The exclusive negotiating period has ended and all free agents are able to talk to any clubs about contracts. There’s been no big news yet on the league’s top free agents (Fielder, Pujols), but things are sure to heat up soon.
ST. LOUIS CARDINALS
As the Cardinals continue to search for Tony LaRussa’s replacement, Rafael Furcal (SS) and his agent are in “no hurry” to rush off and sign with another team. He’ll wait until he sees who the manager is before deciding where to sign. Other moves include Yadier Molina’s (C) option for 2012 being picked up.
Not much has been whispered in Milwaukee in the past week. In addition to being in the market for a first baseman if or when Prince Fielder departs, the Brewers are seeking a new partner for Bob Uecker in the booth.
Although the team still wants to lock up each player in long term deals, the Reds decided to decline Cordero’s option and pick up Phillips’. Apparently $12M was too much for the closer’s services, but if other suitors are limited, Cordero could return to Cincinnati next season.
The Pirates saved $24,550,000 by declining the contract options for Chris Snyder (C), Ryan Doumit (C), Paul Maholm (SP), and Ronny Cedeno (SS). The team is trying to resign first baseman Derrek Lee, and is scouting the ageless wonder Jamie Moyer (SP), who is nearing his fifties.
The potentially American League-bound Astros have claimed Brian Bixler from the Washington Nationals. He played every position in 2011 except for second base, catcher, and pitcher, although most of those were spent in left field. Bixler played 79 games in the Bigs this season.
Kerry Wood (RP): Wood wants to come back to Chicago and is excited about the new front office. After pitching 11 years in Chicago, he knows a thing or two about the Cubs, and says that Theo will probably want to “pick [his] brain.” The pitcher said the two will get together soon.
Aramis Ramirez (3B): Ramirez won the 3B NL Silver Slugger award last week, and is testing the open market after denying the Cubs’ option. Some speculation has Ramirez going to the Rockies, but not so fast – the GM says there is “no interest … at the length of contract he is seeking.”
Carlos Pena (1B): Nothing new to report on Pena. It was mentioned last week that he was the only Cubs player with 100+ walks this season, and looking back, he’s the first to draw that many since Sammy Sosa did it in 2002. Sosa walked 103 times and hit 49 home runs that year.
Reed Johnson (OF): There’s likely to be nothing new to report on Reed for awhile, so in the mean time, enjoy this photo of the catching wonder.
John Grabow (RP): Grabow was cited as a possible left-handed reliever option for the New York Yankees. It appears that’s just because he’s left handed, and not necessarily a name they’re interested in just yet.
Rodrigo Lopez / Ramon Ortiz (SPs): Again, no news here. We’ll wait and see.