Results tagged ‘ Marlins ’

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

Padres GM: No three-year contracts

On Monday, Heath Bell’s three-year deal for $27 million with the Marlins became official.

The Padres, in their search for not only his replacement but an eighth-inning specialist, pressed on with their offseason agenda, knowing they now have a little more financial wiggle room after Bell signed (remember, they had offered him arbitration and would have been on the hook for $9-10 million had he accepted).

But the Padres and general manager Josh Byrnes won’t be frivolous with their extra loot, as Byrnes indicated that the team will not offer a free agent starting pitcher or reliever a deal with terms covering three years. In short, the Padres don’t want to be tied to any long-term deals, deals that often look pretty ugly for the club as far as bang for buck at the end of the deal.

Could that mean the Padres will look for a closer through trade? The team engaged more teams than agents on Monday and talks on several fronts. Could Tuesday be the day Byrnes and his team find a closer? Stayed tuned.

– Corey Brock

Angels the frontrunners for C.J.?

That’s the word from late Monday night, where Bob Nightengale of USA Today tweeted that the Angels “have emerged as favorites for C.J. Wilson.” The Halos were reportedly meeting with Wilson’s agent late Monday night, Day 1 of the Winter Meetings from Dallas, and Jon Morosi of FOXSports.com said via Twitter that the Angels were making a “serious push” to sign him.

Earlier in the day, the Fort Worth Star-Telegram reported that five teams were in on Wilson and one of them had made a six-year offer (though the identity of that team never really materialized). Wilson, a native of Newport Beach, Calif., had dinner with new Angels general manager Jerry DiPoto and long-time skipper Mike Scioscia in late November. DiPoto and Wilson’s agent, Bob Garber, also met during  the General Managers Meetings in Milwaukee.

Asked about paying Wilson something higher than the five-year, $85 million extension Jered Weaver signed in August, Dipoto said that thought would “certainly create some hesitancy.” As it usual is with negotiations like these, though, this is a very fluid situation. Wilson could be lured by the prospect of pitching close to where he grew up, and if they still want to improve their offense after the signing, the Angels could do so via the trade market.

The Nationals, Marlins, Red Sox and Rangers have also been said to have strong interest. According to ESPN.com’s Jerry Crasnick, Texas plans to make its first offer to C.J. on Tuesday.

Alden

Angels have yet to tender offers to closers

Contrary to what Heath Bell told The Los Angeles Times after his introductory press conference with the Miami Marlins on Monday, the Angels did not make an offer to the free-agent closer, general manager Jerry DiPoto said. In fact, DiPoto added, the Angels have yet to make any offers to any closers.

“We did not make an offer to Heath Bell,” DiPoto said from his suite at the Hilton Anatole in Dallas. “We’ve gone into this, and to this point, exploring different options. One of those has not been making an offer to a ninth-inning guy.”

That would mean no offers for the likes of Ryan Madson, Francisco Cordero or Francisco Rodriguez. While the Angels still want to add a back-end bullpen piece, the presence of Jordan Walden means finding a tenured (and rather expensive) closer isn’t the first priority.

Adding offense and starting pitching supersede that.

“I just don’t think it’s our primary need,” DiPoto said of closers. “If I were lining up the importance of what we need — and I won’t say it’s in a certain order, but I think the idea of a functionality offensively, or diversity in our offense, as well as an obvious void in our starting rotation, would take precendent over [a closer].”

– Alden  

Cards to meet with Team Pujols

Everyone has arrived in Dallas and it’s time to get down to business. That means, among other things, that the Cardinals will be meeting with Albert Pujols’ agent, Dan Lozano, on Monday afternoon. An industry source confirmed the scheduled meeting.

It’s unclear whether an offer will be tendered at this point, and in fact it’s not entirely clear whether any offer is currently on the table from the Cardinals to their signature player. The club offered a nine-year deal before Spring Training, and it is believed that no improvement upon that offer has been tendered since the season ended, but it’s not even certain that the original offer is still good.

The market for Pujols may gain clarity this week. The Marlins reportedly still intend to pursue the slugger despite significant expenditures on Jose Reyes and Heath Bell, and other clubs will have the opportunity either to make their interest known or to make it clear they are standing on the sidelines.

Cardinals principal owner Bill DeWitt Jr. told reporters on Monday morning that the club still hopes to sign Pujols.

“Obviously we’re going to make every effort to sign Albert and we hope we can make it happen,” DeWitt said. “This week seems to be the week that a lot of these things develop. We should know where we stand and if we don’t have a firm answer.”

–Matthew Leach

Bell headed to Marlins … who closes for the Padres?

The Padres finally got the clarity to the Heath Bell situation that they needed/wanted late Thursday, when reports came out that Bell had agreed to a three-year, $27 million deal with the Marlins.

Bell had until Dec. 7 to accept or decline the Padres arbitration offer (or, of course, sign elsewhere). That he has done so (though not officially) before the Winter Meetings could help the Padres in their pursuit of …

You guessed it, a closer. Not just a closer to replace Bell, but the Padres would love to find an eighth-inning specialist to set-up their to-be-named closer.

Look for the Padres to acquire relief help instead of spending big in free agency. They don’t want to — and with a projected payroll of around $53-55 million — get stuck with a long, hefty contract.

The Padres were linked to A’s closer Andrew Bailey on Friday, though the A’s want offense in return. The Padres don’t have much to move, unless they part with third baseman Chase Headley and/or outfielder Kyle Blanks, who could be moved in the right deal.

Stayed tuned, things could get interesting.

– Corey Brock

 

Yankees asked about Marlins’ Nolasco

The Yankees inquired about the Florida Marlins’ Ricky Nolasco, according to a tweet by Sports Illustrated’s Jon Heyman, but were told that the right-hander is not available. The Marlins are looking to hold on to their starting pitching in part to help build anticipation for the opening of their new stadium next year.

The Yankees would like to upgrade a starting rotation that has A.J. Burnett, Phil Hughes, Bartolo Colon and Freddy Garcia following ace CC Sabathia, if possible, and are also interested in left-handed relief help behind Boone Logan.

- Bryan Hoch

Marlins sign Wise, Thurston, 2 others

The Marlins have added some potential depth, signing outfielder Dewayne Wise, utility man Joe Thurston, catcher Clint Sammons and corner infielder Jamie D’Antona to Minor League contracts, MLB.com confirmed through a source on Wednesday. 
The role of lefty pinch-hitter for the Marlins has been in question heading into the 2011 season, but Wise and Thurston both hit from the left side, have Major League experience and could fill that role if they make the big league club. Catcher John Baker, recovering from Tommy John surgery, has also been considered an option for that role until he can start throwing again. 
Wise also has significant experience at center field and could potentially serve as insurance for Chris Coghlan, who’s expected to make the move to center field in 2011, following knee surgery. 
– Alden Gonzalez, Joe Frisaro  

Roundup: O-Dog (fittingly) headed to PETCO

It turns out Orlando Hudson may be team-less no more.

Hudson broke the news himself on MLB Network Radio that his next destination is San Diego, and FOXSports.com reported that the Padres and the free-agent second baseman agreed to terms on a two-year, $11.5 million contract.

Hudson — a two-time All-Star joining his fourth team in four years — will fill the role played last year by David Eckstein, who’s a free agent and said recently that the Padres have not contacted him about a return.

Here’s more from around the league …

* The Yankees, according to multiple reports, have agreed on a two-year contract with veteran reliever Pedro Feliciano. Feliciano, the former Met who has led the Majors in appearances each of the last three seasons, joins Boone Logan to give the Yanks two lefties in the bullpen.

* Reigning World Series MVP Edgar Renteria was none-too-thrilled with the $1 million offer the Giants tendered him this offseason. “That offer from the Giants was a lack of respect,” Renteria told ESPNdeportes.com. “A total disrespect.” Renteria has previously stated he’d like to finish his career with the Marlins or Cardinals. 

* The Astros reached an agreement with the versatile Bill Hall to be their starting second baseman, sources told MLB.com’s Brian McTaggart. According to FOXSports.com’s Ken Rosenthal, the two sides agreed on a one-year contract worth about about $3 million and with a mutual option for 2012. 

* A couple of notable deals have been made official: The Cubs’ with Kerry Wood, and the Tigers’ with Magglio Ordonez.   

– Alden Gonzalez  

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