November 2010

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Rangers Sign Yoshinori Tateyama

The Rangers signed Japanese free agent righty Yoshinori Tateyama to a one-year Major League deal with two club option years, tweets Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports.  Tateyama, 35 next month, posted a 1.80 ERA, 9.7 K/9, 1.8 BB/9, and 0.49 HR/9 in 55 relief innings this year for the Nippon Ham Fighters.  He's primarily a fastball/slider pitcher, wrote NPB Tracker's Patrick Newman in October.  Baseball Prospectus' Kevin Goldstein tweets a more detailed scouting report.



Jamie Moyer Hopes To Pitch In 2012

Free agent lefty Jamie Moyer is having Tommy John surgery Wednesday, according to his foundation's Facebook page last night, and he's "cautiously optimistic" about a comeback.  Moyer would be 49 for the 2012 season, and his left elbow has over 4,000 innings and 57,000 pitches of mileage.  He's got 267 wins and a 4.24 ERA across 24 seasons for the Cubs, Rangers, Cardinals, Orioles, Red Sox, Mariners, and Phillies.


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Twins Sign Dominican Prospect Pimentel

The Twins signed 17-year-old shortstop Javier Pimentel to a $575K deal, according to the Dominican Prospect League.  In his July 2nd prospect rankings, Blake Bentley placed Pimentel in a tenth-place tie, calling him "a wide-shouldered shortstop with a solid bat and plenty of room for improvement."

In other news from the league, the Mets inked 17-year-old shortstop Alfredo Reyes for $200K.



Rockies Reach Agreement With Jorge De La Rosa

The free agent market for starting pitching continues to thin out quickly, as lefty Jorge de la Rosa has reached an agreement to re-sign with the Rockies.  De La Rosa agreed to a three-year, $32MM deal.  The pitcher maintained flexibility by securing a player option on the third year, while the Rockies added a fourth year club option at $11MM.  Today is a huge day for the Colorado franchise, as they're also nearing a six-year extension with shortstop Troy Tulowitzki.  Both players are represented by TWC Sports.

De La Rosa, 30 in April, posted a 4.22 ERA, 8.4 K/9, 4.1 BB/9, 1.1 HR/9, and 52.3% groundball rate in 121 2/3 innings for the Rockies this year.  He missed ten weeks with a torn tendon in his finger, but pitched acceptably upon his return.  De La Rosa was one of the few starters with upside on this year's free agent market - he throws quite hard for a southpaw and is relatively young.  There have been a few Oliver Perez comparisons, but Perez isn't a groundball pitcher.  De La Rosa's player option gives him the freedom to test the open market or renegotiate after the 2012 season in the event he takes it to the next level and racks up a few 200 inning, 200 strikeout type seasons.  He's yet to reach either of those plateaus in his career.

De La Rosa set out seeking a four or five-year deal in free agency, but ultimately stayed where he's most comfortable.  The Nationals and Pirates were among his other suitors.  Since De La Rosa was a Type A free agent who turned down arbitration, the Rockies would have received two draft picks if he'd signed elsewhere.

Now that De La Rosa, Ted Lilly, Hiroki Kuroda, Javier Vazquez, Jon Garland and Jake Westbrook have signed deals, there's not much left on the starting pitching market other than Cliff Lee and Carl Pavano. As I explained yesterday, many teams could be looking to add starters.

Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports first reported the De La Rosa deal was close, and Troy E. Renck of the Denver Post added details.



Free Agent Arbitration Decisions Due Today

Today marks the deadline for the 35 free agents offered arbitration to decide whether or not to accept.  All of the decisions will be chronicled on the front page of MLBTR as well as in our handy free agent arbitration offer tracker.  Of the 35 offered, four unsigned players - Trevor Hoffman, Kevin Correia, Octavio Dotel, and Kevin Gregg, have already chosen to decline.  Another eight have new contract agreements: Jorge De La Rosa, Juan Uribe, Joaquin Benoit, John Buck, Jon Garland, Victor Martinez, Yorvit Torrealba, and Javier Vazquez.

That leaves 23 decisions for today:

Type A (12 players)

Grant Balfour
Adrian Beltre - lock to decline
Carl Crawford - lock to decline
Scott Downs - likely to decline
Adam Dunn - likely to decline
Frank Francisco - likely to accept
Jason Frasor
Paul Konerko
Cliff Lee - lock to decline
Carl Pavano - expected to decline
Rafael Soriano - lock to decline
Jayson Werth - lock to decline

Type B (11 players)

Randy Choate
Jesse Crain - expected to decline
Pedro Feliciano
Brad Hawpe
Aaron Heilman - may be leaning toward declining
Orlando Hudson - expected to decline
Adam LaRoche
Felipe Lopez
Miguel Olivo
J.J. Putz - likely to decline
Chad Qualls

As you can see, there about about a dozen decisions in question.  Type A relievers Francisco, Balfour, and Frasor have good cases for accepting, as they'll otherwise be saddled with the draft pick cost.  Konerko accepting would mean a one-year deal at a strong salary, something he may find appealing.

It's possible some of the Type Bs have handshake agreements to decline, as Vazquez and Hoffman did.  The only reason for a Type B to accept would be if they expect no multiyear offers and feel that they'd earn more in 2011 through arbitration than the open market.  Hawpe, LaRoche, and Qualls have to consider that route.


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Odds & Ends: Hampton, Prince, Berkman, Miner

Links on an intensely busy Monday for the Rockies...



Rockies Rumors: Stults, Floyd, Delcarmen

This will probably go down as the busiest hot stove day of the year for the Rockies. Not only are they nearing a nine-figure extension with their franchise shortstop, they're close to locking up their number two starter. That's not it, either...

  • The Rockies added left-hander Eric Stults and catcher Matt Pagnozzi today, according to Troy Renck of the Denver Post. Stults, 30, spent the 2010 season in Japan, but started 24 games for the Dodgers from 2006-09. He has a 4.84 ERA with 6.1 K/9 and 3.9 BB/9 in 145 big league innings. 
  • Last year the 28-year-old Pagnozzi appeared in 15 games for the Cardinals, the same team his uncle Tom spent over a decade on.
  • Before it became apparent that the Rockies would be bringing Jorge de la Rosa back, Renck suggested that the Rockies had the resources to sign Carl Pavano.
  • Pavano and De La Rosa aren't cheap, but neither are the Rockies' potential trade targets. The White Sox would want Dexter Fowler and Ian Stewart for Gavin Floyd, according to Tracy Ringolsby of Inside the Rockies (on Twitter).
  • The Rockies are now looking to add a reliever and a right-handed bat, according to Renck (on Twitter).
  • The Rockies are expected to non-tender Manny Delcarmen, according to Renck (on Twitter). The 28-year-old pitched to a 6.48 ERA in 8 1/3 innings after the Rockies acquired him from Boston. Like former Rockie and current Red Sox Taylor Buchholz, Delcarmen was a valuable big league reliever in 2008, but has struggled since.



Catching Rumors: Mets, Rockies, Martin

Victor Martinez, John Buck and, now, Yorvit Torrealba have agreed to deals with new teams. Here's the latest on the market for backstops:

  • The Rockies talked to Torrealba's agent, but only had interest in a one-year deal, according to Troy Renck of the Denver Post (on Twitter).
  • The Mets also had interest in Torrealba, according to Newsday's Ken Davidoff (on Twitter).
  • Jon Heyman of SI.com says (on Twitter) that the White Sox would happily bring A.J. Pierzynski back. They didn't offer him arbitration because they didn't want to pay him more than $6.75MM in 2011.
  • Matt Colleran, the agent for Russell Martin, told Dylan Hernandez of the LA Times that the sides have exchanged ideas about reaching a deal before Thursday's non-tender deadline instead of going to arbitraiton. The Dodgers seem reluctant to give the non-tender candidate a significant raise after a disappointing season that Martin finished on the disabled list. Colleran told MLBTR last week that Martin's late-season hip injury did not damage his labrum.



Rockies, Tulowitzki Nearing Extension

TUESDAY, 1:21pm: Tulowitzki will be guaranteed $157.75MM from 2011-20, tweets ESPN's Buster OlneyHere's the salary breakdown.

MONDAY, 9:22pm: The Rockies and Troy Tulowitzki are nearing a six-year extension that will keep the shortstop in Denver through 2020 and pay him $119MM. Tulowitzki will be approaching his 36th birthday by the time the extension expires.

Tulowitzki is midway through the six-year, $31MM extension he signed before the 2008 season. He'll earn $38.75MM through 2014 on that deal once the Rockies exercise his 2014 option for $15MM. He'll also earn $119MM for the 2015-2020 seasons.

Rockies GM Dan O'Dowd and Tulowitzki's representatives at TWC Sports are also nearing a multideal for another Rockie, Jorge de la Rosa

Tulowitzki won a Gold Glove and a Silver Slugger in 2010, finishing fifth in MVP voting for the second consecutive season. The 26-year-old also made his first All-Star team and, even though he missed a month with a left wrist fracture, finished the season with fantastic numbers. He posted a .315/.381/.568 line and hit 27 homers in 529 plate appearances.

Tulo's deal will become one of the most lucrative contracts in Rockies franchise history. Todd Helton ($141.5MM over nine years, 2001) and Mike Hampton ($121MM over eight years, 2000) also signed nine-figure deals with the Rockies.  Back in March, O'Dowd compared Tulowitzki to Derek Jeter in a conversation with Tyler Kepner of the New York Times.  Interestingly, the Rockies are locking up Tulo at the same time the Yankees' negotiations with Jeter have become surprisingly contentious.

ESPN.com's Keith Law first reported that the sides were nearing a deal, ESPN.com's Buster Olney confirmed that the sides were closing in on one and Jon Heyman of SI.com, Thomas Harding of MLB.com, Troy Renck of the Denver Post and Tracy Ringolsby of FOX Sports also reported on the story via Twitter.

Tim Dierkes contributed to this post.



Mets Interested In Chris Young

9:10pm: The Mets may have interest in Young, but they aren't nearing a deal with him, according to Andy Martino of the New York Daily News.  Young told CBS Sports' Scott Miller he's talking to the Mets and seven or eight other teams, including the Padres.

6:24pm: The Mets are closing in on a deal with right-hander Chris Young, ESPN.com's Buster Olney hears (on Twitter). Young has been offered multiple incentive-laden one-year deals, according to Yahoo's Jeff Passan (on Twitter). The signing would be Sandy Alderson's first major deal as Mets GM and it would reunite him with a player he had in San Diego as the Padres' CEO. 

Johan Santana will probably miss the beginning of the season, so the Mets were looking to add depth behind Mike Pelfrey, Jon Niese and R.A. Dickey.

Young battled through shoulder issues in 2010 and he appeared in just four games. He allowed only two earned runs and 11 walks in 20 innings for the Padres, who turned down the 31-year-old's option earlier in the offseason. Young has always been hard to hit, but walks have been a problem for him throughout his seven-year career.









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