Plenty of news to recap from this past week..
- The Reds weren't afraid to part with a great deal of talent in order to get their man in Mat Latos. The Reds acquired Latos from the Padres on Saturday for Yonder Alonso, Edinson Volquez, Yasmani Grandal, and Brad Boxberger. Latos won't be arbitration eligible until after the 2012 season and will team up with Johnny Cueto atop the Reds' rotation.
- The Phillies agreed to terms with Jimmy Rollins on a three-year, $33MM deal with a fourth year vesting option for an additional $11MM. The shorstop was initially seeking a five-year deal this winter but saw his market dwindle down as the offseason progressed.
- The Brewers agreed to a three-year deal with third baseman Aramis Ramirez. The $36MM contract includes a mutual option for 2015. With first baseman Prince Fielder expected to leave via free agency and MVP Ryan Braun facing a potential 50-game suspension for a banned substance, the Brewers were motivated to add a middle-of-the-order hitter.
- The deadline for teams to submit bids to the Nippon Ham Fighters for the exclusive rights to negotiate with Yu Darvish passed at 4pm central time Wednesday and the club has until December 20th to accept or reject the high bid. The Rangers and Blue Jays reportedly made sizable bids for the right-hander and Toronto's bid is said to be more than $40MM and possibly close to $50MM.
- The Twins agreed to sign Josh Willingham to a three-year, $21MM deal with a chance to earn $1MM through incentives. Willingham, is a modified Type-A free agent under the new collective bargaining agreement. The Twins will not have to surrender a draft pick to sign him, but the A's will still get two picks as compensation for the loss.
- Rockies GM Dan O'Dowd continued a busy offseason by signing Michael Cuddyer to a three-year, $31.5MM deal. After 11 seasons in Minnesota, the Excel Sports Management client has a career line of .272/.343/.451.
- The Yakult Swallows announced that the Brewers won the negotiating rights to Japanese outfielder Norichika Aoki with a $2.5MM bid. Aoki, 30 in January, is a three-time Central League batting champion and posted a career line of .336/.411/.472 in his first seven seasons in Japan. However, his numbers dipped to 292/.358/.360 in 2011.
- The Indians acquired outfielder Aaron Cunningham from the Padres for minor leaguer Cory Burns.
- At least one MLB general manager believes Prince Fielder and agent Scott Boras are looking for a ten-year deal that approaches the value of Albert Pujols' $254MM contract.
- The Cardinals did extensive background work on Carlos Beltran this week and they continue to maintain strong interest in the outfielder.
- The Rangers are discussing a five-year extension with left-handed starter Derek Holland and it may include a club option for a sixth year.
- There's good news and bad news regarding Yoenis Cespedes. The bad news is, we'll have to wait until January to see the outfielder become eligible for MLB free agency. The good news is that we have a new training video to enjoy.
- The Tigers are interested in free agent left-hander Joe Saunders. The Reds and Red Sox also have some interest in Saunders, who was non-tendered by the Diamondbacks earlier in the week.
- The Red Sox acquired reliever Mark Melancon from the Astros for shortstop Jed Lowrie and starter Kyle Weiland. It didn't take long for Red Sox GM Ben Cherington to replace Lowrie, as he turned around hours later and inked Nick Punto to a two-year deal.
- MLB teams non-tendered 29 players in total this week. We have a detailed explanation of what it means to non-tender a player and here's a link to our non-tender tracker.
- The Rockies have had discussions with Brad Lidge's representatives. Lidge's agent says that his client would be comfortable pitching in Colorado.
- MLB Player's Association executive director Michael Weiner says that if it were up to the owners, there would be an international draft in place. Weiner says that the players are open to it as well.
- The Orioles signed Japanese starter Tsuyoshi Wada to a two-year deal that includes a club option for 2014. The contract guarantees the free agent left-hander $8.15MM and the option is worth $5MM.
- The Mariners agreed to sign George Sherrill to a one-year pact worth $1.1MM plus incentives.
- The Red Sox had discussions with the Royals about the possibility of dealing for closer Joakim Soria.
- The Red Sox agreed to sign Kelly Shoppach to a one-year, $1.35MM deal with incentives that could raise the deal to $1.75MM.
- The Diamondbacks agreed to sign right-handed reliever Takashi Saito to a one-year, $1.75MM deal.
- The Cubs are in talks with 29-year-old left-hander Paul Maholm.
- Gio Gonzalez is about to get expensive through arbitration, yet the Athletics are drawing strong interest in the left-hander.
- The Rays acquired right-hander Burke Badenhop from the Marlins for minor league catcher Jake Jefferies,
- The Cardinals signed J.C. Romero to a one-year, $750K deal plus incentives.
- The Phillies signed left-hander Dontrelle Willis to pitch out of the bullpen.
- The Cubs and Dodgers have been in discussions with Coco Crisp to play left field, MLBTR learned.
- The Orioles and approximately ten other teams have expressed some level of interest in signing Luke Scott.
- The Blue Jays acquired outfielder Ben Francisco from the Phillies for minor league lefty Frank Gailey.
- The Cardinals agreed to a two-year, $3MM deal with utility infielder Skip Schumaker.
- The Giants agreed to re-sign Guillermo Mota to a deal worth $1MM.
- The Indians reached an agreement on a minor league contract with Felix Pie. He could earn up to $1MM with performance bonuses, and has the option to opt out of the deal before Opening Day.
- The Dodgers signed outfielder Tony Gwynn Jr. to a two-year deal.
- The Marlins signed Aaron Rowand to a minor league deal.
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