Results tagged ‘ Pirates ’

Roundup: Many teams interested in Fuentes?

Relief pitching remained at the forefront of the free agent arena on Tuesday as discussion of the market for left-hander Brian Fuentes occupied an otherwise slow news day.
There’s still a large contingent of teams that have at least some interest in Fuentes, including the Red Sox, Blue Jays, Rays, Rockies, Mariners, Twins, Pirates, Phillies, Brewers, Yankees and Mets, SI.com’s Jon Heyman tweeted Tuesday.
Many of those teams could have filled their need in recent days, however, including the Yankees (Pedro Feliciano), Brewers (Takashi Saito) and Rockies (Matt Lindstrom). In addition, the price tag for Fuentes could be prohibitive for some of those teams, if he indeed is seeking a deal comparable to Scott Downs’s three-year, $15 million pact with the Angels as Ken Rosenthal suggested last week.
Here’s a look at other happenings around the league on Tuesday: 
- After adding Shaun Marcum and Zack Greinke to their rotation, the Brewers have ended negotiations with Chris Capuano, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported on Tuesday. Capuano reportedly wanted to stay in the starting rotation, a role the Brewers simply didn’t have open for next season. 
- Free Agent left-hander Jeff Francis acknowledged to the Vancouver Province that teams have shown interest in him, but suggested it hadn’t gone much farther than that. The Mets, Yankees, Nationals and Pirates have all been mentioned as possible fits for Francis so far. 
- Brandon Webb did get at least $3 million guaranteed and “at least that in incentives” in his pact with the Rangers, Heyman confirmed on Twitter.
– Bailey Stephens

Pirates announce deal with Matt Diaz

On the same day the club added a new first baseman, the Pirates announced a two-year deal with outfielder Matt Diaz. News of the agreement came a week ago at the Winter Meetings, though Diaz had to undergo a physical before it became official.

Diaz is guaranteed $4.25 million over the next two years. He will earn a $2 million base salary in 2011 and 2012 and picks up a signing bonus worth $250,000. Diaz can earn up to another $125,000 per year based on plate appearances and has a number of award incentives also built into the deal.

The Pirates had plenty of competition in their pursuit of Diaz, who was non-tendered by the Braves on Dec. 2.

The addition of Diaz gives Pittsburgh the right-handed hitting outfielder that they coveted. The Pirates have been looking for someone who could be a threat against left-handed pitching, and Diaz fits that mold precisely.

He has a career .335 batting average and .533 slugging percentage against southpaws in parts of eight seasons in the Majors. Diaz, 32, hit .273 against lefties last season.

– Jenifer Langosch

Bucs ink 1B Lyle Overbay

The Pirates have signed free agent first baseman Lyle Overbay to a one-year contract, the team announced on Tuesday. Financial terms of the contract were not immediately known.

Overbay, 34, comes to Pittsburgh after spending the last five seasons with Toronto. Overbay, who made $24 million over the past four years, hit .243 with 37 doubles, 20 homers and 67 RBIs in 154 games last season. He is a career .274 hitter since breaking into the Majors with Arizona in 2001.

Overbay’s .996 fielding percentage last year ranked second best in the American League. He led all AL first baseman in double plays (150) and assists (101).

“Lyle Overbay is a solid Major League player, and we expect him to have a positive impact on our club offensively, defensively and in the clubhouse,” general manager Neal Huntington said in a statement.

– Jenifer Langosch

Orioles reportedly made Gregg an offer

The Orioles, according to The Baltimore Sun, made free-agent reliever Kevin Gregg a two-year offer worth $8 to$10 million during the Winter Meetings.

Gregg, who served as the Blue Jays’ closer last year, also has interest from the Nationals, Pirates, Mariners and Red Sox, FOXSports.com reported recently.

The 32-year-old right-hander posted a 3.51 ERA, 1.390 WHIP and went 37-for-43 in save chances through 59 innings with Toronto in 2010. The Sun said Gregg is still negotiating with the O’s, who “still think they have a shot.”

One big factor in the negotiations could be whether Gregg would have the opportunity to close. Baltimore may choose to go with Koji Uehara in that spot.

– Alden Gonzalez 

Roundup: Winter Meetings Day 2

While Day 2 of the Winter Meetings brought the continuation of talks for some big free agents like Cliff Lee and Carl Crawford, it also surfaced the names of other players such as Delwyn Young and Ronny Paulino.
Here’s a rundown of the day’s bigger rumors and speculation. 
- The Rays and Orioles have been discussing a trade, possibly involving Rays shortstop Jason Bartlett for outfielder/first baseman Nolan Reimold. While the talks are serious, the names involved vary and nothing is imminent, according to MLB.com’s Brittany Ghiroli. The Rays are interested in more than Reimold, according to Marc Topkin of the St. Petersberg Times. 
- The Nationals are continuing their aggressive offseason on Day 2 of the Meetings. Tuesday morning brought rumors from all corners that Washington was making a hard charge for Lee, possibly offer a seven-year deal. While other reports have contradicted that, a baseball source told MLB.com’s Bill Ladson that “The Nationals are not out of it by any means.” 
Several afternoon reports, including one Twitter report from SI.com’s Jon Heyman indicated that while there was a seven-year market for Cliff Lee, it wasn’t the Nationals. By all accounts on the Yankees side,  the club isn’t willing to go to a seventh year. 
- Free agent left-hander Mark Hendrickson is drawing some interest from the Rays and Mariners, FoxSports.com’s Jon Paul Morosi tweeted on Tuesday. He added that the Orioles have kept tabs as well on the pitcher, whose value now is primarily as a reliever. 
- Add the Orioles to the list of teams who have talked to the Braves about Japanese pitcher Kenshin Kawakami, according to the Baltimore Sun. But Baltimore isn’t likely to pick up Kawakami from Atlanta, as the Braves are looking for outfield help, a baseball source told Dan Connolly of the Sun. 
-Left-hander Dennys Reyes could decide on a team within the next 48 hours, Morosi tweeted on Tuesday. The Phillies, Marlins, Mariners and Athletics have all been known to have interest. 
-Several teams are interested in utility man Delwyn Young, Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel tweeted. The Brewers, Marlins and Phillies are all talking to Young, who played second base, third base and right field last season. The 28-year-old elected free agency after being designated by the Pirates before the non-tender deadline. 
-After Monday’s news that the Royals were asking a very high price for Zack Greinke, it appears that teams are upping their offers for the ace, Ed Price of Yahoo Sports tweeted. While the Blue Jays and Rangers have been known to have serious interest in Greinke, the Nationals also recently inquired about him, CBSSports.com reported.
-Infielder Jorge Cantu has multiple teams interested, including the Padres, Mariners and D-backs, tweeted Yahoo Sports’ Tim Brown. The 29-year-old split last season between the Marlins and Rangers, hitting .256. 
- The Mets are having serious discussions with reliever D.J. Carrasco, according to an ESPN New York.com report. The report characterizes the negotiations to bring the right-hander to New York as “fruitful.”
-While it’s just discussion at this point and considered quite unlikely, the Red Sox are at least talking internally about a potential Carlos Beltran trade, ESPN New York reported. Boston would consider the outfielder a last option if their other outfield pursuits fall part, Joel Sherman of the New York Post tweeted. 
- The Mets are seemingly looking for a catcher to back up Josh Thole as on Tuesday morning ESPN New York reported the Mets were “closing in” on free agent Ronny Paulino. Other reports, including a tweet from Sherman, indicated the club was still talking to several backstops, but Paulino was one of them.
–Bailey Stephens

Cardinals odds and ends

A few odds and ends from the Cardinals on day one of the Winter Meetings:

* The Padres’ interest in Brendan Ryan is real and acknowledged. What exactly would constitute a fit between the two teams remains to be determined, but if the Cardinals decide to move Ryan, San Diego looks like a prime landing spot. Pittsburgh is a possibility, but the Pirates’ interest seems less ardent.
Moreover, it’s worth noting that the Cardinals and Padres have a good relationship, having dealt with one another several times in recent years.
Manager Tony La Russa said in a radio interview on Monday that one way or another, Ryan will not be the Cardinals’ starting shortstop. The skipper seemed to indicate that Ryan would be best suited by getting a change of scenery.
“If he stays with us, he’s a utility player,” La Russa said on the Bernie Miklasz show on WXOS radio in St. Louis. “I think he would
be useful as a utility player. I don’t know at this point in his career if that
something that would fire him up to come to the ballpark. I think ‘Mo’ is going to
be checking out to see where his value is. If there’s value in an area that we
can do some good, then that’s probably a better situation, to get him a place
where he can play. He would be an excellent utility man, but I don’t know that
that would motivate him to be excited to come to the park. He’s young and he
wants to be a regular.”
* A couple of outlets today reported that the Cards should not be ruled out as a suitor for Rays infielder Jason Bartlett. SI.com’s Jon Heyman tweeted “don’t coun’t them out,” while the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported that the Cardinals “retain interest” in Bartlett.
However, in the same radio interview, La Russa dashed that notion.
“We’re not chasing Bartlett,” La Russa told WXOS. “I just don’t think that that makes sense for us. We probably need to figure out what we’re going to do in the utility role. We’ve still got Brendan and stuff like that, but I don’t think that… nor do we have the resources to try to add a multimillion dollar player. What we’ve got here is now finishing up and complementing the roster.  But I don’t think that’s accurate [that the Cardinals are pursuing Bartlett].”
* Yahoo! Sports’ Tim Brown tweeted Monday that Gregg Zaun is a player of interest to the Cardinals, and that’s one rumor that makes some sense. Zaun is a well-regarded veteran, widely considered an excellent clubhouse guy — and that’s clearly one of the aims of the front office in reshaping the roster for 2011. 
Additionally, Zaun can hit. In 2010, he put up a 265/350/392 line. Over the past seven seasons, he’s at 256/353/401, which is outstanding for any catcher.
The question is Zaun’s health. He didn’t play after May of last year, and underwent surgery on the labrum of his throwing shoulder in early June. That could be off-putting to a team that places a great deal of emphasis on stopping the opponent’s running game.
–Matthew Leach

Padres continue to stockpile Draft picks

In the last week, the Padres have watched pitcher Jon Garland sign with the Dodgers and, on Monday, catcher Yorvit Torrealba sign with the Rangers.

Big losses? Sure, Garland and Torrealba each played prominent roles on a team that won 90 games and surprised everyone in baseball.

Unexpected losses? Not at all. The Padres offered both players arbitration last week with the expectation they would decline and sign elsewhere. That’s exactly what happened, meaning the Padres have picked up two additional Draft picks as compensation.

For those scoring at home, that’s four Draft picks in the first 60 or so picks — one for Garland, Torrealba, their own first-round pick and a compensatory pick for not signing pitcher Karsten Whitson last year.

If pitcher Kevin Correia signs elsewhere, that will be a that will mean five picks in the first 60 or so overall picks. The Padres, like other teams, want to build from within. The farm system as it stands today is devoid of Major League-ready talent at the top.

But given their payroll constraints — only the Pirates had a lower Opening Day payroll in 2010 — the Padres must get production out of their farm system because, for the near future, they won’t be major players on the free agent market.

 -- Corey Brock, MLB.com

Roundup: Dodgers swipe Uribe from division rivals

With one week remaining until the start of the usually-hectic Winter Meetings in Lake Buena Vista, Fla., the busy Dodgers made another move, agreeing to terms with Juan Uribe on a three-year deal reportedly worth about $21 million.

With Uribe, the Dodgers swipe a big piece of the Giants’ World Series championship run away from their division rivals and add a much-needed right-handed power bat to the middle of the lineup. Uribe played 103 games at shortstop, 26 at third base and 24 at second while batting .248 with 24 homers and 85 RBIs in 2010 (not including a postseason run that saw him drive in nine runs in 14 games).

In Los Angeles, he figures to start at second base, which will likely lead to the non-tendering of Trade Deadline acquisition Ryan Theriot. Despite dealing with instability up top, the Dodgers had already locked up their rotation by re-signing Ted Lilly and acquiring Jon Garland

Here’s more from around the league …

* The Rangers signed catcher Yorvit Torrealba to a two-year
contract. Torrealba, a 10-year veteran who played in 95 games for the
Padres in 2010 — batting .271 with seven homers and 37 RBIs while
starting 89 games — fills a void left by Bengie Molina (likely retired) and Matt Treanor (free agent). The deal, according to MLB.com’s T.R. Sullivan, is worth $6.25 million.  

* They also avoided an arbitration hearing with Mark Lowe and agreed on a one-year contract. The deal is worth $1.2 million, plus another $100,000 in incentives.

* A source told ESPNNY.com the Yankees believe Derek Jeter and his agent, Casey Close, need to “drink the reality potion.” The unnamed source told the Web site the Yankees are still not budging from their three-year, $45 million offer, and Jeter still seeks a longer contract between $23 million and $25 million per season. Talks between the two sides did not take place during the holiday weekend and none are currently scheduled, ESPNNY.com added.

* While the Jeter negotiations appear heated, ESPNNY.com added that talks between the Yankees and Mariano Rivera are “progressing much smoother.” Rivera will likely receive a bump from his 2010 salary, probably in the $16-17 million range, but the question remains whether he gets one or two years.

* Free-agent first baseman/outfielder/designated hitter Lance Berkman was originally disappointed the Astros didn’t want him back, but the Texas product told The Houston Chronicle “there’s been a lot of interest” in his services. Berkman specifically named the Cardinals, Cubs, Rockies, Athletics, Pirates and Blue Jays as teams who have been in touch, but added he hasn’t received a formal offer yet. Berkman has said he’d prefer to play in the National League, adding that he’s still capable of serving as an outfielder and first baseman.

* The Astros have talked about the possibility of an extension with right-hander Wandy Rodriguez, general manager Ed Wade told The Houston Chronicle. Rodriguez hits free agency after the 2011 season.    

* The Mets will do their due diligence in shopping shortstop Jose Reyes this winter, but considering his value has never been lower, it would be shocking if they actually went ahead and traded him, MLB.com’s Anthony DiComo writes.

* The Twins have until late December to agree on a contract with Japanese middle infielder Tsuyoshi Nishioka, who sounds like someone excited to play in Minnesota. In quotes passed along by The Minneapolis Star Tribune, Nishioka told the Japanese press he has no preference between shortstop and second base and said, “I don’t think that I will give up the idea of going to the Majors because of the amount of money.”

“Minnesota Twins has been contending to the playoff every year,” he added. “To play for the good team is one of my wishes. I am happy that I could advance one step forward.” The Twins won their exclusive-negotiating for Nishioka on Friday and could use him to fill their middle-infield needs.

– Alden Gonzalez 

D-backs acquire Zach Duke

The Pirates have traded Zach Duke to the Diamondbacks for a player to be named later, the club announced on Wednesday.

Duke had been designated for assignment on Friday, which gave the Pirates a 10-day window to trade the left-hander. He would have become a free agent if Pittsburgh had not made a deal.

Pittsburgh removed Duke from the 40-man roster after deciding that the club would not tender him a contract. The starter was to be arbitration eligible for the third time this offseason and was likely to see his $4.3 million salary increase to around $5 million.

Duke, who was selected by the Pirates in the 20th round of the ’01 First-Year Player Draft, ends his tenure in Pittsburgh with a 45-70 record and 4.54 ERA in 160 games (159 starts). He went 8-15 with a 5.72 ERA last season.

Jenifer Langosch

Webb reportedly on Dodgers’ radar

The Dodgers are among a handful of clubs who have expressed interest in free agent right-hander Brandon Webb. According to ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick, the Pirates, Twins and Rangers also have checked in on Webb, and the Nationals, Reds and Cardinals are considered possibilities to join in the pursuit.

Webb, 31, was a 22-game winner in 2008 for Arizona before shoulder surgery cost him the past two sesons. He did not miss a start from 2004 through ’08, delivering 226 or more innings in four straight seasons. — Lyle Spencer

 

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