“Every year you’re kind of given your budgets, your challenges, your needs,” Yankees general manager Brian Cashman said. “You always have your restrictions, whether it’s in terms of what ownership provides, the Basic Agreement allows.”
It is in Boras’ interest to encourage spending. His free-agent group includes Soriano and fellow closers Jose Valverde and Ryan Madson, first baseman Carlos Pena, Bourn, Lohse and pitcher Daisuke Matsuzaka.
Infielder Maicer Izturis became the first major league free agent to switch teams this offseason, agreeing to a $10 million, three-year contract with the Toronto Blue Jays. The 32-year-old hit .256 with 17 steals in 19 tries, two homers and 20 RBIs this year for the Angels.
“He’s someone that’s going to come in and compete for the job at second base,” said Blue Jays general manager Alex Anthopoulos, who tried to acquire him last summer. “He’s not guaranteed the job, but the fact that he can play all over the infield, he’s just a valuable guy to have. He can do a lot of little things. He’s a winning player. He can draw a walk. He can put the ball in play _ a pretty good contact rate. He can run a little bit and steal some bags. He plays very good defensively, as well, and is a good teammate, good in the clubhouse.”
As the meetings conclude Friday, the deadline will pass for free agents to decide whether to accept $13.3 million qualifying offers from their former clubs. Among the eight players on the market who were given the offers, pitcher Hiroki Kuroda appears to be the only one who might accept. He is coming off his first season with the Yankees.
NOTES: Oakland GM Billy Beane was given the major league executive of the year award by The Sporting News. He also won it in 1999. He had 31 votes, and Washington’s Mike Rizzo was second with 13. … Mets GM Sandy Alderson said he hopes to sign knuckleballer R.A. Dickey, a Cy Young Award finalist, to a contract for beyond 2013 but he wouldn’t rule out trading him. Alderson also is trying to reach a new deal with 3B David Wright, whose contract expires after next season. With Lucas Duda recovering from a broken wrist, Jason Bay released and Scott Hairston a free agent, Alderson decided to be funny when asked about his outfield. “What outfield?” he said.