Angels Begin Interviewing GM Candidates

10:54pm: Los Angeles has interviewed both Klentak and Servais but has yet to actually sit down with any external candidates, per Bill Shaikin of the Los Angeles Times (via Twitter).

10:49pm: The Angels have begun interviewing both internal and external candidates for the club’s open general manager position, Jeff Fletcher of the Orange County Register reports. Los Angeles has utilized Bill Stoneman in an interim capacity since the mid-season resignation of Jerry Dipoto.

The Halos are not expected to spend long on their search, according to the report. A decision could ultimately come “shortly after the end of the season, if not before.”

While it’s not known who has interviewed, Fletcher writes that none have past experience as GMs. But Los Angeles will ultimately consider executives with that level of experience. He adds that current assistant GMs Matt Klentak and Scott Servais are likely to garner serious consideration, with the team also looking at a variety of other possibilities from outside the organization.

It’s been widely discussed, but bears noting again, that the Angels appear to be uniquely committed to and reliant on manager Mike Scioscia. That situation, which runs somewhat counter to league-wide trends, could well have an impact on the candidates being considered and the ultimate power structure that the organization will employ.

August Trade Notes: Cubs, Dodgers, Giants, Orioles, Astros

Tonight marks the end of the August trade period, and two deals have already gone down today. Clubs that wish to add players from outside their organizations who are eligible to play in the post-season must do so by midnight eastern time. Of course, to be dealt, players must either clear revocable trade waivers or have been claimed by the team that seeks to acquire them.

Here’s the latest chatter with one and a half hours to the deadline:

  • The Cubs are “pushing hard” to bolster their pitching staff before tonight’s deadline, Bruce Levine of tweets. Chicago has already added several veteran arms over the last few months, but apparently is still looking at possible moves over the next few hours.
  • Meanwhile, the Dodgers have their eye on a relatively minor addition of outfield depth this evening, Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reports on Twitter. With several injuries to right-handed outfielders, the club could seemingly stand to put another option on its roster.
  • Giants outfielder Hunter Pence may be progressing more slowly from his oblique injury than had been hoped, Alex Pavlovic of CSN Bay Area tweets. Manager Bruce Bochy did note that there hasn’t been any setback, though Pence may have been hoping to feel better in his light hitting session today, as Andrew Baggarly of the Mercury News adds on Twitter. We heard earlier this evening that San Francisco remained active in the market, with outfielder Alejandro De Aza still on their radar and a continued desire to add an infielder.
  • While he’s now ticketed for Chicago, Austin Jackson drew interest from the Orioles, Jon Heyman of reports on Twitter. Baltimore has been said to be quite active over the month of August even as they’ve faded in the standings. As things stood before they lost tonight, however, the club was already 5.5 games out of the Wild Card and a full 11 back in the AL East.
  • While the Astros pursued several avenues over the month of August, they appear set to move on with only the addition of lefty Oliver Perez, Evan Drellich of the Houston Chronicle writes“We made some, a few claims that we didn’t get,” said GM Jeff Luhnow. “And [on]] players we probably would have been interested in working out a deal for, but it didn’t work out. We feel pretty good about the guys we have on our roster right now.”

Royals Acquire Jonny Gomes

8:42pm: The deal is official, with Atlanta announcing it.

7:41pm: The Royals have agreed to acquire outfielder Jonny Gomes from the Braves, Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reports on Twitter. Atlanta will send cash along with the veteran and will receive minor league infielder Luis Valenzuela in return, Jon Heyman of reports (Twitter links).

Aug 28, 2015; Atlanta, GA, USA; Atlanta Braves left fielder Jonny Gomes (7) reacts after getting a strike out after pitching in the ninth inning of their game against the New York Yankees at Turner Field. The Yankees won 15-4. Mandatory Credit: Jason Getz-USA TODAY Sports

Gomes, 34, is a highly-regarded clubhouse presence and noted lefty killer at the plate. Though he’s seen his power numbers drop off this year, and owns only a 93 OPS+ overall, Gomes has still slashed a productive .247/.412/.466 against opposing southpaws.

The Braves signed Gomes to a one-year, $4MM free agent contract this winter. It includes a $3MM club option that would vest at different amounts based on various plate appearance thresholds. With Gomes likely to see only part-time duty, it’s unlikely that he’ll meet the minimum of 325 plate appearances (which would cause the option to vest at $3MM).

Kansas City is all but certain to win the AL Central at this point, so the move was presumably made with the post-season in mind. It isn’t hard to imagine Gomes seeing some important at bats in potential playoff matchups against pitchers such as David Price, Dallas Keuchel, and Cole Hamels.

It remains to be seen, though, what kind of alignment the Royals are pondering. Obviously, Alex Gordon and Lorenzo Cain will receive regular playing time so long as they are healthy. Among the club’s other righty outfield bats, neither starter Alex Rios nor fill-in Paulo Orlando have done much against left-handed pitching.

In Valenzuela, who just turned 22, the Braves will receive a player who reached the Class A level for the first time this year. Over 184 plate appearances, he’s slashed .339/.368/.483 with three home runs and eight stolen bases.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

MLBTR Mailbag: Carter, Cardinals, Fowler, Desmond

The Astros are making a huge playoff push, with Chris Carter on their roster. How long will this last? Or will we see Tyler White or AJ Reed take over the helm at 1st/DH? I don’t see Singleton making a big difference in the near future. — Chris S.

Carter will remain on the roster through season’s end due to the fact that rosters expand tomorrow, and the team will at least value having that type of bat on the bench as a pinch-hitting option. I’m honestly surprised they’ve stuck with him as long as they have, but I have a difficult time seeing either of the players you mentioned as a September callup. Neither needs to be protected on the 40-man roster this winter in order to avoid the Rule 5 Draft, and Houston does have quite a few players that will need those precious 40-man spots in order to avoid being selected. White will be Rule 5 eligible in the 2016-17 offseason, so I’d imagine that at some point next year, he’ll have a better shot at cracking the Major League roster — especially with Reed moving up the ladder behind him.

Bottom line is that, barring a trade tonight — and it probably wouldn’t be for anyone too exciting — Houston seems likeliest to run with Carter and Singleton down the stretch.

With Michael Wacha, Lance Lynn, and Carlos Martinez all already signed for 2016 and Adam Wainwright presumably returning, do the Cardinals do either of the following: Pick up Jaime Garcia’s option or extend a qualifying offer to John Lackey? — Troy K.

The Cards have the four starters you mentioned as well as Marco Gonzales at Triple-A and Alex Reyes in Double-A (to say nothing of free agent options), but I still think they’re wise to take both of the paths you listed. Lackey will be 37 next season, but we’ve seen recent pitchers like Tim Hudson and Bronson Arroyo come off worse seasons than the one Lackey is handing and land sizable two-year commitments. While a QO would hurt Lackey’s market, the superiority of his performance relative to other veterans that have landed lucrative two-year deals should be enough for him to test the market.

As for Garcia, he’s injury prone and can’t be counted on for 200 innings, but he’s an $11MM lottery ticket with an ERA just north of 2.00 in just under 100 innings right now. When Garcia is right, he’s one of the more underrated pitchers in the game. Gonzales has had injury problems in 2015 as it is, and Reyes might not be ready until late in 2016. Having Garcia as depth would be beneficial, and exercising the option keeps his 2017 option in play as well, in the event that he has a healthy and productive 2016 season. GM John Mozeliak has indicated that he’s leaning toward exercising the option, and I think only an injury will prevent that from happening.

At the top of the season, I would have considered that the Cubs were merely utilizing Dexter Fowler as a stop-gap for Albert Almora. It seems as though Almora’s stock has declined. With Billy McKinney looking one to two years away from making it to the big league team, I was wondering if the recent surge of Fowler(.364 with 7 Extra Base hits over the last 14 games) would prompt Theo to make an attempt to resign Fowler as opposed to chasing players like Parra, Heyward or Upton. With youth on their side, Upton and Heyward appear to be headed towards A-Rod and Cano type money while Parra doesn’t have the track record of Fowler in the batters box or in the field. I was wondering if it appears as apparent to you as it does to me that the Cubs would at least try to retain Fowler on a two year deal. If Fowler isn’t the Cubs CF target, I was wondering who it could be? — Keith S.

The odds of Fowler, a 29-year-old switch-hitting outfielder that could handle center or the corners, settling for a two-year deal this offseason are practically nonexistent in my mind. If the Cubs could retain him on a two-year deal, I’m sure they would have interest, but I’d peg Fowler’s realistic floor at a three-year deal, with a four-year deal seeming perfectly plausible. I’d expect his agents at Excel Sports to come out aiming for five years, honestly. I’d make Fowler the qualifying offer and collect a draft pick when he signs elsewhere. (If, for some reason, he accepts, then Fowler at one year and ~$16MM isn’t a disastrous outcome by any means.)

The Cubs could go multiple routes. Arismendy Alcantara or Matt Szczur represent perhaps underwhelming internal options. A second stopgap via trade (e.g. Peter Bourjos, Cameron Maybin, Gregor Blanco) could make sense, with the team then holding out for a pursuit of Carlos Gomez following the 2016 season. Present free agents like Austin Jackson and Colby Rasmus could be of interest on mid-range deals. And, the Cubs have the talent to try to pry someone like Aaron Hicks, Jackie Bradley or Dalton Pompey away from their current clubs (though the Twins, Red Sox and Blue Jays would probably all seek pitching, so perhaps those three aren’t ideal examples).

What has Ian Desmond’s underwhelming season done to his FA value? Will he be able to top the reported $100 mm deal the Nats previously offered him? — Scott S.

Fortunately for Desmond, there are still 33 games left for him to continue his second-half resurgence. Desmond’s batting .293/.358/.544 with 10 homers and seven steals through 41 second-half contests, and he’s drastically cut down the errors he’d been accumulating. While his overall batting line is still miserable, if he continues at anything close to that stretch, his full-season numbers will at least be passable. In that scenario, his representatives will be able to pitch that Desmond had a rough 87-game patch to open the season before rebounding to his usual self. The case could be made that his first half was merely an aberration, and the preceding three years plus the subsequent two-and-a-half months are what should be expected by a signing team.

This is obviously just a hypothetical scenario, but if Desmond’s final 33 games go exactly as his previous 33 contests did (they, of course, will not), he’d finish with a cumulative .243/.299/.414 batting line and a .291/.356/.534 second half. Entering his age-30 season with the case to be made that he has just three lousy months in the past four seasons, Desmond could make a case for a nice contract. But reaching the amount he reportedly turned down — it should be noted that said offer came with heavy deferrals — seems like a reach.

Put more concisely, Desmond would need six years to get to $100MM+, and that feels too heavy. I do think five years is in play if he maintains his current pace for the final 33 games, however.

Cubs Designate Mike Olt For Assignment

The Cubs have designated infielder Mike Olt for assignment, the club announced. His roster spot was needed for the acquisition of Austin Jackson, which Chicago also made official.

Olt, 27, has never regained his trajectory after topping out as a prospect that rated as high as 22nd on league-wide rankings. In the midst of a disappointing 2013 season, he was dealt to Chicago as part of a package deal that sent righty Matt Garza to the Rangers. Vision issues were noted as a cause for concern at the time, and Olt has dealt with a right wrist fracture more recently.

Last season represented Olt’s first real opportunity at the big league level, in spite of that rough 2013, but he did not make the most of it. Over 258 plate appearances, Olt swatted 12 home runs but slashed just .160/.248/.356 while striking out an even 100 times.

He cracked the Opening Day roster as Chicago’s starting third baseman, but that run was short-lived. Olt suffered the aforementioned wrist injury and was ultimately replaced, as had been expected anyway, by Kris Bryant — after the team was assured of keeping another year of future control.

Nevertheless, another team will likely be glad to take a shot on Olt’s upside. He’s always been regarded as a potentially solid defender at third base and has shown plenty of pop in his right-handed bat. And despite his struggles in relatively scant action at the big league level, Olt has hit will at Triple-A over the last two years. In 246 turns at bat there this season, he’s slashed .273/.346/.477.

Cubs Acquire Austin Jackson

6:26pm: The deal is now official, with the Cubs making an announcement.

6:20pm: Chicago will cover $1MM of Jackson’s remaining salary, Jon Heyman of tweets. The Mariners will pay the $430K or so of obligations otherwise left on his deal.

5:04pm: The Cubs have agreed to acquire outfielder Austin Jackson from the Mariners, Shannon Drayer of 710 AM ESPN in Seattle reports (Twitter link). Jackson had reportedly cleared revocable trade waivers, and by adding him today, the Cubs will have the option of utilizing him on their post-season roster.

A player to be named later and a $211,100 international signing slot will reportedly head to Seattle in the deal. Chicago also obtains cash to offset some of the remainder of Jackson’s $7.7MM annual salary.

Aug 30, 2015; Chicago, IL, USA; Seattle Mariners center fielder Austin Jackson (16) runs the bases after hitting a two RBI home run during the second inning against the Chicago White Sox at U.S Cellular Field. Mandatory Credit: Dennis Wierzbicki-USA TODAY Sports

Already set to hit free agency after the season, Jackson will end his disappointing tenure in Seattle earlier than had been planned. He was acquired with high hopes last summer in the three-team David Price deal, with the Mariners sending Nick Franklin to the Rays to add the center fielder from the Tigers. Needless to say, things have not worked out for the player or the team.

At the time, Jackson was putting up slightly-above-average offensive numbers in Detroit. But he’s been significantly worse with the M’s, slashing just .257/.297/.343 over 684 plate appearances between this year and last. Jackson has contributed only eight home runs in that span as his power has fallen off, and he’s been caught 11 times on steal attempts while successfully taking 26 bags.

Jackson remains an approximately league-average defender up the middle. And at just 28 years of age, he still holds at least some promise of more given his quality early-career production. Between 2010 and 2013, Jackson racked up 18.9 rWAR with a .278/.344/.416 cumulative slash, a solid power/speed mix, and defensive ratings that ranged from good to excellent.

Mariners interim GM Jeff Kingston explained that there was relatively little interest in the veteran this month, as Ryan Divish of the Seattle Times notes on Twitter. While there had been an outside chance that the club would hold onto Jackson and make him a qualifying offer, that is no longer an option with the mid-season trade. That seemed at least plausible given Jackson’s age, but it seems that Seattle decided against the risky move and chose instead to get what it could for him now.

For Chicago, Jackson represents another right-handed-hitting outfield option as Jorge Soler deals with an oblique injury, though it’s worth noting that he traditionally carries fairly neutral platoon splits. It certainly doesn’t hurt that Jackson can play in center, but he seems unlikely to take much time from the switch-hitting Dexter Fowler, who traditionally performs better against left-handed pitching. While Jackson is still owed about $1.43MM of salary this year, at least some of that obligation will remain Seattle’s responsibility.’s Greg Johns first suggested an international slot may be involved (via Twitter), as to which Jon Heyman of (via Twitter) and Ryan Divish of the Seattle Times (also via Twitter) provided details. Divish first reported that a PTBNL was part of the return (on Twitter) provided details. 

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Giants Still Discussing De Aza, Looking At Infielders

The Giants are still active in the run-up to tonight’s deadline to add players from outside the organization who will be postseason-eligible, according to Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports (via Twitter). San Francisco continues to discuss outfielder Alejandro De Aza with the Red Sox, per the report, but is more interested in acquiring an infield option.

A potential match between those clubs on De Aza was reported about a week back by Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe. As he explained then, San Francisco felt the asking price was too steep at the time the original discussions occurred, and it was not entirely clear whether talks had continued after the Giants’ acquisition of Marlon Byrd. Of course, unlike Byrd, De Aza is capable of playing center and hits from the left side.

Meanwhile, the Giants were also said to be seeking infield depth and made a run at Chase Utley. It’s unclear precisely what type of player might be pursued at this point, but second baseman Joe Panik remains something of a question mark as he works to return from back issues.

Diamondbacks Designate Kevin Munson

The Diamondbacks have designated righty Kevin Munson for assignment, Zach Buchanan of tweets. Munson is a 26-year-old reliever who has yet to see MLB action.

After being by the Phillies in last year’s Rule 5 draft, Munson was sent back to Arizona in mid-March. Since that time, he’s posted some uneven results at the Triple-A level.

Munson looked like a future piece last year, running up 62 1/3 innings of 2.60 ERA ball with 11.8 K/9 against 3.2 BB/9. But he’s reversed course in 2015 after experiencing arm soreness in the spring. Over his 31 1/3 frames at the highest level of the minors, Munson has issued 7.2 walks to go with only 8.6 strikeouts per nine while accumulating a 4.60 earned run mark.

White Sox Pull David Robertson Off Waivers

1:10pm: Heyman tweets that the White Sox have pulled Robertson back off waivers.

11:50am: Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports hears from a source that part of the Yankees’ motivation in making the claim was indeed to prevent the Blue Jays from having an opportunity to acquire Robertson (Twitter link).

8:32am: The Yankees have claimed closer David Robertson from the White Sox on revocable waivers, reports Jon Heyman of CBS Sports, but a trade between the two sides is seen as unlikely. To this point, according to Heyman, there’s little indication of a deal in the works, and as of late Saturday night there hadn’t even been legitimate discussions between Chicago and New York. It seems probable that the White Sox will elect to pull their closer back off waivers.

Robertson, 30, has spent his entire career with the Yankees aside from this season. He departed as a free agent following the 2014 campaign, electing to sign a sizable four-year, $46MM contract with the Sox. (The Yankees, meanwhile, made their own significant commitment to lefty Andrew Miller: four years, $36MM.)

It’s still far too early to judge that hefty investment from the White Sox, but the early returns have been outstanding. Robertson has a 2.60 ERA with 12.2 K/9, 1.9 BB/9 (a career-best rate) a 38.3 percent ground-ball rate and 27 saves in 52 innings with the Sox. That ERA would likely be even better were it not for the fact that White Sox rate as one of the worst defensive clubs in all of baseball. SIERA, FIP and xFIP, for instance, all peg Robertson between 1.89 and 2.17 — significantly better than his still-impressive 2.60 ERA.

Robertson is earning $10MM in 2015 and has about $1.97MM remaining on his current salary, plus an additional $36MM through the 2018 season. The Yankees will have until 2:00 ET to work out a trade, per Heyman, indicating that the actual claim of Robertson was made on Saturday afternoon. It’s possible, though, that the Yankees made the claim not so much expecting a deal but more to prevent the division-leading Blue Jays from having an opportunity to add to their bullpen.

Even if that were the case, it wouldn’t mean the Yankees aren’t interested in a reunion. They pursued bullpen help in late July, and Robertson would mark at least the third elite reliever that the Yankees have attempted to acquire to pair with their already dominant late-inning duo of Miller and Dellin Betances. GM Brian Cashman reportedly showed strong interest in both Craig Kimbrel and Aroldis Chapman prior to the non-waiver trade deadline last month.

Though his specific trade probably won’t come to fruition, it’s likely that we’ll see a few swaps made prior to midnight. Players acquired on Sept. 1 or later are ineligible for their new team’s postseason roster, meaning that any last-minute trades that contenders wish to make in order to upgrade their potential playoff rosters will need to be completed in the next 14.5 hours.

Minor MLB Transactions: 8/31/15

Here are today’s minor moves from around the league, all of which are reported by Baseball America’s Matt Eddy, unless otherwise noted…

  • The Nationals and Scott Sizemore have agreed to a minor league contract. Now 30 years old, Sizemore was once a prospect of great intrigue in the Tigers’ system — a potential long-term answer for Detroit. However, after a trade to Oakland, Sizemore wound up missing consecutive seasons when he tore his ACL in 2012 and tragically did so once again after just two games in 2013. Sizemore spent most of the 2015 campaign with the Marlins’ Triple-A affiliate and didn’t hit much, though he’s been great in six games with the Nats’ Triple-A club since signing: .375/.412/.563. Sizemore can play both second base and third base.
  • The Blue Jays have released right-hander Phillippe Aumont, whom they’d previously inked to a minor league pact back in July. Formerly the No. 11 pick in the draft (2007, Mariners), Aumont was one of the key pieces sent to Philadelphia in Seattle’s acquisition of Cliff Lee. However, Aumont’s big league career has never panned out; he’s 26 years old and has a 6.80 ERA in 43 2/3 innings in the Majors. The former Top 100 prospect has battled his control all season long, working to a solid 3.14 ERA in 83 Triple-A innings with 8.8 K/9 but a very troubling 6.8 BB/9 rate in that time. His control worsened upon joining the Jays organization, as he walked 22 batters in 18 innings (he did whiff 23 in that time as well, though).

AL East Notes: Orioles, Duquette, Craig, Rays

Though the chances of the Orioles making a trade today may be remote, Dan Connolly of the Baltimore Sun cautions not to rule out GM Dan Duquette making a final transaction. As Connolly notes, Duquette has made at least one trade in each of the past three Augusts, and the GM also told Connolly over the weekend that he’s not yet giving up on the 2015 season. Baltimore currently sits a seemingly insurmountable 11 games back of the AL East lead, but they’re a more manageable 5.5 games back from the second Wild Card position. Any players acquired after tonight’s midnight deadline would be ineligible for the postseason, though, so if a trade happens, it’s likely to come today.

Here are a few more notes pertaining to the O’s and the AL East…

  • In his latest notes column, FOX’s Ken Rosenthal writes that Orioles owner Peter Angelos’ stubborn refusal to let Duquette go in order to take the Blue Jays’ president/CEO position last offseason “created an unhealthy environment” around the club’s front office. There’s some lingering resentment, Rosenthal hears, including some among executives who felt they were in line for a promotion upon Duquette’s departure.
  • Within that column, Rosenthal also writes that Allen Craig is likely to be re-added to the 40-man roster for a September callup that will allow him to be evaluated not only by new Red Sox president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski, but also by rival teams. Craig, though, is owed $21MM through the end of the 2017 season and has batted a meager .271/.367/.348 since being outrighted to Triple-A Pawtucket this year. Boston may be able to flip him for a bad contract, but I’d imagine that with only a month’s worth of games and presumably intermittent playing time, it’ll be difficult for him to fully convince other clubs that he can again be an asset.
  • Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times profiled and spoke to three veteran players that will be helping the Rays’ Wild Card push: J.P. Arencibia, Daniel Nava and Grady Sizemore. Topkin looks at how each came to join the Rays, with manager Kevin Cash admitting that the team initially expected Sizemore’s Tampa Bay tenure to last three or four days. Sizemore has instead been around for 37 games and delivered roughly league-average offensive production (park-adjusted), though his OBP and defensive skills are admittedly somewhat lacking.

Send In Your MLBTR Mailbag Questions

Last week, we revived the MLBTR Mailbag feature, which will be running every Monday from now on. I tackled a handful of questions on CC Sabathia, the Phillies, Jeff Samardzija and Khris Davis last week, and we’ll be running down a few more this afternoon as well.

If you have any questions you’d like to see addressed, you can email them here: Feel free to send emails throughout the week, of course, but also be mindful of the fact that we receive a sizable number of questions and cannot get to all of them.

Full Story | 2 Comments | Categories: MLBTR Mailbag

Blue Jays To Name Mark Shapiro As Team President

8:06am: Dolan will indeed absorb the business duties left behind by Shapiro, tweets’s Anthony Castrovince. Most importantly, the Indians have now announced the move, with both Shapiro and Dolan offering statements on the transition. Shapiro will become the new Blue Jays CEO upon conclusion of the 2015 season, he said in his statement.

AUG. 31, 7:15am: The Indians will not receive compensation for Shapiro’s departure, reports Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports (Twitter links). The Indians, Rosenthal continues, “follow a different philosophy,” and ownership didn’t wish to stand in the way of Shapiro receiving the role if he indeed wanted to leave.

AUG. 30: The Blue Jays will hire Mark Shapiro as the club’s new president, CBS Sports’ Jon Heyman reports.  The official announcement could come this week, possibly as early as Monday.  Shapiro plans to retain Alex Anthopoulos as the Jays’ general manager, sources tell Heyman.

Shapiro’s name surfaced in connection to the Toronto job last week (via FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal) and the hiring was seen as increasingly likely to happen as the days passed.  Since current Jays president Paul Beeston announced he was going to retire after the 2015 season, the Jays have been linked to many experienced baseball names, including Dave Dombrowski, Kenny Williams, Terry Ryan and (in somewhat controversial fashion) Dan Duquette.

It isn’t yet known exactly when Shapiro will take over for Beeston, Heyman notes, as the long-time Blue Jays president may remain in the position until the season is over.  It also isn’t clear if Toronto will owe some sort of compensation to the Indians for hiring away their team president, as the details of Shapiro’s contract with the Tribe aren’t known.

Shapiro, 48, has been a member of the Indians front office since 1991, serving as GM for the 2002-2010 seasons and then being promoted to president prior to the 2011 campaign.  While Cleveland’s front office dynamic will undoubtedly be changed by losing such a long-time figure, it’s possible Shapiro’s departure may not cause too many ripples within the organization.’s Anthony Castrovince guessed that chairman/CEO Paul Dolan may simply become president as well, and manager Terry Francona said he won’t opt out of his contract.  Rosenthal speculated that the Tribe could also promote from within, shifting GM Chris Antonetti to president and making well-regarded assistant GM Mike Chernoff the new general manager.

There’s little Shapiro hasn’t seen in his tenure with Cleveland, as the Indians have gone from doormat to contender a few different times and also had similarly large swings in terms of revenue.  The Tribe have only had a top-20 payroll once since 2003, so Shapiro will have much more money to work with in his new position, particularly given the Jays’ recent boom in attendance and TV ratings.  Shapiro’s role in the recent renovations to Progressive Field has been cited as a key factor in his hiring in Toronto, as ownership has been planning to make significant upgrades (including natural grass) to make Rogers Centre a more baseball-friendly stadium.

It had long been suspected that Anthopoulos was facing a make-or-break season given the incoming president change, though his job security has been solidified thanks to his aggressive moves in the offseason and at the trade deadline, culminating in the Blue Jays’ dominant 21-5 record in August.  As Heyman notes, Anthopoulos’ contract is up after the season but was expected to remain with the team if they wanted to keep him.

Quick Hits: Arrieta, Lincecum, Pirates

Cubs right-hander Jake Arrieta threw his first career no-hitter tonight, shutting down the Dodgers on 12 strikeouts and just two runners allowed (one via walk, one via error).  By coincidence, Charlie Wilmoth looked at Arrieta’s case as an extension candidate earlier today on MLBTR to see what it might take for Chicago to lock the ace up over the long term and whether or not an extension makes sense for either side at this time.  Needless to say, Arrieta’s stock only continues to rise after performances like tonight’s history-making gem.  Here’s some more from around baseball…

  • Tim Lincecum is still experiencing discomfort in his hips and back and there’s a chance he might not pitch again in 2015, Andrew Baggarly of the San Jose Mercury News reports.  Since Lincecum is a free agent this winter, it could also mean the end of his Giants tenure.
  • The Pirates aren’t planning to call up Tyler Glasnow for the September stretch run, GM Neal Huntington told reporters (including Travis Sawchik of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review).  Glasnow, one of the game’s most highly-regarded pitching prospects, has an 0.81 ERA and 10.5 K/9 over 33 1/3 Triple-A innings this season, albeit with 17 walks as well.
  • Also from Sawchik’s notebook piece, A.J. Burnett said he was pain-free after throwing five simulated innings on Sunday.  The veteran has spent a month on the DL with a flexor strain in his throwing elbow, though he is now aiming to return for a mid-September series against the Cubs.
  • Indians assistant GM Mike Chernoff has been rumored as a candidate to become the Tribe’s general manager if Chris Antonetti is promoted to replace Mark Shapiro as president, though Fangraphs’ David Laurila notes that “Chernoff is a hot commodity” around baseball.  If Chernoff is offered multiple jobs, Laurila wonders if he would prefer running a team with more payroll flexibility than small-market Cleveland.
  • Also from Laurila’s piece, he wonders if the Angels are disappointed enough with their season that Mike Scioscia’s job could also be in jeopardy.  It has been assumed that Scioscia is safe given his close ties with owner Arte Moreno, not to mention the fact that the manager is still owed $18MM through the 2018 season.

East Notes: Hazen, Dombrowski, Arrieta, Fish

MLBTR’s Zach Links collected sets of notes from both the AL East and NL East earlier today, and here are some more items from both divisions…

  • Red Sox assistant GM Mike Hazen “is a stronger candidate than some realize” to be the team’s next general manager according to “rumors around the majors,” Peter Gammons writes in his latest entry on  Hazen has been an assistant GM with the Sox since 2011 and he has interviewed for GM openings with the Padres and Dodgers in recent years.
  • Gammons’ piece is a general overview of the young talent on both the Red Sox roster and in their farm system.  While some of Dave Dombrowski’s biggest trades have involved moving prospects for established veterans, Gammons notes that some of those moves were ownership-driven and not necessarily a sign that Dombrowski will again use young players as wholesale trade bait.
  • Speaking of rival teams not swinging trades, the Nationals were interested in Jake Arrieta back when he was an Oriole, the Washington Post’s Barry Svrluga tweets.  The two sides apparently “had a deal,” according to Svrluga, but it fell through since the “O’s wouldn’t trade with D.C.”  This would seem to imply that Baltimore upper management scuttled the deal.  The Nats and O’s have never combined on a trade (hat tip to the MLBTR Transaction Tracker) and the two clubs have been involved in a legal dispute over MASN broadcast rights fees.  Arrieta was instead dealt to the Cubs in July 2013, a trade that is looking like more and more or a steal for Chicago.
  • Nationals righty Aaron Barrett visited Dr. James Andrews in regards to his right elbow injury,’s Bill Ladson reports.  Barrett went on the 15-day DL with what was called an elbow sprain on August 6 and he was shifted to the 60-day DL last week, though it isn’t yet known if a Tommy John procedure is needed.  Barrett has a rather misleading 4.60 ERA in 29 1/3 relief innings for Washington this season, as his peripheral numbers (10.7 K/9, 5.00 K/BB rate, 2.20 FIP) show that he’s pitched much better than his ERA would indicate.
  • The Marlins aren’t likely to make any trades before tomorrow’s waiver deadline,’s Joe Frisaro reports.  Martin Prado seemingly drew the most interest of any Marlin in August, though the club plans to hang onto most of its core players in order to make a run in 2016.  Miami was considering adding an innings-eating arm or two for September though if they do so, it won’t be via a trade.
  • The Marlins‘ release of veteran utilityman Jeff Baker in July was partially due to some internal problems, Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald reports.  The Marlins “felt [Baker] was spreading negativity in the clubhouse, was a bad influence on a couple of young players and was conveying an anti-front office message.”  Jackson notes, however, that Baker was popular with teammates and media members.