Chris Cotillo's New Year's News and Notes

Jed Jacobsohn

The latest tidbits from around baseball.

It has been a slow couple of weeks around baseball, but things are expected to heat up now that teams are getting back to work after their holiday breaks. As we get back into the swing of things, here are some news and notes that I've heard over the last couple of weeks.

  • INF Freddy Sanchez is not retired, according to a source. The 3-time All-Star last appeared in the major leagues in 2011, and seems open to making a comeback bid.
  • Andruw Jones is a free agent after completing his one-year contract in Japan, and speculation around the league is that he will head back to Japan next season. It is believed that Jones has received preliminary interest from some MLB clubs looking for outfield help, but his preference seems to be to return to Japan.
  • Yuniesky Betancourt is drawing interest from 4-5 teams and expects more to get involved in the next couple of weeks, according to a source. The Marlins were initially interested, but the signing of Casey McGehee ruled them out. Betancourt is expected to sign in the next couple of weeks.
  • RHP Carl Pavano is currently throwing and working to build up arm strength, according to a source. He could hold a showcase for teams in the next month as he tries to come back after rupturing his spleen.
  • C Michael McKenry is drawing some interest from teams on the free agent market, according to a source.
  • OF Rick Ankiel is looking to play next season as a position player, and ould be willing to sign a minor league deal with a spring training invite "in the right situation".
  • LHP Justin Thomas, who spent the second half of last season in Japan, is close to signing a contract for next season with an unknown MLB team.
  • INF Eric Farris has agreed to terms on a minor league deal with the Twins, according to a source. The ex-Brewer will not receive an invitation to major league spring training.
  • INF Corey Wimberly is close to signing a minor league deal with the Twins, according to a source. Wimberly saw time in the Braves' and Reds' minor league systems last season.
  • The White Sox have some interest in bringing back right-handed pitcher Brian Omogrosso, who is taking things slowly in free agency due to injury.
  • Several teams are interested in LHP Tony Sipp, according to a source.
  • The market for free agent OF Jayson Nix is "active", according to a source.
  • OF Derrick Robinson has a "healthy market" and is expected to sign relatively soon. Robinson was non-tendered by the Reds in December.
  • RHP Kameron Loe is drawing interest from multiple teams, according to a source. He would like to start, but is willing to either start or relieve and could attain a major league contract. He has pitched well in winter ball, and scouts have noted that he is throwing a very effective cutter at 87-90 mph and fastball at 90-93 mph.
  • RHP Jason Bergmann has also caught the attention of scouts in winter ball, and is seeking a minor league deal after finishing last season in the Royals' organization.
  • RHP Scott Baker is planning on negotiating with teams after the holidays. His market was described as "not bad" in November.
  • OF Rafael Ortega was designated for assignment by the Rangers last week, but there is an expectation that the team could look to re-sign him if he clears waivers.
  • RHP Alex Burnett will throw a showcase soon for teams, and should sign a minor league deal within the next month.
  • At least six teams have checked in on RHP Nick Blackburn, who is considering a comeback attempt in 2014 after knee surgery.

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