Bobby Parnell Rumors

Pitcher Notes: Taillon, Parnell

The Pirates have announced that Jameson Taillon will undergo Tommy John surgery. Taillon's ulnar collateral ligament was "compromised," GM Neal Huntington told reporters, including the Tribune-Review's Karen Price. "As we walked through the process with Jameson, educated him, he's a smart young man and we walked through it with his family and representatives," said Huntington. "He felt this was the best course of action to get back to full health and stay healthy a long time." Taillon, the No. 2 overall pick in the 2010 draft, typically ranked second on lists of the Pirates' top prospects, behind outfielder Gregory Polanco. Taillon had been expected to contribute down the stretch this season, and his absence will take a toll on the Pirates' pitching depth behind starters Gerrit Cole, Francisco Liriano, Charlie Morton, Wandy Rodriguez and Edinson Volquez. Here are more notes on injured pitchers.

  • The Pirates aren't the only team to lose a pitcher to Tommy John. The Mets have announced that Bobby Parnell will undergo the surgery as well. Parnell's surgery will be performed Tuesday. Parnell was among the Mets' top relievers in 2013, posting a 2.16 ERA with 7.9 K/9 and 2.2 BB/9 and serving as their closer for part of the season.
  • If the Mets look outside the organization for relief help, they could turn to Joel Hanrahan, Ryan Madson or Kevin Gregg, Jon Heyman of CBS Sports tweets. Hanrahan and Madson, of course, are coming off injuries of their own — Hanrahan had surgery last May to repair a torn flexor tendon, and Madson has missed the last two seasons with arm trouble.

Parnell Says 50-50 Chance Of Tommy John Surgery

THURSDAY: Parnell tells Rubin that team doctors have told him there's a 50-50 chance that he will require Tommy John surgery. Parnell adds that he might not wait the full six weeks described by Alderson yesterday and could have an answer within two weeks. He would like to have the surgery sooner rather than later, if necessary, in order to be ready as early as possible in 2015.

WEDNESDAY: Because the tear occurred in a thicker part of the ligament, Parnell may be able to avoid a Tommy John procedure, GM Sandy Alderson told reporters, including ESPNNewYork.com's Adam Rubin (links to Twitter). Parnell will go through a program to see if he can stay free of surgery, with a final determination in six weeks time. 

In the meantime, Alderson said the club will "continue to monitor" free agent relievers but will wait to see how "things shake out" with his current options before making any moves.

TUESDAY: One day into the season, the Mets are already facing the prospect of an extended absence for their closer, as the team announced that Bobby Parnell has an incomplete tear of the medial collateral ligament in his right elbow (All links to Twitter). Parnell will be shut down completely for two weeks and has already received a platelet-rich plasma injection in the elbow, but surgery is a possible outcome. In the wake of the injury, Andy Martino of the New York Daily News tweets that the Mets "will consider all options," including veteran free agent relievers.

The free agent market contains three names that come with significant experience as a Major League closer; Ryan Madson, Joel Hanrahan and Kevin Gregg are all unsigned, though Madson and Hanrahan are each working their way back from arm injuries (Frank Francisco is also available, but for the time being, I'll assume that ill-fated matchup won't be revisited). As Martino notes in the aforementioned tweet, New York watched Hanrahan throw this winter but didn't elect to send scouts to Madson's showcase.

Joel Sherman of the New York Post tweets that D'Backs right-hander J.J. Putz is "very available" in trades, but he points out that the Mets have already tried that avenue as well in the past (the results were less than spectacular). Sherman hears from scouts that Putz isn't throwing well, and beyond that is the fact that he's set to earn $7MM this season. In a second tweet, he speculates that the Mets won't react by making a big move; the team didn't prioritize the position in the offseason and overvaluing the closer's role isn't GM Sandy Alderson's way, Sherman opines.

For the time being, Jose Valverde will step into the ninth inning for the Mets. After signing a minor league deal this offseason, Valverde had a solid Spring Training and worked 1 1/3 scoreless innings in his first game with the Mets yesterday, including the escape of an inherited bases-loaded jam. The Parnell injury has potentially lucrative ramifications for Valverde, who can reportedly earn up to $1.5MM on top of his $1MM salary based on appearances and games finished (full breakdown here).

Alderson tells Marc Carig of Newsday that a move to the bullpen for Jenrry Mejia isn't an option (Twitter link). Other internal options for the Mets could include Jeurys Familia, Vic Black (though he struggled mightily in Spring Training) and Kyle Farnsworth. For further updates on Parnell and other closer-related news throughout the season, you can follow @closernews on Twitter.


Players Avoiding Arbitration: Friday

We'll keep track of today's smaller deals to avoid arbitration in this post. Click here for background on the upcoming arbitration schedule and how MLBTR is covering it. You can also check in on our Arbitration Tracker and look at MLBTR contributor Matt Swartz's arbitration projections.

Today's noon CT deadline to exchange arb figures has passed, but negotiations to avoid an arbitration hearing can continue into February. The Braves are the only strict "file and trial" team that did not agree to terms with all of its arb-eligible players, meaning they could be headed for several hearings. The Nats and Indians have also shown a willingness to go to a trial and still have some players unsigned. On to today's contract agreements…

  • After exchanging numbers, the Mets and pitcher Dillon Gee have agreed to settle at the midpoint of $3.625MM, tweets Adam Rubin of ESPNNewYork.com. Swartz projected Gee to earn $3.4MM.
  • The Cubs have avoided arbitration with reliever Pedro Strop, president Theo Epstein told Mark Gonzales of the Chicago Tribune (Twitter link). He will earn $1.325MM next year, according to a tweet from Gordon Wittenmyer of the Chicago Sun-Times. It is not immediately apparent whether the deal was reached before the sides exchanged terms.
  • The Angels have reached agreement on a $3.8MM deal with reliever Ernesto Frieri, reports Alden Gonzalez of MLB.com (on Twitter). 
  • Mike Minor has agreed to terms on a $3.85MM deal with the Braves to avoid arbitration, reports Mark Bowman of MLB.com (Twitter links). The deal came before figures were exchanged, Bowman notes.
  • Chris Cotillo of MLB Daily Dish reports that the D-Backs and lefty Joe Thatcher have avoided arb with a one-year, $2.375MM deal (Twitter link).
  • Nicholson-Smith tweets that the Angels and Fernando Salas reached an agreement to avoid arbitration. Salas is the first Halos player to avoid arb. Mike DiGiovanna of the L.A. Times tweets that Salas will earn $870K, which beats out his $700K projection.
  • MLB.com's Jason Beck reports (via Twitter) that the Tigers and righty Al Alburquerque have reached agreement on a deal to avoid arb. The hard-throwing righty will earn $837.5K in 2014, tweets Beck.
  • Sherman tweets that the Yankees and Ivan Nova avoided arbitration with a one-year, $3.3MM deal.
  • The Pirates and Vin Mazzaro inked a one-year, $950K deal in lieu of an arbitration hearing, tweets Rob Biertempfel of the Pittsburgh Tribune.
  • The Royals announced that they've avoided arbitration with infielder Emilio Bonifacio. Heyman tweets that Bonifacio will earn $3.5MM in 2014.
  • Sherman reports that the Rays avoided arbitration with Jeremy Hellickson and Sean Rodriguez (Twitter link). Hellickson landed a $3.625MM payday with a $25K bonus if he hits 195 innings pitched. Rodriguez will get $1.475MM with a $25K bump for hitting 300 plate appearances.
  • Roch Kubatko of MASNsports.com tweets that Brian Matusz avoided arb with the Orioles. Sherman adds that he'll earn $2.4MM in 2014.
  • MLB.com's Brian McTaggart tweets that Jason Castro and the Astros have avoided arbitration. McTaggart adds in a second tweet that Jesus Guzman avoided arb as well. Heyman reports that Castro will be paid $2.45MM, while Sherman tweets that Guzman will make $1.3MM.
  • The Indians tweeted that they've avoided arb with lefty Marc Rzepczynski, and MLB.com's Jordan Bastian tweets that he'll earn $1.375MM in 2014. Bastian adds that Scrabble will earn an additional $25K for appearing in 55 games and another $25K for 60 games.
  • The Giants avoided arbitration with Yusmeiro Petit, according to MLBTR's Steve Adams (on Twitter).  He'll earn $845K, according to Sportsnet's Ben Nicholson-Smith (via Twitter).

(more…)



NL East Notes: Braves, Tejada, Parnell, Galvis

Jordan Schafer, Anthony Varvaro and David Carpenter exemplify the Braves' knack for getting the most out of the "free talent" market (players claimed off waivers or signed as minor league free agents), writes ESPN's Keith Law in his latest Insider piece. Law writes that the Braves have succeeded with tight payrolls in recent years by excelling in this area, and he also looks at the next wave of "free-talent" players on the horizon for the Braves. Here's more out of the NL East…

  • Ruben Tejada is expected to join the Mets today as a September callup, which will leave him one day shy of accumulating his third full year of MLB service time, writes ESPN New York's Adam Rubin. Rubin reported yesterday that the Mets would likely delay Tejada's promotion for that purpose, as it will keep Tejada from reaching free agency for an additional year.
  • Mets closer Bobby Parnell will undergo surgery to repair the herniated disk in his neck, manager Terry Collins told reporters, including Brian Lewis of the New York Post. Collins said that Parnell "should" be ready for Spring Training but would make no promises on that front. I'd imagine that any uncertainty surrounding Parnell would only further what should be an interesting offseason for the Mets on the bullpen front, with so many free agents in their 2013 relief corps.
  • The presence of Jimmy Rollins and Chase Utley through at least the 2014 season (and likely the 2015 campaign due to Rollins' easily attainable vesting option) makes a utility role the most realistic option for Freddy Galvis if he's to remain with the Phillies long-term, writes Ryan Lawrence of the Philadelphia Daily News. Interim manager Ryne Sandberg feels that Galvis fits the mold of a strong bench player due to his defensive capabilities and "consistent progress and work with his batting."

Mets Notes: Byrdak, Collins, Trade Chips

It's been 731 days since the Mets traded Carlos Beltran to the Giants in exchange for Zack Wheeler, and while that trade looks brilliant now, it also represents the last July trade that involved the Amazin's. Here's more on New York's National League club…

  • Tim Byrdak's contract contains a clause that allows him to leave the Mets should another team offer him a Major League roster spot, MLBTR has learned. After being contacted by an interested team, the Mets would have 48 hours to add Byrdak to their own big league roster. If they chose not to do so, Byrdak would be free to join the new team, and the Mets would receive no compensation. The clause is similar to the one that allowed Jason Grilli to leave the Phillies and join the Pirates in 2011. Byrdak currently has a 2.45 ERA and 11-to-3 K/BB ratio in 11 innings at High-A St. Lucie as he works his way back from shoulder and knee surgeries in late 2012.
  • A Mets executive told Mike Puma of the New York Post that he would be surprised if manager Terry Collins were replaced after the season. The Mets are happy with the job that Collins has done, and the executive says the team is doing a good job of "sprinting to the finish line" with Collins at the helm (Twitter links). Collins still only under contract through the 2013 season.
  • Puma's colleague, Joel Sherman, tweets that left-handed relief is in such high demand, the Mets actually received calls checking in on how Byrdak and Pedro Feliciano were progressing in their rehab.
  • Nothing has changed on the Marlon Byrd and Bobby Parnell front, according to Sherman (on Twitter). The Mets have received nibbles on both, but not nearly enough to make a deal likely.
  • The Mets are seeking a "Wheeler type" top prospect in exchange for Parnell, according to Jon Heyman of CBS Sports (on Twitter). Given that exborbitant price tag, it's no surprise that interest hasn't picked up much.
  • Sherman adds that the Mets had hoped to see interest in Daniel Murphy, John Buck and Eric Young Jr., but to this point they haven't received calls on that group. As such, they're likely to simply try to win as many games as they can with the current group in the season's second half.

NL East Notes: Brown, Utley, Byrd, Storen, Nats

Earlier today, the Phillies placed Domonic Brown on the seven-day disabled list with concussion-like symptoms. The move was retroactive to July 24, meaning he'd be eligible to return next Wednesday. As general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. noted to Jim Salisbury of CSNPhilly.com, the speed with which Brown can return will have an impact on the team's decision to buy or sell heading into the July 31 non-waiver trade deadline. Here's more on the Phillies and the rest of th NL East…

  • Also from Salisbury's piece, Amaro was hesitant to discuss reports that he and his staff are working on an extension for Chase Utley. Salisbury writes that if the Phillies don't think they can sign him long-term, they'll probably move him. When asked if Utley will be a Phillie after the deadline, Amaro replied, "I would think so."
  • Many teams are keeping an eye on Marlon Byrd whether they admit to it or not, a Major League executive told Adam Rubin of ESPNNewYork.com. The Mets are still planning to hang onto both Byrd and Bobby Parnell, Andy Martino of the New York Daily News reported today. Martino cites a source "with direct knowledge of the Mets' plans" as saying the pair will remain with the team unless they receive an offer they simply can't turn down.
  • Adam Kilgore of the Washington Post examines the uncertainty that surrounds the Nationals' bullpen, noting that it's possible the team could option former closer Drew Storen to the minors to rediscover himself. Storen has a 5.40 ERA and 1.46 WHIP with 9.3 K/9 and 2.8 BB/9 in 41 2/3 innings this season.
  • Kilgore also notes that it's likely the Nationals will trade one of their relievers this offseason. Rafael Soriano is set to make $14MM in 2014, while Drew Storen and Tyler Clippard will both receive raises on their respective 2013 salaries of $2.5MM and $4MM via arbitration. Kilgore notes that the Nats could do what would've seemed unthinkable a few weeks ago by trading one of their relievers now in order to maximize the return.

Quick Hits: Delgado, Top Prospects, Byrd, Relievers

The Blue Jays will add Carlos Delgado to the Level of Excellence at the Rogers Centre this weekend — an honor bestowed upon the greatest Jays in franchise history. Delgado spent a dozen seasons with the Jays, hitting .282/.392/.556 with 336 homers in 6,018 plate appearances. He will join Roberto Alomar, Joe Carter, Tony Fernandez, George Bell and Dave Stieb as players to receive the distinction. Here's more from around the league…

  • ESPN's Keith Law unveiled the latest edition of his Top 50 prospects (ESPN Insider required and recommended), and it's fronted by Twins Class A Advanced center fielder Byron Buxton, though Law cautions that even he is a little uncomfortable with the amount of hype Buxton is receiving. Oscar Taveras, Xander Bogaerts, Miguel Sano and Francisco Lindor round out Law's Top 5.
  • The Mets will need to be "overwhelmed" to trade Marlon Byrd, writes Jorge Castillo of the Newark Star Ledger. "Overwhelmed," of course, is a relative term, and manager Terry Collins states things more lightly later in the article: "Right now, Marlon Byrd’s a huge piece. If Marlon Byrd’s going to get moved, we’re going to get something good back." Castillo's article meshes with previous reports that the Mets may simply stand pat at the deadline.
  • A team official tells Mike Puma of the New York Post that the Mets haven't had any action yet on Byrd or closer Bobby Parnell (Twitter link).
  • ESPN's Jim Bowden examines the trade market for relievers (video link), naming all of the usual suspects that have been mentioned previously but also adding Jared Burton, Huston Street and Luke Gregerson, who haven't been mentioned often this summer. All three are controlled beyond 2013. Bowden's colleague Buster Olney tweeted earlier today that the Diamondbacks continue to be players on the relief pitching market.
  • Uncertainty surrounding Clay Buchholz's injuries hasn't changed Boston's approach to the trade deadline, writes Scott Lauber of the Boston Herald. The Red Sox still plan to be "selective" as they debate possibilities to upgrade what they consider to be strong rotation depth. The team is also still interested in upgrades at third base and in the bullpen.

Reliever Trade Talk: Parnell, Red Sox, Giants

The Twins and Mets "should learn from the mistake the Royals made with Joakim Soria," writes Dave Cameron of FanGraphs, and trade closers Glen Perkins and Bobby Parnell.  Cameron's argument is convincing: "Relievers, even really good young relievers, should be viewed as ripe fruit. They are great for a while, but you don’t store ripe fruit for the future planning on having a healthy snack later. You consume it now or waste it."  The latest from around the relief trade market:


New York Notes: Trades, Parnell, Alderson, Aramis

It could be a quiet trade deadline for the Mets, as a team insider tells ESPN New York's Adam Rubin that the team may not be buyers or major sellers by July 31.  The Mets "are not actively shopping anyone," including controllable players like Bobby Parnell, Daniel Murphy or Ike Davis.  The club doesn't have any major salaries that can realistically be unloaded — even a veteran like Marlon Byrd is just making $700K and wouldn't be moved for anything less than a quality prospect since the Mets don't want to "sacrifice 2013 competitiveness" by trading their viable Major League parts.  As for acquiring a slugging outfielder, the Mets will keep an eye on big names like Giancarlo Stanton, Carlos Gonzalez and Andre Ethier though a trade isn't likely any time soon.

Here are some more items about both the Mets and Yankees…

  • The Mets will probably call up a veteran lefty reliever sometime in July, Rubin writes, so that reliever would become trade bait.  Rubin suspects that Tim Byrdak is likely to get the call over Pedro Feliciano.
  • Parnell would be a valuable trade chip, as Bill Madden of the New York Daily News notes that the AL East alone has three teams (the Rays, Orioles and Red Sox) that would covet a hard-throwing young closer.  “I’m sure those clubs could really tempt the Mets on Parnell — the Red Sox with the outfielder, Jackie Bradley Jr, and one of their top pitching prospects like (Rubby) De La Rosa, but that remains to be seen, and if they want to be able to compete next year, as they say they do, there’s no way they can trade him," a rival scout tells Madden.
  • Also from Madden, Michael Young is "by far the best fit for the Yankees" since his contract is up after this season, he has a strong clubhouse presence and Young can play both first and third base.  The Yankees had a scout watching the Phillies over the weekend.
  • The Yankees consider Aramis Ramirez to be too expensive and they aren't in pursuit of the Brewers' third baseman, CBS Sports' Jon Heyman reports.  The 35-year-old Ramirez was just placed on the disabled list today with a left knee injury, the same knee that has already cost him a month on the DL earlier this season.  Though Ramirez is hitting a solid .271/.359/.414 in 209 PA, he has only five homers and is guaranteed approximately $20MM through the end of the 2014 season, plus a 2015 mutual option with a $4MM buyout.
  • With Sandy Alderson having "all but promised" to spend on a major trade acquisition or free agent signing this winter, Ken Davidoff of the New York Post notes that Alderson's two most expensive free agent signings as Mets GM (Frank Francisco and Shaun Marcum) have both been busts.  "This upcoming expenditure (or plural expenditures) will be a large part of his legacy. And the Mets probably have to hit on this player or players for the plan to succeed," Davidoff writes.  On the plus side, Davidoff notes that the Mets have gotten a lot of recent production from under-the-radar inexpensive signings.

NL East Notes: Phillies, Parnell, Hudson, Nationals

To start off the weekend, I recommend you have a read of this interesting look at baseball across the pond. On the MLB side of things, here are a few notes from around the National League East:

  • Phillies GM Ruben Amaro Jr. is poised to decide between buying and selling — or, perhaps, somewhere in-between — depending upon the club's performance in the ten-game homestand it kicked off last night, Jim Salisbury of CSNPhilly.com was among those to report. The team picked up a game on the division-leading Braves last night, but has two more against Atlanta before welcoming the Nationals and then White Sox. While not among the quotes passed along in the article, in the video found at the link, Amaro says that he has "had a lot of discussions in the last three or four days" and has seen "a lot of interest in some pretty good players on our club."
  • In his worthwhile look in at available relievers, FOX Sports' Ken Rosenthal did not include the Mets and closer Bobby Parnell. In a tweet, Rosenthal explained that he has been told that the team is not interested in dealing Parnell unless it is "blown away" by an offer. Parnell, 28, has been excellent for New York and still has two more years of arbitration eligibility before reaching free agency.
  • Braves starter Tim Hudson said he was surprised to learn of a report suggesting that he expected to be traded and denied it completely, according to a post from MLB.com's Trade Deadline blog. Of course, Hudson enjoys ten and five rights, meaning he would have the authority to veto any potential trade. As Rosenthal reports on Twitter this morning, Braves GM Frank Wren also says there is "no validity at all" to the notion that Hudson will be dealt.
  • The Nationals are definitely interested in adding a starter, according to a report (on Twitter) from ESPN's Buster Olney. As the struggling Dan Haren tries to work out his issues while on the DL, the team has turned to youngster Taylor Jordan. Though Jordan has been successful in two starts, it would be risky indeed to rely on him (and the team's other minor leaguers) to step up if Haren is unable to regain his form down the stretch.