Results tagged ‘ orioles ’

Upton rumors heating up

The Braves are continuing to field offers for outfielder Justin Upton, with the Orioles, Rangers and Padres among the teams showing interest, according to MLB.com’s Mark Bowman.

The Mariners could also enter the picture if they end up not signing free agent oufielder Melky Cabrera, according to David O’Brien of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, though they would be unlikely to give up a “top young pitcher” for a one-year rental such as Upton.

It’s unclear how far talks have gotten with any of the aforementioned teams, but the Braves are not believed to have received a substantial offer yet. While nothing seems imminent, an Upton trade would certainly make sense, especially after the Braves signed free agent outfielder Nick Markakis to a four-year deal last week.

Upton is owed $14.5 million next season, the final year in his current contract. With the Braves currently hovering around a rebuilding state, they’ll likely try to get what they can for Upton this offseason as opposed to letting him walk away next year and getting nothing in return.

– Paul Casella

Reports: Blue Jays interested in Duquette, Williams for president/CEO job

The owners of the Blue Jays are searching for a replacement for longtime president and CEO Paul Beeston, according to a report from ESPN’s Buster Olney, and they have discussed filling that position with Orioles executive vice president of baseball operations Dan Duquette or White Sox executive vice president Ken Williams.

Beeston became the Jays’ first employee in 1976 and their president and CEO in ’89, leaving for a job in the Commissioner’s Office in ’97 but returning in 2008.

Duquette, who has helped to turn around the Orioles since being hired in November 2011, has won multiple Executive of the Year awards this winter. He’s under contract with Baltimore through 2018, so the club would not have to let him go, or could ask for significant compensation if it does. However, Duquette is a “top candidate” for the job, according to Ken Rosenthal of FoxSports.com.

The White Sox promoted Williams from general manager to executive vice president after the 2012 season, with Rick Hahn taking over as GM. The club is “balking” at allowing the Blue Jays permission to speak to Williams about the position, according to Rosenthal, who reports that Williams is considering resigning.

“I’m focused on helping the White Sox win another championship,” Williams told Rosenthal. “I’ve considered all options as anyone would given the set of circumstances.”

– Andrew Simon

Report: O’s getting heavy interest in Chen

Considering their starting pitching depth and other areas of need, it could make sense for the Orioles to be active in the trade market.

If they are, one pitcher who might be on the move is left-hander Wei-Yin Chen. The Baltimore Sun, citing an industry source, reported Saturday that Chen has been the subject of more inquiries than any other player on the club’s 25-man roster.

According to the report, Orioles executives have described interest in Chen as “very high.” The Taiwan product is set to make $4.75 million in his upcoming age-29 season before becoming a free-agent. In 2014, his third year in the big leagues, he went 16-6 with a 3.54 ERA over 31 starts.

The Orioles already have talked about one deal involving Chen this offseason, according to the Sun, discussing but ultimately rejecting a trade with the Angels that involved second baseman Howie Kendrick.

Baltimore also has right-handers Chris Tillman, Kevin Gausman, Bud Norris, Miguel Gonzalez and Ubaldo Jimenez as rotation options. Norris, also set to become a free agent after next season, has received some trade interest, the Sun reported. Jimenez, with $38.75 million left on his contract, would be difficult to move after posting a 4.81 ERA in ’14.

– Andrew Simon

Orioles sign Gamboa to big league contract

The Orioles added depth to their pitching staff on Wednesday, signing right-hander Eddie Gamboa to a Major League contract, the club announced.

Gamboa has never pitched in the Majors and has been in Baltimore’s farm system since he was drafted in the 21st round of the 2008 First-Year Player Draft. He split this season between Double-A Bowie and Triple-A Norfolk, combining for a 5-7 record and 3.81 ERA over 33 appearances, including 29 starts. Gamboa averaged 8.6 strikeouts per nine innings, which was a career-high.

The 29-year-old is currently playing winter ball with Navajoa of the Mexican Pacific League. He’s 4-2 with a 1.33 ERA over eight starts, with 49 strikeouts against six walks.

The Orioles have now filled their 40-man roster.

–Austin Laymance

Braves sign Jim Johnson to one-year deal

The Braves added to their bullpen mix on Wednesday, agreeing to terms with free-agent right-hander Jim Johnson on a one-year deal, the club announced.

Johnson, 31, split last season between the A’s and Tigers. He made 54 appearances and went 5-2, but had a 7.09 ERA. However, last season was more of an outlier, as he had a 3.11 ERA with the Orioles from 2006-13.

With Atlanta, Johnson projects to share set-up duties with David Carpenter, tweets MLB.com’s Mark Bowman.

A nine-year veteran and former All-Star, Johnson led the Majors with back-to-back 50-save seasons in 2012 (51) and ’13 (50) with the O’s.

–Austin Laymance

Melky Cabrera heading back to Kansas City?

Melky Cabrera is one of the top free-agent outfielders available, so it’s no surprise a number of teams are interested in the former All-Star.

The Royals have been in contact with Cabrera, while the Reds, Mariners, Orioles, White Sox and Blue Jays are also in the mix, according to a report from CBSSports.com.

Cabrera, 30, could help a number of teams offensively. He’s coming off a strong season with Toronto in which he posted a .301/.351/.458 slash line with 16 home runs, 35 doubles and 73 RBIS over 139 games.

The Royals are in need of a bat after the departure of designated hitter Billy Butler in free agency. The club is familiar with Cabrera too, as he spent the 2011 season with Kansas City.

Cabrera is reportedly looking for at least a five-year contract. He could be in line for a deal similar to fellow outfielder Nelson Cruz, who signed with the Mariners this week for four years and $57 million. Cabrera earned $8 million this season.

The Blue Jays could still bring Cabrera back, though. Toronto appears to be all-in this season after signing free-agent catcher Russell Martin and trading for third baseman Josh Donaldson. The club has holes to fill in the outfield after deciding to non-tender John Mayberry Jr. and Andy Dirks on Tuesday.

With the Winter Meetings set to begin next week in San Diego, the market for Cabrera could soon become more clear.

–Austin Laymance

Potential suitors lining up for Markakis

With multiple reports surfacing in recent days that a Nick Markakis return to the Orioles is no longer inevitable, multiple teams including the Braves, Blue Jays and Giants are beginning to express interest in the free agent outfielder, according to CBS Sports’ Jon Heyman.

Each of those three teams has an obvious need for either an outfielder or another strong bat in the lineup. The 31-year-old Markakis is coming off a season in which he posted a .276/.342/.386 line with the O’s, while also winning his second career Gold Glove Award for his defense in right field.

The Braves already traded away outfielder Jason Heyward and are said to be listening to offers for fellow outfielder Justin Upton. That leaves an obvious opening in the Atlanta outfield, while the Braves could also be an interesting fit for Markakis off the field, as he grew up in nearby Woodstock, Ga., went to college in-state at Young Harris College and has a home in Georgia.

The Jays, meanwhile, are known to be in the market for at least one outfielder this offseason, with both Melky Cabrera and Colby Rasmus testing free agency. Toronto is still open to re-signing Cabrera, though recent reports indicate Cabrera would prefer to sign elsewhere. Assuming Markakis indeed listens to other offers, the Jays could make a strong push for him, especially considering an already thin free agent class got even thinner this week with the Mariners signing Nelson Cruz.

As for the Giants, their interest in Markakis will largely depend on what ultimately happens with Jon Lester. The Giants aren’t necessarily in the market for a top free agent outfielder, but they could use the money saved by Pablo Sandoval leaving for Boston to add another bat in an attempt to compensate offensively for Sandoval’s departure.

The Orioles still remain very much in the mix, especially after losing Cruz on Monday, but it appears that other teams now at least have a shot to lure away Markakis.

– Paul Casella

Report: Orioles interested in Kemp

The Orioles are trying to re-sign one of both of their free-agent outfielders, Nick Markakis and Nelson Cruz. But according to Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports.com, they also have other targets in mind.

In addition to being one of the finalists for Torii Hunter, Baltimore is one of the clubs that has discussed a trade with the Dodgers for Matt Kemp, Rosenthal reported Sunday. He speculated that the O’s could be looking for alternatives to Markakis and Cruz, as well as leverage in those negotiations.

Retaining Markakis, an Oriole for his entire career, is no longer a “foregone conclusion,” according to Rosenthal. Talks between the two sides were said to be picking up earlier this month.

Kemp has been the subject of frequent trade rumors, with the Dodgers facing a glut of outfielders. The 30-year-old bounced back from an injury-plagued 2013 to play 150 games last year, hitting .287/.346/.506, with 25 home runs and 89 RBIs.

– Andrew Simon

Report: Chances for Kemp trade could be rising

The Dodgers’ overcrowded outfielder could lead the club’s new-look front office to make a trade this offseason as it looks to shed salary and address other parts of the roster. President of baseball operations Andrew Friedman called that “likely the best course of action” at the General Managers Meetings last week.

But which outfielder will be on the move? The most likely candidates are expensive veterans Carl Crawford, Andre Ethier and Matt Kemp, each of whom has more than $50 million remaining on his contract.

Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com reported Friday that Kemp is drawing interest and could be a stronger bet to be traded than many have thought, with teams such as the Mariners and Orioles in the mix. Though the Dodgers still owe Kemp $107 million, his recent production and the lack of right-handed power on the market could allow Los Angeles to clear at least a substantial portion of his remaining salary, Heyman writes.

Kemp, who will be 31 this season, has fallen off since finishing second in the NL MVP race in 2011, and the Dodgers no longer see him as a center fielder. Still, he hit a solid .287/.346/.506 in ‘14, with 25 homers and 89 RBIs.

– Andrew Simon

Orioles in the mix for Billy Butler?

The defending American League champion Royals would like to retain designated hitter Billy Butler, despite turning down his $12 million club option.

However, sources say, Butler has received a 3-year, $30 million offer from a team widely believed to be the Orioles. If that’s the case, the Royals will pursue other options including the possibility of not having a dedicated DH and regulars through that spot to give them a little bit of a break.

–Paul Hagen

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 801 other followers