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Andy Oliver Rumors
Former Phillies shortstop Jimmy Rollins viewed the Dodgers as his number one choice for a new club, writes Jerry Crasnick of ESPN. But if a deal hadn’t been reached, Rollins would have considered a trade to the division rival Mets. Rollins said, “I considered the Mets to be No. 2. They have some arms over there.” Rollins clarified that he’s unsure if he would have ultimately accepted a trade to New York. Adam Rubin of ESPN New York tweets that the Mets inquired about Rollins in November but were told he would not accept a trade.
- The Phillies are working quickly to evaluate Rule 5 picks Odubel Herrera and Andy Oliver, Jim Salisbury of CSNPhilly.com writes. Herrera will start in the outfield and Oliver will pitch an inning of relief as the Phillies take on the University of Tampa in an exhibition Sunday. Neither Herrera, who posted good on-base percentages in the Rangers system, nor Oliver, a hard-throwing but wild lefty from the Pirates organization, expected to wind up with the Phillies. “This is a good opportunity for me,” says Oliver. “I feel like I’m in a better place than where I came from.”
- In addition to Oliver, Phillippe Aumont and non-roster invitee Jeanmar Gomez could make the opening day bullpen due to transactional reasons, writes Todd Zolecki of MLB.com. The Phillies acquired Aumont in 2009 as part of the haul from the Mariners for Cliff Lee. He’s the lone remaining asset from that trade and is out of options. If he does not make the club, he’ll be subject to waivers. Gomez, 27, would have to earn a spot on the 40-man roster, but the club isn’t in a position to pass on viable major league pitchers. He has a 3.28 ERA in 78 appearances over the last two seasons, although his peripherals suggest we should expect something closer to a 4.00 ERA.
With the arrival of a new year comes a new season in Blue Jays manager John Gibbons’ contract, Shi Davidi of Sportsnet.ca writes. The new year guarantees Gibbons’ deal through 2016 and also adds a new option for 2017. Every new year adds a new season in Gibbons’ contract, and GM Alex Anthopoulos created the deal so that Gibbons would never have a lame-duck season on the horizon. CBS Sports’ Jon Heyman reported in September that the Jays would retain Gibbons, who is 157-167 in two seasons on the job. Here are more notes from the East divisions.
- Nationals acquisition Trea Turner (who will be the PTBNL in the Wil Myers trade) was the best prospect dealt between the Winter Meetings and Christmas, writes John Manuel of Baseball America. Manuel mentions that Padres vice president of scouting operations Don Welke, a close associate of new GM A.J. Preller, came from the Blue Jays organization, which preached that shortstops must have excellent arms. Turner doesn’t, so the Padres probably didn’t view him as a shortstop in the long term (although Manuel does).
- The Phillies hope to help Rule 5 pick Andy Oliver with his control, Jim Salisbury writes for Baseball America. Oliver posted a very high 6.6 BB/9 in 64 innings of relief for the Pirates’ Triple-A affiliate in Indianapolis last year, but with 12.0 K/9 and excellent velocity. “There aren’t many lefthanders sitting between 94 and 97 (mph) with a good slider,” says pro scouting director Mike Ondo. “Obviously strike one is going to be important, but he’s got two big weapons. If some things come together, we hope we have something.” Ondo adds that the Phillies will use their other Rule 5 pick, Odubel Herrera, primarily as an outfielder.
The Pirates have outrighted Andy Oliver off of the club's 40-man roster, the team announced via press release. Oliver is a 26-year-old southpaw.
Oliver has not seen MLB action with the Pirates, and only made brief appearances with the Tigers in 2010-11. In 124 1/3 Triple-A innings last year, Oliver posted a 4.05 ERA with 10.0 K/9 and 8.1 BB/9. Obviously, he'll need to solve those control issues before having a chance at making an impact at the MLB level.
Oliver, 25, was drafted by the Tigers in the second round in 2009. He was once pretty highly-regarded and had a taste of the Majors, but in 2012 his Triple-A walk rate soared to 6.7 per nine innings. Baseball America has described him as "a power lefty who needs to throw more strikes." Oliver had a dust-up with the NCAA in '08, winning a lawsuit against them after he was suspended for having an adviser in talks with the Twins.
Cabrera, 23, spent most of 2012 in Double-A, hitting .276/.342/.367 in 428 plate appearances. He's a high-contact switch-hitter with a questionable arm, wrote BA.
Here are a few quick notes out of Nashville relating to AL Central clubs:
- According to Danny Knobler of CBSSports.com (Twitter link), the Tigers are telling teams that Brennan Boesch and Andy Oliver could be had in a trade.
- While the Red Sox are one of six teams on Asdrubal Cabrera's no-trade list, a source tells WEEI.com's Alex Speier that the Indians shortstop would be open to a deal and Boston's presence on that list wouldn't preclude a trade. The Yankees, Tigers, Nationals, Giants, and Mets are the other clubs on Cabrera's no-trade list.
- Assuming A.J. Pierzynski doesn't re-sign with the White Sox, the club will be in the market for a left-handed bat, writes Dan Hayes of CSNChicago.com.
The latest on the MLB draft, which has reached its conclusion after three busy days…
- The Diamondbacks are "close" to agreeing to terms with first-round pick Stryker Trahan, tweets Nick Piecoro of The Arizona Republic. The high school catcher was tabbed with the No. 26 pick.
- The Royals appear to be close to a deal with fifth-overall pick Kyle Zimmer, tweets Bob Dutton of The Kansas City Star. The right-hander will likely start with the club's Arizona League affiliate but may go to Idaho Falls instead.
- The Red Sox are nearing deals with supplemental first round selection Pat Light and second rounder Jamie Callahan, Peter Abraham of the Boston Globe reports (on Twitter).
- ESPN.com's Keith Law reviews the draft class of each National League team, noting that he loves what the Astros did. The Padres impressed Law early on, and he liked the Nationals' selection of Lucas Giolito.
- A legal dispute in Ohio could impact the future use of advisors, as Darren Heitner explains in a piece at Forbes.com. The MLBPA has warned agents that a case involving the former representatives of Andy Oliver “could represent a significant threat” to agents by placing restrictions on who can represent athletes who live or attend school in Ohio.
- There have been lots of pre-draft agreements between teams and players, ESPN.com’s Jerry Crasnick hears (Twitter link). "It's a bigger joke this year than it's ever been,'' one agent told Crasnick.
The Tigers are looking for starters and relievers. Here's the latest on their trade talks:
- Scouts tell Yahoo's Jeff Passan that the Tigers are dangling lefty Andy Oliver on a number of trade fronts including Hiroki Kuroda, Ubaldo Jimenez and Jason Marquis (Twitter link).
- The Tigers and Mariners are engaged in active trade talks, according to Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports (Twitter links). Detroit is interested in Doug Fister and a reliever.
- The Tigers are more interested in right-handed relief than left-handed relief, according to Morosi (on Twitter).
Hiroki Kuroda will listen to anything the Dodgers present to him before next Sunday's trade deadline, but as we learned yesterday, the team has yet to approach him about waiving his no-trade clause for any specific destination. With the Tigers, Indians, Yankees, Rangers, and Red Sox potentially in the mix for the right-hander, let's keep tabs on today's rumors here, adding the latest updates to the top of the list:
- A scout who spoke to Yahoo's Jeff Passan (Twitter link) thinks the Tigers could be the favorites for Kuroda, and that they may not have to give up top prospects Jacob Turner, Andy Oliver or Nick Castellanos to land him.
- We've already heard that Cleveland is targeting Kuroda, and Paul Hoynes of the Cleveland Plain Dealer confirms (via Twitter) that the Indians have talked to the Dodgers about a deal.
- Danny Knobler of CBS Sports (Twitter link) hears the Dodgers think Kuroda might agree to go somewhere for the next two months. The Dodgers believe, however, that if the right-hander is pitching in the Majors in 2012, it will be in Los Angeles.
Tigers GM Dave Dombrowski says he’s “comfortable” with the pitchers he has now, but expects to remain “open-minded” about potential changes or additions to the staff.
“We feel good where our pitchers are now,” Dombrowski said on a conference call with reporters.
The Tigers are content with their left-handed relievers, especially since the club expects a strong season from Daniel Schlereth. However, the front office will at least consider adding another southpaw to the ‘pen.
The Tigers’ rotation – led by Justin Verlander, Max Scherzer, Rick Porcello and Phil Coke – has its top four starters set and Armando Galarraga has an early lead on prospects like Andy Oliver for the fifth starting job. Dombrowski pointed out that a youngster could impress a win a starting job in Spring Training, as Porcello did two seasons ago. Not surprisingly, the Tigers are “not looking to trade” their young pitchers.
Happy birthday to two former All-Star catchers! Future Hall-of-Famer Ivan Rodriguez turns 39 today, while Angels manager Mike Scioscia turns 52.
Some news items…
- Count Terry Pluto of the Cleveland Plain Dealer as unimpressed by Detroit's contracts with Joaquin Benoit and Jhonny Peralta. Pluto cites Benoit's 4.47 career ERA and Peralta's .696 OPS over his last two seasons.
- The Orioles' failed pursuit of Victor Martinez proves "the issue isn't how much money the Orioles are willing to give somebody. It's whether somebody suitable is willing to take it," writes The Baltimore Sun's Peter Schmuck.
- Mike Axisa of the River Ave Blues blog thinks Manny Ramirez would be a bad fit on the Yankees.
- By the time the sale of the Astros is finalized, the new ownership group should have few salary commitments to deal with, reports Zachary Levine of the Houston Chronicle.
- The Giants are betting that other teams don't value Juan Uribe as highly as they do, says CSNBayArea.com's Mychael Urban, which is why the club offered the infielder (a Type B free agent) arbitration. San Francisco thinks Uribe won't be able to find a multi-year deal elsewhere and will thus accept arbitration or re-sign for a $5MM, one-year contract. Even if Uribe does leave for another club, at least the Giants would get a draft pick in compensation.
- Urban also notes that the Giants are "tire-kicking" J.J. Hardy and Miguel Tejada as other infield options. Dan Connolly of the Baltimore Sun predicts Tejada will be the best free agent bargain of the winter.
- In his look at the offseason needs of the AL Central clubs, The Kansas City Star's Bob Dutton names Detroit prospects Andy Oliver and Jacob Turner, Minnesota outfield prospects Joe Benson, Aaron Hicks and Ben Revere, and Kansas City's Robinson Tejeda and Alex Gordon as young players within the division who could be dealt. (Oliver and Turner only in "major trade talks" since "neither will be cheap.") Dutton adds that Grady Sizemore probably won't be dealt in the winter but "interest should quickly escalate" if Sizemore gets off to a healthy and productive start in 2011.
Full Story | Comments | Categories: Aaron Hicks | Alex Gordon | Andy Oliver | Baltimore Orioles | Cleveland Indians | Detroit Tigers | Grady Sizemore | Houston Astros | J.J. Hardy | Jacob Turner | Jhonny Peralta | Joaquin Benoit | Juan Uribe | Kansas City Royals | Manny Ramirez | Miguel Tejada | Minnesota Twins | New York Yankees | Robinson Tejeda | Victor Martinez