Results tagged ‘ Mariano Rivera ’

Roundup: DH-types coming off the market?

The free-agent market has definitely thinned, now that less than one month remains before the start of Spring Training. But as of Friday, several big names remained in the veteran corner outfielder/designated hitter category.

That may change soon.

The Rays, an industry source told MLB.com’s Jesse Sanchez, are nearing a one-year deal with Johnny Damon and are also in the mix for his former Red Sox teammate, Manny Ramirez

But Tampa Bay may have some competition for Ramirez’s services, since sources told MLB.com’s T.R. Sullivan that the Rangers and Angels are also interested. Sullivan notes that it’s the Rangers and Rays that are the front-runners at this point, with the Angels seemingly lagging behind.  

Enrique Rojas of ESPNDeportes.com heard from sources that Vladimir Guerrero, like Ramirez and Damon, could also be close to signing, saying the Orioles and Angels have interest. The Rangers, Sullivan added, also haven’t closed the door on bringing back Guerrero.
The problem is the soon-to-be-36-year-old — coming off a season in which he batted .300
with 29 homers and 115 RBIs as Texas’ full-time DH — may still be
trying to land an everyday job.

Here’s more from around the league…

* The Red Sox were trying to reel in free-agent closer Rafael Soriano
on a lucrative one-year contract, according to Jon Heyman of SI.com and
MLB Network. If they would have succeeded in that, they could’ve dealt
current closer Jonathan Papelbon to the Athletics or White Sox. Boston also made Yankees closer Mariano Rivera an offer this offseason, so there’s seemingly concern in Beantown about Papelbon.

* When Prince Fielder hits free agency at the end of the 2011
season, the slugging first baseman expects to yield a contract of at least eight
years and for about $200 million, Heyman added.

* The Reds have been all about locking up their own players this
offseason, and they still may not be done. Regarding unsigned starter
Edinson Volquez, Reds general manager Walt Jocketty told the Cincinnati
Enquirer, “We’re looking at both — one-year and multi-year” deals.
Volquez, arbitration-eligible for the first time, made $445,000 in 2010. Bronson
Arroyo
, Jay Bruce, Johnny Cueto and Joey Votto have all inked
multi-year deals with the Reds this offseason. 

* The Cardinals signed veteran infielder Nick Punto
to a one-year contract. The 33-year-old switch-hitter will serve as a
utility infielder and an insurance policy at third base for David Freese.

* The Mariners reduced the signing bonus of Dominican shortstop Esteilon Peguero, from $2.9 million to $1.1 million, according to Baseball America.

– Alden Gonzalez

Roundup: Yankees add Soriano; Pavano still a Twin

It was a throwback in the Bronx on Wednesday, when Rafael Soriano, hefty contract in hand, was introduced as the newest Yankee. The addition was one that Brian Cashman said wasn’t his recommendation, but rather ownership’s; a vestige of the days when the late George Steinbrenner owned the club and famously reserved personnel decisions for himself.
“This certainly will help us try to win a championship, there’s no doubt about that, so that’s in the plus column,” Cashman said of Soriano, who received a three-year, $35 million deal to setup for closer Mariano Rivera. “But I didn’t recommend it, just because I didn’t think it was an efficient way to allocate the remaining resources we have. We had a lot of debate about that.”
Yankees managing general partner Hal Steinbrenner and team president Randy Levine instead worked out the deal with Soriano, which includes out clauses after both of the next two seasons.
 
Cashman also revealed some unexpected news on Wednesday regarding a former pinstripes right-hander, Carl Pavano: there was thought he’d be brought back. Pavano signed a four-year, $39 million contract to pitch in New York before the 2005 season, but because of several injuries, including Tommy John surgery on his right elbow in 2007, Pavano was limited to 26 starts and 145.2 innings for New York.
“I’ve always felt Pav could pitch here,” Cashman said. “I think he’s shown that he can pitch in difficult circumstances. Bottom line, if he’s healthy, he can pitch.”

Later on Wednesday, Pavano finalized a two-year, $16.5 million contract with the Twins, whom he helped lead to the AL Central championship last season.

He went 17-11 with a 3.75 ERA and led the team in wins, along with innings pitched (221). Since being acquired by the Twins in August 2009, Pavano is 22-15 with a 3.97 ERA in 44 starts.

 
Though Pavano decided to re-join the Twins, the Yankees may still have another addition coming: veteran outfielder Andruw Jones. His agent Scott Boras said Wednesday that the Yankees are among several teams that he is speaking with about Jones.
 
The Giants announced the signing of right-hander Santiago Casilla to a one-year contract, avoiding arbitration. Casilla will earn $1.3 million, up from $400,000 last year, when he finished 7-2 with a 1.95 ERA and 56 strikeouts in 55 1/3 innings. He also stranded 41 of 47 inherited baserunners, the Majors’ second-best ratio.

In other news Wednesday:

  • Entering the last season of a four-year deal, Mets’ shortstop Jose Reyes said he wants to talk an extension as soon as possible. “I don’t want to talk about my contract during the season,” Reyes said Wednesday at a Citi Field Kids charity event. “I want to focus on doing my thing, trying to help this team win a lot of ballgames.”
  • With Jim Thome in Minnesota, the Rangers are still looking for a hitter, Rangers president Nolan Ryan told MLB.com’s T.R. Sullivan. “It’s always nice to have a veteran bat off the bench. It gives you an opportunity late in the game if you don’t like the matchups. I’m not sure that person is out there.” Ryan also said an extension for general manager Jon Daniels is a priority.
  • Left-handed reliever Brian Fuentes‘ deal with the A’s is official. According to The Associated Press, the deal is worth a guaranteed $10.5 million over two years, with a $6.5 million club option for 2013. The Nationals’ acquisition of Tom Gorzelanny from the Cubs also became official.
  • The Rockies and Joe Crede agreed on a Minor League deal. Crede sat out the 2010 season with a multitude of injuries. He turns 33 in April.
  • Crede’s one-time team, the White Sox, announced the invitation of 14 to big league camp, including right-hander Brian Bruney and Jordan Danks. The latter is the 24-year-old younger brother of White Sox starter John Danks. Jordan hit .245 with 27 doubles, eight homers and 42 RBIs in his first season at Triple-A in 2010.
  • The mother of Cubs outfielder Alfonso Soriano has passed away in the Dominican Republic.

Sox would have gone to Mo?

In what would have been the latest storied chapter of the Red Sox-Yankees rivalary, reports indicate that Boston made a push to sign Mariano Rivera before the future Hall of Famer reached an agreement to stay in the Bronx. The Yankees haven’t announced their new deal with Rivera, but it is all but done, according to several media outlets.

Gordon Edes of ESPNBoston.com, citing a source with direct knowledge of the situation, said that the Red Sox offered Rivera two years at $30 million, but the righty turned it down before accepting a similar proposal from New York.

Edes added that under that scenario, the Sox would have non-tendered closer Jonathan Papelbon, who made $9.35 million last year and is entering his walk year. Papelbon is coming off the worst season of his career, as he blow eight of his 45 save opportunities.

But the Red Sox did wind up tendering Papelbon a contract in advance of Thursday night’s 11:59 deadline.  Deep down, Boston likely knew that it was very unlikely Rivera would leave the Yankees, particularly to go to their chief rivals.

Ian Browne

Mariano appears headed back to Bronx

It looks like No. 42 will be back in the Bronx for two more years.

According to a New York Daily News report that cited a source familiar with the negotiations, the Yankees and their closer, Mariano Rivera, have agreed to a two-year, $30 million contract that will be signed by Friday night. The Yankees did not confirm this report.

The newspaper reported the news from the Dominican Republic, where Rivera’s agent, Fernando Cuza, was a guest at Red Sox designated hitter David Ortiz’s charity golf tournament dinner. The News wrote that Cuza said the parties were progressing toward a deal and were “a little far apart,” but that the deal materialized, according to the Daily News’ source, when Rivera was offered a three-year deal and more money from another club.

And SI.com reported via Twitter that the mystery team was one of three clubs, including the Red Sox and Angels, that made Rivera three-year offers.

But the Yankees’ offer was good enough for Rivera, 41, who intends to retire in pinstripes.

“He wanted to stay loyal to the Yankees,” the source told the paper.

Rivera posted another remarkable season in 2010 at the age of 40, with 33 saves and a 1.80 ERA. He is second on the all-time saves list with 559 and has a career 2.23 ERA, but, of course, is more known for his postseason dominance.

Rivera has five World Series rings and owns a record of 8-1, a 0.71 ERA and 42 saves in 94 career playoff games over 31 series.

He had become a free agent after completing the three-year, $45 million contract he signed with the Yankees following the 2007 season.

– Doug Miller

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 

Roundup: Kaz Matsui off the market

The Major League hot stove remained torrid on Thursday, but offseason speculation was replaced on the front burners by other delights of the season: gastronomic ones like stuffing and sweet potatoes. Still, several negotiations continued to simmer on back burners on Thanksgiving, and one conversation reached a rolling boil.

Infielder Kazuo Matsui agreed to a contract with Japanese club Rakuten Eagles, according to The Associated Press. Matsui, most recently of the Colorado Rockies, likely concluded his Major League career after seven seasons. If, indeed, the 35-year-old’s career in the big leagues has concluded, he will finish with a .267 career average, 32 home runs and 102 stolen bases.


Elsewhere, the negotiations continued
between closer Mariano Rivera and the Yankees. Rivera would like a two-year contract worth $18 million per year, according to the New York Daily News. The Yankees, according to Daily News sources, would prefer to give the soon-to-be 41-year-old a one year deal.

The Red Sox have an opening at catcher, and FOXsports.com reports that the club may be pursuing Rod Barajas. Barajas became a free agent on Tuesday when the Dodgers declined to offer him arbitration. Barajas cranked 17 home runs last season, which he split between the Mets and Dodgers. He’s reached double-digits in home runs in each of the past three campaigns.

Left-handed reliever George Sherrill has a minuscule
chance of remaining with the Dodgers, reports the LA Times. Sherrill, who closed for the Orioles from 2008-09, had a disappointing 2010 season, but he still held left-handers to a .192 average.

–Sunil Joshi

(more…)

Roundup: Tigers snatch V-Mart from Red Sox

The arbitration deadline was expected to rule the day, but
it wound up being the Tigers that made the big splash. In a rather surprising
turn of events in this offseason, coveted free-agent catcher Victor Martinez
said no to the Red Sox and wound up agreeing to a four-year,
$50 million contract
with the Tigers.

The agreement, which a baseball source confirmed to MLB.com, is probably still pending a
physical and should be completed shortly.
At that point, the Tigers would officially be able to add Martinez to a middle
of the lineup that includes fellow Venezuelan Miguel Cabrera.

Here’s more from around the league Tuesday …

* After a bounce-back year that saw him make $3 million, Aubrey Huff inked
a two-year contract reportedly worth $22 million with the Giants. The
deal also includes a club option for 2013.

* Diamondbacks general manager Kevin Towers told MLB.com’s Steve Gilbert that
of all the clubs expressing interest in outfielder Justin Upton, only
“two or three” teams
have the players to make a deal work. Towers
says he seeks Major League-ready players in return, not just prospects.

* The Yankees prefer to give standout free-agent closer Mariano Rivera
just a one-year deal worth upwards of $18 million, according to Yahoo! Sports.
But Rivera, 41 next week, seeks two guaranteed years at that rate.  

* As for the Yankees’ other aging pitcher, Andy Pettitte is leaning towards a return to the Bronx, according to the Twitter account of Newsday’s Kevin Davidoff.

* And as for the free-agent pitcher the Yankees hope to land, an industry source told Yahoo! Sports on Monday that New York offered Cliff Lee a six-year contract worth nearly $140 million. But Lee seeks a seventh year.

* Jarrod Washburn, the 36-year-old left-hander who sat out all of last season, “continues to generate interest as a free agent,” according to Yahoo! Sports. The Brewers are believed to be one of the teams that have contacted his agent.

* Arbitration Day is in full swing. So far, Jayson Werth, Adam Dunn, Adrian Beltre and Paul Konerko have been among the ranked free agents being offered arbitration, while Derek Jeter, Mike Lowell, Manny Ramirez and Johnny Damon have been among those who have not. The deadline is 11:59 p.m. ET.

– Alden Gonzalez 

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