Wolf, Brewers close to a three-year deal
The Brewers are on the verge of signing left-hander Randy Wolf to a three-year deal, multiple news outlets have reported. AOL Fanhouse first reported that the Brewers were close to signing the 33-year-old, and the deal was later confirmed by SI.com and the New York Post. Wolf is coming
off a career season in which he went 11-7 with a 3.23 ERA in 34 starts with the Dodgers after signing a one-year deal worth $5 million last offseason. He'll command more than that from Milwaukee.
Halladay to go from Jay to Ray?
Perhaps Andrew Friedman, the Rays' vice president of baseball operations, likes how that rhymes. Regardless, his club is the subject of one of the most surprising rumors of the day, as FOXSports.com -- citing Major League sources -- reported on Monday afternoon that the Rays are throwing themselves into the Roy Halladay sweepstakes. Tampa Bay might be willing to offer standout pitching prospect Wade Davis and outfielder B.J. Upton, whom Toronto could then flip to a third team. Halladay would have to waive his no-trade clause to play his final season before free agency in Tampa Bay. FOXSports.com added that the Rays also sought out Halladay before the non-waiver Trade Deadline in July. As of midafternoon, Blue Jays GM Alex Anthopoulos had met with three or four teams, with three more left on Monday's schedule, MLB.com's Jordan Bastian reported. ESPN.com and SI.com said that the Angels are also going to get involved with Halladay.
Pudge headed to D.C.
The Nationals made a surprising move late Monday night, signing Ivan Rodriguez to a two-year deal worth $6 million, according to Yahoo Sports. Earlier reports said that the 38-year-old wanted to finish his career with the Rangers, but he declined their arbitration offer and signed with Washington. The Rangers will obtain a Draft pick in
the supplemental round because the 14-time All-Star and former American League MVP ranked as a Type B free agent.
Mets, Brewers discuss Maine for Hart
Two players with disappointing 2009 campaigns were discussed in a potential trade, as the New York Post reported that the Mets and Brewers talked about a trade that would send right fielder Corey Hart to New York and right-hander John Maine to Milwaukee. Hart hit .260 last season with just 12 home runs after hitting 24 homers in 2007 while Maine was limited to 81 1/3 innings because of injury after winning 15 games with a 3.91 ERA two years ago. The Mets also have an interest in trading for Rangers right-hander Kevin Millwood, according to the report.
Bay watch in L.A.
The free-agent market could see the Angels lose Chone Figgins, Vladimir Guerrero and John Lackey, but it could allow them to add slugging outfielder Jason Bay. FOXSports.com reported that the Angels have "opened talks" with Bay. Another interested suitor is the Mariners, who have already reached a preliminary agreement with Figgins. According to The Seattle Times, Bay told his former Pirates teammates he'd stand on his head and sing on Edgar Martinez Way to play for the Mariners. ESPN.com, however, said the Mariners are "unlikely to get involved." Can that open the door for the Angels to steal Bay from the Red Sox?
The other big guns
In addition to Bay and Halladay, Matt Holliday, John Lackey and Aroldis Chapman are expected to capture the spotlight at this year's Winter Meetings, but it's been a relatively quiet day in regard to that threesome thus far. ESPN.com reported that the Mets are expected to meet with Lackey's agent, Steve Hilliard, later on Monday night. ... ESPN.com also said that it doesn't look as though Chapman -- who saw the figure of $60 million for six years floated by his name earlier in the offseason -- will get more than $20 million from any club, if that. ... And regarding Holliday, Cardinals general manager John Mozeliak sat down with agent Boras on Sunday night for approximately 90 minutes.
Blanton on the block
AOL FanHouse cited two Major League sources in reporting that the Phillies are checking on other teams' potential interest in Joe Blanton, who stands to make about $7 million in arbitration next season. The site reported that since the Phillies are pretty much at their payroll limit, the money they'd free up from Blanton would allow them to get help for the back end of the bullpen. The Phillies would likely desire a more economical starting pitcher in return.
Mets considering Molina at backstop
Bengie Molina could find a new home with the Mets, as the
team is considering offering the free-agent catcher a one-year deal worth $6 million with a second-year option, SI.com reported. The Mets would rather not guarantee a second year for the 35-year-old, but they haven't ruled it out, according to the report.
Mets going after Willingham, Rivera
MLB.com's Bill Ladson reported on Sunday that Nationals outfielder Josh Willingham was on the Mets' radar. On Monday, The New York Post added another name: Juan Rivera. The Post reported that both are being pursued by the Mets in case the price for Bay or Holliday becomes too steep, as the team is concerned about spending too much for a left fielder when they'd also like to fill needs at catcher, in the starting rotation and in the bullpen. Rivera has two years at a combined $9.5 million left in his contract, whereas Willingham made $2.95 million in 2009 and could double that figure through arbitration.
Mets also eyeing Kennedy?
The Mets have shown interest in free agent Adam Kennedy and would like him to be their starting second baseman, according to FOXSports.com. The site also mentioned the Diamondbacks as being in the mix, but MLB.com's Steve Gilbert said that Arizona is not involved. The Mets, of course, would have to unload veteran Luis Castillo. Kennedy had a solid year with the Athletics in 2009, batting .289 with 11 homers, 63 RBIs and 20 steals. He turns 34 on Jan. 10.
Nats get Bruney from Yanks
The first announced trade of the Winter Meetings saw the Nationals acquire right-hander Brian Bruney for a player to be named. Bruney, who is arbitration-eligible, was scheduled to get a bump from his $1.25 million from 2009. The 27-year-old right-hander went 5-0 with a 3.92 ERA in 44 games for the Yankees this past season and could serve as a nice setup option to closer Mike MacDougal.
Seven teams after Johnson
ESPN.com names the Mariners, Giants, Mets, Red Sox, D-backs, Orioles and Yankees as being linked to first baseman Nick Johnson, who is injury-prone but has a career on-base percentage of .402. Based on the report, Seattle seems to have the most interest.
Negotiations with King Felix cranking up
The Mariners will meet with young ace Felix Hernandez in the next couple of days, and SI.com has learned that Hernandez seeks a six-year deal in the $100 million range. The Mariners have said they're not looking to trade Hernandez, who's a free agent after the 2011 season and will look to triple his 2009 salary of $3.8 million through arbitration. The Seattle Times wrote that the Mariners offered Hernandez a four-year, $45 million extension, likely as a starting point.
Pettitte back for more
ESPN.com reported on Monday morning that Andy Pettitte wants to return for his 16th season, attributing unnamed Major League sources in writing that "it's now just a matter of working out a deal with the Yankees." The New York Post reported that the 37-year-old left-hander turned down New York's initial offer, which was believed to be about $10 million, or close to what Pettitte got last year in base salary and incentives. A National League official also told the newspaper a deal will get done, "and privately, the Yankees believe Pettitte wants to pitch in the Bronx in 2010." The New York Daily News, however, countered by citing a source in reporting that no official offer has been made but that the Yanks planned to make one of more than $10 million on Monday.
Colletti shoots down Sherrill rumors
Dodgers GM Ned Colletti told the Los Angeles Times that George Sherrill is not on the trading block, despite earlier reports from FOXSports.com that stated the Dodgers are trying to deal the left-handed reliever. Colletti also said that if the Dodgers trade high-priced outfielder Juan Pierre, they'll want pitching in return.
Meet the Meche!
The Mets would like nothing more than to add Lackey to the top of their rotation and have him team up with Johan Santana. But in case Lackey's asking price gets too high, the New York Post reports, the Mets are looking into other options, such as Royals starter Gil Meche. Mets GM Omar Minaya and Royals GM Dayton Moore spoke "several times" before the Winter Meetings and plan on expanding on those talks in Indianapolis. Meche is owed $24 million through two more years in his contract, and the Mets might explore including Castillo in the deal while taking on another bad contract -- like that of Kyle Farnsworth ($4.5 million) or Juan Cruz ($3.25 million) -- according to the Post.
V-Mart extension on Boston's to-do list
The Red Sox already picked up Victor Martinez's $7.1 million club option last month, and they'll hope to re-sign Bay and add rotation depth at this year's Winter Meetings. Once their four-day stint in Indianapolis is over, however, they may be looking to extend the contract of Martinez, The Providence Journal reported after talking to Martinez's agent. Alan Nero told the publication there have been no talks yet regarding his client but that they'll likely start up in January.
Bradley could fit in Tampa Bay, Texas ... New York?
As MLB.com's Carrie Muskat reported on Sunday night, the Rays and Rangers are interested in disgruntled Cubs outfielder Milton Bradley, but it will all come down to how much money Chicago is willing to pick up from Bradley's contract. The 31-year-old switch-hitter is owed $21 million over the next two seasons. The Rangers may be looking at him only as a last resort, but the Cubs could provide some of the bullpen help Texas needs in a trade. The Rays, who would like to move outfielder Pat Burrell, would like Bradley in the lineup but would also need the Cubs to pay some of the money owed him. Cubs GM Jim Hendry has indicated that there are at least three teams interested in Bradley, and possibly a fourth, Muskat wrote.
A third team is believed to be the Mets, who would like to move Castillo. Castillo has two years and $12 million remaining on his contract, and the Mets would like to add some pop to their lineup. The Mets also were believed to be talking to the Rays about Burrell.
Potential suitors line up for Lindstrom
MLB.com's Joe Frisaro reported that hard-throwing right-hander Matt Lindstrom is likely to be dealt this offseason, with Leo Nunez expected to be the front-runner to be the closer in 2010. Frisaro said that the Rays are one of the teams interested in the 29-year-old, while several outlets are saying the Rangers are also intrigued. ESPN.com, which called the Rangers the most interested suitor, reported on Sunday afternoon that a deal is "imminent," but it's still not certain where Lindstrom -- arbitration-eligible for the first time -- could land.