Here are some quick notes from around the Central divisions.
- Bronson Arroyo's agent, Terry Bross, says he expects the Reds to make an offer to re-sign his client, Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reports. That leads Rosenthal to wonder whether the Reds might deal a starter, even though GM Walt Jocketty has said they would not trade Homer Bailey, who will be a free agent after the season (Twitter links).
- The Twins do not have a pending offer to Arroyo or Johan Santana, tweets 1500ESPN's Darren Wolfson. They have made an offer to re-sign starting pitcher Mike Pelfrey, MLB.com's Rhett Bollinger tweets. Pelfrey posted a 5.19 ERA with 6.0 K/9 and 3.1 BB/9 for the Twins in 2013.
- The Cardinals, who have already acquired Jhonny Peralta and Peter Bourjos,aren't likely to be big players in the Winter Meetings, MLB.com's Jenifer Langosch tweets. "We’re fishing is in the shallow end," GM John Mozeliak says.
- Now that they've acquired Adam Eaton, the White Sox will listen to offers on fellow outfielder Alejandro De Aza, CBS Sports' Jon Heyman reports (via Twitter). The Giants have already asked about De Aza, tweets John Shea of the San Francisco Chronicle.
- The Indians would like to re-sign pitcher Tyler Cloyd to a minor-league deal, Paul Hoynes of the Plain Dealer tweets.
The Nationals are in the market for lefty relief, and they have interest in trade candidates Justin Wilson (Pirates) and Jerry Blevins (Athletics), Mark Zuckerman of NatsInsider.com reports. Earlier today, it was reported that the Pirates would listen to offers for Wilson. The Nats have also had discussions about Blevins, who posted a 3.15 ERA with 7.8 K/9 and 2.6 BB/9 in 60 innings in 2013.
The Nats are also searching for bullpen lefties in free agency, where the possibilities include J.P. Howell, Boone Logan, Scott Downs and Oliver Perez. "We’re talking to free agents, and we’ve got some irons in the fire on the trade market," says GM Mike Rizzo. "It’s a position, I think, of depth this year, on the free agent market and the trade market. I think that benefits us."
Here are some quick notes from around the West divisions:
- The Mariners have interest in re-signing outfielder Franklin Gutierrez, likely to a one-year, incentive-based deal, Ryan Divish of the Seattle Times writes. (Twitter links).
- M's GM Jack Zduriencik also says the Mariners might attempt to improve their outfield via trades, Divish tweets.
- The Dodgers are discussing Michael Young as a possible option in their infield, Dylan Hernandez of the Los Angeles Times writes (via Twitter).
- Mike Morse wants $7MM or $8MM on a one-year contract, ESPN's Buster Olney tweets. That seems to be a lot to pay a player who hit .215/.270/.381 with poor defense last season. The Astros are reportedly among the teams interested in Morse.
- The Astros have also recently spoken with representatives of outfielder Grady Sizemore, MLB.com's Brian McTaggart writes (via Twitter). Sizemore, 31, last played in the big leagues in 2011.
- The Rockies are interested in both Morse and Young, the Denver Post's Troy Renck tweets.
- Now that the Mark Trumbo trade is complete, the Angels are likely to keep second baseman Howie Kendrick, MLB.com's Alden Gonzalez tweets.
- Giants GM Brian Sabean says that if infielder Pablo Sandoval comes to spring training in good shape, the Giants would consider signing Sandoval to an extension, MLB.com's Chris Haft tweets.
- Rangers GM Jon Daniels says free-agent outfielder Nelson Cruz doesn't owe the Rangers special consideration despite missing 50 games in 2013 after being suspended, reports ESPN's Richard Durrett. "He had a decision to make," says Daniels. "[W]e all understood the position he was in. I can’t speak for everybody, but I don’t view it that way. I don’t think he owes us." Cruz could have appealed his suspension and continued to play for the Rangers last season, but he chose not to.
- If the Diamondbacks are unable to trade for a pitcher, they could pursue Matt Garza, MLB.com's Steve Gilbert tweets.
With the three-way deal between the Angels, White Sox, and Diamondbacks now completed, here's the latest on what the swap means for all party involved..
- A source tells Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports (on Twitter) that the D'Backs are likely out on Shin-Soo Choo but still discussing him. Their next move will be to land a frontline starting pitcher.
- The Angels save about $4MM with the deal, tweets Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com.
- The D'Backs' acquisition of Mark Trumbo would seem to hurt their chances of trading for a pitcher since they're a lot shorter on trade chips now, tweets Jerry Crasnick of ESPN.com.
- Buster Olney of ESPN.com (via Twitter) tips his cap to the Angels for landing two solid rotation pieces in Hector Santiago and Tyler Skaggs in the three-team deal.
- The Angels save about $3MM in the deal, according to Jeff Fletcher of the Orange County Register (Twitter link).
- With Adam Eaton jointing the White Sox, Tim Dierkes of MLBTradeRumors (on Twitter) notes that Alejandro De Aza could either become a fourth outfielder or a trade candidate.
- A.J. Schugel's dad was a scout for the Angels but left after the season, notes Bill Shaikin of the Los Angeles Times (on Twitter). The right-hander is headed to Arizona in the three-way deal.
- It's a good bet that Howie Kendrick is staying put with the Halos, writes Alden Gonzalez of MLB.com (on Twitter).
Former star Athletics and Cardinals pitcher Mark Mulder is hoping to return to the big leagues, ESPN's Jerry Crasnick reports. Mulder, 36, struggled through shoulder injuries in the last several years of his career, which ended in 2009. He last pitched in the big leagues in 2008, and has not pitched more than 11 innings in a season since 2006. He currently works for ESPN as an analyst.
Crasnick reports that Mulder's comeback attempt began in October, spurred by an attempt to mimic the delivery of Dodgers reliever Paco Rodriguez. Mulder thinks Rodriguez's delivery may have helped him figure out how to pitch effectively again.
Representatives of three big-league teams watched Mulder pitch last month, and he says he threw 89-90 MPH. "To be honest with you, I never anticipated this five or six weeks ago," Mulder says. "It was just a flat-out fluke that came from me trying to imitate Paco Rodriguez in my living room."
Free agent starting pitcher Jason Hammel has had interest from the Cubs, Pirates, Royals and Braves, FOX Sports' Jon Morosi tweets. Hammel posted a 4.97 ERA with 6.2 K/9 and 3.1 BB/9 in 139 1/3 innings in an injury-plagued season for the Orioles last season. Hammel has also recently been connected with the Rockies, Orioles, Indians and other teams.
MLBTR's Tim Dierkes reported yesterday that, while Hammel wouldn't mind a three-year deal, he would prefer a one-year deal over two years. A one-year deal would allow him to build value before seeking a multi-year deal next offseason.
Here are David Price rumors for Tuesday:
- The Mariners likely won't trade Taijuan Walker in a deal for Price, CBS Sports' Jon Heyman tweets. They could, however, trade a package including top position player prospects, including catcher Mike Zunino. Zunino, the third overall pick in the 2013 draft, made his debut for Seattle in 2013.
- Dodgers GM Ned Colletti says the team is not pursuing any starting pitchers, MLB.com's Ken Gurnick tweets. Colletti did not specifically mention Price's name, Gurnick notes.
The Rangers have interest in starting pitcher Bartolo Colon, Jeff Wilson of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram writes. Colon would provide the Rangers with a backup plan in case Matt Harrison isn't ready to come back from injuries that limited him to two big-league starts in 2013. If Harrison is healthy, Colon would likely bump Alexi Ogando to the bullpen.
Colon will be 41 shortly after the start of the 2014 season, so he could very well be available to the Rangers on a one-year basis. Wilson notes that a one-year deal would be attractive for the Rangers, who might have Luke Jackson or other prospects knocking on the door by 2015. Colon posted a 2.65 ERA with 5.5 K/9 and 1.4 BB/9 in 190 1/3 innings with the Athletics last season.
6:06pm: The other Diamondbacks player to be named will likely be Brandon Jacobs, MLB.com's Jim Callis suggests (via Twitter). John Gambadoro of Sports 620 KTAR in Phoenix was the first to suggest Jacobs with the likely PTBNL. Jacobs, 23, came to the White Sox from the Red Sox in the Matt Thornton deal in July. The outfielder hit .244/.320/.407 for three teams at Class A+ and Double-A in 2013. He is eligible for the Rule 5 Draft.
2:38pm: The Diamondbacks will receive right-hander A.J. Schugel from the Angels in the deal, tweets Jack Magruder of FOX Sports Arizona. Schugel dealt with blisters early in the season and saw a foot injury cut his season short in July after he posted a 7.05 ERA with 7.7 K/9 and 3.3 BB/9 in 89 1/3 innings at Triple-A Salt Lake. However, he posted a 2.89 ERA with 7.0 K/9 and 3.5 BB/9 in 140 innings at Double-A when he was healthy in 2012.
Baseball America ranked Schugel 12th among Angels prospects prior to 2013, noting that a strong fastball/changeup combo should allow him to become a back-of-the-rotation starter despite a questionable breaking pitch. BA also noted that Schugel is an excellent athlete that fields his position well.
2:02pm: The heavily-rumored three-team trade between the Angels, Diamondbacks and White Sox has been completed, a source tells Nick Piecoro of the Arizona Republic. Mark Trumbo and a pair of players to be named later will head to the Diamondbacks, Adam Eaton will join the White Sox and Hector Santiago and Tyler Skaggs are headed to the Angels (Twitter links).
The Diamondbacks were set on acquiring either Trumbo or Shin-Soo Choo at this week's Winter Meetings, according to earlier reports. Trumbo (pictured) will slot into the outfield for the D-Backs, which isn't a perfect fit for Arizona given his defensive shortcomings there. Arizona will be looking for Trumbo's power to outweigh his shaky defense; he's belted 66 home runs over the past two seasons, posting a .250/.305/.471 batting line.
In 992 innings as an outfielder throughout his career, Trumbo has a -7.0 UZR/150. While his walk rate climbed to a career-best eight percent in 2013, that's still below the league average, and it came along with a career-worst 27.1 percent strikeout rate. Still, he should provide a great deal of power to a D-Backs outfield that finished last in the Majors in home runs in 2013. In fact, Trumbo's mark of 34 homers alone ties the collective mark posted by Arizona outfielders last season. Trumbo projects to earn $4.7MM via arbitration this offseason and can be controlled through the 2016 campain.
The White Sox have stated a desire to get younger and to add left-handed bats to their lineup, and the acquisition of Eaton will do just that. Formerly one of baseball's top prospects, the 25-year-old Eaton missed more than half of the 2013 season after opening the year on the DL with a sprained ulnar collateral ligament in his left (throwing) elbow.
In 380 career MLB plate apparances, Eaton is a .254/.332/.373 hitter with five homers and seven stolen bases. He's batted .365/.441/.522 with eight homers and 38 steals in 602 career appearances at the Triple-A level. Prior to the 2013 season, Baseball America ranked Eaton as Arizona's No. 4 prospect, noting that he'd made enough defensive strides to convince scouts that he is an everyday big league center fielder with double-digit home run pop, plus speed and a strong, accurate throwing arm. Should he pan out, Eaton could provide the White Sox with their center fielder of the future; he's controllable through the 2018 season.
The Angels have been in the market for young, controllable pitchers, and they did so by filling out their rotation with a pair of promising young left-handers. This is the second time that GM Jerry Dipoto has acquired Skaggs, as Dipoto acquired Skaggs for the D-Backs from the Angels in a trade for Dan Haren when he was Arizona's interim GM.
Skaggs appeared in the Top 15 of BA's Top 100 list prior to the 2012 and 2013 seasons but has struggled in his brief big league experience to date. Still just 22, Skaggs has a 5.43 ERA with 7.5 K/9, 3.7 BB/9 and a 40 percent ground-ball rate in 68 Major League innings. He has a 4.02 ERA with 8.7 K/9 and 3.2 BB/9 in 156 2/3 innings at the Triple-A level -- all of which have come with him being one of the league's youngest pitchers. Skaggs won't be eligible for arbitration until at least 2016 and can be controlled through the 2019 campaign if he's in the Majors from here on out.
Santiago, who turns 26 next week, has a career 3.41 ERA with 8.7 K/9, 4.5 BB/9 and a 37.5 percent ground-ball rate in 224 2/3 big league innings. He's not arbitration eligible until next winter and can be controlled through the 2017 campaign. An extreme fly-ball pitcher, Santiago should enjoy Mike Trout playing behind him in center field.
Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.
Rakuten Golden Eagles president Yozo Tachibana is undecided on whether to post star pitcher Masahiro Tanaka, FOX Sports' Ken Rosenthal reports (via Twitter). Tachibana adds that he is "disappointed" with baseball's new posting system, and says that he'll speak with Tanaka last week, according to the Los Angeles Times' Bill Shaikin (also on Twitter). Rakuten assistant GM Aki Sasaki, meanwhile, adds that he is unsure whether the posting fee of $20MM "is fair value for this kind of trade," Yahoo! Sports' Jeff Passan tweets.
The Pirates have had lots of interest in lefty Justin Wilson, and they are willing to listen to offers, FOX Sports' Jon Morosi writes (Twitter link). The hard-throwing Wilson posted a 2.08 ERA with 7.2 K/9 and 3.4 BB/9 in his first full season for the Pirates last season. The Pirates are likely to be on the lookout for a first baseman, a starting pitcher and a backup infielder. They have a second cost-controlled bullpen lefty in Tony Watson and have had recent success acquiring relievers on the cheap, so they may feel Wilson is expendable for the right price.
With the additions of Jacoby Ellsbury and Carlos Beltran, the Yankees have a surplus in their outfield. They're not likely to address that surplus by trading Brett Gardner, however, CBS Sports' Jon Heyman reports. The Yankees like the idea of having both Ellsbury and Gardner in their outfield, and they will likely focus on trading Ichiro Suzuki instead.
As Heyman points out, however, there isn't likely to be a particularly robust market for Ichiro. The 40-year-old hit .262/.297/.342 in 2013.
In a joint press conference this afternoon, general managers Kevin Towers of the Diamondbacks, Jerry Dipoto of the Angels, and Rick Hahn of the White Sox discussed the three-way trade that sent Mark Trumbo from Los Angeles to Arizona.
Towers said that he had been discussing center fielder Adam Eaton with Hahn for some time, but that the ultimate three-party deal "came together rather quick." Confirming that Trumbo will be the club's regular left fielder, Towers acknowledged that it "will be difficult" for him to transition to full-time outfield play after spending most of his time last year at first base. But Towers expressed confidence that Trumbo would eventually defend in left at a league-average level.
Looking ahead, Towers said that the club still definitely wants to add a "front-of-the-rotation starter." Though the club parted with valuable youngsters in today's trade, he said that he still believes Arizona has sufficient minor league pitching from which to deal. Towers said his preference, however, would be to add an arm via free agency.
Meanwhile, Dipoto explained that his club's interest in the trade was acquiring young, controllable starters. Hector Santiago, said Dipoto, had shown he can succeed at the major league level. As for Tyler Skaggs, who came via Arizona, Dipoto explained that his youth and high upside trumped his underwhelming results in limited MLB action. "The next step is imminent for him," said Dipoto. While Dipoto said that both hurlers are expected to have every opportunity to slot into the Angels rotation, he indicated that there could be further additions.
Turning to the White Sox' end of the deal, Hahn said that he expects Eaton to be a solid presence atop the lineup for years to come. Calling Eaton a "dirtbag baseball player" who had stood near the top of the club's "target list" for some time, Hahn said his expectation is that the 25-year-old will man center for Chicago.
With Eaton displacing Alejandro De Aza up the middle, Hahn acknowledged that De Aza or fellow corner outfielder Dayan Viciedo could be dealt. Saying he expects to continue to "receive calls on both of those players," Hahn did note that the two could form a platoon if demand is insufficient.
Here are a few quick notes from around the East divisions:
- The Orioles have not had discussions with Scott Boras about contract extensions for either Matt Wieters or Chris Davis, CSNBaltimore.com's Rich Dubroff tweets.
- The Orioles are interested in finding another starting pitcher, and they've shown interest in free agent Chad Gaudin, Bob Nightengale of USA Today reports (via Twitter).
- Yankees GM Brian Cashman understands Robinson Cano's decision to leave the Bombers for the Mariners, writes Andy McCullough of the Star-Ledger. "It just comes down to, if the numbers are right, he had 240 million reasons why he should go to Seattle," Cashman says. "And if I was him, I would have done the same thing."
- The Mets talked to Paul Maholm's agent, but they are not expected to sign the veteran lefty, Mike Puma of the New York Post tweets.
Zach Links contributed to this post.
The Mets have re-signed starting pitcher Jeremy Hefner, MLB.com's Anthony DiComo tweets. They non-tendered Hefner last week. Hefner will spend this year rehabbing from Tommy John surgery, which he underwent late in the season.
Hefner, 27, pitched well for the Mets in his second big league season, racking up 130 2/3 innings in 24 outings (23 starts) for the club. Before being shut down in August and undergoing surgery, the right-hander posted a 4.34 ERA to go along with 6.8 K/9 and 2.5 BB/9.
Even though Hefner is unlikely to return to the mound until the second half of the 2014 season, New York's decision to non-tender him came as a bit of a surprise, since he's not yet eligible for arbitration. However, as Adam Rubin of ESPN New York tweets, Hefner's new deal with the Mets will be a minor league pact, which will result in significant cost savings for the team as he rehabs.
Hefner is represented by BBI Sports Group.
Luke Adams contributed to this post.