Posted on: January 17, 2012 3:57 pm

Crawford has wrist surgery, may miss Opening Day

Carl Crawford underwent arthroscopic surgery on his left wrist, Red Sox general manager Ben Cherington told reporters today (via Rob Bradford of Cherington said that while Crawford could miss the start of the season, the Red Sox haven't ruled out the possibility that he'll be ready for Opening Day.

According to Cherington, Crawford began experiencing soreness in the wrist when he increased his hitting activity within the last few weeks.

Crawford had a terrible first season with the Red Sox, after signing a seven-year, $142 million contract as a free agent.
Category: MLB
Posted on: January 17, 2012 3:40 pm
Edited on: January 17, 2012 3:45 pm

Victor Martinez hurt, could miss 2012 season

The Tigers could be without designated hitter Victor Martinez for the entire 2012 season, after the team announced Tuesday that Martinez suffered a serious injury to his left knee in offseason training.

Martinez will be reevaluated next week by Dr. Richard Steadman, but the team said the initial finding is that he has a torn ACL, and the expectation is that surgery will be required.

The injury is a huge blow to a Tiger team that is a strong favorite to repeat as American League Central champions. Martinez hit .330 and drove in 103 runs in his first year with the Tigers, providing strong protection in the batting order for Miguel Cabrera.

The Tigers originally signed Martinez as a combination catcher and DH, but he became a full-time DH late last season and was expected to fill the same role in 2012. His injury could spur the Tigers to sign one of the remaining DH types on the market. Quite a few remain available, including ex-Tigers Carlos Pena and Johnny Damon, as well as Hideki Matsui.

The Tigers are also among the teams most interested in Cuban outfielder Yoenis Cespedes. But even if they sign Cespedes, it's not clear he would be ready to contribute immediately.

Category: MLB
Posted on: January 17, 2012 3:26 pm

Aoki to sign with Brewers

The Brewers are close to agreement on a multiyear deal with three-time Japanese batting champ Norichika Aoki,'s Jon Heyman reports.

The Brewers won the rights to negotiate with Aoki with a $2.5 million posting bid last month, and their negotiating window with him was due to close at 5 p.m. Eastern time on Tuesday. Aoki, a center fielder with the Yakult Swallows, has been compared by some to Phillies center fielder Shane Victorino.

Category: MLB
Posted on: January 17, 2012 2:22 pm
Edited on: January 17, 2012 3:14 pm

Ellsbury, K-Rod top MLB's other signings

Tuesday was the last day for arbitration-eligible players to sign 2012 contracts before the arbitration process begins with an exchange of salary figures. Thus, it was a deadline day for some MLB teams teams that have a policy of not continuing negotiations after arbitration numbers are exchanged.

The big arbitration news involved two aces, the Phillies' Cole Hamels and the Giants' Tim Lincecum. Hamels avoided arbitration by agreeing to a one-year, $15 million deal for 2012 with the Phillies, while Lincecum is headed to arbitration.

The biggest signing beyond Hamels was Dodgers outfielder Andre Ethier, who got $10.95 plus incentives from the Dodgers.

Among other signings Tuesday:

-- Jacoby Ellsbury got $8.05 million from the Red Sox.

-- Francisco Rodriguez got $8 million plus incentives from the Brewers.

-- Michael Bourn got $6,845,000 from the Braves.

-- Delmon Young got $6.75 million from the Tigers.

-- James Loney got $6.375 plus bonuses from the Dodgers.

-- Mike Pelfrey got $5,687,500 from the Mets, with incentive bonuses based on innings pitched.

-- Jair Jurrjens got $5.5 million from the Braves.

-- Francisco Liriano got $5.5 million from the Twins.

-- Erick Aybar got $5.075 million from the Angels.

-- Shin-Soo Choo got $4.9 million from the Indians.

-- Jason Vargas got $4.85 million from the Mariners.

-- David Price got $4.35 million from the Rays.

-- Geovany Soto got $4.3 million from the Cubs.

-- Brandon League got $5 million from the Mariners.

-- Justin Masterson got $3.825 million from the Indians.

-- Max Scherzer got $3.75 million plus bonuses from the Tigers.

-- Luke Hochevar got $3.51 million from the Royals.

-- Tom Gorzelanny got $2.7 million from the Nationals.

-- Jordan Zimmermann got $2.3 million from the Nationals.

-- Joba Chamberlain got about $1.675 million from the Yankees.

-- David Robertson got $1.6 million plus incentives from the Yankees.

-- Glen Perkins got $1.55 million from the Twins.

-- Wilson Valdez got $930,000 from the Phillies.

-- Don Kelly got $900,000 from the Tigers.

-- John Baker got $750,000 from the Padres.

Posted on: January 17, 2012 12:54 pm
Edited on: January 17, 2012 2:23 pm

Hamels avoids arbitration, Lincecum doesn't

Cole Hamels signed a new contract Tuesday. Tim Lincecum didn't.

Hamels will get $15 million plus performance bonuses from the Phillies. Lincecum will exchange arbitration numbers with the Giants.

And none of that changes the big picture, because neither Hamels nor Lincecum has a new long-term contract yet.

As of now, Hamels is still eligible for free agency after the 2012 season. Lincecum is eligible after 2013.

And both can (and certainly will) continue to discuss long-term deals that will keep them off the market.

Hamels, who made $9.5 million in 2011, agreed to 2012 contract just before the deadline for arbitration-eligible players to exchange contract figures with their teams. Lincecum will go through the arbitration process, although he and the Giants can continue to work on a deal while awaiting a hearing.

According to's Jon Heyman, Hamels' new deal also would pay him $100,000 if he's named the Most Valuable Player, $250,000 if he wins the Cy Young Award, $100,000 for World Series MVP and $50,000 each for LCS MVP, Gold Glove, Silver Slugger or an All-Star appearance.

Tuesday was a deadline day for some teams that have a policy of not continuing negotiations after arbitration numbers are exchanged.

Posted on: December 23, 2011 6:39 pm
Edited on: December 23, 2011 6:45 pm

White Sox could still deal Gavin Floyd

Even after signing John Danks to a contract extension this week, the White Sox remain open to trading fellow starting pitcher Gavin Floyd, according to sources.

The White Sox surprised people in baseball (even some in their own organization) with the Danks signing, because they spent the first part of the winter including both Danks and Floyd in trade discussions. The Danks signing had people wondering if the White Sox are still "rebuilding," as general manager Ken Williams said after trading closer Sergio Santos at the Winter Meetings.

The belief now is that Williams will consider offers for Floyd and others, but that he will also continue to maintain a high price tag, as he has all winter. While Williams appears to be open to dealing Floyd, he also seems open to keeping him. Floyd is signed through 2012, but his contract carries an affordable $9.5 million option for 2013.

The trade market for starting pitchers has started to move, with both Mat Latos and Gio Gonzalez dealt within the last week. Many teams remain interested in adding pitching, and by waiting, Williams may find himself with the best available pitcher later in the winter.

Floyd, who turns 29 in January, is more than two years older than Danks. Like Danks, Floyd has averaged nearly 200 innings a season since earning a regular spot in the White Sox rotation.

Category: MLB
Posted on: December 23, 2011 6:07 pm
Edited on: December 23, 2011 6:11 pm

Red Sox wanted Gio, keep chasing pitching

The Red Sox, who tried hard but came up short in their bid for Gio Gonzalez, are still determined to add pitching this winter, according to sources.

Red Sox management spent Friday regrouping, after the A's chose the Nationals' pitching-heavy offer for Gonzalez over a Red Sox offer that was built around position players. The Red Sox are still involved with the A's on closer Andrew Bailey, and they've talked to free-agent starter Hiroki Kuroda, as well, but they don't appear to be close on those pitchers or any others.

The Red Sox have also had interest in Gavin Floyd, with people in baseball believing that White Sox general manager Ken Williams remains open to trading Floyd, even after signing fellow starter John Danks to a contract extension this week.

For now, the Red Sox can still said to be "in on everybody," as one source put it this week.

The need is obvious, because for now the Red Sox rotation is just three-deep in established big-league starters, with Josh Beckett, Jon Lester and Clay Buchholz. As of now, Alfredo Aceves and Daniel Bard would be the fourth and fifth starters.

Meanwhile, the Sox still haven't replaced closer Jonathan Papelbon, who left to sign with the Phillies as a free agent.

Gonzalez would have been a solid addition to the rotation, but now he's with the Nationals, instead.

And while the Red Sox continue to preach patience, they also know that they've reached Christmas with their shopping list still full.

Posted on: December 23, 2011 5:40 pm
Edited on: December 23, 2011 5:41 pm

Yankees, Red Sox may not bid high on Cespedes

While the market for Cuban outfielder Yoenis Cespedes is unpredictable, the word this week is that neither the Yankees nor the Red Sox plan to be heavily involved.

The two baseball superpowers have both followed Cespedes carefully, and some in the Yankee front office want him badly. But the decision this week, according to sources, was that Cespedes is too raw a talent to justify the price, and may not be suited to playing in a big market, anyway. While the Yankees are not out on Cespedes, the plan as of now is to treat him the way they treated Japanese pitcher Yu Darvish, making a modest bid that is unlikely to be successful.

The Red Sox are said to have similar concerns.

People familiar with the international market say that there is also a divide on Cespedes in the Marlins' front office, and that it's not a given that the team will go after him hard. Also, Cespedes has told people that he plans to make his permanent home in the Dominican Republic, rather than in Miami, and may prefer to go to a team other than the Marlins.

The interest in Cespedes remains strong, and the market could change by the time he becomes a free agent, which should happen in January. The Cubs, Tigers, Nationals, White Sox and Rays, among other teams, are still expected to pursue him.

Because of the strong interest, the belief is that Cespedes will still get as much as $40 million, even if the Yankees and Red Sox hold back from heavy bidding. One possible issue is that Cespedes' agents apparently want him to go straight to the major leagues, while many if not most scouts believe that he should spend time in the minor leagues first.

The Cubs, Nationals, Braves and Red Sox, among others, are also said to be interested in Jorge Soler, a 19-year-old Cuban who is also expected to become a free agent this winter. Soler is further from the big leagues, but talented enough that some predict it could take $15 million to sign him.

Because of new limits on bonuses that will go into effect next winter, teams may feel free to bid higher on Cespedes and/or Soler this winter.

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