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Brendan Ryan Rumors
While the Mariners recently looked to be clear sellers in this year's trade market, the team's recent eight-game winning streak and offensive explosion looks to have changed their position. Jon Heyman of CBS Sports reports that teams who have checked in on the Mariners have been told they're not sellers at this time (Twitter link).
No team has scored more runs than the Mariners this month, which is an encouraging sign for a team whose rotation is fronted by Felix Hernandez and Hisashi Iwakuma. The Mariners have a number of veterans on one year deals, including Kendrys Morales, Mike Morse, Joe Saunders, Oliver Perez, Raul Ibanez and Jason Bay, many of whom were frequently mentioned as trade candidates.
Heyman tweets that in particular, there's little belief that Seattle would move Morales, as they plan on extending a qualifying offer to him at season's end. He's been terrific for the M's since coming over from the division rival Angels this offseason, hitting .282/.341/.466 with 15 homers.
Recently, Larry Stone of the Seattle Times noted that general manager Jack Zduriencik wasn't planning on being aggressive at the trade deadline because the franchise needed to show some progress to fans and couldn't afford another 90-loss season. Obviously, that's doubly true for Zduriencik himself, as his job has been rumored to be in jeopardy. At the time that piece was written, Stone thought Perez would certainly be moved, and added that the Mariners could make small trades of Brendan Ryan and Endy Chavez. It appears now that the Mariners, who are 8.5 games back from a Wild Card spot, will hold steady.
The Giants have lost left-handed reliever Jeremy Affeldt for four-to-six weeks after a MRI revealed a moderate strain of muscle and tendon in his left groin, reports Henry Schulman of the San Francisco Chronicle. Jose Mijares will absorb most of Affeldt's innings, but CSNBayArea.com's Andrew Baggarly writes the Giants could, if history is any guide, look to acquire another lefty reliever. Baggarly notes it was nearly three years ago to the day Affeldt injured his oblique and GM Brian Sabean acquired Javier Lopez, an under-the-radar move which paid dividends as the Giants won the World Series. In other news and notes from MLB's West divisions:
- While Affeldt's injury may change the calculus slightly, Baggarly, within that same article, sees the Giants continuing their quest for starting pitching. Manager Bruce Bochy loves Jake Peavy, but the two teams have not discussed a deal and the Giants don’t have the quantity or quality of trade chips to get a seat at the table, according to Baggarly.
- Ex-Giants closer Brian Wilson is expected to begin showcasing his arm for teams within the next few weeks and the Giants have asked Wilson's representative to include them in the process, reports Schulman. Wilson underwent his second Tommy John surgery 15 month ago.
- Dodgers GM Ned Colletti doesn't expect to make any franchise-altering deals prior to the Trade Deadline, according to Dylan Hernandez of the Los Angeles Times. "I don't know that that player is out there," Colletti said. "When I call around teams, there's not a lot of names of position players being discussed. I'm not sure if there's a market out there on the sell side."
- Earlier today, we learned the Dodgers are prepared to offer Miguel Alfredo Gonzalez something in the neighborhood of $50MM over five years. Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports.com, however, tweets sources have told him the Dodgers' interest in the Cuban right-hander is not as fervent as has been portrayed.
- Manager Eric Wedge doesn't think the fourth-place Mariners, winners of six straight, will be active at the Trade Deadline, writes MLB.com's Greg Johns. "Unless it's something that raises the bar, I don't think we're going to do anything," said Wedge. "We're not going to move somebody just to move somebody." The Mariners have several veterans on one-year deals, who could be appealing to contenders, including left-handed reliever Oliver Perez, left-handed starter Joe Saunders, outfielder Raul Ibanez, first baseman Kendrys Morales, and shortstop Brendan Ryan.
- Two years ago, the Dodgers had agreed to deals with both the Tigers and Red Sox for Hiroki Kuroda, but the right-hander invoked his no-trade clause to veto each trade. Through his interpreter, Kuroda provided FOXSports.com's Ken Rosenthal his rationale for refusing to join a team in the playoff hunt: if you only play for a team in August and September, it is not as meaningful as being with a club from Spring Training until the end of the season.
Here's the latest out of Seattle as they get set to host the Cubs tonight..
- In an interview with SportsRadioKJR, GM Jack Zduriencik discussed the club's recent call-up of shortstop Brad Miller and its effect on incumbent Mariners shortstop Brendan Ryan. While Miller "will never be the defensive player" that Ryan is, he offers more offensive upside and Seattle wants a look at him in the majors, Zduriencik said.
- Miller's call-up increases the chances that Ryan will be available to contenders at the deadline, Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports says on Twitter. Though the Seattle shortstop lacks an everyday bat, his defense would be useful in a one-run game in September or October, Morosi notes in a second Tweet.
- Seattle has struggled at the big league level under Zduriencik, but the Mariners appear to have amassed an impressive collection of talent in the minor leagues, Rob Neyer of SBNation says. Danny Hultzen, the No. 2 overall pick in the 2011 draft, was excellent in a Thursday start that marked his return from the disabled list. Hultzen threw six shutout innings, walking one and striking out six.
Aaron Steen contributed to this post.
The Angels will do everything they can to sign Zack Greinke long-term, ESPN’s Tim Kurkjian reports (on Twitter). The Angels surrendered three prospects for Greinke, but the Casey Close client is just two months away from the free agent market. Greinke appears to have turned down an extension offer exceeding $100MM before the Brewers traded him to Anaheim. Here’s the latest from his new division…
- The Yankees attempted to acquire Brendan Ryan from the Mariners, but Seattle turned them down, Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com reports (on Twitter). Ryan is one of many infield options the Yankees have considered this month.
- The Phillies have scouted the Rangers' farm system aggressively, Danny Knobler of CBSSports.com reports (on Twitter).
- The Rangers discussed Josh Beckett before obtaining the rights to Yu Darvish last offseason, but aren't comfortable with the Red Sox right-hander, Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reports (on Twitter). The Rangers are focused on upgrading their bench and bullpen, and they could consider trades for catchers.
The Phillies acquired Hunter Pence from the Astros for prospects Jarred Cosart, Jonathan Singleton and Josh Zeid and a player to be named later on this date last year. Here are the latest links as we look forward to yet another busy trade deadline…
- The Twins are listening to offers for Denard Span, but won’t move him unless they get a Major League starter in return, Bob Nightengale of USA Today reports (on Twitter).
- White Sox GM Kenny Williams says the White Sox are still looking to add, Nightengale reports (on Twitter). The White Sox, who traded forFrancisco Liriano last night, would look to acquire a position player this time, Nightengale writes.
- Alfonso Soriano, Cliff Lee and Ervin Santana are among the players who could clear waivers and be traded in August, Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com reports.
- Willie Bloomquist, Brendan Ryan and Ty Wigginton are thought to be on the Yankees' long list of potential infield options, Heyman reports. Yunel Escobar, Chone Figgins, Jose Lopez and Cody Ransom are also thought to be on New York's list.
- One team that’s spoken with the Mariners reports that "they want everybody," Danny Knobler of CBSSports.com tweets.
We heard earlier this week that Seattle was close to a deal with Ryan, with Stephen Hawkins of the Associated Press reporting the two-year contract was worth $2.75MM ($1MM in 2011 and $1.75MM in 2012). MLB.com's Greg Johns adds that Ryan can earn an extra $400K in 2011 if he reaches certain playing time incentives, and up to $750K in 2012.
Left-hander Jason Vargas and right-handers David Aardsma and Brandon League are the Mariners' remaining arbitration-eligible players. Keep track of their status and every other arb-eligible player this winter with the MLBTR Arb Tracker.
WEDNESDAY, 8:14am: The Mariners and Ryan are working to reach a two-year deal, according to MLB.com's Greg Johns.
TUESDAY, 6:33pm: Jeff Evans, the team's manager of baseball information, confirms via email that the Mariners have not reached an agreement with Ryan.
5:14pm: The Mariners have signed infielder Brendan Ryan to a two-year contract worth $2.75MM according to Stephen Hawkins of the AP. Ryan was arbitration-eligible for the first time heading into 2011. He'll earn $1MM in 2011 and $1.75MM in 2012.
Ryan, 29 in March, was acquired from the Cardinals last month. He's just a .256/.314/.344 career hitter, but his value lies in his top-of-the-line defense at short. His +18.7 UZR at the position is the best in baseball since the start of the 2009 season, close to four runs better than the runner-up.
The Mariners have acquired Brendan Ryan from the Cardinals in exchange for pitching prospect Maikel Cleto, according to a team press release. Because Cleto was on Seattle's 40-man roster, no corresponding roster move will need to be made.
Ryan, 29 in March, is an elite defender at shortstop, as his career UZR/150 mark of 11.4 at the position (in nearly 2400 innings) indicates. While he's not much with the bat (career .259/.314/.344), Ryan has decent speed and base-stealing success (39 SB in 415 games, 75% success) and won't cost the Mariners much. He's arbitration-eligible for the first time after earning just $425K last season. He could serve as a defensively efficient stopgap until top prospect Dustin Ackley is ready at second base.
Cleto, 21, came to the Mariners in the J.J. Putz deal almost exactly two years ago today. The Dominican right-hander throws in the upper-90s, but struggles with his control and secondary pitches, tweets Kevin Goldstein from Baseball Prospectus. Last season, pitching for the High Desert Mavericks in High-A, Cleto threw 102 1/3 innings over 23 games (21 starts), striking out 7.3/9 and walking 3.9/9. His 6.16 ERA was a result of allowing 11 hits per nine innings pitched.
The Twins had been linked to Ryan earlier this weekend, but will now likely turn elsewhere in their search for middle infield depth.
The latest out of St. Louis, from Joe Strauss of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch….
- The Cardinals appear to be getting closer to moving Brendan Ryan, who is drawing interest from the Twins.
- The team has "pressed" to sign Bengie Molina, but a club source believes a Ryan trade is likely to happen before Molina makes a decision one way or the other.
- Molina has been told by the Cards that he's their preferred choice as a backup catcher, but he'd have to be willing to accept the reduced playing time and salary that come with that role. The club has allotted about $1MM for their backstop opening.
- Tony La Russa on the possibility of adding Molina: "He's built up a certain value and what his role needs to be. That's one thing that might be a complicating factor. It would be great if it can work for us and work for him."
The Twins are attempting to trade for Cardinals shortstop Brendan Ryan according to Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports. Minnesota just sent the incumbent J.J. Hardy to Baltimore, and Ryan became expendable when St. Louis acquired Ryan Theriot.
The 28-year-old Ryan isn't much with the stick, just a .256/.308/.344 hitter over the last two seasons, but his defensive skills are second to none. His +18.7 UZR since the start of 2009 leads big league shortstops, just about four full runs ahead of the second best defender, the aforementioned Hardy. The Twins are expected to sign Tsuyoshi Nishioka this month and they also have Alexi Casilla in house, though it's hard to fault them for wanting to create some middle infield depth.