Michael Cuddyer Rumors

NL West Notes: Rockies, Stewart, Dodgers

Earlier today we saw a rare trade between division rivals when the Rockies sent Huston Street to the Padres for a player to be named later and cash. Let's take a look at some other news and rumors from the NL West…


Latest On Placido Polanco

8:20pm: The Rockies are no longer interested in Polanco because they don't feel he can play second base, tweets Rosenthal.

TUESDAY, 12:16pm: The Phillies are not shopping Polanco and are only interested in trading him if they can't re-sign Jimmy Rollins, reports ESPN's Jayson Stark.  The Phillies refer to keep Rollins and Polanco on the left side of their infield, but they could add someone like Aramis Ramirez if Rollins leaves.  Stark says the Phillies are willing to eat about a third of Polanco's contract, which equates to $2.4MM.

MONDAY, 11:50am: The Phillies are actively trying to trade third baseman Placido Polanco, a rival executive tells Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports.  That'd open up third base for free agent Aramis Ramirez, for whom the Phillies are reportedly strong players.  Polanco, 36, is owed $7.25MM through 2012.

The Phillies have cooled on free agent Michael Cuddyer, Rosenthal reported earlier today.


Twins Made Three-Year Offer To Cuddyer

3:23pm: The Twins are meeting with Cuddyer's agent today, tweets Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports, and seek resolution on their offer.

10:25am: The Twins offered Michael Cuddyer a three-year, $25MM deal, tweets Jon Heyman of MLB Network.  Josh Willingham is viewed as a back-up plan.



Heyman On Royals, Cuddyer, Andruw, Astros

Congratulations to national baseball writer Jon Heyman, who has a new job with CBSSports.com starting Monday.  As usual, Heyman is tweeting up a storm; here's his latest from the Winter Meetings (all links go to Twitter):

  • The Royals are talking trades for starters and are in on Oakland's Gio Gonzalez.
  • Everyone wants bullpen help but few want it more than the Padres, Brewers, and Red Sox.
  • The Phillies haven't completely ruled out Michael Cuddyer, but the Twins are still trying to bring him back as well. The Giants and Red Sox are other logical destinations, in Heyman's estimation.
  • The Yankees would love to bring back Andruw Jones for his right-handed pop and strong clubhouse presence.
  • Former Reds executive Scott Nethery is in the mix for the Astros GM opening. Andrew Friedman is still their top choice, Bill Geivett and Jeff Luhnow are also in the mix.
  • The Astros will also eat most of Carlos Lee's contract to facilitate a trade. They still expect a good return for Wandy Rodriguez and something decent for Brett Myers in any trade.
  • Heyman also said this morning that the Angels are looking for a closer and the Pirates are talking to Derrek Lee.

Twins Notes: Morneau, Mauer, Cuddyer, Kubel, Capps

Twins manager Ron Gardenhire joined 1500 ESPN's Talkin' Twins show last night and said the Twins are attempting to put together a team that can win even if Joe Mauer and Justin Morneau aren’t ready for Opening Day. “I think that's a pretty good idea,” Gardenhire said. “If we have those guys back on the field, which I believe we will… we'll have a heck of a baseball team." Here are more details on the Twins’ offseason plans, via Phil Mackey of 1500ESPN.com:

  • The team has made offers to some of its current free agents. The Twins are “making a mad effort” to sign Michael Cuddyer and they’d “love to have” Jason Kubel back. However, re-signing both players isn’t necessarily realistic.
  • Matt Capps struggled in 2011 and could bring the Twins a compensatory draft pick in 2012, but the team is working to re-sign him. Gardenhire would like to bring the right-hander back because he’s a “great teammate and a good pitcher” who pitched through pain in 2011, even though the results weren’t there and “people got frustrated with him.” The 28-year-old posted a 4.25 ERA with 4.7 K/9 and 1.8 BB/9 in 65 2/3 innings in 2011 and his peripheral stats were significantly worse than they were in 2010.
  • Gardenhire said his entire 2012 rotation is “not necessarily” on the Twins roster just yet.

AL Central Notes: Cespedes, Royals, Cuddyer

The Tigers, who agreed to sign Ramon Santiago to a two-year deal today, have interest in Coco Crisp. Here are the latest updates from their division, starting with a note on another possible outfield target for Detroit:

  • Tigers GM Dave Dombrowski will watch Yoenis Cespedes play in the Dominican Republic, according to Danny Knobler of CBSSports.com, who suggests this is “very unusual” for Dombrowski (Twitter link). Cespedes isn’t yet a free agent, but he’s in the process of establishing temporary residency in the Dominican and may hit the open market soon.
  • Before the Royals signed Jonathan Broxton, outfielder Jeff Francoeur and manager Ned Yost went hunting with the right-hander in Georgia, according to Kevin Kernan of the New York Post. The outing helped convince Broxton to join the Royals.
  • Twins manager Ron Gardenhire says the team is "making a mad effort" to sign Michael Cuddyer, according to Phil Mackey of ESPN 1500 (on Twitter).
  • Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle hears Josh Willingham may be a fit in Minnesota if the Twins don’t re-sign Cuddyer. Similarly, the Red Sox may have interest if they don’t re-sign David Ortiz, Slusser writes.

American League Free Agent Arbitration Offers

10 American League teams have free agent arbitration offer decisions to make, and we'll update them in this post throughout the day in advance of the 11pm central time deadline.  For a fantastic customizable chart with all 57 Type A/B free agents and their teams' decisions in real-time, click here

Updated team decisions:

Teams with decisions still due:


Modified Procedure For Type A Free Agents

Matt Capps, Francisco Cordero, Octavio Dotel, Ramon Hernandez and Darren Oliver were all Type A free agents under the Elias Rankings system, but they will now be treated as Type B free agents, the MLBPA announced. Teams won't have to surrender draft picks to sign them, but the players' former teams obtain a supplementary first round pick whether or not they offer arbitration tomorrow.

Meanwhile, clubs won't have to surrender a draft pick to sign one of the following six players: Heath Bell, Michael Cuddyer, Kelly Johnson, Ryan Madson, Josh Willingham and Francisco Rodriguez. Teams that lose these players after offering arbitration will obtain first round picks in the slot before the signing team plus a supplementary draft pick for a total of two selections.

Albert Pujols, Prince Fielder, C.J. Wilson, David Ortiz, Jonathan Papelbon, Roy Oswalt, Jose Reyes and Jimmy Rollins were also Type A free agents this offseason. They will cost one draft pick to sign. Their teams will obtain two total picks if they decline offers of arbitration to sign elsewhere, as expected. Takashi Saito and Carlos Beltran, two other Type As, cannot be offered arbitration. Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports first reported the changes.


Phillies Rumors: Schneider, Hamels, Cuddyer

The latest on the Phillies…


Cafardo On Red Sox, Cuddyer, Sizemore, Marlins

One of Red Sox GM Ben Cherington's toughest tasks this season will be finding fourth and fifth starters, writes Nick Cafardo of The Boston Globe.  Cherington could do it by pursuing the top free agent hurlers on the open market or try to bolster the rotation via trade.  It's widely expected that the White Sox will make either Gavin Floyd or John Danks available and Cafardo wonders if the Red Sox could get Anibal Sanchez back from the Marlins.  Free agent Hiroki Kuroda is a likely target but appears to be out of reach.  The veteran declined a chance to be traded to the Sox last season as he didn’t want to play anywhere but Los Angeles.  Here's more from Cafardo..

  • Free agent Michael Cuddyer isn't as high of a priority for the Phillies as portrayed by the media.  A major league source characterized him as "a middle priority" and while Philadelphia would love to have him, the club isn't going to "go crazy" to make it happen.
  • It's widely believed that Grady Sizemore could be had for a bargain price but the center fielder has a few teams pursuing him, including the Red Sox.  However, his talks with Boston are in very preliminary stages, and his injury history and left-handed bat mean that he's an unlikely fit.
  • An agent told Cafardo that the Marlins' offers to Albert Pujols, Mark Buehrle, and Jose Reyes should be taken seriously and are not for show. 
  • If the Marlins land Pujols or Prince Fielder, first baseman Gaby Sanchez will be major trade bait for the club. 
  • If the Red Sox don't make a lot of pitching moves, we could see Alfredo Aceves moved into the rotation.  The right-hander pushed to start in the past but Terry Francona thought Aceves was too valuable to remove from his bullpen role. 
  • A National League scout says that center fielder Yoenis Cespedes is likely to be moved to one of the corner outfield spots in the majors.  Yesterday, we learned that the Cuban defector may not become a free agent for two months.