November 2011

Rangers Pursuing Andrew Bailey

The Rangers signed Joe Nathan last week, but they're still exploring ways of adding relief help, since they aim to enter the 2012 season with the strongest bullpen possible. They're one of the teams trying to trade for A's closer Andrew Bailey, according to Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports. ESPN.com's Buster Olney notes that the Red Sox are also pursuing Bailey (Twitter link).

The 27-year-old right-hander posted a 3.24 ERA with 8.9 K/9 and 2.6 BB/9 in 41 2/3 innings in 2011 after recovering a forearm strain that sidelined him early in the season. MLBTR projects a $3.5MM salary for Bailey in 2012. One of Rosenthal's sources promised that the Rangers will add another reliever to join Nathan, Mike Adams and Koji Uehara at the back end of the bullpen. The Red Sox, who lost Jonathan Papelbon to the Phillies, also have interest in adding to the back end of their bullpen this offseason.

The Blue Jays, Mariners and Reds are also interested in Bailey, who appears to be available. The Rangers had interest in him leading up to last summer's trade deadline. 


Tigers Interested In Coco Crisp, Pitching

The Tigers are interested in free agent outfielder Coco Crisp, according to Danny Knobler of CBSSports.com (all Twitter links). The team has a projected outfield of Delmon Young, Austin Jackson and Brennan Boesch, but seems to be considering additions. 

The switch-hitting Crisp led the American League with 49 stolen bases in 2011, hitting .264/.314/.379 with 27 doubles as Oakland's center fielder. The Tigers could trade an outfielder, most likely Young, if they sign a free agent such as Crisp. The California native seems to prefer West Coast teams, but explained in September that he’s also looking to play on a winner and find a good "financial situation" for himself. The A’s remain interested in re-signing him.

The Tigers still want to round out their rotation with a starting pitcher and a trade is more likely than a signing, according to Knobler. The team, which announced its deal with Ramon Santiago earlier today, could still add another second baseman, Knobler writes. Alternatively, they could pair Santiago with utility player Ryan Raburn at second.


Bobby Valentine Hiring Reactions

Bobby Valentine will be the next Red Sox manager and baseball is buzzing about the consequences for the front office, Boston's players and the 61-year-old skipper himself. Here’s the latest reaction to the move:

  • Peter Gammons of MLB.com says GM Ben Cherington and Valentine, two smart baseball people, have what it takes to work well together and turn the 2012 Red Sox into a team worth watching. "They are both so smart and so very different and need to win," Gammons writes.
  • ESPN.com's Buster Olney believes Valentine and the Red Sox players have an opportunity to bury the past and succeed in spite of what has been said about them. Olney reports that some Red Sox players started grumbling to each other as Valentine emerged as a serious candidate for the position.
  • Joel Sherman of the New York Post says the Red Sox have put in place a formula for greatness or disaster. Valentine is "a combustible manager as likely to throw the organization into further chaos as he is to bring championship glory," Sherman writes. 
  • Peter Abraham of the Boston Globe reports that the other finalist, Tigers third base coach Gene Lamont, reminded some in the Red Sox organization of Terry Francona. Valentine hadn't agreed to the specifics of a deal as of last night, but the sides are expected to reach one without difficulty, Abraham writes.
  • Yahoo's Jeff Passan isn't sure how the balance of power will shift in Boston, but he knows Valentine, Cherington and CEO Larry Lucchino can't all have the final say on the team.
  • Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports points out that Cherington has lots of on-field matters to attend to and hopes that Lucchino lets him conduct the rest of the offseason as he sees fit. 


MLBTR Chat Transcript

Click below to read a transcript of today's chat with Tim Dierkes.

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Tigers To Sign Ramon Santiago

The Tigers announced that they've agreed to sign Ramon Santiago to a two-year contract. The deal guarantees Santiago slightly more than $4MM, Danny Knobler of CBSSports.com reports (on Twitter). The 32-year-old infielder will provide manager Jim Leyland with a familiar option for three infield positions.

Santiago hit .260/.311/.384 in Detroit this past season, appearing at shortstop, second and third. He became the Tigers’ regular second baseman toward the end of the season and continued starting in the postseason. He was not a ranked free agent, so the team would not have obtained a draft pick had he signed elsewhere.

Though the Tigers like Santiago, they didn't appear to view him as an everyday solution at second base heading into the offseason. It's not clear if they now view him as a viable everyday starter or if he'll return as a utility player.


Chong Tae-Hyon Remains Undecided

The latest Orioles hot stove information…

  • Right-hander Chong Tae-Hyon is still deciding whether to stay in South Korea or accept an offer from the Orioles, reports Dan Connolly of the Baltimore Sun.  Connolly says the Orioles would likely offer a multiyear deal and a 40-man roster spot if Chong wants to be the first player to go from the Korea Baseball Organization directly to MLB.
  • The Orioles will go to the Dominican Republic to watch Cuban center fielder Yoenis Cespedes work out, tweets Roch Kubatko of MASNSports.com.  The Nationals, Tigers, Angels, Red Sox, Cubs, Marlins have reportedly made the trip recently, and the list of suitors is much bigger than that.
  • Orioles fans, check out MLBTR's Twitter, Facebook, and RSS pages for the team.

Minor Moves: Waldis Joaquin

The latest minor moves from around MLB…

  • Right-hander Waldis Joaquin is now a free agent after clearing waivers, MLBTR has learned. The Giants designated the hard-throwing 24-year-old for assignment in November. Joaquin has made 19 relief appearances for the Giants from 2009-11, including five this past season. He spent most of 2011 at Triple-A Fresno, where he posted a 3.44 ERA with 4.9 K/9 and 4.2 BB/9 in 49 2/3 innings. Joaquin will now pitch a few games in the Dominican Republic to get some work in.

Cubs Reach Agreement With David DeJesus

The Cubs reached an agreement with outfielder David DeJesus, tweets Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports.  It's a two-year deal, tweets MLB.com's Jane Lee.  The Cubs confirmed the deal on Twitter, noting the inclusion of a club option for 2014.  The contract guarantees $10MM, tweets SI's Jon Heyman.  Paul Sullivan of the Chicago Tribune tweets salary details.  DeJesus will be the Cubs' regular right fielder.  He makes his offseason home in Wheaton, Illinois, according to the Cubs' press release.

DeJesus

DeJesus, 31, had a disappointing offensive season for the Athletics after being traded from the Royals a year ago, hitting .240/.323/.376 in 506 plate appearances.  In his Royals career, DeJesus hit .289/.360/.427 in 3,799 plate appearances.  Despite his offensive struggles in 2011, DeJesus was worth over two wins last year according to FanGraphs, partially on account of strong right field defense.  He's logged over 1,700 innings at each outfield position in the course of his nine-year career.  DeJesus was offered arbitration by the A's last week, so they'll receive a supplemental draft pick in 2012 for their loss.

DeJesus marks the first signing under new Cubs president Theo Epstein and GM Jed Hoyer.  Epstein had interest in acquiring the outfielder for the Red Sox at the 2010 trade deadline until he tore a ligament in his thumb.  DeJesus, an ACES client, ranked 29th on our top 50 free agents list, and I'm proud to say I actually predicted this one correctly in MLBTR's contest.  With four of ten correct I rank 150th overall; six people are tied with six correct picks.

Photo courtesy of Icon SMI.


13 Teams Eligible For First Competitive Balance Lottery

The new collective bargaining agreement calls for a competitive balance draft pick lottery beginning in 2013, and MLB.com's Jonathan Mayo has details.  13 teams will be eligible for the first lottery based on their market size and revenue: the Diamondbacks, Orioles, Indians, Royals, Athletics, Pirates, Padres, Rays, Reds, Rockies, Marlins, Brewers, and Cardinals.  The lottery gives each of these teams the chance to win one of six extra picks in the 2013 draft, which will come after the compensation picks for free agents.  The odds of winning a pick will be based on each team's winning percentage in the previous season.

There will be another group of six picks after the draft's second round.  The teams in the mix for these will be the ones that did not win a pick in the first lottery, as well as any other team that receives revenue sharing.

Mayo says lottery picks can be traded, but only once by a team and only during the regular season.  The picks cannot be sold for cash.

A third lottery will be held for picks forfeited by teams that exceeded their bonus pools.  Teams that did not exceed their pools will be eligible, with odds based on a formula of revenue and winning percentage.  Got all that?  There will be a quiz tomorrow.


Phillies Sign Brian Sanches, Scott Elarton

The Phillies announced today they've signed eight players to minor league deals with spring training invites: righty Scott Elarton, infielder Kevin Frandsen, catcher Tuffy Gosewisch, lefty Pat Misch, infielder Pete Orr, outfielder Scott Podsednik, righty Brian Sanches, and lefty Raul Valdes.  The signings of Podsednik, Misch, Frandsen, Orr, and Valdes were reported previously.

Sanches, 33, posted a 3.94 ERA, 7.7 K/9, 5.3 BB/9, 1.02 HR/9, and 33.9% groundball rate for the Marlins in 61 2/3 innings this year.  He was outrighted by the Marlins in October.  If the soft-tosser does find his way to the Phillies' 40-man roster and succeeds, they can retain him in future seasons as an arbitration-eligible player.

Elarton, 35, pitched parts of ten seasons in the Majors, most recently in 2008 with the Indians.  He last pitched professionally in 2010, tossing 19 2/3 innings for the Triple-A affiliate of the White Sox.  Elarton won 17 games for the 2000 Astros, though his best season might have been '99.

Gosewisch, 28, played in 109 games last year for the Phillies' Double-A affiliate.