Casey Fien Rumors

Rosenthal’s Latest: Papelbon, Marlins, Padres, Angels, Twins

The Marlins showed interest in Phillies closer Jonathan Papelbon right around when they fired Mike Redmond, reports Ken Rosenthal in his latest video for FOX Sports. However, it’s unclear if the club will buy after a slow start to the season. Prior to the season they promised Giancarlo Stanton that they will aim to compete, but there may come a point where it makes more sense to trade some of the higher priced mercenaries. Players like Mike Morse, Dan Haren, and Mike Dunn could find themselves on the trade block. Here’s more from Rosenthal.

  • The Padres are scouting the Brewers for a shortstop. They may lack the prospects to acquire Jean Segura, but San Diego GM A.J. Preller is familiar with Luis Sardinas from his days in the Rangers system. The Brewers are also taking calls on right-hander Mike Fiers, but they’re not interested in trading him.
  • The Angels have plenty of starting pitching depth to acquire offensive firepower. They could call upon Andrew Heaney if they trade a major leaguer pitcher. Alternatively, Heaney or Nick Tropeano could be offered in a swap. The Halos also have Tyler Skaggs and Sean Newcomb as long term options. Skaggs is rehabbing from Tommy John surgery. Newcomb is working his way through the system (currently in High-A) after being selected 15th overall last June.
  • The Twins aren’t yet buyers, but they’ll receive reinforcements when Ervin Santana and Casey Fien return to action. Santana is eligible to return from his PED suspension on July 4. Fien is currently on the disabled list. The club has received poor production from center field and designated hitter. They could stick with Aaron Hicks in center with Kennys Vargas as the primary designated hitter, but the addition of a “big bopper” would improve the overall outlook. My own speculation: I wonder if a combination of Ben Revere and Ryan Howard would make sense – assuming the Phillies ate enough cash.

Players Avoiding Arbitration: Friday

With the deadline to exchange arbitration figures set for noon CT, there figure to be a large number of agreements to avoid arb today, as there were yesterday. All arbitration agreements can be followed using MLBTR’s Arbitration Tracker, and we’ll keep track of today’s smaller agreements in this post, with all projections coming courtesy of MLBTR contributor Matt Swartz

  • Righty Henderson Alvarez agreed to a $4MM deal with the Marlins, Jon Heyman of reported earlier today on Twitter. Alvarez had been projected to earn $4.5MM after putting up a huge 187-inning, 2.65 ERA campaign entering his first season of arb eligibility.
  • The Athletics have agreed to a $1.4MM deal with righty Ryan Cook that includes,’s Jane Lee reports on Twitter. Cook gets a slight increase over the $1.3MM he had been projected to earn. Oakland has also inked outfielder Sam Fuld to a $1.75MM deal, per Mike Perchik of WAPT (via Twitter). He too lands just above his projection, which was for $1.6MM.
  • Outfielder Collin Cowgill avoided arbitration with the Angels for $995K,’s Alden Gonzalez tweets. He was projected to earn $900K.
  • Righties David Carpenter and Nathan Eovaldi both have deals with the Yankees, Andy Martino of the New York Daily News reports on Twitter. Carpenter will earn about $1.3MM while Eovaldi will take home $3.3MM
  • The Rockies have a deal in place with lefty Rex Brothers, tweets’s Thomas Harding. Brothers was projected to earn $1.3MM but will take home $1.4MM, Harding adds via Twitter.
  • ESPN Chicago’s Jesse Rogers reports that the Cubs have settled with both Travis Wood and Luis Valbuena (Twitter links). Wood will receive $5.686MM — a bit north of his $5.5MM projection, while Valbuena will earn $4.2MM, per Bruce Miles of the Daily Herald (on Twitter). Valbuena was projected to earn $3.1MM.
  • Mike Perchick of WAPT in New Jersey has a wave of arbitration agreements, starting with the Astros and Hank Conger settling on a $1.075MM, which is just $25K behind Swartz’s projection (Twitter link).
  • Also via Perchick, the Athletics and Brett Lawrie settled on a $1.925MM contract (Twitter links). Lawrie, who had been projected at $1.8MM, was acquired by Oakland in the Josh Donaldson blockbuster.
  • Rockies backstop Michael McKenry will earn $1.0876MM in 2015, via Perchick. McKenry was projected by Swartz to earn $1.5MM.
  • Michael Pineda and the Yankees settled on a $2.1MM salary for the upcoming season, Perchick tweets, which is a direct match with Swartz’s projection.
  • Domonic Brown and the Phillies settled on a one-year pact worth $2.6MM, via Perchick, which represents a difference of just $100K between Swartz’s projection and the actual figure. Jim Salisbury of tweets that Ben Revere has avoided arbitration as well, and the club now announces that he’ll earn $4.1MM — $100K north of his $4MM projection.
  • Red Sox setup man Junichi Tazawa agreed to a $2.25MM payday, according to Perchick. Swartz had pegged him for a $2MM contract.


Twins Notes: Pohlad, Fien, Davies

The Twins placed Ryan Doumit on the seven-day concussion list today and activated Josh Willingham — who could be an August trade candidate if healthy — to take his place. Here's more on the Twins, who are in fourth in the AL Central…

  • Twins owner Jim Pohlad spoke with Sid Hartman of the Minneapolis Star-Tribune and said it's been "terrible" watching the team struggle over the past three seasons. Pohlad said the team has to be "relentless" in looking to acquire talent on the free agent market this offseason as well as through its scouting endeavors.
  • Pohlad also said that the decision on whether or not to retain manager Ron Gardenhire, whose contract expires at season's end, is up to general manager Terry Ryan.
  • Phil Miller of the Star-Tribune profiled Casey Fien's leap from journeyman to elite setup reliever. Fien tells Miller that former big leaguer Ricky Bones taught him the cut fastball that he's used to thrive since being picked up by the Twins. Fien has a 2.40 ERA with 9.3 K/9 and 2.0 BB/9 in 82 1/3 innings with the Twins dating back to last season. His 1.3 fWAR in 2013 ties him for 18th among qualified relievers.
  • Mike Berardino of the St. Paul Pioneer Press writes that another minor league signee — right-hander Kyle Davies — may get a look with the big league club before the season is over. A veteran of seven Major League seasons, Davies is still just 29 years old but hasn't appeared in the Majors since 2011. He has a 3.40 ERA with 7.5 K/9 and 2.7 BB/9 in 53 innings in 2013 and has boosted his fastball velocity back up to 90 mph after pitching at 84-86 mph earlier in the year.

Braves Interested In Joba; Giants Eyeing Twins’ Pen

4:36pm: Schulman notes that excepting Glen Perkins, whom the Twins are unlikely to trade, the interesting reliever for the Giants in Minnesota's bullpen is Casey Fien. However, Schulman doesn't know whether the righty, who's posted a 3.55 ERA in 38 appearances, is available.

11:33am: Elder, a Giants scout, was in Minnesota last night to see the Twins' bullpen rather than Chamberlain, tweets Henry Schulman of the San Francisco Chronicle.  Casey Fien,Jared BurtonBrian Duensing, and Josh Roenicke appeared for the Twins, with Burton and Duensing struggling.

10:30am: The Braves and Giants have an interest in Yankees reliever Joba Chamberlain, a pair of American League talent evaluators told George A. King III and Dan Martin of the New York Post.  The Braves' Jim Fregosi saw Chamberlain Friday night, while the Giants' Lee Elder attended last night's game "exclusively to watch Chamberlain."

Chamberlain, 27, has a 5.75 ERA, 9.7 K/9, 4.4 BB/9, 1.77 HR/9, and 35.5% groundball rate in 20 1/3 innings this year.  He missed most of May with an oblique strain.  Chamberlain has worked at 95-97 miles per hour as of late and seems a good candidate for a change of scenery.  Once an untouchable starting pitching prospect, Chamberlain is in his contract year and isn't expected to be with the Yankees next season.  The Braves are known to be in the market for relief help; they last matched up with the Yankees in a minor trade in November 2010.

Aaron Steen contributed to this post.

Central Links: Twins, Cubs, Segura

The Twins have plenty to be excited about following the hot starts of top prospects Miguel Sano and Byron Buxton, writes Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports in his first Prospect Heat Check column. Passan spoke to 20 GMs and executives, with one AL evaluator telling him that "Sano is exploding," and adding that the 20-year-old looks to have improved at third base. Here's more on the Twins and more from baseball's Central divisions…

  • Former Tigers reliever and current Twins setup man Casey Fien sympathizes with the trials that his former roommate Casper Wells has gone through early this season, writes John Lowe of the Detroit Free Press. Fien recalls Spring Training of 2010, when he went from the Tigers, to the Red Sox, to the Blue Jays and back to the Tigers in the span of a month. Wells was with four organiations in April.
  • Cubs chairman Tom Ricketts presented his plans for a $300MM renovation for Wrigley Field today, and Fran Spielman and Stefano Esposito of the Chicago Sun-Times have the highlights. Ricketts caused controvery by stating that if the Cubs are unable to receive the outfield sign space they need (among other requests), they would have to consider moving from Wrigley Field. Ricketts went on record as saying the Cubs need "to run a business like a business and not a museum."
  • David Kaplan of CSN Chicago tweets the following Ricketts quote from his presentation: "We anticipate increasing spending on the baseball side as soon as we know what we can do with this plan."
  • USA Today's Bob Nightengale praises Brewers GM Doug Melvin for insisting that the Angels include shortstop Jean Segura in any return for Zack Greinke last July (Twitter link). Segura entered play Wednesday hitting .367/.418/.567 three doubles, three triples, three homers and seven steals.

Twins Sign Jason Bulger, Casey Fien, Aaron Bates

The Twins announced that they signed right-handers Jason Bulger and Casey Fien and infielder Aaron Bates to minor league deals that include invitations to Spring Training. They also announced minor league deals with Phil Dumatrait, Aaron Thompson, Jared Burton, Samuel Deduno, P.J. Walters, Daryl Thompson, Luis Perdomo, Brendan Wise, Matt Carson, Wilkin Ramirez, Sean Burroughs, Steve Pearce, J.R. Towles and Rene Rivera and Spring Training invitations for many minor leaguers in their organization.

Bulger, 33, appeared in five games with the Angels in 2011. He spent most of the season in the bullpen of Los Angeles' top affiliate, where he posted a 4.03 ERA with 11.6 K/9 and 4.0 BB/9. Fien, 28, has MLB experience with the Tigers. He spent the 2011 campaign in the Astros' system, posting a 4.44 ERA with 9.2 K/9 and 2.7 BB/9 in 26 1/3 innings.

Bates appeared in 12 games with the 2009 Red Sox. He spent the 2011 season in the Twins' organization and posted a .316/.408/.439 line at Triple-A. The 27-year-old first baseman/left fielder has a career .378 on-base percentage in the minor leagues.

Minor Moves: Fien, Bocock

The latest minor moves…

  • The Astros have released right-hander Casey Fien, reports's Brian McTaggart (Twitter link).  Fien had a 4.81 ERA and an 8.9 K/9 ratio in 21 relief appearances at Triple-A Oklahoma City this year.  The 27-year-old righty last pitched in the Majors in 2010 as a member of the Tigers.
  • The Phillies traded shortstop Brian Bocock from their Triple-A team to the Pirates' Triple-A team, according to the transactions page for the International League. Bocock, 26, has MLB experience with the Giants and Phillies. In 2107 minor league plate appearances over the course of six seasons, he has a .227/.302/.307 line.

Astros Notes: Wade, Infielders, Wolf

Houston GM Ed Wade discussed some offseason plans with Dan Duqette and Kevin Kennedy on MLB Network Radio.  Here are a few of the major topics…

  • "We need to figure out a way to improve offensively," Wade said.  He noted that the Astros are looking for a left-handed hitter and may either look internally or wait until later in the offseason to find left-handed bats "that fit our profile both from a performance and an economic standpoint."
  • The "primary external focus" is to find better-hitting middle infielders, though Wade said he was happy with Jeff Keppinger's play last season.
  • Wade is pleased with Houston's 2011 rotation but "everybody’s always looking for the starting pitcher.  We’d love to be able to replicate the Brett Myers experience of last year where you get the guy in a one-year deal and he finds his groove the way that Brett did for us."

In other Astros news, Zachary Levine of the Houston Chronicle reports the club extended spring training invites to eight players, three of whom weren't with Houston last season.  One is Casey Fien, whose acquisition was reported yesterday, and the other two newcomers are right-handers Ross Wolf and Fernando Rodriguez.  Wolf posted a 4.26 ERA in 11 appearances with Oakland last season after coming over from the Orioles in the Jake Fox trade last June.  Rodriguez has pitched in the Angels system since 2003, and has just one major league appearance to his credit.

Minor League Transactions: Clevlen, Moss, Cash

The latest minor league transactions include a number of familiar names. Matt Eddy of Baseball America has the details:

  • The Braves
 re-signed Brent Clevlen and signed independent leaguer Beau Torbert, who posted tremendous numbers in the American Association this year. Earlier in the week, Torbert told David O'Brien of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution that he's excited to be joining the Braves.
  • The Astros signed right-hander Casey Fien. Fien has appeared in 11 games for the Tigers, but the 27-year-old has not proven himself against big league hitters.
  • Former Yankees lefty Royce Ring elected free agency.
  • The Pirates released Chris Jakubauskas and saw Brandon Moss elect free agency. Moss arrived in Pittsburgh in the Jason Bay trade, but he hit just .228/.295/.373 in parts of three seasons for the Pirates.
  • Former Mariners catcher Guillermo Quiroz became a free agent.
  • The Rangers signed Kevin Cash. The 32-year-old backstop posted a .483 OPS for the Astros and Red Sox last year and threw out an uncharacteristically low percentage of would be base stealers.

Odds & Ends: Lowell, Barmes, Red Sox, Hanson

Links for Wednesday, as the Tigers get some infield depth from a division rival

  • The Rangers haven't ruled out acquiring Mike Lowell, according to Rob Bradford of
  • Agent Bean Stringfellow told Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports that the Blue Jays are not currently discussing an extension with Jose Bautista. It’s not at all surprising given how much else the Blue Jays have to sort out this week. Bautista said on the FAN 590 today that he would listen if the Blue Jays approached him with a multi-year deal after the season.
  • The Cardinals are not interested in Clint Barmes, according to Troy Renck of the Denver Post (via Twitter).
  • Red Sox CEO Larry Lucchino told’s Alex Speier that the Red Sox will “look aggressively” for ways to improve at the trade deadline.
  • Tommy Hanson explained to Carroll Rogers of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution that he chose the Boras Corp. because of the support the agency offers.
  • Brett Myers is untouchable, a source tells Richard Justice of the Houston Chronicle (Twitter link). With respect to Justice and his source, it seems unfathomable that a 41-59 team wouldn't listen to offers on a player who can walk at the end of the season.
  • Casey Fien cleared waivers and the Tigers outrighted him to Triple A, according to the team (via Twitter). Detroit designated Fien for assignment last weekend.
  • Like Fien, Scott Moore cleared waivers and headed to Triple A, according to Jeff Zrebiec of the Baltimore Sun. The O's designated Moore for assignment last week.
  • And another recent DFA, Justin Miller, was outrighted to Triple A Albuquerque, according to Dylan Hernandez of the LA Times (via Twitter).
  • The Blue Jays have considered Kelly Johnson, according to Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports (via Twitter). Aaron Hill recently told the Globe and Mail's Jeff Blair that he would play third if the Jays asked him to, so Johnson could theoretically play second in Toronto. Seems like a longshot to me.
  • Kyle Farnsworth is available to manager Ned Yost (and GMs around the league) after leaving yesterday's game with a hamstring cramp, according to Bob Dutton of the Kansas City Star (via Twitter).
  • Trevor Hoffman can veto deals to 25 MLB teams, according to's Adam McCalvy. The all-time saves leader and his $7.5MM salary would likely clear waivers, so interested teams will probably be able to pursue him in August.
  • One player told Morosi that he'd be "shocked" if the Brewers trade Prince Fielder this week.
  • Mike Axisa counts down the Yankees' top five trade chips at River Ave. Blues.
  • The Dodgers won't discuss prospect Dee Gordon with other teams, according to Jayson Stark of (via Twitter).