August 2010

Rangers Designate Brandon Boggs For Assignment

The Rangers designated outfielder Brandon Boggs for assignment to make room for the newly-acquired Jeff Francoeur, according to Jeff Wilson of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram (via Twitter). The DFA won't immediately affect the Rangers' major league roster, since they demonted Boggs to Triple A yesterday when they activated Nelson Cruz.

Boggs, 27, went hitless in eight big league plate appearances this year. He has a .212/.318/.375 line in 360 career major league plate appearances, but he has played well in the minor leagues. The switch-hitter has a .264/.375/.447 line in parts of seven minor league seasons.


Red Sox Release Jeremy Hermida

The Red Sox released outfielder Jeremy Hermida, according to Sean McAdam of CSNNE.com (on Twitter). The 26-year-old posted a .203/.257/.348 line in 171 plate appearances for the Red Sox this season, but never became the quality role player the Red Sox were hoping for when they traded for him last fall.

Hermida had been playing in the minors ever since the Red Sox designated him for assignment on July 31st. Baseball America ranked the former first-rounder fourth among all prospects before the 2006 season, but Hermida has yet to be an impact player for a full major league season. He posted an .870 OPS in 123 games for the 2007 Marlins, but has struggled to match that level of production since.

The move is essentially an early non-tender; the Red Sox were not going to offer Hermida arbitration this offseason, partly because he hasn't played well and partly because he makes $3.345MM this year and would have made a comparable amount in 2011.


Rangers Acquire Jeff Francoeur For Joaquin Arias

The Rangers and Mets swapped players they no longer needed tonight, exchanging Jeff Francoeur and Joaquin Arias. Francoeur was no longer a fit in New York, and suggested this summer that he would welcome a trade. Last week, the Rangers designated Arias for assignment (to make room for former Met Alex Cora, of all people), so they weren't relying on him any more than the Mets relied on Francoeur. 

About $897K remains on Francoeur's contract, but the Mets will pay most of that. The 26-year-old is hitting just .236/.293/.369 in 443 plate appearances, so he was a non-tender candidate on the Mets and remains one on the Rangers.

Like most right-handed hitters, Francoeur has markedly better numbers against left-handed pitching, both for his career (.820 OPS) and in 2010 (.767 OPS). David Murphy struggles against left-handers, so the Rangers needed a right-handed complement to Murphy, especially given Nelson Cruz's hamstring and Josh Hamilton's knee.

The Rangers acquired Arias as part of the 2004 Alfonso Soriano-Alex Rodriguez trade. Arias did have a solid 2008 campaign as a reserve for the Rangers, but this year he hit just .276/.290/.347 in 101 plate appearances so they no longer needed the 25-year-old.

ESPN's Adam Rubin first reported that the Rangers were considering Francoeur and Jon Heyman of SI.com reported (via Twitter) that the sides were actively discussing a deal involving Francoeur and Arias. Jeff Wilson of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram and others also reported on the deal via Twitter.



Ted Lilly Will Not Be Traded; Yankees Won Claim

The Dodgers pulled Ted Lilly back off of waivers after the Yankees won the claim on the left-hander, according to Jon Heyman of SI.com (Twitter links). This means virtually every team in baseball let Lilly through (the Rays being the lone possible exception). When the Dodgers placed Lilly on waivers last week, they did not seem inclined to trade him, so their decision is not a surprise.

Earlier in the month, the Yankees maintained that they weren't interested in adding starting pitching. Clearly, something changed this week. Andy Pettitte has been progressing slowly and Dustin Moseley has not fared well in his last four starts, so perhaps the Yankees decided it was time to be aggressive.

Lilly's new teammate, Hiroki Kuroda, will not be traded either. Both pitchers hit free agency this winter. 


Odds & Ends: Glaus, Torre, Padres, Strasburg

On this date in 1998, the Mariners traded Joey Cora to the Indians for David Bell. More than a decade later, Cora is still making headlines in Cleveland – sort of. The White Sox coach translated for Manny Ramirez at this afternoon’s Progressive Field press conference. Here are some more links as we await another round of trades…

  • The Braves are listening to offers for Troy Glaus, according to David O'Brien of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution (on Twitter). On Sunday we heard that multiple AL teams have some interest in Glaus.
  • The A's re-signed Tommy Everidge, who played for Oakland last year, but hasn't appeared in the majors since, according to the Pacific Coast League's transactions page.
  • Dodgers manager Joe Torre told Dylan Hernandez of the LA Times that he expects to be able to work out a deal with the Dodgers this offseason if he decides to manage in 2011 (Twitter link).
  • The Padres are still interested in adding a starting pitcher, according to Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports (on Twitter). MLBTR's Tim Dierkes provided a list of potentially available starters earlier today. Jon Heyman of SI.com says the Padres claimed a number of pitchers, but weren't able to work out any deals (Twitter link).
  • Nationals GM Mike Rizzo told Adam Kilgore of the Washington Post that Stephen Strasburg will undergo Tommy John surgery this Friday.
  • MLBPA leader Michael Weiner told Andrew Marchand of ESPNNewYork that the hearing between Francisco Rodriguez and the Mets will take place in mid-October (Twitter link).

 


Rangers Not Likely To Acquire Mike Lowell

5:18pm: Sullivan now hears from the Rangers that they aren't going to acquire Lowell.

4:38pm: The Rangers and Red Sox are discussing Mike Lowell again, according to MLB.com's T.R. Sullivan. The Rangers, who are also discussing Jeff Francoeur with the Mets, are "pushing hard" to acquire a right-handed bat by tonight, according to Sullivan, who says Lowell appears to be the Rangers' main target.

The Red Sox placed Lowell on waivers earlier in the month and he presumably cleared. If he had been claimed and the Red Sox had pulled him back, no trade would be possible at this point. About $2.2MM of Lowell's $12MM salary remains. That figure has been an obstacle all season, but the Rangers showed that they have some money to spend when they claimed Manny Ramirez.

As WEEI.com's Alex Speier reports, the Red Sox are not giving up, despite the fact that they traded Manny Delcarmen to the Rockies. Lowell hasn't hit much this season (.234/.309/.373 line), so perhaps the Red Sox believe they have an equally good chance of heating up and re-entering the playoff picture without him. Lowell has a career .841 OPS against lefties, which presumably contributes to the Rangers' interest.


Dave Bush Clears Waivers

Dave Bush cleared waivers earlier in August and can now be traded to any team, according to Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports (on Twitter). Bush, 30, hits free agency after the season, but could provide value as an innings eater in September. He has a 4.71 ERA with 5.5 K/9 and 3.3 BB/9 in 147 innings this year.

Bush earns $4.215MM in 2010 plus incentives based on innings pitched, but just $760K of his base salary remains. The right-hander doesn't currently project as a Type A or B free agent, so the Brewers aren't likely to obtain any form of compensation for him after the season.

This is speculation, but the Padres, who have shown interest in pitching this month and want to limit their young starters' innings, could call the Brewers about Bush. Click here for MLBTR's complete list of players to clear waivers and here for Tim Dierkes' list of potentially available starters.


Rockies Interested In Jose Lopez

The Rockies are interested in Mariners infielder Jose Lopez, according to Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports (via Twitter). The Rockies are an infielder short after placing Ian Stewart on the disabled list, but rosters expand tomorrow, so they could rely on minor leaguers instead. One source tells Rosenthal that he or she doubts the Rockies will acquire Lopez or any other infielder (Twitter link).

Lopez has disappointed Mariners fans this season with his .241/.272/.333 line. After years of playing second base, he moved to third, where his defense is slightly above average, according to UZR. About $180K of Lopez's 2010 salary remains and there's a $250K buyout for a $4.5MM team option for 2011. Given Lopez's play this season, his team will likely decline that option and non-tender him. However, as the Cardinals showed when they acquired Pedro Feliz, teams are willing to trade for under-performing players in the hopes that they heat up.


Rockies Acquire Manny Delcarmen

The Rockies acquired reliever Manny Delcarmen from the Red Sox for minor league righty Chris Balcom-Miller, tweets WEEI's Alex Speier.  According to a press release, the Red Sox also sent cash considerations.  The Rockies were known to be seeking relief help given Matt Belisle's heavy workload and Rafael Betancourt's abdominal strain.  At 3.5 games back in the wild card, Colorado has a 15.9% shot at the playoffs according to Baseball Prospectus.  Unless Delcarmen cleared waivers, the trade implies Delcarmen went unclaimed by American League teams as well as National League non-contenders.

Delcarmen, 28, has a 4.70 ERA, 6.5 K/9, and 5.7 BB/9 with seven home runs allowed in 44 innings this year.  His control took a turn for the worse after the '07 season, and his fastball velocity has been down a tick the last few years.  The Red Sox were willing to trade Delcarmen in July, but didn't find a match.  The Rockies have had their eye on him for years.  If September goes well in the new league, perhaps they'll tender him a contract for 2011 at a small raise on this year's $905K salary.

Balcom-Miller, 21, has a 3.31 ERA, 9.7 K/9, and 1.6 BB/9 with three home runs allowed in 108.6 innings for the Rockies' Low A affiliate.  Heading into the season Baseball America ranked him 16th among Rockies prospects, saying he "has the ceiling of a solid middle-of-the-rotation starter."


Arbitration Eligibles: Kansas City Royals

A look at the Royals players who will be eligible for arbitration after the season…

Pena, Fields, Bannister, and Davies are non-tender candidates by virtue of poor performance, injury, or both.  Before the non-tender deadline in December, the Royals could shop them around.  Still, the Royals could just retain any or all of them at fairly reasonable prices if they think 2011 will bring improvement. 

Hochevar and Gordon have yet to live up to their draft pedigrees, but neither is worth cutting loose.  Butler, Tejeda, and Betemit will also be tendered contracts.  Butler hasn't racked up counting stats in his career, but he's still done enough to earn the $3.1MM James Loney did.  Betemit's huge half-year presents something of a conundrum in the opinon of FanGraphs' Dave Cameron, but I think he'll be retained.  Anderson signed a $700K minor league deal as an outfielder in December but later converted to pitching.  He may have impressed enough in 17.3 innings to be tendered a contract.