Minnesota Twins Rumors
Acknowledging that he'd listen to offers for anyone and everyone on his roster in the right scenario, Indians GM Chris Antonetti suggested it'd be difficult to move Justin Masterson, as Paul Hoynes of the Plain Dealer details. Antonetti declined to comment on the possibility of offering Masterson an extension, but added, "What I can say is how much we appreciate the contributions that Justin has made to our organization and we’d love for him to be an Indian long term."
Here are a few more overnight links from around MLB:
- If Bronson Arroyo decides he wants to be in Minnesota, he'd be the Twins' top choice of their potential starting pitching targets, says Mike Berardino of the St. Paul Pioneer Press (via Twitter).
- The Rockies have expressed interest in free agent reliever Ryan Madson, but remain more likely to trade for a bullpen arm than sign one, tweets Troy Renck of the Denver Post.
- After missing most of last season, Brett Myers is healthy and is seeking a job this winter, tweets Jayson Stark of ESPN.com.
- The Diamondbacks' acquisition of Mark Trumbo is the latest example of how the team operates, writes Nick Piecoro of the Arizona Republic. As Piecoro points out, Arizona generally doesn't care about getting what the industry would consider "full value" for their trade chips.
- The uncertainty surrounding Masahiro Tanaka continues to slow the pace of negotiations for the top starting pitchers already on the market, tweets Berardino.
- A Monday report suggested another NPB starter, Kenta Maeda, could play for an MLB team as soon as 2015, but the latest word on Maeda indicates the right-hander might even be posted this winter. Ben Badler of Baseball America has the details.
- Badler also writes that changes are coming to the limits on international spending in 2014, with MLB teams set to lose up to $300K in signing money that had previously been exempt from bonus pools.
Here are some quick notes from around the Central divisions.
- Bronson Arroyo's agent, Terry Bross, says he expects the Reds to make an offer to re-sign his client, Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reports. That leads Rosenthal to wonder whether the Reds might deal a starter, even though GM Walt Jocketty has said they would not trade Homer Bailey, who will be a free agent after the season (Twitter links).
- The Twins do not have a pending offer to Arroyo or Johan Santana, tweets 1500ESPN's Darren Wolfson. They have made an offer to re-sign starting pitcher Mike Pelfrey, MLB.com's Rhett Bollinger tweets. Pelfrey posted a 5.19 ERA with 6.0 K/9 and 3.1 BB/9 for the Twins in 2013.
- The Cardinals, who have already acquired Jhonny Peralta and Peter Bourjos, aren't likely to be big players in the Winter Meetings, MLB.com's Jenifer Langosch tweets. "We’re fishing is in the shallow end," GM John Mozeliak says.
- Now that they've acquired Adam Eaton, the White Sox will listen to offers on fellow outfielder Alejandro De Aza, CBS Sports' Jon Heyman reports (via Twitter). The Giants have already asked about De Aza, tweets John Shea of the San Francisco Chronicle.
- The Indians would like to re-sign pitcher Tyler Cloyd to a minor-league deal, Paul Hoynes of the Plain Dealer tweets.
3:28pm: Rob Biertempfel of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review hears that the Pirates are probably out on Arroyo (Twitter link).
2:46pm: GM Walt Jocketty told reporters, including C. Trent Rosecrans of the Cincinnati Enquirer, that he met with Arroyo's agent, Terry Bross, around 2:00pm today (Twitter link).
TUESDAY, 1:40pm: Darren Wolfson of 1500 ESPN hears the Mets and Reds are also making pushes for Arroyo (Twitter link). The Twins have yet to make a formal offer, he adds.
Despite already having added Ricky Nolasco and Phil Hughes to their 2014 rotation, the Twins don't appear to be content with their starting five. They've been connected to Arroyo on and off throughout the offseason to date, with a guaranteed third year seen as a potential sticking point. Arroyo is also said to be of interest to the Pirates and the Phillies, as the right-hander himself recently told MLB.com's Mark Sheldon (Twitter link).
Arroyo, who will be 37 in February, posted a 3.79 ERA with 5.5 K/9, 1.5 BB/9 and a 44.4 percent ground-ball rate in 202 innings this past season. With the exception of a 199-inning campaign in 2011, he has pitched at least 200 innings each season dating back to 2005. It's worth noting that former Reds GM Wayne Krivsky is currently a special assistant to Twins GM Terry Ryan.
The latest out of the AL East as today's Winter Meetings news heats up...
- ESPN's Jayson Stark tweets that the Rays are interested in Mitch Moreland of the Rangers and notes that a swap of Moreland and Matt Joyce is a possibility. That scenario hasn't gained much traction to this point, however, according to Stark (Twitter links).
- MLB.com's Brittany Ghiroli was among the reporters to speak with Orioles manager Buck Showalter, and she reports that the O's aren't interested in Raul Ibanez but do have some interest in Gavin Floyd (Twitter link).
- Top Yankees prospects such as Tyler Austin, Slade Heathcott and Mason Williams have seen their stock fall precipitously in the past year, diminishing New York's ability to make trades, writes Joel Sherman of the New York Post. One Cubs official told Sherman, "The Yankees have no upper-level talent," when asked about potential trades between the two clubs.
- Also from Sherman's piece, right-hander Tommy Kahnle and lefty Fred Lewis are candidates to be selected in Thursday's Rule 5 Draft. Kahnle was among the Yankees' most sought-after players in July trade talks but was left off the 40-man roster.
- Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe spoke with A.J. Pierzynski, who told him that the Twins offered him a two-year deal to return to Minnesota, but he couldn't pass up on the opportunity to play for the Red Sox (Twitter link).
- Joh Shea of the San Francisco Chronicle spoke with a high-ranking Yankees official who told him there haven't been any discussions between the Yanks and Giants about New York's outfielders at the Winter Meetings (Twitter link).
11:16pm: The Tigers are viewed as the frontrunners for Davis, a source tells Nicholson-Smith (Twitter link).
10:32pm: Davis is indeed getting close to a contract agreement, Sportsnet's Ben Nicholson-Smith hears from a source (Twitter link). It's not clear yet whether it will be with the Twins or another team.
9:46pm: Minnesota is in the mix for Davis, reports Darren Wolfson of 1500 ESPN Twin Cities. According to Wolfson, the Twins are willing to commit multiple years to Davis, which should make the team a strong suitor for his services.
9:09pm: If Davis does sign within the next couple days, as Duquette predicted, it doesn't sound like it will be with the O's. Kubatko hears that Baltimore isn't in on Davis (Twitter link).
7:23pm: We haven't heard many rumors on Rajai Davis so far this offseason, but Orioles GM Dan Duquette said today that he expects the outfielder to sign a contract within the next day or two, according to Roch Kubatko of MASNsports.com (Twitter link).
It's not clear yet if Duquette came away with that impression after speaking to Davis' agent, or whether the O's themselves are seriously in the mix for Davis. It's worth noting though that Duquette also indicated today that he believed his team would add at least one player within the next couple days.
Davis, 33, hasn't played in an everyday role for the Blue Jays over the last three seasons, but has seen enough action to rack up nearly 1,200 plate appearances, recording a .252/.299/.369 slash line. The speedster has also added 125 stolen bases over that period.
Since the Jays' season ended, reports on Davis have suggested that he'll likely leave Toronto and that he'll be seeking a starting role. An everyday job seems unlikely given Davis' struggles against right-handed pitching, but he'd make a solid fourth outfielder, a role which should give him the opportunity to earn plenty of at-bats, if his last few years in Toronto have been any indication.
Cuban shortstop Aledmys Diaz continues to draw heavy interest from Major League teams, reports Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports. Some teams like Diaz, who can't sign until Feb. 19 due to falsifying his age last offseason, as a second baseman. Passan reports that Braves, Yankees, Dodgers, Giants, Blue Jays and Cardinals as teams who have been heavily represented at Diaz's most recent showcases in Mexico (Twitter links). Some more links from around the league...
- Jeff Francoeur, who recently underwent LASIK surgery, is seeking a job as a backup outfielder, tweets Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports (Twitter link). Frenchy will also abandon his use of a 35-ounce bat in 2013 -- a weight only utilized by Orioles slugger Chris Davis.
- Felix Pie is nearing an agreement with Korea's Hanwah Eagles, according to Jon Morosi of FOX Sports (via Twitter). Pie hasn't seen much big-league action in the last two years, recording just 31 plate appearances in 27 games with the Pirates in 2013.
- ESPN's Buster Olney tweets that the Royals' offer to Carlos Beltran was slightly less than the Yankees' three-year, $45MM offer but would technically have paid Beltran more due to the tax differences between Missouri and New York.
- The Dodgers have not been involved in negotiations with Omar Infante, tweets Mark Saxon of ESPNLosAngeles.com.
- As they search for starting pitching help, the Orioles will be open to multiyear contracts rather than just one-year deals, GM Dan Duquette confirmed today (Twitter link via Brittany Ghiroli of MLB.com).
- The Twins pursued a catcher before the market dried up, but had no interest in going to three years for any of the free agents they targeted, tweets Mike Berardino of the St. Paul Pioneer Press. Minnesota "made that clear from the start," according to Berardino.
- Patrick Newman of NPB Tracker passes along word, in a translated tweet, that Japanese right-hander Kenta Maeda has expressed interest in playing in MLB, perhaps as soon as 2015.
Luke Adams contributed to this post.
Let's round up a handful of afternoon updates on AL Central teams....
- While the Tigers are talking to free agents, GM Dave Dombrowski says the team isn't involved with the "big, big ones," according to MLB.com's Jason Beck (via Twitter).
- According to MLB.com's Jordan Bastian (Twitter link), the Indians are in the market for a No. 3 catcher, and could even look to add a backup if they feel like Carlos Santana would be better off exclusively playing at first base and DH.
- The Royals appear to be one of the teams in pursuit of Omar Infante, who could sign soon, tweets Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe. However, asked about potential interest in Infante, Royals GM Dayton Moore replied that the club was very pleased with the job Emilio Bonifacio did in Kansas City in 2013 (Twitter link via Bob Dutton of the Tacoma News Tribune).
- Twins GM Terry Ryan says his team is keeping an eye on available catchers, but admits the free agent market dried up very quickly, tweets Rhett Bollinger of MLB.com.
10:36am: Bross has received calls from 15 teams regarding Arroyo but hasn't received a formal offer at this time, according to the Boston Globe's Nick Cafardo (Twitter link).
10:31am: The Twins will also meet with Bross to discuss Arroyo today, according to Darren Wolfson of 1500 ESPN (on Twitter).
The Pirates have some uncertainty in their rotation given A.J. Burnett's pending decision on retirement or returning to baseball. Arroyo would fill the need of a veteran starter for the Bucs, though he'd likely command a sizable two-year deal at the least, which could prevent the Pirates from becoming too interested, given their tight budget.
Arroyo, who will be 37 in February, posted a 3.79 ERA with 5.5 K/9, 1.5 BB/9 and a 44.4 percent ground-ball rate in 202 innings this past season. With the exception of a 199-inning campaign in 2011, Arroyo has pitched at least 200 innings each season dating back to 2005. An Arroyo signing would be a departure from the low-cost, high-upside moves the Pirates have made to bolster their rotations in recent years, such as acquiring Burnett from the Yankees (with New York footing most of the bill) and signing Francisco Liriano to a low-cost two-year deal.
Here's the latest news from both the NL and AL Central divisions...
- The Brandon Phillips trade rumors may have temporarily stopped, though Reds president/CEO Bob Castellini left the door slightly open when talking to reporters today (including MLB.com's Mark Sheldon and the Cincinnati Enquirer's John Fay). "Brandon is part of the team, boys," Castellini said. "Walt [GM Walt Jocketty] was just exploring. You have to understand what he's up against. He's got to look around. Brandon Phillips is an integral part of this franchise....But you never say never."
- The Cubs and John Axford share a mutual interest in each other, Patrick Mooney of CSNChicago.com reports. Axford would get a chance to compete for the Cubs' closing job, though the right-hander seemingly has plenty of opportunities around the league, with a reported 14 teams checking in following his non-tender from the Cardinals.
- The Cubs and Royals are two of the teams who have shown interest in Joba Chamberlain, Mark Feinsand of the New York Daily News tweets. No signing seems to be imminent for either team, however. Chamberlain is another relief arm who has drawn significant attention on the open market, as he may be seen as a reclamation candidate after some tough seasons with the Yankees.
- The Twins have spoken to John Buck's agent, Mike Berardino of the St. Paul Pioneer Press reports, and a source tells Berardino that Buck is Minnesota's top target amongst available catchers. It isn't clear how interested in the Twins are, however, given that Josmil Pinto is still the club's preferred choice to take over the everyday catching job now that Joe Mauer has been moved to first base.
- Carl Pavano talked with Berardino about his comeback attempt from a freak snow-shoveling accident that left him with a ruptured spleen and sidelined the veteran righty for the entire 2013 season. Pavano said the Twins haven't contacted him about a return: "I haven't really talked to them. I don't know if that would be a good fit anyway. I think we're in different places. They need those younger guys in their rotation."
Milwaukee's trade of Norichika Aoki to the Royals makes sense for the Brewers and for Aoki himself, MLB.com's Adam McCalvy writes. Khris Davis' emergence late last season means there won't be room for Aoki as a full-time player now that Ryan Braun's suspension is over, as the Brewers will go with an outfield of Davis, Carlos Gomez and Braun. Aoki's path to playing time will be clearer in Kansas City. "Everybody was on board with it," says Aoki's agent, Nez Balelo. "[Kansas City] was the best viable option. He’s going to love it there because he will get an opportunity to lead off and play every day." Here are more notes from the Central divisions.
- Royals infielder Christian Colon has switched agents from Scott Boras to Excel Sports, tweets Jerry Crasnick of ESPN.
- The Royals and Angels might make good trade partners, with the Angels sending second baseman Howie Kendrick to Kansas City in return for young pitching, the Los Angeles Times' Mike DiGiovanna tweets.
- Phil Hughes was surprised to receive a three-year, $24MM deal from the Twins, Mark Feinsand of the New York Daily News reports. "Obviously the season I had was a disaster," says Hughes. "Coming into this thing, I was kind of expecting to just rebuild my value with a good year next year somewhere." The Mariners and Angels were among the other teams who bid for Hughes, but the Twins' offer of three guaranteed years won out.
- Now that the White Sox have signed Jose Dariel Abreu and re-signed Paul Konerko, there's less playing time available for Adam Dunn, writes CSNChicago.com's Dan Hayes. It appears Konerko and Dunn will platoon, with Konerko starting at designated hitter against lefties. Dunn hit .226/.327/.459 against righties last year, compared to .197/.296/.385 against lefties.