Results tagged ‘ White Sox ’
Masahiro Tanaka has captivated Hot Stove followers for much of the offseason, and now that the deadline for the Japanese free agent to choose a Major League team is fast approaching, Tanaka Watch is only intensifying. Several interested teams, including the D-backs, are waiting intently for his decision.
As MLB.com’s Doug Miller writes, Tuesday was another day with much speculation but little actual news, starting with an innocuous Tanaka tweet that quickly was misinterpreted.
Regardless of where Tanaka ends up, the long process will leave him with huge expectations and several disppointed suitors, as MLB.com columnist Phil Rogers writes. Tanaka also is a shining reminder of baseball’s international growth, according to columnist Mike Bauman.
In other news from around the league on Tuesday:
- The Indians have not taken part in an arbitration hearing since 1991, but as MLB.com Indians beat writer Jordan Bastian reports, the longest streak in the Majors seems likely to end this year. The club and All-Star righty Justin Masterson exchanged salary figures that stand nearly $4 million apart, a gap that could be too wide to cross without a hearing. Bastian also reports that the two sides remain far apart on a possible contract extension, with Masterson set for free agency after this season.
- Astros owner Jim Crane confirmed that his club, underdogs in the Tanaka sweepstakes, nonetheless has participated in the bidding.
- The White Sox have a Tanaka-or-bust mentality when it comes to adding to their rotation, reports beat writer Scott Merkin, who doesn’t believe the club will explore other free-agent options, such as Matt Garza or Ubaldo Jimenez.
- The Angels, on the other hand, have targeted Garza, as Alden Gonzalez writes in his latest inbox. Bronson Arroyo, Paul Maholm and Chris Capuano could be some of their other options as they try to bolster their rotation.
- Reds beat writer Mark Sheldon addresses several issues in his inbox, including a potential signing of Grady Sizemore and the status of Homer Bailey.
- The Phillies had a busy day, highlighted by signing Bobby Abreu to a Minor League deal. Abreu, a star with the club from 1998-2006, didn’t play in the Majors last season but parlayed a strong winter ball campaign in Venezuela into another chance. Philadelphia also avoided arbitration with lefty reliever Antonio Bastardo and signed veteran righty Chad Gaudin to a Minor League deal, getting a pitcher with the versatility to start or come out of the bullpen.
- As part of this notebook, Rangers beat writer T.R. Sullivan reports that the Rangers are “cautiously optimistic” that starters Matt Harrison and Colby Lewis, both on the comeback trail from injuries, will be 100 percent for Spring Training. Lewis is one candidate for the No. 5 starter job, in a race that also includes second-year righty Nick Tepesch.
- The Royals signed outfielder Justin Maxwell to a one-year contract, avoiding arbitration and leaving them with two unsigned arbitration-eligible players.
– Andrew Simon
The pursuit for Japan’s Masahiro Tanaka has reportedly reached U.S. soil.
Multiple international outlets have reported the sought-after righty arrived in America on Wednesday to begin taking meetings with a number of MLB clubs who hope to sign him.
CBS Sports’ Jon Heyman reports Tanaka could see approximately 12 teams by Friday in the L.A. area, with the Dodgers, Angels, Cubs, White Sox, Yankees and D-backs among those most interested. Heyman also reports Tanaka is scheduled to see an L.A. area doctor, who could provide a medical update to the interested teams.
Tanaka, 25, had a 2.30 ERA in seven seasons in Japan — including 24-0 and 1.27 last year — and is expected to fetch a contract in the $100M range. He was posted by the Rakuten Golden Eagles in December and has until Jan. 24 to reach a deal. If he and agent Casey Close can’t work out an agreement, Tanaka will return to Japan to play next year.
Heyman reports there has also been interest from the Blue Jays, Mariners, Twins and Rangers, but says there has been no mention of any meetings between those parties.
– Joey Nowak
The Dodgers have transformed into the financial powerhouse of the West, and up the Pacific Coast, the Mariners have flexed their muscles this offseason. Both figure to be serious players in the bidding for coveted Japanese right-hander Masahiro Tanaka, but could a couple of other clubs from the region also emerge as serious challengers?
The Angels will get involved, as MLB.com’s Alden Gonzalez writes, and they could use the rotation upgrade. But with long-term deals for the likes of Albert Pujols and Josh Hamilton already in place, another large contract could push them past the luxury-tax threshold before even considering a potential extension for Mike Trout.
The D-backs would love to add Tanaka as they seek to unseat the Dodgers in the National League West. They intend to be serious players for his services, writes MLB.com’s Steve Gilbert, but like with the Angels, such a deal could prove to be “a financial stretch” in Arizona.
In other news from around the league on Tuesday:
- Braves president John Schuerholz told Jim Bowden of Sirius/XM radio that his club is not a contender for Tanaka. Meanwhile, Tanaka will meet with the Cubs and White Sox this week, reports Luke Stuckmeyer of Comcast SportsNet. However, MLB.com’s Scott Merkin tweets that the Sox aren’t currently “major players” in the bidding.
- Phillies general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. discussed his team’s offseason, addressing potential interest in Tanaka and former closer Ryan Madson, as well as a recently signed television deal worth a reported $2.5 billion.
- The representatives for free-agent righty Ubaldo Jimenez are telling clubs that he expects a multiyear deal with an annual salary of at least $14 million, according to Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports and MLB Network.
- Reds righty Homer Bailey addressed his involvement in offseason trade rumors during an interview on MLB Network Radio on Sirius/XM.
- Tuesday’s Minor League signings brought catcher Ramon Hernandez to the Royals, infielder Robert Andino to the Pirates and outfielder Xavier Nady to the Padres.
– Andrew Simon
The Hot Stove tends to focus on what teams can add. But sometimes, a team’s best move could be to prevent one of its players from joining next offseason’s Hot Stove discussion.
The Tigers might be one of those clubs, writes MLB.com’s Jason Beck. While Detroit is no stranger to making significant trades or signings after Jan. 1, general manager Dave Dombrowski could choose to focus on a contract extension for reigning American League Cy Young Award winner Max Scherzer. It will take a sizable offer to lock up the right-hander for the long term, but that might prove preferable than letting Scherzer hit the open market next winter.
In other news from around the league on Thursday:
- After turning the calendar to 2014, MLB.com’s Doug Miller surveys the Hot Stove scene and takes stock of who remains available.
- Baseball America’s Ben Badler made a list of the 10 teams most likely to sign Japanese righty Masahiro Tanaka and put the Mariners at No. 1, followed by the Yankees and Dodgers. Wherever he goes, Tanaka is likely to taste plenty of success, writes our Mike Bauman.
- The Twins are “kicking tires” on another free-agent righty, Matt Garza, according to Darren Wolfson of 1500ESPN.com.
- The Phillies and Tigers are among at least six teams that have tried to trade for Yankees outfielder Brett Gardner this offseason, according to Peter Gammons of Gammonsdaily.com. However, Yankees GM Brian Cashman will only part with Gardner if he has to do so in order to acquire starting pitching, Gammons writes.
- The White Sox announced their one-year deal with free-agent left-handed reliever Scott Downs, who will make $4 million and have a club option for 2015.
- The Rays claimed left-handed reliever Pedro Figueroa off waivers from the A’s, according to Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports.
- The Mariners signed a trio of players to Minor League deals, including veteran reliever Ramon Ramirez.
– Andrew Simon
The White Sox are closing in on a deal with lefty reliever Scott Downs, the FOX Sports duo of Rosenthal-Morosi reported on Thursday.
Ken Rosenthal tweeted Thursday that the one-year deal is in the $4 million range with a vesting option that could bring it to somewhere in the neighborhood of two years, $8 miliion. He added that the option will vest if Downs pitches to around his normal workload. The deal is pending a physical.
Downs, 37, went 4-4 with a 2.49 ERA in 68 appearances between the Angels and Braves last season.
– Joey Nowak
The White Sox and D-backs quickly and quietly pulled off a trade Monday morning that sends closer Addison Reed to Arizona in exchange for third base prospect Matt Davidson.
Reed has amassed 69 saves in three seasons with the White Sox, spanning 136 career relief appearances. He’s held opponents to a .243 average with 42 walks and 138 strikeouts, and a 4.17 ERA. He was Chicago’s third-round pick in the 2010 Draft.
He notched 40 saves and 72 strikeouts over 68 relief appearances last year. The save total ranked fifth in the AL and was tied for fourth-most in franchise history.
Davidson was Arizona’s first-round pick in the 2009 Draft, and was ranked the D-backs’ No. 2 prospect, according to MLB.com. The 22-year-old hit .280 with 32 doubles, 17 home runs, 74 RBIs, 55 runs, a .350 on-base percentage and .481 slugging percentage in 115 games with Triple-A Reno this year. He was named the MVP of the Future’s Game, was named a PCL midseason All-Star and won the 2013 Triple-A Home Run Derby.
He also appeared in 31 games for the D-backs last season (18 starts at third base), hitting .237 with three homers and 12 RBIs.
“As a young, power-hitting third baseman, Matt has put up some impressive offensive numbers at every stop in the minor leagues, often as one of the youngest players at his level,” White Sox GM Rick Hahn said in a statement. “We view him as potentially a middle of the order, run-producing third baseman for a long time.”
– Joey Nowak
After Tuesday’s explosion of deals, the Hot Stove returned to a light simmer on Wednesday, but there still was plenty of news.
One of the most significant topics was the posting system that governs how Japanese players get from Nippon Professional Baseball to the Major Leagues. The two sides have been working on a new agreement throughout the offseason, which has been holding up the bidding for one of the winter’s hottest commodities, pitcher Masahiro Tanaka.
However, a deal appears to be near, with Japanese media outlet Sanspo reporting Wednesday that the NPB is expected to accept a proposal limiting posting fees to $20 million. Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports later added that if multiple teams submit the maximum bid, the player then could negotiate with all of those clubs.
Elsewhere on the international front, our Jesse Sanchez writes about the next wave of Cuban players set to follow recent signings such as Jose Abreu and Alexander Guerrero to the Majors. One of those players, slick-fielding 23-year-old shortstop Erisbel Arruebarruena, will audition for teams at a showcase this weekend at the Yankees’ facility in the Dominican Republic, according to Andy Martino of the New York Daily News. Martino writes that the Mets will be among those teams with scouts in attendance.
In other news from around the league:
- In the wake of the Yankees signing Jacoby Ellsbury and Brian McCann to contracts totalling $238 million, our Bryan Hoch looks at whether free agent Robinson Cano is still a fit in the Bronx. If Cano doesn’t return, the Yankees have an insurance policy in Kelly Johnson, with Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com and MLB Network reporting that the two sides have agreed on a one-year deal for about $3 million.
- One other team rumored to be pursuing Cano is the Mariners, but general manager Jack Zduriencik wouldn’t confirm that interest.
- Seattle also is among the teams that could enter the fray to acquire Rays ace left-hander David Price. That market soon will intensify, according to Passan, who names the Mariners, Dodgers, Angels, Pirates, Rangers, D-backs and Blue Jays as likely contenders. While Tampa Bay doesn’t need to trade Price, doing so now probably would earn it the best possible return, given that Price has two seasons left before free agency. Several baseball officials who talked to Passan named the Mariners as a frontrunner to land Price, perhaps by offering a package headlined by highly touted pitching prospect Taijuan Walker.
- Max Scherzer is another Cy Young Award winner who has been the subject of trade rumors this offseason, but Detroit could be ready to pursue a contract extension instead. Our Jason Beck also addresses whether the Tigers could make a run at free-agent outfielder Shin-Soo Choo.
- With Ellsbury gone, our Ian Browne discusses what the Red Sox will do to fill his spot in center field next season.
- The Mets are “deep in talks” with free-agent outfielder Curtis Granderson, reports our Anthony DiComo.
- Cubs pitcher Jeff Samardzija has been discussed as a trade target this offseason, but Theo Epstein said the right-hander likely will be in the team’s Opening Day rotation, with a long-term deal a possibility.
- The Cubs also agreed to a one-year deal with left-handed reliever Wesley Wright, who was non-tendered by the Rays on Monday.
- Paul Konerko has decided to return to the White Sox for one more season, filling a part-time role in his 16th year with the club. He will make $1.5 million, plus $1 million deferred until 2021.
- The Rockies are getting close to a two-year deal with free-agent first baseman Justin Morneau, who is expected to platoon with the right-handed Wilin Rosario. Morneau likely will get $12.5 million, plus a mutual option for 2016.
- The Reds might not be as likely to trade second baseman Brandon Phillips as was reported earlier in the offseason, especially in light of comments general manager Walt Jocketty made on Wednesday.
- With A.J. Pierzynski among the catchers who have gone off the board recently, the Rangers continue to look for a backup to pair with Geovany Soto. Kurt Suzuki is one candidate.
– Andrew Simon
Reports on Wednesday have the White Sox captain returning for 2014.
Ken Rosenthal reported Wednesday morning that veteran first baseman/designated hitter Paul Konerko will come back for the 2014 season. He’s a free agent and had considered retirement.
MLB.com’s Scott Merkin has confirmed the deal, and reports that it is for one year, and $2.5 million with a portion deferred. An announcement is expected sometime Wednesday morning.
The 37-year-old veteran struggled in 126 games last year, hitting .244 with 12 home runs and 54 RBIs. With Jose Abreu now in the mix, along with fellow veteran first baseman/DH Adam Dunn, it’s unclear how much action Konerko will see next year.
– Joey Nowak