Rich Hill Rumors

Red Sox Notes: Lavarnway, Padilla, Lester, Cherington

The Red Sox’s signing of free agent catcher David Ross has fueled speculation that they will move either Ryan Lavarnway or Jarrod Saltalamacchia, but neither catcher seems particularly concerned about the prospect, tweets Peter Abraham of the Boston Globe.  “I haven’t talked to anyone about it,” Lavarnway told reporters, including Scott Lauber of the Boston Herald. “The final roster is still so far away that you don’t know what’s going to happen. I have no control over it, at all, at this point, so I don’t think about it," said Lavarnway.  Here's more out of Boston..

  • General Manager Ben Cherington won't say that the club is open to trading Jon Lester, but he didn't completely close the door on the idea, writes Tim Britton of The Providence Journal.  The Red Sox have reportedly had talks with the Royals centered on Lester and prospect Wil Myers.
  • Abraham (via Twitter) doesn't get the sense that Vicente Padilla isn't a priority for the club based on conversations he had with Red Sox people.  Last season, Padilla was one of the staples in Bobby Valentine's bullpen, posting a 4.50 ERA with 9.2 K/9 and 2.7 BB/9 in 50 innings of work.
  • Cherington says that the club will be working hard to strengthen the outfield with one or two pickups, tweets Abraham.  "We’ve always felt it’s important at Fenway to have not just somebody who can play right field but really two guys that can handle center or right. I think our best teams have had that in the past. Easier said that done. That would be optimal," Cherington said.
  • The GM went on to say that he expects the rotation to take a step up based mostly on the improved performance of the pitchers they have in-house, Abraham tweets.
  • The Red Sox would like to re-sign non-tenders Rich Hill and Scott Atchison, tweets Alex Speier of WEEI.com.
  • As we close in on the Winter Meetings, Cherington believes that it is still early in the offseason and expects to see things come together in the next week, Abraham tweets.

American League Non-Tenders

Here are today’s American League non-tenders. All decisions must be in by 11pm CT tonight. Be sure to track all tender decisions using MLBTR's Non-Tender Tracker. Related resources include our list of non-tender candidates, our projected arbitration salaries and our arbitration eligibles series.

Mike Axisa contributed to this post.


Red Sox Notes: Hill, Ortiz, Epstein, Valentine

Eleven years ago today, the Red Sox purchased Jorge De La Rosa from Monterrey of the Mexican League. He spent close to two years in their farm system, then was traded to the Diamondbacks as part of the package for Curt Schilling prior to the 2004 season. Here's the latest from Boston…



East Notes: Hill, Hanley, Collins

The Red Sox finally received compensation earlier today for Theo Epstein's defection to the Cubs, adding reliever Chris Carpenter and a player to be named. Here's more on Boston and a couple other stray items of note out of MLB's East divisions:

  • The Red Sox added left-hander Rich Hill to their 40-man roster and placed starter John Lackey on the 60-day DL in a corresponding move, tweets Tim Britton of the Providence Journal. The move is a show of faith in Hill's recovery from 2011 Tommy John surgery, according to Britton, and Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe tweets that Hill had an opt-out clause that he could have exercised early in Spring Training were he not on the 40-man. So, it appears the Sox didn't want to lose the lefty.
  • Marlins slugger Hanley Ramirez said he has no problem moving to third base to accomodate the arrival of newly signed shortstop Jose Reyes, according to Tom D'Angelo of the Palm Beach Post“I never said I’m not going to do it,” he said.
  • Mets manager Terry Collins is under contract through 2013, though Brian Costa of the Wall Street Journal wonders whether the skipper will be retained beyond then if the Mets are ready to move past their current transitional phase.

Red Sox Sign Carlos Silva, Ciriaco, Spears

The Red Sox have announced the signings of minor league free agents Carlos SilvaBrandon Duckworth, Charlie Haeger, Will Inman, Doug Mathis, Tony Pena Jr., Chorye Spoone, Jesse Carlson, Rich Hill, Justin Thomas, Pedro Ciriaco, and Nate Spears.  The signings of Spoone, Thomas, Inman, Pena, Carlson, and Hill had been reported previously.

Silva, 32, was released by the Cubs in March of 2011 with $11.5MM remaining on his contract.  He signed with the Yankees in April, but was released in July amid shoulder problems after seven minor league starts.  The control artist was useful upon his initial change of scenery, posting a 4.22 ERA in 21 starts for the 2010 Cubs after the Milton Bradley trade.  As the Red Sox press release notes, "No active hurler with at least 750.0 innings pitched has fewer walks per nine innings than Silva (1.73)."  Silva will make a prorated $1MM while in the Majors, reports WEEI's Alex Speier.    

Ciriaco, 26, was non-tendered by the Pirates in December.  The middle infielder hit .231/.243/.300 in 289 plate appearances in his second career Triple-A stint.  Spears, a versatile 26-year-old, spent the last two years in Boston's minor league system.  In 2011 he hit .248/.355/.397 in 378 plate appearances, getting his first cup of coffee with the big club.    

Haeger, a 28-year-old knuckeballer, spent 2011 with the Mariners' Triple-A club and the Red Sox' Double-A team.  He posted a 5.44 ERA, 7.7 K/9, 5.9 BB/9, and 0.92 HR/9 in 97 2/3 innings.  Mathis, a 28-year-old righty, last appeared in the bigs in 2010 with the Rangers.  As a starter for the Giants' and Athletics' Triple-A affiliates, he put up a 4.27 ERA, 6.7 K/9, 4.2 BB/9, and 0.63 HR/9 in 86 1/3 innings.  Duckworth, 35, last appeared in the Majors in 2008.  He spent 2011 with Boston's Triple-A affiliate, posting a 3.97 ERA, 6.7 K/9, 3.2 BB/9, and 0.84 HR/9 in 118 innings.


AL East Links: Yankees, Red Sox, Hill, Madson, O’s

The Yankees agreed to re-sign Andruw Jones and the Blue Jays agreed to sign Darren Oliver earlier today, and now let's round up some more news from the AL East…


Minor Moves: Rich Hill

Let's keep track of the day's minor league signings right here…

  • The Red Sox have re-signed Rich Hill to a minor league deal with an invite to Spring Training, reports John Tomase of The Boston Herald (on Twitter). The 31-year-old left-hander struck out a dozen in eight scoreless innings with the Sox last year before blowing out his elbow. He's currently rehabbing from Tommy John surgery.

American League Non-Tenders

Today's American League non-tenders are below, but you can keep track of all teams in our non-tender tracker.

  • The Mariners announced that they non-tendered Dan Cortes and Chris Gimenez.
  • The Orioles announced that they non-tendered Willie Eyre, the right-handed reliever who was designated for assignment last week. They non-tendered Jo-Jo Reyes, according to Dan Connolly of the Baltimore Sun (Twitter link). The Orioles also non-tendered Luke Scotttweets Connolly. Scott, who battled a shoulder injury in 2011 and underwent surgery this summer, projected to earn $6MM through arbitration. 
  • The Rays non-tendered Andy Sonnanstine, according to Marc Topkin of the St. Petersburg Times (Twitter link).
  • The Rangers non-tendered right-hander Fabio Castillo, according to Anthony Andro of FOXSportsSouthwest.com (Twitter link).
  • The Red Sox announced that they non-tendered Rich Hill.
  • The Royals announced that they will non-tender left-hander Aaron Laffey.
  • The Twins announced that they've non-tendered left-hander Jose Mijares (Twitter link).
  • The Tigers non-tendered second baseman Will Rhymes, announced the team.  Rhymes is not yet close to being arbitration eligible, as he has less than one year of big league service time.  Rhymes, 28, hit .306/.377/.390 at Triple-A this year.

AL East Links: Rasmus, Jays, Scott, Red Sox, Madson

Some links from the AL East…

  • The Blue Jays have sent the Cardinals cash considerations rather than players to be named later to complete this summer's Colby Rasmus trade, reports MLB.com Gregor Chisholm (Twitter links). St. Louis was supposed to received three players to be named later in the deal.
  • Chisholm also reports that the Blue Jays intend to go with five outfielders next year, so it's unclear what that means for Mark Teahen or the recently acquired Ben Francisco (Twitter links). There will be lots of competition in Spring Training.
  • Blue Jays GM Alex Anthopoulos told Chisholm that his priority is to upgrade the bullpen and starting rotation, but there's no guarantee that he'll be able to do so this offseason (Twitter link).
  • The Orioles non-tendered Luke Scott earlier today, but GM Dan Duquette told MLB.com's Brittany Ghiroli that they'd like "to leave the door open" for him to return to Baltimore (Twitter link).
  • The Red Sox have some interest in Kelly Shoppach, reports Nick Cafardo of The Boston Globe (on Twitter). Shoppach started his career in Boston.
  • Left-hander Rich Hill is a non-tender candidate, but he told WEEI.com's Alex Speier that he hopes the Red Sox will retain him for next year. Hill is currently rehabbing from Tommy John surgery.
  • CBSSports.com's Jon Heyman says (on Twitter) that the Red Sox still have their eye on Ryan Madson since Daniel Bard will be preparing to work as a starter next year.
  • Roger Mooney of The Tampa Tribute writes that the Rays bank on potential when handing out long-term contracts to young players, like the one just signed by left-hander Matt Moore.

Quick Hits: Maholm, Chulk, Cardinals

Two years ago today, the Indians traded third baseman Mark DeRosa to the Cardinals for Chris Perez, with Jess Todd also going to Cleveland as the player to be named later.  DeRosa injured his wrist shortly after the trade and struggled in his time with the Cards, but they received a consolation prize in righty Seth Blair, chosen in the 2010 draft as compensation when DeRosa signed with the Giants.  Perez has racked up 42 saves as the Indians' closer.  Todd was designated for assignment in April of this year, claimed by the Yankees, designated again in May, claimed by the Cardinals, and recently outrighted to Triple-A.  On to today's links…

  • Rangers reliever Darren O'Day may return this week from the 60-day DL, meaning the team will need to open up a 40-man roster spot.
  • The Red Sox announced they activated righty Junichi Tazawa from the 60-day DL and optioned him to Double-A; lefty Rich Hill was placed on the 60-day DL to keep the 40-man roster at 40.
  • Pirates lefty Paul Maholm reiterated to Karen Price of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review that he'd like to stay in Pittsburgh, but he's not going to beg or initiate extension talks.  In general terms, GM Neal Huntington expressed a strong preference for avoiding in-season negotiations.  He has a $9.75MM option on Maholm for 2012.  For more on the Maholm situation, click here.
  • Athletics reliever Vinnie Chulk can opt out of his contract Friday, notes SI's Jon Heyman (Twitter link).  The 32-year-old righty has a 2.75 ERA, 6.9 K/9, 3.0 BB/9, and 0.2 HR/9 in 39 1/3 Triple-A innings this year.
  • Heyman talked to agents and executives, asking them to predict contracts for Albert Pujols, Prince Fielder, and Jose Reyes.  Everyone sees Pujols getting at least $27.5MM and at least six years.  I have to wonder if he'd prefer a one-year deal if his return is less than stellar.  Meanwhile, most of the participants saw Fielder getting $24-25MM a year and at least five years.
  • The Cardinals could try to acquire two relievers rather than go after a big fish like Heath Bell, writes Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports.