Jason Motte Rumors

Arbitration Notes: Motte, Freese, Heisey

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.

Arbitration Filing Numbers

Many players will avoid arbitration today, and dozens of others exchanged figures with their teams in anticipation of hearings. Most cases won't go to arbitration hearings, but teams such as the Rays, Marlins, Blue Jays and Braves are known for their 'file and trial' policies. For players on those teams this marks the last chance at negotiations before a hearing.

MLBTR's Arbitration Tracker will keep you up to date on every one of the filing numbers from around the game, but here are the highlights — players who filed for $4MM or more. Now for the details…

Motte, Cardinals Avoid Arbitration

The Cardinals avoided arbitration with Jason Motte, agreeing to a one-year deal, Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com tweets. Motte, an ACES client, will earn a base salary of $1.95MM in 2012 and could earn $75K more in incentives.

As MLBTR's Arbitration Tracker shows, that's the midpoint between the Cardinals' $1.5MM submission and Motte's request of $2.4MM. The Cardinals have now signed all of their arbitration eligible players.

Quick Hits: Motte, Cespedes, Garcia, Angels

On this date last year, the White Sox selected Philip Humber off of waivers from the Athletics. The right-hander posted a 3.75 ERA with 6.4 K/9 and 2.3 BB/9 in 163 innings in 2011 and projects to start for Chicago in 2012. We didn't see anyone claimed on waivers today, but we do have these links…

  • A multiyear deal between the Cardinals and Jason Motte is ‘in play,’ though nothing is close, Joe Strauss of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch tweets. Motte filed for $2.4MM in arbitration, with the Cardinals countering at $1.5MM, as our Arbitration Tracker shows.
  • Outfielder Yoenis Cespedes hit his first home run since joining the Dominican Winter League and you can view a clip of it here (hat tip: Keith Law).
  • Another Cuban, left-hander Onelkis Garcia, will be eligible for the 2012 amateur draft, Ben Badler of Baseball America reports. MLB made Garcia eligible to MLB teams as last year's draft approached, before making him ineligible at the last minute. Scouts tell Badler the 22-year-old projects as a reliever and could be selected in the third round this June.
  • Angels GM Jerry Dipoto explained to Lance Pugmire of the LA Times that at one point during the Winter Meetings, the Angels had people negotiating with representatives for C.J. Wilson, LaTroy Hawkins and Albert Pujols in three different places.
  • Indians president Mark Shapiro, who is depicted in the Moneyball movie, told Jordan Bastian of MLB.com that he enjoyed the film for what it was. "I appreciate why most people would like it,” Shapiro said. “But I felt like it was an oversimplified kind of view, which is kind of what you have to do when you take a lot of history and condense it into an hour and a half."

Cardinals Pursuing Matt Holliday

SATURDAY, 7:05pm: Peter Gammons tweets (account protected) that any discussions would have to start with Brett Wallace, as the A's don't need to trade Holliday.

FRIDAY, 11:13pm: The Cardinals are "redoubling efforts to acquire" Matt Holliday, according to Joe Strauss of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.  Strauss says the Cards have warmed to the idea of offering a multiplayer package.  They were previously reluctant to send a Ryan Ludwick-fronted package to Colorado in November.  Strauss believes that the Cardinals would now probably be willing to offer Ludwick, one of Jason Motte, Chris Perez, and Kyle McClellan, and a prospect to Holliday's current team, the Athletics.  Strauss adds:

Chairman Bill DeWitt Jr., who opposed the November deal for Holliday, is apparently on board with assuming the remainder of Holliday's $13.5 million salary.

Only about $7.6MM remains on Holliday's contract, and he is of course a free agent after the season.  Holliday, a Scott Boras client, currently profiles as a Type A free agent despite a decrease in production with Oakland.

Ludwick has about $2MM remaining on his contract this year.  He's under team control through 2011 as an arbitration-eligible player.  Ludwick was actually drafted by the A's in 1999, 60th overall.  In 2002, they sent him to the Rangers with Gerald Laird and others for Carlos Pena and Mike Venafro.  Ludwick, like Holliday, has dropped off significantly from his huge 2008 season.

Gammons’ Latest: Red Sox, Washburn, DeRosa

In his latest blog post at ESPN.com, Peter Gammons writes that "unless someone comes up with a Justin Smoak, Matt LaPorta or Brett Wallace," the Red Sox will hold on to Brad Penny and enjoy the depth. He says no one will offer up a prospect like that for a few months of Penny.

Here's the rest of Gammons' rumors:

  • Takashi Saito is the pitcher on Boston's staff most likely to be traded.
  • Jake Peavy and Erik Bedard "probably won't be tradeable before Aug. 1" because of their injuries.
  • Jarrod Washburn could be had.
  • The Red Sox have talked to the Angels about infielder Maicer Izturis, but the talks haven't gone anywhere
  • Mark Mulder "made considerable progress refinding his delivery after one session with pitching coach Rick Peterson."
  • The Mets are looking for an outfield bat. They made a run at Mark DeRosa, but wouldn't discuss Bobby Parnell.
  • The Cardinals wouldn't discuss Jason Motte or Chris Perez in exchange for DeRosa.
  • The uncertain situation surrounding the Cubs' ownership will likely prohibit any major additions.