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Tag:Orioles
Posted on: December 9, 2011 5:40 pm
Edited on: December 9, 2011 6:41 pm
 

Best free agents left after winter meetings



By C. Trent Rosecrans

The winter meetings are over and some of the biggest names on the free-agent market are off the table, but that doesn't mean the hot stove has died out. So, the day after Albert Pujols and the Angels shocked the baseball world, here's a look at the top five position players and pitchers left on the market:

Postition players

Prince Fielder1. Prince Fielder -- The 27-year-old Fielder is the biggest fish left on the market, averaging more than 38 home runs in his six full seasons in the big leagues and posting a .929 career OPS. Whoever lands Fielder will get a shot to the lineup. The knock is Fielder's weight and the length of a contract.

Possible landing spots: Brewers, Blue Jays, Cubs, Mariners, Marlins

Carlos Beltran2. Carlos Beltran -- Beltran's been a bit of a forgotten name in all the winter meetings talk. Beltran will be 35 in April and just finished a seven-year deal with the Mets. After being limited by injuries in his last two seasons, Beltran had a bounce-back year, hitting .300/.385/.525 with 22 homers and 84 RBI and doing that in two home ballparks not known to be friendly to hitters, Citi Field and AT&T Park. He can still play center field, but is probably better suited on a corner.

Possible landing spots: Cardinals, Nationals, Red Sox, Tigers, Braves, Mariners, Cubs

Aramis Ramirez3. Aramis Ramirez -- Even though he has 14 years in the big leagues under his belt, Ramirez is just 33 and coming off a .306/.361/.510 season with 26 homers and 93 RBI. A two-time All-Star, he's by far the best third baseman on the market -- and it's not even close.

Possible landing spots: Brewers, Phillies, Marlins

Michael Cuddyer4. Michael Cuddyer -- Cuddyer will be 33 in March and can play both the corner outfield and infield spots, offering teams a versatile player. He hit .284/.346/.459 with 20 homers last season and hit 32 homers in 2009 before the Twins moved to spacious Target Field. The Twins have reportedly already offered him a three-year deal, as have the Rockies.

Possible landing spots: Rockies, Twins, Phillies, Giants, Red Sox

Jimmy Rollins5. Jimmy Rollins -- It seems odd to consider the 2007 MVP in anything but a Phillies uniform, but Pujols is now in California, so anything's possible. Rollins' offensive numbers have dropped off since his MVP season, but he still plays a premium position -- and one a couple of teams need to fill. A three-time Gold Glove winner, Rollins turned 33 last month. If he re-signs with the Phillies, it could be his last contract. Rollins is reportedly searching for a five-year contract, a tactic that may scare away every team other than the Phillies.

Possible landing spots: Phillies, Cardinals

Pitchers

Yu Darvish1. Yu Darvish -- The 25-year-old Japanese right-hander will reportedly be posted and has been seen as perhaps the best starter available. There's no shortage of teams that could be interested in Darvish, but the history of recent big-ticket Japanese pitchers could scare off some suitors and keep the posting fee lower than expected. Once his team in Japan, the Hokkaido Nippon-Ham Fighers, accept the posting, the winning team still has to negotiate with Darvish. The posting system, though, gives a chance for a surprise team to emerge the winner.

Possible landing spots: Rangers, Blue Jays, Red Sox, Yankees, Nationals, Royals

Hiroki Kuroda2. Hiroki Kuroda -- There's no question of how Kuroda will perform in the big leagues -- he's gone 41-46 with a 3.45 ERA in four seasons with the Dodgers. Kuroda had a 13-16 record in 2011, despite putting up just a 3.07 ERA. He told the team he wouldn't give up his no-trade protection at the trade deadline, but the Dodgers have already found replacements for him in the rotation. He has one offer on the table already from the Hiroshima Carp in Japan, but would make more money in the U.S.

Possible landing spots: Cubs, Rockies, Diamondbacks, Yankees, Red Sox, Carp

Edwin Jackson3. Edwin Jackson -- The fact that Jackson has already played for six different teams and he's just 28 may raise some flags, but he's also had six teams want him at some point and for good reason. Although Jackson has battled inconsistency, he's still had results at times. He was 12-9 with a 3.79 ERA for the Cardinals and White Sox last season. He's not a No. 1, but he's younger than some of the other second-tier starters on the market, increasing his value.

Possible landing spots: Twins, Rangers, Yankees, Cubs, Royals, Nationals, Pirates, Rockies, Orioles

Ryan Madson4. Ryan Madson -- Even though there were reports the right-hander had agreed to return to the Phillies earlier this offseason, the team turned to Jonathan Papelbon instead. The Red Sox, who along with the Reds, are still searching for a closer could end up signing Madson and seem the best fit. In his firs tseason as the Phillies' closer, Madson recorded 32 saves, going 4-2 with a 2.37 ERA, striking out 62 batters in 60 2/3 innings.

Possible landing spots: Red Sox, Reds, Phillies

Francisco Cordero5. Francisco Cordero -- Like Madson, Cordero seems to be on the outside of the closer game of musical chairs. The Red Sox and Reds are the only team left looking for a closer. The Reds were interested in bringing back Cordero with a discount after declining their $12 million option on the 36-year-old right-hander. Cordero converted 37 saves last season and 150 in four years in Cincinnati.

Possible landing spots: Red Sox, Reds, Twins

Follow all the free agent moves with the CBSSports.com Free Agent Tracker 

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @eyeonbaseball on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.
Posted on: December 8, 2011 5:39 pm
Edited on: December 8, 2011 5:46 pm
 

12 players taken in Rule 5 Draft

By C. Trent Rosecrans
MLB Winter Meetings

You may have missed it -- and for good reasons -- but 12 players were taken in the Rule 5 Draft on Thursday, in what usually signals the end of the winter meetings. It was the fewest number of players taken in the Major League phase of the Rule 5 draft since 2005

The Rule 5 Draft allows teams to take eligible players left unprotected on other teams' 40-man roster for $50,000. A player has to stay on a team's active Major League roster for the entire next season or be offered back to the original club for $25,000. Teams can also work out a trade with their old team to keep the player and send him to the minors. There have been some huge names selected in the Rule 5 Draft, including Josh Hamilton, Jose Bautista and Dan Uggla, but more often than not, players don't even make it out of spring training. Chances are one or two of the 12 selected on Thursday will make it on an opening day roster, but it's unlikely any of them will stick, based on previous numbers.

But hey, it happened today and some teams got some guys -- while the Angels added Albert Pujols and C.J. Wilson. So, who are the 12? Here we go, listed by their new team and their old team in parentheses:

Astros: RHP Rhiner Cruz (Mets) -- A reliever, Cruz when 5-3 with seven saves and a 3.89 ERA at High-A and Double-A.

Twins: RHP Terry Doyle (White Sox) -- Doyle went 8-10 at High-A and Double-A with a 3.07 ERA in 26 starts, striking out 122 and walking 33 in 173 innings.

Mariners: LHP Lucas Luetge (Brewers) -- In his second year in Double-A, he struck out exactly a batter an inning and finsihed with a 3.13 ERA.

Orioles: 2B Ryan Flaherty (Cubs) -- A former first-rounder, the left-handed hitter hit .305/.384/.523 with 14 homers at Double-A, but then struggled at Triple-A, hitting .237/.277/.399 with five home runs.

Yankees: LHP Cesar Cabral (Red Sox) -- Actually picked by the Royals, but traded to the Yankees for cash, Cabral struck out 70 batters in 55 innings, walking 21. He was 3-4 overall in 36 games in relief with a 2.95 ERA at High-A and Double-A.

Cubs: RHP Lendy Castillo (Phillies) -- A former infielder, Castillo started two of his 21 games at Low-A Lakewood in 2011, going 4-2 with a 2.54 ERA, striking out 46 batters in as many innings.

Pirates: SS Gustavo Nunez (Tigers) -- The switch-hitter hit a combined .276/.333/.386 at High-A and Double-A, but struggled at the higher level.

Braves: LHP Robert Fish (Angels) -- Fish throws 95 mph and struck out 44 batters in 33 1/3 innings in Rookie ball and Double-A. Most of his time was spent at Double-A where he was 1-0 with a 3.26 ERA and two saves.

Cardinals: OF Erik Komatsu (Nationals) -- The Nationals acquired the speedy outfielder in the middle of 2011. He hit a combined .277/.367/.382 with seven home runs and 21 stolen bases between two different Double-A teams. 

Red Sox: SS Marwin Gonzalez (Cubs) -- The switch-hitter hit .288/.343/.400 with 30 doubles between Double-A and Triple-A. 

Diamondbacks: RHP Brett Lorin (Pirates) -- The 24-year-old stands 6-foot-7 and went 7-6 with a 2.84 ERA at High-A Bradenton, striking out 7.6 batters per nine innings.

Yankees: RHP Brad Meyers (Nationals) --  The starter pitched at three different levels in 2011, the majority coming at Triple-A, where he was 6-5 with a 3.48 ERA and struck out 74 in 95 2/3 innings.

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @eyeonbaseball on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.
Posted on: December 8, 2011 4:06 pm
 

Pujols won't join exclusive Hall of Fame club



By C. Trent Rosecrans

Albert Pujols will most likely wear a St. Louis Cardinals hat when he's ultimately inducted into the Hall of Fame, but there still may be a question. We just don't know at this point. There are those players who go into the Hall without a doubt of which hat they'll wear, because it's the only one they ever wore. 

While the Hall of Fame is an elite club, there's a more elite club -- one of Hall of Famers who played their entire career with one organization. Currently there are 47 such players in Cooperstown, with the possibility of one more joining their ranks if Barry Larkin is voted in when the next class is announced in January.

It seemed like Pujols would be one of those guys -- there was even talk of a statue being built at Busch Stadium while he was still active. That statue will have to wait -- and it could be a long time before he's honored like that in St. Louis. 

So, if Pujols isn't going to join that club, who may? Here's four who may be able to claim they spent all of their entire major league career with one team.

Both Derek Jeter and Mariano River are first-ballot Hall of Fame players, both are nearing the end of their careers and both received new contracts with the Yankees last season. Jeter, 37, has two more years on his contract, plus a player option for 2014. He may play after he turns 40, but there's an almost zero percent chance the Yankees let him do it in another uniform. The same can be said for Rivera, 42. The all-time saves leader is under contract for 2012 and is unliekly to play anywhere else.

The third guy is Chipper Jones, who will turn 40 on April 24 and is under contract through 2012 with a club option for 2013 that becomes guaranteed if he plays 123 games this season. Jones has been on the verge of retiring the last two years. Like Jeter and Rivera, it seems unthinkable he'd ever wear another uniform as a player.

And that leads us to the fourth player, who will not only have an asterisk on this list if he does go into the Hall with his current team, but also the one of this group most likely to play for a different team (but even that chance seems slight -- but not as slight as the other three), and that's Ichiro Suzuki. The asterisk is that of course he played the first half of his career for the Orix Blue Wave in Japan before coming to the Mariners in 2000. Some will debate whether he'd be in the Hall if he retired today, but I find it hard to believe he could be left out. Suzuki is in the final year of his five-year extension he signed in 2007 and with the Mariners going through a rebuilding phase, he may not fit into their plans. Another team could be interested, or he could return to Japan. However, it's been suggested he really wants to get to 3,000 hits in the United States. He's at 2,428 right now and would need at least three more years to get there -- that could be two with a different team.

There are some other players that aren't sure-fire Hall of Famers that could still get there and do it with one team, but there's still a lot to be proven. The closest to the end of his career is the Rangers' Michael Young, who would need to get to 3,000 hits before he had a shot at the Hall. Young, 35, has 2,061 hits, so even that seems unlikely. Then there are the young, talented players who have a lot more to prove before getting there. However, Troy Tulowitzki, Ryan Braun, Evan Longoria and Matt Kemp all have one thing in common -- long-term contracts with their current team. 

Here's the list of Hall of Famers who played for just one team, sorted by team:

Yankees: Earle Combs, Bill Dickey, Joe DiMaggio, Whitey Ford, Lou Gehrig, Mickey Mantle, Phil Rizzuto.

Dodgers: Roy Campanella, Don Drysdale, Sandy Koufax, Pee Wee Reese, Jackie Robinson.

Giants: Carl Hubbell, Travis Jackson, Mel Ott, Bill Terry, Ross Youngs.

Pirates: Roberto Clemente, Bill Mazeroski, Willie Stargell, Pie Traynor.

Red Sox: Bobby Doerr, Jim Rice, Ted Williams, Carl Yastrzemski.

Indians: Bob Feller, Addie Joss, Bob Lemon.

Orioles: Jim Palmer, Cal Ripken, Brooks Robinson.

White Sox: Luke Appling, Red Faber, Ted Lyons.

Cardinals: Bob Gibson, Stan Musial.

Reds: Johnny Bench, Bid McPhee.

Tigers: Charlie Gehringer, Al Kaline.

Brewers: Robin Yount.

Cubs: Ernie Banks.

Padres: Tony Gwynn.

Phillies: Mike Schmidt.

Royals: George Brett.

Senators: Walter Johnson.

Twins: Kirby Puckett.

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @eyeonbaseball on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.
Posted on: December 4, 2011 3:09 pm
Edited on: December 4, 2011 9:53 pm
 

Manny Ramirez wants to return to MLB

Manny Ramirez

By C. Trent Rosecrans

Manny Ramirez wants to return to baseball, but the real question may be, does baseball want Manny Ramirez?

Ramirez, 39, retired in April after he faced a 100-game suspension after his second violation of Major League Baseball's Joint Drug Prevention and Treatment program. Major League Baseball announced Ramirez has applied to be reinstated from the retirement list. In addition, MLB announced Ramirez would only have to serve 50 games of his suspension if he is signed. 

Of course, it takes a team to take him before he could actually start his suspension, much less play. Ramirez not only has baggage, but also is limited to just designated hitter now, narrowing the market further for the slugger. He's also unlikely to be welcome in Boston, where he played from 2001-2008. The Rays could be somewhat interested in a return, while maybe the Orioles would be interested, since that seems to be the last stop for designated hitters before retirement and they're now lead by the man who signed Ramirez in Boston, Dan Duquette. Toronto could also be a possibility. Perhaps more likely, Ramirez could declare himself available and un-retired, but have no teams interested.

"Manny is always interesting and he’s never predictable, but I don't know too much about the mechanics of what we would have to do or if we could do it," Duquette told the Baltimore Sun. "Manny is always a lot of fun to be around and he is very entertaining." 

Ramirez managed just one hit -- a single -- in 17 plate appearances for the Rays in 2011. Last offseason, the Rays were the only taker on Ramirez and signed him to just a $2 million contract -- before the suspension. Any team signing him would likely sign him for much less.

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

Posted on: December 1, 2011 2:51 pm
Edited on: December 1, 2011 4:15 pm
 

Taylor Teagarden traded to Orioles

By Matt Snyder

Catcher Taylor Teagarden has been traded to the Baltimore Orioles, the Rangers announced Thursday afternoon. In return, the Rangers will get minor-league pitcher Randy Henry and a player to be named later. The deal marks the first trade by new general manager Dan Duquette.

Teagarden, 27, was once touted as a good prospect but has seen his playing time dwindle over the past few years and hasn't hit very well in his limited chances. He has a career line of .220/.286/.417 with 16 home runs and 21 doubles in 392 major-league plate appearances. So he does have some power. He's also struck out 142 times and makes tons of outs.

With Matt Wieters firmly entrenched behind the plate, expect Teagarden to be the No. 2 catcher and get maybe a start or two per week at most.

Henry, 21, had a 2.22 ERA and 1.06 WHIP in 29 appearances this past season with stops in both Low-A and High-A ball.

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

Posted on: November 30, 2011 7:48 pm
Edited on: December 1, 2011 3:22 pm
 

Wednesday's rumors: Cespedes, Rollins and more

Hot Stove
By C. Trent Rosecrans

While we all wait for tomorrow's 5:30 p.m. ET coronation of Bobby Valentine as the new manager of the Red Sox, here's the latest roundup of rumors, tidbits and other goings on around the baseball world -- or at least the internet part of it.

South Korean right-hander Chong Tae-Hyon is trying to decide between staying in his home country or joining the Orioles. The 33-year-old has been an All-Star in Korean and is a free agent for the first time. He's gaining plenty of interest in Korea, but would likely get a multi-year deal and a spot on the Orioles' 40-man roster, according to Dan Connolly of the Baltimore Sun. The Orioles are also joining the sweepstakes for Cuban outfielder Yoennis Cespedes, Roch Kubatko of MASNSports.com writes.

Speaking of Cespedes, Nationals general manager Mike Rizzo watched him work out in the Dominican Republic on Tuesday, Adam Kilgore of the Washington Post writes. He notes the Nationals were in attendance at a showcase for Cespedes in early November, before the now-famous video was released.

Marlins outfielder Logan Morrison will meet with a doctor this week to determine if he needs surgery on his right knee, Joe Capozzi of the Palm Beach Post writes. Morrison said he twice ran into walls, including one incident that required five stitches to close a cut.

Infielder Adam Kennedy has agreed to a one-year deal with the Dodgers worth $800,000 to serve as a left-handed bat off the bench and a utility player. Kennedy spent 2010 with the Mariners, hitting .234/.277/.355 with seven home runs. (Orange County Register)

The Giants are looking to move either Jeremy Affeldt or right-hander Ramon Ramirez,Ken Rosenthal of FoxSports.com reports. The team picked up Affeldt's $5 million option for 2012. Ramirez is in his third year of arbitration and should get a bump from the $1.65 million he made last season. Right-hander Sergio Romo is also arbitration-eligible.

If somehow the Cardinals don't end up re-signing Albert Pujols, the team could look to sign Jimmy Rollins to fill its hole at shortstop, Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch writes. However, the team is stuck in a holding pattern until Pujols makes his final decision.

The good news for White Sox fans is that the team is cutting some of its ticket prices -- however that may be in anticipation of "gutting" the team, Mark Gonzales of the Chicago Tribune reports. The team doesn't expect to get Mark Buehrle back and could look to trade lefty John Danks before he reaches free agency.

The Phillies announced they'd signed eight players to minor-league deals with invites to spring training, including right-hander Scott Elarton, infielder Pete Orr and outfielder Scott Podsednik

And, finally, to go back full circle to Valentine and the Red Sox, sources told WEEI.com's Alex Speier that after Terry Francona got the ax, Red Sox officials told at least one player that the team wasn't going to hire "someone like Bobby Valentine." Perhaps they forgot to add, "but maybe the real Bobby Valentine." ESPN.com's Buster Olney wrote that Red Sox players are already none too happy about the hiring, complaining about some of the things Valentine said about them on the air as ESPN's analyst. 

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

Posted on: November 21, 2011 1:52 pm
Edited on: November 21, 2011 1:57 pm
 

Choosing the AL Least Valuable Player



By Matt Snyder


The AL MVP is to be named Monday afternoon, amidst the usual sanctimony and outrage that accompanies close votes. Let's take a break from that and do something fun -- well, at least it's fun for those of us who aren't on this list.

Who was the least valuable player in the American League this season? Here are five very good candidates:

Adam Dunn, White Sox. Pretty obvious choice here. Dunn killed fantasy owners, the White Sox lineup and turned his staunchest of defenders against him with one of the worst seasons in major-league history. His strikeouts (177) were more than his batting average percentage points (.159) -- marking only the second time in history that's ever happened to a player with at least 100 strikeouts (Mark Reynolds in 2010 was the other). After averaging 40 home runs in the previous seven seasons, Dunn only hit 11 in '11. Perhaps worst of all, Dunn's slugging percentage was a pathetic .277.

Chone Figgins, Mariners. If he doesn't win, it's at least partially because Figgins only appeared in half of the Mariners' games. Because in his 81 games, he hit .188/.241/.243, good for an abysmal 39 OPS-plus. His defense was a negative value by most metrics and Figgins can't even steal bases well anymore, as he was caught six times against just 11 successful attempts.

Jeff Mathis, Angels. We probably don't need to rub anymore salt in the wound for Angels fans by bringing up the Mike Napoli trade, so we'll just focus on Mathis himself. Defense aside -- which manager Mike Scioscia has insisted is good in the past but has been disputed by many sabermatricians -- Mathis is a brutal offensive player. He hit .174/.225/.259 in his 281 plate appearances.

Brian Matusz, Orioles. The 2008 first-round draft pick still has good upside and battled injuries through parts of 2011, but that doesn't take away from how dreadful his performance was this past season. In 12 starts, Matusz was 1-9 with a 6.59 ERA and 2.11 WHIP while averaging just over four innings per start. So not only was he causing his team to lose games, he was taxing the bullpen, hurting the Orioles' chances in games he didn't even start.

Tsuyoshi Nishioka, Twins. That three-year, $9.25 million deal wasn't enough to keep Nishioka's starting job. The Twins have already signed Jamey Carroll to be the everyday shortstop and will go with Alexi Casilla at second. This was due to Nishioka's awful 2011 season. Yes, he broke his leg in the first series and only played 68 games in 2011. When he did play, he hurt the Twins more than helped them. According to bWAR (Wins Above Replacement on BaseballReference.com), Nishioka had a negative defensive value. And that's pretty bad from a player hitting .226/.278/.249. Oh, and he stole two bases in six attempts.

And the winner is ... Dunn. With all due to respect to the other guys, Dunn's season was historically futile and came on the heels of signing a four-year, $56 million contract.

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

Posted on: November 21, 2011 12:30 pm
Edited on: November 21, 2011 12:45 pm
 

Report: Two clubs interested in Huston Street

By Matt Snyder

This just in: Rockies closer Huston Street is on the trade market. Yeah, you've heard that before. So let's dive right into the latest rumor.

The Orioles and Blue Jays are taking a look at the right-handed closer, according to Ken Rosenthal of FoxSports.com. Rosenthal also throws Orioles starter Jeremy Guthrie in the mix as a possible match. It's worth noting there are likely a lot more than two teams interested in Street, but we're just talking about this particular rumor for now.

The Blue Jays' name being here is pretty obvious. They don't have an established closer and are looking like they have a shot at contending in 2012. So let's just focus on the Orioles part.

Hot Stove
The O's do have Jim Johnson and Kevin Gregg in house. But Orioles manager Buck Showalter reportedly wants Johnson in the rotation and it's very reasonable to believe the Orioles don't want to leave Kevin Gregg as the closer. It was pretty stupid to sign him in the first place, but what's done is done and it's a new administration. Moving forward, Street could help the Orioles fill a need, if Johnson is indeed moved to the rotation.

Street, 28, saved 29 of 33 chances last season with a 3.86 ERA and 1.22 WHIP. He's been one of the better closers in baseball a few seasons, but consistency has been an issue. Still, he's better than Gregg, there's no question about that.

Johnson, 28, was a valuable member of the Orioles' bullpen last season, saving nine games with a 2.67 ERA and 1.11 WHIP in 91 innings.

Meanwhile, the Rockies could use starting pitching help and Guthrie is a fit. He has thrown at least 200 innings in each of the past three seasons. He's had a good ERA three of the past five seasons, but his win-loss record is awful due to playing for the Orioles. On a good team, he's definitely got the chance to be a serviceable middle-of-the-rotation guy. And if the Rockies deal Street, they feel comfortable with Rafael Betancourt as the closer.

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnBaseball 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