The Yankees managed to keep Hiroki Kuroda in the fold this week with a one-year, $15 million contract, but they are still waiting on word from Andy Pettitte. They should have their answer soon.
Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com was told by a friend of Pettitte that he expects the veteran southpaw to make a decision on his status for 2013 by the end of next week. Pettitte’s “friend” could just be speculating, so take it for what it’s worth, but the timing makes some sense. While most expect Pettitte will return for another season, the Yankees would probably appreciate hearing some definitive word before the Winter Meetings begin on December 3.
Pettitte, 40, earned $2.5 million this season while posting a 2.87 ERA and 69/21 K/BB ratio over 75 1/3 innings. Count on him getting a nice raise if he comes back for 2013.
Royals outfielder Jorge Soler has been diagnosed with a strained oblique, making it likely that he begins the regular season on the disabled list, Rustin Dodd of The Kansas City Star reports.
The Royals acquired Soler from the Cubs in December in exchange for reliever Wade Davis. Over parts of three seasons with the Cubs, Soler hit .258/.328/.434 with 27 home runs and 98 RBI in 765 plate appearances.
When he’s healthy, Soler is expected to find himself in the Royals’ lineup as a right fielder and occasionally as a designated hitter.
Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports reports that the Cardinals and catcher Yadier Molina are making “major progress” on a contract extension. Molina told the team he won’t discuss an extension during the season, hence the rapid progress.
Molina is entering the last guaranteed year of a five-year, $75 million contract signed in March 2012. He and the Cardinals hold a mutual option worth $15 million with a $2 million buyout for the 2018 season. The new extension would presumably cover at least the 2018-19 seasons and likely ’20 as well.
Molina is 34 years old but is still among the most productive catchers in baseball. Last season, he hit .307/.360/.427 with 38 doubles, 58 RBI, and 56 runs scored in 581 plate appearances. Though he has lost a step or two with age, Molina is still well-regarded for his defense. The Cardinals also value his ability to handle the pitching staff.