Andres Torres Rumors

Minor Moves: Torres, Flores, Thomas, Abreu

Here are today’s minor league transactions from around baseball, with the newest moves at the top of the post…

  • The Dodgers have signed Barry Enright to a minor league deal, tweets Chris Cotillo of MLB Daily Dish (on Twitter).  Across four big league seasons, Enright has made 26 starts and five relief appearances, posting a 5.57 ERA with 4.6 K/9 and 3.1 BB/9 for the D’Backs and Angels.
  • Veteran outfielder Andres Torres left the Triple-A Pawtucket Red Sox and is looking for an opportunity with a National League team, SB Nation’s Joon Lee reports (Twitter link).  Torres enacted an out clause in his minor league deal with Boston, MLBTR’s Tim Dierkes reports (via Twitter).  Torres ended up making 95 PA in the Sox system, hitting .275/.298/.473.
  • The Royals released catcher Jesus Flores, according to the Pacific Coast League website’s transactions page.  Flores inked a minor league deal with K.C. in March and posted a .698 OPS over 150 PA with Triple-A Omaha this season.  The 29-year-old appeared in 311 games with the Nationals from 2007-12 and spent last season in the Dodgers’ and Rays’ farm systems.
  • The Angels released southpaw Justin Thomas, who has signed a $160K contract with KIA Tigers of the Korean Baseball Organization (hat tip to Dan Kurtz of MyKBO.net).  This is Thomas’ second taste of international baseball, as he made three starts last year for the Nippon Ham Fighters in Japan.  Thomas posted a 5.99 ERA over 20 starts for Triple-A Salt Lake City after signing a minor league deal with the Angels in January.
  • The Dodgers released right-hander Juan Abreu, the team announced.  Abreu posted a 7.11 ERA over 6 1/3 relief innings at Triple-A this season after signing a minor league pact with L.A. during the offseason.  The righty has 6 2/3 Major League innings to his name (with a 2.70 ERA and 12 strikeouts), all with the Astros in 2011.
  • The Nationals released right-hander Ryan Perry, the club announced.  Picked 21st overall by the Tigers in the 2008 draft, Perry posted a 4.36 ERA and 132 strikeouts (against 84 walks) over 169 1/3 relief innings with Detroit and Washington from 2009-12.

Zach Links contributed to this post.


Red Sox Sign Andres Torres

The Red Sox have signed free agent outfielder Andres Torres to a minor league deal, the club announced (h/t to Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports, via Twitter). Torres, 36, had remained unsigned all offseason and has yet to play in 2014.

Torres, who has seen most of his big league time up the middle, figures to provide Boston with a new potential option to introduce into the team’s center field mix. While it is far too soon to guess as to whether or when he might see time with the Red Sox, the club has received meager output from its current options. Jackie Bradley Jr. owns a 59 wRC+ (.203/.286/.294 through 211 plate appearances), while Grady Sizemore owns a 69 wRC+ (.220/.291/.328) but has rated less favorably on defense.

Of course, Torres is most associated with the Giants, the club with which he launched a second career. After minimal early-career action with the Tigers and Rangers, Torres went three full seasons in the minors before returning to the bigs with San Francisco at age 31. The next year, 2010, was by far his most productive as a professional, as Torres put up a .268/.343/.479 triple-slash with 16 home runs and 26 stolen bases over 570 plate appearances.

All said, Torres has played above replacement level for each of the last five seasons. Though his production (and playing time) petered out over the last three campaigns — he hit .232/.315/.336 in 1,132 plate appearances over that stretch — Torres has remained a quality defender. Defensive Runs Saved views his work in center from 2011-13 as average, while UZR grades it as a positive, even if it is no longer the kind of top-end work he showed in 2009-10.

A switch-hitter, Torres has posted better career marks against lefties (.737 OPS) than righties (.682 OPS). Those splits have actually widened somewhat over his last two seasons. As Brian MacPherson of the Providence Journal notes on Twitter, that could theoretically make him a compliment to Bradley’s left-handed bat in center.


Dodgers Notes: Kershaw, Torres

After an offseason of aggressive spending, it's time for the Dodgers to start working toward their first postseason appearance since 2009. Here's the latest from Camelback Ranch…

  • Clayton Kershaw and the Dodgers haven’t started extension talks, Dylan Hernandez of the LA Times reports. The left-hander, who’s expected to discuss a long-term deal with the team this spring, said he doesn’t want to negotiate during the season. Kershaw added that he's not distracted by speculation that his next contract could surpass $200MM. “It’s people talking. It really doesn’t bother me."
  • Andres Torres told reporters the Dodgers pursued him during the offseason, Henry Schulman of the San Francisco Chronicle reports. The Mets and Reds also had interest in Torres after New York non-tendered him in November. However, he wanted to return to the Giants if at all possible. “My heart is in San Francisco,” he said.


Giants To Sign Andres Torres

Andres Torres is heading back to San Francisco, the Giants confirmed on Twitter. The Giants have agreed to sign the free agent outfielder to a one-year, $2MM contract, Andrew Baggarly of CSN Bay Area reports (Twitter links). The deal between the Giants and the ACES client is pending a physical.

Torres played for the Giants from 2009-11 before they traded him to the Mets for Angel Pagan last offseason. Torres posted a .230/.327/.337 batting line in 434 plate appearances as New York's starting center fielder in 2012, but the Mets non-tendered him last month, making him a free agent. The 34-year-old switch hitter has a .241/.320/.388 batting line in eight career seasons at the MLB level.

Torres joins a Giants outfield that includes Pagan, Hunter Pence and Gregor Blanco. He can compete for playing time in left field and spell Pagan in center, Baggarly suggests. This means the Giants are no longer in play for Nick Swisher, Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com writes (on Twitter).


National League Non-Tenders

Here are today’s National League non-tenders. All decisions must be in by 11pm CT tonight. Be sure to track all tender decisions using MLBTR's Non-Tender Tracker. Related resources include our list of non-tender candidates, our projected arbitration salaries and our arbitration eligibles series.

Mike Axisa contributed to this post.


Mets To Non-Tender Pelfrey, Acosta, Torres

The Mets plan to non-tender Mike Pelfrey, Manny Acosta and Andres Torres this week, Adam Rubin of ESPNNewYork.com reports. Barring an unexpected trade or change in plans, the Mets will decline to offer the players arbitration, and they'll become free agents.

The Mets remain open to re-signing Pelfrey for less than the $5.875MM he earned this past season. However, agent Scott Boras may look to place Pelfrey in a starting role as he continues his recovery from Tommy John surgery, and the Mets' rotation seems full.

All three players appeared on Tim Dierkes' list of non-tender candidates. Pelfrey projected to earn $5.7MM if tendered a contract; Torres projected to earn $3.2MM; Acosta projected to earn $1.1MM. Be sure to follow Friday's tender decisions using MLBTR's Non-Tender Tracker.


Quick Hits: Hunter, Dodgers, Dickey, Mets

The Dodgers have been said to have interest in free agent outfielder Torii Hunter, but their level of interest may have been overstated, according to Dylan Hernandez and Mike DiGiovanna of the Los Angeles Times.  The team met with Hunter’s agent at the GM meetings this week, but a source says that it was Hunter’s agent who initially reached out to the Dodgers, not the other way around.  Since the Dodgers won't move Andre Ethier, Hunter's only possible role would be as a fourth outfielder and the veteran isn't terribly interested in doing that.  Hunter's agent has also talked with the Tigers, Rays, Yankees, and Phillies and tells clubs that his client wants a multi-year contract.  Here's more from around baseball..


Mets To Non-Tender Pelfrey, Maybe Torres

As expected, the Mets will non-tender right-hander Mike Pelfrey, a person with the team told Mike Puma of the New York Post (Twitter links). The Mets still want to sign Pelfrey as a free agent, Puma reports. 

Pelfrey, 28, earned $5.68MM this past season though he underwent Tommy John surgery after just three starts. For the Mets to retain him through the arbitration process they'd have to offer him a salary in the $5-6MM range — a considerable amount for a pitcher recovering from a serious injury.

The future of non-tender candidate Andres Torres remains “up in the air,” according to Puma. Torres, 34, posted a .230/.327/.337 batting line in 434 plate appearances this past season. He earned $2.7MM in 2012 and could also be cut loose this offseason.


Mets Notes: Wright, Dickey, Pelfrey, Davis

The Mets will “turn over” the roster this coming offseason, team sources tell Adam Rubin of ESPNNewYork.com. Here are the details, starting with the team’s franchise player…

  • Team officials remain optimistic that they’ll be able to retain David Wright long-term, Rubin reports. Mets executives hope the third baseman will succeed Tom Seaver as the unofficial ambassador for the organization once he retires as a player, according to Rubin. Wright told Rubin over the weekend that he hopes his next contract will cover the remainder of his playing career.
  • Relievers Jon Rauch and Ramon Ramirez are expected to leave as free agents after the season, Rubin reports.
  • Rubin hears from Mets sources that Andres Torres and Mike Pelfrey will likely be non-tendered this winter.
  • R.A. Dickey’s contract includes a club option for 2013 that will surely be exercised, but his long-term future with the organization is not entirely secure, according to Rubin. Mets executives seem wary of making a “sizable commitment” to the Cy Young candidate.
  • One Mets person said the team would require “a boatload” to part with Ike Davis, Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com reports. The Red Sox had two scouts in attendance at last night’s Mets-Marlins game and could have interest in trading for the first time arbitration eligible first baseman, Heyman reports.

Mets Unlikely To Spend Big On Outfielders

The Mets don’t view this offseason as the time to spend significant money on outfielders, so they don’t expect to pursue high profile free agents such as B.J. Upton, Michael Bourn and Shane Victorino, Andy Martino of the New York Daily News reports. Though Mets executives have not finalized the team’s offseason plan, Martino reports that the Mets aren’t likely to offer any outfielder a multiyear deal.

The Mets will be pursuing outfielders this coming offseason, but GM Sandy Alderson is prepared to build through trades. While the 2013 payroll hasn’t been finalized, it’s expected to sit marginally higher than $90MM, Martino reports. The Mets would like to retain prospective free agent Scott Hairston, but they’re likely to non-tender Andres Torres, according to Martino. Assuming Torres doesn’t return, Lucas Duda, Mike Baxter, Jason Bay and Jordany Valdespin will be among the team’s internal options.

Outfield depth is a strength of the 2012-13 free agent class, so the Mets could find some late-offseason bargains if Alderson is willing to be patient and flexible. The trade market for outfielders could include players such as Shin-Soo Choo and Justin Upton.