The Orioles have signed Delmon Young to a minor league deal with an invite to spring training. The 28-year-old outfielder will get a base salary of $1 million if he makes the major league roster and he can earn another $750,000 in incentives, according to Jon Heyman of CBS Sports.
The former-first round draft pick hit .260/.307/.407 last season with the Phillies and the Rays. Young's best season came back in 2010 when, as a 24-year-old with the Twins, he hit .298/.333/.493 with 21 home runs and 112 RBI. He managed to place tenth in AL MVP voting that year, the only time he has garnered consideration for the award.
Once regarded as the top prospect in the game, Young has disappointed at the major league level, generating just 1.8 wins above replacement in his eight year career by baseball-references calculations. In the three years since that very good 2010 campaign, he has hit for just a 705 OPS with 41 home runs.
The Orioles currently do not have a set designated hitter, a position where they tried out several players last season. That could provide the opening the defensively-challenged Young needs to make the team's roster.
Angels did not meet with Tanaka
Masahiro Tanaka in Los Angeles the last week meeting with MLB teams for the first time. The Angels, however, did not send any officials to have initial discussions with Tanaka, reports Mike DiGiovanna of the Los Angeles Times.
The Angels not taking the time to see Tanaka while he was in town indicates that they are likely not going to be a serious contender to sign him. They had been oft-listed as one potential landing spot for the Japanese superstar, but have shown little in the way of solid interest.
Part of the reason Los Angeles may not be seriously chasing him comes down to financial concerns. Tanaka will likely require a contract surpassing $100 million, a deal the Angels may not be willing to sigh. The club already has big contracts out to Albert Pujols and Josh Hamilton, along with substantial payments heading to C.J. Wilson and Jered Weaver. While they might love to have Tanaka, the reality is the Angels may not want to chance handing out another monster contract to a player who might end up being a bust. In the back of management's mind is surely the fact that they will eventually need to sign Mike Trout to what could end up being a record contract in the not-so-distant-future.
Los Angeles has already taken some steps to fill holes in the rotation, including trading slugger Mark Trumbo to the Diamondbacks in a three-team deal and acquiring top prospect Tyler Skaggs and Hector Santiago. While Tanaka is likely to be an upgrade over the current staff, the Angels do not appear to see him as a necessary addition.
With Alex Rodriguez now officially suspended for the entire 2014 season, the Yankees are looking for additional infield help. They have reached out to the Padres with an eye towards a trade with Logan Forsythe, not Chase Headley, appearing to be the most realistic target, according to Jon Morosi of Fox Sports.
The Yankees are unlikely to sign any more free agent infielders to a major league deal this offseason, leaving them out of the running on Michael Young and Stephen Drew. Thus, a trade may be the only way for the club to significantly improve.
Third base, of course, is the big hole for New York as they signed Brian Roberts to fill the second base spot vacated by Robinson Cano. Currently, New York has Kelly Johnson as the likely starter at the hot corner, though recently-signed Scott Sizemore could give him a run for his money with a big performance in spring training.
Forsythe, 27, would likely not be immediately named a starter were he to be shipped to New York. Over parts of three seasons, he has hit just .241/.310/.349 with 12 career home runs. However, he is capable of playing all around the infield as well as some outfield, making him potentially valuable as a utility player.
Headley, meanwhile, has been a rumored possible trade candidate for some time, though the Padres still appear set on working towards an extension with him. He had a breakout season in 2012, hitting .286/.376/.498 with 31 home runs, but reverted back to a 747 OPS and 13 home runs in 2013. Prior to 2012, he had a career 735 OPS and had not surpassed 12 home runs in a season. He will be a free agent after the 2014 season.
Cubs are looking for a new TV deal
The Cubs are coming to the end of their WGN deal and they are speaking with Fox about a possible deal that would move a number of games to the local Fox affiliate in 2015 and create a new channel for the team when their deal with SportsNet Chicago ends in 2020, sources tell Patrick Mooney of CSN Chicago.
The team's location in a big market and popularity nation-wide will surely help them come to a much larger TV deal than in previous years, despite the major league squad not finding much success in recent years. Of course, the Cubs also have one of the top farm systems in the league and are due for a resurgence within the next few years.
New television deals have been creating a surge of money, resulting in increased player contracts as well as creating teams that can now follow the Yankees model of spending to win. Such is the case with the Dodgers, who now may have surpassed New York as baseball's richest team after they reached an unprecedented billion-dollar TV deal.
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