Tag:NL West
Posted on: December 14, 2011 5:06 pm
Edited on: December 14, 2011 5:09 pm
 

Giants re-sign Guillermo Mota

By Matt Snyder

The Giants have re-signed right-handed relief pitcher Guillermo Mota, CBSSports.com's Jon Heyman has learned. The deal is for one year and $1 million.

Mota, 38, had a 3.81 ERA, 1.26 WHIP and 77 strikeouts in 80 1/3 innings last season for San Francisco. The signing helps keep most of the Giants' elite bullpen together for the 2012 season. Only the Braves had a better bullpen ERA in 2011 than the Giants, and it was only 3.03 to 3.04. The Giants traded Ramon Ramirez to the the Mets during the Winter Meetings, but the rest of the key components are coming back.

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Posted on: December 13, 2011 6:10 pm
Edited on: December 14, 2011 4:22 pm
 

Josh Willingham headed to Twins



By Matt Snyder


The Minnesota Twins has signed free agent outfielder Josh Willingham, CBSSports.com's Jon Heyman has confirmed. The deal, which is pending a physical, has been reported to be three years for $21 million by the Star Tribune.

The Twins preferred to have free agent Michael Cuddyer return to the club and were reportedly offering him a three-year, $25 million contract, but Cuddyer was initially seeking three years, $36 million -- reports CBSSports.com's Danny Knobler -- and has lowered his asking price to three years and $30 million.

Hot Stove Tuesday
Still, the Twins seem content to move on to Willingham as talks did not progress to their liking with Cuddyer.

Willingham, 32, hit .246/.332/.477 with 29 homers, 98 RBI and 26 doubles in 136 games last season for the A's.

The Twins still have several decisions to make with their outfield -- and designated hitter spot, for that matter -- so it's unclear exactly where what the depth chart looks like. That being said, Willingham will absolutely be an everyday starter, probably in left field. Ben Revere, Denard Span (long rumored in trade talks) are already on hand. At DH, the Twins can use some combination of Justin Morneau, Ryan Doumit and Joe Mauer -- whichever of the three isn't playing the field -- or even Willingham. Jason Kubel is a free agent.

As for Cuddyer, as has previously been mentioned by Heyman, the Rockies have interest in him as well as Carlos Beltran. With the Twins off the board for Cuddyer, it would seem Cuddyer now needs to turn to Colorado. And the Rockies may just get to choose between the two. We'll see.

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Posted on: December 12, 2011 5:55 pm
Edited on: December 13, 2011 3:11 pm
 

Diamondbacks sign Takashi Saito

By Matt Snyder

The Arizona Diamondbacks have agreed to terms on a one-year, $1.75 million contract with relief pitcher Takashi Saito, reports CBSSports.com's Jon Heyman.

Saito spent the first three seasons of his MLB career in the NL West, serving as the closer for the Dodgers for most of the 2006-08 seasons. He was an All-Star in 2007. He'll turn 42 before next season, but is still productive -- and that's a pretty cheap salary for a pitcher of his caliber.

Saito worked in 30 games last season for the NL Central champion Brewers, putting together a 2.03 ERA, 1.13 WHIP and 23 strikeouts in 26 2/3 innings. He'll join David Hernandez in setting up for J.J. Putz, giving a very formidable trio at the end of the ballgame for Arizona. Brad Ziegler is no slouch either, and the D-Backs will now have a full season from him, so the bullpen as a whole will be improved.

List of MLB free agents

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Posted on: December 11, 2011 3:48 pm
 

Indians add Felix Pie on minor-league deal

Felix PieBy C. Trent Rosecrans

The Indians have agreed to a minor-league deal with former Orioles outfielder Felix Pie, Dan Connolly of the Baltimore Sun tweets.

According to the report, Pie can earn up to $1 million in performance bonuses and can opt out by opening day.

Pie, a one-time top prospect of the Cubs, took a huge step back in 2011, hitting .220/.264/.280 in 85 games for the Orioles after hitting .270/.315/.424 with 14 homers and 60 RBI in his first two seasons in Baltimore. Pie offers debth in the outfield, as he can play all three positions. Clevelnad re-signed center fielder Grady Sizemore, who makes up the outfield, as of now, with Shin-Soo Choo and Michael Brantley.

The Indians are reportedly still in on free-agent outfielder Josh Willingham. The Mariners, Rockies and Twins are also interested in Willigham. Minnesota and Colorado see Willingham as a fallback option if either loses out on Michael Cuddyer.

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Posted on: December 10, 2011 2:59 pm
Edited on: December 10, 2011 3:13 pm
 

Cardinals, Furcal agree to 2-year deal

Rafael Furcal

By C. Trent Rosecrans

While the Angels were welcoming Albert Pujols in a pep rally in Anaheim, the Cardinals have agreed to a two-year, $14 million deal with shortstop Rafael Furcal, pending a physical, CBSSports.com senior writer Danny Knobler confirms.

Furcal joined the Cardinals at the trade deadline along with case in return for minor-league outfielder Alex Castellanos. Furcal helped sure up the Cardinals' defense on their way to a World Series title.

The 34-year-old hit .255/.316/.418 in 50 games during the regular season with the Cardinals after hitting just .197/.272/.248 for the Dodgers in the final year of his three-year, $30 million deal with the Dodgers.

Furcal played in just a total of 87 regular-season games in 2011 and has played in more than 100 games in a season just once in the last four years..

With the Cardinals' keeping Furcal, it appears Jimmy Rollins doesn't have any more leverage with other teams and will most likely return to the Phillies. The Cardinals and Brewers were the other spots with shortstop openings and money to spend, but St. Louis went with Furcal and Milwaukee turning to Alex Gonzalez

Follow all the free agent moves with the CBSSports.com Free Agent Tracker. 

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Posted on: December 10, 2011 1:06 pm
 

Breslow learns of trade on Twitter

By C. Trent Rosecrans

On TV and in the movies, when a player gets traded, he's called into the manager's office and given the news. That's usually how it's done during the season still, but during the offseason you'd expect a team's general manager to call up a player and break the news to him. 

And once upon a time, that was probably how it happened. In 2011, though, news moves faster than that -- or at least faster than Oakland A's general manager Billy Beane.

Yesterday the A's sent Trevor Cahill and Craig Breslow to Arizona for Jarrod Parker, Ryan Cook and Collin Cowgill. How did Cahill find out? Well, let's let him explain:

 

Another player traded on Friday, former Nationals reliever Collin Balester, got the news from his wife. He was shopping for a Christmas tree and had left his cell phone at home, but his wife -- who was due with their first child on Friday -- started getting calls and texts about the trade to Detroit, according to Amanda Comak of the Washington Times.

As someone whose wife was due Thursday (and still hasn't delivered), I can tell you it's a huge mistake to leave your cell phone at home at this point, but for reasons other than baseball. The good news, though, is that Balester's wife, Ashley, is from Perrysburg, Ohio, not far from Detroit, so they'll be headed to her home, which will be convenient with a new kid in the house. 

H/T: Yahoo's Big League Stew

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Posted on: December 9, 2011 6:06 pm
Edited on: December 9, 2011 7:52 pm
 

D-Backs trade for Cahill, re-sign Overbay

Trevor Cahill

By C. Trent Rosecrans

Lyle OverbayThe Diamondbacks didn't make much noise in Dallas, but the made two moves on Friday -- trading for right-hander Trevor Cahill and re-signing first baseman Lyle Overbay.

Cahill and lefty reliever Craig Breslow are headed to Arizona in return for right-handers Jarrod Parker and Ryan Cook, along with outfielder Collin Cowgill. Arizona also received cash considerations in the deal.

Cahill would bolster the Diamondbacks' rotation, joining Ian Kennedy and Daniel Hudson at the top of the rotation. Cahill, 23, is signed through 2015 with club options for 2016 and 2017. Cahill is owed $30 million over the next four season, earning $3.5 million this season after making just $500,000 last season.

Cahill was 12-14 with a 4.16 ERA last season after going 18-8 with a 2.97 ERA in 2010. Breslow appeared in 67 games last season with a 3.79 ERA and has pitched in 202 games with a 3.14 ERA after being picked off from waivers by the A's from the Twins in 2009.

Jarrod ParkerParker, 23, was the Diamondbacks' first-round pick in the 2007 draft and made his big-league debut this past season, earning a no-decision in his lone start, but throwing 5 2/3 innings without allowing a run. He also made an appearance in the NLDS against the Brewers, allowing two hits and a run in 1/3 of an inning.

Cowgill, 25, hit .239/.300/.304 with a home run in 100 plate appearances last season. Cook was 0-1 with a 7.04 ERA in 12 appearances for the Diamondbacks in 2011. In his first year as a reliever, he appeared in 48 games at Double-A and Triple-A in addition to his big-league stint, earning a 2.21 ERA with 62 strikeouts in 61 innings.

"We feel very fortunate to add a young, talented started like Trevor to our rotation and an extremely durable and successful reliever like Craig to our bullpen," Diamondbacks GM Kevin Towers said in a release by the team. "It's never easy to part with a prospect, but we feel like the surplus of talent that our scouting and player development staff has generated puts us in a position to build on what we accomplished this season and truly improve our team in 2012 and beyond."

Overbay finished 2011 with Arizona after being released by the Pirates in August. He hit .286/.388/.452 with a home run in 18 games for Arizona after hitting .227/.300/.349 for the Pirates in 391 playte appearances. Overbay started his career in Arizona, playing part of three seasons there before being traded to Milwaukee in the deal that brought Richie Sexson to Arizona.

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Posted on: December 9, 2011 5:40 pm
Edited on: December 9, 2011 6:41 pm
 

Best free agents left after winter meetings



By C. Trent Rosecrans

The winter meetings are over and some of the biggest names on the free-agent market are off the table, but that doesn't mean the hot stove has died out. So, the day after Albert Pujols and the Angels shocked the baseball world, here's a look at the top five position players and pitchers left on the market:

Postition players

Prince Fielder1. Prince Fielder -- The 27-year-old Fielder is the biggest fish left on the market, averaging more than 38 home runs in his six full seasons in the big leagues and posting a .929 career OPS. Whoever lands Fielder will get a shot to the lineup. The knock is Fielder's weight and the length of a contract.

Possible landing spots: Brewers, Blue Jays, Cubs, Mariners, Marlins

Carlos Beltran2. Carlos Beltran -- Beltran's been a bit of a forgotten name in all the winter meetings talk. Beltran will be 35 in April and just finished a seven-year deal with the Mets. After being limited by injuries in his last two seasons, Beltran had a bounce-back year, hitting .300/.385/.525 with 22 homers and 84 RBI and doing that in two home ballparks not known to be friendly to hitters, Citi Field and AT&T Park. He can still play center field, but is probably better suited on a corner.

Possible landing spots: Cardinals, Nationals, Red Sox, Tigers, Braves, Mariners, Cubs

Aramis Ramirez3. Aramis Ramirez -- Even though he has 14 years in the big leagues under his belt, Ramirez is just 33 and coming off a .306/.361/.510 season with 26 homers and 93 RBI. A two-time All-Star, he's by far the best third baseman on the market -- and it's not even close.

Possible landing spots: Brewers, Phillies, Marlins

Michael Cuddyer4. Michael Cuddyer -- Cuddyer will be 33 in March and can play both the corner outfield and infield spots, offering teams a versatile player. He hit .284/.346/.459 with 20 homers last season and hit 32 homers in 2009 before the Twins moved to spacious Target Field. The Twins have reportedly already offered him a three-year deal, as have the Rockies.

Possible landing spots: Rockies, Twins, Phillies, Giants, Red Sox

Jimmy Rollins5. Jimmy Rollins -- It seems odd to consider the 2007 MVP in anything but a Phillies uniform, but Pujols is now in California, so anything's possible. Rollins' offensive numbers have dropped off since his MVP season, but he still plays a premium position -- and one a couple of teams need to fill. A three-time Gold Glove winner, Rollins turned 33 last month. If he re-signs with the Phillies, it could be his last contract. Rollins is reportedly searching for a five-year contract, a tactic that may scare away every team other than the Phillies.

Possible landing spots: Phillies, Cardinals

Pitchers

Yu Darvish1. Yu Darvish -- The 25-year-old Japanese right-hander will reportedly be posted and has been seen as perhaps the best starter available. There's no shortage of teams that could be interested in Darvish, but the history of recent big-ticket Japanese pitchers could scare off some suitors and keep the posting fee lower than expected. Once his team in Japan, the Hokkaido Nippon-Ham Fighers, accept the posting, the winning team still has to negotiate with Darvish. The posting system, though, gives a chance for a surprise team to emerge the winner.

Possible landing spots: Rangers, Blue Jays, Red Sox, Yankees, Nationals, Royals

Hiroki Kuroda2. Hiroki Kuroda -- There's no question of how Kuroda will perform in the big leagues -- he's gone 41-46 with a 3.45 ERA in four seasons with the Dodgers. Kuroda had a 13-16 record in 2011, despite putting up just a 3.07 ERA. He told the team he wouldn't give up his no-trade protection at the trade deadline, but the Dodgers have already found replacements for him in the rotation. He has one offer on the table already from the Hiroshima Carp in Japan, but would make more money in the U.S.

Possible landing spots: Cubs, Rockies, Diamondbacks, Yankees, Red Sox, Carp

Edwin Jackson3. Edwin Jackson -- The fact that Jackson has already played for six different teams and he's just 28 may raise some flags, but he's also had six teams want him at some point and for good reason. Although Jackson has battled inconsistency, he's still had results at times. He was 12-9 with a 3.79 ERA for the Cardinals and White Sox last season. He's not a No. 1, but he's younger than some of the other second-tier starters on the market, increasing his value.

Possible landing spots: Twins, Rangers, Yankees, Cubs, Royals, Nationals, Pirates, Rockies, Orioles

Ryan Madson4. Ryan Madson -- Even though there were reports the right-hander had agreed to return to the Phillies earlier this offseason, the team turned to Jonathan Papelbon instead. The Red Sox, who along with the Reds, are still searching for a closer could end up signing Madson and seem the best fit. In his firs tseason as the Phillies' closer, Madson recorded 32 saves, going 4-2 with a 2.37 ERA, striking out 62 batters in 60 2/3 innings.

Possible landing spots: Red Sox, Reds, Phillies

Francisco Cordero5. Francisco Cordero -- Like Madson, Cordero seems to be on the outside of the closer game of musical chairs. The Red Sox and Reds are the only team left looking for a closer. The Reds were interested in bringing back Cordero with a discount after declining their $12 million option on the 36-year-old right-hander. Cordero converted 37 saves last season and 150 in four years in Cincinnati.

Possible landing spots: Red Sox, Reds, Twins

Follow all the free agent moves with the CBSSports.com Free Agent Tracker 

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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