Results tagged ‘ Pirates ’
The Rangers officially introduced Prince Fielder on Monday, five days after acquiring the slugging first baseman from the Tigers for Ian Kinsler.
The move likely doesn’t signify the end of the club’s offseason maneuvering, however. Our T.R. Sullivan writes that while the Rangers are not expected to go after free-agent second baseman Robinson Cano, they are looking to add another impact bat to their lineup, either at the top or in the middle.
One of those available big bats belongs to free-agent outfielder Shin-Soo Choo. Speaking of Choo, our Mark Sheldon explores the question of whether the Reds could bring him back to Cincinnati, meeting his significant contract demands.
In other news from around the league:
- Veteran right-handed pitcher Dan Haren officially came off the board on Monday, when the Dodgers announced his one-year contract.
- After adding a center fielder (Peter Bourjos) and a shortstop (Jhonny Peralta) over the past week, Cardinals general manager John Mozeliak didn’t close the door on his offseason shuffling but added that, “if the clock stopped today, we’d be pretty happy with our club.”
- The Yankees’ signing of free-agent catcher Brian McCann signals the club’s aggressive intentions this offseason after falling short of the playoffs in 2013, writes MLB.com columnist Mike Bauman. Along those lines, a move for free-agent outfielder Carlos Beltran could be on the way.
- Blue Jays general manager Alex Anthopoulos addressed his team’s search for a starting pitcher, most notably the Cubs’ Jeff Samardzija.
- Veteran righty A.J. Burnett hasn’t decided if he will pitch in 2014, but if he does, the market could push him out of the Pirates’ price range.
- The Tigers and free-agent reliever Brian Wilson are in “serious” negotiations, a source has told The Detroit News. It appears that Wilson, and not Joe Nathan, is Detroit’s primary target to fill its closer role.
- Elsewhere in the American League Central, The Kansas City Star reported that the Royals are open to dealing from their bullpen depth, especially righty Aaron Crow or lefty Tim Collins.
- There were a few minor trades executed on Monday, with the Padres swinging a three-player deal with the Pirates and swapping pitchers with the Orioles, while the A’s picked up a left-hander from the Nationals. The Pirates also cleared 40-man roster space by designating first baseman-outfielder Garrett Jones for assignment.
- Our Doug Miller looks at what’s left on the free-agent market in The Week Ahead.
- The Marlins are looking into signing catcher Dioner Navarro and pitcher Phil Hughes, according to the Miami Herald.
– Andrew Simon
Neal Huntington went on the air [970ESPN] Friday night to explain why the Pirates did not make a qualifying offer to A.J. Burnett: The $14.1 million does not fit in the club’s payroll.
This is neither news — the Pirates have never had an eight-figure player, and even if they push their 2014 payroll into the $100 million range, the qualifying level would represent 14 percent of it — nor does it mean the Bucs will not be re-signing the pitcher, if ultimately he decides to keep pitching. The 36-year-old vet is still mulling over retirement.
It does probably mean Huntington will once again have to get creative. Burnett rightfully does not think he should take a significant cut in guaranteed salary after having the best strikeout ratio [9.8/9 innings] of NL starters while earning $16.5 million. The Yankees still picked up $8 million of that.
If Burnett has been sincere about not wishing to pitch anywhere else but Pittsburgh, and would be unwilling to do it at a reduced rate, he would be left with nowhere to go, right?
Not necessarily. No one has yet discussed this openly, but this is where Huntington could get creative:
Burnett is torn between his real family and the Pirates family? Neither professional pride — nor, for that matter, the union — would let him take a pay slash?
Burnett could satisfy both of those conditions by making a midseason return, a la Roger Clemens a few years back. That would allow Burnett family time, and for the Bucs to shoehorn the prorated portion of an eight-figure salary into their budget. And, just in case a jolt is needed both in the clubhouse and at the gate, imagine the impact of a mid-June Burnett landing.
Astros pitcher Bud Norris continues to get interest from the Giants and Pirates with teams like the D-backs and Rangers also in the mix, MLB Network’s Peter Gammons reported on Twitter.
A source told MLB.com on Tuesday the D-backs, Orioles and Pirates were three of the teams showing the most interest in him.
Norris, 28, is 6-9 with a 3.93 ERA in 21 starts and is on pace to throw 200 innings for the first time in his career. Norris is making $3 million this year in his first year of arbitration and would certainly be attractive to a team considering he’s under club control for two more seasons.
– Brian McTaggart
The action began to crank into high gear on Tuesday night, with less than 24 hours remaining before the non-waiver Trade Deadline, which comes at 4 p.m. ET on Wednesday. Here’s where things stand going into the final day:
- The Red Sox made a bold move late on Tuesday night, landing veteran starting pitcher Jake Peavy in a three-way deal with the Tigers and White Sox, along with reliever Brayan Villareal. While the right-hander will bolster Boston’s rotation, Detroit’s acquisition of slick-fielding shortstop Jose Iglesias gives them insurance if Jhonny Peralta is served with a long suspension as part of MLB’s investigation into the Biogenesis case. Chicago, meanwhile, received young outfielder Avisail Garcia and a trio of prospects in the deal.
- The A’s acquired infielder Alberto Callaspo from the Angels for former first-round pick Grant Green and plan to add the switch-hitter to their mix at second base. General manager Billy Beane said afterward that he was “not currently” involved in additional trade talks.
- The Indians added the left-handed arm they were seeking for their bullpen, nabbing veteran Marc Rzepczynski from the Cardinals for a Minor Leaguer. Rzepczynski had spent much of this season at Triple-A Memphis.
- St. Louis has been linked to some big names ahead of the Deadline and could be in the mix for a shortstop or starting pitcher, but GM John Mozeliak downplayed the likelihood of a trade. But with All-Star catcher Yadier Molina headed to the disabled list with a knee injury, it’s possible the club could be spurred to action.
- Astros right-hander Bud Norris continues to draw plenty of interest from contending teams.
- The Yankees are one of the clubs in pursuit of White Sox outfielder Alex Rios, although New York is one of six teams on his no-trade list.
- The Dodgers took a shot at bolstering their bullpen by signing former Giants closer Brian Wilson, but there might not be much else for GM Ned Colletti to do.
- The D-backs could part with right-hander Ian Kennedy, who started for Arizona on Tuesday.
- The Pirates seem likely to stand pat after grabbing the NL Central lead with a doubleheader sweep of the Cardinals on Tuesday.
- Andrew Simon
The D-backs, Pirates and Orioles are three of the teams showing the most interest in Astros starting pitcher Bud Norris, a source told MLB.com. Norris was scratched from his scheduled start against the Orioles on Tuesday in Baltimore for what he said was “a lot of reasons,” but a potential trade appears to be in the works.
Astros manager Bo Porter said trade talks were deepening, but he wouldn’t identify which teams were after the 28-year-old right-hander.
Norris is 6-9 with a 3.93 ERA in 21 starts and is on pace to throw 200 innings for the first time in his career. Norris is making $3 million this year in his first year of arbitration and would certainly be attractive to a team considering he’s under club control for two more seasons. he is 0-2 with an 8.47 ERA in his last three starts after going 2-3 with a 2.29 ERA in his eight starts prior to those three.
– Brian McTaggart
Cubs outfielders Nate Schierholtz and David DeJesus are both well aware the Trade Deadline is one week away. Any team looking for a left-handed bat and a solid defensive outfielder would be interested in Schierholtz, who was batting .313 with runners in scoring position this season. A few teams have followed Schierholtz, including the Pirates.
“It’s out of our control what happens,” Schierholtz said after Wednesday’s extra inning win over the Diamondbacks in which he had his first five RBIs game. “I love being a Cub, and hope to stay here. You never know what will happen in the next week. All we can do is go out there and focus on trying to win games.”
DeJesus’ name also has been mentioned in trade rumors, and Theo Epstein did take time to talk to the outfielder, but not about a possible move. Instead, Epstein wanted to thank DeJesus, and tell him how much they appreciate his mentorship of the younger players. DeJesus showed that during his rehab stint with the Rookie League players, many of whom are teenagers.
“He’s a really good baseball player, lived up to his contract, he’s a left-handed bat who has the exact approach we’re trying to teach in this organization,” Epstein said. “There’s a lot of value to having him here. That said, will we make him untouchable? No — no one’s untouchable. We’ll sit and weigh out the options and what’s best for the Cubs.”
DeJesus, activated from the DL on Wednesday, was prepared.
“My name’s been in the rumors before,” he said. “It’s nothing new. You’ve just got to be professional and play the game and see what happens from there.”
– Carrie Muskat
Will Matt Garza start Monday for the Cubs against the Diamondbacks? According to FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal and Jon Paul Morosi, trade talks have intensified regarding Garza, considered the top starting pitcher available on the market. Rosenthal and Morosi report the Rangers are the “most motivated” of any team in discussions with the Cubs regarding Garza. Texas currently has five starting pitchers on the disabled list (Matt Harrison, Yu Darvish, Alexi Ogando, Nick Tepesch and Colby Lewis). According to Rosenthal/Morosi, the Rangers tried to acquire Garza in 2011 from Tampa Bay but the Cubs put together the better package at that time.
The Indians, Cardinals, Pirates, Dodgers, Red Sox and Diamondbacks also have expressed interest in Garza, who will be a free agent at the end of the season.
The Cubs traveled Thursday to Denver, where they will open a three-game series on Friday against the Rockies.
– Carrie Muskat
Matt Garza started on Saturday night for the Cubs in the third game of their four-game series against the Cardinals. Would this be his last start in a Cubs uniform? The Rangers had two scouts at Wrigley Field to watch Garza, while the Tigers, Orioles, Pirates and Blue Jays also had representatives on hand.
How has Garza dealt with the trade rumors?
“He’s handled it great,” Cubs manager Dale Sveum said before Saturday’s game. “Obviously, he went through this last year at the same time when his name was all aaround. It goes unsaid how he’s handled it. He’s pitched in as good a five-game stretch as he has in his whole career. He’s obviously handled it extremely well.”
Garza has tossed at least seven innings and given up one or no earned runs in five straight starts dating to June 16.
– Carrie Muskat
The Pirates agreed to terms on a two-year, $14 million contract with pitcher Francisco Liriano, the Minneapolis Star Tribune reported on Friday.
The deal is pending a physical.
Liriano, 29, was 6-12 with a 5.34 ERA in 34 games, including 28 starts, for the Twins and White Sox last season. He spent most of his career with Minnesota and had his best year during an All-Star 2006 season when he was 12-3 with a 2.16 ERA.
– Mark Sheldon
Jason Grilli, a first-time free agent at 36 after an eye-popping comeback season that solidified the Pirates’ bullpen, is turning into a hot commodity on the reliever market.
His agent, Gary Sheffield — yes, that Gary Sheffield, who retired as a player three years ago with 509 homers, tells the Boston Globe there are eight teams interested in the veteran right-hander.
If those eight include teams not turned off by Grilli’s understandable wish for a multi-year deal, the Bucs would not be one of them. The Pirates would very much like to retain Grilli, who struck out 90 in 58 2/3 innings and even served as Joel Hanrahan’s back-up closer. But they subscribe to the popular belief that the bullpen is a team’s most transient area, relatively easy to overhaul with young arms, and are very unlikely to offer a multi-year deal to any reliever.
“We have three offers right now.” Sheffield, based in Tampa, told the Boston newspaper. “We’re not in a hurry. There are some things we want to look at a little further. We’re not sure the market has fully developed for Jason.”
All things being the same, Grilli would want to return to Pittsburgh, which salvaged his career by signing him the day after the Phillies had released him in the middle of the 2011 season. But a one-year deal versus a longer-term contract is not the same.
Grilli has been in the Majors on-and-off since 2000, and has earned less than $5 million all that time. His Pirates contract in 2012 — for $1.1 million — was the largest of his career. Thus far.
– Tom Singer