Posted on: January 29, 2012 4:37 pm

Cardinals shopping RHP Kyle McClellan

Kyle McClellanBy C. Trent Rosecrans

The Cardinals are "actively shopping" right-hander Kyle McClellan, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch's Joe Strauss writes, but general manager John Mozeliak told him he expects McClellan to be with the team when pitchers and catchers report next month.

According to Strauss, the Orioles are the leaders if the Cardinals do indeed move McClellan, who is due $2.5 million next season. The Padres and Diamondbacks are other teams who have expressed interest. However, an Orioles official told MASNSports.com's Roch Kubatko that he didn't expect the Cardinals to move McClellan.

The 27-year-old McClellan began 2011 as a starter, but moved back to the bullpen after the team acquired Edwin Jackson. He was not on the team's roster for the division series or World Series. Overall, McClellan was 12-7 with a 4.19 ERA in 43 games and 17 starts last season. He was 6-6 with a 4.21 ERA in his starts and 6-1 with a 4.14 ERA in 26 games. He struck out 76 batters in 141 2/3 innings.

McClellan was a starter in the minors, but didn't start a game in the majors until 2011. He had a 2.27 ERA in 68 games in 2010 with 60 strikeouts in 75 1/3 innings. He's 19-22 with a 3.61 ERA in his career, picking up six saves.

THe Cardinals have a surplus of relievers, with Eduardo Sanchez, Lance Lynn, Fernando Salas and Mitchell Boggs as right-handed set-up men for closer Jason Motte, with lefties Marc Rzepczynski and J.C. Romero.

The team could also use the money saved on McClelllan, a St. Louis native, for starter Roy Oswalt, who has expressed interest in joining the Cardinals.

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Posted on: January 21, 2012 11:02 am
Edited on: January 21, 2012 1:46 pm

Ryan: Rangers unsure of Fielder's demands

Prince Fielder

By C. Trent Rosecrans

Prince Fielder is still a free agent, but it may be because Fielder and agent Scott Boras haven't told anyone exactly what they're looking to get in a new contract.


Rangers president Nolan Ryan said he doesn't know what it would take to sign Fielder, despite having meetings with the slugger and the superagent. Speaking to ESPN Dallas 103.3 (via the Washington Times), Ryan said he didn't know what it'd take to sign Fielder.

"Hard to say," Ryan said. "Because they've never made a firm proposal to us. They talk in generalities and numbers and other people's contracts, and so you can speculate what it is. One time they're talking eight years, one time they're talking 10 years, one time they're talking about a contract bigger than Ryan Howard's in Philadelphia."

Howard signed a five-year, $135 million extension in 2010 that begins in the 2012 season. Howard's contract will pay him $20 million in the next two seasons and $25 million in the last three with a $23 million club option  for 2017 with a $10 million buyout. Fielder, though, is five years younger than Howard.

There's also Albert Pujols' megadeal out there as well for comparison. Pujols signed a 10-year deal worth $240 million.

Another member of the Rangers' brass, co-chairman of the board Bob Simpson, told the Fort Worth Star-Telegram that the Rangers aren't necessarily out of the bidding for Fielder, but would need Fielder's price to come down and accept a backloaded deal.

"If they come around to something we can do, we'll take a look at it," Simpson told the newspaper.

However, Simpson told reporters (via the Star-Telegram) that the team would rather re-sign Josh Hamilton than Fielder. Hamilton is a free agent after the season. Simpson said it's unlikely the team could afford both.

"My personal preference, at this moment, would be to re-sign him instead of having Fielder. But we could all debate that," Simpson said. "The organization has its feelings. Everybody dreams about having both. Sometimes you can’t have both at some level. If they came around to something we’d do, we’d look at him. But we don’t think it’s likely."

The Nationals and Rangers are the teams most often linked to Fielder, but don't be surprised if a "mystery team" gets involved -- and remember the "mystery team" has a pretty good track record the last two seasons, signing both Cliff Lee and Pujols.

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Posted on: February 13, 2011 2:59 pm
Edited on: February 14, 2011 1:50 pm

La Russa opens up on Pujols negotiations

Tony La Russa Neither the Cardinals upper management nor their superstar are talking much about Albert Pujols' Wednesday deadline for a new contract -- but manager Tony La Russa went right at the issue on Sunday, the day Cardinals pitchers and catchers reported to Jupiter, Fla.

Here are some of the highlights, courtesy Joe Strauss of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch :

• "We need to prove we're good enough. This is a spectacular distraction potentially. We won't allow it to be. But it's going to be a spectacular excuse if we don't play well. I'm just concerned about us getting ready and proving we're good enough."

• "I keep hearing this thing about distractions. You allow yourself to be distracted. We're not going to allow ourselves to get distracted, which means there are going to be a lot of non-answers. Hopefully, the players will do the same. It's not what we're here for."

• (On comparisons to Mark McGwire in his first year as hitting coach last spring): It's not the same, obviously, but it's a good example about something here that could have been a distraction that ended up getting taken care of. It was definitely the way Mark handled it. But you choose what you want to think about. The fact is we're here to get ourselves ready to be as good as we can be. Anything that gets in the way of that... our mission is to not let it happen. In this case it's Albert. He's at a point in his career where he's got a choice to make.

"I know Albert. He's as strong between the ears as anybody I've ever met."

• La Russa said the players' union is trying to influence the situation: "The pressure that a high profile player receives from the union and his representatives to push for the last dollar, neglecting anything else about that decision -- type of organization, loyalty, all that stuff. I don't think that's a real healthy part of our game. The union is out there for their players to keep setting the bar higher and higher."

The last bit is a smart move by one of baseball's smartest men -- it's a lawyer trick, the public wants a black hat and La Russa knows it doesn't help for anyone to see his bosses or his best player as the bad guy in any negotiation. The easiest target, especially in this economic climate, is the agents and players' union who are asking for players to get paid more while the public sees players as overpaid anyway.

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

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Posted on: November 23, 2010 1:33 pm

Nats offer Dunn arbitration

Adam Dunn In a day that will be filled with formalities, here's another one -- the Nationals have offered Adam Dunn arbitration, MLB.com's Bill Ladson writes .

The move had to be done by midnight for the Natioanls to be able to receive compensatory picks for losing Dunn, who will likely decline the offer. If he accepts, he'll garner just a one-year deal for next season. However, Dunn already went the short-term route, signing a two-year deal before the 2008 season and now is reportedly seeking a longer-term deal.
The Nationals have a three-year deal on the table for Dunn, Ladson writes, but Dunn and his agent, Greg Genske, are looking for a four-year deal.

Dunn, 31, has been linked to the Tigers lately, but with their recent signings of Victor Martinez, Joaquin Benoit and Jhonny Peralta, they may be running out of money for big free-agent signings.
-- C. Trent Rosecrans

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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