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Fernando Rodney Rumors
November will bring the eight-year anniversaries of the Rays' hirings of executive vice president Andrew Friedman and manager Joe Maddon, writes Marc Topkin of the Tampa Times. With Jim Leyland's retirement, Friedman and Maddon are now the longest-tenured GM/manager duo in Major League Baseball. Topkin quotes Friedman: "Joe and I have a tremendous working relationship that has only strengthened over time. I think that the continuity throughout our organization provides at least a little of a competitive advantage." Here's more on the Rays and the rest of the AL East…
- Within that same article, Topkin reports that there aren't likely to be any pre-emptive deals with impending free agents for the Rays. He lists James Loney and Fernando Rodney as two such free agents who would like to explore the free agent market. That goes against what teammate Joel Peralta said about Rodney a few weeks back; Peralta voiced his certainty that Rodney would take a discount to return to the Rays.
- Nolan Reimold hopes to return to the Orioles in 2014, though he realizes that he's not a lock to be tendered a contract, the 30-year-old tells Roch Kubatko of MASNsports.com. Reimold missed the majority of the season once again but says he's significantly further along in his rehab from neck surgery than he was in his injury rehab at this time last season. MLBTR contributor Matt Swartz projects a $1.2MM salary for Reimold if the O's do indeed tender him.
- Steve Melewski of MASNsports.com wonders how much of an impact Tim Lincecum's two-year, $35MM extension will have on the pitching market, specifically impending Orioles free agent Scott Feldman.
The Rays' season came to an end last night in a Game 4 loss to the Red Sox in the ALDS, but owner Stu Sternberg, executive VP Andrew Freidman and manager Joe Maddon all considered the team's 92-win season a success, writes MLB.com's Adam Berry. Evan Longoria tells Berry that it's frustrating to have been to the postseason four times and not won the World Series, but he's happy to be a part of a team that's had that opportunity. Joel Peralta voiced his confidence that the Rays' front office will add pieces to better position the team for a deep run in 2014. Here's more on the Rays…
- Peralta told Bill Chastain of MLB.com that he and his teammates would all like the Rays to bring back closer Fernando Rodney. Peralta calls Rodney "one of the best teammates" he's had, noting that the two are like brothers. He feels that Rodney would sacrifice money on the free agent market to return to the Rays for a third season.
- Chastain also writes that Delmon Young, who re-joined the team in August after being released by the Phillies, would like to return to the Rays in 2014 as well. Young cited the Rays' depth of pitching and offensive stars like Longoria and Wil Myers as reasons he'd like to return. He said he's unsure of the team' offseason plans but is looking forward to his first healthy offseason since 2010-11.
The 2013 Yankees don't project to have as much depth as recent New York teams, Joel Sherman of the New York Post writes. This could make the club vulnerable, though the possibility of a championship still exists given the talent in place. Here are some more notes from the AL East…
- The Red Sox might be interested in Mike Carp, Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe writes (on Twitter). Carp, who was recently designated for assignment by the Mariners, is a left-handed hitter with a career batting line of .255/.327/.413. The Red Sox have discussed Carp internally without deciding whether to pursue him, Peter Abraham of the Boston Globe reports (on Twitter).
- Tampa Bay closer Fernando Rodney said he has not had extension talks with the Rays, Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times reports. Rodney, who is set to hit free agency this coming offseason, said he would be open to a new deal with the Rays. He indicated multiple times this winter that he was nearing a deal with the Rays, but said today that his previous comments were mis-interpreted.
- While the Orioles considered trades for offense, they were reluctant to part with arms in potential deals, Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com reports. “I'd rather hold on to our young pitchers,'' executive VP of baseball operations Dan Duquette said. Though the Orioles didn't make headlines this winter, Heyman notes that Duquette earned the benefit of the doubt with Baltimore's strong showing in 2012.
No one should be surprised if the Yankees engage in a major spending spree during the 2014 offseason, writes Jim Bowden of ESPN.com (Insider sub. req'd). The Bombers held off on going after the big free agents this winter as they look to get under the $189MM figure next year for tax purposes, but they'll get a clean slate on their luxury tax history after that point. General Manager Brian Cashman could reload his rotation in 2014 with a free agent class including Justin Verlander, Clayton Kershaw, Felix Hernandez, and James Shields. If they want to take that route again the following year, the 2015 class offers David Price, Cliff Lee, Johnny Cueto, and Yovani Gallardo. Here's more from the AL East..
- The Orioles are not expected to sign Arthur Rhodes or Fernando Tatis to minor league deals, a pair of sources tell Roch Kubatko of MASNsports.com (on Twitter). Yesterday, it was reported that the O's recently worked out both veterans. Rhodes, 43, didn't pitch in 2012 but he's looking to return to baseball this season. Tatis, 38, hasn't played in the majors since 2010.
- Rays closer Fernando Rodney told MLB.com's Alden Gonzalez that a new deal with Tampa Bay is right around the corner. "It's in plans already," Rodney said in Spanish. "We've talked a few times, and I expect it to get finalized this month." Earlier today, agent Dan Lozano said that no talks have taken place on a new deal for Rodney but the closer says he's confident that an agreement will be reached.
- Red Sox manager John Farrell is still interviewing candidates for the bullpen coach vacancy and may have a decision early next week, tweets Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe.
The latest from around MLB…
- Rays closer Fernando Rodney continues to express confidence at the Caribbean Series that he'll get a two-year extension finalized, Alden Gonzalez of MLB.com reports (on Twitter). Agent Dan Lozano recently said no talks have taken place between the Rays and Rodney, who's entering the final year of his contract.
- Though the Brewers wanted to sign Lyle Overbay and Juan Rivera, the free agents went to American League teams in part because NL teams can't offer playing time as a DH, Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reports (on Twitter).
- Free agent reliever Brandon Lyon is still talking to several teams yet nothing is imminent, Adam Rubin of ESPNNewYork.com reports (on Twitter). Meister Sports Management represents the right-hander.
- The Reds are monitoring the relief market and could make a deal if the price is low enough, ESPN.com’s Jerry Crasnick reported this morning (Twitter links). Though the Reds like their bullpen, GM Walt Jocketty acknowledged the team is "looking.'' The Reds have added Manny Parra since Crasnick provided this update, so it's not clear if they'll continue searching for arms.
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The Red Sox and Yankees each added a veteran bat today, as Lyle Overbay agreed to a deal with Boston and Travis Hafner came to terms with the Bronx Bombers. Here are some more items from around the AL East…
- Dan Lozano, Fernando Rodney's agent, said his client was misquoted in a recent interview with Dominican newspaper El Dia, Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times reports. El Dia reported on Wednesday that Rodney was close to signing a two-year extension with the Rays but Lozano said that no talks have taken place between the two sides. Rodney is set to make $2.5MM in 2013, his last year under contract with Tampa Bay.
- The Orioles are looking to add relief pitching and "are keeping tabs on some relievers that have yet to sign," The Baltimore Sun's Dan Connolly reports.
- Also from Connolly, he hears the Orioles would be interested in Kyle Lohse if the veteran's price significantly dropped. It may be a longshot, as Connolly says the O's don't want to lose the first-round draft pick it would take to sign Lohse and even if Lohse was open to a one-year contract, he likely wouldn't sign such a deal in the AL East.
- ESPN New York's Andrew Marchand fields several Alex Rodriguez questions in an online fan chat, as well as other Yankees topics like Curtis Granderson trade talk and Robinson Cano's future in the Bronx.
- The Blue Jays aren't likely to make any more additions this offseason aside from minor league depth signings, writes MLB.com's Gregor Chisholm as part of a reader mailbag.
- An AL East talent evaluator breaks down the division's teams with ESPN Boston's Gordon Edes.
Let's take a quick look around the league for a few of the morning's odds and ends out of Nashville….
- Giancarlo Stanton remains unhappy with the direction of the Marlins, agent Joel Wolfe tells Jon Heyman of CBS Sports (Twitter link). "It wasn't a reaction," Wolfe said, referring to Stanton's post-trade tweet last month. "It's a state of mind." Wolfe declined comment when asked if Stanton has requested a trade, according to Heyman (Twitter link).
- The Orioles may have some interest in Garrett Jones and could dangle pitching in trade talks with the Pirates, says Rob Biertempfel of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. Biertempfel adds within the same blog post that at least two American League teams weren't interested when the Pirates came to them to discuss Joel Hanrahan. According to Biertempfel, there are some concerns about Hanrahan's physical conditioning and his late-season performance in 2012.
- The Indians had been "seriously interested" in James Loney before he signed with the Rays, according to ESPN.com's Buster Olney (via Twitter).
- Fernando Rodney, who will be a free agent next winter, has switched agents, leaving ACES and hiring Dan Lozano, tweets ESPN.com's Jerry Crasnick.
- The Royals' interest in Brett Myers is at the "kicking the tires" stage, tweets Bob Dutton of the Kansas City Star.
- With a plethora of catchers in the mix, the Red Sox will field offers for Jarrod Saltalamacchia, tweets Jon Heyman.
Both Molina ($1.8MM) and Shields ($10.25MM) were expected to have their options picked up. The 35-year-old Rodney pitched to a 0.60 ERA with 48 saves this year, so his $2.5MM option was a no-brainer. Scott, 34, hit .229/.285/.439 with 14 homers and will receive a $1MM buyout rather than a $6MM salary.
The Yankees enter play today with a one-game lead over the Orioles and four games over the Rays. And, it's a good thing this isn't your father's Yankees, writes Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports.com. If George Steinbrenner was alive today, Rosenthal believes he might have fired manager Joe Girardi after blowing a ten-game lead in the AL East and replaced him with the likes of Lou Piniella. Hal Steinbrenner is almost the polar opposite of his father. So much so that, when Rosenthal asked Brian Cashman of the potential fallout that might occur if the team fails to reach the playoffs, the Yankees' GM said, "We have objective, patient ownership." Also from Rosenthal's column:
- The new schedule hasn't been a cure-all for small market teams like the Rays. Rosenthal suggests one way to mitigate the Rays’ disadvantage would be to scale revenue sharing so they would receive a greater percentage than a low-revenue club such as the Indians, who compete in a division with lower payrolls.
- A criticism of the new playoff system is Wild Card teams who have better records than division winners are penalized in the seeding of the Division Series. Rosenthal's solution is to wait until after the Wild Card game to seed the Division Series.
- The AL CY Young Award voting will be a test of how accepted advanced statistics are by the Baseball Writers Association of America. Rosenthal points out the last eight AL pitchers to either lead or tie for the lead in those categories, like the Rays' David Price this year, each have won the award. The Tigers' Justin Verlander meanwhile leads in wins above replacement and Chris Sale of the White Sox leads in ERA+. Price is tops, however, in quality of opponents faced, based on the rankings of Vince Gennaro, president of the Society for American Baseball Research (SABR).
- Larry Bowa's interview for the Astros' managerial vacancy is a good sign, as rival executives have worried that GM Jeff Luhnow is surrounding himself with too many like-minded sabermetric types rather than building a diverse baseball operations department.
- The Marlins may have difficulty in sticking with their plan to keep Emilio Bonifacio in center field, play Donovan Solano at second, and make the acquisition of a third baseman their top priority. Rosenthal points out the market for third basemen is bare, so one alternative for the Marlins is to acquire an outfielder and move Bonifacio back to third base.
- Look for the Rays to exercise their $2.5MM option on Fernando Rodney. Rodney is bidding to become only the second reliever in history (Dennis Eckersley in 1990) to have a season of 40 or more saves and an ERA under 1.00. Rodney leads baseball with 43 saves and his ERA is 0.66.
- The Cubs will look again this offseason to move Alfonso Soriano, who is one home run and one RBI shy of his first 30-homer, 100-RBI season since 2005. If the Cubs fail to receive a sufficient offer, they could always bring back Soriano, owed $36MM over the next two years, and try to move him at the deadline again. Rosenthal cited the example of Carlos Lee of how it is easier to deal an overpriced player the closer he gets to the end of his contract.
Though offseason additions such as Albert Pujols and Heath Bell have disappointed so far this year, other free agent signings are playing well for new teams. Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com puts together a list of 25 such players, including C.J. Wilson, Bartolo Colon and Edwin Jackson. Here’s more from Heyman:
- Heyman hears negotiations between the Diamondbacks and Miguel Montero could start up again soon (Twitter link). Montero, a free agent this offseason, has been seeking a four-year, $52MM deal.
- The Yankees want Mariano Rivera back in 2013, but he'll have to wait until the season ends to discuss a contract, per team policy (Twitter link).
- The Angels continue seeking relief help, Heyman tweets. However, few teams are looking to sell just yet.
- Fernando Rodney says he signed with the Rays because they believed in his ability. "With the Angels they tried to change my mechanics to throw more strikes,'' Rodney recalled. "Here they told me, you come here, we're not going to change anything.''
- Heyman suggests the Mets should extend manager Terry Collins for doing a “terrific job” (Twitter link).
- One management person suggested a five-year, $100MM deal could work for the Rangers and Josh Hamilton, Heyman reports. One agent says a seven or eight-year deal worth $25-30MM per season seems more appropriate, assuming there’s protection for the Rangers. For more on Hamilton’s next contract, check out this post from earlier today.