December 2012 - Baseball Wiretap

Izturis Is Favorite For Toronto's Second Base Job

Dec 31, 2012 2:57 PM

Maicer Izturis is the favorite to win Toronto's starting second base job, according to general manager Alex Anthopoulos.

The 32-year-old signed a three-year contract with the Blue Jays, and his ability to also play shortstop and third base should prove to be a valuable asset in 2013.

 

Gregor Chisholm/MLB.com

Tags: Toronto Blue Jays, Misc Rumor

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Freel's Ex-Wife Links Death To Head Injuries

Dec 31, 2012 2:53 PM

Christie Moore Freel lost count of the nights her husband, Ryan, arrived home from the ballpark with a tale that added to her growing concern over his health.

"I don't know how many times he would talk about sliding into second or third base and blacking out or seeing stars," she said.

While his peers and fans praised Freel's headfirst approach throughout an eight-year career in the major leagues, which he deemed necessary to compensate for being undersize and less talented, the person closest to him became tormented by it.

"I cringed that that's who he was — all-out, full throttle," she said. "It was very hard to watch."

Still, she was surprised to learn that Freel, 36, was found dead in his Jacksonville residence on Dec. 22. Authorities concluded that the cause was a self-inflicted shotgun wound.

"I know a lot of people say they weren't shocked by it, but I really was," said Freel, who had been divorced from Ryan Freel since April after 11 years of marriage, and had spoken to him briefly on the eve of his death.

"I really thought, at some point, the answer to all of this would come along for him. It just never did."

Mike Tierney/New York Times

Tags: Cincinnati Reds, Misc Rumor

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Rays Looking To Improve Bullpen

Dec 31, 2012 2:49 PM

Andrew Friedman has often said bullpens are "volatile."

The Rays have been able to successfully tweak its stock of relievers each of the past several seasons.

Tampa Bay had a Major League-best 2.88 bullpen ERA in 2012, something that will be hard to repeat.

"So many things have to go exactly right," Jim Hickey said. "If I told you right now, [Fernando] Rodney was going to save 43 out of 49 games and have a 1.89 ERA, and that would be almost a disappointment compared to last year. They really did set the bar high.

"But I expect them to be very good, I expect them to be playoff-caliber good, and if we get into the playoffs, to take us all the way."

Friedman said they're still looking for one or two relievers, and he has a track record of acquiring quality arms for the bullpen.

Joe Smith/St. Petersburg Times

Tags: Tampa Bay Rays, Free Agent Rumor, Misc Rumor, Trade Rumor

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Royals Sign Endy Chavez

Dec 31, 2012 2:45 PM

The Royals have signed Endy Chavez to a minor league contract.

San Francisco also had some interest in the outfielder.

Chavez signed a one-year, $1.5MM deal with the Orioles last offseason and hit .203/.236/.278 in 169 plate appearances for Baltimore in 2012.

Mark Polishuk/MLB Trade Rumors

Tags: Kansas City Royals, Free Agent Rumor, Signing

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Hunter: Openly Gay Teammate Would 'Be Difficult And Uncomfortable'

Dec 31, 2012 8:38 AM

Torii Hunter, who cited his religious upbringing, told the Los Angeles Times that having an openly homosexual teammate would be tough to deal with.

"For me, as a Christian … I will be uncomfortable because in all my teachings and all my learning, biblically, it's not right," he says. "It will be difficult and uncomfortable."

The Big League Stew points out that after playing nearly 2,000 major league games, Hunter probably has had at least one gay teammate already.

Also, when has the sexual orientation of any teammate (assuming they've all been straight) mattered in how many games a team has won?

David Brown/Big League Stew

Tags: Detroit Tigers, Misc Rumor

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Iglesias Was 'Upset' When Red Sox Signed Drew

Dec 31, 2012 8:31 AM

Jose Iglesias was supposed to contend for the shortstop job in Boston this season, but will likely be stuck in the minor leagues for another year after the Red Sox signed Stephen Drew.

"He was upset," Dustin Pedroia told WEEI of Iglesias.

Pedroia said he wasn't going to let the young infielder sulk.

"I basically told him, from my situation, I felt like I was ready in 2006 to start the season in Boston, play second base and go play," Pedroia added. "But we ended up signing Mark Loretta. It ended up being a great thing for me."

asically told him, from my situation, I felt like I was ready in 2006 to start the season in Boston, play second base and go play,” Pedroia continued. “But we ended up signing Mark Loretta. It ended up being a great thing for me.”

Read more at: http://nesn.com/2012/12/jose-iglesias-was-upset-when-red-sox-signed-stephen-drew-according-to-dustin-pedroia/

Dan Duquette Jr./NESN

Tags: Boston Red Sox, Misc Rumor

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Phillies, Cubs Still Linked By Soriano Rumors

Dec 31, 2012 8:24 AM

Trade talks between the Phillies and Cubs are reportedly heating up as the two teams continue to discuss Alfonso Soriano.

Philadelphia is in the market for a corner infielder with some power. Soriano matches that profile almost perfectly hitting over 30 HR last season and committing only 1 error in 151 games.

Jim Bowden reported that the Cubs and Phillies had a deal tabled for Soriano on Friday night.

Andrew Denny/Cubbies Crib

Tags: Chicago Cubs, Philadelphia Phillies, Draft Misc, Misc Rumor, Trade Rumor

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Stanton Unlikely To Sign Long-Term Deal With Marlins

Dec 31, 2012 8:18 AM

The Marlins are listening to offers for Giancarlo Stanton, who they claim they aren't looking to move but are simply following club policy by answering phone calls.

Stanton will not be arbitration eligible until 2014 and isn't eligible for free agency until after the 2016 season.

Miami is in no rush to trade Stanton. Yet, it remains highly unlikely he will agree to a long-term contract.

Joe Frisaro/MLB.com

Tags: Miami Marlins, Free Agent Rumor, Misc Rumor

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Hamels, Greinke Have Very Similar Stats Aside From ERA Disparity

Dec 31, 2012 8:14 AM

Cole Hamels signed a $144 million contract last summer, while Zack Greinke received a $147 million deal from the Dodgers just a few weeks ago.

Over the past three seasons, Greinke has a 3.17 xFIP while Hamels is a sliver worse at 3.18.

The two just about match each other in strikeout rate (Hamels 24.2 percent, Greinke 23.3 percent), walk rate (6.1 percent, 6.2 percent) and ground ball rate (46.9 percent, 47.4 percent).

However, Hamels has outpitched Greinke ERA-wise by nearly a full run, 2.95 to 3.83.

 

Bill Baer/ESPN

Tags: Philadelphia Phillies, Los Angeles Dodgers, Misc Rumor, Stats

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Bard Has 'A Lot To Prove' In 2013

Dec 30, 2012 4:30 PM

Daniel Bard has a lot to prove this coming season with at least two relievers ahead of him.

The Red Sox acquired Joel Hanrahan to close and he'll be set up by Andrew Bailey.

Bard begin 2012 as a starter, but struggled in the role. He then struggled as a reliever after another transition.

He said he was "a little bit surprised" that the team traded for Hanrahan.

"I haven't really thought about how it affects my situation," Bard said. "I know I have a lot to prove coming into spring training, and I'm getting ready for that. Obviously my goal is to get back to the role I held for two or three years, setting up or better. Whatever I earn, that's my goal."

Jen Slothower/NESN

Tags: Boston Red Sox, Misc Rumor

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GM: Brett Myers Could Be Asking For Too Much
Brett Myers can provide a ton of innings to a team as a starter or reliever, but he remains unsigned this winter.

Nick Cafardo/Boston Globe

Lohse Could Be January Prize For Tigers, Dodgers, Brewers Or Rangers
Kyle Lohse may be the best starter on the free agent market as the calender turns to January.

Nick Cafardo/Boston Globe

Red Sox Won't Part With Prospects To Get Justin Upton
The Red Sox and Diamondbacks are unlikely trade partners when it comes to Justin Upton.

Nick Cafardo/Boston Globe

Napoli's Options Beyond Red Sox Limited
Mike Napoli will be forced to work out his three-year, $39 million deal with the Red Sox, unless he wants to sign a one-year deal elsewhere or a two-year deal with the Rangers.

Nick Cafardo/Boston Globe

Angels, Red Sox Tied For Most Blown Saves In AL
To rectify those issues, Boston traded for Joel Hanrahan and Los Angeles signed Ryan Madson.

Richard Justice/MLB.com

Cabrera Wants Title Over Another Triple Crown
Miguel Cabrera won the American League MVP and Triple Crown in 2012, but he's ready to move on and work towards a team goal for next season.

Jason Beck/MLB.com

Bourn Remains Top Available Free Agent
Some of the other top players left are Rafael Soriano, Adam LaRoche and Kyle Lohse.

Jeff Passan/Yahoo! Sports

Surgery For Clot Has Helped Gee's Throwing
Dillon Gee feels looser and more natural when he throws since having a blood clot removed in mid-July from an artery near his pitching shoulder.

Drew Silva/Hardball Talk

Marlins Will Listen To Offers For Stanton
However, Miami is not shopping Stanton and they are not looking to move him.

Jim Bowden/ESPN (via Twitter)

Yankees Have Positive Differential In Each Of Last 18 Seasons
New York's highest run differential over the span came in 1998 when they won 114 games and outscored opponents by 309 runs over 162 games.

David Schoenfield/ESPN

Cubs Concerned About Relationship With Fans
In an online chat, Bruce Levine of ESPN was asked what it might take to scare the Cubs front office into action in 2013.

Bruce Levine/ESPN

Phillies Getting Good Reports On Halladay
Roy Halladay battled back and shoulder issues last season, but the Phillies are optimistic about his health heading into the 2013 season.

Todd Zolecki/MLB.com

Ruggiano Has Edge On Miami's Center Field Job
The Marlins haven't yet found a solution to their center field issue, but Justin Ruggiano appears to have the inside track on the job.

Joe Frisaro/MLB.com

Ed Wade Trying Hand As Novelist
Ed Wade, former general manager of the Phillies and Astros, earned a journalism degree at Temple University.

Paul Hagen/MLB.com

LaRoche Wants To Re-Sign With Nationals, Keeping Options Open
Adam LaRoche said Friday night that he is talks with multiple clubs, but his preference is to return to the Nationals.

Adam Kilgore/Washington Post

Orioles Remain In Contact With Joe Saunders
The Orioles remain in contact with the agent for Joe Saunders, according to executive vice president Dan Duquette.

Roch Kubatko/MASN Sports

Contract Length Sticking Point Between LaRoche, Nationals
No deal is in sight, according to a source, even though it was reported last Saturday that progress had been made.

Bill Ladson/MLB.com

Morneau Entering New Year Healthy For A Change
Justin Morneau suffered a career-threatening concussion in 2010.

David Brown/Big League Stew

Mets Showed Interest In Coco Crisp
The Mets had some interest in acquiring Coco Crisp from the Athletics earlier this offseason.

Ken Davidoff/New York Post (via Twitter)

Howell Sits Atop Washington's Wish List
The danger is that there is little on the market behind J.P. Howell.

Dan Kolko/MASN Sports