Brandon Snyder Rumors
One month doesn't tell the entire story for a team, but clubs are trying to look at April performances and figure out what direction things are going in, writes Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe. The Phillies aren't getting much production out of Ryan Howard and with the Nationals and Braves likely to pick things up soon, they might sell off pieces like Cliff Lee. The Mariners have been struggling to open 2013 and so far offseason acquisitions Kendrys Morales and Michael Morse aren't helping. The 10-13 White Sox are also worth watching because there’s always talk that they would part with players such as Gavin Floyd, Jake Peavy, Alexei Ramirez, Alex Rios, and maybe even Paul Konerko. Here's more from today's column..
- Surprisingly, baseball people have an open mind about acquiring Red Sox right-hander Alfredo Aceves. Boston won't fetch much for him, but one veteran adviser to a GM said, “You’d be crazy not to take that chance with an arm like that. Change of environment can do wonders for a player who might have had a troubled past. I think you always take that risk if the player has skills, and Aceves has skills.” Cafardo wouldn't be surprised to see the Angels and Rangers show interest.
- Scouts who have watched Red Sox minor leaguer Brandon Snyder want him on their team. The first baseman is off to a hot start for Triple-A Pawtucket, hitting .328/.427/.578 with three homers. Snyder was the O's pick in the first round of the 2005 draft (13th overall), a rich draft in which Justin Upton, Alex Gordon, Ryan Zimmerman, Ryan Braun, Ricky Romero, Troy Tulowitzki, Mike Pelfrey, Cameron Maybin, Andrew McCutchen, and Jay Bruce were taken ahead of him. One AL scout said that he can't imagine Snyder not being able to help a big league club.
- Orioles decision maker Dan Duquette is trying to make adjustments to his roster, perhaps by acquiring a power bat off the bench and another starting pitcher.
The changing nature of free agency has been a hot topic of late, as MLBTR noted earlier today. A series of high-profile extensions this spring have reinforced an apparent new trend towards teams retaining their best young players with long-term deals. As Larry Stone of the Seattle Times posits, this trend also increases the importance of scouting and developing young players, with MLB's recent spending limits potentially leveling the playing field between large and small-market clubs.
- Alex Rodriguez's record-breaking 2007 contract extension with the Yankees was re-visited in a piece on Saturday from David Waldstein of the New York Times. Waldstein reports on the events that ensued after Rodriguez exercised the opt-out clause in his contract, with the announcement infamously coming in the midst of what turned out to be the final game of the World Series. After receiving counsel from people ranging from Mariano Rivera to Warren Buffett, Rodriguez apologized to Hal and Hank Steinbrenner to pave the way to a new deal with the Yanks. The unprecedented contract included a $265MM salary guarantee over ten seasons, a $10MM signing bonus, and career home run milestone payments of up to $30MM. With Rodriguez now suffering from some combination of ineffectiveness, injury, and intrigue, Waldstein writes, New York may be exploring a variety of ways to get out from under the deal.
- An opt-out clause could play a big role in another potential ten-year commitment: the recently-inked eight-year, $120MM extension between Elvis Andrus and the Rangers. As Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports explains, the deal's opt-out clause is likely to turn the Andrus extension into a four-year, $60MM deal. While this seems to be a big concession by Texas, Rosenthal says it was necessary to lock up four of the Scott Boras client's free agent years. The club will pursue insurance to protect itself in the event that Andrus does not exercise the opt-out clause due to injury. The deal also gives the Rangers plenty of flexibility to take advantage of super-prospect Jurickson Profar, either in their lineup (at second base) or via trade.
- While still not conforming his new deal, Andrus commented today on his relationship with Boras, as reported by T.R. Sullivan of MLB.com. Discussing his agent's penchant for testing the market, Andrus said: "We're the boss. I know everybody thinks that about Scott but it's different if you're the one in that position. He works for us. I know he tries to get the best deal that he can but it comes down to my choice and what's better for me and my family."
- Scott Kazmir appears close to coming all the way back to the big leagues after being activated by the Indians, writes Paul Hoynes of The Plain Dealer. In a corresponding move, the club optioned left-hander Nick Hagadone to Triple-A. Kazmir, who will now receive a $1MM base salary after initially signing a minor league deal, may still have to wait to actually make an appearance after straining his ab. As the Indians noted on Twitter, today's transaction allows the club to back-date a Kazmir DL stint if he is not ready to go.
- The Red Sox are signing infielder Brandon Snyder to a minor league deal, as first reported by Chris Cotillo (Twitter link). Alex Speier of WEEI.com confirmed (via Twitter) that Snyder, who was recently released by the Rangers, has signed with Boston and is headed to Triple-A Pawtucket.
Here are some notes from Texas:
- The Rangers announced via press release that infielder Brandon Snyder "has requested and received his unconditional release from his minor league contract." Snyder, a former 1st round pick of the Orioles, hit .277/.309/.446 in 69 plate appearances last year for Texas.
- The Rangers have asked pitcher Nate Robertson to accept an assignment to Triple-A, writes T.R. Sullivan of MLB.com. Though he has not pitched in the big leagues since 2010, Robertson has over seven years of service time and must therefore assent to such a move. Robertson is expected to agree to the assignment, though he will keep looking for opportunities with other major league clubs and expects the Rangers to work with him should he find a chance.
- Outfielder Julio Borbon is still waiting to find out what will happen to him with GM Jon Daniels working hard to trade him, according to Sullivan. With Leonys Martin and Craig Gentry set to man center field, and Borbon out of options, he seems destined for waivers if Daniels cannot find a deal.
Here are Wednesday's minor moves...
- The Rangers have signed Brandon Snyder to a minor league contract, reports Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com (on Twitter). The 26-year-old former first round pick of the Orioles hit .277/.309/.446 in 69 plate appearances with Texas last year while playing first base, third base, and both corner outfield spots.
- The Padres have re-signed Juan Oramas to a minor league deal according to MLB.com's Corey Brock (on Twitter). The 22-year-old left-hander was non-tendered last month and is recovering from Tommy John surgery.
- The Padres have also signed right-hander Sean O'Sullivan, infielder Gregorio Petit, and catcher Rene Rivera to minor league contracts, the team announced. All three players received invitations to Spring Training.
- The Twins have signed outfielder Brandon Boggs, infielder Ray Olmedo, right-hander Bryan Augenstein, first baseman Reynaldo Rodriguez, right-hander Scott Elarton, right-hander Virgil Vasquez, left-hander Mike O'Connor, and left-hander Jason Lane to minor league deals according to MLB.com's Adam Berry. Boggs, Olmedo, and Augenstein received invitations to Spring Training.
Here are today’s American League non-tenders. All decisions must be in by 11pm CT tonight. Be sure to track all tender decisions using MLBTR's Non-Tender Tracker. Related resources include our list of non-tender candidates, our projected arbitration salaries and our arbitration eligibles series.
- The Rays have non-tendered Ben Francisco according to Marc Topkin of The Tampa Bay Times (on Twitter).
- The Blue Jays have non-tendered Bobby Wilson, the team announced.
- The Mariners have non-tendered Robert Andino, the team announced. They acquired him from the Orioles less than two weeks ago.
- The Rangers have non-tendered Geovany Soto, Brandon Snyder, and Jacob Brigham according to MLB.com's T.R. Sullivan (on Twitter).
- The Orioles have non-tendered Mark Reynolds in addition to Omar Quintanilla and Stuart Pomeranz, the team announced (on Twitter).
- The Athletics have non-tendered Jermaine Mitchell, the team announced. Mitchell was designated for assignment earlier this week.
- The Red Sox have non-tendered Rich Hill, Ryan Sweeney, and Scott Atchison, the team announced. Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports had the Sweeney news earlier (on Twitter) while Rob Bradford of WEEI.com had the Atchison news.
- The Indians announced they non-tendered Jack Hannahan, Rafael Perez and Chris Seddon
- The White Sox announced that they've non-tendered right-hander pitcher Anthony Carter and infielder Dan Johnson.
- The Royals announced that they won't tender outfielder Derrick Robinson a contract for 2013 (Twitter link). Robinson has no MLB experience so he wasn't arbitration eligible.
- The Tigers announced that they will non-tender Daniel Schlereth. The left-hander was limited to six appearances this past season, which he mostly spent on the disabled list with shoulder tendinitis. Schlereth was not yet arbitration eligible.
Mike Axisa contributed to this post.
The Rangers acquired infielder Brandon Snyder from the Orioles for cash considerations, reports MLB.com's T.R. Sullivan. Snyder, 25, was drafted 13th overall by the Orioles in 2005, a first round that has become legendary for the talent produced.
Snyder gave up catching after the 2006 season and now plays the infield corners. In 2011 he hit .261/.312/.406 in 494 Triple-A plate appearances, his third stint at the level.
According to MASN's Roch Kubatko, the Orioles are simply looking for "any kind of pitching" as the club winds down its winter shopping. While corner infield help ostensibly remains at the top of Baltimore's shopping list, O's GM Andy MacPhail told Kubatko that it isn't a critical priority given the club's organizational strength at the corners (i.e. prospects Josh Bell and Brandon Snyder).
As for pitching, however, MacPhail said, "we'll always sort of stay in the hunt for pitching." Here's what MacPhail had to say about two potential free-agent targets...
- Erik Bedard. We've heard some rumors about the O's looking to bring the left-hander back to Baltimore, but the lack of activity should not be taken as a decline in interest on the club's part. Bedard "doesn't seem to be in a rush to sign" with anyone, and MacPhail noted that Bedard was likely to sign "a late-January type deal anyway, if that." Given how Bedard's probable contract will be a one or two-year, incentive-laden deal, it makes sense that clubs would wait to see how the rest of the offseason pitching market shakes down before making Bedard an offer. MacPhail added that based on some preliminary medical information the Baltimore staff has received about Bedard, the southpaw will be able to pitch before midseason, contrary to what some reports have suggested.
- Mark Hendrickson. It's been widely assumed that Hendrickson would re-sign with Baltimore, and the pitcher himself said he was hoping to get a deal done quickly back in October. But now we're a third of the way through January and the left-hander is still a free agent. MacPhail said the team is still interested in bringing Hendrickson back, but they have been waiting "to see how some of these other things play out, as far as what we do and how extensive it's going to be and how our roster shapes up. So we can't quite commit yet, but we never pretended that there wasn't interest."
Kubatko also reported that the door seems to be closed on Ben Sheets joining the Orioles. Sheets fit the Bedard mold as a pitcher who would sign a short-term deal, but Kubatko said Baltimore asked for (and never received) Sheets' medical records. Sheets "apparently wants to be paid as if he isn't a health risk," which is a pretty firm negotiating stance for a pitcher who hasn't appeared in a Major League game since 2008.
The Orioles aren't expected to be major players on the free-agent market this winter, but if the team does make a move, it will likely be to acquire a veteran presence at first and/or third base.
Speaking to MASN Sports' Steve Melewski, Baltimore team president Andy MacPhail said that given the Orioles' young outfield and second-year catcher Matt Wieters, he would "like to put more proven bats" in the lineup to compliment the team's young stars. The O's have prospects Brandon Snyder and Josh Bell in the pipeline at first and third, respectively, but since MacPhail said he doesn't see either making the leap to the majors in 2010, the experienced hitters that MacPhail wants will have to come at the corner infield spots.
Baltimore already has Luke Scott (a team-leading 25 homers in 2009) penciled in at either first base or DH, and utilityman Ty Wigginton is available to play third. Prospect Michael Aubrey (an .826 OPS in 95 plate appearances last season) is also in the 1B mix, possibly in a lefty-righty platoon with Wigginton that would lock Scott into a DH/LF split with Nolan Reimold and would then leave third base open for either a free agent or a player to be acquired in a trade. The Baltimore Sun's Dan Connolly predicted the O's would sign Pedro Feliz, while there has been some speculation that the Orioles will make a trade with Florida for Dan Uggla and then move Uggla from second to third base.
In his Offseason Outlook series entry about Baltimore, Tim Dierkes listed names like Adrian Beltre, Carlos Delgado and Nick Johnson as possible targets for the Orioles. These players would fit the "short-term" designation that MacPhail mentioned, but since MacPhail didn't rule out the possibility of "the right deal for the right player, even if it was a longer-term deal," would there be any other bigger-name corner infielders that you could realistically see Baltimore signing?