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Links for Sunday….
- Matthew Carruth at FanGraphs says that Dontrelle Willis could go from being a big sunk cost to a valuable investment if he flees to an NL club for the league minimum.
- Mark Gonzales of The Chicago Tribune reminds us that A.J. Pierzynski's ten-and-five rights kick in on June 14th, just over two weeks away. At that point the catcher will be able to veto any trade.
- Baseball America's Jim Callis says (via Twitter) that he remains unconvinced that the Mets would exceed MLB's recommended slot bonus in next month's draft. The Amazin's hold the seventh overall pick.
- Chad Jennings of The Journal News chronicles the story of Yankees' DH Juan Miranda, who wasn't able to successfully defect from Cuba until his seventh attempt.
- In his latest Inbox column at MLB.com, Joe Frisaro says that if the Marlins look to make any additions prior to this year's deadline, they will likely come in the form of bullpen arms. Florida's rotation has compiled a 3.65 ERA this season, but its bullpen ranks 11th in the NL at 4.46.
- More bad news for Indians fans from MLB.com's Anthony Castrovince: Grady Sizemore will undergo knee surgery that could potentially end his season.
- After being designated for assignment, Willis would like to play for a West Coast team, according to FOX Sports' Jon Paul Morosi. Morosi says the Diamondbacks are Willis' first choice.
- In a pair of tweets, Joe Cowley of the Chicago Sun-Times discusses the Paul Konerko-to-the-Angels speculation we mentioned this morning.
- Joel Sherman of the New York Post expects the Yankees to sign Cliff Lee after this season, and ESPN.com's Buster Olney (Insider-only link) agrees. One AL exec tells Sherman that he has "no doubt" the Yanks will sign the left-hander.
- Within the same ESPN.com piece, Olney opines that the Tigers could be the most logical fit for Roy Oswalt. Drew Sharp of the Detroit Free Press would like to see the Tigers make a run at the Astros' ace, while Morosi (via Twitter) thinks Lee makes more sense for the Tigers.
- Scott Schoeneweis cleared waivers and is now a free agent, tweets Amalie Benjamin of the Boston Globe. The Red Sox designated the lefty for assignment earlier this month.
- Paul Hoynes of the Cleveland Plain Dealer examines the challenge Chris Antonetti will face when he takes over as the Indians' GM after this season.
- Adeiny Hechavarria is making a strong first impression at Single-A Dunedin, according to the Toronto Sun's Bob Elliott.
Full Story | Comments | Categories: A.J. Pierzynski | Adeiny Hechavarria | Chicago White Sox | Cleveland Indians | Cliff Lee | Detroit Tigers | Dontrelle Willis | Grady Sizemore | Juan Miranda | Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim | Miami Marlins | New York Mets | New York Yankees | Paul Konerko | Roy Oswalt | Scott Schoeneweis
In Nick Cafardo's latest piece for the Boston Globe, he takes an extended look at the Red Sox' early-season catching issues. He reiterates that if David Ortiz's struggles continue, the logical solution is to move Victor Martinez to DH and acquire a catcher. Cafardo names Kurt Suzuki as a player who would intrigue the Sox, since he can hit as well as play defense. Here are a few of Cafardo's other notes:
- Other catchers to keep an eye on for the Sox include Chris Iannetta, Miguel Olivo, Chris Snyder, and even Twins prospect Wilson Ramos, though he'd be costly.
- Cafardo praises the work Miguel Cabrera has put in to improve his image after last year's off-field problems. According to Cafardo, the Tigers "entertained trade proposals for him, but they wanted the farm in return."
- Ken Griffey Jr. is off to a slow start this year, but the Mariners will give him time to work through it. Seattle may eventually have to limit his playing time if his bat doesn't get hot, but would never release him.
- Cafardo is skeptical that the Cubs will be able to trade for a setup man and move Carlos Zambrano back into the rotation in the near future, suggesting the relief market is fairly thin.
- One AL international scout's assessment of Cuban shortstops Jose Iglesias and Adeiny Hechavarria: "Iglesias is certainly the more polished player at this stage, but Hechavarria has more upside…. I’d say Iglesias could play defensively in the big leagues right now, where Hechavarria would need a year or two to refine his game a bit." While the Sox would like to give Iglesias more minor league experience, they could bring him up if something were to happen to Marco Scutaro or Dustin Pedroia.
Full Story | Comments | Categories: Adeiny Hechavarria | Arizona Diamondbacks | Boston Red Sox | Carlos Zambrano | Chicago Cubs | Chris Iannetta | Chris Snyder | Colorado Rockies | Detroit Tigers | Jose Iglesias | Ken Griffey Jr. | Kurt Suzuki | Miguel Cabrera | Miguel Olivo | Minnesota Twins | Seattle Mariners | Toronto Blue Jays | Wilson Ramos
Links for Thursday, as the Pirates try to recover from their worst loss in franchise history…
- Highly regarded Rangers first base prospect Justin Smoak has gotten the call to replace Chris Davis at first base, reports MLB.com's T.R. Sullivan. The timing of his promotion ensures the Rangers will control Smoak through 2016. Super two status is likely if Smoak is up for good, meaning he'll go to arbitration four times beginning after the 2012 season. As for Davis, you have to wonder if a trade is in his future.
- In a mailbag, MLB.com's Jordan Bastian speculates on when Blue Jays fans can expect to see Adeiny Hechavarria and Brett Wallace arrive in Toronto.
- In an excellent piece for Yahoo! Sports, Jeff Passan looks at the state of baseball in the Dominican Republic, a topic MLBTR's Nick Collias addressed earlier in the week.
- Alden Gonzalez of MLB.com reports that Royals minor-league lefty Adam Bostick has been suspended 50 games for a second positive drug test.
- ESPN's draft coverage team tweets that the Royals are looking at University of Miami catcher Yasmani Grandal for the fourth overall pick in June. Five days ago ESPN's Keith Law had this to say about Grandal: "He's the top college catcher in the country, can absolutely stay behind the plate, and hits well enough to be an above-average player in the majors." Click here for a reminder of the full 2010 draft order.
- Baseball Prospectus' Kevin Goldstein looks at four question marks about potential #1 pick Bryce Harper. Harper is not getting good reviews for his makeup.
- Paul Sullivan of the Chicago Tribune points out that Carlos Zambrano and Lou Piniella don't seem in complete agreement on whether the righty's bullpen move is temporary.
Links for Friday…
- Hayden Penn cleared waivers and now has until Monday to decide whether to report to Triple A or become a free agent, according to MLB.com's Jenifer Langosch (via Twitter). The Pirates designated Penn for assignment Monday.
- Jose Veras, who was designated for assignment Wednesday, has been outrighted to Triple A by the Marlins, according to Joe Capozzi of the Palm Beach Post (Twitter link). This presumably means Veras cleared waivers.
- The Rockies called up Joe Beimel, according to the team. Beimel's deal pays him $850K in the major leagues.
- ESPN.com's Jerry Crasnick heard that Bret Boone is trying to recruit Doug Mientkiewicz and Bobby Kielty for his Golden League team (Twitter link).
- ESPN.com's Keith Law offers updates on some of the top prospects eligible for this June's draft, including Bryce Brentz, an outfielder who Law considers "one of the top college bats in this draft."
- Fred Lewis and his representatives had been asking the Giants for a trade for nearly a year, according to Henry Schulman of the San Francisco Chronicle.
- FanGraphs' Jack Moore calls the Lewis deal a no-brainer for the Blue Jays and a head-scratcher for the Giants.
- Bob Elliott of the Toronto Sun takes us on a must-read behind the scenes look at the Adeiny Hechavarria signing.
- Recent injuries to Jacoby Ellsbury and Mike Cameron will test Boston's depth, says WEEI.com's Alex Speier.
- Matt Eddy of Baseball America brings us up to date on the latest round of minor league transactions. Among the notable players released: Brady Clark and Curtis Thigpen.
Full Story | Comments | Categories: Adeiny Hechavarria | Bobby Kielty | Boston Red Sox | Brady Clark | Carlos Delgado | Colorado Rockies | Curtis Thigpen | Doug Mientkiewicz | Fred Lewis | Hayden Penn | Jacoby Ellsbury | Joe Beimel | Jose Veras | Mark Teixeira | Miami Marlins | Mike Cameron | New York Yankees | Pittsburgh Pirates | San Francisco Giants | Texas Rangers | Toronto Blue Jays
Links for Thursday…
- Slate's Dan Morrell discusses the influx of Cuban talent into the Majors, as well as the many quality players who have not defected.
- Outfielder Terry Evans cleared waivers and was sent to the Angels Triple A club to clear a spot for Scott Kazmir, reports Mike DiGiovanna of the L.A. Times. Evans, 28, hit .291/.341/.520 at Triple A last year, his third stint at that level.
- Gary Sheffield has "something on the table" to look at after he returns from vacation, tweets Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe. Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports suggested a few weeks ago that Sheffield is talking to an NL club (not the Nationals).
- Kevin Slowey said he wouldn't mind a contract similar to Nick Blackburn's four-year, $14MM deal, according to Charley Walters of the St. Paul Pioneer Press. Slowey will be arbitration-eligible for the first time after the season.
- Richard Griffin of the Toronto Star tweets a correction to something he wrote yesterday, explaining that Adeiny Hechavarria does indeed qualify for a fourth option.
- Joel Sherman of the New York Post writes that the Yankees essentially chose Javier Vazquez over Joel Pineiro. Sherman feels that Vazquez has "re-opened the wounds from 2004" with his two subpar starts.
Tuesday night linkage…
- Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports weighed in on Orlando Hudson's assertion that racism plays a role in free agency. Earlier today, Tim gave us his take on the matter.
- The Blue Jays hope to see Adeiny Hechavarria reach Double-A by season's end, tweets Jordan Bastian of MLB.com.
- Morgan Campbell of the Toronto Star spoke to Alexei Ramirez, who believes that "it won't be long" before we see Adeiny Hechavarria in the majors. Ramirez watched Hechavarria's meteoric rise through the the ranks of Cuban baseball.
- Kris Benson is a candidate to become the D-Backs' fifth starter, writes MLB.com's Steve Gilbert. Arizona signed the 35-year-old to a minor league deal in mid-March.
- Mark Teahen is still adjusting to his new club, writes Larry Millson of MLB.com.
The Blue Jays announced today that they've signed Cuban shortstop Adeiny Hechavarria to a four-year, $10MM contract. The official tweet came nearly a full month since news of the agreement broke. The Blue Jays were heavily involved in Cuban free agents this winter, as they were also in the mix for Aroldis Chapman, Leslie Anderson, and Jose Julio Ruiz. The Angels, Cubs, and Yankees were competitors for Hechavarria.
Hechavarria will receive a $4MM signing bonus, $500K in 2010, $2MM in 2011, and $1.75MM in 2012, according to Jordan Bastian of MLB.com (via Twitter).
ESPN's Mark Saxon introduced us to the 19-year-old Hechavarria back in February. Cuban Ball Players provided video. Jorge Ebro at the Nuevo Herald gave more details a few weeks ago. Blue Jays GM Alex Anthopoulos has brought in a nice haul of young talent in his six months on the job; check out our offseason in review piece for more details.
Monday night links..
- The Marlins won't rush prospect Mike Stanton to the majors, writes Joe Frisaro of MLB.com.
- Blue Jays GM Alex Anthopoulos says that the club is hoping to make an announcement in the next day or two, tweets Shi Davidi of The Canadian Press. However, Anthopoulos wouldn't confirm that the announcement could have to do with the signing of Adeiny Hechavarria. Last week, Hechavarria's visa was approved, opening the door for him to take his physical.
- ESPN.com's Rob Neyer believes that Chad Cordero could be a "useful" major leaguer again. The 28-year-old has been out of MLB for nearly two years and is attempting to mount a comeback with the Mariners' Triple-A affiliate.
- Charlie Haeger went through a long journey before becoming a member of the Dodgers' rotation, writes MLB.com's Ken Gurnick.
Links for Wednesday…
- Anthony Lerew cleared waivers and accepted an assignment to Triple-A, tweets Bob Dutton of The Kansas City Star. The Royals designated Lerew for assignment over the weekend.
- Kat O'Brien of The Cincinnati Enquirer wrote a very interesting piece about what happens in Cuba once their players defect. Said one local cab driver: "[Aroldis] Chapman doesn't exist. He never existed."
- Pirates' team president Frank Coonelly chatted with fans at MLB.com. He fielded a question about what the Pirates would do with the second overall pick in June's draft if for some reason the Nationals pass on Bryce Harper.
- The Tigers released minor leaguer Kory Casto, reports Tom Gage of The Detroit News. Casto had been signed to a minor league deal after a .271/.334/.378 performance for the Nationals' Triple A club. Baseball America ranked him fourth among Nats prospects heading into the '07 season.
- Which of Zach Duke, Paul Maholm, and Ryan Doumit is most likely to be traded this summer? Dejan Kovacevic of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette tackles the question.
- SI's Jon Heyman speculates that the Phillies would probably have to trade Raul Ibanez to be able to retain Jayson Werth after this season.
- Adeiny Hechavarria's visa has been approved and he's headed to the U.S. to take his physical this week for the Blue Jays, tweets ESPN's Jorge Arangure Jr.
- Yahoo's Jeff Passan suggests the Rays will have long-term difficulty competing, while Jonah Keri offers a rebuttal.
- Rocco Baldelli still has hopes of playing baseball, according to this FOX Sports Florida article. He's currently rehabbing a shoulder injury and working with Rays minor leaguers.
- ESPN's Adam Rubin says the Mets will not place Canadian third base prospect Shawn Bowman on waivers until they've exhausted trade possibilites.
- In search of an accurate Mariners payroll number, Geoff Baker of the Seattle Times arrives at about $93MM.
- Tracy Ringolsby of Inside The Rockies explains why free agent Braden Looper would be a good fit for Colorado. On a related note, Troy E. Renck of the Denver Post learned that the Rockies are not interested in Jarrod Washburn.
- Elsewhere on the "nothing brewing" front, Jim Bowden of FOX Sports tweets that Mariners GM Jack Zduriencik told him the team has had no discussions regarding Pedro Martinez.
Full Story | Comments | Categories: Adeiny Hechavarria | Anthony Lerew | Aroldis Chapman | Braden Looper | Cincinnati Reds | Colorado Rockies | Detroit Tigers | Jarrod Washburn | Jayson Werth | Kansas City Royals | New York Mets | Paul Maholm | Philadelphia Phillies | Pittsburgh Pirates | Raul Ibanez | Rocco Baldelli | Ryan Doumit | Seattle Mariners | Tampa Bay Rays | Toronto Blue Jays | Transactions | Zach Duke