Results tagged ‘ Phillies ’

Rox talk to Cuddyer; Twins back in the mix

Negotiations continued Thursday between the Rockies and free-agent outfielder Michael Cuddyer. The Mariners, Phillies and a somewhat unexpected suitor, the Twins, are also in the mix. It’s not clear how quickly the Rockies or anyone else can come to an agreement.

Cuddyer has spent his entire Major League career with the Twins, who made him a three-year offer. It was believed that the Twins were no longer a possibility when outfielder Josh Willingham signed for three years and $21 million. But multiple reports said the Twins had not dropped out of the running.

The Rockies’ prime focus is Cuddyer. The team has expressed interest in six-time All-Star outfielder Carlos Beltran, but he is considered a longshot for the Rockies, mainly because of health concerns. Beltran has dealt with serious knee issues, including arthroscopic surgeries on both of them before the 2007 season and a further surgery on the right knee in 2010. The Mets had to be careful with his playing time early last season. Beltran put up strong numbers after being traded to the Giants for their lat-season run. However, the Giants have not signed him even though they have a need in the outfield.

Cody Ross remains a possibility to be signed to work in a tandem in left field with Seth Smith. If Cuddyer is signed, expect the Rockies to attempt to trade Smith to fill other holes.

– Thomas Harding

Low-cost pitching options abound for Angels

The question is how long they’re willing to wait out the likes of C.J. Wilson and Ryan Madson. As The Los Angeles Times pointed out on Monday — Day 1 of the Winter Meetings — new general manager Jerry DiPoto plans to meet with Wilson’s agent here in Dallas. Frankly, why wouldn’t he? The real question is whether it’s possible — or even practical — for the Angels to fork over most of their remaining payroll on one arm, to address the best aspect of the team no less.

If they don’t want to go that route, or commit to Madson — remember, the Phillies reportedly offered four years at $44 million — there are a few low-cost options to be had.

Starting pitcher-wise, Mark Buehrle is the logical fit. Problem: A lot of teams want him, and he’s said to be looking for a no-trade clause as part of at least a three-year deal. Some other lefties to keep in mind: Jeff Francis (4.82 ERA in 31 starts for the Royals last year), Erik Bedard (3.62 ERA in 24 starts for the Red Sox and Mariners) and Paul Maholm (3.66 ERA in 26 starts for the Pirates).

As for the right-handed bullpen arms, there are plenty from which to choose. The most intriguing may be Octavio Dotel, because of how well he pitched down the stretch for the World Series-champion Cardinals and because of his experience as both a setup man and closer. Dotel (38) shifted from a Type A free agent to a Type B under the new CBA, so he won’t cost the team that signs him a Draft pick.

Some others: LaTroy Hawkins, Francisco Cordero, Takahashi Saito, Frank Francisco, Mike MacDougal, Scott Linebrink and Luis Ayala, among a host of others.

– Alden Gonzalez

Pence: ‘I love Houston’

With the Astros possibly getting closer to a deal to trade Hunter Pence, the right-fielder admitted following Thursday night’s win over the Cardinals that he couldn’t help but think it might have been his last game in an Astros uniform.

“What can I say? I’m not in control,” he said. “I love these guys, I love Houston. That’s all I know.”

The Phillies are pushing hard for Pence and could be willing to offer pitcher Vance Worley, outfielder Domonic Brown and a Minor League pitcher.

Pence went 2-for-4 with two doubles on Thursday to raise his average to .309, saying he benefited from a day off.

“Sometimes when you get to watch a game you know it kind of slows things down for you,” he said. “Things were piling up and was making mistakes of the past and trying to do too much just to make up for it. It made me realize…slow the game down.”

Brian McTaggart

Padres have attractive pieces to move

San Diego general manager Jed Hoyer has been busy in recent weeks fielding calls from other teams about relievers who are expected to be available — three-time All-Star Heath Bell, Chad Qualls and, quite possibly, Mike Adams.

The Padres are also looking to move left fielder Ryan Ludwick to a team looking for a right-handed, middle-of-the-order bat.

But, make no mistake, the relievers are getting the most hits.

Bell will be a free agent after the season, so he might end up a rental for a team. If that’s the case, it won’t be easy to land a big prospect package.

Qualls, after a terrible 2010 season, has reestablished himself as a viable late-inning reliever as his hard sinker has returned.

Adams is a wild card here. Many view him as a future close, a spot he figures to land in if the Padres traded Bell.
He’s under team control through 2012 and would get the Padres the best package of prospects if they decided to deal him.

What are the Padres looking for?

Keep this in mind: Upside, impact players. Their farm system doesn’t have too many players ready to graduate to the Major League level. I would expect the Padres to ask for a shortstop/second baseman and catcher in return when they choose to make a deal.

The Phillies and Reds have more of these pieces than, say, the Cardinals. The Cardinals aren’t going to part with Shelby Miller and they don’t have a lot of prospects close to the Major Leagues.

The next two weeks should be interesting. Teams aren’t nearly as willing to part with prospects as they once were. Will the Padres land the upside/impact prospects they covet?

Stay tuned.

– Corey Brock

Roundup: Arbitration looms for some clubs

Spring Training may be fast approaching, but some clubs still have some important business to take care of with pending arbitration cases in the pipeline.
Next Tuesday, clubs will exchange numbers with arbitration-eligible players leading up to the actual hearings next month. Since it’s fairly rare for clubs and players to go all the way through arbitration, there figures to be a good number of agreements in the coming days. 
A few teams avoided arbitration on Wednesday, as the Cubs inked Koyie Hill to a one-year deal and the Tigers signed left fielder Ryan Raburn to a two-year deal. Raburn, 29, has played a sort of super utility role for Detroit in recent years, but he appears in line to grab a lot of the playing time in left field this season, according to MLB.com’s Jason Beck. 
The 31-year-old Hill agreed to a contract worth $850,000, MLB.com’s Carrie Muskat reported on Wednesday. Hill started 60 games for the Cubs last season and batted .214 with 13 doubles. 

- – The Angels agreed to terms on a 2011 contract with catcher Jeff Mathis, thus avoiding arbitration.
 

Mathis, 27, spent his third full season with the Angels in 2010, batting .195 with 19 runs scored, six doubles, one triple, 3 home runs and 18 RBI in 68 games played. After missing 55 games because of broken wrist, Mathis put together a 13-game hit streak from April 5 – June 22, matching the longest streak by an Angel last season.
 
Mathis is the second Angel to agree to terms and avoid arbitration, leaving the Angels with six remaining arbitration-eligible players (Erick Aybar, Howie Kendrick, Kendry Morales, Mike Napoli, Jered Weaver and Reggie Willits).
 
- The Rockies avoided salary arbitration with right-handed reliever Matt Belisle on $2.35 million, according to SI.com. After spending the first five years of his Major League career with the Reds, the 30-year-old Belisle had a career season in his second campaign with the Rockies in 2010. He posted a 2.93 ERA in a career-high relief 76 appearances, averaging 8.9 strikeouts ever nine innings, posting a 7-5 record.
 
- The Royals erased one potential salary arbitration case, signing right-hander Luke Hochevar to a one-year contract. Hochevar, who figures to be the staff ace, had his 2010 season interrupted by a strain in his right elbow, which restricted him to a 6-6 record and 4.81 ERA over 18 games (17 starts).

In addition the latest arbitration news, here’s a look around the rest of the league on Wednesday:

 
- Even after adding Cliff Lee, the Phillies could be looking for even more pitching insurance. The Phils have talked to starter John Maine about joining their already deep staff, ESPN New York.com reported on Wednesday, citing Maine’s agent, Rex Gary. 
- The Mets made their Minor League deal with left-handed reliever Taylor Tankersley official on Wednesday. Tankersley’s deal includes an invite to Spring Training. Tankersley, who will be 28 by Opening Day, could fill the Mets need for a lefty specialist.
- The Rays have agreed to terms with veteran right-hander Kyle Farnesworth, according to multiple media reports. A baseball source confirmed to MLB.com that a deal was “expected” at this point. The one-year deal will reportedly pay Farnesworth $3.25 million and includes a 2012 option.
- The Cubs also inked outfielder Reed Johnson to Minor League contract with a Spring Training invite on Wednesday. Johnson returns to the Cubs after a season with Dodgers and will battle for a roster spot this spring.
– Bailey Stephens

Roundup: Market for veterans heating up

With Spring Training fast approaching, many elite free agents have found their home for 2011, but there are more than a few impact players still on the market. Two such players, Andruw Jones and Jim Thome, headline a group of veteran role players aiming to prove they can still be difference-makers. 
Jones has reportedly drawn interest from the Yankees in recent weeks. At this point, the Bombers see Jones as their best option, SI.com’s Jon Heyman tweeted on Monday, but the two sides are still apart on the money. Jones would seemingly be a strong fit for New York, serving as a fourth outfielder with significant pop off the bench. Jones, 33, would also fit the bill of a right-handed hitting outfielder, which the Yanks have been seeking this offseason.
Thome, another aging yet still productive slugger, is drawing interest from the Rangers, according to a tweet from ESPN’s Buster Olney. Olney reported that the team is “actively trying to lure” the slugger to Texas. After the Rangers signed Adrian Beltre, it began to look unlikely that they’d try to keep Vladimir Guerrero around as the designated hitter. After hitting 25 homers last season, it seems likely that Thome could help fill the power void left by Guerrero. 
Here’s a look at other news and notes from around the league on Monday: 
Jose Bautista could be facing a position switch this season, moving from the outfield to third base, Fox Sports reported on Monday, citing an unnamed team official. Unless the Jays add another starting infielder, Bautista figures to be moving to third to start the season. Bautista, who lead the Majors with 54 home runs in 2010, is scheduled to be a free agent after this season, so it’ll be a key year for the 30-year old, the report noted. 
– Catcher Max Ramirez was claimed off waivers for the second time in less than a week, this time by the Cubs from the Red Sox. Boston claimed Ramirez from the Rangers on Jan. 5. Ramirez, 26, gives the Cubs some additional depth behind the plate. Ramirez, who is out of Minor League options at this point, hit .217 in 28 games with Texas last season.
– The Padres completed a two-year deal with shortstop Jason Bartlett on Monday, which will pay the infielder $11 million over the life of the deal. There is also a vesting option for 2013, which could bring the total of the deal to $15 million according to MLB.com’s Corey Brock. 
– The Red Sox made their one-year deal with left-hander Hideki Okajima official on Monday. After non-tendering him earlier this offseason, the Sox have re-signed Okajima for $1.75 million. Okajima, 35, could increase that figure to the neighborhood of $2.3 million with incentives, according to ESPN.com’s Jerry Crasnick.
– The Astros and Phillies completed a minor trade, swapping two Minor League players on Monday. Houston sent second baseman Albert Cartwright to Philly in exchange for left-hander Sergio Escalona. Escalona was recently designed for assignment after the Phils re-signed J.C. Romero.
- Bailey Stephens

Roundup: Torre makes a comeback, sort of

Joe Torre‘s name re-emerged on Saturday, not in candidacy for a position as manager but executive, leading a day of otherwise smaller moves on the hot stove.

MLB.com’s Barry Bloom reported that Torre, who retired as the Dodgers manager after last season, is seriously considering joining Major League Baseball as executive vice president of baseball operations.

The 70-year-old Torre speculated during the 2010 season that he might spend the coming years in an advisory position with the Dodgers, return to broadcasting or focus on his family and charitable foundation. After three-decades worth of managing in the big leagues — and four World Series titles with the Yankees — he was adamant that he was not actively looking for a new on-field managing opportunity.

Torre has never held an executive role before, but he is a part of a committee convened by Commissioner Bud Selig to consider on-field changes.

On-the-field news Saturday carried no names as esteemed as Torre’s, but saw a few American League clubs improve:

  • MLB.com’s Scott Merkin confirmed that the White Sox signed left-hander Will Ohman to a two-year, $4 million deal, bringing the 33-year-old back to the town he began his career with on the Cubs. Ohman split last season between Baltimore and Florida, going 0-2 with a 3.21 ERA in 42 innings over 68 appearances. Left-handed hitters have a career .208 mark against him.
  • The A’s swung a deal that brought over right-hander Guillermo Moscoso from Texas and sent Minor League right-hander Ryan Kelly to the Rangers. According to MLB.com’s Jane Lee, the A’s waived a former third overall draft pick Phil Humber to make room on their 40-man roster. Humber’s tenure with Oakland lasted only a few weeks after he was claimed off waivers in December.
  • MLB.com’s Todd Zolecki reported a similar space-clearing move Saturday: the Phillies designated one southpaw, Sergio Escalona, for assignment to make way for another, J.C. Romero. Romero re-signed Thursday.
  • There are some conflicting reports about whether the Yankees are still going after Rafael Soriano. Soriano said this week he’s open to a non-closing role, but general manager Brian Cashman has told the Journal News that the Yankees won’t surrender their first-round draft pick — as is necessary to sign a Type-A free agent like Soriano — for any remaining free agents this offseason. SportsIllustrated’s Jon Heyman, however, reported on Twitter Saturday that the Yankees are still in the mix for the Rays closer.
  • The eight-player Matt Garza deal, Friday’s headliner, became official Saturday afternoon. The Cubs get Garza, outfielder Fernando Perez and left-hander Zachary Rosscup from the Rays for right-handed pitcher Chris Archer, catcher Robinson Chirinos, infielder Hak-Ju Lee and outfielders Sam Fuld and Brandon Guyer. MLB.com’s Peter Gammons reported Friday night that the Rangers were in talks to land Garza as well.

Roundup: Uggla, Lee signings official

The Reds on Thursday reportedly signed the reigning World Series MVP, while Dan Uggla‘s five-year extension with the Braves and first baseman Derrek Lee‘s one-year deal with the Orioles were officially announced.

 

According to an ESPN report, shortstop Edgar Renteria is joining the Reds after leading the charge for the Giants in the 2010 World Series. The one-year deal is reportedly worth $3 million.

Uggla, 31 next season, was introduced in a 2:30 p.m. ET press conference. He agreed to the $62 million deal with Atlanta after the Braves acquired him from the Marlins in November. With Florida last season, Uggla set career highs in batting average (.287), home runs (33) and RBIs (105).

Lee, 35, can make as much as $10 million with incentives as part of the deal, which has a $7.5 million base salary. He hit .260 with 19 homers and 80 RBIs between the Cubs and Braves last season.

Other news from Thursday:

? The Phillies invited seven non-roster players to Spring Training, the biggest name of the bunch being Delwyn Young. Also invited were infielder Robb Quinlan, catchers Tuffy Gosewisch and Joel Naughton and right-handers Brian Bass, Michael Schwimer and Michael Stutes. Young, 28, hit .236 with seven home runs and 28 RBI in 110 games for the Pirates last season.

? Left-hander J.C. Romero re-signed with the Phillies on a one-year, $1.35 million deal. He’s passed his physical.

? In addition to bringing in Renteria, the Reds are also on the verge of re-signing reliever Jared Burton on a one-year contract to avoid arbitration, MLB.com’s Mark Sheldon reported.

? The Nationals are not pursuing Carl Pavano, according to a report from MASN, while Rob Biertempfel of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review reported on Twitter that the Pirates have interest in the free agent right-hander.

? The Orioles, Rays, and yes, the Angels, have shown varying amounts of interest in Vladimir Guerrero, according to ESPNDeportes. But Bill Plunkett of the Orange County Register said on Twitter that he thinks Anaheim is an unlikely destination for the free-agent designated hitter.

? FOXSports.com reported via Twitter that Rafael Soriano is unlikely to end up in Texas now that the Rangers have signed Adrian Beltre. An ESPN report quoted Soriano’s agent Scott Boras as saying Soriano is open to non-closing roles, which is what he would have to take behind Mariano Rivera.

? The Indians officially added Austin Kearns to their 40-man roster, designating Jordan Brown to make room. Kearns signed with Cleveland in December.

? Free-agent left-hander Brian Fuentes wants to close in 2011, according to FOX Sports’ Jon Morosi.

Roundup: Market continues to evolve in 2011

In the new year’s first week, the Hot Stove is in full gear. With Adrian Beltre nearing terms with Texas and Kevin Gregg inking a deal with Baltmore, the number of available impact free agents has begun to dwindle, as has their potential destinations.

One of the big fish remaining is Vladimir Guerrero, whose time in Texas is all but finished with the Rangers on the verge of a deal with Beltre. Guerrero’s former team, the Angels, were also in talks with Beltre, but ESPN Los Angeles.com is reporting that the Halos aren’t targeting their former AL MVP for offensive help.

Here’s the rundown on the other movers and shakers on Tuesday:

- MLB.com’s T.R. Sullivan reports that the Rangers are close to signing Beltre to a six-year, $96 million contract. The 31-year-old Beltre is coming off of a strong bounceback season in Boston, where he hit .321 with 28 homers and 102 RBIs. Current Texas third baseman Michael Young told the club he would be willing to change positions — again — to designated hitter to accommodate the addition of Beltre, a two-time Gold Glove winner at third.

- Gregg took his time making a decision, but the right-handed reliever has signed a two-year deal with the Orioles, MLB.com has confirmed. Gregg has 121 saves and a 3.79 ERA over the last four seasons, including 37 saves for Toronto in 2010. Baltimore will be his fourth club in as many seasons and fifth in the last six years.

- According to the outfielder himself, Carlos Gonzalez has “practically concluded” talks with the Rockies on a seven-year, $80 million contract extension. The 25-year-old Gonzalez had a breakout campaign in 2010 with a .336 average, 34 home runs and 117 RBIs — good enough to finish third in the NL MVP balloting. If and when the deal is finalized, Colorado will have locked up two of its young stars in Gonzalez and Troy Tulowitzki through at least the 2017 season.

- The Reds came to terms on a Minor League deal with outfieder Jeremy Hermida. The left-hand-hitting Hermida is a .259 career hitter, but batted just .216 last season between stops in Boston and Oakland. He has hit .267 in his career off of right-hand pitching.

- The Giants and World Series MVP Edgar Renteria are back in negotiations, as tweeted by CSNBayArea.com’s Mychael Urban. San Francisco, however, isn’t overly optimistic about signing the shortstop, who termed an earlier $1 million offer from the club a “lack of respect.”

-The Nationals and Adam LaRoche continue to near a two-year agreement, tweeted Jim Bowden of Sirius XM, echoing news MLB.com’s Bill Ladson reported on Monday.

-The Phillies and right-handed reliever Chad Durbin have exchanged offers, according to the Philadelphia Inquirer. Durbin, who has been a member of the Philadelphia bullpen for three seasons, is apparently seeking a raise from the $2.125 million he made in 2010.

–Tim Britton

Roundup: Phils, Crew lock up relievers

Relievers continue to be a valuable commodity on the Hot Stove market, as two more free agents found a home on Monday to highlight an otherwise quiet day. 

Left-hander J.C. Romero agreed to a one-year deal with the Phillies, while veteran right-hander Takashi Saito agreed to a one-year pact with the Brewers. 

Saito’s deal, expected to be announced next week, gives the Crew another established arm in the back end of the ‘pen and continues their offseason pitching staff overhaul. 

Saito, who will be 41 on Opening Day, carried a 2.83 ERA while serving as Atlanta’s primary set-up man to closer Billy Wager. The Japanese-born hurler did suffer shoulder injuries as the season wore on, but he proved mostly effective when healthy. 

Elsewhere in the National League, the Phillies elected to bring back Romero after declining his $4.5 million option earlier this offseason. After a potential deal with Romero’s would-be replacement, left-hander Dennys Reyes, fell through, the club looked back to a familiar face. 

After injuries limited Romero to just 21 games in 2009, Romero registered a 3.68 ERA last season while struggling at times with his control. 

Here’s a look at Monday’s other happenings around the league: 

- The Blue Jays continue to “move closer” to an agreement with Octavio Dotel, Fox Sports.com’s Ken Rosenthal tweeted on Monday. In agreement with earlier reports, Rosenthal concurred that the deal will be in the $3.5 million range.

- Brandon Webb, who agreed to a one-year deal with the Rangers on Sunday, will earn $3 million plus incentives, ESPN.com’s Buster Olney tweeted Monday. Jerry Crasnick, also of ESPN.com, added that with incentives, Webb could earn between $8-10 million when all is said and done.


– Bailey Stephens

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