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David Murphy Rumors
- Rangers outfielder David Murphy isn't concerned about his upcoming free agency after the season, ESPN's Jerry Crasnick reports. With another good season, Crasnick opines that Murphy could top Shane Victorino's three-year, $39MM contract with the Red Sox and Angel Pagan's four-year, $40MM deal with the Giants. Murphy, a Houston native, says he wants to remain with Texas and the two sides discussed an extension last month.
- The Angels outrighted Bobby Cassevah off the 40-man roster earlier today and MLB.com's Alden Gonzalez (Twitter link) hears the move was "more a formality" and that the team isn't looking to fill the roster spot with any specific player. The Angels currently have 39 players on their 40-man roster.
- After undergoing brain surgery in November, left-hander Anthony Vasquez is already back working out in the Mariners' minor league camp, MLB.com's Greg Johns writes. Vasquez made seven starts for Seattle in 2011 and made 11 starts at Triple-A Tacoma last season before being shut down with a shoulder injury.
The Rangers have had discussions with Mike Moye, the agent for David Murphy, assistant general manager Thad Levine tells MLB.com's T.R. Sullivan. Murphy agreed to a one-year deal worth $5.775MM earlier today, avoiding arbitration for the final time before hitting free agency. According to Levine, the team preferred to "get through [arbitration] first and then continue that dialogue later."
"Later" could mean Spring Training, writes Sullivan. As he points out, the Rangers have hammered out significant extensions for both Derek Holland and Ian Kinsler during Spring Training in recent years. That line of thinking also allows the Rangers to have a better sense of their long-term outfield picture. As it stands, the team is still interested in both Justin Upton and Michael Bourn. Acquiring either could impact potential extension talks for Murphy.
According to Sullivan, the team is also interested in discussing a long-term deal for Nelson Cruz, but no talks have taken place as of yet. Those, much like talks with Murphy, are likely to occur during Spring Training. Cruz signed a two-year, $16MM contract with the Rangers last offseason that bought out his final two years of arbitration. The 32-year-old is eligible to become a free agent following the 2013 season.
The Rangers and David Murphy have avoided arbitration with a one-year contract, the team announced. It's a one-year, $5.775MM contract, Jeff Wilson of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram reports (on Twitter). Moye Sports Associates represents the 31-year-old outfielder.
Murphy had filed for $6.5MM and the Rangers had countered at $5.05MM, as MLBTR's Arbitration Tracker shows. The sides settled at the midpoint, avoiding a potential hearing. This is Murphy's final time through the arbitration process; he's eligible for free agency following the 2013 season. All arbitration eligible Rangers now have contracts for 2013, the team confirmed.
Many players will avoid arbitration today, and dozens of others exchanged figures with their teams in anticipation of hearings. Most cases won't go to arbitration hearings, but teams such as the Rays, Marlins, Blue Jays and Braves are known for their 'file and trial' policies. For players on those teams this marks the last chance at negotiations before a hearing.
MLBTR's Arbitration Tracker will keep you up to date on every one of the filing numbers from around the game, but here are the highlights — players who filed for $4MM or more. Now for the details…
- Clayton Richard filed for $5.55MM while the Padres offered $4.905MM, according to CBSSports.com.
- Martin Prado filed for $7.05MM while the Braves countered with $6.65MM, Heyman reports (on Twitter).
- Sergio Romo filed for $4.5MM and the Giants countered at $2.675MM, Heyman reports (on Twitter).
- Max Scherzer filed at $7.4MM and the Tigers offered $6.05MM, Heyman reports (on Twitter).
- Jason Hammel filed at $8.25MM and the Orioles offered $5.7MM, Dan Connolly of the Baltimore Sun reports (on Twitter). Jim Johnson filed at $7.1MM and the Orioles countered at $5.7MM.
- Homer Bailey filed at $5.8MM and the Reds filed at $4.75MM, Heyman tweets.
- Jordan Zimmermann filed at $5.8MM and the Nationals offered $4.6MM, Heyman tweets.
- Dexter Fowler filed at $5.15MM with the Rockies offering $4.25MM, Heyman tweets
- Shin-Soo Choo filed at $8MM and the Reds offered $6.75MM, Heyman tweets.
- Chase Headley filed for $10.3MM with the Padres countering at $7.075MM, Heyman tweets.
- Mat Latos asked for $4.7MM and the Reds offered $4.15MM, Heyman tweets.
- Jason Motte filed at $5.5MM and the Cardinals offered $4.5MM, Heyman tweets.
- David Murphy filed at $6.5MM and the Rangers offered $5.05MM, Heyman tweets.
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On this day in 2009, the Dodgers agreed to re-sign Manny Ramirez to a two-year, $45MM contract. Ramirez's time in Los Angeles came to an end in August of 2010 when he was claimed off of waivers by the White Sox. As a Dodger, the slugger hit .322/.433/.580 with 44 homers in 223 games. Here's a look at some items out of the AL and NL West..
- Yoenis Cespedes was warmly welcomed by Manny, writes Yahoo's Steve Henson. Ramirez discussed hitting extensively with his new friend, and ESPN's Jerry Crasnick tweets that Cespedes says it's an "honor" to play with Ramirez. (Twitter link).
- There was a belief around baseball that Matt Cain was going to be an easy sign for the Giants, but that now seems less certain, writes Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com. Word was that the hurler might even be prepared to sign back with the Giants for less than $100MM but that seems far less likely.
- If the league upholds Jairo Beras' contract with the Rangers, sources with several teams have said that they will be furious, writes Ben Badler of Baseball America. MLB has granted some players leniency in the past if they willingly came forward with a new age or a new identity, but that does not appear to be the case in this situation.
- Rangers General Manager Jon Daniels says that multiple teams have inquired on David Murphy, writes MLB.com's T.R. Sullivan. Even though Murphy is slated to come off of the bench, Daniels says that the outfielder is a huge part of the club. The Twins inquired on Murphy back in December but Texas was unwilling to compromise their outfield depth.
- Angel Villalona's name plate has been removed from his locker and that's a sign that his visa issue isn't close to being resolved, tweets Andrew Baggarly of CSNBayArea.com. The Giants first baseman is facing legal trouble in his native Dominican Republic.
- The Athletics formally introduced Cespedes today and the outfielder said that Miguel Tejada told him that Oakland was a good organization to grow up in, tweets Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle.
Dozens of arbitration eligible players have agreed to deals with their respective teams today and we've been tracking all of the developments right here. Several teams, including the Rays, Nationals, Marlins, White Sox, Blue Jays, Braves, and perhaps Astros, are known for committing to going to hearings if they get to the point of filing. Keep track of all the madness with MLBTR's arbitration tracker, which shows settlement amounts, filing figures, and midpoints. Today's players to avoid arbitration on deals worth less than $4MM:
- The Cardinals avoided arbitration with pitcher Kyle McClellan, tweets B.J. Rains of FOX Sports Midwest. Joe Strauss of The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports (on Twitter) that the one-year deal is worth $2.5MM with incentives based on starts. MLBTR projected a $2.7MM for the Steve Comte client.
- MLBTR's Ben Nicholson-Smith reports (on Twitter) that the Padres and Chase Headley agreed to a one-year deal worth $3.475MM, avoiding arbitration. Earlier this evening, the Padres announced that they avoided arbitration with Luke Gregerson, Edinson Volquez, Carlos Quentin and Will Venable. They also avoided arbitration with lefty reliever Joe Thatcher on a deal worth $700K, tweets Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports. CAA announced catcher John Baker has signed for $750K. Bill Center of the San Diego Union-Tribune first reported that the Padres reached agreements with Hundley, Chase Headley, and Tim Stauffer. Hundley will earn $2MM in 2012, MLB.com's Corey Brock tweets. Dan Hayes of the North County Times tweets the salaries for Volquez ($2.2375MM), Venable ($1.475MM), Gregerson ($1.55MM)
- The Rangers avoided arbitration with Matt Harrison, tweets Evan Grant of The Dallas Morning News. The ACES client gets $2.95MM on a one-year deal. MLBTR had projected a $2.9MM salary.
- The Cubs announced that they have avoided arbitration with Jeff Baker ($1.375MM), Blake DeWitt ($1.1MM), Ian Stewart ($2.237MM) Chris Volstad ($2.655MM), and Randy Wells ($2.705MM). MLB.com's Carrie Muskat tweeted the salary figures.
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Murphy, 30, hit .275/.328/.401 in 440 plate appearances this year while playing all three outfield positions. Murphy is arbitration eligible for the second time this winter and MLBTR projects a $3.2MM salary for 2012.
We heard multiple times over the weekend that the Rangers are interested in some of the best available relievers. Texas GM Jon Daniels joined Galloway & Co. on 103.3 ESPN in Dallas (audio here) and though he declined to comment on specific players, he did provide insight into the Rangers' deadline plans…
- Daniels doesn't believe many 'impact' players will be available in trades this summer.
- Though the Rangers are optimistic about what Darren O'Day and Tommy Hunter can do in relief, "the bullpen's our focus point right now," Daniels said.
- However, if a true number one starter becomes available, as Cliff Lee did last year, the Rangers will check in and consider making an offer.
- Texas is willing to spend, though Daniels says he doesn't want to be "flippant" about finances.
- The Rangers decided to pass on signing Scott Kazmir, since they didn't expect the left-hander to be able to help the Major League team this season.
- The Rangers would almost certainly consider moving David Murphy in a trade for a quality reliever, according to MLB.com's T.R. Sullivan.
The surging Diamondbacks are a hot topic these days. Here's more on the Snakes and an item of note about another ballclub residing in a west division.
- Rangers outfielder David Murphy could be a hot trade commodity, writes T.R. Sullivan of MLB.com. This season has been an historically weak one with respect to production out of left fielders, writes Sullivan, and Murphy, Texas' fourth outfielder, is a solid hitter and pretty cheap. I could see this, but Murphy struggles against lefties (.257/.299/.363 career line), and it couldn't hurt for the Rangers to keep him around as insurance for the often-injured Josh Hamilton.
- The D'Backs' success in 2011 can be chalked up to organizational stability, hard work, and a few shrewd offseason moves, writes Tracy Ringolsby of FOXSports.com. After its bullpen posted a 5.74 ERA and 24 blown saves in 2010, Arizona added J.J. Putz via free agency, David Hernandez via trade and Joe Paterson through the Rule 5 Draft, and the D'Backs are now 13-7 in one-run decisions, notes Ringolsby. Twelve players currently on the 25-man roster were brought on by GM Kevin Towers, who Ringolsby says isn't trying to reinvent the proverbial wheel.
Murphy appeared in 138 games with Texas in 2010, primarily in left and right fields. The left-handed hitter posted a solid offensive season (.291/.358/.449 in 467 plate appearances) and was especially tough on right-handed pitchers (.298/.368/.479).
Scanning MLBTR's Arbitration Tracker, the Rangers now have four arbitration-eligible players remaining: Nelson Cruz, Josh Hamilton, C.J. Wilson and Darren O'Day. Reliever Mark Lowe, acquired midseason from the Mariners in the Cliff Lee swap, avoided arbitration in November. As well, free-agent reliever Frank Francisco accepted the Rangers' offer of arbitration.