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David Freese Rumors
Here's a look at the latest from Mark Feinsand of the New York Daily News, with all links going to Twitter..
- The Yankees are talking to the Cardinals about a deal for third baseman David Freese, a source tells Feinsand (via Twitter). The Cardinals could theoretically part with Freese since they can move Matt Carpenter to third base and use Kolten Wong at second. Freese, 30, would give the Yankees a solid plan B in the event that Alex Rodriguez's suspension is upheld. Even if the suspension isn't upheld, A-Rod will probably have to play a good amount of DH. Freese hit just .262/.340/.381 with nine homers last season but his career slash line of .286/.356/.427 is much stronger.
- A source says the says Mariners have "no interest" in Jacoby Ellsbury but the Cubs appear to be stealthily waiting in the wings (link). The Cubs are probably targeting 2015 to make a move towards contending but its possible that they'll look to make a splash this winter in advance of that.
- According to Rangers source, the club is working to schedule Carlos Beltran for a visit to Dallas (link). Two other teams are believed to be working on the same thing. Feinsand lists the Yankees, Red Sox, Royals, Indians, and Mariners as the other clubs showing serious interest and notes that they're all AL clubs (link).
We heard earlier today that the Brewers explored a trade for Mets first baseman Ike Davis but talks went nowhere, and that the Brew Crew aren't going to deal Norichika Aoki. Let's check in elsewhere around the NL Central…
- The Pirates have been looking at "high upside" starting pitchers in their initial round of free agent calls, Travis Sawchik of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review reports (Twitter link).
- Pirates GM Neal Huntington said that his team is open to discussing a long-term deal with second baseman Neil Walker, FOX Sports' Jon Paul Morosi reports (Twitter link).
- Also from Morosi (Twitter links), the Pirates will probably add a starter from outside the organization if A.J. Burnett retires or signs elsewhere. Huntington said Burnett hasn't yet given the Pirates any indication if he will retire or pitch in 2014.
- David Freese has seemingly gone from World Series hero to forgotten man in St. Louis. Bernie Miklasz of the St Louis Post-Dispatch looks at the Cardinals' options with their once-star third baseman and where he fits into the club's plans.
- It has been assumed that Carlos Beltran will leave the Cardinals this winter but GM John Mozeliak tells reporters (including MLB.com's Jenifer Langosch) that it isn't quite a done deal. "I still think it's a situation where the door's open but we haven't made any decisions either way. In time, we'll see," Mozeliak said.
- Jed Hoyer isn't surprised by the Jeff Samardzija trade talk, the Cubs general manager tells reporters (including ESPN Chicago's Jesse Rogers). “Teams know we’ve had discussions with him and we haven’t signed him. That's part of it," Hoyer said. "I think teams will certainly inquire about him. He’s really proved over the last two years he has great stuff and is a tough competitor. I think teams will ask us about him so to that extent there could be rumors." Samardzija is reportedly unlikely to sign an extension and he has been linked to the Nationals and Diamondbacks in recent rumors.
- Also from Hoyer, he says the Cubs will be looking to add veterans to replace Alfonso Soriano and David DeJesus' clubhouse leadership.
- Chicago native Curtis Granderson would be a big addition both on and off the field for Cubs or White Sox, yet as CSN Chicago's Dan Hayes notes, both teams' focus on adding younger talent makes them hesitant to give up the second round draft pick it would take to sign Granderson.
The NL Central features a pair of matchups this afternoon each at a different end of the spectrum. The division-leading Cardinals are hosting the Pirates and lead Pittsburgh by one-half game while the Brewers and Cubs are at Wrigley Field battling to avoid the cellar. The Brewers sit in fourth place by only one game. In other news and notes from the NL Central:
- The first place Cardinals can thank their deep farm system (especially in terms of pitching reinforcements) for their place in the standings, but it has had a ripple effect throughout the entire system, according to Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.
- Bernie Miklasz, Goold's colleague at the Post-Dispatch, agrees the Cardinals' young talent has been a tremendous resource; but, with Allen Craig nursing a sprained foot, the club will turn to a grizzled playoff veteran: David Freese.
- The Brewers have a glaring hole at first base with seven different players starting there this season, but Juan Francisco's audition to win the job for 2014 hasn't gone well, opines Todd Rosiak of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. Since a two-home run, four-RBI game against the Rangers on August 14, Francisco has slumped with only seven hits in 44 at bats (.159), two RBIs, and 23 strikeouts.
- In an recent online chat, Rosiak explained trading either Yovani Gallardo or Kyle Lohse this offseason wouldn't make sense because it would create more holes in a rotation which already doesn't have enough proven arms.
- Within that same chat, Rosiak can envision the Brewers cutting ties with Rickie Weeks citing the recent examples of Bill Hall, Jeff Suppan, and Randy Wolf. Rosiak notes those three cases occurred in the final year of their contracts, which is what Weeks is entering in 2014.
- Right-hander Daniel Bard, claimed on waivers by the Cubs last Wednesday, threw his second bullpen session today, but there is still no timetable for him to see any game action, reports MLB.com's Carrie Muskat. "It’d be nice to see but it’s his timetable and we’ll evaluate and we’ll find out how he’s doing and how he’s feeling," said manager Dale Sveum. Bard is eligible for arbitration this winter.
- Earlier today, the Cubs designated infielder Cody Ransom for assignment to create roster space for right-hander Scott Baker, who is making his first MLB appearance in two years.
Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports has lots of good stuff in this weekend's edition of Full Count. Here's a look at some of the highlights..
- The Cardinals' promotion of Kolten Wong could be the first step towards the club trading David Freese. Obviously, Freese isn't having a good year, but the free agent market at third base this offseason will be very thin this season and will be headlined by veterans such as Juan Uribe and Michael Young. Freese is under club control through 2015 and while he's not an All-Star, it's easy to see teams making a play for him.
- Mark Reynolds had interest from a number of clubs but he signed with the Yankees because they offered him the best opportunity of any interested club. The Orioles thought about a reunion, but he only would have DH'd against left-handed pitching. The Royals also thought about Reynolds, but they expect Mike Moustakas to come back soon from his calf injury and the Rangers checked in but didn't have an immediate major league opening.
- The Dodgers will be the x-factor in Robinson Cano's free agency and they could be spurred by their recent success to make a play for him. The Dodgers have been indicating that they won't spend like crazy forever and could dedicate their resources to new deals for Clayton Kershaw and Hanley Ramirez. However, they could also move one of their surplus outfielders and find the spare cash for the second baseman.
The Indians had a visit today from Crash Davis. Kevin Costner, star of the movie Bull Durham and in Cleveland for the filming of his new movie Draft Day where he plays the GM of the Cleveland Browns, played catch in the outfield, gloved some ground ball at third base, and took batting practice. "I was actually glad I made contact," Costner said with a smile to reporters including MLB.com's Jordan Bastian. "I hadn't swung in a couple years. I thought my chances of swinging through the ball were just as good as fouling it off." With filming in Cleveland, Costner said he has seen several Indians games at Progressive Field and likes what he has seen, "I really think this team can win the division. I've watched a lot of baseball and they have a couple good pieces of DNA. One of them is they come from behind. Not all teams can do that. They've got the right amount of athletic arrogance to do that. I think they can run Detroit down." I wonder if Billy Chapel would agree. Speaking of the Tigers and the rest of baseball's Central Division teams:
- The Tigers had a scout at the Marlins-Giants series this weekend, reports Jason Beck of MLB.com. The Tigers are said to have interest in Miami relievers Steve Cishek and Ryan Webb.
- Injuries and back-loaded contracts with deferred money have diminished the value of the Brewers' trade chips, according to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel's Tom Haudricourt. The Brewers do have some productive players on team-friendly contracts such as Yovani Gallardo, Norichika Aoki, and Jonathan Lucroy; but, Haudricourt questions what the return would be for them or for relievers Francisco Rodriguez and John Axford.
- Bronson Arroyo is well aware financial constraints could force the Reds not to re-sign him, reports John Fay of the Cincinnati Enquirer. "I talked about it very briefly in the offseason," Arroyo said. "The feeling I got was: ‘Hey, we’d love to have you, Bronson.’ I think everybody around would love to keep me here the rest of my career. But monetarily there’s question marks there."
- The Cubs could designate Henry Rodriguez for assignment to make room for another position player, tweets Bruce Miles of the Daily Herald.
- Like Arroyo, Cardinals third baseman David Freese told Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch he is aware he could become a payroll casualty because of the young and inexpensive infield talent the club has. Freese is arbitration eligible once again this winter and isn't eligible for free agency until after the 2015 season.
Zach Links contributed to this post.
Here are some notes from a new video by FOX Sports' Ken Rosenthal …
- Despite the Brewers' 23-37 record, manager Ron Roenicke does not appear to be in immediate danger, Rosenthal says. The Brewers have struggled with injuries, and Rosenthal suggests that Brewers principal owner Mark Attanasio and GM Doug Melvin don't like firing managers during the season.
- Second baseman Matt Carpenter of the Cardinals is emerging as a top hitter for the Cardinals, who have another second baseman, Kolten Wong, waiting in the wings. That leads Rosenthal to wonder about the possiblity that the Cardinals could deal David Freese in the offseason and move Carpenter to third. Freese will make $3.15MM this season, and will almost certainly receive a raise in arbitration in the offseason.
- The Mets would make sense as a destination for Andre Ethier of the Dodgers, Rosenthal says. With Johan Santana, Jason Bay and Frank Francisco coming off the books, the Mets could have the financial flexibility to deal for Ethier and a chunk of the four years and $71.5MM that will be left on his contract by the time this offseason rolls around.
Yesterday, the Cardinals avoided arbitration with David Freese on a one-year, $3.15MM deal, which took care of all of their unsigned arbitration eligible players. However, the third baseman says that he wants to be in St. Louis for life, writes Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. "If a long-term deal is going to happen I know for a fact that I have to do some things. I have to be a leader. I have to do what I do on the field. I have do the things expected of me," Freese said. Here's more from around baseball..
- Teams are interested in Scott Podsednik but he likely will need to wait for one that wants more help, suffers an injury, or misses out on a free agent like Michael Bourn, tweets Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports. Earlier today, we learned that the Twins haven't ruled out making a play for the outfielder.
- Orioles General Manager Dan Duquette says he hopes to have the Jair Jurrjens situation resolved by the start of spring training, tweets Roch Kubatko of MASNsports.com. The Orioles have yet to finalize their one-year, $1.5MM agreement with the pitcher and are believed to be concerned about his knee.
- Diamondbacks GM Kevin Towers says he approached Paul Goldschmidt about a long-term deal but the 25-year-old wanted to wait before talking about it, tweets Nick Piecoro of the Arizona Republic. Goldschmidt won't be arbitration eligible until after the 2014 season and isn't scheduled to hit free agency until the winter following the 2017 season.
6:01pm: Freese's deal is worth $3.15MM, according to Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com (on Twitter).
2:32pm: The Cardinals have agreed to a one-year deal with David Freese, avoiding arbitration, Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports (on Twitter). CAA Sports represents the third baseman.
Freese filed for $3.75MM with the Cardinals offering $2.4MM, as MLBTR's Arbitration Tracker shows. The Cardinals don't have any unsigned arbitration eligible players remaining now that they've agreed to terms with Freese. The 29-year-old remains on track to go to arbitration two more times and hit free agency following the 2015 season.
Check out MLBTR's post on Arbitration Basics for an introduction to the process.
Cardinals legend Stan Musial died on the weekend at the age of 92, and the seven-time batting champion will be remembered as one of the best hitters of all-time. Here are some notes about the present-day Cardinals as they prepare for the 2013 season…
- As Carlos Beltran enters the final season of his two-year contract, he’d like to know if he’s part of the club’s long-term plans, Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports. However, Beltran won’t try to accelerate talks unless the Cardinals want to do the same. “They don't really have to come to me, explain it to me,” Beltran said. “It depends how this year will go. We'll see what happens. I really love playing here.” Beltran will earn $13MM in 2013 before hitting free agency next offseason.
- David Freese said he has decided not to discuss his contract talks publicly, Goold reports. The arbitration eligible third baseman asked for $3.75MM with the Cardinals countering at $2.4MM. He acknowledged that he’s aware of talks between the team and his agent, adding that he’d like to reach an agreement if possible. "If you can get it done, the quicker the better." CAA represents Freese, who’s arb eligible for the first time this winter.
Teams and players submitted corresponding arbitration figures today, and leading up to the noon CDT deadline many players avoided arbitration. This post offers a look at some of the players who avoided arbitration, this post has filing numbers for teams and players and MLBTR's Arbitration Tracker provides the complete breakdown. Now for some additional notes about arbitration eligible players…
- There’s much more momentum toward a contract between Jason Motte and the Cardinals than there is between the team and David Freese, Joe Strauss of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports (on Twitter). Marc Rzepczynski, Freese and Motte are St. Louis' three remaining arbitration eligible players, as MLBTR's Arbitration Tracker shows.
- Though the Reds discussed a multiyear deal with outfielder Chris Heisey, the sides are more likely to agree on a one-year deal, ESPN.com’s Buster Olney reports (on Twitter). Heisey has a projected $1.3MM salary as he goes to arbitration for the first time.