Aaron Cook Rumors
The Red Sox plan to promote right-hander Aaron Cook to their active roster, according to Rob Bradford of WEEI.com. The Red Sox didn't call Cook up last night, which triggered an opt-out clause in his contract and pressed the team into action.
Cook, 33, drew trade interest from multiple teams, according to Bradford. Instead of trading him, the Red Sox will use him out of the bullpen. Cook posted a 1.89 ERA with 13 strikeouts and 11 walks in 33 1/3 innings over the course of five Triple-A starts this year.
The Red Sox will have to remove someone from their 40-man roster to create space for Cook, who signed a minor league deal in January. They could create space by moving an injured player such as Carl Crawford to the 60-day disabled list.
The Red Sox did not call up right-hander Aaron Cook by 12:01pm ET tonight, thus activating the opt-out clause in his contract according to WEEI.com's Alex Speier. Cook has 24 hours to exercise the opt-out, then the team would have 48 hours to respond by calling him up or trading him.
Speier reports that the Red Sox will likely work out an agreement with the 33-year-old to keep him on the Major League roster, but there is no formal agreement in place at this time. Boston sent Lars Anderson to Triple-A after Tuesday's game, creating an open 25-man roster spot. The Red Sox would need to clear a 40-man roster for Cook, however.
The long-time Rockie has pitched to a 1.89 ERA with 13 strikeouts and 11 walks in 33 1/3 innings across five Triple-A starts. He signed a minor league deal with the Red Sox back in January. Manager Bobby Valentine had previous told reporters that if the team does add Cook to the roster, he will work out of the bullpen.
Former first overall draft pick Tim Beckham has been suspended for 50 games, MLB announced. The shortstop, who had reached Triple-A in the Rays' system, is in violation of MLB's drug policy for the second time. "I take full responsibility for my actions and I will use this experience to refocus my commitment to baseball," he said in a statement released by the team. Here are more links from around the league...
- Bobby Abreu could make sense for the Orioles, opines Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com (on Twitter). Nick Johnson remains hitless on the season and Nolan Reimold recently left the team to have numbness and tingling in his fingers examined.
- An arbitration claim for breach of contract has been filed against Yoenis Cespedes of the Athletics reports Enrique Rojas of ESPN Deportes. Edgar Mercedes, who helped represent Cespedes during his free agency, is owed 17% of the outfielder's earnings but has not yet been paid.
- It's encouraging that MLB suspended Tigers outfielder Delmon Young following last week's incident in New York City, Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports writes. Young's actions will cost him millions, Morosi explains. Before the incident I suggested a multiyear deal was within reach for Young if he had a strong season. It's definitely harder to imagine any team making a multiyear commitment today.
- The Phillies announced that they selected the contract of right-hander Brian Sanches from Lehigh Valley. Sanches takes the place of David Herndon on the team’s active roster.
- One agent suggested to Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com that the Yankees might have interest in Aaron Cook if the Red Sox don’t make room for the right-hander on their roster by today (Twitter link). Cook can opt out of his deal with Boston if he’s not added to the roster today.
- There haven’t been recent talks between Mike Napoli and the Rangers or Miguel Montero and the Diamondbacks, Heyman tweets. Montero is looking for a four-year deal in the $52MM range and Napoli seeks more than that. Heyman suggests Napoli is more likely than Montero to sign an extension.
Mike Axisa contributed to this post.
Older ballplayers are showing a lot of life so far this season, writes Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe. Veterans Paul Konerko, Derek Jeter, David Ortiz, and Jamie Moyer have all looked sharp in the month of April. Ortiz lost 25 pounds to get himself into shape for this season and plans to keep up the hard work as he hopes to play for another two seasons. Here's more from Cafardo..
- The Angels have inquired on A’s pitcher Grant Balfour and he is becoming one of the more sought-after bullpen pieces. The Halos have also shown interest in Joel Hanrahan of the Pirates and the Mariners' Brandon League, but Balfour seems the most logical.
- If the Twins don’t turn things around by the trade deadline, Carl Pavano will be a highly sought-after pitcher. The right-hander is earning $8.5MM in the final year of his contract and has limited no-trade protection. Jason Marquis, Matt Capps, and Francisco Liriano could also be used as chips to land prospects.
- Teams probably have their eye on Astros right-hander Brett Myers. Many teams, such as the Angels and Red Sox, could use the 31-year-old’s arm right now. He has also shown that he can pitch in a big market with his time in Philadelphia.
- If Tigers outfielder Delmon Young is convicted of a hate crime, it will be interesting to see whether the the club void his contract. They would be within their rights to do so under the collective bargaining agreement. The 26-year-old earns $6.75MM this year and can become a free agent after the season.
- The A's are a good bet to land Brandon Inge.
- Most baseball people feel there’s no way the Red Sox let Aaron Cook hit the open market by not calling him up May 1. The 33-year-old will earn the prorated portion of $1.5MM if he is called up to the majors.
It was on this day in 1956 that Frank Robinson hit his first Major League home run, en route to 586 career homers and a legacy as one of baseball's all-time greats. Today, the Orioles are honoring Robinson with a statue at Camden Yards that will be unveiled before tonight's game with the A's.
Some notes from around the Majors...
- The Reds have made it a priority to establish a strong bond with their fans -- and hopefully increase attendance -- by retaining popular players like Joey Votto, Jay Bruce and Brandon Phillips, explains Tyler Kepner of the New York Times.
- Former Expos/Nationals closer Chad Cordero told reporters, including Bill Ladson of MLB.com, that he'd like to make a comeback next season (Twitter link).
- Delmon Young could be activated from the Tigers' restricted list by Tuesday or possibly even Monday night depending on the outcome of his evaluation by a counselor on Monday, Tigers GM Dave Dombrowski told reporters, including Chris Iott of MLive.com. If Young is judged to require treatment for anger management and/or alcohol abuse, however, he would be sidelined for an indeterminate amount of time.
- Bobby Valentine told reporters (including WEEI.com's Rob Bradford) that the Red Sox are considering using Aaron Cook as a reliever. Cook can opt out of his contract if he is not called up to Boston's Major League roster by May 1 and the Sox have no clear spot for Cook in the rotation. Cook has made just one relief appearance in the last eight seasons but recently said he's open to the idea.
- There's no language in Cook's contract that would preclude a trade, notes Brian MacPherson of the Providence Journal, although he adds there's no reason to think the Red Sox would want to do that (via Twitter).
- The sale of the Dodgers to the Magic Johnson/Stan Kasten/Mark Walter ownership group is expected to be closed by Monday, reports Bill Shaikin of the Los Angeles Times.
- "This is a massive decision gone wrong right now," Yankees GM Brian Cashman told ESPN New York's Wallace Matthews in regards to the Michael Pineda/Jesus Montero deal and Pineda's subsequent season-ending shoulder injury. "So all scrutiny is fair....Our fans are right to be upset about this. I'm devastated by it," Cashman said.
- Besides the Cardinals, Carlos Beltran said the Indians pursued him the hardest in the offseason, reports FOX Sports' Ken Rosenthal (via Twitter). Beltran said he ultimately chose to sign with St. Louis because he wanted to play for the World Series champions and remain in the National League.
- The Brewers have transferred Chris Narveson to the 60-day DL and called up reliever Vinnie Chulk to take Narveson's spot on the 40-man roster, the team announced via Twitter. Mike McClendon was optioned to Triple-A in another corresponding move. Narveson will undergo shoulder surgery on Tuesday that will sideline him for the rest of the 2012 season.
MLBTR's Dan Mennella contributed to this post.
- Even once their new ownership group takes over, the Dodgers "might not be as active at the trade deadline as a lot of people think." While the team will now have the financial resources to absorb a big contract, the Dodgers' minor league system isn't very deep and they want to keep their few quality prospects.
- Peter O'Malley is "making a strong push" to buy the Padres and wants to have a deal arranged by the All-Star break.
- The Nationals would've preferred to give Bryce Harper more minor league seasoning but their hand was forced due to their lack of production in left field, plus Ryan Zimmerman and Michael Morse going on the DL.
- The Red Sox "aren't optimistic" they can convince Aaron Cook to stay put, as Cook is eager to pitch in the majors again. The veteran right-hander can opt out of his contract on May 1 if he isn't called up to the Red Sox Major League roster before that date. With Daniel Bard and Felix Doubront pitching well, Boston doesn't have a spot in the rotation for Cook unless, as Rosenthal notes, the club "does something" with Clay Buchholz.
- Bobby Abreu is only the latest high-priced member of the Angels to have his contract eaten by the team under Arte Moreno's ownership. The Halos have also let go of Kevin Appier, Scott Kazmir, Gary Matthews Jr. and Justin Speier in recent years, and those four plus Abreu amounted to around $60MM in dead money. This doesn't mean that the Angels will release Vernon Wells, however, as Wells' contract alone would cost the team more than those five players combined; counting this year, Wells is set to earn $63MM through the 2014 season.
Carl Crawford had his strained left elbow examined in Boston today, though the team is still "gathering information" according to manager Bobby Valentine. Crawford had been expected to rejoin the team in early-May, but the results of these latest tests are not available yet. Here's the latest from Beantown...
- The Red Sox are not interested in Mike Gonzalez, reports Nick Cafardo of The Boston Globe (on Twitter). Yesterday we heard that the left-handed reliever could sign within ten days.
- “I’ll make a decision when I feel like it’s time to make a decision,” said Aaron Cook to WEEI.com's Rob Bradford. Cook is pitching well in Triple-A and can opt out of his contract with Boston on May 1st. “I haven’t made a decision yet," he added.
- In an Insider-only blog post, ESPN's Jim Bowden listed five moves that could fix the Red Sox, including trades for Miguel Montero and Huston Street.
Eight years ago today, the Cardinals and Albert Pujols avoided arbitration by agreeing to a seven-year, $100MM contract. It's the largest contract ever given to a player with between 3-4 years of service time. Here's the latest from around the league...
- David Ortiz told Javier Maymi of ESPN Deportes that he still wants to avoid an arbitration hearing and sign a multiyear deal, but acknowledged that he's left it up "to the agents and the team to deal with it." Earlier this week we heard that he and the Red Sox were likely headed to a hearing. Ortiz filed for $16.5MM while the team countered with $12.65MM, as our Arbitration Tracker shows.
- One executive told Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports that he expects the Cubs to trade Matt Garza at the deadline and not before Opening Day (Twitter link). The two sides recently avoided arbitration by agreeing to a $9.5MM contract for 2012.
- The Angels would still like to add another reliever if the price is right, reports Morosi (on Twitter). They reportedly have an offer out to Luis Ayala, though the free agent relief market is dwindling.
- Juan C. Rodriguez of The Sun Sentinel hears that Anibal Sanchez's arbitration decision is expected to be announced on Monday (Twitter link). Sanchez filed for $8MM while the Marlins countered with $6.9MM. The hearing was yesterday.
- Aaron Cook told WEEI.com's Alex Speier that several teams were willing to give him a Major League contract, and that two clubs even made such offers. He took a minor league deal from the Red Sox because he liked the fit better, and because he knows pitching coach Bob McClure from his days in the minors.
- Ayala is currently pitching for Mexico in the Caribbean Series like last year, hoping it will land him a job again writes MLB.com's Jesse Sanchez. "I haven't had any good offers but I'm confident that, God permits, I will get a chance to pitch for a team that will allow me to show my abilities," he said.
- In an article for The Los Angeles Times, Mike DiGiovanna lists the best and worst free agent signings at each position this offseason.
MLB.com’s beat reporters have passed along lots of contract details today. Here they are:
- Jane Lee has the details on the Athletics and Steve Gilbert adds the latest on the Diamondbacks.
- Ian Browne has the details on the Red Sox and their recent contracts. Carlos Silva and Aaron Cook would earn bonuses for winning the Comeback Player of the Year.
- Jeremy Accardo and Chris Ray can ask the Indians to release them if they are not on the Major League roster by April 4th and June 1st, respectively, Jordan Bastian writes. Bastian also has contract details for Fred Lewis and others who signed minor league deals with Cleveland.
- Todd Zolecki has the details on the new contracts for all Phillies, from Joe Savery to Cole Hamels.
- The seven players who signed Major League deals with the Marlins so far this offseason will cost Miami $31.585MM in 2012, Joe Frisaro writes.
- Brian McTaggart explains the Chris Snyder and Jack Cust deals in detail.
- Mark Sheldon has the details on Ryan Madson, Nick Masset, Paul Janish and the rest of the Reds who have agreed to new deals this offseason.
- Brittany Ghiroli has the details on Robert Andino’s 2012 contract.
The Red Sox have agreed to terms with right-hander Aaron Cook on a minor league contract. The deal is worth $1.5MM prorated if Cook is called up to the Major Leagues, according to Rob Bradford and Alex Speier of WEEI.com. Michael Silverman of the Boston Herald reports that Cook, who has passed his physical, could earn an additional $2MM in incentives based on games started. Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports.com first reported the deal.
Cook, 33 next month, has spent his entire Major League career to date with the Rockies, posting a 4.53 ERA in 1,312 1/3 innings over parts of 10 seasons. His best work came during a four-year stretch from 2006-09, when he averaged 187 innings per season and recorded a 4.11 ERA. At his peak in 2008, Cook was worth as many as 4.7 wins above replacement, according to FanGraphs.
The groundballer (57.4% career rate) battled injuries each of the past three seasons, however, with his 97 innings in 2011 marking his fewest since 2005. With Cook falling short of expecations the past couple seasons, the Rockies unsurprisingly declined his $11MM 2012 option in October, making him a free agent for the first time.
With the Red Sox, Cook will compete for a rotation spot, according to Rosenthal. If he's healthy and inducing wormburners, he could prove to be a valuable, low-cost addition for the Sox. MLBTR's Tim Dierkes included Cook among such candidates in a post last week.