Tag:MLB Free Agents
Posted on: November 9, 2011 8:25 pm

If Posada plays, won't be with Yankees

By Evan Brunell

Jorge Posada knows his time with the Yankees is done.

"I don’t think there’s even a percentage of a chance that I can come back," Posada told the New York Daily News. "There’s nothing I could control. Everything happened for a reason. I’m not bitter at the Yankees. I’m not bitter at Brian Cashman."

It was never expected that Posada would return to New York. Not after a brutal season saw him stumble to a .235/.315/.398 line in 397 at-bats, easily his worst season as a Yankee. The 40-year-old is not considered by the Yankees anymore to be a viable catcher, and they won't want to carry a backup DH who struggled to hit, even if he showed promising numbers against right-handed batters.

Posada, who has yet to decide if he is even playing next season, feels he could land somewhere as a backup catcher and DH, the New Jersey Star-Ledger writes. His best role might be in the NL, where he can back up catcher, first and be a pinch-hitter against right-handed pitchers. If Posada wants to play again next year, odds are he'll find a place as long as he's willing to play for minimal dollars. However, he sounds as if he may be done, adding in the interview that he would always be a Yankee.

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Posted on: November 9, 2011 8:08 pm
Edited on: November 9, 2011 8:09 pm

Mariners seek a pitcher -- could it be Moyer?

MoyerBy Evan Brunell

The Mariners hope to bring in just one starting pitcher this offseason, leaving Seattle enough time to worry about how to upgrade its offense, Fox Sports writes.

The Mariners are set with Felix Hernandez and Michael Pineda topping the rotation. In addition, despite Jason Vargas having a poor second half, it appears he will be back in Seattle for another season. Add in Blake Beavan, who had a solid debut last season in 15 starts, and four rotation spots are taken care of. That leaves just one more spot to go, but Seattle isn't keen on plugging that spot up for several years as three prospects in particular are nearing major-league readiness.

Given the presence of James Paxton, Danny Hultzen and Forrest Snow, who broke out last season after being taken in the 36th round of the 2010 draft, the M's will try to sign someone on a one-year deal. Fox Sports notes Jamie Moyer (pictured) as a potential fit. Moyer spent much of his productive career in Seattle, and the veteran could be a good stopgap until the pitchers on the farm are deemed ready. It's surprising that Seattle may not want someone more established given it is difficult to view Blake Beavan as a pitcher worthy of blocking another, but the Mariners are keen on giving Beavan a shot given he was part of the Cliff Lee trade in 2010.

The Mariners were the league's worst offense in both 2010 and 2011, and historically will rank among the worst of all time. Seattle needs to focus all its energies on finding offense where they can get it in free agency and trades. GM Jack Zduriencik drafted Prince Fielder in Milwaukee and saw him develop into a star, so there have been rumors that the Mariners could go after Fielder.

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Posted on: November 9, 2011 12:32 pm
Edited on: November 9, 2011 12:53 pm

Phillies 'reconsidering' Madson deal?

By Matt Snyder

Tuesday night, it sounded like Ryan Madson re-signing with the Phillies was on the verge of getting done. Some reports indicated a deal was very close, though some other reports -- including from Scott Miller of CBSSports.com -- said nothing was finalized. Wednesday morning, things got even murkier. Miller is now reporting that the four-year, $44 million deal was agreed upon by Madson's agent, Scott Boras, and general manager Ruben Amaro, but that Amaro needed to get the deal approved by Phillies CEO David Montgomery and that hasn't happened yet (but it might).

Meanwhile, Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports reports that the Phillies are now "reconsidering" their options. Rosenthal notes the Phillies had previously talked to Jonathan Papelbon and that it is "unclear" if they'd pursue him again.

Madson, 31, saved 32 of his 34 chances in 2011 with a 2.37 ERA, 1.15 WHIP and 62 strikeouts in 60 2/3 innings. It was his first season as a full-time closer.

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Posted on: November 9, 2011 10:33 am
Edited on: November 9, 2011 10:34 am

Rangers 'could' go after Pujols or Fielder

By Matt Snyder

The Texas Rangers were twice within a strike of winning the 2011 World Series and most of the team is going to remain intact for next season, so they're pretty well set up. Still, it's folly for any team to simply stand pat and expect to be in the exact same position next season. So the Rangers are working on starting pitching -- we'll get to that in a second -- but an MLB.com article raised my eyebrows a bit, specifically this line:

"Sources acknowledge they are peeking at other things, and that might even include a nudge in the direction of free-agent first basemen Albert Pujols and/or Prince Fielder."

Now, let's not go crazy, especially with words like "peeking," "nudge" and "might" in there. The Rangers need pitching more than offense and still have the Mike Napoli (when Yorvit Torrealba catches), Michael Young, Mitch Moreland triumvirate that they can use at first. How much the Rangers can afford to increase payroll would also be a question. The article notes pitching is still the top priority, too.

Hot Stove Season
On the flip side, obviously Pujols or Fielder would be a major upgrade and the offense would be downright terrifying when Napoli caught, Young DH'd and either Pujols or Fielder was manning first. Either of the big name free agents would mark a defensive upgrade over Young or Napoli, especially if it was Pujols, a superb defensive first baseman. A big plus on the Rangers' chances here is that many of the large market teams won't be in on the sweepstakes for Pujols or Fielder. The Yankees, Red Sox and Phillies are set at first long-term. The Angels, Mets and Dodgers all have money issues of different varieties. The White Sox probably can't spend more and already have Paul Konerko. Who knows what direction the Cubs take? So it's possible the Rangers could sneak in and snag one of these big boppers with some of the extra revenue two consecutive World Series appearances has created.

To reiterate, though, it still feels like a longshot and pitching is the top priority for the Rangers. On that front, the Rangers are reportedly speaking with C.J. Wilson on bringing him back, in addition to having "at least some interest" in free agents Mark Buehrle, Roy Oswalt and Edwin Jackson. Moving closer Neftali Feliz into the rotation and pursuing a free-agent closer is also possible, with the article noting the Rangers have at least some interest in Jonathan Papelbon, Heath Bell, Francisco Cordero, Francisco Rodriguez and a few others (MLB.com).

It's still really early in the offseason. All of this could happen or none of it could, but it doesn't make it any less fun to play around with possible scenarios.

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Posted on: November 9, 2011 9:58 am

Wright hopeful Reyes re-signs with Mets

By Matt Snyder

Admidst all the rumors on a destination for dynamic free agent shortstop Jose Reyes, Mets third baseman David Wright Tuesday evening expressed sentiment that he hopes his left-side-of-the-infield partner remains in New York.

"I know what I hope he's going to do," Wright said (MLB.com). "I don't know what he's going to do, but I know what I want him to do, and that's to be to my left next year. I've shot him a couple of texts here and there, we've kind of exchanged some messages, not really anything about baseball. I guess that's the eternal optimist side of me -- that he'll be to my left at Spring Training. You never really know. Hopefully the organization values Jose the way that maybe I do, and hopefully Jose can kind of reciprocate that, and hopefully they can work something out."

"Every day it's kind of something new, so you never know what is real and what is not," Wright continued (MLB.com). "It's probably too early to start judging which way we're going to go, which way Jose is going to go. I try not to pay too much attention to it at this moment. But with that being said, you see the kind of interest Jose is getting. You knew he was going to get it, but it finally kind of hits home. When you hear the reports of him speaking to different teams, you know that it's a possibility, that it could be real that he's not here."

The reports Wright may be referencing could include the one we passed along Tuesday morning, which was that Reyes is being heavily courted by the Marlins while the Brewers and Tigers are also in the mix. Also, Wednesday morning Andy Martino of the New York Daily News reported that he's heard the Marlins might be offering a shorter-term deal with a higher annual salary than other teams. If Reyes is confident he can stay healthy and play well, this is a better option because then he'd be a free agent again while still young enough to hit another big payday. Of course, that's the issue. If he can't stay healthy, he's not going to be in this position ever again. So it's a gamble.

Reyes, 28, is a four-time All-Star. He won the NL batting title in 2011 (.337) while leading the majors with 16 triples and adding a .384 on-base percentage, 39 steals and 101 runs. He averaged 158 games played per season in 2005-08, but has since not played more than 133 in a season due mostly to leg injuries.

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Posted on: November 8, 2011 10:28 pm

Korean pitchers eyeing MLB

Suk-Min YoonBy C. Trent Rosecrans

The posting system isn't just for the Japanese players anymore, as two Korean pitchers may try the posting route to the big leagues, Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports reports.

Right-hander Suk-Min Yoon and left-hander Hyun-Jin Ryu have hired Scott Boras and may look into becoming the first players posted from the Korean Baseball Organization.

Yoon was the MVP in 2011 and also stared in the 2009 World Baseball Classic. Yoon won the pitching triple crown in 2011, going 17-5 with a 2.45 ERA with 178 strikeouts in 172 1/3 innings. He also had a save and batters hit just .223 against him. In 2009, he went 2-0 with a 1.13 ERA in the World Baseball Classic, appearing in four games and striking out 13 in 16 innings.

Yoon, 25, could chose against posting and come to the United States next season as a free agency.

Ryu, 24, could either post or come to the big leagues as a free agent in 2014. Ryu is 6-foot-3, 210 pounds and was 1-0 with a 2.57 ERA in five appearances at the World Baseball Classic in 2009. He was the winning pitcher against Cuba in the gold medal game of the 2008 Olympics.

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Posted on: November 8, 2011 10:04 pm

Madson's deal sets the market for Papelbon

By C. Trent Rosecrans

Ryan Madson has to be pretty happy with the reported four-year, $44 million deal he's set to receive from the Phillies, but he's not the only one. Jonathan Papelbon can't be too torn up by the deal, either.

If Madson is worth $11 million a year, Papelbon -- slightly younger with better stats and more experience -- should be looking at at least $13 million per season.

Hot Stove Season

Of course, there's going to be one less big-money team bidding for his services, but there should due enough out there that allows Papelbon to cash in as the market's top free agent closer.

Madson, 31, has less than a full season of closing under his belt, taking over in Philadelphia after Brad Lidge and Jose Contreras went down with injuries at the start of the season. Madson excelled in the role -- one he didn't do so well in earlier in his career -- recording 32 saves with a 2.37 ERA in 62 appearances. He struck out 62 batters in 60 2/3 innings and walked just 16 (eight intentionally). Madson has 52 saves and a 3.59 ERA in 491 career appearances since his debut as a 22-year-old late in the 2003 season.

Papelbon, who will turn 31 later this month, has 219 career saves with a 2.33 ERA, recording 31 saves with a 2.94 ERA in 2011. Papelbon struck out 87 batters in 64 1/3 innings, walking just 10 and recording a WHIP of 0.933. He's also pitched his entire seven-year career in the pressure-packed AL East.

While the Red Sox and Phillies are the two biggest teams in need of a closer this offseason, the Phillies now are out of the market, leaving Boston as the likely frontrunner (as if it wasn't before). The Blue Jays and Nationals are also looking for a closer and could be looking to spend some money. There's another two wild cards -- the Rangers if Neftali Feliz is moved into the rotation and the Marlins depending on who the whole Leo Nunez/Juan Carlos Oviedo situation plays out.

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Posted on: November 8, 2011 6:03 pm
Edited on: November 8, 2011 6:41 pm

Report: Phillies 'closing in' on deal for Madson

Ryan MadsonBy C. Trent Rosecrans

The Phillies are "closing in" on a four-year deal with closer Ryan Madson, Jim Duquette of the MLB Network tweets, although a source tells CBSSports.com Scott Miller that "nothing is done," with Madson. Yahoo's Tim Brown tweets that the sides are talking about a deal worth $44 million and a fifth year option worth $13 million, but does note that it is not yet a "done deal" -- just close.

Duquette also adds that the deal could include a vesting option for a fifth year, as well.

Madson, 31, recorded 32 saves for the Phillies in 2011, his first season as the full-time closer. He has 52 career saves, but only one (2009) with as many as 10 saves. Madson was 4-2 with a 2.37 ERA in 2011, recording 62 strikeouts in 60 2/3 innings with a 1.154 WHIP.

Madson was coming off a three-year deal worth $12 million. 

Phillies general manager Ruben Amaro had said he didn't want to hand over his closing duties to an unproven closer. The team was also rumored to be interested in former Boston closer Jonathan Papelbon, but that may have just been a bargaining ploy by the Phillies in attempting to keep Madson.

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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