Tag:free agent tracker
Posted on: February 1, 2012 3:21 pm
 

Carlos Guillen returns to Seattle

Carlos GuillenBy C. Trent Rosecrans

Carlos Guillen is back with the Mariners. The 36-year-old infielder signed a minor-league deal with the team on Wednesday with a big-league invite to spring training.

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Guillen spent the last eight seasons with the Tigers, making three All-Star teams, after playing parts of six seasons with the Mariners.

While he played shortstop for the Mariners and Tigers earlier in his career, he was limited to just second base, first base and DH last season, appearing in just 28 games, hitting .232/.265/.368 with three home runs. He hasn't played in more than 150 games since 2007, playing in just 177 over the last three.

The Mariners traded Guillen to the Tigers for Ramon Santiago and minor-leaguer Juan Gonzalez before the 2004 season. Santiago was a flop in Seattle, returning to Detroit in 2006, where he's played ever since.

In other minor-league deals, former Phillies reliever Chad Durbin signed with the Nationals and Rays hero Dan Johnson signed with the White Sox.

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Posted on: February 1, 2012 1:48 pm
 

Juan Cruz signs minor-league deal with Pirates

By Matt Snyder

The Pirates have signed free agent relief pitcher Juan Cruz to a minor-league contract with a spring training invite, the club announced Wednesday afternoon.

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Cruz, 33, will now join his seventh team in 12 big-league seasons, should he make the team. He spent last season with the Rays, where he had the good fortune of going 5-0 -- which, as a reliever doesn't really mean much -- with a 3.88 ERA, 1.32 WHIP and 46 strikeouts in 48 2/3 innings. He's been inconsistent season to season in his career, as Cruz was very effective in 2004 and 2008 while being awful in 2005 and 2009, with several other seasons falling in between.

Should Cruz make the roster, he won't be ticketed for a late-inning role. The Pirates have Joel Hanrahan locked in as the closer with Evan Meek and Jason Grilli setting up.

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Posted on: January 31, 2012 5:53 pm
Edited on: January 31, 2012 6:03 pm
 

Livan Hernandez signs with Astros

By Matt Snyder

Free agent pitcher Livan Hernandez has signed with the Astros, CBSSports.com insider Jon Heyman has confirmed. The news was first reported by Fox Sports.

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The Astros seemed to have their starting five set in Wandy Rodriguez, Brett Myers, Bud Norris, J.A. Happ and Jordan Lyles, but perhaps they'll make a trade or get the 21-year-old Lyles some more seasoning in Triple-A. I say this because signing Hernandez for anything other than the purpose of being a back-end-of-the-rotation innings eater wouldn't make much sense. The one thing he still does well is log innings.

Hernandez, 36, was 8-13 with a 4.47 ERA and 1.40 WHIP in 175 1/3 innings last season for the Nationals. He would have surely hit 200 innings had the Nats not pulled him from the rotation in early September to make room for Stephen Strasburg.

In 2010, Hernandez was 10-12 with a 3.66 ERA and 1.32 WHIP in 211 2/3 innings. He's logged 3,121 2/3 regular-season innings in his 16-season big-league career.

In addition to the Hernandez and the other five pitchers mentioned above, the Astros also have Henry Sosa, Kyle Weiland, Zach Duke and highly-touted prospect Jarred Cosart in the mix.

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Posted on: January 31, 2012 11:26 am
Edited on: January 31, 2012 11:29 am
 

Phillies sign reliever Chad Qualls

By Matt Snyder

Free agent relief pitcher Chad Qualls has signed a one-year, $1.15 million contract with the Phillies, the club announced Tuesday.

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Qualls, 33, appeared in 77 games for the Padres last season, putting up a 3.51 ERA and 1.25 WHIP in 74 1/3 innings. He struck out 43 while walking 20. He has 51 career saves, mostly from a stint as the Diamondbacks closer, but Qualls has been a setup type for the majority of his career.

One item that is cause for concern is that Qualls was destroyed on the road last season. His home games came in notorious pitchers' park Petco Park. On the road, he had a 5.05 ERA and 1.57 WHIP. He gave up 43 hits in just 35 2/3 innings on the road. Citizens Bank Park in Philadelphia generally plays around league average to slightly above average for hitters, so Qualls may be in trouble if he doesn't have a much better season.

The good news for Qualls and the Phillies is he won't be counted on for an overly significant role. Jonathan Papelbon is the closer while Antonio Bastardo and Jose Contreras (should he return healthy at some point) can set up. That leaves Qualls as a middle man eventually, though he does provide insurance in case Contreras suffers any setbacks in his return from elbow surgery.

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Posted on: January 27, 2012 9:52 pm
 

A's owner would be fine with adding Manny Ramirez

Manny Ramirez

By C. Trent Rosecrans


Last week there were reports the A's were interested in Manny Ramirez -- and it doesn't sound like Oakland owner Lew Wolff has a problem with adding the controversial slugger.

In an interview with the San Francisco Chronicle's John Shea
, Wolff said he'd be fine if general manager Billy Beane decided to add Ramirez.

"Why wouldn't we (be interested) if a guys serves his term," Wolff said, referencing Ramirez's 50-game suspension. "What's more, is he in shape? Does he want to come to us? Do we want him? I really don't see any non-baseball reason for not having him. I wouldn't want to not have a player because he made a mistake and paid the price for it, but that's really up to Billy."

Wolff said the team's payroll would be around $50 million, or one-third of the Angels' expected payroll, $80 million less than the Rangers and $30 million less than the Mariners.

According to the owner, the team made $370,000 last year after the $32 million it received in revenue sharing.

"I have to admit, without revenue sharing, we'd have a huge loss, and we don't want revenue sharing," Wolff said. "We'd like not to be a receiver if we could."

As for Ramirez with the A's, the team could certainly use his power. Ramirez, 39, has 555 career homers, while the position players on the A's 40-man roster have a combined 413 career home runs, led by Jonny Gomes' 118 and Coco Crisp's 75. He'd also be cheap, which is just what the A's are looking for in a player.

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Posted on: January 27, 2012 9:17 pm
 

Report: Brad Penny has offer from Japanese team

Brad PennyBy C. Trent Rosecrans

Right-hander Brad Penny has an offer from the Fukuoka SoftBank Hawks in Japan, according to Jerry Crasnick of ESPN.com.

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Penny, 33, was 11-11 with a 5.30 ERA in 31 starts for the Tigers last season. Penny made just one appearance in the postseason for the Tigers, starting Game 6 of the ALCS against the Rangers and was pounded for five runs on seven hits in just 1 2/3 innings, giving up homers to Michael Young and Nelson Cruz in a 15-5 loss to Texas.

In 12 seasons with the Marlins, Dodgers, Red Sox, Giants, Cardinals and Tigers, he's 119-99 with a 4.23 ERA.

The two-time All-Star has also heard from two big league teams, according to the report.

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Posted on: January 27, 2012 12:00 pm
Edited on: January 27, 2012 12:05 pm
 

Ryan Theriot signs with Giants

By Matt Snyder

Free agent infielder Ryan Theriot has signed a one-year contract with the Giants, CBSSports.com insider Jon Heyman has learned. The deal is worth $1.25 million and has $750,000 worth of incentives.

Though Theriot better fits defensively as a second baseman, he has a great shot at significant playing time at shortstop for the Giants. The only person standing in his way is Brandon Crawford, who hit just .204/.288/.296 last season, which is dreadful. Crawford could then fit well as a late-inning defensive replacement, as he's the superior defender. It's just that the Giants need the most offense they can get from any spot.

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Theriot, 32, hit .271/.321/.342 with 26 doubles for the World Series champion Cardinals last season. He has spent all but 54 games of his career in the NL Central, mostly with the Cubs, but those other 54 games were in the NL West with the Dodgers in 2010.

Also of note, Theriot rejoins former LSU and Cubs teammate Mike Fontenot. Those two just can't be kept apart, huh?

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Posted on: January 27, 2012 11:33 am
Edited on: January 27, 2012 11:54 am
 

Phillies sign Pierre to minor-league deal

By Matt Snyder

Free agent outfielder Juan Pierre has signed a minor-league contract with the Phillies, the club announced Friday.

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The 34-year-old Pierre is a true pro in every sense of the word, but his on-field value at this point isn't much. He hit .279 last season, but he rarely walks and has no power, so his .657 OPS is pretty poor. Plus, he's a corner outfielder now, so the lack of power hurts his value even more. He did steal 27 bases last year, but was caught stealing 17 times.

Pierre is only going to be providing depth for the Phillies, though it's not too much a stretch to see him playing quite a bit at some point. Shane Victorino and Hunter Pence aren't going anywhere, but the left field job belongs to Laynce Nix right now, with John Mayberry the backup. You'd think Domonic Brown would get another look, but if not, Pierre is waiting in the wings.

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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