Results tagged ‘ Mariners ’
Rumors surfaced on Tuesday that said the Mets had recently inquired about Brewers slugger Ryan Braun. Though the Mets insist that “inquiry” was nothing more than a four-word exchange at the General Manager Meetings earlier this month, according to Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com, the team remains in the market for a power-hitting corner outfielder.
With Braun seemingly not a viable option, the Mets are putting their focus on the likes of Curtis Granderson and Nelson Cruz, among others. Cruz is reportedly seeking a four-year, $75 million deal after missing the final 50 games of the 2013 regular season while serving a 50-game PED-related suspension for his connection to the Biogenesis scandal. Cardinals Jhonny Peralta, who served the same suspension for his Biogenesis connections, recently netted a $53 million deal with the Cardinals.
A number of other rumors were circulating Tuesday, including:
- The Rockies reportedly asked the Angels about slugger Mark Trumbo, according to Troy Renck of the Denver Post. Though considering Colorado’s main trade piece is center fielder Dexter Fowler and the Angels are in the market for pitching help, the Rockies seem more likely to reach a deal with the Royals. Colorado has already missed out in its pursuit of Jose Abreu, Brian McCann and Carlos Ruiz, but the Rockies would still like to add a power hitter and bullpen help — and that’s where the Royals come in. The Royals are reportedly willing to move relievers Aaron Crow and Tim Collins, as well as right-hander Wade Davis, who the Rockies tried to acquire from Tampa Bay last offseason before the Rays shipped him to Kansas City.
- Despite the Rangers’ recent acquisition of Prince Fielder, the club is still considering keeping Mitch Moreland, according to Fox Sports’ Ken Rosenthal. Texas is said to be tossing around the idea of using Moreland, who made all 129 of his starts this past season at first base, at multiple positions — including designated hitter, first base and the outfield — against right-handed pitching.
- After going back-and-forth on the Mariners’ supposed interest in first baseman Mike Napoli, Rosenthal is reporting that the Mariners are indeed interested in the free agent slugger. It remains up in the air just how serious of a push Seattle will make for Napoli, but the Mariners are said to also be interested, on various levels, in a number of other marquee free agents, including Cruz, Carlos Beltran, Jacoby Ellsbury, Shin-Soo Choo.
The Yankees stole the Hot Stove headlines on Saturday, when they filled their void at catcher by agreeing to a five-year contract with free agent Brian McCann. In a deal first reported by The Dallas Morning News, New York committed to paying McCann $85 million, with a $15 million vesting option for 2019.
The Yankees clearly needed more offense behind the plate, after their catchers combined for a .587 OPS last season. McCann comes in with seven All-Star appearances, five Silver Slugger Awards and a career .823 OPS.
In other news from around the league:
- The Cardinals apparently have found their shortstop, with ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick breaking the news that St. Louis is close to an agreement with free agent Jhonny Peralta.
- The Angels will bolster their bullpen by signing free-agent right-hander Joe Smith to a three-year contract worth roughly $15 million.
- Free-agent right-hander Colby Lewis, who missed the 2013 season due to injury, re-signed with the Rangers on a one-year Minor League deal that includes an invitation to Major League camp. Lewis went 32-29 with a 3.93 ERA over 80 starts with Texas from 2010-12 but hasn’t pitched in the Majors since July of ‘12.
- In his morning (Insider-only) column, ESPN’s Buster Olney said some executives, “see the Mariners as the great sleeping giant in baseball,” because of their potential financial clout, lack of long-term contract commitments outside of Felix Hernandez, and solid stable of young players. Olney wonders if the Mariners could go after top free agents Robinson Cano and Jacoby Ellsbury.
- The Cubs have generated a lot of interest in right-hander Jeff Samardzija, with the Blue Jays one of those trying to pry him away, according to Bruce Levine of ESPN Chicago and ESPN Radio 1000.
- There was speculation on Friday that Cano was in Detroit to visit the Tigers. A deal between the two parties would seem to be a longshot considering the club just acquired Ian Kinsler, as FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal tweeted.
- The market for free-agent closers is locked in a “staring contest,” tweets FOX Sports’ Jon Morosi.
— 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
Former Phillies pitching coach Rich Dubee will interview for the same position on the staff of new Mariners manager Lloyd McClendon.
The Yankees may be trying to stay under the luxury tax threshold in 2014, but the word in the lobby at the General Managers Meetings is that it hasn’t stopped them from looking at the upper tier of available free agents. Sources say they appear to have made switch-hitting outfielder Carlos Beltran, who turned down a qualifying offer from the Cardinals on Monday, a top priority.
If the Rays decide to trade David Price, look for the Dodgers to make a strong move. Sources say the Rays had scouts looking hard at the Dodgers farm system late in the season.
— Paul Hagen
The Hot Stove was focused on new managers on Sunday, with the Tigers making their choice official, and the Mariners and Cubs continuing to search. Notes on those situations, plus other tidbits from the offseason, are below.
- The Tigers introduced Brad Ausmus as their new manager on Sunday, with the longtime Major League catcher stepping into a pressure-packed spot at the helm of the reigning American League Central champions.
- The Mariners, still looking to fill their managerial opening, now have brought back three candidates for a second interview, as general manager Jack Zduriencik tries to find a replacement for Eric Wedge.
- Meanwhile, Wedge is one of the candidates known to have interviewed for the only other available manager position. The Cubs are expected to reveal their choice sometime this week.
- It appears that teams hoping to add a big bat to the middle of their lineups this offseason can cross one option off their list. Marlins general manager Dan Jennings said on Sunday that slugger Giancarlo Stanton “is not available” in trade talks and will open the 2014 season as the Marlins’ right fielder.
- Masahiro Tanaka earned the save as the Rakuten Golden Eagles beat the Yomiuri Giants in Game 7 of the Japan Series on Sunday. With that series over, Rakuten is expected to post the 25-year-old right-hander, which would make him one of the top arms available this offseason.
- The Rays picked up their $6.5 million team option on David DeJesus and are trying to work out a multi-year deal with the veteran outfielder, whom they acquired on July 23. The club still must decide whether to exercise its option on reliever Juan Carlos Oviedo.
- The Giants aren’t going to pick up right-hander Ryan Vogelsong’s $6.5 million option, but the sides are discussing a new deal for a lower guaranteed salary, according to a report from CSN Bay Area.
— Andrew Simon
With the deadline for exercising or declining options looming at 5 p.m. ET on Monday, teams continued to make those decisions on Saturday. Below is a recap of those moves, plus news on the Mariners’ managerial search and more.
- The Rays will bring back their same middle infield in 2014 after picking up options on second baseman Ben Zobrist and shortstop Yunel Escobar. However, they still must decide whether to do the same for outfielder David DeJesus and reliever Juan Carlos Oviedo.
- The Red Sox declined a team option on reliever Matt Thornton, while two of the team’s free agents — first baseman Mike Napoli and catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia — would like to return. In other news, second baseman Dustin Pedroia soon will undergo surgery on his left thumb after playing the whole season with a sprained ulnar collateral ligament.
- Joey Cora is among a handful of finalists to become the Mariners’ new manager.
- Roger McDowell will return as pitching coach of the Braves after signing a new two-year deal.
- As expected, the Giants declined their option on pitcher Barry Zito, according to the MLB Players Association. Zito becomes a free agent after completing his seven-year contract with San Francisco, which also declined an option on outfielder Andres Torres.
- Also per the MLBPA, the Orioles declined their option on lefty Tsuyoshi Wada, who underwent Tommy John surgery after signing a two-year deal before the 2012 season and never appeared in a game for Baltimore.
— Andrew Simon
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
Former Angels speedster Chone Figgins was just designated for assignment by the Mariners after a rough stint in the Northwest, but don’t anticipate a return to Anaheim. A source with knowledge of the team’s thinking said Tuesday night that Figgins is “not likely to be a fit” for the Angels in 2013.
By designating Figgins for assignment, the Mariners have 10 days to trade, release or outright him before he becomes a free agent. If he clears waivers and is not traded, he will be released, Mariners GM Jack Zduriencik said. Figgins will most likely slip through waivers, which means the Mariners will simply pay the $8 million owed to him in 2013 and set him off into free agency.
The Angels, who are prioritizing pitching, have Alberto Callaspo slated as their starting third baseman for 2013 and have several options for the utility infield spot — Andrew Romine, Angel Sanchez and Brendan Harris.
Figgins, who can also play all three outfield spots, excelled with the Angels from 2004-09 but struggled mightily in his three years with the Mariners, compiling a .227/.302/.283 slash line. In 2012, he appeared in just 66 games and finished with a .181 batting average.
“He just became an expendable piece and that’s it,” Zduriencik told MLB.com’s Greg Johns. “That’s the end of the story.”
— Alden Gonzalez
The Angels have been in talks with the Mariners for right-handed reliever Brandon League, sources said Sunday, though it’s unsure how deep those discussions are at this point.
An industry source told MLB.com on Sunday afternoon that the Mariners could be close to trading League to either the Giants or Angels. Nothing is definite just yet, but the Angels are an interested suitor. They’ve been looking for another late-inning bullpen option all month, but after giving up pitchers John Hellweg and Ariel Pena along with shortstop Jean Segura for Zack Greinke on Friday, they don’t have a lot left in their farm system to deal. The Mariners seek young offensive help.
League, 29, is a free agent at the end of the season and is making $5 million in 2012. He struggled through the first two months and lost his job as closer, but has rebounded ever since. In 44 1/3 innings, he has a 3.05 ERA and a 1.44 WHIP, with 26 strikeouts and 19 walks. As an All-Star last year, he posted a 2.79 ERA and 37 saves in 65 appearances.
— Alden Gonzalez
- The A’s will send right-handed reliever Fautino De Los Santos to the Brewers in exchange for catcher George Kottaras, Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle reported. Kottaras was designated for assignment on Thursday, but no trade has officially be announced.
- Zack Greinke is off the board, and the Braves might not be able to close a deal for Ryan Dempster either. That has led Atlanta to search elsewhere for starting pitching help while also taking a look at the market for relievers, reported our own Mark Bowman.
- The Cardinals are looking to upgrade their starting pitching, according to Scott Miller of CBSSports.com. Francisco Liriano was one option, but the White Sox nabbed him on Saturday night. That could lead St. Louis to focus more heavily on the Rays’ James Shields, who is attracting interest from several clubs.
- The race for Padres third baseman Chase Headley is hotly contested but apparently no longer includes the A’s, according to Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com.
- Teams looking for bullpen help are considering Rockies closer Rafael Betancourt, with the Orioles, Yankees and A’s among the possibilities, reported Troy Renck of The Denver Post.
- Should the struggling Phillies decide to sell, Shane Victorino could be at the front of the line heading out of Philadelphia. Talks regarding the veteran center fielder are “getting warm,” according to CSNPhilly.com’s Jim Salisbury. Outfielders Juan Pierre and Hunter Pence and starting pitcher Joe Blanton also could be trade bait.
- The Red Sox’s interest in Mariners lefty starter Jason Vargas is “mild,” according to the Boston Globe’s Nick Cafardo.
— Andrew Simon