Results tagged ‘ Marlins ’

Angels reportedly nearing deal with INF Cantu

The Angels are nearing a deal for free-agent infielder Jorge Cantu, Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com reported via Twitter on Friday afternoon.

Cantu, a 29-year-old with experience at third, second and first base, could provide the Halos with some flexibility in the infield in case they want to make a trade. Whether or not the Halos gave him a Major League contract is still not known.

Cantu was a steady presence in the middle of the Marlins’ lineup from 2008-09 – batting a combined .283 with 45 homers and 195 RBIs – but has struggled ever since.

The Padres signed him to an $850,000 contract last offseason, then released him in June after he hit just .194 in 57 games for them. The Rockies picked Cantu up in late July, and he spent the rest of the season in Triple-A.

– Alden Gonzalez 

1/3 Matt Garza & the Yankees

The Cubs are not going to deal Matt Garza unless they get significant players in return, and the asking price apparently is too high for the Yankees. ESPNNew York’s Wallace Matthews reported Tuesday the Cubs’ asking price is “out of the question” for the Yankees. The Cubs reportedly want at least two and possibly three of the Yankees’ top prospects Jesus Montero, Manny Banuelos and Dellin Betances. The Red Sox, Tigers, Marlins and Blue Jays also have been linked to Garza, but FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal reported the Blue Jays also have reportedly balked at the Cubs’ requests.

– Carrie Muskat

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

Gio Gonzalez rumors continue to swirl

On Thursday, the list of suitors for Athletics starter Gio Gonzalez was deemed by FOXSports.com’s Ken Rosenthal to essentially look like this: Mets, Mariners, Marlins, Red Sox, Reds, Rangers and Nationals. On Friday, a few more-specific rumors were thrown around regarding the 26-year-old left-hander.

CBSSports.com’s Jon Heyman tweeted that the Mets wouldn’t include Jonathan Niese, Ike Davis, Matt Harvey, Jenrry Mejia or Jeurys Familia in a deal for Gonzalez, making it really hard to even fathom them in the race considering the A’s previous demands. Oakland, Heyman added, seeks a huge package for Gonzalez, who’s arbitration-eligible for the first time after combining to go 31-21 with a 3.17 ERA with 368 strikeouts and 183 walks the last two seasons.

The Tigers are only deemed to be on the “outskirts” for Gonzalez, according to ESPN.com’s Jerry Crasnick, and the Yankees are unwilling to surrender top prospects Jesus Montero, Manny Banuelos and Dellin Betances, according to Heyman. MLB.com’s Bill Ladson reports that the Nationals are “all but out” on Gonzalez because of that asking price.

The Rangers, however, could be in play, considering they have top prospect Mike Olt and the A’s are looking for a future third baseman, notes FOXSports.com’s Jon Paul Morosi. However, as ESPN.com’s Buster Olney says, 20-year-old Rangers lefty Martin Perez would “almost have to be” included in a deal between the A’s and Rangers.

For now, the situation remains awfully fluid.

And it should gain a lot more steam once the Yu Darvish situation is settled.

– Alden Gonzalez 

Mets looking at Gio Gonzalez?

In a Twitter post early Friday morning, FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal tweeted that the Mets and Mariners have joined the Marlins, Reds, Red Sox and Rangers as clubs checking up on Oakland’s Gio Gonzalez.

From a New York perspective, that one is tough to figure. This is the first time all winter the Mets have been rumored to be looking into acquiring an established Major League player, as opposed to trading one away. As recently as last week, the Mets had discussed dealing their own young left-handed starter, Jon Niese, with a list of teams including the Angels and Yankees.

General manager Sandy Alderson has been adamant in saying that he is looking at trades to improve the Mets both for the future and for 2012. Gonzalez would certainly represent more of the latter than the former; though just 26 years old, he is arbitration-eligible for the first time this winter, meaning his salary is poised to skyrocket.

What’s more, Alderson stated publicly last week that the top-tier prospects in New York’s farm system — Zack Wheeler, Matt Harvey et al — are the only untouchables in the organization outside of David Wright. Given that such prospects are presumably what Oakland would be seeking in a deal for Gonzalez, it is unclear what the Mets could offer in a swap.

–Anthony DiComo

And then there were two? …

The Rangers, according to beat writer T.R. Sullivan, have resigned to the possibility of C.J. Wilson parting ways, leaving the Angels and Marlins in what appears to be a two-horse race for the ace left-hander.

Stopped in the lobby at the Hilton Anatole on Wednesday afternoon, though, Angels general manager Jerry Dipoto wouldn’t comment on Wilson, saying only that the Halos continued working to also try and add a reliever.

“Bullpen,” he said. “Look for bullpen.”

Despite the Marlins’ signing of Mark Buehrle, they’re still believed to be in the market for Wilson. In fact, Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports.com tweeted on Wednesday that the Marlins are the “best bet” to land Wilson, with the Angels a “close second.” There are reports that the Marlins have offered him a six-year contract, which could be the difference if true.

Marlins outfielder Logan Morrison communicated with Wilson on Twitter, telling him  ..

“[I] want to sing you a song — I’m so excited, I just can’t hide it, and I know, I know, I know, I want you. I want you.”

– Alden Gonzalez

Angels’ chances to land Wilson improve

With the Marlins committing four years and $58 million to Mark Buehrle — the other top free-agent starter — the Angels’ chances of obtaining C.J. Wilson have only improved.

Word is the Marlins still aren’t done — they could still pursue Wilson, and they may still even have a chance to reel in Albert Pujols. But with Buehrle on board, the sense of urgency to land Wilson is nowhere near as strong as before, and the available funds may not be as high.

In the end, it could come down to a two-horse race between the two American League West rivals, the Angels and Rangers. The Angels have prioritized starting pitching and are going hard after Wilson, amping up their efforts to obtain the Newport Beach, Calif., southpaw and hoping to get an agreement by Wednesday. They may be more willing to go five years with C.J., and that may be what it takes to land him.

Also on Wednesday, Aramis Ramirez’s agent, Paul Kinzer, said the Angels and Brewers met with his client at the end of the season and are finalists to land the free-agent third baseman — along with another unidentified team.

If the Angels can’t land Wilson, Ramirez could be a fallback option.

– 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

Cards may have clearer line on Pujols — UPDATED

The Cardinals’ path toward retaining Albert Pujols may be getting clearer. Multiple reports have indicated that the Miami Marlins are out of the pursuit for the three-time National League Most Valuabe Player, and while signs are that it’s not quite that cut-and-dried, it does appear that recent developments favor St. Louis.

A Major League source said flatly on Wednesday that the Marlins are not out of the bidding, and a second source said that “the door is not closed.” But Miami’s front office has begun pursuing other options, including an aggressive push for free-agent left-hander Mark Buehrle.

That doesn’t necessarily mean that the Marlins will not sign Pujols, but it has been clear for some time that Miami desired a quick resolution and is willing to move on if it is not able to reel in the superstar.

It’s unclear exactly how many clubs are in seriously on Pujols. Reports Tuesday night indicated the presence of a third team in the bidding, with a 10-year offer, but that team has not been identified publicly.

St. Louis presented a new offer to Pujols’ agent, Dan Lozano, on Tuesday. That offer reportedly reached 10 years, but a Major League source indicated that a deal of that length was never presented by the Cardinals.

–Matthew Leach

Mets, Buehrle express mutual interest

The Mets are one of five teams on free-agent pitcher Mark Buehrle’s list of finalists, according to an industry source. The Rangers and Marlins are also on the list.

After losing shortstop Jose Reyes to the Marlins, the Mets have $20-25 million to spend on player acquisitions, freeing them up to pursue higher-caliber pitching than they once thought possible.

–Anthony DiComo

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