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Thursday, November 27, 2014

Jon Lester has plenty of options in addition to Red Sox - Sports - The Boston Globe

Nick Cafardo runs down what is currently known about the Lester sweepstakes.

Jim Furtado Posted: November 27, 2014 at 08:25 AM | 2 comment(s)
  Beats: free agents, jon lester, red sox

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Yankees won’t get into bidding war for Chase Headley: source - NY Daily News

Why would they? They are already paying third baseman Alex Rodriguez $22 million.

Jim Furtado Posted: November 26, 2014 at 08:25 AM | 12 comment(s)
  Beats: chase headley, free agents, yankees

Boston Red Sox owner John Henry hopeful on re-signing Jon Lester, says team willing to exceed luxury tax - ESPN Boston

The Red Sox aren’t restricted by the luxury tax.

“The way it’s structured, you can blow through [the threshold] one year,’’ Henry said. “Again, for next year we have tremendous flexibility, so we could go through for one year. It would not overly affect us [trying to re-sign Lester], but we’re hopeful.’‘

The Sox owner left no doubt that the homegrown Lester remains the team’s No. 1 target.

Red Sox owner John Henry, seen here saying goodbye after Jon Lester was traded to the A’s, said a large part of the team’s presentation to the free agent focused on “finishing that legacy he started.”
“Obviously we’re doing everything we can to sign a top-tier pitcher, Jon Lester,’’ he said. “And hopefully he’ll come back.’‘

Jim Furtado Posted: November 26, 2014 at 08:19 AM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: free agents, jon lester, red sox

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Kap: Cubs have made ‘significant’ offer to Jon Lester | CSN Chicago

“What I’m hearing is the Chicago Cubs have made a significant offer - significant north of $135 million,” Kaplan said.

Kap also said he’s hearing the Cubs’ offer would be for six years.

Jim Furtado Posted: November 25, 2014 at 06:17 PM | 4 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs, free agents, jon lester

School of Roch: Melky Cabrera a “fallback option” for the Orioles

Can anyone make a case for Markakis getting more money from a team other than the Orioles?

So how do you feel about Melky Cabrera?
I’m just curious, since I’ve heard from multiple people that he’s a “fallback option” for the Orioles if they can’t re-sign Nick Markakis. His name has been discussed. He’s on the radar, as the kids say.

Jim Furtado Posted: November 25, 2014 at 09:09 AM | 29 comment(s)
  Beats: free agents, melky cabrera, nick markakis, orioles

Monday, November 24, 2014

Which Pablo Sandoval Did the Red Sox Buy | FanGraphs Baseball

I looked at Sandoval in the postseason, and if you ignore power results — and you should, because power becomes stable only in really large samples — there’s no difference between Regular Season Pablo and Postseason Pablo. Maybe he swings at a few more fastballs. But really you should probably bet on Pablo to be more like his 3533 regular season plate appearances than his 167 postseason ones.
—-
Because the biggest, broadest definition of Pablo Sandoval is that of a three-to-four win third baseman, the deal probably makes sense. That isn’t to say that he isn’t without risk. And yes, most free agent deals come with risk, but this one seems to come with more than most. His size, his position, his skills at the plate, and his reputation — all of these things bring with them hefty asterisks.

Jim Furtado Posted: November 24, 2014 at 03:06 PM | 6 comment(s)
  Beats: free agents, giants, pablo sandoval, red sox

Sandoval agrees to Red Sox deal, as Boston looks for free agent sweep - CBSSports.com

Heyman is reporting the deal is done. Other media reports say the deal isn’t.

Pablo Sandoval has agreed to to a Red Sox deal, completing what appears to be a stunning free agent double play.

Sandoval will receive close to $100 million for five years, people familiar with the deal say, following news Hanley Ramirez is close to a deal with Boston, as well. The Red Sox were reported by the Boston Globe to have originally offered $95 million, but they may have gone up a bit from there.

Jim Furtado Posted: November 24, 2014 at 11:15 AM | 34 comment(s)
  Beats: free agents, giants, pablo sandoval, red sox

The High Risk of Free Agent Position Players - Beyond the Box Score

Overall, signing positional players to 5+ year deals has not worked out well, and teams have generally overpaid compared to market rates for Wins. Teams would be better off signing mid-tier players to fewer than five years, or spending the money on the pitching market instead. A long-term deal with a positional player free agent is unlikely to be the significant value teams hope it will be—buyer beware.

Jim Furtado Posted: November 24, 2014 at 07:30 AM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: free agents, sabermetrics

Boston Red Sox in talks to acquire free agent Hanley Ramirez - ESPN Boston

Get ready for the trades.

The Boston Red Sox, not content to wait for third baseman Pablo Sandoval’s decision as to whether he will sign with the club, reportedly have come to terms with Hanley Ramirez on what is expected to be in the range of a five-year, $90 million agreement, FoxSports.com reported Sunday.

Ramirez was set to arrive in Boston on Monday to finalize terms of the deal, according to the report.

Jim Furtado Posted: November 24, 2014 at 06:54 AM | 14 comment(s)
  Beats: free agents, hanley ramirez, red sox

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Astros interested in Robertson: source | New York Post

That’s a lot of coin for a closer.

Whether the Astros are willing to go hard enough to give Robertson the four-year contract he desires, for roughly $13 million per season, is unclear. What is clear is Houston has expressed a willingness, through its actions this offseason, to elevate its payroll after fielding some bargain-basement squads, and it also desperately needs relief help if it is to climb back into relevance.
...
As much as the Yankees like Robertson both personally and professionally, they have not expressed a willingness to guarantee four years to him. Last year, the Yankees let Cano walk rather than match the Mariners’ offer. The Yankees could be tested again by an unlikely suitor this time.

Jim Furtado Posted: November 23, 2014 at 09:02 AM | 18 comment(s)
  Beats: free agents, yankees

Pablo Sandoval leaning toward Red Sox, to decide next week — Padres have highest offer, all offers on table (including SF Giants’) - John Shea

I hear Pablo Sandoval has received his highest contract offer from the Padres but is leaning toward accepting an offer from the Red Sox, though events could change in a hurry.

Jim Furtado Posted: November 23, 2014 at 08:56 AM | 32 comment(s)
  Beats: blue jays, free agents, giants, pablo sandoval, padres, red sox

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Padres meet with free agent Pablo Sandoval | UTSanDiego.com

With their interest in Sandoval and Yasmany Tomas, it’s clear the Padres don’t mind bad bodies.

Jim Furtado Posted: November 22, 2014 at 08:41 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: free agents, pablo sandoval, padres, yasmany tomas

Red Sox offer for Pablo Sandoval might be in the lead - Sports - The Boston Globe

A major league source indicated the Red Sox’ five-year, $95 million offer may be in the lead over Sandoval’s offers from the San Francisco Giants and the San Diego Padres.

It’s not certain whether any of the teams have offered a sixth-year option.

Sandoval would like to make a decision soon. He visited the Red Sox Monday and Tuesday and came away with an offer.
...
During an interview with a San Francisco radio station on Thursday, Giants assistant general manager Bobby Evans expressed hope that Sandoval, one of the more popular Giants players, would return to the Bay Area. He also said Sandoval was likely to make his decision before Thanksgiving.

Jim Furtado Posted: November 22, 2014 at 07:54 AM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: blue jays, free agents, giants, pablo sandoval, red sox

Friday, November 21, 2014

MLB.com: White Sox Land Adam LaRoche With 2 Year/$25M Deal

The White Sox added a veteran power bat to mix with their young sluggers Friday evening, agreeing to a two-year, $25-million contract with first baseman Adam LaRoche, sources have told MLB.com.

The agreement was first reported by USA Today’s Bob Nightengale.

LaRoche, 35, is an 11-year Major League veteran who spent the past four seasons with the Nationals, hitting .259/.362/.455 with 26 home runs and 92 RBIs in 2014.

Guys the Pirates discarded years ago are the new market inefficiency? Evidently the White Sox believe so.


Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Predicting destinations, deals for free-agent hitters | MLB.com

Jim Duquette gets out the crystal ball. So far he’s 0-1.

Jim Furtado Posted: November 19, 2014 at 12:17 PM | 12 comment(s)
  Beats: free agents

Yankees likely won’t go to Max for Scherzer - NY Daily News

Despite recent buzz that the Bombers are considering a run at Max Scherzer, sources said the Yankees have not abandoned their plan to stay away from the top batch of free agents, looking instead at mid-level starting pitchers to bolster their rotation while continuing their search for a shortstop and third baseman.

The Daily News reported earlier this month that the Yankees did not plan to be players for the top free agents, and three weeks into the process, not much has changed.

Jim Furtado Posted: November 19, 2014 at 11:27 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: free agents, max scherzer, yankees

Jon Lester offer on table from Boston Red Sox - ESPN Boston

The checkbook is open!

Jim Furtado Posted: November 19, 2014 at 10:00 AM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: free agents, jon lester, red sox

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Athletics To Sign Billy Butler

Will fans end up celebrating, or Grieve-ing?

The Athletics have agreed to a three-year, $30MM deal with free agent DH Billy Butler, as first reported via Twitter by Robert Murray. ESPN.com’s Buster Olney reports that the deal is finalized.

The District Attorney Posted: November 18, 2014 at 11:53 PM | 50 comment(s)
  Beats: athletics, billy butler, free agents, transactions

White Sox To Sign Zach Duke

The White Sox will announce the signing of left-handed reliever Zach Duke later today, reports Dan Hayes of CSNChicago.com (Twitter link)...

Duke quietly had a dominant season in the Brewers’ bullpen in 2014, pitching to an electric 2.45 ERA with 11.4 K/9, 2.6 BB/9 and a 57.7 percent ground-ball rate. Opposing lefties hit just .198/.267/.302 against Duke last year, though righties couldn’t figure him out either, mustering a mere .242/.288/.298 against the well-traveled lefty… With Milwaukee, Duke’s velocity stepped up a tick to an average of 89.7 mph, and he began to throw more sliders and more curveballs at the expense of his changeup and four-seam fastball. With the Brewers, he relied primarily on a two-seamer, his slider and his curve, and he also dropped his arm slot to feature more of a sidearm delivery…

Duke’s contract is a multi-year deal, tweets Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports.

The District Attorney Posted: November 18, 2014 at 01:58 PM | 34 comment(s)
  Beats: free agents, transactions, white sox, zach duke

Might Yanks revisit their low-key winter plan and shoot for Scherzer? - CBSSports.com

I bet Boras is the one pushing this report.

The Yankees and Scherzer’s agent, Scott Boras, are said to have had a brief contact sometime since returning from the GM meetings, and word is the Yankees may “revisit” their inclination not to make any big expenditures this winter.

Jim Furtado Posted: November 18, 2014 at 08:05 AM | 12 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs, free agents, max scherzer, yankees

Monday, November 17, 2014


Sunday, November 16, 2014

Detroit Tigers say they won’t re-sign Torii Hunter

Feels like teams are rarely this straightforward about their intentions. I like it, though. Transparency!

Torii Hunter will likely continue to play baseball, but not with the Detroit Tigers.

Tigers general manager/president Dave Dombrowski told reporters today that he called Hunter to tell him he would not be pursued after the club agreed to a four-year contract with designated hitter Victor Martinez.

“I called and said it just didn’t look like it was going to fit the way the club was getting put together,” Dombrowski said. “Thanked him for everything. Absolutely love him. If something changes where we make some changes for one reason or another, that we’re not anticipating, we would still be open. It’s just probably not much of a fit right now.”...

Hunter posted on Instagram this evening: “I had a great 2yrs with the Tigers organization. Thank you fans for accepting and supporting me on the field and in your community. You fans were awesome and I’m gonna miss you guys. I’m glad Christ lead me to Detroit. Now, let’s see where He leads my career from here. Be blessed Detroit!!!”

Although his defensive play in right field showed signs of decline, Hunter hit .304 with 17 home runs and 84 RBIs as in 144 games for the Tigers in 2013 and hit .286 with 17 home runs and 83 RBIs in 142 games this past season…

Dombrowski said he was told Hunter “wants to go out there and play on an every day basis if he can and he thinks he might even be able to play for a couple of years. So in our situation, I said, ‘Probably not going to fit then at this point.’

The District Attorney Posted: November 16, 2014 at 05:55 PM | 21 comment(s)
  Beats: free agents, tigers, torii hunter

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Pirates Sign A.J. Burnett

A.J. was really terrible last year. He apparently loves Pittsburgh, and probably shouldn’t have left in the first place, especially since he seems to prioritize other things above money: constantly threatening to retire, and indeed taking less money to make this move. It’ll be interesting to see how he does in his preferred destination.

The Pirates announced that they have signed right-hander A.J. Burnett to a one-year deal. Jon Heyman of CBS Sports reports that the Frontline Athlete Management client will receive an $8.5MM guarantee (Twitter link)...

Burnett turned down a guaranteed $12.75MM from the Phils to take $4.25MM less and return to Pittsburgh… After posting a combined 3.41 ERA with 8.9 K/9 and 3.0 BB/9 in 393 1/3 innings as a Pirate, Burnett struggled in Philadelphia, posting a 4.59 ERA in 213 2/3 innings. Burnett’s walk rate spiked while his ground-ball and strikeout rates dipped, resulting in the inflated ERA and an NL-worst 18 losses (though the Phillies’ poor team performance obviously impacted that last number). Burnett pitched the entire season with a hernia that required offseason surgery — another likely factor in his 2014 struggles.

The District Attorney Posted: November 15, 2014 at 03:43 PM | 20 comment(s)
  Beats: a.j. burnett, free agents, pirates, transactions

Friday, November 14, 2014

Minor League Free Agents | MiLB.com

565 Minor League free agents—where they played in 2014, where they’re headed in 2015. We’ll be updating this list throughout the Hot Stove season.

Jim Furtado Posted: November 14, 2014 at 02:54 PM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: free agents, minor league free agents

Jon Lester would further solidify solid staff - Chicago Tribune

Thirteen pitchers have commanded contracts of $100 million or more, including two for C.C. Sabathia because of an opt-out clause he exercised. Clayton Kershaw’s seven-year, $215 million deal is the gold standard, followed by Justin Verlander ($180 million over seven years), Felix Hernandez ($175 million/seven), Sabathia ($161 million/seven), Masahiro Tanaka ($155 million/7), Zack Greinke ($147 million/six), Cole Hamels ($144 million/six), Johan Santana ($137.5 million/six), Matt Cain ($127.5 million/six), Barry Zito ($126 million/six), Sabathia ($122.5 million/five), Mike Hampton ($121 million/eight), Cliff Lee ($120 million/five) and Kevin Brown ($105 million/seven).

The jury is still out on many of those deals, but certainly Brown, Lee, Hampton and Santana didn’t work out, and Sabathia’s contract has become an albatross for the Yankees. Cain and Tanaka were injured this year, while Verlander no longer appears dominant.

The Red Sox have done studies to determine the characteristics in pitchers that make for better long-term investments — lefty vs. righty, power vs. finesse, what kind of delivery, etc.

“We do look at that. What we have found is the more predicted element at this point in their career is what they’ve done, not so much what they look like,” Cherington said. “Not to say what they look like or their delivery doesn’t matter. It does.

“But the track record is usually the best predictor. It just so happens that a lot of the available starting pitchers this offseason, at least toward the top of the market, have that very strong record of pitching a lot for a long period of time.”

Jim Furtado Posted: November 14, 2014 at 09:17 AM | 14 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs, free agents, jon lester, red sox

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