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Tag:Randy Choate
Posted on: August 16, 2011 1:55 am
Edited on: August 16, 2011 2:02 am
 

3 Up, 3 Down: Thome owned the night



By Matt Snyder


Jim Thome, Twins. What a day for one of the most respected players in baseball. Thome went 3-4 with five RBI in a Twins' 9-6 victory. Among those three hits were two home runs, meaning he now has 600 in his illustrious career. He's much more than just a home run hitter, too, so let's give him all the respect and adulation he deserves.

Mike Carp, Mariners. Don't look now, but the Mariners have a cleanup hitter. Long gone is Jack Cust and they don't have to use Adam Kennedy there anymore, either. Carp has locked down that lineup slot as he's presently on fire. The 25 year old went 2-4 with a pair of home runs Monday night, including an eighth-inning shot that tied the game at five. He's now 36-for-97 (.371) with six home runs and 26 RBI since rejoining the lineup July 19. Between Carp, Casper Wells and Dustin Ackley, the Mariners seem to have a good, young core of offensive players for the future.

Ryan Doumit, Pirates. The catcher tied a career high with four hits, as he went 4-4 with a three-run homer in a 6-2 win over the Cardinals. He's now 10-for-23 (.435) since coming off the disabled list. Considering the Pirates have fallen out of the race and at least one contending team -- the Giants -- wouldn't mind an offensive upgrade at catcher for this year, he's an intriguing name in terms of a possible trade candidate through the waivers process this month.

Bonus Up: Jason Isringhausen of the Mets recorded his 300th career save Monday night in San Diego. He's the 23rd man in baseball history to achieve the feat and only Mariano Rivera and Francisco Cordero among active players have more.



Brian Wilson, Giants. The Giants were all set to move within 1 1/2 games of the Diamondbacks in the NL West when Wilson coughed this one up. He was spotted a 4-2 lead, but ended up walking off the field with a 5-4 loss. Three singles and two walks amounted to three earned runs, the blown save and the loss for The Beard.

Marlins' 9th inning. It was a rough inning for Jack McKeon's club. The Marlins went into the ninth with a 4-3 lead over the Rockies and closer Leo Nunez coming into the game. Dexter Fowler hit what reads in the box score as a double, but it was actually a flare that no one could get to. When Marlins third baseman Greg Dobbs ended up with the ball at second base, Fowler was slipping between first and second and was a sitting duck. Dobbs then fired an errant throw in an attempt to cut down Fowler, which instead allowed Fowler to reach second base. “Hindsight being 20-20, I should have held the ball and ran at him,” Dobbs said after the game (Fish Tank). A Carlos Gonzalez double plated Fowler to tie the game. McKeon then elected to intentionally walk Troy Tulowitzki and bring in left-handed specialist Randy Choate to face left-handed hitting Jason Giambi. It was certainly the right move on paper, but Giambi hit a three-run, walk-off homer. Basically, Lady Luck was not on the side of the Marlins in the ninth.

The Angels. They lost a young starting pitcher to a groin injury in the first inning, gave up eight runs on 14 hits and committed three errors against the Rangers Monday night. Oh, and the Angels also fell five games behind the Rangers in the AL West. There are three games left in the series, but that could mean bad news if the Angels don't wake up. Otherwise they're liable to see themselves eight games back by the weekend, especially if they play the way they did Monday.

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnBaseball on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.
Posted on: August 2, 2011 4:26 pm
 

Players that could be dealt before August 31

Rodriguez
By Evan Brunell

Although the trade deadline expired on Sunday, it... didn't. At least, not really.

What did expire was the non-waiver trade deadline, in which teams can trade players without restrictions that aren't built into a player's contract such as no-trade clauses and the like. However, trades can still occur for the rest of the season -- players just have to pass through waivers. These waivers are revocable, so if a team claims a player, the original team can revoke waivers. However, it then cannot deal the player, and if he goes on waivers a second time and is claimed, he is lost. That team can also choose not to revoke waivers and give away the player and his contract. This is what happened to Alex Rios when he joined Chicago in 2009 when Toronto no longer felt like paying his deal.

The original team and claiming team can also work out a trade, but a trade can only happen with the team that placed a claim. If the player passes through waivers, he can then be traded to any team. Most teams place the majority of players on waivers, both to hide players the team really wants to deal and to broaden options. Waiver claim priority works in order of worst record to best in the same league, then it moves to the worst record in the other league. These types of trades can happen through September, although August 31st is effectively the cutoff point.

While there have been September trades, they are few and far in-between for two reasons. First is that with the expansion to a 40-man rosters, most teams no longer struggle for depth. Secondly, and more important, is the fact that any player outside of the organization acquired after August 31 is not eligible for the playoffs.

Got all that? Good. Let's take a look at nine players or positions of interest who could be on the move in August (and possibly September).

Heath Bell, Padres
: Heath Bell surprisingly stayed at home at the trade deadline while setup man Mike Adams was sent out. This came as a surprise, as everyone assumed that Bell would be dealt. Clearly, the Padres didn't get an offer that was worth giving up the two compensatory draft picks they would have received once Bell rejected arbitration and signed a lucrative contract with another team, or re-upped with San Diego on a hometown-discount deal.

Except Bell said he plans to accept the Padres' offer of arbitration if they can't come to an accord on a contract. That's how motivated Bell is to stay in town, so the Padres can no longer bank on the compensatory draft picks. Unless traded, Bell is staying a Padre. That could motivate GM Jed Hoyer to kick him out in August, although with a $7.5 million contract on the season, Bell figures to be claimed by many teams who could use a top-flight reliever at little cost.

Randy Choate, Marlins: Not exactly a big name, I know, but Choate is the kind of player that gets dealt every August. He's a left-handed reliever who can plug in a gap for a contender. The Yankees, Red Sox and many other teams would be interested in Choate, who is signed for 2012 at just $1.5 million. He's got peanuts left on his $1 million deal this season and has a sterling 1.66 ERA in 21 1/3 innings. That's not much, but Choate's value is tied up in being able to get left-handed hitters out.

As we see every October, that's incredibly valuable, and Choate has held lefties to a .131/.185/.123 mark on the year, which comes out to a .398 OPS. That's really low. Choate has been linked to the Yankees, but he would have no shortage of suitors if the Marlins made him available.

Ramon Hernandez, Reds: There was plenty of consternation as to why the Reds stood pat at the trade deadline, as well as why Hernandez wasn't moved. With top prospect Devin Mesoraco waiting in the wings in Triple-A, one would think that GM Walt Jocketty would want to capitalize on Hernandez's value, especially to the Giants. Alas, nothing transpired, not even once the Giants and Reds completed their game on Sunday, which some felt might be holding up a deal.

Hernandez is still a good bet to go, even if Cincinnati climbs back into the race thanks to the presence of Mesoraco, as well as help at other spots that the backstop would fetch in a deal. If they begin rebuilding, they have even less need for Hernandez. The only problem is that catching depth is so thin in the majors and Hernandez's salary is so cheap that, like Bell, plenty of teams figure to be interested in placing a claim and blocking a deal.

Aramis Ramirez, Cubs: For some reason, GM Jim Hendry stood pat at the trade deadline and didn't bother to try and convince third-baseman Aramis Ramirez that accepting a deal would be to his benefit. Hendry wants to keep the core of a 90-loss team together for some reason, so even bandying about Ramirez as a possible piece to be moved probably is pointless. But if Hendry has a chance of heart, Ramirez might too.

You see, Ramirez loves Chicago and has his family based there -- except in mid-August, his wife and children pack up and head back to the Dominican Republic. Thus, where he plays to finish off the year becomes less important once his family leaves, which could convince Ramirez to waive his no-trade deal. If that happened, Ramirez could interest the Angels and White Sox, to name two teams. The White Sox would allow the ability to stay in the city, but the roadblock to that is that the Pale Hose are not looking to add payroll.

Athletics outfielder: Oakland really needs to subtract at least one of its outfielders in Coco Crisp, Josh Willingham or David DeJesus, as I mentioned Monday when looking at teams that stood pat at the deadline. Any of these outfielders can help a team, and Willingham and DeJesus may have a pulse in their bat if they can get out of the Coliseum. Free-agent compensation matters here, and Willingham will fetch a price commensurate with two compensatory draft picks, as he's currently set to be a Type-A free agent even if only tenuously. DeJesus is a Type-B free agent and Crisp does not need compensation.

Simply put, Oakland needs to look ahead at 2012 and what it can do to bolster the team. It's one thing if all they're being offered are organizational guys for these players. At that point, GM Billy Beane is probably best suited to just hang onto the players. But Willingham and DeJesus aren't the kind of players that would have scrubs offered. There's real value in these players, and given the unlikelihood of both returning to town, Beane needs to jump on any interest.

Jim Thome, Twins: Here's an interesting name. The Twins, if they fall out of the race, have no need for Thome. In fact, they may be looked upon as doing a favor to Thome in trading him to a contender for a chance to win a World Series in what is likely Thome's final season. Just three home runs away from 600, some have speculated that he will be moved after he reaches the milestone. But given how impressively the Twins draw and the fact Thome doesn't have deep roots with the team makes that hard to believe. He's a candidate to be traded before and after 600 home runs.

The Phillies have been linked to Thome, which would be a fantastic option. Philadelphia is obviously headed toward October, and Thome would be the big bat off the bench that becomes so paramount. Just like left-handed relief specialists, pinch-hitters increase in importance as the amount of games decrease. And if the Phillies somehow make it to the World Series, Thome is a fine DH. Jason Giambi is another player who could fit this mold.

Right-handed hitting platoon outfielder: Might not sound terribly appealing to discuss outfielders that wouldn't start regularly, but as has been mentioned, shoring up depth at the major-league level takes on added importance for the postseason. To be sure, several teams need starting outfielders like any of the A's outfielders or perhaps even the Twins' Jason Kubel, who is also a candidate to be traded in August. But players that can help counteract left-handed pitchers like Choate but don't require a full-time job and don't cost a lot of money are valuable.

Playing time and big bucks aren't necessary for players like Scott Hairston, Jeff Francouer, and Ryan Spilborghs, who can come off the bench and serve as injury replacements, pinch-hitters or platoon outfielders. Hairston and Francouer, especially, have noted success against left-handed pitching and were names to watch at the trade deadline for that very reason. Francouer, in particular, is used to being traded in August, as the Rangers acquired him last season on the 31st to fill the exact role that a team would want him this year for: to hit lefties.

Jeff Francis, Royals: The last two names on this list are both left-handed starters, but that's not why Francis is on the list. No, he's on the list because he's a cheap, back-end option in the rotation. While there might be some better pitchers on the market (see the next name), Francis would work well in the middle of the rotation, perhaps the last starter in a postseason four-man rotation. Injuries will continue to happen between now and the end of the year, and one of those injuries could be a big blow to a contender's rotation -- much like Boston has to deal with the absence of Clay Buchholz.

Francis has soaked up 135 2/3 innings on the year with a 4.38 ERA, which is impressive given he pitches in the AL albeit in a weak division. His peripherals are strong, so that 4.38 ERA isn't a fluke. He can be a real shot in the arm for a contender. While the Royals could really use him in the rotation, which has yet to be anything less than awful, Francis is also a free agent and will certainly parlay his season into a nice contract from a team closer to contending, so K.C. shouldn't be worried about long-term effects of trading Francis, only who they can get in return.

Wandy Rodriguez, Astros: Rodriguez is a step up from Francis, but it's not entirely clear how big of a step up he is. He's working on his fourth straight season of an ERA below 4, but there's serious question among American Leaguers as to whether he could withstand a league switch, which depresses his suitors and the price for the left-hander. His contract is also looking like a pill, as he has $34 million due him from 2011-13 with a club option for 2014 -- but becomes a player option with a trade, and not many teams have interest in Rodriguez choosing to stay with his club for $13 million in a year where he will be 35.

The Astros are willing to eat a good chunk of the contract though, even if they refuse to eat the $17 million that might have made Rodriguez a Yankee before the trade deadline. If the Yankees or another team want Houston to eat that amount of money, it would take a strong prospect surrendered. Rodriguez is a good pitcher, but it seems his stock has dropped just below that tier, so it may be difficult for Houston and other teams to agree to both a return and how much cash the Astros would cover. Still, he's certainly not being claimed on waivers and will be a top-end option for any desperate teams.

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.
Posted on: July 30, 2011 1:36 am
 

Friday night trade rumor roundup

By C. Trent Rosecrans

Now that Hunter Pence is off the table, it seems Heath Bell is the latest big name certain to move. But that doesn't mean he's the only one. There are plenty more rumors out there.

One of the most interesting is the Cardinals having interest in Dodgers shortstop Rafael Furcal, Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports

This comes after the Post-Dispatch's Joe Strauss tweeted shortstop had become the team's "priority" at the non-waiver trade deadline. 

Furcal, 33, is struggling this season, hitting .195/.267/.241 coming into Friday's game but could still help the Cardinals -- which tells you all you need to know about the team's struggles at the position.

• A new hot rumor is that the Tigers are making a push for Ubaldo Jimenez and have offered top prospect Jacob Turner, according to FoxSports.com's Ken Rosenthal. Turner, the team's 2009 first-round pick, is 3-5 with a 3.48 ERA at Double-A Erie this season. He has 90 strikeouts and 32 walks in 113 2/3 innings. The Tigers would prefer not to deal anyone from their big-league roster.

The Tigers are also dangling lefty Andy Oliver in return for a pitcher that can help them now, such as Jimenez, Hiroki Kuroda or even the Nationals' Jason Marquis, Jeff Passan of Yahoo! tweets. Oliver was rated as the team's No. 3 overall prospect by Baseball America heading into the season. He's 6-7 with a 4.64 ERA at Triple-A Toledo with 102 strikeouts and 52 walks in 106 2/3 innings. He was the team's second-round pick in 2009. He made five starts for Detroit last season and two this season. Overall he's 0-5 with a 7.11 ERA in the big leagues with 23 strikeouts and 21 walks in 31 2/3 innings.

• The Astros dealt Pence on Friday, but MLB.com's Brian McTaggart tweets the Astros have told inquiring teams that shortstop Clint Barmes is unavailable.

• The Pirates are still looking for an outfield bat, Jon Paul Morosi of FoxSports.com tweets, and that bat may be the Twins' Jason Kubel, MLB.com's Jenifer Langosch writes.

• Diamondbacks general manager Kevin Towers tells Nick Piecoro of the Arizona Republic that the odds of his team making a deal are "50/50."

Towers also said there are six or seven prospects he doesn't want to deal.

• Brewers general manager Bob Melvin told Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel he is still looking at deals, but wasn't hopeful of completing another. On Thursday the Brewers acquired Felipe Lopez from the Rays and brought him from Triple-A Durham where he was playing for Tampa Bay before bringing him to Milwaukee to replace the injured Rickie Weeks.

Melvin said the team would love to find another infielder, but isn't seeing many on the market. The Brewers have rumored to have talked to the Dodgers about both Jamey Carroll and Furcal.

However, the Los Angeles Times' Dylan Hernandez tweets the Dodgers' conversations about Carroll "have died."

• Orioles reliever Koji Uehara is a hot name, Sports Illustrated's Jon Heyman tweets. He says Uehara will go somewhere. He'll make any bullpen better. However, Rosenthal tweets that it's only a 50-50 chance the Orioles move Uehara. He is 13 appearances shy of a $4 million vesting option for 2012. The Baltimore Sun links Uehara with the Pirates, Diamondbacks, Rangers, Phillies and Tigers and notes all five of those teams have had scouts around the Orioles in recent series.

• The Rangers are certainly interested in bullpen help, but San Diego may not be their only trading parter. Brady Tinker of Fox Sports Southwest, tweets Andrew Bailey of the Athletics is the "most likely top bullpen addition" by Texas.

• The Braves may be reluctant to make much of a deal at the deadline so they don't repeat the Mark Teixeira mistake when the team sent, among others, Neftali Feliz and Elvis Andrus to Texas, David O'Brien of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution writes. The Braves are refusing to give up any of their top four pitching prospects -- Julio Teheran, Arodys Vizcaino, Randall Delgado or Mike Minor. They could look at dealing from that grow in the offseason when the team could be searching to fill more holes. Atlanta has placed center fielders Nate McLouth and Jordan Schafer on the disabled list in the last two days with Jose Constanza starting on Friday, making his big-league debut. Yahoo!'s Passan tweets the team is targeting center fielders. Rosenthal writes Atlanta is looking not only at center fielders such as B.J. Upton and Michael Bourn, but also corner outfielders such as Ryan Ludwick, Carlos Quentin and Josh Willingham.

• The Marlins appear to be holding pat at the deadline, MLB.com's Joe Frisaro reports. That means they'll keep closer Leo Nunez and left-handed reliever Randy Choate.

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.
Posted on: July 21, 2011 4:43 pm
Edited on: July 21, 2011 5:07 pm
 

Trade Deadline Primer: NL East

By Eye on Baseball team

Leading up to the July 31 non-waiver trade deadline, the National League East has an actual race -- as well as a team with a bloated payroll and no hope -- which leads to a great chance of some pretty interesting trades to and from the division. Here's a look at the five teams in the NL Eeast:

Philadelphia Phillies

Status: Buyers

Needs: Bullpen, RH bat

Notes: Manager Charlie Manuel said he'd love a right-handed bat (Philadelphia Daily News), probably in the outfield, but this is the Phillies and expect the team to focus on pitching -- at least that's what history tells us. And because their rotation is pretty good (you may have heard about some of these guys), they focus on relievers, likely ending a streak of five years of adding a starter midseason. The team is likely one of the many suitors for Padres closer Heath Bell, although some suggest the Phillies prefer Mike Adams. Padres owner Jeff Moorad has reportedly told Adams he won't be traded. However, according to Tom Krasovic of Inside the Padres, the Phillies are willing to give up Class A first baseman/left fielder Jonathan Singleton in return for Adams.

Another bullpen trade partner could be the Orioles, CBSSports.com's Danny Knobler said. The Phillies could be interested in Jim Johnson or Koji Uehara.

MLB Trade Deadline

As for the right-handed bats, the Phillies are in on the same folks everyone's chasing -- Ryan Ludwick, Carlos Beltran, Hunter Pence and maybe Jeff Francouer. The biggest hurdle of all for the Phillies is money, as in they've already spent it and they're worried about the luxury tax. The team has just between $2 and $3 million to spend and avoid the luxury tax.

According to Jon Paul Morosi of FoxSports.com, the Phillies and Royals have already exchanged names in a possible Melky Cabrera trade. Cabrera is a cheaper, younger switch hitter for those who fall short in the Carlos Beltran sweepstakes.

Now, if they're going big and bold, Buster Olney of ESPN.com, tweeted the Phillies could go for Pence, centering the deal around right-hander Vance Worley.

Atlanta Braves

Status: Bargain shoppers

Needs: Right-handed bat

Notes: The Braves need a right-handed bat like Roy Halladay needs air conditioning. Atlanta looks like the front-runner for the National League wild card, but don't have much money to spend. The biggest issue right now for Atlanta is its inability to hit left-handed pitchers. Braves hitters are hitting just .211/.285/.337 against lefties, with Jason Heyward, Nate McLouth and Jordan Schafer all below the Mendoza line against southpaws. That's why Jon Paul Morosi's report of the Reds' Jonny Gomes drawing the interest of the Braves makes sense, Gomes kills lefties to the tune of a .340/.446/.547 slash line this season and .281/..377/.510 in his career. There's also the regular names such as Ludwick and Beltran.

To make room for more payroll, the team could trade right-hander Derek Lowe, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution's David O'Brien wrote. The Tigers could be interested in Lowe, but would have to take up the rest of the $20 million he's owed through 2012.

New York Mets

Status: One-stop shopping

Needs: Young talent under team control; pitching

Notes: Outfielder Carlos Beltran is the top position player on the market, but his future is clouded by the number of teams that could use an upgrade in the outfield and the fact that he's not for sale, he's for rent. Whatever team gets him won't even get compensation picks if he leaves as a free agent after the season.

The Mets would reportedly rather pay Beltran's salary and get a good young player or top prospect in return. They could unload him to a team willing to pay the roughly $8 million left on his contract, but then they wouldn't get much in return. The Mets would prefer big-league ready pitching talent. New York seems confident it can re-sign Jose Reyes, meaning they're not ready to throw in the towel and go full-on rebuilding anytime soon. 

Beltran, however, does have a no-trade clause. According to Tim Brown of Yahoo!, Sandy Alderson gave Beltran a short list of teams interested -- the Phillies, Red Sox, Braves, Giants, Brewers and maybe the Yankees -- and Beltran hasn't ruled any of them out.

It's pretty certain now that the Mets won't deal Reyes, but it appears they may be holding on to Jason Isringhausen, too, Sports Illustrated's Jon Heyman tweets.

Washington Nationals

Status: Listening to all offers

Needs: Leadoff man/center fielder of the future

Notes: The Nationals have pieces to deal -- from catcher Ivan Rodriguez to relievers Tyler Clippard, Drew Storen, Todd Coffey and Sean Burnett, plus starters Jason Marquis, Livan Hernandez and Tom Gorzelanny. In short, they're open for business, with GM Mike Rizzo saying no player is "untouchable" -- but then following that up with "we're not going to touch our core." That means, "after a while, they don't ask for [Danny] Espinosa," Rizzo told the Washington Post's Adam Kilgore. Ryan Zimmerman is also likely untouchable, as well as catcher Wilson Ramos.

One name to watch is shortstop Ian Desmond, but that would take quite the return for the team to move the 25-year-old.

More likely to go are some of the team's relievers. The Nats are deep in the bullpen and it's a position that's always in demand. The top tier would be Clippard or even Storen, but that would require Washington receiving a leadoff-hitting center fielder in return, someone like B.J. Upton, Michael Bourn, Colby Rasmus or Denard Span, FoxSports.com's Ken Rosenthal writes.

Florida Marlins

Status: Sellers

Needs: Third baseman, starting pitchers

Notes: The Marlins have starting pitchers that would interest many teams, but they may not part with them. Next year they rename themselves the Miami Marlins when they move into a new stadium and ownership would like a competitive team on the field when that happens.

Ricky Nolasco is the top starter to be had, but Knobler says they'd have to get a younger, cheaper starter in return for the 28-year-old right-hander.

The one the team may part with is Javier Vazquez, but it's not really their decision. Vazquez has a full no-trade clause and isn't in any hurry to leave South Florida. There are few places he'd accept a trade.

Sure to be gone is closer Leo Nunez. The Phillies are interested in Nunez. The other teams desperate for bullpen help -- like the Cardinals and Rangers -- are likely to at least inquire what it may take to get him.

Randy Choate has been verbal this week about his problems with current manager Jack McKeon and could get shipped off for not being a good soldier.

Also on the block are free-agents-to-be Greg Dobbs and Omar Infante. Infante's value is a lot less than it was a year ago.

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

Posted on: December 15, 2010 5:30 pm
Edited on: December 15, 2010 6:02 pm
 

Marlins sign Choate, Sox after Wheeler

Choate The reliever market is speeding up now that Scott Downs is an Angel.

Matt Guerrier came off the board earlier today (Dodgers) and now Randy Choate has agreed to a two-year deal with the Marlins.

Choate (pictured), who spent the last two seasons with the Rays after struggling with the Yankees and Diamondbacks and then not pitching in 2008, has a $2.5 million deal plus incentives as FOX Sports' Ken Rosenthal reports.

Choate appeared in 85 games for the Rays in 2010, but pitched just 44 2/3 innings as he is a LOOGY.

Meanwhile, another Rays reliever may be on the verge of joining a different team. WEEI reports that the Red Sox and Dan Wheeler are nearing an agreement. The 33-year-old Wheeler has posted a cumulative 3.24 ERA over the last three seasons with Tampa in 172 1/3 innings. He has been rather consistent in these three years and strikes out eight batters per nine innings over his career along with 2.8 walks per nine.

-- Evan Brunell

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

Posted on: December 7, 2010 3:04 pm
Edited on: February 21, 2011 3:47 pm
 

Rays need to rebuild bullpen

Carl Crawford and Carlos Pena are gone, but those aren't the Rays' biggest losses, manager Joe Maddon said at Tuesday's media session at the MLB Winter Meetings.

"If we can get a bullpen back together, that can put us back into the 90-win category," Maddon said.

The Rays are slated to lose not only closer Rafael Soriano, but already lost Joaquin Benoit to the Tigers. Dan Wheeler is a free agent, as are Grant Balfour, Randy Choate and Chad Qualls, who all three turned down arbitration. The team also non-tendered Lance Cormier.

That leaves the Rays in need of a near-total bullpen restoration. Andy Sonnanstine is the lone carry-over from last season's bullpen.

"I don't think it's nearly impossible," Maddon said of rebuilding the bullpen, "but it's going to be challenging."

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb  on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed
Posted on: November 30, 2010 11:55 pm
 

Francisco, Frasor accept arbitration

Jason Frasor The Rangers' Frank Francisco and the Blue Jays' Jason Frasor have accepted salary arbitration, the Major League Baseball Players Association announced Tuesday night. They were the only two of 27 arbitration-eligible free agents to accept.

Francisco and Frasor are both middle relievers and may have found themselves hamstrung by being Type A free agents and costing a draft pick to sign.

Turning down arbitration were Kevin Gregg, Octavio Dotel, Trevor Hoffman, Kevin Correia, Pedro Feliciano, Aaron Heilman, Brad Hawpe, Felipe Lopez, Scott Downs, Randy Choate, Grant Balfour, J.J. Putz, Carl Crawford, Rafael Soriano, Carl Pavano, Adrian Beltre, Chad Qualls, Cliff Lee, Jayson Werth, Adam Dunn, Jesse Crain, Orlando Hudson, Paul Konerko, Miguel Olivo and Adam LaRoche.

Those 25 players could still re-sign with their previous teams.

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.
Posted on: November 23, 2010 8:03 pm
Edited on: November 23, 2010 8:06 pm
 

Brewers offer Hoffman arbitration

Hoffman The Milwaukee Brewers offered Trevor Hoffman arbitration, but Adam McCalvy of MLB.com reports that Hoffman has agreed to decline arbitration.

Hoffman is a Type B free agent, so Milwaukee will net a compensatory pick if he signs elsewhere. The career leader in saves has indicated he will only play in 2011 if he is the closer, which he be in Milwaukee if he chose to return.

In other arbitration news:
  • Cliff Lee has unsurprisingly been offered arbitration along with fellow Type-A free agent Frank Francisco, which could chill Francisco's market. Vladimir Guerrero and Bengie Molina both saw their market increase with no offers of arbitration as MLB.com reports.
  • The Orioles have declined to offer arbitration to Koji Uehara, who may be among the most coveted relievers since he is extremely productive, is stingy with walks and will come on a one-year pact most likely. It's unlikely that Kevin Millwood is offered arbitration as the Baltimore Sun outlines, and if the Sun is to be believed, Millwood won't have a problem finding a job. The Rockies and Royals appear to be the farthest along in contract discussions.
  • Derrek Lee won't be back in Atlanta as the club will not offer arbitration to the Type-A free agent. Offering arbitration would have near guaranteed Lee's return, and the first-base job belongs to Freddie Freeman as the Atlanta Journal-Constitution notes.
  • The Diamondbacks will offer arbitration to Aaron Heilman and Adam LaRoche (both Type B free agents). It is possible LaRoche could accept and return as first baseman.
  • The Rays cut ties with Dan Wheeler (Type A) and Carlos Pena (Type B) as the St. Petersburg Times says, but did tender offers to Type A's in Carl Crawford, Grant Balfour and Rafael Soriano. They also offered to Type B's in Joaquin Benoit, Randy Choate, Brad Hawpe and Chad Qualls. Some of these Type B offers certainly have gentleman's agreements to decline, while Benoit is a Tiger and is already assured of giving Tampa a draft pick.
  • The Angels have announced DH Hideki Matsui won't be offered arbitration. The A's are thought to be contenders for Matsui's services.
  • The Denver Post has arbitration offers from Colorado out to Jorge de la Rosa (Type A) and Octavio Dotel (Type B).

-- 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