Hot Stove Update: 13 Days Till Spring Training
Crunch time has arrived for a lot of free agent players not signed particularly the pitchers and catchers who report on Feb.18.
Felipe Lopez, Pablo Ozuna and Chris Ozuna are the only remaining middle infielders left after Orlando Hudson agreed with the Minnesota Twins on a one year contract for $5 million. Lopez hit .320 and had a .407 OBP after joining the Brewers during the season.
It is surprising players like Mike Jacobs, Hank Blalock, Russell Branyan, Carlos Delgado, Joe Crede, Johnny Damon and Jermaine Dye have not been signed. Branyan may have overpriced himself by reportedly asking for a three year contract between $20 and $30 million. Now as spring training approaches he may be forced to play for as little as $2 or $3 million on a one year contract.
Slim Pickings For Free Agent Starters
Jarrod Washburn, John Smoltz, Chien-Ming Wang and Pedro Martinez are the only remaining free agent starters that are likely to move into a five man rotation in 2010.
For teams that care more about saving money than quality they can sign Bartolo Colon, Adam Eaton, Mike Hampton, Eric Milton, Mark Prior and Sidney Ponson.
Hot Stove News………
The Detroit Tigers signed Justin Verlander yesterday to a five year contract for $80 million. Two seasons ago Verlander led the AL in losses with 17 but came back to lead the AL in wins with 19 in 2009. He also led the AL in strikeouts with 269 and in innings pitched with 240. The Tigers hope his 2008 record of 11-17 was a blip in a long career.
Erik Bedard may return to the Mariners again in 2010 for a lot less money after posting an 11-7 record over the last two seasons for a total combined salary of over $14 million. He was effective when healthy but started only 15 games in both seasons….Cubs have avoided arbitration by signing Carlos Marmol to a $2.125 million contract. Marmol will go into spring training knowing he will be the closer since Kevin Gregg is no longer with the team.
Ryan Theriot will be a winner either way if his contract goes to arbitration. He earned $500,000 in his fifth season in 2009. Guess the Cubs had to make up for paying Milton Bradley so much last season. Paying Bradley 20 times as much as Theriot in 2009 can’t be justified.
Theriot who has played in at least 148 games in the last three seasons and has hit .288 and stole 84 bases in his five seasons will earn over $2 million even if he loses his case.
Adam Kennedy who was waiting for the outcome of the Orlando Hudson-Nationals negotiations has agreed to play for the Nationals in 2010.