Winter meetings buzz (cont.)
MONDAY, DECEMBER 7
Yankees chasing Granderson
The Yankees have been spending the day trying to acquire Tigers center fielder Curtis Granderson, and if they pull off a trade Johnny Damon's chances to return could be diminished.
The Yankees told Damon's agent Scott Boras they are interested in him but asked Damon to name his price rather than make him an offer. Granderson has $25.75 million remaining on his contract over three years, reasonable for a player of his ability.
According to a report on foxsports.com, a three-way trade where Edwin Jackson would go to the Diamondbacks, Granderson to the Yankees and Max Scherzer and prospects to the Tigers has been discussed.
Braves may trade Soriano
The Braves are now considering a trade for reliever Rafael Soriano after Soriano surprised them by accepting arbitration. Soriano made $6.3 million last year and could earn $7 million, or more, in arbitration. The Orioles, Astros and Yankees are among teams that showed interest in Soriano before he accepted arbitration late Monday night.
Brewers make offer to Wolf
The Milwaukee Brewers made a bold three-year offer to free agent Randy Wolf and appear to be the frontrunner to win his services, SI.com has confirmed.
Wolf missed out on a three-year deal with the Astros last year when Houston pulled the offer from him, but that's not going to happen this time. Sources say the Brewers have a very good chance to complete this deal within the next couple of days.
Valverde remains free agent
Closer Jose Valverde declined the Astros' offer to arbitrate and thus remains a free agent, sources say.
Soriano staying with Braves
Rafael Soriano accepted the Braves' offer to arbitrate, sources say. Soriano had outside interest from the Orioles, Astros and Yankees but has a chance to make $7 million, or more, after earning $6.3 million last year and having another excellent year. He has a lifetime WHIP of 1.03. The Braves will now have a dynamic back-end of their bullpen, along with closer Billy Wagner, who signed for $7 million. Atlanta may be surprised by Soriano's decision. But it betters them.
Lyon declines Tigers' offer
Tigers set-up man Brandon Lyon declined the Tigers' offer for arbitration, sources say. Lyon, 30, went 6-5 with a 2.86 ERA with the Tigers. He remains a free agent.
Mets still searching for arms
The Mets met with the agents for Randy Wolf, Joel Pineiro and Jason Marquis here in Indy and came away discouraged when learning that Pineiro wanted a four-year deal and Wolf already had a three-year offer.
Colletti gets 5-year deal
General manager Ned Colletti's new Dodgers deal is a five-year contract through 2014, sources say.
Colletti's agreement was announced in October, but the club declined to divulge the contract length. Colletti's Dodgers teams have advanced to the NLCS, where they lost to the Phillies in each of the last two years.
Mets may make play for Molina
The Mets are considering a bid of about $6 million for one guaranteed year plus a second-year option for free-agent catcher Bengie Molina, whom they have made their top catching target.
It's possible the Mets go to two years for Molina. But their hope is that the demand will be limited by a lack of big-market teams looking for a frontline catcher. The Royals, Blue Jays, Rockies and Giants all have catching needs but may not be seen as threats to outbid the Mets.
Penny signs with Cards
Brad Penny has signed a one-year, $7.5 million deal with St. Louis. The deal includes an additional $1.5 million in innings-based bonuses. Penny went 11-9 last season with the Red Sox and Giants.
Pavano staying in Minnesota
Carl Pavano will accept arbitration with the Twins. He went 5-4 with a 4.64 ERA in Minnesota last season after being traded from Cleveland. He made $4.3 million last year.
Boras responds to Herzog's Holliday rant
Speaking at a news conference to mark his election into the Hall of Fame on Monday, former Cardinals manager Whitey Herzog talked about the Cards' attempts to sign free agent outfield Matt Holliday. Always outspoken, Herzog said St. Louis shouldn't overpay for talent:
"They could win the division without Holliday," Herzog said. "You can't commit suicide in baseball. Sign one contract that's bad, you're going to suffer, so you've got to be careful."
Holliday's agent, Scott Boras, responded to Herzog's comments later on Monday:
"Congratulations to Whitey on an extraordinary managerial career and his Hall of Fame selection today. It's understandable that a man who was a GM 20 years ago when the revenues were $1 billion -- over six times less than the $6.5 billion revenues of today -- questions the modern-day contract structure. I don't think modern GM's, particularly [Brian] Cashman, with a new ring on his finger, characterize signings like Mark Teixeira, who, akin to Holliday, have achieved near-MVP status (both second in the MVP voting in their career) and have taken teams to the World Series as "suicide". In addition, I'm sure if Whitey asks [Albert] Pujols, [Chris] Carpenter and other Cardinal players, they would confirm the value of Holliday's division-winning contribution. Again, we congratulate Whitey on his admittance into the Hall of Fame."
Tigers re-sign SS Everett
The Tigers re-signed shortstop Adam Everett to a one-year deal.
Known for his defense, Everett hit .238 with three home runs and 44 RBIs in 118 games with the Tigers last season, his first in Detroit.
Angels enter Halladay derby
The Angels will enter the Roy Halladay derby here at the Winter Meetings, but they are only interested if he's willing to agree to a long-term deal with them, people familiar with their thinking told SI.com.
The Yankees, Red Sox and perhaps Phillies are among other teams interested in what's expected to be a select group in the bidding for the Blue Jays superstar.
Executives with multiple teams interested say they believe Halladay's value is enhanced if he's willing to sign on long term, and that Toronto's take will be diminished greatly if Halladay prefers to wait to sign until he becomes a free agent after the year. But the Angles are at least one team that will walk away from talks without a long-term deal in hand.
Halladay has a full no-trade clause and is known to want to go to a perennial winner. He is also believed to strongly prefer a team that trains in Florida, as his winter home is just outside Tampa. Halladay rejected the Rangers last year but could be slightly more open to the Angels. Halladay's agent, Greg Landry, has said they will consider opportunities on a "case-by-cases basis.''
The Yankees and Red Sox seem to be the most logical fits, and new Blue Jays GM Alex Anthopoulos has said he's willing to consider trading Halladay within the division.
Tigers seeking offers on young hurler Jackson
The Tigers are seeking offers on fine young pitcher Edwin Jackson, and most executives believe he will be traded. They are asking for young pitching in return. From Seattle, they sought Brandon Morrow and Shawn Kelley.
Lyon leaning toward rejecting arbitration from Tigers
Reliever Brandon Lyon is leaning toward rejecting arbitration from the Tigers. Lyon went 6-5 with a 2.86 ERA in 78 2/3 innings last season for Detroit.
Mariners ace Hernandez seeks $100 million deal
Mariners superstar Felix Hernandez will be seeking to become baseball's next $100 million man, SI.com has learned.
Hernandez, perhaps the most valuable property in the game, will be looking for about $100 million over six years in meetings with the Mariners here at the winter meetings, according to people familiar with their talks.
Hernandez and the Mariners have a meeting set up here in the next day or two. Several teams have their eye on these talks, although Mariners GM Jack Zduriencik has said he will not trade Hernandez this winter.
Hernandez, who made $3.8 million last year as an arbitration-eligible player, is due to at least triple that in arbitration this year and is eligible for free agency after the 2011 season.
The comp Hernandez will use for the free-agent years is the $23 million annual salary of CC Sabathia, with a small discount because he isn't yet a free agent. Zack Greinke took a $38 million, four-year extension before his Cy Young season but did so at a discount because of his extreme comfort level in Kansas City. Josh Johnson asked for more than Greinke, and people familiar with those talks say he and the Marlins are "far apart."
But at 23, Hernandez is a special case. Hernandez went 19-5 with a 2.49 ERA and finished second in AL Cy Young voting this past year.
The Mariners have said they intend to try to lock him up in a long-term deal, and have no intention to trade him. They believe he has sound mechanics and isn't an injury risk.
The Mariners are one of the most active teams this winter, as they have already signed Chone Figgins for $36 million over four years and are pursuing Jason Bay and John Lackey, as well. They have nearly $50 million coming off the books in expiring contracts and the will to challenge the Angels.
Dodgers floating Pierre in trade talks
The Dodgers are talking about Juan Pierre in trades. The Mets have some interest, and would consider a swap of Luis Castillo for Pierre. Pierre has $18 million left on his contract over two years, Castillo $12 million.
Beltre to decline arbitration offer from Mariners
Third baseman Adrian Beltre plans to decline the Mariners' offer of arbitration by the midnight deadline on Monday night. The Mariners still have interest in retaining Beltre, but even if they don't, they still have Chone Figgins at third base.
Beltre hit .265 last season with eight home runs and 44 RBIs in 111 games.
Pettitte, Yankees begin negotiating 2010 contract
World Series hero Andy Pettitte has told the Yankees he wants to pitch in 2010.
The Yankees have identified Pettitte as their first priority and have begun negotiations to try to sign him to a one-year deal. Last year negotiations took months before Pettitte agreed to an incentive-laden contract that guaranteed him $5.5 million but paid him about $11 million in total.
There is every expectation they will be able to sign him, as it is well known he wants to be in New York. The Yankees are expected to make an offer of slightly more than $10 million to Pettitte today.
Yankees trade Bruney to Nationals
The Yankees traded Brian Bruney to the Nationals for a player to be named. Bruney appeared in 44 games for the Yankees as a reliever in 2009, going 3.92 with 36 strikeouts and 23 walks in 39 innings.
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