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Tag:2012 MLB Hot Stove
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.

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @eyeonbaseball on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.
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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Posted on: November 8, 2011 4:49 pm
 

Kuroda, Igawa garnering interest from Japan

Hiroki Kuroda

By C. Trent Rosecrans

Hiroki Kuroda ranked fourth on the CBSSports.com ranking of free agent starting pitchers -- and that was before CC Sabathia signed his extension. So needless to say, the former Dodgers right-hander is among the most sought-after free agents on the market.

While the Dodgers were thought to be a shoe-in to re-sign Kuroda, there have been reports that more teams, including the Yankees, could tempt him. Add another team to the mix -- the Hiroshima Carp. Kuroda, 36, pitched 11 years for the Carp before signing with the Dodgers as a free agent on Dec. 16, 2007. 

According to Nikkan Sports in Japan (via NPB tracker), the Carp have made an official offer to Kuroda, 37.

"I'm happy that they would evaluate my contributions like that," Kuroda said, according to NPB Tracker. "Naturally, I'm happy. A feeling that they really want to win across. (Hiroshima's competitiveness this season) has come to a frustrating place, to a place where they are one step away. … I'm very happy I got an offer from the Carp."

Kuroda is 41-46 with a 3.45 ERA in four seasons with the Dodgers, including a 13-16 record with a 3.07 ERA in 2011. He was 103-89 with a 3.69 ERA in Japan, winning the Central League with a 1.85 ERA in 2006.

The Los Angeles Times' Steve Dilbeck writes that he expects Kuroda's decision to come down the Dodgers and Carp -- and for the Dodgers, that decision needs to be made relatively soon.

Kuroda isn't the only Japanese player from the major leagues that is gaining attention in his home country. NPB Tracker also notes Kei Igawa is garnering interest from Rakuten and Orix.

Meanwhile, Seibu shortstop Hiroyuki Nakajima and Yakult center fielder Norichika Aoki have asked to be posted. Nikkan Sports reports the Giants, Dodgers, Diamondbacks and Orioles may be interested in Nakajima.

Meanwhile, Chunichi left-hander Wei-Yin Chen is unsure whether he wants to move to the United States, according to the Chunichi Shimbun (also via NPB Tracker). Chen, 26, would be a free agent and not subject to the posting system. A native of Taiwan, Chen went 8-10 with a 2.68 ERA for the Dragons this season. He led the Central League with a 1.54 ERA  and 0.93 WHIP in 2009.

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Posted on: November 8, 2011 3:17 pm
Edited on: November 8, 2011 7:54 pm
 

Buehrle popular on free agent market

By Matt Snyder

Starting pitcher Mark Buehrle has pitched 12 seasons for the White Sox, but he may be heading to a new address in free agency this offseason. And there's no shortage of suitors. Multiple outlets have reported that Buehrle is meeting with the Marlins Tuesday, but they aren't alone in their pursuit. According to Fox Sports, the Rangers, Red Sox and Yankees all have interest in Buehrle, while the Blue Jays are looking for starting pitching as well. The report didn't specifically say the Jays were among the Buehrle suitors, but if they need pitching they'll surely at least kick the tires.

The Yankees would greatly benefit from adding Buehrle behind CC Sabathia, and lefties fare better in Yankee Stadium. The Marlins need pitching depth and are looking to make a strong push in free agency with a new ballpark set to open. Plus, Ozzie Guillen had previously managed Buehrle in Chicago and he's now the Marlins' skipper. The Rangers likely have Buehrle in their sights in case C.J. Wilson signs elsewhere and the Red Sox, well, we know how badly they need better pitching.

Hot Stove Season
The interest in Buehrle makes sense. Not only is he a left-hander, but he's as durable as they come. He's made at least 30 starts and thrown at least 201 innings in each of the past 11 seasons. Because he doesn't rely on velocity, Buehrle's skills shouldn't deteriorate much as he ages, either. The four-time All-Star and three-time Gold Glover isn't an ace, but he'd be a strong two or three in most rotations. And while it seems like he's old since he's been around for so long, Buehrle's only 32.

We've previously passed along that Buehrle is open to any team, and it looks like he'll have plenty of choices.

Hat-tip: MLB Trade Rumors

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Posted on: November 8, 2011 12:31 pm
 

Report: Giants likely out, Red Sox in on Beltran

By Matt Snyder

Carlos Beltran provided a boost to the Giants' anemic offense after being traded in a late July deal this past season and the Giants surely would like to keep him. But in light of their money woes -- outlined by Scott Miller recently on CBSSports.com -- they may not be able to afford him. Enter Boston.

The Red Sox are interested in Beltran, reports Jon Heyman of SI.com -- who adds that a "competing" executive believes the Red Sox will end up signing Beltran to a two-year contract. Beltran would be a great fit with the Red Sox, who could slide him into right field and make their already-solid lineup even stronger.

Meanwhile, the Giants would be losing one of their biggest bats from the final two months of the 2011 season. Beltran hit .323/.369/.551 with nine doubles, four triples and seven home runs in 44 games for the Giants. All told, he hit .300 with 22 homers, 84 RBI, 39 doubles and a .910 OPS while making his sixth All-Star team in 2011.

Beltran turns 35 in the first month of the 2012 season, but his move from center to right field seems to have helped extend his career a bit.

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Posted on: November 8, 2011 11:21 am
Edited on: November 8, 2011 3:56 pm
 

Brewers, Tigers, Marlins after Reyes

By Matt Snyder

During the next few weeks, we'll start to see serious suitors emerge for the big-name free agents, and Tuesday morning Jon Heyman of SI.com tweeted out three in particular for star shortstop Jose Reyes. Heyman first noted that the Brewers are beginning to realize they have little chance at retaining first baseman Prince Fielder, so they're focusing on Reyes. Next, Heyman reported that the Marlins are "deadly serious" about Reyes and that the Tigers are also possible.

Hot Stove Season
Two of the three teams listed here aren't surprising in the least. I predicted the Brewers would land Reyes, as they have a hole at shortstop, likely can't afford Prince and could use a leadoff hitter. My colleague Danny Knobler noted Reyes would be a perfect fit for the Tigers, too. And remember, the Mets are not confident in keeping Reyes. As for the Marlins, well, Reyes works more than it would appear on the surface.

Let's keep in mind, the Marlins are moving into a new stadium for 2012. They're renaming themselves the Miami Marlins and getting new uniforms. So they're looking to make a big splash and capitalize on the changes. Payroll is reportedly going to skyrocket. Adding a player like Reyes most certainly would excite the hometown fans and he works well atop the order for them. Fellow All-Star shortstop Hanley Ramirez is already in house, though, so one of the two would have to change positions. The Marlins have a hole at third base, so obviously if Reyes signed, Ramirez would be moved to third.

Reyes, 28, hit .337/.384/.493 with 16 triples, 101 runs and 39 steals in 126 games this past season.

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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