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MLB Storylines: Is Matt Garza set to become a Brewer?

MLB Storylines: Is Matt Garza set to become a Brewer?
January 24, 2014
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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 Thursday, January 23rd.

Top Stories

  • Early Thursday afternoon, multiple reports had stated that the Brewers and Matt Garza had agreed to a four-year, $52 million contract. Once nightfall came, reports started swirling that Garza and the Brewers had not reached an agreement, and many thought there were issues with his physical that were holding up the deal. The Brewers own Twitter account posted a message reading, "Despite media reports, negotiations between the Brewers and Matt Garza are ongoing, but there is no deal yet."'s Adam McAlvy said that the holdup was not due to medical concerns, but Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports tweeted that Garza had taken a physical with the Brewers and the team was all set to introduce him at a press conference that afternoon, and then the holdup occured. So, as of late Thursday night, Garza and the Brewers did not have a deal – but something may be imminent.
  • Grant Balfour and the Rays agreed to a two-year deal, $12 million deal. Earlier this offseason, Balfour had agreed to a two-year, $15 million deal with the Orioles, but Baltimore backed out due to some issues with Balfour's physical. Ken Rosenthal reported that the Mets made a run at Balfour and even offered him a larger contract than the one he received with the Rays. Adam Rubin of said that the contract the Mets offered was equivalent to the Rays offer, while Mike Puma of the New York Post reported that the Mets did not beat Tampa Bay's offer and only had some dialogue with Balfour.

Other News and Notes

  • The Indians signed reliever David Aardsma to a Minor League contract with an invite to Spring Training. Aardsma, 32, had a 4.31 ERA in 39.2 innings with the Mets in 2013.
  • The Orioles have been looking for a closer ever since their deal with Balfour fell through, and Jonah Keri of Grantland tweeted that Baltimore and closer Fernando Rodney are making progress on a contract agreement. However, Dan Connolly of the Baltimore Sun reported that the Orioles and Rodney have not spoken for weeks, although a future deal could still be possible.
  • According to Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports, Ervin Santana's latest asking price as of last week was a four-year deal in the $60 million range.
  •'s Jason Beck reported that Tigers starter Max Scherzer is optimistic that he will remain in Detroit and he hopes an extension can be worked out before the start of the season.
  • According to Jerry Crasnick of ESPN, Pirate president Frank Coonelly said the team does not expect A.J. Burnett to return for the 2014 season. Coonelly did say that the team does still have the flexibility to bring Burnett back if he were to call them and say he wants to pitch another season.
  • Jason Mastrodonato of was in attendance when Boston pitcher Jon Lester told reporters that despite realizing that he won't get as much as he could get in free agency next offseason, he would still like to sign an extension with the Red Sox.
  • Now that the Yankees have already passed the luxury tax threshold anyway, CBS Sports' Jon Heyman says they may make a run at Stephen Drew.
  • The Twins and Korea's Hanwha Eagles agreed to a transfer that will send Minnesota starter Andrew Albersto Korea.
  • Japan's Fukuoka SoftBank Hawks of the Nippon Professional Baseball league released former Cubs first baseman Bryan LaHair.
  • The Royals signed reliever Jon Rauch to a Minor League contract.
  • Former Indian Aaron Laffey agreed to a Minor League deal with the Orioles.

User Comments

January 24, 2014 - 6:19 PM EST
Haven't heard anything on Baker since that report. I'm guessing he's holding out in hopes of landing a major league deal. Still several dominoes could fall that might effect where he signs.
January 24, 2014 - 5:30 PM EST
What is the latest with Scott Baker? I thought the Indians and the Mariners are front runners to sign him. Another good pick up would be Luis Ayala.
January 24, 2014 - 5:07 PM EST
I don't know, Walter, I think that depends on how it pans out. They could sign Scott Baker, which, if he's healthy and productive could turn out to be a good signing, but it will be hard for the Tribe to replicate the results they got from Scott Kazmir. Personally, I doubt Jason Giambi has the impact he had last yr. This being said, Francouer, Morgan or Marcum maybe even Aardsma could have real chances to make this club.

I'd like to see the Tribe sign a cpl of... Justin Turner, Elliot Johnson, Jose Mijares, Scott Baker, Andrew Bailey, Joel Hanrahan, and Clayton Richard to minor league deals.
January 24, 2014 - 3:55 PM EST
Nice signing by the Rays on Balfour. They will be a force in AL east again. A small market team trying to stay competitive with a limited budget.
Indians might have better quality in minor league contract signings this year than last. I wonder how many could make the big league roster.

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