7:41pm: McCalvy hears that Veras is still going through the waivers process, so he is not a free agent just yet (Twitter link).
7:10pm: Right-hander Jose Veras has elected free agency after being outrighted off the Brewers' 40-man roster, agent Bryce Dixon told MLB.com's Adam McCalvy. The right-hander would have remained under team control in 2013 as an arbitration-eligible player.
Veras, 32, pitched to a 3.63 ERA with 10.6 K/9 and 5.4 BB/9 in 67 innings for Milwaukee this season. They acquired him from the Pirates last winter for Casey McGehee, who, coincidentally enough, also elected free agency today.
The latest on the Nationals...
- Stephen Strasburg hasn't yet qualified for arbitration, but that won't prevent him from earning a salary comparable to that of an accomplished first time eligible starter. Strasburg will earn $3.9MM in 2013, according to Adam Kilgore of the Washington Post. The right-hander signed a record contract after the Nationals selected him first overall in 2009.
- Adam LaRoche hasn’t been in contact with the Nationals about a possible contract extension in about a week, the free agent first baseman told Bill Ladson of MLB.com (Twitter link). Kilgore reported last week that the sides has established some parameters for a new deal.
De La Rosa, 31, allowed 14 runs in 10 2/3 innings across just three starts this year after missing most of the season due to Tommy John surgery. He's pitched to a 4.39 ERA in just 69 2/3 innings for Colorado due to the elbow surgery since re-signing with the club two offseason ago.
The Blue Jays have exercised their 2013 option for left-hander Darren Oliver, the team announced. The club also declined their option for Rajai Davis, but re-signed him to a one-year deal worth $2.5MM.
Oliver, 42, pitched to a 2.06 ERA in 56 2/3 innings this season. He'll earn $3MM next year. The 32-year-old Davis hit .257/.309/.378 with 46 stolen bases this year. His club option was worth $3MM.
4:59pm: The Angels are sending $1MM to the Royals, Mike DiGiovanna of the LA Times reports (on Twitter).
4:15pm: The Angels weren't sure about Ervin Santana, but the Royals want to see if he can re-establish himself as an above-average MLB starter. The Royals acquired Santana and cash from the Angels for minor league left-hander Brandon Sisk, the teams announced. The Angels exercised Santana's 2013 option before completing the trade, Bill Shaikin of the LA Times reports (on Twitter).
“We’ve stated all along that starting pitching was a priority this offseason and acquiring someone with the resume of Ervin Santana immediately upgrades our rotation,” Royals GM Dayton Moore said in a statement released by the team.
The Angels had limited interest in exercising Santana's $13MM option option, but the Royals appear to consider it reasonable. The Royals quietly checked in on Santana's medicals yesterday before completing the deal today, Bob Nightengale of USA Today reports (on Twitter).
The 29-year-old posted a 5.16 ERA with 6.7 K/9, 3.1 BB/9 and a 43.2% ground ball rate in 178 innings this past season. Santana's average fastball velocity declined to 91.7 mph, but his swinging strike rate remained constant at 8.4%. He had completed at least 220 innings with ERAs below 4.00 in 2010 and 2011. Rosenthal reported late last night that the Angels were trying to move Santana and Dan Haren.
Sisk, 27, made 50 relief appearances at Triple-A this past season. He posted a 2.54 ERA with 9.8 K/9 and 4.3 BB/9 in 67 1/3 innings -- numbers that match up with his career averages through five minor league seasons.
The Royals began the offseason with a clear need for starting pitching. So far they have traded for Santana and claimed Chris Volstad. Volstad remains a non-tender candidate, but Santana will join Bruce Chen, Luis Mendoza, Felipe Paulino and Danny Duffy in the team's projected 2013 rotation. It won't be surprising if GM Dayton Moore continues pursuing starting pitching.
The Royals surely hope this acquisition works out better than the one they made early last offseason. A year ago Kansas City traded Melky Cabrera to San Francisco for Jonathan Sanchez in a deal that didn't work out for the Royals. To their credit, they did flip Sanchez for Jeremy Guthrie, who pitched well down the stretch.
Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports first reported the trade (on Twitter) and Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports first reported Sisk's inclusion in the deal (also on Twitter). Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com reported two days ago that the Angels were exploring trades involving Santana and Haren. Photo courtesy of US Presswire.
Blanco appeared in 21 games this past season, posting a .188/.224/.281 batting line in 67 plate appearances. He also spent time on the disabled list with a sprained thumb. The Diamondbacks will seek a durable backup for Miguel Montero, Magruder reports.
Executive VP of baseball operations Andrew Friedman says the Rays can afford to keep both James Shields and David Price on next year's roster, Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times reports (Twitter link). As I explained this morning, it could be tempting for the Rays to address other needs by trading a frontline starter. For example, the Dodgers are among the teams that could try to obtain Shields from Tampa Bay. Here are today’s links...
- Mark Reynolds would like to play for the Orioles next year, but he’ll explore his options if he hits the open market, Roch Kubatko of MASNsports.com reports. "If they non-tender me it wouldn't be very smart of me to not see what else is out there," Reynolds said. The Orioles declined their club option for Reynolds today, and they now have a month to determine whether to tender him a contract through the arbitration process.
- GM Chris Antonetti suggested there's a slim chance the Indians will re-sign Roberto Hernandez this offseason, MLB.com's Jordan Bastian reports (Twitter links). The chances of re-signing Travis Hafner seem more remote, Bastian writes. The Indians, who declined club options for Hernandez and Hafner earlier today, are not working with a set payroll, according to the GM.
- All Bases Covered Sports now represents free agent reliever Chad Durbin, ESPN.com's Jerry Crasnick reports (Twitter link). Check out MLBTR's Agency Database for current information on players and their agents.
- Earlier in the week I previewed the top offseason storylines at MLBTR. In case you missed it, there’s a parallel piece running online at USA Today and in this week’s edition of Sports Weekly.
We'll track the latest outright assignments here...
- The Indians outrighted Kevin Slowey and Vinny Rottino off of their 40-man roster to Triple-A, MLB.com's Jordan Bastian reports (on Twitter). Slowey had been a non-tender candidate after spending the 2012 season in the minor leagues. Rottino appeared in 36 games for the Mets and Indians this past season, hitting three homers and posting a .560 OPS.
- The Tigers announced that they outrighted Don Kelly to Triple-A Toledo. The utility player will elect free agency instead of accepting the assignment, according to the team. Detroit GM Dave Dombrowski said yesterday that Kelly would lose his 40-man roster spot. The 32-year-old played all three outfield positions and every infield position except shortstop this past season, posting a .523 OPS in 127 plate appearances. LSW Baseball represents Kelly.
The Yankees have returned Rule 5 Draft pick Brad Meyers to the Nationals, the team announced. The 27-year-old right-hander spent the entire season on the DL after suffering a shoulder injury during an offseason workout last winter. Meyers pitched to a 3.18 ERA in 138 2/3 innings in Washington's farm system last year.
The Rule 5 Draft rules would have carried over to next season because Meyers did not spend at least 90 days on the active roster this year, meaning the Yankees would have had to keep him on their 25-man active roster or place him on waivers and offer him back to the Nationals.