Free agents reject $13.3 million deals with hope of more on open market

baseball notebook: Josh Hamilton among 9 free agents to turn down offers ahead of winter meetings

McClatchy news servicesNovember 10, 2012 

Josh Hamilton, B.J. Upton and Kyle Lohse were among nine free agents who turned down $13.3 million offers from their former clubs Friday as the annual general managers’ meetings ended in Indian Wells, Calif., and team officials headed home for what figures to be a busy month of negotiations.

Also rejecting the one-year guaranteed offers were the New York Yankees’ trio of Nick Swisher, Rafael Soriano and Hiroki Kuroda along with David Ortiz, Michael Bourn and Adam LaRoche.

Under baseball’s new labor contract, all the deadlines of the business season has been speeded up in an attempt to prompt quicker decisions before the Christmas holidays. That should create more activity in the market before teams head to the winter meetings in Nashville, Tenn., from Dec. 3-6.

Just nine of 165 major league free agents were given the offers – Ortiz then agreed to a $26 million, two-year deal to stay with the Red Sox. The group all said no in anticipation of receiving more dollars and years on the open market.

HALL OF FAMER LEE MACPHAIL DIES AT 95

Lee MacPhail, a longtime baseball executive who became part of the only father-son Hall of Fame pairing, has died. He was 95.

MacPhail died Thursday night at his home in Delray Beach, Fla. He was the oldest Hall of Famer in baseball.

MacPhail was part of one of baseball’s most famous families. He followed his father, Larry, into the Hall and his son, Andy, became a top executive for several major league teams.

Lee MacPhail was GM and president of the Baltimore Orioles and general manager of the Yankees before serving as AL president from 1974 through the 1983 season.

Bobby Doerr at 94 becomes the oldest living Hall of Famer following MacPhail’s death.

SHORT HOPS

Cincinnati Reds left-handed reliever Bill Bray and infielder Wilson Valdez refused outright assignments to the minor leagues, choosing to become free agents. ... Catcher Mike Nickeas agreed to a minor league contract with the Mets.He hit .174 with one homer and 13 RBI in 109 at-bats over a career-high 47 games for the Mets this year.

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