Aubrey Huff Rumors
The Giants re-signed first baseman Aubrey Huff to a two-year, $22MM deal today. The contract pays $10MM per year and includes a $10MM club option for 2013 with a $2MM buyout. The deal does not include a no-trade clause, tweets Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports. Huff, 34 next month, hit .290/.385/.506 in 668 plate appearances for the World Champion Giants in a resurgent season.
The Giants inked Huff to a one-year, $3MM deal in January of this year, which turned out to be one of that offseason's top bargains after he finished seventh in the NL MVP voting. Given Huff's age, defensive abilities, and struggles in 2009, plus the robust free agent market for first basemen, the new commitment comes with plenty of risk at $11MM per year. Huff hired Ed Hayes as his agent a few weeks ago, clearly a smart move. Giants GM Brian Sabean told reporters that he got clearance to match an offer Huff received from another team.
Four of five MLBTR writers polled on November 10th predicted Huff would re-sign with the Giants.
The Giants are close to a two-year deal worth close to $22MM with first baseman Aubrey Huff, reports Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports. The deal will include a club option for 2013.
Links for Thursday night..
- The Yankees will pursue Carl Crawford if they do not land Cliff Lee, writes Newsday's Ken Davidoff.
- There's mutual interest between the Giants and Aubrey Huff, but talks between the two parties have not advanced lately, writes Mychael Urban of CSNBayArea.com.
- The Dodgers have signed a pair of Japanese amateur pitchers, Kazuya Takano and Kazuki Nishijima, according to Kevin Baxter of the Los Angeles Times.
- Rockies starter Jhoulys Chacin is "untouchable" in trade talks, a team source told Troy Renck of The Denver Post.
- Brian McTaggart of MLB.com writes that the Astros got better in the long run by dealing for Clint Barmes this afternoon.
- Matt Thornton of the White Sox told MLB.com's Scott Merkin that he isn't concerned about hammering out a long-term deal with the club.
- The Phillies have decisions to make on several players in advance of tomorrow's midnight deadline to protect players from the Rule 5 draft, writes MLB.com's Todd Zolecki.
- The Braves have named Jonathan Schuerholz, son of team president John Schuerholz, the manager of their Gulf Coast league affiliate, writes David O'Brien of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
Links on a busy Tuesday as the first day of the GM Meetings wraps up...
- Paul Hoynes of The Cleveland Plain Dealer says (via Twitter) the Indians "kicked the tires" on Jake Westbrook, but never formally offered him a contract before he re-signed with the Cardinals.
- FoxSports.com's Ken Rosenthal tweets that the market for Jorge de la Rosa won't take shape until Cliff Lee signs. He's a fallback option for several teams.
- Former Orioles reliever Dennis Sarfate is in talks to join the Hiroshima Carp according to MASNSports.com's Roch Kubatko.
- ESPN's Jerry Crasnick tweets that the Giants are currently in on just two players: Aubrey Huff and Juan Uribe.
- Bob Brookover of The Philadelphia Inquirer says that Phillies GM Ruben Amaro offered a lot of "no comments" when asked about the team's interest in retaining Chad Durbin.
- SI.com's Jon Heyman says (via Twitter) the trade market for Jonathan Papelbon is "very weak," but the Red Sox are willing to pay part of what will surely be a sizable 2011 salary.
- SI.com's Jon Heyman hears that the Yankees will bid at least three years to keep Derek Jeter (Twitter link). Owner Hal Steinbrenner added that "things are going well."
- Chad Jennings of The Journal News has a quote from Yanks GM Brian Cashman: “I’ve got a small player move that I’m working on that might get done at some point this week ... But it’s small.”
- Meanwhile, ESPN's Buster Olney tweets that the Yanks are still waiting to hear whether Mariano Rivera wants a one or two-year deal.
- Troy Renck of The Denver Post tweets that the Athletics are not moving Conor Jackson, though he remains a non-tender candidate.
- Twins GM Bill Smith said it's "not at all" a question when asked if the team would tender Matt Capps a contract, according to Adam Kilgore of The Washington Post (Twitter link).
- John Fay of The Cincinnati Enquirer says that Reds GM Walt Jocketty has talked to Arthur Rhodes' agent and plans to do the same with Miguel Cairo's, but he has yet to talk to any other free agents.
- SI.com's Tom Verducci lists players available on the "secondary market" that could have a big impact, starting with Jack Cust.
- Roy Halladay's Cy Young Award netted him $250K in bonus money, tweets Matt Gelb of The Philadelphia Inquirer. The bonus was negotiated into his original contract with Toronto.
- In the wake of Justin Upton being made available, FanGraphs' Dave Cameron examines his trade value.
Aubrey Huff is in high demand these days following a .290/.385/.506 season, and his agent tells FoxSports.com's Jon Paul Morosi that he's received contract offers from several clubs other than the Giants (Twitter link). In a second tweet, Morosi notes that the Rays, Red Sox, Blue Jays, White Sox, and Rangers could use help at first base, but their level of interest is unknown.
Huff, 34 next month, enjoyed one of the finest seasons of his career in 2010, capping it all off with a World Championship. San Francisco certainly got their money's worth, paying Huff just $3MM on a one-year deal. Earlier this month we heard that there was a "pretty good chance" he'd be staying with the Giants, but I'm sure he'll hear everyone out before making his final decision.
One talent evaluator told ESPN.com's Buster Olney that Aubrey Huff posted impressive numbers in 2010 because he “got better as a player." Huff has set himself up for a nice payday and he isn’t the only Giants free agent who stands to cash in this offseason, as Olney explains:
- One GM says players like Juan Uribe, who can hit 20 homers and play in the middle infield, are becoming harder to find. “Five years ago, you could find a lot of guys who could do what he does,” the GM said. “But not now.”
- Olney surveyed scouts and executives about the A’s-Royals trade and everyone said it was a good deal for both clubs.
- Rival teams believe the Rays are willing to trade B.J. Upton. What’s more, Tampa Bay wouldn’t have to be overwhelmed to agree to a deal.
- The Yankees are interested in John Buck, but the catcher could likely command a two-year deal (possibly from the Red Sox) and it seems unlikely that the Yankees would offer more than a one-year contract.
- In a series of tweets, Olney explains that the Blue Jays may only obtain a second or third round pick for losing Type A free agent Scott Downs (they will also get a compensation pick if they offer arbitration). There's a chance that Downs' new team will sign another free agent with a higher ranking, which would prevent Toronto from getting a first rounder.
Four years ago today, the Padres traded Josh Barfield to the Indians for Andrew Brown and Kevin Kouzmanoff. Only Kouzmanoff panned out to any extent; he was sent to the A's with Eric Sogard in January for Aaron Cunningham and Scott Hairston. With Kouzmanoff and Hairston non-tender candidates, Sogard and Cunningham could be the remaining threads of the deal. Links for Monday...
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- Edgar Renteria would prefer to return to the Giants, he told Claudia Aguilar Ramirez of El Tiempo. Thanks to Nick Collias for the translation.
- Aubrey Huff hired Ed Hayes as his agent, reported Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports last night.
- The Tigers re-signed catcher Max St. Pierre to a minor league deal, reports Morosi.
- Sanspo has the Angels in the mix for Hisanori Takahashi, tweets Patrick Newman of NPB Tracker. It seems likely that the Halos will add a left-handed reliever this winter; I went with Pedro Feliciano in my Top 50 list.
- Carlos Torres, released by the White Sox last month to pursue a job in Japan, has landed with the Yomiuri Giants according to this Newman tweet.
- Kevin Goldstein's top 11 Pirates prospect list is free to all over at Baseball Prospectus. BP is definitely worth subscribing to for Goldstein's work and much more. We also recommend ESPN Insider, which you'll need to read Keith Law's new starting pitcher buyer's guide.
- Speaking of the Pirates, SI's Jon Heyman says they seem active in early free agent calls and "are believed to be showing interest in some surprising free agent prizes such as [Adrian] Beltre."
- Dave Cameron of FanGraphs believes the Padres should trade Adrian Gonzalez now rather than in July.
The Nationals have had a three-year contract offer on the table to Adam Dunn for the last three months, according to MLB.com's Bill Ladson. Now that the Nats' exclusivity window has closed, Dunn is free to negotiate with any club, but it doesn't appear that the Nats will add the fourth year that the slugger is seeking. A person "familiar with Dunn's thinking" tells Ladson that there's less than a 50/50 chance the first baseman returns to Washington.
Reports throughout the year have gone back and forth on the likelihood of Dunn playing for the Nats in 2011. In August, it appeared certain he was headed for the open market, while in September, Dunn seemed optimistic about working something out with the team. Now, it appears that the length of the deal is the primary sticking point.
Ladson says not to expect the Nationals to wait too long on Dunn now that they're allowed to negotiate with other free agents. There are other first base options that interest the club, including Carlos Pena, Aubrey Huff, and Adam LaRoche, so they won't want to miss out on the opportunity to pursue those players.
Let's round up the latest from the Windy City in one post. First up, Paul Sullivan of The Chicago Tribune with the latest on the Cubs...
- The Cubbies will not go overboard with their free agent spending because they vow to decrease payroll, so GM Jim Hendry needs to get creative to placate the fan base.
- First base is the team's first priority and they'd like to acquire a lefty bat, so Adam Dunn is a popular target. If they can't afford him, they could turn to Aubrey Huff or Victor Martinez.
- The Cubs might need to trade Kosuke Fukudome before signing any free agents, which won't be easy since he's owed $13.5MM in 2011. Hendry did find a taker for Milton Bradley last offseason though, so you never know.
- Starting pitching is also on the team's wishlist. Jon Garland could be one option after hinting at being interested in pitching for the Cubs last offseason.
- They would also like to add a veteran reliever to take some pressure off their young kids, but it's unclear if Kerry Wood will take a pay cut and assume a lesser role to return to the Cubs.
Now we'll head to the south side with Mark Gonzales of The Chicago Tribune...
- The White Sox already have $80.4MM committed to just 13 players for next season, and that doesn't include what is likely to be a sizable arbitration raise for John Danks. That puts them in a bit of bind when it comes to adding a left-handed bat.
- They don't match up with the Cardinals for Colby Rasmus, who they're said to be targeting, though a trade is probably the route they'll have to go to add a bat.
- GM Kenny Williams could try to fill several holes by trading one player, which he did when he sent Javier Vazquez to the Braves and Nick Swisher to the Yankees two years ago. He could use one of excess starters, perhaps Edwin Jackson or Gavin Floyd. That last part is just my speculation though.
- The ChiSox also need to determine whether Carlos Quentin can return to his 2008 level, or if injuries will continue to take a toll.
- They could look to make trades soon, then examine the pool of non-tenders for affordable relief help.
It's been less than a week since the Giants were crowned World Champions, but GM Brian Sabean has already started to act on his offseason agenda. Here's the latest from San Francisco, courtesy of Andrew Baggarly of The Mercury News...
- Sabean was very explicit in saying that Pablo Sandoval will be sent to the minors next year if he doesn't improve his conditioning. Kung Fu Panda will spend the winter with fitness and nutrition experts in San Diego before reporting to Spring Training a month early. He will have benchmarks to meet this offseason.
- Sabean has reached out to the agents for Aubrey Huff and Juan Uribe, and although he acknowledged that both players are priorities, he couldn't commit to bringing them back. The market could play out very favorably for those two.
- The team is currently discussing Pat Burrell internally, who would be brought back in a reserve role if anything. Remember that the Giants will have Mark DeRosa and his righty bat back from injury next season.
- Sabean's priority is to get more left-handed, and when asked about Carl Crawford, he responded "We'll see. That's the best answer I can give you."
- Sabean also said that he's still upset about being portrayed as a suitor for CC Sabathia two offseasons ago, claiming he never met with the player or his representatives. "[W]e do not want to be somebody’s fallback or stalking horse to be used as leverage," said the game's longest-tenured GM.
- Baggarly doesn't think the Giants will be serious players for Jayson Werth, and their desire to get more athletic could take them out of Adam Dunn sweepstakes.
- The team's payroll is expected to eclipse the $100MM mark for the first time, and Sabean wouldn't commit to offering arbitration to all eight of his eligible players. He is interested in bringing them all back, however.
- It almost goes without saying, but Sabean is hopeful that the World Series victory will make San Francisco a more desirable landing spot for free agents.