Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Blue Jays sign Dotel

The Blue Jays made news, but yet not officially via a team press report, signing closer Octavio Dotel to a 1-year contract for $2.75M.

The contract includes a $750,000 buyout for the 2012 season, making the deal worth $3.5M for next year. The deal will be announced when Dotel arrives in Dunedin, Florida for a physical sometime in the new year.

Dotel will be playing for his 5th team in the last 12 months, as he was traded from the Pirates to the Dodgers, who traded him to the Rockies in 2010.  He pitched for the White Sox in 2009.

In his career, Dotel has a 3.75 ERA and 49-43 record.  He has 105 career saves over his time with the Mets, Astros, Athletics, Yankees, Royals, Braves, White Sox, Dodgers, Rockies and Pirates.

The Blue Jays have basically replaced former closer Kevin Gregg, with the 37 year old veteran to take the ninth inning in 2011.

The Blue Jays bullpen, after losing Gregg and Downs to free agency, are now projected to look like this for 2011:

Closer: Octavio Dotel

Bullpen: Jason Frasor, Casey Janssen, David Purcey, Jesse Carlson, Shawn Camp, Josh Roenicke and possibly Marc Rzepczynski and newly acquired Carlos Villanueva.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Look at projected lineups

With many of the free agents signed, sealed and delivered, Extrabasehit looks at some of teams that made a splash this off season, and what the lineups will look like come 2011.

Washington Nationals:

1. CF - Nyjer Morgan
2. SS - Ian Desmond
3. 3B - Ryan Zimmerman
4. RF - Jayson Werth
5. C - Ivan Rodriguez
6. LF - Rick Ankiel
7. 1B - Michael Morse
8. 2B - Danny Espinosa
9. Pitchers spot

Now you can see why the Nationals were after Carlos Pena and are still in the mix for Adam LaRoche or Derrek Lee.  Getting another big bat in this lineup can actually allow the Nationals to consider themselves a possible surprise team in a NL East division that could be had.

Florida Marlins:

1. 2B - Omar Infante
2. 1B - Gaby Sanchez
3. SS - Hanley Ramirez
4. RF - Mike Stanton
5. C - John Buck
6. LF - Logan Morrison
7. 3B - Wes Helms
8. CF - Chris Coghlan
9. Pitcher spot

The trade of All-Star second baseman Dan Uggla creates a few holes in the lineup, although the John Buck signing will give the Marlins some of the power back.  Hanley Ramirez needs to avoid injury and Chris Coghlan needs to rebound from an injury plagued 2010 season.  Morrison and Stanton are going to be stars.

Oakland Athletics:

1. CF - Coco Crisp
2. 1B - Daric Barton
3. LF - David DeJesus
4. RF - Josh Willingham
5. DH - Hideki Matsui
6. 3B - Kevin Kouzmanoff
7. C - Kurt Suzuki
8. 2B - Mark Ellis
9. SS - Cliff Pennington

Many observers won't give the A's any credit come the 2011 season, but looking at this projected lineup, the Angels and Rangers may finally have some competition.

take us back to a month ago when...

the free agents were all still talking to clubs and no one had been signed.  Jim Bowden's takes us back to his picks, talking Jayson Werth (compares him to getting a Matt Holliday deal (check), Crawford going to the Red Sox (check!) and Orlando Hudson only getting a 1 year deal. (X)

Listen to the predictions:

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Brewers land Greinke

It what has to be a surprising move for the Brewers, they are the winners of the Zack Greinke sweepstakes, landing him from the Royals in a 6 player swap.


Heading to the Brewers will be pitcher Zack Greinke and SS Yuniesky Betancourt, while the Royals will receive outfielder Lorenzo Cain, shortstop Alcides Escobar, and 2 minor-league pitchers.

Greinke has been part of the Royals organization for the last 7 season, compiling a 60-67 record (thought his record was better with the pitchers he compared to, Halladay?) and a 3.82 ERA.  Greinke won the CY Young in 2009 with a 16-8 record and a 2.16 ERA, a year he was an all-star as well.

Milwaukee has now made to big moves this off season, sending Brett Lawrie to the Blue Jays before the winter meetings for Shaun Marcum.

The Brewers projected rotation now looks like:

1. Zack Greinke
2. Shaun Marcum
3. Yovani Gallardo
4. Randy Wolf
5. Chris Narveson

The rotation now gives them the chance to compete with the Central rivals, the Cardinals, and their top 3 of Chris Carpenter, Adam Wainwright and Jake Westbrook/Jaime Garcia

The Brewers gave up on potential stars in Escobar and Cain, but like most teams, they knew the Royals would ask for a lot, it would just be what team would actually bite, and the Brewers did.

Other news:

The Blue Jays and Yankees have to be thinking about another back up plan after Greinke is no longer available.

The Orioles are all set to announce a 3-year / $17M deal with 1B Adam LaRoche

The Brewers will now begin serious negotiations with 1B Prince Fielder on an extension with the attention of Greinke.

The Angels offer for 3B Adrian Beltre might reach the 5-year / $80M mark after incentives are added in.

Friday, December 17, 2010

All I want for Christmas is a brand new contract!

With Christmas only a week away are the current free agents starting to sweat a bit?  They have seen many players become even more rich, and they are still waiting for either the call or decision by teams to bring them Christmas cheer!

The Nationals gave Jayson Werth and his family an early Christmas gift ($127M) and Cliff Lee gave not only the Phillies an early gift, but the Red Sox as well, for taking Lee out of the AL EAST.

Here are some of the free agents left, and where they might end up.

3B Adrian Beltre - linked to the A's, Angels and Rangers, Boras wants big money

OF Andruw Jones - wants a multi-year deal; Rockies a fit

OF Manny Ramirez - trying to be the next Pedro Martinez, sign in June, but won't happen

P Jeremy Bonderman - nice fit on team to be 4th starter (Jays may call)

OF Johnny Damon - has talked to the Tigers, Red Sox and Dodgers

P Brian Fuentes - not even talked about, has really fallen fast as he watches Jesse Crain and Scott Downs make the money he wants (3-yrs and $13-15M)

P Carl Pavano - keeps saying he has 4 teams interested; Milwaukee the best fit?

P Ben Sheets - not getting the $10M surprise the A's gave him last season

OF Brad Hawpe - what happened to this guy? no one wants him now

P Rafael Soriano - waiting for a team that needs a closer to come calling, Baltimore and Pittsburgh are willing to pay, but he's waiting for a winner to call; only the Angels make sense

DH Vladimir Guerrero - wants to return to Rangers, money the issue

P Kevin Gregg - trying to decide between the Pirates (2-years / $11M) or Orioles (2-years / $12M)

1B Adam LaRoche - has been talking to Nationals

P Jeff Francis - Blue Jays and Yankees might take a chance on the Canadian

P Brad Penny - Tigers are close to a deal

Who might send a Christmas Card?

Yankees - Bill Hall
Twins - Jim Thome
Blue Jays - Marcus Thames
Rockies - Austin Kearns
Yankees - Grant Balfour
Marlins  -Jorge Cantu
Mets - Troy Glaus
Mets - David Bush
Pirates - Brandon Webb
Blue Jays - Josh Bard
Nationals - Derrek Lee
Blue Jays - Octovio Dotel
Blue Jays Andy LaRoche

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Canseco ready for a comeback?

Jose Canseco has been on twitter tonight, and his recent tweet of "Check out my bat speed" and "I have been working hard I am ready to play just need a team" might mean he's ready for a return, but a return to what league?

Encarnacion is Back!

The Blue Jays made a move today, bringing back third baseman Edwin Encarnacion, who they traded last month to the Athletics.

In a bizarre string of events, the Jays traded Edwin to the A's to almost get out of the arbitration decision a couple a days before the deadline.  If the Jays or A's had offered arbitration to Edwin, his salary would have been possibly a slight raise on the $5M plus he made last year.  Instead, the Jays traded him to an Oakland team, that decided to not offer him arbitration.

Becoming a free agent basically cost him millions, but the Jays like the upside offensively, and have brought him back on a 1-year / $2.5M deal to play first and maybe DH.  He will split time with Adam Lind at first and play a little third as well.

News:

It looks like the Jays and Mariners may hook up again on a deal for a reliever.  Foxsports.com had reported that David Aardsma is available?

The Cubs had been rumoured all along to be thinking about Kerry Wood's return to Chicago.

The D'Backs deal with OF Xavier Nady is for $1.75M.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Phillies to sign Lee; Overbay signs

The Phillies have a friendly face back in the mix, as they have signed Cliff Lee to an 5-year / $120M deal.  Leaving more money on the table from the Rangers and Yankees, Lee likes familiarity, and he has that with the Phillies, plus Roy Oswalt and Roy Halladay.

What does this mean for the Rangers and Yankees.  It means the Rangers are big trouble and will probably overspend on someone else, and it means that the Yankees are finally finding out that money isn't everything.  Big wake up call for them.  Is Zack Greinke the next on their list?  I'm sure the Royals are calling.

News:

The Pirates have spent some money again this offseason, signing former Jays 1B Lyle Overbay to a 1-year deal for almost $5M.

The Athletics have signed former A's pitcher, and Canadian, Rich Harden to a 1-year deal, according to reports.  The A's have said that there is no deal to announce at this time though.

The Yankees have signed pitcher Mark Prior a 1-year deal, with an invitation to spring training.

The Pirates are trying to move Ryan Doumit, but,

The Pirates opening day lineup may actually look like this:

1. CF Andrew McCutchen
2. LF Jose Tabata
3. 3B Pedro Alvarez
4. C Ryan Doumit
5. 2B Neil Walker
6. RF Garrett Jones
7. 1B Lyle Overbay ($5M per season)
8. SS Ronny Cedeno
9. PItcher spot

Bench: OF Matt Diaz, OF John Bowker, 1B Steve Pierce, C Chris Snyder

Friday, December 10, 2010

Downs off to the Angels

Former Blue Jays reliever, Scott Downs is heading west, as the Angels have signed him to a 3-year / $15M deal.  The deal was first reported by Foxsports.com, but has been confirmed by members of the Angels.

The Blue Jays have now lost Jeremy Accardo, Kevin Gregg and Scott Downs from their bullpen.

The Angels have a young bullpen, but now have Fernando Rodney and Scott Downs to sort out the eight and nine innings.

Last season, Downs went 5-5, with a 2.64 ERA.

News and Rumours:

After striking out on Carl Crawford, would the Angels ever consider trading for the Cubs Alfonso Soriano or Jays Vernon Wells?  If they were offering Crawford a 7-year / $105M contract, would they consider taking a current contract now, that is in that range?

Cliff Lee has a 7-year / $161M offer from the Yankees, and CC Sabathia's and his wife are trying to recruit the Lee family into coming to New York.  The Rangers Tommy Hunter is doing the same for Texas.  Hum....Sabathia vs Hunter?

Adrian Beltre is apparently weighing offers from the Athletics, Angels, Orioles and Marlins.  Hos agent, Scott Boras, has hinted it may take 5-years and $80M to get a deal done.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Red Sox sign Carl Crawford

In a shocking development tonight, the Red Sox have signed the best free agent outfielder on the market, Carl Crawford, to a 7-year / $142M deal.

Crawford becomes the highest paid outfielder in MLB history and will join forces with the likes of 1B Adrian Gonzalez, DH David Ortiz, CF Jacoby Ellsbury, 2B Dustin Pedroia, OF J.D. Drew and 3B Kevin Youkilis.  What a lineup.

What does this mean for the Angels and Yankees?  Well simple, the Angels, who thought they had Crawford signed as well, will have to go in another direction, Beltre, and the Yankees must sign Cliff Lee, and soon!!

Rays trade SS Jason Bartlett - We Think!!

With Tampa feeling like their good years may be behind them with the official departure of first baseman Carlos Pena to the Cubs, and the news that Carl Crawford is close to a deal with the Yankees or Angels, they traded shortstop Jason Bartlett to the Padres for 2 minor league players.

*UPDATE* The Rays have said they have no comment on the now, proposed deal.  Stay tuned..

10:31 PM ET: still no update at all on the potential Bartlett deal.

The Rays are also shopping Matt Garza to teams, but have not received very good offers at all.

News:

The Yankees have offered free agent P Cliff Lee a 6-year / $140M contract according to reports.

Magglio Ordonez worked out today for teams in Florida.  Baltimore did not attend the workouts.

Zack Greinke is still a member of the Kansas City Royals, and even the Marlins tried to make a play for him, in a 3-team trade involving the Rangers.

Vladimir Guerrero may sign with the Athletics, if they don't have Hideki Matsui on the team already.

The Mariners have signed DH Jack Cust to a contract.

The White Sox re-signed 1B Paul Konerko to a 3-year deal for $37.5M

Brandon Webb may still sign with the Pirates, according to several sources

The Blue Jays and Rockies have apparently opened discussions again with the Rangers for 3B Michael Young.

The Twins and 4 other teams have talked to P Carl Pavano

The Pirates have added ex-Jays pitchers Jeremy Accardo and now Kevin Gregg to the top of their wish list.  Several reports suggest that Gregg has a sweat deal on the table to close + make some cash.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Meetings in full swing

The General Manager meetings are really living up to the hype this year.  Let's recap the rumours, deals and signings.

The meetings started with the ridicules signing by the Nationals, who signed outfielder Jayson Werth to a 7-year / $126M deal.  They really over paid for a guy who didn't even have 100 RBI last season.  Leading the league in doubles gets you that much.  Bigger park as well = 20 home runs, maybe?

The Red Sox acquired 1B Adrian Gonzalez from the Padres for 3 minor-leagers.  They signed him to a reported 7-year / $150M contract extension as well.

The Yankees officially signed Derek Jeter to a 3-year deal

The Brewers acquire P Shaun Marcum from the Blue Jays for top prospect Brett Lawrie

The Rockies signed Ty Wigginton to a 2-year / $7.5M deal

The Orioles acquired 3B Mark Reynolds from the D'Backs

The Cardinals made a weird choice to sign Lance Berkman for $8M and said he would play the outfield.

The Padres signed Aaron Harang to a 1-year deal for $3.5M

Arizona signed 3B Melvin Mora to a 1-year deal for $2M

Other News

The Dodgers are close to trading 1B James Loney to the Nationals

The Brewers may deal Prince Fielder to the Dodgers

The Padres may sign 1B Derrek Lee and P Kevin Correia

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Red Sox get their man

With news that Adrian Gonzalez was on a flight to Boston for a physical, the rumoured deal that would send prospects to the Padres is a done deal.

The all-star first baseman is a bargain this upcoming season, due to make just over $5.5M, but was looking for a Ryan Howard ($25M per season) type of deal, and the Padres just weren't going to do that.

The Red Sox had been rumoured, for almost 2 seasons, of getting Gonzalez, and now they have their man. Gonzalez, since 2006, has hit, 24, 30, 36, 40, and 31 home runs and is a career. 284 hitter.  He will thrive in Boston and likely hit .300 with 40 home runs and 100 RBI easy. 

The bigger story is the fate of the Padres, who surprised all of baseball this past season with their play.  The team is basically being dismantled, and if closer Heath Bell is traded, the team will have no chance of competing.  Are they on the same path as the NFL's Chargers?  Out of town soon?

News:

The Yankees and Derek Jeter have agreed to a 3-year / $51M deal, according to the NY Post.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Blue Jays make a deal

On a day that was a lot quieter than yesterday, the Blue Jays were again in the news acquiring reliever Carlos Villanueva from the Brewers for a player to be named later.

Last season for the Brewers, Villanueva appeared in 50 games, all in relief, and was 2-0, with a 4.61 ERA.  He recorded 22 walks and 67 strikeouts in 52.2 innings pitched.  He will basically fill the void left by Kevin Gregg for now, but will not be the closer.  Villanueva in his 5 year career, all with the Brewers is 20-24, with a 4.34 ERA and has started 27 games, including 6 last season.

Other news:

The Yankees have re-sign Mariano Rivera to a 2-year / $30M deal, all that remains is the physical.  They are also getting closer on a Jeter deal, according to the NY Post.  They may have upped the offer to $52M over the 3 years.

Rumours have resurfaced about a deal regarding the Padres 1B Adrian Gonzalez.  The Red Sox brass have met with Adrian Beltre's agent (Boras) and Jayson Werth's people, and came out of the meetings talking about acquiring Gonzalez??and maybe Heath Bell as well, we shall see! Who might go to the Padres?

The Winter Meetings officially start Monday, but most of the GM's are apparently heading to Florida Saturday, and why not.  For this reason will more deals be made?  Probably.

Cliff Lee wants a new deal during the winter meetings, the Rangers have offered a 5th year, but with Rivera out of the way and a new Jeter deal close, the Yankees will offer the 6th season and that should do the trick.

Could there by a mystery team in the Crawford sweepstakes.  The Red Sox and Angels are the favourites, but would Toronto actually bid over $100M for him to come to the big smoke?

The Dodgers have wasted no time after non-tendering catcher Russell Martin, signing former Blue Jays catcher, Rod Barajas to a 1-year deal worth $3.25M.  Meanwhile, Russell Martin would return to the Dodgers in a utility role (2B or 3B?) according to the LA Times

The Orioles offered Adam Dunn a 4-year / $40M deal, only to find out that the White Sox offered $56M over the same term, according to the Baltimore Sun

Non-tender day

Another day of crazy baseball rules has come and gone, and a new list of free agents are upon us.  Today, teams had a deadline to offer contracts to players that still needed to be offered arbitration as players with 3-6 years of service time.  The players, such as the White Sox closer Bobby Jenks, have to be tendered a contract or else they become a free agent.  The Athletics, for example, traded for Edwin Encarnacion a few weeks back, only to non-tender him today.  By doing this, the A's don't have any ties to him now, and he essentially becomes a free agent. 

The negative to this is on the player, since if tender, they would be guaranteed a contract for next season (and couldn't be paid anything less then 20% of their salary from last season)

So, Encanacion went from thinking he was making $5M to being a free agent, that might not find another job!!

Other notable non-tenders include:

Mets P John Maine
Dodgers C Russell Martin
Braves OF Matt Diaz
Blue Jays OF Fred Lewis
Blue Jays P Jeremy Accardo
Rays P Lance Cormier
A's DH Jack Cust

Other Notes:

The White Sox signed Adam Dunn to a 4-year deal, expected to be announced Friday

The Yankees have re-signed closer Mariano Rivera to a 2-year / $30M contract.  Apparently though, teams like the Angels and Red Sox made offers, with the Red Sox offering 3-years and maybe up to $50M.

The White Sox re-signed catcher A.J. Pierzynski to a 2-year deal for $8M, this after a report surfaced that he signed with the Jays.

The Orioles have reportedly offered Paul Konerko a 4-year / $75M deal.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Berkman has made a choice, no contract yet though

Lance Berkman, one of the most sought after DH's  / first basemen of the off season, has apparently picked the Rockies as his new home, according to the Denver Post.  No contract has been signed, but Berkman likes the idea of playing a position still instead of just being the DH in the AL.

The Orioles have made Paul Konerko a very "large" offer, one many in Baltimore feel he won't reject.  They wanted Mark Teixeira a few years back, so this doesn't surprise too many people.  He if rejects this, Adam Dunn will be their next target.

The Yankees will up their offer to $50M over the 3 years according to multiple reports.  The deal will be done soon, but Mariano Rivera is waiting, and the Rangers have apparently made an official offer to Cliff Lee.  The Yankees need to get a move on things, since Lee really doesn't want o be a Yankee, only if the money does the talking.

Other News:

The Giants have re-signed OF Pat Burrell to a 1-year contract, according to multiple sources.  The deal is expected to be in the range of $3-5 million with incentives

The Blue Jays Jason Frasor could make up to $3.5M after accepting the offer or arbitration.

The Giants quickly made up their minds on a short stop after the Dodgers over paid to get Juan Uribe for $21M over 3 years.  Miguel Tejada was next on their list, and got way more then many expected.  Especially from the point of last year when he couldn't hit a beach ball for the Orioles.

Winter Meetings start Monday, and many expect a flurry of deals and signings.  Every year, writers predict this, but this season will be different many believe.