Author Archives: Edward Creech

MLBTR Originals

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

  • MLB Trade Rumors Podcast featured host Jeff Todd recapping the week’s news before turning to a discussion of the Cardinals with Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. A new edition of MLB Trade Rumors Podcast drops every Thursday and can be accessed on iTunes, SoundCloud, and Stitcher.
  • Rick Porcello told Zach Links, during a conference call announcing his four-year, $82.5MM extension with the Red Sox, he does not have any qualms about bypassing free agency to remain in Boston. “I mean obviously I knew the opportunity that was ahead of me in entering free agency, but when I first got to camp and I saw the way the team was run from the ownership to Ben [Cherington] to the coaching staff and the players that were there, I saw that it was run very well from top to bottom,” Porcello said. “The devotion to win was here and it was something that I wanted to be a part of. It wasn’t a very difficult decision for me.
  • With the 2015 season now underway, Jeff updated the future payroll obligations for all 30 MLB franchises.
  • There were three installments of MLBTR’s Offseason In Review series this week: Mariners (by Steve Adams), Diamondbacks (by Mark Polishuk), and Nationals (by Jeff).
  • Charlie Wilmoth identified several impending free agents who could be traded, thus rendering the draft pick ramifications of being tendered a qualifying offer moot.
  • Jeff asked MLBTR readers which team had the best offseason. Nearly 45% of you saluted the work of Padres GM A.J. Preller.
  • Preller’s work may not be done as the Padres are looking to upgrade at shortstop, so Jeff examined possible targets.
  • Steve hosted the MLBTR live chat this week.
  • Zach put together the best of the baseball blogosphere in Baseball Blogs Weigh In.

Full Story | Comments | Categories: MLBTR Originals

Pitcher Notes: Axford, Minor, Marmol, Hernandez

Yesterday, for the first time in nearly 15 years, five pitchers threw at least seven innings and allowed two hits or fewer, notes MASNsports.com’s Roch Kubatko. Philadelphia’s Cole Hamels, Milwaukee’s Jimmy Nelson, Baltimore’s Ubaldo Jimenez, Boston’s Joe Kelly, and Tampa Bay’s Chris Archer turned the trick. Bartolo Colon was one of the quintet from 2000 (then with the Indians) and was the Mets’ starting pitcher today and drove in a run for the first time since 2005. Time marches slowly in our national pastime.

In other hurler news from around baseball:

  • The Rockies have placed reliever John Axford on the family medical emergency list to tend to his two-year-old son, reports Nick Groke of The Denver Post. Doctors have had to remove all the tissue and skin at the spot of a rattlesnake bite Jameson Axford suffered last month (the incident is detailed by Groke), down to the tendon and bone. To replace Axford on the roster, the Rockies selected the contract of right-hander Scott Oberg and created a spot on the 40-man roster for the 25-year-old rookie, who will make his MLB debut, by moving infielder Charlie Culberson to the 60-day disabled list.
  • The BravesMike Minor has suffered a setback while rehabbing his left shoulder, but surgery is not under consideration for now, reports MLB.com’s Mark Bowman. “He’s experienced some discomfort as he’s started to stretch himself out,” Braves Director of Baseball Operations John Hart said. “So, we’ve brought him up here to have…our medical people take a look at what is going on. We don’t have any recommendation yet. At the moment, he’ll return to Florida to continue the rehab. But there’s obviously some level of concern because the discomfort came back.
  • Former closer Carlos Marmol held a showcase in the Dominican Republic today and displayed velocity in the mid-90s with a new arm slot, tweets MLB.com’s Jesse Sanchez. Marmol was released by the Reds last November, but has been pitching in the Dominican and Venezuela this winter. Over a nine-year MLB career with the Cubs, Dodgers, and Marlins, Marmol has a 3.57 ERA, 11.6 K/9, and 6.2 BB/9 mark in 577 innings with 117 saves.
  • Cuban right-hander Jorge Hernandez auditioned for 20 teams in the Dominican Republic and struck out 11 of the 18 hitters he faced, according to Sanchez in a separate tweet. The Twins did not have a presence at either the Marmol or Hernandez showcase, tweets Darren Wolfson of 1500ESPN.

Yankees Sign Kyle Davies; Designate Matt Tracy

The Yankees announced they have signed right-hander Kyle Davies to a Major League contract. To clear room on the 25-man and 40-man rosters, the Yankees designated left-hander Matt Tracy for assignment.

The Yankees had signed Davies to a Minor League deal in February after the 31-year-old had spent the past two years in the Twins and Indians organizations. Davies last appeared in a MLB game in 2011 with the Royals and has a line of 5.59 ERA, 6.4 K/9, and 4.3 BB/9 across seven seasons with the Braves and Royals.

Tracy’s designation comes just one day after he was promoted to the big league club. The 26-year-old made his MLB debut yesterday in the Yankees’ 8-4 loss to the Red Sox tossing two innings allowing three unearned runs on two hits and a pair of walks. Tracy posted a 3.76 ERA with 5.3 K/9 and 3.3 BB/9 in 150 2/3 innings between Double-A and Triple-A in 2014.

 



AL Notes: DeJesus, Rays, Medlen

The Astros christened the Astrodome 50 years ago today with the first regular season game played in the Eighth Wonder of the World, remembers Bob Hulsey of The Astros Daily. Twenty-two NASA astronauts threw out the ceremonial first pitch, but Philadelphia shutout Houston 2-0 behind Dick Allen‘s home run, the first regular season long ball hit in the Astrodome, and Chris Short‘s four-hitter.

In American League news and notes from today:

  • The Rays have been trying to trade outfielder David DeJesus because of his salary and a lack of a clear-cut role on the team, but John Jaso‘s wrist injury changes that for now, tweets the Tampa Bay Times’ Marc Topkin. DeJesus blasted a three-run home run for the Rays this afternoon and is hitting .545 (6-for-11) with a 1.454 OPS on the young season.
  • Rays President of Baseball Operations Matt Silverman sees an upside to the club having a MLB-leading nine players on the disabled list, writes Topkin. “We knew we would be calling upon our depth, and that call has come sooner than we expected,” said Silverman. “The bright side of this is that we’re going to get a chance to see some of these (replacement) players and get a better look at them, and we’ll be even better off when our players return from injuries.” Topkin notes the Rays have nearly one-third of their payroll (nearly $25MM) on the DL and six of the organization’s top ten starting pitchers.
  • Royals right-hander Kris Medlen threw curveballs off the mound this week for the first time since undergoing his second Tommy John surgery and plans to return to Phoenix for rehab outings in May, tweets Andy McCullough of The Kansas City Star.

Cubs Release Ryan Sweeney

TUESDAY: Chicago has announced that Sweeney has been released, as MLB.com’s Carrie Muskat tweets.

SUNDAY: The Cubs have announced they have designated outfielder Ryan Sweeney for assignment. The Cubs also purchased the contract of infielder Jonathan Herrera; but, with the Sweeney DFA, their 40-man roster still has one opening.

The 30-year-old had a .251/.304/.338 slash last year in 226 plate appearances for Chicago. He had shown more promise in the 212 turns at bat he had the prior season, his first with the Cubs, when he slashed .266/.324/.448.


Blue Jays Release Juan Oramas

TUESDAY: Toronto has released Oramas, Ben Nicholson-Smith of Sportsnet.ca tweets. The club says it did so to allow him to pitch in Mexico, Brendan Kennedy of the Toronto Star tweets.

SUNDAY: The Blue Jays have announced they have designated left-hander Juan Oramas. Toronto also placed Marcus Stroman on the 60-day disabled list, which creates the needed roster spots for second baseman Devon Travis and right-handers Miguel Castro and Roberto Osuna.

Oramas only got 1 1/3 spring innings to show his stuff to the Jays after being claimed over the winter. The 24-year-old owns a 4.32 ERA over 204 career Triple-A innings, averaging 8.2 K/9 against 4.0 BB/9. He has yet to crack the big leagues.


Added To The 40-Man Roster: Sunday

The rosters for Opening Day have been officially submitted this afternoon. Several minor league signees have won jobs with their clubs and earned 40-man roster spots. Here are today’s additions:

  • The Orioles will purchase catcher Ryan Lavarnway‘s contract on Monday, Roch Kubatko of MASNsports.com tweets. The 25-man roster that the Orioles announced today included Caleb Joseph and Steve Clevenger at catcher, but not Lavarnway, who they had reassigned to the minors.
  • The Padres have announced that they’ve purchased the contract of catcher Wil Nieves. With Tim Federowicz out with a knee injury, Nieves will back up Derek Norris. As we noted when Nieves signed, his big-league salary will be $850K.
  • Ryan Madson has made the Royals‘ Opening Day roster, tweets MLB.com’s Jeffrey Flanagan. Madson caps his comeback from multiple elbow injuries and his first appearance for Kansas City will be his first in the Majors since 2011.
  • The Nationals have announced on Twitter that second baseman Dan Uggla and outfielder Reed Johnson have made their Opening Day roster.
  • The Braves announced they have officially purchased the contracts of outfielders Eric Young, Jr. and Kelly Johnson, left-hander Eric Stults, and right-hander Cody Martin. The Braves cleared space on their 40-man roster by placing right-hander Arodys Vizcaino and outfielder Dian Toscano on the restricted list.
  • One name missing from the Braves‘ roster is Pedro Ciriaco, who was reported yesterday to have made the club. This is likely a procedural move, according to MLB.com’s Mark Bowman (Twitter links), because the Braves placed Josh Outman on the 25-man roster instead of releasing him after the left-hander complained of shoulder tenderness. The move will also buy the Braves some time to look for an upgrade over Ciriaco, tweets Bowman.
  • The Phillies have announced outfielder Jeff Francoeur and infielder Andres Blanco have made the team. Francoeur is just one of four outfielders on Philadelphia’s Opening Day roster, so he could see time as Grady Sizemore‘s platoon partner in right field. The Phillies are now at their 40-man limit.
  • The Marlins have selected the contract of utility player Don Kelly, tweets MLB.com’s Joe Frisaro. Kelly earned his spot with solid Spring Training line of .270/.357/.324 in 42 plate appearances. Frisaro reports the 35-year-old will backup both the corner infield and outfield spots, as well as serving as the team’s emergency third catcher.

MLBTR Originals

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

  • MLB Trade Rumors Podcast featured host Jeff Todd and MLBTR’s Steve Adams looking back at the notable Hot Stove moves and looking forward to what the 2015 season may hold. A new edition of MLB Trade Rumors Podcast drops every Thursday and can be accessed on iTunesSoundCloud, and Stitcher.
  • Evan Gattis spoke with Zach Links about his trade from the Braves to the Astros. “I wasn’t really actually bummed about the trade. I was just more surprised than anything. I just didn’t think it would happen. I’m always the type to focus on my own business and I just worry about what I need to do to play.
  • The 2014-15 Offseason In Review series continued with a rundown of the Brewers (by Charlie Wilmoth), Blue Jays (by Mark Polishuk), and Marlins (by Jeff).
  • Steve was the first to report right-hander Juan Gutierrez decided not to opt out of his minor league deal with Giants and will remain in the organization.
  • MLBTR was the first to learn left-hander Scott Downs, recently released by the Indians, is only interested in MLB offers.
  • MLBTR also learned right-hander Freddy Garcia has joined the Praver/Shapiro agency.
  • Jeff asked MLBTR readers which extension given to a pre-arbitration outfielder was best. Nearly 42% of you believe the Marlins’ seven year, $49.57MM deal with Christian Yelich will provide the most value.
  • Steve hosted this week’s chat.
  • Zach compiled the latest edition of Baseball Blogs Weigh In.

Full Story | Comments | Categories: MLBTR Originals

AL East Notes: Orioles, Swihart, Rays, Yankees

After covering five postseason games in St. Petersburg, Florida and two exhibition games at Olympic Stadium in Montreal, Jon Paul Morosi of FOXSports.com is convinced there is a greater passion for the game in Montreal than in Tampa Bay. The Rays aren’t heading north of the border anytime soon; but, in Morosi’s view, this weekend’s big turnout in the Expos’ former home showed that Montrealers feel a greater connection to the team they lost than Tampa Bay fans do for the team they still have.

Here’s more from the AL East:

  • The Orioles are still trying to make a trade to give them some flexibility, writes Britt Ghiroli of MLB.com. Executive Vice President of Baseball Operations Dan Duquette confirmed to reporters, including MASNsports.com’s Roch Kubatko (via Twitter), submitting the Opening Day roster does not prevent him from making moves. “Once you submit your roster it’s like the regular season,” said Duquette. “You can make moves anytime after you get your roster submitted.” Baltimore will need to make a roster move after its first contest, as Chris Davis will have completed his 25-game suspension for Adderall use.
  • The Red Sox didn’t trade Lars Anderson or Ryan Lavarnway at the peak of their value and they have rebuffed whatever advances the Phillies have made toward Blake Swihart in a Cole Hamels deal. Despite outside pressure from some fans, GM Ben Cherington has always erred on the side of patience, according to Brian MacPherson of the Providence Journal. “The reason that you fight back against trading a young player you believe in,” Cherington said, “is that, when it does happen, when it works the way you hope it works and the way you think it might work at the major-league level, it’s really impactful. If we think a guy has a good shot to be successful in Boston, we are going to have a presumption to try to keep them.”
  • The Rays appeared to be in learn-now, win-later mode early in the offseason, but they also made several present-day improvements to put themselves in position to win in 2014, opines Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times. The Rays now believe they have put together a team that is deeper offensively, more athletic, and improved defensively. The pitching situation also appeared to be improved, though the Rays currently have three starters on the shelf.
  • The New York Post’s Joel Sherman posits the Yankees coud miss the playoffs for the third consecutive season and finish with a losing record for the first time since 1992, but their long-term future looks more encouraging that it has in a decade.

Giants Designate Ehire Adrianza For Assignment

The Giants announced they have designated infielder Ehire Adrianza for assignment. The move was necessitated because Adrianza is out of options.

The Giants now have 10 days to either trade, release, or outright Adrianza to the minors.