David Freese Rumors
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.
The Red Sox are now under new GM Ben Cherington's watch, and they figure to again be one of the most active teams during the offseason. Here's the latest from Boston...
- WEEI.com's Alex Speier spoke to sources both inside and outside the organization who said the Red Sox are not expected to move third baseman Kevin Youkilis. Youkilis will turn 33 next month, and although he's missed time with injury in each of the last three seasons, he remains productive (.258/.373/.459 in 2011) and affordable ($12MM in 2012 with a $13MM club option for 2013).
- Within the same piece, Speier notes that the Sox will "almost surely kick the tires on [pitchers] with the stuff and/or track record that suggests an ability to compete in the American League East," as long as they're open to short-term contracts.
- CEO and team president Larry Lucchino appeared on the Dennis & Callahan show this morning; Jerry Spar of WEEI.com provides a transcript. Among other things, he said talks with the Cubs about compensation for Theo Epstein are taking so long because "the parties have different views of what is significant compensation."
- Meanwhile, Bud Selig told reporters (including Scott Miller of CBSSports.com) he expects the compensation dispute to land on his desk this coming Tuesday (Twitter link).
- David Freese is busy providing the Cardinals with postseason heroics, but Tom Krasovic of Inside The Padres says the Red Sox had a loophole deal in place to sign the third baseman for $90K before the 2006 draft. The commissioner's office stepped in and nixed the deal, however.
The latest on the Cardinals, as third baseman David Freese makes his first spring start...
- Freese is now represented by CAA, tweets the agency. Phil Tannenbaum was his previous agent. Freese, 28 next month, is a ways off from arbitration eligibility.
- Chris Carpenter felt a twinge in his left hamstring during yesterday's bullpen session, reports Joe Strauss of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. He's looking doubtful to start Friday, but there's no timetable for his return. Carpenter's hamstring first became a concern six days ago in a start against the Marlins. Perhaps by the weekend the Cardinals will decide whether to explore external options with Adam Wainwright out of the season and Carpenter's status unknown.
- Kiko Calero's slider looked good in his Cardinals audition, tweets SI's Jon Heyman, but the team told the righty they have a full roster.
All the best in non-Cuban baseball news...
- Scouts from eight teams recently gathered to watch Taiwanese pitching prospect Min-Tzu Chen, according to Taiwan Baseball. Chen, a converted outfielder, has only been pitching for three months but reportedly already has offers in hand from the Royals and Padres.
- Tomo Ohka has agreed to a deal with the Mexican League Quintana Roo Tigers, reports Japanese Ball Players.
- Ruben Gotay isn't often mentioned in discussions about who will man third base for the Cardinals this season, and his .255/.315/.371 career numbers don't scream "slugging corner infielder." But the 28-year-old Puerto Rican utilityman tells Primera Hora's Esteban Rivera that the Cardinals signed him and invited him to spring training exclusively with the hot corner in mind. Gotay played his first full season at third at Triple A in the Diamondbacks system last season, showing newfound patience with a .272/.429/.450 line including 102 walks in 479 PAs. While he is fourth at best on the depth chart, the first two candidates, David Freese and Tyler Greene, have 150 Major League PAs combined, and Felipe Lopez has played 13 games at third in the last five years, all for the Cardinals in 2008.
- In 11 Major League seasons, Ricardo Rincon managed a 3.59 ERA and logged 565 appearances in the "G" column, but look one column to the right at "GS," and cue the rolling tumbleweeds. That's changing in the Mexican League, where the 39-year-old is trying to crack the starting rotation of the Minatitlan Oilers, according to the league site.
- MLB is partnering with the Jamaican government to build a stadium on the north side of the island in Trelawny, reports the Jamaica Observer. The complex will be the league's first-ever investment in the country, which is looking to expand its presence in international sports following the success of Usain Bolt. One current big league player, Indians pitcher Justin Masterson, was born in Jamaica.
Now that Matt Holliday's mega-contract is all but official, the Cardinals have approximately $6-7MM left in their budget according to MLB.com's Matthew Leach. The team must now figure out how to allocate those funds, because they still have to address third base and the back of the rotation, plus the bullpen and bench."It's a great question and one that I don't know the answer to today," (GM John) Mozeliak said on Thursday when asked what comes next. "[Assistant GM John] Abbamondi, myself, Jeff [Luhnow, scouting director and farm director] and the group will sit down tomorrow. I'll then also get with Tony [La Russa, manager] over the weekend and we'll kind of prioritize what we think, if we had a bullet to use, what would we use it on. Once we get to that point, then we'll look at what's out there and how to use that resource if it's there. We may stand pat. But we'll see."
As Leach points out, the Cardinals do have in-house options at third (David Freese) and the fifth starter's spot (Jaime Garcia, Mitchell Boggs, Blake Hawksworth), though the bench - particularly a lefty hitter - is an area the team will have to go outside of the organization to upgrade.
We've seen names like Miguel Tejada, Joe Crede, and Felipe Lopez mentioned as possible fits for the Cardinals in recent weeks.
Joe Strauss from the St. Louis Post-Dispatch discusses the Cardinals and their current situation with free agent Matt Holliday. Let's dive in:
- The Cardinals are pushing for a meeting with Scott Boras at the Winter Meetings to discuss whether or not they have a legitimate chance to bring Holliday back to St. Louis.
- If they were to retain Holliday, the club would be content to give David Freese his shot at third base and spend its leftover money on the rotation rather than infield help.
- Re-signing Mark DeRosa is one alternative to Holliday in left, although the Cardinals understandably aren't fans of DeRosa's current asking price of three years and roughly $24MM.
- The Cards had interest in bringing Chone Figgins aboard, prior to his agreement with the Mariners.
- St. Louis continues to say that they don't have leverage to make trades after parting with a number of top prospects, but Strauss mentions that some teams looking to shed salary could make sense. He names Dan Uggla, Kevin Millwood, and (if he's made available) Brandon Inge as some candidates, though the Marlins are asking a lot in return for Uggla.
- Strauss also mentions Adam Dunn, who's owed $12MM this season as a good fit, though the Nationals aren't intent on moving him. According to Strauss, several within the Cardinal organization were pushing for Dunn over Holliday last season before the deadline.
- If the Cards are able to sign Holliday, backloading the contract as they typically do with large deals won't be beneficial as the expensive years will coincide with those of Albert Pujols, if and when he, too, gets a new contract.
- Strauss names Vicente Padilla and Ben Sheets as possible free agent arms to target.
- Interesting note on the Cardinals from Strauss; they haven't made a trade at the Winter Meetings since 2003 when they acquired Adam Wainwright, Jason Marquis, and Ray King.
Cardinals GM John Mozeliak is lowering expectations for this week even though his team has plenty of issues to address this offseason, according to Joe Strauss The St. Louis Post Dispatch.
"I'd say the chances of us making anything happen there is very small," said Cardinals general manager John Mozeliak, a central mover during last November's weeklong meeting at Dana Point, Calif. "My expectation is that this will be much more about MLB business."
Mozeliak also said he believes that rookie David Freese should get first crack at the third base job next year, although the team publicly remains interested in Mark DeRosa. He also indicated the team plans to promote a young pitcher to fill one of the rotation spots vacated by John Smoltz and Joel Pineiro, while seeking a "short-term veteran" for the other.
Strauss mentions that if the team believes it can retain Matt Holliday for $17MM annually, they're likely to be disappointed because Scott Boras "is believed committed to finding a far more lucrative deal for Holliday than the eight-year, $136 million deal left fielder Alfonso Soriano accepted to sign with the Chicago Cubs in November 2006."
According to Joe Strauss of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, David Freese should get first crack at the Cardinals' third base job next season.
Freese was impressive in his 225 plate appearances with Triple-A Memphis, posting an .894 OPS, and hit well in a very small major-league sample as well (.837 OPS in 34 plate appearances).
Should Freese excel, it would be a welcome change from 2009 for the Cardinals, when eight different players held down the hot corner.
"I think we would like to give him a shot to play every day," St. Louis GM John Mozeliak said. "If we need to ramp up the offense in another way, we have plenty of time. But given what he accomplished this year, I definitely think (Freese) deserves that chance."
The decision to give Freese first crack at the third base job complicates any efforts to sign free agent Mark DeRosa, who wants an every day job in 2010.
Strauss added that the Cardinals have little interest in any other free agent third basemen.