Tuesday, January 15, 2013

News From Around The League: 1/15/2013

Nationals Sign Rafael Soriano- In my last "News From Around The League" segment, I discussed how Rafael Soriano, one of the league's best closers since 2010, was seemingly drawing no interest from clubs around baseball. I mentioned teams such as the Royals, Tigers, and even the Angels as possible suitors for Soriano, but one team I forgot to mention was the Washington Nationals, who the right hander signed with on Tuesday, according to multiple sources. The deal is for two years and $28 million dollars, which narrows down to $14 million per year, exactly how much he would have earned with the Yankees in 2013 had he not voided his option. The deal also includes a $14 million option for 2015. However the contract is almost all back-loaded, with Soriano due to earn almost half of his contract from 2015-2018, after the two years which Soriano will be with the Nats. It's really almost something that I've never seen, nor heard of before. I have heard of back-loaded contracts, most recently Albert Pujols' monster 10 year contract with the Angels, but have never heard of a player getting paid that much after his contract expires. How will that fair? Well that is something we will find out in a few years.

Rangers Sign Kyle McClellan- The Rangers have signed RHP Kyle McClellan to a minor league contract with an invitation to Spring Training, according to MLBTradeRumors.com. The 28 year old Missouri native was drafted by the St. Louis Cardinals in 2002 and has remained in the organization since. McClellan made his major league debut in 2008 for St/ Louis, appearing in 68 games in relief. He remained a fixture in the St. Louis bullpen appearing in 66 games in 2009 and 68 games in 2010. In 2011 McClellan made his first major league start and ended up starting in 17 of his 43 games pitched, filling in a rotation hole after various injuries to other Cardinals starters and helping lead the club to a World Series Championship. The right hander was only able to appear in 16 games for the Cardinals before suffering tightness in his shoulder and eventually was forced to undergo season ending surgery. McClellan was expected to make $2.4 million in 2013 through arbitration with the Cardinals before being released earlier this offseason.

Who Is In On Kyle Lohse?- It has been a very busy offseason for super-agent Scott Boras, however it is not quite over yet. Coming into Tuesday Boras still had three of his premier clients on the market, one of which, Rafael Soriano, signed with the Nationals, leaving both Michael Bourn and Kyle Lohse wondering when their time will come. The 34 year old right hander has put up some terrific numbers since coming to the Cardinals in 2008, highlighted by a 16-3 record with a sub-three ERA posted in 2012. The Cardinals did offer Lohse a qualifying offer earlier this offseason, which means that any team that signs him will now have to give up one or two of their draft picks. The teams that seem to be repeatedly tied to Lohse include the Angels, the Texas Rangers and the Los Angeles Dodger with the possibility of a return to St. Louis not out of the question. However recent reports say that the Angels are out of the running for Lohse and that their divison rivals, the Texas Rangers, seem to be the most logical fit for the righty, but according to sources close to the situation, Lohse hasn't even received an offer besides the qualifying offer by St. Louis, which was rejected. The question now is, will Scott Boras be able to pull another trick out of his hat, or is this finally the point where one of his clients gets hurt. We will see.

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