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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.
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.
The Royals announced that former pitcher and broadcaster Paul Splittorff died from complications from melanoma this morning at the age of 64. Splittorff is the all-time winningest pitcher in franchise history and we pass along our condolences to his friends and family. Here are links for Wednesday night…
- Red Sox lefty Rich Hill tells Alex Speier of WEEI.com that it’s especially thrilling to be succeeding in Boston, since he grew up in nearby Milton and cheered for the Red Sox growing up. Hill has yet to allow an earned run in 7 innings this year and he has a 10K/2BB ratio.
- Dan Uggla told Carroll Rogers of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution that he feels some pressure associated with his new multiyear extension. The 31-year-old has a .185/.256/.344 line with seven homers since signing a $62MM deal with the Braves this offseason.
- The Rockies are not looking to make trades right now, according to Troy Renck of the Denver Post (on Twitter).
In his Sunday column, Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe writes that scouting and development people in baseball are extremely underpaid. While the Pirates, White Sox, Twins, Red Sox, and Yankees are known for taking good care of development people, other clubs are less-than-generous when it comes to salaries and benefits. Cafardo asked Athletics GM Billy Beane why development and scouting people don’t get paid well. Beane's response: “The good ones do.’’ Here are some of Cafardo's other Sunday notes:
- The Angels have a surplus of catchers and prospect Hank Conger is being groomed for the job. The Red Sox are looking for a veteran catcher they might be able to keep at Triple-A in case someone gets hurt. It's possible that Jeff Mathis or Bobby Wilson could be a fit for the BoSox.
- Scouts are watching Boston's bullpen situation closely because Dennys Reyes is becoming a hot commodity. It would be a tough call for the club as they also have Hideki Okajima signed through this season. The club has also received interest in Rich Hill.
- Infielder Drew Sutton seems to be destined for Boston's Pawtucket affiliate, but Cafardo wouldn't be surprised if the club gets some trade interest on the 27-year-old.
A year ago today, the Giants signed Mark DeRosa to a two-year, $12MM deal. Due to a wrist injury, DeRosa wasn't a factor in the team's World Championship. Today's links:
- The Chiba Lotte Marines announced the signing of Bob McCrory, writes NPB Tracker's Patrick Newman. McCrory, 29 in May, had labrum surgery in October of 2009, became a minor league free agent, failed a physical for the Red Sox, and ended up making 19 appearances for Baltimore's Double-A affiliate this year.
- Jeff Zrebiec of the Baltimore Sun is surprised by the lack of a resolution in the Orioles' month-long pursuit of reliever Kevin Gregg. Zrebiec notes that the O's have "some interest" in Jon Rauch, and there are plenty of other available free agents as well.
- Free agent designated hitters lack leverage in contract negotiations, writes Dave Cameron of FanGraphs. We explored this situation yesterday in trying to find possible fits for Manny Ramirez.
- Red Sox lefty Rich Hill explains the origin of his signature curveball, talking to WEEI's Alex Speier.
- A reminder: in addition to our list of remaining available free agents, MLBTR has a free agent tracker that allows you to filter signed players by team, position, years, and amount.
On a busy day of moves around baseball, here are a few lower-profile transactions…
- The Rockies have acquired catcher Jose Morales from the Twins in exchange for minor league left-hander Paul Bargas, according to a Minnesota team release. Morales hit .297/.370/.354 in 181 plate appearances over parts of three seasons with the Twins, only seeing significant playing time while filling in for an injured Joe Mauer in April 2009. Bargas, taken in the 13th round of the 2009 amateur draft, posted a 3.59 ERA in 58 relief appearances for Colorado's Single-A Asheville affiliate last season.
- Ryan Harvey, picked sixth overall by the Cubs in the 2003 amateur draft, has signed a minor league deal with the Red Sox, reports Jon Paul Morosi of FOXSports.com. Harvey is trying to convert to pitching after posting a career .749 OPS as an outfielder in eight minor league seasons in the Cubs and Rockies' systems.
- In addition to Harvey, Boston has also signed left-handers Rich Hill and Randy Williams to minor league deals, as per a team release. Hill signed a minor league contract with Boston last summer and made six relief appearances for the Red Sox after spending the previous five years as a starter with the Cubs and Orioles. Williams spent the last two seasons with the White Sox, where he posted a 5.06 ERA in 52 games out of the bullpen. The two southpaws received invitations to spring training.
- The Rangers have signed right-hander Yhency Brazoban to a minor league contract, according to the Associated Press. Brazoban made 116 appearances for the Dodgers between 2004 and 2008, and last year pitched in the Mexican League and for the Mets' Triple-A team.
- Texas also signed 16-year-old Dominican shortstop Alberto Triunfel to a contract worth $300K, reports Baseball America's Ben Badler. Trifunel, a Scott Boras client, was ranked eighth on Blake Bentley's list of top prospects heading into the opening of the international signing period.
Another eventful Winter Meetings has come to a close. Even with the pre-meetings action involving Adrian Gonzalez, Jayson Werth, and Shaun Marcum, we had plenty to talk about this week. Carl Crawford signed the biggest deal of the offseason so far. Paul Konerko stayed with the White Sox after some drama. Carlos Pena found a pillow contract with the Cubs. J.J. Putz assumed the Diamondbacks' closer role. The Orioles rebuilt the left side of their infield with Mark Reynolds and J.J. Hardy. The Pirates, Mariners, Padres, Royals, Rockies, Mets, and others made additions as well. On to today's links…
- Check out a couple of Rule 5 draft reviews from MLB.com's Jonathan Mayo and Baseball Prospectus' Kevin Goldstein. And of course, a pair of great links from John Manuel of Baseball America. We've got the picks from the Major League phase listed here.
- Newsday's Ken Davidoff has the financial breakdown on Derek Jeter's new contract.
- The Red Sox have already gotten inquiries on outfielder Mike Cameron, tweets ESPN's Jayson Stark. The team plans to keep him but is willing to listen. Cameron will have to take on a part-time role with Carl Crawford, Jacoby Ellsbury, and J.D. Drew filling Boston's outfield.
- The Red Sox are expected to reach an agreement to re-sign Rich Hill in the next few days, reports Dan Barbarisi of The Providence Journal. Hill, who grew up a Sox fan, hopes to crack the bullpen this year.
- The Tigers' talks with Carl Crawford didn't get far, GM Dave Dombrowski told MLB.com's Jason Beck. Dombrowski explained that a team can only have so many $20MM players, and the Tigers already have two.
- Orioles president Andy MacPhail hasn't ruled out Cesar Izturis returning, tweets MLB.com's Brittany Ghiroli. Izturis is a tougher fit after the Orioles acquired Hardy and Brendan Harris.
Saturday evening linkage as the Phillies and Giants kick off the NLCS…
- Nationals third base coach Pat Listach confirmed to Tom Haudricourt of The Journal Sentinel that he will interview for the Brewers' managerial opening on Tuesday.
- Nick Piecoro lists some candidates for the Diamondbacks' scouting director job (Twitter links): Tim Huff (Rays), J.J. Lally (White Sox), Chuck Ricci (Indians), and Jeff Schugel (Angels). ESPN's Keith Law tweets that Huff would be an excellent hire, and says he's surprised that Ray Montgomery (Brewers) and Rick Wilson (Angels) aren't on the list (Twitter link).
- MLB.com's Sarah D. Morris doesn't think the Dodgers need an overhaul.
- Lefty Rich Hill has already had discussions with the Red Sox about returning in 2011, tweets Sean McAdam of CSNNE.com.
- McAdam (via Twitter) also expects to see Darnell McDonald back in Boston next season.
- If Tony La Russa comes back to the Cardinals, he should sign a multi-year deal, says Bernie Miklasz of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.
- Phillies GM Ruben Amaro Jr. learned how to build a successful team by working under Ed Wade and Pat Gillick, writes Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle.
- The San Francisco Chronicle's Gwen Knapp praises the Giants' homegrown talent.
If there were any doubts about how much trade deadline acquisitions can affect the postseason, last night's Giants/Braves contest silenced them. A pair of former Royals, Rick Ankiel and Kyle Farnsworth, helped lead Atlanta to victory, while ex-Red Sox Ramon Ramirez gave up Ankiel's game-winning blast. As we prepare for another round of playoff baseball tonight, let's check out a few links….
- Casey Blake hit just .248/.320/.407 this season, but MLB.com's Sarah Morris thinks Ned Colletti has more pressing needs than finding a new third baseman.
- Meanwhile, Steve Dilbeck of The Los Angeles Times says that today's Matt Kemp-Nationals rumor won't be the last time the centerfielder's name comes up on the rumor circuit this winter.
- The Baltimore Sun's Jeff Zrebiec expects the Orioles to buy out Mark Hendrickson's $1.2MM option for $200K. Hendrickson could return to the team at a lower price, according to Zrebiec.
- Carlos Matias (now known as Carlos Martinez) has received Visa approval and completed his $1.5MM deal with the Cardinals, reports Enrique Rojas of ESPNDeportes (Twitter link). The Dominican right-hander agreed to terms with St. Louis in June, and has been outstanding in the Dominican Summer League (0.76 ERA, 11.9 K/9).
- The Red Sox have outrighted Rich Hill to the minors, reports Peter Abraham of the Boston Globe. The lefty will become a free agent five days after the World Series.
- In his latest appearance on WEEI, Peter Gammons discussed Cliff Lee, Boston's bullpen, and how the purchase of Liverpool FC affects the Red Sox.
- As David O'Brien of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution writes, Billy Wagner's strained oblique will keep him out of the NLDS and, if the Braves advance, the NLCS. With the left-hander still planning to retire, Wagner may have made his final big league appearance last night.
The Red Sox signed Boston native Rich Hill to a minor league deal and assigned the lefty to Triple A, according to Pawtucket Red Sox radio broadcaster Dan Hoard (via Twitter). Hill, who had been pitching at Triple A Memphis for the Cardinals, could have opted out of his deal with the Cards at the end of May, but agreed to push the opt-out date back a month.
Hill has only made eight relief appearances in his five-year MLB career, but he has been coming out of the 'pen for the Memphis Redbirds this year. He has allowed just 35 hits in 46 innings and has recorded more than one strikeout per frame. As usual, Hill is walking too many hitters (5.9 BB/9). If he lowers his walk rate or the Red Sox need a lefty out of the 'pen, Hill could find himself in a major league uniform again this season.