Armando Galarraga Rumors

D’Backs Likely To Acquire Galarraga

11:22am: The teams are likely to complete a trade today, according to MLB.com's Steve Gilbert. Eichhorn and another player would go to Detroit and the D'Backs would take on most of Galarraga's $2.3MM salary.

9:24am: The Diamondbacks are 'likely' to acquire Armando Galarraga from the Tigers, according to Jon Heyman of SI.com (on Twitter). Nick Piecoro of the Arizona Republic reported over the weekend that the D'Backs were making a "strong push" for the right-hander and were exchanging names, including Kevin Eichhorn's, with Detroit. 

The Nationals do not appear to be interested in Galarraga and the Indians aren't likely to get involved. The Pirates could have interest in the 29-year-old Venezuelan, though. Tigers GM Dave Dombrowski has said he's 'confident' he'll find a taker for Galarraga, who was designated for assignment to create roster space for Brad Penny last week.

The Tigers and D'Backs have exchanged a number of pitchers in the past 13 months. Max Scherzer and Daniel Schlereth arrived in the Motor City in the December, 2009 deal that sent Edwin Jackson to Arizona. Six months later, the Tigers sent Dontrelle Willis to the D'Backs for Billy Buckner. Those deals, however, were completed under former D'Backs GM Josh Byrnes.


Armando Galarraga Rumors: Saturday

5:20pm: Nick Piecoro of The Arizona Republic reports that the Diamondbacks are making a strong push for Galarraga and the two sides are exchanging names. He says that Single-A right-hander Kevin Eichhorn has been discussed, and it appears as though the D'Backs could take on Galarraga's salary in full.

Eichhorn, 21 next month, was Arizona's third round pick in 2008. Baseball America rated him as the team's 18th-best prospect in the 2010 edition of their Prospect Handbook, noting that he sits 87-91 with his fastball and already has a "solid three-pitch mix." In 86 1/3 innings last season, Eichhorn posted a 5.00 ERA with 8.4 K/9 and 1.9 BB/9.

3:18pm: MLB.com's Bill Ladson says that the Nationals are not interested in Galarraga because they do not consider him an upgrade over what they currently have in their rotation (Twitter link).

2:48pm: Rob Biertempfel of The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review says that the Pirates have some interest in Galarraga, however a trusted source tells him that they don't see it happening (Twitter links).

2:21pm: Beck has some more from Dombrowski: "We're making some progress on some trade talks at this point," said the GM. "Not quite sufficient to make any announcements, but I would think by the middle of next week we would be in a position where we would make a deal."

Meanwhile, Paul Hoynes of The Cleveland Plain Dealer says not to expect the Indians to get involved (Twitter link). Galarraga's $2.3MM salary is too rich for the Tribe. 

11:43am: Talks with clubs about a trade involving Armando Galarraga are progressing, tweets MLB.com's Jason Beck. Tigers GM Dave Dombrowski is quoted as saying a deal "is likely." 

Galarraga was designated for assignment earlier this week after the team's one-year contract with Brad Penny was made official. Dombrowski said he was "confident" that a market would develop for the right-hander, who posted a 4.49 ERA with 4.6 K/9 and 3.2 BB/9 in 144 1/3 innings last season. He, of course, is most famous for his near perfect game last summer.

The 29-year-old Galarraga avoided arbitration by agreeing to a one-year contract worth $2.3MM just a day before being DFA'd. A number of clubs are still looking for rotation help, including the Yankees, Orioles, Indians, and Nationals, though their levels of interest in Galarraga is unknown. 


Tigers ‘Confident’ In Market For Galarraga

The Tigers believe there’s a market for Armando Galarraga, the right-handed pitcher who agreed to a $2.3MM deal one day before getting designated for assignment. Since few viable free agent starters remain and a number of teams are looking for pitching, Tigers GM Dave Dombrowski says he’s 'confident' the team will be able to move Galarraga.

“It’s not like I have a for sure deal, but I do have enough clubs that have asked me about him,” Dombrowski said on a conference call with reporters.

If the Tigers demote Galarraga to the minor leagues, they’re responsible for his $2.3MM salary. If they release him, they’ll be responsible for part of his contract, depending on the date of his release and whether another club signs him.

The Tigers also announced their one-year deal with Brad Penny, the pitcher who ousted Galarraga from Detroit’s rotation. Penny missed the last four months of the 2010 season with a shoulder strain, but the Tigers have put him through physicals, examined MRIs and determined that the 32-year-old is in 'tremendous shape.'

“When Brad Penny is healthy, we think he’s a good pitcher,” Dombrowski said. “And we think he’s healthy.”

Though Dombrowski acknowledged that there’s always some risk involved when signing pitchers, he said Penny has the upside to be much more than a fifth starter.

“He does not have back of the rotation stuff,” Dombrowski said, before praising the right-hander’s mid-90s fastball, breaking ball and change-up.

Now that the Tigers have added the two-time All-Star to their rotation, Dombrowski says the team’s rotation projects to be better than it was a year ago. Max Scherzer and Rick Porcello are still developing, Justin Verlander is one of the best pitchers in the game and the Tigers believe in Phil Coke’s ability to transition to the rotation.

“We’re happy,” Dombrowski said of his team’s offseason. “I think a lot of clubs say that and I’ll be a lot happier if we’re playing late into October.”



Tigers Designate Galarraga For Assignment

One day after agreeing to terms with him on a $2.3MM contract for 2011, the Tigers have designated Armando Galarraga for assignment. The team announced the move on Twitter, while making its deal with Brad Penny official.

Galarraga's contract is non-guaranteed, though the Tigers would owe him termination pay if they were to release him.


Quick Hits: Soriano, Manuel, Galarraga, Angels

Some items from around the majors…

  • The Angels aren't one of the teams reportedly still interested in Rafael Soriano, tweets Jon Heyman of Sports Illustrated.  The Yankees are "still trying," in spite of their earlier statements to the contrary.
  • Charlie Manuel's agent tells Jim Salisbury of CSNPhilly.com that Manuel and the Phillies have a mutual interest in working out a contract extension before Opening Day.  Manuel has one year left on his current deal, and Salisbury speculates that he's looking for a two-year extension worth roughly $4MM per season.
  • Armando Galarraga is out of options, eligible for arbitration and has probably been squeezed out of the Detroit rotation by Brad Penny, reports Jason Beck of MLB.com.  If Galarraga gets too large of a salary bump in arbitration, the Tigers could choose to trade or just release him before Opening Day.
  • The Angels' quiet offseason has been heavily criticized, but Mark Saxon of ESPNLosAngeles.com reminds us that the Halos still have a very solid team.
  • If the Twins don't re-sign Jim Thome, Kelly Thesier of MLB.com says the team could return to what it was looking for last winter: a right-handed hitting backup option in the outfield or at first base.  Thesier cites Jorge Cantu and Troy Glaus as possibilities, and we've heard the Padres were considering the same two players.  The Twins could also dip into the rest of the DH market, or look to upgrade their bullpen.
  • There isn't much historial evidence to suggest that Josh Beckett will return to his ace form over the long run, writes John Tomase of the Boston Herald.

Fallout From The Brad Penny Deal

There are still over 100 free agents out there, but the Tigers could pass on all of them now that they've added another arm to their rotation. GM Dave Dombrowski agreed to sign Brad Penny to a one-year deal worth $3MM plus incentives, capping a busy offseason.

Penny's agreement with the Detroit means Jeremy Bonderman loses a suitor. The longtime Tiger won't return to the Motor City, but Bonderman can take solace in the fact that Penny signed a deal worth $3MM plus incentives after missing the final four months of the season. Like Penny, Bonderman, Jeff FrancisChris Young and Justin Duchscherer have dealt with injuries in the past couple seasons, but they're drawing legitimate interest nonetheless.

PennyThe deal also impacts Armando Galarraga, who will now have to overcome serious competition to win the fifth starter's job. Before the Spring Training battle begins, Galarraga and the Tigers will determine the right-hander's 2011 salary; he's arbitration eligible for the first time.

I wonder if Jonathan Sanchez's name could come up as a comparable pitcher. Sanchez, who's one year ahead of Galarraga in terms of service time, had similar career numbers last offseason (4.81 ERA, 429 K, 214 BB in 413 1/3 innings) to the ones Galarraga has now (4.49 ERA, 301 K, 186 BB in 475 1/3 innings). The Giants paid Sanchez $2.1MM for the 2010 season. Interestingly, both pitchers even approached pitching perfection in their final pre-arbitration seasons – Sanchez with a no-hitter and Galarraga with a near-perfect game.

Penny's deal sends the Tigers' offseason spending over the $100MM mark, as MLBTR's Free Agent Tracker shows. The team has now committed $102.25MM to Victor MartinezJoaquin Benoit, Brandon Inge, Jhonny Peralta, Magglio Ordonez and Penny.

Tigers catchers will have to handle some of the hardest throwers in the game in 2011. Dombrowski has added Penny (94.1 mph fastball in 2010) and Benoit (94 mph) to a staff that already included Justin Verlander (95.4 mph), Ryan Perry (95.4 mph), Jose Valverde (95.2 mph) and Max Scherzer (93.2 mph).

Photo courtesy of Icon SMI.


Odds & Ends: Tejeda, Tigers, Lee, Pena

Wednesday night linkage..


Odds & Ends: Mets, Webb, Galarraga, Ring, Rasner

Some links to check out on the 11th anniversary of the Indians signing Danys Baez to the largest amateur signing bonus in team history…


Today’s Signings: Sanchez, Weaver, Galarraga

MLBTR has an update on major league signings for today based on e-mail communication with Sports Illustrated’s Jon Heyman. His article is here.

Florida Marlins – Anibal Sanchez, $400,000
L.A. Angels – Jered Weaver, $465,000
Arizona Diamondbacks – Tony Pena, $430,000
Detroit Tigers – Armando Galarraga, $430,000
San Francisco Giants – Jonathan Sanchez, $455,000


Tigers Could Make Trade

Lynn Henning of the Detroit News expects the Tigers to make a trade before the regular season, "perhaps a big one." Henning writes that the team could trade away starting pitching if Nate Robertson and Dontrelle Willis are healthy. Henning also mentions Marcus Thames and Ryan Raburn as possible trade candidates.

Willis and Robertson each have considerable negative trade value, as they’ll both make at least $7MM in 2009 and 2010. Unless the Tigers are willing to pay most of that, they’d have to trade one of their other starters: Justin Verlander, Jeremy Bonderman, Armando Galarraga, Edwin Jackson or Zach Miner. Trading one of those starters would leave the Tigers with a thin rotation.

The Tigers don’t have a starting spot for Thames if Gary Sheffield stays healthy.