- Tony Abreu could be an attractive trade chip if the D'Backs shop him for relief help, writes Bob McManaman of the Arizona Republic.
- Ken Griffey Jr. should retire gracefully, writes MLB.com's Hal Bodley.
- We shouldn't be surprised to see Drew Storen arrive in the majors before Strasburg. As Ben Goessling of MASN.com explains, the Nationals may choose to reward Storen for signing so soon after they drafted him.
- Yorvit Torrealba has been one of baseball's best free agent bargains, if you ask MLB.com's Corey Brock.
- In a pre-draft notebook, MLB.com's Jonathan Mayo explains why pitcher Peter Tago is gaining on some fellow amateurs and the answer is pretty simple.
- Wondering which pitchers have seen their strikeout rate climb or tumble this year? RotoAuthority has the results for the season so far.
- If Mark DeRosa hits the disabled list, the Giants will rely on their own players, mostly John Bowker, according to Henry Schulman of the San Francisco Chronicle.
- ESPN.com's Buster Olney believes the Nationals would like to debut Stephen Strasburg at home, while his colleague Rob Neyer can see the Nats breaking him in on the road. Last night I suggested we could see Strasburg's first MLB start against the Astros in early June.
- Marc Hulet of FanGraphs says it's too early to worry, but pitching prospect Aaron Crow reminds him a little of another former first rounder in the Royals' system: Luke Hochevar.
Links for Wednesday…
- According to MLB.com's Joe Frisaro, Seth McClung's deal with the Marlins would be worth $800K if he makes the team, not $600K as originally reported (link goes to Twitter).
- MLB.com's Tom Singer wrote about the hazards of signing pitchers to five-year deals.
- Baggarly tweets that even though he isn't retired, Rich Aurilia has a broadcasting deal in place that is contingent on him not finding a job on the field.
- Tim Lincecum and the Giants are still no closer to a deal, reports Andrew Baggarly of The San Jose Mercury News. Their arbitration hearing is now less than two days away.
- MLB.com's Adam McCalvy takes a look back at the Brewers' arbitration history. The team is scheduled to go to a hearing with Corey Hart tomorrow, which would be their first in 12 years.
- Mariners' GM Jack Zduriencik did not rule out the possibility of adding a catcher, reports Jon Paul Morosi of FoxSports.com (via Twitter).
- RotoAuthority analyzes the Blue Jays' closer situation from a fantasy baseball angle.
- SI's Jon Heyman names his free agent winners and losers. It's a well-done piece; my only gripe is Jason Marquis being in the loser bracket after signing a two-year, $15MM deal.
- ESPN's Buster Olney reports that before signing with the Padres, catcher Yorvit Torrealba "offered himself to the Mets for $1.4MM." The Mets "indicated they had no money to spend."
- Aaron Schafer of Viva El Birdos grades the Cardinals' offseason moves and non-moves.
The Padres signed Yorvit Torrealba to a one-year $1.25MM deal that includes a mutual option for 2011. The catcher, who passed his physical today, will earn $750K this year. There's a $500K buyout on a $3.5MM mutual option for the following season.
Torrealba, 31, hit .291/.351/.380 in 242 plate appearances for the Rockies last year, catching 545.3 innings. Torrealba split time last year with a solid young catcher in Chris Iannetta, and he'll do so again this year with Nick Hundley.
We learned on Monday from Olney that despite an offer in hand from San Diego, Torrealba hoped to engage the Mets. However, the Mets may be done spending.
ESPN.com's Buster Olney reported that the sides were nearing a deal and followed up with the terms of the contract, all on Twitter. Dan Hayes of the North County Times tweeted that Torrealba passed his physical.
Catcher Yorvit Torrealba "has a one-year offer from the Padres in hand," tweets ESPN's Buster Olney. Olney adds that Torrealba "would like to engage the Mets, but to this point the Mets have indicated they don't have any money available to make something happen." Previous reports had indicated the Mets were turning to Torrealba after missing out on Bengie Molina, despite Torrealba's grievance against them. With question marks at catcher and in the rotation, Mets fans have to hope the team isn't out of money.
Adam Rubin of the New York Daily News has the latest on the Mets.
- The Mets are said to be 50-50 on whether to use internal catching options or sign Yorvit Torrealba or Rod Barajas. The current favorite to start is Omir Santos, projected to hit .247/.296/.359 by CHONE.
- The Mets are "very likely to add one more starting pitcher," writes Rubin. John Smoltz, Ben Sheets, and Jon Garland are the names under discussion. The Smoltz talks are described as "active dialogue." We learned earlier today that the A's appear to be a top competitor for Sheets, while SI's Jon Heyman believes the Rangers and Mariners are also in the mix. Heyman tweets that the Mets "don't appear to be the frontrunner for Sheets at the moment."
- Rubin considers a Carlos Delgado re-signing to be "not overly likely" due to concerns about Delgado playing first base. Instead, the Mets could bring Fernando Tatis back.
Here's the latest on the Mets, who still have significant work to do…
- MetsBlog's Matthew Cerrone hears Ben Sheets will seek "at least $10 million, plus lots of incentives, and a second-year, player-controlled option." He says that while the Mets' interest in Sheets is legitimate, they prefer Joel Pineiro. The Mets made an offer – probably two years – to Pineiro.
- Cerrone writes about Bengie Molina, saying the Mets "offered at least $1 million more than the Giants, and also offered a player-controlled option for 2011." Cerrone believes Molina grew skeptical of playing in New York.
- Ken Davidoff of Newsday writes of a "team-fan disconnect," in that a Mets official he spoke to expected the team to get hammered for not signing Molina, but most fans don't mind.
- ESPN's Buster Olney writes of "signals being sent out on Tuesday night that the Mets are turning to Yorvit Torrealba." David Waldstein of the New York Times suggests the Mets would have to pay extra for Torrealba to settle the catcher's two-year-old grievance as part of a new deal. Rod Barajas is probably the only other starting-caliber free agent catcher remaining.
Got some more links for you on a hectic Tuesday…
- Ed Price of AOL FanHouse has a list of salary figures exchanged by players and their teams at today's arbitration filing deadline.
- MLB.com's Adam McCalvy breaks down the exchanged figures and the situations of the Brewers' remaining arbitration-eligible players.
- Jordan Bastian of MLB.com says the Blue Jays' payroll "will probably be in the $60-63MM range" next season, down from a previously reported figure of $80MM. Toronto's payroll, however, is "really a fluid number" according to Jays GM Alex Anthopoulos.
- Colorado may sign veteran catcher Paul Lo Duca to a minor-league deal, reports Troy Renck of the Denver Post.
- In a text message to Tyler Kepner of The New York Times (via Twitter), Johnny Damon said he's "sure things will work out somewhere." Damon added that he hasn't ruled out a return the Yankees either.
- The Phillies are discussing a multi-year deal with arbitration eligible center fielder Shane Victorino, reports Jim Salisbury of CSNPhilly.com.
- With Bengie Molina returning to San Francisco, the Mets primary catching target is now Yorvit Torrealba, according to ESPN's Buster Olney (via Twitter).
- Morosi tweets that Joe Blanton filed for $10.25MM in arbitration today, but the Phillies countered with $7.5MM.
- Ed Price of AOL FanHouse (via Twitter) spoke to a scout who saw Ben Sheets' throwing session today. "He threw very well. He threw easy," said the scout, who guessed that Mets, Cubs, and Rangers were the leaders for his services.
- Clark Spencer of The Miami Herald tweets that the Marlins and Cody Ross are going to an arbitration hearing over a $250K difference.
- MLB.com's Brian McTaggart tweets that the Astros and Wandy Rodriguez are $2MM apart in their arbitration case.
- The Rays and B.J. Upton did not reach a deal today, and his agent indicated that the two sides will head to an arbitration hearing according to Marc Topkin of The St. Petersburg Times (via Twitter). He later tweets that they may be just $300K apart.
- Jon Paul Morosi of FoxSports.com reports that the Cubs, Cardinals, and Dodgers are monitoring free agent lefty Mark Mulder. Late last week we learned that the Brewers were going to wait before deciding whether or not to offer Mulder a deal.
- The Blue Jays have signed outfielder Jeremy Reed and righty Steven Register to minor league deals with invitations to Spring Training according to a team press release.
- MLB.com's Ken Gurnick tweets that the Dodgers have signed catcher J.D. Closser to a minor league deal with an invite to Spring Training. The former top Rockies' prospect last appeared in the big leagues back in 2006.
- ESPN's Jerry Crasnick penned a must-read on how Jack Zduriencik has transformed the Mariners in his short time at the helm.
- SI.com's Tom Verducci took a look at the most efficient teams of the last decade. The Marlins, Athletics, and Rays highlight the best, while the Mets were among the least efficient.
Some links for Friday…
- In an interview with 619 Sports out of San Diego, Scott Hairston said he found out he got traded back to the Padres by reading MLBTR. Cool!
- The Brewers will wait until next month before they consider making an offer to Mark Mulder, reports MLB.com's Adam McCalvy.
- John Fay of The Cincinnati Enquirer runs down the Reds' arbitration history.
- The Orioles have signed outfielder Jeff Salazar to a minor league deal with an invitation to Spring Training, reports Dan Connolly of The Baltimore Sun.
- The Brewers are still in touch with Mark Mulder and Doug Davis, according to Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.
- The Yankees offered Jesus Montero straight up for Roy Halladay, according to Richard Griffin of the Toronto Star (Hat Tip: River Ave. Blues).
- The Rockies watched Derrick Turnbow throw today, according to Troy Renck of the Denver Post.
- The Nationals are still in the mix to sign Orlando Hudson, who hopes to sign soon (MLB.com's Bill Ladson reporting).
- Pete Caldera of NorthJersey.com hears of some mutual interest between the Yankees and Rocco Baldelli.
- The Rangers avoided arbitration with Brandon McCarthy, agreeing to a $1.32MM deal for 2010, according to Anthony Andro of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram.
- Rangers GM Jon Daniels tells Richard Durrett of ESPNDallas that he'd like to add a catcher, but he's not about to rush. "We have some time," the GM said.
- Ryan Theriot tells Paul Sullivan of the Chicago Tribune that he'd like the Cubs to sign Ben Sheets.
- The Mets signed Jolbert Cabrera to a minor league deal, according to Ed Price of AOL FanHouse (via Twitter).
- Writing for FanGraphs, Patrick Newman explains what the Rangers can expect from new signing Colby Lewis.
- Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports tweeted last night that the Mets contacted Jerry Hairston Jr..
- ESPN.com's Buster Olney says some people within the Mets organization believe Omar Minaya will be fired the first time his club slumps badly.
- Olney also notes that Adam LaRoche will be up against a crop of free agent first basemen that could include Carlos Pena, Lance Berkman and Derrek Lee after the season.
- Troy Renck of the Denver Post says the Giants, Padres, Rangers and Mariners have all called about Yorvit Torrealba.
- The Pirates aren't close to agreeing to terms with Zach Duke on his 2010 salary, according to Dejan Kovacevic of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Duke made $2.2MM last year in his first season as an arbitration-eligible player.
- The Cardinals will watch Derrick Turnbow throw today, according to Rob Rains of the St. Louis Globe-Democrat.
- The Cards signed knuckleballer Charlie Zink to a minor league deal, according to Alex Speier of WEEI.com. After eight years in the Red Sox organization, the 30-year-old will try to break camp with St. Louis.
- Bill James tells Peter Abraham of the Boston Globe that he's curious to see how much better the Red Sox are on defense this season.
Links for Thursday…
- Josh Johnson's agent Matt Sosnick is now "cautiously optimistic" about a potential long-term deal with the Marlins for his client, according to MLB.com's Alden Gonzalez. However, the two sides still have differing thoughts on the proper comparables to use for Johnson's 2010 salary. I'd say Ben Sheets, Carlos Zambrano, and Zack Greinke might be used in that discussion, but given Johnson's $1.4MM salary in '09 he probably can't expect much more than $4.2MM.
- What do Tupac, Sandra Bullock, and MLBTR have in common? They're all favorites of Red Sox second baseman Dustin Pedroia.
- Scott Lauber of The News Journal tweets that the Phillies signed righty Jason Standridge to a minor league deal. The former Rays first-rounder pitched only 12.6 innings for the Marlins' Triple A club this year.
- Ken Rosenthal and Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports wrote last night that the Twins, Brewers, Mets, and Nationals have interest in free agent lefty Doug Davis. Davis suggested to MLB.com's Bill Ladson that the Nats are more focused on adding a second baseman.
- Roch Kubatko of MASN says Joe Crede "appears to top" the Orioles' free agent list.
- The Mets signed lefty Bobby Livingston to a minor league deal, tweets MLB.com's Mark Sheldon. The 27-year-old southpaw logged 156 innings of 4.15 ball at various minor league stops in 2009.
- Dave Cameron of FanGraphs says players of Adam LaRoche's caliber should take note of his new deal, because "the offers aren't going to get any better."
- Troy E. Renck of the Denver Post runs through Yorvit Torrealba's suitors, while also noting that Miguel Olivo's $2.5MM option for 2011 can become a player option with 110 games in '10.
- Catcher Mike Rabelo is a new name among the Tigers' 17 minor league deals announced today, writes MLB.com's Jason Beck.
Some links on this Wednesday evening…
- Yorvit Torrealba could end up with the Giants, according to Chris Haft of MLB.com. However, Torrealba may prefer to wait until after the weekend to sign with any club as his Venezuelan Winter League team is still active in the postseason.
- Dylan Hernandez of the Los Angeles Times tweets that in addition to Matt Kemp, the Dodgers are talking about multiyear deals with Jonathan Broxton and Andre Ethier.
- Carlos Beltran will have to refrain from baseball activities for twelve weeks after having his knee scoped, according to a Mets press release passed along by MetsBlog. The story was first reported by the New York Post's Joel Sherman (via Twitter). If all goes well with his rehabilitation, the center fielder should only miss a small amount of games to start the year.
- Free agent lefty Doug Davis is attracting interest from four teams, according to Ken Rosenthal and Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports. The Twins, Brewers, Mets, and Nationals are all interested in the 34-year-old, who posted a 4.22 ERA with 6.7 K/9 over the last three years in Arizona.
- Fernando Tatis' agent told Thomas Harding of MLB.com that the Rockies had preliminary discussions with his client earlier this week. About a week ago, we heard that the Rockies were eyeing the 35-year-old for a bench role. Also, two major league sources tell Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports that the Mariners are interested as well.
- Former Brewers closer Derrick Turnbow will audition for at least 16 teams on Friday in Phoenix, according to a report from ESPN.com's Jerry Crasnick. The 31-year-old demanded his release from the Rangers back in May.
- If the Nats are able to sign Orlando Hudson or Adam Kennedy to play second base, Cristian Guzman and his $8MM salary are unlikely to be moved elsewhere, writes Bill Ladson of MLB.com. Guzman would remain at shortstop, where his agent insists that he is still valuable despite shoulder surgery.
- Pittsburgh's signing of Ryan Church could pay huge dividends for the club, says ESPN's Rob Neyer. If Church is healthy and generates interest from other clubs, the Pirates will be able to move him for a more valuable commodity.