Andrew Miller Rumors

Quick Hits: Urias, Braves, Burnett, McCutchen

17-year-old Dodgers lefty Julio Urias wowed observers at the Futures Game, leading to chatter about the possibility that he could make his big-league debut as soon as next year, Jeff Passan of Yahoo! Sports writes. “This guy’s got the ability to pitch in the big leagues at 18,” says Dodgers scouting director Logan White. That doesn’t mean the Dodgers will promote Urias that soon — he’s currently at Class A+ Rancho Cucamonga, and he’s only pitched 52 1/3 innings because the Dodgers are concerned about overworking him. But his stuff (he can touch 97 MPH) and composure are impressive beyond his years. Here are more notes from around the big leagues.

  • The Braves badly need lefty bullpen help and particularly like the Red SoxAndrew Miller, David O’Brien of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution writes. Luis Avilan‘s struggles on Sunday are an example of the problems the Braves have had, O’Brien writes — Avilan entered in a 10-4 game in the eighth and faced three batters, giving up a single and two walks. By the time the inning was over, it was 10-7, and a blowout had suddenly become a save situation. Miller, who has struck out 14.4 batters per nine innings for Boston this season, would be a big upgrade. The Braves also like James Russell and Wesley Wright of the Cubs, O’Brien writes.
  • The Braves should release second baseman Dan Uggla, writes Mark Bradley of the Journal-Constitution. The $19MM the Braves owe Uggla through 2015 is a “sunken cost,” and the Braves won’t be able to find a team willing to trade for him. Uggla is hitting an execrable .162/.241/.231 in 145 plate appearances this season. Uggla received only 15 plate appearances in June and only has three so far in July. The Braves also suspended him for a game on Sunday for being late arriving at Wrigley Field Saturday.
  • A.J. Burnett wants to stay with the Phillies, MLB.com’s Todd Zolecki writes. “I’m not a guy who looks for an out or wants to get out because things aren’t going the right way,” says Burnett. “If that happens, then it happens, but I’m not looking to move on. This is my team.” Burnett has a limited no-trade clause, and says he isn’t sure how he would respond if the Phillies asked him to waive it.
  • The rash of pitcher injuries this season might affect the salaries of free-agents-to-be like Max Scherzer and Jon Lester, Joel Sherman of the New York Post writes. Recent injuries to Masahiro Tanaka and C.C. Sabathia and the questionable or disappointing contracts of pitchers like Justin Verlander and Johan Santana show how risky long-term deals for star pitchers can be. Scherzer and Lester have performed well this season, but other pitchers’ recent histories might affect the market this winter.
  • Pirates GM Neal Huntington wants Andrew McCutchen to be a Pirate for life, although he’s realistic about how difficult McCutchen will be to keep, Travis Sawchik of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review reports. “We truly hope Andrew McCutchen retires as a Pirate. That is going to be incredibly challenging to do, but that is our long-term goal,” says Huntington. The Bucs already control McCutchen through 2018 at bargain rates — his yearly salary through his age-31 season never exceeds $14.5MM.

NL East Notes: Mets, Murphy, Phillies, Braves, Miller

Mets GM Sandy Alderson maintains that the club is still assessing what course it will take at the trade deadline, reports ESPNNewYork.com’s Adam Rubin“Look, let’s see where we are at the end of this week,” said Alderson. “We’re always willing to listen. We may be thinking in terms of the second half of this season. We may be thinking more in terms of next season.” Alderson continued to note that, even if the team sells, it may not be willing to settle for lower-level talent: We’ve made a lot of deals in recent years where we’ve gotten prospects who are a good ways away. I don’t think we’re thinking that way these days, although sometimes that’s the value in a return.” 

Here’s the latest out of New York and the rest of the National League East:

  • After talking with people familiar with Alderson’s thinking, David Lennon of Newsday gets the sense that the Mets‘ GM isn’t necessarily committed to the idea of trading Daniel Murphy. Lennon does note that the team is eager to get another look at Wilmer Flores, who is playing second base at Triple-A Las Vegas these days.
  • Phillies GM Ruben Amaro Jr. took to the air to defend the capabilities of several of the team’s veterans in a radio interview (audio link) with Mike Missanelli of 97.5 The Fanatic. “If you want to talk about declining, that happens,” said Amaro. “But that doesn’t mean they aren’t producing in some way shape or form and Chase [Utley] is one of those guys.” Nevertheless, Amaro acknowledged that several of the team’s long-term deals have not worked out as hoped: “Unfortunately these guys are human beings and they aren’t living up to what we expected and we’re trying to do something about that right now.” Going forward, the team is in a “fluid situation,” said the Philly GM. “I talk to [team owner] David [Montgomery] and our group all the time about what our direction is,” he said.
  • The Braves are prioritizing the acquisition of a “lockdown-type left-hander” for the bullpen, writes David O’Brien of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. O’Brien argues that the club should make a push to add Andrew Miller of the Red Sox, noting his outstanding 14.7 K/9 mark and domination of opposing left-handed hitters. The 29-year-old has indeed been outstanding, with a 2.41 ERA through 33 2/3 frames thus far in his walk year.

 Steve Adams contributed to this post.


Red Sox Notes: Lester, Miller, Depth

Here’s the latest from Fenway Park…

  • Jon Lester has told the Red Sox that he would like to hold off contract talks until the season is over, and it appears that both parties will wait until October to re-open negotiations, CBS Sports’ Jon Heyman reports.  Lester has repeatedly said that he feels in-season talks are a distraction, though the Sox reportedly were open to increasing their last contract offer.
  • Both sides still have “a strong interest” in reaching an extension and continuing Lester’s tenure in Boston, though naturally many teams would be interested in Lester’s services.  Heyman notes that the Yankees would have particular interest in adding the veteran left-hander.
  • Andrew Miller wants to stay with the Sox beyond this season, but the pending free agent tells Brian MacPherson of the Providence Journal that he isn’t thinking about either a new contract or the possibility of being traded before the deadline.  Miller said his representatives haven’t talked about an extension aside from some “very, very minor discussion in spring training that mostly stemmed from us not being able to agree on arbitration.”  After strong performances in 2012-13, Miller is having his best season yet in Boston, posting a 2.48 ERA, 5.5 K/BB rate and a superb 15.2 K/9 over 32 2/3 IP.
  • GM Ben Cherington made three offseason mistakes that hurt the Red Sox this year, Scott Lauber of the Boston Herald writes.  Not making an earlier extension offer to Lester was one, in Lauber’s opinion, and the Sox also erred in counting too much on the injury-prone Shane Victorino and the unproven Will Middlebrooks to be everyday players.


Red Sox, Andrew Miller Avoid Arbitration

The Red Sox have avoided arbitration with Andrew Miller by agreeing on a deal worth slightly more than $1.9MM for 2014, Alex Speier of WEEI.com tweets. Boston has announced the deal.

Settling with Miller means the Sox will not go to arbitration with any of their eligible players this winter. When they exchanged figures earlier this offseason, Miller requested $2.15MM and the Sox countered with $1.55MM. The $1.9MM contract is just above the midpoint between those two figures and is an exact match for this offseason's projection by MLBTR's Matt Swartz.

Miller arrived in Boston in a 2010 trade and was excellent in 2012, posting a 3.35 ERA in 40 1/3 innings. The lefty was building upon that campaign in 2013, allowing just a 2.64 ERA through early July, when he succumbed to a foot injury.


East Notes: Amaro, Teheran, Miller

Ryan Howard was "the single most productive player in the game" before he signed his extension in 2010, Phillies GM Ruben Amaro Jr. tells FOX Sports' Ken Rosenthal in an extended interview. "Did we expect some dropoff later on? Sure. But can we gauge that the man was going to blow out his Achilles? No. That was a big blow to us. And it was a big blow to us because of the nature of the injury. It was a fluke injury," Amaro says. Amaro also argues that, although his roster might be on the older side, plenty of older players are effective. He hopes the 2014 team to be healthier than last year's team, but also notes that this year's edition is better equipped to deal with injuries. Here are more notes from the East divisions.

  • Julio Teheran's new extension with the Braves is similar to the one Madison Bumgarner signed two years ago, Dave Cameron of FanGraphs writes. While Teheran's deal isn't as surprising as the Freddie Freeman deal was, Cameron argues that it still demonstrates that pre-free-agency extensions are getting more expensive. Bumgarner, for example, had accomplished more at the time of his extension than Teheran has. Teheran also received much more than Martin Perez did in his extension, which he received in November.
  • Red Sox reliever Andrew Miller has an arbitration hearing on Tuesday, and in preparation, Miller and the Sox are working on a one-year deal, not a multiyear contract, Scott Lauber of the Boston Herald tweets. Miller has asked for $2.15MM, while the Red Sox have countered with $1.55MM.

AL East Links: Henry, Ellsbury, Davis, Bickford

Andrew Miller will require surgery to repair ligament damage in his left foot and will miss the rest of the season, Red Sox manager John Farrell told reporters (including Sean McAdam of CSNNE.com) today.  Miller had pitched well out of the Boston bullpen this season, posting a 2.64 ERA, 2.82 K/BB ratio and a whopping 14.1 K/9 in 30 2/3 relief innings, though control continued to be an issue for the southpaw as he issued 17 walks.  With Miller out, the Red Sox could well look into some of the left-handed relief options available on the trade market.

Here's some more news from around the AL East…

  • Also from McAdam, Red Sox owner John Henry said that the team had room to add payroll at the trade deadline, if necessary.  "I can't see it being an issue," Henry said. "I suppose there might be some (larger) salaries that we couldn't take on, but it just doesn't come up as an issue."  The blockbuster trade with the Dodgers last summer helped the Red Sox avoid any potential payroll tax issues and left the team with financial room to maneuver this year, Henry explained.
  • Jacoby Ellsbury figures to be one of the top free agents of the 2013-14 offseason and agent Scott Boras will no doubt keep his client in the headlines this winter, but Ellsbury tells WEEI.com's Rob Bradford that he and his agent haven't discussed the future as Boras has let Ellsbury just focus on baseball.  Bradford also talked to notable Boras clients Michael Bourn and Stephen Drew about their own forays into free agency and how Boras dealt with their situations.
  • The Orioles have avoided "the mega-contract business" since the Albert Belle signing, though CBS Sports' Jon Heyman wonders what the team will do to lock up Chris Davis and Manny Machado.  Davis will go through the arbitration process for the second time this winter and is controlled through 2015 while Machado is controlled through 2018 and is still two years away from arb-eligibility.  Davis, for his part, hasn't heard of any extension talks between the team and his agent, Scott Boras.  While the O's have generally avoided big signings, I'd argue that the Adam Jones extension shows that the team won't hesitate to extend its key building blocks.  A multiyear deal for Davis wouldn't be a surprise this winter, though the O's can probably wait for a year or two to explore an extension for Machado.
  • A scouting director tells Bob Elliott of the Toronto Sun that his team considered Phil Bickford to be the top high school pitcher available in this year's amateur draft but the right-hander carried signability issues.  "The family wouldn’t meet with us until 48 hours before the draft and they wanted $3MM," the scouting director said.  The Blue Jays took Bickford with the 10th overall pick, a position that carries an assigned value of a little over $2.921MM, and since the team has saved a lot of bonus pool money, the Jays could afford to meet Bickford's $3MM asking price.
  • We covered some Yankees items as part of a New York Notes post earlier today on MLBTR.

Players Avoiding Arbitration: Friday

Dozens of players will agree to terms with their respective teams today and avoid arbitration. We'll have detailed posts on the top earners around MLB, and we'll track more modest agreements — those worth less than $4MM — right here. MLBTR's Arbitration Tracker will have all of the details.

Teams had until 12pm CDT today to exchange filing numbers with their arbitration eligible players. Generally speaking the deadline creates lots of discussion and leads to early deals. Plus, for ‘file and trial’ teams this marks the final chance for negotiations in advance of a hearing. Here are the latest agreements from around MLB…

  • The Padres announced that they have avoided arbitration with Edinson Volquez.  Terms of the deal were not disclosed.
  • The Red Sox announced that they avoided arbitration with Andrew Bailey ($4.1MM), Daniel Bard ($1.8625MM), Andrew Miller ($1.475MM), and Franklin Morales ($1.4875MM).  Terms courtesy of WEEI.com's Rob Bradford.
  • The Mets and Bobby Parnell avoided arb with a $1.7MM deal, Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com reports (on Twitter).
  • The Red Sox avoided arbitration with Alfredo Aceves, agreeing to a deal worth $2.65MM plus incentives, according to O'Connell Sports Management, Aceves' agency (on Twitter via Jon Heyman).
  • The Cubs avoided arbitration with James Russell and Jeff Samardzija, Jesse Rogers of ESPNChicago.com reports (on Twitter). Samardzija obtains $2.64MM while Russell gets $1.075MM, Bruce Levine of ESPNChicago.com reports (on Twitter).
  • The Diamondbacks announced that they avoided arbitration with Chris Johnson ($2.2875MM). The team also avoided arbitration with Brad Ziegler ($3.15MM), agreeing to a one-year deal, ESPN.com's Jayson Stark reports (on Twitter).  Terms courtesy of Nick Piecoro of the Arizona Republic (on Twitter).
  • The Nationals announced that they agreed to terms with Tyler Clippard, avoiding arbitration (via Amanda Comak on Twitter). The Nationals avoided arbitration with Ian Desmond, agreeing to a one-year, $3.8MM deal, Amanda Comak of the Washington Times reports (on Twitter). The Nationals also avoided arb with Roger Bernadina according to the outfielder's agent, James Wagner of the Washington Post reports (on Twitter). The Nationals and Ross Detwiler agreed to a one-year, $2.3375MM contract, according to CAA (via Twitter).
  • Brennan Boesch and Phil Coke avoided arbitration, agreeing to one-year deals with the Tigers, Jason Beck of MLB.com reports (on Twitter). Boesch will earn $2.3MM while Coke will earn $1.85MM. The Tigers also avoided arbitration with Alex Avila, agreeing to a one-year, $2.95MM deal, Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com reports (all Twitter links). Austin Jackson agreed to a deal worth $3.5MM for 2013, Heyman reports. Doug Fister obtained a one-year, $4MM deal from Detroit, Heyman reports.
  • The Dodgers and A.J. Ellis avoided arbitration, agreeing to a one-year, $2MM deal, Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com reports (on Twitter). Ronald Belisario agreed to a one-year, $1.45MM deal, MLB.com's Ken Gurnick reports (on Twitter).
  • The Mariners announced that they avoided arbitration with Kendrys Morales and Brendan Ryan on one-year agreements for 2013. Morales will obtain $5.25MM plus performance bonuses, Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com reports (on Twitter). Ryan obtained $3.25MM, Heyman reports (on Twitter).
  • The Rockies avoided arb with Tyler Colvin, agreeing to a one-year deal, the team announced (on Twitter). Colvin will earn $2.275MM, Troy Renck of the Denver Post writes (on Twitter).
  • The Braves avoided arbitration with Cristhian Martinez, agreeing to a one-year deal, MLB.com's Mark Bowman reports (on Twitter). The Braves avoided arb with Kris Medlen, David O'Brien of the Atlanta Journal Constitution reports (on Twitter). Medlen will earn $2.6MM in 2013. They also avoided arb with Jason Heyward, agreeing to a one-year, $3.65MM deal, Bowman reports (onTwitter). The Braves agreed with another young player, avoiding arb with Jonny Venters, O'Brien reports (on Twitter). It's a $1.625MM deal. Earlier today the Braves agreed to a one-year deal with Eric O'Flaherty, avoiding arbitration, Bowman reported (on Twitter). He'll earn $4.32MM plus awards bonuses, Bowman adds.
  • The Athletics announced they avoided arb with Jerry Blevins and Brandon Moss, agreeing to one-year deals for 2013.
  • The Cardinals avoided arb with Mitchell Boggs and Edward Mujica, B.J. Rains of FOX Sports MidWest reports (on Twitter).
  • The Indians announced that they avoided arb with Matt Albers and Justin Masterson. Albers will earn $1.75MM in 2013, MLB.com's Jordan Bastian reports (on Twitter). Masterson will earn $5.6875MM according to Bastian (on Twitter). The Indians and Joe Smith avoided arbitration with a one-year, $3.15MM deal, Bastian reported earlier today (on Twitter). The Indians also avoided arbitration with Lou Marson, Bastian reports (Twitter links). The catcher will earn $1MM on a one-year deal in 2013.
  • The Astros avoided arb with Wesley Wright, agreeing to a one-year deal, MLB.com's Brian McTaggart reports (on Twitter).  Wright will earn $1.025MM, according to Heyman (on Twitter). Earlier today the Astros and Bud Norris avoided arb with a one-year, $3MM deal, McTaggart reports (on Twitter). The Astros and Jed Lowrie avoided arbitration with a one-year, $2.4MM deal with awards bonuses, according to his representatives at CAA Baseball (on Twitter).
  • The White Sox announced that they avoided arbitration with Alejandro De Aza, agreeing to a $2.075MM deal for 2013. The White Sox also avoided arb with Gordon Beckham, agreeing to a one-year deal worth $2.925MM for 2013, MLBTR has learned.
  • The Orioles announced that they avoided arb with Chris Davis and Brian Matusz (Twitter link). Matusz gets a base salary of $1.6MM while Davis gets $3.3MM, Dan Connolly of the Baltimore Sun reports (Twitter links). The Orioles also avoided arbitration with Troy Patton. The sides agreed to a one-year, $815K deal, his agency, CAA Sports, announced on Twitter
  • The Brewers avoided arb with right-hander Marco Estrada and reliever Burke Badenhop, Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports (Twitter links). Estrada will earn $1.955MM while Badenhop will earn $1.55MM, Haudricourt reports.
  • The Rays avoided arbitration with Matthew Joyce and Ryan Roberts, Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times reports (on Twitter). Joyce will earn $2.45MM and Roberts will earn $2.95MM plus incentives, the Rays announced. The Rays also avoided arbitration with Sam Fuld, agreeing to a one-year, $725K deal, Topkin reported (on Twitter). Earlier today the Rays avoided arbitration with Jeff Niemann. The sides agreed to a one-year, $3MM deal, Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com reports (on Twitter).
  • The Royals announced that they avoided arbitration with Luke Hochevar, agreeing to a one-year deal for 2013. Hochevar will earn $4.56MM plus performance bonuses, Pete Grathoff of the Kansas City Star reports (on Twitter).
  • The Yankees avoided arb with Boone Logan, agreeing to a one-year, $3.15MM deal (via CAA Sports on Twitter).
  • The Padres avoided arb with John Baker, agreeing to a $930K deal (via CAA Sports on Twitter).
  • The Twins and Brian Duensing avoided arb with a $1.3MM deal for 2013 (via CAA Sports on Twitter).
  • The Marlins avoided arbitration with Ryan Webb, agreeing to a $975K deal, Clark Spencer of the Miami Herald reports (on Twitter).
  • The Blue Jays announced that they avoided arbitration with Emilio Bonifacio by agreeing to a one-year, $2.6MM deal. The Blue Jays also announced that they avoided arbitration with J.A. Happ, agreeing to a one-year, $3.7MM deal for 2013.
  • The Angels and Tommy Hanson avoided arbitration with a one-year, $3.725MM deal, Jeff Fletcher of the Orange County Register reports. 
  • The Giants avoided arb with Gregor Blanco, agreeing to a one-year, $1.35MM deal, Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com reports (on Twitter).
  • The Phillies announced that they avoided arbitration with Antonio Bastardo with a $1.4MM contract for 2013.
  • Gaby Sanchez and the Pirates have reached agreement on a one-year, $1.75MM deal plus bonuses to avoid arbitration, according to the Beverly Hills Sports Council (on Twitter).

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Red Sox Place Aaron Cook On Trade Waivers

The Red Sox have placed Aaron Cook, Felix Doubront, and Andrew Miller on trade waivers, according to Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe.  Cafardo notes that while Doubront won't be going anywhere, Cook is a trade candidate.

In ten starts this season, Cook has a 4.58 ERA with 1.1 K/9 and 1.6 BB/9.  The 33-year-old inked a minor league deal with Boston over the winter, worth $1.5MM prorated upon his promotion to the big leagues.  The Red Sox waited until the 11th hour to call him up rather than trigger his opt-out clause, but ultimately putting him on the big league roster in early May.

The right-hander was said to be drawing "modest interest" from clubs in late July.  The Rangers were scouting Cook at one point last month but wound up backing off closer to the deadline.


Red Sox Re-Sign Andrew Miller

The Red Sox re-signed lefty Andrew Miller, tweets Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports.  Miller had been arbitration eligible.  He received a non-guaranteed Major League deal worth $1.04MM, tweets WEEI's Alex Speier.

Miller, 26, posted a 5.54 ERA, 6.9 K/9, 5.7 BB/9, 1.11 HR/9, and 45.4% groundball rate in 65 innings for the Red Sox this year, faring a little better in 65 2/3 Triple-A frames.  The big southpaw might have been a non-tender candidate had he made it to the December 12th deadline unsigned.  Miller is represented by Frontline.


AL East Notes: Red Sox, Maddon, Darvish, Ortiz

Some interesting items to pass along from around the AL "Beast" …

  • The Red Sox were gauging trade interest in some of their out-of-options pitchers at the GM Meetings this week, a source tells Alex Speier of WEEI.com. Franklin Morales, Andrew Miller, Felix Doubront, Michael Bowden and Scott Atchison are all out of options but aren't locks to make next year's bullpen, according to Speier, so Boston may decide to add or remove some of these players from the 40-man roster based on relative trade interest.
  • The Rays are hopeful of extending the contract of manager Joe Maddon, tweets Jon Heyman of SI.com. Maddon is entering the final year of a three-year extension he signed in 2009.
  • The Yankees may shy away from pursuing Japanese right-hander Yu Darvish if he's posted because of the club's history with busts Hideki Irabu and Kei Igawa, opines Heyman (Twitter link), although owner Hal Steinbrenner told reporters, such as the New York Post's Joel Sherman and Newsday's Ken Davidoff, that the team will evaluate each player on a case-by-case basis.
  • The Blue Jays are interested in free agent DH David Ortiz, tweets Scott Miller of CBSSports.com.
  • Yankees second baseman Robinson Cano said that last month's rumors that he was angling for a contract extension was the result of a joke gone awry, according to Spanish-language Web site DiarioLibre.com“I’m not thinking about the contract. My lawyer told a journalist as a joke that I was looking for a contract extension, and that’s what got published… I’m not thinking about that. The team has a $14MM option for next year." Thanks to MLBTR's Nick Collias for the translation.