February 2009

Dodgers Ink Six Pre-Arb Players

According to the Associated Press, the Dodgers have agreed to terms with "zero to three" players Blake DeWitt, Matt Kemp, Lucas May, Scott Elbert, Victor Garate and James McDonald.

These are guys with zero to three years of MLB service time, thus the moniker.  They’re not yet eligible for arbitration and usually sign contracts in the $400K-$550K range.

Manny Ramirez Rumors: Saturday

7:01pm: According to Tony Jackson of the Los Angeles Daily News, Boras and Dodgers GM Ned Colletti had a conversation earlier today.  Colletti called it a "cordial and informative" chat, but contract talks apparently haven’t progressed.

6:49pm: Daniel Barbarisi of the Providence Journal weighs in:

Deferred money or not, Boras and Ramirez seem out of touch to be holding out in a market with no other real bidders. If they don’t take this deal now, a better one probably isn’t coming along.

5:32pm: Twins manager Ron Gardenhire revealed a hunch to Phil Miller of the St. Paul Pioneer Press on Saturday.  He thinks the Yankees could make another splash:

"I still don’t think they’re done, I really don’t. I think there’s one more guy out there that eventually, someone’s going to say (sign him)," Gardenhire said.  Miller suggests that he could be referring to Manny.

9:52am: According to ESPN.com’s Buster Olney some baseball executives estimate that the deferred money offered by the Dodgers would be worth roughly $41MM in present value, including $22.5MM this year. As Olney says, that’s still more than the combined base salaries of Bobby Abreu, Orlando Hudson, Pat Burrell, Joe Crede, Cliff Floyd, Mark Loretta and Takashi Saito.

9:19am: Yesterday, we heard that the Dodgers’ most recent offer to Manny Ramirez included deferred money, but Manny and Scott Boras want a deal without deferred payments. Today, a trio of LA Times writers kick off the Manny rumors.

Dylan Hernandez reports that Manny and Scott Boras are waiting to hear whether the Dodgers will accept their counter-offer of two years and $45MM, without any deferred money and with an opt-out clause for Manny at the end of this year.

Bill Shaikin points out just how much the economy has changed since the Dodgers first offered Manny a deal and Brian Kamenetzky writes that Manny shouldn’t expect to make as much as A-Rod.

Odds And Ends: Rockies, Manny

A few links for Saturday afternoon…

Royals Sign Juan Cruz

3:16pm: Buster Olney with information on each year’s value: "He receives $2.25 million for 2009, $3.25 million for 2010, and a $4 million option for 2011, with a $500,000 buyout. " Royals beat writer Dick Kaegel of MLB.com confirms it.

2:25pm: According to a press release from the team, the Kansas City Royals have signed Juan Cruz to a two-year deal, with a club option for a third year.

While it is Royals policy to keep contract terms under wraps, Ken Rosenthal has contract details. The first two years of the deal are worth $6MM, while the option year would pay Cruz $3.5MM if exercised.

Rosenthal also has details on the Royals’ ability to complete the deal without negotiating a sign-and-trade with the Diamondbacks:

In the end, no sign-and-trade solution was necessary. The Royals preferred to lose their second rounder rather than give up prospects to the Diamondbacks. The team’s first-round pick is protected because it finished with one of the 15 worst records in the majors last season.

Today’s Signings: Sanchez, Weaver, Galarraga

MLBTR has an update on major league signings for today based on e-mail communication with Sports Illustrated’s Jon Heyman. His article is here.

Florida Marlins – Anibal Sanchez, $400,000
L.A. Angels – Jered Weaver, $465,000
Arizona Diamondbacks – Tony Pena, $430,000
Detroit Tigers – Armando Galarraga, $430,000
San Francisco Giants – Jonathan Sanchez, $455,000

Cardinals Sign Mitch Harris

According to of Derrick Goold of the  St. Louis Post-Dispatch, the St. Louis Cardinals have signed pitcher Mitch Harris to a minor-league deal.

Harris was selected in the 13th round of the most recent draft. His contract will take affect after Harris serves the required five years of active duty for the Navy.

Harris averaged 11.78 strikeouts per nine innings in his four-year pitching career at Navy, while posting a 2.51 ERA.

Miles On Koskie, Schilling

After speaking with Jim Hendry, Bruce Miles has more on a couple of today’s Cubs rumors: the Cubs’ signing of Corey Koskie, and their possible connection to Curt Schilling.

According to Miles, Hendry "seems excited" about adding Koskie. The Cubs could use Koskie as a backup third baseman, Miles writes, despite Hendry’s assertion that the team is "very happy with [Mike] Fontenot and [Aaron] Miles and what they’re doing in getting looks at third base."

As for the Schilling rumor, Miles says the Cubs have not heard directly from the pitcher, but are open to the idea of potentially adding him. Says Miles’ source within the Cubs’ organization: "Why not?"

Juan Cruz To Royals?

Juan Cruz may be close to a deal with the Kansas City Royals, according to Buster Olney at ESPN.com.

The Royals’ signing Cruz may entitle the Arizona Diamondbacks to two compensatory draft picks, since Cruz was a Type A free agent offered arbitration. However, a potential sign-and-trade deal with the Diamondbacks may affect those circumstances. Writes Olney:

It was not immediately clear on Saturday afternoon whether Cruz would just sign with the Royals, or if a sign-and-trade with the Diamondbacks would be part of the process.

We’ll keep an eye on this one.

Cubs To Sign Corey Koskie

According to Gordon Wittenmyer of the Chicago Sun-Times the Cubs agreed to sign Corey Koskie to a minor league deal. He’ll compete for a backup job with the Cubs this spring. Koskie, who has agreed to play for Canada in the WBC, has missed large chunks of time because of concussions.

The update comes from Wittenmyer’s Twitter account. Remember to follow MLBTR on Twitter, too.

In a press release, the Cubs say the deal is pending a physical. Koskie will report to Cubs camp after the WBC.

Cards Sign 17 Pre-Arb Players

MLB.com’s Matthew Leach reports that the Cardinals have agreed to contracts with 17 pre-arbitration players, including Skip Schumaker, Chris Perez and Brendan Ryan.