Cesar Izturis Rumors

Free Agent Rumors: Oswalt, Delmon, Sizemore, Ross, Ludwick

Here's the latest from the Winter Meetings on a handful of free agents:

Earlier updates:

Blue Jays Sign Julio Izturis

THURSDAY: The Jays actually signed Julio Izturis, rather than Cesar, reports Mike Cormack of Sportsnet.ca.  So, to date, only two of the three Izturis brothers are members of the Blue Jays organization (Maicer and Cesar are half-brothers).  Julio is a 23-year-old infielder who last appeared in pro ball with the Giants' Low-A affiliate in 2011.

WEDNESDAY: The Blue Jays have signed Cesar Izturis to a minor league contract, reports Baseball America's Matt Eddy (on Twitter). The veteran infielder is a Peter E. Greenberg & Associates client.

Izturis, 32, hit .241/.254/.343 with two homers in 173 plate appearances for the Brewers and Nationals this season while playing the three non-first base infield positions. He originally started his career with the Blue Jays, who signed him as a amateur free agent out of Venezuela back in 1996. Toronto signed his half-brother Maicer to a three-year contract earlier this offseason.

Quick Hits: Mets, Athletics, Storen, Izturis

The Mets announced that Johan Santana isn't expected to pitch again in 2012 after an MRI revealed inflammation in his lower back. The Mets say no surgery is required for Santana, who returned from a shoulder capsule operation to post a 4.85 ERA in 117 innings this year. Here are today’s links…

  • Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports suggests the Athletics will rely on internal options to replace the recently-suspended Bartolo Colon (Twitter link). If the Athletics do pursue outside alternatives Randy Wolf would be one option now that he has been released.
  • David Ross and Drew Storen have been impressed by MLBPA executive director Michael Weiner, Danny Knobler of CBSSports.com reports. "I'm a backup catcher, but he knew every detail of my career and my negotiations," Ross said. Weiner plans to continue to work on behalf of the players while undergoing treatment for a brain tumor.
  • There's virtually no chance Cesar Izturis returns to the Nationals this year, Adam Kilgore of the Washington Post reports (on Twitter). The infielder elected free agency earlier in the week.

Cesar Izturis Elects Free Agency

Cesar Izturis has elected free agency instead of accepting an assignment to the minor leagues, according to CBSSports.com. The Nationals designated Izturis for assignment three days ago after claiming him off of waivers from Milwaukee.

Izturis posted a .241/.254/.343 batting line in 173 plate appearances for the Brewers and Nationals this year. The 32-year-old played all four infield positions with Milwaukee and appeared at second base, third base and shortstop with Washington. Nationals manager Davey Johnson recently expressed interest in adding Izturis to the team when rosters expand next month.

Quick Hits: Samardzija, Stauffer, Izturis, Reynolds

Tigers manager Jim Leyland all but confirmed that Victor Martinez will not return this season, reports James Schmehl of mLive.com. Martinez torn his ACL during an offseason workout, but there was a small possibility that he would return to the team in September. Here's the latest from around the league…

  • “I’m not really too worried about that. I like to leave that front-office stuff to my agent,” said Cubs right-hander Jeff Samardzija to ESPN Chicago when asked if any contract extension talks were taking place. The 27-year-old is in the middle of a breakout season while earning $2.64MM.
  • Right-hander Tim Stauffer is dealing with shoulder and elbow issues, and Bill Center of The San Diego Union-Tribute says that the Padres will likely non-tender him after the season. Stauffer has only made one start this year and will earn $3.2MM.
  • The Nationals designated Cesar Izturis for assignment earlier today, and manager Davey Johnson told reporters (including Dan Kolko of MASNSports.com) that the club will likely bring him back in September if he isn't claimed off waivers (Twitter link).
  • Rich Dubroff of CSNBaltimore.com says the Orioles have a difficult decision to make about Mark Reynolds' club option after the season. Baltimore holds an $11MM option ($500K buyout) for the slugger, who has turned it on of late following a slow start.
  • The Padres are considering internal options (crosscheckers Bob Filoti and Bill Gasparino) as well as external options (Mets coordinator Ian Levin and crosschecker Steve Barningham) for their scouting director position, reports Jim Callis of Baseball America (on Twitter).

Nationals Designate Cesar Izturis For Assignment

The Nationals announced that they have designated infielder Cesar Izturis for assignment.  The move will allow the club to reinstate shortstop Ian Desmond from the 15-day disabled list.

Izturis' stay in Washington lasted just eleven days as he was claimed off of waivers from Milwaukee on August 6th.  The 32-year-old saw time at all four infield positions while posting a .235/.248/.333 batting line for the Brewers in 2012.

Nationals Claim Cesar Izturis

The Nationals announced that they have claimed infielder Cesar Izturis off of waivers from the Brewers. The team placed Mark DeRosa on the 15-day disabled list in a related move.

Izturis has a .235/.248/.333 batting line in 169 plate appearances this year. The 32-year-old has played all four infield positions with Milwaukee, and his versatility will prove useful in Washington. The Nationals needed infield depth with Ian Desmond and DeRosa on the disabled list. Izturis earns $875K this year and will hit free agency this offseason.

Adam Kilgore of the Washington Post first reported that the Nationals had acquired Izturis (on Twitter).

Quick Hits: Cain, Hosmer, Team Values, Izturis

Ichiro Suzuki and Yoenis Cespedes are the early stars of this young 2012 season, with the rest of the league waiting until next week to catch up to the Mariners and Athletics.  Here's some news from around the majors…

  • Matt Cain reiterated to reporters (including Henry Schulman of the San Francisco Chronicle) that Opening Day is the "cutoff" for contract talks between him and the Giants.  Cain said Giants GM Brian Sabean feels the same way.  Larry Baer, the team's CEO, discussed the Cain negotiations and more in a live chat with fans earlier today.
  • Royals first baseman Eric Hosmer is in no hurry to sign a multiyear contract, he tells Tyler Kepner of the New York Times.  "There’s a long time for that coming,” Hosmer said of a possible contract extension. “For me, I haven’t even experienced an opening day yet….I feel like it wouldn’t even be fair to this team to start thinking about that.”  Last January, MLBTR's Mike Axisa featured Hosmer as an extension candidate.
  • Sports business consultant Marc Ganis tells ESPN New York's Adam Rubin that if the Dodgers are worth $2.15 billion, it greatly raises the ceiling for the prices of baseball's big-market teams.  Ganis estimates the Yankees would be worth $4 billion, the Red Sox $2.5 billion and the Mets roughly $1.5 billion.  Only the biggest markets would have higher price tags, however, since they offer the most lucrative local broadcasting deals.
  • Also from Henry Schulman (Twitter links), Gregor Blanco says he chose the Giants over the Marlins in the offseason since San Francisco hitting coach Hensley Meulens promised Blanco a legitimate chance at a roster spot.  It looks like Blanco made the right choice, as he's poised to start the season in the majors after a big Spring Training.
  • Alexi Amarista's impressive camp has made him a candidate for a utility job with the Angels, but Mike DiGiovanna of the L.A. Times says Amarista is too inexperienced at the big league level to make Maicer Izturis expendable.  Izturis' name has been connected to a few trade rumors this spring as several teams are in the market for infielders.
  • Cesar Izturis (Maicer's older brother) has been told he will make the Brewers' roster, says team media director Mike Vassallo (Twitter link).  Izturis' minor league deal with Milwaukee allowed him to ask for his release if he wasn't on the 40-man roster by March 30, but now his $875K salary for 2012 is guaranteed.
  • MLB.com's Jordan Bastian (via Twitter) predicts the Indians to make a "big roster reduction" on Saturday as the team starts to pare down its roster from its current 41-player state.  Bastian says the Tribe has been "looking at trades" as well, and indeed Cleveland has at least one notable deal reportedly in the works.
  • If the Angels cut Jason Isringhausen, the veteran reliever tells MLB.com's Alden Gonzalez that he'll probably retire, though there's a slight chance he'll keep pitching if he gets the right offer.  "It depends on who's that team that might call, who they'd be," Isringhausen said.

Brewers Sign Cesar Izturis

JAN. 14: MLB.com's Adam McCalvy has a breakdown of the contract, reporting that Izturis can earn $875K in the big leagues with another $375K in incentives. He'll get $25K for appearing in 90 games, $50K for appearing in 100 and 115 games, $50K for 75 starts, and $100K for 90 and 115 starts. The contract also allows Izturis to request his release if he's not added to the 40-man roster by March 30th.

DEC. 21: The Brewers have signed Cesar Izturis to a minor league contract, tweets Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports. In a team release, the Brewers announced they've also signed left-hander Juan Perez to a minor league deal. Both players will receive invitations to Spring Training.

Izturis spent the last three seasons in Baltimore, hitting .240/.283/.292 in 958 plate appearances for the Orioles. Although the 31-year-old didn't provide much pop at the plate, his defense continues to be rated favorably by advanced metrics — Fangraphs puts his career UZR/150 at +7.6 or better at shortstop, third base, and second base. If he makes the Brewers' big league club, Izturis figures to provide depth behind Rickie Weeks, Alex Gonzalez, and Aramis Ramirez.

The 33-year-old Perez, meanwhile, has seen limited Major League action with the Pirates and Phillies. With the Phillies' Triple-A affiliate at Lehigh Valley in 2011, Perez recorded a 5.70 ERA with 13.1 K/9 and 6.2 BB/9 in 36 1/3 innings.

Mike Axisa contributed to this post.

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