Quick Hits: Vogelsong, Royals, Lee, Erasmo

Ryan Vogelsong seemed to be on the verge of signing with the Astros before he eventually rejoined the Giants, and the righty hinted that there was something unusual about how negotiations broke down with Houston.  According to CBS Sports’ Jon Heyman, the issue was that after agreeing to sign Vogelsong to a one-year, $4MM deal, the Astros wanted to pay Vogelsong less after viewing the results of his physical.  Both Astros GM Jeff Luhnow and Vogelsong’s agent Dave Meier declined to comment to Heyman about the situation.

Here’s some more from around the baseball world…

  • The Royals are focused on winning now, which could change their handling of prospects Brandon Finnegan and Christian Colon, MLB.com’s Jeffrey Flanagan writes.  There is “a pretty healthy discussion going on within the Royals’ organization” about Finnegan, who could be a key left-handed bullpen weapon for K.C. this season, though such usage could also hurt his development as a future starter.  A similar argument could be made about Colon and whether he’d be better served playing every day at Triple-A or coming off the Royals’ bench as a utilityman.
  • Though he has a 2016 option that vests if he pitches 200 innings, Cliff Lee is entering his last guaranteed year under contract.  The Phillies southpaw told reporters (including David Murphy of the Philadelphia Daily News) that he’s hasn’t thought about what lies beyond the coming season.  “We’ll see what it brings,” Lee said.  “I definitely do not want to go out the way things happened last year, I don’t want that to be the way I finish my career, but at the same time I’m not going to sit there and try to fight that to get it done. I want to go out there and have fun and feel good and make it be a positive thing instead of it be a battle physically.”
  • Erasmo Ramirez is facing a roster crunch, as the out-of-options righty doesn’t appear to have a clear path to either a rotation or bullpen role with the Mariners, Bob Dutton of the Tacoma News Tribune writes.  The M’s don’t want to lose Ramirez but Dutton hears from multiple rival officials that Seattle stands little chance of sneaking Ramirez through waivers and down to the minors.  The Mariners also don’t stand to get much of a return in a possible trade, as one rival exec rhetorically asks, “How much are you going to give up for a guy who is likely to be on waivers in a few weeks?
  • The Giants will certainly monitor the market for right-handed hitting outfield bats in the wake of Hunter Pence‘s injury, FOX Sports’ Jon Morosi writes, though the club won’t jump to make a move.
  • Using 2014 attendance figures and Forbes’ evaluations of franchise values, Fangraphs’ Craig Edwards calculates each team’s “expected payroll” to see how clubs spend in relation to their markets.  The Tigers outspend their market by the most while the Yankees rank last, though Edwards explains that ranking is slightly misleading since luxury tax payments aren’t factored into the equation.
  • Besides division rivals or intra-market rivals, Fangraphs’ Dave Cameron (writing for FOX Sports) looks at other pairs of teams that rarely seem to make trades with each other.
  • Injuries to several relievers could result in one or two young arms getting a shot in the Diamondbacks‘ Opening Day bullpen, Zach Buchanan of the Arizona Republic writes.

No Extension Talks Between White Sox, Samardzija

The possibility of a contract extension between Jeff Samardzija and the White Sox “hasn’t even been a topic of conversation,” the right-hander tells Jon Heyman of CBS Sports.  “We haven’t come close to crossing that bridge. We’re all working on getting the team where we want. That’s our main goal.”  Like most players, Samardzija would prefer to avoid negotiations once the season begins, as those talks “can become a distraction.”

Samardzija is heading into his last year under contract and will be one of the most sought-after names on the open market next winter; Tim Dierkes currently has the righty ranked ninth in the initial edition of the MLBTR 2016 Free Agent Power Rankings.  Samardzija’s case is somewhat unique since, as Heyman notes, he’s already made a significant amount of money in his career.  This could mean Samardzija would prioritize choosing a comfortable situation and winning team over a suitor that simply offers the biggest salary.  On the other hand, Samardzija also said that “it’s nice to see guys getting compensated for their work” in reference to other pitchers landing expensive deals and hinted that he’s looking for a contract that will cover his “next six, seven years.”

This next contract could still be with the White Sox, as Samardzija made it known that he is very “excited” by the team’s offseason moves and their promise for 2015.  He said he is “on great terms” with the club and there is similar interest on Chicago’s side, though it isn’t known whether the Sox have even brought up the topic with Samardzija since acquiring him from the A’s in December.

Whenever there’s a next deal with Jeff Samardzija, hopefully, it’s with the White Sox,” GM Rick Hahn said.  “The guy’s a competitor. He wants to win, and he’s a tireless worker who’s succeeded on the big stage. He’s a leader in the clubhouse, and a nice complement between Chris Sale and Jose Quintana.”

Given that Samardzija is only a year away from testing the market, however, it’s very unlikely that he would take an extension now unless the Sox greatly overpaid him — a move that, Heyman writes, would be very uncharacteristic of the club.  Along those same lines, it may be hard to see the White Sox spend the $100MM+ it will likely take to re-sign Samardzija next winter, though I’d argue that the team could indeed be suitors given how aggressive the Sox have been under Hahn.  Sale and Quintana are locked up on through (at least) 2018 and 2019 on what are looking like very team-friendly deals, which could Chicago to splurge on another front-of-the-rotation arm with a bigger price tag.


AL East Notes: Castillo, Yoon, Hoffman, Yankees

Rusney Castillo‘s strained oblique may cause him to miss a bit of Spring Training time, yet the injury isn’t considered to be particularly serious.  Still, WEEI.com’s Rob Bradford posits that this setback might convince the Red Sox to give Castillo some extra minor league preparation time at the start of the season and give the center field job to Mookie Betts.  Castillo told Bradford that he would be open to being in the minors if the team felt it necessary, and his long-term contract makes him secure about his role in Boston’s plans.  “Of course there is a degree of comfort in that that I’m going be here for a while,” Castillo said.  “At the same time, if you don’t want to be in the minor leagues ramp it up and work harder to not be there.”

Here’s some more from around the AL East…

  • Orioles executive VP Dan Duquette spoke to reporters (including MASNsports.com’s Roch Kubatko) about the team’s release of Suk-min Yoon earlier today and Yoon’s subsequent return to the KBO’s Kia Tigers.  Duquette confirmed that Yoon gave up the $4.15MM still owed to him under the Orioles contract in order to make the deal happen.  “The good part of this is that this didn’t work, but we were able to correct the mistake, if you will, and we have that money available to invest in other players,” Duquette said.
  • After a tumultuous year that has included Tommy John surgery, being drafted by the Blue Jays and then mentioned in trade rumors to acquire Duquette as Toronto’s new team president, Jeff Hoffman tells Sportsnet’s Shi Davidi that he is looking forward to just “putting on a uniform again” once he’s finished his rehab work.  Hoffman provides a progress report on his recovery from his surgery last May.
  • After years of struggling to find reliable left-handed relievers, the Yankees look to have solved the problem with Andrew Miller, Chasen Shreve and Justin Wilson all in the fold, Joel Sherman of the New York Post writes.  Ironically, this comes at a time when there are only a few standout left-handed hitters amongst the Yankees’ AL East rivals, Sherman notes.


Hunter Pence To Miss 6-8 Weeks With Forearm Fracture

Giants outfielder Hunter Pence has suffered a non-displaced ulnar fracture and will be sidelined for 6-8 weeks, the team announced.  Pence suffered the injury earlier today when he was hit by a pitch from Cubs righty Corey Black during a Spring Training game.  The fracture occurred just above Pence’s left wrist, so he was at least fortunate to avoid what could’ve been a more serious injury.

That said, Pence’s absence for some or all of April is clearly a setback for the Giants lineup.  Given how Pence’s time on the DL is expected to be relatively short, San Francisco will likely just use internal options like Gregor Blanco, Gary Brown or Justin Maxwell to fill Pence’s spot in right field.  (Or, one of those players could play in left, shifting Nori Aoki to RF.)

On the other hand, USA Today’s Bob Nightengale tweets that the Giants are “now looking for outfielders” and, in an earlier tweet, suggested that Allen Craig of the Red Sox could be “the perfect fit.”  I’m not sure if Craig, in particular, is a fit given his high salary and the fact that the Giants wouldn’t have a regular role for him once Pence returned.  It wouldn’t be surprising to see the team add a veteran outfielder on a minor league deal just for the sake of a bit more depth, yet a major acquisition like Craig would seem unnecessary unless there are setbacks in Pence’s recovery.

The durable Pence has played in at least 154 games in each of the last seven seasons.  His DL stint will snap his streak of 383 consecutive games played, which has been the longest active iron-man streak of any MLB player.


Mariners Designate Ji-Man Choi For Assignment

The Mariners have designated first baseman Ji-Man Choi for assignment, the team announced.  The move creates a 40-man roster spot for left-hander Edgar Olmos, who was returned to the M’s from the Rangers after Texas’ waiver claim on the southpaw was reversed.

Choi’s roster situation will likely be resolved by a trip to the 60-day disabled list, as he broke his right fibula during a Spring Training game on Wednesday.  He underwent surgery today and is expected to be out for four to six months.

Since joining Seattle’s farm system in 2010, Choi has a .304/.407/.492 slash line and 42 homers over 1470 minor league plate appearances.  Baseball America ranked Choi as the 25th-best prospect in the Mariners’ system prior to the 2014 season, but in April he was issued a 50-game suspension after testing positive for methandienone.


Hector Olivera May Have UCL Damage

7:34pm: Sources from within Olivera’s camp say Olivera has passed four physicals with no issues and the report about the UCL injury is “absolutely not true,” Baseball America’s Ben Badler reports (all Twitter links).  Olivera’s representatives also deny that they have received any offers; since Olivera isn’t officially a free agent yet, he isn’t allowed to negotiate with MLB teams.

6:17pm: Olivera’s representatives were surprised by the report, MLB.com’s Jesse Sanchez tweets.  To their knowledge, Olivera didn’t have any UCL damage and he “feels fine.”

6:08pm: Hector Olivera may have a damaged UCL in his throwing arm, sources tell Yahoo Sports’ Jeff Passan.  The extent of the damage is not known, but should Olivera have to undergo Tommy John surgery, the Cuban infielder would need six to nine months of recovery time, in all likelihood sidelining him for the entire 2015 season.

Olivera’s throwing arm didn’t raise any concerns during workouts for teams, Passan notes, though clubs were already conducting physicals on the infielder in order to be prepared for his eventual free agent clearance by Major League Baseball.

Olivera was reportedly looking for a six-year contract in the $70MM range from MLB teams, and at least five team executives told Peter Gammons that this was a realistic asking price.  Passan reports that Olivera had received at least one offer already that was north of $50MM.  Obviously this injury news will dampen Olivera’s market, and his hopes of a major payday could be scuttled altogether if he needs surgery.  The Dodgers, Braves, Mariners, A’s, Giants, Padres and Yankees were among the teams known to have an interest in Olivera’s services.


White Sox Release Tony Campana

Here are today’s minor transactions from around baseball, with the newest moves at the top of the post…

  • The White Sox have released outfielder Tony Campana, according to the International League’s official transactions page.  Campana signed a minor league contract with Chicago in November, but suffered a torn ACL during training session last month and is expected to miss the entire 2015 season.

Orioles Release Suk-min Yoon

6:07pm: The Orioles will save roughly $4.3MM in salary and expenses by releasing Yoon, Eduardo A. Encina of the Baltimore Sun reports (Twitter link).  Yoon’s camp first sought a release last month and gave up his remaining MLB salary to obtain it, MASNsports.com’s Roch Kubatko reports (Twitter links).

5:22pm: The Orioles have released right-hander Suk-min Yoon, according to the team’s public relations department (via Twitter).  The move allows Yoon to sign a contract with the Kia Tigers of the Korean Baseball Organization.  Yoon will earn $8.2MM over four years with the Tigers according to a Yonhap News report, which is the largest contract even given to a free agent by a KBO team.

News broke earlier today that Yoon and the Orioles were working towards ending their relationship after Yoon didn’t report to the team’s minor league Spring Training camp over the weekend.  Yoon was reportedly disappointed over not receiving an invitation to the Major League camp, which may have been the final straw between the two sides.

Yoon signed a three-year, $5.575MM deal with the Orioles in February 2014 that could’ve been worth as much as $13.075 if he’d reached all of his contract incentives.  Instead, Yoon spent the entire 2014 season at Triple-A Norfolk, posting a 5.74 ERA, 2.58 K/BB rate and 6.3 K/9 over 95 2/3 innings (18 of Yoon’s 23 appearances were starts).  He was outrighted off Baltimore’s 40-man roster last August.

Financial details of the transactions weren’t released, but the Orioles still owe Yoon $4.15MM through the end of the 2016 season.  It’s possible Yoon and agent Scott Boras could’ve waived the remaining salary to facilitate a release, or the Kia Tigers could’ve sent Baltimore some money, though this is just speculation on my part.

Yoon spent his first nine professional seasons with the Kia Tigers, posting a few outstanding seasons as a starter but also seeing significant time in the bullpen.  MLBTR’s Tim Dierkes profiled Yoon in October 2013, noting that there was some question about whether or not the righty would fit into North American baseball as a starter or a reliever.


NL East Notes: Minor, Haren, Lee, Phillies

Braves lefty Mike Minor will have his throwing shoulder examined by Dr. James Andrews sometime early next week, reports Mark Bowman of MLB.com (on Twitter). Minor’s shoulder tightness was noted by Bowman yesterday, with the MLB.com adding that he expected Minor to be unable to claim a rotation spot to open the year due to the issue. The Braves have a number of alternatives in camp, should Minor be unable to open the season with the team. Both Eric Stults and Wandy Rodriguez were added on minor league deals this winter, and the highly regarded Michael Foltynewicz was sent to the Braves from the Astros in the Evan Gattis trade.

Elsewhere in the NL East…

  • Dan Haren tells Jon Heyman of CBS Sports that part of the reason for his initial uncertainty about pitching for the Marlins was that he wasn’t sure if the team truly wanted him. The Marlins took on Haren only after the Dodgers agreed to pay all $10MM of his salary, and the main focus of the trade did seem to be acquiring Dee Gordon. Additionally, the Marlins didn’t even require Haren to take a physical prior to the trade — something he’s never experienced in being traded before. In fact, Haren was once nearly traded to the Cubs before a physical caused the deal to fall through. However, he’s now on board with pitching for the Marlins and is ready to compete for “at least” one more year, suggesting that he may not retire after this season, as many believed. And as for whether or not the Marlins wanted Haren, GM Dan Jennings said there is no doubt: “Oh, we wanted the pitcher. He goes to the post every year.”
  • Prior to today’s start, Phillies left-hander Cliff Lee told reporters, including Jake Kaplan of the Philadelphia Inquirer, that he’s on a normal spring schedule at this point and feels healthy. Lee has been on a normal throwing program after throwing 15 bullpen sessions at his Arkansas home, and while it’s too early to read anything into his spring results, he did fire two scoreless innings in today’s outing, allowing two hits without a walk (and no strikeouts).
  • The Phillies also announced today that they’ve added right-handers Seth Rosin and Mike Nesseth as non-roster invitees to Major League camp. Each was already with the Phils, though to this point they’d been in minor league camp. If Rosin’s name looks a bit familiar, it’s because he was selected by the Mets in last year’s Rule 5 Draft and immediately traded to the Dodgers for cash. The Rangers then claimed him off waivers and held onto him briefly before returning him to Philadelphia.

NL Central Notes: K-Rod, Brewers, Badenhop, Cubs

Francisco Rodriguez still has to pass a physical with the Brewers before he can have his deal officially announced, tweets Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel. However, Rodriguez is still getting his visa sorted out and is therefore experiencing a delay in the process. The Brewers, of course, re-signed Rodriguez to a two-year, $13MM deal to serve as their closer once again.

Here’s more from the National League Central…

  • Luis Jimenez, who is out of options, is competing with Luis Sardinas and Hector Gomez for a utility infield role with the Brewers, writes Haudricourt. Jimenez and Gomez may have the upper hand, but if Sardinas hits and proves himself to be capable at third base, Jimenez could be squeezed out of a roster spot. The Brewers have two bench spots to be filled by these three players, writes Haudricourt, but going with Sardinas would of course lead to the risk of losing Jimenez on waivers at the end of Spring Training.
  • Reds reliever Burke Badenhop tells MLB.com’s Mark Sheldon that he found the free agent process “nerve-racking” despite being pleased with the results. “I continued to fall back on the point that we knew what was out there,” said Badenhop, kind of where I fit in the market. It’s kind of a funky spot, not really crystal clear. Nobody that was ahead of me was getting worse deals than I thought I should have got and nobody behind me was getting better deals.”
  • The role of Cubs‘ fifth starter is “for all practical purposes” Travis Wood‘s to lose, ESPN Chicago’s Jesse Rogers wrote yesterday. The Cubs have Jon Lester, Jake Arrieta, Jason Hammel and Kyle Hendricks in the front four slots, with Wood, Edwin Jackson and Tsuyoshi Wada competing for the fifth slot. Rogers does note that Jackson or Wada could force their way into the role, but it seems likely that at least one of the three candidates for the final spot will be traded this spring, in Rogers’ estimation. I have a difficult time seeing any club agreeing to take on Jackson’s remaining $22MM; a release may be the more likely outcome, though that’s a large chunk of money for any team to swallow. For those wondering, Wood will earn just under $5.7MM in 2015 and is controllable through the 2016 season via arbitration, while Wada is earning $4MM this season on a one-year deal.

2015 Draft Pool Changes By Team

Last week, Baseball America’s John Manuel reported an 8.77 percent increase among draft pool allotments from 2014. That change was highly significant, as the draft pools only rose by a combined 1.7 percent from 2013 to 2014. Thanks to the data provided by BA, we’re able to look and see which clubs will see the largest increase and largest decline from their 2014 pools.

Draft Pool Changes

2015 draft pool gains and losses

As you can see, the D-Backs, who selected 16th overall in 2014 but will have the No. 1 pick in this year’s draft, saw the largest increase, adding more than $6MM to their allotment by virtue of their improved draft status. Meanwhile, the Mets, who forfeited their top pick — one of the highest unprotected picks in this year’s draft — in order to sign Michael Cuddyer to a two-year contract, won’t select until No. 53 overall and, as such, have the lowest pool among teams in this year’s draft.

The Astros possess the largest pool of all, which shouldn’t be surprising, considering the fact that they have the No. 2 and No. 5 overall selections based on their failure to sign 2014 No. 1 pick Brady Aiken and their poor record this past season. Houston also acquired a Competitive Balance Round A pick (No. 37 overall) from the Marlins in last summer’s Jarred Cosart trade, which explains in large part why the Marlins’ own draft pool is the most shrunken in all of baseball. Miami dropped from the No. 2 overall slot to the No. 12 overall pick in this year’s draft as well, and they also had a supplemental third-round pick in 2014 for failing to sign 2013 third-rounder Ben DeLuzio, which they of course do not have in 2015. As such, their $7.4MM free-fall isn’t exactly surprising.

In addition to the previously mentioned Mets, other clubs that signed players who rejected qualifying offers all saw decreases in their bonus pools as well. The White Sox (David Robertson and Melky Cabrera) saw a decrease of $4.16MM, the Blue Jays (Russell Martin) dropped by $4MM, the Mariners (Nelson Cruz) fell by $2.58MM, the Nationals (Max Scherzer) lost $1.17MM and the Padres saw a $921K decrease after signing James Shields.

Toronto’s $4MM drop may seem steep since they did receive a comp pick in exchange for Cabrera signing with the White Sox, but the Blue Jays do not pick until 29th overall this season after selecting ninth and 11th in 2014. (Toronto had an extra first-round pick after not signing 2013 first-rounder Phil Bickford.)

Another team whose change is perhaps surprising at first is the Red Sox, who forfeited a pair of picks to sign both Pablo Sandoval and Hanley Ramirez but saw just a $150K decrease. However, it must also be noted that Boston leaped from 26th overall coming off a World Series to a protected pick — No. 7 overall — after their surprising fall to last place in the AL East. Likewise, the Twins signed Ervin Santana despite a qualifying offer and saw just a $137K drop. Minnesota’s top pick, too, was protected, so the Twins instead forfeited their second-round pick to land Santana. They also picked up a Competitive Balance Round B pick in this year’s Competitive Balance Lottery after not having a Comp Balance pick in 2014.

The only other players to reject qualifying offers last year were Victor Martinez and Francisco Liriano, both of whom re-signed with their previous teams anyhow. As for the rest of the teams to gain picks from qualifying offers, the Rockies ($5.6MM), Orioles ($5.5MM), Yankees ($4.7MM), Braves ($3.8MM), Tigers ($2.2MM), Dodgers ($2MM) and Giants ($1.6MM) each saw increases. The Royals, despite gaining a pick for the loss of Shields, still saw a $1.4MM dip, though that was due to dropping from 17th to 21st in the draft order and also missing out on a Comp Balance pick in this year’s lottery.


Cubs To Sign Phil Coke

2:15pm: Coke’s deal will pay him $2.25MM if he makes the Major League club with the opportunity to earn up to $900K more via incentives, reports MLive.com’s Chris Iott (Twitter links). The incentives kick in beginning with his 35th appearance of the season, Iott adds.

9:08am: The Cubs have agreed to sign left-handed reliever Phil Coke to a minor league deal, Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reports (Twitter links). Coke turned down at least one MLB offer, per the report.

Coke, 32, will give Chicago another southpaw option to pair with Felix Doubront in the pen. Chicago somewhat surprisingly decided to non-tender Wesley Wright earlier in the offseason, leaving some uncertainty in the depth chart. There are other internal options as well, such as Zac Rosscup and Drake Britton.

In Coke, the Cubs have added a still-live arm with a history of underperforming his peripherals. With the Tigers last year, he worked to a 3.88 ERA with 6.4 K/9 against 3.1 BB/9 over 58 frames. Unsurprisingly, Coke was much more effective when he enjoyed the platoon advantage (.691 OPS) than when pitching to right-handed hitters (.871).


NL West Notes: Outfielders, Rosario, Rollins, Dodgers

The trade market is still full of outfielders, writes Jon Morosi of FOX Sports. That is especially true in the NL West, where four teams — the Rockies (Brandon Barnes, Charlie Blackmon, Drew Stubbs), Dodgers (Andre Ethier), D-Backs (Cody Ross, Ender Inciarte, David Peralta and, to a lesser extent, Mark Trumbo and A.J. Pollock), and Padres (Will Venable, Cameron Maybin and Carlos Quentin) — all have surpluses. And the Red Sox, too, may feel compelled to move an outfielder given their slate of options, as MLBTR’s Jeff Todd covered at length in February. Jeff and I discussed Ethier in particular on the latest MLBTR Podcast, in light of recent reports indicating that the Dodgers may be willing to absorb as much as $28MM of his remaining $56MM to facilitate a trade.

Here’s more from the NL West…

  • Wilin Rosario has looked comfortable at first base early in game action this spring, writes MLB.com’s Thomas Harding. The Rockies signed Nick Hundley to be their primary backstop, so Rosario will see increased time at first base this winter, particularly against tougher left-handed pitching. Doing so will help spell Justin Morneau. However, Rosario is still expected to see some time behind the dish. And, I would speculate that Rosario is likely very much still available on the trade market should another team make what GM Jeff Bridich and his staff consider to be a suitable offer, though the rookie GM said in January that no such offers had been received.
  • Dodgers shortstop Jimmy Rollins told Jon Heyman of CBS Sports that the Phillies presented him with four possible trade destinations: the Dodgers, Yankees, Mets and Padres. A report earlier this week said that the Mets may have been Rollins’ second choice, and he admitted to Heyman that was perhaps possible, but it’d have required some thought. The Dodgers, however, were his clear first choice, Rollins explained. He wasn’t interested in trying to fill Derek Jeter‘s shoes at age 36 (“If I was 26, OK. But I’m 36. There was not enough time.”) and he didn’t feel the Padres were close enough to competing. Of course, little did Rollins know what type of aggressive restructuring San Diego GM A.J. Preller was about to undertake. The shortstop also told Heyman he’s open to the idea of playing until age 40 and said the idea of reaching 3,000 hits (he’s 694 shy) holds great appeal to him.
  • Fangraphs’ Kiley McDaniel posted his ranking of the Dodgers‘ top prospects today, and some fans may be interested to see that he ranked the highly touted Julio Urias ahead of fellow top prospect Corey Seager. While the two have similar future value and risk, in McDaniel’s estimation, most other outlets do have Seager slightly ahead of Urias. Of course, I’m splitting hairs by calling attention to the distinction, as McDaniel recently ranked Urias as the No. 4 and No. 6 prospects in all of baseball, respectively, and most agree that the duo ranks firmly in the game’s Top 10-15 prospects.

MLB Trade Rumors Podcast: Will Ohman

Jeff covers the MLB’S quick hits, welcomes veteran southpaw reliever Will Ohman on to talk about his career and future plans (2:01), and then discusses Andre Ethier‘s marketability and possible destinations with MLBTR’s Steve Adams (28:20).

Click here to subscribe to the podcast on iTunes, and please leave a review! The podcast is also available via Stitcher at this link.

The MLB Trade Rumors Podcast runs weekly on Thursday afternoons.


Orioles, Suk-min Yoon Finalizing Contract Settlement

11:37am: Baltimore is attempting to finalize a deal with Yoon that would release him from his MLB contract, Eduardo Encina of the Baltimore Sun reports on Twitter. The deal would allow Yoon to resume his career in Korea.

9:05am: The Orioles appear to be on the way to severing their relationship with Korean hurler Suk-min Yoon, as Roch Kubatko of MASNsports.com reports (Twitter links). Reports had emerged from South Korean media indicating that Yoon was on his way back, following recent indications of strains between player and team.

Yoon had been scheduled to report to minor league camp on Saturday, but it appears he will instead head to Korea. The precise nature of the transaction that could or will take place remains unclear, though it would seem reasonable to expect some kind of buyout negotiation. Baltimore inked the Scott Boras client to a three-year, $5.575MM deal last year, leaving salary obligations among the matters to be addressed.

Yoon never got going last year, ultimately ending his campaign with a 5.74 ERA in 95 2/3 Triple-A innings and 6.3 K/9 against 2.4 BB/9. He dealt with shoulder issues along the way and was ultimately outrighted in mid-season. The O’s decided against inviting him to big league camp this spring, which seemingly precipitated today’s developments.