MMO Hot Stove Report – Nov. 14

An article by posted on November 14, 2011

The Hot Stove is heating up and after a whirlwind week of signings and rumors in the last week, and the heat will only continue to rise when General Managers meet this week for the annual GM Meetings tomorrow.

The World Series only ended a few weeks ago, but already an all-star closer has signed a long-term contract and rumors are beginning to spread regarding the eventual landing spot of a certain shortstop. Here is everything you need to know in the baseball world:

NEWS:

- Good news first – after being kidnapped from his home in Venezuela, Nationals catcher Wilson Ramos has been found. He was unharmed in the ensuing gun fight that led to his rescue.

- Today, the Dodgers have been busy as they have agreed to a two-year deal with Mark Ellis and agreed with star center fielder Matt Kemp on a blockbuster contract. Earlier this offseason the team agreed to a somewhat questionable contract with Juan Rivera and have also made a contract offer to catcher Ryan Doumit.

- Our friends down the turnpike have signed former Red Sox’s closer Jonathan Papelbon to a four-year $50 million dollar deal with an easily attainable option for a fifth-year that would give the former all-star an additional $13 million. This kind of number has some game officials, such as Blue Jays GM Alex Anthopoulos “shocked.” We’ll see if the Phillies’ aggressive free agent pursuit works out towards the end of this contract…

- Jeffrey Loria and his new-lookin’ Marlins have ditched their normal penny pinching was and have been making waves early this offseason. The team has offered contracts to Jose Reyes, Mark Buehrle and Albert Pujols. They have also been said to have interest in free agent closer Ryan Madson.

- Aaron Hill and the Diamondbacks have agreed to a two-year deal worth $11 million.

- One of the remaining managerial openings has closed up – former big league catcher Mike Matheny has been named the manger who will succeed Tony La Russa.

- The Royals acquired Jonathan Sanchez and a minor leaguer in exchange for outfielder Melky Cabrera. The two had seasons that saw opposite results, as Cabrera had a career year and Sanchez was a potential non-tender candidate for the Giants.

- Two former General Managers are back in the ring after Dan Duquette and Terry Ryan were announced as the new GM’s of the Orioles and Twins, respectively.

- Former Mets catcher Rod Barajas struck gold when he signed a one-year deal with a team option for a second with the Pirates. Barajas will earn $4 million in 2012, but the option would give him another $3.5 million should it be picked up. Seems like forever ago when the Mets were scrapping him off the bottom of the Free Agent scrap heap.

- The Twins are making Jamey Carroll their everyday shortstop moving forward after signing him to a two-year contract with an option for 2014.

- The Astros, and their proposed move to the American League after being sold, are on the agenda for the owners meetings next week.

 RUMORS:

- Everyone calm down, the Marlins are NOT close to signing Jose Reyes, despite early reports to the contrary.

- The Yankees, Angels, Blue Jays, Marlins, Nationals and Rangers are some of the teams who have expressed varying levels of interest in free agent starting pitcher C.J. Wilson.l /

- Despite the rest of the division’s interest, Braves GM Frank Wren has said his team will NOT be searching for Reyes’ services this offseason. At least he won’t be tomahawk chopping instead of doing the claw.

- Get any ideas of Matt Cain or Tim Lincecum wearing orange and blue in the future out of your head, as there is “no point in asking” the Giants about the availability of their star pitchers.

- Speaking of top-of-the-line pitchers, Jon Heyman tweeted that there is “some concern” Japanese phenom Yu Darvish will not post this offseason.

- While the Phillies have interest in both Jimmy Rollins and Micheal Cuddyer, recent reports indicate that their asking prices might be too high for Philadelphia to match.

METS:

- The New York Post suggests that Reyes is looking for at least a $100 million deal. Though, this is Joel Sherman we’re talking about, so take it with a grain of salt.

- Chris Capuano, who finished with a 11-12 record and a 4.55 ERA for the Mets this season, will not be coming back to Queens next season if he is searching for a two-year contract.

- Mike Puma of the New York Post said an organizational source has said that Daniel Murphy will become the team’s full time second basemen should Jose Reyes leave for greener (or in the Marlins’ case blue, green, yellow and orange) pastures.

Ike Davis should be manning first base come Spring Training, Adam Rubin of ESPNNewYork says.

- Both Nick Evans and Jason Pridie cleared waivers and were out righted to AAA Buffalo. Due to this, they now both have the option to become free agents and sign with any interested team.

- Citi Feild’s new dimensions should begin to take shape in the next couple of days.

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