Author Archives: Zach Links

White Sox Sign David Robertson

WEDNESDAY: The deal is official. Robertson receives $10MM next year and a $1MM raise in each successive season, per Colleen Kane of the Chicago Tribne (via Twitter).

TUESDAY, 11:44am: Robertson has a limited no-trade clause with the White Sox that will allow him to block trades to five teams, according to Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com (via Twitter).

MONDAY, 11:59pm: Robertson’s deal is worth $46MM over four years, according to Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com (via Twitter). He will receive limited no-trade protection, according to Mark Feinsand of New York Daily News (on Twitter).

USATSI_8120293_154513410_lowres11:39pm: The White Sox have agreed to sign David Robertson to a four-year deal worth more than $40MM, according to Bob Nightengale of USA Today (via Twitter).  Robertson has been zeroed in on landing a four-year deal this winter and he found a team happy to give him one with a solid average annual value. Robertson is represented by All Bases Covered, as shown in the MLBTR Agency Database.

Robertson just missed the ~$50MM Jonathan Papelbon-type deal that he was said to be looking for, but he did out-earn fellow free agent Andrew Miller, who will be pitching late in games for Robertson’s former club.  The incumbent Yankees were reportedly open to going to a fourth year, but it’s not clear if they ever presented him with an offer of that length.

The White Sox are making a massive splash at this year’s Winter Meetings.  In addition to adding Robertson, the White Sox appear to be on the verge of acquiring Jeff Samardzija from the Athletics.  Some observers felt that the White Sox were in need of a rebuild this winter, but they apparently believe very strongly that they can win in 2015.

Last month it was reported that Robertson had serious interest from at least six clubs and the Astros and Yankees were among the teams known to be in the mix.  Robertson entered this offseason as the 13th ranked player on Tim Dierkes’ Top 50 Free Agents list, making him the highest ranked reliever of the winter.

Robertson rejected the Yankees’ qualifying offer, so New York will get an extra pick at the end of the first round of next year’s draft as compensation. The White Sox’ top pick, No. 8 overall, is protected, but they’ll sacrifice their second-round pick, No. 45 overall, once the Robertson signing becomes official.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.


NL East Rumors: Mets, Coke, Breslow, Detwiler

The latest batch of rumors out of the National League East..

  • The Mets have had preliminary contact with free agent reliever Phil Coke, but there have been no substantive discussions yet, according to Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports (via Twitter).
  • The Mets have cast a wide net on lefty relievers but at this time nothing is close and no one in that group stands out, according to Marc Carig of Newsday (via Twitter).  He also hears that the Mets are not engaged with Coke.
  • The Mets met with the reps for Neal Cotts and Craig Breslow, but neither appear to be likely options, according to Carig (via Twitter).
  • The Nationals are also open to moving Ross Detwiler to teams that value him as a starter and, therefore, would give them more in return, tweets Joel Sherman of the New York Post.

Quick Hits: Lowrie, Santana, Moncada

Face-to-face communication is downright passé at the winter meetings with most deals being discussed via text or email rather than in person.  Meanwhile, executives and agents are keeping up with every rumor and rumbling right here on MLBTradeRumors.  “I definitely wasn’t picturing being a resource for any kind of executive or agent when I started it in 2005,” MLBTradeRumors.com founder Tim Dierkes said to Joe Lemire of Medium.com. “The whole idea that we’ve affected how deals are made — that’s almost scary to me.”  More from around baseball..

  • Brian McTaggart of MLB.com (via Twitter) hears that Jed Lowrie wants a three-year deal.  The Mets have an eye on Lowrie and the Marlins and Giants are said to be considering him as well.
  • Free agent left-hander Johan Santana is preparing to pitch in January for the Navegantes del Magallanes, his agent Edward Greenberg tells Ken Davidoff of Newsday (via Twitter).
  • Yasmany Tomas is no longer available, but Cuban prospects remain a popular topic of discussion at the winter meetings, writes Jesse Sanchez of MLB.com.  Switch-hitting middle infielder Yoan Moncada, 19, and right-handed pitcher Yoan Lopez, 21, are among the players generating the most buzz in international circles this week.  Both are expected to sign with a team sometime next year.


AL East Rumors: O’s, Snider, Matusz, Lester

A look at the AL East..

  • The Orioles had preliminary discussions on a deal with the Pirates that would send Travis Snider to Baltimore for Brian Matusz, but there doesn’t seem to be much progress at the moment, according to Eduardo A. Encina of the Baltimore Sun (via Twitter).
  • Red Sox GM Ben Cherington wishes he was given more opportunities to negotiate with Jon Lester in the spring, writes Jason Mastrodonato of The Springfield Republican.  Still, he says that he does not have any regrets about his bidding this winter.
  • The Blue Jays will look at short-term free agent options – meaning deals of 1-3 years in length – at second base, tweets Ben Nicholson-Smith of Sportsnet.  Alternatively, GM Alex Anthopoulos could stay put and spend on relief instead.

Rule 5 Rumors: Mets, Verrett, D’Backs, Pena

The Rule 5 draft goes down tomorrow and we’ll keep track of the latest rumblings here..

  • The Blue Jays are unlikely to pick anyone in the Rule 5 draft and are worried about losing two or three of their guys, according to Shi Davidi of Sportsnet (on Twitter).
  • Some names being talked about in advance of the Rule 5 draft are Jarlin Garcia of the Marlins, Carlos Melo of the Indians, and J.R. Graham of the Braves, according to Jonathan Mayo of MLB.com (via Twitter).
  • The industry expectation is that the Mets will lose right-hander Logan Verrett in tomorrow’s Rule 5 draft, according to Joel Sherman of the New York Post (via Twitter).  Clubs see Verrett working as a back end starter or a seventh-inning reliever.
  • There’s talk that the Diamondbacks might select Astros catcher Roberto Pena with the top pick, according to Jim Callis of MLB.com (via Twitter).
  • Meanwhile, Callis (Twitter link) says it’s very possible that someone will take a chance on Delino DeShields Jr. and pluck him from the Astros.  Yesterday, Houston GM Jeff Luhnow told reporters, including Evan Drellich of the Houston Chronicle, that he did not anticipate a team taking the former No. 8 overall pick.

Royals Shopping Infante, Listening On Relievers

TODAY: Kansas City is leaving other clubs with the impression that they are willing, albeit hesitant, to deal from amongst its trio of late-inning arms, Jayson Stark of ESPN.com reports (Twitter links). To do so, however, the Royals would need a controllable player at a position of need: either an impact bat in right or a starting pitcher.

YESTERDAY, 12:30pm: The Royals are making Omar Infante available, according to Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports (on Twitter).

Roughly one year ago today, the Royals signed Infante to a four-year deal for more than $30MM plus incentives with a $10MM team option for 2018.  The soon-to-be 33-year-old batted .318/.345/.450 with 10 homers and solid second base defense for the Tigers in 2013.  However, his production slid in 2014 as he hit just .252/.295/.337 with subpar work in the field (-3.0 UZR/150).  His .632 OPS was his worst in nearly a decade, but with a lack of quality second base options out there, Infante could have value.

12:08pm: The Royals have been telling teams that relievers Greg Holland, Wade Davis, and Kelvin Herrera are not available, according to Andy McCullough of the Kansas City Star (via Twitter).  McCullough cautions (link) that that things could conceivably change with David Robertson now off the market, however.

That news comes as something of a surprise given the amount of trade buzz we’ve heard about the trio this week.  Just yesterday we heard that the Royals were listening to offers on all three relievers with an eye on turning their bullpen strength into an outfield bat.  Trading a reliever could bring KC a much more affordable outfield solution than, say, free agent Melky Cabrera, but it would also chip away at what helped make the Royals such a strong team in 2014.

The Blue Jays were said to be in pursuit of Holland and the Royals reportedly considered him to be available, albeit with a high price tag.  McCullough speculated that Holland’s delivery and build could have KC worried about his durability, but their concerns might not be enough for them to ship him out.  MLBTR’s Matt Swartz projects him to earn $9.3MM in 2015, but that doesn’t appear to be a prohibitive cost for KC.


Orioles Interested In Yoenis Cespedes?

2:37pm: The O’s have not had internal talks about acquiring Cespedes, a source tells Eduardo A. Encina of The Baltimore Sun (via Twitter).  There have been no true discussions between Boston and Baltimore regarding the outfielder.

1:47pm: The Orioles have interest in Red Sox outfielder Yoenis Cespedes, a source tells Rob Bradford of WEEI.com (via Twitter).  Nothing is “remotely imminent” on that front but the O’s view the slugger as a good potential fit.

Baltimore is in search of a power bat and Cespedes would undoubtedly fit the bill for them.  Whether they could hammer out a deal with their AL East rivals without paying a premium, however, remains to be seen.

Cespedes has found himself on the pages of MLBTR quite a bit over the past few weeks.  At one point, the Tigers were discussing a deal that would have involved Cespedes and Rick Porcello, but those discussions have apparently cooled off.  The Padres have also discussed Cespedes with Boston and the Reds have been connected to him, though GM Walt Jocketty denies talking with the Red Sox about him.

Cespedes has one year remaining before he hits free agency.


Giants Talking With Ervin Santana

The Giants are talking to Ervin Santana‘s reps today at the winter meetings, according to Jerry Crasnick of ESPN.com (via Twitter).

The Giants were said to have Santana on their list as a fallback option if they could not land Jon Lester.  Now that Lester has gone to the Cubs, the Giants are following through on their pursuit of Santana, who turns 32 on Friday.  SF will also reportedly look at free agents Max Scherzer and James Shields and Phillies pitcher Cole Hamels as alternatives.

Santana, 31, enjoyed a solid season for Atlanta in which he posted a 3.95 ERA with 8.2 K/9, 2.9 BB/9 and a 42.7 percent ground-ball rate in 196 innings of work. While his ERA rose, metrics such as FIP (3.39) and xFIP (3.47) felt Santana had his best season since 2008.


Free Agent Rumors: Furcal, Grilli, Young, Mets

Free agent infielder Rafael Furcal could be a fit for the Royals on a minor league deal thanks to his connection with GM Dayton Moore, according to Tim Dierkes of MLBTR (via Twitter).  Here are some of the latest free agency rumors out of San Diego..

  • Jason Grilli has multiple offers from teams in major markets but the Tigers are not one of them, his agent tells Anthony Fenech of the Detroit Free Press (on Twitter).
  • The Rangers have interest in Eric Young Jr., but they may have already been outbid, according to Evan Grant of The Dallas Morning News.
  • Mets GM Sandy Alderson says he is considering bidding in the posting of Jung-ho Kang, but he’s unresolved as to whether he will, tweets Adam Rubin of ESPNNewYork.com.
  • The Orioles could be a landing spot for former Rangers pitcher Alexi Ogando, according to T.R. Sullivan of MLB.com (via Twitter).
  • After signing Jon Lester, the Cubs are now pursuing outfielder Jonny Gomes in an apparent effort to get the band back together, according to Bob Nightengale of USA Today (via Twitter).
  • Catcher David Ross tells Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe (via Twitter) that he’s not close on a deal with any club even though he has interest from the Red Sox, Cubs, Braves, D’Backs, and Padres.

Pirates Interested In Antonio Bastardo

The market for Phillies reliever Antonio Bastardo is heating up, according to Jim Salisbury of CSNPhilly.com (via Twitter).  A source tells Salisbury that the Pirates are among the teams pursuing him.

Late last night, CSNNE.com’s Sean McAdam reported that the Red Sox explored a deal with the Phillies that would have swapped Bastardo for prospect Sean Coyle.  Bastardo has a 3.36 ERA, 2.61 K/BB rate and an 11.6 K/9 in 216 2/3 IP out of the Philadelphia bullpen over the last four seasons. He’s been almost as equally effective against right-handed batters (holding them to a career .664 OPS) as he has against left-handed batters (career .621 OPS), though control has been an issue, as evidenced by his career 4.3 BB/9.