Where will Josh Hamilton end up?
Major League Baseball free agency is in full swing as agents can begin negotiating with teams on behalf of their players.
Players like Josh Hamilton, Michael Bourn, Zack Greinke and Dan Haren are all available. The only question is, where will they end up?
Here's a look at the latest signings, targets and rumors on the Hot Stove this week. Be sure to come back all this week for updates.
Anibal Sanchez is commanding a big payday this offseason.
There are some players who think they're worth more than they really are. Then there are some players who think they're worth outrageously more money than they really are.
Anibal Sanchez is one of those players.
According to Jon Heyman of CBS Sports, Sanchez thinks he's worth at least $90 million over six years.
anibal sanchez's price going up? he asked 1 team for $90M, 6 yrs, and another about $100M, 7 yrs.— Jon Heyman (@JonHeymanCBS) November 9, 2012
For a guy who went 9-13 with a 3.86 ERA and a 1.267 WHIP with the Florida Marlins and Detroit Tigers, that's simply ludicrous.
However, with such a shallow free-agent market for staring pitchers this year, Sanchez just might get that type of money, although I'm not sure about the years.
Remember Jaret Wright signing a three-year, $21 million deal with the Yankees? Sanchez falls into the same category.
The only difference is, Wright was coming off a 15-8 season with the Braves with a 3.28 ERA.
Joel Sherman of the New York Post reports that the New York Mets won't trade first baseman Ike Davis.
The first baseman was widely considered a player that could be traded, with Lucas Duda moving from left field to take over at first. However, the Mets have decided against that.
But even before Duda broke his wrist last month, the Mets had determined to put him in left, keep Davis at first and hope the duo would provide 50-plus, maybe 60-plus homers from the left side.
If this does indeed remain the case, the Mets will now turn their attention to signing a free agent for their outfield.
Joakim Soria is garnering interest from eight teams.
UPDATE: Nov. 9
The Red Sox have also checked in on Joakim Soria, according to Fox Sports writer Jon Paul Morosi.
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Joakim Soria has received interest from eight teams, according to Andrew Marchand of ESPN New York.
However, Soria and his agent (Oscar Suarez) haven't heard from the team Soria would most like to go to—the New York Yankees.
Why the Yankees? Because Mariano Rivera is Soria's idol.
"If the Yankees call, we will be all ears," Soria's agent, Oscar Suarez, said by phone Monday. "If there is a fit, Joakim would be elated to work with Mo. He would close everywhere except there."
Soria is coming off Tommy John Surgery and it is not known has his elbow will do in 2012. However, as Suarez points out, "It is not like we are dealing with a guy who is 38. He is 28."
Now, the ball is in (Yankees' GM) Brian Cashman's court.
Arizona is talking with teams about Justin Upton.
UPDATE: Nov. 8
The Rays are also showing interest in Upton, but first they need his brother B.J. to reject his qualifying offer, according to Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports.
Several rival executives view the Texas Rangers and Tampa Bay Rays as the teams most interested in Upton, but the Rays would need free-agent center fielder B.J. Upton to reject their qualifying offer before they make any move —they could not afford the salaries of both Uptons. B.J., though, is attracting strong interest, and almost certainly will reject the Rays’ offer by Friday’s deadline.
The Rays do have organizational depth to provide the Diamondbacks with young pieces in return. But, Arizona believes it can contend in the Western Division, so the Rays will need to come with MLB-ready pieces.
According to the report, the Braves don't seem to be interested in Upton, even though there is a hole in left field.
As for the Rangers, the Diamondbacks want Elvis Andrus or Jurickson Profar (per Joel Sherman).
— Joel Sherman (@Joelsherman1) November 8, 2012
However, the Rangers aren't willing to include either in a deal, which should all but end trade discussions between the two teams.
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Could Justin Upton be moving from the Arizona Diamondbacks this offseason?
According to Fox Sports' Ken Rosenthal, the Diamondbacks are trying to trade Upton.
Ken Kendrick, the team's managing general partner, told a Phoenix radio station in October that Upton was "highly likely" to return.
Major-league sources, however, say the team is again engaged in active discussions about Upton, and one estimates the chances of him playing elsewhere next season are "80-20."
The Rangers could use shortstop Elvis Andrus to entice the Diamondbacks, as shortstop seems to be a position of need in Arizona. And, get this, the Rangers are looking for a left fielder, especially if Josh Hamilton signs elsewhere.
The Braves are another possibility with all of the young pitching they have in their organization and their need for a left fielder.
Stay tuned on this one.
Nick Swisher has interest from five teams.
New York Daily News writer Mark Feinsand reported that Nick Swisher will reject the Yankees' qualifying offer.
Source: 5 teams have serious interest in Nick Swisher, including Rangers & Mariners. Swisher plans to reject the Yankees' qualifying offer.— Mark Feinsand (@BloggingBombers) November 9, 2012
Swisher had a batting line of .272/.364/.473 with 23 home runs and 93 RBI.
Among the other teams that likely could have interest are the Atlanta Braves and Boston Red Sox. Both are looking for a corner outfielder.
The Mets are discussing possibly moving R.A. Dickey.
Coming off a Cy Young-caliber season, R.A. Dickey could see himself traded from the New York Mets.
Dickey went 20-6 with a 2.73 ERA and 230 strikeouts.
For a team that was interested in re-signing him along with David Wright, this is a quick change.
With Zack Greinke being the only ace-type pitcher on the free-agent market, the Mets may get more for Dickey by trading him.
However, don't expect much to happen during the GM meetings as Sandy Alderson doesn't expect a trade to happen.
Alderson says he doesn't not expect Dickey trade talks to accelerate much at GM meetings.— Andy Martino (@SurfingTheMets) November 8, 2012
Maicer Izturis is heading East for 2013.
The Toronto Blue Jays have officially signed infielder Maicer Izturis to a three-year contract.
.@bluejays have signed INF MAICER IZTURIS to a three year contract worth $3 mill per season with a club option for a 4th season at $3 mill.— Blue Jays-Official(@BlueJays) November 8, 2012
The move helps shore up depth needed at middle infield. Kelly Johnson is a free agent and Yunel Escobar could likely be traded this offseason.
Izturis hit .256/.320/.315 this year, which was the lowest of his career.
The Red Sox are showing interest in outfielder Torii Hunter.
UPDATE: Nov. 8
The Red Sox have also shown interest in free agents Mike Napoli and Adam LaRoche, according to
Nick Cafardo of The Boston Globe.
Napoli struggled a bit in 2012 after having a 2011 season with a batting line of .320/.414/.631.
With the Rangers non-tendering Napoli, the Red Sox wouldn't have to give up a draft pick.
As far as LaRoche, he was solid in the middle of the Washington lineup, hitting .271 with 33 home runs and 100 RBI.
Both players are in their early 30s, so it could come down to who they can get for the cheapest.
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According to Rob Bradford of WEEI.com, the Red Sox are interested in signing free-agent outfielder Torii Hunter.
Hunter batted a career-high .313 with 16 home runs and 92 RBI last year with the Angels
Hunter, who turns 38 in July, has also expressed interest in playing alongside David Ortiz.
"I'm open to anybody, especially if David is there," Hunter told WEEI.com in late August. "David is one of my guys. We were roommates in Minnesota and he's one of my brothers. He's one of my best friends in baseball. That makes it more impressive."
While the move would provide a little relief in the outfield for the Red Sox in 2013, the biggest question is what happens beyond that? Hunter isn't getting any younger.
Shawn Marcum is on the Cubs' radar.
Their target market is simple: maybe a buy-low guy coming off an injury or a bargain guy with tools looking for a rebound season—somebody who can be flipped at the trade deadline for valuable young prospects if the Cubs are out of it.
Enter Brandon McCarthy and Shaun Marcum.
McCarthy is coming off a skull fracture from a line-drive in September, while Marcum missed two months in 2012 with elbow tightness.
‘‘There’s probably a lot more demand for starting pitching than there is supply, so we’ll probably have to be creative,’’ Cubs president Theo Epstein said even before Friday’s near-miss on the Dan Haren-for-Carlos Marmol trade talks with the Angels.
Regardless of what happens, the Cubs have the right man in for the job. Epstein made the Red Sox into perennial contenders and is looking to do the same on the North side of Chicago.
The Mets and Jason Bay have agreed to part ways.
The New York Mets and outfielder Jason Bay have officially agreed to part ways.
According to a press release from the team, the parting was a mutual one with both looking to move on.
“Jason is a great teammate, hard worker, stand-up guy, and true gentleman,” said Mets Chief Operating Officer Jeff Wilpon. “Like Jason, we had planned for the kind of production here that he enjoyed in Boston and Pittsburgh, where he established himself as one of the game’s top players."
Unfortunately for both parties, that never happened as Bay hit less home runs (20) in the last two years than he hit in any one season after 2003.
Bay signed a four-year deal in 2010 with a vesting option for a fifth year.
Cody Ross is seeking a multi-year deal this offseason.
UPDATE: Nov. 7
The Baltimore Orioles are said to have interest in Ross, according to Jon Paul Morosi of Fox Sports.
Baltimore also has some interest in free-agent outfielder Cody Ross, the source said. Ross would be a cheaper option than (Josh) Hamilton and had success in the American League East with the Boston Red Sox this year.
Baltimore won't be the only team that shows interest in Ross, especially after Hamilton finds a landing spot.
Ross signed a one-year deal worth $3 million last year, in anticipation of bigger numbers and a big pay day this offseason.
For the year Ross had a batting line of .267/.326/.481, while also hitting 22 home runs and 81 RBI.
But don't expect the Red Sox to be the only team inquiring about the free agent. Teams like the Atlanta Braves and Philadelphia Phillies are also seeking outfield help this offseason.
Jeremy Hellickson is the Rays' pitcher drawing the most interest.
This may be surprising to many as it seems James Shields is getting most of the press this offseason.
The reason Shields is viewed as the more likely to go is his $10.25-million salary in 2013, high for a Ray. Hellickson, the AL Rookie of the Year in 2011 and Gold Glove winner this year, still isn't arbitration eligible, so he'll make more than $9 million less than Shields, assuming no long-term deal is struck with Hellickson.
For the Rays, this presents an interesting scenario. If Hellickson would bring back more in a trade, would they hang on to a more expensive Shields?
By the end of the GM meetings this week, we should know more.
Joel Peralta re-signed with the Rays Monday.
Joel Peralta became the first of the top 50 free agents to sign a contract as he re-signed with the Rays on Monday.
The contract, according to Tampa Bay Times writer Marc Topkin, is over two years, valued at $6 million. There is also a $2.5 million option for 2015.
Peralta appeared in 76 games last season for the Rays, posting a 3.63 ERA and an 11.3 K/9 ratio.
The Cardinals and Adam Wainwright are discussing an extension.
"In brief talks with (Cardinals executives) they feel real good about me coming back for a long time, and I want to make that happen,” Wainwright said. “I don’t see any reason why we shouldn’t make that happen. ... It’s not like I have one foot out the door (to free agency). If I’m being honest, they have to show they respect what I’ve done and what I will do. And they have. They have. So I don’t think it will be a problem."
Signing Wainwright to an extension would be a smart move on the part of the Cardinals.
Although there have been injury concerns over the last few years, there's no denying what Wainwright has done when he's been on the mound.
Last year was a bit of a struggle as he went 14-13 with a 3.94 ERA, 1.248 WHIP and 184 strikeouts. However, from 2009-10, Wainwright combined to go 39-19 with a 2.53 ERA, 1.131 WHIP and 425 strikeouts.
B.J. Upton will get interest from multiple suitors.
Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports has reported that there may be something fishy going on in Philadelphia concerning B.J. Upton.
Bart Braun, previously a special assignment scout with the Rays, joined the Phillies last month as a special assistant to general manager Ruben Amaro Jr.
Steve Henderson, the Rays’ hitting coach from 2006 to ’09, will fill the same role for the Phillies after spending the past three years with the club as a minor-league coordinator.
The moves did not go unnoticed by the Upton camp, and in the words of one player agent, “there are no coincidences in baseball.”
Could this be a package deal like we see in the college football world?
The Phillies no doubt need a center fielder after trading away Shane Victorino during the season. Upton would be able to fill both that position and the leadoff position nicely, as he'll provide some power in addition to his speed.
Washington is currently weighing its options with Adam LaRoche.
The Washington Nationals have some serious decisions to make this offseason, and there are none bigger than what to do with first baseman Adam LaRoche.
According to Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports, the Nats' offseason hinges on whether they re-sign LaRoche.
If they do, left fielder Mike Morse could be their odd man out.
On the other hand, the Nats could move Morse to first if they lose LaRoche, then pursue a free-agent center fielder such as (Michael) Bourn or Upton.
As for LaRoche, the Nationals to this point have been reluctant to offer him more than two years, according to major-league sources.
A longer deal would preclude them from eventually moving Ryan Zimmerman to first once top prospect Anthony Rendon is ready at third.
While multiple outlets feel as if the Nationals will make a run at a center fielder and move Bryce Harper to right, the first base issue has to get solved first.