Posted on: January 10, 2012 7:20 pm
Edited on: January 10, 2012 7:25 pm
By Matt Snyder
It's been one of those "slow news days," but there have been a handful of minor moves and reports, so let's just grab a bunch and get them out in the open here.
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• First of all, this is far from minor, but my esteemed colleague Jon Heyman already blogged on it. Go check out his post on Ryan Madson and the Reds' interest -- along with several other teams still in the mix.
• It once seemed like a foregone conclusion that Kerry Wood would finish his MLB playing career with the Cubs after returning "home" last season, but it's at least a possibility that isn't necessarily the case now. From multiple different reports (MLBTradeRumors.com has them), the Phillies and Reds are also in on the bidding for Wood's services with the Cubs. The Reds would be out of the bidding if they sign either Madson or Francisco Cordero. Wood could serve as closer for the Reds with Sean Marshall setting up, while Wood would be a setup man in Philly for Jonathan Papelbon. Brad Lidge would be the other setup option for the Phillies, should they not sign Wood.
It's interesting that the Cubs want Wood back. Any other veteran is being allowed to walk via free agency or traded -- or at least being rumored to be on the trading block. Instead, general manager Jed Hoyer told XM Radio Tuesday that the Cubs have offered Wood a substantial raise to stay put. He is a special case, with his strong ties to Chicago and to the Cubs' organization. Cubs president Theo Epstein recently said Wood has the type of personality the Cubs hope will spread in the locker room. Wood will reportedly make a decision by Friday.
The situation seems to be one of those that is a catch-22 for Cubs fans. On one hand, Wood stands a much better chance of winning a World Series ring if he leaves -- considering the massive rebuild the Cubs are undertaking. On the other, he's a favorite son to fans of the franchise. If he does walk, I'd suggest Cubs fans hope he gets a ring in the next year or two much like Mark Grace got one with the Diamondbacks. If he does stay, that shows how strongly he feels like a Cub.
• Speaking of the Cubs, Alfonso Soriano is likely to open the season as the starting left fielder, reports CBSSports.com insider Jon Heyman. Not for lack of trying, of course, it's just that with $54 million left on Soriano's colossal contract, the Cubs can't seem to find any takers willing to take on a decent portion of the remaining salary.
• The Red Sox signed starting pitcher Aaron Cook to a minor-league contract earlier this week. With injury woes in the rotation, this is merely an organizational depth signing and nothing more. There's no way it would preclude the Red Sox from making a trade for a starter or adding someone else -- like Hiroki Kuroda, who the Red Sox have reportedly discussed.
• Backup catcher Koyie Hill has signed a minor-league deal with the Cardinals, according to Jon Paul Morosi of Fox Sports.
• Brewers center fielder Carlos Gomez has avoided arbitration, signing a one-year deal worth about $2 million, reports Morosi.
• Relief pitcher Aaron Heilman has signed a minor-league contract with the Mariners, the team announced.
As for Prince Fielder, I've got nothing for you (that was done in my best Jeff Probst voice). I guess Prince has to sign with someone eventually, right?
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Tags: 2012 free agency, 2012 MLB Free Agency, 2012 MLB Free Agents, 2012 MLB Hot Stove, Aaron Cook, Aaron Heilman, AL East, AL West, Alfonso Soriano, Brewers, Cardinals, Carlos Gomez, Cubs, free agency, free agent tracker, Kerry Wood, Koyie Hill, Mariners, Matt Snyder, MLB Free Agency, MLB Free Agents, MLB Hot Stove, MLB Rumors, NL Central, Phillies, Prince Fielder, Red Sox, Reds
Posted on: May 21, 2011 2:01 am
Edited on: May 21, 2011 2:28 am
By C. Trent Rosecrans
Prince Fielder, Brewers -- Milwaukee tied the game in the eighth and 13th, only to find itself down one once again in the 14th inning against the Rockies. With one on and one out, Fielder hit an absolute, no-doubt-about-it, bomb off of Felipe Paulino into the second deck in right field for the win.
Ezequiel Carrera, Indians -- In his first career at-bat, Carrera (not to be confused with either of the Indians' Cabreras) came into a tie game as a pinch hitter in the eighth inning with a runner on third and two outs. On the first pitch he saw as a big leaguer, Carrerra laid down a nice bunt down the first-base line. Reds first baseman Joey Votto fielded it and tried to tag him, but missed, driving in the winning run.
Nationals offense -- After not scoring a run in their last 19 innings, the Nationals busted out with a team-record 17. Five different Nationals homered, including Jayson Werth, who hit two homers. Danny Espinosa, Roger Bernadina, Wilson Ramos and Laynce Nix also homered.
Koyie Hill, Cubs -- Hill had a passed ball and an error on a steal attempt that led to two runs -- and that was just in the first inning. The Cubs finished with four errors in the game, including two by Starlin Castro. Hill was also 0 for 3 at the plate in Chicago's 15-5 loss at Fenway Park.
Reds pitchers -- Cincinnati hurlers have now either hit or walked a batter with bases loaded 11 times this season, including three times in the sixth inning of Friday's 5-4 loss to the Indians. Reds starter Travis Wood didn't allow a hit until the sixth, but after three straight singles, he walked Asdrubal Cabrera to drive in the Indians' first run and then hit Shin-Soo Choo to make it 4-2. Logan Ondrusek then came into the game and walked the first batter he faced, Carlos Santana, making it 4-3.
Sergio Santos, White Sox -- Ozzie Guillen had yet to name Santos his official closer, but headed into Friday, Santos hadn't allowed a run all season, including spring training. After retiring the first two batters of the ninth with a one-run lead, the Dodgers' Russ Mitchell hit a solo homer to tie the game. Santos allowed three more runs in the 10th, leading to a 6-4 White Sox loss.For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.
Posted on: May 11, 2011 4:11 pm
Edited on: May 11, 2011 4:12 pm
By Matt Snyder
Cubs catcher Geovany Soto has been placed on the 15-day disabled list with the groin injury he suffered Tuesday night against the Cardinals. Minor-league catcher Welington Castillo has been recalled as a corresponding move before Wednesday night's game against the Cardinals. Castillo will wear No. 53 and is available for the game.
Losing Soto is a big blow for the Cubs' struggling offense. He's hitting just .226 with three home runs, eight doubles and 12 RBI, but he has power potential. To illustrate the point, the Cubs are ranked highly in the NL in batting average and on-base percentage, yet rank near the bottom in runs scored and slugging percentage. As I tweeted earlier today, Carlos Zambrano has a better slugging percentage than every hitter aside from Alfonso Soriano and Reed Johnson. Soto is tied for second on the team in home runs -- again, with three.
Cubs' backup catcher Koyie Hill certainly isn't going to provide any punch. He has seven career home runs and a .302 slugging percentage in 715 career at-bats. This season, he's hitting .125 with a .576 OPS.
So maybe Castillo gets an extended look with Soto shelved? The 24-year-old hit .255 with 13 home runs, 59 RBI and 17 doubles in 69 Triple-A games last season. This season, he's hitting .245 with two homers and a .723 OPS in 14 Triple-A games. He did get 21 plate appearances last season for the Cubs -- his first appearances in the majors -- and hit .300 with a home run, four doubles and five RBI.
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Posted on: January 14, 2011 7:18 pm
Edited on: January 14, 2011 7:18 pm
The Cubs and Geovany Soto have avoided arbitration with a one-year, $3 million deal, a source tells Gordon Wittenmeyer of the Chicago Sun-Times.
It's a nice raise for the Cubs' No. 1 catcher, who made $575,000 last season, but it also looks like a decent deal for the Cubs. Although his season ended prematurely when he had arthroscopic shoulder surgery in September, he had an outstanding year, putting up a .280/.393/.497 line in 105 games for an OPS+ of 131. That could have put Soto, who turns 28 next week, in line for a big payday if the case had gotten to an arbitrator.
After also avoiding arbitration with backup Koyie Hill this week, the Cubs now have the position sewn up for $3.85 million -- not much more than the major-league average for one player. That's not bad considering the Cubs had the fourth-highest OPS in the National League at the position last season.
-- David Andriesen
Posted on: January 12, 2011 7:08 pm
Edited on: January 12, 2011 9:29 pm
With arbitration figures due to be exchanged on Tuesday, the coming days offer the last chance for arbitration-eligible players to reach agreement on 2011 deals without having to face the sometimes ugly truth of exactly what their teams think they're worth.
Three players got contracts sewn up Wednesday:
* Outfielder Ryan Raburn got a two-year, $3.4 million contract with the Tigers. Rayburn had a big second half last season, batting .315 with 13 homers and 46 RBI in 70 games after the break. In nine years under general manager Dave Dombrowski, no Tigers has even gone to an arbitration hearing (pitchers Joel Zumaya and Armando Galarraga remain unsaigned and arbitration-eligible this year).
* Catcher Koyie Hill, 31, reached a one-year, $850,000 deal to return to the Cubs. Hill has batted just .211 in his four years in Chicago, including a .214/.254/.298 line in 77 games last season, but MLB.com notes that in that span the Cubs are 84-72 in games he has started behind the plate.
* Angels catcher Jeff Mathis, who beat the Angels in arbitration a year ago, got a one-year deal for $1.7 million, according to the Los Angeles Times. Mathis, 27, made $1.3 million last season, when he started 62 games. Like Hill, he's a weak hitter (.195/.219/.278) with defensive value. The Angels still have six players in line for arbitration.
There are still 123 players who filed for arbitration but haven't signed, according to mlbtraderumors.com.
UPDATE: Jon Heyman of SI.com reports that Rockies reliever Matt Belisle has avoided arbitration with a one-year, $2.35 million deal.
UPDATE: According to the Kansas City Star, pitcher Luke Hochevar also has reached a deal to avoid arbitration.
-- David Andriesen
Posted on: September 19, 2010 12:53 pm
Cubs catcher Geovany Soto will have arthroscopic surgery on his right shoulder on Monday, ending his 2010 season.
The former Rookie of the Year has had a solid bounce-back season, hitting .280/.393/.497 with 17 home runs and 53 RBI.
Soto spent time on the disabled list in August with shoulder pain, but returned and played through the pain. The surgery will "clean up" his acromioclavicular joint and he should be ready for the start of spring training.
"Two bones in the AC joint were smashed together, it was like bone-on-bone grinding," Soto told the Chicago Tribune . "I can rehab it all I want, but it's just bone-on-bone, and it's going to be there and it's prone to be there later on."
Koyie Hill will serve as the Cubs' primary catcher for the rest of the season, backed up by Wellington Castillo.
-- C. Trent Rosecrans
For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed .