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Condolences to the family and friends of Lee MacPhail, who passed away at the age of 95 today. MacPhail was a long-time executive who worked with the Yankees and Orioles in addition to serving as Commissioner William Eckert's chief aid. He also served as president of the American League and was the oldest living Hall of Famer.
Here is the latest from around the league as Friday turns into Saturday…
- MLB.com's Bill Ladson hears that Adam LaRoche hasn't heard from the Nationals in a few days, but he's still interested in returning to the team (Twitter link). LaRoche turned down Washington's qualifying offer today.
- The Orioles are still talking to Nate McLouth, reports Dan Connolly of The Baltimore Sun (on Twitter). The team is optimistic a deal will get done, but nothing is imminent.
- The Mets have more payroll flexibility than expected, but GM Sandy Alderson told Mike Puma of the New York Post that he's still "realistic" about the players they can acquire (Twitter links). Alderson referenced the "bottom end" of the free agent market.
- "We are not shopping him," said Diamondbacks president Derrick Hall to MLB.com's Jesse Sanchez when asked about the Trevor Bauer trade rumors. "Again, if they ask, [GM Kevin Towers'] response is 'Hey, we are willing to listen,' and that's what's happened here."
- Earlier today we heard that the Tigers made a contract offer to Jeremy Bonderman, but the right-hander told MLB.com's Jason Beck that it's news to him (Twitter links). Bonderman cautioned that he usually lets his agent handle contract matters.
- MLBTR's Ben Nicholson-Smith reports (on Twitter) that outfielder Nick Weglarz is drawing interest as a free agent thanks to his left-handed bat. The 24-year-old hit .239/.349/.413 with 14 homers in 436 plate appearances for the Indians' Double-A affiliate last year.
The 4pm CST deadline for players to accept qualifying offers has come and gone and none of the eight players in play opted to return to their respective clubs for a $13.3MM salary in 2013. That means that Nick Swisher, Hiroki Kuroda, Rafael Soriano, B.J. Upton, Adam LaRoche, Michael Bourn, Josh Hamilton, and Kyle Lohse will net their teams a compensatory pick if they sign elsewhere. Here's the latest from around baseball..
- The Giants are confident that they will be re-signing Jeremy Affeldt and the club believes that they will work out a three-year deal, tweets Bob Nightengale of USA Today. GM Brian Sabean indicated yesterday that he is optimistic about being about to keep Affeldt, Angel Pagan, and Marco Scutaro.
- Brewers General Manager Doug Melvin told Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel (via Twitter) that he has not approached Corey Hart's agent about an extension and doesn't have immediate plans to do so. A report earlier today suggested that the Brewers and Hart were discussing a deal to keep him beyond 2013. The first baseman/right fielder is set to earn $10MM next season.
- The Tigers aren't interested in Soriano and plan to stay in-house to find their closer, tweets Danny Knobler of CBSSports.com. Right-hander Bruce Rondon, 21, will get a chance at the job.
Full Story | Comments | Categories: Adam LaRoche | Atlanta Braves | B.J. Upton | Corey Hart | Detroit Tigers | Hiroki Kuroda | Jeremy Affeldt | Josh Hamilton | Kyle Lohse | Michael Bourn | Milwaukee Brewers | New York Yankees | Nick Swisher | Rafael Soriano | San Francisco Giants | St. Louis Cardinals | Tampa Bay Rays | Texas Rangers | Washington Nationals
Earlier today, Tim Dierkes profiled the Nationals in the latest installment of the Arbitration Eligibles series. Here’s more on the Nats..
- The Nationals have yet to reach agreement on a new deal with manager Davey Johnson for 2013 and beyond, but General Manager Mike Rizzo says he is confident about getting a deal done, tweets Adam Kilgore of the Washington Post.
- Johnson told MLB.com’s Bill Ladson that he is also confident that an agreement will be reached and that a deal could be struck as early as Thursday. “There isn’t really any rush for me,” Johnson said. “I’m not worried about it. I assume everything is going to worked out. I don’t feel like it’s an emergency. I feel like I’m still the manager.“
- Rizzo said the Nats aren’t far down the road on anything when it comes to the starting pitching market, Amanda Comak of the Washington Times tweets. Right-hander Edwin Jackson has said that he would like to return to Washington but will also listen to offers from other clubs.
- Meanwhile, Rizzo was honest when asked about the club’s decision not to extend Jackson a qualifying offer, explaining that he liked some free agent options better and didn’t want to get locked in, Kilgore tweets.
- The Nationals have been in contact with Adam LaRoche‘s agents and continue to talk, tweets Comak.
- Ladson also notes that the Nationals re-signed catcher Carlos Maldonado to a minor league contract and signed outfielder Ray Kruml to a minor league deal. Maldonado elected free agency last month.
The Red Sox and Rangers are pursuing free agent Adam LaRoche, major league sources tell Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports. The first baseman has garnered enough interest that he is expected to reject the Nationals' one-year, $13.3MM qualifying offer by Friday's deadline.
Morosi writes that the Rangers' interest in the 33-year-old is yet another sign that Texas is preparing for life without Josh Hamilton in 2013 and beyond. The Red Sox, meanwhile, have been linked to LaRoche for a good while as they look to fill their void at first base.
Some links pertaining to the reigning National League East champions…
- The Nats and manager Davey Johnson continue to work toward a new contract for 2013, writes Adam Kilgore of the Washington Post. Johnson is under contract through 2014 as a special advisor to the team, and his contract language and salary need to be reworked if he is to manage once again.
- Johnson tells Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports that he wants to manage again in 2013, and GM Mike Rizzo says he wants Johnson back in the position as well.
- The team is not close to a new contract with Adam LaRoche, writes MLB.com's Bill Ladson. There is still mutual interest from both parties. The Nats made a qualifying offer to LaRoche, and he has until Friday to decline it. That outcome, of course, is all but a foregone conclusion. If the team fails to sign LaRoche, Michael Morse will likely man the position next season.
- In that same piece, Ladson also notes that the team views Ian Desmond, Danny Espinosa and Steve Lombardozzi all as starting middle infielders. That evidence is supported by the fact that Ladson's source tells him the team is still in pursuit of a backup middle infielder despite the trio's presence. It seems implied that one of the three could be on the trading block this offseason, though that's just my speculation.
- Lastly in his piece, Ladson notes that the Nats re-signed minor league outfielders Chris Rahl and Jimmy Van Ostrand to minor league contracts. Rahl, 28, hit .291/.339/.467 in 92 games for Double-A Harrisburg. Van Ostrand, 27, batted .310/.370/.465 in 80 games for Harrisburg after being picked up from the independent league Sugar Land Skeeters.
Here's the latest from FOXSports.com's Ken Rosenthal as he dissects the buzz and rumors currently circulating around the league…
- The addition of two former members from the Rays organization has nothing to do with a potential pursuit of center fielder B.J. Upton, says Phillies GM Ruben Amaro Jr.
- While some teams may prefer Upton over Michael Bourn thanks to his age (nearly two years younger) and the ability to hit for power, Rosenthal points out that Bourn's value comes from being a well-rounded player.
- Nationals first baseman Adam LaRoche's decision regarding his free agency may greatly impact Washington's course of action this offseason, especially with left fielder Michael Morse.
- The notion that the Dodgers may consider moving Andre Ethier just months after signing him to a five-year, $85MM contract simply wouldn't be the best move for Los Angeles heading into 2013, opines Rosenthal.
- Look for the Yankees to re-sign Russell Martin, but the Bombers have had their eye on free agent David Ross, who has served as Brian McCann's backup with the Braves since 2009.
- The Cardinals and second baseman Skip Schumaker may be parting ways this offseason as the veteran no longer has a defined role with the club thanks to the emergence of young talent.
If LaRoche accepts, he’ll earn $13.3MM on a one-year deal in 2013. If he declines, he’ll be linked to draft pick compensation in free agency — his new team will have to surrender a top selection to sign him. LaRoche ranks 15th on MLBTR’s list of top 50 free agents.
Adam LaRoche and Sean Burnett declined their mutual options and are now free agents, Adam Kilgore of the Washington Post reports. The Nationals exercised their side of the $10MM mutual option on LaRoche's contract and the $3.5MM mutual option on Burnett's contract.
Both LaRoche and Burnett have said they'd like to stay in Washington. The Nationals retain exclusive negotiating rights for all of their free agents, including LaRoche and Burnett, until Saturday morning. Neither player gets a contract buyout in this case (it would have been $1MM for LaRoche and $250K for Burnett if the Nationals had declined).
LaRoche and the Nationals established some parameters for an extension last week, but haven't been in recent contact about a potential deal. Burnett hits the market as a candidate for a multiyear deal at a time that teams such as the Dodgers and Cardinals figure to seek left-handed relief.
The latest on the Nationals…
- Stephen Strasburg hasn't yet qualified for arbitration, but that won't prevent him from earning a salary comparable to that of an accomplished first time eligible starter. Strasburg will earn $3.9MM in 2013, according to Adam Kilgore of the Washington Post. The right-hander signed a record contract after the Nationals selected him first overall in 2009.
- Adam LaRoche hasn’t been in contact with the Nationals about a possible contract extension in about a week, the free agent first baseman told Bill Ladson of MLB.com (Twitter link). Kilgore reported last week that the sides has established some parameters for a new deal.
Congratulations to Miguel Cabrera, who was named the Sporting News MLB Player of the Year. Here are some more links from around MLB on an off day for Cabrera's Tigers and the NL Champion Giants…
- The Twins will decline Scott Baker's $9.25MM option for 2013, but he remains a "high priority" for the team, Darren Wolfson of 1500ESPN reports. Baker's agent has been speaking regularly with the Twins and the sides could agree to an incentive-laden one or two-year deal.
- The Twins haven't yet called to inquire about minor league free agent Aaron Laffey, according to Wolfson.
- Teams are standing by to see if the Angels make Torii Hunter a one-year qualifying offer, Bob Nightengale of USA Today reports (Twitter link). If the Angels make Hunter a qualifying offer and he declines, other teams will have to surrender a draft pick to sign the outfielder. Otherwise, he'll be coveted as a free agent. Alden Gonzalez of MLB.com suggested today that the Angels won't extend Hunter a qualifying offer (Twitter link).
- Dodgers GM Ned Colletti said he will probably think about a long-term contract for Clayton Kershaw this coming offseason, Dylan Hernandez of the LA Times reports (on Twitter). The left-hander's under contract for 2013 and under team control as an arbitration eligible player through 2014.
- The Nationals and Adam LaRoche have made “some progress” toward a new contract, the first baseman told Adam Kilgore of the Washington Post. There’s nothing definitive at this stage, but the sides have started to establish parameters for a possible new deal.