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Posted on: January 22, 2011 6:47 pm

Diamondbacks hot for Galarraga

GalarragaNick Piecoro of the Arizona Republic is reporting that the Diamondbacks are pushing to add starter Armando Galarraga.

The man who tossed a 27-out perfect game was designated for assignment by Detroit after acquiring Brad Penny. While Detroit can release Galarraga for just 30 days termination pay at this point, the Tigers would be better served to get some value for him in a deal, and it looks like Arizona is willing to comply.

Galarraga appears to be a better fit in the NL anyways, as he doesn't have an overwhelming advantage in his game. He is simply an OK starter, having posted a 4.49 ERA in 24 starts (144 1/3 innings) last season. He doesn't particularly have great control or whiff bats, so his value comes from being essentially average -- an innings eater who won't embarrass himself on the mound.

Given Arizona currently has a starting five projected to be Ian Kennedy, Joe Saunders, Daniel Hudson and then a battle between Barry Enright, Kevin Mulvey and Zach Duke. There is absolutely room at the back of the rotation, and the name that is popping up in trade discussions is Kevin Eichhorn.

Eichhorn finished 2010 as a 20-year-old by pitching predominantly in the rookie league although he did have one start apiece in both low and advanced-Class A. He finished the year with an overall ERA of 5.00 in 15 starts, but his 1.9 BB/9 and 8.4 K/9 do portend for future success.

-- Evan Brunell

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Posted on: January 22, 2011 1:10 pm
Edited on: January 22, 2011 4:50 pm

Hammel staying in Colorado

HammelJason Hammel will be a Rockie for at least two more years after agreeing to a contract that locks down two years of arbitration eligibility. Terms are unknown, but Hammel made $1.9 million in 2010 and requested $3.7 million in arbitration. Colorado had countered with $3.1 million, so expect the total value of the deal to fall around 8-9 million.

Jettisoned from Tampa Bay after losing a rotation spot in the spring training crunch of 2009, Hammel has emerged as a steady hand in the rotation. He has made 30 starts each of the last two seasons and has an overall ERA of 4.57. Hammel also ripped off a 28 1/3-inning scoreless streak in June.

"I'm very appreciative of the opportunity that the Rockies gave me," Hammel told "When I came over from Tampa, I didn't know where my career was going because I had been in the bullpen and been a starter. I came here and they immediately threw me into the fire as a starter.

"Knowing I'm going to be here for two years and that they've shown faith in me is big. I feel like the best is yet to come."

Hammel isn't exactly someone you pay attention to as a pitcher, but there's something very valuable in being able to slot someone in the No. 4 spot in the rotation with confidence and know he will keep you in the game. That's not as common as many might expect in the game.

UPDATE: Troy Renck of the Denver Post has the first year salary at $3 million and second year at $4.75 million. He will still have one year of arbitration left after the contract expires due to qualifying as a Super Two player last season.

-- Evan Brunell

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Posted on: January 21, 2011 5:53 pm
Edited on: January 21, 2011 10:26 pm

Angels trade Napoli to Blue Jays for... Wells?

Napoli That would be the Jays, not the Rays.

An earlier report had the Rays trying to acquire Angels catcher Mike Napoli, but Toronto has come away with the slugger, reports FOX Sports' Ken Rosenthal .

While the Angels need a power bat, the club has never been high on Napoli and he only earned playing time in 2010 once Kendry Morales went down for the season with an injury. That opened up first base for Napoli, and he banged 26 home runs thanks to the opportunity. It was the third straight year Napoli has hit over 20 home runs, as he has forced his way into playing time before.

He'll have no trouble gaining playing time in Toronto, where he will likely steal some at-bats at catcher from J.P. Arencibia -- if not cause Arencibia to be demoted to the minors entirely. He should also play some first base and DH in a time-share with Adam Lind, Edwin Encarnacion and Travis Snider.

If the club moves Jose Bautista to third base -- a decision likely to take place in spring training, although the alternative is the unimpressive John McDonald -- then Snider could play left, Napoli first and Lind DH, with Encarnacion coming off the bench. That would appear to be the best option offensively. Questions do remain about Arencibia's defense behind the dish and Bautista's preference to play right instead of moving back to the hot corner, however, and the Blue Jays are expected to try to get Rajai Davis into the starting lineup.

On the Angels' side, this move could open up a return of Vladimir Guerrero or Manny Ramirez -- or even Scott Podsednik -- to town now that Napoli's contract is off the books. He still has yet to settle in arbitration, but the team's offer was $5.3 million, so he cannot earn any less than that. Napoli is asking for $6.1 million.

Vernon Wells UPDATE : Rosenthal adds that the player going back to the Angels is Vernon Wells.

To say this is a surprise would be an understatement. Toronto must be kicking in serious cash to replace Wells, as the center fielder is owed $86 million over the next four years. This is for a player who hit .272/.331/.515 in 2010... his best year since 2006. Oh, and did we mention the defense?

It's too early to judge this trade as this deal clearly has to be bigger than Wells for Napoli. 

For one, what does this mean for Torii Hunter and Peter Bourjos in Los Angeles? Abreu could be ticketed for DH, but Bourjos could also lose a starting spot with Wells or Hunter playing right. If it's Abreu headed to DH, one would think that Bourjos would stay in center with Wells shifting to left field.

Toronto, meanwhile, could shift Rajai Davis to center field, which would allow them to keep Bautista in right and still fit in the players they plan to start.

UPDATE : Rosenthal has come out with more . Wells is expected to stay in center field with Hunter staying in right. Yeah, because keeping a nine-time Gold Glove winner in right is such a smart idea. Hunter may not be Gold Glove caliber anymore, but he's better than anything Wells can do in center.

Rosenthal also adds that Juan Rivera -- whom the Angels were trying to clear out along with his $5.25 million salary -- could be in the deal as well. Rivera would likely platoon in left and DH if so.

Peter Bourjos appears ticketed for either Triple-A or Toronto.

-- Evan Brunell

UPDATE: Rosenthal tweets the deal is indeed Napoli and Rivera to Toronto for Wells and cash. The question now is just how much cash -- Napoli and Rivera combined will make about half of what Wells is owed in 2011.

UPDATE: Shi Davidi of the Canadian Press tweets the Jays won't be sending money to Anaheim, but that seems highly unlikely.

UPDATE: The Angels have announced the deal, but the biggest question -- how much money the Angels will receive in return -- is still unanswered.

UPDATE: Well, Davidi was right -- there is no money changing hands, senior writer Danny Knobler tells me. The Angels are now on the hook for the entire $86 million left on Wells' contract. Every. Single. Penny.


UPDATE: And what would this story be without another update -- apparently the Blue Jays are throwing in $5 million. So, instead of owing Wells $86 million, they'll just owe him $81 million, which was nice of them.

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

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Posted on: January 21, 2011 4:22 pm

Red Sox considered trading Papelbon

Papelbon"I'm shipping up to Chicago."

"I'm shipping up to Oakland."

Hmm, none of these really have the same cachet of "I'm Shipping Up to Boston," a Dropkick Murphy's song that Jonathan Papelbon uses as his introduction music.

And yet Papelbon may have had to change that music in one offseason that wasn't.'s Jon Heyman reports that Boston was prepared to swap Papelbon to either the White Sox or Athletics and sign Rafael Soriano for one season to close.

One problem in the way of any deal was Papelbon's exorbitant salary, as he is set to make $12 million in his final year before free agency. It's tough to imagine that Papelbon can match that figure on the market (although, as the Soriano-to-Yankees deal evidenced, all you need is one buyer) and it's a big number for any team to swallow, especially those with more stringent budget crunches than Boston.

The A's ended up signing Grant Balfour and Brian Fuentes to set up Andrew Bailey, while the White Sox seem poised to move forward with lefty Matt Thornton as closer after importing Jesse Crain and Will Ohman.

-- Evan Brunell

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Posted on: January 21, 2011 4:08 pm

Rays trying to deal for Napoli

NapoliThe Rays are close to signing Johnny Damon to DH, but may also be looking at Mike Napoli of the Angels, the Sporting News reports.

Napoli cranked 26 home runs, topping 20 for the third straight year but has yet to have a firm hold on a starting job. In fact, the only reason Napoli received a career-high 510 plate appearances in 2010 is due to Kendry Morales' season-ending injury in May. However, Napoli and his .238/.316/.468 line (career .251/.346/.485) showed that this is someone who deserves to start.

In Tampa, Napoli could shuttle between catcher, DH and first base and would receive ample playing time while replacing the power lost by Carlos Pena's departure. While Tampa Bay appears jammed at catcher with John Jaso and Kelly Shoppach, the first baseman is currently Dan Johnson and there's no incumbent DH. There's plenty of playing time available for Napoli.

However, Tampa would have to manage Napoli's salary. He made $3.6 million in 2010 and is due a raise. The team offered $5.3 million in arbitration while Napoli is asking for $6.1 million.

-- Evan Brunell

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Posted on: January 20, 2011 8:13 pm
Edited on: January 20, 2011 8:16 pm

Millwood could be Yanks' backup plan

If 38-year-old Andy Pettitte elects not to pitch this season, which is looking increasingly likely, the Yankees could go young -- with 36-year-old Kevin Millwood.

A source tells Wallace Matthews of that Millwood's agent, Scott Boras, has been selling Millwood as an option in New York, and the Yankees are listening. "They're definitely interested in Millwood, but they're obviously going to wait to see what Pettitte does,'' the source said. "They certainly are not dismissing the idea by any means. They need innings and Millwood can at least give them innings. Really, they don't have much choice.''

Millwood had an ugly 4-16 record with the Orioles last season, but his 5.10 ERA converts to a more palatable 4.66 xFIP, which attempts to remove defense and ballpark factors. He's not an ideal option, but he's a workhorse who has averaged 189 innings in his 13 full seasons. If Pettitte isn't available, it's going to come down to how confident the Yankees feel heading into the season with unproven players in their final two rotation spots.

-- David Andriesen

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Posted on: January 20, 2011 4:19 pm

Yankees sign Jones

Andruw Jones
As has been expected for the past week, the Yankees have signed Andruw Jones to be their fourth outfielder. Danny Knobler of has confirmed that Jones will get $2 million with another $1.2 million in incentives.

In recent years Jones, 33, hasn't been anywhere near the numbers he put up in his prime, as he's batted .212/.312/.412 since 2007 with the Braves, Dodgers, Rangers and White Sox. But when healthy he's still a plus defensive player and he still has pretty good pop, hitting 19 homers last season in just 278 at-bats. His right-handed bat is a good fit with the Yankees, whose starters include two left-handers (Brett Gardner and Curtis Granderson) and a switch hitter (Nick Swisher). Jones batted .256 against left-handers last season.

-- David Andriesen

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Posted on: January 20, 2011 2:23 pm

Giants sign Suppan to minor-league deal

Jeff Suppan Last year early in the season I'm walking into Great American Ball Park for a Brewers-Reds game and the guy behind me getting his bag looked at is pitcher Jeff Suppan.

As we're walking together at the same speed, I decide to break the awkwardness and asked about the team's trip -- it was a two-game stint in Cincinnati and this was before the Tuesday day game. Anyway, we started talking, and he was asking me about my job and career path and newspapers in general.

Suppan said he worked at a newspaper in high school for one night -- he came in to answer phones from high school games. He said he was amazed and overwhelmed with the task and had a respect for those doing it and doing it well. It turns out, he got the job because his friend's dad was the sports editor. It turns out, that high school friend is a friend of mine, and we ended up talking about Kevin and his young son and all sorts of things.

It was just a really nice 10-minute conversation with a guy who is a real pro, but by all other accounts just a really good dude.

Anyway, the point is it looks as if Suppan will sign a minor-league contract with a big-league invite to spring training with the Giants (according to Andrew Baggarly of the San Jose Mercury News on Twitter ).

Suppan was 3-8 last season with a 5.06 ERA with the Brewers and Cardinals last season. The Brewers released him in June, and he then made 13 starts for the Cardinals, going 3-6 with a 3.84 ERA in St. Louis.

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

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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