Category:MLB
Posted on: February 27, 2012 6:49 pm
 

Tigers still might trade for a starting pitcher



By Matt Snyder


The Tigers enter the 2012 season as the overwhelming favorites to win the AL Central division. But that doesn't mean the front office is planning on sitting back and taking it easy. In fact, the Tigers are going to be scouting starting pitchers from other clubs this spring, says assistant general manager Al Avila (Alex's father), per MLive.com.

“We’ll be looking at other pitchers in other camps throughout spring training to see if there’s anything that makes sense for us,” Avila said (MLive.com).

Tigers in spring training
The Tigers were turned down when they offered free agent starter Roy Oswalt a one-year, $10 million deal this winter, Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com learned. They were also heavily connected to Matt Garza of the Cubs in trade rumors throughout December and January.

As things currently stand, prospect Jacob Turner is the most likely candidate to end up as the Tigers' fifth starter behind Justin Verlander, Doug Fister, Max Scherzer and Rick Porcello. It's just that the Tigers seem very eager to win the World Series this season, without being patient, and Turner is only 20 years old. Plus, he struggled in his small sample of three starts last season for the Tigers.

We know Oswalt won't accept an offer and is planning on only pitching around a half-season anyway, but it'll be interesting to see if a trade for Garza or anyone else comes to fruition. The Tigers have pretty much already gone all-in for the season, so why stop now?

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnBaseball on Twitter, subscribe to the RSS feed and "like" us on Facebook.
Posted on: February 27, 2012 6:25 pm
 

Report: Danys Baez retiring

By Matt Snyder

Obviously this isn't nearly the same magnitude as the announcement that Jason Varitek will retire, but pitcher Danys Baez will retire from baseball as well, FoxSports.com reports.

Baez, 34, may have been forced into retirement by a lack of interest from big-league clubs. He had a 6.25 ERA and 1.56 WHIP last season for the Phillies. He also coughed up 43 hits while striking out only 18 in 36 innings.

Baez is a one-time All-Star, as he made the game as a member of the then-Devil Rays in 2005. He saved 41 games that season. For a three-year stretch, Baez was a quality closer. He averaged 32 saves per season with a 3.42 ERA from 2003-05.

Over the course of his 10-year career, Baez pitched for the Indians, Devil Rays, Dodgers, Braves, Orioles and Phillies.

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnBaseball on Twitter, subscribe to the RSS feed and "like" us on Facebook.
Posted on: February 27, 2012 5:36 pm
Edited on: February 27, 2012 6:09 pm
 

Jason Varitek to announce retirement

By Matt Snyder

Long-time Red Sox catcher Jason Varitek has elected to retire, CBSSports.com's Jon Heyman has confirmed. The news was first reported by the Boston Globe. The original report also indicated that Varitek will stay with the Red Sox organization "in some capacity."

Varitek, 39, spent his entire 15-year major-league career with the Red Sox. He went to the All-Star Game three times while winning one Gold Glove and one Silver Slugger. He hit 193 career homers while driving home 757 runs and scoring 664. His career line is .256/.341/.435. And, of course, the Red Sox's captain was part of two World Series-winning teams, including the "idiots" of 2004 that snapped the so-called Curse of the Bambino.

As the Globe report noted, only Carl Yastrzemski, Ted Williams and Jim Rice had longer stints with the Red Sox without having played for another big-league team.

Varitek also was part of one of the more dubious trade deadline deals. On July 31, 1997, the Mariners shipped Varitek and a 24-year-old Derek Lowe to the Red Sox for Heathcliff Slocumb. Slocumb had a 4.97 ERA and 1.64 WHIP with 13 saves and nine losses in a season and a half for the Mariners.

Kudos to Varitek on a very respectable career.

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnBaseball on Twitter, subscribe to the RSS feed and "like" us on Facebook.
Posted on: February 27, 2012 5:14 pm
 

Report: Bourjos needs hip surgery next offseason

By Matt Snyder

Though he said he's good to go for this season, Angels center fielder Peter Bourjos is "probably" going to have to undergo surgery next offseason to repair "some fraying of the labrum in the joint" of his right hip (LATimes.com).

The Times report says that Bourjos would have had the procedure this past winter, but he didn't have the MRI until the week before Thanksgiving and the surgery has a six- to 12-week recovery period. He didn't want to cut things too closely to spring training and the regular season, so he held off.

If the issue becomes a problem during the season, the Angels could turn to one of baseball's top prospects, Mike Trout. Trout is only 20 and spent 91 games in Double-A last season, where he hit .326/.414/.544. He got 135 major-league plate appearances, hitting just .220/.281/.390. But he only turned 20 in August.

Bourjos, however, sounds like he doesn't think Trout will be needed to spell him this season.

"As long as I keep it strong and loose, it should be all right," said Bourjos (LATimes.com). "Once I get going, it's fine. It's usually after games that it's sore. That's why I soak in an ice bath."

Bourjos, 24, hit .271/.327/.438 with 26 doubles, 11 triples, 12 homers and 22 stolen bases last season.

Hat-tip: Hardball Talk

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnBaseball on Twitter, subscribe to the RSS feed and "like" us on Facebook.
Posted on: February 27, 2012 2:52 pm
Edited on: February 27, 2012 3:25 pm
 

Bobby V. fires back at Terry Francona

Bobby Valentine

By C. Trent Rosecrans


Well, earlier Monday former Red Sox manager Terry Francona said the Red Sox ban on alcohol in the clubhouse was a "PR move." Current Red Sox manager Bobby Valentine didn't give a "PR" or "PC" response.

"Remember," Valentine told reporters, including the Boston Herald's Scott Lauber, "you're getting paid over there for saying stuff. You get paid over here for doing stuff. I've done both."

It should be noted, Francona's done both too -- and has two more rings than Valentine.

Valentine continued -- "How was it PR?" he asked. "It means like 20 teams are looking for PR and that's why they're making good decisions."

Valentine did say he had the same rule in his last big-league managerial job with the Mets.

With ESPN's penchant to overblow everything Red Sox and Francona on its payroll, it's safe to say this won't be the last time Francona is asked about a Boston controversy -- and Valentine will object to whatever is said. Valentine is always entertaining, and with Francona in his new gig and a microscope on both, there should be plenty of fun for onlookers this season.

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


Posted on: February 27, 2012 2:30 pm
Edited on: February 27, 2012 2:44 pm
 

Reds sign Sean Marshall to 3-year extension

Sean MarshallBy C. Trent Rosecrans

The Reds announced a three-year extension through 2015 with left-hander Sean Marshall on Monday. The deal is worth $16.5 million, tweets Ken Rosenthal of FoxSports.com.

Cincinnati acquired Marshall in December for left-hander Travis Wood, outfielder Dave Sappelt and infielder Ronald Torreyes. At the time, it seemed like maybe a tad too much for an admittedly very good reliever, but one who would be a free agent after the 2012 season. However, the idea that Marshall would be open to an extension makes the deal make more sense.

"We're obviously very excited about it," Reds general manager Walt Jocketty told reporters, including MLB.com's Mark Sheldon. "When we made the trade for him, we made it intending to extend him. We felt confident we would do that. We wanted to approach it sooner than later. Our goal was to try and get it done before the start of camp, or at least before we started playing games. We did get it done before the games."

Marhshall, 29, was 6-6 with a 2.26 ERA last season, appearing in 78 games and striking out 79 batters in 75 2/3 innings.

Marshall started his career as a starter, but has found his place as a reliever. In his two full seasons out of the bullpen, he's 13-11 with a 2.45 ERA and six saves with 169 strikeouts in 150 1/3 innings.

Last season, he was good against right-handers, but death to lefties. Right-handers hit .249/.302/.297 against him -- hardly All-Star numbers -- but lefties were limited to just .206/.245/.258 against him, as he struck out 31 of the 104 lefties that he faced. The only home run he surrendered was to right-handed hitting Cody Ross.

Marshall will make $3.1 million this season.

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

Posted on: February 27, 2012 2:11 pm
 

Reliever exchanges number for college fund

Daniel McCutchen

By C. Trent Rosecrans


Daniel McCutchen is no dumb jock.

Most of the time when a veteran comes to a new team and wants his jersey number from a younger player, that player will aks for a watch or a car or some other such nonsense. McCutchen, who wore No. 34 for the Pirates before A.J. Burnett came aboard, had a much better idea.

Instead of some trinket, McCutchen asked for Burnett to set up a CollegeAmerica 529 plan for the 29-year-old reliever's unborn daughter. And now Burnett wears No. 34 and McCutchen wears No. 25.

"When a veteran comes in and takes a number, some of the guys usually get something," McCutchen told Bill Brink of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. "I know he has kids. He asked me what I wanted, I brought that up.

"Eighteen years from now, we'll see what the market is."

Of course, speaking as someone with a newborn daughter, I've certainly thought about what college will cost in 18 years. And then I cry and hope that some big-named blogger gets sent to CBSSports.com and wants my login name.

Hat-tip: Getting Blanked

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

Posted on: February 27, 2012 11:21 am
Edited on: February 27, 2012 12:06 pm
 

Class A team to celebrate Titanic anniversary

By C. Trent Rosecrans

There's nothing like minor-league promotions, and the Potomac Nationals will have an interesting one on April 15 -- the 100th anniversary of the sinking of the Titanic.

To commemorate the anniversary, the team will allow women and children into the ballpark first -- a full 15 minutes before the men.

I was thinking maybe they should have specials on icees or a dunk tank -- too soon?

No matter what else they do, I'm sure plenty of people will make "I'm the king of the world" jokes and think they're the first one to do so. They'll be wrong.

Hat-tip: Washington Post's D.C. Sports Bog

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