- Several teams asked the Rockies about Carlos Gonzalez during the Winter Meetings, reports ESPN.com's Jayson Stark (Twitter link). The Rockies told clubs that both Gonzalez and Troy Tulowitzki weren't available, having not changed their stance from last month about trading their top two stars.
- The Dodgers' negotiations with Ryu Hyun-Jin will go right down to Sunday's deadline, a team source tells ESPN.com's Jim Bowden (Twitter link). Los Angeles will lose negotiating rights with the Korean left-hander if a deal can't be worked out by Sunday. The two sides were thought to be far apart on Tuesday, though the Dodgers and agent Scott Boras had exchanged offers and were continuing talks.
- The Padres are using their bullpen depth, infield depth and Jesus Guzman as trade bait, says Bill Center of the San Diego Union-Tribune as part of his most recent chat with readers.
- Marco Scutaro and Angel Pagan told reporters (including Alex Pavlovic of the San Jose Mercury News) that they looking for, respectively, a fourth guaranteed year and the most expensive possible contract, and were both happy that the Giants met their desires. “I know my age,” Scutaro said. “I was looking for the best contract. This might be my last one. When (the Giants) made the best offer, it was very exciting.”
- 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).
- Andrew Baggarly of CSN Bay Area tweets that the Cards never went to three years on Scutaro but had an annual value in the $8MM range.
- Meanwhile, USA Today's Bob Nightengale reports that the Cardinals were never in on Scutaro in the first place (Twitter link).
- Cardinals general manager John Mozeliak told reporters, including B.J. Rains of FOX Sports Midwest, that the team isn't looking to spend much on middle infielders in this market, and that the reports out there haven't all been 100 percent accurate (Twitter links). Mozeliak says the team is focused on areas other than middle infield.
- Joe Strauss of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch tweeted yesterday that there's a better than even-money chance that the Cardinals will make some sort of move on Wednesday.
The latest on free agent infielder Marco Scutaro…
- The Giants await word tonight from Scutaro's camp on their two-year offer, which includes a vesting option for a third year, tweets John Shea of the San Francisco Chronicle. If Scutaro declines, they might move on.
- A source involved in the Scutaro talks thinks it's 50-50 he goes back to the Giants, tweets ESPN's Buster Olney. The Cardinals are considered the mostly likely alternative, and Olney says a decision is close. However, perhaps as a veiled reference to the team's inclusion in the Scutaro rumors, Cardinals GM John Mozeliak told reporters including B.J. Rains, "We’re not spending as much time as people think in this market. Our focus has been on other areas."
- The Giants' last offer was two years plus a vesting option, tweets Andrew Baggarly of CSNBayArea.com.
- Bidding for Scutaro is said to have reached something in the neighborhood of three years and $24MM, with the Giants still in the lead, tweets ESPN.com's Buster Olney.
- Scutaro isn't expected to sign with another team without the Giants getting a final shot at him, says Henry Schulman of the San Francisco Chronicle (Sulia link).
- The market for free agent infielder Marco Scutaro is heating up, according to Ken Rosenthal and Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports. The FOX duo reports that the Cardinals are eyeing Scutaro as a potential starting second baseman, while the Yankees, in the wake of news of Alex Rodriguez's hip surgery, also likely have interest.
A few NL Central free agent targets were identified today, as the Brewers and Cubs are in on Jason Grilli among other relievers, the Pirates have expressed interest in John Lannan, and the Cardinals are in the mix for Scott Hairston. More from the division…
- The Cardinals met with Marco Scutaro's agent tonight, tweets Danny Knobler of CBS Sports. Scutaro is represented by Barry Praver.
- Pirates GM Neal Huntington told reporters including Rob Biertempfel of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, "In our minds, we’ve already made our big move with Russ." The Bucs signed Russell Martin for $17MM last week, but still have some work to do. Biertempfel notes that the Pirates have shown interest in five recently non-tendered pitchers: Manny Parra, Lannan, Tom Gorzelanny, Jair Jurrjens, and Mike Pelfrey.
- There have been no substantive talks between the Cardinals and Adam Wainwright about an extension, writes Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. The Cardinals, of course, still remain interested in doing an extension with the 31-year-old before his contract season officially begins.
- Most of the quality lefty relievers are likely to be signed by week's end, suggested Cardinals GM John Mozeliak (B.J. Rains of FOX Sports Midwest reporting).
- The Cardinals and infielder Skip Schumaker are open to a trade, reports Rains, but of course it'd have to make sense for the team.
- The pressure of last summer's contract extension talks affected the performance of Cubs shortstop Starlin Castro, agent Paul Kinzer told Jesse Rogers of ESPNChicago.com. The 22-year-old can rest easy now that he's under contract through at least 2019.
- The Cubs remain popular with free agents, president Theo Epstein told reporters including Paul Sullivan of the Chicago Tribune. The team is looking to get creative at third base and will continue to monitor the available starting pitchers (and presumably relievers). Epstein suggested the Cubs have interest in some recently non-tendered players.
The World Champion Giants dropped $40MM on a four-year deal to bring back center fielder Angel Pagan today. I expect Pagan to prove a worthwhile investment, providing enough value at the front end of the deal to make it a win overall. The latest on the Giants' other dealings…
- The Giants' payroll is going to the $140MM range up from the low $130s, tweets John Shea of the San Francisco Chronicle.
- The Giants seek a right-handed complement to projected starting left fielder Gregor Blanco, writes Andrew Baggarly of CSNBayArea.com, and they've checked in with Scott Hairston's agent. Reed Johnson, Andruw Jones, and Ben Francisco could be a few other names to consider depending on how much the team wants to spend, in my opinion.
- Giants VP Bobby Evans wouldn't rule out second baseman Marco Scutaro getting a three-year offer on the open market, in talking with Baggarly.
- Giants manager Bruce Bochy considers Sergio Romo his closer, tweets Baggarly, but plans on calling recently non-tendered reliever Brian Wilson soon to recruit him to return.
While the Dodgers have been linked to just about everyone this offseason, they won't be the only NL West club active in Nashville this week. Here are a few updates from around the division:
- Chris Haft of MLB.com (Twitter link) heard from an agent earlier today that the Giants were "bending over backwards" to re-sign Angel Pagan and Marco Scutaro. Haft wonders if Scutaro is next, now that the team has reached an agreement with Pagan.
- The Rockies are targeting late-inning and closer-type pitchers this week, according to Troy Renck of the Denver Post (via Twitter).
- The Dodgers would be "shocked" if Shohei Otani declares for MLB and doesn't sign with them, says Bill Shaikin of the Los Angeles Times (via Twitter). However, the Dodgers are skeptical that Otani will come stateside. We heard this morning that the 18-year-old was leaning toward remaining in Japan.
- In discussing Dexter Fowler with the Braves, the Rockies asked for Mike Minor, according to David O'Brien of the Atlanta Journal Constitution (Twitter link).
- Troy Renck of the Denver Post notes (via Twitter) that the Yankees had some interest in Chris Nelson last season, and wonders if their interest in the Rockies' infielder could be renewed now that Alex Rodriguez is undergoing hip surgery.
- The Giants are one of five teams with "real interest" in Scott Hairston, according to Adam Rubin of ESPNNewYork.com. The Cardinals, Tigers, Indians, and Yankees round out the list, and Hairston himself hasn't ruled out a return to the Mets.
12:31pm: The Yankees have announced in a press release that A-Rod will undergo "a left hip arthroscopy to repair a torn labrum, bone impingement and the correction of a cyst." The team pegs Rodriguez's recovery time at four to six months.
9:44am: Rodriguez's surgery will be on his left hip, not his previously-repaired right hip, according to Sherman. Recovery time is expected to be three to six months, so A-Rod figures to be healthy enough to return to the lineup by June, says Sherman (Twitter links).
9:02am: Alex Rodriguez's struggles in 2012 may have been partly due to a hip injury, as Joel Sherman of the New York Post reports. According to Sherman, A-Rod was playing with a tear in his hip, which had previously been surgically repaired. The Yankees third baseman will likely need more surgery and figures to miss part of the 2013 season, says Sherman (all Twitter links).
As Sherman notes, with Derek Jeter recovering from surgery as well, the Yankees "desperately" need help on the left side of the infield. Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports tweets that the team's options include Marco Scutaro and Jeff Keppinger, though Keppinger is also coming off surgery.
According to Mark Feinsand of the New York Daily News (Twitter link), Rodriguez's surgery will take place at some point in January.
Buster Olney outlines the most pressing offseason needs for ten teams viewed as contenders in his latest column at ESPN.com. Here are more of Olney’s notes from around MLB…
- Some GMs and agents say they sense that others are still waiting at this stage in the offseason. There’s a sense that asking prices could drop and opportunities could emerge a little later on.
- The Giants aren’t sure they’re willing to commit to Angel Pagan for as many years as he’s seeking, Olney reports. But the Giants do believe they’ll find a way to re-sign second baseman Marco Scutaro.
- Rival executives say the Angels have a thin farm system, Olney writes. This puts pressure on GM Jerry Dipoto to address his rotation through free agency, which gives Zack Greinke considerable leverage.
- Some general managers believe the secondary starting pitching options are incredibly overpriced, Olney reports. MLBTR's Free Agent Tracker offers a complete list of the unsigned starting pitchers available in free agency.
- Some executives say they’d be comfortable offering Josh Hamilton a three-year deal that includes protective language for the team. I expect Hamilton can do far better than a three-year deal.
- The A’s seem like a possible fit for Asdrubal Cabrera, but they probably wouldn’t want to part with the kind of starting pitching the Indians would want in a trade for their shortstop.
- Rival executives expect Scott Boras to try to engage the Tigers on Rafael Soriano, according to Olney. However, the Tigers have suggested they’d prefer to rely on internal options instead of spending big on a closer.
- Some agents presume the Phillies will be particularly aggressive in addressing their center field need. Acquiring a center fielder remains the club's priority.
- The Red Sox are open to signing Cody Ross, even after agreeing to terms with Jonny Gomes, according to Olney.
The Marlins‘ colossal deal with the Blue Jays has some wondering if Giancarlo Stanton will be the next big name shipped out of Miami, but that may not be the case. Outside executives tell Joel Sherman of the New York Post (via Twitter) that of all the players the Marlins floated at the GM meetings, Stanton was not among them. Here’s more from around baseball..
- Multiple sources tell Henry Schulman of the San Francisco Chronicle that the Giants are confident that they’ll be able to re-sign Marco Scutaro. The veteran would likely return on a two-year deal.
- Torii Hunter left his meeting with the Tigers today without a deal or a formal offer, according to Jerry Crasnick of ESPN.com (Twitter link). Several officials still see Detroit as the frontrunner for him, however. We kept track of the latest on Hunter in one handy post on Tuesday.
- The Red Sox made a push for Josh Johnson and Jose Reyes, but the Blue Jays just blew the Marlins away, a source tells Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe (via Twitter).
- Infielder Steven Tolleson agreed to terms on a minor league deal with the White Sox, according to Roch Kubatko of MASNsports.com (via Twitter). Kubatko adds that the Orioles would have liked to retain him.
- More than a dozen teams have checked in on free agent pitcher Jeremy Bonderman, according to Buster Olney of ESPN.com (via Twitter). Bonderman has an offer in hand from the Tigers and the Nationals are among the dozen teams with interest, Olney tweets.
- The Red Sox are among the teams in contact with Jason Bay as he considers his options for 2013, tweets Olney. Bay is looking for a solid opportunity as well as familiarity and Boston would obviously provide the latter.