Results tagged ‘ Ricky Nolasco ’

Angels lose Jason Vargas to Royals …

The Angels’ hopes of resigning free-agent starting pitcher Jason Vargas were squashed on Thursday, when the Royals announced they have signed the veteran left-hander to a four-year contract.

The average annual value of Vargas’ new deal, a reported $32 million, is $8 million. The Angels were willing to give him that much, but they weren’t willing to go four years (it would’ve been hard for them to even give him a third year).

And so, the Angels still have at least two holes to fill in their rotation.

Jered Weaver, C.J. Wilson and Garrett Richards are returning, Tommy Hanson is likely to get non-tendered in December and Joe Blanton — if not released this offseason — will not go into the season as a guaranteed member of the rotation. General manager Jerry Dipoto did not tender the $14.1 million qualifying offer to Vargas because he was almost certain Vargas would accept it, and by accepting it the Angels would already be dangerously close to the luxury tax threshold of $189 million.

Vargas was acquired in a one-for-one deal with the Mariners that sent Kendrys Morales to Seattle last December. In his first year in Southern California, where he grew up and briefly attended Long Beach State University, Vargas went 9-8 with a 4.02 ERA in 150 innings in a season that saw him miss two months with a blood clot.

The Angels are expected to use the trade market to bolster a rotation that ranked 11th in the American League in ERA last season, but they may also turn to other free agents to fill Vargas’ void. And while they aren’t expected to go after the likes of Ubaldo Jimenez, Ricky Nolasco or Ervin Santana, names like Phil Hughes, Dan Haren, Bronson Arroyo, etc., etc., could be enticing.

Alden Gonzalez

Padres not in on Nolasco

A report circulated Friday that the Padres were one of the teams in pursuit of free agent pitcher Ricky Nolasco.

That’s not true, a source said Friday.

Nolasco is expected to command a multi-year deal, perhaps as great as four years in length. That, of course, would carry a pretty steep price tag as well.

The Padres, who would like to add a starting pitcher, won’t go that far on a deal. And pitching isn’t their top priority of the winter.

The first priority for the team remains finding a left-handed hitter to help them remedy their woeful offensive output against right-handed pitchers in 2013.

That could likely come through a trade, though free agents David Murphy and Nate McLouth are names the team might be considering.

– Corey Brock

11/14 Roundup

Although the General Managers Meetings in Orlando, Fla., finished on Wednesday, the baseball world remained plenty busy on Thursday.

The Tigers’ Miguel Cabrera’ and the Pirates’ Andrew McCutchen were named the American and National League Most Valuable Players, respectively. The owners gave unanimous approval for funding an expanded instant replay system at their quarterly meeting, another key step on the way toward implementing it for the 2014 season. And Rob Manfred, Major League Baseball’s chief operating officer, revealed that MLB and Japan’s Nippon Professional Baseball have hit a snag in their negotiations over the posting-fee system, casting doubt on whether highly touted right-hander Masahiro Tanaka will become available to MLB teams this offseason.

Even with the meetings over, rumors continued to circulate, with Jeff Passan of Yahoo! Sports reporting that free-agent right-hander Ricky Nolasco already has received multiple four-year offers, in the neighborhood of $52-60 million. In other news from around the league:

AL East

  • With rumors flying about whether the Rays will trade ace left-hander David Price, our Bill Chastain examines the pros and cons of such a deal, which would be nothing new for the Rays. The club previously has gotten strong returns for pitchers Matt Garza and James Shields.
  • Jake Peavy’s championship-winning stay in Boston could be short-lived, with our Phil Rogers writing that the Red Sox could look to deal the veteran right-hander. He speculates that the Angels could be one of several clubs to have interest in Peavy.
  • Speaking of players leaving Boston, ESPN Boston’s Gordon Edes reports that shortstop Stephen Drew will not return to the Red Sox, who aren’t likely to match other teams’ multiyear offers.
  • Blue Jays general manager Alex Anthopoulos might have his work cut out for him as he tries to improve his club while staying within Toronto’s budget this offseason.
  • The Orioles might be considering trading catcher Matt Wieters and closer Jim Johnson, according to Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports and MLB Network.
  • Derek Jeter said he feels healthy and is “100 percent” sure he will be the Yankees’ everyday shortstop this season.

AL Central

  • Our Rhett Bollinger addresses some Twins issues, including Joe Mauer’s move to first base and the club’s interest in A.J. Pierzynski.
  • The Royals believe they need to add only one starting pitcher this offseason, writes Bob Dutton of The Kansas City Star. That could mean re-signing Ervin Santana or replacing him.

AL West

  • The Rangers agreed to a one-year contract with versatile infielder Adam Rosales, who was eligible for arbitration.
  • Free-agent outfielder and Houston native Chris Young tells our Brian McTaggart that he would like to play for the Astros.

NL East

  • The Marlins are looking to build around their young core, including Giancarlo Stanton and Jose Fernandez, rather than continuing to deal away pieces. On the other hand, Rosenthal tweeted that Miami is listening to offers for first baseman Logan Morrison.
  • Veteran right-hander Alfredo Aceves “appears to be a good possibility” to sign with the Mets, reports ESPN’s Buster Olney.
  • Free-agent catcher Carlos Ruiz has been drawing plenty of interest this offseason, but our Todd Zolecki says he still could be a fit in Philadelphia.

NL Central

  • The Brewers have a hole to fill at first base, and while they could look to sign a free agent like James Loney or Justin Morneau or trade for someone like the Mets’ Ike Davis, another appealing option is to bring back Corey Hart. The veteran missed all of last season while recovering from knee surgery and is a free agent.
  • Speedy Reds prospect Billy Hamilton is playing winter ball in Puerto Rico and could get a chance to be the club’s center fielder if free agent Shin-Soo Choo signs elsewhere.

NL West

  • Dodgers club president Stan Kasten isn’t ruling out anything but said he doesn’t expect to make any splashy moves this offseason that would add significantly to the team’s already large payroll.
  • As the Rockies seek a replacement for retired first baseman Todd Helton, sources have told The Denver Post’s Troy Renck that they are interested in free agents Mike Napoli and James Loney.

– Andrew Simon

How would Carlos Beltran look in purple pinstripes?

Open-market musings:

How would Carlos Beltran look in right field for the Rockies?

The club is weighing various options in free agency, with a big bat being one of the priorities. While trads are an option, the Rockies are more likely to go the free agency route. That’s what they did two years ago when they signed Michael Cuddyer, who paid off for them by winning the National League batting title this year.

Don’t be surprised if the Rockies don’t at least seriously consider making a run at Beltran, who made his first World Series appearance this year while with the Cardinals. He’ll be 37 to start next season, but was quite productive in 2013 — .296, .339 OPB, .491 SLG. Those aren’t far from the numbers over his career. With a team that includes Carlos Gonzalez, Troy Tulowitzki and Cuddyer, it could be a fit. He could come in at two years and $30 million, as the MLB Trade Rumors Web site predicts. The Rockies had interest in him in the past.

Of course, there are many was for the Rockies to spend their money on a slugger, who can fit in at either first base or right field with Cuddyer playing the other position. Nelson Cruz, who is expected to turn down the Rangers’ qualifying offer and test the market, Justin Morneau, Marlon Byrd, James Loney (.338, nine home runs, 54 RBIs, .957 OPS in 55 games at Coors Field) and Corey Hart also could fit the bill. Brian McCann can catch and play first base, but at the top of his earning value in terms of money and years it’s doubtful the Rockies will be a serious competitor for his services.

The Rockies will attempt to bring in a pitching leader, and are expected to inquire about Tim Hudson — despite the fact the Braves, Royals, Indians and and Red Sox have already identified themselves as contenders — and Josh Johnson. The price figures to be high for Ricky Nolasco or Ervin Santana, as SI.com and others report, but the Rockies need a stalwart and can’t be counted out in those sweepstakes. Matt Garza, who could score big in free agency, and Jason Vargas also could be possibilities.

Also, add the name of righty reliever Jesse Crain to the list of publicly identified free-agency targets. The Denver Post has identified Brian Wilson, Grant Balfour, Joe Smith and Jose Veras as bullpen possibilities. ESPNNewYork.com reported the club is looking at LaTroy Hawkins.

The Rockies are also pursuing free-agent catcher Carlos Ruiz, although the Phillies are making a push to keep him. If the Rockies sign him, the intriguing situation is what becomes of catcher Wilin Rosario, a slugger who doesn’t have Ruiz’s experience or ability defensively.

– Thomas Harding

Dodgers “close” to landing Nolasco

A source told CBSSports.com’s Danny Knobler the Dodgers are “getting close” to acquiring right-hander Ricky Nolasco from the Marlins, a deal first reported by Ken Rosenthal of Foxsports.com.

Knobler reports the Dodgers would send three Minor Leaguers to Miami and also absorb the remaining money on Nolasco’s $11.5 salary this season.

Nolasco, 30, has been linked to nearly all National League West teams in the past few weeks. The right-hander is 5-8 with a 3.85 ERA in 18 starts this season.

If the deal goes down, Nolasco would fit in behind Clayton Kershaw, Zack Greinke and Hyun-Jin Ryu in the Dodgers rotation.

- Cash Kruth

Rockies pursue numerous pitching targets

Will the Rockies make a move for a proven starting pitcher at, before or after the non-waiver Trade Deadline on July 31?

Here’s what we’re hearing, according to those with knowledge of the possibilities:

The Rockies are not considered prime contenders for the Marlins’ Ricky Nolasco, but it’s not impossible that they’ll talk to the Marlins. Nolasco is in the final year of his three-year, $26.5 million deal. With many clubs around baseball, including National League West contenders the Giants and the D-backs, being mentioned as possible trading partners, the question is whether the asking price will be too high in terms of prospects or Major League-ready players.

Another possibility is the Brewers’ Yovani Gallardo, who is 6-7 with a 4.20 ERA, but in his last four starts is 2-1, 1.08. His last one was a clunker (eight hits and five runs, three earned, in four innings of a loss to the Cubs). Gallardo’s usually impressive stuff was so ordinary at the start of the year — he faced Colorado on Opening Day — that Rockies scouts are going to have to be convinced if the team is to pursue him seriously.

A sleeper team in the mix is the White Sox, who are willing to deal pretty much everyone but left-hander Chris Sale and slugger Paul Konerko. Expect the Rockies to pay attention to lefty John Danks, who had season-ending left shoulder surgery last August and has returned to make seven starts (1-5, 4.68 ERA). His last start was a good one – three runs, one earned, in 7 1/3 innings of a start against the Mets on Wednesday. Danks struck out seven, gave up seven hits, and didn’t walk anyone.

The Denver Post also includes Cubs starter Matt Garza among those the Rockies are “aggressively scouting,” and are taking a look at reliever Kevin Gregg. The Rockies have pursued Gregg as a setup man in the past.

Don’t forget, however, that the Rockies are always looking for bullpen help, and are taking a look at White Sox righty Jesse Crain, who is 2-2 with a 0.52 ERA in 36 appearances covering 34 2/3 innings. Back in 1999, Crain was Colorado’s high school player of the year at Fairview High in Boulder.

Thomas Harding

Is there still room on the Angels’ 2013 payroll?

The acquisition of Josh Hamilton was, in many ways, a two-for-one signing because it also allows general manager Jerry Dipoto to trade a suddenly-expendable player for another starting pitcher.

Question is: Can the Angels take on more payroll in the process?

Hamilton’s five-year, $125 million contract will pay him $17 million in 2013 ($15 million in salary, plus a $10 million signing bonus that’s dispersed evenly over the course of his five-year contract). That, in addition to arbitration projections and minimum contracts, puts the Angels’ 2013 payroll at roughly $159 million, which is about where they finished at last year.

Asked about expanding it further in case of adding a pricey arm, Angels president John Carpino basically said it would be considered on a case-by-case basis.

“Instead of putting [the payroll] at a place where it’s, ‘This is where we’re at,’ it’s, ‘What’s the opportunity cost of doing it?'” Carpino said at Hamilton’s Saturday news conference. “So, if something became available that’s an opportunity cost, it just comes down to wanting to win. But it also has to make sense fiscally.”

Teams are a lot more willing to give up a would-be free agent than a cost-controlled arm, of course.

That’s why, with R.A. Dickey off the board, names like Ricky Nolasco of the Marlins ($11.5 million in his walk year), Gavin Floyd of the White Sox ($9.5 million in his walk year) and Matt Garza of the Cubs (projected $10 million in his final arbitration year) seem to be the most feasible. Rick Porcello of the Tigers (projected $4.7 million in his second arbitration year) has also been mentioned.

Peter Bourjos, who’s still a year away from arbitration and will make about $500,000 in 2013, appeals to many teams. Kendrys Morales, Vernon Wells and — seemingly to a lesser extent — Mark Trumbo can also be made available.

The Angels’ preference would be to acquire a young, pre-arbitration starter who won’t add to the budget (Jeremy Hellickson and Matt Moore of the Rays comes to mind). But whether or not that situation presents itself remains to be seen.

– Alden Gonzalez

Keep an eye on Rockies pitching, Barmes discussions could occur today

As MLB.com reported last week and as the Denver Post reported last night, the Rockies’ wide-ranging search for an innings-eating starting pitcher, or two, includes standout free-agent right-hander Roy Oswalt (4-0, 2.25 ERA in five career starts at Coors Field).

The Post reported that the Rockies won’t trade for the Astros’ Wandy Rodriguez, who want quite a bit in return. But just about any young, accomplished starter is on the radar — the Marlins’ Ricky Nolasco and Anibal Sanchez, and the Rays’ Jeff Neimann and Wade Davis. All have been Rockies targets before. The Rockies are interested in their one-time No. 1 pitcher Jeff Francis and Kevin Millwood, who finished last season in purple pinstripes, as well as, according to the Post, Paul Maholm.

The Rockies are dangling left fielder Seth Smith in trade talks for either a pitcher or a second baseman, or both. That helps explain the pursuit of Grady Sizemore, who is recovering from right knee surgery but, according to his agent, will be ready to start Spring Training and to start the season.

If they don’t make a trade at the keystone position, they could look to the past and pursue Clint Barmes, who played for the Astros last season but had spent all is previous seasons with the Rockies. Barry Meister, Barmes’ agent, will arrive at the MLB General Managers meetings in Milwaukee today. Although there have been internal discussions about Barmes — who is attractive to the Rockies because he can move to shortstop if Troy Tulowitzki needs a break or is banged up — there had not been negotiations as of yesterday. Barmes is receiving interest at a shortstop and a second baseman, and is open to playing each spot.

Potential trade targets are the Braves’ Martin Prado and the Padres’ Orlando Hudson, with the Rockies already having had discussions with the Braves.

In the coming weeks, watch for the Rockies to seriously explore dealing right-handed reliever Huston Street, who is guaranteed $8 million next year. Rafael Betancourt ended up supplanting Street as closer late in the regular season.

– Thomas Harding

Yankees asked about Marlins’ Nolasco

The Yankees inquired about the Florida Marlins’ Ricky Nolasco, according to a tweet by Sports Illustrated’s Jon Heyman, but were told that the right-hander is not available. The Marlins are looking to hold on to their starting pitching in part to help build anticipation for the opening of their new stadium next year.

The Yankees would like to upgrade a starting rotation that has A.J. Burnett, Phil Hughes, Bartolo Colon and Freddy Garcia following ace CC Sabathia, if possible, and are also interested in left-handed relief help behind Boone Logan.

- Bryan Hoch

Upton a potential fit with the Marlins?

Though Diamondbacks general manager Kevin Towers cautioned that “he would be a tough guy to move,” he is at least looking into the possibility of trading young outfielder Justin Upton. With that regard, the Marlins could be a fit, writes The New York Post’s Joel Sherman.

Sherman said he heard from a few executives that the early favorites for Upton are the Marlins and Rays. The D-backs want to add to their bullpen, get some rotation arms and upgrade at first base. The Marlins, Sherman wrote, could offer up youngster Logan Morrison and No. 2 starter Ricky Nolasco. One executive told him that may be enough to get a deal done.

A source told MLB.com owner Jeffrey Loria had not heard anything regarding talks between the Marlins and D-backs about Upton. 

The Red Sox and Yankees may also get into the mix, Sherman added.

Upton, 23, is coming off batting .273 with 17 homers, 69 RBIs and 18 stolen bases. He is locked up through 2015 in an escalating contract that will have him make $4.25 million in 2011 and $6.75 million in 2012.

“You always seek out the information on what teams will do because you never know if, to get one player, a team will grossly overpay,” Towers was quoted as saying. 

– Alden Gonzalez

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