- Third baseman Alex Rodriguez recently traveled to Germany for an experimental therapy called Orthokine on his right knee, reported Mike Puma of the New York Post. Orthokine is similar to Platelet Rich Plasma therapy, which reliever Takashi Saito had done several years ago. The procedure, which was recommended by Kobe Bryant, came with the blessing of the Yankees and the commissioner's office. Puma explains, "Orthokine involves taking blood from the patient’s arm and spinning it in a centrifuge, a machine used in laboratories to spin objects around a fixed axis. The serum is then injected into the affected area." Yankees GM Brian Cashman told reporters the procedure was done on Rodriguez's left shoulder as well. For more on the topic, check out this article from Teri Thompson and Christian Red of the New York Daily News.
- Cashman appears to be waiting for a resolution on the Hiroyuki Nakajima situation before pursuing Eric Chavez any further, tweets MLB.com's Bryan Hoch. Hoch says the Nakajima situation will be resolved next week. The Yankees won the exclusive right to negotiate with Nakajima with a bid around $2MM earlier this month.
- Hoch notes that the Yankees are still talking about re-signing Andruw Jones but Cashman says he has nothing to report right now.
A few notes to pass along as Tuesday becomes Wednesday …
- The Red Sox haven't ruled out signing Roy Oswalt, tweets Peter Abraham of the Boston Globe, although sources say the right-hander is not a priority for them. Earlier today we heard that interest in Oswalt has spiked significantly since he's been telling teams he's willing to sign for a one-year deal.
- It seemed inevitable that Yankees would re-sign Andruw Jones earlier this offseason, but Mark Feinsand of the New York Daily News reports the camps have not made much progress and that the outfielder is garnering interest from other teams, including the Red Sox.
- The Nationals are among the final three suitors for free agent pinch-hitter Greg Dobbs, a source tells Bill Ladson of MLB.com, who adds that the Marlins are reported to be in the mix, as well.
- Rockies outfielder Michael Cuddyer told reporters, including Phil Mackey of 1500 ESPN Twin Cities radio, that he and the Twins never had discussions about re-signing once they reached agreement with Josh Willingham (Twitter link).
- The Braves thought they may have been close to trading Jair Jurrjens to the Reds last weekend until Cincinnati instead acquired Mat Latos from the Padres, writes MLB.com's Mark Bowman in a mailbag.
- In an interesting thinkpiece at Baseball Prospectus, Ben Lindbergh examines why it's becoming increasingly difficult for a GM to stand out from his peers.
Some links as Tuesday turns into Wednesday…
- The Red Sox have not yet made catcher and captain Jason Varitek a contract offer, reports Rob Bradford of WEEI.com. Boston added Kelly Shoppach to Jarrod Saltalamacchia and Ryan Lavarnway on Tuesday, a move that likely spelled the end of Varitek's time with the Sox.
- There are clubs with interest in trading for both Gio Gonzalez and Andrew Bailey and others with interest in both Jair Jurrjens and Martin Prado, but Ken Rosenthal and Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports says the Athletics and Braves are likely to deal their players separately to maximize the return. Rosenthal and Morosi note that the Braves and Orioles have discussed a deal that included both Jurrjens and Prado.
- Interest in free agent closer Francisco Cordero has slowed down, reports Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports (on Twitter). His market could hinge on how clubs fill their other roster holes.
- The Pirates still have interest in first baseman Derrek Lee even after trading for Casey McGehee, reports CBSSports.com's Jon Heyman (on Twitter). Bringing Lee back at first base would allow them to use McGehee at the hot corner with Pedro Alvarez.
- Heyman hears that the Angels put a deadline on their ten-year, $254MM offer to Albert Pujols (Twitter link). The deal did seem to come together very quickly Wednesday night into Thursday morning last week.
- The Rockies do have some money to spend according to Heyman (on Twitter). In addition to Carlos Beltran and Michael Cuddyer, they also have interest in Hiroki Kuroda, Joe Saunders, and various trade targets.
- Morosi says (on Twitter) that Andruw Jones could also be an option for the Rockies if Beltran and Cuddyer sign elsewhere.
- The Cardinals' interest in pitching upgrades is "understated," reports Joe Strauss of The St. Louis Post-Dispatch (on Twitter). Both Kyle Lohse and Jake Westbrook remain on the trade block.
- The Yokohama Bay Stars have released right-hander Hiroki Sanada so that he may pursue a deal in MLB according to a report passed along by Patrick Newman of NPB Tracker. No teams bid on Sanada when he was posted last week.
- The Astros and Rays are possibilities for Ivan Rodriguez, according to Heyman (on Twitter). Though the Mets have discussed Rodriguez, they’re leaning toward relying on Mike Nickeas as their backup to starter Josh Thole.
- MLBPA executive director Michael Weiner says the Joint Drug Agreement should provide Ryan Braun with privacy and fair proceedings. “I urge all to reserve judgment on this matter until the JDA's process has played itself out," Weiner said in a statement.
Joel Sherman of the New York Post shares a few Yankees items and more from around baseball…
- The Yankees have a number of concerns about Yu Darvish and team officials "sounded pessimistic about making a significant posting bid, if they submit one at all." Given how the Yankees have been linked to Darvish for months, it's hard to believe they won't be bidding on the star pitcher, so this could well be some misdirection on the Bombers' part.
- The Yankees were interested in Mark Buehrle but wouldn't offer the veteran more than a two-year contract. This clearly wasn't going to get it done given the large market for Buehrle, who signed a four-year, $58MM pact with the Marlins.
- After "canvassing executives," Sherman finds the consensus is that Prince Fielder will sign with the Cubs. The belief is that Theo Epstein won't pass up the chance to acquire a slugger like Fielder given the lack of power hitters coming onto the market, and Epstein wants to make "a statement sign" in his first year in Chicago.
- Andruw Jones is likely to re-sign with the Yankees but the team will see if they can address starting pitching before taking care of their backups. Jones, for his part, plans to compete for a starting job this spring.
Agent Scott Boras held court in Dallas tonight, providing updates on his many free agent clients and entertaining reporters with quips along the way. Here are the details:
- Boras made it clear that Prince Fielder has drawn lots of interest this offseason. The agent explained that Fielder compares favorably to all-time greats such as Jimmie Foxx and suggested teams will look to lock Fielder up for as long as possible if they recognize his potential as someone who can produce at the plate for the better part of a decade while boosting TV ratings and attendance (Boras' arguments, not mine). He played down concerns about Fielder's body, suggested he's just entering his prime and argued that comparable free agent power hitters won't be available any time soon.
- Fielder doesn't have any geographical preference as to where he signs, tweets Richard Griffin of the Toronto Star. Boras quipped that the distance from home plate to the outfield fence is the only geography concerning Fielder. For more on Fielder, click here.
- Generally speaking, Boras explained that Seattle and Milwaukee are desirable places to play because they have the potential to draw substantial crowds. He also said "the city [of Los Angeles] is waiting for the return of the Dodgers" and praised the Dodgers as a storied franchise in American sports.
- Johnny Damon played "very well" in 2011, according to Boras. He joked that 38-year-old is in line for a five-year deal, though a one-year contract is probable in reality. Boras half-jokingly suggested the Rays "have lots of money" despite their perennially low payrolls.
- Carlos Pena will likely have multiyear offers, Boras said.
- Asked if Kyle Lohse could waive his no-trade clause, Boras replied that he thinks Lohse is happy in St. Louis, tweets B.J. Rains of Fox Sports Midwest.
- The market for Ivan Rodriguez is narrowing, tweets Amanda Comak of the Washington Times. The Nationals aren't in on Pudge, tweets Adam Kilgore of the Washington Post.
- The Nats have some interest in bringing back Rick Ankiel, tweets Comak.
- Boras expects Daisuke Matsuzaka to be healthy and return "sometime this summer," tweets Brian MacPherson of the Providence Journal.
- J.D. Drew is undecided on whether he'll play in 2012. It would have to be the right situation.
- Andruw Jones would've liked more playing time in 2011, but understands he won't be a full-time player, tweets MLB.com's Bryan Hoch. A deal with the Yankees is likely in the coming weeks, tweets Mark Feinsand of the New York Daily News.
- The Braves haven't progressed toward an extension for Michael Bourn, tweets Stephen Goff of Examiner.com.
MLBTR's Luke Adams co-wrote this post.
TUESDAY: The Indians are looking at right-handed hitters such as Derrek Lee, Andruw Jones, and Mike Cameron, tweets Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports. Yesterday we heard the Indians have mild interest in Josh Willingham, and on Friday they were linked to Mark DeRosa.
Also, Morosi says the Indians are willing to trade from their bullpen depth to acquire the right bat.
Congratulations to national baseball writer Jon Heyman, who has a new job with CBSSports.com starting Monday. As usual, Heyman is tweeting up a storm; here's his latest from the Winter Meetings (all links go to Twitter):
- The Royals are talking trades for starters and are in on Oakland's Gio Gonzalez.
- Everyone wants bullpen help but few want it more than the Padres, Brewers, and Red Sox.
- The Phillies haven't completely ruled out Michael Cuddyer, but the Twins are still trying to bring him back as well. The Giants and Red Sox are other logical destinations, in Heyman's estimation.
- The Yankees would love to bring back Andruw Jones for his right-handed pop and strong clubhouse presence.
- Former Reds executive Scott Nethery is in the mix for the Astros GM opening. Andrew Friedman is still their top choice, Bill Geivett and Jeff Luhnow are also in the mix.
- The Astros will also eat most of Carlos Lee's contract to facilitate a trade. They still expect a good return for Wandy Rodriguez and something decent for Brett Myers in any trade.
- Heyman also said this morning that the Angels are looking for a closer and the Pirates are talking to Derrek Lee.
Agent Scott Boras says J.D. Drew has not retired and will play in 2012 if the right opportunity emerges, according to Michael Silverman of the Boston Herald. Here are more details from Boras’ conversation with reporters (most links go to Twitter)…
- Boras said Prince Fielder will appeal to teams looking to win now and to those that are more than a year away from contending, according to MLB.com's Adam McCalvy. “I do think there are a lot of teams that … look long-term with a younger player that may not be in the market for a player that is four or five years older," Boras said, comparing Fielder to Albert Pujols.
- Boras told ESPN.com's Jerry Crasnick that Fielder is an "amazing athlete" who's just stepping into his prime. "This guy can fly," he said. "He's like Warren Sapp. That man was an athlete. People said he had this square body or he wasn't big enough or whatever, but he was still an All-Pro."
- Boras and the Yankees have discussed the possibility of a new deal for Andruw Jones, according to Marc Carig of the Star-Ledger. The Yankees are in the market for a fourth outfielder and Jones, who hit .247/.356/.495 for New York in 2011, would be a fit, especially because he bats from the right side.
- Boras has not spoken with the Red Sox about free agent closer Ryan Madson, according to Scott Lauber of the Boston Herald.
- Boras explained that there will be strong interest in Carlos Beltran, according to Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe. "It's hard to get those players to free-agency and the ones who get there there's a real demand for them," he said.
- Boras will meet with Indians to discuss possible free agent fits, according to Paul Hoynes of the Cleveland Plain Dealer. Hoynes points out that Carlos Pena is a possible fit for the Indians at first base. Matt LaPorta is an option for the 2012 Indians, but he doesn’t appear to have any guarantees.
- Boras will also speak to the Cubs, possibly about Pena, according to MLB.com's Carrie Muskat.
- Boras “fully expects” the Mets to tender Mike Pelfrey a contract, according to Anthony DiComo of MLB.com.
A few items of note from around the Northeast Corridor …
- The Yankees have contacted the agent for free agent starters Roy Oswalt and C.J. Wilson, according to Marc Carig of the Star-Ledger. Bombers GM Brian Cashman, however, cautioned that he's "in the process of talking to everybody." Oswalt and Wilson are both represented by Bob Garber of Select Sports Group, as our Agency Database shows.
- As well, Cashman has already communicated with free agent starter Freddy Garcia's representatives, according to Carig, and the parties are mutually interested in seeing the veteran right-hander in the Bronx again in 2012. Cashman also expressed interest in bringing back reserve infield Eric Chavez, backup outfielder Andruw Jones and right-hander Bartolo Colon.
- The Phillies have had discussions with free agent closer Ryan Madson, Madson's agent Scott Boras tells Jim Salisbury of CSNPhilly.com. Boras termed the talks with the Phillies as "good dialogue" and said Madson is receiving a lot of interest – even from clubs that weren't thought to be in need of a closer.
- Newest Phillie Jim Thome is good friends with former Twins teammate Michael Cuddyer, whom the Phillies are seriously pursuing, so Thome could help recruit Cuddyer to Philly, according to Todd Zolecki of MLB.com. "We've texted a little bit," Thome said. "We've talked." … "I'm sure we will talk going forward."
- The Mets will refrain from doling out potentially crippling contracts under GM Sandy Alderson, but they shouldn't draw that line in dealing with their homegrown star Jose Reyes, opines Adam Rubin of ESPNNewYork.com. Writes Rubin: "If the ultimate verdict with Reyes is a calculated baseball decision, so be it. But shame on the Mets if he departs and it is primarily payroll-constraint induced."
Joey Votto celebrated his 28th birthday with a 3-for-4 performance today against the Rockies, including his 27th homer of the year. It wasn't enough, however, as Cincinnati dropped a 12-7 result to Colorado.
Some notes from around the majors….
- The Red Sox could use another solid starting pitcher but "for the moment don't feel there's anyone out there available who's better than what they have," a team official tells Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe.
- The Rockies will give catcher Wilin Rosario a lot of playing time this month as they decide what to do with Chris Iannetta this winter, reports Troy Renck of the Denver Post. If Rosario plays well, Colorado may decide to deal Iannetta, who's due to make $3.55MM in 2012. Iannetta's name was mentioned in trade rumors involving the Blue Jays, Red Sox, Pirates and Padres at the July deadline.
- Johan Santana will probably not pitch in the Major Leagues for the Mets this season, reports Anthony DiComo for MLB.com.
- Dontrelle Willis probably won't be back with the Reds next season, writes John Fay of the Cincinnati Enquirer. Willis has re-established himself as a big league starter this year but Fay figures that this progress has likely priced the southpaw out of the Reds' range.
- Another Red who likely won't be back in Cincinnati next year is Paul Janish, opines Hal McCoy of the Dayton Daily News. Despite some excellent glovework (a +11.6 UZR/150 at shortstop this year), Janish will be eligible for arbitration for the first time this winter and is probably a non-tender candidate with Zack Cozart taking over at short.
- Bill Center of the San Diego Union-Tribune says several American League scouts have asked him about Jesus Guzman's fielding ability in recent weeks, a sign that AL teams could have an interest in Guzman as a DH candidate. Center discusses Guzman, Bud Black's status, a possible extension for Cameron Maybin and other Padres-related topics in an online chat with fans.
- Andruw Jones has been playing all season with a small tear in his left knee, reports Marc Carig of the Star-Ledger. The Yankees discovered the injury during Jones' physical but signed the veteran outfielder anyway (both Twitter links).