Armando Galarraga Rumors
Here's the latest from around the majors as the Rangers and Tigers start a four-game set in Detroit..
- The agent of right-hander Armando Galarraga recently reached out to Marlins skipper Ozzie Guillen to see if the club might have interest in signing him, writes Manny Navarro of the Miami Herald. "I've passed [the request] up the ladder," Guillen said. "We'll see what happens." Galarraga, 30, signed a minor league deal with the Orioles this spring, but was released after just four appearances.
- Rays skipper Joe Maddon is excited about the club's additon of outfielder/first baseman Brandon Allen, writes Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times. Allen, 26, was claimed off of waivers from the A's earlier today.
- Nationals GM Mike Rizzo doesn't have any openings for Ivan Rodriguez to join the club as a coach but gave the retired catcher a ringing endorsement, tweets Bill Ladson of MLB.com.
- Cardinals GM John Mozeliak told Joe Strauss of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch (via Twitter) that a roster move may be necessary due to Jon Jay's shoulder injury.
The Orioles had signed the 30-year-old SFX client to a minor league deal in January following a difficult 2011 season. Galarraga came within one out of throwing a perfect game for the Tigers in 2010, but the 2011 season wasn't nearly as successful. Galarraga, who was traded from Detroit to Arizona in January of 2011, posted a 5.91 ERA with 5.9 K/9 and 4.6 BB/9 in 42 2/3 innings for the D'Backs last year. He also made five Triple-A starts, allowing 24 earned runs in 23 1/3 innings.
Galarraga struggled through the 2011 season after an eventful 2010 campaign in which he came within one out of throwing a perfect game for the Tigers. Galarraga, who was traded from Detroit to Arizona last January, posted a 5.91 ERA with 5.9 K/9 and 4.6 BB/9 in 42 2/3 innings for the D'Backs in 2011. He also made five Triple-A starts, allowing 24 earned runs in 23 1/3 innings.
A total of 22 players that finished the year in Triple-A elected free agency after the end of the regular season according to the transaction pages of the Pacific Coast and International Leagues. All but one of those 22 players (Matt Carson, formerly of the Rays) played in the big leagues this season. Here's the full list:
Dusty Brown (Pirates), Travis Buck (Indians), Armando Galarraga (D'Backs), Jay Gibbons (Dodgers), Edgar Gonzalez (Rockies), Steve Holm (Twins), Wil Ledezma (Blue Jays), Andy LaRoche (Athletics), Felipe Lopez (Brewers), Lastings Milledge (White Sox), Pat Misch (Mets), Pat Neshek (Padres), Mike O'Connor (Mets), Matt Palmer (Angels), Felix Pie (Orioles), Brad Snyder (Cubs), Brett Tomko (Rangers), Wyatt Toregas (Pirates), P.J. Walters (Blue Jays), Randy Williams (Red Sox), and Reggie Willits (Angels).
On this date last year, Armando Galarraga came within one out of a perfect game before a blown call prevented him from making history. Here are Thursday’s links, including reaction to the Galarraga game:
- Anthony Castrovince of MLB.com and Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports weighed in on the anniversary of Galarraga’s near-miss.
- The Rangers' asking price of the Diamondbacks for Michael Young in Spring Training was lefty prospect Tyler Skaggs, tweets Nick Piecoro of The Arizona Republic. At the time, Skaggs was regarded as roughly the 80th best prospect in baseball.
- Joe Starkey of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review suggests it'd be a good idea for the Pirates to offer Paul Maholm $25MM or so on a three-year extension. Maholm is having a nice year (3.18 ERA, 70 2/3 IP, 6.1 K/9, 3.2 BB/9) but $25MM sounds excessive to me.
- Listen in as MLBTR’s Tim Dierkes joins Midwest Sports Fans on their MLB Trivia Challenge Podcast.
- Alex Speier of WEEI.com explores the options for the Red Sox, who will lose Daisuke Matsuzaka to Tommy John ligament replacement surgery.
- The Royals announced that top prospect John Lamb will undergo Tommy John surgery tomorrow. Baseball America ranked the lefty 18th among all MLB prospects before the season.
Links for Sunday, after John Danks was unable to get his first win of 2011 this afternoon....
- It seems likely that the Pirates will place Ryan Doumit on the disabled list after he injured his ankle today, and Rob Biertempfel of The Pittsburgh-Tribune Review says (on Twitter) that Dusty Brown would get called up to replace him since Jason Jaramillo is also hurt. Pittsburgh's 40-man roster is full, so a move will have to be made to accommodate Brown.
- Andy McCullough of The Star-Ledger reports (on Twitter) that Mets shortstop Jose Reyes was again asked about his contract following today's game. "I've told you like a million times already," said Reyes, an impending free agent. "If [an extension] comes, it comes. If not, I'm going to continue to play."
- Larry Stone of The Seattle Times spoke to Mariners GM Jack Zduriencik about the upcoming draft, who indicated that he will not draft based on team need and that they have a group of about five players they're specifically targeting for the second overall pick.
- Bob Cohn of The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review wrote about the importance that decision-making plays into the success of small market teams.
- Armando Galarraga wasn't pleased about his demotion to Triple-A, writes Chris Gabel of the Reno Gazette-Journal. The right-hander was blunt about why he stayed in the Diamondbacks' organization and accepted his minor league assignment: "The money. They have to pay me $2.3MM to come here."
- The trade pulled off by the Yankees, Tigers, and Diamondbacks in 2009 was the rare three-way deal that worked out for each team, says Joel Sherman of the New York Post.
- Asked whether the Indians could pursue Jim Thome this summer, Paul Hoynes of the Cleveland Plain Dealer points out that if the Twins make him available, it likely won't be until after he hits his 600th home run. Hoynes doubts that the veteran slugger is a fit for the Tribe anyway.
- While the Red Sox committed over $300MM to Carl Crawford and Adrian Gonzalez this year, their smaller investments are also paying dividends, writes Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe.
- P.J. Walters was removed from the Cardinals' 40-man roster and cleared waivers earlier this weekend, according to Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.
SATURDAY: Galarraga has cleared waivers and accepted his assignment to Triple-A, reports Marcos Grunfeld of BeisbolVenezolano.net (link in Spanish). MLBTR's Nick Collias provided the translation.
"Armando accepted the assignment and in a couple of days he'll be traveling [to Triple-A]," said Galarraga's agent to Grunfeld via telephone. "We don't know if the Diamondbacks have received any offers for him, [because] they didn't tell us anything about that."
TUESDAY: The D'Backs designated Armando Galarraga for assignment, according to Jack Magruder of FOXSportsArizona.com (Twitter links). Arizona intends to activate Willie Bloomquist Wednesday and needed a roster spot.
"We felt it was time to make a change," GM Kevin Towers said. The D'Backs now have ten days to trade Galarraga, release him or, if he clears waivers, assign him to the minor leagues.
The 29-year-old posted a 5.91 ERA with 5.9 K/9, 4.6 BB/9 and a league-high 13 homers allowed in 42 2/3 innings this year. Earlier today, manager Kirk Gibson hinted that the former Tigers starter could be removed from the rotation. On Monday, Galarraga responded with hostility to a question about losing his rotation spot.
Rotation battles are being decided left and right. Here's the latest.
- Scott Baker will serve as the Twins' fifth starter and Kevin Slowey will work out of the bullpen, tweets Kelsie Smith of the St. Paul Pioneer Press. Slowey was highlighted by MLBTR's Ben Nicholson-Smith as a potentially available starter, and the Twins appear willing to listen. With Kyle Gibson on the horizon, can the Twins spare the depth?
- Barry Enright made the Diamondbacks' rotation, reports MLB.com's Steve Gilbert. Assuming Joe Saunders makes the cut, that leaves Armando Galarraga and Aaron Heilman duking it out for the right to fill in for Zach Duke. If Heilman sneaks into the rotation, the D'Backs have to decide by March 28th whether they want to pay Galarraga $2.3MM as their long man. If they cut him by then they'd only owe him about $569K.
- Bartolo Colon went six strong innings for the Yankees last night, and Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports figures this means he'll make the team somehow. Colon and Freddy Garcia have opt-out dates of March 31st and March 29th, respectively. Ivan Nova probably has the fourth starter job, leaving Colon, Garcia, and Sergio Mitre for two spots.
- The Cubs are meeting today and could decide on their fifth starter, reports Gordon Wittenmyer of the Chicago Sun-Times. If Andrew Cashner gets the nod, I can see the Cubs trying to dump Carlos Silva.
A handful of teams showed interest in Armando Galarraga before the Tigers sent him to Arizona, Detroit GM Dave Dombrowski said today. Some interested clubs couldn’t afford Galarraga’s $2.3MM salary and one potential suitor signed a player this week, so the D’Backs acquired the right-hander after an “aggressive” pursuit.
Dombrowski didn't disclose which teams pursued the 29-year-old Venezuelan, but the Pirates appeared to have some interest. It's not clear whether the Nationals, Indians and Orioles were among Galarraga's suitors, but those clubs have potential interest in trading for starting pitching.
In exchange for Galarraga, the Tigers get Kevin Eichhorn and Ryan Robowski, two minor league pitching prospects. Dombrowski says he likes Eichhorn’s ability and Robowski’s fastball and breaking ball. But the Tigers are realistic; they know they didn’t get blue-chip prospects in the deal.
"We look at both guys as sort of fringe-type prospects," Dombrowski said on this afternoon's conference call, before noting that both pitchers could eventually contribute at the major league level.
The Tigers don’t anticipate any more moves before Spring Training, Dombrowski said.
The D'Backs acquired Armando Galarraga from the Tigers for Kevin Eichhorn and Ryan Robowski, the teams announced. The D'Backs appear to be assuming responsibility for Galarraga's $2.3MM salary, though they can avoid paying the entire amount by releasing the right-hander.
Galarraga, 29, posted a 4.49 ERA with 4.6 K/9 and 3.2 BB/9 in 144 1/3 innings for the Tigers last year. He made headlines in June, when he came within one out of a perfect game, lost his chance at history on a blown call and handled umpire Jim Joyce's mistake with grace.
Eichhorn, a 2008 third round selection, has a 4.80 ERA with 9.3 K/9 and 2.4 BB/9 in 105 minor league innings. When Baseball America ranked him 18th among D'Backs prospects before the 2010 season, they praised his three-pitch mix and athleticism. Eichhorn's father, Mark, played 11 seasons in the big leagues.
Robowski, who turns 23 next week, has a 4.82 ERA with 7.9 K/9 and 2.4 BB/9 in 84 innings over the course of two pro seasons. The D'Backs chose the left-handed reliever in the 16th round of the 2009 draft.
D’Backs GM Kevin Towers says Galarraga will compete for a spot in his team’s rotation. Converted reliever Aaron Heilman is a candidate to start, along with Joe Saunders, Ian Kennedy, Daniel Hudson, Zach Duke and Barry Enright.
As I pointed out this morning, the Tigers and D'Backs have exchanged a number of pitchers in the past year or so. Tigers pitchers Max Scherzer and Daniel Schlereth arrived in Detroit 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.