Author Archives: Mike Axisa

White Sox Agree To Sign Matt Lindstrom

1:04pm: The White Sox announced the deal, which includes a base salary of $2.3MM for 2013 and a $500K buyout for the $4MM club option in 2014.

January 25th, 12:30pm: The deal includes a $2.8MM guarantee and a $4MM club option for 2014, Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reports (Twitter links). Lindstrom can also earn $2.25MM in bonuses and escalators based on games finished over the life of the deal.

January 19th: The White Sox have agreed to sign Matt Lindstrom to a one-year contract with a club option, reports Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com (Twitter links). Financial terms are not known and the deal is pending a physical. The right-hander is a client of The Sparta Group.

Lindstrom, 32, pitched to a 2.68 ERA with 7.7 K/9 and 2.7 BB/9 in 47 innings for the Orioles and Diamondbacks last season. He's posted a 2.85 ERA in 101 innings over the last two seasons. Lindstrom adds another hard-thrower to a White Sox bullpen that already includes Addison Reed, Matt Thornton, and Nate Jones.


Quick Hits: Wilson, Giants, Upton, Hill, Red Sox

Condolences go out to the family and friends of Hall of Famer Stan Musial, who passed away this afternoon according to the Cardinals. He was 92. Stan the Man was a .331/.417/.559 career hitter who slugged 475 homers and was thrice named league MVP during his 22 seasons with St. Louis.

Here's the latest from around the league as Saturday turns into Sunday…

  • “I’m going to be brutally honest as I always am, I don’t [think Brian Wilson will return],” said Giants GM Brian Sabean to Anthony Sulla-Heffinger of The New York Post. Sabean acknowledged talking to Wilson's agent about a low-base salary, incentive-laden contract prior to non-tendering him.
  • Some teams interested in acquiring Justin Upton have been struggling to get a response from the Diamondbacks according to ESPN's Buster Olney (on Twitter). There's plenty of interest, but offers haven't been easy to make.
  • Rich Hill told reporters (including Brian MacPherson of The Providence Journal and Scott Lauber of The Boston Herald) that he is confident he'll find a big league contract on the open market (Twitter links). The lefty reliever has not talked about returning to the Red Sox on a minor league deal.
  • Larry Stone of The Seattle Times took an updated look at the Mariners' payroll, which currently sits just north of $78MM according to his calculations.

Rockies Sign Miguel Batista

The Rockies have signed Miguel Batista to a minor league contract with an invitation to Spring Training, reports Enrique Rojas of ESPN Deportes (on Twitter). The Martin Arburua client will compete for a middle relief spot according to Troy Renck of The Denver Post (on Twitter).

Batista, 41, posted a 4.61 ERA with 6.2 K/9 and 5.6 BB/9 in 52 2/3 innings for the Mets and Braves last season. He managed a 3.66 ERA in 142 2/3 innings from 2010-2011 and has served primarily as a swingman since 2008. Batista pitched for 11 different teams during his 18-year big league career.



Wainwright Will Not Set Deadline For Extension Talks

Two years ago the Cardinals faced a Spring Training deadline during extension talks with Albert Pujols, but they won't face a similar deadline with their latest impending star free agent. Both GM John Mozeliak and Adam Wainwright confirmed a hard deadline will not be set for contract talks, report Joe Strauss of St. Louis Post-Dispatch and MLB.com's Jenifer Langosch (Twitter links).

Wainwright, 31, told B.J. Rains of FOXSportsMidwest.com (Twitter links) that the two sides engaged in contract talks last season and he was comfortable with the figures being discussed, saying he "liked where it was headed." The veteran right-hander pitched to a 3.94 ERA with 8.3 K/9 and 2.4 BB/9 in 198 2/3 innings last season after missing all of 2011 due to Tommy John surgery.

Wainwright will earn $12MM next season and is scheduled to become a free agent after the season. He is represented by Aegis Sports Management. The four-year, $68MM extension Josh Beckett signed with the Red Sox early in the 2010 season could serve as a reference point in talks.


Indians To Sign Ryan Raburn

The Indians have signed Ryan Raburn to a minor league contract with an invitation to Spring Training, reports Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com (on Twitter). MLB.com's Jordan Bastian reported the CSE client was close to a deal with Cleveland earlier today.

Raburn, 31, projected to earn $2.1MM through the arbitration process. However, after a season that saw him post a .171/.226/.254 batting line in 222 plate appearances, that salary seemed excessive to the Tigers. Raburn averaged 15 home runs per season from 2009-11 and owns a career batting line of .256/.311/.430. He played second base and both corner outfield positions in 2012. The Braves and Marlins had interest in Raburn earlier in the offseason.


Jorge Posada Does Not Plan To Attempt Comeback

Andy Pettitte surprised many when he came out of retirement to rejoin the Yankees last spring, but his long-time battery-mate does not plan to do the same. Jorge Posada told the AP (via The New York Post) that he will not attempt a comeback.

“No comeback for me,” said Posada. “I’m good with what I’m doing and I was happy with the decision I made last year around this time. I’m enjoying the family … I miss certain things about the game. You’re always going to miss certain things. I, obviously, miss my teammates the most.”

Posada, 41, announced his retirement last January and will be in camp with the Yankees as a guest instructor this spring. He hit .235/.315/.398 in 387 plate appearances during his final season in 2011 and is a career .273/.374/.474 hitter. The Yankees still lack a DH and could also use an upgrade behind the plate.


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Marlins Close To Signing Matt Downs

The Marlins are close to signing Matt Downs, reports MLB.com's Joe Frisaro. The free agent utility man will receive a minor league contract with an invitation to Spring Training.

Downs, 28, elected free agency after being designated for assignment by the Astros back in October. He hit .202/.253/.371 with eight homers in 191 plate appearances for Houston in 2012, though one year prior he managed a .276/.347/.518 line with ten homers in 222 plate appearances. Downs has experience at all four infield positions and the two corner outfield spots.

As our Transactions Tracker shows, the Marlins have also signed Michael Wuertz, Austin Kearns, and Nick Green to minor league contracts this month.


Pirates, Garrett Jones Avoid Arbitration

The Pirates and Garrett Jones have avoided arbitration by agreeing to a one-year contract worth $4.5MM, reports the AP (via ESPN). The SFX client was projected to receive $4.4MM by Matt Swartz.

Jones, 31, hit .274/.317/.516 with 27 homers in 515 plate appearances last season, most of which he spent batting cleanup behind Andrew McCutchen. The left-handed hitter posted a .289/.332/.556 line with 25 homers against right-handers in 2012 and has been targeted in trades by several teams in the last 18 months or so. Jones was arbitration-eligible for the second time as a Super Two, meaning he's still under team control for both 2014 and 2015 as well.

Pittsburgh has two remaining arbitration-eligible players: James McDonald and Neil Walker. Both submitted salary figures yesterday, as our Arbitration Tracker shows.


Baseball Blogs Weigh In: Soriano, Morse, Jaso, Upton

On this date in 2002, Scott Rolen became the highest paid player in Phillies history. The third baseman signed a one-year contract worth $8.6MM, avoiding his final season of arbitration-eligibility. Rolen was traded to the Cardinals at midseason, and his then-record salary has since been eclipsed numerous times. Here's the latest from around the web…

Zach Links will be taking over the Baseball Blogs Weigh In feature going forward, and you can reach him here. Only one email per week, please.


Athletics Extend Bob Melvin

The Athletics have signed manager Bob Melvin to a two-year contract extension, the team announced. The deal will keep the reigning AL Manager of the Year in Oakland through 2016.

Melvin, 51, replaced Bob Geren as manager back in June 2011. The club has gone 141-120 under his watch, including a surprising 94-68 finish this past season. The rookie-laden Athletics won the AL West, overtaking the Rangers on the final day of the season.

Melvin previously managed the Mariners (2003-04) and Diamondbacks (2005-09), winning the NL Manager of the Year award back in 2007. His lifetime record as a big league skipper is 634-628.