With the 2011 season in the rear view mirror, it's time to turn our attention to what should be a very interesting offseason. Here's a look back at the week that was..
- After an exhaustive search, the Angels decided to name Jerry Dipoto of the Diamondbacks as their next GM. Dipoto's deal is for three guaranteed years followed by two option years. The former Major League reliever was Arizona's senior VP of scouting and player development before landing the Halos job. Dipoto, 43, was the top name on MLBTR's list of GM candidates.
- Even though the two parties reached agreement last week, the Cubs and Red Sox didn't get to announce their new GMs until Tuesday. Theo Epstein will take over as the President of Baseball Operations for the Cubs while the Red Sox will promote Ben Cherington to the position of GM. Epstein will also bring Padres GM Jed Hoyer and assistant GM Jason McLeod aboard.
- The Yankees exercised their 2012 club options on second baseman Robinson Cano and outfielder Nick Swisher. Cano's option is for $14MM and Swisher's is for $10.25MM.
- New Red Sox GM Ben Cherington announced that righty John Lackey will undergo Tommy John surgery. The surgery causes a sixth-year option to vest for Lackey at the league minimum and reduces the average annual value of the contract from $16.5MM to $13.8MM, creating luxury tax savings.
- The Indians are expected to decline their $9MM 2012 option on center fielder Grady Sizemore while exercising their $7MM 2012 option on right-hander Fausto Carmona. Sizemore will earn a $500K buyout.
- The Mets intend to allow other clubs to set the market for Jose Reyes this offseason. Team officials have suggested that the Nats, Marlins, and Angels could bid heavily on the free agent shortstop this offseason.
- Players with two years and 146 days of Major League service time will qualify for Super Two status, MLBTR's Tim Dierkes learned. Top pitchers such as David Price, Rick Porcello, Daniel Bard, and Gio Gonzalez are among those in this year's crop of Super Twos.
- A hard slotting system for the amateur draft is no longer the main issue holding up a new collective bargaining agreement. Still being discussed, however, are caps on both overall draft spending and for international signings.
- While there has been plenty of movement when it comes to top execs in the AL East, that won't be the case in the Bronx. The Yankees have agreed to a three-year extension with GM Brian Cashman.
- The Cardinals officially exercised Adam Wainwright's options for 2012 and 2013 during this year's playoff run. Wainwright, who is working his way back from Tommy John surgery, will earn $21MM over the course of the next two seasons.
- The Blue Jays will discuss the possibility of signing David Ortiz this winter. The slugger knows manager John Farrell from his four seasons as the Red Sox's pitching coaching, and Ortiz is friends with Jose Bautista.
- This week, Jim Thome announced that he intends to keep playing. Next season would mark his 22nd in the Major Leagues.
- It was reported that Yankees GM Cashman would meet with CC Sabathia's agent this weekend in an attempt to complete a new contract extension before the ace left-hander can opt-out of his contract and become a free agent.
- Meanwhile, the Yankees are likely to pick up Nick Swisher's $10.25MM option for 2012 and stay out of the bidding for free agent outfielder Carlos Beltran.
- Based on comments from agent Dave Stewart, if the Dodgers attempt to lock Matt Kemp up to an extension this offseason, they shouldn't expect much of a hometown discount.
- Red Sox GM Ben Cherington publicly suggested the Red Sox are likely to exercise the Marco Scutaro's option. If the Red Sox don't pick up Scutaro's option, he can remain in Boston for $3MM instead of taking a $1.5MM buyout.
- The Phillies officially declined the 2012 options for right-handers Brad Lidge and Roy Oswalt. Lidge obtains a $1.5MM buyout instead of a $12.5MM salary and Oswalt obtains a $2MM buyout instead of a $16MM salary. The team hasn't ruled out a new deal with either player.
- The Twins declined their club option on reliever Joe Nathan. The option was worth $12.5MM, but the team will pay a $2MM buyout. Nathan's agent Dave Pepe says his client is excited about free agency and seeks a closer job in 2012.
- The Tigers announced that they have exercised their 2012 club option for Jose Valverde. The 33-year-old will earn $9MM next year instead of becoming a free agent.
- Ryan Dempster exercised his $14MM player option for 2012. Dempster hinted at wanting to remain in Chicago beyond next season a few weeks ago.
- The A's released Michael Wuertz to create 40-man roster space for right-hander Evan Scribner and outfielder Cedric Hunter, who were claimed off of waivers from the Padres.
- GM Ed Wade says that Houston is unlikely to be a major player in free agency this offseason.
- As expected, the Rockies and first baseman Jason Giambi each exercised their sides of a $1MM mutual option for 2012. However, the team will decline their end of Aaron Cook's $11MM mutual option.
- Reds players Fred Lewis and Chad Reineke elected free agency.
- The Astros signed right-handers Alberto Arias and Jose Valdez and left-hander Xavier Cedeno to minor league deals after they outrighted the players off of their 40-man roster earlier in October.
- MLBTR learned that the Astros claimed catcher Craig Tatum off of waivers from the Orioles. The 28-year-old has three partial seasons of catching experience at the Major League level and isn't yet eligible for arbitration.
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