Tag:C. Trent Rosecrans
Posted on: February 5, 2012 12:17 pm
Edited on: February 5, 2012 3:42 pm
 

Brad Penny signs with Japan's Softbank Hawks

Brad Penny

By C. Trent Rosecrans

Brad Penny is indeed headed to Japan, agreeing to a deal with the Softbank Hawks of Japan's Pacific League, according to the team's official website.

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According to the Yomiuri Shimbun (via NPB Tracker), Penny signed a one-year deal worth $3 million plus performance bonuses, however, FoxSports.com's Ken Rosenthal tweets the deal is worth $4 million with another $3.5 million in performance bonuses and a $4.5 million mutual option for 2013. It's the largest contract given to an American pitcher without prior NPB experience, Rosenthal added in another tweet. Sanspo (again, via NPB Tracker) notes Penny will leave for Japan this week in time to do join the team's camp on Feb. 9.

NPB Tracker suggests Penny will be expected to fill the No. 2 spot in the Hawks rotation, which lost three starters from 2011.

Penny, 33, was 11-11 with a 5.30 ERA for the Tigers last season, making just one appearance in the ALCS, giving up five runs in what was already a rout in the deciding Game 6 against the Rangers.

A two-time All-Star, Penny has a career record of 119-99 with a 4.23 ERA in parts of 12 seasons with the Dodgers, Marlins, Giants, Cardinals, Red Sox and Tigers. He was third in Cy Young voting as a member of the Dodgers in 2007 when he went 16-4 with a 3.03 ERA.

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Posted on: February 4, 2012 9:33 pm
 

Giants won't bid on Yoenis Cespedes

Yoenis Cespedes

By C. Trent Rosecrans


One team that won't win the Yoenis Cespedes sweepstakes is the Giants, because, like Lotto, you gotta be in it to win.

Giants general manager Brian Sabean said at the team's FanFest on Saturday (via the San Francisco Chronicle) that his team would not bid on the Cuban outfielder.

"The price tag is probably beyond what his talent is," Sabean said.

The Cubs, Marlins and White Sox are considered favorites for the 26-year-old, with the Orioles and Tigers also seen as possible landing spots.

On Thursday, Marlins president David Samson told MLB.com that his team is "aggressively negotiating" a contract with Cespedes.

At this point it seems Cespedes will likely land a deal larger than Aroldis Chapman's six-year, $30.25 million deal signed in 2010. Cespedes could command $40 million or more.

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Posted on: February 4, 2012 12:16 pm
Edited on: February 4, 2012 12:19 pm
 

Yankees could bring back Damon or Matsui



Raul IbanezBy C. Trent Rosecrans

Yankees manager Joe Girardi said he'd still like another bat for his lineup and would be interested in two former Yankees returning to the Bronx.

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"Johnny [Damon] has been a great player for a long time," Girardi told Dan Martin of the New York Post. "There's been a bunch of names talked about, and they're all good players. [Raul] Ibanez, he's had a great career, and [Hideki] Matsui has had a great career. Obviously, we know what Johnny and [Matsui] have meant to this organization and Ibanez has had success wherever he's been. … I can't tell you it's going to be one of those three guys, but we know they know how to play here."

The Yankees had been counting on Jesus Montero as their main designated hitter, but he was traded to Seattle for Michael Pineda. Instead of the 22-year-old Montero as the DH, it appears the Yankees want to go with a much older player and expect the new DH to be more of a complementary player than an impact bat like Montero. Matsui, Damon and Ibanez are 37, 38 and 39, respectively.

Matsui, a Yankee from 2003-2009, hit .251/.321/.375 with 12 home runs for the A's last season. Damon, a Yankee from 2006-2009, hit .261/.326/.418 with 16 homers for the Rays last season. Ibanez has never played for the Yankees, but spent the last three seasons in Philadelphia. He hit .245/.289/.419 with 20 home runs in 2011.

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Posted on: February 3, 2012 10:21 pm
 

Fielders' relationship still strained

Cecil Fielder

By C. Trent Rosecrans

After Prince Fielder signed with the Tigers, his father, former big-leaguer Cecil Fielder, said his relationship with his son had improved. On Friday, Fielder was singing a different tune before he was inducted into the Ted Williams Hall of Fame in Florida.

"But I do not know if it's improving," Cecil Fielder said of his relationship with his son, according to the Detroit Free Press. "I worry how he's grown as a man."

Fielder said he wouldn't go to his son's games in Detroit, even though the elder Fielder played for the Tigers under owner Mike Ilitch. Fielder said his son had him "thrown out" of the family room in Turner Field in Atlanta a couple of years ago.

"I'm not going nowhere around it," Fielder told the newspaper. "Mr. Ilitch is my man, but there's been some awful [stuff]. I don't want to get in the position where he throws me out of the damn stadium. I'll have a chance to see him on TV."

Fielder also said his son has hid behind agent Scott Boras.

"I say he has to grow up, and sooner or later, he will grow up," he said.

During his introductory news conference in Detroit, Prince Fielder danced around questions about his dad. The two have famously had a falling out, but when Prince signed in Detroit, there had been talk that the relationship between the two had improved. It doesn't sound like that's the case. The younger Fielder has dodged questions about his dad for several years, but at least he's consistent.

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Posted on: February 3, 2012 9:55 pm
 

Buster Posey expects to be ready for opening day

Buster PoseyBy C. Trent Rosecrans

In what is likely to many "state of Buster" updates until the regular season begins, Giants catcher Buster Posey said Friday that he expects to be ready for opening day.

"I've done some stuff I didn't think I'd be doing so soon," Posey said at the Giants' offseason media availability on Friday (via MLB.com's Lyle Spencer). "I started taking batting practice on the field about three weeks before I thought I would. Timing is a huge part of hitting. I'm optimistic it'll be pretty smooth."

Posey did say he still feels aches in his surgically repaired left ankle, but has been assured that's normal.

The Giants are expected to use Posey at first base some during the season in an attempt to keep his bat in the lineup while minimizing the injury and fatigue risks that come with catching. That said, Posey noted he's having no trouble crouching behind the plate as he works in the offseason.

"It'll be questions and answers for a while," Posey told Spencer. "I can answer questions by being out there.

"I'm anxious. There are going to be a few extra things to do in spring training, but I'm happy where I am and I'm looking forward to a healthy season."

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Posted on: February 3, 2012 6:36 pm
Edited on: February 6, 2012 4:42 pm
 

Public accountability part of Hamilton's recovery

Josh Hamilton

By C. Trent Rosecrans


The first time I met Josh Hamilton was the two days before pitchers and catchers reported in 2007. The Reds had acquired him from the Cubs after the Rule 5 draft and he was at the team's complex in Sarasota, Fla., working with manager Jerry Narron and Johnny Narron, who would go on to become what the Rangers would call his "accountability coach." I briefly saw Josh and was struck by the size of the guy -- if God were to build a baseball player, he'd look exactly like this -- minus the tattoos. That wasn't the first time I was shocked by Hamilton.

Josh Hamilton
Our first meeting was quick, we introduced ourselves and that was it. His full press conference and time to write the full Josh Hamilton story would come later. As the Reds beat writer for the Cincinnati Post, I'd be spending plenty of time with Hamilton in the next seven months or so, talking to him quite a bit and watching a budding superstar on the field.

Early in the first spring training, Hamilton held a press conference and said he'd take all questions. He went through his entire story, a story that has become widely known since then, but was incredible and fresh at the time. He was open, honest and above all, accountable for his own actions. At one point, he spoke about the guy who introduced him to drugs, who opened the door to his path of addiction. He made sure to note, the guy "wasn't a bad person, he was just into bad things." That always impressed me. Josh said he made the decision, he'd live the with the consequences and refused to blame anyone but himself for his addiction.

I only remember one question he wouldn't answer, it came after his press conference I went up to him and asked about specifics of which drugs he used and he said it didn't really matter, that wasn't the point -- but did note he never used a needle. I respected his wishes and left it alone.

Josh HamiltonAfter hours of writing, I wrote "the Josh Hamilton story" for my newspaper. It was long and didn't even come close to explaining the whole story, but I did my best and tried to do it justice. After that, all spring the story was about what he did on the field and it became evident that he'd not only make the team, but he'd be a big part of that year's team.

For a while, the Hamilton story went quiet, but once the regular season began, the "Josh Hamilton story" came up every time we went to a new city. The first game of every road series against a new team, Hamilton would hold another press conference, telling his story again and again. Throughout the season, he'd repeatedly tell the same stories, always smiling, always open, always honest. It was an incredible performance.

One day I asked him how he did it, if it ever got old? Was he sick of reliving his greatest mistakes and explaining himself in every new city? His answer shocked me -- he not only didn't mind doing it, he felt it was vital to his recovery.

"The media," I remember him telling me, "you, the other reporters, the fans -- everyone who hears my story holds me accountable. I want that, I need that."

I thought of that story two years ago when photos of him drinking at a bar in Arizona surfaced and I thought about it again last night when the reports surfaced that he'd relapsed and had a night of drinking. But it hit home when I saw it again today in his press conference. That was the same Josh Hamilton I heard many times, every time sincere, every time fighting his disease and blaming nobody but himself. And again, he said he needed help -- from the media, from the fans, from his family and from anyone who could help him. Addiction is a disease, one that is never cured, but managed. He's managed it well since 2007, but he's not cured and he never will be. But for now, as sad as I was to hear about his relapse, I'm happy to hear he's not only taking responsibility, but he's ready to continue his battle with addiction -- and if he doesn't win it, I hope he's always ahead in the count.

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Posted on: February 3, 2012 5:43 pm
Edited on: February 3, 2012 6:22 pm
 

Marlins' home run sculpture coming to life



By C. Trent Rosecrans


The Miami Marlins have been anything but boring since ending the 2011 season -- new players, new uniforms and a new stadium. While there have been debates about the merits of many of the team's transactions and designs, one thing has been universally panned -- the new home run celebration feature.

An Associated Press photographer got a tour of the new park on Thursday and posted the picture above on Friday.

This is what it's going to look like in action:



The other day, Matt posted some other photos from the ballpark that show exactly where the Red Grooms-designed sculpture will reside and its size relative to the rest of the ballpark.

As bad as this is… and it looks like some kind of train wreck, like the uniforms, it's growing on me. It'll be unique, that's for sure. It's garish, outlandish and, well, fits with Miami. I can't wait to see it in action after a Mike Stanton bomb. You know, at some point you just have to loosen up, relax and remember it's all a game and it's all for fun. It may not be traditional, but after 20 years of throw-back stadiums, I'm excited to see the future -- even if it looks like a South Florida souvenir shop exploded.

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Posted on: February 3, 2012 4:57 pm
Edited on: February 3, 2012 5:31 pm
 

Dodgers add Todd Coffey to bullpen

Todd CoffeyBy C. Trent Rosecrans

The Dodgers have agreed to a one-year deal with right-handed reliever Todd Coffey, CBSSports.com insider Jon Heyman reports.

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Coffey will earn $1.3 million in 2012 with $350,000 worth of possible incentives.

Coffey, 31, was 5-1 with a 3.62 ERA in 69 games for the Nationals last season, striking out 46 batters in 59 2/3 innings. He had a WHIP of 1.257. In parts of seven seasons with the Reds and Brewers, Coffey is 24-18 with a 4.08 ERA and 11 saves.

Right-hander Javy Guerra finished the season as the Dodgers' closer and looks to be the favorite going into 2012, with Kenley Jansen there if he falters. Coffey can help in a setup role, along with right-hander Matt Guerrier and lefty Scott Elbert.

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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