Shane Victorino Rumors

East Notes: Nationals, Yankees, Orioles, Victorino

The Nationals had their eye on left-hander J.P. Howell for quite some time but the Dodgers swooped in on him earlier today.  After losing three lefties in Tom Gorzelanny, Sean Burnett, and Michael Gonzalez, the Nats could still add a southpaw, tweets Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports.  Here’s more out of the AL and NL East..

  • Yankees GM Brian Cashman told reporters, including Anthony Rieber of Newsday, that he isn’t interested in signing a reliever.  “I cannot talk about players on the free-agent market,” Cashman said. “But I am not looking for bullpen help, I can tell you that.
  • Free agent Joe Saunders says that he wants to return to the Orioles in 2013 but is ultimately leaving the process in the hands of his agent, writes Dan Connolly of The Baltimore Sun.  Saunders also has interest from the Angels, Mets, Twins, and Mariners and says that he wants to play for a contender.
  • Shane Victorino, who signed a three-year, $39MM deal with the Red Sox this winter, says that a return to the Phillies was his first choice, writes Matt Gelb of the Phildelphia Inquirer.

Red Sox Sign Shane Victorino

The Red Sox remodeling project continued today, as they announced they have signed Shane Victorino to a three-year contract.  The 32-year-old, a client of John Boggs & Associates, slipped this year to a .255/.321/.383 line for the Phillies and Dodgers, but still did well in free agency, obtaining a $39MM guarantee.

Uspw_6630672 Victorino will play right field for the Red Sox, who previously signed Mike Napoli to play mostly first base, Jonny Gomes to play left field, and David Ross to help behind the plate.  With Jacoby Ellsbury returning to play center field, Boston's outfield appears set, so the door is likely closed on free agents Cody Ross, Nick Swisher, and Josh Hamilton.  As Speier explains, Victorino "fits the profile that the team seeks of an above-average defensive outfielder capable of playing both right and center at Fenway Park."

As MLBTR's free agent tracker shows, the Red Sox have already committed $120.2MM to four free agents.

The Indians, Cubs, and Yankees reportedly had some degree of interest in Victorino, MLBTR's #12 free agent.  The Tribe offered four years and $44MM, tweets Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports.

WEEI's Alex Speier first reported the agreement; Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe previously labeled the Red Sox the frontrunner; Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports pegged the dollar amount.  Photo courtesy of U.S. Presswire.


AL Central Rumors: Stewart, Revere, Victorino, Soria

The latest from around the AL Central…

  • Despite the fact that the Twins are looking to give Trevor Plouffe some competition at third base, Ian Stewart isn't a match with the team, according to the Minneapolis Star Tribune's La Velle E. Neal III (on Twitter).
  • Ben Revere's name has surfaced as a possible trade candidate, tweets Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports.  Revere became the Twins' projected center field starter with the trade of Denard Span to the Nationals, so Morosi believes Minnesota might need to get a center field back in order to move Revere.
  • The Indians offered four years and $44MM to Shane Victorino, tweets Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports.  Victorino ultimately chose a three-year, $39MM offer from Boston, but it shows that the Indians have some money to spend.
  • The Royals' offer was "not even close to what I was looking for," new Rangers setup man Joakim Soria told reporters including MLB.com's Jesse Sanchez on a conference call today.  Soria landed a two-year, $8MM deal with the Rangers.
  • The White Sox continue to have dialogue with free agent catcher A.J. Pierzynski, writes Dan Hayes of CSNChicago.com.
  • We had a few Tigers rumors yesterday also.    


Red Sox Closing In On Shane Victorino

4:01pm: Things are "moving fast" on the Victorino front, with the Sox in a good position to finalize a deal, says ESPN.com's Jerry Crasnick (Twitter link). Gordon Edes of ESPNBoston.com adds (on Twitter) that nothing is done yet, but that it's getting close.  Victorino has at least one four-year offer from a different team, notes Jon Heyman of CBS Sports.

3:25pm: Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports clarifies (via Twitter) that the exact terms of the Red Sox offer are three years at $37.5MM. There's optimism that the two sides will get a deal done at that price, says Cafardo (via Twitter).

3:09pm: The Red Sox are the frontrunners on Victorino, having offered a three-year deal worth $38MM, according to Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe (via Twitter).

3:02pm: There are two teams "fully engaged" in talks with Victorino, including the Indians, tweets Bob Nightengale of USA Today. It's not clear whether the other club involved is the Red Sox or the aforementioned "mystery team."

2:27pm: Victorino appears to have narrowed his options to three teams, tweets Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com. The Indians and Red Sox remain in the mix, along with a third club. That third suitor isn't a true "mystery team," says Heyman — it's just unknown to him.

12:02pm: Momentum is building in talks for free agent outfielder Shane Victorino, according to ESPN.com's Jerry Crasnick, who tweets that a deal could be finalized during the Winter Meetings. Crasnick reports (via Twitter) that the Indians have emerged as a "prime suitor" for Victorino, with manager Terry Francona reaching out personally to the Flyin' Hawaiian earlier in the offseason.

Besides the Indians, other teams checking in on Victorino include the Red Sox, Cubs, and Yankees, says Crasnick (Twitter link). The Braves and Reds don't appear to be engaged in discussions, and the Phillies' interest is "tepid," according to the ESPN.com scribe.

Crasnick adds in a final tweet that Angel Pagan's and B.J. Upton's deals appear to be helping Victorino, who should be in line for a three- or four-year contract. Upton earned a five-year, $75MM deal from the Braves, while Pagan agreed to a four-year, $40MM contract with the Giants yesterday.


NL East Rumors: Mets, Parnell, Phillies, Braves

We checked in on the AL East already this morning, so let's head to the National League to round up the latest out of the NL East….

  • As they continue to consider their options regarding R.A. Dickey, the Mets are also considering trading pitching prospects like Logan Verrett or Darin Gorski for outfield help, according to Andy Martino of the New York Daily News (Twitter link).
  • Martino adds in a second tweet that Bobby Parnell has drawn trade interest, but is unlikely to be moved.
  • Rival officials consider the Phillies the team most desperate for outfield help this week, according to ESPN.com's Buster Olney (Twitter link).
  • Despite the Phillies' need for an outfielder, the "consensus in baseball circles" is that a reunion between Shane Victorino and the Phils is unlikely, writes ESPN.com's Jerry Crasnick.
  • When it comes to finding a left fielder, the Braves will continue to explore trade options, but the team doesn't have much interest in the remaining free agent outfielders, and don't mind moving forward with their internal options, according to MLB.com's Mark Bowman.

Shane Victorino Rumors: Monday

In a recent poll, 44% of MLBTR readers preferred Shane Victorino to Angel Pagan.  Pagan is now off the board, and teams looking for a quality outfielder for less than half of what Michael Bourn will get should be interested.  The latest:

Earlier updates:

  • Victorino has multiple three-year offers on the table, and even a four-year offer, according to Jon Heyman of CBS Sports (Twitter link).
  • Victorino is believed to be seeking a three-year deal worth about $10MM annually, says Lauber (via Twitter).
  • The market for Victorino has yet to be fully defined, with the Indians one of many teams still in the running, tweets Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports. Victorino could decide to wait out deals for Michael Bourn and/or Angel Pagan if there are teams that view him as a fallback option, though that's just my speculation.
  • While the Red Sox have discussed the possibility of signing Shane Victorino, there's another club that appears more interested in the former Phillie, according to Scott Lauber of the Boston Herald. Lauber tweets that the Indians are "said to have serious interest" in Victorino.  The Indians were one of seven teams said to be interested in Victorino as of last Monday, though their interest wasn't classified as any more serious than the other clubs' at that point. The Rangers, Yankees, Giants, Rays, Red Sox and Reds were the other teams mentioned as potential suitors, with Jon Heyman of CBS Sports noting that multiple clubs were willing to offer three years.

Red Sox Talking To Swisher, Out On LaRoche

Agreeing to sign Mike Napoli doesn't take the Red Sox out of the running for Nick Swisher, according to Jon Heyman of CBS Sports, who says (via Twitter) that the Sox remain in talks with Swisher. Cody Ross and Shane Victorino also remain on Boston's radar, though the team is likely out of the running for Adam LaRoche, tweets ESPN.com's Jayson Stark.

The Red Sox were said on Friday to be one of a number of clubs that has spoken to Swisher's representatives. However, both Swisher and the Red Sox are considering their options, tweets Scott Miller of CBS Sports. Scott Lauber of the Boston Herald adds (via Twitter) that Boston's pursuit of Swisher had been moving slowly, though that could change now that the team has locked up Napoli.

Buster Olney of ESPN.com (Twitter link) believes the market for Swisher could become much clearer once Josh Hamilton signs. If Hamilton leaves Texas, Swisher could be a good fit with the Rangers, says Olney.


Overnight Links: LaRoche, Marlins, Giants, Delmon

MLBTR is providing 24-hour coverage of the Winter Meetings for the fourth straight year. I'll once again be handling overnight duties for the following four nights to keep track of late-breaking and crack-of-dawn news and rumors. Here's the latest from around the league…

  • There is a "growing sense" that the Nationals and Adam LaRoche will get a new contract worked out, writes Peter Abraham of the Boston Globe. That transaction would make Michael Morse expendable, which would explain reports that the Nats and Rays are discussing Morse in a trade.
  • The Marlins figure to be observers at this year's Winter Meetings, writes Clark Spencer of the Miami Herald. The team is likely to pursue bullpen options and bench depth.
  • The Giants are still interested in Shane Victorino as a fallback option in the event that they are unable to re-sign Angel Pagan, tweets John Shea of the San Francisco Chronicle.
  • Giants general manager Brian Sabean told Shea that the team isn't in on any "high-ticket items" (Twitter link). As Shea notes, that should rule out Michael Bourn. I wonder if Sabean is also including Nick Swisher, who has been linked to the Giants, in that description.
  • Delmon Young might wait until January to sign, tweets Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports. Young is recovering from ankle surgery and wants to be healthy in his auditions for new teams.
  • Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel reports that Brewers general manager Doug Melvin isn't inclined to go beyond two years in deals for free agent pitchers (Twitter link).
  • John Lannan will be a popular name among teams in need of starting pitching depth, and the Twins are expected to kick the tires, according to Phil Mackey of 1500 ESPN (on Twitter). The Nationals non-tendered the 28-year-old southpaw on Friday.

West Notes: Dodgers, Giants, Angels, Padres

Here's a look at some news out of the AL and NL West..

Edward Creech contributed to this post.


Olney: Winter Meetings Preview

The Winter Meetings begin shortly at the Gaylord Opryland in Nashville. ESPN's Buster Olney, in an Insider-only post, writes past Winter Meetings have been dominated by free agent signings, but some GMs say there is more groundwork laid for possible trades this year than they can remember in the recent past. Here are some of the storylines that could play out this week, according to Olney:

  • If Olney was Rangers' GM Jon Daniels, he would go all out to sign Zack Greinke and then trade some surplus pitching for offense.
  • Some rival officials remain convinced the Diamondbacks will eventually trade Justin Upton, whose contract ($38.5MM due over the next three years) has become more attractive in the wake of his brother's deal with the Braves.
  • The Indians have set the bar high in their demands for Asdrubal Cabrera and Shin-Soo Choo. "Time will tell on whether they've lowered (the asking prices)," said a rival GM.
  • The most likely of the Rays' established starting pitchers to be dealt is Jeremy Hellickson. On paper, the best matchup appears to be the Padres.
  • The Reds are looking to acquire a leadoff hitter and could target Dexter Fowler.
  • The Phillies continue to push on Angel Pagan. If Pagan signs with Philadelphia, the Giants could look to Shane Victorino, who is looking for $9-10MM annually.
  • The Pirates have let other teams know that closer Joel Hanrahan is available and they are looking for starting pitching.
  • In a separate tweet, Olney says the perception among rival executives is the signing of David Wright makes it much easier for the Mets to trade R.A. Dickey without fear of a PR backlash.
  • Nate Schierholtz received calls from nine teams within the first 12 hours of being non-tendered with the Yankees in the mix and the Rays also a good fit (Twitter links).