Brad Ausmus Rumors
The Brewers released Randy Wolf on his birthday, but the left-hander says the organization “has been outstanding” and showed him lots of respect, MLB.com’s Adam McCalvy reports. Wolf will go home to work out in Los Angeles and hope for another MLB opportunity to emerge. Here are some links from the NL Central...
- The Cardinals’ offseason to-do list includes a potential contract extension for Adam Wainwright, left-handed relief and bench help, Joe Strauss of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch writes (on Twitter). Wainwright, who turns 31 in eight days, will earn $12MM in 2013, but he’s eligible for free agency after next year.
- In case you missed it, the Cardinals agreed to a one-year extension with Jake Westbrook yesterday.
- The Astros have not interviewed longtime MLB catcher Brad Ausmus for their managerial opening, MLB.com’s Brian McTaggart reports (on Twitter). The Astros replaced Brad Mills with Tony DeFrancesco on an interim basis this week.
- The Cubs parted ways with six scouts today, ESPN.com’s Keith Law reports (on Twitter).
Links for Sunday evening, with the regular season behind us and the playoff picture defined...
- Angels GM Tony Reagins tells Mike DiGiovanna of the L.A. Times he's "confident we'll be able to add an important piece."
- As passed along by NPB Tracker's Patrick Newman on Twitter, Sanspo reports that a posting announcement will come soon regarding Japanese pitcher Hisashi Iwakuma. The righty, 30 in April, posted a 2.82 ERA, 6.9 K/9, 1.6 BB/9, and 0.49 HR/9 in 201 innings this year for Rakuten.
- Ichiro Suzuki's 10-and-5 rights kicked in today after the Mariners' game, tweets Larry Stone of the Seattle Times.
- In his end-of-the-season press conference, Red Sox GM Theo Epstein indicated fixing the bullpen and retaining important free agents are his offseason priorities (WEEI's Alex Speier reporting). Epstein fielded all kinds of questions and was noncommittal in most cases, but the transcript is still worth a read.
- Clint Barmes would like to return to the Rockies if he can't find an everyday role elsewhere, he explained to Jim Armstrong of the Denver Post. We discussed Barmes' non-tender candidacy in August, and 79% of MLBTR readers predicted he'll be cut loose.
- The Dodgers officially announced Brad Ausmus' retirement with a press release. Ausmus revealed his decision to reporters in July.
Links for Thursday night, as the NFL season kicks off in New Orleans....
- The favorites for the Diamondbacks' general manager opening appear to be Kevin Towers and Jerry Dipoto, with Logan White looming as a "dark-horse." Nick Piecoro of the Arizona Republic breaks down the three candidates.
- Hideki Matsui wants to play somewhere in the majors next year, but he may not be in the Angels' plans, writes MLB.com's Evan Drellich.
- In a chat with Rangers fans, Nolan Ryan says the team has "every intention" of bringing manager Ron Washington back next year (Dallas Morning News link).
- Brad Ausmus tells Brian McTaggart of MLB.com that he'd be open to rejoining the Astros' organization after he retires. Ausmus said earlier this year that he expects this season to be his last.
- Steve Kornacki of MLive.com thinks Jhonny Peralta's 2011 option could be a good investment for the Tigers, given how well the 28-year-old has played lately.
- Fangraphs' Eno Sarris looks at a few contenders for the Mets' 2011 second base job.
When this season comes to an end, Brad Ausmus will call it a career, according to Tony Jackson of ESPNLosAngeles. After playing last night for the first time since April 8th, Ausmus addressed a reporter's post-game inquiry about his future by replying: "This year is it."
After signing a one-year deal with the Dodgers this winter, Ausmus started just one game before being placed on the disabled list with back pain. When Ausmus' back issues required surgery, many assumed he would simply retire, but the 41-year-old backstop has fought his way back and intends to finish out the season.
Ausmus' contract, which pays him $850K this year, includes a $1MM mutual option ($150K buyout) for next season which won't be exercised now that he plans to retire. The veteran catcher, who has spent time with the Padres, Tigers, Astros, and Dodgers since breaking into the league in 1993, has earned over $36MM in his career, according to Baseball-Reference.
Let's check out some tidbits from around the web on this Fourth Of July eve..
- Henry Schulman of the San Francisco Chronicle thinks that a swap of Carlos Zambrano and Aaron Rowand would make sense.
- A source told Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports (via Twitter) that the Tigers have not inquired on Kevin Millwood even though they need pitching. Earlier this week we learned that the Mets aren't interested in the veteran either.
- It will be interesting to see what Eric Wedge does if he's offered the O's job, writes Paul Hoynes of The Plain Dealer. Wedge and Buck Showalter are believed to be the favorites for the position.
- Brad Ausmus, 41, isn't ready to call it a career yet, writes MLB.com's Ken Gurnick.
Here are a variety of news items as baseball wraps up another Jackie Robinson Day...
- Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports tweets that the Phillies can't take on any extra salary right now and the presence of two Philadelphia scouts at Blue Jays games is just "normal coverage." Rosenthal adds, however, that Jays reliever Scott Downs "makes sense" for Philly's relief needs.
- ESPN's Rob Neyer believes "there's a 50/50 chance" that the Cubs will release Alfonso Soriano before his contract expires at the end of the 2014 season and the club will simply eat what is left of the $90MM owed to the underachieving outfielder.
- The Dodgers are satisfied with rookie A.J. Ellis as their backup catcher and will likely not look to acquire another backstop in the wake of Brad Ausmus' back surgery, reports Tony Jackson of ESPNLosAngeles.com.
- Tom Van Riper of Forbes Magazine tears down the myth that players step up their production in the last year of their contracts.
- Jose Guillen was the subject of trade rumors over the winter, but the Royals outfielder had a much more traumatic offseason experience as he tells The Kansas City Star's Bob Dutton about a life-threatening health scare.
- Barry Bloom of MLB.com reports that Hal Steinbrenner (unsurprisingly) wants Mariano Rivera, Derek Jeter and Joe Girardi to remain Yankees, but isn't willing to break the club's policy of in-season contract negotiations to work on extensions. "I hope everybody is reasonable and we can work it out easily. But there's no doubt I want them here," Steinbrenner said.
- As we approach the 50th anniversary of the infamous Rocky Colavito/Harvey Kuenn swap, Terry Pluto of The Cleveland Plain Dealer looks back at the trade that infuriated Indians fans.
The Dodgers do not plan to bring in a catcher after losing Russell Martin for four to six weeks with a pulled groin, according to Ken Rosenthal and Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports. Instead, they will rely on A.J. Ellis to fill the void, with Brad Ausmus serving as the understudy. Ken Gurnick of MLB.com writes that Torre has faith in the rookie.
The post notes that Paul Bako is likely the top remaining free agent catcher. The 37-year-old hit .224/.308/.336 in 130 plate appearances for the Phillies last season. Another notable catcher without a job is Michael Barrett, though he missed the majority of 2009 due to injury.
The Dodgers signed Brad Ausmus to a $1MM deal today. The backup catcher will earn $850K in 2010 and there's a mutual option worth $1MM for 2011 with a $150K buyout. Ausmus can earn an extra $100K based on plate appearance incentives this coming season.
Ausmus, 41 in April, hit .295/.343/.368 in 107 plate appearances for LA last season, though offense was never his calling card. His value lies in his defense and veteran leadership. Two NL West rivals - the Giants and Padres - were also connected to Ausmus at various points this offseason.
Dylan Hernandez of The Los Angeles Times broke the news of the signing.
Ben Nicholson-Smith contributed to this post.
A source has indicated that the Padres have about $5-8MM left to spend this offseason, according to Dan Hayes of The North County Times. The team is expected to enter 2010 with a payroll around $40MM.
"There's no question there's good value out there," said (GM Jed) Hoyer, who declined to comment on which players the Padres have targeted. "Certainly we have money to spend. We're going to spread it around to some of our needs. There's a lot of good players."
Hayes says the club's biggest needs are a veteran pitcher, a righty hitting outfielder, a utility player, and a veteran catcher. We've already seen them connected to Mike Redmond, Ramon Castro, Brad Ausmus, Jerry Hairston Jr., Randy Winn, and Reed Johnson, while Hayes throws Josh Fogg's name into the mix.
The San Diego Padres have about $5-8MM to spend before the 2010 season begins, according to Bill Center of the San Diego Union-Tribune. In his latest piece, Center details how the bargain-hunting Padres could spend that money....
- San Diego's needs include a right-handed center field bat, a backup catcher, a veteran pitcher, and a utility infielder.
- With so many free agents remaining, the team isn't necessarily in any rush to fill their holes. GM Jed Hoyer says that there will "be some bargains out there as spring training approaches. There will be players, although you might not be able to be selective."
- At catcher, the Padres are looking for a player to act as a mentor to Nick Hundley and the Padres' pitching staff, while only playing a game or two a week. Center notes that Brad Ausmus would be a good fit.
- Center also speculates that Reed Johnson would be a logical and potentially affordable outfield target.
- Since many teams have filled their third base holes, and Adrian Beltre and Miguel Tejada are still on the market, the chances of the Padres trading Kevin Kouzmanoff have seriously diminished.