Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Another Arbitration deadline

Another arbitration deadline is here, and this won't be the end of it either.  Teams that offered arbitration to their free agents, have until today to decide if they want to accept the offer.  Only 3 players did so last season, and this year only a few are expected to do the same.

With free agency now not such a sure thing for guaranteed millions, you would have thought more players would consider taking the arbitration and the guaranteed 1-year contract that goes with it, only agents don;t like the idea as much.  If you have a chance for more years and more money, go after it, only not all free agents will get that, and some of the players (Jason Frasor for example) may just make more by accepting.

Orlando Hudson of the Twins, has been in this situation before with the Dodgers, only he was hoping to have been offered arbitration 2 seasons ago but was not.  Every year, Hudson gets a 1-year deal and always ends up in this arbitration mess.  This season, the Twins offered him arbitration, but he will decline due to the contract he signed the past off season.  With the Dodgers, he was making over $8M so if offered back then, he would make the same money almost the next season, that's what he wanted.  Instead, the Twins gave him a $5M deal this past season and now offered him the arbitration.  If he accepts, he would make just over $5M next year, if he declines, Hudson and his people go for the bigger bucks elsewhere, just like every off season he has gone through.  That's why he declined.

Check back tonight for all the arbitration news and surprises.

No real surprises, although the Blue Jays reliever Jason Frasor, did accept the offer of arbitration, and will likey make around $3.5M next season.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Uribe leaves San Fran

According to reports from ESPN.com, Juan Uribe will leave the World Champion Giants, for a 3-year / $21M deal with the Dodgers.

The Giants, already stuck in a situation with 1B Aubrey Huff (Huff's agent said they had a another offer elsewhere, so the Giants bit, and re-signed him) obviously didn't feel the same with the 24 home run season out of Uribe.

Other news:

Lance Berkman talked about possible teams that are interested, and 8 teams including the Pirates and Blue Jays have offered him significant playing time.  Oakland seems to be the perfect fit.

The Dodgers, now that they signed Juan Uribe, will not likely offer Ryan Theriot a contract now.

The Yankees will not budge from their 3-year / $45M deal to Derek Jeter

The Marlins have inked a deal with P Javier Vazquez on a 1-year / $7M deal

Look for a Paul Konerko signing soon (Cubs)

Free agent OF Jayson Werth and OF Carl Crawford are still in early discussions with teams according to reports.  Huge pat on the backs for the agents of Carl Crawford for getting with the times (they sent out video of his hitting and defence on a IPad to all teams interested)

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Saturday's Links

Reading through all the publications this morning, here's what extrabasehit saw:

A fan poll feels that Derek Jeter's offer from the Yankees is fair.

Victor Martinez feels that the Tigers have a chance to win a championship before the Red Sox do.

Are the Angels serious about making Carl Crawford the first $100M man in Angels history?

Will the Rangers really consider making Josh Hamilton a long-term offer?

Remember Me?  Lenny Dykstra sells mansion to creditor

Jon Garland turned down more money from the Padres and signed with the Dodgers

The Mariners are shopping closer David Aardsma

Notes:

With the winter meetings just around the corner, and Thanksgiving all but over in the U.S., the hot stove will be in full swing by Monday.

We should expect a decision by Cliff Lee soon, but the Yankees will have to take care of the Jeter situation before anything else.

Arbitration decisions by players are expected in by November 30th, a few players are considering the offers and the 1-year contract.

Paul Konerko will decide between the Nationals and Cubs some believe

Adam Dunn, probably the best power hitter on the market, wants a 4-year deal worth over $50M

The Dodgers may not offer a contract to Ryan Theriot, saving over $5M in the process

Friday, November 26, 2010

Tigers new-look lineup

With the four year contract to catcher Victor Martinez now official, the Tigers and their new $50M man can start thinking about where he will bat in this lineup, that still needs a little more power.  With Magglio Ordonez a free agent, the Tigers must find a right fielder (Werth?) to drive in Martinez and Cabrera when there on base.

Here is a look at the Tigers projected lineup and starting 5 (really just top 4, with no clear cut #5 starter yet!).  Still some work to do with the Twins still the favourites.

Lineup

1. CF Austin Jackson
2. RF Ryan Raburn
3. C Victor Martinez
4. 1B Miguel Cabrera
5. LF Brennan Boesch
6. 3B Brandon Inge
7. SS Jhonny Peralta
8. 2B Will Rhymes
9. DH Don Kelly

Starting Pitchers

1. Justin Verlander
2. Max Scherzer
3. Rick Porcello
4. Armando Galarraga
5. Zach Miner

Closer: Jose Valverde

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Thanksgiving makes for a slow week

Thanksgiving in the United States means several things, turkey, family, NFL football, and no movement with MLB transactions!!

This is generally the week that starts with a buzz, then ends with not even a rumour to be sniffed.  The MVP awards were announced at the start of the week, congrats again to Joey Votto and Josh Hamilton, then the arbitration decisions are announced, then comes word that the Tigers made a splash in the free agent market signing C Victor Martinez to a 4-year / $50M contract.  Things were moving at a good pace, but they have stopped, and I mean really stopped.

General Managers have all but said to each other and agents, that this holiday will be spent with family, so thanks for all the discussions, but we are actually taking a break until, say, Sunday?

When things return to normal, here are a few stories we might be hearing:

The Cubs are prepared to spend, and have Paul Konerko or Adam Dunn at the top of the list.

The Indians, on the hook for 2 more years of Travis Hafner and nearly $26M, will not be adding to much to a payroll that is around $26.6M for 2011, and that includes the $13M to Hafner?

The Pirates are siad to be interested in signing free agent like Jayson Werth, and so they should with only $14.15M committed in player salaries as of now for the 2011 season, and only $2.2M committed for the 2012 season.  ($5.75M owed to C Chris Snyder and P Paul Maholm each in 2011)

Derek Jeter will be in the news, and not with another Red Sox uniform on!

Players that were offered arbitration have until Nov. 30th to decide to accept, only 3 players accepted last season.

Cliff Lee wants a 7th year added to any contract offer, and he should get it from the Yankees, but will the Rangers really match any offer?

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Career Homeruns

Extrabasehit took a break from all the free agent and arbitration talk to look at the career home runs by each current franchise: (current city listed) (Franchises such as the Nationals include days in Montreal, as does Braves, Giants etc...)

1. NY Yankees: 14,305
2. San Francisco Giants: 13,525
3. Chicago Cubs: 12,745
4. Atlanta Braves: 12,463
5. Detroit Tigers: 12,346
6. Boston Red Sox: 12,053
7. Cincinnati Reds: 11.842
8. Philadelphia Phillies: 11,797
9. Oakland Athletics: 11,633
10. Cleveland Indians: 11,589
11. Baltimore Orioles: 11,587
12. LA Dodgers: 11,390
13. St. Louis Cardinals: 10,775
14. Pittsburgh Pirates: 10,201
15. Chicago White Sox: 9,988
16. Minnesota Twins: 9,510
17. Texas Rangers: 7,573
18. Anaheim Angels: 6,675
19. NY Mets: 6,138
20. Milwaukee Brewers: 6,110
21. Houston Astros: 5,754
22. Toronto Blue Jays: 5,437
23. Washington Nationals: 5,207
24. Seattle Mariners: 5,196
25. SD Padres: 5,033
26. Kansas City Royals: 5,007
27. Colorado Rockies: 3,260
28. Florida Marlins: 2,667
29. Arizona Diamondbacks: 2,248
30. Tampa Bay Rays: 2,027

Top 10 Canadians in honour of MVP Joey Votto

With arbitration out of the way, teams can now look to free agency and trades over the next few weeks.  Thanksgiving is tomorrow, so generally the teams shut it down for until next Monday, but it doesn't stop the rumours from flying.

News:

The Yankees have told Derek Jeter, who was not offered arbitration, to basically test the free agent waters to see if he can do better financially.  The NY Post and Yahoo Sports have a little fun with this photo, what a scary site for Yankees fans, could you imagine!!

The Angels are thought to be preparing a 6-year / $120M deal for Carl Crawford

The Mets, already committed to $130M for next season, have almost no chance of landing a big name free agent, which includes Derek Jeter, who will not even be considered by the Mets.

Paul Konerko is looking for a 4-year deal, but may end up in Chicago, only the Cubs this time if they can't land Adam Dunn

The Blue Jays P Jason Frasor may accept arbitration, only 3 players accepted last season including Rafael Betancourt, the reliever with the Rockies who was in a similar situation to Frasor.

Congrats again to the Rangers Josh Hamilton and Reds Joey Votto for their MVP honours.  Votto becomes the 3rd Canadian to win the award joining Justin Morneau and Larry Walker in the elite group.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Arbitration Day has arrived

Today, yes the 23rd of November has finally arrived.  Why such a big day though?  Well, its the day all General Managers have waited for right?  Well, kind of. 

Today, all GM;s must decide if they want to offer arbitration to their current free agents.  If arbitration is offered to the player, the player can accept it, and guarantee himself a 1-year deal next year, or decline it and look at free agency as the only way to sign a new contract.

Teams offer the chance to accept arbitration simply to acquire draft picks when other teams sign the player.  If the Blue Jays for example offer Jason Frasor arbitration, he can accept it and make around $2.5M next year with the team, or decline it and become what they call a type A free agent, so any team that signs him would give up 2 first round pick to the Jays.  Sometimes its in a player interest to accept (like in Frasors case) because no team will offer him a free agent deal and lose out on the draft picks for a player that had a sub-par season last year.

The Yankees, once thought to be thinking about offering arbitration to Derek Jeter, did not do so this season.  With the Yankees offer of 3-years and just over $40M on the table, offering arbitration would have guaranteed Jeter $20M next season, so the Yankees didn't want to take a chance.

News:

Congrats to the Rangers OF Josh Hamilton, the AL MVP, Tigers 1B Miguel Cabrera was second in voting and Yankees 2B Robinson Cano was third.  Blue Jays OF / 3B Jose Bautista, thought to be a long shot to win the award, was really not a factor in the voting.

The Tigers have signed C Victor Martinez to a 4-year / $50M deal

The Giants have signed Aubrey Huff to a 2-year / $22M deal

Eric Hinske is deciding between the Braves and the Brewers on a deal for 1-year and $2M

Arbitration Surprises:

The Twins offered arbitration to P Carl Pavano and Orlando Hudson; Hudson has wanted this for 2 years now, as the Dodgers failed to offer him arbitration last season.

The Yankees did not offer arbitration to Mariano Rivera

The Brewers offered arbitration to P Trevor Hoffman to the surprise of many.  If Hoffman accepts, he would make $8M next year, but most believe the two sides had a side deal for Hoffman not to accept, and the Brewers get the draft picks

The Rays did not offer 1B Carlos Pena arbitration with the fear that he would accept.  They offered OF Brad Hawpe arbitration though, with a side deal that he doesn't accept.

The Rangers offered arbitration to P Cliff Lee, but not OF Vladimir Guerrero.

The White Sox did not offer arbitration to OF Manny Ramirez

The D'Backs did offer arbitration to 1B Adam LaRoche, which is kind of weird.

The Nationals offered arbitration to OF Adam Dunn, knowing he will be signing elsewhere.

The Blue Jays offered arbitration to P Jason Frasor, P Scott Downs, P Kevin Gregg, C John Buck and C Miguel Olivo; not to 1B Lyle Overbay; Frasor may accept some believe.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Expanded Playoffs

When the general managers met this past week, only the 30 managers were allowed in the discussions, no assistants, meaning they meant business.  They had many issues on their agenda's, but so did Bud Selig, when they all met on the Wednesday.

There has been talk for weeks about expanded the playoffs by 2 teams, but will this actually happen?  Selig loves the idea, his committee, lead by Joe Torre and Tony LaRussa, love it, the GM's love it, now the players must go for it, and quickly.

Selig wants this to happen, and happen real quickly.  The owners want it done as well, only the CBA isn't up until December of next year, so it looks like it could work for the 2012 season unless the players can all agree to change the agreement over the next month, and that might happen.

Under the new arrangement, 2 wild-card teams from each division will be added.  They will play either a 3-game series, or 1-game (winner take all game) and those game(s) against the other wild card winner the day after the season is over.  That winner will go on to the ALDS/NLDS series which will still be a best-of-5.

If this was the case this past season, here's how the playoffs would have looked.

AL:
EAST:
TAMPA BAY

CENTRAL:
MINNESOTA

WEST:
TEXAS

WILD CARDS:
NY YANKEES
BOSTON

(CHICAGO WOULD HAVE BEEN 1 GAME OUT, TORONTO WOULD HAVE BEEN 4)

NL:
EAST:
PHILADELPHIA

CENTRAL:
CINCINNATI

WEST:
SAN FRANCISCO

WILD CARDS:
ATLANTA
SAN DIEGO

(ST. LOUIS WOULD HAVE BEEN 4 GAMES OUT)

So, the Yankees and Red Sox could have possibly played a 1-game, winner take all game to decide the wild card, and the Padres would have made it after leading the division almost the entire season. 

It gives all teams, including the Blue Jays, Indians, Cubs and even the Pirates a fighting chance, as teams feeling there in the playoff mix would think differently all season, thus, teams would be thinking different when making player transactions, trades, etc...the trade deadline would be interesting as well, probably less deals, but one never knows.

Lets hope this happens sooner rather than later.

Teams that would have made it: WC=Wild Card

2009: Boston WC other team Texas / Colorado WC other team SF
2008: Boston WC other team Yankees (TOR would have been 3 games behind NY) / Milwaukee WC other team Mets
2007: Yankees WC other team Detroit (TOR would have been 5 games behind Tigers) / Colorado WC other team San Diego
2006: Detroit WC other team White Sox (TOR would have been 3 games behind Chicago) / San Diego WC other team LA Dodgers
2005: Yankees WC other team Boston / Houston WC other team Philadelphia
2004: Boston WC other team Oakland / Houston WC other team San Fran
2003: Boston WC other team Seattle / Florida WC other team Houston
2002: Angels WC other team Boston / San Fran WC other team Dodgers.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Justin Upton may be moved afterall

With Arizona almost toying with the fact that Justin Upton is on the block asking for up to five player in return, interest is still there, and the Blue Jays top the list, according to Fox Sports. 

Arizona would demand Travis Snider, JP Arencibia and probably Shaun Marcum in any deal.  The Yankees and Red Sox have the pieces and have interest as well.

The Rockies traded Clint Barmes to the Astros for pitcher Felipe Paulino.

Early reports have Felix Hernandez winning the AL Cy Young.

Adam Dunn will decide between the Tigers and Cubs in the coming days

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

The Tigers on the verge of a big day

So much for the General Managers meeting.  More GM's are trying to get deals done, then talk with each other!

The Blue Jays acquired OF Rajai Davis from the Athletics for two minor league players.  At first thought, you pencil Davis into the top of the lineup and have him in left field, with Jose Bautista moving to third, but, I'm sure the Jays aren't done dealing just yet.

The Tigers are on the verge of signing Adam Dunn to a 4-year deal.  Dunn's people stated that 3-years and $40M would be the starting point.

The Tigers signed pitcher Joaquin Benoit to a 3-year deal worth over $16M

Brandon Webb will sign soon, and the Pirates are leading the charge

Justin Upton may be dealt after all by Arizona and one baseball executive feels that 5 players may come in return for the superstar

Carl Crawford likes the Angels, the LA is prepared a 6-year / $120M offer some believe.

The Athletics offered Adrian Beltre a 5-year / $45M deal; the Orioles are said to be on the verge of a 6-year /$60M offer for him.  Boston will nut budge from their 4-year offer

The Blue Jays Scott Downs may land in New York, just the Mets, not the Yankees.

Cliff Lee will decide soon on his destination for family reasons some believe.  New York and Texas will be the only suitors.  Cubs and Nationals are 1000-1 for sure.

The Blue Jays, Ricky Romero, Jesse Litsch, Travis Snider and Dirk Hayhurst are all on twitter now.

After the Cardinals gave $17.5M for 2-years to Jake Westbrook, what are pitchers projected to by a 3rd or 4th starter worth now?

Adam LaRoche may be a fit in Toronto and Lyle Overbay may be one in Arizona.  Bascially its like a trade.

Ricky Nolasco of the Marlins may be dealt for a outfielder.

Jayson Werth will probably stay with the Phillies, Red Sox can have him for more money though.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Day 1 of the GM Meetings

Already, in the first few hours of when the GM's arrived, rumours were swirlling about the possibility of a Dan Uggla trade out of Florida.  When talk broke down earlier last week, Uggla was apparently furious with the lack of negotiating, and told the team to basically deal him.

Uggla turned down a 4-year / $48M contract extension according to reports, and now, is a memeber of the Atlanta Braves.

The Marlins probably sorted out all offers and chose the Braves deal, that sends Omar Infante and Mike Dunn to the Marlins. 

Uggla hit a career high 33 home runs in 2010, and will be a nice addition to the Braves, a team in need of offence.

Other news:

The Cardinals re-signed Jake Westbrook to a 2-year deal, that could be worth almost $16M.

The Marlins, fresh off the Uggla deal, have signed catcher John Buck, formerly of the Blue Jays to 3-year / $18M deal.

Buck hit a career high 20 home runs in 2010.

The Yankees asked the D'Backs for Justin Upton, according to MLBTR

Roy Halladay won the National League Cy Young Award, getting all first place votes on the ballot.  He earns extra $$ too!

The Yankees are waiting for a decision by Mariano Rivera on how many years (1 or 2) he's looking for before his career ends.

The Red Sox are willing to deal Marco Scutaro

The White Sox believe they can get Adam Dunn for 3-years and $45M

The Cubs want Cliff Lee, but so do the Nationals (Yankees and Rangers are the front-runners)

Looks as if the expanded playoffs will start in 2012, the meeting on this topic will be held tomorrow

Monday, November 15, 2010

Manny still in Toronto?

According to internet reports, Manny Ramirez was in Toronto over the past week, and rumours are swirlling about why?

Roy Halladay has made it big time now, as he will be on the cover of a video game.

Buster Olney reports that Toronto may be the favourite to land Dan Uggla

The GM meetings start Tuesday with the first day of talks just between the 30 General Managers.  Wednesday, Bud Selig will address the group about many issues including instant replay and expanding the playoffs to 2 extra teams.  Most believe this new playoff format is built to be planned and inserted for the 2012 season, but other feel as if the players association may agree to have it in place for the 2011 (the UPCOMING) season.  Thursday, the owners, who will be in town for their own meetings, will address the GM's about all questions and concerns.

Some baseball executives feel that the free agent market is heating up.  Free agent were set to negotiate earlier then ever this season, which didn't really mean more action, just more planning to the process that it takes to get a deal done now a days.

Expect many deals and trades starting next week.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Now, the National League free agents

We covered the American League free agents, now it's the National League's turn.  Who's out there and what about them:

Diamonndbacks:
P Kris Benson - minors? comeback didn't work
P Mike Hampton - still around but not effective
P Aaron Heilman - Mets liked him as a closer?
1B Adam LaRoche - always plays good in 2nd half; won't be returning
P Rodrigo Lopez - pitched better then most thought
P Brandon Webb - all teams have called him about his health

Braves:
OF Rick Ankiel - had the 1 good year for the Cardinals; may have to DH
OF Melky Cabrera - falling fast and may have ticket to minors coming
P Kyle Farnsworth - throws hard and that's it
1B Troy Glaus - great first half numbers, then something happened
OF Eric Hinske - great bench guy; Orioles turn to get the AL East Beast
1B Derrek Lee - underwent surgery this off season but return to Cubs likely
P Takashi Saito - no command

Cubs:
OF Xavier Nady - a bust in Chicago; maybe goes to Houston

Reds:
INF Willie Bloomqvist - good bench guy; when did he end up with the Reds?
SS Orlando Cabrera - solid defence, can still hit
OF Jim Edmonds - had a few clutch hits for the Reds; DH looming?
INF Miguel Cairo - minors?
P Aaron Harang - can't win big games and loses more then he wins; not good
C Ramon Hernandez - solid player
P Mike Lincoln - minors?
P Arthur Rhodes - spectacular season out of bullpen; helps Chapman too
P Russ Springer - minors

Rockies:
P Joe Beimel - once thought of as specialist; not now
P Jorge De La Rosa - Yankees and Red Sox in pursuit
P Octavio Dotel - traded 3 times last year; Blue Jays?
P Jeff Francis - hopefully ends up on Jays; good Canadian content
1B Jason Giambi - will find work
3B Melvin Mora - 7 kids so needs city big enough
OF Jay Payton - minors

Marlins:
P Will Ohman - good bullpen guy
P Jorge Sosa - throws hard and doesn't know where its going
3B Chad Tracy - not really a factor anymore

Astros:
INF Geoff Blum - will sign with D'Backs according to reports
P Brian Moehler - minors maybe

Dodgers:
C Brad Ausmus - wants to play 1 more year; doubt it
C Rod Barajas - just can't seem to stay with one team
OF Reed Johnson - back trouble has slowed him down
P Hiroki Kuroda - solid number 4 starter
P Vicente Padilla - made a ton of money recently for really nothing
OF Scott Podsednik - speed, speed, speed
P Jeff Weaver - not anywhere near his brothers talents

Brewers:
P David Bush - first time free agent always talk about at the deadline
P Chris Capuano - comeback was good
SS Craig Counsell - always plays hard
P Doug Davis - health an issue; good when hes good
P Trevor Hoffman - hoping a team gives him the chance to close
C Gregg Zaun - wants to play for Tampa again

Mets:
C Henry Blanco - good back up
P Elmer Dessens - minors
P Kelvim Escobar - career over
P Pedro Feliciano - might return to Mets
INF Fernando Tatis - too old now

Phillies:
P Jose Contreras - had great season for Phillies; can still pitch out of bullpen
P Chad Durbin - good long relief guy
P J.C Romero - never the same after the suspension
1B Mike Sweeney - pretty much done
OF Jayson Werth - best free agent outfielder; Phillies want answer soon

Pirates:
P Chan Ho Park - might head back to Japan

Cardinals:
3B Pedro Feliz - not the same player anymore
C Jason LaRue - minors
P Mike MacDougal - minors
2B Aaron Miles - always ends up back with the Cards
P Brad Penny - injuries played a part in inconsistent season
P Dennys Reyes - not a factor
P Jeff Suppan - won't make the $10M plus he made last season (Brewers gave it to him)
P Jake Westbrook - wants to re-sign and they want him back
OF Randy Winn - good bench guy

Padres:
P Kevin Correia - made some good  money but wasn't the ace
2B David Eckstein - great guy and consistent
P Jon Garland - tremendous season but should stay in city with big park
INF Jerry Hairston - average player
OF Matt Stairs - more interested in hockey now
3B Miguel Tejada - rebounded nicely from slow start; not worth a gamble though
C Yorvit Torrealba - a fire cracker waiting to go off
P Chris Young - made over $6M last season and will get a minor league deal now

Giants (World Champs):
OF Pat Burrell - struck out in half his at-bats in playoffs
OF Jose Guillen - under investigation; but comes cheap now
1B Aubrey Huff - wants to return to the Bay
P Guillermo Mota - minors
SS Edgar Renteria - wants to retire for Marlins or Cardinals
3B Juan Uribe - going to get a good contract, but shouldn't

Nationals:
P Miguel Batista - calls himself the Riddler ; enough said
1B Adam Dunn - Cubs have called and will make big money
OF Willie Harris - nice player at his age
2B Adam Kennedy - minors
OF Kevin Mench - minors

Friday, November 12, 2010

So, just who are the free agents in the AL?

With all the rumours in full affect, who are these free agent rumours really about?

Here are the current free agents in the American League:

Orioles:
P Mark Hendrickson - might find it tough to find a job
SS Cesar Izturis - good defence
2B Julio Lugo - has dropped big time in field and plate
P Kevin Millwood - made over $8M last year (minor-league deal coming?)
OF Corey Patterson - minors?
P Koji Uehara - could be a closer of the future; maybe Rays?
1B Ty Wigginton - not sure why he wasn't traded at deadline


Red Sox:
3B Adrian Beltre - big time free agent this year; agent Boras will be happy!
2B Bill Hall - nice role player
3B Felipe Lopez - trouble maker
1B Mike Lowell - might finally retire
C Victor Martinez - may get a rich deal with the Yankees?
C Jason Varitek - Blue Jays will be a calling?

White Sox:
P Freddy Garcia - amazing that he's still good on the mound
OF Andruw Jones - comeback year; still thinks he could hit 30 HR
1B Paul Konerko - good player and good person; couple more good seasons ahead
DH Mark Kotsay - very superstitious
C A.J. Pierzynski - not known as a great teammate
P J.J. Putz - should be the closer somewhere
OF Manny Ramirez - rumoured to already be partying in Toronto

Tigers:
P Jeremy Bonderman - solid number 4
OF Johnny Damon - true to his word, wants to stay in Detroit
C Gerald Laird - good piece to a championship team
OF Magglio Ordonez - great pick up for any team; Rays?
P Bobby Seay - solid reliever

Royals:
P Bruce Chen - minors?
P Brian Bannister - minors?

Angels:
DH Hideki Matsui - hard to believe he's a free agent
P Scot Shields - used to be solid, not now?

Twins:
P Jesse Crain - the Canadian will fit in with an already good bullpen somewhere
P Randy Flores - good, not great
P Brian Fuentes - ex-closer may be losing a bit on ball
P Matt Guerrier - once thought of as potential closer, not now
2B Orlando Hudson - always has trouble finding a team?
P Ron Mahay - always seems to be dealt
P Carl Pavano - Dodgers have already expressed interest
3B Nick Punto - Cubs interested
P Jon Rauch - will find a job
DH Jim Thome - Future Hall-of Famer needs another good fit; just stay in Minny Jim

Yankees:
DH Lance Berkman - A's like him; did nothing after the deal form Astros for NYY
SS Dererk Jeter - will stay a Yankees; done deal; seal that!
DH Nick Johnson - Cubs, Nationals, injuries!!
OF Austin Kearns - good first half for the Indians in 2010, that's it
C Chad Moeller - OK defence
P Andy Pettitte - make a decision
P Mariano Rivera - will stay; for how much though
DH Marcus Thames - seems to only hit home runs
P Javier Vazquez - didn't pitch well for the first time in a while
P Kerry Wood - Cubs want him back

Athletics:
3B Eric Chavez - career almost over with injuries
P Justin Duchscherer - great when on mound, not there much though
P Ben Sheets - $10M bust last off season; should rebound this year

Mariners:
C Josh Bard - back up at best
P Erik Bedard - wants to pitch again; but will he ever be healthy?
1B Russell Branyan - basically chalk up 30 homers and a ton of strikeouts
SS Chris Woodward - minors
P Jamey Wright - minors

Rays:
DH Rocco Baldelli - returned from who knows where and did OK
P Grant Balfour - solid bullpen help
P Joaquin Benoit - great season. great surprise, Yankees will come calling
P Randy Choate - not very effective now
OF Carl Crawford - Angels feel like they are the favourites to land him
OF Brad Hawpe - just a name now; was brutal last season
1B Carlos Pena - has come a long way from his Tiger days
P Chad Qualls - should find major league work
P Rafael Soriano - excellent season, but not great with teammates
P Dan Wheeler - made over $4M last year; not going to happen again

Rangers:
INF Jorge Cantu - acquired from Marlins and had no RBI for over a month; YIKES
P Frank Francisco - once thought of as a future closer
DH Vladimir Guererro - team declined the option, but do they want him back?
INF Cristian Guzman - not a factor after trade from Nats
P Cliff Lee - the best pitcher available will be a Yankee; thanks for the memories
C Bengie Molina - knows the game and can still hit and catch a bit
C Matt Treanor - minors

Blue Jays:
C John Buck - Red Sox love him
P Scott Downs - Yankees wanted him but Giants do too
P Jason Frasor - might have trouble finding work unless takes pay cut from $2.5M
P Kevin Gregg - options declined, will find work but as a closer?
C Miguel Olivo - dealt to the Jays then option not picked up; should be a Jay though
1B Lyle Overbay - Diamondbacks want him
OF Dewayne Wise - great bench guy and can play all outfield positions
P Brian Tallet - minors?

Could be more to come depending if teams designate players to the minors and they don't accept OR teams decide to not offer arbitration to a player with 3-6 years of service, making them free agents.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

We have a trade

The offseason is officially here, and not because the Gold Gloves were announced.  The Royals finally traded, and I say finally because he was hurt before the deadline and had been rumoured to be going to Boston for months before the injury, David DeJesus to the Athletics for two pitchers.

The Royals will acquire pitcher Vin Mazzaro and pitcher Justin Marks in the deal.

DeJesus played in only 91 games last season due to injury, but still hit .318 with 112 hits and 37 RBI.  In his career, DeJesus has hit .289 with 501 runs scored, 61 home runs, 390 RBI and 47 stolen bases in the 8 seasons.

He will be a free agent after this upcoming season; something the A's just absolutely love.  Only it backfired with the Ben Sheets signings last year.

Other news:

The Red Sox are going after catcher John Buck according to reports.

The Yankees brass are meeting Cliff Lee, almost as I write this.

MLBTR feels the Blue Jays and Magglio Ordonez may be a fit.

Another story has Kerry Wood returning to the Cubs, that's a few sources that have heard that now.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Let the games begin

The free agency period is now open for the GM's and players to start their negotiating.  Not much has happened so far, as teams still need to decide if they will offer arbitration to their own free agents.

The Tigers got things started, signing INF Jhonny Peralta to a 2-year / $11.25M contract.  The Tigers acquire Peralta from the Indians, to help the offence with injuries killing the club (Inge, Ordonez), but it didn't make a difference as the Tigers stumbled most of the season.

The Tigers had just recently declined his $7.25M option for next season, but had said publicly they wanted him back.

Other news:

The Yankees have already contacted Cliff Lee's agent according to an AP story on Boston.com.

The Cubs are looking at bringing in Adam Dunn. Aubrey Huff or Victor Martinez, according to the Chicago Tribune

Rays fans know that Carl Crawford is all but gone, the Angels seem to really want him, more the Yankees.

Paul Hoynes, from the Cleveland Plain dealer, looks at the questions of if a General Manager should have played the game.  New Indians GM Chris Antonetti never played.

The LA Times looks at Carl Pavano going to the Dodgers and Carl Crawford to the Angels.

Will Edgar Renteria stay with the Giants, after announcing he won't retire?

Cardinals GM John Mozeliak thinks he may find offence through trades.

The Cubs want Kerry Wood back according to reports

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

What happens during a mound discussion?

TheScore.com and Cabbie investigate the dialogue when a mound visit occurs.

The Option Game

Not a pretty situation for players now a days, with teams making decisions with tighter budgets, more player options are not being picked up.  Players, that once thought that their deal was say a 3-year / $18M contract is turning into a 2-year / $10, thus, $8M they once thought would be guaranteed, is not, and they are now free agents.

Players options not picked up today: (would have made $$ in 2011 in brackets)

Rockies C Miguel Olivo ($2M plus)

Rockies P Jeff Francis ($7M)

Rays P Dan Wheeler ($4M)

Rays INF Willy Aybar ($2.2M)

Padres P Chris Young ($8.5M)

Rockies P Octovio Dotel ($4.5M)

Rangers OF Vladimir Guerrero ($9M)

Nationals 2B Adam Kennedy ($2M)

Reds P Aaron Harang ($12.75M)

Reds SS Orlando Cabrera ($4M)

Mariners P Erik Bedard ($8M)

Mariners 2B Jose Lopez (still arbitration eligible)

Mariners 1B Russell Branyan ($5M)

A's 3B Eric Chavez ($12.5M)

Picked Up:

Mets SS Jose Reyes ($11.5M)

A's 2B Mark Ellis ($6M)

Exercise Player Option:

Cubs 3B Aramis Ramirez (over $14M)

Elected to decline option:

Red Sox 3B Adrian Beltre ($10M)

Let the offseason begin!

So the World Series is over, and usually fans have to sit through a 15 day waiting period and wait for player to file for free agency.  Not this year though.

Very quietly, the players association and the owners decided to skip the filing process for free agents this season, and now, the players, who's contracts are up, will automatically become one.  The catch, players will have a small window (5-days) to negotiate a contract with the current club before being open to the highest bidders.

Also, options are being decided on much quicker then usual, since teams have a small window on those decisions as well.

Today, for example, the Athletics declined their option on Eric Chavez and picked up the option on Coco Crisp, where yesterday, the Braves picked up the option on Alex Gonzalez, but also sign Scott Proctor to a new deal.

Teams are ready to do business and are ready to wheel and deal.

The first GM get-together is scheduled for November 16th.  142 free agents to date will be on the market, and names like Adrian Beltre, Cliff Lee and Derek Jeter are part of that list.

Many expect the GM's to go after pitching, as many believe the Giants made it as far as they did in the regular season, and of course, the World Series, due to the pitching they had.  Lee will be in high demand, and it was only a few years ago, he was pitching in Buffalo, struggling in the big league rotation with the Indians.  Weird.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Batting Gloves and the Jays

Cabbie, from the score.com talks to Jose Bautista, Vernon Wells and Aaron Hill about the use of the batting gloves.  The Jays comment and wonder where Cabbie is going with this!

Brewers in the news

The Milwaukee Brewers made some news today, announcing that the team has decided to not pickup the options on catcher Gregg Zaun, pitcher Trevor Hoffman and pitcher Doug Davis.

Zaun: made $1.9 million this past season, but injured his shoulder early in the season and elected for surgery.  He hit .265 with 2 home runs and 14 RBI in only 28 games.  Not bad for the almost 2 million!

Hoffman: recorded his 600th save as a Brewer, which just doesn't seem right.  Rookie John Axford took over his job as the closer and did a pretty good job handling the duties.  Hoffman on the season went 2-7, with a 5.89 ERA.  He recorded 10 saves in 15 chances.  Axford had 24 saves in 27 chances and a 2.48 ERA.  Hoffman may wind up playing again, but his days may be numbered.

Oh by way, Hoffman took in $7.5 million this past season

Davis: was a free agent bust, signing a 1-year deal for $4.25 million.  After posting 203 innings in 2009 with the Diamondbacks, Davis compiled only 38 innings in 2010 with 1 win to show for his efforts as he had health issues all season.

2011 Options:

Zaun: $2.2M
Hoffman: $7M
Davis: $6.5M

Total buyouts: $2M