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Perez is owed $20.2MM through 2011. He refused the Mets' minor league assignment and isn't helping the big league team. Not only is he a project, he's one that must be tinkered with in the Majors.
Gary Matthews Jr.'s contract qualifies as equally bad, but he's already on the Mets. A couple of Perez trade ideas:
- Perez and $8.8MM to the Brewers for Jeff Suppan. Suppan has $10.6MM left on his contract. The Mets save $800K here, about $500K beyond what they'd get back if they released Perez and he signed elsewhere. From the Brewers' point of view Perez at least has more upside than Suppan. The lefty would be reunited with pitching coach Rick Peterson, who was Perez's guide during the pitcher's initial Mets resurgence. The Brewers might require assurance that Perez would accept a minor league assignment in 2011 if necessary.
- Perez and $10.5MM to the Royals for Jose Guillen and Kyle Farnsworth. Guillen is owed $8.2MM, Farnsworth $3.6MM. This scenario has the Mets taking on $2.1MM to acquire Guillen and Farnsworth, about $550K of which covers what the Royals might get after releasing the two players.
The Atlantic League's Bridgeport Bluefish signed outfielder Wily Mo Pena on Saturday, according to the team. Pena, 28, had been released by the Mets about a year ago after posting a .276/.296/.414 line in 152 Triple A plate appearances. Pena's new team features plenty of familiar names, such as Brian Barton, Denny Stark, Jorge Julio, Antonio Alfonseca, Tike Redman, Adam Greenberg, and Esteban Yan.
Pena was once very highly regarded as a power hitter. He has three appearances on a Baseball America Top 100 Prospects list, once for the Yankees and twice for the Reds. He was still an interesting player upon being dealt to the Red Sox for Bronson Arroyo in '06 and to the Nationals the following year. Shoulder surgery and a $2MM salary led to Pena's release by the Nats in March of '09.
The Pirates reacquired outfielder Jonathan Van Every from the Red Sox for catcher Josue Peley, reports MLB.com's Jenifer Langosch. The Sox had acquired Van Every from the Bucs on April 24th, but designated him for assignment ten days ago.
Van Every, 30, missed most of the '09 season due to knee surgery. In '08 he hit .263/.360/.524 in 442 Triple A plate appearances. He's played mostly center field in the minors.
Peley, 22, has struggled mightily with the bat in his minor league career, most recently with the Pirates' Low A club. Peley was a 35th-round draft and follow pick in '06; the Pirates converted him from middle infield to catcher.
Links for Sunday....
- Matthew Carruth at FanGraphs says that Dontrelle Willis could go from being a big sunk cost to a valuable investment if he flees to an NL club for the league minimum.
- Mark Gonzales of The Chicago Tribune reminds us that A.J. Pierzynski's ten-and-five rights kick in on June 14th, just over two weeks away. At that point the catcher will be able to veto any trade.
- Baseball America's Jim Callis says (via Twitter) that he remains unconvinced that the Mets would exceed MLB's recommended slot bonus in next month's draft. The Amazin's hold the seventh overall pick.
- Chad Jennings of The Journal News chronicles the story of Yankees' DH Juan Miranda, who wasn't able to successfully defect from Cuba until his seventh attempt.
- In his latest Inbox column at MLB.com, Joe Frisaro says that if the Marlins look to make any additions prior to this year's deadline, they will likely come in the form of bullpen arms. Florida's rotation has compiled a 3.65 ERA this season, but its bullpen ranks 11th in the NL at 4.46.
- More bad news for Indians fans from MLB.com's Anthony Castrovince: Grady Sizemore will undergo knee surgery that could potentially end his season.
- After being designated for assignment, Willis would like to play for a West Coast team, according to FOX Sports' Jon Paul Morosi. Morosi says the Diamondbacks are Willis' first choice.
- In a pair of tweets, Joe Cowley of the Chicago Sun-Times discusses the Paul Konerko-to-the-Angels speculation we mentioned this morning.
- Joel Sherman of the New York Post expects the Yankees to sign Cliff Lee after this season, and ESPN.com's Buster Olney (Insider-only link) agrees. One AL exec tells Sherman that he has "no doubt" the Yanks will sign the left-hander.
- Within the same ESPN.com piece, Olney opines that the Tigers could be the most logical fit for Roy Oswalt. Drew Sharp of the Detroit Free Press would like to see the Tigers make a run at the Astros' ace, while Morosi (via Twitter) thinks Lee makes more sense for the Tigers.
- Scott Schoeneweis cleared waivers and is now a free agent, tweets Amalie Benjamin of the Boston Globe. The Red Sox designated the lefty for assignment earlier this month.
- Paul Hoynes of the Cleveland Plain Dealer examines the challenge Chris Antonetti will face when he takes over as the Indians' GM after this season.
- Adeiny Hechavarria is making a strong first impression at Single-A Dunedin, according to the Toronto Sun's Bob Elliott.
Major League Baseball's amateur draft will be held from June 7th-9th, so we're going to introduce you to some of the top players available between now and then.
Every draft class offers players with questions about their future role. Sometimes it's a position player who might have to move from an up-the-middle spot to a corner, other times it's a starting pitcher who might become a reliever. Perhaps the biggest question mark in this year's draft class is Florida Gulf Coast lefthander Chris Sale, who some project to be a starter while others see a future in the bullpen.
As you can imagine, opinions on the 6-foot-6, 175 lb. lefty diverge greatly. Baseball America ranked him as the fifth best prospect in the draft while ESPN's Keith Law had him 47th (sub. req'd for both links). MLB.com's Draft Report says Sale gets lots of sink on his 92 mph fastball, plus a curveball that's a "potential wipeout pitch to left-handed hitters." He also sports a good changeup and strong control, throwing from a low-arm slot reminiscent of Randy Johnson. The MLB.com link offers video.
Sale spent the spring annihilating weak competition in the Atlantic Sun Conference, going 11-0 with a 2.01 ERA and a 146/14 K/BB ratio in 103 innings. He burst onto the scene in the prestigious Cape Cod League last summer, leading the circuit with four wins and 57 strikeouts. That performance led to Baseball America naming him the league's top prospect (sub. req'd), ahead of several other players expected to go in the first round both this year and next.
Big college lefties are very sought after come draft day, and Baseball America's Jim Callis projected the Indians to select Sale with the fifth overall pick in his latest mock draft (sub. req'd). He will almost assuredly be selected by a team that adheres to MLB's bonus recommendations.
The Angels have not yet shown any interest in acquiring Mike Lowell in the wake of Kendry Morales' injury, according to WEEI.com's Rob Bradford. Bradford's source indicated that the team has begun looking for a replacement, however.
Morales fractured his leg celebrating his walk-off grand slam yesterday, a big blow to the team considering his .290/.346/.487 batting line. Lowell has played sparingly this month because of David Ortiz's resurgence, and he's hitting just .239/.329/.358 on the year. The 36-year-old former World Series MVP has indicated that he will likely retire after the season.
We looked the Angels' options to replace their injured first baseman earlier today.
Rich Hill has agreed to push back the opt out date in his minor league contract with the Cardinals by 30 days, reports Derrick Goold of The St. Louis Post-Dispatch. Hill would have been able to elect free agency if he was not added to the big league roster by Tuesday.
Goold mentions that Hill's willingness to stay could stem from his new role as a reliever. The 30-year-old lefty has spent most of his career as a starter, though his last ten outings with Triple-A Memphis have come out of the bullpen. As a reliever, Hill has posted a 3.21 ERA with a 16/9 K/BB ratio in 14 innings, and lefties are hitting just .171 off him.
Since his breakout 2007 season with the Cubs, Hill has struggled mightily with his control, walking 136 batters in 178 total innings, majors and minors.
Before the season started, the general belief was that the Padres would be among the top sellers this season, with Adrian Gonzalez and Heath Bell representing the prime pieces of trade bait. The team's surprisingly good start has changed that belief, and ESPN's Buster Olney hears that they will have some flexibility to add talent at the trade deadline if they continue to play well (Twitter links). It's the ripple down effect from last summer's Jake Peavy deal, since the team wouldn't be able to add payroll this year had they not made that trade last year.
San Diego started the day two games up in the NL West thanks to a 29-20 record, and their +41 run differential suggests it's no fluke. Their success stems largely from pitching and defense; they boast MLB's best team ERA at 2.98 and the second best team UZR at +19.2. Offensively, the Padres have hit just .242/.319/.359 as a team, though their lack of power is somewhat mitigated by 54 stolen bases, just one behind the Rays for the league lead.
Padres' left fielders are hitting just .186/.286/.299 on the year while their shortstops have chipped in just .219/.278/.313 worth of offense, so those are two obvious areas that could be upgraded. Corner outfielders are always in ample supply at mid-season, but quality shortstops are typically harder to come by.
The summer months are almost upon us! Let's take a look back at what the last week of May had to offer:
- More talk about Roy Oswalt and the long list of teams who'd like to acquire his services. There have been reports that the Rangers have inquired on the Houston ace, and the Yankees are unlikely to make a play. Oswalt would love to pitch for the Cardinals, and with Kyle Lohse injured there's an opening in the rotation, but the Cards aren't in need of another big-name pitcher, but more of a back-end starter. The Nationals are another team that continues to come up; MLBTR's Howard Megdal looked at how the two teams could align for a potential trade. The Dodgers have also inquired on both Oswalt and Cliff Lee.
- Lee could be more appealing than Oswalt, given his contract. This week we heard about Lee's availability and how it affects Oswalt's value.
- Another potential name on the list could be Ben Sheets. Our own Ben (Nicholson-Smith) examined Sheets' trade value this week.
- One name to look for on the buyers' market this summer is the Blue Jays. If Toronto continues its hot start, they could look to upgrade at first base or add pitching.
- The Phillies could be in the market for relief help, as they were said to be scouting Bobby Jenks and J.J. Putz this week.
- We haven't seen much on the trade front yet, but at least one GM expects trade talks to pick up after the draft. Here's a look at some of the biggest June deals over recent years.
- It was a big week for some of the game's top prospects. Buster Posey was finally recalled from Triple-A and didn't disappoint in a stellar debut for the Giants. We also learned that Stephen Strasburg's first start will likely come in the Nationals' early June series against the Pirates.
- Fourteen different players were either released or designated for assignment this week, so check out our Transactions section to make sure you can keep up. A few quick mentions: Alan Embree was released by the White Sox, ditto for Brian Bruney in Washington. As for the DFAs, Randy Winn was designated by the Yankees, and the Tigers DFA'ed Dontrelle Willis.
- On the other side of the coin, the Giants signed Pat Burrell, the Yankees picked up Chad Gaudin, and the Braves signed Cuban outfielder Yasser Gomez, who defected in late 2008.
- Mike continued to profile the potential top picks in this year's amateur draft. Updates this week included Anthony Ranaudo, Jameson Taillon, and Manny Machado. We also got a look at the Top 10 prospects out of the Dominican Republic, as July 2 approaches.
- And lastly, here's a sneak peak at the current Elias Rankings courtesy of Eddie Bajek.