Author Archives: Edward Creech

MLBTR Originals

A look back at the original reporting and analysis found on MLBTR this past week:

    • Agent Eric Izen of the Legacy Agency told MLBTR a showcase would be held in Florida for a pair of his Cuban clients: first baseman Jozzen Cuesta and left-hander Misael Siverio.
    • MLBTR was the first to learn Siverio held a workout in June with the Yankees, Cubs, and Astros among those in attendance.
    • Steve Adams hosted the MLBTR live chat this week.
    • Zach Links put together the best of the baseball blogosphere in Baseball Blogs Weigh In.

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MLBTR Originals

A look back at the original reporting and analysis found on MLBTR the last seven days:

  • Charlie Wilmoth opines a pre-free agency contract extension might represent the best chance for Kole Calhoun to land a big payday, due to his age. Charlie envisions a five-year deal, plus a team option, guaranteeing slightly more than $21MM ($27-30MM, if Calhoun qualifies for Super Two status) as working for both sides.
  • Jeff Todd asked MLBTR readers to pick the winner of the Rusney Castillo sweepstakes. Just 19.5% of you correctly predicted the Red Sox landing the Cuban outfielder/infielder.
  • Zach Links was the first to report right-hander Wirfin Obispo was outrighted by the Pirates to Triple-A Indianapolis.
  • Zach also broke the news left-hander Clay Rapada will take some time to let his injured ankle heal before pursuing his next contract.
  • This past week marked the anniversary of two recent transactions by the Cubs, so Jeff revisited the 2013 trade of David DeJesus to the Nationals and Starlin Castro‘s seven-year, $60MM extension in 2012.
  • Steve Adams hosted this week’s chat.
  • Zach compiled the latest edition of Baseball Blogs Weigh In.

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MLBTR Originals

A look back at the original reporting and analysis found on MLBTR this past week:

  • Charlie Wilmoth is bullish on the prospects of Russell Martin in the latest Free Agent Stock Watch. Charlie sees a three-year deal worth $12-13MM per season or a four-year contract worth slightly less per annum as the market for the Pirates catcher.
  • Jeff Todd tabbed Indians right-hander Corey Kluber as an extension candidate presuming the club’s main motivation for negotiating an extension would be achieving cost control rather than extending team control.
  • Steve Adams asked MLBTR readers whether Rob Manfred was the right choice to become baseball’s 10th commissioner. Just over 46% of you agree with the owners’ selection to replace the retiring Bud Selig, but more than 29% of you didn’t like any of the three finalists.
  • Steve hosted this week’s live chat.
  • Zach Links assembled the best of the baseball blogosphere for you in Baseball Blogs Weigh In.

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Minor Moves: Pena, Palmer, Whelan, Adamson, Buckner, Cunningham

Here are Sunday’s minor moves from around MLB, updates first:

  • The Rangers have released veteran first baseman Carlos Pena from their Triple-A roster, per the PCL transactions page. Pena struggled at the major league level for Texas with a .136/.190/.237 line in 63 plate appearances. He performed better during his month at Triple-A with a .297/.350/.500 line in 80 plate appearances. No word on why the club cut ties with Pena.
  • The Mariners have released right-handed pitcher Matt Palmer from the Triple-A Rainiers, according to the PCL transactions page. The 35-year-old pitched to a 5.42 ERA for the Rainiers over 73 innings. He last appeared in the majors with the Padres in 2012. Angels fans may remember him from his 2009 season, when he won 11 games and posted a 3.93 ERA over 121 innings.
  • Resolving an earlier bit of news, the Tigers have outrighted the contract of right-handed pitcher Kevin Whelan to Triple-A. The 30-year-old appeared once for the big league club and allowed two runs over one and one-third innings. Prior to his call up, he served as the closer for the Mud Hens, where he posted a 2.45 ERA, 10.93 K/9, and 4.02 BB/9. Presumably, he will return to that role. The team announced the move on Twitter.
  • Padres minor league outfielder Corey Adamson has retired to pursue a career in Australian rules football, reports Jeff Sanders of U-T San Diego. The 22-year-old, six-year pro was hitting .257/.340/.399 in 348 plate appearances at the High-A level.
  • The Brewers have signed right-hander Billy Buckner to a minor league contract, tweets Chris Cotillo of MLBDailyDish.com. The 30-year-old was released two weeks ago by the Padres. Buckner made one spot start for San Diego this season allowing three runs on six hits in 5 2/3 innings and, in 15 appearances (14 starts) for Triple-A El Paso, has posted a 5.80 ERA, 6.2 K/9, and 4.7 BB/9 in 63 2/3 innings.
  • Cotillo also tweets the Diamondbacks have released outfielder Aaron Cunningham from their Triple-A affiliate. The 27-year-old, who signed a minor league deal with Arizona in March, slashed .255/.342/.346 in 281 plate appearances for Reno. Cunningham hasn’t appeared in a MLB game since 2012 when he hit .175/.245/.247 for the Indians in 109 plate appearances.
  • Per MLBTR’s DFA Tracker, there are four players in DFA limbo: Corey Brown (Red Sox), Charlie Leesman (White Sox), Matt Hague (Pirates), and Wirfin Obispo (Pirates).

Brad Johnson contributed to this post.


Brewers Notes: Braun, Ramirez, Segura, Parra

Fresh off wins over Clayton Kershaw and Zack Greinke, the Brewers, who have occupied first place for a club-record 135 days, will look to sweep the NL West-leading Dodgers for just the second time in franchise history. Here’s the latest news and notes out of Milwaukee, courtesy of Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel:

  • The front office is very worried about the chronic nerve injury to Ryan Braun‘s right thumb, which has sapped his power and threatens to make the five-year, $105MM extension signed in 2011 an albatross. “I don’t think the financial part of it matters because he’s going to get it whether he has a good thumb or a bad thumb,” Assistant GM Gord Ash told Haudricourt. “It’s guaranteed money. From a comfort and playing point of view, you want to find a solution. The money is the money. You can’t change it now. So, what you’re trying to do is put him in the best physical condition you can to succeed.
  • The Brewers and Aramis Ramirez hold a $14MM mutual option (with a $4MM buyout, if the team declines its half) for 2015. Haudricourt envisions a scenario where Ramirez and his agent, Paul Kinzer, could leverage a weak crop of free agent third basemen and seek a second year or, at the very least, a vesting option in return for exercising the player’s half of the mutual option. If a deal cannot be worked out and Ramirez does decline his option, Haudricourt notes he could receive a qualifying offer dampening the market for the 36-year-old, but also leaving the Brewers on the hook for approximately $15MM.
  • The Brewers tabled extension talks with shortstop Jean Segura in March over an inability to gauge the 24-year-old’s worth in light of Andrelton Simmons‘ seven-year, $58MM deal. Segura has struggled offensively this year (.234/.268/.318), which Haudricourt attributes to a combination of pressing to show he is deserving of such a rich contract, bad luck (.261 BABIP compared to .325 in 2013), and the tragic death of his infant son. Haudricourt opines the best course of action for both sides is to let Segura establish his future value in 2015, since he isn’t eligible for salary arbitration until after that season.
  • In a recent online chat, Haudricourt sees the Brewers tendering a contract to Gerardo Parra, who is eligible for arbitration for the final time this offseason. The 27-year-old outfielder, acquired by the Brewers at the Trade Deadline, is earning $4.85MM this season.

MLBTR Originals

A look back at the original reporting and analysis found on MLBTR the last seven days:

  • Steve Adams issued a Free Agent Stockwatch on Brewers third baseman Aramis Ramirez.
  • Zach Links was the first to report outfielder Xavier Paul signed a minor league contract with the Diamondbacks.
  • Two days prior to Roberto Hernandez being shipped to the Dodgers, Jeff Todd asked MLBTR readers whether the Phillies will make an August waiver deal. Less than 4% of you correctly predicted the Hernandez swap while nearly 23% of you see GM Ruben Amaro Jr. parting with Marlon Byrd, who, it was reported Friday, was pulled back from revocable waivers after being claimed by an as-yet-unidentified team.
  • Brad Johnson asked MLBTR readers whether new Padres GM A.J. Preller will swing a trade this month. More than 69% of you believe he will and it will most likely involve Joaquin Benoit and/or Ian Kennedy.
  • Zach gathered the best the baseball corner of the web had to offer in Baseball Blogs Weigh In

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Central Notes: Johnson, Bullpen Issues, Suzuki

The closest pennant races are in MLB’s two Central divisions. Here’s the latest from both the NL and AL Central:

  • The Brewers sense they were the runner-up for the services of right-hander Jim Johnson, who signed a minor league deal with the Tigers on Tuesday, tweets MLB.com’s Adam McCalvy.
  • Despite the lack of offense from their first base platoon of Mark Reynolds and Lyle Overbay, the Brewers were wise not to re-sign first baseman Corey Hart this past winter, opines Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. Hart, who missed six weeks with a strained left hamstring earlier this season and is on the disabled list for second time with a bruised right knee, has posted a meager slash of .203/.278/.314 with five home runs in 230 plate appearances.
  • Also within Haudricourt’s article, he details the injury and performance issues which have hobbled the Brewers‘ bullpen. Haudricourt notes the Brewers could still acquire a reliever this month, but there is no guarantee they will have a chance to claim one based on their waiver position.
  • The Cardinals could also be facing an issue with their bullpen, according to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch’s Derrick GooldIn two of the past three years, Goold notes, the Cardinals have reached the World Series in the same season they had to change closers in the final month with fatigue being a contributing factor both times and it could happen again considering the recent usage of Trevor Rosenthal. Manager Mike Matheny acknowledges he has “ridden him hard,” but pointed to Rosenthal’s save success when asked about overuse. Goold reports Scott Boras, Rosenthal’s agent, has spoken to the club and his client about the workload.
  • Twins catcher Kurt Suzuki did not request a no-trade clause when he negotiated his recent contract extension, writes Mike Berardino of the St. Paul Pioneer PressWe didn’t think it was necessary,” Suzuki told Berardino.

Pirates Claim Tommy Field Off Waivers

The Pirates have announced they have claimed infielder Tommy Field off waivers from the Angels. Field, who was designated for assignment Thursday, has been optioned to Triple-A Indianapolis.

The 27-year-old has spent the entire season at Triple-A Salt Lake slashing .285/.351/.440 in 382 plate appearances. Defensively, he is primarily a shortstop, but has also seen time at second and third base for the Bees. Field did appear in 15 games with the Angels in 2013 posting a line of .154/.185/.154 over 27 plate appearances – his most extensive action since making his MLB debut with the Rockies in 2011 (.271/.314/.271 in 51 plate appearances).

The Pirates’ 40-man roster is now full.


MLBTR Originals

A look back at the original reporting and analysis found on MLBTR this past week, as another non-waiver Trade Deadline has come and gone:

  • Jeff Todd and Mark Polishuk recapped the cornucopia of deals completed on the final day of the deadline and summarized every trade made during the month of July by division (AL East, NL East, AL CentralNL CentralAL West, and NL West).
  • Jeff asked MLBTR readers which team made the best buy Thursday. Over 45% of you believe the Tigers’ acquisition of David Price was the shrewdest move.
  • How is a trade transacted after July 31st? Jeff provided this primer on the rules for August swaps.
  • Tim Dierkes was the first to report Andres Torres exercised the opt-out clause in his minor league deal with the Red Sox.
  • Steve Adams hosted the MLBTR live chat this week.
  • Zach Links put together the best of the baseball blogosphere in Baseball Blogs Weigh In.

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Minor Moves: Gwynn, Abreu, Noonan, Joseph, Tekotte

Here are Sunday’s minor moves from around MLB:

  • The Rays have released Erik Bedard and Juan Carlos Oviedo, according to MiLB.com. The Rays had designated both pitchers for assignment earlier in the week.
  • The Phillies have announced that they’ve re-signed OF Tony Gwynn Jr. to a minor league deal. He will report to Triple-A Lehigh Valley. Gwynn hit .163/.281/.204 in 119 plate appearances for the Phillies this season. They released him last week.
  • Instead of electing free agency, infielder Tony Abreu has accepted his outright assignment to Triple-A by Giants, tweets Chris Cotillo of MLBDailyDish.com. Abreu was designated for assignment Tuesday after appearing in only four games. The 29-year-old owns a .280/.329/.428 slash line in 259 plate appearances this season for Triple-A Fresno.
  • The Giants announced infielder Nick Noonan has cleared waivers and will be outrighted to Triple-A Fresno. The 25-year-old was designated for assignment July 25. Noonan, the 32nd overall selection in the 2007 draft, made his MLB debut last season slashing .219/.261/.238 in 111 plate appearances, but has struggled this year with a .239/.281/.302 line in 340 plate appearances between Triple-A Fresno and Class-A Advanced San Jose. 
  • The Marlins tweeted left-hander Donnie Joseph has been outrighted to Triple-A New Orleans. The 26-year-old was designated for assignment Thursday after the Marlins acquired Jarred Cosart from the Astros. Joseph was picked up from the Royals for cash considerations June 30 and has spent his entire time in the Marlin organization at Triple-A posting an 11.05 ERA, 6.1 K/9, and 9.8 BB/9 in six relief outings covering 7 1/3 innings.
  • The Diamondbacks have acquired outfielder Blake Tekotte from the White Sox for cash, per the MLB.com transactions page. Tekotte, who made 36 plate appearances for the White Sox in 2013 good for a slash of .226/.306/.355, will report to Triple-A Reno. The 27-year-old posted a .251/.324/.438 line in 318 plate appearances for the White Sox’s Triple-A affiliate.
  • The Padres have released right-hander Billy Buckner from their Triple-A affiliate, according to the Pacific Coast League’s transactions page. The 30-year-old made one spot start for the Padres on May 24 allowing three runs on six hits in 5 2/3 innings. In 15 appearances (14 starts) for Triple-A El Paso, Buckner has posted a 5.80 ERA, 6.2 K/9, and 4.7 BB/9 in 63 2/3 innings.
  • Also from the PCL transactions page, the Angels have released catcher Luis Martinez from their Triple-A affiliate. The 29-year-old, whose last MLB action was with the Rangers in 2012, hit .262/.329/.403 in 212 plate appearances for Salt Lake this season.
  • Martinez didn’t stay unemployed very long as he was signed by the A’s and assigned to Triple-A Sacramento. The roster causality is catcher Luis Exposito, despite producing at a .303/.410/.394 clip since Oakland signed him June 26 after being released by the Tigers.
  • Ten players find themselves in DFA limbo, as tracked by MLBTR’s DFA Tracker: Dan Uggla and Tyler Colvin (Giants), Jeff Francis and Brian Roberts (Yankees), Josh Wall and Dean Anna (Pirates), Ryan Feierabend (Rangers), David Carpenter (Angels), Nick Christiani (Reds), and Pedro Hernandez (Rockies).

Charlie Wilmoth contributed to this post.