Aubrey Huff Rumors
Earlier today we checked in on the Yankees’ search for position players and found that GM Brian Cashman views Ben Francisco as a bench player. As for the possibility of signing a free agent corner infielder, the Yankees continue weighing their options, including some familiar names. Here’s the latest from the AL East...
- The Yankees don't have much depth right now, but their roster could have looked much different. Joel Sherman of the New York Post point out that in years past the Yankees might have been more aggressive in pursuit of free agents such as Russell Martin, Jeff Keppinger, Scott Hairston and Nate Schierholtz.
- The Yankees have not reached out to free agent Aubrey Huff, Andy McCullough of the Star-Ledger reports (on Twitter). Huff recently said he has pretty much retired. However, the Yankees have shown interest in retired stars such as Chipper Jones and Derrek Lee.
- The Red Sox aren’t worried that David Ortiz’s heel injury will evolve into a long-term concern, Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe reports (on Twitter). The Red Sox signed Ortiz to a two-year, $26MM contract in November, so he'll be in Boston through 2014.
Aubrey Huff was hoping a team would invite him to Spring Training but since no contract materialized during the offseason, the 13-year veteran tells Henry Schulman of the San Francisco Chronicle that he is "pretty much retired" from the game.
“I have no regrets,” Huff said. “I love it. I’m having a great time with my wife and kids. I don’t even have an itch to pick up a baseball bat. I wondered if I’d feel that desire when everybody reported to spring training, but I didn’t.”
Huff, 36, became a free agent when the Giants declined their $10MM option on his services for the 2013 season. Huff signed a two-year, $22MM deal with San Francisco following the 2010 season and struggled with both injuries and an anxiety disorder over the life of that contract, hitting just .239/.309/.359 in 674 PA in 2011-12. That said, Huff's overall tenure with the team was still a success given that his big 2010 campaign (an .891 OPS in 668 PA) came for a one-year price of $3MM and helped the Giants win a World Series title.
Ed Hayes, Huff's agent, said in January that his client intended to play in 2013 and had spoken to a few interested teams. The Diamondbacks were the only club known to be linked to Huff this winter. His name had been mentioned as a possible target for the Yankees given that injuries to Curtis Granderson and Mark Teixeira had left New York short-handed at first base and left field, Huff's positions.
If this is indeed it for Huff, he retires with 242 homers and a .278/.342/.464 line over 6786 career PA. The University of Miami product played for the Rays, Astros, Orioles, Tigers and Giants over his 13 years in the Major Leagues, winning a Silver Slugger Award with Baltimore in 2008 and winning two World Series rings with San Francisco.
Following a season marred by knee problems and panic attacks, Aubrey Huff intends to play in 2013 according to Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com. The Ed Hayes client has received treatment for the panic attacks and there are no lingering issues.
"He wants to play,'' said Hayes. "He's working out. It's not a matter of physical issues. Nor is it a matter of mental issues, which he's addressed ... Medication is an amazing thing."
Huff, 36, hit .192/.326/.282 in only 95 plate appearances last season and .239/.309/.359 in 674 plate appearances over the last two seasons combined. Heyman likened Huff's current situation to the 2009-2010 offseason, when he was coming off a .241/.310/.384 showing with the Orioles and Tigers. The Giants signed him to a cheap one-year deal and watched him hit .290/.385/.506 with 26 homers en route to the World Series.
Hayes told Heyman that he has spoken to a few teams about his client, but he might have to wait to see how the Lance Berkman situation plays out. Huff is a Fort Worth native and could appeal to the Rangers if they're unable to sign Berkman. The Orioles, Rays, Indians, Red Sox, and Yankees could all add a first baseman/DH before Spring Training.
7:49pm: The Diamondbacks have also "made contact" with Aubrey Huff, reports Jack Magruder of FOXSportsArizona.com (on Twitter). The 35-year-old Huff hit .192/.326/.282 in 95 plate appearances for the Giants while missing lots of time with knee with knee problems.
McCarthy, 29, pitched to a 3.24 ERA with 5.9 K/9 and 1.9 BB/9 in 111 innings for the Athletics this year. He missed time with shoulder surgery as well as a head injury after getting hit by a line drive. The D'Backs are said to be seeking a veteran starter to add to Ian Kennedy, Wade Miley, and Trevor Cahill. Patrick Corbin, Tyler Skaggs, Josh Collmenter, and Trevor Bauer could also be in the rotation mix as Daniel Hudson rehabs from Tommy John surgery.
The Giants have declined their $10MM club option on Aubrey Huff for 2013, buying the veteran outfielder out for $2MM, reports Andrew Baggarly of CSNBayArea.com. The move was seen as a foregone conclusion given Huff's lack of performance over the last two seasons.
Huff signed a one-year, $3MM with San Francisco before the 2010 season and exploded for a .290/.385/.506 campaign (plus a .957 OPS in 20 World Series plate appearances), helping lead the Giants to a championship. Huff signed a two-year, $22MM contract with a $10MM option for 2013 in the aftermath of his big season but hasn't produced nearly as well since, hitting just .239/.309/.359 in 674 plate appearances and struggling with both an anxiety disorder and a knee injury. It's possible that Huff could consider retirement given his injuries, his age (he turns 36 in December) and the chance to go out on the high note of another World Series title.
Giants general manager Brian Sabean has the makings of a dynasty centered around strong pitching and affordable young position players such as Buster Posey, Pablo Sandoval and Brandon Belt, writes Shi Davidi of Sportsnet.ca. Here are some links surrounding the team that captured its second World Series title in three years last night...
- The Giants will decline their $10MM club option on Aubrey Huff, tweets Andrew Baggarly of CSN Bay Area. The news isn't much of a surprise given Huff's injuries and struggles at the plate since 2010. Huff's contract contains a $2MM buyout.
- MLB.com's Alden Gonzalez spoke to several members of the Giants organization about the impact that Marco Scutaro had on the team following his acquisition from the Rockies.
- Gonzalez's colleague, Chris Haft, writes that the Giants and Scutaro will "likely forge a deal" this offseason, as the 37-year-old is too valuable both on and off the field to let go.
- Haft also writes that Angel Pagan is expected to receive a multi-year contract with an average annual value perhaps in the $10MM range in a thin free agent market. Sabean will need to determine if Pagan is worth that to his team.
- Haft goes on to say that Jeremy Affeldt could be in line for a multi-year deal on the free agent market. That, along with the presence of Jose Mijares could mean that Affeldt will find himself wearing a new uniform come 2013.
The 2011 amateur draft has officially produced its first Major Leaguer, as Trevor Bauer made his debut for the Diamondbacks tonight against the Braves. The third overall pick from 2011 was shaky in his first start in the Show (two runs on five hits and three walks over four innings and 74 pitches) but Bauer escaped with a no-decision.
Here are some more items from the D'Backs and elsewhere in the NL West...
- David Hernandez's two-year extension with the Diamondbacks is worth $3.5MM, reports Nick Piecoro of the Arizona Republic. Hernandez received a $250K signing bonus, and the right-hander will earn $1.25MM in 2013 and $2MM in 2014.
- The Dodgers' seven-year, $42MM deal with Cuban prospect Yasel Puig has stunned many international scouting directors, reports Ben Badler of Baseball America. Puig's signing has caused a "huge disparity of opinion around the game," tweets ESPN's Buster Olney, who cites one scout that rated Puig as worth just a $500K contract.
- Dodgers president Stan Kasten tells Dylan Hernandez of the L.A. Times that the team is prepared to make "big" moves at the trade deadline and are willing to increase payroll. Kasten said he would prefer to take on more salary if it meant the Dodgers wouldn't have to trade a promising minor leaguer.
- The Rockies should try to deal Michael Cuddyer while he still has trade value, opines Fangraphs' Chris Cwik. Rockies GM Dan O'Dowd recently said he isn't going to move Cuddyer, though other teams have called about the veteran outfielder.
- Aubrey Huff told reporters (including Henry Schulman of the San Francisco Chronicle) that he hasn't thought about retiring despite his difficult 2012 season. The Giants veteran hasn't produced at the plate, battled an anxiety disorder and is currently on the DL after spraining his knee while celebrating Matt Cain's perfect game.
- Billionaire Steve Cohen dropped out of the bidding to buy the Padres once the price reached $800MM, reports Jon Heyman of CBS Sports (via Twitter). Cohen is a Mets minority owner and was one of the top contenders to buy the Dodgers.
Giants GM Brian Sabean and manager Bruce Bochy discussed the 2011 season at a year-in-review press conference today and Henry Schulman of the San Francisco Chronicle has the details:
- The Giants are going to focus on the pitching staff before addressing the offense this winter.
- There are strong indications that the Giants won’t push for free agents Prince Fielder and Albert Pujols, according to Schulman.
- Sabean won’t rule out a long-term deal for Tim Lincecum, but negotiations with Matt Cain will be a higher priority, since Cain is eligible for free agency one year from now. Lincecum appears to prefer short-term deals anyway.
- Barry Zito and non-tender candidate Jonathan Sanchez will be in Spring Training competing for the rotation, according to Sabean. This is the strongest indication yet that Sanchez will be tendered a contract this offseason. His salary will likely surpass $6MM in 2012.
- Sabean and Bochy said Aubrey Huff didn’t do enough to get in shape last offseason and they have told him to do more this winter.
- The Giants have said they want to upgrade in center field and the leadoff spot. They don’t consider Justin Christian to be the solution, so Schulman wonders if Coco Crisp could be a fit.
- If the Giants don’t pick up Jeremy Affeldt’s $5MM option, they’ll renegotiate another deal with him. As I explained earlier in the month, Affeldt would be in position to command a multiyear deal in free agency if the Giants allow him to hit the open market.
- The Giants will look to add second base depth, though they may not be willing to meet Jeff Keppinger’s asking price.
- Sabean says the Giants will give Cody Ross "due consideration" as a free agent, according to Andrew Baggarly of the San Jose Mercury News (on Twitter).
The Yankees’ “lack of tact” in their negotiations with Derek Jeter isn’t helping them, writes Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports. Here are Rosenthal's latest updates on the Yankees and other teams around the league:
- Even Cliff Lee’s representatives would be surprised if the left-hander received a seven-year offer like C.C. Sabathia did.
- The Rangers were in on Victor Martinez “big,” according to Rosenthal.
- The Rangers are talking to Vladimir Guerrero and showing interest in Paul Konerko. The White Sox offered the first baseman arbitration, so it will cost a top pick to sign him.
- The Dodgers showed serious interest in Aubrey Huff before he re-signed with the Giants, according to Rosenthal.
- The Phillies discussed the idea of bringing Pat Burrell back to Philadelphia, but decided against it.
- Type B free agent Orlando Hudson almost certainly agreed in advance to reject the Twins’ offer of arbitration, Rosenthal says. The Twins agreed not to offer the second baseman arbitration if he was a Type A free agent, so Hudson may have agreed not to accept if he ended up a Type B.
- The Marlins have between $3-8MM to spend, depending on which one of Rosenthal’s sources you ask.
- Eric Hinske is close to deciding between the Braves and Brewers, who have both offered him contracts.
- Sabean said he got clearance to match an offer Huff received from another team in making a two-year, $22MM proposal. You might think the Giants overpaid to retain Huff, but at least one other club was willing to offer him big money too.
- Pat Burrell has been informed by Sabean that the club will take care of other business before revisiting his situation.
- Talks with Juan Uribe are active but on a slower track. Sabean feels Uribe will have multiple offers as a shortstop or third baseman in the weak infield market. I expect Uribe to be offered arbitration today.
- The Giants had talks with a free agent shortstop from another club today, says Sabean. I suppose that could mean Orlando Cabrera or Cesar Izturis; there's not much out there. Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports tweets that the Giants are not expected to bid on Tsuyoshi Nishioka before today's 4pm central deadline.
- Sabean says he might have to move money around and may not be able to tender contracts to all eight of his arbitration eligible players. The Giants have Andres Torres, Javier Lopez, Jonathan Sanchez, Ramon Ramirez, Mike Fontenot, Santiago Casilla, Cody Ross, and Chris Ray up for arbitration. The non-tender deadline is December 2nd.