Results tagged ‘ Rod Barajas ’

Roundup: Jeter chapter closed, plenty others open

The focus of the hot stove season shifted away
from Derek Jeter
on Saturday, but not necessarily away from the Yankees.

Jeter and the Yankees finally came to terms — a move almost
universally expected — to the tune of a guaranteed three-year deal, worth $15
to $17 million per. The deal isn’t official until Jeter takes a physical, but the
hard part, the sometimes contentious negotiations, should be a thing of the
past.

Left atop the free agent market are Cliff Lee and Carl
Crawford
, and the former’s destination could be what determines the latter’s.

MLB.com’s Lyle Spencer wrote that the Angels are
actually pulling for the Yanks to land Lee
: If Texas, the other perceived
contender in the Lee sweepstakes, is able to re-sign Lee, that means the Angels
could be up against not only the Red Sox, but the Yankees in a bidding war for
Crawford. If the Yankees sign Lee, however, New York likely would be
hard-pressed to get seriously involved with Crawford as well.

Boston on Saturday grabbed headlines too when it took a
giant step toward a revamped lineup.

Adrian Gonzalez, the Padres’ first baseman who is a free
agent after the 2011 season, was flown into Boston on Saturday and passed a
physical. The Padres and Red Sox have a trade in place that would bring
Gonzalez to the Sox
, but that’s contingent on Gonzalez agreeing to a contract
extension. The reported deadline for the two sides to reach an agreement is 2
p.m. Sunday.

The Cardinals made noise late in the day by announcing the
signing of Lance Berkman
. The one-year, $8 million deal brings the 34-year-old
back to the National League Central, where he thrived for so long with Houston.

Another NL Central club, the Reds, might have reason to be
concerned that their slugger — and the league’s MVP — might not want to be
around for long. Joey Votto, who’s arbitration eligible, said on Saturday that
he’s just not sure where he’ll be
a few years down the road.

“When [Colorado's Troy Tulowitzki] signed that 10-year
contract, I was blown away,” Votto told MLB.com’s Mark Sheldon. “I
can’t imagine seeing myself 10 years from now saying I want to be here. It’s an
overwhelming thing to ask a young person like myself and say, ‘Here’s a lot of
money. Be happy with this over 10 years, deal with it.’”

The Dodgers have had a busy start to the offseason, locking
up Ted Lilly, Jon Garland and Hiroki Kuroda. They added Rod Barajas to the mix
on Saturday, signing the catcher to a one-year, $3.25 million deal.

– Evan Drellich

Roundup: Kaz Matsui off the market

The Major League hot stove remained torrid on Thursday, but offseason speculation was replaced on the front burners by other delights of the season: gastronomic ones like stuffing and sweet potatoes. Still, several negotiations continued to simmer on back burners on Thanksgiving, and one conversation reached a rolling boil.

Infielder Kazuo Matsui agreed to a contract with Japanese club Rakuten Eagles, according to The Associated Press. Matsui, most recently of the Colorado Rockies, likely concluded his Major League career after seven seasons. If, indeed, the 35-year-old’s career in the big leagues has concluded, he will finish with a .267 career average, 32 home runs and 102 stolen bases.


Elsewhere, the negotiations continued
between closer Mariano Rivera and the Yankees. Rivera would like a two-year contract worth $18 million per year, according to the New York Daily News. The Yankees, according to Daily News sources, would prefer to give the soon-to-be 41-year-old a one year deal.

The Red Sox have an opening at catcher, and FOXsports.com reports that the club may be pursuing Rod Barajas. Barajas became a free agent on Tuesday when the Dodgers declined to offer him arbitration. Barajas cranked 17 home runs last season, which he split between the Mets and Dodgers. He’s reached double-digits in home runs in each of the past three campaigns.

Left-handed reliever George Sherrill has a minuscule
chance of remaining with the Dodgers, reports the LA Times. Sherrill, who closed for the Orioles from 2008-09, had a disappointing 2010 season, but he still held left-handers to a .192 average.

–Sunil Joshi

(more…)

Marlins pursuing John Buck to fill catching void

The Marlins are in need of catching this winter, and they’ll be able to pick from a pretty deep pool of backstops in the open market if they choose to go that route. Based on reports, the catcher they covet most appears to be John Buck.

AOL FanHouse’s Ed Price tweeted Tuesday that the word from other clubs is that the Marlins are “working hard” to sign Buck. FOXSports.com’s Ken Rosenthal, meanwhile, stated that while Florida still isn’t particularly close on Buck, the club is “definitely interested.”

Buck made $2 million with the Blue Jays last season but is coming off a career year, one that saw him set all-time highs with a .281 batting average, .314 on-base percentage, 20 home runs and 66 RBIs. The 30-year-old also threw out 28 percent of would-be base-stealers in his seventh season, which ranked seventh among Major League catchers who qualified.

The Marlins began last season with a Ronny Paulino-John Baker platoon behind the plate. But Baker is coming off Tommy John surgery and won’t be ready for the start of the season, and Paulino was handed a 50-game suspension last year that he still hasn’t completely served.

Besides Buck, the Marlins have a few other free-agent catchers to choose from, like A.J. Pierzynski, Rod Barajas, Gerald Laird and Bengie Molina (Victor Martinez would likely be outside their price range). 

– Alden Gonzalez

Yankees could be in the market for a catcher

NEW YORK — You can never really rule out any free agent with the Yankees, so even though Jorge Posada is coming back mostly as a designated hitter next year to pave the way for a youngster like Jesus Montero, New York could still pursue a safety net in the open market.

General manager Brian Cashman volunteered that on Thursday, saying he “wouldn’t even close the door on looking out in the marketplace to see if I can secure somebody else out there as a cushion.”

Posada, 39 and coming off knee surgery, will spend most of, if not all of his time at DH in 2011, so it’ll come down to prospects Montero and Austin Romine, as well as backup Francisco Cervelli. Free-agent catching options include A.J. Pierzynski, Rod Barajas, John Buck, Gerald Laird, Matt Treanor and a host of others (you can probably rule the top prize, Victor Martinez, out of the equation, though). 

“We’re certainly not handing a job to anybody,” Cashman said. “We have some serious young, good catching coming. They have to earn it, though. They have to earn it for the next level. No one’s going to be handing anything to anybody.”

Alden Gonzalez

Buck could be Plan B for Red Sox behind the plate

In case the Red Sox can’t resign Victor Martinez — and they’ll certainly give that a concerted effort — one potential option is free-agent catcher John Buck. And according to ESPNBoston.com, the Red Sox are “expected to be aggressive in their pursuit” of Buck if Martinez isn’t a possibility.

The Web site named the Tigers, Orioles and Rangers as teams that would go after Martinez. The free-agent pool of catchers is actually pretty deep this year, with Rod Barajas, Ramon Hernandez, Gerald Laird and A.J. Pierzynski among those also in the mix.

If Boston can’t resign Martinez, Jason Varitek would of course have a strong chance of returning also. And there are some who believe perhaps Jarrod Saltalamacchia should be given an opportunity to take the full-time reigns behind the plate. But Buck would be the safer — though more expensive — choice.

After signing a $2 million contract with the Blue Jays last offseason, Buck had a breakout year in 2010, one that saw him set career-highs in batting average (.281), home runs (20) and RBIs (66) while throwing out 28 percent of baserunners (third-highest among AL catchers who qualified).

Alden Gonzalez

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