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MLB News and Rumors: Cano, Yankees still far apart

MLB News and Rumors: Cano, Yankees still far apart
November 27, 2013
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With the offseason now in full spring, news will continue to become more and more frequent. In this MLB News and Rumors segment, I will be giving occasional reports on the latest news throughout the MLB. I also will try to
tweet news and rumors as I see them, so feel free to follow me on Twitter: @ajnicholsIBI.

With no major trades or signings on Tuesday, there are no “top stories”.  Instead, I will just give a rundown of news and notes.

Here are the stories from Tuesday, November 26th.

News and Notes

  • Mark Feinsand of the New York Daily News reported that the Yankees met with Robinson Cano and his agent, but the financial gap still remains substantial.
  • Travis Sawchick of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review says the Pirates are one of eight teams that have contacted free agent shortstop Rafael Furcal.
  • Buster Olney tweeted that the Mariners are pursuing both Nelson Cruz and Carlos Beltran.  Seattle has made it no secret that they intend to improve their offense.
  • Andy Martino of the New York Daily News reported that the Rays have shown some interest in Rangers first baseman Mitch Moreland.  After Texas acquired Prince Fielder from Detroit, Moreland has become expendable.
  • Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe reported that the Red Sox plan to let Mike Napoli’s market develop before they give him a final contract offer.
  • Ken Rosenthal tweeted that he has heard from a source that the Marlins may get into the Napoli sweepstakes.  Napoli is a South Florida native.
  • Roch Kubatko of MASNsports.com reported that the Orioles will not re-sign lefty Tsuyoshi Wada.  Baltimore signed the now 32-year-old Wada from Japan to a two-year deal prior to 2012, but the lefty underwent Tommy John surgery and was never able to throw a pitch in the majors.  He is fully healthy now and posted a 1.51 ERA with 168 strikeouts and 40 walks over 184 2/3 innings in 2011 for Japan’s Softbank Hawks.
  • Troy Renck of the Denver Post says the Rockies has interest in the Angels’ Mark Trumbo, as well as the surplus of bullpen arms in Kansas City.
  • Carlos Beltran said that Cincinnati has reached out to his agent.
  • Jon Heyman says the Twins have a two-year offer out for Mike Pelfrey, and that Minnesota has also checked in on Ervin SantanaUbaldo JimenezPhil HughesScott FeldmanBronson ArroyoRicky Nolasco, and Matt Garza.  While Darren Wolfson of 1500 ESPN has said the team has shown interest in trading for Homer Bailey.
  • Heyman also reported that Nelson Cruz is said to be looking for a 4-year, $75 million deal.
  • More from Heyman – he stated that the Twins, Rockies, and Blue Jays have all shown interest in catcher Jarrod Saltalamachia.

As a note, I will be taking a two day break from writing this piece to celebrate the Thanksgiving holiday.  I assume free agents and club officials will be doing the same.  MLB News and Rumors will return on Saturday morning, with all of the news from Friday, November 29th.

User Comments

Walter
November 27, 2013 - 1:30 PM EST
It is interesting to see how one off season changes expectations. Last year Indians sign Kazmir on minor deal. This year we could lose him. If Kazmir is seeking a 3yr deal and still wants to play for the Tribe, why not backload the contract.

It looks like some teams have been inquiring about the availability Masterson, but Indians are not interested at this point.. Most on this site believe we should extend him to long term contract. If you wanted or had to trade Masterson what would ask in return?
Hiram
November 27, 2013 - 11:58 AM EST
Willie,

I totally agree with your thinking. A solid 8th inning guy like Muica and a flier on Mijares/Thatcher would be ideal but they must sign Kazmir to bring it all home because if you have no starting pitching eventually you're going to blow out your pen. Luckily, Antonetti has said repeatedly that he is going to come out of the offseason with starter and two Relievers and I will hold him to that.
Willie
November 27, 2013 - 10:55 AM EST
Agreed, I'd rather sign both Mujica and Veras than pay one BP arm that much. I think Mujica could get a decent deal, probably around 3/$12 M or 3 /$15 M. Obviously, the Tribe doesn't want to go 3yrs on a RP, but maybe a vesting option would get him to bite. I think Joakim Soria got 2/$8 M coming off TJ surgery, so that would seem a good starting point for Mujica, who doesn't have that track record. Veras seems like he could be had for about $2.25 to $3.5 M, just depends on how the mkt shapes up. For what Veras brings to the table, I think he'd be worth a deal under $3.5 M, that would be a nice value pickup, IMO.

Then there is Jose Mijares who just became a FA, he could be an interesting LHRP under $2 M. He made $1.8 M last yr, but I think he might be had for 1yr /$1.25 - 1.75 M coming off a bit of a rough yr.

The non-tender deadline is fast approaching, meaning there could be a few more arms available, like Kevin Jepsen, and John Axford. Then there are guys such as Aaron Crow, Tim Collins, and Drew Storen that might be available in trades. Point is there are plenty of BP options. The Tribe can add a few qlty arms, by shopping around and picking up a few bargains, IMO. I'd much prefer this to say, signing a FA at $7+ M this offseason.
Hiram
November 27, 2013 - 10:20 AM EST
Willie,

You could also go the route of offering Mujica 3.5 M or Veras 2.5 M to see which one bites and keep Carrasco in the rotation. Either way works but I would rather give the Closers job to Allen instead of paying Rodney 10 M per year, NO WAY
Hiram
November 27, 2013 - 10:13 AM EST
Willie,

It should be noted that the Indians have a ton of Relief pitchers that they could possibly lean on so I would go this route rather than wasting money on Relievers and bolster my rotation because no questioning the talent in that relief corp. You develop your farm system for a reason and now it's time to take advantage of the strength of the farm system and that is Relievers. With those moves Indians pitching will be very solid moving forward and will allow them to compete with anyone in MLB.

Indians do need another power hitter and IMHO they have their eye on promoting Aguilar later in the season to give them that extra punch in they need it going forward in the 2nd half of the season
Hiram
November 27, 2013 - 10:08 AM EST
Willie,

I totally agree with you on the farm system and what they should do in the draft. One of the weaknesses of the farm system is starting pitching and power hitters. I think they can do alot to change at least one of the areas. If the farm keeps progressing and they continue to draft well, it should really help this team alot. I think the Indians have been hurt with the injury bug too because my understanding that it's a bout 3-5 "stud" players in this system but they have been injured. If they can stay healthy this coming year they should be making headway to Cleveland because no doubt about their talent.


As far as the bullpen is concerned, I have trouble wrapping my head around paying guys 5-10 M when I might have a guy on the team that can do the same thing. I can move Carrasco to the bullpen, Allen to closer and then find a lefty. After resigning Kazmir I could add another depth starter like a Floyd, Richard, Baker etc along with signing a Thatcher/Mijares. I think that's a better use of $


Rotation:
Masterson
Kluber
Salazar
Kazmir
McAllister
Hughes
Bauer
Tomlin(minor league deal)

Bullpen:
Thatcher/Mijares
Rzepczynski
Lee
Shaw
Carrasco
Pestano
Allen
Willie
November 27, 2013 - 9:53 AM EST
Hiram,

I think you make a few good points...

The Tribe shouldn't invest a huge salary in a CL. That money is better spent on SP and everyday players, where they get more for their buck. There are some affordable options out there that could close next yr for the Tribe and potentially some internal candidates. I prefer the Rays method, going for a cheaper vet and keeping the young arms affordable in set up / middle relief roles.

John Axford could be a non-tender candidate for the Cards, he's got CL experience and might be signed at $5 M or less. Then there are FA's like Jose Veras, K Rod that will likely sign around $3.5 M or less. Edwin Mujica is another guy the Tribe might have interest in, but he might get around $5 M per yr for 3 yrs.


The Tribe has an interesting developing farm system. There's a lot of talent, few true studs, but lots of talent throughout. The Tribe holds 3 top 50 picks entering next yrs draft and 5 near the top 100 and should come away with potentially 8 top 200 talents, that's a serious influx of talent. Even more intriguing is the fact that this upcoming draft appears fairly deep and has a lot of talented arms.

Overall, it's a good time to be a Tribe fan!
Hiram
November 27, 2013 - 9:14 AM EST
Tony,

that's fair on Carrasco but I do think he looked really good as a RP. I think his issues as a starter is pacing himself. Putting him middle relief is fair and let Allen close. I just have an issue paying all these bullpen FA's 5-10 M that they are seeking. I would take that money and get another starter after signing Kazmir or one that will replace Kazmir.

I read where O's have already offered Kazmir a three year standing offer and the fact that he hasn't signed it yet tells me that he's either thinking that he can get more(which I doubt) or negotiations with the Indians are on going because in the same report it stated that he really wants to come back to the Indians.

I also keep seeing on MLB Network that the Mets are looking for a SS and possibly the Pirates. I would wait to see if they were interested in Asdrubal.

All in all, I'm anxious to see what the Indians do going forward because they have a very good opportunity to really improve as a team. I think the tricky part in doing so is not getting rid of their assets, namely the farm system and to keep building it up because it's getting a lot better and could be a key thing for long term success.
Tony
November 27, 2013 - 9:02 AM EST
Yeah, I think Kazmir and his agent are waiting for the market to clear up and that they will be a much hotter ticket at the winter meetings. No doubt they are holding out for the last possible dollar. I'm less optimistic every day the Indians can resign him.

I love Carrasco's arm and ability.....I just don't trust him. Hard to put such a guy in as a closer when he has a history of meltdowns in tough situations. It has been his biggest problem since he was a little pup in the minors, avoiding the big inning and having things speed up on him once runners get on base in tough spots. To be a closer you really need to be strong mentally, and I am not sure Carrasco can handle such a role now. I'd rather put him in middle or long relief and see where it takes him.....and if it is closer by the end of the year or a year or two from now, so be it.
Hiram
November 27, 2013 - 8:41 AM EST
I'm interested in Mijares. The more I think about it the more I'm against paying any of these relievers 5-10 M/yr. I would put Carrasco as Closer, sign Mijares, sign a depth starter and sign Kazmir. Carrasco would be dynamite as a closer in the same way as Feliz is for the Rangers.
anonymous
November 27, 2013 - 8:27 AM EST
Perhaps Kazmir and his agent don't share your view that he is a 'buy low' candidate. His contract demands may not actually conform to that description.
Willie
November 27, 2013 - 8:23 AM EST
I'm a little surprised how little we have heard about Scott Kazmir. I thought the mkt would be pretty hot for him as a buy low candidate, after his strong bounce back yr.

LHRP Jose Mijares, 29, was DFA by the Giants, he elected FA. Mijares could be a nice buy low add for the Tribe. Mijares was projected to make about $2 M in his second arb. eligible season.

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