Results tagged ‘ Twins ’

Rox, Cuddyer reach three-year, $31.5 million agreement

The Rockies are putting the final touches on a three-year signing of outfielder Michael Cuddyer to a three-year, $31.5 million contract, a Major League source confirmed to MLB.com on Friday morning.

The right-handed hitting Cuddyer, 32, hit .284 with 20 home runs and 70 RBIs for the Twins last season. He has hit at least 20 homers three times in his career, including a career-high 32 in 2009. In 1,139 career games, all with the Twins, Cuddyer is a .272 hitter with 141 homers and 580 RBIs.

Cuddyer figures to fit in the lineup in left field, but also could move to first base on days Todd Helton is not in the lineup. The Rockies could use him in the No. 5 spot behind shortstop Troy Tulowitzki, or at No. 6 if the Rockies want the left-handed hitting Todd Helton to continue to bat behind Tulowitzki.

The Rockies also were looking to re-make the flavor of the clubhouse, after finishing 73-89 last season and not showing the toughness that had become a trademark of the club in recent seasons. The team has added a pair of veterans via free agency – catcher Ramon Hernandez for two years and $6.4 million, and Cuddyer.

The Rockies still aren’t likely to be done with building the 2012 roster. Left-handed hitting left fielder Seth Smith is the team’s main trading chip, who figures to be supplanted by Cuddyer, is the team’s main chip in attempts to deal to fill other holes. A key one is the need for a starting pitcher capable of 200 innings, with left-hander Jorge De La Rosa having to come back from Tommy John elbow surgery and out until sometime around June .

The Rockies rid themselves of $7 million in salary by dealing relief pitcher Huston Street to the Padres and further trimming the payroll of a projected $2.6 million when they sent arbitration-eligible third baseman Ian Stewart to the Cubs as part of a four-player trade, the Rockies achieved enough payroll relief to make an offer to an outfielder.

But signing Cuddyer means the Rockies will not be able to continue to pursue Hiroki Kuroda, a right-hander reportedly looking for a one-year deal in the $13 million range.

The Rockies began pursuing Cuddyer early in the free-agency period, but needed the market to fall into place. That occurred on Tuesday, when news surfaced that outfielder Josh Willingham moved toward accepting an offer from the Twins. The original thought Twins were not going to sign both players, but the Twins remained in the running.

According to reports, the Phillies and Mariners were still trying to sign Cuddyer as of Thursday.

– Thomas Harding

Rox talk to Cuddyer; Twins back in the mix

Negotiations continued Thursday between the Rockies and free-agent outfielder Michael Cuddyer. The Mariners, Phillies and a somewhat unexpected suitor, the Twins, are also in the mix. It’s not clear how quickly the Rockies or anyone else can come to an agreement.

Cuddyer has spent his entire Major League career with the Twins, who made him a three-year offer. It was believed that the Twins were no longer a possibility when outfielder Josh Willingham signed for three years and $21 million. But multiple reports said the Twins had not dropped out of the running.

The Rockies’ prime focus is Cuddyer. The team has expressed interest in six-time All-Star outfielder Carlos Beltran, but he is considered a longshot for the Rockies, mainly because of health concerns. Beltran has dealt with serious knee issues, including arthroscopic surgeries on both of them before the 2007 season and a further surgery on the right knee in 2010. The Mets had to be careful with his playing time early last season. Beltran put up strong numbers after being traded to the Giants for their lat-season run. However, the Giants have not signed him even though they have a need in the outfield.

Cody Ross remains a possibility to be signed to work in a tandem in left field with Seth Smith. If Cuddyer is signed, expect the Rockies to attempt to trade Smith to fill other holes.

– Thomas Harding

Cuddyer, Rox continue to talk

The Twitter universe says Michael Cuddyer will reach an agreement with the Rockies by the end of today. From what I’ve been told, the sides continue to negotiate but the end of today may not be feasible. Terms aren’t known, but it could be lucrative: Cuddyer was reported to have a three-year deal for around $25 million from the Twins on the table. I’m reading the Mariners and Reds also have approached Cuddyer.

If or when it does happen, don’t be surprised if left-handed hitting Seth Smith is dealt quickly. Such a deal would clear a crowded outfield, and it would be the best way for the Rockies to fill other holes, especially pitching. Whatever the Rockies cleared in trading pitcher Huston Street to the Padres and infielder Ian Stewart to the Cubs will be spent on Cuddyer, or another outfielder if the Rockies go in that direction (such as Carlos Beltran).

Smith ranks as the best hope for acquiring a pitcher capable of 200 innings to help the rotation along until Jorge De La Rosa completes his comeback from Tommy John left elbow surgery, which should be sometime around June. Lower-cost options such as Kevin Millwood, Jeff Francis or recently non-tendered Joe Saunders will come into play, also.

As for free-agent right-hander Hiroki Kuroda, the chances of such a signing are doubtful considering what the Rockies will spend on the outfielder.

– Thomas Harding

Rockies agree to acquire Slowey from Twins

DALLAS — The Rockies have agreed to acquire right-handed pitcher Kevin Slowey from the Twins for a player to be named.

Slowey, 27, is coming off a difficult 2011 in which he struggled a switch to the bullpen early, battled forearm and abdominal injuries, and finished the year 0-6 with a 6.67 ERA in 14 appearances, including eight starts.

Slowey went 13-6 with a 4.45 ERA in 30 games, 28 starts, in 2010.

– Thomas Harding

Twins sign SS Jamey Carroll

The Twins signed free agent shortstop Jamey Carroll to a two-year, $6.75 million contract in a deal that was formally announced on Wednesday. The contract carries a mutual option for 2014. Carroll was in Minneapolis on Tuesday to take his physical, which he passed.

This past season for the Dodgers Carroll batted .290 with a .359 on-base percentage and .347 slugging percentage in 146 games. He also stole 10 bases without getting caught.

Carroll, who can also play second base, third base and both corner outfield positions, is known for providing steady defense. It appears likely that he will be installed as Minnesota’s everyday shortstop.

– Mark Sheldon

Roundup: Rangers, Jays complete swap

For the second time in a week on Tuesday, the Blue Jays pulled the trigger on a trade involving catcher/infielder Mike Napoli. Napoli, acquired from the Angels along with Juan Rivera for Vernon Wells last Friday, is heading back west but this time to the Rangers.
In exchange for Napoli, the Rangers sent right-handed reliever Frank Francisco to Toronto. Francisco, 31, saved 25 games for the Rangers in 2009 and brings a solid resume to the back end of the Blue Jays’ bullpen.
Napoli, on the other hand, could serve in a variety of roles. He slots in as another possible backup catching option as well as provide insurance in case first baseman Mitch Moreland struggles and can take over some designated hitter at-bats. The 29-year-old Napoli also brings a healthy dose of power to the Rangers, having hit at least 20 home runs in each of the last three seasons. 
Tuesday’s swap dominated most of the Hot Stove action, but here’s a look at other news and notes from around the league:
 
- The Astros avoided a salary arbitration hearing with left-hander Wandy Rodriquez, signing the left-haned starter to a three-year, $34 million extension. The deal includes a one-year option that would hike the deal to $44.5 million.
- The Cubs added a familiar arm, agreeing to terms with Todd Wellemeyer on a one-year, non-guaranteed Minor League deal for $800,000, ESPNChicago.com reported. Working mostly as a starter, Wellemeyer went 3-5 with a 5.68 ERA last season for the Giants.
- Oakland avoided arbitration with left-hander Craig Breslow on Tuesday, agreeing to a one-year, $1.4 million deal, according to MLB.com’s Jane Lee. Breslow, the A’s last remaining arbitration-eligible player, earned a significant raise over his 2010 salary of $425,000. Breslow is also eligible for $25,000 in incentives based on the number of games he finishes, Lee reported.
 
 
- The Twins avoided arbitration with Kevin Slowey, agreeing to a one-year, $2.7 million deal, MLB.com’s Kelly Thesier reported. Slowey had filed at $3.1 million and the Twins had filed at $2.3 million, which puts the agreed-upon deal right at the midpoint of the two submissions.
Slowey posted a 4.45 ERA with 6.7 K/9 and 1.7 BB/9 in 155 2/3 innings last year. The 26-year-old has never posted a walk rate above 1.7 per nine or a strikeout rate above 6.7 per nine in four big league seasons.
 
 
- After an offseason of additions, the Brewers are still seeking another veteran bench presence, Fox Sports.com reported Tuesday. Mark Kotsay is one possibility for the role, according to the report. The 35-year-old hit .239 for the White Sox last season but owns a .312 career average as a pinch hitter.
- The Os agreed to a Minor League deal with reliever Clay Rapada on Tuesday, MLB.com’s Brittany Ghiroli reported. The deal, which would include an invite to Spring Training, gives the O’s a candidate for the situational lefty role in the pen.  The 29-year-old appeared in just 13 games last season for the Rangers, but was exceptionally tough on left-handed hitters (1-for-21).
– Bailey Stephens

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: Thome returns to Twins, helps get Pavano

We are now exactly one month away from pitchers and catchers reporting to Spring Training, but there is offseason work to be done. And several teams were busy on Friday.

The Twins made the most noise with one move, signing Jim Thome to a one-year, $3 million contract that includes performance incentives based on plate appearances. Now, not only do they have a productive, veteran lefty slugger — one who was critical for them while Justin Morneau went down for the final three months of the season — but they may have a nice recruiting chip.

Thome is back, but the Twins still want to resign right-handed starter Carl Pavano, who was big for the Twins rotation behind staff ace Francisco Liriano. Thome, of course, feels the same way. So on Friday, while addressing his own new contract, he said: “Trust me, when I get off the phone with you [reporters], I will definitely be recruiting him and be sending him some text messages.”

General manager Paul Smith said the Twins are continuing in their negotiations with Pavano’s representation and hope to get a decision one way or another next week. Bringing back Thome certaintly can’t hurt their chances.

Here’s more from around the league Friday…

* The Athletics beefed up a bullpen that was already brimming with talented young arms, signing righty Grant Balfour to a two-year deal
with a third-year club option. According to The Associated Press,
Balfour is guaranteed $3.75 million in 2011 and $4 million in 2012.

* The Royals helped their thin rotation, signing left-hander Jeff Francis to a one-year contract that’s worth $2 million and includes performance bonuses.

* The Nationals introduced first baseman Adam LaRoche at a Friday afternoon

news conference at Nationals Park. It came after the two sides agreed
to terms a two-year deal worth about $16 million last week.

* The Mets and Cardinals dished out a few interesting Minor League contracts. New York inked Willie Harris, who’s all but guaranteed to be the backup outfielder and get somewhere between 250 and 400 plate appearances. St. Louis, meanwhile, brought in right-handers Miguel Batista and Ian Snell.

– Alden Gonzalez   

Twins bring back Thome

The Twins have resigned Jim Thome to a one-year contract, the club announced Friday. The deal is worth $3 million plus performance bonuses based on plate appearances.

The 40-year-old lefty slugger batted .283 with a .412 on-base percentage and 25 homers in 108 games last year. Thanks in large part to Thome’s production, the Twins became the first team to clinch a division title, even though their biggest run producer, Justin Morneau, didn’t play past July 7 because of a concussion.

For his 20-year career, Thome is a five-time All-Star with a .278 batting average, 589 home runs and 2,216 hits.

– Alden Gonzalez, Kelly Thesier

Roundup: Webb to Texas

He’s not Cliff Lee, but he’s a late Christmas gift for the Rangers nonetheless.
Right-hander Brandon Webb and the Rangers have reached on a one-year, incentive-heavy deal, MLB.com’s T.R. Sullivan confirmed on Sunday.
Webb narrowed his choice to Texas and a National League Central mystery team according to an ESPN.com report from earlier the day. The Cubs and Nationals were thought to be in the running.
The Rangers hadn’t made their interest in the right-hander a secret after losing out on Cliff Lee. Among the NL Central teams, the Reds were likely the principal challenger to Texas, FoxSports.com reported.
Webb won the 2006 NL Cy Young but hasn’t pitched in a regular season game since 2009 because of injury. A successful stint on a one-year deal this season would allow him to re-establish his value and set himself up for a larger multiyear deal next year.
For Texas, Webb could fill a spot in a starting rotation that already includes C.J. Wilson, Colby Lewis and Tommy Hunter.
Here’s a look at some of the post-Christmas odds and ends from around the league on Sunday:
- While the Yankees had internal talks about adding Manny Ramirez earlier this offseason, they currently have no interest in signing him, ESPN’s Buster Olney tweeted on Sunday. With three starting outfielders and Jorge Posada set to serve as the designated hitter, there’s currently no place for Ramirez’s bat in the Bronx. 
- Japanese right-hander Hisashi Iwakuma has re-signed with the Rakuten Golden Eagles for next season, Jason Coskrey of the Japan Times tweeted on Sunday. Iwakuma seemingly doesn’t want to discuss a move to MLB any further until he qualifies for international free agency after the 2011 season, Coskrey added. Earlier this offseason, Iwakuma could not reach an agreement with the Athletics after Oakland won the right to negotiate with him.
- Free agent Carl Pavano will continue to hold out for a three-year deal, the Boston Globe reported on Sunday. The Twins, Rangers, Nats and Mariners are among the teams who continue to have interest, the paper reported with the stipulation that Seattle would have to free up some money first. Pavano could be nearing a decision as MLB.com’s Bill Ladson reported on Friday that he would decide after Christmas.
– Bailey Stephens
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