Results tagged ‘ Twins ’

Roundup: Pavano next chip to fall?

As the Brewers added an ace to their deck with the acquisition of Zack Greinke on an otherwise quiet Sunday, attention turned to the next top-tier pitcher on the market: free agent Carl Pavano.
While the Twins have been seen as the favorite to land Pavano this offseason, the addition of Greinke to the Brewers may have only increased that possibility, as FoxSports.com suggested on Sunday. 
Milwaukee was another team that had reportedly been in contention for Pavano’s services, but with their No. 1 starter taken care of, the Brewers are likely out of the fray.
The Nationals and Rangers, who had been seriously working to land Greinke, haven’t seriously pursued the 34-year-old starter, sources told Fox Sports.com.
Here’s a look at other moves from around the league: 
- Greinke’s disappearance from the trade market could have boosted interest in Marlins right-hander Ricky Nolasco, who is arbitration eligible this offseason and next, but the Marlins put the kibosh on that. Nolasco is near to signing a three-year extension worth $27 million, MLB.com’s Joe Frisaro reported Sunday night. The deal, which runs through 2012, is pending a physical.
- Guillermo Mota is returning to the Giants for a second season, ESPN Deportes reported. Mota, who won a World Series ring with San Francisco in 2010, did not receive a Major League deal, but will have an invite to big league Spring Training.
- ESPN Deportes reported that the Braves have signed 25-year-old southpaw Yohan Flande and invited him to Spring Training. Flande went 10-8 with a 4.38 ERA in 27 starts at Double-A for the Phillies last season. 
- The Blue Jays have signed catcher Ryan Budde to a Minor League deal, Jerry Crasnick of ESPN.com tweeted on Sunday. Budde, who has seen limited Major League action with the Angels over the last several years, owns a career average of .212.
- Right-hander Anthony Lerew has signed a one-year deal with the Softbank Hawks of Japan’s Pacific League according to the NPB tracker. Lerew struggled in six starts with the Royals last season. 
- The Yankees have given right-hander Luis Vizcaino a Minor League deal and an invite to big league camp, The Star-Ledger reported. Vizcaino, 36, has been out of pro ball since 2009, but pitched well this offseason in the Dominican Winter League.
- The Nationals had reached a deal with the Royals for Greinke, before the right-hander exercised his no-trade clause to veto the deal, a source confirmed to MLB.com’s Bill Ladson. No reason was given for Greinke’s decision, but the ace had previously expressed a desire to play for a title contending team.
– Bailey Stephens

Roundup: 1B locked up in Windy City

Day 3 of the Winter Meetings saw a couple of slugging first
basemen land in Chicago, as the White Sox resigned
their captain
, Paul Konerko, and the Cubs took
a chance on Carlos Pena
.

The Konerko deal was somewhat surprising, considering talks between the two
sides seemed to be on life support just a day ago. But even after signing Adam
Dunn
, Chicago was able to give Konerko a three-year, $37.5 million to form what looks like one of the best lineups in baseball for 2011.

With the Cubs, Pena is reunited with his old esteemed hitting coach, Rudy
Jaramillo
, and receives what super-agent Scott Boras referred to as
a “pillow contract” — because, as Boras said, it’s comfortable for both
sides. That deal is for one year and $10 million, as Pena will try to rebuild
his worth after hitting 28 homers but batting below .200 in 2010.

Here’s more from around the league on Wednesday …

* No more fooling around for the Yankees. They’re ready to make ballyhooed
free-agent starter Cliff Lee a
preliminary offer
of six years and between $140 and $150 million, MLB.com’s
Bryan Hoch confirmed. Will that be enough, considering reports of mystery teams
offering seven years?

* The Rangers met with Carl Crawford‘s agent, according to MLB.com’s T.R. Sullivan.

* Adrian Beltre is still open to signing with the Athletics, according
to Boras. Boras also said negotiations for his third-base client are moving
quickly, and that the Angels are a very possible suitor.  

* There had been several reports that the Red Sox would be interested in
trading for Mets outfielder Carlos Beltran. But Boras, who represents
him, says Beltran plans
to be a Met
in 2011. That’s significant, considering he has a no-trade clause.

* Five teams are seriously pursuing Zack Greinke while another three are
“on the periphery,” according to FOXSports.com. It still seems like
he’d be tough
to move
, however. The Royals are specific with what they want: pitching and
up-the-middle help.

* The Red Sox, according to CBS Sports, are zeroing in on Magglio Ordonez
to fill their outfield void, which would not be good news for Crawford. The Tigers are also checking.

* The Twins continue their
interest
in resigning Carl Pavano, but they have competition. The
Brewers, according to MLB.com’s Adam McCalvy, have
also met with Pavano
. The Nationals are another club known to have
interest. 

* In less-heralded one-year deals on Wednesday, the Mariners signed
non-tendered designated hitter Jack Cust
; the Royals brought
in outfielder Jeff Francoeur
; the D-backs were reportedly on the verge of signing catcher Henry
Blanco
and veteran lefty Mike Hampton (Minor League deal); the
Braves acquired non-tendered lefty reliever George Sherrill; and the Dodgers were close to bringing back Russell Martin
 

– Alden Gonzalez 

Twins, Orioles talking Hardy

As MLB.com reported yesterday, the Orioles are still in the
market for a shortstop after the Jason Bartlett deal fell through. J.J. Hardy
remains an option, as does Brendan Ryan and Cesar Izturis. 

The Baltimore
Sun reported Wednesday afternoon that the Orioles are engaged in “serious talks” to acquire Hardy,
and while the two sides are definitely discussing their options, the Twins
might chose to wait until they can reach an agreement with Japanese infielder
Tsuyoshi Nishioka.

The Twins could move Hardy if they feel confident a deal with Nishioka will get done. The two clubs have talked about a Hardy trade before, and the Orioles are aggressively pursuing an upgrade at shortstop.

–Brittany Ghiroli

Rays Reported to Be Among Those Interested in Harden

Fox Sports is reporting that the Rays are among seven clubs interested in right-hander Rich Harden.

Harden, 29, had a 5.58 ERA for Texas in 2010, but he has a 3.63 career ERA. According to the report, several teams are interested in Harden as a starter while others believe he can become an effective reliever.

Given the fact the Rays have six solid starters, they are likely interested in him as a reliever.

The other teams identified as being interested in Harden are the Yankees, Twins, Diamondbacks, Brewers, Mariners, and Rockies.

–Bill Chastain

Twins scheduled to meet with Nishioka’s agent

The Twins
were scheduled to meet on Monday with Rick Thurman, the agent from the Beverly Hills Sports Council for Japanese
infielder Tsuyoshi Nishioka.

The Twins have been in contact with
Thurman since it was announced they had posted the winning bid for
Nishioka’s exclusive negotiating rights on Nov. 26. Twins general
manager Bill Smith said last week that the two sides would likely talk
again this week as they try to make progress on a deal. The club has
until Dec. 26 to work out a contract with the switch-hitting infielder or
they will have their approximately $5 million posting fee given back to
them from the Chiba Lotte Marines.

Indications are that Nishioka, the reigning Japanese Pacific League batting champion, is seeking a three-year
deal. So far the expectation has been that the Twins will get a deal
worked out with Nishioka before the Dec. 26 deadline. But the club could
try to get something done well before that date if they are serious
about trading shortstop J.J. Hardy in the near future. A number of teams
are reportedly interested in Hardy, but it seems unlikely that the club
would move the shortstop before they are certain that they’ll get a
deal done with Nishioka.

– Kelly Thesier

List of inquiring minds about Greinke growing

Bob Elliott, the distinguished Toronto Sun columnist, has added to the Zack Greinke rumor fuel by saying the Blue Jays had inquired about the Royals’ right-hander a month or so ago. Boxer Bob adds that other teams who have inquired include the Twins, Rangers, Braves, Reds, Mariners and Nationals. We’re guessing that there are several more on the “inquired” list.

Inquiring and putting proposals on the table are two entirely different things and there’s been no indication that Kansas City is seriously considering any offer right now.

The report that the Royals won’t trade Greinke within the AL Central just isn’t true. They’d rather not, of course. As GM Dayton Moore put it the other day: “If you get the type of deal that’s necessary to improve your team, you don’t worry a whole lot about that. I don’t say you don’t consider it because you do. Everything being equal, you’d love to get him out of the division and out of the league.”

But if the Twins bundle up a rich package laden with top prospects and it’s the right deal, those who know Moore know that the in-division factor won’t stop him.

–Dick Kaegel.

Soriano reportedly on Angels’ radar

The Angels apparently have let bygones be bygones and are meeting with agent Scott Boras, who numbers among his stable of clients Adrian Beltre, Rafael Soriano and Jayson Werth. Boras and the club reportedly had a falling out over the Mark Teixeira negotiations two winters ago, but the agent said he has met with general manager Tony Reagins and other club officials this winter, according to ESPNLos Angeles.com

Reagins confirmed that there have been discussions in the report by Mark Saxon, who suggests that Soriano is the Angels’ top target among the Boras clients to fill the void left by the trade of closer Brian Fuentes to the Twins. The Angels’ primary target continues to be outfielder Carl Crawford, but they could expand their payroll to add Soriano as well. — Lyle Spencer

Roundup: Dodgers swipe Uribe from division rivals

With one week remaining until the start of the usually-hectic Winter Meetings in Lake Buena Vista, Fla., the busy Dodgers made another move, agreeing to terms with Juan Uribe on a three-year deal reportedly worth about $21 million.

With Uribe, the Dodgers swipe a big piece of the Giants’ World Series championship run away from their division rivals and add a much-needed right-handed power bat to the middle of the lineup. Uribe played 103 games at shortstop, 26 at third base and 24 at second while batting .248 with 24 homers and 85 RBIs in 2010 (not including a postseason run that saw him drive in nine runs in 14 games).

In Los Angeles, he figures to start at second base, which will likely lead to the non-tendering of Trade Deadline acquisition Ryan Theriot. Despite dealing with instability up top, the Dodgers had already locked up their rotation by re-signing Ted Lilly and acquiring Jon Garland

Here’s more from around the league …

* The Rangers signed catcher Yorvit Torrealba to a two-year
contract. Torrealba, a 10-year veteran who played in 95 games for the
Padres in 2010 — batting .271 with seven homers and 37 RBIs while
starting 89 games — fills a void left by Bengie Molina (likely retired) and Matt Treanor (free agent). The deal, according to MLB.com’s T.R. Sullivan, is worth $6.25 million.  

* They also avoided an arbitration hearing with Mark Lowe and agreed on a one-year contract. The deal is worth $1.2 million, plus another $100,000 in incentives.

* A source told ESPNNY.com the Yankees believe Derek Jeter and his agent, Casey Close, need to “drink the reality potion.” The unnamed source told the Web site the Yankees are still not budging from their three-year, $45 million offer, and Jeter still seeks a longer contract between $23 million and $25 million per season. Talks between the two sides did not take place during the holiday weekend and none are currently scheduled, ESPNNY.com added.

* While the Jeter negotiations appear heated, ESPNNY.com added that talks between the Yankees and Mariano Rivera are “progressing much smoother.” Rivera will likely receive a bump from his 2010 salary, probably in the $16-17 million range, but the question remains whether he gets one or two years.

* Free-agent first baseman/outfielder/designated hitter Lance Berkman was originally disappointed the Astros didn’t want him back, but the Texas product told The Houston Chronicle “there’s been a lot of interest” in his services. Berkman specifically named the Cardinals, Cubs, Rockies, Athletics, Pirates and Blue Jays as teams who have been in touch, but added he hasn’t received a formal offer yet. Berkman has said he’d prefer to play in the National League, adding that he’s still capable of serving as an outfielder and first baseman.

* The Astros have talked about the possibility of an extension with right-hander Wandy Rodriguez, general manager Ed Wade told The Houston Chronicle. Rodriguez hits free agency after the 2011 season.    

* The Mets will do their due diligence in shopping shortstop Jose Reyes this winter, but considering his value has never been lower, it would be shocking if they actually went ahead and traded him, MLB.com’s Anthony DiComo writes.

* The Twins have until late December to agree on a contract with Japanese middle infielder Tsuyoshi Nishioka, who sounds like someone excited to play in Minnesota. In quotes passed along by The Minneapolis Star Tribune, Nishioka told the Japanese press he has no preference between shortstop and second base and said, “I don’t think that I will give up the idea of going to the Majors because of the amount of money.”

“Minnesota Twins has been contending to the playoff every year,” he added. “To play for the good team is one of my wishes. I am happy that I could advance one step forward.” The Twins won their exclusive-negotiating for Nishioka on Friday and could use him to fill their middle-infield needs.

– Alden Gonzalez 

Twins win bidding for Nishioka

The Twins have been identified as the team submitting the high bid for Japanese shortstop Tsuyoshi Nishioka, who had been posted by the Chiba Lotte Marines according to rules between MLB and Nippon Professional Baseball.

Minnesota thus has a 30-day exclusive negotiating window to try to sign the 26-year-old shortstop, who won the 2010 batting title in the Pacific League with his .346 average.

Marlins reportedly seek starting pitching

Marlins owner Jeffrey Loria vowed yesterday that, despite acquiring four new relievers in less than a week, he was still not done upgrading the bullpen. But according to ESPN.com, it’s starting pitching the Marlins seek now.

The Web site stated that the club is targeting a starter with the money saved from not signing Dan Uggla to a long-term contract, and listed Javier Vazquez and Carl Pavano as the two pitchers atop their wish list. ESPN.com wrote that even after signing John Buck to a three-year, $18 million deal, the Marlins have between $10 million and $11 million to spend. But FOXSports.com heard recently that the Marlins have only between $3 million and $4 million left.

With Pavano’s estimated price tag, Vazquez seems like the likelier choice. He’s coming off a real down year with the Yankees — meaning he won’t get anything close to the $11.5 million he made in 2010 — and his agent, Sam Levinson, is the same person who represents Buck.

The Marlins have expressed interest in Pavano, but he reportedly seeks a contract similar to the one Ted Lilly got with the Dodgers (three years, $33 million). That’s probably too much for the Marlins.

Loria, for what it’s worth, didn’t sound like a man interested in acquiring starting pitching help when asked about it Wednesday …

“I’m very happy with the starting pitching,” he said. “Like all ballclubs, if we stay healthy, we’re as competitive as anybody.”

– Alden Gonzalez  

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