Results tagged ‘ Paul Konerko ’
After Tuesday’s explosion of deals, the Hot Stove returned to a light simmer on Wednesday, but there still was plenty of news.
One of the most significant topics was the posting system that governs how Japanese players get from Nippon Professional Baseball to the Major Leagues. The two sides have been working on a new agreement throughout the offseason, which has been holding up the bidding for one of the winter’s hottest commodities, pitcher Masahiro Tanaka.
However, a deal appears to be near, with Japanese media outlet Sanspo reporting Wednesday that the NPB is expected to accept a proposal limiting posting fees to $20 million. Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports later added that if multiple teams submit the maximum bid, the player then could negotiate with all of those clubs.
Elsewhere on the international front, our Jesse Sanchez writes about the next wave of Cuban players set to follow recent signings such as Jose Abreu and Alexander Guerrero to the Majors. One of those players, slick-fielding 23-year-old shortstop Erisbel Arruebarruena, will audition for teams at a showcase this weekend at the Yankees’ facility in the Dominican Republic, according to Andy Martino of the New York Daily News. Martino writes that the Mets will be among those teams with scouts in attendance.
In other news from around the league:
- In the wake of the Yankees signing Jacoby Ellsbury and Brian McCann to contracts totalling $238 million, our Bryan Hoch looks at whether free agent Robinson Cano is still a fit in the Bronx. If Cano doesn’t return, the Yankees have an insurance policy in Kelly Johnson, with Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com and MLB Network reporting that the two sides have agreed on a one-year deal for about $3 million.
- One other team rumored to be pursuing Cano is the Mariners, but general manager Jack Zduriencik wouldn’t confirm that interest.
- Seattle also is among the teams that could enter the fray to acquire Rays ace left-hander David Price. That market soon will intensify, according to Passan, who names the Mariners, Dodgers, Angels, Pirates, Rangers, D-backs and Blue Jays as likely contenders. While Tampa Bay doesn’t need to trade Price, doing so now probably would earn it the best possible return, given that Price has two seasons left before free agency. Several baseball officials who talked to Passan named the Mariners as a frontrunner to land Price, perhaps by offering a package headlined by highly touted pitching prospect Taijuan Walker.
- Max Scherzer is another Cy Young Award winner who has been the subject of trade rumors this offseason, but Detroit could be ready to pursue a contract extension instead. Our Jason Beck also addresses whether the Tigers could make a run at free-agent outfielder Shin-Soo Choo.
- With Ellsbury gone, our Ian Browne discusses what the Red Sox will do to fill his spot in center field next season.
- The Mets are “deep in talks” with free-agent outfielder Curtis Granderson, reports our Anthony DiComo.
- Cubs pitcher Jeff Samardzija has been discussed as a trade target this offseason, but Theo Epstein said the right-hander likely will be in the team’s Opening Day rotation, with a long-term deal a possibility.
- The Cubs also agreed to a one-year deal with left-handed reliever Wesley Wright, who was non-tendered by the Rays on Monday.
- Paul Konerko has decided to return to the White Sox for one more season, filling a part-time role in his 16th year with the club. He will make $1.5 million, plus $1 million deferred until 2021.
- The Rockies are getting close to a two-year deal with free-agent first baseman Justin Morneau, who is expected to platoon with the right-handed Wilin Rosario. Morneau likely will get $12.5 million, plus a mutual option for 2016.
- The Reds might not be as likely to trade second baseman Brandon Phillips as was reported earlier in the offseason, especially in light of comments general manager Walt Jocketty made on Wednesday.
- With A.J. Pierzynski among the catchers who have gone off the board recently, the Rangers continue to look for a backup to pair with Geovany Soto. Kurt Suzuki is one candidate.
— Andrew Simon
Reports on Wednesday have the White Sox captain returning for 2014.
Ken Rosenthal reported Wednesday morning that veteran first baseman/designated hitter Paul Konerko will come back for the 2014 season. He’s a free agent and had considered retirement.
MLB.com’s Scott Merkin has confirmed the deal, and reports that it is for one year, and $2.5 million with a portion deferred. An announcement is expected sometime Wednesday morning.
The 37-year-old veteran struggled in 126 games last year, hitting .244 with 12 home runs and 54 RBIs. With Jose Abreu now in the mix, along with fellow veteran first baseman/DH Adam Dunn, it’s unclear how much action Konerko will see next year.
— Joey Nowak
The second day of the General Manager Meetings in Orlando got off to a quick start, as the Phillies and outfielder Marlon Byrd agreed a two-year, $16-million deal.
Byrd, 36, hit .291/.336/.518 last season with the Mets and Pirates and now returns to the organization where he played his first 3 1/2 seasons after being a 10th-round selection in the 1999 First-Year Player Draft.
While that was the day’s only significant transaction, there was no shortage of other news, including a late-breaking rumor that has the Phillies making an even bigger splash.
- The Phillies are discussing a deal that would bring Blue Jays outfielder Jose Bautista to Philadelphia for a package including outfielder Domonic Brown, according to Howard Eskin of FOX 29 TV and WIP radio in Philadelphia.
- The subject of trade speculation only a year after the Nationals acquired him from the Twins, center fielder Denard Span is hoping to return to Washington.
- The Mets are looking for outfielders, with free agent Curtis Granderson representing one appealing option.
- While rumors continue to swirl about the Cardinals executing a blockbuster deal for Rockies shortstop Troy Tulowitzki, our Jenifer Langosch plays down the likelihood of that scenario. St. Louis could choose to sign a free agent such as Stephen Drew or orchestrate a trade for a shortstop who wouldn’t demand such a hefty return.
- Cubs general manager Jed Hoyer confirmed his club’s interest in Japanese right-hander Masahiro Tanaka and acknowledged that other teams have asked about Chicago righty Jeff Samardzija.
- The Rockies offered free-agent catcher Carlos Ruiz a two-year deal worth about $15 million, according to The Denver Post’s Troy Renck, but it seems that won’t be enough to entice Ruiz to Colorado. Renck writes that the veteran backstop has a two-year, $20 million offer from another, unspecified club.
- The Padres could consider trading third baseman Chase Headley if they can’t agree on a contract extension to keep him in San Diego beyond this season, CBS Sports’ Jon Heyman writes.
The Yankees’ David Robertson isn’t a lock to inherit the ninth inning from the retired Mariano Rivera, with general manager Brian Cashman saying he will explore the free-agent and trade markets for relievers, including closers.
- The Yankees’ reported interest in free-agent outfielder Carlos Beltran is legit, MLB.com’s Bryan Hoch hears.
- The Blue Jays have some money to spend and could look to use it on a free agent starting pitcher.
- Fox Sports’ Ken Rosenthal speculates that the Red Sox could be the frontrunners for Ruiz.
- The White Sox are prepared to welcome back Paul Konerko for his 16th season with the club, but Konerko remains undecided about his future.
- The Indians have interest in free-agent closers Fernando Rodney and Brian Wilson, according to the Cleveland Plain Dealer.
- According to Heyman, the Twins are exploring a reunion with free-agent catcher A.J. Pierzynski, whom they took in the third round of the 1994 Draft. Pierzynski, however, figures to have several suitors, including the Phillies.
- Meanwhile, Minnesota may be closer to signing veteran right-hander Bronson Arroyo, according to the St. Paul Pioneer Press’ Mike Berardi.
- Heyman reports that multiple teams are interested in Astros catcher Jason Castro, who hit .276/.350/.485 with 18 home runs last season. Our Brian McTaggart downplays the likelihood of a Castro trade, however.
- The Mariners would like to add free-agent outfielders Carlos Beltran and Nelson Cruz, tweets ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick, who also reports that their interest in Jacoby Ellsbury is lower.
— Andrew Simon
Will the Rockies make a move for a proven starting pitcher at, before or after the non-waiver Trade Deadline on July 31?
Here’s what we’re hearing, according to those with knowledge of the possibilities:
The Rockies are not considered prime contenders for the Marlins’ Ricky Nolasco, but it’s not impossible that they’ll talk to the Marlins. Nolasco is in the final year of his three-year, $26.5 million deal. With many clubs around baseball, including National League West contenders the Giants and the D-backs, being mentioned as possible trading partners, the question is whether the asking price will be too high in terms of prospects or Major League-ready players.
Another possibility is the Brewers’ Yovani Gallardo, who is 6-7 with a 4.20 ERA, but in his last four starts is 2-1, 1.08. His last one was a clunker (eight hits and five runs, three earned, in four innings of a loss to the Cubs). Gallardo’s usually impressive stuff was so ordinary at the start of the year — he faced Colorado on Opening Day — that Rockies scouts are going to have to be convinced if the team is to pursue him seriously.
A sleeper team in the mix is the White Sox, who are willing to deal pretty much everyone but left-hander Chris Sale and slugger Paul Konerko. Expect the Rockies to pay attention to lefty John Danks, who had season-ending left shoulder surgery last August and has returned to make seven starts (1-5, 4.68 ERA). His last start was a good one – three runs, one earned, in 7 1/3 innings of a start against the Mets on Wednesday. Danks struck out seven, gave up seven hits, and didn’t walk anyone.
The Denver Post also includes Cubs starter Matt Garza among those the Rockies are “aggressively scouting,” and are taking a look at reliever Kevin Gregg. The Rockies have pursued Gregg as a setup man in the past.
Don’t forget, however, that the Rockies are always looking for bullpen help, and are taking a look at White Sox righty Jesse Crain, who is 2-2 with a 0.52 ERA in 36 appearances covering 34 2/3 innings. Back in 1999, Crain was Colorado’s high school player of the year at Fairview High in Boulder.
— Thomas Harding
The Konerko deal was somewhat surprising, considering talks between the two
sides seemed to be on life support just a day ago. But even after signing Adam
Dunn, Chicago was able to give Konerko a three-year, $37.5 million to form what looks like one of the best lineups in baseball for 2011.
With the Cubs, Pena is reunited with his old esteemed hitting coach, Rudy
Jaramillo, and receives what super-agent Scott Boras referred to as
a “pillow contract” — because, as Boras said, it’s comfortable for both
sides. That deal is for one year and $10 million, as Pena will try to rebuild
his worth after hitting 28 homers but batting below .200 in 2010.
Here’s more from around the league on Wednesday …
* No more fooling around for the Yankees. They’re ready to make ballyhooed
free-agent starter Cliff Lee a
preliminary offer of six years and between $140 and $150 million, MLB.com’s
Bryan Hoch confirmed. Will that be enough, considering reports of mystery teams
offering seven years?
* The Rangers met with Carl Crawford‘s agent, according to MLB.com’s T.R. Sullivan.
* Adrian Beltre is still open to signing with the Athletics, according
to Boras. Boras also said negotiations for his third-base client are moving
quickly, and that the Angels are a very possible suitor.
* There had been several reports that the Red Sox would be interested in
trading for Mets outfielder Carlos Beltran. But Boras, who represents
him, says Beltran plans
to be a Met in 2011. That’s significant, considering he has a no-trade clause.
* Five teams are seriously pursuing Zack Greinke while another three are
“on the periphery,” according to FOXSports.com. It still seems like
he’d be tough
to move, however. The Royals are specific with what they want: pitching and
* The Red Sox, according to CBS Sports, are zeroing in on Magglio Ordonez
to fill their outfield void, which would not be good news for Crawford. The Tigers are also checking.
* The Twins continue their
interest in resigning Carl Pavano, but they have competition. The
Brewers, according to MLB.com’s Adam McCalvy, have
also met with Pavano. The Nationals are another club known to have
* In less-heralded one-year deals on Wednesday, the Mariners signed
non-tendered designated hitter Jack Cust; the Royals brought
in outfielder Jeff Francoeur; the D-backs were reportedly on the verge of signing catcher Henry
Blanco and veteran lefty Mike Hampton (Minor League deal); the
Braves acquired non-tendered lefty reliever George Sherrill; and the Dodgers were close to bringing back Russell Martin.
— Alden Gonzalez
Craig Landis, the representative for free agent first baseman Paul Konerko, was not going to offer up much in regard to the specifics of talks with the White Sox when approached Tuesday by a group of Chicago reporters. In fact, Landis didn’t want to talk at all about Konerko’s situation in the lobby of the Walt Disney World Swan & Dolphin Resort.
Negotiations remain ongoing between the team and the camp of the White Sox captain, but Landis indicated no signing was imminent today during his very short conversation. Konerko has played the last 12 seasons for the White Sox, and bringing him back is the No. 1 priority for the team at Major League Baseball’s Winter Meetings, according to general manager Ken Williams.
Konerko, 34, is coming off one of the best seasons of a storied career, during which he set career-highs in on-base percentage (.393), slugging percentage (.584) and total bases (320). Konerko also hit .312 with 39 home runs, 30 doubles and 111 RBIs, while providing stellar defense at first base.
Adding Konerko, whose five-year, $60-million extension ended after the 2010 campaign, would give the White Sox a powerful one-two punch to merge with newly-signed Adam Dunn. Williams explained on Monday how he was willing to wait for Konerko’s decision, having made it clear Konerko was choice No. 1, but also didn’t want to wait too long to miss out on other potential first baseman if Konerko elected to play elsewhere.
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