Show Me the Money

  • In today’s Toronto Sun, a source told the paper that free-agent Ted Lilly is seeking a four-year deal worth $9 million per year. Late last season, Toronto general manager J.P. Ricciardi said an asking price of $8 million or more per year for Lilly might be too steep to re-sign the left-hander. Considering that Vicente Padilla reportedly wants $10 million per year, it makes sense that Lilly — considered by many to be one of the better available arms this winter — would seek a similar amount. If he won’t budge on the figures, it might be difficult for the Jays to bring him back.
  • Ricciardi informed the Sun that free-agent shortstop Julio Lugo is seeking a four-year deal worth $32 million. That might be too expensive for the Blue Jays, too, meaning the club could turn its attention towards pursuing a second baseman instead of a shortstop. Ricciardi also told the paper that Toronto had no interest in free-agent Craig Counsell, but that Adam Kennedy is a player the Jays are interested in. “We’ll just have to see what the final figures are,” Ricciardi told the paper. “We know what we can afford and if the bidding gets too high, then we’ll go to Plan B.”
  • On Monday, the Blue Jays signed free-agent reliever Matt Roney to a Major League contract and added him to the 40-man roster. He was mainly in Triple-A last year, but was called up three times briefly by Oakland. Other than three appearances in the Majors last year, Roney hasn’t pitched in the bigs since going 1-9 for the 2003 Tigers. He at least adds more depth to Toronto’s bullpen. Plus, the Jays haven’t ruled out trades this winter. Perhaps adding some depth in arms would allow Toronto to move some other relievers (a lot of teams are looking for bullpen help) to fill its own needs. I’m just thinking outloud here — nothing like that has been reported, yet.
  • From the Denver Post: "The Rockies have also called about former Yankee Octavio Dotel, Scott Williamson, LaTroy Hawkins and Justin Speier. Given the anticipated bullish market for relievers, Speier and Hawkins are expected to land multiyear deals."
  • From today’s Los Angeles Times: "The Dodgers are interested in Luis Gonzalez, Cliff Floyd, Trot Nixon, Aubrey Huff and Frank Catalanotto if they can’t land [Alfonso] Soriano or [Carlos] Lee." … "The Dodgers are targeting a proven middle reliever to help get through the sixth and seventh innings, which were problematic last season. Their wish list includes Ron Villone, Justin Speier, Russ Springer, Chad Bradford and David Weathers."
  • From today’s Chicago Sun-Times: "The Cubs might be aiming lower, with right-hander Vicente Padilla (who’s seeking at least a four-year, $40 million package), about as high as they will top out for pitching. They remain intrigued by Japanese left-hander Kei Igawa of the Hanshin Tigers, and Toronto Blue Jays left-hander Ted Lilly is on their radar."
  • From the Boston Globe’s Web site today: "The [Red] Sox, like several other teams, are also looking to upgrade their bullpen. Names like Justin Speier, Eric Gagne, Scott Schoeneweis have all been mentioned as possible targets. The Sox might also target outfielders J.D. Drew and Frank Catalanotto and infielder Julio Lugo, but Epstein had not made offers to any of them as of Monday."
  • From New York Daily News today: "The Yankees were exploring free agent options including Randy Wolf, Gil Meche, Vicente Padilla and Ted Lilly…"

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