo “have the ability to bat third in the lineup and they have the ability to lead off.”
-Boras said shortstop Stephen Drew “could really change the dynamic of the production” of seven or eight teams’ infield “by having that kind of power and that kind of defense on their team.” Boras also argued that switch-hitting first baseman/designated hitter Kendrys Morales has “a resume that, frankly, few hitters have in this market — the only one other than Cano who you can say has the ability to be a run producer in the middle of the lineup” due to his power from both sides of the plate.
The Angels, a source told MLB.com, have traded designated hitter Kendrys Morales to the Mariners in exchange for starting pitcher Jason Vargas.
Vargas, a 29-year-old left-hander, went 14-11 with a 3.85 ERA in 33 starts last year. Morales batted .273 with 22 homers and 73 RBIs in 2012, his first season removed from a couple of ankle surgeries.
More coming on MLB.com soon.
– Alden Gonzalez
The acquisition of Josh Hamilton was, in many ways, a two-for-one signing because it also allows general manager Jerry Dipoto to trade a suddenly-expendable player for another starting pitcher.
Question is: Can the Angels take on more payroll in the process?
Hamilton’s five-year, $125 million contract will pay him $17 million in 2013 ($15 million in salary, plus a $10 million signing bonus that’s dispersed evenly over the course of his five-year contract). That, in addition to arbitration projections and minimum contracts, puts the Angels’ 2013 payroll at roughly $159 million, which is about where they finished at last year.
Asked about expanding it further in case of adding a pricey arm, Angels president John Carpino basically said it would be considered on a case-by-case basis.
“Instead of putting [the payroll] at a place where it’s, ‘This is where we’re at,’ it’s, ‘What’s the opportunity cost of doing it?'” Carpino said at Hamilton’s Saturday news conference. “So, if something became available that’s an opportunity cost, it just comes down to wanting to win. But it also has to make sense fiscally.”
Teams are a lot more willing to give up a would-be free agent than a cost-controlled arm, of course.
That’s why, with R.A. Dickey off the board, names like Ricky Nolasco of the Marlins ($11.5 million in his walk year), Gavin Floyd of the White Sox ($9.5 million in his walk year) and Matt Garza of the Cubs (projected $10 million in his final arbitration year) seem to be the most feasible. Rick Porcello of the Tigers (projected $4.7 million in his second arbitration year) has also been mentioned.
Peter Bourjos, who’s still a year away from arbitration and will make about $500,000 in 2013, appeals to many teams. Kendrys Morales, Vernon Wells and — seemingly to a lesser extent — Mark Trumbo can also be made available.
The Angels’ preference would be to acquire a young, pre-arbitration starter who won’t add to the budget (Jeremy Hellickson and Matt Moore of the Rays comes to mind). But whether or not that situation presents itself remains to be seen.
– Alden Gonzalez
Pretty much since he took the job over the offseason, Angels general manager Jerry Dipoto has viciously tried to fend off rumors that the club considers center fielder Peter Bourjos — currently without an everyday role — a trade chip.
That took place again on Wednesday, in the midst of a couple of reports — from Jon Heyman and Danny Knobler of CBSSports.com — saying that Bourjos is available for the right deal. Dipoto publicly denied that once again, saying: “At no point have we offered Peter Bourjos for anyone, starter or reliever.”
The Angels are indeed looking for pitching, for the bullpen and rotation, and they’ve been linked to a bevy of player, like Francisco Liriano, Jonathan Broxton and, of course, Zack Greinke and Cole Hamels. But you can probably throw out 50 other names that the Angels have considered, tabled, had talks about and sent advanced scouts to watch. The Angels have been looking to upgrade the bullpen — particularly with another left-hander — for a while now.
As for starting pitching? The health of Dan Haren could go a long way in deciding how aggressive they get in that pursuit — and, perhaps, whether Bourjos is in fact dealt.
Here’s what Dipoto said when asked about how important the next week, with Haren returning and Ervin Santana making a couple of tough starts, is to their starting-pitching pursuit …
“We just want to get [Haren] back 100 percent healthy to compete. And we feel, and I’ve been very forthright with that, that he’s the best addition we can make. We anticipate that that’s the case. And in Ervin’s case, it’s not as simple as just determining where he is in the next two starts. Ervin’s got a history of being a better second-half performer than first. It’s the way it looks from last year. I’m just looking at his track record, what he does. And we’re not two starts away from kicking Ervin Santana out the door. Ervin’s going to be in our rotation. The Ervin component is not going to have any effect on what we do at all.”
The Royals had a scout at Comerica Park on Tuesday, and word is Kansas City is interested in designated hitter Kendrys Morales — despite the presence of Eric Hosmer and Billy Butler.
“We have nothing significant or imminent at this time,” Dipoto said. “Like everybody is, we’re just doing our due diligence.”
— Alden Gonzalez
The Angels agreed to a one-year, arbitration-avoiding contract with infielder Alberto Callaspo on Monday. The deal is worth $3.15 million, which is slightly higher than the reported figure Kendrys Morales agreed to – $2.975 million – and right around what Callaspo was projected to garner via arbitration.
Callaspo, two seasons away from free agency, hit .288 with a .366 on-base percentage, six home runs and 46 RBIs while playing mostly third base in his first full season with the Angels in 2011.
The only arbitration-eligible player remaining now is shortstop Erick Aybar, who’s eligible for free agency after this season and who general manager Jerry Dipoto previously said is open to negotiating an extension with.
– Alden Gonzalez