Angel Berroa Rumors
According to Peter Abraham at the Journal-News, the Yankees have designated infielder Angel Berroa for assignment to make space for utilityman Cody Ransom.
Berroa, 31, put up a rough .356 OPS in 22 at-bats for the Yanks. He's notable for his Rookie of the Year campaign for the Royals in 2003, but he's been on a pretty steep decline since then.
More links for the afternoon...
- The Pirates signed Victor Black, their supplemental round pick, according to Mike Vukovcan of KDKA-TV in Pittsburgh.
- Alex Speier of WEEI.com reports that the Red Sox are set to sign their second round pick, righty Alex Wilson, for about $475k. He turned down $600k from the Cubs last year.
- ESPN.com's Jorge Arangure says the Nats will work Wagner Mateo out, but aren't likely to sign him.
- Arangure says the Mariners, Cardinals, Dodgers, Giants, Yankees and Cubs could sign Mateo.
- Arangure still expects Miguel Angel Sano to sign with the Pirates.
- Peter Abraham of the Journal News suggests the Yankees should release Brett Tomko and Angel Berroa. He also suggests five other ways the Yankees could improve without making a trade.
- Peter Gammons says C.C. Sabathia could use some extra rest in this ESPN Radio discussion. Gammons also believes Daisuke Matsuzaka's injury is "pretty serious."
- MLB.com's Rustin Dodd looks back at the deal that sent Carlos Beltran to the Astros. Five years ago Wednesday, the Royals acquired Mike Wood, Mark Teahen and John Buck for their center fielder.
- Click here to take another look at the MLBTR glossary post on the international signing period. It now explains how some players born in early September, 1993 can sign this year.
Bryan Hoch of MLB.com reports the Yankees have set their 25-man roster by choosing to go with infielder Ramiro Pena over Angel Berroa. Dan Giese was designated for assignment to make room. Hoch writes,
Pena's mother cried when given the news, writes Peter Abraham.
Ken Rosenthal reports that the Yankees have signed infielder Angel Berroa to a minor-league contract.
Rather than having his $5.5MM option picked up, Berroa was bought out for $500K and non-tendered by the Dodgers in December. It was anticipated they would attempt to re-sign him. He'll compete with Cody Ransom to be the Yankees utility infielder.
10:42pm: The fourth team is the Braves, according to Ken Rosenthal. Kinzer told Rosenthal the Braves are "in deep" and Furcal is seriously considering their offer. Rosenthal believes it's a three-year offer with a vesting option. Rosenthal spoke to an exec who felt the same as Joel Sherman, that Furcal does not want to sign with the A's.
Adding Furcal would give the Braves a middle infield surplus. Good shortstops are hard to find and the Braves would have two.
4:40pm: Yahoo's Tim Brown talked to Furcal's agent Paul Kinzer, who said his client will sign by Tuesday. He's mulling offers from the Dodgers, Royals, A's, and...a mystery team.
1:32pm: Joel Sherman of the New York Post says the Blue Jays have dropped out of the bidding for Furcal (now confirmed by Furcal's agent). Sherman adds that Furcal prefers the A's the least but they are offering the most money.
1:10pm: ESPN's Buster Olney says the A's offered four years and $40MM, up about $4MM from their previous offer.
8:10am: According to Ken Rosenthal, the A's appear to be the frontrunners for free agent shortstop Rafael Furcal. Joel Sherman said the same on Friday. Rosenthal says the A's have upped their initial four-year offer to Furcal, and it appears to be the only four-year proposal on the table. Yahoo's Jeff Passan suggested on Wednesday that the Royals believe it will take four years and $44MM to sign him. The A's were reportedly in the $35-40MM range previously.
The Dodgers, Blue Jays, and Royals were identified as other finalists last week by Furcal's agent. Those teams all have issues coming up with the money or years Furcal desires. Rosenthal suggests Orlando Cabrera, Angel Berroa, and Jack Wilson as possible alternatives for the Dodgers.
2:01am: MLB.com has the official list.
10:05pm: Here is a list of players who were non-tendered today, and therefore became free agents.
- Aquilino Lopez
- Joey Gathright, John Bale
- Jamie Burke
- Joe Nelson
- Aaron Miles, Randy Flores, Tyler Johnson
- Norris Hopper, Gary Majewski, Matt Belisle
- Doug Mathis
- Daniel Cabrera, Lance Cormier
- Denny Bautista
- Ty Wigginton, Reggie Abercrombie
- Jonny Gomes
- Willy Taveras
- Takashi Saito, Scott Proctor, Yhency Brazoban, Angel Berroa
- Clay Hensley and Charlie Haeger
- Chris Britton and Justin Christian
- Tim Redding
- Chris Capuano
- Kevin Cash
- Chuck James
- Chris Burke, Robby Hammock, Wil Ledezma, Jeff Salazar
According to MLB.com's Ken Gurnick, the Dodgers chose shortstop Angel Berroa's $500K buyout over his $5.5MM option for '09. Easy call for a utility guy. Technically Berroa is arbitration-eligible, but Gurnick says they will non-tender him rather than pay him the minimum allowable $2.85MM. ESPN's Buster Olney believes the Dodgers will try to re-sign Berroa for less after he's non-tendered.
Berroa's four-year, $11MM contract from the Royals is one of the few young player deals that did not work out. With the Dodgers this year, he hit .230/.304/.310 in 256 plate appearances while playing average defense.
9:49pm The LA Daily News is reporting that the Royals are picking all of Berroa's '08 salary.
9:32pm The Kansas City Star is reporting that the Royals have traded Angel Berroa and cash to the Dodgers for minor leaguer Juan Rivera.
Berroa, the '03 AL Rookie of the Year, spent most of '07 and all of '08 in triple-A. He was hitting .291/.323/.519 with 10 home runs in 51 games this season for Omaha. Juan Rivera is hitting .241/.267/.345 in single-A.
Berroa is making $4.75MM this season and there is a $5.5MM club option for '09 with a $0.5MM buyout.
Ken Rosenthal has some Spring Training odds and ends this morning.
- Rosenthal adds Mark Loretta as a possible third base acquisition for the Dodgers. Given their desire for a relatively affordable guy who can also handle second, Rosenthal has linked them to Ron Belliard and Esteban German previously. Loretta shouldn't be too hard to pry away from the Astros. Though he can't play second, Morgan Ensberg could be an option if the Yankees let him leave.
- The Nats are shopping Felipe Lopez, who's said he wouldn't be content on the bench. Rosenthal says the Nationals have their eye on awful shortstop Angel Berroa as a possible replacement, which is strange on multiple levels. Not only is Berroa not a Major Leaguer at this point, but the Nats plan to use Cristian Guzman at short.
- Royce Ring is said to be "perhaps the most available of the Braves' out of options relievers." Who needs a lefty?
How bad was Angel Berroa's .592 OPS in 474 ABs last year? Was it among the worst ever for a shortstop with 450 ABs? Nah. Hal Lanier is the record holder - he hit .206/.222/.239 (.461 OPS) in 1968. He must've been a stud with the glove.
Since 2000, Berroa's season was the third worst for a shortstop. Only Neifi Perez and Cristian Guzman topped his futility and kept their jobs all year. There were a lot of really poor-hitting full-time shortstops last year - Berroa, Clint Barmes, Ronny Cedeno, Adam Everett. Only Everett is keeping his job.
Bob Dutton of the Kansas City Star writes that the Royals are not happy with internal shortstop options Berroa and Alex Gonzalez, and have a list of 20 or more trade candidates. Dutton names Barmes, and John McDonald as two likely possibilities, with Erick Aybar or Brandon Wood as longshots. Personally I think there's a snowball's chance in hell of the Angels trading Wood to the Royals.
Berroa's contract exists as proof that locking up young players long-term for cost certainty does not always work out. In the spring following his 2003 Rookie of the Year season, he received a four-year, $11MM deal.