Andres Torres Rumors
After an offseason of aggressive spending, it's time for the Dodgers to start working toward their first postseason appearance since 2009. Here's the latest from Camelback Ranch...
- Clayton Kershaw and the Dodgers haven’t started extension talks, Dylan Hernandez of the LA Times reports. The left-hander, who’s expected to discuss a long-term deal with the team this spring, said he doesn’t want to negotiate during the season. Kershaw added that he's not distracted by speculation that his next contract could surpass $200MM. “It’s people talking. It really doesn’t bother me."
- Andres Torres told reporters the Dodgers pursued him during the offseason, Henry Schulman of the San Francisco Chronicle reports. The Mets and Reds also had interest in Torres after New York non-tendered him in November. However, he wanted to return to the Giants if at all possible. “My heart is in San Francisco,” he said.
Andres Torres is heading back to San Francisco, the Giants confirmed on Twitter. The Giants have agreed to sign the free agent outfielder to a one-year, $2MM contract, Andrew Baggarly of CSN Bay Area reports (Twitter links). The deal between the Giants and the ACES client is pending a physical.
Torres played for the Giants from 2009-11 before they traded him to the Mets for Angel Pagan last offseason. Torres posted a .230/.327/.337 batting line in 434 plate appearances as New York's starting center fielder in 2012, but the Mets non-tendered him last month, making him a free agent. The 34-year-old switch hitter has a .241/.320/.388 batting line in eight career seasons at the MLB level.
Torres joins a Giants outfield that includes Pagan, Hunter Pence and Gregor Blanco. He can compete for playing time in left field and spell Pagan in center, Baggarly suggests. This means the Giants are no longer in play for Nick Swisher, Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com writes (on Twitter).
Here are today’s National League non-tenders. All decisions must be in by 11pm CT tonight. Be sure to track all tender decisions using MLBTR's Non-Tender Tracker. Related resources include our list of non-tender candidates, our projected arbitration salaries and our arbitration eligibles series.
- The Diamondbacks have non-tendered Wil Nieves according to Jack Magruder of FOXSportsArizona.com (on Twitter).
- In addition to John Lannan, the Nationals have also non-tendered Tom Gorzelanny and Jesus Flores according to Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports (on Twitter).
- The Cubs have non-tendered Ian Stewart, Jaye Chapman, and Zach Putnam according to MLB.com's Carrie Muskat (on Twitter).
- The Padres have non-tendered left-hander Juan Oramas, the team announced. He had Tommy John surgery this summer and is expected to miss the start of next season.
- The Mets also non-tendered Andres Torres and Manny Acosta, Anthony DiComo of MLB.com reports (on Twitter). Mike Pelfrey has been informed he'll be non-tendered by the Mets, Adam Rubin of ESPNNewYork.com reports (on Twitter). The Mets were expected to non-tender Pelfrey.
- The Braves will non-tender Jair Jurrjens and Peter Moylan.
- The Phillies plan to non-tender Nate Schierholtz, ESPN.com's Jerry Crasnick reports (on Twitter).
- The Pirates will non-tender Jeff Karstens, Rob Biertempfel of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review reports (on Twitter). Technically the Pirates are designating Karstens for assignment, Michael Sanserino of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports (on Twitter). The team confirmed the move.
- The Brewers have non-tendered left-hander Manny Parra, Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports (on Twitter).
Mike Axisa contributed to this post.
The Mets plan to non-tender Mike Pelfrey, Manny Acosta and Andres Torres this week, Adam Rubin of ESPNNewYork.com reports. Barring an unexpected trade or change in plans, the Mets will decline to offer the players arbitration, and they'll become free agents.
The Mets remain open to re-signing Pelfrey for less than the $5.875MM he earned this past season. However, agent Scott Boras may look to place Pelfrey in a starting role as he continues his recovery from Tommy John surgery, and the Mets' rotation seems full.
All three players appeared on Tim Dierkes' list of non-tender candidates. Pelfrey projected to earn $5.7MM if tendered a contract; Torres projected to earn $3.2MM; Acosta projected to earn $1.1MM. Be sure to follow Friday's tender decisions using MLBTR's Non-Tender Tracker.
The Dodgers have been said to have interest in free agent outfielder Torii Hunter, but their level of interest may have been overstated, according to Dylan Hernandez and Mike DiGiovanna of the Los Angeles Times. The team met with Hunter’s agent at the GM meetings this week, but a source says that it was Hunter’s agent who initially reached out to the Dodgers, not the other way around. Since the Dodgers won't move Andre Ethier, Hunter's only possible role would be as a fourth outfielder and the veteran isn't terribly interested in doing that. Hunter's agent has also talked with the Tigers, Rays, Yankees, and Phillies and tells clubs that his client wants a multi-year contract. Here's more from around baseball..
- MLB.com's Thomas Harding writes that Mets pitcher R.A. Dickey isn't sure whether the club will trade him this winter if they can't reach agreement on a contract extension, but his preference is to stay in New York.
- The Mets don't want to go to arbitration with Andres Torres, but the club has not ruled out bringing him back for 2013, a source tells Dan Martin of the New York Post. Torres would be in line for a slight raise over the $2.7MM he earned last season through arbitration, but the club could bring him back at a more reasonable price. I profiled Torres as a non-tender candidate back in September.
- The Yankees have faith they can make deals with pitchers Mariano Rivera, Hiroki Kuroda, and Andy Pettitte, writes Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com. When it comes to Kuroda, the Yanks see Japan as a bigger threat to pull him away than teams like the Red Sox or the Dodgers.
- The weak crop of catchers on this year's open market could yield a high return for the Red Sox if they trade Jarrod Saltalamacchia, writes Tim Britton of The Providence Journal.
As expected, the Mets will non-tender right-hander Mike Pelfrey, a person with the team told Mike Puma of the New York Post (Twitter links). The Mets still want to sign Pelfrey as a free agent, Puma reports.
Pelfrey, 28, earned $5.68MM this past season though he underwent Tommy John surgery after just three starts. For the Mets to retain him through the arbitration process they'd have to offer him a salary in the $5-6MM range -- a considerable amount for a pitcher recovering from a serious injury.
The future of non-tender candidate Andres Torres remains “up in the air,” according to Puma. Torres, 34, posted a .230/.327/.337 batting line in 434 plate appearances this past season. He earned $2.7MM in 2012 and could also be cut loose this offseason.
The Mets will “turn over” the roster this coming offseason, team sources tell Adam Rubin of ESPNNewYork.com. Here are the details, starting with the team’s franchise player...
- Team officials remain optimistic that they’ll be able to retain David Wright long-term, Rubin reports. Mets executives hope the third baseman will succeed Tom Seaver as the unofficial ambassador for the organization once he retires as a player, according to Rubin. Wright told Rubin over the weekend that he hopes his next contract will cover the remainder of his playing career.
- Relievers Jon Rauch and Ramon Ramirez are expected to leave as free agents after the season, Rubin reports.
- Rubin hears from Mets sources that Andres Torres and Mike Pelfrey will likely be non-tendered this winter.
- R.A. Dickey’s contract includes a club option for 2013 that will surely be exercised, but his long-term future with the organization is not entirely secure, according to Rubin. Mets executives seem wary of making a “sizable commitment” to the Cy Young candidate.
- One Mets person said the team would require “a boatload” to part with Ike Davis, Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com reports. The Red Sox had two scouts in attendance at last night’s Mets-Marlins game and could have interest in trading for the first time arbitration eligible first baseman, Heyman reports.
The Mets don’t view this offseason as the time to spend significant money on outfielders, so they don’t expect to pursue high profile free agents such as B.J. Upton, Michael Bourn and Shane Victorino, Andy Martino of the New York Daily News reports. Though Mets executives have not finalized the team’s offseason plan, Martino reports that the Mets aren’t likely to offer any outfielder a multiyear deal.
The Mets will be pursuing outfielders this coming offseason, but GM Sandy Alderson is prepared to build through trades. While the 2013 payroll hasn’t been finalized, it’s expected to sit marginally higher than $90MM, Martino reports. The Mets would like to retain prospective free agent Scott Hairston, but they’re likely to non-tender Andres Torres, according to Martino. Assuming Torres doesn’t return, Lucas Duda, Mike Baxter, Jason Bay and Jordany Valdespin will be among the team’s internal options.
Outfield depth is a strength of the 2012-13 free agent class, so the Mets could find some late-offseason bargains if Alderson is willing to be patient and flexible. The trade market for outfielders could include players such as Shin-Soo Choo and Justin Upton.
The Mets have kept mum on their payroll situation heading into 2013 but several reports have indicated that the club won't ratchet it far beyond the neighborhood of $90MM. There are a number of multi-million dollar contracts coming off of the books including $5.69MM for the very likely non-tendering of Mike Pelfrey, Jon Rauch's $3.5MM deal, and Ramon Ramirez's $2.65MM pact. However, much of those savings will be eaten up by 2014 buyouts for Johan Santana and Jason Bay and pay raises to David Wright, Frank Francisco, Jonathon Niese, and others. On top of that, Daniel Murphy, Ike Davis, Bobby Parnell, and Josh Thole will all be headed to arbitration this winter. General Manager Sandy Alderson will be working with an extremely tight budget, which will make it difficult for the club to justify also going to arbitration with outfielder Andres Torres.
Torres has started 79 games for the Mets in centerfield this year but has not been able to return to 2010 form when he hit .268/.343/.479 with 16 in 570 plate appearances with the Giants. Instead, Torres owns a .227/.330/.320 batting line across 105 games with a career low -2.6 UZR/150. Torres avoided arbitration with the Mets last season for $2.7MM after coming over from the Giants and would probably net something near $3MM for 2013.
Looking ahead to next season, the club could install Kirk Nieuwenhuis as the full-time starting centerfielder. That would position Torres as the club's fourth outfielder and at ~$3MM they would likely prefer to put that money into their bullpen and other areas of need. Even if Torres can no longer deliver the kind of offensive production that he did in San Francisco in 2009 and '10, he can still be an attractive option to clubs looking for a veteran with experience at all three outfield positions. However, he's not likely to see something in the range of $3MM and it would seem to be even less likely to be with the Mets.
The Mets have placed Scott Hairston and Andres Torres on waivers, a major league source told Adam Rubin of ESPNNewYork.com. The Mets have said that they want to be competitive in the month of September but may be willing to part with Hairston as they sit with a 58-69 record heading into this afternoon's game against the Astros.
The club has yet to have contract extension talks with Hairston, though he recently indicated that he would be open to the discussion. The 32-year-old has a slash line of .272/.312/.512 with 14 homers in 104 games this season for the Mets.
On the other hand, Torres has been viewed as a possible non-tender candidate for 2013. The centerfielder is earning $2.7MM this season and would see something in the neighborhood of $3MM in arbitration this winter. For the Mets, it wouldn't make a great deal of sense to dole out such a deal for a fourth outfielder.