- When the Athletics put Rich Hill on the market, they can be expected to charge a high price for him, Rosenthal says. Hill’s stats — if only for this season — compare favorably to David Price’s last year, and he might be amenable to an extension with his new team.
- Prior to this season, there was no trade interest in Melvin Upton unless the Padres took on the rest of his contract. After a .268/.315/.464 performance this year, though, that’s changing, at least to a degree. San Diego still owes Upton a little under $40MM through 2017, but teams are now willing to give up talent, with the Padres’ return increasing depending upon how much salary they’re willing to take on. The Padres might be motivated to deal Upton and/or Matt Kemp to clear space for former first-round pick Hunter Renfroe, who’s batting .335/.362/.611 for Triple-A El Paso. Austin Hedges has also hit well for the Chihuahuas, which means the Padres could also look to move fellow catcher Derek Norris to clear space in the big leagues.
- Jay Bruce to the Blue Jays would make sense, Rosenthal opines. Acquiring Bruce from the Reds would allow the Jays to move Jose Bautista (who’s currently on the DL with a toe injury) to DH and reduce playing time for the underwhelming Justin Smoak. The Jays have a greater need for pitching, but might play to the strengths of the market by acquiring hitting instead.
- The Phillies could consider keeping Jeremy Hellickson, who’s in the midst of a solid season — he could eat innings for them down the stretch, with the Phillies perhaps gambling on him by extending a qualifying offer this coming winter and hoping to grab a draft pick as a result. But they would still “jump” at a good trade offer. Of their relievers, the Phils are more likely to deal David Hernandez or Andrew Bailey than Jeanmar Gomez, who they can control for 2017. Other Phillies candidates to be dealt include Andres Blanco and Peter Bourjos.
- Rosenthal begins the second video with a brief discussion of an article of his from earlier today about former Cardinals minor leaguer Cody Stanley, who has already received a 162-game suspension and expects to receive a lifetime ban for repeatedly testing positive for the steroid Turinabol. Stanley claims to not know why he keeps testing positive. “I will never apologize for something I didn’t do,” Stanley said in a statement. “We will not stop searching for why all of this has happened.” Chris Colabello of the Blue Jays, Alec Asher and Daniel Stumpf of the Phillies and Boog Powell of the Mariners have all tested positive for Turinabol and received suspensions, and all claim not to know what happened. “Who would be stupid enough to take the same steroid again?” Stanley asks Rosenthal.
- The Mets are likely to trade for pitching after a series of injuries to their hurlers, Rosenthal says. Recent injuries to Matt Harvey and Noah Syndergaard could have the team looking in different directions this month than previously anticipated, perhaps to starters, perhaps to relievers.
- The Dodgers will consider dealing Yasiel Puig before the August 1 deadline, Rosenthal suggests. Whether they actually do deal him could depend, however, on the timing of Andre Ethier’s return and whether they acquire another outfielder.
Writing at todaysknuckleball.com, Jon Heyman breaks down the woes of the Dodgers and Angels. Both teams face difficult decisions over the summer. The Dodgers, at least, still seem positioned to contend and could play an interesting role on the trade market.
Here are more notes from the column:
- Amidst the considerable amount of Julio Teheran chatter, one Braves source tells Heyman, “I don’t see the Braves trading Teheran.” That’s a less-definitive statement than the one Heyman received regarding Freddie Freeman, as a source told him the first baseman is “totally off limits,” which lines up with GM John Coppolella’s offseason comments. Heyman adds that the Braves have “tried to dangle” Erick Aybar in trade talks, but he has no value at this point and could simply end up being released, creating an opportunity for one of Atlanta’s top-tier shortstop prospects (Dansby Swanson and Ozhaino Albies).
- Robin Ventura is on the hot seat with the White Sox, Heyman writes (adding more detail here). A team source tells him that there’s a feeling that “patience has been shown” and a change could benefit the team. Bench coach Rick Renteria, who formerly managed the Cubs, could succeed Ventura. Not that it’s particularly surprising, but Heyman adds that former skipper Ozzie Guillen wouldn’t be a candidate to return to his old post.
- The Rockies haven’t yet started receiving calls asking about Carlos Gonzalez, but they’re expected to listen to offers despite hovering around .500 to this point of the season. GM Jeff Bridich tells Heyman that his current focus is on winning and adds that prized righty Jeff Hoffman, who headlined the prospects acquired in last July’s Troy Tulowitzki blockbuster, is “closer than he is far away.”
- While Jonathan Lucroy is perhaps the most-cited trade candidate in baseball, GM David Stearns tells Heyman that an extension can’t be entirely ruled out. Heyman notes that if the Brewers are able to move Ryan Braun, they could look to reallocate some of those funds to locking up Lucroy, who is more open to an extension now that the Brewers are performing better than most pundits expected. There could, of course, be some level of gamesmanship there, as it would make sense for any team official to downplay a prime trade target’s availability.
- The Padres are “open” to trading Wil Myers in the right scenario, says Heyman, but it still seems unlikely that’ll come to fruition. San Diego has received hits on Jon Jay and Derek Norris, though, and presumably the organization is more willing to part with those players.
- There was talk of the Tigers pursuing Chris Davis over the winter, and Heyman says that was indeed the case. The club was considering an offer in the $180MM range for the slugger, per the report. Owner Mike Ilitch also pushed for Yoenis Cespedes over Justin Upton, but the club elected to grab the younger player. That choice is certainly up for debate after their respective starts.
- The Phillies are obvious sellers, but most of their marketable assets reside on the pitching side of the equation. But the club sees infielder Andres Blanco as a plausible piece, with Freddy Galvis also potentially on the block. Blanco isn’t quite repeating his surprising 2015 season, but is hitting at around the league average rate and could be a useful utility piece.
- With continued uncertainty surrounding Felix Hernandez, the Mariners are likely to explore the rotation market this summer. The club has received a nice boost from James Paxton of late, but many of its starters have long-term injury questions so it isn’t surprising to hear that the club is readying for an addition in that area.
- Heyman also floats the idea that the Nationals could dangle top position player prospect Trea Turner in trade talks this summer. He wonders whether he could be the chip that lands a top-end reliever, citing Yankees hurler Andrew Miller and Aroldis Chapman. From my perspective, that would be rather surprising: Turner has shown himself ready for a full crack at the big leagues and is widely considered one of the game’s twenty best prospects. Even if the Nats don’t make him the starter in 2016, he’s a critical part of the team’s middle infield depth right now and an important future piece.
- Veteran outfielder Shane Victorino has rejected several opportunities to join teams on minor-league deals, says Heyman. Victorino is holding out for a shot to join a big league roster.
We’ll use this post to keep tabs on arbitration deals struck today in advance of the non-tender deadline. Here’s the latest, with all projections via MLB Trade Rumors:
- The Padres and Brett Wallace have agreed to a one-year contract for the 2016 season, according to a team announcement. Wallace will earn $1MM next season, tweets MLB.com’s Corey Brock, placing him just shy of his $1.1MM projection.
- Backstop Chris Gimenez has agreed to a deal to avoid arbitration with the Rangers, per a team announcement. Gimenez will earn $975K while in the majors, but the deal is a split contract, Jeff Wilson of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram tweets.
- The Orioles announced that they’ve agreed to terms with outfielder Nolan Reimold on a one-year deal, thus avoiding arbitration. Rich Dubroff of CSNMidAtlantic.com reports that Reimold will land a $1.3MM salary (Twitter link). He cleared MLBTR’s projection by $400K.
- The Indians have avoided arbitration with newly acquired outfielder Collin Cowgill by agreeing to a $1MM salary for the upcoming 2016 season, tweets MLB.com’s Jordan Bastian. That’s an exact match with his projected salary.
- The Athletics announced that they’ve avoided arb with second baseman Eric Sogard, outfielder Sam Fuld, and newly acquired southpaw Marc Rzepczynski (Twitter link). Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports first reported Sogard’s contract (via Twitter), adding that he receives a $1.5MM salary, which is a bit shy of his $1.7MM projection.
- The Cubs announced that they’ve avoided arbitration with lefty Clayton Richard, who, as MLB.com’s Carrie Muskat reports (on Twitter), will take home a $2MM salary next season. That’s a sizable increase over the $1.1MM at which he was projected.
- The Blue Jays have avoided arbitration with first baseman Justin Smoak, per Yahoo’s Jeff Passan (Twitter link). He’ll earn $3.9MM next season with the Jays. That number drastically outpaces the $2MM projected by MLBTR.
- Jose Lobaton and the Nationals have avoided arbitration by agreeing to a one-year deal worth $1.3875MM, reports James Wagner of the Washington Post (via Twitter). Lobaton’s deal comes in just shy of the $1.5MM he was projected to earn.
- The Phillies announced deals with infielder Andres Blanco and just-claimed outfielder Peter Bourjos. Yahoo’s Jeff Passan tweets that Bourjos will receive a $2MM salary and Blanco will be paid $1.45MM in 2016. MLBTR had projected Blanco at $1MM while Bourjos came with a projected tag of $1.8MM.
- Jordan Lyles has a $2.975MM deal with the Rockies, Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports reports on Twitter. The righty will earn a minor bump over his $2.8MM projection.
- The Athletics announced that the team has agreed to a deal with lefty Felix Doubront on a contract for 2016. The value is not known at this time, but he was projected at $2.5MM.
- Backstop A.J. Ellis will receive $4.5MM next year with the Dodgers after striking a deal, Heyman tweets. That’s an exact match for the rate projected by MLBTR and Matt Swartz. The 34-year-old, who had a nice bounce-back campaign in 2015, will hit the open market after the coming season.
- Righty Vance Worley has signed on with the Orioles for $2.6MM, Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com tweets. That falls just $100K shy of his projected value as a first-year-eligible player. Baltimore added Worley earlier in the winter from the Pirates and figures to utilize him in a swingman capacity.
- The Cubs have agreed to a $1.42MM deal with just-added lefty Rex Brothers, Heyman tweets. Brothers was projected at $1.5MM and will land just south of that figure. Brothers was recently designated by the Rockies and then shipped to Chicago in a minor trade.
- And the Nationals will pay $900K to outfielder/first baseman Tyler Moore for the 2016 season, also per Heyman (via Twitter). He’ll land a bit shy of his $1MM projection, but the more relevant matter here is the fact that Moore will keep his roster spot. That has at times seemed at doubt, particularly with Ryan Zimmerman now entrenched at first base.
The rosters for Opening Day have been officially submitted this afternoon. Several minor league signees have won jobs with their clubs and earned 40-man roster spots. Here are today’s additions:
- The Orioles will purchase catcher Ryan Lavarnway’s contract on Monday, Roch Kubatko of MASNsports.com tweets. The 25-man roster that the Orioles announced today included Caleb Joseph and Steve Clevenger at catcher, but not Lavarnway, who they had reassigned to the minors.
- The Padres have announced that they’ve purchased the contract of catcher Wil Nieves. With Tim Federowicz out with a knee injury, Nieves will back up Derek Norris. As we noted when Nieves signed, his big-league salary will be $850K.
- Ryan Madson has made the Royals’ Opening Day roster, tweets MLB.com’s Jeffrey Flanagan. Madson caps his comeback from multiple elbow injuries and his first appearance for Kansas City will be his first in the Majors since 2011.
- The Nationals have announced on Twitter that second baseman Dan Uggla and outfielder Reed Johnson have made their Opening Day roster.
- The Braves announced they have officially purchased the contracts of outfielders Eric Young, Jr. and Kelly Johnson, left-hander Eric Stults, and right-hander Cody Martin. The Braves cleared space on their 40-man roster by placing right-hander Arodys Vizcaino and outfielder Dian Toscano on the restricted list.
- One name missing from the Braves’ roster is Pedro Ciriaco, who was reported yesterday to have made the club. This is likely a procedural move, according to MLB.com’s Mark Bowman (Twitter links), because the Braves placed Josh Outman on the 25-man roster instead of releasing him after the left-hander complained of shoulder tenderness. The move will also buy the Braves some time to look for an upgrade over Ciriaco, tweets Bowman.
- The Phillies have announced outfielder Jeff Francoeur and infielder Andres Blanco have made the team. Francoeur is just one of four outfielders on Philadelphia’s Opening Day roster, so he could see time as Grady Sizemore’s platoon partner in right field. The Phillies are now at their 40-man limit.
- The Marlins have selected the contract of utility player Don Kelly, tweets MLB.com’s Joe Frisaro. Kelly earned his spot with solid Spring Training line of .270/.357/.324 in 42 plate appearances. Frisaro reports the 35-year-old will backup both the corner infield and outfield spots, as well as serving as the team’s emergency third catcher.
The Phillies have announced the signings of eight players to minor league deals with spring training invites. The list includes multiple players who could presumably play a role on the big league team if it deals from its current roster.
The list of announced players is as follows:
- Infielder Andres Blanco
- Outfielder Brian Bogusevic
- Infielder/outfielder Russ Canzler
- Infielder/outfielder Chase d’Arnaud
- Outfielder Jeff Francoeur
- Catcher John Hester
- Outfielder Darin Mastroianni
- Outfielder Xavier Paul
Every player on that list has MLB experience, and many have fairly extensive time in the bigs. Francoeur, of course, is a former top prospect and long-time starter who spent time both playing in the outfield and pitching last year in the Padres organization. He is one of several signees who could provide options if the Phillies were to move any of their current outfielders. The infield-capable members of this list may create some flexibility as well.
At various times, all of Marlon Byrd, Ben Revere, and Domonic Brown have found their names as rumored trade candidates. Though shortstop Jimmy Rollins and, to a lesser extent, second baseman Chase Utley have both been named as potential trade chips as well, those players enjoy full no-trade protection and appear less likely to be dealt.
Here are today’s minor moves from around the league, via Baseball America’s Matt Eddy on Twitter.
- The Mets have released Juan Urbina, reports Baseball America’s Matt Eddy (via Twitter). In five years with the Mets, the 21-year-old left-handed pitcher failed to pass Low-A ball. While he generally posted strong strikeout rates in limited work, he walked nearly the same number of hitters. The once-prospect signed for $1.2MM in 2009 and is the son of former big leaguer Ugueth Urbina.
- The Phillies have signed outfielders Brian Bogusevic and Darin Mastroianni to minor league deals. Bogusevic last appeared in the big leagues in 2013 and spent last season hitting .260/.349/.411 in 311 plate appearances for Triple-A New Orleans in the Marlins system. Mastroianni appeared briefly for the Twins and Blue Jays in 2014 but spent most of the season with Triple-A Buffalo, hitting .267/.349/.369 in 393 plate appearances.
- The Blue Jays have re-signed righty Bobby Korecky. The 35-year-old had a strong season in the Buffalo bullpen, posting a 1.97 ERA with 8.4 K/9 and 2.5 BB/9 in 64 innings.
- The Athletics have signed righty Kevin Whelan, who briefly appeared with the Tigers in 2014 and a 2.70 ERA with 11.2 K/9 and 4.4 BB/9 in 43 1/3 innings with Triple-A Toledo.
- The Royals have signed 24-year-old corner infielder Balbino Fuenmayor, who hit .347/.383/.610 in 413 plate appearances with Quebec in the Canadian-American Association, earning BA’s Indy League Player Of The Year award. The Blue Jays released Fuenmayor in 2013.
- Cubs outfielder Ryan Kalish, White Sox outfielder Michael Taylor and Phillies shortstop Andres Blanco have all elected free agency. All three players were recently outrighted.
- The Tigers have re-signed third baseman Mike Hessman. The 36-year-old Hessman has gotten few chances in the big leagues, but he’s still a feared slugger in the International League, where he hit 28 home runs and batted .248/.330/.500 in 2014. The veteran has 417 career minor league home runs, including 307 at the Triple-A level.
Here are the day’s minor moves:
- The Phillies have outrighted Andres Blanco off the team’s 40-man roster, Philadelphia announced. Blanco, a 30-year-old utility infielder, saw just 53 plate appearances on the year in his first MLB action since 2011. He has seen time in seven big league seasons, but never made more than 185 plate appearances in one year. Blanco owns a composite .257/.301/.342 slash across 707 plate appearances.
We'll keep tabs on the day's minor moves here:
- The Royals announced a series of minor league signings, including for third baseman Brandon Laird, outfielder Paulo Orlando and right-hander Wilking Rodriguez. Laird, 26, is the younger brother of Gerald Laird and joins the Royals from the Astros, where he received major league playing time in 2013. Orlando, 28, is re-upping with the Royals after six seasons in the organization. The 23-year-old Rodriguez will transition to the Royals after seven seasons in the Rays' farm system. He has a career 3.90 ERA, mostly as a starter, but has never reached Double-A.
- Matt Eddy of Baseball America has updates on a number of clubs' minor league signings. Among those with MLB experience (with links to Twitter): The Rockies will return Bobby Cassevah and Matt McBride, and have added righty Greg Burke. Headed to the Tigers is righty Jhan Marinez, while Gorkys Hernandez and Edinson Rincon will stick with the Royals organization. The Phillies have brought back shortstop Andres Blanco. And the Dodgers inked utility infielder Brendan Harris. Other clubs with new signings include the Orioles, Reds, Marlins, White Sox, and Athletics.
- The Cubs have signed outfielder Casper Wells, according to a tweet from Eddy. The team also added righties Paolo Espino and Carlos Pimentel, along with shortstop Jeudy Valdez. Wells got 102 plate appearances with three different clubs last year, posting a meager .126/.186/.147 line that is perhaps understandable given his constant movement and scant playing time. In 2012, over 316 plate appearances with the Mariners, Wells was good for a .228/.302/.396 slash.
- In addition to bringing back righty Benino Pruneda and catcher Jose Yepez on minor league deals, the Braves have added former Phillies backstop Steven Lerud, tweets Eddy. Lerud appeared in nine games for the Phils between 2012-13. At Triple-A last year, he had an interesting .217/.353/.311 line over 219 plate appearances, as he drew nearly as many walks (35) as he had hits (39).
- Cutting ties with a major international acquisition, the Nationals have released righty Yunesky Maya, Eddy tweets. Washington saw little return on its $6MM investment in Maya, who had been outrighted off of the club's major league roster early in the 2013 season. After struggling in two brief call-ups in 2011-12, Maya's last stint with the Nats was even more regrettable. In his only MLB appearance of the 2013 season, Maya retired one batter in the bottom of the tenth before surrendering a walk-off home run to Pablo Sandoval.
- The Cubs have released outfielder Dave Sappelt, tweets Eddy. As Eddy notes, Sappelt was one of the pieces — along with lefty Travis Wood and second baseman Ronald Torreyes — picked up by Chicago in the deal that sent Sean Marshall to Cincinnati. The 26-year-old Sappelt has a .251/.301/.343 slash line in 274 plate appearances spread over the 2011-13 seasons. He has spent most of his time in Triple-A over that time frame, and posted a sub-.700 OPS in each of his two years at Iowa.
Here are today's minor transactions, with the latest moves at the top of the page…
- The Phillies re-signed infielder Andres Blanco to a minor league contract, Baseball America's Matt Eddy reports. The club released Blanco a few weeks ago. Blanco last played in the majors in 2011 and he has a career .634 OPS in 654 PA over six seasons with the Rangers, Cubs and Royals. He spent last year with the Phillies' Triple-A affiliate.
- The Mets recently released and quickly re-signed right-hander LaTroy Hawkins, Eddy reports. The move was just "procedural," according to ESPN New York's Adam Rubin (via Twitter), as the Mets needed to "correct something in [Hawkins'] contract." Hawkins, 40, signed his original minor league deal with the Mets in January.
- The Athletics signed middle infielder Antonio Lamas to a minor league deal, Eddy reports. John Hickey of the Bay Area News Group reported the A's were close to signing Lamas last month. Lamas, 23, has a .307/.350/.437 line over 1504 PA for Monclova of the Mexican League since 2008. He was primarily used as a shortstop but he played 100 games at second base in 2012.
- The Orioles signed left-hander Clayton Tanner to a minor league deal, Roch Kubatko of MASNsports.com reports. Tanner, a third-round pick of the Giants in the 2006 draft, has a career 3.85 ERA, 2.11 K/BB and 6.6 K/9 in 182 games (123 starts) over seven seasons in the Giants' and Reds' minor league systems. O's executive VP Dan Duquette tells Kubatko that the team scouted Tanner when he pitched for Australia during the World Baseball Classic.
- The Twins have signed first baseman/outfielder Curt Smith to a minor league deal, Netherlands manager Hensley Meulens tells Tyler Kepner of the New York Times (Twitter links). Smith has a 1.008 OPS in 24 ABs for the Netherlands in WBC play, helping lead the Dutch to the tournament semi-finals. Smith was originally a 39th-round draft pick of the Cardinals in 2008 and he has a .301/.341/.461 line in 1703 career minor league PA in the Cards' and Marlins' systems.
Here's a look at today's minor moves, courtesy of Baseball America's Matt Eddy..
- The Red Sox have signed left-hander Matt Maloney to a minor league deal, according to Eddy. The 29-year-old has spent time in the big leagues in each of the past four seasons and owns a career 3.83 ERA with 7.5 K/9 and 1.9 BB/9 in Triple-A.
- The Mets have re-signed left-hander Justin Hampson, Eddy writes. The 32-year-old posted a 2.33 ERA with 8.1 K/9 and 3.0 BB/9 for Triple-A Buffalo in 2012. Hampson also saw time in 13 big league games last season for the Mets and a combined 74 for the Padres in 2007 and 2008.
- The Phillies released shortstop Andres Blanco, according to Eddy. Blanco, 28, last appeared in the majors with the Rangers in 2011 and owns a career .255/.301/.333 slash line across six big league seasons.
- The Blue Jays re-signed right-hander Clint Everts, Eddy reports. Everts, who spent last season with Toronto's Triple-A affiliate, was taken with the fifth-overall pick in the 2002 draft by the Expos.