March 2010

Mets Claim Manny Acosta

The Mets claimed reliever Manny Acosta off waivers from the Braves, tweets's Mark Bowman.  Acosta, 29 in May, posted a 4.34 ERA, 7.7 K/9, and 4.6 BB/9 in 37.3 innings for the Braves last year.  He was better in his 27.3 minor league innings, but walked too many there as well.

Acosta throws a mid-90s fastball and racked up groundballs in his better years.  He even served as the Braves' closer in early '08 when Rafael Soriano went down.  Hamstring and shoulder injuries cut that season short, however.  The Mets snagged a quality arm from their division rivals, but now they must help his stuff translate to results.

Odds & Ends: Padron, Washburn, Moeller, Chapman

Links for Tuesday…

Red Sox Make Four-Year Offer To Beckett

3:55pm: Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe weighs in, agreeing with Olney's optimism for a deal but saying Beckett's agent currently seeks a five-year extension in excess of John Lackey's $82.5MM.  WEEI's Rob Bradford talked to Beckett, who is mostly staying out of the negotiations between the team and agent Michael Moye.

11:10am: Josh Beckett has a four-year offer on the table from the Red Sox, reports ESPN's Buster Olney.  Olney writes of "optimism a deal will be completed in the next week or two."

Olney envisions a total package in the $65-70MM range.  His colleague Gordon Edes wrote on Saturday that "concerns about Beckett's right shoulder have dissuaded the Red Sox from going to a fifth year."

Beckett projects as one of the best available free agent starters after the 2010 season, and with a strong season he could conceivably get a sixth guaranteed year on the open market.  Cliff Lee, Javier Vazquez, and Brandon Webb will also be eligible for free agency after the season if they're not signed to extesions.

Offseason In Review: San Diego Padres

The Padres are next in our Offseason In Review series.

Major League Signings

  • Jon Garland, SP: one year, $5.3MM.  Includes $6.75MM mutual option for 2011 with a $300-600K buyout.
  • Jerry Hairston Jr., IF/OF: one year, $2.125MM.
  • Yorvit Torrealba, C: one year, $1.25MM.  Includes $3.5MM mutual option for 2011 with a $500K buyout.
  • Total spend: $8.675MM.

Notable Minor League Signings

Trades and Claims

Notable Losses


Jed Hoyer's tenure as Padres GM kicked off quietly, with a November 25th waiver claim of pitcher Radhames Liz.  Hoyer went on to spend $8.675MM for three free agents and make one big trade.  Let's take a look.

Hoyer added free agents Garland, Jerry Hairston Jr., and Torrealba on reasonably-priced one-year deals.  The affordable trio should have a small amount of trade value, in contrast to overpaid veterans like Jason Marquis, Ivan Rodriguez, and Kevin Millwood.  We've seen varying approaches by rebuilding clubs this winter – the Nationals and Orioles spent about $30MM, the Padres, Blue Jays, and Pirates spent $8-10MM, and the Indians spent less than $3MM.

The Scott Hairston acquisition was a lateral move, as the Padres and A's were looking to fill different needs.  Kouzmanoff has one more year of team control than Hairston, a possible point in Oakland's favor assuming these players aren't eventually non-tendered.   It's difficult to predict the outcome of the Sogard-Cunningham portion of the deal.

Hoyer has the Adrian Gonzalez situation on the horizon, but in the short-term he's likely to see how the team performs for the season's first three months.  The Padres project to have a terrible offense, possibly the worst in the NL.  Their pitching may be better than you realize, with a slew of guys capable of ERAs in the low 4.00s and Mat Latos bringing #1 starter stuff.  To contend in 2010, the Padres would need breakout years from Chase Headley and Kyle Blanks and quality bats added to the offense in midseason trades.

Cubs Release Kevin Millar

The Cubs released first baseman Kevin Millar, reports Paul Sullivan of the Chicago Tribune.  The Cubs will go with Chad Tracy for a corner infield bench role instead.  Tracy made more sense, given his ability to back up Aramis Ramirez at third base.

Millar, 38, hit .223/.311/.363 in 283 plate appearances for the Blue Jays last year, playing 386.6 innings at first base.  In an article Sunday, ESPN's Jim Reeves said Millar is on the Rangers' watch list.  However,'s T.R. Sullivan writes today that the Rangers are not interested.

Marlins Acquire Nate Robertson

The Marlins acquired lefty Nate Robertson and cash considerations from the Tigers for minor league reliever Jay Voss, according to a Tigers press release.  The Tigers are paying $9.6MM of the $10MM owed to Robertson, tweets Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports.

Robertson originally came up through the Marlins' system, and was traded to the Tigers in the Mark Redman deal in January of '03.  The 32-year-old posted a 5.44 ERA, 6.3 K/9, and 5.1 BB/9 in 49.6 innings last year.  He started the '09 season in the Tigers' bullpen and hit the DL in May with a back strain.  In June, he had surgery to remove four masses in his elbow.  He rejoined the rotation in September, but strained his groin shortly thereafter.  Robertson had November surgery to repair that tear.  With a fresh start in Florida, perhaps Robertson can chew up 175 innings with an ERA around 4.50.  The trade opens the Tigers' fifth starter spot for Dontrelle Willis.

Voss, also a southpaw, turns 23 in April.  He spent '09 as a reliever, posting a 2.72 ERA, 8.3 K/9, and 3.3 BB/9 at High A and Double A.  Baseball America ranked Voss 23rd among Marlins prospects, seemingly projecting a future as a lefty specialist.

What’s Next For Jeff Suppan?

11:35am:'s Adam McCalvy tweets that Suppan is throwing a simulated game today, as he's been dealing with a stiff neck.

8:13am: The Brewers have three pitchers up for their fifth starter job: Jeff Suppan, Manny Parra, and Chris Narveson.  Though all three are in line to throw today, manager Ken Macha was evasive when asked about Suppan's schedule (Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel reporting).  Macha also supplied a vague answer when asked if a roster move should be expected today.

A month ago, Suppan made our list of five overpaid veterans who could be released.  The Brewers would have to assume his remaining $14.5MM, which doesn't strike Haudricourt as likely.  The Brewers may choose to keep Suppan, Parra, and Narveson, but since Parra and Narveson are out of options, Carlos Villanueva would have to be demoted.

A trade could clear the logjam, though Ken Rosenthal and Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports wrote Saturday that the Brewers have not discussed Parra with other clubs.

Rotation Spending By Team

I've compiled 2010 starting rotation spending by team; details can be found in this spreadsheet.  Buyouts (for example, the $2.5MM the Dodgers owe to Jason Schmidt) and players not in 2010 rotations (Kei Igawa) are not included in the figures below.  If a team is paying part of the salary of another club's starter, like in the case of Roy Halladay, that payment is accounted for only on the receiving team.  If you find any errors, please contact us.

  1. Yankees – $63,157,650
  2. Cubs – $50,775,000
  3. Red Sox – $42,263,500
  4. Mets – $38,087,500
  5. White Sox – $36,200,000
  6. Cardinals – $35,925,000
  7. Giants – $33,850,000
  8. Tigers – $32,670,000
  9. Phillies – $31,805,000
  10. Braves  – $31,467,000
  11. Angels – $29,965,000
  12. Royals  – $25,110,000
  13. Reds – $24,700,000
  14. Astros – $23,916,000
  15. Rockies – $23,500,000
  16. Diamondbacks – $22,008,925
  17. Dodgers – $21,679,000
  18. Mariners – $20,550,000
  19. Brewers – $18,565,000 
  20. Indians – $17,115,500
  21. Padres – $15,355,000
  22. Rangers – $14,181,090
  23. Orioles – $13,668,125
  24. Athletics – $13,210,000
  25. Twins – $12,790,000
  26. Nationals – $10,224,000
  27. Pirates – $10,013,500
  28. Marlins – $9,645,000
  29. Rays – $9,473,333
  30. Blue Jays – $4,085,000
  • Approximately $736MM will be spent on the 2010 salaries of the 150 projected members of Opening Day rotations.  That's an average of $4.9MM per pitcher.
  • On average, a team will spend $24.5MM on its rotation in 2010.  The median figure is $22.8MM.
  • The White Sox, Tigers, Royals, Angels, Rockies, and Giants don't have any projected starters earning less than $1MM.
  • The Blue Jays will pay more to Halladay in 2010 than they will pay their entire rotation.
  • Thanks to Cot's Baseball Contracts for the salary data.

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Marlins Release Seth McClung

The Marlins released pitcher Seth McClung, according to the team.  McClung allowed nine hits and nine earned runs in six spring appearances, and was unable to secure a bullpen job.

The Marlins signed the 29-year-old McClung to a minor league deal in February.  He'd been non-tendered by the Brewers after posting a 4.94 ERA, 5.8 K/9, and 5.7 BB/9 in 62 innings.  McClung's chief asset remains his fastball, which typically sits around 93.

Tim Wood and Rick VandenHurk are competing for the Marlins' last bullpen job.'s Joe Frisaro speculated yesterday that Leo Nunez, Brian Sanches, Jose Veras, Burke Badenhop, Renyel Pinto, and Dan Meyer would take the other spots.

Orioles Sign Joey Gathright

The Orioles signed outfielder Joey Gathright to a minor league deal, reports's Brittany Ghiroli.  The Blue Jays released Gathright on Sunday after a poor spring.

Gathright, 29 in April, spent most of 2009 with Baltimore's Triple A club.  He hit .329/.386/.376 there, swiping 24 bags in 80 games.