Tag:Hot Stove League
Posted on: January 11, 2011 10:49 am
Edited on: January 11, 2011 10:49 am

Royals searching for starters

Much to his dismay, it appears Royals general manager Dayton Moore has remembered he must field a team in 2011 -- one with hitters and pitchers.

Bruce Chen So far the Royals rotation is Vin Mazzaro, Luke Hochevar, Kyle Davies and Sean O'Sullivan. The team needs a fifth starter (or first or second or third or fourth, depending on how you look at it) for next season, but with an influx of talent due in Kansas City in 2012, Moore isn't looking to give out a multi-year deal to anyone.

Moore told MLB.com's Dick Kaegel that he's only looking at starting pitching at this point in the offseason. There's little on the free-agent market, but the team could bring back Bruce Chen.

"We're still open-minded with that," Moore told Kaegel. "He performed very well with us last year and showed us what he had, and we've got a comfort level there."

Chen, 33, went 12-7 with a 4.17 ERA in 23 starts for the Royals last season. Chen is a Scott Boras client and has apparently been eyeing a multi-year deal following his good 2010, but his status as a free agent shows that nobody is biting, even in a pitching-poor market.

Or Kansas City could look to trade, although it's unlikely the team would give up too much for a short-term solution.

"It's something that we'll continue to look at, and it might be Spring Training or early next year," Moore said. "You're always looking to get better, so it's not out of the question we might make some kind of move and pitching is one of those areas where you can never have enough depth. And we don't want to be in a position where we're force-feeding some of those kids, either."

Still, some of those kids -- Aaron Crow, John Lamb and Danny Duffy -- could get an extended look during spring training.

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

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Posted on: January 10, 2011 9:33 pm
Edited on: January 11, 2011 8:19 am

Tigers to sign Penny

Penny While the Tigers are done with their major shopping, there's still a few holes to fill in Detroit.

One such hole is the rotation, as only Justin Verlander and Max Scherzer appear assured of winning a rotation spot. The competition to back up Verlander and Scherzer will be battled by Armando Galarraga, Rick Porcello, Andrew Oliver and Phil Coke. That's not a superb list of names, so the Tigers have been on the prowl for someone they can add.

Buster Olney of ESPN reports that the Tigers are the frontrunners for Brad Penny's services. The two sides have been linked for quite some time now and the pairing makes sense, as a spot in the rotation is there for the taking. Penny would sign an incentive-laden contract coming off a right-shoulder strain. Before suffering the injury, Penny was enjoying a revitalized season for the Cardinals after scuffling in Boston before a late stint in San Francisco reversed his fortunes.

Earlier in the day. Penny himself tweeted that he was going to know his 2010 team by the end of the day.

Assuming Penny stops being married to his straight fastball down the middle, the signing has potential to work out for Detroit.

In other news, the Rockies have agreed to a minor-league contract with reliever Sean White, as the Denver Post reports. White will come to camp to compete for a bullpen spot after pitching just 34 1/3 innings for the Mariners in 2010, posting a 5.24 ERA. White had a 2.80 ERA in 2009 over 64 1/3 innings, and while his whiff and walk numbers did not change, he gave up four home runs in 2010 after just three in 2009 as well as 11.8 hits per nine. No one can survive being hit that hard.

-- Evan Brunell

UPDATE: Jon Paul Morosi of FOXSports.com reports Penny has agreed to a one-year deal worth $3 million with Detroit.

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

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Posted on: January 10, 2011 6:07 pm
Edited on: January 10, 2011 6:12 pm

Reds ink Lewis, M's sign Kennedy

LewisThe Reds finally found their backup outfielder, inking Fred Lewis to a one-year deal worth $900,000, as MLB.com's Mark Sheldon reports.

Cincinnati was hoping for a left-handed outfielder to replace Laynce Nix, and the Reds were also hoping for someone who could fill in at leadoff. That's Lewis, who spent most of 2010 with the Blue Jays after being squeezed out in San Francisco.

Lewis hit .262/.332/.414 in 480 plate appearances for the Jays, hitting nine home runs and swiping 17 bags. His most successful season came in 2008, when a then 27-year-old Lewis hit .282/.351/.440 with nine homers and 21 stolen bases in 521 PA.

Lewis will come off the bench backing up Drew Stubbs in center field and should receive ample playing time against right-handers in left field, with Jonny Gomes assuming a platoon role.

In other transaction news, infielder Adam Kennedy inked a minor-league pact with the Mariners, as Larry Stone of the Seattle Times reveals. He will battle for the backup infield job with Josh Wilson.

-- Evan Brunell

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Posted on: January 10, 2011 3:52 pm
Edited on: January 10, 2011 3:53 pm

Rangers interested in Thome

Jim Thome The Rangers are interested in free-agent designated hitter Jim Thome, Joe Christensen of the Star Tribune confirms via Twitter .

Thome, 11 homers shy of 600, has balked at re-signing with the Twins so far this offseason following his productive 2010. While no longer a full-time DH, Thome can still be very effective when used correctly, as the Twins did last season when he appeared in 108 games for Minnesota.

Thome was used mostly against right-handed pitchers last season, hitting .302/.455/.698 against right-handers in 246 plate appearance and .241/.298/.471 in 94 plate appearances against lefties. All but two of his 16 homers came against right-handers.

The Rangers are still trying to figure out how to move forward with their lineup after signing free-agent third baseman Adrian Beltre. Michael Young is certain to be moved, but will he be a first baseman or a designated hitter.

Young hit better against left-handers in 2010, .322/.374/.497 last season, while hitting .270/.314/.425 against righties. But if he's a full-time first baseman, he doesn't figure into the designated hitter spot.

However, the team has said it may use him more as a utility player, giving him starts across the infield to spell second baseman Ian Kinsler, shortstop Elvis Andrus and Beltre. Thome's presence could aid that usage of Young.

While Thome's not exactly a perfect, easy fit for the Rangers, he does add to the Texas offense. The Rangers certainly have the money Thome's looking for -- the Twins paid him $1.5 million last season and he's been said to be looking for a raise after 2010, one Minnesota's not sure it can afford.

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

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Posted on: January 10, 2011 10:04 am

Rangers may not be done yet

Jon Daniels Coming off a World Series appearance, the Rangers have been anything but content this offseason. Few teams have been as active in the free agent market as Texas.

General manager Jon Daniels has reached high -- Cliff Lee -- and missed, but also reacted by signing the likes of Adrian Beltre and Yorvit Torrealba along with reliever Arthur Rhodes and took a risk on former Cy Young Award-winner Brandon Webb. The team was also in on trades for Zack Greinke and Matt Garza.

Under new ownership, the Rangers have been aggressive and shown they aren't content with what they've done. That hasn't stopped even after an offseason spending spree.

"There are still some things we're going to look into," Daniels told Jeff Wilson of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram . "This may be the club we go to camp with. We're confident if it is.

"But there's a chance we'll try to improve as well."

Wilson notes the team could still be interested in other "risk-reward types" such as Jeff Francis and Bartolo Colon.

There's also the off chance the team could go after the top remaining free agent, Rafael Soriano, and move Neftali Feliz to the rotation. It may be a long-shot, but with the Rangers, it seems anything's possible.

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

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Posted on: January 8, 2011 12:45 pm
Edited on: January 8, 2011 2:33 pm

White Sox sign Ohman, Yankees talking to Jones

OhmanDan Connolly of the Baltimore Sun reveals that Will Ohman will not be returning to the Orioles.

Ohman is currently deciding between three teams, with the White Sox in the driver's seat. The left-handed specialist split 2010 between Florida and Baltimore, posting a 3.21 ERA in 42 2/3 innings after a forgettable 2009 with the Dodgers.

JonesMeanwhile, the Yankees are speaking to an ex-White Sox outfielder, with Andruw Jones a possibility to fill the left-handed outfield platoon spot vacated by Marcus Thames as SI.com's Jon Heyman reports. Nothing is close yet as discussions have only begun.

Jones would improve the defense in New York, of which Thames struggled at, plus receive ample at-bats against left-handers. Jones hit .230/.341/.486 in 328 plate appearances for the ChiSox with 19 home runs, but eight of the dingers came against lefties with a line of .256/.373/.558 in 102 PA.

UPDATE: Heyman reports that Ohman has signed a two-year, $4 million deal with the White Sox. This move will allow Chicago to either move forward in converting Chris Sale to a starter or feel confident in slotting Matt Thornton as closer now that another lefty is aboard.

-- Evan Brunell

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Posted on: January 6, 2011 4:14 pm
Edited on: January 6, 2011 4:15 pm

Reds, Renteria eyeing each other

You may not want to order that Edgar Renteria Reds jersey yet. It still looks like it could happen, but sources tell CBSSports.com that the World Series MVP and the National League Central champs have yet to agree on a contract.

Reports stated the team is close to a one-year, $3 million deal with Renteria to back-up Paul Janish in Cincinnati, but the team doesn't want to pay that much. Although, a one-year contract has been offered.

Renteria would serve as a reserve infielder and bat off the bench, not as the starter over Janish. Last season Janish went into February thinking he'd start for the Reds at shortstop, only to see the team sign Orlando Cabrera before spring training started. Janish edned up starting just 43 games in 2010, hitting .260/.338/.385 -- numbers much better than expected at the plate, but was still behind the veteran Cabrera in manager Dusty Baker's pecking order.

Renteria managed to start just 62 games for the Giants, hitting .274/.333/.381, but came up big in the postseason. The lure of a "clutch" veteran option could limit Janish's playing time again. While Renteria is obviously an upgrade offensively to Janish, he is not as good defensively as the smooth-fielding Janish.

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

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Posted on: January 4, 2011 8:42 pm

Nats land LaRoche

Adam LaRoche
With the first base market coming down to the nitty gritty, the Nationals and Adam LaRoche finally agreed to pair up, with the former Diamondback accepting a two-year deal, according to Peter Gammons of MLB.com.

The Orioles and Nats were doubly courting LaRoche and Derrek Lee, and when Baltimore (which reportedly offered LaRoche three years) signed Lee this deal became almost a foregone conclusion. No word yet on the financial details.

LaRoche, 31, becomes the replacement for Adam Dunn in Washington. He put up a .261/.320/.468 line at the plate with 25 home runs and 100 RBI last season and has hit 20-plus homers for six consecutive years.

Gammons reports LaRoche will take his physical on Thursday, so this deal should become official soon. He's probably just happy to know he's staying put for a couple of years after moving from the Pirates to the Red Sox to the Braves in 2009 and then staying just a season in Arizona.

-- David Andriesen

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The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com