Thursday's deadline for teams to tender contracts to arbitration eligible players is approaching quickly. Here's the latest on a pair of non-tender candidates:
- The Tigers are expected to tender Joel Zumaya a contract and may reach a deal with the reliever before long, according to MLB.com's Jason Beck. Zumaya told Beck that his agents have started discussing a contract with the Tigers. The non-tender candidate earned $915K in 2010 and, assuming the Tigers don't cut him loose this week, he will hit free agency after the 2011 season.
- Sean Green's agent tells Adam Rubin of ESPNNewYork that he's optimistic the 31-year-old will be tendered a contract this week (Twitter link). Green missed most of the season because of a ribcage injury, but logged over 200 innings out of the 'pen from 2007-09.
- Click here for an explanation of what it means to non-tender a player.
10:55pm: The Giants are not in on Bartlett, according to Andrew Baggarly of the San Jose Mercury News (on Twitter).
10:00pm: The Giants and Cardinals both added infielders today, but haven't completely ruled out acquiring Bartlett, according to Jon Heyman of SI.com (on Twitter). Bartlett, a long shot for the Giants, would be insurance in case Pablo Sandoval's struggles continue.
5:00pm: The Giants are "wide open" on their options at short, according to ESPN.com's Jerry Crasnick (on Twitter). They've considered Bartlett, Miguel Tejada, Orlando Cabrera and Marco Scutaro. Meanwhile, an Orioles source tells Dan Connolly of the Baltimore Sun that the Rays and O's aren't moving closer to a deal involving Bartlett.
TUESDAY, 3:45pm: The Giants have become one of the most serious suitors for Bartlett, according to Rosenthal and Morosi.
MONDAY, 5:40pm: The Rays are moving closer to trading Jason Bartlett, according to Ken Rosenthal and Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports. The reporters’ sources say the Dodgers’ deal with Juan Uribe accelerated trade talks. The Cardinals, Padres, Giants, Orioles and Pirates have all expressed interest in Bartlett, who is arbitration eligible for the third and final time this offseason.
The Rays appear to be looking for bullpen help in any trade involving Bartlett. If they do trade the 31-year-old, they’ll likely replace him with Reid Brignac, who played 50 games at short in 2010 and posted a higher OPS than Bartlett (.692 vs. .675).
Bartlett slumped to .254/.324/.350 in 2010 after an All-Star season in 2009, but his career line (.281/.345/.385) suggests he's capable of more offense. He earned $4MM in 2010 and will likely earn over $5MM through arbitration in 2011.
23 American League free agents were offered arbitration on November 23rd. Four of those - Joaquin Benoit, John Buck, Victor Martinez, and Javier Vazquez - already have new contract agreements. Current free agent Kevin Gregg has chosen to decline. The remaining 18 AL free agents offered arbitration will have their decisions noted here and in our tracker.
- Cliff Lee (A) declined the Rangers' offer, as expected.
- Miguel Olivo will decline the Blue Jays' offer, according to Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports (on Twitter). Jason Frasor (A) will accept the team's offer, according to Mike Wilner of the FAN 590. Scott Downs (A) will decline the Blue Jays' offer, reports Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports. Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reported earlier that Jason Frasor would either sign a multiyear deal or accept arb (Twitter link).
- Adrian Beltre will decline arbitration from the Red Sox, according to Jon Heyman of SI.com (on Twitter). Felipe Lopez (B) will also decline an offer of arbitration, reports WEEI's Rob Bradford.
- Carl Pavano (A) has officially turned down arbitration, according to Newsday's Ken Davidoff (on Twitter). Orlando Hudson (B) will decline the Twins' offer of arbitration, tweets SI's Jon Heyman. Joe Christensen of the Minneapolis Star-Tribune tweets of "strong indications" Jesse Crain (B) will also decline.
- A source tells Joe Cowley of the Chicago Sun-Times that Paul Konerko (A) will decline arbitration (Twitter link). J.J. Putz (B) declined arbitration from the White Sox, according to MLB.com's Scott Merkin (on Twitter).
- Chad Qualls (B) and Carl Crawford (A) have declined arbitration, according to Marc Topkin of the St. Petersburg Times (on Twitter). Grant Balfour (A) turned down arbitration, according to Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports (on Twitter). As anticipated, Randy Choate (B) declined the Rays' offer, according to Newsday's Ken Davidoff. ESPN's Buster Olney predicted the decision earlier today. Rafael Soriano (A) will decline the Rays' arbitration offer, tweets SI's Jon Heyman. Brad Hawpe (B) will decline the Rays' offer as well, tweets SI's Jon Heyman.
- Frank Francisco (A) will accept the Rangers' offer, according to MLB.com's T.R. Sullivan.
12 National League free agents were offered arbitration on November 23rd. Four of those - Jorge de la Rosa, Jon Garland, Yorvit Torrealba, and Juan Uribe - have new contract agreements. Another three - Kevin Correia, Octavio Dotel, and Trevor Hoffman - have already decided to decline. The remaining five NL free agents offered arbitration will have their decisions noted here and in our tracker.
- Jayson Werth (A) will decline the Phillies' offer.
- Adam LaRoche (B) appears to have declined arbitration from the Diamondbacks. Aaron Heilman (B) will decline arbitration, tweets Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports. Heilman is drawing interest in his preferred role as a starter, his agent Mark Rodgers explained to Nick Piecoro of the Arizona Republic yesterday.
- Adam Dunn (A) will decline arbitration from the Nationals, according to Jon Heyman of SI.com (on Twitter).
- Pedro Feliciano (B) has declined arbitration from the Mets, tweets Ken Davidoff of Newsday.
- The Giants contacted Derek Jeter's agent, according to the Wall Street Journal, but Brian Sabean explained to Henry Schulman of the San Francisco Chronicle that team's discussions with Casey Close revolved around another client, Mike Fontenot. (Twitter link). Fontenot, a non-tender candidate, would earn over $1MM next winter if the Giants tender him a contract.
- Before the Dodgers signed former Giant Juan Uribe, San Francisco offered the infielder a three-year deal worth $20MM, according to Schulman (on Twitter). That's $1MM less than the Dodgers offered and $5MM less than Uribe was asking for.
- The Giants weren't the only NL West team to lose an infielder to a division rival this week. The Padres spoke to Miguel Tejada's agent today, but weren't willing and/or able to match the Giants' $6.5MM offer, according to Dan Hayes of the North County Times (on Twitter).
Not only are the Dodgers interested in Johnny Damon and a number of catchers, they're attempting to sign one or two setup men, according to ESPN.com's Jayson Stark. Jesse Crain, Jason Frasor and Matt Guerrier are high on their shopping list.
Crain, a Type B free agent, declined arbitration from the Twins, but he won't cost the Dodgers or any other team a draft pick. Since Guerrier was not offered arbitration, he won't cost a top draft pick, either. Frasor, a former Dodger farmhand, would have cost a top pick, but he accepted arbitration from the Blue Jays.
Dodgers GM Ned Colletti has locked up Ted Lilly, Hiroki Kuroda, Jon Garland, Juan Uribe, Jay Gibbons and Dana Eveland since the regular season ended. Los Angeles also acquired Blake Hawksworth for Ryan Theriot today.
When we think of extension candidates, we think of players like Albert Pujols or Clayton Kershaw - franchise players nearing free agency or young players establishing themselves as big league stars. Players like Troy Tulowitzki, who already have extensions, don't usually come to mind, but that didn't stop the Rockies from extending Tulo with a $119MM deal that will keep him in Denver through the 2020 season. Here are some reactions to the extension from around the web:
- ESPN.com's Keith Law writes that the contract is excessive and risky, even though Tulowitzki is "among the ten most valuable position players in baseball."
- Dave Cameron of FanGraphs says this "seems like a deal [the Rockies] should have sat on for another year at least."
- Peter Abraham of the Boston Globe points out that this deal makes Boston's Dustin Pedroia extension look pretty good. Pedroia is under team control through 2015 on a contract that will pay him $44.5MM at most for 2011-15.
- Yahoo's Jeff Passan argues that argues that the deal is bad for Tulowitzki and "ill-conceived and unconscionable" for the Rockies.
- I respectfully disagree with Passan on Tulowitzki, who seems to like playing for the Rockies. It seems doubtful that Tulo will regret signing an extension that pays him $20MM per season.
- The Rockies are interested in Troy Glaus, according to Troy Renck of the Denver Post (on Twitter). Glaus could be a right-handed version of Jason Giambi, who wasn't a natural complement to Todd Helton since both bat from the left side.
- The Rockies are still "in the mix" for David Bush, but probably not for Aaron Harang, according to Renck (on Twitter). Both pitchers appeared on Renck's recent list of pitching targets for the Rockies.
- Renck reminds us that Jorge Cantu, Jose Lopez and Kevin Kouzmanoff are options for the team (Twitter link). Only Cantu is a free agent; Kouzmanoff and Lopez are non-tender candidates.
- Rockies GM Dan O'Dowd says he has told Carlos Gonzalez and Ubaldo Jimenez that he wants to lock them up long-term, according to Jim Armstrong of the Denver Post. O'Dowd has discussed a long-term deal with Gonzalez's agent, Scott Boras, but he doesn't have to worry about locking Jimenez up. The right-hander is under team control through 2014.
- ESPN.com's Buster Olney hears (on Twitter) that De La Rosa turned down multiple offers for more money to re-sign in Colorado.
Exactly ten years ago, the Orix Blue Wave lost a 27-year-old outfielder to the Seattle Mariners. A decade later, Ichiro Suzuki has ten Gold Gloves and 2244 big league hits to his name. Here are today's links...
- Derek Jeter is meeting with agent Casey Close, according to Newsday's Ken Davidoff (on Twitter). They met with the Yankees in Tampa today, according to Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports.
- An executive interested in Lance Berkman expects that it would take a one-year deal worth $7MM to sign the switch-hitter, according to Yahoo’s Jeff Passan.
- Passan reports that the A’s continue to talk with right-hander Hisashi Iwakuma, though talks appeared to sour earlier in the month.
- The Nationals are still discussing potential deals with Carl Pavano, according to Adam Kilgore of the Washington Post (on Twitter).
- D'Backs GM Kevin Towers told MLB.com's Steve Gilbert that he'll know by the end of next week's winter meetings whether it makes sense to trade Justin Upton.
- A.J. Pierzynski said on The Waddle & Silvy Show on ESPN 1000 that he's talking to the White Sox and some other teams about potential deals (via ESPNChicago). The White Sox are open to bringing the catcher back, though they didn't offer him arbitration last week.
- Maury Brown of the Biz of Baseball looks back at some record salary arbitration cases from over the years. For instance, Tim Lincecum's demand for a $13MM salary last year was the most any first-time eligible pitcher has ever asked for.
- The Rangers have signed a European player for the first time in franchise history. They agreed to a minor league deal with 18-year-old Dutch middle infielder Nick Urbanus, according to the Newberg Report.
- The agent for Brandon Webb told Dejan Kovacevic of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette that the former Cy Young Award winner would have interest in pitching for the Pirates. About six teams are interested in Webb, including Pittsburgh.
Jason Frasor is discussing potential contracts with three teams and may sign a multiyear deal tonight. But if he doesn't sign a multi-year contract by tonight at midnight EDT, the Type A free agent will accept the Blue Jays' offer of arbitration, according to Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports (on Twitter).
If a team other than Toronto signs Frasor tonight, they'll surrender a top pick in the 2011 draft. The Blue Jays would obtain that draft choice and a supplementary first round pick for losing Frasor to another club. Frasor posted a 3.68 ERA with 9.2 K/9 and 3.8 BB/9 after a slow start last year, so he'd be a welcome addition to just about any big league bullpen. But Type A status figures to limit for Frasor, Frank Francisco and Grant Balfour to an extent.