David Ortiz told reporters that his agent is talking with the Red Sox about extending his deal for another year, tweets Rob Bradford of WEEI.com. Ortiz signed a two-year extension with Boston in November 2012 that will take him through the 2014 season.
Big Papi will earn $15MM in the final year of his deal between his $11MM base salary and the $4MM bonus he secured by staying away from the DL for the bulk of 2013. After playing just 90 games in 2012 - his lowest total as a member of the Red Sox - Ortiz saw action in 137 games this past season, hitting .309/.395/.564 with 30 homers.
While the Red Sox certaintly want to keep their franchise cornerstone happy, they may not be ecstatic about re-opening contract talks. Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe reported earlier this year that the two sides had an agreement that they would not negotiate a new contract or extension until after the deal expired.
11:56am: Chamberlain's deal includes $500K in performance bonuses based on games pitched that would bring his salary up to $3MM, tweets Jason Beck of MLB.com.
10:35am: Having already added Joe Nathan to solidify the ninth inning, the Tigers made an upside play by adding right-hander Joba Chamberlain to the mix. The Tigers today officially announced the signing of Chamberlain to a one-year deal that is reportedly worth $2.5MM plus incentives. Chamberlain is represented by Jim Murray of Excel Sports Management.
The 28-year-old former top prospect struggled through his worst season (in terms of ERA) as a Major Leaguer in 2013, posting a 4.93 ERA with 8.1 K/9, 5.6 BB/9 and a 41.5 percent ground-ball rate in 42 innings for the Yankees. Chamberlain was significantly better away from Yankee Stadium, posting a 3.54 ERA on the road compared to a 6.23 mark at home in a roughly equal sample size. Chamberlain's velocity remained strong in his first full season back from 2011 Tommy John surgery, as he averaged a healthy 94.7 mph on his fastball.
Chamberlain will join a new-look Tigers bullpen that features active saves leader Joe Nathan in the ninth inning. Joaquin Benoit is on the free agent market but doesn't appear likely to return, and left-hander Drew Smyly figures to shift from the 'pen into the rotation following the offseason trade of Doug Fister to the Nationals. Left-hander Ian Krol, acquired in the Fister deal, should join Nathan and Chamberlain as new additions.
Further additions seem unlikely, as GM Dave Dombrowski told Lynn Henning of the Detroit News on Thursday that his offseason shopping was mostly done, save for one bullpen arm that "won't be a biggie" (Twitter link).
Tim Brown of Yahoo Sports first tweeted that the Tigers were a possible landing spot for Chamberlain. ESPN's Buster Olney reported (via Twitter) that the Tigers' interest was "serious," and Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reported that a one-year agreement was in place (Twitter link). Olney then reported news of the $2.5MM guarantee plus incentives (on Twitter).
Gamel, 26, didn't play in 2013 after tearing his ACL for a second conseutive season. Formerly rated as one of the game's top prospects (Baseball America had him No. 34 in all of baseball prior to the 2009 season), Gamel has posted a .229/.305/.367 batting line in 269 Major League plate appearances.
He's absolutely feasted on Triple-A pitching in a larger sample, slashing .301/.374/.512 with 53 home runs in 1247 plate appearances. Gamel looked to be in line to replace the injured Corey Hart at Milwaukee's everyday first baseman in 2013 before his second ACL tear. The Jet Sports client has yet to receive an everyday opportunity at the Major League level, though he batted a solid .242/.338/.422 in 148 Major League plate appearances as a 23-year-old in 2009.
Adams, who turns 27 next May, batted just .193/.252/.286 in 152 plate appearances for the Yankees in 2013. However, the 2008 third-rounder has an excellent minor league track record, having slashed a healthy .291/.376/.441 in 1798 plate appearances.
Adams has missed significant time due to ankle injuries in the past, which slowed his rise through the Yankees' system. He reached Triple-A for the first time in 2013, posting a solid .268/.366/.405 batting line. The right-handed hitter has extensive experience at both second base and third base, so he could be an option to platoon with Lonnie Chisenhall at the hot corner.
FRIDAY: The Brewers and Mets are still talking about Davis, reports Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports (on Twitter). However, Milwaukee is holding firm in its stance that it will not part with right-hander Tyler Thornburg. MLB.com's Adam McCalvy reported earlier in the week that the Mets had asked for Thornburg in return for Davis.
Haudricourt adds (also via Twitter) that if the Brewers are still in talks for Davis, it's likely an indication that Loney is still asking for too much in terms of years and/or average annual salary.
THURSDAY, 12:46pm: The Mets and Brewers met to discuss Davis on two separate occasions at the Winter Meetings, tweets Ken Davidoff of the New York Post. The Rays and Pirates are also possibilities for Davis, he adds.
10:23am: According to Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, all indications are that Milwaukee GM Doug Melvin could move quickly to address his first base need. Melvin is meeting with Mets GM Sandy Alderson, Haudricourt continues, so it's possible the two sides could work out a deal for Ike Davis. The Brewers have some interest in James Loney, but negotiations with him would be more complicated with other teams such as Pittsburgh in the mix, Haudricourt adds (Twitter links).
The Brewers missed out on a pair of their top first base targets yesterday, with each heading to the Mariners. Seattle reached an agreement with Corey Hart and swung a trade for Logan Morrison within an hour's time, leaving the Brewers with a sizable hole at first base.
FRIDAY: The Mets announced (on Twitter) that they have received cash considerations from the Dodgers in exchange for Rosin.
THURSDAY: The Mets have traded right-hander Seth Rosin -- their selection in this morning's Rule 5 Draft -- to the Dodgers, tweets MLB.com's Ken Gurnick. GM Sandy Alderson had told reporters (including ESPN's Adam Rubin) earlier this morning that he had worked out a deal to send Rosin to another team for a player to be named later (Twitter links).
Rosin, 25, posted a 4.33 ERA with 6.8 K/9 and 2.5 BB/9 in 126 2/3 innings for the Phillies' Double-A affiliate in 2013. The Giants selected Rosin in the fourth round of the 2010 draft out of the University of Minnesota and traded him to the Phillies along with Nate Schierholtz and Tommy Joseph in the Hunter Pence deal of July 2012. Schierholtz was non-tendered after the 2012 season and signed with the Cubs, leaving Joseph as the last remaining piece of that deal. Of course, Rosin is no guarantee to stick with the Dodgers and could ultimately be returned to the Phillies.
The Twins announced today that Jason Kubel is once again a part of their organization. Minnesota has signed the 31-year-old to a minor league contract with an invitation to Spring Training.
Kubel, a client of the Wasserman Media Group's Joel Wolfe, originally left the Twins following the 2011 season in favor of a two-year, $16MM contract with the Diamondbacks. The lefty swinger had a big first year moving from the spacious Target Field in Minneapolis to Phoenix's Chase Field, slashing .253/.327/.506 with a career-high 30 home runs. However, a great deal of Kubel's damage came in the first half of that season. Though he belted 15 second-half homers, he batted just .201/.275/.470 in the season's second half.
Things didn't get better for Kubel in 2013, as he slumped to a career-worst .216/.293/.317 batting line and found himself designated for assignment by the Diamondbacks. The Indians picked him up via trade, but Kubel collected just three hits in 18 at-bats for Cleveland (he did walk five times as well).
The Twins selected Kubel in the 12th round of the 2000 draft, and he reached elite prospect status in the middle portion of last decade, ranking 17th in the game, per Baseball America. A devastating knee injury delayed his arrival as a big league regular and likely depleted some of his speed and range. He's always graded out as a sub-par defender in the outfield, but his best overall season at the plate came for the 2009 Twins. Kubel hit .300/.369/.539 with 28 homers that season.
Worth, 28, is a career .242/.307/.315 hitter in 246 big league plate appearances. The 2007 second-rounder spent the bulk of the 2013 campaign with the Tigers' Triple-A affiliate in Toledo, batting .223/.305/.308 with a homer and nine steals in 82 games (345 plate appearances). Worth has played mostly shortstop throughout his minor league career but split his time evenly between second base, third base and shortstop this past season.
Hudson, 26, saw his 2012 season cut short by a torn ulnar collateral ligament in his throwing elbow that required Tommy John surgery. After working his way back to health in 2013, Hudson took the mound in a rehab start in early June. That outing lasted just two innings, as Hudson was once again hit with the devastating news of a torn UCL. He underwent his second Tommy John surgery this summer and was non-tendered by Arizona last month.
Hudson had enjoyed a breakout campaign in 2011, totaling 222 innings of 3.49 ERA ball with 6.9 K/9 and 2.0 BB/9 for the Diamondbacks. Originally acquired along with the recently traded David Holmberg in a deal that sent Edwin Jackson to the White Sox, Hudson has a 3.68 ERA in 381 1/3 career innings at the big league level. Hudson stated a preference to remain with the D-Backs shortly before his non-tender. General manager Kevin Towers recently told reporters, including MLBTR's Zach Links, that he hoped to work out a new deal with Hudson.
8:30am: Logan's deal guarantees him $16.5MM, according to Heyman (on Twitter).
7:34am: The Rockies are in agreement with left-hander Boone Logan on a three-year deal, tweets Jon Heyman of CBS Sports. The Denver Post's Troy Renck reported yesterday that the two sides were closing in on a three-year pact. Logan is represented by CAA Sports.
The Rockies, who have already added LaTroy Hawkins to the back of their bullpen this winter, were said to be aggressive on relievers at the Winter Meetings. Renck reported that they were serious about talks with free agents J.P. Howell and Joaquin Benoit and also came close to striking a deal for Reds lefty Sean Marshall before medical concerns caused them to back off. Despite the interest in Benoit, left-handed relief was always their priority, per Renck.
Logan gives Rockies director of Major League operations Bill Geivett that late-inning, left-handed option he so aggressively sought this week. Still just 29 years of age, Logan has posted a 3.38 ERA with 10.3 K/9, 3.8 BB/9 and a 43.1 percent ground-ball rate in 176 innings over the past four seasons with the Yankees.
Manager Walt Weiss will need to be careful about how he uses Logan versus right-handed hitters, however. Over the past four seasons, opposite-handed hitters have gotten to Logan for a .251/.351/.424 batting line, and his 2013 line of .254/.319/.460 wasn't an improvement. Left-handers have batted just .224/.297/.365 against Logan dating back to 2010.
Renck guessed last night that Logan's deal would be worth around $15MM in total, and later, Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports reported that the contract would indeed be worth more than $14MM. Javier Lopez's three-year, $13MM deal with the Giants likely set the market for Logan, but his agents at CAA look to have topped that figure for their client.
Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.
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The Diamondbacks are close to a new contract with Daniel Hudson, Nick Piecoro of the Arizona Republic reports. Hudson is believed to want a deal that would guaranteed him a spot on the 40-man roster, though he is expected to be sidelined for possibly the entire 2014 season as he recovers from two Tommy John surgeries.
Hudson was non-tendered by the D'Backs earlier this month though there was mutual interest on both sides in working out a new deal. The right-hander posted a 3.19 ERA, 3.1 K/BB and 7.2 K/9 over his first 336 Major League innings from 2009-11 and looked to be one of the game's up-and-coming young pitchers before he fell victim to injuries. Hudson's last Major League pitch came on June 26, 2012 before undergoing Tommy John surgery, and then had to undergo a second procedure after reinjuring his elbow last June.
The D'Backs are also expected to sign veteran catcher Henry Blanco to a minor league deal with an invitation to the Major League Spring Training camp, Piecoro reports. Blanco, 42, will return to Arizona after playing with the team as a backup in 2011-12. Blanco posted a .474 OPS in 150 PA with the Mariners and Blue Jays in 2013 and MLBTR's Tim Dierkes recently reported that Blanco is looking to play for one final season.
Andrew Friedman doesn't think the Rays' search for a first baseman will last beyond another week, the club's executive VP told reporters (including Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times). "There were some suggestions...of movement" between the Rays and James Loney on Thursday, Topkin reports, and Loney remains the Rays' top choice, though at less than his three-year, $27MM asking price. If Loney signs elsewhere, Topkin expects the Rays to acquire a first baseman in a trade rather than in free agency.
Here are some more items from around baseball as we conclude the 2013 Winter Meetings...
- This might be the optimal time for the Braves to trade Craig Kimbrel, ESPN's Buster Olney writes (Insider subscription required). Kimbrel is about to get much more expensive now that he's eligible for arbitration, to the point that Kimbrel's incredible statistics "broke" the arbitration projection model used by MLBTR's Matt Swartz.
- Rumors connecting Rickie Weeks to the Blue Jays, Braves and Marlins during the Winter Meetings were all false, Brewers GM Doug Melvin tells Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel (Twitter link).
- Ryan Kalish "is in the final stages" of signing with a new team, Peter Abraham of the Boston Globe reports. Kalish was non-tendered by the Red Sox earlier this month. The outfielder missed the entire 2013 season recovering from shoulder and neck surgeries.
- Several teams, including the Red Sox, have been scouting right-hander Ryan Madson, FOX Sports' Ken Rosenthal reports. The Rockies were also recently linked to Madson, who has missed two full seasons recovering from Tommy John surgery.
- ESPN's Paul Swydan (Insider subscription required) lists four teams who could be helped by the inexpensive additions of Kevin Youkilis, Brian Roberts, Johan Santana and Jeff Francis, respectively. Swydan also wrote about how Clint Barmes could help the Mets, but Barmes re-signed with the Pirates earlier today.
- Diamondbacks president/CEO Derrick Hall discussed his team's desire for a top starting pitcher, the recent Mark Trumbo deal and several other topics during a live chat with fans on MLB.com.
- The Pirates, Orioles and Indians could be risking their recent success with their hesitation to spend, USA Today's Bob Nightengale opines.
- Several team executives and scouts joined ESPN's Jayson Stark in listing the winners and losers of the offseason thus far, with a pair of teams (the Mariners and Yankees) somewhat in between, in the "winners with an asterisk" category.
The Rangers made headlines today by selecting Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson in the minor league portion of the Rule 5 Draft. Before going on to NFL stardom, Wilson was selected by the Rockies as a second baseman in the fourth round of the 2010 draft, and Colorado retained its rights to Wilson until this morning. Wilson will report to Spring Training and talk to the Rangers' minor leaguers in a motivational capacity. "We decided if he ever wanted to play again, he'd be a guy that we'd want with us," Texas assistant GM A.J. Preller told reporters, including MLB.com's Richard Justice. The Wilson selection isn't a gimmick, ESPN's Richard Durrett writes, and Jon Daniels is excited to have Wilson's winning qualities in the organization, though Daniels stressed that the club isn't trying to distract Wilson from his NFL goals. Here's more out of the AL West...
- Shin-Soo Choo and Nelson Cruz remain unsigned, which is good news for the Rangers, ESPN Dallas' Richard Durrett writes. The Rangers like both players and are hoping that their asking prices drop the longer they stay on the market. Daniels said that his team's pursuit of Choo was "unchanged" from yesterday.
- There is a chance that Michael Young could rejoin the Rangers if both parties see a fit, MLB.com's Jesse Sanchez tweets. Texas dealt its longtime franchise staple to the Phillies last offseason and Young was subsequently dealt to the Dodgers in August.
- Despite recent rumors linking the Angels to Matt Garza and Raul Ibanez, general manager Jerry Dipoto told reporters (including Bill Shaikin of the L.A. Times) that his team doesn't have any outstanding offers to free agents.
- In a special piece for FOX Sports, new Mariners first baseman/outfielder Logan Morrison wrote about the experience of being traded to a new team. Morrison's piece is particularly fascinating in that it was written prior to the trade that sent him to Seattle. LoMo says he doesn't have any ill feelings toward the Marlins organization, adding that contrary to public opinion, owner Jeffrey Loria was "great and generous" to Morrison and his family. Loria allowed Morrison and his family to use his personal plane to get to Kansas City for the funeral of Morrison's father.
- The Astros spoke to the Marlins about Morrison and also pursued Corey Hart and Mike Morse, MLB.com's Brian McTaggart reports. Jose Veras rejected the Astros' initial contract offer but the two sides still share a mutual interest in a reunion.
- The Yankees, Indians, Braves, Phillies, Blue Jays, Twins and Indians were all involved in trade talks for Brett Anderson before the Athletics sent the right-hander to the Rockies, writes Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle.
MLBTR's Mark Polishuk also contributed to this post
The Tigers have discussed trading Austin Jackson to the Yankees in exchange for Brett Gardner, Bob Elliott of the Toronto Sun reports. Both players have been above-average fielders in center over their careers and have comparable career batting lines, though Gardner is a better base-stealer and Jackson has more doubles pop. Jackson turns 27 in February, is projected to earn $5.3MM in his second year of arbitration eligibility and he'll hit free agency after the 2015 season; the 30-year-old Gardner is projected to earn $4MM and he'll be a free agent next winter. I'm not sure this deal makes sense for the Tigers unless they don't think they can sign Jackson (a Scott Boras client) to an extension, or if they aren't interested in extending Jackson. From the Yankees' side, they like Gardner enough that they probably wouldn't move him for a very similar player, albeit a younger one.
Here are some more items from all five AL Central franchises...
- The Twins have increased the value of their two-year offer to Mike Pelfrey from $10MM to $12MM, La Velle E. Neal III of the Minneapolis Star Tribune reports. The Rangers and Giants have also shown interest in Pelfrey, Neal reports.
- Also from Neal, the stumbling block between Matt Garza and the Twins seems to be Garza's demands for a four- or five-year contract, as Minnesota isn't willing to make that long a commitment due to injury concerns. That said, Neal isn't counting the Twins out of the Garza race yet as he hears the team is still in the hunt (Twitter links). You can read more about the Twins' hunt for pitching here.
- The Royals could continue to shop Billy Butler since "Before too long, the DH spot has to be a rotating position for us. It really does," a club official tells Bob Dutton of the Kansas City Star. For one, the Royals may use Salvador Perez at DH to keep his bat in the lineup when he isn't catching, plus added DH days would help keep Perez healthy. Even if Butler isn't dealt this offseason, Dutton doesn't believe the Royals will sign him to an extension once his current deal is up. It was reported earlier today that Butler's name had come up in trade talks with the Blue Jays.
- The Royals, Indians and Rangers are among the teams interested in Shaun Marcum, ESPN's Jayson Stark tweets. Marcum underwent surgery to correct his thoracic outlet syndrome in July and his agent updated MLBTR's Tim Dierkes on the recovery process last month.
- The White Sox are looking to cut their payroll from just under $119MM in 2013 to between $89MM-$99MM range for 2014, ESPN Chicago's Doug Padilla writes, with the $99MM figure being the likelier of the two. Despite the cuts on the Major League side, GM Rick Hahn said the club will reinvest the saved money into extra spending on the draft and international signings.
- In other AL Central news from earlier today, the Tigers reached an agreement with Joba Chamberlain and the Indians were battling with the Padres over Joaquin Benoit.