Tuesday, January 8, 2013

News From Around The League: 1/8/2013


Is Anybody Interested in Rafael Soriano?: It's hard to imagine that possibly one of the league's best closers, Rafael Soriano, could be receiving such little interest from teams around Major League Baseball. Some say that Soriano, 33, is asking way too much money, others say that Scott Boras, Soriano's agent, could be causing this delay, but one thing is certain, Soriano should have picked up his option for 2013 that would of given him an outstanding $14 million dollars. According to the latest reports the New York Yankees, Soriano's club for the last 2 years, have no intentions of bringing the shut down closer back to the Bronx. Soriano opted out of contract earlier the offseason that the Yankees had signed him to just two offseasons ago and now it appears as if the club is much more content taking the draft compensation that comes with Soriano rather than locking him up for even a one year deal. Who can blame them? The league has quickly turned into a rookie's league with players like Jeremy Hellickson, Mike Trout, Bryce Harper and Craig Kimbrel stealing the spotlight the past two seasons. It is apparent that the Yankees will look for a diamond in the rough just like those outstanding, young phenomenons. Now the real question is, is even anyone interested in Soriano? The Tigers seem to be the best fit but have shown absolutely no interest in the right hander, teams like the Royals, Blue Jays, Phillies, White Sox and even the Angels have been linked to Soriano, but still none of those or any other clubs have had, or at least shown, any interest in him. Hard to imagine that a guy like Soriano, who has notched 40 or more saves in two of his least three seasons, could be practically begging for a job this late in the offseason.

Francisco Liriano's Deal On Hold: The Pirates agreement with left handed starter Francisco Liriano is now on hold due to any injury in his right shoulder found during his physical. The sometimes erratic lefty signed a two year year deal just shy of $13 million with the Pirates this offseason after posting a 6-12 record with an earned run average over 5 in 2012 with the Twins and White Sox. The Pirates and Liriano are now trying to reconstruct the contract and according to sources, neither side plans on giving up the new negotiations. This is the second time this offseason a contract has been placed on hold due to injury, the other of course being Mike Napoli's 3 year $39 million deal with the Red Sox last month, which is still unsettled to this point in the offseason.

Nationals Sing Adam LaRoche: The Washington Nationals have finally reached an agreement with first baseman Adam LaRoche on a two year about $24 million. The deal also has a mutual option for the 2015 season with a $2 million dollar buyout option. LaRoche has been believed to return to the Nationals for most of the offseason, however with the emergence of Bryce Harper this past season and the acquisition of center fielder Denard Span, LaRoche's return was in question. LaRoche, 33, is coming of a career year in which he hit 33 home-runs and 100 runs batted in, leading the Nationals the their first playoff appearance in team history. The 2012 Silver Slugger recipient had high demand in the offseason, drawing interest from teams such as the Red Sox and Mariners, but in the end it was obvious that Washington was where he wanted to be. The deal now leaves powerful outfielder/first baseman Michael Morse out of the picture in 2013. With LaRoche manning first base and Weth, Span, and Harper in the outfield, it becomes apparent that Morse in on the trading block and will be drawing plenty of interest from teams looking for a big bat, such as the Phillies, Mets, Rangers and Mariners, whom Morse was acquired from a couple of offseasons ago. He is expected to earn $7 million through arbitration for the 2013 season.

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