A bit from the slowing rumor mill to round out your week …
- The Mariners finally made a significant follow-up move to the Robinson Cano signing, inking closer Fernando Rodney to a two-year, $14 million deal. They’re also making progress on signing Nelson Cruz (who costs them only a compensatory round pick, since they already lost their first for signing Cano). I don’t see it being enough to make a paper competitor out of the Mariners, but it’ll be an interesting story to follow. The rotation is still severely lacking, and, if they aren’t going to pick up a starter in free agency, who knows? Maybe adding a couple more pieces like Rodney and Cruz compels them to try and make a trade for someone like David Price or Jeff Samardzija.
- Jim Bowden says Bronson Arroyo is going to wind up with the Dodgers or the Diamondbacks, and Joel Sherman says his asking price is down to two years and $22 million. In this market, that’s really not a bad deal for Arroyo, who offers no upside, but limited downside as a reliable back-end starter. If Bowden is right that the Orioles are out, you wonder where they’re going to find their long-awaited pitcher. A.J. Burnett, right? … well …
- Roch Kubatko says the sense is that Burnett really wants to say in the NL. So the pitcher for the Orioles could be Ubaldo Jimenez or Suk-Min Yoon (or Arroyo).
- Speaking of Yoon, Paul Sullivan offers a pessimistic take on the chance the Korean righty winds up with the Cubs, despite the fact that the team scouted him in person this week. The reason is what you’d expect: the price tag on Yoon is probably going to be too high for the Cubs. Keep in mind what I said earlier in the week: even if the Cubs like Yoon as an “asset accumulation” piece (he’s just 27) and value him appropriately in that regard, other teams that still need starting pitching for 2014 have an extra incentive to get Yoon right now. In other words, another team might appropriately value Yoon at $8 million per year over two years (he’s worth that much to their team given their expected competitiveness), while the Cubs value him at just $5 million per year over two years.
- At the outset of the offseason, I started openly wondering at what point the pendulum of young players signing extensions swings back toward them preferring to hold out for free agency, given the exploding free agent salaries across baseball. Dave Cameron takes on a similar topic when discussing the eight-year, $135 million extension the Braves just gave Freddie Freeman – the angle there is not so much the pendulum of choices swinging, but instead the pendulum of teams having to pay WAY more to lock these guys up. So maybe both the teams and the players will start viewing free agency as a more attractive option once again in the next few years.
- Any interest in taking a flyer on Brett Wallace? The Astros just DFA’d the 27-year-old to make room for Jerome Williams, and he could still have some upside (young, former top 50 prospect, always crushed in the minors). The problem is that he pretty much only plays first base at this point (though he’s played a little third base in the minors the last few years), he bats lefty, and he’s out of options. Seems like the kind of guy the Cubs would like to have around (for the upside), but I’m not sure I see a reasonable fit.
- More on the Yankees’ rumored plan to destroy the international market this year.