- Rangers Release Ryan Ludwick
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- Mets, Lucas Duda Discussing Extension
- Nate Schierholtz Opts Out Of Deal With Rangers
- Cubs Release Felix Doubront
- Rangers Acquire Sam Freeman From Cardinals
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- Twins’ Lewis Thorpe To Have Tommy John Surgery
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- Rangers Release Ryan Ludwick
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Brandon Webb Rumors
Giants veteran Tim Hudson clarified recently that he bears no ill will toward his prior team, the Braves, as Carroll Rogers of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports. Though he was initially offended when Atlanta offered him only $2MM on a one-year deal, Hudson said that the club ultimately made multiple, “fair offers at the end.” Hudson, who ultimately signed a two-year, $23MM deal, continued: “I totally understand [the Braves’] side of things. I’m not and wasn’t bitter at all.”
Here’s more out of the NL West, with an unfortunate focus on injuries:
- The struggling Rockies received bad news last night with starter Jordan Lyles going down with a broken left hand, reports Nick Groke of the Denver Post. Though the injury was to Lyles’s non-pitching hand, he will hit the DL, though the precise prognosis remains unknown. Colorado has already dipped into its prospect ranks to call up Eddie Butler, and could again look to the minors (or displaced starter Franklin Morales) to cover for the absences of Lyles, Brett Anderson, and Tyler Chatwood. In concert with the team’s slide in the standings, it is looking increasingly unlikely that the Rockies will look to add to the club over the summer; now fully eight games back in the NL West, the team may soon be pegged a seller.
- Diamondbacks middle infielder Cliff Pennington has undergone surgery for a torn ligament in his left thumb, the club announced. He is not expected to begin baseball activities for eight to ten weeks. As I noted yesteday, the injury — especially given its newly-reported severity — could potentially have some impact on how the club proceeds over the summer. It is also bad news for Pennington’s upcoming free agency; the 29-year-old, who is in the back end of a two-year, $5MM deal, has slashed just .242/.313/.312 through 382 plate appearances with Arizona.
- Former Diamondbacks ace Brandon Webb looked back at the disappointing run of shoulder injuries that derailed his career, in a piece from MLB.com’s Barry Bloom. His initial shoulder troubles seemingly emerged out of nowhere one afternoon, but Webb never returned to a big league mound despite years of trying. “That was the most frustrating part, never being able to come back, especially when everything seemed to look fine in the pictures and all that,” says Webb. “That was the toughest part, to go from the top of the game, probably one of the best pitchers in the game, to be done.” Then-pitching coach Bryan Price says that it remains difficult to draw any lessons from Webb’s situation. “If you look back at his delivery, there wasn’t a reason,” he said. “He pitched a lot, but he was a low pitch-count guy. It’s one of those things that we’ll be left to guess about.”
Former National League Cy Young winner Brandon Webb is retiring from baseball, agents Jonathan Maurer and Mike Montana of Millennium Sports told Jerry Crasnick of ESPN.com. Webb, a three-time All-Star who last pitched at the MLB level in 2009, had been considering another comeback attempt.
The Diamondbacks initially selected Webb in the eighth round of the 2000 draft. Three years later he posted a 2.84 ERA with Arizona over the course of 180 2/3 innings. From 2004-08 the groundball pitcher averaged 227 innings with a 3.30 ERA, 7.1 K/9 and 2.9 BB/9. That stretch included his three All-Star appearances and the 2006 NL Cy Young Award. However, Webb hasn't pitched in the big leagues since Opening Day 2009. Shoulder injuries have limited him for the past few years, and though the Rangers took a chance on him in 2011, he didn't make it back to MLB.
Teams such as the Rockies, Twins, Phillies, Marlins, Nationals and Mets had interest in Webb this winter. The 33-year-old earned more than $31MM during his MLB career, according to Baseball-Reference. Webb will retire with an 87-62 record and a 3.27 ERA in 1319 2/3 innings pitched over the course of 199 career appearances.
- Darren Wolfson of 1500 ESPN in Minneapolis suggests reliever Michael Wuertz will soon sign a minor league deal with a National League team (Twitter link).
- NL East teams such as the Phillies, Marlins, Nationals and Mets are keeping tabs on free agent right-hander Brandon Webb, Jerry Crasnick of ESPN.com reports (on Twitter).
- The Mets won’t trade Zack Wheeler to acquire Justin Upton from Arizona, Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com reports (Twitter link). The Mets and Diamondbacks don’t see a fit for a deal involving Upton at this point, Heyman adds. New York does have interest in high-profile outfielders such as Upton.
- The Red Sox have seen all of Javier Vazquez's starts in Puerto Rico, Peter Gammons of MLB Network reports (on Twitter). Many clubs will be watching the free agent right-hander pitch today, Gammons notes. Vazquez, 36, has said he's not in a hurry to sign.
Utility infielder Geoff Blum's ready to call it a playing career after 14 seasons in the big leagues, writes Brian McTaggart of MLB.com. After spending five years with the Astros over two different stints, Blum will return to Houston to join the club's television broadcasting team on a part-time basis. Here's the latest news and headlines from around the league…
- The Rockies remain interested in former Cy Young winner Brandon Webb, who plans to set a date to throw in front of teams in the near future, reports the Denver Post's Troy Renck (via Twitter). Webb, 34 this spring, last appeared in the big leagues in April 2009.
- The Orioles have a few free agents for other teams to consider ranging from a sure-fire Hall of Famer to a utility infielder who will most likely use Twitter to announce his next stop, says Rich Dubroff of CSNBaltimore.com.
- The offseason doesn't always mean vacations or relaxing poolside for younger players in the Padres organization as the salary of a minor leaguer often fails to cover the bills, writes Corey Brock of MLB.com.
The Rockies have expressed "mild interest" in Jeff Karstens, reports Troy Renck of The Denver Post. Renck reiterates that the team also has some interest in Brandon Webb, plus they remain open to trades for pitching. They have not had conversations about free agents Derek Lowe or Aaron Cook, however.
The Pirates non-tendered Karstens in November rather than pay the 30-year-old right-hander a projected $3.8MM salary in 2013. He pitched to a 3.97 ERA with a 36.8% ground ball rate in 90 2/3 innings for Pittsburgh last season while missing time with shoulder and hip problems. Karstens posted a 3.38 ERA with 5.3 K/9, 1.8 BB/9, and a 46.2% ground ball rate in 162 2/3 innings in 2011.
The Rockies have been on the hunt for pitching this offseason after their staff produced an MLB-worst 5.22 ERA in 2012. So far this offseason they've re-signed Jeff Francis while trading for Wilton Lopez, though they've been connected to a number of free agents as well. Francis, Drew Pomeranz, Christian Friedrich, Jhoulys Chacin, Tyler Chatwood, and Juan Nicasio represent Colorado's returning starters.
Here's the latest from around the league as Friday turns into Saturday…
- The Red Sox, Rays, Nationals, and Royals scouted Javier Vazquez during his Puerto Rican League outing tonight, reports Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports (on Twitter). The right-hander was said to be pitching at 93 mph with the fastball.
- The Rockies will scout Brandon Webb's throwing session, which will take place in the coming weeks according to MLB.com's Thomas Harding. The Twins will also be in attendance.
- "Obviously, it's been a little slow, a little slower than anticipated … It's going to eventually work itself out. It's not like I'm not going to be out of baseball," said Kyle Lohse to MLB.com's Mike Bauman. The right-hander has yet to receive an offer other than the qualifying offer he rejected.
- "I haven't really thought other than that … If something happens, it happens, but I'm looking forward to getting back to that beautiful facility again and start going," said Jason Kubel to MLB.com's Steve Gilbert when asked about trade rumors. The Diamondbacks are expected to move one of their spare outfielders before Spring Training.
- The Brewers will probably announce the Mike Gonzalez signing on Monday, reports Tom Haudricourt of The Journal Sentinel (on Twitter). The holidays delayed the finalization of the contract.
The Tigers' re-signing of Anibal Sanchez puts them right there with the Angels as favorites to win the American League in 2013, writes Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports. Some are wondering if the Halos’ combination of Mike Trout, Hamilton and Albert Pujols is the best ever, but the Tigers can’t be too far behind with Austin Jackson, Miguel Cabrera, and Prince Fielder. Here's more Friday night linkage from around baseball..
- If the Padres trade for a starting pitcher, Corey Brock of MLB.com (via Twitter) doesn't can't see how they don't part with Luke Gregerson or Joe Thatcher as part of a deal, since they are reluctant to move prospects. San Diego is said to be interested in Tigers pitcher Rick Porcello.
- Second baseman Neil Walker just became arbitration eligible, but he said at today's fan event that he would be open to a long-term deal with the Pirates, writes Rob Biertempfel of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. “This is the city I want to be in,” Walker said. “I‘m excited about my first year of arbitration, (but) I can‘t really speak too much more on that. I hope to be a Pirate for a long, long time.”
- The Twins will be among the teams at pitcher Brandon Webb's throwing session after the holidays, according to Darren Wolfson of 1500 ESPN. The former Cy Young winner hasn't pitched in the majors since 2009 because of shoulder issues.
- Mike DiGiovanna of the Los Angeles Times spoke with Josh Hamilton's "accountability partner" Johnny Narron, who worked with him for five years with the Reds and Rangers.
Pitchers Rich Harden and Brandon Webb both plan to return to pitching in 2013, according to Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports (Twitter links). Harden missed the 2012 season after undergoing shoulder surgery while Webb has not thrown a pitch in the majors since 2009.
Harden's agent agent Brett Laurvick told Morosi that there is "a lot of interest" from clubs in his client. The right-hander spent the 2011 season with the Athletics and posted a 5.12 ERA with 9.9 K/9 and 3.4 BB/9 in 15 starts. The 31-year-old has struggled with injuries in the past, having missed the bulk of the 2006 and '07 seasons.
Webb, 33, has dealt with multiple shoulder injuries over the last few years. The 2006 NL Cy Young Award winner signed a one-year, $3MM contract with the Rangers prior to the 2011 season but never made it to the mound. For his career, Webb owns a 3.27 ERA with 7.3 K/9 and 3.0 BB/9.
Here's the latest on the Twins from Darren Wolfson of 1500 ESPN…
- So far, the Twins have reached out to free agents Brandon McCarthy, Anibal Sanchez, Joe Blanton, Ryan Dempster, and Brett Myers. They're interested in Myers as a starter. They've also reached out to Brandon Webb even though he hasn't thrown a pitch in the big leagues since 2009.
- The club continues to have regular conversations with Alan Nero, who represents right-hander Scott Baker. The two sides are working on a new contract after Baker's $9.25MM option was declined.
- The Twins have not shown any interest in Jon Garland and were not present when the right-hander threw for teams during an audition back in September.
- Talks with reliever Jared Burton about a contract extension are underway. Matt Swartz projects a $2.1MM salary for the right-hander next season, after which he'll become a free agent.
- The Twins have inquired about reliever Randy Messenger, though the Hanshin Tigers in Japan will not allow the right-hander out of his contract.
- The team has not contacted Bill Bray after he hit free agency. Special assistant Wayne Krivsky acquired the left-hander during his tenure as Reds GM.
On this date in 2000, the Rangers acquired David Segui and cash in a three-team trade. Texas sent Lee Stevens to the Expos, the Expos sent Brad Fullmer to the Blue Jays, and the Jays sent Segui and cash to the Rangers. Here's the latest from the two-time defending AL champs…
- The Rangers have gotten calls about Scott Feldman, reports Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com (on Twitter). They have a strong inclination to hang onto the versatile 29-year-old right-hander, however.
- Given their deep cache of right-handed relievers, Heyman says (on Twitter) that Texas could still trade Koji Uehara or Mark Lowe. Uehara invoked his no-trade clause to reject a deal to the Blue Jays in January.
- The Rangers rolled the dice with Brandon Webb last season, and ESPN's Buster Olney says (on Twitter) that the 32-year-old sinkerballer continues to work out with the intention of getting back on the mound for a team at some point.