August 2010

Odds & Ends: Webb, White Sox, Accardo

Links for waiver trade deadline day, as the Reds prepare for Chapmania


Marlins Seeking Catching Help This Offseason

The Marlins are "strongly considering moving in another direction at catcher" this offseason, reports MLB.com's Joe FrisaroJohn Baker may be headed for elbow surgery, while Ronny Paulino is a non-tender candidate given his PED suspension.  Who might the Marlins consider importing this winter?

Viable free agents for the Marlins include Rod Barajas, John Buck, Ramon Hernandez, Gerald Laird, Bengie Molina, A.J. Pierzynski, Yorvit Torrealba, Jason Varitek, and Gregg Zaun.  If the Fish don't find their man within that group, Ryan Doumit, Mike Napoli, Russell Martin, and Chris Iannetta could be available via trade.


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Available Starting Pitchers

Let's put on our speculating hats and conjure up a list of starting pitchers who might be currently available.  Warning: most of these guys have ERAs around 5.00.

  • Kenshin Kawakami, Braves.  The Braves don't have much use for Kawakami, unless Derek Lowe is ailing.
  • Rodrigo Lopez, Diamondbacks.  He leads MLB with 32 home runs allowed, but at least he takes the ball every fifth day. 
  • Paul Maholm and Zach Duke, Pirates.  These lefties are probably not a part of the Pirates' long-term future, but they might find an improved market in the offseason. 
  • Kevin Millwood, Orioles.  He's had some good starts this month, but he's owed over $2.1MM this year.
  • Dave Bush, Brewers.  Only makes sense if you're looking for someone to chew up innings. 
  • Kyle Davies and Bruce Chen, Royals.  If the Royals intend to non-tender Davies after the season, they could trade him today. 
  • Jeremy Bonderman, Tigers.  He's currently dealing with rib cage inflammation, but could be an OK option for someone in September.  The Tigers would have to assume some of his remaining $2.2MM. 
  • Scott Kazmir, Angels.  With almost $16MM left on his contract through next year, Kazmir probably already cleared waivers.
  • Aaron Harang, Reds.  He'll be activated today to start against the Brewers.  The Reds probably need him.
  • Rich Harden, Rangers.  He's been booted to the bullpen and would have $2.4MM coming to him if traded. 
  • Carlos Zambrano, Cubs.  He's got over $39MM left on his contract through 2012 and surely cleared waivers, but an offseason deal is more likely. 
  • Scott Olsen and Jason Marquis, Nationals.  Olsen gets $75K in incentives for each of his next three starts, after which he will get $105K per.  Marquis has over $8.8MM left on his contract, which runs through next year.
  • Randy Wolf, Brewers.  If traded, Wolf will have at least $22.6MM coming to him through 2012.  He's another guy who presumably cleared waivers.

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Quiet Deadline Day Expected?

Eleven hours remain until tonight's waiver trade deadline.  A year ago today, Jim Thome, Jose Contreras, Ronnie Belliard, and Jon Garland were dealt.  But two years ago it was pretty much just David Eckstein, and three years ago we only had deals for Steve Trachsel and Russell Branyan.  So SI's Jon Heyman may be right in passing along the prediction from baseball executives that only "a couple of bullpen and bench pieces" will be moved today.  More from Heyman:


Hiroki Kuroda Will Not Be Traded

The Padres were negotiating a waiver trade with the Dodgers for pitcher Hiroki Kuroda, reported Bill Center of the San Diego Union-Tribune, but the Dodgers pulled him back over the weekend.  That the Padres made the claim on Kuroda shows they were willing to take on his $2.33MM remaining salary.

Kuroda, 35, sports a 3.39 ERA, 7.3 K/9, and 2.2 BB/9 in 162 innings after last night's one-hit effort.  He'll be eligible for free agency after the season.  He projects as a Type B, though it's not clear whether his contract allows for an arbitration offer or if the Dodgers would consider it.


Dodgers Could Trim An Additional $5.775MM

The Dodgers already saved about $3.8MM by unloading Manny Ramirez yesterday.  With a 4.1% playoff shot according to Baseball Prospectus (5.5 games out in the wild card), they're still not committed to packing it in for 2010.  But let's do some simple math to determine how much additional cash the Dodgers would save if they cleaned house.  Here's who could go and how much is left on their contracts:

  • Hiroki Kuroda, $2.33MM.  Kuroda was placed on waivers on August 24th, tweeted Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports.  If he was claimed, the window to make a deal or dump his contract closed yesterday.  Perhaps Kuroda was claimed and the Dodgers pulled him back, killing the chances of a deal.  Or maybe his $13MM salary allowed him to clear waivers, and a trade is still possible.  UPDATE: Scratch the Kuroda idea, he was pulled back over the weekend after the Padres claimed him.
  • Ted Lilly, $2.15MM.  Lilly was placed on waivers on August 27th, tweeted Rosenthal.  The Dodgers could come out ahead financially on the Lilly portion of their deal with the Cubs.  The Dodgers could keep the $2.5MM the Cubs sent but trade the lefty again today, allowing another team to pay the $2.15MM left on his contract.  SI's Jon Heyman tweeted today that Lilly will not be moved, however.
  • Octavio Dotel, $583K.  It's a similar story with Dotel, as the Dodgers could keep the $500K the Pirates sent but trade the reliever again.
  • Scott Podsednik, $296K.  This assumes Pods voids his 2011 option.
  • Brad Ausmus, $179K.
  • Reed Johnson, $143K.
  • Rod Barajas, $90K.  The Dodgers may also save money on Barajas' performance bonuses.
  • We'll leave Jeff Weaver, Ronnie Belliard, Vicente Padilla, and George Sherrill out of this discussion, as Padilla can't be dealt and the others are not appealing.
  • To sum it up, if the Dodgers moved or dumped Kuroda, Lilly, Dotel, Podsednik, Ausmus, Johnson, and Barajas today, they'd save $5.775MM and add a few prospects.  Add in $3.8MM for Manny and the $3MM received in July, and that's a cool $12.575MM.  I don't expect the Dodgers to gut their team in this fashion, but it's fun to think about.

5 Surprises: Colorado Rockies

Five Rockies surprises I would not have predicted in the offseason…

  1. Brad Hawpe released.  During the offseason Rockies GM Dan O'Dowd said he was willing to listen to trade offers for Hawpe, but he wasn't shopping the player.  Hawpe's playing time dwindled until he was released in mid-August.
  2. Chris Iannetta's demotion.  The Rockies agreed to a three-year deal with Iannetta in December, but signed Miguel Olivo to split time with him the following month.  Before the end of April, Iannetta was demoted to Triple A for about a month.  Iannetta could be attractive on the trade market this winter, but the Rockies may need him if Olivo's club option turns mutual and he becomes tough to re-sign.
  3. Huston Street making his season debut on June 23rd.  In January, the Rockies were so enamored of Street they extended him through 2012 at a minimal discount even though they already controlled him for '10.  Street had a decent-sized injury history, though, so this year's shoulder issue didn't come out of nowhere.
  4. Jhoulys Chacin's season.  Chacin wasn't a household name, though he was ranked fourth among Rockies prospects by Baseball America before the season.  He's been a crucial member of the team in 2010, with a 3.79 ERA in 102 innings.  Aaron Cook hasn't performed as expected and Jeff Francis and Jorge de la Rosa have dealt with injuries, so Chacin has been a godsend.
  5. Carlos Gonzalez's season.  Given Gonzalez's strong 2009 trial, his performance this year isn't a shock.  Still, I didn't expect an MVP-caliber year from the center fielder.

Free Agent Stock Watch: Pat Burrell

Pat Burrell's stock reached a low on May 15th, when the Rays designated him for assignment.  The move showed that the team was willing to eat nearly $7MM to get Burrell off the roster.  He'd hit just .218/.311/.361 in 137 games as the team's designated hitter.

On May 29th, Burrell signed a minor league deal with the Giants.  After five games at Triple A, Burrell joined the big league club.  Since then he has a .272/.366/.510 line in 243 plate appearances – pretty much what the Rays expected when they signed him to a two-year, $16MM deal in January of 2009.  He has, however, faced lefties a disproportionate amount of the time.

Burrell may be reluctant to return to the American League and a designated hitter role in 2011.  That'll limit his market to National League clubs seeking a left fielder, as Burrell hasn't played first base in ten years.  And Burrell's reputation in left isn't stellar.  With about $70MM earned in his career, the slugger may focus more on playing time rather than guaranteed money for his next contract.  He might be available for less than $2MM guaranteed, plus plate appearance incentives.  Returning to the Giants will have to be at the top of his list, if they're interested.


Arbitration Eligibles: Detroit Tigers

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

The Tigers have a low-key arbitration class this winter, with no monster raises expected.  Miner and Zumaya could be non-tendered, as both are recovering from elbow surgery.  The Tigers still may prefer to keep them off the free agent market though.  Tendering contracts is not terribly risky, as both pitchers earned less than $1MM in 2010.

It appears that Galarraga will get in as a Super Two player, and it'll be Raburn's first time as well.


Odds & Ends: Angels, Edmonds, Chapman

More links for Monday, as Ryan Zimmerman does some damage to the Sun Life Stadiu(m) scoreboard…