MLB News and Rumors: Baseball loses a leader
With the offseason now in full spring, news will continue to become more and more frequent. In this new MLB News and Notes segment, I will be giving occasional reports on the latest news and rumors 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.
Here are the stories from Thursday, November 21st.
MLBPA executive director Michael Weiner passed away on Thursday at the age of 51, after a long fight with brain cancer. Weiner led the union in agreeing to the current Collective Bargaining Agreement back in 2011 and was a major advocate in the act of punishing players for PED use. On social media, hundreds of MLB players and reporters shared their grief over the loss of a friend and great leader.
Jason Vargas and the Royals reached an agreement on a 4 year, $32 million deal. Keith Law of ESPN shared a view that many agree with, stating that 4 years for Vargas is too many. Law opines that it is too optimistic to think that the finesse style of the lefty will hold up for four years. Mike DiGiovanna of the Los Angeles Times reported that the Angels did not want to go to four years on Vargas, offering him a 3 year, $24 million deal instead. Although the length of the contract is longer than expected for Vargas, an average annual salary of $8 million is actually relatively cheap in today's market, even for an average starter.
The Indians signed lefty reliever Mike Zagurski to a minor league deal. Zagurski spent 2013 with the Pirates, Yankees, and Athletics, and was hit hard in his 6.1 innings pitched in the majors (12 ER, 17.05 ERA). He fared much better in the minors, throwing 53.1 innings, with a 3.04 ERA, 24 walks, and an impressive 83 strikeouts. Zagurski also received an invite the Spring Training.
Other News and Notes
The Giants officially re-signed lefty reliever Javier Lopez to a 3 year, $13 million deal.
The Rays hope to re-sign catcher Jose Molina.
Yankees GM Brian Cashman told George A. King III of the New York Post that Curtis Granderson is “a serious part” of New York's offseason plans.
Adam Kilgore of the Washington Post says that the Nationals are in the market for a starting pitcher, but don't have to forfeit their number 20 overall pick in June's draft. He suggests Matt Garza or Ricky Nolasco could be a fit.
Shi Davidi of SportsNet.ca reported that the Blue Jays and Dodgers discussed a trade to send Matt Kemp to Toronto. Although those talks stalled, Davidi believes that the idea of trading for big name players is becoming more of a trend in the MLB, due to the increasing costs of free agents.
Buster Olney tweeted that some rival evaluators now believe that Shin-Soo Choo will end up in Detroit.
Ken Rosenthal tweeted that the Angels and Cardinals have had discussions about a trade sendingDavid Freese to Anaheim. Sources have said that the Cardinals like the Angels centerfield depth.
•Cleveland Indians: $15,107.00 - playoff shares info released yesterday
I'd love to see the Tribe make a serious run at Matt Garza, I think he's a better option than say Jimenez. Or at least try to resign Kazmir and maybe Hughes or Feldman.
And yeah, I think it was Olney who mentioned that some execs predict now that Fielder has been traded that Choo ends up in Detroit.