Alfredo Aceves Rumors

Non-Tenders Contributing With New Teams

Every winter teams non-tender players when they would rather risk losing them to another team than go through the potentially expensive arbitration process. In 2010, for example, Matt Capps and Kelly Johnson rewarded their new teams with standout years after being cut loose, though most non-tenders don’t make that kind of contribution.

Teams non-tendered over 50 players last offseason and a handful of them are already proving their worth with new organizations. Here’s a breakdown of which 2010 non-tenders are exceeding expectations in 2011:

Starting Pitchers

  • Dustin Moseley, Padres (non-tendered by Yankees) – The 29-year-old leads the league with six losses, but he's been much more effective than his record would indicate. Moseley has a 3.40 ERA with 4.2 K/9 and 2.7 BB/9 through 53 frames.

Right-Handed Relievers

  • Joel Peralta, Rays (non-tendered by Nationals) – Unlike most non-tenders, Peralta was effective last year. After 22 1/3 innings in the Rays' revamped bullpen, he's looking like a smart, low-risk addition. Peralta has a 2.82 ERA with 6.4 K/9 and 2.4 BB/9.
  • Taylor Buchholz, Mets (though Buchholz has never thrown a pitch for Boston, the Red Sox were technically the ones to non-tender him) – Buchholz is looking a lot like his 2008 self through 21 2/3 innings in the Mets' 'pen. The 29-year-old has a 1.66 ERA with 10.0 K/9 and 2.9 BB/9.
  • Jose Veras, Pirates (non-tendered by Marlins) – Veras has 26 strikeouts and a 3.06 ERA through 17 2/3 innings. Veras' 13.2 K/9 is seventh-best among MLB relievers this year and few pitchers beat his 94 mph average fastball by much.
  • Alfredo Aceves, Red Sox (non-tendered by Yankees) – The Red Sox need him more than ever with two members of their Opening Day rotation on the shelf. So far, Aceves has a 2.60 ERA with 4.7 K/9 and 3.1 BB/9 in 17 1/3 innings.
  • Todd Coffey, Nationals (non-tendered by Brewers) – Coffey, who added value in 2009-10, has a 2.30 ERA with 10.3 K/9 and 3.4 BB/9 in 15 2/3 innings.
  • Matt Albers, Red Sox (non-tendered by Orioles) – Though Bobby Jenks was the most prominent non-tender who signed with Boston this winter, Albers may be the most impressive. He has a 1.65 ERA with 8.8 K/9, 3.3 BB/9 and a 52.3% ground ball rate through 16 1/3 innings.

Left-Handed Relievers

  • George Sherrill, Braves (non-tendered by Dodgers) – After a poor showing with the Dodgers in 2010, Sherrill is adding value again. He has raised his strikeout rate (10.2 K/9), lowered his walk rate (4.7 BB/9) and has allowed just seven hits and two earned runs in 9 2/3 innings, mostly against left-handed hitters.

Position Players

  • Russell Martin, Yankees (non-tendered by Dodgers) – Arguably the biggest success story of all, Martin drew interest from a number of AL East teams before signing with the Yankees. He has a .261/.362/.479 line and leads qualified MLB catchers in home runs (7), on-base percentage (.362), wOBA (.380) and WAR (1.5). It’s a win-win, as Martin got $4MM in guaranteed money and a fresh start, while the Yankees get a top catcher who’s under team control through 2012. With Jack Cust, Matt Diaz and others off to slow starts, Martin is the lone non-tendered position player making an impact so far this year.

New York Notes: Mets, Piazza, Yankees, Aceves

Eight years ago today, the Yankees signed Ramon Ramirez to a minor league contract after winning his rights via the posting system with a $350K bid. Ramirez, then 21, had been with the Hiroshima Carp, appearing in just two games with them from 2002-2003.

Here's some links from the Big Apple…

  • Bud Selig briefly spoke to SI.com's Jon Heyman (Twitter link) about the Mets' ownership and dire financial situation. "We're in unchartered waters. I talk to Fred (a lot), we just have to hope it works out," said the commissioner. The team is said to be seeking another loan on top of the $100MM it's already been granted by the league.
  • Mike Piazza is helping coach Team Italy this spring, and he told ESPN New York's Adam Rubin and Newsday's David Lennon that he would like to own a team someday, but not necessarily the Mets (Twitter links). When asked if he's been contacted by anyone about owning a club, Piazza replied "I can't confirm or deny."
  • Yankees GM Brian Cashman told Peter Abraham of The Boston Globe that he doesn't believe he'll be able to acquire a starter before the Opening Day, and perhaps not until June. "Normally anything of quality doesn't become available until after the June draft," said Cashman. "That's why you try and get as much as you can get accomplished in the winter. I know New York doesn't handle patience very well. But I'm from Kentucky, so it's a little easier for me to deal with."
  • Cashman also spoke to Abraham about why the Yankees non-tendered Alfredo Aceves, who eventually signed with the Red Sox. "I offered him a minor league contract, that was it. I wasn't going to do anything more than that," said the GM. "Because of the back issue, we could not give him [a Major League contract]. He was throwing off the mound for us and he always hit a wall. So we ultimately continued to fail throughout the entire process to get him off the DL and active. He had a lot of success for a period of time, but then ultimately we'd had to take steps back and we'd have to shut him down and re-do the treatment."

Cafardo’s Latest: Molina, Aceves, Nathan, Cameron

Bruce Bochy, coming off a World Series victory, tops Nick Cafardo's list of baseball's best managers in the Boston Globe. Cafardo, who ranks baseball's skippers 1 through 30, praises Bochy's "flawless postseason," explaining that he "had a pretty dynamite pitching staff in San Francisco but basically took a team of vagabonds to the highest peak." Here are some other items of interest from Cafardo's piece:

  • Bengie Molina has gone back and forth on whether he wants to play this year. A team like the Red Sox wouldn't mind adding him for insurance, but Molina would be looking for a job that offers fairly consistent playing time.
  • Alfredo Aceves, who recently signed with the Red Sox, "wasn't pleased" that the Yankees didn't show a stronger interest in re-signing him. Brian Cashman said the Yanks only offered Aceves a minor league deal due to injury concerns.
  • Joe Nathan's recovery from Tommy John surgery is on track and he expects to be ready for the start of the season. Twins management is confident in Nathan's health as well, which is why the team didn't make significant additions to a bullpen that lost Matt Guerrier, Jesse Crain, and Jon Rauch.
  • Although Cafardo thinks Mike Cameron will see plenty of playing time in Boston this year, he cautions that the outfielder could become trade bait before the end of Spring Training. One National League scout's thoughts: "Cameron is a guy who fits well on a team because he’s versatile, plays excellent defense, and can hit left-handed pitching. A team like the Phillies would have to be interested, but he’s a guy who could help a lot of teams."


Red Sox Sign Alfredo Aceves

The Red Sox signed Alfredo Aceves to a Major League deal, the team announced. Aceves will earn $650K and could earn $100K more in incentives, according to ESPN.com's Buster Olney (on Twitter). Agent Tom O'Connell represents Aceves. 

Boston takes on limited risk, since Aceves has two options remaining, according to Peter Abraham of the Boston Globe (on Twitter). The Red Sox see Aceves as a starter, rather than a reliever, according to Alex Speier of WEEI.com. Speier notes that the deal is a split contract that would pay Aceves $200K in the minors. The Mets also offered Aceves a Major League contract, tweets Jon Heyman of SI.com, but Aceves preferred to play for Boston.

A lower-back injury limited Aceves to just ten games last year. He was a workhorse in 2009, when he logged 84 innings in 43 appearances for the eventual World Champions. The 28-year-old right-hander has a 3.21 ERA with 6.2 K/9, 2.1 BB/9 and a 38.6% ground ball rate in 126 career innings.

Red Sox GM Theo Epstein has added high-profile relievers (Bobby Jenks, Dan Wheeler) and others (Dennys Reyes, Matt Fox, Hideki OkajimaRich Hill, Lenny DiNardo, Matt Albers, Jason Bergmann, Brandon Duckworth and Andrew Miller) in his offseason-long effort to improve the team's bullpen. Check out our Transaction Tracker for the details.

Peter Abraham and Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe first reported the deal.


New York Notes: Aceves, C.C., Emaus, Martin

Alfredo Aceves' signing seems like just the latest wrinkle in a long line of them in the Red Sox-Yankees rivalry, but the Mets had a stake in that deal, too. Here's more on that and some other items of note coming out of the Big Apple on Tuesday …

  • The Mets, like the Red Sox, offered Aceves a Major League contract, tweets Jon Heyman of SI.com, but the right-hander preferred to play for Boston. The Mets were disappointed to miss out on Aceves, Heyman tweets, and understandably so, as Aceves would have been another decent addition for a team that entered the offseason on a tight budget. Interestingly, Aceves is reportedly throwing in bullpen sessions, which is further along than the Yankees anticipated he'd be at this juncture, tweets Marc Carig of the Star-Ledger. One has to wonder whether the new timetable would have influenced the Yanks' decision to non-tender Aceves in December.
  • Yankees ace C.C.  Sabathia has shed 30 pounds this offseason in an effort to reduce the load on his surgically repaired right knee, according to Buster Olney of ESPN.com. Typically, we don't get too excited over this sort of Spring Training cliche, as we're bound to hear quite a bit about who's in shape and who's not over the next couple weeks, but 30 pounds is a lot of weight, and we're especially mindful of the opt-out clause in Sabathia's contract after the 2011 campaign. If he's healthy and has a big season, Sabathia could be in for another big payday next offseason.
  • Mets second baseman Brad Emaus, a Rule 5 draftee, has a good chance of making the Mets' Opening Day roster as either their starting second baseman or in a platoon/utility role with Daniel Murphy, writes Adam Rubin of ESPNNewYork.com. To that end, Rubin notes it's now "widely expected" that Oliver Perez and Luis Castillo will both be "jettisoned" before Opening Day.
  • Yankees catcher Russell Martin is not 100 percent recovered from the right knee surgery he underwent in December, writes Bryan Hoch of MLB.com, but the Bombers' backstop expects to be ready by Opening Day. The Yankees are known to have exceptional depth at catcher with Jorge Posada, Francisco Cervelli, Jesus Montero and Austin Romine, so they probably won't have to range outside the organization in the event that Martin isn't fully healthy after Spring Training.
  • Mets shortstop Jose Reyes feels sorry for the Wilpons on account of their financial plight, tweets Peter Botte of the New York Daily News, but he's not concerned about his contract status and is ready to "play baseball and see what happens." Reyes, a free agent after this season, also said that he feels as good as he's felt in the past two years and is expecting a big season, tweets Botte.

Cafardo’s Latest: Pettitte, Millwood, Blanton

Even now that Andy Pettitte has announced his retirement, it seems the debate over whether he'll pitch again won't die. Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe talked to one scout who, following Pettitte's press conference, was still unconvinced the left-hander is done for good.

"I get the feeling his career isn’t over. For one, he can still pitch at a high level. Secondly, he didn’t retire with any conviction. The stuff about going back and forth on whether or not to pitch leads me to believe he’ll decide to pitch again."

Whether or not the scout is on to something, the Yankees are looking elsewhere for starting pitching. Cafardo has a couple notes on their search among this week's hot stove updates….

  • We heard yesterday that the Indians were "making progress" with Kevin Millwood, who is talking to multiple clubs. Cafardo names the Yankees, Mets, and Tribe as teams still in on the right-hander, with salary as the primary hang-up. Given Scott Boras' success so far this offseason, it would actually be somewhat surprising if he and Millwood don't eventually get what they're asking for.
  • The Yanks will "see what they have" with pitchers like Freddy Garcia, Bartolo Colon, and Sergio Mitre before they consider trading for someone like Joe Blanton.
  • The Red Sox are eyeing former Yankee Alfredo Aceves as a potential injury rehab project.
  • According to Cafardo, it would be the "shock of the century" if Adrian Gonzalez and the Red Sox don't come to terms on a contract extension by the end of Spring Training.

Rockies Not Interested In Alfredo Aceves

4:55pm: The Rockies are not interested in Aceves, according to Troy Renck of the Denver Post (on Twitter).

8:34am: The Rockies are among the teams interested in recently non-tendered righty Alfredo Aceves, tweets Joel Sherman of the New York PostHe says the Yankees would like Aceves back, but on a minor league deal.

Aceves, 28 on Wednesday, missed most of the season with back pain and then fractured his left clavicle in November in a bicycle accident.  In 2009, he was quite useful with a 3.54 ERA, 7.4 K/9, 1.7 BB/9, 1.1 HR/9, and 35.2% groundball rate in 84 innings.  His flyball tendencies don't seem a great match for Coors Field.


American League Non-Tenders

This post will list all the American League players non-tendered today, but the best place to track all 200+ arbitration eligible players is our new non-tender tracker.


Odds & Ends: Crawford, Yankees, Angels, Loux

Wednesday night links, as Daniel Hudson attempts to keep his NL ERA under 2.00….


Chamberlain Still Unsure Of 2010 Role

We've heard a lot about the "Joba Rules" ever since Joba Chamberlain was first called up to the Yankees in 2007.  Going into next season, however, the "Rules" are up in the air since nobody seems to even know what the game will be for the young right-hander in 2010.  Chamberlain told MLB.com's Anthony DiComo that the Yankees have yet to inform him if he will be a starter or a reliever next season.

Chamberlain doesn't seem bothered by the lack of information, saying "it helps me just to know that I've been put in a lot of situations and it's going to help me in the long run."  In fact, Chamberlain also said that he hopes Andy Pettitte (a man he regards as a good friend and mentor) comes back for another season in New York, even though Pettitte's return might squeeze Chamberlain out of a rotation spot.

DiComo notes that should Pettitte re-sign with the Yankees, he would be the No. 3 starter behind C.C. Sabathia and A.J. Burnett.  This leaves the final two spots in the New York rotation open, to be contested between the likes of Chamberlain, Phil Hughes, Chad Gaudin, Sergio Mitre, Alfredo Aceves and possibly Chien-Ming Wang (as reported last week by the New York Post's Joel Sherman).  This competition could end up being for just one rotation spot should the Yankees sign a free agent pitcher like John Lackey.

Chamberlain posted a 4.75 ERA in 31 starts for New York last season, but was hit hard in the second half of the season — the Nebraskan had a 7.67 ERA in August and September.  He was moved to the bullpen for the Yankees' playoff run and recorded a 2.84 ERA in 10 relief appearances, plus a win in Game 4 of the World Series.

Interestingly, DiComo said that Hughes is "more of a lock to start than Chamberlain" in spite of the fact that Hughes flourished coming out of the bullpen in 2009.  Hughes had a 5.45 ERA in seven starts last season, but a 1.40 ERA in 44 relief appearances as he gradually became Mariano Rivera's primary set-up man.

What do you think, Yankees fans?  Who would you be more comfortable with as a starter in 2010 if you could pick only one: Chamberlain or Hughes?  For what role do you think each pitcher is ideally suited?