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Hamilton, Greinke remain on market after meetings
NASHVILLE, TENN. (AP) - As baseball’s new Mr. Moneybags, Ned Colletti gets mentioned when almost any free agent is discussed this offseason.
“There’s a perception that we’re in on a couple dozen starting pitchers, three dozen outfielders and infielders, 17, 18 catchers,” the Los Angeles Dodgers general manager said.
“People like to have us in. I guess it doesn’t hurt to have us in, even though we’re not in. We may have to hire somebody next year just to tell everybody who we’re not in on,” he said.
As teams headed home from the winter meetings Thursday, the biggest free agents were still on the market. The availability of slugger Josh Hamilton and pitcher Zack Greinke held up decisions on other signings and possible trades involving on Rangers star Michael Young and the Mets’ Cy Young Award winner R.A. Dickey.
“There can be a domino affect,” he said. “I think when clubs are focusing on a certain position, a certain need, there’s options out there. And once one option goes away, then that changes the landscape of what a club would want to do. Everybody’s got their ducks lined up in a row, and it’s just a matter of how things fall. And there’s timing involved.”
The annual meeting wasn’t much of a swap session. The Phillies-Twins deal was just the fourth trade over the four days.
But the 25-foot wide dais with a podium backed by MLB logos was used just three times: Yankees general manager Brian Cashman discussed Alex Rodriguez’s hip injury; Major League Baseball announced an auction benefiting Stand Up to Cancer; and the Mets talked about David Wright’s $138 million, eight-year contract, which had been agreed to last week.
The Yankees have been quiet, watching as catcher Russell Martin agreed with Pittsburgh last week and backup third baseman Eric Chavez went to Arizona during the meetings. Wanting to get under the $189 million luxury tax threshold in 2014, the Yankees are being cautious. Still, Cashman maintained it hasn’t been a rough week for him.
“Because I don’t read the papers as much as I used to,” he said. “This year’s marketplace, it might be strong in terms of the dollars being thrown around, but I don’t think it’s a strong market in terms of the available talent.”
As the meetings ended, Cashman had made a $12 million offer to Youkilis, who would play third base while A-Rod recovers. The Phillies were trying to obtain Young, the infielder who has been with the Rangers for his entire 13-season career and would have to approve a trade. Arizona was listening to offers for outfielder Justin Upton.
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