Tag:MLB Free Agents
Posted on: February 17, 2012 8:27 pm
Edited on: February 17, 2012 9:45 pm
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Report: Uehara trade could lead to Oswalt signing

Roy Oswalt

By C. Trent Rosecrans


The Rangers' possible trade of reliever Koji Uehara may be enough to give the team enough salary relief to go ahead and sign free-agent right-hander Roy Oswalt, Jeff Wilson of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram reports.

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Oswalt had reportedly favored signing with the Rangers, but after shelling out big bucks for Yu Darvish, the Rangers didn't have enough left in their budget for what has been rumored to be his $10-million demand.

However, since Oswalt hasn't found a team that was on his wish list with enough money to meet his demands, he may have lessened those. Uehara is scheduled to make $4 million this season and has reportedly used his limited no-trade clause to nix two trades this offseason.

Wilson writes the Rangers may be looking for a utility infielder in return for Uehara, with the A's preferring to deal Adam Rosales rather than Eric Sogard.

Oswalt, 34, met with the Rangers last month and it is believed he told them he only wanted to start, not come out of the bullpen. He was 9-10 with a 3.69 ERA for the Phillies last season in 23 starts. He was twice put on the disabled list because of lower back problems.

The Rangers have said they wanted to move move Neftali Feliz in the rotation, but he -- or another starter -- could find themselves back in the bullpen if Oswalt signs. The team signed Joe Nathan this winter and he will close if Feliz starts.

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Posted on: February 15, 2012 5:16 pm
 

Blue Jays work out Cuban OF Jorge Soler

Alex AnthopoulosBy C. Trent Rosecrans

There had been a general consensus that 19-year-old Cuban Jorge Soler was going to sign with the Cubs -- and even one that suggested he had a deal in place -- but that may not be a done deal just yet. MLB.com's Jesse Sanchez reports Soler worked out for Blue Jays general manager Alex Anthopoulos and members of the team's front office at the tema's complex in the Dominican Republic.

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And it's not just the Blue Jays that are interested in Soler, as Sanchez adds the Orioles will visit with Soler on Sunday. CBSSports.com insider Jon Heyman reports the Marlins are interested in Soler, while other reports say the Yankees, White Sox and Phillies may also be in the mix.

Unlike recent export Yoenis Cespedes, Soler has yet to establish residency in the Dominican Republic, but has applied. After establishing residency, Soler will need to be declared a free agent by Major League Baseball and be cleared by the U.S. Treasury Department's Office of Foreign Assts Control before he can sign a contract. Cespedes was declared a resident of the Dominican Republic on Jan. 24 and 19 days later he was cleared by the OFAC and signed a four-year, $36 million deal with Oakland.

Soler reportedly has above-average power and projects as either a corner outfielder or first baseman. A right-handed thrower and hitter, Soler is 6-foor-3, 205 pounds and there are some reports that have him running above-average times, others have him an average runner at best. In the end, he's 19 and has plenty of growing to do. Unlike Cespedes, whoever signs Soler won't expect him to contribute to the major league team anytime soon, but in the end, he could be even better than the 26-year-old Cespedes.

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Posted on: February 14, 2012 12:14 pm
 

White Sox add Kosuke Fukudome

Kosuke FukudomeBy C. Trent Rosecrans

Kosuke Fukudome is headed back to Chicago -- but this time the Japanese outfielder will be playing for the White Sox.

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The team announced it signed Fukudome to a one-year deal worth $1 million with an option for 2013. He will earn $500,000 in 2012, but the total package is worth at least $1 million because of the $500,000 buyout for 2013's $3.5 million option.

Fukudome, 34, hit .262/.342/.370 for the Indians and Cubs last season, his fourth season in the big leagues. Fukudome was a disappointment for Chicago after signing a four-year, $48 million deal before the 2008 season. Fukudome has a career .361 on-base percentage, but his .260 batting average and average of just more than 10 homers a year was hardly sexy -- or what anyone would expect for $48 million.

Fukudome gives the White Sox a little more depth in the outfield, which has Alex Rios in center, with young, promising players Dayan Viciedo and Alejandro De Aza on either side of him. Rios and Viciedo are both right-handed hitters, so Fukudome gives the team some more flexibility and De Aza can also play center.

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Posted on: February 13, 2012 12:27 pm
Edited on: February 13, 2012 5:50 pm
 

A's agree to 4-year, $36M deal with Cespedes

Yoenis Cespedes

By C. Trent Rosecrans


In a shocker, the Oakland A's have agreed to sign Cuban outfielder Yoenis Cespedes to a four-year deal worth $36 million, CBSSports.com insider Jon Heyman reports. CBSSports.com has also confirmed that Cespedes has been cleared by the U.S. Treasury's Department of Foreign Assets Control, meaning he's free to sign his deal with Oakland.

The Marlins were reportedly the most aggressive -- and obviously the most public -- of the bidders for the 26-year-old center fielder. The Cubs, White Sox, Indians, Orioles and Tigers were also interested in signing him. The A's were mentioned last week as having some interest in Cespedes, but were never seen as the front-runner. However, in the end the Marlins offered Cespedes the same amount of money as the A's, but over two more seasons. The Marlins offer, according to Heyman, was $36 million for six years, not the $40 million being reported by some. The A's deal precludes the team from offering Cespedes arbitration, meaning he will become a free agent after the 2015 season at the age of 30.

Oakland, it should be noted, made a strong bid for Aroldis Chapman two years ago when he signed with the Reds.

The A's signed center fielder Coco Crisp to a two-year, $14 million deal this offseason with an option for 2014. Some, though, have wondered if Cespedes isn't more of a corner outfielder than a center fielder, so he could move and the team could leave Crisp in center. Oakland, though, also added Josh Reddick and Seth Smith to its outfield this offseason.

Cespedes, though, is expected to need some time in the minors, but at $9 million a year, he's unlikely to spend much time in the likes of Sacramento, Midland or Stockton. He struggled in his showing in the Dominican Winter League, but he still has a combination of raw power and great speed.

Tim Brown of Yahoo.com first reported Cespedes had chosen to sign with the A's.

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Posted on: February 13, 2012 10:09 am
Edited on: February 13, 2012 10:55 am
 

Indians add RHP Jon Garland on minor-league deal

Jon GarlandBy C. Trent Rosecrans

The Indians have agreed to a deal with veteran right-hander Jon Garland to a minor-league deal with an invitation to big-league camp pending a physical, CBSSports.com insider Jon Heyman reports.

Garland, 32, was 1-5 with a 4.33 ERA in nine starts for the Dodgers last season. He had shoulder surgery in July, ending his season.

In parts of 12 seasons with six different teams, Garland is 132-119 with a 4.32 ERA. He won 18 games in back-to-back years for the White Sox in 2005 and 2006.

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Garland should join in the competition for the Indians' fifth starter, along with Kevin Slowey, David Huff, Jeanmar Gomez and Zach McAllister.

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Posted on: February 11, 2012 4:55 pm
Edited on: February 11, 2012 5:02 pm
 

Report: Marlins offer Cespedes $40 million

Yoenis Cespedes

By C. Trent Rosecrans


The starting point, it appears, for Cuban center fielder Yoenis Cespedes is $40 million.

A report on Cafe Fuerte, a Spanish-language blog based in South Florida, quotes a source as saying the Marlins offered Cespedes a six-year, $40 million contract. It also said he has no immediate plans to meet any other teams. However, Clark Spencer of the Miami Herald tweeted that he's heard the Marlins' offer was less than the $40 million reported by Cafe Fuerte.

Cespedes visited Miami earlier this week and then returned to the Dominican Republic on Thursday. During his visit, Cespedes told reporters he'd like to play for the Marlins.

The 26-year-old outfielder has drawn the interest of not only the Marlins, but also the Cubs, White Sox, Tigers, Orioles and Indians.

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Posted on: February 10, 2012 8:41 pm
 

Orioles won't add Manny Ramirez

Manny RamirezBy C. Trent Rosecrans

The Athletics, Blue Jays and Orioles had been said to have interest in Manny Ramirez -- but strike the Orioles from that list.

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Baltimore's Dan Duquette told reporters Friday that the Orioles probably won't be adding Ramirez, according to Roch Kubatko of MASNSports.com.

"I don't think there's going to be a fit for Manny," Duquette said. "We've looked at that all winter and I'm not sure there's a fit there for the Orioles. I wish Manny a lot of luck, but I just don't think he fits in our ballclub right now."

Duquette said he didn't foresee the Orioles signing any more players before the team starts camp.

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Posted on: February 9, 2012 11:05 am
Edited on: February 9, 2012 11:18 am
 

Rich Harden to miss all of 2012

Rich HardenBy C. Trent Rosecrans

Free-agent right-hander Rich Harden will miss all of 2012 after undergoing surgery to repair a torn right shoulder capsule, Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle reports.

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Harden has been troubled by the injury for the last four years, but finally had surgery last week. The operation was performed by Dr. James Andrews in Pensacola, Fla. The injury is the same that cost former teammate Dallas Braden the majority of 2011 and has bothered Johan Santana. Harden told Slusser he was confident he could pitch again in 2013.

"There's no reason, if I work hard, I can't get back to where I was before," Harden told the newspaper.

Harden said the injury occurred on April 15, 2007, when he tried to field a comebacker with his bare hand. Since then, Harden has tried to pitch through the injury by altering his mechanics, but other injuries started popping up.

"If you look at those injuries, that's definitely where they came from," Harden said. "Yes, I've been injured a lot, but nobody really knew what I'd been dealing with for five years."

Harden, 30, started 15 games for the A's last season, going 4-4 with a 5.12 ERA. From 2003-2006, Harden was 30-16 with a 3.67 ERA in 77 games and 72 starts (all with Oakland), striking out 404 batters in 439 innings. After pitching in just seven games in 2007 -- including four games after (but only one start) after suffering his injury against the Yankees -- Harden bounced back with a great year in 2008 with the A's and Cubs, going 10-2 with a 2.07 ERA in 25 starts. In the last three seasons, Harden's gone 18-18 with a 4.79 ERA with the Rangers and A's, but still had 337 strikeouts in 315 2/3 innings.

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The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com