B.J. Ryan Rumors

Cubs Release B.J. Ryan

B.J. Ryan asked for his release and the Cubs gave it to him, according to Gordon Wittenmyer of the Chicago Sun-Times. The Cubs signed him to a minor league deal last month after the Blue Jays released him. Apparently, Ryan's velocity and sharpness did not return during his brief stint in the Cubs' system.

Cubs Sign B.J. Ryan

The Cubs signed B.J. Ryan to a one-year deal, according to ESPN Chicago. He will work out in Arizona before reporting to Triple A Iowa, according to the Chicago Tribune, which first reported the team's interest last week.

The Blue Jays released Ryan after a disappointing three and a half year stint that began well, but ends with the Blue Jays paying $15MM between now and the end of next season as he plays in another uniform. The change of scenery could help Ryan, who wasn't bad against lefties this year. However, he allowed a near-1.200 OPS against righties and saw the velocity of his fastball drop for a fourth straight season, according to FanGraphs.

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Cubs Interested In B.J. Ryan

Paul Sullivan of the Chicago Tribune reports that the Cubs have interest in the recently-released B.J. Ryan. The former Blue Jays closer will become a free agent when he clears waivers tomorrow, so any team will be able to pick him up for the major league minimum. The Blue Jays will pay the rest of Ryan's contract, some $15MM over the next year and a half.

The Cubs could send Ryan to the minors if they sign him, then bring him up as a lefty specialist if they believe he can be effective in the majors again. 

Indians Interested In Gobble, Not Ryan

Paul Hoynes of the Cleveland Plain Dealer says that the Indians are not interested in signing BJ Ryan even though they nearly signed him four years ago. Instead, Hoynes says the Indians are interested in Jimmy Gobble, who was just designated for assignment by the White Sox. If the Indians do acquire Gobble, Hoynes says the lefty would be assigned to AAA. Gobble allowed 14 hits and seven walks in 12 innings this season, striking out ten.

Alyson Footer of MLB.com also reports that Ed Wade said the Astros do not have any interest in signing Ryan, or Pedro Martinez for that matter.

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Blue Jays Release B.J. Ryan

The Blue Jays have released B.J. Ryan, according to MLB.com's Jordan Bastian. The 33-year-old lefty signed a five year $47MM deal with the Jays before the 2006 season that was, at the time, the largest deal ever for a reliever. The contract expires after 2010, but the Jays still owe Ryan about $15MM. 

Ryan dominated in 2006, striking out more than four times as many as he walked and allowing 30 fewer hits than innings pitched. However, he's been a major disappointment since missing 2007 with Tommy John surgery. He was effective last year, but has struggled in 2009, walking 7.4 batters per nine with a career-low strikeout rate and more hits allowed than innings pitched.

Jays Listening On Wells

Jon Heyman has heard that the Blue Jays "have fielded a few trade inquiries" about Vernon Wells, though they are not shopping him. Wells has six years and over $100MM remaining on his contract.

Because of the Jays’ financial constraints, they could consider trading Wells or closer B.J. Ryan for the right package. Trading the center fielder would likely take a lot of creativity on the part of Jays GM J.P. Ricciardi given the amount the club owes Wells.

Mets Bullpen Rumors: Monday

11:56pm: Rodriguez’s agent Paul Kinzer on whether the rumored two-year, $25MM offer with a third-year option is true: "Absolutely not."  It will require three guaranteed years at least to sign K-Rod.

8:43pm: K-Rod gave some quotes to the media, nothing interesting.

7:14pm: Stark says the Mets finished their meet with Fuentes; Hoffman is up next.  Wood is not in Vegas.  Stark adds that the Mets discussed concepts but did not make a formal offer to K-Rod.

6:45pm: Sherman now says the Mets’ offer was for $25MM over two years plus a third year option.

6:03pm: Rodriguez’s agent Paul Kinzer told Sherman he’ll try to be creative with this contract. Sherman asked whether that could mean an opt-out clause, and Kinzer responded in the affirmative.  Sherman says the Mets’ offer is in the range of three years, $33MM; no talk of the vesting option Heyman mentioned.

5:26pm: Jon Heyman says the Mets offered K-Rod a two-year deal worth about $12MM per with a third-year vesting option.  Doesn’t sound like something he’ll jump at.

2:14pm: Joel Sherman rejects Graziano’s report.  Sherman says the Mets have not talked to the Jays about B.J. Ryan.

1:39pm: Gerry Fraley learned from a team official that the Mets made a three-year offer to K-Rod, but they don’t expect him to take it immediately.

12:06pm: Joel Sherman has details on the Mets’ talks for Huston Street.  Omar Minaya called the Rox a few weeks ago suggesting Aaron Heilman and Pedro Feliciano for Street.  The Rockies took the weekend to think about it, but when they called back Minaya had changed his mind.

In another article, Sherman says Omar Minaya’s approach toward free agent closers is Boras-like.  He believes the Mets’ offer to K-Rod last night was three years with an option.

11:16am: Jon Heyman and Ken Davidoff/David Lennon agree that the Mets are meeting with Fuentes and Hoffman shortly.  And Heyman believes the Mets’ offer to K-Rod last night was for three years.

10:33am: Dan Graziano of the Newark Star-Ledger says the Mets and Blue Jays had discussions about B.J. Ryan.  However, the Jays want Fernando Martinez and the Mets don’t want to trade the young outfield prospect.

7:50am: According to David Lennon of Newsday, the Omar Minaya and other Mets officials dined at a steakhouse with Francisco Rodriguez for over four hours Sunday night.  Lennon believes the early presence of Mets COO Jeff Wilpon implies that negotiations with K-Rod may have reached a critical stage. 

SI.com’s Jon Heyman wrote earlier yesterday evening that the Mets were expected to make an offer to Rodriguez at the meeting.  Maybe three years with a vesting option.

The Mets also plan to meet with Brian Fuentes and Trevor Hoffman today, with Kerry Wood also on the radarKen Davidoff looks at the options and says, "It’s gotta be K-Rod."  The Rangers like Wood as well, by the way.