Posted on: December 12, 2011 5:55 pm
Edited on: December 13, 2011 3:11 pm
By Matt Snyder
The Arizona Diamondbacks have agreed to terms on a one-year, $1.75 million contract with relief pitcher Takashi Saito, reports CBSSports.com's Jon Heyman.
Saito spent the first three seasons of his MLB career in the NL West, serving as the closer for the Dodgers for most of the 2006-08 seasons. He was an All-Star in 2007. He'll turn 42 before next season, but is still productive -- and that's a pretty cheap salary for a pitcher of his caliber.
Saito worked in 30 games last season for the NL Central champion Brewers, putting together a 2.03 ERA, 1.13 WHIP and 23 strikeouts in 26 2/3 innings. He'll join David Hernandez in setting up for J.J. Putz, giving a very formidable trio at the end of the ballgame for Arizona. Brad Ziegler is no slouch either, and the D-Backs will now have a full season from him, so the bullpen as a whole will be improved.
List of MLB free agents
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Posted on: December 9, 2011 6:06 pm
Edited on: December 9, 2011 7:52 pm
By C. Trent Rosecrans
Cahill and lefty reliever Craig Breslow are headed to Arizona in return for right-handers Jarrod Parker and Ryan Cook, along with outfielder Collin Cowgill. Arizona also received cash considerations in the deal.
Cahill would bolster the Diamondbacks' rotation, joining Ian Kennedy and Daniel Hudson at the top of the rotation. Cahill, 23, is signed through 2015 with club options for 2016 and 2017. Cahill is owed $30 million over the next four season, earning $3.5 million this season after making just $500,000 last season.
Cahill was 12-14 with a 4.16 ERA last season after going 18-8 with a 2.97 ERA in 2010. Breslow appeared in 67 games last season with a 3.79 ERA and has pitched in 202 games with a 3.14 ERA after being picked off from waivers by the A's from the Twins in 2009.
Parker, 23, was the Diamondbacks' first-round pick in the 2007 draft and made his big-league debut this past season, earning a no-decision in his lone start, but throwing 5 2/3 innings without allowing a run. He also made an appearance in the NLDS against the Brewers, allowing two hits and a run in 1/3 of an inning.
Cowgill, 25, hit .239/.300/.304 with a home run in 100 plate appearances last season. Cook was 0-1 with a 7.04 ERA in 12 appearances for the Diamondbacks in 2011. In his first year as a reliever, he appeared in 48 games at Double-A and Triple-A in addition to his big-league stint, earning a 2.21 ERA with 62 strikeouts in 61 innings.
Overbay finished 2011 with Arizona after being released by the Pirates in August. He hit .286/.388/.452 with a home run in 18 games for Arizona after hitting .227/.300/.349 for the Pirates in 391 playte appearances. Overbay started his career in Arizona, playing part of three seasons there before being traded to Milwaukee in the deal that brought Richie Sexson to Arizona.For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @eyeonbaseball on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.
Tags: 2012 free agency, 2012 MLB Free Agency, 2012 MLB Free Agents, 2012 MLB Hot Stove, AL West, Athletics, C. Trent Rosecrans, Collin Cowgill, Craig Breslow, Daniel Hudson, Diamondbacks, free agency, free agent tracker, Ian Kennedy, Jarrod Parker, Lyle Overbay, MLB Free Agency, MLB Free Agents, MLB Hot Stove, NL West, Trevor Cahill
Posted on: December 9, 2011 5:40 pm
Edited on: December 9, 2011 6:41 pm
By C. Trent Rosecrans
The winter meetings are over and some of the biggest names on the free-agent market are off the table, but that doesn't mean the hot stove has died out. So, the day after Albert Pujols and the Angels shocked the baseball world, here's a look at the top five position players and pitchers left on the market:
1. Prince Fielder -- The 27-year-old Fielder is the biggest fish left on the market, averaging more than 38 home runs in his six full seasons in the big leagues and posting a .929 career OPS. Whoever lands Fielder will get a shot to the lineup. The knock is Fielder's weight and the length of a contract.
2. Carlos Beltran -- Beltran's been a bit of a forgotten name in all the winter meetings talk. Beltran will be 35 in April and just finished a seven-year deal with the Mets. After being limited by injuries in his last two seasons, Beltran had a bounce-back year, hitting .300/.385/.525 with 22 homers and 84 RBI and doing that in two home ballparks not known to be friendly to hitters, Citi Field and AT&T Park. He can still play center field, but is probably better suited on a corner.
3. Aramis Ramirez -- Even though he has 14 years in the big leagues under his belt, Ramirez is just 33 and coming off a .306/.361/.510 season with 26 homers and 93 RBI. A two-time All-Star, he's by far the best third baseman on the market -- and it's not even close.
Possible landing spots: Brewers, Phillies, Marlins
4. Michael Cuddyer -- Cuddyer will be 33 in March and can play both the corner outfield and infield spots, offering teams a versatile player. He hit .284/.346/.459 with 20 homers last season and hit 32 homers in 2009 before the Twins moved to spacious Target Field. The Twins have reportedly already offered him a three-year deal, as have the Rockies.
Possible landing spots: Rockies, Twins, Phillies, Giants, Red Sox
5. Jimmy Rollins -- It seems odd to consider the 2007 MVP in anything but a Phillies uniform, but Pujols is now in California, so anything's possible. Rollins' offensive numbers have dropped off since his MVP season, but he still plays a premium position -- and one a couple of teams need to fill. A three-time Gold Glove winner, Rollins turned 33 last month. If he re-signs with the Phillies, it could be his last contract. Rollins is reportedly searching for a five-year contract, a tactic that may scare away every team other than the Phillies.
Possible landing spots: Phillies, Cardinals
1. Yu Darvish -- The 25-year-old Japanese right-hander will reportedly be posted and has been seen as perhaps the best starter available. There's no shortage of teams that could be interested in Darvish, but the history of recent big-ticket Japanese pitchers could scare off some suitors and keep the posting fee lower than expected. Once his team in Japan, the Hokkaido Nippon-Ham Fighers, accept the posting, the winning team still has to negotiate with Darvish. The posting system, though, gives a chance for a surprise team to emerge the winner.
2. Hiroki Kuroda -- There's no question of how Kuroda will perform in the big leagues -- he's gone 41-46 with a 3.45 ERA in four seasons with the Dodgers. Kuroda had a 13-16 record in 2011, despite putting up just a 3.07 ERA. He told the team he wouldn't give up his no-trade protection at the trade deadline, but the Dodgers have already found replacements for him in the rotation. He has one offer on the table already from the Hiroshima Carp in Japan, but would make more money in the U.S.
Possible landing spots: Cubs, Rockies, Diamondbacks, Yankees, Red Sox, Carp
3. Edwin Jackson -- The fact that Jackson has already played for six different teams and he's just 28 may raise some flags, but he's also had six teams want him at some point and for good reason. Although Jackson has battled inconsistency, he's still had results at times. He was 12-9 with a 3.79 ERA for the Cardinals and White Sox last season. He's not a No. 1, but he's younger than some of the other second-tier starters on the market, increasing his value.
4. Ryan Madson -- Even though there were reports the right-hander had agreed to return to the Phillies earlier this offseason, the team turned to Jonathan Papelbon instead. The Red Sox, who along with the Reds, are still searching for a closer could end up signing Madson and seem the best fit. In his firs tseason as the Phillies' closer, Madson recorded 32 saves, going 4-2 with a 2.37 ERA, striking out 62 batters in 60 2/3 innings.
Possible landing spots: Red Sox, Reds, Phillies
5. Francisco Cordero -- Like Madson, Cordero seems to be on the outside of the closer game of musical chairs. The Red Sox and Reds are the only team left looking for a closer. The Reds were interested in bringing back Cordero with a discount after declining their $12 million option on the 36-year-old right-hander. Cordero converted 37 saves last season and 150 in four years in Cincinnati.
Possible landing spots: Red Sox, Reds, Twins
Tags: 2012 free agency, 2012 MLB Free Agency, 2012 MLB Free Agents, 2012 MLB Hot Stove, AL Central, AL East, AL West, Aramis Ramirez, Blue Jays, Braves, Brewers, C. Trent Rosecrans, Cardinals, Carlos Beltran, Carp, Cubs, Cubs, Diamondbacks, free agency, free agent tracker, Giants, Japan, Mariners, Mariners, Marlins, Michael Cuddyer, MLB Free Agency, MLB Free Agents, MLB Hot Stove, Nationals, Nationals, NL Central, NL East, NL West, Orioles, Phillies, Pirates, Prince Fielder, Rangers, Red Sox, Reds, Rockies, Royals, Tigers, Twins, Yankees, Yu Darvish
Posted on: December 8, 2011 5:39 pm
Edited on: December 8, 2011 5:46 pm
By C. Trent Rosecrans
You may have missed it -- and for good reasons -- but 12 players were taken in the Rule 5 Draft on Thursday, in what usually signals the end of the winter meetings. It was the fewest number of players taken in the Major League phase of the Rule 5 draft since 2005
The Rule 5 Draft allows teams to take eligible players left unprotected on other teams' 40-man roster for $50,000. A player has to stay on a team's active Major League roster for the entire next season or be offered back to the original club for $25,000. Teams can also work out a trade with their old team to keep the player and send him to the minors. There have been some huge names selected in the Rule 5 Draft, including Josh Hamilton, Jose Bautista and Dan Uggla, but more often than not, players don't even make it out of spring training. Chances are one or two of the 12 selected on Thursday will make it on an opening day roster, but it's unlikely any of them will stick, based on previous numbers.
But hey, it happened today and some teams got some guys -- while the Angels added Albert Pujols and C.J. Wilson. So, who are the 12? Here we go, listed by their new team and their old team in parentheses:
Orioles: 2B Ryan Flaherty (Cubs) -- A former first-rounder, the left-handed hitter hit .305/.384/.523 with 14 homers at Double-A, but then struggled at Triple-A, hitting .237/.277/.399 with five home runs.
Yankees: LHP Cesar Cabral (Red Sox) -- Actually picked by the Royals, but traded to the Yankees for cash, Cabral struck out 70 batters in 55 innings, walking 21. He was 3-4 overall in 36 games in relief with a 2.95 ERA at High-A and Double-A.
Braves: LHP Robert Fish (Angels) -- Fish throws 95 mph and struck out 44 batters in 33 1/3 innings in Rookie ball and Double-A. Most of his time was spent at Double-A where he was 1-0 with a 3.26 ERA and two saves.
Cardinals: OF Erik Komatsu (Nationals) -- The Nationals acquired the speedy outfielder in the middle of 2011. He hit a combined .277/.367/.382 with seven home runs and 21 stolen bases between two different Double-A teams.
Red Sox: SS Marwin Gonzalez (Cubs) -- The switch-hitter hit .288/.343/.400 with 30 doubles between Double-A and Triple-A.
Yankees: RHP Brad Meyers (Nationals) -- The starter pitched at three different levels in 2011, the majority coming at Triple-A, where he was 6-5 with a 3.48 ERA and struck out 74 in 95 2/3 innings.For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @eyeonbaseball on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.
Tags: AL Central, AL East, AL West, Angels, Astros, Brad Meyers, Braves, Brett Lorin, Brewers, C. Trent Rosecrans, Cardinals, Cesar Cabral, Cubs, Diamondbacks, Erik Komatsu, Lendy Castillo, Lucas Luetge, Mariners, Marwin Gonzalez, Mets, Nationals, NL Central, NL East, NL West, Orioles, Phillies, Pirates, Red Sox, Rhiner Cruz, Robert Fish, Royals, Rule 5 draft, Ryan Flaherty, Terry Doyle, Twins, White Sox, Winter meetings, Yankees
Posted on: December 5, 2011 12:43 pm
Edited on: December 5, 2011 11:02 pm
By Matt Snyder
What if players were only permitted to stay with the team that originally made them a professional? No trades, no Rule-5 Draft, no minor or major league free agency ... once you are a professional baseball player, you stay in that organization. This series shows how all 30 teams would look. We give you: Homegrown teams. To view the schedule/past entries of this feature, click here.
If you're exhausted by the constant rumors we're circulating at the Winter Meetings, here's your fun little break. Today's installment of Homegrown brings the most powerful team in the bigs. Everyday in Chase Field would be like this past All-Star break's Home Run Derby. And the fans wouldn't even have to boo the entire time.
1. Stephen Drew, SS
2. Miguel Montero, C
3. Justin Upton, RF
4. Carlos Gonzalez, CF
5. Dan Uggla, 2B
6. Carlos Quentin, LF
7. Paul Goldschmidt, 1B
8. Mark Reynolds, 3B
1. Jorge De La Rosa
2. Brett Anderson
3. Max Scherzer
4. Josh Collmenter
5. Chris Capuano
Both De La Rosa and Anderson had season-ending surgeries in the real 2011 season, so if they did, we'd have to turn to Brad Penny and Ross Ohlendorf. We also have first-rounders Jarrod Parker and Trevor Bauer waiting in the wings. And good ol' Brandon Webb, too.
Closer - Jose Valverde
Set up - Javier Lopez, Sergio Santos, Daniel Schlereth, Vicente Padilla, Esmerling Vasquez
Long - Penny, Ohlendorf, Micah Owings
Notable Bench Players
Rod Barajas, Chris Snyder, Lyle Overbay, Conor Jackson, Scott Hairston, Emilio Bonifacio, Gerardo Parra
Wow, that's some serious power in the lineup. If everyone stayed healthy for a full season, there's every reason to believe all eight hitters would have at least 20 home runs, with Montero and Drew really being the only questions there. A handul of them would hit more than 30. So, yes, the power of the offense immediately jumps out, but really everything is pretty good here. There is depth, a solid rotation -- albeit injury-riddled -- and a good closer with quality setup men.
Reynolds is a butcher at third base. If Anderson and De La Rosa both fell injured before Bauer and Parker were ready, the rotation would become awfully thin. Even if they stayed healthy, there isn't a bona fide ace. The outfield defense isn't great, with Gonzalez and Quentin, but it isn't awful either.
Comparison to real 2011
The real Diamondbacks went 94-68 and won the NL West before bowing out in Game 5 of the NLDS to the Brewers. This team would be every bit that good, if not better -- and again, being that this is a hypothetical exercise, we're hypothetically assuming health to the top two starting pitchers. If this team played like it was capable, it could very well be a World Series champion.
For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnBaseball on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.
Tags: Brad Penny, Brandon Webb, Brett Anderson, Brett Cecil, Carlos Gonzalez, Carlos Quentin, Chris Capuano, Chris Snyder, Conor Jackson, Dan Uggla, Daniel Schlereth, Diamondbacks, Emilio Bonifacio, Esmerling Vasquez, Gerardo Parra, Homegrown, Jarrod Parker, Javier Lopez, Jorge De La Rosa, Jose Valverde, Josh Collmenter, Justin Upton, Lyle Overbay, Mark Reynolds, Matt Snyder, Max Scherzer, Micah Owings, Miguel Montero, NL West, Paul Goldschmidt, Rod Barajas, Ross Ohlendorf, Scott Hairston, Sergio Santo, Stephen Drew, Trevor Bauer, Vicente Padilla
Posted on: December 4, 2011 4:57 pm
By C. Trent Rosecrans
Mark Buehrle may not be the top starter on the market, but he may be the most sought-after, in part because he's reportedly seeking just a three-year deal.
According to Jon Heyman of Sports Illustrated, 14 different teams are in on the left-hander who will be 33 in March. FoxSports.com's Ken Rosenthal reports that the Rangers, Nationals and Marlins are the most aggressive on Buehrle and that the Nationals prefer Buehrle to Wilson because of the length of contract.
Those three may be the three teams that Joe Cowley of the Chicago Sun-Times reports are interested in Buehrle. Cowley tweets that three teams have already offered three-year deals with sufficient money to Buehrle, who is expected to command an average of at least $14 million per year. Heyman notes the Twins and Diamondbacks are among the teams interested in the lefty, but he may be too rich for their blood.
One thing that could complicate Buehrle's courtship is his demand for a no-trade clause. The Marlins, as a team, don't give out no-trade clauses. Miami has already hosted Buehrle on a recruiting trip, but he left without signing.
Buehrle has won at least 10 games, started 30 and pitched more than 200 innings in each of his 11 full seasons in the big leagues, including a 13-9 record with a 3.59 ERA in 31 starts in 2011. He saw a slight rise in his strikeout rate over 2010, but it's been on a downward trend since 2005, when he struck out 6.1 per nine innings. Still, he's a workhorse and has all the intangibles you could ask for, not to mention he's won three Gold Gloves in the last three years. Overall, he's posted a 161-119 record with a 3.83 ERA in his career.
But the most desirable part of Buehrle is his desire for a three-year contract in a weak pitching market. No team wants to be saddled with a Barry Zito or Carlos Zambrano, and even if Buehrle underperforms, he'd only be on the books for three years. He's also not returning to the White Sox, and according to Rosenthal, he's "intrigued" by a move to the National League.
There are few places where Buehrle wouldn't fit -- especially in a rotation with a strong No. 1 starter already in place.For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @eyeonbaseball on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.
Tags: 2012 free agency, 2012 MLB Free Agency, 2012 MLB Free Agents, 2012 MLB Hot Stove, AL Central, AL West, C. Trent Rosecrans, Diamondbacks, free agency, free agent tracker, Mark Buehrle, Marlins, MLB Free Agency, MLB Free Agents, MLB Hot Stove, Nationals, NL East, NL West, Rangers, Twins, White Sox
Posted on: December 1, 2011 8:12 pm
Edited on: December 1, 2011 9:01 pm
By Matt Snyder
• The White Sox are in a situation where they're most certain to be sellers on the trade market in an attempt to rebuild their barren farm system. CBSSports.com's Danny Knobler reports that other teams are so sure the White Sox are selling that they're inquiring about shortstop Alexei Ramirez and young pitcher Chris Sale. But, Knobler adds, the price for either would be "sky high." Talks on a contract extension with starting pitcher John Danks are in a "stalemate" and it's possible he's traded (ESPN Chicago). Remember, earlier this week we passed along the report that the White Sox were trying to deal reliever Matt Thornton and we've heard rumors involving starting pitcher Gavin Floyd and right fielder Carlos Quentin for weeks. Long-time left-handed starting pitcher Mark Buehrle is a free agent and expected to be gone. Jon Heyman reports there are 14 teams after Buehrle, so he may be the most popular player on the free agent market.
• The Rockies are still interested in Martin Prado, Knobler reports, and the Braves like outfielder Seth Smith as a piece coming back -- but the Braves also want Rockies third base prospect Nolan Arenado and, as Knobler said, that's not happening.
• It's looking less likely the Dodgers can retain starting pitcher Hiroki Kuroda, reports Knobler. Kuroda made $12.5 million last season and the Dodgers won't come close to paying him that much to stick around. The interesting factor here is Kuroda has said he won't pitch for any other team in America. So if he doesn't want to sign for what the Dodgers offer, he may well be headed back to Japan.
• Angels infielder Maicer Izturis was discussed in trade talk between the Angels and Rockies before the Chris Iannetta trade was completed -- CBSSports.com's Scott Miller reports -- so Izturis is available. The Tigers have been connected with Izturis in rumors this week.
• The Brewers, Cardinals and Giants are all looking at free agent shortstop Alex Gonzalez (Jon Heyman).
• The Rangers are hopeful of getting a long-term contract extension done with catcher Mike Napoli (Jon Paul Morosi). If he doesn't sign an extension, Napoli would be a free agent after the 2012 season.
• The Diamondbacks have made a contract offer to first baseman Lyle Overbay (Fox Sports Arizona).
• Earlier Thursday we noted that the Marlins were wooing closer Heath Bell, and you can now add the Blue Jays to the mix. They are after his services, reports Ken Rosenthal.
For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnBaseball on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.
Tags: 2012 free agency, 2012 MLB Free Agency, 2012 MLB Free Agents, 2012 MLB Hot Stove, AL Central, AL East, AL West, Alex Gonzalez, Alexei Ramirez, Angels, Blue Jays, Braves, Brewers, Cardinals, Carlos Quentin, Chris Sale, Diamondbacks, Dodgers, free agency, free agent tracker, Gavin Floyd, Giants, Heath Bell, Hiroki Kuroda, John Danks, Lyle Overbay, Maicer Izturis, Mark Buehrle, Marlins, Martin Prado, Matt Snyder, Matt Thornton, Mike Napoli, MLB Free Agency, MLB Free Agents, MLB Hot Stove, MLB Rumors, NL Central, NL East, NL West, Nolan Arenado, Rangers, Rockies, Rockies, Seth Smith, Tigers, White Sox
Posted on: November 26, 2011 10:40 pm
By C. Trent Rosecrans
Pena hit 26 home runs as a 22-year-old for the Reds in 2004, but since then has been overwhelmed by Major League pitching in stints with the Red Sox, Nationals, Diamondbacks and Mariners. Pena was in independent baseball as recently as 2010 before signing the Padres in 2010 and then with the Diamondbacks.
Pena's signing would be a footnote if it weren't for his great name and his prodigious power -- but Pena, when he makes contact, can put the ball in seats, and beyond.
While Pena managed to hit just .204/.250/.416 with seven home runs in 120 plate appearances in the big leagues in 2011, he dominated in the minors, hitting .358/.440/.712 with 25 home runs in 332 plate appearances with Triple-A Reno and Tacoma. Japan is probably the best option for his career, and certainly for his wallet. The report says he could get a two-year deal worth 400 million Yen (currently about $5.15 million), plus incentives and will be announced in the next couple of days. Will he succeed? There are plenty of former big leaguers who do succeed in Japan, but there are just as many (if not more) who fail. At the very least, Hawks batting practices could be a lot more fun to watch next season.For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @eyeonbaseball on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.