Aaron Fultz Rumors
According to John Fay of the Cincinnati Enquirer, the Reds released veterans Daryle Ward and Aaron Fultz today.
Ward, 33, hit .259/.310/.407 in 29 plate appearances this spring. The Reds apparently couldn't squeeze him in for a pinch-hitting role. Fultz, 35, posted a 3.38 ERA in 5.3 innings.
The Tigers have signed left-hander Aaron Fultz to a contract with AAA Toledo. Fultz, an eight-year big-league veteran, was released this week by Cleveland.
Bobby Seay is currently the only left-hander in Detroit's bullpen. So if Fultz can get his act together, there's probably a spot for him on the big league club.
PECOTA projects Fultz will have a 3.92 ERA in roughly 45 innings pitched in 2008. But, as we all know, predicting what a reliever will do from one season to the next is far more difficult that predicting a position player, or even a starting pitcher.
Despite exercising the lefty's option for $1.5MM in November, the Indians have decided to get rid of Aaron Fultz. They've replaced him with Craig Breslow.
MLB.com's Anthony Castrovince said the Indians are likely to designate Fultz and attempt to find a trade partner. The Tribe is likely to be on the hook for his salary.
In '07, Fultz posted a 1.71 ERA and 1.70 K/BB ratio in 21 innings prior to a strained ribcage. Even then he was a bit over his head in allowing just 11 hits in that time. After Fultz returned in August, he posted a 4.50 ERA and 1.38 K/BB in 16 innings. The biggest change was the 20 hits allowed over that period; I'm not sure his injury caused that difference.
Some nuggets from today...
- The Braves look to be the market for a bat off the bench and according to David O'Brien of the Atlanta-Journal Constitution it's not likely to be a minor name. O'Brien asked Wren if the Braves "had money to add a player of significant salary to their payroll," throwing out an accompanying figure of $3-4MM, to which Wren said yes "without hesitation." Let's use this to set the stage for what should be an interesting late spring Reed Johnson sweepstakes.
- Evan Grant of the The Dallas Morning News believes that Jason Botts 2 for 5 performance on Saturday versus the Mariners has locked up a roster spot for the young DH/1B. Speculation is that Kevin Mench, who can be optioned, would be sent to the minors and that Nelson Cruz could be designated for assignment.
- MLB.com speculates the ugly spring put up by Aaron Fultz may have played a part in the team's decision to claim Craig Breslow off waivers from the Red Sox. Fultz has put up an 11.88 ERA in just over eight innings and last week he gave up four runs on five hits during a performance against Double-A Akron in an intrasquad game last week.
Mark Shapiro and the Indians had three option decisions to make, and today the team exercised all of them. All of these were pretty much expected to be exercised.
- Closer Joe Borowski gets $4MM rather than a $250K buyout.
- Starter Paul Byrd gets $8MM instead of a $250K buyout.
- Southpaw reliever Aaron Fultz gets $1.5MM instead of a $0.15MM buyout.
So, $13.5MM for the trio of pitchers. Seems reasonable. Of course there's the HGH stigma with Byrd. But as a baseball decision, it's fair to expect him to pitch like a back-rotation guy worthy of a one-year, $7.75MM deal.
The Tribe signed a pair of relievers today, Roberto Hernandez and Aaron Fultz.
Hernandez turned 42 last month. He posted a 2.93 ERA last year, but the 1.63 WHIP and 1.38 K/BB ratio are less than inspiring.
Fultz, a southpaw, turned 33 in September. After posting a sparkling 2.24 ERA in 2005, he regressed to a 4.54 mark this year. Fultz's control slipped a bit, but the main difference was his hits per nine innings moving from a miniscule 5.9 to a batting practice-like 10.1. I suppose we could partially blame his BABIP shooting from .212 to .349.