Roundup: Doc sweepstakes intensify
Yankees, Angels making strong push for ace Halladay
Wednesday was the final full day of the Winter Meetings in Indianapolis, and it was "go time" for teams that wanted to make a deal.
Halladay movement percolating
Blue Jays general manager Alex Anthopoulos told MLB.com's Jordan Bastian that the club is actively talking to other teams about possible trade scenarios involving Roy Halladay but that he "doesn't expect to have anything done" before the Winter Meetings end on Thursday. Even Blue Jays manager Cito Gaston expects his ace to depart as he told reporters: "I think he's probably going to leave, but I'm just not sure when."
Meanwhile, the New York Post reported the Yankees are one of the teams that have continued to talk to new Anthopoulos and an offseason deal could "definitely" happen. And the Yankees have made it known that, despite parting with Austin Jackson, Phil Coke and Ian Kennedy in Tuesday's blockbuster trade for Curtis Granderson, they are willing to part with major prospects, according to The Post.
The newspaper reported Toronto "loves" catching prospect Jesus Montero, and -- because of some organizational depth at the position -- the Yankees could be willing to deal him along with Joba Chamberlain or Phil Hughes for Halladay.
The Angels, however, are said to be gaining momentum, too. The Toronto Sun reported that the Halos offered shortstop Erick Aybar, left-hander Joe Saunders and prospect Peter Bourjos for Halladay. Aybar and Saunders would both be under team control until 2012 while Bourjos has yet to reach the Majors. Halladay would have to approve the deal if the Jays accept, but an unnamed executive told the Sun that Halladay would accept a trade to the Angels.
Lackey market heating up, too?
Perhaps it's not just Halladay who could have a new home soon. SI.com, citing a person familiar with the negotiations, reported on Tuesday night that the market for John Lackey is "heating up," with one reason being that middle-of-the-road starters are looking for $10-million, while Lackey -- an ace -- could be acquired for less than double that. The New York Post reported that the Mets have inquired about players such as Joel Pineiro, Jason Marquis and Jon Garland, along with Lackey. According to SI.com, the Mets are "taking a closer look" at Lackey. SI.com also lists the Mariners, Angels, Red Sox, Yankees, Rangers and Nationals as interested teams. And MLB.com's Lyle Spencer reported that Lackey remains the Angels' No. 1 target this off-season.
Lowell to Texas
The Red Sox and Rangers have reached a preliminary agreement on a deal that would send third baseman Mike Lowell to Texas for Minor League catcher Max Ramirez. But Lowell's medical history could put in a snag in the deal, FoxSports.com reported while MLB.com's T.R. Sullivan reported that Commissioner Bud Selig would have to approve the deal because the Red Sox are expected to eat much of Lowell's contract for next year. Meanwhile, the Red Sox have "significant" interest in free agent third baseman Adrian Beltre, according to the Boston Herald, so Beltre could immediately fill the hole created by a possible Lowell departure.
Pettitte back for more in the Bronx
One day after pulling off a blockbuster three-team trade to land Granderson, the Yankees reached agreement with Andy Pettitte on a one-year, $11.75 million deal at about noon ET, MLB.com's Bryan Hoch confirmed. In base salary ($5.5 million) and bonuses, Pettitte earned $10.5 million this past season, when he went 14-8 with a 4.16 ERA during the regular season and 4-0 in the playoffs. The two sides quickly hammered out a deal after it was reported on Monday that Pettitte wants to play again next season, and only for the Yankees. The 37-year-old left-hander is returning for his 16th season, and 13th in New York.
Soriano to be dealt to the Rays?
The Braves, after signing Billy Wagner and Takashi Saito, got a luxury they really didn't want when Rafael Soriano surprisingly accepted arbitration from the club. Now, Atlanta wants to move Soriano, according to MLB.com's Mark Bowman, and they might have found takers in the Rays with a deal being finalized as early as Thursday morning, according to the Atlanta-Journal Constitution. Meanwhile, Derek Lowe also continues to be shopped.
Orioles snag Millwood from Rangers
In need of a seasoned arm, Baltimore acquired Kevin Millwood and cash considerations from the Rangers for Chris Ray, as MLB.com's Spencer Fordin wrote. According to MLB.com's T.R. Sullivan, the Rangers will pick up approximately $3 million of the $12 million owed to Millwood in the walk year of his contract in 2010. All offseason, Orioles president of baseball operations Andy MacPhail has stressed the importance of finding a veteran starter to anchor the staff and help mentor some of the younger arms, and he may have found that in his new 34-year-old right-hander.
Astros reach agreement with Lyon
MLB.com's Brian McTaggert reported that the Astros reached an agreement with right-handed reliever Brandon Lyon, pending a physical. Major League sources told FoxSports.com that the deal is for three years and $15 million. Lyon posted a 2.86 ERA in 78 2/3 innings with the Tigers last season and in his eight-year career he has a 4.20 ERA with 54 saves.
Rangers close to signing Harden
The Rangers will take $7 million off the books when they send Millwood to Baltimore, and with that money, MLB.com's T.R. Sullivan reports they'll add free-agent starter Rich Harden, pending a physical. Harden, a 28-year-old right-hander, went 9-9 with a 4.09 ERA in 26 starts for the Cubs last year and posted a 2.07 ERA with the Athletics and Cubs in '08.
Brewers add Wolf to starting staff
The Brewers agreed to terms on a three-year, $29.75 million deal with an option for a fourth-year with left-handed starter Randy Wolf on Wednesday, according to multiple news outlets. Wolf, a Type A free agent, went 11-7 with a 3.23 ERA in 34 starts with the Dodgers last season, striking out 160 and walking 58 in 214 1/3 innings. The Brewers reportedly made Wolf an offer on Monday and were also interested in Mark Mulder. Milwaukee is also seemingly interested in right-hander Kevin Gregg and lefty Mike Gonzalez for the bullpen. He'll join incumbent starters Yovani Gallardo, Manny Parra, Jeff Suppan and Dave Bush in the rotation.
Lindstrom dealt to Houston
Marlins right-hander Matt Lindstrom was dealt to the Astros for for two Minor Leaguers -- shortstop Luis Bryan and right-handed pitcher Robert Bono -- and a player to be named later. Lindstrom is arbitration-eligible for the first time. Lindstrom has a live arm and went into this past season as the Marlins' closer. But rotator cuff problems and inconsistencies limited him to a 5.89 ERA in 54 games and a demotion from the ninth-inning role.
Hawkins joins Milwaukee's bullpen
Brewers general manager Doug Melvin is a busy man. Shortly after signing Wolf, he agreed on a two-year, $7.5 million deal with reliever LaTroy Hawkins, MLB.com's Adam McCalvy wrote. Hawkins, who personally attended the Winter Meetings in Indianapolis, was also drawing interest from the Astros but was hoping for a multiyear offer, McCalvy reported. The right-hander turns 37 on Dec. 21 and is coming off posting a 2.13 ERA and 11 saves in 65 relief appearances in Houston this past season.
White Sox trying to recruit Putz; righty to showcase
White Sox reliever Matt Thornton told The Chicago Sun-Times that his club is interested in adding free-agent reliever J.J. Putz -- Thornton's former teammate with the Mariners -- and have asked him to try to recruit the former closer.
"There's no doubt that [GM Ken Williams] has interest in [Putz]," Thornton told The Sun-Times on Tuesday. "I told [Putz] we expect to win."
ESPNChicago.com reported that Putz is throwing in Scottsdale, Ariz., for interested teams on Wednesday, and the Cubs are expected to attend. Putz -- who was limited to 29 1/3 innings in 2009 because of elbow problems -- will throw again on Friday, then shut it down until early January, the Web site added.