Arthur Rhodes Rumors
The Orioles recently watched Fernando Tatis and Arthur Rhodes work out, but it doesn't look like the Os' will bring back either veteran. Speaking of reunions, Baltimore would like to re-sign Joe Saunders but the left-hander might have a lucrative two-year deal on the table from another club. Here's a look at the latest out of Baltimore..
- Rich Dubroff of CSNBaltimore.com wonders when the Orioles and catcher Matt Wieters will get down to hammering out a long-term deal. The backstop has three more seasons until he his eligible for free agency and his leverage will only increase if he can continue his strong hitting to go along with his stellar defensive play.
- The Orioles wouldn't be a bad fit for Bobby Abreu, opines Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com (on Twitter). Yesterday, Heyman reported that the Marlins and Rays are among the possibilities for the veteran.
- Someone in the O's organization described Rhodes' tryout as a "courtesy," writes Roch Kubatko of MASNsports.com. Rhodes apparently was the one who approached the Orioles the workout and wanted to find out if he had anything left in the tank.
No one should be surprised if the Yankees engage in a major spending spree during the 2014 offseason, writes Jim Bowden of ESPN.com (Insider sub. req'd). The Bombers held off on going after the big free agents this winter as they look to get under the $189MM figure next year for tax purposes, but they'll get a clean slate on their luxury tax history after that point. General Manager Brian Cashman could reload his rotation in 2014 with a free agent class including Justin Verlander, Clayton Kershaw, Felix Hernandez, and James Shields. If they want to take that route again the following year, the 2015 class offers David Price, Cliff Lee, Johnny Cueto, and Yovani Gallardo. Here's more from the AL East..
- The Orioles are not expected to sign Arthur Rhodes or Fernando Tatis to minor league deals, a pair of sources tell Roch Kubatko of MASNsports.com (on Twitter). Yesterday, it was reported that the O's recently worked out both veterans. Rhodes, 43, didn't pitch in 2012 but he's looking to return to baseball this season. Tatis, 38, hasn't played in the majors since 2010.
- Rays closer Fernando Rodney told MLB.com's Alden Gonzalez that a new deal with Tampa Bay is right around the corner. "It's in plans already," Rodney said in Spanish. "We've talked a few times, and I expect it to get finalized this month." Earlier today, agent Dan Lozano said that no talks have taken place on a new deal for Rodney but the closer says he's confident that an agreement will be reached.
- Red Sox manager John Farrell is still interviewing candidates for the bullpen coach vacancy and may have a decision early next week, tweets Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe.
It's hard to top January 31 when it comes to notable baseball birthdays. Three of the game's biggest legends were born on this day: Nolan Ryan (celebrating his 66th birthday), "Mr. Cub" Ernie Banks (his 82nd) and the late Jackie Robinson, who was born in 1919 in Cairo, Georgia. Here are some news items from around the majors as we head into February...
- The Tigers have "mild interest" in Cuban shortstop prospect Aledmys Diaz, George Sipple of the Detroit Free Press reports. At least ten teams (including the Cardinals, Twins and Athletics) are known to be interested in Diaz, though Major League Baseball is is investigating whether Diaz is younger than his alleged age of 23 years old.
- Also from Sipple, it seems as if the Tigers will keep Jhonny Peralta, despite some trade rumors surrounding the shortstop this winter.
- The Orioles watched left-hander Arthur Rhodes throw today at Camden Yards, Dan Connolly of the Baltimore Sun reports (Twitter link). The 43-year-old Rhodes didn't pitch in 2012 but is looking to continue his 20-year Major League career. Rhodes was drafted by the O's in 1988, played for the team from 1991-99 and currently lives in Baltimore.
- The Orioles also recently worked out utilityman Fernando Tatis, Connolly tweets. Tatis hasn't played in the majors since 2010 when he made 72 plate appearances for the Mets before undergoing season-ending shoulder surgery. Tatis, 38, played for the Orioles in 2006 and has also suited up for the Mets, Expos, Cardinals and Rangers during his 11-year career.
- The Dodgers could be looking to trade from its starting pitching depth, but Steve Dilbeck of the Los Angeles Times suggests the team should hang onto all eight starters given how many of them are battling injury problems.
- The Dodgers' free-spending ways could come back to haunt them later in the decade, ESPN's Dan Szymborski writes (Insider subscription required). It also puts pressure on the team to win sooner rather than later: "A disappointing year or two, and it wouldn't be shocking if the biggest member of the [ownership] consortium started to find the guaranteed cash from the TV contract a lot more appealing than playing high-stakes fantasy baseball."
- ESPN Chicago's Jon Greenberg talks to sabermetrician Tom Tango, who has worked as a consultant to several teams but is now working exclusively for the Cubs.
- MLBTR's Ben Nicholson-Smith and Jason Martinez of MLB Depth Charts discussed the Braves, the Rays, Shaun Marcum and Alex Rodriguez on the latest edition of the Rosters & Rumblings podcast.
Saturday evening linkage ...
- The Marlins are likely to discuss acquiring Blue Jays DH Adam Lind, but their pursuit will be tempered, according to Juan C. Rodriguez of the Sun Sentinel (via Twitter). Miami optioned struggling first baseman Gaby Sanchez to Triple-A New Orleans today.
- Free agent Arthur Rhodes has remained in playing shape in case a team becomes interested in signing a lefty reliever, according to Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com (via Twitter). Rhodes last pitched last season for the Cardinals.
- Free agent shortstop Edgar Renteria has turned down two offers and apparently wants to remain retired, according to Heyman (Twitter link). Renteria played for the Reds last year.
- Angels manager Mike Scioscia hopes outfielder Torii Hunter will return from the restricted list during the Halos' ongoing road trip, according to Bill Shaikin of the Los Angeles Times (Twitter link). Hunter was placed on the RL on Monday to deal with a family matter.
- Indians closer Chris Perez suggested free agents prefer not to sign with Cleveland because of poor attendance at Progressive Field, writes Jordan Bastian of MLB.com. Specifically, Perez cited Cardinals outfielder Carlos Beltran, who turned down an offer from the Indians this offseason in favor of a comparable one from the Cardinals.
- The Padres' youth movement will pay off someday, but things will be tough in the interim, writes Jerry Crasnick of ESPN.com. The Padres have one of baseball's top farm systems and will have the opportunity to build on it with six of the first 70 picks in this year's draft.
- Former Dodgers shortstop Rafael Furcal thinks that Dee Gordon will work out for the club in the long-term, writes Dylan Hernandez of the Los Angeles Times. The Dodgers felt that they could part with Furcal last year in part because of Gordon's presence.
- Indians GM Chris Antonetti doesn't seem to have any regrets over acquiring Ubaldo Jimenez from the Rockies in last year's trade, based on what he told Paul Hoynes of The Plain Dealer. "Ubaldo's results continue to be inconsistent. His work, his preparation and his commitment hasn't wavered. He's worked tirelessly to solidify his mechanics with [pitching coach] Scott Radinsky, it just hasn't clicked consistently every five days. ... With the work he's put in, I believe we'll see more consistency."
MLBTR's Dan Mennella contributed to this post.
Gonzalez, a Scott Boras client, remains unsigned with the season a few weeks away. Boras told me on Friday his client is "in play with a lot of teams right now," and "sometimes late doesn't mean demand, it just means choice." At this point, however, Gonzalez's ability to secure a Major League deal is in jeopardy. Last week, he turned down a minor league offer to return to the Rangers. The White Sox currently have 37 players on their 40-man roster, so they could add Gonzalez without losing anyone. Rhodes, 42, is more likely to settle for a minor league deal, in my opinion. He aims to pitch one more season before retiring.
Heyman also notes that the White Sox were the other team in on third baseman Eric Chavez at the end. Chavez ultimately re-upped with the Yankees.
Let's jump into the weekend with one last batch of news items....
- Arthur Rhodes is close to deciding where he will play in 2012, reports Anthony Andro of Fox Sports Southwest (Twitter link). Rhodes also confirms that he will play next year, making it 21 Major League seasons for the 42-year-old southpaw. The Cardinals and Mariners have both shown interest in Rhodes this offseason.
- Some teams aren't convinced that Hiroki Kuroda will pitch in the majors next season and will instead return to Japan, tweets Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com. Kuroda's asking price is reportedly $13-$14MM on a one-year deal, which is a slight increase from last month.
- Also from Heyman (via Twitter), Ryan Ludwick has received offers from at least four teams. The Reds, A's and Giants have been linked to Ludwick this winter, though it's unknown if any of those clubs actually offered the outfielder a contract.
- Bill Center of the San Diego Union-Tribune covers such Padres topics as a possible Carlos Quentin extension, the team's lack of interest in Eric Chavez and the Friars' plans for the newly-acquired Andrew Cashner in his weekly online chat with fans.
- The Tigers appear to be satisfied with Ramon Santiago and Ryan Raburn as their second base platoon, reports MLB.com's Jason Beck.
- Red Sox GM Ben Cherington says his team is looking for at least two "low-cost" starting pitchers to compete for the back end of the Boston rotation next year, reports Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe. As Cafardo notes, this would seemingly take the Red Sox out of the running for more expensive free agent pitchers like Kuroda, Edwin Jackson or Joe Saunders. We heard earlier today that the Sox were among several teams interested in Paul Maholm.
While we wait for the big free agents to make their decisions, here's a grab bag of links from Day Three at the Winter Meetings:
- The Athletics feel like they're much closer to moving Andrew Bailey than Gio Gonzalez, but even that may not happen until after the Meetings, tweets Joel Sherman of the New York Post.
- GM Walt Jocketty finds the lack of action in Dallas for the Reds so far "very frustrating," says MLB.com's Mark Sheldon. Jocketty said he was approached with one proposal today that' he's considering, but "nothing is close."
- Candidates for the Royals' utility infielder opening include Edgar Renteria, Mark DeRosa, Orlando Cabrera, and Carlos Guillen, tweets Bob Dutton of the Kansas City Star. No deals are imminent.
- The Rays are still attempting to figure out the best way to bolster their offense, writes Bill Chastain at MLB.com.
- The Mariners are displaying interest in Arthur Rhodes, tweets Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports.
- Jorge Posada would still like to play if he can find the right situation, tweets Jon Heyman of MLB Network.
- Former Angels GM Bill Stoneman will return to the team for another year as special advisor to the GM, tweets Mike DiGiovanna of the Los Angeles Times.
10 National League teams have free agent arbitration offer decisions to make today, and we'll update them in this post in advance of the 11pm central time deadline. For a fantastic customizable chart with all 57 Type A/B free agents and their teams' decisions in real-time, click here.
Updated team decisions:
- The Giants won't offer arbitration to Pat Burrell (B) or Cody Ross (B) according to John Shea of the San Francisco Chronicle (on Twitter). Carlos Beltran (A) contractually cannot be offered arbitration.
- The Dodgers declined to offer Hiroki Kuroda (B) arbitration, according to Dylan Hernandez of the LA Times (on Twitter). Rod Barajas (B) already signed with the Pirates.
- The Pirates offered arbitration to Derrek Lee (B) while declining to offer Ryan Ludwick (B) and Chris Snyder (B) arbitration. Ryan Doumit (B) already signed with the Twins.
- The Phillies did not offer Roy Oswalt (A) or Brad Lidge (B) arbitration, according to the AP (via ESPN). The team announced that it offered arbitration to Raul Ibanez (B), Ryan Madson (A, will not cost signing team a draft pick), and Jimmy Rollins (A), according to Todd Zolecki of MLB.com (via Twitter).
- The Cubs offered arbitration to Carlos Pena (B) and Aramis Ramirez (B) but not to Kerry Wood (B), according to Paul Sullivan of the Chicago Tribune (on Twitter).
- The Cardinals offered Edwin Jackson (B) and Albert Pujols (A) arbitration, but declined to make offers to Rafael Furcal (B) and Arthur Rhodes (B), according to Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch (on Twitter). That leaves Octavio Dotel (modified B, no arbitration offer necessary).
- The Mets offered Jose Reyes (A) arbitration, according to Newsday's Ken Davidoff (on Twitter).
- The Padres will offer arbitration to Heath Bell (A, will not cost signing team a draft pick) and Aaron Harang (B), tweets Corey Brock of MLB.com.
- The Brewers offered Prince Fielder (A) and Francisco Rodriguez (A, will not cost signing team a draft pick) arbitration. They declined to offer Yuniesky Betancourt (B) arbitration. Takashi Saito (A), contractually cannot be offered arbitration.
- The Braves did not offer arbitration to Alex Gonzalez (B), according to David O'Brien of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
Teams with automatic decisions only:
- Reds: Francisco Cordero (modified B, no arbitration offer necessary), Ramon Hernandez (modified B, no arbitration offer necessary)
- Astros: Clint Barmes (B, already signed with Pirates)
- Rockies: Mark Ellis (B, already signed with Dodgers)
3:42pm: There are eight teams chasing Furcal, four of them want Furcal at second base and four are interested in him at shortstop, agent Paul Kinzer told Jim Bowden (via Twitter) on MLB Network Radio.
3:01pm: Interest in Furcal is heavy enough that the veteran should be able to get a deal to play shortstop, tweets Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports. The Tigers, Blue Jays, and Rockies all like him at second base.
9:19am: Rafael Furcal's agent Paul Kinzer is believed to be seeking a three-year deal, reports Joe Strauss of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, with two years and an option a possibility. The Padres aren't inclined to guarantee multiple years to Furcal, and Kinzer indicated yesterday he's open to a shorter term for a higher average annual value. Furcal did just that six years ago, taking a three-year, $39MM deal from the Dodgers when a longer term was available.
The idea of a multiyear free agent deal for Furcal at the time of his July 31st trade to St. Louis was laughable, given his health issues. 217 decent plate appearances for the Cards may have changed that, in the same way that a short stint after a trade earned Aaron Hill a two-year, $11MM contract. The Brewers have some level of interest in Furcal for their shortstop opening, and the Rockies, Tigers, and Blue Jays checked in on him as a second baseman. Regarding Kinzer meeting with the Brewers, Cardinals GM John Mozeliak said, "I'm not going to base our reaction on rumors or innuendo. But if I woke up tomorrow and he was signed I'd be a little disappointed."
Aside the situations with Furcal and Albert Pujols, Strauss says the Cardinals will look into bringing back relievers Octavio Dotel and Arthur Rhodes. The Cardinals are "apparently willing to exploit" their depth in right-handed relievers.
Some links from around baseball as we await Game Three tomorrow night..
- Former Mariners pitcher Randy Messenger has agreed to a contract to return to the Hanshin Tigers in 2012, a source tells Patrick Newman of NPB Tracker. Messenger’s agent Matt Sosnick confirmed that the deal is for one-year with an option for 2013. MLBTR has learned that the two-year deal could be worth just under $5MM.
- If the White Sox stick to their plan of cutting their $127MM payroll, with $89MM already tied to eleven players, it's likely that John Danks or Mark Buehrle won't start next season with the team, writes MLB.com's Scott Merkin. The arbitration-eligible Danks would be one of the team's greater trade chips.
- Three days after the World Series, Indians GM Chris Antonetti will have to decide whether to exercise club options on center fielder Grady Sizemore and starter Fausto Carmona, writes Jordan Bastian of MLB.com. Picking up the options of both would cost the Tribe $16MM in 2012.
- Shortstop Rafael Furcal wrestled with the decision of whether or not to approve the deal sending him from the Dodgers to the Cardinals, writes Kevin Baxter of the Los Angeles Times.
- After clearing waivers, Cardinals lefty Arthur Rhodes could have wound up with any number of teams, writes Sam Donnellon of the Philadelphia Daily News.
- Blue Jays skipper John Farrell gained valuable experience in his first year as a big league manager, writes MLB.com's Gregor Chisholm.