Tag:Hot Stove League
Posted on: December 22, 2010 12:41 pm
Edited on: December 22, 2010 2:27 pm
 

Lefty Francis drawing attention

Jeff Francis Brandon Webb isn't the only reclamation project out there -- there's also Jeff Francis.

The left-hander has gotten calls from the Mets, Nationals, Pirates, Rangers and Yankees with "varying degrees of interest," ESPN.com's Jerry Crasnick tweets . The Rockies still have interest in bringing him back, MLB.com's Thomas Harding writes . The Brewers had reportedly had interest in Francis, but that was before the Zack Greinke deal.

Francis will turn 30 in early January. He made 19 starts in 2010 after missing all of 2009 following shoulder surgery. He was 4-6 with a 5.01 ERA. In 2008, he struggled with his shoulder and went 4-10 with a 5.01 ERA. From 2005-2007, he appeared to be the Rockies' great pitching hope, going 44-32 with a 4.65 ERA, before being derailed by injuries.

The former first-rounder finished a four-year, $13.25 million deal after this season before becoming a free agent. He will likely have to sign a one-year "show me" deal to prove he can still be an effective starter.

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

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

Posted on: December 22, 2010 11:36 am
Edited on: December 22, 2010 2:27 pm
 

Blanton could be alternative to Pavano

Joe Blanton Joe Blanton is not a member of the Red Sox.

You may remember as part of the wake behind the signing of Cliff Lee, there was a report Blanton had been traded to Boston. He had not.

The Phillies are still looking at moving Blanton, who is due $8.5 million for each of the next two seasons. But Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports.com notes the Phillies may wait for Carl Pavano to sign before actively shopping Blanton.

For the Phillies, they could market Blanton as a less expensive, more durable, younger and unmustached version of Pavano. The Twins will likely sign Pavano, while the Nationals have also had a lot of interest in him (the Brewers did, but they kinda filled that spot in their rotation.)

The Phillies won't be asking for much in return for Blanton, just the salary relief.

Blanton was 9-6 with a 4.82 ERA for the Phillies last season and at 30, has started at least 29 games in each of his six full seasons.

Pavano has gone 31-23 with a 4.39 ERA in the last two seasons for the Indians and Twins after starting just 26 games for the Yankees from 2005-2008 after signing a big contract with New York.

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

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



Posted on: December 22, 2010 11:08 am
Edited on: December 22, 2010 2:26 pm
 

'Mystery' NL Central team in on Webb

Brandon Webb We have a "mystery team" sighting!

The most active team this offseason is at it again, and this time with Brandon Webb.

Except, this time it's "an unidentified NL Central team," tweets ESPN.com's Jerry Crasnick.

John Fay of the Cincinnati Enquirer tweets it's not the Reds, and Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel says it's not the Brewers .

That leaves the Cardinals, Astros and Pirates, because the Cubs, we knew, were already interested, along with the Rangers and Nationals.

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

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

Posted on: December 21, 2010 11:26 pm
 

Yankees to keep Chamberlain in the bullpen

Joba Chamberlain The Yankees "paid a price" for waiting on Cliff Lee, general manager Brian Cashman told Marc Carig of the Star-Ledger , as the team is still looking for a starter (or two) to round out its rotation.

"There's not much available, to be quite honest," Cashman said.

The Yankees have requested the medical records of Freddy Garcia. The team apparently isn't interested in Brandon Webb, but Cashman wouldn't comment either way.

"Bottom line is there is a price to pay for waiting for Cliff Lee," Cashman said. "Now, part of that price is definitely going to be loss of previous opportunities that [existed]. At the same time, now it's going to have to be some patience. Now it's going to be a steeper mountain to climb, which is fine, because we can climb it. Steeper meaning it's going to take a longer way to get there. IT's a harder road to travel. That's OK. You can still get there."

One person the team won't consider in the rotation is Joba Chamberlain, who battled for a rotation spot last spring and then spent all of 2010 in the bullpen.

"His stuff plays so much more significantly out of the pen," Cashman said. "We've given him the opportunity to show what he can do out of the rotation and the velocity dropped. It's just not the same stuff."

Cashman has repeatedly said he's moving on as if left-hander Andy Pettitte will indeed retire. That means their current rotation is CC Sabathia, A.J. Burnett, Phil Hughes and then whoever else is ready, likely Ivan Nova.

In addition to starting help, New York is also searching for right-handed bullpen help, a right-handed hitting outfielder and a utility player.

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

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


Posted on: December 21, 2010 10:47 pm
 

Rockies searching for relievers

David Aardsma The Mariners are asking for an "impact bat" in exchange for closer David Aardsma, MLB.com's Thomas Harding writes .

Aardsma will be 29 next week. He is arbitration-eligible for the second time this season, making $2.75 million in 2010. Aardsma has 69 saves over the last two seasons since the Red Sox traded him to Seattle in exchange for Fabian Williamson before the 2009 season. Aardsma has a 2.90 ERA since joining the Mariners, striking out 129 batters in 121 innings. Last season he had a 3.44 ERA and struck out 49 in 49 2/3 innings.

The Rockies have been looking for a reliever, but with the Mariners' demand, they're not a fit for the a trade. Aardsma went to high school in the Denver area.

Harding writes the Rockies are interested in Grant Balfour, but he's a Type A free agent and Colorado doesn't want to forfeit a draft pick to sign him. Other possibilities for the Rockies include free agents Jon Rauch, Chad Qualls and Todd Coffey.

Rockies general manager Dan O'Dowd told Harding the team would offer a multiyear deal to a reliever, but only under the "right circumstances."

As for Aardsma, shopping him makes a ton of sense. Closers are currently overvalued and a good one is certainly a luxury for a team that figures to be as bad as the Mariners. Seattle would be wise to flip him for offensive help and save some money in the deal. To do so, thought, they'll have to find a taker. That could be easier near the trade deadline.

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

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



Posted on: December 21, 2010 5:44 pm
Edited on: December 21, 2010 5:48 pm
 

O's interest in Derrek Lee rekindled

Derrek Lee With no movement on coming to an agreement with free-agent first baseman Adam LaRoche, the Orioles have turned their attention to Derrek Lee, Jeff Zrebiec of the Baltimore Sun writes .

The Orioles had reportedly focused on LaRoche and offered him a three-year deal. That hasn't been accepted yet, and so the team has started talking again with Lee's agent, Casey lee, this week.

LaRoche, 31, hit .261/.320/.468 with 25 home runs and 100 RBI for the Diamondbacks last season, while earning $4.5 million. He's likely looking for a raise and the security of a multi-year deal, coming off his "show-me" one-year deal with the Diamondbacks.

Lee, 36, hit .260/.347/.428 with 19 home runs and 80 RBI with the Cubs and Braves last season. He was in the final year of a five-year deal with Chicago and made $13.25 million last season, a salary he's unlikely to get for 2011.

Honestly, with reports of the Orioles offering LaRoche three-years and $21 million, this sounds like a smokescreen to try to hurry LaRoche's decision to sign the deal.

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

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



Posted on: December 21, 2010 4:20 pm
Edited on: December 21, 2010 5:30 pm
 

Padres acquire catcher Rob Johnson

Rob Johnson Nothing says the week of Christmas quite like remaking the front for the trade of a backup catcher.

But hey, Cliff Lee's signed, Derek Jeter's happy and Zack Greinke's been traded. We're left with Rob Johnson being traded from Seattle to San Diego for a paler to be named or cash.

Yep.

Johnson was designated for assignment last week to make room for designated hitter Jack Cust on the 40-man roster.

Johnson,  27, hit .191/.293/.281 in 61 games for the Mariners last season. In 2009, he hit .213/.289/.326 in 80 games. He hit two homers in each of the last two seasons.

With the Padres, Johnson will back up Nick Hundley. The Mariners now have just one catcher, Adam Moore, on its 40-man roster.

UPDATE: Kind of a brain cramp, but the Mariners will have two catchers as soon as Miguel Olivo's contract is official.

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

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




Posted on: December 21, 2010 2:34 pm
Edited on: December 21, 2010 3:46 pm
 

Angels yank offer to Beltre

BeltreThe markets for Adrian Beltre and Rafael Soriano have moved incredibly slowly this winter, and while the Angels have made a bid on Beltre, no resolution seems close.

FOX Sports' Ken Rosenthal reports that the Angels have a five-year, $70 million tender out to the third baseman and are so far refusing to raise it to agent Scott Boras' preferences. Boras is seeking a five-year deal worth about $90 million, or a six-year deal with a similar payout to the five years.

The Angels have no reason to up the bid as it doesn't appear any other team is willing to commit the same amount of dollars to the third baseman. Oakland offered a five-year deal for around $60 million that was pulled after Beltre went weeks without responding, likely due to concerns about playing in the Oakland Coliseum. It's unknown if the A's could even afford Beltre after the trades for David DeJesus and Josh Willingham.

UPDATE: And the Angels continue their offseason of head-scratching decisions, having chosen to pull their offer to Beltre, as the Los Angeles Times reports.

As a team that seems to believe in only negotiating as if they are the only option (witness their low offer to Crawford and dragging their feet on matching Boston's offer, then owner Arte Moreno lambasting the deal), this now leaves the Angels in position with any other club for Beltre's services instead of pole position.

A source tells the Times that "the door is still open" for Beltre to sign with the club.

Why pull the offer then?

It's likely simply posturing, as Moreno has said in the past the team will not raise the offer on Beltre, while Boras is holding out for more.

One of these two sides have to blink at some point -- unless the vaunted mystery team drops in on the Beltre bidding.

-- Evan Brunell

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

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