AL Notes: Pierzynski, Harang, Ichiro, Orioles, Rangers

New Red Sox catcher A.J. Pierzynski is virtually the peer of special advisor Jason Varitek — the two are only four years apart in age. But Pierzynski has still sought out Varitek's advice this spring, Scott Lauber of the Boston Herald writes. "He’s one of those guys, he came before me, so you kind of always looked up to him," Pierzynski says. "To be able to be in the same organization and be able to talk to him and learn things from him, it's huge. You can always get better and he was one of the best, so anything he can bring to the table to help me I’m definitely going to take and use." Here are more notes from the American League.

  • The Indians have told starting pitcher Aaron Harang, who had been competing for their fifth starter job, that he won't make the team's 25-man roster, MLB.com's Jordan Bastian tweets. Harang has the ability to opt out of minor-league deal on Monday.
  • The Yankees are willing to eat part of Ichiro Suzuki's $6.5MM 2014 salary in the right trade, CBS Sports' Jon Heyman writes. No deal appears to be imminent, however. Ichiro, who hit .262/.297/.342 with the Yankees in 2013, does not have a starting role this season.
  • Orioles manager Buck Showalter says "vultures" are interested in his team's out-of-options players, Roch Kubatko of MASNsports.com writes. "I know a lot of vultures are lurking around with our out-of-option guys. We've got quite an attendance here," Showalter says. "I get a list of the scouts every day, and if anything, it's gotten more. We had 17 here the other day." Two weeks ago, MLBTR's Tim Dierkes noted that the Orioles' out-of-options players included Edgmer Escalona, Chris Davis, Tommy Hunter, Troy Patton, Nolan Reimold, Chris Tillman, Zach Britton, David Lough, Brian Matusz, Steve Pearce, Francisco Peguero and Josh Stinson. Obviously, the Orioles are in no danger of losing someone like Davis, and Escalona and Peguero appear likely to start the season on the disabled list. But the Orioles will have to make decisions about players like Pearce and some of the pitchers. The team recently designated another out-of-options player, Kelvin De La Cruz, for assignment.
  • "I thought way too short term with the Garza deal last year.  That one's got a chance to haunt us and haunt me," Rangers GM Jon Daniels told Zach Buchanan of the Arizona Republic in reference to his trade with the Cubs.  Daniels gave up C.J. Edwards, Mike Olt, Justin Grimm and Neil Ramirez for Garza.  Olt could soon make an impact in the big leagues, but it's Edwards and Ramirez who might turn out to be the keys to the deal — Edwards was terrific down the stretch last year for Class A+ Daytona, and Ramirez has pitched well in spring training after posting a terrific strikeout rate in Double-A last season.

Zach Links contributed to this post.


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32 Comments on "AL Notes: Pierzynski, Harang, Ichiro, Orioles, Rangers"


MB923
1 year 5 months ago

Even if the Yanks ate some of Ichiro’s salary (and they’d certainly have to), I can’t expect them to get back much more than a middle relief pitcher or utility infielder (2 things they can possibly use)

kungfucampby
1 year 5 months ago

The Tigers are probably their best suitor and they need both of those as well. Would you like Joba back?

Bertin Lefkovic
1 year 5 months ago

No, but I would love Drew Smyly. Would Ichiro (plus cash), Eduardo Nunez, Ivan Nova, Austin Romine, and either Zoilo Almonte, Tyler Austin, Slade Heathcott, or Mason Williams be enough to get him?

Steve
1 year 5 months ago

You really like the idea of bad Yankee deals don’t you? The sad thing is I’m worried you might actually be Brian Cashman

Bertin Lefkovic
1 year 5 months ago

If you are going to insult my proposals, Steve, at least have the decency to write what is wrong with them. Did I offer too much for Smyly? Too little?

Steve
1 year 5 months ago

Too much. Nova is a better pitcher than Smyly, Mason Williams and Slade Heathcott along with Sanchez are the best Yankee prospects and only ones worth anything. The Phillies would do that deal in a second IMO just to get rid of Papelbons contract and Rollins and Sandberg don’t seem to be on same page but they don’t need an outfielder, even though the Yanks need bullpen help I doubt they would want Papelbons contract

Bertin Lefkovic
1 year 5 months ago

I disagree. I think that Smyly has a ton of upside, you can never have too many left-handed pitchers in Yankee Stadium, we have probably seen both the best and the worst of Ivan Nova, and have no idea what he is going to give us this season. If the Yankees could swap Nova for Smyly and throw in Ichiro and cash, I would go with a six-man rotation for the first month of the season and see what shakes out from there.

MB923
1 year 5 months ago

“If the Yankees could swap Nova for Smyly and throw in Ichiro and cash”

Well that is very different and a lot less than what you originally suggested:

“Would Ichiro (plus cash), Eduardo Nunez, Ivan Nova, Austin Romine, and either Zoilo Almonte, Tyler Austin, Slade Heathcott, or Mason Williams be enough to get him?”

Bertin Lefkovic
1 year 5 months ago

I have no idea how overvalued or undervalued Smyly is by other people. I think that he has a lot of value, so I was willing to overpay to get him. I would be more than happy to offer less, but I didn’t want the usual response of “typical Yankee fan, thinking that he can get whatever he wants for nothing”.

Steve
1 year 5 months ago

I think their rotation is fine with CC, Tanaka, Kuroda, Nova, and I like Pineda a lot. Their bullpen and infield is where they need help and they aren’t going to get it with just Ichiro, he has virtually no value

Bertin Lefkovic
1 year 5 months ago

If they could trade Ichiro to the Phillies for Papelbon, that would be a huge upgrade. If they could trade him to the Brewers plus cash for Francisco and Vin Mazzaro, that would be pretty good too.

MB923
1 year 5 months ago

LOL. Pass

Bertin Lefkovic
1 year 5 months ago

Do the Brewers need another outfielder? If so, how about Ichiro and cash for Juan Francisco?

Would the Phillies trade Jonathan Papelbon for Ichiro Suzuki straight-up or Papelbon and Jimmy Rollins for Ichiro and Adam Warren? Any chance that Rollins approves a trade to the Yankees if they guarantee his 2015 option?

GrilledCheese39
1 year 5 months ago

No the Brewers do not need an OF. They have Ryan Braun, Carlos Gomez, and Khris Davis. And that trade would make the Phillies laugh hysterically in the Yankees’ faces. Phillies OF is full with Brown, Revere, and Byrd. Also, Suzuki and a below average bullpen arm is nowhere near Rollins and Papelbon, although they’ve aged and regressed.

Bertin Lefkovic
1 year 5 months ago

Who is the Brewers’ 4th outfielder? Who is the Phillies’ 4th outfielder? Am I wrong or are the Phillies trying to dump Papelbon’s and Rollins’ contracts? The deal that I have proposed offers the Phillies a lot of salary relief and an above-average 4th outfielder. How is that not fair value? Who will the Brewers get for Francisco? If the Yankees throw them Suzuki and $5MM, that is probably more than they could have hoped to get for Francisco.

MB923
1 year 5 months ago

Actually that’s something I would think the Phillies would consider because Papelbons contract is one they surely want to get rid of and it very well looks like Sandberg/Rollins will be a nightmare all year long. Of course there would be more pieces to the puzzle , but it’s not an unfair trade if the names mentioned are the centerpieces of it.

Warren is also not a below average bullpen arm. He’s a serviceable backend starter and long reliever.

Bertin Lefkovic
1 year 5 months ago

I agree on all of the above. I also think that it could be beneficial for David Robertson if he wasn’t the “heir” to Mariano. The last time that he had the chance to fill in for Mariano, he spit the bit in a big way. I am afraid that if that happens again, his confidence will be shot for good. If the Yankees could bring Papelbon to close for the next two years and at the same time, lock Robertson up to a 5-7 year deal, making it clear that he will be the Yankees closer someday, it could be a good situation for everybody. I also think that it could be a lot of fun to have Papelbon on the Yankees along with Jacoby Ellsbury to take the Yankees-Red Sox rivalry to another level.

pft2
1 year 5 months ago

More about freeing up a roster spot and dumping a bit of salary, and as a piece of a multi-player deal . With the 50% tax even dumping 3 million saves them close to 5 million. Ichiro has looked pretty good this ST, he may be useful player for them off the bench. His days of playing every day are probably over.

Steve
1 year 5 months ago

Theo and Company should be arrested for what they did to Daniels in that deal

kungfucampby
1 year 5 months ago

Sadly that was a better haul than what Detroit got for Fister. Blegh.

Mason Carroll
1 year 5 months ago

Yep. And it’s only going to feed the anti Daniels feelings around this area. : I’m not happy about that trade. Oh well. We’ll see.

pft2
1 year 5 months ago

Got to like the way he stood up and admitted he messed up there. Of course, if they went further than they did last year maybe he would not regret it so much.

connfyoozed .
1 year 5 months ago

It is kind of refreshing to see a general manager admit that they goofed and got taken advantage of in a trade. It happens to all of them.

start_wearing_purple
start_wearing_purple
1 year 5 months ago

I have to admit I’m pleased to hear Pierzynski is taking Tek’s advice. Tek will never enter the Hall but he was a great catcher for the Sox who provided leadership for 15 years and will at least enter the Sox HOF and maybe even get his number hung on the wall. Pierzynski could learn a lot about successfully managing the Sox staff from Tek.

pft2
1 year 5 months ago

I seem to recall Buchholz did not like working with Tek. I think later he said Tek scared him. LOL.

Yeah, I was a big Tek fan myself, even when fans started getting on him about not throwing runners out (most of the time the SB was on the pitcher) and his BA dropped a bit. Some fans don’t get the intangibles.

start_wearing_purple
start_wearing_purple
1 year 5 months ago

Tek was good proof that intangibles are worthwhile.

start_wearing_purple
start_wearing_purple
1 year 5 months ago

I have to admit I’m pleased to hear Pierzynski is taking Tek’s advice. Tek will never enter the Hall but he was a great catcher for the Sox who provided leadership for 15 years and will at least enter the Sox HOF and maybe even get his number hung on the wall. Pierzynski could learn a lot about successfully managing the Sox staff from Tek.

cyyoung
1 year 5 months ago

I’m keeping an eye on that kid CJ Edwards, he had some unbelievable numbers last year in the Minors. Pitched like 2 or 3, 1 hitters. High K, low BB. Super low ERA.

publius varrus
1 year 5 months ago

You spurred me to check out his numbers. He’s given up 108 H, 1 HR and whiffed 240 batters in 183.1 IP, mostly as a starter (38 G, 37 GS). He was a 48th rounder? Holy catfish. I think Daniels’ assessment is accurate…

Stoibs
1 year 5 months ago

The Cubs have done a wonderful job decimating the Rangers’ farm.
Edwards, Olt, Ramirez, Grimm, Villanueva, and Hendricks for half a year of Dempster and Garza. Really shows how good Epstein and Hoyer are at maximizing their return on players. I was really worried that their plan was in a lot of trouble after injuries to Garza and the Atlanta Dempster deal falling through, but they have stacked the lower levels with a bounty of young hitters. Things have not gone perfectly, but this team could be a force within two years.

C. McCarthy
1 year 5 months ago

Wonder if the Tigers would try out Ichiro? As far as I know, he can probably hack it as a LF-platoon with Davis until Dirks returns. His game would probably play ok in CoPa, even with diminished speed.

Matt Galvin
1 year 5 months ago

Yes to it and Michael Young out of retirement to play 2B fir Rangers.