Pedro Feliciano Rumors

Mets Notes: Rodriguez, Feliciano, Warthen

Here are some items on the Mets as they take on the Marlins at Sun Life Stadium..

  • Skipper Terry Collins plans to speak with Francisco Rodriguez this weekend regarding the closer's usage in non-save situations, writes MLB.com's Anthony DiComo. K-Rod's contract has a $17.5MM option for 2012, which vests if he finishes 55 games. "I'm not going to let him go out there just to pitch an inning and jeopardize the game when I'm going to need him the next day," the manager said.
  • Earlier today, Yankees GM Brian Cashman said that the Mets "abused" Pedro Feliciano during his time in Queens.  Mets pitching coach Dan Warthen disagreed with that sentiment, but added, "That was part of the reason we decided not to re-sign him," tweets David Lennon of Newsday.
  • DiComo also writes that recent acquisition Chin-lung Hu will serve as the club's emergency catcher should Josh Thole and Mike Nickeas go down.  Hu, whom the Mets acquired from the Dodgers this offseason, has no experience behind the plate.

Yankees To Sign Pedro Feliciano

The Yankees have agreed to sign Pedro Feliciano, according to Jon Heyman of SI.com (Twitter link). MDR Sports represents the left-hander. The two-year deal will be for $8MM and include an option for 2013.

The 34-year-old is durable, effective against left-handed hitters and used to pitching in New York. Feliciano has led the National League in appearances in each of the past three seasons for the Mets, the team with which he has spent his entire eight-year career. Overall, Feliciano posted a 3.30 ERA with 8.0 K/9 and 4.3 BB/9 in 62 2/3 innings in 2010.

Feliciano limited left-handed hitters to a .211/.297/.276 line last year. He did not allow a home run in 139 matchups against lefty batters.

The Yankees will not have to surrender a draft choice, but the Mets will obtain a supplementary first round pick, since Feliciano turned down their offer or arbitration. The Red Sox, Rockies and Phillies also had interest in the reliever.

The Yankees now seem likely to pursue starting pitching, a right-handed reliever and an outfielder who bats from the right-side.


Yankees Nearing Deal With Feliciano

FRIDAY, 8:23am: The sides are nearing a two-year agreement that will pay the lefty $4MM per season and include an option for 2013, according to Jon Heyman of SI.com (on Twitter).

THURSDAY, 12:02pm: The sides have made "a little progress," Feliciano's agent tells Andrew Marchand of ESPNNewYork.com.

9:43am: The Yankees are getting closer to a deal with Pedro Feliciano, according to Bob Klapisch of the Bergen Record (on Twitter). The 34-year-old is durable, effective against left-handed hitters and used to pitching in New York. Feliciano has led the National League in appearances in each of the past three seasons for the Mets, the team with which he has spent his entire eight-year career. Overall, Feliciano posted a 3.30 ERA with 8.0 K/9 and 4.3 BB/9 in 62 2/3 innings in 2010.

Feliciano limited left-handed hitters to a .211/.297/.276 line last year. He did not allow a home run in 139 matchups against lefty batters.

The Yankees are also looking at Brian Fuentes, according to Jon Heyman of SI.com (Twitter link).



Yankees Rumors: Pettitte, Lefty Relievers, Lee, Martin

The latest on the Yankees:

  • Andy Pettitte is likely to return because his family supports it, tweets SI.com's Jon Heyman. The lefty will not take a "lowball" offer, however.
  • The Yankees "seem to be looking" at lefty relievers at the moment, says SI.com's Jon Heyman. He lists Arthur Rhodes, Brian Fuentes, and Pedro Feliciano in his tweet.
  • Darek Braunecker, agent for Cliff Lee, told reporters "The fact of the matter is, there's nothing the Yankees could have done differently" at today's introductory press conference according to Marc Carig of The Star Ledger. MLB.com's Alden Gonzalez adds this (via Twitter) from Lee himself: "There wasn't anything that scared me away from playing in New York."
  • Russell Martin's contract guarantees him $4MM and the catcher could earn another $1.4MM in incentives, according to Dylan Hernandez of the LA Times. If Martin catches 120 games, he'll earn the full $1.4MM in incentives.
  • The Yankees expect Andy Pettitte to tell them whether he intends to retire within a few days, according to Jon Heyman of SI.com (Twitter link). They're cautiously optimistic that he'll return.
  • Joel Sherman of the New York Post says the Yankees will be a deeper, less top-heavy team without Cliff Lee. Expect the Yankees to sign a couple relievers and an outfielder who bats from the right side as they continue to monitor the market for starting pitching.
  • So which starters might the Yankees pursue? In a separate piece, Sherman says the Yankees don't like Brandon Webb all that much. However, they will consider pursuing a veteran with "good stuff but questionable health." 
  • Bill Madden of the New York Daily News says Carlos Zambrano is a "likely target" for GM Brian Cashman. Like new addition Mark Prior, Zambrano knows Yankees pitching coach Larry Rothschild from their time in Chicago.
  • The Yankees are believed to be on Felix Hernandez's no-trade list, according to Jon Heyman of SI.com (Twitter link).

Odds & Ends: Iwakuma, Heisey, White Sox, Feliciano

One year ago today, the Yankees, Tigers and Diamondbacks finalized the trade that sent Curtis Granderson to New York, Edwin Jackson and Ian Kennedy to Arizona and Max Scherzer and Austin Jackson to Detroit. As we await this year's answer to that 2009 blockbuster, here are some links to enjoy…

  • Phil Coke, who was also in that trade, is set to move to the Tigers' rotation, but Detroit isn't desperate for left-handed relief help. Daniel Schlereth, yet another product of the trade, could be a cog in the Tigers' 'pen, so they're showing limited interest in free agents like J.C. Romero and Ron Mahay, according to MLB.com's Jason Beck.
  • The agent for Hisashi Iwakuma, Don Nomura, told the Associated Press (via ESPN) that the A's showed no respect for his client in their recent negotiations. The agent is clearly frustrated by what he perceives to be a lack of sincerity from Oakland.
  • The D'Backs have some interest in outfielder Chris Heisey, but have yet to approach the Reds about him, according to Nick Piecoro of the Arizona Republic (Twitter link).
  • The Phillies are still interested in a potential deal with Chad Durbin, according to Matt Gelb of the Philadelphia Inquirer.
  • White Sox GM Kenny Williams tells Jayson Stark of ESPN.com that his team is "about tapped out" in terms of payroll flexibility (Twitter link).
  • The Indians officially announced their minor league deal with Paul Phillips today.
  • The Yankees met with Pedro Feliciano's representatives today, according to Newsday's Ken Davidoff (on Twitter).

Red Sox Like Rhodes, Downs, Guerrier, Feliciano

5:32pm: GM Theo Epstein told reporters, including Alex Speier of WEEI.com that the Red Sox have made "a number" of offers to free agent relievers, some left-handed, some right-handed.

4:36pm: Like the Reds and Phillies, the Red Sox have some interest in Arthur Rhodes, according to Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports (on Twitter). The lefty does not appear to be close to deciding on his next team.

11:23am: The Red Sox are also in on Pedro Feliciano, tweets Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports.  Feliciano's other known suitors: the Yankees, Phillies, and Rockies.

2:24am: Signing Type A relievers and surrendering a draft pick is a risky proposition, as the swings in any reliever's performance from year-to-year can be wild, and they simply don't impact a large amount of innings over the course of a season.

WEEI.com's Alex Speier tells us that may not stop the Red Sox from pursuing Scott Downs, however, despite the fact that he'd cost Boston a first-round pick. Speier's source also says that the club wouldn't give up a pick to sign Grant Balfour to the multi-year deal he's seeking, and he cites multiple industry sources saying the club is interested in Matt Guerrier after the Twins declined to offer him arbitration.

As Speier points out, Downs has some of the most dominant numbers in history for a reliever during his age 31-34 seasons, and the Red Sox have taken note of the division rival's excellence. Since 2007, Downs has compiled a 2.36 ERA with a 7.8 K/9 and 3.0 BB/9 over 236 2/3 innings, while being a stickler for home runs (0.5 HR/9). He's been a menace to left-handed hitters, but it's worth noting that the highest OPS right-handers have managed off him in that timeframe is .643.

Guerrier, 32, has appeared in 70 or more innings every year since his first full season in 2005, with the exception of 2006 — when he came one out short of the mark. While his career peripherals (5.9 K/9, 45.7% GB%, 4.44 FIP) don't dazzle, Guerrier has managed to out-perform them year-in and year-out. He's led the league in appearances twice (2008 and 2009) and has a career ERA of 3.38 to his name to go along with solid control (2.8 BB/9).

Epstein said Monday that the Red Sox will acquire multiple relievers via trade or free agency, but as he points out in this quote relayed from Speier, teams may be waiting for some distance from the Joaquin Benoit signing:

“Sometimes when there’s a contract that exceeds expectations early, it can embolden players and agents within that subset of players who have a similar resume,” said Epstein. “Time will tell whether they get attached to that contract or it’s an outlier contract.”

The Red Sox haven't surrendered a draft pick to sign a reliever since 2004 with Keith Foulke, but Downs could change that trend, especially if the Red Sox end up receiving additional first-round and supplemental picks for the departures of Victor Martinez, Adrian Beltre, and Felipe Lopez.


Rockies Interested In Cantu, Harden, Bullpen Help

We've heard that Ty Wigginton is the Rockies' top target for a right-handed bat, but the club has other targets for that role, as well as interest in several other players, according to Troy E. Renck of the Denver Post. Let's go over some of them:

  • Jorge Cantu is one alternative to Wigginton, despite a miserable second half to the 2010 season. GM Dan O'Dowd acknowledged that they'd prefer someone who can play in the outfield, but that's not critical.
  • The Rockies have soured on Josh Willingham due to Washington's asking price and concerns over the 31-year-old's knee. They've also called about Jeff Francoeur, believing he could handle first base.
  • Colorado would have interest in Rich Harden in a bullpen role, if the righty would be willing to make the switch from starting pitching. There's also the question of whether or not the injury-prone Harden could hold up physically. Renck says the Rox have tried to acquire Harden numerous times in the past, but to no avail.
  • Colorado is also looking at Kevin Gregg, Bobby Jenks, Brian Fuentes, Jesse Crain, and Pedro Feliciano, though the first three prefer to close, which won't happen in Denver.
  • The Rockies also haven't closed the door on Joe Beimel, who tells Renck he'd love to come back to Colorado.

Yankees Notes: Feliciano, Wood, Pettitte

The Yankees met with Cliff Lee's agent today. Here are the rest of the updates on the team's quest for pitching:

  • The Yankees will meet with Pedro Feliciano's representatives this week, according to Newsday's Ken Davidoff. The Rockies have also expressed interest in the lefty, according to Troy Renck of the Denver Post (Twitter link).
  • The Yankees are interested in re-signing Kerry Wood, according to MLB.com's Bryan Hoch (Twitter link). GM Brian Cashman says he isn't interested in paying Wood "closer money."
  • When Cashman checked in with Andy Pettitte recently, he heard that the lefty was still leaning toward retirement, according to Marc Carig of the Star-Ledger (on Twitter).

Stark On Soriano, Quentin, Phillies, Astros

As ESPN.com's Jayson Stark points out in this week's Rumblings & Grumblings, there's not much starting pitching available after Cliff Lee and Carl Pavano. Stark examines alternatives for pitching-starved teams and provides some rumors along the way. Here they are:

  • Though it appeared to some baseball people as though the Angels were trying to sign Rafael Soriano before the Winter Meetings, it now appears that their search for relief pitching is secondary to their pursuit of Carl Crawford.
  • Stark sees indications that the Angels are showing "very little" interest in Jayson Werth so far this offseason.
  • The White Sox still say they're not shopping Carlos Quentin, but rival teams say Chicago will listen to offers.
  • The Phillies don't plan on pursuing a trade for Quentin, according to Stark.
  • Arthur Rhodes appears to be one of Philadelphia's top left-handed relief targets, followed by Pedro Feliciano. Neither reliever would cost the Phillies a draft pick, which is their preference.
  • The Astros have quietly been shopping for an affordable outfielder who bats from the left side.

National League Free Agent Arbitration Decisions

12 National League free agents were offered arbitration on November 23rd.  Four of those – Jorge de la Rosa, Jon Garland, Yorvit Torrealba, and Juan Uribe – have new contract agreements.  Another three – Kevin Correia, Octavio Dotel, and Trevor Hoffman – have already decided to decline.  The remaining five NL free agents offered arbitration will have their decisions noted here and in our tracker.