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- Orioles Agree To Deal With Ariel Miranda
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- Hyun-jin Ryu To Undergo Shoulder Surgery
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- Bruce Chen Announces Retirement
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Brian Schneider Rumors
Veteran catcher Brian Schneider has announced his retirement from baseball, Mandy Housenick of The Morning Call reports. Schneider, 36, was a free agent after his one-year, $800K contract with the Phillies expired after last season.
A fifth-round pick of the Expos in the 1995 amateur draft, Schneider spent his entire 13-year Major League career in the NL East, playing for the Expos, Nationals, Mets and Phillies. He posted a career slash line of .247/.320/.369 in 3570 plate appearances with 67 home runs and twice (2003-04) led the National League in caught-stealing percentage. According to Baseball Reference, Schneider made a little over $22.42MM over his career.
The Phillies have agreed to sign catcher Brian Schneider, according to Jon Heyman of SI.com (on Twitter). The deal, which Ken Rosenthal and Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports caught wind of yesterday, is pending a physical. Schneider gets a base salary of $800K and could earn another $200K in incentives, according to Jon Heyman of SI.com (on Twitter).
Schneider, 34, spent the past two seasons as the Phillies' backup catcher. He struggled at times in 2011, posting a .176/.246/.256 line in 139 plate appearances and preventing just three of 23 stolen base attempts against him. Schneider has spent his entire 12-year career in the NL East with the Expos, Nationals, Mets and Phillies.
Schneider, 34, has served as the Phillies' backup catcher since signing a two-year, $2.75MM deal prior to the 2010 season. His production at the plate dropped off significantly in 2011, with his .502 OPS bringing his overall slash line in Philadelphia down to .208/.297/.320 in 286 plate appearances.
The latest on the Phillies…
- The Phillies are looking for a backup catcher, tweets Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports. They're talking to Brian Schneider and others.
- Jonathan Papelbon explained how his deal with the Phillies came about: "One day, I finally told [my agent] – I said, 'I want to play for the Phillies and let's make it happen.'" Asked Sunday by Jeff Skversky of WPVI Philadelphia about becoming the richest reliever in baseball, Papelbon said, "That doesn't really play a role. The biggest thing that plays a role is the ability to come here and win."
- The Phillies still have the flexibility to sign Jimmy Rollins, said GM Ruben Amaro Jr. to reporters in response to a question about the shortstop.
- A Cole Hamels contract extension is "an agreement both sides want to forge," writes Matt Gelb of the Philadelphia Inquirer. He doesn't see Papelbon's contract affecting Hamels.
- Michael Cuddyer visited the Phillies last week. Manager Charlie Manuel explained to Jeff Janiczek of the Philadelphia Daily News that Cuddyer told him, "Charlie, I'm a baseball player. I'll play anywhere you want me to play, and I'll do a good enough job that it will pass."
- Ken Davidoff of Newsday places Amaro tenth among all GMs in his annual rankings.
Jason Castro's 2011 season came to a quick end when the news broke that Castro had suffered a torn ACL in his right knee. The injury leaves the Astros with Humberto Quintero and J.R. Towles as their top internal options behind the plate, and it's possible that Houston is content to stick with this duo. Quintero is a solid defender, if nothing else, and Towles is just a couple of years removed from being considered a top prospect himself, so the Astros might be willing to give Towles one last chance to prove himself at the Major League level.
As with any notable injury, however, the hot stove is already heating up with speculation about who Houston could pursue if the team looked outside its organization. Brian McTaggart of MLB.com and David Golebiewski of Fangraphs have both already chimed in on the situation, so let's take a look at their possible candidates…
- Ryan Doumit. Pittsburgh is known to be shopping the veteran, and willing to eat some of his $5.1MM salary for the right talent in return. MLB.com's Jenifer Langosch, however, wonders if the Astros would really give up anything of value for just one year of Doumit.
- A.J. Ellis. He isn't exactly a proven veteran, but Ellis could be available. Ellis and Dioner Navarro are battling to be Rod Barajas' backup in Los Angeles.
- Jesus Flores. The Nationals could be the most fitting trade partner here, given the number of catchers on their roster. Flores has looked healthy in Spring Training and could probably be obtained at a low cost.
- Tyler Flowers. His future with the White Sox suddenly became blurry following a mediocre 2010 season in Triple-A and A.J. Pierzynski's new two-year contract with the club. Flowers is just 25, however, and was ranked by Baseball America as the 60th-best prospect in the game heading into last season. It's very unlikely that Chicago has already given up on Flowers.
- Bengie Molina. Unlike these other players, Molina is a free agent, and would cost Houston nothing but money. We heard last month that Molina was on the fence about returning next season since he couldn't find a team that would offer him regular playing time.
- Brian Schneider. McTaggart observes that Ed Wade and Ruben Amaro Jr. have collaborated before, most notably on the deal that sent Roy Oswalt to Philadelphia last summer. Schneider and Carlos Ruiz make a nice lefty-righty platoon, however, and it's unlikely the Philles would want to break that combination up.
- Kelly Shoppach. John Jaso is pencilled into the starting job in Tampa Bay, so the Rays could listen to offers for their veteran backup, who makes $3MM in 2011.
McTaggart also notes the Yankees' minor league depth at catcher, but says they're an unlikely trade partner since the Astros would be looking for a Major League-ready catcher. Besides, New York is dealing with their own injury problems behind the plate, as Francisco Cervelli will be sidelined with a broken foot.
The latest from SI's Jon Heyman…
- The Giants, Mets, and Royals have interest in free agent catcher Ivan Rodriguez, assuming he doesn't accept the Rangers' arbitration offer. Heyman says the Royals were trying to sign Brian Schneider before the Phillies signed him.
- Heyman names the Mets, Brewers, and Phillies as three clubs "believed to have some interest" in free agent lefty Randy Wolf. First we've read this winter of a possible Wolf-Phillies reunion.
- "At least the Orioles and Astros" are interested in free agent third baseman Joe Crede.
The Phillies signed catcher Brian Schneider, according to Mandy Housenick of The Morning Call (hat tip to Jon Heyman). He signed a two-year deal, according to MLB.com's Todd Zolecki. Zolecki says Schneider will earn $1.25MM in '10 and $1.5MM in '11 for a total of $2.75MM. Schneider grew up a Phillies fan, which was part of the reason he was willing to accept a role backing up Carlos Ruiz rather than start for another team. The Rockies were known to have interest, but that was also for a backup job.
Schneider, 33, hit .218/.292/.335 in 194 plate appearances for the Mets this year, catching 437 innings. He dealt with knee, back, and calf issues. He earned $4.9MM in the last year of a four-year, $16MM deal signed in January of '06. In November of '07, Schneider was traded by the Nationals with Ryan Church to the Mets for Lastings Milledge.
MONDAY, 3:40pm: MLB.com's Chris Haft talked to Torrealba's agent Melvin Roman, who confirmed the Giants' interest in his client.
SUNDAY, 9:08pm: After turning down a two-year, $4.5MM offer to remain with the Rockies, Yorvit Torrealba is expected to receive an offer from another NL West club, writes Troy Renck of the Denver Post. Although Renck isn't 100% certain, he believes that the Giants are the team interested in the 31-year-old catcher as they might be looking for someone to keep the seat warm for Buster Posey.
Renck also reports that the Rockies have "expressed preliminary interest" in Brian Schneider in the event that they do not retain Torrealba. In 59 games last season, the veteran catcher recorded an OPS of .627, his lowest since his rookie campaign.
As for Torrealba, does anyone see an NL West club other than the Giants or Rockies being a match?
Some food for thought, even though you shouldn't be snacking so close to bed…
- With Jesus Flores undergoing surgery for a torn labrum, putting his 2010 start date into question, Washington manager Jim Riggleman said the Nationals may have to seek another catcher. According to MLB.com's Bill Ladson, Rod Barajas may be a good fit, "because he is an excellent handler of pitchers." Barajas also has a bit of power, and would be a decent fit. Phil Wood of MASN speculates that Brian Schneider could return to Washington, noting that Schneider is "just 32, and would likely have multiple offers", though anyone who has seen Schneider hit this season would assume those offers won't be to play baseball. A shame, since Schneider is one of the best clubhouse guys in the game, has been a tremendous mentor to the younger Mets' players, and will be a tremendous manager if he pursues it.
- Brewers' owner Mark Attanasio strongly denied that General Manager Doug Melvin's job is in jeopardy. "It seems like a cop-out to me to blow everything up and start from scratch," Attanasio told MLB.com's Adam McCalvy. "We've built this team around a good core of players now for five years and we took a step back [this year]. We'd like to take two steps forward next year."
- Dan Uggla is sad that the Marlins are likely going to trade him this offseason.
- Carl Crawford and Pat Burrell "had words" in Tampa Bay clubhouse, and not polite ones like "please" or "thank you."
A few links to start the evening off…
- When asked if the Pirates might pursue a free agent this winter to address their lack of power, Dejan Kovacevic of The Pittsburgh Post Gazette said the team has indicated "that they will wait until they see which of the current players might take a step forward, then identifying needs." That sounds like a "no," or at least a "probably not."
- MLB.com's Bill Ladson said he would not be surprised if Brian Schneider returned to the Nationals as a backup catcher next year, but he would have to take a big paycut. Schneider has already said he doesn't expect to return to the Mets next year, and after making $4.9MM this year, he should be prepared to take a big paycut wherever he goes.
- The Yankees designated reliever Anthony Claggett for assignment to clear room on the 40-man roster for Freddy Guzman, reports Peter Abraham of The Journal News. Claggett was originally acquired in the deal that sent Gary Sheffield to Detroit, and got annihilated in his brief callup (33.75 ERA & 5.62 WHIP in 2.2 IP) this year.