Orioles

Quick Links

Yankees RHP Rafael Soriano opts out of contract

Yankees RHP Rafael Soriano opts out of contract

Rafael Soriano is poised to leave the New York Yankees, Ervin Santana is headed to Kansas City and Ryan Ludwick plans to test the open market.

Soriano opted out of the final year of his $35 million, three-year contract Wednesday and will likely seek a long-term deal in free agency. The right-hander had 42 saves for the Yankees last season after longtime closer Mariano Rivera tore knee ligaments in early May.

Soriano was set to make $14 million next season and had until Wednesday to opt out. Instead, New York will pay him a $1.5 million buyout. The Yankees can make him a qualifying offer of $13.3 million before Friday's 11:59 p.m. EDT deadline and if Soriano signs with another team, they will get draft compensation.

``I'm not surprised because (agent) Scott Boras told me he was confident he could get him 15 times four (years), $60 million. If that's the case, it would be a good deal for Soriano,'' Yankees president Randy Levine told The Associated Press. ``I hope that's what's real in the marketplace.''

Soriano, who will be 33 in December, signed his hefty contract with New York before the 2011 season after notching a career-high 45 saves with Tampa Bay. He began his stint with the Yankees as a setup man, then took over as closer when Rivera was injured.

The Royals made their first move toward shoring up their shaky rotation, acquiring Santana from the Los Angeles Angels for minor league reliever Brandon Sisk.

Santana was an All-Star in 2008 and threw a no-hitter in 2011, but struggled with the long ball this year. He allowed a major league-worst 39 homers and went 9-13 with a 5.16 ERA - although he showed improvement in the second half of the season.

``We were able to scout Ervin during the entire year, specifically the second half,'' Royals general manager Dayton Moore said. ``His August and September were really good. From a statistical standpoint, he was very good.''

As part of the deal, the Angels sent $1 million to Kansas City. Los Angeles had exercised its $13 million option on Santana's contract for next season before trading him to the Royals.

The Royals declined their $8 million club option on closer Joakim Soria after he had elbow ligament-replacement surgery and missed last season. Soria will receive a $750,000 buyout.

Even though Soria, a two-time All-Star with 160 saves over five seasons, is a free agent, both sides have expressed interest in working out a new contract.

All-Stars David Wright ($16 million) and R.A. Dickey ($5 million) had their contract options picked up by the New York Mets. General manager Sandy Alderson has said signing the two players to long-term deals is his top priority this offseason.

Tampa Bay exercised options on pitcher James Shields ($9.5 million), closer Fernando Rodney ($2.5 million) and catcher Jose Molina ($1.5 million). The Rays declined a $6 million option on designated hitter Luke Scott, instead paying him a $1 million buyout.

Ludwick and Cincinnati Reds teammate Ryan Madson became free agents when they declined mutual contract options.

The 34-year-old Ludwick turned down $5 million and received a $500,000 buyout. He batted .275 with 26 home runs and 80 RBIs for the NL Central champions before going 6 for 18 (.333) with three homers and four RBIs in the division series loss to World Series champion San Francisco.

Cincinnati signed Ludwick to a one-year deal for 2012 that included a $2 million base salary, and he earned an additional $350,000 in performance bonuses based on plate appearances. Although the Reds are interested in keeping him, Ludwick decided to see what kind of deal he can get on the open market.

Madson needed reconstructive elbow surgery after tearing a ligament during spring training and missed the entire season. Aroldis Chapman moved into the role and saved 38 games in 43 chances.

Madson had a $6 million salary this year, of which $2 million was deferred until Thursday and another $2 million until Nov. 1, 2013. He agreed to that deal in January after a $44 million, four-year deal to stay with the Philadelphia Phillies collapsed last November.

Madson would have made $11 million next year under the mutual option. Instead, he got a $2.5 million buyout. The Reds weren't going to exercise the 2013 option. They've expressed an interest in signing him to a less-expensive deal and giving him a chance to continue his recovery.

The wild-card Baltimore Orioles exercised their $1 million option on right-handed reliever Luis Ayala but declined an $11 million option on first baseman Mark Reynolds.

Reynolds, who hit .221 with 23 homers and 69 RBIs in 135 games, gets a $500,000 buyout and is eligible for salary arbitration.

The Cleveland Indians exercised their $5.75 million option on pitcher Ubaldo Jimenez. Also, the team declined its options on designated hitter Travis Hafner ($13 million) and starting pitcher Roberto Hernandez ($6 million), formerly known as Fausto Carmona.

The Pittsburgh Pirates picked up their option on 25-year-old third baseman Pedro Alvarez ($700,000) and parted ways with catcher Rod Barajas, who had a $3.5 million option. The Pirates have another $700,000 option on Alvarez for 2014.

Pittsburgh also released reliever Hisanori Takahashi, who posted an 8.64 ERA in nine appearances.

In Toronto, the Blue Jays exercised their $3 million option on left-handed reliever Darren Oliver and signed outfielder Rajai Davis to a one-year, $2.5 million contract after declining the option on his previous two-year deal.

Davis hit .257 with 24 doubles, eight home runs, 43 RBIs and 46 stolen bases this year. The Blue Jays held a $3 million option for 2013 with a $500,000 buyout.

Tigers utility man Don Kelly and Yankees infielder Casey McGehee elected free agency rather than accept minor league assignments.

Quick Links

Orioles' Adam Jones purchases Cal Ripken Jr.'s former estate, per report

download.png
AP Images

Orioles' Adam Jones purchases Cal Ripken Jr.'s former estate, per report

Cal Ripken Jr.'s 25-acre, 8,545 square-foot home went up for auction this past Saturday and the highest bidder was......Adam Jones? 

The center fielder is purchasing the Orioles legend's former Reisterstown, Md. estate, according to The Athletic

Placed on the market in 2016 for $12.5 million, Ripken reduced the price to $9.7 million last year but was still unable to find a willing buyer. The estate was eventually put up for auction and sold to Jones for an undisclosed amount. 

The six bedroom home has 10 full bathrooms, a movie theater, a gym that overlooks an indoor basketball court, a pool and a baseball field with batting cages, a locker room and soaking tubs. One of the tubs was taken from Memorial Stadium and used by Johnny Unitas and Art Donovan, but Ripken is keeping that one. 

What makes this purchase even more interesting is that Jones will become a free agent at the end of the 2018 season, but that does not mean he plans on re-signing with the team. The 32-year old, who is in his last year of a six-year $85.5 million contract, is known to dip his toes in real estate investments and his wife, Audie Fugett, is a Baltimore native. 

The deal is scheduled to close on June 11. 

MORE ORIOLES NEWS: 

Quick Links

David Price's complete game shuts down Baltimore's offense

david_price_usat.jpg
USA TODAY Sports

David Price's complete game shuts down Baltimore's offense

BOSTON -- One strike away from a four-hit shutout, David Price happily settled for a complete game and his strongest outing of the season.

Price struck out eight and held Baltimore to five hits, including two in the ninth when the Orioles broke up the shutout before the Boston left-hander finished them off in a 6-2 victory for the Red Sox on Thursday night.

"He was amazing," Boston manager Alex Cora said. "He was outstanding. You saw it. Bad swings, up, down, in and out, changeup, cutter, sinkers ... that was fun to watch."

J.D. Martinez hit a two-run homer in the first, and Xander Bogaerts homered with two on during a four-run fifth, giving Price more than enough cushion against the struggling Orioles.

Price (4-4) struck out eight and didn't walk a batter while winning consecutive starts for the first time this season. He cruised through the first eight innings before Andrew Susac led off the ninth with a double, the first Baltimore player to reach second base in the game.

Manny Machado spoiled the shutout bid with a two-out homer, but Price finished off Baltimore on Jonathan Schoop's pop-up to center as the Red Sox improved to 4-0 against Baltimore by taking the makeup game that was rained out on Patriots' Day.

"They're a free-swinging team," said Price, who threw just 95 pitches. "You can go out there and do that or you can go out there for three innings and give up a bunch of runs."

Danny Valencia had a pair of hits for the punchless Orioles, who have lost three of four and have the second-fewest wins in the American League. Valencia nearly had a double in the fifth, but got thrown out at second by left fielder Andrew Benintendi, one of several strong defensive plays that helped Price go the distance.

Hanley Ramirez also caught a foul pop on the top step of Boston's dugout in the second and Mookie Betts ran down a fly ball that was headed to the wall in right.

"The defensive plays that I had today, it makes everything a lot easier," Price said.

Kevin Gausman (3-3) went 4 2/3 innings for Baltimore, allowing six runs and eight hits while striking out six and walking two. He was pulled after Bogaerts drove a high fastball out to left with two men on during Boston's four-run fifth.

"We just got into some sticky situations where we just had to dig ourselves out of a hole and we just couldn't," Susac said.

The Orioles also weren't happy with the strike zone, which Susac said forced Gausman to throw some pitches the Red Sox pounced upon.

Manager Buck Showalter agreed with his catcher.

"I'm very biased, but I didn't think he got a fair shake tonight," Showalter said. "There were a lot of pitches that could have and should have gone his way."

MORE ORIOLES' NEWS: