Ben Broussard Rumors
Manny Ramirez, who is now playing in the Dominican Winter League postseason, wants to continue his MLB career, agent Barry Praver told Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports (Twitter link). Ramirez last appeared in an MLB game in 2011, but the A's did sign him last February. Here are some more links from around MLB...
- Seattle’s offer for Justin Upton tells you they’ll be major bidders once the Marlins start listening to offers for Giancarlo Stanton, ESPN.com’s Buster Olney writes (on Twitter). The Mariners were prepared to send Taijuan Walker, Nick Franklin, Charlie Furbush and Stephen Pryor to Arizona to obtain Upton.
- Shi Davidi of Sportsnet.ca explains that the signing of Henry Blanco could save the Blue Jays some money behind the plate and enable them to spend on a late-inning reliever in free agency.
- With the return of Darren Oliver, Gregor Chisholm of MLB.com (Twitter links) now sees six Blue Jays relievers competing for three spots. Among those six are Esmil Rogers and Jeremy Jeffress, who are both out of options.
- Former MLB first baseman/outfielder Ben Broussard worked out for five teams in Austin, Texas today, according to Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports (on Twitter). The 36-year-old, who played winter ball in Mexico, took grounders at first base and fly balls in left field during his audition (Twitter link). Broussard last appeared in the majors with the Rangers in 2008.
Zach Links contributed to this post.
According to the Chicago Tribune, the White Sox signed first baseman Ben Broussard to a minor league deal.
Broussard signed for $3.85MM with the Rangers in January of '08, but was designated for assignment on May 8th. After that he played mostly at Triple A for the Cubs and Yankees. Can you believe that a year later Bobby Abreu could end up with a similar contract?
A reader writes in with news of a minor transaction heard on ESPN 1000 radio. Reportedly, the Cubs have signed first baseman Ben Broussard to a minor league deal.
Broussard did play ten games in left last year, so it's conceivable the Cubs could try him out there down the road before Alfonso Soriano returns.
Time to round 'em up.
- The A's are leading the charge for international free agent pitcher Michael Inoa; they could offer him $4MM. All teams have scouted him.
- MLB.com's Jim Molony names the Astros, Yankees, Cardinals, Angels, Mets, and Pirates as teams considering Cuban defector Dayan Viciedo (assuming he becomes a free agent).
- The Orioles would like to sign Ben Broussard, if he'll accept a minor league assignment. Broussard if mulling his options and should sign within 24 hours. He could step in if the Orioles trade Kevin Millar.
- Jeff Weaver has been released by the Brewers. Weaver's lost it; he has a 6.22 ERA in nine Triple A starts.
- The Twins have asked Juan Rincon to accept a minor league assignment. If he refuses, the Twins will be on the hook for his salary and he'll become a free agent. Rincon's last decent year was 2006.
- No team was willing to keep lefty reliever Erick Threets in the Majors. He cleared waivers and will head to Triple A as a member of the Giants organization.
- Andy Pettitte wouldn't commit, but admitted it'd be a "joy and an honor" to pitch at the new Yankee Stadium next year.
- Tigers backup catcher Vance Wilson may retire after a setback in his elbow recovery.
More random linkage.
- The Yankees have released first baseman Ben Broussard.
- The Padres designated Wil Ledezma for assignment. The 27 year-old could help someone as a reliever.
- The first first-rounder of '08 has signed: David Cooper of the Blue Jays. He could be in High-A ball by year's end. Last year's 17th pick, Blake Beavan, got about $1.5MM. By the way, only 26% of readers thought the Jays made the right choice with Cooper (according to our in-draft poll).
- Funny Mike Mussina quote from John Feinstein's new book.
Let's discuss Ken Rosenthal's lastest column.
- There's some chatter that the '09 draft class will be weak. This could motivate teams to trade their impending free agent stars this July rather than collect compensation picks.
- Mets pitching coach Rick Peterson has "fallen out of favor with some in the organization." Rosenthal believes he'd be a hot commodity if fired.
- The Rangers are open to trading Vicente Padilla, as you'd expect. We've heard some crazy things about the asking price.
- While the Royals don't seem to consider Zack Greinke untouchable, they'd have to be bowled over to trade him.
- The Yanks probably don't have room for Ben Broussard, and the Orioles could swoop in and sign him if he's granted free agency this month.
- Look for Scott Hatteberg to become a free agent today; interest appears to be tepid.
- The Florida teams are willing to spend money for midseason upgrades. They're understandably reluctant to trade prospects.
- Doesn't seem like Orlando Cabrera will be signing long-term with the White Sox.
Broussard, 31, was acquired along with his $3.85MM salary by the Rangers in December. 89 plate appearances convinced the Rangers to pay Broussard to go away. Broussard, when he's going good, can be decent against right-handed pitching.
THURSDAY: According to Jamey Newberg, Broussard has been designated for assignment.
WEDNESDAY: Evan Grant's article from late last night implies that the Rangers could designate first baseman Ben Broussard when Marlon Byrd returns from the DL next week. Broussard has been pushed to the bench following 89 ugly plate appearances. He's earning $3.85MM this year. Grant has wondered whether a Broussard release would be paired with a Ron Washington firing.
Broussard, 31, was last effective in 2006 when he hit righties well. Still, for the minimum salary he's a low-risk bench addition. Broussard could be the first of many Rangers vets to depart. Grant suggests Frank Catalanotto and Gerald Laird would be nice fits for the Yankees. They probably wouldn't mind having Kevin Millwood, either.
Jarrod Saltalamacchia has been called up, and GM Jon Daniels has no plans for him to warm the bench. Salty performed well at AAA Oklahoma, and when backup backstop Adam Melhuse broke a bone in his hand on Thursday, the call-up seemed imminent. However, incumbent Rangers catcher Gerald Laird has also been solid to start the season. Given the organization's desire to get Saltalamacchia regular at-bats and the lackluster hitting of first baseman Ben Broussard, I think it's likely that the defensively sub-par Salty will see at least some time at the "cold corner."
But with the Rangers off to an absolutely abysmal start--Buster Olney cites a scout today saying that the team looks "out of control"--we have to wonder when the Rangers will open up the treasure chest and share some of their backstop bounty with the rest of the league. As previously noted in this space, the team is expected to be sellers come July. In addition to Laird and Saltalamacchia, the Rangers also have three decent catching prospects. With catching talent so scarce, other GMs will likely come knocking sooner rather than later. Rumors about Laird have been flying to and fro since Texas acquired Saltalamacchia in the Mark Teixeira deal last summer, but Salty's call-up means the clock has officially started ticking. Although Daniels said recently he wasn't planning on trading Laird, I have a feeling he's just playing hard to get. Some possible suitors? The Reds, the Mets, the Blue Jays, or the Red Sox.
Quick note from Geoff Baker - the Mariners sent first baseman Ben Broussard to the Rangers for minor league infielder Tug Hulett. Makes sense; the Mariners clear $3.5MM+ from the payroll and actually get something in return. The Rangers get a cheap stopgap first baseman who won't embarrass them.
We may never hear from Hulett again, but he's better than the nothing the Mariners would've gotten for non-tendering Broussard.