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Mike Adams Rumors
An ex-Ranger is heading to the AL East, as Mike Napoli and the Red Sox agreed to a three-year contract earlier today. However, there's still plenty of activity going on out west, so let's round up a few items from the AL West….
- The Mariners and Rangers sound like the two biggest suitors besides the Nationals for Adam LaRoche, says Adam Kilgore of the Washington Post (Twitter link).
- As the Angels eye Sean Burnett, they continue to have interest in other relief options, according to MLB.com's Alden Gonzalez (via Twitter). Mike Adams remains a possibility, and the team also checked in on Joakim Soria, though he wants to close.
- The Mariners remain open to signing a defensive catcher, tweets Greg Johns of MLB.com.
- The Mariners had "no idea" that the Red Sox were closing in on an agreement with Napoli, GM Jack Zduriencik tells Rob Bradford of WEEI.com.
The Angels could shift their focus away from top free agent starting pitching and pursue relief depth if Zack Greinke’s asking price increases beyond their limit, Mike DiGiovanna of the LA Times reports. Adding Japanese right-hander Kyuji Fujikawa to the bullpen might provide the Angels with enough depth to avoid spending on Greinke and other free agents whose asking prices could increase when Greinke signs.
The Angels are one of the top suitors for Greinke, along with the Dodgers, Nationals and Rangers, Jim Bowden of ESPN.com and MLB Network Radio reports (all Twitter links). However, the Angels haven’t made a play on Anibal Sanchez or Kyle Lohse, according to Bowden. The Angels, Rangers, Red Sox and White Sox are among the teams in play for free agent reliever Mike Adams, Bowden reports.
Rangers General Manager Jon Daniels says that the door is open for reliever Mike Adams to return, but he doesn't sound terribly optimistic about it happening, writes Jeff Wilson of the Star-Telegram. "I think Mike's earned the right and put up performances indicative of a substantial contract," Daniels said. "Historically we haven't done those kinds of deals." More on the Rangers and other items out of the AL West..
- While some have speculated that the Red Sox and Rangers could partner up for a swap of Jacoby Ellsbury and Elvis Andrus, such a trade won't be happening, tweets Rob Bradford of WEEI.com.
- People familiar with the Mariners' thinking told Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com that the club could be a new entry into the Josh Hamilton sweepstakes. Earlier today, we learned that the Orioles will be targeting Hamilton this winter.
- Daniels also said that he wants to see Koji Uehara return in 2013, Wilson writes. With the likely departure of Adams and Alexi Ogando's move to the rotation, the Rangers have three vacancies to fill in the bullpen.
- The GM also confirmed that the club has discussed a minor league deal with right-hander Yoshinori Tateyama. The Rangers declined their $1.2MM option on Tateyama last week.
- Daniels believes that there is a perception that the Rangers do not want to retain Hamilton and said that it is inaccurate, Wilson writes. The Rangers have maintained contact with Hamilton's agent, Mike Moye, but contract terms have yet to be discussed.
- Earlier tonight, Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports reported that the Rangers are pursuing free agent first baseman Adam LaRoche.
Rangers right-hander Mike Adams had successful surgery for Thoracic Outlet Syndrome yesterday, reports Anthony Andro of FOXSportsSouthwest.com (on Twitter). The free agent-to-be reliever should be healthy in time for Spring Training. Here's the latest from baseball's two West divisions…
- "They pay me to be me, and I will be," said Giants closer Brian Wilson to reporters (including Hank Schulman of The San Francisco Chronicle). He is recovering from Tommy John surgery and hasn't thought about his role going forward (Twitter links). Wilson is a non-tender candidate after earning $8.5MM in the second year of a two-year deal in 2012.
- "I think there will certainly be interest," said Diamondbacks manager Kirk Gibson to Arizona Sport 620's Burns & Gambo when asked if the team has trade interest in Alex Rodriguez. The D'Backs are said to be seeking a third baseman, and GMs Kevin Towers and Brian Cashman worked together in the Yankees' front office in 2010.
- The Rangers have hired Red Sox hitting coach Dave Magadan to be their hitting coach, reports WEEI.com's Rob Bradford. Texas has since confirmed the hire.
As the Rangers are still recovering from their disappointing finish to 2012, MLB.com's T.R. Sullivan discussed a number of offseason possibilities for the club as part of a reader mailbag piece. Some of the hot stove highlights…
- Josh Hamilton will get at least one big-money, long-term offer this winter, leaving little chance that the Rangers would be able to sign him for any kind of relative discount, Hamilton believes. Rangers GM Jon Daniels said earlier this week that his team will wait to see what contract offers Hamilton receives from other clubs before making their own pitch to the free agent outfielder.
- Zack Greinke will be a top target for the Rangers this winter. "The Rangers made a strong push for him at the trade deadline…and this is still an organization that wants to build around pitching. That's where the club wants to spend its money," Sullivan writes.
- The Rangers are "unsure" about making a qualifying offer to pending free agent Mike Napoli since if he accepted, Texas would owe the catcher approximately $13.35MM for the 2013 season. If the Rangers didn't issue a qualifying offer and Napoli signed elsewhere, however, then the Rangers wouldn't receive any draft pick compensation. Sullivan argues that Napoli could accept the qualifying offer in the wake of his somewhat disappointing 2012 season and look to rebound in 2013 to set himself up for a larger long-term deal with Texas or another club.
- Though Mike Adams has been diagnosed with Thoracic Outlet Syndrome, Sullivan thinks the 34-year-old reliever could still find a multiyear deal as a free agent. The Rangers would happily take Adams back on a one-year deal.
- Sullivan doesn't think Jacoby Ellsbury is a good fit in Texas and doesn't think the Rangers should or would trade Derek Holland or Elvis Andrus in exchange for the Red Sox center fielder. "[Nelson] Cruz for Ellsbury, maybe. But it would seem more logical to take a chance on Leonys Martin than give up substantial talent for an injury-prone outfielder who can walk after next season," opines Sullivan.
- Despite the numerous rumors about a Justin Upton trade, Sullivan isn't sure he's a fit for the Rangers since Cruz is already set at right field. Center field would be the only question mark for Texas next season if Hamilton leaves, as the Rangers have Cruz in right and David Murphy in left.
- Michael Young could receive some trade interest this winter from "a team in need of veteran leadership, as well as somebody who can play second base." Young hit .277/.312/.370 in 651 plate appearances last season, his lowest career OPS for a full campaign. Young turns 36 this month and is set to earn $16MM in 2013, the final year of his contract. He also has no-trade protection as a 10-and-5 player, adding another wrinkle to any possible trade talks.
Earlier today, we learned that Rangers slugger Josh Hamilton will give the club a chance to match any offer and categorized his chances of returning at 50/50. Here's more on the Rangers as their offseason gets underway…
- Reliever Mike Adams, who is a free agent this winter, would like to return to the Rangers, tweets Jeff Wilson of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. Adams will certainly test the open market though, saying, "I'm going to take advantage of it. It's strictly business." The right-hander earned $4.4MM in 2012 and posted a 3.27 ERA with 7.7 K/9 and BB/9 2.9.
- Meanwhile, Adams will meet with a specialist on Thursday regarding his Thoracic Outlet Syndrome and says he expects to have surgery, tweets Anthony Andro of FOX Sports Southwest.
- The Rangers have rotation holes to fill, but they may be able to turn to an in-house solution as Alexi Ogando says that he wants to be a starting pitcher in 2013, Wilson tweets.
- Allowing Hamilton to walk may seem like an easy call in the wake of his late-season struggles, but it's anything but, writes Richard Justice for MLB.com.
Red Sox lefty Jon Lester and Rangers reliever Mike Adams have changed agencies, following agent Josh Yates to ACES. Both pitchers had formerly been represented by SFX Baseball. SFX negotiated Lester's then-precedent-setting five-year, $30MM deal three years ago.
It's common for players to follow their agents, and Yates is on his third agency, having been let go by CSMG (now known as Octagon) in '07. An SFX spokesperson said that Yates decided to leave the company and they wish him well. SFX will still collect the fees on Lester's current contract, which runs through 2014 if a club option is exercised. Adams has emerged as one of the game's top setup men and is in line for a multiyear free agent deal after the season.
Also, correcting an earlier tweet from me, the Braves' Randall Delgado remains with SFX.
The odds say the Red Sox have a 94.5% chance of making the playoffs, but I'm guessing that's not going to console most Red Sox fans. Boston leads Tampa Bay by three games in the Wild Card race, but that gap might have been wider by now if they had made different moves at the trade deadline. Alex Speier of WEEI.com has the details on the deadline deals that didn't happen…
- When the Red Sox made cursory inquiries about Doug Fister, it became clear that the Mariners were aiming high and looking for a right-handed bat. Since joining the Tigers, Fister has a 2.28 ERA with 7.2 K/9 and 0.9 BB/9 in 51 1/3 impressive innings.
- The Red Sox were set to acquire Rich Harden from the A’s, but once they looked at his medical records, they were no longer willing to include both Lars Anderson and a player to be named. The PTBNL would have come from a list of high-upside players in the lower minors.
- Raul Alcantara, an 18-year-old Dominican who signed for $500K in 2009 and Brandon Workman, a second round pick in last year’s draft, would have been on the list.
- The Red Sox also kicked around the idea of acquiring Harden’s former teammate, Brad Ziegler, who ended up going to Arizona.
- The Padres weren’t thrilled with Boston’s prospects, so Jed Hoyer and Theo Epstein never came close to completing deals for Mike Adams or other Padres relievers.
- The Orioles and Red Sox never exchanged names regarding a possible Koji Uehara deal.
A few stray items of note on this Thursday evening …
- MVP voters who omit pitchers from their ballots should be recused from voting, opines Tracy Ringolsby of FOXSports.com. Voting rules stipulate that all players, including pitchers and DHs, be considered for the MVP, so Justin Verlander and Roy Halladay are legitimate candidates, explains Ringolsby.
- The Tigers' signing of Victor Martinez to a four-year contract is proving to be one of the better moves of the offseason, opines Anthony Castrovince of MLB.com.
- Nationals righty Chien-Ming Wang has been durable upon returning to the big leagues after missing two-plus years to injury, but he has trouble warming up his surgically repaired right shoulder before starts, according to Adam Kilgore of the Washington Post. Because of this, Wang, a free agent at season's end, has been struggling early in his starts before settling in.
- Each of the eight likely playoff teams boasts a strong relief tandem, writes Alden Gonzalez of MLB.com. Half of them were formed in the past year: Last offseason, the Diamondbacks traded for David Hernandez and signed J.J. Putz, and the Tigers signed Joaquin Benoit. In July, the Brewers traded for Francisco Rodriguez and the Rangers acquired Mike Adams.