MLB Free Agency Tracker: All the Week's Signings, Targets, Rumors

Ely SussmanCorrespondent INovember 19, 2012

MLB Free Agency Tracker: All the Week's Signings, Targets, Rumors

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    Will your MLB team complete a big-name free-agent acquisition this Thanksgiving?

    Stay plugged in all this week to see rumors evolve into contract offers and confirmed signings. Just refresh this article for the latest updates.

    Torii Hunter, Jeremy Affeldt and Scott Baker headlined last week's movement. Since Nov. 19, even bigger names like Melky Cabrera, Jeremy Guthrie and Hiroki Kuorda have officially signed.

    Nice trend, isn't it? Perhaps a marquee player could be next to commit.

    B.J. Upton? Zack Greinke? Josh Hamilton?!??!

    Bleacher Report will make sure you're first to find it.

Pending Physical: Jonny Gomes Signing with Boston Red Sox for Two Years

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    It's setting up to be a great 32nd birthday for Jonny Gomes, who enjoyed a strong bounce-back season with the Oakland Athletics. Entering the offseason, there were concerns that his dramatic platoon splits—.732 OPS in career vs. RHP—would deter suitors.

    Nonetheless, ESPN's Jim Bowden has learned that he and the Boston Red Sox have reached a two-year agreement. 

    Boston backed off Cody Ross and his three-year, $25 million asking price. Gomes, meanwhile, will sign for just $10 million (via Susan Slusser, San Francisco Chronicle).

Outfielder Ryan Raburn Joins Free-Agent Class

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    No surprise here.

    In adding Torii Hunter to the roster, the Detroit Tigers had no reservations about parting ways with an excess outfielder.

    Ryan Raburn struggled in 2012 to the tune of a .171/.226/.254 triple-slash line in 222 plate appearances. He did not participate in their World Series run.

    MLB Trade Rumors identified Raburn as a non-tender candidate entering the offseason.

Official Signing: Journeyman Dewayne Wise Staying Put in Chicago

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    Dewayne Wise has fond memories as a member of the Chicago White Sox.

    He made a dramatic leaping grab to preserve Mark Buehrle's perfect game in 2009. The prior season, he drove in five runs as the team battled the Tampa Bay Rays in the ALDS.

    The White Sox have announced that he'll be back next season on a one-year contract worth $700,000.

    Wise will be used as a reserve outfielder behind projected starters Alejandro De Aza, Alex Rios and Dayan Viciedo.

Official Signing: Excellent Season Earns Hiroki Kuroda a Pay Raise

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    In recent weeks, major league sources speculated about Hiroki Kuroda's 2013 destination. Some saw him going as far west as Los Angeles, while others predicted the Far East, his native Japan.

    But ESPN's Buster Olney tweets that he will instead stay in the Bronx for at least one more summer. The significant salary bump from last year's $10 million probably influenced his decision:

    The agreement with the Yankees and Kuroda is for $15 million, with some incentives that are worth less than $1 million.

    — Buster Olney (@Buster_ESPN) November 20, 2012

    Kuroda was arguably New York's most valuable pitcher in 2012. He led the team in complete games, quality starts and innings pitched.

Andy Pettitte Expected Back, but for "Much More" Than 2012 Salary

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    The New York Yankees had a strong threesome of starting pitchers atop their rotation in 2012. Of them, only Andy Pettitte remains unsigned.

    While Joel Sherman of the New York Post hears that Pettitte will return, his sources expect the left-hander to seek an increase from last season's $2.5 million salary.

    His 2.87 ERA and 1.14 WHIP were the best marks he's ever posted during 14 summers in the Bronx. However, a last-minute decision to come out of retirement and lengthy stint on the disabled list limited him to 75.1 IP.

Official Signing: Jeremy Guthrie Gets $25 Million from Kansas City Royals

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    This news comes straight from the right-hander's Twitter account.

    Even after acquiring Ervin Santana via trade, the Kansas City Royals were known to be seeking another established starting pitcher.

    The three-year deal runs through 2015 and pays Guthrie $25 million. That's the largest guarantee given to any free-agent pitcher so far this winter. Jose Guillen ($36 million) and Gil Meche ($55 million) are the only available players to ever sign with K.C. for more (via MLB Trade Rumors Transaction Tracker).

    Guthrie's salary breakdown comes courtesy of Bob Dutton of The Kansas City Star

    Terms on Guthrie's new contract with #Royals: three years for $25 million; $5 million in 2013; $11 million in 2014; $9 million in 2015.

    — Bob Dutton (@Royals_Report) November 20, 2012

Official Signing: Chicago Cubs Keeping Shawn Camp for 2013

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    The Chicago Cubs signed their second free-agent pitcher of the winter.

    Like Scott Baker, reliever Shawn Camp agreed to a one-year deal with performance bonuses. MLB.com's Carrie Muskat tweets that he's guaranteed $1.35 million next season with $200,000 available in incentives.

    Since the 2012 All-Star break, Camp has pitched almost exclusively in the eighth inning.

Official Signing: Melky Cabrera to Restore Reputation with Toronto Blue Jays

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    Enrique Rojas of ESPNdeportes.com was first to report that Melky Cabrera had a deal in place with the Toronto Blue Jays.

    The Dominican outfielder dominated the National League through the first half of 2012. Everything changed in August, however, when Major League Baseball suspended him 50 games for violating its drug policy.

    He'll get two guaranteed years and $16 million from the Blue Jays, his fifth MLB franchise in as many summers.

    Based on those terms, it seems that neither party knows exactly how Cabrera will produce at normal testosterone levels.

Official Signing: Miami Marlins Reuniting with Juan Pierre

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    Juan Pierre won't have to settle for a minor league deal this winter.

    According to Juan C. Rodriguez of the Sun-Sentinel, he's coming down to South Florida for a second tour of duty with the Miami Marlins.

    The speedster served as their starting center fielder from 2003 to 2005, stealing an NL-best 167 bases. He also posted a .301/.378/.411 triple-slash line during their most recent World Series run.

    The one-year contract pays $1.6 million. Yunel Escobar, Adeiny Hechavarria and Ricky Nolasco are the only Marlins due higher salaries in 2013.

    Pierre is the first free-agent addition to the Miami Marlins since they agreed to a historic salary dump.

Boston Red Sox Have Interest in Just About Everybody

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    After signing major league free agents David Ross and David Ortiz, the Boston Red Sox seem far from finished.

    They reportedly made a strong push for Hiroki Kuroda before he accepted New York's one-year offer (via Rod Bradford, WEEI.com). Nick Cafardo of The Boston Globe writes that the Red Sox have called Kyle Lohse's representatives.

    The team remains interested in sluggers Josh Hamilton and Mike Napoli. Lately, though, GM Ben Cherington has "kicked the tires" on Lance Berkman—via WEEI.com's Alex Speier—and considered Stephen Drew, according to Jon Heyman of CBS Sports.

New York Yankees, Raul Ibanez Mutually Interested in Each Other

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    New York native Raul Ibanez enjoyed his debut season in the Bronx. According to Ken Davidoff of the New York Post, spending 2013 there "would be fantastic."

    The left fielder/designated hitter saw more action than expected last summer because of Brett Gardner's lingering elbow injury. He earned $1.1 million and would presumably get a raise if he re-signed.

    Still, Ibanez is just a platoon player at this late stage of his career (.197/.246/.246 with 0 HR vs. left-handers in 2012). 

Negotiations Between Adam LaRoche, Washington Nationals Are "Going Slowly"

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    The Washington Nationals value Adam LaRoche's powerful bat, solid glovework and clubhouse presence. Likewise, re-signing with them is his top priority.

    But a source tells MLB.com's Bill Ladson that contract negotiations are going slowly.

    LaRoche has previously been linked to the Boston Red Sox, who need a first baseman and could commit plenty of payroll.

Kyuji Fujikawa Considering Several Destinations as First-Time Free Agent

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    Veteran closer Kyuji Fujikawa is ready to transition to Major League Baseball. He paid early visits to the Arizona Diamondbacks and Chicago Cubs, and spoke with the Baltimore Orioles, Los Angeles Angels and Los Angeles Dodgers over the weekend (via Mike DiGiovanna, Los Angeles Times).

    JapaneseBallPlayers.com has his career stats. It indicates that the 32-year-old excelled throughout his tenure with the Hanshin Tigers.

    He always pitched to an outstanding strikeout-to-walk ratio and featured a mid-90s fastball.

    Dan Connolly of The Baltimore Sun tweets that he's seeking a multi-year deal.

Hiroki Kuroda Deciding Between New York and Japan

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    Major league executives are getting the same "sense" they had earlier this winter that Hiroki Kuroda is down to two possible destinations, tweets FOX Sports' Ken Rosenthal.

    His sources contradict those who told Mark Saxon of ESPNLosAngeles.com otherwise. Saxon recently reported that the right-hander preferred to pitch in Southern California.

    If Kuroda does re-sign with the New York Yankees, he would command a one-year deal greater than the $13.3 million qualifying offer. The AL East champs can afford to grant him a raise now that Rafael Soriano and Nick Swisher are leaving via free agency.

NL East Rivals Courting B.J. Upton

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    As aforementioned, the Washington Nationals want to hold onto Adam LaRoche. But at least they're preparing a contingency plan.

    Adam Kilgore of The Washington Post writes that there's been dialogue between the team and center fielder B.J. Upton.

    The Atlanta Braves and Philadelphia Phillies must address vacancies at that position, too. Each has met face-to-face with Upton this month.

There's Widespread Interest in Jason Grilli

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    Jason Grilli is reportedly a desired commodity.

    Sports agent and former big-league All-Star Gary Sheffield claims eight teams have varying levels of interest in his top client. According to Nick Cafardo of The Boston Globe, three already submitted offers.

    Grilli recently turned 36 and just enjoyed one of his finest seasons. He finished with career bests in strike percentage (66 percent) and swinging strike percentage (24 percent), per Baseball-Reference.com.

    Jeremy Affeldt's three years and $18 million seem out of reach, but a multi-year guarantee should be in his future.

Los Angeles Dodgers Leading Three-Horse Race for Zack Greinke

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    If anybody matches Zack Greinke's six-year, $150 million asking price, it will surely be the Los Angeles Dodgers.

    Not surprisingly, an industry source tells Michael Silverman of the Boston Herald that they are "favorites to wind up" with him in their rotation. Meanwhile, the Los Angeles Angels and Texas Rangers can only hope that the Dodgers turn their attention elsewhere.

Atlanta Braves Announce Terms of Gerald Laird's Deal

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    The Atlanta Braves committed to Gerald Laird last week. Now, we know how his two-year deal breaks down.

    Laird fell short of matching David Ross' $6.2 million payday, but has an excellent opportunity to see the field early next season. Starter Brian McCann underwent shoulder surgery in October that could cause him to miss Opening Day.

    Here are the specifics (courtesy of The Associated Press):

    "The deal pays Laird $1.5 million each of the next two seasons, with the chance to earn an additional $250,000 in 2013 and $500,000 in 2014 based on how many games he starts. He would receive $50,000 each for starting 80, 90, 100, 110 and 120 games next year, and $100,000 each if he reached those targets the following season."