Tag:2012 MLB Hot Stove
Posted on: December 12, 2011 4:02 pm
Edited on: December 12, 2011 4:18 pm
 

Pujols' wife defends husband on St. Louis radio

By Matt Snyder

Albert Pujols signed with the Angels last week in a move that shocked the baseball world. We knew that. But his wife, Deidre (or "Dee Dee") says the people don't know the reality of the situation -- which is that the Cardinals' offer didn't come anywhere close to what has been reported, because it was only for five years. From the St. Louis Post-Dispatch:
“What I’m saying is it wasn’t a guaranteed situation,” she said. “When you have somebody say, ‘We want you to be a Cardinal for life’ and only offer you a five-year deal ... it kind of confused us. ...

“Well, we got over that insult and felt like Albert had given so much of himself to baseball and into the community that he at least deserved the opportunity to have real life-long -- you know, I tell you what -- we didn’t want to go through this again. Free agency, it’s stressful.”
The Post-Dispatch has reported that the Cardinals' initial offer -- what Dee Dee called an "insult" -- was for five years and $130 million. Of course, the Post-Dispatch is also reporting the offer grew to 10 years and $210 through the course of the negotiations -- which was widely reported during the Winter Meetings last week. On the flip-side, they also report that there was a "significant" portion of the deal in deferred, interest-free, money. So while Mrs. Pujols can say this move wasn't about the money, it's pretty evident it was very much about the money (Pujols signed for 10 years, $254 million and none of that is deferred). Not that I'm blaming them one bit, as $44 million is quite a chunk of change to think about turning down.

Deidre also mentioned that she was surprised Cardinals fans turned on Pujols so quickly upon the news of him signing to play elsewhere. I guess she didn't watch The Decision, huh?

In fairness, we must point out that Mrs. Pujols did say, "we still love St. Louis and always will."

Still, it was 20 minutes of justifications on a radio show in an argument she can't win. With Pujols signing, the fans of St. Louis are going to be angry, and nothing she can say will change that. This goes for free agents leaving places for more money in every sport.

The full interview is available on via Joy FM's website.

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Posted on: December 12, 2011 2:42 pm
 

If you need a third baseman, good luck



By Matt Snyder


Say what you will about Aramis Ramirez -- as many fans seem to have an extreme dislike of him for some reason -- but he was the only starting-caliber third baseman available this offseason.

No, Michael Cuddyer doesn't fit as an everyday third baseman. He played 14 games there in 2010 and zero last season. So he's not included in this discussion and it would be a huge reach to try and claim he is.

The best remaining free agent third baseman is Wilson Betemit. He is a pretty good hitter and is versatile, but he hasn't played in more than 97 games since 2007. And there's a reason he's played for six teams in nine seasons -- he's just not an everyday player.

Hot Stove Season
The other free agent third baseman? Yuck. Casey Blake, Eric Chavez, Greg Dobbs, Kevin Kouzmanoff, Omar Vizquel, Bill Hall, Jorge Cantu, Andy LaRoche and Alex Cora.

It's possible the Phillies trade Placido Polanco, as he's been mentioned in some light rumors, but would it really be a great idea to deal for a 35-year-old who had back issues last season? He's definitely in decline and has very little power.

So unless the Mets shock everyone and put David Wright up for sale, it would appear the guy currently atop the depth chart at third base for all 30 teams will remain there until opening day. The Tigers are probably stuck with Brandon Inge -- and maybe they just bring back Betemit and stick with the same situation as late last season. The Rockies will need to use internal options. The Marlins need to convince Hanley Ramirez he's happy at the hot corner. The Angels have to go with Alberto Callaspo or move Mark Trumbo across the diamond like they've discussed. And, yes, the Phillies are probably stuck with Polanco.

Put simply, the third base market this offseason consisted of one important name. And that name is now on a contract given by the Milwaukee Brewers.

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Posted on: December 12, 2011 12:54 pm
Edited on: December 12, 2011 6:46 pm
 

Brewers land Aramis Ramirez with three-year deal



By Matt Snyder


Brewers fans are in need of good news, and it's possible this will suffice. Slugging third baseman Aramis Ramirez has signed a three-year deal with Milwaukee, pending a physical, Danny Knobler of CBSSports.com has confirmed. The news was first reported by ESPN.com. CBSSports.com's Jon Heyman has learned the contract will be worth about $36 million.

Considering free agent Prince Fielder is headed elsewhere -- which is cemented with this signing -- and 2011 NL MVP Ryan Braun will likely be serving a 50-game suspension to open the 2012 season, there was a gaping hole in the middle of the prospective opening-day roster for the defending NL Central champs. While Ramirez isn't anywhere close to being as good as Fielder or Braun in the batter's box, he's a bona fide cleanup hitter.

Brewers' offseason
Ramirez, 33, has been with the Cubs since a midseason trade back in 2003, so he's been a member of three NL Central division championship clubs. He hit .306/.361/.510 with 26 homers, 93 RBI and 35 doubles last season, winning a Silver Slugger award. He's a two-time All-Star and has garnered MVP votes in four different seasons. And playing for a contender was important, which Ramirez believes the Brewers are.

"That was one of his criteria," agent Paul Kinzer said, via the Associated Press. "There were about four teams that he liked that were contenders, and Milwaukee was at the top of his list."

The move rounds out the left side of the Brewers' infield, as they signed Alex Gonzalez to play shortstop last week. Casey McGehee will flip across the diamond and play first base, with Mat Gamel also being in the mix there as well.

Ramirez has played his entire 14-year career in the NL Central.

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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 9, 2011 8:13 pm
Edited on: December 9, 2011 8:13 pm
 

Octavio Dotel to set record with 13th team

By C. Trent Rosecrans

Right-hander Octavio Dotel officially joined the Tigers on Friday, and when he throws his first pitch for Detroit in 2012, he'll set a Major League record having played for his 13th different team.

Dotel, 38, pitched for the Blue Jays and Cardinals last season and the Pirates, Dodgers and Rockies in 2010. He'll break the record of 12 teams he held along with first baseman/DH Matt Stairs and left-hander Ron Villone. Both Villone and Stairs finished their career with the Nationals, one team Dotel hasn't played for, so there's always a chance for 14. If Dotel pitched for two more teams, he'd have played for half the teams in baseball.

"After being all over the place, that's good," Dotel told MLB.com's Jason Beck when asked about the record. "Matt Stairs was the guy. He played [close to] 20 years. I've played a lot fewer years [13]. I'm very happy I've got the record, and I hope to keep going."

Here's a visual of Dotel's 12 previous teams in chronological order:



Keep track of all the free agent moves with the CBSSports.com Free Agent Tracker

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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 

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @eyeonbaseball 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