Posts Tagged ‘BJ Upton’

It’s the heart of the winter meetings and deals are coming back in according to form. While the trade market All-Stars (RA Dickey, Justin Upton, James Shields, Astrubal Cabrera among others) are all in pure rumor form, the free agent meter in overdrive. There has been a holding pattern at the top, with Zack Greinke, Josh Hamilton and Michael Bourn all having more myth to reality about exactly who is in for them and what type of deal it will take to land them. But the middle of the market is clearing out like a two for one sale.

The Boston Red Sox have filled their shopping cart in a hurry with new talent, while the New York Yankees and San Francisco Giants have done so with bringing back their own guys. The National League in general has been very active, especially among last summer’s contenders. The Washington Nationals and Atlanta Braves have each added a top 10 free agent to their clubs, while the LA Dodgers and St. Louis Cardinals are both waiting in the wings still.

What’s waiting to explode still is both the middle of the lineup power market, and most notably the starting pitching field. All of that hinges on what happens with Greinke and Hamilton, but anything is possible and at any second, the powder keg of the field could go off and a few hundred million getting handed out to the pair could change everything.

For now, here’s a recap of the more recent signings in this winter’s free agent scramble, with some of the impact of their deals. The ranks are by their original place on the CHEAP SEATS free agent tracker. An update Top 50 will debut tomorrow, with any updated signings and a complete recap of deals thus far.

The Giants two biggest "additions" were returns, by giving out $60 million to hold on to postseason heros Angel Pagan and Marco Scutaro

The Giants two biggest “additions” were returns, by giving out $60 million to hold on to postseason heros Angel Pagan and Marco Scutaro


4. BJ Upton-Centerfield: Signed with Atlanta Braves, 5 years/$75 million

I covered this all the way at The Sports Fan Journal, check it out.

10. Dan Haren-Pitcher: Signed with Washington Nationals, 1 year/$13 million

Haren is a very strong signing for the Nationals, who needed to replace Edwin Jackson in their rotation. While he suffered from some back troubles that produced his worst year as full-time pro, his upside is undeniable and he’ll round out the Nationals starters as the strongest overall group in the NL. With a one year deal, he’ll re-enter the market next year with a chance for very strong deal.

12. Mike Napoli-Catcher/First base: Signed with Boston Red Sox, 3 years/$39 million

Nap’s the perfect signing for Red Sox club that’s getting very versatile in filling its multiple holes. Napoli can work the catcher and first base (which will be his prime position) openings, as well as spell David Ortiz at DH. With his swing, he’ll eat the Green Monster up and could be in place for another 2011 in Fenway.

15. Mariano Rivera-Pitcher: Resigned with New York Yankees, 1 year/$10 million

No surprise here; there was no shot he’d go anywhere else. Rather, it’s a fulfillment of his promise to not go out on an injury note. He’ll slide back into the ninth inning role in the Bronx and make the entire staff better.

18. Angel Pagan-Centerfield: Resigned with San Francisco Giants, 4 years/$40 million

The first big eye raiser of the winter meetings, Pagan’s deal is a high risk one. He had a strong postseason, and was a value at $10 million per in this year’s CF market, but the length of it is questionable, as he’ll be 34 when it ends and will most likely have to man a corner position due to decline. But right now, it’s a major step in the Giants staying put at the top of the West.

24. Joakim Soria-Pitcher: Signed with Texas Rangers, 2 years/$8 million

One of the game’s best closers before having to undergo a second Tommy John Surgery and missing 2012 in KC, this is a rebound chance for Soria. He’ll become a setup man in Texas, but play for a contender for the first time and could be the impact setup man Texas hoped Mike Adams would be.

25. Marco Scutaro—Second Base: Resigned w/ San Francisco Giants: 3 yrs/$20 million

The market worked very favorable deal that was aided by his strong second half, NLCS MVP effort and a late battle between the Yankees, Cardinals and Giants for his services. But the Giants get back steady contributor for just over $6 million per year and keep their greatest strength in tow: group chemistry.

26. Shane Victorino-Outfield: Signed with Boston Red Sox, 3 years/$39 million

This is a strong sign for the Sox, who are looking to fill spots across their outfield, both now and going ahead. He’ll start in right field right, but can play every spot in the outfield and could be an option in center full-time if Jacoby Ellsbury leaves in free agency next winter. His signing changes the shopping list of many teams, as the Indians, Reds, Yankees, Rays and Giants were all in for him.

30. Andy Pettitte-Pitcher: Resigned with New York Yankees, 1 year/$12 million

Another matter similar to Rivera’s return to the Bronx, Pettitte wasn’t going to pitch anywhere else. The only shocker is the $12 million he received to do it, despite making only 12 starts after coming out of retirement and being shut down by injury nearly immediately last year.

33. Russell Martin-Catcher: Signed with Pittsburgh Pirates, 2 years/$17 million

The first big surprise of the offseason was when the Pirates lured Martin from the Yankees. He’ll be a strong veteran to handle their young, up and coming pitchers and provide the type of experience a team that’s failed two Augusts in a row needs.

61. James Loney-First Base: Signed with Tampa Bay Rays, 1 year/$2 million

A solid signing for a team based on pitching strength. He won’t provide much power for a corner infielder, but he’ll carry his own weight with his glove.

69. Scott Feldman-Pitcher: Signed with Chicago Cubs, 1 year/$6 million

A quiet signing that will give the Cubs a solid amount of innings on the bottom half of their rotation, at a decent price.


For more on the real time dealings and rumoring around the MLB winter, follow me on Twitter at @CheapSeatFan.


Business has begun to pickup since the last entry into the CHEAP SEATS MLB free agent gauge, with multiple contenders re-upping with a few of their lingering formality returns. The New York Yankees have begun to put their foot into the mix, as if that’s a surprise this time of the year. But so far, they’ve only brought back guys that would never consider anywhere else, in Mariano Rivera and Andy Pettitte. They actually lost out on their incumbent catcher in Russell Martin, who inked the first Bizarro World deal of the winter, jumping from the Bronx to Pittsburgh via his own free will (some please check the last time that happened).

The first major team swap also came down, with BJ Upton taking his talents to Atlanta. Otherwise, the calm is still in play and all of the biggest names are still attached to big rumors as opposed to big dollars so far. In this second entry, we’ll take a look at the rumors and list a few of the hottest contenders for each player’s services that are dwelling so far. As usual, the bold players have deals, and will be featured in the next Cut The Check entry on Monday for analysis on the deal.


Yankees handled their exclusive business first in resigning Rivera and Pettitte for 2013 deals.

Yankees handled their exclusive business first in resigning Rivera and Pettitte for 2013 deals.

  1. Zack Grienke (RHP): Dodgers, Angels, Rangers, Orioles, Red Sox
  2. Josh Hamilton (OF): Rangers, Braves, Brewers, Orioles, Mariners, Red Sox
  3. Michael Bourn (CF): Reds, Phillies, Giants
  4. BJ Upton (CF)—Signed w/ Atlanta Braves: 5 yrs/$75 Million
  5. Anibal Sanchez (RHP): Dodgers, Red Sox
  6. Nick Swisher (RF/1B): Red Sox, Rangers, Orioles, Phillies, Giants
  7. Adam LaRoche (1B): Red Sox, Rangers
  8. Kyle Lohse (RHP): Dodgers, Angels, Brewers, Blue Jays, Orioles
  9. Dan Haren (RHP): Padres
  10. Rafael Soriano (RHR): Tigers
  11. Mike Napoli (C/1B): Red Sox, Mariners, Yankees
  12. Edwin Jackson (RHP): Angels, Brewers, Royals, Orioles
  13. Mariano Rivera (RHR) –Resigned w/ New York Yankees: 1 yr/$10 Million
  14. Kevin Youkilis (3B/1B): Dodgers, White Sox, Indians
  15. Stephen Drew (SS): Tigers, Red Sox, Yankees
  16. Angel Pagan (OF): Giants, Phillies, Reds
  17. AJ Pierzynski (C): White Sox, Yankees
  18. Ryan Dempster (RHP): Brewers, Angels, Red Sox
  19. Cody Ross (LF/RF): Red Sox, Yankees
  20. Ryan Ludwick (LF/RF): Reds, Red Sox, Yankees
  21. Joakim Soria (RHR): Yankees, Reds, Brewers,
  22. Marco Scutaro (2B): Giants, Phillies
  23. Shane Victorino (LF/CF): Reds, Indians, Yankees, Rangers, Giants, Rays, Red Sox
  24. Brandon McCarthy (RHP): Twins
  25. Andy Pettitte (LHP)—Resigned w/ New York Yankees: 1 yr/$12 Million
  26. Russell Martin (C) –Signed w/ Pittsburgh Pirates: 2 yrs/$17 Million
  27. Carlos Zambrano (RHP):
  28. Ichiro (CF): Yankees
  29. Sean Burnett (LHR): Cardinals
  30. Kelly Johnson (2B):
  31. Scott Hairston (CF):
  32. Brett Myers (RHP): Twins, Indians, Angels, Padres, Brewers
  33. Mike Adams (RHP): Angels, Red Sox, Phillies, Rangers, White Sox
  34. Kyle Farnsworth (RHR): Tigers
  35. Lance Berkman (1B/DH): Astros, Phillies, Rays, Red Sox
  36. Shaun Marcum (RHP):
  37. Luke Scott (1B/DH):
  38. Delmon Young (LF/DH):
  39. Colin Ballester (RHP):
  40. Casey Kotchman (1B):
  41. Randy Choate (LHR):
  42. Carl Pavano (RHP):
  43. Francisco Liriano (LHP):
  44. Andruw Jones (OF):
  45. Eric Chavez (3B):
  46. Matt Capps (RHR):
  47. Jeff Keppinger (SS/2B): D’Backs, Yankees, Cardinals
  48. Nate McLouth (CF): Orioles
  49. Joe Saunders (LHP):
  50. Joe Blanton (RHP):
  51. James Loney (1B):
  52. Francisco Rodriguez (RHR):
  53. Ryan Theriot (2B/SS):
  54. Dallas Braden (LHP):
  55. Casey McGehee (3B):
  56. Scott Feldman (RHP):
  57. Derek Lowe (RHP):
  58. Jason Bartlett (SS): Cardinals
  59. Carlos Lee (1B):
  60. Jose Valverde (RHR):

On Deck: Ty Wigginton, Yuniesky Betancourt, Aubrey Huff, Juan Carlos Oviedo, Jason Bay


Off The Board

8. Hiroki Kuroda (RHP), New York Yankees: 1 yr/$15 million

13. Torii Hunter (RF), Detroit Tigers: 2 yrs/$13 million

21. Melky Cabrera (LF), Toronto Blue Jays: 2 yrs/$16 million

28. Jeremy Guthrie (RHP), Kansas City Royals: 3 yrs/$25 million

29. Hisashi Iwakuma (RHP), Seattle Mariners: 2 yrs/$14 million

31. Jonathan Broxton (RHP), Cincinnati Reds: 3 yrs/$21 million

32. Jeremy Affeldt (LHP), San Francisco Giants: 3 yrs/$18 million

36. Ryan Madson (RHP), Los Angeles Angels: 3 yrs/$3.25 million

46. Scott Baker (RHP), Chicago Cubs: 1 yr/$5 million

53. Jonny Gomes (LF), Boston Red Sox: 2 yrs/$10 million


For more on the quickly developing MLB offseason, in real time, follow me on Twitter at @CheapSeatFan. Also, head over to The Cheap Seats at The Sports Fan Journal as well for my column entries.

With the winter meetings looming, the early stage free agent market is picking up. Based on the first CSP Free Agent Rankings, here are the complete ripples in the lake so far, which will create the new free agent rankings tomorrow. Business is picking up, and it won’t be too long until the Top 5 gets thrown into the mix (BJ Upton is rumored to be off the market by the end of the week).

But for now, lets get started with all of the signings thus far, including the first Top 10 guy off the board. Original rank is next to signed player breakdown, new rankings will be updated next to players below.

Kuroda’s returned to the Yankees in short order, and received more (while still taking less) than anticipated.

8. Hiroki Kuroda-Pitcher: Resigned with New York Yankees, 1 year/$15 million

Kuroda returns the Bronx for another one year deal, which will net him a five million dollar raise. He was the most consistent starter in the rotation last season, and projects to be the #2 behind CC Sabathia. It is rumored that he turned down more total money to return to the Yankees.

The main losers in this deal are the Dodgers, that could have used his return to round out a top heavy rotation, as well as the Angels are rebuilding a rotation that is down three starters from the end of 2012.

13. Torii Hunter-Right Fielder: Signed with Detroit Tigers, 2 years/$16 million

The longtime Angel became a man out of place in Anaheim, as an aging vet in crowded outfield. But after hitting .313 a year ago, there was still plenty of use for him for a one-step away club such as the Tigers. The main losers in this pursuit would be the Yankees, who have an opening in right, but don’t have long-term money to deal.

21. Melky Cabrera-Left Fielder: Signed with Toronto Blue Jays, 2 years/$16 million

Before PED violations caused his year to come crashing down, it was looking like he would get this type of money per season. But now he lands in Canada as pretty good complimentary signing, which adds to the feast that’s been the Blue Jay offseason.

28. Jeremy Guthrie-Pitcher: Resigned with Kansas City Royals, 3 years/$25 million

The Royals are focused on rebuilding their rotation this winter, and this deal solidifies the middle of it. Guthrie pitched great down the stretch, and this deal will lock him in as the 3 or 4 for the next few summers. Now the focus for a legit #1 to join him and Ervin Santana is on full speed.

29. Hisashi Iwakuma-Pitcher: Resigned with Seattle Mariners, 2 years/$14 million

Iwakuma was a part of the surprisingly strong, not just Felix based, rotation this year. Yet another strong Japanese signing for the M’s, he’ll come back to ensure the game’s best last place club is still a problem for the West next year.

31. Jonathan Broxton-Pitcher: Resigned with Cincinnati Reds, 3 years/$21 million

Broxton returns to be the third head of Cincy’s late inning monster with Aroldis Chapman and Sean Marshall. Reds goal seemed to be to keep as many of their attached relievers on hand, and Broxton’s deal certainly was an aggressive move to do so.

32. Jeremy Affeldt-Pitcher: Resigned with San Francisco Giants, 3 years/$18 million

Affeldt was the class of the available lefty reliever market, and he cashed in on that status, as well as a strong October to net $6 million per year to stay in the Bay, despite never looking elsewhere. There’s no shortage of clubs in the left-handed reliever market, but the Cardinals, Dodgers and Tigers miss out the most here.

Madson was technically a Red for a year, but never threw a pitch. Now he’ll make his comeback from the West Coast.

36. Ryan Madson-Pitcher: Signed with Los Angeles Angels, terms undisclosed currently

The Angels bullpen was a huge reason why they became the most underwhelming team in baseball last summer. Madson, despite returning from surgery that kept him from throwing a pitch in 2012, will almost certainly step in as the closer from day one. The Reds, whom he was slated to be closer for, take the lose here and lose flexibility in moving Aroldis Chapman to the rotation possibly.

46. Scott Baker-Pitcher: Signed with Chicago Cubs, 1 year/$5 million

In a heavily incentive based deal, due to his two years of arm woes, Baker will provide a solid veteran arm for a club that needs them. He’ll be the new Paul Maholm in the Chi, who could be heavily pursued if he shows many of the things that made him the Twins’ ace just 2 years ago.

53. Jonny Gomes-Left Fielder: Signed with the Boston Red Sox, 2 years/$10 million

A high character, professional hitter with some pop, he’s needed in several ways in Boston. He’ll be a solid rotation guy in outfield, which can also provide some needed positive personality in the clubhouse.

60. Juan Pierre-Left Fielder: Signed with the Miami Marlins, 1 year/$1.6 million

Adds a veteran presence and consistent lead off threat to the striped Marlins lineup. He’ll be a needed speed element to a club that dealt it’s top two stolen base threats in Jose Reyes and Emilio Bonafacio.


In the next update, the updated full ranking of the now Top 50 2012 free agents will be showcased, with a heat check on the rumor mill on where they could be headed or at least who’s kicking the tires. Until then, follow me on Twitter at @CheapSeatFan for moves in motion.

It’s the first of two valley’s for the year-round MLB follower, the second of which being in late January to early February. But that doesn’t mean there aren’t things to follow still, and this is the ripest part of the offseason for rumoring. While a few deals have been inked, the massive ones are yet to hit the air yet, and in the next few weeks, there will be a lot bread served up to a lot temporarily homeless premier ballplayers.

In the spirit of this, it’s time to drop the definitive free agent ranking, The CHEAP SEATS’ version, of course. No complex explanation needed; these are the 75 best free agents as I see it. Based on a mixture of talent, 2012 effort, positional availability in this year’s market and projection for the future.

Greinke leads the field for this winter as a young, in his prime pitcher. A combo that commands top dollar in any year, but especially this one.

In this first listing, the full class of unrestricted free agents headed into the 2013 are listed. In the next entry, I’ll breakdown what each signing means for the acquiring club, how it came to be and the domino effect, if any, for the teams that missed out on  him. But in this first entry, the full list without update. And here you have it….


  1. Zack Greinke (RHP):
  2. Josh Hamilton (LF):
  3. Michael Bourn (CF):
  4. BJ Upton (CF):
  5. Anibal Sanchez (RHP):
  6. Nick Swisher (RF/1B):
  7. Adam LaRoche (1B):
  8. Hiroki Kuroda (RHP): Signed w/ Yankees – 1yr/$15 Mil
  9. Kyle Lohse (RHP):
  10. Dan Haren (RHP):
  11. Rafael Soriano (RHR):
  12. Mike Napoli (C/1B):
  13. Torii Hunter  (RF): Signed w/ Tigers – 2 yrs/$16 Mil
  14. Edwin Jackson
  15. Mariano Rivera (RHR):
  16. Kevin Youkilis (3B/1B):
  17. Stephen Drew (SS):
  18. Angel Pagan (CF):
  19. AJ Pierzynski (C):
  20. Ryan Dempster (RHP):
  21. Melky Cabrera (LF): Signed w/ Blue Jays – 2yrs/$16 Mil
  22. Cody Ross (OF):
  23. Ryan Ludwick (LF/RF):
  24. Joakim Soria (RHR):
  25. Marco Scutaro (2B):
  26. Shane Victorino (LF/CF):
  27. Brandon McCarthy (RHP):
  28. Jeremy Guthrie (RHP): Resigned w/ Royals – 3 yrs/$25 Mil
  29. Hisashi Iwakuma (RHP): Resigned w/ Mariners – 2yrs/$14 Mil
  30. Andy Pettitte (LHP):
  31. Jonathan Broxton (RHR):
  32. Jeremy Affeldt (LHR):  Resigned w/ Giants – 3 yrs/$18 Mil
  33. Russell Martin (C):
  34. Carlos Zambrano (RHP):
  35. Ichiro (LF/RF):
  36. Ryan Madson (RHR):
  37. Sean Burnett (LHR):
  38. Kelly Johnson (2B):
  39. Scott Hairston (CF):
  40. Brett Myers (RHR):
  41. Shaun Marcum (RHP):
  42. Lance Berkman (1B/DH):
  43. Luke Scott (1B/DH):
  44. Delmon Young (LF/DH):
  45. Collin Balester (RHP):
  46. Scott Baker (RHP): Signed w/ Cubs – 1 yr/$5 Mil
  47. Casey Kotchman (1B):
  48. Randy Choate (LHR):
  49. Carl Pavano (RHP):
  50. Francisco Liriano (LHP):
  51. Andruw Jones (OF):
  52. Eric Chavez (3B):
  53. Jonny Gomes (LF): Signed w/ Red Sox: 2 yrs/$10 Mil
  54. Matt Capps (RHR):
  55. Mike Adams (RHR):
  56. Jeff Keppinger (SS/2B):
  57. Nate McLouth (CF):
  58. Joe Saunders (LHP):
  59. Joe Blanton (RHP):
  60. Juan Pierre (LF): Signed w/ Marlins – 1 yr/$1.6 Mil
  61. James Loney (1B):
  62. Francisco Rodriguez (RHR):
  63. Ryan Theriot (2B/SS):
  64. Dallas Braden (LHP):
  65. Casey McGehee (3B):
  66. Ty Wigginton (1B/3B):
  67. Yuniesky Betancourt (SS/2B):
  68. Derek Lowe (RHP):
  69. Scott Feldman (RHP):
  70. Aubrey Huff (1B/OF):
  71. Jose Valverde (RHR):
  72. Carlos Lee (1B):
  73. Jason Bartlett (SS):
  74. Juan Carlos Oviedo (RHR):
  75. Jason Bay (LF):


In the next entry, I’ll take a look at the already signed and feature the first update to the rankings. Until then, follow me on Twitter at @CheapSeatFan for instant analysis of free agent ball in motion.