Capital move: Pudge to the Nats
After Monday morning's snowstorm, temperatures Tuesday morning had risen into the mid-30s. And inside the Marriott Indianapolis Downtown, the baseball winter meetings were heating up as well.
At the end of a mostly slow first day, the Washington Nationals had reached agreement with 38-year-old All-Star catcher Pudge Rodriguez on a two-year, $6-million contract. It was a curious signing by the woeful Nationals, who lost more than 100 games in each of the last two seasons.
Rodriguez is a 13-time Gold Glove winner and a former American League MVP, but he hit .249 with 10 home runs and 47 RBIs in a 2009 season split between Houston and Texas. He's played for four teams in the last two seasons and has hit just 17 homers since 2007 -- fewer than half the number he hit in 1999 alone.
Earlier Monday night, Twins starter Carl Pavano, Atlanta reliever Rafael Soriano and Colorado reliever Rafael Betancourt all accepted salary arbitration from their respective teams, beating the midnight deadline that would have made them free agents. One hundred and seventy-one players applied for free agency this fall, including the Dodgers' Randy Wolf and Orlando Hudson the Angels' John Lackey, Chone Figgins and Vladimir Guerrero.
Wolf is close to signing a three-year deal with the Milwaukee Brewers, according to multiple sources, while a four-year deal between Figgins and the Seattle Mariners is expected to be announced today. (Note: An earlier version of this post incorrectly said the deal between Figgins and the Mariners was a three-year deal.)
Meanwhile MLB.com is reporting that talks on a three-team blockbuster deal involving the Yankees, Tigers and Diamondbacks has reached an impasse. The trade would reportedly send outfielder Curtis Granderson from Detroit to New York while Tigers' right-hander Edwin Jackson would move to Arizona, with the Diamondbacks sending some prospects to New York. Arizona would also get Yankees' right-hander Ian Kennedy ,and the Tigers would get right-hander Max Scherzer from Arizona.
Clsoer to home, the Angels have opened negotiations with free-agent slugger Jason Bay and have shown an interest in free-agent Hideki Matsui, the World Series MVP, while the Dodgers are taking a wait-and-see approach to the developing market.
-- Kevin Baxter in Indianapolis
Photo: Pudge Rodriguez celebrates after hitting a home run in the top of the fifth inning of a baseball game against the Texas Rangers on June 16.Credit: Tom Pennington / Associated Press.