|December 16, 2012||Tweet|
|Written by Fred Poulin|
|Sunday, 16 December 2012 15:07|
The New York Mets and Toronto Blue Jays trade talks surrounding NL Cy-Young winner R.A. Dickey are heating up. It is reported that catcher Josh Thole would also head to Toronto in exchange for top prospects Travis d'Arnaud and Noah Syndergaard, as we well as veteran catcher John Buck. The deal, which is contingent on Toronto being able to work out a contract extension, could go down as early as today. Dickey, 38, finished the campaign with a 20-6 record, posting a good 2.73 ERA and an excellent 2.05 WHIP. The righty struck out 230 batters in 233.1 innings for the Mets.
If true, this would be a massive overpayment by the Blue Jays to acquire a pitcher with only one more year remaining to his contract. UPDATE - the Jays have come to terms with Dickey on a two-year extension, making this entire paragraph moot. It also means that the Jays are confident with J.P. Arencibia behind the plate as their regular catcher. Still, Dickey would further boost their starting rotation that now includes Josh Johnson, Mark Buehrle, Ricky Romero and Brandon Morrow.
For the second consecutive year, the Los Angeles Angels signed the biggest free agent on the market, after signing 1B Albert Pujols to a multi-year contract last year. This time, the Halos signed controversial OF Josh Hamilton to a five-year contract worth $125 million, which includes a no-trade clause. Hamilton will join an already potent offensive line-up of Albert Pujols, Mike Trout, Mark Trumbo and Howie Kendrick.
The 31 year-old Hamilton, who won the AL MVP in 2012, hit a career-high 43 dingers last season and batted .285 with 128 RBIs in 148 games with the Texas Rangers. Hamilton will most likely patrol left field, shifting Mike Trout to center field. The powerful hitter will also see time in right field and as a designate hitter when Kendrys Morales needs some time off.
The Philadelphia Phillies boasted their bullpen by signing veteran set-up man Mike Adams to a two-year contract worth $12 million, including a third-year vesting option. The 34 year-old reliever posted 27, 30 and 38 holds in the past three seasons. The lanky Adams finished last season with a 3.27 ERA and 1.39 WHIP with the Texas Rangers. He will prepare the table for closer Jonathan Papelbon in Philadelphia.
The Phillies also signed finesse left-handed John Lannan to a one-year contract worth $2.5 million. The 28 year-old Lannan, who pitched in triple-AAA last season, was not tendered a contract by the Washington Nationals. Lannan will provide pitching depth to the Phillies, especially after they traded starter Vance Worley for Ben Revere earlier this month.
On Friday, the New York Yankees officially signed veteran third baseman Kevin Youkilis to a one-year pact worth $12 million. Youkilis, who split last season between the Red Sox and the White Sox, has battled several injuries since 2010. He finished the season with 19 homeruns, 72 runs scored and 60 runs batted in, while hitting for only .235 in 438 at-bats. The Bronx Bombers hope Youkilis can replace Alex Rodriguez's offensive production at third base until the latter returns from his long-term injury in June or July. Upon ARod's return, "Youk" could see action at first base or as a designate hitter.
The Yankees also re-signed veteran outfielder Ichiro Suzuki to a two-year pact worth $13 million. The Yankees had to give Ichiro a two-year deal instead of a one-year contract because of the interest the 39 year-old was drawing on the free agent market. The reliable veteran outfielder batted a combined .283 between the Mariners and the Yankees, while scoring 77 runs and stealing 29 bases. Ichiro will complete a trio of left-handed outfielders that includes Brett Gardner and Curtis Granderson.
The Detroit Tigers signed starting pitcher Anibal Sanchez to a five-year deal worth $80 million. The 28 year-old right-hander was a mid-season acquisition from the Miami Marlins by the Tigers. Sanchez ended last season with a combined 9-13 record with a .386 ERA and a 1.27 WHIP. Sanchez was the best free agent available among starters only behind Zack Greinke, who signed with the Los Angeles Dodgers.
The St. Louis Cardinals signed veteran infielder Ty Wigginton to a two-year deal worth around $5 million. Wigginton will provide a versatile right-handed bat to the Cards after hitting 11 homers and 11 doubles for the Philadelphia Phillies last season.
The Boston Red Sox signed right-handed pitcher Ryan Dempster to a two-year deal worth $26.5 million. The 36 year-old starter finished with a combined 12-8 record between the Rangers and the Chicago Cubs, posting a 3.38 ERA and 1.20 WHIP in 28 starts. He struck out 153 batters in 173 innings while walking 52 hitters. Dempster will solidify a mediocre starting rotation that includes struggling Jon Lester, Clay Buchholz and unproven Felix Doubront.
Finally, the Red Sox also signed free-agent outfielder Shane Victorino to a three-year pact worth $39 million. Victorino split time between the Phillies and the Dodgers last summer, hitting .255 with 11 dingers, 55 runs batted in and 72 runs scored. Victorino's signing, combined with a healthy Jacoby Ellsbury at the top of the Sox' line-up will be devastating on the basepaths. Prior to missing half of last season due to injuries, Ellsbury stole 39 bases in 2011, while Victorino also stole 39 bases last summer. After signing free agents left fielder Jonny Gomes and CA/1B Mike Napoli, in addition to re-signing veteran DH David Ortiz, Boston appears set on offense for the upcoming season.
Former No. 1 draft pick Matt Bush is facing prison time after fleeing the site of an accident when driving under the influence. At the time of the incident on March 22, 2012, Bush was attempting to make a comeback for the Tampa Bay Rays after being converted from shortstop to pitcher.
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|Last Updated on Monday, 17 December 2012 22:57|