Archive for December 2012

Brewers LHP Chris Narveson Expected to be 100% By Spring

The Milwaukee Brewers have one lock in their starting rotation, Yovani Gallardo. Last season, Chris Narveson would have - and was - considered a lock. Unfortunately, he underwent season-ending shoulder surgery after just two starts in 2012. But he'll be back and ready to compete for a job in 2013.
According to Adam McCalvy of, Narveson will compete for one of the four starting pitching slots behind Gallardo. He will likely earn one of them, but it should be a good contest as long as he is fully healthy.

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No Hope That Lance Berkman Re-Signs with Cardinals

Lance Berkman is still a free agent.  However, he may choose to retire.  Berkman made it known as the 2012 season was winding down that he may call it quits, but as the offseason opened up, he decided to test the market.  He previously said that he would return for the right deal.  That deal will not be with the St. Louis Cardinals.

Early on, the Cardinals were keeping an open line of communication in case they could (and wanted to) bring Berkman back.  However, now neither side has much interest says Jennifer Langosch of

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Brett Myers Limiting Himself With Monetary Demands

Free agent pitcher Brett Myers has been the source of plenty of rumors, but he still hasn't signed.  He has been an effective enough pitcher to command attention, so he should have no trouble finding a team - if he understands his value.  However, it seems Myers doesn't and is asking for too much money.

According to Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe, Myers is hurting himself with his demands.  Plenty of teams want him, but they do not want to overpay.

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Red Sox Rumors: Boston Not Seriously Pursuing Adam LaRoche

While the Boston Red Sox have been tied to free agent first baseman Adam LaRoche as a fallback option for Mike Napoli, the team doesn’t really want to surrender the draft pick it would take to sign the slugger, reports Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe.

Earlier this month it was reported that the Red Sox had reached a three-year, $39 million agreement with Napoli. However, talks hit a snag during his physical and a deal has yet to be officially announced.

It was recently reported that the Red Sox were eyeing LaRoche as an alternative to Napoli if the deal eventually fell through. However, like other teams, Boston doesn’t want to surrender the draft pick it would take to sign the veteran first baseman.

At this point it seems as if the most likely scenario would have the Red Sox reaching an agreement with Napoli and LaRoche re-signing with the Washington Nationals.

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Cardinals Matt Carpenter Working to Learn Second Base

Matt Carpenter had a breakout season of sorts in 2012.  He filled in where he could and performed above expectations.  Carpenter, though, has been limited to an injury replacement and platoon role.  He has been further limited by the position he played naturally - third base.  Now, Carpenter is learning to play second base.

Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch says Carpenter has begun training to learn second base to open his options with the Cardinals.  Carpenter saw a lot of playing time during season when regulars went down to injury.  He famously stepped in during the NLDS and performed admirably when Carlos Beltran was hurt.  Now, he wants to play everyday.

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Braves Rumors: Atlanta Not Targeting Delmon Young

The Atlanta Braves are not expected to pursue free agent outfielder Delmon Young to fill their vacancy in left field, reports Dave O’Brien of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

O’Brien indicates there are multiple reasons why the Braves and other teams haven’t targeted Young yet this offseason. While the slugger was a former first-overall pick and has shown flashes of talent throughout his career, Young carries with him character issues stemming from several events.

The 27-year-old spent the 2012 season with the Detroit Tigers, hitting .267/.296/.411 with 27 doubles and 18 home runs over 574 at-bats while spending most of his games as the team’s designated hitter. He owns a career line of .284/.317/.425.

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Marlins Rumors: Giancarlo Stanton Will Be Traded

While the Miami Marlins are currently in no rush to trade slugger Giancarlo Stanton, “it is appearing more inevitable” that the outfielder will be traded sometime before he reaches free agency, reports Joe Frisaro of

It is appearing more inevitable that sometime before he reaches free agency that Stanton will be moved, because the Marlins are reloading their roster, and will look to add as many quality pieces in the next few years.

Stanton is not arbitration eligible until 2014, meaning he won’t hit the free agent market until after the 2016 season. Still, Frisaro notes that he is “highly unlikely” to sign a long-term extension with the Marlins. Stanton was extremely upset by the team’s fire sale this offseason.

For this reason the Marlins are likely to eventually trade Stanton for a bevy of prospects, according to Frisaro. Over three seasons in the league the 23-year-old has hit .270/.350/.553.

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Outlook for New Phillies' Reliever Mike Adams

Mike Adams helped the San Diego Padres and the Texas Rangers fortify their bullpens in recent years. Now, the Philadelphia Phillies hope Adams can recapture some of that dominance despite coming back from injury.  Toward the end of the 2012 season, Adams began suffering weakness in his throwing arm and was diagnosed with Thoracic Outlet Syndrome.

I spoke with Dr. Ray Solano about Adams' injury and the outlook we should realistically expect for him in 2013.

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Phillies Injury News: Roy Halladay Update

The Philadelphia Phillies struggled last season for many reasons, one of which was injuries.  Injuries to pitchers like Roy Halladay devastated the team.  Halladay pitched in only 25 games last season and did not look like the same dominant pitcher he had been since his days with the Toronto Blue Jays.  He came back from shoulder and back problems, but there has been real concern about his durability next season.

Todd Zolecki of answered Phillies' fan questions including an update on Halladay's status.  Zolecki says the Phillies' GM, Ruben Amaro Jr., addressed Halladay's health recently.  He said Halladay has thrown long toss and is scheduled to throw off a mound soon.

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Marlins Willing to Listen to Offers on Giancarlo Stanton

For the last few months, the Miami Marlins have been insistent on the fact that Giancarlo Stanton would not be available.  He is under team control through 2017, so the Marlins can expect to afford him for the next few seasons.  However, since their fire sale began, there has been increasing interest in Stanton.  Now, the Marlins may be changing their tune a bit.

According to ESPN's Jim Bowden, the Marlins are willing to listen to offers on Stanton, but they are not actively shopping him.

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Orioles Injury News: Tsuyoshi Wada Tommy John Update

During the Winter Meetings, the Baltimore Orioles told media that Tsuyoshi Wada was ahead of schedule in his recovery from Tommy John surgery.  Wada underwent the surgery in May.  As long as all goes well with his rehab, he is expected back somewhere around May of next year.  And it seems, all is going well for Wada.

Roch Kubatko of MASN reported yesterday that he was told at the Winter Meetings of Wada's progress.  To be ahead of schedule in recovery from Tommy John surgery is great news.  It's not the type of procedure that players will rush back from, but with Wada's progress, he can be expected to return on the early end of the projected recovery timetable.  In years past, the recovery time has been 12-18 months.  Now, it is out of the norm if a player takes longer than 12 months.

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Phillies' Michael Young Will Not Play in World Baseball Classic

As has been the case with many players this offseason, Michael Young is choosing to skip the World Baseball Classic and focus on being healthy for the start of the 2013 season.  The WBC is heald every four years and matches the best of the world's players against each other while they represent their home country (or country of family origin).  This year, unlike the previous two Classics will have fewer stars.

According to Jerry Crasnick of ESPN Young wants to focus on his new team and spend the entire spring with the Philadelphia Phillies.

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Mets Injury News: Dillon Gee Feeling Better After Surgery to Remove Blood Clot

Dillon Gee underwent surgery this offseason to remove a blood clot in his throwing shoulder.  The clot had been limiting oxygen flow through his blood stream and made it far more difficult for him to recover after the rigors of pitching a full season.  Now the New York Mets pitcher feels better than he ever has during the first parts of his offseason throwing program.

In an interview with Anthony McCarron of the New York Daily News, Gee said the surgery has made it so that he is able to recover much quicker after throwing.  He would usually get sore and feel awkward at this point in his offseason throwing program.  Now, he has better blood flow and is throwing better.

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Red Sox Rumors: Boston a Fit for Diamondbacks’ Justin Upton?

The Boston Red Sox and Arizona Diamondbacks should pair up for a trade that would center on slugger Justin Upton, according to Jim Bowden of ESPN.

Bowden’s proposed trade would send Upton to the Red Sox in exchange for prospects Xander Bogaerts, Matt Barnes and Brandon Jacobs.

While the Diamondbacks were able to add a young shortstop in Didi Gregorius when they traded Trevor Bauer to the Cleveland Indians, Arizona still finds itself in need of a long-term solution at third base. Bogaerts is currently tabbed as a shortstop, but Bowden notes that there’s belief that the prospect will eventually slide over to the hot corner.

Barnes would provide a young arm to help fill the void left by the Bauer deal, while Jacobs would add a “decent outfield prospect” to the Diamondbacks’ minor league system, according to Bowden.

For the Red Sox, the trade would allow them to enter next season with a projected outfield of Upton, Jacoby Ellsbury and Shane Victorino, with Jonny Gomes filling in as a fourth outfielder and part-time designated hitter. Upton’s presence would also prepare Boston for the eventual loss of Ellsbury, who’s set to reach free agency after the 2013 campaign.

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Blue Jays Rumors: Should Toronto Target Rafael Soriano?

In order to put them over the top in the American League East, the Toronto Blue Jays should sign closer Rafael Soriano to a one-year deal, according to Jim Bowden of ESPN.

Soriano's market has fallen and he might be willing to take a one-year “pillow” deal -- a phrase coined by Scott Boras -- at approximately $14 million. To put Soriano in the ninth inning and move Casey Jansenn and Sergio Santos to the seventh and eighth innings would give the Blue Jays one of the best and deepest bullpens in the league.

Soriano’s market has yet to develop after he opted out of his contract with the New York Yankees. The right-hander posted impressive totals as Mariano Rivera’s replacement last season, but he hasn’t found the multi-year deal he’s seeking.

Bowden believes the Blue Jays should sign Soriano to a one-year deal, which would further reinforce their bullpen. Toronto has already added multiple impact players this winter, including Jose Reyes, Mark Buehrle, Josh Johnson, Emilio Bonifacio, Melky Cabrera and R.A. Dickey, but a majority of the acquisitions have come via trade.

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Freddy Sanchez Rumors: Teams Interested in Veteran

Though he’s yet to receive an offer this winter, free agent second baseman Freddy Sanchez has received interest from several teams the veteran’s agent told Derrick Goold of The St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

The market is thin. Former All-Star Freddy Sanchez, who has not played since 2011 because of injuries, is available. He has received interest from teams but no offers. Matt Sosnick, his representative, said Sanchez is healthy and looking for plate appearances to re-prove his worth.

Sanchez has been severely limited by injuries over the past few seasons. The 35-year-old did not appear at the major league level last season, as he only registered 10 at-bats for the Giants’ Triple-A affiliate. In 2011 the infielder was limited to 60 games.

Still, middle infielders are few and far between this winter, especially those with the track record of Sanchez. He owns a career OPS of .748 and hit .292/.333/.405 from 2009-11.

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Ugueth Urbina Rumors: RHP Hoping for MLB Return

Right-hander Ugueth Urbina, who was recently released from prison after serving seven years for attempted murder, is hoping to make a return to Major League Baseball, reports Reyes Urena of El Nacional (translated by MLB Trade Rumors).

"The objective is to pitch," said Urbina. "When? My arm will say, and that's why I'm here. I'll work out two times a day if it's necessary, but my primary goal is to suit up with the Lions. After that, we'll know if any doors open to me up north (in MLB), which is what I want. I know that right now my mechanics aren't very good, but my arm is healthy. I only have to work on the details."

Urbina was released from a Venezuelan prison after serving seven years of his 14-year sentence for attempting to murder a group of workers at his family’s ranch with machetes. The men were also doused with gasoline during the dispute.

Urbina last appeared at the major league level in 2005 with the Detroit Tigers and Philadelphia Phillies. The 38-year-old owns a career ERA and WHIP of 3.45 and 1.213 with 10.5 strikeouts and 4.0 walks per nine innings over 11 seasons in the bigs.

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Nationals Rumors: Adam LaRoche Hoping to Return to Washington

While free agent first baseman Adam LaRoche is in talks with “multiple opposing clubs,” the slugger is still maintaining that his preference is re-signing with the Washington Nationals, according to Adam Kilgore of The Washington Post.

“We’re talking to a few other teams,” LaRoche said Friday evening in a voicemail. “Got to keep things open in case Washington doesn’t work out. I’m still hopeful that it will, but as you know it takes two sides cooperating to make that happen. I’m doing everything I can.”

The Nationals have had a two-year offer on the table for LaRoche throughout the offseason, but the veteran is seeking a three-year commitment. Washington feels no urgency in the situation as they have several factors in their favor:

LaRoche wants to re-sign with the Nationals.

The Nationals will receive a draft pick as compensation if LaRoche signs elsewhere.

Washington has a replacement for LaRoche on their roster in the form of Mike Morse.

For those reasons it appears that LaRoche will have to find his three-year commitment elsewhere if he wants to sign one at all this winter. The Boston Red Sox and Baltimore Orioles are among the other teams that have been tied to the free agent.

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Orioles Rumors: O’s Targeting Joe Saunders; Not Kyle Lohse

The Baltimore Orioles remain in the market for a veteran starting pitcher, and they continue to be in contact with free agent left-hander Joe Saunders, according to Roch Kubatko of MASN Sports. Kubatko adds that while there’ve been rumors to the contrary, the Orioles are not interested in free agent right-hander Kyle Lohse.

Executive vice president Dan Duquette remains in contact with left-hander Joe Saunders’ agent. Some members of the national media keep trying to link the Orioles to Kyle Lohse, but they don't give out big contracts to free-agent pitchers and they'd rather hold onto their first-round pick.

The Orioles currently have a projected starting four that includes Jason Hammel, Wei-Yin Chen, Miguel Gonzalez and Chris Tillman. Baltimore could use an in-house candidate, Jake Arrieta, Zach Britton, Brian Matusz, Tommy Hunter, Steve Johnson or T.J. McFarland, to fill their final rotation slot.

Or, the O’s could look to add a starter this winter. Saunders was successful during his short stint with the club last season and the team continues to be tied to the left-hander. While Lohse would fit the bill of a veteran starter, Baltimore is hesitant to surrender the draft pick it would take to sign him.

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Tigers Omar Infante's Hand Mending on Schedule

Shortly before losing the 2012 World Series to the San Francisco Giants, the Detroit Tigers suffered the loss of second baseman Omar Infante to a broken hand.  Infante was struck by a pitch on his left hand while batting in the bottom half of the ninth inning during Game 4 of the Series.  He was replaced by Danny Worth, but an inning later, the game and the Series ended with a Giants sweep.

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Yankees Ace C.C. Sabathia to Begin Throwing reports that CC Sabathia, the American Leagues' 2007 Cy Young Award Winner and current New York Yankee ace, is due to start throwing again following his October elbow surgery.

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Brian Wilson Rumors: ‘Lots of Interest’ in Wilson

Though former closer Brian Wilson is not close to signing, there has been a lot of interest in the right-hander, reports Scott Miller of CBS Sports.

So far this offseason the San Francisco Giants and Los Angeles Dodgers have been tied to Wilson, who’s reportedly narrowed his list from nine or 10 teams to five or so.

Wilson appeared in two games for the Giants last season before requiring season-ending Tommy John surgery. Rather than pay his projected $8.5 million salary for 2013, San Francisco elected to non-tender the veteran right-hander.

Over seven seasons with the Giants, Wilson owns a career ERA and WHIP of 3.21 and 1.338 with 9.6 strikeouts and 4.0 walks per nine innings. The 30-year-old compiled 163 saves from 2008-11 with the Giants.

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Mets Rumors: NY Eyeing Athletics’ Coco Crisp; Bullpen Help

While the New York Mets have expressed interest in Oakland Athletics outfielder Coco Crisp, there is a sense that the A’s will hang onto the veteran, reports Ken Davidoff of The New York Post. Beyond Crisp, Jon Heyman of CBS Sports adds that the Mets are also in the market for bullpen help.

Crisp re-signed with the A’s last offseason and is under contract through 2013. Oakland owns a 2014 team option worth $7.5 million for the 33-year-old, who hit .259/.325/.418 with 25 doubles, seven triples and 11 home runs over 455 at-bats last season.

Heyman notes that there are several “good options left” on the relief market, including Jose Valverde, Francisco Rodriguez and Matt Capps.

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Padres Rumors: San Diego Eyeing Joe Saunders, Brett Myers

While the San Diego Padres are no closer to signing a starting pitcher at this point, the club is apparently talking to free agents Joe Saunders and Brett Myers, according to Bill Center of the Union-Times San Diego.

No closer to signing a pitcher. The Padres are apparently talking to free agents Joe Saunders and Brett Myers. The Tigers could be losing interest in trading Rick Porcello.

The Twins have been one of the other teams tied to Myers, while Center says Minnesota, Baltimore and the New York Mets have also expressed interest in Saunders.

Beyond Saunders and Myers, the Padres are reconsidering a pursuit of Detroit Tigers starter Rick Porcello. The right-hander reportedly became available when the Tigers re-signed Anibal Sanchez.

So far this offseason the Padres have been tied to several starters in their pursuit of additional arms. Before they signed elsewhere, San Diego expressed interest in Edwin Jackson and Dan Haren.

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Dodgers Rumors: Mariners Interested in Andre Ethier?

While there is still “no real evidence” that the Los Angeles Dodgers are shopping or making available outfielder Andre Ethier, the Seattle Mariners are one team that could have interest, according to Jon Heyman of CBS Sports.

It was rumored earlier this offseason that the Dodgers would make Ethier available and sign one of the remaining free agent outfielders to fill his roster spot. However, that was when Nick Swisher and Cody Ross remained on the open market.

At this point, the only high-profile outfielder remaining is Michael Bourn, and he’s a center fielder. Since Matt Kemp currently patrols center for the Dodgers, the likelihood of them dealing Ethier to acquire Bourn doesn’t appear to be high.

Rather than pursue Ethier, who seems unlikely to be dealt this winter, the Mariners could continue to get creative to fill their want for additional offense. Seattle could look to the Arizona Diamondbacks, who are expected to trade Justin Upton or Jason Kubel, or another team interested in dealing an outfielder.

The Mariners could also go out and sign Bourn or free agent slugger Adam LaRoche.

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Twins Rumors: Minnesota Not Done Adding Pitchers?

Even after adding several pitchers this offseason to help fill out their starting rotation, the Minnesota Twins may not be done adding arms, reports La Velle E. Neal III of the Star Tribune.

"I wouldn't say we're done," assistant General Manager Rob Antony said. "I wouldn't say were pushing hard. We have our feelers out there. If the situation is right, we could do something else. If not, we're O.K. too.''

So far this offseason the Twins have acquired pitchers Vance Worley and Trevor May from the Philadelphia Phillies in exchange for outfielder Ben Revere. They also sent outfielder Denard Span to the Washington Nationals for Alex Meyer.

Beyond their trades, Minnesota also signed veterans Mike Pelfrey and Kevin Correia along with Rich Harden, who received a minor league contract. In-house option Scott Diamond, Worley, Pelfrey and Correia are expected to occupy the first four slots of the Twins’ 2013 rotation. While they could elect to slide someone currently on their roster into the No. 5 spot, they could also add another arm if the price is right.

The Twins possible remaining free agent targets include Joe Saunders, Brett Myers and Shaun Marcum.

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Nationals Need Lefty Relief Help, Interested in J.P. Howell

With Mike Gonzalez signing with the Milwaukee Brewers, the Washington Nationals are left to wonder where their bullpen stands.  They have just two lefties for the 'pen on the roster right now, Zach Duke and Bill Bray.  Both pitched in the minors last years.  Now, Washington must search for some reinforcements.  One such option may be J.P. Howell.

According to Mark Zuckerman of CSN Washington, the Nationals have already expressed interest in Howell, but they may look to pick up someone via trade.  Howell is currently a free agent.

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Takashi Saito to Play Back in Japan

Former Major League reliever Takashi Saito will be pitching back in his home country next season.  The 42-year old probably could have found work in the Majors, but he decided to go back to Japan.  He played for the Arizona Diamondbacks last season.

According to NPB Tracker, Saito's deal with Tahoko Rakuten wil officially be announced as early as today.  He is to make about $350,000 (US).  The deal is not official, but NPB Tracker source numerous Japanese outlets.

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Former Yankees' Slugger Hideki Matsui to Announce Retirement

Injuries take you out of the game for a short period.  Retirement takes you out for all time.  Hideki Matsui, former New York Yankees slugger, plans to announce his retirement from Major League Baseball.

According to Jon Heyman of CBS Sports, among others, Matsui will make the announcement today.

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Rosenthal: Brewers Sign Mike Gonzalez

Mike Gonzalez has seen a decline in his productivty in recent years.  That's probably part of why he did not get a longer deal this offseason.  However, Gonzalez did get a deal.  According to sources, he has signed with the Milwaukee Brewers.

Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports reports the deal to be a one-year contract.

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Mike Napoli Rumors: Another Team Showing Interest in Slugger

At least one other team has been in communication with slugger Mike Napoli, who remains a free agent as negotiations with the Boston Red Sox have hit a snag, reports Rob Bradford of

According to multiple baseball sources, at least one team has been in communication with Mike Napoli's representatives regarding the free agent infielder's status since negotiations with the Red Sox hit a snag. According to one source, it is believed no contract offer has been extended by a team other than the Sox since the early December agreement with Boston.

Napoli and the Red Sox reached a three-year, $39 million agreement on Dec. 3, but sides have yet to finalize the deal. Negotiations reportedly hit a snag after concerns surfaced following Napoli’s physical regarding his hip.

While Napoli has reportedly been in contact with at least one other team, Bradford notes that it’s believed no contract has been extended to the first baseman/catcher other than the one the Red Sox have offered him.

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Mariners Rumors: Seattle ‘Wide Open’ to Making Moves

The Seattle Mariners have missed out on several targets this offseason, but they remain “wide open” to making other moves, according to Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports. Rosenthal adds that in a perfect world the Mariners would acquire a leadoff hitter and a middle-of-the-order bat.

The Mariners have watched targets Josh Hamilton, Nick Swisher and Cody Ross sign elsewhere this winter. Seattle has been in the market for offense, but as of yet all they’ve been able to add are veteran slugger Raul Ibanez and Kendrys Morales, who was acquired from the Los Angeles Angels in exchange for Jason Vargas.

At this point the pickings remain slim on the free agent market. They can still sign a leadoff man in Michael Bourn, but beyond Adam LaRoche there are no clear middle-of-the-order bat candidates available.

Seattle could elect to get creative by signing Bourn and trading for their impact hitter. With the addition of Ross it’s been reported that the Arizona Diamondbacks are once again considering trading Justin Upton, a player the Mariners have targeted this offseason.

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Diamondbacks Rumors: Arizona Will Trade Justin Upton or Jason Kubel

Following the Arizona Diamondbacks surprise signing of free agent Cody Ross, outfielders Justin Upton and Jason Kubel are back on the trading block and “someone will go,” a source tells Jon Heyman of CBS Sports.

They will surely be entertaining offers, and as one person familiar with their thinking put it, flat out, "Someone will go.''

The Diamondbacks currently have four projected starting outfielders on their roster, including Kubel, Upton, Ross and Gerardo Parra, beyond their young players such as Adam Eaton. Heyman notes that Arizona covets Parra for the defense he provides, meaning either Upton or Kubel are poised to be dealt if the Diamondbacks want to move and outfielder this winter.

Beyond the Texas Rangers and Seattle Mariners, who had been attempting to acquire Upton earlier this offseason, Heyman says the Philadelphia Phillies, Atlanta Braves, New York Yankees, New York Mets and Tampa Bay Rays are “among other teams that could be in the market for an outfielder.”

While Arizona isn’t likely to receive a huge return for Kubel, Upton should fetch multiple quality players considering his age (25) and career totals (.278/.357/.475).

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Yankees Rumors: NY Remains Interested in Scott Hairston

Even after reaching an agreement with free agent Matt Diaz, the New York Yankees still have interest in signing another outfielder and are continuing to target Scott Hairston, according to Kevin Kernan of The New York Post.

The Yankees still have an interest in signing another outfielder and remain interested in Scott Hairston.

At this point the Yankees have a projected starting outfield that includes Brett Gardner, Curtis Granderson and Ichiro Suzuki. All three hit from the left side, leading many to believe the Yankees were in the market for a right-handed-hitting outfielder.

Diaz fits that bill, but his signing apparently hasn’t stopped the club’s pursuit of Hairston. The 32-year-old hit .263/.299/.504 with 25 doubles, 20 home runs and eight stolen bases in 10 attempts last season for the New York Mets. He owns a career OPS of .751 over nine seasons at the major league level.

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Red Sox Rumors: Boston Talking to Adam LaRoche

Negotiations between Mike Napoli and the Boston Red Sox have drawn out for 24 days, reportedly due to injury concerns over the slugger’s hip. While Boston would prefer to complete their agreement and sign Napoli as their primary first baseman, the team is talking to free agent Adam LaRoche as a fallback option of sorts, according to Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports.

While the Sox prefer to complete their deal with Napoli, they also are talking to free-agent first baseman Adam LaRoche, according to major league sources.

Boston is discussing two- and three-year deals with LaRoche. The veteran is seeking a three-year commitment, but he’s yet to receive one this offseason. Teams, including the Baltimore Orioles, are hesitant to sign LaRoche considering they’d have to surrender a draft pick in order to do so.

Rosenthal notes that the Red Sox could simply sign LaRoche and “walk away” from Napoli, who technically remains unsigned. However, Boston views LaRoche more as a possible alternative than a primary target at this point.

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Yankees Rumors: Yankees Still Seeking Bat

Even after the signing of free agent Matt Diaz, the New York Yankees are probably still in the market for a right-handed bat, according to Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports.

Diaz was signed to a minor league deal, but the Yankees could still target more of a sure bet to fill out their roster. While they are reportedly in the market for a right-handed bat, New York is expected to specifically be targeting a right-handed-hitting outfielder.

At this point the Yankees’ roster includes three left-handed-hitting outfielders in Brett Gardner, Curtis Granderson and Ichiro Suzuki. They’d reportedly like to add a right-handed bat to the mix, but the pickings are slim this late into the winter.

One of the best fits remaining is Scott Hairston, who has been tied to the Yankees as well as several other teams. He hit well last season for the New York Mets and has garnered significant interest this offseason.

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Red Sox Rumors: What’s Next for Andrew Bailey?

The Boston Red Sox officially announced their acquisition of Joel Hanrahan yesterday and named the veteran as their closer entering the 2013 season. Boston acquired Andrew Bailey last offseason, a player they expected to be their closer of the future. It’s now unclear what the future holds for Bailey, who will enter spring as the Red Sox setup man to Hanrahan, reports Jon Heyman of CBS Sports.

While the Red Sox didn’t enter the offseason with their sights set on adding a closer, manager John Farrell told Peter Abraham of the Boston Globe that Hanrahan makes them a better team. While this might be the case, it changes things for Bailey.

The Red Sox acquired Bailey last December from the Oakland Athletics along with Ryan Sweeney in exchange for Josh Reddick, Miles Head and Raul Alcantara. While he posted an ERA and WHIP of 2.07 and 0.954 over three seasons with the A’s, Bailey allowed 12 runs over 19 appearances over 15 1/3 innings in 2012. The right-hander missed most of the season due to injury.

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Rangers Rumors: ‘Decent Chance’ Texas Will Add Bat

At today’s press conference introducing recently-signed free agent catcher A.J. Pierzynski, Texas Rangers general manager Jon Daniels told reporters, including Anthony Andro of, that there’s a “decent chance” the team will look to add another bat.

It’s been a frustrating offseason for the Rangers and fans of the team. They’ve watched free agents Josh Hamilton and Mike Napoli reach agreements with other teams, while the club has missed out on pitchers such as Zack Greinke and James Shields.

At this point there are only a few impact bats remaining on the free agent market, including Michael Bourn and Adam LaRoche. For this reason, it would appear that if Texas is going to add a bat this winter it may have to come via trade.

There are several potentials, but the Arizona Diamondbacks are one team that is reportedly looking to trade an outfielder. After signing Cody Ross, players such as Jason Kubel, Justin Upton and Gerardo Parra would seem available. Of the trio, Kubel is said to be the most likely player to the dealt.

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Yuniesky Betancourt Expects a Deal Soon

The Kansas City Royals didn't want him back, and most people think Yuniesky Betancourt will get a minor league deal at best, but his agent says otherwise. Betancourt and his agent believe the 30-year old will find a Major League gig soon.

According to comments made by Betancourt's agent, Alex Esteban, to MLB Trade Rumors, Betancourt is drawing a lot of interest.

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Andruw Jones Arrested on Battery Charge

Former All-Star center fielder Andruw Jones was arrested early on Christmas morning on a battery charge, reports The Associated Press.

Andruw Jones, former star center fielder for the Atlanta Braves who played in the Major Leagues with the New York Yankees , was free on bond after being arrested in suburban Atlanta early Tuesday on a battery charge, according to jail records. 
Around 1:30 a.m. Tuesday, police responded to a call for a domestic dispute between Jones and his wife in Duluth.

Following the arrest, Jones was eventually booked into the county jail around 3:45. He was released on $2,400 bond by 11 a.m.

After spending the 2012 season with the New York Yankees, Jones signed a one-year, $3.5 million contract with the Tohoku Rakuten Golden Eagles of Japan’s Pacific League earlier this offseason.

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