Results tagged ‘ White Sox ’

11/16 Cubs consider pitching options

Could Mark Buehrle switch to the North Side of Chicago? According to FOX Sports, the Cubs have had multiple discussions with Buehrle’s agent, Jeff Berry. The other teams interested in the left-hander include the White Sox, Marlins, Blue Jays, Royals, Angels, Nationals and Diamondbacks. Buehrle is 24-6 in 40 games (39 starts) his career against National League teams with a 3.32 ERA. And, against the NL Central, he’s 13-4 with a 3.28 ERA. Last season, he won 13 games for the fourth straight year, going 13-9 with a 3.59 ERA.

The Cubs do need pitching — a lack of depth was a problem last year. SI.com’s Jon Heyman reports the Cubs and Royals are talking to Scott Boras about pitcher Bruce Chen. The 34-year-old has never had a multi-year deal in his career. The left-hander was 12-8 with a 3.77 ERA last season with the Royals, and has pitched for the Braves, Phillies, Mets, Expos, Reds, Astros, Red Sox, Orioles and Rangers besides the Royals.

– Carrie Muskat

Rasmus could be on White Sox radar

According to a report from the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, trade talks between the White Sox and Cardinals centering on left-handed hitting outfielder Colby Rasmus have “accelerated” in recent days.

The report talked about right-handed starter Edwin Jackson, who will be a free agent after the 2011 season, or left-handed reliever Matt Thornton as potential St. Louis targets. Jackson could be moved without weakening the current rotation, as the White Sox are working with six quality starters, despite Philip Humber’s brief move to the bullpen.

Thornton agreed to a two-year, $12-million extension, with a 2014 club option, during Spring Training. The White Sox have three lefties in the bullpen, with Thornton, Chris Sale and Will Ohman, and were impressed with the work turned in by southpaw Hector Santiago during his short 2011 Major League stint. They already are loaded in the outfield, though, as shown by the lack of room to promote hot-hitting Dayan Viciedo from Triple-A Charlotte.

Adding a talent such as the 24-year-old Rasmus would not lessen the White Sox pursuit in a very winnable American League Central but also could help fortify their future base.

When asked for comment Sunday about the matter, general manager Ken Williams told MLB.com via e-mail he will be available to chat on Monday after Ozzie Guillen’s pregame press session. Jackson, who earned the win in Sunday’s 4-2 victory over the Indians, already had heard the rumor but took the trade rumblings in stride.

“My name is in trade rumors every year,” said Jackson, who has been traded four times. “It’s been like this for the last five years. It’s definitely nothing I worry about. I can’t control it. I just want to play wherever I’m wanted to play.”

The Cardinals know that even in a down year, Rasmus has significant value, and it’s difficult to envision them moving just to move him. His challenges in adjusting to the pressures of being the most hailed Cardinals prospect in ages are well-covered, but even so, he’s a young, high-ceiling, cost-controlled player at a premium position that has value.

Thus, while St. Louis is surely listening on Rasmus, actively shopping him is a separate question. And in any deal where Rasmus was moved, it’s hard to imagine the Cards wouldn’t get more than a rental starting pitcher. They would almost certainly need to get some kind of significant prospect or young, team-controlled player who could be a solution somewhere for a few years.

Still, Rasmus’ playing time has diminished as a result of his slump, and the Cardinals appear more and more comfortable with Jon Jay in center field. They also have Allen Craig on the mend from a knee injury, and though Craig is certainly not a center fielder, he would replenish the team’s outfield depth in the event of a move.

– Matthew Leach and Scott Merkin

Roundup: DH-types coming off the market?

The free-agent market has definitely thinned, now that less than one month remains before the start of Spring Training. But as of Friday, several big names remained in the veteran corner outfielder/designated hitter category.

That may change soon.

The Rays, an industry source told MLB.com’s Jesse Sanchez, are nearing a one-year deal with Johnny Damon and are also in the mix for his former Red Sox teammate, Manny Ramirez

But Tampa Bay may have some competition for Ramirez’s services, since sources told MLB.com’s T.R. Sullivan that the Rangers and Angels are also interested. Sullivan notes that it’s the Rangers and Rays that are the front-runners at this point, with the Angels seemingly lagging behind.  

Enrique Rojas of ESPNDeportes.com heard from sources that Vladimir Guerrero, like Ramirez and Damon, could also be close to signing, saying the Orioles and Angels have interest. The Rangers, Sullivan added, also haven’t closed the door on bringing back Guerrero.
The problem is the soon-to-be-36-year-old — coming off a season in which he batted .300
with 29 homers and 115 RBIs as Texas’ full-time DH — may still be
trying to land an everyday job.

Here’s more from around the league…

* The Red Sox were trying to reel in free-agent closer Rafael Soriano
on a lucrative one-year contract, according to Jon Heyman of SI.com and
MLB Network. If they would have succeeded in that, they could’ve dealt
current closer Jonathan Papelbon to the Athletics or White Sox. Boston also made Yankees closer Mariano Rivera an offer this offseason, so there’s seemingly concern in Beantown about Papelbon.

* When Prince Fielder hits free agency at the end of the 2011
season, the slugging first baseman expects to yield a contract of at least eight
years and for about $200 million, Heyman added.

* The Reds have been all about locking up their own players this
offseason, and they still may not be done. Regarding unsigned starter
Edinson Volquez, Reds general manager Walt Jocketty told the Cincinnati
Enquirer, “We’re looking at both — one-year and multi-year” deals.
Volquez, arbitration-eligible for the first time, made $445,000 in 2010. Bronson
Arroyo
, Jay Bruce, Johnny Cueto and Joey Votto have all inked
multi-year deals with the Reds this offseason. 

* The Cardinals signed veteran infielder Nick Punto
to a one-year contract. The 33-year-old switch-hitter will serve as a
utility infielder and an insurance policy at third base for David Freese.

* The Mariners reduced the signing bonus of Dominican shortstop Esteilon Peguero, from $2.9 million to $1.1 million, according to Baseball America.

– Alden Gonzalez

Roundup: Garza too pricey for Yanks

The free agent market may be thinning, but some teams are still very much in the hunt for pitching as Spring Training looms in the not-too-distant future.
The Yankees are one such team that remains in the market for quality pitching at this stage of the game, especially with the growing uncertainty surrounding Andy Pettitte’s status. The Yanks did have interest in the recently-traded Matt Garza, but that quickly became unlikely after general manager Brian Cashman learned how much the Rays wanted for Garza, the New York Daily News reported on an otherwise quiet Saturday. 
“We never got off the dime, but strong impressions were that it would be something that would cost us more because we are in the division, kind of like Roy Halladay,” Cashman told the Daily News. “We like Matt Garza and I had a conversation early in the winter and it was clear that what it would take would be more significant than I wanted to do.
Their desire for pitching won’t drive the Yanks to sign a Type-A free agent and give up their 2011 first round Draft pick, as reported by multiple media outlets over the weekend. While there have been conflicting reports about what that means for their pursuit of reliever Rafael Soriano, Cashman seemed firm in his decision.
“I would’ve given up the draft pick for Cliff Lee,” Cashman said to the Daily News. “But I’m going to retain our No. 1 pick for ourselves. Once Cliff Lee came off the board, I called Damon [Oppenheimer, the Yanks’ vice president for amateur scouting] and said, ‘You’re going to have your No. 1 pick, you’re in the hunt for a first-round pick.” 
Here’s a look at other news and notes from around the league on Sunday: 
- Left-hander Scott Schoeneweis still feels he can be successful in the Majors, the Boston Globe reported. Schoeneweis saw his performance on the field dip after the tragic death of his wife in 2009. The veteran, who was released by the Red Sox in May, believes he would be a fit somewhere as a situational lefty.
- The White Sox added some pitching depth on Sunday, agreeing to Minor League deals with Josh Kinney and Shane Lindsay, according to ESPN Chicago.com. Kinney, 32, has appeared in parts of three Major League seasons with the Cardinals, compiling a 4.56 ERA. Lindsay, an Australian-born hurler, has struggled with his control over the years.
- Last month, several teams were mentioned as having interest in reliever Brian Fuentes, including the Pirates. While the Bucs could be interested in adding another veteran reliever, Fuentes’s cost would likely be prohibitive at this point, the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review reported Sunday. 
– Bailey Stephens

Roundup: Trade winds blow Garza to Windy City

Now the starting-pitching market is really dry.

Teams still looking for quality, front-line starters (i.e., the Yankees) now have to get much more creative, because Matt Garza — seemingly the last big-name arm for the taking, if you buy into recent reports — appears headed to Chicago. The Rays dealt Garza, who was in his second year of arbitration and would receive a raise from his $3.35 million salary, to the Cubs in exchange for five Minor Leaguers on Friday.

Club officials haven’t confirmed the deal, but sources told MLB.com’s Carrie Muskat that the framework is in place for the Cubs to send 2010 Minor League Pitcher of the Year Chris Archer, 2010 Player of the Year Brandon Guyer (an outfielder), shortstop Hak-Ju Lee, catcher Robinson Chirinos and outfielder Sam Fuld.

The Cubs would also get two Minor Leaguers from the Rays, and according to the Daily Herald, one of those is outfielder Fernando Perez, who played in 107 Minor League games this past season.

The Rays had a surplus of starting pitchers — with David Price, Jeremy Hellickson, Wade Davis, Jeff Niemann and James Shields also in the fold — and could afford to deal one, though trading a guy like Garza always hurts. With Garza, the Cubs appear to be premier contenders in a stacked National League Central. He’ll be added to a rotation that includes Ryan Dempster, Carlos Zambrano, Randy Wells, Tom Gorzelanny and Carlos Silva.

Here’s more from around the league …

* When Adrian Beltre signed with the Rangers, closer Rafael Soriano instantly became the best free agent left in the open market. The question is: Where does he fit? FOXSports.com speculated that the Angels are the ideal fit, but added that the Rangers and White Sox — unless the price goes way down — are not going after the American League leader in saves. Other than that, not much seems to have materialized yet. 

* The Yankees, meanwhile, have been rumored to be interested in Soriano as a setup man, but ESPN.com’s Buster Olney reported via his Twitter account that as of Thursday night, the Yanks weren’t interested. The fact general manager Brian Cashman told the Journal News he isn’t willing to surrender any first-round Draft picks makes the signing of Soriano (a Type A free agent) seem even more unlikely. 

* Speaking of the Yankees, Andy Pettitte told The New York Post from his home that he’s still not sure whether he’ll retire or come back. “I’m just chilling out, hanging,” he told the newspaper. “I’m relaxing. If I had something, y’all would know. If I knew exactly what I was doing, y’all would know.” Pettitte continues to stress that the Yankees should move on and not worry about him, and the organization has said just that. But it sure does seem like they need him.

* All-time saves leader Trevor Hoffman is “leaning towards retiring,” Jon Heyman of SI.com and MLB Network reported via Twitter. The 43-year-old right-hander had a 5.89 ERA and 10 saves with the Brewers in 2010, giving him 601 saves for his probable Hall of Fame career.

* In other news, former Royals starter Brian Bannister will pitch in Japan this season; the Rangers designated right-hander Guillermo Moscoso for assignment; and longtime Twins executive Jerry Bell retired

– Alden Gonzalez

Roundup: Beltre starts new year’s Hot Stove

2011 is here and that means the free agent market will kick into high gear one last time heading into the final weeks before Spring Training. And if Sunday’s developments in the market of free agent Adrian Beltre are any indication, there is still plenty of sizzle left in the Hot Stove.
While the Rangers are still talking to Beltre, reports out of the Dominican Republic that the two sides had reached a deal are premature, FoxSports.com reported on Sunday.
A Dominican Web site, PioDeportes.com, reported Sunday that the free agent agreed to a six-year, $96 million deal with Texas.
The Rangers’ interest in Beltre isn’t new, but adding him could mean changing the role of third baseman Michael Young.
The Angels had been seen as the front-runner to add Beltre after reports emerged last week that Oakland had pulled out of the race. The Halos reportedly made an offer to Beltre in the neighborhood of five-years, $70 million.
Here’s a look at Sunday’s other news from around the league:
  • The Phillies haven’t started negotiating a multiyear deal with 2008 World Series MVP Cole Hamels, the Philadelphia Inquirer reported. Hamels’ current contract will expire after next season but he won’t be eligible for free agency until after the 2012 season.
  • After the Orioles added Derrek Lee, it became unlikely that they’d add another full time designated hitter, MASN.com reported on Sunday. With Lee and Luke Scott on the roster, there doesn’t seem to be a possible fit for a player like Vladimir Guerrero or Jim Thome.
  • The White Sox may be interested in adding Rafael Soriano to the back end of their bullpen, but a big offseason has likely left them without enough cash to add the right-hander, SI.com’s Jon Heyman reported on Twitter late Saturday night. 
– Bailey Stephens

12/16 Could Wood come back?

There are multiple reports that the Cubs are working on a deal
with free agent Kerry Wood which would bring him back to his original team. The White Sox reportedly offered the
right-hander a two-year contract, but then signed Jesse Crain. Wood had been rumored to be seeking a
two-year, $12 million deal, which would not appear to be a good fit for
the cost-conscious Cubs. GM Jim Hendry is well-versed in Wood’s medical
history — the right-hander has been on the disabled list 14 times in his career because
of his shoulder, elbow, back and blisters. Wood, 33,
isn’t going to strike out 20 in a game but was effective in short
relief with the Yankees last season, compiling a 0.69 ERA in 24 games
(two earned runs in 26 innings, 31 strikeouts). As a starter, he has a
career 71-55 record with a 3.69 ERA, and as a reliever, he’s 12-13 with
62 saves (including 34 with the Cubs in 2008) and a 3.45 ERA.

The
Cubs do want an experienced right-hander in the bullpen to compliment
lefty Sean Marshall, and Wood would welcome coming back to Wrigley
Field. He lives in Chicago year-round.

– Carrie Muskat

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 

Nothing imminent on Konerko

Craig Landis, the representative for free agent first baseman Paul Konerko, was not going to offer up much in regard to the specifics of talks with the White Sox when approached Tuesday by a group of Chicago reporters. In fact, Landis didn’t want to talk at all about Konerko’s situation in the lobby of the Walt Disney World Swan & Dolphin Resort.

Negotiations remain ongoing between the team and the camp of the White Sox captain, but Landis indicated no signing was imminent today during his very short conversation. Konerko has played the last 12 seasons for the White Sox, and bringing him back is the No. 1 priority for the team at Major League Baseball’s Winter Meetings, according to general manager Ken Williams.

Konerko, 34, is coming off one of the best seasons of a storied career, during which he set career-highs in on-base percentage (.393), slugging percentage (.584) and total bases (320). Konerko also hit .312 with 39 home runs, 30 doubles and 111 RBIs, while providing stellar defense at first base.

Adding Konerko, whose five-year, $60-million extension ended after the 2010 campaign, would give the White Sox a powerful one-two punch to merge with newly-signed Adam Dunn. Williams explained on Monday how he was willing to wait for Konerko’s decision, having made it clear Konerko was choice No. 1, but also didn’t want to wait too long to miss out on other potential first baseman if Konerko elected to play elsewhere.

–Scott Merkin

White Sox about to retain Konerko?

The White Sox are reportedly close to retaining their captain.

First baseman Paul Konerko, a free agent, and the club are nearing an agreement to keep him at first base and in “office,” according to SI.com’s Jon Heyman.
Signing Konerko to a new contract would continue Chicago GM Ken Williams’ extremely active and successful offseason — he has already reeled in free agent first baseman Adam Dunn and resigned one of the White Sox’s own — catcher A.J. Pierzynski.
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