Tag:MLB Rumors
Posted on: November 30, 2010 10:51 pm

Balfour declines arbitration

Grant Balfour Most of the time nobody blinks when a Type-A free agent declines an arbitration offer, because most of the time there's more money in free agency than in arbitration.

However, for middle relievers, it's not quite so obvious. That's why it was a small surprise to see Tampa Bay's Grant Balfour turn down arbitration from the Rays.

"I'll take my chances on what I've done the past few years," Balfour told the St. Petersburg Times ' Marc Topkin . "I believe there's a multi-year deal out there for me."

Some teams are reluctant to give up a draft pick in order to sign a middle reliever that's a Type A free agent.

Balfour, who will be 23 in December, has appeared in 203 games with the Rays since joining them from Milwaukee in 2007. With the Rays he's gone 14-7 with a 3.33 ERA. Last season he was 2-1 with a 2.28 ERA in 57 games, striking out 56 while walking 17 in 55 1/3 innings.

Keep up with all the arbitration decisions here .

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.
Posted on: November 30, 2010 8:46 pm
Edited on: November 30, 2010 11:48 pm

Jeter meeting with Yankees in Tampa

Derek Jeter Could the Derek Jeter-Yankees negotiations be coming to a close?

Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports.com reports Jeter and agent Casey Close are meeting with the Yankees in Tampa.

Rosenthal said he doesn't know which Yankees official are at the meeting, but guesses that it would include owner Hal Steinbrenner and general manager Brian Cashman.

While nobody has expected Jeter to sign anywhere but New York, the negotiations have been public and nasty, with Cashman suggesting Jeter test the open market if he's not happy with the team's three-year, $45 million contract.

Jeter and Close are apparently looking for a four- or five-year contract worth $23 or $24 million per season.

Jeter finished his 10-year, $189 million contract that paid him $22.6 million last season, and word is he doesn't want to take a paycut, despite having perhaps the worst season of his career. He hit .270/.340/.370 with 10 home runs and 67 RBIs. The 10 home runs tied the fewest of his career, while his batting average, on-base percentage and slugging percentage were all the lowest full-season marks of his career.

UPDATE: Sports Illustrated 's Jon Heyman reports (via Twitter ) that one source indicates the Yankees may bump their offer up to $51 million, while another source tells him "nothing imminent."

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.

Posted on: November 30, 2010 8:08 pm
Edited on: December 1, 2010 8:07 am

Giants sign Tejada

Miguel Tejada The Giants have replaced Juan Uribe with Miguel Tejada, who has signed a one-year deal with San Francisco worth $6.5 million, ESPNdeportes.com's Enrique Rojas reports (via Twitter ).

Tejada, 36, started 57 games at shortstop for the Padres after coming over from Baltimore in a trade near the deadline. Tejada played third for the Orioles. He hit .269/.312/.381 with 15 home runs and 71 RBI for both the Padres and Orioles last season.

The Giants will be his fifth different team.

UPDATE: CBSSports.com senior writer Scott Miller writes the Giants are still talking to the Rays about shortstop Jason Bartlett, despite the signing of Tejada.

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

UPDATE : Andrew Baggarly of the San Jose Mercury News says Bartlett is no longer an option as the team has no more money to budget for a shortstop.

-- Evan Brunell

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.

Posted on: November 30, 2010 7:40 pm

Zumaya giving it one last shot

Joel Zumaya Tigers reliever Joel Zumaya tells MLB.com's Jason Beck that if he gets hurt again, he'll be done with baseball.

Zumaya, 26, has managed just 109 appearances over the last four years. In 2010, he made 31 appearances, the most since his rookie year of 2006, before leaving a game in June with an elbow injury, ending his season. He's also struggled with shoulder injuries and a ruptured tendon in his finger.

"This year's going to be my make-it-or-break-it year," Zumaya said. "If I get hurt again, I'm basically going to be done with baseball. I'm going to have to find another job."

Zumaya is a year away from free agency, and is a candidate to be non-tendered at Thursday's deadline by the Tigers. However, he told MLB.com that the team has told him they won't non-tender him. Zumaya hopes to avoid arbitration and sign a one-year deal with Detroit.

Zumaya made $915,000 last year.

"I'm not going to be a guy that's going to take advantage of the Tigers," Zumaya said. "I do know what i can get for arbitration. I'm not greedy."

Zumaya has gotten the go-ahead to start throwing to prepare for 2011 and expects to begin throwing soon.

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.

Category: MLB
Posted on: November 30, 2010 7:01 pm
Edited on: November 30, 2010 7:10 pm

Dodgers eyeing former Red Sox

Johnny Damon The Dodgers  are short an idiot from the 2004 Red Sox now that Manny Ramirez is gone, so the team is looking at Johnny Damon and Jason Varitek, Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports.com is reporting .

Rosenthal notes the Dodgers have contact with "virtually every free-agent catcher" -- including Rod Barajas, A.J. Pierzynski and Miguel Olivo. The team is talking to Russell Martin, but if no agreement is met by Thursday, the deadline for tendering contracts, he'll likely become a free agent.

Along with martin, A.J. Ellis and Hector Gimenez are the only catchers on the Dodgers' 40-man roster. Martin suffered a labial tear in his right hip and has yet to start running, Rosenthal reports.

Damon served primarily as a designated hitter for the Tigers, but would need to play left field for Los Angeles, replacing Scott Podsednik, who came over late in a trade from the Royals to replace Ramirez.

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.

Posted on: November 30, 2010 5:52 pm
Edited on: November 30, 2010 5:59 pm

Rockies talking extensions with Jimenez, Gonzalez

Ubaldo Jimenez Even though Tuesday's news conference in Denver was all about Troy Tulowitzki, Rockies general manager Dan O'Dowd didn't want to make his other stars feel left out.

O'Dowd said he's reached out to Ubaldo Jimenez and Carlos Gonzalez to let them know the team wants to give them long-term deals, too, Jim Armstrong of the Denver Post writes .

Like Tulowitzki, both Jimenez and Gonzalez are under team control for several years. Gonzalez won't be arbitration-eligible until 2012 and Jimenez is under contract through 2012 with team options for 2013 and 2014.

O'Dowd said he talked to Gonzalez's agent, Scott Boras, but Boras prefers to get players into free agency as soon as possible, and the Rockies would be looking to sign him through his initial free-agency period.

Jimenez signed a four-year deal worth $10 million before the 2009 season. He'll make just $2.8 million next season, and even with his options, they'll max out at $6.75 million for 2013 and $9 million for 2014.

"We're open to anything," O'Dowd said when asked what the team could do with Jimenez.

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.

Posted on: November 30, 2010 5:20 pm
Edited on: November 30, 2010 5:42 pm

Greinke open to joining Yankees

Zack Greinke Conventional wisdom has been that Zack Greinke would be an awful fit in New York. Greinke has struggled with social anxiety disorder and then there's the whole "being a Yankee" thing and New York City and all that.

That thought was reinforced last month when it was revealed that the Yankees were one of the teams on Greinke's no-trade clause.

On Tuesday, Yahoo!'s Jeff Passan talked to a "source close to the right-hander" who said Greinke would actually welcome a trade to the Bronx.

"I don't think he'd rule out anybody," the source tells Passan, a Kansas City resident. "He says he likes New York. Especially because they're winners. He wants to go to a team that wins."

As for the no-trade clause listing large-market teams, the source tells Passan that picking those teams was for leverage. Greinke can submit 15 teams this season to which he can block a trade for 2011, but his no-trade privileges expire following the season.

After Cliff Lee, there's no real front-line starter on the free-agent market, and Greinke would be a suitable second choice (and some would argue first choice) over Lee for either the Yankees or Rangers.

Greinke, 27, had a down season in 2010, going 10-14 with a 4.17 ERA, a year after winning the Cy Young Award with a 16-8 record and 2.16 ERA. Many have tied his down year to losing interest with the losing Royals. He's publicly expressed his frustration with the Royals' losing ways and is signed through 2012, earning $13.5 million in each of the next two seasons before reaching free agency.

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.

Posted on: November 30, 2010 11:02 am
Edited on: November 30, 2010 11:24 am

Jeter to Red Sox? He can't be serious

OK, Boston's "Little Brother Complex" has officially reached its apex.

Given the imbroglio between Derek Jeter and the Yankees, naturally there were instances of people saying, "Hey, wouldn't it be funny if Jeter signed with the Red Sox?" The New York Post photoshopped a picture of Jeter in a Boston uniform.

But there's a big difference between joking about it and seriously suggesting the Red Sox pursue Jeter, which is what Dan Shaughnessy of the Boston Globe did in Tuesday's paper.

Shaughnessy, Beantown's unofficial pot-stirrer, basically suggests the Red Sox should blow up their financial model just to hurt the Yankees' feelings.
Dan Shaughnessy "There is simply no downside to making Jeter a massive offer. In the worst-case scenario he calls your bluff and you get the Yankees captain.

I don’t care if Jeter is way past his prime or if the Sox would have to wildly overpay a player of his diminished skills.

I say offer him the world. Forget about Jayson Werth. Blow Jeter away with dollars and years. At worst this would just mean the Sox would jack up the final price the Yankees must pay. It could be sort of like Mark Teixeira-in-reverse.

And if Jeter actually signed with Boston, the damage to the Yankees’ psyche would be inestimable."

Yes, let's intentionally take on a ridiculously overvalued contract just to needle another team. Let's make baseball decisions based not on our own team but on playing some sort of mental game with someone else's. Sounds like a plan, John Henry -- get to work!

"What’s the harm in offering Jeter $20 million a year over three years?" asks Shaughnessy. What's the harm? You'd be paying a declining player more than twice what he's worth. A lot of teams end up doing that in hindsight, but you don't do it with foresight. If anything, the biggest damage to the Yankees that Boston fans should hope for is that New York hamstrings itself by overpaying for Jeter.

Look, I know Shaughnessy is trying to sell papers, but the only "inestimable damage" here is to his credibility.

-- 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