Quick Hits: Downs, Nationals, Papelbon, Reynolds

Last month, reliever Darin Downs found out the Astros had claimed him off waivers from the Tigers as he was driving his wife to deliver the couple's second child, Evan Drellich of the Houston Chronicle reports. "I had a couple missed calls, a couple text messages. So I call one of the front office staff from the Tigers, he says, 'Oh, you've just been claimed by the Astros.' I'm like, 'All right, cool. I'm going to the hospital,'" Downs says. Here are more notes from around the big leagues.

  • A year removed from their nightmarish 2012 season, the Red Sox are again a desirable team for free agents, Scott Lauber of the Boston Herald writes. Some of that, Lauber notes, has to do with the team's willingness to spend money. The team also seems to have rehabilitated its reputation among players after reports of 2012 locker-room disarray. But another important consideration is simply that every season is different. "I always chuckle inside when you see the quote from a free agent, 'I want to go to a contender,'" says Jonny Gomes. "Oh, you mean the Tampa Bay Rays in 2008? Or the Oakland A’s in 2012? That contender? I know anything can happen. Every single year, good, bad and in between, is like an individual season. All you have to do is turn the page."
  • Reliever Jim Hoey is trying to return to the big leagues, MLBTR's Tim Dierkes tweets. Hoey, who will be 31 next week, last appeared in the Majors in 2011, when he pitched in the Twins' bullpen. He is perhaps best known for being traded (with minor-leaguer Brett Jacobson) for J.J. Hardy and Brendan Harris in 2010. He pitched briefly in the Brewers' system in 2013, and also pitched in independent ball.
  • The Nationals have a variety of extension candidates and may not have an easy time deciding how to handle them, writes Pete Kerzel of MASNsports.com. Pitcher Jordan Zimmermann and shortstop Ian Desmond are both open to extensions, Kerzel notes, but GM Mike Rizzo also needs to think about whether to extend Bryce Harper and Stephen Strasburg long-term (if that's practical — Scott Boras represents both of them, and one would think his demands would be through the roof). An extension for Zimmermann could exceed Matt Harrison's five-year, $55MM deal, possibly winding up somewhere near $85MM, Kerzel suggests. Both Zimmermann and Desmond can become eligible for free agency after the 2015 season.
  • The decline in Jonathan Papelbon's stuff last season could make other teams reluctant to trade for him, and Jason Collette of Fangraphs shows exactly what went wrong. Papelbon's velocity dropped as the season progressed, which allowed batters to make more frequent contact with his fastball. Hitters also made more contact with his splitter when he left it in the zone. While Papelbon's superficial statistics (a 2.92 ERA and 29 saves) were reasonable, his peripheral numbers mark him as something like an average closer at this point. Since he's making $13MM a year, that's a problem, and it could be tricky for the Phillies to deal him.
  • The Yankees have had talks with Mark Reynolds about a deal to return next season, but the corner infielder appears set to sign somewhere else, Mark Feinsand of the New York Daily News reports. Reynolds, 30, joined the Yankees in August after being released by the Indians, and hit .236/.300/.455 in 120 plate appearances, with characteristically high strikeout totals.


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37 Comments on "Quick Hits: Downs, Nationals, Papelbon, Reynolds"


Danny Phillips
1 year 8 months ago

Desmond is the priority

Natsfan89
1 year 8 months ago

He also seems more likely to sign an extension.

Danny Phillips
1 year 8 months ago

True, my reasoning extends to the fact that we have Giolito, Cole in the wings to potentially replace Zimm. Who do we have to replace Desmond.. Espinosa, Walters? aka not much.

Zak A
1 year 8 months ago

send Zimmerman to the Yankees for Gardner, Sanchez, and Baneulos.

NatsTown
1 year 8 months ago

No thanks

Zak A
1 year 8 months ago

send Zimmerman to the Yankees for Gardner, Sanchez, and Baneulos.

BRigney61
1 year 8 months ago

Angels should take Reynolds as a backup infielder/DH

bernbabybern
1 year 8 months ago

Good, I don’t really want Reynolds.

LazerTown
1 year 8 months ago

thats all and good, but who do you suggest is better as a 3b/1b backup.

bernbabybern
1 year 8 months ago

Jeff Baker.

LazerTown
1 year 8 months ago

Because he had one good year?

Reynolds is younger, better for his career. Baker is only good vs lhp, Reynolds is good vs lhp, but also is still playable vs rhp.

jjs91
1 year 8 months ago

Baker has always hit lefties. He also can play anywhere.

LazerTown
1 year 8 months ago

But do the Yankees have enough room on their roster for a corner infielder who will only be there for the short side of the platoon?

McCann
Cervelli
———-
KJ
Nunie
Arod
Ryan
Jeter
Teix
———-
Soriano
Beltran
Gardner
Ells
Ichiro (backup outfielder)

That already is the 13 position players. That doesn’t include Roberts who they already signed too. If arod gets suspended for part of the season then that works Roberts in to full roster. I don’t see how a platoon corner infielder makes sense to them.

SID PORTER
1 year 8 months ago

Send Cervell packing and keep Romine ……. then sign Overbay, instead of Reynolds

LazerTown
1 year 8 months ago

hmmmm you must want the team to be worse…

Lets sign Overbay who is older, has less position flexibility and is a worse batter. hmmk

Sage
1 year 8 months ago

“The Yankees have been engaged with Mark Reynolds about a possible return, but a source said the power-hitting infielder appears close to signing with another team outside the Bronx…”

My mind immediately coupled this with the Brewers randomly outrighting Michael Olmsted off our 40-man to make room for nobody that we know of yet. We need a 1B, Reynolds is that, he is apparently close to signing with another team that isn’t the Yankees, and we just randomly cleared a 40-man spot for seemingly nothing… I’m hoping I’m reading too far into this and Mark Reynolds isn’t actually going to be our next first baseman… I’m really hoping I’m reading too far into this.

pft2
1 year 8 months ago

One of the things about Papelbon is he admits to have been a user of Toradol with the Red Sox which he said was great for his shoulder and allowed him to stay strong. The Phillies do not allow the use of Toradol, or at least they did not when he signed, so it may be Papelbon can recover his velocity if he goes to a team which allows it’s use. Of course, it could be the shoulder has degenerated enough that Toradol won’t help.

James F
1 year 8 months ago

He velocity was dropping while he was with the Sox so your last sentence makes the most sense.

dc21892
1 year 8 months ago

If I’m not mistaken, toradol is an anti inflammatory. Those don’t help keep you strong. They keep inflammation away.

kungfucampby
1 year 8 months ago

I don’t buy anything changing with the Red Sox. They had a lot of things go right and were pretty fortunate in the playoffs. Still, their laughable ownership group remains and the sort of people that ran Francona out and replaced him with Valentine are still calling the shots.

Croagnut
1 year 8 months ago

3 World Championships after 86 dry years. “Laughable”

Good major league team, stacked minor leagues. No clue what they’re doing.

kungfucampby
1 year 8 months ago

Well their minor league system was considered completely empty two years ago, now it’s “stacked.” I doubt it’s actually that good. Major league team is good, you’re right.

The way their front office is ran is laughable. Wanting players with sex appeal. Calling in Francona about fan attendance. Throwing every player under the bus in the media. It’s pretty obvious they’re not the great team to attract free agents like that article states.

Tko11
Tko11
1 year 8 months ago

Their ownership has helped the team win three rings. Bringing Valentine was the wrong move, they found that out the hard way and rightfully fired him after one season. They then brought back Farrell who was there when Buchholz and Lester were having success and it worked because they bounced back after struggling. “They had a lot of things go right” Has there ever been a championship team that didn’t have “a lot of things go right”?? The front office also orchestrated that Dodgers trade. I think they know what they are doing.

Lefty_Orioles_Fan
Lefty_Orioles_Fan
1 year 8 months ago

Red Sox Types have absolutely nothing to complain about this Christmas Season. They had a wonderful year that culminated in a deserved World Series because they were the best team. The Red Sox rotation might have been the best in baseball in 2013 because from top to bottom their starting rotation could get to the 6th or 7th inning with no problems. That’s a big deal in my opinion.

And you’re right there’s nothing wrong with the Red Sox Ownership, although what they did to Francona was a bit much.

Tko11
Tko11
1 year 8 months ago

You’re right they did put too much of the blame on Francona but someone had to go. It was a move that wasn’t exactly popular with the fans and most Sox fans like myself still love Francona as a coach.

Joe Brady
1 year 8 months ago

To some degree, I think some of the FO are pathetic in the personal value area, but they have also done pretty well professionally. I have no idea why guys like Larry and Henry don’t have enough self-esteem to let their record speak for itself.

OTOH, Larry got slapped down pretty hard on HIS Valentine decision, and things are back to being run professionally.

Joe Brady
1 year 8 months ago

As long as we continue to be the most successful team in BB, as we have been since Henry took over, I guess I will have to find a way to get by.

1 year 8 months ago

The New England Evil Empire’s fans are so modest, too.

Sam
1 year 8 months ago

Jim Hoey. If straight fastballs with serious velocity were enough to hold down a place on a big league roster, he would be a lock for most teams. It’s always been a lack of command of his secondary stuff that has limited the effectiveness for Hoey. The guy does throw gas though.

MilkMeMore
1 year 8 months ago

“willingness to spend money” right

AmericanMovieFan
1 year 8 months ago

Reynolds is about as consistent as it gets. The consistency isn’t top notch, but it is predictable, i.e. dependable, for the right price. I think a deal for 1 year/$5MM w/ a $1MM buy out and a $5MM option would be perfectly fair for Reynolds.

Dawson Carlson
1 year 8 months ago

Zimmermann seems to me like one of the most overlooked/underrated starters in the game.. Zim does the darn thang haha

Daniel Copans
1 year 8 months ago

And so is Fister! He and J-Zimm are much less flashy compared to Gio and Stras but every bit as effective.

Vmmercan
1 year 8 months ago

“Every single year, good, bad and in between, is like an individual season.”

Very profound, I always thought it was like 10 seasons.

Adam Bomb
1 year 8 months ago

Jonny Gomes is such a cool guy. Speaks the truth in a way no one else does.

Zak A
1 year 8 months ago

Unless you are 100% going to make the playoffs, and never have a slump, you don’t want Pap. He’ll cry and moan if you go 1-1 two games into the season even if he blew the save in the 2nd game.

Zak A
1 year 8 months ago

Gomes is and will always be a fringe journeyman that had 1 hit that attributed to the entire Sox playoff run. I’m surprised he got 5MM from them.