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- Right-Hander Norge Ruiz Leaves Cuba, Will Seek Deal With MLB Club
- Smyly Will Not Have Surgery, Is Confident He Can Pitch In 2015
- Hyun-jin Ryu Undergoes Season-Ending Shoulder Surgery
- 2016 MLB Free Agent Power Rankings
- Hyun-jin Ryu To Undergo Shoulder Surgery
- Mariners Acquire Welington Castillo From Cubs For Yoervis Medina
- Bruce Chen Announces Retirement
- Red Sox Outright Allen Craig
- Marlins Name GM Dan Jennings Manager
- GM Dan Jennings Could Become Marlins Manager
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- Minor Moves: Josh Elander, Brock Peterson
- Red Sox Promote Rusney Castillo
- Rangers To Release Kyuji Fujikawa
- Right-Hander Norge Ruiz Leaves Cuba, Will Seek Deal With MLB Club
- Blue Jays Notes: Hamels, Travis, Kawasaki, Norris
- Heyman’s Latest: Hamels/Jays, Lucroy, Baez, Correa, Alvarez
- Cubs Among Teams Showing Interest In Rafael Soriano
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- Cubs Notes: Baez, Bryant, Russell, Maddon, Castro
- Smyly Will Not Have Surgery, Is Confident He Can Pitch In 2015
- Astros Release Darin Downs
- Brewers Outright Jim Henderson
- Dodgers Suspend Erisbel Arruebarrena For Season
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Cornelius Alexander "Connie" Mack was born on this day in 1862. After an 11-year playing career, Mack went on to become the manager and co-owner of the Philadelphia Athletics in 1901 and was a fixture in the A's dugout for the next half-century. Between his 50 years with the A's (and three years managing the Pirates from 1894-96), Mack won five World Series titles and compiled a 3731-3948 record. Needless to say, Mack's records for managerial wins and losses will never be broken.
Some news from around the majors…
- The Indians made "an aggressive" two-year contract offer to Carlos Beltran worth "very close" to the $26MM Beltran received from the Cardinals, a source tells Paul Hoynes of the Cleveland Plain Dealer.
- The Braves have been rather quiet this offseason but "the fact is we like our team," GM Frank Wren tells David O'Brien of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. "We continue to have some conversations,” Wren said. “We’d have liked to have gotten something done in November in some areas, but just weren’t the matches….We’re continuing to work different options. This was not a good free-agent year, not a lot of players that impacted teams, especially in the areas we would like to get better in.” Wren said the Braves may wait to see how their players perform during Spring Training before deciding if they need to bring in some new acquisitions.
- The Padres still have around $7-$9MM to spend this winter, observes Bill Center of the San Diego Union-Tribune as part of his weekly chat with fans.
- Center also discusses Anthony Rizzo trade rumors, citing the Rays and Cubs as the most interested parties. Center thinks teams who miss out on Prince Fielder (such as possibly the Mariners and Orioles) could look at Rizzo as well.
- The Reds will use Sean Marshall as a setup man, not as a closer, once their deal with the Cubs is finalized, writes John Fay of the Cincinnati Enquirer. Fay also wonders if the Reds are working out a contract extension with Marshall, as the price of Travis Wood plus two prospects seems high for a reliever who is only under control through 2012.
- The Mariners are still interested in Jeff Francis, reports Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports (via Twitter). Seattle wants a veteran like Francis for the rotation to serve as a bridge for the team's young pitchers. We heard about the Mariners' interest in Francis earlier this month, and the Twins, Pirates, Cubs and Rockies have also been linked to the Canadian left-hander.
- Patrick Ebert of Perfect Game runs down the 10 biggest stories that emerged from this year's amateur draft.
- Former Marlins manager Edwin Rodriguez told Todd Hollandsworth and Jim Memolo of MLB Network Radio (as reported by MLB.com's Joe Frisaro) that he didn't agree with Miami's signing of Jose Reyes. "You already have an All-Star shortstop, why spend money on another All-Star shortstop?" Rodriguez asked. "Why not put the money into another player, like Albert Pujols or a front-line pitcher?” Rodriguez also wondered how "a very proud player" like Hanley Ramirez would handle switching positions and having Reyes be the center of media attention in Miami.
- The Giants haven't spent much to address their lack of hitting this winter, writes Fangraphs' Wendy Thurm.
The Blue Jays bid over $50MM for Yu Darvish, falling just short of the Rangers' $51.7MM bid, according to Richard Griffin of the Toronto Star. Here's the latest on the Blue Jays’ division, starting with a right-hander who spent three up-and-down seasons in Toronto…
- Several teams are kicking the tires on acquiring A.J. Burnett, but the Yankees will have to absorb significant salary to make a deal and Burnett can veto trades to ten teams per year, according to George A. King III of the New York Post.
- The Yankees bid less than $20MM for Darvish, according to Andrew Marchand of ESPNNewYork.com.
- Orioles GM Dan Duquette explains the team's shrinking pro scouting department to MLB.com's Brittany Ghiroli. "In an effort to make an impact on the franchise, I can argue that the scouts are most valuable to a team at the amateur level,” Duquette said. “They can have a bigger impact on this organization.”
- Former Rays catcher Toby Hall has decided to retire, according to Marc Topkin of the St. Petersburg Times. The 36-year-old spent seven seasons with the Rays and last played in the Major Leagues in 2008.
- Dan Hayes of the North County Times hears the Rays are one of the teams that has asked the Padres about Anthony Rizzo (Twitter link). However, the Padres, who have been flooded with interest, aren't matching up that well with the Rays at this point, according to Jim Bowden of MLB Network Radio and ESPN.com (on Twitter).
- MLB executives expect Gio Gonzalez to be traded relatively soon now that Darvish is no longer available, according to Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com (on Twitter). The Red Sox are among Gonzalez’s suitors.
The Padres have some interest in acquiring Matt Garza from the Cubs in a package that would include Anthony Rizzo, tweets Jim Bowden of ESPN.com and MLB Network Radio. Based on reports yesterday, it seems both clubs may be interested in working out a trade involving Rizzo.
With Mat Latos now a Cincinnati Red, the Padres' interest in Garza makes some sense, particularly since the team has a crowded picture at first base, between Rizzo and Yonder Alonso. The Cubs' front office tandem of Theo Epstein and Jed Hoyer was responsible for the Adrian Gonzalez trade that sent Rizzo from Boston to San Diego a year ago, so both execs are very familiar with the 22-year-old.
However, MLBTR projects Garza, who is under team control for just two more years, to earn well over $8MM through arbitration this season. Additionally, the Cubs' asking price for the right-hander is said to be steep. On the heels of the Latos trade, it's unclear whether the Padres would want to move multiple prospects and take on salary in order to restock their rotation. Peter Gammons of MLB Network finds the possibility of the Friars acquiring Garza unlikely, for now (Twitter link).
- Clubs have already started calling the Padres about Anthony Rizzo, and the Rays and Cubs are among those interested according to Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com (Twitter links). Rizzo could be on the market after Yonder Alonso joined San Diego in the Latos trade.
- Tim Brown of Yahoo! Sports provided the details of the incentives in Albert Pujols' contract with the Angels (Twitter link). The slugger will get $3MM for his 3,000th career hit and $7MM for his 763rd career home run, which would break the all-time record. The soon-to-be 32-year-old currently has 2,073 hits and 445 homers.
- Dodgers GM Ned Colletti has restructured his front office slightly, according to MLB.com's Ken Gurnick. Vance Lovelace was promoted to director of professional personnel after serving as special assistant to the GM and director of pro scouting. Rick Ragazzo replaces Lovelace as director of pro scouting after serving as a special assistant to the GM.
- The Dodgers are still fighting with Hartford Life Insurance Co. over Paul Shuey's $3.25MM salary for the 2004 season, reports Bill Shaikin of The Los Angeles Times. The team sued the insurance company in 2006, saying they didn't honor their claim when the right-hander did not pitch that season due to injury.
Some highlights from Josh Byrnes' conference call this afternoon..
- Padres GM Josh Byrnes said four teams had the right package of young players to make a run at Mat Latos, tweets Jerry Crasnick of ESPN.com. Ultimately, he said, the Padres winnowed it to two teams before deciding on the Reds.
- Byrnes said that the Padres view Yonder Alonso as a first base candidate and not as a left fielder, Crasnick tweets. Right now, it appears that Alonso and Jesus Guzman will duke it out for the job in Spring Training (Twitter link).
- For the time being, it seems that the Padres' current plan is to slot Alonso in at first and have Rizzo go back to Triple-A, tweets Crasnick. Byrnes admits that the deal will probably be a tough pill to swallow for Anthony Rizzo, tweets Scott Miller of CBSSports.com.
- The Padres GM says that he won't rule out another trade, but he is comfortable with his team's surplus of offensive players, Crasnick writes (via Twitter).
- Newcomer Yasmani Grandal will be given more time in the minors, tweets Crasnick. Byrnes referred to Nick Hundley as the club's "No. 1 guy" and a key part of the team.
Today the Diamondbacks purchased the contract of Wily Mo Pena with the aim of employing him in the middle of their order as a designated hitter during the AL leg of their interleague schedule. The D'Backs had open spots on the 40-man roster for Pena, who hasn't played in the bigs since '08 but has a .363/.439/.726 line with 21 home runs in 271 Triple-A plate appearances. Today's links…
- Braves GM Frank Wren spoke to Dave O'Brien of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution about the state of the trade market, saying teams are "starting to reach out and talk to each other." He added that they "talked to a number of clubs about where they think they’re going to be going at the trade deadline, but that’s even somewhat nebulous on a lot of clubs."
- Geoff Baker of The Seattle Times explored the idea of the Mariners trading either Jason Vargas or Doug Fister for offensive help and tried to figure out what a realistic return would be.
- In today's Insider-only blog post, ESPN's Buster Olney mentions that Grant Balfour of the Athletics is among the relievers expected to be available this summer. He speculates that the Rangers could be a fit.
- Brian MacPherson of The Providence Journal looked at how the Red Sox were about to snag Anthony Rizzo in the sixth round three years before he was a key piece in the Adrian Gonzalez trade.
- NPB has decided against pursuing changes to the posting system according to a Japanese report passed along by Patrick Newman of NPB Tracker. Reasons include the difficulty of changing things on MLB's side, as well as the potential for large posting fees offered by the current system.
- In the wake of Andrew Miller's return to the big leagues, WEEI.com's Alex Speier listed the seven pitchers in the last 15 years that reached the Majors the year they were drafted. It's not a pretty list.
On this date in 1997, the Reds called Aaron Boone up and sent his brother, Bret, to the minors. Bret would emerge as a power threat the following year and average 26 homers per season for the next seven years. Aaron put together a solid 12-year career that featured an All-Star Game berth and one of the most memorable home runs in Yankees history. Here's the latest from around MLB…
- Dave Cameron of U.S.S. Mariner runs through some possible left field targets for the Mariners, including Ryan Ludwick and Luke Scott.
- Padres GM Jed Hoyer told Scott Lauber of the Boston Herald that he doesn't want 21-year-old first baseman Anthony Rizzo to try to replace Adrian Gonzalez, the man he was traded for last winter. "Adrian Gonzalez at 21 years old was toiling in Triple-A," Hoyer said. "It took Adrian a number of years before he really established himself as a Major League player."
- Hoyer says he's not surprised that Gonzalez has turned in a "monster" season for the Red Sox so far. Unfortunately for the Padres, they couldn't afford him long-term.
- The Orioles have agreed to terms with third round right-hander Mike Wright, according to Jeff Zrebiec of the Baltimore Sun.
- The MLBPA Alumni Association is working on a program that will transition players to jobs beyond the playing field, according to Evan Drellich of MLB.com. Most Major Leaguers retire without millions of dollars saved up, so the program will be important for players like veteran minor leaguer Andy Tracy, who expects to retire after the season.
On this date 30 years ago, the Padres drafted future Hall of Famer Tony Gwynn in the third round of the amateur draft. Gwynn collected 3141 hits and eight batting titles in 20 seasons as a Padre before being enshrined in Cooperstown in 2007. We wish Gwynn all the best in his battle with cancer. Here are today's Padres links…
- Padres first base prospect Anthony Rizzo will be called up and will be starting in Thursday night's lineup against the Nationals, tweets Dan Hayes of the North County Times. Corey Brock profiles the competitive 21-year-old at MLB.com in a piece that’s worth checking out.
- It appears that the Padres would trade Ryan Ludwick to Cincinnati for Reds outfielder Chris Heisey or prospects, according to Hal McCoy of the Dayton Daily News. Reds left fielders have combined to hit .222/.315/.385 this year, while Ludwick has a .256/.327/.402 line.
- Heisey, 26, has a .281/.345/.438 line in 110 plate appearances this year and has played all three outfield positions.
Since the Marlins called Mike Stanton up to the Major Leagues a year ago today, he has hit 35 home runs and posted a .257/.332/.520 line. Stanton was clearly MLB-ready and Florida's timing worked out in another respect, too. The Marlins slugger will have just two years and 118 days of service time after the 2012 season, which hasn’t typically been enough for super two eligibility and an extra year of arbitration.
A year later, another group of prospects is appearing on MLB rosters and, as always, there are service time implications for all involved. Before we get too worried about whether these prospects will qualify for super two status, let’s be clear about a few variables.
It’s too early to know how much service time will be required for super two status three offseasons from now, because the cutoff date changes most years. Plus, baseball’s collective bargaining agreement expires after 2011, so there’s no guarantee that the super two will even exist a few years from now (though coming up with an alternative that satisfies baseball’s owners and the players’ association will not be easy). Finally, most players who reach arbitration do get optioned to the minor leagues at some point, so there’s a good chance some of the players below will return to the minors before becoming arbitration eligible.
With that in mind, here are the service time implications for a few recent callups:
- Anthony Rizzo, Padres – If Rizzo debuts tomorrow, as Dan Hayes of the North County Times reports he will (Twitter link), he'll pick up a maximum of 112 days of service time this year and the Padres probably won't have to worry about super two status.
- Dee Gordon, Dodgers – Tom’s son was called up Monday and he has already had his first three-hit game. Gordon can pick up a maximum of 115 days of service time this year. Last year’s cutoff was unusually low at two years and 122 days, so the Dodgers appear safe.
- Jemile Weeks, Athletics and Charlie Blackmon, Rockies – Both players got the call yesterday, which means they can pick up a maximum of 114 days of service time this year. It’s likely not enough for super two status, even if they never see the minors again.
- Cord Phelps, Indians – Phelps, the first member of the Indians’ 2008 draft class to reach the majors, will debut today. He won’t pick up more than 113 days of service time this year, so the Indians probably won’t have to worry about super two status for Phelps, Lonnie Chisenhall or Jason Kipnis.
Here are a few items of note out of the NL West, where only 7.5 games separated the first- and last-place clubs entering Tuesday's action:
- Padres first baseman Anthony Rizzo may be called up as soon as Wednesday, according to a baseball source, writes Corey Brock of MLB.com. Friars GM Jed Hoyer said that Rizzo is "close to ready," tweets Brock.
- Diamondbacks GM Kevin Towers is making all the right moves, writes Scott Bordow of the Arizona Republic. Chiefly, Towers has improved the Snakes' bullpen and bench, cut down on the lineup's strikeouts, and improved the clubhouse, according to Bordow.
- The Rockies stayed true to tradition by selecting a left-handed pitcher in the first round, writes Jack Etkin of Baseball America (subscription needed). The Rox were thought to be on a position player but instead opted for college southpaw Tyler Anderson out of Oregon. Previously, they took Christian Friedrich and Tyler Matzek in the first rounds of the 2008 and '09 Drafts, respectively.