BASEBALL NOTEBOOK: Teams deal as deadline arrives

McClatchy News ServicesDecember 3, 2013 

As Doug Fister and Scott Kazmir found new teams and other big-money free agents negotiated, dozens of players with lower profiles waited to find out whether they would be dumped on the market by their clubs Monday night.

Teams had until midnight Eastern time to offer 2014 contracts to unsigned players on their 40-man rosters. Once a player receives a contract offer, his team no longer can release him before the start of the season without giving him termination pay.

Among the players let loose were Boston right-hander Andrew Bailey and outfielder Ryan Kalish, Mets right-hander Jeremy Hefner and Kansas City infielder Chris Getz.

There were a few trades around the deadline. Washington obtained right-hander Fister from Detroit for infielder Steve Lombardozzi and left-handers Robbie Ray and Ian Krol. Fister was 14-9 with a 3.67 ERA last season for the American League Central champions, who last month also traded slugging first baseman Prince Fielder to Texas for second baseman Ian Kinsler.

“It gives us some flexibility for some other things we want to do,” Tigers general manager Dave Dombrowski said, insisting the trade wasn’t made to free money for a long-term deal for AL Cy Young winner Max Scherzer, who can leave after next season.

Along with snagging Kazmir, the Athletics made another acquisition, acquiring AL saves leader Jim Johnson from the Baltimore Orioles in a post-deadline trade for infielder Jemile Weeks and a player to be named. Kazmir was closing in on a $22 million, two-year contract with Oakland. The deal is pending a physical, a person said, speaking on condition of anonymity because the team hadn’t finalized the deal.

With an excess of catching after reaching an agreement to sign Brian McCann, the New York Yankees traded Chris Stewart to Pittsburgh for a player to be named. The Yankees also finalized a $5 million, two-year contract with shortstop Brendan Ryan, who became their starter in September when Derek Jeter went back on the disabled list.

Catcher Dioner Navarro agreed to an $8 million, two-year contract with Toronto. He batted .300 with a career-high 13 homers and 34 RBI in 89 games for the Chicago Cubs. Catcher Jose Molina chose to stay with the Rays, signing a two-year deal worth $4.5 million.

Among players eligible for arbitration getting one-year deals were Chicago White Sox catcher Tyler Flowers, Detroit outfielder Don Kelly, Cleveland right-handers Frank Herrmann and Blake Wood and Philadelphia infielder Kevin Frandsen.

Among the other players who were nontendered, as confirmed by the teams, were New York Yankees infielders Jayson Nix and David Adams and right-hander Matt Daley; St. Louis Cardinals reliever John Axford; Cleveland Indians catcher Lou Marson, outfielder Matt Carson and right-hander Tyler Cloyd; New York Mets right-hander Scott Atchison and infielders Jordany Valdespin and Omar Quintanilla; Atlanta Braves right-hander Cristhian Martinez and infielders Paul Janish and Eliot Johnson; Los Angeles Angels right-handers Jerome Williams, Tommy Hanson and Juan Gutierrez and third baseman Chris Nelson.

Various reports indicated a handful of other players were nontendered, including Rays outfielder Sam Fuld and reliever Wesley Wright, Cubs right-hander Daniel Bard and White Sox right-hander Dylan Axelrod.

BONDS PAYS PENALTIES

Barry Bonds has paid $4,100 in penalties stemming from his obstruction of justice conviction two years ago.

Bonds was fined $4,000, which goes to a crime victims fund, and given a $100 special assessment.

The seven-time National League MVP was convicted of one obstruction count in April 2011 by a jury that found an answer he gave was criminally evasive during 2003 testimony before a grand jury investigating the distribution of performance-enhancing drugs. The jury deadlocked on three counts charging Bonds with making false statements, and they were dismissed.

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