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Joe Beimel Rumors
The Pirates officially announced that they have agreed to terms with Joe Beimel on a minor league deal. The contract will be worth $1.75MM in the major leagues plus up to $300K in incentives, according to Rob Biertempfel of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review (on Twitter). Biertempfel notes that the Red Sox and Orioles offered the left-hander deals. Beimel's deal with the Pirates includes an out-clause that allows him to become a free agent if he doesn't make the team's Opening Day roster, but he's expected to make the club.
Beimel, who went to Duquesne University in Pittsburgh and has ties to the area, was originally drafted by the Bucs in 1998 and made his big-league debut with them in 2001.
After breaking into the Majors in a swing role, Beimel has evolved into a well-travelled lefty specialist (limiting LHB to .259/.320/.400 in 929 career PA), having spent time with the Dodgers, Nationals and Rockies over the past three seasons. Beimel, who will turn 34 in April, has a 4.16 career ERA over 562 1/3 innings.
Troy Renck of the Denver Post first reported the agreement and MLBTR's Tim Dierkes learned that the left-hander had Major League offers and a two-year offer.
We've already caught up on the Yankees, but it's now time to check in on a few of the Bronx Bombers' AL East rivals. Here's the latest:
- Joe Beimel is deciding between three teams, according to MLB.com's Evan Drellich. The Red Sox, Orioles and one National League club are the finalists for the lefty's services, agent Joe Sroba says.
- Could Michael Young be a fit in Toronto? Richard Griffin of the Toronto Star thinks so. Nobody asked me, but I don't see the Blue Jays as a possible destination for Young, who happens to be a close friend of Vernon Wells'.
- An MLB executive tells ESPN.com's Buster Olney the Blue Jays “have a chance to be a real power for years to come,” and believes that Alex Anthopoulos & Co. will do a lot with their upcoming draft picks and newfound payroll flexibility.
- A lot of rival executives tell Olney that they consider the Red Sox the best team in baseball on paper, but wonder how much Jason Varitek and Jarrod Saltalamacchia will produce behind the plate.
- Some people around the league question whether Rays prospect Desmond Jennings will reach the potential he showed a couple seasons ago.
The Orioles and Red Sox are two of the five teams in the mix for Joe Beimel, according to Dan Connolly of the Baltimore Sun (on Twitter). The left-hander has received interest from clubs in both leagues and could make a decision this week. The Orioles have made Beimel a minor league offer, according to Connolly.
Beimel, who has a habit of signing late in the offseason, posted a 3.40 ERA with 4.2 K/9 and 3.0 BB/9 in 45 innings for the Rockies last year. The 33-year-old struggled against right-handed hitters, but was especially effective against left-handed hitters, holding them to a .221/.275/.379 line.
Troy Renck of the Denver Post reported yesterday that Beimel had several irons in the fire.
It's been a relatively quite winter for Joe Beimel, but the free agent lefty reliever told Troy Renck of The Denver Post that he has "several irons in the fire." The Rockies, however, are not involved.
Last month we heard that Beimel was sitting on several offers, but obviously nothing has materialized. The Marlins were said to have interest, but that was before they signed Randy Choate. Beimel, 34 in April, has held left-handed batters to a .254/.305/.394 batting line with 5.3 K/9 over the last three seasons. He didn't sign until mid-March in each of the last two offseasons, so the wait is nothing new for him.
Renck also notes that Jay Payton wants to still play, but he isn't interested in spending time in the minors. The 38-year-old outfielder hit .343/.361/.514 in 36 plate appearances with Colorado last year, his first big league action since 2008.
Adam Rubin of ESPNNewYork.com has the latest on the Amazins…
- Jose Reyes doesn't want to discuss his impending free agent status during the season. It may be a moot point, since Sandy Alderson wasn't planning to pursue extension talks with players before Spring Training, though the Mets GM recently hinted he could be open to negotiating with Reyes during the season. Reyes will earn $11MM in 2011 after the Mets picked up the option year on the four-year, $23.25MM contract signed by the shortstop in 2006.
- R.A. Dickey and the Mets have exchanged arbitration figures, but the knuckleballer still hopes the two sides can work out a multi-year contract. Both Dickey and the club were interested in the prospect of a long-term deal back in October.
- The Mets have had "discussions" with free agent reliever Joe Beimel, but a source tells Rubin that these talks aren't "active." (Twitter link) It's possible the Mets were one of several teams that made Beimel an offer last month, though we haven't heard much news about Beimel since. Rubin reported earlier today that the Mets are still looking to add another left-handed reliever to their bullpen before Spring Training.
Let's take a look at some Rockies-related tidbits..
- The Rockies like Brian Fuentes but the left-hander is looking to close and also looking for roughly $5MM per year. Colorado isn't looking to shell out that kind of money for the 35-year-old, tweets Troy Renck of The Denver Post.
- After resolving his visa issues, Carlos Gonzalez arrived in Denver today and will take a physical tomorrow to finalize his seven-year, $80MM contract, Renck writes. The Rockies will likely hold a presser on Tuesday to announce the deal.
- The Rockies lost interest in pitcher Scott Kazmir once they re-signed Jorge de la Rosa, Renck tweets.
- One reader asks Renck via Twitter if the Rockies are still interested in reliever Joe Beimel. It appears that other clubs have more interest in the veteran as Colorado hasn't talked to his representation lately.
As Cooperstown welcomes Roberto Alomar and Bert Blyleven into the Hall of Fame, some of these news items concern a few of Alomar and Blyleven's former teams and teammates…
- Jim Thome is said to be looking for a one-year deal worth as much as $8MM, reports ESPN.com's Jason A. Churchill. Thome's strong 2010 season notwithstanding, that would represent a whopping increase over the $1.5MM contract he signed with Minnesota last year. The Twins have been considered the favorites to re-sign Thome, but if the team balks at that asking price, Churchill suggests they could instead turn to Vladimir Guerrero as a DH option. Churchill adds that Tampa Bay could also be interested in Guerrero if the price is right.
- Jays GM Alex Anthopoulos "conceded that it's looking more likely that" Jose Bautista will be Toronto's Opening Day third baseman rather than its right fielder, reports Shi Davidi of The Canadian Press. Anthopoulos noted that the club is still looking at other third base/right field options and also may still be in the market for another reliever. The Blue Jays have added Octavio Dotel, Chad Cordero and Wil Ledezma to their bullpen mix over the past two days.
- Carlos Gonzalez had a lengthy meeting with agent Scott Boras in December to discuss a possible extension with the Rockies, so the agreed-upon deal wasn't at all "an impulse decision," tweets The Denver Post's Troy Renck.
- Also from Renck (Twitter link), the Rockies are "not totally out" of the bidding for Joe Beimel, but other clubs "have shown stronger interest." We heard last month that the Rockies weren't one of several teams who had made Beimel a contract offer.
- The Pirates' desire to add left-handed relievers has only grown in the wake of Ledezma going to Toronto, tweets Dejan Kovacevic of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.
- Speaking of the Pirates, Bucs president Frank Coonelly discussed the team's relief options and other topics in his monthly chat with fans on MLB.com.
- With so many intriguing designated hitter possibilities on the market, Chad Jennings of the LoHud Yankees blog notes that it's an unfortunate time for the Yankees to be shifting Jorge Posada into the full-time DH spot.
Merry Christmas everyone! Let's see what tidbits of information Santa has for us under the tree..
- It appears that the Diamondbacks' offseason revamping has already come to a close, writes Nick Piecoro of The Arizona Republic.
- Even though the Astros didn't get a ton in return for Matt Lindstrom, they didn't get fleeced either, opines David Golbiewski of Fangraphs.
- Alex Rodriguez told Roger Rubin of the New York Daily News that he thinks the Yankees will be just fine without Cliff Lee.
- Troy Renck of The Denver Post tweets that the Rockies aren't too worried about resigning Joe Beimel because they trust Matt Reynolds and, to a lesser extent, Franklin Morales.
- More from Rubin as he suggests that the Yankees could have brought up Manny Ramirez's name while discussing Johnny Damon with agent Scott Boras.
- The Royals should be able to fill out their rotation with talented, cost-controlled pitchers in the coming years. In the meantime, however, their rotation could use a boost after the Zack Greinke deal, writes Golebiewski.
The market for Beimel has been very quiet this offseason, but that is nothing new. The 33-year-old lefty hasn't signed a contract before January since the 2005-2006 offseason, and in each of the last two winters he's had to wait until March to find a job. Beimel pitched to a 3.40 ERA in 45 innings for the Rockies in 2010, holding left-handed batters to a .221/.275/.379 batting line.
We've heard that Ty Wigginton is the Rockies' top target for a right-handed bat, but the club has other targets for that role, as well as interest in several other players, according to Troy E. Renck of the Denver Post. Let's go over some of them:
- Jorge Cantu is one alternative to Wigginton, despite a miserable second half to the 2010 season. GM Dan O'Dowd acknowledged that they'd prefer someone who can play in the outfield, but that's not critical.
- The Rockies have soured on Josh Willingham due to Washington's asking price and concerns over the 31-year-old's knee. They've also called about Jeff Francoeur, believing he could handle first base.
- Colorado would have interest in Rich Harden in a bullpen role, if the righty would be willing to make the switch from starting pitching. There's also the question of whether or not the injury-prone Harden could hold up physically. Renck says the Rox have tried to acquire Harden numerous times in the past, but to no avail.
- Colorado is also looking at Kevin Gregg, Bobby Jenks, Brian Fuentes, Jesse Crain, and Pedro Feliciano, though the first three prefer to close, which won't happen in Denver.
- The Rockies also haven't closed the door on Joe Beimel, who tells Renck he'd love to come back to Colorado.