Tag:MLB Free Agents
Posted on: January 5, 2012 9:30 pm
Edited on: January 5, 2012 11:14 pm
  •  
 

Mariners agree to 1-year deal with Iwakuma

Hisashi Iwakuma

By C. Trent Rosecrans

Hisashi Iwakuma, the Japanese pitcher the A's couldn't reach an agreement with last offseason, has signed a one-year deal with the Mariners, CBSSports.com's Jon Heyman reports.

Reports out of Japan -- including one quoting Iwakuma -- in the last week had said Iwakuma had settled on the Mariners over several other teams, including the A's. Last year the A's reportedly bid $19.1 million for the rights to negotiate with Iwakuma.

FREE AGENT TRACKER

According to Geoff Baker of the Seattle Times, Iwakuma will make $1.5 million, with another $3.4 million available in bonuses tied to innings pitched, games started and awards. He will make $200,000 for 20 starts, another $250,000 for 22 starts, another $300,000 for 25 starts and $400,000 for 30 starts.

Last year the A's won the bidding for the posting fee for Iwakuma, 30, but could not reach a deal. Iwakuma returned to Japan and pitched for the Rakuten Golden Eagles, going 6-7 with a 2.42 ERA, missing time with shoulder problems.

He will likely slide in to the fifth spot in the team's rotation behind Felix Hernandez, Michael Pineda, Jason Vargas and Charlie Furbush.

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnBaseball on Twitter, subscribe to the RSS feed and "like" us on Facebook.

Posted on: January 5, 2012 1:11 pm
Edited on: January 5, 2012 1:12 pm
 

Angels GM says team 'unlikely' to sign Madson

Ryan Madson

By C. Trent Rosecrans

Where will Ryan Madson end up? Angels general manager Jerry Dipoto says it's probably not going to be Anaheim.

FREE AGENT TRACKER

Dipoto, the first-year Angels GM told the Los Angeles Times that it's "very, very unlikely" the Angels would add Madson or any closer.

"What I'll say with some degree of certainty is that our most dignificant acquisitions have already been made," Dipoto said.

"We're trying to add depth, and in a perfect world, we'd like to find another guy to join Jordan Walden, Scott Downs and LaTroy Hawkins to help with those last nine outs. But closer has never been a real priority."

Of course, this could also be posturing by Dipoto.  

Walden, 24, recorded 32 saves with a 2.98 ERA as a rookie in 2012. Walden made the All-Star team after starting the season with 20 saves and a 2.84 ERA in the first half. In the second half of the season, he had 12 saves and a 3.22 ERA. Walden struck out 10 batters per nine innings and 3.9 walks per nine. It had been rumored the team wanted to upgrade at the back of the bullpen.

And then there's Madson, who had 32 saves and a 2.37 ERA in his first season as the Phillies closer. Early in the offseason there was a report Madson had agreed to a deal with Philadelphia for four years and $44 million, but then the team signed Jonathan Papelbon instead.

There are few teams still looking for a closer, with the Reds being the team with the most glaring need. However, the Reds don't have the type of money to sign Madson to a huge deal. Cincinnati is currently in talks with incumbent reliever Francisco Cordero to bring him back on a one-year deal.

Madson could try to find a deal like the Yankees gave Rafael Soriano a year ago to be a high-priced set-up man -- even though that didn't exactly work out for the Yankees. Madson and Soriano are both represented by Scott Boras.

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnBaseball on Twitter, subscribe to the RSS feed and "like" us on Facebook.
Posted on: January 5, 2012 10:39 am
Edited on: January 5, 2012 11:38 am
 

Mets bringing back OF Scott Hairston

Scott HairstonBy C. Trent Rosecrans

The Mets have agreed to re-sign outfielder Scott Hairston, pending a physical, CBSSports.com's Jon Heyman reports. The one-year deal is worth $1.1 million.

Hairston, 31, hit .235/.303/.470 with seven home runs for the Mets last season. He's hit .244/.303/.437 in parts of eight seasons with the Diamondbacks, Padres, A's and Mets.

New York is also looking at Ronny Cedenio, Ryan Theriot and Jack Wilson for its backup infielder spot, Heyman said.

FREE AGENT TRACKER

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnBaseball on Twitter, subscribe to the RSS feed and "like" us on Facebook.
Posted on: January 4, 2012 11:11 am
 

Mariners close to signing Iwakuma

By Matt Snyder

The Mariners are very close to signing Japanese right-handed pitcher Hisashi Iwakuma, CBSSports.com's Jon Heyman has learned.

Iwakuma, 30, was 6-7 with a 2.42 ERA, 1.05 WHIP and 90 strikeouts in 119 innings last season for the Tohoku Rakuten Golden Eagles. In the past five years, he's 55-31 with a 2.67 ERA and 1.13 WHIP. He has twice thrown over 200 innings in a season while racking up 16 complete games in the past four years.

FREE AGENT TRACKER 

The Mariners obviously have the top two of their rotation firmly set, with Felix Hernandez and Michael Pineda. Jason Vargas and Charlie Furbush are there, too, so Iwakuma would likely be the fifth starter.

Of note here: The Mariners open the season in Japan. And we already know about Ichiro's popularity in Seattle.

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnBaseball on Twitter, subscribe to the RSS feed and "like" us on Facebook.
Posted on: January 4, 2012 10:42 am
 

Rodney signs one-year deal with Rays

By Matt Snyder

The latest bullpen reclamation project in Tampa Bay? Walk-plagued Fernando Rodney. The 34-year-old right-hander will sign a one-year contract worth $2 million with the Rays either Wednesday or Thursday, CBSSports.com's Jon Heyman has learned.

Rodney has been a late-innings reliever throughout his career with flashes of promise. He's always had a good strikeout rate and sometimes it's been outstanding (10.9 K/9 in 2008). Rodney's also saved 87 games in his career. However, he just can't stay out of his own way, allowing far too many baserunners (career 1.46 WHIP). Last season, it got worse, as he walked 28 hitters while striking out just 26 in 32 innings. He also hit three batters and threw two wild pitches. Poor control has led to a 4.29 career ERA and a 4.50 mark last season. Advanced stats (FIP, xFIP, WAR) show Rodney was even worse last season than those numbers indicate, too.

FREE AGENT TRACKER 

Then again, we've seen the Rays turn things around for struggling relievers before. Last season's biggest example was Kyle Farnsworth. Rodney certainly won't be the closer or initially leaned upon as strictly an eighth-inning guy. He'll just be in the mix late with the likes of Joel Peralta, Jake McGee and J.P. Howell.

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnBaseball on Twitter, subscribe to the RSS feed and "like" us on Facebook.
Posted on: January 3, 2012 7:22 pm
 

Greg Dobbs re-signs with Marlins

Greg DobbsBy C. Trent Rosecrans

The Marlins have signed Greg Dobbs to a two-year deal worth $3 million, CBSSports.com's Jon Heyman has learned.

Dobbs, 33, hit .275/.311/.389 with eight home runs and 49 RBI in 134 games and 439 plate appearances for the Marlins in 2011. A left-handed batter, Dobbs started 84 games for the Marlins at third base last season, another six in the outfield, three at first base and two as the DH. The Marlins should have a new third baseman in Hanley Ramirez, but Dobbs' experience makes him a valuable bench piece for Miami.

FREE AGENT TRACKER 

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnBaseball on Twitter, subscribe to the RSS feed and "like" us on Facebook.
Posted on: January 3, 2012 5:40 pm
Edited on: January 3, 2012 10:20 pm
 

Coco Crisp headed back to Oakland

Coco Crisp

By C. Trent Rosecrans

Coco Crisp is returning to Oakland pending a physical, CBSSports.com's Jon Heyman confirms.

The outfielder has agreed to a two-year deal worth $13 million and a club option for $7.5 million in 2014 with a $1 million buyout, ESPN.com's Buster Olney tweets.

FREE AGENT TRACKER 

Crisp had been garnering interest from several teams and said Monday that he'd made a decision, but hadn't told the team yet. That team will be his old team.

Last year Crisp, 32, hit .264/.314/.379 with eight home runs and a league-leading 49 stolen bases. In parts of 10 seasons with the Indians, Red Sox, Royals and A's, Crisp is a career .275/.330/.406 hitter.

Crisp was one of the few true center fielders on the free agent market, so several teams other than the A's reportedly had interested. The Orioles, Cubs, Cardinals and Dodgers had been rumored to have some level of interest in Crisp, who will instead stay in Oakland. Geography -- not to mention a guaranteed $14 million -- also may have played a part in Crisp's return to the A's. A Los Angeles native, Crisp reportedly wanted to stay in the state of California.

The outfield market now hinges on Cuban Yoenis Cespedes, while there are also some corner outfielder types available, like Cody Ross, J.D. Drew, Ryan Ludwick, Kosuke Fukudome, Raul Ibanez, Jonny Gomez, Juan Pierre and Magglio Ordonez. As for a center fielder, Corey Patterson is also available, but that's not going to excite too many teams. 

As for the A's, they keep their leadoff man, but at a price. Crisp will reportedly make $6 million in 2012 and $7 million in 2013. So far this offseason, the A's focus has been on shedding contracts and spending less money. Crisp's contract is in line with several other outfielders signed this winter -- just below Jason Kubel's two-year, $15 million deal with the Diamondbacks and more than Grady Sizemore's one-year, $5 million deal with Cleveland.

Crisp should hold down center field for Oakland, with newly acquired Josh Reddick in right and a battle in left between prospects Michael Taylor, Chris Carter and Collin Cowgill, who was part of the trade that sent Trevor Cahill to Arizona. Oakland could also dip into the free-agent market for another outfielder to try to round out the roster, but general manager Billy Beane has already said the team would be spending most of its money in the draft and international signings for next season. It wouldn't make sense for the A's, who are committed to rebuilding, to bring in anything more than a stopgap measure for left field -- although, at this point that may be all that's left.

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnBaseball on Twitter, subscribe to the RSS feed and "like" us on Facebook.
Posted on: January 3, 2012 4:57 pm
 

Video: Jack Wilson's kicking prowess

By C. Trent Rosecrans

As a University of Georgia graduate, I know how important a good kicker is -- so with that, I sure hope Jack Wilson has some eligibility left. The free-agent shortstop could always go back to school after 11 years in the big leagues, and maybe even earn a scholarship.

Check out this video of Wilson's kicking prowess:

Several failed baseball players have gone back to school to play football after their baseball careers fizzled, guys like Chris Weinke, Josh Booty, Quincy Carter and Quan Cosby, so why not a guy who has already earned more than $40 million playing baseball? Hey Mark Richt, make the right call this time, and see if Wilson wants to stay in Georgia for the next four years.

H/T: Big League Stew

FREE AGENT TRACKER

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnBaseball on Twitter, subscribe to the RSS feed and "like" us on Facebook.

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