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Ichiro Suzuki Rumors
- Although he hasn't talked to Brian Wilson's agents at the Winter Meetings, Giants vice president of baseball operations Bobby Evans told Andrew Baggarly of CSNBayArea.com there is an understanding to stay in touch. Wilson's agent Dan Lozano told John Shea of the San Francisco Chronicle seven teams have expressed interest in his client, either as a closer or setup man.
- Ichiro Suzuki is not a fit for the Giants in left field because he's too much like Gregor Blanco, tweets Shea.
- Shea has the financial breakdown on Marco Scutaro's new three-year, $20MM contract with the Giants.
- The Dodgers are in the market for a left-handed reliever now that Randy Choate has agreed to a three-year deal with the Cardinals, tweets Bill Plunkett of the Orange County Register.
- The Dodgers would like to add one or maybe two backup-type catchers to compete with Tim Federowicz, tweets Mark Saxon of ESPN Los Angeles.
- The Chavez signing gives the Diamondbacks an extra infielder, but GM Kevin Towers said he might wait until Spring Training to make a trade (Nick Piecoro of the Arizona Republic reporting).
- The Padres' Andrew Cashner is not expected to be ready for Opening Day after suffering a lacerated tendon in his right thumb last week, an injury suffered at the hand of a hunting buddy as the two were dressing meat (MLB.com's Corey Brock reporting).
- The Giants have discussed Ichiro Suzuki this offseason, admitted Bochy to John Shea of the San Francisco Chronicle.
- The Giants are talking with Ryan Theriot about a utility role, tweets Andrew Baggarly of CSNBayArea.com. Theriot is a free agent after spending 2012 with San Francisco.
- The Giants view Nick Swisher as a big-ticket item and won't engage seriously with him, tweets Baggarly.
- Agent John Boggs spoke with the Giants about free agent outfielder Ben Francisco, tweets John Shea of the San Francisco Chronicle.
The Yankees have been eerily quiet so far at the 2013 Winter Meetings. Still, here's the latest from GM Brian Cashman's media briefing.
- Cashman confirmed he's talked to the representatives for Kevin Youkilis, A.J. Pierzynski, Eric Chavez, Raul Ibanez, and Ichiro Suzuki (MLB.com's Bryan Hoch reporting).
- It's still probable that the Yankees' catcher is already on the roster, and the team is focused on a corner outfield replacement for Nick Swisher as well as left side infield depth (Joel Sherman of the New York Post reporting).
- Cashman described the third base market as "a very limited sandbox to play in."
- GM Ruben Amaro told reporters he's more likely to land his center fielder through free agency than trade. Salisbury says Michael Bourn doesn't appear to fit the team's profile, while they're lukewarm on a Shane Victorino reunion. A corner player like Cody Ross could work.
- Amaro made a thinly-veiled reference to the one difference-maker on the market, understood to be Josh Hamilton. The GM skirted the question as to whether he is pursuing Hamilton. Salisbury considers it a long shot.
- Though the team has some interest in the major free agent center fielders, they're also eyeing Dexter Fowler and Peter Bourjos as potential trade targets. Bourjos is projected to start for the Halos, however. The Phillies and Rockies have discussed Fowler, tweets Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports. He notes that the Rockies would want pitching in return.
- There has been some communication between the Phillies and Ichiro Suzuki's camp, though it's unclear who reached out.
- The Phillies have interest in the Rangers' Michael Young for third base, but they'd need Young to approve the trade and the Rangers to pick up part of the tab. Young, 36, is owed $16MM in 2013, though part of his salary is deferred.
Here's a look at the some of the news out of the AL and NL East:
- David Wright will undergo a physical tomorrow that will complete his $138MM contract extension with the Mets, a Major League source tells ESPNNewYork.com's Adam Rubin.
- R.A. Dickey told reporters, including Jon Paul Morosi of FOXSports.com, he wants to remain a Met, "That’s 100 percent my hope. That being said, you never want to be taken advantage of."
- GM Dan Duquette says the Orioles are "probably not" going to be able to sign Josh Hamilton, writes CBSSports.com's Jon Heyman. Duquette adds he has some money to spend, but not enough for Hamilton.
- Heyman tweeted Ichiro Suzuki is reaching out to other teams, possibly including the Phillies, although there is a strong belief he wants to return to the Yankees.
- The Yankees have a starting catcher and right fielder atop their shopping list, according to Bryan Hoch of MLB.com.
- Non-tendered pitchers Jair Jurrjens, Jeff Karstens, and John Lannan could interest the Orioles, writes the Baltimore Sun's Eduardo A. Encina.
- The question is not if but when will the Rays make a trade to fill their holes at first base, DH, and the outfield, opines Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times.
- Earlier today, we learned the Yankees and Red Sox both have interest in free agent shortstop Stephen Drew.
News and notes out of the AL and NL East..
- Ichiro Suzuki‘s agent says he’s ready to open the floor to other suitors as talks with the Yankees have stalled, but GM Brian Cashman says that Suzuki already knew that he would be put on the backburner for a bit, writes Anthony McCarron of the New York Daily News. “Now that our pitching has been settled, which was our priority on the front end, we’ll move from the defense to the offense and engage all the players we have interest in and have interest in us,” said Cashman.
- The Mets have fielded calls from six or seven teams are looking to meet and discuss a deal for R.A. Dickey, writes Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com. The Mets and Dickey have been trying to work out a contract extension for two months, but it appears general manager Sandy Alderson has the green light to now to more seriously consider trade alternatives instead. The Mets are expected to seek a catcher and outfield help in any trade.
- The Mets will are willing to get creative with backloaded contracts in order to entice free agents with more money and multiyear deals, a person with knowledge of the team’s thinking tells Marc Carig of Newsday. That thinking could come into play at this week’s winter meetings in Nashville. The Mets still won’t splurge on a big ticket free agent but could try and get creative in order to improve their outfield situation.
- Brian Wilson has interest in the Red Sox as well as the Giants, Dodgers, and Angels a source tells Jim Bowden of ESPN.com (via Twitter). Wilson is reportedly unlikely to re-sign with the Giants after being non-tendered.
Last week, Ichiro Suzuki's agent Tony Attanasio told George A. King III of the New York Post that his client was receiving interest from other clubs but still had a strong preference to play for the Yankees. A lot has changed in the last week, however, and Attanasio says that his client is no longer waiting on the Bombers, King writes.
“At the beginning we talked a lot but since that time, zero," said the agent. "As far as we are concerned we don’t care what the Yankees do. We have had conversations with multiple clubs. If we see something we like he will go through with it."
Of course, the dragging of contract talks doesn't mean that the 39-year-old is definitely out of the picture in the Bronx. The Yankees, who are working to get the 2014 payroll down to $189MM, don't see many desirable trade possibilities at right field that can fit their budget. At the same time, they are less-than-thrilled by the prospect of having Ichiro and Brett Gardner in the corner outfield spots full-time due to their lack power.
It's been a busy baseball day in New York, as the Mets made David Wright a nine-figure contract offer while the Yankees moved closer to re-signing Andy Pettitte and Mariano Rivera. Here's the latest out of the Big Apple…
- "Negotiations are progressing, that's all I can really say about it," said R.A. Dickey when asked about contract talks with the Mets during an appearance on ESPN's Mike & Mike (audio link). The knuckleballer admitted to being loyal to the club since they gave him a chance when others passed.
- David Lennon of Newsday says (on Twitter) it appears the Mets want to sign Wright to a new contract before wrapping things up with Dickey.
- Andrew Marchand of ESPN New York hears Russell Martin is seeking a four-year contract worth $9-10MM annually (Twitter link). He doesn't believe the Yankees will go that far.
- Joel Sherman of The New York Post reports (on Twitter) the Yankees are not having serious talks with Ichiro Suzuki at this time.
The latest from Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com…
- The Yankees and Russell Martin are discussing a new contract, though Martin appears to be talking to at least one other team. Talks involving the free agent catcher are “heating up,” according to Heyman. The Yankees made progress with Martin over the weekend, though the sides were apart on dollars several days ago. The Rangers have Martin on their list and other teams, such as the Pirates, Mariners and White Sox, are considering catchers.
- The Yankees are confident they can re-sign Ichiro Suzuki, Heyman reports. The Yankees expect to reach a deal with the free agent outfielder, who has said he hopes to return to New York.
- The Red Sox, Braves and Giants appear to be looking at Nick Swisher, Heyman reports. The market for Swisher seems strong enough for him to obtain a deal of at least four years and executives see the outfielder signing for $12-14MM per season. The Red Sox like Swisher’s versatility since they have openings at first base and in the outfield. Meanwhile, the Braves and Giants are also looking for corner outfield help.
Although he is drawing interest from other teams around the league, Ichiro Suzuki prefers to re-sign with the Yankees according to his agent Tony Attanasio. Attanasio told George A. King III of The New York Post that his client is willing to wait to see if New York wants him back after working out new contracts with Mariano Rivera and potentially Andy Pettitte.
"They are going after pitching first which is what the Yankees normally do," said Attanasio. "There has been a lot of interest [from teams], but he enjoyed playing for the Yankees so much it’s hard for him to say no to the Yankees. His preference is to stay there instead of going someplace else, but we will wait and see."
Ichiro, 39, hit .283/.307/.390 in 663 plate appearances last season, but put up a .322/.340/.454 batting line in 240 plate appearances with the Yankees following the trade. He also agreed to move from right field to left and bat near the bottom of the order. King says if the Yankees want Ichiro back, he would have to agree to a one-year contract with a pay cut from the $17MM he made in 2012.
The Giants and White Sox were among the teams with interest in Ichiro prior to the trade deadline, and earlier this month we heard the Yankees have some interest in bringing him back as a replacement for Nick Swisher. Tim Dierkes ranked the long-time Mariner as the 40th best free agent on his Top 50 Free Agents List, predicting he would sign with the Rays.