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Torii Hunter Rumors
1:08pm: The Braves have interest in Hunter, but it appears he'll re-sign with an American League team, David O'Brien of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports (on Twitter). The Tigers are the frontrunners for Hunter, Jim Bowden of ESPN.com and MLB Network Radio reports (on Twitter).
12:52pm: The timeframe for a decision is about two weeks, Mark Saxon of ESPNLosAngeles.com reports. The Tigers have been most aggressive in their pursuit of Hunter and seem most likely to offer a two-year contract. The Yankees have also shown serious interest.
The Tigers are “very interested” in Hunter, Knobler writes. They see him as a near-perfect fit for their team, on and off of the field. Detroit has prioritized corner outfield help this winter. The Rangers also have interest in Hunter, who lives in Texas, relatively close to Rangers Ballpark.
The market for Hunter seems strong, with the Red Sox, Dodgers and Yankees also interested. Knobler suggests the Braves and Phillies are also possible fits. The Angels did not make Hunter a qualifying offer, which means he’s not linked to draft pick compensation. Tim Dierkes ranked Hunter 20th among the top 50 free agents available.
The Dodgers have been said to have interest in free agent outfielder Torii Hunter, but their level of interest may have been overstated, according to Dylan Hernandez and Mike DiGiovanna of the Los Angeles Times. The team met with Hunter’s agent at the GM meetings this week, but a source says that it was Hunter’s agent who initially reached out to the Dodgers, not the other way around. Since the Dodgers won't move Andre Ethier, Hunter's only possible role would be as a fourth outfielder and the veteran isn't terribly interested in doing that. Hunter's agent has also talked with the Tigers, Rays, Yankees, and Phillies and tells clubs that his client wants a multi-year contract. Here's more from around baseball..
- MLB.com's Thomas Harding writes that Mets pitcher R.A. Dickey isn't sure whether the club will trade him this winter if they can't reach agreement on a contract extension, but his preference is to stay in New York.
- The Mets don't want to go to arbitration with Andres Torres, but the club has not ruled out bringing him back for 2013, a source tells Dan Martin of the New York Post. Torres would be in line for a slight raise over the $2.7MM he earned last season through arbitration, but the club could bring him back at a more reasonable price. I profiled Torres as a non-tender candidate back in September.
- The Yankees have faith they can make deals with pitchers Mariano Rivera, Hiroki Kuroda, and Andy Pettitte, writes Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com. When it comes to Kuroda, the Yanks see Japan as a bigger threat to pull him away than teams like the Red Sox or the Dodgers.
- The weak crop of catchers on this year's open market could yield a high return for the Red Sox if they trade Jarrod Saltalamacchia, writes Tim Britton of The Providence Journal.
Earlier today, the Dodgers made history when they submitted the winning bid on Hyun-Jin Ryu for $25,737,737.33, the largest ever for a South Korean player. Here's more on the Dodgers..
- The Dodgers won't be trading Andre Ethier, so Torii Hunter would need to accept a lesser role if he signed with them, tweets Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports. The veteran, who is close with both Matt Kemp and Carl Crawford, has interest from nine other clubs including the Tigers, White Sox, Rangers, and Mariners (Twitter link).
- Clayton Kershaw's hip issues won't deter GM Ned Colletti from working out a new deal with Clayton Kershaw, writes Dylan Hernandez of the Los Angeles Times. "I think we'll probably sit down and talk about it once we get past this period of time, the free agent period of time," Colletti said. "We signed him for another year, there's another year after that. That said, if there's a common ground on both sides, it's worth investigating."
- Agent Scott Boras says that Ryu wants to be a starter in the major leagues, tweets Hernandez. Boras added that if Ryu doesn't wind up signing with the Dodgers, he expects the posting fee to increase dramatically next year (Twitter link).
Here's the latest from Bob Nightengale of USA Today…
- The Dodgers are "aggressively pursuing" Torii Hunter according to a team executive. GM Ned Colletti wouldn't confirm the team's interest, but he did say that he did not have any trade talks about Andre Ethier during the GM Meetings this week.
- The Dodgers will have meetings early next week to formulate a plan that involves signing Hunter and acquiring a frontline starter. They've already spoken to representatives for Zack Greinke and Anibal Sanchez, but are out on Ryan Dempster.
- The Rangers tried to acquire Andrelton Simmons from the Braves so they could flip him to the Diamondbacks in a deal for Justin Upton. Arizona wants a young shortstop, but Texas is loath to give up Elvis Andrus or Jurickson Profar. Atlanta wouldn't budge, however.
Here's the latest from Joel Sherman of The New York Post…
- The Mets are making progress, albeit slowly, in contract talks with David Wright and R.A. Dickey. The impression is that there is still a substantial gap in talks with Dickey, and they've been gauging his trade value during the GM Meetings. They are not doing the same with Wright, however.
- The Yankees would not do a two-year deal worth $20MM or so for Torii Hunter since they want to get under the luxury tax threshold next year. They are fixated on one-year contracts this offseason and could fill their right field hole with a low-cost platoon.
- "The Yankees are not on him," said a source about Justin Upton, in part because they're unsure if he's a good fit for New York (Twitter link). The Rangers and Rays are strongest early players for Upton, and Sherman gets the sense that the D'Backs want to act quickly (Twitter links).
- The Diamondbacks want high-end, MLB ready players in return for Upton and would love to get Jurickson Profar or (more likely) Elvis Andrus from the Rangers. They don't love Mike Olt, however (Twitter links). GM Kevin Towers likes Yankees prospect Mason Williams, but he is several years away from the show and unlikely to be enough to headline a trade package (all Twitter links).
- Next year's crop of free agent starting pitchers is weak, which could benefit Zack Greinke since teams won't be able to find a stopgap and reassess next year. Josh Johnson and Tim Lincecum highlight next winter's pitching crop, and both come with question marks.
- The Mariners, who have young pitching, are said to be talking to the Royals and Twins, who have young hitting. Seattle would love to pry Wil Myers, Aaron Hicks, and/or Ben Revere loose.
- Jason Bay didn't produce with the Mets, but he lived up to his billing as a hard worker and good teammate. Sherman expects the outfielder to take a low-salary, change of scenery deal (Twitter link).
- Mets officials think Scott Hairston will get a two-year deal worth between $8-10MM this winter.
Full Story | Comments | Categories: Aaron Hicks | Arizona Diamondbacks | Ben Revere | David Wright | Elvis Andrus | Jurickson Profar | Justin Upton | Kansas City Royals | Mason Williams | Mike Olt | Minnesota Twins | New York Mets | New York Yankees | R.A. Dickey | Scott Hairston | Seattle Mariners | Tampa Bay Rays | Texas Rangers | Torii Hunter | Wil Myers | Zack Greinke
A source tells Rob Bradford of WEEI.com (via Twitter) that Jason Bay would be very interested in returning to the Red Sox. Earlier today, the Mets reached an agreement with the outfielder to make him a free agent this winter in exchange for deferring some of the $21MM owed to him. Here’s more on the Red Sox..
- While Bay would like to return to the Red Sox, signs point towards him preferring a west coast team, tweets Michael Silverman of the Boston Herald.
- The Red Sox have expressed interest in free agent outfielders Torii Hunter and Grady Sizemore, tweets Silverman.
- General Manager Ben Cherington says the club has not yet discussed Bay, tweets Scott Lauber of the Boston Herald.
- The Red Sox will listen on Jacoby Ellsbury but they will listen on him, tweets Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com. One rival official noted that the club won’t be overly anxious to move Ellsbury as they’re already in need of two outfielders.
- Boston is expected to be in the mix for Justin Upton this offseason, writes Michael Silverman of the Boston Herald. It’s not yet known if the Red Sox have had talks with the Diamondbacks about the outfielder previously or at the GM meetings, however.
- Manager John Farrell says the club is thinking about hiring two hitting coaches and would even prefer it, tweets Scott Lauber of the Boston Herald. “I think it’s evolved into more than a one-man system. We’re going in that direction,” Farrell said (Twitter link).
- Maureen Mullen of CSNNE.com looks at the decisions facing the Red Sox in advance of the Rule 5 draft.
"I'm open to anybody, especially if David is there," Hunter told WEEI.com in late August. "David is one of my guys. We were roommates in Minnesota and he's one of my brothers.”
Ortiz, who recently signed a two-year, $26MM contract with the Red Sox, said yesterday that he had been in contact with Hunter about the possibility of signing in Boston. Hunter did not obtain a qualifying offer from the Angels last week, which means teams won’t have to surrender a top draft choice to sign him. While the Angels aren’t ruling out a new deal with Hunter, it doesn’t sound as though he’ll re-sign in Anaheim.
MLB executives expressed surprise that Torii Hunter, Edwin Jackson, Angel Pagan and Mike Napoli didn’t get qualifying offers by Friday’s deadline, ESPN.com’s Buster Olney reports. Here are more notes and rumors from Olney…
- One high-ranking executive suggested Hunter will get some two or three-year offers as a free agent. The outfielder ranked 20th on MLBTR's list of top 50 free agents.
- Evaluators were puzzled by the Nationals’ decision not to make Jackson a qualifying offer. An offer would have set them up for draft pick compensation or another affordable one-year deal.
- GMs and agents expect Pagan to get multiple offers for three years. A four or five-year deal doesn’t seem out of reach for the center fielder.
- Some rival officials expected the Rangers to make Napoli a one-year qualifying offer and set themselves up for draft pick compensation.
- Brad Ausmus, one of the top managerial prospects in MLB, told Olney that it’s important for managers to remember how difficult it is to play at the highest level. “The managers who understood the patience involved are the managers who have related to the players best on teams I have been a part of, and garnered their respect,” Ausmus said.
- The Padres have had some extension talks with Chase Headley, Olney reports. While both sides are interested in a deal, it’s hard to value Headley following his impressive second half performance.
- The Padres will focus on adding starting pitching this offseason, Olney reports. Rival executives like San Diego’s pitching depth, but GM Josh Byrnes will still pursue additions.
Earlier tonight, the Angels declined Dan Haren's $15.5MM option for 2013, but not before an interesting week of speculation and a near-deal hours before the deadline. Here's a look at what Angels General Manager Jerry Dipoto had to say about Haren and other issues concerning the club..
- Dipoto won't rule out talking with Haren or Torii Hunter, tweets Bill Shaikin of the Los Angeles Times. "Anything is possible. I can't say anything is likely," said the GM. Mike DiGiovanna of the Los Angeles Times (via Twitter) gets the sense that there's almost no chance of Hunter returning after hearing Dipoto's comments.
- The GM said that the apparent departures of Haren, Hunter, and Santana reflect the club's desire for financial flexibility, not shrinking financial resources, Shaikin tweets.
- That financial flexibility won't necessarily give way to a massive deal for Zack Greinke as Dipoto says that the team is not isolated on him, tweets Shaikin.
- If Hunter is not in the picture in 2013, Peter Bourjos will be slotted as the starter in centerfield with Vernon Wells in reserve, Shaikin tweets.
It could be a hectic Friday coming up for Dan Haren and the Angels, as MLB.com's Alden Gonzalez (Twitter link) hears that the Halos won't deal the right-hander today. That leaves just a matter of hours tomorrow for the Angels to make a decision on Haren's $15.5MM option for 2013, whether that decision is to exercise the option, buy it out for $3.5MM or trade Haren to another team. Here's the latest from the Big A…
- In an e-mail to reporters (including Mike DiGiovanna of the Los Angeles Times), Haren says he expects to be dealt before that Friday evening deadline. "I have had just a bit of dialogue with the Angels about my situation, but I’m kind of getting the feeling that I'll be traded," Haren wrote. "I have no specifics on teams, but that's the vibe I'm getting. It's a little bit disappointing that I won't get to pick where I want to go, but I'm the one who signed on for the option year."
- Haren said he's willing to return to the team on a "fair" one-year contract if he isn't traded and the Halos decline the option. "I think the cost of replacing me as just the No. 4 starter, if they got Zack [Greinke] or someone else, wouldn't be too great, and it would only be for one year," Haren wrote.
- The safest move for the Angels would be to keep Haren until Zack Greinke has been re-signed, opines Fangraphs' Jeff Sullivan. If Haren is traded and then Greinke signs elsewhere, the Angels will suddenly have a thin rotation behind Jered Weaver. Haren is a decent option on a net $12MM contract for 2013 and "if Haren can be traded now, he could probably be traded after Thanksgiving" should Greinke indeed return to Anaheim, Sullivan notes.
- The Angels may only be able to bring back Torii Hunter if they clear payroll space by trading Vernon Wells, reports Mike DiGiovanna of the Los Angeles Times. Hunter and the Angels have made "little progress" in negotiations and Hunter tells DiGiovanna that he hasn't spoken to anyone from the Angels in "a couple of weeks." We heard earlier this week that the Halos were unlikely to re-sign the veteran outfielder.
- Hunter also added that he is open to playing for any team, as opposed to his statements in July about retiring if he doesn't end up with the Angels, Dodgers, Yankees or Rangers.