Tag:Hot Stove League
Posted on: January 30, 2011 3:53 pm

Cuddyer wants extension, plus more notes

CuddyerSome news and notes on this Sunday as baseball readies for spring training in two weeks...


  • The Twins' Michael Cuddyer (pictured) would love to stay a Twin for the rest of his career, as MLB.com reports. He is entering the last season of his deal and is excited about the season now that surgery to clean out his knee has been a resounding success. No extension talks have taken place and once the season starts, Cuddyer won't speak about an extension.
  • The Rangers signed Dave Bush to a minor-league deal with an invite to spring training, per Anthony Andro of the Ft. Worth Star-Telegram. Bush has an opt-out clause in his deal, but this is exactly the kind of depth Texas should be building in a rotation that looks a bit suspect. If Brandon Webb suffers a setback in his return to playing time, Bush would serve as the No. 5 starter.
  • The Orioles are in the lead for Justin Duchscherer's services along with the Nationals, Jerry Crasnick of ESPN reveals. The deal from Baltimore is of the major league variety, so it would be tough for the Duke not to make the squad. However, he tells Brittany Ghiroli of MLB.com that he has yet to decide and is close to deals with several teams. Crasnick has four teams in the hunt for the righty.
  • Rafael Betancourt has locked into a one-year extension to stay with the Rockies, as ESPN Deportes says per a MLB Trade Rumors translation. He'll make $3.77 million in 2011, per an already agreed upon deal, and $4 million in '12. The Rockies hold a club option for $4.25 million. The 36-year-old has been excellent in Colorado since coming over midway through 2009. He posted a 3.61 ERA in 62 1/2 innings for the Rox last season, whiffing 89 and walking just eight. An excellent season no matter how you slice it.
  • The Reds and Edinson Volquez agreed on a one-year deal, avoiding arbitration even as the two discuss a multi-year extension as MLB.com reports. "We tried to do a multiyear deal," GM Walt Jocketty says. "They just wanted to concentrate on the one year now. [Volquez's agent] had a few cases and wanted to get the arbitration thing out of the way."
  • Buster Olney of ESPN reveals that the Diamondbacks have opted not to pursue a humidor at Chase Field, at least for this season. The hitter's haven could benefit from a humidor, but given that the stadium isn't outrageously tilted toward hitters like Coors Field is in Colorado, there isn't a major push for it. The humidor could solve dry desert conditions that affect the baseball.
  • Amid reports the Orioles might sign Vladimir Guerrero, Luke Scott couldn't care less if he DHs or plays left, according to the Baltimore Sun. Just keep him with the Orioles, as he wants to sign a contract extension. The Orioles rebuffed overtures for an extension, although that doesn't mean it couldn't happen later.
  • In Nick Cafardo's excellent Sunday Notes column for the Boston Globe, he reveals that the Diamondbacks are considering Scott Schoeneweis. The lefty had a brief stint with the Red Sox in 2010 before being released. Schoeneweis pitched for Arizona in 2009 but was shocked by the drug overdose of his wife in May, struggling with depression after. How he has battled since in raising his kids and attempting to continue his career is nothing short of remarkable.
  • Cafardo also reports that the Rays are likely in on the services for Manny Delcarmen, along with three other teams. Delcarmen pitched for years with the Red Sox before falling apart in 2010 and ending the year with Colorado.


-- Evan Brunell

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

Posted on: January 30, 2011 1:07 pm
Edited on: January 30, 2011 4:59 pm

Marlins interested in signing Eric Chavez

ChavezA career resurrected?

Eric Chavez reportedly impressed Dodger scouts so well in his private workout that teams are suddenly interested. While the Dodgers may be considering a minor-league offer to deepen their third-base depth behind Casey Blake, the Marlins are also considering tendering an offer, as the Palm Beach Post reveals.

Florida is interested as depth behind Matt Dominguez, the Fish's top prospect. Dominguez, 21, will instantly take over the mantle as best fielding third baseman as soon as he steps onto a big league field, but his offense is another thing entirely. Dominguez hit .252/.333/.411 in 577 plate appearances for Double-A. While he might have some room to grow and approximate these totals in the majors, his entire value is tied up in fielding.

He's slated to be the third baseman for Florida as the team seems adamant about sticking Chris Coghlan in center field. Depth behind Dominguez will have to be key if he struggles out of the gate to adjust to major league pitching. While Chavez will have to accept a minor-league deal for any team, he could also build in an end-of-spring-training escape clause in the deal, or a May 1 clause.

The club does have Wes Helms under contract, but at this point, Helms is a glorified pinch-hitter while Chavez would be a better bet to produce as a starter. That's assuming, of course, Chavez lives up to the billing he received after the workout.

The longtime Athletic signed a six-year, $66 million deal with the A's for the 2005 season. Up to that point, he had compiled a .277/.354/.502 line through seven seasons, and Oakland chose to extend him as a 27-year-old over Miguel Tejada. Unfortunately, the first season of the deal was also the last time he would play a full season. In the six years of the deal, he had just 1,898 PA  -- from 2005-06 -- and hit .249/.322/.434. His back problems are to the point where it's difficult to imagine Chavez lasting a full season -- never mind a full game -- at third base. But after sitting out most of the last three seasons, the 33-year-old's worst days may be behind him.

-- Evan Brunell

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

Posted on: January 28, 2011 8:39 pm
Edited on: January 28, 2011 8:42 pm

Guerrero has $8M offer? Really?

Vladimir Guerrero OK, I'm calling shenanigans on Vladimir Guerrero. I know, I know, calling shenanigans is not something to be taken lightly. But the unemployed designated hitter's story is not adding up.

The Orioles appear to be the only viable option for Guerrero's services at this point, and have reportedly made him an offer of somewhere just north of $3 million (plus incentives), which he reportedly thought was insulting. Today Buster Olney of ESPN reported via Twitter that Guerrero's camp is telling the Orioles the slugger has an offer on the table for $8 million. This raises several questions.

1) From whom? Who is left with a hole or an obvious upgrade need at DH who has that kind of money available? Maybe the Blue Jays are looking to spend some of their Vernon Wells money? The Angels want to have someone to share duties with Bobby Abreu? Other than that, AL teams are pretty much set and/or broke.

2) If this is true, why is Fern Cuza, Guerrero's agent, even going back to talk to the Orioles? Baltimore is clearly never going to be able to match that (Olney hears the O's can't go higher than $4.5 million, and that's including incentives). And it's not like Baltimore offers more of a chance to win this year than someone else. If he has an $8 million offer, why isn't he racing to sign it?

3) How dumb does Cuza think the Orioles are? Seriously, does he think Andy MacPhail is some rube who just fell off the GM truck? This just seems like disingenuous negotiating, which is not going to set a good tone.

The bottom line is, Guerrero and Cuza screwed up, overplaying their hand in an offseason in which there were more DH candidates than jobs. Now this game of musical chairs is winding down, the music has stopped and Guerrero is left alone with an ugly chair.

But that's no reason to start pulling shenanigans.

(click video to play)

  -- David Andriesen

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

Posted on: January 28, 2011 9:47 am
Edited on: January 28, 2011 1:58 pm

A's trying to trade for Chone Figgins

FigginsAll's quiet in baseball these days with arbitration the only story and a countdown to the beginning of spring training less than a month away.

However, if the A's get their way, there will be at least one more trade that gets the attention of the baseball world.

The San Jose Mercury News reveals that Oakland is trying to acquire third baseman Chone Figgins from the Mariners. With three years and $26 million left on his deal, the Mariners might be motivated to deal the 32-year-old for players that fit within their retooling phase. It is thought that Kevin Kouzmanoff and a pitcher would be headed to Seattle for Figgins if a trade is consummated.

Figgins had a poor debut in Seattle after years with the Angels, hitting just .259/.340/.306 although he did swipe 42 bases amid an attempt to shift to second base. With that experiment over, Figgins is slated to return to third, and the Mariners hope he can approximate his 2009 line of .298/.395/.393.

Oakland has been seeking a third baseman all winter. They chased Adrian Beltre for the second straight season and also flirted with Edwin Encarnacion, claiming him on waivers only to non-tender him. Clearly, they aren't sold on Kouz, who has a great glove but produced a .247/.283/.396 mark in his first season with Oakland, hitting 16 homers.

If the A's did acquire Figgins, he would become the perfect leadoff hitter for a club that would suddenly legitimately challenge the Rangers for superiority in the West. So far, Oakland has imported Josh Willingham, David DeJesus and Hideki Matsui to bolster the offense. However, all three are free agents next year and while the club remains at the Coliseum with no certain organizational future, it will be difficult to attract free agents to come -- or even for internal free agents to stay. GM Billy Beane has had to go the trade route in recent years to get his bats, so acquiring Figgins would add certainty to the offense over the next few years -- the club's already got plenty on its hands in filling holes after the year.

One such hole could be filled by Chris Carter, who is adamant the left-field job is his to lose -- even after Oakland acquired two left fielders in DeJesus and Willingham.

"I'm still thinking it's my job to lose, basically," Carter said. "It's a business. They want to win and make the team better. [Adding players] keeps it more competitive."

That's all well and good, but after Carter began his major league career with an 0-for-19 streak, his stock dipped in many people's eyes. He rebounded upon his September recall, but by then it was too late: he was ticketed for Triple-A again in 2010. The 24-year-old likely remains Oakland's left fielder or DH of the future, especially with the positions opening up after the year, but he'll have to serve as depth in 2011 for the A's. Even backup outfield is not an option as Ryan Sweeney and Conor Jackson have those spots locked down as well.

UPDATE: ESPN's Buster Olney says there could be a third team involved in the deal, with the Jays a possibility. If the Jays were able to snag Kouzmanoff, that would enable Jose Bautista to stay in right field.

-- Evan Brunell

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

Posted on: January 26, 2011 5:37 pm
Edited on: January 26, 2011 5:38 pm

Vladimir Guerrero drops asking price

GuerreroVladimir Guerrero is still on the market and saw the Rangers move on from their attempts to secure him by acquiring Mike Napoli from Toronto. 

That was a mistake, as SI.com's Jon Heyman reports Texas had offered Guerrero more than $8 million on a one-year deal several weeks ago. But Guerrero has long demanded two years and $16 million. That's now changed, and his demands are down to one year and $8 million as FOX Sports' Ken Rosenthal reveals. Sounds like Vlad may have called Texas' bluff and failed.

Except he might still be calling a bluff -- and no team will bite at $8 million.

The market for DHs has been unsurprisingly slow again this season, and Boston might be kicking itself for picking up David Ortiz's $12.5 million option. Consider the other DHs that have signed deals this offseason:

And that's it. There are others who have signed deals that expect to DH -- such as Adam Dunn and Victor Martinez -- but Dunn will play a good amount of first base while Martinez will also catch and play first. Johnny Damon, who DHed primarily for the Tigers last season, will play left in Tampa.
But for those who are limited to just one position -- DH -- the pickings are slim, and Guerrero will be hard-pressed to find a team willing to fork over $8 million.
That doesn't mean there aren't teams interested, though.

"We’ve had some conversations, but there is nothing on the horizon," Orioles GM Andy MacPhail told the Baltimore Sun. The O's currently have Luke Scott slotted in at DH with Nolan Reimold battling Felix Pie for playing time in left. Vlad would push Scott to left and deepen the lineup, but at what cost to the development of Reimold and Pie?

The Blue Jays are one team who could use Guerrero, although GM Alex Anthopoulos has refused to speculate on Guerrero. The Jays could stand to add one more hitter but signing Guerrero would close off DH for Edwin Encarnacion, Juan Rivera and Adam Lind.

The Angels, Guerrero's former stomping grounds, could also be interested although L.A. is -- and should be -- more interested in acquiring a center fielder to push Bobby Abreu to DH.

And unless Guerrero wants to go try to have the Royals avoid 100 losses, there aren't any other options for Guerrero. He simply overplayed his hand with high demands and is still asking for more dollars than comparable DHs have signed for. If he's not careful, he might end up playing golf with Jermaine Dye.

-- Evan Brunell

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

Posted on: January 26, 2011 11:58 am

Yankees ink Bartolo Colon

ColonThe Yankees have signed Bartolo Colon to a minor-league deal, reports FOX Sports' Jon Paul Morosi.

Colon hasn't pitched since 2009 with the White Sox, posting a 4.19 ERA in 12 starts. He spent 2008 with the Red Sox and four seasons prior to that with the Angels.

Despite Colon's reputation as a durable pitcher -- he hurled 222 2/3 innings as late as 2005, when he was 32 -- he has broken down over the last few years with shoulder injuries and an assortment of other maladies.

Long known for being overweight, Colon has reportedly lost a significant amount of weight and posted a 1.47 ERA in seven starts while pitching for the Dominican Winter League. That's enough to get him another look in the majors, but the cards are stacked against him -- especially if things don't go his way as the Red Sox were abandoned by the portly right-hander near the end of 2008.

However, the Yankees can't get too cute in their pursuit of starting pitchers. The Yankees have no depth beyond the No. 3 starter and need to have reinforcements in place in case of injuries or attrition. Colon, along with Mark Prior, should compete for a rotation job in spring training although Ivan Nova and Sergio Mitre remain the favorites.

-- Evan Brunell

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

Posted on: January 26, 2011 11:16 am

Rockies not done shopping

BiemelThe Rockies aren't finished shopping and hope to bring in three players, reports Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports.

Colorado is looking to add a starting pitcher, left-handed reliever and backup infielder.

Currently, the rotation is made up of Ubaldo Jimenez, Jorge De La Rosa, Aaron Cook, Jhoulys Chacin and Jason Hammel. The club will also have Felipe Paulino in the rotation, but Colorado apparently is seeking a veteran to make 10-15 starts over the course of the season. Given the rotation is full, any veteran depth would likely have to come on a minor-league deal. Rosenthal names Dave Bush and Rodrigo Lopez as targets.

Another position that would require a minor-league contract is left-handed relief. The club has Franklin Morales and Matt Reynolds as options out of the bullpen but would like to conduct a competition for the bullpen spot. Eyes are on Joe Beimel (pictured), who is unlikely to sign a minor-league contract given interest from other teams, and Mark Hendrickson.

Lastly, the Rockies are searching for additional names to throw into the fire for the backup infield job. Alfredo Amezaga, Cristian Guzman and Aaron Miles are possible candidates.

Minor moves to be sure, but depth is everything over the course of a baseball season.

And Colorado may not be done with major moves. Despite the Rockies signing reliever Matt Lindstrom and extending the deals of Troy Tulowitzki and Carlos Gonzalez, the Rockies may still be interested in acquiring Michael Young from Texas. If the Rangers are willing to kick in serious cash to move Young and clear up playing time for Mitch Moreland and the newly-acquired Mike Napoli, Young could end up in a Rockies uniform.

-- Evan Brunell

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

Posted on: January 25, 2011 2:07 pm
Edited on: January 25, 2011 2:08 pm

Wellemeyer returning to Cubs

The wheel appears to have come full circle for Todd Wellemeyer, as the journeyman right-hander reportedly will return to his original organization on a non-guaranteed deal with the Cubs. ESPNChicago.com reports that he can earn $800,000 with another $400,000 in incentives.

Wellemeyer, 32, went 3-5 with a 5.68 ERA for the Giants last season before being released in August. He had his best season in 2008 as a full-time starter with the Cardinals, going 13-9 with a 3.71 ERA and an OPS+ of 134 -- 56 points higher than any other season. But other than that season he's had major problems with walks, averaging 4.5 per nine innings in his career.

-- David Andriesen

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

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