Jose Valverde

Daisuke Matsuzaka

Two familiar faces should make the Mets’ roster

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I haven’t been following the Mets’ roster moves too terribly closely this spring so maybe this isn’t news to hardcore Mets fans, but Jon Heyman says that he believes both Jose Valverde and Daisuke Matsuzaka are expected to make the Mets’ 25-man roster. Matsuzaka should make the rotation.

The two veterans have some things in common. Both were in Mets camp on minor league deals. Both had dreadful 2013 seasons. Both tend to exasperate their teams’ fans and inspire chuckles in opponents’ fans when they’re called into games. But both have also had success in the past too, and with the Mets largely in a holding pattern for 2015 and/or the return of Matt Harvey (whichever comes first) there’s some amount of sense in getting as much mileage out of these old war horses as they can.

Papa Grande in the Big Apple: Mets sign Jose Valverde

jose valverde getty
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Jose Valverde was rumored to be signing with the Diamondbacks back in December, but that never happened and now the longtime closer has agreed to a minor-league deal with the Mets.

Valverde saved 35 games with a 3.78 ERA for the Tigers in 2012, but his secondary numbers showed a pitcher in significant decline and sure enough last season he threw 19 bad innings before being released in early August.

He has 286 career saves, including leading the league three times, but at this point in his career Valverde should be strictly a middle relief option and even that might be a stretch at age 36. He’ll join fellow minor-league signing Kyle Farnsworth in competing for a roster spot during spring training.

Obama compares the Farm Bill to Mike Trout

Mike Trout
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President Obama was in Michigan today to sign the Farm Bill. I feel like he was trolling Miguel Cabrera truthers up there when he chose to compare it to baseball’s actual best player:

The president likened the nearly $1 trillion bill to a Swiss Army Knife for its many policy implications — on agriculture, on public food programs, on the environment and beyond.

“It’s like Mike Trout — for those of you who like baseball,” he added, likening it to the multi-talented Angels outfielder who fell short in 2012’s MVP race against Tigers slugger Miguel Cabrera.

Nah, Mike Trout is way better than the Farm Bill. He’d never cut food stamps by $8 billion …

A source in the White House shot me some early drafts of his speech:

  • “The Farm Bill is a lot like Joba Chamberlain: expensive, bloated and only relevant to Nebraskans”
  • “The Farm Bill is a lot like Miguel Cabrera: It’s feared, will break down when you need it most, but has gaudy numbers so everyone loves it.”
  • “The Farm Bill is like Derek Bell. If you don’t fully fund it, it will lead to a shutdown.”

Some additional drafts:

 

We could probably do this all day.

(thanks Reid Epstein for the heads up)

2014 Free Agent Tracker

MLB: Yankees-Brian McCann Press Conference
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Here’s the rundown of where this winter’s top 150 free agents are landing, continuously updated throughout the offseason. Re-signings are posted in red, while players signing with new teams are in blue.

Stars denote players who received qualifying offers and thus will cost their new team a draft pick if they sign elsewhere.

(Non-tenders have been added to the list, noted with an NT.)

All ages are as of April 1, 2014.

1. Robinson Cano (2B Yankees, 31)*: Mariners – 10 years, $240 million
2. Jacoby Ellsbury (OF Red Sox, 30)*: Yankees – seven years, $153 million
x. Masahiro Tanaka (RHP Japan, 25): Yankees – seven years, $155 million
3. Shin-Soo Choo (OF Reds, 31)*: Rangers – seven years, $130 million
4. Matt Garza (RHP Rangers, 30): Brewers – four years, $50 mil + $13 mil vesting option
5. Ervin Santana (RHP Royals, 31)*:
6. Ubaldo Jimenez (RHP Indians, 29)*:
7. Brian McCann (C Braves, 30)*: Yankees – five years, $85 mil + option
8. Curtis Granderson (OF Yankees, 33)*: Mets – four years, $60 million
9. Carlos Beltran (OF Cardinals, 36)*: Yankees – three years, $45 million
10. Hiroki Kuroda (RHP Yankees, 39)*: Yankees – one year, $16 million
11. A.J. Burnett (RHP Pirates, 37):
12. Nelson Cruz (OF Rangers, 33)*:
13. Mike Napoli (1B Red Sox, 32)*: Red Sox – two years, $32 million
14. Tim Hudson (RHP Braves, 38): Giants – two years, $23 million
15. Stephen Drew (SS Red Sox, 31)*:
16. Bronson Arroyo (RHP Reds, 37):
17. Jarrod Saltalamacchia (C Red Sox, 28): Marlins – three years, $21 million
18. Joe Nathan (RHP Rangers, 39): Tigers – two years, $20 mil + option
19. Bartolo Colon (RHP Athletics, 40): Mets – two years, $20 million
20. Ricky Nolasco (RHP Dodgers, 31): Twins – four years, $49 million + option
21. Jason Vargas (LHP Angels, 31): Royals – four years, $32 million
22. Kendrys Morales (1B-DH Mariners, 30)*:
23. Brian Wilson (RHP Dodgers, 32): Dodgers – one year, $10 mil + player option
24. Dan Haren (RHP Nationals, 33): Dodgers – one year, $10 mil + vesting option
25. Scott Kazmir (LHP Indians, 30): Athletics – two years, $22 million
26. Phil Hughes (RHP Yankees, 27): Twins – three years, $24 million
27. Jhonny Peralta (SS Tigers, 31): Cardinals – four years, $53 million
28. Grant Balfour (RHP Athletics, 36): Rays – two years, $12 million
29. Scott Feldman (RHP Orioles, 31): Astros – three years, $30 million
30. Corey Hart (1B-OF Brewers, 32): Mariners – one year, $6 mil ($7 mil incentives)
31. Josh Johnson (RHP Blue Jays, 30): Padres – one year, $8 million
32. Paul Maholm (LHP Braves, 31):
33. James Loney (1B Rays, 29): Rays – three years, $21 million
34. Omar Infante (2B Tigers, 32): Royals – four years, $30.25 million
35. Joaquin Benoit (RHP Tigers, 36): Padres – two years, $15.5 million
36. Fernando Rodney (RHP Rays, 37):
37. Marlon Byrd (OF Pirates, 36): Phillies – two years, $16 mil + vesting option
38. Carlos Ruiz (C Phillies, 35): Phillies – three years, $26 million + option
39. Chris Young (OF Athletics, 30): Mets – one year, $7.25 million
40. Suk-Min Yoon (RHP Korea, 27):
x. Yoshio Itoi (OF Japan, 32): Won’t be posted
41. Roy Halladay (RHP Phillies, 36): Retired
42. Joe Smith (RHP Indians, 30): Angels – three years, $15.75 million
43. Derek Jeter (SS Yankees, 39): Yankees – one year, $12 million
44. Scott Baker (RHP Cubs, 32): Mariners – minor league deal ($1 mil + $3.25 mil incentives)
45. A.J. Pierzynski (C Rangers, 37): Red Sox – one year, $8.25 million
46. Randy Messenger (RHP Japan, 32): Staying in Japan – three-year deal
47. Jesse Crain (RHP Rays, 32): Astros – one year, $3.25 million
48. Wandy Rodriguez (LHP Pirates, 35): Pirates – exercised $13 mil player option
49. David Murphy (OF Rangers, 32): Indians – two years, $12 mil + option
50. Edward Mujica (RHP Cardinals, 29): Red Sox – two years, $9.5 million
51. Kevin Youkilis (1B-3B Yankees, 35): Signed to play in Japan
52. Chris Perez (RHP Indians, 28): Dodgers – one year, $2.3 million ($4 mil incentives)
53. Michael Morse (OF Orioles, 31): Giants – one year, $6 million
54. Justin Morneau (1B Pirates, 32): Rockies – two years, $13 million
55. Javier Lopez (LHP Giants, 36): Giants – three years, $13 million
56. J.P. Howell (LHP Dodgers, 30): Dodgers – two years, $11.25 mil + mutual option
57. David DeJesus (OF Rays, 34): Rays – two years, $10.5 mil + option
58. Mark Ellis (2B Dodgers, 36): Cardinals – one year, $5.25 million
59. Boone Logan (LHP Yankees, 29): Rockies – three years, $16.5 million
60. Jason Hammel (RHP Orioles, 31): Cubs – one year, $6 million
61. Bruce Chen (LHP Royals, 36): Royals – one year, $4.25 mil + $5.5 mil mutual option
62. Francisco Rodriguez (RHP Orioles, 32):
63. Juan Uribe (3B Dodgers, 35): Dodgers – two years, $15 million
64. Jake Westbrook (RHP Cardinals, 36):
65. Chris Capuano (LHP Dodgers, 35):
66. Carlos Marmol (RHP Dodgers, 31):
67. Dioner Navarro (C Cubs, 30): Blue Jays – two years, $8 million
68. Kelly Johnson (2B-OF Rays, 32): Yankees – one year, $3 million
69. Ryan Vogelsong (RHP Giants, 36): Giants – one year, $5 mil + $2.5 mil incentives
70. Manny Parra (LHP Reds, 31): Reds – two years, $5.5 million
70 1/2. Jose Veras (RHP Tigers, 33): Cubs – one year, $4 million + option
71. Colby Lewis (RHP Rangers, 34): Rangers – minor league deal ($2 mil + $4 mil incentives)
72. Eric Chavez (3B Diamondbacks, 36): Diamondbacks – one year,$3.5 mil + $1 mil incentives
NT. Garrett Jones (1B-OF Pirates, 32): Marlins – two years, $7.75 million
73. Michael Young (INF Dodgers, 37): Retired
74. Joe Saunders (LHP Mariners, 32):
75. Nate McLouth (OF Orioles, 32): Nationals – two years, $10.75 mil + option
76. Chad Gaudin (RHP Giants, 31): Phillies – minor league deal ($750,000)
77. Mark Reynolds (1B-3B Yankees, 30): Brewers – minor league deal ($2 mil + $500,000 incentives)
78. Scott Downs (LHP Braves, 38): White Sox – one year, $4 mil + vesting $4 mil option
79. Mike Pelfrey (RHP Twins, 30): Twins – two years, $11 million
NT: John Axford (RHP Cardinals, 31): Indians – one year, $4.5 million
80. Paul Konerko (1B White Sox, 38): White Sox – one year, $2.5 million
81. Gavin Floyd (RHP White Sox, 31): Braves – one year, $4 mil ($4.5 mil incentives)
82. Joba Chamberlain (RHP Yankees, 28): Tigers – one year, $2.5 million
83. Eric O’Flaherty (LHP Braves, 28): Athletics – two years, $7 million
84. Brian Roberts (2B Orioles, 35): Yankees – one year, $2 million
85. Kurt Suzuki (C Athletics, 30): Twins – one year, $2.75 million
86. Raul Ibanez (OF-DH Mariners, 41): Angels – one year, $2.75 million
87. Joel Hanrahan (RHP Red Sox, 32):
88. Matt Belisle (RHP Rockies, 33): Rockies – one year, $4.25 mil (option exercised)
89. Oliver Perez (LHP Mariners, 32):
90. Rafael Furcal (SS Cardinals, 36): Marlins – one year, $3 million
NT. Ronald Belisario (RHP Dodgers, 31): White Sox – one year, $3 million
91. Geovany Soto (C Rangers, 31): Rangers – one year, $3.05 million
NT. Jerome Williams (RHP Angels, 32):
92. Jason Kubel (OF-DH Indians, 31): Twins – minor league contract ($2 mil + $1 mil incentives)
NT. Ryan Webb (RHP Marlins, 28): Orioles – two years, $4.5 million
NT. J.P. Arencibia (C Blue Jays, 28): Rangers – one year, $1.8 mil + $300,00o incentives
93. Chris Carpenter (RHP Cardinals, 38): Retired
94. Franklin Gutierrez (OF Mariners, 31): Mariners – one year, $1 million
95. Jamey Wright (RHP Rays, 39): Dodgers – one year, $1.8 million
96. Edinson Volquez (RHP Dodgers, 30): Pirates – one year, $5 million
97. Rajai Davis (OF Blue Jays, 33): Tigers – two years, $10 million
98. Shaun Marcum (RHP Mets, 32): Indians – minor league deal ($1 mil + $3 mil incentives)
99. John Buck (C Pirates, 33): Mariners – one year, $1 million
100. Matt Thornton (LHP Red Sox, 37): Yankees – two years, $7 million
101. Lance Berkman (DH Rangers, 38): Retired
102. Roberto Hernandez (RHP Rays, 33): Phillies – one year, $4.5 million
103. Jeff Baker (INF-OF Rangers, 32):
104. Kevin Gregg (RHP Cubs, 35):
105. Takashi Toritani (INF Japan, 32): Remained in Japan
106. Erik Bedard (LHP Astros, 35):
107. Skip Schumaker (2B-OF Dodgers, 34): Reds – two years, $5 million
108. LaTroy Hawkins (RHP Mets, 41): Rockies – one year, $2.5 mil + option
109. Tim Stauffer (RHP Padres, 31):
110. Ryan Madson (RHP FA, 33):
111. Clint Barmes (SS Pirates, 35): Pirates – one year, $2 million
112. Willie Bloomquist (INF Diamondbacks, 36): Mariners – two years, $5.8 million
113. Delmon Young (OF-DH Rays, 28): Orioles – minor league deal ($1 mil +$750,000 incentives)
114. Ted Lilly (LHP FA, 38): Retired
115. Luke Scott (OF Rays, 35): Signed to play in Korea
116. Jose Molina (C Rays, 38): Rays – two years, $4.5 million
117. Brendan Ryan (SS Yankees, 32): Yankees – two years, $5 mil + option
118. Johan Santana (LHP Mets, 35):
119. Michael Gonzalez (LHP Brewers, 35):
120. Nick Punto (INF Dodgers, 36): Athletics – one year, $3 mil + option
121. Chad Qualls (RHP Marlins, 35): Astros – two years, $6 mil + option
122. Brayan Pena (C Tigers, 32): Reds – two years, undisclosed sum
NT. Andrew Bailey (RHP Red Sox, 29):
123. Aaron Harang (RHP Mets, 35):
124. Luis Ayala (RHP Braves, 36):
125. Jerry Hairston Jr. (INF-OF Dodgers, 37): Retired
126. Juan Carlos Oviedo (RHP Rays, 32): Rays – one year, $1.5 million
NT. Daniel Hudson (RHP Diamondbacks, 27): Diamondbacks – minor league deal
127. Kyle Farnsworth (RHP Pirates, 37):
128. Barry Zito (LHP Giants, 35):
129. David Aardsma (RHP Mets, 32): Indians – minor league deal ($1 million)
NT. Wesley Wright (LHP Rays, 29): Cubs – one year, $1.425 million
130. Yuniesky Betancourt (INF Brewers, 32): Signed to play in Japan
131. Alfredo Aceves (RHP Red Sox, 32): Orioles – minor league deal ($1.2 mil + $1.8 mil incentives)
132. Placido Polanco (3B Marlins, 37):
133. Daisuke Matsuzaka (RHP Mets, 33): Mets – minor league deal ($1.5 million)
134. Wilson Betemit (3B FA, 32): Rays – minor league deal
NT. Jayson Nix (INF Yankees, 31): Rays – minor league deal
135. Brett Myers (RHP Indians, 33):
136. Jeff Karstens (RHP Pirates, 31):
137. Roy Oswalt (RHP Rockies, 36):
138. Juan Pierre (OF Marlins, 36):
139. Octavio Dotel (RHP Tigers, 40):
140. Frank Francisco (RHP Mets, 34):
NT. Tommy Hanson (RHP Angels, 27):
141. Clayton Richard (LHP Padres, 30):
142. Reed Johnson (OF Braves, 37): Marlins – minor league deal
143. Wil Nieves (C Diamondbacks, 36): Phillies – one year, $1.125 million
144. Grady Sizemore (OF FA, 31): Red Sox – one year, $750,000 ($5.25 mil incentives)
145. Tsuyoshi Wada (LHP Orioles, 33): Cubs – minor league contract
NT. Lou Marson (C Indians, 27): Phillies – minor league contract
146. Yorvit Torrealba (C Rockies, 35):
147. John Lannan (LHP Phillies, 29): Mets – minor league contract ($1.5 mil)
148. Andres Torres (OF Giants, 36):
149. Jamey Carroll (INF Royals, 40): Nationals – minor league contract
150. Rich Hill (LHP Indians, 34):

Signed pre-rankings:

Jose Abreu (1B Cuba): White Sox – six years, $68 million
Tim Lincecum (RHP Giants): Giants – two years, $35 million
Alexander Guerrero (INF Cuba): Dodgers – four years, $28 million
Ryan Sweeney (OF Cubs): Cubs – two years, $3.5 million + option
Jason Frasor (RHP Rangers): Rangers – one year, $1.5 million

Other signings:

Matt Albers (RHP Indians): Astros – one year, $2.45 million + option
Felipe Paulino (RHP Royals): White Sox – one year, $1.75 million
Casey McGehee (3B Japan): Marlins – one year, $1.1 million
David Cooper (1B FA): Indians – one year, undisclosed sum
Jason Giambi (DH Indians): Indians – minor league contract
Munenori Kawasaki (2B Blue Jays): Blue Jays – minor league contract
Jonathan Sanchez (LHP FA): Cubs – minor league contract
Chris Snyder (C Orioles): Nationals – minor league contract
Chien-Ming Wang (RHP FA): Reds – minor league contract

Chris Young (RHP Nationals): Nationals – minor league contract

Not so fast: Jose Valverde hasn’t signed with the Diamondbacks

Jose Valverde
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UPDATE: Heyman now says Valverde has not signed and remains a free agent, adding “I miss-interpreted a text” that led him to believe it was a done deal.

==========

Man, talk about getting the band back together.

Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com reports that one day after trading for White Sox closer Addison Reed the Diamondbacks have signed Jose Valverde to a minor-league deal, reuniting with the reliever who saved a league-leading 47 games for them way back in 2007.

Arizona traded Valverde to Houston after that season and now he returns trying to save his career following a season in which he pitched just 19 mostly bad innings before being released by Detroit at age 35.

Valverde is just one year removed from saving 35 games with a 3.78 ERA for the Tigers, but even then his secondary numbers had deteriorated and Papa Grande’s odds of succeeding as more than a middle reliever seem pretty slim at this point.