- Rangers Sign Joe Beimel
- No Extension Talks Between White Sox, Samardzija
- Hunter Pence To Miss 6-8 Weeks With Forearm Fracture
- Hector Olivera May Have UCL Damage
- Orioles Release Suk-min Yoon
- Cubs To Sign Phil Coke
- Orioles, Suk-min Yoon Finalizing Contract Settlement
- Phil Coke “Very Close” To Deal With Unknown Team
- Dodgers Willing To Pay Half Of Ethier’s Contract In Trade
- Joel Hanrahan To Undergo Tommy John Surgery, Released By Tigers
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- NL Notes: Pence, Marlins, Soriano, Tomas, Lopez
- Rangers Sign Joe Beimel
- Royals Sign Casey Kotchman To Minor League Deal
- AL West Notes: Hamilton, Angels, Darvish, Mariners
- MRI Reveals Ligament Damage In Tim Collins’ Elbow
- AL Central Notes: Moss, Collins, Twins, Coke
- Braves, Peter Moylan Agree To Minor League Deal
- Quick Hits: Vogelsong, Royals, Lee, Erasmo
- No Extension Talks Between White Sox, Samardzija
- AL East Notes: Castillo, Yoon, Hoffman, Yankees
- Hunter Pence To Miss 6-8 Weeks With Forearm Fracture
- Mariners Designate Ji-Man Choi For Assignment
- Hector Olivera May Have UCL Damage
- White Sox Release Tony Campana
- Orioles Release Suk-min Yoon
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Brad Penny Rumors
Last year, Zach Duke and Pat Neshek both entered Spring Training as non-roster invitees and parlayed their outstanding 2014 seasons into multi-year free agent contracts (three years, $15MM for Duke and two years, $12.5MM for Neshek). Who will be the NRIs to watch this spring? Andrew Simon for Sports on Earth tabs White Sox reliever Jesse Crain as the most intriguing NRI citing positive reports as he recovers from his 2013 biceps surgery, which has forced him to the sidelines for the past 20 months. If Crain can return to the form he showed in his previous stint with the White Sox (2011-13) where he pitched to a 2.10 ERA, 10.6 K/9, and 3.9 BB/9 in 150 innings covering 376 games, Simon believes the 33-year-old could assume a prominent role in the White Sox bullpen.
In other news and notes from the AL Central:
- Yoenis Cespedes told reporters, including Anthony Fenech of the Detroit Free Press (Twitter links), he can see himself playing for the Tigers long-term. “I would like to be in a Tigers uniform for a lot of years,” Cespedes said through his translator. “This is a good team now and will be for a lot of years to come.” Cespedes added he does not know whether his agent and the Tigers have engaged in extension talks.
- Corey Kluber, the reigning AL Cy Young Award winner, is not concerning himself with the lack of movement on a contract extension, according to Zack Meisel of the Northeast Ohio Media Group. “It’s not for me to worry about,” said Kluber, who is slated to earn near the MLB minimum. “I’d rather just talk about pitching and not contract stuff.“
- Royals reliever Luke Hochevar blew out his elbow last spring with a curveball, but has been throwing the pitch in his bullpen sessions, writes MLB.com’s Jeffrey Flanagan. “It’s not like you’re scared when you start spinning curves again,” Hochevar said. “You know your elbow is fixed. But still you think about it. You have to sort of stare down your demons.” Hochevar will face hitters for the first time off a mount tomorrow.
- Royals third baseman Mike Moustakas and Indians right-hander Trevor Bauer are two former top prospects who are poised for a breakout 2015, opines MLB.com’s Michael Clair.
- Earlier today, we learned of the passing of White Sox legend Minnie Minoso. Dayn Perry of CBSSports.com and MLB.com’s Phil Rogers both pay tribute to “Mr. White Sox” while Hayes and MLB.com’s Scott Merkin chronicle the reaction of White Sox players.
The White Sox have signed righty Brad Penny to a minor league contract, SB Nation’s Chris Cotillo reports (Twitter links). The 36-year-old righty will look to continue his comeback with one of this offseason’s most aggressive teams.
Penny will have a chance to compete for a rotation spot this spring, Cotillo adds, though it would appear to be a longshot for him to earn a regular spot on a club that has declared its intentions to win now. Depth never hurts, of course, though another signing by the White Sox probably cannot be ruled out.
After a failed try in the spring with the Royals, Penny joined the Marlins late last year. His addition coincided with the departure of Jacob Turner, an odd move at the time and in retrospect. Penny threw 26 innings for the Fish over four starts and four relief appearances, posting a 6.58 ERA with both 4.5 strikeouts and walks per nine. ERA estimators painted a slightly better picture, but all saw him as well below average.
Here are today’s minor moves from around the game:
- The Diamondbacks have outrighted Andy Marte to Triple-A, according to the MLB.com transactions page. Marte was designated for assignment on August 7.
- The Rockies have outrighted Jason Pridie to Triple-A. Pridie was designated for assignment on August 6.
- Diamondbacks farmhand Michael Lee has been traded to the Blue Jays and assigned to Double-A, according to the PCL’s transactions page. This season, the 27-year-old righty mostly worked out of the Diamondbacks Double-A rotation, where he compiled 4.49 ERA, 5.26 K/9, and 2.50 BB/9 over 104 innings and one-third innings. He also made two similarly effective starts in Triple-A. No word on what Arizona received in return.
- Righty Matt Daley was has been outrighted by the Yankees, per the International League transactions page. Daley had been designated for assignment yesterday, and apparently went right onto waivers.
- Catcher Chris Gimenez of the Rangers has cleared outright waivers and is at least exploring the possibility of electing free agency, according to a tweet from Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times. If he does hit the open market, the Rays would have interest, says Topkin.
- The Yankees have re-signed infielder Scott Sizemore to a minor league deal, reports MLB.com’s Bryan Hoch (via Twitter). He will go right onto the Triple-A disabled list. The 29-year-old, who has not seen significant MLB action since 2011, was released just over a week ago by New York.
- Reliever David Carpenter has accepted an outright assignment with the Angels rather than electing free agency, tweets Chris Cotillo of MLBDailyDish.com. The 26-year-old righty — not to be confused with the Braves pitcher of the same name — was designated for assignment a week ago today. Over 49 Triple-A innings this year, Carpenter has a 2.20 ERA with 8.8 K/9 and 3.9 BB/9.
- The Yankees have announced that they’ve unconditionally released infielder Brian Roberts, who they designated for assignment at the end of July. The Yankees also placed catcher Brian McCann on the 7-day concussion DL and recalled Austin Romine to take his place on the active roster. The Yankees signed Roberts to a one-year, $2MM deal before the season, but he hit just .237/.300/.360 in 348 plate appearances with them.
- The Marlins have selected Brad Penny‘s contract, according to the MLB.com transactions page. Penny will start tonight against Alfredo Simon and the Reds. Penny is ultimately replacing Jacob Turner on the roster (although, officially, the Marlins cleared space for Penny by optioning Edgar Olmos to Triple-A New Orleans). As MLBTR’s Steve Adams points out, it’s questionable whether Penny will be better than Turner in the short term, even before considering the years of control Turner has left. Penny did pitch well in five Triple-A starts, however. Tonight will be his first big-league appearance since 2012, and his first appearance with the Marlins since 2004.
Brad Johnson contributed to this post
The Marlins announced today that Kevin Gregg‘s season is over, as the 36-year-old right-hander will undergo surgery to remove bone chips from his elbow. The Fish inked Gregg to a minor league deal back in early June and guaranteed him a base salary that was roughly equivalent to the value of the Competitive Balance pick they traded to the Pirates for fellow righty Bryan Morris. While the Morris acquisition has paid off in spades — he’s allowed one earned run in 31 1/3 innings — the decision to essentially reallocate that money to Gregg didn’t work out anywhere near as nicely. Gregg allowed 10 runs in nine innings with Miami before hitting the DL last month.
Here’s more on the Marlins and the rest of the NL East…
- The Marlins‘ decision to designate former top prospect Jacob Turner for assignment raised some eyebrows, and MLB.com’s Joe Frisaro tries to shed some light on the rationale behind the move. Having tried Turner in both the rotation and the bullpen, Frisaro writes, the Marlins lost patience with his struggles. Wanting to change up their roster with the faint hope of a playoff push still in their minds, the club designated the out-of-options righty to clear roster space for Brian Flynn. However, Frisaro writes that it will likely end up being Brad Penny that takes Turner’s roster spot. While Penny has excelled in five Triple-A starts with the Marlins, it’s tough to buy the idea that a veteran who hasn’t pitched in the bigs since 2012 and posted a 5.41 ERA from 2011-12 is a more viable alternative based on 27 2/3 Triple-A innings. Fangraphs and Baseball Prospectus give the Marlins a 4.6 percent shot at making the playoffs (via division title or wild card), and the notion that Penny increases those odds enough to justify parting with four years of team control over Turner is a tough sell in my mind.
- Disagreeing with an earlier piece from colleague Rob Neyer, Dave Cameron writes that the Phillies should have traded Cole Hamels prior to the July 31 non-waiver trade deadline. While much has been made of the fact that the Phillies don’t need to shed salary, Cameron notes that the salary saved on Hamels could have been reallocated to the free agent market (one that will be filled with high-end pitchers) to acquire immediate help. Those free agents could’ve paired with potential MLB-ready help to improve the club’s immediate future. Cameron also cautions against the notion that Hamels can help the next contending team in Philadelphia, as the club looks to be far away from contention, and there’s little guarantee when it comes to pitchers — even elite ones — sustaining their success into their 30s.
- Nationals manager Matt Williams sounded off to reporters, including MLB.com’s Daniel Popper, expressing his anger over the fact that some had inferred from Williams’ comments on a radio station that Bryce Harper could be sent to the minor leagues. In a Wednesday morning radio appearance, Williams was asked if it was a stupid idea to suggest that Harper could be demoted for a week to fix his swing. Williams responded by saying it wasn’t stupid — as such tactics are often employed with struggling young talent — but quickly followed by saying that Harper’s situation was different because he is a “special young player.” In talking with reporters Wednesday evening, Williams vented a bit, stating: “It [ticks] me off to even think about the fact that somebody would take a comment that I make on the radio and infer that I am thinking one way or another. I’ve had it. … [Harper]’s a very important part of our team, just like everybody else is. Do we understand each other? It’s not fair to the kid. It’s not fair to the rest of the clubhouse to even think about sending Bryce Harper to the Minor Leagues or to cause a stir. It’s unacceptable. It won’t happen.”
The Marlins were tied for first place in the NL East on June 8, but have posted an 11-20 record since and have fallen to fourth place, 7.5 games behind the Braves and Nationals. Before losing their fourth in a row, Marlins President of Baseball Operations Michael Hill held court with reporters at Citi Field:
- The Marlins are in the market for starting pitching, but want controllable arms. “A rental, it may help you in the short term,” Hill said (as quoted by MLB.com’s Joe Frisaro). “We want something we can move forward with. I think that will definitely influence the direction we go.“
- Hill added (also quoted by Frisaro) putting a premium on team control is part of the franchise’s philosophy, “We’re never [shortsighted] with anything that we do. There is always an eye on the present. We never lose sight of the future and what we’re trying to build. We want to build sustained winning here. We do control all of our roster, for the most part.“
- Failing to swing a trade, internal rotation options include Jacob Turner and Brad Penny, who was promoted recently to Triple-A after signing a minor league deal last month, reports the Miami Herald’s Manny Navarro.
- The search for rotation reinforcements does not signal a lack of faith in the Marlins’ young arms, including Anthony DeSclafani and Andrew Heaney. “We have the people to do the job,” Hill explained (as quoted by Juan C. Rodriguez of the South Florida Sun-Sentinel). “We’ve had varied success. Some of our young starters have shown their youth and we’ll always try to do what’s in the best interest of our players. If DeSclafani needs more seasoning we’re going to give him that. If the decision is Heaney needs more seasoning, we’re going to give him that, but we still have all the faith in the world in our young players.“
- The Marlins are also looking to fill the void at second base created last month when Rafael Furcal landed on the disabled list with a strained left hamstring. “We thought he would be that speed/leadoff player for us,” said Hill (also quoted by Rodriguez). “Injuries have prevented him from doing that. That’s still a part of our team that’s missing and we feel we would like to have, whatever form or shape that comes in.“
- Hill expects to sign the two remaining holdouts among their top top ten picks (seventh-round shortstop Anfernee Seymour and 10th-round left-hander Dillon Peters) prior to Friday’s deadline, per Navarro.
- There isn’t any reason for the Mets to fire GM Sandy Alderson or manager Terry Collins since such moves would only prolong the club’s rebuilding process, Ken Davidoff of the New York Post opines. While the Mets are on pace for another losing, the team is in good shape for the future with young talent on the rise and Chris Young‘s contract seems to be the only true mistake on the current roster.
- Nationals lefty Ross Detwiler could be a trade target for teams looking to add rotation help, according to Jon Heyman of CBS Sports (Twitter link). Detwiler “could start for most” teams, as Heyman notes, and the southpaw has had trouble finding a spot in Washington’s deep rotation despite some good career numbers. Detwiler currently has a 4.00 ERA, 1.29 K/BB rate and 5.5 K/9 in 36 relief innings for the Nats, and he’s had control issues, as his 4.3 BB/9 is markedly up from his 2.6 BB/9 over the previous three seasons.
- Brad Penny and Marlins GM Dan Jennings talk to Greg Stoda of the Palm Beach Post about Penny’s minor league comeback attempt and why Miami brought Penny back to his original franchise.
- The impending trade of minor league right-hander Andrew Robinson from the Astros to the Braves is taking an unusually long time to complete for a move outside the 40-man roster, which makes MLB Daily Dish’s Chris Cotillo think Robinson could be part of a larger transaction between the two clubs. Cotillo makes it clear that he is just speculating, however.
The Marlins have agreed to a minor league deal with pitcher Brad Penny, reports Clark Spencer of the Miami Herald (Twitter links). Penny is represented by Jonathan Maurer and Millenium Sports Management.
If the 36-year-old righty can return to the big leagues, he will make a prorated $800K salary. Should he not receive a call-up by July 31, he will be able to exercise an opt-out clause, tweets Chris Cotillo of MLBDailyDish.com. Cotillo adds that the incentives could drive the deal into seven figures.
Penny started a comeback attempt with the Royals over the spring, but he and Kansas City reportedly agreed to a release when it became clear that he would not make the team’s Opening Day Roster. In four Spring Training frames, Penny allowed 13 hits (including two long balls) and seven earned runs.
Of course, Penny started his career with the then-Florida Marlins back in 2000. At his best, in 2007 with the Dodgers, Penny tossed 208 innings of 3.03 ERA ball. He last featured as a starter in the bigs in 2011, working to a 5.30 ERA in 181 2/3 frames. Penny threw 28 innings out of the bullpen for the Giants in 2012, posting a 6.11 ERA and striking out only 3.2 batters per nine innings.
Free agent reliever Joel Hanrahan has fielded “a few” offers from clubs, tweets Chris Cotillo of MLBDailyDish.com. He is not close to signing, however, adds Cotillo. Hanrahan reportedly drew a large showing to his recent showcase, and looked good as he works to return from Tommy John surgery. Since then we’ve heard that multiple teams are already discussing a contract with him, but the Mets have yet to decide whether they’ll make an offer.
Here are a few more notes on some free agents from around the league…
- Cuban outfielder Daniel Carbonell has been declared a free agent, reports FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal (Twitter links). There is very little public information floating around on the 23-year-old outfielder, though ObstructedView.net rounds up some information suggesting that speed is his calling card. Last October, El Diario De Cuba reported that Carbonell and fellow Serie Nacional player Orlando Perez had defected from the island. Carbonell has enough experience to be considered a professional and therefore wouldn’t count against a team’s international bonus pool as long as he signs by July 2 of this year.
- Brad Penny‘s agents at Millennium tell Cotillo that Penny will throw for multiple clubs in Kansas City this week (Twitter link). Penny requested his release from the Royals early in Spring Training after the club told him that he wasn’t likely to make the team. Penny, 35, last appeared in the Majors in 2012 with the Giants and has a 4.26 ERA in 1899 career innings at the big league level.
- Cotillo also reports (via Twitter) that former Brewers left-hander Zach Braddock worked out for the Dodgers yesterday. Baseball America ranked the control-challenged strikeout artist 13th or higher on Milwaukee’s list of Top 30 prospects each year from 2007-09. Braddock has a career 3.80 ERA in the minors and has averaged a whopping 12 strikeouts per nine innings, but he’s also averaged nearly five walks per nine frames. That same profile has held true in the Majors, where he has a 4.41 ERA with 10.4 K/9 and 5.3 BB/9 in 51 innings. Braddock underwent shoulder surgery to repair his left labrum midway through the 2012 season.
Jeff Todd contributed to this post.
John Gibbons of the Blue Jays, Kirk Gibson of the Diamondbacks, and Terry Collins of the Mets are among the managers currently on the hot seat, writes FOX Sports' Ken Rosenthal. Gibbons presided over an extremely disappointing 2013 Jays season, Gibson's Diamondbacks haven't taken a step forward, and Collins might become a victim of unfair expectations. Here are more notes from around baseball.
- Good closers come from a wide variety of backgrounds, and big-name closers aren't always what they seem to be, Tyler Kepner shows in a long piece for the New York Times. That means overpaying for a closer can be a mistake. "We had a different guy for about six years in a row — Joe Borowski, Todd Jones, Armando Benitez," says Marlins director of baseball operations Dan Noffsinger. "Each one of these guys would have 30-plus saves, be successful and go get a bigger contract elsewhere. We would just move on to the next guy." The Marlins' example shows one reason why the Orioles were willing to trade Jim Johnson this offseason, for example, and the White Sox were willing to deal Addison Reed.
- The selection of Shelby Miller in the first round of the 2009 draft marked a turning point for the Cardinals, Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch writes. "By the time we picked Miller, I think our knowledge base in at least how to avoid the high-risk players had evolved to the point where we felt more comfortable fishing in those waters," says Astros GM Jeff Luhnow, who ran the Cardinals' draft at the time. "He had the delivery. He had the pitches that we thought could develop. The size. The makeup. We had learned from our mistakes." Goold points out that before Miller, the Cardinals hadn't selected a pitcher in the first 30 picks of the draft since 1991. The Cardinals attacked the problem of which high-school pitchers were the best picks by looking at big-league pitchers and figuring out why they succeeded, and they focused on arm strength and athleticism. Later in that same 2009 draft, the Cardinals also selected Joe Kelly and Trevor Rosenthal.
- Red Sox pitcher Jon Lester isn't concerned about his impending free agency, writes Scott Lauber of the Boston Herald. "If I use that for motivation, I’ve got problems," Lester says. "That’s not what motivates me to go out and pitch and get better. Money has never driven me." Lester and the Red Sox recently suspended negotiations on an extension.
- Free agent pitcher Brad Penny has changed agencies from to the Legacy Agency to Millennium Sports, MLB Daily Dish's Chris Cotillo tweets. In early March, the Royals released Penny from their minor-league deal with him.
12:47pm: The Royals informed Penny that there wasn't a good chance of him making the roster, and the two sides agreed to part ways so that Penny could seek out a better opportunity, according to MLB Daily Dish's Chris Cotillo (Twitter links).
Kansas City did add Bruce Chen roughly two weeks after agreeing to a minor league deal with Penny, which likely diminished his chances at making the club.
Penny was signed back in January and stood to earn a $1MM base salary with another $1.5MM available via incentives if he made the team. However, the right-hander was hit hard in a pair of Spring Training appearances, yielding seven runs on 13 hits (two homers) and a walk with just one strikeout in four innings of work.
The former National League All-Star hasn't appeared in the Majors since a 28-inning stint with the Giants in 2012, and he's posted just a 5.41 ERA over his past 209 2/3 big league innings. He has a 4.26 ERA with 6.0 K/9 and 2.9 BB/9 in 1899 career innings at the Major League level between the Marlins, Dodgers, Giants, Tigers, Red Sox and Cardinals.