Results tagged ‘ Rays ’

Angels still in the mix to land Cordero

Free-agent closer Francisco Cordero expects to pick a team by the end of this week, and the Angels are one of four finalists for his services, a source with knowledge of the negotiations told MLB.com.

The identity of the other three clubs is not known at this point, but one of the four, the source said, is a championship-contending team looking to slot him in the eighth inning. That may be the Phillies, which could use a setup man for the recently signed Jonathan Papelbon. The Orioles have also reportedly been in touch. The Rays, which have a need in the ninth inning, are not one of those other three clubs, however.

At this point in the offseason, with the closer’s market dried up and a return to the Reds seemingly not possible, Cordero is open to signing a one-year deal, which would be huge for an Angels club that has already inked Albert Pujols and C.J. Wilson to long-term deals this offseason and doesn’t have much money to spend.

In Anaheim, Cordero would supplant 24-year-old Jordan Walden, who finished last year with a 2.98 ERA and 32 saves but fell off in September. Cordero, 36, is a three-time All-Star with a career 3.17 ERA and 327 saves. Last year with the Reds, he posted a 2.45 ERA and a 1.019 WHIP, and converted 37 of his 43 save chances.

The market for Cordero has taken a while to develop, mostly because teams figured a return to Cincinnati was a foregone conclusion. Once Ryan Madson signed a bargain-rate one-year, $8.5 million deal to be the Reds’ closer, though, interest around the league intensified.

The Angels were one of the first teams to reach out to Cordero’s representative, Bean Stringfellow, and have been in touch throughout the offseason, according to a source. They’ve also been in touch with right-handed reliever Luis Ayala.

– Alden Gonzalez 

Rays in Hunt for Beltran

Tampa Bay is in the mix to sign Carlos Beltran according to CBS Sports, which said the Cardinals, Blue Jays and Red Sox also are vying for the veteran center fielder.

Tampa Bay could use the six-time all-star at either DH or in the outfield. The two biggest questions facing the Rays are: 1) Will he be affordable? (Remember, Beltran finished off a seven-year, $119 million deal in 2011. 2) Would he be able to adjust to playing DH? (All Rays fans remember Pat Burrell’s struggles while being used at DH full-time).

According to the story, Beltran hopes to make a decision by Christmas.

– Bill Chastain

Reds talk w/Rays

It’s been a slow week for the Reds, especially in their efforts to nab a starting pitcher in a trade. General manager Walt Jocketty said Wednesday has had some meetings about trades, including with the Rays.

“I’ve talked to them several times,” Jocketty said. “I don’t think we’re close to anything.”

Jocketty did not divulge who was discussed. I can imagine James Shields had to have been one of the teams from the Rays’ end.

*Further down the list has been a search for a right-handed hitting left fielder. There has been thought given to adding free agent OF Cody Ross, who had a very brief stint with the Reds in 2006.

“We kicked it around,” Jocketty said. “I saw his agent around in the lobby. He said he’d be interested in coming back. I told him we’d discuss it and we did. We have some other things to do first.

*When asked about OF Dmitri Young, who has been in Dallas seeking a job and comeback, Jocketty said he would consider it. He liked him when he had Young in St. Louis.

– Mark Sheldon

Rays Will Talk About Upton

According to a tweet by ESPN’s Buster Olney, the Rays are telling teams they will talk about dealing B.J. Upton, but they would have to be overwhelmed to move him. That sentiment sounds in line with what Andrew Friedman expressed when the Rays executive vice president of baseball operations told reporters — after being asked about Upton — that he was looking to improve the offense. His meaning was clear, he is not looking to trade major contributors to an offense that struggled to score runs in 2011.
–Bill Chastain

Manny doesn’t intrigue Yankees

Hearing news that Manny Ramirez has applied to Major League Baseball for reinstatement, Yankees general manager Brian Cashman was succinct in summing up his interest level, telling the Wall Street Journal, “I don’t think so.”

Playing for the Rays, Ramirez retired in April after being hit with a 100-game suspension for performance-enhancing drugs. The Washington Heights product was 1-for-17 with Tampa Bay this year. 

- Bryan Hoch

Rays and Molina

According to FOXSports.com, the Rays are close to signing veteran catcher Jose Molina to a one-year contract with an option for 2013.

The Rays did not exercise their option for Kelly Shoppach, which left the top contenders to fill the catching role in 2012 as John Jaso, Jose Lobaton and Robinson Chirinos.

–Bill Chastain

Rumors Continue to Rumble for Rays

According to multiple reports, the Rays continue to listen to offers for B.J. Upton. Teams said to be interested include the Cardinals, Reds, Pirates, Royals, Nationals and Braves. However, while they are listening to possible deals, they aren’t willing to just give him away, which could lead to Upton finishing the season with the team.

Meanwhile, James Shields appears to be off the market, though according to CBSSports.com, right-handers Jeff Niemann and Wade Davis are in play.

–Bill Chastain

Indians pursuing Rays’ Upton?

According to Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports, the Indians are one of a growing number of teams  talking to Tampa Bay about outfielder B.J. Upton. Cleveland is hunting for outfield help and Upton fits the mold.

Upton would not likely cost as much in prospects as Carlos Beltran or Hunter Pence, and the Rays outfielder is under contractual control through 2012. Upton isn’t having a stellar year — he’s hitting .232/.312/.400 with 15 homers and 52 RBIs — but he still provides speed and power potential.

Upton is under contract for $4.825 million this season and is eligible for arbitration for the 2012 campaign.

As things currently stand, the Indians are without center fielder Grady Sizemore (right knee injury and sports hernia surgery) and right fielder Shin-Soo Choo (broken left thumb) Both could be back in late August or early September.

The Tribe has also been linked to Coco Crisp, Josh Willingham and Ryan Ludwick, among others, in various reports and rumors.

Cleveland — also possibly in the market for rotation help — has also reportedly shown interest in pitcher Hiroki Kuroda of the Dodgers.

–Jordan Bastian

Roundup: DH-types coming off the market?

The free-agent market has definitely thinned, now that less than one month remains before the start of Spring Training. But as of Friday, several big names remained in the veteran corner outfielder/designated hitter category.

That may change soon.

The Rays, an industry source told MLB.com’s Jesse Sanchez, are nearing a one-year deal with Johnny Damon and are also in the mix for his former Red Sox teammate, Manny Ramirez

But Tampa Bay may have some competition for Ramirez’s services, since sources told MLB.com’s T.R. Sullivan that the Rangers and Angels are also interested. Sullivan notes that it’s the Rangers and Rays that are the front-runners at this point, with the Angels seemingly lagging behind.  

Enrique Rojas of ESPNDeportes.com heard from sources that Vladimir Guerrero, like Ramirez and Damon, could also be close to signing, saying the Orioles and Angels have interest. The Rangers, Sullivan added, also haven’t closed the door on bringing back Guerrero.
The problem is the soon-to-be-36-year-old — coming off a season in which he batted .300
with 29 homers and 115 RBIs as Texas’ full-time DH — may still be
trying to land an everyday job.

Here’s more from around the league…

* The Red Sox were trying to reel in free-agent closer Rafael Soriano
on a lucrative one-year contract, according to Jon Heyman of SI.com and
MLB Network. If they would have succeeded in that, they could’ve dealt
current closer Jonathan Papelbon to the Athletics or White Sox. Boston also made Yankees closer Mariano Rivera an offer this offseason, so there’s seemingly concern in Beantown about Papelbon.

* When Prince Fielder hits free agency at the end of the 2011
season, the slugging first baseman expects to yield a contract of at least eight
years and for about $200 million, Heyman added.

* The Reds have been all about locking up their own players this
offseason, and they still may not be done. Regarding unsigned starter
Edinson Volquez, Reds general manager Walt Jocketty told the Cincinnati
Enquirer, “We’re looking at both — one-year and multi-year” deals.
Volquez, arbitration-eligible for the first time, made $445,000 in 2010. Bronson
Arroyo
, Jay Bruce, Johnny Cueto and Joey Votto have all inked
multi-year deals with the Reds this offseason. 

* The Cardinals signed veteran infielder Nick Punto
to a one-year contract. The 33-year-old switch-hitter will serve as a
utility infielder and an insurance policy at third base for David Freese.

* The Mariners reduced the signing bonus of Dominican shortstop Esteilon Peguero, from $2.9 million to $1.1 million, according to Baseball America.

– Alden Gonzalez

Damon to Rays Reported Close

According to Yahoo’s Tim Brown, via Twitter, the Rays are close to reaching a deal with veteran Johnny Damon, but the report goes on to say a lot of work needs to be done to finalize the deal.

Damon would seem to be an excellent fit for the Rays, who could use him in left field and at DH. In addition, he would provide leadership inside a young clubhouse.

–Bill Chastain

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