- Yahoo Sports1 day ago
LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. – The most exciting moment of the 2013 winter meetings took place in the self-parking lot outside the Walt Disney World Dolphin hotel at 12:03 p.m. local time Wednesday. Forget trades, free-agent signings and rumors. Two men tried to beat the crap out of each other, witnesses said, and one of them threatened to burn the other’s house down.
Suffice to say, these will not go down as the most memorable winter meetings, barring a big signing or an out-of-nowhere trade materializing late Wednesday or early Thursday. This was the winter meetings where the two biggest contracts went to a player who wasn’t even a free agent (Charlie Morton’s $21 million extension) and a player who looks like he ate a free agent (Bartolo Colon’s $20 million deal with the New York Mets). Sure, a three-way trade happened, and those are always fun, but sorry, Mark Trumbo and Co., you simply cannot hold a candle to an old-fashioned arson threat.
- Yahoo Sports2 days ago
LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. – The Pittsburgh Pirates signed right-hander Charlie Morton to a three-year, $21 million contract extension Wednesday that could be worth up to $30 million, betting on the 30-year-old to continue a successful return from Tommy John surgery and hedging against the increasing price of starting pitching, sources told Yahoo Sports.
Morton's extension represents the biggest deal given out at an otherwise-slow Winter Meetings and the largest for a pitcher in Pirates franchise history. He returned from reconstructive elbow surgery in June and posted a career-best 3.26 ERA over 20 starts and 116 innings, leading starters with a 62.9 percent groundball rate, the second-highest mark for any starter over the last five seasons.
- Yahoo Sports2 days ago
LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. – While the owner of the Rakuten Golden Eagles said he was "disappointed" in the new posting system that will severely limit the money his team can reap from star pitcher Masahiro Tanaka, Major League Baseball is barreling ahead with the agreement expected to be ratified Monday or Tuesday, industry sources told Yahoo Sports.
At that point, Rakuten must decide whether to take a $20 million posting fee for Tanaka this year and set off an unprecedented 30-team free-agent frenzy or decline to post him against his wishes – a decision Rakuten president Yozo Tachibana said the team has not yet made.
"I don't know if $20 million is fair value for this kind of trade," Rakuten assistant general manager Aki Sasaki said. " ... I don't know if it's the right price."
- Yahoo Sports2 days ago
In a swap of high-potential left-handed starters, the Oakland A's traded Brett Anderson to the Colorado Rockies for Drew Pomeranz, sources told Yahoo Sports. Oakland also received right-handed prospect Chris Jensen and will send cash back to Colorado.
While injuries have limited the 25-year-old Anderson to 43 games started over the last four seasons, scouts believe he still has front-of-the-rotation ability thanks to well-above-average command and one of the game's best sliders. A lingering foot injury limited Anderson to five starts and relegated him to a bullpen role last season, and the year before he started five games after recovering from Tommy John surgery. Over five seasons with Oakland, Anderson is 26-29 with a 3.81 ERA and a 2.98-to-1 strikeout-to-walk ratio, one of the best among active starters.
- Yahoo Sports3 days ago
LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. – In this crucible of rumors, unique is the case of Masahiro Tanaka, who may or may not be coming to Major League Baseball this season, depending on who's doing the whispering. There is the National League official who believes he is coming and the American League executive who believes he isn't and many more, split almost evenly down the middle.
The will-he-or-won't-he question may find resolution in the next couple of days. Sources told Yahoo Sports that Yozo Tachibana, president of the Rakuten Golden Eagles, plans to arrive at the winter meetings here on Tuesday. His appearance may lend clarity to Rakuten's plan of whether to accept a $20 million posting fee for the right-hander's transfer to an MLB team this offseason or reject it and rob the pitching market of its jewel.
- Yahoo Sports4 days ago
LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. – A Baseball Hall of Fame committee on Monday unanimously elected Joe Torre, Tony La Russa and Bobby Cox, the three most successful managers of their generation and shepherds of a combined eight World Series champions, while again denying former New York Yankees owner George Steinbrenner and influential union leader Marvin Miller.
The election of the three by the expansion era committee kicked off what the Hall expects to be a banner year after nobody was inducted in 2013. In addition to Torre, La Russa and Cox, a number of players are considered first-ballot locks – Greg Maddux, Tom Glavine and Frank Thomas are the most likely – while Craig Biggio, MikePiazza and Jeff Bagwell could join them in one of the biggest classes ever.
Torre, 73, was far and away the best player of the three future managers, and he won the most World Series, too, leading the New York Yankees' dynasty of the late '90s to four in five seasons. He retired in 2010 after 29 seasons managing the Mets, Braves, Cardinals, Yankees and Dodgers, with a 2,326-1,997 record.
- Yahoo Sports6 days ago
The 10-year, $240 million contract Robinson Cano signed with the Seattle Mariners on Friday is going to be a complete disaster, and anyone who says otherwise is ignoring history, aging curves and all other matters of rational thought. By now, everyone in baseball, down to the most willfully ignorant people, understand that free agents are like fruit. Early on, at their ripest, they can be wondrous and worth every penny. Then they start to get soft, and the wrinkles come, and the mold, and then my God what is that awful monstrosity.
Contrary to popular opinion, that is not the most important part of the story of how a lifelong New York Yankee absconded 3,000 miles west to what has devolved into a baseball ghost town. Even the Mariners, with absentee ownership, a team president on the way out and a lame-duck general manager, recognize that lavishing a 31-year-old with a decade-long contract is a move that considers the baseball implications secondary, maybe tertiary.
Here is the truth about the third-biggest contract in sports history: For everyone, respect trumped better judgment.
Reliever Edward Mujica and the Boston Red Sox have agreed on a two-year, $9.5 million deal, sources told Yahoo Sports.
The deal is pending a physical, which Mujica is taking Thursday.
Mujica spent almost all of last season as closer for the St. Louis Cardinals before losing his job to Trevor Rosenthal in September. The 29-year-old right-hander saved 37 games with a 2.78 ERA for the Cardinals. Late-season struggles ballooned his ERA by more than one point, and the Cardinals used him just twice in the playoffs – and not at all against Boston in the World Series.
Mujica adds to the bullpen depth of the defending champions, one of their lone concerns, and joins closer Koji Uehara, Junichi Tazawa and Craig Breslow.
The David Price sweepstakes is expected to heat up later this week, multiple executives with interest in the left-handed ace told Yahoo Sports, as the Tampa Bay Rays begin to survey the market for the former Cy Young winner and consider whether to trade him.
The Seattle Mariners, Los Angeles Dodgers, Los Angeles Angels, Pittsburgh Pirates, Texas Rangers, Arizona Diamondbacks and Toronto Blue Jays are among the teams that not only have an interest in Price but believe they can put together the sort of package to pry Price from the Rays, sources said.
The 28-year-old Price immediately would be the most sought-after name on the trade market, and teams expect him to net a far bigger package than the Wil Myers-headlined deal Tampa Bay received from Kansas City last season. Despite the potential for $30 million in salary over the next two seasons before he hits free agency after 2015, Price is a rare commodity – an available ace – that is drawing interest accordingly.
After years of a restrictive posting system that frustrated Japanese players and Major League Baseball teams, the sport is on the verge of a radical overhaul that would turn top Japanese players into de facto free agents, sources told Yahoo Sports.
Nippon Professional Baseball is close to ratifying a proposal from MLB that would cap the posting fee, or the amount of money that goes to a Japanese team for a player’s rights, at $20 million, sources said. In the case of a tie, the player would get to shop for a contract and choose among the teams with the top bid.
The immediate impact would be significant. Right-hander Masahiro Tanaka, considered by far the best available pitcher on the market, would be in line for a potential $100 million contract on top of the posting fee, which almost every team in the major leagues is likely to consider maxing out to join the bidding.