Alan Embree Rumors

Odds & Ends: Brewers, Marlins, Red Sox, Calero

Sunday night links..

Red Sox Sign Alan Embree

The Red Sox signed reliever Alan Embree to a minor league deal that could pay the lefty about $1.1MM if he makes the major league roster and reaches his incentives for games pitched. Embree will earn $500K for making the big league club, and he'll have the chance to opt out of his contract on April 15th to reassess his situation. This marks Embree's second stint with the team, as he joined the Red Sox in a 2002 trade and pitched for them until his '05 release.

Amalie Benjamin of the Boston Globe added the opt-out details; Alex Speier of added the salary Embree will earn if he's on the major league roster and Gordon Edes of ESPNBoston added specifics about the incentives (Twitter links).

Embree, 40, posted a 5.84 ERA, 4.4 K/9, and 4.4 BB/9 in 24.6 innings for the Rockies last year. His season ended in July when a line drive fractured his tibia. Checking Embree's FanGraphs splits, his recent work against lefties has been spotty.

The Sox already have lefty relievers Hideki Okajima and Fabio Castro on the 40-man roster and Brian Shouse in camp on a non-roster invite.

The Latest On The Remaining Free Agent Relievers

The Cubs and Twins have seen top relievers get hurt this spring and already both clubs are interested in relievers (specifically Jason Frasor). Don't expect Jim Hendry to sign one of the free agent options remaining; the Cubs are reportedly uninterested in that group. But as more pitchers get injured, some of the free agents will gain appeal. Here's a look at the remaining relievers who have attracted at least some interest this offseason.

Stark On Damon, Bedard, Phillies, Smoltz, Gregg

Jayson Stark of points out that teams aren't handing out long-term contracts as liberally as they were a few years ago. We've seen just eight contracts of three-plus years this offseason, after seeing 13 such contracts in each of the previous two winters. The offseason before that? Players signed 29 contracts of three years or more. Here are Stark's rumors:

  • Detroit doesn't seem that interested in Johnny Damon and the Braves haven't spoken with Damon's agent, Scott Boras, in a month and a half. The Rays have checked in, but they have little to spend.
  • Erik Bedard and the Orioles have mutual interest in a reunion, Stark hears. 
  • The Phillies would like to add a veteran left-handed reliever on a minor league deal, but Alan Embree and Ron Mahay are holding out for big league deals at this point, despite the Phillies' interest. 
  • Kevin Gregg is high on the Rockies' shopping list. They're looking at infield options and hoping to save enough money to shore up their bullpen, too. 
  • The Blue Jays have told clubs that Scott Downs and Jason Frasor are available. The Cubs have checked in on the pair of relievers. 
  • The Royals have told teams they're "open minded" about moving Gil Meche or Brian Bannister. 
  • John Smoltz is in no rush to sign. He's open to waiting for a few months, since he'd like a starting job and some execs question his ability to start for an entire season. 
  • Ben Sheets will be the first A's pitcher to make $10MM (though some believe Sheets will be traded before the end of the year).
  • Mark Prior is throwing off a mound and would like to make a comeback. 

Rockies Decline Options For Torrealba, Embree

Troy Renck of The Denver Post reports that the Rockies have declined the 2010 options for catcher Yorvit Torrealba and reliever Alan Embree. Torrealba's option was worth $4MM, Embree's $3MM. Instead, the players will receive buyouts worth $500K and $250K, respectively.

Torrealba's agent indicated that his client has not ruled out returning to the club, but the Rockies are committed to Chris Iannetta as their starter. Yorvit hit .291/.351/.380 in 242 plate appearances on the year, while Embree threw just 24.2 innings in 2009 before a liner broke his leg and forced him to miss the rest of the season.

Rockies Rumors: Giambi, Betancourt, Peralta

It sounds like the Rockies will bring back manager Jim Tracy and GM Dan O'Dowd. Here are some more rumors regarding the club's offseason plans:

  • Tracy Ringolsby of Inside the Rockies says the team's coaching staff will return in 2010. Jim Tracy works well with his coaches, though he did not hand-pick them.
  • Ringolsby expects the Rockies to decline the options for Jason Giambi ($6.5MM), Rafael Betancourt ($5.4MM), Yorvit Torrealba ($4MM, $500K buyout) and Alan Embree ($3MM, $250K buyout).
  • Instead of picking up Betancourt's option, the club will try to sign him to a two-year deal that guaranatees less money in 2010.
  • If Torrealba returns, it would likely be for about $1MM.
  • It seems unlikely that Embree will return and Ringolsby says Giambi doesn't fit the Rockies' needs.
  • Troy Renck of the Denver Post reports that reliever Joel Peralta has chosen free agency after being outrighted off the team's 40-man roster.

Rockies Notes: Marquis, Betancourt, Giambi

Tracy Ringolsby of Inside The Rockies examines Colorado's commitments for 2010, and the decisions they'll face regarding potential free agents and arbitration cases. Here are a few of his thoughts:

  • Jason Marquis has said he wants to sign with the Mets and likely won't be back in Colorado.
  • There's a good chance that lefty Alan Embree will retire.
  • Jose Contreras is interested in returning in a middle relief capacity, but Matt Belisle is a younger option for the team in that role.
  • The club would like to retain Rafael Betancourt, but his contract would have to be reworked. Betancourt has a $5.4MM club option for 2010.
  • Behind the plate, Chris Iannetta will be back as the starter. Yorvit Torrealba could return as Ianetta's backup, but probably not for more than $1MM.
  • The team may not have room for Jason Giambi, instead opting to use his roster spot on a right-handed hitter who can play both infield corners.
  • Righty relievers Juan Rincon and Matt Herges could receive minor-league invites.

Odds & Ends: Stanton, Halladay, Sonnanstine

Even more links on a slow rumors day…

  • Joe Capozzi of The Palm Beach Post spoke to Marlins GM Larry Beinfest about top prospect Mike Stanton. Beinfest wouldn't say as much, but it sounds like Stanton is untouchable in trade talks.
  • ESPN's Keith Law tweets that a Roy Halladay trade was unlikely two days ago, but seems even less likely now after some conversations.
  • Andy Sonnanstine has been placed on the minor league disabled list with mononucleosis according to Joe Smith of The St. Petersburg Times. If he's out for a while, could it impact the club's ability to make a deal given the lessened pitching depth?
  • Southpaw reliever Alan Embree is out for the season with a broken tibia according to's Cheng Sio. Just two games back of the wild card, will the Rockies look to add a reliever?
  • Maury Brown at The Biz of Baseball has a complete list of 2009 All Star bonuses.

2010 Options: Colorado Rockies

Let's scope out the options facing the Colorado Rockies this coming offseason.

  • Yorvit Torrealba – $4MM mutual option with a $0.5MM buyout. Torrealba's taken a backseat to Chris Iannetta in playing time, turning in a .649 OPS in 61 at-bats this season. He's faced some tough personal issues as of late as his son and brother-in-law were recently freed from kidnappers in Venezuela. The Rockies were apparently shopping Torrealba in March, which probably points toward a buyout at the season's end.
  • Alan Embree – $3MM club option with a $0.25MM buyout. Embree's been fairly horrendous versus both righties and lefties this season, posting a 6.60 ERA in 15.1 innings, and just officially lost his set-up role last week. Chances are he's bought out.

Willy Taveras Will Be Non-Tendered

Troy E. Renck of the Denver Post says to expect outfielder Willy Taveras to join the free agent market:

The Nationals’ unwillingness to take Taveras and Juan Morillo for Tim Redding — a deal Colorado thought was done — will lead the Rockies to non-tender the center fielder today, making him a free agent.

Tracy Ringolsby of the Rocky Mountain News agrees he’ll be non-tendered, noting the Yankees, Red Sox, Reds, Marlins, and White Sox also had trade discussions for Taveras.

Renck adds that Glendon Rusch has a minor league offer for $750K in hand, and is weighing offers from four other clubs.  Rusch would be the Rockies’ second lefty behind newly signed Alan Embree.

A few more notes: the Rockies have mild interest in bringing back Josh Fogg…they’re the favorite for Redding if he’s non-tendered too…the Rox will make a non-guaranteed offer to Scott PodsednikJoey Gathright would be of interest if non-tendered.