Results tagged ‘ Pirates ’

Roundup: Garza too pricey for Yanks

The free agent market may be thinning, but some teams are still very much in the hunt for pitching as Spring Training looms in the not-too-distant future.
The Yankees are one such team that remains in the market for quality pitching at this stage of the game, especially with the growing uncertainty surrounding Andy Pettitte’s status. The Yanks did have interest in the recently-traded Matt Garza, but that quickly became unlikely after general manager Brian Cashman learned how much the Rays wanted for Garza, the New York Daily News reported on an otherwise quiet Saturday. 
“We never got off the dime, but strong impressions were that it would be something that would cost us more because we are in the division, kind of like Roy Halladay,” Cashman told the Daily News. “We like Matt Garza and I had a conversation early in the winter and it was clear that what it would take would be more significant than I wanted to do.
Their desire for pitching won’t drive the Yanks to sign a Type-A free agent and give up their 2011 first round Draft pick, as reported by multiple media outlets over the weekend. While there have been conflicting reports about what that means for their pursuit of reliever Rafael Soriano, Cashman seemed firm in his decision.
“I would’ve given up the draft pick for Cliff Lee,” Cashman said to the Daily News. “But I’m going to retain our No. 1 pick for ourselves. Once Cliff Lee came off the board, I called Damon [Oppenheimer, the Yanks' vice president for amateur scouting] and said, ‘You’re going to have your No. 1 pick, you’re in the hunt for a first-round pick.” 
Here’s a look at other news and notes from around the league on Sunday: 
- Left-hander Scott Schoeneweis still feels he can be successful in the Majors, the Boston Globe reported. Schoeneweis saw his performance on the field dip after the tragic death of his wife in 2009. The veteran, who was released by the Red Sox in May, believes he would be a fit somewhere as a situational lefty.
- The White Sox added some pitching depth on Sunday, agreeing to Minor League deals with Josh Kinney and Shane Lindsay, according to ESPN Chicago.com. Kinney, 32, has appeared in parts of three Major League seasons with the Cardinals, compiling a 4.56 ERA. Lindsay, an Australian-born hurler, has struggled with his control over the years.
- Last month, several teams were mentioned as having interest in reliever Brian Fuentes, including the Pirates. While the Bucs could be interested in adding another veteran reliever, Fuentes’s cost would likely be prohibitive at this point, the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review reported Sunday. 
– Bailey Stephens

Roundup: Rays looking to deal?

The Hot Stove took a bit of a backseat on Wednesday, with the announcement that Roberto Alomar and Bert Blyleven will be inducted into the Hall of Fame this July dominating the baseball headlines.

With Adrian Beltre‘s signing with the Rangers now official, the rumor mill did ramp up on the trade market — namely, on Tampa Bay starter Matt Garza and a possible deal to the Cubs, reported on Tuesday night by the Chicago Sun-Times. That story was news to the Cubs, according to MLB.com’s Carrie Muskat, who also reported that the Rays are more likely to wait until the summer to move Garza.

Here’s the rundown of the rest of the news from Wednesday:

- Staying in the NL Central, the Cardinals have resumed extension talks with their own potential Hall of Famer, first baseman Albert Pujols. Pujols could hit the free-agent market following the 2011 season.

- The latest out of Southern California is that the Angels have interest in signing Vladimir Guerrero.

On MLB Network Radio on Sirius XM, Angels manager Mike Scioscia told co-hots Jim Duquette and Kevin Kennedy that the Angels are not closing the door on the possibility of Guerrero returning to his former home after one season in Texas.

After hitting .300 with 29 homers and 115 RBIs in 2009, the Angels’ American League Most Valuable Player in 2004, accepted a one-year contract with the Rangers and helped the AL West rivals reach the World Series.

Guerrero, whose career began with nine games in Montreal in 1996, is a .320 career hitter with a .383 on-base percentage and .563 slugging mark.

- The Mariners are working on a potential two-year deal with recently acquired shortstop Brendan Ryan, according to MLB.com’s Greg Johns. Ryan, who came over from St. Louis in a December trade, is eligible for arbitration for the first time in his career.

- The Red Sox claimed catcher Max Ramirez off waivers from the Rangers, tweeted MLB.com’s T.R. Sullivan. Ramirez, you may remember, was close to going to Boston last off-season in exchange for Mike Lowell. Ramirez hit .217 in 28 games for the Rangers in 2010.

- The Blue Jays announced that they claimed left-handed reliever Wil Ledezma on waivers from the Pirates. Ledezma was 0-3 with a 6.86 ERA for Pittsburgh in 2010.

- The Diamondbacks resigned lefty reliever Clay Zavada to a Minor League deal, as reported by Baseball America. Zavada pitched in five games for Triple-A Reno in 2010 before undergoing Tommy John surgery. Zavada posted a 3.35 ERA in 49 games for Arizona in 2009.

- The Rangers and Beltre made it official on Wednesday, with the club announcing the addition of the third baseman in an afternoon press conference. The signing of Beltre means that the Rangers are no longer interested in their former DH Vladimir Guerrero, according to a tweet from the Dallas Star-Telegram’s Anthony Andro.

- Likewise, the Brewers finalized their deal with Takashi Saito. As reported by MLB.com’s Adam McCalvy, the right-hander’s base salary will be under $2 million, but he can make more than $3 million in incentives.

- The Rockies have signed utilityman Hernan Iribarren to a Minor League contract. Iribarren, 26, last played in the Majors with Milwaukee in 2009, spending last season with Texas’ Triple-A affiliate.  The deal includes an invitation to Colorado’s Major League Spring Training camp.

-  The Padres signed versatile Kevin Frandsen and catcher Guillermo Quiroz Minor League contracts.  The deal will pay Frandsen $575,000 if he makes San Diego’s Major League roster, according to ESPN.

Frandsen, 28, has played several positions during his MLB career with the Giants and Angels, playing primarily third base last season for the Angels, who did not tender him a contract for 2011.

Quiroz, 29, has played parts of the last seven seasons in the Major Leagues with the Blue Jays, Mariners, Rangers and Orioles. He is a career .208 hitter in 255 at-bats.

–Tim Britton

Roundup: Hot Stove comes alive after Holidays

With a bevy of signings and a fresh batch of rumors, the Hot Stove came back to life on Monday following the holiday hiatus. In addition to the Rockies’ efforts to lock up outfielder Carlos Gonzalez for the long haul, Monday brought the completion of the Rangers’ deal with Brandon Webb and Arthur Rhodes in addition to several other smaller signings. 
It wasn’t all about pitching in Texas on Monday, however. After talks emerged over the weekend regarding a potential deal with Adrian Beltre, that possibility seems less likely now, according to MLB.com’s T.R. Sullivan. The Rangers have checked with Michael Young about the possibility of a position change, an idea that the third baseman didn’t seem overly keen about, according to Sullivan. Given that, club officials now aren’t overly optimistic they’ll get anything done at this point. 
It remains to be seen if this will swing momentum in the Beltre sweepstakes back to the Halos.
In addition to the Rangers’ dealings, here’s a rundown of Monday’s news from around the league:
- The Mets signed a pair of pitchers, left-hander Chris Capuano and right-hander Taylor Buchholz. Before 2010, Capuano hadn’t pitched in the Majors since 2007, and Buchholz hadn’t since 2008, both because of Tommy John surgery. The Mets released right-hander Ryota Igarashi to make room, despite owing him $1.75 million next season.
- The Yankees expect to hear something on veteran pitcher Andy Pettitte soon, ESPN New York.com reported on Monday. The team could know within a couple of days, according to the site. Also in the Bronx, the Yankees made their signing of reliever Pedro Feliciano official on Monday.
- The Nats are “progressing” in their talks with free agent first baseman Adam LaRoche, MLB.com’s Bill Ladson reported on Monday. The two sides are not far apart at this point, a baseball source confirmed to Ladson. 
- In addition to the Twins and Nationals, there are thought to be one or two other teams in on Carl Pavano, SI.com reported on Monday. Pavano is largely seen as the best free agent pitcher on the market at this point.
- Pittsburgh has agreed to re-sign left-hander Brian Burres, MLB.com’s Jenifer Langosch reported on Monday. Burres, who was non-tendered earlier this year, could be a candidate for the rotation this season.
- The Dodgers agreed to terms with veteran Tim Redding to a Minor League deal with a Spring Training invite on Monday. Redding, 32, will give Los Angeles another capable starter in the rotation, if needed. 
- The Red Sox picked up utility man Hector Luna on a Minor League agreement, Fox Sports’s Jon Paul Morosi tweeted on Monday. Luna, who will turn 31 in February, appeared in 27 games for the Marlins last season. 
- In their search for a versatile outfielder, the Reds have turned their attention to Fred Lewis, according to Fox Sports.com. Lewis, 30, proved productive for the Blue Jays last season and could fit into the Reds’ outfield needs. 
– Bailey Stephens

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

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