Alfredo Amezaga Rumors

Rockies Sign Alfredo Amezaga

7:29pm: Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports tweets that Amezaga will earn $750K if he makes the team with another $350K available in incentives. 

4:13pm: The Rockies announced that they signed Alfredo Amezaga to a minor league contract and invited him to Spring Training (Twitter link). 

Amezaga, 33, barely played in 2009 and missed the 2010 season after undergoing microfracture knee surgery. He appeared in 125 games at four positions for the 2008 Marlins, hitting .264/.312/.367. He has big league experience at every position but pitcher and catcher.

The Rockies were reportedly considering Amezaga, Aaron Miles or Cristian Guzman for a bench role. The team can now look to add starting pitching depth and veteran left-handed relief.


Rockies Looking To Add Pieces

The Rockies are considering available free agents as they look to add rotation depth, left-handed relief and infield help, according to Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports. The Rockies would like to add a veteran starter and David Bush and Rodrigo Lopez are among the team’s targets.

The team would also like to sign a left-handed reliever to a minor league deal. Matt Reynolds (21 career appearances) and Franklin Morales (88 career appearances) are the team's current options, so they’re eyeing veteran help. Former Rockie Joe Beimel does not appear to be an option, according to the Denver Post.

Alfredo Amezaga, Cristian Guzman and Aaron Miles are among the backup infielders the club is considering. The Rockies appear to prefer Amezaga to Miles, according to Troy Renck of the Denver Post. The Rockies still have interest in a higher profile infielder: Michael Young. Young will earn $16MM in each of the next three seasons and the Rangers say they expect him to stay in Texas. 

Rangers assistant GM Thad Levine told  Mike Ferrin and Morgan Ensberg on MLB Network Radio that  “we’re looking at [Young] as our primary DH but also a guy who’s going to play all over the infield.” The team expects Young to get plenty of playing time, even though they just acquired former division rival Mike Napoli.

The Rockies also signed veteran catcher Chad Moeller to a minor league deal, according to Matt Eddy of Baseball America.


Pirates Rumors: Maholm, Hall, Doumit, Colon

The Pirates appear to have added Kevin Correia, Matt Diaz, and possibly Scott Olsen at the Winter Meetings, and they're not done.  They've made an offer to Kevin Gregg and have also been linked to Aaron Heilman, Jeremy Accardo, Justin Duchscherer, and Brendan Ryan.  The latest:

  • The Pirates are offering Paul Maholm in potential trades, according to Dejan Kovacevic of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Twitter link).
  • The Rockies aren't interested in Doumit, according to Troy Renck of the Denver Post (Twitter link).
  • Nick Cafardo implies that the Pirates have an offer out to Bill Hall and he could become their regular second baseman, which would be surprising to me given Neil Walker's presence. MLBTR has learned that Hall would not displace Walker at second if the Pirates sign him.
  • The Pirates are trying hard to trade Ryan Doumit and are willing to eat salary, reports MLB.com's Jenifer Langosch.
  • The Pirates are currently scouting Bartolo Colon in the Dominican Republic, reports Dejan Kovacevic of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.  For more on Colon, check out Nick Collias' November article.
  • Kovacevic says the Pirates expressed interest in utility man Alfredo Amezaga, but it's "pretty preliminary."  Amezaga is trying to come back from microfracture knee surgery performed in July of last year.  He appeared in one minor league game in 2010.


Dodgers Sign Alfredo Amezaga

The Dodgers officially signed Alfredo Amezaga to a minor league deal worth $650K with another $800K in incentives today.  The 32-year-old worked out for four teams this week and attracted interest from ten-plus clubs earlier in the winter. Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports first tweeted the agreement last night.

Amezaga appeared in just 27 games last season, hitting .217/.267/.261 as he struggled with knee problems. Amezaga distinguishes himself from other powerless hitters with his versatility. He has major league experience at all four infield positions and all three outfield positions. Most of his experience comes in center field and at shortstop; he grades well in limited samples at both positions, according to UZR/150.

The Dodgers have been adding steadily to their bench this offseason. They signed Ronnie Belliard and Jamey Carroll before adding Reed Johnson and Amezaga this week.


Amezaga Worked Out For Four Teams

Super-utility man Alfredo Amezaga worked out for four teams last week, reports Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports.  He had microfracture knee surgery in July, but has been on a conservative rehab program.  The Marlins non-tendered him after the season.

Amezaga's agent has suggested his client has at least ten suitors.  A return to the Marlins hasn't been ruled out, with the Dodgers, Cubs, and Reds also linked at various points.


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Reds Have Interest In Cabrera, Amezaga

The Reds have some interest in free agents Orlando Cabrera and Alfredo Amezaga, reports John Fay of The Cincinnati Enquirer. The problem is that the team doesn't have much wiggle room financially.

“We’ve kicked it around a little bit,” (GM Walt) Jocketty said (of Cabrera). “We’re not sure it’s the right fit for us. And I don’t know if financially we’re in position to do it.”

“We’ve looked it a little bit,” Jocketty said (of Amezaga). “But he’s been hurt a lot. We have not talked to his agent at this point.”

The Nationals also expressed some interest in Cabrera, but we haven't heard about much interest in Amezaga. Jocketty also added that they have not talked to either Jermaine Dye or Gary Sheffield


Baseball Blogs Weigh In: Bay, Holliday, Front Offices

On this date nine years ago, the A's, Royals, and Devil Rays pulled off a three-team trade that included seven big leaguers. Oakland acquired Johnny Damon, Mark Ellis, and the late Cory Lidle while Kansas City received Angel Berroa, A.J. Hinch, and Roberto Hernandez. Tampa Bay picked up just Ben Grieve. Even though Berroa went on to win the Rookie of the Year Award in 2003, Billy Beane's club walked away as the clear winner of this blockbuster.

Let's take a look at what's being written around the baseball blogosphere as Spring Training inches closer…

  • Fenway Nation thinks the Red Sox made a mistake by not re-signing Jason Bay, and wants to see the club atone for it by trading for Adrian Gonzalez.
  • Simon On Sports interviewed a blogger from each team about their squad's offseason.
  • At Home Plate says the Cardinals overpaid for Matt Holliday not because he isn't worth the money, but because no one else was bidding for his services.
  • Athletics Nation graded the front offices of the last decade.
  • U.S.S. Mariner calls Franklin Gutierrez's contract extension a major bargain, and notes it's similarities to the deal Mike Cameron signed with Seattle a decade ago.
  • DRays Bay wonders if the Rays could use Alfredo Amezaga.
  • Phillies Nation takes a look at some of the cheaper free agent pitching options that could entice the two-time defending NL Champs.
  • Twins Overlook examines the progression of Delmon Young since arriving in Minnesota.
  • River Ave. Blues ranked the $100MM contracts given to position players.
  • More Hardball has some New Year's resolutions for various people and teams in the game.

If you have a suggestion for this feature, Mike can be reached here.


Marlins Notes: Amezaga, Uggla, Coghlan

MLB.com's Joe Frisaro answered some questions from fans and discussed all things Marlins in his latest inbox piece

  • Though Florida non-tendered Alfredo Amezaga earlier this month, "both sides have mutual interest" in seeing the utilityman back in the teal-and-black.  Amezaga played in just 27 games last season due to knee surgery, and was non-tendered since he likely would have earned an arbitration raise from his 2009 salary of $1.3MM.  If the Fish are hoping to sign Amezaga at a lower price, however, they'll have to make a better offer than the other 10 teams interested in Amezaga's services.
  • If Dan Uggla is traded, Frisaro thinks that it isn't automatic that Chris Coghlan would take over at second base.  Frisaro thinks the defensively-superior Emilio Bonifacio would be given a shot at playing second, though he notes that both Bonifacio and Coghlan combined couldn't make up Uggla's power numbers.
  • Frisaro shoots down any chance of the Marlins pursuing Erik Bedard, since even on a short-term and discounted contract, he's still out of the club's price range.
  • Moreso than finding a starter, Frisaro says that Florida's greater priority is signing an experienced reliever.

At Least Ten Teams Interested In Amezaga

The number of teams interested in Alfredo Amezaga is "well into double digits," according to the utility man's agent (MLB.com's Joe Frisaro reporting). Amezaga, who turns 32 next month, was non-tendered by the Marlins last week, so he's a free agent. He's played every position but pitcher and catcher in the majors, spending most of his time in center field and at short.


Reds Notes: Gomes, Nix, Amezaga

Some Reds notes courtesy of John Fay of the Cincinnati Enquirer, who spoke to GM Walt Jocketty…

  • Jocketty says the club is "open" to bringing back recently non-tendered Jonny Gomes. Talking to Gomes last night, Jocketty told the outfielder that they would like to "make it work," but didn't want to be locked in by arbitration.
  • The GM continues to chat with Laynce Nix's agent and says something is "pretty close" to getting done.  Nix elected free agency after being outrighted by the Reds in November.
  • Fay mentioned the name of Alfredo Amezaga, who was non-tendered by the Marlins last night. While Jocketty noted that he is a good athlete, he mentioned that he has trouble staying healthy.