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On Thursday our Royals blog, Royals Review, predicted that the team would sign outfielder Scott Podsednik. On Friday, general manager Dayton Moore has proven them right by signing Podsednik to a one-year deal.
Though Podsednik's on-base percentage could certainly be a little higher, his .304 batting average in 2009 was a major improvement over previous seasons, and he's still a base-stealing threat.
|2009 - Scott Podsednik||132||537||75||163||25||6||7||48||39||74||30||13||.304||.353||.412|
Royals Review, however, is not particularly impressed.
You can probably guess my reaction, although if we escape with only a one year commitment here, I'm happy. At this point, I'm more bummed for Mitch Maier than anything else. Consider it the scrub cycle: I root for these guys at the beginning, when they really need a break to have careers and truly cash in, and when they're at a point age wise when they might surprise a little. Podzilla was that guy six or seven years ago. Not now.
The Mariners are set to extend the contract of arguably the best defensive center fielder in baseball for another four years.
Franklin Gutierrez, who posted the best UZR/150 (27.1) in baseball last season, is set to sign a new contract that will give him $20.5 million over the next four seasons.
SB Nation's Lookout Landing will have more on the Gutierrez deal.
|2009 - Franklin Gutierrez||153||565||85||160||24||1||18||70||46||122||16||5||.283||.339||.425|
With the Seattle Mariners needing a first baseman, it looks like they are set to acquire backup first baseman Casey Kotchman from the Red Sox in return for Bill Hall.
There's no word if the Mariners will be eating any of Hall's salary for 2010. Kotchman is expected to be the Mariners' starter while Hall will be Boston's utility player off the bench.
|2009 - Casey Kotchman||39||87||9||19||3||0||1||7||7||14||1||0||.218||.284||.287|
|2009 - Bill Hall||34||120||10||24||8||1||2||12||8||48||1||2||.200||.244||.333|
With Adrian Beltre close to making a decision on where to play in 2010, the Red Sox have reportedly made a formal offer to the defensive whiz:
The Boston Red Sox have made an offer to free-agent third baseman Adrian Beltre, according to a major league source, but are facing competition from other teams, a list that could include the Orioles, Athletics and Angels.
Terms and timing of the offer were not disclosed, but given the likely drop in Beltre’s market and the Red Sox’s proximity to the luxury tax threshold, it would make sense for the team to have offered a two-year deal that is heavily backloaded in the second year. It remains to be seen, however, if that will be enough to entice Beltre.
Meanwhile, the Oakland A’s could be out of the running for the third baseman, according to FoxSports’ Ken Rosenthal:
Source: A’s “out” on Beltre: “Gave it best shot, but it’s over.”
Beltre is expected to make a decision within a couple of days.
The Mets didn't stop at signing Jason Bay, as it is being reported that the Mets have also signed catcher Bengie Molina to a two-year deal.
Amazin' Avenue says they are still waiting for confirmation, but if the reported deal is true then it "will probably be a bad move."
|2009 - Bengie Molina||132||491||52||130||25||1||20||80||13||68||0||0||.265||.285||.442|
The San Francisco Giants have reached an agreement with free agent infielder/outfielder Mark DeRosa, pending a physical. The contract is worth $12 million over two years.
Grant from McCovey Chronicles is less than optimistic about the signing:
I’m going to take fistfuls of rage, though, and condense them into a tiny little ball, and I’m going to hide that ball of rage somewhere in my intestines. And if Eugenio Velez is in the Opening Day lineup for any reason other than another player’s injury, that ball of rage is going to take over. That ball of rage will get regurgitated up, and it will melt onto the synapses in my brain, and I am not responsible for my actions after that. Will the ball of rage just make me sit in a corner and drool as I stare vacantly, or will it cause me to pick up a crowbar, go down to the mall, and get myself on the evening news? Don’t know yet. But if there are charges, they’ll be dropped.
I don’t hate this move on its own. I can actually concoct a few mock lineups that would actually make me like this move. With the starting pitching under contract, I'm not opposed to overpaying for decline risks like DeRosa if there's a chance it will help the lineup. Give it time, though. I’m sure I’ll hate this move for all the right reasons.
DeRosa is expected to play third base, first base and potentially in the outfield.
Christmas has come early for Oakland A's fans as pitcher Justin Duchscherer has re-signed with the club for one-year to be in the team's starting rotation:
It appears thathas re-signed witJh the A's, with a deal that can reach up to $5.5 million with incentives. I've always loved Duke, from the time he was one of the most dominant set-up men in baseball to his incredible job as the ace of the A's staff. Duchscherer is going to be a great fit with the A's young staff. The A's rotation of Duchscherer, , , and or becomes pretty damn formidable.
Duchscherer, 31, missed the entire 2009 season due to elbow surgery in spring training. He was also diagnosed with depression later in the year.
He pitched his first full season as a starter in 2008 for the A's, winning 10 games with a 2.54 earned run average. His WHIP was a measly 0.99 in 141 innings of work in '08.
Despite giving big money to both John Lackey and Mike Cameron, WEEI reports the Red Sox may re-enter the Jason Bay sweepstakes:
According to a team source, the Red Sox have had internal discussions about extending their organizational budget to potentially allow for another offer for free agent outfielder Jason Bay. The discussed proposal to Bay would be in the vicinity four-year, $60 million originally offered the outfielder by the Red Sox.
Re-signing Bay would most likely catapult the Red Sox over the luxury tax threshold, something general manager Theo Epstein has said in the past he tries not to do.
After a year with the Kansas City Royals, Covelli "Coco" Crisp is on the move again, signing with the Oakland Athletics on Wednesday:
It's now official -- the A's signed center fielder Coco Crisp to a one-year deal with a club option for 2011, the team announced Wednesday.
The deal is reportedly worth $4.5 million and news of the A's and Crisp nearing an agreement was originally reported on Sunday. Crisp, who had surgery on both shoulders this year, passed his physical on Tuesday to make the signing official.
Crisp was injured for the majority of the 2009 season. He batted just .228 in 49 games in his first and only season with the Royals after being traded by the Boston Red Sox. The Royals had an $8 million club option for Crisp for 2010, but decided against exercising it, making him a free agent.
|2009 - Coco Crisp||49||180||30||41||8||5||3||14||29||23||13||2||.228||.336||.378|
Marquis likely will slot into the second spot in Washington's rotation, behind de facto ace John Lannan. Marquis is coming off his best season since 2004, posting a 4.10 FIP and a 4.41 xFIP in 216 innings for the Rockies, posting a very impressive 3.8 WAR. His primary value comes from his durability, he's made at least 28 starts in each of the past six seasons and has pitched 190+ innings in five of those seasons.
Early reaction from our resident experts on all things Nationals, Federal Baseball, is quick to give credit to the team's GM, Mike Rizzo, for sticking to his plan.
When ... Rizzo gave Washington Post writer Chico Harlan a list of free agent pitchers the Washington Nationals would target this winter back in early September '09, (which included just about every big name on the market), for a Nationals Journal post entitled, "Reading Material, Shopping Lists", he also promised the DC Faithful, "We're going to get one of them."
|2009 - Jason Marquis||15-13||38||33||2||1||0||0||216.0||218||104||97||15||80||115||4.04||1.38|
The AP is reporting that Nick Johnson, most recently of the Florida Marlins, has signed a one-year, $5.5 million deal with the New York Yankees. A physical is still pending, though, and as we noted earlier, Johnson doesn’t have a great history with physicals.
If this deal is officially completed, Johnny Damon’s career in pinstripes is in serious jeopardy.
While he was popular with teammates and fans, the Yankees were concerned about his age (36). The sides also were far apart on money. Damon at first was seeking a three-year deal worth at least $39 million, while New York was prepared to go no higher than $18 million to $20 million over two seasons.
Be sure to check back with our Yankees blog, Pinstripe Alley, for more thoughts on Johnson’s acquisition and Damon’s possible exit.
Having unloaded their biggest headache from last season by trading Milton Bradley to Seattle for Carlos Silva, you may think that Jim Hendry and the Cubs would get some love from their fans. Well, at SB Nation’s Bleed Cubbie Blue, Al Yellon is looking at things positively:
Let’s wait and see. For me, I’m happy that Jim Hendry managed to fix his mistake from a year ago, albeit at a high (for now) dollar cost. Maybe Carlos Silva will reclaim what he had in Minnesota and be worth the contract.
The comments at BCB, on the other hand, have not been as friendly:
chilango2: He wasn’t good in Minnesota though…Flip him, flip him, flip him,flip him,flip him,flip him,flip him,flip him,flip him,flip him,flip him,flip him,flip him,flip him,flip him,flip him,flip him,flip him,flip him,flip him,flip him,flip him,flip him,flip him,flip him,flip him,flip him,flip him,flip him. Please Jimbo.
DC Cubbie: agree, disgraceful work by Jim Hendry
Qixotl: Hendry picked up a player more difficult to trade than Bradley. Flipping will be really really improbable. I’d just plan on the Cubs being stuck with him for two years.
Meanwhile, at Hire Jim Essian the mood is much more pointedly angry:
How amazingly terrible (is Silva)? Well, he followed a 2008 season in which he posted a 6.46 ERA with 8 games last year and an 8.60 ERA. Why only 8 games? Well, he was hurt for pretty much the whole year. Nice choice, Jim.
But wait. It gets better.
The amount of money remaining on Silva’s contract is actually MORE than that remaining on Bradley’s. According to Cot’s Baseball Contracts, Silva is owed $11.5M in 2010, $11.5M in 2011, and has a $12M mutual option (or, the no-brainer $2M buyout) in 2012. Bradley was owed $9M and $12M over the next two years.
Jim Hendry, you are a colossal (and I mean that in the most literal sense of the word) dumbass.
I have to say, I completely agree with the sentiment at HJE. The Cubs got completely worked in this deal. On the other hand, how incredible has the Mariners’ front office been this offseason? Chone Figgins, Cliff Lee and now adding Bradley and dropping Silva. Wow.
UPDATE: Apparently, the Mariners sent $9 Million to the Cubs along with Silva:
Silva has two years remaining on a four-year, $48 million contract that he signed prior to the '08 season from former Mariners general manager Bill Bavasi, and Bradley is owed $21 million over two years -- $9 million in '10 and $12 million in '11. Silva has $25 million remaining -- $11.5 million in both '10 and '11 and a $2 million buyout on a '12 option. The Mariners will send the Cubs $9 million to complete the deal.
This certainly changes things as in addition to getting rid of a player that totally killed the Cubs' clubhouse and was an all-around bad fit and pain in the ass, the Cubs picked up salary relief as well. So even if Silva continues to be, you know, Carlos Silva (a likely scenario), the Cubs will be paying less in salary than they would for an unhappy (and as likely by-products, disruptive and unproductive) Milton Bradley. You get the feeling both GMs are absolutely thrilled with this deal. Not for what they got, but what they unloaded.
According to Larry Stone of the Seattle Times, the Mariners will trade relief pitcher Carlos Silva to the Cubs for the much maligned outfielder Milton Bradley.
The move rids the Mariners of Silva’s overpiced contract — four years, $48 million — of which two years remain. For the Cubs, they dump a player who had a rocky season in Chicago last year, in which he was suspended by the league, sent home by the team and generally underperformed on his $30 million deal.
Word out of the Twitterverse is that the Yankees are closing in on signing free agent first baseman Nick Johnson:
NYY on the verge of signing Nick Johnson. Contract details to be worked out -- it's not final -- plus the physical. At the 1 1/2 yard line.
But as ESPN's Keith Law points out, Johnson and physicals don't necessarily get along:
I think that the physical is more than a formality when the player in question is Nick Johnson. #manofglass
Johnson is an on-base machine, but may be best known for his ability to never stay healthy. Johnson batted .291 with a .426 OBP in 133 games between the Nationals and Marlins last year.
The Baltimore Orioles signed potential closer and Type A free agent Mike Gonzalez to a two-year contract Wednesday, according to Yahoo!'s Tim Brown:
Mike Gonzalez has agreed to a two-year, $12-million contract with O's. Incentives could bring worth to $16 million over two years.
It's undecided whether Gonzalez will be the Orioles' closer or not. Gonzalez owns a career 2.57 ERA in 302 games coming out of the bullpen. He saved 10 games for the Atlanta Braves last year while holding batters to a .209 batting average.
...Gonzalez -- who spent last season with the Atlanta Braves -- will have to pass a physical before the deal is complete. He's scheduled to take a physical in Baltimore within the next couple of days. The signing of Gonzalez, who is a Type A free agent, will cost the Orioles their second-round pick in the 2010 draft.
It's also unclear if the Orioles view Gonzalez as their full-time closer or whether he'll be part of a closer-by-committee approach that includes right-handed relievers Jim Johnson and Koji Uehara.
Utility player Jamey Carroll has accepted a two-year deal to join the Los Angeles Dodgers.
Carroll, who may be considered the best pinch-hitter in the Major Leagues with a career .351 average in nearly 100 career at-bats in the situation, will primarily come off the bench for the Dodgers. The versatile Carroll can play second base, third base and the corner outfield positions.
The folks at True Blue LA don’t seem very enthused the Dodgers’ organization is giving Carroll a two-year contract, but like his versatility.
Buster Olney tweets Carroll’s contract is worth just under $4 million over the two years, plus incentives.
Before John Lackey's press conference Wednesday afternoon, the Red Sox had outfielder Mike Cameron try on his new cap and jersey to make sure everything fit properly and then introduced him as the team's new outfielder.
The three-time Gold Glove winner who became a free agent after two seasons in Milwaukee finalized a two-year contract worth about $15 million.
“I’ve seen him go from kind of a raw, very athletic, likable 18-year-old to a guy that’s played and had a great career,” Francona said.
The addition of Cameron is part of Boston’s offseason emphasis on preventing runs ... “Mike is a big part of our offseason puzzle,” general manager Theo Epstein said.
No word yet on where Cameron will play, left field or center field, but whichever position it is, Boston's defense immediately improves.
The Boston Red Sox have been busy this offseason. They have added free-agent pitcher John Lackey, signing the former Angel ace to a five year deal, free-agent outfielder Mike Cameron, who signed a two year deal and was introduced Wednesday. This does not mean that Theo Epstein and company are finished yet.
It appears that the Red Sox are going to try to use their surplus of arms to attempt to work out a deal with the San Diego Padres for slugger Adrian Gonzalez. ESPN's Jorge Arangure is reporting that a source close to Gonzalez thinks he will be traded in the next ten days:
Source close to A Gonzalez believes he'll be traded to Red Sox within next 10 days.Does this mean deal will happen?No.But momentum is there
However, Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports is reporting that the price will be steep for Gonzalez and a trade is probably still a long shot:
A deal is not close, and might not happen at all, sources said. Jed Hoyer, the Padres’ new general manager -- and Red Sox’s former assistant GM -- wants a high price for Gonzalez, whose contract is one of the biggest bargains in baseball.
Gonzalez would be a huge addition, especially given his contract (a ludicrously low $4.75 million for 2010 and a mere ridiculously low $5.5 million club option for 2011), and the Red Sox have targeted Gonzalez before so this trade is a definite possibility. But, as Rosenthal points out, this deal is a long way from being completed. We will have more on this potential trade if and when it develops.
On Tuesday, the White Sox traded for outfielder Juan Pierre. Inevitably, someone will soon write a story about this is a great move for Chicago, because he's one of those "scrappy" players and insist he should bat lead-off (despite his career .348 OBP). I've really never understood this phenomenon -- the only explanation I have is that it's because he's pretty fast and wears his cap underneath his helmet (this is a topic FJM covered often). This is not lost on SB Nation's South Side Sox.
[Pierre] shouldn't play CF anymore and, with Alex Rios in the fold, hopefully Ozzie won't get any ideas. He can still cover ground in LF and his arm that makes 12 year old girls laugh isn't as much of an issue there. He's probably a slightly above average defender if used properly. Unfortunately, he gives up any gain there on offense. He's projected for a wOBA of about .310 next season by Bill James, well below the league average benchmark of .330. That's almost 10 runs below average. Of course, one can point to his .338 last season and, except for 2008, recent numbers higher than .310 to argue that projection is a little low. On the other hand, he's 32 and certainly in his decline, a particularly dangerous place for a slap hitter who relies on speed, and his last five seasons look like this: .338, .308, .317, .319, and .309. Throw out that outlier 2009 and that .310 looks about right.
So, yeah, like they said: "[The White Sox] get someone who isn't very good at major league baseball." But, there is still some silver lining in this deal.
All that said, the overall price, both in terms of dollars and players, is low. Even if Pierre hits that low projection, he'll probably be worth the salary he's being paid (and whatever value you want to ascribe to the fringe prospects). And, while based on actual offensive acumen he should be about the second to last player to be considered for the Leadoff Position (thanks Omar!), his mere presence will at least prevent the usual hand-wringing over that perceived void.
According to Yahoo!‘s Tim Brown, the White Sox have acquired outfielder Juan Pierre in exchange for two minor league players, yet to be named. The Dodgers will also pay about half of Pierre’s remaining two-year contract, which equates to around $9 million.
|2009 - Juan Pierre||145||380||57||117||16||8||0||31||27||27||30||12||.308||.365||.392|
While the baseball world was occupied following the whereabouts of Roy Halladay, Cliff Lee and John Lackey, the St. Louis Cardinals were busy trying strike a deal with free agent outfielder Matt Holliday.
According to Joe Strauss of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, the Cards stepped up their negotiating on Monday and "tweaked" their original offer to Holliday, hoping to retain him for a reported eight seasons.
General manager John Mozeliak and agent Scott Boras revisited the framework of the Cardinals' lengthy proposal first tendered last Wednesday. Though both parties refuse to discuss details, the deal is worth around $16 million a season, making it easily the most lucrative deal ever offered by the Cardinals. [...]
"He's still a player we like very much and hope to retain," Mozeliak said.
St. Louis has apparently become "increasingly impatient" as they try to strike a deal, so, hoping to come to terms before Christmas, and in an effort to appease Holliday's agent, Scott Boras (he's expressed "displeasure" with the average annual salary), the Cardinals added guaranteed money with additional years. The proposed deal would eclipse the seven-year, $100 million extension Albert Pujols signed in 2003.
|2009 - Matt Holliday||63||235||42||83||16||2||13||55||26||43||2||4||.353||.419||.604|
Boston is keeping very busy during this Hot Stove season, having already signed John Lackey on Monday. Now, needing a replacement for left fielder Jason Bay, the Red Sox are apparently set ti sign outfielder Mike Cameron, according to the AP.
Boston ... reached a tentative agreement on a two-year contract with outfielder Mike Cameron, according to a person familiar with those negotiations. That deal is subject to a physical, the person said on condition of anonymity because the agreement was not yet final.
Ken Rosenthal at FOXSports.com is reporting that it is "about a two-year contract worth in the range of $15.5 million, according to major-league sources."
No word yet on if Cameron would play left or if Jacoby Ellsbury would slide over and allow Cameron to patrol center field.
|2009 - Mike Cameron||149||544||78||136||32||3||24||70||75||156||7||3||.250||.342||.452|
The Angels have come to terms with free agent outfielder Hideki Matsui, pending a physical:
Source close to Matsui says deal with Angels good as done. It’s for one year, $6.5 million. Physical coming…
Matsui, the 2009 World Series Most Valuable Player, will most likely replace Vladimir Guerrero and his role with the Angels, playing both right field and designated hitter.
Visit Halos Heaven for more on the Matsui deal.
|2009 - Hideki Matsui||142||456||62||125||21||1||28||90||64||75||0||1||.274||.367||.509|
With the Red Sox reportedly signing John Lackey to a large contract on Monday, it would seem Boston no longer intends — or has the money — to re-sign Jason Bay to play left field in 2010.
Considering the Red Sox haven’t been aggressive toward re-signing their left fielder who replaced Manny Ramirez in 2008, it makes the Red Sox’s near re-signing at the All-Star break even more confounding:
According to one source, in fact, the Red Sox and Bay either had agreed or were close to agreement on a contract at the All-Star break when the Red Sox expressed concerns over Bay’s knee, shoulder or both. Whatever the case, the Red Sox balked at roughly the time that Theo Epstein spoke of an “aggressive,” offer to the player, who is now sufficiently disgruntled that agent Joe Urbon is telling the media that Bay is “prepared to move on” from Boston.
The Mets seem to be Bay’s most likely destination at the moment. New York offered Bay a four-year, $65 million contract last week, but may be willing to go to five years, if necessary. The Mets should have more leverage now, with the Red Sox out of the sweepstakes.
With Monday's signing of John Lackey, the Red Sox now have a six-man rotation: , , Lackey, and / . What will they do with that extra arm? One theory: trade it for a bat, sepecifically, Adrian Gonzalez. From Ken Rosenthal:
One rival GM theorizes that if the Red Sox sign free-agent right-hander John Lackey, they then will lock up righty Josh Beckett long- term and trade righty Clay Buchholz in a package for Padres first baseman Adrian Gonzalez.
Under that scenario, first baseman Kevin Youkilis would move to third and the Sox would employ a Mike Cameron-Jeremy Hermida type platoon in left.
The Sox's big investments would be Lackey and Beckett; Gonzalez will earn a club-friendly $4.75 million next season, and his deal includes a $5.5 million club option for 2011.
Free agents Adrian Beltre, Matt Holliday and Jason Bay?
All would be shut out in Boston.
|2009 - Adrian Gonzalez||160||552||90||153||27||2||40||99||119||109||1||1||.277||.407||.551|
The Red Sox and John Lackey have reportedly agreed on a five-year deal, "worth slightly more than ... $82.5 million."
When the signing becomes official, it will give the Red Sox a rotation of Jon Lester, Josh Beckett, Lackey, Daisuke Matsuzaka and Clay Buchholz/Tim Wakefield (assuming Buchholz doesn't get traded to San Diego for Adrian Gonzalez) -- arguably the best in baseball, and certainly better than their rivals in the Bronx.
SB Nation's Red Sox blog, Over the Monster, will have plenty more reaction to this deal.
Sources are telling Sports Illustrated's Jon Heyman that the John Lackey deal with the Red Sox is for five years, and worth about $85 million.
If Boston does indeed land Lackey as everyone seems to think they will, then expect the Yankees to back off their pursuit of Roy Halladay (besides the fact that he's rumored to be involved in a huge deal with the Phillies and Cliff Lee).
If the Red Sox ink Lackey it’s not likely they will remain in the hunt for Halladay, who has a year left on his contract and will be a free agent following the 2010 season.
While thewould love to put Halladay in between and and move into the fourth starter’s role, Halladay not landing in Boston reduces the urgency to acquire Halladay to keep him away from the Red Sox. [...]
Now with Lackey close to joining a Red Sox rotation headed byand and not being joined by Halladay, the Yankees may back off and let the Angels and Phillies fight for Halladay.
For seamheads who love the Hot Stove season, consider Monday's action thus far a mere appetizer to the day's main course: FOXSports.com is reporting that the Blue Jays and Phillies are in discussions about a possible deal involving both Roy Halladay and Cliff Lee.
A three-team blockbuster that would send Blue Jays right-hander Roy Halladay to the Phillies and Phillies left-hander Cliff Lee to another club is under discussion, according to major-league sources.
A straight trade between the Phillies and Jays also is possible. Either way, there are strong indications that the Halladay talks are approaching a critical juncture.
The third team that could possibly acquire Lee is not yet known, but it would make sense if it was the Angles, since they appear likely to lose John Lackey to the Red Sox.
Halladay likely would agree to a contract extension with the Phillies to waive his no-trade clause. The Phillies would acquire prospects for Lee to help satisfy the Blue Jays' demands for Halladay, and also send prospects of their own to the Jays.
Lee, signed for one more year at $9 million, will be a free agent after next season. The Phillies are uncertain of whether they can sign him, but by acquiring Halladay - and locking him up with an extension - they would secure an ace long-term.
The trade is highly complex, sources say, with the Phillies receiving money from the Jays to help pay Halladay's salary next season. Halladay is owed $15.75 million, but that number could be negotiated down as part of a new contract agreement.
Adding more heat to this Hot Stove: the Philadelphia Inquirer is reporting that both Halladay and his agent have checked into a Philadelphia-area hotel.
According to ESPN's Jayson Stark, the Angels are in "serious discussions" to acquire free agent Hideki Matsui to be their new designated hitter. It would apparently be a one-year deal, worth "about $6.5 millions" (via Buster Olney).
It’s a market fairly heavy with veteran DH types, and Matsui figures to be the most expensive of them all. Not clear he’s the best, or even better than the man he’ll displace, Vladimir Guerrero. The good news is that, with the exception of an injury-filled 2008, he has had an OPS between .855 and .875 every season since 2005. He rarely strikes out, he walks at a decent rate, he’s got a career .867 OPS with runners in scoring position and he can hit lefties nearly as well as righties. His strong 2009 can’t be blamed on his generous home park, as he had a .949 OPS on the road.
|2009 - Hideki Matsui||142||456||62||125||21||1||28||90||64||75||0||1||.274||.367||.509|
The on-again, off-again Mike Lowell trade between the Red Sox and Rangers is off again, this time due to Lowell’s health. SBN’s MLB Daily Dish passes along a Peter Gammons report that Lowell may require surgery on his right thumb, which has once again put the potential trade between the Red Sox and Rangers in jeopoardy.
If Lowell does undergo surgery, the Rangers will reportedly pursue Garrett Atkins to play third base instead. The Red Sox, meanwhile, might have to put the rest of their hot stove plans on hold. That could mean no Adrian Gonzalez, at least not until mid-season.
After Jason Bay turned down the Red Sox reported offer of four years, $60 million, Boston apparently decided to shift its focus to Angels free agent ace John Lackey. According to multiple reports (here and here), Lackey underwent a physical with the Red Sox on Monday, which could be the first step to a deal between the two sides.
Stay turned here for updates as they come.
|2009 - John Lackey||11-8||27||27||1||1||0||0||176.1||177||84||75||17||47||139||3.83||1.27|
The White Sox have signed closer J.J. Putz to a one-year, $3 million deal, according to the Chicago Tribune. Putz, you may recall, was one of the league’s best closers in 2007 for the Seattle Mariners, and his 40 saves even earned him his own bobblehead likeness:
Putz struggled with Seattle in 2008, and pitched in just 29 games last season for the Mets before undergoing elbow surgery. With the White Sox, he’ll serve as an emergency closer in case Bobby Jenks goes down, or — as the Tribune points out — Chicago could opt to trade Jenks this offseason.
For all your White Sox needs, head over to SB Nation’s South Side Sox.
Apparently the Red Sox and Rangers figured out the money situation, because the two sides have reached a preliminary deal to send aging Mike Lowell to Texas.
According to MLB.com's Ian Browne, the deal could be finalized in two to three days.
A trade sending the Red Sox's Mike Lowell to the Rangers has hit a hitch, most likely over money. The Red Sox are expected to pay a sizable portion of Lowell's contract in 2010, but no actual figure has been released.
Catching prospect Max Ramirez is rumored to be going from Texas to Boston in the deal.
|2009 - Mike Lowell||119||445||54||129||29||1||17||75||33||61||2||1||.290||.337||.474|
Rich Harden passed his physical on Thursday and officially became a member of the Texas Rangers.
|2009 - Rich Harden||9-9||27||26||0||0||0||0||141.0||122||74||64||23||67||171||4.09||1.34|
For reaction and analysis, visit SB Nation's Lone Star Ball.
According to Sports Illustrated's Jon Heyman, the Mets offered Jason Bay a four-year, $65 million contract ("give or take"). Heyman adds they would most likely "have to bump it to 5 yrs to get him."
The only other known offer Bay has received thus far was from the Red Sox, which was supposedly four years for $60 million.
That other New York baseball team showed its first involvement in the MLB free agent shopping spree on Thursday when they repotedly made contract offers to both Bengie Molina and Jason Bay. The big name there is obviously the latter, a 31-year old left fielder who has hit at least 30 home runs in five of the past six seasons.
According to a source with knowledge of the situation, the Mets determined over the winter meetings that they could be players in the bidding for Bay, John Lackey and/or Matt Holliday. With the market for Bay appearing fairly static, the team felt that it could make a play for the outfielder. Now, with reports of the official bid, it appears that they are coming closer to finding out just how good its chances are of acquiring the All-Star.
Amazin' Avenue points out that while Bay has his faults, he'd certainly be an upgrade, at least for the short-term.
Jason Bay is a very good player, a fantastic hitter, a sharped-dressed man, and a poor fielder. We can speculate that the fielding might not be as bad as it seems, with the Green Monster and Fenway's other leftfield quirks, but that's small comfort. He'd be an improvement, but not the best long-term investment for a NL team. CHONE projects +21 batting runs and -4 fielding runs (I'd take that). He does two things well that the Mets aren't used to: walking and hitting homeruns.
And their analysis on Molina: "Bengie Molina is not good!" Well said.
|2009 - Jason Bay||151||531||103||142||29||3||36||119||94||162||13||3||.267||.384||.537|
|2009 - Bengie Molina||132||491||52||130||25||1||20||80||13||68||0||0||.265||.285||.442|
The Boston Red Sox acquired pitcher Boof Bonser in a trade with the Minnesota Twins on Thursday for the ever popular player to be named later. From the Sox:
Houston has reportedly added free agent third baseman Pedro Feliz to the team, signing the now-ex-Phillie to a one year deal worth about $4 million.
While the gentlemen at SB Nation’s Astros blog, Crawfish Boxes, have a long-standing hate affair with Ed Wade, this is apparently one deal they are in favor of:
The latest [move] is the first one I can totally get behind. The Astros signed Pedro Feliz to a one-year deal for 4 million. Reasonable price for a good player to fill the hole at third base. Let’s all just pretend Ed wasn’t serious when he said the Astros could go into the season with Geoff Blum at the hot corner.
What do the Astros get with Feliz? A little power at the corner along with an underrated defensive player. The Phillies had been pushing Feliz as a possible Gold Glover the past few years. Sure, that push didn’t gain much traction, but with Feliz and Manzella on the right side of the infield, the Astros defensive range will be greatly improved.
Yes, that defense has deteriorated with his age and yes, he doesn’t get on base. But, Feliz is a much better player at this point than Blum and can provide a good stopgap until the club feels Chris Johnson is ready to go.
Feliz’s numbers from last season in Philly:
|2009 - Pedro Feliz||158||580||62||154||30||2||12||82||35||68||0||1||.266||.308||.386|
Baseball winter meetings -- one of the few places where Scott Boras is treated like a rock star and the lobby of the hotel is the coolest place to be -- wrap up on Thursday, bringing a close to the unofficial opening of the Hot Stove.
The past few days have seen a good number of deals emerge from Indianapolis, ranging from the Yankees-Tigers-Diamondbacks three-way trade that will have Curtis Granderson patrolling center field in the Bronx to ... some other move that is decidedly less interesting (Nationals signing an old Pudge Rodriguez? Red Sox trading for Boof Bosner?).
Elsewhere around the diamond:
And with names like Jason Bay and Matt Holliday still on the market, there is certain to be more heat provided by baseball's Hot Stove before pitchers and catchers report (which, by the way, is just two months away).
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