Yankees Claim David Robertson On Revocable Waivers; Trade Unlikely

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. Robertson would mark at least the third elite reliever that the Yankees have attempted to acquire in order to bolster 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.


Blue Jays To Name Mark Shapiro As Team President

8:06am: Dolan will indeed absorb the business duties left behind by Shapiro, tweets MLB.com’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.  MLB.com’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 GammonsDaily.com.  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, MLB.com’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, MLB.com’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.

J.P. Howell Attains 2016 Player Option

Dodgers left-hander J.P. Howell made his 52nd appearance of the season in tonight’s game with the Cubs, and also his 120th appearance since the start of the 2014 season.  By reaching this milestone, the $6.5MM option the Dodgers held on Howell’s services for 2016 has now been converted into a player option.  (Hat tip to Bill Plunkett of the Orange County Register.)  Howell’s option will become official provided he doesn’t end the season on the disabled list.

The veteran southpaw signed a two-year, $11.25MM deal with Los Angeles in December 2013 that paid him a $3MM signing bonus and $4MM salaries in each of the 2014 and 2015 seasons.  The $6.25MM team option carried a $250K buyout, though Howell did have some agency if the Dodgers exercised it; Howell would’ve been allowed to opt out of the option if he forfeited the $250K.  Given how well Howell has pitched this season, he likely would’ve given up that $250K anyway in search of a longer-term contract, and the 32-year-old will get plenty of offseason attention from teams looking for bullpen help.

Howell has been a bright spot in a shaky Dodgers bullpen, posting a 1.46 ERA, 2.75 K/BB rate, 59.3% ground ball rate and 33 strikeouts over 37 innings.  Left-handed batters have only managed a .225/.309/.225 batting line against Howell this year.  The lefty has a 2.27 ERA in 198 1/3 innings from 2012-15, and while the peripheral stats indicate that he’s gotten some significant BABIP and strand-rate help over that stretch, Howell’s 2.9 BB/9 this season is on pace to be the lowest of his 10-year career.


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 Double-A on Aug. 1 to keep his arm fresh, a move Texas could afford to make with their new arms in the pen.  Since being recalled on Aug. 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.