MLB In Full Bloom 11/20/2013

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84 – Number of days until pitchers and catchers report

131 – Number of days until Opening Day

On Tuesday, there were not stop the newspaper moves, but we saw established big league players on the move. Along with a few signings, the offseason rumors are swirling and the Hot Stove that is the MLB offseason is heating up.

MLB NEWS & NOTES

  • Carlos Beltran and the Boston Red Sox have had "serious dialogue", but there does not appear to be a deal anywhere close to getting done. This news comes on the heals of the news that the Red Sox, Yankees, and the Orioles were engaged in talks with the outfielder.  Beltran to the Red Sox makes a lot of sense because at Fenway Park he can play left field which does not require a lot of running around with the Green Monster. Beltran has no reason to rush his decision and in the end it will pay off.
  • David Murphy and the Cleveland Indians have agreed on a two-year $12 million deal. Murphy is coming off a very disappointing season that saw him bat only .220 for the Rangers, but he hit .291 and has averaged nearly 13 homers per season the three years prior to 2013. This is a huge loss for the Rangers because he is a reliable guy who you knew what you would get every day. Great pick up for the Indians.
  • Josh Johnson and the San Diego Padres agreed to a one-year deal for $8 million deal. Johnson is coming off a 2-8 season in just over 81 innings in 16 starts. A 6.20 ERA in 2013 was far from his career best in 2010 with the Miami Marlins. There is an interesting twist to Johnson's deal in that if he makes fewer than seven starts in 2014, the Padres get a $4 million club option for 2015. Obviously, the Padres have concerns that Johnson may not pitch, but sometimes this risky moves work out well.
  • Chris Young and the Washington Nationals agreed to a minor league contract and if Young makes the team he will make a $1.5 million base salary. The veteran right-hander is an interesting signing for a team that has power arms with Stephen Strasburg, Jordan Zimmerman, Gio Gonzalez, and rumors are swirling about the Nats being in the mix to trade for Max Scherzer.
  • Cory Hart missed the entire 2013 season after needing knee surgery and now he is looking for a one-year deal in hopes of proving his health and testing the market again next year. Hart was on MLB Network Radio on Tuesday and said that the Red Sox, Rays, Rockies, and the Brewers have all shown interest this offseason. Like Josh Johnson, Hart could get a one-year deal and be primed for a big season if healthy.
  • Miguel Cabrera (groin)has started groin rehab following his groin surgery last month and he expects to be plans ready for spring training. Cabrera's lingering injury sapped his power down the stretch, as he had just one homer in the month of September. Despite the injury, Cabrera was able to win his second consecutive American League MVP award.
  • Chicago White Sox General manager Rick Hahn said he expects Paul Konerko to make a decision on whether to return to the White Sox by Dec. 9. The White Sox have no need to rush Konerko to make a decision with Jose Abreu serving as the team's big offseason signing who will be the Sox everyday first baseman.

MLB In Full Bloom 11/19/2013

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85 – Number of days until pitchers and catchers report

132 – Number of days until Opening Day

There are a couple of teams that we are hearing a lot of noise around this offseason in terms of their winter activity - the Los Angeles Dodgers and the Texas Rangers. But, neither of these teams were involved in the free agent signings that took place on Monday. The Hot Stove is heating up!

MLB NEWS & NOTES

  • Robinson Cano's agent, Jay Z, and the New York Mets met for dinner on Monday in Manhattan. Mets COO Jeff Wilpon, general manager Sandy Alderson and assistant general manager John Ricco were all present. Is this real or a joke? Where are the Mets going to get the money for Cano when its been reported they don't feel they can afford Stephen Drew? Jay Z wants to build Cano's brand and empire, but I don't think Cano will sign with the Mets.
  • Tim Hudson and the San Francisco Giants agreed on a two-year deal $23 million on Monday. It is stunning the Atlanta Braves let Hudson get away and were not willing to give him the second year for that amount of money. Hudson was the backbone of the Braves starting rotation, but now the Giants got themselves a two-year ace.
  • LaTroy Hawkins and the Colorado Rockies agreed to a one year deal for $2.5 million and he will be the Rockies closer and Rex Brothers will return to be the set-up role. Hawkins is coming off a nice season that he posted 2.93 ERA in 70 2/3 innings. However, he'll turn 41 next month and isn't exactly landing in a spot where we should expect a ton of success.
  • Skip Schumaker and the Cincinnati Reds have agreed to a two-year deal, pending a physical. Schumaker batted .263 with two homers and 30 RBI over 125 games with the Dodgers this season while making starts between second base and all three outfield positions. The Reds will likely use him in a similar super-sub role.
  • The Los Angeles Dodgers are fielding phone calls on all their outfielders including Yasiel Puig although trading him is unlikely. The more likely players to be traded are Matt Kemp, Andre Ethier, or Carl Crawford. The Dodgers are talking with the Texas Rangers, Seattle Mariners, and three or four other teams
  • Juan Uribe is seeking a three-year deal this offseason, but the Los Angeles Dodgers appear willing to only offer him a two-year deal. Uribe is a leader in the club house and was a good influence on Yasiel Puig and those factors will certainly play a role in the discussions, but in the end it's about production on the field.
  • Ian Kinsler for Andre Ethier? The rumors surrounding this possible trade keep popping up and it makes a lot of sense for both teams. Kinsler can play second base if Alexander Guerrero struggles during the season. Kinsler can play third base if they do not sign Juan Uribe and he can play left field. As for the Rangers, Ethier hitting at Arlington Ballpark makes a lot of sense and he would provide the power the Rangers are looking to add this offseason.
  • Josh Johnson would like to be on the west coast. His wife is from Anaheim and with all the injuries, John appears willing to take a one-year deal. The San Diego Padres and San Francisco Giants have interest in the right hander, but I think the Anaheim Angels are desperate for starting pitching.
  • Ricky Nolasco is another righthander on the market this offseason. He has several suitors and he will certainly get a three or four year deal. It's going to take some time for the Nolasco market to get figured out. The Twins, Dodgers, Yankees and possibly the Angels are in the mix as destinations for him.

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