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MLB News and Rumors: Ellsbury leaves Boston for Yankees

MLB News and Rumors: Ellsbury leaves Boston for Yankees
December 4, 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 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 Tuesday, December 3rd:

Top Stories

  • The Yankees are back to the Yankee way, agreeing to a deal with top free agent outfielder Jacoby Ellsbury. The contract will pay Ellsbury $153 million over seven years, with a $16 million dollar option for an eighth year.

  • A.J. Pierzynski agreed to a deal late Monday night with the Red Sox, for one year and $8.25 million.

  • The day after Pierzynski signed with Boston, former Red Sox catcher Jarrod Saltalamachia agreed to a contract with Miami. Saltalamachia will receive $21 million over three years.

  • One day after trading Doug Fister, the Tigers found their closer, inking Joe Nathan to a two-year deal in the range of $20 million.

  • Oakland had another busy day Tuesday, working out two separate trades. The first got them outfielder Craig Gentry and pitcher Josh Lindblom from Texas, in exchange for outfield prospect Michael Choice and Minor League second baseman Chris Bostick. Just hours later, the A's landed set-up man Luke Gregerson from the Padres, and shipped outfielder Seth Smith to San Diego. And now Oakland has managed to pack an entire offseason into two days.

  • A three-team trade between the Reds, Rays, and Diamondbacks sent catcher Ryan Hanigan to Tampa along with reliever Heath Bell, pitcher David Holmberg to Cincinnati, and Minor League pitcher Justin Choate and a player to be named later or cash to Arizona. Right after the trade, Tampa worked out a three-year, $10.75 million dollar extension with Hanigan, with a club option for a fourth year.

  • The Rockies traded center fielder Dexter Fowler and a player to be named later to Houston for pitcherJordan Lyles and outfielder Brandon Barnes.

Other News and Notes

  • According to Troy Renck of the Denver Post, the Rockies have agreed to a two-year contract withJustin Morneau, worth roughly $13 million.

  • According to Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports, the Reds are now unlikely to trade second basemanBrandon Phillips.

  • The Phillies acquired reliever Brad Lincoln from Toronto and signed catcher Will Nieves.

  • Mark Feinsand of the New York Daily News says sources have told him the Tigers are in heavy pursuit of a left-handed bat and that their top target is Shin-Soo Choo.

  • Mike Berardino of the St. Paul Pioneer Press reported that the Twins have moved on in their search for a starting catcher and will instead go with Josmil Pinto as the starter in 2014.

  • Brian Wilson is closing in on a deal to return to the Dodgers. USA Today's Bob Nightengale says the deal will be for only one season, enabling Wilson to hit the market again next winter.

  • Multiple sources have reported that the Mariners are now a serious contender in the Robinson Canosweepstakes. The Yankees seem unwilling to give into Cano's demands, and an industry source said the chances of Cano returning to New York are “less than 50-50.” The Yankees have reportedly extended an offer to second baseman Omar Infante.

  • Joel Sherman of the New York Post reported late Tuesday night that the Yankees have also signed infielder/outfielder Kelly Johnson to a one-year deal, worth somewhere around $3 million.

  • Several reports surfaced about Carlos Beltran meeting with Royals officials in Kansas City on Tuesday. There was also a report that Beltran has received one three-year, $48 million contract offer, and sources have said they believe it is from the Royals.

User Comments

December 5, 2013 - 9:45 PM EST
I think the Indians are in pretty good shape, in the background sort of a Jack-in-the-Box in waiting like last off-season. I think we will be surprised again, and most likely pretty pleased when all is said and done.
Andy N.
December 4, 2013 - 11:42 PM EST
Masterson wouldn't fetch Bradley or Walker. He is not of the same caliber of David Price, plus he only has one year before free agency. I could see him getting a return similar to what Samardzija would. Masterson is a better pitcher than Samardzija, but only having one year left before free agency would hurt. Most teams seem to be looking for controllable, young arms in trades. Masterson fits the young aspect, but not the controllable.
December 4, 2013 - 9:40 PM EST
Hypothetical question(s):

Since there are rumors that David Price and Jeff Samardija could be traded and that teams like Seattle and AZ could aggressively pursue one or both, what IF one or the other call RE: Justin Masterson, what would it take to move him? The Dbax could offer a pkg built around Archie Bradley or Tyler Skaggs and Matt Davidson. The M's have Tijuan Walker and James Paxton. What would it take to move Masterson?

Another Question:

IF Michael Brantley is traded what could the Tribe get for him, and who would be interested?
December 4, 2013 - 6:55 PM EST
Call me a glass overflowing sort of guy, but a full season of Kluber and Salazar in the rotation, something above career-worst seasons from ACab, Pestano and Swisher, and not having Reynolds or Rich Hill are all realistic positives to me. Plus I'm bullish on what a steady Santana batting cleanup will do for the lineup. Maybe one or two of Barnes, Bauer, Carrasco, Hagadone, CC Lee, and Soto contribute as well.

I agree with Tony though that watching the A's make a flurry of smaller trades while the Indians do nothing in that area is curiously frustrating.
December 4, 2013 - 5:07 PM EST
The Indians are not the only small market winning team last year that has not made any major FA signings. The Reds, Pirates and Rays.

I think the reason for the panic is that the trading has started a lot earlier than expected. I hope the Indians will follow the model that the A's and Rays are currently doing.

I still believe our current starting rotation is stronger than it was at this time last year. The bullpen looks a little weaker with the loses of Smith and Perez.

I don't know why people are so up tight about not getting any FA. I thought most the FA crop is very weak this year. Many teams are over paying on players that get injured often or are on the other side of 30.
December 4, 2013 - 1:31 PM EST

Good was at and after the winter mtgs the Tribe made a lot of noise.

I think it's obvious they can't be as aggressive on the FA front, but they can make some moves to open up salary or fill needs. As I said, there is plenty of time, and they don't need to make moves for the sake of making moves. They need to work within their limits and get what they need, and that will take an aggressive approach.
December 4, 2013 - 1:24 PM EST
Maybe it's just me, but if I had to guess, here in a months time, we won't be hearing too much about how worried we are/aren't about why the Indians have done much yet. (To this point the only additions to the ML roster was the Aviles & Gomes trade FWIW). We'll be arguing about if they made the right moves or not.

I'm sorry, but after hearing last season about how the Indians have this new approach I just don't think they'll suddenly be gun shy about everything or simply not have a plan anymore.

I understand everyone is antsy for something to happen, but who's signed so far that we should have or could have brought in? Kazmir, ok, but not for 2 years at that rate. Who else? Josh Johnson? He's as big an injury question as Kazmir really. Dan Haren or Tim Hudson maybe. Without looking there hasn't been a lot yet that's made me say "we should have been in that discussion" that comes to mind.
December 4, 2013 - 12:50 PM EST
Looking at the Murphy signing, and I'm thinking, have the Tribe created more problems for themselves by getting too cute? Seriously, IF they are so tight they are limited in what they are willing to do, have they hamstrung themselves, now without the ability to land SP? I really don't think so, but I can't help but wonder why they have not been more active in the trade front.

Maybe there are a few deals out there, I'm sure they have something on the table...or...something larger they are working on. CA & company do a good job keeping it close to vest.

Relying entirely on what this club has in house, is a mistake. I mean I like Bauer and Carrasco, but they have to add SP options. And truth is, they need more than minor league depth types. IMO, Kluber and MacAlister are not sure things, coming off of injuries.

Right now, what we are seeing from this FO is not their new approach they've said they have adopted. This looks a lot more like the FO of old. There's plenty of time left in the offseason, but I'm concerned they may only make minimal additions to a club that could push for the AL Central.
matt underwood
December 4, 2013 - 12:42 PM EST
somewhere Trevor Crowe is crying... and in Cleveland John Mirabelli and Bud Grant are still running the Tribe Drafts.
December 4, 2013 - 12:22 PM EST
Agree with Tony, no high priced FA but flyers on guys like Murpghy or the ones we took last year (i.e. Kasmir, Reynolds, Rayburn, Myers) and trades. Certainly the Bourn deal from a financial perspective looks way better but I would let it be known that Bourn is available. I'd like to keep Brantley available. If you can ship Bourn away, keep Stubbs he can platoon or just hit 9th and provide good def in center.
December 4, 2013 - 12:17 PM EST
Trying to be positive...

But one reason the Tribe may not be as active on the trade front as this point could be they are waiting til guys like Ellsbury (done), Granderson, Choo, Cruz, etc sign? Or at least til teams get turned off by the dollars/years?

OF is the one area we seem to be able to deal from. Team in need of a SS that doesn't want to pay Drew may still come calling too...
December 4, 2013 - 12:07 PM EST
Long way to go this offseason, but I am getting a bad feeling about things. The Indians don't have the money to spend to really add any "good" free agents. The swisher and Bourn deals last year were unique opportunities that probably won't exist this year, especially with the Indians not having a protected pick. They are not going to sign any of the guys given qualifying offers, and the other big free agents will be too big to sign. I really think last year was a unique situation and that deals like the Reynolds and Myers signings are more likely. Unless of course a trade or two is done to create some payroll space. I'm hoping the Indians are very active on the trade front the next several days....though must say I am a bit perplexed at their inactivity in the trade market right now. Hopefully they are holding out for a few things which are taking longer to finalize.
December 4, 2013 - 11:58 AM EST
I've mentioned the Mets with regards to Bourn and Brantley on here before. Think it could be a fit (especially Brantley) and would love Niese and Parnell in a bigger deal.

One issue though is the Mets are said to be looking for power in the OF. Neither Bourn nor Brantley provide that unfortunately.

Still think Brantley could be a fit in LF with Granderson in RF and C. Young/Langeras in CF...
December 4, 2013 - 11:11 AM EST
I'm kind of surprised the Mets are willing to push for Curtis Granderson. He's 33, coming off an injury plagued yr and will cost them their second round pick, which will be top 50 in a talented draft.

IF I'm CA I call the Mets up, offer them Bourn for one of Niese, Gee, and Parnell. OR...the Tribe could go salary dump and ask for RHRP Victor Black and a prospect or two.

I think the Red Sox could have interest in any of Bourn, Brantley and Stubbs. They might be a possible match with excess SP.
December 4, 2013 - 11:04 AM EST
The Yankees will not be more competitive signing Ellsbury and losing Cano. Cano can roll out of bed and drive in 4 runs. Ellsbury like Sizemore like Granderson- shooting stars plagued by injuries- and you really don't know what you're going to get from one season to the next. The money to Ellsbury and others this year is beyond obnoxious. At some point you have to wonder if the amount of money being thrown around damages the game/ I think we're there. If I have a kid whose arm or bat is worth $150 million I'm buying insurance on the body part and hiring an armed guard to protect it, not to mention a personal trainer, personal chef and driver. And I would have to be screening the girlfriends as well. Much as I hate to play into Dolan's/Antonetti's penchant for cheapskatedness, I believe the Indians would be wise to close the tell window this year and go with the lesser names already in the systems- the "Rocky" ethos works for me
December 4, 2013 - 10:36 AM EST

Come on, you know it's good for baseball IF the Yankees have an AS team that borders $200 M in salaries. It's great for the game! Think about it, more revenue in the players pockets and more importantly better TV ratings and best yet a marquee team from a major city to generate interest in baseball. So yes, it is great for baseball.

I hate the Yankees......... I wish Bud Selig was gone yrs ago, until they put a salary cap in place, this is the garbage we small mkt fans will have to take.
December 4, 2013 - 10:06 AM EST
I'm SSSOOOOOO happy that the Yankees don't have to worry about paying Alex Rodriguez 700 billion dollars over the next 15 minutes any longer! It was so criminal of MLB to make them believe they'd be stuck paying rather entire contract they gave to ARod!!

Gosh, I was really worried there that the Yanks might have to figure out how to produce a competitive team while under financial restrictions. I mean come on! That's not why you pay Brian Cashman, to figure stuff out!

This makes the game of baseball so much better!! It does somehow.....Well, that's what they said on MLB network anyway. But man, it's so good to see New York get out of their dumbas....well it's good to see....apparently.

BTW that's sarcasm for you internet folks.
December 4, 2013 - 10:00 AM EST
One guy that I'm sure is really depressed today...Grady Sizemore.

If he only could have waited a couple years before falling apart injury wise....think how rich he could be.

Matt Kemp....Carl Crawford....Jacoby Ellsbury.....Grady was as good or better than all of them. Timing is everything in life.
December 4, 2013 - 9:58 AM EST
I've said it before but will reiterate what Tony Bourn to the Red Sox.

3yr/$41M....virtually the same as what the Red Sox gave (a worse, older) Victorino last winter.

I'd push for Peavy from them. Not sure they do it though.

If Bourn doesn't fly, I would also shop Brantley to them. Would want more than Peavy but maybe can expand it and get a prospect or maybe Middlebrooks (if they plan on using Boegarts at 3B).
December 4, 2013 - 9:10 AM EST
Unbelievable that Ellsbury got 7/153. Insane. If I am the Indians, I am floating Michael Bourn to them. They are talking on MLB Network how they don't want Victorino in CF and that Bradley is an option but they would prefer someone else for now. Not sure if Bourn would be a fit.....but his 3/41 left on his deal is a steal from a money perspective....just depends if teams think he has value.
December 4, 2013 - 8:52 AM EST
Is Ellsbury really a $20+ million player? Not sure he's durable enough or that he'll be able to keep his #1 asset (speed) at as high a level as needed for 7 years (he's 29 now)...

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