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Tag:Victor Martinez
Posted on: November 17, 2010 5:39 pm
Edited on: November 17, 2010 6:59 pm
 

Hot Stove League profile: Victor Martinez

Through Nov. 26, CBS Sports' MLB Facts and Rumors will be profiling both free agents and trade candidates who will help stoke the fires of the Hot Stove League. Today: catcher Victor Martinez.

Switch-hitting 31-year-old catcher, a four-time All-Star with a .300 career average, lined up for long-term deal. You know what you call that? A blank check.

Victor Martinez is a baseball rarity, and he's got a big payday coming from somebody this winter. The big downside to the big Venezuelan is his defense behind the plate. He's a mediocre receiver whose defense scouts say is on the decline, and he has trouble holding runners. It's a virtual guarantee that he won't be behind the plate for the entirety of this contract -- he'll transition to first base or designated hitter at some point.

But what matters is that his bat is in the lineup. He's not only good, he's remarkably consistent -- with the exception of an injury-plagued 2008, his OPS+ has been between 122 and 133 every full year of his career.

Victor Martinez STATS

2010: .302/.351/.493 with 20 home runs, 32 doubles and 79 RBI

Career: .300/.369/.469 with 131 home runs and 638 RBI in 1004 games

WHAT IT WILL TAKE

Martinez spurned what was described as a lowball two-year extension offer from the Red Sox during the season, and now will probably command at least four years. We haven't seen hard numbers on the dollar amounts that have been talked about, but he's going to get upward of $10 million per year -- maybe a lot more. When John Buck (one good year, against nine much better years from Martinez) is worth three years and $18 million in a thin market for catchers, the market could get ridiculous.

Also worth keeping in mind is that Martinez is a Type A free agent, which means in addition to money, a signing team other than the Red Sox would surrender a high draft pick.

WHERE HE COULD GO

The Red Sox have made it clear they'd like to keep Martinez, and should be considered the frontrunner until someone else throws out an offer so ridiculous Boston has to drop out. Buck was reportedly their backup plan, so with him gone that might put more pressure on the Red Sox.

Victor Martinez The Tigers are the other team that has been said to prioritize him, and they have a lot of money coming off the books, so they can handle a big contract. Lately, however, it's looking like Detroit could land Adam Dunn, which could limit the need and dollars for Martinez.

The Orioles have reportedly been a surprisingly aggressive suitor, though they would seem like a tough sell to Martinez. The Rangers have him on their wish list, and could throw the money they have earmarked for Cliff Lee at him if Lee goes elsewhere. The Rockies, Blue Jays and Mariners also have been mentioned but seem like less likely destinations.

PREDICTION

The Tigers seem to be outfitted with a lot of interest and the most available money, so unless they blow all their mad money on Dunn, that would be a good fit.

-- David Andriesen

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

Posted on: November 17, 2010 12:23 pm
Edited on: November 17, 2010 12:23 pm
 

Thinking big: Rangers target Martinez

Victor Martinez
For a team that started last season 27th in payroll, the Rangers are certainly being financially ambitious this winter.

In addition to a full-court press for Cliff Lee, the Rangers want to bring back designated hitter Vladimir Guerrero, who wants a multi-year deal. T.R. Sullivan of MLB.com reports that Texas also is targeting the top catcher on the market, Boston All-Star Victor Martinez.

The Rangers had Bengie Molina and Matt Treanor behind the plate last year, but Molina is considering retirement and the Rangers don't see Treanor as an everyday option. They'd like to upgrade at the position, and there's no bigger upgrade available than Martinez. But he's not going to be cheap, and you have to think his asking price just went up considering the money the Marlins put up for second-tier option John Buck.

Martinez, who will be 32 when next season starts, reportedly is holding out for a four-year deal. One appeal Texas might hold for him is that, at least in the near term, he'd continue to catch full-time if the Rangers retain Guerrero. Other teams -- the Red Sox want him back, and the Tigers, Orioles and others are in the mix -- are looking at using him at DH or first base.

Between an ownership change, a huge new TV deal and the windfall from their World Series run, the Rangers' financial situation is vastly improved from a year ago. Still, it's tough to see them laying out for multi-year deals for Lee, Martinez and Guerrero. The total number there could approach a quarter of a billion dollars.

-- David Andriesen

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

Posted on: November 12, 2010 8:22 pm
Edited on: November 22, 2010 2:05 pm
 

Hot Stove League profile: Adrian Beltre

Hot Stove Over the next three weeks, CBS Sports' MLB Facts and Rumors will be profiling both free agents and trade candidates who will help stoke the fires of the Hot Stove League. Today, free agent Adrian Beltre.

Take a look at Adrian Beltre's career stats, and it jumps out at you: huge spikes in performance when he's playing for a contract. In 2004 with the Dodgers, with free agency looming, he hit a league-leading 48 homers -- he hadn't hit more than 23 prior to that season and didn't hit more than 26 during his five-year stay in Seattle. In 2010, on a one-year contract, he batted .321/.365/.553 with a league-leading 49 doubles and the second-highest homer total (28) of his career. In those two contract years, he batted a combined .328; in no other season has he eclipsed .290.

It's not unusual for a player to step up in a walk year, and it pays to keep in mind that being healthy was a major factor in both seasons. Beltre is the toughest player I have ever covered, and has a tendency to play hurt and hide injuries, which has impacted his performance. When there are no health issues standing in his way, hit potential is enormous.

Even an average Beltre year is pretty darned good, and very consistent. Per 162 games in his career, he's averaged .275/.328/.462 with 89 RBI and 25 homers -- all while playing elite defense at third base. At 31, Beltre has some productive years left in him, and he's going to be in high demand this winter.

Adrian Beltre STATS

2010: .321/.365/.553 with 28 home runs, 102 RBI
career: .275/.328/.462 with 278 home runs, 1,008 RBI

LAST CONTRACT

Coming off a disappointing and injury-plagued final season with the Mariners, Beltre took a chance on a one-year, incentive-heavy $10 million deal with the Red Sox. He had a player option of $10 million for 2011 (it doubled from $5 million when he passed 640 plate appearances -- he finished with 641), but no way was he taking that when lucrative multi-year offers will be plentiful.

WHAT IT WILL TAKE

There haven't been a lot of good comparisons in recent years to draw from, but look for Beltre to go three or four years at between $12-14 million per. Then again, we shouldn't be surprised if he lands something bigger. His agent is Scott Boras, and Boras said this week that more teams than expected have shown interest. Bidding wars result in over-market contracts.

WHERE HE COULD GO

The Red Sox want to keep Beltre in Boston, general manager Theo Epstein telling reporters Friday that "our first choice for our third baseman in 2011 and beyond would be to bring back Adrian Beltre." The problem is, the Sox also want to bring back Victor Martinez, and they probably can't afford both. They just picked up a $12.5 million option on David Ortiz, and Jonathan Papelbon has a big salary due next year. If bidding on Beltre and Martinez climbs, the Red Sox might have to pick one.

The other strong possibility for Beltre is the Angels, which makes a lot of sense. Beltre is a West Coast guy who loves Los Angeles and keeps two houses in the area, and he's not a fan of playing in cold weather. The Angels have a lot of money and a chance to win. But they, too, are going to pursue two tracks, and Carl Crawford appears to be their top target. It's unlikely they could afford both Crawford and Beltre.

The Tigers have been reported as having interest, but it's tough to see Beltre going to a tough place to hit after his frustrating experience with Safeco Field. The A's reportedly made Beltre a multi-year offer last winter and are in serious need of an impact bat. He also could be on Toronto's radar.

PREDICTION

This depends on what Crawford decides to do, but the best fit for Beltre seems to be the Angels.

-- David Andriesen

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


Posted on: November 12, 2010 12:46 pm
 

Rangers could be big spenders

Cliff Lee The Rangers don't appear to be scared to spend a little money this offseason, as FoxSports.com reports ownership has approved a plan to ink both Cliff Lee and catcher Victor Martinez.

The team is prepared to increase its payroll beyond $90 million, up from $55 million on opening day of 2010.

The Rangers have $32.85 million committed to five players next season and seven eligible for arbitration. Among those, three are likely to get big raises -- likely MVP Josh Hamilton, left-hander C.J. Wilson and right fielder Nelson Cruz.

The Rangers have more money because of new ownership, a run to the World Series increasing attendance and a new 20-year television contract that begins in 2015.

While the Yankees have been overt in their recruitment of Lee, the Rangers say they're no less interested in signing the market's best starter, they're just going to do it a little more under the radar.

"I don't think there's much to say other than there isn't anything that has happened or will happen that has come as a surprise," Rangers general manager Jon Daniels told MLB.com's T.R. Sullivan .

Daniels said the team is not ignoring Lee and has spoken to all of the agents for the team's free agents.

-- 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 11:25 am
Edited on: November 4, 2010 9:01 pm
 

Predicting where free agents will land

Baseball is currently in a five-day period where teams have exclusivity to negotiate with players who have become free agents. Sunday at midnight, that period will expire and free up players to talk to any and all teams.

There's plenty to like about this free-agent crop, as the top players at each position is enough to put together a contending team. Plus, there are a good number of nice backup options, too.

Below, you can find Evan Brunell's predictions on where free agents will wind up, going position by position with two names at each position.

Martinez C: Victor Martinez -- Tigers. All the noise surrounding Detroit going hard after Martinez seems legit. It's part of Detroit's M.O., filling a position of desperate need to contend and Martinez is the best option and remains capable of catching. Plus, Detroit has no major block at first or DH for an eventual switch for V-Mart as Alex Avila apprentices.

C: John Buck -- Yankees. Jorge Posada will be receiving most of his at-bats as a DH and Francisco Cervelli certainly can't start. The Yankees will flex their financial muscles on a catcher which they can bring in on a short-term contract who broke out in Toronto last season. It solves the catcher conundrum short term and leaves the long term free for Austin Romine.

Dunn 1B: Adam Dunn -- Cubs. Another popular pairing that makes too much sense. The Cubs need to strike to stay in contention even as they try to get their minor-league system in order and producing over the next couple of seasons. Dunn's defense is minimized now that he's at first, and the Cubs need someone to sky them big flies. (And if the Cubs really are not going after big-name free agents , which I doubt is 100 percent true, I'll tab Dunn to the Athletics .)

1B: Aubrey Huff -- Giants. Unfortunately, while bringing in Huff eventually paid off big time for San Francisco, he is now overrated. With Brandon Belt tearing up the farm, there's no overwhelming reason to give Huff anything close to what he can get on the market. I have a feeling Brian Sabean will do what he always does, signing older players coming off big years to nonsensical contracts. You know it and I know it. Sleeper alert: The Giants move forward with a Mark DeRosa/Travis Ishikawa platoon at first, leaving Huff to land with the Mariners .

Hudson 2B: Orlando Hudson -- Padres. The O-Dog will be on the move again, looking for his fourth team in four seasons, fifth overall. He's long wanted to join the Mets, but Luis Castillo has prevented him from doing so. The Padres plan to contend, but still need the dollars to make sense for who they bring in, and it will for Hudson to plug a vacancy at second with no viable internal options.

2B: Bill Hall -- Twins. Hall is looking for a starting job, but there are those telling him he is best suited as a super utility player. Look for Minnesota to give him a chance at the starting 2B job, but the Twins will love moving him around once they can justify it.

Jeter SS: Derek Jeter -- Yankees. I think a lot of people are going to be a bit surprised by how long the negotiations take. Despite popular sentiment, Brian Cashman is not one to pay someone beyond actual value. What he does have is disposable income that the owners can order him to pay a premium, so Cashman will do just that -- but only at a small premium.

SS: Juan Uribe -- Giants. This is one return that makes sense. Edgar Renteria isn't being brought back, even if he doesn't retire. Pablo Sandoval's struggles at third and Uribe's ability to slide to third as need be will be coveted by San Francisco, and he deserves the deal he'll sign for. It's a very weak market for shortstops, so even those that could be available in a trade (Jason Bartlett?) may have too prohibitive a price.

Beltre 3B: Adrian Beltre -- Angels. Los Angeles makes the big strike here, importing a gifted defender who had a great season with the stick. He won't hit .321 again, but he'll be a signing on the level of Torii Hunter. He's expensive but will produce and help put L.A. back into postseason contention.

3B: Miguel Tejada -- Padres. San Diego was pleased with Tejada's production after acquiring him from Houston and will sign him to play his natural position of short even though he began the transition to third base last season.

Crawford LF: Carl Crawford -- Red Sox . Crawford will spark a bidding war between the Red Sox, Angels and some other team yet to be known, plus a late charge by the Yankees (you know it'll happen). In the end, the Red Sox will win out, offering just enough to entice Crawford to Boston.

LF: Marcus Thames -- Phillies. Thames built his value this past year, establishing himself as a strong platoon option against left-handers who surprisingly held his own against righties. The Phillies are interested in bringing in another right-handed hitter to pair with Ben Francisco, and Thames seems like the perfect low-cost, high-upside option.

Damon CF: Johnny Damon -- Astros. Damon may be a center fielder, but it's in name only as he's restricted to left and DH at this point of his career. No contending team is going to be interested in starting him, but he can still land somewhere where there's a faint glimmer of a chance at the postseason. Damon can be the grizzled, scrappy veteran who can lead them to the top. Welcome to Houston, Johnny!

CF: Melky Cabrera -- Royals. Cabrera's stock is down. Way, way down. He'll have to latch on with a bottom-feeding club who gambles on his tools. Kansas City seems like the perfect place to do that. With an up-and-coming farm, he could fit in seamlessly if he takes his job seriously. If he doesn't, the Royals simply move on.

Werth RF: Jayson Werth -- White Sox. It makes a lot of sense for the White Sox to go after Werth -- they have their own bandbox and need someone who can play the outfield and who could DH in his off days. Carlos Quentin's defense needs to be hidden or moved to first if they don't bring Paul Konerko back. Helping matters is Chicago has the money to make it happen.

RF: Andruw Jones -- Braves. Coming off a strong season for the White Sox where he proved he can still bring it, just not quite as a full-time outfielder (although that possibility does exist), Jones seems like he could make a return to Atlanta. The Braves have a need to remake their outfield, and Jones seems to be a perfect piece of the puzzle.

Thome DH: Jim Thome -- Twins. No reason for Thome to leave the Twins, really. He had a strong season there, became a cult hero, has been loyal to his teams and Minnesota definitely could use this slugger back provided the two can agree on how much playing time he will get. Having Delmon Young, Denard Span, Michael Cuddyer, Jason Kubel and Justin Morneau doesn't leave much room for Thome, but it worked out just fine in 2010.

DH: Manny Ramirez -- Rays . Manny is a DH and probably will find the market a bit hostile towards him. He's not upper-echelon any longer, but not many teams need a DH. After long and overdrawn-out negotiations thanks to Scott Boras, ManRam will finally sign around the beginning of spring training and coast into town to help the Rays and what could be a moribund offense.

Pavano RHSP: Carl Pavano -- Brewers. Pavano is set to cash in on his success with the Twins and is certain to be in a position where he can outdo accepting arbitration thanks to a poor right-handed starter's market. Milwaukee needs to find starting pitching and fast, and the Brewers proved last year with Randy Wolf they weren't afraid to go get it. Wolf's struggles won't be enough to deter Milwaukee from Pavano, not when a Wolf-Pavano-Yovani Gallardo rotation would do wonders in the NL Central.

RHSP: Hiroki Kuroda -- Dodgers. Kuroda's been a bit overlooked on the national stage, as he truly is a strong pitcher. The Dodgers want -- need -- to contend, so they'll make sure Kuroda goes nowhere. They do need to slash salary, but a lot of that was tied up in Manny Ramirez, so there's plenty for Kuroda.

Lee LHSP: Cliff Lee -- Rangers. Buy into Texas being players for Lee and Lee eschewing the bright lights of New York just as long as the money is there. And it will be. The wife likes having him close to home, he's going to be on a contending team and get his money. There isn't much reason to move to New York.

LHSP: Jorge De La Rosa -- Tigers. Detroit has money to spend and a need in the rotation. De la Rosa will flirt with quite a few teams, Yankees included, but it's Detroit who will step up. It needs a strong pitcher in the rotation to have any hope of contending, and de la Rosa falls right into the bracket the Tigers are comfortable with.

Soriano RHRP: Rafael Soriano -- Angels . L.A. has said all the right things in moving forward with Fernando Rodney as a closer after moving Brian Fuentes, but the Angels bullpen was in tatters all season and Rodney is not good enough to block Soriano, who is one of the best closers in the game but will find a rough market.

RHRP: Joaquin Benoit -- Rays . Benoit's price tag is going to be high, but the Rays will be faced with a barren bullpen. Why not bring back someone they know can do it for them? They can entice Benoit with the possibility -- probability -- about taking over as closer.

LHRP: Scott Downs -- Red Sox. Downs is a Type-A free agent, but Boston will gladly fork over its second-rounder after Crawford gives Tampa Bay its first-rounder. The Red Sox want to beef up their bullpen after years of trolling through cast-offs. Downs has been coveted for a while, and Boston will take the plunge.

LHRP: Brian Fuentes -- Marlins. Florida wants to contend, but needs some help in the bullpen to do so. Knowing the Fish, they won't be looking to spend big at the position, but Fuentes is a nice, safe and affordable pick to be the new closer they want.

-- Evan Brunell

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

Posted on: November 2, 2010 8:21 pm
Edited on: November 2, 2010 8:37 pm
 

Don't count out Yankees on Victor Martinez

Martinez The market for Victor Martinez is ramping up.

V-Mart has been connected to the Rockies, Tigers and of course his former team in the Red Sox. However, more teams are certain to inquire into Martinez' services, and The Sports Network via the Miami Herald believes Martinez would be perfect in Toronto.

With ex-Boston pitching coach John Farrell in the fold, Martinez would see a familiar face helming up an 85-win team that may be poised to take the next step forward.

"If it makes sense, and the value is there, we have full authority to be able to move forward," GM Alex Anthopoulous said, adding he would not be afraid to trade prospects for major-league pieces if there was a fit.

Toronto will be seeking at least one more bat to pair with its young stars, and Martinez might be just the bat. He would be able to play behind the dish the majority of the time and help mentor youngster J.P. Arencibia, as well as shifting to first base and perhaps receiving some time at designated hitter. On the days Martinez catches, Arencibia could DH and on the days V-Mart plays first, Adam Lind could head to the DH spot.

While that could end up the case, another team is being overlooked when it comes to chasing Martinez, and that's the Yankees.

New York is ready to transition Jorge Posada to a full-time DH's role and will likely cut ties with the longtime backstop once his contract expires after 2011. Francisco Cervelli is not a viable option to start, and Austin Romine is still a few years away from eventually taking over the receiver's position -- and no, Jesus Montero is simply not viable as a catcher.

Enter Martinez -- the best free-agent option on the market. It makes too much sense.

In the end, however, the amount of years Martinez wants is likely to derail New York. While Martinez coudl DH in future years if needed, the club has Mark Teixeira locked up until the end of time, nullifying a possible spot Martinez could shift to on certain days as he could in Toronto. In addition, the Yankees won't be eager to commit four or five years to V-Mart (especially after Posada's five-year deal hasn't exactly worked out swimmingly), while other teams (like Detroit or perhaps Boston) should reach at least the four-year threshold.

New York has never been counted out of bringing in top free agents -- you're seein that with everyone fitting Cliff Lee for pinstrips and warning others that Carl Crawford and Jayson Werth could be headed to the Bronx.

But nary a peep on V-Mart. And that's a mistake, because of all the free-agent hitters, Martinez may be the best fit.

-- Evan Brunell

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.
Posted on: November 2, 2010 12:02 am
Edited on: November 2, 2010 12:14 am
 

142 file for free agency

Lee Stop the presses!

At midnight just now, 142 players became free agents. While some of them are still partying hard in the bowels of Rangers Stadium and on the streets of Arlington, the business side of baseball marches on.

Cliff Lee wasted no time in breaking free from a team in which the vaunted ace lost twice and saw the Giants win a World Series. Victor Martinez waved goodbye to Boston, seemingly on the way to Detroit's "factory-er" pastures. Adam Dunn is walking from the Nationals and many assume is headed to the Cubs.

Less clear are the futures of Rays reliever Chad Qualls, finishing with a cumulative ERA of 7.32 in 59 innings, also pitching for the Diamondbacks.

Is Pedro Feliz on the way out of baseball? The formerly gifted defensive third baseman with some pop landed face-first in the third-base dirt for Houston and finished out as a marginalized bat in St. Louis with an iron glove.

And for the love of God, will someone tell me what's going to happen to Scrappy McScrapperson David Eckstein!?

As per the recent rule changes that shortened the exclusive negotiating deadline from 15 to five, all became free agents immediately.

Per the MLBPA, here is who became free agents:

Player, Position, 2010 Team
  • Glaus, Troy                        1B                AT
  • Hinske, Eric                        OF                AT
  • Lee, Derrek                        1B                AT
  • Benson, Kris                        SP                AZ
  • Hampton, Mike                        SP                AZ
  • Heilman, Aaron                RP                AZ
  • Lopez, Rodrigo                SP                AZ
  • Webb, Brandon                SP                AZ
  • Izturis, Cesar                        SS                BA
  • Lugo, Julio                        2B                BA
  • Millwood, Kevin                SP                BA
  • Patterson, Corey                OF                BA
  • Uehara, Koji*                        RP                BA
  • Wigginton, Ty                        1B                BA
  • Lowell, Mike                        1B                BO
  • Martinez, Victor                C                BO
  • Varitek, Jason                        C                BO
  • Nady, Xavier                        OF                CC
  • Bloomquist, Willie                OF                CI
  • Cairo, Miguel                        3B                CI
  • Edmonds, Jim                        OF                CI
  • Hernandez, Ramon J.                C                CI
  • Lincoln, Michael                RP                CI
  • Rhodes, Arthur                RP                CI
  • Springer, Russ                        RP                CI
  • Beimel, Joe                        RP                CO
  • de la Rosa, Jorge                SP                CO
  • Dotel, Octavio                        RP                CO
  • Giambi, Jason                        1B                CO
  • Mora, Melvin                        3B                CO
  • Payton, Jay                        OF                CO
  • Garcia, Freddy Antonio        SP                CWS
  • Jones, Andruw                        OF                CWS
  • Konerko, Paul                        1B                CWS
  • Kotsay, Mark                        DH                CWS
  • Pierzynski, A.J.                C                CWS
  • Putz, J.J.                        RP                CWS
  • Vizquel, Omar                        3B                CWS
  • Bonderman, Jeremy                SP                DE
  • Damon, Johnny                DH                DE
  • Laird, Gerald                        C                DE
  • Ordonez, Magglio                OF                DE
  • Seay, Bobby                        RP                DE
  • Ohman, Will                        RP                FL
  • Sosa, Jorge                        RP                FL
  • Tracy, Chad                        3B                FL
  • Blum, Geoff                        SS                HO
  • Moehler, Brian                        RP                HO
  • Chen, Bruce                        SP                KC
  • Matsui, Hideki                        DH                LAA
  • Shields, Scot                        RP                LAA
  • Ausmus, Brad                        C                LAD
  • Barajas, Rod                        C                LAD
  • Gibbons, Jay                        OF                LAD
  • Johnson, Reed                OF                LAD
  • Kuroda, Hiroki*                SP                LAD
  • Padilla, Vicente                SP                LAD
  • Ramirez, Manny                OF                LAD
  • Weaver, Jeff                        RP                LAD
  • Bush, David                        SP                MI
  • Capuano, Chris                SP                MI
  • Counsell, Craig                SS                MI
  • Crain, Jesse                        RP                MN
  • Flores, Randy                        RP                MN
  • Fuentes, Brian                        RP                MN
  • Guerrier, Matt                        RP                MN
  • Hudson, Orlando                2B                MN
  • Mahay, Ron                        RP                MN
  • Pavano, Carl                        SP                MN
  • Punto, Nick                        3B                MN
  • Rauch, Jon                        RP                MN
  • Thome, Jim                        DH                MN
  • Blanco, Henry                        C                NYM
  • Dessens, Elmer                RP                NYM
  • Escobar, Kelvim                RP                NYM
  • Feliciano, Pedro                RP                NYM
  • Tatis, Fernando                1B                NYM
  • Berkman, Lance                1B                NYY
  • Jeter, Derek                        SS                NYY
  • Johnson, Nick                        DH                NYY
  • Kearns, Austin                        OF                NYY
  • Moeller, Chad                        C                NYY
  • Pettitte, Andy                        SP                NYY
  • Rivera, Mariano                RP                NYY
  • Thames, Marcus                OF                NYY
  • Vazquez, Javier                SP                NYY
  • Wood, Kerry                        RP                NYY
  • Duchscherer, Justin                SP                OA
  • Sheets, Ben                        SP                OA
  • Contreras, Jose                RP                PH
  • Durbin, Chad                        RP                PH
  • Romero, J.C.                        RP                PH
  • Sweeney, Mike                DH                PH
  • Werth, Jayson                        OF                PH
  • Park, Chan Ho                        RP                PI
  • Correia, Kevin                        SP                SD
  • Eckstein, David                2B                SD
  • Hairston Jr, Jerry                SS                SD
  • Stairs, Matt                        OF                SD
  • Tejada, Miguel                        3B                SD
  • Torrealba, Yorvit                C                SD
  • Bard, Josh                        C                SE
  • Woodward, Chris                SS                SE
  • Wright, Jamey                        RP                SE
  • Burrell, Pat                        OF                SF
  • Guillen, Jose                        DH                SF
  • Huff, Aubrey                        1B                SF
  • Mota, Guillermo                RP                SF
  • Uribe, Juan                        SS                SF
  • Feliz, Pedro                        3B                SL
  • LaRue, Jason                        C                SL
  • MacDougal, Mike                RP                SL
  • Miles, Aaron                        2B                SL
  • Penny, Brad                        SP                SL
  • Reyes, Dennys                RP                SL
  • Suppan, Jeff                        RP                SL
  • Westbrook, Jake                SP                SL
  • Winn, Randy                        OF                SL
  • Baldelli, Rocco                        OF                TB
  • Balfour, Grant                        RP                TB
  • Benoit, Joaquin                RP                TB
  • Choate, Randy                RP                TB
  • Crawford, Carl                        OF                TB
  • Hawpe, Brad                        OF                TB
  • Kapler, Gabe                        OF                TB
  • Pena, Carlos                        1B                TB
  • Qualls, Chad                        RP                TB
  • Soriano, Rafael                RP                TB
  • Cantu, Jorge                        3B                TE
  • Francisco, Frank                RP                TE
  • Guzman, Cristian                2B                TE
  • Lee, Cliff                        SP                TE
  • Molina, Bengie                        C                TE
  • Treanor, Matt                        C                TE
  • Buck, John                        C                TO
  • Downs, Scott                        RP                TO
  • Frasor, Jason                        RP                TO
  • Overbay, Lyle                        1B                TO
  • Batista, Miguel                        RP                WA
  • Dunn, Adam                        1B                WA
  • Harris, Willie                        OF                WA
  • Mench, Kevin                        OF                WA
* Free agent per contract provision in his UPC

Additionally, the following 34 players are eligible for free agency pending option provisions in their UPC

Player, Position, 2010 Team
  • Ankiel, Rick                 OF                AT
  • Farnsworth, Kyle        RP                AT
  • Gonzalez, Alex                SS                AT
  • Infante, Omar                2B                AT
  • LaRoche, Adam        1B                AZ
  • Hendrickson, Mark        RP                BA
  • Beltre, Adrian                3B                BO
  • Hall, Bill                OF                BO
  • Lopez, Felipe                3B                BO
  • Ortiz, David                DH                BO
  • Ramirez, Aramis        3B                CC
  • Arroyo, Bronson        SP                CI
  • Cabrera, Orlando        SS                CI
  • Harang, Aaron                SP                CI
  • Francis, Jeff                SP                CO
  • Olivo, Miguel                C                CO
  • Peralta, Jhonny        3B                DE
  • Podsednik, Scott        OF                LAD
  • Davis, Doug                SP                MI
  • Hoffman, Trevor        RP                MI
  • Zaun, Gregg                C                MI
  • Reyes, Jose                SS                NYM
  • Chavez, Eric                DH                OA
  • Crisp, Coco                OF                OA
  • Ellis, Mark                2B                OA
  • Garland, Jon                SP                SD
  • Young, Chris                SP                SD
  • Bedard, Erik                SP                SE
  • Branyan, Russ                1B                SE
  • Renteria, Edgar        SS                SF
  • Wheeler, Daniel        RP                TB
  • Guerrero, Vladimir        DH                TE
  • Gregg, Kevin                RP                TO
  • Kennedy, Adam        2B                WA
-- Evan Brunell

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

Posted on: October 16, 2010 12:52 am
 

R.I.P. Rockies: Talented trio not enough

As the sports world waits for the crowning of a champion, 22 other teams are busy preparing for spring training. What went wrong for these teams, and what does 2011 hold? MLB Facts and Rumors here at CBS Sports will be answering those questions through all of October. Today: The Colorado Rockies.

For a while there, it looked like the Rockies were going to do it again.

A 15-12 August, followed by a 10-game winning streak in early September, got the Rockies in position to pull off another of their late-season runs toward the playoffs. They were just a game back in the National League West on September 18, and Troy Tulowitzki was playing like Superman.

But alas, it was not to be. In fact, they finished in exactly the opposite fans hoped, dropping an amazing 13 of 14 to finish the season in third place, nine games out.

WHAT WENT WRONG

The Rockies got some amazing performances from their star players, but didn’t get enough help beyond those guys.

Second base was a disaster, as Clint Barmes batted .235. Todd Helton struggled with a bum back and saw his average drop 69 points. Outfielder Brad Hawpe, an All-Star a year earlier, was so bad the team released him in August. The guy who finished 2009 as the closer, Franklin Morales, got demoted. Chris Iannetta signed a three-year contract and completely forgot how to hit. Beyond the stellar Ubaldo Jimenez, none of the starters managed to finish more than a game over .500.

Troy Tulowitzki And then there were the injuries, of which the Rockies had more than their share. Aaron Cook had his leg broken by a line drive. Huston Street started the season hurt and his replacement, Manny Corpas, ended up with Tommy John surgery.  Tulowitzki broke his wrist. Four of the five starting pitchers went on the disabled list.

The other major factor was Colorado’s miserable performance on the road. A year after notching a winning road record, they went just 31-50.

WHAT WENT RIGHT

Three things went very right: Tulowitzki, Jimenez and Carlos Gonzalez.

Jimenez provided the highlight of the year April 17 when he pitched the franchise’s first no-hitter (after 18 years) in Atlanta. Jimenez was untouchable in the first half of the season, going into the All-Star break 15-1 with a 2.20 ERA. Reality caught up to him in the second half, when he went 4-7, but he still finished as a 19-game winner.

Tulowitzki had one of the most spectacular months anyone has ever put together, with 15 homers and 40 RBI in the season’s final 30 games. The Rockies only had six other players with as many as 40 RBI FOR THE SEASON, let alone in a month. Tulowitzki overcame the wrist injury to finish with a .315 average and a .919 OPS.

Gonzalez arrived in a big way in his first full season, putting together an MVP-worthy campaign. He won the batting title, had 117 RBI and finished with a .974 OPS, leading the league in total bases. On July 31, he hit a walkoff homer to complete a cycle. He was just fun to watch all season.
 
HELP ON THE WAY

Chris Nelson’s time may have arrived after the problems the Rockies had at second base. Nelson batted .280 in 17 major-league games and .313 the rest of the season at Triple-A.
 
EXPECTATIONS FOR 2011

The Rockies have a nice core to work with, and the NL West showed itself to be up for grabs this season. A little better luck with injuries, another bat and better play on the road, and there’s no reason they shouldn’t contend next year.

Todd Helton SUGGESTIONS FOR 2011

The Rockies need to get deeper. They have some weapons, but this year showed they need a better supporting cast.

Word is they’re looking for another impact bat and interested in Victor Martinez. If Martinez is open to converting eventually to be a full-time first baseman, it would be a great fit. They could let Miguel Olivo go, hope Martinez can mentor Iannetta, and prepare for life after Helton.

Seth Smith is probably no longer in the plans as an everyday outfielder, and there are some options out there.

The Rockies also have to figure out the rotation, as they’re probably going to lose Jorge De La Rosa and have an option on Jeff Francis that’s probably too rich for the Rockies’ blood.

2011 PREDICTION

The Rockies could actually be headed for a step back, simply because Tulowitzki, Gonzalez and Jimenez are statistically unlikely to repeat what they did this season. If the supporting players don’t step up, it could be another third-place finish.

Check out the rest of the R.I.P. reports here.

-- 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