Results tagged ‘ Blue Jays ’
Veteran third baseman and utility man Casey Blake has agreed to terms on a one-year contract, Rockies general manager Dan O’Dowd announced Tuesday, during outfielder Michael Cuddyer’s introductory press conference at Coors Field.
Blake, 38, appeared in just 63 games for the Dodgers last season (.252, 4 HR, 26 RBIs) because of various injuries — a back problem, an elbow infection and a neck nerve issue that led to surgery. O’Dowd said Blake checked out medically, but the contract will not become official until Blake passes a physical. The physical is not likely to occur until after the holidays.
“We think we added a culture-changer, just like we added in Michael Cuddyer,” O’Dowd said.
The contract calls for a non-guaranteed base salary of $2 million, with another $1 million available in performance bonuses.
Over 13 seasons with the Blue Jays, Twins, Orioles, Indians and Dodgers, Blake has hit .264 with 167 home runs and 616 RBIs.
One of the possibilities for the Rockies to deal closer Huston Street just disappeared, because the Blue Jays acquired closer Sergio Santos from the White Sox for righty pitching prospect Nestor Molina. Although Street’s $8 million guarantee in and of itself was going to make it tough for the Rockies and Jayus to make a deal, the Rockies did like the Jays’ young pitching.
A distinct possibility is Baltimore, although the Orioles appear to want more for Street than right-hander Jeremy Guthrie. The deal looks even from a dollar perspective, with Guthrie projected to make as much as $8.3 million in arbitration. The Rockies like the fact Guthrie has thrown 617 1/3 innings thje last three seasons. Street would fill an Orioles need, but he will be a free agent at season’s end and the Orioles would like another asset, since Street will be eligible for free agency at the end of the 2012 season.
(Update: the O’s aren’t the only team looking beyond 2012. The Rockies would also like to receive assets beyond 2012 in a Street deal. For example, right-handed potential starter Kevin Slowey, obtained from the Twins on Tuesday for a player to be named, has two more years of arbitration.)
The Rockies also are looking at the Reds, with hopes of acquiring right-hander Edinson Volquez.
Rockies general manager Dan O’Dowd has said it’s doubtful he can land a big bat, but he’s trying. According to The Denver Post, the Rockies have aggressively pursued switch-hitting Lance Berkman to play the outfield corners and occasionally spell Todd Helton at first base.
The key here would be Berkman’s desire to return to the National League. Berkman saw a dramatic drop in his power with the Astros and Yankees last season, although finished he year with the Yankees as a designated hitter on an upswing as far as average is concerned.
An important aspect of the pursuit of Berkman, according to the Post, is Helton would be on board with bringing in Berkman. The two have the same agent. Helton helped the Rockies recruit Jason Giambi as his backup last season, but by season’s end Helton admitted not playing nearly every game was difficult. Still, the Rockies need a solid alternative, given Helton’s history of back problems and his age.
The Rockies desire a right-handed corner bat, preferably one that can play some first base. Berkman has more power from the left than from the right, but he fits — if the price is right. The Cardinals, Blue Jays and Athletics also have pursued Berkman.
The Mariners’ Jose Lopez, if he’s non-tendered, Jorge Cantu, whom the Rockies considered trading for last season, and Troy Glaus are acknowledged targets. The Rockies also are looking at the Athletics, who appear to be deciding whether to non-tender Edwin Encarnacion or Colorado native Kevin Kouzmanoff.
Some current Rockies will no doubt be watching the situation closely. Third baseman Ian Stewart and outfielders Seth Smith and Ryan Spilborghs could potentially lose playing time, depending on who is signed. Interestingly, the Rockies hired Carney Lansford as hitting coach and charged him with the task of waking up the bats of all three. Stewart and Smith didn’t meet the club’s expectations for production last year. Spilborghs finished strong but struggled with strikeouts early.
– Thomas Harding
DENVER — The Rockies traded catcher Miguel Olivo to the Blue Jays on Thursday night for a player to be named or cash considerations, the Rockies announced.
The deal occurred just before Thursday night’s deadline for picking up Olivo’s 2011 option for $2.5 million. Olivo, 32, hit .269 with 14 home runs and 58 RBIs as the Rockies’ No. 1 catcher for much of last season. It was unclear whether the Jays would pick up the option. They could allow him to become a free agent, and receive a pick between the first and second rounds of the 2011 First-Year Player Draft.
The trade leaves Chris Iannetta, 27, as the lone catcher on the Rockies’ roster with significant Major League experience, although the club is expected to obtain another backstop through free agency or a trade.
Iannetta, an organization product who showed promise in an extended look in 2008 (.264, 18 HRs, 64 RBIs), but has struggled since and has not grabbed the No. 1 job. Last season, after signing a three-year, $8.35 million contract, Iannetta spent part of last season at Triple-A Colorado Springs and finished with a .197 average, nine home runs and 27 RBIs in 61 Major League games.
The Jays also are formulating their catching plans. They picked up a $1.2 million option on Jose Molina and have a top prospect in J.P. Arencibia. John Buck, the Jays’ No. 1 catcher and an All-Star in 2010, is a free agent. Like Olivo, Buck is a Type B free agent.