February 5, 2013 by Matt Musico
With most teams having their 40-man rosters set, it’s somewhat out of the ordinary to watch two engage in a trade just days before players are set to report for Spring Training. However, after the A’s acquired John Jaso in a three-team deal including the Nationals and Mariners, Billy Beane said they’re “going for it” and trying to find pieces to put the finishing touches on the MLB roster. He was successful in his search for a shorstop, acquiring Jed Lowrie from the Astros, and stole the headlines for the day:
- Along with Lowrie, the A’s also received reliever Fernando Rodriguez in the deal, while Oakland sent three impact prospects to Houston, including 1B Chris Carter, SP Brad Peacock, and C Max Stassi. Astros GM Jeff Lunhow’s reasoning for pulling the trigger was simple, as it gave the organization “power, pitcheing, and catching” which will aid in their rebuilding process.
- Kyle Farnsworth agreed to a deal with the Tampa Bay Rays almost three weeks ago, but Jon Heyman let us know that the reliever is guaranteed $1.3 million, while having the opportunity to double that through inventives.
- Max Sherzer went 16-7 with a 3.74 ERA, 1.27 WHIP, and 231 strikeouts in 187.2 IP for the AL Champion Tigers last season, and Heyman reports the two sides will avoid arbitration, agreeing to a one-year/$6.725 million deal, which was the midway point in their negotiations.
- Alden Gonzalez of MLB.com confirms that infielder Julio Lugo is contemplating retirement. The 37-year-old won the 2007 World Series with the Boston Red Sox, but hasn’t seen time on a Big League roster since 2011 with the Braves.
- Meanwhile, Brandon Webb has decided to stop his most recent comeback attempt, as he follows Kevin Millwood‘s example by hanging up his cleats as well. The 2006 NL Cy Young winner and former 20-game winner was a dominant sinkerballer for the Arizona Diamondbacks for a four-year span, but he needed Tommy John surgery in 2009 and wasn’t able to show enough promise for a team to bring him back to the Majors. Earlier this winter, word on the street was that the Mets were considering signing him.
- In their latest version of Mets Notes, MLB Trade Rumors reports that Sandy Alderson is making a legitimate push to sign Michael Bourn, but is holding firm in his belief to not give up their first round pick. Also, Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe said a team source indicated to him New York is not interested in Daisuke Matsuzaka, as he said the opposite the day before.
- Sources pointed toward the Marlins nearing a deal with reliever Jose Valverde, but once that rumor hit the news wire, it was refuted at least three times, as it’s thought that agent Scott Boras is trying a little too hard to create some interest in his client.
- Even though the Pirates are still trying to finalize their deal with Francisco Liriano, they’re close to completing a minor league deal for another southpaw, Jonathan Sanchez.
There’s all your major hot stove news and rumors from yesterday. There are still plenty of viable free agents on the market, so it will be interesting to see which team decides to swing a last second deal before players start hitting the field.
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