SATURDAY: Simon told reporters (including MLB.com's Britt Ghiroli) that he expects to get claimed off waivers, but will elect free agency is he's not.
FRIDAY: The Orioles have waived right-hander Alfredo Simon, a source confirmed to Dan Connolly of The Baltimore Sun (via Twitter). Simon, 30, had a 4.90 ERA with 6.5 K/9 and 3.1 BB/9 in 16 starts and seven relief appearances last season.
One National League exec told Connolly (via Twitter) that it's hard to imagine Simon not getting claimed based on his ability, though consistency is a concern with him. Roch Kubatko of MASNsports.com tweets that the move will help to create room on the 40-man roster as the O's need space for Nick Johnson and Ronny Paulino.
Mike Axisa contributed to this post.
The Cubs are looking for bullpen help now that right-hander Jeff Samardzija has won a spot in the rotation, reports ESPN's Buster Olney (on Twitter). Chicago recently set their rotation by optioning Travis Wood and Randy Wells to Triple-A.
Carlos Marmol and Kerry Wood make a fine end-game duo, but the rest of the Cubs' relief corps will feature guys like James Russell, Casey Coleman, and Rule 5 Draft pick Lendy Castillo. There are more clubs looking to buy bullpen depth this time of year than shop it, so it doesn't figure to be easy for the north-siders to shore up their middle relief situation.
A few pieces of Nats news courtesy of Adam Kilgore of the Washington Post..
- General Manager Mike Rizzo says that the Nationals are unlikely to make any last-minute changes to their major league roster. Barring "something out of the ordinary," Rizzo says that any changes to the Opening Day roster will come from the players already in-house.
- Rizzo expects Andres Blanco to exercise his opt-out clause and become a free agent. The Nats reassigned the infielder yesterday.
- The Nationals hope to hang on to outfielder Jason Michaels after releasing him on Thursday. Rizzo would like to re-sign the veteran and place him with Triple-A Syracuse.
Friday night linkage..
- Several scouts not affiliated with the Padres now regard Cory Luebke as the team's best starter, writes Tom Krasovic of Inside The Padres. Luebke agreed to a sizable extension with the club earlier this evening.
- Red Sox CEO Larry Lucchino said today that GM Ben Cherington is "exploring" the team's options in regards to their compensation package for Theo Epstein, writes Gordon Edes of ESPNBoston.com. Boston would like to receive a different player from the Cubs after the injury suffered by Chris Carpenter.
- Steve Dilbeck of the Los Angeles Times writes that the public will ultimately pay for the Dodgers' massive sale price.
- Veteran infielder Cesar Izturis is relieved to have made the cut with the Brewers, writes MLB.com's Adam McCalvy.
The Padres today announced that they have agreed to terms with left-hander Cory Luebke on a contract through the 2015 season with club options for 2016 and 2017. The 27-year-old is represented by Meister Sports Management.
The deal will give Luebke a guaranteed $12MM, according to Tom Krasovic of Inside The Padres (via Twitter). If both options are exercised, Luebke could earn up to $27.75MM, tweets Corey Brock of MLB.com.
The contract can potentially cover Luebke's arbitration eligible years and his first year of free agency. The lefty appeared in 46 games for the Padres last season, posting a 3.29 ERA with 9.9 K/9 and 2.8 BB/9.
6:10pm: The deal is worth $37.5MM over four years with a player option for 2016 at $12.5MM, tweets Bob Dutton of the Kansas City Star. Gordon will earn $6MM for 2012, $9MM for 2013, $10MM for 2014, and $12.5MM for 2015, Dutton tweets.
5:40pm: The Royals announced that they have reached a contract extension with leftfielder Alex Gordon. The contract includes four guaranteed years through the 2015 season with a player option for 2016. The Excel Sports Management client would have been eligible for free agency after the 2013 season.
Its been a busy spring for General Manager Dayton Moore who signed off on a five-year, $7MM extension for Salvador Perez and a new deal for Alcides Escobar who could earn up to $21.75MM through 2017. Eric Hosmer could also be an extension candidate but earlier this week the first baseman said that he is in no rush to sign a multi-year deal.
Terms of the deal have not yet been disclosed but Gordon could potentially hold the richest deal in club history. To date, the largest deal in Kansas City's history has been $55MM, the amount given to both Gil Meche and Mike Sweeney.
Gordon, 28, hit .303/.376/.502 with 23 homers in 690 plate appearances in 2011. Last season marked Gordon's first as a full-time outfielder.
On this date 20 years ago, the Cubs released 29-year-old left-hander Jamie Moyer. The southpaw didn't pitch in the Major Leagues again that year, but he returned in 1993 and has since pitched 3,300 innings and won 233 games. His career isn't over yet, as the Rockies may add him to their rotation. Here are today's links...
- The Red Sox had complete access to Chris Carpenter's medical records before acquiring him from the Cubs, Nick Cafardo and Peter Abraham of the Boston Globe report. The reliever also passed two physicals earlier this year, so the Red Sox aren't likely to obtain a different player from the Cubs as compensation for Theo Epstein even though Carpenter underwent elbow surgery yesterday.
- ESPN.com’s Buster Olney wonders if the Indians could pursue free agent Johnny Damon instead of trading for Bobby Abreu (Twitter link). Dave Cameron of FanGraphs explores the Damon-Indians possibility and says it's hard to argue he’s a worse option than Abreu.
- The Brewers have exchanged figures with closer John Axford regarding a possible extension, Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com tweets. "I'm not going to jump at anything," Axford said.
The latest minor moves from around MLB...
- The Astros released first baseman Jimmy Van Ostrand and right-hander Lance Pendleton, Brian McTaggart of MLB.com tweets.
- The Brewers released catcher Mike Rivera, according to the team (via media relations director Mike Vassallo on Twitter). The 35-year-old appeared in one game with the 2011 Brewers and has experience in nine MLB seasons.
- The Yankees announced that they released Russell Branyan from his minor league contract and re-signed him to a new one. The Yankees appear to save $100K with the maneuver.
- The Blue Jays acquired right-hander Ryota Igarashi from the Pirates for cash considerations or a player to be named later, Shi Davidi of Sportsnet.ca reports (Twitter links). Davidi suggests the Blue Jays will likely assign Igarashi to Triple-A. The 32-year-old appeared in 45 games for the 2011 Mets, posting a 4.66 ERA with 9.8 K/9 and 6.5 BB/9 in 38 2/3 innings.
- The Phillies announced that they traded minor league first baseman Matt Rizzotti to the Twins for cash considerations today. The 26-year-old spent the 2011 season at Double-A Reading and posted a .295/.392/.511 line with 24 home runs, 34 doubles and 79 walks in 587 plate appearances.
Outgoing Dodgers owner Frank McCourt has some authority over the land surrounding Dodger Stadium and Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports wonders if he’ll look to lure the NFL back to Los Angeles. Here are some more rumors and notes from Rosenthal and his colleague, Jon Paul Morosi:
- Rosenthal checks in on extension candidates around the league, offering insight into the negotiations. The likely asking price for Brandon Phillips is a raise from his current $12MM salary on a four or five-year deal.
- The issue in contract talks between Ian Kinsler and the Rangers is years, rather than dollars, Rosenthal writes.
- The Phillies haven't had substantive extension talks with Cole Hamels in the last three weeks, Rosenthal tweets.
- Hall of Famer Dave Winfield told Morosi that he has thought about teaming up with others to bid for an MLB team. “There’s been interest on my part,” Winfield said. “I really don’t need to go into more detail at this point, but that is something I’ve considered.” It’s hard not to wonder if Winfield could look to purchase the Padres, one of his former teams.
The latest outright assignments around MLB...
- The Brewers outrighted right-hander Amaury Rivas to Triple-A, Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel tweets. The 26-year-old posted a 4.72 ERA with 6.5 K/9 and 4.8 BB/9 in 150 2/3 innings at Triple-A last year.
- The Yankees announced that they outrighted catcher Craig Tatum to Triple-A. Tatum, a recent waiver claim by the Yankees, has a .223/.291/.264 line in 299 MLB plate appearances and has stopped 21% of stolen base attempts against him. He also has a .249/.316/.377 batting line in eight seasons as a minor leaguer.