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As the Orioles' roster rounds into shape heading into Spring Training, Jeff Zrebiec of the Baltimore Sun has a few items of note …
- The Orioles still have interest in free-agent pitcher Justin Duchscherer, although the O's were not one of the two teams for which the right-hander recently worked out, as reported by Jerry Crasnick of ESPN.com. Duchscherer will likely hold another open workout for any interested teams to check him out in the next week or so, Zrebiec notes, and he thinks the O's will be there. Duchscherer's son lives in New Jersey, which is relatively close to Baltimore, and the righty is looking to join a team he can start for, which the Orioles can offer.
- The Orioles have not been aggressively pursuing free-agent slugger Vladimir Guerrero, contrary to a report by ESPNDeportes.com earlier on Thursday. If Guerrero's market shrinks enough, the O's may be interested, Zrebiec writes, but otherwise they plan on moving forward with Luke Scott as their designated hitter, and Nolan Reimold and Felix Pie platooning in left field.
- The Orioles have not officially announced their list of non-roster invitees to Spring Training, but Zrebiec reports the following players will be among them: Armando Gabino, Raul Rivero, Josh Rupe, Adam Donachie, Michel Hernandez, Caleb Joseph, Ryan Adams, Brendan Harris and Tyler Henson.
Hardy, 28, hit .268/.320/.394 in 375 plate appearances this year for the Twins after coming over from Milwaukee for Carlos Gomez. He missed time with wrist and knee injuries. Hardy earned $5.1MM this year and is arbitration eligible one last time. He would have been a free agent already, but fell just short of the service time requirement because the Brewers briefly demoted him to Triple-A late in the '09 season. Hardy joins Mark Reynolds in a revamped left side infield for Baltimore. He became expendable for Minnesota with their expected signing of Japanese import Tsuyoshi Nishioka.
Harris, 30, received only 120 plate appearances from the Twins this year after more regular duty in previous seasons. He was outrighted in June due to poor performance, and a $1.75MM commitment for 2011 likely allowed him to clear waivers. Harris is capable of playing all around the infield.
Hoey, 28 later this month, hasn't pitched in the Majors since '07. In a season split between Double and Triple-A, the reliever posted a 3.25 ERA, 12.0 K/9, 5.8 BB/9, and 0.2 HR/9 in 52 2/3 innings in 2010. Prior to his '08 shoulder surgery, Hoey's average fastball velocity exceeded 95 mph.
Jacobson, a 24-year-old reliever, posted a 2.79 ERA, 8.5 K/9, 3.0 BB/9, and 0.9 HR/9 in 71 High-A innings this year. Baseball America ranked him 16th among Orioles prospects heading into the season, noting that he came over from the Tigers in the Aubrey Huff deal in August of '09. He's said to have a power repertoire and a setup man profile.
Tim Dierkes contributed to this post.
Reporting from the TwinsFest fan session, Joe Christensen of the Minneapolis Star Tribune (via Twitter) has "got hints" that the Twins won't bring back free agent Joe Crede in 2010. In a follow-up tweet, Christensen said the reason was that it is "too hard to keep Crede on the field, which hamstrings your roster" and that the Twins would prefer to see Brendan Harris play third for now with an eye on prospect Danny Valencia eventually taking over the position.
Crede signed a one-year, $2.5MM deal with Minnesota last February that could have been worth as much as $7MM had he reached all of the contract's many incentive levels. Unfortunately for Crede, he was limited to just 367 plate appearances last season thanks to the latest in a series of back problems that have plagued the veteran third baseman. His September surgery to remove fluid from a herniated disk was the third procedure on his back in as many years. Crede hit .225/.289/.414 last season.
Noon ET today was the deadline for both the team and player to submit their salary figures for arbitration, however the two sides can come to an agreement at any point before the actual hearing. The hearings are scheduled for the first week of February.
We'll keep track of the players who avoid arbitration today by agreeing to deals here. Make sure you check back in for updates, and be sure to click the "Continue Reading" link to see today's full list of settlements. Yesterday's list can be found here.
- Kevin Baxter of the Los Angeles Times reports that the Angels avoided arbitration with Mike Napoli and Reggie Willits by signing the duo to one-year deals. Napoli will earn $3.6MM in 2010 with a $100K bonus if he makes 120 starts. Willits' contract is worth $625K.
- Zach Duke's one-year contract with Pittsburgh is worth $4.3MM with no performance bonuses, tweets Dejan Kovacevic of The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.
- The Padres and reliever Mike Adams have agreed to a contract, reports MLB.com's Corey Brock (via Twitter). Brock's follow-up tweet says Adams' deal is worth $1MM, virtually splitting the difference between San Diego's $875K offer and Adams' $1.2MM demands.
- Joe Christensen of the Minneapolis Star Tribune tweets that the Twins have agreements in place with all eight of their arbitration eligible players. In a follow-up tweet, Christensen reports that Francisco Liriano agreed to a one-year deal worth $1.6MM and Jesse Crain agreed to a one-year contract worth $2MM.
- Marc Carig of the New Jersey Star-Ledger reports that the Mets avoided arbitration with reliever Sean Green (via Twitter). The one-year deal was worth $975K, according to the New York Daily News' Anthony McCarron.
- The Tigers avoided arb with Gerald Laird and Zach Miner as well according to James Jahnke of The Detroit Free Press. MLB.com's Jason Beck tweets the details on the one-year contracts: Laird will earn $3.95MM, Miner will earn $950K.
- Christensen tweets that the Twins avoided arb with Brendan Harris, signing him to a two year deal worth $3.2MM with another $650K in possible incentives.
- The Tigers and Bobby Seay avoided arbitration according to MLB.com's Jason Beck (via Twitter), agreeing to a one year deal worth $2.475MM.
- Thesier tweets that Matt Guerrier agreed to a one year deal worth $3.15MM with the Twins, avoiding arb.
- Amalie Benjamin of The Boston Globe tweets that the Red Sox have avoided arbitration with Ramon Ramirez and Manny Delcarmen, with Delcarmen getting $905K plus incentives according to Joe McDonald of The Providence Journal. Boston avoided arb with Jonathan Papelbon as well.
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According to MLB.com’s Kelly Thesier, the Twins are preparing to head into spring training with a third base platoon of Brian Buscher and Brendan Harris.
The Twins have made a few attempts to snag a strong third baseman this offseason, but all talks have fallen flat. They pursued Casey Blake before he signed with the Dodgers, and Mark DeRosa before he was sent off to the Indians.
Joe Crede remains a free agent, but the Twins might not want to throw money at a guy with chronic back problems. The 30-year-old played only 97 games last season, finishing with a .248 average on top of 17 home runs and 55 RBI.
UPDATE, 11-28-07 at 7:30pm: This thing hasn’t gone through yet because of concerns over Rincon’s elbow. The deal will either be finalized or killed by Thursday, according to Scott Miller. The trade has been in the works for a few days.
UPDATE, 11-28-07 at 4pm: Neal reports that the Twins have interest in Aaron Rowand, which is really surprising given his reported demands. I don’t see it. Neal adds that Craig Monroe may now be non-tendered and the Garza trade will not stop Bill Smith from shopping Johan Santana. By the way, talks for Coco Crisp persist.
FROM 11-28-07 at 2pm:
Wow! That rumor really didn’t die! La Velle E. Neal III says the Twins are close to a multiplayer deal. They’ll send Matt Garza, Jason Bartlett, and Juan Rincon to the Rays for Delmon Young, Brendan Harris, and Jason Pridie. I can’t remember any kind of young player blockbuster like this recently.
It’s exciting to see Bill Smith pull the trigger on a deal to get that possible elite slugger. Will he be more hesitant to trade Johan Santana now? Or maybe it doesn’t matter since he’d require an elite young hurler like Phil Hughes in return. Beyond Young, you also have to applaud Smith for getting Pridie, who immediately becomes the Twins’ center fielder of the future. The 24 year-old came back from injuries this year to rake in Triple A. Just like that, the Twins have an outfield.
Meanwhile the Rays suddenly have an awesome young trio fronting their rotation in Scott Kazmir, Jamie Shields, and Garza. Rincon’s ability is questionable at this point but he could be the setup man the Rays are craving.
I’ll give the advantage to the Twins but I like this deal for both teams.