Hot Stove roundup: Burnett hitting open market?
Right-hander subject of reports; Chapman inks deal; Garza contract details emerge
The Hot Stove's waiting game continued on Tuesday, as very little news came from the remaining big names on the free-agent market.
But the rumor mill continued to spin throughout the day, and a couple arbitration updates and minor signings graced the headlines.
For months, it appeared free-agent right-hander A.J. Burnett would either pitch for Pittsburgh or not pitch at all in 2014. But on Thursday, several reports indicated Burnett may have hit the open market.
"I can't say he has not. I'm not aware of every discussion there might have been," Pirates general manager Neal Huntington said. "All I can say is he has been very public with his intent to pitch in Pittsburgh or not pitch at all. Do I blindly put faith in that? No. But he's been very open with us, and continues to be very open."
In other Hot Stove news Tuesday:
• The Reds and closer Aroldis Chapman avoided arbitration by splitting the difference between their offers. Chapman had asked for $4.6 million, and the Reds had offered $5.4 million.
Sensibly, the two sides agreed to a $5 million contract for the 25-year-old, who has saved 38 games in each of the past two seasons.
• Several important details have emerged in Matt Garza's contract, including some protection for the Brewers should Garza come into any injury trouble. On Sunday, the club announced a four-year deal with Garza worth $50 million.
• Ubaldo Jimenez, Ervin Santana, Stephen Drew, Nelson Cruz and Kendrys Morales are all plagued by a similar problem, MLB.com's Anthony Castrovince writes. The quintet of free agents are all tied to Draft pick compensation and are worse off because of it.
• Braves stars Freddie Freeman and Jason Heyward will have business to attend to once their arbitration hearings arrive in a couple weeks. But for now, their focus is on the upcoming season, Braves beat reporter Mark Bowman writes.
• Looking to add some bench depth, the Nationals may be interested in utility man Jeff Baker .
• Yuniesky Betancourt was rumored as a candidate for a Spring Training invite and a non-guaranteed contract with several clubs. Instead, he signed a guaranteed one-year deal -- with the Orix Buffaloes in Japan.