Cesar Izturis Rumors
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.
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.
The latest on the Mets's search for bullpen help, with the newest updates on top...
- Rauch and the Mets had "good talks" today and are making progress, tweets Rubin.
- The Mets have a list of about 11 attainable relievers, says Adam Rubin of ESPN New York. Rubin adds Octavio Dotel and Jason Isringhausen to the names mentioned below.
- Jose Reyes' agent met with the Mets about other clients such as Endy Chavez, Cesar Izturis, and Ronny Cedeno, which was described as "a little awkward."
- Joel Sherman of the New York Post is getting a strong feeling the Mets are closing in on a late-inning relief type, other than Francisco Cordero. Andy Martino of the New York Daily News hears the same, and says to think Frank Francisco, Jon Rauch, and Brad Lidge types. Martino thinks a deal could happen tonight. Alderson told reporters the Mets are more likely to sign two lesser-priced relievers than one expensive guy.
- The Mets will probably send someone to see Joel Zumaya throw next week, tweets Sherman.
- Alderson will meet with Scott Boras today, though he told reporters Francisco Rodriguez is unlikely.
- The Mets' five or so top prospects will not be traded, Alderson told reporters including Rubin.
- The Mets have interest in bringing 40-year-old righty Miguel Batista back, tweets Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports.
Cesar Izturis is looking for a Major League deal and has drawn interest from several teams, according to Dan Connolly of the Baltimore Sun (on Twitter). The infielder won’t be re-signing with the Orioles, according to Connolly.
Izturis, 31, has spent the past three seasons in Baltimore, where he has played shortstop, second and third. He missed much of the 2011 season with elbow and groin injuries, but has a .255/.295/.322 line in 11 Major League seasons. UZR suggests the former Gold Glove winner has been an above-average defender in each of the past six seasons. Izturis is a client of Peter E. Greenberg & Associates, the same agency that represents free agent shortstop Jose Reyes.
- Stop by at 2pm CDT for this week's chat.
- The Red Sox signed Tony Pena Jr. to a minor league deal and invited him to Spring Training, according to ESPN.com's Jayson Stark (on Twitter). Pena, who spent parts of four seasons as a big league shortstop, spent the 2010 season in the upper minors with the Giants and posted a 4.13 ERA with 7.3 K/9 and 3.4 BB/9 in 76 1/3 innings.
- The Mets deny that they offered Chris Young a contract, according to Dan Martin of the New York Post. ESPN.com's Buster Olney reported last night that the Mets had offered the tall right-hander a deal that's likely worth over $1MM.
- Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports argues that the Angels have "holes to fill and explaining to do" after missing out on Carl Crawford and Adrian Beltre.
- Rafael Soriano told Enrique Rojas of ESPNDeportes that he has “no preference” between the AL and the NL (link in Spanish). The closer says he isn’t worried even though he’s on the market after most top free agents have signed.
6:52pm: The Orioles say that Green has not agreed to a contract, tweets Connolly.
4:35pm: The Orioles have re-signed Cesar Izturis to a one-year deal worth $1.5MM, according to Dan Connolly of the Baltimore Sun (Twitter links). The deal, which is pending a physical, includes $1.7MM in incentives based on plate appearances and games stared, according to Yahoo's Tim Brown (Twitter link). Agent Peter Greenberg represents the shortstop.
The Orioles have already added Mark Reynolds, Brendan Harris and J.J. Hardy to an infield that has become crowded in a hurry. The Baltimore infield also includes Brian Roberts and Robert Andino, so it would not be surprising to see president of baseball operations Andy MacPhail make another move before the season begins.
Izturis has been Baltimore's starting shortstop for the past two seasons, but he figures to back up Hardy in 2011. The 30-year-old switch-hitter batted .230/.277/.268 in 513 plate appearances, but posted an above-average UZR/150 (5.8) in 1250 innings on defense.
The Orioles have also signed Nick Green to a minor league deal with an invitation to Spring Training, according to Jeff Zrebiec of the Sun (via Connolly on Twitter). The 32-year-old picked up just 23 plate appearances last year, but he has a career .237/.305/.348 line in parts of six MLB seasons. Connolly suggests Harris, Andino and Green will likely battle for one roster spot in Spring Training.
Another eventful Winter Meetings has come to a close. Even with the pre-meetings action involving Adrian Gonzalez, Jayson Werth, and Shaun Marcum, we had plenty to talk about this week. Carl Crawford signed the biggest deal of the offseason so far. Paul Konerko stayed with the White Sox after some drama. Carlos Pena found a pillow contract with the Cubs. J.J. Putz assumed the Diamondbacks' closer role. The Orioles rebuilt the left side of their infield with Mark Reynolds and J.J. Hardy. The Pirates, Mariners, Padres, Royals, Rockies, Mets, and others made additions as well. On to today's links...
- Check out a couple of Rule 5 draft reviews from MLB.com's Jonathan Mayo and Baseball Prospectus' Kevin Goldstein. And of course, a pair of great links from John Manuel of Baseball America. We've got the picks from the Major League phase listed here.
- Newsday's Ken Davidoff has the financial breakdown on Derek Jeter's new contract.
- The Red Sox have already gotten inquiries on outfielder Mike Cameron, tweets ESPN's Jayson Stark. The team plans to keep him but is willing to listen. Cameron will have to take on a part-time role with Carl Crawford, Jacoby Ellsbury, and J.D. Drew filling Boston's outfield.
- The Red Sox are expected to reach an agreement to re-sign Rich Hill in the next few days, reports Dan Barbarisi of The Providence Journal. Hill, who grew up a Sox fan, hopes to crack the bullpen this year.
- The Tigers' talks with Carl Crawford didn't get far, GM Dave Dombrowski told MLB.com's Jason Beck. Dombrowski explained that a team can only have so many $20MM players, and the Tigers already have two.
- Orioles president Andy MacPhail hasn't ruled out Cesar Izturis returning, tweets MLB.com's Brittany Ghiroli. Izturis is a tougher fit after the Orioles acquired Hardy and Brendan Harris.
- The team did not offer Carlos Pena or Paul Konerko contracts before the first basemen signed in Chicago, according to president of baseball operations Andy MacPhail.
- It's likely that the team's shortstop will be Hardy, Jason Bartlett, Brendan Ryan or Cesar Izturis, MacPhail said. The Padres appear to be close to a deal for Bartlett, which would limit the Orioles' options.
- MacPhail says the club has expressed interest in a number of DH types. Vladimir Guerrero, Hideki Matsui and Jim Thome are believed to be among the team's targets.
- The team, which selects fourth in tomorrow's Rule 5 draft, is considering a number of players.
- There are no updates on Kevin Gregg, but Zrebiec reported yesterday that the team has offered the former Blue Jays closer a two-year deal.
- Troy Renck of the Denver Post hears (on Twitter) that Nick Green could end up in Baltimore.
- MLB.com's Brittany Ghiroli reports that the O's continue to have discussions with Koji Uehara, Ty Wigginton, and Cesar Izturis. The issue with the first two is contract length, and the fate of the last two is tied to what kind of bat the team brings in.
- Jeff Zrebiec of The Baltimore Sun wonders if Victor Martinez is exactly what the Orioles need. He says that "by all accounts," Peter Angelos, Andy MacPhail, and Buck Showalter are high on V-Mart and he is "one of their top offseason priorities."
- MASNSports.com's Roch Kubatko speculates that Jon Garland could again be connected to Baltimore, as he has been for the last two offseasons. He doesn't see either Zach Duke or Manny Ramirez fitting in with the O's.
The Orioles have discussed potential trades for Jason Bartlett and J.J. Hardy with the Rays and Twins, according to Jeff Zrebiec of the Baltimore Sun. The Orioles discussed trading David Hernandez to the Rays for Bartlett, but the deal seems unlikely at this point.
Hardy is a non-tender candidate after a 2010 season in which he missed time with a bruised wrist and batted .268/.320/.394 in 375 plate appearances. The 28-year-old continued to play strong defense, according to UZR.
Like Hardy, Bartlett is heading into his final year as an arbitration eligible player. He earned $4MM in 2010, while Hardy made $5.1MM. Bartlett batted .254/.324/.350 in 532 plate appearances. If they trade the 31-year-old, the Rays could pencil Reid Brignac in at short.
O’s president of baseball operations Andy MacPhail wouldn’t comment on specific players, but said he has had some “productive disucssions” at the GM Meetings in Orlando. The team could still bring back free agent shortstop Cesar Izturis.