The Rangers could use prospects outside of their natural positions in 2013, and the Mets are still interested in Michael Bourn.
The Rangers fell short in the Zack Greinke sweepstakes, watched Josh Hamilton join their division rivals in Anaheim, failed to land any of the big-name center fielders, and decided not to meet the Diamondbacks’ lofty asking price for Justin Upton. Yet, despite adding only a handful of lower-tier free agents—Lance Berkman, A.J. Pierzynski, Joakim Soria—to his now-Hamilton-less roster, general manager Jon Daniels is content with the players who will soon report to the team’s camp in Surprise, Arizona.
Rangers could use top prospects at unfamiliar positions
According to Jeff Wilson, a beat writer for the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, Daniels is determined to maximize the contributions of the hitters who are already under his team’s control, even if that means using some of his most talented young bats at positions that they have seldom (if ever) played before. Mike Olt in right field? Jurickson Profar in center? To both of those scenarios, Daniels says, “Why not?”
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The Astros might not be done dealing, and the Indians could look in on Michael Bourn.
The Astros breathed life into the Hot Stove earlier this week, when they agreed to send infielder Jed Lowrie to the Athletics in a five-player swaps, but the flames have since died down again. Fortunately, second-year general manager Jeff Luhnow might soon provide more fuel…
Astros could keep wheeling and dealing, with Bud Norris on the block
According to FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal, after a dormant month and a half, the market for Norris is once again gaining steam. The Astros, as Rosenthal pointed out in the afore-linked blog post, have plenty of candidates to take over Norris’ spot in the rotation, and since the right-hander is gradually becoming more expensive, it makes sense for them to cash-in now.
The market is picking up for Ryan Theriot, and the Rays might be willing to wheel and deal.
Remember when, at the Winter Meetings, a few executives expressed dismay to CBS Sports’ Danny Knobler about a bidding war for Jack Hannahan? Well, if you think that the only thing more perturbing than a bidding war for Hannahan is a bidding war for Ryan Theriot, be careful what you wish for.
Multiple teams pursuing Theriot
According to FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal, the Indians and Rangers are courting the 33-year-old infielder, who delivered 104 games of below-replacement-level work to the world champion Giants last year and has hit three home runs since June 30, 2009. Meanwhile, at least as of three weeks ago, the Giants had not yet closed the door on bringing him back.
Franklin Morales is gaining some attention as a trade chip, and the Reds continue their search for relief help.
The Super Bowl is now behind us, and that means that spring training is only one week away. As teams ponder some final pre-camp tweaks to their rosters, here are two stories that surfaced over the weekend.
Scott Rolen would like to make a comeback, but the Reds might not have the room for him, and the Padres table extension talks with Chase Headley.
Back on Oct. 11, after the Reds were eliminated from the playoffs in Game Five of the National League Division Series,USA Today’s Bob Nightengale tweeted that Cincinnati’s third baseman, Scott Rolen, had played his last major-league game. But the 37-year-old Rolen never formally announced that he was hanging up his cleats, and, after a winter of flip-flopping, it appears that he intends to wear them for at least one more year.
Rolen wants to return for 2013, may fit better with Dodgers than Reds
According to Cincinnati Enquirer beat writer John Fay, Rolen has firmly decided to return, putting the ball in general manager Walt Jocketty’s court. The problem is that Jocketty seemingly spent the winter operating under the assumption that Rolen would retire, adding the slick-fielding Jack Hannahan to spell projected starter Todd Frazier at the hot corner. With just 10 days left before spring training, finding room for Rolen, both in the budget and on the roster, could pose a challenge.
The Yankees might open the purse strings a bit, and Joe Saunders could earn a two-year deal.
With less than a dozen days left before pitchers and catchers report for spring training, the Yankees are still sitting tight, despite question marks at catcher, toward the back of their starting rotation, and at designated hitter. If a few reports that leaked last night are accurate, though, then general manager Brian Cashman might soon awaken from his winter-long slumber.
Yankees possibly on verge of adding Travis Hafner
According to WEEI’s Rob Bradford, Cashman is in serious negotiations with agent Brian Peters about a contract for Hafner, whose $13 million club option was declined by the Indians on Oct. 31. The 35-year-old Hafner is coming off of a four-year,$57 million hitch with the Tribe, which ended when Cleveland opted for his $2.75 million buyout, and is likely to assent to a one-year pact, per Wall Street Journal beat writer Daniel Barbarisi. That price tag is consistent with the Yankees’ intent to trim their payroll below $189 million for the 2014 season.
The Mets are looking to add another reliever, and the Yankees are hoping to shed Alex Rodriguez's contract.
The Mets have been busy over the past week,meeting withScott Boras about Michael Bourn and reeling inScott Atchison on a minor-league deal. According to CBS Sports’ Jon Heyman, whether Bourn ultimately lands in Queens or elsewhere, general manager Sandy Alderson has at least one other move up his sleeve.
After inking Atchison, Mets have room for more bullpen upgrades
Less than an hour after the Mets announced the Atchison signing, Heyman tweeted that Alderson was “still in the market for more relief help,” with the search possibly including closers as well as middle-inning arms. That jibes with the team’s decision to hold a private workout for Brian Wilson earlier this month, and though the Mets came away skeptical of the former Giant’s health at that point, Alderson told ESPN’s Jim Bowden on Sunday that they are willing to give him a second look.
Hideki Okajima might return to the majors, Scott Atchison is expected to sign soon, and the Padres are hoping to extend Chase Headley.
We’ve reached the part of the offseason when Hideki Okajima considering a return to the majors is among the top rumors. To spice things up, listen to the entrance song that he used during his time with the Red Sox while you read the opening segment of today’s Roundup.
Okajima could return to the States as a member of the A’s
According to Susan Slusser, who covers the Athletics for The San Francisco Chronicle, that tune might soon be coming to O.co Coliseum. The 37-year-old Okajima returned to Japan for the 2012 season, after a shoulder ailment nixed his minor-league deal with the Yankees, and he revived his stock by posting a 0.94 ERA over 56 outings for the Fukuoka Soft Bank Hawks.
The Diamondbacks probably won't pursue Rick Porcello, and Michael Bourn might have a pair of suitors.
The Justin Upton saga finally concluded on Thursday morning, when the Diamondbacks agreed to send the 25-year-old right fielder to the Braves, along with Chris Johnson, in exchange for Martin Prado and four prospects. Atlanta’s offseason, bookended by its acquisitions of the Upton brothers, is now virtually finished. But some believe that Arizona’s busy winter may grow busier still.
Kyle Farnsworth might choose a new home, and the Mariners might extend Felix Hernandez.
The Phillies breathed life into the flagging Hot Stove with a one-year deal for Delmon Young, whom general manager Ruben Amaro expects to be his regular right fielder. While you imagine the hilarity enabled by that move, here’s an mélange of the other rumblings that recently made the rounds…
Survivor: Kyle Farnsworth finale coming soon
A week ago, Farnsworth had six suitors. Then,he had three. Now, according to ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick, he is down to two. And, if the dwindling list of viable destinations is any guide, the winner of the million-dollar prize aging right-hander will be announced on CBS via Twitter in the coming days.