Brad Thompson Rumors

Astros Release Brad Thompson

The Astros have released Brad Thompson according to Matt Eddy of Baseball America and this week's edition of minor league transactions.

Houston signed Thompson back in June after he chose to become a free agent when the Royals designated him for assignment. The 28-year-old righthander appeared in 15 games for the Astros' Triple-A affiliate, posting an 8.87 ERA with a 1.93 WHIP in 23.1 innings. He struck out 12 and walked four.

Astros Sign Brad Thompson

The Astros have signed righthander Brad Thompson to a minor league deal according to the Triple-A Pacific Coast League transactions. Thompson elected to become a free agent last week after the Royals designated him for assignment. 

The 28-year-old posted a 6.41 ERA in 19.2 innings for Kansas City this year, though his strikeout rate was an unimpressive 4.6 K/9. Thompson spent the first five years of his career with the Cardinals, throwing 385.2 innings with a respectable 4.36 ERA.

Brad Thompson Elects Free Agency

Brad Thompson has chosen to become a free agent after clearing waivers, according to Bob Dutton of the Kansas City Star (via Twitter). The Royals designated Thompson for assignment when they claimed Kanekoa Texeira off of waivers last week. 

Thompson, 28, has a 6.41 ERA in 19.2 innings this year with 4.6 K/9 and 1.8 BB/9. Before this season, the right-hander had spent his entire career with the Cardinals, the team that drafted him in 2002. In five seasons with the Cards, Thompson posted a 4.36 ERA in nearly 400 innings as a swingman. The Royals signed Thompson this winter after the Cardinals released him.

Royals Agree To Sign Brad Thompson

12:25pm: The Royals confirmed, via press release, that they agreed to sign Thompson to a minor league deal.

11:13am: The Royals have agreed to a one-year deal with righty Brad Thompson, according to Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports. The 27-year-old allowed 85 hits and 23 walks in 80 innings for the Cardinals last year, striking out 34 for a 4.84 ERA. He has had good control throughout his career, but his average fastball clocks in at just 87mph, which presumably prevents him from striking more hitters out.

Thompson doesn't have a guaranteed spot on the team's 40-man roster, but could make the team out of Spring Training. As a minor league free agent, he is allowed to sign before November 20th.

Cardinals Release Brad Thompson

The Cardinals released righty Brad Thompson today, according to Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.  The arbitration-eligible Thompson would've been a likely non-tender in mid-December anyway.

Thompson, 28 in January, posted a 4.84 ERA in 80 innings this year (eight starts, 24 relief appearances).  He's typically shown strong control and home run prevention but a weak strikeout rate.  His best asset is his ability to get groundballs – 52.7% of the time this year.  If Thompson has a successful '10 season for his new club, that team could elect to retain him for '11 as an arbitration-eligible player.

The Cardinals And The Economy

The Cardinals are one of the surprise stories of the baseball season so far. Even after losing three straight by a combined score of 28-7, St. Louis is just two games behind Milwaukee in the National League Central.

But based on this item in a new column by Scott Miller of, the Cardinals better hope Tyler Greene is the answer at shortstop and Brad Thompson is able to fill in for Kyle Lohse.

"3. Tony La Russa, Twitter settle dispute: Too bad, too. Because had La Russa won the suit he wound up withdrawing, it probably was going to be the only way St. Louis could secure the money to add another bat to its lineup this summer."

It's an interesting piece less talked about in trade circles. Plenty of teams are assumed to be willing to dump salary once they fall out of the race, with an imperative to do so sooner in this difficult economic climate.

It may be, however, that many of the teams in a position to contend may not be adding salary, due to that very same economy.

In a season when even the Yankees claim they can't add salary, it will be fascinating to see if the glut of players expected to hit the market between now and July 31 fetch huge packages of prospects, if the few teams that can add payroll are bidding against themselves.

Quinlan, Taschner, Thompson Avoid Arb

Three more players avoided arbitration, according to the AP’s Ronald Blum: Robb Quinlan ($1.1MM), Jack Taschner ($835K), and Brad Thompson ($650K).  We should have a full list of those who exchanged figures at some point this afternoon.

Wellemeyer, Cardinals Close To Deal

Matthew Leach of believes the St. Louis Cardinals and right-handed starting pitcher Todd Wellemeyer are close to a deal to avoid arbitration.

This from Wellemeyer himself: "I know it’s getting close, I’ll tell you that much."

Wellemeyer, 30, went 13-9 with a 3.71 ERA in 2008.

Leach notes that deals might be close for Chris Duncan and Brad Thompson, too. General manager John Mozeliak said he would like to avoid arbitration with Duncan and Thompson, as well as Rick Ankiel and Ryan Ludwick.

Mozeliak is hopeful that none of the five players will actually go to arbitration. Ankiel is especially challenging given his short tenure as an outfielder, Leach writes.

Pirates Interested In Brad Thompson?

Scott Wuerz of the Belleville News-Democrat suggests that Cardinals pitcher Brad Thompson is a rumored target for the Pirates.  He could be part of a larger package, where players such as Jack Wilson, Matt Morris, and/or Jason Bay could be involved.

Thompson turns 26 soon.  The Cardinals tried him as a starter last year, and he posted a 4.66 ERA in that role.  He was at 4.91 in relief, but for his career he’s been better coming out of the pen.  Thompson lost his groundball mojo a bit in ’07, and as a result his HR rate rose dramatically.

At one point, the Cards and Bucs discussed a Wilson-for-Chris Duncan deal.  About a month ago Dejan Kovacevic said he expected Wilson to stay put this winter.  Morris was a Cardinals’ target at various times in ’07.   There hasn’t been much buzz about the Pirates trading Bay to St. Louis.

Cards Could Get Morris, Wilson From Pirates

Yesterday Joe Strauss wrote how the Cardinals’ #1 reasonable target for shortstop appears to be the Pirates’ Jack Wilson.  Today, Dejan Kovacevic confirms it and adds Matt Morris as another possibility to head to St. Louis.

Kovacevic notes that the Cardinals tried to acquire Morris last summer, though that wasn’t John Mozeliak.  The Pirates would have to be willing to eat some of Morris’ salary, though they would take on all of Wilson’s.  So far Anthony Reyes, Tyler Johnson, and Brad Thompson are named as the pitchers the Cardinals will trade.  I still have some hope for Reyes.

Kovacevic adds that the Bucs are in on Japanese reliever Kazuo Fukumori.  The Padres, Rockies, and Red Sox may also have Fukumori in their sights.