Michael Cuddyer Rumors

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.

Quick Hits: Astros, Sizemore, A’s, Phillies, CBA

On a day when Jonathan Papelbon switched teams and the Miami Marlins were officially born, the biggest and best news was unquestionably Wilson Ramos' rescue from kidnappers in his native Venezuela.  Here are a few other items as we head into the weekend…

  • The Astros' potential sale to Jim Crane is on the agenda at next week's owners meetings, reports The Associated Press.  Two sources say Crane, Drayton McLane and Major League Baseball have "reached an understanding" on how the Astros could move to the American League in 2013.
  • Crane could be getting as much as an $80MM discount off his original price for the team by agreeing to move the Astros to the AL, tweets Sports Illustrated's Jon Heyman.
  • Grady Sizemore is looking for a one-year contract so he can re-establish his value for a longer-term deal next winter, reports Jon Heyman (Twitter link).  Heyman makes the comparison to the one-year deal Adrian Beltre signed with the Red Sox before the 2010 season, which saw Beltre have a big season and earn a multiyear deal with the Rangers last winter.  Sizemore won't match the $10MM Beltre got from Boston, but a $6-7MM deal with incentives seems reasonable.
  • Heyman says the Athletics are interested in Sizemore but are worried about his health and his asking price.
  • With the Phillies reportedly interested in both Sizemore and Jason Kubel, Fangraphs' Eric Seidman argues that Sizemore is the better choice for the Phils.
  • The Phillies want to sign Michael Cuddyer and re-sign Jimmy Rollins but the club finds both players' asking prices to be too high, tweets Danny Knobler of CBSSports.com.
  • Major League Baseball and the Players' Association are expected to "continue to negotiate amicably" about the new collective bargaining agreement over the weekend, reports Ken Rosenthal and Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports.
  • Also from Rosenthal, he thinks teams take a major risk by hiring managers with little or no Major League managing or coaching experience.
  • The Pirates' offseason moves will be influenced by the number of players on the roster who are out of options, writes MLB.com's Jenifer Langosch.

NL West Notes: Hudson, Soon-Shiong, Rockies, Hill

The Diamondbacks have been one of baseball’s busiest teams so far this offseason. GM Kevin Towers and manager Kirk Gibson agreed to extensions and John McDonald, Henry Blanco and Willie Bloomquist have all re-signed with the defending NL West Champions. Here’s the latest from the division…

  • If the Rockies are indeed interested in Padres second baseman Orlando Hudson, Bill Center of the San Diego Union-Tribune doubts the Padres would be willing to pick up any of Hudson's salary in a trade.  Hudson will earn $5.5MM in 2012, with an $8MM option for 2013 that can be bought out for $2MM.  Center also discusses several other Padres topics in his weekly chat with fans, such as the possibility of moving in the fences at Petco Park.
  • Billionaire Patrick Soon-Shiong told Arash Markazi of ESPN Los Angeles that he has been approached by at least one of the groups trying to buy the Dodgers.  Soon-Shiong is considered to be the richest man in Los Angeles and bought a 4.5% share of the L.A. Lakers last year.
  • The Rockies aren't going to revisit their pursuit of Michael Young, tweets Troy Renck of the Denver Post.  Colorado and Texas were very close to a deal involving Young last winter in the wake of Young's trade request, but Young settled things with Rangers management and now there is "no motivation for [the] Rangers to move him."
  • Also from Renck, he doesn't think the Rockies will look to move Matt Belisle this winter, though Matt Lindstrom could be available.
  • As part of a reader mailbag, MLB.com's Chris Haft was surprised that the Giants needed to include Ryan Verdugo along with Jonathan Sanchez in the deal that brought Melky Cabrera to San Francisco.  That said, Haft writes "it's conceivable that the Giants might have obtained the most that Sanchez and Verdugo would bring."
  • The Rockies “love” Jamey Carroll, but wouldn’t be interested in signing him to a multiyear deal, according to Renck (Twitter links). The former Rockies infielder is nearing a multiyear deal with Twins.
  • The Rockies aren’t likely to sign Michael Cuddyer, but they continue pursuing Martin Prado, Renck reports.
  • The Diamondbacks have a multiyear offer on the table to Aaron Hill and it expires Monday, according to Jack Magruder of FOXSportsArizona.com (on Twitter). If Hill signs, the Diamondbacks will turn their attention to starting pitching.
  • Bruce Jenkins of the San Francisco Chronicle suggests the Giants should re-sign Carlos Beltran to a two or three-year deal.

MLBTR's Mark Polishuk also contributed to this post