The “stove” which I cannot yet call “hot” appears to have been at least switched on in the last 24 hours. Not only did we see the biggest trade of the offseason go down last night, but we saw Hiroki Kuroda sign with the Yankees, which may open the floodgates to the other tier two and three starters such as Roy Oswalt, Edwin Jackson and Bartolo Colon.
We also learned that Prince Fielder had a sit-down for “preliminary” talks with the Texas Rangers as our fearless leader outlined yesterday.
Let’s take a quick look at the rumours, hearsay and actual transactions that have occurred over the last day.
The Boston Red Sox appear close to signing Vicente Padilla, assumedly to provide some bullpen and rotation depth as a swing man. Padilla missed almost all of last season with the Dodgers after having surgery to fuse vertebrae in his neck in June, appearing in just nine games. In 2010, however, Padilla made 16 starts and posted a 3.74 xFIP. If he can stay healthy he’ll be a decent low-risk depth pickup for the Sox. He has, allegedly, been hitting 96 mph on the radar gun with his fastball in Nicaragua. Assumedly, Boston’s search for a starter would not end there, but along with the signing of Aaron Cook, the Red Sox appear to be guarding themselves against a repeat of last year’s rotation depth problems.
According to the Tigers’ front office, their interest in Cubs starter Matt Garza has been “grossly exaggerated.” Apparently, the team is not willing to part with top prospects righthander Jacob Turner or third baseman Nick Castellanos. Since the Tigers don’t have much else in terms of elite-level prospects, it doesn’t look as though anything will happen there unless they change their minds.
The Oakland A’s are in negotiations with free agent righthander Bartolo Colon; The D’Backs are also said to be interested. Colon would be a nice stopgap option for the A’s who have traded away 40% of their starting rotation this offseason in Gio Gonzalez and Trevor Cahill. For comparison’s sake, Colon posted a higher K-rate, lower BB-rate, and lower xFIP than Cahill in 2011.
The Red Sox have met with the agent of David Ortiz to discuss salary figures for 2012. Ortiz accepted the Red Sox’ arbitration offer earlier this offseason and should see a raise over the $12.5-million he made in 2011. A stat that may surprise you: Ortiz was fourth in the AL in wOBA behind only Jose Bautista, Miguel Cabrera and Adrian Gonzalez.
The Nationals are apparently still “in on” Fielder and the Cubs “aren’t out” on him. The Rangers may be making a decision between which of Fielder or Josh Hamilton they would rather sign to a long-term deal.
The Kansas City Royals have signed third baseman Kevin Kouzmanoff to a minor league deal with an opt-out for Kouzmanoff if he’s not in the Majors by May 1st. Kouzmanoff will serve as an insurance policy for Mike Moustakas.