MLB Free Agency and Trade Rumors: Tracking the Hottest Winter Meetings News
On Monday morning, MLB free agency will take center stage in Nashville, TN as the Winter Meetings kick off.
Trades will also be a hot topic in the Gaylord Opryland Resort, the site that will play host to the MLB Winter Meetings for the sixth time.
Bleacher Report will report all of the latest happenings as they occur over the next four days, from rumors to trade speculation to confirmed transactions.
Be sure to bookmark this link as we provide around-the-clock coverage.
With the Rule 5 Draft completed, the MLB Winter Meetings have officially concluded.
While quite a few major transactions took place over the last three-plus days, many of the top free agents are still on the board.
Bleacher Report will continue to follow every rumor and transaction and will give you all the latest on player movement as it happens.
In remarks to the media, Los Angeles Angels general manager Jerry Dipoto commented on the moves made by the Angels in the past few days.
According to Bill Shaikin of the Los Angeles Times:
Dipoto: "We have plugged holes in a quality way." #Angels— Bill Shaikin (@BillShaikin) December 6, 2012
It almost sounds like he's defending his actions.
Here's what Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports.com had to say about the Angels' activity:
The Angels are not exactly a west-coast version of the suddenly budget-conscious New York Yankees. But they sure don’t look like they’re preparing to retain Greinke or make any other dramatic move.
Losing Greinke would be acceptable if the Angels were willing to sign two other free-agent pitchers — say, Sanchez and right-hander Kyle Lohse — for roughly the same amount that Greinke will get, or less.
But thus far, all the team has done is trade for Hanson, a pitcher who many scouts believe is a breakdown candidate, and Blanton, a pitcher who had a 4.71 ERA in the National League last season and will be pitching in the AL for the first time since 2008.
There's sure to be more backlash regarding the Angels' inability to sign Greinke, especially after trading three top-25 organizational prospects last year in order to acquire him.
With all of the talk concerning the Los Angeles Dodgers and their search for starting pitching, there's apparently nothing imminent.
According to Bill Plunkett of the Orange County Register:
#Dodgers GM Ned Colletti: Not on doorstep of landing pitcher. "Not even on front lawn"— Bill Plunkett (@billplunkettocr) December 6, 2012
Jim Bowden of ESPN tweeted earlier today that there was a strong likelihood that Zack Greinke, highly coveted by the Dodgers, would not sign today.
The Philadelphia Phillies are in search of a third baseman to replace Placido Polanco, and they may be close to finding their man.
According to Danny Knobler of CBSSports.com:
Sounds like there could be a resolution today on Michael Young trade talks between Rangers and Phillies— DKnobler (@DKnobler) December 6, 2012
Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com said that money would also have to exchange hands.
Word is, #phillies getting closer to agreement to get michael young. Belief is tex would need to pay $10M of his $16M— Jon Heyman (@JonHeymanCBS) December 6, 2012
Jim Bowden of ESPN said that Young has a choice to make.
Michael Young has two choices: accept deal to Phillies (if deal gets don)&play regular at 3B or stay w Texas and be a backup at 5 positions— JIM BOWDEN (@JimBowdenESPNxm) December 6, 2012
The two largest prizes in this year's free-agent market may still be unemployed by the end of the day.
According to Jim Bowden of ESPN:
Hamilton and Greinke are not signing today in Nashville according to sources involved in the negotiations— JIM BOWDEN (@JimBowdenESPNxm) December 6, 2012
It's widely believed that the Texas Rangers and Los Angeles Dodgers are the two teams that are the favorites to land Greinke, while the options for Hamilton are any number of teams at this point.
Update: According to Craig Calcaterra of HardballTalk.com, Jason Grilli has agreed to return to Pittsburgh.
Reliever Jason Grilli has drawn considerable interest at the winter meetings and could be near a decision as he mulls offers from several teams.
According to Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports.com:
Grilli has posted a 2.76 ERA in the past two seasons for the Pirates.
Kevin Youkilis has offers of the table and has apparently narrowed it down to two teams.
According to Jim Bowden of ESPN:
Kevin Youkilis deciding between Yankees and Indians but $12m dollar offer by Yanks should make this an easy decision— JIM BOWDEN (@JimBowdenESPNxm) December 6, 2012
Youkilis would assume third base in New York for the ailing Alex Rodriguez. If he accepted the Cleveland offer, he would more than likely take over at first base.
Day 4 of the MLB winter meetings is underway. The Rule 5 draft starts shortly, but many other possible transactions could make this a very eventful day.
Are the Los Angeles Dodgers prepared to throw a combined $250 million at Zack Greinke and Anibal Sanchez?
Will a proposed blockbuster deal between four teams significantly alter the face of each team?
Will Josh Hamilton, Nick Swisher and Michael Bourn have now homes by the end of the day?
The Chicago Cubs made a bit to shore up their bench depth.
According to Jerry Crasnick of ESPN:
Schierholtz gets $2.25M guaranteed big league deal plus $500K in incentives, source says.— Jerry Crasnick (@jcrasnick) December 6, 2012
Schierholtz hit .256 with six home runs and 21 RBI for the San Francisco Giants and Philadelphia Phillies. Presumably, he'll serve as protection as the fourth outfielder for the Cubs behind Brett Jackson, David DeJesus and Alfonso Soriano.
And it's another man the Yankees didn't get.
The Los Angeles Angels' payroll for the 2013 season is already approaching last year's levels.
According to Alden Gonzalez of MLB.com:
#Angels' payroll, factoring arbitration projections, minimum contracts, Burnett and Blanton's reported figure (2 years, $15M) roughly $142M.— Alden Gonzalez (@Alden_Gonzalez) December 6, 2012
If the Angels are still in the hunt for the services of Zack Greinke, owner Arte Moreno will be sweating just a bit more profusely if they're successful in their pursuit.
If free-agent first baseman Adam LaRoche hopes to continue playing for the Washington Nationals, he may have to compromise a bit.
According to Jim Bowden of ESPN:
Nats not going to budge on Adam LaRoche.. are not going past 2 years...just like they wouldn't go to 4th year on Buehrle last year— JIM BOWDEN (@JimBowdenESPNxm) December 6, 2012
The two sides have been negotiating ever since LaRoche declined his mutual option for $10 million for next season.
Manager Davey Johnson has already offered to take LaRoche's cattle from his Kansas ranch to Washington for him as well, so there's at least some hope.
According to Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com, Joe Blanton to the Angels is a done deal.
blanton gets 2 yrs, $15M— Jon Heyman (@JonHeymanCBS) December 6, 2012
Blanton was 10-13 with a 4.71 ERA in 30 starts last season for the Philadelphia Phillies and Los Angeles Dodgers.
Presumably, he'll slot in as the No. 4 starter behind Jered Weaver, C.J. Wilson and Tommy Hanson.
For now, that is.
Here's a little tidbit of information that should be of comfort to teams seeking bullpen help.
Source: Brian Wilson has been told by surgeon James Andrews that he will be cleared for spring training and ready by opening day.— Tim Brown (@TBrownYahoo) December 6, 2012
Wilson was non-tendered by the San Francisco Giants last week.
The Colorado Rockies are turning to a familiar face to help add depth to their starting rotation.
According to Jerry Crasnick of ESPN:
Free agent lefty Jeff Francis has agreed on a one-year major league deal with #rockies pending a physical, source said.— Jerry Crasnick (@jcrasnick) December 6, 2012
Based on Francis' numbers last year, this signing can really only be called depth, not quality.
Francis went 6-7 with a 5.58 ERA for #rockies last year. He made 36 starts between minors and majors.— Jerry Crasnick (@jcrasnick) December 6, 2012
It's not readily apparent that the Los Angeles Angels are completely out of the running for the services of Zack Greinke.
However, the signing of Joe Blanton could signify they are indeed ready to move on.
According to Alden Gonzalez of MLB.com:
Sources confirm #Angels are nearing a deal for starting pitcher Joe Blanton.— Alden Gonzalez (@Alden_Gonzalez) December 6, 2012
Mike DiGiovanna of the Los Angeles Times is determining whether or not Blanton's signing means the end of the Angels' efforts to land Greinke.
Will try to determine soon whether Joe Blanton signing impacts #Angels' pursuit of Greinke and other starting pitchers.— Mike DiGiovanna (@MikeDiGiovanna) December 6, 2012
The Boston Red Sox have already signed a pair of players—Mike Napoli and Shane Victorino—for a total of $78 million.
They could be looking at signing one player who will be worth significantly more on his own.
According to Sean McAdam of CSNNE.com:
Cherington acknowledges "meeting with (FA) player'' while here. "Not going to comment on who it is.'' Source confirms: Hamilton. #RedSoxTalk— Sean McAdam(@Sean_McAdam) December 6, 2012
Cherington and Hamilton could well have been talking about the weather, for all we know. But hey, a meeting is worth reporting.
The Pittsburgh Pirates and Detroit Tigers exchanged young prospects in a minor deal.
Tigers announce Andy Oliver to Pirates for Ramon Cabrera— DKnobler (@DKnobler) December 5, 2012
In Oliver, the Pirates get a young left-hander capable of blowing hitters away but also one who has yet to harness his control (21 walks in 31.2 IP).
In Cabrera, the Tigers pick up a catcher who has slowly developed over five seasons in the Pirates' farm system.
Cabrera has a .292 average and .360 OBP in his minor-league career.
The Los Angeles Angels may not be gaining much ground in their search for starting pitchers, but the bullpen is starting to take shape.
According to Alden Gonzalez of MLB.com, the Angels signed reliever Sean Burnett.
#Angels have signed LH RP Sean Burnett to a 2-year deal with a club option, source said. Pending physical.— Alden Gonzalez (@Alden_Gonzalez) December 5, 2012
Burnett posted a 2.38 ERA in 70 appearances for the Washington Nationals last season.
General manager Jerry Dipoto has now strengthened his bullpen considerably along with the signing of Ryan Madson last month.
The St. Louis Cardinals have been looking for a southpaw reliever to complement Marc Rzepczynski in their bullpen.
According to multiple reports, found that man.
This from Jayson Stark of ESPN:
Choate's singing was confirmed by Danny Knobler of CBSSports.com.
Randy Choate has indeed signed with Cardinals. I'm told @jaysonst reported it first.— DKnobler (@DKnobler) December 5, 2012
Choate posted a 3.03 ERA in a major league-leading 80 appearances last season for the Miami Marlins and Los Angeles Dodgers, holding left-handed hitters to just a .158 BAA.
Choate takes pressure of Rzepczynski, who posted a 4.24 ERA in 70 appearances for the Cardinals last season.
The Eric Chavez signing by the Diamondbacks leaves very few options left at third base.
The New York Yankees could very well renew efforts to go after Kevin Youkilis.
According to Alex Speier of WEEI.com, Youkilis has several offers on the table.
Day 3 of the MLB Winter Meetings is shaping up to be dominated by third basemen.
According to Bob Nightengale of USA Today, Eric Chavez is changing uniforms.
Chavez figures to give the Diamondbacks protection at the hot corner for 28-year-old Chris Johnson.
Chavez hit .281 with 16 home runs and 37 RBI last season for the Yankees.
Outfielder Nate McLouth saw his career revitalized with the Baltimore Orioles last season, hitting .268 with seven home runs and 18 RBI in 55 games, providing key at-bats down the stretch as well.
Now, McLouth will have the chance to continue his resurgence in Baltimore.
According to Dan Connolly of the Baltimore Sun, McLouth agreed to a one-year deal.
McLouth receives $2 million, one year deal plus $500,000 in bonuses— Dan Connolly (@danconnollysun) December 5, 2012
McLouth can again be a vital contributor for the O's with his ability to play all three outfield positions.
He'll provide insurance for both Nick Markakis and Nolan Reimold, who both missed significant time in 2012 with injuries.
The Chicago White Sox have been looking to fulfill their need at third base ever since declining the 2013 option on Kevin Youkilis' contract.
They may now have that man.
According to Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports.com, free-agent infielder Jeff Keppinger has agreed to a three-year deal.
Keppinger three-year deal with #WhiteSox for about $12M.— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) December 5, 2012
Keppinger hit .325 with nine home runs and 40 RBI for the Tampa Bay Rays last season.
He gives the White Sox an excellent option on the left side of the infield. Brent Morel is also expected to be fully healthy after back issues forced the White Sox to deal for Youkilis last season.
On Tuesday, there were grumblings about a possible four-team blockbuster trade involving the Arizona Diamondbacks, Cleveland Indians, Texas Rangers and Tampa Bay Rays.
The principal players involved in the negotiations were James Shields, Asdrubal Cabrera, Justin Upton and prospects from the Rangers, including third baseman Mike Olt.
The deal wasn't making much headway, but that could be changing.
According to Bob Nightengale of USA Today, the deal could be back in play.
The Diamondbacks are looking for a shortstop and the Rays are looking for offense. Shields would presumably go to the Rangers in the deal as well.
We'll certainly keep an eye on this and update with any further developments.
The Boston Red Sox have already been active in Nashville, signing both Mike Napoli and Shane Victorino to matching three-year, $39 million contracts.
They're not even close to done yet.
After the Sox inked Victorino on Tuesday, many wondered whether or not the signing was made partly to facilitate a possible trade involving center fielder Jacoby Ellsbury.
Buster Olney of ESPN said that the Red Sox will listen but would have to blown away by any deal.
Rival official on Red Sox: "Boston is listening on... Ellsbury and Lester, but not motivated to move them unless teams overpay."— Buster Olney (@Buster_ESPN) December 5, 2012
Ellsbury is a free agent at the end of next season and will likely be pricey for the Sox to re-sign.
Scott Boras is his agent, so you do the math.
What is the duplicate article?
Why is this article offensive?
Where is this article plagiarized from?
Why is this article poorly edited?