Robinson Cano, widely considered the top free agent on this year’s market, reportedly traveled Thursday to Seattle for a visit with the Mariners. Also, a number of deals for bullpen arms went down, with Edward Mujica’s two-year deal with Boston leading the way.
The Marlins and free-agent infielder Rafael Furcal have agreed to a one-year deal, pending a physical. Furcal, 36, missed all of 2013 after undergoing Tommy John surgery in March.
The Marlins will sign shortstop Rafael Furcal to a one-year deal, tweets FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal. Clark Spencer of the Miami Herald writes that the deal is for $3MM plus incentives (via Twitter). Rosenthal reports that Furcal will be the Marlins’ everyday second baseman. Furcal has not played more than four games in a season at second since 2000, having played at shortstop almost exclusively since then, although many players have successfully transitioned from shortstop to second base. Donovan Solano and Derek Dietrich were the Marlins’ primary second basemen in 2013, and Adeiny Hechavarria is currently their starter at shortstop. Furcal, 36, hit .264/.325/.346 with the Cardinals in 2012 and has a .281/.346/.403 line for his career
The market for relievers continues to take shape, as the Tigers yesterday announced a two-year, $20MM contract with Joe Nathan, and the Red Sox and Edward Mujica struck a two-year agreement. Here’s the latest on the free agent market for relievers… Agent Dan Horwits received calls from 14 teams regarding client John Axford in the first 36 hours following his non-tender by the Cardinals, he told Ben Nicholson-Smith of Sportsnet. As Nicholson-Smith writes, any team to sign Axford would control him through the 2016 season, making him a potentially more appealing target. One team who figures to be heavily in the mix for Axford is the Orioles, according to Roch Kubatko of MASNsports.com. The O’s liked Mujica prior to his signing with the Red Sox, and the fact that he is off the board likely strengthens Baltimore’s interest in Axford, Kubatko adds. The Nationals are interested in Scott Downs and have inquired on him at least twice, according to MLB.com’s Bill Ladson. It’s not clear what kind of contract Downs is looking for at this time, writes Ladson, who also reports that the Nats are considering using Ross Detwiler out of the bullpen in 2014. The Nationals are also interested in southpaw Eric O’Flaherty, according to Adam Kilgore of the Washington Post. Though the Nationals have yet to make an offer, they’ve maintained a constant dialogue with his agent
An already eventful week for the Red Sox gained more steam on Thursday, with the news the club has agreed to terms with righty reliever Edward Mujica on a two-year, $9.5 million deal.
The Red Sox have agreed to terms on a two-year, $9.5MM contract with right-hander Edward Mujica, according to Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports. Mujica, who is represented by Octagon, will take a physical today, according to Passan. Mujica, 29, possesses some of the best command of any pitcher in the Majors. He issued just five walks in 64 2/3 innings this season to go along with 46 strikeouts and a 2.78 ERA. Mujica entered the season buried on St. Louis’ bullpen depth chart but ascended to the role of closer. Jason Motte underwent Tommy John surgery, Mitchell Boggs flopped and the Cardinals elected to deploy rookie Trevor Rosenthal in a setup role. The end result was Mujica notching 37 saves for the Redbirds, though he wilted down the stretch and was a complete non-factor in the playoffs. Mujica’s late-season swoon likely cost him several million dollars, as did a free agent market stuffed with closer types of relievers. Mujica, Joe Nathan, Grant Balfour, Fernando Rodney, Joaquin Benoit, Chris Perez, Kevin Gregg and Jose Veras all saved 20-plus games in 2013
Joe Garagiola Sr. will be honored as the recipient of the 2014 John Jordan “Buck” O’Neil Lifetime Achievement Award, which is given by the National Baseball Hall of Fame for extraordinary efforts to enhance baseball’s positive impact on society.
A World Series-winning leadoff man and center fielder going from the Red Sox to the Yankees? That appears to be the direction Jacoby Ellsbury is going in, according to multiple reports that surfaced Tuesday night. And there’s one person who can relate to the situation better than anyone else — Johnny Damon.
The Memphis City Council, citing insufficient time to review all the necessary documents, on Tuesday delayed voting on a proposal that would lead to the Cardinals taking ownership of their Triple-A affiliate and Memphis assuming control of AutoZone Park. Council members agreed to reconvene for a special session on Monday to finish discussing the issue and take a vote.