Brian Burres Rumors
Johan Santana will throw for interested teams at some point soon, Darren Wolfson of 1500ESPN.com tweets. When he does, the Twins will be in attendance. Yesterday, Santana himself indicated that he had begun throwing off a mound, the latest step in his recovery from shoulder surgery. Here are more notes on free agents, all of them pitchers.
- Brian Burres threw for teams on Thursday, and he will throw again on Monday in Florida, MLBTR's Tim Dierkes has learned. Burres last appeared in the big leagues in 2011 with the Pirates. He spent 2012 in the Giants' system, and 2013 in Taiwan.
- The Red Sox continue to "check in on" reliever Joel Hanrahan, Rob Bradford of WEEI.com reports (via Twitter). Hanrahan's agent told MLBTR yesterday that Hanrahan would host a showcase for interested teams in March. Hanrahan is making his way back after a 2013 season mostly lost to elbow troubles.
- The Red Sox watched Ryan Madson on Friday in Arizona, Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe tweets. Like Hanrahan, Madson is a once-dominant reliever trying to make his way back after dealing with elbow problems. The Phillies are among the teams that have shown interest in Madson, who last appeared in the big leagues in 2011 as a Phillie.
Southpaw Brian Burres will take the hill this Thursday to audition for interested clubs, Chris Cotillo of MLBDailyDish.com reported yesterday (via Twitter). The 32-year-old spent parts of six seasons in the bigs, with about half of his appearances coming as a starter, but has not seen MLB action since 2011. After throwing for the Taiwanese Lamigo Monkeys last year, Burres will look to effect a comeback.
Here are a few business notes from around the game:
- The MLB and MLBPA are working through the annual review of the Joint Drug Agreement (JDA), tweets Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports. Among other things, the sides are discussing increasing the penalties provided under the program. As I argued in November, creating a more effective set of incentives requires not an enhancement of the poorly functioning existing penalties, but a whole new approach altogether.
- Matt Holliday spoke in favor of changes to the qualifying offer system in an appearance today on MLB Network Radio on SiriusXM (audio link). Though he says that compensation to a player's former club is not problematic, requiring signing teams to give up a pick is "not fair" to players who turned down a QO. Holliday explains that teams are valuing draft picks higher as more and more players reach the bigs quickly, and argues that the system "needs to be amended as soon as possible."
- Shi Davidi of Sportsnet.ca explains the effects of the QO system, arguing that its compensatory purposes have turned into a punishment to free agents. Indeed, upper middle class free agents like Ubaldo Jimenez, Ervin Santana, Stephen Drew, Kendrys Morales, and Nelson Cruz have found a market that consists of an unattractive set of potential buyers: teams that have no interest in them regardless; teams that might otherwise want them but will not give up a pick; teams that only want them at a cheap price, because they do not want to sacrifice a pick; and teams that strongly want them but can wait for prices to drop.
- International spending is on the rise despite the new bonus pool system, writes Baseball America's Ben Badler. In 2013, the total outlay jumped to $97MM from $84MM the year prior, though Badler says that levels could remain flat for 2014.
- The Rangers will hold a press conference tomorrow morning to announce a new naming rights deal for Rangers Ballpark in Arlington, the team announced today. Details of the sponsorship agreement are not known, but clearly the park will see some modification to its current name.
- A federal judge has issued an order placing the parent company of Comcast SportsNet Houston under federal bankruptcy protection, David Barron of the Houston Chronicle reports. The Astros had sought dismissal of the case. With the order, the team's TV network will continue to operate while the business partners seek to agree upon a reorganization plan and deliver the entity out of bankruptcy.
We'll track the day's minor moves here...
- The Padres signed second baseman Adam Buschini to a minor league deal, according to MLB.com's Corey Brock. The 25-year-old Buschini was a fourth-round pick of the Phillies in 2009 but hasn't appeared in affiliated ball since 2010. He spent this past season in the Australian Baseball League where he won the Triple Crown by hitting .363 with 15 homers and 50 RBIs.
- Left-hander Brian Burres has agreed to sign with Taiwan's Lamigo Monkeys, agent Marc Kligman tells Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports (Twitter link). The 31-year-old Burres has a 5.75 ERA, 5.6 K/9 and 4.0 BB/9 in 358 1/3 innings between the Orioles, Blue Jays and Pirates.
- The Orioles agreed to sign right-hander Joel Pineiro to a minor league deal, Dan Connolly of the Baltimore Sun reports (all Twitter links). The 34-year-old last-pitched at the MLB level with the 2011 Angels. Pineiro, who pitched in the Orioles' minor league system in 2012, had surgery to repair a SLAP tear in his right shoulder last July.
- The Orioles also completed a minor league deal with left-hander Mark Hendrickson, Connolly reports. Hendrickson, the former NBA player who pitched with Baltimore from 2009-11, recently threw bullpen sessions for Orioles personnel. The 38-year-old is now pitching sidearm as he attempts to return to the MLB level for the first time since 2011.
- The Indians have agreed to sign Jeremy Hermida to a minor league contract, ESPN.com's Jerry Crasnick reports (on Twitter). Hermida played for the Padres in 2012, appearing in 13 games. The 29-year-old was regarded as a top prospect early in his professional career and he hit 18 home runs for the 2007 Marlins, but he hasn't produced on offense in the past three seasons. Hermida, a first round pick in 2002, bats from the left side.
The Giants signed left-hander Brian Burres to a minor league deal that includes an invitation to Spring Training, MLBTR has learned. San Francisco drafted Burres in the 31st round of the 2000 draft, but the 30-year-old has never played for the Giants at the MLB level.
In six seasons with the Orioles, Pirates and Blue Jays, Burres has a 5.75 ERA with 6.4 K/9, 2.6 BB/9 and a 38.3% ground ball rate. He posted a 3.86 ERA with 6.4 K/9 and 2.6 BB/9 in 14 innings with the Pirates this past season and spent most of the year as a starter at Triple-A, where he posted a 4.66 ERA with 6.6 K/9 and 3.1 BB/9 in 129 1/3 innings.
Players outrighted off 40-man rosters today:
- The Reds announced that they outrighted Daryl Thompson and Jared Burton off of the 40-man roster. Burton would have been arbitration eligible for the second time and MLBTR projected a salary in the $900K range for the 30-year-old.
- The Pirates announced that they outrighted Brian Burres, Kevin Hart, Brandon Wood and Steve Pearce to Triple-A to create 40-man roster space. All four players can now elect free agency. Wood and Pearce would have been arbitration eligible for the first time this offseason, and though neither player projected to earn even $1MM, the Pirates decided to cut them loose instead of tendering contracts.
- The Tigers outrighted catcher Omir Santos and lefty Brad Thomas, tweets MLB.com's Jason Beck. Thomas would have been arbitration eligible, but it was clear he wouldn't make it to the point of being tendered a contract after missing much of the season with an elbow injury.
Among San Diego's 20 NRIs is a small handful of players with big-league experience and a decent chance of making the 25-man roster at the end of Spring Training. Here's a quick look at some of those guys:
- Kevin Frandsen has spent parts of five seasons with the Giants and Angels, and he has a "good shot" of catching on with the Padres as a utility man, according to Brock. The 28-year-old plays multiple positions and would earn a salary of $575,000.
- Guillermo Quiroz could challenge Rob Johnson for the backup catching job, notes Brock. Quiroz, 29, has played for four teams (Rangers, Blue Jays, Mariners and Orioles) in parts of seven seasons.
- Gregorio Petit spent parts of two seasons with the A's as a utility infielder in 2008-09. The 26-year-old spent the entirety of 2010 with the Rangers' Triple-A affiliate.
- Bullpen hopefuls Luis Perdomo and Scott Munter each have Major League experience. Perdomo made 35 appearances with San Diego in 2009 but only one last season, and Munter was with the Giants for parts of three seasons.
The Pirates, meanwhile, have a slightly more interesting cast of notable names:
- Garrett Atkins, Jeff Clement, Josh Fields and Andy Marte form a quartet of one-time blue-chip prospects. Atkins, in particular, was an above-average player for the Rockies in 2006-07, but he declined quickly in the following years. Clement, a former catcher, was a No. 3 overall pick of the Mariners in 2005, and Fields and Marte were raw-power corner-infield prospects coming up with the White Sox and Braves/Indians, respectively.
- On the pitching side, Tyler Yates has a 8.1 K/9 for his career but did not pitch in the bigs in 2010. Donald Veal, selected by the Bucs from the Cubs in the Rule 5 Draft prior to the 2009 season, is a hard-throwing but wild lefty. Brian Burres has started 54 games in his five-year career with the Orioles, Blue Jays and Pirates. Sean Gallagher was dealt from the Cubs to the A's in the deal that sent Rich Harden to Chicago, and has appeared in 91 games. Fernando Nieve has appeared in 99 games (19 starts) with the Astros and Mets in parts of four seasons.
Here are some recent updates on contracts from around the majors:
- Reliever Takashi Saito will earn a base salary of less than $2MM with the Brewers but incentives could push his salary close to the $3.2MM he made with Atlanta last year, writes MLB.com's Adam McCalvy. Saito could mark the Brewers' last major offseason acquisition.
- Adrian Beltre will earn $14MM in 2011, $15MM in 2012, $16MM in 2013, $17MM in 2014, and $18MM in 2015, according to Anthony Andro of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram.
- Left-hander Chris Capuano gets a base of $1.5MM in 2011 but he could earn more than $4.5MM through incentives, according to Adam Rubin of ESPNNewYork.com.
- The Padres agreed not to offer salary arbitration if Orlando Hudson, Brad Hawpe, or Aaron Harang end up being Type A free agents, according to Corey Brock of MLB.com (via Twitter).
- If they make the Bucs' major league roster, Garrett Atkins and Brian Burres will earn $800K and $600K, respectively, according to Jenifer Langosch of MLB.com. If Atkins is not on the 25-man roster on April 1 or June 1, he can request his release. Burres also has an out clause of sorts as can sign with an Asian team for $50K between now and Opening Day or for $100K during the season.
The Pirates added a candidate for the starting rotation today, agreeing to re-sign Brian Burres, according to MLB.com's Jenifer Langosch. Even after he non-tendered the 29-year-old left-hander, GM Neal Huntington maintained that the club had interest in a new deal.
Burres appeared in 20 games for the Pirates last year, serving as a swingman. He started 13 games and relieved in seven others, logging 79 1/3 innings and posting a 4.99 ERA. His strikeout (5.1 K/9) and walk (3.9 BB/9) ratios are below-average, but he will provide the Pirates with depth.
Manager Clint Hurdle will choose between some new additions and some familiar faces when he lines up his 2011 rotation. Burres, Kevin Correia, Scott Olsen, Paul Maholm, Ross Ohlendorf, James McDonald, Charlie Morton, Jeff Karstens, Daniel McCutchen and Brad Lincoln could all start for the Pirates this season.
The Pirates can retain Burres through 2013 if they offer him arbitration.
The Pirates have avoided arbitration with Ronny Cedeno and Jeff Karstens, signing both players to one-year contracts. MLB.com's Jenifer Langosch has the contract details. Cedeno will earn a $1.85MM base in 2011, and has a club option for '12 that includes significant incentives based on starts. Karstens will earn $1.1MM next year.
Cedeno is the incumbent starter at shortstop, though the Pirates are known to be looking for help at the position. The veteran has played mostly shortstop over the last two years, but has also played second, third and the outfield in his career. Cedeno has a .682 OPS in 672 plate appearances as a Pirate.
Karstens came to the Bucs in July 2008 as part of the trade that sent Damaso Marte and Xavier Nady to the Yankees. In 74 appearances (41 of them starts) for Pittsburgh, Karstens has posted a 4.95 ERA and a 1.73 K/BB ratio. As Biertempfel pointed out in his longer article, Karstens' $1.1MM salary for 2011 is almost triple what he earned last season.
Other news from Biertempfel...
- Infielder Argenis Diaz, outfielder Lastings Milledge and left-handers Brian Burres and Donald Veal were all non-tendered by the Bucs, but the club wants to re-sign Burres and Veal. Diaz "is unlikely to return."
- Milledge could be welcomed back "if we think it's the right fit for the team, and he thinks it's the right fit for him," said Neal Huntington. The Pirates GM said he couldn't work out a contract with Milledge before the non-tender deadline and "began to explore alternatives" to fill Milledge's corner outfield spot. Two options are Jack Cust and Matt Diaz, both of whom were non-tendered themselves by the A's and Braves, respectively.
This post will list all the National League players non-tendered today, but the best place to track all 200+ arbitration eligible players is our new non-tender tracker.
- Rockies: Manny Delcarmen
- Mets: Sean Green Chris Carter, John Maine
- Nationals: Joel Peralta, Wil Nieves, Chien-Ming Wang
- Dodgers: Russell Martin, George Sherrill, Trent Oeltjen
- Giants: Chris Ray, Eugenio Velez
- Pirates: Lastings Milledge, Argenis Diaz, Donnie Veal, Brian Burres
- Diamondbacks: Blaine Boyer, Ryan Church, Augie Ojeda, D.J. Carrasco
- Marlins: Jose Veras, Ronny Paulino
- Padres: Tony Gwynn, Scott Hairston, Matt Antonelli, Luis Perdomo
- Brewers: Todd Coffey, Joe Inglett
- Astros: Sammy Gervacio
- Braves: Matt Diaz