- The Yankees are now in talks with third baseman Eric Chavez, tweets Jon Heyman of CBS Sports, who says it'd be a Major League deal. Speaking to MLB.com's Jesse Sanchez last night, Chavez pegged his chances of returning to the Yankees at 50-50. ESPNNewYork's Andrew Marchand is more confident, writing, "Considering that Chavez thought about retiring and has plenty of dough, they are expected to come to an agreement."
- Closer Mariano Rivera on whether he will retire after this year: "I know now, but I don't have to tell you." ESPN's Buster Olney had the quote, among others. According to Marc Carig of the Newark Star-Ledger, Rivera also said, "This one is different. This is it," comparing his decision to previous retirement talk.
- Catcher Russell Martin told Daniel Barbarisi of the Wall Street Journal he talked this winter about a three-year deal with the Yankees, but the discussion never progressed beyond the initial stages. Martin avoided arbitration with a $7.5MM contract for 2012.
- The Yankees have no interest in re-signing Damaso Marte and GM Brian Cashman could imagine Pedro Feliciano helping in September at best, writes Joel Sherman of the New York Post. Sherman looks at all the Yankees roster possibilities in this blog post.
- "The bullpen has become a cheap thing for me," Cashman explains in this article from Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports. On the other hand, Cashman spent plenty on his rotation this winter, whether through free agent dollars or the loss of Jesus Montero.
The Yankees will announce that they're declining their 2012 option for Damaso Marte, according to Mark Hale of the New York Post (on Twitter). The left-hander missed the entire 2011 season after undergoing shoulder surgery last October. He'll get a $250K buyout instead of a $4MM salary for 2012.
Marte, 36, signed a three-year, $12MM deal after the 2008 season and contributed just 31 regular season innings over the course of the past three seasons. However, he was effective in the 2009 playoffs and has a 3.48 ERA with 9.5 K/9 and 4.1 BB/9 over the course of an 11-year career (hat tip to River Ave. Blues). If healthy, he could obtain a minor league deal with an invitation to Spring Training this offseason.
Some Bombers-related items as the Yankees take on the Orioles at home..
- Earlier today, the Yankees disclosed that Pedro Feliciano may require significant surgery and could miss the entire 2011 season. GM Brian Cashman says that left-hander Damaso Marte is likely done for the season as well after undergoing shoulder surgery in October. When asked about a potential replacement for Feliciano, Cashman acknowledged that he would look for one, though he doesn't expect to find one easily.
- With Feliciano and Marte likely on the shelf for '11, David Villavicencio of FoxSportsFlorida.com (via Twitter) wonders if the Yanks might give former Marlins left-hander Renyel Pinto a call. Pinto had a brief stint with the Cardinals last season that ended after he posted a 4.78 ERA with 10.6 K/9 and 7.5 BB/9 in Triple-A.
- Speaking of the Yankees bullpen, Cashman says that the overuse of relievers under the watch of Joe Torre was not his fault, writes Ian Begley of ESPNNewYork.com. In fact, the GM says that he told relievers to be truthful with Torre and his staff when they were asked about their availability to pitch.
- Over at RotoAuthority, Tim Dierkes lists some Baltimore Orioles to watch for your fantasy team next season.
- ESPNNewYork.com's Adam Rubin re-posted a selection of questions from a 2008 interview conducted with current Mets' GM candidate Sandy Alderson. Very interesting read.
- Damaso Marte underwent shoulder surgery this weekend and won't begin throwing until after the 2011 All-Star Break, writes MLB.com's Dan Mennella. If the Yankees want to look for some low-budget options, MLBTR's Ben Nicholson-Smith looked at some bargain southpaws last week.
- Joel Sherman looks at the delicate situation that is Derek Jeter's free agency. Sherman concludes that Jeter is more valuable to the Yankees than to other teams, and that the 37-year-old will have to accept that it's not a "divine right" that he hit at the top of the order and play 150 games per season if his production doesn't improve. According to Sherman, Jeter's numbers may only warrant a one-year, $7MM deal or so on the open market, but the Yankees will bid higher. He offers up a speculative three-year, $45MM deal.
- ESPN's Adam Rubin says the Diamondbacks will be pulling for Josh Byrnes to win the Mets' GM opening, as any money the Mets pay him will be deducted from what Byrnes is still owed from his five-year contract with Arizona. Potentially saving $1MM or so annually on their GM may be a factor if the two candidates end up being neck-and-neck, according to Rubin.
- Jayson Werth's teammates don't see him returning to the Phillies next season, tweets SI's Jon Heyman.
- Curt Young has declined the Athletics' offer to return as the club's pitching coach and will pursue another opportunity, according to a team press release. The San Francisco Chronicle's Susan Slusser speculates that he might be joining former Oakland colleague Terry Francona in Boston. That would make sense, given Toronto's decision to hire John Farrell. Slusser says the A's offered Young a raise of nearly 40% on a one-year deal.
- The Boston Globe's Nick Cafardo, however, tweets that Young is likely on his way to the Diamondbacks' organization.
- For A's fans thinking this could mean a reunion with Rick Peterson, Slusser also tweets a reminder that Peterson has one more year on his contract with Milwaukee.
Wednesday night links, as Daniel Hudson attempts to keep his NL ERA under 2.00….
- David Ortiz tells Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports that he thinks Carl Crawford will sign with the Yankees or Angels this winter.
- Joe Girardi doesn't expect Alfredo Aceves or Damaso Marte to be back with the Yankees in 2010, tweets MLB.com's Bryan Hoch.
- The chances of lifetime Angel Scot Shields returning to the club's bullpen next season are "less than remote," says Mike DiGiovanna of the Los Angeles Times. Whether Scott Kazmir will be a part of the Angels' rotation also remains to be seen, DiGiovanna writes in a separate piece. MLBTR's Ben Nicholson-Smith examined the team's 2011 rotation yesterday.
- The Astros are looking into the possibility of signing Barret Loux, but haven't made an offer yet, according to Zachary Levine of the Houston Chronicle (via Twitter).
- Carlos Guillen would like to play second base for the Tigers next season, write Jason Beck and Alex DiFilippo of MLB.com.
- Jack Moore of Fangraphs looks into the outstanding numbers Geovany Soto is putting up this year. Earlier today, we looked at Soto as a possible candidate for an extension.
Some links on another slow Sunday afternoon…
- Tyler Kepner from the New York Times takes a look back at the trade that sent Damaso Marte and Xavier Nady from the Pirates to the Yankees. Kepner says that Ross Ohlendorf alone is making the trade "look like a steal."
- MLB.com's Bill Ladson answers some questions about the Nationals offseason and how the club can improve in his latest MLB.com Inbox. Ladson answers questions about Livan Hernandez's future, Justin Maxwell's value, and if the Nats should look at trading for Dan Uggla.
- John Maine wants to pitch again in 2009 and end his season on a high note. When asked about the possibility of the Mets not offering him a contract for the 2010 season, Maine said he's not worrying about it; he wants to be in New York, but it's out of his control.
Let's take a look at what some fans are writing about their favorite teams around the worldwide netweb…
- Bleed Cubbie Blue says Milton Bradley must go. Bradley is hitting just .237-.355-.379, but the riff with Lou Piniella and off-the-field issues are the real problem.
- Fire Brand of the American League wonders if shortstop might end up being a position of strength for the Red Sox.
- River Ave. Blues looks back on the Xavier Nady trade, and says that even though Nady and Damaso Marte are hurt, it was the right move because the Yankees were just one game back of a playoff spot at the time.
- USS Mariner says it's time for the team to wave goodbye to reliever Roy Corcoran. Considering he's allowed 37 baserunners in just 13.2 IP, can you blame them?
- McCovey Chronicles muses about trade philosophies for the Giants.
6:59pm: Apparently, the Pirates couldn’t wait until Tuesday. Rob Biertempfel of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review found out from Huntington that Tabata had the MRI today and everything looks fine.
“He does have some mild rotator cuff inflammation, but is able to return to activities as (the pain is) tolerated.”
6:11pm: Highly-touted prospect Jose Tabata will have an MRI done on his right shoulder Tuesday after alerting the Pittsburgh Pirates’ medical staff to some recent soreness, Jenifer Langosch of MLB.com reports.
General manager Neal Huntington told Langosch that the team’s medical staff does not believe there is reason for serious concern. The MRI should help identify to doctors what is causing the outfielder discomfort.
Tabata was the marquee piece in last summer’s trade that sent Xavier Nady and Damaso Marte to the New York Yankees. He quickly became one of the Pirates’ top prospects and has already drawn unsolicited praise from manager John Russell this spring.
Tabata, 20, is 0-for-3 with three walks this spring.
12:30pm: In an email, Bloom told me it is a combination of eight Type A and Bs (not eight of each) and whether or not the team offered arbitration has nothing to do with the quota.
11:37am: Bloom says that a unilateral exception was granted this offseason allowing any team to sign as many as eight Type A or B free agents. A total of 216 free agents filed, an exceptionally high number. Another note: Bloom learned from Manfred that while draft pick compensation would be eliminated if the player waits until after the June draft to sign, it has yet to occur.
10:44am: Brian Cashman told Peter Abraham the Yankees could sign up to eight Type A free agents if they wanted to. Cashman’s exact quote shows less certainty:
"I’m not sure of the exact number, but it’s one we won’t worry about either way."
10:05am: One reader asks a question I can’t answer: if the quota is three Type A/Bs, how were the Giants able to sign Jeremy Affeldt (B), Bob Howry (A), Randy Johnson (B), Edgar Renteria (A), and Juan Uribe (B)? Does it only apply to Type A/Bs who were offered arbitration? Is the quota three of each type?
7:45am: Just wanted to add the info from a January 6th Nick Cafardo article, where he stated that this year’s quota is nine Type A or B free agents. Everyone I’d spoken previously to believed the Yankees have not approached any quota. I know the CBA allows for more Type A/Bs to be signed if you lose them, and the Yankees lost Bobby Abreu and Mike Mussina. We attempted to tackle this in October and came away confused.
Still, Bloom talked to MLB’s executive VP of labor relations Rob Manfred for his article and it seems highly unlikely that Manfred would be wrong. – Tim Dierkes
1:28am: Barry M. Bloom of MLB.com is reporting that the New York Yankees cannot sign any more Type A or Type B free agents this offseason.
According to the Basic Agreement, and confirmed by a top Major League Baseball official, once the Yankees signed C.C. Sabathia, A.J. Burnett and Mark Teixeira, they had signed their quota of Type A or Type B free agents under the collectively bargained rules established by management and the Players Association, Bloom wrote.
All three were Type A free agents who played for other teams last season aside from the Yankees. The Yankees could re-sign their own Type A or Type B free agents without it affecting the quota.
Under the rules, "if there are from 39 to 62 [Type A and B] players [during a given offseason], no team can sign more than three."
Re-signing Type A pitchers Andy Pettitte and Damaso Marte did not affect the Yankees’ limit.
Offseason speculation has put the Yankees on the peripheral of interest for outfielder Manny Ramirez and pitcher Ben Sheets. This finding curbs those chances.
A look at the newest column from Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports.
- Rosenthal believes the Nick Swisher trade is a prelude to other moves for the White Sox, and shouldn’t be judged in isolation.
- Darren Oliver could follow Damaso Marte and re-sign quickly, as his market value is also diminished by his Type A status.
- Texas native Kerry Wood is a good match for the Rangers, though they’re not going to want to do three years at $10MM per (I think). Jim Hendry says Wood will always be welcome to come back to Chicago. Rosenthal says the Rangers also have interest in Colorado’s Huston Street.
- The Cubs and the Rays are two suitors for Florida’s Jeremy Hermida, though they’ve cleared enough payroll already to be deliberate with this one.