These last few days have been volatile in baseball, with several big names being mentioned in free-agent signings, and others being inked to new deals with their current teams.
Roy Oswalt: Roy Oswalt seems to have some new offers from different teams. The Rangers are looking at Oswalt and plan to meet with him sometime early in the week. That is, if he’s still a free agent. Even though the Red Sox made an offer to Oswalt, the Cardinals look like the frontrunners. It looks like the veteran right hander will sign with St.Louis, which will help the Cardinals compete with the Brewers for the best rotation in the NL Central. However, both the Rangers and Red Sox are looking hard to find someone to help them compete against their respective division rivals, the Angels and Yankees.
Tim Lincecum: Lincecum and the Giants agreed on a two-year, $40.5 million extension. This is a great signing for the Giants because of the teams lacking starting pitching and a consistent offense. Who knows where the Giants will be in two years, but at least the San Fran faithful know that Tim Lincecum will be right there with them.
Hunter Pence: Hunter Pence and the Phils agreed on a one-year, 10.4 million dollar deal, avoiding arbitration. There are no surprises here, since the Phillies would do anything to bring back more hitting as 2011 was a more than disappointing year from the offensive side. As stats have shown, slugger Ryan Howard has done much better with Pence in the lineup without him, so $10.4 million could be a bargain for Philly.
Hiroki Kuroda: Kuroda signed with the Yanks with a 10-million dollar deal for one year. This signing, as long as Kuroda pitches like he has in the past few years, most likely makes the Yankees favorites in the AL with their ever-strong offense and now deep starting pitching.
Brad Lidge: Lidge signed with the Nats with a 1 year deal. The Nationals have a strong bullpen, so, if this signing doesn’t work out, they shouldn’t be worried. He will most likely be a setup man for young closer Drew Storen.
Juan Pierre: The speedster signed with Philadelphia to a minor league contract. He only has an invite to Spring Training, but look for this outfielder to be used in a platoon role in Citizens Bank Park.