Rockies offered $63 million for Jose Abreu

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Cuban slugger Jose Abreu signed with the White Sox for six years and $68 million, and according to Troy Renck of the Denver Post the Rockies came up just short by bidding $63 million for the 26-year-old first baseman:

Rockies’ ownership gave clearance to spend the money on Abreu. It’s unlikely that the Rockies would reach $60 million on another free agent this winter. Abreu was unique because of his age — he’s 26 — and power.

Abreu would have stepped in as the long-term replacement for Todd Helton in Colorado. It’s a shame in the sense that I’m always curious to see what stud hitters can do when given a chance to play half their games at Coors Field, although Chicago’s home ballpark is a great place for power-hitting too.

Masahiro Tanaka to throw off a mound this weekend

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Earlier this month Yankees starter Masahiro Tanaka strained both of his hamstrings while running the bases in an interleague game against the Mets and was sent to the 10-day DL. Today it was announced that the beginning of the end of most DL stints for pitchers — throwing off of a mound — is in Tanaka’s immediate future.

Tanaka is scheduled to throw off a mound Sunday, which will be his first real (well, fake real) pitching action since the June 9th injury. Assuming the session goes well, Tanaka is expected to return to the Yankees’ starting rotation sometime in early-to-mid July. With the All-Star break coming the week of July 16, it would not be hard to imagine the Yankees giving him a few extra days to get right.

Tanaka is 7-2 with a 4.58 ERA and a K/BB ratio of 73/19 in 72.2 innings on the season.