Ugueth Urbina Rumors
Buster Posey is eligible for arbitration for the first time off the heels of his MVP campaign. The Giants would obviously like to lock the catcher up for the foreseeable future, but the club has yet to begin contract discussions with agent Jeff Berry, according to Henry Schulman of the San Francisco Chronicle (on Twitter). For more on Posey's unique case, check out Matt Swartz's arbitration breakdown. Here's more from around baseball..
- Michael Gonzalez's one-year, $2.25MM contract with the Brewers could pay him up to an additional $400K in performance bonuses, according to the Associated Press. Gonzalez will earn $50K for 25 games finished, $75K each for 30 and 35, and $100K apiece for 40 and 50. The reliever told reporters today that he prefers to be called Michael rather than Mike, according to Adam McCalvy of MLB.com (via Twitter).
- Jason Giambi is working out and told Troy Renck of the Denver Post (on Twitter) that he hopes to play this season. The 42-year-old will likely have to go to camp with a club on a minor league deal. Giambi was said to be drawing interest from three or four teams in early December.
- Ugueth Urbina threw live batting practice in Venezuela yesterday and former Marlins manager Ozzie Guillen was on hand to scout for several teams, writes Luis Carlos Gonzalez of El Nacional. "I told people from the Marlins, where I left behind some friends, and other teams, that Urbina was going to take the mound, and they told me to go see him," Guillen said (translation courtesy of Nick Collias). Guillen added that Urbina looked good, though he needs to "keep working".
- Jim Bowden of ESPN.com (Insider sub. req'd) looked at five GMs that could be on the hotseat in 2013, including Neal Huntington of the Pirates and Royals GM Dayton Moore.
- If the Pirates do not finalize their deal with Francisco Liriano, reliever-turned-starter Chris Leroux is another option for the rotation, tweets Rob Biertempfel of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. Liriano suffered an arm injury in December, leading the Bucs give second thought to the two-year, $12.75MM agreement.
Recently released from prison in Venezuela after serving seven years of a 14-year sentence for attempted murder, former big league reliever Ugueth Urbina hopes to return to MLB according to Reyes Urena of El Nacional. The right-hander is currently working out with the Caracas Lions.
"The objective is to pitch," said Urbina. "When? My arm will say, and that's why I'm here. I'll work out two times a day if it's necessary, but my primary goal is to suit up with the Lions. After that, we'll know if any doors open to me up north (in MLB), which is what I want. I know that right now my mechanics aren't very good, but my arm is healthy. I only have to work on the details."
Alexander Mendoza of El Nacional recently reported Urbina was able to work out and play softball while in prison, and it's been rumored that he even hit 90 mph recently. The 39-year-old last pitched for the Tigers and Phillies back in 2005, and he owns a 3.45 ERA with 10.5 K/9 and 4.0 BB/9 in 11 big league seasons with six different teams. His son Juan is a prospect with the Mets.
Nick Collias provided the translations.