Alfredo Simon Rumors
The Reds have designated infielder Jason Donald for assignment and outrighted right-hander Jose Arredondo to Triple-A, tweets John Fay of the Cincinnati Enquirer. Donald and Arredondo were both out of options. The Reds now have ten days to either trade, release, or outright Donald to the minors. Arredondo has already cleared waivers, reports Fay (via Twitter).
Donald, acquired from the Indians in the Shin-Soo Choo trade, was beat out by non-roster invitee Cesar Izturis. Fay tweets the deciding factor was Izturis' ability to play shortstop and serve as a backup to starter Zack Cozart.
Arredondo, who is in the final year of a contract he signed in January 2012 and will still be arbitration eligible in 2014 and 2015 as a Super Two, lost out to Manny Parra and Alfredo Simon for a spot in the Reds bullpen.
We'll track the day's arbitration agreements under $3MM right here...
- The Reds announced that they've avoided arbitration with right-hander Alfredo Simon and outfielder Chris Heisey (Twitter link). Both players obtain one-year deals for 2013, which leaves the Reds with four unsigned arb eligible players: Homer Bailey, Shin-Soo Choo, Mat Latos and Mike Leake. As MLBTR's Arb Tracker shows, Heisey filed for $1.65MM with the Reds countering at $1.05MM. He obtained $1.325MM, MLB.com's Mark Sheldon tweets. The first time eligible super two player discussed a multiyear deal with the Reds earlier in the month. Meanwhile, Simon filed for $1.05MM and the Reds offered $750K.
Simon posted a 4.90 ERA with 6.5 K/9, 3.1 BB/9 and a 43% ground ball rate in 115 2/3 innings as a starter and reliever for the Orioles last year. He has a 44.7% ground ball rate and an average fastball velocity of 94.5 mph in four seasons with Baltimore.
Ryan Madson will miss the 2012 season and Nick Masset will open the season on the disabled list, so the Reds are short on relievers. Simon will join right-handers Jose Arredondo, Logan Ondrusek and Sam LeCure in manager Dusty Baker's bullpen.
SATURDAY: Simon told reporters (including MLB.com's Britt Ghiroli) that he expects to get claimed off waivers, but will elect free agency is he's not.
FRIDAY: The Orioles have waived right-hander Alfredo Simon, a source confirmed to Dan Connolly of The Baltimore Sun (via Twitter). Simon, 30, had a 4.90 ERA with 6.5 K/9 and 3.1 BB/9 in 16 starts and seven relief appearances last season.
One National League exec told Connolly (via Twitter) that it's hard to imagine Simon not getting claimed based on his ability, though consistency is a concern with him. Roch Kubatko of MASNsports.com tweets that the move will help to create room on the 40-man roster as the O's need space for Nick Johnson and Ronny Paulino.
Mike Axisa contributed to this post.
It's unclear how much the Orioles knew about the possibility that Chris Davis had shoulder problems when they acquired him late last month, Jeff Zrebiec of the Baltimore Sun writes. Davis hit the Orioles' 15-day DL not long after joining Baltimore in the deal that sent Koji Uehara to Texas. Here are some more notes on the O's from Zrebiec...
- Mike Gonzalez and Vladimir Guerrero haven’t drawn interest from contenders looking to fortify their rosters for the stretch run, Zrebiec hears. That could change later this month and if it does, it’s likely that Gonzalez and Guerrero would clear waivers.
- Keep track of which players have cleared with our list.
- Orioles officials appear to believe that if Alfredo Simon has a future in Baltimore, it’s in the bullpen. Simon has made some good starts this season, but with Jim Johnson likely headed to the rotation, Baltimore’s bullpen could use some reliable arms in 2012.
We’ve already checked in on the AL East and taken detailed looks at its two biggest spenders, the Yankees and Red Sox. Here are some new notes from around the division, with an emphasis on teams that could be sellers:
- Though the Rays have told teams they won't trade James Shields, they're willing to discuss Jeff Niemann and Wade Davis, according to Danny Knobler of CBSSports.com.
- Rays manager Joe Maddon tells Marc Topkin of the St. Petersburg Times that he has discussed dozens of trade scenarios with executive VP of baseball operations Andrew Friedman (Twitter link). None of the scenarios have involved Shields, who appears to be off of the market.
- Koji Uehara and Jeremy Guthrie are the names bouncing around MLBTR, but Dan Connolly of the Baltimore Sun reminds us that teams have also called about other Orioles, including Adam Jones, Jim Johnson and Alfredo Simon.
The Blue Jays announced today that they’re going to retire Roberto Alomar’s number 12 later this month. When the former second baseman gets enshrined in Cooperstown over the weekend, he’ll become the first inductee to wear a Blue Jays cap into the Hall. A week later, he’ll become the first Blue Jay to have his number retired. Here are links from around the American League East...
- The Red Sox are actively looking to improve their roster, according to Alex Speier of WEEI.com. Though Boston has made moves out of necessity in recent years, this summer is one of opportunity for Boston's front office, Speier writes. Left-handed relief remains one unsettled area for the first place club.
- The Orioles announced that they transferred second baseman Brian Roberts to the 60-day DL to create 40-man roster space for Alfredo Simon, who was reinstated from the restricted list.
- The Yankees are unwilling to trade a "big" prospect for a reliever, according to Jon Heyman of SI.com (on Twitter). They expect their bullpen will be fine and are searching for starters (though Ubaldo Jimenez remains a longshot).
- The Yankees have been suggesting to teams that they're happy with their bullpen, according to Danny Knobler of CBSSports.com.
Let's check in on the latest from Charm City...
- Jeff Zrebiec of The Baltimore Sun has the breakdown of J.J. Hardy's contract extension (on Twitter). He'll earn $7MM per season from 2012-2014 with a $1.25MM signing bonus.
- Alfredo Simon's hearing in the Dominican Republic is finished and he should be back in Baltimore by Tuesday according to Dan Connolly of The Baltimore Sun (Twitter links). Simon has not been cleared or charged in his case, and it's "highly unlikely" he'll have to leave the team again this season.
- Meanwhile, the club announced in a press release that they've placed Simon on the restricted list. Third baseman Josh Bell and righty reliever Mark Worrell were recalled from Triple-A.
Happy birthday to Matt Wieters! The Orioles catcher turned 25 today, and he celebrated with a 2-for-4 performance in Baltimore's 8-3 win over Washington.
Here's some news from around the majors....
- The Rangers' offseason courtship of Cliff Lee is recapped by Richard Durrett of ESPNDallas.com. Lee was brilliant against his former team today, holding the Rangers to just five hits and two walks over eight shutout innings in a 2-0 Philadelphia victory.
- The Mariners don't have any room, or particular need, for Russell Branyan, writes Geoff Baker of the Seattle Times. Branyan was released by the Diamondbacks earlier today.
- The Orioles activated Alfredo Simon from the restricted list a day earlier than expected and he was available to pitch today against the Nationals, reports Jeff Zrebiec of the Baltimore Sun.
- Terry Francona was Jim Hendry's choice to manage the Cubs had Dusty Baker not taken the job before the 2003 season, reports Bruce Levine of ESPNChicago.com. Francona was also a finalist to manage the White Sox (along with Cito Gaston) before Ozzie Guillen was hired.
- Jamey Newberg of The Newberg Report looks at the Rays' cheap, effective bullpen revamp from this past offseason as an example of how the Rangers should approach improving their relief corps.
Congrats to Justin Verlander. The Tigers' ace threw a no-hitter against the Blue Jays this afternoon, the second of his career. He's now one of only 28 men to throw multiple no-hitters in the big leagues. Here are Saturday's links...
- Red Sox GM Theo Epstein was personally scouting UConn RHP Matt Barnes tonight, reports Dom Amore of The Hartford Courant (on Twitter). Barnes is expected to go in the first round this year, in which the Red Sox have two picks.
- Evan Grant of The Dallas Morning News reports that the Rangers called up Craig Gentry to replace Nelson Cruz, who was placed on the disabled list (Twitter links). He notes that one possible reason why they didn't call up Endy Chavez is because they'd have to place him on waivers once Cruz was healthy.
- In a guest post for Through The Fence Baseball, MLBTR's Ben Nicholson-Smith took stock of the winter's biggest offseason deals.
- Bill Madden of The New York Daily News wrote about the numerous big-money players that are struggling this year, including Derek Jeter and Hanley Ramirez.
- Stan Kasten confirmed to Adam Kilgore of The Washington Post that he sold his ownership stake in the Nationals this March. Kasten stepped down as team president late last year, but it's unclear what he'll do next. He was mentioned as possibly trustee when MLB took over the Dodgers' financial operations.
- Alfredo Simon was in the Orioles' clubhouse today, and will continue working his way back with a minor league appearance next week according to Dan Connolly of The Baltimore Sun. Connolly says the team will have to recall, waive, or release Simon by "roughy May 22" after he spent two months in a Dominican Republic prison and being placed on the restricted list.
- Bernie Miklasz of The St. Louis Post-Dispatch spoke to Cardinals GM John Mozeliak about the resurgent Lance Berkman. "We did a lot of due diligence," said the GM. "We truly believed he could have a bounce-back year. When we looked at it, we knew he was working extremely hard on his conditioning, was getting the knee healthy, was getting himself in tremendous shape, and that he'd be a lot stronger. That was a big thing. We knew that he still had an eye for hitting, and he would work the count and take walks. The question was, how would he be physically. And once we knew how much he was putting into his training, it gave us confidence."