Augie Ojeda Rumors
A few tidbits from around the majors....
- Blue Jays reliever Jeremy Accardo hopes to be non-tendered tomorrow, writes MLB.com's Jordan Bastian. The righty, 28 this month, dealt with a groin injury and bounced up and down between Triple A and the Majors this year. He earned $900K.
- Cases of players avoiding arbitration and signing for 2010, according to the AP: Matt Diaz of the Braves at $2.55MM, Ronny Cedeno of the Pirates at $1.125MM, and Esteban German of the Rangers at $600K. Diaz gets a 106% raise, heading into his third arbitration year.
- The AP also notes that the Nationals signed pitcher Ryan Speier for $425K. The 30-year-old toiled at Triple A for the Rockies this year, mainly.
- MLB.com's Steve Gilbert (via Twitter) reports that the Diamondbacks have avoided going to arbitration with Augie Ojeda by re-signing the veteran infielder to a one-year deal. Nick Piecoro of the Arizona Republic says the contract is worth $825K. Ojeda, 34, has spent the last three seasons with Arizona and hit .246/.340/.345 in 309 plate appearances in 2009. The defensive specialist is a valuable utilityman, able to play second, third and shortstop.
- Twins GM Bill Smith tells Kelsie Smith of the St. Paul Pioneer Press that his traditionally low-spending team has "substantial funds" to cover arbitration raises and potential signings that could raise Minnesota's payroll into the $90MM neighborhood for next season. The general manager was predictably non-committal when asked if "substantial" translated to "enough to extend Joe Mauer."
- NPB Tracker passes on news from Japanese site Sanspo.com that the Yakult Swallows will announce next week that they have signed Eulogio De La Cruz. The right-hander was released by the Padres on Wednesday. De La Cruz has an 11.84 ERA in 15 appearances over three seasons with San Diego, Florida and Detroit.
- The White Sox seem ready to stick with Randy Williams as the only left-handed reliever (besides, of course, set-up man Matt Thornton) next season, as Chicago GM Kenny Williams told Mark Gonzales of the Chicago Tribune. Gonzales notes that if the club changes its mind, a possible target could be former White Sox reliever Neal Cotts, who will be non-tendered by the Cubs tomorrow.
A fresh batch of Twitter rumors, for those of you with extra-short attention spans...
- MLB.com's Jenifer Langosch learned that the Pirates plan to tender a contract to Matt Capps.
- Stubborn Dodgers GM Ned Colletti says he has no regrets about not offering arbitration to Randy Wolf, reports Dylan Hernandez of the L.A. Times. Hernandez also notes that the Dodgers are considering Ronnie Belliard, Craig Counsell, Juan Uribe, and Jamey Carroll as second base options. The Reds also like Carroll, says MLB.com's Mark Sheldon.
- Yahoo's Steve Henson says the Rockies are open to re-signing Jason Marquis at a reduced number (less than the $9.875MM he made in '09).
- SI's Jon Heyman believes Felix Hernandez is seeking six years and $100MM, while the Mariners are thinking four years plus an option at less than $50MM. That phrasing makes a possible divide seem larger than it is, since those last two years of the deal would be the most expensive (more than $15MM per year). At any rate, Shannon Drayer and Mike Salk learned that no numbers have been exchanged on Felix yet.
- La Velle E. Neal III of the Minneapolis Star-Tribune says White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen wants Mike Redmond to back up A.J. Pierzynski.
- MLB.com's Steve Gilbert says the Rangers may have interest in arbitration-eligible D'Backs infielder Augie Ojeda. The Rangers added Joe Inglett off waivers, but were said to still be looking at utility infield candidates.
- Morosi tweets that Rich Harden is "willing to sign a one-year deal with a lot of incentives." Will he exceed Brad Penny's $7.5MM base salary? Morosi names the Red Sox, Yankees, and Mariners as the most serious suitors.
- Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports says the Tigers have interest in Juan Pierre, and are "looking for a third team to supply the pitcher L.A. needs." Odd, since the Tigers have more bad pitching contracts than anyone. The Tigers apparently prefer to unload Carlos Guillen.
- Dejan Kovacevic of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette says the Pirates are not interested in bringing back Brian Giles.
- ESPN's Jayson Stark says the Red Sox "have two or three teams they could trade Mike Lowell to right now" if they'd take a similar contract back. Looking at our Bad Contract Swap Meet I don't see any obvious matches for one year and $12MM.
- There's been some tire-kicking with the Phillies and Ron Mahay, writes Andy Martino of the Philadelphia Inquirer. The Red Sox were linked to Mahay by Michael Silverman on Monday. Martino also says the Phillies met with John Smoltz's agent this morning, "but discussions remain informal."
- Bob Dutton of the Kansas City Star characterizes the White Sox and Red Sox interest in Coco Crisp as "low-level," but says that's still more than the Royals have shown. Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports says the White Sox would consider Crisp, Mike Cameron, and Marlon Byrd. ESPN's Mike Salk notes that the Mariners spoke to Byrd's agent.
- Dutton also has the Red Sox eyeing Ryan Shealy on a minor league deal.
- Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports names the most asked-about Padres: Heath Bell, Kevin Kouzmanoff, and Adrian Gonzalez (in that order). He says the Padres are "not hearing anything compelling on Bell." MLB.com's Corey Brock says about eight teams inquired on Kouzmanoff. Surprised not to see Kevin Correia mentioned by Rosenthal. He'd be a great affordable option for a team like the Brewers. ESPN's Buster Olney heard from rival execs who expect the Padres to get second-line prospects for Kouzmanoff and Correia.
- The Mets appear to find a Luis Castillo deal unlikely, says Joel Sherman of the New York Post.
- ESPN's Jayson Stark says the Yankees are shopping their #1 pick in tomorrow's Rule 5 draft, which they acquired for Brian Bruney. If they don't trade the pick, Yahoo's Steve Henson says the Yankees could use it on pitcher Arquimedes Caminero.
Nick Piecoro of the Arizona Republic brings home a bunch of Diamondbacks hot stove buzz from the GM Meetings...
- The Diamondbacks would have to give up their second-round pick if they sign a Type A free agent who turned down arbitration. GM Josh Byrnes told Piecoro he'd consider it if the player came at a discount. You can check our free agent list to see all the types.
- Piecoro wouldn't be surprised to see Livan Hernandez return as the D'Backs' fifth starter. He wouldn't be the main rotation pickup; the bigger targets are probably Randy Wolf, Jason Marquis, and Brad Penny.
- Piecoro can't find a team that would be able to send the D'Backs a pitcher for catcher Chris Snyder. The Royals, Mets, Reds, Brewers, and Astros don't fit, in Piecoro's opinion, while the Blue Jays already nixed a deal. The Rays, Nationals, Mariners, and Giants may also be looking for a catcher, but they might not match up either.
- The D'Backs would like to bring back arbitration-eligible infielder Augie Ojeda.
According to MLB.com's Steve Gilbert, the Diamondbacks signed infielder Augie Ojeda to a one-year deal for $712,500. Gilbert says they'll probably require additional help at second base.