Jake Westbrook Rumors

Quick Hits: Varitek, A’s, Braves, Cordero, Lee, Pujols

Some links as Tuesday turns into Wednesday…

Cardinals Rumors: Beltran, Romero, Gonzalez, Punto

Derrick Goold and Tom Timmermann of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch have a round-up of what the Cardinals could be planning now that Albert Pujols has left town…

  • The Cardinals "have explored what the market is" for Carlos Beltran.  Beltran would see most of his playing time in center field, since Allen Craig is slated to be the everyday right fielder.
  • Jimmy Rollins' desire for a five-year contract will probably keep the Cards out of the bidding unless Rollins is willing to accept a shorter-term deal.  The team is still talking to Rafael Furcal and would like to bring back Nick Punto as a veteran backup, should the Cardinals decide to look within and give Tyler Greene a shot at the everyday shortstop job.
  • The team is looking for a left-handed reliever and have spoken to representatives for Mike Gonzalez and J.C. Romero
  • The planned $110MM payroll for 2012 won't be lowered because Pujols is gone, said GM John Mozeliak.
  • In regards to the Jake Westbrook/Kyle Lohse trade rumors, Mozeliak said no deals materialized and one of the starters would be dealt only if the Cards need to "reallocate" some money towards another move.

Cardinals Open To Trading Lohse, Westbrook

6:40pm: Mozeliak confirmed that both Lohse and Westbrook are in play in trade talks, but he doesn't anticipate a deal happening, tweets Joe Strauss of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

5:10pm: Lohse wrote in a text message to Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch that "as of right now" he'd take advantage of his full no-trade clause to reject any trade opportunity.

3:49pm: The Cardinals are willing to trade Jake Westbrook as well, tweets Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports.

3:34pm: The Cardinals are trying to trade righty Kyle Lohse, reports Phil Rogers of the Chicago Tribune.  Rogers believes their goal is to make room for Missouri native Mark Buehrle.  ESPN's Buster Olney also hears that the Cardinals are making Lohse's availability known.    

Lohse, 33, is owed $11.875MM in 2012 and has a full no-trade clause.  As of Monday night, nothing had been brought to Lohse's attention, according to MLB.com's Matthew Leach.  The righty posted a 3.39 ERA in 188 1/3 innings this year.

Leach notes that Cardinals GM John Mozeliak said he's not prioritizing starting pitching, and if he needed rotation help it'd likely come from within.

Cardinals Re-Sign Jake Westbrook

The Cardinals have re-signed Jake Westbrook to a two-year contract with a mutual option for 2013 worth a guaranteed $16.5MM. The deal includes a full no-trade clause that was given in exchange for a non-guaranteed third year. 

Westbrook, 33, joined the Cardinals in a three-team trade that sent Ryan Ludwick to the Padres and prospects to the Indians at the deadline. He pitched to a 3.48 ERA with 6.6 K/9 and 2.9 BB/9 in 75 innings for St. Louis. After missing the 2009 season due to Tommy John surgery, Westbrook's overall season looked very much like the rest of his career: an ERA in the 4.20's and lots of innings (202 2/3 to be exact).

The new deal will pay the right-hander $8MM in 2011 and $8.5MM in 2012. The 2013 option calls for a $8.5MM base salary, though he'll receive a $1MM buyout if the team declines the option. If Westbrook declines the option, he'll receive no buyout.

Ed Price of AOL FanHouse reported the agreement (via Twitter) while FoxSports.com's Ken Rosenthal and MLB.com's Matthew Leach provided the contract details (Twitter links).

Odds & Ends: Westbrook, De La Rosa, Papelbon

Links on a busy Tuesday as the first day of the GM Meetings wraps up…

Odds & Ends: Shell, Kuroda, V-Mart, Okajima, Davies

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.

Odds & Ends: Pudge, Indians, Orioles, Jeter

Links for Friday, four years to the day after the Cubs signed Aramis Ramirez to a five-year $75MM contract. He has 93 homers and a .287/.356/.510 line since signing the deal…

Rosenthal On A’s, Westbrook, Uribe, Soriano

You’ve heard by now that the A’s acquired David DeJesus, but he was far from the only bat they considered trading for. GM Billy Beane was after Josh Willingham and considered making a deal for Dan Uggla, according to Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports. The A’s probably aren’t done adding offense. Beane told Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle that he’d still like to make an upgrade or two (Twitter link). Here are the rest of Rosenthal’s rumors.

  • The Red Sox aren’t likely to offer Adrian Beltre a five-year deal.
  • The Cardinals are still in contact with Jake Westbrook, but they would prefer to reach a two-year deal and Westbrook might be able to get three years from another club, so talks appear to be losing momentum.
  • Orlando Cabrera and Juan Uribe are already drawing more interest than they did at this time last year, according to Rosenthal.
  • The White Sox are checking in on Rafael Soriano and, as Rosenthal points out, that’s yet another sign that they’re open to trading or non-tendering Bobby Jenks.

Rockies Interested In Westbrook, Garland, Kuroda

The Rockies are interested in Jake Westbrook, Jon Garland and Hiroki Kuroda and will be in touch with the representatives for all three starters, according to Troy Renck of the Denver Post (on Twitter). Free agent left-handers Jeff Francis and Jorge de la Rosa may not return to Colorado, so the Rockies are exploring the open market in case they have to look elsewhere to solidify their rotation.

The Dodgers may also have interest in Westbrook, Garland and Kuroda, according to the LA Times. The pitchers figure to be looking for multi-year deals. Last week Garland turned down his side of a $6.75MM option with the Padres, which suggests he'll look for a longer term contract. The Cardinals were discussing an extension with Westbrook last month, but the sides didn't reach a deal.

None of the Rockies' three potential targets will cost a compensation pick; Garland and Kuroda are Type B free agents and Westbrook is not ranked. They are among the more attractive free agent starters other than Cliff Lee, De La Rosa and Carl Pavano. Click here for details on the free agent market for righty and lefty starters.

Cardinals Rumors: Westbrook, Rhodes, Hudson

Joe Strauss of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch talks free agency and trades in his latest column, suggesting that GM John Mozeliak will attempt to fill the Cardinals' holes with a mix of both approaches. Here are the other notes of interest from Strauss:

  • No deal with Jake Westbrook is imminent, according to Mozeliak, but "sources familiar with talks" are optimistic about the negotiations. The two sides are currently discussing a two-year contract, perhaps with an option for a third year, Strauss says.
  • The Cardinals are reluctant to sign Type A free agents and surrender high draft picks, which may prevent them from pursuing a player like Arthur Rhodes.
  • With Jason LaRue retired and Matt Pagnozzi outrighted, the Cards will be in the market for a backup catcher. I don't think we can look at the backup from solely a catch-and-throw standpoint," Mozeliak said. "We need to consider offense, too."
  • "Strong sentiment exists" to acquire a veteran third baseman as insurance for the oft-injured David Freese.
  • Mozeliak sounds more likely to seek middle infield help through trades than free agency. According to Strauss, however, Orlando Hudson is a free agent who has received "internal support" as a second base target.