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Let's celebrate perhaps the last year of a six-team NL Central with spring training links for all the clubs…
- Pirates infielder Gustavo Nunez, who was taken from the Tigers in December's Rule 5 draft, was placed on the 60-day DL with a right ankle injury, tweets Rob Biertempfel of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. Side effects of the move: the Pirates buy some time before deciding whether to put Nunez on the 25-man roster, and a 40-man roster spot is opened for new acquisition A.J. Burnett.
- The Burnett acquisition creates competition at the back end of the Pirates' rotation, writes Biertempfel. He believes Kevin Correia and Jeff Karstens will battle for the last spot, if everyone is healthy. Burnett talked to reporters this morning. One interesting news tidbit was his comment that one ever asked him about a potential Angels trade, though he confirmed he's not interested in the West Coast for family reasons. Unprompted, Burnett debunked the rumors about his wife's transportation preferences, saying with a smile, "She loves to fly."
- Ryan Madson's $8.5MM commitment with the Reds is spread out over three budgets, explains ESPN's Buster Olney: "$2MM during the 2012 season, $2MM in deferred salary on Nov. 1, 2012 — which is the start of the 2013 budget — and another $2MM in deferred salary, without interest, on Nov. 1, 2013, at the outset of the 2014 fiscal year. In the middle of that, they have a $2.5MM buyout on an $11 million option for 2013." On the topic of his one-year deal, Madson told MLB.com's Mark Sheldon, "I take it as motivation to show people again, to prove that it's real. It's unfortunate it's that way but I'm not complaining. I'm very happy. I'm very privileged to have this opportunity, and I just want to run with it and show people that I will be OK."
- Righty Brett Tomko always wanted to come back to Cincinnati, he told John Fay of the Enquirer. Tomko said it's taken two years to recover from a 2009 pinched nerve.
- The Astros could have a new player at all nine positions for Opening Day 2012 compared to '11, writes Zachary Levine of the Houston Chronicle.
- Astros 2010 supplemental first-round pick Mike Kvasnicka is moving back to catcher from third base, tweets Levine. Kvasnicka was recently ranked 25th among Astros prospects by Baseball America.
- "I'm not one to look back with animosity, however people or fans want to view my time there," former Cubs GM Jim Hendry told Joe Cowley of the Chicago Sun-Times. Hendry noted that it was "just nice" to be wanted by the Yankees, "the most storied franchise in sports." He's now with the Yankees as a special assistant to GM Brian Cashman, and isn't worrying about becoming a GM again.
- "They always say contract years turn out to be great years," Brewers starter Chris Narveson mentioned to Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel. Zack Greinke and Shaun Marcum are entering contract years, while Randy Wolf has a $10MM club option for '13 with a $1.5MM buyout.
- Cardinals starter Adam Wainwright refuses to put a limit on his innings following 2011 Tommy John surgery, he told MLB.com's Jenifer Langosch, but she notes that GM John Mozeliak has said 200 frames is likely out of the question.
The Reds have agreed to sign right-hander Brett Tomko to a minor league deal, MLBTR has learned. The 14-year veteran split the 2011 season between the Rangers and their Triple-A affiliate.
Tomko appeared in eight games for the Rangers last year, posting a 4.58 ERA with 7.1 K/9 and 5.1 BB/9 in 17 2/3 innings. The 38-year-old Paragon Sports International client also pitched 108 1/3 innings for Texas' top affiliate, starting 18 games. Tomko broke in with the Reds in 1997, spending three seasons in Cincinnati before being traded to Seattle in the Ken Griffey Jr. deal.
A total of 22 players that finished the year in Triple-A elected free agency after the end of the regular season according to the transaction pages of the Pacific Coast and International Leagues. All but one of those 22 players (Matt Carson, formerly of the Rays) played in the big leagues this season. Here's the full list:
Dusty Brown (Pirates), Travis Buck (Indians), Armando Galarraga (D'Backs), Jay Gibbons (Dodgers), Edgar Gonzalez (Rockies), Steve Holm (Twins), Wil Ledezma (Blue Jays), Andy LaRoche (Athletics), Felipe Lopez (Brewers), Lastings Milledge (White Sox), Pat Misch (Mets), Pat Neshek (Padres), Mike O'Connor (Mets), Matt Palmer (Angels), Felix Pie (Orioles), Brad Snyder (Cubs), Brett Tomko (Rangers), Wyatt Toregas (Pirates), P.J. Walters (Blue Jays), Randy Williams (Red Sox), and Reggie Willits (Angels).
Full Story | Comments | Categories: Andy LaRoche | Arizona Diamondbacks | Armando Galarraga | Baltimore Orioles | Boston Red Sox | Brett Tomko | Chicago Cubs | Chicago White Sox | Cleveland Indians | Colorado Rockies | Dusty Brown | Edgar Gonzalez | Felipe Lopez | Felix Pie | Jay Gibbons | Lastings Milledge | Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim | Mike O'Connor | Milwaukee Brewers | Minnesota Twins | New York Mets | Oakland Athletics | P.J. Walters | Pat Misch | Pat Neshek | Pittsburgh Pirates | Randy Williams | Reggie Willits | San Diego Padres | Tampa Bay Rays | Texas Rangers | Toronto Blue Jays | Transactions | Travis Buck | Wilfredo Ledezma | Wyatt Toregas
A few minor moves…
- Rob Delaney has cleared waivers after being designated for assignment by the Rays on Wednesday and has been outrighted to Triple-A Durham, reports Marc Topkin of the St. Petersburg Times (via Twitter).
- The Rangers outrighted Brett Tomko to Triple-A Round Rock and Tomko has accepted the assignment, reports Anthony Andro of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram (via Twitter). Andro also tweets that Tomko has an out clause in his contract for June 1, though Andro isn't sure if Tomko plans to exercise it. In the corresponding move, Texas called up Michael Kirkman.
- The Brewers have outrighted catcher Mike Rivera to Triple-A Nashville, reports MLB.com's Adam McCalvy. It is expected that Rivera will accept the assignment.
- Also from McCalvy, Brandon Boggs has accepted his assignment to Nashville after being outrighted by the Brewers two days ago. This is the third time Boggs has been outrighted by Milwaukee in the last three months. Rivera and Boggs were outrighted to create roster space for Josh Wilson and Nyjer Morgan.
- Brett Tomko can opt out of his contract with the Rangers on June 1st, according to Anthony Andro of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram (on Twitter). The clause presumably exists in case Tomko is still in the minors at that point.
- Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports argues that the Mariners should call the Yankees and see exactly how much they'd give up for Felix Hernandez. The reigning AL Cy Young Award winner is under contract through 2014 for a total of $68MM.
- Nate Robertson will undergo arthroscopic surgery on his left elbow and miss at least four weeks. As MLB.com's Greg Johns points out, that leaves Michael Pineda, Luke French and David Pauley as the primary candidates for the Mariners' fifth rotation spot.
- Johns reports that the Mariners turned a $1.7MM profit in the fiscal year ending on October 31st, 2010.
Let's take a look at some items related to the Junior Circuit..
- A rival executive described the Royals' young talent as "an embarrassment of riches" to Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports (via Twitter).
- Speaking of Kansas City, Jonah Keri of Fangraphs examines the one-year, $2.5MM deal given to Jeff Francoeur. Even though the deals given to Francoeur and fellow outfielder Melky Cabrera (one-year, $1.25MM) are puzzling for many reasons, Keri notes that the one-year deals don't block any of the club's prospects.
- The Red Sox are hopeful that Andrew Miller will resurrect his career after signing a minor league deal with the club this winter writes Brian MacPherson of The Providence Journal. According to Miller's agent, the lefty recieved big league offers from three other teams but preferred the BoSox.
- Two ex-Mariners, Endy Chavez and Brett Tomko, are looking to make it back to the majors with the Rangers, writes Kirby Arnold of The Daily Herald.
- Now in Texas, Mike Napoli says that he knew that the Angels would trade one of their talented catchers, writes T.R. Sullivan of MLB.com. The Halos had a glut at the position with Napoli, Jeff Mathis, Bobby Wilson, and Hank Conger waiting in the wings.
- White Sox veteran Omar Vizquel Is a reminder of what might have been for the M's, writes Tyler Kepner of the New York Times.
- The Pirates are likely still in search of two lefties out of the 'pen, writes Dejan Kovacevic of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.
The Rangers have agreed to sign Brett Tomko to a minor league deal, a source tells Jon Paul Morosi of FOXSports.com (via Twitter). Tomko pitched just 62.2 innings last season in Oakland's farm system while rehabbing from a nerve problem in his pitching arm.
In 2009, Tomko posted a 3.77 ERA with 5.2 K/9 and 2.0 BB/9 in 57.1 innings for the Yankees and Athletics. The right-hander worked out of the bullpen for the Bombers but made six starts for the A's. Tomko, 37, owns a 3.77 ERA with 5.2 K/9 and 2.0 BB/9 for his career.
Some news items from around the majors on this Monday night…
- MLB.com's Bill Chastain profiles left-hander Carlos Hernandez, who hasn't pitched in the majors since 2004 and is trying to return with Tampa Bay.
- While it's very unlikely that Barry Zito will live up to his $126MM contract, Craig Calcaterra of NBCSports.com notes that the left-hander is still a solid starter.
- The Braves have no interest in teenage prospect Wagner Mateo, reports MLB.com's Mark Bowman. Mateo was originally signed by St. Louis last summer but the Cardinals voided the contract due to concerns over Mateo's eyesight.
- The signings of Jason Jennings and Brett Tomko shouldn't cause any concern about the health of other key pitchers on the Oakland staff, says Tom Singer of MLB.com.
- Philadelphia has become a prime destination for free agents and stars looking to be traded, writes MLB.com's Todd Zolecki. Back-to-back NL pennants and a World Series title will tend to do that.
- Chris Young struggled in his first season of a five-year, $28MM deal with Arizona and has yet to have a true breakout year after three seasons as a major league regular. John Sickels of MinorLeagueBall.com, however, thinks it's too early to write Young off.
- MLB.com's Bill Ladson answers fan questions on a variety of topics, including how prospect Chris Marrero (Washington's first-round pick in the 2006 June Amateur Draft) could be affected if the Nationals re-sign Adam Dunn.
- Speaking of mailbags, Baseball America's Jim Callis answers some fan questions about prospects and also looks ahead to the 2011 June Amateur Draft.
Full Story | Comments | Categories: Adam Dunn | Arizona Diamondbacks | Atlanta Braves | Barry Zito | Brett Tomko | Carlos Hernandez | Chris B. Young | Chris Marrero | Jason Jennings | Oakland Athletics | Philadelphia Phillies | San Francisco Giants | St. Louis Cardinals | Tampa Bay Rays | Transactions | Wagner Mateo | Washington Nationals
Links to kick off the new month…
- The Mets "would have interest in Kiko Calero on a minor league deal," tweeted Ken Davidoff of Newsday yesterday. Calero is holding out for a big league contract, which seems reasonable.
- Scott Boras client Jacoby Ellsbury hasn't had any long-term contract discussions with the Red Sox, nor does he intend to, reports Joe Haggerty of CSNNE.com.
- The latest GM's Corner video from Jim Bowden of FOX Sports is fifteen minutes well-spent, with appearances by Billy Beane, Jack Zduriencik, Mike Rizzo, Logan White, and Lance Berkman. The video is all about scouting.
- Check out Rob Bradford's in-depth discussion with Josh Beckett for WEEI.
- Geoff Baker of the Seattle Times says the Mariners might have a nice find in hard-throwing lefty Mauricio Robles, who came from Detroit in last summer's Jarrod Washburn trade.
- Baker's colleague Larry Stone talked to Jason Bay, who said the Mariners expressed interest but never made a serious push for him.
- Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle notes that Brett Tomko and Jason Jennings will each earn $700K if they make the A's.
Jane Lee of MLB.com tweets that Jennings will report to the team's spring training camp, while Tomko will continue rehabbing an arm injury at Minor League camp. The San Francisco Chronicle's Susan Slusser adds, via Twitter, that the Twins made Tomko a similar offer, but that he felt more comfortable in Oakland. Slusser also tweets that Jennings was close to a deal with the Giants at one point, while Stiglich adds the Cardinals and Mets to the list of teams spoken to by Jennings in a separate tweet.
Tomko was extremely effective in six starts for the A's in 2009, winning four games with a 2.95 ERA. Jennings, meanwhile, acted as a setup man for the Rangers, posting a 4.13 ERA in 44 relief appearances.