Hideki Okajima Rumors
The Red Sox and reliever Hideki Okajima are closing in on a one-year deal, a major league source tells Nick Cafardo of The Boston Globe. The left-hander was non-tendered by the Red Sox earlier this year.
This post was originally published on December 31st.
The Athletics pulled out of talks with Adrian Beltre this week, reports Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports. They made multiple offers for the third baseman this winter, but will now look at relievers Chad Qualls and Hideki Okajima and possibly a different third base option.
Rosenthal says the Rangers maintain interest but "remain uncomfortable with both the price and fit" for Beltre given incumbent third baseman Michael Young.
Unless a surprise team jumps in, the Angels remain the favorite despite pulling their offer. It does not appear that their situation has changed since these reports eight days ago.
The latest on the Mets as the third day of the Winter Meetings wraps up...
- Mets right-hander Elvin Ramirez is widely expected to be the first pick in the Rule 5 draft, reports ESPN.com's Buster Olney (on Twitter). The 23-year-old posted a 4.16 ERA with 8.1 K/9 and 5.5 BB/9 in 80 innings at Double-A and Single-A. He has been clocked at 94-98 mph this winter.
- The Mets met with agent Dan Horwits of Beverly Hills Sports Council today, since he represents lefties Will Ohman, Arthur Rhodes and Brian Fuentes, according to Adam Rubin of ESPNNewYork.com. Rhodes is talking with the Reds, but the sides aren't particularly close to an agreement.
- The Mets are interested in Hideki Okajima, according to comments made by Kevin Burkhardt of SNY and passed along by Michael Baron of MetsBlog.
- Mets GM Sandy Alderson told Andy McCullough of the Star-Ledger that the team will likely leave the meetings without having added a starting pitcher. The Mets have been linked to Chris Young, Jeff Francis and others.
3:25pm: The Giants and Red Sox are competing for Miller, according to Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe (on Twitter).
WEDNESDAY, 3:00pm: Miller met with four teams yesterday and is still fielding offers, according to Gordon Edes of ESPNBoston (Twitter links). The Red Sox are engaged with Hideki Okajima and Miller and the team would like to re-sign Miller.
TUESDAY, 11:11am: Miller will be at the Winter Meetings in person this afternoon to meet with teams, including the Red Sox, tweets ESPN's Gordon Edes.
4:24am: Cliff Lee isn't the only lefty free agent represented by Darek Braunecker, but I think it's safe to say that Braunecker's other client, Andrew Miller, won't be receiving the same types of offers as the 2008 AL Cy Young winner.
Still, Peter Abraham and Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe relay some information from Braunecker, stating that "a lot" of clubs are interested in Miller, the former #6 overall pick in the draft. Boston would like Miller back on a reasonable deal, but it sounds like they'll have some competition.
The Red Sox flipped Dustin Richardson for Miller last month, but then decided not to tender the 25-year-old Miller a contract due to concerns over what kind of salary he'd command in arbitration. Miller became a free agent, and understandably, several clubs would like to get their hands on a player who was drafted sixth overall and once rated the game's #10 prospect by Baseball America.
The 6'7" southpaw was rushed to the Majors to say the least, when the Tigers called him up on August 30, 2006, just months after he was drafted. The hope was that the projected strikeout machine would help solidify their stretch run out of the bullpen. Miller struggled, but the assumption was that he'd be a solid contributor in the near future.
That looked to be the case, as Miller pitched very well across three minor league levels in 2007 before being called up to once again struggle in the Majors, this time in 13 starts. Still, as a 22-year-old, expectations were high. They were so high, in fact, that he became one of the centerpieces (along with Cameron Maybin) to the trade that sent Miguel Cabrera and Dontrelle Willis from Florida to Detroit.
Miller's command struggles continued with the Marlins though, and his fastball velocity continued to drop. In November 2010, the Marlins flipped him to Boston for Richardson, a pitcher who was drafted 157 picks after Miller in the same 2006 draft and has just 16 1/3 Major League innings to his name. Not what Florida was hoping for.
Miller won't turn 26 until late next May though, and that leaves plenty of time for him to put it together. As it wouldn't take more than a minimal investment, many teams have contacted Braunecker. It's not as if high upside, left-handed pitchers grow on trees, after all. Miller may never become the front-line starter he was once projected to be, but that pedigree can certainly provide him with a number of suitors to choose from.
Here's the latest on the Red Sox, including some continued fallout from the blockbuster Adrian Gonzalez deal...
- The Red Sox are interested in adding a complementary right-handed bat, GM Theo Epstein tells Scott Lauber of the Boston Herald (Twitter link).
- The Red Sox have offered Taylor Buchholz a minor league deal and are one of 12 teams to express interest in the right-hander, according to Brian MacPherson of the Providence Journal.
- Felix Doubront, Jed Lowrie, and Jacoby Ellsbury's names were all discussed in the Boston/San Diego trade talks, says John Tomase of the Boston Herald. Ellsbury was the only one that drew much interest from the Padres, but they decided against him since Ellsbury's forthcoming arbitration raise would make him too expensive and a trade candidate himself in the near future.
- Also from Tomase, both Chicago teams were "finalists" for Gonzalez and were offering at least one major league player in their trade packages. Ultimately, San Diego decided that it preferred the prospects in Boston's offer.
- John Boggs, Gonzalez's agent, talks to WEEI.com's D.J. Bean about the contract extension negotiations that nearly held up the trade on the weekend. "We’re not working in a spirit to get [the Red Sox] by the jugular or squeeze every nickel, or set a precedent-setting deal," Boggs said.
- The agent for Hideki Okajima tells ESPNBoston.com's Gordon Edes (Twitter link) that he will talk with the Red Sox "soon," though there has been "pretty strong" interest in Okajima from some other clubs.
- It's not often the Red Sox are priced out of a signing, but FOXSports.com's Ken Rosenthal says Jayson Werth's contract with Washington may have made Carl Crawford too expensive for Boston's liking, especially since the Sox now have to fit a Gonzalez extension ("the parameters" for which are $154MM over seven years) into their budget. The Red Sox may instead focus on acquiring relievers or finding a cheaper outfield option, like trading for Josh Willingham.
- Adrian Beltre's asking price is $85MM over five years, Rosenthal reports. Boston would be interested in re-signing the third baseman if "the market for Beltre collasped," but the plan is to play Kevin Youkilis at third with Gonzalez taking over at first. Rosenthal says the Red Sox aren't considering moving Youkilis to left field to make room for Beltre.
This post will list all the American League players non-tendered today, but the best place to track all 200+ arbitration eligible players is our new non-tender tracker.
- Blue Jays: Fred Lewis, Jeremy Accardo
- Red Sox: Hideki Okajima, Andrew Miller, Taylor Buchholz
- Mariners: Ryan Rowland-Smith
- Rays: Lance Cormier, Willy Aybar, Dioner Navarro, J.P. Howell
- Royals: Josh Fields
- Rangers: Dustin Nippert
- Angels: Kevin Frandsen
- Athletics: Jack Cust, Travis Buck, Edwin Encarnacion
- Yankees: Alfredo Aceves, Dustin Moseley
- Orioles: Matt Albers
- White Sox: Bobby Jenks, Erick Threets
- Tigers: Zach Miner
Links for Monday evening...
- Jon Paul Morosi of FoxSports.com tweets that the Royals have signed reliever Steven Shell to a minor league deal. Shell, 27, had a 3.59 ERA in 72.2 innings with the Mariners' Triple-A affiliate last season.
- Troy Renck of The Denver Post lists the Cardinals, Phillies, and Rockies as some of the teams that were interested in Hiroki Kuroda before he re-signed with the Dodgers (Twitter link). Kuroda, however, re-signed without fielding offers from other teams according to Dylan Hernandez of the L.A. Times.
- Add the Rangers to the list of teams showing interest in Victor Martinez says SI.com's Jon Heyman (via Twitter).
- WEEI.com's Rob Bradford tweets that Hideki Okajima is subject to a normal arbitration calendar this offseason. In the past the Red Sox had to offer him a contract by November 20th.
- Non-tender candidate Kyle Davies hopes to remain with the Royals, says MLB.com's Dick Kaegel. Davies hasn't heard anything from the team regarding his future.
- Alden Gonzalez of MLB.com reports that Cliff Lee's agent Darek Braunecker is still unsure if he will attend this week's GM Meetings.
- MLB.com's Jane Lee provides a list of power bat the Athletics could potentially pursue as free agents this offseason.
- The Yankees don't believe that Derek Jeter will ultimately leave New York, but they're prepared for a long negotiation according to Heyman (Twitter link).
- Meanwhile, Jon Paul Morosi of FoxSports.com tweets that there is still no word whether or not Andy Pettitte will return to pitch in 2011.
- Cardinals GM John Mozeliak doesn't expect any roster moves at this week's meetings according to MLB.com's Matthew Leach. Ken Rosenthal of FoxSports.com says the team is growing more optimistic about re-signing Jake Westbrook, however (Twitter link).
- Indians GM Chris Antonetti told Paul Hoynes of The Cleveland Plain Dealer that it's too early in the offseason to tell whether his team's needs will be filled through trades or free agency.
- MLBTR's Ben Nicholson-Smith is on location at this week's GM Meetings in Orlando, and you can follow him on Twitter at @mlbtrorlando for the latest breaking news and analysis.
- There is mutual interest between the Marlins and free agent catcher A.J. Pierzynski, reports Joe Capozzi of The Palm Beach Post. Capozzi says the team might not be able to afford him, though they could free up payroll space by dealing Dan Uggla.
- FoxSports.com's Ken Rosenthal says that the Dodgers are looking to add power to their lineup, and James Loney is the player they're most most willing to trade. They would then turn around and sign one of the many power-hitting first baseman available on the free agent market.
- Mets GM Sandy Alderson said that the first round of manager interviews includes one or two more candidates while the second round will consist of three or four candidates according to Andy Martino of The New York Daily News (all Twitter links). The second set of interviews could begin in Orlando this week, and Alderson said his father's death on Sunday will not slow things down.
- ESPN's Jerry Crasnick profiles Giants GM Brian Sabean and the work that lies ahead following his team's World Series victory.
- Joe Pawlikowski of River Ave. Blues looks at how signing Lee would impact the Yankees' future payroll. Meanwhile, Brian Cashman told MLB.com's Bryan Hoch that he doesn't expect to get any deals done this week.
- Best of luck to MLB.com's Jordan Bastian. He's trading in the Blue Jays' beat for the Indians' beat.
Nick Cafardo of The Boston Globe breaks down the 2010 Red Sox and what members of the team may not be around for 2011. He says Jayson Werth will be a free agent target and wonders if they're willing to commit three or four years to Adrian Beltre, who is having a monster season. Jacoby Ellsbury and Daisuke Matsuzaka could be trade bait, and then there's the issue of David Ortiz's $12.5MM option.
Let's round up the rest of Cafardo's rumors...
- There have been "minimal, if any" talks between the Sox and Victor Martinez about a new contract.
- Expect Boston to revamp their bullpen, which could mean replacing Hideki Okajima.
- Carfado believes that the Rangers settled ownership situation will help the team down the stretch as the players don't have to deal with any speculation.
- Rafael Soriano and Joaquin Benoit, a pair of offseason pickups that are the Rays' two best relievers, will need to have their workloads monitored down the stretch, particularly Benoit who is coming off major shoulder surgery.
- The Angels have close to $110MM tied up in 2011 payroll counting arbitration raises, which could hinder their pursuit of free agents this winter.
- Kenny Williams says that teams never asked for Dayan Viciedo in a trade because they knew he was unavailable. We heard that Williams was willing to trade him before the deadline.
- A split between the Mariners and manager Don Wakamatsu seems likely this offseason.
The Red Sox and reliever Hideki Okajima have agreed to terms on a one-year deal, reports Ian Browne of MLB.com (via Twitter). Okajima will make $2.75MM and will receive bonuses of $50K each for 50, 55, 60, 65, and 70 appearances, according to Browne in a follow-up tweet. The deal marks a significant raise for the lefty as he earned a base salary of $1.25MM last season.
In 2009, Okajima posted a 3.39 ERA with 7.8 K/9 and 3.1 BB/9 in 68 games. The 34-year-old is entering his fourth major league season and will be under the BoSox contractual control until 2012.
Links for Monday...
- MLB.com's T.R. Sullivan wonders if Bobby Crosby could be a match for the Rangers as a utility infielder.
- MLB.com's Mychael Urban has an update on free agent lefty Mark Mulder.
- Maury Brown of The Biz of Baseball analyzes Tim Lincecum's possible 2010 salary, and predicts the pitcher might submit $16.8MM against the Giants' $8MM figure.
- ESPN's Buster Olney tweets that Hideki Matsui's marketability is not a factor for the Yankees.
- Alex Speier of WEEI examines the chances of Roy Halladay remaining a workhorse over the next several seasons.
- Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch doesn't see geography as a big factor for Matt Holliday. Meanwhile, Bernie Miklasz of the P-D doesn't understand Albert Pujols' reasoning as to why he needs to wait to discuss an extension.
- MLB.com's Brian McTaggart asks readers to predict the Astros' arbitration decisions for free agents. Jose Valverde and LaTroy Hawkins are tough calls in that it makes sense but we're not sure if the Astros will. We'll have predictions on all Type A/B free agents later today.
- Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel explains why he feels only Felipe Lopez will get an arbitration offer from the Brewers.
- MLB.com's Joe Frisaro says the Marlins are leaning against offering arbitration to Type B free agents Kiko Calero and Nick Johnson. Calero might be worth it.
- Jon Weisman of Dodgers Thoughts says the Dodgers' arbitration decisions won't necessarily be influenced by the McCourts' divorce.
- Staying with this theme, FanGraphs' Dave Cameron looks at the factors that should influence a team's arbitration-offer decision.
- Ken Rosenthal and Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports look at the market for Miguel Tejada.
- Morosi suggests ten teams that should talk to the Tigers about Miguel Cabrera, Curtis Granderson, and Edwin Jackson.
- Jacob Jackson of Athletics Nation has a detailed offseason plan for the A's.
- Righty Miguel Batista told Geoff Baker of the Seattle Times that he has a few contenders interested in his services.
- Notes from NPB Tracker's Patrick Newman: the Orioles are eyeing pitcher Hisanori Takahashi, and Hideki Okajima would like a contract extension (he's under team control through 2012 as an arbitration-eligible player).
- Dejan Kovacevic of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette says the fates of Jeff Karstens, Robinzon Diaz, and Justin Thomas will be decided today.
- Elmer Dessens doesn't have a contract with the Mets quite yet, writes Adam Rubin of the New York Daily News.