Mike Gonzalez Rumors
Buster Posey is eligible for arbitration for the first time off the heels of his MVP campaign. The Giants would obviously like to lock the catcher up for the foreseeable future, but the club has yet to begin contract discussions with agent Jeff Berry, according to Henry Schulman of the San Francisco Chronicle (on Twitter). For more on Posey's unique case, check out Matt Swartz's arbitration breakdown. Here's more from around baseball..
- Michael Gonzalez's one-year, $2.25MM contract with the Brewers could pay him up to an additional $400K in performance bonuses, according to the Associated Press. Gonzalez will earn $50K for 25 games finished, $75K each for 30 and 35, and $100K apiece for 40 and 50. The reliever told reporters today that he prefers to be called Michael rather than Mike, according to Adam McCalvy of MLB.com (via Twitter).
- Jason Giambi is working out and told Troy Renck of the Denver Post (on Twitter) that he hopes to play this season. The 42-year-old will likely have to go to camp with a club on a minor league deal. Giambi was said to be drawing interest from three or four teams in early December.
- Ugueth Urbina threw live batting practice in Venezuela yesterday and former Marlins manager Ozzie Guillen was on hand to scout for several teams, writes Luis Carlos Gonzalez of El Nacional. "I told people from the Marlins, where I left behind some friends, and other teams, that Urbina was going to take the mound, and they told me to go see him," Guillen said (translation courtesy of Nick Collias). Guillen added that Urbina looked good, though he needs to "keep working".
- Jim Bowden of ESPN.com (Insider sub. req'd) looked at five GMs that could be on the hotseat in 2013, including Neal Huntington of the Pirates and Royals GM Dayton Moore.
- If the Pirates do not finalize their deal with Francisco Liriano, reliever-turned-starter Chris Leroux is another option for the rotation, tweets Rob Biertempfel of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. Liriano suffered an arm injury in December, leading the Bucs give second thought to the two-year, $12.75MM agreement.
The Brewers have officially announced the signing of Mike Gonzalez to a one-year contract. The veteran left-hander is a client of the MVP Sports Group and is guaranteed $2.25MM with incentives that can increase the value of his contract.
Gonzalez, 34, pitched to a 3.03 ERA with 9.8 K/9 and 4.0 BB/9 in 35 2/3 innings for the Nationals last season after signing in early-May. He held left-handed batters to a .179/.257/.269 batting line with 23 strikeouts in 75 plate appearances. MLBTR's Tim Dierkes did not rank Gonzalez as one of the offseason's Top 50 Free Agents.
Relief help was a priority for the Brewers this offseason after their bullpen posted a MLB-worst 4.66 ERA in 2012. Earlier this month they acquired Burke Badenhop from the Rays and signed Tom Gorzelanny, another former Nationals left-hander. ESPN's Jim Bowden says (on Twitter) the Nats and Reds were also in on Gonzalez.
Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports first broke news of the agreement (Twitter links). Jim Bowden of ESPN and MLB Network Radio on Sirius XM tweeted the financial details, and MLB.com's Adam McCalvy tweeted that Gonzalez's physical would take place after New Year's Day (on Twitter).
Steve Adams contributed to this post.
Here's the latest from around the league as Friday turns into Saturday...
- The Red Sox, Rays, Nationals, and Royals scouted Javier Vazquez during his Puerto Rican League outing tonight, reports Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports (on Twitter). The right-hander was said to be pitching at 93 mph with the fastball.
- The Rockies will scout Brandon Webb's throwing session, which will take place in the coming weeks according to MLB.com's Thomas Harding. The Twins will also be in attendance.
- "Obviously, it's been a little slow, a little slower than anticipated ... It's going to eventually work itself out. It's not like I'm not going to be out of baseball," said Kyle Lohse to MLB.com's Mike Bauman. The right-hander has yet to receive an offer other than the qualifying offer he rejected.
- "I haven't really thought other than that ... If something happens, it happens, but I'm looking forward to getting back to that beautiful facility again and start going," said Jason Kubel to MLB.com's Steve Gilbert when asked about trade rumors. The Diamondbacks are expected to move one of their spare outfielders before Spring Training.
- The Brewers will probably announce the Mike Gonzalez signing on Monday, reports Tom Haudricourt of The Journal Sentinel (on Twitter). The holidays delayed the finalization of the contract.
The Cubs had interest in both Edwin Jackson and Anibal Sanchez this winter, but General Manager Jed Hoyer said that signing both was never in the cards, tweets Jordan Bernfield of WGN Radio. Hoyer and Sveum met with Jackson in California while Theo Epstein and owner Tom Ricketts met with Sanchez in Florida. Here's more on the Cubs and other items out of the NL Central..
- Based on comments Epstein made on WEEI's Hot Stove Show (audio link), it doesn't sound like the Cubs will be targeting impact players like Michael Bourn, Rafael Soriano, Kyle Lohse, and Adam LaRoche since they are tied to draft pick compensation. Epstein explained that the changes to the draft and international spending mean that high draft picks are more valuable than ever, writes Patrick Mooney of CSNChicago.com.
- John Fay of the Cincinnati Enquirer writes that Reds GM Walt Jocketty expects a decision from Scott Rolen on whether he will play in 2013 in the next seven-to-ten days. Fay personally expects Rolen to call it a career.
- Earlier today, Jocketty said that he is looking to sign Mat Latos and Homer Bailey to multiyear deals.
- The Brewers still haven't made their signing of left-hander Mike Gonzalez official, but that's likely to happen on Friday, tweets Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel. Gonzalez agreed to a one-year, $2.25MM deal plus incentives late last week.
The Orioles would like to re-sign Joe Saunders and have continued talks with him, according to Buster Olney of ESPN.com (on Twitter). They'll have plenty of competition for the left-hander, however, as he is drawing high interest from three other clubs. Here's more from around baseball..
- On today’s edition of the Rosters & Rumblings podcast, MLBTR’s Ben Nicholson-Smith and Jason Martinez of MLB Depth Charts discussed the Mariners-Angels trade, the Cubs’ new-look rotation, and some recent trade rumors.
- The Dodgers are still kicking the tires on Joel Hanrahan of the Pirates and free agent Brian Wilson as they look to deepen their bullpen, but they aren't in the mix for Rafael Soriano, according to Jim Bowden of ESPN.com (on Twitter).
- The Nationals continue to talk to Mike Gonzalez about returning and the Reds are also in pursuit, Bowden tweets.
- Sources tell Jeff Wilson of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram (on Twitter) that the Rangers were never serious bidders for Edwin Jackson. The right-hander signed a four-year, $52MM contract with the Cubs earlier today.
- Mariners General Manager Jack Zduriencik has landed a bigger bat for the middle of his lineup, but that doesn't mean Seattle is done with its roster maneuverings, writes Greg Johns of MLB.com. The Mariners still have financial flexibility since they should several million dollars in the difference between what Kendrys Morales ($4.8MM) will earn compared to Jason Vargas ($7.4MM) in their final year of arbitration eligibility.
- Dexter Fowler told Jim Bowden of SiriusXM (on Twitter) that Rockies General Manager Bill Geivett told him that it would take a lot in return for them to deal him to the Braves. Atlanta is targeting Fowler along with Emilio Bonifacio and other outfield options.
MLBTR’s Ben Nicholson-Smith and Jason Martinez of MLB Depth Charts discussed the R.A. Dickey trade, the Josh Hamilton signing, the Anibal Sanchez deal and the latest rumors on todays’ edition of the Rosters & Rumblings podcast. Click here to listen in, and continue reading for the latest from around the league...
- The Mets are closing in on adding an outfielder, according to Mike Puma of the New York Post. Puma's source tells him that the player hasn't previously been linked to the Mets (Twitter links). Puma doesn't specify if the acquisition would come via free agency or trade. New York has previously been linked to Cody Ross, which seems to rule him out.
- Sanchez's agent, Gene Mato, told Anthony Fetch of the Detroit Free Press that Sanchez left a larger offer from an unnamed team on the table at the Winter Meetings. The right-hander didn't want to make his decision based solely on money but also on where he felt comfortable.
- Brewers general manager Doug Melvin told Jim Bowden of MLB Network Radio on Sirius XM that his team is interested in Jon Rauch, Jason Frasor, Kyle Farnsworth and Mike Gonzalez (Twitter link).
- Clark Spencer of the Miami Herald tweets that the Marlins aren't particularly interested in Peter Bourjos because they'd prefer a better hitting outfielder. Earlier today it was reported that the Fish may be interested in Bourjos.
- Some teams aren't convinced that Hiroyuki Nakajima's glove is good enough to play shortstop at the Major League level, tweets Buster Olney of ESPN. The Japanese slugger signed with the Athletics earlier today.
- Former Cubs coach Pat Listach has been hired by the Dodgers as the team's new minor league infield coordinator, according to Paul Sullivan of the Chicago Tribune (on Twitter).
Here are the latest news and notes from the NL and AL Central divisions:
- Sources tell FOXSports.com's Jon Paul Morosi and Ken Rosenthal the Reds like Dexter Fowler and the Rockies like Homer Bailey. Now the question is whether their mutual interest crystallizes into trade discussions during the Winter Meetings.
- The Brewers are prioritizing a left-handed reliever with the available free agent possibilities including Sean Burnett, Randy Choate, Mike Gonzalez, J.P. Howell, and Tom Gorzelanny, tweets Morosi.
- Cubs officials have yet to confirm or comment on reports of their signing of Japanese closer Kyuji Fujikawa, writes Carrie Muskat of MLB.com. The Cubs, however, are willing to talk about their need for a third baseman, an outfielder, and pitching depth. Muskat adds the Cubs could re-sign third baseman Ian Stewart after non-tendering him on Friday.
- The White Sox and Phillies are the two most aggressive teams in pursuit of a third baseman, a source tells Dan Hayes of CSNChicago.com. Kevin Youkilis is the object of both team's pursuit. Hayes writes the Sox may have to move another high salary in order to afford Youkilis and floats the names of Jeff Keppinger, Mark Reynolds, and Eric Chavez as alternatives.
- The Pirates feel they are better equipped to restock their bullpen, despite the free agency of Jason Grilli and the recent trade of Chris Resop, and may be interested in turning closer Joel Hanrahan into a much needed starting pitcher, according to MLB.com's Tom Singer.
- The Twins plan to focus more on free agents than trades during the Winter Meetings, tweets Phil Mackey of 1500ESPN.com. The Twins have already dealt their best trade chip in Denard Span and plan on keeping Josh Willingham, writes Mackey in a separate piece.
Here's the latest from around the NL East...
- The Marlins are less likely to deal Josh Johnson this offseason than they are to deal him in the weeks leading up to the July trade deadline, a source tells Scott Lauber of the Boston Herald (Twitter link).
- Also on Johnson, there is "not much traction" between the Marlins and Red Sox about a possible trade for the Miami ace, tweets WEEI.com's Rob Bradford.
- The Marlins have hired Tino Martinez as their hitting coach, reports Adam Rubin of ESPN New York (via Twitter). The Red Sox were reportedly also considering Martinez as a candidate to become their new hitting coach.
- Martinez will be the Marlins' only hitting coach, as Juan C. Rodriguez of the South Beach Sun-Sentinel reports, though some other teams carry two hitting coaches on staff.
- Phillies GM Ruben Amaro tells Matt Gelb of the Philadelphia Inquirer that he'd "rather pay for the player than trade for the player" in order to hold onto the Phils' minor leaguers. "I'd rather spend money but it's not an unlimited pool to work with," Amaro said. "We have some flexibility. I guess I would anticipate our payroll being similar to last year."
- The Phillies aren't planning to trade high-priced talent like Cliff Lee in an attempt to save payroll dollars, Amaro tells Brian MacPherson of the Providence Journal. "There's a reason why they're high-priced -- it's because they're good. I feel like we have a much better chance of winning with them than without them," Amaro said.
- Adam Kilgore of the Washington Post wonders if the Nationals and Zack Greinke could be a match this winter, given that the Nats almost acquired Greinke from the Royals two years ago.
- "What's not to like?" Nats GM Mike Rizzo rhetorically asked about Greinke today, tweets Amanda Comak of the Washington Times. Rizzo also said there are "five or six really intriguing starters" on the free agent market, tying into Comak's report from earlier today about the Nationals' "open-minded" search for pitching.
- Also from Comak (Twitter link), Rizzo said the Nationals want to add at least one left-handed reliever. The team has talked to both Sean Burnett and Mike Gonzalez and they'd like to bring both southpaws back in 2013. Burnett declined his mutual option last week but said he's like to stay in Washington, while Gonzalez is also open to returning, though up to 10 teams are reportedly interested in him.
Mike Gonzalez didn't find a home for 2012 until May, but interest in the left-hander is plentiful this offseason. He told James Wagner of The Washington Post that about ten teams have already expressed interest in his services, but his top priority is staying with the Nationals.
“They’ve had a couple conversations,” said Gonzalez. “[My agent] told me that [the Nationals] are definitely interested and I’m definitely interested. It’s going to be good. We haven’t started throwing money there. But there’s interest on every side.”
Gonzalez, 34, pitched to a 3.03 ERA with 9.8 K/9 and 4.0 BB/9 in 35 2/3 innings for Washington this season, holding lefties to a .179/.257/.269 batting line with 23 strikeouts in 75 plate appearances. He recently left Scott Boras for Dan Lozano and said that while he's hoping for a two-year deal, comfort will be a big factor with his decision this offseason.
On a busy night in baseball, we've also seen some changes in representation. Of course, you can keep up on all agency news with MLBTR's Agency Database. Here's the latest..
- Marco Scutaro is now represented by agent Barry Praver, tweets Jerry Crasnick of ESPN.com. The Giants hope to re-sign the infielder this winter and by all accounts the interest appears to be mutual.
- Nationals left-hander Mike Gonzalez is now represented by Dan Lozano of MVP Sports Group, according to Tim Brown of Yahoo Sports (via Twitter). Gonzalez was a client of Scott Boras last season when he joined the club on a minor league deal. The Nats would like to re-tool their bullpen this winter but are said to have interest in retaining the 34-year-old.
- Rockies outfielder Eric Young Jr. has left CAA to hook on with Dan Lozano at MVP, according to Jerry Crasnick of ESPN.com (via Twitter). Young is not yet arbitration eligible and won't hit the open market until after the 2016 season.