Hot Stove roundup: Byrd flies back to Phillies
Club also linked to potential deal with Blue Jays involving Bautista, Brown
The second day of the General Managers Meetings in Orlando, Fla., got off to a quick start, as the Phillies and outfielder Marlon Byrd agreed a two-year, $16 million deal.
Byrd, 36, hit .291/.336/.511 last season with the Mets and Pirates and now returns to the organization where he played his first 3 1/2 seasons after being a 10th-round selection in the 1999 First-Year Player Draft.
Though that was the day's only significant transaction, there was no shortage of other news, including a late-breaking rumor that has the Phillies making an even bigger splash.
• The Phillies are discussing a deal that would bring in Blue Jays outfielder Jose Bautista for a package that includes outfielder Domonic Brown, according to Howard Eskin of FOX 29 TV and WIP radio in Philadelphia.
• The subject of trade speculation a year after the Nationals acquired him from the Twins, center fielder Denard Span is hoping to return to Washington.
• The Mets are looking for outfielders, with free agent Curtis Granderson representing one appealing option.
• While rumors continue to swirl about the Cardinals executing a blockbuster deal for Rockies shortstop Troy Tulowitzki, MLB.com's Jenifer Langosch plays down the likelihood of that scenario. St. Louis could choose to sign a free agent such as Stephen Drew or orchestrate a trade for a shortstop who wouldn't demand such a hefty return.
• Cubs general manager Jed Hoyer confirmed his club's interest in Japanese right-hander Masahiro Tanaka and acknowledged that other teams have asked about righty Jeff Samardzija.
• The Rockies offered free-agent catcher Carlos Ruiz a two-year deal worth about $15 million, according to the Denver Post's Troy Renck, but it seems that won't be enough to entice Ruiz to Colorado. Renck writes that the veteran backstop has a two-year, $20 million offer from an unspecified club.
• The Padres could consider trading third baseman Chase Headley if they can't agree on a contract extension to keep him in San Diego beyond this season, CBS Sports' Jon Heyman writes.
• The Yankees' David Robertson isn't a lock to inherit the ninth inning from the retired Mariano Rivera, with general manager Brian Cashman saying he will explore the free-agent and trade markets for relievers, including closers.
• The Yankees' reported interest in free-agent outfielder Carlos Beltran is legit, MLB.com's Bryan Hoch reports.
• The Blue Jays have some money to spend and could look to use it on a free-agent starting pitcher.
• Fox Sports' Ken Rosenthal speculates that the Red Sox could be the front-runners for Ruiz.
• The White Sox are prepared to welcome back Paul Konerko for his 16th season with the club, but Konerko remains undecided about his future.
• The Indians have interest in free-agent relievers Fernando Rodney and Brian Wilson, according to the Cleveland Plain Dealer.
• According to Heyman, the Twins are exploring a reunion with free-agent catcher A.J. Pierzynski, whom they took in the third round of the 1994 Draft. Pierzynski, however, figures to have several suitors, including the Phillies.
• Meanwhile, Minnesota might be closer to signing veteran right-hander Bronson Arroyo, according to the St. Paul Pioneer Press' Mike Berardino.
• Heyman reports that multiple teams are interested in Astros catcher Jason Castro, who hit .276/.350/.485 with 18 home runs last season. Our Brian McTaggart downplays the likelihood of a Castro trade, however.
• The Mariners would like to add free-agent outfielders Beltran and Nelson Cruz, tweets ESPN's Jerry Crasnick, who also reports that their interest in Jacoby Ellsbury is lower.