Results tagged ‘ Rays ’

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

Angels linked to Manny, Vlad

The Angels, searching for offense, appear to be interested in both Manny Ramirez and Vladimir Guerrero as free agents, according to a report by Enrique Rojas of ESPNDeportes. Citing sources, Rojas reports that both players are closing in on deals. One source suggests Ramirez is likely to sign by the beginning of next week.

The Angels, Twins, Rangers, Rays and Blue Jays have shown some interest in Ramirez, but Minnesota is out after signing Jim Thome. The Angels, Rangers and Rays appear to be pursuing him most aggressively. Rojas hears that Ramirez is determined to redeem himself after a disappointing season, and money is not his primary concern.

Guerrero, according to a source, believes the Orioles have the inside track on signing him, but the Angels are another possibility. – Lyle Spencer

 

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: Once-injured pitchers draw interest

The offseason is rolling on and that means there are fewer options in the free agent pool, especially for starting pitching. The Tigers, though, agreed to a deal with veteran Brad Penny on Tuesday, highlighting a trend of interest in talented pitchers coming off injury years. 
The biggest example in this category, Brandon Webb, signed with the Rangers just after the holidays, but there’s still a group of players who have battled injury and are looking to prove they are finally healthy. 
One such player, Justin Duchscherer, is drawing attention from the Yankees, ESPN.com reported Tuesday, citing an unnamed baseball source. Duchscherer missed several months in 2010 following a left-hip operation, after missing all of 2009 while rehabbing from right elbow surgery.
Free agents Chris Young, who is reportedly drawing interest from the Mets is in a similar boat, having missed a large chunk of 2010 with right shoulder issues.
Outside of the continual hunt for starting pitching, here’s a look at Tuesday’s happenings from around the league: 
- All-Time saves leader Trevor Hoffman told MLB.com’s Barry Bloom that he is calling it a career after 18 seasons in the big leagues. Hoffman, who became a free agent again earlier this offseason, will return to the Padres to serve in an unnamed free agent role, according to Bloom. 
- The Rays are still working to complete their roster for next season. They are looking for help in the bullpen and at designated hitter, SI.com’s Jon Heyman tweeted on Tuesday. Heyman highlighted Brian Fuentes and Jon Rauch as possibilities for the closer role, while naming Vladimir Guerrero, Jim Thome and possibly Manny Ramirez as possibilities for the designated hitter slot.
- Monday’s reports that the Rangers were trying to lure Thome to Texas gained more steam Tuesday as Heyman tweeted that outside executives see Texas as a real possibility for the veteran. CBS Sports’ Danny Knobler confirmed on Twitter that the Rangers want Thome, but suggested the team is concerned he’d rather return to the Twins.
- The Angels avoided arbitration with Alberto Callaspo on Tuesday, inking him to a one-year deal. The third baseman’s deal is worth $2 million, according to the AP.
- The Mets have their eye on free agent pitcher Dave Bush, ESPN.com reported on Tuesday. The right-hander went 8-13 last season with the Brewers, but did complete 18 quality starts on the year.
 
The organization also reached agreement on a deal with left-handed reliever Taylor Tankersley, according to Dave Gershman of the MLBlog SPANdemonium and confirmed by MLB.com. The Mets have been seeking left-handed bullpen helps since losing Hisanori Takahashi and Pedro Feliciano in free agency. Tankersley, who will turn 28 in March, missed all of the 2009 Major League season with an elbow injury. After seeing limited action as a lefty specialist in 2010, he rejected a Minor League assignment and was granted free agency in October.
 
- In addition to making Carlos Gonzalez’s seven-year, $80 million deal official on Tuesday, the Rockies also agreed to terms with right-hander Claudio Vargas on Tuesday, according to MLB.com’s Thomas Harding. Vargas will likely compete for a job in the Rockies’ bullpen. 
– Bailey Stephens

Roundup: Trade winds blow Garza to Windy City

Now the starting-pitching market is really dry.

Teams still looking for quality, front-line starters (i.e., the Yankees) now have to get much more creative, because Matt Garza — seemingly the last big-name arm for the taking, if you buy into recent reports — appears headed to Chicago. The Rays dealt Garza, who was in his second year of arbitration and would receive a raise from his $3.35 million salary, to the Cubs in exchange for five Minor Leaguers on Friday.

Club officials haven’t confirmed the deal, but sources told MLB.com’s Carrie Muskat that the framework is in place for the Cubs to send 2010 Minor League Pitcher of the Year Chris Archer, 2010 Player of the Year Brandon Guyer (an outfielder), shortstop Hak-Ju Lee, catcher Robinson Chirinos and outfielder Sam Fuld.

The Cubs would also get two Minor Leaguers from the Rays, and according to the Daily Herald, one of those is outfielder Fernando Perez, who played in 107 Minor League games this past season.

The Rays had a surplus of starting pitchers — with David Price, Jeremy Hellickson, Wade Davis, Jeff Niemann and James Shields also in the fold — and could afford to deal one, though trading a guy like Garza always hurts. With Garza, the Cubs appear to be premier contenders in a stacked National League Central. He’ll be added to a rotation that includes Ryan Dempster, Carlos Zambrano, Randy Wells, Tom Gorzelanny and Carlos Silva.

Here’s more from around the league …

* When Adrian Beltre signed with the Rangers, closer Rafael Soriano instantly became the best free agent left in the open market. The question is: Where does he fit? FOXSports.com speculated that the Angels are the ideal fit, but added that the Rangers and White Sox — unless the price goes way down — are not going after the American League leader in saves. Other than that, not much seems to have materialized yet. 

* The Yankees, meanwhile, have been rumored to be interested in Soriano as a setup man, but ESPN.com’s Buster Olney reported via his Twitter account that as of Thursday night, the Yanks weren’t interested. The fact general manager Brian Cashman told the Journal News he isn’t willing to surrender any first-round Draft picks makes the signing of Soriano (a Type A free agent) seem even more unlikely. 

* Speaking of the Yankees, Andy Pettitte told The New York Post from his home that he’s still not sure whether he’ll retire or come back. “I’m just chilling out, hanging,” he told the newspaper. “I’m relaxing. If I had something, y’all would know. If I knew exactly what I was doing, y’all would know.” Pettitte continues to stress that the Yankees should move on and not worry about him, and the organization has said just that. But it sure does seem like they need him.

* All-time saves leader Trevor Hoffman is “leaning towards retiring,” Jon Heyman of SI.com and MLB Network reported via Twitter. The 43-year-old right-hander had a 5.89 ERA and 10 saves with the Brewers in 2010, giving him 601 saves for his probable Hall of Fame career.

* In other news, former Royals starter Brian Bannister will pitch in Japan this season; the Rangers designated right-hander Guillermo Moscoso for assignment; and longtime Twins executive Jerry Bell retired

– Alden Gonzalez

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