AL West Links: Freese, Felix, Rangers

Switch-pitcher Pat Venditte earned his first Major League win today, tossing two scoreless frames to help the Athletics notch a 7-4 victory over the Diamondbacks in 11 innings.  While Venditte is known mostly for his singular pitching style, he’s also posted a decent 3.31 ERA over 16 1/3 relief innings for the A’s in his rookie season.  Here’s more from around the AL West…

  • There is a growing sentiment within the Angels front office that David Freese should be re-signed, MLB.com’s Alden Gonzalez reports, though things could change once the team hires its new general manager.  Freese is admired for his clubhouse leadership, and while the Angels’ slump obviously isn’t solely due to Freese’s DL stint (he’s recovering from a fractured finger), it’s worth noting that the Halos are 11-23 since Freese’s last game.  The former World Series MVP has just a .240/.309/.397 slash line and 11 homers in 353 PA this season, though Gonzalez surmises he could strong interest in free agency given the lack of third base options on the market.  If the Angels aren’t willing to bring him back, they could turn to Kaleb Cowart or Kyle Kubitza at the hot corner.
  • While the next Mariners GM will have to fix some significant weaknesses on the roster and in the farm system, it’s not impossible that the M’s could contend as quickly as next season, Larry Stone of the Seattle Times writes.  Perhaps most intriguingly, Stone suggests that the new GM will have to at least consider the idea of trading Felix Hernandez, which would both clear payroll space and restock the farm with some blue chip talent.  Stone stops short of advocating that a Hernandez trade would or should happen, however, and it could be a moot point anyway since Hernandez has full no-trade protection.
  • Sam Dyson and Jake Diekman didn’t just upgrade the Rangers bullpen by themselves, but their acquisitions also helped reinvigorate Keone Kela, Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News writes.  The righty was demoted to Triple-A on August 1 to keep his arm fresh, a move Texas could afford to make with their new arms in the pen.  Since being recalled on August 11, Kela has recorded 12 strikeouts (against just one walk and four hits) over 9 1/3 scoreless relief innings.  Kela has put up strong numbers in his rookie season, posting a 2.72 ERA, 3.93 K/BB rate and 59 strikeouts in 53 innings.

Extension Candidate: Jake Arrieta

In the midst of a second straight exceptional year, Cubs starter Jake Arrieta appears likely to sign a big contract at some point, whether that’s an extension with the Cubs or a free-agent deal following the 2017 season. The Cubs, however, have not begun extension discussions with Arrieta (as Gordon Wittenmyer of the Chicago Sun-Times recently reported) and it’s not clear whether they’ll do so. Arrieta is already under team control for two more seasons, and the Cubs might feel that adding additional pitching talent this offseason is a higher priority than signing a pitcher they already have.

USATSI_8706115_154513410_lowresIf the Cubs did want to sign Arrieta, they would have a tough task ahead of them, though perhaps not an impossible one. Via CSNChicago.com’s Patrick Mooney, agent Scott Boras strongly suggests Arrieta won’t be cheap, comparing him to Max Scherzer and arguing that Arrieta’s relatively low innings totals (he’s pitched 740 1/3 in his career) make him a good bet to age well. Arrieta’s arm is “kind of ideal for the free-agent dynamic,” Boras says. But Arrieta himself said last season that he would be interested in staying in Chicago and that he wouldn’t ask for an “astronomical amount of money.”

Of course, if Arrieta were to ask for an astronomical amount of money, he’d be more likely to get it now than he was then. He finished ninth in NL Cy Young voting in 2014 and has followed up that breakout season with an even better one, pitching more innings per start and posting a career-high ground-ball rate (53.9%) while maintaining his strong peripherals (9.2 K/9, 2.2 BB/9). He currently ranks first in the league in wins (16), second in ERA (2.22) and fourth in strikeouts (178), setting him up for a huge raise on his $3.63MM salary through the arbitration process this winter.

Finding precedents for an Arrieta extension is difficult. Extensions for pitchers who are already arbitration eligible frequently only buy out arbitration seasons and do not delay free agency, as with recent extensions for Lance Lynn, Jordan Zimmermann and Mat Latos. (It’s certainly possible that the Cubs could sign Arrieta to a two-year deal in a similar mold, but that wouldn’t change much about his future with the organization.) Wade Miley gave up a year of free agency eligibility in his recent deal with the Red Sox, although Arrieta is obviously a much better pitcher. Matt Harrison‘s $55MM deal with the Rangers is probably the clearest comparable for Arrieta, particularly given that Harrison was coming off his first arbitration season and made a salary similar to Arrieta’s ($2.95MM). Arrieta is also better than Harrison was, though, and Harrison’s deal is almost three years old.

Using Harrison’s deal as a potential precedent is tricky for another reason, too. Harrison was only 27 at the time of his deal and figured to have another shot at a significant payday even after it was over. Arrieta is older, and if he were to agree to a long-term deal now, it would likely be the only significant multi-year contract of his career.

Then you have to factor in the escalation in salaries of starting pitchers since Harrison’s extension. Homer Bailey received a nine-figure deal from the Reds, and his best seasons prior to the deal were nowhere near as good as Arrieta’s last two. Bailey was a year closer to free agency than Arrieta is, but given the raise Arrieta is likely to receive this offseason, he could easily make $20MM-$25MM total in his last two years before free agency eligibility anyway. Beyond that, he could credibly ask for $20MM per season, and that might even be slightly undershooting it. Rick Porcello‘s four-year, $82.5MM deal with the Red Sox strongly suggests Arrieta ought to be worth more than $20MM a year, even though Arrieta doesn’t have youth on his side as Porcello did.

A five-year deal for Arrieta, then, could get close to the $100MM mark, and a six-year deal could push past the nine-figure mark. It seems unlikely that Boras would settle for anything less than five years, and probably even six, given that signing an extension that delays free agency by only a year or two likely wouldn’t provide Arrieta with enough of a financial incentive to put off seeking a big free-agent contract.

There’s also the problem of how a five- or six-year deal would work for the Cubs. A five-year deal would still be on the books in 2020, by which point the Cubs look somewhat likely to be dealing with significant arbitration raises for key younger players like Kris Bryant, Addison Russell, Kyle Schwarber, and others. They will probably also wish to extend at least some of those players. They’ll also likely still be dealing with the contracts of Jon Lester, Anthony Rizzo and any pitcher they sign this offseason.

That isn’t to say that a deal for Arrieta would be impossible. It seems likely that the Cubs’ budget will be significantly larger in 2020, with more money coming in from a new TV deal. If it is, the fuss over whether they can afford Arrieta might end up being mostly irrelevant. But, given that they already control Arrieta through his age-31 season, could be in line for a draft pick if he signs elsewhere, and that Boras is surely highly curious about the free-agent market, perhaps it isn’t surprising that the two sides haven’t struck a deal.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.


Padres Claim Chris Rearick, Designate Caleb Thielbar

The Padres claimed left-hander Chris Rearick off waivers from the Rangers, the team announced (via Twitter).  In a corresponding move, San Diego designated southpaw Caleb Thielbar for assignment.

Rearick is back with the Padres just a few days after the Rangers themselves claimed him off waivers.  Rearick had been designated for assignment by San Diego and was quickly DFA’ed again by Texas to make room for young lefty Andrew Faulkner.  Rearick made his MLB debut earlier this season with the Padres, and he has a 12.00 ERA over three innings in the Show.

San Diego claimed Thielbar off waivers after Minnesota designated him assignment on July 31.  The lefty has a 2.41 ERA over 41 innings for the Padres’ and Twins’ Triple-A affiliates, despite an unimpressive 1.09 K/BB rate (25 strikeouts and 23 walks).  This year’s peripherals aside, Thielbar has posted solid numbers over his minor league career and he has a 2.74 ERA, 7.2 K/9 and 2.63 K/BB rate over 98 2/3 Major League innings with the Twins.

Thielbar joins five other players in “DFA limbo,” and you can keep track of their status via the MLB Trade Rumors DFA Tracker.



MLBTR Originals

A look back at the original reporting and analysis found on MLBTR the last seven days:

  • The MLB Trade Rumors mailbag is back!  This week, Steve Adams fielded questions on Zack Greinke, Jeff Samardzija, Khris Davis, C.C. Sabathia, and more.  To submit questions for a future installment of the mailbag, email mlbtrmailbag@gmail.com.
  • In this week’s edition of the MLBTR Podcast, host Jeff Todd chatted with Josh Chetwynd of Elite Sports Group about his experiences in European baseball as both a player and a player representative.  Chetwynd, who has been elected into the British baseball hall of fame and negotiated a European-record $1.3MM bonus for Italian shortstop Marten Gasparini, discussed the key differences between that emerging market and other international arenas.  A new episode of the MLB Trade Rumors Podcast will be released every Thursday and can be accessed on iTunesSoundCloud, and Stitcher.
  • Charlie Wilmoth checked in on the free agent stock of Alex Gordon.  Charlie speculates on the market that Gordon could encounter this winter and also wonders if KC might be able to come to the table with an offer good enough to retain him
  • Recently, MLB Trade Rumors launched a brand new official Instagram account:@TradeRumorsMLB.  Each day, we’re sharing conversation-inspiring images about the hottest topics in baseball.  From there, we invite you to give us a like, weigh in with your thoughts in the comments section, and even share the link with a friend.  So, what are you waiting for?  If you don’t have an Instagram account, this is the perfect excuse to sign up and get one.  Follow us on Instagram today!
  • Gerardo Parra is hitting the ball well this season.  What kind of deal could he get for 2016 and beyond?  Jeff Todd broke it all down.
  • Steve highlighted three major needs that the Rockies have, including their need to find a long-term solution behind the plate.
  • If you missed out on Steve’s weekly chat, get caught up with the transcript here.
  • Earlier today we rounded up the best from the baseball blogosphere in our weekly feature, Baseball Blogs Weigh In.

Full Story | 0 Comments | Categories: MLBTR Originals

NL East Notes: Mets, Reed, Marlins

The Mets claimed “lots of” relievers on waivers this week but they’re unlikely to complete any additional deals between now and the Sept. 1 waiver trade deadline, a source tells Anthony DiComo of MLB.com.  The Mets, of course, landed a reliever this weekend when they acquired Addison Reed from the D’Backs.  For his part, manager Terry Collins is excited about the addition of Reed and what he can bring to their “tired” bullpen.

  • Joe Frisaro of MLB.com (on Twitter) feels that the Marlins should be looking at Nationals hurler Doug Fister for next year.  Fister, a pending free agent, has struggled this year, pitching to a 4.66 ERA with 5.3 K/9 and 2.0 BB/9.  However, Frisaro sees him as a bounce-back candidate.  In 2014, Fister pitched to a 2.41 ERA with 5.4 K/9 and 1.3 BB/9.
  • Marlins assistant GM Mike Berger spoke to Rob Biertempfel of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review about the changes that have taken place since Dan Jennings was brought from the front office to the dugout.  “My title has not changed — it’s still vice president and assistant general manager — but my duties have,” Berger said. “There certainly are more phone calls to take than before, but it’s all in a day’s work. The one big change is that I am around the major league club far more often than I was previously. Before, I would divide my time with the major league club and our (farm) system.”
  • Reed handles left-handers well and that’ll be key for the Mets since they lost Jerry Blevins and designated Alex Torres for assignment, Baseball America writes.

Indians Looking To Sell Significant Ownership Stake

The Indians are looking to sell a significant minority stake in the team, according to Josh Kosman and Claire Atkinson of the New York Post.  Owner Paul Dolan enlisted boutique investment bank Allen & Co. several months ago to sell roughly 30% of his team.  Sources say that Allen wants to involve a new investor so that he can increase the club’s payroll.  Over the weekend, Dolan confirmed to Paul Hoynes of The Plain Dealer that he is seeking a minority owner and he explained that the process has been going on “for nearly a year.”

So far, Dolan has yet to find a taker due largely to his asking price.  Dolan believes that the team is worth roughly $800MM, but many disagree with that assessment.  The Indians, at present, are only breaking even.  Making matters worse, the team does not own a regional sports network like some other clubs do and they’re in the early stages of a long-term media rights deal.

One source familiar with the process says that he doesn’t see much financial upside with the Indians at this time.  Without a big TV deal, sports industry sources tell The Post duo that the Indians are worth about $600MM in total.  The Padres went for $800MM in 2012, but they had the benefit of a fat $1.2 billion TV deal.

The Indians have been near the bottom of the league in payroll in recent years and with the exception of 2001, they have never had an Opening Day tally higher than $90MM.  This year, the Indians had an Opening Day payroll of just under $88MM, which put them in the bottom five in MLB.  The Indians are 62-66 heading into today’s game against the Angels.


Phillies Claim Ken Roberts Off Waivers

The Phillies announced that they have claimed Ken Roberts off waivers from the Rockies.  Immediately after the claim, the left-hander was optioned to Triple-A Lehigh Valley.

Roberts, 27, was designated for assignment by Colorado late last week.  The hurler made his Major League debut for the Rox in 2015, appearing in nine games and totaling 9 1/3 innings with a 5.79 ERA and a five-to-two K/BB ratio. A longtime farmhand of the Rockies, Roberts was selected in the 25th round of the 2010 draft and posted strong minor league numbers until reaching Triple-A for the first time this season.

However, while Roberts has an unsightly 5.12 ERA in Triple-A this year, he’s posted an outstanding 28-to-4 K/BB ratio in 31 2/3 innings there. He’s surrendered a surprising and uncharacteristic 14.2 hits per nine innings in a very hitter-friendly Albuquerque environment due to a freakishly high .443 BABIP. While poor luck and a hitter-friendly environment probably aren’t solely to blame for his Triple-A struggles, there seems to be good reason to expect that Roberts would not continue to allow hits at such an alarming rate.

Now that Roberts has been claimed, there are six remaining players in DFA limbo, according to MLBTR’s DFA Tracker.


Mets Acquire Addison Reed From Diamondbacks

SUNDAY, 11:40am: The Mets have confirmed the trade via press release.

SATURDAY, 8:57pm: The Diamondbacks will receive 24-year-old pitcher Matt Koch and 23-year-old pitcher Miller Diaz, tweets Bob Nightengale of USA Today. Koch has a 3.46 ERA with 5.60 K/9 and 1.53 BB/9 at Double-A. He’s split his time between starting and relief. His fastball plays up to the mid-90’s out of the bullpen.

In High-A, Diaz has pitched to a 4.71 ERA with 7.09 K/9 and 4.34 BB/9 in 124 and 1/3 innings. He posted loftier strikeout rates in the previous two seasons. Both Koch and Diaz strikes me as the type of pitchers who could eventually reach the majors as a reliever.

6:18pm: The Mets have acquired reliever Addison Reed from the Diamondbacks pending a physical, tweets Adam Rubin of ESPN New York. Arizona will acquire two prospects in the swap. We learned earlier this afternoon that the Mets were in the hunt for relievers including Marc Rzepczynski of the Padres. Reed is arbitration eligible for two more seasons. However, with a $4.875MM contract in 2015, he’s a possible non-tender candidate.

Reed, 26, entered the 2015 season as the Diamondbacks closer. He lost the job early in the year. His peripherals have taken a step backwards with just 7.52 K/9 and 3.10 BB/9. He’s averaged over a strikeout per inning over his five season career and has never walked more than 3.00 BB/9.

The right-handed reliever has spent a large chunk of the season in the minors. Since he was recalled on July 29, he has a 1.65 ERA with 7.71 K/9 and 1.65 BB/9. After home runs punished him in 2014, he’s held opponents to a tiny 3.8 percent HR/FB rate all while increasing his ground ball rate. This year, the damage has come via an elevated .344 BABIP.

There is still a chance the deal is detailed by the medical review. Reed rushed back this spring from shoulder soreness. It’s possible his peripheral decline is related to lingering shouldering issues (that’s just my speculation).

The Mets will hope his recent performance is more indicative of what’s to come. New York has Tyler Clippard and Jeurys Familia for the eighth and ninth inning roles. Reed may fit in as a seventh inning reliever.


Cafardo On Rangers, Jackson, Brewers, Yankees

The Red Sox didn’t go by MLB’s minority hiring rules when they interviewed only Dave Dombrowski for the president of baseball ops role but they have been instructed to do so for the GM job, Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe writes.  If the Red Sox take the step of hiring a minority GM candidate, Cafardo suggests that Ken Williams would be a strong choice if he chooses to leave Chicago.  Here’s more from today’s column..

  • The Rangers were very interested in acquiring Austin Jackson “a few days ago,” but nothing came of those talks, Cafardo writes.  Jackson, 28, cleared waivers last week and was said to be generating interest, though it appears that no one wanted to take the remaining ~$1.7MM salary off the Mariners‘ hands.
  • Former Red Sox GM Ben Cherington is in play for the Brewers job, a major league source tells Cafardo.  “Despite his last-place finishes he’s seen as a team builder, especially when it comes to farm systems,” said the source.   The Angels, Mariners, and Phillies are also thought to be possibilities for Cherington.
  • The Yankees have been blocked in every attempt to add to their pitching, both out of the bullpen and in the starting rotation. Baseball sources tell Cafardo that GM Brian Cashman doesn’t seem optimistic about his odds of pulling anything off.  The Mets have been blocked from adding a reliever as well.
  • The Royals want a backup catcher for the playoffs just in case something happens to Salvador Perez.  KC turned down the opportunity to land A.J. Pierzynski from the Braves, Cafardo writes, but they’re still looking for an affordable left-handed hitting backstop. Some KC scouts like the Red Sox’s Ryan Hanigan, but he hits right-handed and has a $3.7MM salary next year with an option for 2017.
  • Unsurprisingly, Cafardo hears that the Rangers are looking for offense, the Twins are looking for relief help, and the Blue Jays want to add to their bullpen.  However, a deal for Toronto doesn’t seem likely at this time.
  • Cafardo writes that the Nationals, Padres, Red Sox, Mariners, Reds, Orioles, Indians, and Tigers are expected to be quite active this winter.

AL East Notes: Yankees, Red Sox, De Aza

If the Yankees had to win one playoff game and could send out whomever they wanted to the mound, that pitcher might be Nathan Eovaldi, Joel Sherman of the New York Post writes.  Eovaldi, who has posted a 2.93 ERA in his last 12 starts, has looked like a top starter for more than two months and a scout familiar with him from his NL days says he’s the best hurler the Yankees have right now.  The question is, is this all a fluke or is Eovaldi for real?  Sherman is betting on the latter.  Here’s more from the AL East..

  • Now that Alejandro De Aza has started two games in a row for the Red Sox, Peter Abraham of the Boston Globe (on Twitter) wonders aloud if the outfielder is being showcased for a trade.  Through 89 combined games for the Orioles and Red Sox this season, De Aza owns a .264/.320/.441 slash line.  The Dodgers and Giants both had interest in acquiring De Aza after he cleared waivers this month but both NL West teams felt that the asking price was too high.
  • New Red Sox president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski has a history of pulling off quality trades and he isn’t the type to beat around the bush when it comes to negotiating, Scott Lauber of the Boston Herald writes.  “There wasn’t a lot of back and forth,” said former Phillies GM Ed Wade, reflecting on his 2005 acquisition of Ugueth Urbina. “I think it was two or three calls. Every conversation with trades, even prior to that, was pretty matter of fact and to the point. Dave always seemed to get to the crux of the matter pretty quickly.”  Among the great deals on DD’s resume are the acquisitions of Miguel Cabrera and Max Scherzer and also Mike Lowell when he was with the Marlins.
  • Rays prospect Blake Snell could be the franchise’s next great starter, Roger Mooney of The Tampa Tribune writes.

Baseball Blogs Weigh In: Osuna, Orioles, Blue Jays

On this date in 2007, Tony La Russa became the winningest manager in franchise history when the Cardinals beat Cincinnati at Busch Stadium, as Leo Panetta of NationalPastime.com writes. Here’s this week’s look around the baseball blogosphere..

Please send submissions to Zach at ZachBBWI@gmail.com.


Quick Hits: Scully, Harang, Profar, Kirby

Legendary Dodgers broadcaster Vin Scully has announced his intention to return for the 2016 season. He expects it to be his final season as a broadcaster, writes Ken Gurnick of MLB.com. It will be his 67th season in the booth. As Sportsnet Stats tweeted earlier today, Scully has announced games involving A’s manager Connie Mack (born 1862) and Cubs shortstop Addison Russell (born 1994). He’s likely to see a couple even younger players including Julio Urias (born 1996).

Here’s more from around the league:

  • Phillies starter Aaron Harang was not claimed on waivers, reports Jon Heyman of CBS Sports. As Heyman notes, Harang has a 7.09 ERA since the All-Star break. He has about $1MM remaining on his $5MM contract and is a free agent following the season. The Cubs and Pirates are among the contenders in need of rotation depth, but it’s unclear if either team would view him as an upgrade over internal options. It doesn’t seem as though the Phillies could acquire much more than some financial relief or a non-prospect in a deal. As such, a trade may be unlikely.
  • Former number one prospect Jurickson Profar could work his way back onto the Rangers roster, writes Stefan Stevenson of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. The 22-year-old is rehabbing from multiple shoulder injuries. He won’t play the field this fall. However, he could help the club after rosters expand as a pinch-hitter or runner while working directly with the major league training staff.
  • Brewers prospect Nathan Kirby is likely to undergo Tommy John surgery, writes Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. The 40th overal pick of the 2015 draft led the University of Virginia Cavaliers to the 2015 World Series. An undisclosed medical issue -presumably the elbow issue – led the club to reduce the lefty’s signing bonus from $1.545MM to $1.25MM. Kirby will miss the entire 2016 season.

Orioles Still Searching For August Additions

The Orioles are still looking to add talent to the current roster, GM Dan Duquette tells reporters including Dan Connolly of the Baltimore Sun. The club is currently 9.5 games behind the Blue Jays in the AL East and 3.5 games back from the Rangers in the Wild Card race. Clearly, they have their eyes on a Wild Card bid. The team is going in the wrong direction, having lost eight of their last nine games.

Per Duquette, “if we make any deals, it would be because we are focused on helping improve the team.” He also confirmed that the club is focused on the 2015 season. Earlier in the week, we learned that the Orioles have been active on the waiver wire with one unnamed GM saying, “the Orioles seemingly claim everyone.”

Baltimore could deal an impending free agent like Darren O’Day, Wei-Yin Chen, or Chris Davis, but Duquette insisted the idea behind any trade is to improve the current product. In my opinion, the club is weakest in the outfield, rotation, and bullpen. If they were to execute a swap, it would probably be for a fourth outfielder, rotation depth, or middle inning reliever.


Mets Claim Marc Rzepczynski On Revocable Waivers, In Talks With Padres

8:42pm: The Mets are unlikely to work out a trade with the Padres for Rzepczynski, a source tells Newsdays’ Marc Carig. At this time, it’s unclear if that’s because the club landed an alternative. The acquisition of Addison Reed doesn’t necessarily affect the Mets interest in Rzepczynski since the latter reliever is a lefty specialist. 

4:15pm: The Mets have claimed Padres lefty Marc Rzepczynski, Rosenthal tweets. It’s not yet clear exactly when they would need to complete a deal for him. Rzepczynski, who turns 30 today, has a 4.88 ERA with 10.7 K/9 and 3.9 BB/9 in 27 2/3 innings this year with Cleveland and San Diego. The Padres acquired him for Abraham Almonte at last month’s deadline. He’s making $2.4MM this season and will be eligible for arbitration again this winter. He might not be the only player they’re working on acquiring — Rubin tweets that the Mets have claimed a reliever from another NL team.

3:09pm: The Mets claimed the reliever from an NL team and are currently in discussions with that team, Rubin tweets.

2:07pm: The Mets have made a claim involving a reliever on revocable waivers and are waiting to see how it turns out, Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reports (Twitter links). It’s unclear whether the pitcher’s current team will pull him back from waivers or let him go, either by simply by allowing the waiver claim or by negotiating a trade.

1:34pm: The Mets are progressing on a move to add a reliever, ESPN New York’s Adam Rubin tweets. He emphasizes that a deal might not ultimately be consummated, but writes that the team is involved in real discussions.

Earlier this week, it looked like the Mets might not be able to strike a deal, and GM Sandy Alderson had previously expressed pessimism about the possibility of making a trade. Now that a trade looks more likely, though, it seems likely the Mets are on the hunt for a lefty (although a righty certainly could also be a possibility). They’ve struggled to find a second consistent left-handed arm this season, and their current group of righties (Jeurys Familia, Tyler Clippard, Hansel Robles, Carlos Torres and Logan Verrett) has mostly performed well, despite the losses of Jenrry Mejia (to a suspension) and Bobby Parnell (to the disabled list).

The Mets lost one lefty, Jerry Blevins, to injury earlier this year, and they designated another, Alex Torres, after he walked 26 batters in 34 1/3 innings. They’ve gotten good results this year from Sean Gilmartin, but Eric O’Flaherty hasn’t worked out since they acquired him from the Athletics earlier this month. (As another potential lefty relief option, they also have Dario Alvarez, who’s performed well in the high minors this season, on their 40-man roster.)

MLBTR’s list of players who have cleared revocable waivers doesn’t contain any lefty relievers, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t any available, since it isn’t always known to the public which players have cleared. It’s also possible the Mets could claim a player and work out a deal with his team.


Rosenthal’s Latest: Farrell, GM Changes, Wright, Dodgers

Here’s the latest from Ken Rosenthal, via a trio of videos on FOX Sports:

  • Red Sox manager John Farrell, who is battling lymphoma, has completed the first of three rounds of chemotherapy. He’s visiting the Sox each day they’re at Fenway and holding video chats with interim manager Torey Lovullo and his coaching staff when the team is away. New Sox president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski has not said whether Farrell will return next season, however, regardless of his health.
  • Following what’s been a tumultuous month in many team front offices, the Phillies and Reds could be among the next teams to make GM changes, Rosenthal says. There could be up to ten manager changes as well.
  • Rosenthal also interviews Mets third baseman David Wright, who recently returned to the lineup after missing almost four months due to a hamstring injury and an ongoing back issue. Wright discusses what it’s like to deal with a lingering condition. Some days are better than others, he says, and a player needs to be honest, because if he tries to play on a bad day, he’ll be hurting his team.
  • The Dodgers‘ massive $300MM payroll may be a one shot deal. They’re paying a large chunk of change for players who aren’t even on the roster like Matt Kemp, but they were able to acquire additional talent by doing so. This year, they’re paying a 40 percent tax on overages beyond the roughly $189MM soft cap. Next season, the penalty will increase to 50 percent. However, prospects like Corey Seager and Julio Urias are expected to be on hand to reduce the luxury burden.
  • Marlins manager Dan Jennings is a potential candidate for the Mariners open GM job. He has past experience working for Seattle as a scout and crosschecker. Most teams allow their employees to interview for promotions with other clubs, but the situation is tricky with Jennings. He’s the Miami manager, but he’s also currently under contract as a GM. As such, it’s not clear if Marlins owner Jeffrey Loria would allow Jennings to interview.
  • Sources have told Rosenthal that Padres ownership is “frustrated” with GM A.J. Preller. However, chairman Ron Fowler insists the only frustration is related to the club’s 2015 performance. He believes Preller will be the GM for a long time to come. Preller was originally hired to improve the farm system via the draft and international scouting. Obviously, the club used most of their minor league ammunition in a bold bid for contention this year, but the original plan remains intact.
  • Rosenthal’s colleague Jon Paul Morosi hears that the Reds may wish to replace GM Walt Jocketty. His contract expires after the 2016 season. It’s Rosenthal’s opinion that owner Bob Castellini is unlikely to fire Jocketty outright. Instead, they may move him into a consultative role like the Brewers did with Doug Melvin. That would allow the club to then hire a new GM in time for 2016.