Jason Bay Rumors
Orioles pitcher Zach Clark was recently outrighted to Double-A Bowie. While he's there, he'll "experiment" with the knuckleball, the Baltimore Sun's Dan Connolly notes. He'll work with Hall of Famer Phil Niekro on Thursday. Clark joins Zach Staniewicz and Eddie Gamboa as knuckleball pitchers in the Orioles system. Here are more notes from the American League.
- As of Wednesday, Red Sox outfielder Jackie Bradley Jr. will have been in the minor leagues for 20 days this season, which ensures that he will not become a free agent after 2018, Alex Speier of WEEI.com notes. Bradley broke camp with the Red Sox, but they optioned him to Triple-A Pawtucket April 18 after a 3-for-31 start to his big-league career. Bradley is currently hitting .303/.400/.349 in Triple-A, but he's currently on the minor-league disabled list with biceps tendinitis.
- The Yankees have around $80MM worth of players rehabbing at their minor-league complex in Tampa, Anthony McCarron of the New York Daily News reports. Alex Rodriguez ($28MM), Mark Teixeira ($22.5MM), Curtis Granderson ($15MM) and Kevin Youkilis ($12MM) are all rehabbing, along with Francisco Cervelli, Ivan Nova and Michael Pineda. (Derek Jeter, who is still in a walking boot, is not.) "We've got a team here," says Cervelli. "I could be the catcher."
- After signing a non-guaranteed deal with the Mariners this offseason, Jason Bay is embracing his role as a complementary player, writes Ben Nicholson-Smith of Sportsnet.ca. While other clubs offered him more playing time, the veteran came to find that he enjoyed the challenge of earning his place on the team.
Zach Links contributed to this post.
The Mariners have designated outfielder Casper Wells for assignment, tweets Greg Johns of MLB.com. The Mariners now have ten days to either trade, release, or outright Wells to the minors. If Wells clears waivers, he cannot elect free agency because he does not have enough service time and has not been designated for assignment before, reports the Seattle Times' Larry Stone (Twitter link). The Phillies and Tigers could have interest in the 28-year-old. Wells was a member of the Tigers until he was traded to the Mariners in the Doug Fister deal in July 2011.
The roster move means Jason Bay has made the team. The Mariners filled the open 40-man roster spot by selecting the contract of right-hander D.J. Mitchell, who was then optioned to Triple-A, according to Shannon Drayer of ESPN Radio Seattle (via Twitter).
The Mariners reached an agreement to sign left fielder Jason Bay, pending a physical, tweets Andy Martino of the New York Daily News. It's a one-year deal worth $1MM, with another $2MM in incentives according to Jon Heyman of CBS Sports. Bay, 34, played a couple of years at Gonzaga University and currently resides in Kirkland, Washington. He's represented by CAA Sports.
Bay signed a four-year, $66MM contract with the Mets in January of 2010. Last month, both parties agreed to an "early expiration" of the deal, with Bay deferring some of the $21MM still owed to him in return for a chance at a fresh start. An annual 30 home run threat when he signed with the Mets, Bay hit just .234/.318/.369 in 1,125 plate appearances for them from 2010-12.
Yesterday, Geoff Baker of the Seattle Times examined how Bay fits with the Mariners, who remain in pursuit of a bigger outfield bat. Prior to the signing, Dave Cameron of U.S.S. Mariner questioned the team's need for Bay.
Photo courtesy of U.S. Presswire.
9:46am: Jason Bay is close to a decision on which team he'll sign with, according to Tim Brown of Yahoo! Sports (via Twitter). The Indians and Mariners are among the teams still in the mix for the former Met, says Brown.
The Indians may be in the lead for Bay, says Joel Sherman of the New York Post, though he notes that the M's are still a factor and the Cubs are "on the periphery" (Twitter link). Bay is going to get guaranteed money rather than a make-good deal, according to Sherman, since teams are willing to take a little risk to see if he can bounce back in a new environment (Twitter link).
4:03pm: A Bay-Mariners deal is close, but nothing is final yet, tweets Geoff Baker of the Seattle Times.
1:54pm: While the Mariners are definitely in on Bay, a deal is "not done by any means," according to Joel Sherman of the New York Post (Twitter link). Bay is still talking to a number of teams, says Andy Martino of the New York Daily News (via Twitter).
12:49pm: The Mariners are pretty close to signing free agent outfielder Jason Bay, according to ESPN's Brock and Salk show. Bay, who attended college at Gonzaga in Spokane, Washington, agreed to part ways with the Mets last month with an eye on a fresh start.
It was reported late on Monday that the Mariners met with Josh Hamilton on Sunday. The team has also met with the Diamondbacks regarding Justin Upton, but that's far from the only news surrounding the Emerald City...
- General manager Jack Zduriencik appeared on MLB Network Radio on Sirius XM with Mike Ferrin and Jim Duquette earlier today (audio link) and said that the team has had talks with Felix Hernandez about an extension. King Felix has two remaining years on his contract and is still just 26 years old.
- Zduriencik is willing to deal from his wealth of prospects in order to improve the team, writes MLB.com's Greg Johns. Jack Z said he wouldn't want to move Felix Hernandez, but aside from that: "...if you can look at a scenario where you take a weakness and make it a strength, that's something you have to entertain. You can't sit there and say, 'I'm not moving anybody.' That would be foolish. You have to entertain any opportunity to make your club or organization better." The Mariners have some of the game's best prospects in the form of Taijuan Walker, Danny Hultzen, Nick Franklin and James Paxton.
- The Mariners are interested in Brennan Boesch, though to a much lesser extent than they are Hamilton, according to Danny Knobler of CBS Sports (on Twitter). Boesch is an obvious trade candidate following the Tigers' signing of Torii Hunter.
- Mike Salk of 710 ESPN tweets that Jason Bay is a strong possibility for the Mariners in the days ahead.
Here's the latest from the Winter Meetings on a handful of free agents:
- Roy Oswalt is unsure about whether he'll pitch in 2013, one of his agents tells Morosi.
- The Mariners checked in on Delmon Young, tweets Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports. Morosi reported previously that Young might wait until January to sign given his November ankle surgery.
- Grady Sizemore had been drawing interest from a few clubs, including the Red Sox, but he won't be a real option until midseason, according to MLB.com's Anthony Castrovince. Agent Joe Urbon confirmed to Castrovince that his client underwent microfracture surgery on his right knee in September.
- Besides being interested in Scott Hairston, the Yankees are also eyeing Cody Ross, according to Jon Morosi of FOX Sports (Twitter link).
- The Mariners have checked in on Ryan Ludwick, among other hitters, tweets Jon Heyman of CBS Sports.
- Cesar Izturis' reps are expected to meet with the Mets this week and there could be a match there, writes Adam Rubin of ESPNNewYork.com.
- The Orioles' interest in righty Brett Myers appears minimal, tweets Dan Connolly of the Baltimore Sun, and they have no meetings set up with his reps.
- The Twins are one team with early interest in southpaw John Lannan, tweets Adam Kilgore of the Washington Post. The Pirates also have an eye on Lannan, reported Rob Biertempfel of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review earlier today.
- The Cubs are talking to many agents about bullpen help and they like Jason Grilli, tweets Bruce Levine of ESPNChicago.
- Solid interest in Jason Bay (from teams other than Boston) may lead to a Major League deal, tweets Rob Bradford of WEEI.
- The Marlins are interested in utility man Mark DeRosa, according to Juan C. Rodriguez of the South Florida Sun Sentinel. The 37-year-old had indicated at season's end that he was unsure what his future held.
- The Royals are "sending out signals" that they have the money and the motivation to pursue a pitcher who could be considered a No. 1, reports Danny Knobler of CBS Sports. A run at Anibal Sanchez isn't out of the question for Kansas City, according to Knobler.
- Tigers people continue to say the team isn't even considering Rafael Soriano, tweets Joel Sherman of the New York Post. However, Sherman notes that owner Mike Ilitch's great relationship with Scott Boras still makes Detroit a wild card in the Soriano sweepstakes.
- Rival executives view the Nationals as a good fit for Mike Pelfrey, especially considering GM Mike Rizzo and Scott Boras have a history of working out deals, says Jerry Crasnick of ESPN.com (Twitterlinks).
- Teams are showing "no hesitation whatsoever" in pursuing Jeff Keppinger, who underwent surgery to repair a right fibula fracture, agent Keith Grunewald tells Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports (Twitterlinks).
- Jason Giambi would like to continue his playing career, and is drawing interest from three or four teams, tweets Jon Heyman of CBS Sports.
Here's a look at some news out of the NL East following the Marlins' shocking trade earlier this evening..
- The Mets made an offer to David Wright and the third baseman's representatives responded with a counter-offer, a source tells Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports (via Twitter).
- The $15MM that is being deferred to Jason Bay will be paid out over a two year period, writes Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com. That means that the Mets are only saving about $850K on the full $21MM Bay is owed.
- The Phillies are wide open in their search for a third baseman, tweets Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports. The club could look at multi-position types like Marco Scutaro and Jeff Keppinger as well as someone like Kevin Youkilis.
- At a charity event earlier today, Mets owner Jeff Wilpon said that the the Mets remain focused on signing David Wright and R.A. Dickey, but added that they would be remiss to not explore the trade market in the process, tweets Andy McCullough of the Star-Ledger.
- Wilpon said that the club hopes to sign both Wright and Dickey with a trade of one or both as their backup plan, Mike Kerwick of the Bergen Record tweets.
- A Mets source tells Andy Martino of the New York Daily News (via Twitter) that "nothing has changed" for the club since the GM meetings.
On this day in baseball history in 1941, Joe DiMaggio won his second American League MVP award. The runner-up was Ted Williams, who had batted .406 on the season and lost the award thanks to a writer who left him off the ballot. Here's the latest news and headlines from around the league...
- The American League, more specifically the AL West, served as home this season to a talented crop of rookies beyond just Mike Trout, writes Paul Hagen of MLB.com. Hagen points to Yoenis Cespedes, Jesus Montero and Yu Darvish as players who have strong cases that would easily win AL Rookie of the Year any other year, but Trout's not only a finalist for being the top rookie as he looks to take home league MVP as well.
- While the Nationals failed to collect the hardware that comes with winning the World Series, the team's manager, top rookie and ace look to make up for it this week as the BBWAA award winners are announced, says Amanda Comak of The Washington Times. Strangely enough, Washington manager Davey Johnson was fired the same day he last won a Manager of the Year award thanks to a contract dispute with the Orioles back in 1997.
- Count the Indians among the teams interested in pursuing Jason Bay's services, writes Paul Hoynes of The Plain Dealer in his latest mailbag. Beyond Bay, Hoynes suggests the team could be in play for Melky Cabrera as the pressure-free environment in Cleveland could help him rebound next season.
- Bobby Valentine's future may not take shape in a dugout, but Peter Gammons of MLB.com believes the veteran manager would be an asset to Major League Baseball by working for commissioner Bud Selig.
A source tells Rob Bradford of WEEI.com (via Twitter) that Jason Bay would be very interested in returning to the Red Sox. Earlier today, the Mets reached an agreement with the outfielder to make him a free agent this winter in exchange for deferring some of the $21MM owed to him. Here's more on the Red Sox..
- While Bay would like to return to the Red Sox, signs point towards him preferring a west coast team, tweets Michael Silverman of the Boston Herald.
- The Red Sox have expressed interest in free agent outfielders Torii Hunter and Grady Sizemore, tweets Silverman.
- General Manager Ben Cherington says the club has not yet discussed Bay, tweets Scott Lauber of the Boston Herald.
- The Red Sox will listen on Jacoby Ellsbury but they will listen on him, tweets Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com. One rival official noted that the club won't be overly anxious to move Ellsbury as they're already in need of two outfielders.
- Boston is expected to be in the mix for Justin Upton this offseason, writes Michael Silverman of the Boston Herald. It's not yet known if the Red Sox have had talks with the Diamondbacks about the outfielder previously or at the GM meetings, however.
- Manager John Farrell says the club is thinking about hiring two hitting coaches and would even prefer it, tweets Scott Lauber of the Boston Herald. "I think it's evolved into more than a one-man system. We're going in that direction," Farrell said (Twitter link).
- Maureen Mullen of CSNNE.com looks at the decisions facing the Red Sox in advance of the Rule 5 draft.