Results tagged ‘ Red Sox ’
The free-agent market will receive a boost when a large group of players from Cuba become eligible to sign with Major League clubs before the end of the year.
Outfielders Yoennis Cespedes, 26, and Jorge Soler, 19, along with right-handed pitcher Armando Rivero, 23, all participated in showcases last week in the Dominican Republic and highlight a list of Cuban players that could show up on big league rosters next season.
It’s uncertain when they will become free agents, because they are in the process of becoming eligible to play in the United States. What’s certain is that, for the third consecutive year, several players from Cuba are creating a buzz in the industry.
Cincinnati’s Aroldis Chapman is arguably the most recognizable name among the new crop of players from the island, and the Reds made a splash when they signed the hard-throwing left-hander to a six-year $30.25 million deal in January 2010. But Chapman is only a small part of a large group of the recently signed Cubans.
Three months after Chapman, infielder Adeiny Hechavarria signed a four-year, $10 million deal with the Blue Jays. Pitcher Yunesky Maya signed a four-year, $8 million deal with the Nationals that July.
Before the start of the 2009 season, Dayan Viciedo signed a four-year, $10 million deal with the White Sox, and shortstop Jose Iglesias signed a four-year, $8.25 million contract with the Red Sox near the end of the season.
Only Hechavarria, who finished last season at Triple-A for Toronto, has not appeared in the big leagues, but he appears on track to make his debut in 2012.
“The players are seeing the success their fellow countrymen are having, and they’re enticed to test themselves in this market,” said agent Bart Hernandez, who represents several Cuban players, including Martin, Hechavarria and Maya. “Players in Cuba are judging themselves right now and realizing they have comparable or equal skills to the guys signing, and they are deciding to take their chances.”
It’s too early to tell what type of contracts Cespedes, Soler and Rivero will command, but there’s no denying the interest by Major League clubs.
Cespedes, who is represented by agent Adam Katz, wowed scouts during his showcase in Santiago and is scheduled for a workout with the Marlins this week. According to Yahoo.com, Washington, Oakland, Cleveland, San Francisco, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh and the New York Yankees had representatives at Cespedes’ showcase.
Boston, Texas and Toronto are also reportedly interested in the five-tool outfielder who many believe is Major League-ready. Cespedes played for Cuba during the 2009 World Baseball Classic.
As for Soler, the 6-foot-4, 225-pound corner outfielder, showed off his power and speed in front of several scouts in a separate showcase with Rivero at the Yankees’ complex in Boca Chica. Rivero, who is 6-foot-3, features a slider, split-finger fastball, sinker and changeup in his repertoire. He reached 98 mph with his fastball in the showcase.
Outfielders Henry Urrutia, 24, Gerald Sanchez, 26, and left-handed pitcher Omar Luis, 19, all from Cuba, also took part in the showcase in Boca Chica.
“The talent has always been in Cuba, but obviously the political climate had an impact on the number of players playing in the Major Leagues,” Hernandez said. “Most of the Latin players in the Major Leagues used to be Cuban and teams used to send their players to Cuba for Winter League. The history is there and I think you are starting to see the future.”
– Jesse Sanchez
With the trade of infielder Mike Aviles to the Red Sox, the Royals have moved both of the third baseman that started the season as alternating regulars. Earlier, Wilson Betemet was dealt to the Tigers.
With less than 24 hours to go to the Trade Deadline, general manager Dayton Moore said he had no other deals pending. As he duly noted, something could pop up but apparently nothing more was in the Royals’ sights as the countdown headed for the final hours.
Rockies pitcher Ubaldo Jimenez has a club-friendly contract, some success under his belt and a nice fastball. That means the Rockies would require a lot to deal him.
The price has surfaced.
Word in the industry is the Rockies are requiring a high price from the Reds, with whom they’ve had talks. The Rockies require starting pitchers Travis Wood and Homer Bailey, plus one of two young stars — flame-throwing left-handed pitcher Aroldis Chapman or top catching prospect Devin Mesoraco, currently at Triple-A Louisville. The Rockies have made it known that they have no plans to lower their price.
Another name that has come up in talks between the teams is prized first base-outfield prospect Yonder Alonso, but the Reds called him up from Louisville on Tuesday after trading Jonny Gomes to the Nationals for two prospects, left-handed pitcher Chris Manno and outfielder-first baseman Bill Rhinehart.
The Denver Post reported that the Rockies have asked about Reds outfielder Chris Heisey.
In other news:
– The Red Sox and Yankees made inquires on Tuesday, mainly to stay updated on the situation. In addition, the New York Post and ESPN reported that the Blue Jays have expressed interest in Jimenez.
– Sports Illustrated and CSNNE.com each say the Red Sox have interest in backup outfielder Ryan Spilborghs, and the Boston Herald said the Red Sox have inquired about catcher Chris Iannetta and Jimenez, but not Spilborghs.
– The Rockies placed first baseman Jason Giambi on the 15-day disabled list Tuesday with a left quadriceps strain, which likely will mean he won’t be dealt before the Deadline. However, the Rockies could still deal him after the Deadline by having him pass through waivers. As long as Giambi is with his new team by Sept. 1, he will be eligible for the postseason roster.
– Thomas Harding
FOX Sports reported Saturday the Cubs are “open for business” but infielder Jeff Baker is not available. The Cubs have no intention of parting with Baker, 30, who was batting .304 this season. His versatility and the fact that he’s still under team control as an arbitration eligible player next season are key reasons the Cubs want to hold onto him. According to FOX Sports, the Red Sox and Indians showed interest Baker.
– Carrie Muskat
Veteran outfielder Mike Cameron was designated for assignment by the Red Sox on Thursday, a move that’s likely to result in Cameron being traded or released after 10 days. He could accept a Minor League assignment, but that’s not a likely scenario, considering his track record and the fact that he could bring something to the table for a contending team that could play him with some consistency.
“We have some time, by virtue of the designation method, to explore a trade for him,” general manager Theo Epstein said at Citizens Bank Park in Philadelphia, before the finale of a three-game series with the Phils. “That’s always a possibility. We’ve talked to him about how he might benefit from playing every day and trying to get on track a little bit. It’s a remote possibility, but there’s always the possibility that he could accept an outright assignment to the Minor Leagues and try to get on track that way. Everything is on the table. We’ll stay in touch and see what happens.”
Cameron, 38, is a free agent after the season and is owed about half the $7.25 million he’s making this year — a high salary for a team to take a gamble on, considering Cameron’s hit just .149 in 94 at-bats this year. The Sox, though, have already committed to eating Cameron’s salary if he ends up being released, so they’re likely prepared to eat most of the money in a trade, too.
Cameron hasn’t adjusted well to a bench role and wasn’t effective against even left-handed pitching this season, going 9-for-63 against southpaws (.143) when he’s historically hit them well. Still, there’s the possibility that regular at-bats could allow him to find his rhythm.
– Evan Drellich
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
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.