Results tagged ‘ Lance Berkman ’

1/29 Roundup

In a free-agent market light on shortstops, Stephen Drew would figure to be a hot commodity, coming off a year in which he played solid defense at the position and produced a .777 on-base-plus-slugging percentage for the Red Sox. Yet the 30-year-old seems to be running out of options, with Spring Training rapidly approaching.

On Tuesday night, Mets general manager Sandy Alderson told MLB.com’s Anthony DiComo that it is “unlikely” his club will sign Drew. On Wednesday, our Bryan Hoch reported that the Yankees are not considering bringing in Drew, while Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports.com and MLB Network wrote that the A’s also are not interested.

All of those factors could make a return to Boston more likely for Drew, who is tied to Draft pick compensation after receiving a qualifying offer.

In other news from around the league:

  • The Phillies could be a team to watch in the competition for veteran right-hander A.J. Burnett, a free agent who recently decided to pitch this season. Signing Burnett would be a great move for Philadelphia, one that just might get it back to the postseason, writes MLB.com columnist Richard Justice. Meanwhile, MLB.com’s Tom Singer offers an idea for how the Pirates could manage to bring back Burnett.
  • Bronson Arroyo told ESPN.com’s Jayson Stark that while 12 teams have contacted his agent this offseason, he has not come close to a deal with any of them. Arroyo and Burnett are drawing some interest from the Blue Jays, but Toronto appears more focused on fellow free-agent right-handers Ubaldo Jimenez and Ervin Santana, according to Rosenthal.
  • After a 15-year career that included six All-Star teams, a World Series title and 366 home runs, Lance Berkman told MLB.com that he has decided to retire. Berkman spent an injury-plagued 2013 with the Rangers.
  • Right-hander Scott Baker, who returned from Tommy John surgery at the end of last season, signed a Minor League deal with the Mariners and figures to compete for a spot in their starting rotation.
  • Former Phillies closer Ryan Madson, who has missed the past two seasons due to injury, held a private workout for an unknown team on Tuesday and is planning a public audition for more clubs on Feb.7 in Phoenix, according to Jerry Crasnick of ESPN.com.
  • The Cardinals and infielder Daniel Descalso agreed to a one-year contract, avoiding arbitration, while the Cubs did the same with outfielder Justin Ruggiano.
  • The Reds bolstered their infield depth by signing veteran Ramon Santiago to a Minor League contract.
  • For the third time this offseason, the Twins signed a former member of the organization to a Minor League deal, this time bringing back reliever Matt Guerrier.
  • The Angels added Chad Tracy to the mix in their crowded competition for bench spots.
  • The Royals acquired outfielder Carlos Peguero from the Mariners for a player to be named later and designated left-hander Everett Teaford for assignment.

– Andrew Simon

11/21 Roundup

The Royals made the biggest move of the day on Thursday, bolstering their starting rotation by signing free-agent left-hander Jason Vargas to a four-year, $32 million contract. Vargas, who will turn 31 in February, went 9-8 with a 4.02 ERA last season for the Angels, who now have another hole to fill on their staff.

Meanwhile, Wednesday night’s big trade between the Rangers and Tigers continued to hold the baseball world’s attention. The swap of Ian Kinsler and Prince Fielder could have far-reaching implications. Among them:

  • The trade gives the Tigers additional financial flexibility they could use to pursue contract extensions for Max Scherzer and/or Miguel Cabrera, writes our Jason Beck. There also is the issue of how Detroit will adjust defensively, with Cabrera likely shifting to first and opening up a spot at third that could be filled by top prospect Nick Castellanos.
  • The ripple effects from the deal could surface in Cincinnati, says our Mark Sheldon,  impacting the Reds’ potential plans to move second baseman Brandon Phillips.
  • Kinsler’s departure from Texas likely eliminates the possibility of the Rangers parting with Elvis Andrus. That gives the Cardinals one fewer option in their pursuit of a shortstop, as our Jenifer Langosch explains.

In other news from around the league on Thursday:

  • The Tigers moved quickly to their next order of business, re-signing lefty Phil Coke to a one-year deal to avoid arbitration.
  • The Giants have agreed to a deal to keep left-handed specialist Javier Lopez in San Francisco, with multiple reports indicating he will receive a three-year contract.
  • The Angels and Cardinals have discussed a swap that would send third baseman David Freese to Anaheim in exchange for an outfielder, such as Peter Bourjos.
  • After adding Josh Johnson to their starting rotation, the Padres will return their focus to acquiring a left-handed hitter, tweets our Corey Brock.
  • Our Adam McCalvy writes that the Brewers aren’t likely to trade Ryan Braun but could move him from left field to right.
  • Ike Davis tells our Anthony DiComo that while he would like to stay with the Mets, he understands that there is a significant chance the club could deal him this offseason.
  • Lance Berkman’s agent told Travis Sawchik of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review that his client is leaning toward retirement. The 15-year veteran, who turns 38 in February, posted a .700 OPS for the Rangers last season, and injuries have limited him to 105 games over the past two years.
  • The agent for free-agent catcher Brian McCann told Alex Speier of Boston’s WEEI that his client is willing to spend some time at first base and designated hitter with a new team.
  • The Rays are working toward a two-year deal to retain the services of catcher Jose Molina, according to ESPN’s Buster Olney.
  • The Dodgers and Giants have free-agent right-hander Dan Haren among their targets as they look to add pitching, according to Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports and MLB Network.
  • Although outfielder Curtis Granderson became a free agent when he rejected the Yankees’ qualifying offer, the club remains interested in bringing him back, reports the New York Post.

– Andrew Simon

Berkman to sign with the Rangers

Lance Berkman told MLB.com on Saturday he had agreed to a one-year with deal with a vesting option for 2014 with the Texas Rangers, pending a physical. Berkman said he was mulling retirement and wouldn’t have played if the circumstances weren’t right.

The Rangers proved to be the perfect fit for several reasons, Berkman  said.

“There is a lot of things,” he said. “One is the opportunity to DH. I think that’s going to be really good for me from a physical standpoint in terms of staying healthy for a full year and obviously geography – I’m a Texas guy all the way – so I could get back to the home state and being close to home is huge for me and my family. I think the Rangers have an excellent chance to win. I think they have a very solid team, so all those things kind of add up and it makes a lot of sense.”

Berkman, who turns 37 on Feb. 10, was considering retirement after an injury-plagued 2012 with the Cardinals. He underwent two surgeries on his right knee and played 32 games, hitting .259 with an .826 OPS, two home runs and seven RBIs. Berkman appeared in only six games and started two after July 29 and was left off St. Louis’ playoff roster.

– Brian McTaggart

12/4 Who’s on first for Cubs?

With Adam Dunn to the White Sox and Lance Berkman to the Cardinals, the
supply of free agent first basemen is dwindling. Nobody knows that
better than agent Scott Boras, who represents Carlos Pena. The Cubs have
reportedly talked to Boras about their client.

“There’s a
[designated hitter] market and a first base market,” Boras said Sunday
at the Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin hotel, site of baseball’s
Winter Meetings. “Carlos Pena is definitely a Gold Glove first baseman
and has averaged 36 home runs over the last four years. He will get a
lot of attention.”

Pena’s average also has gone down each year
with the Rays and he’s averaging 157 Ks per year the last four seasons.
Boras would not name which teams had contacted him but the Cubs may want
to give the agent a call if they’re interested.

– Carrie Muskat

Roundup: Jeter chapter closed, plenty others open

The focus of the hot stove season shifted away
from Derek Jeter
on Saturday, but not necessarily away from the Yankees.

Jeter and the Yankees finally came to terms — a move almost
universally expected — to the tune of a guaranteed three-year deal, worth $15
to $17 million per. The deal isn’t official until Jeter takes a physical, but the
hard part, the sometimes contentious negotiations, should be a thing of the
past.

Left atop the free agent market are Cliff Lee and Carl
Crawford
, and the former’s destination could be what determines the latter’s.

MLB.com’s Lyle Spencer wrote that the Angels are
actually pulling for the Yanks to land Lee
: If Texas, the other perceived
contender in the Lee sweepstakes, is able to re-sign Lee, that means the Angels
could be up against not only the Red Sox, but the Yankees in a bidding war for
Crawford. If the Yankees sign Lee, however, New York likely would be
hard-pressed to get seriously involved with Crawford as well.

Boston on Saturday grabbed headlines too when it took a
giant step toward a revamped lineup.

Adrian Gonzalez, the Padres’ first baseman who is a free
agent after the 2011 season, was flown into Boston on Saturday and passed a
physical. The Padres and Red Sox have a trade in place that would bring
Gonzalez to the Sox
, but that’s contingent on Gonzalez agreeing to a contract
extension. The reported deadline for the two sides to reach an agreement is 2
p.m. Sunday.

The Cardinals made noise late in the day by announcing the
signing of Lance Berkman
. The one-year, $8 million deal brings the 34-year-old
back to the National League Central, where he thrived for so long with Houston.

Another NL Central club, the Reds, might have reason to be
concerned that their slugger — and the league’s MVP — might not want to be
around for long. Joey Votto, who’s arbitration eligible, said on Saturday that
he’s just not sure where he’ll be
a few years down the road.

“When [Colorado’s Troy Tulowitzki] signed that 10-year
contract, I was blown away,” Votto told MLB.com’s Mark Sheldon. “I
can’t imagine seeing myself 10 years from now saying I want to be here. It’s an
overwhelming thing to ask a young person like myself and say, ‘Here’s a lot of
money. Be happy with this over 10 years, deal with it.’”

The Dodgers have had a busy start to the offseason, locking
up Ted Lilly, Jon Garland and Hiroki Kuroda. They added Rod Barajas to the mix
on Saturday, signing the catcher to a one-year, $3.25 million deal.

– Evan Drellich

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

 

Roundup: Dodgers swipe Uribe from division rivals

With one week remaining until the start of the usually-hectic Winter Meetings in Lake Buena Vista, Fla., the busy Dodgers made another move, agreeing to terms with Juan Uribe on a three-year deal reportedly worth about $21 million.

With Uribe, the Dodgers swipe a big piece of the Giants’ World Series championship run away from their division rivals and add a much-needed right-handed power bat to the middle of the lineup. Uribe played 103 games at shortstop, 26 at third base and 24 at second while batting .248 with 24 homers and 85 RBIs in 2010 (not including a postseason run that saw him drive in nine runs in 14 games).

In Los Angeles, he figures to start at second base, which will likely lead to the non-tendering of Trade Deadline acquisition Ryan Theriot. Despite dealing with instability up top, the Dodgers had already locked up their rotation by re-signing Ted Lilly and acquiring Jon Garland

Here’s more from around the league …

* The Rangers signed catcher Yorvit Torrealba to a two-year
contract. Torrealba, a 10-year veteran who played in 95 games for the
Padres in 2010 — batting .271 with seven homers and 37 RBIs while
starting 89 games — fills a void left by Bengie Molina (likely retired) and Matt Treanor (free agent). The deal, according to MLB.com’s T.R. Sullivan, is worth $6.25 million.  

* They also avoided an arbitration hearing with Mark Lowe and agreed on a one-year contract. The deal is worth $1.2 million, plus another $100,000 in incentives.

* A source told ESPNNY.com the Yankees believe Derek Jeter and his agent, Casey Close, need to “drink the reality potion.” The unnamed source told the Web site the Yankees are still not budging from their three-year, $45 million offer, and Jeter still seeks a longer contract between $23 million and $25 million per season. Talks between the two sides did not take place during the holiday weekend and none are currently scheduled, ESPNNY.com added.

* While the Jeter negotiations appear heated, ESPNNY.com added that talks between the Yankees and Mariano Rivera are “progressing much smoother.” Rivera will likely receive a bump from his 2010 salary, probably in the $16-17 million range, but the question remains whether he gets one or two years.

* Free-agent first baseman/outfielder/designated hitter Lance Berkman was originally disappointed the Astros didn’t want him back, but the Texas product told The Houston Chronicle “there’s been a lot of interest” in his services. Berkman specifically named the Cardinals, Cubs, Rockies, Athletics, Pirates and Blue Jays as teams who have been in touch, but added he hasn’t received a formal offer yet. Berkman has said he’d prefer to play in the National League, adding that he’s still capable of serving as an outfielder and first baseman.

* The Astros have talked about the possibility of an extension with right-hander Wandy Rodriguez, general manager Ed Wade told The Houston Chronicle. Rodriguez hits free agency after the 2011 season.    

* The Mets will do their due diligence in shopping shortstop Jose Reyes this winter, but considering his value has never been lower, it would be shocking if they actually went ahead and traded him, MLB.com’s Anthony DiComo writes.

* The Twins have until late December to agree on a contract with Japanese middle infielder Tsuyoshi Nishioka, who sounds like someone excited to play in Minnesota. In quotes passed along by The Minneapolis Star Tribune, Nishioka told the Japanese press he has no preference between shortstop and second base and said, “I don’t think that I will give up the idea of going to the Majors because of the amount of money.”

“Minnesota Twins has been contending to the playoff every year,” he added. “To play for the good team is one of my wishes. I am happy that I could advance one step forward.” The Twins won their exclusive-negotiating for Nishioka on Friday and could use him to fill their middle-infield needs.

– Alden Gonzalez 

11/23 Berkman wants to play

The Cubs are in pursuit of a first baseman this offseason and one option could be Lance Berkman. He told FoxSports.com that the Cubs are one of the teams that has inquired about him. Berkman said the A’s have been the “most aggressive” in terms of contact. He would like to return to the National League, which would work in the Cubs’ favor. He made $14.5 million last season and would have to accept less money to sign with the Cubs.

Berkman, who will be 35 on Feb. 10, said he was limited in 2010 after arthroscopic surgery to clean out his left knee.

“I’m probably viewed as a declining player,” Berkman told FoxSports.com. “I don’t blame teams for thinking like that. But I don’t view myself that way. If I was to honestly assess where I’m at, I feel like last year was the result of me being hurt.

“My knee was hurt all year. The kind of injury I had prevented me from using my legs when I hit. In my mind, I can scratch that off and say that I’ll be healthy next year, be the player I was prior to the 2009 season. That’s kind of how I’m looking at it.

“Obviously, I’ve got to get an opportunity,” he said. “I’ve got to go out there and prove it.”

– Carrie Muskat

Roundup: Trade Deadline comes and goes


That’s it. The non-waiver Trade Deadline has now passed, and the dust
has settled. Several big-name players — like Cliff Lee, Roy Oswalt,
Dan Haren and Lance Berkman — wound up switching teams, while
several notable trade candidates — such as Adam Dunn, Jayson Werth,
Scott  Downs, Brett Myers and Prince Fielder
stayed put. 

Here’s a look at what did
happen Saturday … 

* The Dodgers acquired the best remaining starting pitcher on the
market, post-Oswalt, by swinging a deal for Lilly of the Cubs in
the afternoon. In the deal, the southpaw — a free agent after this season and
making $12 million in 2010 — infielder Ryan Theriot and $2.5 million go to Los Angeles, while infielder Blake
DeWitt
and Minor League right-handed-pitching prospects Kyle Smit
and Brett Wallach head
to Chicago. 

* The Cardinals officially acquired Indians pitcher Jake
Westbrook 
in a three-team deal with the Indians and Padres. Westbrook
was scratched from his Saturday start as the deal was set into motion. The
Padres acquired Ryan Ludwick from the Cards, while Padres prospect
Cory Kluber was sent to
Cleveland and pitcher Nick Greenwood went to St. Louis.

* The Yankees made some big moves (surprised?). They solidified the designated-hitter role by
getting Berkman from the Astros, bolstered their outfield with the
acquisition of Austin Kearns from the Indians, and on Saturday, added an arm to the bullpen by getting
another Cleveland piece, closer Kerry Wood (acquired for a player to be
named later or cash). 

* A few other relievers were dealt just before the 4 p.m. ET Deadline.
Coveted left-hander Will Ohman went to the Marlins in exchange for Minor
League right-hander Rick VandenHurk; Pirates closer Octavio Dotel
was dealt to the Dodgers for right-hander James
McDonald
and Minor League outfielder Andrew Lambo; Dotel’s
teammate, lefty Javier Lopez, was sent to the Giants for a couple of Minor
Leaguers; and the Giants got Ramon Ramirez from the Red Sox

* Just before the Deadline, the Red Sox got catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia from the
Rangers in exchange for two prospects — right-hander Ramon Mendez and
first baseman Chris McGuiness — and a player to be named later or cash. 

* The Braves bolstered their bullpen and got some needed help in
the outfield
by swinging a last-minute deal with the Royals, one
that brought right-hander Kyle
Farnsworth
and outfielder Rick Ankiel (along with cash
considerations) to Atlanta in exchange for outfielder Gregor Blanco,
right-hander Jesse Chavez and Minor League lefty Tim Collins

* The Diamondbacks acquired outfielder Ryan Church,
infielder Bobby Crosby and reliever D.J. Carrasco from the
Pirates in exchange for catcher Chris Snyder and Minor League shortstop Pedro
Ciriaco

* Looking to strengthen their bullpen, the
Rays nabbed veteran right-handed reliever Chad Qualls from the D-backs. 

* In what would have been a true Deadline blockbuster, FoxSports.com is reporting on Saturday that
the White Sox had been trying to acquire Manny Ramirez from the Dodgers,
but the Dodgers didn’t bite on the first attempt. 

Alden Gonzalez and Bailey Stephens

Roundup: Berkman close to joining Yanks

The Yankees now look poised to land Lance Berkman from the Astros, a source told MLB.com’s Brian McTaggart. 
Berkman has the right to reject any trade as a 10-and-5 player (10 years in the league, five with one team), but he was approached by general manager Ed Wade a couple of days ago with a list of eight teams be to and approved four, including the Yankees. 
According to The New York Post, the deal is done, though it won’t be official until another 24 hours. 
The 34-year-old Berkman is making $14.5 million this season and has a $15 million club option for the 2011 season, with a $2 million buyout. With the Yankees, he’d likely serve as a designated hitter — a revolving door for the club all year — but he can also fill in at first base and in the outfield corners if needed. 
With Saturday’s 4 p.m. ET non-waiver Trade Deadline looming overhead, here’s more from around the league … 
* The White Sox acquired some depth for their starting rotation on Friday afternoon, when they swung a deal with the Diamondbacks to bring right-hander Edwin Jackson to the South Side. In the trade, Chicago parted ways with one of its top pitching prospects, righty Daniel Hudson, and Minor League lefty David Holmberg
* The Rangers, in need of second-base help with Ian Kinsler on the disabled list, acquired veteran middle infielder Cristian Guzman for prospects. Guzman is making $8 million in the final year of his contract this season. 
* Baseball sources told MLB.com’s Ken Gurnick that the Dodgers and Cubs have been discussing a deal that would send left-handed starter Ted Lilly back to Los Angeles. The Dodgers would also like to include infielder Ryan Theriot in the deal and would want Chicago to eat up some of Lilly’s remaining contract, according to FOXSports.com. Lilly, the best starting pitcher remaining in the market, has $4.3 million left in his expiring contract. 
* The Blue Jays acquired Mets Triple-A first baseman Mike Jacobs for a player to be named later. Jacobs will report to the Blue Jays’ Minor League affiliate. 

* While looking at what happened today and what could happen before 4 p.m. ET on Saturday, we’ll also look back. Roy Oswalt to the Phillies, Jorge Cantu to the Rangers, Miguel Tejada to the Padres and Matt Capps to the Twins were the biggest moves made prior to Friday, in what has still been a rather slow-moving Trade Deadline. 

Alden Gonzalez
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