According to Ken Gurnick of MLB.com, the Rangers have reached a tentative agreement with Derrick Turnbow on a one-year deal.
MLB.com's T.R. Sullivan adds that the Rangers signed righthanded pitcher Casey Daigle to a minor league contract. Daigle, 27, had an ERA of 3.78 in 44 AAA games this year. He last pitched in the majors in 2006.
The Rangers also retained Elizardo Ramirez, who pitched for them once last year, with a minor league deal.
Turnbow was also targeted by the Marlins and Pirates, but chose Texas in the end because of his relationship with pitching coach Mike Maddux. Turnbow will make $925,000 if he makes the major league club out of spring training. The contract also carries $325,000 in performance incentives. The 31-year-old right-hander last pitched effectively in 2007, when he posted a 4.63 ERA and 84 strikeouts in 68 innings.
Patrick Newman of NPB Tracker has translated a report from Sponichi, a Japanese news network, claiming that infielder Tadahito Iguchi has multiple offers from MLB teams.
Sponichi speculates that the Giants and Royals are nice fits, while Newman himself believes the White Sox might want Iguchi back. Of course, that's all conjecture. A few teams in Japan are legitimately vying for his services. The 34-year-old batted .232/.292/.306 last season with two dingers and 24 RBI in 310 at-bats. It seems most MLB teams could do better.
A couple of links for you bar-hopping kids with Blackberries. Happy New Year's Eve. Be safe out there...
- Aaron Miles said the Cardinals jumped in on the last day, but by then it was too late. He was somewhat miffed by being non-tendered twice during his Cardinals career.
- According to the Chicago Tribune, Paul Bako is expected to sign with the Cubs for around $500,000. He'll be a nice, cheap backup to Geovany Soto.
- Indians GM Mark Shapiro told Paul Hoynes of the Cleveland Plain Dealer that Mark DeRosa is the "perfect fit" for the Tribe.
- Nick Piecoro of the Arizona Republic wants the Diamondbacks to go after Ben Sheets. "Right now."
- San Francisco Chronicle beat writer Henry Schulman is preaching patience to the Giants' fan base.
According to Ken Gurnick of MLB.com, the Dodgers and agent Scott Boras are finally gearing up for Manny Ramirez negotiations.
As was reported yesterday, Boras left a voicemail for Dodgers GM Ned Colletti on Tuesday. Well, Colletti shot him back a voicemail Wednesday morning and the two are expected to finish their game of phone tag after the New Year's holiday. The Dodgers, of course, made a two-year, $45 million offer with an option for a third during the Winter Meetings in November.
T.R. Sullivan of MLB.com fills us in on the Rangers' ongoing search for bullpen help:
- Derrick Turnbow is at the top of the list with pitching coach Mike Maddux leading the charge. The two worked together a few years ago in Milwaukee. The Marlins and Pirates are also thought to have interest.
- The Rangers are also investigating closers Chad Cordero and Jason Isringhausen, both free agents. As Sullivan points out, the Rangers like to target low-cost, high-reward relievers. Some would call them reclamation projects.
- Right-hander Guillermo Mota is also on the team's list. The 35-year-old had a 4.11 ERA for the Brewers last year.
Ready for more Brian Roberts-to-the-Cubs rumors? Here's a little speculation via Peter Schmuck of the Baltimore Sun:
Schmuck surmises that the Cubs might try to recover some of the offensive production that they lost in Mark DeRosa's departure by once again going after Orioles second baseman Brian Roberts. The Cubs just signed Aaron Miles, who is a fine utility infielder and occasional pinch-hitter, but he'd be an offensive and defensive liability as an everyday starter.
Bill Ladson of MLB.com has been told by a baseball source that reports of the Nationals' interest in Manny Ramirez are false.
Ladson notes two fairly obvious reasons why Manny isn't a good fit in D.C.:
- The Nationals are overloaded with right-handed hitting outfielders. They already have righties Josh Willingham, Lastings Milledge, Elijah Dukes, Austin Kearns and Wily Mo Pena under contract for '08.
- And the obvious one: His age. Ramirez is 36. The Nats won a league-low 59 games last season and need to build for the long-term before they go signing old, high-priced free agents with big egos.
- Let's not forget Jim Bowden's November 12th quote: We are not pursuing Manny Ramirez."
According to MLB.com's Bill Ladson, the Nationals have serious interest in free agent Milton Bradley. The Nats would try Bradley in center field. Bradley is the Cubs' top target to play right field, so there could be a battle for his services.
Ladson adds that Adam Dunn and Orlando Hudson also remain on Washington's radar. It seems that they intend to sign at least one solid free agent after failing to sign Mark Teixeira.
4:07pm: Jack Curry of the New York Times weighs in. He can see the Mets bumping their offer to $39MM for three years, but agrees that they won't add a fourth year (despite four-year deals given to inferior pitchers in recent times).
8:43am: MetsBlog's Matthew Cerrone says a Derek Lowe signing is "feeling inevitable" for the New York National League club. They'll have to up their three-year, $36MM offer; Cerrone sees the Mets as unlikely to guarantee a fourth year or reach $15MM per.
According to John Harper of the New York Daily News, Lowe told a friend that the Red Sox never showed serious interest. Harper thinks the Mets' limit is three years and $40MM.
The Mets' competition for Lowe is unclear. The Phillies, Yankees, and Red Sox don't seem interested. Still, if Lowe is coming at a discount you have to wonder if the Braves, Indians, Rangers, Brewers, and Cubs will get involved (entirely speculation).
12:08pm: According to ESPN's Buster Olney, Brian Fuentes signed a two-year deal with the Angels. A press release from the Angels is out; there's a third-year club option. The Rockies will receive the Angels' #33 pick in the June draft, as well as a supplemental pick.
Fuentes, 33, was excellent in 2008. He posted a 2.73 ERA and 11.78 K/9. At the outset of the offseason he was expected to get a three or even four-year deal.