11:07am: Torres is deciding between major league and minor league offers, Links tweets, and is looking for the right opportunity in making his decision.
10:29am: Reliever Carlos Torres is “very close” to signing with a new club, MLBTR’s Zach Links reports on Twitter, with the righty set to choose between three organizations. Darren Wolfson of 1500 ESPN recently tweeted that a deal was expected by week’s end.
Torres could theoretically match up with any number of clubs. The Orioles have reached out to his reps at Full Circle Sports Management, Roch Kubatko of MASNsports.com reports. The Twins seem a theoretical match, but are not involved, per Wolfson. We’ve also heard prior chatter that the righty has drawn interest from Asian teams, though it’s not clear whether that’s currently under consideration.
Torres, 33, recently elected free agency after he was outrighted by the Mets. The Full Circle Sports Management client had initially agreed to a $1.05MM salary to avoid arbitration with New York, and the club will remain on the hook for one sixth of that value ($175K) regardless of what Torres ends up earning with a new organization.
Last season was a rough one for Torres in the results department, as he ended with a 4.68 ERA. But a .326 BABIP-against and 65.3% strand rate probably impacted the results. And there were other indicators to suggest that he could still be much the same pitcher he was when he logged a 3.24 earned run mark over the prior two campaigns.
Torres posted a career-best 48.3% groundball rate, continued to exhibit good control (2.8 BB/9), and improved his average fastball velocity to 92.5 mph. He did see a slight drop in strikeouts per nine and swinging strike rate, but remained solid in those departments (7.5 K/9, 9.6% SwStr%). All told advanced metrics saw his 57 2/3 frames in much the same light as they did his work in 2013-14.
In the aggregate, it isn’t hard to see why there is interest in Torres. He ought to have every chance to compete for a job in camp, and promises to bolster the depth of any pen. It’s worth noting, too, that he ran up big innings totals in his first two years in New York (183 1/3 total frames), indicating that he could fill a long-man role if needed.