Joe Nathan RP - The Twins announced that they’ve declined the club option for $12.5MM on reliever Joe Nathan and will pay him a $2MM buyout instead. Nathan, who has been a rock solid closer the Twins, returned from 2010 Tommy John surgery this season and posted a 4.84 ERA and 1.16 WHIP in 48 appearances. Obviously, Nathan would seem like the perfect fit for us as he’s unlikely to get more than a one-year deal, and injury concerns will make him reasonably priced for teams who will be digging through the bargain bins. He still prefers to close.
Yu Darvish SP - Two sources familiar with Japanese baseball think the posting fee for Darvish will be nowhere near the $51 million the Sox put up for Daisuke Matsuzaka. “I think we may never see something that high again,’’ said one source. “But one could expect a posting fee in the high $20 millions.’’ It appears that the Cubs, Red Sox, Yankees, Rangers, Nationals, and Mariners will be among the active bidders. Sorry Mets fans – Only Lookie, No Touchie…
James Shields SP – Shields is a solid pitcher, he’s also young, and he’ll most likely be very available, which makes him a perfect fit for the Florida Marlins who could use another solid starter in their rotation. According to ESPN’s Buster Olney, The Fish may dangle Logan Morrison as part of any package. Hmm, Josh Johnson, Anibal Sanchez and James Shields, not bad.
Second Basemen – Tim Dierkes of MLBTR writes that there will be as many as six free agent second basemen that will likely be considered as starters: Kelly Johnson, Clint Barmes, Mark Ellis, Aaron Hill, Jamey Carroll, and Nick Punto. I’m not totally sold on the idea that the Mets are wholly committed to an in-house solution at second base, especially if Jose Reyes goes and Ruben Tejada has to slide over to shortstop.
Mike Pelfrey SP – Mike Swarz of MLBTR says that “accumulating innings gets you a big raise, even with a mediocre season.” To that end he projects that Mets starter Mike Pelfrey will get a $1.9MM raise to about $5.8MM for his 193 2/3 IP, despite a 4.74 ERA and a 7-13 record. That’s a whole lotta of money for a whole lotta mediocrity. I thought we were all about bang for the buck now?