Winter Meetings Buzz: Updates on Pujols, Fielder, Wilson and more
Wilson was considered by many to be one of the top pitching prizes on the free-agent market this winter. The 31-year-old posted a 16-7 record this season for the Texas Rangers, while also recording a 2.94 ERA in over 220 innings of work. Today's signing means the culmination of a seven-year career for Wilson in Texas, in which he served five years as a reliever, two as a starter, and helped the club reach two World Series.
Wilson narrowed down the field of potential suitors to the Angels and the Miami Marlins last night. The Texas Rangers had been interested in re-signing the All-Star starter, but it is not believed they were not willing to offer him a long-term deal.
The Angels also made news today by signing mega free-agent Albert Pujols to a 10-year, $250 million deal.
According to Tim Brown of Yahoo! Sports, Albert Pujols will sign a deal with the Los Angeles Angels for 10-years at a value between $250-260 million.
Pujols, 31, was considered by many to be the top free-agent on the market this winter. The slugging first baseman hit .299/.366/.541 with 37 home runs and 99 RBI for the Cardinals last season. The three-time Most Valuable Player has a career 162 game average of .328/.420/.617 with 42 home runs and 126 RBI.
The signing means the end of an era in St. Louis where Pujols played for the Cardinals for 11 seasons. During that span he helped the Cardinals win two World Series, led the league in runs five times, home runs twice, and hits, RBIs, batting average, and on base percentage once.
Tim Brown of Yahoo! and Buster Olney of ESPN are saying over Twitter that Albert Pujols has reached a deal with the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim.
Brown: "Source: Pujols will sign with Angels for 10 years for between $250 and $260 million. Full no-trade. Pujols decided Thursday morning."
Olney: "Pujols to Angels, done, sources say"
Yu Darvish, the consensus top pitcher in Japan, has been officially posted by the Hokkaido Nippon-Ham Fighters, according to a source familiar with the process. Under the posting system, the first step required before the 25-year-old right-hander can play in the U.S. major leagues, the Fighters agree to auction Darvish's negotiating rights to the highest-bidding major league team. The bids, which are sealed, must be submitted by close of business on Tuesday, Dec. 13.
The Fighters will be informed of the amount of the highest bid, but not of which club submitted it. They will then decide whether or not to accept that bid. If the bid is accepted, the winning team has one month to negotiate a contract with Darvish; if no deal is reached, the posting fee is refunded and the pitcher's rights revert back to the Fighters. Bidding for Darvish may well exceed the $51.1 million that the Boston Red Sox paid the Seibu Lions five years ago for the negotiating rights to Daisuke Matsuzaka.
Last season the 6-foot-5 Darvish had an 18-6 record with a career-high 276 strikeouts in 232 innings. He also had a league-best 1.44 ERA, his fifth straight season under 1.90. The two-time Pacific League MVP is said to have nine basic pitches, including a 97-mph fastball, a two-seamer, a sinker, a cutter, a knuckleball, a big curve with late rotation not unlike Tim Lincecum's, and, most impressive, a downward-breaking power slider.
Among the likely suitors for Darvish are the Toronto Blue Jays, Los Angeles Angels, Texas Rangers, Washington Nationals and Boston Red Sox. The Yankees, who have been disappointed by Japanese pitching imports such as Hideki Irabu, Katsuhiro Maeda and Kei Igawa, are not expected to show serious interest.
Boston's new manager, Bobby Valentine, who managed Darvish in Japan, told SI.com last year that Darvish is considerably more talented than Matsuzaka. "Darvish is stronger and more efficient, with better velocity, sharper control and more whip," said Valentine, the only skipper ever to lead teams to both the Japan Series and the World Series. "He'd be the ace of most big league staffs."
C.J. Wilson is expected to accept a five-year contract from the Angels, according to a tweet from Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports. The Marlins offered six years, but the left-hander has apparently chosen to return to his native southern California instead.
Contrary to previous reports, the Miami Marlins are not pursuing Prince Fielder and are not planning to trade infielder Hanley Ramirez, according a tweet from Joe Capozzi, Marlins beat writer for
"Marlins are NOT in on prince fielder & do not plan to trade Hanley Ramirez," Capozzi tweeted, adding that Ramirez "has not asked for contract restructure."
It had been believed that the Marlins would pursue the slugging Fielder after being unable to lure Albert Pujols to Florida as part of their active offseason.
Ramirez has played shortstop for the Marlins since 2006, but is expected to move to third base to make way for free agent signee Jose Reyes. ESPN's Buster Olney, among others, had reported Ramirez's desire for a trade as well as his request for a restructured deal. It was this request, according to Olney, that caused the Marlins to consider trading their former shortstop.
Ramirez signed a $70 million deal with the Marlins in 2009, which keeps him under club control through 2014.
Mark Buehrle has agreed to a four-year, $58M deal with the Miami Marlins, according to Ken Rosenthal of FoxSports.com.
Last season, the 32-year-old posted a 13-9 record for the Chicago White Sox with a 3.59 ERA in 205.1 innings pitched.
There are conflicting reports as to whether the Miami Marlins will try to trade Hanley Ramirez. ESPN's Buster Olney tweeted the following: "Source: Hanley Ramirez's rep asked the Marlins for a restructured deal. MIA upset with this, will now be looking to trade Hanley."
Ken Rosenthal of FoxSports.com, however, wrote tweeted, "Marlins president David] Samson: Hanley did not ask for contract to be restructured. Hanley not getting traded. Hanley critical part of team."
It was reported earlier that Ramirez, who was previously considered the franchise player of the Marlins, was upset about having to move from shortstop to third base with the signing of fellow All-Star shortstop Jose Reyes. Miami inked a six-year, $106 million deal with Reyes despite reportedly knowing that their star shortstop was not open to a position change.
Ramirez, a three-time All-Star, has played for the club since 2006. The former National League batting champion signed a six-year, $70 million deal with the Marlins in 2009, which keeps him under club control through 2014.
The Miami Marlins have made a six-year offer to starting pitcher C.J. Wilson, SI's Tom Verducci reports.
The Miami Marlins are out of the running for free-agent superstar Albert Pujols, according to the New York
The Marlins believe that Pujols and the St. Cardinals are "a few million dollars apart" and are likely to re-sign their All-Star first baseman, a source has told the
It was reported yesterday afternoon that the Marlins had become the first team to offer Pujols a contract with a duration of 10 years at a price of over $200 million. By late last night, it was reported that not only had the Cardinals at least matched the Marlins offer, another "mystery team" had entered the mix with their own $200 million deal. Pujols, 31, is considered by many to be the top free-agent on the market this winter. The slugging first baseman hit .299/.366/.541 with 37 home runs and 99 RBIs for the Cardinals last season.
Free-agent shortstop Jimmy Rollins is reportedly close to a deal that will allow him to return to the Philadelphia Phillies, according to a tweet by Chris Singleton of ESPN. "Got a pretty encouraging report from a #phillies person that a deal will get done with @jimmyrollins11 soon. #goodness," the tweet read.
Last season in 142 games, the 33-year-old Rollins hit .268/.338/.399 with 16 home runs and 87 runs scored. The former National League Most Valuable Player is a career .272 hitter.
Buster Olney of ESPN tweets: "No final decision in place, but there is a growing sense among some of officials involved in Pujols talks that he is staying with St. Louis."
Ken Rosenthal of FoxSports.com says the Marlins have made their final offer to Albert Pujols but that an additional meeting with Pujols' agent, Dan Lozano, is possible.
The St. Louis Cardinals are believed to have upped their offer to free-agent first baseman Albert Pujols to 10-years, $220 million, according to the
The Cardinals' previous offer to Pujols was given in February, just before the slugger broke off talks with the club about a potential extension in order to focus on preparing for the 2011 season. That deal was believed to be worth $198 million over nine years. The club was forced to adjust their offer to stay in the running for Pujols yesterday, however, after the Miami Marlins made a strong push for the three-time NL Most Valuable Player. It is believed the Marlins offered him a 10-year deal that had a value of over $200 million.
It was reported that as of last night Pujols had received offers from three teams with a value of $200 million or greater; the Marlins, Cardinals and one "mystery team." According to the
Pujols, 31, is considered by many to be the top free-agent on the market this winter. The slugging first baseman hit .299/.366/.541 with 37 home runs and 99 RBIs for the Cardinals last season and helped lead them to their 11th World Series title.
The Angels are interested in Albert Pujols, Ken Rosenthal tweeted. MLB.com reported that the Marlins wanted a Pujols resolution on Tuesday.
The Angels are drawing trade interest in Ervin Santana, anticipating the club will end up with C.J. Wilson, Ken Rosenthal tweeted.
The Mets have agreed to a two-year deal with Frank Francisco, according to multiple reports. That would be the third relief pitcher the Mets have added in the last hour.
UPDATE: The deal has been accepted, pending physicals, according to multiple reports. It could lessen the Giants' chances of signing Carlos Beltran.
The Mariners were reported to be the front-runner for Prince Fielder earlier Tuesday, but Jim Duquette tweeted that the M's are not even in on Fielder. The Cubs and Blue Jays have also been talked about as possible destinations.
The Mets and former Blue Jays closer Jon Rauch are in agreement on a one-year contract, according to MLB Network's Jim Duquette. The deal is pending a physical.
Albert Pujols is mulling not two, but three offers of at least 10 years and $200 million, according to
The White Sox are really looking like sellers. Dan Connolly of the
Tuesday's meeting between the Marlins and the commissioner's office was related to a potential Albert Pujols contract, multiple national writers confirmed.
Cardinals beat writers are reporting the club made a new offer to Albert Pujols on Tuesday. It's unknown how that offer measures up to the Marlins' bid in excess of 10 years and $200-plus million.
David Ortiz is expected to
Nick Cafardo of the
In pitching news, Mark Buehrle is seeking a four-year deal, while Roy Oswalt wants a three-year deal, according to MLB.com.
One of the hottest names at the meetings has been Gio Gonzalez, but MLB.com's Jane Lee tweeted that Billy Beane shot down talk of Gonzalez being dealt to the Royals. The Yankees are still thought to be a possibility.
Marlins owner Jeffrey Loria came out of a meeting with the commissioner's office and said the meeting had nothing to do with Albert Pujols, Ken Rosenthal of FoxSports.com tweeted.
There's growing buzz at the Winter Meetings that the Marlins will emerge as the winners of the Albert Pujols sweepstakes Tuesday night, according to Joe Capozzi of the
In other Cardinals news, the
Miami Marlins All-Star Hanley Ramirez has reportedly told the team that he does not want to move to third base following the free-agent signing of Jose Reyes, according to Enrique Rojas ESPN Deportes Los Angeles.
Ramirez, a three-time All-Star, has played for the club since 2006. The former National League batting champion signed a six-year, $70 million deal with the Marlins in 2009, which keeps him under club control until 2014.
The Marlins signed Reyes to a six-year, $106 million contract on Sunday despite Ramirez's presence on the roster.
Free agent David Ortiz is expected to return to the Boston Red Sox "one way or another" a Red Sox source told ESPN today.
The designated hitter, who reportedly would like to stay in Boston, would have to accept salary arbitration by Wednesday's midnight deadline, or come to terms on an agreement with the Red Sox on what is expected to be a two-year deal.
Ortiz, hit .309/.398/.544 in the 2011 with 29 home runs and 96 RBIs in 2011, his ninth year in Boston.
Jerry Crasnick of ESPN.com tweets that Prince Fielder is "a major long shot" for the Toronto Blue Jays "unless he's willing to take a short-term deal with a higher AAV [average annual value]."
Several reports on Twitter, including from Jon Morosi of FoxSports.com and Juan C. Rodriguez of the South Florida Sun-Sentinel that the Marlins' brass have concluded their meeting but no announcement has been made regarding the team's talks with Albert Pujols.
The Blue Jays traded pitching prospect Nestor Molina to the White Sox for closer Sergio Santos. Toronto GM Alex Anthopolous described the 28-year-old Santos as "a guy who has a chance to be an elite closer in the American League," noting his strikeout rate (13.1 K/9) and power slider. He also said he liked that Santos has a contract that keeps him under team control for six seasons and doesn't have many miles on his arm after converting from shortstop to pitcher before the 2009 season.
White Sox GM Kenny Williams, meanwhile, told Chicago reporters, "It is the start of rebuilding." Molina, who coincidentally is also a converted position player, had a dominant year split between Single-A and Double-A, posting a 2.21 ERA while striking out 148 and walking just 16 in 130 1/3 innings. Chicago reportedly could also trade starters Gavin Floyd or John Danks, as well as outfielder Carlos Quentin. --
Jon Morosi of FoxSports.com has confirmed that the Marlins' offer to Albert Pujols is for more than $200 million.
Milwaukee Brewers general manager Doug Melvin met with free agent shortstop Jimmy Rollins' agent, Dan Lozano, the
Reportedly, Rollins is insistent on signing a five-year contract that the Phillies, the only team he's ever played for, are not willing to commit to. According to Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports the two sides also met Monday night, but there have been no word of the progress made in that meeting.
Last season in 142 games, the 33-year-old Rollins hit .268/.338/.399 with 16 home runs and 87 runs scored. The 2007 National League Most Valuable Player has helped Philadelphia to five straight NL East titles and the 2008 World Series championship.
Juan C. Rodriguez, the beat writer for the South Florida Sun-Sentinel tweets that the Marlins' brass, including owner Jeffrey Loria, are "heading upstairs for meeting. Pujols situation could crystallize soon."
FoxSports' Ken Rosenthal tweets that sources tell him the Marlins will not completely relent on a no-trade clause for Albert Pujols. A compromise is possible, tweets Rosenthal, but Pujols will want a significant deterrent.
FoxSports' Ken Rosenthal says via Twitter that the Marlins have made a 10-year offer to Albert Pujols and that the two sides are trying to "work through no-trade issue." Rosenthal added a subsequent tweet stating that the Cardinals are expected to talk with the Pujols camp again today.
The Chicago Cubs have reportedly submitted a bid for free-agent first baseman Albert Pujols, according to
While the Cubs had previously been rumored to be interested in Pujols, along with fellow slugging free-agent first baseman Prince Fielder, until now it had only been reported that the St. Louis Cardinals and the Miami Marlins had made offers to the 31-year-old.
According to the
Last season Carlos Pena served as the club's first baseman and hit .225/.357/.462 for Chicago with 28 home runs and 80 RBIs. Pena is now himself a free agent, however Pujols and Fielder are viewed as potentially significant upgrades. Pujols hit .299/.366/.541 with 37 home runs and 99 RBI for the Cardinals last season. The three-time Most Valuable Player has a career 162 game average of .328/.420/.617 with 42 home runs and 126 RBI.
Phil Rogers of the Chicago Tribune tweets that a source says the Cardinals are shopping Kyle Lohse to make room for Mark Buehrle.
Jeff Wilson of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram says lefty C.J. Wilson has a six-year offer from a team other than the Rangers. Jim Duquette of MLB Network Radio tweets that it's the Nationals, but Nats GM Mike Rizzo denied that to Jim Bowden of ESPN.
The Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel's Tom Hardicourt says the market for Prince Fielder appears to be shrinking. The Orioles are known to be interested, and MLB.com's Greg Johns says the Mariners have talked about him with agent Scott Boras. But Jim Bowden of ESPN tweets that the Nationals won't be in the hunt.
The Cardinals regard the Marlins as "a real threat" for Pujols, according to a tweet from Newsday's Ken Davidoff. But the St. Louis Post-Dispatch's Joe Strauss reports still haven't moved from their January offer to Pujols. That was a nine-year proposal worth about $22 million per year.
Ken Rosenthal of FoxSports.com says the Twins, Nationals, Marlins, and Rangers are pursuing left-handed starter Mark Buehrle, but the Twins' offer apparently falls short of the other three, believed to be in the three-year $36-39 million range.
Buster Olney of ESPN tweets that "Brewers indicating to others they are pretty much out on Prince Fielder and are moving on."
Tweet from ESPN's Jerry Crasnick: "The Rays are making a serious run at free agent OF Josh Willingham." Meanwhile, Ken Rosenthal tweets that "Rays not yet close on Willingham but a finalist among 3-4 teams."
The Miami Marlins are set to meet with Albert Pujols' agent Dan Lozano Monday afternoon, according to SunSentinel.com.
The Marlins are reportedly "aggressively pursuing" Pujols, even after the team's recent blockbuster six-year, $106 million deal with former Mets shortstop Jose Reyes. Lozano has also reportedly met with the Chicago Cubs and St. Louis Cardinals today regarding Pujols, baseball sources told the paper. In his eleven seasons in with the Cardinals, Pujols has a career 162-game average of .328/.420/.617 with 42 home runs and 126 RBI.
According to ESPN's Buster Olney, "the Tampa Bay Rays are telling teams they will talk about B.J. Upton but will have to be overwhelmed to move him."
Jim Salisbury of CSN Philadelphia says that Jimmy Rollins' meeting with the Phillies did not go well, according to a person with knowledge of the situation. Rollins is seeking a five-year deal. He has spent his entire 12-year major league career with Philadelphia, where he has made three All-Star teams, won an MVP and helped lead the Phillies to two pennants and a World Series title.
According to Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports, the Cubs met today with the agent for Albert Pujols but there is no indication of how those talks went.
The Orioles' interest in Prince Fielder may be a mandate from owner Peter Angelos, says SI.com's Jon Heyman. Baltimore manager Buck Showalter likes Fielder and their GM, Dan Duquette, isn't afraid of big stars or contracts, having made expensive signings before, such as signing Manny Ramirez to an eight-year, $160 million deal at the 2000 Winter Meetings.
The Phillies are actively shopping Placido Polanco, according to FoxSports.com's Ken Rosenthal, who says such a move would open up a spot for free-agent third baseman Aramis Ramirez. Joe Capozzi of the
The Chicago Cubs are receiving interest from other teams about veteran outfielder Alfonso Soriano, according to Jon Heyman.
According to Heyman, the Cubs would likely have to pay a good portion of Soriano's remaining contract. Theo Esptein, the new president of baseball operations for Chicago, has made it clear since taking over the team this fall that any player on the roster is available for trade.
Soriano, 35, signed an eight-year, $136 million deal with the Cubs in November of 2006. The deal, which possesses a full no-trade clause, will pay him $18 million annually from 2012-2014. Last season in 137 games, Soriano hit just .244/.289/.469 with 26 home runs and 88 RBI. The seven-time All-Star has hit .266/.320/.498 with 132 home runs and 367 RBI in five years with the Cubs.
Prior to signing with Chicago, Soriano spent one year with the Washington Nationals where he joined the elite 40-40 club by hitting .277/.351/.560 with 46 home runs and 41 stolen bases.
St. Louis Cardinals GM John Mozeliak will be meeting with Danny Lozano, the agent for Albert Pujols, on Monday, confirms SI.com's Jon Heyman. Pujols turned down a nine-year, $200 million offer from the Cardinals before the season and Heyman says St. Louis won't have much room to move.