Andy Oliver Rumors

East Notes: Gibbons, Turner, Oliver

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.

Pirates Outright Andy Oliver

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.


Pirates Acquire Andy Oliver

The Pirates acquired lefty Andrew Oliver from the Tigers for catcher Ramon Cabrera, tweets Rob Biertempfel of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review.

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.



AL Central Notes: Boesch, Oliver, Asdrubal Cabrera

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.

Draft Notes: Diamondbacks, Zimmer, Red Sox, Astros

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.

Tigers Notes: Oliver, Marquis, Fister

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 Rumors: Sunday

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 “Comfortable” With Pitching Staff

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.

Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports reported earlier today that the Tigers are considering veteran starters, including Brad Penny, to create competition for the fifth rotation spot.


Odds & Ends: Tigers, Orioles, Manny, Astros, Uribe

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…


Meetings Rumors: A’s, Tigers, M’s, Red Sox, O’s

Baseball's general managers met in Orlando today and discussed potential changes to the collective bargaining agreement. MLB Executive Vice President Rob Manfred told reporters that he's optimistic about reaching a new CBA with the MLB Players Association and eager to hear the opinions of baseball's GMs. Manfred declined to go into detail on the talks, but the GMs addressed a number of hot stove topics with MLBTR soon afterwards. Here are the details (and be sure to follow @mlbtrorlando for more updates):

  • The A's are off to a busy offseason start, but it's not intentional. "I don't think any particular reason other than opportunities presented themselves when they did," A's GM Billy Beane said. "It wasn't by design or anything like that. [David]  DeJesus was somebody we inquired on back in August when he was hurt and we didn't control the pace of that negotiation, because they didn't move him until they were ready to move him."
  • Tigers GM Dave Dombrowski says the Tigers could add left-handers, right-handers or both to their bullpen this winter.
  • The Tigers expect Andy Oliver to be a quality big league pitcher, but they aren't counting on him for their 2011 rotation, according to Dombrowski.
  • Asked who will close for his team in 2011, Mariners GM Jack Zduriencik praised David Aardsma's recent body of work. Zduriencik also said he doesn't expect Milton Bradley's history with manager Eric Wedge to be an issue. 
  • The Mariners opened the 2010 season with a heavily right-handed bullpen and Zduriencik says "it'd be nice to have a left-hander or two out there" in 2011.
  • Red Sox GM Theo Epstein says the Red Sox need to get to know Andrew Miller and Taylor Buchholz before he knows specifically what to expect from the team's new acquisitions. He does like "the possibility of real upside" for both pitchers, and was impressed by Buchholz's 2008 season with the Rockies.
  • Epstein says the Red Sox bullpen is far from a finished product despite the acquisitions. "We probably have to acquire one or two relievers through trade or free agency and we will. I really believe in the guys we have in the back: [Jonathan] Pabelbon, [Daniel] Bard and possibly [Felix] Doubront. If he's not in the rotation, he could be a very valuable bullpen piece."
  • Orioles president of baseball operations Andy MacPhail says there haven't been major developments with free agents Cesar Izturis or Ty Wigginton since the O's expressed interest in both when the offseason ended.
  • For more GM Meetings coverage, see what Jed Hoyer of the Padres, Neal Huntington of the Pirates and Andrew Friedman of the Rays had to say.