Posted on: November 4, 2010 4:19 pm
Edited on: April 18, 2011 12:32 pm

Bruce, O'Day among Super Twos

Brad Ziegler, the right-handed sidearmed reliever, is the lucky winner of the Super Two cutoff date this year with two years, 122 days of service time, according to the list sent to agents by the MLB Players Association. Super Two qualify for salary arbitration early.

The cutoff this season is lower than it has been in recent years, perhaps indicating that teams are getting more and more careful about how soon they bring up players in attempts to put off arbitration as long as possible.

Leading the list is Tampa Bay's Evan Longoria, who has already been signed to a long-term deal, a deal that's looking better and better by the day for the Rays.

Here's the list:

Jay Bruce Player 2009 Club Total Service
Evan Longoria Tampa Bay 2.170
Jim Johnson Baltimore 2.165
Felipe Paulino Houston 2.163
Josh Fields Kansas City 2.159
Kyle Kendrick Philadelphia 2.159
Sean White Seattle 2.156
Ian Stewart Colorado 2.154
Dana Eveland* Pittsburgh 2.152
Luke Hochevar Kansas City 2.151
Armando Galarraga Detroit 2.148
Burke Badenhop Florida 2.143
Ross Ohlendorf Pittsburgh 2.139
Chris Perez Cleveland 2.136
Alberto Gonzalez Washington 2.135
Jensen Lewis Cleveland 2.133
Darren O'Day Texas 2.128
Jay Bruce Cincinnati 2.125
Chase Headley San Diego 2.123
Travis Buck Oakland 2.123
Brad Ziegler Oakland 2.122

It appears that this is the best news for Bruce, O'Day and Perez, who will likely get the biggest bumps in salary from 2010 to 2011.

Of all those players, Bruce (pictured) may have had the best season, hitting .281/.353/.493 with 25 home runs. Perez recorded 23 saves and had a 1.71 ERA as the closer for the Indians once Kerry Wood was sent to the Yankees. O'Day was a valuable member of the Rangers' bullpen, appearing in 72 regular-season games and 11 postseason games. During the Regular season, he had a 2.03 ERA.

All three of those players made $440,000 or less last season.

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.
Posted on: November 3, 2010 7:10 pm
Edited on: November 3, 2010 7:15 pm

Young hopes to return to Padres

Chris Young The Padres have declined their $8.5 million option on right-hander Chris Young, but the starter hopes to return to San Diego.

"I have no idea who is interested," Young told the San Diego Union-Tribune . "The Padres are my first choice as far as I am concerned. I am hopeful something will be worked out.

The 31-year old made just four starts in 2010, missing most of the season with a right shoulder strain. In his four starts -- three in September -- the Padres went 2-0 with a 9.00 ERA.

Young was an 9-8 with a 3.12 ERA in his All-Star season of 2007, but then made just 18 starts in 2008 and 14 last season.

He was the team's highest-paid player in 2010, making $6.25 million.

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

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

Posted on: November 2, 2010 2:15 pm
Edited on: November 2, 2010 2:48 pm

Pads pick up Gonzalez option

Adrian Gonzalez In one of the least shocking moves of the offseason thus far (all, say, 16 hours or so of it), the Padres have announced they've picked up the option on first baseman Adrian Gonzalez.

The Padres had a $5.8 million club option with no buyout for 2011, making Gonzalez one of the bigger bargains in baseball.

Gonzalez hit .298/.393/.511 with 31 home runs and 101 RBI last season and has won the Gold Glove each of the last two seasons.

Now, what will be more interesting is where Gonzalez will play in 2011 and beyond. Because of his contract and his steady production, Gonzalez, 28, will be a hot name in the hot stove trade rumors. The Padres are unlikely to be able to afford the San Diego native after this season and may look to get something in return for him via trade before losing him to free agency.

It was generally accepted the Padres would deal Gonzalez during the 2010 season, but then San Diego unexpectedly led the National League West for most of the season, necessitating the Padres to keep their star.

The Red Sox are expected to be the most interested suitor for Gonzalez. Other teams that could be interested include the Angels, Dodgers, Cubs and White Sox.

UPDATE: MLB.com's Corey Brock notes Gonzalez's option is worth $6.2 million with the incentives he's earned.

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

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

Posted on: November 2, 2010 9:53 am

Torrealba declines option with Padres

Yorvit Torrealba Yorvit Torrealba has declined the $3.5 million mutual option with the Padres for 2011, San Diego general manager Jed Hoyer told the San Diego Union-Tribune .

Torrealba, 31, hit .271/.343/.378 with seven home runs and 37 RBI for the Padres last season, his first in San Diego after four seasons in Colorado. Torrealba made $750,000 last season and is due a $500,000 buyout for his option.

The Padres also have a mutual option with starter Jon Garland, who has until Wednesday to notify the Padres of his $6.75 million option. The Padres then have until Friday to make their decision. Garland gets $600,000 if the club declines, $300,000 if he declines.

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

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

Posted on: October 31, 2010 5:57 pm
Edited on: November 1, 2010 12:08 pm

Adrian Gonzalez certain to depart Padres

Gonzalez The Padres harbor no illusions that Adrian Gonzalez will be playing in San Diego in 2012.

"While we’d still love to have Adrian here long-term, it doesn’t appear to be practical from a financial standpoint," club CEO Jeff Moorad told the San Diego Union-Tribune ’s Tim Sullivan. "So I’m certainly not counting on that."

San Diego will likely hold onto Gonzalez at least to start the season and attempt to contend and give clubs a chance to see that the first baseman has no ill effects from recent shoulder surgery.

Gonzalez is one of the best first basemen in the game and could even be better than Ryan Howard, Mark Teixeira, Joey Votto and yes, even Albert Pujols. Given the poor supporting cast surrounding him on offense and the fact he plays in an extreme pitcher's park, going .298/.393/.511 in 591 plate appearances with 31 home runs is impressive. (And never mind the fact he cranked 40 in 2009 and slashing .277/.407/.551.)

Gonzalez, 28, hasn't hidden the fact that he plans on making a significant amount of money and playing for a winner. While he has never once complained about the four-year, $15 million deal he is coming off of, Gonzalez isn't about to let his one chance at major dollars pass him by.

“What I’m going to be looking for,” agent John Boggs said Thursday, “is what I call franchise-player compensation. You can put whatever number you want on it. I think Adrian as an individual compares very favorably with those players.”

Those players include Howard, who signed a five-year, $125 million extension with the Phillies slated to begin in 2012 along with Teixeira who inked for eight years and $180 million. Gonzalez, for his part, has a chance to break the $200-million barrier.

If he doesn't get traded -- and it's hard to fathom GM Jed Hoyer letting Gonzalez walk for nothing -- he would join a sexy free-agent class in 2011 populated by Prince Fielder and Albert Pujols, giving baseball its own version of the free-agent bonanza the NBA had this offseason.

The Union-Tribune counts three favorites and two dark horses, not including the Yankees or Phillies because of Howard and Teixeira. (But note that the Yankees could just put Gonzalez, a strong fielder, at DH.)

The Red Sox, Angels and Giants are considered the favorites. The Red Sox have been after Gonzalez for a long time but may see their interest fade as prospect Anthony Rizzo continues to develop by leaps and bounds. (Again, however, the DH comes into play here.) They could also simply use Rizzo as trade bait if they land Gonzalez.

The Giants are in a similar position, with up-and-coming first baseman Brandon Belt turning heads. Like Boston, San Francisco could end up using Belt as trade bait, but especially with less finances to work with than Boston, it's more likely the Giants hang onto Belt and pass on Gonzalez.

The Angels, meanwhile, have Kendry Morales at first but he certainly isn't going to block L.A. from getting Gonzalez if they make a play. The ability to sign a Hispanic slugger would be huge in the market as well.

That's something the Dodgers, with their history of Fernando Valenzuela, know all too well. Gonzalez would be a major coup at the expense of some very upset Padres fans, so San Diego would do anything they could to ship Gonzalez to the Angels before turning to the Dodgers.

The other dark horse is the Cubs, although Chicago seems poised to sign free agent Adam Dunn to patrol first base. Gonzalez has also indicated in the past he would "be interested" in a contract tender from the Cubs. While no one's linked the White Sox to Gonzalez, don't be surprised to see them make a play with no future first baseman in town, using Gonzalez' note that his wife likes to shop in the Windy City to make a play.

In the next year, Gonzalez' future is going to be a hot topic. Only time will tell where he lands.

Just know it won't be San Diego.

-- Evan Brunell

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

Posted on: October 30, 2010 4:28 pm
Edited on: October 30, 2010 6:25 pm

Harper homers in AFL

Bryce Harper Bryce Harper hit his first professional homer on Saturday, a solo shot off Erik Davis in the second inning of an Arizona Fall League game.

Harper hit the first pitch he saw for what Keith Law described as a "no-doubt line drive way out to right field" on Twitter .

Harper's hitting .308 so far this Fall for the Scottsdale Scorpions, playing only on Wednesdays and Saturdays as part of the team's "taxi squad."

Davis was a 13th-round pick of the Padres out of Stanford. Davis pitched in Class A, Double-A and Triple-A last season, going 14-3 with a 3.52 ERA in those three levels. He pitched mostly at High-A Lake Elsinore, made seven starts at Double-A and one in Triple-A.

Harper singled off of right-hander James Avery in the fourth, raising his average to .357.

UPDATE: Since I updated last time, might as well this time. Avery, a Reds Triple-A starter, got Harper swinging at three straight pitches to end the fifth.

UPDATE: Harper struck out again in the seventh, but added an RBI double in the eight. He's now 3 for 5 for the day and hitting .353 in the AFL.

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

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

Posted on: October 20, 2010 3:29 pm
Edited on: October 21, 2010 11:26 am

Looking like Alderson is Mets' choice

Sandy Alderson
Sounds like Sandy Alderson is the Mets' man, and that's great news for Mets fans.

According to Joel Sherman of the New York Post, Alderson will be back at Citi Field on Thursday for his third interview, or maybe it's just one continuing, multi-part interview. Whatever. According to people Sherman has talked to, if Alderson manages not to throw up on Jeff Wilpon's shoes and sucker punch Mr. Met, he's going to be the next general manager. "Alderson is way more than just a frontrunner for the position. He is not a sure thing, but pretty darn close to it," writes Sherman.

This would be the best possible outcome for the Mets' GM search. The Mets, frankly, are kind of a joke right now in baseball circles (seriously, I can't stop watching that video), and Alderson instantly changes that. Not to say that Omar Minaya wasn't respected, but Alderson is respected on a whole other level. When he makes phone calls, they're going to be returned.

If you're not familiar with Alderson, check out his official MLB bio. He was a Marine pilot in Vietnam, and went on to graduate from Harvard Law School. He left a successful law practice to become counsel for the A's, and two years later became general manager. In his 14 years at the helm, the A's won four division titles, went to the World Series three times and won a championship in 1989. When the owners began slashing payroll, it was Alderson who started seriously looking at new tools to find undervalued players, taking a leading role in the sabermetrics movement in baseball.

He left to become executive VP of baseball operations for Bud Selig, left that job for four years to be CEO of the Padres, and returned to the commissioner's office to tackle corruption in the Dominican Republic.

Now he's reportedly jonesing to be back on the scene running a team, and that would be a big gain for the Mets.

-- David Andriesen

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

Category: MLB
Posted on: October 19, 2010 11:15 pm

Padres' Gonzalez to undergo surgery

Adrian Gonzalez Padres first baseman Adrian Gonzalez will undergo right shoulder surgery on Wednesday, the San Diego Union-Tribune 's Don Norcross writes .

General manager Jed Hoyer described the operation as a labrum "clean up" and that Gonzalez had undergone two MRIs and consulted three doctors.

"He started the last 81 games of the season," Hoyer said. "He certainly wasn't debilitated. He played very well all season. [But] it was a matter of discomfort. It's something we want to get done before the beginning of next season."

Late in the season, Gonzalez said the shoulder had bothered him since May and he had to alter his swing, robbing him of some of his power. He finished with 31 home runs, but hit just four in his last 36 games.

Mets team physician Dr. David Altchek will perform the surgery.

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

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

Category: MLB
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com