The market for free agent reliever Rafael Soriano has been pretty weak this winter, mostly because of the draft pick compensation tied to him after he opted out of his contract with the Yankees and then rejected a one-year, $13.3 million qualifying offer. However, the deep-pocketed Dodgers could come to the rescue.
“20 percent chance” isn’t much, but it’s higher than anything else we’ve heard with Soriano lately. It’s worth noting that if the Dodgers were to sign him, they would have to surrender their first-round pick for 2013. Zack Greinke didn’t cost the Dodgers a draft pick because the Angels acquired him midseason last year and thus were not permitted to make him a qualifying offer before he hit free agency.
Soriano, 33, posted a 2.26 ERA and 69/24 K/BB ratio over 67 2/3 innings with the Yankees in 2012 and went 42-for-46 in save chances while filling in for the injured Mariano Rivera. The Dodgers currently plan to go into the season with Brandon League as their closer.
Manager Robin Ventura’s contract with the White Sox expires after the season, but the club will offer him a new contract if he wants to stay in Chicago, Bob Nightengale of USA TODAY Sports reports.
Ventura’s five seasons at the helm of the White Sox haven’t gone well. The club has crossed the 80-win threshold only once, in his first season back in 2012. Entering the final five games of the season, Ventura has a 373-432 record (463) overall.
The White Sox have also had a handful of controversies under Ventura’s watch, including the fiasco concerning Adam LaRoche and his son Drake, as well as Chris Sale‘s displeasure with wearing retro uniforms. Ventura is not exactly a fan favorite, either. It’s interesting that the White Sox want to keep him around, to say the least.
Carrie Muskat of MLB.com just tweeted that the Cubs will soon announce a five-year contract extension for president Theo Epstein. Bob Nightengale of USA Today reports that it’s worth in excess of $50 million.
He’s earned it. When he took over the Cubs in October, 2011 the Cubs were a last place team with an aging roster and a front office that was several years behind the state of the art in every conceivable way. Last year the Cubs made the playoffs and this year they are baseball’s best team by a large margin and the franchise looks poised to continue its success for some time.
So, yeah, I’d say locking Theo up is a good idea.