Eric Hinske, just like he did for the Braves, will likely come off the bench for his new team, the Arizona Diamondbacks.
NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Free agent Eric Hinske agreed Tuesday to a one-year contract with the Arizona Diamondbacks.
While the deal was not announced, Diamondbacks manager Kirk Gibson discussed it at the winter meetings.
“Just a veteran guy, left-handed bat, mostly thinking about bench for him,” Gibson said. “He’s got experience, understands how to read people, a little first base probably, but he probably could go third or outfield in a pinch in an extra-inning game. His mentality is somewhat one that I can relate to, very intense. I like that.”
A veteran of 11 major league seasons, Hinske spent the last three years with the Atlanta Braves. He hit .197 with two homers and 13 RBIs in 132 at-bats this year, seeing time at first base, left field and right field.
“We were not very good in late or in-close leverage situations,” Gibson said. “And I think as you analyze that, that’s a lot of mentality involved in that, and you have to develop a certain approach in those situations and trust it. And I’ve watched him over his career, and I think he’s a guy that can help us as a team, as well.”
EX-PHILLIES STAR SIGNS WITH BOSOX:
NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Free agent outfielder Shane Victorino and the Boston Red Sox are close to completing a three-year deal worth $39 million, a person familiar with the talks told The Associated Press on Tuesday
The person, speaking at the baseball winter meetings under condition of anonymity because the contract wasn’t finalized, said paperwork for the contract was being completed.
Victorino hit a combined .255 with 11 home runs and 55 RBIs last season for Philadelphia and the Los Angeles Dodgers. He also stole a career-high 39 bases. The Dodgers obtained Victorino in a late July trade with the Phillies.
Nicknamed The Flyin’ Hawaiian, Victorino tweeted that he planned to spend the day in Maui on a snorkeling trip aboard the Alii Nui catamaran.
“Amazingly beautiful day,” he tweeted.
A two-time All-Star and three-time Gold Glove winner, Victorino turned 32 Friday. He also had been pursued by the Cleveland Indians.
Victorino played mostly center field for the Phillies and shifted to left with the Dodgers. He likely would play right field for the Red Sox but could shift to center if Jacoby Ellsbury is traded or leaves as a free agent after next season.
Boston finished last in the AL East this season and is trying to boost its offense. On Monday, the Red Sox reached a $39 million, three-year contract with Mike Napoli, an All-Star catcher with Texas this year.
“We see him as a first baseman primarily, but with the ability to catch,” new manager John Farrell said. “We would have him catch in spring training early on, but then certainly make sure that we’ve got enough reps at first base for not only him to feel comfortable there, but for us as well.”
Wright, Mets finalize $138 million, 8-year deal
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — David Wright and the New York Mets finalized a $138 million, eight-year contract Tuesday, the largest deal in the team’s history.
The contract was agreed to last week, subject to a physical, and the team said Wright planned to discuss it Wednesday at the winter meetings.
“I’ve grown up in this organization and made lifelong friendships with teammates, uniform personnel and front office staff. I’m grateful for the opportunity to finish what I’ve started,” Wright said.
Wright’s new deal replaces the $16 million salary he was to have earned under a 2013 option in his previous contract. The new deal contains deferred money.
“We’re thrilled for the organization and our fans that David will be a Met for many years to come,” Mets chief operating officer Jeff Wilpon said. “As great a player as David’s been with us on the field — one of the greatest and most popular Mets ever — he’s been equally outstanding in the community.”
Without the agreement, Wright could have become a free agent after the 2013 season. New York also is trying to reach a new deal with NL Cy Young Award winner R.A. Dickey, who is signed for $5.25 million next year and then can become a free agent.
Mets general manager Sandy Alderson spoke briefly Monday with Dickey’s agent, Bo McKinnis.
“I don’t think we’ve reached the point where there isn’t something possible, but time will tell,” Alderson said. “I think we’ve always said we’d like to sign R.A. and keep him in New York.”
Alderson has been exploring trade possibilities involving Dickey.
“Something could happen on either front that would bring this to a conclusion, presumably,” Alderson said. “I don’t expect that’s going to happen today. It may not happen tomorrow. It may not happen in Nashville.”
Wright, who turns 30 on Dec. 20, batted .306 with 21 homers and 93 RBIs last season as the Mets went 74-88 and finished fourth in the NL East for the fourth straight year. He also had a .391 on-base percentage to go with 41 doubles and 15 stolen bases.
Teammate Johan Santana signed a $137.5 million, six-year contract with New York after being acquired in a trade from Minnesota before the 2008 season.
Selected with the 38th overall pick in the 2001 amateur draft, Wright made his Mets debut in July 2004 and quickly secured the job at third base — a trouble spot for the team throughout its colorful history.
Wright has made six All-Star teams and won two Gold Gloves, compiling a .301 career average with 204 home runs and 818 RBIs in 8 1/2 major league seasons. He is the club’s career leader in several major offensive categories including hits, RBIs, runs and walks.
“I think it’s a great statement that David wanted to stay with the organization that drafted him,” Mets manager Terry Collins said. “David is the leader of this team in the clubhouse, on the field and in the community.”
New York has lowered its payroll in recent seasons as attendance has declined at Citi Field. Asked whether next year’s budget was based on the same home attendance as this year, 2.2 million, Alderson said the revenue projection was produced by another department. Then he added: “Well, I don’t think it’s predicated on 4 million.”
AP source: RHP Haren, Nationals near deal
NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Free agent pitcher Dan Haren and the Washington Nationals are close to completing a one-year deal for $13 million, a person familiar with the talks told The Associated Press.
The person spoke Tuesday at the baseball winter meetings under condition of anonymity because no deal was announced.
Washington had the best record in the majors last season. The NL East champions already have a formidable rotation led by Gio Gonzalez and Stephen Strasburg, and could boost it by adding Haren, an All-Star from 2007-09.
“I’ve got some young guys that act like veterans, and they pitched like veterans last year for me, and a veteran like Dan Haren is just going to make things even better,” Nationals manager Davey Johnson said. “I think he’s a great addition. I’ve seen him pitch a lot over the years, intense competitor, and hopefully we’ll get that done.”
Haren was 12-13 with a 4.33 ERA in 30 starts and 176 2-3 innings for the Los Angeles Angels. The Angels nearly traded the 32-year-old righty to the Chicago Cubs for reliever Carlos Marmol after the season, then declined their $15.5 million option on him for next season and paid a $3.5 million buyout.
Johnson said he’s fully familiar with Haren and says he might do even better in the NL.
“He pitched a lot of innings, and he had a decent year for Anaheim,” Johnson said. “Also, the American League is a little bit tougher with an extra DH in there. I like his stuff. I like his competitiveness.”
Haren has made at least 30 starts in eight straight years. Known for his durability, he went on the disabled list for the first time in his career last season because of a back issue.
Johnson also predicted free-agent first baseman Adam LaRoche will re-sign with the Nationals.
“Adam LaRoche is going to come back,” the manager said. “I mean, if I have to go to Kansas and take him and all his cattle to Florida, I will.”
Washington brought postseason baseball to the capital for the first time since 1933. After coming within a strike of advancing to the NL championship series on five different pitches, the Nationals lost to St. Louis in Game 5 of the NL division series.
“I think we’re in a perfect position to show the world that we’re a pretty good damn ballclub, and we can go farther into the postseason,” Johnson said. “World Series or bust, that’s probably the slogan this year. But I’m comfortable with that.”