Author: Aaron Gleeman

Kintzler_Brandon

Brewers avoid arbitration with Brandon Kintzler

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Milwaukee has signed right-hander Brandon Kintzler to a one-year contract, avoiding arbitration.

Kintzler was projected to make around $1 million via arbitration, but the one-year deal will pay the 30-year-old reliever $1.075 million following a season in which he struck out just 31 batters in 58 innings but posted a 3.24 ERA.

Kintzler, who underwent offseason knee surgery, has a 3.26 ERA in 174 career innings for the Brewers since debuting in 2010.

Yankees agree to one-year deal with Esmil Rogers

Boston Red Sox v Toronto Blue Jays
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Esmil Rogers and the Yankees have avoided arbitration by agreeing to a one-year deal.

Rogers was projected to make around $2 million via arbitration and looked like a potential non-tender candidate, but Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com reports that the two sides came to a compromise contract in which he’ll get $750,000 guaranteed and can earn up to $1.48 million.

Claimed off waivers from the Blue Jays on July 31, the 29-year-old right-hander pitched out of the Yankees’ bullpen down the stretch with a 4.68 ERA and 23/10 K/BB ratio in 25 innings. He has a 4.57 ERA in 236 total innings since leaving the Rockies and Coors Field.

Red Sox non-tender Juan Francisco

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Making official what was presumed after they designated him for assignment last week, the Red Sox non-tendered third baseman/first baseman Juan Francisco.

Boston claimed Francisco off waivers from Toronto on November 19 to give them a fallback option at third base, but signing Pablo Sandoval (and Hanley Ramirez) made him superfluous.

Francisco isn’t much of a defender and can’t hit left-handed pitching, but against right-handers his career .786 OPS is higher than the career OPS versus righties by, among others, Michael Brantley, Billy Butler, Yoenis Cespedes, Eric Hosmer, and Michael Cuddyer.

He’ll land somewhere in a part-time role.

Yankees “have cooled” on re-signing Chase Headley

Chase Headley
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All offseason the assumption has been that the Yankees would make a strong effort to re-sign third baseman Chase Headley after acquiring him from the Padres for the stretch run.

However, according to Wallace Matthews of ESPN New York the Yankees “have cooled” on that idea and are not willing to go beyond a four-year contract for Headley. In other words, no five-year deal like fellow free agent third baseman Pablo Sandoval got from the rival Red Sox.

Matthews writes that the Yankees may consider using Martin Prado at third base if they can’t re-sign Headley at a price tag they’re comfortable with.

So long, Orioles? Nick Markakis drawing interest from Blue Jays, Braves, Giants

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Last night we learned that Nick Markakis is no longer considered likely to re-sign with the Orioles after spending the first nine years of his career in Baltimore.

So where might the 31-year-old free agent outfielder end up? According to Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com the teams interested in Markakis include the Blue Jays, Braves, and Giants. And the Orioles, too.

At this point it seems all but guaranteed that Markakis will get a big money deal for at least 4-5 years, which is interesting considering his lack of recent production. This past season he hit just .276 with 14 homers and a .729 OPS in 155 games and he was even worse in 2013, hitting .271 with 10 homers and a .685 OPS in 160 games.

Any team signing him is clearly a huge fan of Markakis’ defense in right field and willing to bet big on a return to his 2006-2012 form. Baltimore made Markakis a free agent by turning down his $17.5 million option for 2015.