MLB Notebook: Free agents reject $13.3M deals
BY Associated Press
Saturday, November 10, 2012
11/10/12 at 3:41 AM
Josh Hamilton, B.J. Upton and Kyle Lohse were among nine free agents who turned down $13.3 million offers from their former clubs Friday as the annual general managers' meetings ended in Indian Wells, Calif., and team officials headed home for what figures to be a busy month of negotiations.
Also rejecting the one-year guaranteed offers were the New York Yankees' trio of Nick Swisher, Rafael Soriano and Hiroki Kuroda along with David Ortiz, Michael Bourn and Adam LaRoche.
Under baseball's new labor contract, the deadlines of the business season have been accelerated in an attempt to prompt quicker decisions before the holidays. That should create more activity in the market before teams head to the winter meetings in Nashville, Tenn., from Dec. 3-6.
"It expedites things. People are out there and available and being discussed right away," said Dave Dombrowski, president of the AL champion Detroit Tigers. "It definitely has picked things up more quickly."
Under the old rules, teams had until Dec. 7 to offer salary arbitration to their former players who became free agents. Top players under a statistical formula that was part of the 1981 strike settlement had compensation attached if they signed with new clubs - which would lose high-round draft picks.
Under the labor contract agreed to last November, that system was replaced by qualifying offers. A team could make a qualifying offer last week that was the average of the 125 highest big league contracts by average annual value - $13.3 million this year.
Weiss introduced as Rockies manager: After coming off the worst season in franchise history, the Colorado Rockies are willing to try just about anything.
They hired as their new manager Walt Weiss, who coached his son's high school team to the state semifinals just six months ago.
Now, he's in charge of taking over for Jim Tracy and turning around a young squad that finished 64-98. To add to that pressure, Weiss has only a one-year deal to transform the team, not to mention a Rockies executive looking over his shoulder from an office right next to his in the clubhouse.
Weiss, who spent four seasons with the Rockies as a gritty shortstop, learned from some of the best in the business during his 14-year playing career. He plans to incorporate Tony La Russa's vision of the game and Bobby Cox's ability to create a winning culture into his own managerial persona. He will also rely on Pittsburgh skipper Clint Hurdle for some friendly advice from time to time.
MacPhail, oldest Hall of Famer, dies at 95: Lee MacPhail, the longtime baseball executive who ruled in the celebrated Pine Tar case and later became part of the only father-son Hall of Fame pairing, has died. He was 95.
He was the oldest Hall of Famer, and he died Thursday night at his home in Delray Beach, Fla., the shrine said Friday.
"There's not much I haven't done off the field other than commissioner," he said during a 1985 interview with The Associated Press when he retired after 4 1/2 decades in the sport.
In the second generation of one of baseball's foremost families - his son, Andy, also was in the front office for several teams - MacPhail's most well-known moment in baseball came in 1983. He upheld Kansas City's protest in the Pine Tar Game against the New York Yankees, restoring a ninth-inning home run to Royals slugger George Brett - also a future Hall of Famer.
"Lee MacPhail was one of the great executives in baseball history and a Hall of Famer in every sense, both personally and professionally," Commissioner Bud Selig said in a statement. "His hallmarks were dignity, common sense and humility. He was not only a remarkable league executive, but was a true baseball man."