Brandon Medders Rumors
Taylor Tankersley and a number of others with big league experience recently hit free agency, as Baseball America's Matt Eddy reports. Joining the left-hander on the open market are Bobby Scales (Cubs), Justin Lehr (Reds), Paul Phillips (Rockies), Juan Rincon (Rockies), Hector Luna (Marlins), Anderson Hernandez (Astros), Adam Stern (Brewers), Denny Bautista (Giants), Brandon Medders (Giants), Willie Eyre (Rangers) and Sean Henn (Blue Jays).
Tankersley, the Marlins' first round pick in the 2004 draft, succeeded early in his career, but has since struggled. Still just 27, Tankersley brings a career 8.8 K/9 to the free agent market and could become a lefty specialist. He missed all of 2009 with a stress fracture in his elbow, but it wouldn't be surprising to see a team like the Diamondbacks take a flier on the former prospect.
Bautista, who turns 28 this weekend, is another interesting arm. He posted a 3.74 ERA with the Giants this year and struck out (11.8 K/9) and walked (7.2 BB/9) tons of batters in 33.2 innings. The right-hander has always walked lots of hitters, but his mid-90s fastball and ability to induce strikeouts may tempt teams looking to buy low on live arms.
Brandon Medders cleared outright waivers and will head to Triple A Fresno, according to John Shea of the San Francisco Chronicle (via Twitter). The Giants had to make room on the 40-man roster for Pat Burrell, who will join the big league club. Medders posted a 7.20 ERA in 14 games this year, with 4.8 K/9 and 3.6 BB/9.
A year ago, Medders was a regular contributor out of Bruce Bochy's 'pen, appearing in 61 games and posting a 3.01 ERA. Only closer Brian Wilson appeared in more games than Medders, who finished the 2009 season with a 5-1 record.
Medders has never started a major league game, but he and his band once opened for country singer Billy Currington, according to the team's media guide. Not only that, Medders, who is an "accomplished singer and guitarist," opened the show right after pitching against the Braves.
We'll recap all of the players who agree to deals to avoid arbitration throughout the day here. Be sure to check back in, there's bound to be plenty of updates. Here's yesterday's list.
- The White Sox avoided arbitration with both Bobby Jenks and Carlos Quentin, signing both to one-year deals. Jenks will earn $7.5MM in 2010, while Quentin will receive $3.2MM after earning just $550K in 2009.
- The Giants and reliever Brandon Medders avoided arbitration by agreeing to a one-year, $820K deal, according to Ken Gurnick of MLB.com.
- MLB.com's Mark Sheldon reports that the Reds and Nick Masset have avoided arbitration, agreeing to a two-year deal. Masset is set to earn $1.035MM this season and $1.545 next season, according to John Fay of the Cincinnati Enquirer.
A fresh bash of Twitter rumors, with the earlier post so bloated...
- The Mets will meet with the agents for Randy Wolf, Joel Pineiro, Jason Marquis, and John Lackey, says SI's Jon Heyman.
- Ed Wade ranks the Astros priorities as closer, offense, eighth-inning reliever, and bench, according to MLB.com's Brian McTaggart. ESPN's Jerry Crasnick notes that the Astros will meet with Rafael Soriano's agent today.
- Crasnick says the Marlins are getting trade inquiries on arbitration-eligible outfielder Cody Ross. The Fish are expected to retain Ross, however.
- Giants GM Brian Sabean told Andrew Baggarly of the San Jose Mercury News that Ryan Garko is on the bubble in terms of being non-tendered. Reliever Brandon Medders will be tendered a contract. You can check out our other non-tender candidates here.
- Miguel Angel Sano has been determined by MLB to be 16-18, and GM Bill Smith doesn't seem to care where he falls in that range.
Andrew Baggarly of the San Jose Mercury News has the goods on the Giants, after speaking with GM Brian Sabean and manager Bruce Bochy.
- Technically, Sabean and Bochy's contracts are up at the end of the month. They don't have commitments for 2010 in hand, yet the expectation is that both will be back.
- In discussing Tim Lincecum's upcoming arbitration case, Sabean referenced Ryan Howard's record first-time award ($10MM) from February of '08. Of course, with Howard, the Phillies screwed up by submitting only $7MM. Sabean wants to file his salary request for Lincecum before discussing a long-term deal, so as to not show his hand early.
- Closer Brian Wilson is another first-time arbitration-eligible player, and you have to think he'll jump up to $5MM+.
- The Giants would like to restructure Freddy Sanchez's $8.1MM option into a two-year deal, but seem confident in his return. Baggarly says they even consider the option as a fallback if the restructuring fails. I can't see Sanchez getting $8.1MM on the open market.
- A Brad Penny return appears unlikely. If he sticks to the NL and the West Coast he'll be down to the Padres pretty much. It'd also be surprising to see the Giants re-sign catcher Bengie Molina, who wants a two-year deal worth more than $6MM annually.
- Sabean wouldn't rule out trading a pitcher for a bat, but said he'd agonize over such a decision.
- Brandon Medders, Justin Miller, and Ryan Garko are non-tender candidates. The Buster Posey and Madison Bumgarner call-ups locked up two 40-man roster spots.
- Quoting Baggarly: Sabean justified the $18.5 million contract he gave [Edgar Renteria] last winter by saying they needed a veteran shortstop."
Including a couple of Giants prospects, catcher Buster Posey and right-hander Kevin Pucetas, San Francisco has invited 16 players to its Spring Training camp, Chris Haft of MLB.com reports.
The rest of the list: third baseman Jesus Guzman; infielders Scott McClain and Ivan Ochoa; right-handers Francis Beltran, Brandon Medders and Justin Miller; catcher Eli Whiteside; first baseman-outfielder Josh Phelps; outfielder Andres Torres; catcher Todd Jennings; infielder Jake Wald; catcher Jackson Williams; right-hander Ronnie Ray; infielder Matt Downs.
Pitchers and catchers report Feb. 14.
I woke up to a ton of small transactions this morning, so let's lead with them.
- In MLBTR-friendly transactions, the A's designated Lenny DiNardo and Kevin Melillo for assignment. The team made a bevy of other moves, though, recalling Travis Buck, Brad Ziegler, and Carlos Gonzalez, placing Joey Devine, Mike Sweeney, and Ryan Sweeney on the 15-day DL, and activating Kiko Calero and Eric Chavez from the DL.
- Brandon Medders, recently DFA by the Diamondbacks, has cleared waivers and has been assigned to AAA.
- Brayan Pena, recently DFA by the Braves, has been claimed by the Royals.
- Rangers RHP Franklyn German has refused an assignment to AAA, and will hit the free agent market.
- The Reds traded RHP Jim Brower to the Cubs for cash considerations. He has a double-digit major league ERA in limited time over the past two seasons.
Hopefully they'll let you leave work early today in anticipation of the holiday weekend. Before you go, here are some random links.
- RotoAuthority takes a look at Clayton Kershaw, who may be called up soon.
- Brandon Medders was DFA'd to make room for Doug Davis. Not to be mean, but the 28 year-old reliever doesn't do anything particularly well.
- The Glendon Rusch signing takes the Rockies out of the Julian Tavarez sweepstakes. Jayson Stark said the Brewers made a run at Tavarez a week ago.
- Paul Sullivan suggests that Jim Edmonds may be on a short leash in Chicago.
- Jon Heyman grades last winter's trades.
- We've filled the Sunday afternoon writing gig...many thanks to all who applied.
The Diamondbacks are facing too much of a good thing this spring, with five relievers competing for just one remaining spot in the bullpen.
Righthander Dustin Nippert was the frontrunner, but has stumbled in Spring Training. Strong performances by young throwers Billy Buckner, Juan Gutierrez, and Yusmeiro Petit have also complicated the situation, as each has made a strong case for his inclusion on the big-league roster. However, Nippert and fellow righty Brandon Medders have both been with the team for three years, and are out of minor league options. If the Diamondbacks leave them off the roster, they'll hit the waiver wire.
One thought is that if Randy Johnson isn't ready to go, his absence will leave a second slot open for a pitcher. However, that could still leave Medders and Nippert disappointed.
Nippert turns 27 in May. A TJ survivor, Baseball America wrote in their '07 handbook that the tall righty has "top-of-the-rotation stuff." He could be a prize for a rebuilding team that could afford to keep him in the Majors all year. He's yet to have much big league success.
Medders has a nice 3.36 career ERA in 131 innings of relief, but his K/BB has deteriorated over the years. The 28 year-old missed most of '04 with labrum surgery, according to BA. They say he's deceptive and possesses a decent sinking fastball and cutter.
Both these guys are interesting, with Nippert the upside choice. If the D'Backs do deal one of them I'm guessing it could be for a prospect or two.