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C.J. Wilson Rumors
Here are some links for Monday night as we anticipate the end of a managerial search in Boston and the beginning of a GM search in Houston…
- Patrick Newman of NPB Tracker hears that Matt Murton will return to the Hanshin Tigers for 2012 (Twitter link). Murton could have been an outside-the-box alternative for teams looking for outfield help this offseason. The 30-year-old has a .286/.352/.436 line in parts of five MLB seasons and has hit well in Japan.
- C.J. Wilson, who visited with the Marlins today, has another free agent visit scheduled this week, but it’s not with the Rangers, according to Jeff Wilson of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram (on Twitter).
- Twins people expect former GM Bill Smith to remain in the organization, according to Jon Heyman of SI.com. Minnesota replaced Smith with longtime GM Terry Ryan earlier this month.
- Speaking of the Twins, they’re one of many teams in on Yoenis Cespedes, according to Yahoo’s Tim Brown. This appears to be the first time they’ve been linked to the 26-year-old outfielder.
- The Astros are shopping Wandy Rodriguez all over, according to Brown.
- Jim Callis of Baseball America hears that the 30 MLB teams will be limited to $180MM in total spending for the first ten rounds of the draft under the new collective bargaining agreement (Twitter link).
- Teams that fail to sign top draft picks can’t re-allocate the money saved toward deals for other draft picks, according to MLB.com’s Jonathan Mayo. For example, a team that fails to sign a top pick who had a recommended bonus of $1.5MM would see its spending ceiling fall by $1.5MM and would not have the option of spending that $1.5MM on other players.
Here are some links from Miami, on the day that Robb Nen celebrates his 43rd birthday. Nen still holds the Marlins' franchise record with 108 saves…
- "They rolled out the red carpet. They seem to have a plan and made it very clear they'd like [C.J. Wilson] to be a part of it," said Bob Garber, Wilson's agent, to Joe Capozzi of The Palm Beach Post. The Marlins hosted the lefty at their new ballpark today. Garber wouldn't say if the team made an offer, but did say his client will "probably" make a decision during the winter meetings next week.
- The sentiment is that Albert Pujols will return to the Cardinals, but Capozzi says the Marlins still hope to sign Jose Reyes and either Wilson or Mark Buehrle. It's also possible they'll try to add both starters.
- The Marlins have interest in 18-year-old Cuban outfielder Yasiel Balaguer, reports Jorge Ebro of El Nuevo Herald (on Twitter). They will scout him this Wednesday in the Dominican Republic. Last year we heard about his "explosive speed and throwing arm."
The Angels are one of five or five teams with "serious interest" in free agent third baseman Aramis Ramirez, agent Paul Kinzer told Mike DiGiovanna of the L.A. Times. DiGiovanna notes that earlier this month Angels GM Jerry Dipoto described his interest level in Ramirez as "lower, but I never close the door on anyone."
Ramirez is open to playing on the West Coast, Kinzer told DiGiovanna. With full no-trade rights this summer, Ramirez was not so flexible. DiGiovanna believes Ramirez could make a decision on his new team at next week's Winter Meetings. On November 14th, Kinzer told Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports Ramirez seeks a four-year deal or three years with an option.
The Angels are interested in relievers Matt Capps, Heath Bell, Francisco Cordero, Octavio Dotel, and Scott Linebrink, adds DiGiovanna. They're also very interested in starter C.J. Wilson, who's touring the country meeting with suitors.
The Marlins will attempt to woo C.J. Wilson with a South Florida visit and stadium tour on Monday, writes Juan C. Rodriguez of the Sun Sentinel. Rodriguez writes that the Marlins are likely to put a bid in for Wilson considering that pitching is their top priority and the winter meetings are just around the corner.
Jose Reyes, Mark Buehrle, and Albert Pujols have already visited Miami and each free agent received an offer from the club. Prince Fielder is about the only high-end free agent that the Marlins haven't hosted and nothing is scheduled yet, which may or may not speak to their interest level.
Buehrle got to check out the Marlins' new park well before Wilson, but that doesn't mean that Buehrle is higher on the club's board. A source who spoke with a Marlins official in the early stages of the free agency period said he believed Miami preferred Wilson.
Two big name free agents came off the board within the first three weeks of the offseason, as CC Sabathia signed an extension with the Yankees and Jonathan Papelbon joined the Phillies. The two power-hitting first baseman are still on the market (Albert Pujols and Prince Fielder), as are the high-end shortstops (Jimmy Rollins and Jose Reyes) and left-handed starters (Mark Buehrle and C.J. Wilson). Looking for pure offense? There’s also Carlos Beltran and David Ortiz.
The Thanksgiving weekend has traditionally been a slow few days for the baseball hot stove, but think of it as the calm before the storm. The winter meetings are just over a week away, and clubs want to start patching the major holes on their rosters before the calendar flips to January. A full list of unsigned free agents can be found with our Free Agent Tracker, but only a select few qualify as big names. Which of those guys do you think will be the next to sign?
In case the fine distinction between Type A and Type B free agents wasn't confusing enough, MLB has added a new level of complexity to this offseason's class of ranked free agents. This year's Type A free agents have been divided into three groups and teams will only have to surrender draft choices for signing players from one of the the sub-groups. You can read about the details here and follow the arbitration offers with MLBTR's tracker, but if you're only concerned with the bottom line, look no further. Here are the six remaining players for whom teams will have to surrender a top draft pick this offseason:
Also note that the Phillies will surrender a draft pick for signing Jonathan Papelbon earlier in the offseason. No other free agents, even those who obtained offers of arbitration, will cost draft picks. This means fewer obstacles exist for teams wary of losing draft choices and more opportunities exist for ranked free agents looking to sign their next contracts. Middle relievers and second-tier position players are no doubt pleased that the MLBPA bargained for these changes.
At the beginning of the offseason, C.J. Wilson said there was a "great chance" that he would re-sign in Texas. Much has changed in the ensuing weeks. Wilson has drawn interest from a third of MLB teams and the Rangers have decided to shift Neftali Feliz to the rotation. Texas' need for starting pitching has diminished since the offseason began, so the Rangers may balk at Wilson's reported asking price of $120MM.
But some team will happily sign Wilson, even if the Rangers don't. Who will it be…
Major League Baseball's new collective bargaining agreement will make it harder for teams to spend big on amateur talent, which leaves them looking for new ways to build a competitive advantage. Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports suggests clubs should invest in scouting to ensure that the money they do spend impacts the Major League roster. Here's more from Morosi on the Boston Red Sox:
- Morosi says it's more likely than not that David Ortiz will return to Boston for another season. The Red Sox offered the free agent DH arbitration in a climate that no longer rewards one-dimensional sluggers as generously as it once did.
- Bobby Valentine remains the favorite to be named Boston's next manager, according to Morosi. Tigers third base coach Gene Lamont and Blue Jays first base coach Torey Lovullo remain in the mix as well.
- The Red Sox continue pursuing C.J. Wilson, according to Morosi. Many other clubs, including the Yankees and Blue Jays also have some interest in the free agent left-hander.
10 American League teams have free agent arbitration offer decisions to make, and we'll update them in this post throughout the day in advance of the 11pm central time deadline. For a fantastic customizable chart with all 57 Type A/B free agents and their teams' decisions in real-time, click here.
Updated team decisions:
- The Blue Jays offered arbitration to Frank Francisco (B), Kelly Johnson (A, will not cost signing team a draft pick), Jose Molina (B) and Jon Rauch (B), according to Shi Davidi of Sportsnet.ca (on Twitter). They declined to offer Shawn Camp (B) arbitration.
- The Red Sox announced that they offered David Ortiz (A) and Dan Wheeler (B) arbitration. They declined to offer Jason Varitek (B) arbitration. Jonathan Papelbon (A) already signed with the Phillies.
- The Yankees offered Freddy Garcia (B) arbitration according to MLB.com's Bryan Hoch (on Twitter).
- The Royals offered Bruce Chen (B) arbitration, according to Bob Dutton of the Kansas City Star.
- The White Sox announced they've offered arbitration to Mark Buehrle (B) and not Juan Pierre (B).
- The Athletics announced David DeJesus (B) and Josh Willingham (A, will not cost signing team a draft pick) were offered arbitration.
- The Rangers announced C.J. Wilson (A) will be offered arbitration. Modified Type B free agent Darren Oliver does not require an offer.
- The Orioles announced they will not offer arbitration to Vladimir Guerrero (B).
- Twins GM Terry Ryan said today on a conference call that he will offer arbitration to Michael Cuddyer (A, will not cost signing team a draft pick) and Jason Kubel (B), and noted that no arbitration offer is necessary for modified Type B free agent Matt Capps.
Teams with decisions still due:
Full Story | Comments | Categories: Baltimore Orioles | Boston Red Sox | Bruce Chen | C.J. Wilson | Chicago White Sox | Dan Wheeler | Darren Oliver | David DeJesus | David Ortiz | Detroit Tigers | Frank Francisco | Freddy Garcia | Jason Kubel | Jason Varitek | Jon Rauch | Jonathan Papelbon | Jose Molina | Josh Willingham | Juan Pierre | Kansas City Royals | Kelly Johnson | Magglio Ordonez | Mark Buehrle | Matt Capps | Michael Cuddyer | Minnesota Twins | New York Yankees | Oakland Athletics | Shawn Camp | Texas Rangers | Toronto Blue Jays | Transactions | Vladimir Guerrero | Wilson Betemit
WEDNESDAY, 10:55am: Gio Gonzalez trade talks haven't really started, reports ESPN's Buster Olney, who notes that the A's did not ask for Logan Morrison in brief check-in talks with the Marlins.
TUESDAY, 8:54am: The Marlins have pursued trades and free agents aggressively so far this offseason. Most recently, Gio Gonzalez has emerged as a possible trade target for the team. Here are the details on the Marlins’ offseason, via Clark Spencer of the Miami Herald: